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EditorialsUp Front 01/19

Up Front 01/19

Hearing Boris Johnson’s comment that ‘It’s not over ‘til it’s over’ when discussing Brexit with Andrew Marr recently, reminded me of the classic line delivered by Dev Patel in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: ‘Everything will be all right in the end—so if it’s not all right, it is not yet the end’. In the case of the current political meltdown, there is clearly no end in sight. Writing this before the Christmas break, with backstop or no backstop; Brexit or no Brexit; deal or no deal; people’s vote or no people’s vote; election or no election—and the question of how many long knives can be produced on any given day—there appears to be no happy outcome. Watching the many factions as they poured scorn on those that disagreed with them over the last few weeks has made for a miserable run up to the ‘festive’ season—the season of ‘peace and goodwill’. It doesn’t bode well for the coming New Year either, and it’s hard not to agree with those who suggest that many in our political world, whether in government or opposition, ‘remain’ or ‘leave’, are simply jostling for position rather than serving those that elected them. I know it is pantomime season, where the story is generally about good triumphing over evil, but this is more like horror. Every morning we seem to wake up to another twist, and the nightmare starts all over again. It reminds me of the film Groundhog Day where Bill Murray begins each day to the sound of the Sonny & Cher’s I Got You Babe and the day is repeated over and over. In one scene he explains to Andie MacDowell that he has been ‘stabbed, shot, poisoned, frozen, hung, electrocuted and burned’, something I imagine Theresa May could relate to. It is all part of the process of Murray’s character seeing the error of his ways, and of course, as it is a traditional story, there is a satisfactory ending. One key difference is there is humour. While there have been a few interesting quotes about Brexit, most of the comedy has been more cutting than funny. So when Brexit the Movie is eventually written, the scriptwriter may have to come up with some pretty spectacular lines. He or she could always steal one from the nimble-fingered computer whizz who asked: “Have we tried unplugging 2016, waiting ten seconds and plugging it back in?” Or they could use another Bill Murray classic: “A few decades ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Hope, no Cash and no Jobs—please don’t let Kevin Bacon die!” (Or, for a vegan alternative, try Sean Bean or Halle Berry).

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