There are times when even a snarky sketch writer hits one of those proverbial nails on the head and deserves the accolade of figuring in our “FROM BEHIND THE PAYWALL” rubric. 

Moreover, as it’s the weekend of the Wimbledon Finals – and didn’t the marvelous Roger Federer do well to reach the final yet again, and that at age 37! – and as we’ve had enough of the relentless Remain machinations, we deserve a little humourous respite. 

So without further ado, here’s what Michael Deacon, the Parliamentary sketchwriter of the Daily Telegraph had to say. The title hints at letting cats out of bags: “Sorry Boris, but Britain won’t reunite after Brexit. If you want to know why, ask a cat” (paywalled link) – but if you thought it was advice about Boris having a chat with Larry of 10 Downing Street, never mind roping in Palmerston, the cat of the Foreign Office or even Gladstone, the cat of the Treasury, then you’d be wrong. So – see this:

“Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have both promised to “unite the country” after Brexit. This will of course be impossible, for a simple reason. The referendum didn’t just divide us politically. It divided us by personality type. You can no more unite Remainers and Leavers than you can unite cats and dogs.

I say cats and dogs, because that, more or less, is what Remainers and Leavers are. Take dogs. Dogs love family and home, and feel a strong sense of loyalty and duty: their instinct is to protect and to serve. As a rule they’re happier in the countryside than in crowded, bustling cities. They’re sociable, but wary of outsiders. Essentially, their values are conservative. Dogs are Leavers. Leavers are dogs.

Cats, by contrast, are solitary, aloof, and fancy themselves as elegant and urbane. By their own estimation, they are far more intelligent than dogs, whom they regard as dimwitted and easily led. They love cities, and insist on freedom of movement. Essentially, their values are metropolitan liberal. Cats are Remainers. Remainers are cats.

Come to think of it: I would bet any sum you care to name that conservatives are more likely to own dogs than cats, and that liberals are more likely to own cats than dogs. Some enterprising young sociologist should research it.

If you’re wondering which domestic animal represents the Corbynista Left, incidentally, the answer is the goat. Vegetarian, bearded, terrible temper.”

Nice one about goats representing the Corbynista Left, especially as goats tend to leave nothing behind when let loose in a garden or veggie patch: it’s tabula rasa. They devour the fruit of the gardeners’ and growers’ labour, just like all socialists.

Before we descend into the inevitable cat-and-dog fight about which one is best, let’s spin this game of animal representation a bit further.

Sheep would represent the metro-elite, the dwellers inside the M25 who know best but are in fact just like the bleating flocks who follow wherever the current leading ewe goes. And of course they keep on bleating loudly to make us all aware of their existence. 

But what animal represents the dwellers inside the Houses of Parliament? I’ve compared them to peacocks. Perhaps that’s too pretty, but let’s stick with it. Anyone who has been exposed to peacocks’ mating cries will know that the comparison is apt.

Our ‘leaders’, the Whitehall Mandarins, are of course donkeys. What else could they be!

We must also give honourable mention here to the squirrells. They proliferate in the headlines of the MSM and in social media but their antics have become predictable and boring by now. 

That brings us to the question: are Remainers really cats and are Leavers really dogs? It is tempting, at first glance, to concur with Mr Deacon’s findings, but after a second glance I do not agree. 

Cats simply cannot be Remainers because they are indeed individualistic. Yes, they fancy themselves as urbane, elegant and intelligent – but it’s precisely these attributes which preclude them from being like the herd-like Remainers.

And are Leavers really like dogs, ‘easily led’? Any dog owner knows full well that dogs are anything but ‘easily led’. They know that, generally, it’s the dog who has trained their human. Still, dogs are indeed thoroughly conservative and won’t take lightly to any changes.

Like cats, you cannot herd dogs. Just you try! Collies who might consent to produce a show, giving the impression that dogs can be ‘herded’, do so only because it pleases their humans, demonstrating what excellent show-offs collies can be.

So – what animal then represents us Leavers?

Well, there’s only one, isn’t there! We’re the lions, going quietly and sometimes lazily about our business, but when called by necessity: hear us roar, and never ever mess with us.

Enjoy the weekend!



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