Imagine being hit on the head, not hard enough to knock out but hard enough to daze. Good, now you know how the defeated federasts feel.
This stupor affects their thought, never especially deep to begin with, which then comes across in what they say.
Witness Labour’s Stephen Kinnock, MP, both of whose parents became millionaires off the EU’s euro, and whose wife was until recently Denmark’s PM. Given such family involvements, I for one wouldn’t expect Mr Kinnock to be impeccably disinterested on this issue.
But I’d still expect one of those who govern us to be less daft than the proverbial brush. Alas, Mr Kinnock frustrated such expectations by declaring: “If the British people voted to leave the EU that’s one thing. But can we really say they voted for the devastation and destruction of the entire exporting sector of our economy?”
He clearly sees this as an inevitable consequence of Brexit. One wonders on what basis he has reached that conclusion.
His co-believers are clamouring about the collapse of the pound in the wake of the referendum. Actually, going from £1.29 to £1.24 falls rather short of the apocalypse they predicted in the run-up to the vote.
But do let’s suppose that the pound will remain at its present level or drop even lower. That would make imported goods and travelling on the continent dearer.
However, a lower pound will reduce the unit cost of British goods, making them more competitive on world markets. In fact, currency devaluation is a time-honoured way of boosting exports, one that had enabled, say, France to compete with Germany until the deutschmark, in the guise of the euro, became the single currency.
Then, rid of prohibitive EY tariffs, we’ll now be able to trade more easily with countries outside the EU, which already make up 60 per cent of our foreign trade. At the same time our trade with the EU has been going down steadily, dropping below the pre-Maastricht level.
Rather than ‘devastating and destroying’ our export sector, Brexit will make it stronger. Market traders, more intelligent and less ideological than Mr Kinnock, realise this, which is why Rolls-Royce shares shot up yesterday.
Mr Kinnock seems to be suggesting that, now we’ve decided not to become a province of The Fourth Reich, the EU market will be closed to British exports.
However, our trade balance with the EU is negative: they sell more to us than we to them. Protectionism inevitably produces retaliation in kind, meaning that, should the EU slap punitive tariffs on us, we’ll do the same to them. So where will the Germans sell their expensive cars? Greece? Portugal? Why, if the EU tried to do what Mr Kinnock predicts, it’ll instantly implode.
In other words, he’s talking through his hat, or rather through a portion of his anatomy that can’t be named in this decorous space.
Then there’s Sir Anthony Seldon, who has used the occasion to plug his upcoming biography of Cameron. Sir Anthony is nobody’s fool, but ideological bias can make even a clever chap sound dumb.
Sir Anthony writes, correctly, that “Cameron’s lack of deep beliefs has been another trait.” Yet in the very next paragraph, Sir Anthony shows no olfactory sense for non sequiturs: “His high intelligence, work rate, calm during crises, and integrity were his greatest strengths. So too was his patriotism.”
How do ‘high intelligence’ and ‘integrity’ tally with ‘lack of deep beliefs?’ Highly intelligent people think deeply about the world, which activity inevitably produces deep beliefs. If they have integrity, they tend to live their lives according to those beliefs.
A politician with no deep beliefs can be many things: a cynic, spiv, unprincipled manipulator, even a traitor. One thing he can’t possibly be is a highly intelligent man of integrity.
Nor can a man who has tears in his eyes when announcing his resignation boast ‘calm during crises’. And, if Sir Antony seriously thinks that staking his whole career on dissolving his country’s sovereignty is a sign of a politician’s patriotism, then his take on that faculty is rather different from mine.
Because of my unfortunate accident of birth, I also read Russian commentators in addition to English and French ones. Now even otherwise brilliant Russian pundits know next to nothing about Western politics, and understand considerably less.
Hence their state media are gloating about Brexit, while the ‘liberal’ opposition bewail it, both for the same reason: only Putin will benefit.
First, it may come as a surprise to those solipsistic chaps, but we don’t always base our politics on what Putin would like or dislike. Second, exactly how will he benefit? By gaining a military advantage?
But Britain is leaving the EU, not NATO. And it’s NATO, not the EU, that keeps Putin’s aggressive designs in check.
Neither is there any discernible economic payoff for Putin’s junta. On the contrary, one immediate effect of Brexit was a drop in the price of oil, meaning that Russian cellists will have fewer billions to buy musical instruments in Panama.
Everyone is saying that Brexit is divisive. So it is: it divides those who think clearly and those who don’t. The Russians can be forgiven their traditional ignorance of the West, which license can’t be extended to Westerners themselves.