Lord Rochester with monkey by Huysmans c. 1675. Image: WGA
Extracted from Twitter thread of Sean Jones QC:
“Brexit fanatics’ responses to my arguments take two broad forms:
1. Shut up, traitor. You lost, just get over it!
2. Why not stop sulking, come together with us and work for a jobs-first, bountiful Brexit?
…..what do I say to the invitation to collaborate in an imaginary pain-free Brexit?
It’s not an invitation I propose to accept, for three reasons:
1. I believe Brexit is an act of national self-harm in all its conceivable forms, and with there still being a reasonable chance it won’t happen, that’s what I want to advocate, and work towards.
2. It would not be like joining a collective Amish barn-raising. After demolishing the existing, perfectly good barn, there is still no unity of Brexiter vision, or purpose, about what to do next. The loudest of them are against having a new barn on principle.
3. Even if those anarchist Amish could be stopped from questioning what the negotiations are intended to achieve, what am I expected actually to do? The answer to that question is clear. What they actually mean is… Shut up. Just stop pointing out the dangers. Stop identifying the harm. We’d rather not be reminded of reality. We’ll go on putting up our vaguely barn-shaped shack made of balsa wood and papier-mache.
Put aside how sinister that it is. It’s also stupid. With a project this hazardous, risk-blindness will all but guarantee failure. We are seeing it in the negotiations right now. A refusal to do the basics: to realistically assess our bargaining position and be clear about our aims courts disaster.
If Remainers ever fell silent, all that would be left would be the sound of the wind rushing in our ears as we fell over the cliff.
I will take action. I will do all I can to help those confused by the Brexiters’ crass stupidity. And ultimately, I’m determined this nonsense will not happen.”
Sean Jones QC
Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbrechts, Trompe l’oeil with Studio Wall and Vanitas Still Life 1668.
“Man is the reasoning animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal….His record is the fantastic record of a maniac. I consider that the strongest count against his intelligence is the fact that ….he blandly sets himself up as the head animal of the lot: whereas by his own standards he is the bottom one.”
Mark Twain, The Lowest Animal, 1896