I was on holiday for a fortnight. Sort of. So long had it been that I had quite forgotten what it meant. Not having to do things? Impossible. Not having to take note of great events? Likewise inconceivable.
I had been around for Brexit, much though I attempted to ignore the referendum, as I had for the many months leading up to it. When it happened, it was like a bereavement. However much you tried to shut it out, it would come back, constantly nagging away. Mind you, that only lasted a day. The replacement feeling was a mixture of anger and great amusement. The UK had taken a momentous decision courtesy of the naked ambitions of two Conservative politicians, the Murdoch and Desmond press, the unremitting ranting and racism of social media, and a whole bunch of lunatics who, having voted one way, then said sorry we were only having a laugh, can we do it again.
Johnson was gone, his inner buffoon laid bare for all to despise. Gove stepped up, his two brains cancelling themselves out. A man for change? No one believed him. Opportunistic did not do justice to his motives. A plague on both his and Johnson's houses, of which there are doubtless more than one apiece. Then there was Farage, Falstaffian Farage - vain, boastful, drunken and ultimately the architect of his own repudiation, having led the Prince Hal of the nation astray: a pied piper of distant Huguenotism, the piper at the gates of dawn of some new and ill-defined era.
Dave went as Dave had to go, falling on the sword of a trap that Falstaff had set for him. Dave's Europeanism will now extend merely to his holidays in the Balearics. No more, though, will we see the photo opps of him and Sam in relaxed holiday mode, sipping a cortado, Dave forever in that absurd blue sensible shirt he has reserved for holidaying in hot climes. Instead, we may catch a glimpse of Theresa's kitten heels. Theresa with an "h". What does it represent? A more drunken, all but dissolute-appearing Ken Clarke was caught by Sky saying she had spent too long at the Home Office. "Knows nothing about foreign affairs." God forbid.
"The Sun" had previously boiled it down to a two-horse race: one between a stallion heading for the knacker's yard and a sprightly filly coming up on the rails. "It's bonking Boris versus kitten-heeled Theresa," it announced, neglecting the eggheadedness of gruesome Gove. How long in the planning had been the Boris denouement? A useful idiot used to foster a personal end. Boris was not for bonking. Boris was bonked. Zap! Pow! Only Gove can save the Gotham City of post-Brexit Britain. How wrong he was to be.
Amidst this carnage came Chilcot. The Blair Witch Project was finally revealed for what it was. His desert adventuring with George W and the irrelevant "little friend" Aznar was an exercise of dubious legitimacy, imbued with the machismo of Bush's insane tendency to go running in the Arizona desert when the mercury struck 100F. How analogous it was. Politicians lead and take decisions predicated on dissembling; even lying. Momentous moves are made with nary a clue as to the outcome. Plan B? What Plan B? More tellingly, Plan A. What Plan A? Still, that's democracy for you.
Ah yes, democracy. Remember that? The Spanish were exercising their democratic rights once more. Yet again they failed to announce a winner. Not for one moment that this was the fault of the electorate. A four-way split. Spain split four ways, not knowing which way to turn. By default ending up where it had been in all likelihood, with Mariano determined to go on and on for all time.
Within this unpalatable smörgasbord of rejection were the little local battles: those of Balearic, small-islands' politicians. And what did the buffet offer? If one looks closely, one discovers that the eco-nationalists Més were annihilated. Bonked. Their vote disappeared, evaporated by a power-grabbing Podemos whim of electoral alliance. Its main face, Biel Barceló, the man with the old light-blue suit that seemed to have frayed even more overnight, was chastened. Or should have been. There again, he had matters of import to attend to. The tourist tax arrived and in the scheme of things was a minor sideshow, glossed over by Barceló's ridiculous mantras of 1.4% and others. Mere pennies as the pound slid. He hadn't seen that coming. More fool the politician who fails to plan for the worst-case scenario.
Through all this were the connections and threads. They make Brexit the more unconscionable. Brexit impacts tourists and trade, impacts the introduction of a petty local tax. And for Spain, there is the thread from Aznar's siding with Blair. It begat the Madrid bombs and his electoral defenestration in 2004. No one saw that coming either.