THIS POST CONTAINS AN OPINION ON THE UK’S EU REFERENDUM OUTCOME
PROCEED WITH CAUTION
48% of British voters were today disappointed with a decision from the UK voter majority to leave the EU. Heck, I’m not even mad, that’s amazing…
I speak as a British Expat, whose insight into the public opinion in the build up to the big day has come from social media alone. A British expat who truly believed that there was absolutely no way that a majority of the UK would vote to leave, not even close. In fact I hadn’t seen evidence of more than 3 people, in the possibly 50-ish who have shared a public opinion on the topic for me to see, who seemed to support the movement to leave the EU. And so, I made a naïve assumption that this vote would no way be taken seriously. Maybe not only assumption, but in fact, faith. I had more faith that Britain was still able to offer open arms to the world, when only a few years ago we chose to compete to win the opportunity to open our country up to the world and host the Olympic Games to any and every nationality, and we were proud to invite our African, European, Asian, American and Australasian counterparts over to our little island on this big rotating rock for a cuppa tea and a choccy biccy.
My desire for the UK to remain within the EU, although marginally selfish, was not restricted to queueing and paying for visas at every border checkpoint – because believe me, African border control was no Parisian picnic and certainly not an experience I want to repeat any time soon without my big girl knickers on – it just seemed to me that leaving the EU would be mildly reminiscent of Nazi Germany. It began with a divide of cultures, beliefs, countries of origin, and resulted in mass genocide. An extreme example? Of course! But not worlds apart from the feeling of divide currently spreading among those Brits who disagree so strongly with each other on this latest revelation.
I’m not going to dwell too intensely on the negative possibilities of this outcome, that’s not the message I’m looking to share here. Even if the vote was still pending, all I could do as an individual of little to no power, would be to offer the facts and as much useful information as I possibly could to those around me, to provide each person with as much knowledge as possible in order to come to their own decision, based on facts combined with their own morals and beliefs.
But it’s too late for that now. The decision has been made and I, for one, am not going to waste my energy dwelling on what might have been.
Instead, what I would like to say on the subject is that I hope, really truly hope, that now we know which direction we are moving in, that the people of my beloved homeland realise that, even despite this not being the ideal choice of outcome for a huge percentage of us, this is just the way it is now. That the best way forward from here is not to bicker about the decisions we have made as a nation, not to blame each other, or the politicians for the likely poor choices they are inevitably going to make to try and save their arses now, and not to build road blocks to ‘leave progress’ just to prove a point that to remain WOULD have been the better choice. We cannot go back now, what’s done is done, so we absolutely HAVE TO make a go of it together.
I was recently promoted to a position of hardly any additional power, but plenty of accountability. In that job I am realising that, despite a shiny new position title, and more desirable wage, I actually have no say in what happens on ‘my’ project whatsoever, I just have to be the face of the terrible decisions that my superiors will make, with or without my support. So I have three choices here:
1. I could bite my tongue, smile, kiss ass, make life real easy for myself, get the job done and leave in a few months with a happy boss and a great reference.
2. I could throw my toys out of the pram, kick up a fuss about the poor decisions that have been made by the management team which have left me to pick up the broken pieces of decisions I never supported in the first place and make it UBER clear to the clients / customers that I’m not on side with my company, leaving me to feel like I’ve made my point and be happy while secretly still internally angry at the world and everything in it.
3. A combination of the above, where I kiss ass in the board room and then bitch about it to anyone and everyone who’ll listen.
Yup, that’s it, they’re my choices. Fuck it then, I guess I’ll just… Oh wait, silly me:
4. Express my distaste for the decision pre-implementation, supply all of the options available to the business in order to move forward with a clear list of pros and cons and recommend the most appropriate option to suit a majority of people. But ultimately, unless I bury my head in the sand and cry alone for all eternity, I need to accept that the decision made is out of my control and do everything I can to find solutions to make that decision work for as many people as possible without any threats, deaths, slavery or prison sentences along the way.
In order to be a professional in this situation, I think I might choose sneaky option 4… and I think Britain should stand up, pull it together and do the same. (Here it is, this is the sentence most likely to make Brits mad at me)
Unless the outcome miraculously changes now, all we can do is fight to make the next step work… but when I say fight, I don’t mean war, I mean the opposite. I don’t mean fight against progress, or against the country next door or the people we disagree with, I mean we need to fight against the ghost of Britain gone by and be stronger than we were.
Those of you who voted to leave clearly thought this would work. You were confident enough to vote us out, so you presumably have a plan? So those of us who wanted to remain connected are going to need to be shown by the ‘leave supporters’ exactly what it is that you saw in your big British future vision.
This was your idea, so you’re in charge now. What do we do to reunite our Kingdom and make Britain Great again?
The floor is yours.
I wish all of us luck for the future.
I think we’re going to need it and I hope we can get our shit together and make this work!