EU REMAIN: a bus trip with Lord Curzon
Every time I hear a REMAINER talk about reforming the EU from within, or simply about British influence over it, I am reminded of the famous story from the 1920s about Lord Curzon’s only known journey on a London bus. When the conductor (all buses then had one) came to seek his fare, Lord Curzon demanded that the bus take him to 42 Berkeley Square. His lordship was surprised to discover that the bus had a fixed route and destination, which did not include 42 Berkeley Square.
The Remain campaign is full of Lord Curzons. The destination of the EU bus is clearly marked as EUROPE: FEDERAL TERMINUS and as a passenger we cannot induce it to go to Berkeley Square, no more than to go to Xanadu or Shangri-la. In fact, very few of our fellow-passengers want to go to Federal Terminus themselves: they got on the bus thinking that it would take them to the big Market or the Peace Garden or Speakers’ Corner or just to a better neighbourhood. One or two in the past rang the bell to stop the bus short of Federal Terminus, but the conductor and driver ignored them.
Lately the bus has been very poorly driven and several passengers have been badly hurt. But each crash has only made the driver head faster for Federal Terminus.
The bus has stopped very briefly. The conductor has told us that it is not a scheduled stop and that it would be terribly dangerous to get off. But the rear door is open… we have a chance to leap off and start walking. The journey might be harder but we can find our way to our own Berkeley Square.