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Penny Mordaunt said Brexit was ‘a noble and hopeful act’ – and then sidestepped absolutely all of the evidence


Arguably it was form of Penny Mordaunt to schedule her Brexit speech for 8am on Tuesday morning, if solely to make it simpler for the gathered media to know their exact position in proceedings, which was to offer a laundry service the place the worldwide growth secretary might drop off her conscience on the best way to cupboard within the hope it would come out clear within the subsequent day’s papers.

It was properly delivered, in its means, this newest try by a Tory Brexiteer to unburden themselves from the closely dirty penalties of their actions. If its inflections had been good, one imagines it could be as a result of Ms Mordaunt has delivered it many instances earlier than, to her bed room ceiling, broad eyed at 3am.

Maybe that’s harsh. Maybe she actually does imagine these items. Brexit, we learnt, not for the primary time, “Was by no means about withdrawing from the world, it was about participating with it increasingly instantly.”

And but by some means – and this should actually rankle Ms Mordaunt as a result of she might by no means presumably have foreseen it when she went right into a polling sales space and voted to depart the European Union per week after a Labour MP had been shot lifeless by a far proper gunman shouting the phrases “Britain First” – by some means, she stated: “There’s a hazard so-called populism, rising nationalism, protectionism and an absence of belief within the worldwide system are philosophies which in search of to get traction. Lots of those that would attempt to flip us away from these qualities have sought to say victory within the success of the Depart marketing campaign.”

Certainly they’ve Penny, certainly they’ve. And in the event you’d like only one motive for that, it could be as a result of the Depart marketing campaign of which you converse, and this isn’t in any means contested, very intentionally rejected all of the previous, optimistic, Eurosceptic marketing campaign techniques of previous, the “World Britain” stuff, and the “Out and into the World!” slogan that misplaced by a mile in 1975. As an alternative, what they did was drive around the nation in a bus with lies down the facet after which informed different lies about Turkey becoming a member of the EU, and issued posters with shadowy footprints sneaking into Britain by way of a backdoor marked with a British passport and left ajar.

There are few issues extra miserable on this planet of political evaluation than when a politician or a pundit appears at an electoral consequence and tells you “what the persons are telling us”, as a result of it’s basically inconceivable to know, and Ms Mourdant did at the very least acknowledge that “None of us can look into the souls of our fellow countrymen and ladies,” earlier than, in her subsequent breath doing precisely that.

“I can say that through the referendum marketing campaign I spoke to very large numbers of individuals, about their views and their emotions,” she stated. “Many Depart voters had been motivated by democracy, by accountable authorities, and by sovereignty.”

Which little doubt they had been, however, because it occurs, I’ve additionally spoken to very large numbers of Depart voters about their views and emotions. Just like the man through the immigration speech at Ukip convention final week who shouted out, “Ship them again!”

Or the chap who got here as much as Jacob Rees-Mogg after I was canvassing with him in Somerset, waving a duplicate of The Solar that had the refugee disaster on its entrance web page and informed him, “I’m glad they’re drowning.”

Penny Mourdant on Oxfam: If ethical management is not there then we can not have you ever as a associate

These individuals, Ms Mourdant is kind of right to say, “Have a sense that they’ve been left behind—that they, their ambitions for his or her household, weren’t the politicians’ priorities.”

She’s proper. And that’s why these individuals had been instantly focused by a wildly profitable Depart marketing campaign which she now seems to suppose was about different issues solely, and that by some means these individuals, who voted Brexit, are squarely behind Ms Mourdant’s new priorities, which entails publicly disowning them at 8am to make herself really feel higher.

“Over the past 12 months there was a mischaracterisation of the British individuals and their causes for selecting to depart,” she stated, taking an extended deep look into the souls of thousands and thousands of voters that had been off limits simply seconds in the past. “You’d be fallacious to interpret Brexit as protectionist, nationalist, or egocentric.” 

“Brexit,” she stated, “was a noble and hopeful act. It was all the way down to good British individuals, not unhealthy boys.” By whom she means Nigel Farage and co, who’re nationalists, are vocal defenders of the protectionist insurance policies of Donald Trump, and for whom absolutely 4 million individuals voted for on the 2015 common election, a direct electoral menace to the Conservative get together and nobody else, with out which there would have been no referendum.  

However that referendum, it seems, granted solely to placate the “unhealthy boys”, and within the sure information it might by no means, really, be misplaced, was all of the sudden an inspiring factor, true to the values she had simply been imposing on thousands and thousands of those that demonstrably should not have them. “The actual fact that we had a referendum, that we had the talk, that we had the vote,” she stated, “that now we have democracy is an indication of our energy and the qualities that we worth.”

Possibly it’s. It’s simply that, properly, you type of get the suspicion that if we’d, , voted to stay within the European Union, then two years later members of the British authorities wouldn’t be having to spend their instances giving speeches about how the British individuals actually are actually, actually international, they aren’t “egocentric little Englanders”. So the truth that the vote for Brexit really proved all these issues aren’t true, and but right here she is, two years later, doing precisely that – properly, it’s simply an unfathomable thriller, isn’t it?

No, no-one can look into the souls of huge numbers of individuals, however you may depend up the fundamental numbers concerned. And you may’t, sadly, ignore the techniques that had been used to steer them, for the exact motive that they had been profitable.

Sorry Ms Mordaunt, we’ve tried our greatest, however the stains simply gained’t come out.


The Impartial has launched its #FinalSay marketing campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the ultimate Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here


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