Emma Thompson backs the In campaign: ‘Britain is a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island’

16 February 2016

9:37 AM

16 February 2016

9:37 AM

David Cameron has been accused of adopting a ‘Project Fear‘ approach as he tries to convince members of the public to remain in the EU. While this tactic has attracted criticism, take heart that the Prime Minister has at least refrained from adopting the Emma Thompson approach of being plain rude.

During a press conference for her new film Alone in Berlin, Thompson was asked about the upcoming referendum. At which point the Nanny McPhee actress took a swipe at old Blighty for being a ‘cake-filled misery-laden grey old island’:

‘A tiny little cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe, a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island.’


As for the right approach to remaining in the EU? ‘We should be taking down borders, not putting them up,’ she explained, before adding that she would ‘of course’ vote to remain in the EU in the upcoming referendum.

Yet despite her assurances, Thompson hasn’t always been such a fan of the vote. In fact back in 2014, the actress said she was encouraged by Russell Brand — the comedian-turned-revolutionary — saying ‘don’t vote’:

‘We’re going to have to have a revolution… I am encouraged by people like Russell Brand saying ‘Don’t vote’. I’ve got to the point where I listen to reports about what’s happening on the FTSE or the Dow Jones and I think I’m in an Orwell.’

Happily no such revolution has put an end to British democracy since Thompson’s comments — so she will still be able to exercise her right to vote in the referendum.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • logdon

    Emma Thompson is worth $64 million.

    I wonder where she got that from?

  • Discuscutter

    Support for open borders tend to go with big houses, public school education and daddies that have very large bank accounts.

  • Knight of Tipton

    Sorry Emma, if only we could be more rich, and open minded, and socially aware, and.. Liberal. Saft classist wench.

  • OscarJones

    Can anyone in Britain afford cake these days?

  • OscarJones

    How can anyone deny that Britain is not a grey old island?. It’s fact. Not sure about the cake though

  • Sanctimony

    Who gives a monkey’s foreskin what this vacuous, attention-seeking airhead luvvie thinks or opines…

    • Frank Marker

      You better make sure it’s gluten-free though. You know what these precious liberal types are like with their food.

  • LG

    Did she say anything that wasn’t entirely accurate? It’s rained here for the last 4 months. Half the population is obese. Those commenters who think the UK is a great place really need to get out more.

    • Frank Marker

      So joining Europe will suddenly give us blue skies, people with sunny dispositions and turn us into continental sophisticates sipping cafe au laits in cafes on tree lined boulevards? I think not. We are stuck with our weather, our Mr Kipling Fancies and our obesity problems. At times, live deals out some pretty lousy cards and if ours say ‘Sorry old son. Life is going to be like a Northern Kitchen Sink drama’ then, I’m afraid, you we have to take it on the chin.

  • Dougie

    Thompson comparing herself with Orwell is as ill-judged as Cameron comparing himself with Churchill.

    • Sanctimony

      Dame Barbara Windsor might be a better comparison… perhaps HM gonged the wrong clown…

  • Chris Bartelt

    Erm.. Er… Thompson.

  • JewishKuffar

    So, the IN campaign is supported by people who hate their country? It follows then that those who love their country should vote Out!

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    I’m back from a two-week visit to YUCK, the first for some five years. Didn’t start too well, a white Immigration officer screaming “You’re a racist” before I’d even cleared Customs. On reflection, I realise this was an attempt at entrapment

  • evad666

    Ha Emma (she really is scrumptious) a veritable fruit and nut cake, light fluffy and full of air.

  • Lamia

    Emma (isn’t she sensational?) should make a public pact with (the wonderful) Russell Brand, (brave) Benedict Cumberbatch and co, that in the event of the UK voting to leave the EU, they will in protest go and settle in some lovely vibrant part of the EU (such as, oh I don’t know… Cologne,) in order to teach us cake-filled bigots a lesson.

    Imagine being deprived of these shining moral examples…

  • Lamia

    “We’re going to have to have a revolution…”

    Well, if we have to have a revolution, there will be some consolation in that Emma Thomson will almost certainly end up in front of a firing squad.

    • TheJustCity

      It’s bad, but the effusions of such as she can lead to ruminations on credible alternative uses for piano wire and lamposts. She might yet consider this a reasonable punishment for the crime of holding of a political difference; a punishment highly regarded by the best passionate revolutionaries.

  • Chris Hobson

    The establishment are filthy liberals.

