16/06/2016 12:23 BST | Updated 22/06/2016 12:21 BST

AA Gill's Sunday Times Brexit Article And The 'I Want My Country Back' Woman Who Inspired it

'That’s the plan? To swagger into Brussels with Union Jack pants on?'

Writer and critic AA Gill has written one of the more eloquent pieces penned about the EU referendum debate, inspired by an audience member on BBC Question Time.

The Sunday Times article starts:

It was the woman on Question Time that really did it for me. She was so familiar. There is someone like her in every queue, every coffee shop, outside every school in every parish council in the country. Middle-aged, middle-class, middle-brow, over-made-up, with her National Health face and weatherproof English expression of hurt righteousness, she’s Britannia’s mother-in-law. The camera closed in on her and she shouted: “All I want is my country back. Give me my country back.”

And here she is... 


The clip is from an episode broadcast from Doncaster back in April in which the undoubtedly passionate lady in question said: "I want my country back and I want freedom.

"I don't believe our country is free anymore. You only have to look at the European Union and what's going off there.

"I want my country back. I want Britain to be Britain. We're all just so frustrated with all this rubbish we're hearing."

Gill took issue with the sentiment, writing "getting our country back" means "snorting a line of that most pernicious and debilitating Little English drug, nostalgia".

He wrote: "In the Brexit fantasy, the best we can hope for is to kick out all the work-all-hours foreigners and become caretakers to our own past in this self-congratulatory island of moaning and pomposity."

Adding: "They reckon they can get out of the marriage, keep the house, not pay alimony, take the kids out of school, stop the in-laws going to the doctor, get strict with the visiting rights, but, you know, still get a shag at the weekend and, obviously, see other people on the side."

The article - well worth reading in full here - drew praise from many quarters...

And a begrudging respect from others...


And inevitably as this is twitter, plenty of people vocally disagreed...