(Lack of) Food for thought

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Not a wholly original blog today – stats & video are taken from “The Canary”

The stats below all have links and at the bottom is the link to a gentleman called Peter Stefanovic who is a campaigner and lawyer. He makes arguments that most decent people would support but no-one seems to be fighting for them.

Regardless how you are thinking of voting, please don’t fall for the apathy that some media outlets are already peddling. Ever time we get a chance to vote we should use that democratic right to it’s fullest. This is an opportunity to make your voice heard. If we all moan that nothing ever changes it’s because too many people aren’t voting.

We need to encourage everyone to get out for both the local and Westminster elections and have an impact. If you don’t believe me just look at the Brexit vote – well over 10 million people didn’t vote. That’s madness! Those people could have easily changed the vote either to Remain or to securely stamp Leave rather than the paper-thin difference we ended with.

This is a real turning point for the UK – and not just about the EU. We have had a Tory led government since 2010 and an SNP led Government since 2007 and both north and south of the border things are getting worse for our valued public services and servants. We are looking the other way at Europe and wondering what will happen there while behind us Education, Health, Mental Health, support for Carers and the Disabled are being eroded. Not enough money is being provided and where money is coming in it’s not to the people who so desperately need it. The poorest in the UK are miles behind those at the top – we are one of the richest countries in the world yet we are failing too many people.

Vote – but think carefully before you do and ensure your vote is for a positive change and a strike for hope in a world where too many are being left behind.

  • 400,000 children are now living in poverty, a figure which rose 100,000 in 2015/16. 67% of those are from working families.
  • Food bank usage has risen, with over half a million people reliant on just the Trussell Trust for food packages.
  • In two reports, the UN heavily criticised the Tories for “grave” and “systematic” violations of disabled people’s human rights. The government, meanwhile, has severely cut their benefits.
  • The past year has seen strikes by junior doctors, rail workers, teaching assistants, library workers, and other public sector staff. Their pay increases have mostly been capped at 1%.
  • National debt has increased by more than 50%.
  • Homelessness has risen by 54%.
  • Corporations have seen tax cuts [pdf] while the tax gap is around £120bn per year.
  • The NHS has seen a real terms cut in the amount of money given to it per patient. While the amount of NHS money paid to ‘independent’ companies has more than doubled to £8bn a year.
  • The government has cut the number of people getting social care by 26%. And it has cut £50m from children’s mental health services.

JD

Omnishambles

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An utterly useless clusterfuck of a move today by Despicable May. I wonder at what point she decided, “Well the world’s on the brink of a nuclear winter, our traditional allies are putting distance between us because we asked for a divorce and the UK’s devolved administrations are all at loggerheads with Westminster – let’s have a General Election to bring us all back together!”

In which sane part of the land is that even an idea – never mind a good one? It comes of course with a huge amount of baggage and politically the public are confused to what to do. Do Labour Voters who support Brexit vote Tory or UKIP for the first time in their lives? Do the Remainers return to the Lib Dem fold even though Fallon is as wet as Corbyn during a wet t-shirt contest? Does it really matter how Scotland votes?

It appears to me that there is no positive outcome to this election. Starting with the Tories –  if they gain seats as predicted, then Brexit is not just Hard but Granite – a majority would leave backbenchers without the ability to frustrate and hold its own party to account. We would be looking at a possible exit without a deal as we know these things could take up to a decade to finalize and we have 23 months. May would be bolstered and would march into Brussels thinking she had a mandate – but the figures from the EU referendum don’t change because of a General Election, it’s a different vote altogether.

She assumes that because the other parties are weak that she’ll automatically be put back in, but she has to be careful. The 52% of the country who voted to Leave the EU are not all right wing voters. All other parties (apart from the SNP) have said they respect the decision but want checks and balances the other end of the negotiations. To many this seems like a fair thing to do and her hardened stance that she and her government have the final say may come across as dictatorial and unreflective of the uncertain mood in the country.

Labour must be both loving and dreading this. On one hand Corbyn could be out on his ear and we’d get a stronger leader. His ideas are good, he’s just not the man to deliver them. A more public service friendly, compassionate and thoughtful leader he has been – but his charisma is now on watchlists as it hasn’t been seen for years. The upside could be they pull back in the working class vote lost to UKIP but the mixed messages on Brexit could be their undoing.

