EU Referendum Voting Dilemma

Missive to the Evening Standard, not that they’ll print it…

Sirs,

Deciding which way to vote on the EU in June’s referendum is actually really difficult.

In my view, closer political, economic and financial union for Europe would be a massively beneficial thing. It adds power, it adds efficiency, reduces costs and improves lives and security. 

I would even go so far as to suggest completely removing medieval throwbacks like the concepts of countries and local parliaments and just have a pair of elected parliaments – an upper and lower chamber – in Europe to make continent-wide decisions. City, district and county councils with enhanced powers would become the highest level of local government. I see absolutely no problem with that as a concept. 

The tiny-minded Little Englanders would have major strokes and hissy fits even considering that degree of loss of their precious, but essentially meaningless sovereignty. But I really think that is the way Europe should go. 

However, us being the bloody miserable little killjoys that we are, they can never do it while we’re on the outskirts, mindlessly handbagging everything. So we need to get out, because we are spoiling it for everyone else. 

Given all that, my inclination is to vote to leave, but voting the same way as all the village idiots like Johnson, Farage, Galloway, the quitter Duncan Smith and assorted braindead and racist morons that support UKIP, BNP, EDL and the lunatic fringes of the Tory party, really put me off doing it.

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Parents of child don’t want to pay 20p a day to save him.

The Mirror wrote this story about a kid being denied a prescription for household cornflower:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/boy-who-drinks-cornflour-could-7346614

400g of cornflower costs 62p in Aldi. This kid gets through 150g per day, so about 20p-worth, or about £6 a month – a pint and a half of beer or half a packet of cigarettes.

This has nothing to do with cost, then, because any parent in ANY situation can find £6 a month to save their child’s life. So instead of just picking up a few packets with their normal shop, they expect to waste time getting prescriptions and making special trips to the chemist, wasting their time, the doctor’s time and the pharmacist’s time.

Their entire position on this is that they expect the state to pay for something they can very easily afford themselves. It’s a “moral” position, and a quite warped one at that. When did we become so utterly weak and spineless in this country that instead of paying 20p a day ourselves, we expect the state to pick up the tab?

When did we become so incapable of self-dependence, so flaccid and feeble, and so parasitic that 20p a day becomes a moral crusade? “Because druggies and gluten-intolerant people get help” is beyond feeble as a response. It is a way of saying that you really can’t answer the first question so you’re going to ask a different one as a distraction.

The people that think their position is right are, in all liklihood, exactly the same people that berate refugees for wanting to come over here. Perhaps if some more of us stood on our own two feet instead of taking every opportunity to sponge off the state, that point might be valid.

As it stands, it is just laughable, because we are far more weak and feeble than any refugee is.

I’m Not My Father’s Son

It will not come as a major shock to many of you, but I know quite a few other gay guys. Without exception, those that I have spoken to in depth on the topic, all of them have some sort of father issues. I do too.

Most of theirs, sadly, are negative. Mine isn’t, and this has for a long time slightly confused me. I do, most definitely, have father issues, but they’re not remotely negative, they’re just issues.

Having seen (and blubbed my way through most of) the stage show “Kinky Boots” it has, for the first time, hit home what it is. There is a song (cruelly close to the intermission!) called “I’m not my father’s son” which details how a character in the play is not who his father might have hoped for, or who his father might compare himself against.

But since in the stage show, as in my life, the father has died, the character will never have the opportunity to show his father that although different, he has been successful in his own way, and is now happy.

Having wasted (and although I choose that word deliberately, I do not choose it in any way lightly) the first four decades or so of my life trying to conform to others’ expectations, I really would have loved the opportunity to sit down with my dad now, staring out to sea over a windswept beach, and just chat about who I am, who he is, and what it actually feels like to be honest with yourself.

He was, in my view, one of the straightest-thinking people I knew, and I think he might have been a little disappointed that I lied to myself and everyone else for so long, but at the same time, I think he would have been satisfied that I got here in the end. “You took your bloody time” might have been his reaction.

I really would have loved to have taken him to Kinky Boots and held his hand while they sung “I’m not my father’s son”, looked at him and shared a smile and a tear.

I miss my dad.

