Love Thy Neighbour. Even If They Voted Differently To You And They Have Put A Wall Up So You Can’t Get In Anyway.
Friend: OK so there’s been something I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while now but I’ve been too scared to tell you because I didn’t know how you would react and I thought it might make things weird between us…
Me: You know you can tell me anything, I mean we’re best friends, what is it?
Friend: Yes, well ok, ummmm
Me: Look, just spit it out it can’t be that bad and I mean well,you’re starting to really freak me out now, whatever it is just tell me.
Friend: OK well you know back in June…..
Me: Er, yeah?
Friend: Yeah, well more specifically 23rd June 2016?
Me: Well I don’t remember the specific day but, what about it?
Friend: Well I never told you this but…
Friend: I…..well….I….well on 23rd June, I …..
ok, ok, ok,…..on 23rd June 2016 I….I…..I….voted Brexit.
Me: Oh. My. God.
The names and faces of this scene have been changed to protect me and my mate, Anna Cooke. All events happened but may have been manipulated for entertainment purposes.
I have nothing against people who voted Brexit. In all honesty I am more offended when I meet people who tell me they watch Mrs Browns Boys. For, I have no problem with Brexiters. I am not Brexit-phobic.
I mean, some of my best friends voted Brexit.
Personally I voted ‘Remain’ because I couldn’t be arsed with the admin of moving out. I’m like the opposite of a renegade, in that whilst being disenchanted with the status quo I can’t be bothered to do anything about it. I mean moving out is such a pain in the bum hole. And that was just moving Hammersmith to Acton and my dad hired a van. (Thank you Daddy). Can you imagine how much of an effing drama it’s going to be to move out of the EU? I really hope Theresa May gets us our deposit back, 10 per cent wear and tear on The Hague (THANKS TONY BLAIR) is totally within reason. She needs to remember that Brexit is the most important deal of The(resa) May. Sun, Daily Mail, if you’re reading this you can have that one for free.
They say moving is one of the top ten stressful things you can do in a lifetime, just shy of Divorce and Death. Well, the amount of celeb deaths we’ve had to deal with in 2016, not to mention the shock split of Jonny Depp and Amber Herd, (I mean I really thought he’d found true love there), you tell me we’re supposed to be dealing with moving out of the EU as well? Enough already!
So I’m anti Brexit but have friends who are down with it. So, to be a good friend I’ve been really trying to see their point of view and be understanding of their mental illness. Sorry I’m joking, I mean their ignorance, still joking! Jeeze, you Brexiteers sure are sensitive. So as the old saying goes ‘you don’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes’ and I was totally down with this because a lot of my friends, like, have really nice shoes.
So after a night out on the town in my friend’s pair of Manolo Blahnoks, I started to see her point of view, (probably because she was buying the drinks). I started to see their could be some advantages to Brexit, like we could possibly be able to finally override the stupid EU law that tampons and sanitary pads have added VAT on them. Apparently the apparatus we use to soak up the blood that we bleed for 3-7 days every month is classed as a luxury item like ski equipment, or sour dough or having a cleaner. (FYI-Recently got a cleaner- like how middle class am I?!)
So, yes, I can see some pros for Brexiting. But for me, nothing overrides the importance of staying together for the kids. Errr, I mean, staying together so War between European countries is extremely unlikely, which is why the EU was initially established in 1945, in the aftermath of World War Two. Also, I really like interailing without worrying about visas and shit. Not to mention that feeling of togetherness and unity that coming together with Europe makes me feel. United we stand, divided we fall and all that jazz. Coming together; we are all the more omnipotent and omniscient. After all coming together is like the number one goal in most relationships.
The problem with Brexit is if you voted for it, Remainers automatically assume you’re racist (probably Romanians too). I think this is an unfair stigma to put on Brexiteers. I think the reason Brexiters are often branded with the ‘racist’ stigma is because most pro Brexit campaigns were based around taking control of our borders and immigration. Never mind the celebrity jungle it was all about who was going in the Calais jungle. But this doesn’t mean Brexiters are racist, o.k at worse, they are borderline racist-big deal! (Borderline, GEDDIT?) My Nan’s borderline racist and no liberal lefties are trolling her on Twitter. The reason Brexiters get so much abuse about it though is to us left wing liberal types, wanting to pull out of the EU feels a bit like we’re saying to Europe: ‘Got any English food cos we’ve had enough of this foreign Muck’.
I can’t deny immigration needs to be controlled but at the same time I adopt this mantra:
‘It’s not my country, it’s our world.’ Be generous. Let them in and they’ll let you in. I’m talking to you Sandra from Benidorm. If you make it hard for people to get into your own country then you’re making it hard for yourself to get into other countries.
I was reminded of this when on the Piccadilly Line. It was busy and so one had to adopt strategic yoga positions and Jenga Tetris type logic in order to squeeze in between the massive swarms of people. With each stop more and more commuters struggled to get on. I watched the reactions on people’s faces as the influx of passengers grew and grew.
I noticed most people obligingly squeezed down the carriage to allow others to get on, but some refused. I saw one guy in particular, adamantly not budging to let others in. He had a stern look on his face which simply read ‘Fuck ’em’. For a fleeting moment I empathised slightly, I mean by this point I had been sustaining downward dog yoga position for several minutes and also had a man’s balls in my face (which I may or may not have enjoyed). It was then that I realised that I was on the tube with the TFL equivalent of Nigel Farage. Which I have fondly nicknamed Nigel Carriage. GEDDIT?! And not only was I on the tube with him but I almost/kind of/not really agreed with him. I mean from a totally selfish subconscious gut reaction level.
