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I should have believed what I saw in the streets with my own eyes

I have been in Dover for the last week and a bit, and it is like a different world compared to my usual haunts in London (and by the way, I heartily recommend the Allotment restaurant).

And as I walked down the street wearing my LEAVE badge, I was constantly getting nods of approval or thumbs up gestures from complete strangers. As I headed back to London yesterday, the chap sitting behind me patted me on the shoulder and launched into a friendly diatribe about “accountable government!”, and the driver of the bus (rail replacement service actually) grinned broadly and gave me a thumbs up as I entered the vehicle! And I found myself doing the same to others when I saw them wearing a similar badge.

And yet the media was constantly telling me we had already lost, and we might as well not bother, and thus I went to bed last night with a heavy heart.

I should have believed what I saw in the streets with my own eyes, and not what I read in the media.

41 comments to I should have believed what I saw in the streets with my own eyes

  • Anon

    I became a little disheartened during the campaign. Like “really, you people are swallowing this crap they’re saying”. No, they weren’t.

    And yes, the rest of the country is very much not London. Not all Londoners, but it is a place where people suck at the teat of the state more than anywhere in the country. Shockingly, they vote heavily more pro-state than elsewhere.

  • Harry Binswanger on his list wrote:

    Great news: Britain is leaving the European Union! This means that Britain’s better culture will not be dragged down to the average level of Europe’s. I’m not sure that Britain’s actual degree of statism is currently less than that of the Continental countries, but I think that it’s history, philosophy, and sense of life is somewhat better than theirs.

    The only good thing about the EU is lower trade barriers, but that can be achieved without giving up sovereignty.

  • shlomo maistre

    I’m watching Romano Prodi being interviewed on Sky News. He says “the next few days will be really, really terrible”.

    I smile with glee. What is the Italian word for schadenfreude?

    Fuck Prodi. Fuck the EU.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I should have believed what I saw in the comment section of newspaper websites. Can’t believe I’m saying that. In all of them, even the Guardian, especially the Guardian, all of the energy was on the Leave side. As a sad little joke I said last night “A pity the referendum isn’t being decided by people who comment on newspapers. Looks like it was! The fact that many of the commenters couldn’t spell or punctuate well should also have been a clue: people outside the chattering classes were interested in this.

    Regarding the polls – no one will see it because they got the headline result wrong, but on average they weren’t that bad. I can’t currently reach John Curtice’s poll of polls graph on the site What UK Thinks, but it fluctuated around 50/50, which is fair enough. We were misled by several things: (1) phone polls are getting ever-worse response rates because everyone is sick of all the cold callers. (2) The whole atmosphere that certain parts of the Remain camp stirred up after the murder of Jo Cox exacerbated an existing tendency for Leavers not to want to say so (3 The coincidence that the last few polls were phone polls.

    This brings an end to the easy tendency to say “the polls are crap, but you can trust the betting markets.” The odds were rock solid for Remain until almost the very end. Not that the bookies will have lost by it – they will have to pay quite a lot to those who bet on Leave when it was 9/1 but whole point is that they get to keep all those big bets on Remain.

  • shlomo maistre

    “The coincidence that the last few polls were phone polls.”

    But shouldn’t that have reflected higher levels of support for Leave than online polls would have because older voters were more pro-leave than younger voters and older voters are both less likely to be computer savvy and more likely to own land lines? This is my understanding of polls in the US and I’d think it’s the same across the pond. So the coincidence of the last few polls being phone polls should have, if anything, overestimated support for Leave, I should think.

  • Watchman

    Natalie,

    I think that the problem with the betting markets is that they used to be relatively small and specialised, so the gamblers were savy enough to read the polls and other indicators correctly. However, the greater success of the betting markets than the polls recently has made them more widely known and attracted more bets, many of which are made by people who are not so savvy (and could just be following the polls) – the betting market, as it becomes more mainstream, becomes more like that on say football where expertise is drowned by volume.

  • Mal Reynolds

    I was in Wales the other weekend. Enjoyed seeing all the EU propaganda “Funded by the EU” signs vastly outnumbered by “Vote Leave” signs placed absolutely everywhere. Grinned at every “fuck EU” moment.

  • Cal

    The pound falling is no big deal. As I said last night, looking at the longer term rates, this change is invisible, and a bit of a lower pound will help our exports, which is a good thing in a time of uncertainty.

    The stock market falling may seem to be more serious, but really, it’s not that bad. It most certainly is not a declaration that leaving the EU will be a disaster for the economy. If that were true, then we’d be seeing at least 25% falls, and total carnage. That would obviously be worrying. But a 7-8% drop just reflects the fact that there will be uncertainty ahead. No-one denies that the next few years will be a bit tricky, and business hates uncertainty, and that could cost some sales, so a drop of this magnitude is understandable. It definitely does NOT signal that leaving the EU will be some financial disaster. In fact, it’s a strong signal that it actually won’t be that bad. I expect stocks to eventually regain their ground as negotiations go on.

