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Putting names to the faces of a parcel of rogues

A month late, I found this video by “Change Britain”, a pressure group founded by leaders of the Vote Leave campaign:

Brexit Betrayal montage: “2 minutes of broken promises!”

The montage consists of politician after politician saying that the government would do whatever people voted for in the referendum, that there would be no second referendum, that the UK would leave the European Union on March 29th 2019, and so on and so forth, liars that they are.

It is very effective… if you know your politicians by sight. When it comes to spotting the Lesser British Politician in its natural habitat I would get my Brownie badge, but even I could not name all the distinguished lawmakers shown in this montage.

This matters. That effective video would be twice as effective at naming and shaming lying politicians if it, er, named them. This ties in to what I said in my earlier post, “Some examples of promises that Remainer MPs made to get elected and then broke” about the importance of having the damning quotes in written as well as video form:

I thought it was very useful that he [Tom Harwood] added subtitles to the videos, as that makes it easier to find and cite the most strikingly dishonest passages in the MPs’ speeches. By writing out the speeches and the contents of the election flyers and leaflets here in this Samizdata post I hope to make it still easier to spread the word of how these Remainer Members of Parliament are not to be trusted.

To that end, here are the names that I could provide, together with party and role:

0:01 David Cameron, Conservative, Prime Minister at the time of the broadcast
0:02 Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat, then leader of that party
0:06 George Osborne, Conservative, then Chancellor of the Exchequer
0:09 Peter Mandelson (Baron Mandelson), Labour peer and former cabinet minister, prince of darkness
0:17 John Major, Conservative, former Prime Minister
0:22 Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party
0:25 Sadiq Khan, Labour, Mayor of London
0:30 George Osborne again
0:32 Philip Hammond, Conservative, Chancellor of the Exchequer
0:34 Anna Soubry, formerly Conservative now Change UK
0:36 Sir Keir Starmer, Labour, Shadow Secretary for Exiting the EU
0:43 Peter Mandelson again
0:50 Cameron
0:53 Is that Nick Boles? Assuming it’s him, he’s ex-Tory, now “Independent Progressive Conservative” Peter Kyle, Labour
0:55 A bloke. Labour from his red tie. Hilary Benn, Labour.
0:58 Chuka Umunna, formerly Labour now Change UK
1:01 Damn, I know who she is but the name won’t come to me Justine Greening, Conservative.
1:03 John McDonnell, Labour, Shadow Chancellor
1:11 Sarah Wollaston, formerly Conservative now Change UK
1:12 Is that worried looking woman Labour’s Yvette Cooper? She looks different without her lipstick on. General opinion is yes, it is Yvette Cooper.
1:17 Identified in the comments as Dr Phillip Lee, Conservative. He does resemble the former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, but it isn’t him.
1:22 Heidi Allen, formerly Conservative, now Change UK
1:27 Theresa May again
1:31 Osborne again
1:32 Now identified as Sir Oliver Letwin, Conservative
1:36 May
1:43 Cameron
1:50 May
1:54 Cameron
1:57 May

If you can supply the missing names, please let me know in the comments.

Besides naming the parcel of rogues, the other point of this post is that, while a video is better than text for making your point with emotional force, if you want to make that point spread far and wide, it pays to back the video up with writing. Subtitle it, caption it with the names of speakers, and write down significant timestamps as the “sticky” maker’s comment to the video so people can search for the clip most relevant to them.

For instance I was particularly interested in the words of Sir Keir Starmer that “The referendum is clear and has to be accepted. We can’t have a re-run of the question which was put to the country”. Sir Keir Starmer KCB QC (he got the knighthood before becoming a Labour MP and would probably now prefer it not to be mentioned) is the Great White Hope of the anti-Corbynite, Europhile section of the Labour Party. Sir Keir is spoken of as the next leader, and he is certainly more intelligent and in most matters less fanatical than its current leader. Even some socialists would prefer their party be led by a member of the Order of the Bath than by a man who looks like he needs one.

Do not welcome Sir Keir into your hearts just yet.

