The next 48 hours see a series of crucial votes on Leaving the EU in the Commons and with the whole sorry disaster sitting on a knife edge, Tory Remain MPs have been urged to rally round the PM Theresa May to help destroy Britain (er…. help get our country back). With Brexit beginning to prove about as popular as a bad case of piles on a forced march to a Pyongyang labour camp, The Sun has today printed a front page that looks as if it has been knocked up by an intern who – crucially – failed the photo-shop module at GCSE.
The influence of the once powerful tabloid is waning and with circulation dwindling below 1.5 million the paper is struggling to remain top bully in the media playground.
What better way to assert itself and regain some of that lost influence than by chivvying MPs along with threats and some poorly cut a pasted images of all the things that have made Britain Great. Only you’d think that if you were going to produce a front page showing all the great British things that Britain has produced you’d pick one or two things that were actually…. well … British.
1: Windsor Castle. The home of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family, currently headed by Queen Elizabeth II and her Greek-German immigrant husband, was built by William the Conqueror in the Norman motte-and-bailey style in the late 11th century. King William was a French Norman who spent most of his time in France and is buried in Caen.
2: The Mini. ‘Ah, the Mini! What could be more British than that? The Mini! An absolute classic’ ….. created by Greek engineer and immigrant Alec Issigonis. ‘Well what about the modern Mini? That’s lovely too, isn’t it…. the modern mini!’ A marque rescued by German manufacturers, owned by BMW and designed by an American – Frank Stephenson.
3: The Shard. By Italian architect Renzo Piano, built by migrant labour and owned by the State of Qatar.
4: Fish and Chips. The Cod is fished outside of UK waters and the cost is set to rise, by as much as 18%, once we leave the EU. Potatoes originate in South America. We eat a lot of potatoes – far more than we can grow and import a huge amount from the EU which again will lead to price rises once tariffs kick in. The recipe for battered fish was brought to these shores by Sephardic Jews and it was a Jewish immigrant, Joseph Malin who opened the first fish and chip in London in 1860. Vinegar comes to us courtesy of the Babylonians. But the salt might be British.
5: The sheep chosen by The Sun intern are German black headed mutton. They could have chosen a nice British sheep I suppose – but they didn’t. They chose German black headed mutton. This woolly favourite was first brought to Britain in the 1850s from Saxony, just a few short decades before the arrival of Mr. Farage’s German great grandparents.
6: The Colossus at Thorpe Park. Constructed by Swiss manufacturers Intamin and designed by German engineer Werner Stengel as an adaptation of Monte Makaya in Brazil. What could be more British than that?
7: The Red Arrows. Motto: “Éclat” – French for excellence. The display team currently fly British built Hawk jets but those are set to be scrapped by BAE and future display teams will probably fly Italian or even Chinese aircraft.
8: Parliament. Our iconic Parliament building designed by one Augustus Pugin, the son of French refugees who fled France as a result of the Revolution. Now where does The Sun stand on war refugees I can’t remember?
9: The Angel of the North. Designed by arch Remoaner Anthony Gormley, the Angel was constructed with help from a £150,000 EU grant. Gormely himself threatened legal action against Vote Leave when they projected a logo onto the sculpture during the EU referendum campaign. Oh and Gormley is the son of German and Irish migrants.
10: Scotland gets a nod thanks to the Loch Ness Monster; a fictional dinosaur – much like Jacob Rees-Mogg. But that’s it. That’s how they view you Scotland; basically a novelty tea towel, somewhere north of the M25.
11: Talking of fossils – a huge coal powered station, is bizarrely included in this patchwork of madness. Answers on a postcard.
12: Routemaster bus. Finally something truly British. The Old Routemaster is a thing of beauty, which gave long service to the people of remoaning, Metropolitan London before being (largely) retired a decade ago. Its replacement, commissioned by Boris, is a costly, unnecessary, inefficient ersatz take on a classic original; the vehicle equivalent of those Nigella Lawson pots and pans which rust after one cycle in the dishwasher.
13: Stonehenge. Little is known of its actual purpose (a bit like Brexit) most historians agree that it was an elaborate and time consuming white elephant (a bit like Brexit). Or as Spinal Tap put it: ‘Nobody knows who they were, or what they were doing…..’ (you get the idea.)
14: This particular Spitfire is in the colours of the Royal Canadian Airforce. Squadron 402 ‘City of Winnipeg.’
15: The Sun newspaper. Owned by an Australian born, America based billionaire who once said that he was opposed to the EU for one simple reason: ‘When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice.’
With the future of Brexit and Britain at stake, this non-British billionaire’s rag has sought once again to meddle in the affairs of our Parliament with dark threats and intimidation. This stupid front page with its stupid message is the latest salvo in a long and bitter fight on the battlefield of stupidity. My hope is that it does indeed have some effect on wavering Remainer MPs – and steels their nerves for the battle ahead.