Three cheers to Donald Tusk – who by confronting the rabid Brexiteers has shown us what leadership looks like

Tusk famously used to be a football hooligan. The problem Britain faces is its thugs aren’t just in the stands. They’re on the pitch refereeing the game

James Moore
Thursday 07 February 2019 14:54 GMT
'Special place in hell' for people who promoted Brexit without a plan, says Donald Tusk

Donald Tusk is an unlikely hero but after his latest intervention he’s become one of mine.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Tusk yesterday publicly wondered “what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely”.

For his sins, people like Theresa May’s deputy dog David Lidington have been falling over themselves to attack the European Council president for indulging in undiplomatic language. His party’s Brexiteer yobbos have gone further still. They’ve been busily blowing fuses. It’s a wonder we haven’t seen a heart attack or two.

Here’s some more undiplomatic language for them: those who criticised him for saying that are talking utter b******s. All of them.

That the Brexiteers, the Conservative Brexit Party, and the Labour Softer Brexit Party, still don’t have a clue and continue to talk to themselves while gazing at their navels and dreaming up more unicorns than you’ll find at a Comic Con convention in an attempt to conceal that the inconvenient truth is just an undiplomatic fact.

The only shocking thing about what Tusk said is it’s taken this long for someone of real consequence to say it.

It wasn’t just for that reason that Tusk had me cheering him on, however. He also raised something else that May, her Philip K Dick dystopia of a cabinet, and the rabid rent-a-gobs behind her, also consistently ignore.

There are lots of us in this country, millions in fact, who believe we should get a vote before they recreate the economy that existed immediately after the Wall Street Crash, destroy the NHS, trash any hope of a decent future for our children, risk the lives of people on long-term medication and empty the shelves of our supermarkets.

There are lots of us that want to remain in the EU, who manage to combine being European and British without too much fuss, and have been looking on in horror at what’s been happening.

Tusk recognising that fact in his press conference was welcome because we’ve largely been airbrushed out of the British political discourse by people who would strip our European identity from us.

In so doing he brutally exposed the failure of Britain’s opposition parties to provide an effective opposition to a suicidal project and to stand up to the xenophobes and f***wits that are driving it and have had it almost all their own way since this whole thing got started.

Small wonder that there’s been so much squealing in response.

The sad fact is that we know what Tusk’s special place in hell will look like. It will be the Britain the Brexiteers are creating, a tolerably successful nation tripping over its extremists’ pants and getting its nose rubbed in the dirt.

This is more widely known outside the circle of the Osama bin Brexit fantasists beloved of the BBC than you might think. It’s just that they’re too scared to give voice to it, so most of them mutter under their breath and do what their limp leaderships tell them to do.

It’d be nice if Tusk’s intervention instilled a bit of fire into someone beyond the usual suspects because we’re now perilously close to the iceberg. Unfortunately, there’s been scant sign of it happening.

Tusk famously used to be a football hooligan. The problem Britain faces is its thugs aren’t just in the stands. They’re on the pitch refereeing the game, looking on with sightless eyes as the best players get their legs broken.

Faced with that, isn’t it better to go down fighting than to cry regretful tears after the event?

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in