It’s just over three months since the UK voted to Brexit, and whilst everything has changed, it also seems like nothing has changed. I’m just going back now to read my post-Brexit reaction, and whilst I’ve definitely cooled down a lot more now, a lot of my feelings there are the same. I am still scared. I am still angry. I am still upset. (And I am still half-pretending that this whole thing is one big nightmare. I honestly wish so Brexit had never happened, but there you go.)
I will admit that I’ve somewhat been avoiding the news a bit — especially over the summer holidays, when I was away a lot anyway. I’m definitely not feeling as bad as I was, but it’s just sort of…a looming cloud I don’t like to remind myself of. I’m very good at just ignoring things I want to go away! It feels kind of weird to be describing my own feelings right now, actually? I don’t see much of that. Maybe it’s just what I read. But usually politics and Brexit stuff is factual; like, what’s happening here and who said that. It literally is a massive shadow over me, though.
I’m also pretty lucky that it hasn’t yet affected me dramatically; after all, I live in London (one of the most pro-Europe areas) and I’m already pretty privileged. No one is coming up to me and telling me to go home. No one is trying to attack me. I do still feel like the referendum vote was extremely emotion-driven — from what I’ve seen, it looks like people sort of just voted because they wanted immigrants to leave. (Or, like, to stop the oppression of the EU or whatever other crap is happening.)
Yet just this morning on the radio I heard as part of an announcement on our Brexit strategy that we would try to replicate previous business relationships as closely as possible. IF YOU JUST WANTED IT TO BE THE SAME THEN WE SHOULDN’T BLOODY BE LEAVING. *sighs* It just seems so stupid. On one hand: I don’t want everything to completely change. But on the other hand: if we just have a similar kinda thing to the European Economic Area or something, then what was the point in even Leaving? (Capital-L Leaving.) We’re just the same as before, but not getting to make any of the decisions.
Nothing MASSIVE has happening yet. Although a ton of stuff has also happened. We have an utterly new PM & Government and the Labour party is basically dying. There are some weird things happening with grammar schools which don’t particularly make sense to me, but I do go to a private school so I guess I’m a bit of a hypocrite. (I mean, although obviously I am SUPER grateful for my education, I sometimes wish I didn’t…) Whenever I see another bad thing, I think ‘at least [insert terrible event here]’ because apparently that is now a comfort to me. At least Andrea Leadsom didn’t win the Tory Leadership. (Oh my god, she wanted to get rid of same-sex marriage. I wanted to cry.) At least we are all still alive, at least my parents haven’t lost their jobs, at least the NHS hasn’t yet collapsed etc. etc.
Over the holidays I was reaing the Ron Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton, and the passages about creating a new government really struck me. There was this whole thing about how he tried to create a system where there wasn’t a too big imbalance of power between executive and the people — this is so not the right phrasing but never mind. And about fear of populism and the mob ruling over what’s actually good in the long term. I mean, I’m not going to sit here making parallels about two subjects I’m not especially educated in, but it did make me think for a bit.
And it makes me really sad to hear the little anecdotes. Like apparently this uni one of my cousins works at won’t be receiving much funding anymore… It’s not Oxbridge or anything like that so the UK institutions give them far less in grants than the EU. And everything just feels a bit like a funeral; people just sort of come up and express their sadness and we all feel sad. A funeral with more black humour. I am basically only surviving this through black humour.
There will be some good things, I am still hoping! We’re not very far into this whole procedure yet. I mean, I don’t at all thinks it’s going to be a paradise… (If you hadn’t picked that up already.) But you never know. Less money going to farmers who make up a tiny percentage of people and all that. It’s a little hard to be positive because both my parents are basically just like AAAH WE’RE GOING TO DIE IF WE ACTUALLY LEAVE but I’m living through it haha.
Recently I’ve been trying to listen to world news a bit more, too, instead of the usual Radio 4 fare. (I like to have radio on in the background; being in a silent house alone is super uncomfortable for me.) This is DEFINITELY not the worst thing that could be happening to us. It feels pretty massive right now, but that’s right now — there are plenty of bigger things out there. I guess I’ll just continue on and see what happens.