Sir Patrick Stewart has got it all wrong, Star Trek is Brexit to the core

Sir Patrick Stewart has got it all wrong, Star Trek is Brexit to the core

On Sunday, the BBC screened a celebrity special of the gameshow Pointless called ‘Pointless: Celebrity Writers’. There is a final round in this quiz where the contestants are able to choose the category of question. On this occasion, one of the four topics that came up was ‘Star Trek on Film’. For the Trekkies out there, I know your eyes just lit up.

‘Celebrity writer’ contestant Owen Jones (excitable Europhile and left-wing political activist) had made it to this final round, and the choice of topic was his. Unfortunately, Jones wasn’t at all keen on the Star Trek round, and gave it rather short shrift. He instead opted for a set of questions on ‘Europe’. I was disappointed. I wanted to see the Star Trek questions – I’m a Trekkie. Also in contrast to Owen Jones, I’m a Brexiteer.
Just a few months ago, Sir Patrick Stewart declared to a room full of ‘People’s Vote’ types that his erstwhile character, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, would have voted against Brexit. According to Stewart, Captain Picard of the Starship Enterprise NCC-1701 D is, like Owen Jones, staunchly pro-EU.

Sad, then, for Sir Patrick, that his EU-loving kinsman Jones probably couldn’t pick Captain Picard out of a line-up. And that The Guardian erroneously refers to Captain Picard as the ‘pilot’ of the Enterprise, and the Times spells it ‘Piccard’. These pro-EU types don’t seem to value Sir Patrick’s work too much.

Perhaps even sadder for Sir Patrick, there are so very many anti-EU Trekkies about. As a long-time eurosceptic, I have stumbled across more Trekkies in my political endeavours than in any other part of life. We’re not talking about people who ‘like the one with the whales’ here, we’re talking naming episodes and alien races, and arguing about the order of merit of the incarnations – first to sixth best. That’s us.

But with Captain Picard outed as a Remainer, is it difficult to reconcile that so many Brexiters are also Trekkies? We don’t seem to mind that the Star Trek universe has tilted towards an anti-Brexit sentiment. For example, the Enterprise storyline on anti-Federation terrorists Terra Prime . And according to Star Trek lore, United Earth is a single government for the whole world, in which there is a confederation called the ‘European Alliance’. So how is it that we Brexiteers find such a bond with Star Trek?

Let’s put superficial politics, and perhaps a little Hollywood leftism, aside.
Creator of Star Trek Gene Roddenberry’s vision was one of hope, of humanity confronting its own frailties in pursuit of a better future.

Star Trek is intolerant of greed and corruption, and treats anti-democratic governments with anything from resistance to outright scorn. Star Trek does not homogenise.

Brexiters find joy in the Star Trek universe; we find succour in its faith in humanity, while also being faced with sometimes painful truths about human nature. Star Trek makes us truly challenge our own moral philosophies and allegiances.
Star Trek’s optimism, its portrayal of perseverance, defiance, and hope, that is all Brexit.

One of my Leave buddies says that what really makes Star Trek work is the ‘men and women of character, standing up for what they believe in’. Another adds that it’s the strong, adventurous team spirit of the crews. You could characterise the Leave campaign in exactly the same way.

So to Sir Patrick, who just days ago announced, to a delighted Star Trek convention, that he will shortly be reprising his role as our beloved Captain Picard. I hope that he remembers that there are very many Trekkies out here in Brexitland. And I don’t just mean the Stewart family’s native Kirklees, where people gave their resounding support to Leave in the EU Referendum. Brexiters from all over the UK are quiet Trekkies. We’re the people who buy Captain Picard action figures, and who queue up for Sir Patrick’s autograph. We’re the ones who’d pick ‘Star Trek on Film’ over ‘Europe’ every time.

Perhaps sadly for Sir Patrick Stewart, there are many Trekkies about who voted Leave