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❤️ London ❤️

I love my city.

I’ve written it on this blog. I say it to people all the time, even when I’m complaining about public transport or tourists who walk too slowly along Oxford Street or stand on the left on escalators. I am proud to be a typical grumbling, mixed race, born and bred Londoner. It has been my home since I was born in the old (now demolished) Elizabeth Garrett Anderson wing of University College Hospital in the 90s. I have never lived anywhere else. London is everything I want it to be and more. I love the lights at night and the fog in the early morning. I love London in the winter when it gets dark at 3 in the afternoon. You know Christmas is coming when the lights start to go up all over this city. In the summer anyone will find any sliver of sunshine to sunbathe in their underwear. It doesn’t even have to be a park really, so long as there is a patch of grass to lay on. There are rainbows in Soho (god, I love Soho), cool monochromatic buildings just a stones throw away from the historic builds in the city – old and new together. There is a Pret on every single corner of every single street. There is traffic everywhere. The central line is mind-bogglingly hot. There are strikes on the tubes and trains so frequently it’s like white noise to Londoners. I’ve been taking trips to our new office over the last couple of months. To get to it you have to cross Millennium Bridge. Each and every time I have stopped in the middle of it. Just to look out at London for a little bit. It is grey most of the time, muggy and damp. But to me it is beautiful. The lights. The lights are my favourite. It’s like family. I complain about it but I love it like no other city in no other country anywhere else in the world. It’s my heart. And it is fundamentally a part of who I am.

You might have seen a previous post I wrote about the 7/7 London attacks. I was a teenager back then. It seems a lifetime ago really. The fear and shock of it all. The horror and deep sadness followed by all-consuming anger that anyone could do such a thing. Still, we picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off. We turned the lights back on and we carried on.

That all came screaming back to me yesterday when a colleague shared a link to a newspaper breaking the news that shots had been fired outside the House of Parliament. I was confused. I had only just finished watching Prime Minister’s Questions. There was nothing to worry about, I thought. Probably just a mistake.

But as the minutes ticked away it became very clear there had been no mistake. I couldn’t concentrate on my work, checking Twitter and live news feeds to find out what was happening. The horror of it all was unfolding before my eyes but mostly there was just a lot of confusion and shock. Had I not told my mother less than a week ago that I had been feeling something in the back of my mind for weeks? Had I not told her that I felt like something terrible would happen again in London? I told her I didn’t think it would be anytime soon. This country is strong. The city is strong. The intelligence services are the best in Europe. We would be safe until one of them slipped through the cracks. But that would not be happening soon because I feel safe and it’s going to be ok. I was wrong. Maybe it was denial. I don’t know.

I do know that in amongst the fear was immense pride. Reading story after story of how quickly emergency services descended onto Parliament Square and Westminster Bridge is a testament to how, no matter what might divide us right now, when London is under attack we all take it personally. We all band together. We all do what we can. Whether that is to call an ambulance, to provide emergency care, to not share pictures, videos or false allegations on social media. Or whether it is to simply remain calm and walk to safety, passed a group of people trying to save a gravely injured person because the only way you can help is to not crowd and gawk. We all do our bit. Civilians (including MP Tobias Ellwood) ran towards the chaos to help the injured and wounded until paramedics arrived. The city lost PC Keith Palmer, a husband and father, who died protecting the country’s democracy.

Coming into work this morning was something I would like to think he and his family would have been proud of. There were people lining the streets, filling tube stations, riding their bikes, driving their cars and hopping on and off buses everywhere. Afraid but not hiding. In shock but getting on with things. Defiance and strength together. The city mourns but does not stop. It is a thank you to PC Palmer’s sacrifice. And a big fuck you to those who want to see the city, the country, quake in fear and back down. It won’t. I lit a candle at Church this morning. The lights were still on last night. And they will stay on.

I love my city.

I love you. My City.

Smurf x

 

 

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No love. No humanity. No nothing.