He was the Director of Public Prosecutions at the time of the Twitter Joke Trial. And, of course, a man who first said that “The referendum is clear and has to be accepted. We can’t have a re-run of the question which was put to the country” but weaselled out of that as soon as the wind changed.

Sir Keir Starmer’s weaselling should be widely known. I am grateful to Change Britain for bringing it to my attention. However I was only able to find out that Starmer had once said that “the referendum is clear and has to be accepted” because (a) I am the sort of person who watches two minute montages of politicians lying about Brexit, (b) I already knew that Sir Keir is currently one of the Labour party’s leading advocates of a second referendum, and (c) I am one of the 5% – make that 1% – of British people who can put a name to his suspiciously handsome face.

The remark in question is thirty-six seconds in if you want to check it for yourself without watching the whole montage. Seeing a certain short extract from a montage video is a thing people might often wish to do, so, makers of montages, make it easy for them. If someone reading this wants to send a Starmer-struck friend a clip of that video starting at that very moment, pause the video, right click, and select “Copy video URL at current time”.

Update: Thank you Alex, Mr Ed, Peter Briffa and Martin Keegan for all the names you have supplied. The one remaining name that I am not sure about is the chap at 0:53 (actually 0:52) who I tentatively ID’d as ex-Tory now-Independent Nick Boles. The name of Ed Balls of Labour has been suggested (he of the sacred Day) – unless I’m mixed up about which talking head Peter Briffa was indicating. But while I’ve lost confidence in naming the mystery man as Nick Boles, he doesn’t look like Ed Balls to me either.

Another update: Martin Keegan has identified him as Peter Kyle, Labour.

I created a YouTube channel for myself specifically in order to add this list of names to the Brexit Betrayal montage. If you are on YouTube and agree that putting names to faces for this montage of dishonest MPs is a useful thing to do, please consider liking my comment. It’s currently the most recent one.

A final thought: the only MP or ex-MP there whom I would exempt from the charge of dishonesty is David Cameron. He has many faults, including dishonesty on other matters, but so far as I know he has not tried to backtrack on the commitment to adhere to the result of the referendum he himself called, little though he liked the result.

28 comments to Putting names to the faces of a parcel of rogues

  • bobby b

    “Even some socialists would prefer their party be led by a member of the Order of the Bath than by a man who looks like he needs one.”

    Come for the education.

    Stay for the wit!

  • Alex

    At 0:55, Hilary Benn?

  • Paul Marks

    Politicians are often accused of being deliberately unclear or changing the subject when asked a question – but this goes way beyond “fudging” or “changing the subject”.

    What is shown in the film is deliberate and blatant LYING – and on an industrial scale. The political establishment is rotten to the core.

  • Mr Ed

    0′ 53″ Not Nick Boles.
    1′ 01″ Justine Greening, Conservative.
    1′ 12″ Mrs Balls aka Yvette Cooper.
    1′ 32″ Sir Oliver Letwin, Conservative burglar assister (but only his own house, and through idiocy).
    Alex is right about Mr Benn.

    1′ 27″ a shoal, or herd of FFCs.

  • chip

    As our lives become easier and wealthier thanks to an exponential growth of services provided by private enterprise, shouldn’t we be asking why we need so many politicians who perform no useful function.

    Their lack of purpose probably explains their need to constantly gin up hysteria about the environment, gender and race; even as the world becomes demonstrably healthier and more tolerant.

  • Peter Mandelson … prince of darkness

    ‘Prince’ – too kind. I suggest ‘consigliere of darkness’, but am open to other ideas. 🙂

    From a skilled auditor who once interviewed for the position, I know that when Mandelson had to be booted across to the EU after one too many scandals in ‘new labour’, he was made the interviewer (of English speakers) in a long process in the noughties whereby the EU, having removed a chief auditor early in the decade, had a senior auditing role in its organisation chart (tasked with ensuring that the money we sent did not disappear inappropriately, etc.) and interviewed auditors for the position, but managed for an astonishingly long time not quite to get around to actually filling it. (Last time I mentioned this, commenter nemesis provided some background info.)

    On the other hand, with Mandelson playing a big role in the choice, my sceptical assessment of what this meant might not be much lessened if his preferred candidate had been more swiftly chosen.

