Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

The UK: A country in cloud cuckoo land

The Brexit vortex has seen a once-proud country tear itself apart pitting nation against nation, region against region and class against class

Most Members of Parliament, including Theresa May, backed the Remain campaign in 2016. Why did they not stick to their guns?

On the surface, according to the government of soon-not-to-be Prime Minister Theresa May, the United Kingdom has everything going for it - good employment figures (inside the European Union), a stable economy (inside the European Union), good Universities, a strong technological sector, an inventive workforce, competence, reliability. A collection of three countries (England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) a principate (Wales), and three Crown Dependencies (Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey), brimming with good music, a healthy cultural scene, great ideas, a large internal population (66.5 million). Peoples with an admirable focus on the community and voluntary work, nations of animal lovers which gave the world cricket, fish and chips, James Bond and the British Gentleman.

Wow! So what went wrong? Islands are great places for myths to hide behind and for national stereotypes to be formed. The problem is when the myths are found out for what they are. The word Cricket in fact comes from the Dutch krick, meaning stick and fish and chips comes from the Portuguese pataniscas de bacalhau, meaning codfish patties fried in batter. Where is Britain without cricket and fish n' chips?

As for James Bond and the British Gentleman, let us try and find them in a crowd of soccer hooligans or among the uncivilized yobs having a burping contest sitting outside a pub downing pints of luke warm beer before the thing degenerates into a massive fight with glasses thrown, girls swearing, bags of excrement and plastic cups of urine being hurled. And if you want to see practically the same antics in a different venue, visit the House of Commons. Regarding the Prime Minister's view of booming Britain, speak to a few people outside the South-East and you will find a different story and a sorry picture.

Most Members of Parliament, including Theresa May, backed the Remain campaign in 2016. Why did they not stick to their guns?

Visit the United Kingdom during the daytime and you will find a civilized, pleasant country with an agreeable atmosphere, well-kept gardens with a flair for preserving the past in stately homes and castles. Visit the UK after six o'clock p.m. and the scene will degenerate into a real life version of a medieval Armageddon painting.

So in this Jekyll and Hyde scenario, for every Gentleman there is an antithesis, for every hero, a Nemesis. Hardly surprising when you start to go deeper and examine what is British society. A collection of peoples from Western Europe, basically, some of whom came from across the sea after others had walked across the land bridge which existed between East Anglia and Holland. They came from Belgium, they came from northern France, they came from Denmark, they came from Sweden, they came from Norway, they came from Germany. They came from Rome, they came from Normandy.

Most Members of Parliament, including Theresa May, backed the Remain campaign in 2016. Why did they not stick to their guns?

This is the British people, a mish-mash of peoples from the Continent (gasp) of Europe. Read the Venerable Bede and you will find confusing descriptions of the English (Germans) fighting the British (Britons), fighting the Scots from Ireland (where they originally came from) and attacks from Mona (the Isle of Man). You will find references to appeals forn Rome to send a legion to defeat these savages...and Europe, at the time, corresponded in kind. And this is exactly what we see today with Brexit. We see nation against nation (Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to Remain), we see region against region (Greater London, for instance, voted to Remain), we see socio-economic class against socio-economic class (the lying toffs leading the easily led poorer educated against those with knowledge and brains). And we see the British economic well-being being bailed out every year and sustained every year by the EU.

Given the current situation, the conclusion is shocking: nobody in the media and in the two main political parties in England (Conservative and Labour) and neither of the leaders (Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn) have been able, in this melee, to read the British people. They continue to say that the result of that fateful and ludicrous referendum in 2016 must be respected, when it is clear that most British people do not want to leave the European Union and when the original referendum was run on a campaign of sheer lies by the Leave movement.

Most Members of Parliament, including Theresa May, backed the Remain campaign in 2016. Why did they not stick to their guns?

What is worse is the fact that however bad Theresa May might have been as Prime Minister (a person who perhaps tried her best but who did not have the personal skills to do the job and who did not have the courage to own up and take the flak for the Windrush Scandal, allowing someone else to fall on their sword for her), something even worse can appear in the Tory Party's leadership contest.

Now is not the time to attack Theresa May because there is no joy in kicking someone when they are down and cannot defend themselves and seeing her in tears twice in public in the last days makes one question the ethics of the tabloid newspapers which were quick to gloat and jeer and the journalists who stuck the knife in with cruel headlines such as "Tearesa". Whatever her personal characteristics (more suited to the position of junior minister and probably excelling at this level), it is clear that she loves her country and that she did what she could in a difficult situation. Common decency would dictate that if a person is crying, whoever they are, it is time to leave them alone.

Most Members of Parliament, including Theresa May, backed the Remain campaign in 2016. Why did they not stick to their guns?

With Jeremy Corbyn unable to understand that the will of the British people is in Europe, where they came from originally, and that the Leave movement has run out of steam, belonging to the elderly and those who cannot understand simple economic principles, and with the Tory Party possibly getting ready to elect a hardline Brexiteer, the United Kingdom is in a very dark place, between the wall and a sword and frankly, in could cuckoo land. The solution is the Lib-Dems and the Greens, preferably the latter.

In the 1980s, the United Kingdom seemed to have been able to reinvent itself arising from the ashes of its imperial and colonial past, no longer deporting whole populations in secret and giving their islands to the bedmaster, the USA and seemingly happy to go with the rest of Europe and form an economic community. Half a century later, we are back to square one.

Most Members of Parliament, including Theresa May, backed the Remain campaign in 2016. Why did they not stick to their guns?

Today the United Kingdom needs to pull together, hold a second referendum this time based on the reality that leaving the EU would spell utter and total disaster by hemorrhaging jobs, destroying the fabric of employment for decades to come and destroying the future of the country's youth. A societal castrophe would follow an economic collapse. These are the facts and these are the reasons why most Members of Parliament, including Theresa May, backed the Remain campaign in 2016. Why did they not stick to their guns?

The definition of going against common sense is what? Living in cloud cuckoo land.


Photo 2: The author in 2018

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Twitter: @TimothyBHinchey

The UK: A country in cloud cuckoo land. 63575.jpeg

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey works in the area of teaching, consultancy, coaching, translation, revision of texts, copy-writing and journalism. Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru since 2002, and now Co-Editor of the English version, he contributes regularly to several other publications in Portuguese and English. He has worked in the printed and online media, in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly magazines and newspapers. A firm believer in multilateralism as a political approach and multiculturalism as a means to bring people and peoples together, he is Official Media Partner of UN Women, fighting for gender equality and Media Partner with Humane Society International, promoting animal rights. His hobbies include sports, in which he takes a keen interest, traveling, networking to protect the rights of LGBTQI communities and victims of gender violence, and cataloging disappearing languages, cultures and traditions around the world. A keen cook, he enjoys trying out different cuisines and regards cooking and sharing as a means to understand cultures and bring people together.