Tim Dawson: Remain protestors are really boring

Yesterday I attended an event in Central Manchester, hosted by the businessman Tim Martin in one of his Wetherspoons pubs. Martin, as readers of this site probably know, is a vocal Brexiteer. The format was supposed to be that he’d give a short talk followed by a question and answer session. The event was open to all and there was no expectation that just Brexit supporters would be in attendance. Indeed, I went along with a friend who did not vote leave but was curious to hear what Tim Martin had to say in an informal setting.

Sadly, she did not get a chance to hear his views – and neither did anyone else – as the event was targeted by a group of anti-Brexit protestors. It seemed fairly co-ordinated. As we took our seats, a man shuffled up to us to ask if we were there to “Pull him up on his lies”. Clearly not – and he retreated.

When Mr. Martin arrived to speak, the irate group of Remainers surrounded him and from that point it was quite clear there was going to be no talk – and no debate either. Instead, we were treated to various lectures – from an elderly woman in a beret who screamed “my daughter had lunch in Brussels” for some unfathomable reason; a man who asked if Martin agreed with his friend’s Polish wife being spat at; an EU ‘supergirl’, complete with blue-streaked hair and ‘Supergirl’ hoodie who blew a raspberry whilst being photographed with Martin afterwards; and various other hardcore Junckerfiles who thankfully, on this occasion, had decided to leave their People’s Vote placards at home.

After twenty minutes of being talked at from multiple directions, Martin tried to change the format to a simple Q&A – but that was just as unsuccessful. The event was rendered pointless – not by protestors being present, this is a free country, and they can go wherever they want (as kooky as I may think their activity is). The problem was the complete refusal to respect the terms of usual democratic discourse. The main speaker was neither able to make his speech nor set out his case. There was no discussion.

This was all particularly disappointing for my friend who, as a publican, sought to hear the views of a successful pro-Brexit pub owner. Happily, Martin chatted to her afterwards and it was much more interesting for her to listen to him explain his views and have a constructive discussion. As she said to me later, everyone knows what the protestors’ think. She had taken time out of her day to go and listen and talk to him – a high-profile businessman – not them. Unfortunately, the protestors’ present were only interested in grand-standing, and preaching the gospel of Remain to each other.

I hope Tim Martin will continue these events – he has plenty more planned for this month – and it’s a great celebration of our country’s values (free speech and democracy) to turn up at a venue, give a little talk and chat to people who want to chat. Clearly, there is a very small sliver of Remainers who would prefer it if all positions except their own were shut down. They mustn’t be allowed to succeed in this.

The day’s events also served to emphasise how pointless the Remain position has become. Despite the claims “new facts have emerged”, nobody could explain what these facts were – it was a howl of pain against a referendum which they’d lost, and which they still hadn’t accepted losing. The rest of us want to move on – but these people simply will not.

Clearly, the argument we had in 2016 is going to be rehashed and regurgitated over and over again until we actually Leave. Many of us are becoming very tired of this Groundhog day. The decision has been made. We must leave. March 29th cannot come soon enough.

Tim Dawson is the Editor of Britain’s Future. Follow him on twitter: @tim_r_dawson

Photo credit: Kevin Laitak (@Klaitak)