And yes, it was the EU that precipitated it all. Everything about the EU was contrary to 1500 years of British history, a history of a permissive society in which the law only intervened to prevent specific harms. European law, formed by an authoritarian papacy, a tyrant Napoleon and a dictatorial tradition culminating in power being taken by the EU, is restrictive. You are only allowed to do that which the State permits you to do. And they've covered all options - a serious offence here is 'Resisting State authority' - covering everything from running away from the police to refusing to dib your mates in.
Of course, our domestic elite - politicians, journalists, broadcasters, local government officials and civil servants, quangocrats, the new fat, bloated cardinals of academia, the vice-chancellors of the learning scam, and the fake charities and their fakenews 'reports' - loved the displacement of British Liberalism by EU authoritarianism. It gave them the opportunity to smother us with a sodden pillow of joyless, dreary regulation. Our pubs and working mens clubs were closed and the sites sold off to Housing Associations, the billions of new money printed since 2008 have all gone to boost the asset values of the wealthy elites whilst our own incomes have stagnated and our opportunities are mired; our children, burdened for a lifetime with a mountain of debt before they start living, now have less chance of owning a home than a Victorian sweep.
What drives our elites so hard to 'Remain' isn't that they love the EU, but that they've come to enjoy the undemocratic power that the EU brings them, and are fearful of losing it to a more democratic and independent Britain.
But don't despair. Win or lose this round of Brexit, we're winning. Britain WILL leave the EU, and we will rebalance power in our nation. 2016 let the genie out of the bottle, and strive as they might they cannot stuff it back inside. Right now, we've paralysed Parliament and virtually destroyed two established Parties, to be reborn in our own image. We've created a gap for a third party (sorry, Gerard, it isn't you) and even a fourth to keep them in discomfort. And we're demanding to be heard.
As Eamonn Butler, the ASI's Director, wrote in 'Abusing the People'
'(populists) see themselves as ignored and exploited by those who are supposed to represent them. And faced with all this, the British public are doing what the British public have always done: poking fun at their leaders and making life as uncomfortable for them as they can. As long as they do not miscalculate and elect someone like Jeremy Corbyn, many of us think that this is actually no bad thing'