All my endeavour in maintaining this blog has finally been rewarded: I have been asked to write a speech for the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Eccolo:
“Ok, so, Brexit. Yes. I’ve got something to say about leaving the EU. It shouldn’t take long.
On June 24th 2016 I totally fucked up. I called for the immediate implementation of Article 50. However, at that point in time, there had been no meaningful and honest debate about what leaving the EU would mean, something that became abundantly clear when Theresa May came to power and declared, with impeccable inanity, ‘Brexit means Brexit’. What I should have called for is a period of reflection and a widespread national debate about what sort of country we wanted a post-EU Britain to be.
Such a national dialogue has never taken place. Instead, the negotiations took place in the same atmosphere of empty, mendacious sloganeering and hateful rhetoric that had characterised the campaign. We also discovered that the Leave campaigns had engaged in practices which were clearly in contravention of basic democratic standards. Unfortunately my words in the wake of the vote meant that the Labour Party was hamstrung when it came to intervening, even when it became clear that the incompetence of the Conservative Government would only produce the very worst of deals and could potentially leave the country at the brink of economic, social and political collapse, much as certain key figures involved in the Leave campaigns wanted all along. I’ve pandered to what I must now confess is a totally misconceived notion that a ‘Labour Brexit’ was, with a Tory government firmly entrenched in power, anything other than a pie-in-the-sky castles-in-the-air somewhere-over-the-rainbow wank fantasy pipe dream.
Look, it’s not even the end of February and it’s 18°C outside. The Good Friday Peace Agreement is at serious risk of being torn into tiny pieces. The number of people without a roof over their heads has gone through the fucking roof, and with international companies dumping their staff and heading for the airport quicker than any internet moron can type the words ‘itsnotaboutbrexit’, we’ll all be jobless by the end of March, if we haven’t all burnt to a fucking crisp by then. The party of opposition is falling to pieces, mainly because I decided, wrongly, that appeasement was a sensible response to what was basically a spillover from the Tories’ internal warmongering. But like it or not, Britain, there are bigger priorities right now beyond fulfilling the hate-fuelled ambitions of the teenage Nigel Farage. Whatever the slogan ‘Take back control’ meant, it clearly wasn’t this.
As I say, I fucked up the day after the vote and it’s about time I accepted responsibility for that rather than making the entire country pay for my hadn’t-actually-quite-sobered-up-yet impetuousness. Some of you aren’t gonna like me saying this – particularly Owen Jones – but we’ve tried Brexit, and partly thanks to me and partly thanks to the fact that those who orchestrated it never really intended it to work, it’s failed. We cannot let the country fall into the hands of a bunch of racist shitheads, plastic aristocrats, climate liars and disaster capitalists. So (clears throat) I call for the immediate revocation, revoking, revocal or whatever of Article 50 and a subsequent period of national reflection, followed, possibly, by another referendum when things have calmed down a bit, although given what a farce this’s been that’s soon gonna seem like a heroically shit idea. The only fair second vote would be May’s dogshit deal up against no Brexit ever, ever, ever and prolonged violent televised death for all those who suggested it in the first (fucking) place. As for my own immediate plans, I shall be spending the rest of the day in a deckchair at my allotment trying very, very hard not to think about climate change and ignoring all calls from journalists and from my brother, who I would like to take this opportunity to publicly disown on the basis that he’s an absolute fucking nutcase. That is all.”