I am not, as a rule, a follower of the party line, rather the reverse. However, faced with the ballot paper, I found myself unable to vote for the party that went into an austerity coalition of chaos and is currently engaged in the same activity in, for example, Bolton and Lewes. In Bolton, egregiously, the LibDems are in an unholy alliance not solely with Tories but also UKIP. Yes, UKIP!
So although I was aware that, in this de facto interim referendum, my vote would not be read by the pundits as a vote to remain and that it would make no contribution to Labour representation in Brussels, I and a mere four thousand others in Warwick District Council stayed Labour.
We came fifth. Less than 10% of the vote. Despite or because we are a strong remain area. Despite or because we have a popular, pro-remain MP. Despite or because we voted Labour at the last general election.
From a Labour supporting position, I think – or rather hope – that this will change the party policy and its presentation.
From a national point of view, I see no change of any substance.
The UK remains divided. One can play with the figures any which way. The Brexit party won the election. But the popular vote) was in favour (a margin of 40% to 35%) of those parties which seek to revoke Article 50 or at least achieve a second referendum.
And then of course there is the Conservative and Labour parties. The former has already demonstrated its irrelevance and will be tied up in inter-factional squabbling for some time to come; Labour is in danger of doing so. Its constructive ambivalence has no supporters in a context where ambivalence is a recipe for sitting on a fence which divides the whole population.
The fact is, Brexit has changed everything. And nothing has changed. It has merely brought the innate divisions in our country into sharper relief.
My party has a lot to answer for. And the result announced last night is the answer.
Today from the everysmith vaults: Back in May 1972, the Dead played one of the best shows I have ever attended, at the Lyceum Theatre. Forty years on, I’m listening to the soundboard of that show and loving every second.