Sunday, 26 June 2016

Not European

So, the UK voted to leave Europe.  I feel like a toddler wanting to shout "not fair".  I am 47 years old.  We joined Europe while I actually was a toddler. I've been European all my life and someone I can't shout at has taken that away from me.  I've been robbed, I've been bereaved.  If you told me I could no longer be British, the feelings would be as strong.  I am European, how can people I don't even know make me give that up?

I'm scared. So scared.  By so many things.

I'm scared of my neighbours.  I fear the UK breaking down into a place where racism is out in the open, accepted, tolerated.  I fear for my neighbours as well as being afraid of them, for not everyone around here has Englishness in their blood for ten generations.  Where would it end.

I'm scared because I've contributed to a pension scheme for 27 years now, and it loses money every year.  It went down 5% last year and now, well, thousands more have gone from it. I have just 20 years of a working life to try to build myself into a retirement where I don't have to rely on a state pension which I fully believe will not be adequate to keep a roof over my head.  Because this is my home, this house, and I want to see out my days here, but I could not afford the running costs on a state pension. I guess I'd have to take in lodgers in my 70s.

I'm scared of losing my job.  My much loved team is International.  I don't know how it's going to work, in terms of having foreign workers, I don't know how the budgets are going to cope.  I presume we're funded in sterling and spending in Euros and that's frightening.  How long will I have a job?

I'm scared about the mortgage rate and what could happen to my repayments in a world where employment has suddenly become uncertain.

I'm scared and angry about what we've done to the younger generation.  The day before voting I looked down over our local playing field and saw the kids.  I don't have kids, but I knew I wanted a future for those having a kickabout where they had opportunity.  The chance to work in a wider world, to embrace the global culture which I think is the future, the best place to be everything you want to be.

I worry for my friends who live European lives.  So many living in Europe, so many in loving relationships with people who were, until Friday our fellow Europeans.  What is going to happen to their right to work in Europe, to love in Europe, to bring up their dual nationality children wherever they want to bring them up.  I worry for my European friends living here, contributing, being a part of this amazing, eclectic country which is richer for diversity.

Will the French hate me?  Will I get abuse when I travel overseas.

Our youth may not be able to do what I had the privilege of doing, to take off in a campervan, drive around Europe with an unknown itinerary and an unknown duration, to freely move through Europe.

I hate this, and to tell me to "suck it up", to roll up my sleeves and get on with it.  Well, it's too soon for that. It'll be too soon until we can be offered some certainties over how our future is going to look.

I am one of the sixteen million my local MP seems to be pretending don't exist.  He is delighted that 17000 people in his constituency wanted to leave.  What about the 16,300 who wanted to stay?

I'm terrified.  And yet, usually, I deal well with change.

No comments:

Post a Comment