I say, fuckity fuck what. December 13, 2019 7:07 AM   Subscribe

Politics in the UK just officially hit the fan, and there might be a lot of unhappy and frightened UK mefites out there today. Could we have a thread for them to vent and support each other?

Sending hugs to all who want them.
posted by greenish to MetaFilter-Related at 7:07 AM (56 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

Hell of a day, hugs to you all.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:12 AM on December 13, 2019 [14 favorites]


Definitely unhappy, mostly UK (until my ILR goes through, and then eventual citizenship) Mefite. Hugs gladly accepted.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:15 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Keep your peckers up, better days will come.
posted by briank at 7:21 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


One of the things I've found getting me down today, is people musing "well, interesting, lets see what happens now".

The privilege, of course, jumps right out - to take such a distant stance, it's likely that they aren't affected, or don't have anyone close to them who will be, by austerity and the likely fallout from the upcoming years of government.

It's just really hard, at a time when there is enough dividing us and polarising society, not to get really angry with those people.

But like many have said - we grieve, we rest, then we pick ourselves up and find new ways to fight for better.
posted by greenish at 7:24 AM on December 13, 2019 [30 favorites]


Am in London. It's been an open offer to my friends but I think I'd count any mefite as such - I don't have much free time today any more but anyone here who wants anything between a cup of tea and a pint of whisky along with a chat or an expletive filled vent is free to memail me for that tomorrow.
posted by edd at 7:40 AM on December 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


I’ve been living outside the UK for just under 7 years, and the last 3 years make me feel like I no longer understand England, do I live in such a liberal bubble? My parents are Scottish so I understand that, but what about the country I was born in? I will have to go back to the UK if I get too disabled to live in inaccessible Paris, and it is looking less and less appealing to go back as a gay disabled person.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:43 AM on December 13, 2019 [11 favorites]


I am trying to maintain a stiff upper lip but every time I see or hear footage of that fucker Johnson the thing just curls uncontrollably.
posted by flabdablet at 7:47 AM on December 13, 2019 [7 favorites]


Sorry everyone. Hugs to those who want and need them.
posted by cooker girl at 7:48 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


((((UK MeFites)))) I'm so sorry.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:03 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'm so sorry about... everything. Know that your friend and fellow mefite on the other side of the pond is thinking of you and grieving with you.

Non-UK folks with good friends in the UK, please send them a note of solidarity and comfort today if you can.
posted by sugar and confetti at 8:18 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


I was genuinely hopeful about this election, so I was absolutely gobsmacked when I got home late last night and saw the exit polls. Even a tiny Tory majority would have been terrible enough, but for Labour to have their worst defeat since 1935 just adds insult to injury. I don't understand my country.
posted by badmoonrising at 8:22 AM on December 13, 2019 [14 favorites]


Condolences. This is horrifying.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:32 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


hugs and condolences UK Mefites
posted by supermedusa at 8:39 AM on December 13, 2019


Trying to not have a bit of a cry as I head into work. If there's anyone in Seattle who wants a pint or a cup of tea/coffee and commiseration, drop me a memail.
posted by kalimac at 8:40 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


I am an immigrant here in the UK - we chose to move here, we chose to stay here. But to be honest if we didn't now live in London, and will finally be staying in one place for awhile, we would either move to an Independent Scotland or moving somewhere else. You know that relationship advice about when someone shows you what they are, believe what you see? That is how I am feeling about the UK right now.
posted by Megami at 8:47 AM on December 13, 2019 [30 favorites]


Today, in the full knowledge of what's to come, has not been a very good day.

You know, a lot of us do that. Tis only a flesh wound, "today wasn't a good day".

What I actually mean is I've been wandering around like I've been shot in the gut today, trying not to break down in tears at the office xmas lunch. As a 40mumble englishman, that is just not done.

I'm just so. tired. of. this. shit. 3 years of trying to stop the hardest of hard brexits, the risk to EU nationals, and handing the last remaining public services over to the multinationals for exploitation and profit, and the country knowingly and decisively votes for that smug, lying wankstain Trump puppet because a peevish old socialist is *obviously* the greater threat.

ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH. God fucking dammit.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 8:54 AM on December 13, 2019 [34 favorites]


[[[[[Hugs]]]]]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:01 AM on December 13, 2019


I’ve been living outside the UK for just under 7 years, and the last 3 years make me feel like I no longer understand England, do I live in such a liberal bubble?

