A real story by a Facebook pal of mine. How the EU Referendum result is hurting him personally:
“The decision to leave the EU is already having an impact on the business community in Cornwall.
Last week, I received the news that a prospective new client would be delaying commissioning my services due to their concerns about not receiving the next tranche of EU convergence money.
Cornwall was due to receive £600million from the EU convergence fund by 2020.
Cornwall is one of the poorest areas in the EU and is the only part of England to qualify for convergence funding, which goes to places whose income per person is below 75% of the EU average.
In 2007-13 the EU convergence funding programme gave £534m to Cornwall. The money has helped to pay for numerous enterprises, development schemes and infrastructure programmes such as roads, Falmouth University, The Eden Project and high-speed internet.
57% of voters in Cornwall opted to leave the EU – which is a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas – especially since this will have negative impact on funding streams for the county’s business community due to the loss of £600million EU funding.”
(Back to me again) I didn’t vote in the EU Referendum – I didn’t think, though legally entitled to, that it was morally right to vote now that I no longer live in the UK but I was, in my thinking, in the Brexit camp. I still think that some of my reasoning was valid but I now realise that I didn’t really know enough, enough of the positives of being in Europe, to be able to plonk myself in the Brexit camp.
My guess is that the same goes for a lot of the Brexiteers, that they have been blown into the Brexit camp by the winds of ignorance (by which I simply mean a lack of knowledge, not ignorance in its more usual insulting sense), and, in more ugly cases, simply by a strong current of racism and ‘Little Englander’ small mindedness.
Many of us have a tendency to look at the past through rose-tinted spectacles, we are nostalgic (I certainly am!), yesterday is always better than today, we only remember the good from the past, not the bad. I can watch great videos on You Tube, Sammy Davis Jr., Motown – The Four Tops, The Temptations – Phily Sound – The O’Jays, The Stylistics – Elvis, Frank….Woodstock…I watch it and think how great it would have been to have been around in those days…
The reality is that those days were only good for some people…they were horrendous for blacks. Until 1967, gay men in Britain were imprisoned for being themselves. the 1970’s witnessed the cataclysmic rise of AIDS. 1970’s, and 80’s, UK, we now know, was infected with all sorts of sexual depravity. I, as a kid, loved the 1970’s – music, 1979, one of the high points….but the UK was on its knees…
All the negatives, they can so easily be forgotten when we look back on the past with nostalgic fondness. So many of us live in the past, we don’t like the present and we don’t even want to think of the future. We want to go back to the past, to a past the mental photographs of which we have heavily photoshopped, drop anchor and stay there. So many of us simply do not like change.
I’m not saying that all of the Remainers had the facts at their fingertips when they voted. I’m sure that millions of Remainers voted as they did simply to oppose what they saw as a bunch of racists. I’m sure that many Remainers voted as they did because they were carried along on the wave of political partisanship. Why they voted to Remain is kind of irrelevant. We need to look at why the Brexiteers voted as they did because it is these people who need help (I don’t mean that to sound patronising), help to see reality.
Maybe – probably – the whole EU concept was a bad idea and there are some areas of life, the life of Brits, the life of the nation, in which being in the EU is a bad thing but it happened, it is a reality and I now believe that we can’t go back to the past, we can’t pretend that it never happened. We are/were an important player, we have/had a big voice and we have to stay and fight from inside the EU for what’s best for us, not struggle on the outside to hold onto our place on the world stage. Britain today is not Victorian Britain. We are not what we were, we can’t go it alone, I’m afraid that, today, Britannia does not rule the waves. We can’t go back, we have to be internationalist, global, progressive, we have to live in the real, in today’s, world!
In some ways, not all, but some, I wish mobile phones hadn’t been invented, I think back fondly to the times when I was not contactable but I can’t unilaterally decide that I’m going to pretend that they don’t exist, walk around uncontactable – I’d be left behind. We live, operate, we function, for better or for worse, in a hi-tech world, a world in which we are contactable at all times, mobile phones, whatsapp, text messages, internet…..I’ve heard luddites say that we don’t need the gadgetry, that Rockefeller made billions without recourse to a mobile phone – of course he did and that was because NO ONE had a mobile phone but were he around today, he’d have one!!
The Cornwall story is a prime example of the madness of Brexit. Another is Sunderland, so dependent on the car industry, Sunderland, home to the huge Nissan works, Sunderland, its economy, employment etc so dependent on exports…the City voted Brexit?%$#@!
Maybe if Mark Carney had been sitting twiddling his thumbs, the markets would be in more of a spin than they are but, still, looking at them today, it seems that the message is quite clear. “Britain, if you leave, you are going to suffer!” £1 = $1.29, that is scary! Yes, good for exporters but not for importers. We are staring down the barrel of inflation, recession and unemployment.
I find it hard to believe that, were there to be another Referendum today, the Brexiteers would win. So much for the cheerleaders…Boris and Farage have run away!! Britain needs a “Remainer’ in No. 10. It’s highly likely that, now, the majority of Britain is in the Remain camp. Moreover, can you imagine Gove or Leadsom negotiating with the EU in matters of our leaving and the future relationship??!! Britain needs a non-antagonistic relationship with the EU, now more than ever. When the exit and future relationship facts are known, there should be another Referendum, the people should be given a chance to confirm or change the decision on the basis of the facts. That said, so much damage is being done now that if we could be ‘sure’ that a Referendum today would reveal 60% or more in favour of staying, I’d say let’s have the referendum now and say that it’s needed because of the current state of emergency and turmoil. Britain is teetering….
I believe that David Cameron had no choice, that he had to sanction the Referendum – democracy – but he should have risen above the fray, after all the debates, he should have spoken to Britain, on television, Kitchener-style, like the Queen addressing the Nation, he should have looked Brits in the eye, camera close up, and implored, with Churchillian gravitas, the people to vote to stay in the EU. He should have laid bare what was at stake. He should have spoken as if addressing the Nation on the eve of war! If he had done that, fist thumping on the table, if he had dragged us away from the circus, the result might have been different.