Wow! what a couple of weeks we have had. The drama of Brexit and the devastation of political parties it has left in it’s wake, It would be nice to think this is all the unwanted consequence we will see as a result however I think we will experience repercussions for many years to come.
I feel unsettled by the result and the way some of the public have reacted, I am personally against any sort of ‘ism’s’ and always have been and the fact that people think it is okay to hurl vile abuse at someone because they weren’t born under the Union Jack, or were born under it but have a different coloured skin or religion really sickens me.
We don’t have to go back more than 4 years to when Olympic fever gripped our nation and we welcomed and embraced people from all over the world, we were proud to and wanted to show them how hospitable we could be as a nation, what has happened to that warm, welcoming and feel good country?
Last Friday the day after the referendum I was working, I am a Community Nurse. I had a patient who had difficulty mobilising so arranged to meet with her two carers at midday so we could help her onto her bed.
One of the carers is Polish, she is usually bubbly and friendly. She was understandably very quiet on Friday. The other carer asked me in a loud voice ‘so what did you vote’? I was rather shocked that she would ask this at all, let alone with her Polish colleague present. But I told her I voted to remain and that I was very upset that we were to leave the EU. Her response was far more shocking than her question, she told me ‘you are the only person I have spoken to today who wanted to remain, everyone else is over the moon that we are leaving’, my patient then started echoing how she was really pleased we were leaving, immigration this and immigration that. I was absolutely mortified, embarrassed and ashamed. I smiled at the Polish carer and hoped she knew that I really felt devastated that she had to experience and witness this, sadly I am sure she will hear it again.
Care providers have a terrible job recruiting in this country, it is a job which not many people want. There is no glamour, not much excitement, early starts and late finishes and you don’t get re-numerated very well for it either. One of the knock on effects of this is that people have to stay in hospital longer than is needed while suitable home care is found, people have to be admitted to hospital for social reasons due to lack of home care, qualified and expensive (by comparison) nurses have to provide social care in the community and in hospitals.
As the population is living longer there is far greater demand on community care, yet there is little resource to provide it. As a result of this many care agencies recruit staff from Europe. Many of these staff they recruit are hugely over qualified for the job but they do the job and they do it well, I wonder how we will fill the dearth that is needed now we are no longer members of the European Union.
My parents who are both 92 years old this year both voted remain, they were both on active service during the war. My father was a signal man in the Royal Marines and spent a lot of time in Ceylon, my mother was in the army and based in Ceylon working in supplies.
They both saw the horrors of war first hand, they grew up in the shadow of the first world war and as I mentioned were both active during the second world war and then returned to civilian life, finding jobs and careers. They are both in agreement that the war was an awful time where ever you were during it and they had friends and knew of people who suffered at the hands of the enemy, they don’t want this for future generations.
As the parent of a young person who has autism I am hugely grateful to the large number of very special people who have come from outside the EU and the EU to help young people with autism. Some of Zach’s most dedicated, committed and best tutors have been from other countries and I feel we have been incredibly lucky that they chose to work here with my son sharing their wealth of knowledge, experience, patience and care.
One slightly amusing thing the referendum made me remember was as a young child I can remember a lot of talk of the Common Market, I had absolutely no idea what this was and in my head imagined a market full of common people! (not very pc) I can also remember a lot of talk of the European butter mountain which came about as a result of being part of the Common Market, I could see in my minds eye a mountain of unwrapped butter melting in hot sun!
This post was meant to share the great news that we have the green light for the go ahead with thezachproject which is news we had been waiting for a long time, we are excited and flustered all at once, we need to furnish and equip the rooms and make sure everything is ready for his new learning environment.
Brexit, the scandalous behaviour of unprincipled politicians and vile racist actions of members of the public against their neighbours have rather flattened our elation, plus the threat of more austerity , we know that when that strikes it will be the ones who need help the most that will be hardest hit as it always has been and always will be.
In my next post I will try to avoid mentioning politics, I was always told it wasn’t polite to talk about your political persuasion in public so I am sorry for being impolite but I have got it off my chest for now!
Finishing on a high note we have had some fantastic contributions of furniture and electrical equipment for thezachproject from wonderful friends and I have purchased two of what must be the worlds most enormous bean bags. I was sticking with my ‘go big’ motto 🙂