Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Six Days On...

Honey, sleeping

Why post about politics on a sewing blog? Is that what people are coming here for? I'm guessing, almost certainly not. Particularly if you're British, I imagine you are coming here in the hope of momentary relief from the constant news stream, which so many of us find ourselves glued to as events have unfolded since the EU referendum. But I've been writing this blog for nearly nine years now and it's a diary of my life, albeit the largely stitch-related side of it, but a diary all the same. So in a week when the most seismic political and social change for my country within my life-time has just occurred it seems almost impossible to carry on and not document it in some way. What we put on the internet leaves a permanent record of ourselves and for that record to be that I sewed on oblivious, seemingly without a care, would feel like an embarrassing misrepresentation of myself. So please feel free to skip over this post if you'd prefer - it's here more for me than for anyone else. It is not intended to needlessly rile people or to make 'Leave' voters feel that I am attacking them - I understand and respect that many feel positive about the forthcoming changes. It is simply a post documenting how I feel, to be woven in amongst the patchwork of life that is also recorded here.

To date, since seeing the first results coming in last Thursday and slowly realising as the night went on what was about to happen, the world feels like it's been turned on its axis for those of us who wished to stay a part of the EU. The magnitude of this decision and the ensuing chaos feel almost impossible to absorb: our prime minister has resigned; there has been a vote of no confidence in the opposing party's leadership and many of his shadow cabinet have resigned; Scotland is likely to have a second referendum; Ireland's troubles have been placed in danger of reigniting; our economic stability has been put in jeopardy and many people's EU-facing jobs are already at risk; our country's choices are also likely to affect the stability of both the EU and many other countries' economies; many people who live and work here feel unwelcome and scared, with hate crimes in Britain up 57% from the previous week. It's perhaps this last thing that is most upsetting of all: the vile racism and xenophobia that this vote seems to have legitimised leaves many of us feeling that we are living in a country that we no longer recognise or want to be part of.

This feels like a public school boys' game gone horribly wrong: a referendum offered only to win an election and then fought to raise profiles, with neither Westminster side ever believing that 52% of the voting British public would call their bluff, and it has implications that will last for years to come. I feel unexpectedly grief-stricken, as well as furious, about what has happened.

I also feel guilt that I did nothing - other than discuss the referendum with like-minded people - in the run up to this vote. To have remained quiet and apparently neutral now makes me feel somehow complicit in what has happened. My friends and acquaintances all - bar one, as far as I'm aware - were planning to vote Remain and the few posts I saw from others who I follow on social media were in favour of Remain too, so in the bubble in which I can now see that I exist, posting Vote Remain literature felt like it would have been preaching to the converted. Even my grandmother - only a few years off being 90 - on being handed her postal vote by my mother apparently turned to her and just said rhetorically and emphatically: we want to stay, don't we?

Negativity makes me feel uncomfortable and I find myself searching for some piece of hope or positivity in relation to all of this with which to tie up this post, but there feels so much uncertainty that I can't think of what to say at this point - it still just feels too bleak. So I will simply say that I am sending love out into the world irrespective of how anyone voted and that regular sewing bulletins will be resumed shortly,

Florence x

66 comments:

  1. I feel heartbroken. I never believed the vote would be leave. I feel ashamed to be English, because the vote seems to have exposed a kernel of xenophobia and hatred that I didn't know existed. Mostly, I am angry at cynical and self-serving politions, who stirred this up for their own ends.

    I am trying to not be angry at the leave voters, who seem to have (in many cases) voted this way out a of a sense of disenfranchisement, that was given a direction by people like Nigel Farage, whilst the actual case of their economic suffering isn't immigrants, but draconian political policies. And it's going to be a horrible few years. Already we have threats of tax increases and more austerity policies. Will we have an NHS at the end of all this?

    I feel hopeless and sad.

