Author Archives: alixhattenstone

About alixhattenstone

I am 24 years old, love to write (surprise, surprise) and I'm currently working on a children's adventure story (hint hint any publishers out there). I have resuscitated this blog, which I apparently set up 3 years ago, by writing MY FIRST EVER BLOG POST! I've written some blogs for The Guardian (well, two) but have my own proper page and everything https://www.theguardian.com/profile/alix-hattenstone. I have 123 followers on Twitter, so I've pretty much made it at life (plus, quite a cool number!)

Do They Know It’s Christmas?

 

Bob Geldof once said: ‘I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history. One is “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”‘ 

So: Do They Know It’s Christmas?

This is a question that is asked every single year without fail, with the re-emergence of some version of that Band Aid classic. The problem is it’s so catchy, I can’t HELP but sing along to it, even if the message is – well – WRONG.

This is not to claim that Africa is a perfect place with no problems and everyone should now turn a blind eye. However most of the times when we hear about Africa in the media, it is in a negative way. How many times have you heard the expression: ‘think of those starving children in Africa’? Africa is (usually) portrayed as a land of only poverty, injustice and tears – either from starving children or celebs who go there to create the latest heart wrenching video.

If you were gutted Band Aid haven’t released a new video this year, worry no more! Here is a brand new version ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ hot off the press. (Okay I put it together using YouTube and MovieMaker).

This is a joyful celebration of Christmas in different African countries.

 

The New Cabinet… How Would You Rate Them?

On Wednesday, Theresa May fairly and democratically became PM… The competition was stiff, the votes have been counted and verified and… congrats on that victory.

Now she is in power, of course she has a new cabinet, in what many are calling one of the most dramatic reshuffles in history. But who’s who in the new cabinet, and which one would get the highest rating on the shitometre? If we were in the Big Brother house, who would be evicted first? Let’s take a look at some of the new cabinet big shots.

Introducing…

 

Theresa May: PM

  • Having voted against equalising the homosexual age of consent to 16 in 1998, against gay adoption rights in 2002, and having generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights, May signalled she was the perfect candidate for Minister for Women and Equalities, a post she held from 2010-2012.
  • In 2010 May scrapped Labour’s ‘go orders’ scheme to protect women from domestic violence by banning abusers from the victim’s home. Just two days later, she closed ‘ContactPoint’, a database of information on all under-18s in England, created in response to the abuse and death of 8-year-old Victoria Climbié.
  • Speaking of the Big Brother house, May was quite happy to extend Big Brother vibes by drafting the Snooper’s Charter, making mobile and internet service providers record everyone’s usage (including messages, emails, voice calls) for up to a year.
  • If you are a non-EU migrant, you can only bring the fam (well, a family member) down to live with you if you are earning over £18,600 per year… much more if you want a visa for your kid, thanks to May. The All-Parliamentary Group enquiry into the effects of this found that, surprise surprise, this meant lots of children were separated from their parents.
  • May rejected the EU’s proposal of compulsory refugee quotas: it is important to help people living in refugee camps and war-zones but ‘not the ones who are strong and rich enough to come to Europe’. As we know, all refugees who have made it to Europe must be strong and rich and just over here for the lols. It’s not like they are fleeing for their lives or anything.
  • Another immigration success is when May deported mentally ill Nigerian Isa Muazu, despite being close to death. Further, she was found in contempt of court, accused of ‘totally unacceptable and regrettable behaviour’ by Judge Barry Cotter for ignoring a legal agreement to free an Algerian from a detention centre. Had May not eventually agreed, she could have ended up paying fines or even in prison… ahhh, if only… PM in Prison, that would make the headlines…

 

Philip Hammond: Chancellor of the Exchequer

There’s been lots of speculation about the recent suspiciously parallel vacancies on Top Gear and in the government but no, it’s not that vaguely cute Jeremy Clarkson sidekick your mum fancies off the telly; it’s T May’s new top man.

  • Perhaps most famous for saying same-sex marriage is ‘too controversial’ and allegedly likening it to socially unacceptable relationships like incest. Because that’s not at all controversial…
  • Given the Tory track record, it’s surprising that with comments like these, Hammond wasn’t immediately made Equalities Minister. He has openly criticised Cameron’s approach to the 2013 Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, saying he was ‘shocked’ at how quickly it was pushed through and that it is ‘damaging’ to the Conservative Party. Of course, that’s what has been damaging the party, Phil…

 

Boris Johnson: Foreign Secretary

You’re still waiting for May to April Fools you on this one but no; it is actually true. Famously culturally sensitive diplomat Boris Johnson has actually been made Foreign Secretary.

