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Opinions Politics Politics

Progressives have inched towards a better future.

Record LGBTQ+ Wins, an expansion of the ‘squad’ and a mandate for change… there’s still hope in the Divide States of America

UK commentary on this election has been resoundingly negative. We have focused on the growth of Trumps base. some have said America is beyond recognition, that we should cut ties with a country where 70 million people can readily elect a man on the verge of Tyranny. But they haven’t elected him. He has lost, the flame of democracy continues to burn, and progressive coals still have a chance of catching fire. In fact, they’re beginning to take.

75 million Americans voted to oust Trump and a wave of progressive congresspeople, senators, legislators and lawmakers have been elected or re-elected. The crusade of the progressives continues and the chance for change is better than ever.

The Squad 

Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez’s ‘squad’: a quartet of progressive female politicians: Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, Ayana Pressley in Massachusetts and Rashid Tlaib in Michigan, has not only been re-elected, but expanded, with Cori Bush of Montana and Jamaal Bowman of New York making the political group a sextet. All ran campaigns championing racial-equality, high taxes for the rich, less student debt, battling climate change and universal healthcare. The Squad now has a combined total of 14.9m twitter followers. Their reach and influence are significant, and the US population has just given them a mandate to continue the crusade for a better world.

Omar’s achievement in particular highlights the genuine desire for progressive politics in the US. She withstood a barrage of abuse from the President, with accusations that she was ‘not American’ and that she hated the country. Just last month, Donald Trump fabricated a link between Omar and terrorism during a rally in Minnesota: “a 700% increase in refugees coming from the most dangerous terror hot spots in the world, including Syria, Somalia… Where Omar is from… that’s the reason I’m going to win. Ilhan Omar” Omar won Minnesota’s 5th district by 39 percentage points. The people of Minnesota’s 5th district resoundingly ignored and disbelieved the president, in favour of a progressive candidate. 

Like progressive commentators in the UK, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lay down her arms during the election, calling a truce on her quarrel with the democratic party leadership, recognising that real change was not possible under Trump. With the win confirmed, she has now broken that truce, saying democracy has won, but the left hasn’t. But AOC and her squad’s influence is far-reaching, their re-election and expansion in congress is a win for the left, and for progressives across the country.

Joe Biden recognised this truce, saying in today’s victory speech: “I am proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse in history. Democrats, Republicans and independents, Progressives, moderates and conservatives. Young and old. Urban, suburban and rural. Gay, straight, transgender. White. Latino. Asian. Native American. And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest – the African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I’ll have yours.” Biden understands the influence of the squad and their agenda, and a betting man would be sure he’ll listen to them again. 

LGBTQ+ Wins

While we can also criticise an election where the two presidential candidates were old white men and get lost in thinking this is who rules America, the elections this term have done far more to represent the increasingly diverse demographics in the nation at state level.

There has been a record number of LGBTQ+ wins across the nation. Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres became the first openly gay black and black-latino men to be elected to congress. Jones won New York’s 17thdistrict by 12 percentage points. Torres won the 12th district by 70 points. Both resounding victories, both representative of a city embracing equality, and championing the virtues of character and competence over sexuality and race.

Todd Gloria became the first out-gay mayor, winning election in San Diego. 

Sarah McBride was elected to the State Senate in Delaware, making her the first trans-gender person to be elected to any senate in the US, and also, the highest ranking trans in the country. Stephanie Byres also became the first state-house transgender person, winning in Kansas. 

These are all signs, not of a fractured nation fighting to maintain the status-quo, but a country embracing the age we live in.

Progress, elsewhere. 

Oregon just legalised all drugs. That is a big move in a country who has spent 5 decades criminalising users nationwide under federal law. This is a win for medical progress and for science. The failed War on drugs has long been the route of a number of America’s ills including mass incarceration and racial inequality. A whole state has voted to try the other way, the way which has been proven to work in Europe: to treat users, not imprison them. 

And lastly, we should take a moment to appreciate how momentous Kamala Harris’ achievement is. To regurgitate what we already know is fruitless. She is a sign of opportunity and progress and will surely help lead the new era. 

