Today Theresa May will send a letter triggering Article 50. She asks the whole nation to unite around Brexit. This is impossible because a referendum won on a simple majority is not decisive. It is divisive. In many respects half the nation is now more pro-European than many living in Belgium.
Ode to Joy was the official song of the Unite for Europe march. It represented, perfectly, the atmosphere and the mood on the beautiful, sunny, Saturday morning when thousands of people from all over the United Kingdom turned up to support the European Union. There was no outrage. No fear. No loathing. No anger. Everyone present was and is convinced that our future lies in a harmonious, united and co-operative Kingdom and by extension a harmonious, united and co-operative Europe. A faith in shared values and a conviction that we are only secure when we are united not divided. A belief that we can only prosper when we engage with our neighbours not when we stand on the outside looking in – which is why we can not unite around leaving.
There was a sense of humour – thank goodness!
There were warriors!
… and pregnant ladies thinking to the future ..
I’m not sure what dark corner Paul Dacre has backed himself into when he tries to cast the mild mannered and pleasant people who turned up from Norwich and Norfolk, from Liverpool and Newcastle, from Scotland and Wales, from Devon and Cornwall, From Oxford and from Suffolk as sneering, disrespectful villains. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We laid flowers at Westminster Bridge in memory of the victims but we had the spirit of Britain in the 1990’s when England refused to be cowered, fearful or frightened by cowardly acts of terrorism.
Nor do we feel cowered, fearful or frightened of Dacre, Murdoch or the Barclay Twins. We wanted to show that the only way to defeat anger, outrage, fear and loathing – of all shapes and sizes and from where ever it stems from – is to walk together persuaded by the need for unity not division.
…and so we marched, in our thousands, and filled Parliament Square assured that Brexit is unnecessary and a complete waste of time.
Mrs May asks the nation to unite. Yes we can unite – around Unions that actually work for all – the United Kingdom of four nations and the European Union. Brexit is the exact opposite.
Regardless of what Boris Johnson would have us believe – we can’t help thinking that Churchill, who on Saturday stood among a sea of bright blue and yellow flags on Parliament Square, would have been delighted to see so many patriotic Brits turning up to promote harmonious and fruitful Unions. We do this in memory of his fight against tyranny and his hopes for a peaceful and prosperous Europe.