The ugly duckling

The tiny duckling was born in to a London farm community of ducks and farm animals in 2016. Known as Leave, he did not seem to be like the other baby ducklings. They were all proudly Remain ducklings, as they delighted in telling him. They told him to be like them he had to change his name and agree with everything they said. He was too proud to do that, and did not see what all the fuss was about. His parents had told him his name was special and had been endorsed by millions of people.

The other ducklings  snorted and looked down their bills at him. They told him he could never survive on his own. They  made him feel very uncomfortable trying to live alongside them. They told him  they were superior, could swim faster and fly further. They doubted  his ability to find enough food, and took delight in hiding the food from him or eating it before he could get it. They explained that unless he became a proper Remain duck there was no chance of him having a happy life, and perhaps no chance of his surviving.

When he pushed back and told them being called Leave was just fine, and there was food he could find, and he could be happy on his own they all ganged up on him and tried to starve him out. The ducklings got support from their parents, who used their superior weight and muscle to beat Leave to the food, or to keep him out of the best parts of the pond.  The European geese were particular keen to make his life difficult.

Things got so bad for Leave that he decided to live up to his name and simply leave the farmyard and its pond and all those disagreeable ducklings behind him. After wandering a long way he stumbled in to a new home called Parliament, where some people , a cat and a hen held court. They put up with  him but when they found out he was called Leave they turned on him just like the ducks had done.

They told him Leave was bad. They told him it would mean he could not get access to enough food., They told him if he ever needed medicines the people helping him would not be able to afford them. They shoved him around, and worked out ways to make his life more miserable. Just like the ducks they said he had to change his name to Remain if he wanted peace and quiet. The cat who curled up in a big chair at one end of the Parliament room played with him mercilessly, shouting at him and telling him all the things he could not do. The hen said she was the opposition and planned to see him  off .

Lonely and downhearted, Leave picked up his dignity and moved on. He found a big empty lake and lived a lonely life there, until one day a large number of fine swans arrived. He was afraid they would set on him, so he kept in the reeds on the edge and hoped they would not see.

The swans came straight over to him and told him not to be afraid. He apologised for being an ugly Leave duckling as an act of self preservation. They told him to look at the mirror of the water, for he would then see he was  no ugly duckling but a magnificent swan. They told him they were all Leave swans. Leave meant being free. It meant the right to go anywhere you wished. It gave you access to all the best food . As swans are so much more powerful than Remain ducklings, there was no need to be afraid ever again.

So the ugly duckling looked at himself in the mirror, and looked again. Finally he pronounced “I am a swan. “

He soon discovered how much better  it was being a swan than a duck. He was respected and admired wherever he went. He was free to go as he chose, and accepted rules which only he could make. Gone was all the hassle of the farmyard and the intrusion of all that squawking of all those unhappy ducklings in Parliament.

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80 Comments

  1. Javelin
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    According to the Conservativetreehouse dot com website Trump was not fully impeached. The Congress has not approved that the impeachment papers be sent to the Senate.

    “As interested observers will note the House never voted to authorize the full judicial impeachment process; instead they voted to approve an inquiry into whether an impeachment should take place.

    It appears the absence of appointing House impeachment managers; and the decision to withhold sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate; is now a specific design.

    Meanwhile the Democrat presidential candidates can run against an impeached President.”

    This plan was masterminded by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer,

    “the House could use the delay to continue to build on its evidence for impeachment, and possibly to score additional legal victories that could unlock troves of new evidence and witness testimony“

    • Javelin
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      It appears the left on both sides of the pond are unable to get their manifesto through voters and lawmakers and they are now resorting to exploiting weaknesses in the law to push their agendas.

      If lawyers like Starmer and Thornberry get in expect much more legal attacks to be coming your way.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Like a lot of self righteous people, the impeachers in the States will find this backfires on them. Trump’s support will increase as they think his opponents will do anything to beat him. Anything but simply win an election.

      • DOMINIC
        Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        Events in the US are extremely disturbing. Finding the results offered up by democracy inconvenient, Democrats and indeed others aligned to this party have decided to circumvent the will of the American people by other means. If they succeed in bringing Trump to his knees US democracy will be irreparably damaged.