There is in no illusion that the Republican Party was on board with Trump, and it will never be easy to transition this bureaucracy from criminal sympathiser to effective government, but in the same way one man could coup d’état a whole political party, a team of legitimately elected, law-abiding progressives, with monumental followings can gently lead another parties discourse into a new era. The squad and newly elected progressives across the country can continue, with even greater effect, lobbying the Democratic party into further change. 

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Fake News Fake News

Conservatives plan to resurrect public support by creating new Bank Holiday to ‘watch soaps’.

Boris Johnson and his cabinet have today suggested a plan to allow the public a bank holiday to catch up on EastEnders and Coronation street.

The plan, which will ask the cast of both soap operas to film feature length episodes, has been called the ‘best way to reinstate faith in the government’. 

Johnson, who himself has never watched a soap opera, said earlier: “I was amazed, Ms Patel told me there’s this type of telebob show that common people watch, where families engage in outlandish activities including murder and adultery, I’m told it’s extremely popular” 

Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Reese-Mog said: “the best way to get these poor people to stay indoors is to fill their screen with uneducated garbage that they so adore, it’s a double whammy, the fools think we’re giving them a day off, which they’ll love because they’re lazy, and we get to keep them locked in doors to keep the virus down, they’ll adore us AND keep that virus from spreading to us”

The bank holiday would be in late January. Johnson plans to use the the time off to travel to Mauritius, where he plans on staying in a £5,000 a night resort for up to 4 weeks, greatly exceeding the two days off to watch telly.

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Fake News Fake News

PMQS: Kier Starmer Challenges Boris Johnson to a duel

During todays Prime Ministers Questions, Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer challenged PM Boris Johnson to a sword duel. 

57 year old former human-rights lawyer, Starmer, said the best way to truly see if the Prime Minister was up to the task of navigating this pandemic was to compete in a one on one dual. 

Johnson, who is no stranger to posh-boy antics, laughed at the challenge, claiming Starmer wouldn’t know a “real sword if he walked into it”

Starmer retaliated: “Mr Johnson, I truly believe it is in the interest of the entire nation to understand if you truly can dual, or are you scared to lose?”

Johnson then seemingly blundered, the new social distancing measures in the house of commons meant that his assistant passing him prompt cards was not so discrete, as a white note was tapped on the prime minister’s shoulder. Cameras inside the chamber revealed three words written on the card: ‘call him names’.

The prime minister obliged, and proceeded with a barrage of upper-class insults: “You great big cock-womble, you are floccinaucinihilipilificatious how dare you challenge my dueling credentials, I was top of the class in Eton.. I think.. maybe.. not sure.. perhaps.. either way wait till my father hears about this”. And alas, the prime minister stormed out, clearly unable to contain his rage.

Starmer hit Johnson where it hurt, it’s fair to say. This PMQs was a Starmer masterclass.

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Fake News Fake News

Man eats bat in China: North of England claims independence

A man in the Chinese city of Whuan, ate a bat sometime in December 2019; prompting the North of England to claim independence from its leadership in Westminster.

The consumption of the wild animal, believed to have been purchased in a Chinese wet market, caused a minor, uneventful disease called ‘Covid-19’ to spread around the globe.

The disease, which reached the UK in February, has had a greater impact on the northern regions, such as Manchester and Liverpool, than that of the South. After failed talks between regional councils and Westminster overcompensation for businesses effected by the disease, the North, under former Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, has now declared it’s self an independent state.

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson in late February said the UK would “take [the disease] on the chin” and that it was “imperative that we put the economy ahead of some coffin-dodgers”

Since it hit the British Isles, Covid-19 has claimed 47,000 lives. Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed that the deaths were “people on their way out anyway”.

On the stalling talks with then-mayor Andy Burnham, The Prime Minister also said: “We will not be held to ransom by a couple of poor peop- ..sorry I mean northern people who don’t know the first thing about economic planning” 

Andy Burnham, who made his name as a skilled Councillor for Winterfell, will now assume the role under the new-formed government as King of the North; making England two independent states; the South and the North. 

Burnham took to Manchester town hall to declare independence after a resounding poll found that 9/10 northerners wanted him to lead them. The modest mayor said Infront of a packed, gleaming crowed: “You all crowned me your king. I never wanted it. I never asked for it. But I accepted it because the North is my home!” applause exploded as the hands of over a thousand northerners clapped in awe of their new leader. Beer flew across the packed hall as tankards of fine ale were raptouesly flung into the air. 

