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Brexit


#21

The world today is so different, so much better than the world I grew up in. My mum was once beaten to a pulp just because she was Catholic. My Dad was disowned by his family for converting to marry my mum. I didn’t even know he had brothers till his funeral.

And with Brexit and Trump I just see us slipping back. And I hate it.

I’m not going back to that world, and neither are my sons. That is something worth fighting for. I spend so much time trying to fill my students with respect for the advances other cultures have given to us. I just hope it’s enough.


#22

That’s the thing, the current muddying of the waters has in some ways proven how fragile and weak that way of thinking is. It’s never going to go completely, and every generation will have that moment of looking at the world around them and realising that they may be judged harshly by future generations for what they see, as they judge past generations - that’s part of being human.

But even 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 25 years ago - people had it worse - and yes, you can look at the lout screaming racist chants at the football pitch and wonder how have we got any better, but within our lifetime life has got better. If my son gets called “Monkey” by a teacher, that teacher is packing his or her bags within the hour. If one of your sons marries person X, he won’t be cast out of the family.

Slowly, but surely, we are making progress! Every step back is surrounded by 100 steps forward!

( I should point out that my son’s teachers call him monkey all the time, difference is, that’s because of his behaviour, and cheekiness, not his skin or racial physical characteristics)


#23

(Wow. I started this topic about one word, no opinion. I am not going to give my opinion here, I just started it to see what would happen, to observe from a safe distance, and I am doing my level best to not even click the little “like” heart, but it’s been very difficult. I click the “like” button a lot, this is infuriating.)


#24

But we all knew what your opinion was. [edit: this is unfair, and I’ve been taken to task for putting words into @MinuteWalt’s mouth, for which I apologise.].

That’s the most weird/fascinating/horrifying thing about Brexit for me.

I can think I’m interacting with a fairly representative cross-section of the population by using the internet, but actually I’m only interacting with half of it. This forum is an anti-Brexit enclave, like almost all of my social situations, and any Brexit-based discussions here have an almost 100% chance of having the same nature as all the others that I’ve been part of for the last year or two: anecdotes about xenophobia and dire predictions of economic doom with a tinge of superiority (“Brexit voters are stupid” is a common meme).

If there are Brexit voters reading this at all, I suspect they feel either alienated or defensive. Which is (I think) a pity. But we all know there are also internet enclaves for Brexit-lovers, where we would feel unwelcome. And I think that’s a pity too.


#25

In my defense, I don’t know what the hell it is, I just wanted to type one word to see what would happen.

I don’t have an opinion, because I don’t know what it is. (Well, that’s a lie, I now know a lot more than before, that was part of why I started it.)

But no.

Nope.

I had no opinion. I started this topic out of ignorance. Read everything I’ve written here, and please never put words in my mouth again.

I wanted to see what people said, and that has been pretty informative.


#26

Sorry about that. I will try.

At it’s simplest, it’s a decision to leave the EU. But since the vote it’s become a social shibboleth which divides British people into us and them. A bit like the Trump election.


#27

(also, it’s the Thunderdome, so y’all have at it)


#28

I understand it a lot better now, but I am not taking sides here in this discussion. I started it to see what would happen, because the T-Dome is a place where we can really vent.

I just was a bit thrown off that you thought I started this for an agenda. I live in Florida, it really doesn’t affect me at all, except for my friends in the UK fighting about it.

So what you said made me angry, but I accept your apology (that was pretty cool), and I am not going to step into this one way or the other.


#29

I think @chrislear has raised an interesting point about how the referendum showed that the way most people interact these days seems to have created social networks being more polarised to create a confirmation bias of your own view point. ( @MinuteWalt I don’t know whether you’ve found similar things from the last US election?)

I was honestly extremely surprised at the results of Brexit, as I had no idea of the breadth of support for leaving Europe. That saddened me, because it clearly shows that there was (and still is) an extremely large number of people very unhappy with their current situation, which inevitability lead to greater support for change.


#30

Yes, I see that. I should have been more careful. When I had more time on my hands yesterday, I wrote a better post which I deleted before sending, because of… well because I was being more careful. I regret piling in now, but it’s a sensitive subject and very tribal.


#31

(Oh crap, my monitor says there are at least four people typing responses right now)


#32

On that note, having gone through a pair of Yes-No referendums in sort succession, I can honestly say they are the work of the devil for creating division and strife. No matter who ‘wins’, there is always a bunch of other folk feeling ignored and marginalised by the outcome.


#33

No worries. You’ve been here a long time, I’ll (probably :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) never have a problem with you @chrislear, I understand misunderstandings.

Also, @Scribbs or anyone else, I will not provide my opinion here. I made this for you jerks to fight in. You people deal with it. I’m just an observer. (I do still love you all :heart: Even the jerks).

