Well done Australia!

I was thrilled to wake up to the news that 2/3rds of Australians have voted in favour of gay marriage being made legal.

Well done Australia

Amazing news for gay people, for morality and for common sense. To stop people from marrying just because they have the same genitals is bonkers.

I read a story recently, where a 12 year old boy was marching in favour of gay marriage so he can marry Chris Hemsworth when he grows up.

Marry Chris Hemsworth

Not sure Chris will be available, but at least this young boy will now grow up in a country where he has the freedom to meet and marry the man of his dreams.

Love is love!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

5 good things that happened in the General Election

General Election 2017

OK, so it wasn’t the result I was hoping for.

And the prospect of Theresa May teaming up with the DUP just to stay in power is abhorrent.

But, on a positive note, there were some good outcomes!

1 – Theresa May’s arrogance was proven to be misplaced

Yeah, technically she won, but realistically not so much. She expected a landslide and it didn’t happen. So up yours Theresa!

2 – 72% of young people (18-25) turned out to vote

Go young people! This number is up massively on past elections, and gives me hope for the future. Young people need to be engaged in politics in order to make a difference.

3 – UKIP now have no seats, and party leader Paul Nuttall has resigned.

There’s no place for a party like UKIP in a constitutional and progressive country. Just do one. Goodbye – close the door on your way out.

4 – Diane Abbott retained her seat by an overwhelming majority

75% of the voters in her constituency voted for her, in spite of the bullying by the press and suggestions that she’s politically unfit to be shadow Home Secretary.

4 – Jeremy Corbyn was totally vindicated

Despite the media’s best effort to undermine him, Theresa May’s insults, backstabbing within his own party and people calling him a clown with no political clout, he’s proven that he is liked, he is supported, and he is the catalyst for change that’s so very needed. It’s just a shame that so many people blindly voted for other parties without realising what they were voting for (and against)

Let’s see what happens next.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

My latest thoughts on the upcoming General Election

A few weeks back, when the General Election was announced, I summarised my thoughts on the options available, the parties and their leaders. At the time I already knew that I wouldn’t be voting Conservative this time around, but didn’t really see a good alternative.

I’ve changed my mind.

I realised that my opinions on Jeremy Corbyn were unfounded, because I’d never even heard him speak! Perhaps I had been swayed by the media coverage telling me he wasn’t leadership material. More likely I had made a passing judgement without investigating further.

Jeremy Corbyn

I’m not afraid to hold my hand up when I’ve made a mistake, and this is one of those times. I believe I made a mistake in my opinion of Jeremy Corbyn. The more I see of him and listen to him, the more I see that he is a viable alternative to the Prime Ministers of the past. Just because he’s different; quieter, less power hungry, doesn’t make him a bad option. In fact it makes him a stronger option. Because, in recent times, all of our Prime Ministers seem to have been cut from the same cloth – media personalities with a personal agenda – and look where that’s got us? We’re somehow in a position where the governing party wants to privatise our NHS. How is that representative of the people and it’s needs?

JC isn’t a shouter, or a bold statement maker (“strong and stable”, anyone?) He’s measured, he answers genuinely and calmly, he doesn’t get drawn into inane bollocks from media reporters who are obviously trying to catch him out. He comes across as genuinely having the best interests of the country at heart, rather than the best interests of a few.

Contrast that with Theresa May, who is seemingly so arrogant that she’ll win that she’s dishing out all sorts of controversial policies – fox hunting, school meals and social care being at the forefront. That kind of behaviour almost seems like self-sabotage, yet there are still people – hard working people who will be negatively affected by a Tory government with it’s privatised NHS – who are planning to blindly vote Tory because May is our best bet for a strong Brexit. I’d say she isn’t. Her bolshiness and thinly veiled threats to the EU aren’t going to put us in a very good position. I’ve said all along that we cannot dictate to the EU what the terms of our departure are. If they want to make life difficult for us, they can. It’s a fallacy to believe that “they need us more than we need them”. We’re not in the days of the British Empire anymore, we’re just a little island where even the neighbouring parts of our union want to devolve and seek independence. Hardly the most attractive prospect.

Also very much in Jeremy Corbyn’s favour is the fact that he turned up to take part in last night’s televised debate, whilst Mrs May stayed away and sent Home Secretary Amber Rudd instead (whose Dad died only on Monday – compassion in the workplace, eh?)

I mentioned in my last post that I didn’t think the Conservatives were necessarily a shoo-in, and it seems that the tide is turning somewhat, with the Conservative majority having slipped massively, if opinion polls are to be believed. With just a week to go, I wonder if Theresa May is beginning to regret calling what was always an unnecessary election – designed purely for her own vanity and popularity. As her public appearances become more awkward and strained, whilst the other political party leaders stick the boot in about her cowardice in avoiding face to face debate, next Thursday could indeed be a turning point for the Tories, and equally for Britain.

