Posted in brexit, Current Affairs

I want my ‘Great’ Britain back

I’m still angry. And no, I’m not just going to keep quiet and sit quietly in the corner like a ‘good loser’.

Its been a few days now since the results of Brexit. And I’m still angry. I want the Britain back which we had at this time last week. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But at least it was a place where it wasn’t ok for children to be told they were going to be ‘sent home’ by other children at school or for people to be shouted at in the street that they weren’t welcome here. Or where my neighbour didn’t think it was ok to stand outside his house on the street and tell the world in a loud voice that he had voted ‘Leave’ because there were too many mosques. And because he’s not allowed to fly his country’s flag or something equally nonsensical.

I’m not even joking. How many people from the EU did he actually think were coming over here and building mosques? At a push, Catholic churches maybe but mosques? Really? I’m not kidding myself that he didn’t have these views before the Leave vote won but would he have stood out on the street announcing it to the world before? I doubt it.

These views aren’t new and they are sadly on the rise all over Europe and further afield. Just look at America. But what the ‘Leave’ victory has done (or rather the campaign which helped create that victory) is to legitimise these views and made people think its ok to voice them and direct them at whoever it might be that they think should be sent home.

And who exactly should be sent home anyway? EU nationals of course, then I guess anyone who’s skin is a darker shade than yours (irrespective of whether they were born here or not). Then why stop there? How about anyone who isn’t pure white Anglo Saxon. I have family ties to the North East so surely there must be some Viking blood in there. Want to send me back to Norway or Iceland? Please do, I’m already packing. When do I leave?

And that is the point. Once its started, where does it end? Hitler started with Jews then the Communists, those with disabilities. His dream of a pure Aryan race presumably didn’t include those with dark hair so maybe they would have been next had he been able to get that far.

And what happens when all of those people who voted ‘Leave’ realise that actually nobody is going to be sent home? I don’t mean everyone who voted ‘Leave’, like I’ve said before there are plenty of people had legitimate and honorable reasons for voting that way. I’m talking about what I believe to be the majority of people who voted only on the immigration issue. I’m talking those people in Newcastle with their ‘Go Home’ banners or my neighbour with his thing about mosques and flags. What happens when they realise that actually nobody is going to be sent anywhere and they’ve been lied to by Boris, Nigel and their gang? Riots? An increase in racial violence? Civil war?

Ok, maybe not civil war. But that’s what really gets me angry about this whole thing. Lets say for a minute that there was a civil war in this country. The infrastructure has collapsed, there’s no food or power or any of those things we take for granted. You’re in actual fear for your life and the lives of your children. You have a chance to get out and try to make a safer life for your family, even if it means using all of your savings and taking a potentially dangerous trip. It is an actual choice of life or death. You’d do it wouldn’t you? You’d try to get to France or Poland or Romania wouldn’t you, if it was a chance of safety and a better life for your family. Well isn’t that just what the refugees from Syria are doing?

Or what if you could go to work in another country like say, Slovakia, and earn 4 times more that you could in this country. You could earn more than enough for yourself, even doing a job which you are way over-qualified for, and have plenty left over to support your family and extended family. You’d be crazy not to consider it, right? This is why a lot of migrants from the poorer EU countries are here. Not to claim our benefits, take our doctors appointments. Or steal our jobs. Because guess what, a lot of them are doing the jobs that the good people of this country turn their noses up at.

Yes, of course there are issues in some areas of the country due to immigrants, a particular area of Sheffield springs to mind which is very troubled. But then there are areas and estates all over the country which have similar troubles caused by the natives. In every race and nationality there are good and bad. In every race and nationality,there are people who want to cheat the system, there are drug dealers and violent criminals. People who abuse the health service by going out and drinking 27 bottles of the latest alcoholic drink of choice and requiring a stomach pump every other weekend. Just because the latest crime has been committed by a white British male, it doesn’t mean we then assume all white British males are the same. So why do we do it with all those perceived to be outsiders?

