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.

 

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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.

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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.

My final piece for my Fine Art Course… The Ramblings of a Madman.

My final piece for my Fine Art Course… The Ramblings of a Madman.

The Ramblings of a Madman

 

This course, as enlightening as it has been, has been the source of despair, ill-health and dysfunctionality. I have reached depths I never thought I could sink to, nor thought I could embody. Seeing as this show is the culmination of 3 years work, or in my case 4 years, I don’t think I could adequately put into image what has happened to me, so I felt a statement would suffice. I nearly left university entirely twice, after realising I’m not a “conventional artist” who tries to push the boundaries by doing what has already been done in a slightly different way. Kind of like what Union J was to One Direction, or Art Garfunkel to Simon. I decided to embody what it was to be a copycat artist, or a “reproduction artist”, which is just a nice way of saying I had no original ideas because I was born the wrong side of 1980. I feel like if there’s a god, he gave me the gift of drawing 20 years late as some kind of sick joke. Either way, I persevered.

 

I grew up around kids who thought they were the next biggest rapper, yet couldn’t grasp the basic English language. I wasn’t asking for champagne, but at least to know the difference between “Your, You’re and Yaw”, “There, Their, and They’re” would be a decent start. From the beginning, my competition were a bunch of hypocrites and cretins so I never had to try that hard at school to shine. This led to me falling in with the wrong crowd, which was the intellectual equivalent of a giraffe sinking in quicksand. I knew these people were not my type of people. I didn’t sell drugs, I didn’t, nor would I stab someone out of some stupid affiliation to a postcode, that I could easily get kicked out of if my mother did something as simple as miss 2 month’s rent. I needed to get out, however at school, I had bigger problems. I had a fight with someone who pulled my oversized stud out, which looked fucking stupid anyway. Who was I trying to look like, fucking LUDACRIS?! I digress… This fella just tried to yank a cube of Cubic Zirconia out of my ear, so I did what any self-respecting 15-year-old would do, I headbutted him in the nose. It blew up like a hepatitis firework. His older brother was a very naughty fella who I heard drove around with a machete on the back seat, so I stayed in my house and became a recluse for the next 4 years. However, me falling in with wrong crowd meant I did whatever to please people.

 

What does all that have to do with my 3 years at Herts, I hear you think? Good fucking question, and you’d be right for thinking that. To the untrained eye, that was all waffle, and to a degree it was. It was certainly self-deprecation. I like to poke fun at myself before other people do. And failing a Fine Art course, to the uninitiated is grounds for a ribbing… All the engineering lot think we sit around doing potato paintings, or think of it as a retirement home arts and crafts circle, where we sit around and knit blankets while discussing who shagged who on Eastenders. But I like to tell them I draw comics, and naturally I get a pat on the back. I could see the slight jealousy in their eyes, not as much I have for their future salaries compared to mine when I realised that a Fine Art degree basically qualifies you to squirt the sauce on Big Macs, but at least I’d be providing my customers with satisfaction as they swallow something that brings them closer to a heart attack with each bite. Again, I digress, I have an inert need to impress, like a cancer it swallows me whole until I find myself on a night out, wearing t-shirt 3 sizes too small and skinny jeans wondering where it all went wrong.

 

This need to impress became a running theme. My Laptop broke down on me in 2nd year, a normal person would buy a similar or better product at a similar price, but nooooooo… I go and buy a £1000 computer because it had Beats speakers built-in, like a total weapon. The irony is the £350 laptop I’m writing this on now is more powerful than the overpriced piece of shite I had before. The only silver lining was that I could play all my games on low resolution, like something out of Nintendo 64, but the bass was awesome. The Beats sign lit up so even in the darkness of night, I could see how much of a tool I was. Naturally, my work shared a similar theme, I decided to do work on where I come from, latching on to the Kray twins like I was their long-lost nephew who wanted to take back Bethnal Green one hipster at a time. I didn’t do it because I like the Krays, in fact I hate what they did for East London (which I’ll explain in the next paragraph), I did it so people thought “Ooooh, he’s from East London! What a legend, bet he’s seen some shit”. However, the truth was, between racking my brain for ideas in the daytime and porking my ungrateful girlfriend at night, I was lost. My need to impress people was destroying my life, I still do it. Deep down I think I’m doing what I want, but I know if I was doing what I wanted, I’d be fishing off the coast of Cuba on a yacht, firing machine guns into the distance with Dan Bilzarian, but I’m not. I’m doing what I love, and what I love is pleasing people.

