Even a casual glance at the media whether in prints or visuals reveals a distinct shift in energy and sadly not a positive one. Recent events from all over our little blue dot have shown that humanity appears to be on a disturbing downward spiral, towards a destiny I don’t think any of us can predict. Even the glass half full brigade is starting to see the drink drift towards the bottom of the tumbler.
The have been several events of late which have upset the balance in the Universe which even videos of kittens playing and falling off stuff are failing to have the desired uplifting effect. The following events have directly impacted my well-being and at times left me despairing for humanity and the direction it’s heading towards.
Brexit: The Rise of the Right
Arguably, the British Referendum whether or not to stay in the European Union was the most important X I’ve ever had to place. I like many others found it extremely difficult to understand what a vote either way would do for the UK fiscally, politically or morally. Both sides made claims that the UK (and the inhabitants therein) would be financially better off (richer individuals / communities and better run institutions). Both sides made claims that the UK (and the inhabitants therein) would be politically better off (being in a system which benefited the UK). Both sides made claims that the UK (and the inhabitants therein) would be morally better off (being in a system which gave the inhabitants a true sense of community).
With so much fact and counter fact, the vast majority of the country had no alternative but to best guess and hope that whatever decision was made by the collective in the end, the UK came out better for it. Sadly from my point of view it didn’t, far from it. What transpired was a total shock to the system, the exit campaign had won. I was absolutely gutted. I am a firm believer of oneness and a world without borders, where cultures and minds are advanced when we live, breathe, eat and love with folks from different cultures, backgrounds and religions. Our aim should be for global oneness, not ancient divisions of land with invisible lines dictating when one can or can’t go.
I poured over the voting heat-map the next day to try and see where the battle was won and lost. I was glad to see the good folks of Merseyside sided with my way of thinking, and looking beyond that a pattern was emerging. Where there was wealth (The City) there was orange. Where there were seats of learning (all major University towns) there was orange. Where there was a yearning to be part of a bigger community (Northern Ireland and Scotland) there was orange. Everywhere else on the map was blue, deep blue is some areas. Why?
It came out that the vote was swayed by two things. Firstly, most aged folks (those over the age of 60) voted for nostalgia and what the UK was like in the good old days and not how a vote for leaving the EU would impact future generations. Secondly, the referendum saw one of the highest turnouts of young voters from council estates who in the main voted to leave too.
It was disappointing but slightly predictable that the older generation voted to leave, but what came to light was that there are a lot of disenfranchised, poorly educated young people in the UK from less affluent areas who were sucked in to the tripe the Brexit campaigners were peddling. It literally gave some the excuse they needed to release their pressurised and pent-up bigot valve and let rip. Racist incidents went up nationally by 42% overnight. I heard some absolute horror stories from all over the UK (Birkenhead, Wirrral included) where people took it upon themselves to tell other of perhaps a different skin tone or geographic heritage just exactly what they thought of them and where they should all go (some turning verbal threats into physical attacks).
People said that a vote for Brexit did not mean that 52% of the population were racists, which is a fair comment, but it did show one thing; there are pockets of ignorance in this country, ignorance which has been allowed to fester and enter into periods of “managed decline” by moderate/right wing governments decade after decade (Tory and New Labour). Education is the only way forward, and moving towards a state of self-governing academies which are not regulated like schools is only going to make matters much worse.
The only true way forward is to educate humanity, to embrace humanity, all of humanity (not just those who are white and have the same accents), share what resources we have and divorce ourselves from wanting and greed, only then will we advance as a community, a nation, a world.
The Conservative Party: Cameron, May and PMQs
The obvious fallout from a Prime Minister who led us into the referendum in the first place (which I think on reflection was a catastrophic failure on his and the Tory Party to leave such an important decision to the demograph as outlined above) was for him to tender his resignation with immediate effect, which he duly did (and pretty damned fast too). The nation had spoken and even though he had 4 years left of his manifesto to deliver, he decided it was in the best interests of the country to hand over the reins to someone else. As PM, I’m not sure it was wise to drive the Remain bus; if the worst case scenario came true (which it did) he would go down in history for one thing, he was the Prime Minister who took the UK out of the EU and reintroduced bigotry and divisions on the streets on the land he allegedly loved so much.
I don’t think he has done anything particularly outstanding during his tenure, but this one sticks out like a sore thumb.
The election campaign for the Leader of the Conservative Party saw several candidates, but shockingly not the main protagonist of the Leave campaign Boris Johnson. His “I’m not standing because of X” was jaw-droppingly repugnant and typical of a man who spent months peddling inflammatory and incendiary remarks, saying on many occasions in the past that he “just doesn’t like foreigners”.