As Labour London Assembly member Tom Copley put it: ‘it was embarrassing enough having Boris Johnson representing London, let alone the whole country’. Just goes to show that dodging responsibility for the enormous lies of your Brexit campaign lands you with… well, a pretty good job.

Of course, Senior European politicians have reacted to Johnson’s appointment with disgust. I mean, you can see why some may be shocked, given his silver-tongued track record:

  • Johnson claimed Obama had an ‘ancestral dislike’ for Britain because of his ‘half-Kenyan ancestry’. But of course, Boris…
  • He reckons the ‘best fate for Africa’ would be for ‘the old colonial powers’ to take over again.
  • He said ‘The Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies’. Hopefully you have never heard this word either. I had to look it up: it ‘refers to a racist and derogatory caricature of dark-skinned children of African descent.’ Nice one, Boris you wanker.
  • Oh, but that’s not it. He had to apologise to Papa New Guinea for claiming the country was prone to ‘cannibalism and chief-killing’, compared the EU to Hitler, dismissed Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations as ‘lefty crap’, had a Palestrinian youth group cancel their meeting with him due to ‘inaccurate, misinformed and disrespectful remarks’ and won a competition for writing the most offensive poem about Turkish President Erdogan, involving masturbation and sex with a goat. Of course, all this behaviour qualifies him perfectly to be Tory Foreign Minister.
  • But in case you doubted Boris, it’s okay, because he has reassured the world: ‘I’m absolutely 100 per cent anti-racist, I despise and loathe racism.’ Evidently.

 

Amber Rudd: Home Secretary

  • In her previous role as energy secretary, Rudd was accused of misleading the public. Despite claiming publicly the government was on course to meet its international renewable energy targets, a leaked letter revealed this was not the case at all. In fact, the UK was predicted to fail to meet its target of getting 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020; the government were actually cutting subsidies for wind and solar energy, and therefore at risk of being fined and undergoing a judicial review.
  • In April 2013, Rudd unsurprisingly upset her constituents in Hastings by referring to “people who are on benefits, who prefer to be on benefits by the seaside…moving down here to have easier access to friends and drugs and drink”. Thank goodness we have a home secretary who is so understanding of the issues people on benefits face.

 

Michael Fallon: Defence Secretary

  • So Fallon was responsible for some of that horrible anti-Muslim propaganda the Tories tried to use against Sadiq Khan during the run-up to the mayoral election. He was forced to apologise for saying Khan associated with imam Suliman Gani, who he claimed was an IS supporter. Of course, Gani had nothing to do with IS, and Fallon agreed to pay compensation and legal costs, estimated to be several thousands.
  • It seems Fallon loves a spiteful pre-election stir; in the run-up to the 2015 general election, he said Ed Miliband had stabbed his brother in the back to become Labour leader, and would also stab Britain in the back to become PM, embarrassing some Tory supporters.
  • Fallon voted against gay marriage.
  • He became notorious in the expenses scandal, claiming for repayments for the entire mortgage on his flat rather than just the interest, which he was allowed to claim for. This meant between 2002 and 2004, Fallon claimed £1,255 per month, rather than £700-800 and, when finally caught out, asked innocently: ‘Why has no one brought this to my attention before?’
  • He was banned from driving for 18 months after a drink driving offence.
  • In February 2016, on the same day the International Development Select Committee said the UK should end all arms exports to Saudi Arabia due to human rights violations including air strikes against civilians in Yemen, Fallon attended a £450-a-head dinner for an arms-industry trade-body.

 

David Davis: Secretary of State for Exiting the EU

  • Another lovely anti-gay cabinet member, DD voted against gay adoption, against promoting homosexual relationships in schools and against equalising the age of consent to 16.
  • However, he voted for the death penalty.

 

Liam Fox: Secretary of State for International Trade

Sadly, this is not Liam Fox the Scottish footballer we are dealing with here. But wow, there is a whole load of shit to be dug up on this one.

