Watching the likes of public figures such as Rees-Mogg, Johnson, and some others, even after almost three years of the B-word, I have started to wonder just what drives them.


But, actually, we can ignore Boris A deFeffel J in this context, because anything and everything he does is about the ambition and advancement of B A deF J. If the issue at stake were, for example, to do with changing from driving on the right instead of the left, he would carefully weigh his options and come down on whichever side would give him most screen, radio and print time, and get all faux-passionate about that. He wouldn’t, and doesn’t, give a damn.

But what about Rees-M? Farage-Barrage? Liam Fox? Other exiters? What drives them? A genuine belief that the UK needs to move as far from Europe as possible and “take back our country”? Apropos that, would we really want to hand everything – or even anything – to the clearly incompetent cohort of politicians who disgrace the very name of the Mother of Parliaments? Not in my name.

I am not a blind fan of the European Commission, which really needs to have a look at itself and wind its neck in because it is the very essence of bureaucracy gone mad – but any such reforms will badly need the intervention of British ideas which can spring from the minds of our academics, our commentators, our senior civil servants. We need to do that from inside the tent, pissing out. Not from outside the tent, with Rees-M and his ilk pissing in.


Given the patent absurdity of the make-believe world favoured by exiters, in which a handful of people whose motivation is deeply suspect lied their faces off in the run-up to the 2016 referendum, what really caused them to tell those lies, wildly understate – actually ignore – the consequences of a “leave” result and equally wildly overstate the – actually nonexistsnt – benefits? Genuine concern for the welfare and well-being of the population of the UK? Genuine belief that we would be better off by leaving the EU? Genuine faith in the omniscience of the UK’s politicians?

I have never believed any of that, and no-one else should.


But that leaves me with the question. What is behind the nonsense peddled by leading exiters? I have thought about the possibility that they are simply super-patriots and tend to the jingoist which lives in the breasts of some of the English and Northern Irish. I looked carefully, again, at just who is in the exit camp, and decided that anyone motivated by true patriotism, with the good of the country at heart, would never press for our committing a form of national suicide. So, not patriotism then. Perhaps I should make room for those few who were and are sincere in their hatred of the EU, and don’t want bloody foreigners dictating the shape of our bananas and the size of our sheep. But – the few. The deluded few.

In passing, I heard Andrew Neil the other day, reminding us that of the 650 members of the House of Commons, probably 500 are “remainers” at heart and probably, in casting their personal votes in 2016, voted that way. So, perhaps there is a disconnect between Parliament and The People on the exit issue, just putting aside for the moment that Parliament (at least the Commons) is The People. How can this disconnect be?


Here’s a theory: whatever we think about MP’s and however badly they sometimes behave, they are, generally, just that much better educated than the great under-educated public and possibly, just possibly, of a higher intellectual caste. That being so, it would not be a surprise to discover that 500 out of 650 are far from being exiters. The problem is that no-one could ever prove this, because none of those who represent constituencies where the majority of voters opted to leave would dare to confess it. Their votes as individuals in elections and referendums are secret. But the way they vote in Parliament is glaringly public.

So, back to the fanatic leavers and their motivation, remembering that many of them pinned their dismal colours to the mast before the 2016 vote, and actually campaigned to leave – so we would have to dismiss the idea that they were doing what they thought their constituencies were going to do. They could not know. Again – leave out A B deF J. He was happy to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds until he decided which would give him better personal media coverage.

Frankly, I am confused about this motivation thing. Other than the usual drooling after publicity, which is the driving force behind so many who seek and acquire public office, I don’t know what to suggest.


But what about the 17.4 million who voted to leave? Were they all just sincere patriots? We can safely discard that notion, because they are the British equivalent of those who voted for trump. Tell them big lies, tell them often enough and loudly enough, as trump did, and you will have people whose clarity of thinking is not very well developed in the first place, believing everything. And if I am even slightly right in this assessment, why did 16.1 million people, drawn from the same pool of the public, vote to remain? Why did they not believe the lies? Why, if the lies were so successful, did the 2016 vote not result in a 75% vote in favour of leaving? Were remainers and leavers really so different as people? Not possible.


Of course, given what is happening now as we watch the House of Commons turn itself into a fractious nursery-school shouting match, it is perhaps not too hard to understand some MP’s behaving like ardent leavers whatever their personal beliefs. They love being MP’s. The best club in the world. The possibility, always there dangling, that they will be hauled out from the mob and given government jobs. So, now, they reflect the way the majority of their constituents voted in 2016 in order to protect their jobs as MP’s. If the majority in a given constituency voted to leave, and if the MP who represents them comes out as a remainer, he/she will be out on their arses at the next general election. If the majority voted to remain, the same thing, vice versa.


Are we ever going to get out of this exit mess? Only two ways are open. Either the EU 27 allow a long extension to the Article 50 timing, during which a second referendum is held, whatever the vote against it on Thursday 14th March, and a big majority votes to stay in the EU. Or Mrs Maybe manages to get a soft exit through Parliament, whereby politically the UK leaves the EU (somewhat mollifying the exiters) but continues in the Customs Union and Single Market, and complies with EU regulations voluntarily, along the lines of the situation in Norway. And then, in five years from now, applies to re-join the EU in full.  

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