The (dis)United Kingdom 
We were never unconditional friends of the European Union, but now our country has decided to engage in collective self-harm. The majority has decided to quit the EU with no idea of the consequences. Having taken the view that Europe has nothing to offer us and that all the experts and all the organisations with the knowledge necessary to inform us of the consequences were liars, they have voted for an isolationist future. Our Prime Minister has decided to resign and we will probably have Boris Johnson as his successor, someone very popular with his fan base, just like Donald Trump, and just as much a deceitful opportunist as Donald Trump. 

In consequence, we are now going to have to live with the mess that this will create. We have already seen the reaction of the stock market and the collapse in the value of the Pound and we shall be without an effective government until October.  Even then, probably there will have to be a general election as the incoming Prime Minister will want to establish his authority and not make the same mistake as Gordon Brown did when he took over from Tony Blair.

And, for me, even more seriously, having hoped that the days of Enoch Powell and the BNP were a bad memory, we now finally have to accept that we no longer live in a tolerant country, but one which has revealed prejudices against ’foreigners’ worthy of the Le Pen family. The UKIP poster showing Syrians lining up to come into Europe was fundamentally dishonest, of course, as leaving or being part of the EU makes no difference to the UK government’s legal right to control who comes here from outside the EU. What it did do, however, along with the Leave campaign's posters showing the whole population of Turkey, and other states wanting to join Europe, decamping to the UK, was to play on fears of being overrun by ‘outsiders’. 

I am completely disgusted by the campaign rhetoric and no longer recognise the tolerant country in which I was brought up.

Paul Buckingham

24 June 2016
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