Author: Fred Sculthorp

I was in a Mexican comedy club when I found out. It was half-way through a routine about a successful attempt to bring a girl back despite the best efforts of a deranged elderly mother. I don’t speak Spanish, but by watching this man move about on stage I was disappointed by the lack of self-awareness, self-deprecation, and pessimistic outcome, which would have inevitably seeped into the routine had a British person done it. British people hate success don’t they? I thought to myself as I scrolled through the early proceedings of the inevitable ‘Remain Victory’ on my phone. Soon I had had enough. Homesick and fed up I retreated to the toilet to see if my phone could manage a live stream of David Dimbleby reading out names of shit places in England. By the time a toilet attendant prized me out Britain had voted to leave. I now wanted to get up on stage and deliver my own self-deprecating, British stand-up routine, but then I realised that a punchline involving fiscal ruin, political anarchy, and class war would be lost on this crowd.

In the run up to the Referendum I had cleverly rejected ‘information based decisions’ regarding my vote. Instead I preferred to follow my gut instinct about the kind of people who flocked to either side. At first both sides appeared equally unbearable, and for a while it was touch and go as I did my social media research. I read Facebook statuses about fishing subsidies, tweets about parliamentary sovereignty. Early on in the campaign ‘Leave’ had amassed some formidable twats, including those who haunted my university campus with E-pipes and tweed. Still it hung on the balance, and as more and more pricks pushed for Remain I was left clueless lying on the golden sands of pacific Mexico, sipping my cocktail cautiously as I stared out across the ocean and thought of home.

As far as I could see, the Leave campaign was nothing but the ‘gastro-pub’ putsch. Men in chinos called John who had spent the past month on the golf course mumbling half-baked theories about sovereignty and global trade had been overheard by Hugh, who had told his girlfriend, who had told her parents, who told Noel Edmonds and other former British light entertainment stars. Then John and Hugh had got together and started knocking on the doors. Dressed up in their quirky British bow ties and suspenders they had formed a coalition of the elderly, fisherman, and Ian Botham to force Britain out of the EU.

Now I was watching John and Hugh watch Farage give some speech. I tried hard to be inspired but I couldn’t. In the midst of victory, it appeared Farage had decided to deliver his now famous ‘Independence day speech’ to the same people he had intimately spent the last month with. The space was cramped. It was as if Farage and his pals, expecting to lose, had finished up at the pub and carried on the drinking session in someone’s basement. A proper British basement prepared in case of an apocalyptic ‘Remain’ scenario with real ale on tap and wall nuts with covering topless women. Down there, away from the metropolitan elite, you were free to fantasise, dream. This one was about Farage being some kind of Knight and winning freedom for the imaginary kingdom of United England. At 3am everyone had got a bit carried away: ‘Do the speech Nigel’, ‘yeah Nigel do the Independence speech’, they had gone, and someone had recorded it on their phone and they had all gathered round to watch.[1] Then someone knocked on the door and told them Leave had won and they had all gone quiet.

uk independence

  • [1] This is all true, Daily Mail star columnist Richard LittleJohn has since confirmed his presence at these rituals by writing this account of Nigel Farage’s previous life as a war-time RAF pilot – ‘Self-styled sophisticates may sneer at Nigel Farage, but in another lifetime he’d have been a Spitfire pilot fighting the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. Most of his critics would have been desk-jockeys in Whitehall or conscientious objectors, if not outright collaborators.’

Who then will lead the intellectual revival that this new Britain needs? Or as the Daily Mail said in its famous headline, who will speak for Britain? I believe I am best placed, having experienced first-hand the horrors of a European University on a European funded grant. Most of this money was blown by me like a wasteful EU bureaucrat, spending it on things like clothes and food. The thought of me living it up in Dublin on this money was enough to disgust the people of Great Yarmouth, Mole Valley, and Croydon into voting leave and that is something I will have to live with forever. Nonetheless here is an early manifesto for a national cultural revival post Brexit.

  1. A national creation myth involving the independent British people as being descended from the collective fertile ectoplasm of the Eurosceptic right wing of the Tory party.
  2. 23rd of June to become ‘St Farage’s day’, and faceless burning straw effigies of European bureaucrats to be posted through the letterbox of anyone who refuses to celebrate.
  3. Godfrey Bloom, Noel Edmonds, and Ian Botham to run a holiday camp for Children unable to go to Disneyland Paris, set up in the rejuvenated fishing towns of Northern England.
  4. A national literature venerating the memory of Michael Gove, whose imminent murder will cause great sadness.

burning eu politician

The day after I walked past a fruit stand. Behind the counter was one of those ‘Keep Calm and carry on’ Union Jack posters with a mango underneath it. Normally this would only serve to remind me of all the awful cultural associations of modern Britain: Prince William and his wife, people pretending to enjoy the London Olympics, weak cups of Pimms served at the funerals of all the bitter elderly who had voted to leave and then immediately died. Then I looked at it closer, and suddenly I went all ‘post Brexit’. Instead of embarrassment and shame I felt a tinge of nostalgia. Stripped of the Scottish and Northern Irish flag and left alone with the St George’s cross the Keep calm poster would resemble nothing but a far right recruitment poster for juice enthusiasts. What brand will Brexit have? If it can’t flog mangoes then what can it do?


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