EU Referendum: now it is done, we are bereft

The votes have been counted, the decision made, the argument done. And now, after the weeks and months that have brought us here, there is disbelief, terror, and hurt.

While the politicians made their speeches, while they made their claims and accusations and promises and predictions, while families exchanged cross words, friends fell out and acquaintances were strengthened or nipped in the bud – while all of this, something shifted.

It was a crumbling at first, of usually solid exteriors, and a quiver in the foundations. But it didn’t stop. The cracks grew. And as we got closer to the point, of the votes being counted and the decision made, the fractures zigzagged their way across the country – into offices, social gatherings and our homes. The glue that bound us was forcibly pulled away, leaving a gash we can’t fix.

And this is why I’m hurting. We should never have been asked to choose – because in choosing, we have exposed the worst of ourselves and each other. It was a job too big for us. How could we know the facts, the answers, the future? How could we protect each other from the fear? We couldn’t. And what has been left behind, now that the votes are counted, is a country divided and reeling from being torn apart. We are bereft.

It has become the thing, to shout and fight and accuse. It has become the thing to voice prejudice and act on hatred. In this land where I was born, I see battle lines and divisions where they’d not been before. Had they been hidden from view, or have they grown from this sorry mess that has left us bereft? For now here we are, in a Britain that has woken up after harsh words uttered in haste, in the heat of the moment. Like a nightmare that comes back to you through the day, the hangover of how we acted, what we did and said, isn’t going away.

A family member was racially abused on the street this week. I have never before felt so detached from the country I have grown up in. This isn’t home. This place where the language tells stories of us and them, where the people are filled with resentment. Where dissatisfaction has bred fear and hate.

The voting is over and we can’t undo what’s been said, the words that have been shouted, the hurt that’s been felt, the seeds of hate that have been planted. I’m angry that we were made to vote. It was never going to be the answer. It has made our problems much, much worse. The vote became a vehicle for people’s anger and resentment and it ran away with it. It became a symbol of dissatisfaction over a changing world, it became an outlet for expressing disappointment, it became a beacon of possibility where people couldn’t understand how to change the lives they weren’t happy with.

I am distraught, but I am also terrified because none of us know what this will mean.

And now it is done, I look around this country, and I know I can’t forget. The scars of our referendum tell the story of a place divided, where there is bitterness instead of humanity, where prejudice is rife and where simple kindness is lacking while fear and mistrust have won. What this will do to us fills me with horror.

This morning, my children are waking up in a country which doesn’t feel like home. With my brown skin and Indian name, I’m not sure this land wants me anymore.




47 Comments on EU Referendum: now it is done, we are bereft

  1. A Mum in London
    June 24, 2016 at 6:13 am (2 years ago)

    Exactly that. Unwelcome. And not sure I want to bring up my children in a former open, democratic, cosmopolitan and tolerant country that is now being torn apart by xenophobia and hatred.

    • Tos
      June 24, 2016 at 9:45 am (2 years ago)

      This was a victory for our formerly democratic country. Once we’re free of the European Union we can retake the democracy they have taken from us for years.

      It is time to educate the populace on the truth of the tyranny of the European Union. That the EU funded BBC and the EU’s own hundreds of millions of pounds of propaganda turned our young people into the unquestioning young minded, couldn’t care to research things for themselves, people of this country.

      • Southdwsw
        June 30, 2016 at 4:53 am (2 years ago)

        It’s this sort of paranoid cack that’s causing discontent. The EU does not fund the BBC, your licence fee does, twit.

  2. Ann WJ White
    June 24, 2016 at 6:33 am (2 years ago)

    I know how you feel. The US is reeling around basing itself on hatred, skin color, greed, bullies, and more. My ancestors came here in 1628. But I feel alienated from others who hate based on race, on income, on sexual status, on weapons and death. I hear fat white men talk about how terror listed people have the right to buy guns and we the poor, the middle class have the right to die. They try to take our healthcare back. They try to feed us Trump, the media, the division in the Democratic party. I feel used. I’m so sorry my dear. I hope that the Great British Empire will begin to remember that great is something to live up too. I think you are a beautiful person. Protect your family. Give them love in the face of hate and trust your Mayor of London to be fair and just.

