A Meandering Rant About the State of Britain

I’m so embarrassed. My country (and nation, Wales also voting in favour of stupidity) has decided we should be more isolated from the world. As though that were possible.

I remain convinced it’s an asinine, backwards, decision. But the petitions and calls for a rerun are nonsense. The public has spoken. Sure, now they know much of what they were told were lies – and some seem genuinely surprised by this – but it doesn’t matter. The damage is done. To our economy, our political establishment, and to the EU.

Having had a few days to absorb it all, I’m convinced the main problem is that we didn’t have a proper debate. We simply don’t have the infrastructure to do so in so large a population.

The Labour party is imploding in the wake of the result, as many MP’s who never liked Corbyn (who was elected by support of the actual members rather than MPs) use the opportunity to try to oust him. There have been accusations of him doing little in the referendum, despite him having travelled probably more than many of his detractors to try convincing voters.

The main problem he has is that he’s too reasonable. And that isn’t newsworthy. So while he talks to small groups, the louder, less rational, voices get all the media attention, spreading their hate-filled rhetoric for mass consumption by those who can stomach it. Because, as I’ve ranted about before, the media is a business, which profits by the amount of attention it draws. So of course their going to report on the ‘entertaining’ idiots.

As a result, we got a vitriolic, hate-fuelled campaign that focussed on immigration, a convenient target for so many of the troubles the country is suffering, and one sure to incite passions.

While overpopulation is a problem, and our infrastructure can’t really support our current numbers, this is a short-sighted view, looking for a quick fix, regardless of whether it’ll work. And immigration isn’t what we were voting on.

Not that the Leave campaign necessarily said this would stop immigration (or lead to mass deportations as some idiots seem to believe will happen). They also never said the money saved would go to the NHS (which is now more likely to be chopped up and privatised). But they did manage to imply these, and to paint the EU as the source of all our troubles. And the media were only too happy to spread this.

Also at play was the general sense on impotence on the part of the public, unable to do anything about the forces that are throwing the world into uncertainty and effecting our lives. Trust in politicians is justifiably low, so when we get a chance to change things of course it’s going to appeal to many who can’t be bothered thinking what the change will mean exactly. It’s something we can do.

It looks like many in the Leave campaign didn’t really expect to win anyway, few expressing any clue as to what to do going forward, and most looking stunned that they actually succeeded.

So we’re stuck with racist abuse on the rise on the streets, the economy in the toilet, our neighbours hardly well-disposed towards us, and Farage gloating in the EU about having given them a good thrashing.

Welcome to the new Britain. (Except that you’re not welcome)

Anyone know any good places to emigrate?

EU Referendum

[This is a trimmed version of a diatribe that got even more long-winded. I dropped the detailed discussion because it was fractured and ill-informed. Which isn’t to say that this won’t be.]

 

Here in the UK we’re currently debating whether or not to leave the EU (I won’t use the term Brexit). I say we, but most of the debate comes from politicians, with much of the public bemused as to the facts. Bemused because as soon as one side presents a fact, the other side dismiss it as optimistic, or simply a fabrication.

The campaign has been particularly toxic – or amusing, depending on your point of view. Most of the facts are so flimsy because the truth is that no one knows what the results of leaving will be – despite the conviction on display when they tell you what will happen.

Many of the arguments focus on currently hot topics – immigration playing a large part. They seem to overlook that this is a long term decision, and framing it in terms of immediate problems only makes it look opportunist, focussing on people’s fears to achieve unclear ends.

 

Sovereignty

One issue that could be considered long-term, and the reason the referendum was probably called (mainly because of factions in the Conservative party which have always wanted out of Europe), is sovereignty. Decisions on British law being made by unelected representatives in Brussels.

As a Welshman, I’m used to decisions for my country being taken in another nation (mainly by Saxon immigrants), so this isn’t so much of an issue. It’s not as though any of the candidates to replace politicians are noticeably different from them, so I don’t see being able to vote individuals out as that big a deal.

 

In or Out

Ultimately I’ve heard nothing to persuade me from my inclination to stay in the EU. It may not be perfect, but we’re unlikely to change it from the outside. And in an increasingly internationalised world, where corporate entities seem to be taking power from countries, I don’t see isolating ourselves as being productive.

Building barriers between neighbours only helps reinforce the idea of the other that leads to so much conflict. We need to be engaged with our neighbours, so we can try and deal with our shared problems together, rather than enduring them alone.

Glyphmaster

Glyphmaster, third book in the Glyphpunk series, is now available.

Glyphmaster

Glyphmaster cover smallWar has been averted, the Society’s power diminished, but peace has yet to reach the shores of the Scarred Sea. As unrest spreads, there remain a few finishing touches to making the world as Thjorn wishes it to be. But the hallucination of his dead friend won’t let him work, and others have their own ideas about how things should be.

The final plays are being made, as pawns and players alike are moved into place.

 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Smashwords

 

Glyphpunk

With the third book out, I’ve made Glyphpunk free on Smashwords. The updated price will propagate to the associated retailers soon, but while I’ve reported the lower price on Amazon I can’t know whether they’ll bother taking notice. I’m not sure yet whether I’m making it permanently free, but it’ll stick at this price for a while.