These are the victors. Why so morose? Perhaps, they’re just now realising the enormity of what they’ve done? As this image from the Guardian newspaper reveals, at their press conference immediately following the referendum result on Thursday, Johnson and Gove looked rather less than victorious.
Maybe they were hoping David Cameron would stay on just long enough to steer their divided country out of the European Union? If so, they were wrong. Cameron, he says, will go before October. As Johnson is favourite to take his place and likely become prime minister, it will fall to him to negotiate Britain’s exit. Good luck, Boris, you’ll need it!
All the bravado of the Leave campaign seems to have disintegrated. All the talk of proud British independence from Europe, hushed.
As the Guardian reports:
When he emerged from his London home after his triumph, early on Friday, Boris Johnson did not appear overjoyed. He was jeered and insulted, not greeted as a liberating hero. Some applauded him, but more hurled abuse. Later, when he and Gove held a victory press conference, both men looked shell-shocked. Their short speeches were funereal in tone, no smiles.
As the stock market nosedived, Johnson addressed a message directly to young people, as if he was terrified of their anger, assuring them they would still be able to travel and find jobs in other European countries. The future, he said, was still bright. “To those who may be anxious, whether at home or abroad, this does not mean that the United Kingdom will be in any way less united, nor, indeed, does it mean that it will be any less European … that this decision involves pulling up a drawbridge or some sort of isolationism – I think the opposite is true,” he said. “We cannot turn our backs on Europe. We are part of Europe.”
Really? Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what he’s been telling everyone for the past year?
Gove was even more weasel-like in his contribution. The Guardian again:
Gove paid a flattering tribute to David Cameron, who would go down as a “great prime minister” and adopted a soothing tone.
“We can now, calmly and united, take our country forward in the spirit of the warm, humane and generous values that are the best of Britain.”
Congratulations, Mister Gove, bullshit is just what your nation needs right now.
Meanwhile close to three million people have signed a petition demanding another referendum.
It’s unlikely to do any good, but three million signatures in only three days, says much about the split that is tearing Britain apart, and a result that is almost certain to see Scotland declare its independence from the rest of the Kingdom, as it determines to stay European.
The effect on Northern Ireland could prove even more catastrophic. Their vote to remain in the E.U. will be discarded by a British Parliament, and border controls again imposed between them and their E.U. neighbour, Eire. Given the turbulent and violent history of this island, any further border restrictions could well prove a match to the gunpowder for Irish Republicans.
“Calmly and united,” Mister Gove? You truly are an optimist, sir.
The nation is now divided by age, with the young (under fifties) squarely blaming the the older generation for outing Britain:
Sparrow Chat recently suggested that all over-fifties be banned from voting in the referendum as it wouldn’t affect them due to their age. Had that been implemented, as this graph from the BBC depicts, the vote to remain in Europe would have been decisive.
Make no mistake, it’s all a terrible mess. It will take years, possibly decades, to untangle. Only one thing is certain – the United Kingdom is doomed, and Britain will never be the same again.
 “Cameron’s bad bet: the drama of a night that ripped Britain apart” Guardian, June 25th 2016
 “EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum” UK Government and Parliament.
 “Brexit: How much of a generation gap is there?” BBC, June 24th 2016
 “Of Moaning Brits And Outdated Yanks…” Sparrow Chat, May 26th 2016