Tag Archive: UK


UK-EU Referendum flagsI am not an expert on the UK-EU relationship. I don’t know whether we would be better of in or out in the long run. Most of the “facts” being bandied about are estimates, misrepresentations or vague guesses which makes it hard to know what to believe. There are both valid and stupid points on both sides which makes it hard to know what’s important.

The “facts” I have settled on to guide me in the referendum are these:

  1. Out of all of our democratically elected politicians, 471 back remain, 156 are in favour of leave. That’s 75% for remain. Almost all of those on the leave side are Tories. I am not particularly pleased about how that party is running the country so why would I trust them to guide me in a big decision like this? If you take the Tories out of the mix it’s 293 to 19 or 94% in favour of remain.
  2. The political party for which I feel the closest affinity unanimously backs remain.
  3. The MP for my constituency backs leave… I didn’t vote for him. The guy I voted for backs remain.
  4. The majority of business leaders seem to back remain. Businesses… collectively, also known as “the economy” and “employers”.
  5. Unison backs remain. Politicians and businessmen could have their own interests in mind, but unions are there to represent their members. It is the only thing they are their to do, and the biggest union in the UK says its members are better off if we remain.
  6. Politics and business aside, the list of other people who back remain contains far more people I respect than the list of people who back leave. What’s more, the list of leave backers contains some people I seriously distrust or dislike.
  7. But, more importantly, facts aside, I know this:

It is too simple to say membership of the EU is the root of all evil.
Leaving the EU will not “fix” all the things that people
in this country are dissatisfied with.

Many people are going to vote leave tomorrow because they are unhappy. They are unhappy with the way things are in this country, with the way it is run and how that impacts them. People want a good stable job with decent pay, a place to live and access to healthcare and education services of good quality. Many people are struggling with one or more of those things and feel that nothing is being done about it.

Those people crave a quick fix achieved through change and politicians in this country do not offer change. To them, change is risky, when every four years they are held to account in an election. Instead they work to maintain the status quo while promising reform that is never delivered. They tinker about with small scale things but never bite the bullet and make changes which people actually experience in a positive, definable way. They are too short sighted and self serving.

For once we get the opportunity to choose and enact a big change ourselves so I understand why people are attracted to voting leave. It’s change, for better or worse, rather than faffing about not doing anything. I wish sometimes I could shake the government by the shoulders and say “do something! ANYTHING!”

Leaving the EU has all the appearance of the solution people desperately want. A substantial, decisive change which will address the problems in this country. But that is an illusion. This is not the quick fix you want it to be.

I will be voting to remain.

If you choose to vote leave, do it for the right reasons. Do it because you can identify a tangible way in which it will positively affect you. Do it because you agree with the principles. Do it because someone you respect and believe in supports it. But, don’t vote leave just because you are angry with life; it won’t make things better and it could make them worse, especially in the short term.

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I got to go out last night! I know this doesn’t sound like much, but money has been a bit tight and there have been a lot of nights in with the TV for me recently. So, what a lovely surprise it was a few days ago when my partner reminded me we had tickets for a show, which we had booked months ago and almost forgotten about.

Dave Gorman

We went to see Dave Gorman, a comedian we’ve seen before and have always found highly entertaining. If you don’t know who Dave Gorman is, he broke into mainstream entertainment with a stage show called Are you Dave Gorman? in which he travelled the globe meeting people with the same name as him. It later became a TV show.

Subsequent shows included his Googlewhack Adventure and The Important Astrology Experiment. More recently he produced a film called America Unchained where he travelled across the US seeking out local businesses to service his needs, avoiding all the chain stores and brands.

He has taken the humble slide show and developed it into a comic art form to the point that his current show is simply called Dave Gorman’s Powerpoint Presentation; he doesn’t even need to tell people the subject of his show to get bums on seats. He is supported on this tour by comedian and musician Jay Foreman.

Jay Foreman

Never heard of Jay Foreman? Neither had I. Indeed, my partner, Rich, leaned over and whispered “he’s Beardyman’s brother” in my ear, which I thought was a hilarious way for someone to be introduced (Beardyman, by the way is the UK beatboxing champion).

So, with absolutely no preconceptions, I sat and watched and listened and came away with at least two of his songs stuck in my head.

Jay’s musical comedy is all about getting you to laugh at things you shouldn’t and his set included such titles as “I’m Glad John Lennon Died”, “Little Japanese Baby” and “Chavs On The Moon.” (For any international readers, do you have chavs or are they just a British infestation?)

I highly recommend you check out some of his work on his YouTube channel.

Dave Gorman’s Powerpoint Presentation

For the main show, Dave Gorman stood in front of a huge back projected screen and basically talked about himself. Structured around his own vital statistics, he explored the relationship between his weight and getting married, his religion (or lack thereof) and his love of the internet.

The internet and more specifically Twitter formed a theme running through all of the segments and I think anyone who has ever spent an unhealthy amount of hours browsing and exploring the net would get his humour.

Two of the funniest moments in the show came from what Dave dubbed “found poems”. These he had compiled from the comments posted on the Daily Mail website in reaction to Jerry Seinfeld’s castigation of the Royal Wedding and the news that a French company will be making the flags for the London 2012 Olympics. I have to agree, reading the comments posted on newspaper sites can be an educational experience!

Although a lot of his humour is probably funnier if you are familiar with the British context, much of it is universal. For example, I’m sure asparagus does unpleasant things to people’s urine regardless of country.

Dave Gorman will be touring the country throughout the rest of October and November, so if he’s visiting a city near you I recommend you grab the opportunity to see him live. You’ll never look at Powerpoint as a boring business tool ever again.

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Check out this interview with Dave Gorman at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival earlier this year:

 

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