Where the have an opportunity is by fighting on traditional Labour platforms – the Health Service which is in crisis, education being damaged across the whole UK, tax cuts for the rich, abolition of support for the most vulnerable and disabled – these could be winners if they get their message straight. Will they? I doubt it. £10 minimum wage seems unrealistic and considering that the front bench can’t agree on very much would see a very divided party pushed front and centre. Do we need that as a government at such a difficult time as we live in?

The Lib Dems are frustrating. Tim Fallon is a worse leader than Uncle Jeremy for me. Regardless of your opinion of Nick Clegg and his coalition with the Tories I think hindsight has shown us that actually he did a good job of keeping the rabid right-wingers at bay during his time as Deputy Prime Minister. They have sensible ideas just as Labour do, but I find it difficult to buy into them as they struggle to be heard above the noise.

UKIP are racist, misogynistic, sexist, thugs that don’t deserve the inflated the platform that they continue to get from the media. It’s an embarrassment to this country they have had the airtime they have considering their only MP is no longer in the party. But they could make an impact if the North of England tip to the right as they did in the EU referendum. Labour really are the only alternative for many voters, but with such a weak leadership many might look to UKIP to ensure money is taken from the EU and given back to the UK. In my humble opinion, I do think this is the end of the road for the party – what do they stand for now? They got their wish and unless the LIb Dems become the government the other two main parties agree that leaving the EU will happen.

SNP are in a strange position as well – they can only really lose in this election. Consider where we were last May compared to where we are now – leaving the EU and on the edge of the break-up of the UK. Around a third of SNP voters wanted to leave so that may well impact on their votes and the rise of Ruth Davidson as a sensible voice north of the border could see the Tories take away some of those yellow patches on the map. I can’t see Labour or the Lib Dems doing much damage in Scotland, but if they did it would start to bring into question Surgeon’s decision to demand a second Scottish Referendum.

So where does all that leave us? Potentially even more split than we were after the 23rd June 2016 and the EU referendum. With the country divided and uncertainty ahead will we stick with the shambles that is May, Boris, Hammond and Davis or bring in a potential coalition of Uncle Jeremy, Tim-liberal-but-bland and the SNP?

A rainbow coalition? No, just storm clouds ahead.

JD

The Power of Apathy

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There’s only been one topic of conversation in the classroom since Tuesday’s US Election – “What do you think of Trump becoming President?” And rather than rant, rave and have a go at the dusty pumpkin dildo I have given them all this talk which I feel is worth sharing with everyone.

This is your fault. Not directly but you are part of the problem. If I ever ask you about your opinions on politics you laugh and say you don’t watch the news or read newspapers but you did see something funny on Facebook about Trump. Some of you can’t even tell me the name of the Prime Minister or Chancellor. And I’m aware that this has always been true to a point with teenagers – but the difference now is that apathy has grown up with the last couple of generations and we face Brexit and a Trump presidency as a result.

We have a sway of people who would rather vote for Ed Balls on Strictly Come Dancing than for Ed Balls as a politician. From the comfort of our home we can be armchair pundits on events in the world and vote for pretty much anything by a tap, swipe or email address. We can sign petitions and share memes on things we feel strongly about from politics but actually go out and vote? No thanks – what’s the point?

The point is this apathy and “What difference will it make?” attitude is perfectly shown by this week’s election in America and the Brexit vote. Not only were millions of people sitting at home not bothering to vote but when you look at the overall figures of who could have voted and the outcomes the truth becomes painfully real.

In the EU vote:

UK Electorate eligible to vote – 46,501,241

Voted to Leave – 17,410,742

Voted to Remain – 16,141,241

Spoiled Ballots – 26,033

Did not vote – 12,949,258

In the US Election:

US Electorate eligible to vote – 231,000,000

Trump – 60,071,650

Clinton – 60,467,245

Others – 6,180,868

Did not vote – 104,280,237

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m no maths whizz but these stats show two things: Brexit was only voted for by 37.4% of the UK and only 26% of Americans voted for Trump. So they didn’t carry the day; it wasn’t a landslide victory and despite what politicians tell you it is not the will of the people – it’s the will of those who voted for whatever they are advocating.

I know this is common sense, and I’m also aware many will be shouting at me that this is how democracy works and not voting is still taking a stand. That’s where I call bullshit.

Not voting, not caring enough to put a cross in a box, pull a lever, press a button is a disgrace. Today we celebrated those who have given their lives so we can be free to enjoy democracy and our communal view is gradually becoming “So what?”