  3. Jan Sand
    June 24, 2016 at 6:44 am (2 years ago)

    The referendum is an act of pure democracy and if that is at fault then the system is in question. The actual withdrawal of Britain from the EU will have to be a decision of Parliament and that is still uncertain.

    The recent actions of the EU in destroying the economies of several members to favor the agendas of the USA and the international corporate and financial powers are nothing to recommend it although Britain with its independent monetary system is relatively immune to that form of attack. The anti-immigration prejudices which exist in Britain and are also quite evident in the EU are the results of the vicious butchering of the Middle Eastern adventures to control the natural resources there and Britain and the EU nations along with the USA and its attempt to dominate the world. That they do not take proper responsibility for the horrors they have invoked is characteristic of humanity throughout history and I have no solution for that.

  4. Sian
    June 24, 2016 at 6:45 am (2 years ago)

    I don’t know how we fix this and aim don’t know how we got here in the first place. This whole campaign has been awful and I have been shocked to see the divide it has created. I have woken this morning so, so sad and discouraged. I don’t know what to tell my children as I know I can’t fix this. Your post sums up how I am feeling perfectly.

    • Tos
      June 24, 2016 at 9:47 am (2 years ago)

      You can tell your children the truth. That they will grow up in a country freer than the one they were born into.

      That this is a victory for democracy.

  5. Hannah Budding Smiles
    June 24, 2016 at 6:48 am (2 years ago)

    It’s so sad for home to stop feeling like home isn’t it? By looks and name, I’m as ‘British’ as can be, but I don’t feel it today xx

  6. Tim
    June 24, 2016 at 6:57 am (2 years ago)

    Kiran, I feel exactly the same and have just posted very similar sentiments myself. I am in shock and more angry at our politicians and media than the Leave voters. As a son of Oriental immigrants, I have never felt less welcome in the country of my birth than I do now. We can only hope for the nest now, and hope that our fears prove unfounded.

    • Tos
      June 24, 2016 at 9:56 am (2 years ago)

      Please try to have hope than there were those of us who fought to free our democracy from the European Union, that were Civic Nationalists.

      That we want to recreate the UK’s distorted sense of nationalism, to crush the vestiges of Ethnic Nationalism upheld by groups such as the BNP or the NF, to create a country where it is not your skin colour or genetics that define what makes you English or British.

      That what matters is whether you love this country, or wish you could love this country and want to work to turn into a more progressively minded, open minded, accepting people.

      I was born and am an Englishman, and I welcome you Tim to whatever part of the UK you’re from, and if those of your home city do not, then I can only apologise for them.

      There is way too much ignorance in this country. Ignorance of the fact that immigration has made the English and British what they are, that the English themselves were immigrants, ignorance of the tyranny of the EU, the way it has dismantled our democracy.

      If you love this country more than others, or want to, then consider yourself English, Tim.

      That’s the way it is.

  7. Michelle
    June 24, 2016 at 6:58 am (2 years ago)

    I really empathize. It’s sickening. I might not return until a long time has passed from this, no?
    I’m in Japan where I haven’t been bombarded by media indoctrination and had to separate the facts out of the material presented by the media.
    On the one hand, there was a good idea. On the other, absolutely nothing to be sure of. How the media brainwashed the people when not using factual information or the bigger world picture will go down in history.
    Things will level out. Be on the alert and be strong. Tins, water, dry ingredients, foil et cetera.

  8. Etta
    June 24, 2016 at 7:45 am (2 years ago)

    I feel the same way, moving to UK 2 years ago, black caribbean with my Belgian husband. I know feel abit uneasy who has voted to leave the EU for the purpose of controlling it’s borders. But this is what happens when you use scare tactics, every politician use scare-mare along the lines of immigration. “Oh immigrants are stealing your jobs, straining national resources (health care, pensions, benefits)”. It’s the same thing back home. I just hope Scotland does NOT call another referendum for Independence, the country can’t afford it. What Nicola Sturgeon needs to do now is made an executive decision to save Scotland from this sinking ship called the United Kingdom!

