Brexit the Success

Just for a moment lets imagine Brexit as a success. The day after the referendum David Cameron resigns and within weeks Theresa May is in place. She looks at the situation and see’s the contradictions that the leave campaign played but also shrewdly the main reasons for Brexit to sell this to all sides. She was adamant that the 48% should not be ignored.
Conciliation is sought for the 48% of the country, with a clear directive that we must leave the EU. The Northern Ireland border is highlighted immediately as to why we must stay in the customs union and Single market and the Norway model is pushed as the right way forward. Under this model the EU are happy to progress with trade talks and Article 50 is initiated.
The government gains widespread support for the model and although some in the tory party and UKIP feel this is still too close to the EU, reporting shows all sides saying this model as the preferred option before the referendum, allows the critics to be ignored as extremists. The Northern Ireland border issue is never contentious, the remainers who see that we keep some of the benefits of the EU but still keep the referendum result are predominantly satisfied and although some still feel that we should stay in the EU, the consensus has swung towards this deal. Once this has been agreed the UK government are then free to focus on the main issues that dominate the public’s life. The NHS, education and our public service gain a boost from the economic certainties and tax revenues rise. Theresa Mays popularity is strong as Labour fall into a crisis of confidence over anti-Semitism. Her strong position is maintained until the 2020 election, where she wins a landslide victory.
They say hindsight is a wonderful thing, but what has happened after the referendum result is nothing short of criminal, as politicians played with this countries future for their own political glory. The rich have influenced this government to the extent that its future is being gambled away, while the likes of Rees-Mugg move their business dealings to capitalise on Brexit. Nigel Lawson and Nigel Farage ensure they and their family have EU citizenship and have the advantages they desperately want taken away from the people of this country.
The statements made by these politicians stating they have no concerns about the border show a total disregard for the people of this country and show the narrow view they take on the future and for themselves. They care nothing for the people of this country and the problems they are having. The lies they won the referendum on are regurgitated with no real plan as to how they will achieve this. This is why Brexit is such an utter failure. There own vain interests and agendas are pushed as a national agenda and to hell with the people. This has to stop. Without this absence of leadership and rational, Brexit could have been successful, in some ways it still could, but the two years of utter failure have led to entrenched beliefs and poor rhetoric which many now cannot take back. Boris Johnson the case in point, where he feels the only way he can keep himself in the news, is to make more outlandish comments. His advisor Bannon, Trumps right hand orifice, always knowing how to stoke the fires of hate and nationalism.
Our only chance now to heal the nation is a second vote. This should have several options, including no deal and the Norway model. This will show what people are now voting for, rather than some mystical land of opportunity that does not exist.
This week the ‘chequers plan’ is dead in the water and the rhetoric against the EU is only worsening our relationship and the situation. If we are to have a Brexit success and a united nation, our politicians need to think of the country and not of their careers.

Is the ugly head of Fascism rising?

If we make the same mistakes, does this guarantee the same results? World recession leading to protectionism and trade wars. Growing nationalism and fascism, creating ‘strong’ leaders. Strong being self-obsessed, who use fear and immigration to consolidate their Homebase creating hatred towards a group in their country, even though they are that nationality.

Am I talking about 1925-35 or our current political system? Well, you can see the similarities and how our current political class are either making the same mistakes as the past or purposely using that knowledge to get what they want. The latter is a scary thought because what is there end game?

Although it is a worry that the same mistakes are being made, there are institutions that have been embedded that can hopefully stop a major conflict from happening. The UN is far superior to the league of nations, but its fundamental weakness is that it hasn’t evolved to be more inclusive and remove the power base from the 5 main nations, all of whom have betrayed the trust in the UN. Will it hold up against the current attacks by the US and Russia? I think it did in the cold war because it was essentially two main powers and they ignored smaller conflicts and both had nuclear weapons, but so many smaller, unstable nations are now acquiring these weapons, it means although a low risk, there is more possible chance of a nuclear war than before.