  • He had the largest over-claim on expenses in the Tory shadow cabinet. He also brought his mate (or more than mate, as many have speculated) Adam Werrity with him on many trips, and to important meetings, pretending he was his ‘advisor’. He even made him a fake business card and everything. Oh, and he used public money to pay Werrity, out of his massive expenses claims.
  • If this relationship was more than friendship, Fox is certainly overcompensating, as he appears staunchly anti-gay rights, having voted against same sex marriage and been given a rating of 21% by Stonewall, regarding how he stands on important issues to the LGBT community.
  • Fox called for a ‘huge restriction, if not abolition’ on the UK’s pro-abortion laws.
  • He thinks ring-fenced funding for the NHS should end and foreign aid should be reduced: clearly, there are more important things to spend the money on…
  • He is a massive war-monger and has voted for military intervention at pretty much every opportunity: he voted for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, in 2014 argued the UK should bomb Islamist extremists in Iraq and he voted for military action in Syria.

 

Justine Greening: Education and Equalities Secretary

 

On the surface, it’s great – the first education sec to have gone to a comprehensive school, and she has just come out as LGBT, making her the first female openly gay or bisexual cabinet minister in the UK. Hopefully she’ll knock some sense into all those anti-gay ministers…

  • However generally, Greening has voted against laws to promote equality and human rights. In April 2013, she voted to get rid of the part of the Human Rights act supporting protection against prejudice and discrimination. She also voted to get rid of the human rights act itself, and specifically against making it unlawful for any provider of regulated social care to act in a manner incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Linked to this, she also voted AGAINST making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of caste.
  • Allegedly, she was so busy chatting during a critical parliamentary vote about military action in Syria that she forgot to actually vote…
  • Another warmonger, minus this slip-up, she has consistently voted for use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas. Generally, she has voted against Labour’s anti-terrorism laws, and for providing less legal aid to countries in need.
  • Education wise, she has consistently voted for academies, for ending financial support for 16-19 year olds in training and further education and for raising tuition fees to £9,000 per year.

 

So here you have eight of the key members of the new cabinet. But where would you rate them on the shitometre, 8 being a freshly bleached bathroom, 1 being a nursery full of nappies?

 

You have NOT failed

To almost half of children who ‘failed’ their SATs,

You have NOT failed; the new system has failed you. Your SATs results are not representative of what you can achieve.

Are you impressed I used a semi-colon above? Does this automatically change my writing from average to showing greater depth? As we all know, real achievement is not about using a semi-colon correctly or recognising a fronted adverbial. Lots of people can rote learn and regurgitate facts. But what lots of people can’t do is be like you, and think like you.

Real achievement is taking risks and being creative. Real achievement is having the confidence to develop your own independent thoughts. Real achievement is practising running every week and running faster than you ever have. Real achievement is putting your hand up in class when you never dared to before. Real achievement is when you were terrified of that climbing wall on school journey, but you gave it your best go anyway. Real achievement is joining in with a game in the playground although you are nervous; it is creating something you are proud of; it is understanding and enjoying something you never thought you could. Achievement is many things, but what it isn’t, is causing almost half of our children to leave school with a sinking feeling that they are not good enough.

On Tuesday, SATs results were sent to schools. Surprise, surprise, only 53% of children achieved ‘national expectations’. The old levels system has been changed to a points system, meaning that rather than getting for example a level 3 if you do not reach national expectations, you simply get told you have not passed. However no one knows exactly what national expectations are until every child has taken the test. The government then use the tests to work out how many points children need to get to reach what they then decide are national expectations. So if, for example, they want 47% of children to appear below average, they can do just that.

Firstly, you must know what the big plan is. You may have apparently not reached national expectations in those SATs papers, but you know that says NOTHING about you; it is to do with money, and numbers, and power, and not really to do with children at all. Although Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has apparently done a U-turn on her plan to turn all schools into academies, she is still trying to do it anyway. However, to do this, she must prove that a school is ‘failing’. To prove that a school is ‘failing’ what you do, is you set unrealistic expectations for the children, make the ‘pass’ boundary really high and bing bang boom, there you have it: 47% of children don’t meet the new national expectations. With this ‘proof’, Nicksters can say, hey, let’s turn this school into an academy, because it isn’t good enough. If a school becomes an academy, funding to local government can be cut; more power to the Education Secretary. Academies are overseen instead by private ‘charitable trusts’ linked to central government. The CEOs of these companies can be paid huge amounts to run schools, some up to £400,000, and education can become privatised. So these results are about the school, and the government, but they are NOT about YOU.

