‘Remember, remember, the Fifth of November’: 413 years after the fact, Guy Fawkes’s wish to see Parliament and people subjugated to a foreign power seems finally to be coming true.
If reports are to be believed, Theresa May is about to sign us up to a EU-wide Customs Union, as I predicted in TCW a month ago. In this, she has lived down to the deviousness, cynicism, myopia and cowardice we have all grown to expect of her and her revolting party. She has utterly betrayed 17.4million Leave voters, her country and her colleagues.
Britain will now be a rule taker, in an even worse position than it was in the EU. A vassal state, subject to arbitrary decisions made against our interests. An unbelievably bitter denouement after such high hopes two years ago. Psychologically, it will be very difficult for Leavers to come back from such a defeat, having had victory snatched away from them so cruelly.
Their huge mistake, of course, was to trust, and the long-term implications for our political system will be profound. If there is one silver lining to this tragedy, it is that we can all have no doubt about the truth: we plainly live in a ‘shamocratic’ system, where the cosmopolitan establishment stays in power and allows debate and action on only a narrow, approved list of fashionable middle-class obsessions.
Now that the truth is out, how long the status quo is sustainable is the great question of our age. Perhaps people will simply shrug their shoulders and carry on, many giving up voting altogether. Or perhaps not. The Tory Party will, if there is any justice at all in this world, be destroyed. Its quivering cowardice is exposed, and it is becoming harder and harder to sustain the age-old delusion that it has ever stood for anything apart from the acquisition of office. Albeit slowly, more and more mainstream political commentators are now recognising this fact. Although it is entirely possible that it will be returned to power at the next election out of fear of Corbyn, its waning, long-suffering membership will now surely take another nosedive. The party is fading remorselessly towards extinction.
A second casualty will be Parliament. Assuming it ratifies this coming deal, it has signed its own death warrant – in a literal sense – as a sovereign institution. Given a unique opportunity by Brexit to retrieve its reputation and act on high principle rather than grubby opportunism, it has spent two years spitting in the faces of the British people. An institution that wilfully subjugates itself and this country to a foreign power will never again be afforded gravitas or respect. Even discounting that – and it is a very great deal to discount – during the referendum many felt, for the first time, that we were free and our voice really mattered. Having tasted real democracy, people will not tolerate forever having to sit back powerlessly while MPs and lordships play their silly games, thinking the system belongs to them.
As I said at the start of this article, November is all about remembrance, and this coming betrayal leads inescapably to the most painful of juxtapositions:
Quite frankly, our political class are not fit to represent us at the Cenotaph this coming Remembrance Sunday. Made even more poignant than usual on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the coming cruel betrayal of everything those poor young men died for will grate even more.
Be in no doubt, politicians, we will remember.