Monday, 10 October 2016


The new-enlightenment fizzled out in June when old Britain won. Just what this really means became clearer at the Conservative Party Conference. This is not just about throwing up two fingers to Europe; it’s about dismantling new, liberal, cosmopolitan Britain and creating a new Brand. The Millwall FC of Nations - remember Millwall’s chant “nobody likes us and we don’t care”.

Old Britain hankers after BOAC, the Austin Allegro, coal mines, bri-nylon and Rule Britannia. And because we love the idea of democracy more than we love rationality we are all reluctantly and silently getting on with it, playing the ball where it lies and tacitly accepting a long period of decline and disgruntlement.

Because we are homo sapiens (well, most of us are  but there are an awful lot of neanderthals around too) we are adaptable, crafty and resourceful. Yes of course we’ll find opportunities but if the landscape against which this smart thinking occurs is as disagreeable to many of us, as seems increasingly possible, the will to win for Britain seems less likely to burgeon.

In the midst of this a public row between Rudd and Rudd - Sister Amber Rudd Home Secretary and her smarter, older brother Roland Rudd founder of Finsbury PR is thrilling. Here’s what Roland said:
In a democracy there’s always a spectrum of views. Those of us who want a sensible Brexit, who want Britain to remain a beacon of tolerance and who find the denigration of non-British workers appalling have a duty to speak out”… and he added …”Leaving the EU is probably the biggest event since the Second World War.

When I look at Amber I remember Roy Jenkins as Home Secretary - when our leading politicians (even some Conservatives) were progressive champions of liberalism and creating a New Britain.  I have a mischievous desire to extrapolate the nonsense that she speaks to a declaration that foreign names like PrĂȘt a Manger, La Gavroche, Credit Suisse must be translated in future.

 “The Best of British” - overdone beef and warm beer - lovely - is also on many lips together with dark warnings about failing to be patriotic enough. Remember Dr Johnson saying “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. He was right.

And talking of scoundrels.

Here are three of my least favourite men. The chaps to get a deal, win business and build Brand Britain.  “Haaanngg on!!!” as Mr Tumble my grand daughter’s favourite TV character splutters in despair.  Davis, Fox and Boris (another Johnson) - the slipperiest trio in living political memory. Philip Collins quoting Chamberlain’s comment on Disraeli says of Boris: “a man who never tells the truth except by accident.

So am I depressed? No. This will not last. Old Labour and Old Tory will be replaced by a new generation of liberal, enlightened and resourceful voters. Just keep on talking about all this and laughing at their idiotic lumbering backwards.

It makes Monty Python look quite serious.


James Arnold-Baker said...

The ruddy Rudds are only a prominent sample of the deep splits that this wholly unnecessary referendum has cut right across Britain. The older generation versus the younger, parents versus children, working class versus university educated, Scots, Irish and Londoners versus the rest, europeans versus xenophobes....
As Roland Rudd so rightly put it, this is the most important event since the end of WW2. And unlike WW2,the country has been set up so as to pull in every direction - no way to win a war.

Ian Wilson said...

My view of this sorry situation is simple, possibly simplistic. Many years of austerity has caused failing infrastructure without any compensating benefits. Politicians (including some who should have known better) thought it expedient to blame outsiders. The electorate believed them. Leaving the EU will make things worse, at least for the next several years, generating further frustration and extremism.

Nick Fitzherbert said...

I have never quite been able to get my mind around Amber Rudd. I don't suppose it's ever going to happen, but I would love an insight from her ex-husband - none other than AA Gill! The only way I have been able to get my mind around Hard Brexiteers is to imagine that they are the sort of people who would quite like to get India back as well.