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A note on society since the referendum

Many, many years ago I used to blog politically. It manifested itself as an obsession with news, recycling stuff that I heard through the rumour mill (which I really shouldn’t have done), voicing an opinion on anything and everything and talking in very broad ways about things that I had yet to understand.

I let things slip away from me, pretty badly. I even neglected other parts of my life to tread down a path that I wish I hadn’t. I wrote things that I shouldn’t have and have always wish I’d redacted. I wished I’d apologised for them since and shown a modicum of tact and discretion. To this end, when I started this blog I swore it would just be about my musings, thoughts and philosophies. I would just write about whatever ideas fell out of my head from time to time, steering clear of the dark path that I once walked down and essentially share what limited wisdom I had with anyone bored enough to hear about it.

To that end I have stayed off the subject of politics. There is something that I have wanted to discuss for a while but given that it has been a political issue (or is at least perceived as a political issue) I have given it a wide berth. Brexit.

Now, let me be absolutely clear on this point. I do not want to discuss the merits, or lack thereof depending on your point of view, of leaving the European Union. It’s an argument that we’ve had in this country. The decision has been made and so I don’t think that any further discussion on it is needed or wanted. What I would like to comment on though, is what it appears to have done to society.

To give you a bit of background, I didn’t vote in the referendum, nor did I campaign for one side or another. I was, and still am, staunchly leave. I won’t go into my reasons why because, as stated previously, I don’t want to discuss politics on this blog but rather society instead.

The reason why I didn’t vote was because during the election campaign, I was living in the quaint Breton city of Rennes which is in North West France. Wednesday night in the bars and pubs around Place St Anne in Rennes was socialist night. When I was living there it was a hotbed of the far left. The then president, François Holland, was, on the advice of the EU and his economy minister (now President Emmanuel Macron),


 A “quiet pint” on Socialist night at the “Artiste Assoiffé” in Place St Anne in Rennes – May 2016

trying to bring in things like zero hours contracts, extend the working week and generally trying to severely erode workers rights, which had been hard fought for in France, in a bid to lower the astronomical unemployment rate which is roughly double that of comparable countries such as the UK and Germany.

There was a fairly uniform view on the reforms or “Loi travail” or “Loi El-Khomri” as they were called and it led to strikes, protests, all sorts of shenanigans. As a hard left socialist, I stood in solidarity where I could. The only coverage that I saw of the referendum was on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It was interesting to see the people that I’d been on anti-globalisation marches advocating remaining in the European Union and all the ex-pats living in France advocating leaving. I remember being sat in having a few beers with my flatmate one evening and I was cycling through the channels. I’d drifted onto a news channel called BFM or it may have been France24, I forget which one exactly, but they were having a debate on the referendum in the UK. Very quickly it deteriorated into a shouting match between the five people on the panel. I turned to my flatmate and said “This is exhausting. I can imagine it is what everyone in the UK has been going through these past few months.”

Shortly after the result came in on July 10th I moved back to the UK. It felt like I’d returned to a different country. I think everyone has always noticed a gradual change in direction that occurred from roughly late 2015 but because I was in France, I only saw the hugely contrasted change. When I do discuss the referendum, I usually comment on a few specific pages. One of those is Chuka Umunna, a Labour MP vociferously arguing that we stay in the single market. I got into a discussion (linked here) and things got onto the subject of the tensions between the two major camps of the referendum, leave and remain. He was a “remainer” and was saying that he’d found the leave side to be very threatening. I suppose every thought I had on it since I first observed that contrast over a year ago came out as I retorted:

