Acid, and not the good, trippy kind.

Acid, and not the good, trippy kind.

Once upon a time you could walk around Mile End fancy-free and not be attacked randomly, on the violent and sickening whim of disgusting, feral subhumans with not a care for publ… I can’t keep a straight face with that, I can’t hand on heart say that East London has always been safe. I once had a full can of coke thrown at me from a moving car, for wearing an Asda uniform, “ASDA, YOU PRICK!” *WHACK*. One thing I could always say is that I could walk around Stepney and wouldn’t have sulphuric face reorganiser splashed all over my boat. I’d get the occasional, “Where you from, Bruv?” or a “What you looking at?” but never anything that warranted more than a swift put down, certainly not spraying someone in the face with a liquid that leaves them looking somewhere between an avocado and Simon Weston.

 

East London needs a Judge Dredd type that just teabags the bullet-riddled bodies of the delinquents that use acid in attacks. What happened to just giving someone a slap? If you got a slap, you’d feel bad and hate yourself for a while, but you’d live. You might not be able to look at yourself in the mirror but, with acid you can’t look in the mirror because you haven’t got any fucking eyeballs left. Now the government want to raise the age of buying corrosives to 21, which doesn’t cover everyone. People like the boyfriend of Ferne McCann, the gutless taint that is Arthur Collins, who randomly acid attacked a club in Shoreditch, was 25-years-old. I’d love to staple a pair of bollocks to his forehead so it’d be the first time he owned a pair. Anyone who uses acid in attacks is a coward, I would’ve called him a pussy but pussies are useful.

 

Acid is just the latest instalment of the “remedial roadman weapon of the week club”. I just want to know what’s going through a DIY shop cashier’s mind when a 16-year-old wearing a stone island, sidebag and Air Max 95’s walks up to him with sulphuric acid. He’s hardly using it for a sixth form science project or for melting a jobbie down in the upstairs bathroom. I don’t know why we haven’t implemented a licencing system. A corrosive substances licence, we used to have licences for dogs like a Pomeranian is more dangerous. I actually thought that an acid licence was already a thing. I assumed common sense would dictate that you would control a substance that was made famous in Breaking Bad for liquifying bodies.

 

We need tighter controls on acid. They banned the good, trippy kind yet allow people to walk around with something that has the power to leave you looking like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s cum face. There is really no reason for the average person to need acid like that. In 26 years I have never encountered a situation that needed it. We need to licence acid. Aside from 6 acids, which are not permitted to be bought in concentrations higher than 40%, it is essentially an unregulated substance, and the main offenders aren’t even in those 6. You can buy hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid in any concentration under current law in Britain.

 

I really don’t see how such an oversight has been allowed to go on for so long. I can’t get on a plane with more than 100ml of Coke, but I can walk around the streets with a bottle of liquid cruciation.

 

More has to be done.

A symptom of a Failing System. A revision of “Too poor to live in safety”.

A symptom of a Failing System. A revision of “Too poor to live in safety”.

After my words about Grenfell, I sensed that certain, errr… “affluent” types weren’t quite getting what I meant by “Too poor to live in safety”. I didn’t think I had to spell it out but, hipsters being hipsters I felt I had to facetiously cram their thick frame Raybans so far down their throats that they can heat up the shit they were about to vocalise, simply by tilting their heads towards the sun.

 

The problem with Grenfell and others like it, is a complex one that goes back to Margaret Thatcher’s government in the 1980’s. I can’t speak for Grenfell per se but I can speak of East London, which has a similar problem that I understand from the ground up.

 

East London was primarily used for docking with docks such as St. Kathrine’s Dock handling goods from all over the world and various other docks, also manufacturing using factories all over East, with the famous “financial square mile” situated squarely in the City of London (think of it as a city, the City of London, sitting inside another huge city, London, or Greater London). Historically, the east has always been the poor area of London. This didn’t change through the centuries right up until the 1980’s and 90’s. A few big things happened, firstly Margaret Thatcher introduced a “Right to buy” scheme which encouraged council house tenants to “buy” their houses (no one really owned their council property, it was effectively a 100-year lease). Secondly, they built Canary Wharf right at the top of the Isle of Dogs. Smack bang in the middle of the East End where everyone can see it.

