A pro-European publication has responded to the Skegness MP’s reaction to a front cover that used an offensive satirical image of Skegness’ iconic mascot, the Jolly Fisherman, to claim ‘Skegness is So Brexit’.
Residents were shocked by the cover of The New European and the article that claimed if migrant workers left it would bring the resort and the coast’s tourism industry to its knees.
An article in Saturday’s edition including a response from Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman was tweeted by editor Matt Kelly, with the remarks: “Here’s fresh Brexit convert + Skegness MP @mattwarman in today’s @TheNewEuropean. There’s a visual clue about how we feel about him ;-)”
Mr Warman responded: “Can a competent subeditor sort out the standfirst please...”
The article quotes him as saying: “I honestly believe the characterisation of Brexit voters as universally intolerant, ignorant and usually racist is not only inaccurate, but also deeply unhelpful to the country, its future and that vital bid to heal divisions. The New European sought to find remainers in Skegness and struggled, but that didn’t stop the casting of aspersions, or the retelling of basic facts about the resort or about Lincolnshire in general, presupposing that doing things differently would lead to ruin.
“The iconic ‘Jolly Fisherman’ was recast as a malevolent clown, swearily telling others to ‘Go away’, while Brexit, as last week’s paper asserted, would destroy the town. It was a parody that had delusions of satire, but in reality it was a crass insult to many thousands of intelligent, considered voters. It is daft to imagine more than half the country shares such intolerant values, but that many do is symptomatic of how divisive the debate has become.”
He continued: “Even I, someone who just about voted to remain, was utterly convinced that people knew what they were doing – and did so not just because they were seeking a Britain standing on her own two feet a little further from Brussels, but above all, because they honestly sought the best for our great country. Never have I been more heartened; remainers and brexiteers all wanted the best for the UK, even if they differed sharply on how to get there. Now the result is declared, we must work out how to make the very best of it.”
Mr Kelly commented today: “We had our best ever sale in Skegness that week and a very positive response from residents there who believe Brexit is a bad idea.
“I suspect anyone who actually understands that Skeggy is far from united on the subject of Brexit would not be surprised about that. Sadly that doesn’t seem to include the town’s Remain-voting MP who is now scrambling around to convince his electorate he’s on their side. Skegness deserves better!”
The New European sought to find remainers in Skegness and struggled, but that didn’t stop the casting of aspersions, or the retelling of basic facts about the resort or about Lincolnshire in general, presupposing that doing things differently would lead to ruin.Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman