Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The Early Signs of Fascim - A List

This list comes from a poster from the Holocaust Museum, titled "The Early Signs of Fascism":

  • Powerful and continuing nationalism
  • Disdain for human rights
  • Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
  • Supremacy of the military
  • Rampant sexism
  • Controlled mass media
  • Obsession with national security
  • Religion and government intertwined
  • Corporate power protected
  • Labor [sic] power suppressed
  • Disdain for intellectuals & the arts
  • Obsession with crime & punishment
  • Rampant cronyism & corruption
  • Fraudulent elections

Does that remind you of anyone? .......

Have a good day, and don't have nightmares!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Here's a joke about Corbyn

One day, Corbyn decides he has had enough of people decrying his capabilities, so he decides to demonstrate his powers to the world.

He organises a press conference, and in front of everyone, gets to the podium, clears his throat and announces that the next day, he will walk on water, across the Thames.

The media goes nuts, the Mail and the Express call him blasphemous, the Sun would too, only they don't know how to spell it so instead they just scoff at him, the Guardian says the LibDems would do it better given the chance, the Guardian thinks that Blair should be the one to do it, the Tories openly sneer but are secretly worried. Corbyn ignores them all, and just repeats that yes, he will indeed walk on water.

The next day, Corbyn arrives by the Thames, goes down to water level, removes his shoes, rolls his socks inside the shoes, rolls up his trouser legs, steps forward to the water, and calmly steps on the water, and crosses the Thames, in front of the astonished crowds and the rest of the world.

The next day, the Daily Mail's front page screams: "EXCLUSIVE!!! Corbyn can't even swim!!!"

Losing our Humanity

Losing our humanity for the sake of a few pounds.
This is 2017, this isn't the way it was supposed to go.
The future, age of enlightenment, lives improved, maybe even global peace.
That was what I dreamt of as a child.

But today, in 2017 Britain, things have suddenly got much darker.

Imagine this: If you were raped and got pregnant as a result, and this would be your 3rd child, as of today, you will have to prove you were raped, you will have to fill in forms detailing the rape, then an assessor will decide whether you were in fact raped or not. If you didn't want your child to know he was the result of rape, tough, he will find out soon enough; other parents will find out; his classmates will find out. What should have been the most strictly private matter of all will be scrutinised by officialdom. If you were trying to get over the trauma of being raped, it's not going to happen: submit yourself to the administrative humiliation, or forsake the financial assistance you need to bring up that child.

Of all the cuts which are going to hammer the most vulnerable today, and the gods know that there are many, and they are savage ones, of all the despicable things this cruel government are imposing on us from today, from the 50p a week Housing Benefit to the -90% cut in bereavement benefits, but the most savage, the most despicable, has to be the one where a woman must prove she was raped in order to provide for the child who was the product of that rape.

Losing our humanity for the sake of a few pounds.

Saturday, 4 March 2017


From the day it was born, the NHS has been a thorn in the Tory side. The very notion that there is this free, accessible to all, equalitarian, based on need rather than money or status, system is anathema to them.

They never voted for it, they never accepted it, and have sought to destroy it ever since its inception.

At last, they are succeeding. It is no coincidence that this should happen at the same time as the rise of the extreme right, the hardening towards foreigners, poor, disabled, etc. They would have dismantled it for free, they so hated it, but it turned there was a lot of money to be made out of the old lady, so they sold her bit by bit.

And we let them. We were complacent, we forgot what a truly beautiful institution the NHS was, we bitched about waiting times and bad food, we made endless movies poking fun at hospitals and nurses and its sometimes creaky bureaucracy. But we forgot what an amazing thing it is to be able to have free medical care at all times. We took it for granted. And we, and our descendants, will suffer for generations because of their purulent hatred and our own carelessness.

Monday, 23 January 2017

“That doesn’t affect YOU, you have been here for years!”

Hey, followers (if any), long time no see! Well, here I am again...

This is written for people I speak to, who seem to be unaware of how this Brexit bullsh*t is affecting me personally, not just as a vague concept of "getting our country back" and "saying no to Brussels" and other hollow sentences. This is where that sh*t gets REAL.

