Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 31/12/20

"There's A Sad Sort Of Clanging From The Clock In The Hall..."

(Except that - in my case at least - there isn't, because I still haven't found a way of repairing it).

(And I apologise if you now have that song stuck in your head, as I have ever since I decided on using its opening line as the title of this piece).

So that's it, then.

By the time you read this, what is termed - however risibly - 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland' will, by an act of collective foot-shooting, have removed itself from any meaningful or useful relationship with its biggest trading partner. Because "sovereignty!", because "taking back control!", because "BLOO PAHHHHS-POWRTS!".

This is the culmination of at least three decades of propaganda, lies and bile piled upon our neighbours by hack-rags owned, edited and written by tax-dodgers, ignoramuses and empire nostalgics who believe (or, more to the point, wish us to believe) that they/we are still fighting several wars back, and that it was a terrible mistake ever to have stood down the groups of ragged-arsed boys and eager young subalterns who used to man the cliffs of Kent and Devon with spyglasses scanning for the approach of Philip of Spain or Old Boney.

To this end, they have been aided by two generations or more of politicians who show all the marks of exposure to years of crappy films on Saturday afternoon television in which dear Dickie Attenborough and darling Johnny Mills beat off the forces of Corporal Carpet-chewer unassisted from the Front Line on the back-lot at Pinewood. Those of them who were not in the first instance innate xenophobes and bigots who believe that The Wogs Begin At Calais, of course.

I suppose that it was never really going to work. Incorporating into your continent-wide arrangements a state and its population which have never come to terms with not being an imperial power anymore, I mean. A state and its population which still views itself with near-American levels of self-deluding exceptionalism, I mean. A state and its population which has been shielding itself from reality by cosy fantasies of continuing significance, I mean.

I mean...

...that, although this is not exclusively an English thing, given that what England decides today the rest of us are forced to do tomorrow, it is primarily a twist or perversion in the English psyche which disables it from either making full and accurate account of its past or showing any imagination regarding its future beyond the idea that what was deemed to have worked in 1788 will work forever in the times to come.

That such a warping of the consciousness inevitably leads to actions which amount to wilful self-harm follows as a logical consequence; and, as in such behaviour in individuals, those carrying out such acts against themselves are either not fully aware of what they are actually doing (as opposed to the way it seems to them at the time) or they see no wrong in doing it anyway.

Which, of course, is what we find.

So, my parting message to those of you in the rest of Europe with whom we have been (in some - but my no means all - definitions of the term) 'partners' these past forty-eight years is this:

Agur oraingoz
Довиждане  за  сега
Adéu per ara
Addiu per avà
Dovidenja zasad
Zatím ahoj
Farvel for nu
Voor nu tot ziens
Hüvasti praegu
Hyvästi toistaiseksi
Au revoir pour le moment
Oant sjen foar no
Adeus por agora
Auf Wiedersehen für jetzt
Αντίο για τώρα
Ég veled
Slán go fóill
Addio per ora
Pagaidām uz redzešanos
Kol kas atsisveikink
Äddi fir elo
Ċaw għalissa
na razie
até logo
la revedere pentru acum
dovidenia zatial'
nasvidenje za zdaj
adiós por ahora
hejdå för nu

Or, as Mrs Mopp used to say in the days back to which the imperial fantasists wish to drag us (when they're not wanting to take us back to the eighteen-forties, that is):