Home » Apologies for everything » Europe: Remain, the ‘Great Debate’ and Boris fucking Johnson. Let him take away your rights.

Europe: Remain, the ‘Great Debate’ and Boris fucking Johnson. Let him take away your rights.

 

Vote Leave! If you prefer to have fewer rights in Europe than a Romanian, a Bulgarian or a Latvian citizen.

By: Laura Facebook, Chief Political Correspondent ©2016. @laurasweeplace

Boris Johnson turned into a rabid Eurosceptic only when it became clear that the leadership of the Conservative party hinged on the possibility of a referendum vote to leave the EU.

He is fully prepared to gamble your children’s future away to further his own ambitions to become Prime Minister. He has no interest whatever in the future of Britain’s historic role as a power in Europe. As Mayor of London for eight years, Boris Johnson encouraged foreign criminals and money-launderers to come in and push up property prices to obscene levels*. He has left much of London a ghost town.

You would be crazy to vote for him!

Mr Johnson and the others, the neo-Thatcherites on the right of the Conservative party, tell us we can survive perfectly well outside the EU – although as I remember we weren’t doing too well in the early 1970s, before we joined the EEC as it then was. (And I remember at the time, General de Gaulle saying Europe couldn’t trust us…) What they cannot say is why we should? Why run the risk? Regaining our – their – sovereignty may only mean handing it instead to powerful tax-dodging US corporations, making it easier to commit environmental crimes and encourage further privatisation of the NHS.

All they can do to persuade you is to lie about immigration. Playing the immigration card – ‘foreigners’ are responsible for all our ills –  is the oldest political deception in the book! Is it that easy to press your buttons?

Separated only by a shallow sea, connected by a tunnel, Britain is geographically a part of Europe; not the 51st State of America. But even America wants us to stay in the EU. For better or worse, the principal institution in Europe now is the EU. We have to remain a member or lose our rights to privileged citizenship of our own continent, where many of us live, holiday and work. Leaving the EU will give us lower social status than Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia. With France in decline, Germany will become the sole major power in Europe. Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, Adolf Hitler – their expansionist dreams invariably coincided with periods when Britain had turned its back on Europe. We forget how close we came to losing those wars.

If leaving breaks up the EU, as could happen, smaller countries like Ireland and Malta will suffer most. Unless we are prepared for war with Spain, we could lose Gibraltar: our sovereignty over the Rock is guaranteed by the EU. EU migration is a red-herring: there are more jobs than ever available in Britain, lower unemployment and rising wages. Migration is driving what growth there is in the UK economy. We need those people, they are not scroungers, deadweight – they are keeping us going! Millions of British citizens have retired, live or work in the EU and may lose their right to remain. Who will look after them if they have to return? How much will that cost? Where will they go?

And do you think our struggling supermarkets won’t use a Leave vote as an excuse to push up food prices? They have already said that will happen. Business leaders too who say we should leave are speaking purely out of self-interest, not for the majority of businesses who will lose out. There has been too much special pleading on behalf of narrow interests.

EU business creates jobs in the UK where globally jobs are migrating to lower-wage economies. America and China will not welcome us as trading partners, they are erecting trade barriers. If we leave our businesses will still be subject to World Trade Organisation, TTIP and other countries’ rules and red-tape. We cannot avoid trading with Europe, too.  There is no free ride. We already trade with other countries, the EU does not stop us from doing that; nor does the EU stop us making our own laws; except maybe bad ones. Britain’s interests are fully represented in Brussels and Strasbourg by both the EU parliament – a democratic institution with elected members – and by the European Court; which, contrary to press propaganda, upholds most UK Supreme Court decisions. Even the master of PR spin, the ever-braying donkey Nigel Farage is an MEP, living on expenses counted in Euros.

Wake up, you are being lied to!

If we leave the EU, where we have been a member for over 40 years, no-one will ever trust our word again. We will never get back in. It may breakup the UK – Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland do better in the EU. Even, it is being suggested, London could try to leave Britain, to become an independent state. London does very well in the EU too and the City is the major engine of economic growth not just in Britain but in Europe. That would change.

If we remain in the EU we have an opportunity to reform it. If we can’t reform it, we can always leave later. Now is not the time!

There really is no better option. Unless you want to put your sovereignty in the hands of ambitious men like Boris fucking Johnson, who has no Plan B. Or be trapped in HM Prison Ship Britain with the likes of Michael Gove in charge, or to suffer a massive swing to UKIP at the next election, never hearing the end of it from Farage, it’s a simple choice.

Vote Remain on June 23rd.

Sincerely

Ed.

*This may have come back to bite him. Shares in Foxton’s, London’s leading quoted estate agent, that makes millions out of flogging property to foreign investors, have fallen 18% overnight. Apparently London post-Brexit may no longer be the best place to launder your ill-gotten gains.

