I couldn’t let this night pass without acknowledging that tomorrow will be the start of us losing something great. In years to come the names of Cameron, May, Farage, Gove, etc, will be reviled, of course, but that doesn’t help us now. It doesn’t help us prevent the slide into the abyss of small-minded, inward-looking ugliness that I fear we are headed for.
I don’t want to see these islands turning into the nightmare archipelago that they could if we let the insane clowns in government lead us into a cesspit of deregulation, rejection of human rights, and economic disaster.
I reject all that. I choose optimism.
I choose to believe that most people are basically decent and want the best for everyone, even if a small minority of them made a bad choice in voting, guided by liars.
I choose to believe that there is such a thing as progress in society, in culture. It isn’t constant and it isn’t guaranteed, but its arc does bend towards justice.
I choose to believe that the forces of backwardness — the racists, the misogynists, the homophobes, and everyone who condemns their fellow humans for what they are, what they believe, how they live or who they love — that those people will be washed up by the tides of history, left flapping on the shores of the future, and waste away.
Tomorrow we will still be in the European Union, but no longer of it. Brexit can still be stopped, but if it isn’t, if it goes ahead at full crashing speed the way the Tories seem to want: I choose to believe that we can still be the open-minded, welcoming society that I know we are.
And one day, Europe, we’ll come back.