“Keep Calm and Carry On”.
Never before has this most British of quotes meant so much.
Today is EU Referendum day here in the UK, as I am sure you’ll all know unless you’ve been sat rocking in the corner of a room swigging neat Gin from a bottle for the last year…crikey, I almost described myself then.
It’s been a horrible few months of listening to Politicans on the TV and Radio argue, of seeing brain-frazzling facts and figures in the newspapers, seeing neighbours and friends turning on each other in heated debate and feeling utterly depressed by it all. It’s safe to say this referendum campaign has driven me to Gin. Ok, ok, I was already a Gin drinker before all this, you got me…
We are so lucky to live in a country where democracy is allowed, where our opinions can be heard and where we aren’t punished for having an a voice and using it. This is a privilege, and one we shouldn’t take for granted.
That said, I am angry beyond words that this decision that has fallen before us here in the UK today. For once, I am not happy that we are allowed a say.
This may seem like a ridiculous point of view to some, and you might think me a complete idiot (not a problem if that’s the case, my children reliably tell me all the time that I am really silly and ask Daddy for his opinion instead because of that) but I honestly don’t think that this referendum should have been bought before us in the first place.
Politicans work very hard to educate themselves, to make sure they are representative of the people in this country and we vote them in because we believe they have our best interests at heart.
I strongly believe that this EU Referendum should have been decided by the Politicans and not by us, the public. We shouldn’t have been given this choice. For me, decisions like this, that are so enormous, are the reason we have a Parliament and MP’s. I truly think that they should have voted on our behalf, in our best interests, on this one. The intricacies of all the parts that make up this referendum decision are so complicated, it would appear that even the Politicians themselves are confused on the matter.
I’m not saying we are all morons, I am not saying that we are too silly to make an informed choice, but I do think that the waters have become so muddy, the facts so hard to come by, that it has been nigh on impossible to make an informed choice on the matter. People are voting with their hearts because that’s all we have left after the complete shambles that has been the In/Out campaign. My brain has been bombarded with facts, with information and opinions over the last few months. I have tried my very best to educate myself on it all so that I am certain that when I put my mark in that little box, I am sure of what I am voting for and why.
Sadly, I’m not entirely sure everyone in our country will have done the same. For some, this decision was black and white from the start and no amount of rallying, information giving and arguing was going to change their opinion. This is what I think has been dangerous about giving the vote to us, the public. Not everyone cares. Not everyone fully understands the consequences of their voting and because we have been fed information based on ‘what if’s’ and ‘maybe’s’, it’s been pretty difficult to come to a fully informed decision.
I totally need one of those ‘Bullshit” buttons that the guys on The Last Leg use. It would have had at least 45 sets of batteries replaced in it by now after all the crap I’ve heard spouted from both sides over the last few weeks/months.
I’m not going to say how I voted this morning.
That’s irrelevant and not what I am here to discuss.
All I will say is that it was an informed choice I made, completely uninfluenced by others, and one that I didn’t make lightly. I realised the gravity of the situation as I put my cross in the box. I felt a bizarre feeling of being emotionally overwhelmed as I did it (over dramatic, maybe) and posted my seemingly insignificant, little piece of paper into the Ballot Box. I walked out of our local church, our polling station, wondering what news we are going to wake up to tomorrow morning. What kind of world we, as a country, are choosing to create with the swish of a pencil, and all the while, the whole time I was doing this, I was thinking of my kids. My family. Our future.
This cross in a box is going to affect us all, but most of all, our children.
Our children are the ones who will grow up influenced by those marks we made today on those pieces of paper, and I think that is why I have found the whole thing so awful. My 8 year old has been asking lots of questions, been getting very passionate about it all and has an opinion. An opinion which, sadly for him, cannot be heard because of his age. I’m proud that he has paid an interest in it all, that he has wanted to learn, to understand, as many of his friends and peers also have, and although it is sad and worrying that we have had to make this decision on their behalf, on the behalf of the next generation, I am really encouraged by the fact they have wanted to know what is going on and what it all means.
Sadly I didn’t have all the answers to his questions (amazingly, for once, neither did Daddy) because it is all hypothetical. This MIGHT happen. This MIGHT NOT happen. You get the jist. The fact is, nobody knows.
So, all I can say to him is, Keep Calm and Carry On.
Tomorrow, the U.K. May wake up and be a different place, but then again, it might not be. But what I do know is, most of us have made the decisions we have made today with our kids and family’s best interests at heart and regardless of the outcome, I know that we as a country will make it work and ensure our children have the best future possible.
Tonight, I will read a story to my kids, tuck them into bed, kiss them goodnight and wake them up in the morning by tickling their feet and singing a silly song I’ve made up on the spot, the same way I do every day. And I will do the same tomorrow, regardless of what news we wake up to. We will make this work, regardless of the outcome, for their sake.
Here’s to being a UNITED Kingdom. Standing together regardless of the decision that awaits us in the morning and ensuring that the future remains as bright as it can, for the sake of the future generations.
Peace and Love Knutters. Peace and Love.x