The Observer reported yesterday that Theresa May was to say the following on Tuesday (presumably having been well-briefed):
“One of the reasons that Britain’s democracy has been such a success for so many years is that the strength of our identity as one nation, the respect we show to one another as fellow citizens, and the importance we attach to our institutions means that when a vote has been held we all respect the result.
“The victors have the responsibility to act magnanimously. The losers have the responsibility to respect the legitimacy of the result. And the country comes together.
“Now we need to put an end to the division and the language associated with it – leaver and remainer and all the accompanying insults – and unite to make a success of Brexit and build a truly global Britain.”
I have tried to make some sense of that, but candidly the plot of the average Doctor Who is considerably more coherent.
We are not one nation: we are very obviously four nations with very different interests.
Our primary democratic institution is parliament. It is May who is refusing to engage with it.
The referendum was advisory: we were quite specifically not bound by the result.
To use the term 'victor' is not magnanimous. Nor does it in any at suggest coming together.
And we will remain leavers and Remainers for decades - as surely as Ireland was divided by the events of its independence.
In the context of which to claim that Britain can be truly global when it had just turned its back on its biggest trading partners and has opted for isolation is, to be candid, bizarre in the kindest possible interpretation I can find; not least when we know that Theresa May was saying that leaving the UK would be a disaster for the country before 23 June.
As I have noted, the prospects of tax wars worries me considerably thus morning. But having a UK Prime Minister who can suggest saying the things noted above worries me as much. We are all used to political spin. We can live with their lies. But this is worse: it's just delusional. And bluntly that is not the basis on which I want anyone to represent this country.