BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
It’s difficult to be too rude about Remainers. After all, they likely include friends, family members and those fellow Britons you smile at in the street or in the train. For all you know your Milkman is a Remainer, your child’s teacher could be an avid European and your kindly local vicar was told by God in some sherry-induced revelation to land a cross in the Remain box.
One of my favourite people on planet earth still sports an EU flag in the window of his Indian restaurant – he’s still one of my favourite people on earth and I still make the monthly pilgrimage for his Lamb Passanda.
Just because we – fellow countrymen – used our democratic rights to vote for different outcomes is hardly an excuse to treat opponents as lepers nor all fellow Leave voters as new found friends.
It’s difficult, however, to bite one’s lip when some loud-mouthed fellow on Twitter claims Leavers are merely the uneducated masses or selfish Little Englanders.
One Remainiac tweeter has gone so far as to call all leavers Little Quitlers, as if Leavers are fascists and quislings while Remainers somehow monopolise good sense. (I have been tempted to tweet back that many voted Leave to avoid German domination of Europe through the EU but, again, self-control kicked in and, frankly, what’s the point?).
The thing is, I rather like the loud-mouthed fellow. I find his tweets highly irritating but I am absolutely sure that, if we sat down and had a beer, we’d likely avoid the Brexit subject and get on very well indeed talking about something else altogether.
I even like the Polish babysitter who, on learning I had voted to leave the EU, admitted she seriously thought about spitting in my coffee.
So, just how – amidst legal challenges, ranting Remainiacs, furious Europeans and threatening bureaucrats – should Leavers behave?
Well, here’s my six-point guide for Leavers to best survive the Remainiac onslaught:
First, remember why you voted Leave. For this you should write down your reasons for voting before they get lost in the cacophony of Ian Duncan Smith and Nicola Sturgeon.
I have a diary and in that diary I wrote some scruffy notes back in June, some of which are quoted below (at this point you are most welcome to scroll down to the paragraph below my jottings)…..I decided to vote leave because, “Internal Realities will always come to the fore. Some countries like Belgium are not countries – split down the middle. EU or no EU – peace will reign across market buffered by NATO. Unsustainable Euro member debt. Tax revenue cannot ever pay this debt back. EU bought bonds from companies like Siemens etc. which wasted the money on bonuses and management frittered the rest. This in turn pumped up value of European bonds – unreal scenario based on fake revenue streams. No Capex, no jobs. Now mortgage will come through. Can’t be repaid. British in many ways kept EU reality from becoming apparent. Now EU dream is finished. Sovereignty. Wise friends leaving EU – they go where the money is. ECB borrowing and corp bonds unsustainable. Can UK survive “alone”? UK should seek investment into new technologies (graphene etc) not chase old technologies – let the Koreans build ships, we shouldn’t need to. Could see greatest rebirth. Be seen as safe harbour for money. Get corporation taxes down (poor Ireland). Get trade agreements in place with US, China, Commonwealth, Aus, NZ etc Maintain European Research relationships & Erasmus. Get US companies to build in UK – they are de facto trade deals. Romance the Poles and French rich people to stay in UK. Make sure dumb cousin Olav stays at home. Sort immigration so it genuinely is a positive. Be the European policeman and security intelligence leader against IS etc.”
Second, whether it is Lord Pannick or just delirious panic that has gripped your Remainiac friend, get them to watch this superb interview by John Redwood with BBC Newsnight in which he sinks most of the Remainians’ worries with pure logic and admirable conceit. (Surely Redwood is an underused asset? I am not generally a fan of his but he is exactly the type of negotiating rapier who would reduce Guy Verhofstadt to bed wetting over a 2 year negotiation).
Third, DO NOT rise to the bait when you’re blamed for the plunging pound or for darkening the future of someone’s kids (yup, that kind of talk is commonplace in the Home Counties and parts of London where Leavers are seen as irresponsible, selfish monsters by the liberal classes). Just turn your back or walk away, smiling enigmatically.
This may be very difficult indeed when you’re threatened by a seething estate agent, as I was, at a cocktail party, especially when you know the answer to that pressing question, What is the difference between an Estate Agent and a sperm? (One in 50 million sperm have a chance of becoming a human being.) Just keep biting that lip.
Fourth, kill the messenger. Negative media outlets should be exposed for their EU leanings. You may have noticed that the media outlets bearing all the bad news are The Guardian, The Economist, The FT, The New York Times, The Independent, The BBC (Newsnight is the very worst) and blatant Russian troll propaganda outlets like RT & Sputnik. For every bit of bad news there’s a bit of good news – re-tweet the most even-handed Andrew Neil on Twitter, quote from the Telegraph, Mail and anything from the Murdoch stable. Whatever you do, do not respond to Remainiacs with stories from The Express or you’ll end up rightfully being called a dimbo.
Fifth, what a mandate! With a national turnout of 72.2 per cent of voters across the UK, Leave won by 52% to 48%. More than 30 million people voted. Overall the Leave campaign came top in nine of the UK’s nations and regions, with the Remain campaign coming top in just three. If you do need to engage in debate with a Remainiac ask them what power they have to deny democracy.
Finally, smile. There is nothing that beats down the negativity of a whining opponent more than you smiling. It’s as effective as blowing a kiss at someone who hoots at you for your bad driving. The haters are gonna hate – so smile back at them. Not only will smiling initially drive them even further up the wall, eventually it will make them double-take.
‘Could it be that those Brexiteers were right all along?’ they will wonder. Get the Remainiacs thinking that they really did miss something…. they did, after all, as the decision to leave the EU was an obvious one.
The Remainiacs will calm down eventually. And Britain, after a few bumps in the road, will boom away from the crippled Tower of Babel that is the dysfunctional EU.
Smile – soon we will be set free.