KEEP ON ROCKIN’

The New European - - Agenda -

I’m typ­ing this while I’m wait­ing for a video clip to ‘ren­der’ (ie. be saved in a us­able form); it’s tak­ing a while, as my wheezy old lap­top is be­ing stretched to ca­pac­ity by the un­nec­es­sar­ily com­plex video I’m in the process of edit­ing.

The video is to ac­com­pany a song I’ve writ­ten which was in­spired by a call my fel­low arch-re­mainer James O’brien took on his LBC ra­dio show a few days ago; you may al­ready know which call I’m re­fer­ring to, as the clip of the in­ci­dent went viral al­most im­me­di­ately there­after.

A caller named Bill from Ex­mouth phones in to ex­press his re­gret at hav­ing voted Leave in 2016, and his dis­tress (and guilt) at the grim spec­ta­cle of what Brexit has be­come, and, more­over, the grim­mer prospect of what it will (should it go ahead un­hin­dered) be­come in due course.

James tries to re­as­sure Bill that it’s not he who is to blame but rather those politi­cians and press barons who have spent 30 years bom­bard­ing Bill (and all of us) with eu­ro­pho­bic pro­pa­ganda, and urges Bill to re­act with anger rather than shame, but Bill breaks down in audi­ble tears, sob­bing “What have I done to my coun­try?”

My song also seeks to as­suage Bill’s con­science, al­beit via the means of a some­what bizarre rock par­ody (you’ll have to see the video), and in­deed, by im­pli­ca­tion, tries to of­fer an olive branch of un­der­stand­ing and co­op­er­a­tion to all the re­gret­ful Leave vot­ers out there (we may never know their num­ber; I’m will­ing to bet it’s far more than can ever be of­fi­cially con­firmed).

I’ve been at pains to point out in the var­i­ous ar­ti­cles, speeches and songs I’ve put out on the topic of Brexit over the last two and a half years that it’s vi­tally im­por­tant to ap­por­tion blame and com­pas­sion where they be­long; that the Leave vot­ers were, for the most part, do­ing what they sincerely be­lieved was the right thing to do, and the fact that they had been per­suaded of this by charis­matic but en­tirely un­scrupu­lous men pur­su­ing po­lit­i­cal and fi­nan­cial agen­das of their own shouldn’t be held against them. Let he among us who has never been played for a sucker cast the first stone.

What­ever awaits us in the months ahead, we will need those ex-leavers on board. They can make our case heard by those who might oth­er­wise refuse to lis­ten to it on prin­ci­ple. Such has been the schis­matic ef­fect of the ref­er­en­dum (and the in­vec­tive which has abounded in its af­ter­math) that for some peo­ple, the mere fact that some­one voted the other way back in 2016 in­stantly dis­qual­i­fies their opin­ions on Brexit, if not ev­ery­thing.

Our side isn’t blame­less in this re­gard. Just be­cause we’ve had the po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment and al­most the en­tirety of the pop­u­lar me­dia lam­bast­ing us as traitors for the last 29 months doesn’t mean we can’t rise above it if there’s a use­ful al­liance to be forged.

If we’re go­ing to flat­ter our­selves that we’re the smart ones, the open-minded ones, the pa­tient and for­bear­ing ones, we need to act like it.

Not that we need to start try­ing to build bridges with the un­re­pen­tant Brex­i­teers; the ones still in­sist­ing that all you have to do is be­lieve and blam­ing us for the fact that ev­ery­thing we warned them about three years ago turned out to be true. Don’t bother with them; any­one still on the Brexit band­wagon now all four wheels have fallen off is be­yond the reach of rea­son.

James O’brien him­self suc­cess­fully pre­dicted the cur­rent state of af­fairs a few months ago; there can never be a suc­cess­ful Brexit deal, he pointed out, be­cause the minute it’s de­fined, one of the in­ter­ested par­ties will re­ject it.

While Brexit has been dis­cussed in terms of ab­stract con­cepts and gen­eral prin­ci­ples it’s pos­si­ble for all con­cerned to nod along, but as soon as any­thing spe­cific goes down on pa­per some­one will find it un­ac­cept­able.

Right now it’s ob­vi­ous to me that the deal which the prime min­is­ter has man­aged to get the EU27 to ap­prove will never get through par­lia­ment for the very rea­son that the EU27 have ap­proved it.

Any­thing which the ‘face­less man­darins of Brus­sels’ are will­ing to sign off on will never be ac­cepted by the ‘bloody for­eign­ers’ rump of the Con­ser­va­tive party, and it’s worth bear­ing in mind that this whole sorry en­ter­prise has, since day one, been car­ried out in or­der to pan­der to that very con­stituency.

In­deed it’s al­most un­bear­ably ironic to re­flect, as one con­tem­plates the pin­striped knife-fight into which the par­lia­men­tary Con­ser­va­tive party presently de­scends, upon the fact that David Cameron’s pri­mary pur­pose in calling the 2016 EU ref­er­en­dum was to shore up di­vi­sions be­tween ri­val fac­tions of Tories.

Stay in the shed, Dave. For the love of God, man, stay in the damn shed.

CHAN­NEL­ING BILL: Mitch’s mu­sic video is avail­able now on You Tube

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