Category Archives: Labour Party

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. 


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. 


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.


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. 


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. 

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.


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
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.


Five ways to make yourself happier if you hate the new Tory government

If you wish we had a more ‘caring’, left-wing government than the one we’ve voted for, there are several things you can do to make yourself happier.

These don’t involve bemoaning your fellow citizens’ selfishness and stupidity.
Calling people names rarely makes you feel better and doesn’t actually change anything. And the people will still be selfish and stupid – no matter what you say.

Getting drunk, taking drugs, watching live comedy, having orgasms or even eating chocolate are legitimate ways of making yourself happier – but my list doesn’t involve any of these. You can do these as well!

How good is that?

Why not try one of these ways to recover from 7 May 2015?

1. If you wanted the government to raise taxes to pay for better health care, overseas aid or any other issue you believe in, start contributing more from your pay to charities. Either that, or wait for five years to see if we vote for a government that will raise them. You’ll probably feel more empowered if you do something positive now.

2. Join a political party. A 20 year old SNP candidate who’s still doing her university finals will be sitting in the new House of Commons, so it’s possible to follow your political dreams.
Electoral politics isn’t for everyone – I’ve worked for an MP and found the experience terrifying. But you may enjoy it. Why not give it a try? You could be brilliant at it.
And if the mainstream political parties make you queasy, there are others like the recently-formed Women’s Equality party. One of its founders Sandi Todsvik was fed up of being fed up and has even given up her fantastic job on Radio 4’s News Quiz to help establish this party.

3. Start being nicer to people. Smile if someone smiles at you. Hold doors open – even if the person is still 10 metres away and limping. Give your seat up on the bus for someone who’s younger than you. Have a chat to the Big Issue seller instead of avoiding his or her gaze. Little bits of kindness make the giver and receiver happier. They just do.

4. Do something really positive and of immediately huge benefit to others – like giving blood. Giving blood is a lovely way to feel connected to your fellows – even UKIP supporters need blood transfusions in the operating theatre.

5. Find a cause you believe in and find fellow travellers on the road to your own personal utopia. You’d be surprised how many groups exist for all manner of causes and interests. Volunteer at a local hospice. Help kids with their reading at a local school. Pick up litter for a couple of hours a day, like the eccentric and lovely David Sedaris.

If some of this sounds like a call to fill the gaps of an underfunded welfare state, then ask yourself what you’re going to do to make the world better now the gaps aren’t going to be filled by the state.

I’m as gutted as the next person that our society is run by – and on behalf of – a small club.

I came close to some of its elements when I studied at David Cameron’s old Oxford college. They’re horrendous, arrogant and the true manifestation of the ‘entitlement culture’.

But that’s the way things are for now. If you’re disappointed and depressed that the UK has another Conservative government, you can bemoan it and do nothing – feeling both alienated and impotent.

Or you can use whatever motivation, talent and resources you have to make the world a slightly better place today.

I know which will make you – and others – a bit happier.

7 reasons why MPs deserve a 10 per cent pay rise


Controversial headline followed by a contradictory introduction. Please forgive me – politics makes me nervous and when I’m nervous I fall back on tried and tested methods of producing clickbait and encouraging readers’ outrage.

‘You don’t see an underfed MP’

Although MPs aren’t allowed to pay for duck islands on expenses any more, they still have a very, very, very cushy time.

Their free or heavily subsidised bars, restaurants, first class rail travel, accommodation and embossed writing paper are just the tip of an iceberg of freebies. MPs could spend their entire lives at receptions, dinners, parties, dinner parties, conferences, openings and meetings where nice food and good drink is always in generous, complimentary supply. You never see a knowingly underfed MP.

MPs are also allowed to do other jobs on top of their £74,000 (they’re getting a much-needed 10% rise, you know.) And by ‘other jobs’ I don’t mean stacking shelves at Aldi. I mean ‘consultancy’ jobs that pay £200+ an hour.

You don’t see an underfed MP. And you rarely come across an MP who isn’t financially ‘comfortable’. If they’re not minted, it’s usually because they’re being blackmailed, have a gambling problem, a drug addiction or particularly expensive tastes in prostitutes. Unsurprisingly, the MPs with all four of these attributes are particularly keen on ‘consultancy’ work.

Many ex-MPs are given a seat in the House of Lords – as long as they haven’t done something dreadful like having sex with children. Actually, some of its members have had sex with children, and continue to hold the ‘Noble Lord’ title. As Jim Royle would say: ‘Noble Lord my Arse.’

The Lords get £300 a day just for clocking in – they don’t actually have to do anything except turn up. Not a bad post-career gig, especially when you’ve got your gold-plated MP’s pension to live on as well.