So no, I won’t keep quiet and I won’t just accept defeat like a ‘good loser’. I’m angry at what the ‘Leave’ campaign has awakened in a large percentage of the population and I’m angry at where it will all end up. I’m angry that the vote has divided families and I’m angry that good hardworking people no longer feel welcome or safe here. I’m angry that children are telling other children they’re going to be sent home and I’m angry that the Polish Embassy has had to make a statement due to the upsurge in hate crimes towards its citizens living here. I’m angry that our clown of a Prime Minister looks set to be replaced by an actual clown and I’m angry that the opposition MPs have used a time of extreme confusion and unrest to try unseat the leader of the Party who was unanimously voted in by the party members.

I’m angry but most of all I’m just terribly, terribly sad.




Posted in brexit, Current Affairs

We really haven’t learned our lesson have we?

I started to write this post yesterday. I got half way through and decided to wait until today when I was a bit calmer. Which hasn’t happened.

Before I start, I want to make clear that I totally get that some people had perfectly legitimate reasons for their vote to leave the EU. And that it was everyone’s right to vote leave if they wanted to. That’s the whole point of a referendum. I can think of at least one person I know whose true ‘left’ principles meant they decided on a ‘leave’ vote as a vote against what has happened in Greece, against the bankers. I mean, even the leader of the Labour Party wasn’t exactly wholehearted in his support of the ‘remain’ campaign. And that is a man who I admire massively for his principles.

If I thought that the majority of ‘leave’ voters had voted based on these principles, I could accept it, I really could. I wouldn’t agree, but I could accept it.

But they haven’t, have they? I’m willing to bet that a large majority of ‘leave’ voters have only voted on one issue. The I word. It’s all about the immigrants who come over here and steal our jobs. They come over here and steal all the jobs, often the ones that no British people want anyway, but that’s besides the point.

I read yesterday that the ‘leave’ vote may have a major impact on the fruit growing industry in the UK which is reliant on seasonal migrants from the EU. Without them, the spokesman said, there won’t be enough people to pick the fruit because British people don’t want to do it. And you can add countless of other industries.

So let’s send them all home (but we should still be allowed to live in Spain, right?) and let’s see what happens. Who’s going to hand wash your car for you while you do your shopping in Sainsburys? Or clean the hospital wards or keep the tourism business alive in London? I assume all the ‘leave’ voters without jobs are going to step in to fill the gaps left by Polish care home workers, Greek doctors or Slovakian nurses? What about all the highly skilled EU born professionals working in industries in London and the rest of the UK?

Or maybe that lot are ok? Maybe it’s the Syrians, the Iraqis we don’t want. Those countries actually aren’t in the EU but still….we need to stop those poor desperate people who spend their last savings on trying to escape war or tyranny. Let’s say they make it to France. The people smuggler offers them a passage to the UK on the back of a lorry to come in illegally. That’s ok now though because they’ll think “oh the UK isn’t in the EU now so we’d better not attempt that trip”.

The whole sad irony about it is they think they’re coming to a better place. Yes it may be safer but better? I’m not so sure. The whole referendum have created divisions which aren’t going to be healed over night ¬†and the leave campaign has gone some way to legitimising racism and hatred. I saw several reports yesterday of people being abused on the streets, told to go home. But that’s ok now because the leave vote won. The leave vote which was supported by such fine moral persons such as Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, not to mention the leaders of the BNP and Britain First. The leader of the Front Nationale in France has the Union Jack as her profile picture on Facebook. When Farage did his celebratory speech, one of his most prominent supporters in the background was the abhorrent woman who heads Britain First who spread a message of hatred, parcelled up as a patriotic love of Britain.

If you know me, you’ll know my brother’s partner is German. She has lived here for many years as they raise a family together (and yes she has worked and paid her taxes for all of those years…….) She is shocked and scared for the future, as are many other EU nationals. We talked about it all yesterday and she said to me that we really haven’t learned our lesson have we? It took me a minute to realise what she meant but then it clicked. The rise of the Nazi Party and Hitler came as the result of a referendum in Germany which legitimised their message of hatred. See where I’m going with this? Everything has to start somewhere.

You might not agree with any or all of what I’ve written but all I know is that I’m scared of where this will all end, scared for the future and what life will be like for my beautiful half German niece and niece-to-be.

