LETTER: Decision made and we must make best of it

I am writing as someone who voted for remain. It is no good calling for a second vote, that was our chance, and for all of us that wanted to remain we have to come to the conclusion we blew it.

Monday, 4th July 2016, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:08 pm
More than 5,000 people voted in our prediction poll. Were you one of them?

We can point the finger at Cameron, Corbyn etc, but I think we need to look at ourselves and ask did we do enough? I did attend one meeting about it, spoke to friends and family about the issues, made a case for remain and voted remain, but to be honest I feel profoundly guilty that I did not do enough.

I do a lot of driving between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire every day and I did not see one remain poster, but I did see many leave posters. Leave organised themselves better, got themselves out there, but where was remain?

How many of us voting to remain and now complaining about the result can honesty say hand on heart we did our up most to make a case to remain?

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Did we go to those areas most likely to vote leave and make a positive case to remain? No we did not.

Most of us probably talked to people who agreed with us or kept our views to ourselves.

There are huge parts of this country that are struggling to get by, and have a lot of legitimate concerns for themselves, families and communities. They have been saying this for years, decades, but for too long they have been ignored, told they are stupid, racist, out of date etc.

The electoral system has meant that these people can be ignored because often their votes have little effect. Now this referendum has given them a chance to shout loud and clear how unhappy they are with the current system.

Do I think this was the vote to voice these concerns? No. Do I think the leave vote will solve these concerns? No.

However, if all we are going to do is continue to call all those who voted leave stupid, racist, out of date etc. then we will have learned nothing, and will make the same mistakes again. It is no good bemoaning democracy now, we all had our chance to fully engage with the process, and many did not do enough (like I say I include myself in this).

A decision has been made, and we have to make the best of it. We need to make huge efforts now not to just make it work, but try to heal and unite the country. We need to listen to people who voted for remain and leave, and come up with solutions.

This vote is not the end, but only a start of a profound process we have to get involved in if it is to work.

It is very scary, I wish this was not the road we were going down, but we are where we are. Maybe this is the kick up the backside we all need to look hard at ourselves, and ask have we each done enough individually to make this a fairer country, rather than expecting others to do the work for us.

Benjamin Longden