Thoughts on Brexit
“Democracy is our saviour, the West's gift to the world." That is until the vote doesn't go the right way..."
Brexit. You've probably heard the term and know what it means. The UK's plan to leave the European Union.
It's become something of a dirty word (and not the good kind!), with those who voted to leave being called everything from thick to racist to ignorant by the mainstream media. Now, I'm sure there are many that fall into this category, who voted because they thought that leaving the EU would end immigration, that no more would foreigners be able to come and use what we have made for ourselves.
However, I do believe that most people who voted to leave did so for many other reasons. I voted to leave and I am not racist; indeed immigration had nothing to do with the reasons I chose to vote to leave, and I do think that it's the same for most people who voted to leave.
Humans have always migrated - how else have we colonised the globe? From the very earliest of times, humans have moved across the face of the Earth, searching for food, water, fertile lands. We continue to do so today, seeking out better economic chances, safety from war and so on. My own grandparents were immigrants, coming to England in the early 1950's from Jamaica.
I would never be against anyone seeking to improve their life, or the lives of their families, would do it myself if I had to.
When Britain does finally, if ever, leave the EU, will immigration stop? Er, no, and so it shouldn't. So why else would someone choose to leave the EU then, if not to curb immigration?
Now, I'll admit, when the European Union was first created, the intentions were good. Why shouldn't you have good trade agreements with your closest continental neighbours? So what's the problem then? Well, governments are my problem!
Governments become so big and cumbersome, unwieldy and unanswerable to the very people for whom they were first created to help. The EU is no different. Look at the Common Fisheries Policy, the EU imposed limits on the weights of fish trawlers can catch. Sounds like a good idea, doesn't it, in a world where there is increasingly more plastic than fish in the oceans? In theory, it sounds fantastic. But what happens when a trawler, having hauled in its nets and weighed its catch, has too much? Well, those dead fish have to be tipped back into the ocean. How does that help conservation? It doesn't.
There are countless other little bureaucracies that I could cite.
Ultimately though, my issues with the EU are not much different from the issues I have with my own government, or any government, come to that, regardless of the party in charge at any given time.
I don't like politicians, or most of them anyway, like 99.9% of them. I'm sure there are those that enter politics because they want to make a change, but you know the saying, how power corrupts and all of that. Show me an honest politician and I'll show you a liar. You see it time and time again, when they're interviewed and can't give a straight answer. It's always spin, how can they use this or that event to gain votes, to gain more power, to make themselves look good. All the time!
I don't know about in other parts of the world, but in Britain there are few trustworthy MP's. Look at scandals like the MP's expenses where they use tax money to pay for the upkeep of their duck ponds, or to buy houses, because you know, we all know how poor MP's are. Politicians have no idea what it's like to live and work in the real world. How can they, when being a politician is all that they have done, straight from their elite colleges?
So what does this have to do with the EU? Well, one government trying to fuck us over is enough, thank you. Don't think those MEP's don't claim ridiculous expenses, or are quick to lower the power of vacuums all in the name of the environment, yet Juncker, the President of the European Commission thinks nothing of spending twenty five grand on a private jet to Rome.
The truth is that I have no idea who represents me in the European parliament, no idea how they got there or who voted for them, what they believe in or what their visions are. I can guarantee you that most British people, the ordinary, everyday people who just want to go to work and then come home and enjoy their lives, who just want to get on, will feel the same.
I get that leaving the EU might be scary to some. Better the devil you know and all of that. But how can we ever hope for change when we are too scared to do anything but hang on to a system that just doesn't work?
Sometimes I think that we have a tendency to put on those rose tinted glasses whenever we are at the precipice of change. The EU isn't as great as some of the remainer's would have us believe. Have we forgotten the PIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain), all countries who have fared particularly bad in economic terms under the EU's single currency, even against the backdrop of the wider global financial crisis. And if we take a look at Greece, and all of the cuts faced by the people who live there, cuts forced by the EU, on the ordinary, everyday people, then we can see all isn't as rosy as some would have us think.
The EU acts like a bully boy when it doesn't get its own way, as do many of the world's governments. I understand that negotiating the terms of departure is going to take some extremely important and detailed, and no doubt tense discussions on how we depart from the political structure that is the European Union, but all you have to do is look at the rhetoric it uses when discussing Britain's departure. Listen to or read any news outlet and you'll see that they demand this and threaten that.
"Democracy is our saviour, the West's gift to the world." That is until the vote doesn't go the 'right way', when the result isn't the one intended. Everyone thought that Britain would vote to remain in the EU. It really was a shocker. Even today you'll still hear people saying ''Yes well, you only won by a slim margin.'' I bet they wouldn't have been saying that if the results had been reversed, if Britain had voted to remain. Even now, there are calls for a second referendum, because, you know, we didn't know what we were voting for the first time round, or so the media are always telling us.
I ultimately think that most people, when they went out to vote, didn't feel strongly either way. I didn't know for sure which way I would vote until the very day. And that's part of the problem as well. Politics has become so far removed from the everyday lives of the people. We don't trust politicians. Their slick words no longer fool us, and yet, we feel powerless to do anything else than to go out and vote for whoever we believe will be the lesser of two evils.
We go out and vote with the knowledge that whoever we vote for will likely screw us over in one way or another.
Ultimately, whatever happens, I don't think much will change, not for folks like me or you. There will be good things and there will be bad things, and like most of the problems this world faces, the man-made problems at least, we will be the ones who face the brunt of it. Not our politicians, not the rich, nor the elite. It will be the everyday folks, like me and you, as it has ever been, who will bear the brunt of whatever our governments decide.
My name is Emma Kathryn, an eclectic witch, my path is a mixture of traditional European witchcraft, voodoo and obeah, a mixture representing my heritage. I live in the middle of England in a little town in Nottinghamshire, with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs, Boo and Dexter. When not working in a bookshop full time, I like to spend time with my family outdoors, with the dogs. And weaving magick, of course!