Dear Boys……..The Day We Left The EU
I am writing this to you today, the 24th June 2016, a day that I will always remember where I was when I heard. A bit like the day when Princess Diana died. I was on my way home from a nightclub in the early hours of the morning. Today however, I was rousing from sleep after a night up with little Joe when your Dad grinned at me and said ‘we’ve left’.
You see boys, we left the European Union today. I am not going to show you this letter today as you are still young but one day you will read my blog and you will hear first hand how I felt on this very poignant day.
When your Dad broke the news to me this morning, my sleepy head took a minute to take it in. I felt stunned and repeated about five times ‘are you sure?’ It was at this moment that I realised that I had genuinely believed it wouldn’t come to this. I genuinely thought the majority of the country would vote to stay.
I have never had an interest in politics. This was different though. This is about you guys. This is about your future. I always avoid talking about politics as prefer to live in my happy little ‘Kerry world’ where everyone loves each other and everyone gets along. However for the past two weeks my mind has been in turmoil. One minute I was in, then I was out, then I was in again. I read articles with differing views. I spoke to friends to ask what they thought. I even put up a facebook status to see what my ‘facebook friends’ were doing. And I spoke to your dad of course.
We live in a democracy. People are entitled to their opinion. There were good reasons to stay and there were good reasons to leave depending on who you listened to. Today I am saddened though as the result has turned us against each other within our own country. People are verbally attacking others for their views. The evil power of the internet is making people voice hatred from behind a faceless screen.
Whatever the result today I am a firm believer in what is meant to be will be. No-one knows what the future has to hold. Only time will tell. You will know as you read this as it will be the future and you will know what kind of society we live in now. I just hope that you have upheld the values I taught you as a child. The values I hope every parent has taught their child as you are our future. The thing that worries me is that the majority who voted ‘leave’ are the older generation. They voted with their ‘pro – British’ hearts without thinking that it won’t affect them in ten, twenty, thirty years time as they will be long gone. It is you boys that this decision will affect and I hope for your sake that the country has made the right one.
And if they have made the wrong one then I hope that we draw upon our old war time values and unite as one. I hope that the dust settles and we work together towards a better future regardless of how we voted today. The deed is done. The decision has been made. Now we need to stop the arguing within and work together as if this unrest continues we will no longer be ‘great’ Britain.
When we spoke about the EU referendum a few days ago you told me that we couldn’t leave as there were kids from Poland and Romania in your school and it wouldn’t be fair on them to be sent home. You may not have been spot on in your facts but your sentiment spoke volumes. When I was in school I had English friends. You have English friends. You have European friends. You have worldwide friends. This will not change just because we have left the EU. This decision was about far more than immigration. I have always brought you up to respect and welcome others regardless of where they are from. And if our fears come true that this country will come under leadership from some twat who thinks this is not the case, then please know that most of us did not think like this. (And yes, I know I tell you not to say ‘twat’ but in this case the word fits pretty well.)
I hope this letter finds you in times of peace and happiness within our country and within our world. And if it doesn’t then I apologise for the ignorance of our times and hope we have learnt a valuable lesson.
(Oh, and in case you were wondering why your Dad was smiling when he told me we had left, he voted to leave and I voted to stay. But then again you probably guessed that as we often don’t agree!)