Shut Your Cake Hole
I’ve never really been one for cake. I recognise that’s a practically heretical statement for a Brit these days when national identity is screamed at you from all sides, and so many people who frankly would be better off keeping quiet, are telling YOU who YOU are. But, I don’t like cake, never seen Great British Bake Off and have no idea what ‘have your cake and eat it’ actually means.
I can see why cake is very British. The pragmatic marriage of vaguely complimentary ingredients into a stodgy, ‘it fills a hole’ wedge to carry you from lunch to dinner sums up the nation’s history. A culinary symbol of ‘make the best of what you’ve got’ that has always been Britain’s hallmark. Not only the reason for its success, but also how it’s perceived from abroad. Well, how it was perceived from abroad. The perception now is that someone has slipped some strong hallucinogenics into the cake mix and we’re all, to put it mildly, off our tits.
The Cabinet, bless them, went on an away day to thrash out their Brexit plans, and we’re still none the wiser. We’re aiming for aligned divergence and frictionless, stronger borders. Oxymoronic nonsense offered with the straightest of faces by people who’ve been nipping at the sherry for a full couple of years now, hoping it will dull the pain of reality. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, shaking his head like a parole officer in front of serial re-offenders, mutters that the ‘cake’ is back in action. The cake being of course that Britain wants to leave the EU, have the benefits of staying in the EU, pay nothing to have those benefits and ask the EU to completely disavow its fundamental founding principles for our benefit.
It isn’t happening. The cabinet know it really, but even now the collective dishonesty means that they cannot publicly admit that what the Brexit voting public thought they were getting, isn’t possible. The Brexit voting public have been sold a dead parrot that they keep being told is still rigorously alive. And nothing will be allowed to stand in the way of that impossible pipe dream, nothing. The Good Friday Agreement, effectively ending a civil war and bringing investment and stability to the long troubled Northern Ireland stands in the way of a Hard Brexit because it will create a hard border between North and South. So what? Shout the head-spinning Brexiteers, who cares? It’s a price worth paying and they set about undermining one of the most important political achievements of the last generation.
‘It’s what the people voted for!’ Is the cry. Absolute piffle. Do these people ever watch TV quiz shows? There are large swathes of the British public who can’t name the colours of the rainbow, or who know that cheddar is a type of cheese for crying out loud, but apparently now have the geo-political, economic nous to weigh up frictionless, post Customs Union trade on stifling WTO tariffs. I don’t buy it. So when the usual Brexit weather cocks, I’m looking at you Daniel Hannon, emerge floating ideas on behalf of more shadowy higher ups, I smell a rat. People like Hannon have always been the Brexit Polyannas, where leaving has no downside, no pain, they’re desperate lickspittles inhabiting the dark undergrowth of an establishment they’re not quite part of, but crave to join. The Good Friday Agreement is not fit for purpose? How dare you. Is there nothing that you won’t sacrifice for your myopic ideology? Even peace it seems is a price worth paying for your scorched earth politics.
What next? Presumably it will dawn on the arch-Brexiteers that it was only adults who voted Remain. Adults who survived childhood, therefore we must re-introduce a modicum of infant mortality to kickstart a thrusting post-Brexit world harmony and give the people what they want. Repeal any legislation on safe birthing practices, stop Whooping Cough immunisation, ban the washing of hands in the few remaining hospitals… Nothing, nothing must get in the way of the project.
Even now the ground is being laid to serve up a new round of traitors. Rumours that Corbyn and Labour may favour remaining in the Customs Union, and therefore terrifying the government who have, absurdly, had to rely on Corbyn’s own antipathy to the EU. Corbyn apparently was a Cold War traitor, some of the press have said. Really? He was an insignificant MP in the 1980s, what of national import could he have passed to the enemy? The best time to sow leeks in your allotment? Absolute arsewash.
I’ve gone beyond feeling ashamed that these people purport to represent a nation, Corbyn included. There was a time I could have been persuaded to support Brexit. A soft Brexit, where Single Market membership still existed and people in power told rampant xenophobes to belt up. You don’t want a fluid, migrant workforce? Fair enough, well to cover the skills shortage we’re raising the retirement age to 97, is that ok? Good. Because it’s what you wanted. There were rumours this week that the government’s poisonous desire to blame everything on Europeans will mean that I have to apply for a Visa to go home and stay with my family in France. Every time. Every bloody time. Europe, not unsurprisingly, will treat the British the way that the British treat them. And still, for some, that’s a good thing, losing your own rights is a price worth paying for some vague notion of future trade based on a trough-fed 19th century nostalgia for Empire.
My future now is in the hands of the French authorities. If they accept my nationality application, my livelihood and my family life is secured. If they don’t, we will be just another insignificant bump in the road, steamrollered by self-interest in the name of the people, albeit people they stopped listening to an awful long time ago.
And if that is the case, if a Hard Brexit, No Deal comes about you will see the full impact of the selfishness and incompetence that has driven this madness from the start. You will all be choking on a recipe that can’t be swallowed without deep, lasting pain, and then be told it was your fault, it’s what you wanted. And by then, soggy bottoms will be the least of your problems.
This blog, read by hundreds of thousands since the day after the referendum, has gone bi-weekly because the insanity and complete lack of perspective is too much at times. Every so often, I have to ignore the news, don some headphones and whack out some showtunes. I wish those ‘in power’ would do the same. Until next time…
Here are my books, they’re less angry IAN’S BEST-SELLING BOOKS.