Keeping Myself Busy

I’m currently a little over 75% of the way through my summer fortnight break.  The house move earlier in the year and a few other factors meant we (I) failed to book anything to go anywhere and the last minute options weren’t tempting enough.  The very last minute option disappeared when the brother-in-law and his Girlfriend did decide on a whim to head down to Devon to see my in-laws and dropped off one of their dogs – the one that is house trained – so we’ve been keeping an eye on this little one:

Tired from a good walk

Tilly – tired after a good walk

 

One of the extenuating factors for not going last minute has been a few recent trips to the doctors.  Seems I might have broken out with an extreme case of Hives.  I’ve been tested for just about everything else so that’s all that left.  But both legs and now parts of the upper body are covered in sores and rashes and apparently it might take a couple of months before it will calm down.  It’s probably an allergic reaction to a bite, but I’ve never had such a reaction before so all very weird, and for a short time worrying that it might be something much more sinister.  I’m not feeling sick, but it is very irritating and can be sore.  Next trip to doctors tomorrow am.  Anyway, not dwelling on that, am sure one of the ointments or many pills will eventually kick in.

I had planned… well planned is not the right word – ‘considered’, in the weeks leading into the break the notion of getting the fishing gear out a few days and getting some value from this year’s fees, but just haven’t felt comfortable to go down there with the Hives, plus a different pill is needed in intervals of just a few hours.

This all meant in a roundabout way I was left considering what to do with myself, and happily, it was the prompt needed to kick a couple of projects into gear.  First, having watched 100’s of YouTube videos on the subject a few months back and having had the I’d really like to do this (but probably won’t) conversation with the wife I got the credit card out and put some orders in and ordered a whole bunch of home brew equipment and kits.

The initial plan was formed when a thought occurred many months back.  Next door has a crab apple tree just the other side of the fence from us, and so our garden has lots of falling crab apples.  I thought to myself:

“what a waste, somebody could make some cider out of them…”

… and so that’s part of the plan.  I’ve got an apple picker on the way (yet to be received a week after the order) and will go liberate the apples with the intent of making them a key part of the first cider batch.  Will probably get the wife to post on Facebook and see if anyone locally has a tree they don’t mind me robbing of a few unwanted apples too.  Apparently, Apple Juice from the shop is fine to use too and the Crab Apples will probably be bitter on their own so will need cutting with sweeter apples and/or some juice.  The thought prevails though that maybe the mind will wander how the first batch would have differed if only freshly gather apples were used, and there’s time for a second, juice only batch should time and circumstances permit.

I ordered a juicer too.  Instead of buying or innovating an apple press, a juicer which separates the juice from the pulp can be utilized.  The box arrived and looked fine.  I opened it to find a suitable air cushioned barrier.  Within that was clearly a very battled and bruised box.  I recalled in that moment it being a bit of a bargain price and reasoned that it must have said something about damaged packaging… right?

Two big cracks in the plastic

Visible damage on outside of the box

Visible damage on outside of the box

Hole in the Juicer box (seen from inside)

Hole in the Juicer box (seen from inside)

Wrong.   I delved a little deeper to find the contents had been clearly opened and repackaged, poorly.  I took the juicer out and a couple of cracks were evident in the plastic casing.  I re-read the Amazon page and no mention of damage to juicer or package.  Felt very ripped off, especially as the outer box was clearly immaculate.  The buggers clearly packaged a pile of shit and hoped I’d simply take it.

I fired off the obligatory (and my first) 1 star amazon rating.  I was a bit surprised it went in for review because I thought this stuff went through unfiltered.  Anyway, surprise surprise, the review was rejected.

The gits!

The gits!

Anyway, it’s packed up and will be returned to send tomorrow, with a claim made under the refund policy.  Glad to see I can expect a refund for the postage too which wasn’t clear initially.  A replacement will be needed soon to get the cider going.

That hasn’t deterred and it was two kits that I ordered so the first wort of an American IPA was started Saturday and is bubbling away nicely in a newly designated fermentation cupboard in the kitchen.