I’ll tell you what – look at your payslip: tax, National Insurance and pension payments. Look at your kids – schools, child benefit, tax credits. Look outside; roads, street lights, police. It’s not difficult to understand that everything we do is driven by politics and if we don’t care or can’t be bothered then when the police numbers drop and the local A&E shuts and the street lights are put out at night to save money and your kid’s school is threatened with closure don’t you dare suddenly decide to get involved, because you’re too late.

You should have been paying attention and shouting when the politicians at local, national and international level were standing with a manifesto on which they wanted your votes. When they take office don’t just sit there and accept that life has to be this way – challenge the status quo or a decision you think is unfair or unjust. We have become lazy and indifferent.

Why?

Because they don’t listen to us? No probably not to the dozen people who took to the streets or the hundred thousand who signed an online petition. Why would they. But if you fill their inbox and postbox with questions and requests for information and clarification then they are truly accountable. Just because they are elected doesn’t mean for one minute they are finished with us.

That’s the attitude we seem to have now. Not good enough.

If there is a vote coming up you need to ensure your MP, MSP or MEP knows your views – that’s their job to represent you, even if you didn’t vote for them.

It is a self-fulfilling prophecy to be apathetic about something as important as politics because if you don’t care, then why should the politicians? They know they don’t have to turn up to debates or speeches if you are never going to check/ask/need something from that decision.

Brexit and Trump happened because people felt they had something to vote for – a voice that echoed theirs. Yes, part of the problem with Brexit is it’s hard to stir up passion for the status quo but you will lose it if you don’t stand up and say something when it really matters. And yes Clinton wasn’t the most palatable candidate we’ve ever seen for the Democrats but with the choice they had surely it wasn’t beyond the wit of the more than one hundred million voters to make sure it wasn’t The Donald.

I look at the current situation in politics and wonder why our leader of the free world is a reality TV star with no experience. I see our Foreign Secretary in the UK as that idiot that was funny (for the wrong reasons) on Have I Got News For You. I see 1960s cartoon character Nigel Farage leading the charge for Brexit and befriending the day-glow fucktrumpet billionaire.

Is this what we have become? A world who will only vote for the same people we can vote for on TV, tweet from our smartphones or Facebook Friend? If it is then we need a new revolution where policy matters. Where people matter – not frivolous personalities and stupid soundbites. Where policy matters – not redundant rhetoric or quiz show appearances.

We need to stop this cycle of apathy because you just need to see how fucked up 2016 has been – and we caused that. You and Me. Sharing a picture on FB is not enough. Setting up or signing an online petition is not enough. We need to step away from the virtual world and start living in the real world again where there are real dangers and issues.

The rise of the KKK. The need for the hashtag BlackLivesMatter in 2016. The amount of Food Banks in the developed world. The wars in Syria and Yemen and Iraq and Afghanistan. The refugee crisis in Europe and Africa and the Middle East. The gap between Rich & Poor expanding like never before.

I know, I see the irony of me putting this on a blog. I’m as guilty as those I’m complaining about in many ways. But in others I’m not. I always vote. ALWAYS. For local, Scottish, UK, EU elections or referendums. They matter. They really matter and will have an impact on your life. I joined a political party for the first time this year. not because I agree with everything they say, but because i believe in the core values and want to help shape the ideas they produce. I want my kids to grow up in a country and on a planet that gives a fuck.

If you are still apathetic then I don’t know how else I can convince you. But when you see the images of Russia moving further into Ukraine; see more violence against those who have emigrated to our country; see the dismantling of the only healthcare many in the us have; the images of the melting ice caps and you shrug your shoulders – then you deserve what you get.

JD

A Bastard Nation and Proud

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The UK & Ireland have moved across the world and work and live wherever they want to. In the past Britain marched with flags to take over from indigenous people without a care for their well-being. Modern Britain is a bastard nation – we are a combination of all who invaded us and those who we have opened our doors to.

With the current rise in racist and xenophobic attacks – both verbal and physical – we need to get things into perspective.

The first invasion was by the Celts in 1500BC, but just in the last 2000 years we have been invaded by:

  • The Romans
  • The Picts
  • The Vikings
  • The Normans
  • The Anglo-Saxons
  • The Danes

But then we also welcomed in many people, including:

  • The Slaves we took from Africa in the 1700s
  • Those from countries we invaded and made part of the Empire
  • Those who after the collapse of the Empire chose to come and live here
  • Jews fleeing Nazi persecution
  • The West Indians in the 1950s
  • Ugandans fleeing Idi Amin in the 1970s
  • Americans, Canadians, Australians, South Africans in the 1980s as economic migrants
  • Afro-Caribbeans into London also in the 80s
  • From the 1990s we were accepting Economic Migrants looking for a better life; Asylum Seekers and Refugees fleeing the MIddle East and Africa because of persecution at home and the West’s constant bombing and invading; and the TWO WAY flow of people through the EU arrangements.

