If we want anything doing we will have to fight for it.
I am pleased we have a new Prime Minister. Regardless of which party you support, or if you do or do not like Theresa May – we have someone in charge now. She comes with very credible experience in government. But of course as a trans and LGB activist, I am of course a little concerned about her parliamentary voting history – but I am convinced that people do change (“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, [insert your own gender/non-gender pronoun]?”). I expect (hope) May has also changed her mind, once presented with the LGBT facts – and the priority will and must be on the Brexit, but with more LGBT MPs I can only hope trans and LGB rights will not be allowed to be forgotten.
Parliament and business will be distracted by Brexit. The gradual unpicking of the EU spaghetti in policies and laws, relationships and money, business and commerce – and of course immigration and migration.
It is a time for leadership, for the country, for businesses and for communities. There now just three top priorities for the UK:
The government will pump money into the economy – the austerity programme effectively ended on the 24th June 2016. The right-wing “Leave Vote” has ironically stopped “austerity” in its tracks. Change does not come cheap – and this is one massive programme of change that we cannot afford to get wrong.
No Time For Change and Progress?
Although money will be available, time however will not be. Once given, The Article 50 clock will tick by very quickly – two years will be up faster than anything (maybe we’ll get more time). This is also an opportunity get things done too. As the focus will not be on anything but Brexit, this is the time to use the distraction to get things done. Smart people will use this as an opportunity for two things:
- Bolt on the changes required for Brexit to strengthen their position and cause.
- Use the Brexit distraction to make changes under the radar
Sadly, this will also be a difficult time to get people to change ‘hearts and minds’ as the focus will be elsewhere. It will be a time of polarisation, and people moving further to their causes. We actually have not choice with this, we have to lead and make changes.
We have to walk tall and proud as an LGBT community (or whatever cause you fight for) – because if we do not we will be drowned out with Brexit noise. So let’s use Brexit to make changes for the better.
I propose that Community leaders use Brexit to work in their favour. I still do not believe the Brexit is a good thing – BUT we have it, so if we don’t get on board someone else will.
- Work harder – it will be harder to get attention for our causes
- Demand more – if changes are being made for Brexit then get our demands included
- Use Brexit as a lever – use Brexit as a reason to do something, rather than not too
Brexit is not a good thing for the LGBT community, so we have a choice. Let is railroad over us, or grab it and run with it.
Post Brexit Blues
But I do predict a post Brexit downturn after the money required for projects to break from the EU dries up, just like after Y2K.
So do it now. Start to lead now – ride the Brexit wave but be ready to jump off the surf board when it hits the beach – and do it in your rainbow wet-suit, looking cool and stylish.
We have no choice now but to see this as an opportunity, so I know what I am going to do.