Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Apocalypse Not Now
Parliament goes off on its holibobs and Project Fear has a spring in its step, I see. When will all the wailing end? You’d like to hope that when the sun rises, as surely it will, on Saturday, 30th March, 2019 the Remainers will rub their eyes, blink and decide to take those first few bold steps into the future, but I fear it won’t be so. Dominic Grieve has been warning of famine and fever; that food and medicine will run out within weeks and pestilence will stalk the land. Death will surely follow... Others, such as John Major have preached that we should confess our sins that we be forgiven and allowed to re-enter the Kingdom of Euro-Heaven via a ‘second’ referendum. The prodigal will be received back into the fold and fêted as a returning hero.
It’s all sounding terribly biblical – Old Testament, naturally - and they are warning of nothing less than the coming of the Four Horsemen and the end of days. Abi Wilkinson (yes, her) now exiled to Washington DC, has literally tweeted that very sentiment, although I couldn’t tell and really couldn’t be bothered to find out whether she meant Brexit or Trump. But have no doubt, evocation of those pale riders still has the power to chill malleable minds and you can be sure Theresa May will be busily picking away at the first of the Seven Seals during the Parliamentary recess.
But, being good old, stalwart, bloody-minded Tommy Atkinses we will pick up our rifles, recover our phlegmatism and soldier on. The Remainers are whipping themselves up into a frenzy, sensing blood and victory, but we’ve been here before and when the vainglorious projects of our ‘betters’ become shitstorms of iniquity and finger-pointing failure, somebody has to steer a course to calmer waters. Because we Leavers know that our shared world will need rebuilding and we may need to offer kindnesses to the Remainers whose longed for Armageddon will not have occurred. The-Day-After-Brexit will be just like any other day for all but a tiny few.
But they will be furious and cognitively dispossessed when they discover no great calamity has befallen them. They will be distressed that no mayday call need be issued. They will be bereft yet strangely numb that their beloved EU survives, albeit weakened and that it makes not one jot of real difference to them. And in order to realign the evidence with their beliefs they will become – for a while at least (and possibly forever in the case of the Soubry-Graylings) – even more manic in their insistence that the world did, in fact, end and that we are merely waiting in purgatory for the final descent into hell.
10p on the price a loaf of bread will bring them out in ecstatic hives of misery and every single new pothole will be proof – proof! – that we cannot survive Brexit beyond Tuesday. The Queen will pass on the crown, due to Brexit and the lengthening of days as we progress towards the increasingly annual event we call ‘summer’ will be greeted with alarums and the rending of garments. I would not be entirely surprised if some of the more invested resorted to human sacrifice to reverse the horror of... of what, though?
I expect Brexit Day will not even be a bump in the road for most. Millions will awake and not even realise as they carry on in their jobs, their kids continue to go to school and the rain still comes sleeting in. The long history of this bejewelled fortress isle will record Brexit not as the cataclysmic, seismic extinction event the Remainers portend, but simply as the time that Britain went mad and then, just like George III, went un-mad again.