I live in the UK but still wonder about being in a bubble. I live in a Tory constituency that has been marginal this decade. Its two towns of about 25000 people each and then small villages. My university campus town is covered in Labour posters, not just from the students I think. But the other wide of the constituency is properly rural and we rarely go over there since there is a big river in the way. Its probably safe to say its pretty tory. I was out for a dept Xmas dinner last night, all ages in the dept, felt like there might be an upset over the polls. Boy did the poll news at 10pm come as a shock.

The one thing i would like to see from leaving the EU is a big fuck you to the farmers. Let the market decide their fates. Some hope.
posted by biffa at 9:07 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


[I posted this here when Brexit happened and pretty much feel the same so going to repost again.]

Fuck this noise about those who support Remain having to build bridges with those who voted Leave. Or that we should try to understand why because obviously they are just reacting to feeling disenfranchised with the ruling class or some such.
Many, many of the people you want me to build a bridge with are out and out racists. And they refuse to believe reality - I have had discussions with these people ... they refuse to accept reality when that reality gets in the way of what they want to believe. As in these people willfully reject reality. Not because of the political elite, or a loss of manufacturing, or the EU. But because of hate. And stupidity. That £350 million promise that they believed in? The slightest bit of research would have shown them it was bullshit. But of course, experts are not to be trusted, what the tabloids and the side of a bus tell you is what you are going to go with. Because it fits your narrative. The narrative that all the crap happening to you is not your fault. It is the fault of the EU (shaped by the representatives you can't be bothered voting for) and immigrants (who are propping up the services you rely on and guess what - don't live in large numbers in the areas that hate them. Funny that).
Sorry but I am so sick of pandering to stupid people. People who will tell me - to my face - that if I quote the Office of National Statistics 'well, they are wrong' because what they read in the Mail said otherwise. Or they think, based on their facebook feed, experts are wrong. That it is okay to vote for Farage, Boris et. al. because 'well at least they are not those unelected Brussels wankers'.
Fuck it. Stupid is stupid and bigots are bigots and no I won't build a bridge to them.
posted by Megami at 9:30 AM on December 13, 2019 [47 favorites]


I'm so sorry.
posted by mochapickle at 10:04 AM on December 13, 2019


I went out for lunch with a friend, and from the perspective of Scotland it's like... what the fuck happened to England? The staunchly Labour places I grew up in voting Tory for fuck's sake. I look at the election map of Scotland and I basically understand it - the rich rural places vote Conservative, everywhere else doesn't, and you can see the logical patterns.

I recently learned the German term Vergangenheitsbewältigung - working through the problematic past. It feels like what English politics is doing is the opposite; trying to recreate a rather nasty colonial past that can't work even if you're really nasty because there are (virtually) no colonies any more.
posted by Vortisaur at 10:05 AM on December 13, 2019 [8 favorites]


The day after, I still don't know what to say, but I'm sure many of us looking on from abroad feel a tiny bit of your pain. Good luck, everyone. We hope the UK (or whatever parts of it come to their senses, if it comes to that) will find a way to pull through.
posted by chrominance at 10:26 AM on December 13, 2019


Oh, and if you are wondering if racists are taking this as an opportunity to be openly racist - the Queen of UK racists is leading the charge.
posted by Megami at 10:30 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


Hugs from here in Liverpool. I think I'm still reeling. I'm angry but not as apoplectic with rage as I expected. Just numb, tired, defeated. I think my capacity for despair was already about maxed out. Maybe it helps that I at last got a job offer after three years of unemployment a few days ago. It's cold comfort, being that it's a handful of hours at minimum wage, but as my mum always says, beggars can't be choosers. I don't think my expectations could sink much lower at this stage.

So my words of encouragement aren't going to be tinged with hope or anything. They would only ring hollow. It's bad. It's astronomically bad. But as a depressed person in the midst of the darkest part of the darkest of years, I am perhaps better prepared for the apocalyptic despair than I would have been in happier times.

There's a truism that depressed people perversely have a more accurate idea of reality than most. It's not much of a consolation if I'm being honest. But it does perhaps prepare you for the worst. I suppose the best I can give you is from the "give them enough rope" school of thinking; that is to say, these bastards made their shitted bed and now they have to sleep in it. Like I say, cold comfort.

