This is most certainly not for facebook because, heavens, I could not put up with the inevitable flame war that would arise. It’s also on the topic of something that is upsetting me and it’s therefore perhaps not the most coherent and I’m not sure if I get my point across but, having spent ages writing the blasted thing when I should have been studying German… here goes…
So yes, I normally keep my political views to myself or discuss them over dinner with a group of friends because what’s more fun than that, right? But every now and then I do make a political post and this is one of them. It’s one of them because I actually can’t keep silent about it any more. I’m not even in England at the moment (thank goodness) and the campaign is making me want to tear my own hair out!!
I’m not going to get into what I’m voting here because, to be honest, I’m not interested in sharing that piece of information broadly. If you know me and we’ve had a discussion about it then you’ve probably know what I feel. If you know me at all then you can probably guess. Either way, I’ve looked at the information and I have made a decision.
But that is beside the point because this campaign has not been about facts, it’s been about emotions. And not a lot of emotions. Only two really: Fear and Hatred. Both sides have used those tactics and, frankly, it’s left people even more het up than they were before. Let’s be honest, a woman has been killed because of the heightened emotions (combined with the actions a very sick terrorist). Admittedly, and on a more subdued level, we are human. We cannot separate ourselves from our emotions and they will always play a part in our choices… but they should not be the main part of the decision making process. I don’t know about you, but I learned that as a child.
There seem to be two main focus points with this whole Brexit thing although there are many other issues. One area of interest is the economy – I don’t claim to understand enough about that to make a proper academic comment but have tried to work it out while deciding. The other is immigration and it’s this bit that is upsetting me. I’m ashamed of some of the things I have heard politicians say. I’m ashamed of some of the things I have seen friends/acquaintances write on facebook (etc.). It seems to be that the general atmosphere at the moment is allowing people to say things that are quite obscene and be in the majority, therefore fear no repercussions if they even realise that they’re saying something cruel. And that’s the other thing. I don’t think these people really believe what they’re saying – and sometime soften when confronted – but are repeating the words of the time. I mean, if you feel that way genuinely then that is your right but I still feel such opinions are toxic. I don’t know if there would ever be any justification for saying that you feel the channel tunnel should be opened then blown up with the people who try to get through inside.
Of course, this fear/hatred thing does come from somewhere and there is a problem within the country. I come from Birmingham. For those of you who don’t know the country at all, Birmingham is the city that Fox News said was a no-go area for white people and non-Muslims. Oops. Just to clarify, it is a really multicultural city but it’s most certainly not a no-go area! It’s a city that has ‘taken in’ a lot of people from different nationalities and good heavens am I proud of the life that has given the city, and honoured to have grown up there. During my childhood, I went to school with people who spoke no English, people who didn’t speak English at home but did in school, people who were immigrants themselves, people who were children of immigrants, people from all over the place. It was wonderful because I met so many people with so many individual and cultural identities. Internationality is a beautiful thing. However, I will also be the first to admit that there are parts of the city that are not safe and (some of) these parts are ghetto type areas where people (read young adult men) of one nationality are the only people on the streets. It’s odd. It’s really odd. And when you’ve had fireworks thrown at you when you’ve passed through that area then you can safely say that it’s frightening. It’s a problem. I’m not belittling that. But it is not a problem with the EU. It’s not even a problem with immigration per se but rather with security. It is a problem that needs solving. Hatred solves nothing.
The other thing that I have seen bandied around, and I’m not even going to bother myself with although it really does make me laugh in a sick way, is the whole “We didn’t fight WWII to be ruled by Germany”. Erm, yep, you’re right. You didn’t fight in a world war at all, and if you did please do recommend your anti-aging cream because you look amazing. Secondly, for all we might have been on the opposite side to Germany, we were fighting against Nazism and for peace, liberty and justice. Ask yourself which side of that battle we are, as a country, fighting now.
“We want our country back”
This is something I’ve seen bedecking the UKIP posters (UKIP is a right wing party, short for the UK Independence Party, and they seem to have moved from a marginal party to quite mainstream as of late, unsurprisingly). I agree. I want my country back. My country that fought against oppression and hatred as best it could. I’m not saying we’ve been perfect but I am saying that we have always been better than this. Whatever the results of this referendum may be, we are the only ones who can destroy our own identity and, if we’re not careful, we will do it quite thoroughly.
So, go out and vote. It’s your right. It’s your civic duty. Vote for what you believe in, whatever that may be. Just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.