[Originally posted in Going Postal, 17 June 2016.]
The church hall in Walmington-on-Sea, where the Home Guard have assembled …
CAPTAIN MAINWARING: Now pay attention, men, as I have an important announcement to make. A Referendum is going to be held in just a few days’ time, on the important matter of whether Britain should remain in, or leave, the European Union, or “EU” as it is more commonly called. And, naturally, I have given this matter a lot of careful consideration before deciding that, on balance, it is in Britain’s best interests to vote Remain.
SERGEANT WILSON: Do you think that’s altogether wise, sir?
MAINWARING (impatiently): Oh Wilson! You really are a wet blanket at times! How could it possibly not be the right thing, for Britain to work in partnership with our friends in a reformed Europe?
WILSON: Well, sir, judging from Mrs Merkel’s recent antics, and indeed some of the threatening noises emanating from various Brussels bureaucrats, I’m not at all sure that these people are our friends! And as for a “reformed Europe”, well they’ve been talking about that ever since Britain joined, and the only reforms that have ever happened have involved Britain giving up more and more of its sovereignty to unelected foreigners …
PIKE: Mr Mainwaring, my Mum says we shouldn’t allow unelected foreigners, or any type of foreigner for that matter, to run this country! She also says that Mrs Merkel is an evil old witch – at least, I think that’s what the last word was.
WILSON (reproachfully): Frank, please …
MAINWARING (interrupting Wilson): Oh do be quiet, Pike! What do you know about such important international matters, you stupid boy!
FRAZER: Aye, young Pike’s got a point, sir. I tell you, if Britain stays in that useless, corrupt, collapsing EU, we’re all DOOMED, I tell you! DOOMED! DOOMED! (Rolls eyeballs dramatically.)
MAINWARING: Frazer, will you kindly stop rolling your eyeballs in that silly way! Heavens, man, it reminds me of that ghastly female Labour MP – the one who can’t add up properly and thinks that fire puts out water!
WALKER: Mr. Mainwaring, talking of the EU, there’s a mate of mine who’s got a lot of, er, cheap Euros that he, er, stumbled on by, er, accident the other day. Fancy a few of them? I can give you an absolutely bargain rate! Look, if you can manage cash, I can get you a hundred Euros for a hundred quid – can’t say fairer than that, can you?
MAINWARING: Really, Walker, I don’t want to know anything about your shady racketeering deals in some obscure, worthless foreign currency that no true Englishman would ever want to touch!
GODFREY: Oh, I do so agree with you, Mr. Mainwaring. Some foreign ruffian offered my sister Dolly some of these so-called Euros in exchange for one of her delicious upside-down cakes at the village fête the other week! Said he was an important official, name of Juncker I think, and threatened my sister with all kinds of reprisals if she didn’t accept the currency. (Shakes his head mournfully.) I, I … don’t like that kind of thing at all.
JONES: Quite right, Mr. Godfrey! We used to have a lot of trouble with foreign ruffians when we were in the Sudan! Your sister Dolly should have done with that Junket man what we did with the fuzzy-wuzzies – shown them a flash of the old cold steel! Those fuzzy-wuzzies don’t like it up ’em you know! (Excitedly) They do not like it up ’em!
MAINWARING (exasperatedly): I think, Jones, that once again you are entering in to the realms of fantasy. What I am trying to explain to you all is that…..
HODGES (bursts in): Oh, hullo Napoleon! Just heard you’re supporting the EU! (Guffaws loudly.) Gor Blimey, I haven’t had such a ruddy great laugh for ages! The first Napoleon didn’t do too well in trying to create a united Europe did he? And now the EU Commission are trying to do the same thing as him, the ruddy hooligans! Well, the way things are going, we’re all going to be voting Leave on 23rd June, and you, Napoleon, are finally going to meet your own personal Waterloo! Boom Boom!
MAINWARING (to Wilson): What does he know about the EU? The man’s a greengrocer! Get rid of him!
WILSON: Yes, he really is the most awfully uncouth fellow, isn’t he? (To Hodges): I say, Hodges, would you mind clearing orf, please? (Hodges reluctantly does so.)
(To Mainwaring): But you know, sir, even though Hodges is a simply ghastly man, he does have a point about the EU. It is an awfully undemocratic organisation, you see, and if we vote to Remain on the 23rd, we will soon find ourselves completely over-run by all kinds of simply dreadful foreign people. And I doubt whether you, sir, would be able to remain in your current position …
MAINWARING (sharply): What on earth do you mean by that, Wilson?
WILSON: Well, sir, surely you know that the EU wants to set up an EU Army of its own. And to be quite honest, sir, I’m not at all sure that they will (chuckles softly), well, er, require your services in those circumstances.
JONES: Permission to speak, Mr Mainwaring! If the vote is for Remain, there’ll be an EU Army before you know it, and you’ll be the first for the chop! But don’t panic, Mr Mainwaring! (Getting more and more agitated.) DON’T PANIC! DON’T PANIC! DON’T PAN …
MAINWARING: Oh, do be quiet, Jones, and don’t be so ridiculous! I’m not going to be rattled by a rabble of third-rate tuppenny-halfpenny foreigners, even if they call themselves an EU Army! Most of them probably can’t even speak English properly, let alone wage war, unlike this platoon, which under my leadership is being turned in to a lean, ruthless, well-oiled fighting machine!
FRAZER: Captain Mainwaring, Jonesey has a point! If we vote Remain on the 23rd, your career as Captain of this platoon will be FINISHED! FINISHED, I tell you!
GODFREY: Oh, that would be simply awful, Mr. Frazer! Personally, I think that Captain Mainwaring has done a splendid job of leading this platoon, and I shall always remain loyal to him, whichever way the vote goes on 23rd June.
PIKE: Me too, Mr. Godfrey, even though he does sometimes call me a stupid boy, and my Mum was ever so annoyed with him the other day for not allowing me to wear my scarf on parade, even though it wasn’t half cold and I have a very sensitive chest …
MAINWARING: Thank you, Godfrey, and Pike. Well, men, I’m glad to see that you have all now realised that staying in the EU would be an utter catastrophe for me, er, this platoon, and indeed for our country generally. I did wonder (embarrassed little laugh) which of you would be first to spot this particular point!
FRAZER: Aye, Captain Mainwaring, and let me be the first to congratulate you on your principled stand against the undemocratic EU! I never doubted you for a single minute, sir! And I’m right behind you!