Just Beehive


There are plenty of useful metaphors out there. Like “dying is a wild night and a new road”. Or “the future is a mistress that is so hard to please and the past is a pebble in my shoe”. Also, “medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I tire of one, I spend the night with the other”.

Instead, arch Remoaner Dr Victoria Bateman – an economics fellow at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, no less – has decided to lecture us Britons on Brexit, naked. Her chosen metaphor – Andersen’s Emperor’s New Clothes.

However, there are two rather obvious problems with Ms Bateman’s choice:

First, she’s part of a dwindling rump of Remainiacs who have so lost the public argument and so threatened British democracy – becoming so deluded in the process – that she is the nude Emperor. The second major problem with Bateman’s act is that, err – even in an age of #MeToo Gillettes – she sports quite the winter muff. (For the benefit of fellow metaphor dismantlers, it’s as if naked she’s actually clothed).

Indeed, so hirsute is this eccentric lady that it’s difficult to focus one’s eyes on anything else in her videos. Frankly, and let’s not beat around the bush here, one fears for her seminars. How on earth can her students conjure the requisite mind bleach to remove this image of the shaggy wee beastie from their perma-polluted minds? How can Ms Bateman refer to “widening crack spread” or “leveraging assets” in economics lectures without reducing the class to one or the other version of tears? Let’s be honest, it’ll be too easy for undergrads to misjudge the graphic relationship between rates of taxation and the resulting levels of government revenue – confusing the direction of Laffer’s peaks for Bateman’s troughs.

History is scattered with examples of sacrificial protests. One thinks of Epsom Downs and the basilar skull fracture of the Suffragette, Emily Wilding Davison. There were the red shirt blood protesters in Bangkok in 2010. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was fond of a hunger strike to get his way, as were the Tamil Tigers in 2008 (although getting busted munching on Big Macs in Parliament Square did somewhat blunt the PR effect, and they were annihilated soon after).

To be fair to the Cambridge Economics Fellow, Pussy Riot have launched some successful naked protests and some less successful ones in the social media age. One can (no doubt there at all) see where she’s coming from. But, being perhaps brutally economically determinist, Ms Bateman’s naked protest is in the Isthmian League of nude protests and, like the People’s Vote Campaign it seems to be part of,  it too has descended into farce.

Indeed, so far has the Cambridge Fellow’s campaign disintegrated that poor Dr Victoria is no longer defending Remain, nor is she teaching economics to the masses.


She’s defending pubic hair:

Self-promotion, offering favours for news and interviews, injecting oneself into the story or creating news events for coverage is not clever. It’s not Gonville & Caius clever. It’s ridiculous. It’s how the Remoan crowd have behaved all along and now they are prematurely sunk. And that’s sad, because, although some are very nasty, there are some well-meaning Remaniacs, and Dr Victoria seems harmless enough.

Get drawn into focusing on other questions and your campaign is over.

As the countryside-dwelling Readers of Country Squire Magazine well know, there are those out there who are for and those others who are against the badger cull. That is not the question here – and God knows why Bateman is spending her time addressing it.

The only question that Dr Victoria Badger Bateman and her denuded Remainiacs need to answer is how many days are there until March 29th this year? Any shock and awe protests or bouts of public wailing by them now can no longer conceal their flunk – cannot prevent picking at the open gash of June 2016’s pain – however deft the comb-over.

The Editor of Country Squire Magazine is Dominic Wightman.