Serious and substantive analysis and commentary on contemporary US, UK and African society, culture and politics.
Search This Blog
A sad day as Britain decides to leave the EU
Shame on David Cameron for bringing this chaos to the fore. Being desperately shortsighted, he traded common sense for UKIP votes and has now unleashed major damage - and perhaps future destruction - on his own country. Seeing the unapologetically bigoted Nigel Farage smiling with glee and claiming a victory is making me sick to my stomach; the irony being that even Farage himself didn't expect the UK to vote to leave the EU!
Looking at the breakdown amongst age groups, it's clear that the oldies of Britain have voted for a future that the young ones don't want. However, it's the youth who will suffer from the results of this short-sighted, fear-based, low-quality-information orientated referendum - a referendum on *their* future, a future which them and their children will have to deal with long after these older people are gone.
Once the Leavers' celebration is over, what comes next? What exactly is the plan? With the uncertainty over the direction of the UK set to continue for the foreseeable future, how do Leavers expect the markets to respond? Have the Leavers thought through the possibility of the UK entering another recession? Will this vote be worth that?
Leavers - what is your vision for the future of the UK? Both on its own and in terms of its relationship with Europe? Do you think that you're in a strong(er) position now to negotiate with Europe? Exactly what incentive does Europe have to gain from negotiating with UK at this point, when they need to try and stop other countries from doing the same thing?
And, what about the social fabric of the UK? Have Leavers not just opened up the door to open and overt xenophobia and bigotry? Do we really want to live in an openly nationalistic nation? A land which has essentially been given permission to be hostile to people they don't like?
I hope that the people who said that Brexit would be good for Britain will hold true to their word on behalf of all those who have followed what their claims and statements. If not, Leave supporters may find themselves having to come to terms with what is a massive hoodwinking.
And, finally, with so much fear about being controlled by elites, perhaps the the next referendum be on the future of the monarchy?
[Essay originally published on What England Means to Me]
England to me means home. It means fond memories of school days; Sundays holed up in a pub drinking wine and eating a succulent roast while discussing the state of the weather with good friends; running to catch a train from Victoria station after a hard day’s work and breathing a sigh of relief once I’m on it and as the train rolls out of central London into the leafier suburbs.
England is what I signify to people when I’m abroad. My accent, my sarcastic sense of humour, my values and politeness (such as saying sorry when I really don’t need to) are all products of being brought up in England. “Oh! You’re from England!” people exclaim before asking me whether it really does rain all the time.
England is also a part of me that non-English people sometimes don’t understand. “Are there black people in England?” I’m asked that on a regular basis. Yes there are, but we clearly don’t fit into the idea of what Englishness means to ot…