James Delingpole

To believe in Brexit, you have to be an oik like me or Michael Gove

12 March 2016

9:00 AM

12 March 2016

9:00 AM

If you need to know how properly posh you are there’s a very simple test: are you pro- or anti-Brexit?

Until the European referendum campaign got going, I thought it was a no–brainer which side all smart friends would take. They’d be for ‘out’, obviously, for a number of reasons: healthy suspicion of foreigners, ingrained national pride, unwillingness to be ruled by Germans having so recently won family DSOs defeating them, and so on.

What I also factored in is that these people aren’t stupid. I’m not talking about Tim Nice-But-Dims here. I mean distinguished parliamentarians, captains of industry, City whiz-kids, high-level professionals: the kind of people who read the small print, sift the evidence and take a considered view. I’ve yet to hear a single argument in favour of the EU that stands up to the most cursory scrutiny. Hence my confidence that these clever, talented, brilliant thinkers would know which way to go. The Gove way; the Boris way. How could they not?

So there I was at dinner the other evening with a delightful, erudite Old Etonian friend of mine. Let us call him ‘Kevin’ (not his real name). Kevin has an accent so deliciously plummy that if you could somehow tin it and sell it to the Chinese you’d become a billionaire. He is immensely cultured, civilised, wise and sensitive. I agree with him on everything, so naturally, when I asked him his views on Brexit and he launched into his eloquent diatribe on why he believed — and long had done — that the EU was the Abomination of Desolation, I listened in a state of near-ecstasy.

Kevin’s beautifully modulated speech went on for at least ten minutes. (There was hardly a shortage of material.) Then, suddenly, something weird happened. About 30 seconds before the end, Kevin shifted tack, and explained (or actually, hardly explained at all) that for all these reasons the only logical position was for Britain to remain in EU. Something to do with Europe being a lovely place and our having a moral duty to help it set the tone, I think.

Well I wish Kevin were the exception, but this has not been my experience. Most of my similarly rarefied friends turn out to be un-apologetic ‘remainers’. For further evidence of this, see also Sir Nicholas -Soames — who recently assured us that voting to remain is what his grandfather Winston Churchill would have done; Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, who promoted his Europhile views in the letters pages of the Financial Times via a high-minded personal attack on Boris Johnson; and those previously Eurosceptic Conservative MPs who have decided, on second thoughts, to vote with the Prime Minister: a significantly higher proportion of them were privately educated than among the Tories campaigning for ‘leave’, who tend to be of a more below-the-salt grammar, state or minor-minor independent school persuasion, such as Chris Grayling, Steve Baker and, of course, Michael ‘Oiky’ Gove.


Yes, I concede the rule is not absolute. Theresa Villiers is hardly a pleb; John Whittingdale is a Wykehamist; and Boris Johnson is famously an OE. But the key thing about Boris is the kind of Etonian he is: not a born-in-the-purple type like Cameron but a Colleger, chosen for his intellect rather than his money and poshness, and therefore a bit of an outsider. More so, of course, Gove, who — by some accounts — hasn’t always been treated with the total love and respect he deserved from Dave’s Notting Hill set, on account of his early personal tragedy in not having been to ‘School’.

What does all this tell us about snobbery and Tory politics? Quite a depressing bit, I’ve begun to realise. You can see much the same sort of thing going on in the Thatcher era. Who were her greatest loyalists, the ones most in tune with her radical programme? Why, they were grammar-school types with slightly suspect accents, such as Robin Harris and Norman Tebbit — not the plummy-voiced grandees such as Heseltine et al, who were the ones who eventually did for her.

This is also true, I think, of the upper social echelons’ attitude towards Nigel Farage. It’s not that they disagree with much of what he says: how could they, when he’s so refreshingly candid and reactionary and un-PC? But they’ve persuaded themselves that, like Ukip, he’s just a bit too spivvy and downmarket to deserve their open affiliation. This enables them to have their cake and eat it: privately enjoying his every home truth but never being tainted by that awkward, embarrassed feeling which tends to accompany frankly expressed views on matters like immigration.

Am I suggesting that the upper orders are a slippery, disingenuous, morally cowardly bunch? Yes I am, I fear. I first detected it at Oxford and I’ve noticed it very much in my career since as increasingly I’ve written about politics. For a lot of my smarter friends, it’s all incredibly entertaining and outspoken and they love me dearly for it (as I love them dearly back) — but it means they can never take me seriously as a thinker. I’m just too out-there. I’m insufficiently pragmatic. I just don’t get how the real world works.

The reason posh people are so overwhelmingly in favour of staying in the EU has nothing to do with the arguments for that position (of which there are few, if any). It’s more an instinctive, self-preservational, class-complacent thing. When you’re at the top of the pecking order, of course you’re going to be wary of anything that threatens to rock the boat. Even if you believe in it intellectually, it’s just too much of risk. You have everything to gain by keeping the status quo; too much to lose from its overthrow.


 

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Show comments
  • Jeffrey Peel

    Wonderfully accurate analysis. It’s very much about old elites versus new intellect.

    • nouveaulite

      Old elites vs new intellect, would this require the Tory party to restructure? They aren’t. The 22 to die? It isn’t. The right to split? Pull the other one.

    • Pip

      Many of the ‘old elite’ are destined for Jail or worse.

      • drumroll please

        Perhaps, perhaps not. One thing is certain: the new intellectual right, whatever that is nowadays, are not losing any sleep over it, and they are certainly not splitting, not over chicken feed as is this EU kerfuffle.

    • TheLiberalArms

      Interesting piece on the likely result of Brexit on the UK http://youth4inuk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/the-eu-promotes-peace-and-liberal.html

      • NoAitchInAitch

        Funny, you look at the liberal arms profile, been commenting for the last 14 days, prior to that comments were 2 years ago.
        Toryboy or EU?

      • Rhoda Klapp

        How many times in how many places are you going to plug that link? Are you paid to do so or do you stand to get some other personal gain?

  • misomiso

    +1

    I dearly hope we win.

  • Michael Lane

    The give away for me was the letter from a QC in last week’s Spectator that the denial of Freedom by leaving the EU for his children to live and work anywhere in the EU was not a price worth paying. How many of these posh people have their second French summer homes? How many like the idea of being a European and travelling freely and they like idea that they can just uproot and go and live in Italy. For this they are prepared to accept a loss of Democracy. I am not.

    • dcomplex

      You see it also in the people who whinge and whinge about their holidays in Spain getting pricier even when the EU is putting a decent job out of reach for C2DE.

    • People with money and even those with only a few bob have been able to ‘uproot’ and live across Europe (and even the Middle East) long before the EU Project was conceived. And didn’t Ryanair say prices wouldn’t be affected? Meaning they could still swan off every weekend though might need additional ID – which, given the ‘increased security’ we are blessed with courtesy of Mutti Merkel, may not be such a bad thing.

    • joames

      Travel will remain wide open.

      Working less so.

      Benefits, much less so.

