Matthew-Wilkinson.com My take on the mad world we live in...

Damn Stats & Lies!

There seems to be a placid acceptance of the ‘economic argument’ for staying in the EU and stats are often trotted out to support this and rarely challenged. We all know it’s very hard to know everything and be sure of your stats just in terms of numbers, let alone being able to juggle them to counter others that are thrown at you. Accordingly they are often effective sucker punches for all politicians but equally toxic to them when used correctly as in the sad case of Diane Abbott.

Let’s be clear, the EU is not a booming economic zone. Only Antarctica are doing worse. When we joined the EEC it was 30% with better access to the rest of the world and their relative success it’s down to more like 17% now and will probably be less than 10% within a decade regardless of Brexit. 44% of our trade is often quoted to hinge on the EU market. Putting aside the amount of business that only passes through the EU on the way to somewhere else this is actually only a proportion of exports rather than the whole economy. More like 44% of a third of the economy rather than the whole of it. Still, not entirely insignificant but you have to remember we are paying a lot to be a member of this exclusive, protectionist club but is it paying off very well? The UK economy is as big as the smallest 20 in the EU combined. Also the six biggest exporters into the EU are not actually members of the EU, their trade might suffer by the imposition on tariffs but it obviously isn’t an insurmountable issue.

Around 90% of the world are not in the EU either. The EU has managed to reach trade deals with them so we can deal with them as well possibly as we might be able to outside of the EU but those not falling into that category we have no choice but to pay more for. A hard Brexit might make German cars 10% more expensive but Japanese ones will benefit from an equal reduction. There’s no doubt there’s an issue of scale. In terms of immigration the EU attracts about a third as many UK nationals as the UK manages to attract to move from the EU. There’s a similar ratio on jobs - 1.5 million in the UK rely on the EU but 5 million in the EU rely on the UK. We run a huge budget deficit to earn the nickname of ‘Treasure Island’ and are the biggest market for many sectors like German cars. It’s true the EU is bigger despite the size and importance of the UK but still it is very significant for their economy however they try to play down our importance. They are important to us, but we are very important to them also.

The other aspect that is often overlooked is that the whole of the UK economy is required to adhere to EU law but only around 10% trade with the EU and actually gain a benefit by doing so. The rest have to stick to the rules for no reason at all aside from sticking to the rules to give the 10% access. The removal of this red tape will only help business flourish when they are freed from this unnecessary admin. All this in a hope it redresses the balance a little bit. Naturally trade is good for everyone, but the EU desperately needs to find a way to work with it’s biggest and closest customer after Brexit.

Soft or Hard Brexit? Turkeys voting for Xmas?

The UK is crying out for enlightened liberals to accept Brexit and put forward their vision. A positive vision moulded by them that almost anyone could sign up for. The irony is their current, whining, denials and attempts to paint Brexiteers as evil is badly backfiring on them. Far from avoiding Brexit or being able to ‘soften’ the fall from their imaginary ‘cliff’ their current strategy is pushing the UK rapidly towards the hardest possible Brexit along with the early salvos from the EU themselves. They need to wake up and do it quickly, for the good of the whole country. Because whilst I am a very strong advocate of leaving the EU I think I would actually find it hard to disagree with any of the positive ideas that might be put forward once we can all accept we are on the same side - the truth is we really want pretty much exactly the same things.

Why doesn’t it happen? Because the likes of Clegg, Farron, Blair, Mandelson and co aren’t really in it for anything but themselves. They don’t have anything positive to say, no vision except for their determination to give the EU control and have their career paths laid out before them. The tragedy of the situation is that their dogma only drives the right to more extreme demands, emboldens the EU to make ever-more-crazy demands and stops the populous uniting and starting to move forward positively again. It was a rough campaign but it cannot have failed (I hope) to knock off a few of the hardest edges of militants on either side of the debate by the time it was finally over. Now we need to unite around a vision and although I think the majority of a ‘hard Brexit’ is what we basically have to accept ‘as is’ anyway, it would be better if everyone joined in the debate and shaped the finer points of it. Arguing their views and having them reflected when possible, fighting the battle to get the best possible deal for all of us. I believe this will not only serve them and the UK best, but also the EU. The current ‘war of words’ only stokes up more division and extremism. No one wants to make immigrants feel they are unwelcome or unappreciated. No one wants to increase any form of intolerance but there seems to be a whole lot of this ugly emotion being peddled hard from the place you would expect it least - the Left Wing.

