Why I’m standing against Brexit

“Put It To The People’ March, 23rd March 2019. Photo © Clive Dellard.

I was never really sure if the EU was very relevant to me as a working woman. I saw it mostly as a rich man’s club for businesses to pass money around. When I lost my job under circumstances I cannot go into here, there was no recourse for those of us who were made redundant. I was angry because the law hadn’t protected us or saved us from a huge injustice. Neither, it seemed, could the EU do anything for us. That just confirmed my feelings that the EU was irrelevant to me and only relevant to rich businessmen.

My husband made efforts to convince me things would be worse without it, but no, I wouldn’t have it. How much worse could it be than being made redundant by an unjust decision made by managers who it seems only cared about money?

Then I started to realise that it’s not just about business. There are a lot of things that the EU does that affect me for the better. My passion is for environmental things and I came to realise that without them, the country would not do its fair share to fight climate change. Human rights would suffer without the influence of the EU and our general society would become largely insular and probably uninteresting without the mix of cultures that immigration has blessed us with.

What really spurred me into action though was the rise of the far right and, to a lesser extent, the far left. Things came to a head when we read in the local paper that the “yellow vests” had visited Bath. Yes, gentle, middle class Bath. This kicked me out of my complacency especially as they had been abusive to people that I know and love on the Bath for Europe stall in the town centre. The following week we decided that we would go and stand in solidarity with the Remainers and, at that point, I decided to pin my colours to the mast. We bought tickets on the People’s Vote Express train to the People’s Vote march in London. I wish I had done more earlier.

The march was marvellous with so many people brought together united around a single issue. There was a general party atmosphere with some very funny placards and also some very serious messages. So many people of all ages, colours and cultures all united against a disastrous decision. Underneath this was the feeling that we were fighting something sinister. I am proud to have been in that number standing for everything we hold dear.

The one thing I will take away from the march was hearing my friend’s clear, cultured, middle class voice, bellowing at high decibel levels: “Bollocks to Brexit!”

As I sit and write this I prepare myself for another ride on the May-go-round……SCREAM if you want to get off!

Aileen Oldfield