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Eclectic Blue

That Friday Music Shuffle (30/11/18) – Bumper 25 songs edition!

Comments Off on That Friday Music Shuffle (30/11/18) – Bumper 25 songs edition! 30 November 2018

It’s the final day of the meteorological autumn and, in my view, one of the most depressing days of the year. So, what better to do than head to my Man Cave, dust off the gramophone (iPod really) and press the button to let it play some random music? Well, plenty of things, I imagine.

Anyway, here we go. Welcome my friends to the show that never ends.

  1. Breakaway by the Beach Boys. An absolute beauty, written by Brian and Reggie Dunbar, who was really Brian’s dad, Murry Wilson.
  2. Tongue by REM. This gem comes from the feisty Monster album. Some lush castrato singing here from Michael Stipe.
  3. Nobody by the Doobie Brothers. Re-recorded for the World Gone Cray album and, unusually for this sort of thing, costly superior to the original version.
  4. The Air That I Breathe by Simply Red. Simply Mick does an impeccable cover of this Hollies classic and it’s sufficiently different from the original to be worth the effort.
  5. Infinity by Aphrodite’s Child. Classic Greek Prog Rock from the band’s epic 666 album. Vangelis and Demis Roussos never sounded better. As for the wailing woman who appears to be enjoying an orgasm during this track, the less said the better.
  6. The Mingulay Boat by Fisherman’s Friends. Beautiful from the pride of Port Isaac.
  7. Downtime by Timothy B Schmit. The Eagles’ bass player from his Expando record.
  8. Centrefield by John Fogerty. A live version of the Creedence man’s epic baseball tribute record.
  9. Stronger by Clean Bandit. Despite their ghastly Corbynista supporting ways – they are privately educated Oxbridgers, after all – this is mint. From their New Eyes album.
  10. Encore by Graham Nash. Simply beautiful tune from his most recent album This Path Tonight.
  11. Barefoot in the Head by A Man Called Adam. Lush chill out music.
  12. Welfare Symphony by Carole King. Jazzy Carole from her seriously underrated Fantasy album. Powerful lyrics.
  13. Will Anything Happen by Blondie. From the seminal Parallel Lines LP.
  14. Last Night by the Strokes. Of course, I like the Strokes. They’re an American guitar-based rock band. And they never made a better album than Is This It?
  15. Moonlight Feels Right by Starbuck. This little gem predates Starbuck’s as an overpriced coffee destination and it’s classic Radio Two stuff, hugely unchallenging and rather lovely.
  16. The Ballad of John and Yoko by the Beatles. Still magnificent after all these years!
  17. Bardo by Todd Rundgren. Latter day Todd from the Arena album. Just gets better.
  18. Jennifer Eccles by the Hollies. Another mention here for the Hollies and Graham Nash, who sings lead on this harmless bit of fluff.
  19. See What Love Did To Me by Cat Stevens/Yusuf. From his rather good 2017 album, the Laughing Apple, the old boy is close to top form here.
  20. Going Going Gone by Gregg Allman. Another old timer with a gorgeous song from his final album Southern Blood, released shortly after his death.
  21. Erotica by Madonna. Sexy beast.
  22. Glorious by Natalie Imbruglia. She is.
  23. Rhyming Man by Talc. Absolutely brilliant by the scandalously unknown Talc from their excellent Licensed Premises Lifestyle album.
  24. Fireball by Deep Purple. At their absolute best. Ian Paice’s drumming is insane.
  25. Holiday Inn by Elton John. In my humble opinion, his 1971 Madman Across The Water was as good as it ever got for Reg Dwight, all downhill from herein. Despite his bonkers American accent – he’s from Pinner in Middlesex FFS – this is great.

That’s all, folks!

Eclectic Blue

How do you think I feel?

Comments Off on How do you think I feel? 30 November 2018

People are always coming up to me (no, they aren’t really!) and asking me this: “You are quick enough to tell your loyal reader when your mental health is a shambles, but what is you like when it’s okay?” Well, thanks for (not) asking. I’ll try and explain.

