The latest series of Game of Thrones has just ended with a bang so big one needs to steady themselves whilst holding onto the sofa for support. There was betrayal and revenge and plotting and seismic shifts. Things got bloody. As Season 6 came to a close there were bleating cries of “What will I watch now?!”. Well, I’ll tell you shall I? The news.
I cannot remember a time, in my memory at least, when things have kicked off quite so dramatically in British politics.
We, the British public, have weathered many a storm and been witness to many a political scandal. Remember last summer when Lord Sewel was caught wearing ladies underwear whilst snorting coke with a pair of prostitutes? That was nothing. A blip. Just a brief distraction compared to the political tsunami of the last 7 days.
Where to begin? The Brexit campaign was successful and promptly caused a financial crash, the likes of which hasn’t been seen for over 30 years. Unbelievable to think a vote with only a 2% difference could cause the loss of billions of £’s in the worldwide markets but that’s what happened. The Bank of England and the IMF suggest an income loss of £3,000 to £5,000 annually per UK household once the market settles after Brexit.
There was an awful lot of talk of “Leavers Remorse”. Suddenly people were coming out of the woodwork saying “I didn’t mean it… I didn’t think they’d ever win”.
Cornwall is an area probably best known for it’s outstanding natural beauty (and Aidan Turner’s tricorn hat).
But there is no industry there and its economy is extremely poor. Due to their deprived status Cornwall has received over £600million from the EU in the last 10 years. This money has funded a university, dual carriageways, six form colleges, rail improvement, broadband internet and financially assisted The Eden Project, Cornwall Airport Newquay as well as lots of local farmers and businesses. Yet they voted decisively to leave the EU. Within hours of the vote result Cornwall was running cap in hand to Westmisnter asking for “reassurance” that the money they would lose from the EU would be replaced by the UK Government. There was little sympathy from the Remain voters.We’ve seen a spike in racially motivated hate crimes resulting in arrests countrywide. As many have said, I don’t believe that all the people who backed Brexit are racists but the worry is that the racists now believe that half the country agrees with them.
Petitions have been circulating calling for a second referendum. I personally don’t agree with this. You can’t run a second ref simply because you didn’t like the result of the first one. That’s not how democracy works. And if the second ref signals that we remain in the EU? The Brexiters will be angry and start demanding a third. Where does it end? I think you have to draw the line somewhere.
Our prime minister David Cameron announced his resignation the morning of the result which prompted a bun fight for the top job amongst the Tories. Many assumed it would go to the leader of the Leave campaign and former London mayor, Boris Johnson. But yesterday he was unceremoniously thrown under the bus by his second in command, Michael Gove. Boris held a press conference to admit he wasn’t the man for the job (“that person cannot be me”) meanwhile Gove’s camp leaked an email and threw his hat into the ring.
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition, is being pressurised to resign by his own party. With a vote of 172 – 40 of no confidence he is stubbornly holding fast. By the time you read this he may very well have stepped down. Because that’s how fast things have been moving this week.
Meanwhile Nigel Farage has been representing us in Europe. I’m not a fan and was particularly embarrassed when he told the EU committee that “virtually none of you have ever done a proper job in your lives”.
This week he and his colleagues brayed and clapped when they said they were leaving the EU. The man has absolutely no tact or diplomacy. I cringed and wanted to apologise for their behaviour. Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, turned to them and said “That is the last time you clap here”.
Europe really don’t like us right now. Some see us as Brutus, committing the ultimate betrayal. Others see us as a complete joke. One thing they all agree on is us making as swift an exit as possible. We are the unwanted guest at the party.
And so we continue to be glued to our TVs and social media, waiting for the next back stabbing or plea. Will Article 50 be activated? Will they hold a second referendum? Will Corbyn stand down? Who will lead us?
It all remains to be seen.