Category Archives: European Union

Can we just all stop being so angry?

There’s so much anger around isn’t there? 

Which is weird because most of us are nice and comfortable. So you’d expect us to be nice and relaxed. 

For example, I’ve just eaten some lovely treacle sponge and custard. This is well known comfort food. 

And I even know people who can pay more than the minimum payment on their credit card! Austerity my arse. 

So why is there so much anger out there? And does anger actually make a difference to anything – except the number of articles about anger? And maybe the number of people beaten up and beaten to death by angry people?

First things first – the scary health bit. 

Anger is bad for the person who’s angry – some people get so angry their head literally explodes. 

And anger is bad for society. Angry people attack and kill other people. If they’re really angry they can smash phone boxes and bus shelters.

Angry people sometimes even write nasty things on the internet.

So let’s all chill out, take some deep breaths and try to calm down. Remember it’s for the good of you as an individual and society as a whole. 

Here’s what you can do:

If it’s a particular person who’s pissing you off, try to blank them out and think about cute lambs gambolling in a field or a nice roast dinner – lamb and mint sauce with plenty of gravy for example. 

If it’s a thing that’s making you angry – like climate change or the murder rate in Belgrade – try to think of something good like After Eights or something difficult like String Theory. 

But as with all advice, there are exceptions. 

If you’re a decent, intelligent person, some people and things will just literally make you want to scream and cry and freak out with utter helpless and crippling rage. 

Things like: 

Aaron Banks for being a racist disgrace and an arrogant swine who thinks he knows more about Roman history than Professor Mary Beard of Cambridge University.

The Tory Brexit lot:

– boring Christians who think they’re doing god’s work
– free market lunatics who’ve never actually worked in the private sector and don’t understand economics
– clever ex-Oxford bores who are going for a hard Brexit because it’s such a hilarious jape
– heartless racist hypocrites who claim immigrants and poor people are a drain on the public purse, but who think they themselves are entitled to receive lots of public money for spouting their poisonous bile.

All utter arseholes on any measure of anal verisimilitude. 

Anyone who supports that bell end Donald Trump. 

And don’t get me started on religious freaks of any and all denominations, dicks who drive too fast, utter morons who let their dogs shit everywhere … 

AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!

The great referendum lie and why a majority of the British never wanted to leave the EU

A majority of people who voted in the EU referendum did not want us to leave. Indeed many of those who voted Leave did not and do not give a shit about Europe. They have more pressing concerns – like how they’re going to pay their bills. 

So politicians who say they respect the result to leave the EU should stop and think about what they’re respecting. 
The referendum provided a perfect and unique opportunity for people to stick two fingers up to the political establishment and scream: ‘Listen to us, you bastards!’ It was not an example of a heroic democratic movement winning the political argument.

Many of those who voted Leave, it is true, actually wanted to leave the EU. 
Some wanted to leave on principle – arguing that our membership of the EU undermines the sovereignty of our cherished parliamentary democracy. These are known as the goggle-eyed brigade. 

Some wanted out because they genuinely thought our country would be better off economically if we were free of the EU. These are known as the Victorian free traders who also believe President Trump is a reasonable man who respects women and wants to improve race relations in the States and globally. 

Others wanted to leave because they hate Germans and French.

My argument doesn’t refer to these genuine Leavers. They’ve been with us ever since we joined the EU. 

They’re the backbench Tory MPs John Major described as ‘bastards’ when he was prime minister. They’re the know-it-alls in the pub who really don’t know it all at all. And they’re the conspiracy theorists and lonely bigots who just hate abroad. 

Fair enough. They voted Leave based on their opinions about the EU.
But not everyone who voted Leave had the EU at the front of their minds when they made their choice in June 2016. 

A referendum by definition demands that people choose black or white, yes or no, for or against. It attempts to simplify intrinsically complex questions. 

And of course it fails because the world is not simple. It is not black or white. Unless you are a cat whose aim is to eat, sleep and be stroked. (Cats see in black and white – hence the feline metaphor.)

It fails (the referendum’s objective rather than the cat metaphor) because people vote for all kinds of reasons in a referendum. 

And when you give people a question, many will not answer the question you have asked. Just ask anyone who’s marked GCSE and A-level humanities and social science papers. 

