Save us from our fellow citizens!

It wasn’t Boris who behaved embarrassingly in Luxembourg – it was the Remoaner protesters.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill


What a humiliating spectacle that was in Luxembourg yesterday. No, I don’t mean Boris Johnson dodging a press conference lest he get booed by the gathering of noisy depressed Remoaners. I mean the behaviour of the Remoaners themselves. ‘Save us, Michel!’, these British expats and protesting daytrippers hollered at the EU’s Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. ‘Save us, Bettel!’, one protester shouted at the Luxembourger PM, Xavier Bettel. He responded with a gentle, imperious wave, like an emperor assuring a slave that everything will be just dandy.

Have you ever witnessed anything so supine, so fundamentally sad? I knew there was a hardcore of middle-class Remoaners who think leaving the EU will turn Britain into a Cormac McCarthy-style dystopia in which Hampstead will run out of gruyère cheese and you won’t be able to get a good bottle of Rosé Brut in any Waitrose within the M25. But even so, this ‘save me’ lark is pathetic. You’ve heard of Battered Wife Syndrome; this looks like Battered Voter Syndrome, where people become so used to having all their political decisions made for them by grey men in grey suits in grey buildings in Brussels that they feel they can no longer cope with the onerous burden of being a democratic citizen. ‘Save us from thinking for ourselves’, these willing servants of empire were essentially saying.

And of course it isn’t just those protesters in Luxembourg who display such colossal self-doubt and such a warped yearning to be ruled by others. This is the outlook of Remoanerism in general, of the entire, increasingly hysterical liberal-elite movement to keep Britain in the EU against the will of the people.

Indeed, what was most striking about the debacle in Luxembourg yesterday was the perfect symbiosis that now exists between Remoaners and the EU. They complement each other exactly. On one side we had middle-class Brits essentially saying, ‘Save us, look after us, govern us’, and on the other, we had arrogant Eurocrats who can’t understand why anyone would not want to be ruled over by such wonderful and intelligent people as them essentially saying: ‘Sure! We’d love to.’ It was a fascinating snapshot of the extent to which Remainer elitism is not an independent political movement at all, but rather is a tragically obedient footsoldier of the EU bureaucracy.

The whole thing in Luxembourg was weird. Boris’s ducking-out of a press conference was the least weird thing, in fact. It looked like a massive set-up. The whinging Remoaner protesters were allowed to get very close indeed to the press-conference lecterns, which is highly unusual in the stiff, illiberal world of EU meetings. Do you think rowdy Brexiteers would be allowed to get anywhere near Jean-Claude Juncker when he’s giving one of his pontificating press addresses? Get real. They’d be kettled miles away. Boris’s request to move the press conference somewhere else was denied, so Boris was a no-show, and, boom, his lectern was unoccupied, allowing Bettel to gesture at it and moan about Brexit, the referendum campaign, British politics, etc etczzzz. Cue paroxysms of editorial joy in Britain’s Remoaner media.

Anti-Brexiteers in the UK lapped it up. Of course they did. Nothing pleases them more than the sight of sophisticated Europeans (as they see continental politicians) lambasting stupid, narrow-minded Britain (as they see their own country and its dim-witted inhabitants). Between the ‘save us!’ desperation of the assembled protesters and the whooping and cheering of Remainers in the British media as Bettel and others had a pop at the ‘Incredible Sulk’ Boris Johnson, we could see what the Remainer meltdown has become: an expression of middle-class rage against Britain, its people, and its capacity to cope as a sovereign, independent nation.

Orwell echoed over the day: ‘England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality.’ And ashamed of their fellow citizens, and of how we use our votes, and of the fact pesky, irritating democracy means us idiots must apparently get our way. That’s what ‘save us’ really means – save us from our fellow citizens. Britain’s liberal elites long to stay bound to the technocracy of the EU because they cannot abide the masses who make up the democratic sphere in their own nation.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

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SNJ Morgan

18th September 2019 at 8:49 am

Remoaners have a bad dose of Stockholm Syndrome.

Trouble McTrouble

21st September 2019 at 8:36 pm

I have never heard the remainers almost hysterical need to be remain in the EU so succinctly summed up.

Paul Douthwaite

18th September 2019 at 1:02 am

You right wing rantings makes you sound like Samual l Jacksons character in the remake of Robocop….

Winston Stanley

17th September 2019 at 8:18 pm

Respect for democracy is on the wane. Unionists are panicking and trying to rig a future referendum on Scottish independence.

> DESPERATE Unionists have launched a petition with the Scottish Parliament aimed at insisting any future Yes vote on Scottish independence requires a two-thirds majority to pass.

Featuring figures from the Better Together campaign of 2014, Scotland Matters’ bid to block independence coincides with the advancement of the Scottish Government’s Referendums Bill.

