Why voting to leave is fundamentally unbritish

I am not going to write an article saying “we are screwed” or “this will result in a poorer UK”. The UK may do well. However even if the UK does great outside the EU this is still a very unbritish thing to do, and not just because we normally exit Europe on penalties.

We normally are obstinate in the face of our enemies, not our friends

It is a very British thing to stand up to those who wish us ill. Not shirking a fight and being counted is something we often point to in our history as a source of pride.

Make no mistake, the places that will be celebrating a vote to leave most will not be the Farage house and what seems like all of Sunderland. It will be in the Kremlin. It will be in ISIS’s tents in the Syrian desert where women are stoned for adultery.

The places where it will be most mourned will be in the meetings of our closest allies.

The British want to be at the table

We don’t like to be left out. We want to decide our own fate. Leaving hasn’t just giving up our chair at the table. We have hit ourself in the face with the chair, breaking it, only to realise the reason we had to sit on the chair is that the floor is covered in shit.

We don’t abandon our friends

We are abandoning our friends. Allies we have stood side by side for 40 years, are now left to face problems alone. The asylum crisis, ageing populations and climate change are problems to be solved together not apart. Not just because its the right thing to do, but because it is the only way they can be solved!

Bonds with other countries don’t just happen. Think of the countries we are closest with. We usually share a bond with them through shared history and culture.

Unfortunately there are only two ways these bonds are formed:

  1. Through invading them 300 years ago and imposing our culture, language and cricket.
  2. Co-operation in many different ways creating norms and conventions that bond us together. This takes many many years and is usually the result of traumatic events, conflicts or common enemies.

Option one is not really feasible now all the other countries also have guns. So all we have is two and now we have thrown away 40  years of bridge building.

It reeks of no self confidence

The British are self assured and self confident. Proud of our history. Withdrawal from Europe says we don’t trust in the strength of a principles and values. We are have so little faith in our ability to shape Europe that we would rather pull up the bridge.

Diversity is enshrined in our identity

We are the UNITED Kingdom. The very fabric of our state is based upon unity in diversity. Scotland and England, once at war constantly don’t even contemplate raising arms against each other. Has this diminished a sense national identity? Just watch the 6 nations.

A leave vote signifies an end to an embrace of diversity and a move to stagnation.

5 Things that will almost definitely happen now. Bloody obvious predictions.

So we have done it. We have thrown off the yoke of our European oppressors and have decided to withdraw to our Greatest Britain. Just so you know, this means the following will almost differently happen

The UK will break up

Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU.

The UK is leaving the EU.

Scotland voted to remain in the UK because, among other things, they didn’t want to risk their EU membership.

There will now be another referendum and Scotland will almost certainly leave.

I am also far too tired to even attempt to explain to you why you do not kick the hornets nest that is Northern Ireland.

We will not be the “5th biggest economy in the world” 

The Leave campaign said every 30 seconds that as the 5th biggest economy in the world we can negotiate from a position of strength with other nations. When Scotland inevitably leaves this will not be the case. No shit.

Our currency will plummet

The pound is at its lowest level against the dollar in 30 years already. Lucky our economy isn’t really reliant on the financial sector…

Incidents of hate crimes against migrants will go up

Let me be clear. By migrants I mean foreigners. People who look foreign. People with foreign sounding names. Women in burkas. People called Alan because it sounds like Allah. Men with beards and anyone with the hint of a tan.

This referendum has ignited xenophobia in a way the BNP could only dream of.

Wales will regret shooting themselves in the foot (and face and nuts)

Oh Wales. What the hell have you done? You were a net beneficiary of the EU and you don’t have  migrant problem. Could it be you are just a little bit racist? I hope not.

Do you really think that a Westminster government will look out for Welsh interests more that the EU? Woops.

If real people were taxed the same as the rich….

Setting- A supermarket

Security Guard: “Excuse me sir can I have a look in your bag? I suspect you of stealing grapes.”

Average Joe: “How dare you! I deplore stealing. It is immoral and wrong. I am on the record saying how bad it is.”

Security Guard: “Sir, I will ask you one more time. Have you been stealing grapes?”

Average Joe: “No.”

Security Guard: “We have irrefutable evidence that you have stolen grapes.”

Average Joe: “Ok I stole grapes. What happens now?”

Security Guard: “Well I am going to negotiate with you how much of these grapes you are going to give back. Then you can walk free.”

Average Joe: “If you make me pay anything back I will leave this supermarket forever and move to a different one. You don’t want that do you?”

Security Guard: “Fine. Just give us 3 of the grapes back as a nice gesture. That way all the other customers won’t mind that we make them pay full price for all their grapes.”

Average Joe: “Fine here are two grapes, and be grateful.”

Security Guard: “Thank you!”

Average Joe exits stage left

Security Guard (to the rest of shoppers): “Today we have achieved a great victory. We are on the side of hard working shoppers and are all in this together!”

Why I hate Jeremy Corbyn- My Confession

v218-Jeremy-Corbyn-Get-v2I have to confess. I don’t like Jeremy Corbyn. Not as a bloke. Not as a human being. But as the leader of the opposition.

This revelation could break my life apart.

I have close family and friends who love him – “He is a saviour of British politics”. I feel like I should love him. He is principled, different and speaks his mind. But it isn’t enough.

I can’t do this anymore. I have to get it out. At the risk of alienating my family, friends and twitter following: here are six reasons I hate the cult of Jeremy Corbyn*

  1. Blairites are ‘traitors’.

People love to talk about the evil Labour MP’s who are defying the will of their dear leader with ‘a huge mandate from the members’.

Well yes. Corbyn does have a huge mandate from MEMBERS. The Labour MP’s who are currently sitting have a mandate from the electorate. They were elected on a far more centrist platform than Corbyn’s Labour are spouting.