      Your friends will be able to have their Italian Villas without fuss.

  • Garlands

    James,

    You always ‘hit the spot.’
    As is so often shown to be the case, many of the elite are not capable of
    reasoning, they have great argument but little ability to realise the futility of it,
    they are too much in love with their own rhetoric.
    I only hope that there will be enough of us ‘oicks’ who will vote out.

  • Phillip2

    The key is that there are no arguments in favour of the EU, that stand up to the most cursory scrutiny. Unfortunately there are too many elitists and idiots who ignore the arguments.

  • bufo75

    I do hope that this piece gets the airing it deserves.
    We ARE being sold out by “The Elite” !

  • Adam Jacobs

    Boris and Gove aren’t posh. LOL. Obviously we understand different things by the word posh.

    • The Laughing Cavalier

      Neither is Cameron.

  • Chrissurfing

    ‘Oiks’ like James Mark Court Delingpole? The Malvern College and Christ Church alumnus? Satirical indeed.

    • goodsoldier

      The exceptions to the rule are the honourable ones This is so rare among snooty Toffs and snooty plebs like Corbyn, Caroline Lucas and Monbiat.

      • Sanctimony

        Monbiot….

  • Liberty

    Really, staying in the EU is not staying with the status quo. The risks of staying are at least as great as leaving and far worse.

    Euro dysfunction will lead to more central control of economies. The UK being outside the EZ means more flexible economic policy thus more jobs and prosperity so we will remain a magnet – and a soft touch for bailing out the EZ. The idea that being out of the EZ insulates us from the woes of the EZ is false.

    Massive, uncontrolled immigration to the EU will lead to massive numbers of new EU citizens [little pretence of national citizens, they are al EU citizens now] that can then move to the UK at will adding to the vast, unknown, uncontrolled immigration we have now. This is a huge source of strain on our infrastructure that cannot be planned or managed effectively because we do not know nor are in control of demand.

    We have very limited democracy via the Parliament. The UK government has just 4% of the votes so unless we get an unrealistic number of allies for anything we are powerless.

    And the EU parliament cannot propose law, only the Commission can do that and that is an unelected bureaucracy. The Parliament can only overturn or modify it with a qualified majority leaving the Commission to present it again, and again with tweaks until it is passed. The idea that we are at the centre f things and retain influence is false.

    Any agreement, deal, etc like the one just agreed by Cameron has to pass the ECJ that decides whether it is compatible with the constitution, and their word is final.

    And if we do stay, the EU Commission can make any law it wishes to undermine Westminster, extend the EU powers as it wishes and we would be helpless to prevent it.

    But leaving means our elected government making laws, managing infrastructure, immigration, the economy and responding according to UK needs to changes in the world. It is is unpredictable but no less so than staying in – but we will be able to respond flexibly to it in our own interests which is a massive advantage.

  • Alison H

    Yes, I was only explaining to my daughters the other day that the reason Grandad wants to ‘remain’ is because having got into Cambridge more than half a century ago, he believes himself to be a member of the kind of elite who have a God given right to rule over others. He has no idea how the EU works and any arguments are lost in his failing short term memory, all that remains is the desire to ‘remain’ as part of the elite he imagines he joined.

    • ill-liberal

      Any chance of offing him before the vote ?? I’m considering it with my ‘in’ laws.

      • Alison H

        No, blood is thicker than water. He’s my father not my father in law.

  • SonOfaGun

    Not so much posh as a member of the spiv class.

  • SonOfaGun

    Neocohenservatism is in the descendency. Parties are departing the middle, Like OldNewOld Labour, the Conservatives have become TradNeoTrad Conservatives.

    • Flintshire Ian

      Is “neocohenservatism” the Jewish version?

      • dcomplex

        You’re talking to an antisemite. “Neocohenservatism” is to neoconservatism as “Jewish bolshevism” is to bolshevism.

        • Flintshire Ian

          I assumed it was a typo and I was trying (perhaps wrongly) to be funny.

          • dcomplex

            No, the antisemites today like to say that neoconservatism is a Jewish conspiracy for world domination by Israel.

    • dcomplex

      Neoconservatism wasn’t a Jewish conspiracy. It was the misapprehension that you can free people who don’t want to be free and that you can charm your enemies without crushing their will to resist. It was the idea that the successes of the Soviet Union in spreading socialism could be replicated for spreading democracy.

      Best of intentions, worst of results. The correct answer is the return to Empire and the rule by Viceroy, to beat the fight out of the primitives until they can be trusted to rule themselves.

  • It’s depressing how many people who should know better are planning to vote in. I only hope something shakes them out of their complacency between now and polling day, or that a sufficient majority of other, less intractable people make up their minds to leave

    • Frank

      Perhaps they need more immigration enrichment for their ladies to “get” it? Talking of which, one hopes that they are nevertheless switching their savings out of pensions into something safer as old Osborne is going to rape pension pots post June 2016, if he hasn’t been sacked the day after the referendum!!

  • Jingleballix

    Soames is a f***** disgrace.

  • davidshort10

    All senior politicians want to stay in. They stand the chance of getting some overpaid, underworked sinecure in the bureaucracy. Would Kinnock ever have been appointed to a high office such as an EU Commissioner based on his third class degree from an obscure university? He would have been some lowly clerk in other circumstances.

    • Migru Ghee

      I believe you are right, thirty years on Britain still suffers from a skills shortage. Will it ever be addressed in an appropriate manner?

      • Lawrence James.

        Not until egailtarianism is replaced by learning in our educational system.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Shock, horror, Nigel wears a coat with velvet lapels like Arfur Daley. Not the sort of thing that the Tory grandees would want to associate with.

    • logdon

      The old-time poshees around here, and there are quite a few, wear them with pink chinos and Churches brogues.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Pink?!

        • logdon

          Yep.

          Their version of the East Coast preppy Nantucket Reds which fade in time to a pinkish shade.

          Amazingly, on them it looks perfectly acceptable as they alight the Range Rover.

          Try this

          https://www.cordings.co.uk/

        • polidorisghost

          Well you live and learn.
          Actually I read somewhere that up until the 19th C, pink was for boys and blue was for girls.
          Wouldn’t have suited me – can’t speak for you.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Pink for boys eh? I don’t believe it wouldn’t have suited you. Very fetching.

          • polidorisghost

            Why thankyou.
            Maybe I’ll do it then

          • Damaris Tighe

            Oi. I was being nice.

          • polidorisghost

            I know!

      • Conway

        Well polished brogues, I hope!

        • logdon

          I think the ‘town visit ‘ brogues are.

          As for the rest the boots are authentically muddy!

    • jamesdelingpole

      I’m not sure this point stands, Damaris. It’s called a covert coat – traditionally it does have a velvet collar and is perfectly pukka, worn especially at events like the Gold Cup.

      • Damaris Tighe

        You can see I don’t mix in rarified circles 😉

        • jamesdelingpole

          My serious worry about this new world we live in is just how few people know this kind of stuff any more.

