And there it is. Done. I have already used up all of my words of disbelief, despair and outrage, but nothing is to be done.
This is very much Brexit part 2. I ended my last blog with a line from Les Miserables. I didn’t realise how ironic it would become as, I now see my friends lying similarly bloodied around me.
I also now realise that I should have quoted the whole verse.
It is time for us all
To decide who we are
Do we fight for the right
To a night at the opera now?
Have you asked of yourselves
What’s the price you might pay?
Is this simply a game
For a rich young boy to play?
The colours of the world
Are changing day by day
For that is what happened. Whatever your views, we are where we are because of a rich young boy. And not just one, lots of them. All young boys with points to prove, not about the world, but about themselves.
I’m forever telling my children it’s not about blame, but I’m going indulge myself with an Arya Stark list of which particular little boys I’m lining up against the blackboard.
- Nick Clegg.
Yes you. I was a staunch and proud Liberal Democrat in 2010. They stood for something, had a voice which resonated. I agreed with Nick. You could argue that was because they didn’t have power but that’s not the point. However Nick sold those principles down the river in a pact for personal power that would see the annihilation of a party. Yes you have Deputy Prime Minister on your CV but at what price? By 2015 everyone either hated you or realised they may as well vote Tory anyway. Had the Liberal Democrats remained a strong progressive voice, and the only party in England united with Europe at its heart, the Remain campaign would have stood a chance. The passion and emotion that were missing might have been there. Or maybe not, we’ll never know.
- Ed Milliband
And you. You’re not a patch on your brother. We all knew this. You knew this – be honest. But rather than let him get on without you set out to prove something, not to the Labour Party but to yourself. He would have given you a great job as you are clearly a clever clever man, but you were never lead singer material.
- David Cameron
Your third on the list but that means nothing. A desperate bid for a majority, a few UKIP defectors and some trash talk from Nigel Farage and you promise a referendum that nobody asked for. One that you smugly assumed you’d win. The complex & fragile social, political & economic future of our country was staked on a pub bet. And now you’ve thrown down your pint and gone home.
- Jeremy Clarkson
Don’t think I’m letting you off Scot free. You may have turned up late with a feeble remain but your years of xenophobic sneering and hectoring to a baying crowd has led to this. You could have been the better man, you could have chosen something else and they still would have loved you.
- Boris Johnson
Ah Boris, poor Boris. You have got what you deserved. Gaby Hinsliff explains far better than I what your game plan was all along and it has massively backfired. Everyone around you will hate you for it for evermore. All those liberal elite parties and soirees you bumbled around will dry up and, like the Red Queen and her Knave of Hearts, you’ll be forever chained to Michael Gove. Good luck with that.
- Jeremy Corbyn
I can’t think of a single thing to say, as he has been so absent from recent proceedings. However strong his principles are, it does seem increasingly that he took on a job he didn’t really want, just to be awkward.
7. Nigel Farage
Feel free to fill in your own expletives
Rich little boys playing little games with people’s lives and futures.
There are many things you can say about Thatcher, but this would not have happened under her. In fact, that massive storm on Thursday was probably not unconnected.
Remain lost fair and square – democracy at work. If the Leavers are all happy, and get everything they were dreamed of, then well done them.
However there was nothing fair or square about it. The ballot boxes had barely closed before Farage was complaining the Government had allowed too many people to register. People hadn’t finished breakfast before he admitted that the NHS was never going to get that money, immigration wasn’t going to go down and those ‘bumps in the road’ were turning in to the Grand Canyon. Cameron’s done a runner and Bojo, Gove and the other one look set to take the helm. These anti-establishment heroes who promised so much.
That is what people are angry about. Not the lost vote, but they managed to pray on the fears, insecurities and hopes of people they have never cared about before in a quest for power.
Now we have to pick up the pieces, somehow. Many people, friends included, have called for an end to the whinging on social media. And, after 48 hours of wailing, I agree. Somehow, we have to find a way out of this mess, with or without the EU.
37% of the electorate voted Brexit, 63% did not. Of that 37% many now feel sold down the river, or at least will do when the Calais camps move to Dover, the NHS breaks due to lack of staff and we finally realise all of those jobs that the immigrants stole were the ones they didn’t want. That fridge magnet about “be nice to your children as they choose your care home” is just about to get real as the younger generations feel ever more like they’ve been sold down the river.
On the upside, my list is coming along nicely. Clegg, Milliband, Cameron – all gone. Clarkson’s flapping about somewhere and Corbyn is facing a potential vote of no confidence.
It is time for the little boys to take their balls home and let someone else take over.
It is time to draw a line under the depressing referendum campaigns, hideous on both sides, and decide that we want our country back from these people, that anger and hate are not going to win.
The current political system is broken, the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats are in tatters. The Scottish are demanding another referendum but we need them more than ever. Things are no longer divided against party lines but by geography, generation and downright niceness.
Enter stage left the women from all sides who will make a better fist of things. Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davison, Stella Creasy, Leanne Wood, Caroline Flint, Caroline Lucas, Lucy Powell. My friend Michelle Donelan, a Conservative MP who entered Parliament at the last election who, although I disagree with, respect as someone who works for her constituents and stands up for what she believes in.
The death of Jo Cox must remind us about the kind of politicians we want to represent us, and who we deserve.
And the men. There are also a lot of fine male politicians too, and some truly dreadful female ones so don’t think this is a gender thing, it’s about leadership and integrity.
So if you didn’t vote, or regret how you did vote, it’s too late now. But can we just vow not to make that mistake again, and not make that mistake worse by rolling over and letting xenophobia and hatred take over because that’s what won it?
Join a political party and make a stand over who gets to represent you, as leader of that party as well as your MP. In fact, join all of them, and have a say in the best person to oppose what you believe in.
You want £350million a week in the NHS, investment in the arts, education and social justice? You want the rights and protections of the EU preserved? You need to fight to make that happen. Stop complaining and vow to do something about it, and recognise that apathy, disengagement and whining only let the nastier, shoutier whiners win.
Rock Bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
- J.K. Rowling
As a nation, it feels like we have reached rock bottom.
It might be too late for another referendum and we, as it stands, are looking at a Britain out of the EU. But it’s not too late to mount some barricades and make a stand for exactly the kind of country we want that to be.
And let’s not let silly little boys anywhere near it.