Steve Anglesey picks out the worst Brexiteers of the week.
10. PAUL NUTTALL
The only man to win the Grand National as jockey, trainer AND horse opened an article for the Daily Telegraph with the words, ‘It has been just over two months since I stood down as leader of UKIP after the general election. During that period, I have had a lot of time to reflect on the things we got right.’ Well, that was the first 10 seconds of his retirement taken care of. Paul did add that he’d also considered ‘things we could have done better’… which might just have taken him significantly more time.
9. AIDAN POWLESLAND
Running for Nuttall’s old job, the computer games entrepreneur appeared to have been playing some of his old titles too long when he told their West Yorkshire hustings that his plan to build an interstellar spacecraft and colonise nearby solar systems would make Britain the ‘richest country in the world’. However, Kippers appear to believe Powlesland’s moderate views on Muslims are more far-fetched than his belief that we will rake in billions by mining asteroids for platinum. So far he is failing to Klingon (sorry) to Anne Marie Waters and Peter Whittle in the leadership polling.
8. HUGH WHITTOW
The Daily Express editor has defended his misleading use of non-scientific reader polls on the EU, despite twice being censured by press watchdog IPSO for doing so. Whittow told Press Gazette that to ‘counter’ pre-referendum polls suggesting a Remain win, ‘the Daily Express held frequent polls in the newspaper and online which although not as allegedly scientific as face-to-face and telephone polls (nearly all of which failed to predict the correct result), gave a reliable indicator of the public mood overall’. Well, almost. A much-heralded Express poll run 30 days before the actual vote gave Leave a 93-7% lead, only overestimating their support by 41%.
7. BORIS JOHNSON
Having told parliament on July 11 that the EU could ‘go whistle’ if they expected Britain to pay any divorce bill, he assured Radio 4 on August 25: ‘Of course we will meet our obligations, we are law-abiding, bill-paying people.’ Let’s hope the sizeable golden handshake doesn’t impact on Boris’ promise to give an extra £350million a week to the NHS, which surely will be reaping the benefits any day now.
6. DAVID COBURN
‘I have had enough of pashmina sofa politics pushed on UKIP,’ declared the party’s Scottish leader, another one of the 11 candidates to replace Paul Nuttall as Captain of the Titanic. With such passion on display, it seems almost churlish to point out that there isn’t such a thing as a pashmina sofa.
5. DANIEL HANNAN
Fresh from calling for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman to play Steve Bannon in a movie, the absurdly-nicknamed Brain Of Brexit branded Labour’s proposal to remain part of the single market ‘childish’. This, of course, is the same Daniel Hannan who, during the referendum campaign, assured swing voters: ‘Absolutely nobody is talking about threatening our place in the single market.’
4. JANE COLLINS
Low on brass but with plenty of brass neck remaining, the Yorkshire and Humber MEP suggested during a car crash TV interview that it’s quite normal for political party leaders to face going broke with debts of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Collins is running to replace Paul Nuttall despite her financial troubles and when the interviewer said, ‘there can’t be many people who want to lead a political party who owe more than £300,000 and are facing bankruptcy’, Collins replied: ‘You don’t know that, do you? Are you privy to their bank accounts?’
3. DAVID TC DAVIES
Informally known as ‘even worse than the other one’, the Brexity Monmouth Tory MP tweeted that ‘Police could save fortune by not paying 4 interpreters 4 non English speakers’. Yeah, who needs costly interpreters when foreign nationals can just tell police about being assaulted or raped by using the medium of mime? It’s a wheeze every bit as sensible as Davies’ demand last year for dental checks on underage refugees. Davies distinguishes himself from his Brexit secretary namesake by billing himself as ‘David TC Davies’. Those middle initials stand for Thomas Charles, though readers may have other ideas…
2. NIGEL FARAGE
The nicotine-stained man-frog’s £23-a-ticket one-man-show at Lancaster’s Grand Theatre in October has been mysteriously cancelled – possibly on Trade Descriptions Act grounds as it was billed as ‘An entertaining evening with Nigel Farage’. But one appearance Nigel DID make was in front of a 30,000-strong crowd at a Republican Hindu Coalition event in Chicago, where he was introduced by its right-wing leader Shalahb Kumar as being ‘very, very active with Hindus and Indians in the United Kingdom’. Well, in a manner of speaking, yes… Clearly a man of discernment, Kumar has previously described Steve Bannon ‘unbelievably nice… just an absolutely great guy.’
1. PATRICK MINFORD
A week after the discredited Brexiteer economist laughably claimed leaving the EU would boost Britain’s trade by £135 billion a year, he assured the impartial Daily Express: ‘The economy is doing very well.’ Naturally for Mystic Minford, there shortly followed news that UK growth in the last quarter was just 0.3%, the lowest among all G7 nations and half the growth rate of the Eurozone. Meanwhile, Minford was hailed by Neil Hamilton as ‘Britain’s most reliable and accurate economic forecaster’, which is high praise indeed from Britain’s most respected and freebie-averse politician.