The other major institution is the EU. All the major wars of the past were started in Europe, with atrocities killing millions in both world wars. Churchill saw that economic union was the way to create stability and peace, which has been shown to be correct. Although not eradicating fascism in Europe, it has never risen to the heights of the 1930’s. The economic union, soon turned into a political union, as Churchill foresaw and wanted, and this peace seemed unbreakable.

This is why it has been attacked so much by the far right and the constant abuse of the EU, was allowed in Britain because of our natural suspicion and prejudice to foreigners. This is especially present in the older generations who hold these views far more than the younger population of the country. Fortunately, the chaos of the UK has shown the rest of Europe just how much it does for each individual nation and where many predicted France, Netherlands, Greece and Italy would join the UK in leaving, not one is close to this. Even Italy is discussing many aspects of the EU, but in no conversations is there talk of leaving the EU.


So, the mistakes of the past do not necessarily lead to the same end results. But the fascist leaders, Trump, Farage, Le pen have had an impact funded and supported by Putin. All these have continually argued against these world bodies because they bring that stability, peace and prosperity. They have undermined the UN to cause the migration problem. They have undermined the EU with Brexit and they are now undermining democracy in the US.

These institutions are not perfect, but do you trust the UN and EU to work it out, or selfish, lying sycophants who currently drive Brexit and the trump administration.  I know where my loyalty would lie. With democracy every time and Russian supported election results with Brexit and Trump are not something I would trust. So, I would call for greater integration, unity and collaboration, while keeping the individual nation state as the EU has. It worked. Not perfectly, but it has brought peace and prosperity. The Fascists try to fuel nationalism to divide us, but the institutions we have developed are there to unite us, we should continue to work on these institutions, to improve and support our weakest individuals and avoid the wars that blighted us in our past so that we don’t keep making the same mistakes.

The bizarre relationship between safe standing and brexit

Now I know I am getting obsessed when everything seems to link to Brexit! How can safe standing in football possibly show us this mentality?
I am an ardent Bradford City Fan, so I’m not in it for the glory, although we have had our moments. Any football fan knows that the highs and the lows are part of supporting your team, although for us lower league supporters, the moaning by Arsenal fans because they finish 4th or 5th is a little grating. My first match watching Bradford was in the late 70’s and I write this knowing I have been supporting them and watching/playing football for 40 years, it makes me feel a little old.
So, West Brom and Celtic have been asking for safe standing areas. This is because some fans don’t like sitting down and also people naturally stand when anything exciting happens. So, it seems logical to get people to stand and satisfy this urge and then enforce the seating more vigorously. This seems sensible but has many pitfalls.
Firstly, it is dependent on the stewarding in a club. I have been to Bradford and many away sections and have rarely seen anyone picked up for foul and abusive language and only recently are racist comments being chased. This only seems to happen when a player complains and not when a steward sanctions a fan for it. I am now sitting in the family section as my 10-year-old is keen to follow the mighty Bantams. It is amazing when you sit with a child how more you notice the language, homophobic comments and undertones of violence aimed at players and officials. This does put people off, whether you think people are too sensitive or not, in the family section and elsewhere. I would expect something to be said to the fans, who feel paying their money is sufficient excuse to behave like this, it rarely is. The point is, stewards do not pick up the basics, never mind making individuals sit continuously throughout the game. If they don’t do it now, they are not going to do it in the future and so we will have a slow trickle of greater standing areas. Some would welcome this.
The second issue is the demographics now going to the football. What was a very male dominated environment, has changed to a more family friendly audience and female participation. If anyone has not seen ‘Fever Pitch’* as a film, I would recommend it. But the key moment is the game which coincided with Hillsborough. When the Arsenal scored and the crowd went mad, that fear and lack of control of the crowd, that they show the female character suffer, was a weekly occurrence at every busy ground.

