Reality Bites

This isn’t what Britain has become. This is what it has always been. After a decade where the ordinary, hardworking people of the country were punished by a select few spending money that didn’t exist (and in many cases still doesn’t) they are the ones who have suffered. Their community centres, libraries and public spaces have been sold off and shut down, whilst the super rich just get wealthier.

Brexit, like it or not, has become realistic change. It represents ‘better’ in a place where everything else is so dire and horrendous it’s easier to just stop thinking. After years of watching a bunch of people argue over the best way to do something nobody really knew how to accomplish in the first place, the country devolved responsibility to the charlatans. This way, in five years, they’ll know EXACTLY who is to blame.

Those of us who have sat in a left wing echo chamber for the last month or so are beginning to grasp that change for us is so far out of reach that nobody currently is capable of achieving it. No political party exists for us to vote for who embodies the radicalism that is undoubtedly required to save humanity, because that is the situation we find ourselves within.

A teenage girl has made everyone look foolish, and rightly so.

She’s not just the person of the year, but a benchmark for the next ten.

Watching sensible, rational people thrash about on social media over the last 48 hours, trying to find someone to blame, is a waste of everybody’s time. We’re to blame. Nobody thinks like us, or provides for us the answers required. It isn’t because they’re an anti semite, or xenophobic, or anti Islam. It’s not because they’re pro Christian or anti Gay. All of those things existed before all this happened. None of them explain failure.

What they do is highlight difference, diversity, a celebration of the world around us that has singularly failed to grasp that we are not everyone else. The assumption, arrogant that it is, that just because you know someone’s a lying cunt means everybody else must see the same. It makes you… well, a stupid cunt. Trying to then blame someone or something else for that failure of comprehension achieves nothing long term.

What will help, right now, is not devolving responsibility, but looking for who needs help.

An American friend of mine has started using the phrase ‘look for the helpers’ and although some might consider channeling Mr Rogers largely inappropriate under these circumstances, there’s a ring of truth to it. Maybe this is the moment you realise all this bad shit’s been happening a lot longer than ten years before getting off your arse to do something about it.

It can be as simple as when you’re shopping to buy half a dozen items to stick in the food bank basket at the supermarket. Dispose of litter responsibly. Stop using outdated racist language. Become more tolerant. There’s no way you can reverse the events of Thursday throwing bile and vitriol at the people you think fucked it up for everybody else. This will not work. What WILL work is if all of us start thinking more and reacting less.

Of course, you shouldn’t have to do it. Of course everything is broken and yes, it’s horrible, but you will not fix anything if your mindset assumes it is damaged beyond repair. All those superhero movies you watch that tell you HOPE IS WHAT MAKES US HUMAN are not just mindless entertainment. Listen. Learn. Adapt, and survive. Maybe, along the way, you can inspire others to do the same.

There’s an irony too, that a speech which was given by a man who now makes me feel physically unwell, is in fact what needs to happen. I need to get over my issues and find better ways to help others and my planet. I don’t need to spend weeks sitting, looking at social media, dissecting the truths that existed long before Thursday happened. This country is fucked nine ways to Christmas: Brexit was not catalyst, but consequence.

Populism is a concept that now underpins so much of modern politics, which this country has singularly failed to adapt to on the political left. The political right, however, is very good at doing just that… and it really doesn’t matter anymore whether they’re lying or not, if their leader’s an unqualified buffoon. This country has altered, as have so many others to the idea that ‘better’ does not mean either ideal or best.

As long as nothing actually changes that much, it’ll be fine. Of course, with Brexit, that is not necessarily going to take place. As long as the rich stay rich, who cares? Survival of the fittest will no longer depend on genetics or intelligence, but how much cash you earn. The problem, of course, as certain high profile rich blokes have discovered, is that having cash doesn’t make you attractive. 

There’s some dystopian futures at play here my writing brain does not wish to entertain.

If you’re still thrashing about on Monday looking for other people to criticise, it’s time to move on. You get this weekend to be angry, then begin the process of grieving. For those who did this when we voted Remain and were rudely awoken from our stupor to the real reality of the UK’s endemic failures, that’s already happened. We’re already mobilising, and could do with you as additional help.

Everybody, everywhere, needs to #Resist and push for actual, meaningful change.


I read an article over the weekend that suggests, quite rightly, that being angry is useful, assuming that ire can be channelled effectively. This has been happening for a while: identifying what it is that causes emotional responses, then dictating the means by which that can be converted into something more useful. It’s not that anger doesn’t have value, either: as a poet, that kind of strong, inescapable emotion has an awful lot going for it. Expression can be a tough ask however: today, we’ll start fixing that too.

