And no, this isn’t going to be one of those far-right rants about how we need to get all the ‘Immigants out of ur engerland’. Quite the opposite. But I’m going to steal their phrase to make my point.
The EU referendum has brought out a lot of ill feeling. There have been mis-truths on both sides. But through social media reading comments on various articles, you can read the hate and the desire to keep everyone out who isn’t British. And just last year, all this was hate was driven at all immigrants (particularly Muslims) as demonstrated by this vile petition presented to the Government. In the general election the same year, UKIP got 12.6% of the vote share! That’s a lot of people with very right wing views who want to cut the UK off from the world.
But when did we become this vile, hateful, isolationist country with a superiority complex?
One of the things that made Britain great in modern history was it’s willingness to contribute to the European stage. It defended Belgium in World War One. It defended Poland in World War Two. Now we’re just regarded as the sh*theads who invaded Iraq for oil.
We were amongst the first group of Countries in the first wave of enlargement of the EU (a movement formed with the desire to stop further conflict in Europe) in 1973, clearly seeing the need to be part of something greater than ourselves. We were forward thinking enough in the field of civil rights to be a founding member of the Court of European Human Rights and the European Human Rights acts. Outisde of Europe we also founded the Commonwealth.
But now, if the polls are anything to go by, the majority of the public want to say goodbye to years of progress and cut ties with the EU, giving up our seat in Brussels and our chance to change things in the EU for the better.
I want my Country back from the people who want to throw all this away because they are scared of ‘immigrants’ which have been demonised in the media.
What makes Great Britain ‘Great’? It is a Union (like the European Union is…) of four Countries, and many different peoples. The Celts, The Saxons, The Vikings, The Romans, the immigrants from the Commonwealth who came here after World War Two to help rebuild, the Polish people in our factories doing the jobs spoilt Brits don’t want to… we are a mix of many different peoples. We shouldn’t be demonising these people from other Countries- we are them!
I want my Country back from the bile that is our tabloid newspapers- lies after lies in the Sun and the Daily Express about Muslims, whipping people up in to a frenzy! Scandals about people on benefits, giving the Tories social license to cut lifelines to the majority of benefits claimants who genuinely need it, causing indignity and even death to the poor, the sick and the disabled.
Venomous bile in the UK tabloids
I want my Country back from the hatred- people cheering on the bombing of Syria, knowing full well innocent families will be caught in the blasts. Families coming to Europe fleeing our bombs on boats that are not safe to brave the sea, and the same people in the UK crying ‘send them back to their own Country!’
I want my Country back and my democracy back from the Tories. The NHS was founded when the Country was broke after World War Two, and provided free health care for all. But now, perhaps our greatest social achievement is being sold off and deliberately run in to the ground. Inequality is higher than it’s ever been, and public services are being cut and slashed while MPs get huge pay rises, bankers who caused the crash get massive bonuses, and tycoons funnel vast sums of money in to tax havens. Meanwhile, the Tories show utter contempt for our democracy in the underhand ways they act in parliament- for example fillbusting or the way they are changing the law for fracking (see the bottom of my article here.)
I want my Country back from the madness. An MP was murdered last week for trying to make the world a better place. A soldier was murdered in the streets in 2013. This isn’t normal for a developed Country.
Through all the hatred, I think for the first time ever I am genuinely ashamed to be British.