Only Leave Can Hurt Like This

---------------------------------------------------[Mon Jul 04 09:15:22 2016]--
From: (S) ease of well-being  (steph)

Subject: Only Leave Can Hurt Like This

I'm not prone to strong emotions, particularly not in politics.  I've
seen my side win and lose by landslides, and greeted the result by and
large with equanimity.  So it took me a little while to work out what
was going on over my Cornflakes last Friday.  I'd keep finding myself
slightly on the brink of tears without being entirely sure why.  After
a lot of hunting around for similarities I managed to identify the
emotion as grief, which is very strange.

I've never felt strongly attached to the European project.  The main
reason I voted Remain was the single market, which as Margaret
Thatcher saw when she helped create it, brought prosperity,
opportunity, and stability to all its participants.  It was a vote
with my head, and my heart didn't particularly care.

There was another reason why I voted Remain.  As people have come from
elsewhere in the EU to live and work here, our communities have
changed and I find I like the people we British have largely become as
a result: open, tolerant, curious, understanding.  I don't just like
having Slovakian neighbours; I like the person I am for having
Slovakian neighbours.

So what was this grief?  I think it's about identity.  Without even
knowing it, just by taking it for granted, I've absorbed an identity
as an EU citizen and now 52% of the population wants to take that away
from me.  52% of the population seems not want us to be the people I
like us being.  That, it turns out, hurts.

It could be worse.  A colleague at work now finds she looks at people.
There are four other people waiting to cross the road: which two think
she shouldn't be here or should have somehow to prove her worth with
immigration points?  After building a life here for twenty years she
feels it's been thrown in her face.  That hurts.

Worse, those same feelings would be there whatever the result was.
Not only was it hurtful that Leave won the referendum, but it was
hurtful to hold the referendum at all.  For that I can only blame my
party leader, David Cameron.  And that hurts too.