The Disunited Kingdom and the Charge of the Brexit Brigade

Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death

   Rode the six hundred.


It’s almost three years to the day since the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union. For three years I’ve refused to write a post about Brexit, there was too much of it already out there, and all of it sounded like the rants of confused people. Confused people uncertain about their futures, but emboldened with a bombastic sense of misplaced certainty that they knew what to do about it. Well after three years, it’s my turn, I’m joining the cavalry charge.

Before going any further, it’s only right that I outline my own stance on Brexit. I voted to remain, but I acknowledge that more people voted to leave, and therefore under the rather simple rule of majority in a democracy, I expect the UK to leave the EU, ASAP, or PDQ.

Stormed at with shot and shell,

Boldly they rode and well,

Into the jaws of Death,

Into the mouth of hell

   Rode the six hundred.

Now it’s about now that Remainers will frequently respond with one of the three following arguments:

  • The people were deceived by erroneous information and didn’t know what they were voting for.

Really? And how is that any different from countless manifesto promises not kept by any party that wins a general election? 

  • The leave campaign received illegal funding and misled the people.

Yes, the leave campaign cheated, I’m pretty sure the remain campaign partook in some nefarious activities themselves, they’ve just drawn less attention because they weren’t as successful. The tale of the story is the better cheats won on the day, again, how’s that different from any previous general election?

  • All the inadequacies of the first referendum justify there being a second referendum.

To me a second referendum is an answer born out of blind optimism. These people seem to forget the damage one referendum has already done, suggesting that a second will solve all our problems would be like the people of Hiroshima asking the Americans to drop a second atomic bomb on them in the belief it will blow everything back together again.


Only the British would name the cause of their greatest constitutional crisis to sound like a merger between a popular breakfast cereal and a powerful laxative.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”

Was there a man dismayed?

chrage of the boris

So who is going to lead this cavalry charge into, if not the valley of death, a valley of ambiguity, uncertainty and unpredictability? That question can be answered quite simply, Boris Johnson. After David Cameron’s spectacular political blunder of holding a referendum, and his subsequent self imposed exile, Boris might well be considered the man most responsible for creating this mess, and therefore should take charge of cleaning it up. Now people have their concerns about Boris, foremost that he’s as mad as a bucket of coked up ferrets, and that he has absolutely no idea as to the amount of  progeny he has scatter through the Kingdom. But, if we can look beyond these matters, Boris might provide the kind of crazy that will wear down the EU into giving us almost whatever we want. If all the village idiots left their villages and set up their own village, Boris would then become the idiot of that village. I don’t think the EU will know how to deal with him. It’s a bold move, but these are desperate times, and this situation demands a special sort of idiot.

hard brexit
Despite all the fibre, this might be what a Hard Brexit will look like.


Now the perceptive amongst you might have noticed that my post has been punctuated by the gibberish of, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade, and that hasn’t been by accident. It serves as a reminder that there’s more to being than consuming banal television shows and cream teas. Being British is about recognising the need to play fair, and that you don’t play to the rules, but to the spirit of the game. Being British is to demonstrate the courage and the will to refuse to give up any fight despite overwhelming odds. There used to be something great about being British, and it didn’t involve endless bitching and a refusal to shoulder the burden of reality. And yes we, the people, might have been lied to during the referendum, but is there anything more British than believing the lies of the upper class, in order that we might continue to live in poverty whilst they reap all the rewards of their ill gotten gains? As a nation we’ve allowed this to happen for generations, why make a fuss now?

Not though the soldier knew

   Someone had blundered.

   Theirs not to make reply,

   Theirs not to reason why,

   Theirs but to do and die.

   Into the valley of Death

   Rode the six hundred.

And yes, as per Tennyson’s poem, it might be the case that Boris Johnson has blundered, and the United Kingdom might well be charging into a valley of certain economic death armed with nothing more than toothpicks to fight the surrounding cannons. But the point is, that we’re British, and because we’re British we must never let an opportunity pass for a pointless, but nonetheless, glorious defeat


Brexit is not to reason why,

Brexit is but to do and die.

