I saw Michael Gove yesterday. He saw me too, but I doubt if he’s blogging about it. He wouldn’t know me from a hole in the road. It was at Westminster tube station, late in the afternoon and it looked like he was heading into the Palace of Westminster. Maybe he’s got some prep to do before next week’s party conference and decided to do it when fewer people were about. I don’t know what his popularity ratings are, but I’d be surprised if people are rushing to sit with him in the canteen.
He didn’t look great; rather pudgy, as though he’s been comfort eating. Ah well. It’s not every day you do your bit to lead your country to a disastrous referendum vote and then find yourself voted out of power. I am indebted to Ken Clarke, words I never thought to type or say, for his pithy summing up of the situation in which we find ourselves. It is bizarre that I and people like me who voted remain are now hoping and praying that we can make leaving the EU work, while those who voted leave snipe from the sidelines and demand that the things they thought they voted be enacted in every tiny detail. Ken is a heavyweight survivor of the Thatcher era. Not my favourite politician, though perhaps I should be careful what I say as his London pad isn’t so very far from my own abode. However, according to Sky News, this is what he said.
If you read it, you’ll find it’s from an interview with The New Statesman. An interview I have now read, so I know the Sky News bit has the gist of it. I don’t watch Sky, I just picked up a notification online. Sky is owned by Murdoch. Murdoch used his media power, which is considerable, to campaign for Brexit. He is famous for his dislike of the EU, and has been quoted as saying, “When I go into Downing Street, they do what I say; when I go to Brussels, they take no notice.” He has also said Britain’s vote to leave the EU is “wonderful” and described Donald Trump as a “very able man”.
I tweeted a link to the story and remarked that I found it odd to be in agreement with Ken Clarke, and odd that Sky, known for partisan reporting, had published it. I added the hashtag strangetimes. I got a reply from someone I have never previously come across saying that Ken Clarke was a traitor and deserved to die a horrible death.
Now how did that person find me? Did she just search for anyone tweeting about Clarke? I had a quick look at her timeline. She seems to have anger issues. Most of her tweets are abusive, and she would seem to belong to the ultra Eurosceptics described by Clarke. I’m not sure she realises we are still part of the EU as she tweets about how “Britain is doing amazing since the exit vote”, by which I presume she means we haven’t so far disappeared into a black hole of depression economic or other. I hope she doesn’t mean it’s all amazing because there has been a sharp rise in attacks on people speaking with foreign accents and in foreign languages. One of the disturbing aspects of the referendum result is how some Brexiteers think it’s fine to shout down anyone with an opinion that differs from their own. Their tactics are blunt; this is not about reasoned argument and debate, but CAPITAL LETTERS and insults, something that seems to be spreading across the political divides. Tiresome at the very least.
I replied saying no one deserves to die a horrible death. She replied, “except the remain camp, esp clarke”.
I left it there.
But if I bump into Ken Clarke, hereabouts or in Westminster, I may have to shake his hand.