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Lindy McDowell: I am a Remainer, but it's so wrong to sneer at Brexiteers as racist, old, thick, male and irrelevant

By Lindy McDowell

This time last week hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of London in a march to protest against Brexit and to demand a "People's Vote". Among them was the writer and producer Dominic Minghella, whose work includes the television series Doc Martin.

Mr Minghella subsequently tweeted a few lines which, in the days since, have attracted much mirth and ridicule...

"On today's march, I ducked into Pret along with many other People's Voters. It was heaving and chaotic, but we formed genteel queues, laughing - "No, no, after you" - "Do you mind if I just?" - because decent. Because cooperative. Because positive. Because properly British."

Which does seem to infer that People's Voters have cornered the market on all that nice stuff.

That they're inherently decent, co-operative and positive and thus, "properly British".

Unlike those nasty Brexiteers.

Mr Minghella has denied this was what he intended to convey.

But he does conjure up a vivid portrait of the posh People's Voterati shuffling along in their genteel queues, behaving with the utmost civility towards the chap who'd also spotted that very last pesto butternut squash and roasted Tomato flatbread.

No, no after you...

The sort of people indeed, who if trounced in, say, the local tennis tournament where the rules were clearly spelt out beforehand and the competition was closely scrutinised, would accept defeat with good grace.

"Well done, old thing. Bit disappointed and all that. But, fair play, you won."

Or maybe not...

Like Mr Minghella and the very large number of Remainers who marched in London, I voted against Brexit.

Unlike the protesters, however, I accept the democratic outcome of that fateful referendum. I don't like it. But as has been said before many times, there already has been a People's Vote. And 17.4 million people won that one.

The suggestion now though is that we need a rerun because, unlike the Remainers, those 17.4 million people weren't quite... you know... as clever, or as "decent" or as important as Pret People's Voters.

They may even be the sort of people who eat pastie suppers and think nothing of elbowing aside genteel citizens in their rush for the ketchup.

The battle of Brexit has been divisive and rancid. But one of the aspects which I've found most disquieting (and I say this as a Remain voter) has been the widespread tendency - typified by that tweet but certainly not confined to it - to infer that anti-Brexiteers are somehow intrinsically better.

A sandwich cut above the others.

And that those who voted for Brexit are unanimously racist and old and thick and male. And irrelevant.

So let's have another go as, surely by now, they'll have wised up. Or we'll have convinced enough abstainers to become Remainers.

I don't agree with that analysis. In any respect. But that is neither here nor there.

Because whether I, or Mr Minghella, or the millions of others who want to stay in the EU like it or not, the Leave camp came out on top in the real People's Vote.

And every one of those people's votes cast is every bit as valid as my vote or anybody else's.

I still regret we're on our way out.

But I do recognise and - importantly - respect democracy.

I'm Pret a Brexit.

David is a guy you could have a friendly beer with

Criminal investigation lesson of the week...

If you are going to steal beer under a CCTV camera it helps if you aren’t a ringer for somebody famous.

After Lancashire Police posted a ‘wanted’ video of a thief making off with an unpaid carry-out, the image went viral on social media where the guilty party’s close resemblance to Friends actor David Schwimmer was noted.

Schwimmer, too, joined in, poking fun at himself with a second video filmed in an American store, similarly clutching a stack of beer cans. “Officers, I swear it wasn’t me,” he said.

Needless to say the posting got so much publicity the cops were inundated with leads as to the identity of his dopey doppelganger.

Great to see an actor who doesn’t take himself too seriously and who can post something on social media which doesn’t include a political message and/or lecture aimed at the rest of us.

Comedians, in particular, seem to have become a bit overly keen on the fist pumping and scowling.

At last a laugh from a genuinely funny man.

New bio-bricks really taking the 'P'

Scientific breakthrough of the week. Bricks made from human urine. No, you didn't read that wrong.

The environmentally-friendly building blocks have been made by students in South Africa using a mix of sand and bacteria which solidifies at room temperature.

Why? I don't mean - why does it solidify? I mean, who would want a house built like a brick you know what?

The bio-bricks, as they're called, may tick the eco box. But when it comes to marketing... it may take a bit more effort to achieve that sweet smell of success.

Ford's fine is a sad sign of the times

You'd think amid all the other craziness of local politics, a minor infringement of rules on what a politician can put on a sign above his constituency office wouldn't be considered a big deal. But former Alliance Party leader David Ford, a man of considerable integrity, has been hit by a bill which could be in the thousands for displaying his phone number and email address. You might say the world has gone mad. Except that this part of it has been for some considerable time.

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