While Bill fixes his vid ...
One of the most important characters in literature, as in life, is the Common Man in Robert Bolt's Man For All Seasons. This cheerful chap is not without sympathy for the 'principled' folk he encounters, but for himself steers carefully and instinctively away from controversy: and is certainly not willing to go to the stake for anyone or anything - even while hundreds of his countryman quite literally are. We know, of course, that the Vicar of Bray hastily accommodates himself to whatsoever king shall reign (along with a high percentage of MPs); but the common man, in his own pedestrian way, is not so very far behind him.
In short: people prepared to hold to a doctrinaire position (that they may seemingly espouse most fervently) through thick and thin are very few and far between. (How many of those outspoken libertarians who vowed the public smoking ban would never stick, have ever broken the new laws themselves?) Human society probably depends for its cohesion on this trait.
I say it at the risk of losing a few virtual friends hereabouts because it's hard not to notice the fairly fervent tenor of a lot of BTL comments, here and elsewhere, that run approximately thus: I will never, ever, vote for the Tories again, ever. That's never. D'y'hear me?
Yes, we do, loud and clear. But pause for just a moment's empirical input, friends. Yesterday evening I attended the AGM of my local Conservative party. (Why do you do that, Drew? Because I'm conservative - clue's in the name.) It was packed. There was no rancour. There was over an hour's Q&A afterwards, to the MP, the GLAM, the senior party functionaries etc. Brexit was not in any way off limits. The room was 99% for Leave (even though before R1 we were split 60:40), though individual nuances and caveats were many and varied. I say again: there was no rancour. Some rueful laughter at the thought of potentially needing to run a euro election, or even a GE, in the coming weeks. But mostly concerned with the ordinary business of canvassing and signing up new members.
Because - and here's the thing - our local Party membership has gone up by about 30% over the past 12 months.
Just some empirical input ...