2007 - 2022

All at Sea

Ck-98lCWYAAkDB3.jpg-largeNot since Willy and Barnabas and Malcolm MacLaren embraced the waterways has so much fun been had as yesterday’s Brexit Flotilla holed the credibility of the EU referendum below the waterline. It was already listing badly having been called out as a coup this week and with Boris wrestling Salmond on Sky. This was the moment when everyone realised that Brexit is a project of Guy Debord and David Coburn is a Situationist inflatable.

As both sides sprayed each other with political spume someone called Rachel Johnson got caught in the crossfire and Nigel Farage strode across the poop-deck of his ship of fools and declared Geldof “horrible, disgusting”.


Like some comedy clod, Boris Johnson seems to manage to turn every hackneyed photo-opp into a disaster and yet roll-on as if no-one notices or expects anything better from their political leaders. He’s makes Ruth Davidson look like she has real gravitas.

But to more important matters. Blistering Barnacles! Somehow, inexplicably, in the media frenzy to evoke classic English maritime tropes in coverage of the flotilla, no-one managed to reference Captain Haddock, Nelson, Mutiny on the Bounty, nor, Haddock’s naval colleague Pugwash, so let’s put that right straight-away.

captain-pugwash-pic-pa-147180168“Dolloping doubloons!” these politicians are useless. “Coddling catfish!” that Bob Geldof is a pain in the arse isn’t he? “Kipper me capstans!” the sight of insurance millionaire Arron Banks and UKIP backer snacking on prawn sandwiches and sipping white wine with the music to The Great Escape in the background is enough to make you torpedo the lot. “Stuttering starfish!” the combined idiocy of Remain and Leave makes you want to scuttle Westminster and go and live in another less embarrassing country altogether.

The Brexit Pirates screamed: “We want our waters back!” So do I. I want Trident off the Clyde, I want back the Scottish coastline to be run for the benefit of coastal communities not the Crown Estate. I want our sea-lochs to not to be filled by fish-farms which destroy the eco-system and affect wild salmon with sea-lice and for us to be able to develop the true potential of tidal energy systems.

The Thames was filled with more lies and disinformation than you could imagine. Today Greenpeace accused Mr Farage of “cynical opportunism”, saying that as an MEP he had failed to vote on three major measures designed to fix flaws in the Common Fisheries Policy. In more than three years as a member of the European Parliament’s fisheries committee, Mr Farage turned up for just one of 42 meetings.

But who cares eh? This was politics as spectacle and the spectacle was farce. When the choice you are faced with is Geldof or Farage, Osborne or Redwood you know it’s time to abandon ship. Keelhaul the lot of them.

Where’s Tom the Cabin Boy when you need him?

Comments (6)

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  1. Douglas says:

    A bunch of Master Bates, the lot of them…

    …”fascism seeks to aestheticize politics, to make politics into a spectacle. The Left responds by politicizing aesthetics, by politicizing art…” Walter Benjamin writing in 1930’s Germany at the time of rising European fascism.

    The Brexit campaign – not all Brexit supporters – is just the British expression of a tidal wave of quasi fascistic instincts being seen in the West from Trump in the US to European ultra right wing movements from Poland to Hungary to France….politics as a mass spectacle, politics as a demonisation of the Other, politics as a harking back to some mythical lost age of harmony and unity, in this case, when the UK “ruled the waves”…

    This is a re-run of the 1930’s and it has come about because we forgotten WHY the Welfare State was created in the first place, creating a materialistic, winner takes all culture, casting aside the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in favour of a bunch of mumbo-jumbo economic indicators, with governments resorting to the kind of tunnel vision neo-liberal thinking which plunged Europe into WWII.

    Britain sounds increasingly quasi fascistic to my ears….I fear the worst. Few read anything these days, and so few remember anything…

  2. gerry parker says:

    “Where’s Tom the Cabin Boy when you need him?”

    Where’s a ropes end when you need it!

    1. Strategist says:

      he’s Rogered, as are all of us

  3. Tessa says:

    No matter your politics, if you are an In or an Out, the majority of the fishermen who took to the Thames yesterday did so in desperatation due to their culture, livelihoods and futures disappearing before their eyes. Most of them aren’t thinking on Farage or Geldolf, it’s their families and villages which made them join the floatilla. They think Europe is failing them, but then many also think they can’t trust the Scottish and UK governments given recent polices. It’s a rock and a hard place for many of them, many have supported leave thinking it can’t be any worse than where they currently are rather than political preference, its not normally due to some misplaced patriotism. For most of the individual fishermen you ask its simply about survival. I personally know a few SNP voting fishermen (or previously SNP voting) who supported the flotilla or joined in. Boil the flags, music, politicians and celebs down and your left with hard working families who are simply struggling to find a voice/way to explain how desperate things have become for them as their communities face ruin. We can all laugh and mock, but maybe we all have to ask how on earth some former Scottish Independence voting fishermen are now sailing with Farage and flying a different flag, it saddens many of them. We really have to ask that as a nation.

    1. Hi Tessa , I completely agree that there are important issues about the fishing industry and the EU. I was focusing instead on the spectacle of politics and how it does a disservice to us all. Maybe we can return to a more serious treatment of the issues of employment and sustainability which you quite rightly raise.

    2. Alex Momtrose says:

      but maybe we all have to ask how on earth some former Scottish Independence voting fishermen are now sailing with Farage and flying a different flag, it saddens many of them. We really have to ask that as a nation.

      Is it because, the referendum was lost?

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