I tweeted that at 09.00hrs, a few hours after coming to terms with the fact that this country had decided to vote to leave the EU. I can honestly say that I have never been so angry, confused and felt so impotent over a political decision. It was a referendum that did not need to happen, but did so because of petty party political infighting.
I took myself off to Denbigh's Hillside, close to Dorking, to clear my head. I sat down and started to put all of what had happened into some sort of order.
The bare facts are that 51.9% of those who voted opted to Leave, and 48.1% opted to Remain. For such a far reaching decision, it seems almost too narrow a margin to allow any progress to continue. This isn't just a case of the UK coming out of the EU. It has opened up massive chasms between the generations; a deeper fracturing of a fragile United Kingdom; a widening class divide; Northern Ireland and Gibraltar now facing up to being on closed borders; enormous worry for UK passport holders who are living (or working) in the EU (and the same applying to non-UK EU nationals living or working in the UK); cuts to EU funding of science and the arts; removal of environmental protections; possible erosion of workers rights.
The political landscape across Europe might not be all that smooth and easy at the moment, but us leaving the EU does no good at all to the efforts to steady it. There are military threats on its edge that a united Europe would be better placed to keep at bay. The humanitarian crises that surround our region need compassion applied on a broad front, and do not need a major player in the EU family (which we are) walking the other way, pretending not to be a part of it. We will now have an unelected PM. We will now have the most uninspiring set of politicians entrusted to try to sort this mess out. It is a time for leaders, not negligent pupils who have been caught out having not swotted up for their exams.
The youth of this country have been let down by the (largely) comfortably-off over 50s. The statistics say it all: 18-24 year olds voted 75% Remain, 25-49 year olds voted 56% Remain; 50-64 year olds voted 44% Remain and the over 65s voted 39% Remain. So the generation that enjoyed years of full employment, disposable income, golden pensions, affordable home ownership and the chance of early retirement have bestowed upon the youngsters (who have none of the benefits above) even more uncertainties. Thanks Mum, thanks Dad, thanks Nan and thanks Grandad. And why did they decide to play a highly risky game of chance with a future in which they will mostly not be alive to see the consequences of their actions? Just so they could stick two fingers up at Brussels? So that they can have wonky carrots back in the market place? Because of the immigrants? The truth is, we are all, back in time, immigrants. So this game of Russian roulette has been played, with little care (or, it seems, little planning) in the unlikely event that a vote for 'Leave' might actually be carried. It won't happen after all.... will it? I have heard more than one person say that they voted 'Leave' as a protest vote, but didn't think that it would all come to this. Well it has. For every boorish, pub-drunk-like clenched fist of triumph, there are many worried, confused and disenfranchised people, who didn't ask for this. And many that did ask for it, I wouldn't mind betting, are wishing that they didn't.
My troubled mind was soothed by a modest emergence of Marbled Whites. They seemed oblivious to the unrest going on across Europe, as too were the Bee, Pyramidal and Chalk Fragrant Orchids. In fact, I had found a haven away from real life, so was all the angst elsewhere nothing but a bad dream?
Our next PM might well be Boris Johnson, the same man that wants to build London's third airport on the Thames estuary. He won't need to worry about the environmental impact, because without the EU there will be no-one around to stop him. He may well preside over Great Britain turning into Little England. A good friend of mine - 69 years old and a Remain voter - has been in tears this afternoon. He wants to apologise for what his contemporaries have forced upon the younger generations who are, after all, the ones that will have to deal with all the fall-out of this. Maybe it is the beginning of the dying of the old political orders. Youth needs to invent their own and put right this xenophobic, small-minded mess that we have witnessed today.
I need another beer...
I will leave you with the image above. I came across a Second World war pill box on my walk, and thought it apt for today - looking out across the scarp towards the south coast, waiting and watching for the threat of invasion...