 

Why build Canary Wharf 5 miles from the City of London? It wasn’t going to offer jobs to the locals, most of our residents were labourers. We could help you build it but the business that would take place thereafter had no cockneys in mind. Furthermore, if they weren’t targeting cockneys, then who were they targeting to be the workforce in Canary Wharf? The answer is, the gentry. The people whose families could afford to send their children to university, to get the degrees necessary to do the jobs required in Canary Wharf. The trouble is getting the gentry to move to East London, at the time one of the poorest places in Britain.

 

This is where Maggie’s “right to buy” makes an appearance. Gentrification takes two forms, what I like to call “Infiltration” and “Reformative”. Right to buy appeals to the Infiltration method. It works by making the housing affordable with a mortgage, tempting the council tenant into “owning” their property seeing as they thought they could never own property. They now own it, property 10 minutes from Canary Wharf with good transport links, and now have the right to sell it. No one local could afford it, so they sell it to someone who can. The people who can afford it are the rich types, at the time yuppies, now it’s hipsters. They would generally avoid “ethnic” areas with “higher crime rates” (we have to remember racism plays a part too). They would move to “safer” parts of East, predominantly white, so there’s some kind of a connection. This created pockets of gentry that slowly spread out over time, infiltrating East London.

 

The second method started happening in the 1990’s and peaked in the 2000’s. The Reformative method. Every council estate had a kind of community, you probably knew your next-door neighbour at least. However, every council estate has its criminal element. So, if you provide poor education, poor wages, and very few opportunities to those in estates, and make them watch Canary Wharf grow in wealth while they struggle to find a pot to piss in, don’t be surprised if you see the crime rate in an area climb faster than Peter Kay’s cholesterol level. People will find their own way to make large sums of quick money. There’s only so long you can watch someone eat before you make yourself a sandwich. This played into the council’s hands perfectly. They practically cum in their pants at the thought of having a crime estate. Crime sends the value of the area through the floor, which means property investors become interested. So, the council let the crime continue until the price is low enough to turn a profit. Property investors buy the land up from under your feet and before you know it, your council estate is knocked down and you’re moving a sofa into your lovely new apartment in… Dagenham. Most cockneys live outside London now, fun fact.

 

The property investors build new, luxurious and coincidently fucking expensive flats right where you used to watch Countdown. Of those flats, 10% are made available as council housing. The crime rate drops, property price booms and a few millionaires just got that bit richer, and that’s just YOUR estate, they’re doing this all over the shop. They “Reform” the area. Now, with the infiltrators pricing out the established community, and the reformers absolutely obliterating it, East London is now “safe” enough for hipsters and gentry. Look at Brick Lane, JUST LOOK AT IT! I only go there for the biegels now. Hipster hell.

 

Where I live, a council estate maisonette (which is posh for “two floors”), we have complained 17 times about our plumbing, as in sewer water comes up into our bath. In that time, the building across from me, a “Reformed” building made by private property investors, just had its stairway rebricked for the 5th time for decorational purposes. To make it look better.

 

It is this attitude that I believe aided the fire at Grenfell.

 

When the surrounding area has been gentrified there is no incentive to keep an existing building in good shape. They would rather knock a building down than keep it going if it doesn’t appeal to the gentry, which it didn’t. This fire was unfortunate, but the cladding wasn’t fireproof, the “renovations” were made by the lowest bidder. A £10 million budget, and how much of that went to wages for the labourers, then the salaries of the managers, then the middle men, the serveyers, not to forget the peripheral companies like skip hire, crane hire etc.? That would’ve eaten away at the budget. How much was actually spent on high quality materials? No wonder it went up in flames.

 

"Apparently this place used to be a swimming pool."
Actual footage of me fucking up a hipster brunch. Proud moment.

