As the referendum restarts, we’ll see what’s been learnt


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,469

Sunday 19 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Whatever comes of the referendum, we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and what we have become.

If we allow the fear mongers and peddlers of prejudice and hate to succeed, we will be surrendering to becoming less than human, less than what we are as creatures born and less than any potential that is innate in us.

Hugh Laurie posted a very poignant Tweet on Twitter yesterday, “I hate this referendum, for turning a question of unfathomable complexity into Lord of the Flies.” For the record, Laurie’s use of ‘hate’ means profound disgust or revulsion, not raging, murderous, intent delivered from the barrel of a gun.

The worst of it is that the vitriol, anger and hate has been manufactured by those who have nothing but ill will towards Britain and, specifically, towards ordinary people who face a vote in an atmosphere of confusion, doubt, fear and uncertainty fuelled by the major players in promoting it from your party, you, Michael Gove, Priti Patel, Boris Johnson and George Osborne and that UKIP pretender to being a man of the people, Nigel Farage.

The debate, and I use the word very loosely, has been a master class of wilful deception for self serving reasons by people without a shred of decency or honour.

The death of Jo Cox has not happened in a vacuum and nor have the responses, some of which have been utterly shameful and loathsome. Her husband, in his statement about Jo, said, “Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people. She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.”

Those are not empty words written for self serving reasons, they are the words of a heart broken man who has just lost the woman he loved. The only question that remains is whether we listen and act on those words of immense compassion by a man whose wife was stolen from him, and two children their mother, by hate? It is a situation where if we are not an active part of the solution, then we are the problem. The referendum campaign is due to restart today, Sunday, having been called off out of respect for Jo and her family, let’s see just how much respect there really is, in action. It’s time to put up or shut up and stop manufacturing lies and discontent.

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