Now for every decent fan who wants to stand up and enjoy that experience, I wonder the type of fan who would also be attracted to this area? Are these the types who follow stewards guidance?
The change to seating was because people were dying in football grounds. Supporters were injured regularly and fighting happened inside and outside the ground. Do we want a situation that these types feel they will enjoy coming to the football again? I know some who have never been a hooligan in their lives, will feel aggrieved that they are being labelled like this. But hand on heart, people know that any supporter who leans towards being overly aggressive, will be attracted to this section? It is naïve to think that they will not be attracted to this section and all the issues this will cause.
It is a backward step on what has been a massive improvement in the sport. Football violence is down from the the 80’s. How many fans have died because of having seating in stadiums? How safe do we all feel now because of the safety in stadiums? But we have a group of sentimental supporters, who want for a bygone atmosphere, but seem to forget all the issues that occurred weekly because of the stands and attitude within the ground.
Hence the link to Brexit. The changes made throughout the 90’s and 2000’s happened for a reason. People dying is a reason for change. Would we change to having no seatbelts or having smoking back in pubs. It is not a restriction on rights, but lifesaving changes made for a reason. In the same way, all the small changes of shifting decisions we make to a centralised European system happened because it saved money, enabled opportunity for everyone in Europe and supported peace within a widening area, importantly for us in Northern Ireland. The fascists who want to change this think they can bring back a bygone age of the empire and British rule. They sold a past that we changed for a reason. So, we could feel safer and be better off. This is why we have all seater stadiums. This is why we are members of the EU. This is why we must stop both changes and be better off in our lives and in a football stadium. I have been at a ground when supporters have died. I don’t want to take a massive step back in life and football.


*Fever Pitch by Nick Holby – Excellent book and film

Is the world losing all respect for the USA?

The obvious answer is no. We do not judge the US by one man. However vile, racist and arrogant he is. Yet we are watching open mouthed as the land of the free turns into a de facto dictatorship.

The cornerstone of freedom is to have a free press. Yet the ‘fake news’ campaign is being used to undermine the press. It is not facts that are used to undermine the press but insults and pressure. It may be a bit far to claim he has Putin’s touch with dealing with the press, because Trump is not killing or imprisoning anyone who disagrees, but it is a fundamental principle that is being abused for his own end. The press is continually abused who don’t agree with him, while he feigns pleasure with Fox news as they pander to his sycophantic ways.

The irony is not lost when he criticizes a book about him, calling it lies, when he spouted so many about Obama’s birthplace or the never-ending changes to the Russian collusion story. He now wants to use the libel laws to curtail the press. This because he wants to hide Russia; sexual assault; money laundering and recently adultery. Freedom for the people or for Trump?

This is the man who is bad mouthing the US federal police force continually. Undermining respect for their work and the personal in their service. If he has nothing to fear then he should be happy for the investigation to proceed. Prove the doubters wrong. But we all know he complains too much.

Obama, the halcyon days. I wonder how much Americans crave the time when a president was coherent, calm and clear. Had the respect of the world, except Russia. Many thought it was because he was weak. Maybe it was because he wasn’t taking their money, sleeping with their women and colluding with them to steal an election? Anyone who still claims Obama was not capable, must now be seen as a racist. There is no explanation other than his skin colour. You don’t have to agree with his politics to see he progressed the country.

Every facet of the US constitution is under attack (apart from the 2nd amendment of course, no one seems to care in congress about 10000 gun deaths a year). Freedom of speech. Freedom of expression. The right to protest. All OK, good people on both sides, unless it is against president Chump. This poisonous regime is splitting the US into factions ready to fight, rather than uniting as a strong nation.

What can the US do about this? Obviously, Mueller is trying his best to find evidence so that Trump can be impeached. A senior diplomat resigned saying he could no longer serve under this administration. This is the time that the people need to look at the officials who just do as there told, even when they know it is wrong. The officials who follow and don’t question. I would suggest that there could be comparisons with Nazi Germany in the mid 1930’s. An appeasement to let Trump attack Muslims or the Mexicans, because it is not us. Eventually though these people, Trumps thugs, go for anyone that dares to disagree. You only have to look at Charlottesville and how he failed to condemn the racists who eventually killed a US citizen. Luckily the US is not Germany in the 1930’s. But the respect for its institutions is being seriously degraded by this fool and only the people can stop him. The politicians, especially the republicans, seem gutless to do anything.

