What Has London Learnt, Post-Brexit?

By Zoe Craig Last edited 23 months ago

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What Has London Learnt, Post-Brexit?
Photo by threefishsleeping used under Creative Commons

Take a deep breath. Five days have passed since the results of the EU Referendum were announced, and we think it's time London took stock.

Here's what we've learnt in the last few days:

1. The rest of the country really doesn't think like us

And if you live in Lambeth, you really, really don't think like the rest of the UK. 79% of the population of Lambeth voted to stay in the EU.

Image from the BBC website

News reports from other parts of the country have really highlighted just how differently people feel in other areas of the UK.

And as for Wales and Cornwall? Sorry, we just don't get it.

2. Some members of our city's super-tolerant population have lost the plot

Worryingly, there's been a reported increase in xenophobic incidents in London over the last few days, making us feel a whole host of things: anxious, worried, frustrated, angry and mostly, very, very sad.

From snide remarks in the street, to racist graffiti daubed on the Polish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, we can't help feeling a bit wtaf? about this particular, peculiar Brexit by-product.

3. We can't help wondering who might occupy the No. 8 Canada Square tower in the future

With news yesterday that Barclays and RBS shares have been suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange, and the UK lost its AAA credit rating, there's also the chance that HSBC could move some of its staff from London to Paris in the coming months.

Is London going to lose its status in the global financial markets because of Brexit? Would our traders and bankers be content in France? And who else wants to put their name on top of that Canada Square tower in Canary Wharf?

So. many. questions.

Gloomy skies over HSBC by Zefrographica, via the Londonist flickrpool

4. But news of Foxton's falling share price can still make us smile.

Sorry, estate agent types. That's just the way we're made.

5. Jamie Oliver really doesn't like our old mayor...

A thought for Great Britain..... For the last two years, I have been filming all over the world in places where people live the longest, healthiest, happiest and most productive lives studying there food and culture. And now I finish my journey on the beautiful island of Sardinia, where at the end of the day's filming, as the sun set - I looked back and saw the European flag. For me.. symbolic and very sad. But in life you don't always get what you want. So guys, whether you voted In or Out, we are where we are. But at some point soon we all need to come back together and make the best of what will be a very bumpy 5 years. This referendum has fractured Europe, divided families and split the country. The divorce of our European marriage will be very costly and provoke a bitterness towards us as a trusted country in the world...However I do believe in democracy and Britain has spoken. In my own way I will now roll up my sleeves and work harder than ever to make this work. But I BEG YOU ONE THING GREAT BRITAIN ???? Give me Boris fucking Johnson as our Prime Minister and I'm done. I'm out. My faith in us will be broken forever. So speak up people - let's stop being spectators! We can not let this happen- share the shit out of this !! #BuggerOffBoris  Trust and building relationships with other country's is the only currency that really works. (Tune — #TemperTrap)

A video posted by Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) on

6. But we're feeling increasingly proud of our current one

Say what you like about our political leaders of all leanings at the moment, it does feel like we've lucked out with our new mayor. Keep it up, Sadiq. We're impressed.

And this, from London Pride at the weekend:

Somehow we can't see many other political leaders pulling off poses like this at the mo. Photo by M HAQUE via the Londonist flickrpool

7. We never realised how many of our Facebook friends were political columnists-in-training

The endless memes. The constant reshares. The pithy putdowns. The howling #hashtags. The paragraphs of personal vitriol. And the petitions. So many petitions. We never realised how politically minded our friends were; until now.

With all these strong feelings bouncing around, we can't help wondering what'll happen next...

Unless, of course, after Brexit, Bremorse and Bregret comes Broredom.

Watch this space.

Last Updated 28 June 2016

Clunking Fist

"I am more than happy to cede my county's sovereignty to an unelected body based overseas, in order to be free to move around Europe without a visa. I prefer the uncertainty of the EU's future (e.g. the anger simmering in the southern Euro states laboring under unbelievable levels of unemployment, the budget pressures growing as the need for bail-outs grows in other countries too). I am happy to fund a European Army, after all, our own defence forces and NATO are only likely to start fighting amongst themselves, because, you know, history." etc. Sure, some people probably voted leave for the wrong reasons. But don't tell me that Remainians really believed that the EU status quo would continue in terms of economy, budgets, unemployment, terrorism, energy crisis. You'd have to be daft to believe that the EU and Europe didn't have a rocky time coming (a REALLY rocky time, possibly violent). And Remainians are fully cognisant of what life is like in Greece right now.
After all, Remainians are smart, educated people...


Born in London in 1950, I grew up learning the positive benefits of democracy and have done my very best to live and work by the rules of a democratic country.
Back in 1979 I left what I considered then to be GREAT Britain to live with my new husband in Holland.
There were a few moments when I considered returning to England and in particular London but every relationship has ups and downs and the only movement in life should be forwards and not backwards.

We have been bombarded here in the Netherlands with Brexit campaigning and I tried, at a healthy distance, to make sense of it all and have to say that I failed!
Who was responsible for all the analyses which produced numbers with many noughts? Where did they get their material to support their claims?
And who started the ball rolling about immigration? Was that a politician or someone from the united press corps?

I recall telling my Dutch husband that I didn't believe the referendum had ANYTHING to do with immigration as each European country does their best to work out the numbers for themselves and allocate sites for camps etc. We have recently been informed that many of the beds allocated for refugees in Holland are still empty and, lets be fair, we are a much smaller country than Britain (notice how I conveniently left the 'Great' off?!!) So if we can manage then why not Britain?

I felt decidedly undemocratic each time I was shown Mr.Farage on our TV screen and would have willingly stood him against a wall and shot him for the poison he was feeding the British public. And I would love to personally ask him what he has exactly achieved? If you ask me the answer is nothing but unrest and a clown lookalike.
Would the Brits ever choose him to lead the country as Prime Minister? Very doubtful and even he would agree with me in a tiny place in his heart.
And Boris for Prime Minister? I had hoped not and been thankfully blessed by his own common sense coupled with a bit of what has sadly become normal British political back-stabbing. I've never heard of this other bloke and probably most of Europe hasn't either so surely he can't think he can suddenly run a country and do the mighty wheeling and dealing with the rest of the world?
Hasn't Britain learnt any lessons from what's taking place on the other side of the pond or if they turn their heads towards the east?
Do the Brits want a Donald Trump heading government or a Vlad Poetin calling the shots?

I like democracy and have enjoyed the privilege of being able to think for myself for 66 years and not be a sheep following others blindly and being told what to do and when to do it.
Has Britain become a race of people bleeting 'baahhhh'?
And again I pointed out very early on in the discussions to my husband that some of the farming communities would fall decidedly on their noses if they no longer received their annual subsidy quota's. Did and do they honestly believe that all the money saved by not making payment to the EU would suddenly be reallocated to them? What a nonsense Britain!! Your politicians would find their own uses for that so-called saved money and it wouldn't go anywhere near the farmers, fishers or NHS!

And my greatest moan about Britain at present is the arrogance her politicians have in trying to dictate 'terms' with others in Brussels when the UK isn't even a FULL member of the state!! To be brutally honest the rest of us in Europe can do without you and your money brokers and politicians (not all cos I very much like what Mr.Khan has to say in London). And don't get me started on football supporters!!!!
I'll miss Bramley apples and Ginger biscuits but not much else if imports were suddenly curtailed. And I lived for years without PG Tips and found an alternative breakfast tea!!

I'm actually gob-smacked that I'm only the 3rd post on this subject. Perhaps Londonists are still anaesthetised.