I’m sure you’ve been inundated with lots of other people, emailing on behalf of the StopFundingHate campaign. I’m another one of them.
I’m a UK national who moved back to Britain in 2007 after a brief stay in Denmark. My husband and I chose to live here because people were tolerant, and that was an enormous change compared to the bigotry I faced in Denmark. But slowly, the UK has grown increasingly worse, and in the last few months, has surpassed anything my Scandinavian home ever managed.
I don’t want to go back to how things were here – -I know that there is no going back. I want us to move forwards as a nation until we are truly tolerant, rather than merely hiding our prejudices in the shadows whilst waiting for the chance to spew our malice. But for us to move forward, large, trusted retailers like John Lewis need to take their social responsibilities seriously and stop funding the hate-filled rhetoric of the tabloid press.
Please, if Lego – a product of a nation whose inhabitants repeatedly told me to ‘Go home’ – can lead the way in this, then John Lewis can absolutely follow.
“Suck it up – you lost. That’s democracy.”
But it’s not. Democracy is when everyone effected by an issue has a say in how things proceed. The Brexit referendum was a fiasco which so far has achieved nothing but damage to our economy and a deep chasm of divide between the people of Britain.
Time and time again, the numbers 52 and 48 are quoted to me, but these are false. Leaving aside the fact that in amongst the 52% are people who regret believing the lies about NHS, those who voted leave to spite Cameron and those who didn’t think their vote would make a difference, the referendum turnout was only 72%.
52% of the population did not vote to leave the EU. 52% of the 72% of the population that was eligible to vote opted to leave the EU. 37.5% of the population voted to leave.
You could argue at this point that even fewer people wished to remain in the EU. And if you’re talking about the people eligable to vote in the referendum then you’d be right. But the referendum didn’t take into account the opinions of a whole bunch of folk who matter just as much – if not more – than those who got a ballot paper.
So sure, go ahead and say that only 48% of voters – or 35.5% of the electorate – wanted to remain. But stop telling me that only 48% of the population wanted to stay. Because that 48% doesn’t account for the EU citizens living in this country. It doesn’t count the 16 & 17 year olds who voted in the Scottish referendum and showed their maturity and passion. It doesn’t account for the children of families with parents of more than one nationality.
So stop telling me I lost, and that it’s democracy. True democracy would have meant a vote for EU citizens living in the UK too – the place of your birth should not give you less of a right to have a say in your future.
When the MPs vote on whether or not to pass Article 50, I pray they’ll consider all of their constitutes, not just those lucky enough to have held a ballot paper.
We haven’t lost just yet, and we are more than 48%.