Category Archives: European Union

Hell Raiser? Trailblazer?

One thing I’ve always tried to do, at any election, is vote. I just feel that regardless of who you support (or in the case of UK, plan to support tomorrow), if you dont vote, you have no right to complain about the outcome of the vote. I actually missed one earlier this month, the local council election, because I can barely walk (and thats being optimistic) more than a few hundred yards now, due to the fact that the brain, and mobility rarely both function well at the same time, due to the seizure stuff. Quite often one works, and the other doesnt, and I get the odd day where neither are in a going mood, and the very rare day when both work.

So, given that around here, only one party was ever going to win the vote (they did, comfortably), and the pain it would be to arrange someone to transport me to a voting station about 600 yards away, park to allow me to vote, and then collect me again, I didnt bother, no great issue.

Thing is, tomorrow is the vote that should have never happened, the EU Election, but it is. No, I’m not going to say which side I’m on, or who I’m planning to vote for, neutrality, and all that. But because this is a regional, proportional vote thing, my vote is a bit more important. So… Before anyone says anything, it was a bit late to arrange a postal vote after the seizures, and besides which, my brain really isnt up to challenges like that. If I get a negative result from the neurologist next month, as expected, then I probably will for the future, but this is sooner than that, so…

In the fairly unlikely event that my mobility is good tomorrow, I intend to walk up to the voting building, and cast my vote that way. Mind, if thats the case, the chance of my brain being up to the complex voting thing, we will see, lol? So what’s Plan B, you ask? Well, Eric has one of those mobility vehicles, and I’m going to give that a try, if needed. No, obviously I’ve never used one before, but he tells me its not that difficult to drive (famous last words), and as its not far…?

In truth, if they’re going away in the autumn for a few weeks, and I’m still here, I’m going to need some way of getting around, if I need to, and something like that is the best option locally, other than taxis, which is a bit expensive! The last time I drove anything? Well, I was in my 20’s, and now I’m 61, so… I’d stay off the streets around here tomorrow, lol, as I dont know yet when I’m going out. Funny thing is, I’m out again Friday, to the surgery for blood tests, and to collect prescriptions, but wisely planning to do that by taxi, as a fair bit further, and I suspect I’ll need more practice before doing that distance! But weather permitting, I will get there to vote, thats for sure.

Right, video time. When you grow up on Glam Rock, and know this is 46 years old, you know you’re old, lets face it. Oh, but I’m a ‘Sweet’ old lady, lol. Or maybe I’m a…?

 

 

 

 

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So what happens now?

Well, I must admit, when I avoided discussing the Brexit vote on Sunday, I wasnt expecting this position, though in truth, I’m not totally surprised it did. Yes, the vote that was due to happen in Parliament today, over the Brexit agreement was cancelled yesterday, when I think even Theresa May realised it was going to end in crushing defeat, and there wasnt a lot she could do about that. The irony of this being that she cant get the votes from the rabid Brexiteers of her party (not extreme enough), or those who wanted to remain (not a sane deal), which just sums it up

So, to quote the blog title, what happens now? In truth, the only answer I can offer, no idea! The media seem nearly as clueless as the politicians on the matter, as I’ve heard answers from every point on the spectrum from Brexit being cancelled, to just crashing out of the EU, and pure chaos ensuing. Or, of course, just about anywhere in between!

It seems May is going to try to renegotiate, even though the EU have clearly said thats not going to happen. Lets face it, why should they want to offer us the most perfect deal, its not in their best position to do so. I’m going to manage to stay neutral on this for one good reason, neither of the major parliamentary parties seem to have half an idea on how to resolve this matter! I also feel less guilty if I do slip up, as I’ve seen 2 colleagues posting decidedly non politically neutral postings on the event today on social media, anyway, lol! 😛 Before anyone says this is anti Conservative bias, I’m not a fan of Corbyn either!

