Welcome to my second dispatch from the land of Brexit.
Today we saw an attempt to get back to politics as usual with senior Conservative politicians emerging from the bunkers they’d been in over the weekend. Following on from Boris Johnson’s Telegraph article (which I mentioned last night) George Osborne gave a statement at 7am with the intention of calming the markets—“Britain is open for business”—but nevertheless the pound dropped sharply against the dollar soon afterwards, possibly prompted by Boris Johnson’s comments that it was “stable”.
At 0930 Boris Johnson: "the pound is stable" – it has now fallen to a new 31 year low versus the dollar pic.twitter.com/41swM1WGtK
— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) June 27, 2016
Around the same time, the share prices of two large British banks, Barclays and RBS, lurched downwards so sharply that trading was temporarily suspended. Perhaps Osborne’s speech hadn’t had the desired effect after all.
The Vote Leave campaign switched its own website into victory mode, unveiling a picture of a bus which claimed that Britain gave the EU £50m per day.
Some people initially mistook this bus for its more famous sibling which had spent the campaign advancing the claim that the EU cost the UK £350m per week. And then, noticing that the number was different, some suspected that yet another Leave lie had been uncovered.
— Steve B (@actonsheep) June 27, 2016
Just as Twitter began to convulse with rage, someone remembered that days and weeks are different units of time.
My tweet about that fella's bus was wrong. It said £50 million a day, which does equate to £350 million a week. Sorry about that!
— Jack Lawrence (@JLawrence_Art) June 27, 2016
Still, it doesn’t matter as the whole thing is nonsense anyway.
People who’d failed to fully understand the economic arguments of shiny red buses weren’t the only apologetic ones today. Kelvin McKenzie, the former editor of the Sun, expressed “buyer’s remorse” for having voted Leave.
A "lob it in" school of journalism from Sun dinosaur Kelvin MacKenzie. Then "reverse ferret" pic.twitter.com/84wvoUyvGs
— Joe Public (@jpublik) June 27, 2016
There was a lot of outrage about that but fair enough, I thought, at least he’s admitted it. More people should. It doesn’t help that so many are refusing to acknowledge that we face serious difficulties. To wit:
Project Fear now wholly-owned subsidiary of pro-Remain media. Seem almost desperate for Leave to fail. Gloomy spin on everything.
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) June 27, 2016
Those looking for a non-gloomy spin on things would be best advised to avoid any conversations about race relations, which continued to add an undercurrent of genuine horror.
In utter shock: just been called p**i in my home town! Haven't heard that word here since the 80s..!
— Sima Kotecha (@sima_kotecha) June 27, 2016
This person is a BBC newsreader and reporter for the Radio 4 Today programme. And if you don’t trust people who work for the BBC then what about people who work for Murdoch-owned Sky? Presumably they’ll tell it like it is and assure us that there’s no problem with racism here.
This weekend I and my family have witnessed 3 "when are you going home?" Racist incidents aimed at EU citizens here.
— Adam Boulton (@adamboultonSKY) June 26, 2016
Again, it’s too early to know for sure if there has been a surge in racist abuse post-referendum, but the anecdotal evidence does not look good.
One of my big worries is what’s going to happen as it dawns on the far right that the Leave campaign blew the dogwhistle in vain and that immigration isn’t really going to be curtailed by Brexit. The politicians who made those claims won’t be the ones on the sharp end of the backlash; it’ll be immigrants on the streets, who asked for none of this. Leading Leavers are of course denying that their campaign had anything to do with immigration whatsoever:
— Nicholas Pegg (@NicholasPegg) June 27, 2016
And it’s worth watching this clip from Dan Hannan’s appearance on Newsnight last Friday for another example of this.
But there was one organisation that wasn’t about to U-turn so shamelessly and has instead stuck firmly to the notion that Brexit is all about expelling foreigners and reclaiming Englishness: the Sun. Here’s a screenshot of a piece of execrable journalism which in a sane world would be career-ending:
In the minds of these people this is an Agincourt moment, with England ascendant once more and the world cowering before its mighty flag. And then this happened:
— Amazing Videos (@amazinvids) June 27, 2016
Yet another national humiliation as England lost 2-1 to Iceland. At least this one was pure comedy though.
Interesting football match between a small, almost irrelevant, economically compromised island at the extreme margin of Europe and Iceland
— Mario Fusco (@mariofusco) June 27, 2016
"I didn't realise that was the actual game. I would have done it differently if I'd known it counted." pic.twitter.com/K074ehVkPi
— Paul Oswell (@Shandypockets) June 27, 2016
Remember when the UK and England weren't a global embarrassment? I miss a week ago.
— Rob Sheppard (@RobSheppard) June 27, 2016
I know I haven’t really touched on what’s happening in the Labour party today but as you can imagine it’s a complete mess. Stay tuned, because it’s a fair bet that more things will be happening tomorrow.