All Shook Up


It’s been a horrible few days in my home country. I’m not sure which is worse – hearing about the fall out following the shock result of the EU Referendum from afar or being in the thick of it, so to speak. In a few years’ time perhaps one of our great comedy writers will devise a series showing us the laughable, you-couldn’t-make-it-up chaos surrounding the shock Brexit result but right now there doesn’t seem to be too much to smile about.

The consequences of a Leave victory seem to have come as a complete surprise to the winning side, never mind the rest of us. Overnight, the country seems to be in bits – emotionally and geographically. The PM has gone, the leader of the opposition is about to be ousted, Scotland could feasibly leave the Union and while we fancy taking our time, the rest of Europe want us to pack our bags and get out sooner rather than later. Nothing about this was predicted and if anyone should start looking for pastures new it should be the commentators, the pollsters and the pundits.

I don’t recall a single moment in any of the debates where anyone was quizzed on what could happen, in the unlikely event that………What if Scotland voted in a different way? What if Cameron is on the losing side? What is the plan after the result is known? Who is in charge?

It is heart breaking to hear about the divisions in communities and even within families and friends over leaving the European Union. If ever there was a need for charismatic and decisive leadership it is now. Politics seems broken. When David Cameron and Harriet Harman were campaigning on the same side is it any wonder the electorate were confused and divided?

Hours after the results were known, a petition calling for a second referendum is circulating. How many people signed it without wondering for a second who the originator was? Turns out it was a student having a laugh, who suddenly found millions of people were taking him seriously. Well it worked for Boris!

You can’t have a second referendum because you didn’t like the first result. The truth of the matter is that some questions are just too important to be answered in a Yes or No way when the consequences are so devastating. So Mr Cameron I say good riddance. You messed up and I don’t expect the Queen to be ‘purring with pleasure’ over any aspect of this debacle.

In any challenging situation, there is also an opportunity. I just hope someone will emerge to find it and soon.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Well said Ruth, however I’m signing the petition , just feel too strongly not to. Almost half the country voted to stay in. And now we see lots of the ‘out ers’ saying ” oh I didn’t know my vote counted! Wish I could vote again” . The wet lettuce Corbyn should now fall on his sword, but he’s too arrogant to do this.

  2. RuthBadley

    Corbyn will have to soon! Why be anonymous – I don’t bite! I just think another referendum will create more confusion. Europe is already laughing at us. Probably won’t let us back in anyway even if the result is reversed – which I feel sure it would be. A right old mess. And now I hear Boris is likely to be PM – by default. The world has gone truly mad.

  3. Mandy mccarthy

    Didn’t mean to be anonymous! To be a leader you have to have good just just pootling along like a befuddled 1970’s geography teacher.. With NOT. A bloody real clue about the U.K.’ S working classes .. Let alone the northern WC.. Should get a job with Islington borough council as an inspector of manhole covers.. All he fit for.

  4. Mandy mccarthy

    To be a leader you have to have PASSION.. Intent/ belief alone is not enough. Corbyn has ambled along like a befuddled 1970’s geography teacher. Maybe he can get a job with Islington borough council inspecting manhole covers…

  5. RuthBadley

    Yep – Corbyn’s hopeless. Out of his depth from Day 1. But who can step up to the plate? Scary times when the party in power AND the opposition are clueless about next steps. Tom’s bolthole in Eucador looking unusually attractive right now….x

  6. Carol Rennard

    Great blog Ruth – you’ve summed it up neatly. I feel most sorry for our sons and daughters. Simon said some of his European friends were in tears. When you are young and living in London your group of friends tends to come from all corners of the globe. Those youngsters from Spain, Portugal, Germany, France, Poland who came here to study and have stayed on are baffled and have no idea whether they can stay. My brother visiting from Italy says that even in his small village people can’t understand what we have done – we look like the laughing stock of Europe over the way we have handled this whole debacle.

  7. RuthBadley

    Couldn’t agree more. Tom is working in France but will opportunities like that close down for young people because of the result? Jack, in London was very upset by the tactics of the Leave campaign. As you say our kids in London have friends from all over the world. People here are asking me what we have done and why? I have no answer and seeing all the politicians now jockeying for position and lining up against each other when there is such disarray makes me very angry. The result also makes me think that Londoncentric attitudes of the elite have come home to roost in this result. The disaffected that have had to rely on foodbanks thanks to Cameron’s austerity will not see any advantage to them in EU membership. I thought when we came home that some of the places north of London that we went to looked very run down. There’s so much healing to be done.

  8. Rachel Tyrrell

    Well done for blogging on this Ruth – and with such clarity. A few weeks on, I think I am livid with the game-playing bunch of boys who have brought us to this point. Not just the short-sighted, short-termist Cameron but also the EU elite who thought people would put up with a mysterious and unaccountable gravy-train forever. The chumps who were simply playing at ‘Leave’ have been found out. I do believe we have the skill and the will to succeed, but we must always debate with love and respect. We are a country built on immigration and always will be!

    RT – proud granddaughter of a, rather beautiful, Irish immigrant 🙂

  9. RuthBadley

    Thank you Rachel for such a considered response. Events and resignations were happening faster than I could log them after I wrote this. Hopefully today’s news on Teresa May will bring some much needed measured judgement and mature leadership to the current chaos. I’m all for ‘a difficult woman’ stepping in and having a Remainer leading the Brexit negotiations is a very sensible way forward in my view. What a wonderful rich family heritage you have. Me too. We all need to stand up to the bigots who would have it otherwise.

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