One person who made Brexit posssible

One person can make  big difference. Michael Spicer had a significant influence on Brexit.

Alan posted:

This is a fascinating story but unfortunately pay-walled.

Without the unbelievable modesty of one man, Brexit would have been impossible

A couple of quotes:

As much as anyone, Spicer made Brexit happen. He led the Eurosceptic movement from the early Nineties until the 2005 general election, founding the European Research Group in 1993. You didn’t know that? I’m not surprised. The characteristic of his career was an almost unbelievable modesty.

Ronald Reagan, the former US president, had a sign on his desk: “There is no limit to what a man can achieve in politics, provided he is indifferent as to who takes the credit”. Spicer took that dictum further than any politician I know. He wasn’t just indifferent as to who took the credit. He actively thrust the credit at others, knowing that it was the best way to bind them to his agenda.


If you’ve ever wondered why the European Research Group has such a bland name, the answer tells us a great deal about Spicer’s approach to politics. When we were about to launch – he was the first chairman, I the first employee – I kept suggesting suitably stirring titles, involving words like “independence”, “democracy” and “freedom”.

“Daniel”, he told me, with a patient smile, “if you’re setting up a campaign to take over the world, you don’t call it The Campaign to Take Over the World. You give it a dull, generic name like, I don’t know… European… Research Group.”

He was a walking lesson in how to get things done in politics. He grasped how valuable it is, in a world full of blabbermouths and serial leakers, to be known to be discreet.

He understood that, in order to convince the Tory party, it helped to fit in, at least superficially. “You have to dress like them,” he told me not long before he died. “You have to talk like them. You have to tell funny stories about when you played rugby against them at school. If you want to do anything radical, for heaven’s sake don’t look like a radical.”

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  1. Gezza

     /  26th November 2019

    Giving other people the credit? Spicer seems to be the exact opposite of Trump. Result?:

    The US gets a close vote, the boastful, bullying, jingoistic pathological liar & narcissist Trump becomes President of the United States, but their government becomes a complete shambles.

    The self-effacing, modest Spicer eventually gets a close vote for Brexit, but their government becomes a complete shambles too.

    🤔 Probably says something about their different cultures, but I’m not really sure what it says about the results, apart from democracies being rather messy, muddled affairs.

    About time we got a post from Wilkinson. Even if he’s just letting someone else do all the talking, lazy blighter. 😉

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  26th November 2019

      I always let you do the talking, G. I prefer reading insightful stuff and sharing it with those not too lazy to read and think..

      • Gezza

         /  26th November 2019

        Oh yeah, sure Al. But you’d HAVE to say that now. 😐

        So, what’s your insightful conclusion from the Spicer article?

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  26th November 2019

          Kudos to the quiet achievers who make the world a better place, B.

          I only pulled the quotes on this one because it is pay-walled. So don’t think I will pander to the too lazy to read in future.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  26th November 2019

      Hard to deny Brexit has remade the Tory party from May’s utter shambles. Johnson has every candidate committed to Brexit and seems to be cruising to a comfortable victory where May’s party was facing annihilation.

  2. Duker

     /  26th November 2019

    There is major eurosceptic belief across all parties in UK , I saw some numbers from exit polls after the referendum that even the SNP had 20% of its voters go for leave….they must be sh$#@%& themselves that those voters dont desert them for the Tories.
    the SNP has to compete with the LibDems in the highlands, the Tories on the Borders and labour in high pop density Clyde – Forth region, the loss of a small fraction see their seats going to those parties….the answer always is to divert with cries of Independence vote. The irony of remain and leave for EU and GB cant seem to get through stubborn scottish minds

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  26th November 2019

      Scotland seems financially dependent so I think they figure if they leave the UK the EU will fund them. If they leave the EU they might have to stay in the UK. They probably wouldn’t qualify economically to rejoin the EU.


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