My horror date with the 29th of March 2019


A venue in Germany asked me if I would like to exhibit my photography. I said yes! And then I started thinking what to do. In this day and age of Brexit uncertainty I felt the best idea was to ask some people about their fears and anger regarding this issue. I wanted some voices who might otherwise not get heard, and I was specific about it being an emotional quest rather than a rational or practical one. So I took portraits of people expressing their emotions on this subject, and interviewed them about their feelings.

I have myself been struggling with this date – the 29th of March – ever since it became clear as the exit date. I became scared of it and seemed to adjust my life around it: a before and after so to say – heaven and hell. The time before the 29th is best described as butterflies in a sunny meadow; for the time after just imagine the burning gates of eternal hell.

So I asked some British and European citizens living in Scotland about emotions connected to the 29th of March. My questions were about Brexit and the current Prime Minister, and about their feelings of insecurity, anxiety and fury.

The full story is below for your brexertainment.

Many thanks for listening,
yours eternally-grateful-that-she-was-ever-allowed-into-the-country-even-if-she-may-have-to-go-now,
VruVru

ps: Another way of imaging the time after Brexit is by wading through a muddy swamp in the big halls of Westminster (make horror shriek), forever getting stuck and never getting an inch further. Of course, Cameron and May are laughing and pointing from the side lines.

 


Brexit! – Voices from the people

A photographic impression of fear, anger and uncertainty
by Vroni Holzmann

“My future is in absolute limbo” Cat Crisan
“This immigrant-bashing thing!” Eric Swanepoel
“Brexit is a stupid idea” Justine Blair
“It wasn’t a democratic vote” Bill Wilson
“Westminster causes me complete despair” Vicky Allan
“The whole idea is ludicrous!” Helga Rhein

“Brexit could kill me” Sophie O’Riordan-Holzmann

 


“My future is in absolute limbo”

Cat Crisan, 41, customer service administrator

 

Brexit fucked up my life. I think it might have ruined my life, because my life is here. Now it turns out that I have no rights whatsoever and I just have to wait and see what happens next. I would say my future is in absolute limbo. I went to court and I lost my case because according to her majesty’s high court I have no status here despite having lived here for 16 years. I was just so outraged about being called an alien and not having the opportunity to get social security inthe country where I used to have social security.

I don’t understand Theresa May. The minute the Tories were in power everything went downhill and that wasn’t even a nationality thing. That was just the social security benefit cuts affected everyone and me as well. Yeah, it’s the fuckin Tories. It’s just amazing how much shit a government can create.

My anxiety started when I became unemployed two years ago and wanted to sign on and I was told that I am not allowed to sign on, because I do not have settled status. I lost in court with a proper judge who was actually very sympathetic but she had no way of giving me settled status. To get this, you need to have been paying National Insurance contributions consecutively for five years. When you are in between jobs and you don’t pay NIC for a month that sets you back to zero. It’s as if you had just entered the country. The hostile environment means that it’s made impossible for EU citizens to live here. I’m super scared because my job I have now, we are totally in limbo. It’s a fully international company that might very well consider moving away.

I’m usually just very very, angry because it’s just insane. Why would anyone vote against the opportunity of living freely and travelling freely on an entire continent!

Brexit affects me massively emotionally on so many levels. I have a Damocles sword over my head. I feel like I have to make a decision about my life. It makes me revalue my friendships. I am here because my life is here, and my life is not shaped by my job or my career, my life is shaped by the people I know and I love. Are those people really my good friends? Are they reason enough for me to stay in a country where the majority of people, and mostly the government, want me to go? Is this really all worth it?

 

 

“This immigrant-bashing thing!”

Eric Swanepoel, 54, freelance researcher, editor, writer & environmental activist

 

Brexit is an almighty mess. The people in charge of the leave campaign were found guilty of financial irregularities. The vote for leave was quite narrow, 52% to 48%, so on that basis alone it should certainly not be regarded as the settled will of the British people.

The most ardent leaders of the leave campaign were people who had vested interests in the financial services industry, and I think they were very worried about the EU tightening legislation on tax avoidance. They played on the basic fears of disadvantaged people in the UK. Short‐term profits of the super-rich are the driving force behind what the government does and this just widens inequality.

This immigrant-bashing thing! A lot of it was actually outright lies, of course. I think a lot of people who voted leave mistakenly thought that it was just a vote for clamping down on immigration in general. After the vote there was a vast surge in hate crimes. There was a famous picture that Nigel Farage used showing all these supposed hordes of refugees, but it was a complete lie because it was people in Syria and had nothing to do with immigration into the UK. Another big lie was that we would have £350 million a week for the NHS because we were spending that on the EU. One of the main leaders of the leave campaign subsequently admitted that they won because they lied. Another element to that is also the implication that immigrants are bad. On the whole immigrants contribute more than they supposedly cost.

I don’t think Theresa May cares at all about people. That much is pretty obvious. She couldn’t have done the things she’s done if she has any human empathy. It would be interesting to know to what extent she’s influenced by her husband. He works for an international organisation which helps big companies like Amazon and Starbucks avoid paying tax. I don’t know her personally, so she’s a bit of an enigma to me. But what she’s done is horrendous.

I think Brexit contributes to a general state of anxiety and dismay. I’m very concerned about climate change and Brexit even relates to that. Who knows what they’re going to do with environmental rules? It is obvious to me that leaving the EU will be a bonfire of human rights and environmental protection.

 

 

“Brexit is a stupid idea”

Justine Blair, 48, cleaner & administrator

 

I feel absolutely and completely gutted that on the 29th Brexit is meant to happen. It’s not despair; it’s like a kind of empty feeling that it’s going to be shit. I’ve lost faith in politicians. I’m probably going to be even poorer than I am.