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    1. Yes, it may not be true for every Leave voter, but generally this does feel like such an incredibly misplaced vote that actually had very little to do with the EU and a lot to do with feeling disillusioned. I share your sadness, Mooneybeams. x

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  2. We should never have been given the opportunity to vote on this subject. It was never about what was best for Britain, we have been manipulated in an utterly despicable political game. How anyone can tell barefaced lies and present them as 'facts' is utterly incomprehensible to me. I am trying to stay calm and be positive. I am trying not to speculate about consequences but, like you, I feel very sad about what has happened in the past week.

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    1. very well said. (to this observer, an American living in France for 10 years now -- i.e. not someone directly affected, but someone living within the sphere of influence of this vote.)

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  3. I agree with you and the ladies that have commented - sad, heartbroken and worried don't cover how I feel at present!

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  4. I voted Leave. I am 60 and so therefore of the older generation I suppose. My niece recently wrote on Facebook "Cheers old people, thanks for screwing us up". I expect she'd think of me as "old" so there we have it, that's the sort of stick we're getting. A "friend" on Facebook, who I also thought of as a real friend, albeit not a close one, has written several times a day criticizing in very unpleasant terms those of us who voted to leave. As I said, I voted to leave, but I don't claim that I was "right" - I could well have been wrong, although I'd vote the same way tomorrow. Thank you, Flossie, for putting forward your point of view but for "sending love out into the world irrespective of how anyone voted".

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Lizzie. I do feel sad about what stick the older generation has had in this referendum as age feels like just another needlessly divisive wedge to put between people, when we already have enough negative wedges forming. But I think tensions are running so high - this vote has the potential to affect every area of people's lives and many of us, naively, didn't see it coming. I would try not to feel too hurt by your family and friends - when the anger dissipates, I'm sure they will return to seeing you as you, rather than a leaver or remainer. x

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    2. Lizzie - you are completely entitled to your view and your vote. I think the 'old people' thing is misplaced - there is a much bigger divide between those with and without degrees for example - but noone is saying 'thanks to all the people without degrees' for messing it up for us!

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  5. I'm still gutted and can't believe what happened.
    My hubby is Scottish, I'm German and my kids are European as far as I'm concerned. So the outcome of the referendum really affects us as a whole family. I also can't describe how deeply uncomfortable I felt the last couple weeks here in the UK

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    1. The fallout of this for families who felt they could simply identify as European is really sad, isn't it. Did you hear on Radio 4 yesterday (I think it was on a You & Yours phone in where they had an expert advising callers, but can't quite remember) that they're strongly recommending you apply for EU dual nationality passport if you haven't already. x

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    2. I'm not sure whose dual nationality passports could help in this situation - as far as I know the German authorities would usually allow dual nationality only for the children whose parents are of different nationalities. Everyone else is asked to choose one or the other... please correct me if I'm wrong as I'm in a similar situation.

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    3. Sorry - my wording was unclear, that was what I meant - I don't remember them referring to adults getting dual passports, although I could be wrong. You & Yours is always available on Listen Again and I'm sure the episode will still be available if you want to hear what their advice was - it was a caller phone-in and there may be someone who called with a similar predicament to your own. x

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, Helen. When your comments came pinging into my inbox yesterday over the course of 25 minutes, I felt like I'd had you over for a quick cup of tea! x

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  7. I too am devastated. I live in Wales, so was def in the minority camp being a remain voter. However, I didn't think Leave would win. I am in shock

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  8. I too am devastated. I live in Wales, so was def in the minority camp being a remain voter. However, I didn't think Leave would win. I am in shock

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  9. Until just before the vote I too assumed it would be an easy remain,all my friends were voting to stay. Then a few members of my family told me they were voting leave and I realised it might not be so clear-cut. I also was devastated at the outcome and think many voted against the establishment here rather than against the EU. I only hope it doesn't all come back to bite us all really badly.

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  10. I am presently on holiday in Berlin with my terminally ill husband who as a proud British man of 61 is utterly devastated by the decision to leave the EU. He campaigned back all those years ago to enter the EEC and we've been feeling European and hopeful and forward looking for years now. I am sad for us all, my four grown up children who now will suffer, for my husband, so sad when he should be enjoying what may be a last holiday and mostly for the poor of our country who will suffer the most.