I’m a big fan of the French existentialist/absurdist philosopher, Albert Camus. Camus’ philosophy of the absurd essentially states, there’s no meaning to life and attempting to look for any is absurd. Just accept the fact that there’s no meaning and enjoy it. I’ve come to the conclusion that Camus’ philosophy is pretty adroit when trying to understand Brexit. Camus, being a Nobel winner, rather astutely also observed,

Rebellion cannot exist without the feeling that, somewhere and somehow, one is right… The rebel … says yes and no simultaneously… In every act of rebellion, the rebel simultaneously experiences a feeling of revulsion at the infringement of his rights and a complete and spontaneous loyalty to certain aspects of himself.

What would Camus made of Brexit, a turd sandwich seems likely.

Will Brexit be good, will it be bad, will it even happen? The truth is I no longer care. My interest in Brexit and all the consequences it might bring has been superseded by a melancholic ambivalence. As the result of an agonisingly slow and banal process, I’ve  learned that I’ll find no more meaning in Brexit than I’ll find in a Dan Brown novel.  Whether you’re a Brexiteer, or a Remoaner – the fact that Brexit’s been able to create such an effective polarizing lexicon of pejorative nomenclatures, is in itself worthy of study – whichever side of the fence you sit on, we should all be united by the one obvious fact. Brexit has proven beyond doubt that, it’s not the European Parliament that is the cause of our problems, it’s that the Parliament of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland isn’t fit for purpose. Our system of politics has failed to deliver when it mattered the most, our elected members of parliament no longer represent the will of the people, and by not observing the result of the referendum we are disregarding the democratic will of the people. The institution of government has gone the same way as the institutions of the church and finance, not actually sure church and finance need separating, it has lost all credibility. If a government can’t govern, how can it assume to command the respect of the people? It’s not just Brexit that’s at stake it’s our entire political system.

Anyway I’ve achieved my goal of joining the massed ranks of incoherent, feckless Brexit punditry brigade. As the 17th century French philosopher and diplomat, Joseph de Maistre said:

Every country gets the government it deserves.

It’s only a matter of time before the people of the United Kingdom realise, they deserve better.


Stormed at with shot and shell,

While horse and hero fell.

They that had fought so well

Came through the jaws of Death,

Back from the mouth of hell,

All that was left of them,

   Left of six hundred.

Politicians, Coalitions, Pineapple and Pizza

Well here we are at the end of another election in which another western democracy has largely, once again, made itself look like a widower dancing at his own wife’s funeral. It’s undignified, largely arrhythmical, and depending on whether or not they’ve had a hip replacement, painful to watch. Nobody benefits from being forced to observe such a spectacle of misplaced eccentricity, much in the same way that nobody seems to have really benefited from last week’s general election. (I couldn’t find any videos of old men dancing at funerals, but I did find this, which to me at least appears equally as undignified.)

For the United Kingdom the general election was an unqualified disaster. In the wake of a Brexit vote that split the country 52%/48%, the country needed direction, to be led by a leader with a cast iron mandate. The strong and stable leadership that Theresa May Image result for strong and stable memerepeatedly promised when she called the snap election with a 24 point lead in the polls, ended with her party losing the majority necessary to form a government. This now leaves May, a leader of the Tory party who has never even won a leadership contest, with a barely tenable mandate with which to represent the British people at the Brexit negotiations. The Brexit negotiations being the single most important event to happen in Europe since the fall of the Berlin wall.

In the space of just under 12 months Conservative leadership has called a referendum and an election that has resulted in the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union and ending up with a hung parliament, quite a staggering achievement given that 12 months ago David Cameron was the Prime Minister with a majority of 12, of a country that was still a part of the World’s largest economic bloc. When you consider that the British parliamentary system is stacked in favour of the party which has formed a government, they can call the election whenever they want, they can change the boundaries of constituencies, it becomes really hard to imagine that the Conservatives didn’t engineer their own downfall intentionally. If they didn’t, then they’ve clearly lost touch with the electorate.

