I see you riding high on the crest of the Remain wave, smiling as you surf, coasting on the easy ride of a binary argument. It’s a piece of piss, isn’t it, choosing a side and sticking to it. None of those awkward ambiguities for you – the Lib Dems are all about staying in, as stubborn as herpes and doing all they can to thwart Johnson’s scheming for a no-deal exit. Then Jeremy Corbyn opens his mouth and it turns out you were going for the Meatloaf approach all along – you would do anything for Remain, Jo Swinson, but you won’t do that.
So here we go again, resigned as we are to the utterly inevitable; a patchwork opposition so hopelessly fractured that they can’t team up to oppose the tiny minority of Brexit ultras steering the ship. The yellow, green and red Megazord is a clanking mutant, all square pegs and round holes, gears grinding against each other and failing to lift a weapon to mount any kind of offence. The very suggestion of forming any kind of unity government when the disparate parts despise each other so much is a laughable one, whether it’s Caroline Lucas’ all-white female Ghostbusters reboot or Corbyn’s proposal. Dominic Cummings must be pissing himself if this is all he’s got to worry about.
For Christ’s sake, it’s the 11th hour and we’re still fannying about and quibbling over whether we need a People’s Vote or a new election and in which order. It drags on and on and the longer it goes, the more Boris can slowly poke the bear with his disingenuous rubbish about treason and co-conspirators. You can’t open a BBC Have Your Say without stumbling upon five comments about rounding up Remainers and shooting Dominic Grieve as a traitor. Isn’t it about time you all just got the fuck over yourselves and started taking on the people actually betraying our democratic principles? Y’know, the ones that state we’re meant to be capable of co-existing with opposing views without our gobshite leaders labelling us as traitors conspiring with our non-existent shadowy enemies?
If it feels hopeless, it’s because it probably is. Corbyn has no hope of marshalling enough support to lead without the mandate of a decisive GE victory. He’s diametrically opposed by Lib Dems determined to prove they’ve learned nothing from the Coalition and Tories who will never break rank with the party line if he’s the alternative. He may well be able to rally the SNP but no prizes for guessing what they’ll want in return. With all those variables in play it’s questionable whether a no-confidence vote will even pass. Even if it does, there’s a very real possibility that Johnson’s populist rhetoric and unwavering press support will only end up consolidating his position with an election anyway.
In honestly doesn’t matter that he’s a liar so transparent that you can see Cummings stood behind him in a doorway. All of his bollocks about friendly co-operation and the spirit of positivity evaporates like steam under the slightest scrutiny. Demanding the abolishment of the backstop is the reddest of the EU’s red lines and he pretends like it’s all their fault for failing to compromise by giving in to an impossible demand.
In the face of all that, what hope can there reasonably be for any kind of unity in opposition?
I see you, Jo Swinson, your nose twitching at the edge of the lake. I see your golden fur, the wiliest fox in the political game, the only one smart enough to see a way through the impasse that gets the Lib Dems to the green grass on the other side. It’s tricky – of course it is – but it takes youth, vigour and good old-fashioned refusal to co-operate with people you don’t like to see it through. That and the courage to take the plunge.
I see you, Jo Swinson, swimming out into the lake and carrying the entire party on your back. I see your legs pedalling, your nose twitching as you part the waters. It’ll be a long, tiring swim of course, but all things worth winning take dedication and unity of purpose. They take teamwork, don’t they? Everyone working together, pulling in the same direction, personal petty ambitions put aside in pursuit of the greater good.
I see you gasp, Jo Swinson, coughing in the water as the pain shoots through your neck. I see your legs trembling, failing, too far from either shore for any hope of safe harbour. I see the panic in your eyes as your nerves start firing uncontrollably, your muscles cramping.
I see you turn your head, Jo Swinson, and upon your back I see Chuka Umunna blushing. I see his claws click shut, his stinger drooping with embarrassment above his head.
He can’t help it, can he? It’s in his nature.
I see you, Jo Swinson. I fucking see you.