Brexit Seance: I Watched Margaret Thatcher Return From The Dead To Advise Boris
It’s sometimes difficult to describe just how bonkers Brexit Britain has become.
I’ve temporarily moved back to my motherland from Sydney and, although it was already plain to see from Australia how much the British public’s engagement with politics had taken a nosedive, it’s not until you’re immersed in the daily circus that you realise just how ridiculous the pantomime has become.
A peculiar event I attended on Friday hammered home for me how deep we are in the twilight zone.
On any given day in the UK, between morning tea and high tea, Ministers will resign, our PM will be accused of lying to the Queen, U-turns will be made and politicians known for decades of loyalty will swap parties or even set up their own new one.
It was almost a relief, then, when I saw a flyer from a group which has resorted to summoning Margaret Thatcher from the dead to deliver her message from the spirit world about what Britain should do about the mess it’s in.
It was the perfect articulation of how utterly bizarre my country has become.
Brits have gone one of two ways: either incandescently irate at the international laughing stock we’ve become, or completely zoned out from it all, infinitely more interested in Love Island. It’s their British way of keeping calm and carrying on.
The flyer billed this event as: "No-Deal Brexit? Margaret Thatcher’s message from Spirit World!!" Questions that’d hopefully be answered include whether she’s in heaven or hell, her message to the British people, and her thoughts on Brexit.
It's Friday night and I'm sitting in a small, church-like room in central London with about 30 others, all eagerly awaiting what the Iron Lady would have to say about this sorry state of affairs once her spirit rose from the dead. An eerie silence is interrupted by the occasional ‘cheers’ in London’s pubs below.
The event is run by a religious group called Happy Science. They believe our physical bodies are mere empty vessels for “soul training”.
Japanese CEO and founder Ryuho Okawa is their prophet on earth today. It’s he who will summon Thatcher’s spirit for us shortly.
READ MORE: Suspension Of UK Parliament Ruled Unlawful
Thatcher isn’t the first former PM whose counsel has been sought on the fraught options that lay ahead before 31 October Brexit deadline: deal; no deal or, as opposition parties propose, another referendum.
The other PMs, though, are alive. On Saturday it was front page news that David Cameron is “truly sorry” for the uncertainty and division the referendum result has caused and even admitted: “I failed.” He stopped short of expressing regret at holding the referendum in the first place; he was elected on that manifesto promise. Tony Blair consistently insists Brexit is a terrible idea, but has urged Labor not to back a general election until after Brexit is resolved because of Jeremy Corbyn’s unpopularity. And Sir John Major has also turned on his own. He joined forces in the courts with anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller to oppose Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament.
READ MORE: Hugh Grant Tells Boris Johnson To F**k Off
Anticipation in this small holy room, featuring an alter displaying an ominous looking sword, is now building. Pencils are chewed; pens are poised; fingers hover over the ‘send tweet’ button. We know what the living PMs think. What does our most famous modern dead PM have to contribute?
The answer is more bizarre than even I could imagine. The first give away was the notable lack of candles and ouija board; we’d come for some sort of ‘socialism sucks seance.’
What we actually get is a video recording from 2013, made just 19 hours after Thatcher died. In it, Okawa summons her spirit and “embodies” her.
The video set up involves some Japanese “news reporters” poised to get a “big scoop” by asking Thatcher’s spirit, summoned through Okawa, questions on her time in power.
Suddenly Okawa rapidly rubs his hands together, throws his head back, then sideways, then cranes his neck an inch and speaks. His voice becomes high-pitched, shrill, staccato and largely irate.
“DENIS?” he screams. “DENIS? DENIS? DENNNNIS!”
“She’s here!” one of the reporters mouths, elated.
“I AM THE PRIME MINISTER,” Okawa thunders. “I AM STILL THE IRON LADY!”
He then frowns and becomes confessional: “I have a very short temper. I get angry very quickly. I am the hot-iron lady!”
Then, the four ‘reporters’, notebooks in hand, ask all manner of questions -- from the unions (“I hate them!” Okawa shouts), to then-President Obama (“KILL HIM!” her spirit commands. “Then FIRE HIM!”)
The room comes alive with a combination of gasps and muffled giggles.
But at the end, we’re just frustrated. We’re no clearer on Thatcher’s master Brexit plan.
When an audience member asks about that plan afterwards, the Happy Science representative simply says:
"Thatcher was right -- the EU won’t make the UK prosperous and we made the right decision [to leave].”
We shuffle out and I ask attendee Steven, a professionally dressed 30-something from North London, his thoughts.
He believes that what we witnessed was Thatcher’s spirit: “I think he probably was channelling,” he said.
“But he didn’t have a good grasp of English, so it wasn't really coming through clearly."
Or perhaps Brexit is such sh*tshow that even the most prominent inhabitants of the spirit world don't know how to explain the way forward.