Wake up. Look in the mirror. Smell the coffee. What are you? What do you claim your values are? What are you trying to achieve? Are you in denial? What do you want? Come up with some answers and go out and do something about it. For yourself, for your country and for the good of all of us. If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem. All sides of the political spectrum need to get on board and do something constructive, there’s a lot of work to be done.

The Art of Negotiation

Let’s remind ourselves of the narrative. The UK, having voted for Brexit, to get out of the cozy protectionist club, are the baddies. The evil, foreigner-hating country who are only in it for themselves. Who want to cut themselves off and be unfair. Well that’s the story we are being told all the time but nothing is further from the truth. Far from it. The UK is the one who wants to start talking, put people’s minds at rest and reach an amicably beneficial divorce settlement. Hardly unreasonable I think. The EU on the other hand is the bitter, scorned woman whereas the UK is now the ‘beaten wife’ grateful to finally be breaking free from an abusive relationship and positive about our future at last.

When it comes to negotiating the divorce it’s important to take all that emotion out of it. It’s not about the past, it’s about the future. What is right for both parties in the future. That’s what Theresa May did yesterday with the 6 page triggering of Article 50 and she should be applauded for doing so. The response hasn’t been quite so encouraging though. To be fair there was some statesmanlike response from Donald Tusk and a feeling of regret which really is justified on both sides because ‘it just hasn’t worked out’ as they say. It’s no time for recriminations, it’s time to sort things out, for the good of the kids and the future.

The first responses have been…

- we need to agree a ‘pay off’ first before even talking? Really? You want us to effectively not only continue to pay for two years when there’s no future to the relationship and then pay for the next five years after that in advance? Would you feel the same if we were a net beneficiary? Be throwing 5 years of rebates our way? Somehow I think not. It makes no sense. Having invested something in the order of £500bn into this relationship we have no stake. We don’t have any equity at all? Really we have paid for more than a third of all the assets of the EU and have nearly 10 billion sitting in their bank account. At best we should be saying they can use that to pay for any on-going projects we are already signed up to as long as we still get whatever benefits there might be from them.

- we are not allowed to talk about any arrangements like trade deals going forward until we have completely agreed how to exit. Article 50 actually doesn’t say this and the two things are related. If they hold this very stupid line we might as well stop now. We have two years to reach an agreement. Not only do we need to talk to the EU about what comes afterwards but also talk to all other people we will be able to start trading directly with in 2 years time.

- despite us wanting to start talking before triggering Article 50 there was no dice. Even to settle the futures of nationals in each others territory. We wanted it but the EU were not interested. Now we start we should concede this, but nothing else, and invite them to dare not to do the same for about a third of the number of our expats on the continent.

There should be things we still want to work together on and in some cases can do better. The EU needs to wake up and realize that. They are not dealing with some mugs who will accept anything. We are not as lame brained as the Clegg’s and Farron’s of this world who couldn’t negotiate their way out of Swindon’s Magic Roundabout with any success. We know our value, we respect you and we know not only what is fair but what is right. You have been warned. If you choose not to listen on your head be it.

Confused Democracy

What is democracy again? I forget. Or at least I’m having trouble remembering because of all the different interpretations of what it’s apparently about that suddenly seem to be all the vogue.

We all got the German-printed pamphlet we paid nearly £10m of our money to tell us what we were voting for and which way to vote and it was pretty clear. There was no mention of advisory, no one heard of Gina Miller or her very fine tuned sense of what is right and her inability to ‘cross the road’ and ignore any injustice. She had to intervene again and again, ultimately achieving nothing of course. Apparently there had never been anything in the decades previously that had shown up on her fine tuned radar apparently.

Hearing Tim Farron whine on about ‘not knowing the destination’ yet like a spoilt brat on the back seat of your car week after week was positively nausiating. We voted out. We elected our government to give us that choice and then see it through. We can give Timmy his vote. It’ll be a vote to go to the seaside whether or not the sun is shining or turn around the car and go back home, aka a hard Brexit, if he can’t behave and stick to what we agreed.

Brexit has revealed that there some very different ideas of what democracy is. It has revealed that these days people only expect the answer they want to hear and cannot accept anything else. I dread to think the response to the next election if it wasn’t going to be such a walkover.

Canada - Explain that to me again...

The EU was absolutely cock-a-hoop to finally manage to tie up a trade deal with Canada after 6 years or so, or was it more? They did finally do it, they had to, just about at the 11th hour. Well done. Canada is a significant trade partner but not one of the big 5 outside the EU. A group that the UK would soon be entering and no doubt be courted with similar vigor and on similar terms if not far more attractive ones bearing in mind not only its size and history but also proximity and potential as a ‘gateway’ to the rest of the world post-Brexit surely… No?

