Where were you when…?

I will start my posts, updates and occasional rants about post-Brexit Britain, by saying where the Philososloth was at the time of the referendum six weeks ago. Being a supposedly savvy latte-sipping, middle class, London-living political pundit I was sitting in the bar of the Marriott Hotel, confidently expressing to anyone who would listen that Remain would win and win comfortably. “Probably 55 to 45” I was telling my friends, suavly sipping at my not-so-suave Dark and Stormy. In the background Big Ben chimed merrily, as I expanded on my theory. “Could be even more of a blow out. 58 to 42, maybe” privately delighted at my mathematical dexterity of numbers adding up to 100.

On the bus home I was listening to the news, becoming more and more sure of myself as I heard talk of the markets going up, confident Remainers and Brexiters already scrabbling around for some good excuses. I went to bed early and set my alarm to 2 15 in the morning. I couldn’t miss a moment of this exciting and decive victory for common sense.

My alarm went off at 2 15 and I groggily got out of bed and put the kettle on. To my consternation the internet wasn’t working and after some swearing and banging the machine I finally got IPlayer up and running and found to my disbelief…. that Remain were 200,000 votes ahead.

Now that might sound like a comfortable lead, but, as the harrowed-looking political commentators were telling me, this lead was nowhere near large enough. The votes already in had been from places predicted to vote Remain in far larger numbers. Only problem was, they hadn’t, Remain was ahead by a whisker in the grand scheme of things and solidly Leave voting parts of the country were still to declare.

My disbelief turned to consternation as the votes came in. I was shocked. How could I have gotten it so wrong? Surely Twitter hadn’t been lying to me. All my Londonite friends had been banging on about how awful Leave was and how everyone they knew would vote Remain.

The results, when they finally came in, showed me why I had been so mistaken. I was living in a Remain bubble! Pretty much only London and Scotland had voted to Remain, along with a few other trendy university cities. I was horrified. Not only because of the win for Leave or the fact that I had been so badly mistaken in my predictions, but because Britain was a different country to the one I thought it was.

My upbringing of occasional visits to the Home Counties with cream teas at stately homes was a far cry from the disillusionment so many people felt with the country’s direction. Areas that had been left behind by the benefits of immigration and increased gloabalisation had voted heavily to Leave the EU. They had attached, it seemed to me, any grievance with modern Britain to the EU.

In the coming posts I will explore this sense of being left behind. I think it maps neatly onto Brexit, the Labour Party’s existential crisis and, across the pond, why Trump is doing so well in the States. So buckle up and prepare for some Moderate-Lefty rants about the state of the world.


The return of the Philososloth (again)

It seems like too much has been happening recently. The Philososloth, used to calm sprinkles of news coming in at a gentle pace, has practically been blown off the branch by the avalanche of news stories. In the last few weeks Britain has voted to leave the EU; the Prime Minister has resigned; UKIP, the Greens and Labour are having a leadership elections and the Tories, who were going to have a leadership election, but decided that their lust for power was more important, have chosen their new leader and Prime Minister.

If I had the savviness of a Tory spin doctor, I would say that my delay in covering this news has allowed me the distance for refelection and chewing the political cud to deliver top drawer analysis. In truth, however, I have suffered from the apathy and incompetence of a Labour leadership challenger and have simply been caught in politics limbo at the sheer rate of news.

Anywho… in the coming weeks (more likely months, at this rate) I shall be covering the recent developments in UK politics with the leisurely tone that only hindsight can provide.  I will cover Brexit, the Labour leadership election, the Conservative leadership election (for what it was) and the other twists and turns of recent political developments.

That’s all for now, but watch this space for updates from the Philososloth. But don’t hold your breath, I wouldn’t want to be held responsible for the unfortunate results.