    This is a great video, but the inclusion of Mandelson has an air of ‘dog bites man’ even in this company. 🙂 I suppose the message is: they’re all Mandelsons now.

  • Ed Balls, Hilary Benn, Justine Greening, Yvette Cooper, Tim Farren, Oliver Letwin.
    Do I get a prize?

    Alos, to be fair to David Cameron, and indeed Mrs. May, neither have come out for a second referendum. Yet.

  • Alex and Mr Ed above have it right.

    The gentleman at 1:17 is Philip Lee MP, not Tim Farron.

    No idea who is at 0:53

  • My mistake. Forgetting what Tim Farron looks like is a common affliction, I believe.

    Btw Greening is a Tory, not a member of the shadow cabinet.

  • And, on closer inspection, it isn’t Ed Balls. No idea who it is, though.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Forgetting what Tim Farron looks like is a common affliction, I believe.

    Tim who?

    Btw Greening is a Tory, not a member of the shadow cabinet.

    Forgetting that Justine Greening was elected as a Conservative is also an easy mistake to make 🙂

    I also forgot that she is now Secretary of State for Education. The teachers I know don’t rant about her, so she can’t be any good. ****! She resigned from that post in 2018. It’s like the woman has had a “forget me” spell cast on her; my mind resists absorbing information about her.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Paul Marks: “The political establishment is rotten to the core.”

    Quite! And yet, on the day after Brexit, or separation from the EU, or independence — that same rotten political establishment (or some limited reshuffling of it) will be running the UK show. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Unless Brexit/separation/independence leads to fundamental change in the governance of the UK, it is going to be a slow train to Disappointment City en route to the final destination of Heartbreak.

  • Oh, actually, 0:53 is Peter Kyle MP.

  • Gavin Longmuir (May 16, 2019 at 6:47 pm), you keep saying this same thing and we keep pointing out to you that, in the UK, Brexit is the most powerful lever we’ve yet had in any of our lifetimes for achieving precisely what you seek, all the more so because the people you despise are failing in their pretence of “the public’s vote counts” and more and more openly nullifying it. Those who ran the Leave campaign well understood the point you so often make. So do the UK commenters here.

    The Brexit lever may succeed or it may break in its effort to shift the UK freedom-hating establishment off its well-bedded-in base. For now, nothing else is remotely in its league as regards having a chance.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Martin Keegan, thanks again for identifying a second mystery MP. You don’t work at the House of Commons, do you? 🙂

  • Mr Ed

    Natalie, if you would be so kind, please email Mr Farron and Mr Kyle with this posting in case they themselves have forgotten who they are.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Well done on putting the list of names on YouTube, with links.
    I see, however, that you have not yet changed
    Nick Boles –> Peter Kyle.
    (But can you edit old comments on YouTube? No, now i see that you have added a correction.)

    Also, just to be pedantic: you wrote, here and on YouTube:
    1:27 Theresa May again
    But that is the 1st time that May appears.

    A final thought: the only MP or ex-MP there whom I would exempt from the charge of dishonesty is David Cameron.

    When i read that, i thought: what about John Major? how could he possibly backtrack, when he is no longer in politics?
    Then i checked Wikipedia and it looks like you are right.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Niall K: “The Brexit lever may succeed or it may break in its effort to shift the UK freedom-hating establishment off its well-bedded-in base.”

    Let’s hope it succeeds in making change. But “Hope & Change” is nothing more than a discredited political slogan. You are undoubtedly aware of the engineering slogan:
    “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance”

    Looking in from the outside, there seems to be astonishingly little discussion in the UK about what happens on the day after the divorce becomes final. Sometimes, it seems like one of those old WWII movies, where the doughty Brits in the German Prisoner of War camp spend the movie plotting and executing their break from the POW camp. And as the movie ends, the viewer is left wondering — Great! Now the escaped POWs are outside the wire, in the middle of hostile Germany, with no money and no ability to speak the language. What happens next?

    Plan Ahead!

  • Mr Ed

    Snorri

    what about John Major? how could he possibly backtrack, when he is no longer in politics?

