Britain, Brexit, and Zugzwang
There’s a saying in chess that describes a position whereby the player whose turn it is
can’t make a move that won’t lose him the game, such a position is called, zugzwang. In British politics similar situations are called Brexit.
How did we get here?
Google images with a search for, “Brexit Timeline.” It results in an array of graphical representations and psychedelic colours of confusion illustrating just how the UK will negotiate their way through the eight levels of hell. Each timeline is different and every timeline is about as accurate as a bumblebee with a machine gun, leaving me to deduce that nobody has the faintest idea what is going on.
Just look at the timelines, it’s madness I tell you!
The Brexit Timeline – How Did We Get Here?
- 2010, Conservatives win a general election without a clear majority. The Conservatives form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
- 2015, In an attempt to win an outright majority, David Cameron pledges a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU), despite the fact that he was pro-Europe. The Conservatives win an outright majority.
- June 2016, Britain holds a referendum to decide whether it’s to remain a part of the (EU). Despite all media predictions, a majority of 51.9% of people vote to leave the EU. Within 24 hours David Cameron resigns as prime minister and like a leader of a banana republic, goes into exile on the French Riviera, where he settles down to write his memoir, also known as his excuse, the memoir fails to mention performing any sexual acts on the severed heads of pigs.
“David Cameron announced he is stepping down in the wake of a vote, which should make me happy, but it doesn’t. It’s like catching an ice cream cone out of the air, because a child has been hit by a car. I’ll eat it! But it’s tainted somehow.” – John Oliver
- June 2017, riding Following the departure of David Cameron, Theresa May mistakes a wave of national euphoria for what is actually a burgeoning sense of scorn, ridicule and contempt towards her. Failing to recognise this
she calls a general election, not an easy thing to do given the Fixed Term Parliament Act requiring five years between elections. Conservatives win the election, but take control of a hung parliament. To have a majority they form a coalition government with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a sort of stone-age sect of religous zealots whom Theresa May gives £1 billion. Some called it a bribe, while others wanted to know where the magic money tree’s hidden. Despite the £1 billion pay off, the DUP consistently fail to support the prime minister on most Brexit votes. Still, whats £1 billion to a government preaching austerity?
- March 2019, the Conservative Party tire of Theresa’s inability to make progress on brexit.
- July 2019, members of the Conservative Party elect Boris Johnson as their leader and next prime minister.
- Despite promising the nation that, he’d rather die in a ditch than fail to leave the EU on
October 31st, 2019, Boris Johnson delivers on neither Brexit, nor corpse in a ditch materialise. I wasn’t fussy, I’d have settled for a drain, trench, even a gutter. But no, the fat, flatulent, shaggy haired mop head lives on, and after what must have taken minutes of thought, decided to throw the decision back to the public in the form of a general election. Appealing to the same electorate, who in recent times has shown a proclivity to vote for the most chaotic scenario possible. I ask myself, why’s that trend going to stop? Leadership isn’t delegating the problem to everyone else, that’s scapegoating.
Clowns to the Left of me, Jokers to the Right
So, come December 12th, who do you vote for. American cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead famously said:
If you went to a restaurant, and the only choice you had was between a turd sandwiches or Jellied moose tongue, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for you to go looking for somewhere else to eat. Elections in the UK are like this, they offer no choice that you can enthusiastically endorse, just a choice of the lesser evil.
Apathy is a rational reaction to a system that no longer represents, hears or addresses the vast majority of people. A system that is apathetic, in fact, to the needs of the people it was designed to serve. …’
It’s at this stage that people can get angry with the abstaining from voting argument, they remind you of how lucky we are to have a democracy. They’re quick to inform us that voting is the only time the poor have as much say as the wealthy. And if they’ve still failed to convince they’re likely to trundle out, the very old and very tired, it’s a civic duty; which it’s not. Jury service is the only the only civic responsibility in the U.K. No, democracy isn’t being asked to choose between two groups of equally incompetent people who will inevitably balls things up, just in slightly different ways.
Perhaps journalist, Heydon Prowse most accurately explains the trend in the results of recent elections and referenda in the west”
…vote, revolt, “turn voting into a protest too”
We live in a system where only one of two political choices ends up running the country, but people now understand that neither does anything to make their lives any better. The underprivileged will remain underprivileged, the under paid won’t become better off, in fact relatively wages have stagnated for twenty years, and the uneducated, and unemployed will continue to seek solace by watching reality television.
In reality there’s only two choices:
- Don’t vote, because none of the candidates are capable of doing the job; or
- Go all in with Margaret Mead and choose the lesser of two evils in the hope that the one you pick might be capable screwing things up marginally less than the other choice.
