It’s because I’m reasonable that I struggle with some things. I struggle with how loudly the view of the other is shouted but I let them speak.
I struggle with the impact that irrational viewpoints have but I have a reasonable expectation that they will eventually get the truth in the evidence.
I struggle with the reasonable feeling of helplessness in the face of so much madness.
I think of the rats ‘trained’ to submit to electric shocks at the sound of a bell. If only I were a rat.
But I’m not a rat or a Pavlov dog. I’m a human being with a problem-solving brain and an MA in English and an MSc in psychology. My education and expertise tell me that what is happening in England today is not reasonable, it’s not healthy. We are sick.
And I am helpless. I’ve tried the normal medicine. I’ve written to my MP, I’ve activated Twitter, I’ve joined a reasonable political party, I’ve talked to friends, I’ve contributed to crowd-funded change initiatives and signed petitions. I’ve done all the normal things a political statistic can do.
I imagine the suffragists felt like this before the suffragettes rebelled.
The frustration of Brexit injustice is similarly maddening, enough to drive somebody to stand in front of a racing majestic horse. Not that anyone in any royal enclosure can actually do anything but watch the mother country disintegrate.
Our monarch will do it with dignity, like she walked her own pace behind a rude Donald Trump invited to inspect her ceremonial troops.
I’m not exactly a Royalist but I feel for Her Majesty in all this. Her whole life’s work, to be diplomatic and inclusive, is being trashed before her very eyes at the end of a very long career and by the very subjects that chant for sovereignity.
Nor can we reasonably point the finger at the Leave-means-Leave campaigners since they are ‘led by donkeys’.
The ERG are lying, skiving, stubborn, self-serving donkeys as the growing numbers of billboards and tweets atest. Look them up.
See how their deceitful bluster has come back to haunt them.
The Agitating Elite, the Boris Johnsons, the Jacob Rees Moggs, the Nigel Farages, the Michael Goves, of this campaign, knew very well that they’d only to give the voiceless a few populist soundbites and an Arron Banks fund for a social media ‘microphone’ – and they’d do the dirty work for them.
Trump did the same with ‘Make America Great Again’. A simple, seemingly reasonable appeal to the patriot.
Our sovereignity has been peddled as ‘The Will of the People’ or ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and Her Majesty must be cringing. She’s as helpless as the rest of us. Her reputation will suffer alongside ours and our reputation abroad, even in America, is shot.
We are airing our dirty washing all around the globe and this makes us a case for pity to some and a laughing stock to others.
To rational grown-ups everywhere there is a measure of horror in what’s happening. We see clearly how tragic this is. Global political systems are now under the greatest threat of all – misguided populism uncontested by helplessly ‘nice people’. That double bind of being reasonable by doing reasonable things keeps us impotent. Hilary Clinton’s campaign should have been a warning to us.
Eventually, if the damage gets done (and we can stop it instantly with one letter to the EU) but if it goes ahead, eventually, the grown-ups will take back reasonable control, will make reasonable repairs of the mess and write reasonable analyses about it.
But make no mistake, our reasonable niceness is costing us big time and we won’t completely recover.
If we don’t stick up for genuine, clean democracy, our standing in the world will continue to expose the same soiled smears aired daily on Trump’s dirty laundry.
Our MP, Gillian Keegan, needs to hear from you.
M Corfield, Broyle Road, Chichester