Next time you’re on a busy tube or bus, look out for the Nigel Carriages. The world is split between people who let people in (Katie Price, Kim K, Blak Chyna) and people who refuse people entry (Nigel Farage, bouncer at Wetherspoons, Easy Jet when you forget to separate your liquids). My tube revelation and almost empathy with Nigel Carriage got me thinking: I need to be more broad minded. I need to think about things from both sides. I got off that tube feeling like I’d walked a mile in Nigel Carriage’s shoes. Probably because I had, the tube broke down at Earl’s Court and I followed him home. For research purposes.
In addition to Brexit supporting friends, some of my best friends voted for Donald Trump.
But I didn’t vote for Trump. The main reason I didn’t vote for Trump is because, well I couldn’t because I’m not American.
The other reason I didn’t vote for him is because I don’t like the way he talks about Muslims and my dad is Muslim and I love my dad, (he reads this). Albeit, my Muslim dad is actually feeling pretty smug at the moment after Egypt made it onto the modern Islamic equivalent of Schindler’s list when Donald Trump announced the seven Muslim countries that weren’t allowed into the States a few weeks ago.
Another reason I wouldn’t vote for Trump is I don’t like the way he talks about Women- the only person I want aggressively grabbing my pussy is my bikini waxer. And that’s to achieve the look that the Patriarchy expect of my vagina. What I’m saying is, I didn’t vote for Trump because I am a Feminist.
So, some of my best friends voted Brexit and for Donald Trump. And I don’t care! In fact I embrace it, because I embrace people’s differences. All over social media people have been arguing with others over their different political stances. I say embrace the diversity of opinions. I champion Diversity. It’s what makes the world go round. Don’t unfollow and unfriend them all on Twitter and Facebook in a kind of virtual genocide. (Virtual Genocide would be a really good name for a band, right?) But….no…..Genocide is the very sort of thing that we are wanting to obliterate from the world. Wiping out Genocide sounds like a double negative but its most certainly a double positive.
We need to stop belittling other people’s politics. We need to stop shouting and start listening. Like, what my parents learnt at couple’s counselling Communication and Compromise are key to harmony in a relationship.
The truth is if I I stopped being friends with people that had different opinions to me I’d only be friends with Larry David. I wouldn’t be friends with my friend Claire who thinks its perfectly fine to reuse tampons on light flow days (get a moon cup if you care that much about the environment) or Helen who thinks a good night out is at Weatherspoon’s followed by Oceana followed by a kebab and a fight with a girl in the taxi queue or my mate Emily who wants to have children.
In fact quite often a difference in opinion makes for a healthy debate. It makes us see things from other people’s sides.
The main reason why a difference in opinion is healthy is that it calls for the notion of compromise. A little bit of your opinion and a little bit of mine. The best of both worlds.
You want Mexican and I want Chinese food? Well, let’s go to that Wokamole buffet on the High Street then!
I mean we will both get the shits, because it happens every time I go there, but we’ll be compromising. And that’s what relationships are built on.
Me and my boyfriend compromise all the time. Last week he wanted to have sex with me and I didn’t. So we compromised. (He left me alone and went off to have a wank in the spare room). I’m only joking we don’t have a spare room, we live in London.
Or the other day he wanted me to make him his dinner for him when he got home from work and I didn’t, so we compromised, I plonked a plate of baked beans over his head and told him to go fuck himself.
We need to have the same attitude with people who have different political beliefs. I don’t mean tell them to go fuck themselves like they do on Question Time, but give them food for thought. Feed them with a respectable response to their opinions. Mediate with them. We need to show them the same amount of courtesy, even if their views are different from our own. For example, I don’t believe in fighting fire with fire like Donald Trump suggested on his views on Torture but I have taken what he has said into account and might I suggest a compromise? Let’s not fight fire with fire, let’s kill people with kindness. It’s less messy too.
Compromise and moderation are the opposite of the extreme and after all I thought we were all up for stopping Extremism?
If you steer to the extreme left you’re going to crash, if you steer to the extreme right you’re going to crash. If you contact the DVLA you can learn how to drive in a straight line.
This is why I’m going to start reading the news more diplomatically. I am one of those hipster left wing liberal types who only ever reads left wing news publications like Stylist and Vegan Weekly Magazine.
Maybe I should try and get a balanced view of things by reading some right wing publications like The Sun, The Daily Mail or Whats On TV magazine.
To gain a more balanced view. Or better yet only watch news that is neutral with no political agenda, just the facts, like CBBC News Round.
Every news story we read is most likely to be left or right wing propaganda. I fear news and social media is even more divisive than Brexit and Trump put together. The scaremongering is scarier than the image of Donald Trump and Theresa May’s hand holding. SO, SO, GROSS, what next, we see a picture of him spooning her?! At least Bill Clinton had the decency to get that blow job from Lewinsky in the privacy of the Oval Office.
We need to stop hating ‘the other side’. Putting a left wing or a right wing spin on things and not seeing things from a balanced perspective is not only ignorant and naive but doesn’t evoke real change it only harbours hatred and intolerance of the opposing sides.
I think we can all admit we’re in a bit of a shit hole at the moment (when are we not?). People are angry and disgruntled on both sides. But I think we need to all chill out, shut up and deal with it.
Brexit is happening.
Donald Trump is happening.
Let’s not cry over spilt milk.
Let’s just clean it up so no one slips on it.
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