Brexit is a hell of a drug.
I went from pretty much not even knowing there was a referendum to a complete three-day bender - or was it four days? - inhaling, injecting Brexit from every available source. Does it affect us? Do I live there? Pfft. None of this mattered. I just couldn't look away.
What's been happening in NZ? Who cares. I saw something about an MP who's ranked 46 on the National Party list. I struggled to be concerned about his competence. Why even expect competence from someone ranked 46? That means he couldn't make the top 45. At number 46, it shouldn't even be called the party list any more - you're a member of the 'extended universe.' It's not like he's in line for the throne. We're in more danger of being ruled by Max Key's Instagram account.
Brexit, gimme another hit of Brexit. Has a news story ever put this much plot in, so fast? People were being fired at 3 in the morning, their time. Obviously I wasn't the only one not sleeping.
Gut reaction, day one, was this: an entire nation has just voted itself poorer. This wasn't some face-saving resignation where in truth, they were fired. They set up the block, put their head on it, then raised the axe in defiance. This will show Europe. Westeros voted for winter. The passengers on Titanic voted for the iceberg. Britain put the dumb into referendum.
The self-inflictedness was the head-shaker. David Cameron didn't need to hold the referendum. Talk about an unforced error. And however badly history will judge Cameron, think how history will judge the eventual UK prime minister who pushes the button on Article 50. I see cartoons with mushroom clouds and swastikas (but that's possibly why I'm not a cartoonist.)
Cameron knew that activating Article 50 is launching the nuke, and that's why he resigned without doing it. In the meltdown that follows, he's somehow going to paint himself as a conscientious objector.
As Brexit addicts know, until the UK hits the button on Article 50, it remains inside the EU. (The referendum isn't binding on the UK Parliament.) But how does Article 50 get activated? When does the ball cross the line for this own goal? If Cameron, still PM, whispers the words "Article 50" to some bureaucrat in Brussels, does that light the fuse? Nobody knows.
Does it require an act of Parliament, or just a public statement? A press release? A drunken text? Snapchat? Can Scotland veto? Can Scotland secede? Northern Ireland also voted to remain: what about them?
Boris Johnson led the Leave campaign, and now he's won, he says there's no hurry to push that button. Well, if there's no hurry, duh, that means there was no need.
Surely 350 million a week to the NHS would be a reason to hurry? That's a billion pounds after three weeks - that adds up.
Imagine campaigning to be released from prison. You wouldn't hesitate if the campaign succeeded, would you? Wouldn't you get out that door straight away, raising both arms in victory? Instead, the Leave campaign has wiped their website, deleting its campaign promises. Instead of being proud that their manifesto could now become their legacy, they delete the written evidence. SMH, as the kids say. Does it make a diff? Not meaning to insult *everyone* who voted Leave: but a lot of them probably weren't all that big on reading anyway.
Anyway, a vote's a vote. Who's to say which campaign promise made anyone vote? The vote result should stand. Who am I to condemn a decision made by the British people? It's their country, isn't it? Sovereignty was a key argument for Leave. Taking back control was a catch-cry. Then again, some - and I should emphasise "some" - Leave supporters thought that as soon as they won the referendum, immigrants would be collected up for instant deportation.
And why shouldn't Britain make laws for Britain? It sounds self-evident, right?
Opponents of the TPP raised sovereignty as a reason against: why should evil corporations, negotiating in secret, be able to sue countries whose laws cost them money?
But Europe, for all its administrative bloat, is a democracy. A 500 million-person democracy, with a 751-member parliament. They're elected, which is something you can't say for Britain's House of Lords. Europe is so democratic, they even gave a seat to Nigel Farage. (Sometimes you can go too far allowing freedom of speech.)
Who's happy about Brexit? Farage. Trump. Marine le Pen. That's all you need to know.