Empathy.

Not everyone has it. Not everyone realises they can feel it. It is a quality, I think, we can take for granted in ourselves. We can sometimes expect people to have empathy and forget that sometimes it comes naturally to people and sometimes it doesn’t.

I do wonder if it all comes down to nature vs nurture but I’m not a psychologist and have not studied human behaviour in such a way that I could offer any sort of scientific opinion on it. I would lean more towards nature, simply because of my mother. If ever, there was a person who personified empathy and had kindness seemingly in her bones, it would be her.

So why am I talking about empathy right now? Maybe it’s because Donald Trump and the GOP are gutting the very foundations of what it means to live freely, to seek refuge, safety in a place that has so much. Maybe it’s because our own Prime Minister approves of such barbaric, inhumane, unfeeling actions (choosing not to outwardly and forcefully reject such things is an approval). Maybe it’s because our government appear to want live an easier life so they turn a blind eye to everything that is happening. For our MPs, simply tweeting their disgust just does not go far enough. They are in a position the rest of us are not in but they just tweet then watch for the next failure, the next abomination the government does nothing about. Their hands are not tied, they are sitting on them.

What else can be done? Who else can step up? Who else has the knowledge, the fight, the will, the strength, the ability to put aside ego, the gumption, for heaven’s sake, the brain to do something to make this country stop haemorrhaging itself into a catastrophe.

This tweet sums up everything that is wrong about the Trump administration. Downing Street has a lot to answer for by continuing to want to host him with a State visit this year. He is coming whether or not we want him to or not. Money is more important than blood, than terror, than fear, than refugees, than children, than basic humanity.

You have to be deeply unfeeling, selfish and downright cruel to behave like this because I cried tears of despair, pain and fear when I saw just this one tweet today:

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Where does it end? God help us all, I think we all know, it is only just beginning.

God help us all.

-Smurf x

Any MPs with a backbone please stand up

I’m not the biggest fan of my nose. Actually, I was never a fan of it but lately I’ve grown to thinking about it too much and not in a good way (is there a good way to think of one’s nose for hours on end?) I say lately, it’s been about a year and a half. I wear glasses and I feel like wearing them draws attention to my nose. The one that my year 7 Art teacher told me looked “quite tissue-y in the centre” and was “shaped like a rugby ball in the middle”. Nice! I’ve never forgotten what she said whilst trying (and failing) to help me sketch a self-portrait (gosh, I’m dreadful at art. I can’t even colour within the lines in a colouring book. It takes too long to get it perfectly inside). So I have actively avoided looking at my nose over the years but now I really don’t like it (don’t even get me started on my blackheads). I won’t go as far as saying I detest it. I don’t. It is similar to the Warrior’s but hers has a small button-like quality to it and my sister has a structured, angularness to it that fits perfectly with her chiselled, high cheekbones… mine is a rugby ball.

Am I really talking about my nose on here?

Kind of.

Because just like my nose, I didn’t really have much of an opinion when Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader. It was what it was. A new leader coming to the front of the pack to lead the way into what? A new election in 5 years time. Oh, yeah…that. Remember that? I still remember how I felt when I woke up to the news that David Cameron had been re-elected. That was not a good day. I didn’t know that he would then make me want to beg him to stay our country’s leader on 24th June 2016. Bloody hell! In any case, when Corbyn became leader, I was still smarting over Ed Miliband’s loss in the election. In hindsight, I know he was never really right for the job. Still, I would take getting angry/frustrated/annoyed with his blundering manner than where we are right now.

Truly.

Because now we have a leader of the (supposed) opposition enforcing a 3 line whip (apparently he resisted these on hundreds of occasions before he was leader but whatever). It essentially forces MPs to vote for triggering the Article 50 Bill. And this was before he even knew what was in it! I’m not the kind of person who thinks an opposition should oppose just for the sake of it, but the entire process of producing a bill, voting on it, if Parliament have a vote on the final deal in 2 years’ time, screams of underhanded, back alley, shady politics from the Conservatives. There should be transparency, a democratic process of voting and debating and the government should be forced to do this properly.

