Anti-Brexit protest
Crowds gathered in London's Trafalgar Square on 28 June to protest against the EU referendum result Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

First of all, a heartfelt apology. I'm under orders. I'm told I should be penitent. Remorseful. Grovelling. Apparently I'm as guilty as sin. Rotten to the core. So mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. Oh lord, lord above. Will I ever get to heaven now?

Just look at the damage I seem to have done. Britain is rudderless in the storm. There's no leadership. The Tories are consumed by ambition, awash with accusations of treachery and sunk in mutual loathing. That nice Mr Gove turns out to be a cold-eyed political assassin. Perhaps he could become the new James Bond, if he fails to make it to No 10.

Meanwhile an imploding Labour Party lurches from tragedy to farce and back to tragedy again. Poor old Jeremy Corbyn has the look of a man haunted by demons while his backbenchers seethe in frustration.

And it's all because of me. Well, not me alone, obviously, but me and the other 17 million sinners who voted to come out of the EU. We have to take the blame for the wreckage around us, because we wouldn't do as we were told by our betters. Because we're bigots, thick as mince and as nasty as a soap sandwich.

Who says so? Why the great and the good, that's who. People like the scientists Jim Al-Khalili who describes the referendum result as "a victory for xenophobia". People like the historian Dan Snow who describes the result as a defeat which he "absolutely" refuses to accept.

But of course they aren't alone. Millions are so enraged by what has happened that they are demanding a second referendum. Others have protested noisily outside parliament or taken to social media to tell us how shocked and angered they are. I can't remember a time when half the country seemed to have nothing but hatred and contempt for the other half.

Could we all please try to calm down?

After all, one of the essential elements in any democracy is the acceptance that all votes are equal and that every citizen is entitled to an opinion. There's something ugly and patronising in the bien-pensant sneers at the poor, the insecure, those on the margin, those struggling to find a home or secure a doctor's appointment, those who feel the EU has nothing to offer them.

What's especially unpleasant is the spectacle of left-wingers – who supposedly believe in equality and social justice – queuing up to denounce and demonise the very people they claim to represent. You would have thought that a Labour Party so ruinously out of touch with its own traditional supporters might at least show a scintilla of humility now. But no. Love of Europe obviously comes before any regard for the voters.

Why else would Labour politicians like David Lammy suggest that MPs might simply ignore the result – the largest popular vote in our nation's history – and work to keep us in the EU? He and the millions who petition for a referendum rerun presumably think that like the guardians in Plato's Republic they are brighter, braver and better-informed than the common herd and therefore entitled to overrule the rest of us.

Those who petition for a referendum rerun presumably think they are brighter, braver and better-informed than the common herd and therefore entitled to overrule the rest of us.

Well, let's see. How many of them, do you suppose, have read any of the European treaties? How many could name all five EU presidents or explain comitology or even identify their own MEPs? Precious few, I suspect. But hey, what does knowledge matter when you can bask in the warm glow of groupthink and the pharisaical belief in your own moral superiority?

Perhaps we should try – just for a change – to look on the brighter side.

Yes, the pound is down, as was only to be expected. Good. Since our external deficit is a whopping 6% of GDP, a devaluation that makes our exports cheaper is something economists should welcome. And if it leads to an uptick in inflation – as it certainly will – that's not so bad either, since it will make it easier to reduce our debt.

Yes, outside the EU we'll once again have to stand on our own two feet. But then, a united, independent England ruled itself for more than a thousand years, while a wider Britain has been one of the world's most successful nations for more than 300 years. Why should we fear the future?

Let's accept what has happened with good grace. We should be of good cheer. To quote that great 14th-century mystic, Julian of Norwich: "All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well." Amen to that. I'm convinced of it.

And on second thoughts, I don't feel the need to apologise at all.