Weary of the Brexit debate, WILLIE GILES offers a final test: The Excalibur Moment
AVALON LIES SOMEWHERE TO THE WEST: it is a dream, an aspiration, an ideal. Some sort of nirvana which we know cannot be attained, but which nonetheless represents the best that we might achieve and which accordingly gives some flesh to the morals and ethics we use in everyday life.
It weaves a fabric of nationhood and also hints at the gallantry that is a prerequisite of this privileged position.
From this deeply ingrained but artificial group-memory of life under King Arthur and his magical Merlin, people have extracted elements that pervert the whole poetry of the heroic dream.
Some say we can recreate our days of Empire and be a positive and ruling voice in the modern world; others that we can be an insular country providing a happy and thriving home for our existing population.
Still more say we can achieve more by being a part of a whole that transcends individuality: that being a part of Europe has helped to keep the peace for two generations. While the rest moan that Europe has too many rules that frustrate business and social development.
What is clear is that two years ago, people voted narrowly – on inaccurate and sometimes dishonest information – to leave Europe and start a new era of global relationships with the promise of more money for all and an end to bureaucracy.
What is now abundantly clear is that this rosy objective is not going to be achieved.
Theresa May now seeks to deliver an impossible Brexit in the very little time left to her. This has become the reason for her existence at the expense both her honesty and the long-ago-lost respect of friend and foe alike.
She is now little more than a senseless flag waved by the warring wings of her party who cling to the slippery tailcoats of power.
Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, seeks to deliver a different but equally impossible Brexit with his support crumbling each time he shies away once again from putting his trust in the people.
Do you remember your days building boats and sandcastles on the golden sands of your favourite beach, in my case along the Northumberland coast? Each time they were built, the tide would come and wash them away to present a fresh patch of sand for the following day.
King Canute found that he couldn’t order the tides to obey his will; that change was a part of the pattern of life.
It is the same with Brexit: the tide has turned and opinions have changed. It is time to raise that mystical old sword Excalibur and ask the people of these islands what they think of the almighty mess our leaders have made following the nation’s so-called Big Decision.
How? By asking them to vote again on the changed circumstances as they are now presented: