Sunday, 26 June 2016

Hold your nerve

I am going to admit something to you now. As a fierce campaigner for Brexit I have been in the mode of producing counter-arguments by reflex. I was employed to do this because I am good at it and I wanted to do it too. And though I stand by the view that the scares were overstated, they are still nonetheless real.

I am not the only one to be having a post-referendum wobble looking at what we have unleashed. But mostly the shockwave is psychological. We are waking up to the enormity of what we have decided. It's bigger than even I thought.

But what drives that fear is what my good friend and compatriot Sam Hooper calls "catastophisation". Many on the remain side are now in apoplexy going full tilt to find any scrap of evidence that supports their dire warnings. It's pervasive and quite persuasive. They do it because they believe there is, by so doing, a chance of overturning the result.

But we should hold our nerve. We should not cave into second thoughts. What is done is done. If we go back on our decision now and go crawling back we will be treated in the same way as a battered wife who goes back to her abusive husband, begging for forgiveness.

For a moment in time on Thursday, to abuse a cliche, middle England roared with pride at who we are and what we can do. We should hold on to that. If we give way to doubt then we shall be all the more diminished and in a worse position than before. I urge you to continue to trust in you voting instincts, that we prosper because of who we are, not because of the EU.

And as much as the political realities may give us pause for thought, I still have faith that this was the right choice. It is not because I have read the runes or the treaties or the letter of the law. It is not because I have looked closely at the economic metrics. It's because of all of you who have stood up to be counted.

They say that the Brexit vote is some slobbering nativist sentiment, but I have seen none of that in my social circle or indeed online. All I have seen is great people who believe it is time for change, and that we can be whatever we want to be. Among them are surgeons, engineers, teachers and mothers. They are our neighbours, friends and colleagues. They are the backbone of Britain and the backbone our politicians lack.

I have said it before. There are times when the politicians must show leadership but there are also times when the people must show the politicians leadership. This is one of them. This is a time for each and every one of you to stand your ground and say to them that we can do this.

It will require that we are more alert and must work harder, but the wages of this will be a thriving Britain we will be proud to hand to the next generation, and all those whining youths who said we have robbed them of their future will grow to realise what fools they were.

The political establishment will not go without a fight. They are waiting for us to blink. We should not indulge them. They have had forty years of having things their own way. If we have made the decision to stand up to them then we must be resolute in our determination to hold them to account and instruct them that they serve us - and not the other way around. If we do not then we will have consented to be ruled, not governed.

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