HAYES IN THE HOUSE: By MP John Hayes
A week or so ago a team of highly paid professionals were defeated by an unfancied side co-lead by a part-time dentist. The dismal failure of the England football squad at Euro 2016 went against everything expert pundits predicted. Iceland -a nation of 330,000 people- beat overwhelming odds to triumph against our country, which invented the sport and hosts its richest league. Yet the result did not lead to a national outpouring of discontent - fans greeted the outcome with stoicism, recognising that England were outplayed by a better team on the night.
Compare the response of England football fans to that of a small minority of EU supporters since their own clear defeat a few days earlier. Some remain in denial about their loss; a handful of commentators have even gone so far as to question the legitimacy of the referendum result on the basis that older voters should not have had a say(!); and we have even witnessed the bizarre spectacle of a Parliament Square demonstration organised by a strange cabal plotting to overturn the will of the British people, addressed by a person claiming to be a Minister of the Crown.
The referendum result has exposed two unpalatable truths about the metropolitan elite. First, that many of its members genuinely believe that they know better than all the rest of us. Second, that their arrogance is unsupported by facts.
The failure of the London-centric chattering classes to anticipate the referendum result, like the crisis now engulfing the Labour Party, epitomises their inability to comprehend the character of the country in which they live.
The confusion engulfing London’s opinion-forming chi-chi set does not reflect the country at large. Beyond the reaches of the bourgeois left, people are simply getting on with their lives. Unlike the shrill cries of those who too often dominate 24-hour TV news and social media, ordinary people know that fluctuations in the stock market and the value of Sterling are common, and always will be.
Leave and remain voters alike recognise that Britain is a great country, with a proud history and a prosperous future. Our stable, peaceful and successful nation will carry on much as it always has, for the British are reasonable and practical people who know how to get on with the job.