Brief Encounters: beware the drones of Brexit

Along a narrow lane one Spring Sunday, two blokes who’ve been staying overnight at a house party are taking a walk, and breathing in the quiet solitude, leafy glades and fresh air of the Kent countryside. As seems somehow inevitable these days, they fall to discussing Brexit. The Brexiteer (an expat) declares himself sick of scaremongering following the referendum, but the confirmed Remainer (a teacher) foresees nothing but economic disaster, starvation and the loss of human rights from Britain “crashing out” of the European Union. Mile after mile, the debate goes back and forth.


“At the end of the day,” the Brexiteer concludes,”It’s going to hit the EU harder than it hits us.”

The Remainer snorts in the the manner of somebody choking on a rubber band.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” he comments.

The first man raises an eyebrow.

“Yes, but do you understand what I’m taking about?”

Taken aback briefly, the second man replies.

“Of course I do,” he says, desperate not to appear stupid or ill-informed.

“No you don’t,” the hypothesis floater counters, “You haven’t a clue what I’m talking about”.

“Of course I know what you’re talking about,” the opponent insists (hoping that his emphasis will save him), “It’s just that you don’t.”.

“Hang on,” says the Brexiteer chap, “If I don’t know what I’m talking about, how have I explained it so well that you do, and yet I don’t?”

“Because you’re thick and I’m smart?” he suggests, a roughly Lower Fourth pubescent grin invading his face.

“Alright, so keep it very simple and explain to me what I’m talking about then.”

“You were talking about Brexit, but you know nothing about Brexit.”

“No, I was talking about staying in the European Union, and why that would be a moral and financial disaster and the end of democracy”.

“Exactly. But being a Brexiteer, you know nothing about Remaining. So I know what you’re talking about, but you don’t. Whereas I know what I disaster Brexit would be, but you don’t”.

There was a pause.

“Right. Now I get it: you understand everything about Brexit, and I understand nothing about Remaining.”


“So we start even, then”.

“Ye….no, of course we don’t.”

“We don’t?”

“Because I know everything and you know nothing”.

“OOOooKaaay, but you can’t know everything about Brexit can you?”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s never happened before.”

“That applies to you too…”

“True. But I live and work in the eurozone and have been an EU citizen for 43 years and so I must know something about it, wouldn’t you think?”

“Yes, but you’re not typical. Leavers are stupid racist bigots and…”

“Fine, but we’re not talking about them, are we? We’re talking about us. You’ve never experienced Brexit, and you’ve never lived in the eurozone. That is correct, isn’t it?”

“It is, but….”

“So actually, the truth is that, after all this is over, I’ll be a Remainer and you’ll be a Leaver.”

“In a way yes, but…..”

“In other words, neither of us got what we wanted out off the 2016 vote, did we?”

“Um, No. Now you put it like that, no.”

“And we especially didn’t want Theresa May”.

“My God no….is she a silly cow or what?”

“Ghastly. That looks like a nice pub coming up. Fancy a pint?”

“Why not?”


Two completely innocent people have just had a bit of a run-in with Her Majesty’s Constabulary, and a brief encounter with the profoundly depraved cadres of the British media.

Paul Gait, 47, and his wife Elaine Kirk, 54, were detained on Friday night on suspicion of flying a drone above Gatwick airport. Somehow – I mean, can you imagine how? – their names and mugshots found their way onto the Sunday front pages. This was today’s lead at The Mail:

Unfortunately for The MOS, the answer to their question is “No”. After 36 hours under the arc lamp, the couple were released without charge.

While studying media law as a subsid subject at Uni, I did not (and still don’t) understand how this kind of reporting can not be a breach of sub judice protection of the Accused. But either way, the Mail refers to them as morons.

The Snail’s counsel will of course argue that the question mark in the headline renders any libel charge null and void.

I tell you what I think. I think there is a commonsense way of stopping this kind of privacy desecration, and it’s this: forcing the title concerned to put an apology on the front page – using all of that page for the apology in bold headline format, and explaining that the original piece was little more than the premature ejaculation of people with tiny willies as well as being utter and unfounded bollocks from start to finish.

The British police have been far too close to the tabloid media for some years now. The cops use them to show evidence of Work Being Done when they’re under – guess what? – pressure from those very same media to show some results. They obviously used underhand methods to sell the story to the Mail, the Mirror, the Express, The Telegraph, Uncle Tom Cobbleigh, and for all I know, his estranged wife.

It should stop, but it won’t. So here’s my little Sunday Splash to give these gargoyles a taste of their own poison. This is what I’d make the Mail run – the next day, and featured alongside the article in question:


Geordie Grieg: a shit?