On Tuesday, thanks to market fears stoked by the threat of "hard Brexit", the pound slumped to its lowest valuation on record, a low not seen since the mid-1800s. Given that the Tories are often seen as the party of the economy, of Big Business and all that, you'd think that they'd be terrified, or at least a little ashamed of themselves. But instead, their mood is bullish, braying about how it's time for all the unpatriotic liberal elitist naysayers to shut up and accept the new era of glory that Brexit is sure to deliver; outlining plans to splurge £120 million of the money they just destroyed the value of a new royal yacht.
Thatcherism, with its laissez-faire economics and its Victorian conception of morality, was often seen as an attempt to take Britain back to the 1800s. Now, almost 40 years since Thatcher was elected, with the economy appropriately re-adjusted and jingoism in full force, the Tories might finally have succeeded.
So the question is: where will this all end? What more can we expect to return from the past to haunt us this in the not-so-distant future?
The current low that the pound is experiencing is only the product of fears that Britain might leave the European Single Market. So what's going to happen when we actually do leave it? The economy is going to be completely wrecked, is what. Businesses will go bankrupt, high streets will be completely boarded up, your wi-fi will constantly fluctuate in and out because they can't get enough signal or whatever into the national wi-fi grid or however it works.
In such conditions, there's going to be a huge number of people who are left completely destitute – far more than any welfare state, especially one run by the Tories, could ever possibly handle. But maybe, just maybe, this is the chance savvy Tories have been looking for: JobSeeker's Allowance won't be able to cut it, so finally this will be their chance to bring back that the original way the state had of "helping" the poor regain their fallen virtue through labour: the Victorian Workhouse. In new, privately-owned Enterprise Houses Plus, fresh masses of "undeserving poor" will find themselves homed in cold, bare dormitories segregated by gender, and put to work cracking rocks, digging and then filling in holes, manning corporate twitter feeds, writing listicles for trendy, indeterminately oppositional news websites and other sorts of pointless, mind-numbing busywork. Nineteenth century urban poverty: it's coming back, baby, and it will be grinding and horrible again.
With poverty, of course, comes disease; and the damp, stuffy, cramped conditions of the Enterprise Houses are sure to provide the perfect hotbed. Helped by the recent evolutionary trend that bacteria have exhibited towards the resistance of antibiotics (and let's not forget the privatisation of the NHS), we're probably going to start to witness the return of some of the great diseases from the past that we'd previously assumed were gone for good. Polio! Cholera! Leprosy! Bubonic plague! On the plus side: this might help increase the value of your labour by eliminating some of the surplus population. On the negative: you will die screaming with your flesh covered in weeping sores.
And it won't just be disease either. Famine will be back too: already Tesco has become embroiled in a major dispute with Unilever over the price of import goods, leading them to pull Marmite from their online stores. This state of affairs will only accelerate, to the point that there is no food available anywhere that can possibly be got at a reasonable price. The plague-stricken denizens of the Enterprise Houses will be happy enough with their generously subsidised Soylent Gruel, but in the outside world, citizens will be forced to take matters into their own (possibly leprous) hands. The most obvious source of nutrition? The very young, the very old, and the weakest among us. But watch out: once they're all gone, you yourself could be next into the stew-pot.
With the total dissolution and destruction of the nation ongoing, the government and their supporters are sure to start casting their eyes about looking for someone to blame. As Wednesday's Daily Mail front page indicates, there's going to be one clear, obvious target: the Bremoaners, that 48 percent of the nation who were elitist and undemocratic enough not to desire the complete destruction of all things, and whose bad attitude is now going to be painted as the sole cause of post-Brexit Britain's dire straits.
Spiteful comment pieces will only be the first stone thrown. Once the plague is in full swing, and cannibalism is starting to become a "thing", we'll start to see mobs of angry suburban mothers and golf dads waving fire and pitchforks looking for any poor soul with vaguely cosmopolitan sensibilities to sacrifice to Winston Churchill. Once they've got you in their clutches, they will bore you for hours reading out a list of phony charges – ranging from your being a safe-space social justice warrior to your being an arrogant hater of our troops – before finally putting you out of your misery by drowning or burning you alive, raising many handled glasses of Spitfire Ale (the new recipe, that's distilled from human bonemeal and blood, of course) in a toast to the Queen as they do so.
Anti-immigrant sentiment has brought racism hurtling right back into the political mainstream. In such conditions, it's only a matter of time before someone draws up a big scientific chart listing all the world's races in order of lowest to highest, with "Them Lot Flocking Over Here" at the bottom and "White English" at the top. Before long, paying lip service to the Chart will become a basic requirement of political credibility, and academics will need to perform all their research within the Chart's parameters in order to secure funding. Finally, the constraints of political correctness will have been cast off, and our glorious nation will be able to openly profess Victorian racial ideology once more.
Of course, for High Tory Brexiters like Dan Hannan, Boris Johnson and Iain Duncan Smith, Brexit was only ever really about one thing: restoring the past glory of the British Empire, in the service of which people like them would once very definitely have been employed. In their imaginations, Europe was always the most major obstacle standing in the way of a solo Brittania once again ruling the world's waves (and conducting the world's slave trade, committing the world's most brutal massacres, etc.).
Well, here's some good news for the old boys of Empire: with Brexit, colonialism will finally become a reality for Britain once again. The only downside is that it won't be us colonising the rest of the world. Rather, a grand coalition of Chinese businessmen, Arab oil sheikhs, and maybe some weird Silicon Valley guys who want to live forever and travel around in vacuum-powered cars, will buy up everything in our freshly-impoverished, diseased, and death cult-stricken country, Premier League-style, and (with the European Convention on Human Rights no longer a problem) set us all to work fulfilling whatever evil and/or deranged purposes they see fit. Good luck, my friends: I'll see you when we're toiling alongside each other in their Sugar-Caves.
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