Politics

Why do I have to stay quiet about wanting to Remain?

So one result means I can’t speak my mind? Because one referendum result came out with a marginal majority for leaving the EU, I can’t say that I would prefer for Britain to stay in the EU? That’s like saying that because Chelsea got completely steamrollered by Manchester City last Sunday, I can’t go out in public wearing a Chelsea shirt, publicly and proudly say I’m a Chelsea fan and can never go to another Chelsea game for the rest of my life. UKIP and sections of the Conservatives have been loudly talking about wanting to leave the EU since the early Nineties and in a quieter sense there has been opposition to Britain’s membership of the EU since we signed the Treaty of Accession in 1972.

And you know what? That is their right. I would never say that anyone who wanted to leave the EU and distrusts the EU, that they can’t have that opinion and express that opinion publicly. Freedom of expression and freedom of speech is one of the hallmarks of a civilised society. But that goes hand in hand with a respect for the opinions of others and that they may differ from yours. You can’t just close your eyes to the things you don’t like. Toleration goes hand in hand with freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

And so, when some ‘Brexiteer’ wag says something to the effect of ‘Get over it, you lost’, you can remind them that it took 20 years of being in existence and much shouting on their part to get anywhere close to even having a vote on the subject, let alone actually trigger Article 50. Which has been rather like, and this is only my opinion until something substantial happens, pulling the plug on a bath and running into the drain with the water and into a right old river of shit.

But then again, that is just my opinion.

And in the end, the fact that I can satirise, disagree with and outright criticise my government and their colossal cock up of handling the Brexit negotiations is a wonderful thing to be able to do.

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