WORLD NEWS | POLITICS
It’s becoming clear that Russia and America are using Europe as a chess board, just like in the last Cold War. Away from the main game, Kim Jong-un has realised it’s best to get out of the nuclear arms race and partner with his Southern neighbour: a classic example of previously warring factions uniting against an emerging common foe. It’s in the southern province that “Killer robots” are being developed.
With the warm-up for World War 3 well under way as predicted, the image above came through from Barbarossa on B3ta, so I called on a local cat through the Babel fish, to see what she made of the message.
After being reminded again that humans needed them 3000 years ago, and this is why they have nine lives, the cat set about decoding the meaning behind the text in the image for me.
The Babel fish of my fictional making is more a machine of interpretation of thoughts than conveyance of words, so the following may not be entirely accurate. Reading from left to right, the symbols translate literally thus, if you’re a cat:
Man with bandy legs, wearing funny hat (translation: President Trump and hair)
Hat gone: Wind blew
Angry building: White House
Protective hat on big head: North Korea
Man with hair back on (Trump)
Protective hat: South Korea
Another angry building: possible killer robots inside
My own fictional Babel fish was developed from the invention of Douglas Adams, to whom my (critically-acclaimed) science fiction novel is dedicated.
OPINION | CONSPIRACY THEORY
I have a sneaking conspiracy theory that this whole business with Russia and the UK, could change the path of Brexit. I even think it might have been planned all along, based on no other qualification than a little imagination…
It’s been clear for some time, that Theresa May and the UK had no more plans for the realities of Brexit, than a dog has to drive a car it’s chasing. For a while, I’ve thought the PM’s been looking for a way out of the current mire via the whole thing collapsing, and she’s been hoping something out of her hands would scupper it. She’s been alone and trapped. The tension with Russia is a gift.
As in all conflicts (like the internal and cross-party ones in Parliament), the introduction of a third party can often unite previously warring factions against a new, common foe. The Salisbury poisonings and asking questions of Russia are the ideal thing.
The UK government’s tough words (so far) most likely threaten trade sanctions and the expulsion of diplomats, but escalation to a military conflict can’t be ruled out, especially given other developing conflicts worldwide and the Russians’ complacency over this issue. In any case, the UK would be foolish and naïve in the eyes of the world, if it were to act unilaterally. This is the perfect excuse which I suspect Theresa May has been looking for, to accept any assistance offered by our EU partners, or ask for support outright.
The Russia situation, and the pending potential summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un (which could go horribly wrong if one of them leaves feeling beaten, and exercises an itchy finger, which we must hope is used for Twitter and not the nuclear option), make our world a fragile place where no nation should be alone. We need partners, so that we can address the bigger issues together.
We need the European Union as we always will. We need to be a part of it as we always have, so we can live in hope.
POLITICS | THE WRITER’S LIFE
Image from B3ta
The supreme leader, Kim-Jong May and the Tories’ election campaign, was akin to watching a video of someone lighting their own fart, then ending up in hospital. Or a great day out at the seaside, marred by sand in the vagina. What was I saying about not politicising this blog?
I have never been so invigorated or involved with a general election as I was this one, and it’s reaffirmed my faith in humanity. After this election, I’m starting to feel I love my country again. One of my common chants when I was shouting from the left was, I voted Labour, because I’m proud to be British. A collective veil has been lifted and the British public have protested at having their intelligence insulted.
This was an election called by the Supreme Leader’s ego, so confident was she that the country needed her “strong and stable” leadership, a mantra which will be forever ridiculed and satirised. She panicked: She was shitting it about Brexit, her predecessor’s epic fail of a gamble. So she called a snap election in the arrogant misguided belief that she’d win a landslide majority, allowing her to bumble through her Brexit no-plan unchallenged. I still suspect that she planned to pursue a cowardly “hard Brexit”, almost completely severing ties with the EU, so that the UK became an annexe of Trump’s capitalist US. Then, with no minimum wage, those who sought to exploit a workforce would be given tax breaks by UK PLC.
And she might have got away with it, if it wasn’t for those meddling kids. The figures are blurry but there is no doubt that the mobilisation of young voters played a big part in May’s implosion. But the other starring role was Corbyn’s man of the people. I said some time ago that (like many others), I couldn’t vote Labour because I couldn’t see Corbyn as Prime Minister. But then I realised I was working with my conditioning of what a politician was. So what I saw in Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t a politician. Realising that was a good thing was the light bulb moment for me.
