Editor’s comment: Strange days have tracked us down
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
I spent the oddity that was the turn of the millennium (or the turn of 1999/2000, at least) at a small party in a derelict school hall, wearing a dress, playing with my then-band in front of a handful of friends and, bizarrely, my former teacher.
The day Brexit "got done" was at least as strange. I was at a very fun do in north London that was part Friday night Shabbat dinner, part ironic Brexit celebration (EU/UK flag cake with a knife in it) and part packed house party at which I hogged a corner of the kitchen, clutched a bottle of Rioja and forgot people's names.
The Brexitness of things no one knew quite how to handle.
Obviously for many people in the wider country, Friday was a time of celebration.
But it is far from true that half the country was in rapture, just as it is far from true that half the country is in mourning.
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For most, life will feel as it was. One complex set of international legal arrangements, agreements and protocols will be replaced by another complex set of legal arrangements, agreements and protocols. There will be consequences, of course, and history will reveal their nature - with the proviso that the counterfactual of 'what would have happened without Brexit' will always be open to debate.
We have to be on our guard for what our country (or countries?)could become. Pride in your country is not nationalism but that direction, and the intolerance it brings, remains a threat. We have to ensure that this government does not get lax when it comes to environmental controls or workers' rights under the flood of negotiations ahead.
- 1 Police cordon in place after Essex Road pub 'assault'
- 2 Petrol station forecourts closed and long queues in north London
- 3 How some Islington tenants are losing their homes in a matter of minutes
- 4 Man killed and two injured in triple shooting
- 5 Thousands of care home staff yet to be vaccinated in London
- 6 Man killed in 'shooting' in north London
- 7 Finsbury Park man arrested on suspicion of second north London murder
- 8 New free map reveals the best walking routes in Hackney and Islington
- 9 Stop the Burn: Protest planned against Edmonton incinerator rebuild
- 10 Man jailed for rape of young girl in north London 40 years ago
With the year 2000, the world did not end, but an era of some optimism did soon turn sour with the rise of extremism, the War On Terror, and the implosion of unchecked capitalism.
There are lessons there.