Things that Make me Angry, by Sarah aged 52 and a Half



That’s it, nothing else on this list. People are the problem. Watching them destroy environments and fuck up each others lives whilst at the same time choosing to wilfully ignore all the stupid shit that takes place in other’s existences. I also utterly count myself in this Angry List: personal actions sometimes are very much worthy of promoting both rage and disappointment. So, how is it possible to make things better?

I don’t think anybody really can expect to have that kind of affect on large swathes of humanity. Looking at alternatives, by far the best course of action is to attempt to affect change in small doses, a person at a time. That means starting with yourself is a good beginning. So, how do I stop myself getting angry currently. Hmm… it’s a tough ask. So much bad news. So many potential disasters on the horizon. Where do I even start?


The answer, of course, is to not be so hard on myself. By learning compassion for self it is easier to separate feelings, making a decent attempt to rationalise what’s going on. Then, it is all about the business of being able to adequately describe how things make me feel so that the process can be translated from brain to page, and then becomes easier to explain to strangers.

Having now managed to crack this, at least in part, it is time to take the issues out of brain and onto a page. Therefore, this is my starting point: if you make me angry, there’s a far greater chance going forward that will be explained, using language that effectively communicates both reasoning and response. This is NOT an excuse to cause further conflict however, that needs to be properly quantified.

This is not the means by which things are made worse.


That whole thing about being the change you wish to see in the world? Ghandi was spot on. This is the means by which change happens, and I can not be scared of it.

So, let’s roll.

Begin Again

Religion has an awful lot to answer for: wars, plagues of frogs, beards… the list is endless. At it’s core however we, as humans, should grasp its true significance. This is a system of control. All religions present rules for living a good life, suggest means by which this should take place. Most religions reassure that it’s okay, death is just a transitional state when the reality is a lot more bleak and frankly frightening for most. Religion, simply put, was a requirement as man developed free will and curiosity. It was the means by which people could be dictated to, whilst selfishly playing on basic fears.

The reality for billions of other people however is that religion is an essential, brilliant part of their existence. It allows them peace and focus to become better individuals. Faith provides vital communities that care and clothe, support and understand: nurturing development, granting vital peace to those at the end of their existences. Religion provides means by which existence is both understood and continued, and it is the love within hearts and minds that can bring so much good and happiness to bear.

Both these opinions are equally valid.


Religion is the first place where, I now grasp, the true value of compromise was learnt. My first direct experience with the devout was not pleasant. However, it taught a lesson that only now after nearly thirty five years has registered as the norm. Allow other people to believe what they wish, and respect that right. Nothing else really matters in the world right now than being able to exist with each other in a manner that will then allow us all to work on the more pressing issues facing the environment.

Except, of course, other people’s priorities are different.


After a life-changing event on Friday, a lot of priorities have been shifted. Over the next few weeks, as these alterations become more apparent, there will undoubtedly be some changes. That includes making reasoning more flexible. It is becoming apparent that a lot of basic knowledge on interacting with people has never really been properly grasped during my lifetime: this is a very good opportunity to start working out where the holes are.

Every day is a school day, remember.


I know there are some men who are continually frustrated and annoyed by the amount of airtime women get in their Social media. Women do not matter in such situations. They are taking important focus and attention away from other issues. Their continued irritation that everybody should be treated fairly goes against Christine doctrine. Their place is, as has always been the way, as a supporter of men. They are here to take care of their needs ahead of their own, their children’s ahead of their own. They are not to be considered as equal, paid as such or considered for particular regard.

There are days online when it is hard to believe that 100 years ago women in this country (some, not all) were recognised as having a right to vote. In fact, looking at what I saw yesterday, there was a reminder that really, very little has changed at all. We may have a notion of freedom, but abuse and anger are still very much prevalent. This isn’t from the older generation either. A whole new group of young men are growing up thinking it is perfectly acceptable to abuse women, apply outdated stereotypes and basically threaten others, mostly without redress.

Not much has changed in a century. In fact, if you put a critical eye to events, the notion of genuine progression is slim at best. Having a woman running the country might seem to indicate change, but we all know the basic truths on our own levels. Abuse is not socially unacceptable, so it keeps happening. Equality does not exist in so many places and is not likely to until the balance of power shifts out of mostly male hands. Even with women in charge, repression and fear remain more prevalent than comfort and understanding. This isn’t about smashing the patriarchy either. There are a lot of women doing as much, if not more damage than their male counterparts.

Not everybody is a hero, and enemies are becoming harder to spot.

I think this is the best way forward. Accept you won’t change everybody, and so start small. Make the changes in the communities you are a part of. Push others to challenge their own preconceptions, and then let them, in turn, have a positive influence elsewhere. I don’t want it to be another 100 years before I see progress for anyone who does not fit the societal norm. Change has to happen now.

I will become the change I wish to create.