‘Green & pleasant land’ all at sea


With the summer holidays just started, I’m affording myself the rare opportunity to take my foot off the gas and wake up and smell the coffee (relaxing my avoidance of mixed metaphors too!).

Sitting in an idyllic cottage overlooking the sea in the South Hams in Devon, it’s a quintessentially English scene that the English have just voted decisively to protect.

I’ve spent the weekend pouring over post EU Referendum analysis, and can’t help but feel that the British people have been stitched up – again – by party politics.

David Cameron apparently took a gamble in announcing the referendum in the first place, in an attempt to quell an uprising by backbench Eurosceptics. And Boris Johnson backed Leave in a calculated bid to become Prime Minister.

Don’t think either of these guys really expected to get the result we did.

So we are in a new world order – the result having sent shock waves around the globe and throughout world financial markets.

I’m upset for young people whose carefully thought out arguments and overwhelming engagement was nothing short of spectacular. The media seems to be saying that this is a triumph for white, working class Britain (old versus young and, less charitably, uneducated versus educated) but the strength of feeling is just as notable.

As ever, in considering the implications I’m thinking of my sons – Lyle (now 20, I really must think of a new slug for this blog!) and Ethan, 16.

Lyle was devastated, finally laying his cards on the table that he hopes to spend his life as a touring musician – a dream that will be thwarted by continental Europe closing its borders to Britain – or, at least, making it a lot more difficult for Brits abroad.

Or will it? The strength of feeling shown by young – and old – towards this “green and pleasant land” suggests that we will work something out. And after all the bitter recriminations settle over in Brussels, can they really afford to ignore what some have called the most liberal-minded, multicultural, inclusive society in the world.

I’m not a fan of Cameron, but felt genuinely sorry for him on Friday when his dream of launching a “life chances strategy” – among other unfulfilled ambitions – lay in tatters.

Ever onwards…