I can give it up any time

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Political news, that is.

Yeah right.

I spent last week at my parents. They don’t have internet.


The rare bits of news I saw have been accompanied by my pre-teen daughter grumbling – loudly.

Even in a year where I have seen Trump become President and May’s Article 50 red lines disintegrate quicker than Dracula in a tanning booth, the snippets I’ve caught appear bizarre.

The fluff and distractions; Easter eggs, Pepsi, war with Spain but you can go there for £15! (but not for much longer, eh?)

And then the actual news; more bombing, more benefit cuts, the inhumane rape clause.

I’m so used to be tuned in to the news all the time that getting it in bits makes me feel punch drunk. There’s no nuance, no chance to see what leads up to what. Trying to get different views is so much harder.

It must be easy to turn your back on it all, to say it’s too depressing and switch off.

But that’s not me, I have felt angry all week. Not quite a standing up in the market square shouting at people anger – though that might have been therapeutic.

This town I grew up in is quintessentially English. It’s a quiet agricultural market town, and apart from 31 years with Liberal MPs, it has voted Tory since 1885.

And it has a food bank. When I first heard of its existence a few years ago I felt as though I had been punched. A town that promotes itself for its food links has a food bank. It’s obscene.

My daughter often comments how nice Louth is, that it is in a bubble. There’s a standing joke with a few friends that I come from The Shire, not Lincolnshire because it appears so perfect, so nice, safe and protected.

But it isn’t, and they keep voting in the people who will screw them over. You would think having Jeffrey Archer as an MP would have taught them a lesson.

It also voted 70.7% to Leave the EU, one of the highest in the UK.

And yes, immigration is an issue, although not in the immediate locality. East Lindsay, which Louth is part of, has less than 4% of its population born outside the UK.

I’ve got so used to the mix of cultures in Glasgow that it felt a bit weird going into town on market day. Not quite Midwich Cuckoos but a certain degree of uniformity.

Source: Country of Birth, Ethnicity and Nationality of Lincolnshire Residents, Figure 2 – People born outside the UK as % of whole population

Down the road is Boston which has had a large influx of migrant workers over the last decade. But that’s it – they are workers – doing the agricultural work that no one else wants.

Services in Boston are under strain. Westminster hadn’t funded the local councils enough to help them cope with the increased populations.  And I get the impression that being a Tory council (with UKIP in second place) they are happy to let migrants take the blame.

One thing has never been in doubt – the Tories always put party first. That’s why we’re in this Brexit mess in the first place, because Cameron wanted to appease his right wingers.

And that’s why I am angry, another group of people who got lied to by the press and politicians, who didn’t go looking for answers and whose lives and those of their neighbours are going to end up considerably worse.

I don’t know what the answer is. How do you get people to read the full story?

All I do know is that it doesn’t seem to be something you give up once you get involved.


One thought on “I can give it up any time

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