Eek. That rascal Mr Tusk has been at it again, sticking his Twitter stick into the hornet’s nest of fate.
I can’t say I’ve been slavishly following developments here at mostly.social HQ, but I’ll hazard a guess that Donald (Tusk, not Trump) has triggered an outpouring of bile and indignation with his cheeky tweet. But once the hyperventilating has ceased, a rational type on either side of the Brexit chasm must surely concede that, actually, Donnie T (Tusk, not Trump) has a point, the wily blighter.
We’ve lived this alternate reality, this fact-starved wasteland, for two and a half years, and the best HMG has come up with seems destined to leave this sceptred isle a poorer and weaker place, its prestige and influence destroyed by a combination of repeated falsehoods, ethically dubious voter targeting and even foreign meddling. And then Trump happened, inheriting tactics, tricks and the same foreign meddling to pull off a shocker of his own.
I’m lying down as I write this, which is probably a good thing.
I would have thought we’ve scraped right through the bottom of the barrel and are well on the way to the South Pacific. This:-
It’s worth noting that Dunkirk was not a gallant victory, but a heroic failure: thousands struggled and many died to effect the retreat of an army without suffering a massacre or imprisonment. Winston Churchill told parliament that it was a ‘colossal military disaster’.
This was followed by a few years of grinding siege and shortages as Britain struggled on alone.
Needless to say, this traumatised millions in Britain. A classic radio comedy series of long ago, ‘Round the Horne‘, once sent up the rose-tinted films that appeared post-war to romanticise the experience, creating a pastiche drama titled ‘Wasn’t It Great When They Were Dropping Bombs On Us And We Were All Half-starving‘.
If I’m offered a toss-up between a ‘Dunkirk option’ and stability and relative prosperity, I know which one I’d choose.
There’s a jolly decent chap on Medium called Umair Haque.
Since June last year he’s been holding forth, largely on the evils of predatory capitalism and focused in the main on the US. It can be a little hard going at times but let’s face it, our American cousins provide fertile ground for analysis.
Occasionally he’s touched on my own big beef: how in the UK the postwar social contract of better education, healthcare for all and state pensions is increasingly something we can see but cannot grasp, becoming more of a mirage with each year that passes. More on that some other time.
This entry isn’t about that, but instead deals with the slow motion car crash that is Brexit. I know, just a few posts in and there I go, spoiling the fun for everyone. But it’s hard not to mention it, not when we stand, at thirty seconds to midnight, on the cliff edge, scratching our heads and wondering if reason is ever going to make an appearance.
It’s easy to live in a past that never was, or a future where anything is possible. Dealing with a cold uncomfortable present is something else, and sadly anyone with the courage to confront it appears to have been abducted by aliens.
I think I should let Umair pick up from here. It’s worth the read.
On Twitter, over email, from friends, from people who recognize me at the cafe and stop me to say hi — I get one question these days. It goes like this: what happened to Britain?