I think the last I have to say is that times like these force you to appreciate what little rays of sunshine you can get. A connection to like-minded friends and family, perhaps. A bit of moral support and commiseration. And the excuse to behave self destructively with regard to the consumption of biscuits, narcotics and bleak music.

I'm going to spend the evening with a good friend and watch some Star Trek and indulge in the fantasy that another world is possible. My last word is that it's possible that our lives aren't entirely devoid of purpose: it's possible that we simply exist to serve as a warning to future generations.

May the God I don't believe in help us all.
posted by Acey at 10:39 AM on December 13, 2019 [14 favorites]


Oh, and if you are wondering if racists are taking this as an opportunity to be openly racist - the Queen of UK racists is leading the charge.

Please don't link directly to horrible people's tweets without a more explicit warning.
posted by Etrigan at 10:39 AM on December 13, 2019 [9 favorites]


Love, hugs, and whiskey to our members in the UK, to everyone affected ... and to all of us who care. It's a worse world everywhere today.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:47 AM on December 13, 2019 [6 favorites]


I've felt sad and worried for the future all day today. This morning a friend and I had our usual Friday morning trip to a cafe for coffee and cake. We are both fortunate insofar as we are in good shape financially, in good health and in employment. We know we're luckier than many and for us our lives will go on as normal for the time being. All we can do in this awful situation is to be kind, to look for ways to improve things where we live, and to speak up for what we know is right. Because if we don't, what follows will be fascism.

I'm a Waspi who's having to work for another six years before I can draw my pension, and I have no family or partner. I absolutely dread falling ill and being taken to my local hospital (the same one where Boris was berated by a desperate parent during the election campaign). I have a fear of dying alone and forgotten on a trolley in a hospital corridor. It's not an unrealistic thing to worry about. I am fucking terrified of what life will be like for me, now aged 60, in 15 or 20 years (if I live that long). Dignitas may well be an option at that point.
posted by essexjan at 12:13 PM on December 13, 2019 [11 favorites]


As an EU citizen who has made London my home, I spent today tidying and cleaning my flat to assert some control on my immediate surrounding because I feel I have none outside these walls.
posted by slimepuppy at 12:30 PM on December 13, 2019 [22 favorites]


I am so sorry, UK Mefites! It must feel as bad to you as it did to USians when Big Cheeto *cough* was elected here. It sucks. Sending you a million hugs.
posted by Lynsey at 12:40 PM on December 13, 2019 [4 favorites]


I am so, so sorry. Sending many hugs and warm thoughts to those who want and/or need them.
posted by bookmammal at 12:43 PM on December 13, 2019


I am just so broken. I wasn't wrong about the Wirral; we swept all four constituencies. Enough voters around here hate the Tories far more than they hate the EU, and our GOTV effort was not in vain, but I still feel so hollowed out.
posted by skybluepink at 1:22 PM on December 13, 2019 [10 favorites]




I'm sorry. Take care of yourselves, as much as you are able. This solves nothing, but I really like the mobile game 'I love hue' for anxiety. It won't change anything, but sometimes you just need to put the colors in order and be called a beautiful butterfly.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:02 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


Aww man, I was holding out hope that the UK would not follow the Australian election and would be the start of some wins around the world. Sigh.
posted by freethefeet at 2:52 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


I am so sorry, UK MeFites! Truly not the news I (or any of you) were hoping to hear.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:46 PM on December 13, 2019


This is the worst timeline. I'm so sorry.
posted by tzikeh at 5:00 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


Thanks greenish. And hugs to you and my fellow MeFites. I had just just allowed myself a wee bit of hope - stupid of me after Trump and Brexit - and fuck if it wasn’t like a punch in the guts when the exit poll was announced. Here in NI there was at least a bit of positivity with the DUP losing two seats and a lot of their majority slashed in the seats they held, but now that the Tories don’t need them anyway our voting to replace them with Remain voices is somewhat moot. All the talk here is now of a United Ireland and God is it annoying to watch people being like ok here we go like it won’t be (at best) long and drawn out and (at worst) bloody. I had to nope out of twitter earlier when some fuckwit posted a picture of an Armalite with some sort of “its time” caption ffs. Meanwhile I’m going for a Christmas dinner tomorrow night with a big group of people, more than half of whom are immigrants who have lived here for years, and who now have as PM someone who said migrants have been making themselves at home in the UK for too long. I don’t know what’s happening. Plus I’m a deep socialist and I have so much respect for Jeremy Corbyn and what he tried to do and I can’t bear the abuse he’s getting today, like it was his fault for being “unlikeable” I mean HAVE YOU FUCKING LISTENED TO BOZO FOR ONE SECOND and not the fact that fascism and racism and the oligarchs are winning. I can’t.
posted by billiebee at 5:02 PM on December 13, 2019 [11 favorites]


