The caffeine desire was strong in me having had a late night at a Peoples Vote event in Chester. We walked through Lime Street Station heading for the nearest cafe that would satisfy my coffee void but it took us a long time to get anywhere that morning. Dressed in our Peoples Votes T Shirts, carrying banners and flags and stickers, the people of Liverpool looked at us and wanted to talk to us that day. A group of Italian students and their teacher took photos of us and with us. The teacher explained to the teenagers that we didn’t want to leave the European Union. We got a beautiful cheer from them.
People of all ages, both sexes, different accents, wished us well and begged us for the vibrant Bollocks to Brexit stickers which encapsulate so perfectly the strong emotion that most of us feel when we think of how our European Citizenship is being taken away from us against our will – this I believe is at the heart of virtually every campaigner, every so-called citizen of nowhere. An elderly English couple stopped us for stickers which they wore with glee and wanted to chat about their feelings. A wonderful couple full of warmth and intelligence. They were baffled and angry at government and opposition alike. Brexit was insane they said. The people had been lied to, the people are still being lied to.
I heard stories that day from families who marched because they were filled with doubt about their future status. With EU27 spouses what would happen? Why were they being treated as the whipping boys for British discontent with issues which were all in the purview of domestic Governments to fix? This is of course an inconvenient truth for politicians and none will address this question. The government’s own investigation into the impact of immigration recently has clearly debunked the myths that were trotted out during the EU referendum. The pernicious lies about immigration and about Freedom of Movement have gone on for years. A steady flow of headlines filled with hate and prejudice on the shelves of newspaper stands day after day spreading their toxic damage, spilling over in recent years onto our social media timelines and of course deliberately used on Facebook to trigger people into voting leave.
Other people walked because of their continuing anger and worry that Brexit is a shambles which is damaging the country and damaging everybody’s lives. They see the pathetic farce that passes for government negotiations and see clearly that the Emperor is stark bollock naked.
Others have businesses and jobs which depend on the Single Market and simply have no idea if they will be able to continue with their lives as they know them after Brexit day. Politicians do not have their jobs at risk on Brexit day. Can the rest of us all say exactly the same? Really, are we sure about that?
Overwhelmingly the mood I saw on Sunday was defiance. It was a word that popped in my head as people came to speak to us and stayed with me all day. It was Defiance with a smile on it’s Face. We marched and chanted as loud as we could with sweet, beautiful defiance.
We saw it in the faces of the passers by who came up and spoke to us or just begged for stickers. Liverpool was a sea of Bollocks to Brexit stickers on Sunday. We got a couple of hecklers along the route and in the street, but I would say 90% of the people we came across that day were either with us already or extremely interested in what we had to say. The Defiance of the People on Sunday was a beautiful peaceful openhearted but nevertheless deeply entrenched defiance. It takes a very deep well of belief to make thousands of ordinary British citizens give up their Sunday to walk through a city and shout and chant and wave banners. People are seeing the shambles, the broken promises, the loss of British influence in the world, hearing the sound of jobs dripping away, thinking about the bonkers technical notices preparing us for no deal and they are saying very clearly STOP, WAIT, WE WANT TO LOOK AGAIN, WE WANT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE BRINGING TO US.
A warning to Labour and Conservatives alike, you have a massive fight on your hands. You can either accept that we have a right to examine the consequences of any final Brexit proposition and have a say on that with an option to remain or you can subject this country you claim to love so much to years of marginal governments and the wrath of the voters when they discover we are right and the Brexit unicorns, whether they are blue or red, are simply a figment of the imagination of ambitious self-serving political players.
If this chimes with you come and be DEFIANT with us on the 20th October and tell London, the Government and Opposition that we will not be quietened and we demand a Peoples Vote.
The Defiance of the People will win the day.