Once upon a time I was a history student, at masters degree level no less. Whilst I have not devoured lots of history books and documentaries over the years since then, it certainly did sharpen my mind and gave me skills, in terms evidence-gathering and evidence-processing, which have served me well in other areas. This includes one standout occasion where I resoundingly beat a cheap 'claims for you' lawyer in court on behalf of some family members he had victimised - I often think I did the masters really just for that, for the ability to pursue justice.
Whilst studying history, I also enjoyed the study of historical theory and discourse analysis - alongside studying actual events of the 20th century. This article I happened upon today, on the frontpage of the very readable 'Spiked Online', has taken be back to those 'glory years':
I was chided and condemned by some of my liberal friends for voting for Britain to leave the EU - so much so that I no longer call myself a 'liberal'. I have come to consider the term 'liberal' - in this day and age - as largely an inadvertent class-based label on the one hand, and on the other a deliberate label used to signify apparent intellect and a set of political positions masquerading as higher virtues. It inadvertently signifies a level of wealth and comfort, although those using the label make great play of speaking for the worker and the poor.
I stand by my vote and those millions of others who voted 'Brexit' because, for the reasons Brendan O'Neill highlights, having seen the social, economic and political situation apparently 'sewn up' with Blairism, it awoke humanity up. I don't agree one bit with Donald Trump but his election has similar hallmarks in America - the vanquishing of a deadening hegemony.
And for me - remembering the words of one of my esteemed tutors on the masters programme - the 'victory' will not be found in the short term news of Article 50 or Trump but what hopefully comes afterwards, for 'history is rarely if ever written in months and years but in decades...' I hope we are seeing the early shoots of a re-engagement of ordinary people in politics and the longer-term possibility of genuinely new leadership in the West...