By the time this is printed, I may well have been proved wrong, such is the lot of a columnist. But so far, this year’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, is the perfect antidote to the madness that surrounds us.
Despite the bites and the barest of food, there hasn’t been a single row, not one sly remark side-mouthed in an undertone behind a tree, not one moment of Twitter outrage at “bullying” and concerned talk about a contestant’s mental health status. In fact, there’s been an all-round outbreak of niceness in the outback.
It’s been so pleasant to watch humans interact with each other in a civilised fashion, while roughing it in the Australian jungle. And I know I’d rather be spending a few weeks hiding away in the rainforest with nothing to worry about other than making rice and beans palatable, or what mammal appendage might be served up in the Bush Tucker Trial – safe in the knowledge I wouldn’t have to see or hear Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Did you see Mogg’s latest “gotcha”? It would certainly never have made Noel Edmonds’ House Party. So unable was Rees-Mogg to face the cold, hard financial facts about a no deal Brexit from the Bank of England boss he suggested Mark Carney was nothing but a “second tier” Canadian politician who “had to get a job in the UK”. The problem for old Rees-Mogg is that Carney was never an elected politician and surely our shiny new post-Brexit immigration policy is supposed to attract more Carney types to our shores and less of those pesky Europeans? I’d chalk that one up to a win for Canada.
I swing from being terrified, to fascinated, to utterly exhausted with Brexit. We’re confronted daily with the unedifying vision of our politicians in the grip of a kind of collective destructiveness, playing a real-life game of Fortnite Battle Royale, aiming to be the last man or woman standing, while the storm closes in, destroying all in its wake.
Of course we can’t just blame them. We have brought this on ourselves. Our relationship with Europe was always a bit half-hearted, a bit of course we love you, but we’re not in love with you. Just look at the poor turnouts at European Parliament elections, at the dearth of news in our print and broadcast media about what was really going on in Europe. All we were ever told was that “they” wanted our bananas to be straight, and would imprison anyone measuring apples in pounds and ounces. Truly the origins of fake news.
Two years ago, we moved to the “it’s not you, it’s me” stage, and now we’re here: The EU is shedding a tear and we are walking out the door, knowing that we’re making the biggest mistake of our lives, but refusing to admit it. And at our side are so-called friends dripping poison into our ears about how we’re better off alone, that we were never truly appreciated, that there are many more fish in UK waters and they’ll all be ours when we’re out of the Common Fisheries Policy.
If only we could believe it. If only we could have some faith in our politicians; a belief that they are working for us and not against us; that the national interest really is at the heart of their increasingly unhinged comments.
But how can we when those who are leading us out of the most significant political and economic relationship we have had for more than 40 years, lied about more money for the NHS; lied about immigration and now lie about the impact a no deal will have on the lives of ordinary folk. And they laugh, and say we got through not one, but two world wars ,so that means we’ll get through Brexit – yay, go us! That certainly wasn’t on the side of a bus.
Let’s not forget too that one of these great brains leading our country didn’t even seem to realise that Britain was an island until he was given the job of Brexit minister.
You and me – people who really just want to have a nice home, food on the table, a job they enjoy (at least some of the time) which pays a reasonable wage, and a belief that their kids will ultimately do better than them – do not count in this unholy mess the Brexiteers have created and have no idea how to resolve. If the likes of Rees-Mogg dismiss the concerns of the Bank of England with an arrogant wave of the hand, then you can be sure your opinions will be crushed underfoot without him, or Johnson or Gove or Raab or any of the whole motley crew breaking stride. They do not care.
It no longer matters if you voted Remain or Leave, the fact is that we are all about to suffer the consequences of the collective failures of our political class. A People’s Vote will not stop that. Without doubt we will all be poorer in our pockets and in our spirits by the time this is done. I’m no celebrity, but I want out of here.
Gina Davidson is an award-winning journalist and a media and communications specialist.