Monthly Archives: June 2016


E17 So. Not the best of days today to put it mildly courtesy of the Tory party.

Lots of glum kids today at work who were at a loss to understand why on Earth people voted to leave, along with many openly despairing staff.

I could rage on and on and on, but this comment on the Guardian article Grieve now if you must – but prepare for the great challenges ahead sums it up well; I don’t agree with the author that trying to fight against the results of the vote is the way, but it is succinct about what the vote was really about:
“‘Many of the nearly half of the British people who voted remain now feel scared and angry.’

It goes far deeper than that Owen. I’m fairly sure that in your heart you know the overt debate on Europe was largely a chimera. We haven’t ever lost sovereignty, we are better off economically in a single market, the EU has been an important stabilising force in Europe, and leaving will not tackle immigration. Almost all of the issues that have driven deeply ill informed, marginalised working class people to vote “leave” have little to do with Europe and everything to do with a 35 year right wing project to dismantle the post WW2 liberal democratic settlement.

I don’t hesitate to describe the main political players in the leave campaign as “extreme right”. more importantly I have no doubt their prime motivation for leaving is to pave the way to a neo-liberal capitalist, UK, modelled on the wildest wet dream ambitions of US style libertarian capitalism. The US right has long complained that Europe is “too liberal”, code for: “we want all cash flows in public services as investment vehicles for the vast amount of capital we’ve stolen from the world at large”. Strip the UK of EU rules that uphold the European liberal democratic consensus and see how much worse things will get for working class outers, and all the rest of us too.

Almost all the ills the working classes are experiencing spring from Thatcher’s neo-liberal capitalist project. Globalisation has exported their jobs to low wage economies, ideological austerity has stripped quality of life to the bone, especially in the north. Thatcher’s project tacitly recognises that consumerist growth based capitalism has run its course and in many way the agenda of the very rich has been to asset strip their own countries in order to consolidate their own relative wealth as insulation against the inevitable catastrophic crash. Deflecting the blame for the consequences of these policies on to the EU is well executed distraction…

…sheer genius to to use the same trick to shoe horn in a far right wing Tory administration led by Johnson. Working class people have been duped – again.

I agree that some remainers have been arrogant – but it is difficult for anyone with a decent grasp of the issues surrounding Europe to not feel a degree of frustration. Watching a large group of people who’ve been crapped on for decades being duped into voting for something that almost entirely in the interests of the people doing the crapping is not easy, especially when they are “your people”, and, that for many, the prime motivater is anger directed at immigrants who are in exactly the same boat as they are.

Then there’s the position of millions of individuals who committed their future to a life in other EU countries, (I’ve always been too poor to own a house in the UK but we bought a ruin in France and rebuilt it – its everything we own – it’s probably worthless right now) – who knows what’s going to happen to them? One thing is for sure – most will have woken up with gut churning anxiety this morning.

You are right -Cameron is culpable, he took a course that’s putting the UK and Europe in real danger. If he has any decency he will acknowledge this farce of a referendum is not legally binding and do everything in his power to prevent Article 50 from being invoked, Corbyn must do the same.

I’m not angry with the working class revolt because it’s not any such thing – this is a right wing coup – the window the working classes had on the issues has been owned by the right for 30 years. Their fury and resentment is justified – but it’s directed in the wrong places. On the other hand, I’m more than afraid, I’m sick with anxiety and slightly terrified.

This is a nightmare. We’re already seeing the “it’s our turn next” comments from Marine Le Pen. This is a moment when the left need to turn around and fight. Populist votes are the tools of demagogues, referenda are deeply anti democratic. We have to fight to not allow uninformed choices to be empowered by informed choices – you are pinning your hopes on left wing victories in Europe – I’m pinning mine on fighting to resist Brexit with every fibre of my being”
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Big Country – Twitch Absorb – The Essay – Work – Personal Shopping

Big Country

Screencap from the impressively homoerotic fight scene between Gregory Peck and Charlton Heston from one of my favourite Westerns, The Big Country. It’s full of astonishing landscapery which gives rise to feelings of longing within… Also, abhor his politics, but boy does Heston’s physique outclass in this film. Anyway…

I’ve thought about writing a lot, but as is quite clear, I haven’t done anything about it until now, the Sunday evening of a weekend filled with naps, gaming and absorbing others playing online on Twitch, which was not filled with the flat tidying I needed to do, or the 150 reports I needed to craft (AKA cut and paste to save my sanity). Reports have to be done by Wednesday. OH WELL.

The Essay: I got one mark less than I did last year, so I didn’t fail; feedback from my tutors was appropriate and helpful. Fucking awful time of it, writing-wise, but I was reasonably pleased with how I did – a merit – considering I know that there were many problems with parts of it. It’s done, and I don’t need to worry about writing so much again this year thank Christ.

Work: continues to be shite. It is what it is – a big paycheck that means I can save for a big holiday every now-and-then – but I daily question what i’m doing there. There’s so little satisfaction – behaviour is still bad, school still stuck in the stone age, many colleagues seem to be unable to do their fucking jobs.

There is the possibility that things might improve slightly in the future, but I don’t think it’s going to be the wholesale reform that needs to happen – i’m not a good fit for the place I think. I expected to teach hard-working, smart, switched-on kids, but my God are those a rarity. Ability – and crucially the amount of willingness and effort put in – is far below my last non-selective school, and I can’t teach to the best of my ability because of the behaviour and management systems – or lack of them.

Can’t wait for the end of term, but it’s over a month away at this point, and I know that i’ll probably have to go in over the break to make more of an impact on the shite that I have not had time to sort out – over ten years’ worth of junk from my predecessor. There’s also so much to do before I get to “freedom”.

I feel like I get so little done, as I have zero support in my department – my colleague is super part-time, and she comes in, does her job uninspiringly, and goes home. She doesn’t do what we previously agreed upon, and causes more problems than she contributes in terms of any help; I have support from other heads of other departments, but it would be so great to have the admin support that many other schools have, so that my working life might be made simpler and easier.


Other than that… got some artwork on show in town over a weekend coming up as part of a town-wide event, which will be a bit weird, as it’s going to be very personal work in a tailoring shop. It’s something different I suppose, and more experience is always a good thing… I think? I’ve been making a bit of new work recently which has been enjoyable, but of course there’s always room for more. Much more.

What else… I’ve spent megabucks on what will be two weeks driving myself about Utah, Nevada and Arizona over the Summer break, so I have something exciting to look forward to, and day dreaming of things of the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” variety goes some small way to brightening up my days. Two years from my last trip to a desert I still think of it often, so it’s an investment for the future, or at least this is what i tell myself as I see my budget dwindle…

Also, i’m tired. Bed.
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