What exactly does ‘make the best of’ Brexit actually mean? This.
I’ve been thinking. I’m really upset about the Brexit result. My reasons are not unlike other people’s and well described elsewhere, but this isn’t about that. It’s about this:
“Now we need to unite, pull together and make the best of this.”
I’ve seen words to that effect all over my social feeds. Noble, a challenge, and — however well intentioned — fairly useless, unless there are actions attached.
The good news is that Britain has gone ballistic for politics and wanting progress in a way I’ve never seen in my life before. Constant impassioned discussion across all walks of life, real thought and energy going in. The obvious risk, however, is that that momentum merely goes down the collective pisser of sculpting views for the echoing void that is your own social circle. Guilty.
Platitudes and sharing re-dubbed memes aren’t going to fix this. Nor will reading stuff on The Guardian, or the Mail, or waiting for a new leader to come along and to patch it all up. This is not a drill. We just voted to leave the EU on a promise of a brighter future, FFS. We’re going to have to actually do something about it ourselves. Ask yourself not what your country can do for you…
“How, you Barley twat?”
Let’s start with problems. My take:
- Revenue, and globalisation’s benefits, is being concentrated in big cities, especially London. At a national level we may be doing ok, but Hartlepool’s not killing it right now.
- Future facing skills are concentrated there too. If you’re not hot on financial, creative, or internet focused industries then globalisation just looks like a job stealing machine that ruins your community.
- Everyone’s having a go at everyone else. Leavers, remainers, their parents, politicians, immigrants, the media. Some might be justified; doesn’t solve the problem though.
So, spread future facing skills, personally invest in Britain’s regions and be positive.
Here are some ideas to channel our emotions into actions — mostly aimed at people inside the M25 but not exclusively — and I welcome more. The only condition is they have to be things you can actually do, not just say.
If you recognise there are people who could benefit from your help, be it in time, money or skills:
- Volunteer. Help other people out. You’ll get something from it too. Here’s a list of good opportunities: https://do-it.org/
- Offer up your (future facing) skills. This is the biggie. There’s scarcely a job function for the next 20 years that isn’t ICT based, and there’s a skills hole. Don’t wait for government to sort it — if you’re in a privileged position (i.e. anyone who reads Medium), share it. I’ll start: every Tuesday night I’ll do a free 30min Skype with anyone to talk about any future facing skills and how to get started — from basic computer usage to how to be a UX designer, I’m up for it. I’ve built an e-Commerce business from 0 to £1m in revenue, and picked up 1m social media fans along the way — I can help. Preference goes to those outside London. Book me here: https://calendly.com/richbrown. If you’re someone who can help too: do it.
- Give to a charity that covers essential needs. If you’re able, it helps. A tenner, why not. Find one here: http://www.charitychoice.co.uk/charities
If you think Britain would benefit if its regions had more revenue, not handouts:
4. Buy British products. While you’re there, champion sustainable products too. If we want the regions of Britain to prosper, buy their products and focus on the ones that are made with the future in mind. Start here: http://www.bluepatch.org/
5. Take a holiday in the UK. It’s an incredible place, and holidaying here is the most enjoyable way to put money back into regional economies. Plan a weekend break to start; pick a date, some mates, and do it. This’ll get you started: https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/destinations
If you think we’ve become divided, siloed, and community is waning:
6. Play sport. Sport helps you meet people different to you, and makes you happier and more productive. Pick one sport, do it once a week. This is the best link I’ve found, but there must be a better one: http://bit.ly/findoutaboutlocalsportsclubs
7. Find people with uncommon interests. Do more locally, and meet others who like the same things — and perhaps even those you don’t ordinarily seek out. Find something you’ll enjoy, locally: http://www.meetup.com/
8. Go to the pub during the week. Even if just once a week. It’s where British people have always fostered ideas and relationships, and you’re putting money back into your community. Talk to people you don’t know. You’ll miss your pub when it’s gone.
9. Get behind Team GB in the Rio Olympics. London 2012 was the most together we’ve felt as a nation in a while. Let’s do it again. Arrange a street party, watch the opening ceremony round a mate’s, put it on the TV at work. Fly the flag.
If you feel motivated to get involved and want to do something about it:
10. Get involved locally, even politically. The government gives a pretty solid list of things you can do locally — from how to setup a street party to becoming a local councillor: https://www.gov.uk/government/get-involved
Or join your preferred political party. Or make a new one, it’s about time.
Do something. Anything. Things aren’t magically going to get better, no matter how many times you like a post on FB. Now then, let’s get the ball rolling:
- Share this, any way you can. Print and post it to your nan.
- Tweet this excerpt / FB it, with the action you plan to take:
I’m going to ___ . You? #weneedaplan #brexfix
- Head to this Sub-Reddit and share ideas better than mine: https://www.reddit.com/r/BREXFIX
Let’s do this. Seriously. It’s what Gandhi would have wanted.
City dwelling craft beer swilling Europhile who’s got no idea why we voted to leave? Read these: