Endless Disappointment: Season 14 Episode 23

a market in wokingham uk

Just look at that sad bunting. That’s the mascot for the UK now: just a sad, thin little strand of anemic bunting.

Well we kindof saw it coming I suppose. We knew it could only get worse; the only point of uncertainty was knowing exactly in which way it would get worse. But then Teresa May stepped down and we saw the blond, feathery tussock of hair cresting over the horizon and suddenly we realised we knew this was the next thing to happen. We had known it from the start.

This man, who pushed fiercely for Brexit and then resigned like a cowardly little invertebrate when he got what he wanted. This man, a man who has repeatedly made racist, sexist and homophobic comments while actively in government. A bloke who thrashes about in violent arguments with his girlfriend and then ziplines to work in the morning looking like a bulging, trussed-up salami hung out to cure wearing a hard hat and formal attire. A dude who behaves like an American frat boy but talks like a beef wellington brought to life in a children’s movie. A fellow who, when simply asked to make a basic speech about the Olympics, referred to table tennis as WIFF-WAFF.

Literally NOBODY calls it that. Nobody apart from port-wine-and-cigar-stained tossers such as you, Bozzer.

Boris Johnson is such an unacceptable and shameful unelected Prime Minister that the only way to integrate this news into your understanding of the reality in which we live is to tell yourself that it is a form of comedy. After all, BoJo used to go on Have I Got News For You all the time, and those episodes were always hysterical! He is a born comedian; a bumbling fool with jowls full of witty one-liners seeded during his rambunctious student days, with a voice that sounds almost artificially posh and a haircut that resembles very very depressed pampas grass. It was even more fun to watch him being mocked; presenting such a ludicrous and skeevy person to the professional comedians in the panel was like throwing a baby seal to the sharks. I remember, as a kid, being delighted by these moments of television, unable to believe that such a silly, funny clown had a Proper Job in UK politics.

But now we must believe it. We must believe that, despite his terrible track record in both politics and EVERYTHING ELSE, he is now in charge of the entire shebang. There is nothing good about Boris Johnson. He has achievedĀ nothing of note. He has been a role model for nobody and has doneĀ nothing impressive to win voters’ hearts and minds. He has simply got to the top of the pyramid by waiting for the entire structure to crumble down, until all it took was a simple step up.

And we knew it was going to happen because the alternatives were just. So. Crap. Who else was going to compete against Boris Johnson? We had Jeremy Hunt also vying for PM, whose only selling point as a politician thus far has been that you can easily switch out the H in his name with a C. And then we have Jeremy Corbyn, a pointless waste of corduroy who can’t muster the gonads to even say ‘hating Jews is mean and nasty’ let alone be a servicable opponent in the most important set of political decisions the UK has ever made in several generations’ lifetimes. What is with all the disappointing Jeremies over there? GET IT TOGETHER, JEREMIES.

So then you arrive at work in the continental European country you have made a home in, and people want to talk to you about it because they are just as incredulous as you but seem to have some misguided hope that you will wink and raise your index finger and go “Ah, you see, people think it’s a huge mistake but this is actually an ingenious strategy that makes sense and will put everything right in no time”. And there is no conversation now where it doesn’t come up; someone mentions their Bitcoin investment and someone else makes a joke about the value of the pound. Someone mentions Trump and someone else makes a joke about politicians with inexplicable blond haircuts. It is so scary but also so boring and so tiring; it’s like if the movie It was just about the clown guy evilly staring through the protagonist’s bedroom window for sixteen hours. The threat is very real, and it’s there, and you know it will attack, but you don’t know when and how, and since you can’t run away all you can do is stare back into Pennywise’s bloodshot eyes and retch at the smell of his carcassy breath. For hours. Months. Years.

I can’t imagine what the eventual solution will be. Nor can I think of an adequate coping mechanism for the worry, fear and shame that Remainers and disenfranchised Leavers have to endure all day every day while this slow-motion train wreck edges forward, frame by frame. Perhaps the only way to cope with this is to usher in a new era of super-individualism; a life philosophy where you dislodge yourself from any association with your history and your origins and live life as the ultimate hipster, wearing vintage clothes, made-up heritage and a second-hand accent. Perhaps we shall each adopt a Boston drawl, a New Zealand lilt or a Canadian frisson, twisting our voices until no one will ever know that we are from the UK. Rather than growing enormous beards and drinking cold brew coffee, these new hipsters would do outrageous things like having bread and salami for breakfast or enthusiastically participating at nudist beaches. We would do so many non-British things that we might cease to be it entirely.

We could individualise ourselves from our nationality until we forget ever having had a pork pie, a scone or a pint of Magners; become holistically stateless and thus demonstrate that we are Not Brexit because we are not Br-anything. Let’s pretend that the plays of Shakespeare were written on international waters, and that Bendict Cumberbatch is a benevolent alien who was sent down to us from a distant planetary cluster. Let’s refuse to talk about Brexit at work because we find it boring discussing foreign politics. Let’s – and I know this will be a hard one, but we must try – drink more coffee than tea. Maybe if we can finalise the divorce between our identities and our Britishness, we can finally stop caring about Brexit. We can relax. We can turn off the news, turn on Spongebob Squarepants, and rest, with a quiet mind, free from worry.


Rose T