My mental health is relatively okay at the moment. I’m quite strong – the world’s strongest man, I reckon, but that’s just my opinion (and not that of the British Red Cross whose occupational health genius called me “emotionally weak”) – and stable, as Theresa May would put it. Thanks to therapy, prescription drugs and life with the minimum bumps in the road, I’m in a half-decent place. So, you might ask, where does the Black Dog go at times like this? Answer: nowhere. He’s still there.

As you can imagine, having spent many years undergoing various types of treatment, I have come across many people with differing mental illnesses. Clinical depression (my world), Anxiety (also my world), OCD (this is anything but funny, despite the myriad of jokes about it), Paranoia (people make jokes about this, too, which is just sick) and Schizophrenia (which is nothing like the way it is described by people who know nothing about it).  Getting to know these people has been a revelation, but only in the sense that in most instances you would never know there was anything wrong with them. It’s the ultimate hidden illness, unless things go really wrong.

In a half decent place as I am now, I function relatively well. However, the depression is still there, in a parallel existence in the back of my mind. I don’t hear actual voices – and I know people who do – but the depression that is sometimes at the surface never goes away. Which is what doctors, therapists and counsellors have always said to me. Manage the illness because it probably won’t ever go away.

I lay in bed last night, thinking too much as usual. I have a lot of creative stuff going on in my head – at least two major writing projects simultaneously on the go – and the remains of yesterday playing over and over again, like a broken record, accompanied by fretting about things that I cannot affect or change. My late father would probably throttle me for the last bit because not fretting about things he could not affect or change formed the basis of his success. And I felt the depression there. Of course, I did not want to slip back into illness but there it was. The difference was that if I had a negative thought – and I have plenty of negative thoughts – it didn’t take me down. I saw the depression but I wasn’t depressed. Does that make any sense?

It could be that my current state of mind is a result of years of therapy, lessons learned in life and drugs which could explain a lot. I messed up my school life, I messed up my professional life but, as Elton John put it, I’m Still Standing.

I’m taking each day as it comes, rather like a football manager whose career depends on what happens in the match tomorrow. If I look beyond that, I fear I will lose the plot again and that parallel world will overwhelm me again.

It is weird observing the depression when it isn’t making me depressed. If this makes no sense, I can only apologise. How do you think I feel?

Eclectic Blue

F1 is boring. Fact.

Comments Off on F1 is boring. Fact. 29 November 2018

My loyal reader will surely by now have noted my contempt for Formula 1. I have on many occasions referred to it as a boring procession, a view that has not always been shared by petrol heads. But now, I have come across conclusive proof that I was right. It is not just an opinion that F1 is boring and predictable: it is a fact.

Cynics like me have pointed out that most races are pretty well over after the first bend. The car that makes it to the bend first usually wins the ‘race’. The next 60 laps or so are largely an exercise in futility. Why not have the chequered flag before the second corner?

My prejudices are wholly vindicated by the revelation, if that’s what it is, that only one team outside the top three – Force India – managed a podium place last season. In 20 of the 21 races, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull hogged them all. The previous season, the same thing happened, with only Williams bagging a single podium place.  Put it another way: out of 123 podiums, only two podiums went to teams other than The Big Three. How on earth can that be exciting?

Put simply, for non petrol heads, F1 is not interesting. Your casual viewer – and I am a very casual F1 viewer – might tune in to the start of a race, watch Lewis Hamilton at the front of the grid, leading around the first bend, knowing the result several hours in advance. If you are looking for competition, look away now.

With F1 disappearing permanently to Pay TV from 2019, it is a near certainty that public interest in F1 will dwindle still further, as it has with both cricket and golf. Few people, other than the converted, will choose to shell out extra money to watch yet another procession. If it is virtually guaranteed that only six of the 20 F1 drivers will appear on the podium throughout the entire season, as it was in the last two years, who can blame them?