  • Cal

    Boris Johnson being yelled and sweared at by an unruly scrum of disgruntled Londoners. They don’t like it up ’em, do they?

  • Cal

    I should also add that some of the falls on the stock market reflect not so much the issue of how Britain will cope outside the EU, but also a worry about the survival of the EU itself. I don’t think the EU has any long-term survival (I really can’t see it being around in twenty years), but it may now fall apart quite quickly. There will be a big demand in other EU countries for referendums. Of course these will now resisted as strongly as possible by the Establishment. But it will be hard to stop some happening, and I think some will have a Leave result. I don’t think the EU will be able cope with another 2-3 withdrawals. It will either have to finally reform, or die. That will be a positive thing, of course, in the long-run, but obviously that will cause a lot of financial problems.

  • Cal

    Here’s a graphic that someone has posted to show that the FTSE fall was no big deal — falls like this happen all the time, it’s just that they usually take a few days or weeks to happen rather than one day. But overall this sort of movement is unexceptional (well, unless you’re an investror in one those companies that live inside the EU’s bottom, like Barclays, which has had a bigger fall):

    https://twitter.com/WhiteWednesday/status/746264426714652672

  • Cal

    That Roland Smith Twitter feed I just linked to is pretty interesting. (He’s an Adam Smith guy.)

  • Dr Evil

    London is not England. The leave buzz in the pub last night was very loud. I had hope! I live in rural Huntingdonshire. Peterborough is 10 miles away. The Peterborians voted leave big time. I’m sure you know why.

  • (Expletive) the chattering classes!

  • Beeg

    Although I’ve lived in Switzerland for a few years now my UK home is in Hague’s old haunting ground in North Yorkshire. Last time I visited a few weeks ago and I don’t recall seeing a single Remain sign and there was a veritable forest of Leave signs.

    From speaking to colleagues the majority see the UK leaving as a positive for the country or at least that the introduction of uncertainty isn’t potentially a good thing.

  • Regional

    Some Scotch harpy was just on the idiot box ranting that Scotland will remain in the E.U. which means England will not have to subsidise them.

  • Watchman

    Regional,

    Not sure how Scotland can remain in the EU, as they have not declared independence from the UK, which is withdrawing, and the EU is clear that all countries have to apply normally (because the Spanish have their Catalonia problem – and if that happens, potentially their Basque problem, and their Galicia problem, and their Valencia problem, and their Andulusia problem…). So seems to be wishful thinking…

  • Cal

    The Scottish Nats now think they can have another independence referendum, vote to leave this time, and then join the EU. Well, maybe they can. But they’ll be joining just as everyone else will be leaving.

    How much longer can the EU survive? 3 years? 5 years? 8 years?

  • I was chatting with Madsen Pirie earlier today via IM and naturally he is delighted with the outcome. He called it an “extinction level event” 😀

  • Laird

    extinction level event.” I like that.

  • Regional

    Watchman,
    There was question mark over my head about that.
    Cal,
    The Scots leave and forgo all that lovely largess they receive from England?

  • Cal

    >The Scots leave and forgo all that lovely largess they receive from England?

    Yes, on another thread some of us have mentioned reasons why it won’t happen.

  • PeterT

    Fuck Prodi. Fuck the EU.

    Fairly sure that’s not Italian.

  • Paul Marks

    I was out delivering leaflets for the last few days. So I did not know what the media were saying.

    Seems I did not miss much.

  • Congrats to one and all. I look forward to stronger Anglosphere ties, ala James Bennett! And yes, Perry, I do
    owe you some writing. I was laid off from my job and am now starting up a New Space company in Midland, Texas.
    Think there is a story in there… you bet there is! Lift thine glasses high and give forth a loud toast to Liberty, one and all!

  • William H. Stoddard

    One thing I think has been visible in this, and in other recent events, is that people are conscious enough of political polling as a thing to resist it, or to try to game the system to make themselves look better. Measurement of social attitudes was easier when people weren’t conscious of being observed. It’s kind of like the central problem of espionage, where revealing knowledge that you gained by spying can clue the target in to the spying and lead to countermeasures.

    Of course, I expect that people will go on claiming to have exact scientific results anyway. But it will become increasingly less credible with results like this.

  • Wander Erection (WE)

    Jolly good show, England! Thanks much for nEUtering and bidding “AdiEU!” to the EUseless EUnuchs!

  • Thomas Jefferson

    Hat tip from the colonies. Well done, well done.

  • ELC

    And yet the media was constantly telling me we had already lost, and we might as well not bother, and thus I went to bed last night with a heavy heart.

    They were just trying to demoralize you and everybody else who thought the same way. It seems, rather, that they may have lulled their (remain) side into complacency.

  • Simon Jester Jr.

    Congrats me hearties.

    Avast ye swabs! We are preparing to board ye ….

