Tag Archives: UK

Ambiguity, duplicity, hypocrisy – this is British politics now

Hello!

What a lovely time we’re all having. What charming chats. Such playful political bantz. Terrific raving, spittle-flecked tirades. Families broken asunder. A Christmas election. What a lovely… lovely time.

I wrote a thing about why politics is so shit these days.

As far as I can tell, it’s down to a breakdown of language – if no one can agree on the meaning of words, then no meaning can be gleaned from an argument. The futility of trying to debate this slippery eel is what frustrates us.

The word in question, of course, is “Brexit”, which exists in some kind of inter-dimensional phase space, enveloping contradictory co-ordinates in the minds of millions of people, simultaneously one thing while being absolutely not that particular thing at all, thank you very much.

What we need is a quantum Brexit that manages to sustain these impossible paradoxes – perhaps we can stay in the customs union, single market and retain freedom of movement, while simultaneously having blue passports, over-fished oceans and racism? I mean, it’s not ideal…

Anyway, I wrote about it here: link.medium.com/ZrbhInEsX1

A special note, though, on how ambiguity has led to duplicity and hypocrisy: we did not define Brexit, and that left it open to abuse. Lies – though challenged – went unpunished. And lies won the day. Consequently, deceit is now a mainstay of debate.

Meanwhile, we have politicians who declare their opinions emphatically, only to change them as their boss is replaced, and a new opinion must be adopted in order to secure a cabinet ministership. Theresa May, Nicky Morgan, Michael Gove, Matt Hancock; the list of gutless hypocrites goes on and on, one day professing this, the next professing the opposite. I hate it.

The state of it is depressing. So, please, just vote the Tories out, will you? They’ve given us nine years of a stagnant economy, rising in-work poverty, even more national debt, food banks, shocking homelessness, cruel cuts and now the poison pill of an unidentifiable Brexit that threatens the very fabric of our nation.

We deserve better than this. And so do our kids.

Peace.

(please read my piece: link.medium.com/ZrbhInEsX1 and click the clap button a lot if you have a Medium account!)

*Title photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

#Brexit has made me ashamed of Britain

If you’ve been living in a bunker, with no access to the internet or media of any kind, you may be unaware of the forthcoming EU referendum in Britain, taking place on Thursday. I must say, I envy those of you without access to the toxic hate rags we disseminate in this country in the guise of “newspapers”.

I envy those of you who don’t have a radio, or access to interviews with the bile-belching liars we’ve come to know as Brexit “politicians”. Oh, to be blissfully ignorant of all this fear, all this pernicious paranoia.

Imagine not finding propaganda on your doorstep, filled to bursting with spurious claims, sensationalised graphics and outright deceit. Watch out! Seventy-six million Turks are on their way to the UK! (Oh no, wait, Turkey is decades away from achieving EU preconditions for joining, so that’s a lie. And would EVERY SINGLE TURK leave their country for this grey, racist shit-hole anyway?)

We could buy a new hospital every week with the £350m we send to the EU! (Oops, sorry, forgot to mention our EU rebate that chops that figure down to £190m, not to mention the investment we receive in return and the boon it gives to our economy – but look, we wrote it on a bus, SO IT MUST BE TRUE.)

But here we are, about to vote in a foolish referendum, apparently called to placate the racist whims of a bigoted minority and their loud-mouthed leader, Nigel Farage. What a boneheaded move by our prime minister, David Cameron, to pass this monumentally important decision on to a population totally unprepared to make it.

Continue reading #Brexit has made me ashamed of Britain

Basket case: a balloon flight in Cambridge

The balloon gets laid out flat
Big up the balloon bag

Finally, after two and a half years of failed attempts, the skies cleared, the winds calmed, and Mr Branson adjudged it safe to fly over the fields of Cambridgeshire.

It had been a Christmas present back in 2012. We had tried five times and been thwarted by mild weather conditions – such as “breezes” and “mist” – deemed too hazardous to risk a launch.

At 11pm the night before, we made the call to find out if the flight would go ahead. When it was confirmed, we finished our game of Scrabble – in a haze of excitement and disbelief – and went to bed; we’d have to be at the airfield by 5.30am in the morning.

We met 12 other bleary-eyed passengers at an empty airfield a few miles from Cambridge, and set about helping the pilot inflate the balloon. It took about an hour to get it all set up, inflated, heated and upright.

Continue reading Basket case: a balloon flight in Cambridge

An open letter to Tory voters

Deviating briefly from travel and fiction, I wanted to post something on this blog about the upcoming general election in the UK. Specifically, exploring why people vote Tory, when it is in absolutely everyone’s interests to do anything but.

It seems to me, there are two reasons one might vote Conservative.

The first reason is that you’ve had your head caved in by a ruthless beating from the right-wing press. You’ve been sold sensational lies and frightening rhetoric, and it has come from sources you considered reputable.

Continue reading An open letter to Tory voters