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    1. Oh Lisa. My heart goes out to you. I'm sending love and hopes that you find a way to shut yourself away from the rest of the world and enjoy your holiday together. xxx

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  11. Wow, I'm sitting here in the States and trying to understand it all. Many people here are completely unaware of the vote, or they were, until the stock market began to tumble after the vote. My boy is leaving in a few
    days to study at Cambridge for 4 weeks. I hope there's not too much unrest.

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    1. Hello Kathy, congratulations on your son's study plans - that sounds like a wonderful opportunity. I know Cambridge relatively well and it's a lovely place and actually feels quite small, despite its grand buildings. Although I do worry about unrest generally following the EU Referendum, I don't things are yet at a crisis point where you or your son have anything to fear at all, so I would try not to worry about him. x

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    2. Thanks Florence. He is now in Cambridge and all is well. So far, he hasn't experienced any unrest. I know he will have a great experience in England.

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  12. Well said. I am struggling not to feel any animosity towards people who voted leave because I understand that many of them had legitimate concerns. However, there is now the possibility that my children will not be able to travel freely, live and work in all the countries previously open to them. There is the fact that this vote has opened the door to people with no interest in maintaining the NHS, and whose determination to enact laws adversely affecting human rights, workers rights, and the environment was only held in check by EU regulation. And there is the fact that this vote has made some people feel they have been given a mandate to express some truly horrible sentiments towards people living in this country - which has already affected people I love. Everyone in this country deserves to be valued and treated with respect (even when we utterly despair of their political choices.)

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    1. Hear hear Catherine- particularly your last sentence. I'm nowhere near as articulate so I'll just say "I agree "

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    2. I couldn't agree more. I'm sure that many Leave voters cast their vote thinking that it was the best thing for the country. It could be. But I find it very, very hard to accept all the same. Stoking the fires of racism and xenophobia was key to the Leave campaign. Nigel Farage was key to the Leave campaign. I cannot understand why you would align yourself with that.

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  13. Here's a little American perspective.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LuRwo3GnuU

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    1. This is absolutely shocking - the perception that Nigel Farage champions freedom is utterly misplaced. He champions discrimination, racism, segregation and all manner of other obnoxious things that oppose freedom. To hear that his speech at the EU yesterday, which was inelegant, petulant, childish and utterly disrespectful, could be seen as brilliant, horrifies me. Not only was his speech idiotic, but also completely lacking in foresight when we now have to hope to negotiate a good exit deal with these people who he publicly disparaged.

      I have no idea who these people in the Youtube video are, but they seem just as unpleasant as Nigel Farage. I'm afraid I only listened to the first five minutes as it felt like too much negativity to bring into my day. I'm sure that that's only one side of the American perspective.

      For anyone reading these comments, this is not an attack on Leave voters as I'm working on the assumption that many people who voted to leave do not share all of Nigel Farage's views.

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  14. Yes v bad situation.

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  15. I was stunned to learn of the results but we, on the other side of the pond, have a similar issue with Trump. It makes me realize that his appeal to the anti immigration folks cannot be taken lightly.

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    1. Yes, that's really one of the things that's kept crossing my mind. When the unthinkable has happened here, it suddenly seems more real that Donald Trump could actually have a victory in the US. I'm sending all my best thoughts your way that you have a happier outcome than we've had.

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    2. Yes, this. VERY worrisome.

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  16. Thanks for bringing this up, you are right to say that continuing to write about your usual favourite topic would be to a misinterpretation of your personality. I have also acknowledged this disastrous referendum on my blog because it greatly affects me personally, as an Italian/Swiss living in Scotland with an Australian/British husband and four 'homegrown' children, two of which adopted. I think you are spot on with the expression 'bluff' because that's how it felt, the entire campaign seemed entirely for the benefit of a fragmented party and (not to mention the offensive racist who keeps on offending) not for the benefit of the people. I have not met a single leave voter, in person and online, and I wonder why they keep so quiet. Anyways, have a lovely day despite all the disquieting politics. x