Why should voters answer according to the rules that have been set by others? Especially if they’re angry, feel powerless and are sick and tired of being told what to think?

Here, then, are five reasons many people voted Leave:

There are many more non-EU reasons why people voted Leave. But I’ll stop at five because the point I’m making is so bloody obvious (yet apparently so bloody difficult to understand for many experienced politicians who really should know bloody better). 

Many Leave voters thought David Cameron and George Osborne were (still are) posh, arrogant, privileged wankers. On this point, most Remain voters agree. 

The only people in the country who still rate these two are investment bankers who give them jobs and – at a push – their families. But it was Cameron who decided to hold the referendum, and both he and Osborne begged people to vote Remain. A Leave vote for many was therefore a: ‘Piss off, you arrogant turds.’ Nothing to do with the EU question at all. 

2

Some Leave voters who wanted to stop immigrants coming into the country were mainly concerned about immigration from the Indian sub continent, Africa, and the Caribbean. Not immigration from the EU. They were answering a completely different question – if it was an A-level they’d’ve got an F or a U or even an FU. 

3

Many Leave voters were (are) sick of ‘austerity’ – a ruse making the poorest people pay for mistakes made by the absolute richest. They were sick of cuts to local services, benefits to the most vulnerable and all the other unfair policies falling most heavily on the poorest. These cuts were made by the British government. They were nothing to do with the EU. But a Leave vote allowed the anger of many to register.

4

Mix in the fact that bankers in the City still earn utterly ridiculous money and the fact that the City was warning that a Leave vote would hit the financial sector – and it makes sense that a Leave vote was a resounding ‘Stick it up your arse’ to the mega rich from the poor, the very poor, the barely managing, the ‘managing with a very small amount to spare’ and ‘fairly comfortable – for now’. Nothing to do with Europe. More to do with a society that rewards greed and lies, and which contains ludicrous levels of inequality. 

5

Some people thought a Leave vote was a vote for a massive injection of cash into the NHS. The Leave campaign did promise an extra ¬£350 million a week for the health service – so it’s not surprising that people who prioritise health care would vote Leave. The fact that this was one of many bare-faced lies during the campaign is beside the point for this argument.

In short, those politicians who say they are respecting the will of the British people by waving through article 50 and allowing us to hurtle towards the exit door of the EU are talking utter tripe. 

It is not the will of the British people to leave the EU. Given that 48% voted Remain, the vote was too close to make any such claim. Especially when just under a third didn’t even bother to vote. 

And millions voted Leave for reasons other than Europe. 

Many people in Britain do not care about the EU – it is an irrelevance to their lives. They don’t understand it and have more pressing things to worry about – like debt, health worries, job insecurity and the football scores. 

Some people are virulently anti-EU. A relatively small number. Similarly there’s a smallish number who are massively pro Europe. And many of these play out their arguments on Twitter calling each other ‘cockwombles’ and other rude names inspired by the Thick of It’s notoriously patient and reasonable Malcolm Tucker. 

The rest of us – the vast majority – are somewhere in the middle. For us, the EU has its good and bad points. But it’s confusing, nuanced and by no means simple. 

A majority are not screaming for us to leave the EU. No matter what certain parts of our sick, deranged, hyperbolic, immigrant-hating, far right, foreign-owned press say.

If nothing else, arguments about the referendum result being the will of the British people need to be buried. Many who voted Leave were answering different questions to the official EU one , and most of the British people don’t actually give a shit. 

But lots of us still think (know) Cameron and Osborne are wankers. 
Notes:

The author is a former student of Brasenose College, Oxford where he studied Politics with Professor Vernon Bogdanor. 

He would like to point out that he attended the college several years after David Cameron had left and does not know the man. His comments about ‘Dave’ and George (ne Gideon) Osborne are based on their public personas and actions rather than on any hatred resulting from any personal acquaintance. 

The author was a member of the Labour Party from 1996 to 1999 and worked as a research assistant for a Labour MP. He has no current political affiliations and says: ‘I lurch from despair on good days to numb paralysis when I think about politics.’
The author rarely responds to comments.


Uncovered: Secret editorial memo from one of Britain’s best-selling newspapers

Urgent memo to all editorial staff. 

