Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Bernard Jenkin - You’re A Clown

[Update at end of post]

Sometimes the opposition comes riding to your rescue. This week, for those trying valiantly to point out that crashing out of the EU with no deal in place for Britain’s future relationship with those other 27 countries would be A Very Bad Thing Indeed, it came galloping, in the shape of singularly clueless Tory MP Bernard Jenkin.
It's the way I tell 'em

Jenkin is a fully subscribed member of the club where any bad news, adverse prediction or caution against future action is instantly denounced as “Project Fear”. We should keep on permanently smiling in the style of equally clueless Brexiteer Richard Tice, and all will be well. Jenkin’s version of this idiocy came crashing down about his ears yesterday.

Last week, as the BBC has reported, “The boss of the UK's biggest carmaker has warned the government to get ‘the right Brexit’ or it could wipe out his firm's profits and end in big job cuts … Jaguar Land Rover's Ralf Speth called the prospect of a cliff-edge break with the European Union as ‘horrifying’ … ‘Any friction at the border puts business at jeopardy,’ he said at the UK's first Zero Emission Vehicle Summit”. There was more.
‘We are absolutely firmly committed to the UK, it's our home. But a hard Brexit will cost Jaguar Land Rover more than £1.2bn a year - it's horrifying, wiping our profit, destroying investment in the autonomous, zero-emissions’ … He said that if poor UK productivity worsened after Brexit, he would be forced to move manufacturing to somewhere such as Poland, where it was cheaper to make cars … About a quarter of a million people in the UK rely directly, or indirectly, on the success of his company, Mr Speth said”.

So it was understandable that when Jenkin appeared on the Radio 4 Today programme yesterday, the JLR boss’ words would be put to him. They duly were, and the Harwich and North Essex MP respondedI’m afraid I think he’s making it up. We’ve had figures made up all the time by the scaremongers in this debate, and I’m afraid nobody believes them”.
After the Beeb’s Norman Smith told “Bernard Jenkin dismisses warning by Jaguar Land Rover boss of 'No Deal' job losses - ‘I think he's making it up.’” his former colleague Gavin Esler mused “Man who builds cars for a living is dismissed as ‘making it up’ by an MP who makes unfounded political statements for a living. Who do you believe?”.
That was a most prescient thought: as the BBC has now reported, “About 1,000 workers at Jaguar's Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham will move from a five-day to a three-day week from October until Christmas”, adding “The production cutbacks come on the day that Sir Bernard Jenkin, the Tory MP and Brexit supporter, accused Mr Speth of scaremongering with his predictions”. What was the knighthood for, applied idiocy?

The announcement comes after 1,000 contract staff lost their jobs at JLR earlier this year, and production of the Land Rover Discovery was moved to a plant in Slovakia, which is most certainly not leaving the EU. Those pointers should have told Jenkin that he should at the very least be wary of the usual Brexiteer dismissiveness.
That he is unable to take such a hint should be no surprise. Bernard Jenkin in a clown, yet another safe-seat charlatan unable to distinguish ideology from reality.

And he is the one who is “making it up”. Be afraid, voters. Be very afraid.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at


[UPDATE 1345 hours: as if to underscore Jenkin's casual idiocy, Sky News' Faisal Islam has brought yet more bad news from the automotive industry which the Harwich and North Essex MP claims to know so much about.
"SKY sources: BMW to shut its Mini factory for a month immediately after Brexit - No Deal contingency" he told, and just so everyone knew this was not a mere stab in the dark, there was more.
"Industry sources have expressed fears of an effective closure of the Channel Tunnel immediately after a No Deal Brexit lasting two weeks, and then it taking a further two weeks’ emergency diplomacy to re-establish free flowing supply lines" he added.

Bernard Jenkin is currently silent on the issue. I'm sure there's a good explanation]


iMatt said...

So Bernie Jenkins knows more about how a hard Brexit will affect a car manufacturer than the chap who actually runs said car manufacturer now does he?

With such Brexiters, it's hard to know where the stupidity ends and the arrogance begins. Or vice versa.

Anonymous said...

It's impossible to trust someone with very badly dyed hair.

Anonymous said...

Him and Bridgen should join a circus.

Listen to his interview with Irish Radio, its a cracker (to coin the phrase of a famous Irish comedian).


Ask specifics and all these idiots are clueless.

Jonathan said...

He got roasted on The World Today on Radio 4 last week over the JRM fan club The European Research Group's Brexit paper by an SDLP MP and Simon Coveney the Irish FM.