Nick Clegg vs Tony Blair who is the maddest Brexit denying remoaner of the week?

Tom Winnifrith Sunday 16 July 2017


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There is a strong contest to be the maddest and most extreme Brexit denier in public life. Normally Tory MP Anna Soubry is a strong contender, turning up on the BBC or C4 twice a day to offer up a few post fact era words to explain why she cannot accept the democratic will of the nation. But this week Soubry started to look positively sane when compared to two chaps who really are yesterday's men.

First up was the former PM and well known war criminal Tony Blair. Old Tony is hearing voices again. Poor fellow. Back in his pomp those voices told him that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction capable of hitting British bases within 45 minutes. This week the voices told him that EU leaders would agree to all sorts of compromises that would allow Britain to get a far better deal so we could vote again on whether to stay in the EU.

So why didn't the EU leaders give Call Me Dave such a deal before the 2016 referendum, instead of the worthless Munich style piece of paper he was forced to try to sell to us as bringing peace in our time? Strangely the EU leaders denied telling Mr Blair any such thing but still the old fool blathered on. The one voice Mr Blair cannot seem to hear is that of the British people who may be divided on almost everything else but are almost united in loathing and despising Blair and not believing a word he says. For some reason Blair is the only person in Britain today who thinks we give a fuck what Mr Blair thinks or says.

Normally Mr Blair and his voices would win the mad remoaner of the week contest but on this occasion he was trumped by former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg who suggested we have a second referendum on Brexit with 16-30 year olds given two votes as they have more of a stake in the result.

I quite like this principle. Higher earners pay most tax. The top 1% of income taxpayers pay c30% of all income tax. How about we gave them 10 votes, and normal rate taxpayers 1 vote and those who pay no tax zero votes on a referendum on whether we move to a 10% flat tax and also force the Government, by law ,to have a balanced budget. We who pay most tax surely, on the Clegg principle, deserve far more votes that those inhabiting the welfare safaris of Northern England and the Celtic provinces?

But it is not democratic and so it is wrong. I suppose that a party that supported secret courts and gagging the press is entitled to call itself Liberal just as the same party can show utter contempt for the biggest vote in British history and call itself Democratic. To be fair that great Liberal John Stuart Mill did toy with the idea of giving more votes to those who were more intelligent. In his day that was to be judged by those who had obtained a University Degree when that marked you out as academically elite. We would need a rather different test today.

But it seems that there is scant evidence that the millennials are brighter than we old folk or that they understand the EU - or indeed anything - better than we do. The one thing that can be said in their favour is that in Sheffield Hallam a few weeks ago they had the good sense to vote against Nick Clegg in droves for he really does seem to be losing the plot badly.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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