ANYONE who feels there isn’t enough David Cameron in their lives should watch Inside Europe: 10 Years of Europe. This documentary is timely and surprisingly gripping.
The first episode considers the old Etonian’s calamitous journey towards the referendum. The pink acres of Cameron’s face are widely on show as he blithely bumbles towards a public vote he was obviously going to win as he was the sort of fate-kissed chap who naturally came out on top (spoiler alert).
Last Monday’s second episode concerned the Greek bailout of 2010 and was just as compelling.
If you want to know how we got where we are now, this documentary is a good starting point. Most of the main players appear as talking heads, although we are left to console ourselves with archive footage of Cameron doing his waffling head act. Perhaps he was too busy hiding in that expensive shed of his, pretending to write his memoirs.
Chief among the witnesses is today’s villain of choice: Donald Tusk, president of the European Council. Tusk comes over well in the documentary, having a sly sparkle and a ready wit, although that fact is missing from the coverage in today’s newspapers, especially the Brexit-besotted ones.
Tusk has got himself into an inky scrap with Brexit-supporting Brits for saying “there is a special place in hell for some Brexiteers”. That is a partial quotation, and it is one that the ‘pro’ lobby are keen to trundle out.
The selective quote misses the following section, where Tusk criticises those who pushed for Brexit “without even a sketch of a plan”.
This is perfectly reasonable, unless you are the editor of the Sun, where the leader column rages: “We knew one of the EU’s leaders is a staggering drunk – turns out the other is a staggering fool”. The editorial concludes that “these sneering, sniggering goons are exactly why we voted as we did on June the 23rd, 2016”.
Such windy bluster is one of the biggest problems with the way Brexit has proceeded: if those keenest on Brexit aren’t banging on about the war, they’re wittering on about foul foreigners who are intent on diddling us in some fashion or other.
Taken at face value, what Tusk says is sensible, and is also an understandable outbreak of frustration at trying to deal with our shattered politics and our stumbling politicians.
Those Brexit bandits who swore that everything would be a doddle – and who needs a plan anyway? – have made everything far worse by their Empire-like bluster and blather. Not really having any sort of a plan is one of the biggest problems with Brexit.
Still, I do hope there is a special corner of hell for those Brexit buffoons who rushed ahead without bothering to buy a map. Chief among those must be former Brexit Secretary David Davis, who loved Brexit from its incubation, and blithely insisted that everything would work out in the end, and don’t blink when you see the whites of their eyes. He is probably saying that even now, if anyone has the energy to listen.
With luck, Davis will share an incandescent corner of hell with fellow Brexit bandit Boris Johnson, who is paid more than £200,000 a year by the Daily Telegraph to write basically the same pro-Brexit column every single week: nasty work if you can get it. Johnson has been a keen proponent in proclaiming that all will be sunny in those EU-free uplands.
Davis and Johnson can share the hot pokers with Michael Gove, who pushed Brexit like the best seller of snake oil.
And let’s not forget Nigel Farage, however delightful such forgetfulness would be. Farage is the chief architect of the plan-free Brexit: no plan, just hunch, prejudice and bluster.
Hot pokers and boiling oil all round.
Come to think of it, just being cooped up in hell with Nigel Farage would be another sort of hell, an inner circle of endless torment.
And endless torment is, of course, a passingly good summation of Brexit so far.