Sometimes in life you get a wake up call, like emerging from a dream or being hard slapped. This is one of them; it’s right, it’s overdue.
When the news broke, myself, my friends on Facebook and the ones I get alone with on Twitter were fairly unanimous in our fury at the #Brexit result. Well why, and why didn’t we see it coming, we are supposed to be the educated ones. Why did these other voters want out? I spoke with a solicitor before the vote; he was Brexit, people at the golf club, Brexit. If only we could have gotten rid of these people we could have avoided getting the wrong answer. If.
These people didn’t just believe in Brexit, they were strongly Brexit, and they are not stupid. The ones I spoke to are generally sensible people. What is it that drove them to risk our nation’s economy, what a stupid thing to risk.
But eventually I came to the question which demands an answer. Why didn’t Brussels ask us if wanted to open our doors to the people of Eastern Europe. Why not? It’s a massive choice, it could change the face of the country for ever. There are other questions like this that we were never asked, but this is the one that hits me.
Fifteen years ago, I worked in Rolls-Royce, when our man in Brussels came back from there one day, and explained to me, in bewilderment, that Brussels was intending to open Britain’s borders to several European populations. There was going to be a lull before it happened, but it was going to happen. We both rolled our eyes in horror, not because we don’t like Europeans, but because we both felt it wouldn’t wash, and could be a disaster. Given enough head we could become inundated with Eastern Europeans: it was bloody obvious. But they didn’t ask us. If they had, Britain would have said NO.
The reason they didn’t ask us is that our wishes are an inconvenience to the EU. They didn’t want the obvious answer.
A further question warrants an answer: why did all the educated classes get so cross once the Brexit vote came through. You can point to the economic risk, we might be poorer. But isn’t it that we were quite comfortable with having the good side: the access for our children to work in Europe, our access to possible villas in France, access to cheap Romanian car washers, a boiler fixed.
How middle class is that? How overly indulged. We were happy to let slip democracy for our own self gratification. Really?
Brussels was never going to stop ignoring us; they could continue throwing us gratifying morsels which they decided were for our own good and we would stay happily silent. However, the great British electorate were not wholly getting or seeing these indulgences and now they have had their say and they have voted for democracy. The big Fuck Off vote of the century. The Punk Rock moment of voting. We deserve what we have got and Brussels deserves what it has lead itself into. They were right, I was wrong, let’s #Brexit for democracy.