I’m probably going to lose friends. I really love living in a cosmopolitan city where there’s people from all sorts of places living here. To think that a lot of them will go away is sad. It will just make the place where I live so boring. Also I think it’s a chance for rich people to get richer and to take away human rights from a lot a people that are vulnerable. I can see a government and a country in the future who can do what they like and treat people badly.

I’m probably going to lose friends. I really love living in a cosmopolitan city where there’s people from all sorts of places living here. To think that a lot of them will go away is sad. It will just make the place where I live so boring. Also I think it’s a chance for rich people to get richer and to take away human rights from a lot a people that are vulnerable. I can see a government and a country in the future who can do what they like and treat people badly.

I think Brexit is a stupid idea. There’s no need for it. I felt disbelief that people wanted it. I would never have chosen it and I can’t believe that people are going for it. I only realised how bad it was after the stupid referendum happened. And that people are still wanting it to happen just shocks me. It feels worse in the last month because you can see how there’s no solutions, there’s nothing bashed out and people are saying that it shouldn’t go ahead and somehow the politicians are still going for it. I work for a German woman and she provides me with an income and I don’t know what will happen with Brexit, whether I’ll have a job.

I don’t trust Theresa May. I think that her agenda doesn’t represent the general population and the sentiment of most people. I think that a lot of people who voted for Brexit didn’t vote for Theresa May to do what she wanted in the process of negotiating Brexit. I know she’s the Prime Minister but she seems to have more power than should be allowed. It almost seems like she’s not democratic, in the way she’s going about Brexit. I am scared. I feel so disempowered by choices that other people have made. And how a traditional, old-school mentality has kept people in Scotland from being able to have their own choices about what they want to happen in their own country. I fear for the future and for how power can be abused even more, especially when there’s not European laws to temper some of the bad things that could happen. Scotland chose to remain in Europe, but because we’re part of the UK we’re stuck in this horrible situation. I just feel like I don’t live in a democracy.

 
 

 

“It wasn’t a democratic vote”

Bill Wilson, 55, data analyst & Co-Convener of the Scottish Greens Edinburgh Branch

 

When I first heard how the vote went, I thought I’d misheard it. I didn’t believe it. In Scotland 66% of the people wanted to stay within the European Union. So it really hadn’t occurred to me this could happen. It made no sense to me, and I felt frustrated because I believed then as I do now that this was predominantly not about the European Union, but about racism. It’s about a petty‐minded sort of imperialism that a certain part of the United Kingdom just has not escaped from. And I think that’s part of the reason we ended up in this bizarre Brexit scenario and it’s frustrating. It’s ridiculous that you end up in this bizarre situation because people have not let go of the idea of British imperialism or Britain being a great power, which is long past. And I’m glad to say it because we know what Britain did as a great power, it was pretty damn nasty. So the fact it’s past is a good, positive thing.

The European Union is not perfect, it has fairly major flaws, but actually in many ways it has worked quite well. When you look at civil liberties, I think they’re much stronger because we are in the European Union. I do not trust the present government by any stretch of the imagination to protect the civil liberties of the citizens of its country. I think the concept is important of having a larger body which can say to multi-nationals: No, there are certain fundamental rights, working rights, civil rights, human rights that you cannot ignore. No nation and no company can afford not to trade within the European Union, and that gives the European Union strength.

Prior to the First World War you did not require passports to travel round Europe. You simply went to where you wanted. And there was no restriction on where you worked in Europe. So actually, Europe didn’t have enforced borders. And even after the First World War, you needed a passport, but there were no restrictions for a European working in another western European country. I think when Brexit happens the United Kingdom is going get a very abrupt shock. We’ve heard all about this idea that we can negotiate better trade deals on our own. Yes, the UK is a big economy. But the reality is it’s not as big as the European Union.

I think we’re going to see serious impact on the quality of our food and the quality of animal welfare, because the bottom line is, it’s going to be very hard to maintain animal welfare rights in this country if we’re constantly being undercut by countries which don’t maintain the same quality in animal welfare rights. I think we’ll see our environmental laws significantly weakened. We’ll see it more difficult to maintain our health and safety at work laws. Multinationals will use things like the world trade agreement to put pressure on our government which is not strong in defending these things in the first place.

Austerity does not work. It weakens your economy. If you cut workers’ rights and start cutting the wages at the bottom then what you actually do is push your country further towards a recession. If you erode basic rights it will have a negative effect on our economy. People will get poorer; the gap between the wealthy and the poor will rise. We’ve already seen that under the Conservative government, and it’s going to get greater. Now, we know that if you increase the gap between the poor and the rich you’ll have higher crime rates, shorter life spans and less general happiness. All this affects not just poor people, but also rich people. You have a massive impact on health, happiness and crime throughout the entire population. So it is a negative run all the way.

Theresa May has shown a callous indifference to the poorer people in this society. The only proven way to escape an economic problem in a recession is Keynesian. There’s only one way that works, and the Conservatives have done exactly the opposite. And they’ve done it with a remarkable degree of callousness. They’ve changed disability allowance, they’ve changed unemployment, they’ve put people in desperate situations where they are without money and they cannot get money. They forced people into low-paid jobs which have nothing to do with training; they’re about keeping wages down. They made people take these jobs in order to keep their benefits which means, of course, you force the wages of other people in these jobs down because you’ve got another source of forced employees. Since the 60s life expectancy has risen for all areas of the population in Britain. It has now started to go backwards for the lowest income section of the population. For the first time since the 1850s we’ve actually seen the gap between the poor and the rich widen. For something like a hundred and fifty years it had been slowly but surely decreasing. Under May it’s widening. We’ve seen a government who had money in tax-evading areas. We’ve seen a government which is callously indifferent to the bulk of the population and which is transferring money from the poor sections of society to the wealthier sections of society. And that is utterly contemptible. We’ve seen a government which has been condemned by the committee for failing to reach their climate change targets and they’re clearly not going to reach them.

