Nige' Ollis

Photographer and Writer

Posts from the ‘EU Referendum’ category

Who Are We Now? 

One of the most dispiriting phrases you can hear is, Oh, I’ve always voted this way. It’s like bearing witness to some socio-political lobotomy scar; a myopic tribal ritual. And I live in a land where you can actually have more than two choices!

 

Mother?

 

Well, it’s still ultimately two choices really [if you exclude the Liberal Democrats – seemingly marginalised for potentially trying to change things for the better and blamed for everything that wasn’t; and UKIP feeding off the increasingly rotting carcass of migratory fear], albeit Old, uh, New, erm, Socialist, umm, The Labour are attempting to devolve government to one … think, level playing field with an impenetrable wall built across the entire width at one end paid for by all the other parties and voters who get to do little more than prod at it with a toothpick. [Yeah, just the one. They were rationed by the Conservative government at fear of an uprising, in 2046, following their 7th successive term in government and the cancellation of the Great British Bake Off.]

It’s A Sign

This is quite possibly the creepiest thing you’ll ever see …

Uh, no, not me! Although it’s admittedly a close run thing. But does this not sound like the plot opening to a Stephen King novel? I mean, this has never happened to me in my entire life before. And aside from making me a little nervous and worrying about monsters under the bed [which haven’t really bothered me since my early 30’s], I’m just hugely relieved I didn’t use any metaphors or analogies involving car crashes or pianos falling out of high rise buildings when I was hatless!

 

 

On the plus side, since posting this to my Instagram feed this morning, I’ve already been approached for film rights and understand Hugh Jackman has committed himself to playing me.

Bullish China Shop Owner Considers Switch To Fruit And Veg Stall

Bullish China Shop Owner Considers Switch To Fruit And Veg Stall

A couple of days into the brave new world and the Friday evening appearance of a plate spinner having an epileptic fit has swiftly evolved into a dramatic dust-storm pick up by a rescue helicopter; and even the bull who owns the china shop isn’t looking best pleased.

On Thursday, with the promises from the Leave campaign of cuts in immigration, £350 million pouring into the NHS and an unbridled economy ringing in their ears, and witnessed The Sun and Daily Mail readers tearing the ring out of Remain‘s bloodied nose …

On Sunday morning the promises have begun to morph into: immigration might not fall/freedom of movement of labour will still be needed to continue to maintain EU trade deals; money promised to NHS is now considered a mistake/only a possibility – funny how they never clarified that before, eh? – and the pound slid to a 30-year low.

banana

Can I eat these?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Did someone order a turbo vacuum? No, it won’t pick up bullshit.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party, who initially appeared content with shaking Jeremy Corbyn’s rickety high-chair are now busily arranging themselves into a circular firing squad. And after Cameron’s “Fuck it, I’m off!” [condensed] speech, his mealy mouthed sidekick, George Osborne, has simply disappeared. Completely. [Maybe this is one of those times when a rotting corpse lies in a flat undiscovered for a few months because no one cared enough? Can someone please check to see if the milk bottles have been collected off his porch.] And, only this morning, Nicola Sturgeon floats the possibility of the Scottish €uro.

It must be starting to feel oddly disconcerting for all those Brexit voters who’ve now seemingly only guaranteed the right to eat bendy cucumbers and bananas – and plug in a turbocharged vacuum to clear up the broken china.

The Pondering

This morning I was asked by my friend Michael [@elnon66 on Instagram] what I felt the pros and cons were behind the major EU Referendum vote today. So, I answered as honestly, and humourlessly [not easy!], as I felt I could. But I couldn’t entirely forget Cristiano Ronaldo …

That’s a potentially long answer, Michael. So, for me, I’ll keep it simplistically nutshelled.

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The Ponderers

The Leave campaign have offered absolutely nothing beyond vague jingoism, goblets of fear and scattergun facts. The Remain campaign have offered very little beyond vague stronger together platitudes, goblets of fear and scattergun facts. The facts, such as they are, have been all but lost, blurred and twisted to have become largely meaningless.