See, all I’ve seen is everything the other way. People who would describe themselves as both liberal or democrats or socialists coming out with the most horrendous slanders against those who hold a different opinion to them. Anyone who does is either elderly, uneducated, was lied to and is gullible, racist, xenophobic, a bigot or (and as a true socialist this grates me) is of a different social class or is in poverty.
They always have their reasons and if they ever try to debate or reason with the those who voted remain, they get shouted down, not with facts but with one of the above slanders. They get called fascists. Wouldn’t you start to feel angry/violent is someone called you racist or thick whenever you voiced you opinion? Collectively lowering the bar for all of us when reason and fact state that you were correct? Every man has their limit and they are the very emblem of tolerance and reservation because they’ve had to put up with this in the fifteen months since the referendum and intensely in the nine months that preceeded it.
For a lot of people, it’s thoroughly frustrating that they rejected what Peter Shore referred to in a 1975 Oxford Union debate as an absurdity. It’s nonsense. It’s deluded craziness and has been shown not just to be deluded craziness but also a ticking bomb primed to go off at some point within the next ten years. When someone won’t accept the base facts of the matter and then calls you names, in essence it shows them up to be the infantile, stupid ones, but true to Dunning-Kruger effect form, people who voted remain seem to think they have some sort of intellectual or moral superiority without any evidence to back up that being the case. Those who voted remain would describe themselves as open minded, accepting and non-judgemental but when someone says they voted leave, their idea is that only staying within the EU is a good thing for us (for reasons that I’ve stopped listening to, such is how whacked out they are) and far from listening to their reasons and entertain civilised effective debate, they realise they’ve got nothing so they just resort to name calling. It’s a sort of thinking that calls itself “progressive”, “liberal” and “left wing” but in fact is anything but. It is ripped directly from George Orwell’s 1984. “Anyone who disagrees with us is a thought criminal and is therefore fair game for ridicule and derogation.” It’s a mindset that says “I’ll do anything for the working class. Anything, apart from, y’know, mix with them and find out why they voted the way they did.
And what of those who were right? They don’t want to call remoaners stupid but merely to try and get through to them, to show them what we see, that the EU are not your friends, they weren’t looking out for you when they laughed David Cameron’s miniscule promises out of the room which caused this in the first place, they weren’t looking out for YOU when the campaign was going on and they offered nothing but vitriol and disgust at the notion that we would make our own choices and they’re not looking out for YOU now. It’s in a forlorn effort to try and take away the pain and discomfort that you feel as if to say “Don’t worry, we headed for a better place, just trust us on this one. It adds up for us. Try and see that this is what’s best.” but like a rejected, sociopathic, narcissistic spurned ex-girlfriend who has just realised that her ex-partner is now wise to her tricks, there go to place isn’t constructive rationale but rather aggressive contempt.
The reason I think detainment or detention is perhaps the only option and definitely a purge of some sort should happen is because there are people who are intent on spoiling this when they have no reason to. They haven’t changed their views and it’s almost as if they’re programmed in some way to disregard everything to achieve their objective of us staying in the EU or spoiling the country if we don’t. I think treason and sabotage are often thought of in quite antiquated ways. We tend to associate them with capital punishment but while they’re still criminal offences, they no longer carry that penalty. I would consider trying to subvert and insurrect what is now quite clearly the democratically expressed will of an overwhelming majority of the British public in favour of a foreign power, well, I don’t see that as anything but treason. Lock them up and shut them up to save our democratic system itself. The rights of the many are more important than those who try to redact their rights by choice. No one forces remoaners to act that way. They do so through choice. They don’t need to. They choose to. The autistic army would retreat off social media and finally leavers can get on with doing what they intended to do when they put that “x” in that box, making this country a better place.
Now I think if we look at the level of discourse we can see that it has changed from mild mannered discussions to something altogether more sinister and I suppose my question would be, when did this happen? When did it take place? What marked polarity or event happened in our society to polarise people in such a way and is there really any way to bring them back together?

I have no conclusions on this but it has certainly given me something to think about.


What I think causes climate change…

​In response to a post on the Reality Party’s Facebook page, I wrote a comment that was too long to post so I ported it into my blog instead:-