35 rebel MP’s from the houses of parliament in London sat next to the new king on a long, single table, upon his proclamation that the north was his home, a chorus of skidding chairs was heard as the men and women took to their feet, kicking the seats backwards, they shouted “to the king in the North!” and raised flasks, books, smartphones and whatever else they could find with an outstretched right hand; then fell to one knee and bowed their head to their new leader.

Marcus Rashford, the part-time Wythenshawe footballer has been appointed Burnham’s deputy; as “Chancellor of the North”. He plans to continue his commitments to football, too. 

This is another step in what Conservative voters and leaders are calling “Boris’ Brexit masterplan”. The Southern conservative Home Secretary, Priti Patal, said this was exactly what voters wanted in December, “they wanted a true, granite Brexit – in dismantling the British union we have rid the country of several million undesirable remoaners who were adamant that we keep in touch with our EU neighbours, not on our watch!”

Burnham, who has championed policies like caring for the homeless, compassion for those less fortunate and looking after the most vulnerable in society has been called a “radical maverick” by conservative politicians who claim that caring for people in the 5th richest country on earth is simply impossible if the rich want to stay rich. 

Categories
Opinions Politics

Hancock’s ‘Young People are causing problems’ is just another way to divide us.

The Health Secretary’s finger pointing at young people does not comprise of smart, stable and confident leadership; it reeks of desperation and campaign-like attempts to retain some form of dignity and once more, shift the blame from the ever-growing, all-encompassing abominable mess this government has created.

“Don’t kill your gran by getting Covid” said the Health Secretary last week. Not exactly the confident statement you’d like to hear amidst the most uncertain times in living memory. 

Perhaps one could calmy nod along with Hanock at this statement with a tranquil acceptance and feel assured by his blunt honesty and stark warning of the danger of this disease. Perhaps it could have been the abrupt wakeup call needed to stun young people into following the covid guidelines more rigidly. Perhaps it could have just stopped us all going out altogether, again.

But no, this statement and babbling tirade of finger wagging came just a week after an audacious attempt to get everyone out and about again. It is verging on offensive that this government can one week run a campaign calling on people to fulfil some sort of moral duty to reignite the economy amidst an unparalleled pandemic, then the next, blame them for a rise in infections. 

For our elected ministers to haphazardly blame and pinpoint a certain group of people for their own failings has been a consistent theme during this era. It highlights an inexperienced, ill-equipped and insecure cabinet completely and totally out of their depth. 

For example, the more experienced and more statesman-like governments across Europe have not turned on themselves, their respective cabinet members in charge of health have not sighed, eye-rolled, laughed and stumbled through interviews with obvious disdain for normal, working class people. In France, Macron has not attacked ‘young people’ in fact, he has once more called for unity;  “The only way we will succeed in stopping this epidemic is if all of us are vigilant and stick together.”

In Germany, Angela Merkel has not played on everyone’s moral duty to spend in pubs and bars then chastised them for doing so, the very well qualified chancellor said in April: “caution is the order of the day, not overconfidence” and has believed this ever since by remaining transparent, restrained and accepting of the virus; all while not pointing the finger at certain groups. 

Merkal’s caution statement is the complete polar opposite of Johnson, too. Our zany Prime Minister visited a school earlier this month to highlight it was safe to reopen. He stood, mask-less, Infront of clearly unconvinced students packed side by side and said: “Quite frankly after all that time -159 days – the risk to your health is not from Covid, because statistically speaking your chances of suffering from that disease are very very low, the greatest risk you face now is continuing to be out of school.” What has come of this school? It has now closed, less than two weeks after reopening, because of? You guessed it… Covid-19. 

A division tactic? 

To be young is to vote left. That’s the new order of the day. Gone are typical class divisions, gone is the power of unions and gone is the pull of the left for working men and women. Now, the biggest indicator of voting intention is age – to be young, is to be labour. So, is this government pin-pointing the young as a dangerous force? 

