By our Branch Chair, Richard Fullerton (5/9/19)
Yesterday, 4th September, I travelled down to London to support Leavers outside Parliament. As we know, the past few days have seen the government defeated in the House and as well as showing my support, I wanted to taste the atmosphere and compare it with previous visits in the days up to 31st March.
Noone knows how the parliamentary game of chess will play out. My sincere hope is that Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson have got some aces up their sleeves and these defeats are part of a strategy derived from Cumming’s study of the war theories of the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu, of which he is an admirer.
But whilst we foot-soldiers are mere spectators and have no influence on events in the House, we can do our bit on the streets. We can get noticed by the media. My experience in life is, generally speaking, that those who shout the loudest and create the biggest fuss, get what they want.
So why, I asked myself, were so few Leavers on the street outside Parliament yesterday? Why are there so few of them on all other days too? Why do Remainers seem to care more? Flippant responses I heard yesterday like “Leavers have got jobs and most of this Remainer rabble are no doubt on benefits or work for the NHS” reveal the complacency of the Leave movement.
The number of demonstrators outside Parliament and along the pavement to the media village on College Green was small by comparison with other days, but we were outnumbered. I’d say that Leavers represented maybe 20% of the crowd yesterday. They were Brexit Party / Vote Leave supporters. I met one – yes ONE – member of UKIP there. And that was because I arranged to meet him. Aside from two unmanned UKIP flags flapping amongst the sea of EU flags, only my ‘Out Now, #Nodeal’ banner gave us presence. So where were you, Kippers?
A lot of Leavers are retired so they’ve got no excuse for not being there. Numbers matter. Brexit matters. Casting your vote was just part of your commitment to getting the UK out of the hated EU. We know we cannot trust the politicians. So where were you?
The TV cameras filming the live news from the media village fill our screens with EU flags, giving an impression to the population and the rest of Europe that we Leavers are in the minority. This isn't happenstance. The mainstream, pro-EU media TV channels are only too happy to propagate this impression. This exposure of EU support fuels the whole Remain movement whether here or in Brussels. We’re losing the battle in the media for the second time, if we haven’t lost it already.
I work in advertising and marketing. It works. If I promote a product or service it gains my client’s brand more market share. It’s the same in politics. You have to be in it to win it.
As I left for home, rather annoyed, I saw a People’s Vote rally with a stage about to kick off on Parliament Square itself. Where was our rally, people? Wake up.