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Broken Roses

Caroline de Bertodano | London, United Kingdom

Daring to Dream

Brexit, Remainers or Leavers, a modern day War of the Roses (30yr civil war of 15th century), used in marches on both sides. All were fuelled by their convictions using iconology & symbolism for reinforcement. A divided Britain, families, friends, lovers split. Who knows what the future holds, let us hope that relationships near & afar heal and unite. Where Roses will again become things of beauty not conflict.

In the last three and a half years the people in Britain have gone from a tolerant, polite and reserved people to outspoken, angry and divided.

Many times, one hears people describe themselves as either ‘Remainers’ or ‘Leavers’ as if their position on a vote that should never have come about & little actual choice was given to the people, was now what defined them.

Both sides were equal in their voracity of their beliefs.Conviction that they were right went to their core, regardless of factual truth.Even truth itself was up for grabs and adversely disseminated. Old divide wounds reopened, class, money, race and was added by both sides equally.Brothers against brothers, broken lovers, whole families divided & fell out, neighbours and friends stopped talking to each other.The divisions ran deep and anxiety levels ran high.

On both remain and leave protests and marches, iconology & symbolism fortified each sides conviction.   The War of the Roses symbol, a White Rose against a Red Rose, a 30-year time of civil war in Britain in 15th century, appearing on banners in marches of both sides.   Mythical and ideological symbols, unicorns & philosophical slogans, adorned placards, masks and painted faces.   People of all ages, genders, creeds & cultures picked sides and vented equally.   Micro communities & comradeship evolved within each side against the other.   United only by conviction.

A deeper insight revealed, national ignorance, national self-harm, tribal alliance, echo-chamber reasoning, tribal epistemology, cognitive bias, group polarisation and psychopathology (a kind of madness).   Just some of the labels applied by both sides equally, politicians, medical professionals and media alike.   The question hangs as to why such animosity & conviction emerged over Brexit?  A known emotionally repressed people and culture of blaming others, austerity, benefit entitlement and recism.   What was lacking in people’s lives to create such an intense emotive response?   Was it in fact a simpler reasoning, loneliness, lack of purpose, feeling unheard, unfulfillment & lack of community and human contact.

Even after numerous general elections and another near result concerning Brexit-only leavers having full political representation, fear campaigns, fake news, Rasputin-like political whisperers, power hungry politicians, middle England hooliganism, resistance groups such as Led by Donkeys who spoke for half a country 31st Jan, generational divide et al,  it continues.  Winners gloat & losers mourn.   Many are deeply unhappy and divisions run deep.   Have lessons be learnt or will they only be learnt in history books long after every one of Brexit has gone.

“I think the most important lesson is precisely the one about perspective:people make partisan decisions, but systematically overestimate their own logic and soundness. Both sides consider themselves resistant to delusion, while believing their adversaries to be deluded beyond rescue.”

Brian Hughes is Professor of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway.   The Psychology of Brexit’. Palgrave Macmillan 2019.

Who knows what the future holds.   The cost has been monumental to truth, democracy and the human relationships within.    One thing is certain - Each and every person is responsible for the division that their temporary convictions created and each and every person is responsible for any chance of a united future.   I can only hope that the next generation are wiser.   Where a more moral importance is placed on truth.   Where brothers will once again be brothers, neighbours, lovers, friends and families again joined for genuine & heartfelt reason.   Where roses again become things of beauty not conflict.

©Caroline de Bertodano 2020.  All rights reserved.



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