As mentioned above, this government is insecure, they’re vastly out of their depth. As characterised by the entirety of this Brexit fiasco, they would jump at any chance to further their cause… is this another example of that? 

It certainly seems to have begun something. Two pubs in Yorkshire have banned under 25s amidst fears they will spread the disease. This to me, feels like the start of ageism.

Although I recognise that the figures of late have indicated a greater infection rate for 17-24-year olds – I firmly believe this isn’t their fault. The Governement called on us to eat out, to help out. It encouraged us to drink, to eat, to restart our lives, to socialise. It has then turned on us when the obvious effects of this has come to fruition. The government refuse all accountability, it absolves itself from blame and points the finger at groups which may challenge them. 

Categories
Opinions Sport

The U.S Female Team DOES generate a higher revenue than the Men’s

But are we ready for that conversation?

Taking on Football Avi twitter is nothing to be done lightly. The army of teenage, young adults and far too often, grown men hiding behind their favourite players picture to pour a relentless assault of rubbish on to the feed is a common site to the Twitter faithful.

But this week, as Megan Rapinoe’s attempt to gain equal pay ends in vein, each of these detestably similar accounts has spewed the same sort of line: ‘As soon as they make the same revenue, they’ll get paid the same’.

The ignorance of this breed of tweeter is quite obviously summed up by this statement. Seemingly overseeing the very fact that this is the U.S.A national team, not a European team, where Football, or Soccer, as the Americans call it, has a much smaller following. 

One quick Google could set these lads at ease, a host of reputable sites quite plainly summarise ‘U.S Soccer’s’ audited records, detailing that the women’s *National Team* game has grown to make more than the mens; the Wall Street Journal and CNBC both reported this, with politifact summarizing the findings: ‘During the three years following the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the women’s team brought in slightly more revenue from games than the men’s team did. While marketing and sponsorships are sold as a bundle, there are anecdotal signs that the women’s brand is surging in popularity.’

It appears that the Women’s national team, who have been crowned World Champions a record 4 times, generated £59.8m in revenue from 2016-2019, whilst the men generated £49.9m.

One can only assume that the British Football Avi user neglects the fact that the lawsuit is in relation to the national team, not an assault on the MLS, and that this user is incapable of recognising that football doesn’t cultivate the same passion across the pond. 

Now I’m no fan of Megan Rapinoe at all, I think her toxic lawsuit badly undermines the women’s game and is counter-productive to the growing popularity that they’ve worked very hard to generate. Personally, I think Rapinoe would have amassed some incredible support if she asked the men’s team to fall inline with the Women’s, rather than the visa versa, and re-invest the money in grassroots football. Perhaps then, she could have generated the admiration of football avi-twitter, rather than their unanimous condemnation.

There is intense speculation about whether the women’s team are already receiving the same money as the men’s, but that’s a conversation, or rather a throng of tweets, for another day.

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Travel

ALTERNATIVE BARS IN LISBOA

If you enjoy the abundance of activities that city breaks have to offer, but don’t want to stray into a corporate landscape filled with towers and grey brick, Lisbon is the perfect city. We stumbled into Bairro Alto and the surrounding area during Festas de Lisboa (throughout June). The Festival is a bit mental really, we had no idea it was on and it just slapped us in the face like one of the big fat sardines that were being cooked on every corner.

The festival is a celebration of the city and it feels like a mini Rio De Janerio; a month long street party with brightly coloured banners, wine, beer and sardines and traditional Portuguese music down every narrow cobbled street. It’s worth a visit if you’re into that thing.

Amongst all the fuss of the festival, we did manage to step into the odd bar for a cheeky Supa Boc. See what you think of our favourites below:

MUSEU NACIONAL DO AZULEJO

Bit of a weird one here. Bare with me.

This place literally translates as ‘National Tile Museum’ and unless you’re touching 70 or have a weird connection with tiles, you’d probably avoid this one before even giving it a second look. But the cafe is a little hidden gem.

Situated in an enclosed garden terrace, it’s properly secluded, it even has some terrapins bodding about freely.

It’s pretty far out the city and took us a good 40 mins to walk to, but if you jump in an Uber it won’t take anymore than 10 mins. It’s worth the trip out and a glass of Super Boc is no more than 2 Euros.

