Brexit Blues

I posted this on Facebook because I was tempted to unfriend people before remembering it was against my principles. The internet is supposed to be helping us create a better world, right? No point just preaching to the converted …


Facebook is now awash with nasty gloating from victorious Leavers and anguished laments from disappointed Remainers. I have a perhaps unusually wide range of Facebook correspondents but  I won’t be unfriending anyone.

In return, please don’t bombard me with blatant propaganda or personalised attacks because I want our country to rise above the slanging match we’ve had for far too long and begin a rational, inclusive and even forensic national quest to establish future policy directions we can all agree on.

My pre-referendum posts might not have floated your boat but at least I tried to emphasise hard facts over misleading fictions. And the post-referendum reality is that we face an uphill struggle. We need politicians who can step up to the plate and become statesmanlike, by which I mean, men and women who serve the interests of all sections of society and can perform convincingly on a world stage.

Such people seek the widest possible international cooperation to tackle cross-border issues like trade, crime, poverty, war and environmental damage. Forget the demagogues and mavericks and buffoons. They’ll make us a laughing stock at a time when we need to recover our human dignity and build a common identity. We must keep the equal rights our citizens gained as members of the EU. Decent people seek solidarity and not division. As John Donne said, no man is an island.

We have taken a leap into the dark and people have a perfect right to be angry and fearful. We’re in unknown territory. And if you head off somewhere weird, expect to hear from me.

Don’t worry. You can always unfriend me.

I’ll let you know if I get any response.

12 thoughts on “Brexit Blues

  1. Dave, have you ever thought of going in to politics?
    Your comments have always “floated my boat” with their combination of fact, insight and generosity of spirit. That is exactly what we need now.
    It is far too easy to fall into the knee jerk trap (especially in Facebook and email). Real progress can only be made via reasoned and reasonable discussion.
    I am looking forward to our politicians rising to the challenge.

    Please keep it up Dave, your posts are a beacon in a troubled world.

    1. I’m flattered by your generous compliments, Mike. There’s so much going on at the moment, I can’t keep up with it! It’s just a question of putting one sentence after another and hoping they string together and generate a third. Something like that. I used to worry about style, which inhibited me. Now I follow Ted Hughes’ advice, to keep your eye on the subject and the words will take care of themselves.

      As to politics, the furthest I got was Chairman of a local Labour Party Branch. It was a torrid time just after the miners’ strike. I don’t think I had the stamina for cut-and-thrust politics – reckon I’m better off writing about stuff. I’m also an idealist and can’t take the disappointments of real life!

  2. I agree with Mike, Dave. A politician is ELECTED by all of the people to serve the will of ALL of the people. Nearly all politicians forget that. Your standpoint is wise, and generous, and if someone is chewing on you, it is their problem, not yours. It is my hope that, since most people in Britain apparently don#t want a global community (also my choice) they have to be willing to accept the obvious result of that: more tolerance, more social caring, The “snaller solution” of knowing your neighbors and moving outward, step by step. In fact, that is exactly my objection to the global village. It makes everything a financial issue, and puts a layer of careful blanketing between all differences in society, making them less visible. Instead of fixing or accepting them. We in America have a huge problem at the moment with unemployment. Because all products are being outsourced. And a huge illegal immigration problem. That means that jobs are being filled illegally. And an infrastructure that is decrepit, and a welfare and healthcare system that doesn’t work. Rip out the healthcare, and make it finally efficient, And truly for everyone. It would cost almost nothing. penalize outsizing and return jobs home, give them to those that pay taxes, repair the infrastructure so we can compete, concentrate on alternative energy, then we can take more imigrants. A nd check them carefully. Why not. I am checked each time I travel to England. I don’t object. the American system is actually much funnier. “Are you mentally ill- yes or no.” If you are caught as a terrorist, you have lied and can be deported with no trial. Maybe that would work in Britain as well. And particularly applicable to politicians. Oh, and as to facebook (exlitive deleted) – for over a year, I was bombarded by porno, head shop ads, and sick sick pictures of injured animals. Someone didn’t like that I wrote friends about my singing jobs. I was “vain” and arrogant and they would teach me to not write about my job.
    Besides, pictures of family means they collect info, and know what to sell you. Pictures of your job….

    1. Wow, thanks for this detailed and insightful response! It certainly helps me put things in perspective – one of the joys of blogging is to access different experiences and broaden one’s outlook, the opposite of insular, I suppose. I want us to be a global player and not retreat behind a wall, but I reckon we need to go back to some first principles and discuss the whole question of individual and collective rights.

      One thing about Brexit, as you say, is that it strips out the fuzzy extra layer and forces Brits to face one another and argue things out. It’s a time for some straight talking, which our class system has made difficult in the past. We have a reputation for ‘weasel words’ and duplicity, I think, which may begin to change.

      Your clear-sighted analysis helps, so many parallels and so many differences – some of which we’re going to face over here. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. And your experiences of Facebook are definitely food for thought. Thanks for taking the time to share this,

      1. thank you for caring.
        ps I was horrified to see injured and threatened foreigners in the news this morning. this is very very sad, even if only a few. as to the class thing, there’s an old missouri saying “we don’t really have all that class stuff here. we just don’t like anybody very much.” here’s to a positive future.

  3. I hate seeing immigrants demonized. My great-grandparents were immigrants on both sides. Many of my children’s friends are immigrants or the children of immigrants. The problems of the world are much more complex than that. There is no escape from globalization…so how do we make it work? Fear is not an answer.

    1. Absolutely right! This whole question should have been tackled head on in the months and years before the referendum, instead of just trying to frighten people about the economy. This allowed the Brexiteers, as I call them, to call it ‘Project Fear’ and you won’t find Brits – or anyone from a free country – bowing down to repression. We are now in a perfect storm and will have to reap the whirlwind. At the centre, a political vacuum sucking everything into the vortex. Thanks, Mr Cameron …

  4. quite concerned here in the States about Britain’s situation after the vote. of course, we have our own concerns here. it’s an interesting time, isn’t it?

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