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Will the divisions in the UK ever be healed?

(65 Posts)
Dinahmo Mon 25-May-20 12:39:23

After Brexit those people who supported Remain were told to shut up, suck it up and get on with it. The govt exhorted the country to come together and move on. I, like many of my friends felt unable to do that. Our reasons being that staying in the EU were very important to us.

When the virus hit the country those divisions were forgotten and it seemed that everybody was pulling together. We heard accounts of neighbours who previously had little contact with others, helping other people. Groups of volunteers were set up without the aid of government, for example. The vast majority followed the govt guidelines over social distancing etc.

Then things started to go wrong. Most people seemed to think that the govt hadn't acted soon enough, or weren't doing the right thing and we all know about the thousands of people who have died. Some needlessly perhaps, because of the govt's slow reactions.

Now some people on GN and other platforms are calling those who are critical of the govt members of the Looney Left or Remoaners. Some of the press and others who supported BJ are now saying that the criticism of Cummings has been brought about by Remainers who see the prospective sacking of Cummings as being the first step in an attempt to dismantle the Brexit deal.

So, the old divisions are coming to the fore again.

In the States, Trump, undercover of all the furore going on there about covid, is busily dismantling environmental laws that protect the American National Parks. They are gradually being sold off to oil and gas prospectors and others who seek to develop them. The conspiracy theorist in me sees similar things happening here.

Esspee Mon 25-May-20 14:05:43

I know nothing of what is going on in the United States but am shocked at Boris upholding one set of standards for the elite but expecting the rest of us to do what we are told.
Absolutely nothing to do with politics. Simply common decency.
I felt very sympathetic to Boris even though I don't agree with his politics, but no longer. Not only should Cummings go, Boris has shown that he too needs to go.

MayBee70 Mon 25-May-20 14:39:04

If brexit crumbles it will be because it was won by feeding people lies. And repeating those lies over and over again. Having said that, the leave campaigners at the time seem to have judged the mood of the country correctly. Now the very same people that successfully won the referendum are trying to win yet again by lying.But this time I think they have totally misjudged the mood of the country. This afternoon is going to be very interesting.

paddyanne Mon 25-May-20 14:45:42

NO ,the divisions cant be healed ,they were caused by government lies and misinformation ,the £350 million on the bus for instance.Now we find out Cummings sister is a director of IDOX who were in control of postal votes....beggers belief doesn't it that the postal votes were so pro tory or maybe not .We in the independence movement have long had suspicions the postal votes in the 2014 referendum were interfered with..mainly because Ruth Davidson knew the results 3 minutes after the polls closed...either they were tampered with or she ;s clairvoyant .It might take some time for England to catch up with the dodgy politicians they have ..and there are a multitude of them ,look closely and they can be found .

NotSpaghetti Mon 25-May-20 14:49:58

The divisions in the UK are largely the elite and the rest I feel.

Dinahmo Mon 25-May-20 16:20:59

It depends what you call the elite. How do you define them NotSpaghetti?

growstuff Mon 25-May-20 16:37:18

Nothing to do with the "elite" - not in the conventional sense anyway.

The clever thing about Brexit was the campaigners whipped up support from the foot soldiers for the "elite", who will be the big winners in the end. They persuaded them they were fighting the people who came out on top - twisting logic on its head. It was a masterful psychological stroke. It wasn't original. A certain little Austrian gave some thugs brown shirts and did the same thing over 80 years ago.

growstuff Mon 25-May-20 16:37:50

The divisions in the UK are about values.

MerylStreep Mon 25-May-20 16:49:44

if brexit crumbles I think you'll find that we have left the eu.
We are in the transition/ trade talks now. If, on the 1st of Jan2021 we have not agreed on trade deals that is it, we are out.

NotSpaghetti Tue 26-May-20 10:12:05

MPs, CEOS, bankers, those with significant family fortunes possibly -newspaper editors, ex-etonians (if not themself then through contacts)... People with influence.

I suppose I just feel we are divided by "power" and control.

Obviously we all sit on a spectrum but I know, for example I have no significant power and don't have the ear of anyone who does, Dinahmo.

It's just an observation. I haven't developed a theory about it though.

NotSpaghetti Tue 26-May-20 10:15:11

You are certainly right that there has been name-calling if you complain about the government though - especially Johnson - Dinahmo!

MaizieD Tue 26-May-20 16:12:46

if brexit crumbles I think you'll find that we have left the eu.

Well, we've sort of half left at the moment. If we persist in making it final by the end of the year we will be in deep trouble with a double whammy for the economy of the effect of Covid19 and a possible No Deal with the EU. In most sensible people's eyes that seems extremely foolish. We would be granted a further extension should we ask for it and it would seem wise to do that and sort out the problems of C19 before those of full Brexit.

While I'm sure there will be a chorus of voices saying that we can't possibly do that I just wonder what adverse effects have they suffered over the past four years since the referendum from still more or less being 'in the EU'? What effect could possibly be so bad that it justifies a rush to get out at this difficult time?


growstuff Tue 26-May-20 17:22:46

But it's not quite so simple as those with power and those without.

There are people, including some on GN, who go on about North London Oxbridge graduates, whom they seem to despise. Some of them do indeed have power, often in the media and the arts.

Farage and some of the drivers of Brexit deliberately smeared the "elite" (ie the North London Oxbridge types).

However, look at the people the country has ended up with in government. Johnson (the alleged populist) is an Oxford educated old Etonian from a privileged background. Farage went to Dulwich College. Cummings went to an independent school and Oxford and is married to the daughter of a baronet. And so it goes on … Most of the people currently pulling the strings (whether politicians or not) are from elitist backgrounds. Yet people voted them in with a massive majority!