With an initial SPG of 1.046, so will likely be between 4.5-4.8% ABV.

With an initial SPG of 1.046, will likely be between 4.5-4.8% ABV when finished

There’s two lager kits in house, ready to be started too plus a large box of PET plastic bottles.  I made the executive decision that I should really consider buying and drinking bottled beers in the coming weeks (versus my usual cans) and keeping the glass bottles for my own use.  I am happy to report good initial progress has been made on operation:

“It’s ’cause I need the bottles… honest love!”

The credit card came out again and a worktop bottle capper and 100 crown caps have subsequently arrived are is ready to go into use.

We gained when we moved [AGAIN!] in February an enclosed pass through (not sure what else to call it) which is a covered space between the front and back of the house, with a bit of shelving and approximately 26 metric tonnes of dried leaves and old cobwebs.  It shall be cleared in the coming days and become my brew workshop.  Well WTF not, I didn’t ask for it but it’s all part of the rent and being paid for.

Anyway, hopefully, the apple grabbing tool will arrive soon and a suitable juicer can be obtained for a reasonable price then I can get the cider under way.  The primary fermentation should take about 15 days on the IPA so that will go into the bottling process for secondary fermentation to begin, probably a week Sunday.  It could be a little sooner with the modest weather.  I want to get the cider started soon too, as I plan to get that bottled and leave it through the winter for sampling next Spring.  Whereas the IPA has a shelf life, the Cider should improve with a few months to sit.  I haven’t had cider in years but I will gladly give it a go… the brother-in-law has never been known to turn one down so there’s no chance it won’t go appreciated.

Two batches of lager should follow in Autumn, and at least one of those will go into the 5 gallon pressure barrel, depending on the timings and demand (from me) the follow on batch may go into bottles or if the barrel is freed up promptly will go in there.

It’s been interesting to have a good look around and that buzz of excitement of trying something new is making it enjoyable and also doing a great job of helping me keep my mind off of work.  It’s one of those things lots of blokes will have proclaimed a desire to have a go at, at some point or other in time.  It’s one more topic I can be a pub bore on.  I’m starting with pretty basic set ups and availing of the kits which package everything that is needed to keep things simple, but there’s a whole other layer of craft there, going beyond the beginner kits and getting past the pre-prepared stuff that could potentially keep things interesting for a good while.  All of this is good, but should I ever utter the below phrase you have my permission to kill me.

“I couldn’t possibly drink that! I only drink fine ale which I brew myself, in my micro-brewery, don’t ya know? scoff scoff”

Well maybe not kill me, but slapping should be administered promptly and regularly until usual order is resumed.

I had also told myself to commit to doing some writing in the time off.  I say it every time and seldom follow through.  I haven’t really committed too much time or energy since AEDSOB.  Work has been a big factor there.  There’s another two-week trip coming up in September and the weekend could be utilized there, but I need to write a quiz night for soon after I return so again it’s unlikely I’ll get further than that.  I have a second novel and a much shorter Novella started but frankly, if there was no stampede for AEDSOB there’s no compulsion from me to get cracking.  The Novella is firmly in the Sci-fi arena, whereas the Novel straddles from Sci-fi explores a more religious and theological rooted story of fiction.

Anyway, with the wort done and not feeling it with the writing, I decided to give myself a push on another project.  I’m going to stay a bit coy on this for now because it would probably come across as pure fantasy talk but the crux of it is I’ve had a good idea for something (I have several more percolating away in the noggin) and I spend a couple of days fleshing it out and have a good 14 pages of structured planning committed to paper [Word Doc].  The wife read through it and concurred, in a pub-talk kind of way we think it’s something people will like that could also make a tonne of money.

