Monday, November 28, 2016
No, Top Gear did not win the referendum for Leave
The New European has an article arguing that Top Gear paved the way for Brexit.
I've not read it - "To read it would be to condone it," as F.R. Leavis said when he was challenged over a book he had dismissed - but I suspect it is wrongheaded.
First, because as I blogged during the referendum campaign. the best case for Remain was made by Jeremy Clarkson - if you don't believe me, see the quotes from him in that post.
Second, because I fear that it as an example of the tribalism of liberal politics in Britain today.
In 1975, Britain voted by two-to-one to remain in the European Economic Community.
That means that lots of people who voted Conservative, liked fast cars and were known to make jokes at the expense of foreigners voted Remain.
If today we make support for Europe part of a bulky package of right-on policies and dismiss anyone who does not accept every item in it, then the forces of light will lose every time.
On that bombshell, I'll end this post.