 

I realised early on that university wasn’t for people like me. Being from East London, we have a stereotype of people who live outside the M25 as being carrot crunching cousin fuckers, who milk cows all day so I can buy four pints from Asda for a £1. I know this stereotype isn’t true, so I don’t hold people to it. From the outside in, people from outside London seem to think we’re all violent thieves, who are all related to the Kray twins (see, I told you I was coming to it) and that our education extends to key stage 2 Chip, Filp and Kipper. However, it seems that stereotype stuck. I couldn’t ask for the time without someone jumping 8 foot in the air, and throwing their belongings at me in an attempt to avoid this famous kicking I was supposed to inflict upon them. Everybody thought I had the IQ of a potato, and when I turned up to parties I was greeted by the sound of 6 locks turning in unison; regardless of there being 20 people there before me, suddenly I was in the frame for cheese theft. I found myself becoming the outcast, not because I deserved it, but rather because they had their assumptions, presumed I was a braindead moron and shunned me as a university pariah. Even on my own course, when someone was up to some skulduggery, suddenly I was Captain Flint and had a treasure trove of stolen Oil paints, professional pencils and canvas material.

 

I found it hard to fit in, although I found one good friend, Buwa Tetsola. We used to drink all the time, try and fail to pull birds. We later fell out, the one person I had an actual friendship with there and I fucked him off, over £89. Typical Stephen C. Mills right there. I seem to find myself in a hole, and instead of climbing out and moving on, I just find a bigger shovel. I found that I wasn’t the only Londoner to find myself in this predicament of being left out. I saw that the same white girls who would run all the way to Starbucks if a black Londoner asked them the time there, were all over them in the club because they heard that black men have longer appendages. Nothing racist on my part because bro, do your thing. Honestly, you get 12” in those guts. I’m just pointing out the part time racism that occurs in university. I’m just saying I’m not a fan of shoddy work, go hard or go home. Don’t be racist in the kitchen and pro black in the bedroom. Pick a side. I’ve heard what they said, white people know who the racists are.

 

I found that the easiest way for me to not be accused of anything was to stay indoors and work silently, around the quiet surroundings of the gentle buzz of my overpriced computer, and the mould making its way up the wall. My Ex and I spent a lot of time having unprotected sex with seemingly no consequences for around a year. I assumed all my sperm had a stroke in around 2011 and found themselves hobbling towards an egg with no discernible way to impregnate it. One fateful day, one of my sperms decided to don the cape, put its underwear on the outside of its tights and flew to rescue this egg from its lonely fate. Impregnated the shit out of it and turned the Clearblue test positive. We decided it was too early to have kids, I was half way through Far Cry 3 and could barely afford food; I was living on toast sandwiches and was fast running out of bread, she had a penchant for bulk buying low cost fashion. We were absolutely out of our league on this one. We decided to abort it, this was one of the most soul-destroying experiences of my life. I joke about it otherwise I’d cry. I was broke. Nothing makes you feel like less of a man than knowing you can’t look after what you put out. I feel that it was the right decision, I didn’t want my kid on benefits.

 

The months that followed were a slow incline to happiness. Then a sharp drop. 2016 was the single worst year of my life. I didn’t mention before that my father left…

 

**BACKSTORY ALERT**

 

When I was 4 years old my father must have thought “my work here is done” left us to our own devices, went forth and procreated like the good lord asked. All out of wedlock mind, the only time my old man went near a church was to rob it. Honestly, he was the world’s worst thief. He worked as a council painter and decorator. When he was given the keys to the house, he would go back at night, rob it blind then give the keys back. When the occupants realised they’d been robbed with no signs of forced entry, the only person who had a set of keys was David P. Mills, master thief and full time Womble. My mother knew the officers by first name. By the time I was 5, he was gone.

 

**BACK TO THE STORY**

 

… When my Father left, my mum’s father took over. My grandad is my father figure. He did everything a dad would do. In February 2016, he had a seizure and died in my arms for around 6 minutes. He came back just as the paramedic was about to jab him with a defibrillator. My world fell apart. I needed a kind smile, that’s when my girlfriend decided to split with me. When you fall through hell, you never know what level you’re on. When you think you’re at the bottom, there’s always a level lower, ready to take you in with open arms. Grandad’s hell was worse, going from being an active-ish person to having me changing his clothes was a severe comedown. The only silver lining for me was meeting a woman who really appreciated me. She stuck by me through thick and thin. Supporting me through the remainder of 2016 into 2017. Even through me getting beaten up in South London for wearing a West Ham shirt. Might have been asking for it really.

 

I started university this year and was immediately kicked out of my house for a month. My computer was smashed, containing the only copy of Photoshop I had. My work ground to a halt. I moved on to what I know best, making the best of shitty situations. I worked as a security guard the whole time. I figured that I couldn’t do any work, I also realised I had worked myself into £5000 worth of debt so working would be my best option. I’ve taken to writing a novel because I challenge anyone to have more source material than I’ve had in the last 4 years.

 

If this course is made to challenge students then it failed. I have been tested by everything except this course. I’ve battled with ex-girlfriends, family, health, finance and employment. This may not be the most interesting thing you see today. But, you will remember it. In that, I have served my purpose as an artist. This may be the most original thing I have produced.

 

It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses, but I lived my life, not draw it.

 

I worked my arse off to get somewhere. I might have been running on the spot, but I did it.

 

How do I visualise all of that into a final piece? You couldn’t.

 

All you can think of is that giraffe sinking into quicksand, right?

 

I hope this note finds you well.

