He was magnificent. Ken Clarke spoke for saving Britain, and he spoke for the three-quarters of MPs who never supported this madness. But on his own benches he is the lone refuser, the only one who will vote today against what most of Clarke’s colleagues and almost all on the Labour benches know to be an approaching Brexit calamity.
Like a prophet crying in the wilderness – dismissed as “purple and quavery”, and his words as a “pitiful harrumph” in the Daily Mail – his speech will resonate down the Brexit years.
How did it come to this act of collective cowardice? Because rebelling against your own leadership is easy, and usually delights the voters with a show of sterling independence. But to rebel against the voters – that takes formidable courage.
Don’t do what the voters want, only what you think is right.
Do we all get to play this game then?
The voters want the NHS – fuck ’em, they’re wrong.
The voters want more government – fuck ’em, they’re wrong.
The voters want less inequality – fuck ’em, they’re wrong.
Or is there a special the voters disagree with Polly so fuck ’em clause in there somewhere?