Something tells me we won’t be invited to the royal wedding, which is a real shame after all the trouble I took to prepare for it. The trusty old lumber jacket, stripy grandfather shirt and edgily-unfashionable denims were washed and hanging from a branch of the apple tree, in the hope that it might soon stop raining. I even had my formal work-boots re-soled for the occasion.
I’m gutted. Utterly. I’d been hoping to meet Prince Charles and ask him why he believes in dangerous nonsense like homeopathy. I thought perhaps I might meet Prince Philip and share a few crude jokes with him before sampling the finest selection of port and cheese known to humankind. And maybe Queenie would have whispered a tip for the 3:30 at Chepstow.
But of course, it’s not to be, and all because our government has been so unreasonable. What on earth were they thinking of, protecting the interests of the citizens who elected them? Who ever heard of such a thing? Who ever heard of an elected representative doing the job they were elected for?
Yes, it’s true that the British ruling class are horrified by such a prospect, as are the British underclass, those ‘Britain First’ Nazis so beloved of Donald Trump, leaving the ordinary reasonable average Brit to wonder what’s going on. But of course, it’s easy for us to forget that most British MPs are not elected by a representative sample of their people.
Living in a country with a PR system, however flawed it might be, we don’t understand what it’s like to exist under a system where most MPs’ seats are safe for life and where a voter of a given political complexion can expect to live their entire existence without ever seeing a representative in parliament who shares their political views. It doesn’t matter if you’re a
Conservative or a Labour voter. Because of the first-past-the-post system with a single seat in each constituency, if you live in the wrong place you might never have anyone in parliament representing you.
Yes, it’s astonishing, but it’s also true, and this is why British governments are able to push through ludicrous concepts like Brexit, even though referendums in Britain are not binding.
The vote in the Brexit referendum, by the way, broke down as follows: 52% voted Leave while 48% voted Remain. That’s a majority of 13 to 12. In such a cataclysmic decision, the Brits, in what was no more than an advisory referendum, decided to go with this margin of 13-12 to make life-changing decisions concerning the European Union.
Thirteen added to twelve makes twenty-five, as everyone knows, and this means that thirteen passengers in a boat decided to sink it against the wishes of the other twelve. Do you think in real life those twelve passengers would go along with that decision? Of course they would, being Brits. Let’s all swim in the shark-infested seas together while singing Land of Hope and Glory as the vessel we just sank slips beneath the foam.
Maybe the sharks will be friendly, though the omens aren’t all that encouraging following Trump’s most recent tweets against Theresa May. With Trump in office, it’s perhaps not a good time to slip into shark-infested seas. A fully-fed shark will swim away but a demented one will bite a lump out of your leg, hungry or not.
The British Tory establishment seems entirely astonished that the Irish would dare to resist their wishes, especially now that we’ve become their best ever chums after centuries of bickering. Their astonishment is truly palpable as they try to process the idea of being resisted by an entity they can’t quite understand.
Ireland? What’s that?
Aren’t the Irish pacified now?
Don’t they sort of belong in the UK really?
Shouldn’t they just bloody-well do what we say and shut their ungrateful gobs?
No. To the dismay and rage of Middle England and Tory England, it turns out they aren’t facing down a tiny state with no power to resist them. It’s only beginning to dawn on them that they are, in reality, going toe-to-toe with an enormously powerful economic bloc and not just the bunch of badly-shorn, impoverished Paddies they imagine us to be.
Guess what? We don’t care any more. There was a time when we were deeply offended by the condescending remarks of the British ruling class and the snide comments of the British media, but that was then, and this is now.
Today we live in a world of social media and we don’t give a rat’s ass about those Drogheda locals subjecting themselves to the condescension of Channel 4 journalists who ought to know better. Today we know how to talk back, and we do it well.
As we speak, Simon Coveney became Tánaiste and this makes political sense, no matter what party you support, because the people we want out there in Brussels should be at the highest level of our government. It makes sense that our prime minister and our deputy prime minister should be the ones negotiating with their equals across Europe.
Appearances matter, whether we like it or not.
Today, Simon Coveney made the point that after Brexit, our relationship with the UK will be changed forever, and he’s right. After these negotiations are finished and the agreement is hammered out, we will have forever aligned ourselves with the EU and reminded the Hooray Henrys that we are not simply some appendage of the UK.
That will no doubt cause a resounding shock to those who thought we were no more than a compliant bunch of oiks, while up North, Peter Robinson will be wondering how he can force us to wind our necks back in, as he said recently.
Perhaps he should organise an invasion of Clontibret while wearing his sash.
That would surely bring us to our knees.