He woke up to yet another day of grief. No-one was able to explain because no-one was able to understand. How was it only four days after the result that everything he understood and believed in was disappearing?
The political establishment was gone – something he would have cheered at one point, but today he pined for. The news from all channels was feeding the negativity felt in the country right into his bowl of corn flakes and being swallowed by a population divided between one type of elitism and another. Survival of the fittest? Even Darwin would have drawn a line somewhere.
Tweets, statuses and videos of cat calls to “go back where you came from” or “we won you have to leave” echoed in his head as he sat in the traffic jam. Looking at the blank faces around him he realised nobody was comfortable anymore regardless of how they voted. Democracy had spoken but the country now called for someone to grab it by the scruff of the neck and tell it everything was going to be okay.
But it would never be okay.
The disillusioned in the North of England felt they were being ignored, desperate for someone to see them and help them – but instead the political parties looked to shore up the internal leaks rather than work out what had happened. Selfish maneuvers by those with an axe to grind had forgotten the axe that had fallen on Northern industries decades earlier. only once those problems were fixed could the rebuilding start.
Broken Britain had spoken – and provided the final chisel blow to itself. Broken from Scotland who wanted to be recognised; broken from Northern Ireland who wanted to be heard as fear of falling back in time enveloped them; broken from Londoners who are divided down the middle in the cosmopolitan capital of the world. How can you mend a broken heart? Because this is more than politics, it’s about humanity.
As he pulled into his parking space, the talking heads on the Radio spoke of simple solutions to a complex set of problems. Simple platitudes were not going to smooth things over or allay the deep-seated fears. Politics had finally disintegrated. No one was left to help us. Faces and voices from before the result now spoke in hushed tones and his ears rejected their patronizing language. Even once the engine was off the discussion continued – ironically open the door to get out stopped it.
What had happened had changed him and everything he knew and held dear. From a deep-seated unionist and someone who looked beyond the man-made borders he now found himself questioning his place in the mess left behind. I could move he thought; a thought tempered by not knowing where would be as safe as where he was now. He thought he was secure but as they say life is what happens when you are making plans. No-one in their right mind would have hoped for today’s life of uncertainty.
There was anger in his heart, because he knew that all the Leave voters weren’t racist, but all racists were leave voters. Take back control. Three words he felt were beyond him now. Not knowing where you stood in the UK never mind the EU worried him. What are we taking control back from? A continent divided from two world wars now pulled together for strength now looked fragile and ready to reset to old ways, fears and prejudices. Was there even a future out there he could consider when there were no longer any real guarantees?
Cheer up, it might never happen. This could be the start of a great new adventure. Look for the positives and come together.
No, he thought, it’s too raw yet.
Perhaps in time – if there is time – we can start to rebuild. But who we are and the distrust he felt for his fellow man at this point left him unsure if he could trust in a democracy that valued very different things from him. A majority who want to press the reset button and invoke a nostalgic, halcyon world from Beatrix Potter books, will ultimately be left with Dickens not Tiggywinkle.
He walked into his classroom and sat down. The rows of desks sat empty and there was a strange calmness in the view – mostly because when those seats were filled with the next generation of thinkers, leaders and voters my generation’s representatives couldn’t answer their questions or help them to understand.
He knew the longer that he and the rest of the land sat in purgatory the less likely it was that they would ever move from it. Upwards or down. The reality was slowly settling that the world as he knew it would never again exist and he had to change if he wanted to survive. To survive, not to live but just to hang on in there. Was this really the future people envisioned when they put that cross in the box?
While there was a job to be done, a mortgage to pay and a family to care for there was no other option but to get on with things. But in the back of his mind he would always have the hope that one day a new generation would revisit the globalist agenda of thinking beyond our own front doors and then he’d be ready to rejoin the political world.