Friday, July 1, 2016


 What a tumultuous ten days in London!

 With the Brexit referendum, the disastrous performance by the English football team, the beginning of Wimbledon tennis, 100,000 people at the gay pride parade and lunches, dinners and drinks with friends, there wasn't a dull moment.

  Oh, and the East End film festival, too.

  The fact it rained for part of every day did nothing to dampen the  lively atmosphere in the pubs or prevent drinkers standing outside on the pavements.

  But first, Brexit. And it's a total mess---nothing but chaos and confusion.   
  Not only is Britain now bitterly divided but the Conservative party is split into factions following the announcement by David Cameron of his resignation while the Labour party is still headed (at the time of writing) by Jeremy Corbyn, who is so unpopular that scores of frontbenchers have quit in recent days, leaving him with a seemingly impossible task in filling the vacancies after 172 of his MPs backed a no confidence motion in his leadership

Gay Pride in Trafalgar Square
   To further muddy the already bemired political waters Boris Johnson, whom everybody thought was the favourite to replace Cameron, has announced he will not now be running for the leadership of the Conservative Party and consequently the job of Prime Minister: he has been stabbed in the back by the charisma-lacking Michael Gove, who had previously been his strong supporter and is now contesting the leadership with Home Secretary Theresa May, which is ironic considering that Boris has now received the same treatment he meted out to Cameron. 
   But as always with any crisis in Britain, while the newspapers, radio and television are full of news, analysis and predictions it is in the pubs where the true debate is carried out and the voice of the ubiquitous Man in the Street is heard.

Leadenhall Market
In a pub in rainy Leadenhall Market, a lunchtime favourite with City businessmen, a well-dressed, clearly well-educated drinker told me he had voted Leave to "keep the migrants out." Someone else said he had voted Remain because Britain needed migrant workers and Europeans working in the City of London finance houses. One said it's all about trade deals. No, it's the economy. Cynics believe that, the Leave vote not withstanding, nothing will really change.

In despair: England manager Roy Hodgson
    It has been a turbulent ten days and while Brexit remains a contentious topic for discussion, every male in every pub is agreed on one thing----the England soccer team, which was dumped out of the European Championships after losing to lowly Iceland, are a useless bunch of overpaid, arrogant, incompetents who all should be replaced immediately. 

  Finally something everyone agrees on!

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