It's exhausting stuff which is why I've had no energy (or inclination sadly) to write anything here since last week. And what a week I've mostly missed!
I'd planned to spend the EU Referendum night at the IEA for an all-nighter but slumped in a sofa around 6:30pm on Thursday with no thought whatsoever of making the trek up to Westminster. However, with nothing on TV I decided at around 9pm to drag myself there just to say hello for an hour or so before getting a kebab on the way home and collapsing.
It didn't quite work out like that though once engaging in conversations ...
... and enjoying the IEA's (in)famous hospitality.
Greeted at the venue with the words "welcome to the wake", a pro-Brexit attendee humorously signalled what those who had voted leave expected to happen. The British public looked set to chicken out and just go with the 'safe' option, to succumb to fear of the unknown and let the EU carry on taking the right royal piss. The markets said so and the bookies - whose price on Brexit had flown out during the day from slight odds against to 20/1 at one stage - said so.
How wrong we all were!
Spending the evening with economists and keen political wonks who have studied all the referendum data to destruction was incredibly interesting. When the first result came in from Gibraltar - a thumping 96% vote for remain - one in the group I was talking to said "that's not actually bad, we were expecting 97%".
Then, when the Newcastle result was announced ("strong student population, should be 56% remain") as a comparatively paltry 50.7% majority for staying in, the astonishment began. One well-connected leave campaigner was confident enough after that declaration to shout "We're going to win! We're going to leave!". And so subsequent results seemed to go the same way; I stood close to one analyst who seemed to have encyclopaedic knowledge of all of the regions, and apart from a few outliers, all the results were exceeding Vote Leave's best hopes. It was gripping stuff and impossible to tear oneself away.
The team who produced Brexit The Movie were obviously more than thrilled at this, it's fair to say they were positively buzzing.
As you can see from the clock behind them in the picture above, I stayed well beyond when I had originally planned. In fact, I ended up nodding off on the morning commuter train and getting home in time to wave the girl P off to wherever the hell it is that teens go once they've finished their GCSEs.
I don't think I've ever been more proud of my country in recent years. The British public had heard a monumental amount of often ludicrous scaremongering and withstood it; ignored it; going instead with an instinct that democracy, sovereignty and self-determination are things this country values highly and always has done.
Then the quite astonishing shit-flinging from butthurt remainers began. Anyone who voted leave was obviously "stupid", "racist" or just plain evil. One alternative comic stated on Twitter - with no hint of irony - that "17m people have voted for Fascism", seemingly ignorant of the fact that denying democratic will of the public is almost a definition of fascism.
Unsurprisingly, the 'public health' community have been front and centre in this mass outpouring of grief that the public has dared to disobey commands, as I obliquely mentioned on Twitter yesterday.
It's v amusing seeing ppl who've never run business & only ever sucked on public teat self-declaring as experts on economics & global trade— Dick Puddlecote (@Dick_Puddlecote) June 29, 2016
But that's what 'public health' liggers are all about, the pursuit of a perfect echo chamber. Just last month we witnessed exactly this in relation to a debate held in the same room where last Thursday I marvelled at the wisdom of the British public.
Prior to the IEA's debate about the TPD and its effect on the free market surrounding e-cigs, numerous invites were sent out to 'public health' personnel to give their side of the story. The IEA were actively seeking out an opposite viewpoint but for tobacco control, especially, debate is something to be avoided at all costs. All invites were refused. Likewise, in April the RSPH managed to host a 'debate' about vaping in workplaces which was devoid of anyone who has actually run a business.
Now, we are seeing a whole host of 'public health' tax spongers crawling all over social media insulting anyone - even those who generously engage them - and insinuating that they are somehow inferior or ignorant for voting leave. Only someone whose income is guaranteed by the state machine should be allowed to make such decisions about the EU obviously, and if you dared to have weighed up the evidence and come to a different conclusion to aforementioned tax spongers, then you're obviously a retard.
'Public health' has increasingly devoted itself to excluding any input from anyone who disagrees with their world view. When invited to speak, they not only want to know beforehand who else is speaking but often who is in the audience as well. If there is any chance they might meet real people they run away screaming, so is it any wonder at all that they now scream foul when real people have rejected the ideals that they and others in their echo chamber take for granted.
And, as is customary for tobacco control especially, this is evidently proof that those who disagree with them are instantly classed as stupid. They couldn't have made their own decision because their own decision isn't what 'public health' considers to be the right one. Ergo, they must, of course, be ugly and illiterate racists.
It beggars belief, it really does.
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In the past couple of days we have seen politicians rallying round reality and realising that Brexit is real and that the winning margin - as referendums go - is a thumping one. It was a clear message and it should be respected. Sadiq Khan, who campaigned for remain, has come out and said Brexit could be good for London, the Conservative party has not gone into meltdown but instead admirably embraced the idea and looks to be behind the public's decision. One by one those who were upset by the result are falling in line with the will of the people, as they bloody well should.
So we're increasingly left with just the spoilt, the entitled, the fearful of losing EU funding, and the deliberately intolerant still arguing that the referendum was wrong and should be re-run or even ignored.
Yet again, boys and girls, we are on the side of the angels. And yet again 'public health' are showing themselves up to be selfish, intolerant, and quite disgusting trolls who should be exorcised from civil society. May God rot them all.