Eclectic Blue

What have we become?

Comments Off on What have we become? 28 November 2018

Have you seen the video from a Sheffield school which shows a young boy, who happens to be a Syrian refugee, being bullied by a much bigger boy? The young boy has already suffered from serious bullying, at one stage having his arm broken. Isn’t it time we had a long, hard look at ourselves in the mirror?

What the hell are we turning into? A nation that once welcomed refugees with open arms, giving them shelter, allowing themselves to rebuild their lives, enabling them to contribute to our formerly great country. Now, a young boy comes here, escaping the fascism of President Assad, and what a welcome he gets.

I’m not blaming Brexit on this – although it’s clearly a factor in all the hate that is pouring out of our country – because migrants have had to put up with this kind of stuff for years. And it’s been allowed to continue, even flourish, because of our laissez faire attitude towards it. Migrants bad, stop overseas aid, look after our own first, taking our jobs and, thanks Mr Farage, a large poster of a long line of brown skinned people with the headline ‘Breaking Point’. Oh, and did I mention Theresa May’s odious anti-migration campaign when she was home secretary? They all said it was bad to be a foreigner. So, when a young man, who for all we know is not the sharpest tool in the box, hears what the so called grown ups say is legitimate, why are we surprised when he attacks a younger, smaller boy because he doesn’t look or sound like him?

Jesus Christ: what the hell is wrong with us? Have we never come across someone who has darker skin than us white folk? Did you not enjoy the 2012 Olympics in London when the poster girl was a  black woman from Sheffield and the British double middle distance gold medal winner was someone who was born in Somalia? I don’t know what else to say here. In 2018, some people are judging others by the colour of their skin.

Please tell me how and why we should differentiate between people of different colour skin. How a little boys who comes from Syria is any different from a little girl who comes from Sheffield, or anywhere else? He will be a product of the culture in which he grows up and of how his parents brought him up. The same goes for the halfwitted pea brain who roughed him up. On that point, I feel some sadness for the assailant because he will never be allowed to forget what he has done. He’s just a by-product of the country we have become.

We had been doing so well, until, well you know the year. It became acceptable to be a bigot once more. In the eyes of some, if became fashionable. But it’s different today. Yesterday, the country looked up to Jessica Ennis, today it looks up at Stephen Laxley-Lennon. Christ alone knows who it will look up to tomorrow.

Eclectic Blue

Catch 22

Comments Off on Catch 22 28 November 2018

For someone who has become utterly disillusioned with Bristol Rovers Football Club, to the extent that I no longer go to games, I found last night that perhaps I didn’t have a heart of stone towards the club I once loved. After yet another dismal defeat last night, I made a rare audio trip to Radio Bristol and after quickly remembering why I don’t listen to the station anymore (even if I am nearly old enough), I found myself saddened. Because football is, for many people, their be all and end all in life, something that comes before most other things in life and the emotional attachment runs deep. And I imagine the hurt.

First, I feel sorry for the manager Darrell Clarke who sounded, in a angry emotional outburst, at the end of hit tether. “Sack me,” I imagined him saying, “and pay me off. I can’t work like this anymore.” Second, my sympathy lies with the supporters who commit their money, not to mention their emotional energy, to a football club they now see as failing. I am even more saddened that the latter seem to blame the former in large part for the mess the entire club appears to be in.

I have not been there to witness a single game this season and nor shall I for the foreseeable future and perhaps the unforeseeable future. I have not witnessed the abysmal football friends have told me about, so I bow to their superior knowledge, I have not suffered watching Clarke’s latest less than stellar signings. I have not seen my weekends ruined by a football result, I have not spent hours, as I used to do, on pointless football forums arguing about what we don’t know about.

Who is telling the truth? Darrell Clarke when he says that everything he has built since becoming manager is falling to bits, that the owners have not backed him financially, that the training ground is wholly inadequate, that he has no idea where the club is going? Or chairman Steve Hamer when he suggests all is well and good and that the manager has spent – squandered? – all the money the club received for Taylor, Bodin and Harrison? Having heard the chairman’s car crash interview last week with Geoff Twentyman on the aforementioned Radio Bristol, I am in little doubt. Make of that what you will.