You see this is why it baffles me completely when I hear of racism and xenophobia because the UK couldn’t be more genetically multicultural if it tried. And the other point is that there are millions of us living and working around the world too. We benefit hugely from the idea of living in a multi-directional world. We are international citizens both through our ability to move around, but in Great Britain and Ireland it’s in our very blood. We are a combination of a melting pot that has bubbled constantly since people first moved to these islands.

We know that scientifically we all share our DNA with one woman who hailed from Ethiopia dubbed “Eve” so there are no groups who can state a true claim to these islands. So when you here the cry of “Take back our country” remind yourselves that we are only here because of a fluke of life, history and genetics. Our society is a combination of choices, self-made rules and regulations and a construct of what it means to be patriotic. Everything we are currently arguing about has been designed – it’s not natural. Our borders, time zones and countries are but inventions of leaders.

Today I wear a safety-pin on my waistcoat to say that I welcome and encourage those who have chosen to come here – for what ever reason – to feel part our Bastard family. Feel free to look to those of us wearing a safety-pin for help, a safe seat on the bus or train, or just as a reminder that you are welcome.

And more importantly I want to say thank you for the work you do in this country. From Cleaners to Pilots, Teachers to Doctors, Carers to Oil Workers you all make us a richer country in every sense of the word. Without you there would be no NHS to be proud of, or Schools for our children, or construction workers to build the infrastructure we so heavily rely on.

In Aberdeen if we didn’t have The Norwegians, The Dutch, The Danes, The French, The Germans, The Nigerians, The Americans, The Australians, The Canadians, The English, The Irish and The Welsh there would have never been an oil industry. And yes I specifically mention those from our sister nations in the UK because they still, in the 21st Century, face bigotry and xenophobia.

We are a Mongrel dog, a bastard child. But we are so much better for it in terms of culture, sport, education, food, friendships and life.

You are welcome.

JD

Purgatory

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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.

JD

As the dust settles

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It’s been three days and I’m still angry. As the dust is settling on the decision made on the UK’s membership of the EU I feel like we’re in Pompeii and suffocating to death.

I faced teenage faces on Friday and as the responsible adult they look to for advice and education I found myself lacking the words and knowledge to explain what had just happened. They couldn’t understand it, and frankly neither could I. Being a teacher I couldn’t be biased, but when the only answer you have is “I don’t know” you realise just how powerless you are after this kind of result.

Worse still is the political response over the last couple of days. When they say “I don’t know” then you know that you are fucked. No one has planned for this and apparently some at the top on the Leave side didn’t really want it or think it could happen. They saw this as a good job interview for Prime Minister but the situation they have in front of them is such a precarious one I doubt they’ll take it.

I thought to myself that this is the result of over thirty years of anger and hurt building to a climax that leaves everyone unsure and shocked. If I see one more tweet or video of a Leave voter “regretting” their vote or claiming “they didn’t think it would count” I worry about my fellow countrymen and women.

I think this is Thatcher’s final victory. No, hear me out.

Back in the 80s we were divided in a way we never had been before with the working class pushed to the side and left to fight for survival after the closure of mines, factories and industries that made this country great. We never did anything to help the situation and while some of us managed to get a leg up before university Grants and Fees were cut away we got an education and escaped a potential life of unfulfilled opportunities.

There was a fear factor in the air as the decade progressed – one that held “foreigners” in distrust. Europe slowly became the boogeyman of the Thatcher era – so much so it even claimed her scalp eventually. Racism was still a major issue in the 1980s and we didn’t really deal with it head on – instead we used politically correct terms to allow the racists a new language of hate and the rise of the BNP and other far right groups.

Thatcher also instilled a selfishness in us that meant we looked out for ourselves before others. This for me goes some of the way to explaining the decision by many in the baby-boomer generation voting away their grandkids’ futures. Over three decades if you are told the EU is to blame for all the shortcomings in our country what do we expect to happen when we’re asked our thoughts on the subject?

The children of Thatcher have finally found their voices and they are the voices of fear, rejection and self-preservation. And in many ways I understand it. If you are told something everyday of your life then eventually you will start to believe it. The invisible working class in this country have been ignored by successive governments of all colours and this was their protest vote. But what was the protest against? The elite and undemocratic system? Well they’ve replaced Cameron with Boris and the EU with the unelected House of Lords. Frying pan and fire I believe.

