Charles Moore

Why great minds get Brexit wrong

Why great minds get Brexit wrong
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A besetting sin in this process has been over-cleverness. As so often in our history, the ‘stupid’ people are right. The Brexit question is a classic example of something which is simple but not easy. It is ‘Do you want to be ruled by those you can choose, or by those you can’t choose?’ Voters understood this, and gave a clear answer. Clever people keep complicating it.

Three leading examples of this, I am afraid — Oliver Letwin, Nicholas Boles and Michael Gove — are good friends of mine. Precisely the qualities which endear them to me in private conversation are proving a menace to the public weal. Their ability to look at things in surprising ways and generally argue the hind leg off a donkey blinds them to the key issues and makes them conjure into existence brilliant ‘solutions’ which only make everything worse. The voters are not donkeys.

This article is an extract from Charles Moore's Spectator Notes, which appeared in this week's magazine