There’s the whole immigration issue. Theresa May should have said on day one, whatever deal we get with Europe, European citizens will have full rights in this country. They should not have been bargaining tools. It’s also inhuman. If people have been here for five or ten years, even if they don’t have kids, they have homes here, their friends are here and they’ve settled here. To then just say they have to uproot themselves is a form of scattered ethnic cleansing, where you ethnically cleanse your country of everyone that doesn’t happen to have been born here.

And look at the Windrush population. I mean for goodness sake. If people have been living in this country for 40 years, do we really care if some of them came in illegally? They have worked, have paid their taxes and have contributed to our society. The government is not disputing with the Windrush people that they have been here for 40 years; they’re simply disputing the documents. And surely a humane would government say, ‘You have been here for 40 years. You can stay.’

It’s complete callous indifference to human beings, I mean it’s typified by the fact you have two ex-members of the Bullingdon club, the previous prime minister and Boris Johnson, who is a joke. It’s a club based on arrogance. They go out, they get extremely drunk, they wreck places and then they chuck a thousand pounds to the restaurant owner to keep quiet. What you have is an elite privileged group who have no concept of how the majority live. If you wreck a restaurant owner’s business you clearly have just contempt for people who make a living. You have contempt for the bulk of the population. And then they somehow become the heads of state.

I’ve never met Theresa May so maybe she’s a very nice human being to talk to, but her policies are vile. They’re contemptuous of people. They have an indifference to the next generation in terms of environment and they have an indifference to the bulk of this generation because the poor don’t register on the scale. I’m angry that we’ve been taken to this point on a tissue of lies and I’m angry we’ve been taken to this point on what was clearly illegal behaviour by the exit campaign. I mean, what we’re basically saying is, you have rules for the referendum, but you can just ignore them. The winning side can just get away with it. And that does make me angry.

You can’t have a fraudulent democratic election. It’s not democratic. We should have done it again. If the side that commits the fraud is the side that wins then clearly it has to be redone. It wasn’t a democratic vote. Well, we don’t live in a very democratic country anyway. Democracy is more than just an individual having a vote. You need a flow of information, and the flow of information has to be fair and equal. What we have in the United Kingdom is a press body which has a single view, and it’s an establishment view.

The Irish border is very difficult. There’s the unionist community, who are absolutely desperate not to be part of Ireland and who don’t want the UK to treat Northern Ireland differently because they’re concerned that this will create a movement towards the republic. And there’s obviously the nationalists in Northern Ireland who want to be part of Ireland, who will be extremely annoyed at having a hard border between the place they happen to think is their own country and who will now be more desperate to get out of the UK, because they’re suddenly pulled out of the European Union. And of course as you know, in Northern Ireland the majority voted very clearly to stay in the European Union, so I imagine there must be a lot of frustration.

I think the fact that Scotland voted to stay in the EU is an excellent reason for another independence vote. And the hypocrisy of the Tory party saying nothing has changed, when during the independence referendum their major argument was that if Scotland achieves independence from the UK it will be forced out of Europe. I think one of the things the Scottish Parliament did correct at the very beginning was saying, ‘We believe each independent nation within the United Kingdom should have a right of veto on leaving.’ Because I don’t think it is the right of the citizens or the residents of England to subtract the residents of Scotland from the European Union without the agreement of the residents of Scotland. You know, this is a fundamental change to the nature of the union which should not be permissible. But Westminster said no, we all vote as a single entity. That’s why I think the United Kingdom doesn’t work anyway, because it’s always been determined by the south and centre of England. What Scotland wanted never really mattered all that much and the devolved parliament only gives you limited power. They didn’t create a proper federal state. You know, it’s not like Germany where there’s big chunks of power lying within each federal state. And people say, we’re getting out of the European Union, it’s got all this power; but actually, it has very little power. The European Union does not have a lot of power over your life. And not a fraction of the power that Westminster has over Scotland.

 

 

“Westminster causes me complete despair”

Vicky Allan, 48, journalist

 

Brexit makes me anxious and worried. There are so many things in the world to be anxious about and this one seems entirely unnecessary, and a distraction from all the more important things. I wish we could rewind and somehow make it so that the whole vote never happened.

I woke up the morning of the Brexit vote and, to be honest, I so much assumed it was going to be a vote for remain that I didn’t even check the result. And at some point I checked and I could not believe it. And then my chief worry was for all the other people – people who are my friends, the European citizens who live around me – and what it would mean for them. Some people have left already, they’ve gone back to their countries. But also I was worried that we were going to see this rise in hate, that was really what I was most worried about at that point. And we did see that.

Brexit is not what I want. But also Brexit is the thing that gets in the way of all the other things that are important to me. I feel like all there’s all these other important issues out there in the world and they’re being suspended, there’s barely any discussion about climate change. What’s going on with Brexit is not so different from what happened with Trump and a lot of the other issues that are around globally. But I do think the media is in a mess and I think politics is in a mess. If you look at Westminster now, it kind of causes me complete despair when I see what’s going on there. It just doesn’t seem any more like we have a working political system. I can’t see a way out at the end of this. Even if we get the people’s vote and Brexit doesn’t happen, I can’t see a future with politics that I’m happy with.