 

Obviously, now the gentry are the hipsters who can afford the inflated rents, and the posh folk who own the houses, they are the problem. I just hope the plastic cockneys who sold out our heritage to the highest bidder can live with themselves in their Penge drums, fingering their overfed wives while watching Saturday Night Takeaway. We don’t have the money to make our own renovations, so we rely on the state to source the safest renovation. Hence the previous title “Too poor to live in safety”. We are too poor to afford state of the art renovations to our rented properties, that we couldn’t make if we wanted to, because it is technically criminal damage without prior permission. We couldn’t even buy our housing if we wanted to now. My house was worth £55,000 in the 80’s, to buy now would be £560,000.

 

The gentry and the hipsters have ruined East London. They ruined council estates and have a huge part to play in Grenfell. The cladding, that same cladding has been used all over East London, was put up because Grenfell was an “eyesore” to the surrounding prosperous residents who find poor people an inconvenience. The need for council housing wouldn’t be so high if the same prosperous residents paid their employees a fair wage, and if councils didn’t keep selling our land to the lowest bidder. Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone both sold us a dream, telling us that they would be injecting money into deprived areas, had I known that would mean injecting rich people and ejecting us, I’d have told him where he could stick his money.

 

Not just blazing buildings like Grenfell but poor upkeep in general is a direct result of Gentrification. Putting money ahead of people. Not caring enough to maintain the building, or to put a sprinkler system in it. Nor paying the extra £5000 to fireproof the building. This is commonplace, no one wants to maintain a council estate when someone will come over, knock it down, build expensive flats that make the area look nice but have no one from the area actually in them. Failure to maintain a building will result in more tragedies like Grenfell, maybe not to that extreme, but why not? It’s already happened once.

 

Grenfell is just a symptom of a failing system.

Too poor to live in safety. Gentrification.

Too poor to live in safety. Gentrification.

First of all, this is written from the perspective of someone who has lived in tower blocks his whole life, and couldn’t imagine the horror of being caught in a tragedy like Grenfell Tower. This is written out of anger and love, an odd mixture that only occurs in situations like this. RIP to the victims of Grenfell.

 

I’m sat in my metal lined council house thinking how lucky I am that I’m not surrounded by £10 million worth of cheap plastic cladding, wondering when and how I’m going to escape an inferno that may engulf me and everyone around me. You’re telling me that a council estate in the richest part of London suddenly goes up? One of the only council housing estates in that part of West London, and it goes up in flames. Gentrification in motion right there, must be nice to be on the rich side of West London thinking your cladding probably underwent testing, and you won’t have to throw your baby out of the 10th floor window of an unprecedented blaze. It was £10 million worth of kindling to make sure there’s nothing to rebuild, because I guarantee anything they build there after won’t be affordable to the previous occupants. I hope you rich folk understand how good you have it. If my council contemplate wrapping my house in the kind of cladding that makes Lego consider a law suit, I’m gonna rip it off the wall, and leave it in a nice pile outside their office to give me and mine a 10 minute window of escape before we turn into coal.

 

Grenfell was wrapped in flammable material. Eventually, it was meant to go up.

 

Labour have promised 1 million homes, I voted for them but if the homes are of that quality I’d rather live in a Wendy House. At least I have the privilege of knowing its plastic and could probably go up with the heat of a well-aimed cough, instead of being lied to by a council who will take my money and not fix my heating in time for the winter, and wrap me in enough flammable material to warrant a straight-to-earn burial should someone dot a cigarette out in a 5 mile radius. I want to see someone in prison after this. Not a fine, not community service, prison. 30 long years of being fucked by the state so they understand what they did to the average person at Grenfell Tower.

 

IMG_0094
A screenshot of dangerous_energy’s Whisper reply

 

This is in most part to do with gentrification. I simply made a Whisper on the Whisper app saying “Grenfell Tower happened because the people who live there aren’t rich. Gentrification. God I hate rich people.” I know hate is a strong word, but I do. To further the point, that building was fine before rich people decided it wasn’t good looking enough, now look at it. The lives lost are lost because London became “trendy” and poor people are seen as the scourge of Britain, as I found out from my Whisper. Literally, the second reply read “I consider it Darwinism. If anything, Gentrification helps remove the weak from a tribe making it stronger. That fire was one big culling!” Inspiring words there from Mr. dangerous_energy. I know it’s not the most scientific look at this problem. Seeing as the reply was just the opinion of one bottom feeding parasite, the likes of which I’m used to seeing crawl out of dog shit when the heat goes above 15 degrees, but the point can be backed. It’s no coincidence that government tried to pass a bill that would force landlords to make housing habitable. The Conservative government has 70 landlords as MPs in the House of Commons. All 70 voted against. Obviously, this fight can’t be won the right way, so the scenes at K&C council with people shouting “MURDER!” and “JUSTICE!” don’t surprise me.

