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JUNE Editorial: The Choice
We are taking the Referendum weekend off. Will come to pondering about the result in the July edition of Hacks. It's hard to say what will happen, but it is quite apparent a poison has seeped into the British dispora and it will be hard to expunge. They say this is like the thirties all over again. That only means something to a very old part of the population. It's a warning that extremism left and right are ready to tear the fabric of Europe apart again and this time if Trump is in the White House there will be be no one to save us from ourselves. Caveat emptor as they say.
When Labour MP Jo Cox looses her life from a Brexit fanatic we know things have gone too far. It's a tragedy for anyone to lose their life, but for a passionate MP dedicated to her home county and people is shot down, it's also a national tragedy. We aren't use to this in the UK and it's a shock for her husband, children and community. Guns kill people. So can extreme politics. Farage and others from Vote Leave have no idea what they have unleashed by their hate preaching.
It's official- June 17th 2016 - we are totally sick of this referendum. I want to vomit everytime I hear this 'Take Back Control' mantra spewed out by Mr Gove, Johnson, Farage et all. The thought of them being in control gives one hives. Control over a managed decline in the British way of life, economy and general decay. Can't wait. This is unbridled nationalism and barely disguised racism - and it looks from the polls that people are responding to it. A sad time in blighty.
I’m not sure everyone entitled to vote in the referendum has quite taken on board just how 'final' this thing is. To stay ‘In’ or ‘Leave’ Europe is a big decision that can’t be reversed. If leave is the answer, the big worry is that so many of the ‘leavers’ are so old they won’t be around to face the consequences 20 years from now. Staying doesn’t mean that the English Channel disappears, we are still an island, but the main fear driving the leavers is immigration. 333,000 Incomers from Europe alone last year (BBC figures) and this isn't counting migrants or asylum seekers or illegals. Scare stories say up to 4 Million could arrive by 2020, but that's probably exactly that - yet another scare propogated by the anti-EU press. The Government and Business are emphasising business all the time and jobs, but the immigration is the big topic under the iceberg. There is genuine fear of the mass wave of people escaping Syria, the prospect of Turkey gaining EU status or even visas and all heading to the UK.
A point to make concerns my neighbour; he's working on installing a power station. He’s on good money but out of the blue half the skilled workers were given the push and that same afternoon were replaced by a team of Polish welders etc prepared to work for one quarter the pay. That kind of thing fuels the ‘leavers’ with good reason. It’s all very well Business pleading for everyone to vote ‘In’, but if their motive for staying is to replace British workers with cheaper Eastern Europeans, you can see why many people doubt the sincerity of their motives.
This is happening all over the country in many different industries. Skilled jobs being taken by cheaper labour. Of course there has been a classic under investment in skilling up our own workers in the UK and often UK management skills are poor. (Take the former owner of defunct department store BHS as an example, looting the pension fund of his own company workers by £400 million and then ditiching the whole company for a £1 to a former bankrupt who looted it some more.)
It’s a record year for car manufacturing in the UK (1.6 millions cars made - 60% for export) but the profits all go to foreign owners, Tata, GM, Nissan, Honda. It never seems possible for UK investors to build up our own companies and invest in them and the skills necessary to keep them growing. Our apprenticeship schemes are woefully inadequate compared with Germany for example, and so many of our young are directed towards inappropriate degrees instead that have no guarantees of jobs and land them with major debts. We have a short term view of everything and historic companies such as Cadbury’s were sold out to the USA and the manufacturing in the main contracted out to Europe. Even the most British H P Sauce is made in Holland now. This is what worries me most about ‘leaving’. Not only would most of our financial sector relocate to Europe (by way of Dublin or Frankfurt) They are already renting office space there and there is talk of 100,000 city staff relocating to Europe. These are the main taxpayers in the UK. Much of our manufacturing will move also to hold onto their ‘free trade’ agreements with Europe. If you don’t think Jaguar or Landrover won’t be building their vehicles in Poland and using their steel instead of Port Talbot's you are in dreamland.
We live in a country filled with venal short term overpaid management, whether in publishing, media, finance or industry. On our own our inadequacies will be cruelly exposed and our currency devalued and pensions put at risk and I haven't even got onto the topic of TTIP which is a horrendous one-sided trade agreement with the USA that will mean we will be forced to take GM foods and lower our safety standards on products. Another pet project of Angela Merkel.
Have faith, Vote Leave, Boris Johnson MP decries, but here is the problem in a nutshell. He’d be the most to benefit from ‘coming out’ of Europe, but his lack of attention to detail, his personal grasping for money and affection make him a very dubious person to be Prime Minister. Take Back Control and hand it over the shysters currently running things? Some offer.