For all I know, Clarke’s selection and tactics may be all over the place. But as a qualified coach, I would suggest he still knows more about football than people who have never so much kicked a ball in anger or even run the line for a Sunday pub team. In truth, none of us really know the reality facing Clarke but last night’s interview suggested a man who had had enough.

If Steve Hamer is right, that everything is just dandy and the current owners are staying in charge for the long term, then I fear for the future of the club. The owners are secretive and largely absent and Hamer appears to be their human shield. The so called ‘evolution not revolution’ slogan they used was clearly nonsense, unless they were referring to the survival of the fittest, in which case maybe they were more honest than we realised. Anyone who has watched David Attenborough’s shows will know that whilst some species evolve, others die because they didn’t. Is that what Wael Al Qadi meant when his family bought the club? Makes you wonder.

In the meantime, Bristol Rovers sinks ever lower towards League Two and who knows where else. It surely can’t go on like this. The owners surely owe it to the manager, the players, the staff and above all the supporters to spell out their vision for the club. Do they have a plan beyond mere survival? Do they really want to be here at all? That’s the main thing at the moment: communication. There isn’t any. But who asks the questions? Not the ever compliant Supporters Club or their wretched in-house ‘fans director’ Ken Masters who cost supporters over a million quid to put on the board to achieve precisely nothing. The club under its various owners has seen off any potential opposition from the fans. Anyone who offered something different, or simply stood up to the status quo, failed because they failed to attract sufficient support. No one represents the supporters anymore, no one has for over a decade.

Where the club needs clear leadership, it has nothing but drift. And the lightning rod is the manager who has no alternative but to put his head above the parapet. A good man who restored pride to the club after the humiliating Higgs era.

If the club axes Clarke, they will replace him either with someone from within, who has no managerial experience or, more importantly fire-fighting skills, or a manager who is currently out of work because they failed elsewhere. Wow. Catch 22.

Of course Darrell Clarke has made mistakes. Who hasn’t? However, he is the only visible person who has made mistakes. The rest hide in the background, sometimes not even in this country. Sack Clarke, by all means, but who will be left to tell it like it is?

Eclectic Blue

David Cassidy

Comments Off on David Cassidy 27 November 2018

I watched an incredibly sad documentary on BBC 4 last week. It was all about the late David Cassidy and his efforts to make a new record, as well as documenting his career a teenagers’ pop idol. The years had not been kind to Cassidy and he looked a wreck. I rather wish I hadn’t seen it in some ways.

Cassidy’s fame was first from his appearances as Keith in the Partridge Family and then as a solo pop star. He had youthful good looks, plenty of charisma and he could sing. And throughout 1972 and 1973, he was rarely out of the top forty. His concerts were attended by thousands of hysterical young girls. The music was often secondary. But after his hits like Could It Be Forever, How Can I B Sure? and I Am A Clown, his career subsided. Cassidy wanted to write his own songs. Sadly, no one wanted to listen to them.

He became an alcoholic and, it appeared from last week’s painful documentary, he was addicted to pain killers. He had also gone bankrupt at one point.  Now, his youthful looks had gone, as had his voice. I wondered if everyone around him had been honest.

He must have had some people around him who really loved him and not his image and his money. They must surely have seen over 40 years ago that his career was on the slide and whatever he did, it would never return to the heady days of the 1970s. A pretty face and some decent songs written by someone else could only take you so far. But the people around him must have told him he was still great.

The last time I saw him on television was when he was interviewed by the King of Smug, Eamonn Holmes, who basically took the piss out of his guest who was clearly the worse for drink. I was going to say I didn’t really see the point of that interview but for Holmes it represented higher viewing figures and more advertising revenue. One man’s physical decline into hell was collateral damage. One man’s car crash meant another man’s Rolls Royce. If I wasn’t a fan of Holmes before the interview, I despised him after.