As always, the liberals and socialists are trying to undermine us. The sickening, hypocritical #StopFundingHate movement is even trying to ruin us by blackmailing major advertisers (John Lewis, M&S, Co-op) to close their accounts.

A gentle reminder of this newspaper’s values is below. Gentle reminder 2: If you don’t like these values, you know where the door is. 

No positive stories about: 

A. People with faces darker than Imran Khan.

B. People with the letters Z or X (except Xavier) in either Christian name or surname.

C. Lego, the Danish socialist swines.

D. France, Germany and – anything, repeat anything – to do with the EU and its sickening, hypocritical institutions. 

E. Religions other than C of E. Even then, check for C in list below – it is utterly riddled with lefties and Remoaners. Disgusting. 

F. Speed cameras.

G. The liberal judiciary. 

H. Openly gay people.

I. Local councils unless decent, moral Conservative. 

J. People on benefits. 

K. Immigration.

L. The BBC. 

No negative stories about: 

A. Iain Duncan Smith – a man of the highest integrity. 

B. Jacob Rees-Mogg – a superb intellect. 

C. Middle-class white people (except socialists, Trotskyites, Remoaners, etc. Traitors, in short).

D. The police – unless the officer comes under category A in list above.

E. The military – unless the serviceman comes under category A in list above.

F. Loyal Conservatives/ Brexiters Ian Botham, Gary Barlow, Jim Davidson, Vinnie Jones, John McCririck, Katie Hopkins. We salute them. 

G. Churchill. 

H. Oswald Moseley. 

I. Hitler. 

J. The economy – everything is fine if only the ‘experts’ would stop talking this country down.

Now get back to work. There’s a war to be won. 

The most popular phrases of 2016 if you’re a sane music lover¬†

Bowie, Prince, Cohen. Brexit. Trump.


2016 has been a shocker for people with great music taste, reasonable political and ethical standards and a moderate level of sanity. 
If this is you, you may recognise some of the most popular phrases of the year I’ve just collected. 

The phrases in the list have overtaken perennial favourites like ‘Can you smell weed?’, ‘It’s pissing down’ and ‘Oh go on then, just one more and then I really am going home.’

Apologies for the sweariness of the list. But, you know, it’s been a desperately shite year.

Oh shit.

Bollocks. 

You’re taking the fucking piss. 

Oh Jesus Christ no. 

For fuck’s sake. 

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. 

Arse holes. 

Oh shit no – not her/him as well. 

What a bastard year. 

You are fucking joking. 

No pissing way. 

What is it with 20fucking16?

Oh god they haven’t. 

That is fucking insane. 

I need a drink/spliff/pill.

We’re doomed. 

We’re properly up shit creek. 

Bollocks on a stick.

Fucking disgusting. 

How the fuck could they?

You stupid bastards. 

So what conclusions can we make? I think there are just two. 

1. 2016 has been a shit year. 

2. People who like good music and decent politics swear a fuck of a lot. 

Do the British really care about Brexit? Yawns speak louder than abusive tweets

Leave supporters are threatening to kill, rape and castrate anyone they accuse of trying to stop Brexit. (I made the castrate bit up on the grounds that Twitter users should be less sexist.)

But is this sort of thing really British?Do the British really care about leaving or staying in the EU? And does anyone understand – or even want to understand – what’s going on? 

The British are supposed to embody the virtues of tolerance, fair play and respect for the other side. But that’s wrong – the myth was made up in the 18th and 19th centuries as a cover for racist imperialism.

Actually, the virtues of the average Briton are inertia, ignorance and apathy.

The British have better things to do than trying to understand complicated issues – preferring instead to watch Strictly, beg on the streets or write racist and homophobic tweets, depending on their socio-economic status, attitude to ballroom dancing and levels of bigotry.

Because of this horror of anything complicated or nuanced, their opinions are created by the ‘newspaper’ they read. Here are some examples:

Express readers obsess about the weather, Princess Diana and wanting to get their country back. 

Daily Mail readers are disgusted by sodomy, immigrants living in lavish houses and the arrogance of gay high court judges who dare to uphold the principle of parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law. 