 

I see this going one way if something doesn’t change. The working class are faced with less opportunities, worse education and more exploitation from firms not willing to pay a fair wage, now even the promise of safe housing has literally gone up in smoke. If nothing changes, the well-off won’t be able to buy their way out of the riots. I don’t condone rioting, but look at what happened when police shot one person in Tottenham in 2011. Consider the death toll of Grenfell and tell me that public feeling isn’t swaying towards a similar outpouring of emotion.

 

All I can say now is that I hope the cladding that wraps the buildings in my council estate is removed. We need a revision of the building safety law, and we need government to start treating people as just that, people. Not stats and figures. Not the unemployed or the underprivileged. Not the uneducated or socially dependent. We are people, most of us are hard working, honest and brilliant people. Let us live safe, without fear of the walls around us going up in smoke. Let us have opportunities to thrive, not just survive.

The Lost Cockneys of Old London Town.

The Lost Cockneys of Old London Town.

As a cockney of 25 years, born and bred right here in God’s own glorious backyard, that is East London, I’m sick of some cockneys letting the side down. Places like The Cockney Bible on Facebook, a place I liked because I thought it’d be full of cockney banter is just full of conservatism and racism. Is this what we are?

 

During the election, I kept reading their messages to other cockneys about the Conservatives and the anti-Corbyn rhetoric which just seems to bore the pants off me the more its passed around. The same rhetoric that has been disproven since May teamed up with DUP who are a gang of climate change denying, homophobic, anti-abortionists. Their longest standing member Jeffery Donaldson worked with renowned fascist Enoch Powell for god’s sake. This is who May considers a friend, I want to know what enemies she could possibly keep closer considering their disgusting background. They’re basically Nigel Farage with an Irish accent.

 

This is who a lot of cockneys considered voting for. Someone so desperate for the keys to No. 10 that she teamed up with a 1960’s National Front throwback squad. Flairs are another old fashioned idea that seemed good at the time, don’t mean we should all break them out and listen to The Beatles back catalogue. It’s not the outcome I was hoping for. I know the Queen is “Unbiased” but cut her in half and she’s bluer than Elvis’ suede shoes. She allowed May to form a government without a majority because if she could vote, it would have been May all day long. When Tony Blair was in charge, the Queen only met him on matters of urgency. When Cameron was in charge, she met him for tea every Sunday. What chance does that leave us?

 

If you’re a cockney and you voted Conservative, you’re a tool. You may have made money, you may have left the East End and it would seem you’ve forgotten where you come from. If you’re here, earning less than £80,000 and voted Conservative, you’re lost. Don’t let them blind you with talk of terrorism and their measures. Listen to everything before making a decision. The odds of dying in any terrorist attack are 1 in 9,300,000. Letting your whole decision be made up by something that has less chance of effecting you than falling off a ladder, workplace injury or a road accident combined is like sleeping in asbestos because someone lit up a snout.

 

Think about your money, realise that the Conservatives have the best interests of the mega rich and companies at heart before you. YOU are simply a cog in the machine to them when you are so much more. The Conservative ideal is that you “live within your means”. In other words, stay in your lane. Don’t push for better. We are better than that. You get nowhere living within your means, they want us to stay where we are.

 

I feel a lot of buyer’s remorse coming on, or voter’s remorse in this case. After what May will do to this country, you’ll be looking back at the 2008 financial crisis like it was a treasured childhood memory. The well off will be the only ones that come out of this with something while the rest of us struggle to feed ourselves, and the cockneys who voted for May will searching for their ballot paper to use as kindling, while they pour price inflated petrol over themselves as a human bonfire, out of despair for their poor decision making.