UK folks, I am so, so sorry.
posted by rednikki at 5:02 PM on December 13, 2019


Hugs from Tokyo. I spent Thursday evening our time out with three good friends from the UK. None of us really wanted to talk about it, but in the end we had to. I've been following it quite closely, but asked them questions and let them just rant as they braced themselves for the inevitable worst. In the end we all wound up just exhausted. Hugs, y'all!
posted by Gotanda at 5:18 PM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


I'm so very sorry this happened and that the crazy racists are in charge. All I can do is wish you courage and strength for the difficult road ahead.
posted by longdaysjourney at 5:39 PM on December 13, 2019


2014 broke my 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 heart. I don't expect Scotland's devolved parliament to last much longer.
posted by scruss at 8:37 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


I’ve been obsessed and depressed since the election of orange hitler 3 years ago (and literally had to leave the USA, after living there for 35 years), and all these times I’ve been trying to figure out how can so many people all over the world vote against their interests.
Today I think I know the answer:
Global warming is so undeniable, that turning to end of the world fascist cults is a mass suicide movement, where the people say ‘fuck it, I’m going full nihilist’.
It also makes sense that many of them are “religious”, a philosophy that cares more about death than living.
posted by growabrain at 8:57 PM on December 13, 2019 [6 favorites]


I don't think it's mostly that, growabrain. I think it's mostly that propaganda works. And the scariest part about propaganda working is that it works every bit as well on the people who make it and spread it as it does on their intended audiences.

We are living in an era where the public discourse is dominated by the output of self-deluding, self-promoting, self-serving advertisers, and where most of the food for thought that most people eat most of the time is packaged up nicely and delivered to us by somebody else rather than needing to be self-sought.

I see where we are as the result of a global trend toward privileging convenience over every other virtue. Wisdom is simply not fashionable any more.
posted by flabdablet at 10:22 PM on December 13, 2019 [12 favorites]


flabdablet, I think it's also that there's a *really* deep well of racism in england - far deeper than I ever realised. Probably my priviledge showing, but I genuinely thought outright racists were relatively few in number; mostly surfacing at football matches, at UKIP and in the daily mail comments and the like. I had no *idea* that like 50% of the population are basically white english nationalists when given approval to express it.

And of course, they get really angry if you call them racist. "look, I just want to talk about what's an acceptable rate of immigration, we can't even discuss it! I mean, you get all that polish crap in the supermarkets, and you hear all that foreign lingo on the train, all those women wearing burkas, and it's like it's not even our country any more! And you can't even understand the doctor with that accent, and all the schools are full of these foreigners, and Katy Hopkins* just says it how it is, and we got fed up of being called stupid racists so you lost, get over it!!!"

And so much so, they're willing to knowingly shoot off both feet, as long as it means a few more immigrants get kicked out. It's freaking scary how little I recognise my country any more.

* Queen of UK racists, see above
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 10:47 PM on December 13, 2019 [14 favorites]


I think it's also that there's a *really* deep well of racism in england - far deeper than I ever realised.

As a citizen of a country whose dominant culture has maintained the depth of the well that England exported here, I can only concur.

Australia has a reputation for being a successful multicultural country, and to a great extent it is that; but while it's obviously true that every subculture everywhere is always going to include a proportion of casual unexamined racism, the subculture here that identifies its main roots as English has easily the highest such proportion.
posted by flabdablet at 11:31 PM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Isn't it more of a xenophobia thing rather than racism per se - (speaking as WoC) - I grew up reading my Enid Blyton and especially Hercule Poirot and everything else required for GCE O Levels in English and Literature in the first year/s of 1980s - and my big takeaway was that anyone and everyone was the 'foreigner' - even someone from the big city - and Poirot's patient acceptance of the 'foreigners' attitude in England of that time is very enlightening. Not being prejudiced against 'the other' is not something I've ever associated with the UK, and as the enshrinement in popular literature of the past century shows, it has always been considered part of being English.
posted by Mrs Potato at 5:52 AM on December 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


Did anyone else vote Green? I did and the party did well. It was the election when I decided to vote for the party I genuinely believed in, even if small.
posted by peepofgold at 12:22 PM on December 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


I think it's also that there's a *really* deep well of racism in england - far deeper than I ever realised.

