A Day of Reckoning?


24 June 2016



The result of the UK European Referendum 2016 is:


Remain: 48.1%
Leave: 51.9% 


I am crushed by the result. Like the other 16 million IN voters, I feel exhausted, wrung out, anxious and angry. I am sickened by the lies and tactics of the Leave campaign, incredulous at some Leave campaigners' insensitivity to the murder of the pro-EU politician Jo Cox at the hands of a violent racist, devastated by the actions and non-action of our 'Prime' Minister, who has just this morning literally dumped his country, and I feel scared to death by the prospect of BoJo the clown leading our country.
I will always feel proud to be one of the 48.1% who voted IN. 
But this morning I do not feel proud to be British.
I feel proud to have campaigned hard on social media and to have played a part in producing a viral image - the now famous Boris/ Trump 'Kiss of Death' mural by the Paintsmiths for We Are Europe, promoting the IN campaign, which has had 1,000,000,000 internet views and been flyposted all over London.
But for a long time I have not felt proud to be British.
I feel proud to play an ongoing part in exposing corruption at the hands of our media owners and our politicians with their #ProjectFear. I do this mainly through social media, but I am actively seeking ways to do it more effectively, through action as well as words.
So for many years, living with an increasingly corrupt 'system' has made it difficult to feel proud of being British.
I feel proud of the comments sent to me by old school friends on Facebook, people I havent seen or spoken to for more than 25 years, thanking me for disputing the Leave campaign's various assertions about immigration and the cost of EU membership, as well as information I posted regularly about the impact of an OUT vote.
But when Facebook also tells me news about our violent racist football fans abroad, I can not feel proud to be British.
I am proud of my colleagues at We Are Europe, a campaign set up by environmentalists Jonathan Porritt and Caroline Lucas to get young people to vote. The team should all be very proud of their fantastic achievements. Their hard work, skill and unceasing determination should be lauded by all.
But as the Leave campaign twisted and raged, perhaps our own diminishing sense of national pride meant that our campaign messaging promoting unity, values, economic interests and a better environment did not shout loud enough, or forcefully enough.
Really though, there is no room for pride on a day like today. We, the 48 percenters, need to take stock. Avoid engaging with media channels, and focus on solutions. We need practical solutions to mend our broken, divided society and to come together to tackle climate change.
Today is my father's birthday. He passed me his campaigning genes - so thanks for that Dad! No really, thanks. Without them, I really wouldnt know how to get through today, or how to even begin to think about the future.
Kath Cockshaw
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© Katharine Cockshaw