        The globalist political class are out of control, unimpeded and becoming ever more aggressive in their actions. They care not one jot if they are seen to be acting in a manner that is completely contradictory to accepted norms

        It isn’t Ducks we should be fearful of but snakes

      • jerry
        Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        @Mike Wilson; I think you might be correct, but it perhaps not so much ‘support’, rather sympathy for Trump, it is quite possible that the Dems vote will collapse due to this charade. One only has to look at the (D) Speaker of the HoR announcing the vote result, barely suppressing a smirk, to understand the truth behind this impeachment.

      • Andy
        Posted December 19, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        The Democrats have been very reluctant to impeach Trump – for the electoral reasons you mention.

        But there has never been a president in history that has needed impeaching this much. Impeachment is not about policy it is about process. Trump is lucky not to have been impeached years ago for violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution but his behaviour in that phone call is outrageous.

        Partisan Republicans will clear him in the Senate but Democrats are clearly to right to impeach him for effectively trying to bribe another country for dirt on a political opponent.

        If Trump does win re-election- and he might – then I don’t doubt that he will become the first president to be impeached twice. And after the next elections Democrats will have a lot more say in the Senate.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 19, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        I thought Jo Biden WAS trying to win an election.

    • Polly
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      If Nancy Pelosi refuses to submit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can convene the Senate anyway, summon the Chief Justice, and swear in the Senators as jurors. Democrats can boycott, but they sure can’t stop the trial which would rapidly end in acquital because the President has at no time broken the law.

      This would have the advantage of ending forever this impeachment process.

      Polly

  2. Cheshire Girl
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    A tale for our times. Its a matter of confidence in our ability to run our own affairs. Where did that confidence go? We have been browbeaten for too long. Time to come together, and makes this work.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Denis MacShane and many others, including me, correctly predicted that if a referendum were called, then the UK would be persuaded by private power and their media to vote Leave.

      This became apparent at the 2010 General Election. The euromyths were already deeply ingrained in the popular mind by then, and the years of groundwork done.

      John’s analogy is very wide of the mark.

      • dixie
        Posted December 22, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

        @mic – Prove it, provide links to your predictions.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      We have indeed browbeaten by the EU, the BBC, and the wrongheaded establishment for Heath to May. I assume this Swan was being dragged under water by tangled red tape and hugely high taxes but was able to break free of them.

      Iain Dale is surely right today:- The BBC is trapped in a Remainer London bubble of its own making. Stuffed full of middle-class liberals, it is broadcasting a view of the country most of us don’t recognise

    • BJC
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl: The tone is always set from the top; in this case, from the all-encompassing EU which has sucked our confidence, assets and coffers dry, e.g. while Mr Johnson is preparing for our Brexit journey by deciding the eta at our destination, the EU has already howled that we won’t arrive on time; and we’ve not even finalised the transport arrangements yet.

      In the recent past, the EU view has been accepted without question and we’ve postponed our departure, but we’ve now updated our vehicle and we’re ready to put the co-ordinates in the SatNav. The passengers believe that much of their journey can and will run relatively smoothly, but only if we leave ourselves enough space to avoid the lumbering EU juggernaut and to make any necessary route and transport changes to get around roadblocks. Take note, Mr Johnson.

    • Posted December 19, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      The swans made it work by not ‘coming together’ with the ducks, cat and hen!

    • Andy
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      No. We are not coming together with you. This is your fault. It is time for Brexiteers to face up to the consequences of their decisions and to own the mess which is coming your way.

  3. Shirley
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    A nice story, but I think we are experiencing a mix of Orwells 1984 and Animal farm. We are supposed to believe that Remainers are somehow cleverer than Leavers, and all lies are becoming the truth, ie. we now have multiple genders and men are women and women are men (and don’t you dare say otherwise!) Can we all look forward to 2 + 2 =5?

    I remember a joke I heard a while ago, in that Orwells books were a warning. Not an instruction manual.

    • Al
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      “A nice story, but I think we are experiencing a mix of Orwells 1984 and Animal farm. ” – Shirley

      Not embracing our Brave New World, then?

      If you’ve seen this year’s christmas adverts for smart homes and smart meters, you’ve probably noticed that we aren’t just expected to have Big Brother, we’re expected to pay for the privelige.

