There is no doubt that the vote to leave the EU delivered a very serious kick up the backside to an arrogant establishment so convinced of its monopoly on truth and righteousness that it did not remotely expect that the referendum might show that a majority of the population held a different opinion.
The degree to which even now, “hard” remainers are refusing to come to terms with the result is quite staggering. A recent low was a piece by the Remainiac John Lubbock. Writing in the Independent, he had the audacity to claim that because the EU was founded with the intent of preventing a World War 3, “if you voted to leave the EU, don’t bother to wear a poppy.” The implication is quite clear. Leavers claim to honour the victims of war but are opposed to the very organisations which were set up to prevent war.
The Independent seems to have established an annual tradition of bashing Brexiteers around the time of Remembrance Day. Last year’s variation on the same theme by Robert Fisk was even worse. “The Entente Cordiale which sent my father to France is now trash beneath the high heels of Theresa May – yet this wretched woman dares to wear a poppy“, he wrote.
Barry Shearman, a Labour MP who has proved a bit of a troublesome individual over some recent Brexit votes, has brought out another odious side to the remainiacs. He recently claimed that “‘The truth is that when you look at who voted to remain, most of them were the better educated people in our country.” There is a very simple reply to this:- such a predominance of remain votes among university students is a damning indictment of our education system. Those who leave school at 18 are spared three years’ additional propaganda on top of the brainwashing they had already received at school and are thus more capable of independent thought. The Russell Group of Universities, once regarded as the leading further education institutions in the UK, is now among the worst when it comes to restricting freedom of speech, being plagued by no-platforming, safe space policies and many of the other forms of madness which are producing a generation of young people unfit to run a whelk stall, let alone the country. Thank goodness they won’t have to face the task of leaving the EU. They would be totally out of their depth. The current government, all educated before this nonsense ruined so many good universities, is making heavy enough weather of Brexit.
And there is no doubt that they will continue to face challenges, as this piece on the likely challenges to the EU (withdrawal) Bill warns us. However, I would like to make one point which needs to be made in the light of the many concerns I receive that a government led by erstwhile remainers will never deliver Brexit:- some of them have had second thoughts. These include Liz Truss, who said that the turning point for her was when the Treasury’s ‘dire’ predictions of life after the vote failed to materialise. William Hague, hasn’t had quite such a volte-face but said that if a second referendum was held, he would be more likely to vote leave because “you can’t keep changing your mind.”
In reality, while the majority of Tory MPs backed remain, the number of hard-core Remainiacs is actually quite small. There has been much debate about the degree to which Theresa May supported staying in the EU in last year’s campaign, but it is quite clear that the answer was “Not enough for David Cameron” as her contribution to the remain cause was very limited and only took place after quite considerable pressure, earning her the nickname “Submarine May”. After John Major’s bruising battle with the Maastricht rebels in 1992, the party desperately tried to avoid “banging on about Europe” with the resultant internal wrangling which inevitably would ensue. This meant that, especially since David Cameron became party leader in 2005, attempts were made to push the EU issue as much into the background as possible and outright withdrawalism was discouraged.
In the end, Cameron was unable to maintain this uneasy status quo. He conceded the referendum and the rest is history. His successor and her ministers are having to live with his legacy. It now matters little which side members of her government took in the referendum. The very survival of the Conservative party depends on delivering a successful Brexit. They must sink or swim together.