  • Mary Ann

    Well I suppose that it makes a nice change for the speccy to publish an item from someone who favours the in side, but in reality what she thinks is no more important that M Caine’s point of view. What we really need is some unbias facts about the EU instead of the hate campaign of the outers and the fear campaign of the inners.

  • Ridcully

    I wish Eddie Izzard, Russell Brand and Benedict Cumberbatch would hurry up and tell me which way I should vote.

    • WTF

      Naw, since the migrant rape and pillage across the EU, they’ve crawled back under their up market rocks !

  • john

    What will the raving Brexit backers do after they lose the vote?

    • WTF

      Just wait a tad longer and the EU will implode anyway making a vote immaterial !

      • john

        It’ll be a very long “tad”

        • WTF

          One never knows as a week is a long time in politics as they say and anything could happen.

          Who ever thought that it was Merkels plan to import 2 million migrants or that the EU would create a Eurozone of dodgy borrowers like Greece in the same way bankers handed out home loans up to 2008 without due diligence.

    • Sanctimony

      Simply wait for the EU to implode… but I believe a ‘leave’ vote is on the cards…. no matter what that reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain brings back from that cesspit in Brussels !

      • john

        The glib Chamberlain reference! You lose.
        I think you’re in for a double disappointment.

        • Sanctimony

          Then I’ll have to find my place in the sun, won’t !…. No point in hanging on in Blighty accepting diktats from that unelected cesspit in Brussels… or is it Strasbourg this week…

          Meanwhile the Barbarians, Huns and Visigoths are about to swamp this Sceptred Isle, beating off the Syrians, Iraqis and Ethiopians in the queues at the benefits offices…

          Over £ 55 million a day we pay those knuts in Brussels for all these privileges… and who are we dictated to by ?… a drunken pipsqueak from Luxembourg, a Duchy hidden somewhere between Germany, France and Belgium, with an area of less than 1000 square miles and a population of less than half-a-million…completely f…….g bonkers !

          • john

            Matron, please assist this patient.

  • The Patriarchy

    Emma Thompson pitches for Vanessa Redgrave’s title of Stupidest Old Bag of the British Empire.

    • Sanctimony

      But she’s uglier and an inferior actress to the mother of that brood of luvvies …

  • Arthur Sparknottle

    I feel quite drawn to Emma Thompson, probably because to a man of sixty five like me, she’s pretty sexy, but if she doesn’t like this rain sodden grey little island, maybe she should move away rather than obliging us to become an over-populated slum, packed with foreigners and more to the point, Islamic foreigners, which is the alternative to leaving Europe. As soon as Mutti Merkle gives her Syrian horde EU travel documents, half of them will no doubt de-camp to Britian – England in particular – already the most densely populated country in Europe.

    I’m quite sure that the charming Miss Thompson would easily find a nicer place to live if she so desired. Filling the country with Islamaloons will not make the place less grey.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Intended as abuse of the “love it or leave it” variety, but in fact sound advice. So when you do shape up and ship out, make it “somewheres east of Suez”.
      … Packed with foreigners …. Islamic foreigners…” That would be enough to get you arrested by those traitors manning border control at LHR.
      When you find yourself pushed to the periphery of society, then take the hint; hate it and leave it.
      Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

  • FriendlyFire

    Oh Em, if you really feel that way do feel free to go forth from the UK and multiply.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    The super soaraway Currant Bun says “Shut yer cakehole”.

    • Sanctimony

      At least there’s one tabloid in the UK telling it as it is !

  • Polly Radical

    This has quite put me off my morning bottle of Beaujolais Villages.

    • Sanctimony

      A bottle of Richebourg might restore you equanimity….

  • Rush_is_Right

    Quite aside from the sheer stupidity of her remarks, what on earth has this daft woman got against cake?

    • anka

      Don’t you heard? Gluten and sugar are Devil’s work.

      • Frank Marker

        Indeed. The sort of thing those awful white working class families eat with their tea while watching Sky Sports.

  • pcm9105

    Old Scots Law on Evidence – Objections which may be stated to the admissibility of a witness – “All persons deprived of reason, whether idiots or furious persons, are inadmissible.”

  • sandy winder

    There are hundreds of thousands of people clamouring to get to this country every year so the weather and our country can’t be that bad.

