I watched in horror as a head of state, national security adviser and foreign secretary became shamelessly and deliberately reckless with everyone’s futures. All this, because people would not be forced into voting for Brexit, which Britain is still officially being forced into voting for.
This is what has been so difficult for me to accept, on top of the real personal pain inflicted on my entire family, now that I live in uncertainty. How could a government run by competent and experienced politicians, tasked with delivering a vote with a mandate to leave the EU, commit the greatest treachery in the last 150 years? All on a piece of paper? Being thrashed after 20 weeks by losing 217 votes, even though Theresa May claimed to get it right?
And where are the many reasons the public gave the Prime Minister to quit? After waiting all these years for the final Brexit deal to be offered? Poor returns, with almost no Brexit plans available to the public? Or to allow a second referendum? Or to refuse to rule out no deal? Or to just stay in the single market? And do the most disliked prime minister of modern times genuinely not want a soft Brexit, or just pretend she does? Or even more hilariously, actually want to keep a hard Brexit as the only option on the table, despite the fact that she’s failed the public, her party and the EU by refusing to come clean about her true intentions?
We have seen a steady erosion of respect for politics, for politicians, for even prime ministers. It is impossible not to lose faith in our system. You know it when, at the polls, your democratic representative tells you he or she has no idea what the party is for. You know it when the leader of the opposition accuses you of being a Labour plant. You know it when the government does not believe in you. And you know it when you, the voter, elect to government the most loathed politician for 35 years.
The drip, drip of irreparable public damage is now so severe that the idea of a Conservative government facing down Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit is beginning to sound pretty silly. Jeremy Corbyn and his party want to steal the First Minister’s car when the wheel isn’t even in motion. The Labour Party believes in nothing. They are seen as masters of nothing. The Conservatives are nothing themselves, but the only thing they believe in is Brexit. Now I have had enough.
I cannot believe that my mother will even vote for this party. I cannot be expected to believe that there are enough people of goodwill that can ensure May’s remaining in office until the end of March when she is expected to walk out on us. Or, for that matter, when we vote for her to stay in office if we vote to stay in, in the hope that she may improve Britain’s Brexit position. This is the party whose Brexit negotiator’s ongoing body count includes Henry Kissinger and Robin Cook.
Over here at Sewage Island, we just can’t believe our prime minister would stoop so low to hand us a schizoid deal that looks suspiciously like it has been drawn on sandpaper, then try to keep the whole thing alive by doing a U-turn. Because this leaves us with a “deal” that consists of losing free movement for three years, without keeping the money we already paid to the EU. All before no deal can be done. A failed deal.
It saddens me, because I love this country. I love the democracy and the openness that draws me here, willing its better values on to the poorer strangers who share the same air. The sense of powerlessness in Brexit’s worst days has taken its toll on me. I’ve had a fit. I know I’m not alone. But who are the silent majority? Who is paying the highest price?
Like so many others before me, I watched in shock as Britain was torn to shreds. However, I promised myself that I would carry on. For now. For now I shall be the citizen of Britain, and my vote matters. But what happens if I have to do it again? What becomes of my children? How will they live in the shadow of a dead democracy?
For two years, I have been surrounded by British strangers, seeing every whimper, every smile. Someone as naive, as innocent, as new, as compassionate, as beautiful, as solid, as decent, as good-hearted as me is a