Those words of the character Victor Meldrew from the sit-com “One foot in the grave” come to mind don’t they!
For some reason, Katharine Viner, Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian newspaper sanctioned the publication of Simon Jenkins most helpful (to the Leave campaign!!!!!) piece in today’s Guardian!
In the article the Most Helpful Jenkins tells his readers that he has alternated between Leave and Remain throughout the campaign. In the article he criticises aspects of each campaign but his demolition of the “Project Fear” of the Chameleon and the Unfortunate Osborne is a veritable tour de force! Un grand merci mon bon ami!
But then that appears to be the “Geist kampagne” these days! Each side does the other’s work for them!
Now one would think that by delivering a hatchet job on “Project Fear” that is the equal or better than all previous attempts by the Leave side, the Most Helpful Jenkins would have left it at that.
Not a bit of it! For that would be to flagrantly underestimate the sheer overflowing generosity of spirit in the Most Helpful Jenkins breast! Not content with demolishing the Chameleon and the Unfortunate Osborne’s central argument, the Most Helpful Jenkins has clearly read his scripture and has taken the Good Lord’s teachings to heart clearly having in mind, Matthew 5:41 “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”
For the Most Helpful Jenkins then goes on to tell the Guardian’s readership (and now everybody else!) WHY he is going to vote Remain!
The Most Helpful Jenkins goes on to state: “Britain is not a big player in the EU game.” [The UK has 29 votes out of 352 votes on the European Council. This works out to 8.24%. In the European Parliament, the 72 British MEPs form a small part of the 751 total of MEPs. This works out at to 9.59%] “It has always been a disgruntled bystander.” [Which is why the USA wants the UK there] “But for Britain to trigger not a “dis-integration” but a dismantling of what is already a tottering congeries of states is most dangerous. It would leave Germany effectively alone at the head of Europe, alternately hesitant and bullying. That has to be a bad idea – as sensible Germans will attest…… This is not the equivalent of 1914 or 1939. It is closer to 1815 and Waterloo. A Britain that votes to stay with the EU would be able, for a crucial while, to wield serious clout,” [No it won't! Ed.] “in Europe’s interest and its own. At the start of this campaign I wanted to leave, renegotiate and stay. Now I am for stay, lobby and see what happens next. Whatever anyone says, there is always another time.”
British Gazette comment: Praise be! Hallelujah! The Most Helpful Jenkins and the Most Obliging Katharine Viner – for it is she who took the decision to publish the piece – clearly have not thought through the consequences of these statements. True, many Europhiles will heartily endorse them! One can hear even from Land’s End the loud applause in the household of Lord Kinnock! However the effect on many voters wavering between Remain and Leave will be quite different! For many of them this will be the decider. Not wanting their country to become dominated by Germany they will conclude that the UK is “Better off out!”
Because a dismantling of the European Union will cause the specific problem – of a Federal European Confederacy” to cease to be! That something more akin to a loose trade association will take it’s place.
Which as Nigel Farage has repeatedly pointed out was what the British People voted for in the first place!
Simon Jenkins is a journalist and author. He writes for the Guardian as well as broadcasting for the BBC. He has edited the Times and the London Evening Standard and chaired the National Trust. His recent books include England’s Hundred Best Views, and Mission Accomplished? The Crisis of International Intervention
Katharine Viner became the first female Editor-in-Chief at The Guardian on 1st June 2015 succeeding Alan Rusbridger. She headed The Guardian’s web operations in Australia, moved to New York in September 2014 to take up responsibility for The Guardian’s online presence in the United States, and was shortly after selected for the editor-in-chief’s position. She is also a playwright.