A month ago, Brexit happened. They won. Everyone lost. Includng them.
From the ashes, heroes emerged – and I wanted to write something positive (for once!) about some of the individuals who stood up against the tide of stupidity and gave us all a little faith in humanity.
Some of our heroes are political heavyweights or experienced media luvvies, but most are ordinary, shy people who were so appalled that they spoke out.
It takes courage. It takes warriors, it takes heroes, to take a stand against this asylum of British political lunacy and be strong enough to set the case for reason, in the face of brutal disinformation and bullying all around us.
Known to many as Stop Brexit Man, in the years following the referrendum Steve Bray could often be heard in the background of live TV coverage of the political news coverage with his giant megaphone shouting “Stop Brexit!”. He won PMP Magazine’s Person of the Year award for 2018. Steve put himself in harm’s way for his cause many times, facing off against some very agressive Brexiters. A true warrior, he led the SODEM campaign (Stand Of Defence European Movement). His sheer physical presence in Westminster streets was phenomenal and he continues to make his point even now.
Seen by many as a champion for younger remainers, Femi was cofounder of the OFOC (Our Future Our Choice) movement. He speaks truth to power and holds to ridicule the various comments and tweets of Vote Leave advocates. Twitter is undoubtedly Femi’s key battleground, but he’s taken part in various televised and radio interviews. Confident and factual, with immense tolerance for the intolerant, Femi has been the voice of the ordinary and the unheard throughout the Brexit fiasco. He regularly writes in broadsheets like The Guardian and The Independant.
He is known as a frumpy, grumpy, bullish oaf with a serious attitude problem, rude manners and an apparent leaning toward Brexit. Many of us have found ourselves astonished at his turnaround, find ourselves aghast at our agreement with him. In the most unlikely sense Piers Morgan has emerged as a great person to have on side when confronting hypocrisy and ineptitude. Morgan was super critical of Donald Trump (eventually), and has famously torn shreds off various Tory MPs on Good Morning Britain. In the run up to the 2019 election they all were too scared to appear on the show, boycotting it en mass. A few days ago Therese Coffey MP aborted her interview with him, when Morgan asked Coffey to justify her remarks that Britain’s world beating death rate was due to obesity and age. Morgan seems to be the one they are all scared of now, a latter day Paxman of sorts, and we need that more than ever. Here, for example, is his reaction to Boris Johnson’s latest milestone.
Politically astute, sharp as a knife and unafraid of even the most aggressive bigots, James O’Brien has established himself as a bold critic and accurate dissector of right wing thinking, often leaving callers speechless and unable to justify their stance. This skill is not to be underestimated, as time after time he lures Leavers into traps of their own making and leaves them humiliated by their own arguments. But far from being superior or bullish, James shows compassion and empathy, offering everyone a fair chance to finish their point, often repeatedly. His slot on LBC is an essential counter balance to the Brexiter hosts on the station, which included for a time Nigel Farage himself. Brexit may be done, but O’Brien has made sure nobody will forget why, how and for whom the consequences are destined to land.
Brexit ignited something in ordinary folk. It started a fire in the belly which for many, has never gone out. It lit a rage, a fury against social injustice and racial hatred and stolen futures. The People’s Vote marches, although ultimately ignored, were a spectacular display of unity among disenfranchised people. The atmosphere at these events was friendly and lively, there was no aggression and little or no arrests. The numbers were staggering.
The masses walked past Downing Street without the slightest notion of approaching a government building. I am proud that we made our voice heard in our millions and did it with dignity and flair. The events in Washington in January 2021 made me realise how truly great our Remain movement was and how our dignified conduct in London is something to be forever proud of.