Apologies.. and Thanks.

I have to apologise to all of you who I might have confused or offended in my last posts. I let too much emotion loose when I said, ‘If the majority of the people want to be in long term debt with very high borrowing and all its attendant fiscal implications, then so be it’. It was a mistake to say that without qualifying it. It was a mistake anyway.

Here’s why I said that. For over 60 years I’ve witnessed this identity which is now called the EU in progress. It was initiated by the necessity for West Germany and France to bind themselves together after the Second World War in order to end the long history of European ‘civil’ wars that had raged and ravaged the continent for over a thousand years. It also became implicit to include the countries around France and West Germany in that union, so the original pact was made between six nations that bordered each other in north west Europe + Italy. Britain was not included. There were many reasons for this. Too many to include here.

Shortly after the inception of the original EEC, as it was then known, at the Treaty of Rome in 1957, Charles De Gaulle became the President of France and over the next years exercised inordinate control over the new European alliance. Britain was twice refused entry into the club during De Gaulle’s period in office. At one point in 1967, every British newspaper had a big headline declaring ‘NON’, accompanied by a head shot of De Gaulle. This was the start of GB being visibly excluded from the European club.

So, the European nation that had contributed more than any other to the defeat of Hitler was excluded from the ‘new’ Europe. There seemed to be a purposeful move to keep us out. At the time, a lot of us young people felt confused and insulted. There was a perceptible move by the French to veto us at every turn. I was personally disappointed and disillusioned. Weren’t we allies? De Gaulle became a very unpopular figure in Britain, the country that had sheltered him for the duration of the war. There are interpretations and opinions as to why this was the case. Many of them involve Anglo-USA versus the new France-West Germany and are not particularly relevant to this essay. Suffice to say that the time between De Gaulle and Juncker has often been visited with antagonism bordering on hostility between.. well, what appears to be two perceived different ways of life! Mmm. (c.160 years before this, Napoleon had disparagingly called the Brits “A nation of shopkeepers”).

The short story is that after many attempts we were allowed in, but the terms were always confused. ..Long story. There always seemed to be a disparity between what we owed them and what we received. And it’s never really been settled. So much so that for decades, you have to wonder about the legality of what’s happening in Brussels.

As far as I can see, GB is something of a cash cow for the EU. We’re the second biggest contributor, and have always seemed to give more than we receive, as if we’ve been awarded the role of net contributor ad infinitum. I have learned over the years not to trust the EU. I don’t need Farage to tell me this. I’m older than him. And although I might appreciate elements of what he’s done, I couldn’t give house room to either him or Aarron Banks.

So; the comeuppance of all of this is that I don’t want anything to do with the EU. I view the EU as being corrupt. More corrupt than the UK. Like all monolithic organisations, it cannot help being very highly impersonal. It seems as if the individual counts only as a virtual cypher in law, while the institution itself is necessarily insensitive. Meanwhile, at the top, there are a very wealthy elite who are creaming it off. They need to look into the mirror. They never will. In my opinion, the Brussels parliament is a club of high earners on multiple perks. Exactly the kind of body that should not be in charge of the cash. Perhaps the worst bit is that I don’t think that there’s any way that I could ever be persuaded to change that opinion.

My views on race have been well publicized for fifty years. I’m totally inclusive. For instance, if you have a regional British accent, you’re 100% British. If you have a regional French accent, you’re 100% French. Both are 100% European. If you’re in the process of acquiring any accent, at whatever age, you’re 100% human, regardless of colour or creed. 28 years ago, I was right to flag up a controversial religious movement that was going to impact Britain. I don’t regret doing that. I’ve done that since I first picked up a pen. My writing is inclusive. With a blank page in front of me I become everybody. Literally.

