On Being Ignored

This is a slightly adapted version of my blog which was published by LGiU here.

It is the run-up to the EU referendum.  Two voices are speaking, but not to each other:

Voice Number 1 – “I’m really frustrated and don’t know what to do about it. The vast majority of people I know and trust, virtually everyone I’m connected to on Facebook, the newspapers I respect, are really concerned about Brexit – what it will do to the country, and the impact on me and my family. Frankly it’s quite scary that people want to take such a huge risk, but in a referendum the power lies with people who really don’t seem to care about those things; it seems as though there is nothing that can be said that will change their mind. It’s terrifying. It feels really bad to be so completely ignored”.

Voice Number 2 – “I’m really frustrated and don’t know what to do about it. The vast majority of people I know and trust, virtually everyone I’m connected to on Facebook, the newspapers I respect, are really concerned about immigration – what it will do to the country, and the impact on me and my family. Frankly it’s quite scary that people want to take such a huge risk, but in our system of government the power lies with people who really don’t seem to care about those things; it seems as though there is nothing that can be said that will change their mind. It’s terrifying. It feels really bad to be so completely ignored. And I’ve been feeling like this for more than a decade”.

Of these two voices I personally identified strongly with Voice 1. I agreed strongly with the community, regulatory and economic goals of the EU – it was not perfect but the good far outweighed the bad. I suspect that we will muddle through Brexit but I fear there is scope for a really rough time for a lot of people, and even for me and my family, relatively insulated though we are.

But this isn’t a post about Brexit – this is a post about the terrifying sense of powerlessness and dread that I and many of my friends on the outer fringes of “the establishment” are feeling and felt in the “debate” beforehand. It felt really terrible to be ignored, to have one’s views so disrespected, and it is an “interesting” visceral experience. It is an insight I haven’t had recently into how so many of the people feel, and have felt for sometime. I “knew” this intellectually before. In fact, I thought that I “got” it; I feel it more now.  It helps me to rationalise why a significant fraction of the population (enough to tilt the balance in the direction of Leave) seemed to use the vote to lash out against the establishment heedless, or disbelieving, of personal risk.

I wrote this blog  as away of crystallising for myself – and others – that feeling of being ignored.  We should avoid subjecting anyone to that kind of feeling again.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s