Where Are We Now, released by David Bowie in 2013, is a very slow moving and sad song about the state of the world, focussing predominantly on Berlin. Apply this to Brexit and the result is, sadly, ‘The same bloody place, really’.
So, Brexit has been delayed, again, and the same silly charade (to use the American pronunciation) carries on.
Friends of mine went to see and join the crowds as yet another seismic vote was played on giant screens in Parliament and Trafalgar Square. Elsewhere, quiet Brexiteers sipping on Swedish Cider or Danish beer, aware of being outnumbered, prayed that we were at the beginning of the end.
So where does this leave us?
As a country economically we continue this period of uncertainty that has taken its toll on our economy as companies large and small size up whether staying in the UK is viable. According to The Week since the vote in June 2016, over £6.3bn has been spent on Brexit preparations and has cost the economy £66bn or £1000 per person. This isn’t a lot for the fortunate but consider what it means for the poorest and ironically most pro-Brexit in the North East.
As for Brexit itself, well, both sides remain entrenched in their ideas. Labour remains stuck in a strategy of confusion. There is uncertainty over Corbyn’s viability as potential leader if they were to win an election. Their strategy seems to be: ‘Well at least I’m not the other bloke’.
The Liberal Democrats, sticking now to their second referendum, will hope to lure another MP from one of the other parties as part of a slow bolstering of their line up. Whether they will be able to stand up come election night is another thing.
So, we come to the SNP, the Greens and the Welsh ones — sorry, I mean Plaid Cymru — who stick by their anti-Brexit stance and who will likely join the Lib Dems and Labour in an anti-Conservative coalition in the future.
And the DUP? Well, they’re a confusing bunch. Supposedly in a coalition with the Conservatives, they seem to frequently vote against them. Despite this, Remainers have a lot to thank them for because it is their unwillingness to cooperate that has stalled Brexit.
But all this belies the actual problem, because politically and culturally, regardless of the result of Saturday’s vote we would have remained and still remain divided.
If the next objective of the politicians, post-Brexit, is to unite the British people, then I’m afraid we should hand them each a shovel and tell them to dig to Australia. For that is a far more realistic target.