  9. Natalie Ray
    June 24, 2016 at 9:54 am (2 years ago)

    I think a lot of people are regretting the vote they made to make a point. But even worse are those who failed to vote, failed to exercise the democratic right that people died for them to have. I think putting this to a vote was the right thing to do. I don’t agree with the outcome, but I do want to live in a democratic society. For me, this means looking for another freelance contract as I don’t think the one I have with a German company is safe. For family members it means their jobs will go. I can’t see a good side to the outcome but it was our choice and we have to live with it.

  10. Louise
    June 24, 2016 at 10:28 am (2 years ago)

    I’m British, born and bred and I couldn’t feel more unwanted right now. This country is selfish and ignorant. Stop the world. I’m getting off.

  11. Hayley Goleniowska
    June 24, 2016 at 10:51 am (2 years ago)

    Tears reading this. I love you Kiran and the hatred we have witnessed burns my heart,

  12. Mike Howe
    June 24, 2016 at 11:47 am (2 years ago)

    The Uk went through and survived a most devastating second world war that reduced it’s major cities to rubble and killed 10’s of 1000’s of it’s citizens and survived and prospered to become the 5th largest world economy on the planet, therefore if you talk to people like myself that lived through such sickening terror, shortage of food, water proper sewerage because of the constant bombing, where children had to be evacuated by the 10′ of 1000’s
    away from their family’s then this extraction from the EU is just a blimp which really is only effected the top end of town, the poor darlings, currency, share and money markets and as a consequence their diatribe and hype of fear, doom and gloom and the armageddon of the Uk economy and jobs??
    It will not happen the bastards will start buying the UK pound and the cheap shares and bonds and within weeks matters will improve and I am
    sure the UK population will start to feel less threaten, there will be a change
    of the pollies in power ? the PM and the like and harmony, like after the war, which took decades, will start to return.
    However if you people on this blog start off with such negative attitudes
    no matter how justified you believe it is, that will get you absolutely no
    where and will just increase the tension and extend your problems and
    could make them a lot worse as a result.
    So I suggest you all stop feeling sorry for yourselves and consider how
    you would be if you were in the shoes of half of the worlds 7 billion plus
    population ? 3.5 billion that has no proper electricity,piped water or
    sewerage, no proper medical or hospital facilities, where some 3-400,000
    die each year from malaria another 2-300,000 die of TB and you reckon
    you have problems, wake up and smell the roses!!!

    • Octoant
      June 24, 2016 at 3:28 pm (2 years ago)

      “If you people…start off with such negative attitudes..”

      God forbid people might feel some negativity in response to a negative situation!

      Dear old ( I’m assuming white?) man. I’m sorry you had to live through such tough times.

      But we weren’t talking about you just now.

      Yes, there ARE people living in horrid conditions worldwide. This is something we should all be aware of, but again, that’s not the subject being discussed right now.

      If you genuinely care about those in the world that have “no proper electricity,piped water or
      sewerage, no proper medical or hospital facilities, where some 3-400,000
      die each year from malaria another 2-300,000 die of TB” perhaps you should be elsewhere, participating in discussions/forums dedicated to those particular issues, instead of merely using them here as a convenient way to evade the subjects *actually* being currently discussed.

      Just like some people didn’t experience YOUR particular experiences on account of them not being you, try to remember that you didn’t experience theirs, either, on account of you not being them. ie. you don’t get to tell people how they can and cannot feel about, discuss, or react to the things THEY ( not you) are experiencing.

      When people say they feel uncomfortable and unsafe, it’s not because they’re being “negative”, and “feeling sorry for themselves” , it’s because THEY FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE AND UNSAFE. But hey, not for much longer when they’ve got people like you to reassure them that racism is just a hallucination, and all they need to do is wake up and smell those definitely not-racist-or-negative-in-any-way roses! Brilliant! Problem solved!


