Conservative ministers “should be under no illusions that a lot of people are very, very angry at their disastrous handling of Brexit, which has made a difficult situation a million times worse.”

So says Tom Brake, a Lib Dem MP, about his party’s plan to join the ‘pro-Brexit’ march during the Conservative Party conference in October.

Well now.  If a difficult situation has become a million times worse, just how bad is it?  As bad as the sun exploding and life on earth succumbing to a slow and jolly painful death?  Alas, he doesn’t elaborate.

It beats me why he cannot simply say that a difficult situation has been made “even worse”.  Or perhaps “far worse”, if he believes the whole Brexit deal-or-no-deal thing is going to get really dire.   To make useful sense of what he is on about, we could quite easily picture a scale spanning neutral to bad/difficult to really bad.

Saying something is “millions” times worse or better, or applying it to quantities, reminds me of playground boasts: “I’ve got millions and trillions more than you”.

If Mr Brake has a case, and maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t – who am I to say? – he undermines it by going in for such hysterical hyperbole.

If the situation truly is a million times worse than it was, then he should already have given Britain up as a totally lost cause, and be on a plane a million miles away.

airplane silhouette