It’s been a couple of days, so I think we’re all ready to admit now that we’ve processed Mandy Boylett’s seminal Britain’s Coming Home video. In case you have not, in case you do not surf constantly the web for the hottest memes and the sickest gifs and as such are unfamiliar with arguably the most important piece of work the country has produced since the Beatles, since Turner, then here you go.
So much, truly, to get the head around: the fact that Boylett does not have anyone else to recruit to be in the video and so just copies herself over in a wig; the fact that she cannot quite harmonise with this Blonde Other, despite being genetically the most likely person alive to be able to crawl over those same notes as her; the copyright infringement; the socks. And then the line, so iconic it can melt even the most hardened pro-EU voter, a line to make us all stop in our tracks and think a beat, delivered with a sort of slowly failing weakness, like a plane dipping out of the sky: “They’ve taken all our fi–i–ish.”
Sadly, this isn’t even the sole absurd EU vote spinoff to emerge this week (this week! It’s only Thursday! Can you imagine what chaos the country will be in by Friday if we keep this nonsense up?). On Monday, it emerged Vote Leave had produced 2,000 branded condoms bearing the motto “It’s riskier to stay in” and were offering them out for students, which – and I don’t want to be the man to say, “Everyone from Vote Leave is an incurable virgin”, I don’t want all that responsibility on me – doesn’t even make sense. If you are pulling out – ie of Europe, or a consenting sex partner’s body – is the branded condom some sort of allegory for STI protection?
But then we’re getting into the muddied waters of what, exactly, Europe has transmitted to us in such a way – there is no medically recorded STI where one of the symptoms is “fish theft” – and then I suppose our (Britain’s) penis is the Channel Tunnel, and so … hmm … Actually, yes: probably best just to stop thinking about that one, stop thinking about that one altogether.
You’re wondering if George Galloway has done something. Reader, of course he has. Gorgeous achieved the impossible on Saturday, and sparked a walkout at a Grassroots Out Brexit rally hosted by Nigel Farage. He didn’t even really do anything beyond “be George Galloway”: all he did was walk on to the stage in a full “pick-up artist negging students outside Topshop” regalia of a fedora and open shirt, and said “leave Europe” a lot. That wasn’t even the most offensive thing about the rally: that dishonour goes to Farage’s “Grassroots Out” necktie, Kermit-neon green stripes with black highlights, looking more like something the council has decided workers have to wear to be more visible to passing traffic than a piece of considered political propaganda.
But then the GO necktie is heavy with its own overtones: of rotary clubs and archaic freemasonry handshakes, of highly paid private school headmasters and general Middle Englandry. The GO tie says: “Vote Leave, and stay in this country and this country alone, with the kind of men who would sincerely wear this tie.” It says: “You don’t want those foreign men, with their confidence, with their good looks. You don’t want a handsome Roman emperor-looking Italian in a cashmere jumper. You want me, cowed over and angular from years of working in accounts, stoically wearing a racist British tie.” It says: “This is not a country you want to be part of”.
Remember that the Brexit referendum isn’t for another four months, or what may as well be 100,000 years at this current rate of play. What other delights await us? Because, if last year’s election is anything to go by, we are barely dipping our toes in the wacky politics silt. It’s not over until someone hammers the word “EUROPE” into a gigantic piece of limestone and poses with it near a children’s playground. It’s not over until Boris Johnson attempts to cross the Channel on stilts to prove a point. It’s not over until someone gets confused and tries to push a pro-independence campaign with the hashtag “#JeSuisBritain”. It’s not over until George Galloway does something else. It’s not over. It’s not over.