Sun readers are experts on breasts, the sex lives of the stars and foreigners coming over here, taking our jobs and raping our women. 

Except the British aren’t actually that bothered about any of these ‘issues’. Not really. Not if you asked them to be honest – except for the breasts. Sun readers love page three.

So what do the British really care about?

Smartphones

Dogs and cats

Football

Cars – especially Clarkson

Hair styles and dyes 

Beauty – especially nails and eyebrows

Christmas

Sleep

Rollercoasters

Tattoos

House prices

Having sex in budget hotels

The bloody weather

Shopping

Celebrities shagging each other

EastEnders and Corrie

Greggs

Strictly Come Dancing

Bank holidays – wanting more

Traffic jams – wanting fewer

Celebrity paedophiles

Holidays in the sun

Getting pissed 

Debt

Jacuzzis 

Speed cameras

Facial hair

Weed

Sexy fancy dress

Writing abusive tweets or facebook posts – threatening to kill, rape (or, hopefully in a less sexist future, castrate) people they don’t like.

‘Political issues’ – and the EU is one of the more arcane – come about 158th on this list of priorities for the British, just behind ‘creosoting the fence’ and just above ‘the Royal Family’.

I’m off for a nap. 

The EU, the judges and the right-wing press. What’s wrong with this country?

The government needs parliament’s agreement before we start the process of leaving the EU. 
So the high court has decided. 

Now here’s the boring theory bit:

We live in a parliamentary democracy underpinned by the rule of law. 

This means ‘we, the people’ can’t be bothered with ‘the issues’. We elect MPs to worry about them for us – so we can go shopping or watch the football. 

We also have Lords and Ladies who worry about issues too – but they’re not democratically elected. 

Oops. 

And the rule of law has stood us in pretty good stead since arbitrary killing, maiming and stealing were limited after some particularly bloodthirsty king went too far with his dastardly deeds. 

The judges decide what the law says. And the judges are independent – so they can’t be bribed or beheaded. 

So much for the theory.

In practice, the right-wing newspapers think they would run the country best – and their amazing ideas include bringing back hanging, erecting statues of Margaret Thatcher in every town and city and undermining the rule of law. 

So, after the decision by the high court, these newspapers screamed that the judges are ‘enemies of the people’, claimed democracy has died and basically said the country hasn’t been in such a state since the Black Death.

I know the people who run these papers are very rich and get very angry when they don’t get their own way or when people disagree with them. Still, they should believe in free speech, shouldn’t they? So here’s an alternative view.

Some things that are wrong with this country 

Too much dog shit on the pavements 

People using their mobiles while driving 

Loads of people having to sleeping rough

Parents at children’s football games getting far too angry

People having to go to food banks so they don’t starve to death

The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Express being allowed to print hate-filled articles full of factual inaccuracies that encourage bigotry and prejudice

Kale

Special Brew

Some things that aren’t wrong with this country

The Yorkshire Dales

Test Match Special

An independent judiciary upholding the rule of law.

How you should vote in the EU referendum

If you’re confused by the referendum that will decide Britain’s future membership of the European Union, here’s a little guide that will tell you how you should vote.

This guide cuts through the hyperbole on both sides of the argument – it doesn’t mention the threat of war or the Nazis and Hitler. It keeps to the facts, helping you to vote logically and rationally.

Your guide on how you should vote

Go to the polling station and tell the nice man or lady your name and address.

He or she will then give you a card. You should take this card into a little booth and put a cross in the box next to your favourite statement.

The question you will answer is:

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

Here’s your choice of statements:

Remain a member of the European Union
and
Leave the European Union

Make sure you only choose one – by putting a cross in the box next to your favourite.

Then, you should put the completed card in a box. The box will probably have a slit in the top.

Once that’s done, you should say thank you and bye-bye to the nice man or lady – and leave the polling station.

Finally, once you’re outside, you should go about your day as normal.

If you’re going to be away or incapacitated, you can get a postal vote or a proxy vote. The internet has information about how you should vote in these circumstances.

And that ends my little lesson on how you should vote in the EU referendum.

PS. I’m voting remain because I’m not racist and I am rational.

And if you like a bit of satire, here’s a funny UKIP manifesto I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s scarily true to what that ‘party’ thinks.