Greg Chapman: Anatomy of a Revolt

A wise forecaster takes a cautious approach to prognostication. The Nostradamus technique is to make the predictions as vague as possible, open to interpretation so that they are unfalsifiable. The more sophisticated global warming catastrophists make predictions that can only be verified long after their death. So how foolish is it, therefore, to make predictions that may be falsified in a week?

However, with the Brexit dogs breakfast, there are as many possible pathways as there are pundits and any pundit worth their salt can pick a number from this lottery expecting that their failures will soon be forgotten, but be forever heroes for their foresight if they get it right. This is how the ABC political analysts operate (see for example the May 18 election) who even when they are hopelessly wrong, are still paid to turn up the following day.

This is the approach I have chosen.

The best way to understand what might happen with Brexit is to undertake an anatomical dissection of the players in the Remain field. In any revolt you have 4 groups.

1. The True Believers.
These are the fanatics who will risk everything for the cause. For them it’s “Remain or Die”. They give the revolt energy.

2. The Generals.
What drives them is not so much the cause, but the hatred of their opponents and the personal benefits they expect to see from the revolt. Board positions, Brussels appointments, and of course the destruction of their enemies. They consider their personal risk to be small, because they all have an exit strategy. They are cynics. They also provide the resources to organise the revolt.

3. The Principled Followers.
They do genuinely believe in what they are doing is right, and expect little personal reward for doing it, and for most there is little personal risk although they are willing to suffer minor inconvenience for the cause. Lenin would have called them the ‘Useful Idiots’. They give the revolt mass.

4. The Virtue Signallers
These are the people who want to be seen as being with the cool kids and what they are told is ‘the right side of history’. It seems to them to be relatively risk free, knowing they will receive a warm embrace from the media. They will continue to support the revolt as long as there are no consequences for themselves. They provide the revolt legitimacy as the leaders can say ‘we have people from both sides supporting this’. They are, in their own way, cynics. They will assure the leaders and the organising generals that they are right behind them, right up to the point that there is a personal cost to be had.

Boris has just told the Virtue Signallers that there will be consequences, that they will lose their careers. So, what would be their plan?

Up till now, supporting the revolt has been cost free, and even beneficial. As Tory backbenchers and nobodies who have previously been unwelcome in any BBC studio, they now get as much airtime as they want to criticise the government.

So firstly they may support the suspension of house rules because this doesn’t cross a line and they can just say they want more debate. The best outcome for them would be that the disparate parties can’t get their act together to table legislation that all revoltees can agree on, in which case it will fail, and they get to keep their virtue intact without exposing themselves to personal risk. This is the ‘having your cake and eat it’ outcome.

However, if there is a realistic chance that this legislation is likely to succeed, they will suddenly have a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment and vote against it at the very last moment, or be missing in action.

It only takes a few Virtue Signallers to do this for the whole Remain edifice to crumble. Revolts always look invincible until they aren’t.

The message is, never count on the Virtue Signallers for your revolution if there is a personal cost for them.

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9 Responses to Greg Chapman: Anatomy of a Revolt

  1. cuckoo says:

    Incredibly, a Fran-free-zone Radio National this morning had a reasonably sympathetic commentator onBoris Johnson, having worked for him when he was Mayor. Though even this guy ended up taking refuge in the BS that, because Britain has ‘representative government’, then referenda are somehow non-U and should be disregarded (unless they deliver the correct result).

  2. Dr Fred Lenin says:

    How very true ,the Conservatives should woo the virtue mugs ,I mean where else would these useless nonenities get a job of any kind ? After Boris gets Brexit through then do the socialist thing with them ,have a night of the long knives on them and get rid of them ,like the socialists Hitler and Stalin did .
    The actions of many remoaners is close to High Treason and that warrants severe punishment .

  3. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Boris has just told the Virtue Signallers that there will be consequences

    The Tory membership is roughly 80% pro Brexit.
    Any MP who doesn’t do the right thing is going to be challenged and booted.
    Unlike Australia the party heavies aren’t going to be in a position to stop it this time.

    Boris is playing chicken with them, and he’s the one driving the bus not the clown car.

    (Btw Larry the No. 10 Cat is very unhappy with Boris right now. Claws are out.)

  4. yarpos says:

    “The message is, never count on the Virtue Signallers for your revolution if there is a personal cost for them.”

    Sounds a lot like climate alarmists. I really believe as long as I get lots of subsidies and cost me nothing personally.

  5. Nob says:

    Farage on 28 August:

    without the backstop, this would be the worst so-called deal in British history. It would bind our nation to the customs union; maintain the jurisdiction of the EU’s courts over the UK’s; and would fail to return to the UK control over our own fishing waters. It would also rule out Britain’s ability to strike any new trade agreements outside of the EU and would cost taxpayers £39 billion.


    If Johnson does choose to sell out his own people by consigning Britain to such a position of weakness, the Brexit Party would have no choice but to fight him in every seat at the next national poll. If, however, he is brave to do the right thing and go for a clean break Brexit we would put country before party and would help him.

  6. Dr Fred Lenin says:

    Be nice to see the remoaners lined up at the Dole Centre , I mean who would employ them ?

  7. egg_ says:

    4. The Virtue Signallers

    The biggest herd, IMHO.
    Typically drive single-person SUVs hundreds of km for work each week – self awareness: 0

  8. Gilas says:

    never count on the Virtue Signallers for your revolution if there is a personal cost for them

    or, corrected,

    Never count on Virtue Signallers for a revolution, if there is a personal cost for them

    Should be a Liberty Quote, and provide realistic hope for a defeat of the cultural Marxist scum in the West

  9. Kneel says:

    They will assure the leaders and the organising generals that they are right behind them, right up to the point that there is a personal cost to be had.

    As Sir Humphrey said “After all, it is necessary to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back” – which, for me, always springs to mind whenever a pollie-muppet says they are “behind” something/someone.

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