Also worth remembering is however you have done in your SATs, your teacher assessment is even more important. If you have been working hard and making progress, your teacher will know this, and that is what is really important. It is not about getting a score of 100 or doing better than others in the country; it is about knowing you are improving in yourself. You are better than you were last year; you have learned more and grown more and that is real achievement.

It is so easy to be thrown by SATs and scores and marks and data but in the end, they are just figures, and you are not a figure. You are a deep, complex person with lots of special qualities and lots to offer. You are much more than numbers on paper.

When my sister was at school, she was upset by her SATs results. She was deemed officially ‘below national expectations’. When she was younger, she was diagnosed with autism and told she was not expected to ever be able to do tests like GCSEs. She struggled academically; school tests have never been easy for her. But did she let that stop her? No, she certainly did not. With lots of hard work and perseverance, not only did she sit her GCSEs, but she also sat her A-levels, made it to university and graduated with a 2:1. But even if she hadn’t, it wouldn’t matter. Because she tried her best, and she is so much more than numbers on paper, and she has so much to offer the world. In the scheme of things, getting a ‘below national expectations’ SATs result meant nothing. All it did was spur her on to prove people wrong and achieve what people never thought her capable of achieving.

Standard Assessment Tests or Starting Academy Tools or Superfluous Avoidable Trauma, whatever you call it, in the end, is just a test. When you’re older, no one is going to say to you, hey, what did you get in your Year 6 SATs? SATs are no way to measure real achievement. If you want to look at real achievement, look back at all those things you have done that you never dreamed you could. Think of all those special qualities that make you you and no one else. What the world needs is not a generation of robots who can tick the boxes and get full marks on a SPAG test, but it is people with fresh ideas, and energy and creativity. People like you.

 

Even Gingers Deserve A Good Education

I HATE missing school. It makes me feel sick. Even sicker than the sickness that caused me to miss school in the first place. If that makes sense. Sick. And not in an s-i-k way, in a BADDDDDDD, guilt-ridden, anxious, I’m losing control and failing the kids kind of way. Will they get so far behind they can never catch up? Will I fall so far behind with my paperwork that when I come back, my classroom will have become a snowstorm of unmarked books and forms, mixing up and multiplying with every moment I ignore them? Will I turn up and forget how to teach and just end up sleeping in the book corner all day?

What could be worse than missing school? Okay, lots of things; for example, kids missing out on a fair future. Which is why I’m striking today.

I am not striking because I want to earn heaps more dollar and become a million billion squillionaire although, as with most teachers, if you worked out my hourly salary, you would see it works out at below the minimum wage. I am not striking because I want an easy day off, rolling around in bed all day, painting my nails and catching up on some quality telly (still haven’t seen this week’s First Dates Abroad!) And I am certainly not striking because I want to ‘harm children’s education’ (cheers for that, Nicky Morgan, looks like you’re doing a pretty good job  yourself).

I am striking because these funding cuts (funding is expected to be cut by 8% per pupil by 2020) and the unnecessarily large workload are cutting at the HEART of education and if we just sit by and ignore it, we could be looking at a generation of children who have had the creativity, confidence and independence sucked out of them.

Firstly, if Nicky Morgan manages to turn loads of schools into academies by showing them to be ‘failing’ with the new unrealistically high standards the government expects, schools will be run by and funded by businesses, who are much LESS likely to have children’s best interests at heart, and much LESS likely to have experience and understanding of running a school, plus they won’t even have any parent governors to help them understand the community’s needs. All staff can be paid differently, for instance related to their ‘performance’, so if you are teaching a particularly needy year group, with kids who perhaps don’t perform as highly as expected – UNLUCKY. Because let’s remember the facts here: CHILDREN ARE JUST NUMBERS. HERD THEM THROUGH THE SYSTEM. Now at the end of Year 6, instead of a SATs level, they are told whether they have passed or failed the exam. If you have scored below average, it’s official: you go into secondary school as a failure.

Invaluable teaching assistants are leaving/being made redundant and not being replaced – there’s not enough money. Same goes for art, dance and drama teachers because – let’s face it – those arty farty wishy washy subjects are just not as important as being able to use a semi-colon. Nowadays, you hit Year 5/6 and you can’t be banded as writing at a high level (with ‘greater depth’) if you can’t use a semi-colon. Because everyone knows depth is about semi-colons. Anyone can rote learn. Easier to tick the boxes if children are assessed through facts they have remembered, rather than encouraged to develop confidence in experimenting with creative, independent, free thinking.