An MP’s lot is not a happy one

But despite all this – if you look closely at the face of any experienced British MP – you’ll see they’re deeply troubled.

True, in many cases this is because the police are investigating unspeakable sex crimes, being rude to officers on the beat or perverting the course of justice (the three most popular crimes among our elected representatives).
But they are also deeply sad because of the very nature of the modern MP’s job.

An Oxford connection

I know – I worked for two MPs during a misspent youth thinking politics was a worthwhile thing to do.
I even went to a posh university to study the subject for two years.
My tutor – the improbably named and inveterately angry Vernon Bogdanor – also taught politics to David Cameron.
‘Nothing to brag about there then,’ you may say.
‘I wasn’t bragging. Just name-dropping – a subtle but important distinction in Oxford,’ I could respond.

Reasons to be miserable 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

So, here are seven reasons why being an MP in 2015 is a recipe for making you sad – and why despite despising our MPs, we should grant them their 10%. Good luck to them. They need it.

1. You have to knock on strangers’ doors during elections – and are usually greeted with less enthusiasm than a Jehovah’s Witness double glazing salesman who’s trodden dog shit up the householder’s path. On one occasion during my dabble in the political world, one of my fellow canvassers had his hand badly bitten by a dog called Vince – obviously brought up to loathe anyone who wasn’t BNP/UKIP.

2. You have to deal with the tediously obsessed, the lonely, the bored and the frankly insane. And it’s not just your fellow MPs and members of your party who cause you pain. An MP’s office is to obsessive mad people what a freshly laid lump of dog shit is to flies. And even if you spend most of the week in Westminster you still have to come back during the recesses and at weekends. And remember – these obsessives don’t have anything else to do apart from obsessing about their obsessions. Whether that’s the ‘injustice’ of their convictions, the ‘injustice’ of the judge revoking custody of their children or the ‘injustice’ of their next door neighbours owning a pet cat. Once they think you can help them (you can’t) they remain a deep and permanent pain in the arse for the entire span of your parliamentary career.

3. You have to argue all the time. You’re actually paid to be argumentative, obstructive and obnoxious – and you spend your time rehearsing the same tired arguments with people you instinctively hate from the other political parties – in TV and radio studios, at literary festivals and sometimes even on the floor of the House of Commons. Arguing – as anyone who has lived in a house where people hate each other – is intrinsically stressful. An MP is a professional arguer and therefore professionally and constantly stressed out.

4. Even though it’s your job to argue and make important political points, you’re not allowed to use your own lines of argument. Rather, party central command provides the slogans, phrases and statistics you must use if you are to be considered ‘loyal’. Staying ‘on message’ is far more important in modern politics than the ability to think or to have independent opinions. And the slogans must be intelligible to the average Sun reader.

  • We have a long-term economic plan.
  • A better plan for a better future.
  • Hard-working families deserve better.
  • We will govern for the many, not the few.

Are you asleep yet? I admit to nodding off after the first ‘plan’.

5. The modern MP has to tweet, update Facebook and keep the Instagram feed going. These updates must include a rubbish pictures of the MP with the most annoying obsessives in the constituency – with falsely positive captions like:

“Humbled by Arthur Pervis’ 46 years campaigning to get an oak tree planted on the roundabout near Tescos. Keep up the pressure, Art!”

No wonder MPs inadvertently post images of their naked genitalia on their parliamentary Twitter feed rather than on their personal Grindr page.

6. And even if you’re really good at your job – toeing the party line, keeping your constituency nutters happy, not posting pictures of your bell end on the internet and not stealing public money or having sex with children, you may still languish on the backbenches with no prospect of advancement.
Because promotion in politics is all about whether you can do seven-second soundbites.
People who enjoy talking in soundbites cluster in certain professions – marketing, sales, PR, the law and the media – silver-tongues crooks.

If you’re not one of them, you don’t stand a chance.

7. And finally. If you’re really successful as an MP and become Prime Minister, you end up on several Hit Lists. And it’s not just harmless lunatics who fantasise about killing you – it’s actual sadistic lunatics in ISIS and other terrorist organisations who may well actually kill you. And they’ll want to kill you even after you’ve retired or been thrown out of office. So you spend the rest of your life surrounded by secret service agents, wondering if a sniper is going to put a bullet through your head.

MPs – they’re vain, self-satisfied and sitting in First Class. But they’re not happy. Let them have their 10% – and breathe a sigh of relief you’re not one of them.

If this has depressed you, why not try my short jokes lists:

The best short jokes ever

The best cheese jokes in the world

The world’s best Xmas jokes