      Please, just piss off, Mike.

      • Octoant
        June 24, 2016 at 3:36 pm (2 years ago)

        Incidentally- I gather you’re all for welcoming refugees, then? I mean, since you care so much about all the injustices of the world. And since some of the people who do feel unwelcome and unsafe may have actually at one stage BEEN refugees ( or the descendants of refugees) from the very disadvantaged countries you speak of, what exactly are you hoping to achieve by essentially telling them to shut up? Just out of interest…

      • Mike
        June 25, 2016 at 6:10 am (2 years ago)

        Your pathetic and emotional response is just pure abuse attacking me based on my age, race and ethnicity because you have incorrectly assumed I am white, anyway what if I had been is that something to be ashamed of if so how racilalist is that.
        However your abusive rant obviously shows your limited intellectual capacity to discuss a very important matter without getting into the gutter which as usual just causes the subject being discussed to be further distorted, but ofcourse it would appear from your pathetic rant that some person like yourself would find that near impossible to comprehend.
        In fact there is no doubt in my mind that you would be one of these anonymous cowards that get’s on social media with their limited intellectual capacity and get’s their ” Rocks Off ” as the saying goes, in some sort of orgasmic pleasure in the knowledge
        that they will remain cowardly anonymous, and where you in real life has never, nor will you, you ever amount to anything of any consequence other than to be an abusive troll of the blogger and social media sites and if your typical, which I hope you are not, then I can quite understand why there is so much racial, ethnic and general social division in the UK??
        No doubt, with your limited intellectual capacity, this message is the standard you want to read because it is at your level of contact and it will give you the opportunity to be really abusive, which is ofcourse is pointless because abuse just generates more abuse as you can observe from my responce.
        I notice you are such a pathetic social media,blogger troll you don’t even have the courage of your convictions to put a name to your comments ??
        ” OCTOANT ” I don’t know about ” OCTO ” but ” ANT ” would infer you have more intelligence than you exhibit in your pathetic emotional rants.
        Enjoy your day or night my dear ” OCTO – ANT “

        • octoant
          June 26, 2016 at 2:50 am (2 years ago)

          Haha. Ok, Mike. Go have a lie down, dear.

          I had the audacity to ask you to keep it relevant. That is not “trolling”. That is *responding*.

          I never attacked your age; YOU were the one who told us you lived through the second world war. In fact, your whole diatribe was based on the fact that you are older, wiser, and more experienced than any of these terrible, “negative” people expressing their dissatisfaction with the current political situation. Also, you are so very obviously white; don’t try to pull that old trick.

          Anyway, great “arguments” , Mr Toastmasters; I’m super convinced. Social division in Britain is clearly caused by people not agreeing with you in the blog comments section.

          Oh, and brilliant non-answer to the very fair questions I put to you.

          I suggest that you look up the meaning of “rant” also. Oh the irony.

        • Maria
          June 27, 2016 at 9:31 am (2 years ago)

          Mike, if you expect other commenters to address you with respect, please extend that privilege towards others, too.

          • Steve
            July 6, 2016 at 9:56 am (2 years ago)

            You mean, the way Octoant did?

  13. Molly
    June 24, 2016 at 11:56 am (2 years ago)

    It doesn’t feel like home for me either, and I have white skin and an English name. I don’t recognise this country today. It doesn’t feel like my country. I’m just clinging to the fact the vote was close, so while the Remain group lost, there were still 48% of the population who voted who felt the way I do. This really is something that’s split our country in half. We’re more divided than ever.

  14. Dan
    June 24, 2016 at 12:03 pm (2 years ago)

    Kiran, I know I’m only one voice, but I want you to know that I’m English, and I want you and your family here, and I’ll campaign until my last day for your right to be here. Please don’t despair, even though it’s so hard not to right now. I’m hurting too. Everyone is today.

