But even so, let me make three warnings.
We’ve seen ugly things happening up and down the country, and the license given to horrible, malign forces by the way the Leave campaign conducted itself. Notwithstanding those awful events: please let’s not think of the vast majority of the people I’ve talked about as stupid, or deluded, or bigoted or hateful. I don’t believe 17 million people are like that. In fact, I think I’m confident enough to say I know that.
If you woke up on Friday morning thinking the country was suddenly in the hands of a social tribe you didn’t know much about and you were suddenly terrified about the future, bear in mind: that is how millions of people in this country have been living for decades.
Please understand that the Labour Party has left a vacuum in these places which has been growing for ten or fifteen years. And if the result is denied, certainly while all of this is still raw, Ukip – with or without Nigel Farage, or maybe something even nastier – may well sweep through a lot of England and Wales, and the terrain for meaningful progressive politics will be destroyed. That’s how high the stakes are.
Just this week, I’ve read people saying that progressive politics should pretty much abandon these people and places and really just concentrate on our cities. But if we choose to ignore places that are the embodiment of the inequality we have to fight, our ‘progressive’ politics will not be worthy of the name.
As politics changes at speed across the world, I hope we can achieve a collective resolution. Yes, there are very different kinds of Brexit, the debate on them is vital, and there are very important things we have to fight for. But right now, most of our energy should not be expended on that stuff – but instead, listening to people, and beginning the process of coming up with a politics that will finally address their predicament, and the awful inequalities that have defined this country for too long.
So, let’s get out of the stateless country some people are calling ‘Remainia’. Let’s not hide behind the city walls, shouting. Let’s go out into the country, and reinvent our politics.