At shortly before six this morning Jane turned on the radio and we heard the end of the all-night referendum broadcast and the news that the Leave campaign had won a slim majority. The United Kingdom would leave the EU. My stomach sank as the markets had done. Well, I don't want to bore anyone with my disappointment. However, I was uncharacteristically moved when David Cameron announced that he would in due course resign and I wasn't unduly surprised to see Nigel Farage soon rowing back on the £35 million a week to the NHS promise of the Brexit battlebus ("It was a mistake").
Many, though not all, my friends on Facebook expressed their shock, shame, sadness and even anger over the outcome. I was particularly sorry for the younger generation whom I think have been let down. A YouGov poll indicated that they overwhelmingly wanted to remain:
I can do no better than apologise to my children and their generation. (Our district, if it's any consolation, voted for remaining in by a majority of 13%.) However I suspect that this country will become and feel very different in the years to come, less open, less friendly and less tolerant. Less European - and I regret that. I devoutly hope that our vote will not unleash a wave of nationalism across the continent, but I fear it will, and that would be more than tragic.
The final word I will leave with a good friend who cares about people: "Heavy feeling everywhere. Son in law up all night worrying about the markets; next door neighbour in street worrying about mortgage. I feel a deep wistfulness for 18s to 25s, 70% in favour of remain; shame before Poles and Romanians, who work cheerfully and hard at jobs many of us would turn up our noses at; fear for the most vulnerable immigrant communities, who must understand this message, especially asylum seeker friend of mine in the country for 13 years and more and still without permission to stay. Also a shamed awe before the forgotten working classes in outer estates, forgotten by people like me in our leafy suburbs, who have no one speaking up for them, in many ways completely helpless before a world not on their side, except for this act of political vandalism, that ultimately won't help them. 'The weight of this sad time we must obey' (Lear)."