          • logdon

            I agree.

            When I was younger I’d gaze into Cordings window at those objects of sartorial desire.

            Timeless English clothing. I still love it.

            https://www.cordings.co.uk/

            Golsworthy’s in Hay-on-Wye is also pretty good.

          • eat your greens

            I prefer the outstanding quality of Bruar clothing. Leftards may choose any colour corduroy under the rainbow. Heaven.

          • logdon

            These are not lefties. Far from it. Landowning people with decades of heritage.

            Never heard of Bruar. Is it German?

  • MrBishi

    The only thing worse than staying in the EU would be to leave.
    Would you really want to be on the same side as the group that drags into the debate a 90 year old lady who is not allowed to speak on the subject?

    • jeffersonian

      ‘The only thing worse than staying in the EU would be to leave.’

      Spoken like a true bird-brain. Quack!

      • MrBishi

        If you can make one heap of the wealth,
        Of each and every British worker,
        And risk it all on leaving the EU
        And lose, and turn your back on their losses
        And never breathe a word about their loss:
        If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
        To serve your turn long after they are gone,
        And so hold on when there is nothing in you,
        Except the words “I am a Brexiter”.

        • terence patrick hewett

          Mr Kipling baked good cakes: you do not.

          • MrBishi

            Mrs Bishi does.

    • dcomplex

      Ah, yes, when Remain brought out Margaret Thatcher as an avid Europhile.

      • MrBishi

        The comforting thing about this blog is that it doesn’t matter how low a comment might be, one can be assured that someone here will support it.

        • jeffersonian

          Yours is a case in point.

          • MrBishi

            Oh, I don’t think so.

    • Damian Hurts

      What, the 90 year old lady heading the game is not allowed to comment publicly, only in private? Is she under house arrest?

      • MrBishi

        Are their no depths that you will not sink to?

        • SalmondFishing

          And sang sue the queen.
          I’ll go with the suggestion of house arrest.

    • logdon

      Is this a sentence palindrome?

      The only thing worse than leaving the EU is to stay.

      See, it works both ways.

      • MrBishi

        Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

        • logdon

          How about reverse imitation which is what I did?

          The insincerest form of flattery or the sincererist form of unflattery?

          • MrBishi

            Please stop, you need all of your intelligence to put one foot in front of the other.

          • logdon

            You’d know. Obviously humour or any form of intelligence is beyond you.

          • MrBishi

            Why do think I need to be told twice?

          • logdon

            Yawn. You’re getting boring.

            Bye.

          • logdon

            Obviously humour is not your strong point.

          • MrBishi

            The fact that I continue to frequent this blog rather blows a hole in your suggestion.

          • logdon

            Quite a non sequitur there. Silly boy.

          • MrBishi

            You don’t think a sense of humour is needed come here?

  • Claraver

    Champagne Socialists. Staying in the EU will make no difference to “them”.

    • William Brown

      Oh, believe me, it will – it will affect all of us.

      • Claraver

        Yes it will. But those of the ‘IN’ crowd will feel less of the totalitarian EU restrictions. As a nation it will be disastrous for England to stay in the EU. It reduces your citizens to mere drones. I hope you are able to retain your sovereignty. I am a New Zealand citizen living in Australia. Life is good here.

  • Temporary ID

    Ed Llewellyn, Dave’s jowly right-hand man, is rabidly europhile and an OE. (Despite being a tug, Boris Johnson is not an exception. He’s a europhile – he carefully says that it would be a mistake to “stay in an *unreformed* EU”.)

    • Frank

      No 10 Downing Street is now getting more and more weird. How can they sit and watch what is going on in Europe, ie the immigration crisis, the ECB tanking, etc, and yet nevertheless think staying in is a good idea? Baffling.

      • logdon

        That would indicate a logical ability to join dots marked ‘join me’.

      • rtj1211

        They are doing what they are told. The truly powerful interests know exactly what they are doing. It just doesn’t put the UK people or the peoples of Europe very high up the agenda…..

  • Spasticus Outisticus

    When people start talking about things being no-brainers, I begin to switch it off too.
    I am Spasticus.

  • William Brown

    I know!…

    I too have many friends of whom I will happily seek both counsel and company. To a man and to a woman they are all remainers. This dichotomy has even had me questioning the certainty of one’s own sanity.

    Nevertheless, I shall hold fast in the face of these charlatans, as in just a few years time, I am confident that the rueful pleasure of being able to say “I told you so” will be mine.

  • Frank

    James, you are funny. In my opinion, all of the remainers in the Cabinet come across as deeply lower middle class aspirational (that is why they are going to vote to stay in, all those happy memories of holidays in the Dordogne) – and that includes Cameron.
    As for Soames, he brays for England, but he is about as sharp as Diana Abbott. The City, the smart part anyway, it is all for Brexit. Perhaps you need to make some new friends?

    • Sanctimony

      Fatty Soames is creaking horribly at the seams and is patently a thrombo-in-waiting… he craves, more than anything else, before he is stricken with an earth-shattering explosion, a niche in history in a role that might permit him a mention alongside some of his illustrious forebears….

      The sly and odiously vulpine Cameron, realising that an endorsement from one of the greatest ever Englishmen, will enormously boost the ‘stay’ campaign, has offered the Mr Creosote of the Commons a heavyweight cabinet post if he keeps parroting the fact that his grandfather would have been in favour of remaining within the Brussels cesspit.

      Sir Winston Churchill would never have tugged his non-existent forelock in deference to that alcoholic tinpot dictator, Jean-Claude Juncker from that great world power of Luxembourg….

      • Leon Wolfeson

        Your fantasies roll on.

        Churchill wanted to merge Britain and France.

        • Sanctimony

          But not Luxembourg, Birdbrain !

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Your talking to yourself here is odd.
            And ignores my point, Mr. Birdbrain.

          • Sanctimony

            Do you realise that we are being dictated to by the tinpot ruler of a Duchy with fewer that half-a-million citizens and an area of less than one thousand square miles.

            This wretch, J-C Juncker, is a drunkard who pours Cognac on his muesli and revels in dictating to once sovereign nations on the European mainland who in the not too distant past have had their nationhood and freedom saved by the UK, the USA and… dare I say it… Russia…

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Mr. J-C Clunker, your fantasies are odd. Very odd.

            As you dare to mention your employers, one of the two major threats to Britain today.

  • Ed  

    Two comments. (a) I’ve met quite a number of people over the years who are both very smart, and wrong, at the same time. It’s shockingly common. I think they get caught up in the circles of their own brilliant reasoning, and lose sight of the obvious, in a forest/trees sort of way. (b) Remember how many of the right people thought, all through the 1930s, that Churchill was somewhere between a loon and a saboteur, for all his noise about the re-arming Germans. Everyone who was anyone could see that he was quite wrong, and nothing but a troublemaker, up until the moment that he was right. It was shockingly common then, and still is today. Nothing’s really changed.

