On a day when when the UK finally leaves the European Union, I find myself at home, reflecting on the whole sorry situation.
What I find so very sad about this whole sorry situation, and that is what it is folks, is the division and the hatred it has caused not only across social media but, in the press, in the pubs, on the street and just about everywhere else. There are no ‘sides’ in all of this. No winners, no losers. All I have witnessed is a rise of intolerance and hatred. I’m always up for a good argument and have had some fun and interesting debates with some of my Tory voting friends, good friends that I love and have a lot of respect for. I’ve even argued the other side with a family member just to show how skewed and incorrect their argument was. I have been called all manner of names, had my character and that of my heritage called in to question (suffice it to say my family has been traced back a thousand years, and apart from the recent introduction of a smattering of Welsh and Scottish genes into the pool, we have lived on this Sceptred Isle for generations). I have been vilified, on Facebook and Twitter for my opinions, and they are only opinions, not ‘beliefs’ (there are no political beliefs. Beliefs are for religions, and let’s not get started on that subject just now), by people who are supposedly my friends, some of which I have known for 20-30 years or more, all my life even and, by those which are only recent acquaintances and who don’t really know me (or I them) that well. It has been quite frightening to get to know some people whom I thought I already knew very well and have known for a number of years.
From the moment the vote was in, there was never any doubt in my mind that the UK would be leaving the EU, although I have been dreading this day and the ensuing months and years, it is something which I accept and have accepted from the very beginning. It doesn’t matter if I agree with it or not, it is what it is, and always has been. It is just a shame that it has been done on a mountain of lies and fact skewing. It is a shame it has brought out the very worst in people that are both dear to me, and complete strangers, in the continuation of perpetuating those lies without any fact checking, just taking the words of politicians and the likes of Farage et al. as the truth, when it has been shown time and time again their arguments have been built on lies and false and inaccurate information. It’s a shame it has brought such division amongst the old and the young, friends and family. I could go on all day, but I’m not about making political statements, and that is not what this particular rant is about.
Some of you know me as an anthropologist and for the study I have made of our race, the history of our species, and the myriad of different cultures across our world, my love of world history, and my almost fanatical quest to understand all religions dating back millennia. Thanks to my studies and the personal knowledge I have gained through them, there is one thing I can say for certain. Whatever the result of a divisive referendum on a relatively insignificant piece of land on a tiny piece of rock wheeling its way around it’s star. It is mostly irrelevant. Despite the squabbles we have amongst ourselves, and how much damage we do to the only place we can call home. It doesn’t really matter. The planet, and life on it, will still be here. The fact, and it is a fact, that we as a species won’t, and that we would have destroyed not only ourselves but so many other species along the way is what we are missing. This is what we should really be sad about. At a time when we should be uniting as a species for all that it is to be human to combat the daily horrors and damage we are inflicting on our fellow humans and our planet, we are becoming more and more divisive and inflicting more damage, death and destruction as we go.
It makes me very sad. Very sad indeed.