5 Ways to Fix a Not-broken Britain

The sky is our Yorkshire pudding.

Now that the gallstone of report comment writing has passed, I can devote myself to tucking into the task of repairing the absolutely stable and fine United Kingdom.

I’ll acknowledge that my credentials are less than pristine: I’m 6,000 miles away, secluded safely on the Pacific side of the Andes; I haven’t lived in the UK in over six years; I don’t have an indepth knowledge of politics, economics or current affairs; but I know what I like, and the slender traces of magnetite in my nose are drawing me homeward (non-corporeally) in order to solve all of your problems.

So, indulge me if you will as I muse on how best to heal the multiple rifts that have flared up like a magician’s bouquet of flowers from a Bullingdon Club tri-cornered hat. Sit back, kick off your espadrilles and enjoy my Five Ways to Fix a Not-broken Britain:

1) Don’t talk about the referendum ever again. As in Mitchell & Webb’s dystopian sketches or Howard Jacobson’s ‘J’, simply refer to the Brexit vote as ‘The Event’ and never elaborate ever, EVER again. And if people asked you how you voted, report them to the authorities for incitement to bicker. If people ask where you were during The Event, shrug.

2) Heal our virulent generational rift in the following ways:

If you are old and rich, buy your extended family small treats, like magazines with cover-mounted gifts or vinyl records that you think they might like. Keep an eye out for wooden ornamentry that may have some provenance you can impart to your youngest when gifting. Graduate trainees or interns are especially fond of wooden cars and Adele.

If you are young and debt-ridden, perform elaborate traditional dances for your elderly relatives in exchange for food items, writing materials or data services. Take to dressing as a pearly king, queen or a Maurice dancer. Affect a liking for the music of your elders: ELO, Dire Straits and Chris Rea.

3) Have a good rest from voting or rating things. Either that or vote for everything and give everything five stars. My general point is that a period of saying nothing about anything or everything about everything might be called for. Whichever path you go down, the result should be the same: a soothing incoherence, not unlike a post-rock wall of feedback from the amplifier of a Sonic Youth or a The Jesus and Mary Chain. Followed by a long period of socio-economic tinnitus. Who knows, we may attract investment from Neil Young? Or be given rotating presidency of AC/DC.

4) Take a good long look at an English flag. This might take a few hours or days, but really stare at it until it is imprinted on your retina. If you look at a George cross for long enough (preferably whilst listening to The Lighthouse Family or a CD of George Michael singing standards) it will become divorced from all connotations. This will be good, because (if you are English, or Cornish) you’ll be needing it later.

5) Appoint Lord Chilcot to invoke Article 50. Now, this may not be within your sphere of influence (for all I know, you may not be Lord Chilcot, but if you are, I imagine you do spend a lot of of time reading guff on the Internet, and eating biscuits and stuff), but should you be in a position to be the one to invoke Article 50, keep in mind that whilst BoJo was playing cricket and Gove was trying to wash that red spot off his Thunderbird hand, George Osborne was not in fact crying at pesto in his underpants in Pimlico Waitrose. He was in fact secreting Article 50 in several Horcruxes around the British Isles. So, to more speedily expedite Article 50, we need to give Chilcot a copy of the rabbit treasure hunt book, Masquerade, and send him around Britain, (England, Cornwall, England McEnglandface – whatever we’ve agreed to call it now).

My Five Ways to Fix the UK will buy us valuable decades in which to deny, ignore and Keep Calm our way to victory. Our post-Brexit isle is as green and pleasant as we want to make it: gallstone or free market wonderland, the choice is ours to make. As Carol Dweck might put: if we seize our balls, the sky is our Yorkshire pudding.

So join me, countrymen and ladies: and tuck in.


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