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‘Who only England know’ – the words are of course Rudyard Kipling’s from his poem ‘The English Flag’. Kipling was a self-made Tory, not a toff or a paternalist, unlike the men who applied to join the EU, beginning with the unsuccessful bid by Harold Macmillan back in 1961. Kipling was a proto-Thatcherite who hated the deference shown to the trade unions by the liberal intelligentsia, the very notion that there was any common ground between socialism and Toryism. Like Margaret Thatcher, he was a populist who believed that salvation would come from ‘the people in the third- class carriages’. Like her, he quitted the third-class carriages for the embodiment of freedom, the motor car, and never travelled by rail again.
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