    Major has been involved in the Remoan campaign and he remains a Privy Counsellor, so he is still, to a limited extent, dipping into politics. Perhaps he should have stuck to dipping into Edwina Currie.

  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    Where is Natalie’s comment?

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Rob Fisher, I am not the greatest expert on YouTube, having watched a lot of videos but never having commented on it before this.

    I think there are three levels. Level One: you just go there and watch a video. At this level you have to scroll down past dozens of other “recommended videos” before you get the comments. You cannot “like” comments.

    Level Two: You have a Google account, and you are signed into it. The signing-in place is at the top right. If you then look at the video you will see the comments immediately below the rubric saying “Channel Brexit” giving basic details about the video. (You can also do a few things like see your own history and subscribe to people’s channels.) I’m not sure if you can “like” comments or not. Probably you can if you are signed in.

    Level Three: You have your own YouTube Channel. This is the elite band I have just joined. The comments start immediately below the rubric put there by the makers of the video. You can make comments of your own and “like” other people’s comments.

    Apologies if you know all this. I didn’t until yesterday.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Level One: you just go there and watch a video. At this level you have to scroll down past dozens of other “recommended videos” before you get the comments.

    You can speed it up by clicking on “SORT BY”. Then you have 2 options: “Top comments” and “Newest first”. Having correctly guessed that Natalie’s comment, being recent, cannot have had many likes, i selected “newest first” and sure enough, Natalie’s comment was at the top. (Written 22h ago as i am writing this.)

    If you cannot locate the “SORT BY” menu, you can search for it: just tried and it works.

    PS: i am never tired of listening to 4 Theresas saying, slightly out of sync, that “we will be leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019.”

  • Mr Ed

    David Cameron. He has many faults, including dishonesty on other matters, but so far as I know he has not tried to backtrack on the commitment to adhere to the result of the referendum he himself called, little though he liked the result.

    Well that’s a generous assessment, given that his immediate response was more or less ‘Sod this, I’m off’ rather than demonstrating leadership and commitment to the popular verdict by implementing that of which he said ‘we will implement…’.

    If he’d said he would resign if he lost, he might have stirred many out of their abstemious apathy, so making leave a winner by a greater margin,

  • pete

    David Cameron deserves some credit for giving us the 2016 people’s vote.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Natalie’s comment is no longer available on YouTube!
    (Since she reads The Guardian for me, i keep an eye on her comments for her.)

  • Paul Marks

    Gavin Longmuir – if we achieve independence at least we would have got rid of one layer of government (the European Union – an increasingly interventionist layer that mandates that “lower” levels of government do X, Y, Z, regardless of the wishes of the people).

    Also the British political establishment would have suffered a severe defeat – their power would not be the same after such a defeat.

    On the other hand, if the establishment manage to crush the independence of the British people, perhaps with the sell-out surrender “deal” of the despicable Prime Minister Theresa May, then democracy will be exposed as a hollow sham.

    The United Kingdom would be shown to be a corrupt Oligarchy in which the opinions of ordinary people count for NOTHING.

  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    I think Snorri is right. I can find comments, I just can’t find Natalie’s comment.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Paul M: “… if we achieve independence at least we would have got rid of one layer of government (the European Union – an increasingly interventionist layer that mandates that “lower” levels of government do X, Y, Z, regardless of the wishes of the people).”

    Paul, I don’t keep close enough tabs on the goings-on in Europe to be sure, but it does seem that some of the Eastern European governments have been quite forceful about rejecting direction from the EU (say, on accepting “refugees”) and implementing their own policies. What is the downside for those Eastern European governments? — it is not like Germany still has an army that could invade them when they reject EU directives. 🙂 We have to be realistic — most of the UK’s problems are home grown, including showing a distinct lack of backbone in dealing with the EU.

    Please understand, we are basically in agreement. Getting rid of layers of government is definitely a positive move, and bringing politicians closer to the people where we can “throw stones at them”, as Sir Walter Scott once said, is definitely a positive move. But the UK’s most important need is to deal with the dysfunctional nature of UK government.

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