There has been a lot of angst over the result of the referendum. Here is what a close friend shared with me. See what you think:
“Although I voted to leave I had little idea how it would feel if the vote did go in favour of leaving. I have these reflections on the issues:
- My reason was never based upon an isolationist, xenophobic feeling that we shouldn’t be Europeans. In fact quite the opposite, the deficiencies of the European Union as a political / governing organisation seemed destined to bring less harmony to Europe not more. But instead of anyone understanding this motivation, I am branded along with all other leavers as a bit of a cocky, arrogant Roast-Beef racist. It turns out that in the place of respect and understanding, human nature has delivered demonising.
- I had hoped that the men and women who ran this country, when they recognised that leaving was the choice, would stand tall and take a statesman-like approach during the following weeks and months, respecting our European neighbours and acting in ways that would attempt to heal and galvanise the country. I was very mistaken. It turns out that in the place of responsible government, human nature has delivered squalid infighting.
- And so the theme continues. It turns out that in the place of restrained and conciliatory media coverage, human nature has delivered mercenary, opportunist gutter headlines and coverage.
- The worst issue for me in many ways is the clear fact that on a straight line graph young people wanted to remain while older wanted to leave. If the three aspects above had gone the other way it could be argued that older folk (including press, government etc.) did vote with a clear and hopeful future in mind, but in fact we now see that it was in fact young folk who carried the optimistic, hopeful view of the future!
My view of the EU hasn’t changed but I now feel like I wish they hadn’t asked me!“
…he makes some good points I feel. Yet surely it is always only in the future that hope can be turned to sight. Perhaps some older folk have a charmingly nostalgic view of what the UK was like prior to the EU, but even if it were true there is no going back. The final movement of Vaughan Williams London Symphony in which the true scheme of the old order is altogether dwarfed and swallowed up is inspired by the last chapter of H.G. Wells’s novel Tono-Bungay: “... Light after light goes down. England and the Kingdom, Britain and the Empire, the old prides and the old devotions, glide abeam, astern, sink down upon the horizon, pass – pass. The river passes – London passes, England passes”
The teacher said ‘Never ask, “Oh, why were things so much better in the old days?” It’s not an intelligent question.‘ We would do well to learn from him!