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    1. Your family sounds wonderfully international, Christina - I'm so sorry you're being affected by this. I still keep harbouring hopes that it will just be too difficult to actually make this happen, although I worry about the unrest that would inevitably come from that and the damage that has already been done. x

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  17. I agree heartily with everything you've said, Florence. Thank for saying it so eloquently. I feel so upset, depressed and embarrassed to be British. And so very angry with Cameron for needlessly leading us into this mess out of arrogant self interest, and with Johnson, ditto, and with Corbyn for lacking the leadership and skills to mount any kind of effective campaign. As you so rightly put it 'a public school boys' game gone horribly wrong'. I am also shocked by two of your American commenters remarks, that few Americans are aware of the vote - how can the USA be perpetually SO introspective and self absorbed? - and that Farage stands for freedom. Heaven help us all - and please preserve us from Trump. I'm just off to stick my head in a bucket of water. Only joking...off to sew, of course. Jen



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    1. But it wasn't Jeremy Corbyn's responsibility to front the 'Remain' campaign - it was Cameron's. Apparently the Labour In campaign actually asked Corbyn to keep his distance to begin with, because they felt his nuanced view was too complex for the public. In fact he was busy travelling around the country making the left-wing case for remaining - the official Remain lot didn't acknowledge it because his argument was heavily critical of the govt, but he was out there (e.g. http://www.anothereurope.org/corbyn-when-a-politician-plays-the-blame-game-its-because-theyve-got-nothing-to-say/). I feel like there's a bit of a parallel between how the working class was (and always has been) presented with immigrants as the scapegoat for all their problems/fears, and how the middle class is now being presented with Jeremy Corbyn as the cause of this disaster. Both of these stories principally serve to take the heat off the Conservative govt.

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  18. I am a British expat living in Australia. I've been away for too long to be entitled to vote but still love my homeland and hope to move back one day.
    I was in England visiting my Mum in May and asked lots of people that I came into contact with about their opinion. In my mind it was an enormously important vote and I expected others to think the same. Most people I spoke with (both leave and remain voters) appeared to have no opinion or were voting on small issues that affected them personally.
    When the results started to come in I was shocked, this was not the England I remembered. I am amazed that people fell for the untruths pushed by the leave campaigners. I am upset that the prime minister tried to call the general publics bluff and has caused an almighty disaster. I believed that the majority had a more global perspective.
    Very upsetting on so many levels

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  19. I too cannot believe the result, but unfortunately many people seemed to have voted on little real information and chose to vote using the disinformation we were all fed. When you look at each of the counties, as I did, to see what the splits were, you will find that in many areas the split is more like 40:60 in favour of leaving. I found this shocking, since the figures appeared to be much closer for the end result. The reality is that London and Scotland boosted the Remain vote. I wish I could say I felt proud to be British, but sadly I predicted that once the vote came through, it would increase open racism, which I do not feel proud of at all. I feel sad, angry and disappointed about all of this. I have spoken to young people already who are applying for dual passports and also thinking of emigrating. Surely this is not what people voted for?

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  20. You have put your views so well and I agree with you whole heartedly. I think the leave voters only thought of themselves and not about everyone as a whole, our country is falling apart because it. Lynsey

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  21. I guess we are all in shock as no one seemed to have expected the result. We have so so long thought the way we vote has little consequence and now we see the power of a democratic vote. In or out we are all the same people we were before we entered the polling station - hopefully calm will win out and it will become clearer in the fullness of time.

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  22. I couldn't agree more with everything that you have said. You did the right thing commenting. It is just too momentous to ignore.

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  23. I'm on the other side of the pond and find this post very timely - I have been horrified by the racism and hatred that has propelled the Trump presidential campaign... also living in my bubble of like-minded friends, I was floored when he won the nomination, and your post is a good reminder that I need to be active to ensure that he does not become our president. It's deeply upsetting to realize that you live somewhere that is so filled with hate - I have found myself thinking that I was very proud to be an American when we were electing our first black president, and I liked that world much better than the America I live in now. Which I guess is all to say - I feel your pain and sadness, and I hope that somehow these shocking events can help us boomerang into a world that is more tolerant and loving.