Weather can be controlled by the government. Again, action against climate change is mainly sponsored by the Rothschilds. I do believe the climate of the world is changing and I believe CO2 plays a part but that overlooks the real cause. The real cause is energy usage. The population density of Earth is about 14 people/km2 so imagine that. A square 1000m x 1000m with fourteen people living in it. The presence of humans already messes with nature’s cycles. Say they all have houses with working toilets. The nitrogen that their waste would ordinarily be putting into the soil doesn’t exist so the Nitrogen cycle is already out of sync. They all need to eat so let’s say they all plant vegetables on their little plot. The water the humans and plants absorb will be knock the Hydrogen cycle out of sync. Say they all need to heat their houses at night using carbon based fuels (wood, coal, natural gas, oil, what have you) and that is obviously going to knock the carbon cycle out of sync, especially if there aren’t any trees to soak it up. This is where the energy consumption comes into it. All of them having their heating on at the same time will raise the ambient night temperature of the by about two or three degrees. 14 fires burning, that instantly changes the climate. 
So we can see how it changes the climate in that way. Let’s factor in cities, cars, factories, and so on. Let’s look at Greater Manchester. Its population density is 2,100/km2. That’s about a person every 5 square metres. Evenly spaced, everyone would be just over two metres apart. They all need a fire at night so 2.7million fires. I’m guessing, aside from being suffocating, that would raise the temperature of Manchester exponentially. Obviously nothing like that is happening because we’re clever enough that several people can be around one fire. Think about it though. Cars. Essentially, a portable fire and how many of them are on Manchester’s Streets at any given time? Light bulbs, again, miniature fires. Anything with electricity running through it will generate heat. The tram might not produce fumes but I’d wager it produces a lot of heat. I like trams and think they’d solve a lot of the world’s problems, but you can see what I’m getting at. So what happens in winter. Snow doesn’t settle in Manchester, certainly not in the city centre. It used to. Not any more. It used to be down for six weeks (ask anyone of the generation that voted “leave”, they’ll tell you it was down for weeks back in the day) (side note: this isn’t the only thing they know about, they’re actually really clever and have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw on when asked for their opinion) but Manchester simply doesn’t freeze in winter any more. Years ago that bus wasn’t driving down the road warming it up. Again, I like buses. They represent Marxist social egalitarianism at its absolute best. I’m just pointing out that it’s more heat. 
So when the BBC are doing their weather forecast they stress that the difference in temperature between the city and the country is about 5℃. Multiply that across the world. That’s quite a temperature difference.
Manchester, like every city of its size, has little/no nature to speak of. I’m sure there are a lot of parks, but I happen to know the lack of them in Manchester is something that the council is “on”, but even if there were huge parks, Manchester doesn’t have enough trees to soak up the Carbon, so it waits in the atmosphere to be processed. This messes with the Carbon cycle. For those of you who have forgotten GCSE biology/chemistry, Google it. Tracking aside, it has no natural carbon reserves and even if it, at the rate  Manchester uses it, it wouldn’t be renewable. The Carbon cycle would effectively stop changing our atmospheric make up and thus our climate.
Save a few people, most people in Manchester will use a toilet to defecate in. See this is how the soil gets its nitrogen to help plants grow. The fact that we don’t defecate outdoors removes that nitrogen from the cycle, preventing things from growing, sterilizing and reducing the fertility of the soil and adversely effecting the climate.
Then you have 2.7 million people in Manchester. Each one of those 2.7 million people has 32 trillion cells in their body and every single one of those cells needs water to function. The average human needs to drink two litres of water per day to function. Manchester, therefore requires 5.4 million litres, roughly 10 million pints, to function each day. That doesn’t take into account showering, or the water that goes into growing the plants or raising the animals that you need to eat three times a day, or the water that one would use to flush the Nitrogen out of its natural cycle. Where does all that water come from? Some of it will come from rain, some from reservoirs, some from rivers but to take that water out of the system halts the Hydrogen cycle. Ever wonder why the poles are melting but sea levels don’t seem to be getting any higher? It’s because that water is taken as soon as it is released. So when it restarts we see deluges. That never happened when I was a kid. It falls on the peaks and the lakes causing huge floods. This stopping and starting and interrupting the cycle is causing us to go from hosepipe bans to record breaking floods.

So, let’s say we cut all CO2 out of our lifestyles. All power stations, cars, cookers and so on went electric and we only used renewable sources to power them. That doesn’t eliminate the problem. They are still generating heat warming not just themselves but their immediate environs to. Multiply this to a planet of 7+billion and it’s easy to see where the problem is. Do I think CO2 is a problem? Yes. A big one, but no more of a problem than going to the toilet or even drinking a glass of water. While CO2 is the signature of the problem, the actual problem is the heat produced and that, without speculating why our polar friend there is skinny, is, in my opinion the real source of climate change. Getting rid of CO2 won’t change that and messing with Earth’s natural cycles certainly doesn’t help it.

So what really happens when you drink milk and orange juice at the same time?

This morning I woke up with hangover.

I’m not the sharpest of characters and can be quite dumb at times. I usually shoot a litre of orange juice to be a hangover, but today, I felt like drinking milk. I know this sounds stupid but I genuinely thought chasing a pint of milk with a pint of orange juice would kick it. Now, in fact, thirty seconds after I realised how stupid I’d been.

At the time, it seemed like a completely reasonable thing to do. Obviously now, I realise it was stupid.

What to do

I googled what to do in such a situation and there is no answer other than orange juice curdles milk.


The offending article.

The problem is that there are a wide variety of opinions of what is going to happen and what to do ranging from a slow and painful death due to gas build up or nothing at all. I went to seek medical attention.

I can tell you exactly what will happen and what to do because I was stupid enough to do it myself. Take heed.

