Tag Archives: Brexit

Brexit: A Farce in Two Acts

Here’s a summary of my latest creative endeavour, a fifteen-minute radio play entitled ‘Brexit: a Farce in Two Acts’.

Act 1

Scene 1: The f*** up.

Dodgy Dave wants to screw Britannia, whom he fancies.  Urged on by his mate Nigel, manager of thrash metal band ‘The Kippers’, he asks her out and decides to sleep with her.  What’s the worst that could happen?

Scene 2: the consequences

Dave has had his fun and goes whistling back to No 10 for a good night’s sleep.  He’s so sure nothing can go wrong, he refuses even to consider advising Brit to take a morning-after pill.

Scene 3

Unfortunately, 52% of Dave’s sperm were fertile and Brit has a positive result to her test.  In one year she will give birth to a child who will be called Brexit.

Dave refuses to do the decent thing and support Brit: appalled at the news, he scarpers and is never seen again.

Act 2: Brexit

Brexit is born, but it is clear that she has multiple handicaps.  Misshapen, misbegotten and malformed, her mere presence divides the country in two: those who think she should be strangled and those who think she’ll be absolutely fine in spite of everything.

Brex is an unhappy child, forced at a very early age to go to Brussels and negotiate with the EU even though she doesn’t know what she wants apart from three words written on a piece of paper: strong, stable and hard.

Seeing the state her child is in, Brit is devastated.  She is diagnosed with acute schizophrenia and sent to lie down in a darkened room.  Brexit comes back from Brussels with another piece of paper, though what is written on it is not yet clear.

I’ve written this into a fifteen-minute play and will look for a suitable slot on which to perform it.

Kirk out

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Ha Bumbug!

I have to say, this year I don’t feel much like revelling.  Not only has my body-clock changed to that of an eighty-year-old, meaning that I tend to wake with the lark and go to bed with a nice cup of cocoa (or in my case, chamomile) around ten – but this year has been frankly abysmal.  I can’t remember a twelvemonth in which more people died (people I grew up with and loved, that is) or in which more political horrors were perpetrated.  The news from Syria was awful to start with and it kept getting worse; terrorists ploughed vehicles into crowds, and after Brexit anyone who didn’t have two brain cells to rub together felt at liberty to abuse any Muslim they happened to come across and tell them to go back where they came from (Bradford, mostly).  And to think that next year what we have to look forward to is the inauguration of Mr T (I pity the fool who votes for me!  I pity the fool!) – well, it makes me want to stick my head under a pillow and keep it there for the whole of 2017.

So is all I can say is, thank god for Charlie Brooker: his ‘2016 Wipe’ did just what it said on the tin, wiping the floor with the entire annus horribilis and ending up with a lovely montage of Mr T sabotaging himself.  Fake news gets the Brooker treatment, as do the wilfully ignorant, in the person of Philomena Cunk and her ‘moments of wonder.’  Brian Cox guests, though that’s not specially a recommendation as he gets on my wick.  However, Coxes notwithstanding, a terrific programme:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b086khl3/charlie-brookers-2016-wipe

Go to minute 50 to watch the subtitled Mr T – a great improvement on the real one.

Kirk out

PS  Happy New Year.  I guess.

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U-SKIP

It’s tempting to wonder if the phrase ‘a Pyrrhic victory’ will soon be replaced by the word ‘Ukippered’.  Pyrrhic, as you will recall, comes from Pyrrhus, the Roman general whose victory cost so many lives that he was heard to say, ‘One more such victory and we are done for.’

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Pyrrhic+victory

The same could be said right now of UKIP.  Like the government when it started this ill-starred and ill-advised referendum, they don’t seem to have had a post-Brexit plan; and as a result they are now falling apart.  Farrage, far from enjoying his victory and crowing loud and long over the triumphant state of a Britain that has ‘taken back control’, has resigned and hopped across the pond to place his grinning face under the inexplicable hair of Donald Trump.  Trump and Farrage sounds like a firm of particularly dodgy lawyers, but nobody seems to care.  Meanwhile, the government struggles to come to terms with a nightmarish aftermath which nobody really wanted, where nobody knows what could or should happen and where even those who voted for it are starting to think they didn’t know what they were voting for.

This was not entirely their fault: they were misled shamefully by newspapers and leaders who never stopped plugging lies and half-truths about spending and immigrants.  At least Boris is still around to face the music – if not to actually conduct some of it – while his ally Farrage has skipped bail leaving the country and his party in a parlous state.

