In the space of a couple of hours I was followed down the street by not one, not two, but three different men. Each of them wanted to ensure that I was very aware of the fact that they disagreed with my opinion on Brexit. One man, draped in a Union flag tried to stop me passing on the street. He was very hostile and aggressive. When I eventually managed to get past he yelled “Hey, come back here! I’m not finished speaking to you.”
A second man was holding a hand drawn sign outside the back entrance of the Bournemouth International Centre where Lib Dem Conference was being held. He was waiting to accost people. He kept yelling at me that I was undemocratic and disrespecting the will of the people. He then targeted my age. He started yelling “Hey everyone. This little girl is only 21 and wasn’t able to vote in the EU Referendum yet wants to change the outcome.” This made me laugh for three reasons. The first is that I am 26. The second is that if I was 21 I would have been 18 when the referendum happened and therefore still eligible to vote in it. The third is that he wasn’t making the point he thought he was making. He was yelling that someone who according to his bad maths was too young to vote didn’t like the outcome of the vote and wanted it changed. Meaning the will of the people only counts when it’s the will of the people who were of age to vote 3 years ago and voted the way he wanted?
A third man walked up to me and went “So you must hate Brexit? You must hate our country.” I walked away. Matt asked what he said as he hadn’t heard, so I told him. The guy then appeared by my side again – he’d followed me – and he’d said “I SAID you must not like Brexit?”. I heard you the first time mate, and weirdly it didn’t change my mind.
We currently have a Prime Minister who on one hand doesn’t know what to do with the land border in Northern Ireland, and on the other wants to build a bridge to connect NI to mainland UK meaning it’ll give the rest of the country a land border with the EU.
Don’t get me wrong. The EU isn’t perfect. It needs modernisation. When I was campaigning for Beatrice Wishart in Shetland I spoke to fishermen who voted Leave because they’d not been able to cope with the EU regulations. We can do something about that. But the way we do something about that is by sending MEPs to the European Parliament and have them work together as politicians trying to better all of the nations involved. We don’t get change by sending Nigel Farage and his cronies in to collect a wage and not show up. It doesn’t work when we send the likes of David Cameron in with demands and coming back with “thin gruel” as Jacob Rees Mogg once put it.
We have got to the stage where we are literally risking lives in order to put something through that the government is too scared to even ask the public if it’s what they still want. They’ll prevent terminally and chronically ill people from accessing vital medication. They’ll strip the millions of people born into the EU of their European citizenship without their consent. The longest running peace project in Europe is under threat. We need action. We don’t need Etonian egos.