This blog has nothing to do with the shop directly, but I need to spew out some thoughts and feelings about the utter shitstorm we have found ourselves in and then maybe I might feel a tiny bit better about things.
I am not a support worker, I am not a counsellor, I am not a doctor or a teacher. I own a shop. So why, in the last 3 days on 2 separate occasions, have I had two young women with mild learning difficulties crying on my shoulder?
I will tell you exactly why these women were crying – because on Friday we all awoke to a climate which has given a green light to racists, making them think that they are now free to say whatever they want to anyone. These women were crying because someone had said ‘Go home Paki’ to them. For one of the girls it was the first time in her life that she had ever experienced this. She told me that she is now scared to leave her house.
Of course I know that not everyone who voted Leave is a racist, but this won’t matter to the far right, who now think they have over 17 million kindred spirits. They are now feeling empowered. And somehow we have reached a point whereby when someone brings up the subject of racism/xenophobia within the Leave campaign, they are shot down with gurning cries of ‘Sore loser! Lefty Liberals! Get over it and move on!’ (more on this matter further down). Again, if anyone tries to point out that all the major university cities (London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Manchester etc) had a Remain majority, and that people with degree level education voted mainly Remain, they are accused of classism and snobbery – after all, ‘people are sick of experts’ aren’t they Gove?
It is hard to be heard in a sea of crappy, hastily cobbled together memes. It is frustrating when you know that the majority of the 17 million have had their views moulded, and thus ultimately legitimised by the newspaper that they have read all their life. The majority of these people are under the spell of a man who offers them lies and tells them what to think. This man has the power to tell his people to vote Blair…so they vote Blair. And when he decides that Cameron is his new bitch, he tells his subjects to vote Cameron…and they do. I can’t even write his name because I despise him so much but we all know who I mean. But people chose to read and act upon his inflammatory headlines and ignore those pesky scaremongering experts. As patronising as I know it sounds, I truly feel for these people as we all know that they will be the ones who will feel the reverberations from this the strongest. And it won’t be pretty. ‘Turkeys voting for Christmas’, ‘Lambs to the slaughter’ – however you want to put it, these people, on the whole, have been blinded and tricked by a whole world of lies.
So now what? There are so many aspects of this sorry mess which have, over the last 3 days, fuelled our shock, our grief, and now our anger. The lightening-quick rise of open right wing attitudes is just one factor of many. And what do we do next? Continue to repost the aforementioned memes on social media and cry when we watch the news? This is why I feel so angry when people (both Remain and Leave supporters) tell people to just move on and get on with things as normal. Although I do understand why they say this, how on earth is it possible? How can any of us just carry on in the same way that we were doing this time last week?
I really could go on and on. My mind is clouded with this. There are just too many factors that scare the fuck out of me, and many more besides that I don’t even fully understand. All I do know is that I am not the sort of person who will just lie down and accept things when my gut tells me that it is wrong. And things feel very wrong right now. To paraphrase the great Mr Leahy: “Great Britain, you just opened up Pandora’s shit-box”.