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    1. Ditto, that I'm in the US too, horrified about the trump campaign, and very sad about the state of affairs with those of you in Britain who have been/are going to be affected by the whims of the low-informed but angry voters. Especially the aspect that there, they have broken it, and now don't know what to do about it. I don't know what is worse. Trump is trying to break it, and Does think he knows what to do about it, though its abundantly clear to so many he's deluded.

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    2. Yes, this would be so sad. After a period of feeling like the world is moving forwards in so many positive ways, it feels like there's becoming something of a backlash against that.

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  24. I was one of the 'older' voters and voted to leave. Everyone I spoke to before the vote (and I include strangers here) said that they intended to vote leave. So it wasn't really a surprise to me that we voted 'out'.
    It was quite clear that the EU was a team (of countries) that had out lived it's usefulness and it's time is up - other countries will want their independence now and will follow suit
    The EU parliament and leaders are a greedy sanctimonious bunch who wouldn't listen to us. Well now the jokes on them - I do truly hope that they all fall flat on their faces - the great British working classes have given them the one fingered salute for not listening to our concerns.
    For me, the most important thing is that my Grandchildren will grow up in a far safer Great Britain, and that above all else is what is important.
    All this will die down, we will dust ourselves off, have a cup of tea, roll up our sleeves and then get on with the job in hand. (We just need the whingers to shut up)
    After all we're a proud independent nation and we're British and live in the best and most beautiful country in the world and thats the reason why we will succeed x

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    1. I agree with you completely, I couldn't have put it better myself. Lets hope, when the dust settles, that we can find a way through this.

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    2. I would like to know whether your grandchildren Really think you voted well or are disgusted, as so many are in the way that their grandparents have voted. And secondly, what in the world makes you think this is going to make things "safer"? The amount of hatred spewed at minorities by the "leavers" since the vote has been appalling, and if you think That is making things "safer", and that there will no longer be immigration, you are surely are what is known as a low-information voter.

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    3. I think the EU as it stands is certainly in need of some changes, Anonymous, but I still feel we're better as a part of it than not.

      My worry is that this move will not make your grandchildren safer, as you'd hoped. We have enjoyed a period of time recently when society has felt as though it's becoming increasingly tolerant of diversity and differences and yet in Covent Garden last week, it was reported that people were heard chanting 'Rule Britannia, Britannia Rules the Waves, First we'll get rid of the Poles, Then we'll get rid of the gays' - I simply don't believe this would have happened in that location a month earlier. I'm guessing that your comment about safety refers to your own feelings about immigrants and I'm unlikely to change your mind on that, but the reality is that this has wider implications and if any of your grandchildren turn out to be gay or have anything at all that sets them apart from mainstream society, they may well end up not feeling safer, because of the intolerance that this vote has given rise to.

      Additionally, in the (hopefully unlikely) event of serious illness, if we force immigrants from our country, we'll no longer have the care available to keep us safe - we simply do not have enough trained UK nurses to support the NHS without help from others.

      You're absolutely right - our country is beautiful and we will indeed dust ourselves off and carry on, but I worry that this vote is giving rise to an ugliness of feeling and intolerance that threatens to outshine that beauty and which will ultimately not make Britain feel safer.

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  25. You said it so well, thankyou for this post and for sharing your views. I too am horrified at this public school-boys' game gone wrong. Seems obvious to me that most 'leave' voters (not all of course) were protesting at the establishment - I live in the North East which, like South Wales, has received millions of pounds worth of EU money over the last 20 years, yet both voted to leave despite being traditional Labour heartlands. I am angry, and disappointed, and horrified at the wave of racism we have seen since the vote, and seriously considering whether to move to Scotland!
    Love your blog though x

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    1. Wouldn't moving to Scotland be a case of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire? Madam Hitler (Sturgeon...well she does spit her words out just like Adolf used to) is totally disregarding the million Scot's who voted to leave, the Bank of England won't support Scotland so the country will have no economic reserves and will in effect go bankrupt on its Independence day and you think that it's the place to live???
      One hundred years ago thousands of men gave their lives for Great Britain - one of them could have been one of your ancestors - they gave their lives for Great Britain and freedom from European idiots - I'm quite sure that they are all turning in their graves now listening to all the whingers going on because 'poor little Jimmy won't be able to travel and study in Europe'
      For God's sake, you're British, be proud of that and try to find half the pride in your country that your ancestors had!!

