Saturday Sound-off: Weak, Unstable and Disunited

May has spent most of her tenure as Prime Minister trying to put off a decision about how to approach the negotiations. She apparently made her decision to call the election whilst climbing a mountain in Wales. She still has a much more important mountain to climb. The election has not made that climb any easier for her. Continue reading Saturday Sound-off: Weak, Unstable and Disunited

Why I’m an Unashamed Bremoaner

The very people who voted ‘leave’ in the UK, and for Trump in the USA, are the ones most likely to suffer as a consequence. Élite (ĕlët’), n. The choice part, the best, (of) The above is from my ancient copy of the Concise Oxford Dictionary. Confirming that ‘elite’ means best. So how did the expression ‘the elites’ become a term of abuse, used in contempt to describe those we believe have too much power and influence? And, if we accept that there are individuals who singly, or as a group, have too much power, what is the best way … Continue reading Why I’m an Unashamed Bremoaner

The Exercise of Power

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

The Proper Response to Famine

How should we respond to disasters? Natural events – earthquakes, floods, forest fires – usually evoke an outpouring of sympathy accompanied by the dispatch of all manner of aid. Engineers, medics, machinery and food are flown in to the disaster area to ensure that victims receive succour. Appeals raise millions of dollars to support such efforts. Is our response to famine different? Should it be? Are we more inclined to seek the cause of the catastrophe before making a commitment to assist? How deeply ingrained in our knowledge of Judao/Christian history is the story of how Joseph taught his Egyptian … Continue reading The Proper Response to Famine

For my Fellow Remainers: How to Take Back Control of Life After Brexit

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

Brexit Delusions

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

Getting Our Country Back?

(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?

#Brexit: What’s the Plan?

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?

Making a Choice: #atozchallenge (X)

This post is for election nerds. If politics or statistics leave you cold, read no further. If, however, you want to try to understand how it is that supposedly democratic elections so often fail to produce a satisfactory outcome, read on. In May 2015 the voters of the UK made their choice. 37% of them placed their ‘X’ against a candidate of the Conservative Party. Almost 13% placed their ‘X’ against the name of someone representing the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). Yet the Conservatives hold 331 of the seats in the new Parliament (51%) whilst UKIP holds just one … Continue reading Making a Choice: #atozchallenge (X)