  15. Kevin Bushell
    June 24, 2016 at 12:12 pm (2 years ago)

    It’s unfortunate, to say the least, that a decision about economics has to turn into one about race and nationality. I experienced the same here in Quebec, Canada, in 1995 with our own independence referendum. The nationalism was there, just beneath the surface, the entire campaign until the night of the referendum when the leader of the losing side famously blamed the loss of “big money and the ethnic vote.” Je me souviens.

  16. Diana
    June 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm (2 years ago)

    After more than a decade living in this country, I feel rejected for the first time. I think is a very sad day for all of us living in the UK, that the potential for our children to be world citizens has been shaken.

  17. Rebecca
    June 24, 2016 at 4:18 pm (2 years ago)

    I understand why you would feel a bit apprehensive about the move to leave the EU, but I think it was a bold and positive move for Britain. I don’t think Great Britain is not trying to say they dislike any of their people. What they are saying is that they refuse to be bullied into taking in more people than they can reasonably accommodate. The EU has been pushing refugees into countries for years without thinking about how those countries are going to feed and clothe them. When a country looks out for its own first, it can be a better helper to its neighbor second. I hope we all learn from this and make similar wise choices.

  18. Rebecca
    June 24, 2016 at 4:19 pm (2 years ago)

    I understand why you would feel a bit apprehensive about the move to leave the EU, but I think it was a bold and positive move for Britain. I don’t think Great Britain is trying to say they dislike any of their people. What they are saying is that they refuse to be bullied into taking in more people than they can reasonably accommodate. The EU has been pushing refugees into countries for years without thinking about how those countries are going to feed and clothe them. When a country looks out for its own first, it can be a better helper to its neighbor second. I hope we all learn from this and make similar wise choices.

  19. Georgia
    June 24, 2016 at 5:03 pm (2 years ago)

    I never really thought about how the Brexit would impact children and parenting; I only saw the socioeconomic principle points. This has been quite the insightful article.

  20. Riki D
    June 24, 2016 at 7:06 pm (2 years ago)

    You expressed this slightly tangible feeling so well! Although I’m in the U.S., it feels very much like what’s happening here, too, although the details are different. I’m very sorry this has happened to your country and hope that after a while it feels like home again.

  21. Sarah MumofThree World
    June 24, 2016 at 11:01 pm (2 years ago)

    A brilliant post and I’m so sorry you feel the country doesn’t want you. To be honest, I’m not sure it wants anyone. I am shocked by the decision. I never thought it would ever happen. Some people voted leave as a protest, but leaving the EU won’t help the changes they want to see happen, but it will destabilise a lot of other things. A sad day for us all.

  22. Chella Turnbull
    June 25, 2016 at 12:39 am (2 years ago)

    Can you get over it ? It’s not such a big deal.

  23. A morning grouch
    June 25, 2016 at 4:39 am (2 years ago)

    Hugs, my dear. It’s jolting to realize so many don’t share the point of view that you feel is right. I’m so sorry to hear about the relative betting harassed. Hugs from the u.s., where many of us are feeling as shocked as you are.

  24. Aisha
    June 25, 2016 at 10:51 am (2 years ago)

    That last point Kiran is exactly how I felt yesterday. Scottish surname, Brown skin Grandparents from another Island. It wa sonly 40 years ago a generation was telling them to go home and now I fear it is happening again. I have no idea what my future holds or that of my European partner who came to the UK to call it home and work hard to better himself. I don’t know whether I can truly call myself “British” anymore and I am fearful that any children I bear in the future will be confused as to what nationality the are. Are they truly British or do the come under European “immigrants”? I think a very fine line between love and hatred was drawn and I don’t feel I know what to make of this blatant divide that needn’t of happened.

  25. Kristina Steiner
    June 25, 2016 at 12:53 pm (2 years ago)

    People should be listened to but this was not the time. And as a result, not just Britain but the world has taken a step back.

