The Only Rational Solution

Brexit is now threatening peace in Northern Ireland; it is bolstering the cause of Scottish independence and the break-up of the UK. Surely the only rational solution to the chaos Brexit is causing is to cancel it and rejoin the EU. Yet the Tories won’t even contemplate doing so as, having called the referendum, backtracking on it’s result would render their party a feckless, powerless joke. If that’s the case, so be it: the conservative party are the problem; they need to be removed from office as soon as possible. This group of people and their refusal to face the consequences of their own actions are fast bringing about the fragmentation of the UK. The very stability of the country is now at stake due to Brexit. It is a monumental act of stupidity which needs to be undone. The Tories won’t and can’t, so they need to go.

Ukraine and Europe Show the V Sign to Vladimir Putin

The story goes that, during the Hundred Years War in the Fifteenth Century, the French would cut the two longest fingers from the hands of English bowmen to prevent them firing their bows, and since then the famous ‘two fingered salute’ or ‘V sign‘ has been used as a show of defiance or antagonism. I think it’s fair to say that, last night, Ukraine and Europe put up the V sign to Vladimir Putin and Russia. For Ukraine to win the Eurovision Song Contest really is a great move as it demonstrates that, contrary to what Putin might want his subjects – and the rest of us – to believe, Ukrainian culture is alive, thriving, and is valued by Ukraine’s neighbours. What happened last night was a continent-wide display of defiance, directed towards a megalomaniac dictator who thinks his neighbours are his to play with as he sees fit. It was a huge show of solidarity; an enormous ‘screw you’ to Putin. Of course, it certainly helped that Ukraine’s entry was one of the best songs, and definitely among the catchiest; but at a time when we all needed to get behind the Ukrainian people in standing up to a bully, I think we succeeded.

English still Worryingly Dominant

I had just decided on a subject for a blog entry and was settling down to write it, only to find I wrote pretty much exactly the same entry last year. Once again tonight is Eurovision night, and once again we’ll all watch an event dominated by English. From what I saw of the semi-finals this week, at least three quarters of the entries were sung in English. Does that not strike anyone else as very, very weird? For a continent which values its cultural diversity so much, surely more of an effort should be made to encourage a bit more variety. At least the Ukrainian entry (the favourite) isn’t in english; now more than ever, we need to get behind Ukrainian culture, so that’s who I’ll be cheering on tonight.

With that said, I’m off to buy a bottle of Bacardi.

Deep Trouble

With Johnson now treating the British state like it’s his to play around with, acting like he and his party is above the law, it beggars belief why we’re not all up in arms demanding the jumped up piece of shit’s resignation.

London’s next big project

A couple of days ago I began to ponder what London’s next big project could be. For the last twenty-five years or so, London has almost constantly had some kind of colossal project on: first there was the Millennium Dome, then the Olympics, and most recently Crossrail. There have been other projects, obviously, but those three got the most attention. Well, the Dome has been up and running for over twenty years; the Olympics were ten years ago, and the Lizzie-line is about to open; so what’s next?

And then the blindingly obvious hit me: before London does anything else, before it starts work on yet another crazy, sickeningly expensive scheme, it should first make sure all it’s existing tube stations and lines are wheelchair accessible. While newer lines like the Jubilee Line and DLR aren’t that bad, there are huge swathes of central London I still have never been to because the tube isn’t step free. I know they are working on it, for instance as part of the Northern Line renovation; but the process seems painstakingly slow. As a twenty-first century social, cultural and economic powerhouse, making a public transport system accessible by all should be London’s top priority.

A Welcoming, Friendly Place

The last twenty four hours or so have really served to remind me how much of a home London now is for me. First of all, sitting at home on my computer last night, I heard my doorbell ring. I had just got in from my daily trundle, and was answering emails and preparing for a quiet evening. I got up to answer the door, only to see my two old friends Mitchel and John. They were apparently in the area and had thought that would call in on me to see how I was. Because of the pandemic, it must have been over two years since I had last seen them. Well, the rest of the evening was spent taking, eating and drinking. It really was wonderful to see them. Mitch and I were both amazed at the fact that it has now been eight years since we went to see Monty Python Live; and John was just as bemused to note that it’s now three years since we returned from India. Time really does fly in the metropolis.

Then today, I was out on my trundle, heading across blackheath towards Greenwich . I had stopped to read an information board when a lady suddenly ran up to me. It turned out she was the very same person I had met and got chatting to on a bus about two weeks ago. A sculptor called Margaret Higginson, she had recognised me and had decided to say Hi. It made me feel suddenly very at home in the city, as if the metropolis isn’t so vast after all. Yet such things seem to be happening more and more these days: people recognising me in the street, or inviting me to have a coffee with them in a park. London really is a very welcoming, friendly place, once you get to know it.

Is Beergate a Tory Own Goal?

I was getting slightly worked up over the Beergate farce, but this Phil Moorhouse vlog has given me pause for thought. The rightwing rags which now seem to dominate our print media seemed to be pouncing on Kier Starmer for having a beer with colleagues during lockdown, and calling him a hypocrite for criticising Boris Johnson over the parties he had in the Downing Street garden. Yet, as Moorhouse points out, that may turn out to be a colossal own goal on the part of the Tory press: they may want Starmer to resign, but the second he does, questions will start to be asked about why Johnson did not do the same. After all, a simple take-away with colleagues does not compare to the flagrant breaches of lockdown laws clearly committed by Johnson. As Moorhouse sees it, the Tory Press have handed Labour the high ground: they can now address the relatively minor misdemeanour they allegedly comittee, making Johnson and co. look pathetic in the process. That’s why the Tories are now trying to avoid talking about the issue. I really hope Moorhouse is right, and the obnoxious mudslinging of the right wing rags bites them on the arse.

Out Of My Mind

I came across some news recently which could turn into something very, very interesting indeed. Disney is currently working on a film whose central character is a communication user with Cerebral Palsy. Called Out Of My Mind, it will be an adaptation of a book by Sharon M. Draper and directed by Amber Sealey. Details are rather sketchy as yet, but the girl Disney has cast to play the central role is herself an AAC user with CP: the film is apparently going to focus on her as she struggles to get a decent education at a mainstream school. That, of course, is something many, many young people with disabilities have been through, so it will be fascinating to see how Disney handle it. I daresay this film has the potential to be quite revolutionary. Mind you, by the same token it could suck donkeyballs. Only time will tell.

Stating The Obvious

This, frankly, is a statement of the obvious. To be honest I don’t want to get into this ‘beergate’ farce for fear of getting myself too worked up. The tabloid press have cooked it up out of nothing whatsoever, and it has reached a point where the police are investigating. The way in which these rags have attacked and victimised Starmer, in an effort to divert heat away from Johnson, is utterly sickening. We shouldn’t have this rancid, blatantly biassed dross polluting our public political discourse.

Encouraging Results

I don’t feel I can say much today. What can I say, apart from that I am very encouraged by the election results. Of course I posted my vote off a week or so ago, and it now looks like the Tories have been given the slap in the face they deserve. Whether these results will translate into a shift at the next general election naturally remains to be seen; but it really was pitiful to watch all those smarmy tories on tv this morning trying to defend Johnson and tell us that things weren’t as bad for them as they looked. Surely this is a sign that the whole country has had enough of the Tories – London certainly has – and the sooner those p’tahks are booted from office, the better.