Who'd have thought the British Isles would be the most desirable, still inhabitable place on Earth?
Margo waits after class to talk to the teacher. He asks how her 'President Farage' project is going. She explains a few concerns, the usual problems with the psychic comprehension of political phenomena; the failure to understand the importance of political minutiae. Since most 'President Farage' essays are written about Farage's impeccable patriotism, Margo decided to base her study on one of Farage's more overlooked qualities. She decided to base her essay on his rarely discussed environmental policies.
'Interesting.' The teacher is impressed that Margo is tackling a subject that is peculiarly sparse on its journalistic reportage. 'That's highly original.' 'Yes, but I think it's a mistake.' Margo looks nervous, barely able to meet the teacher's gaze.
'A m―mistake?' Seeing his finest pupil display such brazen anxiety raises his own anxiety levels. He really does not need another failure in his class if he is to keep his job. 'Have you read all his fishing territories speeches? There's lots of them. There's lots of environmental speech there.'
'Yes, I've got plenty on fishing territories … It's just, I can't find much on his actual environmental policies. It's as if he was entirely indifferent to climate change.' She sobs, fearing this utterance of borderline forbidden words. There is a statue of Farage made of shit standing by the school gates which looks at her. She feels its careful stare, its concerned disapproval; the same look her teacher is giving her. She continues: 'We are told at the heart of Farage's environmental policies is his policies on the Hoards. We are told Farage saved this country from the hoards. But when I researched these people, I found they were just ordinary people – with families – only trying to protect themselves.'
'Yes, the Selfish Hoards.' The teacher is careful to remind her of the popular idiom.
'But isn't stopping them entering also selfish?' She weeps again, feeling the anger swell from the statue made of shit. She knows what she is saying is offensive but with so much confusion in her mind she needs to openly discuss these thoughts.
'Well, everything is selfish is you interpret it that way.'
'But I have found no compassion in Farage's speeches!'
The teacher becomes very uncomfortable, hoping no one is listening in from the corridor. He does not need another disciplinary hearing this week. Margo continues: 'In fact, Farage's speeches are not at all dissimilar from Nazi propaganda. They are almost indistinguishable!'
'Hush, Margo, hush.' The teacher knows Margo well. She is a bright pupil but sometimes everyone needs a little clarification. 'Don't worry. The reason you feel this way is because you know what you're saying is wrong. Hitler tried to destroy Britain. Farage rescued Britain. There is no comparison.'
'But his words!'
'But … but I searched thoroughly for his environmental views.' Her view of the teacher is wobbly from the tears clinging to her lashes. 'There isn't anything about the environment. There is nothing he has said about saving this country from environmental disaster! In fact, he denied climate change!'
The teacher smiles warmly, mildly surprised at what a little confusion can do to a person. He relaxes smugly, confident now of the problem and how to fix it. 'So what's your conclusion?'
'Well, how can Farage be a saviour? He―he's just a … a fraud! Isn't he? He was never trying to save the U.K., he was just a racist inciting more racism for his own gain.' She sobs heavily, knowing she has said too much, gone too far. The teacher wants to put his hand on her to reassure her but he doesn't. 'Don't you see?' He is amused by Margo's wrong-ended take on the facts. 'Don't you see his genius at work? He needed a way to get people to take climate change seriously. And more people were listening to climate change denial than the scientific truth. He used denial so he could gain the respect of the British people, and he used people's natural wariness of strangers to encourage a fear of foreign people.'
'The xenophobia and selfishness was encouraged to compel the British people to shut off their borders. The racism was an excuse because Farage, like so few people, knew that the Selfish Hoards would be coming because many parts of the world's surface were becoming uninhabitable.
'Don't you see? The man was a hero! There was no way this country could support all those immigrants. Farage saved the British people. Without shutting off our borders, millions of Britons would have died!'
The sun beams down intensely as Margo walks home along the partition wall. She likes this walk because there is less congestion here than the rest of the city. Her clammy cheeks dry in the heat. She hopes her face isn't too red and puffy. How foolish she was to think Farage was a Nazi. She is grateful to the teacher for setting things straight. She knows exactly how to write her essay now.
She passes another statue of Farage, majestic and proud against the late afternoon sky, baking in the sultry sun. She stops a moment to look as the other pedestrians push past.
She knows everything is all right.