THE BREX FACTOR: Campaign cheats have taken Leave of senses
PUBLISHED: 13:00 20 July 2018
PA Archive/PA Images
STEVE ANGLESEY rounds up the losers and the losers (because there are no winners) of another crazy seven days on Planet Brexit
10. JO MARNEY
Former UKIP leader Henry Bolton’s girlfriend told her Twitter followers: “You don’t need an invasion of immigrants to be able to enjoy a nice curry. There’s a difference between losing a culture and enjoying other cultures. Would you like to go to India and for them to have adopted British culture? I wouldn’t.”
Yeah, imagine if you went over there and the Indians were all drinking tea and playing cricket!
9. SIR JAMES DYSON
“The UK is having a tough time at the moment but I hope it will bounce back,” said the vacuum cleaner inventor in February, declaring he still believed that leaving the EU was the best way forward for Britain.
How’s all that working out for Sir James? Well, on the downside up to 240 jobs in his company are now at risk, with IT bods and accountants predicted to feel the brunt of the losses as the UK economy retracts. But on the upside, Dyson’s personal fortune has just gone up £1.7bn to £9.5bn.
8. NIGEL FARAGE
The nicotine-stained man-frog has added the ability to psychically profile 250,000 people in an instant to his not inconsiderable list of talents (smoking, sowing racial division, fertilising spawn in well-vegetated and shaded shallow ponds).
Farage told Sky News Australia that “when you looked at who was actually protesting” against Donald Trump’s visit to Britain, “they were nearly all middle or upper-middle class, they had names like Jocasta and Sebastian, none of them work… I wouldn’t take it too seriously.”
Amazing that Leave.EU spent all that money profiling tens of thousands of voters when Nigel could have done it for free with a single glance…
7. TONY GALLAGHER
The Sun editor used an editorial to attack European Commission secretary-general and Martin Selmayr after the “unelected bully” greeted England’s elimination from the World Cup by tweeting icons of footballs and European flags, claiming: “It revealed so much: the total lack of empathy and class.”
How very different Selmayr’s reaction was from the front page of Gallagher’s paper on June 28. “Schadenfreude” ran the main headline, above photos of miserable German players after their own World Cup exit. In a display of empathy and class, The Sun had added the dictionary definition “Pleasure derived from another’s misfortune”.
6. PRITI PATEL
“This is no longer an argument about whether Brexit was a good idea but is about democracy,” ran a recent tweet from the disgraced former international development secretary and Vote Leave campaign committee member. Anyone care to guess why Brexiteers like Priti no longer want to argue about whether or not Brexit is a good idea?
As part of her support for a schools reading campaign in her Witham constituency, Patel dropped in on a Mad Hatter’s tea party at the local Powers Hall Academy. With its cast of lunatics, rodents and strange Victorian characters, it must have felt very different to Priti’s regular get-togethers with fellow members of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s ERG!
5. MICHAEL GOVE
The former Vote Leave campaign committee member told an author he regretted its lies about Turkey being about to join the EU, adding, “If it had been left entirely to me the Leave campaign would have had a slightly different feel.”
So, how to explain the Vote Leave press conference in early June during which Gove warned, “with the terrorism threat that we face only growing, it is hard to see how it could possibly be in our security interests to open visa-free travel to 77 million Turkish citizens”? Ventriloquism? A Tupac-style hologram? Or just complete shamelessness?
4. BRANDON LEWIS
In the worst example of pairing since Michael Jackson and Lisa-Marie Presley, the Tory party chairman turned up to vote in two crucial Commons votes despite saying he wouldn’t so new mum Jo Swinson could be at home with her baby son. All an honest mistake, said Conservative chief whip Julian Smith, failing to explain why Lewis had correctly stayed away for seven previous votes on the same day but turned up for two crucial ones which the government looked like losing.
As Tory chair, Lewis has a big say in the party’s campaign slogans. Perhaps the next one should borrow from Bruce Forsyth: “You get nothing for a pair; not in this game.”
3. THERESA MAY
Having outlined her Brexit negotiating strategy, accepted four amendments which contradicted her Brexit negotiating strategy, whipped her MPs to vote against her Brexit negotiating strategy and accepted the resignation of Guto Bebb for supporting her Brexit negotiating strategy. Clear enough?
2. DARREN GRIMES
The former fashion student fined and referred to police over his part in the Vote Leave scandal moaned that he didn’t deserve the Electoral Commission’s “maximum penalty of £20,000”. Grimes also mentioned his “family of very ordinary means”.
Cheer up, Darren - perhaps someone will drop £675,000 through your letterbox like last time!
1. MATTHEW ELLIOTT
“I don’t know why the Electoral Commission didn’t interview us. I’m disappointed they didn’t,” the Vote Leave chief executive told Channel 4 News in early July. Just a guess, but might it have been because Elliott’s organisation, which has now been fined and reported to the police for breaking electoral law, failed to respond to at least three separate requests for interviews?
Coming soon: “I don’t know why I’m sitting in the dark and I’m disappointed that food is rotting in my fridge,” says Matthew after failing to respond to several requests to pay his electricity bill.
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