PostRef: It’s Not Us vs Them

They shouldn’t have tried to scare us. It is a sign of how little the Remainers understand or know about Britain, and above all about England, that they thought that would work.

I do sometimes wonder if these odd denatured shiny types, who actively prefer foreign rule to their own, ever visit their own country. Confined to glossy multicultural London neighbourhoods for most of the year, they then hurry abroad.

Most of them are more familiar with Florence or Barcelona than they are with the equal glory of Lincoln Cathedral, whose history, beauties and significance are alike unknown to them.

Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, June 26th

It’s not rich vs poor

Are all people who want to remain part of the EU wealthy Londoners who don’t know the ‘real’ Britain? Peter Hitchens seems to suggest so.

Peter Hitchens attended The Leys School, a co-ed independent school (aka a public school) established in 1875. Its notable alumni include both Peter and Christopher Hitchens, Martin Bell, JG Ballard, Malcolm Lowry, James Hilton, Francis Arthur Bainbridge, Sir Donald Bailey, Sir Andrew Wiles and Jamie Murray. He then studied at Oxford College of Further Education and the University of York. By his own count, he has visited 57 countries. That’s fair enough, it’s how he makes a living.

I, on the other hand, went to a comprehensive school in North Yorkshire, which exists in records as far back as 1361. Richmond School counts Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (yes, that one) and Lewis Carroll among its alumni, along with British Olympians Nicola and Joanne Jackson, who were students there at the same time as I was. I am now studying English Literature and Creative Writing with the OU.

I have only been to six countries outside of England. My most recent trip ‘abroad’ was a few hours in Scotland in 2006. Belgium doesn’t count because we had to go through it to get to Germany and then the Czech Republic. My sole memory of being in Belgium is using the toilet at the border crossing (sorry, Belgium). I’ve been to Spain (while on a holiday in France), but not Barcelona. I know roughly where Florence is, but I haven’t been to Italy. I do, however, have memberships of both English Heritage and National Trust, and regularly visit museums and historic buildings with my family.

He, with his public school education, wealthy background and global travel, advocated voting to leave, even if he doesn’t think it’ll make a difference. I, with my comprehensive school education, working class upbringing and limited travel history, voted to Remain.

Are all Remain voters wealthy Londoners? Of course not. Nor are all Leavers the disenfranchised working poor. People from all backgrounds voted on both sides.

It’s not educated vs uneducated

On July 1st, RT.com posted an article claiming that an academic said Brexit wouldn’t happen. He didn’t. He argued that there is an alternative way to look at the referendum result, which could be used to build a legal argument against Brexit. Unfortunately, RT.com failed to link to what Dr Murkens actually wrote, so the comments on their article is full of Leave voters deriding the opinions of experts and complaining about immigration. My favourite comment is from Jose997:

People from Eu countries thinking about their jobs in UK and asking for a second referendum .We voted out and it must be respected .We never say migration is bad,we welcome migration but it should on a pointed based system like Australia.They should be thankful to us as they do not need any English language test to work in NHS unlike non eu citizens….

I think Jose997 (isn’t Jose a Spanish name?) should be thankful that commenters on the internet don’t have to pass an English language test. And yes, I know it looks like I’m complaining about a perceived lack of education of the commenters, but I’m not, just their disrespect for the English language. I’m also commenting on their lack of logic. They obviously haven’t heard of this:

Everyone on the internet is an expert on everything

It’s not educated vs uneducated, but people who ignore experts, just because they’re told to, need to recognize that there are experts in all fields for a reason. Having an education isn’t a bad thing, so why is anyone with an education suddenly the enemy?

It’s not Britain vs migrants

No, we absolutely did not vote against this policy! We did not vote to kick out people who already live here. We did not vote for the persecution of anyone who is seen to be an ‘immigrant’ whether they are British born or not. In the incredibly unlikely event of me voting to leave the EU, it would not have been to get rid of people who already live here. The official Leave campaign stressed repeatedly that it was about taking back control of Britain, and not just about immigration. But then, Ken Sampson advocates Nigel Farage becoming a peer. I think we all know why he voted the way he did. Sadly, there are certain people in Britain who think the same way. They think that this sort of thing is OK. It isn’t and it never will be.

As it happens, Ken Sampson also tweeted this:

To that, I would like to ask the following: Can we not accept that Britain did not vote Leave; 48.1% voted Remain. That’s a much higher percentage than in Sampson’s comment regarding Scotland. He doesn’t seem to understand why people are annoyed about being told we voted to leave, when by his own reasoning we didn’t.

We’re all in this together

Has it really been six years since David Cameron said that in his first speech as PM? Remember how we laughed? Now, for the first time since he said it, it’s actually true. We are all in this together. Rich or not, educated or not, British born or not, we all have to live with the outcome of the referendum, no matter what that outcome is.

Will we leave the EU? What will happen in the future? Will Britain survive? Will the Pound recover? Will the EU collapse if we leave? Will we still be able to play the Euromillions if we do leave the EU?

We don’t know the answers to these questions yet, and we won’t know for a while, which is why we should be pulling together, not driving ourselves apart. We need to stop this mentality of us vs them and remember that we are all different, but we are all Great Britain. We are so much better than the squabbling mess we have become in the last two weeks.

Rebecca

Oh, and it turns out our next PM will be female. I knew Gove would never get the numbers he needed. That’s what you get for trying to steal votes from your fellow candidates. Oh, you actually lost votes after that little stunt you knew nothing about, Mr Gove? That’s a shame.

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