One night last week she was speaking to a Guardian audience of 950 and received a standing ovation; the next night to an audience of 50 at the Guyana High Commission in London. A standing ovation here too.
Gina Miller, born in British Guiana, is now a huge public figure and a force of nature in Britain. The ‘Brexit Lady,’ as passersby in Notting Hill were calling her, has carved out a niche though not always a popular one. Now, she has just published her first book, Rise: Lessons in Speaking Out, Standing Tall & Leading the Way.
The packed audience was treated to a truly open and fascinating personal history. The daughter of Doodnauth Singh SC, who grew up in Murray Street and Bel Air in Georgetown, recalled her childhood and most especially the ‘Voyage round her father’ with whom she was very close. From the early age of six, visiting the courts to see the great advocate in action. He wanted her to become a criminal barrister which she so nearly did. Gina Singh also became a very interested spectator in his political life and the struggle against Forbes Burnham.
For her, Guyana in the late 1960’s was mainly idyllic; hard work at St Gabriel’s, a happy home life interspersed with regular ‘licks’ from her mother trying to keep her in line. Like many since, up to and including Prime Minister Theresa May, she failed. Gina remembered that time of innocence lost in GT which formed her.
It came to an end when she was sent away to Moray House (the pupils called it ‘Moron House’!) in Eastbourne, England to board, her brother to Eastbourne College. Times got very hard there when Burnham cut off the supply of currency from Georgetown. Gina, at 14, had to become a chambermaid in the early morning before changing clothes in a filling station and going to school. Resilience is Gina.
There was a very touching vignette outside the High Commission earlier, where Gina was helping a tearful nine year old boy who had lost his parents. Gina Singh, now Miller, was never lost. Now she has found her voice as ‘The Brexit Lady ’. Hard to see this tough daughter of Guyana will ever be silenced again.
John ‘Bill Cotton/Reform’ Mair