Thursday, 13 April 2017
Like Lambs to the Slaughter
I forget where I read it and how long ago I read it, but what I read was this: There were occasions during the First World War when young men crammed into trains on their way to be killed in the trenches, responded to their situation by baa baa-ing like sheep. Indeed, they were going to their slaughter and this was the nearest they came to objecting to their fate - though surely near enough for unnerved officers to tell them to stop.
In England, Parliament led the way in showing us that we are doomed to Brexit whether we like it or not. English and Welsh members of Parliament didn’t baa like sheep but some of them ( at least, I hope some of them) lowered their gaze in shame as they followed orders and marched into the division lobbies, knowing that they were condemning their country to a far worse future than it could have enjoyed had it Remained. The Welsh MPs would have known that their action endangers the future of Welsh lamb as one of that country’s major exports : 93% of exported lamb currently goes, tariff and hassle free, to the EU.
Voters have followed the lead of MPs. They are lowering their gaze and accepting that they will wait longer for hospital appointments, wait longer in Accident and Emergency, go uncared for. They will quietly accept that their nurses and carers are going back where they came from and that there are no replacements. Life expectancy in the UK has already begun to fall because of the “crisis in social care” and it will fall further. Many of those elderly fools who voted for Brexit will not now, mercifully, live to see its fruits. In a state of abjection, voters will also accept that their real incomes are falling and their life prospects, as we like to call them, are deteriorating.
Even younger voters will accept that many of their opportunities for working and studying abroad will probably disappear and that their chances of owning their own homes will certainly do so. No young people are rioting, but instead they are going quietly, the first lambs to the slaughter. Some, fortunately, have the option of going back where they came from. Others don't and have to watch as their Prime Minister throws herself at Donald Trump and their arms salesman Mr Fox embraces President Duterte