The Word Rabbit

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This article was written on 08 Jan 2016, and is filled under Uncategorised.

I want to get out of this place

I’ve just had an argument with a family member on the premise that I think this isn’t my country. To avoid future, intra-familial rucks, my comment when asked about politics or what I think about X, Y or Z will be a bland ‘no comment,’ but it occurs to me that I need to rehearse the arguments here because thinking in print is always a good exercise that promotes coherence.

At the General Election last year, about 25% of people voted Tory. That’s only a quarter of the population, so the nation clearly isn’t irredeemably buggered, but there appears to be no appetite for revising a way of voting that gives people a disproportionate amount of power with such a negligible share of power. Around four million people voted UKIP and, much as I abhor them, they clearly deserve more than one MP.

So. Around 25% voted Tory, four million voted UKIP and most of the rest are too witless to give two shits about change. All fine, of course, but not really a place that I’d like to be in. It supports my growing awareness that most of the people in this country are, bless their hearts, very, very stupid. They sit back and watch as people die after work capability assessments, wonder why life is hard and do nothing to change it.

‘Ah,’ you say, ‘but what about Labour?’ Well, what about them? They had to tack so far right to get elected that they’re essentially Tories and started two wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, whose consequences we’ll be wading through for generations to come. But the idiots voted for them, and the idiots have to get what they wanted, and that, in this case, is Tony Blair steadily getting more and more palpably insane while a chorus line comprising all the horsemen of the Apoclaypse danced the can-can in the background.

The build-up to the EU referendum is only making this look more stark. This morning I spent the time arguing with people only just born in the year 2000 who are militant Thatcherites desiring ‘brexit’ with the deranged certainty of the very young. They hate the ‘other,’ which the media tells them to do, and believe the lies they’re fed about a return to an Edenic past.

Others get terribly angry if anyone says anything positive at all about the EU, even if the comment is as mild as needing to stay in to help reform it. Such is the volume of this on social media that it’s almost impossible not to suspect that the referendum will see this country finally and totally losing its mind, sealing the borders and breeding with its sister.

Again, all well and good. If you’re a right wing incest freak who doesn’t like the thought of the nasty foreigns walking down England’s shady byways, then you’re in the right place. This is your land and it marches to the beat of your insane drum. If, however, you find the changes that have happened since 1979 to be for the worse, you think this country is a mean and hateful place, then you’re in something of a bind.

Do you stay, and persevere in the face of a witless herd with a few, stout companions who want a better world, or do you look at the endless barracking that the media are giving Jeremy Corbyn and think that the moneyed and the selfish and the witless fellow travellers have already won? You won’t be surprised, gentle reader, to hear that I cleave to the latter view. This society is buggered, and the next few years are only going to get worse.

Following on from this recognition was another. I’m not voting in the referendum because this isn’t my country anymore. I believe in a set of pre-1979 values that nobody else does, and to vote in a place that I no longer identify with smacks of unfairness. Everyone else is free to vote how they want to, but I want no part of the decision. I may have been born here, I may live here but I no longer call it home.

There remains the final question of what to do next. My partner is solidly wedded to the idea of staying in England so I have to be too, at least for the next few years, but there’s a kicker. We both want to have children and I don’t want my children growing up in this culture or under the regime of testing that is yet another function of life in this country. I’ve just received my passport, valid for ten years, and I make this promise. It’ll be the last UK passport I hold. In under ten years, and although I have no idea how, I’ll be gone from here.

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