Sales of 1984 are apparently soaring, so perhaps there is still a place for satire – in which case we of course hope that you’ll do what you’ve always meant to do and get hold of our take on the Age of Austerity (Lady Thatcher’s Wink on Amazon and elsewhere as a paperback, and also available as an ebook).
But Trump and Brexit are almost beyond the wit of an author to outdo for the sheer chutzpah of their presentation.
Any one of Trump’s outlandish views and acts of indiscretion would have finished off a British politician many months from an election, but the vileness was promoted, and accepted, as a badge of brave independence, and he was swept to power to perpetrate just the kinds of unmannerly acts he has already begun. Noone can claim not to have been warned.
Compare The Donald’s triumph of crude brashness with the rise and rise of the Brexiteers and you can’t help but feel that they’ve been tutored in the same sinister school of the dark arts.
How is it that a wafer-thin Out vote in a referendum announced as advisory has, just a few boisterous months later, been transformed into a decision to unfasten our country’s rowing boat from its safe European moorings and push it out into a wild sea where blustery Trump, Putin and Erdogan winds blow?
Future generations will doubtless point a finger at the valueless Treeza May, bent on nothing but her own survival, and willing to take any risk with the nation’s wellbeing to secure it. They’ll also note the brazen posturing of the likes of Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox, claiming that the 51.8 per cent Out vote was some kind of overwhelming victory which declared (horrible fascist phrase) ‘the will of the people’.
But they will also, surely, condemn the spinelessness of those hundreds of MPs who have this week voted through the first stage of the process despite being fully aware of the damage it will cause.
Yes, some MPs – though a small minority – have always been fervent Eurosceptics. But most have championed staying in the EU, for all its faults, because they know that we have always been stronger inside and that, rather than being put-upon patsies without our own sovereignty, we’ve had a powerful influence on its development. They know that we’re about to be a weaker nation once we cast ourselves adrift, but they filed obediently into the lobbies notwithstanding.
So why cave in? Because they’re running scared of the Daily Maul and its cronies who eagerly paint Remainers as shamefully undemocratic. Because they’re afraid of being held up to public disdain for following their long-held beliefs. Because they can’t resist the Trump-like bullying.
Rest assured, though – their names are on record, and each one of them will be held to account in the long, declining years to come.