    • Posted December 19, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Remainers and US Democrats are cunning – thats not the same as ‘clever’. They are also ruthless. These are not admirable qualities.
      Leave Swans need to decide whether we are prepared to be permanently fighting for our lives, humiliated by liars and cheats, or, at a stroke ‘end them’.

  4. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Presumably both the swans and ducks had free movement and cooperated on defence when dogs and foxes were planning terror attacks.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Almost every single terrorist attack in the UK in recent years has been by people born and raised in the UK.

      The same is true re the respective nationals of other European Union countries who have suffered such outrages.

      • SecretPeople
        Posted December 19, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Manchester – a Libyan.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 20, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

          As I said, almost.

          All the attackers on London Transport were British.

          And in what way did FoM assist that Libyan to come to the UK?

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted December 19, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Any clue as to their parents’ ethnicity?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 20, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

          That’s irrelevant to the erroneous point, that Freedom Of Movement in the European Union is what enables these attacks in the UK.

      • Frances Truscott
        Posted December 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Because migration is actually a loss and dislocation. Isn’t it 1 in 3 Brits who come back from the uk from Australia or NZ?
        And those are people who go with the language and high level skills.

        • Frances Truscott
          Posted December 19, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

          To the uk from oz and nz

    • John McHugh
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Presumably the swans were bright and bold enough to create peace with dogs and foxes after they renounced the ducks and their traitorous swans who had aided and abetted said ducks around the world to cause disharmony.

  5. Mark B
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Good morning, and thank you to our kind host for his Christmas story.

    Little did he know that the lake he was in was only a transition lake and that, eventually, he would have to move to another called BINO. There he will have the illusion of being free but, will still have to follow the rules of others and pay money to live there.

    Not as happier ending as just taking off and exploring all the lakes of the world.

    The End.

    🙂

  6. Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    And they all lived happily ever after.

  7. agricola
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Remain are dependants.
    Remain are fearful.
    Remain are negative and would never make the first team.
    Leave are open minded.
    Leave are resourseful.
    Leave are self sufficient.
    Leave are exploritory.
    Leave do not give up, who dares wins, to steal a phrase.

    • agricola
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Incidentally ducks and geese can be shot in season, but swans belong to the Queen.

  8. DOMINIC
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Animal Farm this ain’t but a valiant effort at political allegory nonetheless.

    It’s not ducks this nation needs, but lions

  9. Roger Phillips
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    It would be fantastic to see those swans taking back control of the fishing waters, thousands are watching them after voting for them.

  10. Posted December 19, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    And in Europe a pantomime dame has emerged telling the swans they will be worse off. Oh yes you will. OH NO WE WONT!

  11. sm
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    And of course, as a swan rather than a duck, one is far less likely to be farmed, slaughtered and roasted for dinner!

  12. Posted December 19, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    From today’s facts4eu,
    Final excerpts from speech by President von der Leyen in the Plenary of the European Parliament, 18 Dec 2019

    In a wide-ranging speech to the assembled MEPs from the EU28 countries, the new EU Commission President concluded by thanking “our very brave [British] Remain MEPs”, looking over to the area where the British minority parties (Cons, Lab, LibDems, Green) sit. She told them “I am sorry. We will miss you, we will miss you, thank you for your courage. Thank you for having been at our side.” Prolonged applause rang out from around the enormous hall, with the only protest coming from Brexit Party MEPs.

    When the applause died down, Frau von der Leyen turned her attention to the Brexit Party’s MEPs.

    “We will never miss those who scream and yell.” At this point she pointed at the Brexit Party MEPs, with more applause from MEPs. “And now, thanks God without you, we are constructing our future partnership to the UK.”

    Her next sentence was, “Our new relationship should be as close as possible.”

  13. Simeon
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Good morning,

    If perception is reality, and the people cannot, for whatever reason, perceive anything other than what their political masters set before them, then what harm is there in an illusion?

    And if politicians are incapable of fashinoning a better reality, why wouldn’t they trick their audience with a sleight of hand instead, if that were their one skill?

