As dawn broke on Friday morning, I walked into my local gym and bumped into a grinning personal trainer I’m quite friendly with. As we got chatting, a guy walked past and slapped the PT heartily on the shoulder:
“Vote Leave, did ya lad?”
“Capital L, son!”
My previous Brexit-advocating article accurately predicted the mood up here in the Midlands, and the rest of the North in general. Far from the maddening crowd of the southern metropolitan bubbles, people have, quite frankly, had enough.
But of course, roll on the abuse; the amount of messages I’ve received from angry Remainers – only in favour of democracy when it suits them, only against hate and discrimination when it’s aimed at those in their camp – is laughable.
Your halo polishing is inherently patronising
I was going to write an article explaining why the UK did something so momentous; however, that was before the onslaught from the Remain side became so astonishing. Instead, allow me to issue a couple of rebukes to statements currently circulating, perpetrated by indignant students claiming all sorts of monstrous things (the claim that old people should lose the vote amongst them. Let’s have terminally ill patients lose the vote too, as clearly, they don’t have to live with the result…)
Apparently, 75% of “young people” were in favour of Remain. This statistic originated from a YouGov poll, pinched from a pool of a few thousand participants of all ages who were being asked on which way they swung in the referendum. I’d like to know, for one, how many 18 – 24 year olds you know who take part in a YouGov poll; and if you do happen to know a few, what kind of people are they? Highly politically engaged, no doubt. These statistics in no way represent the majority of young people in this country. We know that roughly only 30% of the young even bothered voting at all. In Birmingham, Nottingham and Derby, a lot of the young people I spoke to, contrary to Remain-supporting media outlets, voted Leave (if they even cared either way). I also spoke to a round table meeting of business leaders in the Midlands – 80% of which voted Leave. A law firm in Nottingham city centre – 90%.
So, Remainers; please let us stop with the bigotry aimed at myself, and the rest of us unworthy northerners, for being xenophobes, too stupid to vote, rampant racists and so on. Many of you have no idea what real racism is, let alone having experienced it for yourselves, so please; don’t lecture me, nor claim I’m riding the same train as the far-right. And no; as a person of colour, I don’t want your hugs, nor your calls to share what “happy memories” you have with ethnics in order to fight the bigots. Your halo polishing is inherently patronising. Almost as patronising as many on Facebook sharing an image in which Nigel Farage is implied to use such language as, “Nah”, and “Never said it, fam”. We all know who this insult is aimed at, and it really does exemplify why sneering Remainers failed so dismally on June 24th.
In light of Friday’s result, a small minority of thugs (of whom, by the way, I doubt bothered to vote, so let’s stop automatically claiming them for the Leave side and start claiming them for the real side they’re on: nobody’s) have abused migrants, notably the Polish. This is abhorrent, and not the Britain we know. Britain – particularly those ominous 17,000,000 – is not a country of racists. By the way; when a group of skinheads attacked a black boy I know in Manchester recently, that didn’t even get a whisper in the local news, let alone The Guardian. Those of you who have now decided to become Facebook warriors in the fight against racism should start by asking yourselves why it is the Poles the media want us to sympathise with, but not the blacks.
But we are where we are.
Europe needed this. If they want to avoid catastrophe, the EU now has no choice but to reform. Sign the petition all you want – there will not be a second referendum. Europe will not stand for their heartstrings being tugged any further. I’d also be surprised if Scotland were granted another referendum, as divisions aren’t as succinct as many would have you think up there. What’s more, whilst those who can afford to are sitting around lamenting, perhaps in sunnier climes abroad now that the university term is over, and quoting the likes of Chinese officials as to why it is never a good idea to ask the people for their opinion (seriously, just give up now) – guess what? Most of us were getting up, going to work and bloody getting on with it, because life just may be about to get a lot harder than this.