These images were captured a week ago today and they already look like they were in another country, another time. Since they were made the roof has collapsed on everything that seems to pass as normality in Britain. Some may say that is a good things because out of this chaos will rise a new Britain but if what I saw yesterday in the European Parliament is anything to go by then we are in for a rough ride. This was Nigel Farage’s chance to shine, to show himself to be a statesman a potential leader of a country, a person who really has Britain’s interest at heart. Instead we got a display of a bitter anger and spit towards the very people who we will have to do some form of deal with – it was a pitiful performance and one that brought shame to the whole country. Of course I am sure that his supporters will say that this was him sticking up for Britain against the bullying from Europe – but that doesn’t really wash. This was his chance and he blew it.
On the other side of the coin we have the Guardian newspaper who still insists on fighting the last war. I know there were falsehoods by the Leave side but you also have to accept that the Remain were little better but, and this is the most important but of them all, Remain lost and Leave won. It doesn’t matter how many rallies there are in London, how many overblown speeches by Scottish MEP in the the European Parliament it isn’t going change that one single fact. Leave won and Remain lost. We just have to make the best of the bad hand that has been dealt us. Exactly what that hand is is unclear at the moment and probably won’t be until the autumn at the very earliest.
As far as the European side are concern then they aren’t as unified as they are trying to make out. The Germans, who are the final arbiter on all things Europe, may say one thing but that it is not going to stop other countries doing their own thing to look after their own interest. Ireland has a huge amount to loose and quite a bit to gain from Brexit. On the lose side is the fact that Britain is by far the biggest market that Ireland trades with, that is if you discount all the tax efficient arrangements by multinational companies, and so they aren’t going to listen to Germany. They need to get things sorted before whatever happens under article 50. Then there is the small question of Northern Ireland which complicates everything. On the plus side though it is an opportunity for the Irish to welcome many British domiciled companies to move to Ireland to take advantage of trading in Europe without really moving to Europe. Again there is a model for this in the tax arrangements of multinational companies. There has been a lot of talk of the city of London loosing trade to Frankfurt – setting up a European subsidiary in Dublin seems much more sensible, same language, similar culture, same time zone and most importantly the same legal system.
It is said that seven days is a long time in politics and as I look back at these photographs I suddenly under stand that far more than I did when I captured those images. There are many uncertainties ahead of us, many problems to solve but we have no choice but to try and solve them the best we can. Trying to get the toothpaste back in the tube is pointless and I think I should end now before I drown in too many metaphors.