We all know the date: Thursday, June 23rd, 2016: Independence Day or the End of Civilisation, depending on your worldview. Reaction to the Leave victory varied, of course, but most common was the initial shock. For those backing Remain, it came as a hammer blow. The lost referendum was, for many, like opening the front door to find two police officers standing on the step:
First, the worry.
But when they’re inside, standing in silence, not-sitting on the sofa you offered, not-drinking the tea you disappeared into the kitchen to make in an effort to gather your thoughts… Then they tell you, you should sit down: There’s been a tragedy, a death-blow, and the ending of a beloved relationship and dream of a future taken for granted.
The UK is leaving the EU. The British public voted FOR Brexit. The End.
You sink further into your chair, untouched comfort blanket spilling across the floor, staining anything it touches. You feel nothing. Dead. Shock.
Eventually, time returns in a gear-grinding of realisation; after you’ve checked six online news outlets, five channels on the TV, and read the headlines on every copy of every paper in the local newsagents, just to be sure.
The shock over, reality inverted, grieving can begin.
Psychologists, health-care professionals and counsellors have used the Five-Stages of Grieving model to describe, in general non-prescriptive terms, the steps most people go through when losing someone (or something) they love. What’s interesting is watching the ‘progressive’ left media and many Remain voters beginning the process, text-book style.
Right now, they’re in first-stage denial:
David Cameron is stepping down and not initiating Article 50 tomorrow, so Brexit isn’t happening.
Or, there’s an online petition for a second referendum that can be signed with multiple accounts, from any country in the world. It sets up impossible to meet criteria, effectively rigging the results. The signatories know this. A second referendum would mean spending millions more pounds and months more campaigning. Politicians are exhausted, the parties licking their wounds. The electorate are exhausted, too, wanting to get back to gossip columns, computer games, and watching cats-wearing-kilts videos. But, say the activists, if the numbers on-screen are large enough, it’ll overrule a legal referendum and make nasty Big Bad Brexit go away. F*ck democracy. F*ck the highest turnout in United Kingdom politics since the nineties. The result wasn’t what we wanted, so we’re going to try again until we get one we like.
Or, protesters can gather outside Boris Johnson’s house, yelling and screaming like blue-haired, bearded, be-dreadlocked three-year-olds who forgot to take their Ritalin post vote.
It’s June 26, the current year, 2016, and the denialism is going full-bore: double-barrelled unreality as a coping mechanism while a continent and country try to figure out how they’re going to move forward.
What will be interesting over the coming days, weeks, and months, is how the less resilient Remainers cope with the upcoming stages:
Anger, we’re already seeing. Moving through the different stages is only generally sequential, and people can flow to-and-fro between complementary states of righteous apoplexy. The more reality-embracing are here already, and progressing onto stage 4: depression., where social medial fills with doomsday scenarios of the highest order. The only articles published or shared are darker than Satan’s armpit, and twice as noxious. Brexit is the toxin that will end our civilisation. We will never recover, Ever.
There’s also bargaining, by regretters: ‘Oh, how I regret my vote. I didn’t realise it means we’d actually LEAVE the EU! If only I could do it all over again.’ At least they can grasp the concept of agency, even if it’s yoked to the twin sacred cows of aggrandising self-pity and life affirming guilt.
Contrast this with ‘progressive’ left Remainers who aren’t this way inclined. The ability to feel remorse for one’s own actions requires mastery of advanced classically liberal concepts like owning your actions, and taking responsibility. The regressive left are all about blaming computer games, society, colonial history, their parents and the elderly, the conservatives. anyone – as long as it means they don’t have to face their millenialism. Fortunately for them, when they finally wake up to the reality of Brexit they’ll realise that any problems they face, for the rest of their lives, can be laid at the feet of Leave voters. Never-mind an economic downturn was forecast pre-referendum. Nothing should interrupt a narrative that empowers the Twenty-Teen heroes: fighting injustice from their secret safe spaces, segregated from Evil by trigger warnings and political correctness.
For the emotionally/reality stunted amongst the Remainers and regretters, the only stage we haven’t seen yet is acceptance. – which is a shame. We need to discuss social issues, worker’s rights, pensions, migration, societal cohesion, confront racism, etc etc etc. There’s a millenial-ton of things people could be doing, campaigning for, engaging with, within the framework of the emerging situation. But hundreds of thousands of people are crying, bed-wetting and bleating when, instead, they could be a powerful voice for REAL social justice in a new United Kingdom.
Most Remainers, even regretters, get it. The general public, politicians, EU leaders, World leaders, and sane-of-centre media, get it:
The UK has left the building, upped sticks and walked, thrown off the shackles, moved on, written the ‘Dear John, it wasn’t me, it was you’ letter and put it, in an envelope, behind the china Bulldog on the mantelpiece.
Like any divorce, the reality happens months before the annulment papers are actually signed. When everyone catches up, we can move forward, together, and heal our Land, in partnership with not just the European Union, but the rest of the World.