STEVE ANGLESEY rounds up the losers and the losers (because their are no winners) of another crazy seven days on Planet Brexit
10 LIAM FOX
The international trade secretary celebrated ‘Thank A Teacher’ day with a video praising his old schoolmistress, Patsy Watt. Created with all the care and attention for which Liam Fox is famed, the video’s subtitles contained a huge spelling error. See me after class for detention.
9 DAVID DAVIS
The Brexit secretary has a new nickname in Dublin as he grapples with the question of how to avoid a hard border. A senior member of the Irish government told Politico: ‘We deal with (Downing Street’s Brexit adviser) Olly Robbins. We don’t deal with the tea boy.’
It’s the latest in a string of unfortunate nicknames for Davis, including ‘thick as mince’ and – in his days as a whip – ‘DD of the SS’.
8 LORD PEARSON OF RANNOCH
The former UKIP leader – he was in charge of Fraggle Rock from November 2009-November 2010, sandwiching two Nigel Farage spells – has made another decisive contribution to parliamentary democracy.
Previously best-known for claiming £100,000 in allowances on his mortgage-free £3.2m London home despite having a 12,000-acre estate with servants in Scotland, Pearson will now be known for this searching question in the Lords: ‘Is there anything the government can do to discourage the growing and irritating replacement of the relative pronoun ‘which’ by the demonstrative adjective ‘that’?’
A reminder that members of the Lords trouser £305 a day for turning up – in this case, clearly money well spent!
7 GODFREY BLOOM
The veteran Brexiteer is unlikely to get many more bookings on Talk Radio after a bizarre appearance on which he defended Sir Christopher Chope’s opposition to the upskirting bill.
Nigel Farage’s former flatmate rambled that a ‘young man or a young lesbian could find themselves going to prison for two years’ under the proposed ban. Told he was talking rubbish, Bloom added: ‘I’ve given you a very rational reason.’ He then twice called host James Whale ‘a moron’ before being cut off.
6 JULIA HARTLEY-BREWER
The LBC host responded to a New European tweet about the People’s Vote march by writing: ”What do we want?’ ‘Focaccia bread with rosemary and sea salt to be sold at a reasonable price at Waitrose.’ ‘When do we want it?’ ‘NOW!”
Pretending that Remainers are all a bunch of Waitrose-loving, middle-class elitists is an odd thing to do, considering Hartley-Brewer has spent years tweeting about how much she – the voice of the people, remember – loves Waitrose.
Messages include: ‘Today I shall mostly be eating toast and ready-made salads from Waitrose,’ ‘Hate waiting until 11am for Waitrose to open’, ‘I bump into Ken Livingstone in my local Waitrose most weeks’ and the immortal ‘My daughter’s class went on a school trip behind the scenes at Waitrose. Asked to vote for their favourite cheese, they opted for Comte’.
5 WOODY JOHNSON
America’s ambassador to Britain told a television documentary that Brits had a ‘defeatist’ attitude to Brexit and that economic pessimists ‘come from a different background than I do. I am thinking about winning’.
Another group plagued by defeatism are fans of the New York Jets, the NFL team Johnson bought in 2000. In his 18 seasons they have never reached a Super Bowl, one of only 14 of the NFL’s 32 teams not to have done so in the same period. Under Johnson the Jets have lost 157 games, have appeared in the playoffs only six times and have not done so for seven years. Sometimes thinking about winning isn’t enough!
4 BORIS JOHNSON
The foreign secretary could barely deny that he’d declared ‘f**k business’ at a reception to celebrate the Queen’s birthday, given his familiarity with the F-word.
In 2015 Johnson was filmed telling a cabbie to ‘f**k off and die’, while in 2012 he appeared on television railing against BBC reporter Tim Donovan with the words ‘stuff Donovan and his f**king bollocks’.
Meanwhile Tim Shipman’s book Fall Out quotes Johnson reacting to the 2017 election poll with the words: ‘What the f**k?! … we’ve f**ked Brexit’ and later wondering ‘what the f**k am I doing in this f**king job’ – a feeling many others have had about him.
3 LEE HURST
The former They Think It’s All Over panelist, whose politics have drifted further to the right as his popularity has dwindled, has turned his attention to the Observer journalist investigating Leave.EU.
‘If Carole Cadwalladr were not a journalist Arron Banks would have to report her as a stalker. FFS it’s embarrassing,’ ran one recent tweet. ‘Why doesn’t this woman just shag Arron Banks and get it out of her system, she clearly can’t stop thinking about him,’ said another.
On Monday night Cadwalladr’s work was rewarded with the prestigious Orwell journalism prize.
At the same time, there were still 161 unsold seats left for the first night of Hurst’s new tour, in the prestigious 312-seat Bracknell South Hill Park Arts Centre.
2 ALLISTER HEATH
The Brexit-loving Sunday Telegraph editor could find no room in his news section for a report from the 100,000-strong People’s Vote March (a picture of Gina Miller on the march did appear in Brexiteer Daniel Hannan’s column on page 18).
Things deemed more newsworthy by Allister: Len Goodman criticising celebrities who deny fans selfies (200 words and a photo); British women tennis players getting one more Wimbledon wild-card than last year (250 words and photo); a PR man wearing Thomas Markle’s unused wedding suit (200 words and photo); a British fashion designer’s new collection (100 words and four photos) and a kick-boxing monkey meeting Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen (40 words and photo).
Despite claims of poor attendance at a pro-Brexit march held in London on the same day as the one supporting the People’s Vote, Leave.EU tweeted a photo of the day ostensibly showing a large crowd.
Alas for their sophisticated fake news campaign, the picture showed trees without leaves and attendees wearing coats and hats on a summer day when the temperature in the capital hit 23C.
At The New European, we pride ourselves on the high quality of our contributors and experts, and believe we play a valuable – and much needed – role in media plurality, offering an alternative perspective to the right-wing, anti-EU outlets dominating UK media. We depend on the support of our subscribers and readers to cover our costs. Your contribution, however small or large, will help ensure our sustainability. Please click here to choose a plan.