My best bet is that I took more interest in the Brexit vote as it unfolded in the UK two-and-a-half years ago than did then PM David Cameron who lost his job over the vote he foolishly instigated.
In a cheap but thankfully clean hotel room in the shadows of Lime Street railway station in Liverpool, I stayed up all night watching the vote unfold across hundreds of local authority areas across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Very tiring but great fun. Votes swung one way then the other. One of the funniest things to come out of that long night was the thought that Cameron, buoyed by early counting and a premature admission of defeat by Nigel Farage, probably headed off to bed at 10 Downing Street safe in the knowledge that he had possibly another 10 years ahead of him in the top job. Daily adulation. A knighthood.
Only to wake up to find he’s been screwed over by Trump-like folk in the midlands and further north who long for the Britain of old that most of them never fought for and is not coming back anyway. Did Cameron think to himself: “Shit. If only I’d lied a lot more, bragged about being a stable genius hero more, grabbed more pussies, talked nonsense a lot more …. would they have remained with me?”
The even funnier things are what followed in the days after the vote, as local political leaders and business folk in areas that voted solidly to leave the EU breathed in the reality of those cool Brexited airs and posed a number of what seemed to be all-of-a-sudden very relevant questions.
Community leaders and not just publicans across northern England reasonably asked: “There’ll still be plenty of big-titted Polish girls working in our pubs to drool over, won’t there?
“And serve our real ales, lagers and sherries because our own kids are too fucking lazy or spoilt to do such shit work?”
One mayor over in Cornwall asked: “The EU will still be funding those fancy new bollards we’ve ordered for around our historic town squares, won’t it?”
Over in Northern Ireland in parts that voted Brexit, mayors and councillors asked: “Our roads are shit compared with the republic. That EU money that’s coming to redo all those faded centre-line markings and shabby signage over thousands of miles of roads is still coming, right?”
And up in the north of the country where Brexit won, Antrim County leaders asked quite reasonably: “That EU money that’s been pledged to straighten up all those crooked Giant’s Causeway stones ….. that’s still coming, right? A lot of those rocks are on horribly crooked angles.”
In Scotland the common refrain was: “We’re still going to get the EU cash to rebuild the entire Hadrian’s Wall, aren’t we? With all the archers’ arrow slits facing south?”
Money for a new road bridge here. Funding for upgrades to a fish-smoking factory there. A major inner-city renewal infrastructure project here. A big wall around all those Catholics in Crumlin there.
And all over the UK, regardless of how areas voted, councils began shaving their health and welfare budgets in expectation of the billions of pounds mentioned on the side of Boris’s Brexit Bus and now freed up for such things because they would no longer be going to Brussels to be “wasted” by “Froggies, Krauts and I-ties”.
It’s all turned to Brexshit, so I’m rather enjoying Theresa May as she struggles to keep her head above the quick Brexshit she’s now stuck in and being slowly swallowed up by the whole sucking shemozzle that was and still is the fault of the Tories.
And this quick Brexshit that is slowly pulling May under is made all the more treacherous a quagmire by her bizarre piece of illogic that it would be undemocratic to have another democratic vote on the issue, one possibly taken with the citizens of the UK armed with far more factual information of what Brexit and Remain mean.
That somehow, the mother parliament of modern democracy, the Westminster system, can’t even contemplate having a rethink on any issue of major national importance.
That’s like saying Australia must never, ever, have another referendum on becoming a republic because we’ve already had one in late 1999.
Imagine if Queen Elizabeth leaves us suddenly, tripping over a four-litre Coolibah cask of London Gin, and Big Ears takes over.
After a few years of King Chuckles and with polls in Australia showing a 65% yes vote for a republic, people such as Tony Abbott, David Flint and other queen lovers will poke their darling little faces out of Chucky’s right-royal cloaca and argue that it would be against the very principles of our democracy to have another public vote on the issue, seeing we’ve already had one two decades ago. Besides, surely we should all wait just 30 more years to give William a go at being Australia’s head of state, and 30 years after that, George to keep Australia safe for some decades hence. Wouldn’t that be spiffing!
Lots of luck with those arguments, chaps.