A Sign of Hope

For some weeks now, due to the bizarre political situation in the UK, I have felt like I am living in a Tom Sharpe novel. You know the ones. He wrote them in the 1980s and most were set in a dysfunctional South Africa. I never expected those scenarios to feel like real life in the second decade of the C21 in this group of islands I call home.
For nearly three years since the ill thought out referendum about the UK’s future relationship with the EU, those of us who voted Remain have been sidelined. The Breat British Public and their Will apparently excludes us and our will. We have marched, we have demonstrated. Parliament has ignored us, despite our numbers. The Electoral Commission has ruled that the Leave campaign broke the rules. Utd all government could find to say was that it was ‘regrettable’ and the referendum result must be respected. The subtext of this was of course that anyone who voted to remain, who had not broken the rules could,in the eloquent phrasing of Mr B Johnson, ‘go whistle’.
Last night, with just nine days to go to the deadline, we seemed to reach a new low. At this rate our government will surely find itself tunnelling through to Australia soon. Faced with the complacent smirk of Mark Francois, a politician whose election to office brings the whole of our system into disrepute, his intellectual capacity being either so well hidden no one has seen it yet, or possibly non-existent, saying that he is quite happy about a no deal exit from the EU, I felt deep despair and helplessness. There is no effective opposition in Parliament, no one offering an alternative. I feel abandoned.
I tried reading my next book group book (Heartburn by Nora Ephron. For such a slim volume it is taking me a very long time to finish it) but my eyes kept sliding from the page.
I turned to Twitter in search of a hashtag game to lighten my mood, and found a petition. This is a screen shot of it from earlier this evening.
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The number of signatures at that point was around 250k I think. Or maybe it was 25k. That number kept rising as I watched. Mesmerising. Hopeful. It felt like the person who had started the petition had given me back my voice. I signed at once. This morning while I breakfasted I watched the number of signatures rise by 200k. By lunchtime it was a million, but the site kept crashing. So many people wanting to add their names. I probably didn’t help by sneaking a look every now and then, feeling a thrill as the numbers rose as I looked.
Tonight on Twitter there are people saying they signed but have not received the confirmation email from government, meaning their signature is not registered. Not all those who have tried and failed to sign will try again, so the official number of signatories will be significantly lower that it should be.
I’d like it to reach 18 million. Maybe then the government might acknowledge that the will of the British People is more complex than a simple vote to leave the EU.

7 thoughts on “A Sign of Hope

  1. Yes I tried to sign yesterday morning and couldn’t get through finally got back to petition and eventually got email confirmation…you can but hope…

    • I hope it grows and grows and Leadsom will regret her dismissive little laugh. For people who bang on about democracy and the People some of our politicians are remarkably selective when it comes to either.

  2. I didn’t get the confirmation email for several hours. when I clicked on the link the site was down. HOWEVER the next time I tried it was up and running and my signature was added. Like you, I’m hoping for not just another million signatories, but for a further 16 – 17 million or so. Fingers crossed…

    • The temptation to keep looking is hard to resist, but I don’t want to contribute to the site repeatedly crashing. There were some clever people on Twitter who were live streaming, I must find them again.

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