With all these good intentions in mind, I arrive at the march, and am immediately handed a banner saying: ‘Invest in all our children’s future’. I notice other people holding these banners, with different children of ethnic minorities on. Obviously, I have been handed one with a ginger girl on. I mean, the resemblance is uncanny. I am proud that the NUT are looking out for gingers, that oft overlooked ethnic group, and I am even prouder to be physically representing the token minority. GINGERS FOR JUSTICE… that’s what this march is really all about.

What this march is really about, is what teaching is really about. At its core, we want the best possible opportunities for our children. Children are amazing, and complex, and full of talents and precious qualities that can’t be ticked off on a mark scheme, or converted to data. However children are also vulnerable and of course, as a teacher, you want to foster the most nurturing, comfortable environment for them to develop their identities in. If our time is spent filling out endless data when we could be putting more energy into planning exciting lessons, what is the real benefit? Is an education minister who doesn’t believe in gay marriage or in compulsory Personal Social and Health Education lessons really the best person to guide these children forward? Is turning education into a figures game really fair?

So Mrs. Morgan, I’m sorry you felt this strike would “damage the profession’s reputation in the eyes of the public” but us taking a pay cut today, leaving our massive pile of work, and coming out to strike should be taken instead as a sign of how much we care.20160705_12233820160705_121807

 

If Only We Could All Be This Productive When Pissed

Can EU Feel the Love Today? Well I hope so; there are so many people here spreading it.

It’s a Saturday afternoon, there I am sat up in my nice comfy bed, a world of possibilities on my laptop, when I remember it’s the march today. March for Europe. On the one hand, I could catch up on this week’s EastEnders/First Dates Abroad/maybe do some work, on the other hand… the guilt overtakes me. Gotta go to the march.

Bit of a fail. When my dad, my sister and I arrive, the march is pretty much over, but better late than never. We make it to the speeches in Parliament Square, and are surrounded by love and solidarity. We just came to say we love EU. And so do some others…

IMG_2824

Sinead O’Connor walks past us with a banner saying ‘Nothing Compares 2 EU’. Okay, maybe it’s not Sinead O’Connor. Maybe it’s just someone with really short hair. But still… love everywhere. Until my dad starts some chants of his own. Amongst the peace, and the solemnity, and the unity, and the power of positivity, my dad screams at the top of his lungs, ‘HAAAAANG BORIS JOHNSON! HANG THE BLESSED BJ! OH, HAAAAAAANG THE BJ, HAAAANG THE BJ, HANG THE BJ, HANG THE BJ!’ (For the record BJ if you’re reading, which I’m sure you are, he doesn’t actually want to hang you, he just likes The Smiths’ ‘Panic’ and his own creative take on this. Don’t take it personally.) We get some very strange looks. A boy who feels sorry for him looks at him nervously and says, “that’s a good one.” We all know it isn’t. I make it clear I am not associated with him. I am a pacifist, and all I want is peace and unity, like this guy…

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Every now and then, we catch snatches of the speeches, and cheer. Strong, powerful female speakers, filled with energy and zest for life and, above all, hope. Only problem is, I can’t hear most of what they’re saying. But the bits I do hear… wooooooooooo! Yes! Totally agree! One of the speakers has been fasting for Ramadan, and speaks with more power than most non-hungry and thirsty people, two of the speakers helped set up the Facebook events, and then combined them, to create this march. One of them tells us, like most of us, when he heard the news of Brexit, he spent the night at the pub, drinking far too much. Whilst under the influence, he thought it’d be a good idea to make the Facebook event for the march, woke up the next morning, saw how many people were attending, and was like, “What have I done?” A great thing, that’s what.

It’s an empowering feeling, standing side by side with so many people sharing your beliefs, the collective voice, the amazing feeling that WE ARE TOGETHER with each other and with the EU and with immigrants who have been made to feel so unwelcome. When you hear the horror stories of the increase in hate crime since the Brexit result, it’s so easy to despair and lose all faith in humanity. But not here.

Here, the sun is out, the people are out, we are all singing Abba’s S.O.S. in Parliament Square and, for some reason, not feeling quite AS hopeless as we did before. Here we are, strangers united to fight to remain together, no one more important, or with more right to be there, than anyone else. As one man’s placard says, ‘We Are All Immigrants’.

