So tonight we leave the EU. Whilst this is a poetry blog, I don’t write in a bubble, so will occasionally write on other issues. I am deeply saddened by what has happened to the UK since 2016, and very concerned with what comes next. I am sad for the opportunities that I, and more pertinently the younger generations will no longer have due to the loss of freedom of movement. I am sad for the friends, and others, whose livelihoods have already been damaged, and for those whose lives have been impacted by the casual xenophobia and racism that has been unleashed by those who feel Brexit gives them the right to spout their poison wherever they want.
So today I am mainly wearing black. I would be more sanguine if Brexit was not the result, at least in part, of 40 years of unchecked lies printed in so many of our so-called newspapers, and of the politicians who have used this undercurrent of disinformation to enhance their careers, wallets or both. People should be held to account for this, but as usual, in the UK, as with most countries, if you are rich enough, or powerful enough, you can say and do pretty much what you want. It was always thus.
I wrote an article about my own MP’s actions in the original campaign – you can read it on the star and crescent website here –https://www.starandcrescent.org.uk/2017/05/17/election-17-penny-mordaunts-turkish-tall-story/ – it was staggering to discover so easily that her claim was a complete lie. More worrying to me was the complete absence of any proper journalistic investigation and subsequent impact on her political career for espousing such untruths. Is it any wonder we are where we are as a country?
The EU is far from perfect, but suffice to say, I am struggling to see any genuine upside at this time, particularly against the risks to our economy, environment, public services and societal well-being. I guess the next eleven months will determine if my fears are justified. I hope that they are not.