If only that Brexit bookcase came in an Ikea flatpack…


THE death, at the grand old age of 91, of Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad should say something about Brexit. Oh, if only the endlessly complicated falling away from the EU could be assembled like one of those ubiquitous Billy bookcases.

Sadly, the Brexit bookcase seems to be the antithesis of the flatpack Swedish affair – so commonplace that there are said to be 60m in the world.

In contrast, there is only one Brexit bookcase: a big elephant-sized affair, lumbering and cumbersome, and the cause of endless bickering among the relatives about where it should be put.

The ardent Brexiteers are often to be heard complaining bitterly that they still aren’t getting their way. Heavens, if they make this much fuss about winning, just imagine the noise if they’d lost that bloody referendum.

Chief among the complainers is the Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, often to be found stamping his brogues while gnawing on the silver spoons in his mouth. It escapes me why the media fawns after this gruesome fogey, an Edwardian throwback seemingly smuggled into the 21st century through a gnarled loop in time.

Only yesterday, Rees-Mogg was heard to boast that he had never been to Ikea. Well, bully for him; if not billy for him, as it were.

It’s no surprise that Rees-Mogg has never visited one of the giant Swedish warehouses. One: he’s far too rich to need cheap furniture; two: Ikea is far too European for his tastes. And three: oh, go away, that’s enough about Jacob. Like rival Tory attention seeker Boris Johnson, he needs no encouragement.

Incidentally, a BBC Radio 4 trailer the other day said: “Why Boris Johnson…” I forget the rest but felt those words were more than sufficient. Why indeed?

At least we have David Davis looking out for us – just imagine if the Brexit Secretary looked like the sort of bluff chancer you wouldn’t trust to run the raffle at your local golf club. Where would we be then? Oh, hang on a minute…

As for the Edwardian throwback, I don’t wish to admit to sharing anything with the man whose name I am tired of typing, but Ikea doesn’t exactly lift my spirits. A visit usually starts well enough, as I trail along, nodding at this and that with a remarkable simulacrum of enthusiasm – only to feel, two pr three hours later, as if I am stuck in the very flat-packed bowels of hell.

Perhaps if my wife reads this, she won’t suggest another visit for a while – you know, a century or two. Mind you, the famous meat balls might still act as a bribe

As the Tories argue about whether to put Theresa May into one of those handy blue Frakta bags and fly-tip her somewhere out of the way, it strikes me that the role of Ikea in our attitude to Europe has not been explored enough. Why does a country that fell big time for Ikea find it so hard to love Europe?

That’s a mystery worthy of Wallander – another Swedish import we took to our hearts.

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