After the vote in favour of Britain leaving the EU, and the announcement of his departure by Young Dave, came the inevitable punditry, some of it informed, but as ever, most of it somewhere between clueless and totally gaga. And there are no prizes for guessing that, coalescing somewhere adjacent to the “totally gaga” end of that scale have been the latest wibblings of (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
Ms Mensch immediately knew more about Britain’s path out of the EU than everyone else put together, and wasted no time in informing her adoring public. Sadly, the only upside from her latest excursion to hatstand land has been the unintentional hilarity, after she - as usual - opened mouth and inserted expensively shod foot.
How Gaga was she? Let’s start with Britain’s EU budget contributions: “Our NET contribution to the EU this year, ONS estimate, £11.2 bn. We should get a lot back”. We won’t get a penny back. We haven’t started the process for leaving yet. Try again. “This year was to be our highest net contribution in the years to 2020. Get our cash back David”. “David”, in case no-one noticed, has left this particular hot potato to his successor.
Perhaps she would be on sounder ground with the internal affairs of her own party? Sadly not: after pausing to give Dave her thanks - “Thank you for your service @David_Cameron” - she went into Wibble overdrive with “I look forward to seeing Michael Gove, Boris Johnson or Andrea Leadsom as Prime Minister”. Andrea Leadsom? Michael Gove? I mean, Bozza would be a joke, and he’s the least bad of the bunch.
How about the rest of the EU? How was the Mensch mysticism there? As if you need to ask: “Schulz is panicking and I laugh at him Keine Extrawürste für dich Schulz!” Best stick to English. But do go on. Donald Tusk reminded everyone that the UK was still bound by EU laws and treaties. “Press statement by President Donald Tusk http://pllqt.it/ILQSPp - no it won't tusk”. She thinks we can just abandon treaty commitments. Classy.
It got worse: “The EU is like the knight in Monty Python after its limbs are lopped off”. That’s why the other 27 member states agreed a joint position and statement before noon today, and Britain didn’t. “Even Cameron's resignation is not a big deal as he was always planning to leave early next year to leave Time for a new pm before 2020”. Ooh, crystal ball alert! Except talk now is of a General Election by early next year.
Still, there was always the opinion polling to slag off: “People are quoting a YouGov analysis at me to show me Labour voted remain. That's you gov ten point lead for remain you gov”. YouGov’s final poll showed a Remain lead of just 2%, and had the count been based only on votes cast yesterday, Remain would have won.
Still, there was always Labour to kick: “Labour wake up. Doncaster, leave. Sheffield, leave. Bassetlaw, leave. Wales, leave. LABOUR BASE IS FOR LEAVE. Europhile at your peril”. Jeremy Corbyn delivered around 70% of his voters for Remain, and Cameron just 44% of his. And once they find they’ve been conned, they might not vote the same way again.
Being cooped up in her gilded Manhattan eyrie is not doing much for Louise Mensch’s relationship with reality. And remember, they allowed her to become an MP.