…so why not just dive right in with a little political interlude? Let’s talk for a moment about the things people have started saying now that Brexit is a reality.
I live in London and I voted remain. I know large percentages of the rest of London did, too. I know many of us supported staying with the EU, supported unity, supported maintaining our ties, rather than the isolationism, fear, and bigotry that went along with the leave campaign. I know we’re all hurting right now, reeling at the shock. It’s like a bereavement. More than half those who voted have effectively pissed away our future. We’re going to lose so much in terms of funding and freedom of movement, and so many other things. We know that. The leavers who are now regretting their choice know that. But the answer is NOT more isolationism. I’m finding it incredibly hard to believe that a growing number of people are seriously talking about petitioning to have London made an independent city state. It just boggles my mind. It feels like a child having a tantrum when it doesn’t get its own way. And this from people whose vote reflected a desire to remain united! Do you seriously want to leave the rest of the country, millions of whom also voted remain, out in the cold? Do you want to cut them loose, leave them without a capital, without a seat of power, without a goddamn parliament? Do you want to just make them somebody else’s problem? It’s not as if all the millions of people who also voted remain would be able to desert their lives to come and live in this ridiculous fantasy land you’ve cooked up.
And fantasy it is. There’s no way London could survive independently. The structure for it is not there. Trade deals would have to be negotiated. Everything would have to be imported, including things previously readily available from elsewhere in the UK. It would have to set up its own NHS, its own taxes, its own subsidies and so on and so on and so on. Prices would rise further. Another election would have to be called because let’s be honest, it would be rather too much of a leap to go from mayor to president. It would become untenable in a matter of weeks.
I get it. You’re angry. You’re hurt. So am I. So are a lot of people. But what we really need is to push for a general election. Calling for another referendum isn’t the answer either: you can’t just keep voting until you get the result you want. Don’t forget, 16 million people voted leave and who’s to say more wouldn’t joint them? New leadership is our best shot at sorting this mess out. Let’s make that happen and let’s make sure it’s not Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage at the helm.