    • Hermine Funkington-Rumpelstilz

      I don’t remember the 1930s, no, so I will have to take your word for it.

      • Ed  

        You could read up on it. I hear there’s a book or two. The odd documentary on Youtube?

        • Hermine Funkington-Rumpelstilz

          Apologies for insisting, Ed. I come from a good family and have enjoyed good parenting. My great-grandfather was a headmaster at the time. I don’t need unverified youtube sources to tell me anything.

          • Ed  

            Then you’re obviously so well educated that you won’t need personal memories to have an understanding of those events, either. A lot of “top people” were both smart and wrong at the time. Often, they still are. It’s very frequent.

      • logdon

        Are you funking illiterate? Or funking what?

        • Itinerant

          “funking illiterate”
          Like Sly and the Phamily Stone or Jaims Broin?

          • logdon

            That takes me back. JB’s guitarist, Jimmy Nolan invented a whole new style of playing. Chicken scratch.

            Instantly recognisable and funking perfect.

    • rtj1211

      Thing is, the ‘people who are something’ are actually mainly interested in power. They don’t care what the lines they have to read are, only that it is they and not others who read them. The Communists in the USSR transposed into capitalists in the New Russia. They did it seamlessly. Fervent ‘only carbon dioxide causes global warming’ fanatics are happily transposing into different kinds of ‘climate scientists’ – they go where the grant money goes.

      Most of these people aren’t conviction thinkers – they are good at reading the way the wind is blowing after all.

      It’s really not very surprising that people ‘get it wrong’. They don’t actually analyse things for themselves, they ask which position will keep them in power most effectively.

    • Lawrence James.

      Antipathy towards Churchill stemmed from his misjudgments over India, and, later, his backing for Edward VIII. Re-armament got underway towards the end of Baldwin’s ministry and gathered momentum under Chamberlain. You misinterpret the pacificist mood of the mid-thirties as representing public opinion throughout the decade. Churchill was more respected than you imagine.

      • Ed  

        Did he really misjudge India? Partition, which he opposed, killed 1 million people.

        • Lawrence James.

          I was thinking about his opposition to the Government of India act in the 1930s.

  • GAM

    A couple of contentions: firstly, two of Thatcher’s most fervent and longstanding supporters were toffs, namely Sir Peter Morrison and Lord Hesketh; secondly, not all the upper crust within the Tories are for remain, such as Richard Drax and Sir Edward Leigh.

  • Michael H Kenyon

    The patrician class (“everyone loves a Lord”) are frightfully entitled, and hate clever oiks. They’ve been pulling the ladder back up since the 1960s, whether Labour or Conservative. Wannabes ape the patricians and hope they will be accepted because of it. They won’t, any more than The Lady was.

  • Michael H Kenyon

    The patrician class (“everyone loves a Lord”) are frightfully entitled, and hate clever oiks. They’ve been pulling the ladder back up since the 1960s, whether Labour or Conservative. Wannabes ape the patricians and hope they will be accepted because of it. They won’t, any more than The Lady was.

  • Lothlórien

    “It’s not that they disagree with much of what he (Farage) says: how could they, when he’s so refreshingly candid and reactionary and un-PC? But they’ve persuaded themselves that, like Ukip, he’s just a bit too spivvy and downmarket to deserve their open affiliation”

    Ha ha – nail on head James – George Orwell saw much of the same thing in the upper social echelons of socialists:

    “If a real working man, a miner dirty from the pit, for instance, had suddenly walked into their midst, they would have been embarrassed, angry, and disgusted; some, I should think, would have fled holding their noses.”

    Left or right – they’re simply just elitist snobs.

    • Smedley Butler

      That’s pretty much it. Many years ago they had a gay marriage on the Archers. One of the grooms father Brian was not going to attend because he thought the whole business was a farce. Shortly before the service he went into the Bull and the landlord Sid Perks congratulated him for his stance. Hearing his own prejudices reflected back in an uneducated voice instantly changed his mind.

  • Freddythreepwood

    My parrot said something mildly critical of the EU whilst chewing on an apple core 5 years ago and now all h*ll has broken loose. The fourth ( or is it fifth?) estate has parked itself outside his cage, demanding to know if he is an Inner or an Outer. He’s actually a lazy bugger and more likely to be a Stayer, but he is annoyed because he thinks next door’s dog must have leaked it. It’s one of those snooty upper class poodles – French in origin and therefore not to be trusted. Anyway, he says he promised to stay out of politics, so they can all piss off.

    • Tom Sykes

      Grow up.

  • Freddythreepwood

    Ha, ha. I can write ‘bollocks’, I can write ‘bugger’, I can write ‘piss off’ – but I can’t write ‘h*ll’ – you know, that place where the devil lives.
    Go figure.

    • terence patrick hewett

      And you can’t quote the last line of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy:

      “L—d! said my mother, what is this story all about? —A C*ck and a B*ll said Yorick—And
      one of the best of its kind, I ever heard.”

  • Stasi-Fantasi

    I’ve genuinely only met one person in the last few months who’s on the remain side, and even he wasn’t particularly enthusiastic.

    As James says, there was not a single argument he could raise that held up, but he was undeterred: his last-ditch position was that we should stay in the EU ‘because it’s better than leaving’ and some vague notion of having solidarity with the continent.

    That was it – basically a faith-based position, bereft of any rationality.

    • drumroll please

      How many folks do you get to meet on a normal day…when they release you from your cell?

      • Stasi-Fantasi

        Well, aren’t you the intellectual little charmer? How did you know I was a monk?

  • Cobbett

    With this this deal with Turkey(and the invasion of Europe) I can’t honestly understand why anyone would vote to remain(you deserve to burn in hell)…as for Thatcherism, I cant say I’m a fan(so not quite right are you Poley?)

  • COGNITIO

    I think Delingpole has certainly touched on something here. There’s something very artificial about the pleadings of the Stay campaign. I’m sure most of the Pro EU elites don’t even believe some of the codswallop they come up with in support of staying in. What seems to motivate them primarily is the fear of changing the status quo. They have nice, protected, privileged lives and they don’t want to risk it. They are top of the pole and lack ambition or the appetite to risk change. However the majority of the Brexiters within the Conservative party are not the “swivel-eyed” little englanders which Cameron portrays. They are instead people who care passionately about the interests of this country and would put national interest above self interest. I’d trust the intentions of Gove and Duncan-Smith more than Cameron and Osborne any day of the week. I’m not sure Cameron and Osborne love their country in quite the same way as either they or I do,

    • Conway

      I don’t think Cameron and Osborne even like, let alone love, the UK. Their country is the EU.

      • Bob

        The EU is a gift to European many national politicians – for national leaders who support unpopular policy directions – say mass migration – they need not put themselves to the messy electoral test, whilst achieving their policy goals. Because the responsibility can be pushed to Brussels in public statements and the national leadership can advocate mild rhetorical protest or at best ambivalence, all the while actually just cruising past the electoral post avoiding messy reality of the great unwashed and their views.

