Working in TV, being gay and living in London often means that I am surrounded by people who are passionately pro-EU. This is fine, but when the negativity starts, the insults creep in and on the odd occasion, threats of violence arise… being a Brexiteer and an honorary Londoner (I’m originally from the North) can be a lonely and very frustrating experience.
A much needed antidote to this is the Leavers of London group (now Leavers of Britain!) At these events not only are you able to express your mainstream political opinions freely but you are also surrounded by people from all walks of life, people who aren’t that interested in politics, just Brexit. There’s a whole range of Conservative, Labour and Ukip supporters. It really is a broad spectrum and it hammers home to you just how broad a church the Leave vote was and continues to be.
“The insults creep in and on the odd occasion threats of violence arise… being a Brexiteer and an honorary Londoner (I’m originally from the North) can be a lonely and very frustrating experience.”
It is important we realise this and continue to bridge links between the political divide. What unites us – a similar respect for democracy and other people’s opinions, and also a shared view that the voice of the British people has spoken and deserves to be heard and acted upon – is far more important than what divides us in day-to-day politics.
If anything, Leavers of London is a chance for us to remember that 40% of our great city voted to leave the EU. We often feel drowned out by the 60% – they seem more vocal than we do, often angry and sometimes like they have the wind of popular opinion on their side. But coming to these events allows us to feel re-energised and reassured that we aren’t the only ones in that office, that school canteen or that hospital A&E that voted for Britain to be a sovereign nation once again. Leavers of London helps to give us that confidence and pride back that is often beaten out of us in day-to-day life – and long may it continue.
This is an post from Stephen Lewthwaite a member of Leavers of London sharing his experiences in the TV industry in London