I’m not remotely attached to right wing politics, and I think that T May has now made it much more difficult to get the kind of deal from Europe that GB needs. She’s single-handedly devastated the power to negotiate that we had on June 7th. Much bargaining control has been lost. The Brussels mafia will be quietly overjoyed with the result of the June 8th General Election. We are now forced into doing more of the kind of deal they want to do because May has a wafer thin minority government whose constituents will not always agree to holding the line. (Against inadvertently being ripped off). Any weakness might even result in another election that could conceivably reverse the initial Brexit result and put GB at the complete mercy of the EU. I.e., in a worse position than we were before the Brexit referendum took place.

I don’t have a voice any longer, and I won’t even try to have one. Again, I apologise for the seemingly flippant manner that I’ve been responding to you with in recent days. I should not have said anything about GB possibly entering long term debt because of Corbyn’s populist manifesto. It’s just not my place any longer to say things like that, however much truth there may or may not be in them.

It’s right that austerity should be put to bed. It’s right that people should be at least made to feel better about their lot. It’s right that the minimum wage should be a wage that people can actually live on. Regardless of how much more tax the middle class might have to pay, or how the deficit will eventually affect living standards. If a Labour government becomes a fact of the near future, then I’m sure that all those things should be attempted. Really, who am I to even attempt to gainsay millions of voters? Democracy has to take place.

In saying this, I realise that I’m coming from a different place than most people. I’ve never depended on anyone other than myself. I’m not collegiate in the structures of my lifestyle. I’ve been a loner for 76 years. I mainly take decisions unilaterally. So I should not be consulted about anything. For the last 35 years I’ve never lived beyond my means. I’ve been lucky enough to hold onto being able to make a living without having to need credit. I’ve gone without rather than accept credit. I’d love credit, but it’s unacceptable to the way I live. It’s come close at times, but I’ve never gone into any debt. I’ve sold things when necessary, but times have gradually improved. I don’t have a pension. I rely on myself completely. In fact, I might as well be off-grid.. and soon will be, :)

In some way, I expect everyone else to be like me, but if I stand back for just a moment I realise how unrealistic that is. In many ways I’m frugal, and I’ve been in control of myself and what I consume for decades. Feast and famine, without much interference from the state at all. I pay taxes and live in the garden I’ve built from a rough piece of hillside, and I’m not politically correct; and never will be.

One final thought, GB might have made a big contribution to winning the last war but it’s consistently lost the peace, for what are now very obvious reasons, and it’s in dire danger of doing that again, without even knowing it. I know that I’m a fair person, but I have to forego staring into the abyss of social media for the foreseeable future. It just isn’t my place to alienate compatriots and friends unintentionally.

There’s much to say, but in my own case it’ll now be to the trees. My aim has always been to tell it as it is, although we know ‘it’s’ all opinion in any case. I am and will always count myself as a person of what has broadly become the left, and it’s to those ideals and social justice that I’ll always be beholden. Good luck everyone. From the heart, rh.

The Great Leaning on May

I’m happy for Left leaning politics if the exit poll is right. If the majority of the people want to be in long term debt with very high borrowing and all its attendant fiscal implications, then so be it. Even though the poorest people will not remotely know the difference. I would be over the moon to see the NHS totally funded and austerity banished. It would benefit my own position greatly, but I wouldn’t want to see the British population taken to the cleaners by the European Empire. Permanently. I would warn against that for the rest of my life. Yellow alert…

On a Mattress Near You

A couple of months ago I did an online quiz that purported to allegedly reveal my political orientation. There were about 50 questions that gave you the opportunity to choose a particular field of response, AND how strongly you felt about that, in five different ways, from ‘very’ to ‘not at all’, so it was potentially pretty revealing. It was an Irish quiz, so although you couldn’t say that it was written for a Brit to respond to, all the usual suspects were there. The right of centre party here is Fianna Fåil, pronounced ‘Fall’, while Sinn Féin is a kind of socialist party and Fine Gael is the conservative party. The other parties are the same as they are in Britain, with Labour heading the Greens, Solidarity – People before Profit, the Social Democrats and Independents.

