In Defence of Globalisation

In Defence of Globalisation

If a week is a long time in politics, two weeks has to be an era. The seven stages of grief have been very publicly demonstrated for the twitching corpse of Britain’s EU membership, from denial (No! We can have another referendum!) through anger (All those geriatric bastards who voted Leave don’t deserve a vote, they’ll die soon!), bargaining (Scotland can stay in the EU, right? Please?), and finally, acceptance. Which I guess is Lexit, or left wing exit, a horrible moniker for an equally self-indulgent worldview.

In amongst all this, verdicts have been delivered on why the result came in the way it did. Demographic divides among voters have been identified, pitting the old against the young, the rich against the poor, North against South, metropolitan elites against ordinary rural working folk, contemptuous snobs against uneducated peasants, marmite lovers against marmite haters, or whatever else.

Some idiots (not naming names) have pointed the finger for these splits at globalisation, or at least the effects thereof. Britain has effectively voted for isolationism and retrenchment, for withdrawing from the global project in favour of a mythical island solitude where honest folk made ships and cars, beer was cheap, watery and terrible, food was tasteless and boiled, and everybody was white.

It’s not strictly speaking wrong to pin this yearning for things as they used to be on globalisation, in a very loose macro sense. Globalisation is such a wide and varied process of change that defining it is almost impossible. That said, some aspects of globalisation as “the closer integration of the countries and peoples of the world which has been brought about by the enormous reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and the breaking down of artificial barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital, knowledge and, to a lesser extent, people across borders” definitely had an impact on the Brexit vote.

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Is Tony Blair a War Criminal?

Is Tony Blair a War Criminal?

Words are important. Words are more than just a hammer to nail home a message. They have connotations, associations, subtleties. The importance of word choice is clear to anyone who’s ever read anything. Glittering and glistening might, on a very functional level, have the same meaning, but their usage and connotations differ dramatically.

That’s why messaging in media is incredibly important. It’s why if we’re constantly told migration is a problem, people think it’s a problem. It’s why David Cameron shouldn’t be surprised that his describing thousands of people fleeing conflict as a ‘swarm’ has inculcated a simmering resentment towards ‘others’ in British society, leading to the Pyrrhic triumph of populist lies.

With the Chilcot Inquiry set to release its report on Wednesday and taking what might be said to be a spiteful attitude to the myriad issues surrounding the Iraq War (You wanted a report? Well, have all the reports! Have two and a half million words worth of report! Have three times the length of the bible! Happy now, you demanding bastards?) one notable area it won’t report on is the legality of the war, or indeed on any potential criminal responsibility of the main players.

And the reason I bring this up in relation to words and their import is that the terms ‘Tony Blair’ and ‘war criminal’ have been bandied about in the same sentence many times by many people over the last decade, without people having a full justification for doing so or indeed understanding what either of those terms mean.

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Brexit and Scapegoats

Brexit and Scapegoats

Making grand, sweeping pronouncements on the future of anything, let alone what’s going to happen to an entire country undergoing an unprecedented constitutional shift, is a mug’s game. There are too many unknowns, too many variables. Nobody knows how events will shake out, mere hours after a slim majority of Britons voted to leave the European Union. Anyone who says otherwise is at best a hopeless delusionist.

That said, my posting history suggests I am in fact a fatally misinformed drinking receptacle. So, in short, we’re all boned.

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In The Long Grass

In The Long Grass

“Ugh, I think my feet are wet.”

Politics is all glamour and suits and expenses scandals, isn’t it? Walking and talking, power-brokers in dapper tailoring divvying up the world as they laugh and drink bottles of expensive brown liquor. Heady, exhilirating, the cut and thrust of debate and little sleep and the thrilling sensation of everything poised at your fingertips. Inevitably, lots of tortured sex masking Machiavellian power games.

And for all I know, that might have all been going on in the rival party stall set up about 50 metres from us. That said, it was probably a bit cold for bondage. I’d imagine whips tend to sting a lot more in the driving rain.

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Generic Old White Man Pontificates

Generic Old White Man Pontificates

Unrelated news event illustrates why Britain would be better off inside/outside the EU.

GLASGOW – The news that New Zealand has voted to keep its current flag exemplifies why Britain should or shouldn’t vote to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum, an indistinguishably bland, upper class member of either the Leave or Remain campaigns asserted yesterday.

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Securitisation Has Failed

Securitisation Has Failed

It’s somehow fitting that the four month long search for one of the most wanted men in Europe, a desperate search for a terrorist by the combined might of the security forces of half a continent, had its big break because of takeaway pizza.

Salah Abdeslam, one of the last remaining suspects from the ISIS affiliated terrorist attacks in Paris last November was assumed by security forces to have disappeared to ISIS controlled territory in Syria. Instead, he was hiding in the neighbourhood in Brussels he grew up and spent most of his life in, mere metres from his former home.

The chance discovery of a fingerprint on a glass in a raid earlier in the week led to police monitoring his old stamping grounds in the district of Molenbeek. It was then that they began to suspect that one house was harbouring more people than it appeared. In a farcical turn, when the inhabitants of the house ordered what seemed like far more pizza than they could ever eat, the police swooped.

And then, not even a week later, the world awoke to the aftermath of yet another terrorist attack. This joined the litany of terrorist attacks across the world over the past twelve months, the most prominent of which in the Western media was Paris, but which encompasses multiple attacks in Turkey, in Istanbul and Ankara, as well as dozens of others.

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