Benedict Cumberbatch, what do you know when it comes to Brexit?

He joins a whole load of celebrities who have stuck their two cents into the EU debate. They only rear their heads every now and then – when something suddenly upsets them, or they spot a good PR opportunity

Charlotte Gill
Friday 20 May 2016 15:37
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Benedict Cumberbatch is one celebrity who has penned a letter urging the UK to vote to stay in the EU
Benedict Cumberbatch is one celebrity who has penned a letter urging the UK to vote to stay in the EU

I wish he’d stick to Hamlet, but he won’t – that Benedict Cumberbatch.

In fact, he joins a whole load of celebrities who have stuck their two cents into the EU debate. Two hundred and fifty of them have penned a terribly boring letter. “Stay in the EU”, it says (or something along those lines – I didn’t get through the whole thing).

Signatories include the usual vocalists of vanilla politics: Paloma Faith, Helena Bonham-Carter and Dominic West, to name a few. Forget art, they’re economists now. “Leaving Europe would be a leap into the unknown for millions of people across the UK”, they caution. Because we all know artists can be trusted with numbers.

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Oh celebrities: will they ever stick out of politics? I’m largely suspicious of their concern anyway, for they only rear their heads every now and then – when something suddenly upsets them, or they spot a good PR opportunity. “Dip your toe in” activists, they should be called, for if they cared enough about politics, you’d think they’d chuck in the day job and get stuck in. But nope, a letter will do.

They want to educate us all about the importance of the EU, which we’re told makes us “more imaginative and more creative” – news to me. We are reminded by them that the EU provided precious funding for films like Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech (the artistic equivalent of Nytol).

Such concerns demonstrate why celebrities shouldn’t get into politics, and how far removed Cumberbatch and his EU crew are from the concerns of everyday people. Joe Bloggs isn’t worried about funding for the arts, but where his next job will come from. He worries about Mini Bloggs getting a place at the local primary school: concerns that cannot be sniffed from the leafy gardens of Hampstead Heath.

Still, these A-list cronies will not cease in their quest to promote the EU, for reasons that quite escape me. I thought, being artists, they might envisage a grandiose future for Britain; that they might think outside the box. But all they want is to be within the box: they’re saying yes please to more of the same old same old.

Where are the Brexit celebrities, I hear you ask? Not in sight, thanks to this latest propaganda. Only Michael Caine will say anything – now so old that not even Bellatrix Lestrange will scare him away.

But I wish more dissenters would rise up against the dark arts spread by this luvvie brigade. Their concerns are not only widely speculative, but desperately lacking in imagination. If artists cannot envisage something more positive for the future, then who can?

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