Where is the Brexit Committee?

  • Walker Zupp

    Walker Zupp

Mr Premier, I implore you to take your Brexit Committee seriously. In Britain this week, the Prime Minister’s special political adviser, Dominic Cummings, hired a 27-year-old adviser called Andrew Subisky. Within 48 hours, Mr Subisky had quit, owing to a barrage of criticism aimed towards his previous statements on race and class.

One of his statements, as reported by the BBC, consisted of Subisky calling for compulsory contraception so that a “permanent underclass” could be avoided. The problem is not that 10 Downing Street has no clue where this chap materialised from; the problem is not that Mr Subisky is an intolerant lunatic; the problem, as far as I am concerned, is that no one really seems to care about what has just transpired in the governing geography of Westminster.

As for those who voted for the Conservative Party in the last General Election, let it be known that this is what you voted for, whether in an honest frame of mind, or a dishonest frame of mind.

Where does Bermuda sit within the delicate balance of the increasingly right-wing Britain’s foreign interests, then?

During Premier’s Question Time last week (February 14, 2020), the matter of the Government’s “Brexit Committee” was raised. The Premier was asked if this committee, which is composed of a Trade Union Congress member, a Progressive Labour Party member, a One Bermuda Alliance member, a youth member, a non-profit sector member and a business sector member, had actually met. The Premier replied that it had not, but that he would, by the end of February, replace the deceased chairman of the committee with a new chair.

Further problems, the Premier related, had materialised in the form of the business community wanting two seats on the committee — one for local business and one for international business — to which the Premier and his advisers had responded with an unambiguous “No”, saying that the number of seats for the business community at the round table of the “Brexit Committee”, would continue to stand at one seat.

With all of this in mind, I cannot help but think that the Premier, much like the British public, does not care to consider the sociopolitical and economic impacts of this cauldron of lunacy known as Brexit. God knows, there have been enough issues with the coronavirus and Asians experiencing racism; issues with Megxit, and what additional, racial features precipitated Megan and Harry’s departure from the Royal Family without also considering the amount of grim glances, refusals of service and go-back-to-Africas I have witnessed in Cornwall over the past year.

It is too easy to say that something is happening to the fabric of Britain; it is more difficult, but more realistic to argue, that Britain has always sustained an uneasiness in addressing its “racial history”, which, let’s be frank, is not great. The same reticence to address anthropological ghastliness can be seen, I think, in Britain’s diffidence towards its own history of witchcraft.

Now, whether or not Dominic Cummings is capable of summoning succubi so as to remedy forthcoming trade negotiations with Britain is of little interest to me. What does matter, however, is whether or not Bermuda — that is, its government — is not only capable but also willing to address serious implications that such societal rumblings in Britain may cause in its Overseas Territories.

This brings us, once again, to independence. Like Norman Mailer, who became more obfuscated in his views on capital punishment as a result of his thinking and writing about capital punishment in The Executioner’s Song (1979), I find myself increasingly frustrated with this idea of independence and what it means.

I have, therefore, reached the conclusion that, even if Bermuda were to leave for the right reasons — to take a stand against the, frankly, anti-democratic organisation of Boris Johnson’s government; to reject racism and bigotry; to push Bermuda forward as a free-thinking, virtuous and disciplined country — Bermuda would still, under this government, certainly, and with these politicians, no doubt, be held back in its fresh independence for the wrong reasons: for reasons of greed, and personal gain; for reasons of disinterest paid to lower, and higher, education; for reasons of plain dishonesty practised in the classrooms and the offices, on the buses and the park benches, on our land and in our waters.

Indeed, I feel as though even the fish in our harbours, and in our reefs, cannot stop counting, and worshipping, money ...

Mr Premier, I implore you to take your Brexit Committee seriously, lest we mature into what we loathe.

Walker Zupp, a St Georgian, studied English language and creative writing at Lancaster University, where he remained for the Creative Writing Independent Study MA. He has embarked on a PhD in Creative Writing at Exeter University

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Published Feb 19, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 19, 2020 at 7:38 am)

Where is the Brexit Committee?

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