Sunday, 18 August 2019
As we come to what feels like a premature end to the soggy summer, as the days grow noticeably shorter and cooler, things are beginning to die back. The brightest blossoms have been and gone, the flowerbeds are shedding their petals and hips have replaced roses. The garden isn’t the only thing experiencing its cyclical decline; political autumn also beckons, where the hopes and dreams of knaves and chancers also diminish and die.
As Parliament’s fantasy of deposing Boris Johnson fades, along with it go the reputations of people like Dominic Grieve; once a Conservative, now a quisling. Jeremy Corbyn’s true naked ambition to rule at any cost is exposed to the ridicule it deserves. And Ken Clarke’s transparently disingenuous ‘if I must’ when asked about leading a unity government shows Clarke to be exactly what we have long come to regard him as, a flag-bearer for a foreign power.
The big joke, of course, is ‘national unity government’. The last thing we are right now is unified, in fact if there is any over-arching, popular, mass-supported inclination it is to get on with Brexit. Ever since the unexpected outcome, the establishment in all its guises has tried to paint Remain as the homogenous, sensible consensus and Leave as a desperately divided muddle of hard Brexit, soft Brexit, WTO Brexit; a partial and uncertain palette containing all possibly shades of Leave, none of which complement any of the others.
But as the ambitions of the fervid Euronationalists fade into the mists; as the mewling, moribund, maudlin, misery of Remainers fails to convince the nation, autumn brings its riches for those of a more positive mien. Throughout the summer the relentless negativity of anti-British factions has simply failed to dampen the spirit and as the lawns grow lush in the welcome rain, we have the mellow fruitfulness of the coming season looming through the mists.
The one force the remain campaign cannot counter is cheerful optimism. Try as they might their only message has been that Brexit is certain doom and staying in means things ‘might not be so bad’; that’s their vision – the EU might be shit, but it’s shit we know, so let’s vote for tepid inertia. It is little wonder, then, that they have no answer for Boris, the one-man Indian Summer, bursting onto the scene with a positive message, not of unqualified hope, but of abundant and joyful faith in the indomitable spirit of the patriotic British.
Browbeating, talking down our prospects, predicting catastrophe, threatening destructive political action, insulting the intelligence of Leave voters, enlisting the assistance of foreign actors to drive home their message and even openly colluding with foreign powers to pervert the referendum outcome has all come to nothing. And through it all, the real British have quietly held their nerve, listened to and dismissed the gloom-laden naysayers and waited for a real leader to mount the stage.
Can you imagine May, Grieves, Hammond et al doing this?
Boris does not come without baggage, not least the ever-present influence of Project-Boris and the suspicion that whatever he does, this vainglorious figure does for himself. But after more than a decade of sheer misery; Brown’s dour and profligate fiscal incontinence, Cameron’s hamstrung coalition administration, Theresa-fucking-May and her unerring ability to suck the atmosphere out of an entire country, how could Boris the Bouncing Bomb not raise a smile? On Hallowe’en, let us all raise a glass as the Remain reign of mediocrity breathes its last.