Transport your imaginations, dear reader, to a dystopian iteration of Boiler Room. In the bowels of a precarious club built entirely out of stockpiled tins of mackerel, DJ BJ bobs behind the decks, his hair flopping up and down like a seal’s bleached flipper.
The pulse of watery deep house skitters across the room, and on a flickering projector behind Boris Johnson’s sallow head, the last remaining reserves of electricity power a single screen. A single phrase flashes over, over and over again. #GETBREXITDONE it cries out. #GETBREXITDONE it weeps, in a font nicked straight from the sleeve for Kayne West’s ‘The Life of Pablo’ – and recent NME covers. And the exact format of our New Bangers playlists on social media. Welcome to the pitiful vision served up by the Conservative Party’s latest promotional advert – an offering so transparent that it seems to yelp, ‘How do you do, fellow kids’, out of its puckered rim.
How on earth did things come to this? Leave campaigners have been banging on about the abundance of riches that await the UK in a post-European Union world since well before the 2016 referendum. But gradually, even their bullshit has shrivelled in scope: morphing from the £350 million per week a campaign bus promised for the NHS, to the not-altogether-reassuring estimation that there might be enough medicine for everyone – until the end of the year, anyway. With the government’s options gradually disappearing when it comes to passing a withdrawal agreement bill, and the prospect of leaving the EU on October 31 looking increasingly impossible, the Conservatives have deployed their last resort. Behold, this monstrosity.
It’s time for MPs to come together and vote to #GetBrexitDone.
Then we can focus on the priorities that make a difference in the quality of life for everyone across the UK. pic.twitter.com/dBeOTCZDnu
— Conservatives (@Conservatives) October 22, 2019
“It’s time for MPs to come together and vote to #GetBrexitDone,” reads the caption, with exactly the kind of jaunty, upbeat swagger that this precise situation – nay, crisis – does not demand. “Then we can focus on the priorities that make a difference in the quality of life for everyone across the UK.”
Ah, yes, these priorities that the Tories are famously known for championing when pesky old Brexit isn’t getting in their way, like taxing disabled people with a bedroom tax, driving around in “Go Home” vans and *checks list* slashing public services across the board. The whole thing is soundtracked by deep house music which appears to come from a royalty-free music library. When NME reached out to Jones Meadow – the artist behind ‘Middle’, the track they chose – they confirmed that they were not previously aware that the track would be appearing in the Brexit video, and declined to comment further on the matter, presumably while they consulted with their lawyers.
In fairness, the Tories aren’t the only people to try and plagiarise the rough aesthetic of an Urban Outfitters graphic T-shirt. Twirly moustache bloke from the GoCompare adverts did a similar one in a recent ad campaign. Mind you, at least GoCompare provide insurance to protect people in the event of a total car crash that they didn’t want in the first place.
We may never know what exactly possessed the Conservatives to appeal to MPs across the House of Commons in the manner that somebody might perhaps float the idea of a spontaneous outing to see Fatboy Slim. It’s truly ridiculous – but in a surreal way, going down this particular route does feel like the perfect match for the government’s approach to Brexit.
The thing is, when you’ve had a few on a Friday night and your mate suggests sacking off the pub in favour of ‘having a big one’ there aren’t many people in this world who demand a copy of the proposed club’s event listings, and pore through the terms and conditions for reentry with several coloured highlighters. Before throwing all caution to the wind and pulling an all-nighter, it’s not usually necessary to stockpile any provisions in advance, either – though a frozen ristorante pizza never goes amiss the next day. Hop on the bus first, work out the plan of action later is the usual gist of things. That’s because it’s only a night out, and you don’t have to negotiate 40 brand new free trade deals with 70 countries in order to buy yourself a fucking pint.
Adopting the exact same approach to negotiating a complex exit from the European Union would be ludicrous, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it? Oh. Right. There we go then.