April 2019. Britain has left the European Union. The U.K. Government has collapsed. Roving Street gangs terrorise the population. The death penalty has been brought back for poaching on common land as the wretched and starving try to hunt game from the tribal land of local warlords. Women are bartered like cattle in slave markets. Babies are no longer being born, not unlike the dystopic film Children of Men. Not because of ecological damage, but because Danish sperm has been rationed to the elite. Judaeo-Christian morality, the foundation of our way of life and our very philosophical underpinnings is in tatters. There is no more music to be found in these isles. All is lost. The emaciated population are adrift on a maelstrom of destitution and hunger.
I know, the above paragraph is too optimistic for some of the more left-leaning amongst us. It’s going to be far, far worse according to their fevered imaginings which resemble a Hieronymus Bosch painting more than actual reality.
‘Imagine Britain without its music. If it’s hard for us, then it’s impossible for the rest of the world’ so said the open letter drafted by arch-remainer Bob Geldof (and admiral of the ‘remain’ fleet in the Battle of the Thames). According to the writer of the cultural masterpiece of ‘I don’t like Mondays’ (or democracy when it doesn’t go my way) Britain will end up in a ‘self-built cultural jail’ if it leaves the EU.
We’ve successfully being produced music in these isles for centuries. I’m not just referring to classical composers. No, I mean very recently, like the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. World-renowned and influential bands that managed the almost incredulous feat of having amazing careers without Britain being part of the E.U. at the time.
Other signatories to this letter include Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker, Brian Eno, Johnny Marr, Rita Ora, Ed Sheeran, Paul Simon, Neil Tennant, Roger Taylor and Sting. I actually didn’t vote to leave the EU in 2016, but the idea of silencing a couple of ageing rock stars and warbling, Americanised starlets makes me wish I had voted to leave and it isn’t making me more pro-European, an issue on which I viewed with lacklustre enthusiasm at best.
The letter goes onto to say that ‘As a result of the referendum vote, the fall in the pound has meant hugely increased equipment costs, studio hire, and touring costs all now materially higher than before’. It goes onto mention ‘that squeezed household incomes mean less money to go to clubs and buy tracks, T-shirts, gigs and generate the vast income necessary to keep the up and comers on the road and musically viable.’ So, at last, we come to the crux of the issue. Again, our cultural ‘betters’ seem to be more concerned about their bottom line rather than genuine concern for the financial condition of the British citizenry, post-Brexit. Most people are concerned with the bottom line, that’s totally reasonable, but manage to do so without smug hypocrisy.
Anti-Brexit protesters march through London
Indeed all this demonstrates is that in their self-obsessed political and cultural milieu they genuinely believe that Rita Ora paying more for a visa and having to go through a few more pages of travel documentation is actually something that the vast majority of the British population actually care about as they toil in real jobs with economic merit.
Well, now that leaving the EU will apparently ruin our ability to rock and roll, what about sex? Couples who have the misfortune to need help conceiving by IVF will also be affected by leaving the EU. According to media reports the UK will run out of sperm (Danish semen makes up a substantial proportion of imported material, according to the independent. Now there’s something you didn’t know before).
Again, in reality, the U.K. would be classed as a ‘third country’ so U.K. importers of sperm cells would need new written agreements with the relevant fertility clinics. Such a system already exists with the United States which isn’t part of the European Union either. A disturbance, yes. No doubt ITV and BBC news will both interview a sensibly dressed and dowdy looking middle-class couple in their kitchen about how it set back the conception by four months, but it’s not exactly apocalyptic.
Now that rock and roll and sex been destroyed by Brexit; what about drugs of the medicinal variety (Is not one left-leaning PhD candidate going to do a study entitled ‘High and Lows: illicit drugs and the post Brexit supply chain’?). The complexities in the regulated pharmaceutical industry ensure that this issue is difficult to disentangle, but according to a report by the European Medicines Agency, concern over the supply of drugs to the UK has halved since July 2018 with forty products still at risk of disruption, down from one hundred. That would be better if it was zero and it could be by March 2019 or shortly after. Again, it’s important to remember that Brexit is a process, a slow-moving one, but still a process. It may be a work in progress for some time to come.
Historically, we all live on a small island out at the far edge of the European continent on the wild, West Atlantic coast that has survived the Legions of Rome leaving in 407Ad, the Norman conquest, internal wars between the nations of the UK, oft-repeated rebellions from Scotland to Cornwall, the scourging angel of the black death, the Reformation, Napoleon, the great recession, Hitler, fascism and the mass bombing of civilians, and yet here we all stand today despite all this and in some cases because of these events.
And if you are aged 20-40 the biggest economic event has already occurred to you: The ‘Great Depression’ of 2007/8. This is the defining political and economic catastrophe of your life and it happened when Britain was very much in the E.U.
Frankly, Brexit seems almost benign compared to the threats listed above, so let’s all take a deep breath. On the day Britain leaves the EU do you want to know what will happen? There will be protests in most large cities by a vocal largely left-leaning minority. The Guardian will be apoplectic. The SNP will talk of ‘indyref2’ rather than attempt to run a devolved administration. Most of us will go to work and come back like any other day. The more things change the more they stay the same.