Class Privilege… Because not all White People are privileged

Class Privilege… Because not all White People are privileged

I know if you’re not white and reading this you instantly thought “OH, here we go. Another white boy talking about white privilege!” But every argument has a few sides so mine is as valid as any. I was watching someone talk on White Privilege. Essentially sweeping us into the same bucket as if me and David Cameron were 30 years apart from being roommates at Eton. It wound me up slightly so I’m going to explain my view on White Privilege as I see it.

 

The average “white person” seems to be the suburbanite in a middle management or higher job, with a mortgage and a wife that doesn’t appreciate it enough. However, in my experience this is only true for around 40% of white people who reside in the lower/upper middle class. As a working class white man, I am the 60%, I have witnessed white privilege although I have never received it. I would say white privilege should be pegged as more of a class issue and not a race one, while race does have something to do with it, even in a small way. White privilege is piled in with racism, I consider them to be two separate issues. I’ll tell you a story of mine and explain after.

 

Class and racism walk hand in hand.

 

When I was at university studying for my Fine Art degree (Drawing is my biggest and probably only skill) I witnessed a case of what is known as white privilege. I had been trying to get exhibitions for my work, I’d applied for shows for months and got nowhere. I spoke to someone on my course who’d told me she had 2 shows already and one coming up. I asked her how and she told me that she looks out for galleries that allow people to pay for space, then she sets up a show. I asked her how much, she said that one show was £150, her current show was £350 and one coming up at £400. Speaking as someone whose theme for a book come from being a broke student who starved for 3 months, I asked where she found £900? She said that her father paid for most of it.

 

Once I really broke this down with some of her background, coupled that with the knowledge I have of other rich white kid’s stories of “daddy” paying for everything. I realised that this was class privilege. My white privilege extends to having never been stopped and searched, having lived in Tower Hamlets all my life. As for opportunities, income, likelihood of home ownership and education, I’m not stereotypically white. But that stereotype, much like all stereotypes, is grossly disproportionate to the amount of white people it actually applies to. Opportunities for me are few and far between, my income is lower than Joey Essex’s IQ and the only chance I’ll probably have of owning a house is if I build one out of Lego. I once had to get my mum to mail me £10 for a train home because I spent the last of my money on my phone bill.

 

White privilege and institutional racism are separate issues. From a working-class perspective, there should be no reason for racism in a working-class background. We are all lumped in with each other. One would assume we should then all have something in common and would be working towards a similar cause – to bring ourselves out of the gutter. However, you can see racism on a regular basis. Something I like to think of as “birds of a feather” racism. This is a non-offensive racism. Where people of the same race flock to one area as a group. This is instinctive, coming from early human’s tribal days, where different people were real threats (Eg. Vikings in Scotland). Primitive behaviour. This creates sects in communities, these then become the building blocks for actual racism. White privilege in this setting is non-existent. We are all the same as we have no attributes like wealth that separate us. It is only when people of one race want to appear better than other people that they revert to racism. To feel like there is someone lower than you is the same feeling that built the British empire and the slave trade, and also serves as having someone to blame for what they believe is wrong with the country. These feelings create racism. The only way to beat this is to be higher beings and truly become multicultural.

 

London has many cultures, but it isn’t multicultural. Right now, is the first time in the history of Britain that this many races have lived in such proximity. Time will make us truly multicultural. We have come so far though, it is a beautiful thing.

 

When you consider white privilege from a working white man’s perspective, you realise it is more about education, and teaching our young who the real enemy is. White privilege only applies to the privileged. The CEO’s, the top 1%, the politicians. Cultural studies need to be taught from an unbiased stand point, instead of an imperialist British stand point. We teach our young to hate slavery and love the history of the British Empire, which is essentially an oxymoron because the British Empire was built on slavery and exploitation. Our political elites are throwbacks to this time, the David Camerons and Boris Johnsons of our time are all related to the Imperialist Etonites that helped to destroy the world and in turn, build up that white privilege that they rely on now. They are taught politics at private school, when we’re are taught Pythagoras. They know how to work out the running of a country when they leave school, and we can’t even work out our taxes. They create loopholes in law that they manipulate until we do the same, then they change the law and create a new loophole that we don’t know about.  They shift the goalposts every time we learn how to score then if we get good at learning, they change the game entirely. That is white privilege. Politics should be taught at school, everybody should be taught the importance of voting. But, if politicians did that, it’d be that much harder to exploit us. They rely on our ignorance to mislead us. How else would they get votes?