  26. james cook
    June 25, 2016 at 8:27 pm (2 years ago)

    I voted leave. I felt quite pressured to make a decision to stay or go, maybe the only ever chance. It meant I had to decide if Europe was going to improve over the next years to come or if it was going to become more entwined in red tape and rules. It seemed as though we were seen as moaning brits rather than listened to. Given the choice of will Europe be okay forever or do we leave now, I picked leave now. It was a hard choice. I almost see us leaving as the thing that may cause Europe to change and yet if it does, then we dont get to stay. It was difficult. I havent seen it as race related at all, although i understand that is what has caused others to vote leave
    I do remember when we just were in the common market, and that was great. I think it may seem worse with no frame of reference. Hopefully we can trade with Europe and others than being prevented from easily trading elsewhere.

  27. Mummy and the Mexicans
    June 26, 2016 at 7:25 am (2 years ago)

    I agree with you, Kiran, this was too big a decision, there should never have been a referendum. This doesn’t just affect Britain; it has an effect on the rest of the world too, and most of the people who were given the responsibility of making this decision were unfortunately not well-informed, not fully aware of the possible consequences of their vote and let themselves be manipulated by the propaganda. Supposedly this is why we vote for politicians, we should be able to trust them to make rational and well-informed decisions on our behalf – that’s democracy. I don’t know, I’m hopeful there may still be a way out. Meanwhile, it’s important to focus on love and unity and try to repair the damage, stop the divisions and accusations because whatever happens, we’re in it together. We just have to make the most of it 🙂

  28. Tania
    June 27, 2016 at 9:52 am (2 years ago)

    Kiran, heartfelt post and one that reflects the feelings of many. I’m sorry your family member was the target of racial abuse on the street. It must have been terrifying for them. I know that this behaviour does not represent the 100% of the 52% who voted to Leave but it must be a very anxious wait-and-see for you. It’s clear to see that there is a great divide in our society and I hope that as a nation, all sides can come together and heal those divisions.

  29. Annie
    June 27, 2016 at 9:20 pm (2 years ago)

    You’re not unwanted and neither are you a victim of this vote. You mustn’t look on what has happened as if you are a victim of the people who were given a choice of A or B and chose the opposite choice you yourself chose. You must instead look at this as the majority of the people in the UK have decided that they don’t like our Country being ruled by nameless, faceless, over-paid men and women, who make rules for us all to follow from their well upholstered arm chairs and rarely visit the UK, if at all. They have ruled over our prison terms, courts, (The European Arrest Warrant allows British citizens to be sent abroad and charged for crimes in foreign courts, often for minor offences. Too many of Britain’s laws are made overseas by dictates passed down from Brussels and rulings upheld by the European Court of Justice. UK courts will become sovereign again); immigration; Trade (Britain’s links with the EU holds back its focus on emerging markets – there is no major trade deal with China or India, for example. Leaving allows the UK to diversify its international links); The danger to jobs has been over-exaggerated. By incentivising investment through low corporation tax and other perks Britain can flourish like the Scandinavian countries outside the EU. Britain does not need the EU to prosper internationally. By re-engaging with the Commonwealth the UK can have just as much clout as it does from inside the EU. Talk of capital flight is nonsense. London will remain a leading financial centre outside the EU and banks will still want to be headquartered in Britain due to low tax rates.

    Britain could be asked to contribute to a EU Army, with reports suggesting Angela Merkel may demand the Prime Minister’s approval in return for other concessions. That would erode the UK’s independent military force and should be opposed.

    But on a more personal scale, for you, please don’t feel like the majority of the UK have said you’re not welcome, because you are. Continue in your daily ‘grind’, just as we all do. There is nothing different except someone else is now holding the reins. The British Government (who-ever they might be when the reins are eventually handed back) will now go about their business of ensuring that our country runs well and effectively for you and I. Neither of us is a victim. We are just members of the UK, and expect our Government to treat us well, because if they don’t we can vote them out. We couldn’t do that to the EU folk. We didn’t vote them in, in the first place, so we can’t vote them out.

    We were slowly losing everything which made us who we are as citizens of the UK. We were losing our identity, and control of our country. We had handed over the control of ‘us’ to a group of people who we didn’t know. You have to ask yourself … would you leave the keys to your house with a neighbour so that she/he could give them to a stranger who turned up at your door, so that a group of people you’d never met before could enter your home and ‘clean & clear’ what they felt needed cleaning & clearing? If the answer is no… why would you then give the keys of our country to complete strangers and let them tell us how we were to live? Eat? Pay Tax? Deal with rapists, people who abuse children? people who kill toddlers? I could go on.

