Monday, June 27, 2016

Blimey Blighty, what have you gone and done?

Brexit (assemblage and photo by Pants)

Well, that was quite a leaving do. I remember a similar one when I finished secondary school. My best friend and I got stonking on cardboard claret and the father of the boy who was having the party had to drive us home. I couldn't get my key in the front door, I was that plastered. Ma Pants opened the door, face like fury (let's call her France). She was disgusted at the state of my white jeans and halter top, which were claret red, grass green and mud brown. Lucky no one asked us to vote on our futures that night. I doubt we would have been starting university the following year - we probably would have voted to abolish higher education. Yes, we'd drunk that much cheap wine.

Now to your adolescent rebellion, dear old alma mater UK. Welcome to your cardboard-claret  hangover. In an exuberant seventeen-year-old, it's forgiveable, if not exactly charming. In a nation with power and responsibilities, such naivety won't go unpunished. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't they call a huge battle where everyone loses a zero-sum  game? I say everyone, but there were possibly some hedge fund managers who cleaned up.

We know now that the Remain campaigners' predictions of chaos were bang on the money. The pound immediately plummeted and continues to fall. The markets went into food-fight mode and the Bank of England had to pay for the damage. Oh, and there's the political turmoil which no one saw coming - strange as that seems now. 

Let's tot up those political own goals. The Prime Minister immediately resigns, apparently quipping, 'why should I do the hard shit?' Understandable, really. Then HM Opposition implodes - just the thing when political advantage beckons. Bit of scenario planning might be a good idea in the future? Just a thought. I have met Jeremy Corbyn. He's a nice and very decent man and could be useful if 1972 ever comes back.

Now to the ashen-faced victor in all this. Boris, have you seen The Producers? Sometimes shit hits. Not only that, you might have to do some actual work for a change. FYI - getting your photo taken in front of a bus whilst fiddling with your hair does not qualify as 'work'. And now you're saying only the bad things will go and all the good things about being 'European' will stay? Good luck with magical thinking in the brave new world you've created, old bean.

Many years ago I was driving my BMW quite swiftly through one of London's so-called 'rat runs' on my east-west morning commute. I rounded a corner behind Highbury and Islington Station and came across a large man in a suit with a corn-hewed thatch of unruly hair. He was idly executing figure-eights on a bicycle in the middle of the road. I stopped to let him amble away and I thought, 'fuck me, that's Boris Johnson.' It was long before he became the force of nature that he is now. I missed my opportunity to save the world. May it forgive me.

Congratulations to everyone who got what they asked for - especially those who voted for one thing, presuming they'd get another.  A word to the wise, next time turn the lights on before making your choice. I know what it feels like to take a Jean-Claude Van Damme home after a wild party and wake up in the morning with a Jean-Claude Juncker. And I know what it's like to have a boyfriend (let's call him Scotland), want to break up with you after you've done something particularly foolish and potentially self-destructive.

One thing we've learned - if people are pissed off enough, they'll choose a promise based on lies over a truth that has nothing to offer them. What's that old saying? Hope is bread to a poor man. The biggest surprise is that the disenfranchised still seem to believe that voting will make a difference. Unhappily, on this occasion, it did.

So, to the morning-after pill. The most popular post on The Financial Times website this morning carried the title Can Brexit Be Stopped? A petition calling for another crack at this referendum thingy has attracted 3.5 million signatures at the time of writing. What's more, it's now being reported that the petition was started by a Leave voter when he thought his side was going to lose. He's now bitching that it's been 'hijacked' by the Remain cause. Not really how petitions work. Not really how democracy's supposed to work either but I have a feeling the re-imagining is only just beginning.

Oh, and good luck with the dream job, Boris.