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I smile at him, “I like your banner!” He nods, with the same expression on his face as above. He poses there a long time, waiting for the cameras. Maybe he doesn’t feel like smiling, I guess it’s not the most happy of times.

Also not cracking a smile, Winston Churchill. Despite what BJ claimed, looks like Churchill does want to stay with the EU after all. Here is the undeniable proof:

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Towards the end of the speeches, one of the men who organised the march asks us all to sit down. “I didn’t really think this through,” he admits. “Not really sure what I was going to ask you to DO once you’d sat down.” But it’s nice. Like one big solidarity picnic, or yoga retreat. Don’t want to sound shallow/opportunistic/like I’m undermining the seriousness of the issue, but there are quite a few good looking men here, too. Perfect chance to meet my soulmate, we have so much in common; we both want to stay in the EU… Except most of them are probably gay/with their girlfriends/not interested. It’s okay, I’ll just download Remainder once it’s out. “It’s a very young crowd, isn’t it?” says my dad. A very white crowd, too. At least the section I’m in is. I guess I’m not really adding to the diversity of it either, unless being ginger counts.

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Also, a very dressed up crowd. Didn’t know the EU flag was so fashionable. My favourite is this guy, with his sparkly blue beard with the gold stars in. I want to be this guy.

 

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Who knows what the future holds, in EU fashion, EU make-up or the small question of EU membership? For anyone who says the people have voted out, it’s a democracy, get over it, a democracy is not fair if it is based on blatant lies and lack of information, and I am not getting over it just yet. It’s not like being a sore loser over a game of football or monopoly; we are talking about a monumental decision here, which will affect the futures of us all. So maybe protesting will make no difference whatsoever. But doing nothing certainly won’t. Whatever happens, I’ll be there for EU… Written a song and everything, verse two inspired by Bill Bailey, watch out number 1 spot.

 

I’ll Be There for EU

So no one warned you of the weakening UK
The vote’s a joke, we’re broke, now we cannot stay
It’s like we’ve got no hands left on the gear
When you’ve heard lies, racism and the
Politics of fear, but…

I’ll be there for EU
(When Gove makes us loathe him even more)
I’ll be there for EU
(When May sends you out the door)
I’ll be there for EU
(‘Cause you’re there for me too)

You’re still in bed at ten post-Brexit blues aren’t great
The more you read and watch, the more people you hate
At least these immigrants now taking up less space
Means you still won’t get that job
You didn’t apply for in the first place, but…

I’ll be there for EU
(When Gove makes us loathe him even more)
I’ll be there for EU
(When May sends you out the door)
I’ll be there for EU
(‘Cause you’re there for me too)

10 Things to Cheer You Up About the Deprexit

 

 

  1. Other countries feel sorry for us

Quality T.V. shows like The X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent show us that it’s the losers who are the real winners. There’s nothing more likely to win public affection and votes than a good old sob story. The rest of the world is going to absolutely love us now.

 

  1. We have mastered the power of time travel

Think of all those times you’ve been well jel of those lucky bastards in 1985, who got to experience the pound dropping by 10%. Well don’t worry, you haven’t missed the boat because WE’RE PRETTY MUCH BACK! You can now look back nostalgically on better times and tell your grandkids, ‘I was alive when you could buy a bunch of bananas for £1.’ Think how wise and experienced it’ll make you feel!

 

  1. House prices are going down! And so is everything else

Although according to the FT house prices have actually gone up this June, predictions are that we are going DOWN. Gotta love economic disasters sometimes! Some people have been so excited to vote Brexit – the idea of a cheapo house – well, a less expensive house… SORTED FOR LIFE, RIGHT? Only problem is, the value of everything else seems to be going down, too! If your house is pretty much your savings embodied then… good luck! At least everything is going in One Direction… Oh wait, they broke up too. But Harry Styles has just signed a solo contract. We are basically Harry Styles. Except we’re not. We’re Niall Horan.

