Mat Mathias reflects on the events since Friday morning’s referendum result.
‘Not bad’ was one of the ringing endorsements I received for my last piece for Click on Wales. However, off the back of it I am now a pretty big deal inside the political bubble. I mean, I have my own seat in Chapter Arts centre. Well, when I get there early enough and if it’s not busy. Thing is, it’s really tough to write anything vaguely light about what’s happened post our vote to Brexit. I am not talking about the result either, just the way a country that uses the motto ‘keep calm and carry on’ has ‘gone bananas and put a halt to everything (especially reason)’.
What do you write about anyway? Who do you write about anyway? There are so many things going on that you could actually write a book about the end of days. Maybe someone should, before we can’t import any paper anymore and Elin Jones’ team are forced to scavenge pieces of slate from the Senedd building to etch the Record of Proceedings on.
It was so busy that the News Channel had original content for a record 11 minutes before they started repeating interviews of Nicola Sturgeon but from different camera angles. So what do we concentrate on? Independence for Scotland? For Wales? For London? What about Labour? The Irish border? Carwyn? Who for PM? Even as I type this more people are resigning from the shadow cabinet than actually voted for Brexit. If ‘omnishambles’ was coined a few years ago it’s probably never felt so apt.
The night of the referendum I went to beddy boes in my lucky old ‘William Graham for Presiding officer’ jimmy jams thinking that maybe it will be close but it will probably be a ‘remain’ and we can all get on with things. Me, the bookies, the people on the telly and by the sounds of it now, Boris Johnson, were wrong.
If you need a sense of calm and perspective, the first place not to look is social media. On my tellybox, David Dimbleby (106) calmly told me that the British people had voted to leave the EU. A sizeable majority of twitter and Facebook told me that 17 million people who undoubtedly are racist and uneducated and couldn’t even point out Europe on a map had just taken a massive dump on the lawns of the losing 16 million.
The ultimate irony is that each side think they are the only ones who care and who are passionate, treating their opponents with derision and insults and then reacting with shock when it comes back on them tenfold. I am going to be honest with you all now – I voted remain but I honestly was undecided until the last few days. According to the masses of one side, it meant that I was toying with the idea of being a racist from the day the referendum was announced until about 29 hours before where I stopped completely being a racist. If geese were a race then I am bang to rights but they aren’t, and so I’m not.
Stupidly I thought it was a plebiscite on the UK’s place in the EU and I had huge concerns about the union, how hard it was to reform and how that reform was needed. I also worried about the rise of anti-politics in the form of extremism leading to the end of the bloody thing anyway (ironic I know).
In reality, that X (in pen. Only idiots vote in pencil now that we know that there is a department in GCHQ dedicated to changing votes) was that one person’s comment on anything they wanted. Anything. Flags, peace, the future, nostalgia, structural funds, apathy, our place in the world, migration, jobs, all of it and bog all of it and that’s why there was and still is, confusion, panic and anger.
The next day, Dai former number 10, the bloke who said that Brits weren’t quitters, quit (Dexit) while Brave Sir Osborne ran away, unable to be found, which is strange as he always wears a hi-vis vest.
I understand absolutely nothing about ‘the markets’ but it seems to me that they are run by the same reactive angry people that only function online, and so had a complete breakdown. If only they offered shares in an online petitions company, which will be the only growth industry left in Britain by Christmas, because afterwards there were a lot of them, a shed load of them and most of them were like me, utterly childish.
The main winners were Boris, Gove and Farage; the hardest game of snog, marry, throw off a cliff in the history of the world. Farage was smiling ear to ear as he had won a great victory and the hard stuff was to be dealt with by other mugs. Boris and Gove solemn and bewildered because they realized they were the mugs.
There is a trouble brewing though. Farage and many of his colleagues promised lots and may actually deliver little. As unpalatable as it may seem to many, is there a case for Farage or UKIPs only MP, Douglas Carswell to be part of post-referendum Brexiteer led Government? If things go well they should be rewarded, if not, equally punished. Some of those commitments that swayed brouters (I’m bored of using Brexiteers now) have downgraded from promise to commitment and then down to ‘ I don’t think I said that. It must have been my mate Geoff down the road’.
End of migration? Well not a huge end maybe a pause.
End free movement of people? Nope.
£350 million for the NHS? I read it on the side of a bus and thought it must be true but no, not that much.
Your bus? Erm no that must have been Geoff.
I sadly have to come back to race. Voting out doesn’t make you a racist. Being a racist and doing racist things makes you a racist. It’s wrong to give this label to all the 52%. Save it for the stupid, evil, scum lapping, spiteful mouth breathers who deserve it. There is a majority in Wales who abhors this crap, we can surely unite to fight against it?
Snog Boris, Marry Gove…I will leave that there…I’m off…Mexit.