“The terrible irony is that the vast majority of the people who voted to leave are the ones who will be most adversely affected. The most extreme example of turkeys voting for Christmas I can recall.”
This morning I was awoken gently by Mrs Proclaims who broke the news to me of Britain’s collective decision to leave the EU.
It took a few moments to sink in.
We voted for Brexit!
In my wildest dreams I did not see that result coming.
Partly because my wildest dreams are not about boring things like referendums, but mostly because it’s actually a crazy decision for the British public to have made.
I listened to the debates and there were very few sensible and sound reasons portrayed in the popular media that would have suggested either the ‘Leave’ campaign or indeed the ‘Remain’ campaign had got it right.
And I fully admit therefore, that it was quite hard to get behind the ‘Remain’ campaign with any passion or fervour . I acknowledge that those who wanted Brexit were more emphatically behind their particular cause.
But it ultimately boiled down to a vote between immediate economic uncertainty and sticking with the status quo. I just assumed that a vocal minority would vote ‘Leave’ and a dispassionate, but pragmatic, majority would vote ‘Remain’.
Clearly I was wrong.
And now we’re out.
I’ll confess to being disappointed. I wanted to remain in the EU for numerous reasons that are fairly selfish, but I never really bought into the doom and gloom that the ‘Remain’ campaign portrayed as the inevitable result of Brexit.
I have a good job, I’m reasonably well-educated and I contribute to society in a sector that is in no way dependent on trade with Europe. From an entirely narcissistic point of view, I was always going to be fine, regardless of the result.
I think today that Britain is a sadder and smaller place and I’m less enthused to be a part of it but I’ll get over that too.
Probably during the Olympics or something similar.
But I still can’t get over the fact that the British people were asked to vote on an issue that they never really understood.
This wasn’t a vote about immigration, or sovereignty.
It was about economics.
The quote I opened this with is taken from an email a disgruntled colleague sent out this morning. It struck a chord with me far more than anything any politician has said over the last few months.
So as David Cameron disappears into the night and Boris Johnson prepares for his inevitable ‘coronation’, I just wish that what really should only ever have been a leadership battle within the Conservative party had not just resulted in something that could have a genuinely negative impact on a large number of people.
But as most of those people voted for it, they really only have themselves to blame if it all goes horribly wrong.