    My message to you or to anyone who feels like you do … unwelcome in the UK now following the vote of the nation a few days ago … and that’s: You are welcome to be here. Don’t feel anything but welcome. Yes there will be some ignorant people who will attempt to make you feel unwelcome, but there are people who call names out at over-weight people as they walk along the street, or shout names after disabled people and make them feel bad.

    Bad people exist in all countries, all around the world. We aren’t the exception. They’re there … but they don’t ‘rule’ over us. They’re just those folks who we have to learn to deal with. A lesson we need to learn. Once we’ve learnt how to deal with it we move on to the next problem.

    All that’s changed right now is that Mr. Cameron and some of his team are now facing the fact that they have been found ‘wanting’ by the majority, and they now have to work on how to get the UK divorced from the EU, without it causing problems for the good people of the UK, like you and I.

  30. Ann WJ White
    June 27, 2016 at 9:36 pm (2 years ago)

    Just if a guy named Trump turns up to run for office. Don’t fall for the bait.

  31. Sarah
    June 28, 2016 at 1:16 am (2 years ago)

    This is heartbreaking. Please please please don’t feel unwanted. Otherwise the bigots take away some of our love, and that is more precious than they will ever realise. You and your beautiful family are always welcome xx

  32. Rene
    June 29, 2016 at 2:12 am (2 years ago)

    How wonderful that the citizens were able to vote on this immense decision. In the U.S, we vote people into office who promise one thing and deliver another. We have a government that feels it “knows best” and is very patriarchal to its citizens. Yes, it was a big vote. Yes, it is difficult to know the final outcome. Yes, it could all go wrong. But a choice was given. What a gift.

  33. Est Lawton
    June 29, 2016 at 3:40 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi everyone. We had a referendum to stay in the common market in ’75, so we should have had one to leave what that turned in to. The view of the people of a country always matter if we wish the governing power to be accountable. The fact that both campaigns obscured the facts with fear propo and lies is no reason to say the UK citizens aren’t justified in their opinions. Those who wanted to research did so and were open to both sides – it’s what happens in every election or referendum. I voted leave because I want the UK people to have an increasing say in how their country is run in the future, and the EU was siphoning off power to result in the opposite. It was leading towards an autocracy and that never results in peace, just war, revolution, or total control – it kindles people’s hatred even more because they are not listened to and oppressed. We were told in school that it’s good to be different, that if we were all the same, the world would be a boring place. You can’t treat each country in the EU the same, fishing quotas that favour a landlocked country don’t necessarily favour a country with plenty of waters, free movement of people favours a country like Sweden (since I’ve lived here Swedes have openly told me that they need more people in their country to work), but in a country like the UK, which doesn’t keep up their service provision at the same rate that immigration rises at, and has a lot less space, it doesn’t benefit it. Aside from this, if people are raised with differing ideals, values, beliefs, languages, culture etc, it causes problems to have a collective government that creates laws for everyone and don’t even try to represent the views of the citizens of each country. The EU Commission’s webpage says that the EU Commission ‘represents the interests of the European Union as a whole (not the interests of individual countries).’ So how can they be accountable, and how can they value citizen’s views? The referendum was essentially a choice between sovereignty and ruling the 28 states of the ever expanding EU as if it were one country and should be ruled beneath one power. I don’t think choosing to keep democracy is something that should result in promises of such bad things to come, and the fact that so many people now believe the UK are doomed just shows how effectively the UK’s media have been supporting an EU agenda, and how the EU has managed to make us dependent on them over time. That’s no way to run democracy, and creating dependency is not a value you will find in a respectful relationship. As for the racism argument, some people have voted out of a racist place, but that does not discredit the decent reasons many other leavers had, or the need for EU membership to have been voted on democratically. I’m half Chinese and grew up in a very white part of Bedfordshire. Me and my dad have suffered racist abuse in the past. Now I’m an actual immigrant, living in Sweden because a Swedish company sought out and requested my husband to work for them. People have and always will be racist. The fact that they have expressed their views at this opportunity doesn’t mean they would not be racist if we haven’t have had the opportunity to vote on our country’s relationship with the EU. And the fact that the UK has been overcrowded, has been difficult to find work in and afford to live in understandably breeds resentment towards people who haven’t paid in to the system and benefit from it. People who end up thinking these ways may also just be reacting to the incessant attempts of the media to shut up any free speech on the topic of immigration – which isn’t always about ethnicity. I’m 27, and I’m ashamed that my generation isn’t paying more respect to the generation who knew WW2 first hand. WW2 was a fight against unrestrained, autocratic rule, and we need to remember the value of a voice against this type of governance. Our ancestors deemed it worth dying for, and now people are crying over bleak economic prospects? The prospects for manufacturers and small businesses are looking much brighter. If this fear mongering and propaganda continues, the remain voters will be perpetuating the problem of a growing divide. We should have voted, and we made the right decision for the long term. A lot of young adults didn’t even deem this situ worth them voting, so it’s inaccurate to say the young generation wanted to stay. We have, though, been brought up bombarded with constant propaganda and messages from an elite run media and celebrities, so as far as informed thinking on the subject goes, my generation didn’t start from a neutral point. We also grew up inside the EU so people feel a lot more insecure about leaving it. But I’m thankful we voted out.

