Ah, the Brexit press. How does it manage to be so insecure when everything – including a nationwide referendum and a craven Prime Minister – goes its way? Presumably because it’s beginning to realise its vision for Britain is completely out of step with anything remotely in the interests of its readers, of course! Here is the Telegraph’s latest nervous breakdown of a front page:
— Allie Hodgkins-Brown (@AllieHBNews) November 14, 2017
That’s right, a series of relatively flattering, friendly photos of Conservative MPs who don’t believe trashing the entire economy to placate a minute fringe of ideological zeal is necessarily the best thing for our country. Ie. THE MUTINEERS.
Yes, this is what mutiny looks like in 2017 Britain. No handsome pirates jollying around with muskets and grog. No. Just a bunch of polite but uncomfortable looking estate agents, headmistresses and retired butlers.
These are the Conservatives who plan to rebel against the government when it tries to enshrine the UK’s date of departure from the European Union in law. The government is proposing to include this date – 11pm on 29 March 2019 – in the EU Withdrawal Bill. Entirely pointlessly and self-destructively.
Anna Soubry, a Tory MP included in the montage, has called the front page “bullying” – and it does indeed look like the paper’s intention was to create a sort of modern-day “Wanted” poster.
But no one else is, well, on the same page.
The Brexit minister Steve Baker, who campaigned to leave the EU, has slammed “media attempts to divide our party”– adding that his colleagues pictured have made “sincere suggestions to improve the Bill which we are working through and I respect them for that”.
I regret any media attempts to divide our party. My Parliamentary colleagues have sincere suggestions to improve the Bill which we are working through and I respect them for that. https://t.co/t6r4ojKPbd
— Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerHW) November 14, 2017
Even arch Brexiteer Tory MEP Dan Hannan opposed the front page, tweeting: “Expressing those opinions is not mutiny; it’s representative democracy.”
MPs have differing but sincere opinions about Brexit. Expressing those opinions is not mutiny; it’s representative democracy.
— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) November 15, 2017
In fact, one of the only people praising the splash appears to be JK Rowling, who finds it a handy guide to the only Conservatives vaguely interested in our national interest at present…
The Telegraph is doubtless hoping they get bullied, but many of us are glad to have this useful guide to who put country before party. pic.twitter.com/n7FrOhtZiy
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 15, 2017
Cut out and keep!