The Telegraph’s front page today paraded the Conservative MPs who dare to defy the Brexit narrative like condemned men and women at a Soviet show trial. The term “mutineers” was deployed – along with dark hints that their perfidious stand was – well treasonous.
Since the EU referendum last June, the narrative in the Leave press has trod a similar path. Those who back Brexit are immediately assumed to be patriotic, those who oppose it – aren’t.
It’s a curious idea but one that has gained currency with those who tell us to “believe in Britain.” Most Remainers already do of course. That is why we oppose Brexit. We want the country to thrive, prosper, be well-regarded and view this ridiculous folly of wilful self- sabotage as an assault on the place we call home.
Oddly, many in the top ranks of the Brexit army don’t – call Britain home.
Take the Barclay brothers – owners of the Daily Telegraph which today denounced the mutineers. David and Frederick Barclay may have been born in Hammersmith, but they live in Monaco and Sark. They give their address as Avenue de Grande Bretagne, Monte Carlo and when once asked why, said that:
“(We) left the UK over 23 years ago for health reasons and not for tax reasons in any shape or form.”
Methinks they doth protest too much.
Billionaire Rupert Murdoch, whose stable of papers (The Times and Sunday Times excepted) fought the dirty end of the Brexit media war isn’t British, doesn’t live in Britain and is on record as saying that he objects to the EU because it won’t do his bidding.
The multi-millionaire owner of the Daily Mail, Jonathan Harmsworth, is a non dom.
Nigel Lawson, Chair of Vote Leave, loves Britain so much that he resides full time in a big house in – France. Leave EU Official bigwig Arron Banks lives for much of the year in Belize. His right hand man, Andy Wigmore, not only lives in Belize but is a Belizean citizen and diplomat who represented Belize at the Olympic Games. Andy loves Britain so much that he is no longer actually British.
Key Brexit pusher and financier Lord Ashcroft – also lives in Belize.
The official Vote Leave campaign was funded by Peter Cruddas who lives – in Monaco.
And this is before we even get to the Brexit talking heads – Louise Mensch lives in America. Steve Hilton – lives in California.
I could go on. And on.
This curious Brexiteer patriotism goes beyond merely living here. The self-appointed guardians of the flame of nationhood, whether they be the owner of the Express or the owners of the Mail have spent decades rubbishing Britain in the pages of their papers.
The ground troops are no better.
Farage might claim to be the UK’s top patriot but he has spent the last twenty years insisting Britain is a shit hole and the last two trying to kiss Donald Trump’s. Hardly a day goes by when the former UKIP leader isn’t popping up on American news networks to say how ghastly everything is, how the UK is being over-run by Islamic jihadists and politically correct liberals. At the slightest hint of a terror attack he is there on Fox talking dismissively of the country of his birth. Farage has hinted more than once that he might leave Britain and is on record as saying he will move abroad if Brexit goes badly. See also Katie Hopkins, George Galloway and any number of right wing pundits and radio phone in hosts.
How much of this hypocrisy are you willing to put up with Britain? When do you take a good look in the mirror and say “enough is enough.” These are plastic patriots. They aren’t interested in the prosperity and well-being of their homeland. They are too busy being concerned with their tax affairs, their media careers, their business interests and their tans. They have played you for a bunch of fools and whichever way Brexit goes they will most likely go untouched by the fall-out.
By contrast, the 15 Tory MPs singled out by Vote Leave and The Telegraph today have collectively served this country for decades. They have lived in Britain. Worked for Britain. Invested in Britain. And for the most part tried in their own ways to make it a better place. Oh – and paid taxes HERE. Perhaps Banks and the Barclay brothers should reflect on that – and even take a leaf out of their book – before branding them treacherous.