Its impossible to make decisions, particularly on the magnitude of the EU referendum without a variety of unintended consequences, at least as far as some voters are concerned. Unfortunately certain groups of British citizens whose intentions are not honourable, have taken advantage of this outcome to serve their own agenda. Along with the things that our decision promised to deliver, but cannot, such as an additional £350M per week for the NHS there are those things that it will deliver which good people never expected or wanted. Apart from the incident referred to in the image above, at least two others that have been swirling around social media in the last 24 hours are:
This evening my daughter left work in Birmingham and saw group of lads corner a Muslim girl shouting “Get out, we voted leave”. Awful times. Heaven Crawley is the Research Professor at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations in Coventry University
This afternoon I attended an event to mark the end of Refugee Week outside Brighton Town Hall, where I was pleased to be able to make a pledge that we will take in another 5 to 10 unaccompanied migrant children, or child refugees. During the event, a man walked in front of the 50 or so gathered in the square, and shouted, “haven’t you heard, the borders are closed”. This was posted on the facebook page of Warren Morgan, Labour Leader of Brighton & Hove Council
These two incidents are unconnected (apart from the link to the referendum) and are two examples amongst a number of others that I have seen. There is a real prospect that once the public awareness of the referendum is replaced by a focus on other things, that the number of incidents will diminish. However there is also a possibility that it won’t. After all the only mainstream Politician calling for Article 50 in the Lisbon Treaty to be enacted is Jeremy Corbyn who appears to have very few friends at the minute, at least in Parliament. If the Political parties attempt to either get their own houses in order and plan for the replacement of Cameron and possibly Corbyn, or more seriously opt to treat the referendum which is an advisory vote as a decision which can be ignored as David Lammy appears to be suggesting, we may enter different and unpleasant territory. The groundswell from those who were serious about leaving the EU could create many more problems including thousands of incidents such as the two outlined above.
There are Millions of people who voted to leave entirely and exclusively because they want to see an end to immigration, this is clear from the academic research carried out as the referendum campaign has been underway. These people have been allowed to buy into a narrative that is both untrue and would be a danger to our society in terms of a collapse of the NHS etc. The evidence that their wishes will not be fulfilled is contained in two clips which show by the way in which the interviewer challenges the politician concerned. It is clear that the nuances of the politicians views have been lost on these broadcasters who I suppose represent the metropolitan elite, let alone angry people in Birmingham and Brighton who do not have TV cameras in place to monitor their actions.
Nigel Evans is the MP for the Ribble Valley. His recent views were reported in a local paper on 26th May The Office for National Statistics reported that net migration for EU citizens was 184,000, with 270,000 EU citizens moving to the UK for at least a year. Speaking from Westminster this morning Mr Evans said: “These figures show one thing above all else. The only way for any UK Government to be able to control immigration is for this country to leave the European Union. “I agree with the Prime Minister’s stated intention to get annual immigration down to the tens of thousands, but that target is simply not achievable with the open borders that comes with our EU membership. Then he was interviewed on Radio 5 Live yesterday by Stephen Nolan when amongst other things he said there had been “some misunderstanding” over the Leave campaign’s position on reducing immigration and he talked about controlling immigration but implied it could go up as well as down.
Daniel Hannan, MEP for the South East was interviewed on Newsnight on Friday when he admitted that the country would still allow free movement of labour from Europe in exchange for our access to the free market. In terms of Daniels comments, he has been consistent throughout that he does not believe that immigration is a problem. However that is not how the campaign he has been part of has acted and promoted itself.
My position is clear, I voted to remain and along with many friends still feel shocked that we have taken this step which I believe to be deeply retrograde. I welcome and value visitors to the UK who take up residence here. However whatever the Politicians say now, some in our communities have concluded that their views which I would call racist and xenophobic are now entirely legitimate to express in public. All of us on both sides of the referendum need to understand what may have been unleashed in our name and begin to debate how to deal with it, because in part it is our responsibility.