The next step is research.  I’ve absolutely no experience in this arena beyond being a fan and I expect the companies that can take this forward get dozens of ideas every day and some even say they don’t want to hear unsolicited ideas anyway.  So, I need to try and find the right people who will be open to a pitch, but who may have the resources and motivation to help take it forward.  For my part, if it gets up and running and is more or less as scoped I’d be happy to take a step back and simply enjoy the fact it’s up and running, perhaps with a line of feedback in terms of ideas and direction, but ultimately that would be enough.  Conversely, it’s got my name on it (the proposal at least) and maybe the people getting the pitch will think that’s a good or better idea.  I happen to think it better to be open to the idea they get the room to mould it, I can see how that may enhance the marketing plan and the overall chances of getting it off the ground.

Problem is, this one’s going to be an uphill battle that will probably take a long time and need constant refinement and evolution.  There’s a tiny slither of a chance this is going to be wildly successful, but the stars need to align and it all really hinges on getting lucky in the next phase and find people in the right place with the appropriate skills to get on board and run with it.

If this comes off it will be the opening line of the, hopefully far off in the future obituary.

If not, I may need to order some more homebrew kits so I have plenty of stock in which to drown my sorrows.

Bottoms up!

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Shaking The System Up

This post is going out in the middle of the most uncertain political climate we may ever have had in Britain in Peacetime.  Most of this is hypothetical rambling about possibilities of changes that would have seemed impossible a week or two ago.  We can but dream…

It’s incredible the effect the EU referendum has had, and it’s going to snowball more and more.  Some of the fissures which have appeared have been under the surface for some time, but the referendum has been the catalyst to expose them and kick things on.  When the UK electorate finally had a vote on an issue that they cared about, they came out in their droves and delivered a clear verdict.

Since then the establishment has been in meltdown and the Labour Party took just days to implode.  They established Westminster Parties have spent decades trying not to let the people have any say on the EU question (and Immigration) but that cosy consensus was busted open last week.

There is, I feel about to be a seismic shift in several parts over the next 10-15 years.  This post may well serve as a proof point of how close or how far of I really was (written knowing prophecy of this kind is nobody’s strong suit).

The Political Parties

It looks likely Labour is going to split into two.  This is not some future prediction, this is current events.  I think Corbyn is going to dig in and I’ve seen enough chatter on Twitter to suggest this notion is a little more advanced than pie-in-the-sky.  There’s probably going to be a Progressive Social Democratic party emerge from the wreckage which will hoover up the New Labour, Blairites and the illiberal anti-democrats in the fraudulently named Liberal Democrat Party.  If it happens, this will be the party for international governance & supranational government, a friend of the big corporations dressed up in the guise of compassionate, hug an [insert disaffected group here], paradigm shifting, ever reinventing, gender fluid and student activists.

From the red corner will emerge a truly socialist Labour Party, warm beer and corned beef sandwiches for the union boys, champagne and prawn sandwiches for the select few elevated thought leaders.

The Tories will ride on the coat tails of the split, oblivious that the fissure will get them too.  If they get this leadership election and the events of in the short to medium term right they can keep the show on the road for a few more years, but events and consequences will catch up to them too.  By getting it right I mean, Boris as PM, Leadsom & Gove in key roles, May still in Home Office and a decent Brexit deal – plus Free Trade Deals ready or close with Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland and China.

However, the Tories are still toxic.  Hiroshima will be radiation free before the Tory Party.  There are millions of people in the country who “wouldn’t waste their piss on a Tory if he/she was on fire”.  They’ve got to win in the same swing seats.   When it was Tory vs Labour it’s the same 60-80 swing seats and narrow manifesto divisions, but if Labour split there’s a new dynamic, one which if it doesn’t shift soon, could irreversibly swing in the next phase of political change to which we’re just in the embryo stage of now.

What’s also become clear is, over 17 million people came out and voted for Brexit, when UKIP, which traditionally seen as a single issue party could only muster 4 million just a year ago in the General Election.  Put another way, 13 million people agree with UKIP’s core message, yet voted for someone else.

This is not a post about how UKIP are going to come to power at the next, or any future election.

However, millions of Labour people who wouldn’t go near anyone in a blue rosette, who will use the term “Tory” as a slur, when all the other slurs just aren’t hurtful enough came out and voted for the same core issue as UKIP, a party that is (debate aside) painted as to the right of the Tories.

