People now pushing Brexit simply because ‘it’s been dragging on too long’. Fuck you. So sorry you’re bored of all this. How tedious that it’s always on the news. Must be a real drag to be part of one of the most significant flash points in modern European history. Must put you right off your dinner.
Of course it’s tedious. Most socio-political and economic things that matter are. This is incredibly dry and complicated, no matter how Whitehall and its tabloid patrons would have it spun.
Of course it’s irritating. It’s being managed by a drunken clown convention straight out of a Hogarth print. If you were being forced to watch your kid’s incredibly important birthday party being planned every stage by scores of narcissistic rabid baboons, you’d have every right to be irritated. There’s only so much shit being flung across the room one can stomach.
But that doesn’t mean anyone should be dismissing this seismic calamity, nor the way it came to fruition, as some trifling inconvenience that simply needs to be over and done with, like it’s the weekly big shop. What a shallow collection of self-absorbed skin bags we really are.
Maybe a major reason it’s still dragging on is because it’s incredibly important that we get it right. That maybe there is NO WAY to get it right. That maybe, just maybe, we should have left this sort of thing to those with relevant knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications. Not the current gaggle of self-serving politicians and certainly not ‘The People’.
I’m not saying ‘The People’ are thick. This isn’t some smug middle-class anti-Brexit tirade. My point is that when it comes to issues like this, people are, at best, completely indifferent. We’re more interested in going down the pub with friends, binging Netflix, having a nice lunch or seeing who wins Strictly. And that’s absolutely fine. Point is, we shouldn’t need to be involved in this.
Back in 2016, Cameron probably thought he could quietly slip this through, appease the euro-sceptic back benchers, declare a decisive ‘Remain’ victory and no one would even notice. Talk about not reading the room. People were annoyed for wealth of reasons, most of them nothing of them to do with Europe. I doubt the way Europe and the United Kingdom interact on any level was really even on our radar in any meaningful way. Most of us are just trying to get through the fucking day.
But we all got whipped up by opportunists and money lenders into having an opinion, into a froth of polarisation that shattered the gossamer-thin facade of class and societal unity. While some no doubt had informed convictions either way, for the most part, those of us happy to keep the status quo because everything seemed to be working fine ticked ‘Remain’, while the disaffected, fearful and the ignored channelled their ire and frustration into the ‘Leave’ checkbox.
Now we’ve got the Bumbling Prince of Thieves in No 10 and he is no more equipped to or interested in securing the best deal for the British people than a shark is bothered that its throat might be a tad rough when it swallows your leg.
Can’t we just ‘get it over with?’ Can’t we get back to how things were? what is that exactly? A continually grim struggle amidst the shackles of austerity? Some mythic version of Britain so bucolic and fantastical you’d think Downton Abbey was up the road and the local pub was run by a fucking hobbit? Perhaps somewhere in between.
Fact is, we are a mongrel nation. A stew of cultures, cross pollination, traditions, races, classes and creeds. Even in the Brexit heartlands, that you only have to travel mere minutes to stumble upon a different regional dialect shows just how many different tribes are so densely packed in to such a small collection of islands. This tribalism goes back centuries. You don’t really want to pull at that threat. Inviting us to make such an ill-informed binary choice and pick a side was always going to be a catastrophe.
No, we should not ‘just get on with it’. Not if it’s a bad idea – which all research and evidence would suggest it is. however you voted in 2016, no one voted for this. No one. Because ‘this’ wasn’t on the ballot box.
Now, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I’m not going to forget my principles, standards nor considered and reasoned research that led me to make what I hoped was an impartial and informed choice. But hey, I’m no expert. We’ve had enough of those so probably just as well.