Month: June 2016

Bring On The (R)evolution!


This: (posted on my Facebook feed…)

Polly Toynbee: What dark place does Britain for the British take us to?

Catastrophe. Britain has broken apart. An uprising of resentment by the left-behind has torn us in two, a country wrecked by a yawning class divide stretched wider by recession and austerity.

Anger against a London establishment was deftly diverted by the Tory right and UKIP towards foreigners – enemies in Brussels and aliens in our midst. Wherever we went, the Guardian reported that same fury among those without education and opportunity, a country served right for its gross inequality.

Day after day the Sun, Mail, Express, Sunday Times and Telegraph injected poison into the nation’s bloodstream with tales of foreign criminals, jihadists and scroungers. How Murdoch and Dacre will revel in their power.

What of the false hopes raised for poorly paid, insecure, badly housed Brexit voters? Expecting something better, they will get much worse. “Controlling our borders”, they will expect immigrants, new and old, to be gone. They were told more housing, GP appointments and school places would be freed up from migrants. But as treasury receipts fall, there will be less of everything. Will the next call be to expel foreigners already here? What dark place does Britain for the British take us to?

Farage’s victory speech about the decent ordinary people taking back control “without a bullet fired” was unthinkably crass with an MP shot and stabbed to death in the heat of the campaign.

Cameron must surely be gone, the most disastrous prime minister in our lifetime has brought this calamity. But he will no doubt be replaced by one yet worse as the country is taken over by Tory extremists and fantasists, wild free-marketeer romantics experimenting with other people’s lives, alongside Ukip’s pernicious racism.

Ahead lie years of fractious negotiation, turning the EU into Britain’s number one enemy. The more these populist leaders need to prove this wasn’t a fatal error, the more they will blame all home-grown woes on our close neighbours. Britain has turned its back on the world.

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#Brexit or #Bremain? A Musical Antidote

YouTube clips or cat pictures? Both could be considered the perfect antidote to all of the political rhetoric and unpleasant feeling the UK referendum has brought to social media. To Leave or to Remain?

I post too many cat pics, so YouTube it is! This is my interpretation of what will be (or not), via music.

Enjoy!

This: #Brexit vs #Bremain

In my recent past, I used to express my opinions on things political on social media. Lately I have avoided it. I think it’s polarising and I’m sure nobody enjoys a ‘winger’ online. However, the whole Brexit vs Bremain argument intrigues me. I have no real perspective of how it feels to be in the UK with all the upheaval that has happened in the last few years, such as global recession, riots, general elections, the rise of racial tension and now the reality of possibly leaving European Union. I seem to recall feeling there was tension like this in the 1970’s. Except I was too young to appreciate the full misery everybody seemed to be feeling. 

So, back to the present and imminent referendum. Should we stay or should we go? (I say ‘we’ as I still feel as if I’m part of the UK.) My gut feeling is to remain in the EU. I feel there is too much to lose if the UK chooses to leave. 

Looking on my Facebook timeline, I saw this comment on a friends status update. I’m just gonna post it here for you to read. Please choose wisely… 

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I have to say, I think the leave campaign arguments are ridiculous.
We elect our MEPs. The Council of Europe is made up of elected heads of state. Each commissioner is appointed by a different elected government. Lots of big decisions can be vetoed by our elected government. That doesn’t seem undemocratic. In contrast, the vast majority of us can’t vote politicians out at the next general election in this country – because under our first past the post system, realistically only people in a few marginal constituencies have any impact at all on who forms our government.If we leave the EU, we are never going to get a good economic or business deal. The EU don’t want more unhappy member nations thinking they can benefit from leaving, so it’s entirely in their interests to screw us over to show others they should stay in. We’ll have years on uncertainty while they try to broker an impossible deal and we’ll inevitably end up worse. Pension funds will be hit by an inevitable fall in the FTSE. Big business will not invest here to the same degree in the next few years during the uncertainty of waiting to see the outcome of trade negotiations. 

And why should we have our cake and eat it? Freedom of movement is fundamental to the single market, even to the countries who aren’t EU members, so they’ll never let us have the same free trade rights without signing up to their rules. And at the moment, we help draw up those rules. If we leave, we’ll still have to live by those rules but with no chance to influence them.

And as for shedding regulations: nonsense. This country loves having rules out of a belief they create fairness and order, we are not going to suddenly lose red tape just because we’ve left the EU. Any business that wants to export to the EU will still have to abide by their regulations anyway – it’s a waste of time and money to have an external set and an internal set. 

Foreign criminals: there are thousands upon thousands of English scumbags in this country, why are we obsessed about a relativity tiny number of other scumbags just because they’re foreign? It’s human nature that some people break the law, and frankly it’s just as irrelevant if they’re foreign as if they’re black or white, rich or poor – we shouldn’t listen to the argument of stopping immigration wholesale because of the tiny minority who are bad eggs.

Controlling immigration: despite all the really tough rules that have been introduced on non-EU people living here, which have unfairly forced some really good and bright and hardworking friends of mine out of the country after they paid small fortunes to study here, the number of non-EU immigrants is still higher than EU. So even when we have the power to ‘crack down’ on immigration, it’s not working in terms of numbers. And people come here for jobs which boosts the economy. Our public services are not overstretched because of immigrants, it’s because – rightly or wrongly – we’ve had six years of austerity cutting them back to the bone to reduce the deficit. If you don’t invest in services, they get worse. Simple as that.

Border controls: we already check the passports of people coming into this country. If we want more controls than that, we’ll have to get them to apply for visas – and Europe would impose the same on us, meaning even a day trip to Calais would need an application form.

Lastly, I’m sick of hearing this line about ‘standing on our own’ like that’s a good thing. Isolation is never a good thing in life. Talking and working with our neighbours is always better than shunning them and looking arrogant. Being part of a big club rather than a little island by itself gives us much more bargaining power in the world when it comes to major powers like the US and China. We’ve got an agreement to not be involved in more integration. We have a veto over Turkey joining the EU. Nobody is going to make us join the Euro. And if we leave the EU, the right-wing of the Tory party will have its coup and trample all over our social rights to feed their business interests.

Leaving will be a horrible, stupid, humiliating, self-inflicted disaster. And Boris will be PM.