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11 September 2019

Tortured Brexit metaphor alert! The Telegraph thinks Icarus “flew to freedom”

“Nigel Farage is the Brexit Icarus. Here’s how he can see us fly out of the EU to freedom”. Sure.

By Media Mole

Media outlets making historical or literary references that inadvertently undermine their argument is your mole’s favourite genre of Brexit-era journalism.

Remember Nick Timothy calling for Theresa May’s “Boudicca Moment” in The Sun (ignoring the fact that the Celtic queen was catastrophically defeated by…Europeans)? Or Boris Johnson warning in the Telegraph that passing the Chequers deal would be the first deliberate acquiescence to foreign rule “since 1066” (forgetting the barons inviting king Louis to take the throne in 1216, and the Dutch king William in 1688…)? Or Jacob Rees-Mogg warning Theresa May against the fate of Robert Peel after repealing the Corn Laws (neglecting that history bore out this bold decision to put country above party)?

Well, the latest in this enjoyable series is a tweet and headline (now changed) by the Telegraph suggesting Icarus… flew out “to freedom”. Yes, that’s the same Icarus of Greek mythology whose father made him wings out of feathers and wax to escape prison – and he messed up by flying too close to the sun, melting the wax, falling into the sea and drowning.

Here it is:

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(It’s only fair to note that the actual piece, though bizarre, does get the actual story right and instead lays out a “Daedalus Manifesto” (named after Icarus’s father) for the Brexit Party – so at least one Brexiteer understands the basics of the most famous Greek legend…).

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