Category Archives: Politics

Two messages to Theresa May

One week ago:

Dear Theresa May,

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan

Now, having seen the plan:

Dear Theresa May

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head

What is the Conservative Party actually for?


The year is 1987. It is the morming of 11 June. I am a student at the University of Warwick, spending the morning in the Chaplaincy, along with various other Christian Union members. A general election is to be held today. Someone — sadly I can’t remember who — tells me, very sincerely “You can’t be a Christian and vote Conservative”. A little later, in a completely different conversation, someone else tells me with equal sincerity “You can’t be a Christian and vote Labour”.


So I voted Lib Dem.  *B’dum tish!*

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On using nuclear deterrents

A week on from my declaration that I’m giving up politics, my mind has settled a little more, and I realise more fully what I meant by that. I remain interested — fascinated, even — by fundamentals: what you might call political philosophy. What I have no time for or patience with is current affairs: the specific set of events and personalities that are in the news right now. That stuff is both ephemeral and monumentally frustrating, so best ignored. But the core issues continue to exercise me.

Royal Navy submarine HMS Victorious departs HMNB Clyde under the Scottish summer sunshine to conduct continuation training. The Royal Navy has operated the UK’s Continuous at Sea Deterrent since 1967 when the first SSBN – or Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear – HMS Resolution began patrolling armed with the Polaris missile system.  

So when should we use a nuclear deterrent?

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I’m giving up politics

I checked Twitter this morning, to find that the man who plunged the UK into its greatest international crisis since WW2 is now Foreign Secretary, and that a man who had to resign from Defence and was somehow not jailed for appalling leaking, is in charge of International Trade.

What both these appointment tell me is that for people in the game — and it is a game — nothing they do has consequences. Destroy our relationship with the continent? Never mind. Bring a mate along to top-secret meetings? Not to worry. Welcome back into the fold.

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The first of two reasons I am very sad about the Brexit vote: direct consequences

I’ve spent most of the last week in a daze, compounded of equal parts bafflement, fury, simple tiredness (I was up until 5am on referendum night and only slept a few hours) and most of all, sadness. Really, I was good for nothing for most of the week. It was all I could do to get my “keep calm and carry on” post written.


As the dust begins to settle, I think I’ve started to process my thoughts enough to at least understand why I feel so devastated. For my own benefit, if no-one else’s, I think it’s going to be helpful for me to separate out two quite distinct strands. I hope it’s of use to some others, too.

This time, I am going to look at the immediate consequences of the vote.

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I do not accept the Brexit referendum result

I’ve had a ton to say about the Brexit referendum, but I’ve been too depressed to write. I have a big half-finished draft that I may complete one day. But there is one thing that I think is important to say and I am saying it now. It’s this.

We’re hearing a lot of pious nonsense, even from Leave Campaigners, about how the People Have Spoken, and we have to respect the Result Of The Democratic Process, however little we like it.

I absolutely reject this premise out of the gate. We know that the voting was based on systematic lies. We know that the Leave campaigners are rewinding every promise they made. We know that many who voted Leave now wish they had voted Remain. We know that Nigel Farage said before the referendum that a 52-48 result would not be the end of the matter. What we have here is a snap opinion poll, not the democratic will of the British people. And there is nothing democratic about plunging blindly on into oblivion because of it.

It is the role and responsibility of every politician now to serve the country by doing whatever they can to prevent this car-crash. Democracy is not served by adhering to what amounts to a late-night drunken phone-call, in the teeth of all that is rational.


That’s all.


What happens now we’ve decided to Brexit?

We don’t know what will happen in the wake of last night’s poll. But we can make a fair guess, based on what has happened so far in the ten or so hours since the result became inevitable. Dan Kennet sums it up in two tweets:

Nice work, Leavers. Enjoy your post-apocalyptic wasteland.

How should we respond? All I’ve got is this:


On the basis that it’s pretty much always good advice.