The Brextremists have gone too far this time. People of all parties and backgrounds who care about the UK need to protest
I can't imagine that Brexit – a dogma that is so obviously against the national interest – would ever have been allowed to get as far as it has by the gutsy, morally robust wartime generation. Why can't we pull together again?
With Brextremists like Andrea Jenkyns, the MP for Morley and Outwood, now talking about “going down fighting” – as if they were members of some terrorist cell, rather than a group of responsible politicians putting forward any rational proposals – it’s time the great silent and not-so-silent majority made their feelings known about Brexit. We must shout with one voice: “Not in my name!”
This Saturday, 20 October, I will be proud to join what promises to be the biggest ever march against the madness of Brexit. People of all ages, faiths and backgrounds – all political affiliations and none – will take part in the March for Our Future. It will be a day for putting aside egos and forgetting which other groups we represent as we unite under one banner.
That is, of course, how it was the last time we marched on that scorching hot day in June, and what distinguishes us from the people on the other side of the argument: we actually do get along, and complement each other.
We will march together to celebrate our common purpose just as so many of those who are determined to take us out of the European Union make obvious they are putting personal ambitions ahead of the people of the United Kingdom. Unity and concern for the common good are our unique selling points.
I was asked the other day whether I was a People’s Vote supporter or whether my role with End the Chaos – the movement I have set up to give clarity where there is currently all too much fog on Brexit – precluded that. I laughed and said we all have the same aim, the same objective and the same dream for our country. The question is asked often by those who wish to sow division. It made me think of the hilarious sketch in Monty Python film The Life of Brian, where the members of the Judean People’s Front couldn’t get along with almost identically named organisations holding precisely the same objectives.
I need hardly add this is a time when special interest groups and organisations are determined to tear our society asunder. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party is essentially propagating class warfare. Dominic Grieve said last week Corbyn wanted to use the chaos that would ensue after a hard Brexit to fulfil his lifelong dream of overthrowing the capitalist system.
On the other side, there are politicians and rich backers – I know them only too well from my True and Fair campaign to end rip-offs in the City – that are as far to the right as Corbyn and his friends are to the left. They talk of bringing in a “Singapore-lite” set of rules after a hard Brexit; a bonfire of regulation, but this would equate to no – or nominal – taxation, meaning little funding for public services; a rolling back of protections, standards and rights; a survivalist economy in which the poor and the weak are trampled underfoot. It’s an opportunity for them to turn the islands of Great Britain and Ireland into an ideological laboratory.
Older politicians who served in the Second World War – a generation now sadly lost to the House of Commons – had no problem accepting Jo Cox’s dictum that ultimately there is more that unites this great country than divides it. In that terrible war, fighting against a common enemy, they pulled together – the die-hard Labour men and women from the great northern industrial cities, the high-born Tories from the shires – and they worked together, to brilliant effect.
Party loyalty of course mattered to them, but in a time of crisis, the country mattered much more.
The lessons of the war stayed with them all their lives and it enabled them to recognise courage and patriotism in people whose political views they might well have despised otherwise.
I can’t imagine that Brexit – a dogma so obviously against the national interest – would ever have been allowed to get as far as it has by that gutsy, morally robust wartime generation. They had learnt, too, through blood and anguish, how important it is that Europe is united.
So I will march on Saturday not as a representative of a particular organisation but as a proud citizen of the United Kingdom and Europe and, perhaps above all, as a mother who wants the best possible future for her children.
Gina Miller is a businesswomen, campaigner and founder of Endthechaos.co.uk
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