When you look at the history of Britain pretty quickly you realise that Britain is one of the most European countries with in the European continent. Let me explain:
A long time ago before there was England there were only tribes gradually over time these tribes formed alliances and lands by agreement and mini wars. Eventually these tribes formed kingdoms England, Wales and Scotland.
Before that was successful, we were invaded by Italians in the form of Romans, many of whom were not in fact Italian but French (Gauls) Spanish, North African etc.
We have also been invaded by Scandinavians in the form of Vikings. Who left their mark in our gene pool and within celtic art and culture.
Also we have been visited by Germans in the form of Angles and Saxons. To be called Anglo Saxon is to be thought very English.
In 1066 were were invaded again by the French in the form of Normans who would rule us and their language was incorporated into our court and law documents of the time.
Our Royal family has been Viking, Norman, Welsh, (yes welsh that most English of royal Dynasties The Tudors – Welsh) Scottish, Dutch, German and married Spanish Portuguese, French and German and Greek spouses. (Yes the Duke of Edinburgh – Greek) There have been Royal cousins in Tsar Russia, Kaiser Germany, and the Doomed French Royal families through marriage.
British DNA is a Mongrel mix made up of a variety of different nations. This mix of DNA would later be enriched through the British Empire with Asian, African, Caribbean and Irish territories under the the pink on the map.
Our Language is made up of words left by many of these visitors, from place names, surnames to very day words, from animals to colours and everything in between.
I myself come from migrant Irish mother and a first generation Anglo Irish father. I had a Spanish step Grandmother on my fathers side.
But one of the most alarming things to come from the last few days is that people were not even aware why they were voting – this was not a vote to stop European migration, this was not a vote about bendy bananas (which by the way was actually abolished you can have bendy Bananas and cumbers now) this was about Brussels lead policy.
The media coverage was sensational, polarised and leading headlines with popular personalities both political or non, trading dirty by manipulating on peoples fears. Neither side had viable arguments of plans set out for post referendum regardless of the outcome. I wonder how many people were struggling for a decision moments before they marked X on the ballot paper? I say this because I hope that the country I live has not got a population closet racists or xenophobic minded people, sure they existed within the voting electrate the UKIP and BNP followers and they are sadly growing but I hope this is not the case.
Should this surprise me Yes does it surprise me sadly No. We live in a nation that more people vote for TV shows than local and general elections. We have political parties that have become more harmonised in similar politics that it is hard to tell a liberal Labour MP from a liberal Tory MP. We have had weak and poor leadership from both sides and a good reflection of how politics has gone down hill can be seen during PMQ on Wednesdays when ministers and MPs get personal and snide rather than talk politics and issues.
This last few weeks have also broken our domestic politics with rifts within political parties (in other jobs this would be seen as highly unprofessional) we have seen the murder of an MP who was doing her job and was a daughter sister wife and mother as well as an MP trying to help the people within her constituency.
Issues effecting the working people of Britain and the less fortunate people in society have been marginalised disregarded as laziness and scroungers and punished rather than helped over the last 2 parliaments.
Trust me as some who has had to use the system the job centre and staff they hold no prisoners. Regulations on what you can and can not have access too are tested and then you are interviewed again to check that you were not lying; scrounging is not an option if that is what you wanted to do. Not to mention £70 odd per week when you have food and bills is not enough.
Treating down trodden people like that means they feel angry and look for blame and its easy to blame others who a different for their situations. Over the last decade people wanting a political voice from these margins have formed their own angry voices and wrongly blamed the Other be it Migrants or Brussels, because wealthy white men (mostly but not exclusively) who don’t know how much basics to keep a family cost are in power and making decisions that make the poor poorer and the rich richer.
Now I am not saying Europe and Brussels is perfect. But this is the thing, Democracy in nature means that you can negotiate, compromise and find agreement. By leaving the table before negotiations start was a wrong decision and in my humble opinion should not have been put to the vote like a talent act on ITV. In a world full of terror and surely we should be looking after each especially after Paris and Brussels.
Democracy is also about having freedom of speech and an opinion. I am not saying this should stop far from it but MPs and the media have a responsibility to deliver the facts on issues like this rather than manipulate fears. Opinions on Brexit as a policy and if it is right or wrong for the UK and what the consequences of things would be for people lives, jobs would have been better so that they could make an informed decision rather than a simple in Europe or out of Europe.
This reflection of Nationalistic politics that we have seen here this week is sadly is not exclusive to Britain, look to France and Germany they too have similar issues as well as parts of Baltic European nations. It feels like we are on the cusp of something everyone suspicious of each other tarring all groups or stereotypes with the same suspicion rather than establish that extremist minorities of political groups or “faiths” are the problem. We are in fact playing straight into their hands dividing ourselves and breaking all thats good within western culture and life.
So for me who has for years said time and time again I do not feel English or British but European, yesterday was a sad day, personally, politically and nationally. The next few days, weeks and months will be be scary. Personally, I am coming to an end of an employment contract and need my next work role, I am reliant on the NHS for treatment for a chronic illness, I am a frequent traveller, A single woman, all these parts of my life have been threaten due to this referendum outcome. But regardless of what anyone thinks I am European first and always will be.