    And so this is what we are reduced to as a nation; a cack-handed conjuror pulling the wool over the eyes of his audience of 5 year olds as he pulls a rabbit out of his backside. Well, at least he says it’s a rabbit…

  14. Alison
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    We hope, a happy ending.
    But this ugly duckling/swan, born 2016, had very brave, persevering, long-suffering ugly duckling/swan parents, in each decade since 1974.
    Perhaps I shall attempt some two or three ‘prequels’ – condensed into a single tome – on today’s long train journey.

  15. jerry
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    The Leave duck, otherwise known as the Ruddy duck, at least amongst native European (remain) ducks…

    • Posted December 19, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      It wasn’t a duck, it was a swan!

      • jerry
        Posted December 20, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Sarcasm is lost on some!….

  16. Kevin
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    “They told him to be like them he had to change his name”

    They decided to call him, “Leave, subject to contract”, even though that was not what was on his birth certificate. “What kind of contract?”, he asked. For three and a half years no-one was very clear about that, until along came a goldcrest, who was very popular, and cried, “I hold in my hand a piece of paper!”. Everyone was very pleased, and without properly reading it, rushed to sign it in the next twenty-four hours. Then a wee Scotch egg piped up, “Och! That’s no’ a deal, ya daft bampot! We wir talkin’ aboot a trade deal!”. Everyone suddenly realised they were not wearing any feathers. In fact, they were plucked and oven-ready. Then they woke up and discovered it was all a horrible nightmare. They re-read the duckling’s birth certificate and found that it simply said, “Leave”. So that is exactly what they did.

  17. Ian Wilson
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Superb!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      A better analogy for Leave would be the cuckoo’s egg, unsuspectingly nurtured by songbirds.

      We will see, won’t we?

      • jerry
        Posted December 20, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        Yes Martin, a cuckoo’s egg, unsuspectingly nurtured by the UK for the last 48 years, especially during the unthinking 1980s!

  18. Steadyeddie
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    If only Leave was a single duckling this would have been fine but it was a group of very different ducks, some quite attractive others very ugly. Now we have a specific variety of duckling, as a Remainer I am content with this. We will see how well it flies in the months to come.

  19. Newmania
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Not so much Bunyan as Bunion. If only you could all duck off, the rest of us would be happier wealthier and in every way, better country. Ye gods what is about Nationalists of all kinds that encourages this endless whingeing self pity …same with the Scottish Nasty Party.

  20. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Leaving the EU was never supposed to change who we are Sir John.

    When we are independent I hope we remain a hardy duck, able to compete with the swans in all areas and survive alongside them, but a duck nonetheless.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      The duck was always a swan.

    • Posted December 19, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Bring in the EU changed us from being wonderful swans to being hen pecked, depressed, hopeless bits of flesh trying to grab a bit of bread to stay alive. Now our feathers are growing again, and we can see we never were European ducks…. we are ourselves again – swans, admired across the world for our graciousness, kindness, generosity, justice and the sheer unique BRITISHNESS which has been misses so much for 46 years, especially by our fellow subjects of HM – the Dominions (which are not the same as the Commonwealth).

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 19, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      “We” is meaningless.

      The country is irreconcilably divided on a number of lines.

      I look forward to swearing my Oath Of Allegiance to the values of the European Union and to paying my dues in return for the proposed Associate Citizenship, for instance, along with many millions of other true British patriots.

      Many will not.

  21. George Brooks
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    A nice parallel. Thank you Sir John.

    In addition to putting an End Date into the Withdrawal Bill, Boris should also include that ‘not a penny of the £39bn will be paid until we have complete control over our fishing grounds, laws etc as set out in a proper Brexit.

    The EU is beginning to understand that we are leaving, and hopefully most of the ‘quislings’ that were in parliament did not get re-elected, so there should not be a rear guard action to delay or disrupt negotiations. We are slowly gaining control of the high ground and it would be helpful if the media reported fact and not distort the position.

    All our products that we sell into the EU are in line with their requirements and if companies wish to continue selling into the EU they will keep their products in line like another company in the world currently does. Equally it does not stop any UK company modifying their products and producing a version to meet the requirements of other countries.

    This is the area that most concerns the EU, as they know that we will out-sell-them in any other market in the world. It is not a threat it is fact and they will have to live with it. Also our negotiators need to remember this at all time.

