Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Making sense of the shit storm.

In the past few days I expect there have been roughly 400,000 blog posts and think pieces about what the fuck is going on in the country soon to be known as the United Kingdom of England, Wales and the Isle of Wight. I'm not sure what adding to the pile will do for the discourse but it was the only thing I could think of doing to give me a break from reading them.

I am obsessive about news and have been since I pretended to have whooping cough so I could watch coverage of the 1992 general election. I am the sort of man who, just the other day, gave himself the morning off to go to the parliament website and watch Sir Philip Green in front of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee. The thing is, and I realise this may sound clinically mental, that was fun. The last time I think I spoke to you about my news addiction was when all the phone hacking shit was kicking off. That was my Glastonbury. It was FUN.

These last few days, I have not found fun. I was not prepared for the result of the referendum and, more significantly, I was not prepared for the way it would make me feel. When my liberal metropolitan elite echo bubble of a facebook page kicked off about the general election results I thought it was stupid. Sorry lads (this refers to all genders), I did.  We lost, ah well, get over it. What do you want? A one party state? Life goes on.

But the 'out' vote gave me the despair that so many others seemed to feel last year. It was as if the news grabbed me by the throat and yelled 'Did you think this was all just for your own entertainment? We're not fucking Gogglesprogs!'

Here, for what it's worth, is my prediction of what's to come. Apologies if it reads like the Book of Revelations. I have not, by the way, read the Book of Revelations. Is it by Dan Brown? My understanding is that is a series of predictions about everything turning to shit.

1. We will either not leave the EU at all or the deal that we get will see no significant changes to our contributions to the EU or immigration - because, you know, when people say that immigrants make a net contribution to the economy - they are not fucking joking.

2. If we do leave the number one objective will be to keep the finance industry in London. And how do you make them stay? Free from the shackles of the nasty EU and their fetish for red tape - deregulation and low low taxes. London will turn into Switzerland with beefeaters. This is Daniel Hannan's dream.

3. Meanwhile, the rest of the country - the bit that voted leave  - will be wondering where the new hospitals are, where all their delicious sovereignty is and why there are still foreigners in their town. You thought there was anger and disenfranchisement now? Wait till 2020 mate. With the Labour Party having turned into the first personality cult in history in which the leader has zero personality, in which the leader is simply a blank canvas for the left to project its hopes onto, those who do not share articles from The Canary will ignore it entirely. So who will step in? Who will speak for those who feel cheated? I'll give you a clue - his first name is Nigel. There is no rule that says that Middlesbrough will vote Labour from now until the end of time and there is certainly no rule that all they've been waiting for is a leader who promises to renationalise the rail service. UKIP will win over a 100 seats. With the left arguing over what to put on their next Socialist Worker banner, the mainstream of British politics will become a battle between a populist right and if we're really really lucky a One Nation Tory party - in other words it will be America with less guns and more Sports Direct mugs.

4. Here's just a few things that might interrupt proceedings - climate change, ISIS, a Trump presidency, the loss of Scotland and Northern Ireland, Virtual Reality games getting good and the World Cup in Russia.

Sorry about this, by the way. I read somewhere that writing is the action of thinking and that's all I'm doing - trying to make sense of things. So what do we do? Personally I'm not a big fan of petitioning for another referendum soon. 52% of the population feel that they haven't been listened to for years - how's that going to help? Yes, maybe, with the markets in free fall, remain could get a narrow win but you'd only enhance the anger of literally half the population. A good outcome might be, in a couple of years, having a referendum on a deal so transparently shit that remain wins by a 30% margin. Possible. Could put this whole shit storm to bed. Wishful thinking?

My hope, my dream, is that the left finds a genuinely charismatic leader out of nowhere. Imagine what a British Obama could do to Michael Gove. If there is one, they're currently in hiding. She ain't no Obama but I like Yvette Cooper. It's a shame that having met Tony Blair seems to mean you're the devil these days.

I feel like it might be the time for folk like me to get active and I don't mean start swimming - although a reduction in my waist line might give me the self esteem to get through the forthcoming armageddon. Step one might be joining a political party. I'm hovering between Labour and the Lib Dems. Lets see how the next week or so goes. In addition - and here comes the virtue signalling - I want to find a way to show support for those for whom the last few days have made them feel unwelcome in Britain. This barrage of overt, brought to you by the letters B, N and P racism, has made it feel as if when Trump got off the plane on Friday, he took with him all of the hatred he's stirred up at home this year. How I will go about this show of support I do not know. Smiling, I think. And being nice. I'm going to try really hard to be nice.

And this brings me on to one final suggestion. Perhaps the only scrap of clarity I have on this sorry mountain of 'fuuuuuuuuck!'... if those of us who voted remain are going get anything resembling the Britain we want, we're going to have to do some persuasion and we're not going to succeed in that if we call those who voted leave cunts. Unless of course they're sending around cards saying No More Polish Vermin - in that case, feel free.

1 comment:

  1. I voted Remain, and have since been avidly asking everyone how they voted: and they haven't told me to mind my own business, but honestly shared.

    Most of my friends voted Remain - echo chamber effect I suppose - but those 6 who voted Leave gave the following as main reasons:
    a) End EU redtape /gravy train - 2
    b) Restore sovereignty/accountability - 2
    c) I hate that Cameron and Osborne - 1
    d) Fear of potential mass Muslim immigrantion - 1

    Although I nearly had a nervous breakdown in the two days following the vote, and still wish it had gone the other way, and greatly fear the future, I'm not happy observing my more self-righteous Remainer friends plaintively coming up with dodgy legal reasons to overturn what was, under in its own flawed terms, a democratic vote. There's a definite whiff of 'they're all stupid chavs and really the opinions of people like us are more valid'.