Brexit

I don’t normally use this blog to talk about anything but classical music and related issues. But, I’m making an exception today because the clusterfuck that is Brexit has reached a pivot point this evening that from a journaling perspective at least needs to be documented.

It wouldn’t be Thoroughly Good if you didn’t get the full picture.

I’ve listened to politicians drone on about the will of the people, about the need to respect the result of the referendum, about how great swathes of society are disillusioned with the political elite which is why they voted to leave Europe in the first place.

And today, as soon as Theresa May announces she will leave Number 10, swathes of ‘arch’ Brexiteers suddenly announce the deal they rejected so roundly twice before now, they’re now happy to back. Brexit was about the Conservative Party. If you didn’t realise it before, I hope to God you realise it now.

Apparently, it will be a ‘brighter future’. It might be. But that will be by accident (if at all), it certainly won’t be by design. And it certainly won’t be for the ‘British people’. It’s about the Conservative party.

So much for taking back control. The control is in the hands of a small political elite the kind who have totally alienated people like me.

And with a completely inept opposition, I am for the first time ever, entirely unclear who exactly to vote for.

Batten down the hatches. This lot are in power for a good fifteen years yet.

Voting

Us London types have been voting today in a referendum about the alternative voting system. Do we want it? Or do we stick with the thing we’re used to?

Me and the Significant Other did our usual thing of taking off to the local polling station earlier this evening. It’s a joint thing. We can never go separately. Voting is a joint experience ever since we once hit rock bottom property wise and between walking from home to the polling station considered what life might be like if we sold up and moved to the country. Voting suddenly became synonymous with escapism. We’ve tried to rekindle it ever since.

I can’t say we were necessarily successful this evening. Compared to most other voting calls to action, this evening felt like an exercise. I’d forgotten the task about it twice during the day, this despite the fact that a large plasma screen tuned to BBC News kept displaying the almost unavoidable ‘AV VOTE’ graphic at various points during the day.

That seems a shame. I didn’t engage with what seemed to all intents and purposes like an important moment in UK political history. Is that what the political parties wanted? And if so, how much money ended up being wasted and how many (if any) people will turn out to be disappointed?

Helmer’s comments aren’t offensive

MEP Roger Helmer has got himself into quite a lot of hot water over his comments regarding so-called ‘gay therapy’, asking why if a surgeon can perform sex-change operation can’t a psychiatrist carry out work to ‘convert’ homosexuals. People are calling for him to be sacker, it seems.

Why? He this tweeted yesterday.

As tweets go, it’s not breathtaking. In fact, in some respects given the freedom of speech we all hold on to virulently, I’d come close to actually defending the man for exercising his right to pose the question and stimulate conversation around the topic.

I say I’d ‘come close’. But not that close, in part because his reaction to the reaction is more surprising.

What was he thinking? That people wouldn’t get excited? That it would get re-tweeted? That people wouldn’t jump and down excitedly? There’s surely a little bit of naiivity creeping through there. In fact, I’m sure it’s definitely naiivity, at the very least.

But it’s chairman of Just Lincolnshire Equality and Human Rights Council David Miller’s response quoted on the BBC website which seals the deal on this …

“We are not talking about a man in a pub with an opinion, we are talking about an elected MEP representing every member of that constituency including gay, lesbian and transgender people.

What he has said is offensive.”

It’s not offensive. It’s ignorant.

Politics: It is Ed, isn’t it?

I’ve checked the BBC website three times. I even read Nick Robinson’s blog confirming Ed Miliband had clinched the top job in the Labour Party elections. I needed to check in a number of other places too. Such is the challenge I’ve faced identifying the name of Labour’s new leader.

I know. It’s not that difficult really. Just read a news story or watch the TV. The detail’s in the voice-over or plastered across the on-screen graphics.

And yet, my reality is quite different. As long as the lucky new Labour leader remains Labour leader, I know I’ll hesitate before uttering his name. I’ll check and check again. I’ll want to make sure I don’t make the same mistake I did on Twitter earlier this afternoon when I tweeted that David Miliband had won it. A case of mistaken identity.

It reminds me of a similar problem I had distinguishing two blokes at exactly the same time during freshers week. They were inseparable friends. One had ginger hair. One had dark hair. They looked completely different. And both had thick Geordie accents. One was called Rob, the other Andrew. I couldn’t tell them apart. At University I’d rely on my pal Julie to tell me which was which. I never remembererd. And to this day I’ve still no idea which is which.

So it is with Ed (it is Ed, isn’t it?) Miliband. I get confused. Even though I sat watching the damn TV screen as Ed Miliband gave his acceptance speech, I still cant be sure whether the David Cameron lookalike now leading the Opposition is called Ed or David. It feels like the leader should be called David. He looks like a David. Surely he’s a David really, isn’t he?

You see my confusion, I’m sure.

And if I’m confused, others will be too. And I hope to God that some of those others are journalists. Journalists who in the process of writing their copy reckoned they don’t need to double check the forenames and let the text go live without passing it to the sub-editor first. Because if they do end up doing that, I’ll feel a lot better. Especially if someone makes that mistake consistently for the next four years.

The picture above is of Ed Miliband (obviously) and was published on Flickr by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It’s used here in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons License.