an outsider’s view: why a labour win would be a phyrric victory

Who should clean up the Brexit mess — the perpetrators under the gaze of the opposition, or the opposition under the cackles of those who have caused it?

The most important aspect about nation states is that they provide a circumscribed stage for a narrative that is designed to capture the wider populus over generations, and bind its constituent parts together no matter on which side of the story they happen to find themselves. ‘National stories’ have been part and parcel of the discourse since at least the 17th century. The minute such a narrative becomes incredulous it is bound to self-destruct. This results in the attached nation having to reshape itself – be that through revolution/war, reform or dissolution (for example: Yugoslavia, Turkey after the Ottomans, Soviet Union).

Within a national story there are smaller sub plots: Economic, cultural, scientific, spiritual and political narratives – all of which need to be in synch with each other, as well as have unique foundation stones that anchor each narrative deep down. Occasionally these stories collapse as well: the ‘collapse’ of the left would be one of the major examples here. Or, in Britain, the story called ‘Brexit.’

What is a story? On one hand, the listeners (Joanne Public) get something out of it, mostly an explanation of ‘why things are/ought to be’. This of course is nothing more than cerebral Soma, a fobbing off of the inquisitive mind. Official narratives do not take kindly to being questioned — anyone who openly wonders about contradictions within a narrative (and there are plenty, for example that ‘Britain was a benign colonial power‘) is either ignored, ridiculed, or at worst shut down (education services are doing a ‘superb’ job here). Continue reading “an outsider’s view: why a labour win would be a phyrric victory” »

voting laws in the EU need reforming

Rien ne va plus? – It’s all they have.

If Brexit has highlighted one thing it’s the insufficient scope when it comes to voter participation for those who have migrated across borders and settled in their chosen home countries.

True, one can elect local representatives. Different countries interpret this in various ways, which is the first issue: In Vienna, for example, one can vote only in district elections – with district governments being rather toothless when it comes to making decisions of both a policy and a budgetary nature.

In London, on the contrary, EU voters can indeed vote for Mayor – a rather more powerful office. This enabled the million or so EU residents to ensure Zac Goldsmith lost last year, partly due to his pro-Brexit stance which alienated many in what is a traditionally open and cosmopolitan city.

The second and main problem, however, is — and this might be a rather radical thought — that EU citizens should not be excluded from voting on a national level after a certain amount of time of being resident in their host country, let’s say five years. They should be able to choose between continuing to vote in their home country (as they can now) or to partake in national elections in their adopted country. (Naturally, they should not be able to do both) Continue reading “voting laws in the EU need reforming” »

the outsider on the inside — reloaded

pidog waking up
Inner pigdog waking up

It’s been two years since this blog showed any kind of activity. That said, the internal pressure has been building, caused by all sorts of developments, both on a personal and a wider global level.

Writing on here is the result of an internal ongoing battle: Whilst keeping a creative glimmer alive I have found it difficult to express that creativity in a meaningful way.

This is partly that I don’t have the true artist’s drive inherent, yet also based on a somewhat paralysed laziness, the innere Schweinehund as it’s known in German — the inner pigdog. There is, however a bit of talent sloshing about – which I can tap once the Schweinehund has been shown the door. Continue reading “the outsider on the inside — reloaded” »

London walks: Streatham pumping station

Very close to where I live there stands a Victorian gem: The Streatham Pumping Station. Built to attract prospective homeowners to the newly built suburbs, more money was spent than was strictly necessary. More information here.

If you are in the area, have a look – the pumping station can be found at the corner of Conyers and Gleneagle Roads.
If you are in the area, have a look – the pumping station can be found at the corner of Conyers and Gleneagle Roads.