Sunday, October 20, 2019

Brexit: Think Again

I did in fact make it to yesterday's big "People's Vote" march, demanding a new referendum on Brexit. The argument is that the British public didn't know or understand the true ramifications of Brexit when the original referendum was taken in 2016. Makes sense to me -- why wouldn't we want another vote, now that we have more specific (and truthful) information and can take the pulse of the British public three years later?

It was a lively but orderly and smooth procession from Park Lane, down Piccadilly and Whitehall to Parliament Square. I stayed with the march for almost its entire length -- I bailed only when the crowds came to a halt near Parliament Square (which was presumably full) and the skies opened up for a brief rain shower. I figured by then I'd done my duty and I got out, walking over Westminster Bridge to Waterloo.

Among marchers from all over the United Kingdom, there were dancers...

...and drummers.

I saw Spider-Man...

...and Emmeline Pankhurst...

...and Cher.

I have no idea what this was about.

People were quite clever with their signs...

...and also quite blunt.

I only saw one tiny group of about six frankly rough-looking counter-protesters, waving a Union Jack and singing "Bye bye, EU, bye bye" to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. A woman marching in front of me turned to her companion and said, "What, is that it?"

Anyway, apparently we really did have an effect, as several parliamentarians mentioned the cheering throngs outside when they voted yet again to delay Brexit. On the one hand, I'm sick to death of it and I wish it would all go away, but on the other, every delay is a step closer to a much-needed reconsideration of the question.


  1. Good on you for standing up for your beliefs. And the photos were terrific!

  2. I am so impressed that you went. And what gorgeous pictures! No matter what happens you can say that you did your part!

  3. Wonderful pics! Great that you went!

    You said the other day you didn't know why you had an October Break. (besides everyone needing one about now) We have the same at Cornell U. in NY and it happens on Columbus Day, still a national holiday, but now morping into Indigenous People's Day in many areas of the U.S. (The NY times had a piece this year on the institution of the national holiday, apparently as a response to a lynching/massacre of Italians, at a time when they were considered definitely not white.) So your break is probably that, since it's an "American school", right? But the reason lost...

  4. Well done! I'm so glad you and so many others marched together. Great photos.

  5. Wow, such wonderful colorful photos. A lot of planning went into to this march for all the entertainment and such. Looks like it was a great day for all. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  6. The thing really does need reconsideration. From here it looks like Brexit is wrong.

  7. A great set of photos from this event. The only one I've seen so far was in my morning briefing from the NY Times and that photo looked pretty sober. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Here and there.

  8. Thanks for sharing that! I hope for the best for Great Britain.

  9. But did you see Yorkshire Pudding?! :)

    I guess not, or you would have mentioned it. I love the signs.

  10. well, I think they should have another vote, not that my opinion matters. it's a global world, one planet, one people. trying to go back to a time when nations were isolated is not the answer.

  11. Well done Steve. It's such an awful situation.

  12. Great set of pictures that capture a true sense of the demonstration. May I take this opportunity to inform your devoted readers from foreign climes that there were an estimated ONE MILLION people on this march or 999,998 if you and I are excluded from the count.

  13. Great photos. You can eventually say you took part in an historical event.

  14. I dont understand why they wouldnt do another vote. The first one was clearly flawed and tampered with, as flawed and tampered with as the 2016 US election. Great pictures.

  15. Good on you Steve for taking part having another vote seems the only decent thing to do, I saw the marches here on TV brilliant turnout.

  16. I totally loved the March for the colors and signs... Hey if Spiderman was there I suppose there is Hope!
    I have to admit that I have no idea what Brexit truly is. I know bits and pieces and I am not even sure if what I think that I know is correct. I really hope that it all goes well for all of the right reasons.

    Steve forgive me for being away. I have been in the hospital yet again. This time for 4 days but I am home now. This is the first time I have turned on the computer. Sometimes I am just thankful I am alive and realize I don't always need my electronics :)

    I am going to go and play catch up so I will chat with you later on... Beth

  17. Lots of costume and colour at the march.
    I read an article in one of the British papers today that put forward the possibility of another general election, dependant mostly on who's shouting who down in the Commons, so the people, in the not too distant future, may possibly get their people's vote. Another one. They've already had two and people are still divided.
    What a screw up this whole British political situation is and has been for a couple of years.

  18. David: Thanks!

    John: Doing my part for the NHS!

    Ms Moon: Yeah, it felt good to show up. At least I've done something -- me and a million other people!

    Sally: Perhaps that is the origin of the break, although I think British schools typically have a half-term break at about the same time. It's a mystery.

    Robin: It was heartening to see so many people motivated to show up.

    Edna: It WAS a great day! Lots of positive energy in the face of a very negative time.

    Red: It's a disaster. No other word for it.

    Sharon: It was an almost joyful display of hopefulness. Which I needed!

    Colette: Thanks for those good wishes!

    Jennifer: I don't THINK so. (See today's post!)

    Ellen: Exactly. When people ask me why I care so much, I say that people are ALWAYS better off when we work together and cooperate. It's a basic philosophy. This trend toward isolationism and self-interest is dangerous and defeating.

    Sabine: It is!

    Catalyst: Thanks!

    YP: I don't know how they can tell how many people were there. I wouldn't be surprised if that figure is accurate, but I always take crowd estimates with a grain of salt. Being a former journalist I mistrust them!

    E: I just hope it has the ultimate desired effect!

    37P: I know -- it seems like common sense, doesn't it? If people still want Brexit, they'll vote for it again, and then the question will be answered. I just think there was a lack of accurate information, as well as potential interference, the first time around.

    Comox: Yeah, it was great to see so many people care.

    Beth: There are a lot of moving parts to Brexit, so don't feel bad for not understanding it. I don't get a lot of it myself, particularly when it comes to the backstop and various trade and customs issues. All I know is, it's pointless and creates unnecessary division. So sorry you've been in the hospital! I hope you're better!

    Alphie: I hope if we have another Brexit vote it doesn't get tangled up with a general election. We need a repeat referendum that focuses solely on Brexit -- not on candidates or parties.

  19. Aerial film shows people beginning the march at Marble Arch even as thousands are already clustering in Parliament Square. I was at The Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 when 600,000 ticket holders were photographed from above and I have also been in many large football crowds. I have no problem concurring with the People's March attendance estimate.