“Mum, Dad, we’ve got news.. We’re getting married…”
They’re words met the world over with joy, pride… and, occasionally, sheer horror.
Not so long ago children were regularly slung out or cut off by parents for marrying someone of a different colour, faith, nationality, age, or the same sex.
But then everyone relaxed a bit, stopped worrying about what the neighbours might think and realised all that mattered was that their child was in love – and was loved.
Until… something (apparently) way more important happened: Brexit.
This week a survey reveals that two in five Remainers would be upset if their child married a Leave supporter.
11% of those polled by YouGov said they would be ‘very upset’ and a further 28% said they’d be ‘somewhat upset’.
According to my O-level grade D maths, that equates to 6,295,084 people ‘upset’ – not by their child turning up with a multi-pierced serial killer Hells Angel with a swastika tattooed on his forehead – but with someone who doesn’t totally share their views on the UK/EU’s future trade relationship. Meanwhile, the numbers of Leave voters who’d be upset by their child marrying a Remainer equates to around 1,915,181 people.
So we’ve got around 8 million Brits who regard those who voted differently to themselves in the Referendum as a more horrifying marriage prospect than a Katie Price cast-off.
Eight million people who, quite frankly, need to get things into a bit of perspective.
Brexit has been used by extremists on both sides to tear this country apart and to make views increasingly hostile and entrenched.
Phone-in shows and social media have further weaponised opinions.
And yet… the vast bulk of ordinary, decent people of this country – Remain or Leave – know there are many crucial issues beyond Brexit for Britain – and it’s time we had a government which tackled them.
Oh, and of course it’s also worth remembering that on the results of this survey around 45 million adults – the vast majority – couldn’t give two figs if their child were to marry a Remainer OR a Brexiteer.
Just so long as it’s not Paul Hollywood on the rebound…