    • Sanctimony

      You are correct… it’s all abut the careerist politicians desperate to maintain the status quo… and their feather-nested cushy lifestyles… Theresa May is the most self-serving of the whole putrid bunch ….

      • Bob

        Plus much like Tusk and Junker and so on – post national politics – there is ever so sweet extended career path in EU jobs and positions for those politicians who tow the EU party line.

  • Malcolm Stevas

    “Am I suggesting that the upper orders are a slippery, disingenuous, morally cowardly bunch?”
    Perhaps “decadent” is the appropriate term. Let them decay still further, sod them. Vote for Out.

  • jaz

    “they can never take me seriously as a thinker.” When you do some thinking be kind enough to let us know. We can look out for it.

  • ohforheavensake

    James: you went to Malvern College, and then to Christchurch, Oxford. Nigel went to Dulwich, and then to a job in the City.

    Nigel’s a posh boy, and he’s stupid. And James: so are you.

    • Bob

      For non British – like me – Farage is difficult to read. In speech he comes over as the archetype 80’s City trader all pro deregulation – but then in images he appears in that Arthur Daley/Minder style dustcoat that gives off the oddball uncle persona – this coupled with the cigarette and pint in hand photo op, presumably meant to be at once, both, anti-nanny state and ‘just one of the boys’. Now a few contradictions make for far more interesting people, but with Farage it’s genuinely hard to make out for non British – beyond his rhetoric – what or who he really represents, he seems to be aiming at all an things to all people marketing approach?

  • John Andrews

    The toffs see no more of the seething masses of immigrants than they saw of their downstairs and attic servants, while enjoying the benefits of low costs of domestic staff, cheap labour in their businesses, a better range of restaurants and a more exotic range of call girls. What’s not to like? Thanks for a perceptive article.

  • jeremy Morfey

    I am as distant and as alienated from the Thatcherite oiks as a cavalier is as alienated from a roundhead. I also feel a closer cultural affiliation with continental Europe than I do with my own Anglo-Saxon culture. I have travelled across Europe many times in my youth, and feel a very strong affection for all the diverse peoples that live on the Continent, and am proud to be a European. I spent most of the 1980s campaigning hard against Thatcher’s Tories in the South of England as a constituency officer with the SDP, and find it interesting that the leader of that party then has now come out for Leave.

    Yet, I share the concerns of the Brexiters, and may well vote Leave as I voted Out as a teenager 41 years ago. Others here explain them well, and I am not reassured by the counterarguments presented by Remain. What sealed it for me was Goldman Sachs’ endorsement of the Remain campaign.

    My greatest reservation about voting Leave is that, given the appalling and unconstitutional mess that Westminster has become, we may be out of the frying pan and into the fire. It would be very helpful, as Cameron attempted and failed to reform the EU monster, that the Leavers could come up with a better vision for British parliamentary democracy than that served up by rightwing Tories.

    • licjjs

      Yes, but it will be OUR fire – and eventually, or even quite quickly, we’ll put it out as the new reality of actually being responsible for our own actions and decisions filters through the most sinecuric and in-it-for- the-free-ride heads of our Government and MPs. People will soon realise that they can actually challenge their MPs and the latter can no longer fob them off with, “Well we have to follow the EU…”

      • Mary Ann

        Blaming everything bad on the EU was just a way of escaping responsibility.

    • joames

      EUROPE IS NOT THE EU.

    • rapscallion

      Jeremy – you will find a plan for leaving at EUREFERENDUM.COM – Look for Flexcit

  • JJD

    It’s not only the upper echelons. A lot of folks I know – not in anything I could call an ‘echelon’ – are Remainers almost by default, because it is just unilaterally deemed the safe, sound, sensible position. As if they decided what to do by asking, What Would Nigel Do, and then doing the opposite.

    • Mary Ann

      It makes sense.

      • JJD

        As Dan Hannan rightly said, a lot of pro-EU people are more accurately described as anti-Eurosceptics. They have a picture of what a Eurosceptic is, and define themselves against that. This is why I’m glad that Farage is not the official face of the Out campaign. It would be too easy for swing voters to say “that’s not me”, and vote In.

      • Rhoda Klapp

        Why don’t you write to that nice Mr Juncker to get your EU citizenship confirmed even if the UK leaves? Then you’ll have no need to campaign here in your own selfish interest.

  • Roger Hudson

    Does the word ‘oik’ come from the Greek oikos,home ??

    • RopeableOfRowville

      Possibly.
      Urban dictionary suggests this:
      “1940 M. Marples Public School Slang 31 Oik, hoik: very widely used and of some age; at Cheltenham (1897) it meant simply a working man, but at Christ’s Hospital (1885) it implied someone who spoke Cockney, and at Bootham (1925) someone who spoke with a Yorkshire accent.”
      Seems to have entered more popular usage in the 30s as a [generic] rough, uncouth character etc.
      Lots more there.

  • Inaba-kun

    Why does the Spectator give space to an utterly odious little climate change denier such as Dellingpole? He’s a truly horrible man, devoid of integrity, intelligence, or the ability to reach any sane conclusion based on evidence. Please fire this foul troll.

    • FriendlyFire

      Sounds like you’d be happier on the Guardian website. You will find a narrow diversity of comforting conformist views for yourself there.

      • Inaba-kun

        Oh grow up you muppet. Denying climate change at this point is the very height of tin foil hat conspiracy idiocy. Evidence is the only thing that matters and the evidence for anthropogenic climate change at this point is as complete and conclusive as it is for evolution. Or maybe you think thousands of climate scientists around the world are all in on some giant hoax?

        Dellingpole is as credible as David Ike, only less amusing and more toad like.

        • enoch arden

          You are right about climate change. I can confirm that it became much warmer since the last week in my place. What about your climate change? Getting warmer or cooler?

          • jaspershawcross

            Since I turned off the air conditioning it’s definitely getting warmer.

        • FriendlyFire

          You may find this enlightening. Far less polemic than Delingpole, and arguably more nuanced
          http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/my-life-as-a-climate-lukewarmer.aspx

        • jaspershawcross

          Yes, I think there were at least a thousand of them who disagreed with the religious version of AGW. You’re not religious by any chance Inaba-kun ?

        • Lawrence James.

          No doubt there were Delingpoles during the mini-ice age during the 17th century who bored all and sundry by saying that it was nor really happening.

          • Rhoda Klapp

            There was climate change in the 17th century? And in the medieval and Roman warm periods? Doesn’t this mean natural variation is far greater than accounted for in climate models? And that those who claim to know what is going on are more ignorant than those who admit they don’t?

        • WFB56

          I guess, like much else, you missed this:

          http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/02/the-global-warming-hiatus-is-real-so-why-dont-we-hear-about-it/

          Or you might learn something from scientific experts, conveniently compiled by Mark Steyn:

          http://www.steynstore.com/Climate-Change-The-Facts_moreinfo.html

      • Lawrence James.

