After having spent all my adult life quietly at my hearth, I marched in protest for a first and second time and not again since. Those protests were the two largest protests that London has ever seen - the Countryside Alliance march, and the Anti Blair Iraq march. The first was not about fox hunting, but a cry of anger against the central state nannying that treated resilient, self-sufficient Britons like children. The second was against a deaf and corrupt government launching the nation on an unlawful adventure that would leave Blair with the blood of a quarter of a million innocents on his hands.
With speculation now intense over a Brexit betrayal in the autumn, with an outcome even more egregious than the Robbins Plan that the mandarins have sent the Cabinet to sell across Europe this summer, it seems I may have to march for a third time. Michael Gove has in the past visited the Mayr clinic in Klagenfurt for the annual hosing-out of his rectum, but no reports have reached me this year that the Gove bowel-flushings have hit the Wörthersee kanal, so he may have been sent elsewhere in Europe to deposit his stale excreta.
A suspension of Article 50 or worse this autumn would have the potential to bring three million of us out on the street in protest. There is a feeling one has in one's bones, which I had twice in the past and now have again but in spades. A Brexit betrayal will give London, the remainer capital, the most massive street protest ever seen in this country.
It's possible but not probable that the government will seek to ban the march in advance as (a) too large and disruptive, even on a Saturday (b) for health and safety concerns (c) potential for violent conflict with remoaner zealots. But I don't think any government would actually dare to try to cork such anger. Realistically, the government will be planning even now to make such a march as difficult as possible, if not impossible. Central London Crossrail road closures will be arranged, Network Rail major engineering works planned, resurfacing of the M4 scheduled. The logistics of getting 3m people into London, marching us to Hyde Park and getting us home again are not inconsiderable. Transport. Routes. Water. Toilets. First Aid. Stewarding. Emergency Services. Sound stages and speeches. Local co-ordination.
However, I have great faith that the Leave side has so many thousands of years of accumulated senior management, HM armed forces and skilled professional expertise at its command that such an event can be planned and arranged for a Saturday in September, October or November if required. Perhaps readers could make tentative enquiries of local coach companies now.
I also have great faith that we can be peaceful. On the CA march, police were not even needed and the only time I saw the Stewards was as we processed up Whitehall, calling "Caps off, gentlemen please, as you pass the Cenotaph". Sure, the march will attract the race-hate morons who, like ill-disciplined dogs, will want to fight any folk with brown faces, but we can work with the police to isolate and contain them. Every far-right nutter in the land will also seek to hijack the event - but as I guess 2/3rds of the marchers will be ex-Labour supporters - from mining, engineering and steelworking towns and suchlike - this must be prevented from the start.
So C'mon lads and lasses. Get planning.