I voted out in the EU referendum last Thursday.
So, now we've got that out of the way, shall we continue? What? You're shocked because you never knew I was a racist, and would do such a thing as vote to leave? Ok then, it looks as though we're going to have to talk about this and get it out of the way.
First off, WHERE do you get that I am a racist from? How does my voting out make me so? Is it because I want my own country to be governed by people who live here, not by someone who lives across a sea hundreds of miles away? Because I believe that the EU had way too much sway over the country I was born and raised in? Because I was genuinely concerned that in 20/30/40 years time we would be swallowed whole (along with the rest of the 27 EU countries - with more to join later) and become just a non-specific state within a European Federation ruled by people who have never even experienced our culture or part of the world? Is it because I believe being a part of the EU actually hinders us, rather than aids us - there's a big world out there and by tying ourselves to Europe we were pushing further away from the rest. Does all that make me a racist? NO, of course it doesn't, so what gives someone the right to brand me one? I was lucky enough to be brought up by amazing parents who taught me to never judge anyone on the colour of their skin, to judge them solely on who they are. Those are learnings I live by each and every day. I don't give a shit if you are red, black, white, yellow or sky blue with purple dots - if you are an arsehole, then that's who you are, but I won't judge you on that until I get to know you, so how DARE these people (those who voted remain) claim I am a racist. Sadly some of my friends and family have also shared things since Thursday via social media that basically claim anyone who voted out is a racist. Those words really hurt me, as these are being shared by people who know me, have spent time with me. I find their tarring me with a nasty brush genuinely upsetting.
I despise Nigel Farage as much as the next person - now he is a racist - and everything he stands for. In fact I find him even more despicable than the BNP because at least they are upfront about being vile creatures who hate anyone that doesn't conform to their stereotype. I am aware his whole campaign was run on the immigration issue, but that was just him, and he had no sway or control over my vote. I'll be honest anyone who voted out based on immigration is a fucking idiot. We already control our own borders, we always have done. That will never change. Thankfully I am educated enough to understand that immigration works both ways - people enter the country, people leave the country. Of course there are some idiots out there who haven't got a clue and who would have voted out based on that ignorance, but I am not one of them. I have not a single problem with anyone coming into - well I guess England now, for we are definitely not a United Kingdom at this moment in time, and there's not particularly anything great about us. My own great-grandparents were themselves Polish immigrants (albeit they ended up stateside, but they were immigrants none-the-less), and I would rather have people moving here from European countries who want to work and make a better life for themselves, than 90% of the English people who were born and raised here that sponge off our benefits system. I am also all for helping out people/refugees who are being persecuted in their own countries - just because I voted out, doesn't mean I don't care about these people. I'm on the edge of a big housing association/council area and every day I watch families with the newest mobiles, the latest designer clothes, the best prams and buggies, who have take-away's for dinner every night, they drive brand new cars, yet talk about how hard done by they are while discussing how great they think sky Q is (I work 60 hours a week and can't really afford a basic sky package yet they have the most prestigious one there is which they watch on 65" tv screens) when they've never worked a day in their life, yet I have several Polish guys who deliver to me at work who start at 6 in the morning, finish at 9 at night and work for little more than £3 per hour (sometimes less if they get stuck in traffic and can't get all their deliveries out on time). I would rather my country was filled with those guys, than the spongers. Having said that though, I do feel we need to have a better system in place regarding who we allow in, and that did go some way to me choosing to vote out.
