Monday, 2 October 2017
Stop Brexit march - was it worth it?
Yesterday I attended a Pro-EU demonstration in Manchester to coincide with the first day of the Conservative Party conference. It was great fun. There were some 30 000 of us (according to one of the meagre pieces of press reporting); lots of EU flags along with some Union Jacks; plenty of balloon, horns and whistles; and loads of bonhomie and enthusiasm.
It was an all-and-none-party affair with some fantastic speakers: a former Conservative who used to serve on the same council as Theresa May; Bonnie Greer, whose father celebrated his 21st birthday in Britain as a member of the US racially-segregated D-Day forces; and our own Vince Cable.
The most effective speech by far was by Alistair Campbell. Among other things he pointed out that the Brexiteers implied that, the day after the Referendum (23rd June 2016) soar-away Britain would be out there fixing global trade deals with an eager "rest of the world." However, if you happened to have had sex on that day and conceived a child it would now be cutting its teeth, but trade dealing has yet to begin.
Your can see why Tony Blair chose him as Director of Communications.
After returning home I listened to several radio news bulletins and watched a couple of TV news programmes, but there were no mentions of our march. There was a little bit about a trade union march against austerity, presumably more newsworthy because they had a minor clash with the police (who were out in considerable force.) I doubt very much if many in the Tory conference even noticed us, and there didn't seem to be many Mancunians around. There's just one paragraph about us in today's Guardian, which also gives more coverage to the austerity march and their clash than to us.
The most detailed account I've found is here
So was it worth it? As a pro-EU compaigner I certainly feel emboldened and enthused.
I learnt a chant:
Whatever happened to "Strong and stable?"
Exit Brexit with Vince Cable.
Not really logical, but catchy.
But that seems a lot of effort for very little. Maybe there's lots of stuff on social media that I haven't yet learned to access.