So where was I going to fall? Well, as it turned out, the strongest of my connections was with the Labour Party, at 62%, While the weakest connection was with Fine Gael, (pronounced Feena Gwale, with an almost silent ‘w’ in there), at 39%. I expected it to be about 80/20, but of course it wasn’t. That would have been unrealistic. I thought about it for a moment or two, then I thought, ‘but essentially I’m Green’. Luckily, Green was in third place at 60%. All in the name of questioning myself.

Then, come May 21st, I had another strange revelation. I got ready to vote; or leastways, I thought that I was going to. But then; just as I was about to do it; I realised that I could only really vote Labour. I went away from it for an hour. I’d found out that if I didn’t vote this time, then I wouldn’t be able to vote ever again. Because there’d be more than fifteen years between my last vote and my next. This had a revelatory effect on me. I could see myself in the mirror, again… it wasn’t pretty. I had to ask myself whether it really was my world. Is it my place to vote at this age, when so many people don’t want the grey hairs to vote at all? After deliberating over it into the small hours of the morning, I decided that it wasn’t my place to vote any longer.

I based this on the fact that I’m living in one country while voting in another. Yes, I get to vote on local issues here, and I do vote, but I’m not allowed to vote in a general election. It’ll be the same for the Irish living in Britain. I could become an Irish citizen, but why would I go through that enormous hassle at this stage? So; I sat back the following day, and watched time drifting away from me. I thought about it a few times, but I came back to the same conclusion each time, and each time more quickly than the last. So that as night fell on the 22nd of May, it was just a passing thought. It was a little bit like a suicide, but in the end it was just a calm and gentle death. My British voting rights had died, while I looked on.

So I’m not going to vote in any general election any more. I took it out of my own hands. In the following days, I realised that I was now political flotsam. I’d forsaken yet another home. Something else that I’d participated in a lot of times in my life was now closed to me, and the door was bolted. And it was final. It was a leaving, an actual leaving. There was an almost morose feeling with that. Part of a dismantling of myself. I’ve been through it many times before. It’s part of me. It’s almost a will to loneliness. A deliverance from the pressure of others. It’s not cowardly, it’s just another step on a journey. It’s not a fulfilment of anything either, it’s just another place.

Then, like a huge swathe of other voters, I also realised that it didn’t matter anyway.. whether I lived or died or voted.. or not.. Then it occurred to me that one of the logical extensions of that was that it didn’t matter who I would have voted for, because Brexit was going to happen anyway. …Which is where the whole of Britain is right now. It doesn’t matter who you vote for; because the course is set. So.. everyone can now revert to type, or become a new type.. or walk away. None of us have to have an allegiance with any party we are not comfortable with because Brexit is happening, whatever.

So what do we have? Gurning Theresa versus The Man From Uncle. The vicar’s daughter versus the trillionaire who will splash the cash into the next boom, without ever knowing where it’s coming from. Or where it’s going to. The Oxford debating soc. versus the man from Paddy Power. St. Theresa versus Santa. With great uncle Vince trying to uncable his nostrils, in the wings. Oh, and Nicola taking off Rabbie Bruce sat in the corner watching the spiders frae mars bubbling in the batter.

Meanwhile, the ranch has been moved from Texas to Florida, which has cost about a billion dollars a square foot, recurring, recurring, multiplied by itself. While The Don himself is acting suspiciously like he’s in the proverbial bunker, still in titular charge, as ex-mayor Bloomberg makes a speech on the Reichstag steps suggesting that everything will continue as previously. That is, before the USA cut itself off from the rest of climate change. Which could easily become a series in the near future, to be aired on Sky Atlantis. ‘New Deal!’ An everyday story of the Pres continuing to pretend to shoot himself in the foot.. so that he doesn’t lose his ‘base’. Instinct will carry him through the trapdoor into the final of The Apprentice. Coming soon.

On a mattress near you.

I laughed. It was a single laugh. And in my head I walked away, into the garden. It was three in the morning and I could see the Milky Way, and billions of light years.