The referendum on whether to leave the EU is now over 4 months behind us. In its wake we had a Prime Minister resign, an opposition busy having a civil war, a Tory leadership "battle" that brought Theresa May to Number 10 and a seemingly endless division within our country.
Let's not look with rose-tinted glasses upon our nation's past. There has always been division and, as long as humans continue to inhabit these islands, there will always be division. We're hardly unique as a country. But we have usually succeeded in having reasonable people in positions of power (or at least in positions behind those with the power!) who have defended the basics of our Westminster system and appealed for calm rather than chaos (Thatcher, for example, was hardly blameless in the chaos of the Miners Strike but you can't say she wasn't looking for orderly obedience). At the same time we had sober voices in our press who'd grumble at any change to that system or perceived abuse of it. Tony Blair's use of the Parliament Act, for example, was hardly greeted with mass support from the majority of papers.
Now, however, the division that has followed in the wake of David Cameron's ill-conceived referendum has been allowed to fester with no real attempts at calming the increasing vitriol (from either "side") by those who should be leading us. Jeremy Corbyn, the man foolishly tasked with keeping those in power in check by the Labour party, hasn't got a clue about how to handle the responsibility he has. We're adrift and our country's moral compass appears to be left in the hands of the nastier members of the Tory party (and I mean that quite strongly in terms of their our personal morals being nasty, not just some vague dislike of the Tories there).
There have been those making some feeble calls for unity but those calls seem based on some idea that just calling for it will make it happen. Unity happens through absolute victory or through compromise. A 51/49 split at the referendum wasn't an absolute victory and "Brexit means Brexit" isn't exactly a compromise (nor is it very clear about what's up for negotiation).
When certain elements of the press call judges "Enemies of the People", the response from those who should be trying to unite and govern the country has been so abysmal as to suggest they probably agree. The Government doesn't even respect the supremacy of Parliament, preferring to deal completely behind the scenes and away from the scrutiny of even Leave backing Tory MPs.
The battle over Europe is, sadly, over. The referendum was lost by a whisker. No one was clever enough to put in any threshold better than 50%. But it was lost and the vote was to leave the EU. I'm strongly in favour of our membership of the EU but feel that the best place to express a desire to do so is at the next election. All we currently are is a barrier to the continued evolution of the EU and we should now leave to put an end to the confusion. I think that is the wrong thing to do, but the only reasonable thing to do at the same time.
The battle for Britain has now begun. I don't seek some silly unity based on everyone just pulling together for the public good. This isn't the same country that fought in the Second World War. We're a series of interwoven but extremely different communities. All of us pulling together isn't going to happen. But the reasonable people of all hues could do so, if a compromise of some sort can be agreed. Something needs to happen to protect this country from falling into some very dark times indeed.
Unfortunately, I don't see there's much will within the current leadership of this country to make any sort of attempt to heal some of the wounds. In fact I don't see any real national leadership at all. Anti-intellectual, anti-liberal, anti-British elements seem to have infected our country from top to bottom. I know MANY people who are so angry, just as a general rule, that they'd welcome economic collapse or war rather than compromise on their ideological position. Death threats and calls for "Purges" aren't limited to the crazies either.
We're in the middle of a crisis. We've got no leader worth the title (with no offence meant to Her Majesty, who I'm sure would do a pretty good job. Just a shame she actually does value our constitutional arrangements and would never dream of interfering, God love her). We have a complete lack, across all stratas of society, of any urge to kept this country together or prosperous. We're up shit creek and no one is going to use the paddle because that might upset the direction of travel.
This United Kingdom has been one of the greatest countries ever to come into being on this Earth. Scoff at that if you wish but our influence remains great even in our old age. We are the country of Gladstone and Churchill. Of Victoria and Thatcher. Of Wellington and Montgomery. Of Shakespeare and Austen. And now, in what may become one of the darkest times of our history, we can't seem to step back from the abyss nor rediscover the better angels of our nature. Where is the leadership we need to get us through the storms ahead?
It is sad to see us turning into a disgraceful excuse of a nation and even sadder to see nationalism on the rise ready to destroy our Union. If you believe in a God, now is probably about the right time to start praying. If you don't, then hold tight and hope for salvation.