    • tamimisledus

      And when they get in, they immediately set about making the country worse.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      When your best, indeed only viable option is to show up in YUCK as a borderline refugee, despised illegal immigrant, you can’t help thinking that fate has dealt you a bad hand.
      Jack, the Japan Alps Brit, currently enjoying warmer climes

  • Francis Grose

    The Euro has turned millions of young lives in the Mediterranean into a continual nightmare ‘revani filled misery-laden sun soaked old islands’. They have no chance in life, courtesy of the EU.

    • oresme2

      I looked it up. Unemployment as a percentage in Spain and Italy is not higher than it was in the nineties, when there was no Euro. Portugal is not in the Mediterranean, so you must mean North Africa or the piece of junk called Greece.

      • Frank

        Piffle, youth un-employment in Spain is currently hovering around the 50% mark, which is way above what it used to be in the pre-EU days.

        • oresme2

          No! What do you mean with pre-EU days? Franco?

          Spain had a very high unemployment and youth unemployment in the eighties and nineties.

          • WTF

            It was around the 25%-30% mark when I moved to Spain in 2004, as Frank has said, its now around 50%. Yes, Spain like many Med countries always had higher unemployment than say the UK and certainly Germany but is still much higher than in earlier years. Its that bad that some are even going to S. America reversing the flow from pre 2008 when their workers came to Spain for the construction industry. My extension & pool was built by workers from El Salvador and a great job they did but they’ve all gone home now.

      • WTF

        True, but the cost of living compared to other EU countries has rocketed since they joined the eurozone. Previously, Spanish families could support their kids until better times but not anymore. My Spanish neighbors daughter was looking to go to Germany for a job after getting a real degree (Architect) in Madrid and learning German but since the rape and pillage going on there I think she’s having second thoughts. (Take note Mary Ann, first hand experience from living there for 11 years not hearsay like your cr**).

  • KilowattTyler

    Those of us in favour of ‘Brexit’ can only hope and pray that many more celebs of Emma Thompson’s calibre open their big gilded gobs in support of the ‘In’ campaign.
    We must also hope that our PM manages to get mediocre US President Obama to do a party political broadcast ordering us to remain in the EU.

    • The Patriarchy

      Maybe Thompson will clear out to Bongo Bongo Land if we vote OUT.


    • Pioneer

      “mediocre US President Obama”

      If only he was mediocre, the world wouldn’t be such an awful mess.

  • Child_of_Thatcher

    A good reason to vote out!

  • AndrewMelville

    Why is Thompson identified as ‘the Nanny McPhee actress’ rather than as “the ignorant, boring thespian” ?

  • Hayekian

    “We should be taking down borders, not putting them up”
    I bet she’s keen on borders when it comes to taking “the rich” or large multinationals.
    How can people who have been educated at Cambridge be so stupid and naive. Do you get a free lobotomy with your equity card when you join?

    • Callipygian

      They’re educated at Cambridge… and they’re stupid and naive. Join the dots.

    • oresme2

      The rich and multinationals never had a problem with borders at all. That’s what being multinational means.

      • Hayekian

        Tell that to the aristocracy who lost their country estates to death duties in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. As for the multinationals, they used to pay tax on profits generated in the juristriction , now they can arbitrage different tax arrangements in individual juristictions in the EU using intellectual property to make the transfers and the EU member states who lose tax revenue can’t do a thing about it. It’s not called the double Irish with a Dutch sandwich for nothing.

        • oresme2

          The aristocracy? You break my heart.

          At least you can say, that all these transactions are done by British banks. And I know that these things already happened thirty years.

          I know, that the U.K. always wanted as much countries in the E.U. as possible. Taxhavens, poor countries, whatever, just to make the E.U. as meaningless as possible. Divide and rule.

          • Hayekian

            ” just to make the E.U. as meaningless as possible”
            If only they’d succeeded, millions of Greeks might be in work, Italians might have been able to choose their leaders, Germans could go out on New Years Eve without being sexually assaulted and the economic depression that blights much of the Eurozone could have been avoided.

            • oresme2

              The Greeks are working harder than most of us. They make more working hours. Most of them have a shop. They have their money in Sofia and Zurich to look after, while Germany and the Netherlands have to send their money to Greece.

              The Italians mostly elect the wrong leaders as you may know. Not that long ago the communist party was the largest party.

              It is a stupid idea to stand on the Domplatz in Koln during the night. Everybody knows most crime happens at those places. I am never in those places longer than needed. I thought the E.U. is not responsible for the police budget in Germany.

