Tuesday, 28 June 2016

We Didn't Start The Fire

With Nigel Farage's embarrassing and damaging rant at the EU today and with further outbreaks of racial violence again we need to put a stop to this before its too late. We didn't start the fire (to quote the tremendously portentous Billy Joel song) but we certainly haven't done much to put it out...

This country is in crisis and it's no longer about whether you voted Remain or Leave, in fact I don't care either way anymore. I haven't changed my view point or my opinion but any discussions on the future of our country makes one assumption. That it actually has one that is worth saving. Our political leadership is in disarray and the opposition are more concerned about quenching the fires that have been set alight due to self combustion. It doesn't look good and the questionable fear caused by BOTH campaigns surrounding immigration and the toxic atmosphere that has been fuelled by lies and fear mongering have birthed a horrible mutation. The lunatic extreme Right fringes of our society have been given a louder voice and have grown bold because their vote was more valuable than the principles of those that courted them. People like Nigel Farage should have never been given a platform and Cameron et al should have known better than to scare monger with their own brand of noxious politics. When the goal is winning at all costs there is only one loser and it is sanity and the very fabric of our society is unravelling. We are on Day 4 after the referendum and look at what you've all caused, so called Leaders of our land.

This sort of hatred and racism is as old as the human race itself and as a nation we have struggled with the issue for centuries. If we were to be honest with ourselves, its only in recent decades that we struggled with it at all as the British Empire was built on bloodshed and slavery. To say that this is a new problem would be hugely incorrect but the referendum has amplified the divisive and hate filled rhetoric. Worse than this, some of us listened to it and it has grown quickly within our society with the result as many had warned against. I have to emphasise again, I am not writing this to point fingers and I think we must put aside our pro or anti Europe feelings or else we will not have a country worth living in. The result of last weeks vote seems to have emboldened those that wish to see anyone who does not look like them to leave our country. Theirs is the language of ugly and abhorrent evil and it is quickly followed by violence which is now breaking out all over our nation. We have seen a rise of 540% in abusive and racially motivated hate crime on line and in our streets the scenes that have been reported are ugly. Many warned this was the likely outcome and would be the result of scare mongering and campaigning with the sort of language we have seen over the last few months.

I despair at what we have become as a nation and, as many compassionate and right thinking individuals on both sides of the EU debate speak out, the violence and racism increases unabated. We seem powerless to stop it and is this really what we can look forward to as we move towards our 'Brexit'? Surely it doesn't have to be this way? Isn't there something we can do? Whilst I think the issues and undercurrents are not simplistic at all I think the issue lies within ourselves as a nation. I think we have lost any understanding of what it means to be British and have lost touch with our national identity. The thugs that roam our streets hating on everything they don't comprehend are about as British as they are human.

As a nation we are a beautiful melting pot of many different cultures, so to be British is not to be 'White' and neither is it anything to do with just one language. We are born from races as diverse as Norse, Celtic, Roman, French, German, Irish, Welsh and Scottish. We have over 2000 years of immigration as part of our history and we celebrate a wonderful melting pot of diversity that embraces many different cultures. It is this diversity and wealth of cultural depth that is what makes us truly British and right now it is this identity that is being destroyed. Ironically, if the British First movement had bothered to check their history they would be seeking to embrace the cultural differences within our society rather than wanting to wipe them out. To remove all ethic groups and leave just one would render our society of the very distinction that defines who we are. We must loudly  turn our back on any group that seeks to attack our society at a root level, whether they do so directly or indirectly. The other issue we face is a total breakdown in our community spirit and this has been eroded for decades. We now face a country which is so focused on the rights of the individual and the selfish indulgences of the one that it has lost any compassion for the voiceless and for those that suffer. "If there isn't anything in it for me then why should I care?" seems to be the implicit cry that echoes from the actions of those who only care about enlarging their already grossly bulging bank balances.

Whilst I agree that immigration needs to have its checks and policies in place we must do so with a compassionate consideration for those who are not as fortunate to live in a country with freedoms that we enjoy. Freedoms,which incidentally, are now being directly challenged by those that incite racial hatred with their speeches and hate spread in person and via social media. Both EU referendum campaigns were so focused on winning that they failed to properly report the facts and the exaggeration and lies that they have told have been believed by a society that should have known better. We are now living with the consequences of opening this particular Pandora's Box and the eruption of fear and hatred since the result was announced has been terrifying. To balance this horrible lurch to the right we need our leaders, those that we elected to lead us, to do just that. Lead us! Put aside your party political differences and stand as one voice against this rising tide of hatred. It threatens to engulf us and those that are spearheading it now believe they operate with a kind of implied mandate. As unintentional as it was unthinking, this referendum campaign has been fought against a backdrop of fear and the effects on our country have been as swift as they have been horrific.

History is not without its precedence with this sort of action and both the German and Russian cultures can illuminate just how far this sort of racial hatred can go if it is unchecked. Yes, I am saying that there are similarities with Britain now and the rise of Hitler and it to started with austerity, poverty and fear. Whilst our political leaders argue between themselves about who should have a plan after the vote and who should lead the country, it is burning with the fires of hatred they, themselves helped to ignite. If they do not act and act swiftly they will find a country that is not fit for governing and the road to recovery will have set them back decades. It has to stop now, we must unify as the true British citizens and stand together against this terrible unbridled hatred. We have strength in numbers but the minority that seek to run riot over our country are loud, we must be louder!

It starts now!

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