Many have commented that it’s UKIP’s willingness to listen to voters and to put issues on the table that they feel they have been ignored on.  These people proved ready to move when the offer was right, even if tradition and loyalty have meant in the past, if they did turn out, they always vote for the Labour candidate.

Well, what if the Labour Party is no more?  Maybe that’s the catalyst for a shift in these traditional Labour strongholds?  I think there is an appetite to change rather substantially from the system we’ve become accustomed to in the past 40 years or so.

I sense that UKIP tapped into something a different, non-Tory alternative on the right could tap into in the coming years.  A party of the right could win in Labour Heartlands – people there are getting sick of Labour but hate the alternatives more.

Unfortunately, short of a terrible Brexit Deal, I suspect UKIP will be seen as having had it’s day – somewhere after the next election, presumably on the road to 2025.

I have a suspicion that Nigel Farage will be ready to move on in the near-term to something different, possibly away from politics once the deal is done and at that point, UKIP may fade too.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I think there are some really great people in UKIP, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they proved me wrong.  Whoever takes over from Farage will almost certainly want to approach a facelift/image change and there’s a whole bunch of Kippers who’ll instantly fade away.  Whoever the then future, hypothetical leader is then, they and UKIPs future successes will depend on navigating the changing landscape, and seeing if they can win new voters in greater numbers to the one’s they lose.

If UKIP can’t contest the centre-right ground, then it’s the aforementioned Social Democratic party who’ll hoover up, just like in the ‘New Labour’ days of Blair.  There is a space there for a new centre-right party to try and sit in the space the two well battered/slurred right sided parties currently are positioned.  In my hypothetical future, a mood sensing the old parties dying in favour of new and fresh parties might hit UKIP hard too.

Direct Democracy

We can’t put the Genie back in the lamp.  The EU referendum has energised people politically.  It did feel like the EU Referendum Campaign got very bitter and dark and it was certainly polarising, but this is, at least in part because for the first time (and if Remain had won, likely the last time…) every single person’s vote counted.  It wasn’t just the swing seats that mattered, every vote mattered and both sides knew the stakes had never been higher.

It’s easy to say it was bitter and we should rise above it.  A real, genuine tragedy occurred a week before the EU referendum when an MP was killed.  She was killed by a madman, who had mental health issues.  In the mourning, there were calls for politics to be better than it had been, to raise the tone and fight the good fight.  It took days, DAYS for it to descend back into the gutter.  Dragged there I might add by the losing side who have spent the best part of the last week proving they have only the scantest regard for Democracy when it serves to legitimise their own agendas and viewpoints.  I digress.

Whether you’re still giddy and over the moon, or whether your angry and bitter, the lesson surely is, this referendum mattered. Each and every vote cast mattered. Some of the people who lost say, we should never have another referendum, others say let’s have a second referendum (undoubtedly if they won, that would be binding, and the last).  I say, we should have more of them, and more decisions made directly by the people.

The Future of Parliament

I said before and I’ll say it again (I seem to be the only one) – Parliament is no longer Sovereign.  You can bleat all you like about the EU referendum not being a binding vote, but Parliament will listen to it and do as the people have instructed.

It’s more than that, though.

If Parliament had of been the decision make, on the 23rd June 2016, the UK would have stayed in the UK.  As it stands the people, knowing full well the dynamics of how Westminster would have voted and have done so many times in the past, they came out and delivered a stinging rebuke to the law makers past and present and elevated themselves above Parliament and above the Politicians.

Politicians out there now bemoaning the result, encouraging hate fuelled disrespectful comments and behaviour will find they will soon be out of a job.  Democracy must be respected, or the fabric of civilisation will fall away.

We’re going to need a better system.  The Lords surely can’t survive much longer, particularly now it’s full of appointees.  The metropolitan Areas are over-represented in the Commons, perhaps the Counties could all get 1 seat in the upper house to help redress that balance in some new arrangement.

France has MP’s for ex-pats living abroad, why not in Parliament too?  Might that also be a better system than having people register to former constituent areas, that one’s surely a little difficult and inconsistent to manage/police?

