I’ve been reading many comments on Facebook, Social Media and watching the news etc as many of us have since the historical vote to leave the European Union.
I feel that a lot of people, from those voting remain, the media, to politicians, to business are pretty much blaming leave voters for what some people view as this monumental mess that is the United Kingdom and the EU this weekend.
Let’s be honest here. The failure to convince many to vote remain, resulting in the narrow vote to leave, lays with the politicians, with Westminster and with the EU. They have all bowed to big business, vested interests, those with money. They have lived in a Westminster and Brussels bubble and left behind the very people they were there to protect. Reasons for a leave vote are many but for some who voted leave immigration appears to have been a huge issue, an issue that from some of the comments are ill-informed and just plain wrong. However, the fact that many people don’t have the information is the fault of the people themselves, the media and again the politicians in Westminster and the EU. They have ignored the fact that people had serious concerns with the free movement of people, not just here but across the EU in general. Ignorance may not be an excuse for the vote to leave but the politicians have buried their heads in the sand, telling people that they knew better while implying they were either racist or thick, or both, for voicing their fears when they tried to tell them. Across the UK and the EU people have told politicians that austerity had to stop, that another way had to be found to fix the problems that we face in the UK and EU today, but as usual they didn’t listen and embarked on Project Fear.
Put aside the stupid in fighting with the Conservative Party over Europe for the last 40 years and you see that the warnings have even been there for the last few years and the politicians have failed to listen, and failed to hear. While they have rolled out the flag, celebrated Britishness and the Royals at every opportunity to try to mask the real state of this country outside of London and the South East, the resentment has grown. The resentment in what the United Kingdom has become has been then given greater traction by a right-wing media, both print and television, and by decisions made by right-wing and neo liberal politicians fighting their own agenda, both here and in the EU. When people have nothing, they have nothing to lose and will hit out in any way they can when you have pushed them far enough. The Conservative and EU agenda of austerity, supported by both the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats in the main, have punished the poor and vulnerable for the failures of those parties and their mismanagement of the economy and their failure to govern for all rather than the few.
The EU may fall over this, and if in the coming days they take the bully route, try to punish the United Kingdom, then they get it wrong again and over the coming days citizens in the EU will see this project for what it is and given that many countries such as Greece, Sweden and Holland have leave movements of their own and have elections coming up very soon will compound the problems and this could result in more countries voting to leave.
When you build a project that serves the big two of Germany and France, who then design and dominate a system that protects the few, the powerful and big business, forcing everyone else to dance to your tune, even when they were crying out for change, you still ignored their cries. What did you expect to happen in this scenario. The simple reality is that the UK and the EU is failing because of it, because of this failure to not listen to the many.
When you leave the people behind, when you choose to live in your own little political bubble you ignore and lose touch with the reality around you. You then react with horror when the voters bite back. You compound the problem further by telling those people they are stupid, they didn’t understand what was at stake, that they have destroyed the UK when in reality you were in fact stupid, you ignored the reality around you and you, the politicians, and the vested interests are to blame no one else.
So where does this leave us in Scotland. It leaves us with a decision to make in the medium to longer term. The SNP have indicated they will seek a mandate to have another independence referendum at some point soon. It is their right to do this but I would urge caution. While the majority (63%) have voted to remain in the EU and will be taken out against their will, I don’t see a huge ground swell of change towards a YES vote.
I remain a committed YES voter, and there are many committed NO voters who will never ever change their minds no matter the circumstances, but the argument for independence still has to be won. Even though I voted leave, and without major change to how the EU operates would vote NO to joining, the leave vote may well move some over to YES but again great care needs to be taken. It’s time to draw breath, see where we are in a couple of months time, speak to the EU and find out what the situation is regarding an independent Scotland joining should that be the journey we take, then make your case for Indy2. Lose a second referendum and there is no going back, there is no 3rd vote. We have one more chance, the need for clear heads and clear minds has never been greater than now.
But let’s also not lose sight of the fact that we are where we are today because of the politicians.