I find myself scared, terrified, disappointed, angry and hurt. I don’t understand how a country can be so divided. I’m angry at the politicians, the media, spending their time and money creating a country of hate and fear. To sell papers, to win elections. But this referendum is more than that; it’s the future of the young people in this country.
I think of my sweet nephew who since he was born 11 years ago he has lived through a recession, war and austerity and his future is no brighter with the results of today. I think of my niece who will be growing up in a country with no hope and no future. Divided by hate and fear.
I don’t blame the people who voted ‘Leave’ who have been hardest hit by austerity and the Tory government, and the Labour government before them who failed them. They’ve been lied to, they’ve been duped. They’ve believed that their ills are due to immigration, not the rich white men in suits who prosper as they are beaten into the dirt.
It’s so easy in our time of anger as ‘Remain’ supporters to melt everything down as Britain is a xenophobic, racist country. I think we need to be more thoughtful than that. We need to realise that there’s more going on than people’s xenophobia.
Instead of the middle classes beating down on the ‘working class’ Leave voters, they should think about how cleverly manipulated they have been. We’ve been manipulated into a situation where is ‘Us versus Them’. We need to fight it. We need to realise that some people have been hardest hit by austerity, by war and by benefits cuts, and the pressure that their life holds. Be angry at the people who have enabled this to happen. Be angry at the newspapers who have devised and grown the rhetoric that immigration and the EU are to blame.
Working in the third sector, especially as a corporate fundraiser, means that my future is unstable. (Never mind if I, as a woman, even contemplate having children and expecting my workers’ rights and maternity rights still exist) It’s a scary time to work in a sector that relies on funding from a range of sources. I already know a number of charities who will be in flux working out how they will cover the EU funding that they receive when that stops.
As a corporate fundraiser I already see businesses announcing job cuts, the next budget line they will cut is the support of the third sector.
But, now more than ever, I feel that it is so important to support charities. Those campaigning to keep your workers’ rights, your maternity and paternity rights, your HUMAN rights. Because those will all begin to disintegrate before us if we have Boris, Osborne or Gove at the helm.
My one comfort is knowing that I live in a city that voted Remain. A city that hasn’t allowed it to be led up the garden path. A city that is moving forwards, to a place where we know that people can all live side by side no matter our differences to create a fun, thriving world of understanding and fairness. It might sound trite but I know it’s true.