Despite not having the number of seats necessary to form a majority government, Theresa May will form a coalition that will enable her to theoretically have a majority. So who’s she inviting on board her political version of the Titanic? The DUP of course, you know the DUP? In British politics there’s the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, the Green Party, Scottish Nationalist Party, Sinn Féin, Plaid Cymru, and then you’ve got the DUP. The Democratic Unionist Party, they will be the ones invited to form a government with Theresa May. The DUP with their 8 members of parliament will, in theory anyway, hold the power of veto over everything the Tory government try to do. But who are the DUP? Well, they’re the political wing of protestant paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, In other words they’re the yin to the IRA’s yang. They’re the pro United Kingdom terrorist group of Northern Ireland. Jeremy Corbyn was lambasted for having held talks with Sinn Fein during his political career, then only weeks later Theresa May will shamelessly form a government with the political wing of a known terrorist group. Of course if you watch the news no reporter dares to use the word terrorist, because when they appear to be on your side they go by the name of paramilitary. I’m sorry but whatever you chose to call them, it’s still…

But even if we’re able to ignore their paramilitary past, the DUP are fanatically pro choice, something I imagine, that would have not thrilled quite a number of people that decided to vote Conservative just last week. The idea alone of the Conservatives forming a coalition is counter intuitive, the ultimate political oxymoron. It’s a little like expecting a pride of lions to ask you to pull up a chair and share their freshly killed wildebeest with you. I’m afraid to say that the DUP will end up as the DUPed in the event that they form a coalition with the Conservatives. They will inevitably be wowed by the possibility of going into Downing Street. Of being shown the button, with which they’d want to unleash a nuclear strike on the Catholic population of Belfast. But, in reality they’ll be nothing more than a class of 11 year olds on a field trip to a bank. They’ll get to see the tellers count some money, they might even be shown a pie chart, but that’s as close as they’ll ever realistically come to influencing any long term fiscal strategy of the bank. And no politician ever wants to share their power. A politician needs power in the same way a diabetic needs insulin. Interestingly Theresa May is a diabetic, so she craves both. This leads me to wonder which one she could live without the longest, her slipping into a diabetic coma would certainly go a long way towards explaining some of her interviews in the lead up to the election.

Both the referendum and the general election have managed to drive a wedge down the middle of British society. I’m 40 years old, and I’m not sure I can recall the nation being this divided. With divisiveness being a theme which appears to be undermining so many western democracies, I was interested to learn that Sam Panopoulos passed away last week. Panopoulos was the leader of the Democratic Ulster Unionists for… No he actually had a far more positive impact than that; Panopoulos claimed to be the man who first conceived the idea of putting pineapple onto a pizza.

Like Brexit, Theresa May, and Donald Trump, putting pineapple on top of a pizza is a contentious matter, an acquired tase. And just like Brexit, Theresa May, and Donald Trump, the opinion you have regarding whether it’s reasonable to put pineapple on a

Image result for nazi pizza
Catering to a niche market, Josef Koch bakes pizzas and offers free delivery to customers on the right side of town. The far right side of town.

pizza can be used to determine the opinions that you probably hold about a swathe of other social issues. Just how if you support Trump people will assume that you’re against immigration, for the second amendment, and against commonsense. People that support using pineapple as a pizza topping are seen as progressive liberals who support immigration, gay marriage and universal healthcare. Compare this to the pizza that was most popular during Hitler’s Third Reich where olives and salami came to symbolise, strength, supremacy, and purity of the Aryan race.


Panopoulos’ Hawaiian pizza became political just before he died, when last year the president of Iceland said he would ban pineapple as a topping on pizzas if he could. At the time this created quite a stir amongst the press as they dreamed of a Neroesque president ruling over a remote volcanic island, issuing decrees about pizza toppings while making their pet dog commander of the Navy. Unfortunately for the media the evil Bond villain they desired never manifested, instead he was just expressing his opinion about pineapple being added to pizza, during a question and answer session with a group of high school children. President Gudni Th. Johannesson went on to state that it would be an abuse of his power to ban pineapple from being a pizza topping. This didn’t prevent the media from running with the following ridiculous headlines:


Iceland leader reveals desire to outlaw Hawaiian


If he had his way, Iceland’s President would ban pineapple pizza

Iceland’s President wants Hawaiian pizza ban


To round things off some funny clips from the British general election. They’ll leave you wondering why we all get so worked up about having the right to vote when you have to choose people like this.