LIVERPOOL BAR

As the name suggests, this place is an absolute dive.

But that’s what makes it so good. Any Brit abroad always dives into the first bar that sounds familiar, but this is different. No Brits.

Situated on ‘Pink Street’ (the central drinking area) this place is cheap as chips and open till about 4am. With a proper tacky interior full of mirrors and random old football games being played on the telly. Like most late night bars in Lisbon, you can smoke inside, so be prepared to double wash your garms when you get home.

JAMACIA BAR

Nonstop Reggae.

This place is a bit more of a club, but get there early and you can sneak in a quick drink before it gets busy. It’s just full of Bob Marley tracks and all-night Reggae.

Reggae do as Reggae is though, this club is relaxed and not too intense. Be warned, though, there’s a lot of smoke.

VILLAGE UNDERGROUND

A bunch of buses piled up on top of each other in a skatepark, what’s not to like.

This is a good spot to take some tragic self-timer pics (not that we’d know about that). You can wander in and out of a bunch of double decker buses piled up on each other, there’s all sorts of things here; tattoo shops, offices, little clothes shops and a little bar too. It’s not the cheapest, but it’s definitely somewhere cool to see something different.

PARK BAR

The aptly named Park Bar will take some finding, despite being right in the middle of the city. It sits atop a multi-story carpark and doesn’t exactly give itself away.

Surrounded by lush greenery and 360 degree views, this hidden secret is definitely a must see. It’s not the cheapest, but as soon as the first pitcher of Sangria goes down, you don’t really care anyway.

In-house DJ’s will play the day away, and before you know it you’ll be stumbling through a multi story carpark feeling like something out of inception.

MEZ GAIS LX

No that’s not some Trump supporters in a sports bar in Texas, that’s Lisboa.

This odd little bar is part of the LX Factory, but I thought it was worth a mention if you fancy seeing something a little different.

If you’re lucky, you could go eat your dinner inside a boxing ring, if not, you’re just gonna be sat on a standard chair, in a standard bar, drinking standard beer. So unless you jump in the ring, I’d give this one a miss.

LX FACTORY

The Creme-dela-Creme of rooftop bars.

This is a bit of a stroll out of the city centre, but 100% worth the trip. The factory is comprised of hundreds of independent shops and eateries, all with ample space to lay your hat. This place could take up a whole day, and at the end of the road, you must get yourself to the rooftop to soak in the view and a sip a beer in the warm breeze.


OTHER SNAPS FROM LISBOA

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Trash

The suns coming and the pubs are open – which character are you going to be this weekend?

Here we go, finally it’s summer. we’ve waited since about August 2019 to have a warm weekend in the pub, and finally after 4 months under Soviet style law, countless bluffs from the hapless chaps in charge and Boris’ best attempt to create a political embodiment of Katy Perrys ‘Hot ‘n Cold’ we can, kind of, sort of, sit in a beer a garden on a hot July day.

Drinking in Britain is what swimming is to fish, it’s inevitable – so which pissed up character are you going to embody now you can let some steam off?

Donna – Mamma Mia

Will you be a young Donna from Mamma Mia? swanning off to Greece at the drop of a hat and embarking on 3 whirlwind romances in as many days?

It’s a fair shout, I mean, flights to Greece will be pretty cheap and if you have to quarantine – that farm house is as gooder place as any.

Gary King – The worlds End

The King, the don, the maverick. Actually a pretty sad story this one, a lonely old chap destitute of attention and family wants to embark on the ultimate pub crawl.

Will this be you? are you touching 4o and coming close to a midlife crisis? or are you young Gary starting out? Either way, we feel like this is the most likely outcome of the bunch; a group of British lads diving from pub to pub until the sun goes down. I’d be surprised if a group of random aliens comes and spoil the party, but then again, a lot has happened this year.

E.T – Err, E.T

Who Remembers this little wrinkly bastard getting hammered off a couple of beers in the fridge?

Nah, I don’t either, it was donkeys years ago. But I’m told it was comedy gold back in the 80s.

Either way – will this be you this weekend? hiding away from the newly restricted freedom, sinking some cans on your own. Perhaps you want to take on a stubborn protest until things are really normal. Or you’re just very safe, probably like we all should be.