The petition comes after a poll at the weekend showed a clear majority across Great Britain for holding a second independence referendum. (The National)

michael savell

17th September 2019 at 5:46 pm

When the proms last night is taken over by an american woman wielding a rainbow flag and the majority waving EU flags obtained for free from the BBC while union flags had to be paid for,what can you expect.Do have a bit of pity for the expats though,they have chosen Europe to live because they thought that the UK would always be there to ensure their basic rights,being a member of the EU.Now the ladder has been taken away and these folk will be given a choice of ” pack your bags and leave us your unsaleable houses or become citizens of the country you reside in,giving up your british citizenship”.Don’t forget,as well,the number of cases that have been heard by the court for european rights involving brits which have helped the latter and those detained in jails overseas.We should have been at the forefront of EU decisions instead of kowtowing all over the world but it’s all gone now and,if we are lucky enough to be allowed to pull out at least let’s concentrate on not becoming another american state because at the very most only about half our corporations have decided to stay put.Perhaps we could become like Switzerland,neutral in most respects and give up nuclear options,armies and navies and airforce and weaponmaking,accepting the rules of liberal ideologies or,if not,becoming american citizens because the Government we have is useless.We need to get rid of the whole lot of them and appoint people like chomsky,peterson to make a set of rules we ALL have to live under rather than just the plebs,appointing people to run the country rather than ruin it by their greed of having so many paymasters.Bon would do well to come up with some suggestions because there is no way we can be at each others throats much longer.

A Game

17th September 2019 at 6:36 pm

Your Remainer mentality is showing. If not lock stock and sinking barrels with the EU, then it must be the UK’s fate to be another American state. Nothing in between? Say, like, the British State? Why do you have no sense of your country having its place in the world, as itself? You have a distinct culture whether you know it or not, your films show it beautifully – look at the stable of Working Title Films – Four Weddings and a Funeral a classic (hey Hughey) – that travels the world. Then the success of a film I’ve accidentally brushed on – Lock, Stock, Two Smoking Barrels. Showing the other side. The only people sneering at Britain are Remainers and people shocked at their conduct and clinging re the referendum and EU.
I think BON has argued incessantly for the solution. Adherence to democracy, which relies on one side conceding, acknowledging the loss.

Michael Lynch

17th September 2019 at 12:11 pm

Boris was right to dodge. It was a set up for the media. They’ve been actively engaged in Boris bashing from the start so why should he give them ammunition?

Jim Lawrie

17th September 2019 at 3:28 pm

With the EU in control of the microphones and co-operative cameramen, he would have had no chance.

A Game

17th September 2019 at 6:46 pm

Yeah, their rage is really about the prey animal avoiding their trap. That Euro countries get a heavy handed version of events, Pro EU, of course, they wanted that footage for their news broadcasts.

Zammo McTrotsky

17th September 2019 at 11:45 am

Bettel waves at person in the crowd “like an emperor assuring a slave…” oh you crank. You hyperventilating, slavering, posturing idiot. If you vicious reactionary scumbags were proposing any improvement to “democracy,” as you insist on calling your class dictatorship it might be easier to believe that you were siding with the most aggressively exploitative factions of the ruling class for some purpose higher than payment and public exposure. Disgusting shower of creeps who’ve carved a lucrative niche in the bourgeois media but still hang on to the pathetic illusory self-concept that you are “revolutionary militants”. Only now you’re in the pay of the corporate reactionaries, but haven’t bothered to update your delusion.

Ed Turnbull

17th September 2019 at 12:44 pm

Is there actually a point in that comment? Or is it merely a series of ad hominem insults hurled in the direction of BON?

If I may paraphrase Enoch Powell’s, now largely forgotten, constituent (the quoting of whom led to Mr P’s endless vilification): I seem to see the commenter foaming with much Brexit Derangement Syndrome.

Zammo McTrotsky

17th September 2019 at 3:29 pm

The insults are the point, stupid. And, because they are insults, they could hardly fail to be ad hominem, could they, you numbskull? If you are interested in ad hominem arguments, which can be problematic, why don’t you see if you’re bright enough to find them in a Spiked article, where I guarantee you will find explicit ones and implicit examples in every use of the word “elite”, “establishment”, etc.
And in answer to your Enoch Powell quote (what could possibly attract you to the hateful old racist, I wonder?) No, you may not, you pompous bag of flatulence.

Dominic Straiton

17th September 2019 at 1:01 pm

Dear Mr Mc Trotsky
There are a few lessons for a happy life.Among them is not drinking in the morning . If you wish to avoid a heart attack you need to prepare a coherent argument calmly.

Zammo McTrotsky

17th September 2019 at 3:30 pm

Dear Mr. Straiton. That’s what your Mum said.

Jane 70

17th September 2019 at 1:15 pm

Dave Spart is back!

A Game

17th September 2019 at 6:40 pm

No, their advocacy re improving democracy has had to take a back burner. Instead, they’ve had to fight for three years just to maintain the most basic shred of democracy.

I’m loving “class dictatorship”. Its too sweet.

Jerry Owen

17th September 2019 at 11:29 pm

Wow, how.. err .. reactionary !

Hana Jinks

18th September 2019 at 3:51 pm

Hi Jerry Oven-Bitch.

I’ve found that you have as many reasons as Queefer Moreswill for being here…

Steve Gray

17th September 2019 at 11:47 pm

Wotcha Zammo..

Just Say No, mate, Just Say No.

Frank Sutton

18th September 2019 at 3:19 pm

Amelia Cantor in a new guise.

Steve Gray

18th September 2019 at 4:18 pm


.. So it IS just Zammo.. The plot thickens…

Ven Oods

17th September 2019 at 11:08 am

It did ratherlook like an EU set-up.
However, Boris should have faced them, been drowned out and shown them up for what they are.

Dominic Straiton

17th September 2019 at 12:37 pm

General Sun Tzu would not agree with you.

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