Fintan O’Toole: Collapse of Vote Leave gang comes too late to save Brexit-addled Britain

Collapse of Vote Leave gang not timely enough to save Brexit-addled Britain

Dominic Cummings should have gone in May, when his contemptuous breach of lockdown restrictions was revealed. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA

Dominic Cummings should have gone in May, when his contemptuous breach of lockdown restrictions was revealed. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA

The ancient Greeks knew that the most tragic phrase in any language is: too late. The tyrant Creon, for example, realises at last that he has made a terrible mistake in imprisoning Antigone in a cave and leaving her to die. But when he rushes to release her, she is already dead. His own son and wife take their own lives. Recognition comes too late to stop the forces he has unleashed from reaching their awful conclusion.

Brexit has always had large elements of farce, but as it stumbles towards its end, it has that tragic plot twist: too late. The fall of the Vote Leave regime in London might have been a new dawn for realism. Instead, it is just a cultic twilight, the fag end of a strange infatuation that has already done irreparable harm. 

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