For the Conservative Party, Brexit has come home to roost. Nobody can spot a benefit and every day reveals a new downside to the absurd policy. So weakened is the Brexit Right that it is now engaged in suggesting that the entire UK has been taken over by a liberal elite determined to thwart the will of the British people, take us back into the EU, invite 100 million black people to live forever in Britain and oblige all old Etonians to sponsor the national turnip awards.
Prime among the proselytisers of the “woke liberals weakening the national stock” faction are those Titans of rational thought like Matthew Goodwin, Rod Liddle and Sarah Vine.
I wish the woke liberals would get on with it, whoever they are. They seem a strange bunch in that they don’t control the media, or the City, or own giant corporations, hold vast property portfolios or have inherited countless thousands of acres of sporting estates in every corner of the UK. They are not in charge of the Bank of England, the BBC or the Arts Council, the National Lottery Heritage Board or the media, water, telecommunications or banking regulators.
I can name two alleged members of this woke group that is apparently threatening the very fabric of the United Kingdom. One is a former footballer called Gary Lineker, son of a Leicester greengrocer and state schooled. You may have heard of Lineker. He embodies many of the virtues admired by Tories. From modest beginnings in a hardworking small business family, he has become a household name. Lineker was a gifted footballer.
He used that gift to work hard and rise to the top of his trade, winning many national and international honours. Notably, he was never sent off. So, a talented, hard-working, law-abiding citizen. Yes but – and here’s the difficult bit for Tories – he was also given a good brain and has used that brain to think and his thinking led him to conclude that some things in society are not right. Thinking that being a football pundit did not remove his right to free speech, he took to Twitter to express his views.
Enormous passport queues
This action by Lineker has so completely, totally and irredeemably destabilised the nation that enormous passport queues are now regular events at Dover, patients find it impossible to get a GP appointment, hospital waiting lists are now a national embarrassment, the new high speed line to the North of England has been reduced to the length of three football fields and, since Gary rashly removed the UK from the European Union, the economy has shrunk by 4% and nobody in any other country now speaks to us.
Thank the Lord for the Conservative government delivering us a new trade deal with countries many thousands of miles away. This new arrangement might deliver us a 0.08% economic uplift at some point during the next 50 years, or not. Somebody ensured that the deal was not debated or scrutinised in parliament. Was it you, Gary?
Were Gary not bad enough, we also have Emily. Emily is a journalist. Like Gary, she too went to a state school, except in the far north of England. In Yorkshire. This has led to Emily being known as ‘Red Wall Emily’ among two people in a pub somewhere in Maidstone. It’s a clear indication of her hard Left-wing views and commitment to revolutionary socialism. Emily’s state school is in the steelmaking city of Sheffield (during the Thatcher years, most of the steelmaking ended, leaving Sheffield with two football clubs, an annual darts tournament and not very much steel).
Emily Maitlis, for it is she, may actually be more culpable than Gary. Not only was she not actually born in the UK, but in Canada, she also worked for many years at the BBC. Perhaps the most damning factor in Emily’s curriculum vitae is that she attended the University of Cambridge.
As we all know, Cambridge has long been suspected as a place favourable to, or unfavourable to, the British state. After all, it has welcomed through its famous doors luminaries such as King Charles lll, Oliver Cromwell and Sir David Attenborough. Then we have the English public schoolboys Anthony Blunt, Kim Philby, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean and the Scottish shopkeeper’s son, John Cairncross (collectively the Cambridge Soviet spies). Oh yes, and that new haranguer of useless Conservative ministers, Carol Vorderman BA (Cantab)*.
Did I forget Stephen Fry? He must be woke. He certainly went to Cambridge, but then, of all the MPs with an Oxbridge degree, 70% are Conservatives. The balance is to be found in Labour and the Lib Dems. Not a single SNP MP attended either university, mainly preferring the rational intellectual grounding provided by Scotland’s higher education institutes.
It is suspected among the Carlton Club classes that Emily is quite keen on people involved in government telling the truth. Such was her disbelief about Dominic Cummings’ explanation of his entirely innocent drive to Barnard Castle that she expressed her incredulity live on television. The BBC management’s outrage at Emily speaking truth to power brought her a severe telling off. Realising the Corporation was no longer a place for demanding journalism, Emily quit. She joined another station.
This means she no longer talks to the huge audiences once commanded at the BBC. Despite this, sewerage continues to be dumped into the seas around England, local authorities bereft of funds from central government keep closing children’s services, libraries and public toilets. The courts have enormous backlogs and Conservative MPs continue getting work interviewing Conservative ministers on a TV station called GB News, though it is not, according to the broadcast regulator, Ofcom, a TV news station. Yet, Emily can still get up every day and go to work as a broadcast journalist, even though the station she works for makes no secret of the fact that it is in the business of news and current affairs. Is there no justice?
So, in solidarity with Gary and Emily, I’m making it public that I am a member of the liberal woke elite. I am willing to take my share of responsibility for Brexit, for the crumbling state of the United Kingdom and the shocking under-investment in our public services experienced over the past 13 years.
I managed to do all that by owning a modest home, saving up for a modest pension, campaigning over months and years for the UK to stay in the EU, attending a state school and going to an ancient Scottish university at aged 26, having managed to fail my 11+. Oh and my dad was a grocer, in a modest way of business. Sadly, I lacked the skills to knock any sort of ball about for Scotland and my media career never bothered the BBC’s recruiters. These days, most of my writing is confined to the hugely influential Bylines Scotland. Despite all the advantages I’ve had in life, I’m still daily failing to end racism, sectarianism, poverty, misogyny or income inequality and the last time I looked the Conservative Party still held power at Westminster and me, Emily and Gary didn’t.
Am I a member of the woke, liberal elite? Damned right I am. Woke and proud. Elite? Well, I have dined at The Ritz.
*Carol Vorderman has been nominated for the Person Who Most Annoyed the Tories This Year Award.