As as we seem to follow so many trends from abroad, why not go somewhere in the middle of the French and American systems and have a national vote on the PM – with an initial caucus or primary on the nominees?

Fanciful thinking maybe.  But I do believe things have been sufficiently shaken up in the last week that nothing is off the table.

 

Post-Brexit, So Much To Contemplate

Right, unusual yes – 2 posts in one day – that’s probably a record on this site.

Post Brexit

On the general point, I am thrilled still!

This really was momentous.  I have a feeling that the consequences will be much more far-reaching and important than most people appreciate today.  I’ll repeat a point I’ve made here already and on Twitter – the People elevated themselves above Parliament on 23rd June 2016, and there is no way I can fathom that Parliament can retake Sovereignty, short of a new English Civil War.

In the grand tradition of the English being civil, we’ll probably let Parliament get on with it for a bit.  We’ll want a new Government formed and Brexit negotiations kicked off.  If it goes to a full leadership contest then the EU must wait for that to take place.  We want cordial relations, but they must immediately understand (and be reminded, in an appropriate fashion if needed) that they don’t call the shots anymore.

Article 50 was the European design for exit and it’s long negotiation period was designed rather deliberately as a shock absorber to world markets – they may have had the UK in mind when it was written.  But, it is the member state who triggers it, not the EU.

But back to here and us.  At some point, England must contemplate what it has done.  It can’t head into the post-Brexit world with power vested with the people and system which gave it away in the first place – a national dialogue is needed.  Problem is, now we must define, or redefine the Demos, in our future Democracy.

Upset Remainers

Decisions and history are made by those who show up.  Time to grow up, accept the reality and make the most of it.

It is somehwat troubling that we have so many young people in this country that are possitively against the notion of Democracy and Self Determination for the UK.  If UK makes mistakes, those who make the mistakes and those in charge pay the price.  That’s how it’s supposed to work.

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Post-Brexit, As Seen On Twitter

Post started at 8.30am EST with Breakfast, but have been awake a couple of hours at least.

Lots of things going on back home, and lot’s of thoughts I want to get down, will attempt to put something together this morning.

For now, recorded for dexterity, a selection of commentary as seen through the prism of my Twitter feed from the last few days…

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Our One and Only Chance

Leave Ballot

This is the week and Thursday, in particular, is the day/time I have been waiting for my entire adult life.  I never really believed the people of the UK would be permitted to have their say directly in a referendum on EU membership, and cynically I concluded too that should that ever be granted the forces behind the curtain would only grant such a plebiscite should the prevailing opinion and likely vote favour the status quo.

I was wrong on the first count, but correct on the second.  The powers that be never thought the polls would be this close in the final week.

I know I am not alone, there is a band of beaten and wounded brothers and sisters up and down the country who have proclaimed the esteemed and liberating logic of breaking free from the confines of the EU wishing to restore the principle of self-governance of our nation.  There has been lost friendships, relationships, and jobs.  There’s been hundreds of thousands of blog posts and millions of words. We were told we’re ‘pub bores’ and ‘little Englanders’ yet it seems about half of the country is now with us.

Whodathunkit eh?

I talk in terms of solidarity, struggle and this being a fight because I believe it has been.  We have, somehow, arrived at a point in history when our national arraignments have for four decades betrayed the three centuries which came before, with scant regard for the blood and treasure which was expended time and again to first obtain and then keep secure those most precious gifts were had received as free-born people.  Our Parliamentary system which for so long represented, so very well, the causes and concerns of the nation, that had adapted so well when needed to the prevailing winds suddenly erred drastically and perhaps fatally in the wrong direction.

