I’m writing this on the easyJet flight back from Marrakech, where I have just spent a long weekend as a house guest of Rachel Johnson. She had managed to secure a marvellous villa by the name of Ezzahra, about a 20-minute drive from the airport, complete with a pool, spa and paddle tennis court. There were 12 of us in all, five couples and two men travelling solo — Harry Mount, the editor of the Oldie, and Mark Palmer, the travel editor of the Daily Mail. Harry, Mark and I quickly discovered we were the only Leavers in a nest of die-hard Remainers.
Now, it will not come as news to Spectator readers that the result of last year’s referendum has left some pro-Europeans feeling a teensy-weensy bit annoyed. A case in point is Rachel’s husband, Ivo Dawnay, who asks every Leaver he bumps into if they’ve ever woken up at 4 a.m. and thought: ‘Oh my God! What have I done?’ Ivo is probably the most zealous Remainer I know, but Rachel is not far behind and they had a host of reinforcements in the house party — formidable overachievers like Emma Tucker, deputy editor of the Times.
I know from experience that no good comes of discussing Brexit at social gatherings of this kind, so suggested to Rachel beforehand that she declare a moratorium on the topic. She circulated an email to all the houseguests last week, quoting me as saying I was bored with talking about it, then accidentally on purpose copied me in to one of the replies: ‘Tell him we’re not bored and are DYING to hear his justification for the stupidest act of self-harm EVER!’ (To read more, click here.)