Oh, and to put it into context, without mentioning how I voted again, you could always just look back to my blogs, at the time of the vote (pre Civil Service job days, so could comment) to see how I voted, lol. 😉

The interesting (and possibly fun) thing is, that at some point, May needs to put something to a vote, and given the wide spectrum of feeling in her own party, and the fact that the opposition just want to vote against her regardless, it looks like she will lose the vote at some point, assuming she hasnt been dethroned by her party before then, and nothing would surprise me at present.

My dream outcome, that the office lottery syndicate win the jackpot before March 29, I can declare retirement, and hurry off somewhere hot all the year round, and yes, I might have been there recently, lol. Both so I’m out the country should chaos break out (and medicines is one big issue that concerns me a lot), and so that I can retire comfortably in the EU sun! Well, unless some wealthy American in a warm state goes crazy, and marries me, lol, anyway. Or I find a ‘sugar daddy (or mummy) who wants to set me up somewhere suitably warm. Think the former is more likely than the last two, and thats saying something!

Oh, and two additional amusing moments with a political touch today. Firstly, Theresa May went to see Angela Merkel in Germany today about the current chaos. Funny point, her car door wouldnt open, and let her out. Eventually she did get out, but fine, the film is all over Social Media now, hilarious stuff.

Secondly, in the US, Trump was made to look the fool he is today, when meeting with a pair of leading Democrats, over his desire to build a wall between the US, and Mexico. Yes, he made the threat to shut down the US if he didnt get his way, like a very spoilt child, and they managed to get it recorded for posterity. Way things are going, with luck, some time in the near future there will be a wall around him, a prison wall!

Fine, lets call it quits here, and hope its UK neutral enough, lol. So, video time. A song from Evita, with a very apt line, repeated numerous times.

Its the final countdown?

Well, barring the need for a trip that is unexpected at this time, Saturday sees me starting off on my last ever ‘Inter-EU’ holiday, to Portugal. Also, I guess I’d better add the codicil that is the fact that I am assuming at this point that we will actually leave the EU in March 2019, because lets face it, weirder things have happened in life, for sure! But yes, all things considered, this should be the final time I do this. I just hope this doesnt totally ruin my hopes of moving somewhere hot, all year round, after retirement, but fear it might.

Of course I’m old enough to remember a time before we were even in the EU, and back then, if I remember rightly, there were just 6 countries in the Common Market, as it was called back then. At that time, barring 1 school day trip to France, I’d never been to any of the Common Market Countries in my life. By now, I’ve been to 4 of the original 6, and 20 of the current 28, including the UK! The most visited (excluding UK, obviously) would be Ireland, easily, though most of those visits would be before it entered the EU, but besides that…

The thing I’m going to miss the most, is the easy entry to said Countries, as a EU Passport holder. Mind, given that ‘Old Mother Time’ has caught up with me, I will no longer have to stand in the queues to get through passport control any more, just ride through in a wheelchair. I must admit, the main reason I always booked the service to the US was because of getting into that country through Immigration, for which my back wouldnt stand, but I’ve been ‘advised’ that it might be wise to use the service now to Portugal, so yes, its been booked tonight. I cant see the queues being so long that I would have standing time issues, but its done!

Oh, there is one unique thing that I shall be able to do this time around. My only time in Spain was over 20 years ago, when I got the ferry across from Vila Real De Santo Antonio, to Ayamonte, just across the river. The irony back then, the amount of time I could spend in Spain was limited, as I had no local currency to spend. Yes, pre Euro’s days! Now, next week, no issue at all, as one currency works in both countries.

I’m not planning a stressful week for my trip, it really is an attempt to get some sun, and heat into my back before the UK winter kicks in! A planned trip to Faro, (I’m almost in Spain, at Monte Gordo), and a planned trip to Spain, and a lot of relaxation. Oh, and maybe use the hotel spa once or twice, if I can afford it! Other than that, health break, lol!