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    2. It's interesting that the people who post with the least polite ("Hitler"? really?) posts, then remain Anonymous. If you're going to be rude, have the bravery to show your face.

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    3. Goodness Anonymous. That is really quite a rant. You clearly feel very strongly about it - but it is really very disrespectful to liken Nicola Sturgeon to Hitler. I have not ever voted SNP, but Ms Sturgeon is doing a fine job of being First Minister just now. Saying that she respects the votes of the Scots who wanted to stay in the EU. In my constituency that was 75% of the vote. For those of us who voted to Remain, we did so for more complex reasons than safeguarding the ability of little Jimmy to travel and study in Europe (although that is not a bad reason to vote remain). It's because together we are stronger and better; its because the UK has had a huge impact on the rest of the EU via the democratic institutions there (the Parliament and Council of Ministers); because the European project has delivered the peace and prosperity that our forefathers fought and died for.
      Above all we voted to remain because none of the things that Leave promised (cutting immigration, restoring sovereignty; increasing funding to the NHS, tackling housing and jobs) are directly linked to membership of the EU. Coming out of the EU will not fix these things.

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  26. I too am heart broken. It seems like our country has turned away from the European future that we and our children imagined. I did have many conversations with women who were voting leave. They had concrete examples of how imigration had disadvantaged them. They are not racists. However they had been unable to seperate a cruel conservative economic policy from the EU vote. This, I fear is why leave won.

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  27. I too am heart broken. It seems like our country has turned away from the European future that we and our children imagined. I did have many conversations with women who were voting leave. They had concrete examples of how imigration had disadvantaged them. They are not racists. However they had been unable to seperate a cruel conservative economic policy from the EU vote. This, I fear is why leave won.

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    1. I completely agree - I feel absolutely certain that many leave voters did not do so on the basis of racism - that's just a very unfortunate side effect that's come out of that vote with a small but vocal minority.

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  28. Thank you so much Florence for posting your reflections on one of the most appalling periods in British Politics in my lifetime.....I live in the north west of England where the majority voted leave.....I voted to remain as did most of my family based on the fact that the world has changed and we need to see ourselves as global citizens even beyond Europe.....at present I remain sad and angry in equal measures mainly due to the fact that I know that in my locality the leave vote was driven by xenophobia with little thought for the wider implications.......the behaviour of our key politicians over the past few days has been shocking and exposes so much of what is rotten in politics......I really did believe that the tragic death of Jo Cox would unite both sides, which it appeared to do initially, but that was short lived too....I am at sea as I am sure so many others are........thanks again for bringing this up within your wonderful blog....I think you have been very brave and I welcome the chance to share my thoughts and feeling.

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  29. I am an Australian with "Right-of-Abode" to live in UK through marriage although we reside in Oz, so it's really none of my business. Looking from outside the saddest thing that has come out of this is the divisiveness it has caused in your country between the pockets of "Leave" and "Stay"; between the countries that make up "Great" Britain. I have followed fairly closely and it seems that some of the information prior to the referendum was lacking, if not down-right untrue. There seems to have been no plan as to how the "leave' was to occur and now even Boris doesn't have the stomach to see it through. Your post has been very worthwhile and has encouraged a variety of views.

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  30. Yep, with you on pretty much all of that, Florence. I live in one of the areas with the highest In votes, and my social media bubble also meant that any campaigning I (half-heartedly) did was all preached to the converted. The nationalism (not patriotism, which is just loving your country, but rather the delusion of inherent superiority - "the best country in the world"^^), xenophobia, and outright racism that's been uncovered is horrifying. My own younger brother-out-law thinks we need a British Marine Le Pen. It's all devastating.

