Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Licensed Leavers

The persistent promotion of the incompetent Chris Grayling is a striking illustration, so to speak, of the important rule that the approved supporters of Brexit are those whom Theresa May and her media courtiers find it easy to ridicule, or to outwit, or both.

This has been going on for a quarter of a century. Grayling and David Davis, who is not really pro-Brexit at all, recall the anti-Maastricht Conservatives who were just not very bright or energetic; Davis was in fact the Europe Minister at the time.

Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson, who is also not really a Leaver, are the heirs to the anti-Maastricht "characters" who used to be invited onto television programmes specifically in order to be laughed at; the likes of Tony Marlow and Teresa Gorman.

Meanwhile, the far more numerous people who were opposing Maastricht while accurately predicting its dire economic consequences were simply ignored. They were from the wrong party, and people might have listened to them rather than laughing at them.

Likewise, the people who advocated a Leave vote on the grounds that clearly swung the referendum considering where it was won, grounds that have the advantage of a factual basis rather than the hallucinations of the Licensed Leavers, are once again being treated as if they did not exist.

There are three possible reasons for this. One is to create an environment in which Parliament simply never passed the Brexit legislation. Do not rule that one out.

Another is bound up with the Conservative Party's very well-founded fear that it is going to lose between 10 and 20 seats to the Lib Dems in the Remainer heartlands of the South. It serves the Prime Minister's purposes to be seen to be "seeing off" the likes of Rees-Mogg.

And the third is that we are all being softened up for a second referendum, leading to a vote to Remain. "Look," we are all going to be told, "voting Leave again would be voting with them."

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