An opportunistic reporter, bored with having to listen to Boris Johnson’s wool gathering and navel gazing, takes the initiative and stabs the foreign secretary in the face with his microphone:


After enjoying an election result that few predicted, Jeremy Corbyn congratulates one of hie colleagues by slapping them on the breast:

This one’s from Australia, remember when I mentioned that some suspect that our education systems are being dumbed down:



Yet More Elections, Yet More Democracy

Say whatever you like about democracy, but it’s still the best system that man, or woman has managed to think up of so far for delegating power and structuring his, or her society. Democracy is so great that this will be the third time in two years that the people of the U.K will have been asked to go to the polls and enjoy the thrill of democracy, proving that you can never have too much of a good thing

If last year’s E.U referendum is anything to go by then anything is possible in the forthcoming election. When Theresa May called for a snap election, ignoring the Fixed-term Parliaments Act that her own party brought into effect just 6 years prior, the polls gave her Conservative party a 22 point lead. Now that she’s been out meeting the public she’s been able to reduce that lead to single figures. YouGov’s latest poll has the Tory lead at just four points over Labour, as at 5 June. It’s been a somewhat fragmented election campaign owing to a handful of murderous bastards perpetrating acts of extreme violence in the name of a morally bankrupt ideology. If these maniacs hadn’t forced suspensions to the campaigning, it’s reasonable to assume that the more the public would have seen of  Theresa May the more appealing Jeremy Corbyn would have become and maybe the Labour party would even be ahead in the polls.

The parallels between Theresa May and Hilary Clinton are obvious. It’s like watching two people in quicksand, the more they struggle the more they get consumed. The more they talk the better their opponent seems to do. In the near future, if anyone has any sense, political candidates will just say nothing throughout their campaigns, a strategy adopted by Blackadder when he put forward Baldrick to run in a by-election:

So with Theresa May projecting all the charm of toxic waste seeping into an orphanage, this raises Jeremy Corbyn’s profile, without him actually having to do anything. When Corbyn does speak, he sounds like a 1970’s politics student who only got as far as reading Marx’s Das Kapital. I’ve got nothing wrong with Marxism per se, it’s just that I’m not sure how viable it is to the complex economies that we have today. Corbyn is also very open minded towards the ideology of terrorists, I have a hard time validating this stance towards terrorism in light of recent events. But whatever Corbyn might think or say is of little consequence, Corbyn’s most electable quality is that he’s not Theresa May.

Essentially, on Thursday the people of the United Kingdom have to chose between Jeremy Corbyn, a man who looks like he would be more comfortable pottering around an allotment, or Theresa May, a woman who we can’t trust to sit the right way round on a toilet.

A friend of mine made the following analogy of this Thursday’s election:

 … so we are faced with a choice that is similar to being asked to move a dog turd. You can either pick it up with your bare hands and take to the bin, or pick it up with your bare hands and put it in your pocket.

Crude as though the dog turd analogy might be, I consider it to be fairly accurate one. The British electorate is once again being asked to choose between the lesser of two evils: Image result for hunter thompson lesser of two evils

Image result for hunter thompson lesser of two evils

There can be little doubt that this general election pits two of the blandest party leaders against one another, offering the electorate a choice of either grey or beige. But, if our democracy can be so easily reduced to turd analogies and choosing between two evils, then I’m left to wonder if the terrorists haven’t already won.


While we should consider elections to be meaningful and terrorism to be a very real

Related image
EPeter Sallis, star of Last of the Summer Wine and voice of Wallace from Nick Park’s Oscar winning Wallace and Gomit, died June 2, 2017.


threat, I was saddened to hear of the death of Peter Sallis. Sallis starred in the BBC’s Last of the Summer Wine for 37 years, and provided the voice of Wallace in the multi award winning Wallace and Gromit animations. As a child I spent many a Sunday having tea and sandwiches, whilst watching Last of the Summer Wine, which was essentially three old men wandering aimlessly around the verdant Yorkshire Dales accompanied by a hauntingly beautiful theme tune. Now that’s something a jihadist will never understand. In fact that’s what I recommend for radicalised extremists, they should be forced to watch all 37 years of Last of the Summer Wine, can there be a surer way of curing a person of homicidal ambitions?




Image result for theresa may jeremy corbyn star wars
Probably as good a reason as any that you’ll find for voting Labour.