              • Hayekian

                For a Europhile you seem to have a pretty low opinion of your fellow Europeans. Is the 50% youth unemployment rate in Greece made up by the EU hating press or perhaps they don’t have to work with all that money they have stored in Zurich.
                Some countries in the European Union do seem to have a problem with electing the “wrong” leaders and indeed answering referendum questions incorrectly, I suppose it is lucky that they have the EU to make sure they get to the “right” answers much as the fascists and communists of old did , perhaps a rename to the European “Democratic” Republic would be appropriate.
                In Koln the crime was not random or to do with police budgets but because of an idiotic decision to allow millions of migrants from a very different culture into the heart of Europe. You sound German from your responses, I suspect you will come to understand how crazy it was over the coming years. If we can’t escape this union so will we.

                • oresme2

                  The Greeks were governed by some empires in the past, for example the Turks. If you want to know how that is, just ask the Kurds or the Armenians. When Greece got independence they were bankrupt after a year, so their record in the Eurozone was rather mild. However, you must have heard from their antisocial behaviour.

                  You talk about an idiotic decision. It was not possible to let these people die somewhere between Turkye and Austria, but some people are that heartless I know. The Syrians should get help, so that they can return to their country.

                  I have laughed a lot in the summer, when the British Navy fished all these migrants from Africa out of the sea and brought them to Europe. A Dutch truck driver can get a huge fine from the British police if one of them has invaded his truck. British politics is that hypocritical.

                • Hayekian

                  The heart should be governed by the head, allowing those migrants to cross only encouraged more and resulted in more deaths (which is actually more heartless). Returning them immediately to their departure point (as Australia does with its migrants) would have stopped the problem (as it did in Australia) and killed the market for the traffickers ( which incidentally also funds the islamists and the war and so prolongs it). Logic and long term thinking are not part of the European Union’s approach to solving the problem however.
                  The Royal Navy boats were there because they were part of an EU operation. Our membership is making us do many idiotic things, hopefully this will end soon.

  • jim

    Even by the standards of luvviedom ,this is a deeply stupid woman.

    • Callipygian

      Hi Jim.

      • jim

        Hi yourself.

  • Aethelflaed

    “cake-filled” – such an odd thing to say. What did she mean to say – I wonder? Silly Bat.

    • Callipygian

      Well, she’s rich, privileged, and ungrateful, of course. And she takes it out on the rest of us, who are NOT rich and privileged, yet somehow manage to be grateful for what freedoms are left to us.

      • Sanctimony

        Branagh certainly saw the light when he bolted from this ghastly old boot..

  • ecclesiam

    Anyone who doesn’t appreciate cake, especially Eccles cakes, is beyond contempt. But perhaps Emma is worried about her weight – her head, at least, seems to have swollen very badly.

  • Frederick Robinson

    What she says is not without basis: but after some 50 years of travelling around Europe, privately and professionally, I’m always glad to get back.

    • Callipygian

      When I’m in England the sun shines.

  • Johnnymcevoy

    Lefty Luvvies and their ludicrous on-massage rantings. So predictable. Couldn’t she have promoted immigration and climate action in there somewhere as well?

  • Pioneer

    What happens to useful idiots after they have served their purpose?

    7min40 onwards

  • Monima O’Connor

    She’ll do or say anything to get herself into the press as her career is fading.

  • Caviar luvvie

    Ship this dried up old cnut to Gaza, she will love it there!

  • Pioneer

    The reliably idiotic Thompson.

  • KilowattTyler

    A few questions for the expensively-educated Ms Thompson:

    1/ How will membership of a political entity like the EU alter Britain’s being ‘A tiny little cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe, a …. grey old island.’? Was the climate worse before we joined the ‘Common Market’? Will the climate suddenly deteriorate if we leave the EU?;

    2/ What has confectionery (‘…a cake-filled…island’) got to do with politics?;

    3/ If you don’t like the UK why don’t you just sell-up and s0d off to ‘Europe’?

    …and finally:

    4/ If someone with powers of logical reasoning as appalling as yours can graduate in English from Cambridge University doesn’t this say something about the quality of an Arts degree?

    • Omallet

      Fortunately for Emma she doesn’t have to sell up to live anywhere, stay to long in one place, try and get a GP appointment, find a good comprehensive school, wait for an operation compete for a relatively low paid job – in truth she just holds the people who do and do not have her wealth or privilege in contempt of course she doesn’t feel the same way when younger actresses get her role then she thinks we should all feel her pain and reality

  • Jab

    Emma the south west may be hideously white because its full of Cornish people and it is the lesat crime -ridden of all counties.
    Why do you despise the Cornish?