The Day The People Rose
On June 23rd, I hoped and I dreamed and I prayed, but if I am to be honest I did not truly believe. In my heart I was convinced that when the votes were tallied and the results announced, the scaremongering and bullying of the Remain campaign would win out and Britain would still stand firmly inside the European Union. The polls said this would happen. The betting shops said this would happen. Even Nigel Farage of UKIP basically declared defeat before the vote counting had even begun. So it was with a mood of somber resignation that I sat down with my friends to watch the results come in, already mentally debating whether I should even bother writing the obligatory “Well, we won a moral victory….” post on what I was sure would be a depressing defeat.
Only it was then that something truly wonderful began to occur. The votes came in, and in district after district the same message came through. Sunderland: Out. West Devon: Out. Ashford: Out. Eastbourne: Out. Coventry: Out. Darlington: Out. The heartland of the forgotten, the abandoned, and the common British people was sleeping no more, and now awoken from their slumber they were shouting the same message in unison.
Out. Out. Out! Out! OUT!!!!!!
This was not supposed to happen. You could see it on the faces of the pundits of the BBC as the realization began to sink in that this was real and not some horrible, demented dream they would awake from. The media and the celebrities and the banks and “experts” had all lined up in uniformity to warn that should Brexit become a reality nothing but ruin and destruction awaited. The jobs would all leave. The NHS would go bankrupt. Scotland would surely secede. Ireland would revert to its blood-spattered norm. Barack Obama postponed his tee off to pop up and ominously warn that Britain would go “to the back of the que” for any prospective trade deal with the United States (surely sending Franklin Roosevelt rolling in his grave and pitifully pleading “forgive him Winston” from the great beyond). EU Commissioner Junker went so far as to warn that a vote to Leave would mean the end of European civilization itself! The elites wagged their fingers threateningly, and admonished “Yes you will!” and in response the British people roared back “No we won’t” in a howl of protest that even the tallest spires of the Cathedral could hear.
At the end of the day, it turned out fear was all the Remain side had, and when that proved insufficient it was their undoing. Fear was all they had because to campaign on hope and optimism would require that there be something to be optimistic about. The European Union was instead exposed for what it was, a bankrupted idea based on nothing else but a perpetual shaming of the European people for past sins and transgressions. We must believe in the EU, countless numbers of unelected Eurocrats had extolled over the years, we must believe in it for if we don’t we all know what will happen; only this time the people dared to in fact ask what exactly would happen, and when the answer was revealed to be “Germany will invade Poland!” the emperor was finally revealed as wearing no clothes. Fear finally proved to be unable to trample upon hope.
That is the true victory of June the 23rd. Most of the people who voted for Leave likely did so with the knowledge that leaving the European Union would lead to some short term pain, and indeed might even lead to a longer term reduction in future prosperity. Despite this, they still voted to go because they simple did not care. Seventeen million British voters decided that they no longer would be bought off with baubles and trinkets as their sovereignty and identity and nationality were chipped away bit by bit before the alter of globalism and cosmopolitanism. The aim of a nation, they ultimately decided, was something more than to maximize GDP growth and company earnings reports. The spirit of Arthur reached out from Avalon to his people, and as one they rose.
For the people have indeed risen; not in the sense often invoked by progressives as they bring to mind images of the urban poor of Paris taking to the barricades and storming the Bastille at the urging of the envious petite bourgeois intellectuals, tearing down throne and alter as they do so. Instead it is in a far older and truer sense, for in truth the people are the kingdom and the people are the land. If a King is but a priest, the keeper of the land’s mysteries and rituals, then the people are the faith itself. A faith that Britain, the nation that saw off the armies of Louis the Sun King, the flotilla of the Spanish Empire, the blitzkrieg of Nazi Germany, and the foreboding menace of the Iron Curtain, could indeed succeed on its own; a faith that the British people deserved to live as free men in a country that crafted its own laws and controlled its own destiny.
This day will be remembered as the day that reactionaries stood atop history and yelled “stop” and history obeyed. This day will be remembered as the day the inevitable march of history was forced to take a step back. King Canute walked out into the sea, and at his command the tide did indeed not rise. From a long and tedious sleep, the people have awoken and risen indeed.
This day will be remembered as the one where Cathedrals began to crumble.