I’m Absolutely Terrified About The EU Referendum Result
So I don’t know about anyone else, but right now I’m feeling like my world is upside down. I’ve been furious, close to tears, and terrified all in the space of the last few days. I knew that a leave result would make me feel like this but I don’t think I knew to what extent.
I tried a little while ago to write an article about the referendum, outlining why I was voting remain and why I felt that leaving would damage us. I chickened out. It was in the aftermath of Jo Cox’s death and all we were hearing from the politicians was a childish “No YOU’RE a liar” “I’m not lying YOU’RE the liar.” I felt that I couldn’t write anything that hadn’t been written before, and that in this ‘tired of experts’ climate (although I proclaim to be no expert) I thought that no one would read it anyway. I’m so annoyed with myself. I wish so much that I had written it because if I had changed just one person’s mind it would have been worth it. And at least I could have said that I tried.
I have seen a lot of hurt on social media over the last few days. I have also seen a lot of people saying “get over it,” “move on,” “stop moaning.” That is not appropriate at the moment. Firstly, you are not allowed to tell someone what they are and are not allowed to feel saddened by. Just because something doesn’t affect you that much, does not mean that it doesn’t affect others. And secondly, if you did not foresee this reaction in the event of either victory, then you underestimated how much this meant to people. It means an awful lot. Please respect that and allow those of us that are upset time to adjust and grieve over it.
So why am I so upset? Well yesterday the pound dropped to its lowest point since 1985 and I don’t want to have to live in another recession. I have lost the opportunity to live and work in 27 other countries without needing a visa, and I am worried about my friends who came to this country to work and study and now live with an uncertain future. Yesterday was a victory for the far right, for the people who tripled our tuition fees and want to privatise the NHS. It wasn’t even 8am on Friday when Farage said that the claim they would use the £350 million a week to fund the NHS as a mistake, and Daniel Hannan admitted that leaving the EU would NOT cause a decline in immigration. Those were the two reasons that many people said they were voting leave. What else are we going to find out was a lie? Friday was a victory for liars. Not only did they get away with their fear mongering and blatant lying to the public, but they actually won. That’s all it takes to be a politician in this country; be a great liar with a large canon of inflated rhetoric, and that’s what Friday’s victory stands for.
The Guardian asked for young people to write in and explain just how they were feeling. Below is my letter to them. I needed to unleash my frustration and fear on someone.
“My boyfriend and I are 25 and 21 respectively and I am responding to a tweet asking for the views of young people.
It is worth bearing in mind that we are a generation consistently labelled by our elders as “apathetic” and “disillusioned” and I want to say that if this referendum has taught us nothing else it has taught us that this statement is simply not true. We have taken to social media, the polling booths, the TV debates, and all other avenues to help us to make this decision. At times the under 25s have been made to feel that the reason we don’t deserve a proper voice in parliament is because we are not politically engaged, we are lazy, and we don’t vote so why should they help us? We proved them wrong yesterday. We researched into the decision, discussed it with friends, asked our local MPs, and used that information to help us decide what would be best for us, and as the results show, the majority of those who voted voted for remain. For my generation’s determination, diligence, and intelligence throughout this referendum I will be forever proud.
That being said, the main thing I feel this morning is let down. I feel let down by the older generation, the baby boomers who were gifted so much by the generation before them, and now choose to take our futures into uncertain territory. I feel let down by this older generation who (obviously not all but) by and large did not research their decision, and simply listened to the “take back control” propaganda, in comparison to my supposed “apathetic” generation who worked really hard to make this referendum what they wanted it to be. I feel let down by the politicians, who we elect to look after us and who in actual fact have been lying to the public all through the referendum, leading people into a vote they did not truly understand. Already this morning Farage had said that the 350 million extra that they promised to spend on the NHS was a “mistake” and Daniel Hannan has said that immigration will not fall. It’s not even been 24 hours and already they are making a U-turn on terms that have been the deciding factors on the biggest political decision we have made in a long long time. I feel let down by David Cameron, who resigned just as I started writing this, for causing a referendum he didn’t actually believe in in order to get back into power.
This government have raised our tuition fees, messed with pensions, messed with the NHS and education, had a hand in a massive housing crisis which means we are all renting properties we can’t afford, and now they are responsible for our leaving the EU. My boyfriend turned to me when the news broke and joked “Maybe have to hold of having kids for a little while.” I say joked, but our giggles were tinged with a genuine fear for our future, and the future of the family that we want to have. It is terrifying to be a young person right now. I have never had so little faith in a government to do the right thing by my generation. I have never felt so powerless.
I have never felt so terrified.