So we’re Brexiting, and at least two of the horsemen of the apocalypse are saddling up. We’re now so deep in shit Nick Clegg is the voice of electoral reason, Neil Kinnock and Ed Miliband are slagging a Labour leader for not being up to the job and we’re actually relieved Theresa May’s pitching in as our unelected prime minister. The big questions for us Zero types are where do we go from here, and what can be done now? I ask because with Cameron, Boris and Farage all fucking off out of it, no one seems to have a clue.
First up, in the category of undignified post-breakup booty calls, there’s that petition asking the government to attach a bit of small print to the referendum, triggering a redo if the winning side got less than 60% of the vote. It needs 100,000 signatures for parliament to debate it, and right now we’re north of 4 million. That’d be encouraging if the petition hadn’t been started back in May, by a Brexiter, before votes were cast and when changing the rules would have been less like cheating. As big a number as 4 million is it’s smaller than the 16 million who voted Remain and are now presumably proper miffed, and even smallerer than the 17 million who voted Leave and are now either delighted or slapping their protest-voting foreheads. For this to mean anything it’d have to get more signatures than the referendum got Leave votes. That’s perfectly possible, given robots and people from all over have been signing it, but more likely this will go nowhere. It’s another round of futile, feel-good, clicktivist wind-pissery. Naturally, I signed it.
Then there’s the likes of the protests in Glasgow and London, which boasted tens of thousands of fairly peeved people. But, again, tens of thousands is less than 4 million, which is less than 16 million, which is less than 17 million. People, if we’re really into a bit of the old democracy we’re going to have to accept sometimes it blows and stupid things happen and bad people win and this time we lost. So, again, the big questions are where do we go from here, and what can be done now?
If protesting the result isn’t a goer we need to look elsewhere, maybe go after democracy a bit. Give it a shove to the left here, a whiff of self-determination there. We need an active, anti-racist, pro-European, pro-social justice, pro-socialist left to kick the bullshit out of austerity and counter the inward-looking drift to the right. How to get there is the thing.
If you’re in England or Wales you could get behind a fractured and incompetent Labour Party in the hope it finishes Human Centipeding itself in time for an election. You could get behind the Greens and be all principled and righteous on the sidelines. Or you could get behind the Lib Dems, if you can forget the last time you got behind them and you’re not put off by a leader who in all other universes is a duty manager in a middling leisure centre.
If you’re in Northern Ireland you could aim for reunification which, with my admittedly limited knowledge of Irish history, should be pretty straightforward.
In Scotland, where the majority voted Remain, where The Zero sub is currently docked and where I’ll be focusing my efforts, there’s room for a little more hope. In the immediate aftermath of the vote, while Cameron and Osborne and Boris and Gove were hiding behind the sofa with the lights out, and Tom Watson was getting mad with it at Glasto, and the rest of Labour was busy sewing its mouth to its own bumhole, Nicola Sturgeon appeared to be taking things seriously. She had something resembling a plan, jetting off to Brussels to explain how England’s not talking for the both of us, looking into how we can stay in the EU, and lining us up nicely for a second shot at independence. That’d cut us free and clear of the mouth-breathing xenophobes down south, the worst cruelties of the 800 years of Tory rule they’re about to enjoy, and solidly piss off the Daily Mail. People, that’s the basket I’m putting my all my eggs into.
Photo credit: The Zero