The Guardian under-analyses 2014

In their article here, The Guardian suggests that 2014 was pretty much more of the same. I disagreed and commented:

What became crystal clear in 2014 is the complete submission and resignation of former independent professions to the mindless, unelected, unrestrained drones of social media. Not just politicians, as detailed in the article, but journalism too.

I suppose it is a natural extension of Blair’s over-reliance on focus groups that these days we no longer have conviction politicians with their own views on how society should best function. These days, no politician dares to have a policy or view on anything whatsoever without seeing what Twitter or Facebook are saying. An entire political party, UKIP, is based solely on the new chattering classes’ bigotry and hatred with policies and commitments that vary by the hour depending on the proles’ current mood and latest hate-figures.

The same applies to journalism. It is very rare now for any stance for objective truth to be taken lest it annoy some sector of the online hoards and result in a drop in page impressions. So, like politics, jounalism has come to cater for lowest common-denominator bottom feeding mouth-breathers rather than anyone with a genuine social conscience – the Guardian’s utterly misguided stances on feminism during 2014 are some prime examples of this. Rather than analyse and dissemble news items, they get tailored to the audience expectations. That’s not journalism, it’s masturbation.

In both areas, once Pandora’s box has been opened, and the Great Unwashed have been given a taste of the power they now possess, we can never go back. There are no controls, no ethics, no standards, no rules; just a pouring forth of unfiltered, uncontrolled, uninformed, instantly-reactive and ever-changing bias.

When both politics and its monitor, journalism, fall prey to the same debilitating sickness, it becomes a recipe for chaos. 2014 will mark a line in the sand when that chaos became tangible, just as 2015 will mark the time it reached critical mass. Next year will be interesting in the way meant by the old Chinese curse.

New “Occupy” organisation pointlessness

At the request of the Standard’s letter editor, today’s rant. On past performance, they probably shan’t use it, though, not least because I complained about the editing last time:

I see that caring face of middle class youth, the Occupy movement, is at it again, populating our Parliament Square and behaving as though they own it. “This is our space” they complained: No it isn’t, it belongs to us Londoners, and I for one resent your presumption in polluting it and making it unusable by us.

Like most previous efforts by these people, it is utterly pointless because nobody, least of all them, knows what they are protesting against. Everyone has a different banner, a different whine and a different shade of face paint. They seem to fit in their protests during half term from their social studies courses at their Berkshire polytechnic.

Firmly cementing this impression of being headless chickens, the Emperor of the Clueless and professional mangler of the English language, Russell Brand turned up and gave a speech yesterday. That must have been nice for them, if a little confusing.

This hopeless bunch of unfocussed noisemakers are utterly cringeworthy.

They have no detectable message, no direction and are behaving as arrogantly as those they object to.

The Jarrow Marchers must be spinning in their graves with embarrassment.

This is what they edited it down to:

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“Dancing Guardsman” issue misdiagnosed

Letter to the Standard in response to this

I don’t see the problem with the “dancing guardsman”. He’s there to entertain the tourists and he’s doing a good job.

Walking around in front of a building in a comedy uniform is no job for an adult anyway, certainly no job for a trained and respected member of our armed forces.

If there is a problem here it is the role of our military being demeaned by making them guard an empty office building in a silly costume. That’s a job for the police…

Labour’s limp-dicked policy on railways

Got an email from the Evening Standard letters editor on the Sunday of Brighton Pride asking for my views on Labour’s non-nationalisation railways policy. This is what he got back:

Not for the first time in recent years, I am very disappointed with Labour’s stance on something.

Britain’s railways used to be a classic example of how not to run a nationalised industry. Over-manned, militant and with an arrogance that only a monopolistic industry can possess. However, the current free-market model has proved to be even worse. Rampant ticket price inflation, zero competition, growing public subsidies and huge profits for the rail companies have all shown that there is something worse than nationalisation.

Labour needs to bite the bullet and say – loud and proud – that a nationalised, but efficient, railway is the only cost-effective model that makes sense. They need to grow a pair and seriously push this as a manifesto pledge. They will get huge support from it, I am sure, because it is the only model that makes sense.

And this is what they printed:

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