Apr 3, 2017

A Brexit State of Play Summary Like No Other

By Frankie Boyle / facebook.com
A Brexit State of Play Summary Like No Other

Brexit Britain is ready to go to war over Gibraltar says Lord Howard, a man I had assumed was dead, even when he was leader of the Tory Party. What could be more indicative of a failure to understand the age of digitalised globalisation than fighting over an actual rock where we think the monkeys might have some magical significance? It's not hard to imagine England relishing the prospect of a war. Look at how much they enjoy hurting Spanish people in their spare time. Indeed, if they declare war in July they've pretty much got them surrounded. No need to pay for an expensive preliminary bombing campaign when you can destroy much of your adversary's infrastructure simply by offering free drinks on EasyJet.

Previously I'd always thought of Boris Johnson as a distraction, the ministerial equivalent of one of those burning boats Francis Drake sent into the Spanish Armada. But watching the way things are lining up, I wonder if he isn't more of a front man for a kind of moral apathy. Who better to front the idea that we are going to rely on weapons trading with despots and money laundering for oligarchs than someone whose old world cynicism is a nod towards the fact that this is just the latest iteration of how it has always been. We will concentrate on what we're good at: selling arms to monsters, many of them radicalised at England's most expensive public schools. And not just arms but a kind of military after sales service. We don't want to just sell you a missile guv'nor, we're with you right up until the point where it goes down some shepherd's fucking chimney.

The only opposition is to be provided by a Labour Party divided over how to fail, a party built to be the voice of a mass labour movement that no longer exists, its factions connected only by a shared bureaucratic earnestness that few in the general population share. The one thing becoming a Labour politician seems to offer is to divorce you enough from everyday life to be unable to comprehend people's indifference to politics.

We have, of course, to respect the will of the people, a force that unchecked would also deliver the death penalty for cyclists. I understand that many voted for Brexit with the best of intentions, but at the same time we have to be honest about what it's delivered - a kind of racist Christmas. Respecting people who had genuine concerns about accountability or the fate of Greece doesn't mean you have to accord the same respect to people who want to leave Europe because they don't like Pakistanis. Let's not forget that Brexit will cause real hardship. For example, I only have about two years to persuade a Lithuanian careworker to take my mum with her.

In Scotland, our government feels that Brexit merits a referendum on independence. Polling indicates that people don't agree, but do think it's the government's right to call one. Which is as good a case for independence as you can get: proving people in Scotland are neither British nor European, but awkward, Scottish bastards. Can Scotland afford to become less cosmopolitan? The last time we held any real influence on the world stage was in the 90s when we changed global heroin prices. I worry about the relentless calls for positivity among the Yes campaign, as Scottish people hate positivity. They'd probably respond better to a bleak campaign that pointed out Brexit will make it harder to travel and they'll be stuck in Scotland with all the other Scottish cunts.

I'm currently reading a fantasy young adult series so that I have something to talk to my daughter about - it's grandly dystopian in an upbeat way: a lot of talk of Whoremasters, everybody shovelling ash off their fields every morning so the slaves can tend their dying crops and so on. I think young adult fiction is the way forward. none of this having an affair on campus shit, it's all about stringing up autocrats and guarding against complacency in the resistance. I guess young people have to think about the coming dystopia. My generation's major sci-fi worry about the future was that the theme parks would malfunction. I miss all those articles that used to wonder what was going on with teenagers, now they're deemed politically irrelevant and everybody has to wonder what's going on in the minds of middle aged racists.

I welcome the approach of the Great Undoing. What a moment of clarity it will be for lefties to find that your bitterest opponents, people you felt an unbridgeable ideological distance from, have exactly the same code number burned onto their forehead in the re-education camps. I will discover this on my first day in camp, as I find that people I considered my most implacable artistic rivals are sharing a bunkhouse with me, and that we are all wearing the same badge, perhaps signifying something like millionaire socialist. The playwrights find the whole thing tragic. The Marxists find it tragic, then funny. The serious writers seem happy but Martin Amis becomes increasingly difficult to read. The comedians are just happy to have been put in with the artists. The screenwriters create pointless conflict and are moved. Everyone complains bitterly at the work rotas drawn up by the novelists. There is an endless debate about which one of us is Banksy. The jazz musicians look for a way to end it all. What a wonderful and creative time it will be for artists, freed from writing for a posterity that no longer exists. We will all become close friends and put on little subversive plays for our fellow prisoners, which is, in any case, all that we're doing now.

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