How does this affect the UK? We have the Tories lying about Brexit and attacking our institutions for telling the truth. The ghost of Christmas past*, Rhys Mogg, is attending far right talks and attacking our foreign aid budget. The good Friday agreement is put in jeopardy to satisfy the right wing and a minority have driven wedges between groups so that they can peddle lies with little reproach.

The press, who have been guilty of expressing opinion rather than facts, need to focus on the latter and ensure the trust in hat they say is returned. This would allow the public to have more faith in what they read and then the serial liars, like Trump and Farage can be called out and seen for what they are.

One thing is for sure. No swamps are being drained and the US will have to work hard to correct the debacle of this current regime.


  • first seen on @37paday. An excellent twitter feed.

The Tory Suicide

I feel the whiff of election disaster in the air. The Tories seem to be pursuing political suicide and think a quick apology here or there will suffice.

The NHS has been starved of funding and the much vaunted ‘350M per week’ has quickly evaporated, fundamentally because it was lies. There is a lack of doctors, because of the ridiculous junior doctor’s contracts forced through. There is a lack of nurses because of pay, conditions and poor recruitment. 1 in 8 emergency patients are left in the ambulance for 30+minutes. How often do we have to put up with this? How many additional deaths will be reported before people take this seriously? Should you ignore it until it is your relative who dies in a corridor or in the ambulance?

Schools have been cost cutting for 7 years now. Parents are buying more equipment so that schools can do their job, bigger class sizes, less teaching assistants, longer periods for CAMH’s appointments, affecting the mental health of children. Money wasted on free schools and faith schools that could be used to fill the shortfalls in the system. The education of our young people affected by this government.

Brexit shows incompetence and delusion to the extreme. Everything the Tories have said would happen has been rejected. We would pay nothing to the EU. (50-60 billion). The easiest trade deal ever. (not even started). A minister who leaves meetings early to meet the Daily Fail editor. Finally, unelected bureaucrats are negotiating for the UK because the EU was being run by unelected bureaucrats!! A trade minister who has so far visited 43 countries and has zero initial agreements in 17 months. Yes, he cannot agree a trade deal until we leave, but he could have those initial agreements lined up showing how much other countries want to trade with us. He has none.

Finally, the infighting and low majority. Yes, we can find £1 billion for the DUP so that we can have a minority government, but not for the NHS, education, mental health, tuition fees…

You would have thought the annihilation of 1997 would have taught the Tories that Europe only brings about disaster for them. Yet they have been driven by an infected minority, who have been pandered to, when they should have been ignored. They would have done much better to let the activists and MP’s leave for UKIP and start afresh with new candidates. The reason this did not happen is because the people with the power have the money. They are the ones who keep their money off shore, who would be most affected by the EU closing the tax havens down. So, the EU irrationality has been funded and fuelled in the tory party and in the papers.

I ask any Tory if they are currently happy with the debacle? Anyone who says yes is so blinded by their partisan mentality they would follow them to oblivion. If not, then how do you stop this carnage? My personal feelings are that I could never vote for them again. There saving grace is that Jeremy Corbyn is running labour. Where would the Tories be if David Miliband had won the party nomination rather than Ed? Where would the country be? I know some labourites were happy that they did not do badly, but even with all of this happening they still could not persuade the majority to vote for them. Corbyn is as much a fundamentalist, which will always alienate a majority in the end, as the far-right Tories are doing. This is why I have joined the Liberal Democrats. The 2-party system is failing this country. First past the post is failing the country. It is creating a system that panders to influential minorities rather than focussing on the majority. It is creating a parliament that fuels rhetoric rather than honesty. It creates dissolution with democracy because people do not feel part of the system. Hence the Brexit vote. I know the coalition is brought up as an example of how the liberals did not work. But I would ask these questions? A party that won 15% of the nation’s vote is constantly criticised that it did not push for tuition fees to be removed. One policy compared to the many the other parties constantly back track on. Also without Nick Clegg’s liberals steadying the ship, would Austerity have been far worse and the countries public services in a worse state than they currently are? I doubt it.