No. Apparently not. We have to be ‘punished’. We have to pay a huge fee to leave this club event though we’ve been one of very few paying into it for 40 years. How does that work? In what world would you accept this sort of ‘deal’? Having been one of three who have financially propped up the whole of the rest of the EU for decades you can certainly understand the fear about losing this particular contributor to the gravy train. You can even understand that there might need to be some payments to complete some schemes that still make sense to all involved and can be agreed to continue beyond the duration of full EU membership expiring. However to imagine that the recipient of such huge investment over so many decades should be given a huge bill as a parting gift is surely spectacularly misjudged. Far from accepting any ‘bill’ we should be awaiting an offer to repay the capital investment made by the UK that we will no longer be able to enjoy in the long run.

What sense is there in being so keen on a deal with Canada but so dead set against the idea of trying to work with what will be your biggest single market once they leave your club. The lesson will be learned one way or another. It might be bitter or sweet but whichever way they take it the EU will get the worse of it. Hopefully they see sense and both sides are able to make a success of Brexit. Only time will tell.

Still waiting to hear any reason to Remain

“Questions questions, give me no answers! All you ever give me is questions, questions!” as the great Tony Hadley had sung decades before. Well, not entirely appropriate as there aren’t really many questions being asked by the remoaners, but they are certainly very slow to give any answers.

My own position is always one of wanting to learn. Of course I hold my opinions as strongly as anyone. Why not? You think something so there should be a good reason for it right? At least if you care passionately about it surely? So if someone says they think remaining is a good idea I want to know why. I ask at every opportunity and have yet to have a decent answer. Nothing showing any imagination. I keep on asking but I rarely get any answer of any sort.

Sometimes you get a vague idea we would be ‘better off in’ as if money was the only consideration, let alone that was the case. They don’t really know why but claim we ‘need immigrants’ and trade with our biggest market. Well we’re a bigger market for them so they need us more but the fact that it’s a big group means little when the whole premise for it is protectionism and it is failing in a bit way. Falling further and further behind and with the PIGS effectively economically DOA. The EU is an economic zombie we would not want to be tied to if we had any sense but the remoaners just don’t see it and ‘Love EU’ - love truly is blind apparently. There is also a sense of ‘working together’ which is admirable I suppose but there has never been any suggestion that anyone ever wanted to ‘haul up the drawbridge’ is so often suggested. No one. No one ever suggests we ‘send ‘anyone home’ either. This is all fake news of the worst kind. Not only is it not representative, it’s not at all true in any respect. Is that the best you can do? Along the way there are silly snipes that are picked up and repeated en masse by the petrified parrots.

I have thought long and hard about why I might have voted stay. Real reasons that would actually be a direct choice and not just something made up. The only thing I can intellectually validate is the natural desire to avoid change and the unknown. If you really think things are OK and we are not being taken in the wrong direction because of a lack of knowledge or awareness.

Lies, Damn Lies & Remoaners

Since the Brexit vote we have had to put up with a sustained barrage of misinformation and a concerted effort to undermine peoples right to an opinion and its validity.

Are we in or out yet? - one minute everything is fine and dandy because we have triggered Article 50 yet. Then it’s the exchange rate because of the vote. So when is it we are out? Or at least when the vote takes any effect. We were told the day after was going to be pretty grim pre-vote but so far all the signs are everything is AOK aside from the drop in the pound which was inevitable the result going against what was expected and being long overdue for an adjustment.

350 Million Quid a week? - I never noticed it but this bus apparently won the referendum. We all fell for it and voted leave to get that £350m for the NHS. Of course very few did. We all understood the difference between gross and net. The amount made little difference anyway. It’s huge enough. They could have said we could use it to buy jellybeans and the bus would have been equally effective. It was just a relatively small part of the equation and something that was actually rarely disputed or denied in the campaign. The cost of EU membership was clear, agreed by all parties and understood. No one was tricked, however many times you claim they were.

The exchange rate - It happens. It fluctuates all the time without this amount of hysteria albeit it was definitely a step. Now everything has the narrative of people voting to be ‘worse off’ and the price of everything going up. Of course this is nonsense. The exchange rate change will mean that even post-Brexit our exports will cost less in the EU. We will also new able to then buy tariff free from new markets that previously had huge additional costs added on. It will go up and down forever and a day. It will do so based on the sentiment of the market and people will rarely pay too much attention to it aside from when they go on holiday. For now however, it can somehow be the proof of everything and yet nothing at all in reality.

