THERE was quite a cheery mood in Parliament Square last Friday as thousands of patriots, young and old, from far and wide, gathered to mark March 29th and what should have been a celebration of leaving the European Union, but turned into a wake for Brexit’s betrayal.
Such as there was anger it was from the parade of speakers on the two stages – Nigel Farage’s gang had the main one, backing onto Westminster Abbey, while the official UKIP stage straddled Whitehall some 150 yards away.
Farage had attracted the headline speakers, JD Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin, the fiery Conservative MP Mark Francois – we like him – broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer and Labour rebel the marvellously feisty Kate Hoey.
They pointed and gesticulated to their right at the simpering Houses of Parliament, inside which treachery was still being fomented.
Up Whitehall, UKIP’s latest leader Gerard Batten – and I like his go-get-em attitude too – featured UKIP peer Lord Pearson and the UK’s Public Enemy No.1, Tommy Robinson.
Combined with making the two rallies overlap and the constant overhead drone of a police helicopter, the establishment did its best to spoil the day.
Farage has fallen out with his own party over its flirting with Robinson and I suspect there was more than a little strategy involved in populist Nigel starting his rally late and over-running into what had been scheduled as UKIP’s slot.
It meant that the crowds located in the middle of the gathering probably couldn’t hear either stage’s speakers clearly.
As a brief aside, I figure if the Brexit battlers want to maximise effectiveness in bringing down the Tory and Labour establishment, they are going to have to swallow some pride and work together.
It’s going back a wee bit, but Boudicca (Boadicea), queen of the Iceni, was doing a very effective job clearing the land of Roman legions in AD61, until other tribal kings and warlords hijacked the Brit bandwagon and were massacred in an ill-conceived full frontal attack on Roman general Suetonius (remind me to publish my novel Britannia one of these days).
Back in Londinium – one of the Roman settlements Boudicca razed – it was very much a party atmosphere on Friday afternoon.
If you stood alone for more than a few minutes, strangers approached, inquired where you’d come from and soon asked, “what do you think happens next?”
Where’s Nostradamus when you need him? Mystic Meg, even.
No-one had that answer. I chatted with northerners and southerners, factory workers and city gents, a Swiss citizen, and saw people of Indian, Asian and Afro-Caribbean appearance.
I saw only briefly the later news clip of Channel Four’s broadcaster Jon Snow, saying “he’d never seen so many white people in one place”. You need to get out more, sunshine.
Likewise, the news headlines of five people being arrested following a stand-off between packed ranks of police and a group of protesters – my, how the BBC lapped that up! It must have been after the good-humoured masses of people had gone home.
While I was there, the full length of St James’s Park along Horse Guards Road (just the other side of Theresa May’s temporary abode) was nose-to-tail police vans packed with bored-stiff riot cops.
The only officers being kept busy were the ones attending to the mobile stables, scooping up horse shit – and let me tell you, there were enough mounted police to have ridden to General Custer’s rescue.
I rode my Boris Bike back across town, stopping for a mucky kebab and a pint, where a couple of local chaps started a conversation upon seeing my ‘Leave Means Leave’ lapel sticker.
One said he works for the civil service in Westminster but it would halt his career in its tracks if he admitted to being a Brexit supporter.
Really folks, that’s how insidious the establishment thought-police have become. I sympathised but refused their offer of another drink – train to catch and all that.
My Hull Trains service to Howden (free parking, which costs a bomb in York) was a predictable 45 minutes late, which at least was better than the last time I tried to use the service – the train was cancelled altogether.
If only someone could find £39 billion or so to sort out our hospitals, schools, transport infrastructure etc…
AS NEWS broke last Friday afternoon of yet another knife murder in the capital, and as broadcasters played a predictable loop of London mayor Sadiq Khan blaming Tory austerity, I was actually marvelling that we have so many police in the country, let alone one city.
Judging by the swarming police numbers, every teenager from Brixton to Barnet and back could have their own copper to escort them to and from their drug deals and ensure they get home safely.
I suspect they’d still find a way to sneak off and get themselves stabbed though, because whatever is going on with this knife epidemic, police resources have little to do with why it’s happening in the first place.
Sadly, examining the root causes doesn’t score any cheap political points, which is all this is about. It would involve facing uncomfortable truths and the Sadiq Khans of this world won’t do that.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid at least seems more willing to face facts but it’s too big a task for any cheap political stunt to solve.
It’s too late, the damage is done, and the main question of concern is how long before the knives are replaced by guns.
If you want to find an inner city with a disproportionate number of single mothers and latchkey kids, where there has been decades of unfettered mass immigration from parts of the world where life is as cheap as a knife, where gangs run every sub-middle class neighbourhood, and where the drugs trade is the main shortcut out of poverty, then London is it.
Good luck winding back 40 years of both Labour and Conservative policy that has specifically created today’s bloody mess.
Sure, unlimited money and doubling police numbers might break the grip – probably along with legalising some drugs – but only with a zero tolerance approach like New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani adopted in the 1990s.
Good luck finding a British politician with the required pair of wotsits to take that on.
Meanwhile, the token gesture of increasing police Stop and Search powers might take a few more potential killers off the street – not that we have sufficient prison space for them either – but even that would only fuel the rabid Left’s mantra that black and ethnic people are being victimised by the racist cops.
The Lefties don’t care that it’s almost exclusively black and ethnic people doing both the stabbing and the dying, nothing gets in the way of their blind dogma.
But what are the police supposed to do? Stop a doddering old white granny coming home from Tesco? Search a middle aged white bloke, riding across London to Kings Cross station on a Boris Bike, wearing a racist Leave Means Leave lapel sticker?
On second thoughts, get the armed police to deal with that geezer…