Traitors are as traitors do...

Traitors are as traitors do...

I want to forgive Leave voters.  Truly I want to forgive them, even though I am so filled with rage and sorrow all at the same time.  Even though I fear for myself, my family, my friends and indeed all my country folk and all my fellow Europeans, I wish I could find a way to forgive.

I can't.

I have thought long and hard and often about this issue and it is not in me.

I want, desperately, to be the bigger person, to find compassion in my heart for Leave voters, to find acceptance for what they have contributed to in terms of the horror that is being wrought upon my country and indeed some of our neighbours.

I cannot.

If I am a traitor to my country for believing that our imminent departure from the European Union is the greatest mistake we have EVER made as a nation, then so be it.

I feel comfortable in my treachery as I mourn the passing of mutual cooperation that has seen an end to war and ushered in a time of unrivalled economic and social progress.  My turncoat heart is warmed by the soft and pleasant nostalgia for the times when my workplaces and social spaces were filled with many languages and cultures and I truly believed that I was a part of a positive and wholesome community within a country that was plotting a course to progress through inclusion, common purpose with other nations and a sense of togetherness that was at its root an acknowledgement of all that makes us the same and our embrace of that commonality as a foundation for mutual benefit.

The people who voted to Leave the European Union did so arguably for many reasons.  Some were misled, some were voting with a view to protest - never believing that Leave would actually win, some had ignorance and malice in their hearts.

To the deceived and to those who wanted to stick it to the government, I can and will offer amnesty.  If the last two years have changed your mind, then I hold no anger in my heart for you.  We can all make a mistake in haste and repent at leisure and I value the idea that with new information new conclusions can be drawn, so if events have led you to believe that you were wrong, and that you regret your Leave vote, then you are my brother or my sister and I forgive you, entirely.

If you are one of the others, if even now you are demanding that March 29th be the day of exit, no matter the cost, no matter the damage, no matter the suffering and deprivation that will come, no matter the heartache and stress for those that it strands out of place, unwelcome in their society but unwilling to leave friends, partners and family behind, then you are nothing to me.  In my heart, though I long to be able to forgive, you are the traitors, you are beneath my contempt.  No compassion or quarter for you any longer, no desperate hope of a change of course persuading me to keep my peace or hold my tongue.

You, you credulous fools, you thoughtless, ignorant pawns of the tiny few that stand to gain from this travesty, you are dead to me.  You are traitors to me, not traitors to your country per se, but traitors to your birthright as human beings.  You have abandoned all acknowledgement of sense and reason, denied the knowledge of experts and clung to lies and illusions sold by con-artists and flim-flam jockeys of the worst kind. That and in the case of some of you, you have clung to hate, to fear and to a sense of superiority that simply is not borne out by your petty minded, peevish outlook.

There will come a day when history records this moment in our country's story and it will not speak kindly of those that wrapped their racism and xenophobia in the Union Flag and claimed that British Exceptionalism would see us all through whilst also protecting us from immigrants and foreigners all the while.

As an Imperial nation we colonised half the World, changing the local customs and language everywhere we went to those of our own devising.  It seems to me that there is nothing more British than to go to live in another country while insisting on speaking your own language and eating your own food, but clearly all the Little Englanders cannot see the irony of complaining about our European brothers and sisters coming here and bringing with them the bounty of their languages, food, drink and culture to our shores.

I want to forgive you, I am sure that in many ways I need to forgive you.

I cannot.

(The image above has the following credit - Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash)