Wednesday, 15 June 2016

And then…?

If the result is to stay in, nothing needs to happen.

If it’s out, a lot will have to happen.  Here’s a non-exhaustive list:

The U.K. will have to abrogate several Treaties –Rome, Maastricht, Lisbon, to name but three.  This will require at least one, if not several Acts of Parliament, which will have to go through the due constitutional process before receiving the Royal Assent.  I’d guess that the Lords will send it back to the Commons as often as they can.

In parallel, we will have to embark on the technical process of withdrawal.  I have no idea what this entails in practice, and I suspect that nobody else does either.  There may be some procedures written down somewhere, but they’ve obviously never been used in anger.  So it’ll take some work to turn theory into practice.  We’ll probably need a new department of the Civil Service to unravel it – and the Foreign Office will certainly need to be drawn in too; after all, we will also be renegotiating every single EU treaty with every other country we’ve signed up to, one at a time. 

Also in parallel, we will have to assess every single law, regulation and protocol that has emanated from the EU (or its precursors) and decide which of them to retain and which to repeal.   Given that these are enshrined in U.K. law, many Acts of Parliament will, again, be required, and will have to go through due constitutional process.

Then – and this can only happen once all the above has been performed, vetted and reviewed (not to mention publicly debated) – then, a single issue General Election will have to take place.  It’s impossible for this to happen in less than two years, and my guess is that it’ll take nearer eight.  By which time all the current generation of politicians will have faded away.

I have more!

It’s Too Late

I don’t mean that I’ve already voted so it’s too late to try and persuade me either way, though that’s true.

I mean it’s too late: the damage is already done.

Whatever the outcome on 24th June, this pointless, gratuitous referendum has already achieved what will be its one enduring effect – to unleash primeval instincts of stupid, unreasoning prejudice, xenophobia and deluded imperialism that have always been latent in this country, and give them a cause, a voice and a platform.  In doing so, it has diminished us – all of us – in a way that will take us decades to recover from, if we ever do.

All those who out of pure, misguided self-interest called for and imposed the referendum, so surrendering in advance to those forces, have earned their historic legacy.  Let them sink in its mire and be ashamed.


Friday, 3 June 2016

Caravan diaries (June)

Having initiated Z into the worst weather Pembrokeshire can throw at you, I felt obliged to share the best, so (having arranged for a week of perfect sunshine, gentle breezes and no rain), off we set on Monday.  All the traffic was going in the other direction (bank holidays, for people who have to go to work, are travelling days, not holidays at all, aren’t they?) so we made good time.

The site was fairly well populated, although largely with people I don’t know that well; having been there for nearly fifteen years, I’ve observed generations succeeding each other, so the inhabitants now tend to be the children or grandchildren of the old hands I’d first met.  They still wave and smile, of course, but they tend not to stagger down the hill at nine thirty clutching bottles and glasses.  (Nine thirty p.m., that is: they did their pre-yardarm drinking behind closed doors.)

There were dozens of small children (great-grands in some cases), who monopolised every square yard of grassy space with cartwheels, downhill bicycle races, chaotic games of cricket or rounders (you’re not supposed to actually carry the player to the next base, are you?) and all the other incomprehensible games kids seem to invent once they’re let loose into an unconfined, fairly rule-free space.   

No rabbits, though.  Last visit, they were out in force – this time, not a single sighting.  This may be because of the extremely thorough grass-cutting that seems to have become standard this season; or because they’ve all borrowed under the foundations of our caravan and are busy down there, doing whatever rabbits do for fun.  Anyway, there’s a rather alarming hole directly under the front of the van, which caused me a moment’s panic until I realised that it wasn’t on the scale of those car-swallowing sinkholes you hear about.  I alerted Joseph anyway, and he promised to ‘deal with it’ – I didn’t enquire too closely into precisely what this entailed, as I suspect it’s not very pleasant, at least not for the rabbits.

We’d resolved to come back on Thursday, but fine weather trumps resolve any day of the week, innit?  So we came back on Friday.  The sunshine is chasing us eastwards, and will reach Reading for the weekend, and Yagnub by whenever we do.