EMPIRES are destined to fall, a repeated narrative throughout history. From the Greeks to the Romans to the Moghuls, the Aztecs to the Mayans, the Egyptians, the French, the Germans, the Russians, the Balkan States, America, north and south, the Great British whatever - it's just on constant loop. We never seem to get it, to learn from our inherent narcissistic hubris, confusing bloated ego with confidence and strength. We do not chronicle our defeats and failures. No, we shove them under the rug and post up our successes.

Yet that's history's true shame as every overcomer/comeback/leader knows; it is in the darkest, most broken moments where our tue strength is revealed. The British Empire at its peak of colonialism, patronage and power, exploiting and reappropriating others' histories, cultures, knowledge and treasures reveals nothing but a self-serving ignorant bully, whose true engine is in the sweat, brains and handiwork of its colonies. It bred an indolent, spoilt, lazy nation that grew up believing its own lies: that it alone had created its own power and position. While consequences and causality eroded at this assertion, generations emerged believing themselves as entitled as the queen to health, wealth, castle and acclaim with minimal work (surely that's what the immigrants were for?).

The last dregs of the British Empire were spent last century. Since then, we've been living off borrowed time and money, nostalgia and an increasing array of fabulous fictitious promises. The wars garnered some coin but not in proportion to spending.  When the music died, that's when you knew it was Game Over. It wasn't the internet's fault. There's nothing left to say, no point in saying it. Like the end of a relationship, the truth is too painful to announce.

Which is probably why, despite the fact we had lost this war of Empire and Great Britain was no more, it was easier to continue with the fiction hoping no one would notice, hoping we would 'cobble something together' and patch up the fault. We milked the opium of nostalgia for as long as we could: the trend of vintage, everything from mason bowls to enamelware, Volvos, beards, homebaking and allotments, National Trust membership, geriatric reformations of bands from the 20th century.  Keep it going, get that creaking old wheel turning. Call in the mortician and make-up artist. Let Britain look beautiful in her casket. Keep the lie alive.

In this toxic tomb. Yes, toxic because the real United Kingdom is built on xenophobia, ignorance, idleness and neglect. Yet greed and power are as difficult to kill off as parasites - even from a carcass. So the final breath was used to fuel the short-lived political careers of a few who would ruin the lives of millions for a chance at that cherry of authority.

'Vote Leave!' was either euphanasia or the death rattle of an Empire which refused to give in, to be compassionate to others, to deny its own bloodied family tree, the skeletons in its closets, its own idolatry of self.  It put all of its true spirit behind that final gasp. And no nation doubted its sincerity. As its members dropped off and its torso lay bloated, dazed and wasted, its head defecting to its enemies, it still refused to believe what was happening.

'Things aren't as bad as they look. It'll all work out in the morning. It's critical - but not fatal. We'll get through this. One more time on the defibrillator.'

Except the life breath's gone now. It IS over. Grieve, scream, shout, mourn. Those buildings from last century demonstrating the Empire's slow death of vandalism and social neglect bred the Monster which killed our hubristic Frankenstein Empire.

And I'm not sorry this one's gone. Maybe there was some divine wisdom in the crude Monster we have been cursing and blaming. Maybe it actually saved us from ourselves. All things serve their purpose.