Oh, to add, I’m out on Thursday evening, so this is the last blog before the weekend, from the Algarve, just saying…

Fine, video time. The obvious song, but not the obvious group. I havent used a Post Modern Jukebox cover version in a while, so lets right that fact tonight

You have the right to be free

Now this could be one of those fun postings tonight, given I’m not meant to make political comments about the UK, because of my job, so if it looks like I’m trying to avoid saying something, I probably am!

So lets start with the Brexit situation. Those who have been around a while will have an idea of my view on the matter, but we arent here to discuss, or mention that. Because for this piece at least, regardless of how it all plays out, my sympathy lies with those people here, who have moved here from the rest of Europe. Oh, and strictly, those British people now living in the rest of the EU. So why do I feel sympathy for them, its just the total feeling they must have, of not knowing how things will play out for them in the future.

No, I now have no plans to work permanently anywhere abroad (unless I get a never ending TV offer, or something, anyway, ha ha), though I still hope that maybe, just for a little while, either in standard work, or in media, that I get the chance to work in North America some day. Doubt it will happen now, especially with my current health, though I guess for some roles, someone who actually uses a wheelchair, some of the time, might be a benefit?

But for those who wish to do so, either here, or in Europe, its a bit of a ‘no mans land’ situation at present. I just hope that sometime, at some point, the whole matter can get settled in a satisfactory manner.

The other matter that has saddened me again is religion. Again, I’m not going to (hopefully) get involved too politically in this, though thankfully this isnt a UK issue anyway.

I may not be the most religious person in the whole wide world, though I always state I’m Christian on those forms you have to fill in, I’m certainly not an ‘every Sunday’ churchgoing type, or anything. In fact, if anything, I’m probably multi-religious (if possible), or for want of another term, I take the best of many religions, and try to live life like that.

Unsurprisingly, given I work in Bradford, I work with a good number of Muslim people. Now, as a Trans person, you might think some might look down on me because of that. In fact, in truth, its just the opposite. To say that they’ve taken me, and my situation to heart, and have supported me, is putting it mildly! Thats not to say that everyone in the office hasnt done the same, but if you believed some of those right wing ‘crazies’, well…Not that they like LGBT folk on the whole, but to their way of thinking, I’d have major issues, nothing of the sort.

In truth, probably inspired by one woman in the office, who may recognize herself, but I’m not naming her, and the example she sets, I’d probably be more at peace as a Muslim woman, than being involved with some of the Christian folk around today. There are a number of lovely Christian people in truth, but in terms of a peaceful religious lifestyle, guess which one wins out for me?

I know, someone is going to shout IS at me, and fair enough. But do you know what percentage of Muslims actually support IS? A tiny fraction, if that many! Bit like saying all the Christians in the world are of the LGBT hating, bible bashing type, so untrue!

Oh fine, I’ll get to the main matter at last. Another Country has banned the Burka, and Niqab, and now a Canadian State is in the process of following suit. Yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m sad to see this. Let me say that I would say that I would love to see women given the choice of whether to wear it, or not, and I suspect for most, they do get that choice. There may be some that dont get that choice, of course, but I do wish they could have their say. But yes, I feel the ban, thankfully only abroad at present is the wrong way to go.

Me, yes, absolutely, if I was Muslim, I’d happily wear it. But fine, I’m submissive anyway, so I guess the nature of wearing it appeals to me regardless? I’m delighted that most women here only have to wear the Hijab (forgive my spelling on these items, if wrong), if that is all that they, and their family want them to wear! Me, I’d love to experience what wearing a Niqab, or Burka is like, both as a support to Muslim women, and their choice to wear what they want, and also because, as I suspect what counts as ‘Actress curiosity’, I’d be fascinated to know what its like, both my reaction, and others to my wearing of one. If anyone could give me the opportunity, without upsetting Muslim people…?

Yes, the experience I gained of using a wheelchair last month, at airports, was an eye opener, and not in a good way. I’d heard people say that people will try and ignore anyone in a wheelchair, and I’d have to say in 90% of cases, they’d be right! Maybe one day, they will be in that same position, I wonder how they will feel then? Yes, it would be interesting to walk out dressed in Niqab, or Burka, completely covered in that way, and even in Bradford, a multi cultural city, see how many people would actually look me in the eye? Hmm?

