I'm reading a lot of very negative stuff about the result of the Referendum, and hearing it when I strike up conversations with strangers. As if a Leave-the-UK vote was no more than a vague protest vote, not thought out at all; a vote based on dodgy statistics; and even a selfish, I'm-all-right-Jack vote in complete disregard of what today's school students will need when they start looking for work.
Well, surely not every single one of the 52% who voted Leave could have been consumed with self-interest. Any thinking person must have seen - as I certainly did - that everyday prices will rise, that taxes will rise, interest rates will rise, inflation may rise, and that the 'triple-lock' annual increase for State Pensions will be scrapped asap.
We won't have to pay the EU anything, but the EU grants and subsidies will vanish, and every future transaction with the EU will cost more.
Anyone who voted Leave should have worked out that Freedom will come only at a price. So a properly-considered Leave vote wasn't at all a vote to maintain a comfortable middle-income lifestyle, and fingers-crossed that it will turn out fine. Less comfort, and less affluence, was absolutely bound to be the outcome - and quickly.
I personally reckoned it would be like that, and yet still voted Leave. I would say many, many other people also took a view on the consequences, and did the same as I did. It wasn't 'falling on the knife'. It wasn't falling victim to politicians' dubious and lurid statistics. It was wanting something more than a life propped up by EU handouts and hedged in by EU rules. It was wanting a different vision of Britain, something much more inspiring, and being prepared to meet the cost.
Does a desire for affluence trump freedom and a defence of Britishness? In a consumer society, many will say yes. Personally, I think a lot of money is wasted, and the creation of a more thrifty, cannier, savings-minded Britain would be no bad thing. I do appreciate what I can personally afford of the Good Life, but I'm not dependent on it, nor do I believe that the essence of a worthwhile mode of living is to shop till one drops, or to beggar oneself paying a mortgage or school fees.
A Britain going it alone will have to become a more people-focussed place. Personal talent will matter much more. We will all have to be more caring, more obliging, much less 'me-me-me'. And if something of that 'let's pull together' Blitz spirit prevails, then I don't see why the vulnerable persons in our society should suffer unnoticed and without champions.