What will happen is you will get a really bad stomach ache. This is because the orange juice curdles the milk when it is in the stomach. A terrible stomach ache. You will pass loose, pale stools and feel waves of nausea like you have never felt before. You will feel it pass through you, terribly. It comes out thoroughly acidic and it hurts, but all of this pain only lasts about four to six hours and afterwards everything is ok again.

You don’t need to see a Doctor but you need to rest. Try and drink plenty of water. Stick to toast/bread after that until things become better. There should be no lasting effects.

If you Google milk and orange juice, don’t trust what you see. You can trust me because I did the genius thing of actually doing this. Don’t do it, but if you do, don’t worry. It’ll be a rollercoaster ride but it is just temporary. There’s no need to panic, by I suppose the best thing I could advise you to do is not to be as stupid as I was making the mistake in the first place


What women want…

Sigmund Freud spent his entire life asking one question: What do women want? The father of psychoanalysis drew his last breath frustrated and dissatisfied that throughout his plethora of respected, and at times, questionable, work, he was never able to answer that one question.

Fast forward one hundred years, and I finally have an answer to that question, completely by accident.

It was my thirtieth birthday two weeks ago and one of my best friends is Hungarian. Her birthday is the day after mine and tradition dictates that we have a joint birthday party. This year a variety of girls from the Hungarian community attended and I took a shine to one of them. I like Hungarians.

The Hungarian language is so precise, so complicated and so esoteric that it leaves no room whatsoever for subtext, insinuation or saying anything other than exactly what is meant. It transfers into a mind set, and a pleasing one for someone who is honest like me. When it comes to Hungarians, if you ask a question, you will get a direct and honest answer.

The girl who attended, who I shared a “moment” with, and who I have seen occasionally since, celebrates her birthday a week after mine. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She didn’t say anything. I then asked her “What do women want?” and I got an answer.

Unicorns. She wanted a unicorn. It would seem the answer to the question “What do women want?” is a unicorn. All women, no matter who they are, where they are from or what their goals in life are, want a unicorn. Naturally, women, more often than not being rational and realistic creatures, prioritise other things above their pursuit of unicorns, but ultimately, and at an elementary or primal level, the one thing that all women want is a unicorn.

This is the actual answer. Of course though, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, unicorns are legendary. This means that they either don’t exist, or, if they do (or more interestingly, ever have) are exceedingly or unobtainably rare. This obviously leaves men in the situation that they know what women want, they just aren’t able to give it to them, ever. This obviously landed me in a predicament. Given that the one thing she, or indeed any woman, ever wants, is so unobtainable so as to be permanently out of mine or any mans grasp, how then, do I  make her happy?

I bought her roses, and flowers in a gorgeous bouquet. I then took her for a glass of wine in a posh restaurant, so that we could talk intimately. I then took her to a posh upmarket bar and she had an Espresso Martini. It made her happy. You can never go wrong with flowers and cocktails. She was happy. Not unicorn happy, but, y’know, happy.


“Je parle Français/Ich spreche Deutsch/Μιλάω Ελληνικά” – Enhancing a visitor experience by drawing on the language skills of your natives

A constant theme in Plymouth this summer has been that I have seen visitors come from across Europe, with many of them struggling to find their way around. Certain people, particularly the French, don’t ask for directions or help from English people as they wouldn’t want to “give the game away” I.e. that they are foreign, and similarly adhere to the stereotype that English people only speak English. The same is true of Spanish or Italian people.

One thing I observed was that, for a long time, the second language of Plymouth was French. There are also a lot of Kurdish and Greek speakers. Now I believe the second language is, as with most British cities, Polish.

In Plymouth there are several Spanish, French and German speakers. With all of these language skills, why is this a resource that we aren’t tapping? How could we tap this resource?

When I moved to Kortrijk (or Courtrai in French), I didn’t speak Flemish. It was naive of me not to clock that Northern Belgium almost exclusively speaks Dutch and the natives deliberately don’t speak French. It was difficult at first. I used to say in Dutch that I don’t speak Dutch and I muddled along. Then certain people like the tobacconist spoke to me in French, and the baker spoke to me in English and everybody in the post office knew that I spoke French so that was how it worked until my Dutch picked up. As you can probably understand, it was frustrating at times.


It became really frustrating. I always used to think how helpful it would be if I knew what language to address people in before I started speaking to them. I’m not psychic. I’d often say how I wished everyone in the town would wear a badge to let me know what language they spoke.


That sounds a little pie in the sky but if people in Plymouth wore badges to let tourists know that they spoke a certain language, how useful would that be? It would mean tourists would feel secure in the knowledge that someone in the immediate area spoke their language. They would also know that they could approach them to speak French, or German, or Polish, Kurdish, Greek, whatever. How much of a draw would that be to international tourists when language is a barrier that is completely removed?