The economy - The fact that the UK is performing better than anyone else in the world since Brexit is purely down to the fall in the value of the pound. That awful thing that apparently has made the economy great at the same time - somehow…

Immigrants’ feelings - Documentaries and anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that nearly every immigrant currently working in the UK is ready to flee. As if they feel unwanted and hated now. The media coverage might certainly have helped give them that impression but really? Seriously what made you come to the UK and what has really changed? Nothing I say. With any luck the UK will become even more attractive. No one is going to be thrown out and no one has ever said they would be. Before every election various people promise to leave whatever country it is but few if any ever actually do. Talk is cheap, but if anyone is that deluded and wants to cut off their nose to spite their face then go ahead. There will be ten others who will be more than happy to take your place for the same reasons you came here.

Hate crime - There was a widely reported spike in hate crime straight after the Brexit vote. I’ve no doubt that were a few words said and tempers raised but I honestly don’t believe that all but a few ‘emboldened racists’ actually went out and committed any hate crimes. People’s awareness was raised, leaflets were handed out to encourage the reporting of hate crime. Nothing wrong with that per se. The interesting thing was that once the dust settled was there actually any increase in prosecutions as you’d expect? No, not significantly. Nothing really changed aside from a few ruffled feathers and an acceptance that the UK was now full of racists that would never have existed if we had just voted remain.

Two Thirds Out? - Apparently, because of the huge gravity of the decision it should have required a two thirds majority to come into law. Put aside that that wasn’t the case in the seventies, that we never actually ever voted to become members of the EU at all or at any point when we gave up more and more with each new treaty. No. That doesn’t count apparently. These people who are now so keen on the intricacies of the law and political process didn’t have any concerns at any point anywhere along the line whilst the flow was in their direction. Total hypocrisy of course.

Basically the whole thing was a lie. We misunderstood. We were stupid. Ignore what we said before, you only heard their ‘lies’, what has happened since proves everything and nothing? What it is? There is so much denial amongst the remoaners they can’t even admit it to themselves. Some do admit they will do anything to remain. Others insist that nothing could be further from the truth and are happy to accept the awful choice of the people. They still go through the motions though that delay, distort and attempt to derail what the people have voted for. Oh yes, that’s the other line you hear now. We voted for control, for our parliament to be sovereign and therefore we should hand back the choice to the politicians to go against them.

Be aware people are not that stupid. Least of all Brexiteers. I think the campaign was one of the most long and well argued - far more so than any election I recall. Every aspect was covered and all views debated week after week. People are not stupid, they did not vote out of ignorance and equally 90% will see through your paper thin arguments and explanations now. You have been warned, although I think in your hearts you actually know this already.

Stages of Brexit Grief?

The stages of grief are well known. We had no idea the stages of Brexit would be quite so uniform and take quite so long to play out as has proven to be the case! Almost 9 months later and Article 50 is still not triggered and Tim Farron and his band of morons are still trying to delay the inevitable. They still can’t seem to move on. The more enlightened Liberals who have had the sense to accept the result have however spoken a lot of sense in moving forward even if their premise and starting point might be a polar opposite of my own. I believe there is a sensible, mutually beneficial middle ground for all political hues if your motives really are positive. Farron is the worst kind of remoaner. A whining weasel of a ‘man’ (barely, more a boy) he has achieved little politically and his moral compass is now set to subterranean climes trying to bottom feed and scoop up the most self-deluded and simple minded voters who are just looking for someone to give us another vote to ‘get it right’. Farron, with no alternative, is all over this. He makes Nick Clegg look… OK maybe not quite, but he’s cut from the same self-serving political snake oil salesman mold as he hero. Shame on him. People shouldn’t take him seriously, he doesn’t take them seriously. The things he spouts. People should just point and laugh at this village idiot when they see him. He is irrelevant and it’s only British manners that give him any airtime. If we must then let’s laugh at him. How he has the gall to throw stones at the likes of Farage and call them names? No idea. This is someone who needs a dose of reality, the result of a life of patronizing ‘yes dear’ acceptance. He needs to be told we all know what he’s doing and why. He should crawl back under the stone he crawled out from. Stop and save him from himself. Aside from anything else, as they say, not telling him is simply unkind. He is currently missing out on the biggest joke of the century.

