Ukip find a new Brexit target - 'childish' nine-year-olds

Neil Hamilton: emphatically not childish

Liberals, bureaucrats, artists, bankers and millennials have all felt their ire. Now Ukip have a new target accused of propagating anti-Brexit views - nine-year-olds.

Neil Hamilton - the disgraced former Tory minister turned minor celebrity who, you may have missed, is now inexplicably Ukip's leader in Wales - yesterday made a complaint to the BBC over a light-hearted segment on Radio 4's World At One in which children were asked for their views on Brexit.

"The segment was completely biased and absurd," fumed Mr Hamilton, who once danced in a perspex box on TV while Johnny Vegas poured fish on his head.

"Every child who featured on the programme was anti-Brexit and the segment lacked any form of political balance. The interviewer, Tomos Morgan, failed to question any of the patently childish answers given to him."

It's a fairly strong argument from the man who, in 2006, recorded a World Cup song with his wife called England Are Jolly Dee. Just how much effort did the researchers put into finding a pre-teen full of adorable exuberance for repatriating competition policy, agriculture, and copyright and patent law to Westminster?

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Mr Hamilton would surely even have accepted a member of the school's lunchtime Momentum society who could have spelt out how the EU entrenches corporate interests and prevents radical reforms. And this is Wales, for God's sake - couldn't they even have found an anklebiter who'd perused a parent's Western Mail and been won over by a Patrick Minford article on how Britain would boom trading under WTO rules?

Or at the very least, a child looking back on the dark days when they were under eight and European Commission rules prevented them from blowing up balloons. Yes, Boris Johnson once made this claim and, yes, it wasn't true.

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Perhaps, being nine, they were less concerned about sovereignty and more about normal things nine-year-olds like, such as collecting Pogs, playing conkers and chuckling over the Dandy (winging this bit - I have no idea what nine-year-olds like).

Or maybe, you know, children, even if they don't understand it, are not natural Brexit supporters what with their innocence seeing no colour, creed or faith, and their inquisitiveness seeing borders and barriers something to be overcome, not put up (except when building dens. Do children still build dens? Again, I have no idea).

But perhaps Mr Hamilton is being correct when he complains the children's answers were "patently childish".

He should take them to see the Ukip group he leads in the Welsh Assembly. A group of seven elected in 2016 and in chaos within days when Mr Hamilton moved to usurp the previous leader Nathan Gill (whom Mr Hamilton denied bullying, calling him "a big boy").

A group who another former Tory MP, Mark Reckless, left last year to sit with the Conservatives. A group who Mr Gill quit initially to sit as an independent, before quitting the Assembly entirely, only for his replacement, Mandy Jones, being barred from sitting with the rest of them due to her choice of staff (she said they were "toxic" and she didn't want to sit with them anyway).

And a group who, having entered the Assembly with seven members, now have five - and one of them, Gareth Bennett, is barred from speaking in the chamber after claiming transgender people could cause the "total implosion" of society.

After seeing all that, the striplings might take on the accusations of childishness and respond with the classic: "I know you are, I said you are, so what am I?".

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