Hello, my name is Connor. I’ve done a lot of political commentary on student radio and when Ryan told me he’d started Advance Politics and he wanted me to contribute, it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
To many of us who have an interest in politics and current affairs, the past few weeks have probably appeared as a bit of a blur. Sitting back and thinking about all that has happened, (Brexit, Cameron resigns, Corbyn doesn’t, BoJo vs Gove, Nigel says Bye Bye) you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ve woken up inside an episode of the Thick of It.
But then you remember that Malcolm Tucker would never have stood for all this and the plot lines of the british political establishment are too fanciful even for the writing of Armando Iannucci. No, even the hilariously sarcastic universe of the Thick of It is too sensible to entertain this nonsense.
“Malcolm, did you hear that Jeremy Corbyn is the new Labour Leader?”
When trying to process the events of June and July, I’ve found I can only really make sense of them if I compare them to
episodes of Peep Show – specifically, the Grand Finale of Peep Show, which saw David Mitchell and Robert Webb finally say goodbye to Jeremy and Mark. That episode is entitled ‘Are we going to be alright?’.
*PEEP SHOW SPOLIERS COMING UP*
The episode revolves around Jeremy’s unwanted surprise 40th Birthday party, with progressively stranger events transpiring to ruin the ‘happily ever after’ that Mark and Jeremy appeared to be heading for, sending them crashing back down to earth. 10 series of Peep Show end with Mark and Jeremy exactly how they started, mundanely watching television with their lives left just as distinctly average as when we first met them.
Jeremy and Mark’s expression on hearing we voted for Brexit
Doesn’t that sound eerily familiar? Nick Clegg’s metaphoric rise, A coalition government, Nick Clegg’s cataclysmic fall, Ed Milliband and Jeremy Corbyn all building towards the turmoil of the past few weeks. Disillusion and disbelief are contagious amongst the electorate – the young loathe the old for voting to leave the EU, the old loathe the long for disregarding their credentials. Scotland is trying to get its coat and leave the party, and Northern Ireland might run off with them. And the commentators and reporters have been spouting their favourite ‘buzz phrases’;
“This is a wake up call for political establishment,”
“Britain will never be the same again,”
“The political landscape has been changed for ever,”
But in reality, we’re just like Jeremy and Mark. We’re lying on the sofa blankly staring at the television, acutely aware that the real world is just as average and mundane as ever. You still need to go and buy milk and bread. The dishwasher still needs stacking. Someone still has to go and walk the dog.
Jeremy: the ultimate everyman?
It’s quite easy to forget all that when you’re reading your 15th article of the day on the dangers of Brexit, or why Jeremy Corbyn needs to stand down. Maybe we need to treat it a bit like alcohol? We spend all of Christmas and New Year drinking far too much and make ourselves feel better by having a ‘Dry January’.
We’ve had a 6 year binge on political weirdness; time for a break I think.