    Teeny tiny positive thing you could try: http://indy100.independent.co.uk/article/safetypin-the-simple-way-to-show-solidarity-with-the-uks-immigrant-population--ZJzeRPz6kHW

    Also: https://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange/videos/10157098446905788/?pnref=story

    More heavy-duty: http://www.unitedagainstracism.org/archive/pages/info30.htm

    And finally, for our own mental health!: https://www.tarabrach.com/guided-meditation-loving-kindness-2/

    xx

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    1. Nina, that's so funny that you've mentioned the loving kindness meditation as my own mum is a huge advocate of that and has an app full of loving kindness meditations! I'll pass this name on to her (and if you'd like, I can find out who it is that she recommends?).

      Thank you so much for your deliciously thoughtful list of positive things that we can do to make a difference. xxx

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  31. Thank you for posting this. I too feel guilty I didn't speak up more clearly prior to the vote. I honestly thought the result would be that we stayed. My husband is Danish and now feels very unwelcome here. It is awful now that when I talk to people I wonder how they voted. It has made me wary. I am very angry at our politicians who seem to have had their own well being as a priority. Just a bad situation all round.

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  32. Florence, this is the first time I've been on your website, and I'm so glad I stopped by tonight. I'd been wondering what "real" UK folks were feeling about the events of Brexit; I'm sure it depends on which blog I happen to be reading. Yes, we are very divided on Trump here (I happen to dislike him purely because he's a first-rate narcissist, a liar, a bully, a manipulator, boorish and, honestly, not very intelligent; his verbal ability scores that of about a 10-year-old). Politics just sucks, all the way around. What I really wanted to say is ... Great Britain is ALWAYS okay. She's been through many, many challenging, dark times, and she always pulls through it, dignity and stiff upper lip intact. We admire that so much about our mother country; in our better moments, we hope we're demonstrating that we've learned that from you. In our worst moments, ... we've been having a lot of those lately, and we behave nothing like you. At any rate, Britain will be just fine. You are the model of just fine--always have been, always will be. When I'm terrified about the state of the world, I remember that you're our dearest friends (hopefully you'll take us back once O. is out of office; he's been horridly disrespectful to you) and will always have our backs, as we'll always [once again] have yours. It will be okay. Everything will level out eventually and be okay. -- tracy across the big pond

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    1. Well, they seem like sound reasons for disliking the Trump! Perfectly put!

      Thank you for your incredibly sweet message, Tracy. x

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  33. Sorry I missed your post last week Florence, and thank you for writing about this. You're such a thoughtful person and an excellent writer that it's of COURSE appropriate you would write about this seismic occurrence.

    As the story develops, it becomes even more and more incredible. These men who led Britain down this path who are now RESIGNING rather than providing leadership to see the country through what they started -- to me that is the HEIGHT of unconscionable irresponsibility. I'm astonished as each one of them stands down, leaving the mess they stirred up to be solved by someone else. Who?? The analogy to "if you break it, you buy it," is simplistic but apt.

    Again, as an American living in France, I relate to this in a number of ways - my husband is European and I've long been a student of the European project, and of course at home the Trump phenomenon is terrifying. It *IS* terrible to see our "big brother" or mother country going through this and worry that we are going to trod a similar path.

    Thank you again for your thoughtfulness and your generosity towards the Leave voters. I know there are millions who voted for what they considered valid reasons, but it also seems in the reporting after the vote that many were led astray by lies or simply didn't realize what their vote meant. That again is why the abdication of responsibility by the leaders is so appalling.

    oh well, we'll see what happens from here. Off to read your current post. a big hug to you . I have indeed thought for the past week and a half that this result is hard to digest for me, and I'm neither British nor do I live there. I can't imagine HOW hard it is for those of you who are/do. Strength and courage!!

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  34. Thank you so much for your incredibly lovely comment, Kim.

    Yes, the resignations are just astonishing, aren't they. I could appreciate all the reasons why David Cameron couldn't stay, but it didn't stop me from feeling simultaneously furious with him for scurrying away from the mess that he'd made.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend,
    Florence x

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

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