 

(Football alert)

Slightly touched

Tiny Northern Ireland  lost today by only one goal to mighty Germany, the world champions, to come third in their Euro 2016 league. Had they had a striker of Gareth Bale’s capability, a Rolls Royce player, who knows?

What I found fascinating is that none of the commentators  thought it of interest to speculate – or even to comment on the fact – that the Northern Ireland goalkeeper, McGovern, who played an utterly brilliant and brave game in defence, might have prevented Germany’s Gomez from scoring, had he not been trapped beneath the body of one of his own defenders who had fallen on top of him and could not get up again. Did they not notice?

A 0-0 draw would have given Northern Ireland an extra point and made it virtually certain they would go through to the knockout round.

The commentators are always infuriating, refusing to criticize any player for cheating. Especially the former players, who invariably explain away the hideous ‘professional’ foul someone has just committed, that could have ended a player’s career with a broken leg, to prevent an attacking player from getting into a scoring or passing position by hacking his ankles, kicking him in the face, stamping on their knee or raking a leg with his boot studs: ‘Yes, well, maybe just a little nudge there’ … ‘perhaps he went in a bit high …’

Do they not understand how this lazy cynicism translates to the amateur leagues and schools divisions? Matches where players are continually hacking away at one another’s ankles, tugging at their shirts, pushing them in the back, elbowing them in the face, hoping no-one will notice;  putting on grotesque, childlike pantomimes of innocence and outrage to the referee when caught out, are sickening and boring to watch. If they want to play rugby there are plenty of clubs they can join.

It is also counter-productive: referees are often ultra-suspicious and give free kicks and penalties when they are not deserved, just because players have been fouling one another so frequently the assumption has to be that they were at it again!

TV is at the heart of popular culture. Do better, commentators. Let’s stamp out the ‘professional foul’ – a euphemism for blatant cheating.

 

Maintaining an air of discomfort

Casting male or female actor aged 41-50 for an online viral for Red Bull. The actor will need physical comedy experience and be able to speak English and do a Nordic accent. The actor needs to be able to look like they are slightly world worn and exhausted by life in business. They will need to show a rigid awkwardness and discomfort throughout and to express the character of a weak man who can’t control the situation he’s faced with. An important aspect of the demands of this job are (sic) that the actor be comfortable on a motorbike and be able to pull faces but also maintain an air of discomfort. Paid £400 flat rate.

-Angel Stages casting website

Now, tell me, pray. Who is comfortable on a motorbike? Comfort is not the point of a motorbike! While maintaining an air of discomfort? How would you tell? And how can one be comfortable while remaining rigid and awkward and pulling faces?

Resolving such nuanced ambiguities in a Nordic accent is the very essence of the actor’s art. As my old school chum, Kostya Stanislavsky once said, if you can’t get inside the head of the character, just speak the lines.

Who looks like they are slightly worldworn and exhausted by the business of life, while wearing a compulsory motorcycle helmet and a threadbare business suit? Who better expresses the character of a weak man who can’t control their situation than a man or woman hanging on for dear life to a set of handlebars at 90 mph?

Who has had physical comedy experience? As opposed, presumably, to mental comedy experience? Are they expected to fall off the bike, comically?

What female could express the character of a weak man? Meryl Streep, possibly. And who indeed is male or female? Nowadays, speciation is a thing of the past. Are we not all whatever we want to be? Unless of course we are unable to control the situation we are faced with.

Why, step forward, me!

There is of course the little matter of no longer being 41. That, and not having the faintest idea what a ‘viral’ is. But £400 can buy you a load of Botox.

I am ordering in the celebratory Red Bull.

 

Court order

Eastbourne, 23 June. Preliminary to Wimbledon. A grass-court tennis match is in progress. Radwanska against someone or other. 4-3, first set. As is wonted in Britain in June, it starts to rain. Someone or other looks anxious and, as if to make a point, caresses the turf speculatively. The camera cuts to a large close-up of her shoes.

The players consult the turf. Slippery. They consult the referee. The referee consults the turf. The players wander around anxiously. The referee calls a rain stoppage. The players come off court but remain in their seats. Ballgirls are deputed to stand over them with umbrellas. The players wrap themselves morosely in towels.

Groundsmen both senior and junior wander in through the players’ tunnel and stare at the sky. They consult the turf. Heads are shaken, teeth sucked. Umbrellas and rain hoods start going up in the crowd. The referee consults the groundsmen. Officials wander in, stare at the sky. The camera dwells on the clouds piling up over Eastbourne. There have been flash floods in South London, thirty miles away.

Officials consult the turf. The camera dwells speculatively on the rain covers, lying unused by the side of the court. Someone or other, a well-built Slovak, sits, legs wide apart, her racket suggestively propped handle upwards between muscular thighs against the front of her chair. She doesn’t care.

It occurs to me that if the turf was too slippery to play on before, it’s certainly going to be too slippery to play on now, no?

Ah, the British genius for doing nothing.

Oh look, it’s stopped raining!

And back on court they go.

 

 

 

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