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.