Unfortunately, I have to concur. I'm English, and lived in England until I was 40. Working in printing factories in London in the nineties and early noughties, it was readily apparent.

There was a lot of 'white flight' from the North London suburb where I lived and worked to the home counties, and the working class/lower middle class people that I worked with thought nothing of expressing their reasons for doing so in the most unpleasant ways possible (which I won't repeat here) and did so as if it was a completely normal and understandable reaction to the diversity of the community that we worked in.

My parents (both working class Londoners) have gone from being life-long Labour voters to voting both for Brexit and The Conservative Party in the last two elections for much the same reasons.

Accordingly, I can't say I'm particularly surprised by any of it. I am glad that I live in Scotland now, with a First Minister who is actually prepared to set the tone of the immigration debate up here in far more inclusive terms than the current incumbent of 10 Downing Street.

Am glad I'm not the only one who just feels tired and disappointed, rather than angry at present, thought that will come soon enough, I think.
posted by Chairboy at 3:30 PM on December 14, 2019 [9 favorites]


Sorry. I just need to say "AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
posted by motty at 6:59 PM on December 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


All my angry is depleted and transmuted into exhausted, sad, fearful. Not surprised Tories got a majority, but very surprised it was so landslidey. The Brexit vote broke any remaining illusions I had about British spirit and now the remnants of those illusions are ground underfoot. I too live in a liberal bubble, a wider one than I thought.

We go on from here, I guess. There may yet be unexpected silver linings, although right now I can't think of anything but gloom.
posted by Ilira at 7:02 AM on December 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


“Isn't it more of a xenophobia thing rather than racism per se”

Not when your patients would rather be treated by the white Spanish nurse over the black British nurse, no.

To some people, black and Asian British people will never “belong”, even if they’ve been here for four generations now. Whereas a white European can move over tomorrow and “oh we don’t mean people like YOU” (they do mean Polish people, because anti-Slav racism is apparently An Actual Thing, for whatever reason).
posted by tinkletown at 9:22 AM on December 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


Tinkletown, let me contradict you there - as a white Eastern European who moved to the UK in 1198, let me assure you that there is plenty of xenophobia to go round for the wrong kind of whities, too. And those co-nationals of mine who have remained in the UK during the last few years can tell of any manner of threatening behaviour and out and out nationality-based violence.

It has been my experience though that English people are in the habit of denying white-on-white xenophobia and chauvinism...
posted by doggod at 10:24 AM on December 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


Sorry if I wasn’t clear, I meant these people “don’t mean people like [Dutch/French]” but they DO still mean Eastern Europeans. I was saying I was baffled what the possible basis could be for anti-Polish racism, not disputing its existence. It’s very clear it exists.
posted by tinkletown at 12:18 AM on December 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Really struggling today. I've been trying to avoid the news, but friends who know how deeply immersed in the Remain cause I've been over the last three years keep sharing stuff.

It's like my worst nightmare came true. We are leaving, officially. Potentially on catastrophic terms if we can't agree one of the fastest and most complex trade deals in EU history.

All the Parliamentary jockeying and campaigning and marching and tweeting and hoping, hoping, hoping and it all came down to this.
posted by doornoise at 8:47 AM on December 20, 2019 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I've just realised that I actually do want to know what terms we're going to be on with the EU come 1st Feb (can I still take a day trip to Paris with less than six months' validity on my passport? if I bring sandwiches for the train, do I have to make sure I've eaten them by the time we arrive?) but I feel so sick about the whole thing that I can't bear to look at even the official sources, much less the newspapers.

And I'm about to go and stay with my Leave-voting, Conservative-voting parents over Christmas and the New Year, and although we all love each other and have therefore thus far avoided the topic as much as humanly possible, if the news comes on, it's going to make avoidance hard.

"Everyone needs a hug," says the note at the bottom of the page. More true right now than ever.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 12:13 PM on December 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


If anyone else is wondering about the terms we'll be on with the EU during the transition period, here's some information from the Guardian.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 9:34 AM on December 30, 2019


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