Friday, 3 June 2016
David Cameron’s appearance before an audience of inquisitors left the nation – those of us who could be bothered to watch, at least – unimpressed. After a light mauling from Faisal Islam in which the Prime Minister looked surprised to be treated without the usual deference he spent much of the time during audience questions on the ropes. The smooth, well-rehearsed arguments against Brexit Armageddon sounded so much less effective from the small stage than when trumpeted from a banner headline or belted out at a rally. This section of the British public was not signing any open letter in support at any time soon.
The relentless advance of Project Fear may be taking its toll, with voters becoming weary of hearing so many fantasy sums describing their folly and demise should they dare oppose their masters. There may be a stirring in the belly of the beast and a lust for more blood now it seems the first has been drawn. While we may not yet see rows of bloody heads on pikes on Westminster railings, there is undoubtedly an appetite at large for the political elites to be brought to account for their actions.
Were Britain the banana republic many believe we are becoming as the EU progressively clamps down on our freedoms of speech and expression and behaviour and thought, the backlash for a failed political gambit might be a traitor’s trial and swift execution thereafter. So let us imagine such a scene: David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May are all to be punished for working for the enemies of the crown. The death penalty has been reinstated and the judge asks them to name the means of their despatch. Before the other two have the chance to reply, Jeremy blurts out “Firing squad!” Aghast, May and Cameron begin to protest but it is too late. The black cap is donned and the sentence delivered. The waiting crowds cheer.
“You bastard, Jeremy” says Cameron but Corbyn explains: “Don’t worry comrades, as an old revolutionary I know about these things. There is a code of honour which will work in our favour. Not all the guns are loaded, so that even the marksmen don’t know who fired the killing shot. In order that they don’t see the bullet from their gun entering the target they take aim, but close their eyes when pulling the trigger.” Theresa May curls her lip and snarls “Yes, but we’re still dead anyway.” Jeremy smiles “Ah but, if they all miss, it is considered cruel to put you through the ordeal again. If they miss, you go free. All you have to do is distract them at the point of firing and you’re in with a chance.”
They agree to follow Jeremy’s lead and he volunteers to be the first in line. Smiling at the squad of unwitting executioners he refuses the blindfold, calmly takes up his position and faces the muzzles. “Ready!” cries the squad commander. The rifles are brought to shoulder. “Aim!” Six muzzles all point towards the black patch pinned to Jeremy’s breast and fingers rest on triggers. Then, just as the commander is about to give the order Jeremy shouts out, “Oh look, squirrel!” The guns rattle their brief tattoo and when the smoke clears Jeremy is standing there unscathed but for a small graze on his shoulder. He is led from the compound, a free man.
Theresa is up next. She trembles a little as the patch is pinned in place and her legs almost give way. She thinks frantically as a new squad take up their positions and load their magazines. The orders come: “Ready!” Her mind races as she thinks... “Aim!” the guns turn her way, then... “Incoming! Incoming!” She yells and points to the sky. The guns spit bullets unevenly and miraculously, Theresa escapes with little more than a headache. It is David Cameron’s turn.
Social media death sentence...
The third squad is marched in and preparations begin. The new squad commander briefs them and leads them in a short brief prayer that their aim be true and their consciences clean. They line up and load and Cameron is marched to the spot. Silence descends as the spectators fall into a hush and watch. “Ready!” comes the first order. The crowd tenses for the finale. “Aim!” barks the commander, they pause and then... Just as the fingers tense on the triggers, David Cameron points and shouts “Fire! Fire!”