I have always thought that politics must be a difficult job. There is a lot to have to deal with, navigate, consider, work through, obtain, research, read, debate, vote on and that’s just in your own country, never mind others. People have their own agendas, parties have their own agendas, countries, literally everyone. It sounds exhausting and thankless and I have never wanted to do it. But you would think that those who have actively chosen to go into politics would have some sort of backbone. Nope. It looks like it is every man/woman for themselves. Constituents be damned. Fairness be damned. Anyone not able to fight for themselves? Too bad so sad.

Labour have had an opportunity, several opportunities in fact, to be the party that actually speaks for the people regardless of how they voted in the Referendum last June. That doesn’t mean campaigning for a second referendum. The MPs who repeatedly brought this up in the House of Commons this week need to shut up if that is the only thing they are bringing to the table. We lost. It is over. Brexit is happening. They need to now put all of this energy into ensuring the government works diligently, tirelessly and go beyond the best of their collective abilities to ensure Brexit works for everyone now and in the future. They are failing their constituents by repeatedly refusing to accept the result and attempting to change it. Yes, they played dirty. Yes, leave voters were sold lies (the NHS) but Brexit will happen. Working to ensure we don’t get left behind must become the priority now. Shifting the focus does not mean failing. But refusing to work with what we have is.

Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t appear to want to do anything about anything (except maybe joining ridiculous strikes over and over again). I don’t know why. I don’t know what his actual problem is but he has one and that is he is ineffective as leader of the Labour Party. Of course, Angela Eagle and Owen Smith would have been no better so it stands to reason he is still leader. Keir Starmer would be my choice. He has a clear view of the situation at hand and has the gumption to speak up about the government, whilst simultaneously accepting that we exiting the EU. It can be done. He would make a strong leader but I don’t think he wants the job of leader quite just yet. So Labour are stuck and that means Theresa May and her government can do whatever they want.

Our politicians have lost all backbone since the June referendum. The weight of their failures will simply have to fall on our own and on those of our children. What is happening at the moment will be looked at with nothing but contempt and shame in the decades to come.

Politics, ey?

-Smurf x

Article 50

I have favourite numbers. They are almost always even. I was born in the eighth month of the year (albeit on a day that is an odd number), my favourite number is 2, I like any number with a 2 in it really. Odd numbers have some negative feelings for me. Not a year goes by that I don’t remember every single feeling I experienced on 7/7 or 9/11. But I’m not stupid enough to think that all of my bad experiences have occurred on odd days and all good experiences on even. The Warrior’s birthday (even), Christmas Eve (even), Christmas Day (odd). They’re all just a jumble of numbers really. Some matter. Some don’t. But I like even numbers.

Except for the number 50. I hate that one. The grown-up in me tells me to suck it up and face it. It’s going to happen anyway, I might as well accept it. The grown-up that is also not quite there yet (I’m not even 30 – an even number – yet) tells me to hell with that, I want it to go away. I want all of the number 50s eradicated from this country. From history! Door numbers, page numbers, people can just go from their 49th birthday to their 51st. Just skip it altogether. In everything.

Speaking of which, there is this little thing called Article 50 that may or may not have been the bane of your life since June 2016. That thing which could, in effect, determine just how long it takes for the Government to pull us out of the EU, has become such a focal point of this country that I am already sick of hearing it. It is a number that I can only thing of in the negative. Because it means triggering an article holding that number (gosh, it’s like a real life “He Who Must Not Be Named”) puts the country at the mercy of a ticking clock. One that lasts 24 months and no more.

