A quiet word of praise for that most resilient of nations, The British.

They have told you ten thousand times what they think you are, and they are still doing it.

Thick. Racist. Uneducated. Gullible. Xenophobic. Little Englander. Gammon. Throwback. Low Information Voter. Thug. Bigot. Far Right. Nazi. Fascist. And in their eyes, the most damning of all: Old. White.

But this is what you really are: The people who made up your own minds. The people who went quietly to vote, again and again. The people who do not riot, or burn cars, or assault others. The people who do not use the courts to take away the votes of others. The people who respect democracy. The people who love liberty. The people who respect older generations. The people who love these villages, towns, fields and cities that we call home.

The people who reject corruption and crookedness and fraud. The people who stubbornly protect their own. The people who will not be bullied or swayed or sneered into submission. The people who accept these blows and carry on. The people who have never loved tyranny, and never bowed happily to unjust power. The people who have taught the rest of Europe, again and again, what freedom is.

The people who are the backbone and the heart and the soul of one of the greatest nations on Earth, an ancient nation with a long history of dogged valour, a nation that has championed democracy and civilisation and decency across the entire globe, a nation that has shed its own blood for the freedom of others.

This is who you are. Armies could not break you, and terror has never changed you. Bombs did not shake your resolve, and blockades by sea and air have never laid you low. Your civility was mistaken for weakness, but the steel still held, under the surface, where it counts most.

Treason and scorn and the ridicule of the mighty did not sway you, anymore than violence ever did. Your leaders grew feeble and submissive, but you always preferred to stand tall, to walk your own path, to be an adult and a free one too. You will be hated for your resolve, by those who never shared it, but you do not falter or stumble. You walk towards a future, still unbowed and determined and bold.

That is who you are.