Cue the Jaws theme, just when you thought it was safe to dip a toe in the water, chatting normally with friends, family and work colleagues, you discover those Brexit remoaners never really went away. You may have thought the battle was lost in 2016 – but like those remote island Japanese soldiers that didn’t stop fighting for years after WW2, the ‘Vote No’ lobby fight on and on. Maybe they’re called Remainers because they’ve remained furious with the rest of us for four long years?
Politics isn’t usually like that; the morning after most elections, the winner usually just gets on with the business of forming a new administration, while the losers lick their wounds and devise a better plan for next time. If you take an unhealthy interest in these things, you want to hear from the losers, for a few days at least. We expect some contrition and an admission that they lost because, well, because of what we had observed during their failed campaign.
The weaknesses in the other side’s argument are as easy to spot as the flaws in your partner, husband or wife. Labour lost to the Tories last time because, having watched Teresa May wriggle, squirm and fail, Boris went to the country with a simple message, ‘Get Brexit done’. The other side had already fudged and hedged during the referendum and they just kept going; it was not smart politics. No-one could claim they didn’t know what Boris was all about; we’d seen May’s parliamentary frustrations, the constant obstruction and argument, loudest from within her own party.
The referendum result was easy to attack, white van men and women were dismissed as little Englanders, who had simply voted for a return to the glory of Empire. The victors were mostly caricatured as wicked racists who’d had enough of Johnny Foreigner telling them what to do. According to Remainers, the other side just didn’t see how wonderful the European Union is and just how essential it is to our well-being. Very few of those still carping about losing had the grace to acknowledge that Brussels doesn’t always get things right, and now, wherever you look, they’re angrily re-arguing the remain case all over again!
I believe we are one humanity occupying one planet. We’re completely inter-dependent. If one country is destroying the environment, we’ll all suffer the global consequences. I get it. But that said, if global unity is the end goal, we humans are nowhere near it yet.
Massive political failure abounds, even in our region of the UK; more than two thirds of the electricity we consume comes from burning gas. Just 16 per cent of what we eat is grown and produced here in Britain. Those long channel queues of trucks are laden with chilled Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese produce. How did that happen?
These islands could grow more food; this island already grows some of Europe’s best tomatoes. They may well be harvested by hard-working European citizens – but they are local. Check your driveway, I’ll wager most of you drive German, French or EU mainland-built cars? What remains of Britain’s car industry is owned by Japan or India, the old patriotic choices no longer exist – unless you want a McLaren for Christmas!
Whatever happens in 2021 and beyond, we will keep on importing and exporting, because it’s what we do. Despite a few sharks, most of the world’s people are filled with peace and love, especially at Christmas time – even those negotiators in Brussels.
Happy Christmas to one and all.