And that would all be fine if we had seen or heard of some semblance of a plan since Theresa May became Prime Minister. I mean an actual plan. Not the objectives she released last week. Not those. Because those don’t say anything about her thinking, what the thought process behind each one is, what happens if the EU decide to not budge on anything, what is the contingency plan, what is the back up offer, what is non-negotiable, what does “the best possible deal mean”? Objectives mean nothing really. I could have objectives. I could intend to do this or that at any given time at my job but if I don’t come up with a concrete plan as to how exactly I am going to fit in 5 meetings for a Founding Partner at my agency when he has zero time to make them, why would he employ me? If I don’t have a back up plan for when things go tits up and he has to cancel 4 meetings at 10am on a Friday when clients are expecting him, why would he trust me to run his work life – to get him to where he needs to be? Why would he trust me to know what he needs prioritising, how much of his time is negotiable, what he can forgo, what is immediately pressing, what he wants from me.  If I wrote both of my dissertations without submitting a plan and simply wrote a list of the things I intended to write with no reasoning, context or evidence, I would have been lucky if my supervisor hadn’t thrown the paper in my face with an “are you serious?!”

Theresa May and her cabinet should not be exempt from doing their job. It is the bare minimum this morning’s Supreme Court ruling on Article 50 asks of her by ruling that her Government cannot trigger Article 50 without an act of Parliament. It essentially means that she would need to put together something that would have some measure of detail regarding her strategy, the deals that she is willing to leave on the table and walk away from, those that she is not, how she will replace many, many laws this country enjoys as part of the EU, the regulations, somewhat of a plan for our services (particularly the financial sector), importing and exporting tariffs, EU citizens both here and within Europe, the list goes on. And it is something Parliament must rule in favour of before she can trigger Article 50. She needs to be able to showcase that she has some control, some forward thinking on our exit from the EU and that we will come out of it knowing that the best possible deal was brokered.

Jeremy Corbyn has already said he will not stand in the way of triggering. That’s a conversation to have another time. The Liberal Democrats have expressly said that they would only rule in favour of Article 50 if there was a guaranteed referendum on the bill first (fat chance of that happening but that’s just me!) And the ruling specifically states that Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales need not be in agreement anyway so it is going to happen. We must accept and move on from this argument because it has been long over.

What the ruling is not is a way to halt Brexit. I think we Remainers know by now that there is literally no way to avoid exiting the European Union. We live in a democracy and lost. It was a dirty fight filled with lies, but a fight we lost nonetheless. She is an impossible position either way but the way she has gone about things since taking over at Number 10 has been nothing less than incompetent. Her cabinet hires, the lack of knowledge, the unwillingness to listen to those who are quite obviously smarter on every single thing to do with leaving the EU like trade, like free movement, like alienating EU leaders (you know, those with whom she will be attempting to make certainly impossible deals with), all of this cloak and dagger nonsense surrounding her plan to exit (which even now just makes her look like she really just doesn’t know what she is going to do), all of these things are what the entire court case from Gina Miller et al. has been about. Which is quite simply to hold Theresa May and her government to account, to force them to take responsibility and to perform their duties to the absolute breadth of their knowledge, experience and more importantly the resources available to them to see to it that this country thrives. Not to turn this country into a tax have with arms wide open for any country outside of the EU looking to take advantage.

If she hadn’t wasted so much time and public money trying to avoid doing her job, to push her duties to the very limits of what she can achieve as the leader of this country, who knows where we would all be right now in regards to Article 50. Maybe one day I won’t shudder whenever I see that wretched number.

I won’t hold my breath.

-Smurf x

 

4 years

4 years.

It doesn’t usually seem so far away. You can get lots done in that time. You don’t know where you will be in life, married, divorced, happy, sad, an olympian, at a new job, at the same job, you might be a parent for the first time or for the second, or third… you get it. For as much as years pretty much take the same course – spring, summer, autumn, winter, the bank holidays, your birthday – whatever it is, 4 years simply fly by.