  • I wish you British the best of luck. Stay or leave, it was none of my business. But, I am encouraged to see other western people waking up to the curse of invasive, massive government. Let’s all on both sides of the Atlantic get them back into that “servant of the public” mode, instead of the way it has been going.

  • Southpaw

    The shot heard ’round the world…

    Same-same here in the United States. People who–if they dared compare notes, find they are in the majority–keep their heads down and their thoughts to themselves. Racist! Islamophobe! Simpleton!…the overlords lecture. But that doesn’t keep them from pulling the lever of their choice once safely behind a closed curtain. I see this populist revolt spread to North America and Europe. Congratulations to Old Blighty for having the courage to be the point of the spear.

  • Thomas Hazlewood

    As a Yank, let me remind Brits of something.

    In its long history Great Britain has had Empire and ruled over people in many places in the world. In all those places, in the end, England left behind stable, democratic rule. Follow Spain, Portugal, France through history and you find their conquests, today, are wracked with insolvency, periodic dictatorships, and general misery and poverty. Wherever the Brits went, in the long run, they made it better.

    Yes, they had slavery and other ugly episodes in their history. Again, Brits, in the end, always said ‘This is wrong’ and they put it behind them. This Brexit is just the latest exhibition of Britain’s stolid sensibility. In the end, they got it right, again, as usual. Always go long on the Brits.

  • The media in both the UK & US are oikophobes…they are part of the elite and live with blinders. The anger your countrymen feel is reflected here in the US…first it was the very polite Tea Party movement that tried very hard to get the leadership of the country to act fiscally responsible. The media called them racists, etc…and utterly dissrespected the middle class people who made up the movement. The US government, controlled by “progressive” elements actively harrassed and attacked them…that has given rise to a far less polite movement in the form of Donald Trump.

    If the elites continue to oppress “flyover country” (what we call the land between the very liberal coastal regions), then after Trump comes the deluges…and it will be far, far uglier, than anything seen in this country since the American Civil War…our current leadership of both sides of the political front are the worst since the 1850’s…and if they loose the dogs of war, and it very well seems they may, the whirlwind will sweep them away…again.

  • Willis

    We’re all English here today in the U.S. Rule Britannia!

  • JimBob

    Indeed, Rule Britannia! I had gone to bed in despair because I believed the media (we are 8 hrs behind GMT). The next morning was much more sunny.

    I would expect some push-back from the losers. Something along the lines of “Well, we should have another referendum, because the first was too close (or some other claptrap) to rely on for such a momentous decision.”

    They will not stop the ankle biting until they are actively discouraged.

  • J. R. Conway

    John Bull’s body lies a molderin’ in his grave, but his soul keeps marching on!
    Glory, glory Hallelujah!

  • Julie near Chicago

    Rich Vail,

    And here I was feeling at once a balloon-popping sense of glee and the snuggle of warm-furry because Britain has shown her true colors! (Well, at least somewhat more than half of those voting have. *g*)

    And you have to come along and bring me down to earth with a smash, as of a quintillion pieces of fine crystal glassware dropped from some enormous height upon a good hard concrete area.

    Namely, you would not believe how some non-nut Elite Libertarian Lawyers refer to the Tea Party. “Far right, Fringe,” etc. From persons I normally admire (I think, two out of the three of them).

    (Of course, quite likely you know darn well. Just a figure of speech. *g*)

    ‘Nuff said.

  • Thailover

    Perry wrote,

    “And yet the media was constantly telling me we had already lost, and we might as well not bother, and thus I went to bed last night with a heavy heart. I should have believed what I saw in the streets with my own eyes, and not what I read in the media.”

    This is why the warlocks want to control the internet (and do in many countries).

    “Spell” as in magical spell means to literally spell.
    “Grimoire” as book of magic, literally means grammar. Ditto for “glamour” spell, it means grammar as well.

    Magick is the power of RHETORIC, the power of PROPAGANDA and even the power of LIES.

    Magick is the ability to shape the future using words.

    Why do I call these eel-like slugs warlocks instead of wizards?

    Wizard comes from the middle English word wyz, meaning wise, the learned (of the arcane, the erudite).

    Warlock comes from waer, meaning betrayer, oath-breaker, in league with the devil.
    Old English waerloga (loga meaning one who is studied in) means traitor, liar, enemy, one who betrays with lies, one who is expert at or studied in betrayal.

    The LIARS who attempt to shape world politics, in order to enthrall an entire nation, are indeed warlocks.

    And they lost this battle, perhaps, but not the war.

  • Thailover

    Thomas Hazlewood,
    2 big thumbs up, my man.

  • Thailover

    Southpaw said,

    “I see this populist revolt spread to North America and Europe.”

    That’s what’s behind the momentum of the Trump “train”, and even the warlocks at Fox News are completely bewildered and have no idea what it’s about. They simply don’t understand. The usual estabishment string-pullers at the RNC and pundit tools like Karl Rove have had a large part of their powers stripped. Magick only works if you believe it, and now the people are turning against those who control the media lie machine and THE SYSTEM which itself is corrupt to the core.