Nick Cohen Nick Cohen

The betrayal of the Brexit bunch

It is now standard on the right to say that the establishment is sabotaging Brexit. I could pick one of half a dozen writers for this magazine, who wallow in the language of victimhood as luxuriantly as any of the alleged snowflakes they so unselfconsciously denounce. The inevitable failure to transfer the impossible demands of the Brexit campaign into the politics of the possible is producing vicious stab-in-the-back myths. Nowhere more so than from the lips of the Conservative MP Maria Caulfield who declared yesterday:

Note how artfully she plays the innocent who came to Westminster with high ideals, like a modern Candide, only to see them crushed by the machinations of the ruling class. This is the authentic language of counter revolution. For if democracy is mocked and subverted by the machinations of sinister figures – and the most sinister among them, Arron Banks’ Leave.EU immediately suggested with a nod to Putin’s Russia and Trump’s America, was the Jewish financier George Soros – any measures are justified to seize back the power the elite has wrested from its rightful owners.  

Is it worth pointing out that Britain does not have a ‘powerful elite’? I know everyone wants to pretend it does, and no one ever admits to being a member of it, but you need only ask what a ruling class worthy of the name would do about Brexit, to see it does not exist. A true elite would not take the risk of a second referendum.

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