Yes Europe is in a mess right now. Riots all across France as they object changes to working practices, the whole country grinding to a halt without petrol and diesel and now even electricity or trains. But at the root of France’s problems are socialist policies that prevent any company growing and hiring more staff or getting rid of underperformers. Pensions are way too high by comparison to the UK. Austria reacts to migrants with a surge for the right-wing vote, as does Holland and even Germany. Spain goes to the opposite pole and is in perpetual turmoil. It looks likely to be electing an extreme Greek style left wing bloc (Unidos-Podemos) to run their country this June 26th (bankrolled by Iran). Europe lacks cohesion and is run by a privileged uberclass of officials living lavish lifestyles at our expense who cannot be removed by peaceful means. It's not an attractive proposition, but with 500 million potential customers for our widgets, can we really walk away? More's the point, what about the Brits already living in Europe? Will two million of them have to return if denied access to medical services or discriminated against in some way, with possible extra taxes or work visas (even property confiscation mooted by Podemos in Spain). What will we have to pay to be able to visit Europe in future, how long will it take to get a visa?
Shall I stay or shall I go? This choice might go all the way to June 23rd. We either wake up newly divorced squabbling over every pot and kettle in the house or estranged and committed to sleeping in separate beds for the sake of the children.
It’s not a great choice.
© Sam North June 2016
*As ever Hackwriters is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle we aren't picky.
**And thanks for those who do. The Heaviness, Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles are recommended.
The spy/romance Repercussions of Tomas D set in the Blitz has a small following now. Spread the word.
|New in 2016: J&K 4Ever - A story of young love in a post apocalypse
Sixty years after the end of everything the city of Bluette survives, controlled by a malignant sect. It’s a place where men rule, girls receive no education and are matched at 16 to the highest bidder. Everything ‘modern’ is considered evil and prohibited. No one is ever permitted to leave the city and outside is a murderous wasteland of despair.
Orphans Kruge and Jeyna have been devoted to each other through all the years of terror in this harsh regime and sworn never to be parted. But the beautiful Jeyna has been betrayed by the Warden and matched to the recently widowed Master of the Sewers, who has paid well for his virgin bride. Kruge, the carpenter’s apprentice, has been swiftly banished to the Scraps, under the control of the Keeper.
Jeyna is heartbroken; she will not accept her fate and escapes to find Kruge. She is pursued by ruthless Enforcers on horseback, whose task it is to bring runaways back, dead or alive.
||MARIKKA- exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle 2
Based on a tragic real life event, Marikka flees from an arson attack on her home to the sea, where she meets Starfish boy – a runaway working for Jackson, a scarred man hiding a sinister secret from the world. Meanwhile her real father searches for her with the aide of Anya, ‘the girl who can read objects’. More about the writing of this book
‘Long after my tears dried, my heart stayed with Marikka, Starfish Boy and the strange girl who reads objects.’ CT
You will smile, you will gasp with shock, and you will struggle to read the words through your tears. Gemma Williams - Amazon.co.uk 2015
The all new 2nd Edition of 'ANOTHER PLACE TO DIE: ENDTIME CHRONICLES
By Sam Hawksmoor and Sam North (2015 version)
Could you live in a world where antibiotics no longer work?
Print & Kindle
Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear as a lethal virus approaches from the East. No one knows how many are dying. People are petrified of being thrown into quarantine. Best friends Kira and Liz once parted are scared they will never see each other again. Teen lovers, Chris and Rachel, prepare to escape to the islands. Do you stay and hide, or do you flee?
Review from the First Edition:
'Beautiful, plausible, and sickeningly addictive, Another Place to Die will terrify you, thrill you, and make you petrified of anyone who comes near you...' Roxy Williams - Amazon.co.uk
||Spy/Romance thriller set during the Blitz in WW2 - Kindle download
All proceeds go to keeping Hackwriters going
The Repercussions of Tomas D
A Hero? Or Englands Greatest Traitor? USA Paperback here
'Disturbing and very poignant YA love story that presents a chilling alternate future for an England that lost the war.' Marcel d'Agneau
'A brilliant imagining of living in the Blitz, well researched.' Amazon UK
*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback from Hammer & Tong
|'The Heaviness' for any reader who likes to think about such things as betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity.
An original Genie Magee story
The Heaviness published by Hammer and Tong
Genie & Renée have just 36 hours to save Rian or he dies
'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo Bookish
Kindle & print
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