We want to be a part of it, New Opportunities across the globe.
Tonight we celebrate, and fill the skies with flags, fireworks and cheering. I have no time for being told to keep it calm as if I were somehow sorry or embarrassed at having campaigned to Leave or at having achieved it. Tonight is our night. Tomorrow we go for unity but give us this one night.
The main casualty of the last , painful, three and a half years, has been the reputation of political pundits. The predictions made by the sagest of them have proven wildly accurate and through wilful neglect of their duties.
Where are the bread queues, the empty shelves, the daily xenophobic attacks, the social breakdown, the hospitals without drugs? Nowhere, nor even expected. Everything promised by the Remain side has been false, and the over-optimism by the Leave side has proven an underestimate.
One of the daftest opinions I read in a well respected publication, though American, was that the Brexit vote was a vote against globalism and hat it would mark the end of Britain as a major economic player, all written with such certainty the rest of the article followed that beginning. Where, you might ask, could they have come to such conclusions about our island nation’s being so insular? I might, if lazy, say it was the thoughtless guesswork of an outsider who heard nothing of the campaign nor knew anything of those involved. It familiar from commentary on this side of the pond though. It comes from listening to only one, extreme side of the argument.
I was knocking on doors during the referendum, and I heard not only what the Leave campaign was saying but what was said by voters on the doorstep, and most were looking outward, not inward. A serious columnist would have known that and factored it in. He or she would have looked at who was likely to take back control, amongst them Boris Johnson, and realised that the idea of an inward-looking, autarchic future was never on the cards.
A writer put his reputation on the line with every word, and that reputation is worth nothing now. I pick one single example from an American journal, but many of our columnists were just as daft, in pursuit of their own idea of virtue. Like the mediæval picture of the Day of Judgment, your columns will be held up and weighed in the balance, and your reputations are consigned to the flames.
The vote three and a half years ago and the recent general election have been consistently votes for global Britain. It is not the sort of globalism which would see all our culture squeezed out in favour of a shapeless global nothingness, but a globalism in which Britons stride the world as Britons, embracing the world and not just one corner of it.
Parliament is in the hands of those who look outward and follow that global mindset. The nature of the Commons does not encourage this, huddling all members into a chamber inward-looking and making their careers by parroting lines aimed at that small flat down a close at the back of Dunny-on-the-Wold rather than higher considerations, but speaking to the leading ministers and members, they do get the ‘global’ thing. We are not isolated. World engagement means a healthy economy, which is why when Europe’s economy is idling, Britain’s is outstripping every one of them. We are not at African levels of growth yet, but we have time to catch up.
Hello World: welcome to Brexit Britain.
- Brexit moments:
- It’s not about Europe
- The next eleven months
- Every man to do his duty
- All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class by Tim Shipman
- Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union by Harold D. Clarke, Matthew Goodwin and Paul Whiteley
- Brexit: How the Nobodies Beat the Somebodies by Sebastian J. Handley
- Brexit and Ireland: The Dangers, the Opportunities, and the Inside Story of the Irish Response by Tom Connelly
- Beyond Brexit by Vernon Bogdanor
- From Partition to Brexit: The Irish Government and Northern Ireland by Donnacha O Beachain
- Brexit: Its Necessity and Challenge by Tony Kosuge
- Rising Tides: Facing the Challenges of a New Era by Liam Fox
- By Boris Johnson: