If only Winston had voted Leave

It can be tasted, smelled, heard and felt. It can now be seen – in politics, in the law, in our schools and universities. It has invaded the Police Service and local government. There appears to be intangible common purpose acting, resulting in these sensory perceptions, these feelings of unease. But for whose benefit and for what purpose?

…………Winston looked at the TV. Angela Merkel was addressing the UN in New York. Commissioner Erdogan and President Clinton were seated on her flanks, representing the United States of Europe and the USA. Whilst the words could be clearly distinguished all Winston now heard was a noise, like the drone of an old fridge. Winston noticed David Cameron seated three places to the left of Erdogan. Cameron had reached the heady heights of Joint Deputy Commissioner, not the position that he had envisaged five years previously when the Unification Treaty had finally been implemented in Europe and political integration completed. Winston recollected the summer of 2016………

The green light flashed on the router next to Winston’s laptop and distracted him from his memories. The internet connection was erratic at best, and down completely on most days now, but when functioning Winston presumed that his every keystroke would be monitored. The implementation of the Global Internet Safety Directive, the resulting ban on mobile digital devices, and consequential internet censorship had already had the effect of reducing the accessible content to that available on the remaining television channels. Winston had decided to stop using his computer some weeks ago and make do with the TV. His scepticism had sharpened since the newly formed Europol Hate Crime Squad (EHCS) had arrested two of his friends in mass dawn raids across Manchester just the previous week, and now all judicial matters had been transferred to Saxony, there was no mechanism for checking their welfare or precise whereabouts. The EHCS was composed of men only, from across the continent. The British branch employed mainly Bulgarian and Greek personnel, the British personnel being posted mainly in the newly formed European Iberian Region comprising the former countries of Portugal, Spain and Gibraltar.The redistribution of USE staff throughout the Regions was intended to assist in the integration of peoples as part of the Multicultural and Multinational Peace Initiative – Security sub-program. That is what the people had been told. The router light went off, the brief potential connection to the outside world, passed unused.

Winston looked back to the TV. General Secretary Merkel had finished speaking and was receiving generous applause from the gathered great and good of the UN. Cameron was forcing a smile. He looked tired, distant, pale and old. The crows’ feet stood out, distinct despite the fattened facial features and artificial jet black over styled hair.

Winston’s mind drifted back to 2016 and that summer, that strange summer when ever so briefly, politics was discussed in the street in the supermarket and in the pub – when his brother had been so insistent with him, so animated, so positive, so sure. His brother emigrated with his family to Canada in the autumn of that year and the last time Winston had seen him was at Manchester airport on his departure. There had been little talk of politics since then. Politics had been settled that summer. Winston was beginning to think his brother had been right all along. Winston was beginning to understand. Maybe it would have been different, better, if he had voted LEAVE.

Ang Ryman ©