It was obvious that Cassidy’s time on earth was limited. As his alcoholism worsened, he developed alcoholic dementia. There was no way back. And a year ago, he died.

It really was pitiful watching him trying to sing, but h was barely able to speak properly. There was no pleasure in the programme, no smiles. Here was the shell of man who once was the teenage idol of girls all over the world.

Stars are sometimes not allowed to grow old and Cassidy came under that category. There was nothing for him musically once his fleeting moment with superstardom flickered by and it seems he never noticed. And that was probably the saddest part of all.

Eclectic Blue

The mass debaters

Comments Off on The mass debaters 27 November 2018

And now a message to our national TV broadcasters: please spare us a TV debate about the EU between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. I don’t think I can stand it. Not just the ‘debate’ itself but the endless build-up and then the post debate debates. If this carries on, we are going to have to delay Christmas, quite possibly into the mid 2020s.

Can’t we just end this absurd malarkey right now? Let’s just get on with it. It has now become very clear, as remoaners said all along, that Brexit would drag on for many years, probably decades, and the consequences of it will live with the mainly older people who voted for it. When parliament rejects both May’s terrible ‘Chequers’ deal to leave Europe and the national suicide option of ‘no deal’, I’m afraid there’s only one thing to do: give the people a vote on which Brexit they want and give us the option of remaining.

As a matter of principle, I am fundamentally opposed to the idea of holding a referendum on anything. We have a parliamentary democracy where we elect people to carry out decisions for us. If we don’t like these politicians, we can boot them out. The idea that we then have referendums for some ‘awkward’ decisions strikes me as absurd. But my God, haven’t the politicians ever let us down? I’m having to do a 180, just for once.

David Cameron started it and his legacy will be of the man who set fire to his country and then buggered off, leaving it to those who remained to try and put it out. Not only that, those who stoked the fire until it was out of control, the likes of Boris Johnson, David Davis and Dominic Raab, walked out too. None of these politicians are exactly Churchillian standard, but Christ, we have now got political pygmies in charge of the governing party and the opposition. And now they want to chat about it on telly.

That’s Theresa May who campaigned very quietly to remain in the EU because she believes in it and Jeremy Corbyn who campaigned very quietly to remain in the EU despite the fact he is a long-standing hard Brexiter. May knows that any deal to leave the EU will make the country worse off but calls her deal “the best possible deal” and Corbyn who wants a bad deal because he believes the collapse of the country will usher in socialism in one country. Because it worked so well in Cuba and Venezuela.

The robotic May never answers questions, the hopelessly incompetent Corbyn asks questions written by someone else. Neither can think on their feet. How on earth can anyone suggest this will be a meaningful debate? It won’t be. Unless it is chaired by a political heavyweight like Andrew Neil, it will be an exercise in soundbites and rhetoric. We will learn nothing new. And if anyone thinks they will learn something new from watching two political inadequates in action (or is it inaction?) I have to tell them this will be a hopeless miscalculation on their part.

But don’t just cancel the debate between the Maybot and Magic Grandpa: cancel Brexit, too. The Brexit promised by the liars and shysters like Farage, Johnson and co was a lie, paid for by dodgy millionaires and foreign powers. Brexit is really about English nationalism, about destroying and paring back every aspect of government, about making the labour market more flexible (by removing laws that protect working people) and making the rich richer, something they believe they can only achieve by Brexit and its opportunities (for them).

More weasel words from politicians? No, thanks. Just the truth or more to the point an admission that the Brexit the 52% voted for was an illusion, that we will lose, not regain, control and we will all be worse off, all except the very rich who caused this to happen in the first place.

Eclectic Blue

Derby day

Comments Off on Derby day 25 November 2018

I’m watching the ‘Second City derby’ on Sky TV between Aston Villa and Birmingham City Depending on your point of view, the atmosphere is electric or poisonous. Or maybe it’s a little of both. Derby day is one of the greatest days of the season. In Bristol, derby day is a rarity. Unless Bristol Rovers get their act together, hell will freeze over before another one comes along.

