If you were surprised by the lack of Jeni reflection in the run-up to the E.U. referendum and maybe wondering why there was an unusual silence, it was because there were friends and family who felt strongly on both sides of the debate and knowing that my south coast manner of speech is often misinterpreted as dogmatism - ok, sometimes it IS dogmatism but not always - i made the decision that their love, friendship and goodwill mattered more than political point making so self imposed purdah was invoked.
Also, as a grey-hair (when it's not pink) i wont be here much longer to reap whatever gifts or evils are the ramifications of the ultimate decision - remember leaving isn't a forgone conclusion, the end-game is in the hands of our politicians, they CAN choose to ignore the vote. it's the young who will bear the burden if this choice turns out to be a disaster, or the benefits should it be a resounding success. it's sad that the voice of the young was drowned out by a demographic who are inflexible, unthinking, and who, selfishly, simply want a return to the 1950's forgetting that it was a time of great hardship and poverty not the golden age their failing memories recall. perhaps they prefer not to remember the signs in shop windows "no dogs, no blacks, no Irish", or more worryingly maybe that's what they would like to see replicated on our high streets today with Eastern Europeans replacing dogs in the equation.
The whole mishandled, sorry fiasco has saddened me beyond words. the hatred that has been unleashed has revealed how shallow is the veneer of civility we claim to possess and how easily manipulated we are by clever orators peddling snake oil and empty promises. did anyone truly believe that the same names who have previously written and spoken about dismantling the NHS would go on to gift it with unproven millions? or that our health and food services could survive if all overseas residents were blocked from crossing our borders? or that the far right, National Front et al could resist jumping onto a tempting bandwagon with their vile vitriol?
We will get through this whatever our political masters come up with.... but at what price? one thing is certain.... those at the top wont pay !!! it will be those at the bottom of the pile who are forced to carry the cost, as always. the finance, resources, time, focus, debate that should be going into improving services for the poor, sick and elderly will be siphoned off to the pockets of lawyers, advisers, diplomats and politicians as 28 nations bicker interminably amongst themselves. the hard pressed police will see more cuts to their ranks just as disgruntled Brexiteers start venting their malcontent on immigrant neighbours. the disabled and minorities will lose decades worth of hard fought protections. and the fabled "pound in your pocket" will suddenly feel very small.