Kathy Sheridan: Britain, please let Danny Dyer’s ‘straight talking’ be Brexit’s nadir

The coronation of the Leave-voting actor for his tirade about David Cameron is a new low

Actor Danny Dyer appears on Good Morning Britain, calling out former British PM David Cameron over Brexit. Video: ITV

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It was bound to happen. The UK’s plight has been distilled by an East End soap actor. “Arise, the king of Brexit reason,” read one worshipful headline. Danny Dyer, aka “the byword for low-budget, no-quality Brit-trash cinema” (the Guardian), is either the nadir or the summit of the Brexit fiasco. Lest you missed it, he called David Cameron a twat – twice, for double the hilarity – for sitting in Nice “with his trotters up”, while everyone else was left to puzzle out Brexit, “this mad riddle”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Pamela Anderson and other TV panellists looked on thoughtfully as Dyer spoke, as if presented with a newly discovered theorem of Euclidean geometry. Oh, how everyone clapped and laughed to see such profundities fall from the mouth of a geezer who gets paid for acting like a tough guy on television and in real life, like the time he was an agony uncle on a lads' magazine and recommended a heartbroken boyfriend to “cut your ex’s face, then no one will want her”.

Ah, relax there, that was eight years ago. And did you know he voted Leave? Better yet, he voted Leave because he was “f***ing sick of politicians doing f*** all” and wanted to “make these politicians f***ing do something”, as he told the Daily Telegraph in 2016. A manly Leaver then.

If there are violent morons out there, steeped in the politics of hatred, what are the chances of them using the Border as a target?

In other words the king of Brexit reason, this veritable Professor of Leave, casually used a life-changing proposition as a protest vote, a proposition about which he knew as much as a particularly dense f***ing twat (which the Urban Dictionary defines as “a less offensive version of ‘c**t’ ”).

But hey, he’s a gobby geezer who drops the f-word plentifully, like um, nearly everyone everywhere these days, and calls a loathed former prime minister names on live TV. Fearless genius, right? To which the Tory establishment goes “hoorah!” in a homage to freedom of expression in spite of the rudeness and because they say infinitely worse things about each other all the time. The bar has vanished. Bottom line? If the gobby geezers stay focused on Cameron and his trotters, the appendages of all current offenders are safe for now.

No mad riddle

Still, it’s the patronising edge of the coverage that grates. The politics of Brexit are not such a “mad riddle”, someone might have said, once you move beyond the Sun as a learning resource (which around the same time was editorialising about the Taoiseach as “the snivelling suck-up egging on the playground bullies”).

UK Independence Party (Ukip) party leader Nigel Farage: “We had Ukip people who, coming back from the pub, after one too many, said stupid or at times abusive or abrasive things.” Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images
"Imagine if Danny Dyer extended his reading a little to ingest some nuggets on the Russian election fiddlers; or on Leave hero Nigel Farage (above), whose apparent concession speech on referendum night allowed a tiny window for hedge funds in possession of the results of private exit polls to rake in hundreds of millions betting on currency movements." File photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Let’s imagine for an enchanted moment that Dyer – who said he actually wanted to talk about Brexit on the show – had informed himself first. Imagine if he had noticed that last week’s big internal Tory bust-up was triggered by dead-eyed silverbacks arguing over whether big business had the right to speak out about potential job losses from a hard Brexit. Or to put it another way: do geezers such as Dyer have a right to be told plainly by their politicians and media that hundreds of thousands of jobs are on the line ?

At another level, might lads to whom cutting up women’s faces is a reasonable response to rejection have a special insight into the mentality that might fancy cutting/shooting up targets on a reinstated border with a heinously violent, divisive history? Or to put it another way: if there are violent morons out there, steeped in the politics of hatred, what are the chances of them using the Border as a target?

At a different level, imagine if Dyer had looked fearlessly at Corbyn and asked him why for f***’s sake a party that should be 20 points ahead of a monstrously dysfunctional, chaotic government is actually lagging behind it. That wouldn’t have required a lot of advance preparation other than some genuine courage.

These are the comfortable elites whom the Sun, the Murdoch-owned British tabloid, and various other organs of the people, are supposed to afflict

Imagine if he extended his reading a little to ingest some nuggets on the Russian election fiddlers; or on Leave hero Nigel Farage, whose apparent concession speech on referendum night allowed a tiny window for hedge funds in possession of the results of private exit polls to rake in hundreds of millions betting on currency movements; or how Farage’s main Leave funder, Arron Banks, is now revealed to have been the lucky beneficiary of at least three investment offers in Russian-owned gold or diamond mines.

Hideously simple

If Dyer were encouraged to inform himself of the hideously simple, overwhelming economic evidence against Brexit, might he pause to wonder why certain wealthy business figures continue to back it? Or why Jacob Rees-Mogg transferred his commercial investment funds to Dublin? Or why Nigel Lawson and many like him (such as Farage’s children, with their German passports) have carefully secured their EU residency permits so their pleasantly mobile lifestyles will continue unimpeded? These are the comfortable elites whom the Sun, the Murdoch-owned British tabloid, and various other organs of the people, are supposed to afflict. Yet they do the opposite, for reasons Danny Dyer would undoubtedly find curious if he were encouraged to start looking.

UK prime minister David Cameron leaving 10 Downing Street as he names his new cabinet following a post-election reshuffle. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Former UK prime minister David Cameron: Danny Dyer "called Cameron a twat – twice, for double the hilarity – for sitting in Nice 'with his trotters up', while everyone else was left to puzzle out Brexit, 'this mad riddle'."  File photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Instead, he is hailed as the sage of straight talk, the prince of Brexit reason, for blaming the clown who called the referendum. In the meantime he poses as much threat to the ravenously ambitious pretenders to 10 Downing Street as to Cameron’s little tanned trotters – which probably explains the sudden coronation.

Dear Britain, please let this be the nadir.

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