Lewis Goodall, Political Correspondent for Sky, wrote a thread on Twitter today concluding with a familiar line that Remainers are not good at politics. They ‘may as well pack up and go home’. They are ’embarrassingly bad at politics’. The mental connection made is with the commentary that first began in the aftermath of the Referendum victory for Leave by recalling the spectacle of a babble of liberal economists talking conditional forecasts on the one hand, and Leave posters with ‘take back control’ and ‘let’s fund our NHS instead’ on the other.
But this is not a good characterisation of recent events. Such as it is, the ‘Remain alliance’ is a creature of its largest member, the Parliamentary Labour Party. That organ is in turn a creature of its leadership structure. That structure is comprised of individuals and influences that are [from the perspective of Remain] at best indifferent to Brexit, and at worst inclined towards it. Perhaps the same can even be said of its attitudes to a No Deal Brexit and the chaos that might follow it, incriminating Tory incumbents and capitalism itself, both of which the Labour leadership have spent a lifetime explaining that they want to displace forever.
So judging this alliance on how well it is going about ensuring that No Deal does not happen, or that the UK Remains, or only exits on very Soft terms, is not appropriate. Tortoises don’t see their days as being about collecting acorns, so we would not mark them down for failing to do so.
By contrast, Johnson’s new Government do have a singularity of purpose about leaving the UK and without a deal if necessary. They are no better at politics than anyone else. It’s just that they all want the same political outcome.