Suddenly, one of the lynchpins of our supposedly glorious, uncodified constitution didn’t matter a hill of beans.  Since 1689 the UK Bill of Rights had provided that:

  • laws should not be dispensed with or suspended without the consent of Parliament;
  • no taxes should be levied without the authority of Parliament;
  • the right to petition the monarch should be without fear of retribution;
  • no standing may be maintained during peacetime without the consent of Parliament
  • subjects who are Protestants may bear may permitted by law;
  • the election of members of Parliament should be free;
  • the freedom of speech for debates or proceedings in Parliament should not to be impeached or questioned court or place out of Parliament;
  • excessive bail should not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted;
  • jurors should be duly impannelled and returned and jurors in high treason trials should be freeholders;

As soon as we joined the then Common Market, successive Governments took the 1975 Referendum which voted not to come out as consent to sign the UK up to the Greater European Project.  Little by little the major political parties gave away more and more of our Sovereignty, until Parliament was good and hollowed out.

Along the way the leadership of main parties have always endorsed the UK participation of the European Project, with some occasional bluster on particular policies (such as the Euro) when in opposition or when the pols looked particularly bad.

Since 1975, there has been no General Election whereby the people have had a proper say in how our relationship in the EU should change, or to register our disapproval.  Our system permits a Government to be formed with less than 40% of a vote, with less than 50% turn out.  It seemed along the way impossible to marry registering dissatisfaction to the EU and wishing to vote for party of choice.  On matters EU, some distinctions were all drawn, but ultimately they all stood for the same ultimate view point, we were a part of the European Project.  To vote for an independent or to vote for a fringe party that wished to leave was to disenfranchise yourself from the General Election and its real purpose to select representatives to Parliament. Only when we finally got a party for out finally challenging the conventional strongholds (in UKIP) were we permitted the referendum.

The big three parties closed shop and dictated that a consensus exists around which they would argue around the fringes.  There are subjects that must not be discussed in the usual channels, and certainly not in the mainstream press.

  • What the true aims of the European Project and of ever deeper integration of all member’s means
  • No discussion on free movement of people, and immigration
  • No discussion allowed on how most of our laws are decided upon in a foreign land. No discussion of the twisted formality of how these are then delivered and rubber stamped through ‘due process’.  The faux legitimisation of foreign rule so as not to scare the proles
  • No discussion allowed that tax setting rules are set abroad for many tariffs and Levy’s British Taxpayers must pay. No discussion that the Chancellor must submit his Budget to Brussels before he can read it to Parliament
  • No discussion on freemen bearing arms, or the removal of capital punishment as a means of both determent and punishment
  • Plenty of discussion in Parliament about how Parliament is (allegedly) free, yet very little discussion that acknowledges it’s limited role as a council chamber of Greater Europe (As Ken Clarke described it) or of Parliaments role in the Post Democratic order (as, if you prefer Peter Mandelson refers to it)
  • A willing move away from trial by Jury to judgment by experts. A move away from Ministerial Accountability to powers granted to Quango’s, Fake Charities and commissars.

 

Contrast the unmentionable list against our Bill of Rights, and what are we left with?  We have usurped ourselves, and we did so willingly.  We let our Representatives tell us they were actually our Leaders and our Betters.

So, when I speak in terms of struggle and fight it is because it is.  I have no doubt that the forces which have moved us to this position today, will move us further and further away from rule at home, to rule from Brussels.  Rule away from people’s democratic ability to elect and remove people, in a way that shapes and moves political discourse, to a bloated bureaucracy which decides for itself what it wants to do and then does it; with perhaps just the finest veneer to allude that it is in some way accountable to the people (when it clearly is not).

Kill UKIP

The tabbooisation of all topics which bring the EU project into question has led to the disenfranchisement of half a continent.  I say this because the same must be true across the EU and as we can see from current polls (if they are to be trusted) it’s an approximate split down the middle.

I am tired of fighting a battle in the pub and in internet forums.  This country, and it’s people are weary of having our desires ignored.  Membership of the EU puts us in a straightjacket and stifles expression and debate.  It’s intractability, forces member & regional governments into absolute actions and positions that must absolutely be upheld because of our membership; irrespective of what people actually want.  It doesn’t take much for dissent to turn to anger.  We’re ignored for years on end then expected to march ourselves down to prop up the legacy system which is failing us.  When Anger turns to Hate after years of being ignored, when good people are frustrated and without a system which recognises their expressions they have an answer for that too.