It is time for this current government to be removed from power and to give the country the chance to move forward. Dare I say that this is actually the will of the people.

Anyone want to leave the Brexit train?

We are 17 months into our Brexit future and I wonder how the 17.4million (26.7% of population) who voted for Brexit still feel. The mounting evidence of our impending economic downturn and the fanatics with their hands over their ears shouting loudly ‘I’m not listening’, seems bizarre in the extreme.

I have several questions that I think show the insanity of the situation, and whether anyone who supported Brexit could realistically answer with facts rather than blind faith.

  1. Why when we are so close to the most successful trading block, are we leaving the single market and scrambling to be part of smaller trading blocs in the pacific ring?
  2. Why do we include students in immigrant figures, inflating those figures, when they bring income to world leading institutions and therefore local economies? Is it to create a problem that does not exist?
  3. Why are the people who wanted Brexit so lacking in ideas about its future?
  4. Why have those same people completed no impact assessments for leaving the EU?
  5. Why are the people who wanted sovereignty, so scared to debate this in our sovereign parliament?
  6. Why do they want an open border with Ireland and free movement of goods, but refuse to allow it elsewhere?
  7. Is any industry excelling since we have voted to leave the EU?

The cancer infecting the Tory party, which has been eating away at it for over 30 years is now directly impacting on the United Kingdom. Where before they were simply voted out for 13 years, they are now causing the country to be ruined by lies and deceit. Even chief Buffoon Boris didn’t expect or want to win, he was mainly positioning himself for leadership in the future. In fairness, he would have been successful, except of course he won the vote and lost all chances of being PM.

If we look at each question individually we can see the shambles that is occurring in front of our eyes. It is economic suicide to leave the 2nd biggest trading block in the world. It is the largest economy in the world and the largest trader of manufactured goods. The same trading block that is outperforming the US and other major economies and we want to leave it. It has meant that the UK has dropped to the bottom of G8 countries for growth in that short 17-month period from the top. (please read articles, rather than headlines)

Have the Tories and the tabloids been stoking the immigrant card to enrage a public. Area’s, such as Gosport, with little immigration invariably used immigration as an excuse for leaving the EU. Immigration does impact locally, but only if government does not plan for it. As the public services, agriculture and service industries struggle to cover for immigrants leaving, is reduced immigration worth the cost to the economy? We are also finding the Brits are not wanting to take over the immigrants jobs.

Where are the inspirational ideas and leaders for Brexit’s future? There are non, because it was driven by hate and ignorance. This kind of thinking only breeds the accusations about patriotism, traitors and abuse of Judges, MP’s and anyone else who disagrees. It does not fuel enlightenment and progress because it is the antithesis of this.

In terms of impact assessments, the ridiculous part is they have been done. The governments own economic assessment in 2016 was abused as fear mongering. Unfortunately, it has been shown to be accurate in terms of reduced growth and a falling pound. The £350 million each week for the NHS has now disappeared by lower tax receipts and the cost of Brexit. Apart from it being a fabrication from the start and a third went to our poorest areas, the promises to the farmers, fisheries and car industry make that amount a deficit now. The other reports, which will have been completed, will show a negative for the economy. Otherwise the brexiteers would have them in their tabloids, highlighted, and paraded with parties in the street so we could look forward to our utopian future of isolation.

Of course the EU have completed impact assessments. They are all negative and so shall be ignored or because they are derived from facts and honest assessment.

You cannot have your cake and eat it. The arrogance of these Tories and Farage, that blame everyone for not accepting an open Ireland border, but their refusal to accept the single market and the ECJ to monitor that border. You cannot pick and choose international agreements and this reality has still not sunk into this old colonial bunch.

