Nothing in British history resembles this spectacle of men and women ramming through policies everyone knows they don’t believe in.
Never mind the few genuine Brexiteers. Amber Rudd, Philip Hammond and Theresa May – among others in government – all tried to keep the UK in the European Union. Now they are trying to take it out again, apparently on the terms that will do their country most damage.
There’s a kind explanation, a white-coated one and a coarse one. The kind account says that they feel democratically obliged to carry out the wishes of the English people, whatever their private opinions. (A variant suggests that they think themselves duty-bound to save the country from the worst consequences of a disastrous decision, but their recklessness over Brexit doesn’t support that.)
The white-coated shrink account is that they are pathologically over-compensating out of guilt for backing the wrong side. And the coarse explanation is that they just want to stay in power.