Brexit Day went off well. I arrived early at the pub on Whitehall to find it crammed. I bought a drink and made like a hawk. Eventually a seat became vacant and I swooped. I held that perch until my friend joined me and it was time for the official party.
The mood was not triumphalist at all, though it was jolly. My table companions, Deirdre from Wales, Chef Matt from Bristol, the Rev Simon Sideways (resplendent in Union Jack suit, tie and tie pin) and others were more than anything else relieved that our democracy had shakily worked so that things had not turned nasty. Only one Remoaner made an appearance — a cyclist who went by as my friends were smoking outside. He jeered and a Leaver from the North said “come on mate, shake our hands”. He declined, sneering in a German accent, “no, you’re all racists”.
Rev Simon and his friend had worked security during the European elections for Sargon of Akkad and he told me stories of militant leftists charging them in numbers but stopping, spittle-flecked but impotent, when the two of them (sturdy lads) faced them.
“Where I grew up if you start a fight you finish it”, he told me, “but these guys had been lied to. When faced with someone who stood their ground, they had nothing.”
Revolutionaries with no fight in them are the best kind. I remember foaming Trots at an NUS Conference when I was a student threatening to throw Sir Keith Joseph off a balcony. Sue Slipman, I and others linked arms to protect him but, though they had the numbers to throw us all off, they lacked the testicular fortitude. They were public school poseur revolutionaries to a man — for all their fake Estuary accents — and like Rev Simon’s modern Momentumites, they had nothing. Many modern problems flow from taking such lightweights far too seriously. They are few, loud and ultimately ineffectual.
The celebrations in Parliament Square were charmingly amateurish. It was the biggest church fête ever. The sound system sucked. The stage was too low and the big screen mostly obscured by flags. We chatted to the people around us and they were lovely. We watched a slideshow about our EU history. We booed every Labour face but Barbara Castle and Tony Benn. We booed every Tory face but Margaret and Boris. We booed every LibDem face without exception. Most of all (and this was interesting) we booed our greatest enemy the BBC. More so even than Guy Verhofstadt (who would like to be our greatest enemy but is too paltry a human to qualify). The BBC has lost the public’s confidence. It’s time it was shut down. A free nation simply does not need a state broadcaster, funded by force.
Please have look at more pictures of the event (if you are interested) here. My friend and I went back to mine after the magic moment and downed a celebratory bottle of 2007 Nuits-Saint-Georges. He, his good lady and I have spent the weekend at the Barbican’s “Beethoven Weekender” hearing all nine of his symphonies. Typical ignorant, uncultured “Little Englanders” eh? Mrs P the Second will join us for dinner this evening to round off the festivities.
My personal heartfelt thanks to all who made this victory for democracy possible. Now for the hard part of Brexit — unity, economic progress and of course eternal vigilance. Good luck to us all!