Let's take the Americans now as an example for allowing/not allowing people in and out. If I want to go there (or anyone from Europe wants to go there) I have to fill in a form stating where I am staying, why I am visiting and what I will do while out there. I am then finger printed and have my eye's scanned before they might consider letting me through to visit. That allows me no more than 12 weeks to stay in the country. If I wish to stay longer I have to apply for a visa, prove I am capable of supporting myself and I have to pay extra for the privilege. I see nothing wrong with that; they want to protect themselves from undesirables. If an American wants to come here, they face similar scrutiny although I don't think we are quite as tough. In fact I have an american friend who is not allowed to visit here because he has a criminal record. They have everything they need to know about him on file, his whole life is covered, I would have been willing to stand as a guarantor for him, yet he is unable to visit due to an indiscretion in his younger years. Now, let's say he was from within the EU. All he would have to do is show his passport photo matched with his face and he's in. Not only is he in, he can stay as long as he likes, he doesn't have to show he can provide for himself as we have a benefits system that will help him; as he's done his time for his crime he's free to come and go as he pleases, just as any criminal from within the EU is, and that's where I think we need a better system in place. Is it right that just because a country pays into the EU coffers, automatically everyone of their citizens has the right to come and go as they please, yet people from outside the EU have to jump through hoops? Oh wait - half of them don't even pay into the system either. Am I wrong to believe we should all have to follow the same rules, regardless? Does that make me a racist?
I want to visit Berlin, Warsaw, Saltzburg and many other EU countries before I depart this mortal coil so I'm not anti-europe in any way. I just think the EU bureaucrats were gaining too much control and it would have soon begun to spin way out of the individual countries hands.
Leading up to the vote all I kept hearing was how we need to stay as we do 46% of all our trade through it. So, let me get this right. 46% of our trade is via the EU, which is made up of 27 countries. That means the remaining 54% of our trade is done OUTSIDE the EU. That's right, again, there is a whole world out there, and come on, do you really think they are suddenly going to stop trading with us? They have goods they want to sell and products they want to buy; they're really not that stupid that they would cut off their noses to spite their faces and stop trading with us. And if they do, then so be it. There are plenty of other countries in the world we can buy from. Even Obama (who I used to have a lot of respect for) has come out and said he doesn't want anything to change between our 2 countries, yet just the other week he was saying it would be foolish of us to leave and could affect relations. I've actually seen some pretty awful stuff coming from the other side of the pond about those of us that voted to leave, also. Again most of it playing the race card. The irony from a country that is quite possibly the most racist in the world, who treat the very people they took the land from that they now live on as if they are 3rd class citizens. Maybe if they were to pally up with the rest of of North America, and all of South America, only to find that they are unable to make their own rules regarding their own country and have to abide by what some elected government from 27 different countries operating out of Venezuela tells them, they might think differently about those of us who voted for out.
The whole fallout since is pretty farcical. A petition to have another vote because those who wanted in didn't win. What happened to democracy? Just because the result didn't go the way you wanted, doesn't mean we need to do it all again. The majority ruled, whether you believe rightly, or wrongly, that is how democracy works. People like Kim Jong Un and Robert Mugabe must be sat back laughing at us right now; they can use what is going on over here as a valid reason to explain why democracy doesn't work. It needs to stop. What's done is done. Had the result been the other way I would have said the same thing if the brexit brigade kicked off about it.
I've seen over-privileged teenage kids living off the bank of Mummy and Daddy, who think they know best, whining on TV about how it wasn't 'fair' they didn't get to vote when it affects their future. Well younglings, life isn't fair - deal with it, and it's not just your future that was being voted for. I hope to have another 50 years on this planet, so I was thinking of my future also when I put my cross in the box. While I have no doubt that there are some 16/17 - possibly even 13/14/15 years old who are educated enough to understand how politics work (some of them far better than I ever will) for each of those there are probably a dozen who couldn't even decide what to wear to school that day. I heard one girl going on about how she's "not british" but is in fact "European" which just goes to prove my point about how we seem to be losing our identity. I saw a great meme shared on twitter yesterday regarding youngsters. I'll add it below this paragraph. I found it rather fitting, yet I am sure they will still bleet on about "how unfair" it was for them.
So, YES, I voted out. No, I never expected that would be the result. I was as shocked as the rest of the country when I saw what had happened, but I'm glad it's happened and if you still believe me to be a racist for doing so, then you really don't know me at all.
One last point to note. Surely by voting in I would have actually been more prejudiced and discriminatory against anyone from outside the EU, because anyone who voted to remain was effectively saying "if you don't belong to the EU then we don't want you here" as it's harder for people outside the EU to enter, than it is for those who are inside the bubble. Now. who is the racist?