I sit here some 38 hours before polls open for the referendum. You will be reading it near close of poll or after. I am singularly uninspired. Just as well I voted by post before the depths of this campaign became apparent.
Things came to a crashing halt last Thursday with the despicable killing of someone who had only ever sought to make conditions better for everyone. Whether it was charity work abroad in third world or war torn countries or at home in her beloved Yorkshire.
I had been preparing myself for some sort of violence erupting as we got closer to polling day. I was thinking of the kind of scenes in George Square, Glasgow during the Scottish Independence referendum though, not a murder. Tensions had been heightening, tempers flaring and the language on social media downright offensive if not abusive. Time and again I heard it said that you just have to put up with this in politics. WHY?
We all know lots of decent people. We all know people who help out in their communities. Whether it’s involvement in children’s activities, keeping your local community clean and tidy, community choir, craft groups, socialising with vulnerable groups, helping an elderly neighbour. At some point most of us volunteer some time to things that touch our lives. We have it in us to be decent social human beings.
What happens is certain leaders start to use unsavoury language in their electioneering. Certain phrases become popular to use. When using social media we are often on our own or tuned out of what is happening around us with earphones. You read something often enough in isolation, you start to think it’s okay. Then you start to repeat these things. The more you repeat them, the more you believe them. The thing is, you haven’t actually experienced them. You have just come to believe them because you have been over exposed to the phrases. It is also easier to blame others than accept something may just be your fault.
These referendums held in the last 2 years have taken some dark twists. The European one in particular has revealed some very disturbing aspects of people’s personalities. I do not want to go backwards and deny people their right to express their opinion. I do hope though that in the days to come we can see some more measured thought in debate. Some facts rather than scaremongering. Really I would like to see us being compassionate and co-operative in working together to take things forward. At this point we know not whether we remain in the EU or not. Whatever way the vote went we will still be in for another couple of years possibly. There will be massive holes in the Westminster Unionist political groups. Can these be mended?