I haven’t posted anything on Blood and Porridge for a while. Partly this is because I’ve been on holiday. And partly it’s because I’m still trying to get my head around the result of the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. In the referendum, held on June 23rd, a majority voted to leave the EU. Hence, ‘Brexit’ has been instigated.
Brexit was achieved by an unholy alliance of buffoonish but ruthless Conservatives, i.e. Boris Johnson, boorish but ruthless Ukippers, i.e. Nigel Farage, and a quartet of millionaire / billionaire newspaper magnates whose main purpose in life is to avoid paying tax, i.e. Rupert Murdoch, Lord Rothermere, Richard Desmond and the Barclay Brothers. (All right, that’s actually a quintet). Channelling the hatred and pig-ignorance of Britain’s far-right organisations like the English Defence League and the British National Party, this lot managed to convince enough voters in the less well-off parts of England and Wales that their current financial and social insecurities weren’t caused by the winner-takes-all market forces that’ve been increasingly out-of-control since the days of Margaret Thatcher, but were caused by that reliable old scapegoat, Johnny Foreigner.
Untrustworthy Johnny Foreigner, as Boris, Nigel and co. would have you believe, comes in two guises. One guise is those meddling bureaucrats of the EU that Britain’s right-wing press loves to wail about (though funnily enough, over the years, they’ve kept shtum about all the EU subsidies pouring into the parts of England and Wales who’ve just voted to quit). The other guise is those beastly immigrants, ‘coming over here and taking our jobs’.
I’m afraid those folk who voted ‘leave’ in order to put an end to immigration are in for a nasty shock, very, very soon. Because the only way you can abolish immigration is by abolishing capitalism, which I assume isn’t on the cards yet in the UK.
Since then, of course, the knives have been out as the instigators of Brexit have tried to get into pole position for leadership of the Conservative Party and the keys of Number 10, Downing Street. Johnson, who by opting to spearhead the ‘leave’ campaign had already stabbed his supposed friends David Cameron and George Osborne in the backs, was in turn stabbed by his weasel-faced partner in crime, Michael Gove, who very publicly questioned Johnson’s abilities and announced he was standing for the leadership himself. But it looks increasingly like Gove’s leadership bid will be squashed by the gimlet-eyed Theresa May, who’s cannily kept herself aloof from the political dogfighting and bloodletting until now. I suppose it’s indicative of the culture gap that’s opened up between Britain and the rest of Europe that the best thing the British newspapers could find to compare this mayhem to was Game of Thrones; whereas the equivalent newspapers in continental Europe likened it to Shakespeare.
Still, there was at least one good consequence of the Brexit fiasco. Amid the massive hee-haw going on during the day after the vote, June 24th, the potential-next-president-of-the-USA Donald Trump flew into Scotland to officially open his new golf course at Turnberry in Ayrshire. And guess what? Hardly anybody noticed. The media’s attention was elsewhere. Brexit left ‘the Donald’ gasping for the oxygen of publicity, probably for the first time ever.
Actually, Blood and Porridge can reveal something that the media failed to pick up at all. On the evening of June 24th, after opening his new golf course in Ayrshire, Donald Trump was big-hearted enough to travel across to my Scottish hometown of Peebles; where, as part of the town’s annual summer Beltane Festival, he kindly offered to lead a Friday-evening parade of floats and fancy dress.
What’s that? You don’t believe me? Well, here’s some hard photographic evidence. Yes, it’s Donald Trump leading the Peebles Beltane parade and possibly making the first factually-correct statement of his presidential campaign so far.
There were two people leading the Beltane parade, by the way. The other person was Boris Johnson. Well, he has a lot more free time on his hands now.