The Queen has fled, Polish workers have been forced out, and violent factions roam a broken land. Writer Jonathan Meades imagines the country The Great Chaos will create
The Great Chip Shortage
In 2019, older bigots and veteran xenophobes still recalled with pride the successful campaign Boston and the area of Lincolnshire around it waged in the 1960s against the rodent coypus, foreigners from somewhere foreign with tomato-red teeth, who had been introduced to Britain in the 1920s as a fur crop called nutria. Once these shy, intelligent South American beasts got wind of their fate, they began to escape from the 50 or so farms that had imported them, head for wetlands, breed prolifically, guzzle crops (wheat, beetroot, turnip) and destabilise fen dykes by burrowing into their banks.
The situation was later exacerbated by nutria fur falling out of fashion and the farms failing, so releasing their remaining charges. Bounty hunters, specially devised traps, pistols and the devastatingly cold winter of 1962-63 killed much of the population, doomily estimated at about 200,000 but probably little more than half that number.
Today in 2029, even older bigots and hyper-veteran xenophobes recall with pride the successful campaign many people from Boston and the area of Lincolnshire around it waged in the 2020s against Poles, foreigners from somewhere foreign (the clues in the name), Polski Fiats and pierogi. Bostonians were further proud that their town was the place in Britain with the highest leave vote (75.6%) in 2016. South Holland was second. Indeed, Lincolnshire had three further places in the top (wrong word) 10, which was otherwise entirely composed of adjacent places in the East Midlands and East Anglia. These areas manmade landscapes, waterscapes and vernacular architecture (pantiles, crowstep gables, etc) owe far more to the Netherlands, a foreign country, than they do to that of, say, the Weald or the Welsh Marches.
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