A heartfelt opinion piece by Nyla Nox on reaching the point when Brexit hurt so much that you end up feeling nothing but alienated. Does hope still exist though?
First published in November 2019.
This election is the last chance to stop Brexit. So, why do I feel nothing?
Every time Brexit comes close, my already very high anxiety levels spirals out of control. I panic. I despair. I cry. I scream. My days and nights are filled with terror. I felt it in March, I felt it in October.
But now, weirdly, as this election is coming up, I feel almost nothing. My fears have iced over. I stare blandly at the black hole.
Maybe I am just numb. Because I have been hurt so much. Maybe I just can’t even feel the fear any more.
Maybe it is because the situation is so grotesque, the discourse so far away from reality, that I simply can no longer connect with it.
Maybe I have given up already, deep down, and accepted that I will have to self-deport at some point.
A big part of it is of course that, unlike at the European Parliament elections, I do not have the right to vote. EU citizens are hugely impacted by Brexit but are not allowed to have a part in this decision. This is what it must have felt like for half the population before women had the vote. I would have been one of them.
Another part is that so many of my British friends seem to have gone crazy with vicious hatred of those who should be their political allies, others seem even more disconnected than I am, endlessly repeating, “It will be alright, it will be alright”. If they, themselves, cannot get real about this election, how can I?
Writing all this, I can identify a feeling at last.
Having to rely on what is now the kindness of strangers, I now feel totally abandoned by my British friends.
Three years ago, I wrote a story in ‘In Limbo’, a heartfelt, emotional letter to my British friends, urging them not to enable those who are violating my human rights and, in many ways, my entire life. I guess I was, at that point, still full of hope that my British friends would wake up and stop Brexit, and stop the injustice inherent in the British system. Some are wonderful people and are still trying to do whatever they can. But many have not done much, at any point, many are silently enabling Brexit and its consequences. It seems that not only will they not fight for me, they will also not fight for themselves.
The British voting system is not built to represent the ‘will of the people’. But even in this unfairly rigged system it would of course be perfectly possible for, say, the LibDems with their Stop Brexit policy, to gain the majority of seats if enough people voted for them. It would have to be a huge number, but less than the entire country. Every Remainer would be enough. Systems can be overturned. Power can shift. After all, this has happened before, in this same British system, for example when Labour became a major party in the UK at the beginning of the 20th century.
If everyone who wants to stop Brexit voted LibDem, Brexit would end on 13 December. It really is as simple as that.
Again, I don’t agree with many other LibDem policies but I would be willing to live with that if they stopped Brexit, because Brexit is a disaster and because Brexit is irreversible. Everything else can be changed later. At the next election.
But it won’t happen. My British friends, in their majority, will not have the courage to vote Brexit out. Not if the vote is in a general election. Not in the old party system where voters are owned and let themselves be owned instead of being independent and being real.
This is why there is no second referendum where voters would now be more educated and probably also much braver.
But it is true: Change is always possible.
And I still hope that change will come to the UK, but maybe it will have to go via the most terrible outcomes, a hard Brexit, a sell-off to Trump, even worse poverty, open persecution of EU citizens, loss of the NHS. Maybe then, change will come although it will be much much harder to achieve than it would be now.
I am just not sure if I will still be here to see that change.🔷
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