As a directionally challenged person who has never been to London alone before, I felt unable to join the 100, 000 strong Unite for Europe march last Saturday in case I never made it home again. I've therefore emailed Donald Tusk instead and asked him to disregard Theresa May's letter triggering Article 50 until we sort ourselves out and decide what we want. What we really, really want.
This is the most recent small gesture in a series of small gestures which have included voting Remain on June 23rd, writing to my MP, signing a few petitions, leaving some comments on a group Facebook page (which I quickly unfollowed as both sides stopped listening and threw insults back and forth instead), joining the Liberal Democrats 4 months ago and offering to stand as local councillor in in a nearby ward at the next local election on the understanding I have no hope of winning it. (This apparently is a commonly used tactic by all parties to gauge support in the area, create a firewall from the opposition and divert swing voters from going with somebody else).
I honestly don't know what else to do. Life is busy enough already, you know?
Human beings have lived in times of social and political upheaval before, but social media has made it waay too easy to YELL ABUSE at strangers who happen to disagree with your point of view (regardless of how informed or ill informed that may be). The strength of feeling and rate of escalation in conversations is hugely disturbing, yet a conversation earlier tonight with Spawn X freaked me out even more. It went thusly:
Me: So Theresa May's letter should get there tomorrow and Article 50 will be triggered.
Him: Yeah, I know.
Me: I'm emailing the President of the European Council and telling him I don't agree with her.
Him: That will never work.
Me: Yeah, I know. But I want him to know anyway.
Him: Why? What does it matter? Brexit will happen anyway.
Me: What does it matter? Don't you realise nothing would EVER change if everyone believed nothing ever would?
Him: But we have a democracy- people voted to leave.
Me: People got the vote because other people fought for it - people who lived and died before we got here.
Him: And the people voted and have spoken.
Me: If you're white, male and straight you have nothing left to fight for. Are you too privileged to care about what happens?
Him: No - I just don't think it's worth fighting anything you have no hope of ever winning.
Me: But can't you see that every massive change in society was at one point unwinnable? Don't they teach you about Martin Luther King in school? Ghandi?? Why the conformity?
Him: It's not about conformity - I think that people voted and they should face the consequences of their decision - even if it was a stupid decision.
Me: But... but... You're the one who's going to have to live with it - for longer than me. And your kids. And your grandkids.
Him: That's what democracy means, mum.
Me: Yeah - and it also means that we can protest about it. This isn't North Korea. You disagree with them there and you get carted off and loose your thumbs. Or one day your parent or your kid just disappears on their way home and you never find out what happened to them.
Him: Aaaargh.... You're wasting your time. And you're winding me up.
Me: So you think we should just do NOTHING?
Him (Pulling his hood up over his head and wrapping the cord around his neck in slow motion): I'm. Just. Saying. I. Think. You're. Wrong.
Me (Reality check): Oh my gosh... I'm being like Grandma with anything involving alcohol. Aren't I?
Him (Nodding): Twenty minutes of my life. For ONE joke about cider...
Me: I'm sorry.
(We hug and he goes to bed)
Ah well. Zig-a-zig-ah. Happy Article 50 Day, UK.