I woke up early on Friday morning to blazing sunshine pouring into my bedroom. I’d been enjoying a gory, sci-fi dream.
I looked at my phone. It was 5.30am. I’m never awake this early.
My phone was going off. I had several WhatsApp notifications on the home screen.
I knew something was wrong.
We’d voted to Leave.
I don’t even remember punching the door really hard on the way to the bathroom. Angelique told me that later.
I felt sick. How could the country do this? I knew it would be close but why would we do this to ourselves?
I was dazed. This was much bigger than any national event I could remember. Bigger than Princess Diana.
I felt robbed and sick to the deepest part of my stomach.
I went to work early that morning. Wandsworth had voted firmly to Remain 75% to 25%.
Even so, I looked at everyone like they’d betrayed the country. Betrayed me.
I was seething.
That morning, the Pound tumbled as predicted.
Stocks got hammered.
But I didn’t really care.
I cared much more about my personal loss as well as what this meant for what this country is.
My personal loss
I am a European first and a Briton second. This has severed my identity.
My opportunities are fewer and my children’s and grandchildren’s.
I won’t have freedom of movement.
My future chances of prosperity have been weakened.
For small-minded racism and selfishness. Pure and simple.
What it means for us as a country
It’s shown us to be a small, inward looking country.
One that fears the outside world and blames failures on ‘outsiders’ and ‘foreigners’.
One that wants to go back to a twee England of tea and scones and Downton Abbey.
The worst aspect for me was that I was totally blindsided by how xenophobic and intolerant the UK truly is.
I thought it was maybe 20% but not 52%.
That’s the majority of my country.
It’s an even bigger majority in England once you factor in how strong the Remain vote was in London, Northern Island and Scotland.
I went to bed on Thursday night in what I thought was an open, tolerant country.
I woke up in a country that was anything but, and one that now had their ugly views legitimised.
It’s mob rule plain and simple.
Is my country overall stupid?
Is my country overall racist?
Is my country overall selfish?
Yes to all the above.