McGlovin – Superbad

Superbad is immortalised in mid 2000s comedy gold. The oh-so familiar tragic tale of teenage lads trying to shake their V-plates at a far too cool party.

That all sounds very American though. I mean, don’t most brits shake their V plates behind some bike sheds or something. Anywho, every group has one, an utter pest; do you know a hapless grafter? if you don’t, maybe take a look in the mirror.

Jay Cartwright – Inbetweeners

Legend. A true icon of British TV. Scratch that – of British Culture.

Is this how you hope to end up? face down in an ants nest wearing a scruffy England top. This image optimises the Brit abroad; outside a shite hotel, covered in bites wearing a footy top. Seen as Ibiza’s back in its own lockdown, why not pull a Jay this weekend.

Ross and Rachel – Friends

The decade long would they won’t they couple. Now all I see when I watch it back is Melman from Madagascar hitching up with Jennifer Aniston.

But could this be you? could you sneak a trip up to Gretna Green for an impromptu wedding. Or are you just planning on spending the sunny weekend locked in side a casino with drawing on your face? Either way – get stuck in.

Frank Gallagher – Shameless

Have you just been pissed up the whole time? look at him there, two cigs on the go, no idea how many kids he’s got, an absolute burden on society. Great stuff.

Is this your plan? carry on as you have – ride the wave of pissedum right through, at least you can do it in the sun this weekend. Does your local know your order? are you partial to a special brew on the walk home after dark? you’re a Frank, a true legend of the drinking game. Congrats.

Either way – make sure you PARTEEEEEH.

Categories
Trash

Which Lockdown Look Are you?

Lockdown has changed the world in more ways than that chap from limitless could even count. For a short period, it was even illegal to venture outside for more than hour, or was it? Could we go the park, or couldn’t we? I’m still lost as to what the actual guidelines were, or are, or will be for that matter. But one thing we can know for sure, is that people couldn’t go to their barber or hairdresser.

Alas, as the world stopped still and the distant fear of a baron ’28 days later’ world became a weird reality overnight, hair grew wild, beards grew long and style, well, style just left the picture.

From growing it out or sacking it off all together and going straight for the buzz cut, the resolute human spirit never wavered in it’s crusade against unstylish trims, but often, might we say, it was just in vein.

Some of you may think you’ve gotten through this gracefully so far just like Malcom McDowell in A Clockwork Orange doin’ it up classy in his gown and sipping some fine wine.

Of course David Beckham’s gotten through this all classy, like he always does, that goddamn handsome bastard. Let’s face it though, he could pull of a bin bag. But check out this trim from 2003, how many of you chaps have gone full becks?

Most of us have ended up feeling like Jonah Hill full of ‘Luds over here in The Wolf of Wall Street, only without the smart garms.

Although Jonah Hill manages to rock the 1980s close-to-overdosing millionaire look, I get the feeling that in that situation in real life, we’d look a little more like Rocky Balboa at the end of his first film, just not shouting for Adrien. Speaking of which, who’s rocking the Jesus-Christ-Superstar young Stalone look?

Now we’ve heard that running shoe sales of gone through the roof, and bike sales for that matter. Everyone’s that bored they’ve started exercising. But who can forget the best Athlete the world has ever seen? Has anyone seen a full-blown Forest Gump bodding around?

I don’t suppose anyone’s gone for the Liam Gallagher looking like Edna Mode look have they? could be a classic, one day.

19/06/2008: Liam Gallagher seen near his North London home this morning. Credit: Shephard/GoffPhotos.com Ref: KGC-82 Exclusive To GoffPhotos.com – All Rounder

In actual fact, the rest of us are probably closer to the random kid in a bath full of potatoes, or at least we will be by the end of it.

Categories
Opinions Politics

Racism in Rural Britain

I wanted to write something about the naivety of the British public in the face of Racism for a long time, but since the death of George Floyd, I’ve grown increasingly frustrated and sad at not only the incomprehensibly unjust murder, but the tirade of hypocritical ‘support’ seen across social media. Some of this support has felt counter-productive and more like support for supports sake, with no real impetus on the desire to push for change, further the cause or desire to truly understand racism. 

