What hurts is the huge number of cultural, sporting and business links that have been built across Europe over the past 45 years and that are now being sullied by the xenophobic rhetoric that has been unleashed. Continue reading Brexit – Neither Divorce Nor Car Deal
Ireland’s role in establishing the British Parliament’s supremacy over the executive. It was the English civil war, a brutal affair that lasted, on and off, for six years and pitched brother against brother and father against son, that established the supremacy of parliament. And it began with the trial of a man who had the temerity to threaten to raise a mostly Catholic army of Irish men to assist King Charles in his campaign against Scottish protestants. And Ireland was to suffer some of the worst horrors perpetrated during the course of the war. Thomas Wentworth had been appointed as … Continue reading The Exercise of Power
A thoughtful and extremely helpful post from Adele Theron. Adele is a trauma counselor and change management consultant. It’s been 3 days since the CTRL-ALT-DEL button was pushed on life as we know it. The United Kingdom decided to take the red pill and tumbled down a mahoosive rabbit hole. Now we are standing in what looks like the construct room of the Matrix: no plan, no mission, a white room full of nothing. There are many Leave voters who stare at the white room and see oceans of possibility and are excited, they are impatient that the rest of … Continue reading For my Fellow Remainers: How to Take Back Control of Life After Brexit
I’m reading about John Clare, the nineteenth century English poet. He spent the last years of his life in a mental institution, suffering from delusions. One of these being that his unattainable, and by then long dead, first love would come to him. Earlier he had been courted by some of the better educated members of the aristocracy who were quick to drop him as soon as his mental health problems became apparent. I see parallels in the way the delusions of ordinary English folk are being fostered by the better educated members of the’ leave’ camp in this referendum … Continue reading Brexit Delusions
(An open letter to any of my friends who still thinks leaving is a good idea) You say you want your country back. I wonder what you mean by that. You are probably not old enough to remember the 1950s or ’60s – there aren’t many of us left. So I’m guessing that maybe you have in mind an image of the 1970s. A time of strikes and hyper-inflation, of wage freezes and credit squeezes, of unstable government with Labour surviving only because of a pact with the Liberals. Troops on the streets of Belfast and Derry, IRA bombs in … Continue reading Getting Our Country Back?
I have heard plenty of talk about what Britain could do if she left the EU: Control our borders increase the volume of trade with the rest of the world get rid of regulations that make it hard for small businesses. And I’ve heard plenty of denials of the things the ‘remain’ campaign say might happen. I want to know what will happen. And I think it’s important that the voters understand that some of the things they think will change for, as they see it, the better, probably won’t. I heard a man interviewed on TV the other evening … Continue reading #Brexit: What’s the Plan?
Warning: this is a rant. Some readers may be offended. I’m talking living nightmares here, not bad dreams. I watch, nightly, scenes of ravaged cities that, a few years ago were bustling, modern metropolises teeming with people going about their business and tourists photographing historic buildings. I watch, too, over-loaded boats ferrying people, men, women and frightened children, across the Mediterranean or Aegean seas. And my television also shows me lines of similar people trekking across country or, more often these days, camping in unbelievably squalid conditions beside hastily erected fences. Many of these dispossessed people are the former citizens … Continue reading Nightmare: #atozchallenge
Looking at the result of the recent general election in Ireland it’s impossible not to conclude there is no shared vision among the electorate of the sort of country they want. No single party managed to secure the support of as many as 1 in 3 of the votes cast. There is a plethora of small parties, loose alliances and independents. It is a state of affairs that bears comparison to the situation exactly 100 years ago. The rebels who proclaimed a new republic from the steps of the GPO at Easter 1916 did not have the support of the … Continue reading In Search of a Shared Vision
One of the many radio programmes I remember from my childhood began with the announcement ‘Once again we stop the mighty roar of London’s traffic to bring you the stories of people who are IN TOWN TONIGHT.’ I used that memory in my recently completed novel. I imagined a young woman hearing those words in the stifling surroundings of an English provincial town in the freezing early months of 1947 and making up her mind to escape to the capital. London in 1947 I imagined, too, how a quarter of a century later she would be able to empathise … Continue reading Desperate to Escape