Hooligans are on the rampage again, reckless, tooled-up, shouting their mindless slogans. Europe looks on, with a mixture of pity and horror, at these overgrown toddlers running riot. Can no one stop them?
Yes, the polls look good for Alexander de Pfeffel Boris Johnson, man of the people and leader of the gang. Ing-er-lund, indeed, as they say at Eton.
It’s obvious what’s in it for Boris. He wants to stick it to Dave. He wants to be the man in No.10. He’s calculated that this is the quickest route. Whether he believes in any of it is irrelevant. He gets to be Mr. Big. The little details – like running the country, managing an economy hit by the blowback from a Brexit, soothing a divided nation, the poison of xenophobia still coursing through its bloodstream – can be left to others. That’s how Boris has always operated.
What’s in it for the others? Gove will get a big job and, like Osborne, will probably have free rein to do what he likes across all departments of state. Think Gove and education, but let him loose on Health, DWP, Energy, Transport, and everything else at the same time. Cameron once called Gove a Maoist. This will be a Cultural Revolution, in which the ‘intellectuals’ (the despised ‘experts’) will be despatched to a collective farm in Ambridge. The Tory ‘girls’ will probably get the odd crumb, though they may be disappointed. As for Gisela, she either crosses the floor, or she’s out of the door. Either way, she’s ruined.
But there are other people in this story, too. Not the backroom chaps running the show, though they will get rewarded, and handsomely. I’m talking about the Brexit voters.
A smaller number of them, the UKIP and Tory rank and file, will, by and large, like what they get. For them it is all about the rhetoric, and that won’t let up. As ‘trade deals’ fail to be renegotiated, as the Germans condescend to the Brits, and the French sneer, so this portion of the public will sit back, confirmed in their beliefs. Well, it won’t be their jobs that are lost. Or perhaps it will be their jobs on the line, but we know who they’ll blame, and it won’t be themselves.
Then there’s most of the rest. The people whose inchoate sense of unhappiness and grievance is being mobilised by the Brexiteers. What will happen to them?
They are being sold an easy answer to a complex set of questions. Brexit won’t get shot of immigrants. Brexit won’t give them a secure and decent home. Brexit won’t get their kid a school place where they want it. Brexit won’t make GP appointments easier to get. Brexit won’t make care available for the vulnerable and the elderly. It will probably make all these problems worse.
And then what?
Hooligan rampages. They never end well.