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Stranger than fiction

Infamy, infamy. They’ve all got it infamy

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

It was bad enough we woke up on Jun 24th to find the Leave he EU campaign had edged past the Remainers like a sneaky Icelandic striker and banged one in the back of the Brexit net, leaving Remain wondering what on earth had happened. Rather like Roy Hodgson, but that’s the subject of a whole other blog.

In the days since then – and, lets remind ourselves it is less than a fortnight – we’ve had resignations galore, a plummeting pound, a Construction Markit PMI that slumped even before the referendum and, most worryingly, an increase in attacks on perfectly harmless UK-based EU citizens. Haters will always hate, but the Leave vote seems to have given some idiots the idea that they now have legitimacy. Again, the subject for a whole other blog.

Is Boris playing the long game? Did he quit the current PM race on the grounds that it’s a poisoned chalice and that he would bide his time? If so, the odious Michael Gove had better watch out. Revenge, as the late Sir Geoffrey Howe would attest, is a dish best served cold and in the full spotlight.

Or did Boris realise that the result he campaigned for wasn’t actually the one he wanted and that making it work would be far more hard work than he was comfortable with?

What made Gove turn Brutus on his former running mate? Surely it wasn’t just the email from his wife who’s been cast in the Lady Macbeth role in all this, warning of Boris’s possible shortcomings?

Teresa May has made no secret of her desire for the top job, but she probably didn’t expect the opportunity to be thrust upon her quite so precipitously. Or maybe she did. Maybe she’s been quietly dripping poison in Cameron’s ear all along, waiting for him to throw it all up in the air in a hissy fit. Which he did. Although, she’s not exactly going to endear herself to anyone other than the most rabid Leavers with her thoughts on what might happen to all those who’ve been paying UK taxes, keeping the economy going and bringing up children – but who just so happen to have been born the other side of the Channel or the North Sea.

Stephen Crabb and Liam Fox have thrown their support behind May, though Andrea Leadsom has, if the papers and social media can be believed, picked up some slightly off-putting supporters and Jeremy Corbyn seems to have developed selected deafness about the fact that most of the people who work for him have their knives aimed between his shoulder blades.

Now Farage, the architect (in his own mind anyway) of the whole Brexit fandango, has claimed as much of the spotlight as he can by claiming he wants to get out of it. He says he wants to “get his life back”. Jolly good Nigel. I’d like my exchange rate and my pension fund back, but, it seems, we can’t have everything we want.

Actually, I reckon you could make this stuff up. You could write it all up, set it in a very cold northern land, throw in a few dragons and swords and call it Game of…oh.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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