For many (I’ll say many because that is my opinion), today feels like the 4 years we would have normally taken for granted is some sort of life sentence. Like you are in a prison where the bars are invisible. Whether it is true or not, I think some people might feel totally helpless and maybe even scared. Scared because of what the next 4 years will bring. Scared because of where we could all find ourselves in 4 years’ time.

I say scared but I actually feel abject fear. It is keeping me up at night thinking about what could happen in the years to come. What kind of damage could be done in a part of the world where I have enjoyed so much progression and privilege? What happens now? What about the people who have been nowhere near as lucky as myself? What kind of situation will they find themselves in in 4 years time?

It’s hard not to be afraid when you feel like you’re not being heard. It’s difficult not to berate yourself when you feel like you’ve been completely ignorant to all of the privilege you’ve so taken for granted. It’s hard not to be angry with yourself for only realising it when it is about to be taken from you.

Today, Donald Trump gets sworn in as the new President of the most powerful country in the world. The Republican party will run riot and gut what little progression they could not tear from President Obama’s hands during his 8 years in office in no time. Who knows what state the country will be left in in 4 years? Will women have any rights left at all? Will they have any control over their bodies? What about the LGBTQ community? One gets the feeling that racism, already having reached boiling point numerous times over the last 8 years, will spill over and  no one will be able to stop it. No one in power will even want to.

Theresa May said the Single Market is pretty much dead to us this week and Phillip Hammond said we will almost certainly become a tax haven in order to lure in big corporations and rich people. Sure, because that sounds like she plans on building a country “that works for everyone”. When our National Health Service is in dangerously dire straits and the Health Secretary takes home £15 million in personal revenue, it certainly sounds like us little people will be just fine. The thing she ignores but claims to be listening to is “the will of the people”. First of all, Brexit was never the will of the “people”, it was the will of 52% of the people. That’s only some of the people, not even half (voter turn out for the Referendum was 75%). Secondly, these people did not vote to leave the single market, they voted for £350 million a week going into the NHS. The literal opposite is happening. There is no amount of money even close to that going into the NHS.

Maybe it will all be ok. Maybe we will all feel totally silly in 4 years for feeling afraid, confused, angry, disappointed and hopeless now. At the moment, I would rather be proven wrong than right. I would rather feel ridiculous than afraid. I would rather feel part of my country than feel like an outsider, like I don’t belong here. Like I don’t matter.

4 years. I’m strapping in.

-Smurf x

 

Daily Prompt: Moody

I’m not sure sometimes of who I am.

I am a sister.

A big sister.

I am a daughter.

The eldest daughter.

That’s pretty much it. I act like both of these things. Responsible, worrying all the time, conscious of everything around me,  being the fixer. Always the fixer. Without these I am no one.

I spend hours, literal hours, doing things for other people. At work. At home.

I’m hardly obligated to do these things or to behave the way I do. I choose to because I don’t know anything else. But sometimes being told I “sigh too much” that I am “cold” that I “wait for people to fail” becomes too much sometimes.

If I am so bad why am I here? If I am so unfeeling, so much a source of contempt, why am I the person called upon to sort things out? If I care that someone isn’t well I care too much and I am overbearing. If I offer an opinion on something or someone I am “unfair” or “rude”.

Every emotion I can show seems to be too much for others. Is it any wonder that I have spent this year, more than any other year, beating down my emotions? I can’t count how many times I have swallowed my tears. The one time I did cry openly this year, the look of contempt I received is something that keeps me awake at night.

I am not surrounded by horrible people. I just don’t think they realise how they look at me sometimes. That look of disgust, like there is something wrong with me.

No matter how much I try. No matter what I do, there is something wrong, something not quite right with me.

I will continue to bear it. No feelings, less emotion, zero tears.

I’ll deal with it all someday.

Just not today. There is simply too much to do.

