I'm not going to apologise for departing, once again, from the theme of this blog. I am appalled that my country has betrayed its younger generation, insulted its European friends, and revealed itself as a stupid, ignorant, self-centred and racist little island.
I can only say two things - first, Seamas O’Reilly, a thirty-year-old Irish freelance write living in London, has written the following, which sums it up perfectly:
“It represents a shameful retreat to a smaller mindset, unshackled from empathy, decency or even just intellectual engagement with complex issues,” he says.
“I am disgusted by this result and the mandate it gives to the most loathsome political elements of this nation. I am saddened by what it says about the British people, what it means for the protection of essential services and workers’ rights, and the truly horrifying implications that the reimposition of military borders could have on the streets of Northern Ireland.”
“[The Leave campaign's] utter contempt for the intelligence of the British public has been evident from day one.”
“In their repeated utterance of statements they knew to be false, in their craven misrepresentation of facts and personal endorsements to their own ends, and in their ugly, disingenuous insistence on focusing on EU immigrants, who they know have repeatedly been proven a net gain to the country and whose numbers are not really reducible by any deal a future British state may seek to strike within the outer EU anyway. This might be why they reverted to simply showing images of huddled non-European people or referring to them as if they were an airborne disease.
“Britain awoke today a poorer, crueller and more dangerous country, and could remain so for decades to come.”
Secondly, the leave campaign was run not only on a fact-free basis, but on a series of lies that appealed to the most basic and venal human instincts - I can only say to my American friends: if this can happen here, watch out in November.