On Friday I expect the United Kingdom to learn that nothing has changed. We will still be members of the European Union.(EDIT: How wrong I was) The sky will still be there, the sun will still shine, our buses will still turn up late, and Southern Railways will still be running a dreadful service.
Over the past four months our television screens and Facebook feeds have been full of the latest ‘news’ from the debate for the 23rd June EU referendum. And it hasn’t been ‘healthy’ as we all hope such debates will be. Neither has it been ‘news’- for little has changed. Figures and opinions have been sought. These have, for the most part, not been to gain a fresh understanding but merely to underline an entrenched point. These have often been shared without investigation or thought. Such is the price we have to pay for evangelising our conditioning to a wider society.
The vitriol and the delineations- often born of emotional servitude to the conditioning of cultural attitudes- have soured what should have been an honest debate about the future governance of not just this country but beyond. The four-month campaign has done nothing but entrench lingering attitudes about groups within humanity- and that includes Britons. Unfairly people have been tarnished with labels they haven’t courted. If you vote ‘out’ you are a racist, if you vote ‘in’ you are a traitor. In reality, for most, none of these are true. This is what people do when they are unable to make a point through reasoning and depart from their own sensitivities. This is what people do when they refuse to challenge their own mindset. At times we all do it.
I hope this hasn’t set, or perhaps encouraged further, a trend within society. I am fearful of a Europe, nay a world, that is continually poisoned by dangerous and tribal rhetoric, which influences the most vulnerable of minds. I am also mindful of how multi-culturalism can in reality be a time bomb of plural mono-culturalism that has been contained, festering, and in some places has began to blow. I have negated to use the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ here. It is a containing political term that merely fuels the labelling of beliefs and attitudes that should really be more fluid.
The majority of international society wants the same thing. To be free of war, to feed their families, to look after their loved ones, to work and have the resources to enable choice. A simplistic view, perhaps, but an honest and real one. They have different ideas of how to achieve it though. But sometimes I despair of the cultural conditioning and the desire to instil the skewed lesson of history, as taught from a tribal point of view, upon the next generations. The world is becoming a more dangerous place. We are better not putting up walls, unless, of course, we care little for the lot of others.
This period of time was an opportunity to look at the structures and institutions of our wider society, beyond these shores, and ask how we make the playing field level. Or, indeed, how we have no playing field at all. Instead it has sown discord, division and isolation. We had an opportunity to embark on some soul searching and deep questioning of how we view the world. Instead our leaders reinforced our fears and prejudices. And like fools many of us have played along.