(I actually am learning a lot more than from watching CNN or listening to NPR)


#34

Living in Northern Ireland Brexit has been an incredible political car-crash. In the build-up to the referendum it felt like we where the quiet kid in class holding up their hand asking the question ‘What about our border with the EU?’ or ‘What happens to the farming subsidies that are literally keeping our agricultural industry afloat?’ But Like that quiet child in class all these glaringly obvious questions weren’t being picked up on or answered. I think I remember a Guardian article being the only thing I saw that even raised the question of what was going to happen to us.

I grew up at the tail-end of the Troubles in a very staunchly pro-union council estate with it’s very own paramilitary organisations, times in which you just wouldn’t go into Belfast in the evening, when shops shut early, when there were army on the streets etc. But I was a child of the Good Friday Agreement, when the world opened up and the younger generation made progress and now, while it still has its problems, I think Northern Ireland is an incredible place with amazing people.

I don’t think that people really believe that trouble could start back up again but depending what happens with the border it is a real possibility as there are people out there ready for a reason. We, as a country, voted to remain and bar the frankly awful DUP holding the Tories to ransom I don’t think anyone would have really cared. I have no idea where this is all going, and more worryingly I don’t think the government do either.

As for people’s reasons for leaving I get it, and not everyone is a racist. Some people wanted to kick the government, wanted to voice their dissatisfaction with their lot but this was the wrong fight to get involved in. I feel that from what I’ve heard going on in business boardrooms and from people who work in government that this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better - but I want to remain optimistic. I have friends who work with farmers who voted to leave, to put it in perspective they were receiving £85k of a subsidy to keep their farms running. They were told to leave by local politicians with the promise they’ll get a better deal, but now they are concerned as they are getting assurances but nothing definite.

I think we paired public dissatisfaction with empty promises from political opportunists, walking into a situation I don’t know how long it’ll take us all to recover from. When I have to ask the question if I’ll have to have my wife on a register because she is from the south of Ireland (even though she has lived up here longer than she did down south) then you wonder how well thought out this all has been - it seems that won’t be the case but the fact the question had to be asked is alarming.

Where we are going I don’t know, I wouldn’t profess to and anyone who says they absolutely do should be met with a raised eyebrow at a minimum. Failing Brexit being reversed I guess all we can do is hold the politicians to account in future elections and try and make the best of a completely avoidable situation.

Off to eat now after all that TLDR’ing because Breakfast means Breakfast.


#35

I find the whole issue hugely compelling. (Not just because I.m directly affected by it.)

Coming from a household that was split down the middle, (I am aware I’m making it sound like the civil war.) I can say that neither of us are happy with the outcome.

Honestly, I think that’s less about the result, and more about the two years since, in which, well, weak leadership and little initial scrutiny of what was actually being voted on has led to MP’s literally tearing up their own government proposals.

I also think as a nation we don’t really understand Europe.

Sorry Europe.


#36

(@chrislear thanks for the edit and apology above (I just saw there was an edit), that was very cool, and I also like how you kept the original wording intact, it kept how you felt and what you meant. I won’t agree or disagree with anyone on this thread, but I respect what you said, and the passion that you used to express it. It was incredibly hard not to click “Like,” but I’m maintaining my discipline!)


#38

It wasn’t worth it for a silly joke!


#39

Gosh. You scared me. I feel like I’m playing a game where I don’t know the rules. I hate upsetting people.


#40

I figured - It struck me that what was an old joke between myself and @Minute could upset people even though I put the disclaimer at the end - Like I say, not worth it! Shouldn’t have done it, don’t click the orange pencil!

I’ll keep my brand of “comedy” to the bad joke thread, where it belongs!


#41

More seriously, leaving the EU shouldn’t be a big deal for most of us, if not all of us - it’s a change in our political relationship that doesn’t have to mean anything at all, There are plenty of excellent countries who are not EU members who have a superb relationship with member states, and some countries have highly individualised relationships.

But it is a big deal to a lot of people, and you can’t deny that “keeping immigrants out” is a major driving force.

And that was a semi serious point about the legitimising of the lies told during campaigning and the snivelling hypocrisy - when leave thought they were losing, they out and out said that the result must be challenged if it was close, lo and behold, when it’s close in their favour, of course the result must stand.

That is what we must not stand for, that is what we should be fighting. Democracy isn’t “winner takes all”. That’s never been what democracy is. Democracy is finding the middle ground between the leading opinions. Yes, leave won, by a small margin - but democracy doesn’t let those who voted stay be shut out - they have to be considered too. And we all know what that looks like, leaving the EU, but with a deal that is close enough to what we had that neither side are happy!