Honestly. What did we think would happen?
The United Kingdom is not terribly united today. A voting turnout of 72% has voted 52/48 in favour of leaving the European Union.
So, 48% of the voting public is feeling pretty miserable.
That’s the thing about a referendum. Unless there is a landslide, then a significant proportion of the electorate is going to be ticked off when the results are announced. Judging by my telephone and social media feeds this is what has occurred. Emotions are running high.
I have been open about my preference for ‘Leave’. I posted here.
Like everyone else, I know lots of people on both sides of the argument. Most are passionate about their views. Some, on the ‘Remain’ side, are now feeling very angry, upset and concerned. They see the vote as a catastrophic error. These are the people posting increasingly strident views on social media. It would be unreasonable to expect those friends ‘not bothered’ or those on the winning side to be furiously posting, I suppose.
The geography of the voting makes things even more vexing. In a nutshell, Scotland, Northern Ireland and London wanted to remain, and everyone else wanted to Leave. This has led to calls for another referendum on Scottish Independence and even on Northern Ireland uniting with the Republic of Ireland.
Oh dear. Lots of tears and tantrums.
Financial markets have reacted badly. I don’t want to belittle this – but the markets betted heavily on a remain vote. In fact the only exit polls were conducted by Hedge Funds. When the vote started going the other way – ‘panic’ ensued. Panic, in this case, means that traders holding positions that supposed a remain vote, unwound those positions to mitigate losses. Large UK companies have not suddenly become worthless.
What happens now? Put simply, nobody knows. They are working it out as I write, and probably still will be while you read.
I have been struck by the continued arrogance of the media, the pollsters and the politicians. A simple question was asked and a simple answer given. Yet, the talking heads are still explaining that people voted because they are racist, or because they are old, or because they don’t understand.
This combination of outraged friends and ‘establishment’ arrogance leaves me feeling the need to justify myself.
So, for the record.
I am not racist. I’m no teenager, but I’m not a pensioner either. I feel that I have a reasonable understanding of business, politics and logic. I am not a wide-eyed little Englander. I still voted leave.
I respect everyone’s right to a view. I admire the passion and commitment. I am refreshed that the continent is actively engaged in looking at how best to move forward.