Calling all cliches: History will judge…

Ultimately, History will be their judge. Or be on a panel of judges along with Geography and French.
– Jeremy Hardy, Speaks to the Nation (1993)

It’s been another historic month in Brexit, the nation’s least loved soap. In case there were any doubt about how historic it was, there’s been no shortage of politicians and commentators telling us how future historians will view what’s been happening. So why wait for the professionals? Here’s a random selection of people who already know the judgement of history.

‘History will take a dim view of a Cabinet that presses ahead with no deal.’ – Amber Rudd [i]

‘If Labour enables May’s Brexit, history will not forgive the party.’ – Observer [ii]

‘History will remember her [Theresa May’s] tenure as moulded by an overwhelming instinct for self-preservation, with little vision or concern for the national interest.’ – Lucinda Creighton [iii]

‘When the history books are written, people will look at the decision of this House tomorrow and ask: Did we deliver on the country’s vote to leave the European Union? Did we safeguard our economy, our security and our Union? Or did we let the British people down?’ – Theresa May [iv]

‘Theresa May insists history will prove her right as she pleads with MPs to back Brexit deal.’ – Evening Chronicle headline [v]

‘Her claim that history will see the vote differently was met with raucous laughter in the Commons.’ – Daily Telegraph [vi]

‘If we do not take that first step, then history will judge us harshly because we will be plunged into uncertainty and those who wish to prevent our departure if this vote fails today will seek to promote the conclusion that it is all too difficult and that the government should ask the electorate to think again.’ – Geoffrey Cox urges MPs to vote for the Withdrawal Agreement [vii]


Twitter 15 January 2019

‘History will record that [it] took Theresa May two years, billions of pounds in wasted revenue, and a historic Commons defeat before she even considered reaching out across the House and party lines on this, the greatest crisis of our generation.’ – Sue Perkins [viii]

‘Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University London, believes history will deliver a “damning verdict” on the way May has pursued Brexit since she became prime minister in 2016.’ – Al Jazeera [ix]

‘I’d bet my last euro history will think kindly of Theresa May for her courage, decency and astonishing resilience.’ – Tony Parsons [x]


Twitter 20 January 2019

‘John Bercow has been warned by senior Government figures that “history will judge him” if he snubs a backbench amendment today that could save Theresa May’s Brexit deal.’ – Daily Telegraph [xi]

‘History will damn the architects of Brexit – and the politicians on both sides whose delusions are leading us to disaster’ – Guardian headline [xii]

‘[David] Cameron will be damned by history as one of the worst prime ministers ever for sacrificing the long-term future of the country for the sake of a petty internal squabble.’ – Richard Dawkins [xiii]


see also: The wrong side of history

[i] Daily Mirror 9 January 2019

[ii] Observer 13 January 2019

[iii] Times 14 January 2019

[iv] House of Commons, 14 January 2019

[v] Evening Chronicle 15 January 2019

[vi] Daily Telegraph 14 January 2019

[vii] House of Commons, 15 January 2019

[viii] Press Association, 15 January 2019

[ix] Al Jazeera 17 January 2019

[x] Sun 20 January 2019

[xi] Daily Telegraph 29 January 2019

[xii] Guardian 30 January 2019

[xiii] New Statesman 30 January 2019

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