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Once more unto the breach....
02 Nov, 2019

Jo Pye, L4E’s Volunteer Support Coordinator, has…volunteered….to write a blog…. about our volunteering efforts and why we need your help more than ever.

I’ll set a scene which will be so common to many of you.

I’ve become a sleep-deprived, Brexit-obsessed, creature of the night. A nocturnal. A “vigilist”. I spend many hours overnight assessing where the Brexit Project had got, crafting slick reasons for Remain, concocting convincing arguments with which to confound Brexiters, mentally preparing what I’m going to experience personally when we crash out or how I’m going to try salve the life-changing family divisions that Project Brexit has caused. My love and respect to you all out there, sharing this Zombie existence.

By 05.00 on the morning of Monday 26 October, I had it all planned out. I’d done my research into who was doing what for what cause and what outcome. All I needed was the EU Council’s decision to flex or bust!

It’s just 10.00 now and we’ve got a Flextension from the EU, PV is achieving complete meltdown, LibDems and SNP are backing an earlier General Election, Boris Johnson is contemplating supporting this against his own date (sic) and Labour is still sitting on a number of very uncomfortable fences. What state must “The Greens” be in currently?

It may be a cliché, but you couldn’t make this up. Even if it made some sense today, it’ll all be up-ended by tomorrow.

What I’m left with now is going with what would have been my crowning conclusion. It’s the only thread left with any credence and integrity and it’s one we’ve held since before the ill-founded Referendum. Let’s keep doing with what we know best and do best:

Rely on and support the Pro-Remain Grassroots. The PRG!

We may be battered and exhausted, but we’re the only unchanging activity in all this chaos and, ironically, we’re in a better position today than we have ever been to make a difference. Whichever way that goes.

Our Grassroots are the Gold Dust of Remain. We showed it on Saturday 17 October, when against all the odds, we put a million united people from all over this UK onto the streets of London and thousands more throughout the country. Indeed, we were championing a People’s Vote, a Final Say, but always from a pro-Remain perspective. The placards proclaimed that loud and clear.

So, not wishing to take any more of your valuable time, let’s get to the task we know best and do best. Back onto the streets with our core pro-Remain message whichever way you wish to say it.

Strangely, amid the chaos of this particular Monday morning, I feel more energised than I have done for ages. I’m freed from the shackles of having to act as a foot soldier to PV’s tune or to a political party’s vacillations and internal warfare. We’ve got organised Grassroots who have been working solidly for years and who know their craft. (P.S. Breaking news: The European Movement staff are still at their posts in Millbank.)

Time for cheering ourselves wholeheartedly and with gusto. We’re united in a cause that has, at its roots, the very tenets of the EU project: order from chaos, peace and humane interactions.

And a final call to action. Our Grassroot Branches will be going into overdrive from now to 31 January 2020. They’ll respond to the next challenge – whatever that turns out to be. They know instinctively what needs to be done in their own areas and they’ll do it. They may have to do it without a major London-based HQ calling the shots, but, if I know anything, I’m convinced they’ll do it with commitment, sound arguments, warm clothes, portable decorating tables,  Brexitometers, good humour and - yes, a sense of incredulity - that they’re actually still having to do this at all.

The fact that we are still doing this can only be that Brexit remains an ill-founded project and can’t and won’t be “Done” easily. Time to update the mantra:

Let’s “Get Brexit Gone”

We have a dedicated Volunteer Support Group ready to make sure you can find the best local home for your talents. 

Now is your chance to reinforce at Grassroots’ level in London, so, if you haven’t already, please, sign up as a Volunteer and complete our “Minding the Gaps” survey.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Jo Pye
L4evolunteers@gmail.com