A down-trodden English underclass sends a jolt of protest through their transnational superiors who had long forgotten about them. On the continent Britain is seen as having spat at the crucible of civilisation. Nigel Farage, buoyed with success and not content with delivering vainglorious speeches to the European Parliament, hungers to exercise his hubris. A European parliamentary function brings together the commission and parliamentarians are invited by default. Nigel, still a serving MEP, can't resist one last gloat in Strasbourg. He claims he tripped but footage seems to show a guffawing Farage slopping a schooner of Leffe straight at Herman Van Rompuy. There's pan-continental outrage.
European attitudes are galvanised. Surveys show public support for taking a hard line on Britain even though it's against broader economic interests. Passporting for financial services is where the battle line is drawn. London financial institutions lose the rights to sell into Europe. Major banks deftly trigger their relocation plans while the pound tumbles. 100,000 super-rich Bankers exit the capital. Top end house prices collapse. A wave of selling by speculators drives newly-gentrified peripheral neighbourhood prices into freefall.
Collapsing yields in London Fields.
Social dysfunction at Dalston Junction.
Self immolation at Leytonstone Station.
You reach for an algorithm but it can't save you. The price of your tastefully converted £1m maisonette with glass side extension, spanish tiles and CNC-cut plywood staircase plummets to an economically-logical £100k. Your dream of selling up for £1.5m evaporates. The £700k mortgage you hold is now completely unsecured but galloping inflation will be your salvation. Soon the pound has dropped further and will now buy you 80 Euro Cents. Interest rates hit 20%.
Import prices are climbing high.
Foreign exchange is in short supply.
Hyper inflation takes hold. 2% then 10% then 30% in a single month. Your elephantine mortgage has been reduced to a mouse-like sum. Your wages are rising every week. We know from the Weimar days that inflation's a leveller which favours the poor. In Brexit Britain the voters who live hand to mouth see their wages rise in line with their costs. Debts and accumulated capital of the upper middle class shrivel. Foreign imports disappear. You smoked your last Marlboro, you drank your last Coke. You can't remember the last time you saw an olive?
The economy slides into reverse. Utilities, mostly foreign owned, are nationalised. To preserve employment, the working week is slashed to 20 hours. Work stress becomes a distant memory. New kinds of work are found. An electrician learns how to repair old TVs. Limestone paviours are pulled up and vegetables are planted. Jam is made. Beers is brewed. In Cornwall mines are opened and in the north factories are producing cheap goods for national consumption. Board games are played with children. Tea is drunk in china mugs over newspapers sat at tables amongst familiar faces. There's time to shave again.
To think that you'd once spend the wages of half-an-hour’s work on a coffee, drunk in a paper cup while you fought for a square foot on a crowded train! Trains are spacious, seats are plenty. The air is fragrant with woodsmoke but your carbon footprint is completely obliterated.
You sell up for cash in grimey Peckham. Down in Holland Park everything's for sale. The exiting plutocracy had boarded up their houses but Prime Minister Corbyn has levied punitive taxes on unused properties forcing their rental at bargain rates. Acres of high-ceilinged palaces are turned over to renters and sharers. Their maintenance lapses and they degrade into charming dilapidation.
People eat less and walk more. They grow lithe and sexy. There is more time for artful conversation and extra relationships. So you sit in on a cold mid-winter day by a fire in the tired corian splendour of a former client's house with your friends and children gathered around shabby Ercol tables sharing potato soup and a fresh bloomer with butter. And while crunching the last of that years apples, you grin at one another looking forward to summer strawberries and marvelling at your new situation.