Between all the opinion pieces written about the referendum result – for the UK to leave the EU, for those who avoid politics altogether (or have been living under a rock) – this short video from the BBC about conflicts within a family who have voted differently strikes a chord. The children of the family who are of voting age say that they cannot win against their parents in arguments concerning whether to remain or to leave, but mention in the individual interviews that [their parents] are not “bad people”. They are merely voting for what they think will be the best for themselves and (hopefully) the people around them.
Throughout the campaigning for the EU referendum, many people have been called out for being “bad people”. Between “the immigrants”, a large number of politicians, and the England football team, that is a lot of bad people, without even beginning to delve into the reasons why the Remain and Leave camps are talking down each other. Many opinions disguised as facts are flying through the air, and many actual facts are going ignored. I am not aiming for an op ed piece. As a referendum that has been touted as one where “feelings won over facts”, I am going to get emotional about this.
- A week ago, I joked that however people voted, I was going to take it personally. While I know it’s not personal, I did feel a little less welcome in my adopted home of 13 years (which is longer than I have lived in any other country) last Friday morning.
- Being told to “move on” is frustrating, even though it is in my nature to “move on”. It was one of philosophies on which I was raised by my parents. Do not show that you care too much. However, if we apply the theory of “voting for what they think will be the best for themselves and (hopefully) the people around them”, and one of the results of the referendum is the despair/disdain of most of the people around me, I am not going to take it lightly.
- I should note here that as an EU citizen, I did not have a vote to cast, but frankly, my main concern would have been security. I am privileged to have family and friends all over the world, and knowing that they are safe (and happy) is paramount to me. I would not recommend parting from your group to walk home alone late at night.