They are not ‘traitors’ for not immediately changing their point of view because they have a new leader, and it certainly does not make them unprincipled.

2. The media is against me!

A Labour leader is always going to be up against it. The UK has a right leaning press. The way to get round this is to do what, god forbid, Tony Blair did (you may remember the man who won Labour 3 elections).

When not engaging in illegal wars Blair charmed, cajoled and threatened the press to bring them on his side.

It is not an abandonment of principles, it is called politics. Be a politician. You can’t get everything you want. You have to compromise to make progress. Stop making a new politics. Just get better at the old one!

3. Leave NATO

Dearest Jeremy would like to leave NATO. He acknowledges that there is no appetite in the UK for that to happen but if he got his way, he would.

In my humble opinion this is dereliction of duty. The first role of the government should be to provide safety to its citizens. However there are a lot of leading thinkers who think actually NATO causes more problems than it solves. Things like offering membership to former soviet countries etc.

I can see that. However my issue with the idea of leaving NATO is that it is a betrayal to the countries that actually depend on it for their security. Estonia, for instance, relies upon NATO heavily for its security. To just leave the alliance would be unfair on the smaller countries that signed up in good faith to joining.

4. The left does not have a monopoly on compassion.

There is a tendency with the far left to put forward the view that only they have ability to show compassion. They then argue from the point of view of moral superiority. Only they have the ability to empathise, to put themselves in the shoes of the hard up.

This is usually followed by the whole ‘the reason you don’t agree with me is because you haven’t understood what I am saying argument’,

Apart from being condescending and annoying beyond belief it is a line of reasoning that reduces arguments to a series of anecdotes about who has the bigger heart. It prevents logical analysis of facts and ultimately hurts the worse off because the wrong decisions get made.

I am not simply blaming Corbyn for this, but as the leader of the ‘If you only had a heart brigade’ he gets my wrath.

5. He can’t win an election.

I like living in a country where we have democracy. We have the ability to remove the government and bring in a different one. We have a two party system. I know there are more parties but there is no chance of a government forming without either Labour or the Tories being part of it.

Labour under Corbyn is not electable. That means the government won’t change and that means that the current government can do whatever it wants because the opposition is not credible.

There are many many things that the Conservatives need to be held accountable for. Having a Labour led Corbyn makes it harder for that to happen.

6. He wants to print money and give it to people.

Just fetch my history book and look up hyperinflation. Actually just get a dictionary and look up idiotic.

The reason why QE hasn’t already led to hyperinflation is because it remains in the banking sector. The debt is still technically held by the treasury and the Bank of England can withdraw the money it so that it doesn’t create inflationary pressure.

Print money and give it to people… really?

*I dont just mean Jeremy Cobyn the man. I mean Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.

How journalism and PR can co-exist


As George Orwell once said. “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

This does suggest a level of mutual exclusivity between the two fields.

In his recent speech at the Charles Wheeler lecture the BBC’s economics editor Robert PReston described  PR companies as “the enemy”. It has long been a bone of contention within journalism that PR companies attempt to approve copy, control access to sources, spin everything in sight and protect sources at the expense of the truth.

However, with a Cardiff University study finding that one in five newspaper stories and 17% of broadcast stories been verifiably derived mainly or wholly from PR, it would seem that PR companies have got behind enemy lines.

Despite what Preston would see as a dangerous fifth column, it must be argued if the journalistic craft is anything it’s the ability to pick through sources, ascertain their validity, fact check and find truth?

Well, yes it is. However, with ever decreasing budgets, squeezed deadlines and less than 30 minutes per story, shameless promotion does slip through the net. The US now boasts 4.1 PR specialists for every one reporter (1) and this trend seems only set to increase.

However it doesn’t have to be this way. In the animal kingdom, a relationship between two different species is described as symbiotic and can be defined in three ways; parasitic, communal and mutual.

To give this some context the parasitic relationship is when one party (the parasite) benefits and the other (the host) loses.  An example of this is ticks. A tick will feed on the blood of mammals. In exchange it will give the mammal Lyme disease which causes kidney, joint and hearty problems.

The industry equivalent is the PR exec who feeds stories to reporters which are not fact checked and is riddled with inaccuracies. The parasitic PR exec gets its client name in the news and in exchange gives the reporter the journalistic equivalent of Lymes disease, loss of reputation, credibility and retractions to print.

The second definition of a relationship is far more preferable and is described as communal. This is when one species benefits and the other is not harmed. An example is natures is the Remora fish. It attaches itself to sharks, rays and whales and then scavenges left over food they have left. Despite the clear cheek of this benefit scrounger of the sea it has no negative ramifications for its partner.

If we apply this to the journalist/PR relationship we get the PR exec supplying the reporter with verified and supported sources. However, they might be poorly written, missing key details or inapplicable to that reporters brief. This hasn’t negatively impacted the reporter as they would have to written stories themselves anyway but it was hardly a net positive for them and takes time.

The final relationship is mutual. This when both parties benefit from the arrangement. It is based around being stronger together than apart. To see this you need do no more than look out of the window. Bees and plants. The bees needs to gather nectar in order to get it through the winter, and the plant needs to spread its pollen in order to procreate.

PR companies, the blooming flowers, are literally nothing without the journalistic bees to come and spread the word. However the journalistic bees are only going keep returning to the flower if they are receiving top quality pollen in the form well written, valid, fact checked stories.

If PR companies insist on parasitic relationships they are eventually going to kill their journalist hosts. However if a mutual relationship can begin, it could be a vital lifeline to the over stretched journalists.

If you are in PR remember, if you can’t be a flower be a Remora fish. Just never be a tick.