Tuesday, 28 June 2016

All in it together.

This has been quite possibly the five most depressing days in the life of the British body politic.

Well, it seems the Prime Minister was right when he said 'We're all in it together'.

It was just that he crucially omitted to mention what the 'it' was.

It seems I may well have been right when I said that senior politicians were playing a game with the referendum, but it is now apparent that the Opposition also need to pile in and play Silly Buggers, too.

There's an Ex-Prime Minister, presumably pining for the fjords of Chipping Norton or whatever, meekly bending over in Brussels to have his bum deservedly kicked by other European leaders; Labour's front bench resigning and Jeremy Corbyn so desperate for a cabinet that he's phoned IKEA; Boris Johnson and Michael Gove looking as abject and useless as a pair of opened condoms in a lesbian orgy; Farage shouting Ya Boo Sucks in the European parliament; and only Nicola Sturgeon seems to have any form of plan, although even Baldrick is looking askance at it.

Away from this shower, back in the real world, the financiers are shoving more coke up their noses as the markets tank and the pound crashes, there is a very real sense of tension in Northern Ireland, and most distressing, report after report of racial abuse and attacks coming from round the country, as the facists now feel facilitated and empowered by everything shouted and said over the last few months. A weak government, a divided opposition, a split population, a weakened economy, accusations pointed at everyone but ourselves - this is the rich tilth from which dictators spring.

I am sick and ashamed.

This isn't who we are. Remember the 2012 Olympics? That's us - the real us, not the 'us' represented by the poisonous drip-drip-drip of rhetoric we've had this year.

The problem is that we never, EVER, really had any chance for proper, grown-up debate, not in public anyway. All the soi-disant debates on television and the radio were nothing more than politics as spectator sport: Bear-baiting for a world drowning in shouty tweets and opinionated, unsubstantiated Facebook pages. We have come to see the House of Commons as little more than Britain's Got (No) Talent with added suits and plummy voices.

Go and find the debates on Europe from the 70s: go and find the one with Tony Benn and Roy Jenkins. No, I'm not giving you the link - do the bloody work yourself. They're in a room remarkable only for its superfluity of beigeness, and Tony Benn smokes his pipe, and they talk and talk and talk. Bloody hell, it's long, but it's also polite, thoughtful and DEEP.

THAT'S what we needed. That's what we deserved. Instead, the entire campaign, on both sides, became dominated by whichever person could shout the loudest, shout the longest, and bend the truth the most - in other words, we were conned by demagogues. I'm not surprised Jeremy Corbyn was such a lukewarm advocate for Remain - this was politics as far removed from his aim for a kinder, more inclusive and respectful kind of dialogue.

It's no wonder that people have started regretting voting Leave - so many of us were barely informed, and the realisation that No, we won't be spending £350 million a week on hospitals and Milk and Honey, and No, you won't be getting more money in your pocket from now, has contributed to the despair and anger.

Ladies and gentlemen of Westminster, you have truly excelled yourselves on this one. But at least now We Are All In It Together.

Now excuse me while I go to find something to use as a paddle.

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