In an era missing the likes of Benn Snr and Galloway we have people like him and Jezza. It’s really not good for British Politics as a whole and that is more important than the undoubtable comedy value.

Bye bye Dave - traitor!

I always quite liked David Cameron. He might not have been an intellectual heavyweight or very convincing conviction politician but he was a safe pair of hands and pretty slick. I was very much on his side. However I think he made a grave mistake the way he handled Brexit. Not only for the sake of the country but also his own career. He made a spectacular miscalculation and paid for it with his job and the outcome he never wanted thrown in.

He had to call for the referendum. UKIP forced that upon him. He had no choice. Half the people of Europe were against the EU, maybe more. Democracy had to be seen to be done and he thought he could win in any case. He had won another election against the odds and was riding on the crest of a wave. What could possibly stop him? He made all the right noises but was very Pro-EU, no doubt he could see the gravy train heading on a useful route for him in the near future having already said this would be his last term. He did accept there were challenges and the EU needed reform, but we were influential and maybe the unrest caused by UKIP and the upcoming vote could help him get a ‘better deal’ from the EU into the bargain as well. This was a win-win for Dave. What could possibly go wrong?

For me his first mistake was to go around Europe with his cap in hand asking for very, very modest concessions and getting far less. He returned like Neville Chamberlin waving his own piece of paper and no one was impressed in the slightest. Far from bolstering his argument he undermined it and proved just how little influence we had and how little the EU machine valued their second biggest financial contributor. As I had always believed we were taken very much for granted. As the rich fool who didn’t want to rock the boat whilst the Germans and French used their positions to build their industrial base and protect their farmers respectively. We were the nice retirement home, the place people could always escape to if necessary and get looked after if they were to suffer ill health. We would not vote to leave the club. Dave would do his bit and his friends would all scare us to death. We wouldn’t dare vote to leave.

Secondly I believe Dave should have acted far more as an even handed broker. This way he could have still discussed both sides of the argument without nailing his colours to the mast and tie his own future to a particular outcome one way or another. Why he didn’t do this I don’t know. If he thought he could lose I am sure he might have taken this option. He must have been so cock sure that he didn’t think it was necessary. He also would have had far more chance of gaining concessions from his Euro-Pals if he had any idea how to negotiate - more of this later - but he was already ‘all in’ and had nowhere to go. But he had his team behind him. Boris, etc. Only that swivel-eyed, racist Farage to worry about. When the worm turned, for whatever reason, the task was far tougher than it would have been with the backing of the universally popular Boris Johnson - but by then it was too late to change tack.

The worst thing however was the betrayal of the British people and his immediate resignation within days of the result. He had promised to stay. Many on both sides hoped he would and I felt myself he should carry through the wishes of the people as he had promised. He went and soon resigned as an MP too. That was his end. One he could hardly have predicted but largely deserved for failing so spectacularly with Brexit. He let the country down not once, not twice but thrice. Ironically his failure was one of the few things that people on both sides agreed upon. If he were a bigger man maybe he could have carried through his responsibilities as he promised. Stories about his motives appeared in the press. Surely it can’t be true that he was simply passing the buck and giving someone else the headache on triggering Article 50 which we are now just starting to hear about for the first time? Months later it looks very, very like this was precisely the plan and he sacrificed himself as a final card to maybe dodge democracy and allow the UK to remain in the EU Dream State. Let’s hope it’s the final error he will have made…

23rd June 2016 - Independence Day

2016 was a bad year. Not many things i want to remember the year for, Byron did well in his GCSEs but not much else apart from Brexit. I hadn’t really expected it, no one did, it wasn’t really in the script. Everything was against it happening. The Establishment had been out in force, bullying anyone who was stupid enough to not listen to the ‘experts’. Throwing around terms like racists and ‘Little Englanders’ even though there was no basis for even considering these as there was no race issue and the UK rather than England was voting. The accepted wisdom was that it would never happen and that it was ‘stupid’ to vote Leave even though I had never heard any decent argument for it.

I never had any doubt. The Common Market made sense and was broadly a good idea to give Europe some easy ‘unity’. Although it was falsely sold to us in the seventies and became something that no one would vote for, everyone admits desperately needs reform and is going in the wrong direction relentlessly. However everything I ever heard about the EU reinforced the view that it was an ever-more failing institution, only existing for its own benefit. The opportunity to have a vote on what we got rather than what we had been promised was finally going to be given to us. I had no doubt how I felt but was amazed but how many seemed to ‘Love EU’ without knowing why. I would ask, but I never got any answer really, just vague ideas about being ‘better off’ that always struck me as somewhat incompatible with the generally left-wing narrative that seemed to accompany this justification. Ultimately I think it was years of brainwashing, a total lack of imagination, wit or bravery and a simple laziness to consider any change versus the status quo. I think whilst this blind devotion is definitely the disease of the majority of remainers I later started to feel that there was actually something far more sinister under the surface.