In modern times, Gasheads have embraced their underdog status, even celebrated being ‘Ragbag Rovers’. And you can see why. It wasn’t that long that Rovers were playing at a non league ground in Bath and training out of a portakabin by a chocolate factory in Keynsham. The club even climbed into what was then the Championship. It is impossible to imagine them doing the same now.

Where other clubs, not least local rivals City, have moved on, possibly out of sight, Rovers have remained at a tatty old former rugby ground and have developed it by erecting temporary tents. The miracle Gerry Francis achieved taking Rovers into the second tier in 1990 was almost recreated by Darrell Clarke when he took the club from the Conference back to League One. However, he did so by way of a siege mentality, by having players who would run through a brick wall for him and he did so virtually single handedly. This was never a template for long term stability.

Now the team is in trouble, dabbling uncomfortably with the bottom four in League One. These are, of course, relatively early days in the season but the league table does not lie. So, where’s the plan?

Rovers’ absentee Jordanian owners don’t have one bar “winning the next match”, according to chief apologist and club chairman Steve Hamer, when he was taken apart by Geoff Twentyman on BBC Radio Bristol last week. No vision, no direction beyond winning the next game. This is the road to football hell. The fans should demand so much more.

They key to everything is securing a new stadium. The Memorial Stadium represents a miserable loss-making present. Staying there guarantees nothing more than mediocrity and, conceivably, oblivion. Hamer rubbished all the rumours and speculation that new owners are about to take over. He knew nothing. If we take him at his word, the owners need to spell out absolutely clearly what they intend to do, if anything.

The only consolation to Rovers miserable on and off the field existence is the continued failings across the river in BS3. If seeing City lose again is enough for some Gasheads, perhaps they deserve everything that comes their way? I don’t happen to think that.

Honesty. That’s all we ask. Plus the truth. Are the Al Qadis in it for the long term, as club president Wael keeps saying? Or do they want rid of the club and to get their money back? Which is it?

I fell for the charm and smarm of the Al Qadis, believed that, for once, overseas owners might be in it for the right reasons. What a fool I was. Some of us are so old, we remember when we actually managed to compete with City. If the ambition is mere survival, this won’t end well. I’m so cynical, I don’t think there is any ambition at all from the owners or their paid lickspittles.

The Villa v Birmingham derby has been wonderful to watch and listen to. Bristol needs its own derby. But are there men (and women) of sufficient vision (and money) to bring it about?

Eclectic Blue

That Sunday Music Shuffle (25/11/18)

Comments Off on That Sunday Music Shuffle (25/11/18) 25 November 2018

As a Brucie Bonus (ask your parents, kids), I’ve decided to inflict upon you another music shuffle. Not another Friday shuffle – it’s Sunday for goodness sake – but a Sunday shuffle. An absolutely pointless exercise from my Man Cave, letting the old iPod belt out ten tunes at random and then telling you what they are.

So, with my stacks of Marshall speakers at full volume, welcome back my friends to the show that never ends!

  1. Stay Free by the Clash. What a start. Arguably my favourite Clash tune from their epic Give Em Enough Rope LP.
  2. I’m Not Supposed to Care by Gordon Lightfoot. The wonderful Canadian troubadour from his Summertime Dream record.
  3. Tell Me What You Want (And I’ll Give You What You Need) by the Doobie Brothers. I’ve been a big Doobies fan for approaching 100 years and this joint from What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits is why!
  4. Real Man by Todd Rundgren. Todd’s appearing quite a lot on my music shuffles and quite right too.
  5. No More Walks in the Wood by The Eagles. From their ‘final’ (?) album Long Road out to Eden, this is an okay tune which doesn’t really go anywhere. Some great tunes on the record but this isn’t one of them.
  6. Tower of Strength by Gene McDaniels. The late, great and hugely talented Gene, who never really got the recognition he deserved.
  7. Promise by Nitin Sawhney. Such a talent, this from his Human LP.
  8. The Way I Am by Eminem. Well, I like him. And I like his Marshall Mathers LP, too.
  9. Mourning Sound by Grizzly Bear. Simply magnificent from their 2017 record Painted Ruins. Close to perfection.
  10. No one’s Girl by the Wondermints. IMHO, the best band who never made it. Great tunes, singers and players.