Actually part of the problem really came out of the original whole set up within the Tory party. I think David Cameron was not naïve – I think it’s that sort of arrogance really, that he could just do this and breeze through it. He didn’t really engage with the underlying disillusionment and dissatisfaction that the Brexit feeling tapped into. And you know, ideally I’d like to see a more socialist politics tap into that feeling, but that feeling was tapped into with some sort of fear or hatred-of-the-other, and just a sort of anti-EU propaganda: ‘Lets pick this institution as being the problem.’

David Cameron called the vote with such a small time frame leading up to it. It was a ridiculously short time frame in which the debate didn’t really get to develop and we got very little information. So I think the media had some responsibility but the amount of information that we got was so little. If you think about the independence referendum, we had a whole year of stuff building up to that. You need enough time for people to start engaging with it, so that the real questions can come out and be made to be answered. We didn’t know what we were voting for. I think that opinions are changing very quickly in this kind of climate with social media. I don’t think that the media wasn’t neutral; I actually think it was broadly pro-remain. But I think that the leave campaign was good entertainment so it was given time.

I feel there is a lot of anxiety around anyway. I’m trying to keep it down and maybe one way of keeping it down is not looking at the news so much, which is not a great thing if you’re a journalist. I mean it’s sometimes hard to pick apart Brexit anxiety from a wider anxiety about the state of politics. And maybe part of my anxiety is my fear that even if we got what I wanted – a people’s vote which allowed us to remain – my anxiety would still there, because this atmosphere, this feeling of tension between people, is not going to go away. Brexit revealed so much. It revealed a lot of things about the fraud, the media and the way our political system was operating, but it also brought out a whole load of feelings and anxieties that shocked me.

 

 

“The whole idea is ludicrous!”

Helga Rhein, 66, retired GP & Vitamin D campaigner

 

I think Brexit is complete and utter lunacy in this modern day and age when Europe tries to join together in order to avoid wars and foster friendships. It is nothing to do with self-determination. We already can self-determine our country here in the UK. Brexit is just an idea of the right-wingers of the Conservative party, who want free trade instead of trade arrangements with the Europeans.

The morning after the vote we got a shock, of course, like everyone else did. We went to bed in the full conviction that nothing bad would happen. Of course no one would vote against a united European idea, and we couldn’t believe it! It was the shock of my life-time, when the next day the news in the radio was that the vote went for Brexit. It was just unbelievable. We don’t know what the position is of all of us who have been lured to come to this country, fully trained. I came here in 1978 and it was relatively easy at that time. The European Union had just started, I only had to do an English medical exam in order to have my qualifications from Germany accepted here. I came here because I met my husband here on holiday, and then I decided to move, even though I didn’t know for how long. I thought maybe six months or a year, and now that’s 40 years ago.

I got dual nationality straight after the lost Scottish independence vote in 2014. It cost me £1,200 then, but it’s now much more expensive. It’s outrageous. And you had to go through the life-in-the-UK test. And I had to complete a language test, which was an additional cost, although I had been working here for 35 years as a GP. The rules were very strict, you needed a language test unless you had studied in this country or had a degree. I had to swear an oath to the Queen but I closed my mouth and didn’t say it.

Theresa May is not a very capable politician I think. Apparently she keeps far too many things far too close to her and makes executive decisions. A good politician doesn’t do that in my eyes. She was very unpopular amongst the people who think like me when she worked at the Home Office. Because she introduced fairly brutal rules to foreigners. She should still be punished for being the leader of the Home Office when they shredded the Windrush papers.

I have no faith at all in Westminster. There’s really no democracy, including the ridiculous piece of theatre they’re doing every day in the parliament. I’m scared as I know that human nature will not manage to have world peace, not in my life time and not in our children’s lives time, because we are envious and aggressive to our neighbours. So you need really good strict rules which regulate the communications between the different groups. We have had 60 years without war in the whole of Europe, this is unheard of before. But now I am worried about hostilities. I’m worried that if Europe breaks up, if the rules and structures are broken up, countries are sucked into aggravating policies and eventually they end in war. The whole idea of Brexit is ludicrously and ridiculously crazy. It is absurd and against any reasonable, human and sensible idea. You link people together with trade rules and an exchange of ideas, research and students. So to get rid of all that is backwards and antidemocratic. I would like to have a vote where you have two choices; either an acceptance of some kind of deal or no Brexit. And I would sincerely hope that the majority of the whole of the UK has come to their senses and would vote for no Brexit. And if that happens I’m going to dance on the street.

 

 

“Brexit could kill me”

Sophie O’Riordan-Holzmann, 16, pupil

 

I was born in Britain, in Scotland actually, but my parents were both from other countries. My mother is German and my dad is Irish, and so when I was born I got a German passport. My mum said they had changed the law just before I was born and I couldn’t get a British passport. This means that when Brexit happens I won’t be a British citizen so it might become a problem for me to stay.

As a type-one diabetic I have the worry that I’ll stop getting NHS help. I rely on the NHS for my medication and for if anything should happen, that I can visit the hospital and the NHS would pay for it. If the NHS cuts me off then I probably won’t be able to stay because I can’t afford to pay for all of my needs as a diabetic on my own.

My medicines are life-saving so I am really scared that I might not be able to get my medicines. I need insulin 24 hours a day and if I don’t get it I’m going by ambulance to the hospital. So Brexit could actually kill me.

I think it took a while for me to understand what the real problem was. I knew from the referendum a little bit because I knew some facts and my parents told me a lot about it and why it was a problem if Brexit happened. But it didn’t really sink in as personally affecting me a lot till more recently than that. Last year maybe.

