I’m tired. You’re tired. We’re all tired. Sick and tired of the three years and counting of Brexit. Fed up. Almost screaming to escape from backstops, blame games, borders (hard or otherwise), Boris, and Brussels.
I know from talking to people in my home town of Malvern that pretty much every one agrees we don’t want to play the Brexit game any more. We didn’t ask for this, however we voted in 2016. Please, miss, can we go home now?
The problem is, even though we’d so like to wake up and find the whole mess has slunk off like a masked burglar into the night, it just won’t go away. Every night, like you, I go to bed with the latest ten o’clock news headlines ringing in our ears – “PM bested by SpiderLady Hale”; “two Irish borders better than none, says Boris”; “hedge fund managers back Boris to break Britain”; “diabetics hoard insulin as fears grow of a no-deal Brexit”; and on. And on. Every morning I wake and find that Brexit wasn’t just a nightmare, and yes, we really are hurtling towards a rapidly-deteriorating unknown.
It’s difficult to keep going, isn’t it? The Mental Health Foundation has published lengthy advice on how to cope with Brexit anxiety – whichever way you voted. Amongst other useful tips, they urge us to “stay informed, but be aware of your limits” to coping with information and news. At the end of their useful article they’ve thoughtfully attached a hyperlink to The Samaritans.
Which pretty much says it all. We’re all Alices, hurtling down the Brexit rabbit hole and dreading landing: where?
OK, so it’s tough right now. Why not just hide under the duvet, with a comforter of choice (chocolates; box sets of The Expanse; Teddy; Nanny if you’re J R-M – hello, Jacob, and thanks for reading my blog)?
This is why.
I have parental permission to share these pictures of two wonderful young people who came to talk to me today at our street stall. They aren’t local, had come on a weekend break. But they rushed over with their admirable parents to talk to us just as we were packing our stall away. They thanked us for our efforts, and shared their own forthright views on Brexit. Two more prescient and level-headed youngsters would be hard to find. And boy did they enjoy our stickers!
I don’t expect I have many Leave-minded readers of this blog. But to those, and indeed to all of you, I have one message. This is what gets me and my fellow activists out of bed, gets me down into Great Malvern on a Saturday morning, week after month after year, and keeps me pounding away in my blogposts. It’s hardly an original thought, but it does matter.
Here it is: it’s our children and grand-children whose future we are all responsible for. They will have to live with the choices we make. Should our nation continue to be part of a strong close alliance of 500 million Europeans, geographically linked and sharing a common heritage? Or should we listen to the siren call of the morally dubious and the downright self-serving? Turn our backs on our neighbours, break up our union, and drift off alone to seek a very doubtful fortune elsewhere?
Our children will need to survive and prosper in a world full of existential threat, where old alliances can be smashed by a Trump, and global order trampled underfoot by a Xi Jinping. We need to think beyond the Boris-beckoning, jump down off the cosy Corbyn wall, and do what is right for those who will come after us.
For these little boys, for my own little grandson, for all the children of the UK.
When not pounding the streets with Malvern4Europe, JS Rogers is editing her SF novella “Entangled”, and writing her first historical thriller “Governor’s Man: the Bronze Owl”.