I recall one day as a child, my mother was baking jam tarts. She took them out of the oven and put them on the stove. She warned me, the jam was boiling hot, and I wasn’t to touch the hot tarts. She knew a lot more than me about hot things burning me, and although I knew I should have listened, I didn’t. Why would I? I was maybe five or six years old. And there were these delicious things in front of me. But my God, the smell, the delicious smell, and wow did I love jam tarts. (What happened to jam tarts anyway? Maybe they’ll make a comeback, because of sovereignty or something?)
I touched the tarts.
At this point I hope the search engines don’t take that out of context because there are going to be some disappointed readers of this article. Anyway, the point is, I put my fingers in the hot jam.
I should have listened. I was warned. But instead I followed my primal urge, my base instinct, to eat a hot jam tart. Now, though, some forty years later, I am wiser and I would make a different choice. I have the benefit of that experience. And I have changed my mind about touching hot jam tarts. I’ve done a complete reversal on it, in fact. And if my mother were still alive, I’d apologise once more for not listening on that fateful day.
What we are seeing now, politically, is quite a few people emerging who touched the tarts and are now starting to feel the heat. Now that’s a sentence that works in so many ways. But suffice to say they should have listened to Mummy.
Of course, Mummy never banned me from eating jam tarts ever again. I wasn’t punished. When I learned my lesson it was all fine. I respected that she was right all along and I didn’t act on my base impulse for tarts, ever again. Honestly.
Brexit was hot jam, and those without the relevant experience, knowledge, or interest in facts, went straight for them. It won’t burn at first. But soon, soon, it will. And then we must forgive them as my mother forgave me; assuming of course that regret is shown.
For some, there will be no regret. Even as the skin peels and the hot sugary lava corodes nerves, there will be an insistence that this is exactly what they expected and wanted. Yum yum, they’ll say, licking their fingers, blood flavoured jam! Even better! And through clenched teeth they will cheer their collective decision.
But in some dark corner of their conscience, they will know: Mother is watching.