I didn’t want to write this post, I don’t like to kick someone when he’s down and I have no beef with you. But I keep reading your press, watch the news, hear statements and opinions on social media, and my first impression gets stronger as time goes by. I’m a 56 year old italian, and you could say that as far as fantasy politics, I’ve seen it all. I think you should all just stop whining, realize you screwed up, embrace the result and move on.
Yes, you voted yourselves out of the EU. Indeed, you made a big mistake. True, the Leave campaigners had no plan whatsoever. Indeed, some of your politicians have been so dishonest as to campaign to leave solely for personal purposes. Yup, a number of your fellow citizens actually believed what Nigel and Boris told them. Many folks have even voted Leave, but they didn’t think it would actually happen: isn’t that really stupid?
I know because I’ve been there, and boy, the Guardian front page, and practically all of my friends from the UK, never ceased to remind me: did you REALLY elect THAT guy? Even with that spectacular conflict of interest? He’s not believable. His opinions are outlandish. And so on, and on, for twenty years. Did I like him? No, and didn’t vote for him either. But, in time, I was able to understand why italians had fallen for such a guy: Silvio was them, he was us, he was me. It’s been a very painful process, but quite useful. Now you need to realize you’re Boris too (I know, this isn’t going to be easy). You, as a society, have produced these characters, and the only way to deal with this is to transform your society so that there will be no future Nigels. When I look at Boris (and often at David too, or Tony, for that matter) I see you all, just as you saw us when you looked at Silvio. Of course you knew we weren’t all like that. Yet.
“Millions of voters didn’t want Brexit. Why should they lose EU citizenship?” For the same reason why millions of italians lost their dignity (and face, sometimes) in the past. It’s called Democracy, it’s way more complex than screaming Nay! in parliament, and it’s far from perfect. It seems your nation, as a whole, thinks it can do by itself, be the sole maker of its own destiny. It isn’t the first time in British history this feeling has emerged (as it wasn’t the first time italians elected a “Strong Man” as their leader). Frankly, it’s hard to imagine other contemporary European nations feeling the same (perhaps with the exception of France). Could this have to do with the Borises and the Nigels too?
I can see you’re in despair, and I feel sorry for you, as I know exactly where you are. Unfortunately, by the looks of things, you’ll have to reimagine many aspects of your daily life, from where you shop, to whom you trade with, right to where you’re going to go on holidays. It’ll be a long process, but maybe the outcome will be good, and Britannia will rule again. In the meantime you should overcome the disbelief, stop asking silly questions and take a long, honest look at yourselves (and The Guardian is doing, and I’m sure will do, a good job at this). I believe you’ll find all the answers, just as I found mine – in difficult times.