I`m not writing this article to give you my opinion of the result or to give you my 5 pence worth of what i think we should do… instead i want to talk to you about the hate.

This referendum was always going to be divisory and there was always going to be a side that was going to feel disenchanted and angry with the political system we have and the conditions of the referendum.

So the hate… how do i put this….

UK you are tearing yourselves apart and the hate from both sides has to stop…

Leavers, i get that quite a lot of you are being unfairly “tarred with the racist brush” and i know in my heart that the majority of you fine , upstanding people are not racist or prejudiced in anyway. But… You have to face an uncomfortable truth… A number of people who shared the same voting preference as you are… In fact groups like Britain first and the EDL have actively pushed and created division within our communities with their rhetoric based on making sure we get the Leave vote and since the vote they feel emboldened and believe that 52% of the country subscribe to their views, in fact The guardian has documented over 100 hate incidents since the vote including the EDL on the streets demanding repatriation of immigrants. I`m not defending the use of the term racist i am merely pointing out a possible reason nor do i condone the use of it when not applicable nor am i saying that the actions of Britain First et al are Representative of leave campaigners, i am saying everyone needs to challenge the hate.

Remainers, You are not going to get off lightly either, The behaviour and abuse to the other side i have seen on social media from some remainers HAS to stop now as well. Yes you did not get the result you wanted and yes you have every legal right to sign the petition  for a second referendum but that does not give you Carte Blanche to say anything you please to whoever you please. Yes the result was close and yes the second referendum petition was actually started by a leave campaigner a month before the referendum and i have no doubt in my mind that if the result would`ve gone the other way it would be used for the same purpose for the opposite side. As i have said about the “leavers” the majority of remain campaigners are fine , upstanding members of the community but it is a number of people who let the side down with personal attacks and “tarring people with the racist brush” unfairly. You need to make sure that not only do you challenge the hate but also to make sure that the debate is healthy and not include personal attacks.

So what am i saying…

To be honest the hate from both sides has to stop, in order for us to move forward and stop this country tearing itself apart community by community. We need to all challenge the hate. This goes for both sides, Political debate and engagement is amazing as long as it is civilised and does not turn into personal attacks.

Whatever happens next politically i seriously hope , for all our sakes , that we can move forward as a nation and unite to stamp out the hate. Which is why i would like to call on not only all the local politicians but those nationally to stop the infighting and stand by their communities and help us heal the fractures the referendum has caused.

Pete Hopkinson


P.S- The views contained in this article are mine and mine alone. If you would like to discuss them with me  you can contact me on Twitter @Bloggerpeteh