We, it’s a great word, isn’t it? It means that at least two people view themselves as connected, part of something bigger than themselves. From husband and wives, to residents of the Earth, we all use we all time and it’s brilliant!
I love being we: we, my husband and I; we, my school; we, my family; we, my friends; we Heidelberg. Using we is a comfort, a clear sign that I am not alone.
There is one we , however, that I refused to be part of. I will not accept Nigel Farage standing in front the EU and saying “we want our borders back” and be part of that we. He can not say that and presume he is saying it in my name.
That we appalls me and embarrasses me. In the last week, I have been forced to squirm uncomfortably as incredulous non-Brits question me on the decision we made. Despite it being clear which way I vote, I am still part of that we in their eyes.
However, that we, who want their borders back, as Farage claimed earlier today, is not me. That we is not 48% of the UK. That we probably doesn’t even represent many of the people who voted Leave. (Both sides are victims, it must be said, of some unfair umbrella-ing).
Part of me wants to rant and rave, stoop to name calling and foot stamping, but that won’t get me very far. Instead I will write here, clearly and simple: I am not part of that we.
But I will be part of a we that stands for international cooperation with the good of all at its centre.
I will be part of a we that stands for tolerance and equality.
I will be part of a we that is against racism and bigotry.
I will be part of a we that promotes honest politics and condemns the politics of fear and lies.
I will be part of the we that wants the future to be about people and prosperity, not imaginary dividing lines and sovereign flags. The we of the past did all that, and it failed.
It’s not clear yet if the UK is too far down the Brexit road to Bremain. It seems like the divorce is unstoppable. Whether it is or it isn’t, I strongly believe that people have to take this opportunity to build groups of voices united by positivity and demand that those people who take we in vain be held accountable.
Are you with me?