Bregrets, I’ve Had A Few

James Proclaims (4)


Despite recent evidence to the contrary, this blog is not meant to be about political commentary. It’s meant to be a whimsical collection of bad poetry, rants about soup and toilet-based anecdotes.

But the fallout of Brexit continues to dominate the news and as a citizen of the soon-to-be-former EU member state, I feel I should comment on it.

Just under a week ago the UK population was asked to vote in a referendum on a subject that most people didn’t understand. It seemed, to me at least, to be a choice between carrying on as things currently are, or changing things for no good reason.

Surprisingly a small majority of people voted for change.

Some people voted for change because they actually understood the issues and thought meaningful change was worth the risk. I’m fundamentally ok with how these people voted, even though I voted the other way.

Some people voted for change as a protest vote against the ruling elite. They didn’t really expect to win and are now experiencing something the popular press is describing as ‘Bregret’. If they could have their time again, they would probably vote ‘Remain’.

Clearly these people need a better understanding of how democracy works.

There is unlikely to be a second referendum so ‘Bregret’ or not, they’ll have to learn to live with their choices.

There were a lot of people who voted to leave the EU based entirely on their fear of mass immigration. Bit weird that one, given that the ‘freedom of movement’ which is the basis for these fears will not be solved by Britain leaving the EU. We’d have to leave the Single Market for that to happen, and that isn’t necessarily something that ‘Leave’ politicians want to pursue.

Is it fair to call such people racist? That may be harsh. Although obviously some of them are.

It’s always the difficulty people have when it comes to debating immigration. How are you supposed to talk about it without coming across as a bit racist?

My suggestion would be to use actual facts and not use erroneous perceptions designed to provoke fear and hatred.

Which shouldn’t really be that hard, but it’s not a vote winning strategy either.

I was watching TV earlier. I do that a lot. I caught a report on a regional news show. Weirdly it was a regional news show for a region I don’t actually live in – I think my cable TV box is set up slightly wrong. It matters not, most regional news shows are awful and this was no exception.

The report I was watching was focussing on some ‘Leave’ voters who were not experiencing any ‘Bregret’ at all. They were genuinely happy about their decision.

They were also quite old, which seems to reflect the demographic of the people who mostly voted to ‘Leave’. Younger people, on the whole, wanted to remain, but will now have to live with the consequences of a decision taken by Baby Boomers. Plus ça change (if you’ll forgive my use of French, which if you are an afore-mentioned Baby Boomer you probably won’t…).

One such jovial Brexiteer was, though happy with the result, less happy with the overall portrayal of Brexiteers in the popular press.

“People call us racist,” he moaned, “but I’m Scottish and have a Chinese wife. How can I be racist?”

Ignoring the fact that he did not sound at all Scottish (which he didn’t) I was quite impressed with his definition of what makes someone ‘not racist’.

I’m neither Scottish nor do I have a Chinese wife so my own credentials in this area are rather sketchy. Certainly I was annoyed this evening by a gentleman, clearly not of these shores, who was being a bit of an idiot in front of me in the check-out queue at Waitrose. At the time I thought my annoyance was due to his dawdling behaviour delaying my own transaction, but now I realise it was racial intolerance, pure and simple.

I think one of the problems the ‘Remain’ campaign had was the name. ‘Leave’ is just a more emotive word than ‘Remain’. Plus the ‘Leave’ campaigners had the fairly ‘cool’ moniker of ‘Brexiteers’. Being a Brexiteer sounds like a club anyone would want to join.

Rather than ‘Remain’, pro-EU campaigners should’ve gone with ‘Status Quo’. After all, maintaining the status quo was what they wanted, plus they would have had a soundtrack that everyone could get on board with.

Is it ironic then, that since the UK voted to Brexit, the value of sterling has indeed been ‘Rocking All Over The World’?

This whole situation is, of course, David Cameron’s fault for agreeing to hold a referendum in the first place. And to be fair he looks like a man having a bad week, and the Conservative Party is in genuine disarray.

Spectacularly, though, the shambles that is the  Labour Party is making the Conservative Party look pretty stable in comparison.

I’m certain things will settle down soon enough and UK political parties will get back to being homogenously corrupt and uninspiring. At the moment though, terrifying though the longer term results of all this chaos and uncertainty may be, it is at least making for good telly.

Which is just as well for the English in particular, because  the performance on Monday night of the national football team was not great telly. For them obviously. As a Welsh fan, it did make really good watching. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the English football team, I’ve even been known to support them in previous tournaments due to my own team’s inability to qualify.

But with the security of knowing that Wales are in the quarter finals, it was hard to begrudge plucky Iceland’s win over a supposedly superior English team.

The English can take some heart in knowing that Iceland is, at least, not an EU member either.

English football is now in as much disarray as the main UK political parties. Unlike Jeremy Corbyn, the England manager, Roy Hodgson, realised his position was untenable and resigned immediately.

The sensible part of me realises that in order for the government to have an effective opposition, Corbyn must also resign. But you’ve got to admire the man’s pluck to hang on in the face of such overwhelming hostility from his own party.

If the English football team had shown half the pluck…

Maybe Corbyn should be the next England manager…



  14 comments for “Bregrets, I’ve Had A Few

  1. June 29, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Hi James stick with Wales so far so good as for politics when will Corbyn realise the game is up? As for Brexit it is wait & see time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. June 30, 2016 at 4:43 am

    SO excited about how well Wales is doing, though! Quite a Gareth Bale lover myself 😀 Brexit, I thought was TRULY unlikely to happen. The facebook/twitter posts doing the rounds documenting Post Referendum racism are nothing short of terrifying. Hope the dust settles, and SOON!

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 30, 2016 at 8:08 am

      Good luck Wales this brexit thing is going on a bit

      Liked by 1 person

    • June 30, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      I’m literally using football as escapism at the moment because the UK is a tiny bit terrifying. My heart says Wales will win tomorrow night but Belgium do look quite good. So I might have to deal with reality on Saturday…


      • July 1, 2016 at 4:58 am

        Yeah, Belgium do look VERY strong, but who knows? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 2, 2016 at 11:41 am

        That was something, no?! 😀 An Englishman, Scotsman and Irishman walk into a bar. To watch Wales play in the semifinal!

        Liked by 1 person

      • July 2, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        It was amazing!


  3. June 30, 2016 at 9:14 am

    I think “Stay” would be a better option than “Remain”. “Stay” has a nice, simple, conservative sound to it, “Remain” somehow tastes of elitism. And, “Stay” has much less letters and syllables – would’ve saved them a lot of printing costs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 30, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Yep ‘Stay’ would’ve been the more thrifty option…


  4. June 30, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    You summed it up pretty well. As an expat from “70% leave” Romford I am feeling the guilt, even though I think I would have been a remainer.
    But doesn’t Cameron have a bit of a cheek telling Corbyn to go? Shouldn’t he invoke Article 50 now and resign immediately himself since the referendum was his crazy idea in the first place?

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 30, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      I think we can all agree that Cameron serves no useful purpose anymore. I think I might like to be an expat at the moment…


      • July 4, 2016 at 12:35 pm

        Let’s see what happens – who would believe it now looks like Bill Shorten will knock Malcolm Turnbull off his perch here in OZ? Corbyn a stayer though, seems like he is the only person who hasn’t resigned!


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