E&M‘s resident political sketch writer Will Clark imagines how the populist Right might react if Greece were to leave the European Union.
A dialogue between Viktor Orbán and Nigel Farage
NF: Viktor! Did you hear the news?
VO: Oh hi Nige, yes I did in fact.
NF: So Greece is finally out of the EU.
VO: It would seem so.
NF: The lucky bastards. Still, I won’t miss ‘em.
VO: Ha, well I’ll actually be seeing a lot more of them, I expect.
NF: Oh? How so?
VO: More refugees of course!
NF: Oh yes well … No hold on, what do you mean?
VO: 2000 a day pouring into my country, and that was before they left the EU! Just imagine what will happen to them now without a strong central source of authority. Say what you like about Merkel, she’s got the balls to tell people how to live their lives – and is all the sexier for it!
NF: Er, aren’t the refugees mostly from Syria?
VO: Syria, Greece, it’s all the same to me. They say there’s a difference but it’s all just kebab isn’t it? Kebab, kebab, kebab, I’m bloody sick of kebab. What’s wrong with potatoes?
NF: Well I’m with you there. I had an awful kebab experience from a Turkish place in Southend once. Threw up for days, couldn’t keep anything down. Enough to make me veto Turkey’s application to the EU if it ever tries. Now potatoes, there’s a stomach-settling food! Very civilised. Give me a jacket potato with baked beans and a large helping of mature British cheddar any day, and don’t forget the pint of bitter to wash it all down. You know, Sir Walter Raleigh –
VO: Yes, good communist food, potatoes.
VO: Capitalist I mean, yes? Whatever, I’m in charge aren’t I? “Economic paradigm”, they say, “democratic practices”. What do I care? If you ask me we’ll be much better off without Greece around demanding that we respect their rich cultural heritage. If I hear the phrase “cradle of democracy” one more time –
NF: Well OK, but what about all these immigrants? You know, Britain’s going to the dogs since we opened the floodgates to outsiders. You can’t move for bloody immigrants. They’re driving decent British folk out of jobs simply because they have relevant qualifications and a willingness to perform the tasks required of their position. The other day I went to the doctor – an Indian guy he was, I mean, you couldn’t get much further away, what’s his supposed connection to our beautiful land?
NF: Anyway, there was this Italian girl on the desk sorting out the appointments and everything – very friendly, helpful, found me a slot that fitted round my Oktoberfest plans. And the whole time I was thinking, “Why aren’t you more sullen? Why is this so easy and pleasant?” It was profoundly unnerving, I’ll tell you. So what are you going to do about these 2000 Greeks or Syrians or whatever they are wanting to come and improve your country? That’s going to be a big, big problem for you.
VO: Problem, what are you talking about? This is the best possible situation!
NF: You can’t be serious.
VO: I am serious, think about it. The more immigrants there are, the easier it is to scare people about the “immigrant problem”, and the happier they’ll be to accept laws that offer a “solution”. Does it really count as a dictatorship if the people vote for it? I mean isn’t that basically just democracy being sensible for once?
VO: No no, this is very good for Europe. And me. Pretty much my ideal Europe right now.
NF: Gosh. I can’t say I see it in quite the same way, but I’m also pretty happy about the state of Europe right now.
VO: I don’t understand, your party has collapsed and your reputation lies in tatters. You have absolutely zero chance of seizing the reins of power anytime soon.
NF: Granted, there are a few things I need to maintain a stiff upper lip about at the moment, but personally wielding power was only ever a minor aim of mine. Of course, to follow in the great British footsteps of Gladstone, Churchill, Thatcher… But no, for me the important thing has only ever been that we’re ruled – ultimately ruled – by someone British, whether it’s for our own good or not. And that day is finally once again in sight.
VO: Because of the immigrants?
NF: No! Not everything’s about the blasted immigrants. I mean, most things are, but not this one thing.
VO: This one thing being…?
NF: Greece leaving the EU of course! They’ve done the impossible and left the bureaucratic machine. I wish they’d done it without taking all that decent British money in the process of course, but I’ve got to respect them for managing something those misguided twerps in Downing Street would never have dreamed of.
VO: But what about the stabilising force of centralised authority?
NF: Rubbish, they’ve shed the bureaucracy, they’ve thrown out the Euro, what we’ll see now is a powerful country in control of its own destiny, bringing back a strong Drachma to become the economic powerhouse of Southern Europe. We never joined the single currency of course, so we’re one up on them in that respect (and how many others ho ho!) but they’ll show us the way here. We’ll finally see sense when we see how much better off a country is out of the EU rather than in it.
VO: But you know, it won’t be so easy for your British people to go on their beloved summer holidays to Greece to drink ouzo and sing Cliff Richard songs and embarrass themselves as they love to do.
NF: Huh, well I was in Mykonos for a two-week spell in the 80s and it wasn’t all that. Too hot, poor spelling on the menus, and not an ale in sight. No thank you, better off without ‘em. And better of without the rest of you too. That’s my European utopia, no offence.
VO: None taken.
NF: … No more kebabs.
VO: No more kebabs.
Cover photo: Tobias Melzer *Image cropped by E&M