OK, video time. Something a bit different tonight. I was 13 when this came out, and it struck a chord with me, even though at that age the sentiments meant little to me. Now they mean a lot more. I actually looked up Les Crane on Wikipedia, and seemingly he was far more than a one hit wonder!

That Same Old Feeling?

Fine, given my love of posting all things political, I’ll keep that side of it brief. Yes, it came as a shock to me, when I got up Friday morning, to find out we’d voted to leave Europe. I did vote to Remain, in the end, though in truth, I only decided for sure a couple of days before, and I’m pretty sure that the sad death of Jo Cox probably played a part in settling on that, but anyway, its happened!

The funny thing is, its not the first EU vote I’ve lived through, though I was too young to vote, when we voted to go in, in 1973. So yes, I’ve lived outside the EU before, though to be fair, the one we entered then, and the one we’ve left now, are 2 very different beasts.

But fine, thats not the issue I want to write about tonight.

One thing I’ve always accepted about a democratic vote, is that you accept the result of such vote. So fine, however unhappy I might be about the result of this vote, I accept the majority have spoken, and accept that. Sadly, and to me, embarrassingly, there are far too many people, who now want to have a second vote, because they didnt get the result they wanted. About 1.5 million, at the last count, in fact!

Please, accept the result, the vote has been made, by a clear majority (over a million) to leave, and we have to live with, and accept it. Whether its the wise decision, or otherwise, its the one thats been made, so…I know why its cropped up, and ironically, its because the leave campaign thought they might be in a similar position. Nigel Farage said that if the vote was closer than 52-48 to stay, he would make the same appeal that others are making now that leave has won! So I guess its come back to bite him now, but please, no.

Hopefully it wont be as bad as I fear, but we will see on that. Already the leave campaign are back tracking on promises made, so I’m not going to hold my breath on that, but we will see. Anyway, no more votes on this, please! Not unless you count the possible Scottish Independence re-run, or a slightly less likely united Ireland one, as related, but anyway…

OK, video time. I loved this piece of pleasant 70’s pop, and this sort of gives me a chance to use it, seeing as we will again be as we were in 1970, not a part of Europe. Interesting fact? The name of this group, is the name of a pub in Yeovil. Guess where me, and my one long term partner met for our first proper date? Yes, got it in one! In fact we’d seen each other for quite a while by then, but only as team mates, in a skittles team. No, not the 10 pin bowling stuff, a whole different sport that seems only to have ever been played in the South West of England!

On which side is the greener grass?

Oh fine, for the second time running, I get a blog planned out, and events do their best to overtake it. And again, not in a good way either, sadly.

Yes, this time next week, we will know whether the UK has voted to stay in, or leave the EU, for better, or for worse. Me, I’m still undecided on the whole issue, just totally disenchanted by the negative campaigns that both sides have run so far, and I dont hold out much hope for that changing now. Interesting thing is, the polls are suggesting that the ‘leave’ campaign has edged in front, but the betting still favours the ‘remain’ side, so we will see. Its more complex than it might seem, given many in Gibraltar will get to vote, and its fair to assume they will be firmly in the ‘remain’ camp, given how Spain feels about them!

But anyway, the subject I planned to focus on before yesterday at least, and will still do so, to some degree. The curious happening, is a sudden increase in interest in people living in the UK, applying for Irish passports. Yes, because people who have had Irish born relatives, right back as far as grand parents can register as an Irish Citizen, and would be able to stay in the EU, if we voted to leave. Me, unfortunately, the last generation I know was born in Ireland, is my great grand parents, on my mother’s side. As I have had no contact with my father’s side of the family for nearly 50 years (he died about 1970), trying to find out at which point exactly any grand parent I might have had, left Ireland permanently, not a clue! Given that both sides left around the turn of the century (1900), to come to England, I suspect my luck would be out.

