I started in 2018 on the path to removing as much of the hate from my life and I could. That included aspects of life that I used to love where the negativity and division had taken up too much of my time and emotion. That included things that you might not think would be defined under hate, like ending my fortnightly visits to Bristol Rovers, but it was one place where the negative energy outweighed any positives. It’s just me, I know that. But one small part of life got better after that.
I don’t believe in so called New Year’s Resolutions because they can be oppressive and impact negatively on my life. Yes, I am cutting back on booze and fatty food, and exercising more, but I was always going to that anyway, regardless of what the calendar said. Now I am taking the axe to the poisoned minds.
Whatever one’s political views, no one can deny that Britain is a bitterly divided country and we all know why. The referendum vote to leave the EU was a vote for narrow English nationalism, led by and paid for by wealthy people from the far right, including I suspect we shall discover in the future some very dark money. Not only did Brexit, as we call it, take us on a course where our country is pulling up the drawbridge to the rest of the world, it enabled the simmering hatred that lay quiet, if not dormant. The gross inequality that lays at the heart of our country, the geographical apartheid and tied in with that the utilisation of the weapon of migration to stoke up further fear and anger came to the fore.
Look at the political and media overreaction to the presence of a few hundred desperate migrants trying to cross the English channel. It is a problem, for sure, and I would say that the humanitarian aspect was more concerning that a couple, of hundred people who see a better life in the UK, but it was hardly an emergency until the home secretary turned it into one. Yet again, the political and media narrative suggested all our problems, all our woes, were the fault of foreign people. The small space once occupied by fascists was and is going mainstream and it’s becoming a big space now.
I am not going to change my mind about the reasons this country is in a mess and I am not going to stop talking and writing about it. But I am going to remove some of the ugliness from my line of vision.
In recent days, some Facebook ‘friends’, who are not always the same people as real friends, have infected my timeline with some genuine poison, like for example the far right rantings of the woman who used to be on the Apprentice and now makes a tidy living from her pound shop polemic. There has been much hatred directed towards the refugees and asylum seekers who are, for one reason or another, trying to come to our country to find a better life. I am not going to be ‘friends’ with the haters anymore.
Not everyone who voted leave in the referendum campaign was a racist but every racist voted leave and, I have to say, with some leavers there appears to be a very fine line between simply wanting to leave Europe and being an out there racist. And I can never understand how someone who believes in Brexit cannot be concerned that they are on the same side as Trump, Putin, Stephen Laxley-Lennon, Paul Golding, Nick Griffin, the woman who used to be in the Apprentice, Boris Fucking Johnson, Farage, Kate Hoey, Arron Banks and every other right wing tyrant and polemicist in the world, not to mention the far left who to a woman and man support a hard Brexit to bring about socialism in one country. That includes the Magic Grandpa himself, hard Brexiter Corbyn. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
So some Facebook ‘friends’ have been unfriended and in some instances blocked. There is no reason why they should give a toss about this, but then neither do I. By all means, continue your campaign of hate and xenophobia and petty, spiteful English nationalism and international isolation, but do it on your own timeline and not mine. I don’t need your hate anymore.