 

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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

The first of many. So, since I’ve been gone…

The first of many. So, since I’ve been gone…

It’s been 2 years since I wrote a blog and in that time, the world has started a decline into the opening scene from Mad Max. I thought the epitome of the UK’s downfall was watching David “Forehead” Cameron take the helm. Had I known he would lead a referendum on what circle of hell Britain wanted to dwell on, I might have forgiven him for cutting my Student Finance. However, Brits being typical Brits decided that a hard Brexit, likened to the deepest circle of hell in this metaphor, was in some way getting back at the establishment. In retrospect, Brexit was the political equivalent of jumping out the first-floor window of the World Trade Centre because you’re scared of loud noises. The pound deteriorated in value literally as soon as the vote came in, it reminded me of the time I caught Norovirus with its efficiency.

Where was the opposition, might I ask? Jeremy Corbyn has been as absent as Hull City’s defence since Brexit. At a time when big political faces (none bigger that of Nigel Farage) were rallying support from the undecided or the plain stupid, Jeremy Corbyn put in a cameo role for the last week of campaigning. Smiling for photos with Cameron after 5 weeks of deciding which horse to back, then got it wrong. I used to be a Corbynite, which now just sounds like something used to shut Superman up when he gets a bit lippy. I’ve never seen a man in charge of a political party with so little get-up-and-go. He seems like the kind of man whose wife must get him to fill out a satisfaction questionnaire, to find out if the breakfast she cooked him was above par. A man who has all the charisma and determination of an off-kilter turd in a bidet. If you asked him what his favourite colour was, it’d be beige.

I might laugh at Corbyn if he wasn’t the man who is supposed to represent me against the Trust Fund brigade. OJ Simpson was represented by the dream team of Rob Kardashian, Robbie Shapiro and Johnnie Cochran. I feel like the working class is being represented by the more retarded Chuckle Brother and his closest pals. It’s when you look closer, and realise that both sides of parliament were probably flatmates at Oxbridge, that you realise there really is no representation for the working class. Unless you truly believe that UKIP, the palatable face of racism and fascism, is the working man’s Conservative party. It’s weird that this shift in politics has created the rift in the working class, where half remain Labour and the other half hate everyone else. I would vote Green Party but chances are, we’ll be dragged into another war and I’ll have a hard time explaining how recycling my jars is saving the world. At this point in time, picking between Labour and Conservative is like picking between Pepsi and Coca-Cola. They’ll both end up destroying you, but you pick whichever one has the better deal at the time. Labour have become so middle class now that if they saw the Conservative party’s champagne budget, Labour would only request that they downgrade to Prosecco.

Now we have Theresa May, who seems to have been living in the parliament’s nuclear bunker for the last 7 months. I’m guessing she foresaw Trump’s oncoming apocalypse and rushed 30 foot below ground to call a bed, like the most inappropriate towel on a sun-lounger in Benidorm, wearing Speedos 3 sizes too small. Between long absences in public and Prime Minister’s questions, she seems to keep a place as residential hermit and a parent holding Britain to its Brexit because it’s “what we asked for”, as if we were children who took payment for a chore not yet done. Reiterating the point as if she’s proud. I’m waiting for the moment Brexit takes hold and the elite have to argue with a Halifax adviser for a mortgage on a loaf of bread, while the rest of us are spraying silver shit in our mouths then ramming a car into a petrol tanker to get to our crappy jobs in the morning. Because that’s preferable to paying the inflated prices for a train.

All this while Trump’s regime comes bearing down on the world. We’d be forgiven for feeling like the poor fella looking down the barrel of an AK-47 in an ISIS propaganda video. Anywhere with recently found oil reserves will put that information underground quicker than a hipster Jazz-Funk act. Trump’s war on sanity just encompasses anyone with a view slightly different to his, which means in 4 years, most of the nation’s opinions will be considered fake news. He’s not even a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s more of a wolf who popped into a blind tailor for a dodgy suit, put the remains of his last meal on his head and ran for president of the sheep people. It’s sad that we look back on Bush like a political genius compared with Trump. He even had the nerve to send Navy Seals on a task, got one of them killed and then brought the freshly widowed wife into the crowd for his first senate announcement to say “thanks”. I half expected him to have her shackled in chains, laid in front of him wearing a bikini like that bargaining scene from Star Wars.

It’s not weird that my generation and below has a less than vested interest in politics. They don’t want to vote and don’t vote. When I hear this, I usually argue with them. However, nowadays I can’t. Picking between someone who wants to destroy the world or destroy the economy is one hell of a cross to bear. I can’t argue with them anymore because not even I want to vote for these people. If god exists, he must be watching us like the latest season of The Walking Dead. I’m wondering if Melania keeps Lucille in a lockbox for Donald when someone speaks out of turn. The world has become unpredictable, and when picking the new meal deal at McDonald’s that can be a good thing. Unpredictability when it comes to the economy and war, isn’t the knife edge that the average person wants to walk on. The worst thing we can do as a nation however, is to fall apart. That only furthers the gulf between the rich and poor. Solidarity will save us.

Take Care,

Stephen Mills