Have we lost the ability to care?


I voted for Brexit. I wasn’t alone. In fact, I was in a majority, but now I feel that something wasn’t, and isn’t right. When I voted I had a great deal of uncertainty about the way Europe was heading. I read about the possible formation of a European army. I read about the money the Europe was siphoning from us weekly that could instead be used to fund the NHS. I read that we would still have access to the single market for trade. I read that Europeans working here would still have the same rights to work, and nothing would change for them. I voted for what I thought made sense politically and personally. I believed that this was the right thing to do to save our beloved NHS.

The day after the result was announced some of my friends were devastated. I heard potential horror scenarios from a Spanish friend who feared that at some point he would be forcibly evicted from the country he had made his home in the last few years. I heard from a Macedonian friend who thought that everyone who voted out was a racist. He too thought that his friends would be forced to leave the U.K. I assured them that this was never going to be the case. I now think that I was wrong to do so.

Cameron resigned. I felt a huge sigh of relief. Perhaps we would now have someone at the helm who actually seemed to want a better life for everyone in the country. When May promised a fairer government who governed for all I thought that as a Christian, she may want to see an end to the suffering of the poor. She would clearly be able to see the NHS was in crisis and needed additional funding. She surely realised that people were dying after being declared fit for work? Perhaps now things would change – I momentarily forgot that she was a Tory.

Nothing changed. Empty promises and lies were spewed. May stood up to Europe and made her demands. If we don’t get what we want, then we will leave without a deal, in the process biting off our noses to spite our faces. May to some was showing herself to be a “strong and stable” leader, not afraid of the consequences of walking away empty handed: others might call it arrogance or blind stupidity.

The UKIP supporters must have thought that they had died and gone to heaven. To them, a hard Brexit meant a solitary Britain with completely closed borders. No one in, and a great many going out. It was a nightmare scenario for me. As it must be for the EU nationals and non-EU workers who have made a home here and contribute to society. Some are nurses, doctors, and in the emergency services, but let’s not forget all the people working in jobs that the British often refuse point blank to do. A hard Brexit could very well leave these workers feeling so alienated that a great many might feel they have little choice but to leave.

What a great many of us will have failed to take into account during our decision making, is that there are powers higher than a government who have the ability to engineer the outcome of the result to garner profit from it. In the Independent on the 7th of May, it was written that the wealthiest 1000 individuals had increased their wealth by 14% in the last year. You now needed to have at least £110 million of wealth to make the top 1000 list. In 1997, you needed just £15 million to make the same list. How the richest have fared under this government’s reign.

I am not against wealth creation, not at all. We should be inspired to achieve more in life so that we can provide a decent life for our families. But wealth must reach all the wealth creators, rather than just those at the top of business while their workers rely on in-work benefits or foodbanks to survive.

All the doom and gloom before the referendum has somehow been engineered to make huge amounts of money for the richest. While the poorest in society have faced 7 years of austerity cuts and suffering, and are likely to face another five years of the same if the Tories make it back to government. If they do so with an increased mandate, we are giving them free reign to continue on a destructive path that will see the NHS privatised by the back door (it’s already happening), and workers right eroded to create more wealth for the already wealthy.

Some would say that this wealth creation will eventually funnel back down to the poorest. It won’t. It has never done. In many cases, it is placed in safe havens offshore avoiding the tax that would be rightfully paid. The sad thing about this is most people just don’t seem to care. It’s almost as if they have become blind to the reverse Robin Hood tactics that takes from every single one of them.

I share many articles on social media. A lot of the time it is met with derision and mirth. When I share articles about people not being able to afford to feed themselves, I am accused of doom mongering. When I share articles about people being made homeless and freezing to death on the street, I am told it is their own fault and it must be drug related. When I share articles about what a hard Brexit would mean, I am told there are too many foreigners here taking our jobs and houses. When I share articles about the deliberate underfunding of the health service and backdoor privatisation, I am told its rubbish it will never happen.

Is it just me, or is it really that people have become so used to living like this, they expect to just hide away in a sheltered existence, comfortable in the knowledge that they can afford to just get by, and that they feel powerless to do anything so they just don’t care about what is happening anymore, not until it happens to them?