Waugh Quoted in Times Article on Brexit

The Times for 11 October carries an article castigating those members of the Conservative Party who are now backing away from the anti-immigrant groundswell that carried the day for the Leave faction who led the campaign for Brexit. The unsigned article opens with a quote from Waugh’s first novel:

To adapt Evelyn Waugh’s famous line about schools from Decline and Fall, in post-Brexit Britain “We class foreigners, you see, into four grades: leading foreigner, first-rate foreigner, good foreigner and foreigner.” And “Frankly, foreigner is pretty bad”. That, at any rate, seemed to be the dominant message emanating from the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham last week. I thought of this when I heard Irish friends complaining that, for the first time, they wondered if they were really welcome in the United Kingdom. When you discover that not one or two or three but half a dozen or more such friends are prepared to think like this, maintaining the view that there’s nothing to see here becomes progressively more difficult.

The adapted quote appears in the first chapter of Waugh’s novel (Penguin Classic, 2011, p. 16) where the school recruiter Mr Levy explains to Paul Pennyfeather the unambitious status of the Llanabba School.

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