There are no positives to this, unless you have a view that the UK is for white English speakers who drink tea and attend church regularly and almost certainly believe in the class system. These people would not be persuaded by zero employment or any fact that shows the wrong decision has been made, so I would not try.

Some though still see the EU as bloated and undemocratic. I agree. Yet this is not the way to change or improve it. There are millions of people in Europe who agree with us, but cannot support an arrogant nation who only argue for themselves.

We must stop Brexit and we must then look to change the EU for the better politically. If we have to leave, we must stay in the single market and keep the benefits of this. We can then hope that our politicians can focus on the british people and deal with our NHS, education, mental health, the housing market, reduced incomes, higher costs, looking after our aging population, infrastructure to improve productivity……

Here’s hoping.

Exclusive Daily Mail extended interview: Nigel Farage ‘man of the people’

Man of the people, Nigel Farage spoke extensively to Paul Dacre, Daily Fail editor, about his life before and after the referendum. These extracts failed to make it into the Mail, but they have exclusively been revealed today.

Paul Dacre (PD): Nigel, man of the people, why do you think you connect with all the common people of Britain, like what we do?

Nigel Farage (NF): I think it started at Dulwich College. Although this is a fee paying independent school, it’s not like Eton, which needs serious money to attend. Us nouveau riche were never accepted by the ruling class of Britain. That’s why I didn’t bother with Oxford or Cambridge. It was nothing to do with intellect, I just knew I wouldn’t fit in with the ruling elite. Anyway, someone I knew in the city had offered me a job because of the school I went to, so I was fine.

PD: So did that rejection hurt?

NF: No. The real rejection came when the Tories refused to have me as an MP. Too racist they said. I knew then that the establishment was against me, so I left and created UKIP. I had seen a niche in European elections, where no one really voted. I knew that if I could galvanise the racist and ignorant, then i would not need a majority to get in. I was always described as loud and ballsy, so I just moaned about the EU constantly and no one seemed to check what I was saying was lies.

PD: So you had over twenty years as an MEP, what is your biggest achievement?

NF: Well I’ve screwed the EU for every cent I could get. You know I live in a multi million pound house. I have increased the far right in the EU and I knew once I got the eastern Europeans in, I would really accelerate the hate towards minorities. These peope who say I achieved nothing need to look at that record and weep.

PD: Have you always been seen as racist?

NF: Well this is political correctness gone mad. I mean, in the 60’s and 70’s it was fine to call the  blacks and Asians by whatever name we liked. Now we can’t say anything like that.

I am not a racist. I know some blacks and I would even have a black person as a servant or something like that.

PD: What was the biggest driver for you personally  to get the UK to leave the EU?

NF: I just don’t agree with foreigners setting rules that we have to follow. Its wrong. We now have to follow what the french and germans tell us. We are the empire and we can again rule once the EU breaks up and Trump dismantles NATO and the UN. We again can be the white force running the world in our interests.

PD: And what about your future?

NF: I’m back to where I began really. As a common man. My loss of pay to only £70000 is like those northerners and the poor having to go on universal credit. There suffering is my suffering. I don’t know how I will cope. Barring a couple of holidays for me, somewhere hot obviously to keep the tan up, I will have to beg to people like the daily mail owners, so I can stay in their tax break off shore houses, now the EU wont get to them obviously. ( wry smile on NF face)

I am a bit depressed though. I don’t understand why people hate me so much. I never said I was telling the truth, just jousting the establishment and bringing out the British superiority complex about foreigners, so I could get my knighthood and retire. Now everyone hates me and I only have my EU pension to survive on. It’s ironic that the people I hated and fought, have to pay me until I die. One big laugh really.

PD: Finally, any more political activities?

NF: I’m a big hit with the racists abroad now. I went to a far right rally in the Germany recently and obviously Trumps my BFF. I may go and live over there. As I campaigned for the paedophile Roy Moore, I thought this southern america suits me down to the ground. They know how to treat the inferior and can say what they like. No political correctness. Its great.


That’s it for this extract. You can see more later when Nigel talks to Paul about how the daily HateMail has used its influence to galvanise the little Englander in us all and how Nigel worked with Russian Bots to seed the hate in Britain and the US.

