There’s a famous scene in the film Network where Peter Finch reaches breaking point. The world, the media, politics, the lot, he’s had enough. ‘I’m mad as Hell!’ He shouts, ‘And I’m just not going to take it anymore!’
Well, you know what? I was at that stage about 12 hours after the referendum vote; Jeremy Corbyn called for the ‘immediate triggering of Article 50’, David Cameron did the political equivalent of farting in a lift and getting out at the next floor and I had the first of the, since twice weekly, ‘So, this won’t affect you much though will it?’ conversations. Since then I’ve become more politically engaged, economically literate and constitutionally savvy than is healthy. Hanging on every word uttered by both sides, weighing up the arguments and trying to see where I, and my dual nationality foreign living family, now stand. There’s nothing more I can do. I’ve applied for my French nationality, I’ve literally laid the foundations on an alternative career and now, I’ve now come out the other end. I’ve had enough.
Nothing much seems to happen now anyway, not really. The UK has adopted, perfected even, the Chuckle Brothers style of public negotiation, a bit of Remain, then full on Leave. Common sense sounds when there’s a Press Conference on the continent, swivel-eyed, flag wrapped jingoistic deceit when they’re home again. Full-on, ‘to me – to you.’ You roll your eyes at the incompetent self-interest; know (hope) secretly that there’ll be a reckoning and carry on. Then something comes along that just stops you, slaps you in the face like a fish.
This week the government’s Brexit war cabinet sat down to thrash out what kind of post-Brexit relationship they would like with the EU. This week they did that. This bloody week. Nearly 12 months AFTER triggering Article 50, nearly two years AFTER the referendum and nearly twenty years into some of these jokers’ careers, they thought they’d finally have a policy coffee-morning? Astonishing that it happened, and more astonishing that they broadcast the fact as if it was indicative of strong government. And by extension, surely this now shows up the ‘Will of the People/They Knew What They Were Voting For’ distraction that flashes up like a speeding camera?
How can the people, whose will we are slavishly following – and let’s for a moment forget they voted a dog as winner of Britain’s Got Talent – how can they have known what they were voting for when a specially-appointed cabinet-level thinktank is yet to make that same decision? How? Really, HOW? I despair at the shallowness of the arguments, the lack of serious media questioning and the inevitability of the cretinous public peacocking that follows.
The pitiful, mendacious mismanagement by this government, and by extension the opposition who hide behind the same arguments, is shameful. No-one in any other walk of life at any level could run their own lives like this because it’s criminal negligence. And the same circular arguments are spewed forth whenever anyone points this out. The EU was the problem and those that wanted to leave it, the solution. Only the solution isn’t working so it’s the fault of those that wanted to stay. Utterly demented, irresponsible smoke-screening.
We now have the government’s own impact studies that show there will be a negative impact on the economy and therefore society, particularly in the places that voted Leave. Well, I for one am shocked, shocked I tell you by this revelation. Straight out of the ‘No Shit Sherlock’ economics manual and which a government Minister publicly defended by joking that ‘hey, when were economic forecasts any good anyway? Am I right folks?’ Sheer, deliberate, pathological vandalism.
The government has spent the 19 months since the referendum re-fighting the Leave campaign because they know the reality is terrifying. The promise unattainable. So they shout their pre-Brexit mantras again and again, just louder. Remember it was Theresa’ Safe-Hands’ May who said it was the ‘Citizens of the world’ that were the problem, Amber Rudd who wanted lists of foreigners working for British companies and what was the result? A monster unleashed in the form of Jacob Rees-Mogg, a caricature of 19th Century elitist reactionary politics whose view on abortion alone would make the Pope jittery. He is now laughably, disgracefully a serious contender as a future Prime Minister. Presumably he has Jack the Ripper lined up as Equalities Minister.
Ideology has taken over, but ideology in Britain has rarely had to grapple with reality because it’s never really been used. We’ve always been more pragmatic than that. We drink cordials because we like things watered down, less forthright. But pragmatism won’t deliver the goods for the Rees-Moggs and Corbyns, who essentially want the same thing. Like the film I’m Alright Jack, it’s ideological self-interest, one with a top hat, one with a flat cap, but essentially the same road pursued. For both, only pure unadulterated, rigid, unquestioned ideology will now do. You’re either with us, or against us.
It’s so very, very Un-British. What it is in fact, is Green-Banded Broodsac PoliticsTM.
Bear with me.
The Green-Banded Broodsac (Leucochloridium Paradoxum) is a parasite that infects the eye-stalks of snails, driving the snails, literally driving them like a zombie motorbike, into the open where the snail will be devoured by larger creatures who will then defecate the eggs of the crazy Broodsacs over a wider area. Crazy no? Translate that though, and it’s a small body, driving a larger entity to disaster and destruction to spread its selfish message. Brexit and Lexit in parasitical form.
British politics has parasites in its eyes, driving us all to ruin, and that is both its current failure and, possibly, its potential saviour. If there’s anything that can persuade the British public, get them onside, then it’s a damn good nature documentary. If we can change the name of the Broodsac to Brexit, whack the programme out on a Sunday night, preferably narrated by national treasure David Attenborough, then we’ll have this thing turned around by Monday lunchtime.
Mad? Maybe. But wait until after the usual Sunday morning media political dipflappery. This may possibly be the most sane idea you’ll hear this week.
This blog, read by hundreds of thousands now, was started as a regular record of me applying for French Citizenship in the wake of Brexit. I’m still waiting to hear on that, but if you’re in the same situation, read back on the 69 other entries for tips and hurdles. Or get in touch. A book will come. Eventually. Maybe. Here are my other books IAN’S BEST-SELLING BOOKS.