Yes, the whole Brexit thing has become very messy. And I am not going to solve it through this column – even if I knew the right answer. What will be, will be. But I am intrigued to see what happens in a genuine democracy. I used to think that democracy was an ideal, and, from most of my post war life, it has worked well. Both Labour and Conservatives have been in power and our political changes have been rather modifications than revolutionary change. We don’t, on the whole, go in for fighting on the streets. But now we have learned that democracy itself can also get us into trouble.
Mind you, none of it should ever have started – if I blame anyone it would be Cameron for bringing it about in the first place. And the original set up was a serious mistake: such a major change in our affairs should have required at least a 60 per cent vote. As it was, of course, the votes were guesswork: reliable information was simply not available. I only made my decision on the voting day itself – and could easily have done so by flipping a coin.
I will say, in passing, that I rather admire Theresa May for her constancy. That takes character. If only she hadn’t called that General Election! Or proposed the unfortunate ‘dementia tax’. Whoever originally coined that phrase changed the future. The moment I heard the phrase quoted on the wireless I knew it was fateful. The right two words can change everything.
If I were asked why I voted for Brexit, I would say: Industrial Revolution. It was because Britain at that time really got cracking on this new idea – notwithstanding the opposition which, in this case, could be violent. I do believe this country has a cultural talent for capitalising on new ideas. Our constructive responses led us to the British Empire.
So I continue to believe that we still have the capacity to go it alone, and to do so very effectively. We can still be an entrepreneurial country, and, once again, show Europe how it can be done. That won’t be short term – the next ten years will be tough and demanding, but I do believe that in the long run we will be successful. So I voted, not for my generation but for my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren. They are lucky to be Brits.