I must stress, this is a small proportion of my viewing, and not a comment on the vast majority of inspired protesters making a stand in the face of discrimination. 

I grew up in a small rural town about 30 miles south of Manchester. The town is predominantly white, and we scarcely saw a great deal of ethnic diversity growing up. Surrounded by local quarry’s and farms, the vast majority of the local economy is propped up by manual jobs and people can largely spend their entire lives in the same 10-mile radius, surrounded by the same white faces. 

In my experience, this has created a hotbed of racist tendencies, often, without people knowing it is actually racist. Locals refer to people from western Asia as Pa*i’s, people of African descent as ‘N*ggers’ or ‘Charcoal men’. In my year group of roughly 400 students, there was only 4 black students. These students were consistently and perpetually signalled out, often called ‘stormzy’ behind their backs. 

‘he was great big spear-throwing type’ ‘tribal looking’, ‘n*gga nose’ are all backwards, detestable, undeniably racist terms I’ve heard pass without so much as the bat of an eye. But this is a truth I’m sure is paralleled across a range of all-white rural towns in Britain. 

In my experience, these terms are not used in to be intentionally and entirely derogatory out of feelings of intense white superiority, but rather considered by the perpetrators as harmless jokes or as labelling terms to define those they are talking about. People refer to a car wash within my town, not by its geographical location like the other two we have, but as the ‘p*ki carwash’, and this is the accepted explanatory term for it. From a young age, Children are taught to label people of colour, by their colour, not by typical characteristics one would describe a white person with; hair style, height or size. 

And this is the very problem with our country, our working-class white towns have not grown with the times of globalisation. Where our cities place a genuine impetus on being increasingly diverse, cosmopolitan and tolerant environments, which grow as the world and as our laws grow, rural Britain is falling behind. My school did little to bridge the gap, black history month always felt like a month for black people, not a month to educate white people about inequality.

In December, when Stormzy called out Racism, he was critiqued, picked apart, attacked and denounced by large sections of our society. The UK is racist. There is no doubt about it. That this is such a divisive statement, stems from small-minded attitudes, local-level normalisation and lack of education about what racism is. Embedded in our predominantly white suburbs and towns is an intrinsically racist society, blinded by our own excuses of tolerance, force-fed ideas about the greatness of the British empire from a young age and naïve to what racism truly is. 

Too often have I heard groups believe they are not being racist, because people of colour cannot hear them. That they’re not racist, because it’s a joke. I was shocked to see the same people who call local corner shops ‘p*ki shops’, sharing posts about justice for George Floyd, out of a genuine belief that they had not been racist.

Rural Britain looks to detach itself from the problem. It feels too easy to absolve uncomfortable truths by saying ‘America is backwards’ to blindly believe in our own innocence. This is unfair, wrong and a complete oversite of the unjust slurs and attacks on our shores. In not recognising its own accepted racism, rural Britain is as bad as the genuine believers of white superiority. 

I like to believe that my experience of racial slurs in rural Britain grows out of naivety and a lack of open-mindness, not a genuine belief in white superiority. But is it any less detestable? Does it make the life of black men and women in the UK any easier? No. We must do better. 

We cannot dress this problem, we cannot excuse this problem, you cannot justify slurs and bigotry with fantasies that if it’s not said in front of a black person, it’s not racist. It simply isn’t true.

Did Adolf Hitler start at the top? No, he spoke selectively about his racist ideas to small groups in beer halls in Munich. Did Tommy Robinson start on national papers? No, his ideology grew from low-level acceptavism. Localising and normalising racial terms, gives platforms and justifications to extremists at all levels, that is why, regardless of who you speak to, regardless of what context, racism is still racism. It is a plague that needs to be eradicated at its source, and that is within your living rooms, within your group chats, within the ‘dark humour pages’. 

Rural Britain needs to stop its own hypocrisy, you cannot label people based on derogatory racial slurs one minute, then post support of George Floyd in the face of popularism the next. The low level acceptavism is the route of racism, the route of the issues which killed George Floyd and so many others in the western plague of racism. 

Rural Britain cannot return to this naivety and blatant racism, to truly help the cause, stop the cause at its source, British men and women must reflect on their own naivety, and denounce derogatory slurs at every turn.