The Brex Factor: David Davis leads sad sacks beyond Thunderdome

PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 February 2018

Brexit Secretary David Davis. Photo: PA.

Brexit Secretary David Davis. Photo: PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Steve Anglesey names the worst Brexiteers of the week

MALCOLM PARKER

Tweeting under the handle @mbiranek, this lesser-known Brexiteer declared: “We want our sovereignty back from the unelected EU baccarats.”

Readers of a certain age will be unable to stop themselves singing “Yes sir, I can Brexit, but I need a certain song...”

THERESA MAY

Demanded that EU should share crime and terrorism data with a post-Brexit UK less than five years after warning that the UK would not share crime and terrorism data with a post-referendum Scotland.

May now says Brussels must not allow “rigid institutional restrictions or deep-seated ideology to inhibit our co-operation. We must do whatever is most practical and pragmatic in ensuring our collective security”.

That’s somewhat different to what her Home Office advised in October 2013: “The continuing UK would not be in a position to protect Scottish interests as it does presently. Scotland would be a separate state. It could not ‘share’ the UK’s security and intelligence agencies for reasons of sovereignty and democratic accountability”.

BORIS JOHNSON

After his poorly-received Valentine’s Day speech, which offered ramblings about carrots, sophomoric jokes about dogging and sex tourism but very little actual Brexit content, you would have expected the foreign secretary to roll up his sleeves and join in with the tabloid smear campaign against Jeremy ‘Karla’ Corbyn.

Yet Johnson has been strangely reticent to jab at the Labour leader’s Eastern Bloc links. Could this be anything to do with embarrassing photos of BoJo in the companies of Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor alleged to be Vladimir Putin’s linkman with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and diplomat Sergey Nalobin, expelled from Britain in 2015 and son of a former KGB general?

GERARD BATTEN

Having rejected Anne Marie Waters for being an anti-Muslim demagogue and ditched Henry Bolton for consorting with a racist texter, UKIP have played it safe with their choice of interim leader. MEP Batten, who took power at last Saturday’s EGM in Birmingham, merely believes that Islam is a “death cult”, that the Nazis drew up plans for the European Union in 1942 and that the 1975 referendum vote was orchestrated by the CIA. Talk about having to batten down the hatches!

Batten has clashed with his fellow UKIP co-founder Nigel Farage several times down the years and ’Kipper watchers expect that to intensify. Only last month in the European Parliament he took a swipe at a man Farage greatly admires, telling MEPs: “Mr Putin is a gangster that runs a gangster state.”

PAUL OAKDEN

UKIP’s interim chairman, who himself has quit after sending an email to party members which he had signed ‘interim leader’, told hacks the EGM had gone well as no-one had passed away during proceedings. As the votes which sealed Bolton’s fate were being counted, he said: “At the AGM in the year 2000, a party member died of cardiac arrest. Now we’re probably about half an hour from knowing that result and at this point every member is still with us. And on that basis, I consider today to be a success.”

THE HENRY HATERS

It wasn’t really a surprise to see Bolton’s 143-day reign euthanised at Dignitas Brum. Not just because many members were horrified by his refusal to distance himself from Jo Marney, but also as several believed 
him to be a spy sent in to discredit 
the party.

When Bolton appeared pleading for votes for votes on an LBC phone-in 
last week, one caller asked, “Are you 
and your ghastly girlfriend a security services plant designed to damage 
UKIP?”

And as he met his fate last Saturday, the man appointed an OBE in 2013 for “services to international security” was confronted with the sight of former UKIP parliamentary candidate John Howsam toting a sign reading ‘MI6 Plant To Destroy UKIP Bolton Must Go’ .

Howsam, 76, told reporters Bolton had “got the qualifications – Sandhurst, military, police officer. He’s an ideal candidate.”

UKIP’S CATWOMAN

But not everyone in Birmingham was hostile to Bolton. A delegate from Thanet enlivened proceedings considerably by defending him with these stirring words: “We all make mistakes, especially with wives. My second wife was considerably younger than me and she was a little bit feisty. What happened was I went with my second wife to a Conservative function and she decided to wear a see-through catsuit. The result was I was ostracised, she was ostracised and it took me a bit of time to get back to my position with the council. I suspect this is something like their situation we have at the moment.”

DANIEL HANNAN

“Of all the scare stories propagated by EU supporters, the idea that the UK and Ireland would impose borders after 94 years is the silliest,” tweeted Wisest Fool in Brexitdom Hannan in November 2015. Ten months later, writing in Conservative Home, he declared “One of the happiest developments of the past decade has been the return to normal politics in Northern Ireland. Relations between London and Dublin have never been warmer.”

And now, a mere 17 more months on, where is Hannan at? “The Good Friday Agreement has failed,” he wrote this week, preparing us for the return of border controls between the UK and Ireland. Now, what thing beloved of Hannan might possibly have caused this mess?

JANET DALEY

The veteran Telegraph columnist’s latest effort is a 900-word rant about how unpleasant Remainers are being to her fellow Leavers.

Tellingly, it offers zero examples of this nastiness from those who voted to stay but finds time to call Remainers “ruthless”, “frantic” “zombies” consumed by “outrageous, visceral hatred”. Her piece is headed ‘The rabid, vindictive rage of Remainers now borders on the pathological’.

Janet, it’s not us. It’s you.

DAVID DAVIS

Much fun was had with the Brexit Secretary’s declaration in Vienna that Britain will not be “plunged into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction”, but it did set a trend for damning with faint praise.

One former No.10 official told the Guardian that the man from Beyond Thunderdome is “slightly more across the detail than he appears” while a senior colleague added that Davis “is not stupid, but he is 
quite idle”.

Thank goodness he’s not in an important job!

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