Please note: NF is definitely for Nigel Farage and not the National Front, who in no way want to be associated with these comments.


Brexit: Falling down the Rabbit hole

Well, this process just keeps getting stranger. I have described it as Alice’s Rabbit hole before and the we seem to be getting further down it. The question is, will we be able to wake up from this dream?

All through the vote, we were told that we would never leave the single market and we would be like Norway. We had no need to worry with the “easiest” negotiations in history. They need us more than we need them. Awake yet?

  1. WTO tariffs will be fine. Yes and no to this question. The country will be able to trade under these rules. The downside no one seems to mention is that it will decimate the manufacturing sector. No one has mentioned it because no Brexiteer cares that these lower wage jobs will go. Except of course the people who will be out of work.
  2. We should be able to trade like Norway. Yes and no again. We can trade like Norway, but this means free movement and being in the customs union. All fine in my opinion. We have left the EU. Tick. We can trade with the EU as before. Tick. Except the hard brexiteers do not want this  and so have turned the referendum into people voting for this and not to leave the EU. I would suggest at this point a second vote may be needed, but this terrifies them and so they will fight this at every opportunity.
  3. The easiest negotiations EVER. Always a curious one for me. If the EU took the hit, the trade with the UK is spread over 27 countries and the imports from the UK could then be created in the EU itself. We on the over hand lose 42% of our trading partners immediately. I would suggest this will decimate our economy. But i know this is project fear so I should not even try and be unpatriotic. We are already losing EU jobs and funding to our institutions as we have seen this week. When will reality bite.
  4. If only people just believed, it would become true. At this point I roll my eyes and curse these idiots. If the argument is right and has been won, then it would move forward with gusto and determination. Yet what we have found, with the Brexiteers driving this, is road blocks, car crashes and an EU who do not need us, who are driven by their principles of free movement and who’s house has not collapsed when the UK voted leave. If anything, it has galvanised the EU citizens, realising what a devastating event the leave vote was. They do not want that and have shown that in how they have voted in national elections. We are alone.

I am happy to go with the decision to leave the EU, in the sense that it did get a majority vote. We did not vote for any particular type of leave. In a balance to the whole country, we should look to have the Norwegian approach in the short-term, 5 to 10 years. This would allow business to continue; we would have left the EU and it will allow us to trade elsewhere. No cliff edge, no hard-line, just a smoother exit. Almost sensible. Yet what we have is maniac’s blaming Ireland; blaming the EU; blaming judges; blaming anyone who they think they can smear to take the light off what is the worse the decision this country has made. Not only that, but they keep on telling what this vote was. A vote for no immigration; a vote to pay nothing; a vote to control our borders ( reminder: they did not say reduce immigration after the vote); a vote to stop the ECJ having jurisdiction in the UK. Let me repeat, all we voted for was leave or remain. Binary choice, and no definition with it. It is now up to this country and the EU to negotiate what we have.

We could always have another vote to decide.(sorry)

Of course what i would like is to wake up from this divisive insanity, where a small tribal group push to be out of the EU because they do not like others having power, that they feel they are entitled to. Whether that is the tax exiles, who are scared of the EU rules on tax havens(media moguls and the wealthy within the Tories) or the racists and xenophobes who fear an integrated community. In my woken state, i will see a second referendum, with proportional representation and a non binary vote, which gives us an opportunity to give the people a choice and allow the country to progress with Hard Brexit; Soft Brexit (norwegian model) or retract and stay. This third option is obviously mine allowing us to use the event to change the EU for the better, inside the organisation. Lets hope that queen does not catch us and we wake up safe.

The Humanist in us all

Why do I choose to call myself a humanist?  I could be many other labels. I am a Husband, Dad, Brother, Son, Atheist, Bradford City fan, Teacher, Man. Yet I would choose this label because even at this very time where I occasionally lose my faith in people, I know that humanity will win through.

