Brexit is upon us.There are three huge shocks I’ve had to deal with that stand out in my life. One is the death of my mother, another is when I was diagnosed with cancer a few months back after having a stroke and today. Today is when the far right won. Brexit was achieved by people swallowing racist lies and there’s people on TV and social media saying now they’d regret their vote because of the carnage Brexit is causing around this small planet of ours. So we have a right to be angry, and here’s some Rage Against the Machine to help you get angry.
So get angry. Have a wee cry. Fear for our European friends, colleagues, neighbours, partners, lovers and acquaintances while trying not to look at the financial global collapse too closely, or the racists in England especially who are now gloating because they won.
Once you’ve done that, get up off your knees, dry your eyes and fight. As a democrat I accept the result. It however should not apply for the people of Scotland, Northern Ireland and there is an increasing argument it shouldn’t London either. So keep calm…
Let Scotland take the lead here. Our friends in Northern Ireland and the Republic will find their way with our utmost support. Those of us still in England should look to Scotland the words of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to provide a chink of light at this time.
It is significant – in my view – that we did so after a campaign that was positive about the EU and about the benefits of migration.
Indeed, I want to take the opportunity this morning to speak directly to citizens of other EU countries living here in Scotland – you remain welcome here, Scotland is your home and your contribution is valued.
Those words are important. It sets Scotland aside from what’s happened across England. It provides hope of an example where change can happen but that change can no longer happen being attached to the United Kingdom. The UK as of today is over.
So what’s next? Personally its beating cancer, returning home and helping the people of Scotland be they born and bred there, or made it their home, to win independence from an increasing right wing, fascistic, racist England who has lost the ability to reason with facts or tolerate. Yet it’s not all in England, the vote after all was tight in England with 53% voting for a Brexit, but they dominate the agenda now so the 47% who rejected the Brexit campaign of hate and lies cannot be left behind, nor can those who today come to their sense even though we rage against them now.
With a second independence referendum for Scotland now inevitable the only way to proceed is unite and stand against fear and hate. All of us need to make a stand and unite. We can even all sing Caledonia with a tear in your eye if you’re born in Glasgow or Bristol or Cardiff and believe something good can come from this.
I’ve lived in England for 28 years. I’ve enjoyed it, the people and the places. As of today it no longer feels like home. My personal circumstances were taking me home before all of this, but I can no longer listen to English left wingers mouthing the usual platitudes about ‘solidarity’ when they don’t even realise why desperate people with nothing to lose who have been abandoned by Labour have adopted the politics of fear and hate. They’ve nothing to lose. There was no progressive alternative. They picked Farage and Johnson’s bullshit because what else was there in their eyes?
I still believe in solidarity but I also believe that right now an example needs to form from the wreckage and that is an independent Scotland as part of Europe. Scotland stands with its friends in Europe and rejects the policy of fear and hate to the point where if successful, it can show a way forward out of the darkness for England who have now doomed themselves to an awful, terrible future.
Spend the weekend being angry, sad, scared, fearful but come Monday it is on. A second referendum for Scottish independence is going to have to happen and this time, I don’t think it’ll be lost. There will be strange bedfellows as people that voted No last time suddenly, finally, realise they made a mistake but we all have to unite because England stands on the brink of bringing in a harder right wing Tory government than what we have now led by a Boris Johnson or worse, Teresa May who has kept quiet and bided her time.
There is only one chance for something good to come from this. There is only one chance to provide an example that people can use to fight what is coming. That is an independent, welcoming, inclusive Scotland side-by-side with other independent European countries standing firm against the racist wave of hate Nigel Farage has unleashed and the Tories will use to cling onto power while Labour fail in England.
The months ahead are going to be hard. The fight can be won. Mourn this weekend then Monday, get off your knees, unite and fight what is going to be a long and hard fight but we can win and set that example.