What does it mean to be British?

Prepare for a rant.

I have never used this blog to make political statements. Most of the time I would describe my political leanings as apathetic at best. But yesterday I voted for tolerance and togetherness in the EU Referendum, and this morning I woke up to the news that we are turning our backs on 40 years of unity and heading for catastrophe.

This morning I feel ashamed to be British. We have voted for Brexit and with it a period of recession and a bleak future. The pound has plummeted overnight and the Right of the political spectrum are claiming victory.

I went to bed at midnight, knowing that the first couple of results were leaning towards Britain leaving the EU. We kept the TV on while we slept, so my restless dreams were permeated with bad news and a feeling of dread. The hubster confirmed my worst fears at 6am and I cried. Actually, I wailed as if grieving. My 10 year old cried too and hid himself in the toilet (probably because mummy was crying, but he has been debating the issues at school as well).

I briefly stopped crying to attend my seven year old’s assembly – oh how ironic to hear them sing ‘Go Your Own Way’ by Fleetwood Mac!

My relatives came to the UK in the early 20th century. If it weren’t for the tolerance and open-mindedness of that government, I wouldn’t be here. In fact it’s quite possible that I wouldn’t be alive given the situation my great grandparents escaped from. Yes, some people have voted for Brexit for economic reasons, but much of middle England wants out because they’re afraid of “all those people coming over here and taking our benefits and jumping the housing queue.”

What happened to welcoming people to come here to work and build lives in a prosperous, liberal nation?

Well done Britain. We can now look forward to years of uncertainty, division and contraction. The walls are closing in. The whole of Europe is moving to the right. I am genuinely scared for our future.

We are living on a rudderless (and now captain-less) ship that is floating away from its friends.

I’m sorry that I don’t know who to attribute this to, my mum emailed it to me. This is what it means to be British:

“Being British is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer, and then going home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American or Australian shows on a Japanese or Korean TV, which will soon be powered by a Chinese nuclear power station. And the most British thing of all? Suspicion of anything foreign.”

Normal service will be resumed next week, once I’ve calmed down.