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Satire on the Thames

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

Our pro-EU boat passes the Houses of Parliament (PHOTO BRUCE TANNER)

Two weeks ago, it was the 7th anniversary of the referendum that changed the UK forever, and a group of pro-Rejoin campaigners marked the day with a boat party on the River Thames.

At the time, my feelings on the subject were very strong. I have always identified as European. I studied French, German and Spanish at university. I lived in Germany for a year. My heritage is Anglo-Irish. I have always found the EU to be beneficial in my life, and as such, I was heartbroken with the result. Every year, this post pops up on my Facebook page and every year, I note that my feelings have not changed one bit.

In a bid to try and stop Brexit or to try and do something constructive, my mum and I joined The No 10 Vigil, as the characters Jo and Granny Remain. The Vigil was a group of pro-EU campaigners, including EU Elvis, Faux Bojo and various others, who toured the UK and occasionally beyond, performing satirical versions of pop songs, in our attempt to get the message out there that Brexit didn't have to happen. While we performed our songs to attract attention, there was an army of dedicated Vigil members, who handed out leaflets, spoke to people and encouraged people to engage with the political process by contacting their MPs to express their opinions about Brexit.

Jo and Granny Remain reprimand Faux Bojo (PHOTO BRUCE TANNER)

While we didn't manage to prevent Brexit from happening, we were part of a much larger, UK wide pro-EU movement, which would never have come together in any other circumstances. Friendships were built across the UK and further afield, all brought together by the strength of our feelings over Brexit.

Faux Boho entertains the crowds (PHOTO BY BRUCE TANNER)

The Rejoin Boat Party was organised by Thank EU For The Music, and it took place on June 24th, was brilliant fun. It was compered by Beatrice Ponsonby-Smythe, and EU Elvis, Faux Boho, and Granny Remain and I sang a number of our satirical rewrites of pop songs to an audience of like-minded people. It was really nice to go back and remind ourselves of all the things we did in our attempt to stop Brexit from happening. For more information about the boat trip, please see the article I wrote on the subject.

EU Elvis rocks out on the boat (PHOTO BY BRUCE TANNER)

With reports suggesting the tide is turning in the UK, in a more pro-EU direction, a National Rejoin March is planned for September 23rd in Westminster.

Beatrice Ponsonby-Smythe gives the crowd something to think about


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