        The Guardian is a bore, but so are the muddled thoughts of closed and, to be brutal, closed minds who prefer perversity and, often sheer stupidity to considered thought.

    • enoch arden

      Try to think before writing. There was no time in the history of our planet when climate hasn’t been changing. What is your point?

      • Inaba-kun

        Go away and read some science before opening your mouth again. I have zero time for scientific illiteracy.

        • enoch arden

          Which science are you talking about? Physics that you failed to learn in school? Or “climate science” which you got from the famous Nobel laureate Al Gore?

          • Inaba-kun

            Blimey this place is a mad house. Please, learn to read first, then read some papers on climate science and understand the DATA. Science is driven exclusively by evidence, never ideology. The evidence is overwhelming. If you find that difficult to comprehend then you are a moron and beyond help. Go away.

          • enoch arden

            Do you have any evidence about what will happen in the future? Fascinating. Tell us what you know about the weather for the next summer.

          • Lawrence James.

            When I want to know about the weather, I ask a trained meteorologist for the same reason as I consult a vet when my dogs are unwell.

          • enoch arden

            I still advise you to discriminate between what you see (facts) and what you expect to see in the future (an opinion). Do you know a meteorologist able to reliably predict what kind of weather will be observed next summer? If not, why should we believe people predicting what weather will be in 100 years?

          • Lawrence James.

            No, but we can correlate past data, some of it archaeological, with present information to determine a pattern. We also know that there were periods of quite drastic climate change, eg the prevalence of wine production in medieval England. What you are talking about is contradictory interpretations of facts.

          • enoch arden

            I am afraid you still didn’t get it. Let me try again, in simple terms. The past is what you know, the future is what you don’t. By looking in the statistics of wine production in England you still have no idea what the condition will be in the future. Unless within the limit of a couple of weeks, with some probability, from the Met office.

          • Lawrence James.

            Yes; but we can establish broad patterns of weather from past statistics and apply them to indicate future trends, At present there is considerable evidence of rising temperatures – global warning – which it would rash to ignore or dismiss. Unfortunately, this phenomenon has led to many silly prophecies; nevertheless, it would be wise to take precautions, Denial is ridiculous.

          • enoch arden

            It is well known that winters now are warmer than 2-3 centuries ago when people could skate on Thames. And, on the other hand, 1000 years ago there was ship farming in Greenland and wineries in England. What can you conjecture from that about the future?

          • Lawrence James.

            That it cannot be forecast with total accuracy, but that we should heed the evidence that suggests possible climate changes and take appropriate precautions. It may never happen, but if it does we’ll have to kick ourselves. Our posterity may curse us for asinine complacency,

          • Rhoda Klapp

            Nothing much is happening and if it does we can adapt.

          • Lawrence James.

            Or so it seems. Yes we can adapt, but the timing will be crucial. Better soon, if only tentatively, rather than wait until disaster is imminent,

          • Rhoda Klapp

            What disaster? IPCC reports do not place any as disaster anything but a remote likelihood. Non-climate disasters are also possible, as is a benefit from warming. An ice age is the most likely climate disaster and those happen (indeed one is on-going in geological terms) but they happen without human influence and so are politically non-useful as a weapon to affect policy.

          • Lawrence James.

            Perhaps: but it would be foolhardy to rule out all possibilities despite the apocalyptic alarms of some the wilder climate-change prophets.The trouble is that they and the deniers have transformed a scientific arguments into a political battle.

          • Captain Dryland

            The problem is not whether humans can adapt, but whether plants can. You will have noticed that plants live outside and cannot move. They must endure whatever climate throws at them, and if climatic conditions move beyond the tolerances of plants, especially crop plants, then the famed adapatability of humans will count for little.

          • enoch arden

            So, you cannot say anything reasonable by looking at the past history. And what kind of “precautions” do you suggest if you aren’t sure whether it will be warmer or cooler? Shall we buy heaters or air conditioners?

          • Lawrence James.

            Of course you can: we look to the past for indications of how things may turn out; grasping at straws perhaps, but what do you offer beyond pedantry and a fixation shared by others hereabouts who have a flimsy knowledge of science and a dogmatic belief that there is no such thing as climate change. ?

          • enoch arden

            Do you have a problem with reading? Or with comprehension? Which climate change are you talking about? Will the next summer be warmer or colder than last year? And also what about raining?

          • WFB56

            And how’s that working out in terms of BBQ summers and “Britain will never see snow again”?

          • Ian Walker

            If extrapolating lines was what constituted science, then we could go to the moon by running up a hill and jumping off the top.

          • enoch arden

            Or would have kept growing until reaching a giant size at the age 100.

          • WFB56

            “Science is driven exclusively by evidence, never ideology.” The absurdity of this is self-evident to anyone with even a passing knowledge of history, eugenics anyone? Thank you for so thoroughly discrediting yourself.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            It really is not as clear-cut as you are saying. Science does not proceed by scientists voting for a consensus. Articles in scientific journals show data, and avoid grand conclusions like ‘human beings are melting the planet.’ Just to give a flavour of the current debate about glacial melting; I am relying here on three recent papers in the top journals Science and Nature. One of them measured the mass of glaciers by scanning across the surface and taking spot measurements of the height. The second measured the mass of glaciers using a gravitational method, which does not rely on guessing the missing values; this paper showed by this method that the antarctic is not contributing to sea level rises. The third paper claimed to have reconciled the two previous publications. The first two denied this. And so on. The IPCC is simply uninterested in all of this messiness. Let me add that we still do not know the cause of diabetes, even though there are millions of patients and hundreds of labs studying it. Whether, how and why the climate changes is by contrast a far more intractable question. Both warmists and deniers are entitled to a political view, but there is no scientific basis for a dogma on either side.

        • WFB56

          Practice what you preach?

      • Jacobi

        You completely misunderstand I-k, h’s actually quite a nice chap. But with an unusual sense of humour. And probably a bit bored where he’s locked up. So go easy on him. He is a bloke. Hard to tell these days?

    • Ford Corsair

      It’s must be because he’s right.

      • Inaba-kun

        Prove it.

        And do so with scientific papers in reputable journals.

        You won’t be able to, as Delingpole is a conspiracy theorist no different to 9/11 truthers or creationists.

        • David Beard

          he was right about passive smoking being good for you though. And pubs definitely don’t smell the same anymore, without the over spilling ashtrays.

        • ScaryBiscuits

          Why don’t *you* prove it? You ask for integrity and intelligence. Wouldn’t it be better if you provided some evidence of having this yourself?

    • David Beard

      He should be given eighteen months in Auschwitz at least.

    • WFB56

      He’s popular with the paying subscribers but with the trolls, not so much.

      • ScaryBiscuits

        I like the trolls. They remind me why I disagree with them.