 

I honestly believe that when we break down the class barriers, institutional racism will break down with it. It won’t solve racism, as it is a complex problem. Some people are just hateful. To be prejudiced is human, everybody pre-judges someone before meeting them. Nevertheless, to be a truly higher species, we need to see past that. Stop pointing fingers and accept our fellow humans as just that. White privilege is really a Class Privilege, that a very small minority receive, with the rest of us struggling like everyone else. I want to see a time when someone gets a job based on their merits, and not based on whether they are the right skin colour or not. That goes for positive discrimination as well. I never want to be called privileged again, my mum was on the breadline growing up (breadline means one level above poverty).

 

Why can’t we be friends, why can’t we be friends…

 

Stephen Mills

My Easter Egg is glowing, Mr. Trump…

My Easter Egg is glowing, Mr. Trump…

I was thinking the other day “What would happen if a sociopath and a psychopath had a barney?” and considering they are both in control of countries armed with nuclear weapons, then it looks a lot like the US and North Korea. If The Silence of the Lambs was a showdown between Hannibal Lector and Buffalo Bill; Trump Lector wants to eat Buffalo Kim’s liver with fava beans, and Kim wants to incorporate Trump’s tangerine face into his US body suit, with Putin in the wings like Predator, trying to take as many skulls as possible back to his home planet. I want to imagine that they all have their hands over the big red buttons, but I know Kim’s is more of a Dynamite trigger from 1800’s frontier America. I couldn’t tell if it was nuclear war or a gold rush, ending in a saloon brawl, capped off with John Wayne spinning a Colt 45 on his finger.

I can’t understand the bipolar attitude of Donald, a man who threatens nukes in the morning and runs an Easter egg hunt in the same decision. It wouldn’t have surprised me if I heard that Trump had fly kicked a kid in the chin for a golden egg, because it matched the tacky letters on the side of his buildings. At a time of giving, Trump wants to give chocolate eggs to kids and nukes to North Korea; but knowing the man, he’ll send a Cadbury’s warhead to Pyongyang, and the kids will find yellow-cake Uranium in their eggs. Trump has seen the fear of the North Korean public and wants to deliver 1.2 megatons of freedom, to either liberate them or simply burn the fear off along with the rest into a fine powder-like substance, then crush that powder further into the ground when he rolls tanks into Pyongyang Square. Whatever comes first. He’s not fussed.

All this comes after bombing Syria, using “Intelligence” which is a word applied very loosely around a man who admitted wanting to f**k his own daughter on live television. He even said in a news interview that he ordered the strike while eating cake and gaffed, saying that he’d bombed Afghanistan, which he later did. Slipping up with national secrets, why not just give full co-ordinates, follow that up with a quick “We’re coming for ya!” then a “gun fingers to the screen” sign off. If ISIS can buy rockets, they can afford a subscription to CNN and some decent WIFI. However, I digress, launching 59 missiles at an air base, allegedly producing the gas, which it will probably turn out was a Syrian Air Force’s launderette when we find dry cleaning tickets and washing machine parts strewn over the vicinity. It might turn out that Trump waged war on Persil and the good people of Hotpoint.