 

  1. You can place a bet on who the next Tory leader will be

So you thought you didn’t like Cameron? This is just like that bit in Harry Potter, when you think Snape’s the bad guy, and then along comes Volders and you realise there are far worse monsters out there. I mean, we could end up being governed by a man named BJ (oh wait looks like he’s saving standing for later so he can come in and save the day after the next PM screws it up), a woman who already has plenty of practice in sending immigrants home for a living, or a pro capital punishment warmonger, Justice Secretary Michael Gove. The best part is if you bet correctly on the next Tory leader, you might just win back that 10% you are losing from each pound! Plus, did you know that the word ‘Tory’ is thought to have come from the Irish ‘toraidhe’, which was used to describe robbers? Who would’ve thought?

 

  1. BJ owes us 350 million quid

Well, technically I guess it’s worth more like 315 mil now but hey, what’s a 10% drop in the value of the pound? Well now it’s clear that all that money from the EU isn’t going to the NHS, we can speculate on what worthy causes this money might go towards. Hair dye? Let’s remember one of the big news stories pre-Brexit was the shocking news that ‘Boris Johnson admits he dyes his hair’. Bikes for everyone? Covering the costs of the referendum? Golden goodbye to Dave? Beer fund for Farage?  Lottery tickets? 350 million different things from Poundland? 35000 million penny sweets? Let’s face it; our NHS doesn’t really need any money anyway, now we’re getting rid of the immigrants. Think of all those trained doctors and nurses who can now take their jobs.

 

  1. We’re hanging on in there – we’ve not left yet!

So Article 50 has not yet been triggered! Article 50 is like that magic spell, that bit of hope left in Pandora’s box, that massive thing everyone’s talking about at the moment: ‘Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements’ (etc.)

Plus, this is our chance to now all become political Twitter poets, with trends like #WriteAPoemAboutBrexit:

We are down, so is the pound

But not yet legally bound

#Deprexit the tactics were shifty

Please don’t invoke Article 50

 

So whoever the next leader is needs to make that choice: Do I invoke Article 50 and go down in history as the person who potentially ruined the economy/UK? Or do I override the public vote and go down as that person who ignored so-called ‘democracy’? Either way, whoever the lucky PM is, they’re probably going to come out of it looking like a twat #GoodbyeBoris. I mean I don’t want him to die or anything, just to move to an island far, far away, where he no longer has any influence over anyone or anything… Oh wait, why does that sound familiar?

 

  1. Even then, we’ve got two years

Say Article 50 has been invoked, even then, we’ve got another two years until Britain actually leaves the EU, giving us plenty of time to emigrate to Europe (okay well maybe not Europe, that nice man from Brussels is already talking about banning all Brits) but at least to Canada/Australia/Mars.

 

  1. We fear the worst

It’s true, lots of us are in campaign mode at the moment, and that means we find our strongest remain arguments, imagine the worst-case scenario of leaving the EU, and passionately explain it to anyone who will listen. We don’t want to think about Brexit positively, because we don’t want to be mistaken for one of them. However, it probably won’t be as bad as we think… We can continue to keep our economy competitive by staying in the single market without being in the EU, and so continue to trade with other countries without restrictions or tariffs. This means we would still have immigration and be able to maintain diversity in the UK. According to Cameron, the EU want to maintain ‘closest links’ with the UK. In other words, we haven’t broken up with the EU entirely; we’ve just gone from being in a relationship to friends with benefits.

And even if it is as bad as we think… At least then more people will hopefully start to realise that scapegoating immigrants does not touch on the intrinsic problems in our government, and the need for overhaul will be clearer.

 

  1. Solidarity spreads and the bad brings out the best

What was that quote about how disaster can also bring out the best in people, restore faith in humanity, it’s how good people react to bad things that gives us hope? Something like that… Well the amount of people engaged in passionate political discussion is spreading and intensifying and it’s great… the amount of people realising their shared passions and loathings and the importance of including, welcoming and helping others. There’s even a new dating app being developed called ‘Remainder’ for – you guessed it – devastated people who voted remain and now want to make something beautiful happen in their lives.

 

  1. I believe that children are our future… and under 25s… okay and a few more great people

As much as I giggle, and then immediately feel guilty, when I read posts from people swearing they will push the next old person they see off their mobility scooter, I realise it is probably not fair to blame this all on the oldies. I mean there are lots of golden oldies out there who are just as devastated by the result, like my wonderful Grandma. However… Shout out to the 75% of young people who voted to remain! Yessssssss! Shout out to all the kids who have been comforting their crying classmates worrying they will be deported. Shout out to everyone who has shouted out, spread the word, of welcoming and valuing immigrants and embracing others without question or judgement.