In the aftermath of Brexit, I really have tried to keep anything too political off this blog – mainly venting through Twitter.
However, I saw a video today. It was filmed in Manchester, which is the city closest to me and incidentally where I have spent quite a bit of time. This brought it home just how close to home the issues are.
On this shakily recorded video, three young men spout abuse to a passenger, threatening to beat him and going so far as to try and throw a beer bottle at him – which is when fellow passengers start to chime in, fearing about a baby on board. The boys are either forcibly removed or get off the tram, where the clip ends with a woman shouting, ‘You’re a disgrace to England!’
Now. This is in no way an outlier occurrence. There have always been racist and xenophobic stirrings in Manchester (which tends to be one of those things that gets swept under the rug) and in any other city in England, whether the population is ‘true English’ or not. But after the announcement that the UK would leave the EU, reports of abuse and beatings to Polish and Asian communities have been pouring in, including a rise in Neo-Nazi propaganda.
Yes. This is England in 2016. Not a Suzanne Collins novel.
And before we get political, I’m not going to paint every ‘Leave’ voter with the ‘you’re a racist’ brush. That would be hypocritical.
However, we can’t deny that the entire Ref campaign on both sides did have a large basis on immigration, some aiming for a more vilifying approach than others. UKIP for example, strives on getting support through an ‘Us VS Them’ ideology, which has then been applied to the immigration aspect of the EU Referendum. There is ‘Britain First’, which preaches a vision for a pure and untainted England.
Us versus them, once again.
We look at Donald Trump, at his ‘mad’ spoutings about Mexicans and how he’ll build a wall and laugh – because he’s obviously deluded. We listen to reports of Britain First followers ‘exposing’ hiding migrants in houses, and think its intolerable. We look at Nigel Farage and think he’s a mouthy so-and-so who obviously wandered into politics.
But we do not see the palpable appeal that these people have on others. Donald Trump is now one of two presidential candidates. He has a chance to be in charge of one of the most powerful countries on this planet. Britain First not only got a candidate into the Mayor of London runnings, but one of its followers has murdered an MP, Jo Cox, in broad daylight. Nigel Farage seems laughable, but his campaign has launched and fuelled a huge part of the movement to Leave. They all have influence. Influence which is dangerous.
Hatred is rife. Separation even more so. Our country’s politics are frankly in shambles and nobody has a clue what is happening.
There are elements to this we can’t control. The stock market is out of our hands, and how the EU deals with trading with us after we have left, and what our Government is choosing to do whilst reshuffling is their business.
However. It is up to us, in a very vigilante way to stop the spread of evil and terror within our own borders. Since we all seem very vocal about our turf being ours.
I was appalled to see that poor man be told to ‘go back to Africa’ by a group of spineless and ignorant children waving beer bottles. They have either been brought up to believe this drivel, or have been indoctrinated with it.
From what I’ve seen of the way my fellow Brits have behaved during this referendum, is that we are all very self-entitled. It’s our country. Make Britain great again.
Great Britain, at its height colonised other countries, with enough total landmass to be classed as an Empire. Ironically enough, that conquering was based on pure force or genocide. Sometimes a combination of both.
Of course, it’s all very well enough to say, ‘oh we gave it all back’ – like nothing happened at all.
Never at fault, us lot. We’re British.
But if the things happening to this country now are being classed as the rebuilding of said ‘Greatness’ – I want no part in it. The effects of Brexit is something that my generation must accept, and we will get on with it. There is no other choice.
But I do not choose to be part of the spread of inward cowardice and ignorance. I despair when I see this thick rhetoric of snarling hatred crop up in papers, on social media and on the news. If you’re going to rebuild this country in its own image, independently, as everyone is banging on about, whilst putting up with this underlying threat to people living here – you are going to be horrified with the result.
I am white. I have no other origins than England, aside from possibly coming over with the French back in 1066 (nice one, La Famille Entwistle.) I come from a working class background. Whilst economically, the class I come from has been and will be hardest hit – that’s about all I’ll be subjected to.
I won’t be pelted with abuse from strangers in the street, where they demand to see my passport or question my right to be here. I haven’t come from a country where ‘aid’ has come in the form of airstrikes, and have no choice but to leave the place which I strongly love and have seen crumble. I do not go around saying that is my right as a British citizen. That is my right as a human being.
Along with every other human on this silly little island.
This is a rant. It may get deleted, and I have no idea if it makes sense – but here it is. I’ve kept my lip buttoned on here about the Brexit and everything after, but seeing that video today really stung, to say the least.
Whilst we are all trying to stay positive, and looking to the future, the current political and social landscape that is the UK is seeming pretty dystopian at the minute.
Just bear with us. We’re having some technical issues.