Meanwhile Corbyn seems to me to have the most coherent Brexit plan, trying to honour the democratic result of the referendum (which Owen Smith is proposing to disregard) while retaining some of the positive aspects of the European Union.  My heart sinks whenever I hear the word Brexit: I hate the result with a passion, but it’s no good saying we can’t honour it, because then you may as well tear up parliamentary democracy if you do that.  I hated the results of the last two elections but you can’t just hold another election if you don’t like the result of the first one; something Owen Smith would do well to bear in mind.

That’s it for today.  Very tired.  I hate moving house.

Kirk out

 

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Honey I Left the EU

Last night I watched Panorama documentary about people in the West Midlands who voted for Brexit.  (Incidentally, I voted ‘shake it all about’ – where are my views represented?)  Anyway, it was a really interesting watch.  He interviewed a dozen or so people about why they voted for Out: they were all white and working-class and although not overtly racist there was a persistent perception that immigrants and refugees get houses and services ‘ahead of’ them.  So far, so predictable.  But there was a strain in their thinking which I hadn’t been aware of.  A lot of Brexiteers seem to want to turn the clock back to some kind of golden age; and whereas for many this is a time when Britain was ‘great’ – 1966, perhaps, or when we had an empire – others (and these were the ones represented in the documentary) simply want a time when there were jobs and an industrial base.  And I can’t blame them for that.  Where I obviously differ from them is in who’s responsible.  Whereas they tend to blame foreign workers for undercutting them I would point the finger at the system which fosters this ‘divide and rule’ mentality, ie global capitalism.  This probably highlights a difference in our thinking: I am happy dealing with abstract concepts whereas they see things in more concrete terms.

The thing is, though; the thing that really got to me, is that every one of these interviewees said, over and over ‘nobody’s listening to us.’  And you know what?  They’re probably right.  It’s too easy to categorise them as ill-informed racists or uneducated tabloid-fodder; it’s too easy to dismiss their views.  But they have a point; and the fact that they feel so ignored and sidelined made me feel sad.  And it made me feel a little guilty, too.

What’s good about it is that the referendum engaged people who were otherwise disengaged: many people had voted for the first time because for the first time they felt they had a voice, and that people would listen.  And that’s why – though I hate the thought more than I can say – we have to go through with it.  God knows I don’t want to: I think it’s a bloody disaster and I feel those who voted for it are in for a massive disappointment – but if I want the Labour party to respect Corbyn’s appointment (and I do) I have to want the government to respect this vote.  Otherwise those who voted for the first time will lapse back into anger, apathy and resentment.  Otherwise it’s a betrayal of democracy.  Otherwise we don’t deserve to be trusted.

Here’s the programme:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07k7m4x/panorama-why-we-voted-to-leave-britain-speaks

Kirk out

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My Two Euros?

OK since the silence on Europe following Jo Cox’s tragic murder, has ended, here are my thoughts on Europe.

I don’t know what the financial implications are whether we leave or remain.  Neither does anyone else.

I don’t know what trading agreements we may or may not have: neither does anyone else.

I don’t know whether we will be better or worse off monetarily in either case.  Neither does anyone else.

There are too many imponderables in this debate; too many grey areas and far, far too many outlandish claims on both sides of the debate.

But I will say this:

  1.  It’s my belief that if we are outside Europe we will be open to far greater influence from the US.  And with Trump looming in the wings, that would be a nightmare.
  2. The Brexit side have fought very dirty; stirring up the worst fears and inciting xenophobia.  Farage’s poster was the last straw for many, including Baroness Warsi: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36572894
  3. On balance – and it is a balance – I believe that workers’ rights and human rights in general will be better protected if we remain.
  4. There has been a great deal of misinformation on both sides but probably more on the Brexit side.  They have persistently referred to the EU as ‘unelected’, forgetting that we elect Euro-MPs every few years.  Maybe they don’t bother to vote in those elections.
  5. the idea of ‘going it alone’ is a fantasy.  Much of the Brexit campaign seems to hark back to a nostalgia for colonial times when Britain was a power in the world.  That time has gone.  We are now a small outpost of Europe.  We belong to Europe geographically and culturally; it makes sense to belong politically and economically.
  6. er
  7. that’s it.  Get out and vote.  But vote remain.

Kirk out

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