Where are the good Germans?

One of the least attractive aspects of the Brexit debacle is the way in which Brexiters have prayed in aid the (fairly) recent history of this country.

Perhaps the most egregious example is this tweet from Andrea Jenkyns

It is better to go down fighting and honouring the democratic decision of our British people. Then to be long remembered for waving a white flag and surrendering to EU demands. All Brexiteers in Gov and on the backbenches its time to #StandUp4Brexit and finally #ChuckChequers.

She is not, of course, alone in all this fighting talk. As Christopher Grey notes in his recent article in Prospect, How Brexit got metaphorical,

Indeed, mentioning the war—or a war—is almost compulsory. For Brexiters, Dunkirk—that strangely ambivalent moment of defeat and triumph—has pride of place, and their leaders also yearn for a fight on the beaches, if only to dust down their dodgy impersonations of Churchill.

and Nigel Farage is never more at home than when posing in front of a poster showing spitfires in the blue skies over the Weald.

There is a risk in looking for similar analogies. But one thing strikes me: Theresa May’s shtick is that she is only following orders.

In doing so, not only has she abnegated all responsibility for the state we are in, but far from being the woman of principle that she likes to portray herself as – and as she is held out to be by those who would wear her crown – her lack of imagination and blind insistence that the referendum vote is irreversible, because “the people spoke“ simply accelerates us towards the cliff edge.

She may not be the author of our misfortunes: he is holed up in a shepherd’s hut somewhere in Oxfordshire. Nonetheless, she has been his willing accomplice.

And the ‘Good Germans’?

In a Tory party desperate to cling to office, there are very few.

In quite what together?

It is hard to feel sorry for our Prime Minister – all that coaching (if the Guardian is to be believed) and still skewered by Robert Jay.

The Guardian report captures the moment. But what I enjoyed most was learning that Rebekah Brooks texted:

I am so rooting for you tomorrow not just as proud friend but because professionally we’re definitely in this together!

How very prescient. One of those words I am surprised that counsel didn’t use.

Another gimmick

Although James Forsyth in Coffee House had a point on Friday when he  asked What on earth were the Tories thinking?, the comments on Michael White’s post Not Smart in the Guardian’s Politics Blog are instructive (those on Forsyth’s post somewhat more predictable). For example, and from Not Smart:

“On some levels, he has a point. How are these children going to be selected? Is it just going to be the top students who go, or will it be a lottery. I think it should be open to all ages (and classes) and not just sixth-formers. And what about genocide happening today in Darfur? Wouldn’t the money be better spent on providing aid to victims suffering now?”


He’s right though. Teach children properly about what happened rather than sending a couple on a tourist trip. But effective teaching doesn’t get so many headlines.

And 48 hours on, there are new headlines and new stories.