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If you have been worrying about the equanimity of some of those most dedicated to stopping Brexit, the latest column by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown for “The New European” newspaper offers little comfort.
“Britain has never been a small, dull, grey island… until now,” she says, before going on to mix up Europe (a civilisation thousands of years old which it is a geographic and cultural impossibility for the UK to leave) and the European Union (which is in its current format a political construct only 25 years old.)
In a crowded field, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has crafted one of the unintentionally funniest pieces to appear in The New European, by combining snobbery and an assault on chips. Yasmin quotes Kipling writing on imperialism, when he described “those street people” cheering the English flag.
That’s “those street people,”or the voters and pesky taxpayers as we call them now.
“Those street people, ill-taught, used and betrayed by manipulative scoundrels, cut us off from our continent. And they still vapour and fume and brag.”
Blimey. That’ll win us round!
“Sadly, few of them will ever see the light or admit they were wrong. So bring it on – the dull small island life, grey, inward, with shops full of pies and chips and blue passports in our bags. Groan.”
Shops full of pies.
This is, of course, spot on. Secretly, there is nothing that those of us who voted to leave the European Union like more than to gather for an evening to compare blue passport designs. On these occasions we always avoid restaurants, for fear of finding foreign dishes on the menu, and instead visit one of Britain’s many “shops full of pies.” Indeed, “who ate all the pies?” (I did, over Christmas) is our alternative national anthem.
Britain was built on pies. We love pies, and after Brexit we will eat only pies.
This shows that Vote Leave missed a trick in June 2016. If they had promised on the side of their bus that Britain post-Brexit would have “shops full of pies” I suspect that Leave would have won the EU referendum by a bigger margin. If chips were also provided, it would have been a landslide among British men. Every single man in Britain, apart from Nick “I’ll have the tapas” Clegg, would have voted for “shops full of pies.” Pies are what made this country great, along with fried fish (an idea imported from Spain and Portugal in the 17th century), claret (from France) and pasta (from Bella Pasta.)