Our current political problems, in this country and worldwide are from an identity crisis for states and politicians. What it is to be British, American, Turkish or Russian? What stereotype do we need to follow to allow ourselves to be called this label? White? Christian/Islamic? Democratic/Theocrat?

These countries, and many more, use rhetoric about nationality to galvanise their core support, yet the frightening thing is they are just dividing the country into the bullies and the victims. I could not imagine trying to force students in the UK to pledge allegiance to the flag or that they had to stand for the national anthem. How weak must some Americans be if they feel this is what makes America great? It makes a mockery of democracy and has nothing to do with nationalism, just bullies telling supposed weaker members of society what to do via mob mentality. In the UK individuals who oppose Brexit are called undemocratic and this week it was suggested the Chancellor should be ‘tried for treason’, because he dared to speak the truth. Yes, it is rhetoric, but it creates an atmosphere where fear to speak one’s mind is becoming the norm.

Humanity at its best is always moving forward. Intelligence and reason have been the drivers of reform and equality. We will look back at these times, even if they get worse, and learn from the mistakes of ignoring knowledge and democracy and putting our trust in the loudest voices or cower to the bullies.

The current crop of politicians are struggling because of globalisation. Throughout history free trade has brought peace and enlightenment*1. This is the very reason the EEC was created. It was logically always going to become more political. Just look at Winston Churchill’s remarks on Europe. *2 He recognised that although we will never be central to the development of Europe, that we had to be part of it so we were not left behind and to support through our experience of democracy.

The lack of vision is causing the current problems in the west. We need to see ‘foreigners’ as humans who are no different from ourselves. As humans who will want the same as ourselves; security for our family and security in our lives with jobs, crime, health and education. We need to stop seeing people as commodities and see them as people who are striving to improve their lives. That is not to say we should have open borders, but if we showed our humanity to Africa especially, then maybe many would not need to leave their country to try and live here. We continue to ignore their plight, and so we have the repercussions through the mass immigration and modern-day slavery in Europe.

It is disturbing how Putin (anti-western/homophobic), Trump (liberals, immigrants, anyone who dares to disagree with him), Erdogan (anyone who speaks against him) and Brexiteers (politicians and tabloids screaming at anyone who has issues with the vote) try to deal with dissenting voices and galvanise support. They all follow the same principles. Bully, abuse and diminish the roles and views of anyone who disagrees with them and threaten them if they fail to back down immediately. This is because they see themselves as superior and drive the idea that their country is superior, more patriotic and more capable than any other state. It is pathetic. The problem with these people is eventually your group could soon be the one that they don’t like anymore. As this post war US video shows.

This is why I like the label humanist, because I don’t identify with my label solely, but identify with all my labels and quite often identify with many other groups. Politically I see the benefits both on the right and left. Just not the extreme ideology. I even agree that the EU is not democratic, but I would change it within, not leave like a spoilt child. I sympathise with communities who are directly affected by immigration and struggle to cope, but know that better government support would greatly ease those issues. I also recognise it is not the immigrants fault for these issues and that they need our support as well. It should never be a choice of who to help, but how we can help all in our communities.

I also don’t think because I am British I am better than anyone else. It is not my nationality that defines me, but the way I treat people, which makes me the person I want to be. I am heavily influenced by my Britishness, but not defined by it. Anyone who thinks differently is deluded and will have their opinion swayed by the current political rhetoric.

When we finally sit down and talk to each other we rarely struggle to find something in common and this is what should drive us, not the petty differences. I have been fortunate to travel to a lot of countries and it is these common values that I have constantly found. We are a unique species, and we should remove the additional labels and drive equality and democracy forward. Stop building walls between people and start accepting we are in a global mix that can thrive with unity and diversity.

*1 Steven Pinker: The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined- Great book uniting numerous sources showing how free trade is part of the drive to a more peaceful existence.

*2 What Churchill really thought about Britain’s place in Europe – The Shows how both sides have tried to manipulate Churchill’s words, but there is no doubt he was pro Europe increasing ties in trade and politics.