Dress: & Other Stories
Ear Cuff: c/o Felice Dahl
Clutch Bag: c/o Dorothy Perkins
Shoes: c/o Dorothy Perkins
This was going to be a post about this outfit that I wore to my grandpa’s 90th birthday last weekend, held in Oxfordshire with my family members from all over the UK and the world, and how lovely it all was.
But I write this on Friday 24 June, the day I woke up to find that my fellow countrymen and women had decided to leave the European Union. I was – and still am – genuinely shocked, appalled and devastated at this result. Despite the noise made by the Leave campaigners, I believed that the UK was strong and intelligent enough to see through the bullshit, the lies and the fact that throughout this whole campaign we have been completely misinformed.
This isn’t about independence, ‘change for the better’ or standing on our own two feet, this is about racism and intolerance – and I’m concerned about the ripple effects this will have through the rest of the world. The UK isn’t perfect – never has been, never will be – but it’s the multiculturalism, the acceptance and open-mindedness, the freedom to move and fully immerse ourselves in other cultures, the solidarity with our neighbours and our beloved NHS that makes it so great – and these are exactly the things that are in jeopardy.
It’s not just the immigration and what feels like an increasingly racist and bigoted society we find ourselves in that worries me. It’s our economy. At the time of writing, the pound has plummeted to the lowest it’s been since 1985 and the chances of being able to buy a house and secure a mortgage are looking even slimmer than they were before.
And what about those regions of the UK that have been supported by – and have relied upon – EU funding? It’s a sad reality that there are areas of Britain that are favoured by our government and others that shoved into the background. I’m from Merseyside – a place that time and again has been all but written off, discarded and forgotten about by the government. Thanks to EU funding, once-derelict areas were completely regenerated, Liverpool John Lennon Airport gave people easier access to travel to and from the city – and created thousands of jobs, historic buildings have been restored and Liverpool waterfront is almost unrecognisable from what it was 20 years ago – now attracting culture, innovation and tourism. Without the EU I dread to think what Merseyside would be like today, and how this decision will affect its future – and all of the other regions just like it, like the north east which so vehemently voted to leave.
I’m heartbroken, like a lot of my generation who will have to live with the mess that we now face. Our futures hang in the balance of the far right – something I never thought I’d live to see or experience. I was proud of being a part of the EU and the freedom it gave us, the solidarity and shared experiences with our European neighbours, but now I don’t even recognise the United Kingdom that I grew up in and was proud to call home, despite its flaws.