Brexit day was spent in the Gorton wards of the constituency where the great majority voted Leave in the referendum. It is said usually by journalists that Manchester Gorton constituency voted at least 60-40 Remain.
As a matter of fact no-one can know that because the votes weren’t counted on a constituency basis but like so much in this story if you tell a lie often enough…
If I assume the validity of what can only be a guess then the 40% Brexit vote must have been in the two Gorton wards. Either that or a Damascene conversion has taken place. Because though I shook a thousand hands today, was in hundreds of pictures, visited at least 70 shops and small businesses and spent two hours in Gorton Market I did not meet ONE supporter of the EU the entire day.
As the establishment political class and their media echo-chamber wail and rend their garments in working class areas of Britain their is a determination that now that we can we must build a better Britain. The figures on Bojo’s Bus may not have been exactly right and without doubt the Tories would never spend those numbers on an NHS they hate in their hearts there is no doubt in any of people I met today that there is big money coming back to Britain. And they know how it needs to be spent.
As one owner of a wallpaper shop told me today “we need people like you in Parliament to make sure that Brexit bonus is spent in places like this”.
I have some liberal friends who are still sore about me joining forces with others to fight for Brexit. But I have never doubted for a second the correctness of the stand I took.
The EU was and remains an undemocratic monster. We didn’t elect it and couldn’t remove it. It’s decision makers were people who’s names we didn’t know whose faces we couldn’t recognise who didn’t speak our language whose priorities were not ours. And by the way this is felt by people like us throughout what is for now the European Union.
I spend a bit of time in Portugal. No-one there has a good word to say about the EU, whose policies of pre-Keynesian austerity have beggared the mass of the people and bullied and browbeaten the elected government of the country. Still fewer fans of the EU exist in Spain or Greece even Italy.
Certainly, liberal pieties about “free movement of labour” wouldn’t have buttered many parsnips in the Gorton Market today. Few shoppers there can afford a nanny from Tuscany. For those people “free movement” means lower wages, more competition for jobs, higher rents and more pressure on Tory devastated public services.
And it has nothing to do with racism. It’s about those of all colours who are already here feeling insecure about the reality and the possibility of large numbers of others joining them.There is nothing irrational about that. As the pictures I posted all day show my position was welcomed by white-British black-British Asian-British people alike, as I said without a single exception.
In fact Brexit inevitably means a reinvigorated relationship with our Commonwealth, with people who stood by our side in our darkest days when otherwise we would have stood alone. People more likely to share our language add to our culture and with whom we share so much history.
I look forward to Brexit Britain resounding to newly re-engaged Canadian Australian New Zealand Indian sub-continental and Commonwealth African voices in the years to come.
I fought the 1975 Common Market referendum under the leadership of Mr Benn Mr Foot Mr Shore and Mrs Castle. The abandonment of the Commonwealth was one of their most powerful arguments. We lost then. But we’ve won now. Let’s build a Britain to be proud of, independent of the EU and firmly rooted in the world.