Could it be, could it actually be, that we had a Brexit masterplan all along, and at the impossible hour, it’s going to come good?
Consider this: the UK has never known what it wants from Brexit other than whatever it wants has to be something it can’t have. First up, to demand the impossible, we sent them David Davis. They laughed and sent him back. Then we sent them Dominic Raab. Dominic got as far as the White Cliffs of Dover before making a mindblowing geographical discovery and everyone laughed so hard that nothing else could be heard. Then we sent them Stephen Barclay and they said, “Sorry, feel free to start the meter but I’m going to be a couple more hours yet.”
And so now, we’re going to send them... deep breath... wait for it... Ann Widdecombe, Andrew Adonis, Boris Johnson’s sister, Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister, the ex-editor of Loaded mag, Tommy Robinson and a professional misogynist youtuber whose real name is Carl Benjamin, but who calls himself Sargon of Akkad in an attempt to put some distance between his actual self and his own rancid opinions.
Yes, it is less than a month until the European parliamentary elections, which means it is also less than a month till the morning after the European parliamentary elections, when the UK’s fresh crop of MEPs will come roaring into Brussels like that Mad Max biker gang that crashes the house party in Weird Science.
You can almost picture it now. The British freak show rolls into the EU parliament building, only to find the doors padlocked, and at the fourth storey window, there will be Juncker and Tusk screaming in blind panic: “You can have anything you want, just leave us alone! The backstop? We binned it already! Gone. Finito alternative arrangements? You can have any alternative arrangements you like. Hard border, soft border, no border, Allan Border, whatever you want, pas de problème. Canada plus! Norway minus! Quadruple Switzerland with a front tuck somersault, for Grande Bretagne, anything at all. Anything. Please. Please. Just get back on the Eurostar and aller a St Pancras International!”
The tragedy, of course, is that David Davis will be entirely vindicated. It was always about who blinks first, he’ll say. And when Sargon of Akkad is coming at you with his webcam and his edgy banter about which members of parliament he would and wouldn't rape, well, you’ll blink then all right. Big time. And they will.
It will be a relief no doubt to all concerned that these are likely to be the shortest, most glorious political careers in history. On Thursday morning, Nigel Farage announced his latest tranche of Brexit party candidates. Among them was former Loaded mag editor turned men’s rights activist Martin Daubney. I happen to vaguely know Martin. We have occasionally appeared on the news channels together. And there’s also the time I spent six and a half days sitting at a desk outside his office, following instructions to scour group sex websites in the hunt for content for Loaded mag’s “Pornalikes” page.
This was a fairly standard task for people on work experience placements. I uncovered a passable Simon Mayo and Ricky from the Kaiser Chiefs, if memory serves, having been expressly told, “No Viallis. We’ve had too many Viallis. Just because someone’s got a goatee, doesn’t make them Gianluca Vialli.”
In fact, I only did six and a half days, not the full two weeks, because I was happy to come in at short notice to replace the previous intern, a female, who had, for some bizarre reason, taken against the task on day three, vanished and never returned. Though she was not to be confused with the young lady who had gone awol the previous week.
“Nah, she wasn’t a workie,” I was told by one of the team. “She was writing a thesis, ‘Are lad’s mags misogynistic?’ She asked if she could shadow me for a week. I f**ked her on the Wednesday and she never came back.”
I should say that I have always liked Martin, he’s more than entitled to his opinions on Brexit, which are widely shared. He's a talented man from an ordinary background, and the more people from ordinary backgrounds who get involved in politics the better. But one does get the sense it may prove shrewd to be embarking on a political career that is not intended to be lengthy. One suspects there could be a few skeletons there.
Though of course, the real tragedy is that right at the moment the EU will yield to whatever we ask, our demands will have narrowed to nothing. By the time they’re ready to give us anything, what we will have decided we want is no deal at all. That said, there is, of course, a chance, that Sargon and co will work out what their seniors cottoned on to long ago. It’s a five-star establishment, the Hotel Brussels. Relentlessly complaining about the service is a lot more fun than actually checking out and leaving.
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