“The issue for me that trumps all the rest is the ability to govern ourselves”
Melanie Phillips, The Times, 22nd June 2016
Today will go down in history as the day when Britain rose up in defiance of fear and strode out into the sunshine to tell the world that our nation’s story is not yet told, as Dan Hannan so eloquently put it yesterday.
Or, it will go down as the day on which Britain lost its opportunity to break free; a day when the British finally turned their backs on their loyal Commonwealth relations in return for a future of vassaldom to a latter day Hapsburg Empire – a day that will be seen as an inevitable conclusion of Britain’s long decline since World War Two.
For our grandchildren it may then well become a day mourned – a day the British peoples missed their opportunity to escape the shackles of bondage to a schlerotic and undemocratic superstate.
We pray this isn’t our nation’s future.
The naysayers tell us it makes no difference: that nothing is suddenly going to change if we leave the EU, that Brexit won’t cure the country of its cultural malaise. Both in a way are true, but a Vote to Leave does one very important thing. It will give us back our right to decide on these matters – to be politically correct or not, to wallow in self indulgent identity politics or not, to engage in competing rights and victimhood politics– or not.
‘Or not’ are the operative words. Independence Day is purely and simply about taking back the power to decide for ourselves – for better or for worse.
But if by God’s will we achieve this, it will be the victory not just of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, who came to the cause late in the day, but of countless unsung heroes who championed this politically unpopular cause or warned of the perils of integration
Notable amongst them are:
Hugh Gaitskell, who said that joining a federal Europe would be “the end of Britain as an independent European state, the end of a thousand years of history”.
Mrs Thatcher, whose Bruges speech of 1988 became a template for a new generation of Tory sceptics. She did not give it to put the country on course for an exit, but to limit Europe’s ambitions. “To try to suppress nationhood and concentrate power at the centre of a European conglomerate would be highly damaging and would jeopardise the objectives we seek to achieve,” Thatcher said and Tory Eurosceptics were inspired.
Nigel Farage, John Redwood, Iain Duncan Smith, Richard North, Christopher Booker, Kate Hoey, Lord Pearson of Rannoch and Ruth Lea too are notable among those who have held the line and kept this flag flying for a cause much of Westminster and all of the BBC disdained , and at considerable cost in the case of some to their careers .
If tomorrow brings what we hope for, we owe these men and women our thanks. Without them there would not have been a cause for Mr Gove and Mr Johnson to legitimise and take to the country.
(Image: John Pannell)