I was there – but others said it better


There are times when other people can say what you want to say better than you can.  Yesterday I travelled down from Norfolk for Saturday’s Peoples Vote Demonstration.  I am glad I marched  – together with one of my oldest friends, one of my sons, his wife, and two of my grand-children.  I was there.  However, it was Will Hutton, in an excellent Observer opinion piece today [1], who captured where we are and where we must go: it was headlined: “We marched for a People’s vote with hope but few expectations.  Yet history will side with us”.  Too true.

In his piece Will Hutton said, first looking at how we got to where we are:

British democracy has mutated from an arena where those with a different hierarchy of values try to deploy the best argument into faith-based politics – matched on the left by the ultras around Corbyn, the complement to the Tory Spartans. For them, the greater issue is not to win a general election with an attractive, broad-based Labour party. Instead, it is to retain control of the party as a Corbynite tribune in the wake of what promises to be a devastating defeat.

And how we might recover:

The searing lived experience of economic closure, the splitting off of Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the diminution of a once great country will change minds – and give a younger generation of politicians the powerful inner conviction to combine reason and passion. Some spoke yesterday. Britain will one day again make common cause with friends and allies in Europe – we millions who marched are not going away.

I saw a lot of those younger generation – together with many of an older generation who are still positive in their outlook on life – on that march yesterday.  They are concerned, determined and clever – as their banners testify.  I will therefore conclude this short blog with a selection of the best compiled by my friend Jono Read of The New European; the full set is available on the site at


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/19/we-marched-for-a-people-s-vote-with-hope-but-few-expectations-history-will-side-with-us


leftyoldman blogs will appear occasionally as the Brexit battle continues and the shape of post Brexit politics emerges.  If you would like to receive email notification of future blogs, please press the ‘followleftyoldman’ button on the left-hand side above. I continue to tweet at @eugrandparents.

Screenshot 2019-10-20 at 16.32.00



4 thoughts on “I was there – but others said it better

  1. Glad to hear you were at the march on Saturday. So was I. I have been on most of them and all have been very well organised and conducted. All have shown exactly how peaceful, law-abiding and serious protest can and should be done. But Saturday was special, partly because the numbers were so vast but also because the marchers represented such a broad cross-section of our society. There were, from what I could see, few hardened political types or the professional protester types that one often sees at demonstrations but instead a throng of ordinary people from all parts of the country plus quite a few from aboard many with witty home-made banners and colourful outfits marching in unison. The mood was tense, of course, and many felt a great sense of rage at the prospect of what may befall us but the mood was buoyant and almost carnivalesque at times. Leavers often make great play of what they consider to be our national character but they are – as they so often are – quite wrong about that. The march on Saturday was a much more accurate expression of us as a nation and leaves me in no doubt that the Remain cause is the right one and the one we must hang on to whatever happens.

    You are right to quote Hutton at length. His perception is as sharp as ever but his feature reads rather too much like a eulogy for the Remain cause. I’m not ready to give up on remaining in the EU. Faced with the horrors of Johnson it should not be beyond the wit of the opposition parties and the Remain Tories to make the temporary alliance necessary to defeat him. Surely it is still possible they could do this. Surely they know they have to do this or risk losing all credibility.

    My fear is that if they fail to do it and Johnson gets his horrible agreement through Remain rage will shift to the opposition who failed to stop him. Why would they wish to reward such failure with their votes in a future election? Better to snub them; turn their rage into a kind of impotent insolence, a refusal to engage further in the political process. I suspect I will feel like that and at 67 I don’t suppose I will find the will to re-enter the fray.

    I’m sure Hutton is right. One day good will triumph over evil but, if Brexit happens, I don’t expect you or I will live to see it.

    Anyway, always a pleasure to read your blog.

    Kind regards,

    Jay Moore.

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10



    • Thanks Jay for this most welcome comment and your perceptive observations. I can only hope that you are righ:t that one day good will triumph. I may be a bit too pessimistic – I thought my native Wales were dead at half time on Sunday but was proved wrong. Certainly we shouldn’t give up!! Keep up the fight


  2. Martyn, had I not been in Australia I would have been there with you. I am still pinning my hopes that Parliament will continue to stand up for true democracy, not using the word in the throwaway manner of the prime minister to suit his party’s purposes


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