That’s all, folks!

Eclectic Blue

A Pig With Lipstick

Comments Off on A Pig With Lipstick 24 November 2018

I know that a lot of people voted to leave the EU because they don’t like foreigners. Or more specifically, they don’t like foreigners coming to work here, taking our jobs/doing the crap jobs we don’t want to do. Take your pick on that one, although I would say that the former is bollocks. Anyway, thanks to the genius of Theresa May’s ‘deal’ with the EU, those pesky foreigners will not find it so easy to come here. We can dramatically slow migration, just like we always could, but chose not to, whilst we were members of the EU. Confused? Mrs May certainly hopes you are.

The key words of May’s ‘deal’ are that it will “End Freedom of Movement once and for all.” You can’t get clearer than that. And up and down the land, I can hear the voices echo in celebration. Britain First, comes the cry. Christ: that would make a great name for a far right political party, wouldn’t it?

Stopping foreigners coming to work in Britain surely has no downside, does it? The dole queues are full of people who could do the jobs in the NHS, the social care sector, the cleaning jobs, the jobs in hospitality that these people with different accents to us carry out at the moment. Old people could be forced back to work if we raised the retirement age again, the severely disabled could be encouraged to grow new limbs or learn to see again and the mentally ill can simply be told to “snap out of it”. It’s so easy.

Let’s face it: everyone supports the end of free movement, the Tory government and, perhaps surprisingly, the hard left Labour opposition included. It matters not that Labour might be supporting the end of free movement as a tactic, as a means of convincing areas of the country which voted leave that the party understands what they are saying. I take Labour at face value. Like May, they want to pull up the drawbridge to mainland Europe. That drawbridge will have, for some, unintended consequences.

The end of free movement means the end of freedom of movement not just for Johnny Foreigner, but also for us. We are saying that not only do we want to stop foreign people coming here, we want to stop ‘our’ people going there. No longer will foreigners be able to come here to live, love, study, travel freely across borders, work and retire in this country, so our own people will lose the same rights. How many times have you heard people yearn for their retirement, when they can sell up and move permanently to the sun? Many of the people who voted leave but wish to retire to Spain or Greece will no longer be able to do so. That is not a scare story: that is a fact. We told you that by voting to leave the EU, it would deny the rights and freedoms you enjoyed to your children. Look what you’ve done.

Now, I have heard people say that losing freedom of movement is a price worth paying, even if it is their own children who will pay that price. It is worth the inevitable damage to our living standards and our standing in the world, they will say. Not arguments I have a great deal of sympathy with, I have to say, but I’ll let those who want to take away from their children what they enjoyed explain why they did it.

Even the two people who led the negotiations, David Davis and Dominic Raab, condemn their own efforts by saying May’s ‘deal’ would be worse than remaining in the EU. The truth is that any deal will be worse than leaving the EU and no deal will be the worst option of all. In which case, why are we leaving at all?

For those of you hoping that next March, when we leave Europe, will see the end of this endless national argument, dream on, because this is just the start. This crummy deal is just the basis for leaving the EU. The post EU scenario will occupy every aspect of political life for years, probably decades, to come. And all to make ourselves worse off on the basis of a false prospectus sold to us by shysters, liars and English nationalists.

May says people just want to see the government “get on with it”, which is yet another lie peddled by an incompetent, weak and out-of-her-depth prime minister. As for May’s ‘deal’, it reminds me that you can put make-up on a pig, but it’s still a pig. And May’s deal is an absolute pig’s ear of a deal for Britain.

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