-Smurf x

via Daily Prompt: Moody

Hold The Line

It’s November the 10th, 2016. The rain and dark clouds of yesterday have cleared, the bitter cold, not so bitter anymore, but still a lingering chill in the air. One that brushes your skin every so often just to remind you of the terrifying world we can only imagine we will be living in for the next 4-5 years, lest you try to forget.

I am grateful for it though. That lingering sense of something awful in the back of my mind, this darkness that is somehow always on the edges of my being. Always there. Always waiting. It’s frightening but I think we need that fear, that uncertainty. As hard as it may be we shouldn’t try to forget.

Was it only 8 years ago that America made history by electing its first ever black President? Not just black, but a lawyer, a senator, an all round cool dude and a good man. In his two terms as President, Obama has overseen new laws that would protect women against domestic violence, avoid suspicion as victims of sexual assault, lobbied for a woman’s right to choose, deployed Obamacare to 20 million people in desperate need of healthcare, made Medicaid accessible to countless other millions, oversaw Bin Laden’s killing, worked tirelessly to ensure sanctions on Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, he was the President when same-sex marriage was legalised across the entire country, created 9.5 million jobs to dramatically reduce the dire unemployment situation and has been the only sitting President to have openly and actively supported LGBT+ issues.

And that’s just some of the big stuff he did.

In response to this however, there was still one thing America decided it had had enough of: pretending they weren’t a country full of racists. Really, 8 years was just too long for them to keep doing that and they have had enough. For all Obama, Biden and First Lady Michelle, worked tirelessly to achieve, the country could not see anything else beyond the colour of his skin. It’s not important for them to elect a leader of the most powerful country on earth who can read, has a plan, knows the tiniest bit about foreign and domestic policy, knows anything about the economy, wants to keep the very new and extremely fragile civility between their country and Cuba intact, isn’t kissing Putin’s arse, doesn’t hate all women but loves and enjoys helping himself to any vagina below the age of 30 and literally hates any and all minorities.

What is important is that Trump is not a woman. Or black. Because fuck all of that Obama crap.

This morning I woke up to news of protests in cities across the country. Hundreds of thousands marching on the streets declaring they will not recognise Donald Trump as their President. Not surprising. And really, it won’t change the fact that he will be sworn in this coming January. Bar some sort of criminal conviction (and it would need to be a big one and provable beyond a reasonable doubt) this man will be President of the United States for the next 4 years. It won’t change it but speaking up is a start.

There are bigger implications in this. The Republicans retained control of the Senate, will elect the newest Supreme Court Judge (because they blocked Obama’s actual Presidential right to do so, you know, because he is black) and will do away with much needed and important policies like not making the planet catch on fire (where will they go for their ski trips if there is no snow I wonder?) Essentially, Obama’s entire legacy will be completely obliterated.

This won’t be a country that works for everyone. It will go back to being a country that services, white, rich, greedy, tax hating, gun loving, homophobes. It’s like the UK, except America are going at it much harder (everything is way bigger over there don’t you know). This won’t be just a giant step back for America, it’s a complete whitewashing of a country determined to ensure minorities know their goddamn place is, which is beneath straight, white people.

And they had better not forget it.

It’s shocking. It’s confusing. It’s beyond stupid. But this is where we are now. Trump will be President come January. Whether we like it or not, the UK will exit the EU and that hateful harpy (who is scarier than Trump because she is, unfortunately, not as dumb as he is) Marine Le Pen will become the elected President of the French Republic. Man, oh man, must terrorists everywhere be having a party at how easy it was to scare the stupid democratic westerners into proving them right.

The answer to all of this isn’t to cry, lick our wounds and pull back. The time for that has gone. We need to get up, dust ourselves off and fight it all over again. You don’t give up just because you lost. You use it to fight that much harder, to make yourselves that much tougher against hate and bullying. You fight for yourselves, your children, your grandchildren, the most vulnerable communities in our society who will surely suffer. You speak up for the world, not just for now but for long after you have left it.