After several spats, votes and withdrawals, Theresa May was elected Leader of the Conservative Party and with it the title of Prime Minister (unelected of course). Here we have a woman who wishes to introduce snooping laws to control the miscreant inhabitants of these green and pleasant lands even more and who wished to withdraw from the Bill of European Human Rights. During her first speech, she stated that under her reign she would look to see a United Kingdom which worked for all of the people not just the privileged; hypocrisy from day one.
And so today she had her first Prime Ministers Questions and what did we get, nothing but sound-bites, snide remarks and jokes; how not to run a country. Her performance was an absolute disgrace, folks in this country are sick to the back teeth of these politicians who constantly direct negativity to those who genuinely want things to change for the good of everyone, so to divert the attention away from the fact that they themselves are delivering nothing of value.
The Labour Party: Corbyn and the Moderate Coup
I joined the Labour Party because of Jeremy Corbyn. I joined the Labour Party because I truly believe that his way of thinking and modus operandi aligns to the way things should be. Ideologically, he is a true socialist and believes in parity across the board, and his ethics are sounds, in my opinion without reproach.
What has happened since he took over as the Leader of the Labour Party has also been an absolute disgrace. Here we have a man with a fairly significant mandate from the membership who is constantly criticised in the media, constantly undermined by his own MP’s (who are supposed to represent the very members who voted for him in the first place) and is constantly having to defend himself and his dysfunctional party against the government attacks.
Most folks would have quit a long time ago, but not Corbyn. People say he is weak, but just look at what he is up against. It takes a certain person to put up with all the shit he puts up with but he carries on regardless because he truly be lives that there is one direction to go in, and that’s forward and a forward together as one and peacefully so.
Post Brexit, I wrote down on a piece of paper exactly what would happen in The Labour Party over the pursuing weeks / months and “everything is proceeding as I had foreseen it” to quote Mr Palpatine.
- I predicted that there would be a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn – Check.
- I predicted that one or more moderate would raise their head(s) above the parapet and force a leadership challenge – Check.
- I predicted that there would be in all likelihood and bun-fight within the moderate camp and then only one challenger would be put forward so not to split the vote and repeat the previous leadership election campaign – Check.
- I predicted that final candidate would not be a Blair baby (eagleout) on the grounds that a vote in someone so war-hungry in light of the Chilcott Report could spell danger in a general election down the line – Check.
- I predict that Jeremy Corbyn will win the next Labour Leadership election and the Moderates will once again launch yet another bid to take hold of the Labour Party next year and the year after that until the moderates finally get their way and declare it a victory for party democracy.
- I predict that the goals of the “Moderate Coup” will eventually be satisfied and they will all rejoice in putting the non-socialist Labour Party back on the map, at which point the party splits in two, with the left looking to take the unions with them to create a Socialist Labour Party (suggestions for new name on a postcard).
If Jeremy is true to his word and his beliefs and there is enough membership support to follow him (I would), then he should make a break from it and let the weakened Labour Party fight amongst themselves and let them realise that they had a chance to deliver the socialist agenda through Jeremy but chose not to.
The Turkish Military Coup
I have been working in Turkey over the last 3 months, Istanbul to be precise. I had been to Istanbul once before and fell in love with the place. Such history, such a cultural melting pot with incredibly warming and hospitable people, it is truly one of the world’s most incredible cities.
The last time I was there I met some really special people, very spiritual folks without being religious who were the ultimate hosts, probably the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Back in 2013 things were a little different; there were no areas out of bounds and travelling across the ancient town walking down aeons old thoroughfares was literally a journey through time. We visited the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and the Grand Bazaar a market place not changed for a thousand years. We also spent some time with our new friends in the rock bars and clubs, enjoying some of the local beers with a back drop of Turkish heavy metal.
Things have moved on a lot over the past few years and Turkey is sadly quite an unstable place today. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has waged an armed struggle against the Turkish state for cultural and political rights and self-determination for the Kurds in Turkey, who comprise between 18% and 25% of the population and have been subjected to repression for decades, and then there is ISIS.
Before I left for Turkey in May, a company travel advisory was issued stating that only essential business travel was allowed and that should folks be travelling to Istanbul, then they should avoid crowded areas, especially tourist hotspots. We of course took this advice very seriously indeed and within three days of arriving, the PKK had indeed claimed responsibility for the loss of eleven lives in Istanbul.
Thankfully, no one in the office was affected and there were no further incidents during the remainder of our first trip. The yin and yang of life was however very present during those three weeks. Whilst it is incredibly sad that Istanbul is going through some turbulent times, the spirit of its people remains resolute and resilient.
The first weekend saw Dragon Boat Racing, our team finishing second by milliseconds, once again the Turkish spirit was flowing and a great time was had by all, and the team had also took time out to get me a birthday cake in between the heats to serenade me with a Turkish rendition of happy birthday.
