It’s official: if you voted Leave it’s because you’re thick. Following the result, the BBC is in deepest mourning and The Guardian has put black armbands around its spelling mistakes. A BBC “expert,” armed with his charts and spread-sheets, came on to tell us that those who voted Leave tended to be “the less educated.” You could see by his contemptuous stare that he meant we’re thick. Well, 56.2% of Darlington folk voted Leave so, by what the man from the Beeb said, that means the majority of its inhabitants must be thick. I suppose you can comfort yourselves by contemplating the fact that in Hartlepool, where 69.6% voted Leave, the population must be even thicker.
But if it’s thickies who voted Leave, are they saying that Eton and Oxbridge educated, Greek and Latin scholar, eminent columnist and author Boris Johnson is thick? Or that Michael Gove is thick? Or Dr Simon Heffer, Dr John Redwood, Professor Roger Scruton and a score more Leavers I can think of, are all “the less educated”? Of course not. It was just a jibe by a BBC apparatchik full of disappointment and bile. But, according to these professional Europhiles, the Leavers among us are not only thick but we’re also past it – or, as the man put it, “the more elderly.” I live in Eastbourne where we voted convincingly for Leave, so we have the double honour of being both thick and past it in the eyes of the chattering classes
Well, I can’t deny that I’m getting on a bit and well-stricken in years, but what is thick about voting to get out of the rotten EU? Polly Toynbee, Joan Bakewell, J.K. Rowling and all the posh lefties and luvvies you can think of say the Leave vote shows that we have no idealism and no feeling for democracy. But from where I’m sitting in my specially-adapted old codger’s armchair in the dunce’s corner, I should like to ask where’s the idealism or the democracy in voting Remain – that is voting to be ruled by an alien, corrupt, remote and unaccountable bureaucracy constituted of unelected Commissioners?
These intelligent people in the BBC and at The Guardian say that hidebound reactionaries like me have surrendered the broader vision and settled for being little Englanders. This is simply a lie. The EU is not a loving European family operating a glorious free market; it is a customs union whose outrageously high system of tariffs prevents us from trading with the rest of the world. The Remainers say our leaving will damage our exports and our economy generally. This is another lie, for we already buy more from the EU than we sell them. Besides, trade is about mutual interests. Is anyone foolish enough to imagine that, following our decision to leave, the Germans will stop selling us their fine motor cars and washing machines, that the cash-strapped Greeks will no longer export their olive oil and the Italians their tomatoes? They would be mad not to.
The EU is not a happy family of nations. It is an economic straitjacket governed by Germany which impoverishes the countries of southern Europe by obliging them to use the Euro, the same currency, as the industrialised and technologically more advanced north. What Bismarck failed to achieve by force of arms in 1870, the Kaiser in 1914 and Hitler in 1939, Angela Merkel has accomplished without firing a shot. In effect, the EU is the Fourth Reich.
Call me old and thick if you like, but I know I’m better off out.
By Rev Peter Mullen. Used with permission