The antecedents of Brexit

One of the more fascinating bits of recent writing about Brexit was the piece by Andrew Roberts in the Mail on Sunday which compared the supposed heroism of Boris Johnson in his plan to thwart both the law and the will of parliament to the actions of John Hampden in refusing to pay Ship Money, the Sons of Liberty in opposing George III and, most unbelievably, Mahatma Gandhi, as if Johnson belongs to a long line of great opponents of state rule and historic injustice. But he is not an insurgent, nor so far as I can see a rebel. He is Prime Minister of what was Great Britain. I don’t see him as a great defender of injustice, but someone who has been, unlike them, conspicuously and consistently amoral, without very obvious values and almost completely self-interested.


7 thoughts on “The antecedents of Brexit

  1. Richard Bram says:

    Johnson’s name has no business being related to the others except, perhaps, as an example of opposites. ‘Supposed’ indeed. That such tosh appears in the xenophobic and nearly fascist Mail on Sunday comes as no surprise.

  2. Kate Woodhead says:

    He will probably believe it, as will many who read that rag – I suppose I ought to know what other papers say but life is too short.

  3. says:

    I really want to steer clear of this debate but I think Andrew Roberts article was rather more considered than it is being represented as here. I have just looked it up.

  4. Andrew Roberts is a conspicuously glib, if clever, historian. He ought to know better than to write such rubbish. Hampden? Gandhi? They were on the side of Liberty. Johnson is only concerned with himself.

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