I think Brexit is awful, I don’t think it makes any sense and I think that people don’t really understand how bad it’s going to be, and that they think it’s not as big a deal as it is, which is another big problem regarding it.

I think that Theresa May is… wait, can I swear? I think that Theresa May is a bitch because she causes so many problems for so many people and she’s now causing this, and there is Windrush and everything, and it’s just awful what she gets away with doing to people.

 

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“Bad news every day” 

Vroni Holzmann, 47, composer & photographer

When I heard the result of the vote on the radio I cried. I felt utterly distraught. The problem since is that almost every day the news bring me more bad news. I find this upsetting and difficult to cope with. The Brexit vote was won with lies and fraud. It has to be repeated if democracy shall have a meaning in this country. The will of the people was not heard, and this can be corrected.

Brexit is a complex topic. In my opinion it can’t be separated from how the government has managed and changed its policies towards perceived foreigners in Great Britain. Theresa May has wreaked havoc in the Home Office since 2010 until she became Prime Minister. How her crimes went unanswered, with no court action and no resignation from her current position of leader of a nation, is a mystery to me. Documents were shredded to harm innocent citizens! It seems to me that politicians are not taken to responsibility for their harmful actions and just stay in power. There are a lot of things Theresa May has done people don’t know. If you didn’t happen to read one article then you just don’t find out about it. I think she’s done criminal things while she had the power to do them. In my opinion Theresa May should have had to resign as prime minister after the Windrush scandal.

I’m scared of what the politicians get away with at the moment. The lies! And with the hostile environment the government is just making it so hard for perceived foreigners that some people just give up and leave. The EU doesn’t run Britain. So, that’s a wrong perception of those who say let’s break away from a bunch of bullies. But Scotland is actually run by Westminster. In a bad way. Of course this doesn’t mean that a Scottish government would necessarily do it better. We can only try. But we’re hopefully more progressive.

With this whole Brexit idea people are working against democracy. Never has democracy been more in question in Britain. There was always a sense of democracy. Right now a lot of people question that. And people question it on both sides. I’ve got this feeling at the moment as if you have a country split in half, and both are unhappy with the result of a vote and both feel unfairly treated. So it’s like the strangest thing that happened here. Because some think, well we’ve voted and now we’re not getting it delivered and others are thinking Brexit was voted for because of lies and because of fraud. So right now no-one can win and everyone doubts democracy. And that is bizarre. How did they manage that everybody on both sides of the camp is now actually doubting the leadership of the country? It’s quite bad.

I didn’t get British citizenship at this point and the fact is, there is such a strong sense of me not wanting to have to go through this. If they just threw it at me, I would take it. But it’s a complicated application process and it costs a lot of money. I also find the life-in-the-UK test is actually against human rights. No-one should be asked these questions, which even British people can’t answer. Yes, they may have citizenship tests all over the world, but I still think it’s wrong that they would be the basis on which someone could stay in a country or not. But not having citizenship still makes me very worried, and its true the amount of anxiety you get through this is terrible.

This bus went round England with a big lie on it about money that could go to the NHS instead of the EU. I was so upset when I saw that. People believed this! I should have lain down in front of the bus with all the lies on it. I should have taken direct action to stop it from going up and down the country like a medieval jester, using deception to create hatred against an organisation that brings peace to all of Europe. That’s what I regret every day since the referendum. That I didn’t lie down in front of that bus.

 

As a wee remain nerd I made a little list of reasons not to leave the EU and why the government is bad:

Don’t leave the EU when you have no answer to:

  • The Irish border
  • EU citizens both in Britain and the rest of Europe
  • Racism and rise in hate crime
  • Your debts to the EU
  • Fraud committed during the referendum campaign

You are a bad government when you think this is okay:

  • Austerity politics causing a terrible economy and much suffering
  • The Prime Minister hindering the prosecution of a serial rapist
  • Hostile environment policies
  • The Windrush scandal

I feel this list is not complete. Any further suggestions just put in an envelope and ask your raven to take them to Westminster. But be careful. He may never return.

 

29 March 2019


Dear Government

Me and my 5 million buddies have signed this petition as we do not believe it was ever the will of the people to leave the European Union.

Now you send me a letter about democracy!

You have undermined democracy for me on so many levels, I can’t believe you dare to utter the sacred word four times.

You say you want to honour democracy? Why not start by reholding a fraudulent referendum? What? You didn’t realise it wasn’t legal? Can I remind you of a few other things, too?

You are not valuing human rights by cutting all benefits and grants, including those for people with disabilities. Years ago, when you started checking if people were still blind after having been blind for decades, I lost a lot of trust in your ‘democracy’.

You are not valuing human rights when you claim you have a problem with immigrants. You have less people migrating to the UK than any other European country. Having realised you didn’t have a real problem you created it. You managed to ruin many lives by deporting or trying to deport people living rightfully in the UK.

And let’s just be honest now, you shit on the EU citizens living in this country. You couldn’t care less.

The anxiety we had to live with is not a problem for you, because, you know, money is money.  (What I mean is, you live by your own values, and these are not the same as many people’s values who just try and get by)

A callous government runs this fragile country. Homeless people sleep outside my door, there are more every day. The food banks are full of people who are in work. If you are in work you should not depend on hand outs. Oh, wait, wages are too low.

Rich, arrogant people run their economy down for their own gains, and propagandise a whole load of immigrants who don’t even exist.

Please, please, don’t you talk to me about democracy again.

Wishing you a change of mind about everything, all the best, VruVru

 

Dear VruVru

The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.”.

