The hundreds of thousands marching were patriots. Not patriots of the flag-waving, chest-beating type, but patriots determined to stop their fellow citizens suffering and a humiliated Britain being torn apart.
“Traitors”, “saboteurs”, “citizens of nowhere”, “Remoaners”… The right has deployed the language of civil war for three years. The insults carried with them the threat that dissenters would be treated as enemies within, but also the promise and the hope that, left to its own devices, Brexit would restore Britain’s greatness.
Now the hope has gone and threats are all that is left. If Nigel Farage remembers his wish to make 23 June a public holiday so future generations could celebrate that glorious moment in 2016 when the British secured their independence from the EU tyranny, no one else does. Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg no longer boast of a global Britain enjoying a renaissance. On the far left, the Lexiters who once told us Brexit would give us socialism in one country have fallen silent too.
All that remains on the corpse of the movement that once promised national liberation is a sullen snarl. “The people” voted for Brexit and they must have it – good and hard.
Humiliation was woven into Brexit like a pattern in a fabric. The first aim of English and then British diplomacy since Elizabeth I was to stop the country facing a continent united against her. We face it now, not because Europe is dominated by a Napoleon or Hitler but because “we” have decided to treat our allies as if they were our enemies. No foreign power has reduced Britain to this wretched state. We are a nation that lost a war we declared on ourselves. [Continue reading…]