And here we are. Having voted for Britain to leave the EU, on waking up I experienced that same sickening shock that shook the country. I didn't think it would happen and for my own personal comfort I was sort of hoping it wouldn't happen.
The next reaction was terror: Specifically the not-baseless fear that our country is currently unequipped to be lead in the required manner - with wisdom, dignity, respect and forethought. I didn't feel guilty though, and I would vote the same way again.
I also realised I'd made life very difficult for myself. I made my vote public because people had asked me what I thought and I felt the need to explain why I had apparently become a short-sighted, selfish, racist bigot. I knew that on Facebook, friends have a tendency to become opinionated, whilst seldom bothering to follow up with links or information, so I anticipated the backlash. And it came - some unexpected vitriol, but more tellingly the absence of engagement.
I cried three times this morning because I was frightened for our future - hiding in a boardroom, not remotely professional. But now more than ever there is actually some hope. Our governments have come to be increasingly wary as the British public grow restless. Marches, protests, riots and resistance have again become an increasing feature of the landscape and whilst I'm certainly not advocating riots, it's time for the lovely liberal lot to wake up and realise that they shouldn't really keep looking away from the consequences of our lifestyles.
I voted out because the TTIP agreement designed by the EU and US threatens to erode human, animal and environmental rights far too quickly for the world to recover. I also voted because the Remain campaign was sponsored by JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, amongst others - hardly notorious for their social responsibility obligations. These two huge voracious corporations already have too much blood on their hands to allow them even more power.
This morning my flatmate looked at me like I was a little thick and said, "but the banks are just looking to do whatever is safest for them, of course they wouldn't want to threaten the market". Yes, banks aren't known for taking huge irresponsible risks with other people's money. Incidentally she works 'in oil', which I've never really understood. The banks will be fine - need I remind people the banks MAKE THEIR OWN MONEY. In you or me it would be fraud, but the Fiat system says let it be.
Now to the future. It is sensible to guess that whoever ends up leading Britain will probably sign some similar agreement to TTIP anyway, so we may as well have stayed in the EU, right? I nearly wrote 'in Europe' except there shouldn't be any question of us being 'in Europe' - unless the non-British Euros are so sick of the drama that they want rid after all. That's basically what one Facebook 'friend' said to me.
NEWSFLASH: the EU is a neoliberal financial agreement, which should have little bearing on the comradery between nations or the desire to collaborate on issues such as human rights. Incidentally I find that human rights being apparently so intrinsically linked to such an agreement is totally inappropriate.
Back to TTIP. Yes I'm sure whichever fool ends up leading the country in the near future may well push ahead for a TTIP style agreement, however it up to us to take some responsibility for our future and stop it. There was no chance of us stopping it from within the EU but if people want to get off their Facebook high horse and vote with their feet and protest, vote with their purses and boycott, we might actually be able to take back some control from a neoliberal society (ours) which increasingly damages the very earth that sustains us.
We can do it in small steps. If you care about an issue don't just complain about it on Facebook or in the pub - find out when there's a demonstration or just organise one. We need to educate ourselves. Most of us had no real idea what the EU was until all this referendum palava, but it transpires that even now most of us still don't know. The papers are full of spin - get on the internet and read things. Follow up links from credible sources and watch documentaries about stuff - sign a few petitions, annoying though they may be. Also understand this, atrocities are being carried out in our name - be it actual warfare, pharmaceutical machinations, deliberate displacement of people or fracking the planet generally.
I'm no angel and I voted to leave, but I voted knowing that I'm careful about which companies I patronise, knowing that I've almost bankrupted myself by working for the last year on a social project that promises to bring positive to changes to our own laws and knowing that I spent about sixteen hours researching before I came to my decision.
Our priorities are all over the place. A new car won't fix your insecurities. New shoes may look great, but they don't assuage the anguish you feel on seeing desperate refugees fleeing from their homes.
It's time to place value on something other than gold, or rather paper - paper that for every dollar printed creates five dollars of debt under our current Fiat system.
Further reading/ viewing:
The Four Horsemen - must watch documentary about the economy
The Yes Men - these guys are brilliant and fucking funny. Short clip here - worth finding the whole film.
Propaganda - North Korea mockumentary
Crisis of Civilisation - 'A dark comedy mash-up about the end of industrial civilization'
Please read and share the second half of The World Without Cancer by Edward Griffin. He outlines a situation in which profit came before people, with the German chemical conglomerate, IG Farben eventually funding Hitler because his policies suited their plans for monopoly. Incidentally the EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community ...