    The EU wants to continue selling and needs to continue selling into this country so they have a lot to lose if they fail to be reasonable. For example we must control our fishing grounds. They won’t go short of fish as our boats will catch it in line with our rules and we will sell it and ship it to them. This is exactly what happens now except the boats landing the fish at our ports are largely EU owned and we have no control over them. After 31st December 2020 we take control and no doubt will allow some non UK boats to fish providing they keep to our rules and pay their dues. The rest of them can do what we have had to do and fish in the Atlantic

  22. Fred H
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    …and the farmer decided to cook some of the geese for Christmas because they terrorised the other pondlife. The ducks continued to be noisy and claim they were the rightful owners of the pond, but they had a short life and many died away. Gradually pairs of swans made the pond their home and life became settled and peaceful.

  23. Everhopeful
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Lovely, lovely story.
    How cheering and Christmassy.
    Let’s preen for a while and admit that we Leavers are “ Very fine swans indeed.”
    Before we face the inevitable battles for further freedoms.

  24. Gareth Warren
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    A beautiful story.

    The story of brexit goes back to the days of empire I believe, the ending of which was a great shock to the nation.

    But during Victorian times the ending of empire was entirely expected, Gladstone once wrote to a colleague saying “when those damn colonists finally get their independence”. Enoch made a good point I believe that we were so stretched defending empire (India) in WW2 that we were vulnerable in the home waters of the Atlantic.

    While empire did help us they had little industry, India air defense was protected by around 9 large AA guns – laughable really.

    We need to believe in ourselves as a nation again, we have such a rich history of success that it is quite comical remainers do not.

  25. Norman
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Fabulous story!
    Swans are gracious birds, afloat or in flight. Unlike ducks, they mate for life; and except in death, are mute. A fitting symbol of faithfulness, graciousness and freedom.
    God save the Queen!

  26. Robert Riley
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    This brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Ducking the issue’.

  27. formula57
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    A tale of our times! Thank you for such entertainment.

    The duckings should beware of Black Swan events disrupting their smugness perhaps.

  28. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Brilliant story telling. Let’s hope we are going to be truly free and it’s not just an illusion. Boris needs to get a better deal or walk.

  29. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John – a nice smile on a dreary day.

    Its a pity some of your other contributors are so churlish, probably in life as well

    Facts4U yesterday in there usual way of created perspective –
    “The sheer, unbridled nonsense of the EU’s “trade deals” – debunked
    99% of UK economy will be unaffected by the EU’s “trade deals” after Brexit”

    A friend of mine, a VP at a Bank also noted that the naïve negative spin asserted of leaving was nonsense. How would such a small amount of UK GDP with the EU just disappear. The World doesn’t trade that way.

  30. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The Wokingham Coffee Shop discussion last Sunday. Yes there was pleasure of at last seeing there maybe a way forward, and hopefully this new Parliament understands the meaning of duty.

    One other meaningful element that came up, was how the younger members of society had been indoctrinated, whether as part of the education system or the people they hang around with. One of the people I was talking to was condemned by his sons girlfriend as being racist for supporting the idea the UK should be self governing. The literal teaching is in leaving the EU control we are rejecting the peoples of Europe. The point missed that the people of Europe will always be our friends an neighbors, the problem is they are ruled by a bizarre form of Government. This is summed up by a statement Claude Juncker ‘there is no place in the EU for Democracy’.

    Maybe we now need to be more explicit as to what democracy means to us and that we don’t see the Peoples and their Ruling Government as being mutually inclusive. The UK needs to demonstrate total transparency in its governance so as to make the position clearer on the responsibilities we all have in a democracy. This can then help others to understand the UK and differentiate it from those that wish to pull systems down.

    The UK has been Punished in the last 3 years or so by enemies of real democracy and responsibility.

  31. Polly
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Some swans are very independent and free range such as the Wokingham Leave variety for example, whereas the Maidenhead type are the reverse, feeding exclusively on WA produced for them elsewhere in mysterious circumstances. The call sign is a dull ”strong and stable, strong and stable” made almost constantly.

