Onward to the Stone Age

Things have been dramatic this week, but you know it can’t be all bad when Nigel Farage is out of a job. Meanwhile we wait for somebody to have an idea about what to do next. My dream ticket is Alan Johnson, the new David Attenborough – purely on the basis that the original is a little fragile – and Caroline Lucas, who unlike Farage at least has the minimum qualification of a seat in Parliament.
And on the home front, political activity has finally been galvanised. I have been on a spending spree – not, as might be sensible, tins of Italian tomatoes and packets of tea, of which more below, but European flags (in retrospect, might have been wiser to hang it in Telford than London NW1) and ‘I heart Poland’ badges, which in order to amortise the expenditure will require me to spend the next week hanging around all the local basement excavations and roof extensions, waiting to be noticed. I’ve also made enquiries about a German passport, to which apparently I may be entitled as my Dad was forcibly ejected by Adolf, as having sworn to move there if this happened I have a duty to pursue it until it’s clearly illegal and unachievable.

For his part, Magnus went straight down to the bank on Friday morning, took out all his money and put it in a sock. Of course, it won’t be long before the sock is worth more than money, but I didn’t have the heart to discourage his initiative.

Dolly, who only a week ago was casually enquiring who this Brexit was and why was he suddenly in the news quite a bit, is as I write off to march on Parliament, demanding her right as a 16 year old to have a rerun and a say. After all, the Scottish 16 year olds all got to weigh in, and she does (now) know that Brexit is not a person, which from the news reports is considerably more information than most of the Leavers had – and it didn’t stop them voting.

What has prompted this sudden burst of political consciousness and righteous anger? Could it be the imminent destruction of those values of liberalism, internationalism and social responsibility which won the war? Of course not. It’s food.

Mr Fixit has long been interested in the most famous of all German politicians, and has lately taken to reading the very long and dense new biography, which he has recovered in plain paper, to avoid physical attack in the park. The rise of Nigel Farage has made this interest even more timely, and he greeted the news about food prices with the revelation that the Fathers of the Third Reich introduced monthly Stew Day, made from local produce so the money saved could be given to the poor (poor Aryans, presumably. Charity has its limits). Stew Day was strictly observed in the chancellery by Hitler and served to his guests, though Albert Speer noted that invitations rapidly declined in popularity thereafter.

The moment her father added that our food prices were set to rise by 50% and many things would probably be altogether banned, Dolly got worried. As a committed Veggan, her diet is necessarily limited, and its few high points deeply treasured.’Will we still have chocolate?’ she asked. ‘Look about you!’ was my dramatic response. ‘Do you see any cocoa plantations in Camden Town? Likewise bananas, coffee and tea. Actually, there is a tea plantation in Cornwall, but it already costs about the same as the contraband stuff will in a week or two.’

‘How about coconut? What am I supposed to do without coconut oil and yoghurt?’

‘You should have thought of that before being too young to vote! There won’t be any soy milk or spread for your bagels, either.’ (I know this for a fact, as when the Vegganism first took hold I spent many hours researching the provenance of all the beans in the various brands of soy products, to ensure that no orang utans or Yamamani Indians were harmed in the making of them, and even the most righteous beans come from France.)

By now, she was close to tears. ‘And…. pasta???’ ‘Ah. Well. It is theoretically possible to grow durum wheat in this country, but we might have to invest in a flour mill and a pasta machine, and that won’t come cheap. You can kiss goodbye to your allowance for a few months.’

At this point I felt the need to find an upside, to save my child from putting the local adolescent mental health services under even greater strain.

‘But don’t worry! You can have as much sugar as you like. All the Silver Spoon sugar is made from British sugar beet.’ (I know this too, from the time my job suddenly involved sourcing donations of a tonne each of sugar and chocolate for the Queen’s Tallest Cake competition, and it has cost me many sleepless nights since, weighing up the relative moral worth of local unorganic sugar versus fairly traded organic stuff from across the world).

‘So we’re going to starve to death, is that right?’

‘No, not at all. Luckily your far sighted and conscientious mother has for years been pursuing the 100 mile food diet. You can have eggs from Marjorie the other Quaker Jew, who keeps the happiest hens this side of the Wash. Likewise cabbage, carrots, onions, apples, brown bread, muesli – well, oats with apple juice – and occasionally cherries, pears and hazelnuts. And lots of Marmite! We can use rape seed oil for baking, if you can persuade Mr Fixit not to use it in his car. It’ll be just the same as now. Well, almost.’

Frankly, who cares if we’re in for a hundred years of poverty and squalor. as long as I’m proved right?

 
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