23 June 2016. The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union, ending a 43 year membership of the trading and political bloc. And the fallout begins...
The inevitable politic landscape shift has begun. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has resigned. Calls for the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, to stand down have been issued, due to the insipid campaign he ran. A motion of no confidence has been issued against him.
The economic and socio-political standing of the United Kingdom is unknown. Truth is it didn't matter which way the vote went. Economics and politics are always unpredictable. If you voted on that, either way, then you're a fool. That was a red herring that both sides were willing to use.
There is an immediate aftermath that needs addressing though.
THE OLDER VOTE
The above graphic isn't the only one to advocate the notion that the older people have dropped the younger generation in it. The Independent was broadcasting such statistics and implying that pensioners should not had the right to vote this way.
Let that sink in. We have a national newspaper comfortable sharing the idea that a section of society should have their democratic rights diminished. That would be the group who have been in it the longest, contributed to it the longest and have the most experience of living in the EU. What the actual hell?! Could you imagine if the graphic suggested black people had dropped white people in it? Or that women's votes should be less valid than men's votes? All because the outcome has not gone the way that you wanted it. Scandalous.
This is a one way ticket to fascism, which is a grand irony because a lot of Remain voters have accused some Leave voters of that very same sin. The UK is a democracy. One person, one vote. To preach anything else is an enemy of equality.
LIBELLOUS LABELLING OF LEAVE VOTERS
When I woke to find out the result of the EU referendum, my next stop was social media to see the reaction. It wasn't good. It was downright ugly. I am astounded at how comfortable people are to label those who voted Leave as xenophobes, racist or Islamophobic. There is no evidence to support this. All people who say this have is anecdotal evidence from social media. I'm amazed that I have to explain to them that you shouldn't believe everything you read on Facebook.
Xenophobes, racists and Islamophobes have a common trait. They are okay with saying hateful or disparaging things against a group of people without merit. If you are engaging in calling Leave voters these things, you are no better than them. A friend of mine put it better than I ever could. He said "The intolerance of the 'liberal' elite who preach tolerance has always amazed me."
Vicious name calling might be the freedom of speech, a democratic right, but it certainly doesn't uphold the sanctity of the right to vote. It is bullying. If you think that is how political arguments are won, then you are Project Fear & Hate personified.
THE BREAK UP OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
Scotland and Northern Ireland (and London, although that will be irrelevant in this section) voted overwhelmingly to Remain in the EU. The Brexit win has already led to calls for a second Scottish Independence Referendum, one that has been put "on the table" by Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, already. There are some who are suggesting that people were foolish to vote Leave because now those nations will leave the UK.
Firstly, to vote one way in an effort to pander to one tenth of the UK population is the very antithesis of democracy. It is a completely fallacious argument.
Secondly, why is that a bad thing? Are we honestly against the idea of democratic self determination? If you voted Leave, surely you're fine with Scotland or Northern Ireland deciding whether it wants to be part of another union or not?
THE COLLAPSE OF THE EU
The Brexit success has led to a string of similar possibilities. France, The Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Austria are all pushing for their respective in-out referendum on the European Union. There are some who would shame the Leave voters with a 'look what you've done' attitude.
Let me put this very simply about the possibility of such referenda happening in other countries: It's not our problem and it is nothing to do with us!
I've branded a majority of these hideous reactions from Remain voters as the actions of 'sore losers' and I've been told that had Leave lost I would be a sore loser too. Maybe but I'd like to think that I would respect the vote, whichever way it had gone. I didn't vote Tory in the last General Election but I accepted the outcome. I certainly didn't label the people who did vote Conservative as hateful people, who were only invested in protecting their own interests.
You don't have to like it but you do have to accept that it is the democratic will of the people. It has not been skewed by a quirk in an electoral system. It was a straight shootout and Leave won. Do not try to twist democracy because it didn't suit you. Trying to set up a petition for a second referendum or trying to shame people for voting the way they did is a flat out assault on democracy.
The vote is done. The decision has been made. It's time to accept that, drop the hateful rhetoric in both directions and move on.