Not in my Name

October saw the Conservative party conference, and Prime Minster Teresa May spelling out her vision for the future of Country.
Now since the EU referendum, the United Kingdom has certainly shown it’s ugly, racist side. Hate crime went up 41% after the result. People feel that they are legitimately allowed to call out things such as “we voted to leave, now you have to leave” in the streets to foreigners. The Country that once established an Empire that covered nearly a quarter of the world, and forced itself upon it is now complaining about having people coming to it. For the UK to get so high and mighty about immigration is hypocritical, but the nature of what’s happening in the streets is disgusting. Many of these incidents are just one or two people who are causing the abuse, but many of them also feature bystanders who do nothing to intervene. The videos I’ve seen have brought be close to tears. How can anyone feel compelled to abuse a fellow human being like this?

You would expect the Government to act responsibly and try and encourage some calm, making a stable exit from the EU and controlling the hate crime it’s top priority. But it seems to have enabled the Conservatives to be even more nasty and go even more right wing.
The policies coming out of the Conservative party conference are disturbing. Giving a speech that was compared to Hitler’s book ‘Mein Campf’, the Home Secretary, has put forward a proposal that all businesses should register how many foreign workers they employ. Schools have also sent out questionnaires asking for the ethnicity of pupils. The talk is of a ‘Hard Brexit’, sacrificing the single market (much to the dismay of big business who are the parties biggest donners) in order to limit migration (in a delusional fantasy that British people will suddenly start doing the jobs that they have not been taking up as much like fruit picker or doctor.)

The vote was on whether to leave the European Union or not, but it seems to have been interpreted by the people as largely being voting for a product or idea. People weren’t voting to leave the EU, people were voting for this idea called ‘Brexit’ (or #Brexit if you prefer) that the media were peddling- as demonstrated by “What is the EU?” being the second most Googled search term the day after the referendum (hmm, maybe should have looked in to that before voting guys?) People were taking pictures of their poling cards and posting #Brexit. No explanation- “I’m voting to leave the EU as I feel it will benefit the Country because xyz.” Just #Brexit. Whatever that means.

I can’t help but wonder if remain had a catchier hashtag than #StrongerIn it may have done better. But the catch is the people who have been pushing the product of Brexit (The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Sun) have also been pushing anti-migrant bile and Islamophobia for years. I can almost see why people feel legitimised to do what they are doing, but I would have thought common sense and human decency would have prevailed.

I’ve often wondered why people in Germany didn’t leave as the Nazi’s came to power. But as my Country gets more and more like Nazi Germany every week, I get it. My friends are here, my family are here. My job is here. The places I go to do my hobbies are here. My cool shit is here. And the countries I admire; Norway, Sweden and Germany- I don’t speak the language (although if Scotland leaves the UK it looks really appealing!) At what point does it get so bad you pack your things and leave? And and what point (like in Nazi Germany) is it too late to leave?

Whilst the idiots who are yelling abuse at foreigners, punching pregnant Polish women in the belly and ripping Hijabs off Islamic women are in the minority, the amount of people who tolerate it or sympathise with it is too high, and the Government is using this to be every more nasty and nationalistic. We must look like a nation of despicable people to the rest of the world.

And so I rid myself of my things with the Union Jack on them in my house- stickers off my guitar, a patch off my coat, and my guitar strap. All gone.

I am no longer proud to be British. These atrocities are not in my name.

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