Brexit – The clock is ticking

I never really considered myself qualified to write about politics, but blogging from Scotland, for an international audience, I cannot possibly omit Brexit.

For me personally, this means that I`m now a EU citizen living in a non EU country, and noone has yet been able to say exactly what this will mean for me and millions like me. Because, even though this referendum affected us a bit more than most others, we were not allowed to cast a vote, I decided to cross this bridge when it comes, and, right to the end, I really did not believe that it would come to this.

But the unimaginable did happen – with a majority that`s so close it almost physically hurts, the British people voted to leave the European Union. ALL constituencies within Scotland voted to remain, but there weren`t enough of us who actually voted. Although I was never one who considered voting as a duty, the low turnout disappointed indeed.

One cannot help but think about the Scottish Independence Referendum less than two years ago. One of my big concerns was EU membership of an independent Scotland, but although people seemed generally confident, noone could confirm for definite that we would remain a member. Now we are out, because we stayed in. One very passionate YES voter said at the time he didn`t want to be governed by the English any more – they vote totally differently from us (e.g. Conservatives and Brexit), but as part of the UK, Scotland has to follow suit. Another passionate YES voter hoped that today` s result may trigger another Scottish Independence Referendum ending up in a YES vote after all.

I`d vote YES without any hesitation now.

To be continued.

I`ll end this entry by forwarding an excellent post of a Glasgow Independence campaigner, the Wee Ginger Dug.

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So that’s it then. The sun has risen but the darkness falls. The nightmare has happened. The nightmare is here. Two Unions lie broken. Last night England broke the Unions, and chose for us. C…

Source: The clock is ticking

Political Correctness gone Mad

I had an email today, about a colleague from another department, obviously not known by name, needing something: “She`s always really chatty, with a big smile, always laughing…” Turned out she was referring to the only woman in the entire building (150+ staff) who is black. What`s the world coming to, if you cannot even use the color of her skin to give a physical description?

About Poverty Porn

Poverty porn, also known as development porn or famine porn, has been defined as “any type of media, be it written, photographed or filmed, which exploits the poor’s condition in order to generate the necessary sympathy for selling newspapers or increasing charitable donations or support for a given cause”.

Wikipedia

Some say poverty porn is a good thing, if it raises donations, others feel it exploits. After a recent disagreement about the matter in relation to the internet, I thought about it for quite a while.

Let me take you back to 1990. I was 15 years old, and the www didn`t exist yet.

One day, I came home to school and found a video tape on the table, with a hand written note from my dad: “Watch this today.” The tape itself bore a label with another handwriting, saying “children`s home in Romania”.

I made lunch, waited till my sister was ready, too, and then I plaid the tape. The film was about 45 minutes long and showed the squalor in two particular orphanages. Children were starving, unable to change their clothes regularly, disabled and incontinent with not enough staff to wash them every day – and one of the homes even had its own little graveyard. I could think about little else over the next few days.

My dad told us they were going to do a collection from the church committee and deliver goods personally in summer. I was excited and fiercely eager to do all I could possibly do to help. In fact, I was devastated when I heard that I couldn`t come with them. 

Over the next few weeks, we ensured that everybody we knew had watched the video. Public screenings were arranged in the Church Hall, and I also took it to school. My granny`s house (which was empty at the time and directly opposite ours) was used to collect the donations, and it was my job to greet people and take them over the road. Mountains of food, clothes, blankets and toys grew by the week and were even joined by a fully functional dentists` chair towards the end of the campaign. We then boxed everything, and people took time off their work to fill the massive truck that appeared in our yard one day. I was there all the time. I felt relevant and part of something. 

There was a wedding on the day they left, and there was a really nice goodbye with us all standing in the garden and waving at the truck as it was passing by. They went to those very orphanages and came back with pictures of those very children seeing their very first chocolate bars, the same nurses unpacking blankets and the local dentist shaking the driver`s hand. The boy who had been lying in his own faeces had gone. 

About as much time was spent afterwards showing the pictures and telling the story as they did circulating the videos. Everybody was really affected. There probably wasn`t a single person in the community who hadn`t given. We had made a real difference, and that feeling stayed with us all for a long, long time.

Today, I see pictures online, or a link to a video, and I don`t want to read the text. I saw the same thing an hour ago on facebook or last night on telly. Their wide circulation reassures me that everybody knows, and hopefully, some will feel strongly enough to actually do something about it. I asked one person outright whether she gives to all the causes she is promoting online. Her reply was no, I barely have enough for myself, so spreading the word is my contribution. I can imagine there are thousands like her, and thousands like me who stopped paying attention. Whereever I see the pictures there`re always competing with proud new grannies, funny party pictures, cute kitten videos and tributes to deceased celebs. We don`t want to see that. I quickly move on, others may equally quickly press “share” to silence their conscience, and then we quickly move on and keep doing what we were doing when those stories intruded.