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A reason to re-engage with politics

A personal view
A personal view

I always try to remain positive and see the good in situations – something that is hopefully reflected in this fortnightly column.

Whatever is happening in the wider world, I am more likely to reflect on the hunt for number 336 in my son’s Panini sticker book or my quest to repel old age in body and mind.

But it hasn’t been the best week, dear reader. It started with a bit of chest infection before I was involved in a car accident – fortunately no one was hurt though I had to say goodbye to my, err, ‘vintage’ car.

And it ended with England’s Euro 2016 exit – one that saw me star in my own episode of the Likely Lads as I worked at the fabulous West Suffolk College Celebration of Achievement while desperately trying to remain oblivious to score updates. I wish someone had told me now.

That particular European exit was nothing compared to Thursday’s historic referendum vote. Since Friday morning, I have been glued to news and social media updates as the fallout shows no signs of abating. Whichever way you voted – and I don’t mind admitting I was in the Remain camp – it was heartening to see so many people at least make their voice count. What is more disheartening is that I worry that the highest turnout for 25 years has quickly grown fed up again with the political infighting, resignations and votes of no confidence.

For many, regardless of how they voted, the referendum gave them a reason to re-engage with politics.

I spent 15 minutes on the phone with my mum on Friday morning discussing what might happen next following Brexit. This barely happens in our household.

Whether you are Remain or Leave, the public made their opinions known in their millions and this voice must now not be allowed to go quietly into the night. Not when the country appears to be standing on a bit of a precipice. I hope people will continue to engage themselves with politics at all levels, never has it been more important. But I have my doubts – especially with another general election seemingly on the way.

With the country now heading towards an EU exit, there has been a lot written about the effect on our youngsters.

I’m no expert, though I do worry about an uncertain future. But here is what I wrote on Facebook – not exactly the best political platform, I grant you – on Friday morning alongside a four-year-old photo of my two sons – and I stand by it.

“Regardless of how people voted yesterday and the fallout this morning, I must believe that if we teach them the value of education, the importance of working hard and to be kind, respectful and tolerant to all, their futures will be fine. If not, I would have failed them – not society.”


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