When taking to the streets offered a way out of Brexit

KEN TOWL, our non-resident rambler, went on a walk with a difference yesterday, on one of the biggest popular marches of this century, and in some very mixed company

People's Vote March

Official estimates said 700,000 took part in the People’s Vote march. The police will probably say it was half as many

The plan was to meet up with some colleagues from work, march with them from Park Lane to Parliament Square, listen to Chuka Umunna, Vince Cable and Anna Soubry, and then have a couple of pints in The Speaker, a pub not too close to the rally as to be packed and not so far away as to test our already tired feet.

We met at Green Park and took to the back streets of Mayfair to avoid the pressing throng, and find ourselves a good place somewhere in the middle of the march at the starting point along the side of Hyde Park.

I had read in the newspapers that 100,000 people were expected.

There certainly seemed to be more than the organisers had planned for, since we were spilling on to the pavement and into the park and weren’t able to start moving until after a couple of hours.

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The marchers had a clear view of who is responsible for the situation

Later, in Parliament Square, Mariella Frostrup would announce that there were “officially” 700.000 people on the march, though the police “estimates” will probably halve that figure.

Judging by the variety of banners, placards and T-shirt slogans – some wittier than others – there were probably 700,000 different points of view over how Britain might get itself out of this mess of our own making. Though the police would probably halve that estimate.

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The march featured a broad cross-section of views

Once the crowd started off, one of our party drifted ahead and messaged shortly after we had turned Hyde Park Corner that he was almost at Parliament Square. By the time I had got to The Ritz, I had lost the others and contented myself with shouting “Now!” whenever someone with a megaphone asked “When do we want it?”

It, of course, was a people’s vote, the chance to call a halt to this impossible and reckless national self-harm that we seem to be inflicting on ourselves.

The only dissenting voice I heard was along Whitehall, just by Banqueting House. There was a group of about 15 Brexiteers (though the police would probably halve that figure), who were shouting their, “You lost; get over it” mantra.

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Adaptations of internet memes, different political parties, philosophical questions, the march had them all

One of them, a scrawny-looking bloke, went a little further.

Responding to an (imagined, as far as I could make out) taunt that he was racist, his reply was, “You think I’m racist? I hate any cunt who is non-white.

“If that makes me racist, I don’t care. Water off a duck’s back!”

I thought I might take a photo of him but, when he saw the camera, he waddled off.

I suspect he is racist. At least a little bit.

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And it was all so thoroughly polite, too

There were so many people in Parliament Square that the body of the march halted in Whitehall and people were having to head back up and cut through to the river to get around.

corbyn brexit

Now this would prompt some debate in the pub afterwards, if only the pub were open

I managed to hear the end of Anna Soubry’s rousing speech and Mariella Frostrup rounding the whole thing off with a rounded-up number. Then I headed for The Speaker, which turned out to be empty because it is closed until November 21.

Before the pub re-opens we might have more of an idea of what is going to happen to Brexit, though there do not appear to be any grounds for optimism, whatever your point of view.

If our political masters cannot make a decision, perhaps we will have to. After all, democracy is nothing to be scared of. Unless you are a scrawny little fascist with the empathy of a duck.


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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4 Responses to When taking to the streets offered a way out of Brexit

  1. I’m all for demos and have marched against the H Bomb, The Vietnam War, Apartheid, Coal mine closures, Blair’s Iraq war and in support of the NHS. You know what, none of these in themselves, changed a thing. What they did do was help my morale and my belief that there are sensible, thinking people in this country, they just aren’t the ones who run it.
    Probably the capacity for good natured protest is the reason why we don’t have barricades and civil war.
    Who knows what the outcome will be, although the results of isolating ourselves from our biggest trading partner certainly don’t look good, at least in the short term?

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  2. David Mogoh says:

    When they say they want another vote, what they really mean to say is that they don’t want to Leave the European Union, so let’s keep voting until they get the result that they want.
    I see the point of a vote on HOW we leave – but to keep voting on IF we leave, when we haven’t even completed the process of leaving, doesn’t make any sense to me.
    The only way I can see another vote working in the remainer’s favour is if they can get such a vote to have 2 x leave options (accept deal / no deal?) and 1 x remain option. This would split the leave vote and consolidate the remain vote that would win by a comfortable margin with the same 48% losing section of the previous referendum. I’m pretty sure this is what they mean by a “People’s Vote”.

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  3. Pingback: Greenwich Council poised to back People’s Vote on Brexit – 853

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