Giles Fraser writes:
I wanted Brexit and argued for it. But I don’t feel any particular sense of joy now we have won.
Not because I am having second thoughts.
But because what this referendum has revealed – not just the result, but how the thing was conducted – is how .
When I wandered over to vote yesterday, I noticed only signs of remain. People wearing little “In” stickers, posters in windows declaring “Better Together”.
Remain was everywhere. Leave was nowhere to be seen.
But now we know that was just the
As if in some parallel universe, the rest of the country saw things differently. They didn’t get the memo.
And no, they were not being racist – though racism has certainly been out there. They had simply been left profoundly.
Taken for granted, patted on the head – by the Labour party as much as the Conservatives – and dumped upon by a financial services industry that never paid the price for its own recklessness, this was an angry roar for attention.
The EU felt a million miles away from their concerns.
And who cares if the when you can hardly make your weekly grocery shop anyway?
As expert after expert patronised people with talk of financial armageddon, outside London people were sick of being talked down to by pundits who had no stake in what they had been going through.
The wonderful thing about democracy is that it doesn’t give some an extra voting power if they are rich or well-educated.
It’s the great leveller. Invented in this country by the Levellers. And things have now been levelled.
The biggest failure in all this has been the Labour party, often little more than a bystander in so vital a debate.
If only had and led the leave campaign. He could now be the prime minister in waiting.
And he could have shaped the debate away from immigrant blaming.
Indeed, many of those who voted out were natural Labour supporters, but their anger has been dismissed as bigoted by those for whom some pop-up chai latte liberal individualism has replaced socialism as the dominant creed.
Tragically, Ukip has been the beneficiaries of this neglect, hijacking legitimate frustration and redirecting it towards the easy target of the outsider.
With this referendum the has been exposed.
And this result must jolt them into a rediscovery of their roots. No more sneering at the of this world.
For it was the contempt in which Labour held its own people that precipitated this rebellion.
We have become strangers to each other and it’s high time we got to know each other again. And perhaps to find some way to like each other a little bit more.
For this has been one of the nastiest campaigns I can remember, exposing bitterness and deep anger one for the other.
Now is the time to stop blaming each other for our differences, and to listen a little bit more sympathetically.
With Brexit, we have our democracy back.
The bubble has burst. The world has been turned upside down.
Now is the time to create a new settlement with each other.
And when we build ourselves back up and regain our economic vigour – and, of course, we will – no one should be left behind this time.