They sneer, they jibe and they deride.

They besmirch, they point and they sneer some more.

They vilify your heartfelt concerns and positions,

They claim to come from Love and stand in the Light,

They claim you are evil and hate.

Then they say to everyone else,

“you don’t want to be like them, do you?”

 

A vote for Remain on Thursday is a Vote for Government, not of the people.  It is more rule by experts, more rule by bureaucrats, more rule by diktat.  The sneering classes will have their win, and claim for themselves an endorsement that will not be overturned in our lifetimes.

The thing is, it is much tougher to say what a vote for Leave is for.  It’s much easier, clearer to define what it is against.  However, the Leave message is the message of hope it is the vote which trusts the British People to take decisions for themselves.  It is a vote to set our own destiny, it is a vote for democracy.  It is a willingness to say we want to run our own affairs safe in the knowledge that with real democratic controls we have a system & instruments whereby we can throw the rogue elements out of office (or, in to a court of law) when they do wrong.

The definition question is also challenging because, as I said above, a vote to Leave is going to be seismic.  In this case, we absolutely cannot re-invest all controls to a Parliamentary system which failed us since 1973.  Indeed, the very fact the country may very well vote to Leave is by default the electorate censuring Parliament and our whole present constitutional arrangement.  It will be impossible to vote Leave by Referendum on June 23rd, and declare the Sovereignty of Parliament to be Supreme on the 24th.  Sovereignty is not denied Parliament by this referenda, it lost it in 1973, it gave it away to a foreign power.  Parliament may very well have been a shining beacon of hope for liberal democracy in the past, but you’re kidding yourself if you have any pretence to such a notion now.

EU Plane

On Thursday, a vote for Leave will be a slap on the wrist for Parliament, it is on notice.  We’re shopping for something better.  It failed us, it does not represent us.  Have you any doubt that if the vote on the 23rd were taken by Parliament only what the result would be?

We shall go to the ballot box and even though it is not on the paper, by placing our “X” next to Leave we will undeniably and irreversibly be declaring the people to be sovereign in this great land of ours.  The people will speak and the EU, Parliament, the WTO, IMF, President Obama and the whole entire World will know the absolute will of the United Kingdom, because that’s exactly how it’s supposed to work.

We have got to get every last Leave voter out to the Polls.  49.9999% is not good enough.  Nobody on the Leave side is going to take any solace or consolation in a narrow loss.  It is not something to be built upon, there is no silver lining.  We will go back to being ignored, under represented and the European Project will go into overdrive.  They will claim consent where none was granted.  They will finish the project and we really will be an offshore outpost of the greater European Superstate.

From June 24th a vote for Leave is the start of a new conversation, and new beginning.  We will have to build a whole new system from the ground up, and everybody is going to get a say.  A vote to Leave is to join with your brothers and sisters her in the UK off all races and beliefs and express that we feel we deserve better, and in this one and only opportunity we have, we’re going to demand it.

And Finally

Images sourced via my twitter feed, due credit for sharing to: @AlexandralSwann, @RaheemKassam, @LeaveEUOfficial & @Jonteinspain  I claim no Copywrite over images used, shared on creative commons basis.

A Review

Brian, of Brian’s Blog fame has put up a review of An Ever Deeper Shade of Blue, crediting it with a 3.75/5 score which I am happy with.

See what Brian writes for himself.

Overall Brians review is both warm and positive, to which I feel both grateful and validated.  Validated because reaching out beyond Facebook and friends of Friends is tough for an Indy writer, and there’s always a suspicion that the positive feedback I’ve received might be a little sugar-coated (the presumption, real or imagined being to spare my feelings)

Crucially Brian makes an observation that AEDSOB may be a little Highbrow and Challenging in places.  I do not dispute this, it’s actually in the cold black and white of his review pretty much something I felt might be the received opinion.  The target audience I had in mind as the story developed probably is a little niche and I did intentionally try to structure the story to work on multiple levels to appeal audiences.  I give a nod to plenty of people, inspirations, notions, and ideas, whilst trying to infuse my own message and story.  It was a complex web to weave, but I feel I did OK on that score (particularly for a first novel) and Brian’s review seems to hat-tip that to build an entire universe int he future in which to set the characters takes a lot of groundwork; but it’s all a necessary part of the journey for the reader before getting into the second-half, and ultimately to the end.  There is and isn’t a big ending, I must remain cryptic to those who have no read it yet, as for different people it (is intended) to have different meaning.

