In a recent article for The Spectator, Alexander Chancellor expressed his displeasure at how Brexiteers have behaved in victory. As a Remainer who had “accepted the referendum result”, Chancellor had hoped that the Brexiteers would make better winners:
“How exciting it must have been for the Brexiteers to have won, how thrilling to have proved the pollsters wrong! But the extraordinary thing was that they didn’t seem very pleased at all. Instead of rejoicing as victors do, they behaved rather more as if they were the oppressed victims of some hidden injustice. And we, the minority who had lost, were identified as the oppressors. It was all topsy-turvy.”
“The perplexing question is why the victorious Leavers aren’t more joyful. Why are they so miserable and chippy? One explanation could be that they doubt that Brexit is going to be a success. Despite Mrs May’s professed confidence to the contrary, they may fear that our divorce from the EU will be acrimonious and end badly.”
Firstly, let me reassure Chancellor that Brexiteers are happy with the result!
However, it is probably fair to say that some Brexiteers have been nevertheless been a bit “chippy”.
What might explain this?
I don’t buy Chancellor’s suggestion that it’s because Brexiteers fear Brexit will end in failure. While outers realise it won’t be “plain sailing” I have yet to meet any who share Chancellor’s pessimism. Most think that despite initial difficulties, Britain will ultimately do better outside the EU. Hence why they voted leave!
If Brexiteers are more “chippy” than Chancellor would like, that is likely to be for the following reasons:
1) Many Remainers have specialised in insulting leave voters. Politicians like Sadiq Khan have contributed to the febrile atmosphere by branding the Leave Campaign “Project Hate”, while apparently remaining oblivious to their own hatred.
2) Brexiteers fear that some Remainers are attempting to subvert the result, particularly after the success of Gina Miller’s appeal against the government.
3) Many Brexiteers have refrained from public celebrations to avoid upsetting disappointed Remainers. Surely Chancellor doesn’t mean to complain about that?
Appearing on Question Time recently, Dia Chakravarty of the Taxpayer’s Alliance expressed concern about representation in the House of Commons:
“We hear a lot about ethnic minorities or women… being underrepresented in parliament. Well, let’s look at the composition of parliament at the moment. Over 50% of the population voted out; nearly 80% of our MPs voted to remain.”
“So while I’m all for parliament scrutinising the deal that’s put in front of us by the government – because let’s not forget a Prime Minister not so long ago put a shoddy deal in front of us and pretended it was a stunning victory – … I would be very, very wary of our politicians playing clever games and coming out of Brexit somewhere not delivering Brexit. That’s not going to be right.”
Someone tell the Eurocrats
In the run up to June 23rd, Jean-Claude Junker warned that if Britain voted to leave, Britons would become “deserters”, and that they would face “consequences”.
“It’s not a threat, but our relations will no longer be what they are today.”
Of course, “it’s not a threat, but” signifies the exact opposite of its literal meaning.
In an article for The Telegraph, Janet Daley asserts that the British will remain defiant in the face of threats from Eurocrats. She bases this on her understanding of the British from her perspective as a Brit of American origin, which is that:
“The British are brave to the point of perversity. Trying to bully them is entirely counterproductive.
They also have a sardonic sense of the ridiculous which… is incomprehensible to those who do not share it.”
Perhaps someone ought to gift the Eurocrats a subscription to The Telegraph…
Meanwhile, this blog’s response to Obama’s participation in the Remain Campaign was to produce a piece of satire: Britons await orders from US President. It exemplified that British sense of the ridiculous to which Daley alluded, as well as an unwillingness to be bossed about.
Perhaps the Eurocrats should subscribe to FTWC…