    The Uxbridge and South Ruislip Leave swan of blonde plummage often Leaves, although roosting happily at present, but in EU matters the type is enigmatic, feeding at times on WA while at others professing the need for a more free range outlook. It is easily recognized by it’s repeated call ”friends and partners, friends and partners” to foreign entities which are anything but friends and partners.

    Such is the varied world of Leave swans !

    Polly

  32. William Long
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    A very good parable, but I am not sure that the Leave duckling ever actually suffered the same lack of confidence in its cause as did the one you portray!

  33. ukretired123
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Excellent story in many more ways than the ducks realise as
    It went over their heads!
    Being true to yourself – Integrity!

  34. bill brown
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Too bad the little Duckling did not learn some more as he grew up

  35. Andy
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    In the long run you will probably find that everybody actually loved Leave. He just had monumental chip on his shoulder.

    Leave was just an incredibly stroppy child. Always whining and complaining. He thought he knew best. He didn’t.

    Home was a bit boring but it was safe. When he made his break he ended up getting eaten up by a fox. The world is cruel when you are small and alone.

    Just as well. Because it turns out Leave wasn’t a swan after all. He was a turkey.

  36. hefner
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    As a Nasseb Talim could say: beware the black swan.

  37. robert lewy
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    From my experience and having two reasonably sized ponds at the slightest disturbance
    very few ducks Remain…………..

  38. Graham Wheatley
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Splendid analogy.

    Swans have Blue & Gold passports too, not Burgundy ones like the Ducks.

    And they are not told whether or not they can fish in their own waters.

  39. Edward Paxton
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant!

  40. Robert Eve
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    👍👍👍

  41. Peter
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I know a similar story but this one was about an emperor and a set of clothes. The thing is, the emperor may have stood in front of his mirror for hours saying “I am dressed in elegant attire” but it didn’t matter a jot once he stepped out of the front door and his hairy bits were swaying in the breeze.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want our country to prosper. But excessive self-confidence masks delusion.

  42. Richard416
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I want to be a swan.

  43. David Brown
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Well we can go live in Scotland and eventually return to the family of Europe, when not if Scotland is free of what will be left of the UK at then end of 2020.

    Interesting comment because I feel leaving the EU is the start of the end of the UK.
    I guess we need to watch this space.

  44. John Hatfield
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Excellent John!

  45. Fred H
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC.
    from: BBC POLITICS.

    The Independent Group for Change is being disbanded after failing to win any seats at the general election, leader Anna Soubry has said. The party was founded last March by Labour and Tory MPs unhappy with the direction their parties were going in. The 11 MPs aimed to create a new centre ground force in politics. But some members left to join the Lib Dems or quit politics, and the remaining four all lost their seats to candidates from their former parties.

    Eight Labour MPs left the party to form the breakaway group, citing Labour’s Brexit policy and record on tackling anti-Semitism. They were later joined by three Remain-supporting Conservative MPs, Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen. Dr Wollaston later joined the Lib Dems – and lost her seat to a Tory candidate last Thursday – and Ms Allen did not stand for re-election.
    Former Labour MPs Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger stood as Liberal Democrat candidates but were also defeated in last Thursday’s election. Independent Group for Change leader Ms Soubry came a distant third in Broxtowe, which was won by the Conservative candidate. Former Labour MPs Gavin Shuker, Chris Leslie and Mike Gapes, who stood as Independent Group for Change candidates, also lost their seats.
    The party that didn’t quite change UK politics.

  46. Posted December 19, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Anyone wishing to watch the story told by Sir John himself, followed by some remarks about the current state of politics, can click the link below: https://www.facebook.com/BrugesGroup/videos/2312574895509134/

  47. Dunedin
    Posted December 19, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Let us hope that Boris has all his Brexit ducks in a row by the end of January.

    Best wishes of the season to you and all your bloggers.

  48. Irene
    Posted December 21, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry you didn’t like my frozen duck tale. It took me a while to write it too. I suppose I must try harder to reach your standards.

  49. Alison Barnes
    Posted December 23, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Just read this with tears in my eyes and many thanks to you, and not forgetting Danny Kaye. Hopefully Big Billy Goat Gruff is ready to knock the Big Bad Troll over the highest mountains if he should continue to stand in our way.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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