Posted in ME/Chronic Fatigue

Overwhelmed and becoming a moaner….

I was overwhelmed by the reaction to my first post. I posted the link on my Facebook page and then instantly regretted it and was going to remove it. No one likes a moaner, right? 

But I am so glad I didn’t because of the reaction I got, the number of people who took the time to read it and more importantly, the number of people who identified with it in some way. 

So I’m going to carry on and I’m going to post the links on my Facebook page. I have this ‘thing’ where I don’t want to annoy people, to get on their nerves. I find it hard to promote my artwork for that reason. I don’t like to draw attention to myself, to say look at me – this I what I can do…..but then I think it’s my Facebook page and my blog and if anyone doesn’t like what I post or my views on anything, then there is always the ‘unfollow’ button?

And that’s the reason why when someone asks me how I’m feeling – I usually say ‘OK thanks’ or ‘a bit tired’. Even though I might feel as if I have gone 10 rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson and then rolled through an old fashioned mangle for good measure. Because I don’t want to be THAT person who’s always moaning. 

So that’s what I do. And then get mad sometimes when people don’t realise how bad I’m feeling. Like they’re supposed to be psychic. That’s the thing about invisible illnesses, they’re ‘invisible’. And people don’t know you have them unless you tell them. And they don’t know you’re struggling if you never say. So if I’m saying ‘I’m ok’, it’s possibly kind of unreasonable for me to expect them to realise that actually I’m not……

Then that’s the other thing. Let’s say they somehow did see through my ‘I’m ok’ and offered to try and help. Well I couldn’t possibly have that. I don’t want to be different, to be singled out. No, that just wouldn’t do at all. Far better to struggle on and wonder why nobody notices. God forbid I should get any special treatment.

So this is where it all gets a bit weird for me. After 15 years, it’s time to accept that I do have a debilitating illness and also to accept any help I can take. But without moaning of course. 

Here goes then, deep breath,…….’I’m Dawn, I have M.E. And I’m struggling’ 

Posted in Current Affairs, ME/Chronic Fatigue

Can’t stay quiet any longer…..

So, I’ve decided to start a blog. I need to. I need to express myself. Even if no one reads it, that’s ok. At least I will have it out there, out of my system….I’m good at telling others not to bottle things up. And then bottle things up myself. So here we are.

I’ve had M.E./CFS for over 15 years. For most of that time, I’ve managed with it, built back up to some kind of plateau. Kind of 70% functioning. Not right but coping. Until just recently where I find myself in the biggest crash I’ve had since my diagnosis.

I know the reasons for it. And believe me, I tried to avoid this point. Its difficult when you ‘look ok’ to make people understand.

What’s done is done now, all I can do is try to drag myself out of it. But how? I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus and reversed over several times. A double decker bus at that. I can’t think straight and the smallest task needs the concentration of a champion chess player. I’m in constant fear of making a mistake at work so I check and double check and check again. Which takes even more energy I don’t have.

At least I’m getting some help now. And a technique called ‘pacing’ to get my head around. And ‘activity diaries’ to fill in. All of which takes energy I don’t have.

And then there is this crazy scary world we’re living in. In the space of a few days, all of those beautiful people lost their lives in Orlando (their only crime being gay), a small child was snatched by an alligator (and then 5 alligators were killed even though the authorities didn’t know which alligator was responsible – what happened to catching them and releasing them in a place away from humans?) and then an MP was murdered in broad daylight, her only crime apparently was to fight for some of the most vulnerable people in the world which offended the sensibilities of an extreme right wing sociopath.

I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of the crap I read and hear in the news everyday and on social media. I’m tired of ‘immigrants this’ or ‘immigrants that’. I’m tired of Britain First, the BNP and UKIP. I need to get it out. I can express myself through art but I suddenly feel the need to express myself through words too.

This is where I’m going to do it. I might have some nice art to share sometimes or cute cat pictures but its not going to be all hearts and butterflies. I’m scared of how I feel right now and I’m scared of the world I’m living in. And I need to write about how scared I am.