Brexit Blues, Other Music and Even a Smile or Two

Three days on, and as I haven’t woken up to find I dreamt the whole thing, I think I have to accept that a slender majority of the UK population has voted to leave the EU, and it is going to happen. The fact that numbers of people who voted leave are now saying they only did so as a protest vote because they thought there was no chance of it happening is hardly comforting. Nor is the fact that there are growing reports of people being being told to ‘leave’ or ‘go home’ exactly reassuring. I wished I could remember Lenny Henry’s repatration gag about about how much it cost to get home to Dudley. Anyone got a link to it?

I want a badge that says I am one of the 48%, or perhaps the hashtag started by Jo Rowling #theindecentminority in response to the Farago saying it was a victory for decent people. As a London Remain voter I find myself now dismissed as a wealthy Prosecco swigging loft dweller who enjoys diversity as an exotic background to my rarified life and has no understanding of how ‘ordinary’ people live. I do swig Prosecco occasionally, but the rest is very wide of the mark.

Power Monkeys raised bitter smiles from me late on Friday evening while MasterB reacquainted himself with the garden and checked out the smells left by new cats in the neighbourhood. In time maybe I can rewatch the whole series and it’ll make me laugh again. Right now, I think I’d cry. Though I just rewatched this from a couple of weeks ago and laughed again, so maybe I should just head to Channel 4 on demand right now.

So long as Andy Hamilton and co keep writing there is some good in my country. And tomorrow I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue returns to Radio 4 for a new series.

Back to the Brexit emotions. One of the moments on the news that got to me the most was when President Hollande announced, in a good speech I felt, that la Grande Bretagne was no longer part of the EU. He should have said le Royaume Uni, or has it been decided that Northern Ireland can stay? It was a speech that I should have liked the politicians in this country to make.

Nicola Sturgeon has suggested the Scottish Parliament could throw a spanner in the works by refusing to agree to departure, and more than three million people have signed a petition started before 23rd June demanding a rematch if certain criteria were not met. The person who started this petition voted Leave and is now furious that it has been hijacked by Remainers. I think that is quite funny. Until Angela Merkel spoke up saying the UK should have some time to sort itself out, it seemed that the rest of Europe was going to demand the keys back tomorrow. These two songs started going round my head:

for the rest of the EU
and this for the Remainers

For most of Friday I wanted to rewatch Passport to Pimlico

and for London to declare unilateral independence, but by last night I was just depressed. I wondered, still wonder, what the Brexiteers think they voted for and how this is all going to pan out. I fear seeing my country lurch dangerously to the right and the rise of neo facism; I hope that we can build something positive out of this mess.

Today the sacking of Hillary Benn and the resignations of rising numbers ofthe Opposition front bench leaves the future of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party in question; there’s been lots of febrile discussion about who might be in the running to lead the Tories, none of whom look in the least fragrant to me, but please please please don’t let it be Boris. He was a dreadful Mayor of London, goodness knows what straits we’ll be in if he is PM. Just don’t even mention the Farago.

So much of the music I listened to in the early 80s now seems to resonate; the Specials, the Selector, the Beat, the Clash. The UK could be broken into its four pieces, so I think the most appropriate song for tonight is Billy Bragg’s New England.


17 thoughts on “Brexit Blues, Other Music and Even a Smile or Two

  1. My swearing has moderated slightly, by becoming more subdued.
    I am agog at the backtracking, and wonder if there’s any way the result could be invalid, given they have admitted to having no plan, & being downright liars. They may not have used those words, but they are liars, they duped a huge proportion of the electorate, & they don’t care. A while ago I described the Leave campaign as immoral. Could I have understating the case!

    • Not understating the case at all. I plan to go to the boat in the week if the rain will hold off for 48 hours. It’s totally Brexit territory. It could be interesting. And Cousin-in-Law probably voted Leave, so I shall be avoiding conversations.

  2. When discussing the slim majority, I had a vague memory the Scottish independence referendum in 1979 having conditions on how many people had to vote in favour. Just checked and it had to be 40% of the total electorate. I’m surprised, with that precedent, there was not a similar mechanism employed.

      • Those entitled to vote. From Wikipedia:

        “The Scottish referendum of 1979 was a post-legislative referendum to decide whether there was sufficient support for a Scottish Assembly proposed in the Scotland Act 1978 among the Scottish electorate. This was an act to create a devolved deliberative assembly for Scotland. An amendment to the Act stipulated that it would be repealed if fewer than 40% of the total electorate voted Yes in the referendum. The result was that 51.6% supported the proposal, but with a turnout of 64%, this represented only 32.9% of the registered electorate. The Act was subsequently repealed.”

  3. I’ve not cried for a couple of days now & my fears are not quite on the surface. Watching the news & the antics of politicians of both parties one wonders that anyone would allow us to join their club. There is still a long way to go I think before we even get to the starting post. Great piece Isobel!

  4. I don’t know what to make of Brexit… I do wish that it would have went your way. Brexit bothers CH more than I can tell you, mostly because it is wreaking havoc on the Dow but he feels your pain and asked me if I still had your phone number. He seriously thought of calling you the evening of the voting. I told him he would probably wake you and that would not be a good thing… 🙂 He tells me now that the vote/decision could be reversed or that there is still a way to “fix” it and that amazes me because when we vote in the states it is pretty much a done deal. If many of the people are sorry now for how they voted and they didn’t think it would go through why did they vote to exit? Was it some kind of test? I do try to stay out of the political fray because I don’t feel I have educated myself in all things political. At least you don’t have Trump, who scares the living daylight out of me.

    • It is such an almighty mess. Nobody seems to have a plan. Despite the polls showing for days that the tresult would be close, the Brexiteers seem compltely unprepared. Those who voted leave for racist and xenophobic reasons have started to attack people both verbally and physically. It is very ugly. At least if Trump becomes president you can rid of him the next time round. This is permanent. You may want to catch up on Power Monkeys as Trump features in it too, as does Putin. Goodness only knows what will happen here. Every hour there is a new development, mainly infighting among both Brexiteers and Remainers. It is chaos and a crisis of enormous proportions. You could check out The Guradian and BBC websites, then the Telegraph to try and get a handle on what is going on.
      Do you still have my number?

  5. The vote has sent the U.S. reeling – for so many reasons. Of course there is concern for the world order and economy, but I have huge fears about the wisdom of democracy when so many people can vote and be clueless. Our political news has been showing the Google stats on searches in the UK on European Union and Brexit. They were very low and steady before the vote and spiked just after the vote. Obviously people voted from an uniformed position – and are now saying they thought it was more of an opinion poll on stopping immigration instead of really leaving. Damn, engage brain. I think it is tapping my anger over Trump followers who are much more into protesting than thinking about what will happen when Trump starts trying to do something without any thought out plan or policy. We had a far-right Moral Majority in the 70’s and the anti- bumper stickers read “The Moral Majority is neither.” I hope it helps a bit that there are many of us over here on the other side of the pond who feel your pain, frustration, and fear. Question: Do you think Northern Ireland will decide to merge with the Republic? Or is this too complex to give a short answer?

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