The question I was getting to was why should we help now?
There was a time we once answered “can we help?” the reality is that there is no resource capacity to help any more. It’s not for the want of trying. The number of people I know in the charity sector from my 8 years in it, who themselves struggle is unreal. I look at them from my days in that sector and absolutely applaud them for what they do. They are as victimised, if not more victimised than any one of the “working class” voters that got Trump’s vote or voted for Brexit. They get hit twice. Once for the struggles of charity life, which is not easy! At all! Believe me! They volunteer to do a full-time, real job. To face people so desperate they have nowhere else to turn. That is heartbreaking and takes it’s toll on folk emotionally.
They also get hammered by the government and for those on benefits, the DWP, who hound them into work or sometimes those WCA assessments from AtoS and to pull their benefits from those that depend on it. It cuts our staff numbers, in turn, cutting the service for society’s most needy. If anyone had a cause to vote Brexit or Trump for the damage done to them it’s those sorts of folk. The traditionally very left.
Yet, Brexit voted to cause more problems than it will solve. It voted for 30+ years of relative austerity. It voted to force more people into food-bank use than take them off it (after all, where is the money going to come from? Our taxes? I suspect many folk will want to rebel against that — no having your cake and eating it here). In reality, the task is far far too big and the budgets, time and inclination are just too small. So with that in mind “why should we help?”
I agree it’s a controversial stance to tell someone they are stupid or racist. However, I and many like me, spent months trying to educate people in the realities of what the EU is, what effect it has on our finances, science, tech and the economy. Inform them about our public health services (where the fake £350 million would have gone). What it would unleash in the support of the minor but vocal and dangerous racist element, legitimising their position, which will double up with Trump, as well as trying too bat back the myriad of lies and lies and lies that the Brexit campaign peddled out all the time.
This wasn’t limited to Brexiteers. I even spent time trying to put to bed the scale of the effect on London as a financial centre. Sure, passporting is needed to trade, but that’s going to affect only 70,000 jobs or so. It is the other aspects that might hit that industry and in any event, that’s just 70,000 across the whole inner city but will only affect 10% of financial services staff in the the City of London itself. Yet, we were met with ignorance, bigotry and indeed, racism. Anyone who voted for Brexit, voted for that. Were complicit in that. That makes them just as guilty.
Sure enough, every aspect of the economic position is starting to unravel. Science funding has been hit and the racism came true (even after the 4 fold spike at the beginning, the rate of racial incidents is now a consistent 44% higher than before and has remained there).
We have the choice to say “I told you so”. You know what? I’m going to use it. I don’t have to work here. Indeed, I’ve been told more than once by Brexiteers that I am not welcome here and that I should leave the UK. One guy on LinkedIn even offered to help me pack my bags! So we have a situation where people are doing what they shouldn’t have done and will suffer the effects they will suffer, despite people telling them not to, in an environment where we cannot help those folk get out of it (which is stupid) and telling the folk that contribute the biggest amount to the core aspects of their economy to “get out” (which is racist). So to be honest, people being “stupid” and “racist” appears, to me at least, to be a statement of fact, however controversial and unpalatable a truth it may be.
We have two choices with that:
- Controversially tackle the position that people are stupid and racist and we ask ourselves why so many people are stupid and racist, then do something about it. This requires those “subjects” (on both sides arguably) to understand and acknowledge their limitations and be open to change. This requires time, energy and money we don’t have but most of all, it requires the ability to think past the end of each’s nose. Polls aren’t that.
- Become Donald Trump — Who, like the Brexiteers, combine both lies and incompetence and is there just for the controversy.
So the question is, why should I or anyone else come together and help little-Britain through the Brexit process? Especially for a potential punch in the mouth or to be called a “P*k*” and told to go home? There are so many things here that are so broken, all of them nothing to do with Europe. Indeed, Europe saved people’s ar*es more than one. Brexit voted for more of the same, not Remaining. Our problems are problems of our own making.
I won’t be associated with a country that want’s to create that sort of division. To take us back to a time where countries applied segregation and apartheid. I’m certainly not going to be the first person to move. A few folk I know already have as a direct result of Brexit. So I hope people forgive me if I sound contrite, but actually, I think I will keep making the argument.