However, I will say this, I have a strong sense that if the climate of the irrational fear of immigration – and in extremis, pure xenophobia leeching into racism – were to be taken out of the equation, I honestly believe the vote wouldn’t be even remotely close. And this is one of the reasons I’ve grown cynical of the politics; the fear. Fundamentally, it makes for poor reasoning and therefore equally poor decisions.

I will be voting Remain for the simple reason that I refuse to be kowtowed by those irrational politics of fear; and because I genuinely feel that the future for all of us – not just Europe – will ultimately be best served by collaboration, compromise and a shared sense of unified purpose.

And on a lighter note, I can’t resist but leave you with the petulant man-child that is Cristiano Ronaldo’s dance following Hungary’s third goal against Portugal yesterday:

 

 

Uh, Cristiano … {Wags finger then points to scattered things } … now pick up your toys and put them back in your box, there’s a good lad.

Who put the dumb in Referendum?

The shit storm approacheth. No, not the Glastonbury Festival – although that’s shaping up to be equally and traditionally messy; they can’t even get the cars in the car parks because of the mud this morning [I blame immigration]! – but the EU Referendum.

 

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Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage yesterday

Frankly, I’ll be glad when it’s all over, but I still subjected myself to some of the last vast televised EU Debate in the cavernous Wembley Arena last night. Which, from the increasingly tiresome Leave campaign, appeared to largely consist of repeating the phrase Take back control, Take back control, Take back control… like some wearying, incontinent Dalek.

Well, here’s a sobering thought. Give control to Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage and if their absurdist rationale subsequently slips through the cracks we’ll all be left yelling Control Alt Delete! CTRL/ALT/DEL!! Too late, we’ve already crashed. And when we look to them, they’ll probably be squabbling over a mallet [dutifully inscribed: Independence Day], flailing around and whacking the keyboard.

 

I rarely inflict politics onto the regular readers of my blog – because I doubt either of you would appreciate it! But I have occasionally been leaking my thoughts into my Instagram feed during the past few weeks. If you think you can stomach any more of my thoughts, here’s a couple of things I wrote there a while ago:

The EU Referendum gets more and more absurd each day. With each dawning one or other will reveal some hysterical prediction and the other will immediately counter with absurd. It never ceases to amaze me, in politics, how the entirely opposite view is invariably taken and no one appears to agree on anything … aside from self-interest.

It’s become abundantly clear David Cameron didn’t call for a parliamentary debate on the EU as the divisions in his own party would’ve torn it apart and made him unelectable. It’s equally clear Boris Johnson is taking the entirely opposite view in order to give him an opportunity to be Prime Minister. Meanwhile, Alex Salmond, after proclaiming the recent Scottish Independence Referendum as a ‘Once in a lifetime opportunity’, is now hedging his bets on the Remain vote while crossing his fingers behind his back and readying himself for a Brexit to ask for another Independence vote.

Meanwhile, those that equally absurdly have to make such a big decision … us … are left mostly beyond confused but will leave a vast swathe of the ignorant voting on essentially one issue: How racist and/or fearful of immigration are you?

What a feckin’ absurd way to run a country!

And the inspiration behind my title:

Who put the dumb in referendum? Don’t let the facts get in the way of your prejudices; spit bile and piffle and watch them collide. Then arrange the firing squad into a circle; so-called experts, politicians and business leaders divide; ready, Remain, fire. But we’ll have 52 new hospitals by the end of the year if we Leave. What do you believe? We wouldn’t have one. So who put the dumb in referendum?

At the end of May, David Mitchell rather summed up my feelings perfectly in his excellent piece in The Observer. Essentially saying, I periodically elect my local representative to get their heads around the big decisions; not for them to simply sit back and say You Decide when it all gets a bit complicated or difficult to understand.

So, what are we left with? Some kind of hapless game of Pin the tail on the donkey. [And if you don’t know what that is, I feel for your empty childhood. But it’s essentially a British, considerably less violent form of, piñata.] But given the complete lack of agreement and joined-up thinking by our politicians, it’s probably no wonder they would rather eventually blame us for any future ills – whatever we decide. And it’s just so difficult deciding whether or not you want to wholly embrace racism, World War III, have less or more money, jobs and rights, financial stability or instability, all the while maintaining our position at the bottom of the Eurovision Song Contest. Where’s my mallet?