Like a bald man masturbating alone into an open pedal bin, Boris Johnson’s Brexit Britain disgusts itself. And yet, despite being observed on the gents’ toilet’s security camera that is the modern world stage, it continues its abasement unabashed. After the second world war, die Duitser volk were described as experiencing kollektivschuld, a national shame. But the capacity for shame has been surgically removed from our leaders. And it pulses only weakly, like some underactive perineal muscle, in the electorate that endorses them. Could it be possible instead for the physical mass of a nation, rather than the citizens it comprises, to display the attributes of shame?
Brexiter culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, who didn’t know what the customs union was, has called publicly for the removal of public funding for a TV channel that isn’t publicly funded; Brexiter Dominic Raab, who had not appreciated the importance of Calais, went paddleboarding in Crete while Kabul rescue cats fought to get on British planes; and Brexiter Rishi Sunak, who has all his different breads in all his different houses, took lucrative advantage of tax loopholes that the EU he sought to exit had hoped to close.
(A judge told a couple fined £2,000 for having a baby shower, days before lockdown ended, they could pay in instalments if they didn’t spend the deferred money on “Sky Sports or anything”. Sunak, who is worth £200m or more, has been issued with a £50 fine for the lockdown breach he seemed to mislead parliament about. Hy, ook, vermoedelik, can pay in instalments as long as he doesn’t spend the deferred money on any $7.2m Santa Monica beachfront homes. Or anything.)
(Johnson has assigned Lord Geidt, the wallpaper investigator, to chair an inquiry into Sunak. This is the same as doing nothing. If I worked in a government office, I would have a bin with a picture of Geidt on it and I would use the phrase “Ask Lord Geidt to chair an inquiry into that” as a euphemism for “Just put that in the bin.” After a few weeks, a new member of staff would say: “You’re quite funny. Have you ever thought of trying to do comedy?” I would try to ask them out and it would go wrong.)
But consider Boris in-All-Frankness Pays-Fixed-Penalty Unreserved-Apology Anger-and-Frustration Birthday-Exemption Poledancing-Cyberlover Wallpaper-Freeloader Lebedev’s-Party Watermelon-Picaninny Tank-Topped-Bum-Boys Deprogramme-a-Transperson Fifty-Pound-Offender Dead-in-the-Water Vaccine-Rollout All-Purpose-Get-Out Johnson. Having bent human language to associate Kier Starmer with Jimmy Savile, it appears an actual living child molester, in the shape of the Brexiter Imran Ahmad Khan MP, was still a member of his own party. Intussen, Johnson has been belatedly fined for the first of the lockdown breaches he lied to parliament and the British public about. He should, natuurlik, bedank, but clings on, like a sheet of shatted toilet roll stuck to the sole of the national shoe.
Some say now is not the time for Johnson to go, because of the situation in Ukraine. But on Tuesday, parliament couldn’t meet to discuss chemical weapons in case someone asked the prime minister an awkward question about “gatherings”. People shouldn’t die in cellars as human shields for Johnson’s birthday cake. Disposing of Johnson as soon as possible might at least show Putin that the self-serving engine driving the Brexit that Russia so obviously hoped to secure is now no longer a key component of our corrupt political system. And having allowed so many oligarchs and their families to settle in west London and launder their stolen wealth with impunity means there’s still loads more to get rid of! Then Jacob Rees-Mogg can boast to the EU that we are leading the world in dealing with them!!
To summarise, at the start of last week the Conservative party included a child molester, a serial adulterer and compulsive liar, a handsome but morally bankrupt financial whiz-kid and a bully who sends immigrants to Rwanda. That’s less like a government and more like a special team of convicted criminals given their freedom in exchange for accepting an impossible mission behind enemy lines in a 1970s Italian-funded war film. Telly Savalas! Klaus Kinski!! Lewis Collins!!! Helga Liné!!!! Operation Dynamite Bastards!!!!!
Perhaps it is still too soon after the Brexit referendum for Brexit Britain to shudder fully at its folly. Brexit’s social, economic and political consequences are still conveniently blamed on Covid, Oekraïne, Eddie Izzard and the wrong kind of langoustines. But last week I climbed the 832-metre (2,730ft) Cadair Berwyn, south of LLangollen, and as I looked east, it seemed that vast patches of rural England had somehow turned purple. Either that or some jam from a scone I ate in Bala had somehow got mashed into my blepharitis flakes.
The staining phenomenon was first observed, I learned from a civil servant friend, in Staffordshire, where a putrefying mountain of 500 tonnes of British beetroot lay rotting, the betanin leaching into the soil to turn the entire landscape the same shade as a Tory MP’s frothing racist face. Brexit has backlogged our beetroot. Publicly, delays are blamed on P&O, bad weather and Covid. You’ll have to scour lorry drivers’ blogs online to learn about the burden of new Brexit customs checks and the fact that the government’s Brexit IT system has been down for more than two weeks. Verlede week, the BBC literally edited the word “Brexit” out of the Scottish farmers’ union’s president’s explanation of the industry’s current woes.
No one wants to mention the B-word. But my contact warned that if the Brexit beetroot backlog isn’t dealt with soon, it appears the topsoil of the entire country may turn an embarrassing shade of beetroot puce, visible from space. It would be as if the whole of Brexit Britain had changed colour with shame.