We came to East Anglia on family business/pre-summer getaway idea. Escaping from London is always refreshing, obviously. It also reminds one of what a different world London exists in compared to the rest of England; as if during this EU referendum mud slinging epoch we needed that much reminding of this fact.
I’ve written previously about holidaying in England, and everything still applies. The prices of tourist attractions are not so much overpriced as set at a constant you’ve-really-got-to-be-fucking-kidding level of cost. We went to Southwold pier yesterday and the car park charged £1.20 an hour. Only it was literally “per hour”, as in for any turn of the clock to the next. I placed my money in the machine at 3:56 PM, and was charged the hour rate for four minutes of parking.
While seething about this shameless rip off, it wasn’t long before I was reminded again of why I love England so much. On a mural in front of the pier sat the face of George Orwell; of course, he lived in the town both as a teenager and then as an adult, writing several books in his time in the town. It is how genius is in such abundance in the land you can trip over it sometimes; so many otherwise non-descript English towns have had genuine brilliance touch the place at some point.
The Norfolk town we are staying in is interesting in regards to the referendum question. I have been told repeatedly by Outers to “check the provinces” before making assertions about who is going to win on June 23rd, and I’m happy to report that I’m as confident as ever of a Remain victory. Yes, it is a much more Eurosceptic atmosphere than London, but hardly the frothing UKIP tinged scene of popular Eurosceptic imagination. In one of the biggest display windows in town sits an enormous “Vote Leave” banner – on the front of the pub immediately next to it, a European Union flag flies. You sense most people in this neck of the woods are quiet Inners – people with no love or particular understanding of Britain’s relationship with the EU, but a feeling that life is good at the moment coupled with a fear of what might be coming that combines to choose the status quo.
What so many Tories fail to appreciate is how much they won in May 2015 by default. How they were picked not because people thought they had some brilliant insights into how to run the country, but simply that they were a better choice than Ed Miliband and his crew. Many of these Tories think that there are a bunch of silent Outers out there; that they will emerge from nowhere in the same way the Conservative majority did last year. They have got it all exactly wrong, and the masses who voted to keep things the same in May 2015 will repeat the trick in June 2016.