IMAGINE if ordinary people like you or I had been tasked with dealing with the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Ordinary people like bus drivers, accountants, teachers, call centre workers, couriers, receptionists, hair dressers, engineers, doctors, plumbers. People who are not politicians.

Sensible adults would have got together, put their differing opinions aside, found what united them, and gone to Europe to negotiate. They’d have tried to get the best outcome possible, and then as a matter of fairness put that deal back to the British people in a confirmatory referendum. If voters liked the deal, we’d leave; if not, we’d stay. Democracy would have been respected, and the country protected.

READ MORE: Ten tips on how to survive a Christmas General Election 

But politicians are not ordinary people. That’s not to say they’re extraordinary – far from it. Politicians aren’t like ordinary people because they don’t respect the values of common sense or decency like the rest of us. They’ve no concept of the greater good, of compromise, of working together. Ordinary people don’t put a political party before the interests of friends, neighbours and country.

Nor are politicians adults. They’re children. Wilful, spoilt infants. Out of control children are cruel and destructive. They smash things, they break things – like trust, like democracy.

After three grinding years of chaos, Britain – broken by politics – now faces the despair of a Christmas election. We’ll endure a winter of Facebook propaganda, of self-interested politicians stirring up animosity in a nation they made febrile, of endless constitutional posturing while jobs disappear, schools and hospitals rot, and police struggle to keep streets safe.

Horribly, we all know deep down that this election will most likely go nowhere – the outcome may very well bring us back to square one. But politicians don’t care – they can just keep on wearing us down, exploiting our desperate hope that one of them might be capable of real leadership, lying to us, gilding their lives with salaries we pay for and the power we allow them to hold in our name.

We worry that trust is the ultimate casualty of Brexit. It’s not. The British political system itself is the ultimate casualty. Party politics has been shown to be absurd – a great mocking joke played on the British people. Our political system isn’t just broken. The word "broken" implies something can be fixed. Our system is useless. It’s garbage. We need to rip it all up and start over again.

It’s hard to find some anchor of sense amid the ruin that politics and politicians have wrought. But wisdom can be found in the most unlikely places. On Monday, a new book came out, which I urge you to read. It mercilessly mocks the failures and idiocy of our political class. Its message is: these people are pointless.

READ MORE: Brexit impasse ‘impacting Scottish commercial property market’ 

With wonderful, fitting irony, it’s a children’s book. What better way to confront the juveniles who have the temerity to think they rule us. The book is called I Want To Leave This Book. It’s an allegory of Brexit. Half the characters in the book are bored and want to be in a different story – maybe an adventure with cowboys, or in space, or with dinosaurs. The rest of the characters are perfectly content. They vote, and the leavers win. The characters must decide how they’re going to get out of the book, what story they are going to be part of – some fear they’ll end up in a book “just like this, but with bigger pages and fewer characters”.

The characters try to negotiate with the writer and illustrator, but none of them can agree on what they want from the negotiations. The writer and illustrator find “some extra pages to allow the characters to decide what to do next”. They do nothing but squabble, as the story says, “on, and on, and on”.

While the great burden of the Brexit shame must be heaped on the Tories, all parties have helped in the ruination to greater or lesser degrees. Brexit is a Tory project brought about by their own schisms and cynical power-plays. The party’s austerity policies fuelled much of the rage and alienation which led many to vote Leave.

Labour had the opportunity to step into the breach, to offer leadership in the face of Tory misrule, but the party threw it away, descending, like the Tories, into internecine warfare. The Lib Dems and the SNP have danced cynically around the issues of a People’s Vote and a General Election, calculating what’s in the best interests of their party, not the people or country. Northern Ireland is a basket case. And the Greens – the one party with a message of hope – seem incapable of getting their voices heard by the public.

These politicians think they know what they’re doing. They don’t. They’re winging it, and we’re the suckers who let them. The last three years have taught us that politicians have no idea what they’re doing from one day to the next.

Anyone who claims they know what the future holds is either mad or bad. We can only guess at what will happen next. Will the Tories win the election? Will the SNP be blamed for helping them to power – out of the cynical desire to feed its base with another independence referendum? Will the Brexit Party clip Tory wings? Will the Labour vote implode? Might the Lib Dems surge? Will we get a hard Brexit? Will we get a second EU referendum? Will we ever get to the point where we govern ourselves once again?

The cancer lies in the party political system. Its imposition of group-think on politicians is a dam to decency and good leadership. Perhaps, if our politics was truly local – if constituencies elected individuals not party automatons – we might start to get somewhere.

Imagine if one of those plumbers, nurses, teachers, or bus drivers knocked on your door before Christmas asking for your vote. It wouldn’t be a party politician you’d elect, but an ordinary citizen, like you, who cares about the area in which you both live. Imagine if those ordinary individual citizens from across the country, and free from party politics, got together in parliament after they were elected and made the compromises necessary to rule this country as fairly and wisely as possible.

It may sound like a story told for children, but should it not happen? Must we not recreate how we govern ourselves? Can we let this chaos continue? Should we allow those who created the chaos to remain our rulers? All we need is the imagination and ordinary people like you and I can change the whole rotten system forever.

Neil Mackay is Scotland’s Columnist of the Year