Would I do it, if I could, if I found 1 grand parent somewhere, born in Ireland? I really dont know, to tell the truth. I certainly wouldnt, if we voted to ‘remain’, clearly, as there would be little point doing that, simply to stay in the EU. If we voted to ‘leave’, it comes down to which way I voted, I guess! ‘Leave’, and I’d be hypocritical to then apply, anyway. ‘Remain’, well, then maybe, but I must admit that the thought of all that paperwork, just to find out if I could apply (and I have my serious doubts I could), then its probably a bit much. But fine, if it was easier, hmm?

OK, the sad fact that has to be mentioned, especially as the lady concerned was an MP for a seat not that far from here. Yesterday, a brave lady was murdered by an extreme, right wing lunatic, simply because he disagreed, and felt that she should ‘Put Britain First’ as he stated, regardless of her individual belief, that she’s legally entitled to. Sadly, her family, and many others are left to mourn after his idiotic behaviour. May she rest in peace, I must say that much, for sure.

I know, in a sense, it shouldnt be the clincher to decide which way I vote, but I must admit, it makes me more likely to vote to ‘remain’ than I was before yesterday, and I suspect I’m not the only one who feels that way. So, in the end, he might have cost the ‘leave’ group a lot of votes, instead of the opposite, which is what he desired. Crazy, but thats how these things work out.

Hopefully thats the last of politics, and comments on people dying for a while, but that might be wishful thinking?

OK, video time. Unfortunately I couldnt find a live performance of this by Petula Clark, but this seems a pretty good second prize

Making plans with Nigel

Fine, lets face it, if anything can possibly be designed to wake up the comments section on here (maybe?), its politics! So lets have a go, and see what happens.

Assuming nothing dramatic happens, 4 months from now, we’ll know if the UK is still part of the European Union, or not. Yes, supposedly we have an agreement on what will happen if Britain stays in the EU, though it seems one or two are saying its not actually set in stone, so who knows? Its not like I have much faith in Cameron, or most politicians to tell the truth, so pardon my cynicism on the matter. Not helped by the fact that seemingly more of his party seem to want to campaign against him, than with him, but anyway…Yes, I could almost smirk at the fact he has more in common with Labour on this, than his own party, but anyway…

There was in fact a previous referendum when we voted on whether to go into the then, much smaller EU, in 1974. As that was before I was old enough to vote, I didnt get chance to vent my opinion on that, but this time, I will. No, I havent yet decided how I will vote, and to be honest, I doubt I will until the last few days, if not the day of the vote, because I can see factors for, and against both sides. But if you twisted my arm for a commitment now, I’d probably vote to stay in, just because its a bit more straightforward for the future. But I might add, if a good enough case is made to vote the other way, I might. One of the things that amuses me, is who gets to vote? Surely all the East Europeans now living here, are going to vote to stay in, for the obvious reason, it suits them that way. Be highly ironic if the vote is a narrow one to stay, wouldnt it? Can you imagine the reaction of the ‘out’ group, if that happens!

But yes, given my rather middle of the road political views, and the fact that most of those who want out, are well to the right of me politically, logic says that for me, staying in, is the wise route. The other factor that tempts me to stay that way, was my dream of working in Europe (now unlikely to happen), which was only going to happen because we are in the EU.

Oh, and because I hate mentioning politics too often, I’ll comment on the scary US situation with the Republicans at present. Yes, Trump scares me, with his crazy words, and actions, and it worries me that so far, he’s romping away with the Republican nomination. Please, just no. Fine, I’m a Democrat by nature, and would love to see Bernie Sanders win, even if some of his ideas are a little to the left of mine. Though in truth, American socialists arent generally as far to the left as some of ours! Snag is, I dont entirely trust Clinton, and if it was her, against one of the saner Republicans (Kasich comes to mind), I could vote for them, assuming I had the chance of course! But in truth, as long as the wind goes out the Trump sails, I should be fine.

Right, political stuff over. The video, well one of the right wingers vehemently shouting for the UK to come out of the EU, is the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, which led me to this