Government responded:

This Government will not revoke Article 50. We will honour the result of the 2016 referendum and work with Parliament to deliver a deal that ensures we leave the European Union. It remains the Government’s firm policy not to revoke Article 50. We will honour the outcome of the 2016 referendum and work to deliver an exit which benefits everyone, whether they voted to Leave or to Remain. Revoking Article 50, and thereby remaining in the European Union, would undermine both our democracy and the trust that millions of voters have placed in Government. The Government acknowledges the considerable number of people who have signed this petition. However, close to three quarters of the electorate took part in the 2016 referendum, trusting that the result would be respected. This Government wrote to every household prior to the referendum, promising that the outcome of the referendum would be implemented.

17.4 million people then voted to leave the European Union, providing the biggest democratic mandate for any course of action ever directed at UK Government. British people cast their votes once again in the 2017 General Election where over 80% of those who voted, voted for parties, including the Opposition, who committed in their manifestos to upholding the result of the referendum. This Government stands by this commitment. Revoking Article 50 would break the promises made by Government to the British people, disrespect the clear instruction from a democratic vote, and in turn, reduce confidence in our democracy. As the Prime Minister has said, failing to deliver Brexit would cause “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”, and it is imperative that people can trust their Government to respect their votes and deliver the best outcome for them.

Department for Exiting the European Union.

27 March 2019


The fragile state

Today is the day Brexit negotiations are officially meant to begin. We have a situation where probably not a single person in the country thinks that the silly person at the top (translate Prime Minister) is doing anything in the interest of the country. Oh, wait, there is one person: it’s the Prime Minister herself. She believes that she can still fix it, even if it’s really broken. She reminds me of a patient with Alzheimer’s. Every day she forgets the disastrous thing that happened yesterday. Every single minute she ignores the fact that bad decisions were made, that a big rethink is necessary and no hasty decisions should be made.

The Prime Minister should resign. The DUP should get out of any affairs which are not Northern Irish but affect the whole country. Their attitude is backwards and certainly not helpful. We have the worst political situation I can think of and no-one is managing to do anything about it.

My father phoned me from Germany and asked me about Brexit the other day. He said, don’t they know they can start a war? Don’t they know that they are risking European peace which has been fought for over so many decades? Wars always start somewhere in peace times when people get away with things they shouldn’t. You can trace them back to leaders who suddenly take liberties and to politicians who take risks in their foreign affairs, alienating people around them.

My father is 89. He was a little pawn in that big war that seems so long ago. He has also seen many other peaceful countries fall apart and destroyed by wars. He urged me that Britain should rethink the steps it is taking to leave an entirely peaceful organisation which is trying to guarantee a peaceful Europe. I couldn’t have agreed more with him.

I just want to cry. Mrs May, please resign before you and your questionable friends ruin more of our beautiful, cultural and diverse country.

19 June 2017


Mrs May’s election day speech in full

[Edited by VruVru to bring a little bit of truth into it]

“I have just been to see a monarch who gets to have a say in politics in this country even if no-one knows why; and I will now form a Government, at least I really want to. I have lost the election and could just go home, but my strange sense of empowerment in the face of adversity that I have caused myself and my pure stubbornness will keep me going.

What kind of government? A government that can provide uncertainty and lead Britain towards the apocalypse at this disastrous time for our country.

This Government will guide the country badly through the crucial Brexit talks that begin in just 10 days – can you believe it!?! Who set that up!?! Me, really?!? – and deliver on the will of roughly half the British people by taking the United Kingdom out of that dreaded European Union. I have worked hard on keeping it a secret that the EU is actually a good thing and half the country is still falling for my nonsense, hehe.

My government will work to keep our nation unsafe and fragile by delivering the change that I set out following the appalling attacks in Manchester and London. I am at the moment trying to dodge investigations into how my police force cuts affected the reasons that lead to the attacks not being prevented although members of the public had made the police and thus the government aware of dangerous persons.

Cracking down on the ideology of Islamist extremism and all those who support it will give me plenty of excuses to change laws on sensible human rights which exist to protect citizens and their privacy.

The government I lead will put fairness thoroughly behind us so that we will fulfil the threat of Brexit and over the next five years – alright, I should be so lucky, I might be out in 5 minutes – build a country in which everyone and every single community is left behind, a country in which prosperity and opportunity are definitely not shared across this United Kingdom.

What the country needs more than ever is certainty, but what it will get from me is uncertainty at the highest level! Having secured the greatest number of seats in the General Election but – bohoo – not the majority I was after, it is clear that the Conservative and Unionist Party has no legitimacy and ability to provide any certainty to the people.

As we do, we will continue to alienate everyone around us and will fall out with the Democratic Unionist Party in particular.

Our two parties have enjoyed a gay relationship over many years. We are in love, stay out of our romance! This gives me the confidence to believe that I have talked people into stuff they don’t really want yet again. We probably won’t be able to work together for long, and never in the interests of the whole United Kingdom.

This certainly won’t allow us to come together as a country! But we will still channel our energies towards an unsuccessful Brexit deal that works for no-one in this country. We probably won’t even get a deal at all, so securing a new partnership with the EU which guarantees our long-term prosperity is now completely out of the question.

That’s what people never voted for last June, and that’s how we will try to destroy this country.

Now let’s get to work on making everyone’s life a misery.”

[Thank you Mrs May for saying it and saying it loud!]

9 June 2017


Election Stuff

The worst thing about this upcoming election is the following innocent emotion: hope.

If only I could think that Mrs May gets shown the door. And that Labour gets a chance to travel less of an ignorant journey. And that even Brexit could still be stopped. Later one day kids could laugh about it. They could shake their heads when the teacher in school brings up that once upon a time Great Britain (which I call Big Britain now as it lacks so much in greatness) had this idea to leave the EU. And that it nearly happened. But that all lived happily ever after when this disasterous idea was averted.

