Got off the Tube at Hyde Park Corner, near SustainAbility’s erstwhile offices, and walked up through the backs to Grosvenor Square to meet Gaia – ahead of the People’s Vote march from Park Lane. Met her in front of the FDR statue, then met film-making friends of hers before we headed back across to Park Lane.
One of the many piles of books waiting to be read at home is No Ordinary Times, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, the story of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, which I had been meaning to read for aeons – and bought a week or so ago. We seem to be back in those times, with a growing need for a new generation of leaders.
An extraordinary mood abroad, joyous even, with people waving in friendly fashion at the police helicopters overhead. Saw many banners I liked, but one placard I particularly liked suggested that we need a national cuppa tea and a quiet chat with all concerned.
Only after some minutes of following the placard did I realise that it was being carried by Sue Riddlestone of Bioregional. We walked together for the rest of the route, with a fair few people coming up to say how wonderful the banner was.
Amazingly, so great was the press of people it took us three hours just to get back to Hyde Park Corner. Some estimates put the number of marchers at around 700,000. It felt like it, though consistently good-tempered and milt-mannered.
Along the way I met a number of people I knew, including a friend from York and a couple of friends of my brother from Henley.
A remarkable display of the tolerance and good humour of ordinary Britons. The best of a country that Brexit so threatens. And a fantastic scrambling of the generations, albeit with a strong sense that it is the young who will ultimately pay the greatest price for the “Eton Mess” that Cameron, May and their ilk have been dragging us into in zombie-like fashion.