I honestly think there's more to the big divides in our society than money and social status. People have written books about it, so I won't go on, but it's more to do with ideology - for example, small state versus a more integrated state, parochialism versus a more global outlook, etc. Apparently, one of the most indicators of whether people voted for Brexit was whether people believed in the death penalty.

growstuff Tue 26-May-20 17:26:59

Why do you think people without influence or power voted for the privileged people you mention NotSpaghetti?

I can understand the wealthy and those part of the "club" voting for their own kind, but it still baffles me that so many people voted (not just in the referendum) against their own best interests.

EllanVannin Tue 26-May-20 17:37:27

The NW are still waiting for the other half of the £250 million which was promised by the government. After all we were/are the worst affected by this virus but appear to have been forgotten by Westminster----as per usual. Division ? You bet !!

Cindersdad Tue 26-May-20 17:37:45

As an ardent Remainer I'm not prepared to put up or shut up when nothing has led me to believe that Brexit is not very bad for Britain indeed. The solution for Northern Ireland is unworkable, most leave voters did not vote for the type of Brexit we are likely to end up with. 52% may have voted for it but who will benefit from it, very few of the 52%?

I fear that Brexit may go horribly wrong in which case those who voted for it will feel cheated and blame the lies told by Vote Leave for the sorry state we find ourselves in . If that happens then the usual British self reserve could well give way to violence in the streets.

If Brexit works out then I will have been proved wrong.

As for the divisions in society they will only be healed when both Labour and Conservative parties move towards the centre ground like they used to be from the 1950's to 1970's. The Labour party has taken a step in the right direction by electing Sir Kier Starmer as its new leader. There are moderate Conservatives waiting in the wings to pick up what's left of their party in due course.

EllanVannin Tue 26-May-20 17:43:24

Cindersdad, I too voted Remain as I could foresee the shambles ahead of leaving the EU. To be perfectly honest, I saw it as a snub to Europe and felt quite ashamed for what they did in helping this country during the Second World War.

EllanVannin Tue 26-May-20 17:45:30

We pay more in overseas aid than we did being part of the EU.

georgenotheoldone Tue 26-May-20 18:03:41

What a pity EllanVannin brought up WW2.
Germany invaded many countries, supported by Italy. They sought to dominate Europe with the "Thousand Year Reich".
France had a very strong Hitler supporting faction, Paris welcomed the German occupation.
Denmark provided an army of volunteers to help Germany.
Please explain how those countries helped us.

Doodledog Tue 26-May-20 18:32:04

I think that people have been encouraged to divide one another into groups, and that divisions have been deliberately engineered.

Older people are Boomers, who have had lives handed on a plate, get enormous pensions, spend their lives on cruises, and didn't pay for anything.

Young people are Millenials, who are feckless and selfish. They were spoilt by their parents and expect to be treated as special without working hard.

Brexiteers are racist Gammons, who froth at the mouth when Johnny Foreigner is mentioned, and would flog or hang people for littering.

Europhiles are whinging Remoaners, who need to 'get over it', 'suck it up', and accept that they 'lost'.

Muslims are Extremists, who abuse women and have terrorist sympathies.

Experts are Elites, with arrogant ideas that they want to inflict on everyone else.

Workers are Ignoramuses.

The unemployed are Scroungers. And so on.

It's a good job you and I are normal (and I'm not too sure about you!) grin

It is so much easier to pick people off when they are 'othered' like this. If we all stuck together and supported one another, regardless of religion, colour, age, politics or anything else, we would be a force to be reckoned with, but as long as we are busy being annoyed by some, looking down on others and sticking firmly to our guns, the government can get away with what it likes.

growstuff Tue 26-May-20 18:32:05

EllanVannin I was Birkenhead born and bred. Even back in the day when the Mersey still had shipyards and was relatively thriving, I was looked down on for being a snob (yes really) for having the audacity to move to London. A certain kind of inverted snobbery and tribalism, based on location, has always existed. It's shame because London has some of the poorest, most deprived boroughs in the country and West Wirral has some pockets of wealth. It's really not as simple as dividing the country by geographical location.

growstuff Tue 26-May-20 18:34:14

Well said Doodledog.

lemongrove Tue 26-May-20 18:42:29

I do think divisions will be healed ( or at least partially so)
When this pandemic is over and we have concluded trade talks with the EU.Life will return to normal, and it will be a long time to another General Election. I also think, perhaps hopefully, that a kinder spirit will prevail after this difficult year, and that people will be happy to do all the things they are used to doing without feeling the need to be aggrieved about false divisions because newspapers and social media tell them to be.

growstuff Tue 26-May-20 18:56:20

I think divisions are too ingrained. They existed before Covid-19 and even before the referendum. Newspapers, social media and, of course, politicians exploit them and reinforce them for their own agendas, but they're not going to go away. There must be hundreds of "fault lines" - education, wealth, class, age, immigration, geographical location, big vs little state, ideas about the place of the family/marriage, sexuality, crime and punishment, globalism, ideas about equality, ete etc etc.

None of those are going to go away. At least in the "olden days" it was just religion which divided people. hmm

Hetty58 Tue 26-May-20 19:05:04

Dinahmo, you're right in that 'it seemed that everybody was pulling together' - but that was just an illusion created by a common threat.

Of course, the danger was, and is, far greater for some than others. There are always divisions, different viewpoints and opinions.

People will try to simplify - but being a Labour or Tory supporter doesn't necessarily correspond with being a remainer or brexiteer.