I still write a few limerick definitions from time to time. Last week I was inspired to write these. Can’t think why.
One of the incidental benefits of having written about politics here off and on for almost two decades is that I can see how many times I’ve used the words “fascist” or “fascism” in my public writing by searching a local backup of this site. Until 2016, one or the other had appeared only a few times, when quoting others: a political figure in Madagascar in 2002 talking about the supporters of his rival, and the poet Michael Rosen in 2015 (whose poem reads ominously today). It’s a word I’ve always used sparingly for fear of sapping its power.
I first used it here myself last year, when voicing fears in the days after the EU referendum of an apparently ascendant UKIP and the desire of many in England and Wales for a strong leader who would implement a hard Brexit. Those were fears of possible futures, but given how those particular events have unfolded I can’t say they’ve subsided much (UKIP is no longer ascendant, but only because the Tories have adopted their agenda). For Britain, though, they remain fears of a possible future. America has overtaken us.
My thoughts today are with friends in America, some of whom I’ve known since I was twelve, none of whom will have wanted this. I hope you get through it. I hope we all do.
Why limit the gloom to Britain, when it’s the last day of a sane American administration for who knows how long?
How kompromat works. Trump was bailed out of bankruptcy by Russian crime bosses. Trump’s longstanding mob connections. A message to the American media. Trump’s attack on a reporter’s disability versus reality.
Tales from the frontlines of viral photography. Trump’s ridiculous inauguration poem. I started to write a spoof of that, but rapidly lost the will to live. Instead, here’s Mark Hamill reading Trump’s tweets as the Joker.
Russia: the threat, the international order, and the way forward, by the outgoing US Ambassador to the UN. Comey refuses to discuss a possible Trump-Russia investigation because he only does that with Hillary Clinton.
Owen Jones and Nick Clegg discuss Brexit. Nationalism and Brexit. A full English Brexit is on the menu. Whether you’re leave or remain, Theresa May just betrayed you. We clearly don’t understand sovereignty. Brexiters are destroying this country.
As an Australian who’s lived in Britain for over fifteen years, I’ve naturally kept an eye on GBP-AUD exchange rates. Here’s the rate on this day in 2007: £1 = A$2.48. In 2011 it was A$1.60. In 2016, after clawing back from the credit crunch: A$2.07. Today it’s back at A$1.63.
Tell me again, o Leavers and media, how the referendum result has had no economic impact. (And I wish everyone would stop saying that Brexit has had no impact. Brexit still hasn’t happened yet. Heaven help us if it does.) Here’s something I wrote in October, which remains (ha) bitterly relevant.
Apparently, Brexit means Brexit:
For Prime Minister May, Britain’s exit
From Europe is certain.
May May end up hurtin’
Our future? I reckon this wrecks it.