We’ve been here before but we haven’t been here before.
Here on the 27th of June 2016 we are in a whole new world and yet we are in the same one. The news is reporting:
- Political parties falling apart
- Financial markets struggling
- Value of bank shares dropping rapidly
- Uncertainty in the electorate
- Regrets for the (voting) choice made
- Turmoil in the country
- Division across nationalities, class(es), geographies
- Racist/racism incidents more prevalent
I agree that in the current context of #Brexit these are indeed worrying times. They are not however unique to June 27th 2016.
We have seen these things reported in the news both as individual things and collectively together as they are now. I am sat in the British Library where there is an exhibition about the 40th anniversary of Punk music’s arrival in the UK. It reminds me of the rise of Rap and Hip-Hop in the US. People were scared, angry, distrusting of the political system, suspicious of each other, aggressive towards each other.
In the two music references above and in the post Brexit world we are in now, what we are seeing is the culmination of a number of things. It’s true to say that these things have been present and real issues or concerns for British people over recent time(s):
- The (performance of) the economy
- Austerity and public spending
- Living standards
- Job/work opportunities
- Politicians (and their conduct)
Therefore, it could be argued that what is happening with the Brexit vote is that it gave people a voice. It gave them a chance to share and demonstrate their feelings about how things are now, how they have been in the past and to shape the future. The issue, the vote was a polarising one:
They are your choices. The trouble is that the world is not binary. It is not in or out or black or white or good or bad, there are shades and degrees and variations. Let me play this out a little…
You are unhappy or dissatisfied with how things are ‘now’. Right now and in the recent past we have been ‘IN’. I can imagine then that an option to vote ‘OUT’ is attractive as being ‘IN’ hasn’t help me.
You are happy or satisfied with how things are ‘now’. Right now and in the recent past we have been ‘IN’. I can imagine then that an option to vote ‘IN’ is attractive as being ‘OUT’ might make things worse for me.
I think that a number of linked and important issues have played out in a polarising vote. Now, we need to make sense and work with what we have.
So what am I doing with all of this?
I believe that as individuals, communities, cities and as a country we have faced turbulent, uncertain and diffcult times before. In the past we have had to take and make stands for what we believe to be right and for the sort of place(s) we want to live. The outcomes of those stands… I can sit in the British Library and write this.
I do not know what the future holds but I do know the sort of future I want to have for me, my family, my friends and my country. I am not any less British or European or human today than I was on June 22nd. I, my family, my friends and my country are in a place of massive emotion(al) work. That, I can help with.