Today is a day that will go down in history of one of Britain’s finest hours: Brexit Day.
Well that was the plan, at any rate.
March 29th was a date which quickened the pulses of every Brexiteer. It was the one we’d marked in our diaries for all the amazing parties we planned to throw to celebrate our newfound independence from the European superstate; the moment when — to borrow the phrase of Brexiteer Dan Hannan — we finally managed to unshackle ourselves from the corpse.
That’s because under the terms voted for by parliament, March 29th was officially the date when the June 2016 referendum vote would be honoured and Britain would formally leave the European Union.
But guess what…
We’re not leaving, after all.
God knows what’s going to happen next. I certainly don’t. Anyone who pretends he does is deluded.
Now that she has said she is going, people have started to say nice things about Theresa May.
Here, doing an absolutely heroic job in the Daily Mail, is my friend Sarah Vine:
Mrs May is, of course, the daughter of a vicar — and there is something of the scriptures about her decision to make the ultimate sacrifice. It speaks of a deep sense of conviction, of a solid moral compass not often glimpsed in public life.
I certainly can’t remember a time when a political leader displayed such courage and selfless sense of duty. Not despite being a woman, but — I suspect — because of it.
And here is probably the best political commentator in the business, the Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh:
This morning I had a taste of Britain at its best when I joined about 100 Brexiteers on a leg of the ‘March to Leave’ from Sunderland in the North East of England down to London.
The march has come in for a lot of stick from spiteful Remainer types who have derided everything from the small numbers involved (just a hardcore of 50 marchers, joined each morning by about another 50 day marchers) to the apparently shocking scandal that Nigel Farage hasn’t walked the whole way and that the core marchers were charged a £50 registration fee to participate.
So I thought I’d pop along for a six-mile stretch of the 250-mile journey to show a bit of solidarity, soak up the atmosphere and to discover whether it really has been, as the Remainer propagandists have insisted, a damp squib.
One by one the last true blue Tory diehards are caving on Brexit. Even Jacob Rees-Mogg now concedes that the time has come to give up the fight and accept that Theresa May’s glitter-dipped turd of a Withdrawal Agreement is still preferable to no Brexit at all. So isn’t that a sign that we should all bow to the inevitable and accept that we’re beaten? It’s not our fault. We fought a good fight. But parliament has so rigged it that we cannot possibly win. Time to accept defeat with a grace that has been wholly lacking among our unscrupulous, shrill, devious adversaries, right?
When you’re winning a game of chess and your opponent decides to stop you by petulantly picking up the board and flinging all the pieces into the air, is that really the signal that you’ve lost? Of course it isn’t. It’s a sign that the gloves are off and that in this escalated conflict the rules of chess no longer apply.
We’ve all seen the war movies so we all know how exactly how to behave when your bedraggled, weary party of troops is retreating from the implacable, merciless enemy and your injured leg can take you no further. “Lads, it’s no good. I can’t go on,” you say, resisting all offers from your shattered comrades to carry you.
“No. I’ll only hold you up,” you insist. “Just leave me here with the Bren and a couple of grenades. You go on! I’ll take as many of the bastards with me as I can.”
The reason scenes like that resonate with us and often move us to tears of sadness mixed with admiration and pride is because most of us instinctively understand the nobility of self-sacrifice in extremis. Nobody wants to be the one who gets left behind. But when push comes to shove, some sort of atavistic impulse kicks in: that heroic willingness we have to take a hit for the team because ultimately, the survival of the herd, of our mates, of our people, of our nation must take priority over our own selfish interests.
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” (Attributed to Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Every day our age seems to be getting madder and madder, in defiance of the notion that man is a rational creature and of the even more risible Whiggish narrative that we’re on a path of continual progress.
I’ll give you some examples: the murder of women’s sport by the transgender agenda; the rejection of nuclear power in favour of renewables; HS2; the possible prosecution of the Bloody Sunday paratroopers; the articles celebrating Shamima Begum as a victim; the idea that only gay actors should play gay characters; the government’s wilful rejection of the biggest popular mandate in British history.
I could go on, as I’m sure could you, but I won’t because it’s too depressing. Instead, I want to tell you about a marvellous book, now celebrating its 50th anniversary but still hugely fresh, perceptive and readable, which will help you put all these horrors into perspective and teach you to be more philosophical: Christopher Booker’s 1969 classic The Neophiliacs.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has no intention of delivering meaningful Brexit; her June 2018 Withdrawal Agreement was drafted secretly in collusion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a view to keeping as many European Union (EU) laws and institutions as possible; May’s and Merkel’s ultimate game plan is for Britain to re-join the EU in full some time after the next general election….
These are the allegations of an extraordinary memo currently being circulated feverishly on social media.
To me, it smacks of a conspiracy theory to rank with those stories about the clandestine Establishment plot to murder Princess Diana.
But the fact that people seem ready to believe it speaks volumes about the state of distrust between May’s Remainer political establishment and the Brexit voting electorate. May and her Civil Servants have handled Brexit so very, very badly that for some Brexiteers the only plausible explanation is not cock-up but outright treachery.
The excellent Dominic Frisby has written a Brexit song which I think you all might enjoy. As its title – 17 Million F*ck Offs – hints, it contains a certain amount of bad language.
But as you’ll quickly appreciate, the robust use of Anglo-Saxon expletives is entirely artistically justified. It captures perfectly how more than 17 million British people – 17.4 million to be precise – felt about the prospects of remaining shackled to the European Union.
To save Brexit, Theresa May must resign as Prime Minister. To save the Conservative party, Theresa May must resign as Prime Minister.
To save Britain, Theresa May must resign as Prime Minister.
Everyone understands this. It’s the simple solution to all our problems. But there’s just one wrinkle in the ointment. Can you guess what it is?
Theresa May does not want to resign as Prime Minister.
But really at this stage it’s our only hope. Over the next few days, Britain is in danger of signing what future historians will surely recognise as the worst deal in history.
The “deal” — as was always the intention of the European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier — is so bad that most of the people who voted Leave will wish they had never bothered because, amazingly, it will actually leave Britain worse off than if it had remained a member of the EU.