The Unkind Kingdom

The Unkind Kingdom – Morpurgo and Lebedev on Brexit Britain – As Michael Morpurgo condemns Britain as “nasty,” Matthew Steeples reports from the launch of Alexander Lebedev’s ‘Hunt the Banker’ where the author condemns Brexit also.

As Michael Morpurgo condemns Britain as “nasty,” Matthew Steeples reports from the launch of Alexander Lebedev’s ‘Hunt the Banker’ where the author condemns Brexit also

The British, a people once thought of for fair play and decency, have morphed into something “nasty” according to the renowned author Michael Morpurgo.


In an interview published today in The Guardian, Morpurgo recounts how he’s been spat at for wearing a ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ badge and talks of how: “We’re almost coming to a civil war situation where there’s so much hate.”


He goes further and whilst sharing his “despair with the world,” sensibly points out: “This is our fault” and adds: “There is no use pointing the finger at the ‘supremely arrogant’ Boris Johnson.” He is spot on when he remarks: “We’ve become a selfish people, an unkind people.”


Last night, at the Evening Standard’s Kensington offices for the launch of Alexander Lebedev’s Hunt The Banker: The Confessions of a Russian Ex-Oligarch, aside from chatting to George Osborne, a chancellor whom many blame for the dramatic fall in Central London’s house prices through the Stamp Duty changes he introduced, I also spoke with the political editor of a major national newspaper. We conversed about Brexit and though at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of our views about that, we agreed that this unending process had turned Britain into a truly unpleasant place.


Softly spoken Lebedev himself, in an interview for the paper his son owns yesterday also, went further. He remarked: “To be honest, I think it [Brexit] is a bit incomprehensible – self-inflicted damage which is not characteristic for Brits. I know I don’t quite understand the reasons people voted for it even if I think they were not well informed. And an island people is different, I see that, even if I don’t understand it exactly. There’s a small chance – maybe very small – of a second referendum which will give us a different result.”


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Alexander Lebedev introduces “Hunt the Banker,” published by Quiller Publishing.
Claire Rubinstein with Alexander Lebedev and George Osborne in the background.
Matthew Steeples points to an image of Viscount Rothermere in the entrance to the Evening Standard’s offices.
Guests at the launch event last night included Geordie Greig, Tom Teodorczuk and Sebastian Shakespeare (amongst those pictured).


  1. The Evening Standard has become a very dreary paper not worth the bother of picking it up.
    Mopurgo is a great writer and entitled to his opinions. But if foolish enough to wear aBollocks badge he will upset some Brexiteers. onceBrexit takes place the UK should flourish when things settle down.

  2. The Lebedev, pere et fils, should never have been allowed to settle in the UK….seedy Russians.
    And the old boy wearing ripped jeans….what an absolute plonker. His son thinks he’s a Romanoff with ludicrous little beard.
    Anyway, their ‘media empire’ seems about to collapse. Nok is right…


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