In the months of debate leading up to the vote the well-argued and details points put forward to leave were only countered by derision, economic warnings from experts and ‘Project Fear’. There’s no doubt that the few who were doing well, big business and institutions not touched by the effects of mass, unchecked immigration and the total transformation of British Life could quite happily find reason not to rock the boat. The arguments were laid out at great length on both sides with the Remain side having everything very much in it’s favour. Not least the 9 million UKP booklet printed in Germany and promising the vote would be respected and acted upon which we later learned was another of the lies we were to be told. Whilst Nigel Farage was no doubt the architect of Brexit he was marginalized and seen as being ‘toxic’ by Vote Leave. However they were the ones to put the £350m could be spent on the NHS message on the bus that was later widely cited as the ‘lie’ that everyone stupidly believed. This was never said of course. The number was explained and only required the grasping of net and gross to understand it clearly. Why no one ever thought why any payment was necessary rather than quibble over understanding the amount I could never fully grasp. Project Fear however promised no less than an emergency budget, the biggest ever recession and World War III. None of which were delivered on time and although just about anything ‘iffy’ that has happened has been blamed on Brexit since, should any of these ever come to pass it will be something other than Brexit that was their cause. The exchange rate did adjust, far less than predicted, although this was used both as a justification of Brexit-fear and also an excuse for the subsequent economic boom that widely rated the UK as the World’s best performing economy in the 9 months and counting after Brexit. Big business had tried to stifle the ordinary people, the most disgusting embodiment of which was the merchant-bank-sponsored, foul mouthed rants of Geldof against the ordinary British fishermen on the Thames and the ill-conceived and demeaning ‘queue’ interjection by President Obama. The Establishment was rattled and it showed.

The night was amongst the most exciting of my life. Farage seemed to concede a harrow defeat straight after the polls had closed but the early results offered me immediate hope - most significantly the comfortable victory in Sunderland. More followed and before midnight I dared to believe the fairytale would come true. My plans to sleep went straight out of the window and I didn’t have a wink of sleep. The excitement grew and was capped off with Farage announcing victory for the ‘good, decent people’ and a new Independence Day in the early hours. Dimbleby admitted defeat and the day dawned on a new United Kingdom I thought I would never see again. I was physically elated the same way you are when your team wins a trophy, you become a dad or something of that magnitude. It was simply amazing and a massive, historical moment. A huge victory and justification of democracy against the odds. The quiet, informed majority had won. It felt great. I honestly thought the UK had ‘gone’. I had left the country a dozen years earlier because I thought it was doomed. I was so happy to have underestimated the Brits. I hope it ultimately saves not only us, but the whole of Europe from the EU machine.

I could just about have voted, but I didn’t. It wasn’t very easy to organize and what difference would my vote make anyway? I was very vocal in my support for Brexit but I didn’t vote for it, or Trump later in the year although in that case he was not my preference in any case in that Hobson’s Choice.

The morning didn’t only bring a new, free UK but also the slipping of the mask and a nastier side of people I really couldn’t imagine existed. To me entirely incompatible with the ‘nice’ facia presented. Now, uniformly the script was one of bitter defeat, denial and a barrage of insults from the vast majority of the ‘remoaners’. Anyone who supported Brexit was now openly called out as stupid, selfish and racist without there being any intellectually sustainable argument for this view beyond the vague idea that the few nasty people might have voted out simply to annoy the status quo. I am sure there were nasty, evil people that would be found on both sides - after the result though it was hard to see the wood for the trees. The bile was very much in one direction and with very little thought to back it up. A truly knee jerk reaction in every sense of the word.

In many ways the referendum was great. It was discussed exhaustively for as long as anyone could ever have wished. Although we were all bored with it we never heard about Article 50 or that it was only ‘advisory’. These were to follow… We also didn’t realize just how lose many people’s idea of respect for democracy would be or how low the bar was set to face being called something as heinous as a racist in such a modern, progressive society. Much of what was to follow only goes on to amaze and disappoint me further but more of that later. The thing we all agreed on is that Brexit was an issue that divided the country pretty much straight down the middle.