At dinner the other night, a QC friend of mine — I forget what the Q stands for but I know exactly why they’re all called Cs — tried explaining to me why Theresa May’s Brexit ‘deal’ is actually a good deal for Britain.
So I asked him to explain to me what’s good about it.
He began by agreeing that the deal isn’t perfect but said that there’s got to be a bit of give and take on both sides. Then he conceded that of course “No deal” might have been better but because the government had made such poor preparations for such an eventuality over the last two and half years…
“Let me stop you right there, you despicable, fat, Establishment sell-out tosser…” I said.
This is the problem with every Remain argument I’ve ever heard. None of them can actually explain why Theresa May’s ‘deal’ — or any of the other fudges, cop-outs and surrenders being planned by the Remainers — in any way respects the wishes of the 17.4 million people who voted Brexit in 2016.
That’s what is making all those of us who voted Brexit — and we are, after all, the majority — so increasingly frustrated and angry. We voted for Brexit in good faith. We were told our decision would be honoured. And all we’ve heard since from the political class is endless fancy excuses on why it can’t deliver what we want.
And yes — whatever Belial-tongued lawyers like my fancy pants QC friend — it really is that simple.
We voted for Brexit. And now the political class is ganging up to stop us getting Brexit.
It thinks, as my fat pillock of a QC friend does, that once they’ve explained to us — using ugly phrases like “it’s about the numbers” and “we have to find common ground between Remain and Leave” and “John Bercow” — why we can’t get what we want, we’ll all go: “Oh yeah! Stupid us. We thought we could have Brexit but we now realise that the answer was staring us in the face all along. We can’t have Brexit because reasons...”
But we won’t react that way. Rather we’ll get very angry and we’ll look for revenge. The most obvious targets for this revenge will be the Conservatives government — or governments if you count David Cameron’s and Theresa May’s as separate entities rather than two ends of the same turd — which promised to honour our referendum vote but which then proceeded to break that promise.
This doesn’t augur well for the Conservatives. In fact it will certainly be the most damaging, self-destructive decision they have made since 1846 when Sir Robert Peel’s Tory government repealed the Corn Laws.
The difference between then and now is that repealing the Corn Laws was the right and moral thing to do. It broke down the hegemony of an entrenched, self-serving elite (the landowners whose comfortable lifestyle was propped up by trade barriers which kept the price of their produce artificially high), boosted the economy (by reducing the misallocation of scarce resources), and brought down food prices (especially good news for those on the breadline).
No such positive argument could be made — or indeed, ever has been made — for thwarting Brexit. Yet amazingly a significant portion of the parliamentary Conservative Party are participating in this betrayal of democracy, of their (mostly Brexit) constituencies and of their country.
How can so many Conservative MPs be quite so suicidally stupid? How can they not realise that this is going to get many of them either deselected or see them losing their seats in the next general election — possibly a general election which will be won by the most hard-left Labour Party ever?
Also, why did they ever join the Conservative Party in the first place, let alone stand as MPs, if they’re so smitten with the socialistic, anti-democratic, anti-free-market, corrupt, bureaucratic, anti-freedom, and demonstrably anti-conservative entity that is the European Union?
For the best answer to this unfathomable mystery, I commend to you an excellent piece in the Sunday Telegraph by Dan Hannan.
He talks about it in terms of a weird power that the European Union has, which he names “Hideous Strength”. It is, Hannan explains, the “name of CS Lewis’s 1945 adult novel about a literally diabolical plot to conquer Britain through an apparently benign bureaucracy.” But, he adds, the phrase applies equally well to the extraordinary power that the EU exerts on its vassal states — and on the political class within those vassal states.
The readiness of democratic nations to twist themselves into unnatural postures in order to meet the requirements of EU membership is an awesome, even frightening phenomenon.
He cites the recent shenanigans whereby the Speaker John Bercow took upon himself to ride roughshod over parliamentary tradition and procedure; and the way in Ireland, Taoiseachs Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen were both prepared to destroy themselves and their party rather than hurt the EU project; and the way in 2011, Brussels was able to organise the civilian coups whereby both Italy and Greece were bullied into removing their elected national leaders and replacing them with Eurocrat apparatchiks.
We in Britain used to kid ourselves that we were better than those crazy continentals. Recent events have proved us otherwise.
I was trying to think of an appropriate analogy to describe this curious phenomenon whereby hundreds of Tory MPs are preparing to forego their £77,000 annual salaries, their subsidised housing, their generous expenses, their power and their prestige not for a cause of high principle but simply to keep Britain shackled to a socialistic superstate whose interests are almost diametrically opposed to the cause of conservatism.
And the one that came to mind was the Walking Dead.
You love your friends, you love your family, you love your country, you love your life. What could possibly stop you fighting on behalf of all those good desirable things except some terrible, brain-destroying virus that turned you into a stumbling, rotting, husk of what you once were, devoid of all purpose, fit now only to have your head chopped off — (I mean this metaphorically, of course: just in case Care Bear Commie Owen Jones tries to shoehorn me into his next toys-out-the-pram rantette) — so that you don’t get to do any more damage.
Anna Soubry (obviously); Nick Boles; Oliver Wetwin; Dominic Grieve; and the rest. They all zombies who want to turn Britain into a land of the living dead.
Bags I get to be Negan.