Everything about the UK’s Brexit Agon smells of rot. For a start, the whole EU issue is fundamentally irrelevant and absurd, compared to the many truly urgent concerns that need our immediate, whole and best attention. We face real ills and they harm and threaten us. The EU is not, and never was, the cause of them. It is a distraction from them.
Then there is Cameron’s unforgivably irresponsible decision, and the Commons’ irresponsible permission, to hold a referendum as a way of “settling” the issue. A referendum is not a meaningful way of exploring, or deciding on, such a complex subject as this. Cameron’s utterly self-interested party ploy, visited on this nation, has created a national calamity, possibly a continental one.
And then there was the way in which the referendum was conducted – disgraceful, disreputable and, in some important respects, almost certainly criminal.
Which leads us straight to the highly dodgy and smudgy and suspect “result” of the referendum. Even if it could be trusted as a true result properly arrived at, it was far too close and far too suspect to have been a valid mandate for this extraordinary leap from the cliff and departure from history, the ghastly preparations for which have consumed the nation on a daily basis, ever since.
And then the multiple and self-serving readings which politicians keep making of that dodgy referendum”result” – all of them unfounded, all fictional. What sort of Brexit did the “People” vote for ? No answer. There is none available. How could there have been one ?
And then, following the dodgy result, we should note the “disappearance” of (at the very least) 50% of the population from the Tory Government’s reckoning. The “People” they are “delivering Brexit” for, constitute only a small proportion of the people they are supposed to be governing.
And what of the nature and quality of this “delivery”, and of the people charged with pursuing it – the inept and demeaning and repeatedly dishonourable and anti-democratic lurchings of May’s crippled government in taking us towards our departure from the EU, the worst and most self-destructive thing this nation could ever do ? The conduct and quality of the Brexit process – along with the sorry creatures leading it – are as poisonous to this nation as the “decision” itself.
And the hopeless and dishonourable equivocation shown by her Majesty’s Opposition in addressing our long fiasco, makes the dreadful still worse. It betrays what most of Labour’s MP’s know to be true. It betrays what the vast majority of the party’s own supporters know to be true.
In all its aspects, then, Brexit is finding us out. And it is finding a nation seriously ill. So dial 999. Call the ambulance. But is anyone driving the ambulance ? Are the roads still safe enough to drive on ? Is the hospital still running, or has it burned down ? Is there a doctor in cycling reach ? Is that doctor still awake ? Is there a doctor anywhere at all ?