It hurts right now. Use that pain, channel your fear and work to live in a better world where becoming a leader of your country, being part of those entrusted to run the country benefits everyone and not just the elite. Just last week the High Court ruled in favour of putting triggering Article 50 to Parliament first. That is a huge win, one that can wrestle control of Brexit from Theresa May’s scary, trump-loving, incompetency by attempting to make this a measured and transparent exit instead of a Theresa May/Trump/Farage-y type rush job.

That is what fighting gets you. A country working for those so often forgotten until its time for them to bear the burden of corruption. Fighting doesn’t mean trying to reverse a decision like Brexit or a Trump Presidency. It means fighting against the things those things stand for, the things that endanger the vulnerable.

It means donating to food banks, taking responsibility for building your own political knowledge (we know the media and newspapers can’t be trusted to be impartial if this year is anything to go by),  a simple google search will show you when your state has a new election coming, the same thing will help you to read up on that candidate’s (for Governor, Senator, Sheriff, Mayor, whatever) plan, policy, moral compass. Use your head and then vote. Simply voting in an election for President every four years is no longer enough. If you want to avoid another shambolic result that hands all power to those who want to put guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, to those who would burden you with higher tax obligations so that they don’t have to, to those who will tell you what to do with your reproductive organs or face the consequences, you must start from the bottom.

Roll up your sleeves, campaign, be a voice, donate, educate others, do something, anything to help get us all out from under the thumb of elitism. You can cry if you want to. You can scream if you need to. But don’t give up. You were lucky enough to have Obama for those eight years. We didn’t even have that. There has been no one even close. And right now, it’s Theresa May’s outright lies or Jeremy Corbyn (and I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him). Backing down does nothing but normalise hate speech, take our power away. Stand tall.

You can do it. We can all do it. Invest the time.

Don’t give up.

Hold the line.

We can do it.

Just hold the line.

-Smurf x

 

 

President Trump

It sounds like a joke.

It isn’t.

 

It sounds like much of the world’s heart is breaking.

It is.

 

It feels like this signals the beginning of a time when basic levels of human decency will no longer be basic.

It does.

 

It feels like nobody saw beyond race, religion, greed, experience, or sexuality.

They didn’t.

 

If you feel like you’re staring down the barrel of a gun pointed at your face.

Get used to it.

 

If you want to get an abortion or birth control.

Good luck with that.

 

If you think your country can avoid starting nuclear warfare.

Think again.

 

If you think your job is secure.

I wouldn’t.

 

If you’re a white, middle class, straight, male.

You’ll be just fine.

 

If you’re anything but a white, middle class, straight, male.

You won’t be.

 

If you’re afraid.

We can be afraid together.

 

If you feel like you can’t breathe.

We can breathe together.

 

If you need to cry.

We can cry together.

 

Tomorrow you get up.

Tomorrow you fight it all again.

Tomorrow you fight harder.

 

If you’re a parent

Your child might fix this someday

 

If you’re not a parent

Your child might still fix this someday

 

Today isn’t someday.

Neither is tomorrow.

 

But someday.

 

 

Someday…

-NP

“Not Voting with my Vagina”

Now the usual response to this would be “shut up, nobody is asking you to”.

 

Except this year, it really is kind of important to consider one’s vagina when casting one’s ballot in this year’s election. There are any number of things to consider when voting for the next President, the economy, policy, the death penalty, abortion laws, gun laws, so very many things. Susan Sarandon, one of Hollywood’s most famous names does not think either Trump or Hillary are good options for President. I get it. I do. She couldn’t give a rat’s behind which of them becomes the next President of the United States because she is impressed by neither candidate. She thinks it’s important to vote for third parties.

That last statement makes me think that vaginas might actually be pretty damn important when voting. Here is why, and it is really a very simple argument.

DONALD TRUMP GRABS “PUSSIES” WITHOUT PERMISSION.

