Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Friday, 24 June 2016

Things of the Week: 24th June 2016

Things of the Week is usually upbeat, or at least, a mixed bag.

Not today.

I'm struggling with Devil's Highway - luckily Snowbooks are being very understanding about possible delays - and over the past few weeks I've been prone to bouts of anxiety and depression. Partly to do with that, maybe, and partly down to the fact that my savings will only last a few more months, after which we'll be supported solely by Cate's salary unless I bring some money in from writing or get a proper job again (and I don't know how well I'd cope if I tried.) I'd meant to blog about the upcoming EU referendum - or last week's horrific murder of Jo Cox MP - before, but I just couldn't summon the energy.

And now, this.

For anyone who missed it, we went to the polls last night, and had a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU, and the Leave campaign won, 52% to 48%.

Nigel Farage, a racist, fascist cunt, is baying in triumph.

David Cameron has resigned, not that I'm sorry, but now an even more vicious and right-wing government will form. The Conservative Party aren't really people anyway - more like gigantic retroviruses with a good tailor - but the Leave campaign consists of the worst of the lot. People who want to privatise the National Health Service, abandon the European Convention on Human Rights, tear up employee legislation. (And the worst part of it is there'll be a horde of brainwashed fuckwits out there who'd read that statement and saay "Yeah? So? That's a good thing!" Which, along with the fact that Katie Hopkins has a newspaper column to serve as a platform for her hate-filled far-right views, rather than being reviled and shunned every time she uses the auxiliary anus she called a mouth, tells you everything you need to know about how poisoned and toxic our media is, and how much bigotry and creeping fascism has been instilled in people.)

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, now faces a vote of no-confidence.  If he goes, he may well be replaced by someone who'll pull Labour back towards the right, at the exact moment we need an unapologetically left-wing opposition to fight the Tories tooth and nail.

The vile Marine Le Pen - leader of the French neo-nazi party the Front National - is baying in triumph. So are far-right leaders across Europe, calling for referenda of their own.

Rupert Murdoch has got what he's been after for decades, which means the British government will be ever more pliable to his demands.

All the scum, the dogs of Europe, baying in triumph, and the worst people in British politics short of Britain First or the BNP are set to take control. Friends have reported seeing posts about Remain voters being 'traitors' whose names 'have been noted.'

Admittedly I completely forgot to shit myself in terror there, as I did at a Katie Hopkins fan telling me 'Your sort can't handle the truth but you're about to get it rammed down your throat.' (I was tempted to tell him I was flattered but married.) But after Jo Cox's murder.... it isn't quite as easy to dismiss. I have no doubt we'll see a spike in racist violence and other forms of hate crime over the coming weeks. Or months. Or years.

Meanwhile, the Scottish First Minister is calling for a new referendum on Scottish independence (Scotland being overwhelmingly pro-EU) and the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland has called for one on Irish reunification (Eire and the UK both being EU states effectively rendered the border meaningless; with that taken out of the equation, Sinn Fein are now saying the British government no longer represents them. As someone who remembers the days of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, I can assure that this is not good news.) Also, Spain is now pressing for joint sovereignty with the UK over Gibraltar. So rather than making Britain Great again, Leave have quite possibly signed its death warrant.

A lot of Wales (though not the part my family come from - yay!) and Cornwall all voted to Leave, despite benefiting from huge amounts of EU funding. I think a lot of people are about to find out exactly what EU membership did for them. (People in my home city of Manchester may not realise how much of the cash that went to repair the damage from the 1996 bombing of the city centre by the IRA came from the EU. Or maybe they do, explaining why Manchester overwhelmingly voted for Remain.)

I'm trying to think of something funny or upbeat to say, but I have nothing.

The worst part, for me, isn't the future that faces us - which is grim enough - but that I'm struggling not to despise my own country now. I've tried to tell myself for a long time that Britain isn't a land of small-minded xenophobes and greedy selfish short-termists who can be relied on to punch themselves in the groin and vote against their own best interests as long as someone yells the right buzzwords (usually something to do with immigrants) loudly enough.

But right now, I'm struggling to see it.

Part of me says stay and fight. Play a part in trying to salvage something from this, steer us to a better course. Another says fuck this country; it's a lost cause that will always be gulled by the vicious and venal.

That voice, today, sounds far clearer and more persuasive than the first. I hope that'll change. But I just don't know.

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