The following is an approximate account of the fall of Britain at the beginning of the fifth Ice Age, based on individual testimony of the Great Climate Exchange.
The snow began in the Winter of 2018, right at the end when Spring was meant to be blooming. Perpetual Winter was considered only a fantasy of television shows like Game of Thrones, which though destroyed in the great fiction cull of 2043, apparently portrayed lengthy seasons of weather. The only sign of what was yet to come was the sudden rise of the Arctic Circle to above freezing. Little did Britain know this would become the first recorded example of climate exchange in the Northern Hemisphere.
The initial week of disruption was standard for Britain’s then expansive population, with only a few cancelled Ocado deliveries and slushy pavements. After two weeks a national panic rose, and patience for protecting the homeless ran thin. Delivery companies went into administration; Iceland supermarkets were targeted by ironic arsonists looking for a scapegoat.
Amongst the chaos, the populous failed to notice the alarming rise in temperature at the Artic Circle. The sun beat down rays of 14 degrees Celsius, and the ice was melting faster than Greenland could provide buckets. The growing sea absorbed the English coastal towns, and the inhabitants crawled to the high ground cities in desperation, all the while slipping and sliding on the ice. The last remaining British crops died and imports from Spain were rejected for fear of Brexit reversal.
The homeless citizens that survived the freezing conditions banded together in the sewers, and weaponised rats to perform nightly raids on settlements. Shopping centres became community centres and 3000 children died after drinking perfume. The wealthy 1% hoarded portable radiators in Canary Wharf, but when the power went out their lack of blankets choked them out onto the streets. Their money was all in numbers on screens, so when the screens turned off they found themselves destitute.
What remained of the government claimed there was no electricity left, but the London Eye mysteriously kept turning through the high Thames tide. Commoners suspected energy was being re-directed to a secret facility in the Lake District, where Simon Cowell was rumoured to be hiding with a tribe of National treasures who auditioned to stay alive (Gary Lineker was reportedly eliminated and served on a grill to Mary Berry).
In the frozen urban landscapes, desperate ex-city workers scraped the polluted grit mulch from the sides of the roads and sold it as a narcotic. Cocaine went missing as it looked too much like snow. Food was currency and men fought in the streets for packets of Werther’s Originals. Government had lost all influence on public life, yet they still held daily debates in parliament on how to defrost Big Ben until starvation took them.
Women isolated themselves in wiccan communities and used in-breeding to mutate parthenogenesis. When discovered by men, these communities would castrate them and stitch their eunuch bodies into fishing vessels. Fishing was soon the only source of food, and fishmongers held great respect and power.
By this point the population had reduced to the hundreds of thousands, and frozen corpses formed walls against the constant tide. Art and leisure were outlawed for fear of time wastage, so children and creatives built igloos to distract themselves. When the igloos became too extravagant, philistine tribes performed public hangings. Fire formed the basis of a new polytheistic national religion.
It is around this time that individual accounts are lost, as reading and writing fell out of fashion when fingers fell to frostbite. All that remains of once Great Britain is the icy shell of a colonial power now occupied by penguins. Beneath the frozen wastes that were once fields of green is a proud, final message scraped into the ice: at least we didn’t admit we were wrong.