  • Sean L

    It’s just not true that Mrs Thatcher’s most loyal supporters were ‘grammar school’, and was thoroughly debunked in a Standpoint article a while back: Nicholas Ridley and Airey Neave were more typical than Norman Tebbit and… who exactly? And she was an early proponent of ‘Europe’, opposing Labour’s proposed referendum in ’74 which Enoch Powell campaigned for. The proper upper classes, as distinct from self-made men like Michael Heseltine and Peter Walker, with some exceptions, mostly sided with Thatcher against the even more lower class Heath. What happened was that the exceptions, like Sir Ian Gilmour, got such disproportionate publicity, Tebbit offering a perfect counterpoint, that they appeared to be the rule. The point of the Standpoint article was that Thatcher’s cabinets were far more constituted of the upper class than Cameron’s, the contrary impression being a typical media confection, fitting the facts to the predefined storyline. Besides, why should anyone inclined to a conservative point of view want to bash the upper classes rather than defend them? Aren’t there better targets?

    • ScaryBiscuits

      Of course, Mrs Thatcher’s cabinet has more upper class people, as at that time they made up the bulk of the parliamentary party. There has, nonetheless, been an element of the Conservative Party, which was never reconciled to her. These people are better described as patrician or Tory rather than posh as they include Heath and as well as Douglas-Home and Macmillan. Even those from poorer backgrounds wanted to be posh, to be a patriarch, so calling them posh isn’t as far of the mark as you may suppose. Posh-but-wet is the best description of them.
      The party today is controlled by this faction, just as it was before Mrs Thatcher, who’s leadership and appeal beyond the core looks increasingly like an aberration, sadly. Cameron cites not Thatcher, who won three elections, but Macmillan, who won just one, as his inspiration.

      • Sean L

        Yes but posh hardly equates to wet – consider Peregrine Worsthorne – and there’s a deeper tradition beyond these categories. There were many on the High Tory or patrician right, not all of them posh by any reckoning, who dissented from her identification of politics with economic doctrine. And even while defending aspects of her economic policies, as Powell did, they had a very different conception of politics and of what was ultimately at stake in political life. If anything this tendency would be considered “far right” today.

        • ScaryBiscuits

          But I didn’t say that posh equates to wet. I said that the patricians were posh *but* wet. I.e. the opposite of the aristocratic ideal of civilised and refined but hard when necessary. Sir Alec Douglas-Home was a good example of posh but wet. He lost the Suez War because he didn’t have the backbone to stand up to the Americans who wanted us to be their poodle. He humiliated this country and created the crisis of confidence that we’ve yet to recover from. Despite his brilliant credentials, his premiership led directly to our submission to the EU, something we’ve been paying for ever since.
          I also said that many of the wets weren’t posh but that they wanted to be (e.g. Heath) so we agree on that point.
          As far as I’m concerned ‘far right’ is a term of abuse, used by the media to equate traditional Conservatives with Nazis (National Socialists).

          • Sean L

            I agree.

  • Susanna

    As a pleb, I’ve never had any dealings with posh people – so I’m going to have to accept James Delingpole’s assertion that those in the higher echelons of British society are, indeed, a ” slippery, disingenuous, morally cowardly bunch ” .

    So I guess the responsibility of standing firm and ‘ doing what’s right ‘ with respect to the EU referendum will, once again, fall to the lower classes.

    We are not as well-spoken or as educated but, when the chips are down and our country is threatened, we know to put country before personal considerations.

    The wealthy, the privileged and the powerful have always relied on the lower classes to give them their respective positions and would not survive by themselves – whereas we certainly would.

    So you could easily compare our selfish and self-serving posh people to the EU Superstate itself – where they both need the ordinary masses for their existance – but without them they’re nothing.

    • Lawrence James.

      I do hope that your elite does not include doctors, dentists, lawyers and all those educated people whose specialist knowledge and trained minds are of immense value to our society and without whom we would all flounder.

      • Susanna

        Lawrence James,

        I think Groucho Marx got it right with his firm of lawyers – Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel.

        We can do without them, thanks.

        As for doctors and dentist – there’s this thing called ‘YouTube’. Sorted !

      • ScaryBiscuits

        There is a difference between having the services of technical specialists – doctors, dentists and lawyers – and being ruled by them. I prefer freedom.

  • rhys

    Pro remaining is the Received Wisdom du jour. It is much much easier to go along with it it than to sit down and have a good think.
    Who wants to stand out at Hampstead dinner parties ?
    Or Chequers ?

    Also much easier just to think about yourself than about other poor sods who are suffering as a result of the continuation , indeed aggravation ( 80 million visa free Turks anybody ? ) of uncontrolled mass immigration.

    Oh, and PS : could Uriah Gove PLEASE stop that awful cringe before Cameron et al ‘ We’re both so very grateful Sir ‘ ? Jesu.

    • Dan Ayko

      Do you understand what “visa free travel” means? It means you’re allowed to travel (i.e. visit) without having to pay for a visa.

      Are tourists part of this mass immigration scare too now?

      • ScaryBiscuits

        No genuine tourists are not. But then visas are not really much of an impediment to tourism anyway so it’s really a bit of a red herring.
        The problem is that nothing the EU says is what is seems. Can you please tell us how many illegal immigrants (a significant proportion of which seem to have no respect for any law, including that against rape) will attempt to travel to the EU pretending to be tourists and then not return? Also please can you tell us how the UK is going to become more successful than at present where illegal immigrants are almost never sent home?

  • Lawrence James.

    This reveals little more than than the limitations of the author’s intellect and the smallness of his circle of friends. For ‘slippery’. ‘disingenuous’ and ‘morally cowardly’ one could read ‘flexible-minded’, ‘measured in response’ and ‘realistic’. It depends on which side you back,

    • ScaryBiscuits

      No it doesn’t matter which side you back, as moral character is not a matter of perspective. There are people you can disagree with but still respect as being honourable, earnest in their views and not just in it for themselves. This principle is the foundation of democracy. Delingpole’s point is that this civility doesn’t seem to apply much to the Remainers.

      They are pro-EU for personal reasons, protecting their own position in society, and they therefore assume their opponents are too. This is why they rely so heavily on personal attacks. It explains the venom which the Cameroons have directed against Boris and anybody else who threatens to make society fairer.

      • Lawrence James.

        The exiteers are pretty free with their invective, eg your assumption that everyone who wishes to remain within in the EU does so for private gain.I favour staying for reasons that have nothing to do with preserving my ‘position in society’.

  • WFB56

    “When you’re at the top of the pecking order, of course you’re going to be wary of anything that threatens to rock the boat. ”

    Sadly true which is why part of the path to victory for “Leave” is through a lot of £50 donations to overcome the few £100,000 ones on the “Remain” side. Don’t wait.

    https://voteleave.nationbuilder.com/donate?utm_campaign=160208_c_news&utm_medium=email&utm_source=voteleave

  • Jon Newman

    Delingpole was raised in Alvechurch, Worcestershire, the son of a factory owner.[5] He attended Malvern College, an independent school for boys,[when?][6]
    followed by Christ Church, Oxford,[when?] where he studied English
    Language and Literature.[7][full citation needed] Delingpole has claimed
    that while at Oxford he was “reasonably good friends” with David
    Cameron and Boris Johnson.[8][9]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Delingpole

    His dad owned a factory so he must be a working class.

