It’s hard to know what to feel about today, but there’s a lot of emotion there, just below the surface; disbelief, anger, fear, disappointment, betrayal, gut wrenching sadness. It’s prickling behind my eyes, rising in my throat. I haven’t been able to watch the clips of the MEPs singing Auld Lang Syne in the Parliament, or listen to Molly Scott Cato’s final speech. Just scrolling past them on my twitter feed has me blinking furiously.
And that’s another emotion that’s there. Fury. Sheer blind fury that specious, self-serving men have dragged us out of the European Union against the will of a significant majority of the people of Scotland. And much as I feel for all my friends and colleagues in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and fuck knows I do, there is a special fury and indignation reserved for Scotland and the lies we were told six years ago. The fake Vows and false promises that swore the only way Scotland could guarantee its place in the European Union was to vote no and remain part of the UK. Well look where that got us. But to make this just about Scotland depreciates the enormity of what is happening today. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU diminishes us all; every one of us, every country in the UK, every country in Europe will be lesser tomorrow than we are today.
By triggering the Brexit referendum four years ago, Cameron truly opened Pandora’s box, releasing all the evils of xenophobia, racism, bigotry and isolationism. They were all there already of course, make no mistake. Many people have faced, and continue to face, these evils every day of their lives, but there’s no doubt that Brexit has given the racists, the bigots and the xenophobes a legitimacy that surely even they could scarcely have dreamed of.
And like Pandora, all that’s left to us now is hope; hope that another generation can fix this mess we’ve made, hope that another referendum can bring us back together, hope that Europe will not turn its back on us and will keep that light burning.
“Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.”