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Never glad confident morning again

I woke this morning to discover that it was not a nightmare nor a horror film.  The country I thought I knew has voted to leave the European Union.  It is not only the decision that leaves me in despair but the worst political campaign of my life.  It can be summed up in the words of Yeats: “The best lack all conviction” for the Remain campaign and “the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”  describes the Brexiters.  I have never encountered such anger and hostility in politics as I met from supporters of Brexit.   In debate after debate simple facts made no dent in the convictions of leavers.  It is tempting to direct my own anger at the Brexit leaders and their repeated lies but the fault is much deeper. Whilst they spent decades attacking the European Union, so-called pro-European leaders from all parties failed to promote or even defend it.  It was always too easy to play to the gallery and make a snide remark or gentle denigration of the EU.   Westminster politicians looked down on Brussels and Strasbourg and, for the most part, did not trouble to find out how European democracy worked so could hardly explain it to the voters. Public opinion was shaped by the relentlessly europhobic press.   The BBC without conscious bias fed the same narrative through their choice of language and selection of what is newsworthy.  If Donald Trump sneezes, we have endless reports and discussion of how often he has sneezed, in which states he has sneezed and whether Hilary Clinton is going to sneeze back.  Meanwhile the coverage of politics in our neighbouring countries in the EU is superficial and occasional let alone any rare information about the member-states further away.  Finally, consider the weakness of our oft-proclaimed democracy.  A government elected by 36% of the voters calls a referendum which splits the country down the middle and a major constitutional decision is taken without any requirement for a threshold or special majority.  I have read attempts by individuals and groups to come to terms with the decision. To me it is all whistling in the wind and will not stop the gales which are to come. For myself, there is no comfort.  I have lost my country and my children have lost a better future.

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