Recently I have been asked the question ‘what does the UK want?’ I think the bigger question is what do we hope to achieve by leaving the EU. I personally usually freeze up when confronted by this question for two reasons really. Firstly the question is usually attached to a sarcastic tone and a disparaging attitude which all leave voters have heard at one time or another. Secondly it is usually after I have been bombarded by various shouting voices of the people on Facebook where the lone voice and thoughts can get lost. However when I sit on my own and I think about things I find the core reason that made me vote the way I did. So the following answer only applies to me and probably won’t cover everything because the subject is massive.
I believe that a country’s power, the direction it travels, and how it evolves is largely dictated by it laws. It cannot truly be called its own if it does not have total control of the laws that it makes. Now it is impossible to say precisely what percentage of the laws that have been made over the past 46+ years directly come from the EU or has been influenced by the EU. However I believe as the years have gone on the percentage has increased as our politicians cease to think for themselves and just go with the flow of the EU. I am not saying that all the laws have been bad, but I am saying that they have had an influence on our societies evolution that has not necessarily been positive or healthy.
All the time I see an evidence a lack of personal responsibility, a lack of common sense, a lack of respect for ourselves, for each other, for the country we live in and the society we are part of. An inability to stand up for ourselves or the ability to judge when something should just be ignored or dealt with. We prefer to blame others for our situation rather than take any responsibility ourselves. I believe some of our laws are partly to blame for that and the way we are interpreting them. Sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination and the GDPR are meant to stop these things from happening but they are not working. We still have these things and worse, because we are relying on the law we seem to be losing our ability to stand up for ourselves. If someone whistles at me in the street I would just ignore them, not scream sexual harassment. If a boss felt me up at work he would probably get a slap round the chops – yes I would lose my job probably but he probably would think twice about doing it again. And no violence is not the answer but I would probably would be reacting instinctively, sorry. I look both ways when I cross a road and I apologise when I bump into someone in the street etc. These things are not difficult to work out so why do I tense up when a parent with a pram is trying to cross the road? Probably because I have had them jump out in front of me while I am driving along. Also the state benefit system should not be responsible for your lack of family planning.
Some would say that I am blaming the EU for all of our problems, I am not. I believe it is an influencing factor but we are all responsible for letting it go on as long as it has. Personally I cannot be held responsible for joining the EU in the first place as I was only 1 years old at the time. However when I got the opportunity to do something about it I stood up and I voted, and over the past year with all the shenanigans that have gone on I have reviewed long and hard about whether it was the right thing. However I keep coming back to the same thing – we cannot keep going the way we are.
We like many other countries have a number of problems within our society which have emerged over the years and steadily got worse. Poverty, homelessness, drugs, knife crime are to name just a selection, but I don’t see these problems going away, just becoming so deeply embedded they feel insurmountable. Some of these problems are caused by more individual issues as well as societal, such as homelessness. On an individual level there maybe breakdown in the family whether parental or marital which resulted in this situation or on a societal level it maybe drugs, alcohol or the inability to earn enough money to afford a home. The solutions to these very different causes are very equally varied, but due to lack of resources whether human or financial we are unable or unwilling to take the time and really find better ways of solving them.
I hear people saying that by leaving the EU we are isolating ourselves. On a trade level I do not believe that is true and I don’t believe that is our intent at all. However when it comes to our society, our communities and individuals maybe we do need to isolate ourselves to an extent, so we can get away from the clamour of the rest of the world to really hear the voice of our people and our thoughts about what we don’t like about the country we live in and how we want to change it. Maybe a place to start is we need to change our political system and the politicians in it, so it represents the people of the country, we get rid of the career politician and that politicians learn to listen to their constituents again. Maybe as individuals, communities and a society we need to constructively tell our representatives what we want them to do to make our society and country a better place to live in, a happier place.
By leaving the EU I believe we may feel we can get better invested in our country and really have an impact on the direction we are going, because our representatives have only us to listen to and they are part of our society. As well as dealing with the social issues we can deal with bigger things such as the environment. Let’s have independent, fresh ideas about these things. Let’s lead the way in doing something different and hopefully something better than what has gone before. Let’s stop relying on someone else telling us what to do and learn to think for ourselves again, walk our own path, be bold, be adventurous. We use to be really good at it, let us be that way again. A personal message to my friend – you are not exactly living in la la land at the moment. Paris has just had its 21st weekend of demonstrations, the Dutch have just elected a right wing party and far right groups seem to be on the rise throughout Europe, indicating a massive sense of dissatisfaction within European society as a whole. So whereas we are not perfect, the current state of play within Europe is not perfect either and we may not be the only ones experiencing problems trying to change things from within.