And berry pickers from Bulgaria and Romania were allowed to stay and pick berries and the care homes didn’t get a huge crisis because no Brit was prepared to wipe bums on a daily basis for hardly any money.

Yes, it will be a happy story. But I think it’s a fairytale.

Just so we don’t get too depressed here I have a challenge for you now. I personally think that Mr Trump (middle name worldwide trouble) gets far too much attention by everyone. We all know he is a rich bully who behaves like a 3-year old. So my challenge is that you now make sure you don’t think of Trump. Do this with immediate effect. Yes, come on, no Trump in your mind. You can do it. Just think of anything but Trump!

There you go: utter bliss…

2 June 2017


About voting fatigue

So, there’s much talk about people being fed up with that basic democratic thing: voting. In fact, all major papers and broadcasting stations claim as a fact that people are fed up with elections and referenda.

So, are people really fed up with voting? It is all very simple. The people who liked the last voting result are seriously fed up with voting. I mean, who wouldn’t be if they just got what they wanted? They want to stick with their (awful) achievements and certainly don’t want to risk a different outcome with another vote. But the people who felt so awfully deceived and wronged in the last vote feel very different about this. They want to at least have the chance to change things.

Whether it’s Brexit or Scottish independence a lot of us want to say: yes, let’s vote again. Of course the outcome might go wrong again as people are still being lied to and facts are being manipulated. For example, look what this clever little German found out: Theresa May actually includes foreign students in her immigration figures. Foreign students! I want to punch her. Not really, just with words, until she gives up her lies and schemes and this government job. She could be a housewife, couldn’t she? Baking pies and cakes? I wouldn’t mind her doing that at all, as long as she stayed away from politics from now on. You say, but can we be sure that the next person would be better suited to the job? Yes, we can : )

Anyways, the only fatigue I can detect amongst my fellow people is being so very tired of the lies and manipulations practised by current political bodies and the media industry.

Yawn. Why not use the truth a little more, Mrs May?

23 May 2017


The British Government is Bonkers

Well, today I look at the papers and they say: Eilmeldung! It’s German papers online if you must know. So, breaking news: Prime minister is calling snap election. So, this is terrific news for me, as it seems to me that the prime minister is trying to get rid of herself. But I might have misunderstood something.

In any case, I would like the British Government to reassemble in June, after an actual vote by the people, and become a sensible government body which represents this country in a way I can faintly agree with.

And good luck to that. So far it always went wrong, but with all the tricky questions and no answers to solve them this might be the chance. Which tricky questions are those?

Number Eins: A prime minister attempting a hard Brexit no-one wants and which can’t be legally solved.

Number Zwei: An island that’s become a possible cause for a very unwanted war.
(Hot tip: it starts with a G. No, not Great Britain. Go and sit in the corner as you haven’t paid attention! Or have you?)

Number Drei: A country within a country that wants to break away from it’s mothership during an unstable time in which the mothership is hurtling through space uncontrolled.

Yes, many many reasons that the prime minister did what she did today and said: ‘Can someone get me out of here?’

I’ll get her out of there. Let me run the country. I couldn’t possibly do it more harm than she has already done. Promise ; )

18 April 2017


Westminster is lying again

So, the bias of the ‘official’ news stations. They have lied, bullied and officially stated dishonest news last time we had a referendum on independence. It was partly their fault that it didn’t happen as they were completely in the pocket of the Westminster/no-to-progress/no-voter camp. And yet they managed to make people believe their scaremonger news about our situation.

They are doing it again. BBC Radio Scotland just got a numpty to state that the prime minister is ‘speaking for the people of Scotland’ with her clever delaying-the-referendum plan. She is doing us all a favour, apparently, as ‘the people of Scotland don’t want another referendum’. Everyone keeps saying this on the news, as if it was a fact. Meanwhile the people of Scotland voted overwhelmingly for a party which exists mainly to fight for independence. They think we’re all idiots.

I’m upset after listening to the radio. And I got the following email from the government telling me why they are delaying our request for a referendum on independence:

The UK Government is clear that now is not the time for a second independence referendum.

The UK needs to work together, putting all our energies into ensuring we get the right deal for the UK and for Scotland in our negotiations with the EU.

In 2014, the people of Scotland decided in a legal, fair and decisive referendum to remain part of the UK. The Edinburgh Agreement of 2012 committed both the UK and Scottish Governments to respecting the outcome of the Scottish referendum. In 2016 the people of the UK voted to leave the EU. The result of both votes must be respected.

As the Prime Minister has made clear, now is not the time for another damaging and divisive referendum. All our focus should be on our negotiations with the European Union, making sure we get the best deal for the whole of the UK as we leave. And, it would be unfair to the people of Scotland to ask them to make a crucial decision without the necessary information about our future relationship with Europe. Scotland’s two governments should be working together, not pulling apart, at this crucial time.

Leaving the European Union presents us with a unique opportunity. It is this generation’s chance to shape a brighter future for our country. A chance to step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be. We want this United Kingdom to emerge from this period of change stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking than ever.

Scotland Office

So this is what they say:

‘Leaving the European Union presents us with a unique opportunity.’ – Yes, the opportunity to go backwards and become a racist third world country.

‘Now is not the time for a second independence referendum’ – Now is the time we might pull this off and get independence as we still remember how much we have been lied to, and Britain is leaving the EU which we are trying to stay part of. And a successful independence referendum is not what Mrs May wants, so ‘not the time’ stands for ‘not what the British government wants to risk’.

