Saturday 14 December 2019


I've organised my thoughts sufficiently to talk about the UK elections. Firstly, I believe the campaign, driven by shady characters and shady money, is a prelude and a test case for the US in 2020. The tactics, the plutocratic interests, the slogans, even the Twitter troll armies (and Facebook ads) are too similar to ignore. Two of the "great global democracies" have begun their descent into authoritarian, proto-Fascist darkness. Hell, they even use the phrases that were test-driven in another "great democracy" 90 years ago, and proved a huge success. Both are dissolving consensus reality - we can't trust what we see and hear anymore, and, insecure about the facts, we freeze or step back. The good lack all conviction. It surely won't be as bad. Right?

I don't know what it is about humanity that we need these fragile strongmen, every few generations, to lead us towards perdition. Meanwhile, climate change is the ticking clock on the wall. It's dire. BJ is still considered a "buffoon". Well, when that other guy rose, 90 years ago, the politicians and population who weren't his ardent followers (and he had those) considered him a bit of a clown too. People now think that BJ will soften his stance, now that his majority is so overwhelming that he doesn't have to cater to the hardcore extremists.

That other guy, 90 years ago, would "surely mature in office" and "his incidentary rhetoric will surely calm down now that he's Chancellor."

Turned out, he didn't.

BJ even got his "empowerment law" through parliament (those Henry VIII powers are scary, guys).

I hope I'm wrong. But I'm a historian by training, and I've studied the same playbook that these players are using, and am frankly shocked that that shit flies when we have all the hindsight and books dissecting how Fascists and authoritarians and supremacists have done it, in multiple countries.

But that's the cards we've been dealt, and as Mark Twain is said to have said, history doesn't repeat, but it sure rhymes.

I'm still pondering what to do. My immediate future is secured, the Home Office has deigned to grant me Settled Status - which means nothing without a deal, and I don't trust the UK Government to not curtail my rights later when it's expedient. Not only am I for the moment allowed to cast my filthy immigrant shadow on Albion's hallowed soil, poppies and all, they've also told me I can apply for British citizenship, but I find the very thought revolting, to be honest. Firstly, Germany allows dual nationality only with other EU countries (so with the UK leaving next month, that's a very small window of time), and I'd never give up my citizenship, because ironically it'll protect my partner's rights if and when we choose to get the hell out of Brexitannia.

We had that chat late at night after the exit polls showed that the UK has switched the light off. For the moment, we're fine - we are both employed in the City, we make solid money, we stuff money into our private pensions, and we're paying off the house quickly, and we have private medical. As homeowners, we'd be Tory voters (except I'm an immigrant, and nobody in this house will ever vote Tory at any election). I asked whether he wanted to bring our exit plan forward, explaining to him he has every protection in Germany (and, I think, by extension, anywhere in Europe), which seemed to surprise him.

He said: "Yes, but I'm aware of all the people who can't leave, like $godson, and $goddaughter, and for them we gotta fight back."

So that's one thing we'll do. We'll do our very best to fight back. Time is on our side - demographics show that the kids (i.e. people below 40 years) are all right. And the kids will grow up witnessing 15-20 years of Tory cruelty, and seeing the NHS getting sold off, with all the suffering that will entail. The Tories are turning the young generation into activists with political awareness, while their own supporters age out and die off. In the long run, we'll be fine (though climate change might get us before then - but even then, the youngsters have grown up with Tories doing absolutely fuck-all in the face of an existential threat).

In the small details, Dude and I will both most likely join a political party, and help where we can. Our "get out" plan is established and automated - we are ready to leave pretty much within mere months if necessary. I'm pushing even harder our efforts to put money aside (diversified into euros because we'll most likely end up in the EU somewhere, France or Germany), and increase my earnings. On an even smaller level, that'll mean writing more again because royalties will help reach the point where we can walk away from the blazing fire in time and unscathed. Personally, I now consider the government and its agencies hostile i.e. actively xenophobic, racist, supremacist, and unaccountable - I've run out of trust and I'll do my very best to be prepared and stay prepared to leave, while monitoring the power grab and hostile actions in detail, and getting and staying organised.

But for the moment, we stay and fight, for the children of our friends.


  1. I feel much the same as you, and largely at a loss because moving for us is so hard now. I still need to process the result, and the response from some that I'd considered friends. There's a lot of "I'm all right, Jack" that I'm struggling to stomach.

    1. Agreed. I'm breaking off all relations with Tory supporters and enablers. I'm spending my money in immigrant-owned businesses. It's tiny - hell, Wetherspoons didn't feel it when I stopped writing in the local pub on Saturdays post-referendum - but it's one way to act on my convictions. I'm so disgusted I've looked at selling up here and moving to a Labour -voting area, and I spend time every week on real estate websites with listings in Germany or France. I really do hope that the European countries will make it easier for Brits to leave the country - Germany has apparently been very welcoming to local British people. But yeah, it's dire, and "I'm all right, Jack" just shows a complete lack of empathy or ability to see the bigger picture.

  2. As an immigrant I understand your way of thinking and totally agree with you. It's always best to have some kind of safety net. I also hope that others will follow your example and take measures to be safe on the long term.