I was actually going to write this as the news from Syria came in, but I thought I’d leave it a while as there would’ve been an air of “too soon” about the whole thing. Syria has taken a note from World War 1 Germany on crowd control as President Assad gasses his own people. It may be possible that this is the world’s most elaborate “Sure vote” system ever, as he spends 6 years bombing and gassing the public until the only person alive and eligible to vote is Assad. Whether America was wrong to do it, I can’t say. Whether it’s the “Archduke Ferdinand” opener to World War 3, who knows? Although, the atmosphere has a somewhat “Trench Foot” vibe. I keep expecting a draft letter in the mail. I will say, 59 Tomahawk missiles seemed like slight overkill.  If Trump sent in a Navy Seal crack team to catch Assad mid speech, and blew his brains out all over the camera while he was kissing a baby, it wouldn’t have been half as ostentatious. Even the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster had a more understated feel, in comparison. I just wish that Trump wouldn’t look so smug, I know it’s the first decision he may have got right, but don’t start playing with yourself too soon. Mexico haven’t agreed to pay for that wall yet.

I really wanted to keep this edition British, with British problems. However, the fact that I live in London, a place that comes top 10 in any political maniac’s “Places to Nuke first” handbook, I feel that this is a very British problem no matter how drowned in Stars and Stripes it may be. I feel as if we’re one wrong word away from nuclear winter and government issued lead paint on sale at Tesco. In the spirit of the British, back to Brexit (being a word I’ve come to hate, I just want this thing finalised so that Frankenstein’s word dies with it), the Greens believe that Brexit holds an “unprecedented threat” for environmental law, which if it does, we’ll only find out after America, Russia and North Korea’s war; the world is laid waste, orphaned children are drinking irradiated water, Vault 101 opens like a subsidised Fallout 4, and the Green party own the only stretch of land with a tree on it. I don’t think environmental law will save the planet as much as stopping three countries using bombs with enough power to boil the oceans and everything in it to a fine steam. Evolution happens to adapt and survive, yet I feel like if I lived long enough to sprout an evolutionary propulsion system to fly away, America would hunt me down, strap a nuclear warhead to my skull and launch me at the nearest available enemy warship.

I make jokes about these times, because it’s the only way to keep a sane mind about the whole thing. It’s like ripping off a plaster, the fear is worse than the pain. Once it’s done, it’s done. It’s the same attitude I have to nuclear war. I know that when Covent Garden is engulfed in a blinding fireball, I won’t feel the pain, because there will be milliseconds between the explosion and me turning into coal. The only fear I have, is the only thing to remember me by would be the blackened outline on a paving slab. I want to be positive, but it’s very hard to find silver linings; especially where I look up, see a cloud, then a Chinook flies past.

I think now, it’s a better time than ever to get closer with family and friends. That’s what I’m doing.

Take care,

Stephen Mills

Pink Passports, Article 50 and that scene from Braveheart.

Pink Passports, Article 50 and that scene from Braveheart.

As Article 50 is triggered, Nigel Farage is booed off stage at the EU like the British version of 8 Mile, and the government seems to be treating our budget like a council estate mum who saw some new sofas in the DFS sale, and forgot that her credit is f**ked up, I’m reminded that the little man is going to get ever so littler. As the powers of terrorism look over the water at us, they must feel superfluous by now. Where they once bought bazookas and AK47’s in bulk, their last order was $35 million worth of popcorn to watch us tear ourselves apart. I’m looking at old Asda adverts with their “Always Low Prices” campaign hoping for a Brexit clause, tying them in to a spoken word contract to stick with their promise as costs go up. The world is so bad now, people are looking to Nostradamus’ predictions like it’s a reputable journalistic opinion.

I always assumed Britain was the country that set the way in the world, and if leading the way in self-deprecation is anything to go by, I expect to see whole nations cutting noses off to spite faces. As Scotland rears up, Nicola Sturgeon dons the blue face paint and screams “FREEDOM!” on the 6 O’clock news, I can understand why they want to separate. We all have that friend who falls out with the group and expects you to tag along so you can be loners together. Scotland said nothing about going down with the ship, yet Captain May wants to go down in glorious fashion, bringing a full crew, passengers and stowaways with us after selling our lifeboats to the highest bidder. At this point, things have gone so monumentally bad, even replacing Theresa May with a Margaret Thatcher corpse puppet would bring a chilled atmosphere to proceedings.