Now I predict that the Conservatives will completely collapse. The people have seen through a woman who won’t even dirty her eyes by looking at them. Her own party is in turmoil and there’ll be leadership challenges. Even if there are none, they are a battered and bruised after-party mess. She is weak and unstable, and she is unfit to lead a country into all that faces us over the coming years and months. The marriage of convenience to the anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, climate-denying DUP will only cement the newly switched-on public’s opinion that this is a party in trouble, willing to do anything to cling on to power.
Corbyn is planning to scupper May’s Queen’s Speech: I wish him luck. He is becoming known as an unconventional politician and if that’s modernisation of our archaic system, he can only be a good thing. I predict the wicked witch being gone by Autumn and then another general election. Hopefully the voters will be sufficiently invigorated by the last one that they’ll get out and vote again in similar numbers. I can’t see the Conservatives’ campaigns team coming up with anything to slow the decline, and Labour already have a new momentum. I predict that we will see a Labour Prime minister in 10 Downing Street by October. And Corbyn is unassailable as leader within his own party now. Far better to have Obi-Wan Kenobi at No.10 than Emperor Palpatine.
The next prime minister is going to have their work cut out. I’m confident Jeremy Corbyn is the best man to give the most to the many, while still placating the remaining few. It’s too early to call Brexit and there are scenarios where a second referendum is called. Provided the public isn’t sick of voting, perhaps the national mood swing and the realisation that Brexit was sold on a lie, might alter the balance. But if Brexit does go ahead, Corbyn will ensure the best deal for all. And the other 27 states are itching to maul Darth Sidious. Everything can change, suddenly and forever. The coming weeks and months will be the next stage in the turmoil this country’s suffered for over a year now. The public are getting bored of it, but they’re up for it: Roughly translated, ‘Tories Out!’ I dread to think what Brenda from Bristol is thinking. But the UK’s shift to the left is a trend we’ve been seeing in Europe since Trump’s election. Recent politics has been some of the most explosive in history. The world still stands at a pivotal point, but it looks like it’s starting to lean to the left again.
Image from B3ta
Funnily enough, a pivotal point for mankind is one of the many subjects touched upon in a book I’ve been writing. I may have mentioned it: It’s called Cyrus Song.
I am literally in the final few days of writing the first draft, before sending the manuscript out to test readers. It’s still looking good for October publication and a lot of people have said how much they’re looking forward to reading it. All I can add to everything I’ve already said, is that I’ve been banging on about it so much, it has to be bloody good or I’ll look like a twunt.
I met with two of my younger fans yesterday, when we spent one of our regular days together in Milton Keynes. Despite my levels of anxiety sometimes preventing me even from leaving home, Sundays with my kids are a well-rehearsed known quantity. Once I’ve smoked a joint to combat the anxiety, the day breaks down into manageable pleasant stages: I leave my box of a studio, perched on top of a coffee shop, walk to my local train station, past the workhouse where George Orwell lived for a while, and a fountain once sketched by Turner. A train via the Bowie lands of Bromley and Brixton, then past Battersea Power Station and into Victoria. Next, the old queen’s line (I associate it more with her namesake daughter: A proper feckin’ rebel) to Euston, and onto a Virgin Pendolino via Bletchley Park to Milton Keynes, with it’s herd of concrete cattle by Liz Leyh (Canadian artist). Why the fuck wouldn’t I want to put myself through all that? If it wasn’t to meet my kids at the other end, anxiety would stop me.
One side effect of constant paranoia (I find), is that you can get a mental vibe from a place. Although London and Milton Keynes have never been hostile, yesterday I felt a greater awareness of people to those around them. A ‘vibe’ is a difficult thing to enunciate, but it was a safe one yesterday.
The kids are really excited about Cyrus Song, mostly because I gave them roles as extras in the book. It’s a book for everyone, as people will start to find out when anyone reads it. I only need a few people to do that before I’m confident that word of mouth will kick-start the rest. For that reason, and for reasons of royalties, I will almost certainly self-publish the first edition. Thereafter, it depends who might pick it up, or who I send copies to. But like all of my writing, this book isn’t about making money, nice though that would be. This book in particular is the work of mine I’d like people to read, so that they can see what I can do. It’s a book with many messages and one which people could gain a lot from. I’ve almost written it, so it’s almost out there. Once it is, anyone and everyone can read it. That’s why I write: So that I’m out there.