The exhilaration what western democracies promise us.
So Who is the lesser of Two Evils?
It’s an interesting question, it comes down to choosing between an egotistical, nefarious, dishonest, man who can’t keep track of how many children he might have fathered, and a man who looks like he’s just crawled out from beneath your compost heap at the
bottom of your garden, and then preaches anachronistic left wing dogma to your vegetable patch. For years I’ve given Corbyn the benefit of the doubt, thinking that he can’t possibly prescribe to the tenets of Marxism the media claim he does, but he’s never clarified just how far his socialist beliefs go. Might he turn into an English Pol Pot, force everyone to work in allotments as he engineers his agrarian utopia? It sounds stupid, but then again, nearly everything that’s come out of Westminster for the past five years has been stupid. But the peculiarities of the Labour party don’t stop with Corbyn, in fact it’s only the beginning. Corbyn’s shadow home secretary is Diane Abbott, a woman so spectacularly incompetent that she takes a calculator to bed so she can count the sheep. To appreciate how dimwitted Diane Abbot is, the video below shows the most spectacularly embarrassing interview by a senior politician that I’ve ever witnessed:
So with Boris Johnson’s only opponent, resembling a cross between Lenin and Worzel Gummidge, and seemingly focused on winning the allotment vote of the UK, and with his sidekick displaying the mental faculties of sub-optimal kindergarten student, you would think that all Boris needs to do to win this election is stay alive until the morning of December 13th. If only it were that simple.
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson
Yes, that really is his name, dePfeffel. If it’s not right to judge a book by its cover, then it must be an even greater superficial objectification to judge a person by their name, but what the hell is a de Pfeffel? Sounds like a catastrophe in a patisserie in which the pretzel dough and the waffle batter got mixed together and spawned the Antichrist of pastries, a de Pfeffel. No, it’s actually something far more sinister. The von Pfeffel family, after narrowly missing out on starring in, The Sound of Music, is a German, Bavarian, family of considerable historical wealth and influence. Finding out any more about them is difficult, but doubtlessly you have a neurotic, conspiracy theorist friend who’ll soon get you up to speed.
If only Boris’ problems stopped at de Pfeffel. He’s a renowned Islamaphobe, homophobe, adulterer, racist, and outright liar. In fact, he is quintessentially the British Donald Trump. The more ridiculous he behaves, the more support he gets. Johnson appeals to a disenfranchised electorate, as he appears to them to be a break from the norm. Let’s look at some of the most infamous dePfeffel moments.
In August 2018, Boris remarked that Muslim women who wear burkas resemble letter boxes. Note, that at the time he was Britain’s Foreign Secretary, a role requiring awareness of cultural nuances. Look I’m all for a joke, but… What kind of mind could consider that an appropriate thing to say?
Whilst in his position of Foreign Secretary, Boris intervened in the delicate situation of British-Iranian woman, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was being held captive on charges of espionage. Boris stated that she wasn’t a spy, but teaching journalism, something which she also wasn’t doing. During Boris’ time as Foreign Secretary, the conditions of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe worsened, with her no longer being allowed to make telephone calls to her husband, and there now being great concern for her mental well-being.
In his column for the Daily Telegraph in 2002, Johnson described people from African Commonwealth countries in the following way, “It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies,” later he added to this mentioning, African people as having “watermelon smiles.” As I said, I like a joke, but racial slurs, well they’re just not funny.
Vote for Me – Righting the Wrongs
My manifesto is somewhat limited but at its core is righting wrongs through revenge. Essentially I would achieve this by displaying David Cameron’s head on a spike after it had been inserted into his own bottom. Whilst I freely admit that this does little to resolve the Brexit issue, I do believe it would give the country a much needed boost to morale.
The End Is Not Nigh
As an expat who’s lived outside the UK for almost twenty years, personally, I don’t care who wins the election and goes on to form a Rabelaisian government of idiots; I learnt the word Rabelaisian recently and I’m rather fond of it. I just hope that there’s something positive in this for everyone, which of course is impossible. I still firmly believe what I thought the morning after the referendum; that Britain will never leave the EU. If the powers that be wanted to leave, then Britain would have left by now. Whomever wins this election is unlikely to win a majority, leaving the UK with a fragile coalition goverment once again. One thing I’m certain of, we can’t keep standing in the middle of the road, because when you do that you get hit by traffic from both directions, or worse, you could fall off your horse and cart.
In conclusion, this election will conclude nothing.