In retrospect, I feel as if David Cameron’s decision for a Brexit referendum was like setting up the dominoes so Boris Johnson could wade in, and belly-flop them with the force of an elephant at a poacher’s barbeque. Johnson’s claim that we sent £350 million a week, disproved by the fact that we collected most of it back in subsidies, is now off-set by the move to spend £500 million on turning burgundy passports blue… And the reason is because a few Tories think they look PINK! And these are the Wombles in charge of our economy. Who have they got on the calculator, Barry Chuckle?! We have homeless in this country who can’t afford food, shelter or clothes, but god forbid they go on a booze cruise to France with a pink passport. We’ll regret this when we see Philip Hammond in Santander asking for a loan to fund the NHS for a week.

The only way to fix this economy is to start charging big companies proper tax, and I’ll be waiting for that well into my grave; then further when I eventually turn into oil and I’m dug up and converted to petrol by a big company to run some bloated oaf’s motor, and probably still not then. We are no longer the Great British Empire; no longer do we own the seas nor the vast land we once ruled. Our immense wealth was built on dirty money. I can’t say I’m proud of that, neither am I proud of the fact I was taught at school about the brilliance of the British Empire without being taught of the atrocities we committed to get it. Behind every great fortune is a great crime, and we shall soon see this in action when the IRS take a closer look at Donald Trump’s tax returns.

On that note, with some of Donald Trump’s cabinet being effectively investigated for high treason and Trump’s inept attitude towards it, I wouldn’t be surprised if the FBI found that he’d appointed Vladimir Putin as his Secretary of Corruption and Vote Rigging. It’s generally a giveaway that Putin is too close when they’ve been pen pals for the last 20 years. He’d probably flip flop his way out of this one too. But what do you expect from the owner of the Miss World Pageant, a man who judges the most beautiful women in the world based on whether some tits in a bikini can play a clarinet slightly better than tone deaf. I don’t think he really understands that the problem with the western economy, is the billions we have spent on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, yet he wants a war with North Korea, who I believe at the moment are trying to build more nukes out of firecrackers and party poppers. Knowing his character, it would be like Trump bringing nukes to playground scrap. The geopolitical equivalent of getting back at a bully by kidnapping his parents, giving him a noogie until his bare skull is exposed, then burying his parents alive on a rainy day and giving him a detailed map of their location scrawled on the back of a McDonald’s napkin.

But back to more British problems, as Freddos rose to 30p last time I checked, this is a sure sign of an economy in collapse. People are more worried about the tallow in the new £5 notes rather than the value of the note itself, we are a nation confused about what is important. Veganism, although a worthy fight, isn’t mine and isn’t the fight for now. It’s a bourgeois fantasy that we should all be vegan, have moved out by our early 20’s and have a mortgage by 30. We’re a nation where the boomers wonder why us 20 somethings haven’t moved out yet, and we’re wondering how it was so easy for them. Most jobs near me are in London, yet the most affordable housing is over 30 miles away. We’re told by Tories that the living wage can be lived on, as they live in luxury on expenses. However, if they suddenly earned living wage, the middle-class suicide rate would fly through the roof, and most luxury hotels would be getting rid of hanging Tories on mass.

The average working person in Britain doesn’t have any representation in the House of Commons. The Labour party is now a bunch of privately educated school kids. I have no problem with this, I certainly don’t want “Big Dave” from the pub, addressing the nation from 10 Downing street, wearing his 1998 England home top with a can of Stella in his hand, talking about “How England used to be”. It’s that kind of nostalgia that gave Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage the power to do what they did. But I wouldn’t mind having some people who know what it’s like to be working class, instead of this force-fed empathy for us. I can’t stand this Tweed Labour. Labour for Hipsters.

However, before I leave this, I don’t want it to seem like it’s all doom and gloom. There are a few silver linings for us Brits. Firstly, the security sector is booming because of terrorism, so there will definitely be jobs there. Secondly, thanks to Brexit, in a few years the repossessions market will be up. So, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys the absolute distraught look on children’s faces as you walk away with their PS4 and games, while their mum chain smokes a box of 20 as she throws slurs in your direction, then that might be the job for you. Thirdly, as Brexit draws closer, Nigel Farage gets self-satisfied and becomes more public, that’s more opportunity to give him a slap.

Take care,

Stephen Mills