“Go into politics or emigrate?”
This was the Facebook status of a London-based friend of mine on Friday last week.
It made me giggle on a sad day.
And I’d just been having the same thoughts.
Agree or disagree with the EU Referendum result, it’s been a hotly-debated topic.
Being in London on Friday, it was clear to see that we, as a collective group, were left bewildered and demoralised by the whole thing.
There was a resounding cry of “what do we do now?!” from around the city.
People seemed to feel at a loss.
The discussions I had through the day and night and into the weekend were mostly along the lines of “so, what now?”.
Many of us are clinging to the rumours and theories of the many ways in which the exit still won’t happen or may be blocked.
A lot of us are considering relocations to Scotland, Northern Ireland, Canada and New Zealand (amongst other countries).
But, as I wondered what to write this week – and whether to write ANOTHER political post (despite my original life plan to keep my personal political leanings and opinions fairly quiet) – I read through a couple of the rough draft post ideas I’d jotted down.
I found this:
when do i give up?
do i give up?
what is giving up?
what the hell am i doing?!
These notes were made in relation to my life/career.
(And are still thoughts I grapple with daily)
But, they seem to be appropriate in a more global sense this week.
When do I give up on the country I’ve adopted?
Do I give up on it?
Do I give up on believing in the political system I’m so invested in?
What is giving up – is it opting out of voting?
My votes never seem to make a difference, so do I just stop?
A friend noted to me that she’s never once voted for the party who ended up winning an election.
I realised I’m in the same boat.
What the hell am I doing?
Maybe I should go into politics.
I did make a joke on Friday:
I vote that the left-wingers start our own Utopian society on Mars and we leave these Brexit-voting, Trump-loving, immigrant-hating arseholes to go down with the climate changing planet (since they seem to be the ones denying that the planet is dying anyway).
I realise this is exceptionally unfair.
Just because someone voted for the Brexit, does not mean that they’d vote for Trump if given the choice.
It doesn’t necessarily mean they are a xenophobe – as we’ve seen, there are MANY reasons that Brits voted to leave the EU.
They aren’t all arseholes.
And they’re not all climate change deniers.
But I am all up for living in a place where humanity and respect are not forgotten qualities.
Again, I realise that not all left-wing supporters are nice about their views.
I’m not saying they’re all violent, narrow-minded idiots and we’re all pacifistic, open-minded angels.
Not at all.
And I’ve become aware that because I spend so much of my time interacting with people who share my idealistic ideologies, it’s easy to become complacent.
But can’t I do something?
As the debating nerd I was at high school, a foray into politics was oft suggested to me.
It’s something I thought would be good in theory, but very much like Communism, not so great in practice.
I’d be good at the making of impassioned speeches.
At the rocking of a fashion-forward image.
At the kissing babies and posing for photos and walking around town looking like I am happy to be there.
But at the wading through never-ending policies and red-taped, bureaucratic bullshit?
I watched plenty of Yes, Minister as I was growing up.
I know how it works.
Or doesn’t – as the case may be.
If you’re disillusioned with things.
Then change them.
I don’t know.
That’s what we figure out together, I guess.
But it seems that in a political framework, if we feel we’re not represented – we find a new representative.
And if we can’t find one?
We make one.
Rabbit Ash for parliament?
Maybe one day.