29th March 1963: From left to right, editor Richard Ingrams, Christopher Booker and actor, cartoonist and broadcaster William Rushton (1937 – 1996) members of the staff of satirical magazine ‘Private Eye’, which is currently being sued for libel by Randolph Churchill. Photo by John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
The death this week at the age of 81 of the Telegraph journalist, and co-founder of Private Eye, the controversial, iconoclastic, yet undeniably brilliant Christopher Booker, is a great loss to the fourth estate generally, and to the Brexit debate in particular.
The complexities of Britain’s attempt to extricate itself from the EU have made it the modern equivalent of the 19th century Schleswig Holstein question (“understood by only three people” according to Lord Palmerston).
There is a sense that with Booker’s passing, as regards Brexit, we have just lost one of a similarly tiny group.
You could make the joke that Christopher Booker, as far as the murky realities of the EU are concerned, wrote the book.