Hilary Mantel hits out at Dominic Raab over holiday
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Ms Mantel, who is a frequent critic of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, claimed she was “ashamed” to reside here in previous interviews. The remainer author was dubbed the latest in a group of “all these woke elites” who are said to be “forever talking this country down”.
Ms Mantel, an established writer of historical fiction, made the comments about Brexit including plans to relocate to Ireland “to be a European again” when speaking about Britain’s treatment of migrants with the Italian newspaper la Repubblica.
“It makes one ashamed,” she said when commenting, adding that she felt “ashamed to be living in the nation that elected this government.”
The dame who has twice been awarded the Booker Prize for her novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, was said to be “seemingly agonising” about whether she still has a place in Britain according to Hugo Rifking, from The Times.
In the conclusion of the opinion piece, the British journalist referred to Ms Mantel as a “captivating English novelist talking Britain down”, but elsewhere he criticises her for her “mild tactlessness of bemoaning British political tensions over migrants coming from the sea with an Italian news outlet”.
He said that in the aftermath of the interview, which was published on Saturday, September 4, he expects Ms Mantel “will do a decent job of uniting that ever-growing tribe of academics, columnists, TV pundits, politicians and general internet headbangers who are now all so perpetually furious about the lefty, unpatriotic British elite”.
He criticised the group who frequently question Britons who voted in favour of Brexit by saying: “You do occasionally wish they’d all bog off and go and live somewhere with an elite they hated a bit less, instead”.
Ms Mantel had made scathing comments about the British Government and the Royal Family in the past, and her behaviour has come under scrutiny by Mr Rifking who asked: “What sort of country tolerates that?”
His criticism comes in response to an Express.co.uk article where an unnamed correspondent told the Daily Express “The UK IS EUROPEAN you womble!”.
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It came in a response to a piece which outlined comments made by Ms Mantel including that she “might breathe easier in a republic” and “may be able to arrange it” as she hoped to gain Irish citizenship.
Mr Rifking claimed that the Daily Express reader was “deemed to be speaking for the nation” when referring to the Booker prize winner as a “womble”.
The author, aged 69, who grew up in Derbyshire, said she has been strongly influenced by her Irish ancestry.
She said: “My parents were both born in England, but the generation that shaped me was the one before that, and I was conscious of belonging to an Irish family.
“We were northern, working-class and Catholic, and to me, Englishness was Protestant and southern, and owned by people with more money.
“So when I began writing I imagined myself as a provincial writer, in the good sense, and as a European writer, rather than an English writer.”
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