When I first arrived here in 1985, I still needed to register with the Home Office, which I did, and got my temporary residency permit. Then, in the next 18 months or so, the rules changed, and I no longer needed to apply for permanent residency, as an EU citizen, I was automatically granted permanent residency, but, here's the kicker, the Home Office didn't bother sending out permanent permits, because it was no longer necessary to have one. With me so far?

I have toyed with the idea of getting British nationality over the years, sure, but, well, it was never urgent, it was expensive, and I always had other things more important to do, and after all, what did it matter? I married my British love, our kids were British, we have a mortgage and one day, our house will be ours outright, and I have never been one to bother with nationalism, and flags, so what if I kept my French passport rather than getting a British one, it was not important.

Fast forward to, well, now. Post Brexit, not being allowed to have a say in the matter despite living here for over 30 years galled me hugely, and spurred me into action, and I decided to go for it, apply for British citizenship. It shouldn't be a big deal, right?

Ah ah ah (hollow laugh). Turns out that, behind the scenes, over the last few years, the goalposts have been moved.

For starters, since 2015, in order to gain citizenship, you MUST have permanent residency; despite the fact that you haven't needed it since 1986 or so. They quietly reinstated those rules for EU citizens, but didn't tell us.

Ok, so I'll apply for permanent residency, shouldn't be a big deal, right? I mean, I have been here over 30 years, paying taxes, National Insurance, I have bank accounts, a mortgage, a permanent address, kids, a British husband etc...

Ah. Well, the forms are 85 pages long. 85 pages long. Question after question after question, asking you to list every single time you have been in and out of the country (WHY?), where you've been, for how long... It wants bank statements, it wants to know every bit of your life detailed since you've been here. P60, P45, Piss Off... How have you been supporting yourself? Can you support yourself?

And, here's the absolute kicker of them all: Since 2005, yes, you read that right, 2005, every EU citizen resident in my kind of situation* in the UK MUST have comprehensive private health insurance. Say what, I hear you say? Yep, that's right. First I've heard about it. I also fail to understand how and why, when the whole point of reciprocal agreements is that I can use the local health services, and what's more, I have done so since 1985 without any issues.

I can also tell you that no-one, but absolutely no-one in my situation, EU residents in the UK, knew about it either. No-one was ever told. Not those who, like me, have been here before the requirement came in in 2005, no-one who settled in the UK after 2005. It is buried somewhere in the paperwork, and doesn't get pointed out or stated at any point.

And guess what, apparently, if you haven't fulfilled this criteria you weren't aware of, you cannot get permanent residency, and if you can't get permanent residency, you can't get British nationality. Ta-DA!

So there you go. As we speak, people like me are being turned away, are being refused what they thought would be a fairly easy piece of paper to obtain, for failing to have something they didn't know they were supposed to have, and which of course cannot be got retroactively. What's more, the same people, people like me, who never questioned their right to be here, are being told they need to make arrangements to leave the country, I kid you not.

There are 3 millions of us. 3 MILLION EU citizens who have settled in the UK, for work, for love, for whatever reason, and who suddenly do not know what the future holds for them. Let me tell you that it is terrifying.

*My kind of situation: Not having 5 years of *continual* employment, carers, stay at home parents, sick or disabled people, etc, etc. Please note that even if you have a British partner who has been earning enough to support the family, it does not count.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Burkini: the world upside-down (Translation)

This is the translation of the article which appeared here in French:


Because I wanted English speakers to be able to read it too. All credit goes to the author of the article, of course.


The debate on the burkini is truly surreal. Take Agnes Cruda from "La Presse".

"The burkini doesn't imprison Muslim women, it frees them" she wrote a few days ago.


Because if the burkini didn't exist, Muslim women wouldn't be able to go to the beach or the swimming-pool.

Therefore, hurray for the burkini!


It is as if I congratulated the 1960s white supremacists to have created the "coloured seats only" at the back of buses.

"Wow, it's so cool to allow Blacks to travel at the back of buses. This way, they can travel, go to work, instead of staying at home... Really, segregation in buses does not imprison the Blacks, on the contrary: It frees them!"


