Wow! That was quite a day! I got up at 6am and decided, on the spur of the moment, to go up to London to join the Liberal Democrat contingent at the March for Europe.
After being fortified by a breakfast from a well known food outlet in Praed Street W1, I hot-footed it to the assembly point at the Cumberland Hotel.
I was the first Liberal Democrat there. Nah-nah-na-na-nah!
Actually I was so early I did a recce and walked on. Or I would have walked on, if I had not overheard a comment from one of the two smart, frock-coated, top hatted doormen of the very posh Cumberland Hotel. One of them said to the other:
To be honest with you, I don’t feel welcome in this country any more.
I turned on my heels and held out my hand to shake his, saying:
You a very welcome in this country.
A short conversation ensued in which I apologised for some of my “crazy”, “ill-educated” (my words) fellow citizens. I think I cheered the two fellows up. I hope so.
I think we all need to do more of these sorts of random acts of kindness to those feeling unwelcome here.
Although my fellow Liberal Democrats were slow to arrive at first, they all suddenly converged on the hotel front at 10.30am and we had to move to Marble Arch to accommodate everyone. There followed a rally of the troops, then we moved to Park Lane and an impromptu speech from Tim Farron.
The number of people assembled from the Liberal Democrats was astonishing.
Altogether, there were so many people on the march that it took us about three hours to get down to Parliament Square. Tim spoke passionately and was well received.
After helping to hold the Lib Dem banner under Lloyd George’s statue (I advised we had a better claim to him than Churchill…) I moved to the Lib Dem HQ in Great George Street and helped to give out leaflets, inviting new members, to passers-by peeling off from the demonstration.
I then moved to the “Two Chairmen” pub where Tom Brake MP gave a fascinating speech on the pavement, followed by a Q&A session about the current situation.
It was all quite a day!
Here’s Tom Brake MP speaking:
Outside party HQ, here are members handing out membership leaflets to passers-by peeling off from the demo: