She said/he said…

She said her door was always open and he said that open door was a stunt. She said again that her door was always open. And the door said that’s news to me, I’ve been shut for so long I thought my job had changed to wall.

And all over the country people remembered a boss they once had who said on the first day that their door was always open, and then walked through it and that was the last time anyone saw that door open.

She said her door was open and why don’t the two of them sit down to talk about this impossible thing. He said again that it was all a stunt and promptly went off to the coast for a stunt of his own.

Her stunt was the plainly untrue one about her door having been always open when it was the most shut door in the history of shut doors. His stunt was the plainly bonkers one of pretending that an election was about to kick off, so he dragged out his old election scowl, the one that sort of nearly won last time around.

She said that calling for elections was playing politics, seemingly forgetting that was what she did last time around when she shredded her majority and promptly led us all deeper in this deep mess.

She said that you can’t ignore the voice of the people. She told any ministers whose arm she could still twist to go on the radio and say that it’s democracy and you can’t ignore the voice of the people.

The people agreed, apart from those who didn’t. The people who agreed were the people-people, the ones who won by a squeak. The people who didn’t agree complained that they were now the non-people. No one listened to them, even though one of those opinion polls now says that the non-people would win another vote by 12%.

One of the non-people remembered seeing an old man on the TV news when the Bad Thing happened. I’ve got my country back at last, the old man twittered, doing an arthritic little jig before going for a celebratory sit-down in his favourite chair, the one covered in a tatty old Union Jack.

That old man might be dead now, like many of the people-people whose voice must be heard. The non-people people said that now that it’s January in this year we’re in, so many of the people-people who voted for the Bad Thing have died, and so many young non-people who don’t like the Bad Thing have turned 18, that the country is now against the thing it was narrowly for on one day in one long-ago month of June.

The non-people began to grumble that everybody knew that the people could sometimes be wrong. And anyway, when was it a good idea for a country without a constitution to decide something so massive with one dodgy referendum and no rules about how to conduct such a vote or what would happen next?

Even some of the people-people were beginning to wonder if this wasn’t a reckless way to run a country. But the people-people couldn’t fully agree among themselves, as other people-people swore and said it was democracy, so tough shit.

She’s doing a good job that woman, said some of the people-people. But other people-people put their heads in their hands and cried with frustration.

And then all the people of whatever persuasion wondered what that noise was and realised it was the sound of their heads banging against the wall.

She said her door was always open but she lied. He said he had a big plan but he lied too.

She said/he said…

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