Can you imagine the reactions if a journalist dared to write such things about the law which forbade Blacks to sit in the front of buses?

She would be called an idiot and a racist! But, in the case of the burkini, there seems to be no problem in saying that kind of things.

The burkini, liberating outfit...

How, by what twisted logic can one reach such an absurd conclusion?

Some ultra-misogynistic religious men force women to cover from head to toes because their body is dirty and this liberating?

The Western world really has been dropped on its head!

Soon, if it carries on, we will congratulate Islamists who whip their victims because that's less serious than chopping their heads off.

"Wow, the whip, that's progress! Say what you like, it's more humane than beheading, no? Really, ISIS is heading in the right direction..."


This is the point we've reached.

Instead of destroying a backwards ideology which smothers women, lefties and feminists praise the virtues of the veil and the burkini!

It's a good thing Simone de Beauvoir is not alive any more, this debate would kill her.

The lefties and feminists would never ever hold this type of discourse if it were Catholic extremists who wanted to force women to cover up before bathing.

These people would be down in the streets and would condemn the Pope's misogyny.

But, because it's an "exotic" and "Eastern" religion which forces 1/2 of humanity to wear a burkini on a beach, it's cool and "liberating".

There was a time where the feminist movement used to defend women. Nowadays, it defends an ideology.

That's not the same thing at all.


Its hatred of the Western world is blinding the left.

Feminists should be condemning with one united voice Islamist misogyny. Instead, they waste time and energy justifying the unjustifiable, under the pretext that the Eastern misogyny (which is "cultural") is more acceptable than Western misogyny (which is "political").

Today, we're being told that the burkini liberates.

What will we be told tomorrow?

That the ban on driving for Saudi women protects them from car accidents?

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Loneliness of the Long-Suffering Autism Parent

It's half-term, but I'm up.

I'm up because T. has an interview and assessment at our local college today.

I'm up, but he isn't.

Once again, his anxieties got the better of him and he's in hiding under his multiple blankets and quilts, the portable air-con machine blowing and buzzing away to create the droning sounds he needs to soothe him.

Once again, my hopes are shattered that he would actually attempt this; but not that shattered, let's face it, I was expecting it. I was hoping to be wrong, I was hoping I was under-estimating him, I was hoping that all the professionals telling me he would be fine with my support were right this time.

But no, as per usual, it turns out that I am yet again the only expert who got it right, no, I wasn't being melodramatic, or over-protective, or dismissive of his abilities. Nope, I had him pegged just right. I knew this would prove too much of an obstacle, I knew this would happen, I knew that I would be left feeling yet again inadequate, unable to get my child to accomplish one of the simplest steps of the day: get out of bed.

Right now, as I can hear the low purring of the machine in the bedroom above my head, I am despondent, but numb to yet again another disappointment. To be honest, I am at the point where I just want to shrug and give up... except I can't, can I? If I give up, then what? What of the future? What will he do? What will become of him?

And so, the cycle continues; I have phoned the college to make his excuses, I am now going to e-mail his school and the Local Authority to let them know that, yet again, they have failed my son in their duty to support him, and I will try very hard not to say: "I told you this was going to happen!" even though I feel that they set him up to fail. Again. And so, we will start the dance again after 1/2 term.

Regrets will be expressed that he couldn't overcome his anxieties, that he isn't seizing the opportunities offered to him, and I will yet again think: But this isn't news! He didn't turn up for his English GCSE last year, because of his anxiety getting the better of him, what made you think that just letting him loose with only mum's support to go to college, a completely unknown quantity, was going to happen? All his life, anxiety has paralysed him from doing things, even things he does want to do, what on Earth made you think this time was going to be different? And more importantly, what are you going to do about it? Because I am out of ideas here.

It feels like a giant game of Jenga here, where they are removing the struts of effective support for my boy, one after the other, and I seem to be the only one to realise that once they remove one piece too many, too early, this human being precariously perched at the top will be left without support whatsoever, long before he is actually stable enough to hold on.

And here I am, writing this in a blog, because those who have the tools to give the support don't seem to understand, whilst those who do understand don't have the tools to give the support, so I am left, yet again alone, to worry about the future...