The most important thing I can say is – VOTE! If you’re eligible and have registered then please don’t squander an opportunity to have your say in the future of our country. Democracy belongs to all of us.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

5 things about the EU Referendum vote, on An historical and potentially life changing day

I’ve posted before on why I think the EU Referendum is a bad idea. If you don’t have the time or inclination to read it, the summary is that the general British public are too stupid to make a fully informed decision. I realise that’s a sweeping generalisation, but as today has gotten ever closer I’ve been very alarmed by some of the comments and opinions I’ve heard from the average Joe Bloggs.

My vote is cast and I’m 100% certain I’ve chosen the right option.

UK EU referendum ballot box

For the record, and because I’m in no way ashamed or protective of my decision, I’m firmly in the Vote Remain camp. This is based on personal circumstances, commercial circumstances and what I believe is the right move for Britain. I truly believe in stronger together.

Some people hold their personal political beliefs very close to their chest, and I very much understand that. It can cause hostility. Last year I got into a conversation in a bar with a man I didn’t know following the General Election. We were chatting merrily about all sorts of things, and the conversation turned to politics. When I revealed that I’d voted for the Conservative party in the Election, he literally turned his back on me and wouldn’t speak another word. This was a man in his 60s! Very immature and extreme behaviour, but indicative of how strongly some people feel.

I don’t believe in trying to influence people’s voting choice as it is a very personal decision. But when people are quite blatantly being uneducated and voting for ridiculous reasons I admit to “pointing things out” (you may have noticed, if you read this blog regularly, that I’m rather opinionated and vocal!) The husband, on the other hand, has been quite vociferous in his disdain for people voting in the opposite camp to him (even his own Mom!) and last night he seemed to be on a one man social media political tirade. Having said that, he had a horrendous few years where he got involved in a forced company buyout and making redundancies during the last recession, so he’s keen to avoid the threat of another economic downturn. His methods might be questionable (the phrase “uneducated idiot” has been used more than once) but his intentions are good.

Here are 5 things I’ve either thought, heard or read during the lead up to the referendum:

Thought: Boris Johnson – great as a guest presenter on Have I Got News For You, not great as a Prime Minister (also, as commented by a friend, how can you trust a man who can’t even control his hair to control the country?)

Heard: Various stories of people who want to retire to Spain but are voting out (WHAT????) Or even people who have second/holiday homes in Spain but also intend to vote out “because Spain needs our income for their economy so they’ll be kind to us”. Good luck with that.

Read: “Not everyone who votes out is racist, but everyone who is racist will vote out.” I’m alarmed by how many people are using immigration as their sole reason for voting out. All immigrants seem to be put into the same category, when of course there are massive differences. Leaving the EU won’t stop illegal immigration because, by it’s very nature, people don’t need permission to do it. Also, economic migrancy is different to fleeing-your-home-country-due-to-war migrancy. And many migrants who come here are non-EU members anyway (e.g Syria). There seems to be an opinion that we’ll leave the EU and there’ll be no more “bloody foreigners” coming in. Ridiculous. Also, why is it that people who come to the UK are immigrants, but when British people move abroad they’re ex-pats?

Thought: Many people who want to “Take Back Control” (and if you watched the BBC debate with Boris Johnson and Gisela Stuart on Tuesday night you’ll fully understand why that statement grates on me – it was uttered every other bloody sentence) actually dislike the Tory government. So by voting out they’re relinquishing their secondary support network to stop the Tories doing exactly what they want in the country, as the Tories will have sole control. There’ll be no European intervention around maximum hours and human rights, for example.

FACT: If we leave, the EU member states are under no obligation to negotiate favourable trade deals with the UK. There seems to be this arrogant notion that Europe needs to trade with us and will be fair. Really? Put it this way, If someone told me they no longer wanted to be my friend, but they’d come on a night out with me when they wanted to, I’d tell them to bog off. Europe is more likely to make an example of us by making life difficult in order to discourage other member states from leaving. The company I work for does a lot of business in Europe. In contrast, when we ship to non-EU member country Norway, we pay 25% duty. Multiply that by 27 other EU member states and that becomes a big problem to UK businesses who currently have a large European market. And that’s assuming that they don’t impose even higher duties and trade restrictions.

In truth, anyone who enjoys holidays and travel, works for a company who trades in Europe or enjoys the current low mortgage rates from the Bank of England would be a hypocrite to vote out, because you’re making life more difficult for yourself. There is no evidence to prove that leaving the EU is good for Britain. Our Prime Minister thinks we should stay, leading Captains of Industry think we should stay, and the President of America; arguably the most powerful man in the world, thinks we should stay. Pretty compelling.

More to the point, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump think we should leave. That in itself is all the evidence I need.

On that note, I’m off to collect my holiday Euros, which I bought in advance for fear that the unthinkable happens and the exchange rate goes tits!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x