Into each life a little rain must fall, and for mercenary hack Isabel Oakeshott, it has come pouring down after her Brexiteer bluster came seriously unstuck in the face of grim reality and public frustration. Perhaps all those unicorns in her attic had punctured the roofing. Or perhaps it’s another example of a changing mood out there in the country.
Ms Oakeshott had responded to the observations of campaigner Femi Oluwole, who was venting his exasperation at yet another Question Time audience member not making sense on Brexit. “Jesus Christ! ‘I know what I voted for’ and ‘Nobody knows what's going to happen’ … Are two INCOMPATIBLE STATEMENTS!!!” he exclaimed.
Sadly, this is all too typical of many Brexiteers. They want to leave something they don’t understand, because of something it didn’t impose on them, and in any case, foreigners and maybe Scary Muslims™! They want to leave something where they have a vote (the EU) for the WTO (where they don’t). And plots! And conspiracies! Talking foreign!
Ms Oakeshott was having none of this. And she said so. “Wrong. There is no inconsistency here: people voted to take a risk; try something new; accept there are unknowns in the hope and belief we can make a success of it”. Er, if you accept there are unknowns, then you don’t know what you’re voting for. Which was sort of Femi’s point.
So she should not have been surprised at the immediate pushback, with “Seriously Isabel? Evidence free decision making . How far are you taking that? Spend whatever you like without looking at bank balance? Leave Andrew Wakefield unchallenged? Sit on evidence of #Banski’s Russian contacts while telling Cadwalladr she was chasing unicorns?” typical.
There was more. “Wrong. We were told there were no downsides, only upsides, great opportunity, great for the economy, easiest deal in history. Lying, cheating, dishonest, frauds” was one response. Jim Cornelius added “Even if you buy this bullshit argument then you can also argue that we’ve opened the mystery box now and it turns out that it was empty. There’s nothing stopping us now saying no thanks, forget it”. Quite.
Clive Wismayer was unimpressed. “You are lying. Please dig up any pro-leave speech or article from the 2016 campaign with this message. I remember nothing of the kind”. His response garnered its own response. “She of all people should be able to dig them up if they existed shouldn't she?” With that closeness to Nige, Richard and Banksy, well, yes.
Roy Sholey had a message for her, and it was one she doesn’t want to hear. “All I see now from committed Leavers is desperation to peddle further lies and try to somehow present what is now known to be a futile gamble as something to be aspired towards. If after 3 years there’s still no way forward, it’s time to admit failure [and] revoke A50”.
And Femi Oluwole was on hand to point out the obvious problem in her claim. “So.... You didn't know what you were voting for then? By definition, if I vote for a mystery box, I don't know what's inside therefore I don't really know what I'm voting for. I mean you literally just said ‘unknown’ in your tweet”. No further questions, M’Lud.
Reality has already dawned outside the Oakeshott bubble. Maybe she will start to understand that many voters no longer want what she’s selling. Or maybe not.
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