    • The Patriarchy

      And Hawking knows what about the damage the EU does to Britain, precisely? Or are you so slackmouthed as to believe the fellow is a universal genius, or oracular, or incapable of being mistaken?

      • Ivan Ewan

        Reminds me of when someone asked the Dalai Llama what should be done to avert banking meltdowns.

        What he said was along the lines of “why the heck are you asking me, I’m a religious leader, not an economist.”

    • ScaryBiscuits

      Remain also has the full spectrum of logical fallacies. The one you use in your reference to Hawking is the “appeal to authority”. The rest of your argument is ad hominem. Try thinking for yourself rather than relying on somebody else to do it for you and smears.

      • mikewaller

        As the whole of JD’s article was about the kind of chap he is, discussion of his background is entirely appropriate. My feeling is that the type of individual he is describing -himself included – has a deep fear that they cannot match the abilities of ablest in the mainstream and therefore – as an alternative means of gaining attention – opt for challenging the parameters within which the game is being played. It is therefore unsurprising that he is both a GW denier and pro-Brexit. As on this basis the whole process is ego-drive, I would no more be influenced by his stances than I would seek guidance from a small boy jumping up and down saying “Look at me, look at me”.

        • Lawrence James.

          Hence the propensity for lost causes.

  • Suzy61

    Mmm.. plums in their mouths but none in their trousers.

    • Lawrence James.

      But not, unlike their critics, burdened with chips on their shoulders.

      • Suzy61

        Maybe because they have absolutely no reason to be ‘chippy’.

  • Jacobi

    Europe is there, twenty miles away, whether we like it or not . It won’t go away.

    Anyone who wants to disengage from Europe or the EU, let’s not split hairs, is dumb, stupid or to use a very precise word, daft!

    We did not run away when Bony was around or when the Kaiser was around or when Hitler was
    around or when the Soviets were around.

    There is one but however and it is a very big but.

    If the Turks are for one fleeting instant again given the slightest indication that they will be allowed to ever to enter the EU or that visa restrictions on Turks are in any way ever to be relaxed, then of course we are involved with Europe.

    But from the outside, just as our forebears, including several members of my family, were involved involved against the that previous German/Ottoman alliance only 98 years ago!

    • Charles Turner

      Who said anyone that votes Brexit wants to disengage for Europe? I am married to a continental European, have business in Continental Europe and employ continental Europeans. I will vote Brexit and still trade in Europe.

      I consider enlarging the EU to include the likes of Turkey, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo as a betrayal. Syria borders Turkey and they could well be on the list in the next ten years as will places like Georgia and Ukraine.

      Continental Europe through the EU is disengaging with their true European populace. Big is not always best and the EU expansion is going to be a horror story

      • Jacobi

        Nearly everyone, some 85% I have spoken to who advocates Brexit wants to disengage from Europe and that includes comment here, which is why my comment is a bit (deliberately) blunt.
        Turks are not and never have been Europeans. Their culture and religion are incompatible with Europe whether Christian Europe or Secular Europe.

        Now I do not think we are profoundly disagreeing?

        But I repeat, we might be back 98 years very much engaged with Europe but from the outside just as my family before me have been.

    • Bertie

      Who’s talking about disengaging with Europe?

      We’re talking about leaving the EU, a Political Union construct that no one has voted for.

      We can be part of Europe,trade with Europe, share security but not be controlled by Europe, not be part of a political union that sees our parliament subservient to an unelected one. there’s a difference – the two are not comparable.

  • Charles Turner

    The biggest mistake the EU has made is it crazy policy of expansion.
    Many of us can see the benefits of trading with our nearest neighbours like
    France, Germany and Spain and even further afield like Poland.

    But this crazy empire building elite is now inviting Turkey,
    Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania in to
    the club, meaning all these countries will have
    free movement to our country and its resources.

    But wait a minute, the EU wants to expand EVEN further,
    so let me see what country borders Turkey? Its Syria.. So at what stage will
    our mad masters suggest Syria join the EU? Well that will solve the refugee
    crisis won’t it. They will no longer be
    refugees, but bona fide European citizens that have as much right as you and I
    to access our NHS legal systems, schools, housing and legal aid when they commit
    a crime in the UK. Yes to the old EU…. But
    a downright no to the New EU. Vote out.

    • Bertie

      Nailed it

      “But this crazy empire building elite is now inviting Turkey,
      Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania in to the club, meaning all these countries will have free movement to our country and its resources.”

      Unfortunately this is what awaits a “remain” vote.

      “So at what stage will our mad masters suggest Syria join the EU? Well that will solve the refugee crisis won’t it. They will no longer be refugees, but bona fide European citizens that have as much right as you and I to access our NHS legal systems, schools, housing and legal aid when they commit a crime in the UK”

      Think our NHS can cope? Or our schools? Housing?

      What about the British people that have paid into the tax/NI pot for decades who find they;re now at the BACK of the queue, behind people who have paid Sweet FA in….

      This is why you get the rise of extremists.

      Depressing state of affairs coming to Britain due to spineless weak kneed quisling politicians

  • Michael North

    It’s simple. Leave now, in a peaceful orderly manner or crawl from the wreckage in the not-too-distant future.
    The only downside to getting out of the EU is that it might enhance the career of Boris Johnson.
    That’s a toad I am willing to eat.

    • Sanctimony

      Boris only looks like a pig… his adversary, Dave, on the other hand, has never denied having carnal knowledge of one of our porcine friends during his initiation rites to one or other of his Oxford drinking societies: The Bullingdon, Piers Gaveston or the H*ll Fire Club…

      I forget which…

      Corbyn also fails to deny congress with members of the Sus Scrofa… although, in his case, we believe that the porcine objects of his affections were still alive when he pressed his affections upon them ….

      • Michael North

        I blame the pigs, going around with their tails up like that.

  • Watt

    “The reason posh people are so overwhelmingly in favour of staying in the EU has nothing to do with the arguments for that position (of which there are few, if any). It’s more an instinctive, self-preservational, class-complacent thing.”

    Being posh is about insecurity : it is a veneer you wear to make others think you are superior. The same fear is at the root of Bremain. The posh don’t think they are good enough to run a sovereign nation. And frankly it is hard to disagree.

  • ottovbvs

    It’s not a question of oikishness but of respect for empirical evidence and a recognition of the largely illusory quality of national sovereignty in 2016. And hasn’t Delingpole masqueraded as posh for years or what was all that young/old fogey theatre about

  • Sanctimony

    James… great article with just one howler…. Heseltine was never… and never will be considered a gent… As Alan Clark so famously remarked: he even had to buy his own furniture … or something similar…. and worse than that, he’s a Europhile.

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