There have been plenty of shares too.  22 at time of queuing this post up late 16/11, and hopefully this will put AEDSOB in front of some future fans.

Overall, I think it’s a fair review and like I intimate above, there’s a fear before reading any review that someone’s gonna slaughter you and go 0/5; so I’ll sleep sound tonight; yet next time I’m scribbling notes, I’ll be wondering how I get up and over the 4/5 mark in future, and nearer 5/5 – that’s just how I am.

 

A Few Disjointed Thoughts

 

FranceTricolor

I felt sorrowful for the French over the weekend with everything that happened, and yet there’s a desensitisation with every tragedy; a callous that dulls the shock and awe as I lament the viciousness of humanity at it’s most evil; at it’s most crazy.

I thought it was great to see the changing of profile pictures; I considered it too but decided against – I won’t rehash, see HERE

None-the-less my heart is in France right now, it is too in Beirut, and Nigeria, and everywhere else the Death-Cult strikes (whatever it might be called locally).

Busy Again or Busy Still?

Though I keep reminding myself (as do others) that it’s much better to be busy at work and have too much to do that not be busy or worse have no job, the pace has barely relented.  There may, just may be a short respite with Thanksgiving coming up; but any lull at work is eaten up with other things.

Hence, ‘blogging’ remains breezy for the foreseeable future.

A Few More Videos

WWE Fans will like this:


Was that Brad clucking like the Gobbledy Gooker?

James got me onto the next one:

This was quite interesting too:

Heading For Middle Age?

You have to first understand that the guy writing this blog has been described as acting too old for his age since he was 16.

My hairline started receding at 19, and I had a full ‘William Hague’ by my mid-20’s.  There has been a wisp of grey too for more than half a decade, that gets ever-so-slightly more prominent just before each haircut.   I have a serious job with serious responsibilities with yet more responsibilities at home.  A few years back, angry at the state of the country I took an interest in Politics and tried to make a change; yes I started a lowly blog and spouted some thoughts into what we called the Blogosphere back then.

At 36 I still feel quite young.  I’m not out partying often (well ever really, see above part about being married..) but I’m in OK shape (for an overweight boldy), quit the smokes a few years back, etc.

But lately there is a behaviour that even I am finding worrying.  I’ve never been one for pop music, but lately I’ve discovered the joys of Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea, Charlie XCX and Kate Nash to name but a few.  Used to be, I Might put some Oasis, Coldplay or Kaiser chiefs on the headphones to distract from X Factor or somesuch.   Dad dancing may come before I’m even (or ever) a Dad, so this must be kept in check.  I just went back to YouTube, I’m not convinced this is a phase, I really seem to like Taylor Swift.

That’s not the only thing.  After a recent dry spell, which was observed pretty much because we’ve not ever done one the return to drinking after 8 weeks out has taken a turn.  3 weeks later, no larger, no red wine.  For some reason, I’ve evolved onto Ales.  I know not why but when I’m at the shop I suddenly now feel compelled to try out different labels.  Who knows if this is permanent!

Other warning signs will be reported in due time, so long as it’s not too embarrassing.

 

 

That’s It! (For Now)

That’s it for now.  I expect there’ll be a post or two before 2015-ends, and maybe 2016 is the year I will get more prolific with this – in fact there was another section to this post I’ll queue up for tomorrow.

I have had one or two writing idea’s lately that I thought might just as easily become pages here – but then that might overly colour the blog to a particular audience – which might be over thinking things seeing as there’s barely an audience to speak of as yet.