Children of the Damned
It was bound to happen of course. This flimsy façade that I have, a product of my equally gossamer-thin stage persona, was bound to be penetrated at some point. I’ve spent a year calmly, I think, putting the case for the EU and Britain’s role in it. I’ve contemplated the opposite point of view, even to the extent where I’ve advocated a ‘soft’ Brexit in a kind of – possibly patronising – ‘if you must’ kind of way. I’ve walked away from online arguments with a weary ‘agree to disagree’ shrug, knowing that rowing over 140 characters with an anonymous portrait of someone called ‘DaveYEXIT’ or ‘FuckEU’ was probably the way of madness. I have, I feel, been the very model of sanguinity.
Then I snapped.
It took one headline, that’s all, just a few words and my judiciously curated frontage went spinning off like an angry Venetian blind. It’s still there now flapping about, my wry alter ego trapped in it like a character in a Tom and Jerry cartoon. What’s revealed is a snarling, exasperated individual who’s ‘just about had it up to here.’ The headline in question was something about Liam Fox claiming that the ‘BBC would rather see Britain fail than Brexit succeed’ and crack! that was it, like a twig underfoot…
At what point will these people take some responsibility for what they’re doing? Just what will it take to make these self-interested vandals acknowledge, at least publicly, that Brexit – certainly their version of it – is destructive, painful and unnecessary. Liam Fox has had a year to put forward a vision of not only what he wants to achieve, but how he will do it. Instead, he has nothing, nothing at all and like a bar room drunk takes a haymaking swipe at anything passing, just to offer up a distraction from his own vain ineptitude. Firstly, let’s be clear, I’m a fan of the BBC. Like the NHS it’s one of two great British institutions that benefit the public good. It’s therefore hated by the right wing who can’t make money from well meaning public cohesion. Is it biased? Well, both the right and the left think it’s biased against them, which answers that question. Personally, I don’t think it’s biased enough. My complaint over the BBC’s handling of Brexit is that it tried so hard to be balanced and fair during the referendum that it failed to highlight the absolute dishonesty of so much of the Leave campaign.
I could have walked away from that headline though. I could have done what I’ve done all year: written it down in my notebook and come back to it later, when I’d calmed down. Maybe it was a combination of post-gig adrenalin and cheap Shiraz, but it got to me and I said so. ‘Wah!’ I said, ‘it’s the BBC!’ ‘Wah!’ I continued, ‘it’s the remoaners!’ ‘Wah!’ I added, ‘it’s the EU!’ I’ve had enough of this circular nonsense. There is no ‘clear vision’ for Brexit. None. The economic figures are all pointing downwards as a result of it. Jobs will be lost because of it. Hardship is coming that will make ‘Austerity’ look like Christmas in Monte Carlo because of Brexit. Got that? Because of Brexit. Not people’s reaction to Brexit, but Brexit itself. And all the architects of this national self-harm have is to blame the publicly owned portion of the media. Not themselves, not the narcissistic in-fighting that got us here, not the mismanagement of the country for self-interest, not a Prime Minister so beleaguered she’s like all three of Dorothy’s Oz companions desperately seeking heart, courage and a brain. They’re all blaming others, not REALITY.
‘Ah,’ someone on Twitter pointed out, ‘but there may be something in that story.’ This came from a man who previously has told me how Margaret Thatcher’s treatment of the coal industry in the East Midlands was a result of her desire to reduce the collective suffering caused by emphysema. Nothing to do with union busting or the break-up of non Tory-voting communities, it was a massive, determined act of passionate humanity.
Yep. And Liam Fox wants a balanced media so that scrutiny of elected officials benefits future elections.
‘Brexit’, I responded, ‘is a shit idea, being handled shittily, and by utter shits.’ Now I realise Oscar Wilde might have put it differently, but if your response to any level of swearing is to hitch up your long skirt and rail about a ‘lack of vocabulary’ then grow up. Language is organic, swearing is the compost of that, necessarily breathing life into the stuffy, top down control. Plus, I’m bloody angry. The people on the lower rungs who defend this kind of political nonsense, this distracting stick throwing bullshit are culpable in a kind of national suicide pact. Do you think Rees-Mogg gives a toss about you or your community? He sees Brexit as a way of peeling back rights and ‘costly’ health and safety measures, to make money at your expense. He doesn’t give a damn about you. He’s called his sixth child Sixtus for Christ’s sakes, watch him fit seamlessly into your Sunday Meat Raffle gang.
The rabid support for this specious dogma, despite the drip-drip of bad, Brexit-caused, news is so utterly depressing. Britain will be turned into a low quality theme park, a sideshow of international irrelevance and all because you propped up a warring political party because of some rose-tinted view of the past and an objection to East European Mini-Marts. The obsequious nature of people who doff their caps at the Establishment and wang on about ‘democracy’ while shutting down reasoned debate has finally got to me. These Gollums, these Children of the Damned offering support to a lazy political expediency despite the fact that it will hurt them the most is too dispiriting now.
Have Brexit, wipe British society clean of any European multi-culturalism or economic benefit it has gained from 40 years of EU membership. Do so in such an ungracious, belligerent, childish manner as to make any future trade deals punitive as ‘partners’ seek a safety net from your now juvenile reputation and your self-created desperation. And when you’ve jumped off the roof that Fox and Rees-Mogg told you to jump off, be sure to thank them for their kindness in pointing you in that crippling direction and pay them handsomely for the half-eaten drumsticks they’ve tossed in your direction.
I’m a proud Briton and a proud European. I like the air of sophistication that I pretend to have. I like a Danish beer, an Italian scooter, a French cheese, a German car and a Spanish ham. I like being part of a team, I like being a different part of that team. But right now, I am really looking forward to receiving – if I ever do – my French nationality because you people are embarrassing yourselves. You’ve shit your own bed, and it’s not someone else’s fault, it’s yours. Your bed, your shit and a direct result of swallowing things you shouldn’t have. Good luck cleaning all that up.
Thanks for reading and sharing this diatribe! I’m going on holiday for a few weeks. I aim to return a more relaxed, less angry and hopefully more benevolent individual. I’d also like to hear some good news for a change, I mean, is it too much to ask?
My best-selling books of how I have failed massively in terms of Euro sophistication and as a ‘Frenchman’ are available in all good bookshops and on Amazon. Bonnes vacances!