  34. Hayley
    June 30, 2016 at 3:36 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing your words. Almost one week after the results and I am still sad and angry. I have been travelling and working my way around the world for seven years. Everywhere I have gone I have proudly spoken about my country. I have told others about the multi cultural population back home, where racism is unacceptable and that the UK is (was) a forward thinking, open minded place. I am now living in Austria and feel very uncertain for my future. I feel sad for myself, sad for others and I am no longer proud of where I am from.

  35. Different Shores
    July 1, 2016 at 11:22 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m thoroughly ashamed that people are feeling unwelcome in the country they were born in. I don’t feel English anymore (not sure I want to be). I live in Ireland and I was always saying ‘In England it’s better/more integrated/less racist…’etc; I don’t think I will now.

  36. Siobhan Calthrop
    July 5, 2016 at 11:17 am (2 years ago)

    Beautifully written, but so so sad. The words ‘poisoned chalice’ were going round my head the whole day that Friday. We should never have been given it. Some drank deeply of it and then blurted out drunkenly on social media. How it must feel for you and your family I can’t comprehend. BUT take heart. We can make something positive out of this if we dare to listen to each other, show respect (yeah, what the heck is that in this day and age) and deal with what has been exposed as people’s feelings and sense of disillusionment have been brought to the fore (these misguided rascist feelings based on economic hardship aren’t new, they’ve just been revealed through the ref). Hang in there. DON”T LEAVE THE COUNTRY! Many, many, many people want you here! And most of us have immigrant backgrounds just like you. I’m half Irish for a start!

  37. Maiko
    July 15, 2016 at 1:39 pm (2 years ago)

    Hello Kiran,
    I feel you. And I am very sorry for what you are going through in your country.
    I am in Australia and I have my own experience to share. I am a migrant here, however, so a little different to your situation. Though I feel that the things in this country has changed much in the last 5-6 years; at first I thought it was just my own surroundings but it seems not just so. It is confusing as it feels to me that Australia is no longer a country I first fell in love with.
    Being the ‘minority’ is an interesting experience. Shall I say it is not easy? I grew up knowing my rights and values, so at least I have something to hold myself to. But I think of those who was never taught to be strong; lets put it this way, I cannot blame those who are vulnerable enough to become radicalised in their circumstances. I am just glad that I grew up to lean strongly towards non-violence and diplomatic resolutions.
    I write to you, because I believe the key is for us to stick together. Not necessarily to cheer each other on, but because a minority is also a number. You are not alone, and I just wanted to remind you.


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