Alice in Brexitland by Lucien Young

Alice in Brexitland by Lucien Young

Competition published on June 2, 2017.

Lying on a riverbank on a lazy summer’s afternoon – 23rd June 2016, to be precise – Alice spots a flustered-looking white rabbit called Dave calling for a referendum. Following him down a rabbit-hole, she emerges into a strange new land, where up is down, black is white, experts are fools and fools are experts…

She meets such characters as the Corbyn-pillar, who sits on a toadstool smoking his hookah and being no help to anyone; Trumpty Dumpty, perched on a wall he wants the Mexicans to pay for; the Cheshire Twat, who likes to disappear leaving only his grin, a pint, and the smell of scotch eggs remaining; and the terrifying Queen of Heartlessness, who’ll take off your head if you dare question her plan for Brexit.

Will Alice ever be able to find anyone who speaks sense?


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Read an extract…

Chapter I

Down the Brexit-hole

Alice sat by her sister on the riverbank and wondered if she might not die of boredom. This seemed to her a rather drab mode of death. ‘Had I the choice,’ thought Alice, ‘I should prefer to be eaten by crocodile, or fall in a volcano.’ These thoughts aside, it was clear she needed something to do. But what? She might have chased a butterfly, or plucked some daisies for a chain, but both of these things would require movement, and that was out of the question.

As a last resort, Alice glanced at the book her older sister was reading. Its cover bore these words: ‘THE DEBATE SURROUNDING MEMBERSHIP OF THE EUROPEAN UNION’. She peeped inside, but saw in it no pictures or conversations. ‘And what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversations?’ Moreover, she spotted among its strange, unwieldy words one that was all too familiar: ‘Brexit’.

Alice shuddered, for all she had heard from grown ups over the past few weeks was ‘Brexit’ this and ‘referendum’ that. When she had asked what a ‘referendum’ was (for it sounded like a magnificent beast with tusks and a woolly hide) she had been told it was an important decision and, like all decisions in the grown-up realm, it was to be made with reference to trade deals, deficits and something called ‘GDP’.

Alice wished the world were not so stuffed with facts and figures – if only one could make decisions based on the first thing that popped in one’s head! Imagine the laws we might have then: free scones for every family; a blanket ban on governesses; even help to buy one’s dollhouse! Yes, she thought, that would surely be a fine state of affairs.

The day was hot and drowsy, so Alice decided to lie back, close her eyes and pursue this train of thought. She was lazily considering whether Dinah, her cat, should not be Home Secretary, when suddenly a white rabbit ran by. This would not have been so remarkable had the rabbit not been wearing a navy-blue tailcoat. But he was, you see, and so Alice had no choice but to take notice. ‘O, Rabbit!’ she cried, ‘what is your name?’

He stopped and turned to face her. ‘David Camerabbit,’ he replied, ‘though you can call me Dave.’ Then, twitching his nose, he reached inside his mustard-yellow waistcoat, pulled out a pocket watch and cried, ‘I’m late! I’m late!’
‘Late for what?’ asked Alice.
‘A very important date,’ said the Rabbit, ‘the twenty-third of June, to be precise. I need to appease my backbenchers, you see. Placate the Eurosecptics!’
And with that he went dashing off across a field. Alice, who was nothing if not curious, ran after him, as fast as her legs would carry her.

She ran and ran, then vaulted over a hedge, only to find her quarry waiting beside a rabbit-hole. The Camerabbit drew himself up and put on his best speech-giving voice. ‘I believe with all my heart,’ he said, ‘in the will of the people. As such, I see no option but to resolve the debate over our national interest by jumping in this hole.’ He then sprang forward and disappeared from view, leaving Alice in a quandary.

She was, at heart, a sensible girl, and knew it was rarely very wise to go jumping down holes with no knowledge of where they might lead. Yet there had been something in the Rabbit’s tone – rich and commanding, as though he had attended only the finest rabbit schools – that persuaded Alice she ought to just do it. And so, with a shrug of her shoulders, she leapt headfirst down the Brexit-hole…


About the author

Lucien Young is a comedy writer who has worked on various TV programmes, including BBC Three’s Siblings and Murder in Successville . He was born in Newcastle in 1988 and read English at the University of Cambridge, where he was a member of the world-famous Footlights Club.

Follow Lucien on Twitter @LucienDYoung

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Alice in Brexitland by Lucien Young, published on 1 June, 2017 by Ebury Press, in hardback




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