Friday, 24 June 2016

Two poems for the morning after Brexit

The day the elderly f*cked us
was a Thursday
and on the Friday
we awoke to what had happened.
They'd given our inheritance
to a box
already bursting
with its lies and its mistrust and wasted life.
Dear Grandparents,
your alzheimers
won't prevent us
from recalling that dark night
Will the anger leave
when that line still snakes
the waiting remains
and the faceless distant aren't there to blame.
Where now will their anger go?
Where will their jabbing finger point?

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Me and Jeremy Corbyn MP (from 2009)

When I was a student I often wrote notes on facebook. I guess I had more time.

It was like my blog before I had this blog.

Well, one of the notes I wrote was all about... Jeremy Corbyn! 

It was 2009, and Jeremy was an irrelevant backbencher who garnered little interest. Seriously: my note only got a single like, and that was from me.

I thought I'd deleted all those old notes and lost to the ether anything I hadn't transferred to this blog.

Turns out I was wrong. Searching my computer I found a word document that had them all - so here's the note about Jeremy. But first, I'd like to point out that I was totally ahead of the zeitgeist here, writing about Jeremy long before it became fashionable.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 11:22pm | Edit Note | Delete
This evening Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North, came to speak to the Oxford University Labour Club about the recent conflict in Gaza. It was a pretty decent talk, for the most part. But at the end I couldn't resist going up to him and asking a cheeky question.

Me to Jeremy Corbyn:
“Thank you for your talk, I really enjoyed it. I just wanted to ask: how come Zionists have such a stranglehold on Labour politics? I mean, take James Purnell for example – he went from being in LFI to a ministerial position. How do they have such control?”

Jeremy Corbyn:
“I only wish I knew... money, I suppose.”

Corbyn won the 2001 Beard of the Year award, after having described his beard as "a form of dissent" against New Labour.
Written about 5 months ago · Comment · LikeUnlike

Description: like this.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Some thoughts on Brexit

Some thoughts on Brexit…
  • Trade - Brexiteers believe we could negotiate a deal with the EU under which we could continue to trade as usual, but without having to make payments to the EU, being subject to its regulations, or allow free movement of people. This from the Economist explains why such a belief is fanciful:
"At a minimum, the EU would allow full access to its single market only in return for adherence to rules that Eurosceptics are keen to jettison. If Norway and Switzerland (whose arrangements with the EU many Brexiters idolise) are a guide, the union would also demand the free movement of people and a big payment to its budget before allowing unfettered access to the market.
Worse, the EU would have a strong incentive to impose a harsh settlement to discourage other countries from leaving. The Brexit camp’s claim that Europe needs Britain more than the other way round is fanciful: the EU takes almost half Britain’s exports, whereas Britain takes less than 10% of the EU’s; and the British trade deficit is mostly with the Germans and Spanish, not with the other 25 countries that would have to agree on a new trade deal."
  • The City - The big banks, insurers and other big City players have been pretty consistent in their view that Brexit would harm the City. It's possible they're wrong, but the consistency with which they've expressed their view should at least give you pause for thought.  
  • Immigration - The EU is often attacked for allowing immigrants and refugees – but (with some caveats) I broadly welcome them.
  • Politics - Finally, of course I accept that being part of the EU entails some loss of sovereignty, but for the reasons above and others, I think it's a price worth paying. And at least if we're in the EU we can influence the EU; outside, we risk incurring many of the costs without the benefits - as a Norwegian minister once put it, “if you want to run Europe, you must be in Europe. If you want to be run by Europe, feel free to join Norway.”