The fear campaign on the Economy from Remain has already shown its head in the hours following the result. The fear campaign over immigrants and refugees has already seen people being attacked in the street, people being told to “go home” and abuse across social media. Leave have now said they never promised to reduce immigration, instead they could look at how they allowed people in. The mythical £350 million has been brushed under the carpet, the validation of Farage and UKIP has been stamped and now we face a right-wing agenda in the UK.

When half the country don’t want the decision it’s hard to see how anyone can pull the two sides together. Those under 40 now look at their parents and grandparents wondering why this has happened. Right at the end of the age spectrum there was a 80+ group who predominantly voted to stay because they know what the EU has brought us. They lived through the war, they watched a fractured continent rebuild – and rebuild with help from former enemies. Welcoming in those who we had once fought and made a union that worked together. It wasn’t always perfect but compared to what we had in 1945 it was always going to be better and worth protecting.

Now we sit with a fractured and frightened country on both side – everyone unsure of the next step. Neighbouring countries and principalities wondering if it’s time to leave the party too. We’ve gone from being a United Kingdom in a United Europe to possibly being alone in the corner wondering who spiked our drinks.

Political parties lie in tatters as both Red and Blue are broken so there’s not a strong government or a strong opposition. While Alex Salmond would have us believe the SNP are strong, we know that this is not the way Sturgeon wanted to seek Independence because there’s no guarantee the EU will survive much longer. Many countries on the continent now look to see what happens next with us before deciding whether they too need a say on the matter.

The volcano has erupted and everyone is panicking. We know that there will be casualties and that the dust is smothering common sense and a way forward – but can we afford to wait to see what happens next, or should we continue the selfishness that got us here and follow it to its logical conclusion?

JD

…so, what now?

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So, no-one told you life was going to be this way. After a vote to remove the UK from the EU we now face an unknown future – a future I am genuinely worried about – we now look to see what the next few years hold in store.

We can guarantee there will be other referenda, other big votes and more huge decisions. Scotland will have another Independence vote, Northern Ireland will likely be offered the opportunity to join the Republic and Gibraltar may find themselves in a precarious position. With David Cameron stepping down we should find ourselves with an earlier General Election than the five-year cycle once Article 50 is invoked by his replacement. 

I can’t see how any of this will be positive or anything but highly unsettling for the country. Mark Carney knows that his job as head of the Bank of England has just become much more difficult too – balancing the books, inflation and interest rates will all mean tightening of belts in the long-term.

As of today we are in unknown territory. Yes we are still part of the EU until Article 50 is triggered and starts the legal and formal process to leave – likely before the end of the year – but it’s not enough to stop the massive changes coming over the horizon.

Instead of just leaving the EU we could have well caused the end of the UK – not just Scotland leaving, but the power and stature of London is under severe pressure. As the Financial Capital of Europe there are several major banks who will now look to leave London behind and relocate to the continent. Not only banks but major companies may also follow suit – why would they stay in a country that is not part of the EU? SNP could perhaps use this to their advantage and flag up Edinburgh as an alternative.

The other issue is that other countries are sitting waiting to have their own in/out referendum like Sweden, Netherlands, Italy and Denmark. We in Scotland might find ourselves in the difficult position of having an Independence referendum without knowing if there will even be an EU to stay in. Us completely on our own seriously worries me with the oil price no guarantee. 

While we are supposed to be mature and respect the decision, I can’t help but point to the markets, the value of the pound and the reaction from the wider world. The damage is already being done – even with Carney’s declaration this morning. I also point to Boris Johnson and the expected rise of the xenophobic, misogynistic, right – be careful what you wish for. You laugh at Trump across the pond, yet you have almost handed this man the keys to Number 10.

Who’s fault is it? The commentators are already scrabbling to point fingers. Cameron is the main culprit because he was weak to offer a referendum in the first place. He thought that he had the vote in his pocket and he’d finally be rid of Farage, sadly he didn’t understand the mood of the country. Corbyn is being blamed because he didn’t bring out the vote, but it’s hard to fight the negative campaigning we’ve seen from UKIP and the so-called project-hate by stirring up racist emotions. Yes there were traditional Labour voters who voted to Leave but that’s their democratic right.

Blame – if that’s even the right word – lies with us, the British Public. We voted for this, only by 4%, but we voted for it nonetheless. We didn’t have an honest conversation, instead we allowed the politics of fear, hatred and personality take over and caused the result.

Not happy today? I guarantee you won’t be happy for a long time.

JD