There is nothing remotely Presidential about this man but this takes the collective vagina. Susan, your privilege means you get to not vote with your vagina. There are so many others who fight day in and day out to make sure they don’t have the same basic economic, employment and even basic human rights to not be treated like they’re a walking, talking, breathing vagina just waiting for a man to come and do whatever he wants with it.

Have there been stronger candidates for the Presidency in the past? Absolutely yes. Yes, there have. But that was then and this is now. Right now these two are the frontrunners. One of these two will become President. It has to be one of these two. Don’t bury your head in your vagina and think that they will go away. They won’t. Not until one of them becomes President of your country.You don’t have to open your legs, just your eyes, your mind, your heart even and look at the consequences of ignoring the importance of a vagina vote in this election.

Because a vote against Hillary, I don’t care if it’s for or against Trump, or for or against an independent, is a vote against your vagina.

Good job.

 

-Smurf x

 

Can Hillary Do It?

Short answer: I don’t know.

I do know that she if Hillary Clinton could kick her own backside for being stupid enough to use a private email server while she was Secretary of State, especially knowing that she would run for President again, she would. Oh my god, she would.

Those emails have been, not so much a thorn in her side, but a sledgehammer beating her over the head for her entire campaign. The Director of the FBI (a supposedly impartial role) James Comey attempted an outrageously transparent attempt to obliterate Hillary’s chances of being elected President. Only a week before the elections, Comey wrote a letter to Congress which somewhat sort of kind of did but didn’t implicate Hillary in even more questionable emails, linked to Anthony (oh my god go away) Weiner.

Just a couple of days before the election, Comey sent another letter to Congress telling them that there was no evidence in the emails to suggest Hillary had acted criminally and they would not be pursuing any charges against her.  This was, of course, after much of the world that doesn’t view total corruption as anything but what it actually is, saw right through Comey’s bullshit obligation to notify Congress of potential findings in evidence not yet secured by a warrant linked to a Presidential freaking candidate just days before the election.

The sheer vile, narcissistic, degrading, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-semitic, bigoted (the list goes on) campaign Donald Trump has run is nothing short of mind boggling. Think of it as the pro-Brexit campaign on acid. We’re talking outright lies and bigotry here from a man running to be the President of the most powerful country on earth. This man would have access to the country’s nuclear codes for god’s sake! Nuclear. Codes. Under Donald Trump’s commands. It sounds like a joke.

I am horrified by the fact this election is too damn close to call. It shouldn’t be. Hillary is the most qualified candidate of the two (I’m not even entertaining the independents because if they gave even the tiniest fuck about the country and not themselves, they would have pulled out of the race ages ago). She has lived and breathed politics for much of her life. She has made mistakes, my god has she made mistakes, but at least she knows what the hell the word “policy” means. At least she knows that the country needs putting back together again. At least she can see everyone, no matter their race, religion, gender, sexuality (more than we can say for Theresa May and Donald Trump). At least she knows that serving the needs of already privileged is not the job of a President.

Back in June, I was worried about Brexit. I never actually entertained the idea my fellow Brits would be stupid enough to vote us out of the EU. I took for granted that people recognised how privileged they were to be part of the EU. I took for granted the depths of hate people were capable of given the slightest opportunity for hatred. We had a literal murder of an MP, places of worship vandalised and hate crime is up at an alarming rate and it still continues. This tug of war. This constant fighting. This seemingly never ending feeling of instability, of never knowing what shoe will drop next.

So I am taking nothing for granted this time. 2016 is the year that has repeatedly kicked us all in the collective arse time and time again. Why should I believe it won’t just go ahead and gut us all one last time by electing the biggest joke Presidential candidate we have ever seen.

Frankly, I’m not holding my breath the U.S. can do this.

I hope, that come tomorrow, when the result is clear, we can all take a big breath together. And when the new President is sworn in in January 2017, we will all feel like everything will be ok and that 2016 was just a blip we can all start to try to fix.

Because the alternative doesn’t even bear thinking about.

 

-Smurf x