‘To Thine Own Self Be True’

So, the day we go to the polls to decide whether the UK stays or leaves the EU. And tomorrow is another day, because the more things change, the more they stay the same. Or do they? This is a deeply personal post and one that has been a long time coming perhaps. It is also one of deep gratitude. A photo of the Puppy unimpressed by a 1971 book about going into the EU seemed as good as any to represent this referendum! Three years ago I would have thought that tonight I'd be at the centre of the action, yet instead I will be fast asleep while the results are coming in. So what changed? I am grateful that I have been blessed (yes blessed) with losing so much and starting my life anew away from politics because it has given me the clarity and the tools to work out why politics has ...

‘An Essex Epiphany’

By Friday, October 10, 2014 0 Permalink

With the by-elections in the UK being dominated by UKIP publicity I had decided to avoid the results for as long as I could. Not being a compulsive phone fidget or living my life online it was relatively easy, until friends starting texting me because they know what I'm like. Mea culpa. For someone who swore off politics I do seem to spend a lot of my waking moments (and some sleeping ones) concerned with it. Who'd have thought Clacton would ever generate headline news! You can read all the 'what lessons can be learned ' dross in the press or listen to the pundits and academics dissecting the results ad nauseum with stats and comments we've heard a million times if you really want to wallow in negative energy, and make yourself miserable about the state of the nation. How ashamed we should feel to have in parliament someone who represents disenchantment. I felt dissapointed at ...

‘Let The Battle Commence’

By Wednesday, July 17, 2013 0 Permalink

On Monday evening I was lucky enough to be at the launch of an interesting new manifesto for the EU. Better off in a Better Europe. Not only are they advocating Britain stays in the EU, but also that Britain should be leading Europe. Strong words indeed! The event was attended by a diverse selection of Pro Europeans from Green, Labour, Tory and Lib Dem persuasion. Political hacks, business leaders, a few mere mortals like me, some French, some Greek, some Russian  - a fairly broad spectrum. And even some of my own personal heroes. Kenneth Clarke, and Lord Mandelson gave rousing impromptu speeches declaring the need for Britain to take control and influence the EU. Bizarrely, but also I think quite reasonably, there were a few recognisable sceptics in the form of UKIP members and Conservative Sceptic MEPs. I had some lively debate with them over the relative merits of Europe and they seemed shocked ...

‘The Mutti Returns’

By Saturday, May 25, 2013 0 Permalink

Or will she? Mutti is the affectionate term some Germans refer to Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Sorry to borrow from that awful Thatcher line but it was too obvious to resist! Though her other moniker of 'Iron Chancellor' sets up a harsh and unfair comparison with Bismarck. I prefer Mutti. Seeking her third term, with the election only four months away it seems that Frau Merkel is on quite the charm offensive in Germany. But as usual, the British media who will whoop with delight and salivate over the US elections barely utter anything on the topic. Considering Germany's role in the world now I would say their election was pretty important. At a recent Pro European event I got chatting to a highly articulate woman from the German Council on Foreign Relations and was fascinated to hear how Merkel is treated in her home country. Amidst the blatant hostility and frankly racist abuse she receives ...