Category Archives: politics

What is democracy?

There was a big protest this weekend. People jumping up and down again about how we need another referendum because the people who voted for Brexit were obviously mistaken and have all changed their minds (according to the people protesting) and therefore the country deserves to have another shot at voting. Something about ‘the People’s Vote’.

Now whether or not you voted remain or Brexit I have an issue with these protests. A massive one. If they succeed and we have to vote again, you have undermined the whole point of democracy.

You get to have a referendum. You do a bit of research. You vote. You don’t necessarily like the consequences of that vote but THAT is the idea behind the people have spoken. If you didn’t vote then you don’t get to complain. If you did vote and you didn’t do your research you don’t get to complain. If you did vote and you did your research but you didn’t campaign your whole neighbourhood to take up arms and follow you BEFORE the vote you don’t get to complain. You move on and try work out how to make the result work.

I come from a country where for years a large portion of the population was denied the vote. When it was finally given, it was a gift worth standing in the sun for hours to use. A lot of people don’t like the party currently in power but the expectation is that this is something that may pass and in the meanwhile, you make your vote count or you get out and emigrate. Our history and the history of our neighbours has taught us that a FAIR democracy is supposed to involve accepting the results of a properly run election (where noone has cheated – okay this can get debatable) even if you don’t like it. If you don’t like the results and you keep redoing the election/referendum/whatever, it is no longer a democracy. It’s just a bunch of people or a person being autocratic and forcing everyone down the path you want them to follow. Just keep trying again til I get the result I want why don’t I?

A few countries succeed like this – like Singapore, where to all intents and purposes, one party has still resulted in a successfully run state. But that is the exception not the rule. Generally speaking when you have one party – or the illusion of other parties but everyone has to vote for that one ruling party who are destined to win anyways, it is NOT a democracy and moreover NOT  a nice place to live. I don’t see all of you moving to North Korea.

I’m not saying I’m pro Brexit at all. I’m not saying I’m against either. What I am against is people taking away a fundamental right I thought I was accessing in living in England. The idea that my vote meant something the first time. And yes, maybe this is bigger than one political party winning for a few years then getting voted out. But that’s just more proof that you should think more carefully before you put your sticky fingers on the ballot page next time. A wake up call because so many people here are complacent about their vote. And whatever the result of that ballot, that you find a positive way to move forward from it once it’s over.

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Them that knows better

I am not a fan of social media. Especially quick witty snapshots of peoples’ lives in the form of photos, one liners, instant multimedia barrage updates.

Today I spent an unnecessary amount of time trying to block a feed from someone I used to know. I’m debating just unfriending him but that seems rude. Or blocking him but I wonder if he will know? I really should just get rid of him as we were never close friends but part of a much bigger circle way back when.

I knew him as the class smart ass who appeared to do no work but came out tops every time. He overcame bad eyesight (for which he refused to wear glasses) and thinning hair to bring off a certain, if not ‘cool-ness’, grungy indie look. He wore black tshirts sometimes with logos of rock/metal bands, drank pints of beer and shots of spirits with us and looked and acted like discordant youth who had no worries beyond passing class and trying to get with the pretty girls. Not a moral bone in his body, not a tie to anything beyond a house where his mom desperately tried to get him home for supper.

How times have changed. Since then he discovered religion. Or maybe he always had it but he hid it really well from the rest of us. But he’s now a CoE elder. He has a girl and a boy and bought into suburbia just outside the big smoke and posts pictures of his mediocre life in his mediocre house of his family and pets. All is as it should be really. They are not mediocre to him after all.

The thing that really riles me though is when South Africa held elections he started to rant and rave on social media about latent racism and how we had to stand up for people’s rights. I do not remember him having any black friends and barely tolerating the rest of our motley crew who were non-white (certainly, he never showed a romantic interest in them). Eventually someone told him they would give him money to shut up on social media and someone else told him if he fled the country he had lost his right to have an option.

So he moved on and started ranting about how refugees should be better taken care of and we should welcome them into the UK. Although he lives an area that is pretty Caucasian and English.

Now he’s blaming the fact that some people voted Brexit as the reason for every evil to befall England. From the possibility of visas being introduced to go to the EU (big deal, like the old days for me) to political uproar to deportation issues.

He rants non stop on social media. I think he might be writing to his MP (I pity them whoever they are). But often, although, he is intelligent I think, how one sided is your outlook? Have you considered the other side? Do you really know what the future holds and it will be so bleak because someone didn’t pick your side?

I’m a glass half full person but when it comes to politics, I figure the people spoke, so just get on with it already. If you do feel so strongly then post that picture of you going to the demonstration at Westminster against Brexit and the one for refugees. Show me you donate to the Syrian causes.

You didn’t do that did you? Too busy with your cat and your kids?

Then shut up already because noone wants to know.

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Filed under modern living, politics, Relationships, religion, social

Orangey Fruits

So the world has gone mad, especially Britain. This huge palava over Brexit. Whatever. The people spoke. Maybe incorrectly but they spoke so get on with it. It’s not like the country will collapse immediately and if it does it will be because of a self fulfilling prophecy due to attitude issues.

Noone stockpiled tinned food or rush ordering passports to elsewhere like South Africans did in 1994 before the referendum but after the fact hardly anyone is accepting the results with any good grace which at least most South Africans did after the vote when they realised the sky does not immediately fall down the very next day. I feel like I moved from one tin pot country with issues about what peoples rights mean to another tin pot country with issues about what peoples rights mean.

Selfishly I am more concerned about the smaller issues. I question not Brexit or Britain’s role in it but will this affect my ability to affordably buy produce from outside the UK if the pound falls too far? While this may make British produce more competitive in Britain, I’m not really that interested in brussel sprouts or wonky apples or potatoes.

I miss naartjies. I think they don’t travel well so South Africans just eat them all inside the country. An orange fruit with a very loose moist skin, large and slightly flattened with juicy sweet segments of something that is  bit like a tangerine/clementine/satsuma but is just specially naartjie flavoured and not any of the above. It is much sweeter, juicier, larger and more delectable. Instead we get these other varieties of citrus here. Undersized oranges and the random midget tangerine/satsuma/clementine things. We can never guarantee what variety or type will be in the shop as it is all seasonal to the WORLD. (And may even contain SA orange fruit but not naartjies, instead smaller more sour things the locals didn’t want to eat.) This means we have given up giving the fruit a name. In our house we just say, ‘oh, we need to buy some orangey fruit’. And then someone goes out and finds a mesh bag of any random roundish fruit because it could be any variety from anywhere.

And never a naartjie.

We just came back from a holiday. Where they served orangey fruits at every breakfast and lunch if you wanted them. Not naartjies or random round fruits.

Papaya. Lots and lots of fresh papaya.

I  forgot how much I missed papaya. Decently priced paw paw that will ripen and don’t have finger marks in them are impossible to find here.

Brexit, schemexit. I’m debating how do I move to a country that probably isn’t even in the EU but has permanently sunny skies, white sands and tropical fruits. A place where orangey fruits really are orangey…

And if I did so, how would I live? Or would a couple of coconuts, grilled fish and a hammock under the stars be enough?

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