United for Europe 

Well, as promised, I made it to today’s march in London, despite the best efforts of Late Western Railways.

Apparently the turnout (~100,000) was larger than anticipated so we were much delayed at the start. In fact I was still in Park Lane when the front of the demonstration reached Trafalgar Square.

It was a very pleasant, good-humoured occasion, attended by people of all ages and walks of life. It won’t change the Prime Minister’s decision to activate Article 50 next week, but at least it will remind her that the 48% of the electorate who voted Remain have not gone, and will not go, away.

Here are some pictures I took…

Parliament Square was packed when I arrived so I couldn’t really join the final rally. Instead I went to the spot on Westminster Bridge where a man lost his life on Wednesday and paid my respect. Then I came back to Cardiff.

It’s been a long day, but a very good one. 

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5 Responses to “United for Europe ”

  1. Bryn Jones Says:

    Yes. I was stopped from entering Parliament Square when we arrived at the end of Parliament Street (at the lower end of Whitehall) too. I had to wait a long time for the square to empty a bit before being able to enter. That meant missing the first half of the speeches. That is all a testament to how successful the march was in attracting people.

    It’s unlikely Theresa May will pay much attention, even if I did shout my views down Downing Street while passing.

  2. While I would have voted Remain, and while I think the referendum was not handled properly (e.g., I think all referenda should be legally binding), unless one party wins with 100 per cent, there will always be people who voted for the losing side. While it is OK to voice one’s opinions, of course one has to respect the majority vote. That appears to have been the case here, but often the argument “well, x per cent voted against it is trotted out. True, but irrelevant. The alternative is not accepting the majority vote, which would be even worse (especially if someone objects to your majority winning on another issue). Yes, multiplied with the turnout far less than 50 per cent voted Leave, but that doesn’t matter because, by the same token, even less voted Remain. What matters is “more yes than no” since, whatever they might think privately, the public perception of not voting is “I don’t care”.

    • telescoper Says:

      I’m not concerned about the people who didn’t vote, or indeed the result of the referendum, the point is that our government is claiming the slim majority on a simple yes or no question as a mandate for many things that clearly go beyond the remit of that question (e.g. withdrawal from the Single Market and Customs Union). Moreover, they are planning to grab extra powers to remove or modify laws without proper Parliamentary scrutiny.

      BrExit is a disaster for our democracy, and by the time people realize what has happened it will be too late.

      • I agree completely. One of the many problems is that the mandate of the referendum is not well defined and/or there is no way to check abuse of it.

        Should we mention May in the same breath as Trump, Erdogan, Putin, Orbán, and Kaczyński as heads of state responsible for coups against their own constitution? 😦

        As to withdrawing from the Common Market, the EU has said, correctly in my view, that either one can have all four freedoms of movement (of capital, people, services, and goods) or none. Otherwise there is the real danger than other countries would choose what in their view are advantages and avoid what in their view are disadvantages. A similar policy applies to non-EU countries with Common Market access, such as Switzerland. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

        Suppose that the population wanted to correct this in the next parliamentary election. Suppose 70 per cent, say, vote for a party to bring back sense and sensibility. With the first-past-the-post two-party system, a majority in parliament would not be guaranteed. Maybe the main problem is the belief that the UK is a democracy in a meaningful sense.

      • One good thing which might come of it is that if (what is left of) the UK goes so downhill that it is obvious to everyone and also that this is the result of Brexit, it might curb similar tendencies in other countries.

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