Brexit? Bregret? Time to Brant or Brelax or Brepeat the breferendum altogether

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.

Mat Mathias works for the charity sector in Wales.

3 thoughts on “Brexit? Bregret? Time to Brant or Brelax or Brepeat the breferendum altogether

  1. Nicely done, Mat. Many a wry smile raised here.
    The fo,lowing poem came out as I was trying to find some hope/humour in my despondancy after last Thursday
    It does feel like it all has parallels with a particularly crappy relationship breakup!
    ‘Crappy’ because I think with some courage, honesty and integrity, we could have worked things out to mutual benefit and gone on with a deeper level of commitment;
    But now we’re on our own, and I think we’ll find out it’s not such a great place to be.

    Maybe we’ll find a way to be genuine friends with our ‘Ex-‘…I’ve managed it a couple of times, so I know it is possible.
    Meanwhile, we need to look in our collective mirror, get clear about what we don’t like, make a plan for doing something about it and, as the most basic relationship counselling tells us, take responsibility for our feelings and sop the blame game. Anyway, here’s the poem

    ‘Br-eak Up’ (I love Eu)

    I’d not been feeling good with eu for some time.
    You’d been putting on a lot of weight
    and I just didn’t feel like I was as special to you any more,
    or that you even listened to me.
    You’ve been so demanding;
    always wanting more from me, but not respecting my boundaries
    or thinking enough about what I needed.
    I tried to reason with you, to make it work in a way that felt good for me,
    but all you seemed to ever care about was yourself.
    I finally realised I either had to make a commitment to you
    or give up on us completely
    It was crunch time, and I was really torn about it.
    There had been some good things about us being together;
    you introduce me to cultural experiences I never would have had,
    even helped me financially sometimes, and invited me to live with you.
    You gave me ideas that I know you genuinely thought would be good for me,
    (even if I couldn’t always see the point of them at the time)
    and offered to help solve some of my biggest problems.
    But you always made everything so complicated; half the time I couldn’t even understand you!
    I wanted to go back to a simpler life; the way things used to be before I met you.
    I remember being happier then, when I only had myself to worry about.
    I could just do what I wanted to do for a change
    And I wouldn’t have to keep sharing my things, or my money, with you all the time.
    So after much soul searching I finally did what I’ve been thinking about for a long time.
    I dumped you.
    I felt good, if a bit nervous at first; a kind of euphoria at being free.
    I had taken back control over my own life, at last.
    But this morning I woke up with a cold empty space in my life
    where your comforting warmth used to be,
    and a note saying you’d be fine without me and you’d collect your things as soon as possible.
    And not to call you unless it was to agree how we were going divide our shared possessions.
    It was only then that it hit me what I’d done.
    Somewhere in the back of my mind I guess I’d thought we could still be friends,
    maybe even sleep together sometimes.
    That you’d still be there for me.
    But you’d always said it wasn’t the kind of relationship you wanted;
    we were either together, or not.
    With a sinking feeling I realised how much you meant to me.
    Hating myself for only thinking about what was difficult about being with you,
    instead of all the lovely things I’d got so used to;
    wishing I’d just talked things over with you
    explained my fears and feelings, to see if we could have worked it out
    instead of acting as if I was a separate island that didn’t need you,
    or that you’d agree to do whatever I wanted because you couldn’t manage without me.
    I see now that you did love me, and I took you for granted.
    Like a selfish child who throws his toys out of the pram,
    I’ve lost one of the best things in my life.
    I feel like begging you to take me back,
    but I know I’ve probably hurt your feelings deeply and made it hard for you to ever trust me again.
    I’ve wasted my chance of sharing my life with someone who was very close to me
    and now I might have to live in sad isolation forever.
    If only I could turn back the clock and do things differently.
    Does it have to end like this?

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