Glorious defeat is meant to be glorious. But it’s also a defeat. Which for those who pay the price is rather different from the glories of inspiring rhetoric.
This is brought to mind by the recent burst of Brexiters cheering on defeat as being something admirable and even desirable.
First, there was Andrea Jenkyns talking up the wonders of defeat:
Then there was Theresa May’s former top advisor, Nick Timothy:
Of course, he’s smart enough to know that Boudicca ended up defeated, thousands slaughtered and even probably took her own life to avoid capture. The difference between this and glorious victory, however, he discounts in the article in Boris Johnson style with a dismissive “whatever the details…”. Hardly details for those who pay the price.
I don’t remember the Brexiters putting such odes to having a plan end in defeat on the side of their bus.