The second weekend saw a few of us travel out to the Princes Islands in the Marmaris Sea, where we took another step back in time to a place with no automobiles – only bicycles and horse drawn carts, swimming in the sea and trying all of the local delicacies. After getting back to the office, we took time out to make a parody video of one of the company’s official TV advertisements, so much laughter and fun was had by all.
After getting back to the UK, a few days later I heard on the news that Ataturk Airport had been hit by the so-called Islamic State, killing forty one and injuring over two hundred. There by the grace of God go I.
It was at that point that I coined the phrase “The Window of Fate”. I seriously began to question why it was that I was not in the airport during the bombings and came to the conclusion that it was not my time. I no longer buy into randomness; I firmly believe that things do (or do not) happen for a reason and events like these when avoided (call it fate, pre-determination or a message from our higher selves) gives the inner self more evidence to suggest that we do exist for a reason, to experience this thing we call life and upload such learnings to the hidden collective consciousness. Only those that are truly awake can understand this, those that cannot see this are spiritually immature (perhaps through no fault of their own) and in time (either this time or the next) they will learn that there is something out there.
I was then faced with the decision to go back to Istanbul to finish of the job we had started and I agreed to travel back accepting the risks. Travelling back to Istanbul the weekend after Eid was probably not the wisest thing to do and on arriving there was chaos with around three thousand passengers trying to get through passport control, but re-enter to Turkey I did and back to the hotel I went.
The first few days were by and large uneventful and we went live with the new system on the Wednesday, a real success considering where we were two years ago at the start of the process. We were all taken down to the Bospheros by the management team for a celebration meal on the Thursday night, enjoying the best seafood and raki Turkish Lira could buy, oblivious to what was to occur just twenty four hours later.
After another particularly thankful uneventful day in the office, we ate locally and went back to the hotel where our new BFF “H”, runner up in Barperson of the Year 2015, prepared us all a special Long Island Ice (Turkish) Tea and off we headed up to the Executive Lounge on the thirty second floor, where our friend regaled us in the history and ancient of this most famous of cities. After a while he disappeared and we carried on taking in the vista of the town until our glasses were dry, at which point we descended back to the lobby for a refill, only to find chaos.
All of the big screen TV’s in the lobby / bar area where on CNN and it looked quite serious, wherever it was going on. As our Turkish was still rudimentary, I asked someone to put on BBC World Service and was shocked to see that we were in the heart of a coup and that the action on TV was outside our hotel in Istanbul; the military had closed the two main bridges in Istanbul and had taken the airport. We sat in silence watching events unfold in front of us, watching the people take to the streets and march past our hotel in their thousands towards the main square all carrying the Turkish flag, all to the backdrop of distant gun fire.
After a few hours feeling relatively safe in the hotel, I went to bed and sat and stared out of my twenty eighth floor window for a few hours with only the BBC for company (not my preferred choice of media outlet but still). I decided to try and get some sleep around 3:30am and was almost successful until the F16 Strike Eagles started roaring past my bedroom window making any attempt to sleep futile. After another hour or so fatigue got the better of me and I drifted off, awoken only by the sunlight through a slither of open curtain a few hours later.
I received several phone calls from the company who advised us to stay on lock down in the hotel which we of course complied with, but what was becoming apparent was that everything was very quickly returning to normal and by Sunday morning, it was and we were allowed to venture out for a breakfast and a beer-filled afternoon trying to get our heads around what had just happened. We came to the inevitable conclusion (based on the series of events that led up and followed over the course of the next few days) that the coup was staged, rigged by a despot who will do anything he can to control the state of Turkey and all of its inhabitants, to oppress and remove those who stand in his way of total and utter domination, eradicating the previous works of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk; a revered individual from Turkey’s quite recent past and rightfully so.
The next few days were once again uneventful and so it came to the time to leave. We were all given a glass Hand of Fatima, an amulet to ward off evil spirits (which we all took gladly given what we had just witnessed), but more importantly I had the memories and bonds of lasting friendship which I had acquired over the previous few months.
The Future: What happens next
Like I said at the start of this massive missive, there is an energy shift to a dark place happening right now; even over the last few days there have been endless breaking news articles about individuals raging individual wars against innocents, organisations and governments, taking lives to increase the spectre of fear all over the world for their own alleged just cause. Right now, nowhere where safe because nowhere is.
What can we all do to stop this, very little it seems, but it all starts with the individual. It may mean that we turn of the TV set and media apps to block out that negativity, temporarily. As long as the individual has a positive outlook, then that’s a start. If the individual shares that positivity outwards to family, friends, colleagues and the social media community, then the spectre of fear should start to be banished to the shadows where it belongs.
As Gandhi once said “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”