If things go to schedule, I’ll have time to write a few short stories for the free-to-read markets to get myself out there too, while I edit the book. I have about half a dozen planned: Some more humorous sci-fi, a tale from The Unfinished Literary Agency, and a nasty, following on loosely from Helvetica Haus. The latter, and two of the former, are in The Perpetuity of Memory. There’s also a scene in another story in the anthology, where Bono disappears up his own arse at a concert, a bit like Theresa May just did on the international stage.
THE WRITER’S LIFE
<Image source: Hermetichealth.me>
I love discovery and exploration; I enjoy learning about new things and forming opinions. I’ve decided to stay away from the whole referendum debate online, as it’s simply too toxic. Although I like a debate and maintain an open mind, the Leave side – for the most part – are just too blinkered and I don’t want to get into an unresolvable conflict. I was right when I predicted that the whole thing would get even more divisive after the vote.
I didn’t agree with the result because I thought it was wrong. I voted to remain in Europe for many reasons but the whole referendum should never have happened. But it did, so we all have to accept that. I’m more for unity than divisiveness, so I’m not letting the result be my enemy. As with so many things, I’ll find positives. I hope the country as a whole can re-unite under whatever new circumstances we find ourselves in.
It’s becoming clear that the Leave campaign was full of lies; Leave voters are having regrets and many have said that it was a protest vote and they weren’t expecting to win. Neither were Johnson and Gove by the looks of it. When leavers find there’s no money and none of the promised exodus, that it was all lies, where does their wrath turn next? Already there is unrest and people feel unwelcome in this country. Whatever happens, we have permanently damaged our image as a nation. It was supposed to be a dialogue about free trade. Instead it became a national feud over immigration. Corrosive campaigning has exposed a fractured society a world away from the inclusive nation we thought we were.
As a fiction writer, I’m having fun looking at all of the possible scenarios which could emerge from this mess. Some are apocalyptic, while others are more hopeful. I hope there’s milage in the “Cameron Theory” posited at the weekend; The referendum could legally be declared void; Scotland could veto Brexit: There are many scenarios, including one where both sides jointly agree that it was a mistake and where Leave admit that they misled their voters. Then perhaps we can begin the more constructive dialogue and learn some lessons.
I’ll be watching England’s game against Iceland in Euro 2016 tonight and hoping that our fans aren’t an embarrassment. I’ll wonder at all of the nations represented in the tournament and how relative freedom of movement around the continent facilitated them being there. I’ll be looking at the players on both teams and marvelling at the diversity. I’ll be proud of England and how the national team – of different colours and creeds – work as a single unit. A part of me will be cheering on Iceland because some English do like an underdog and I’ve been reading a lot about the recent evolution of football over there. I’d imagine about 93% of the rest of the world will be supporting Iceland too.
And from Iceland to Tesco: I’ve always referred to them as a necessary evil but they’ve become a friend now. A week in and I have no regrets about giving up meat. I doubted I would, based on my reasoning, that the animals I’d been eating were autonomous, self-determining beings. They have a conscience, just like me. I didn’t see how I could have the right to consume another being. Neither do I think I have a right to rear other beings for my own consumption. So vegetarian is now a permanent fixture on my list of -isms and I am well catered for at Tesco, with the variety of vegetarian food which they stock. Yes, I know it could be better: There could be a permanent farmers’ market in the village instead of once a month but it wouldn’t be existentially sustainable. So I accept compromise and find the positives. I had a nice conversation with the Sunday girl yesterday too.
At the moment I’m still in discovery of the vegetarian world, its many flavours and how to combine them. It’s a fun learning curve and there’s some very tasty food coming out of the vegetarian kitchen at Le Studio Chez Moi. Although I shan’t preach in the real world, my new-found appreciation of nonhuman animals, their rights and my morals, have given me some interesting things to explore in fiction. At the moment, besides the books, I’m writing a long short story (about 6000 words) with a working title of The Intergalactic Typewriter: It’s a fairly light hearted contemporary sci-fi, probably destined for a ‘zine market because it’s just a fun story which I’m enjoying writing. And I like to spread some joy.
Let’s do it, whatever it is.
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