How would it work? Why would anyone want to be a badge wearer? Again, one word, incentives.

Someone goes to the tourist office and to get their badge they have to answer ten questions relating to the language they choose, say for instance how to give directions in German, a little like the taxi driver knowledge test. For this, they get a book of vouchers per language. These are redeemable in local independent businesses and their badge must be worn while they’re redeeming it. 

It’ll be a massive selling point for tourists.

What is the best way to deal with trolls? Get other people to troll them.

Yesterday I said some pretty offensive things to try and prove a point about trolling. It didn’t work and I just ended up looking very silly and hurting people. I apologised to those I said bad remarks to, left it at that and moved on.

There was, however, one thing I’ve noticed over the last week with what has been said.

It all started when I sent a tweet to Stella Creasy. The tweet was saying how much I disapprove of how she goes about dealing with trolls. I’ve told her time and again to old adage of “Don’t feed the troll” but she has never listened to me. I sent a tweet saying that her constant feeding of trolls is terrible and has caused me to unfollow her.

Then she retweeted me. Suddenly I started getting messages, and quite offensive ones, from followers of Stella Creasy. Do you see what she did there? She retweeted me when I didn’t agree with her, and in doing so instigated trolling. Her way of dealing with “trolls” was to retweet them, so that her followers would “troll” them.

This seems to be a common thing among celebrities, Tom Daley did the same last year.

Then we come on to last night.

A girl, who I’ve never met before, as a result of a retweet of a tweet that I sent to Caroline Criado-Perez, told me, without provocation, to “f**k off” and endorsed her friend telling me to “f**k off”. Ms Criado-Perez may or may not have known that her retweeting may have drawn attacks from her followers to me. If she didn’t know it shows carelessness, if she did know and she did it to get others to attack me, then she is worse than the trolls that she so vehemently objects to.

Nonetheless, I took up the issue with the girl. She stated that because it was perfectly fine for her to tell me to “f**k off” because it wasn’t a threat. I then thought, “Well, if it’s fine to say horrible things to people provided it’s not threatening, a psychologist ex-girlfriend told me how to drive a girl mad, why don’t I just do that?” and I then said some really vile things, at the end of which I was going to point out that, threatening or not, trolling is bad, whether that’s telling someone to f**k off or challenging their appearance and integrity.

Part way through that though, Louise Mensch systematically went through my Twitter feed and retweeted everything that would draw derision from a wider audience in an effort to whip up a “Twitter Lynch Mob” in which various people would troll me for the comments that I made, with not one single one of them picking up on the irony of what was happening.

What Louise Mensch did therefore was indirect trolling, instigating others to attack me by retweeting my tweets (most, if not all of which, didn’t contain profanities) to a hostile audience (her followers) knowing full well what their response would be. It’s indirect trolling. Look at her twitter feed on August 4th at about 9pm.

If it was one or two tweets, that I could say that she may or may not have realised what she was doing, but the amount of retweets and how extensively she had to look for things that I’d said meant that she was trying to fire up people, she was trying to get people to say offensive things to me. There is a cruelty, a vileness to that conduct that signals a malicious type of character, not wanting to bully someone but putting them in a position where others may want to bully them. I’m not going to start saying things about, or to, Louise Mensch. The reason for this is because the best thing to do with bullies is block them and move on.

I hope you hold this in mind whenever someone retweets a troll asking yourself, why did they retweet that person? Then, you may be able to draw more from the fact that the tweet was retweeted, rather than the tweet itself.

…and whatever you do, don’t feed the troll. 


So, I’m watching television when… and then someone uses the hashtag just because it’s trending…

One of the things I like to do, particularly when I’m home alone is to tweet about what I’m watching and then to see what other people have tweeted.

One thing that annoys me is when someone says something memorable and then someone feels the need to tweet what they’ve just heard, word for word.


Surely if someone was watching it, they’ve already heard the quote and if they haven’t watched it, then the tweet carries no relevance at all. Why can’t people be original?

Then things start trending on Twitter globally. Hashtags relating to British television are usually a worldwide top trend so people decide to add the hashtag to try and get more followers. I first noticed this when the film “10 things I hate about you” was on channel four. All of a sudden, Americans think it’s a hashtag game so they start tweeting things they hate about others in a vain pathetic attempt to try and court more followers. The same thing ruins my observance of
what people say about the show “pointless”, among other shows.

I’ll leave it at that. Rant over, until I notice someone doing it.