Brace yourselves. It’s been an emotional week. I just need to be a bit all lovey darlings and then I’ve written you a funny at the end! Bear with me.
Last week I wrote a blog, ‘Dear Little Ones – Brexit?’, which is an open letter to my 6 year old daughter and all the other kids of Britain that I’ve used to explain to her what the EU Referendum is all about. That said I knew my mates and customers would also read it so I made it a bit cheeky for them too! The blog went viral and I’ve spent the whole week chatting on social media with tonnes of people about the referendum, many of whom I’ve never met. It’s been an incredible, amazing, special, X-factor winning, won the pools, met the love of my life, hit by lightning hum dinger of a week which I will keep with me forever so THANK YOU TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU WHO HAS READ MY BLOG AND BEEN A PART OF THAT. KISSES KISSES KISSES.
I’ve had so many wonderful comments. I have a whole new army of followers (hello lovely new people) and I have literally dropped everything to embrace the experience. I’ve been like a teenager attached to my phone.
But I’ve also had my critics. I’m currently in the remain camp but I haven’t always been and I’ve received some empassioned pleas to change my mind. One lady from the older generation was particularly passionate about how she voted for Europe in 1975 and is totally disillusioned with how far the EU has gone from it’s original objective. She wants to leave the country as she found it – independent and full of optimism. For her this is a chance to create a legacy for the next generation.
And then I’ve had my bigots. One of my favourites was the lady who told me that my daughters would end up in a Burka if we stay in. Pretty sure even Boris wouldn’t put that on the side of the bus! One of the great things about WordPress is that you can report people who make nasty personal comments just before you delete their comment. I have chosen to do both on several occasions.
I am more than happy to have my view challenged, infact I invite it because it helps me to make better decisions, but to be insulted and barraged with bigotry is just not cricket. It’s probably also one of the reasons that the Leave campaign failed to capture my heart. That and the fact that they don’t seem to have a plan ready for if they win. A bit too much winging it for my liking.
But take out the bigots and the mud flinging and the politicians and the craziness and actually, I think we Brexits, Bremains and Bewildereds have more in common than we think.
- We all seem to agree that the EU isn’t working in it’s current form for the people of Britain. What we don’t agree on is whether we stay and fight to make it better or whether we just leave. I doubt we’re the only EU citizens who feel this way.
- We all want the UK to be a better place in the long term and this is a long term decision. We’re all trying to think big. Many of us don’t think big very often – we’re finding this a bit overwhelming but we’re also taking it very seriously. We want to get it right, not just for ourselves but for future generations.
- We want clear, concise, straight forward information. We’re looking for some-one to cut through the gumf coming out of the mouths of the politicians. It is possible to check facts but it involves seeking out the information at a time when we’re being barraged. It would have been lovely to have a really good series of television programs on this that covered all the arguments and how the policies of Brussels affect our very neighbourhoods. Maybe I missed that whilst being forced to watch Paw Patrol.
- We don’t really know the EU. At the beginning of this week I didn’t really know how the EU worked. I don’t know who my MEPs are. I kind of know who the president is but if I bumped into him in the street I wouldn’t be star struck. I only half know what they do. We send them alot of money – it might be being spent right on my doorstep but I have no idea of it. Who are the EU superstars/supervillains?
Taking point 1, Europe doesn’t work for us, are we in a position to make our voices heard? Really heard. I don’t mean through the politicians because they’ve handed this over to the people. The MEPs are supposed to represent us and maybe they do but they’re not reporting back. Maybe we the people could be heard? The President of the EU Commission (which is basically the EU powerhouse) is on twitter. We could tweet him? Shall I send him a link to my blog and invite him for afternoon tea to discuss it! Then blackmail him! That seems a very British way to do things (Blackadder is on the background as I type – it may be influencing me somewhat). OK – I promise not to blackmail him, unless 1 million people like this blog post. Then it’s anything goes!
I wish the Remain campaign would tell us exactly what changes they would call for in Europe. It would be a real shame to have gone through all of this and simply return to business as usual. For the sake of all of us I hope that, should the Remain camp win the referendum, they push for a more democratic process and better communication with EU Citizens from the EU Commission.
Whatever the nation decides on the 23rd June, we need to unite on the 24th June and move forward together. We may be leaving the EU – a whole generation will be going to work cursing their parents under their breath but we have to make it work. We’re going to have to rely on our top business people to pull it out of the bag. Let’s make sure we’re helping them. If you see a business person flagging buy them a coffee, give them a massage and send them back in to their office yelling after them “your country needs you!”
Or we may be staying and there will be alot of people who won’t be happy about that either. There are alot of people looking to rectify a mistake they made in the 70s so that when they hand the batton over to the next generation they aren’t giving us their baggage. I can see that would be a very bitter pill to swallow.
And now that funny I promised you.
When I saw that the blog was starting to go viral I was thrilled but I also started to panic slightly. What if this was going to be my 5 mins of fame. What if I got invited on to ‘Lorraine’ to answer questions on the EU. OMG I know nothing. I must educate myself so as to not look like a complete baffoon when Lorraine asks me stuff.
STEP ONE – Watch Farage vs Cameron (Tuesday 7th June)
Its 9pm and my husband is away on an overnight stay. It’s night 2 of blog starting to go viral and I’m really proud of myself but I’m working in the morning so no celebrating allowed.
Nigel comes on wearing his suit from Burtons and tells us he is pro Commonwealth. The Germans showed us a bit of leg in the 70s and we ran off to join them in the EU. Turns out the Germans hadn’t shaved that leg and now Nigel can’t live with it anymore. It’s all a bit staged and boring. If I just have one glass of wine I’ll be alright for work in the morning surely. And I’ll just catch up on my Words with Friends games whilst he bats on about stuff which I don’t believe in.
By the time David Cameron comes on the bottle is 2/3 gone and I’m drunk enough to think that he looks more attractive with grey hair. His suit is better than Nigel’s, or maybe he has better shoulders to fill the suit out. My mum has come out with a really long word on words with friends again. I swear she uses a dictionary. Must eat some carbs before I go to bed.
The following day I am hungover, dressed as Rapunzel, sat infront of a group of small children singing Old MacDonald had a farm and regretting my foray into the world of politics.
Undeterred by the total failure of step one I decided to try again by watching more tele. This time it’s the 6 way debate. Also I know I don’t have to be dressed as Rapunzel in the morning. More importantly I drank all the wine during step one.
How lovely to see a whole panel of ladies. If my girlies grew up to be like one of those ladies I would be so proud my chest would burst. Quite frankly if I grew up to be like one of those ladies my own mum would be so proud her chest would burst. I’m only 40 – there’s still time.
And then Boris – always entertaining, not always for the right reasons! The two things that stick with me from his performance:
a. He kept playing with his pen
b. He believes that if we leave the EU we can get on with saving the endangered species in the UK. Cut to audience. Audience members mouths “what the…” quickly cut back to panel.
They covered all the same issues that I covered in my blog but in a more ballsy politics 90 seconds at a time type way for 2 hours. I took 5 mins. And the more I watched the more the feeling that I get when the kids are fighting started to rise up within me, until I reached the point where I wanted to shout WILL YOU PLEASE STOP FIGHTING AND START LISTENING!
I found a beer at the back of the fridge and cracked it open. I didn’t bother checking the use by date – I didn’t want to know that either.
I’ve subsequently read the official websites for both the leave and remain campaigns and I’ve also read the EU’s website too. I now know how the EU works. I’m also more aware of the vastness of the subject area and it’s complexities and whilst I can’t say that I understand them fully I at least now know what I don’t know!