THE CONFESSIONS OF A BREXITEER
Does anyone hear confessions, please? It seems that I have committed a cardinal sin by supporting - very publicly - the campaign to leave the European Union. And, what's worse, I actually voted Leave. The fact that I was in very good company in these parts - around three-quarters of us - hasn't made any difference to the venomous response of people I hoped would remain friends, even though we were on different sides of the argument.
I should have anticipated the problems, I suppose. The first hint of trouble was when the editor of a website I write for, and helped administer, more or less blamed me and my views for the tragic death of MP Jo Cox in the week before the Referendum vote. My extreme views, he wrote, had helped foster the atmosphere of hate which motivated the man who murdered her.
To be fair to him, and I am really trying hard here, he inhabits a world of authors and assorted media folk for whom left wing views are a given. Earlier in the piece, he had insisted I use a different Twitter account to help promote the website, as he feared my views might offend the literary establishment among whom he plies his trade. That was easily done, and I indulged him.
Once the sheer horror of what we had done on 23rd June dawned on him, he went public on the site, not with personal reference to me, but reflecting the abiding air of grief and loss within artistic and creative folk across the land. How could we be so stupid? This was a terribilem diem for the country, a step back into the dark ages. How did provincial clods like us even have the vote?
The result was, I suppose, inevitable. After a few days of stony silence, he told me that he could no longer work with someone whose views were so extreme and so abhorrent, and so I was sacked. There is, clearly, no leper in the arts and media world quite like that of a person whose views don't match the template of the card-carrying Guardianistas of literary festivals and book-signings.
Even former colleagues from the teaching profession took to social media to express their desolation. They were ashamed of being British, sickened and saddened by the desecration of something so beautiful and wholesome. Some could only vent their posting links to page after page after dreary page of the leftist bible, The Guardian. Incidentally, today's Times reported that a Freedom of Information request had revealed that that sainted national treasure, the BBC, buys 250 copies of The Guardian each day, just to make sure that its employees do not stray too far from the metropolitan liberal consensus.
Across the land, random acts of racism, which probably happen all the time, regrettably, were spotlighted as being the result of racist behaviour becoming legitimised by the decision to vote Leave. If that were not bad enough, the financial markets were in turmoil, and we were clearly heading for a meltdown not seen since, well the last meltdown. Needless to say, markets closed today, 29th June, up several points from their position before the Referendum vote.
The petition to hold a second referendum received huge support in a matter of hours. So huge - and worldwide - was the response, that signatories were found to come from such places as Korea, Tunisia and Hawaii.
As I write, I suspect that we who voted to leave the EU are in the process of being shafted by the politicians. David Cameron is in a peculiar position, having championed the Remain cause. The Labour Party is in tatters, and cannot play a sensible part in anything which follows. UKIP - and Nigel Farage in particular - are still the pantomime villains, despite their historic role in securing the Referendum in the first place.
So, there it is. Bless me Father, for I have sinned. What my penance is to be, I will reveal later.