Andrew Castle 7am - 10am
James O'Brien's Fire Analogy Sums Up Why Brexit Happened
24 May 2019, 14:49
Who could have thought when Boris Johnson started writing about bendy bananas in Brussels that would turn out to be of "immense political significance," James O'Brien said.
The attempt to make sense of what happened over Brexit without insulting anybody is one that James admits he "hasn't been entirely successful" with.
James said that you need to understand the last 30 years of British media, which is why younger voters are genuinely "befuddled and baffled by Brexit."
Who could have thought when Boris Johnson started writing about bendy bananas in Brussels that would turn out to be of "immense political significance," but it was.
James said he didn't think the "weapons-grade nonsense" kicked in until Boris Johnson arrived in Brussels after being fired from The Times for "making up quotes from his own Godfather."
That's when things went "really nuts," James said, stories about the European Union banning "rocking horses," or banning "certain flavours of crisps," started to appear in the UK press.
James said "it was funny at first" when "caller after caller" would phone in and talk about the worries over Europe. Pointing out on caller even "thought the EU was going to abolish the three-pin plug."
"You can't look at the last 30 years of British journalism and be remotely surprised where we've ended up," because the country is "still full of people who think that the European Union is the fourth reich. "
James siad these stories have been in "every single" newspaper for all of his adult life.
"So much money has gone into persuading the country that the EU is out enemy, dedicated to harming and hurting us," James said.
Somebody walked into the room and "shouted fire," James said, "52% of the people in the room stampeded for the exit. 48% of the people just checked to see if there was a fire."
That doesn't make the 52% of people stupid, James said.
What would a wartime generation make of Brexit? James had a powerful answer.
Watch the whole monologue at the top of the page.