‘The UK needs to work together, putting all our energies into ensuring we get the right deal for the UK and for Scotland in our negotiations with the EU.’ – So far they have been putting all their energy into getting the wrong kind of deal, being hard-lined and ignoring half the country who didn’t want this to happen.

‘As the Prime Minister has made clear, now is not the time for another damaging and divisive referendum.’ – Damaging? We are being damaged by being dragged out of a sensible and progressive union, completely against our will.

The prime minister and her cohorts are like bulldozers, destroying everything in their path.

It is a sad era for us. I sincerely hope that our first minister and the people of Scotland will make the right choice and leave this terrible government behind.  Westminster has proven, again and again, to employ destructive politicians who play political games and gamble with the future of this country.

Let’s get out of there!

31 March 2017


So I survived being brexited by the British government

But surviving doesn’t mean not suffering. I am suffering from the delusions of the people in power who think they can just smash a good country to pieces. And I am allowed to moan and complain about it because I am Hellseher. Yes, a clairvoyant who can see the future. I see dimmed lights. I see a country sliding down the poverty scale. And I see very clearly a lot of regret in people who just now think this is a good idea. But a country is not something to play with like a toy, ‘I can break it and then fix it again’. No, playground bullies should have been kept out in the first place. Who let them in? Us, the voters? I don’t think so. No single vote was put in a ballot for this (insert the worst damn swear word you know) woman. You know the one I mean, she who sits at the top and irritates me.

So we didn’t vote for the people who are making the biggest and most insane decisions about our country!
I’m gonna cry again.

30 March 2017


Today is the birthday of Brexit

Well let me tell you, it’s been a heavy and painful pregnancy, and it’s gonna be an ugly baby! The force needed to get this baby out is like from a horror movie, no-one wants it and it’s just gonna ruin people’s lives.

And I am fully qualified to talk about Brexit. First of all, as a cartoon character, I have no actual brains. This puts me in line with those who designed Brexit in the first place. If a brain is in a head, it would surely prevent such bizarre notions. Leaving a good thing to head for an uncertain bad thing? Why would I do that?

So we’ll all just have to wait and see, but as far as I can see doom and gloom are understatements for what this messy business of Britain throwing tantrums and getting away with them will mean to my little life.

Full steam ahead to a wobbly future! : (

29 March 2017

This is how I feel

(about the launch of the British apocalypse):

VruVru’s world is at the moment somewhat limited, I’m afraid, as Brexit feels like it’s crushing my world. If you are a long term EU resident in Scotland, you kind of want to stay here. I’m here because I like it, it’s true. I mean, look at Edinburgh on a sunny day. On a misty day. Even on a foggy day. The castle has disappeared! Magic! I just love this city. But I might not be allowed to stay. So now you say, they’re not gonna kick you out, are they? Well, they might not do this directly, but will I have access to the NHS? So I might still have to leave : (

Another thing that really bothers me right now, and I mean right this minute, is this: Our good old (I don’t mean this, please replace with rude words) prime minister is trying to delay the referendum until I can’t vote in it. Meaning she will do her best to get people like me out, whether they leave because of the uncertainty already, or even just once Brexit has happened because they have to. And this will take a lot of votes away from Scottish independence. A clever plan!

I detest this government. They have played so many tricks on their people that the whole situation is just a mess. What on earth is the EU supposed to have done to Britain that was so bad? The EU is a trade union which used to be very disorganised, but actually got better over the decades. And now that the ship is running a bit tighter the British people decide to get on a little floating dinghy and go it alone! Why, I cry? And the subsidies? Sorry, that was just too obvious to even mention.

Tell stories about what you know I was told by an old famous actor. Sorry, a little fib, it was my mum.  Anyways, the story as I know it goes like this:

Little German lives in Scotland. She is very happy. She makes wine and drinks art. Oh wait, other way around. She has a cute little daughter who loves Scotland, too. One day they get to vote in a referendum. We’re going independent, yay! This means we are guaranteed to stay in the EU (as Scotland happens to be a very modern and pro-EU country, she says proudly), which suits this little German very well.

The vote is lost. She is hungover. I mean, really really unwell. It’s like a physical reaction to non-independence (it was probably a dodgy tummy, but the lack-of-independence allergy sounds more dramatic).

A couple of years later she is getting another vote. This one is a lot scarier. She is thinking, wait, I’m not a political person, but dammit, this will really affect me. So she goes out to the park and campaigns for the vote to remain. She manages to convince a stray dog who has nothing else to do that day. Better one than none, said the famous actor. Okay, I just made that one up.

Here comes the climax now: The vote goes wrong. The little German and the whole of Scotland cry at the news. She is sitting there weeping when her daughter comes in before heading to school. She says, but mum, politics are just boring like wet socks drying in the wind, surely they won’t affect us? And the mum has to say:

Sorry, kiddo, but this will affect every person in the country. It is the worst thing that has ever happened to me politically, and it was completely unneccessary. If a certain former prime minister (please insert expletives) hadn’t come up with this anti-EU crap and calling a referendum for his own political gains and party politics this whole thing wouldn’t have happened. Britain wasn’t exactly doing great, particularly economically, but everyone was working on it. Now it’s going down to hell in a handcart (actually I think it’s motorised as it’s going so fast) and we can see where this will leave us.

We are sad today. It is a tragic day. I wished I would never see it. I hoped someone would turn this whole thing round and be more sensible with the future of a whole country. Too late now.

Here ends my lament.

I would apologise about the political content. But not today. Someone’s going and fucking up my country and I won’t be quiet about it. Mrs May can take take Britain down and straight into the apocalypse. But not without VruVru’s comments.

 

29 March 2017 – Launch Date of VruVru’s Website – Launch Date of the End of Britain as we know It