Fed up with Brexit

I am. And I’m not even very involved.
(More involved than some people think (bless him and his little army), but still…)

I’m fed up with the mess that it’s made of politics, the economy, the people and the news.

I’m fed up with the drama llamas on both sides, of the constant wailing and gnashing of teeth of the Remainers and the blinkered stiff-upper-lipism of the Leavers.

I’m fed up of either side twisting any given news story to somehow suit their narrative.

I’m fed up with people expecting their elected MP to listen to their specific viewpoint rather than that of their electorate. Can you imagine if the vote had gone the other way and yet the Government had still gone ahead with leaving the EU? Because that’s pretty much the equivalent of saying that the referendum shouldn’t count. You don’t get to keep trying until you get the result you were hoping for.

I didn’t get to vote in the 2016 referendum: I wouldn’t have been able to anyway: I was on the beach in Mauritius when it all happened. Shame.
But for the record, I would have voted to remain*. And that means that I would have been on the losing side too. Bummer.

Because yes, democracy is great until people don’t choose the option you wanted them to. And step forward that old “but there was so much disinformation, so many broken promises!” chestnut. Well, sadly that’s politics. It’s crap, but show me any political campaign that’s been entirely truthful; any manifesto to which the party in question has kept. It simply doesn’t happen, and yes, maybe (some of) those voting to leave were naive enough to be seduced, much in the same way that you likely were (subconsciously or otherwise) whenever you last voted for anyone**.

Some of the stuff that I’ve heard from bitter Remainers has had very little to do with the truth as well. This breaking news, just in: Not everything is about you. Not everything is about Brexit.

Perhaps the one redeeming feature of Jeremy “the scruffy communist” Corbyn is that he was also going to follow through on the result of the  democratic vote if he were ever elected [laughs in that’s not going to happen]. Kinda weird for him not to take the low-hanging populist fruit, but still…

And one other thing that has struck me about this whole thing is that while the EU “respects” the UK referendum result, there’s very much a Hotel California vibe in their “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” message to the rest of the EU, probably brought about by some other close polls in other countries.

While I believe in some benefits of the EU, holding it up as some sort of bastion of freedom and honesty is clearly misplaced. It’s every bit as rotten and hypocritical as any other political organisation. If you choose to overlook that simply because it suits your argument, then expect short shrift from me.

In fact, don’t expect much from me at all if your day seems to consist solely of stuff about Brexit. No matter which side you’re on.
Yes, I’m aware that it’s important. I’m aware that it’s current. I’m aware that you’re not very happy.

It’s just that I’m totally and utterly fed up with Brexit.

 

* thus alienating half my readers immediately, because you’re not allowed to like people from “the other side”, just like when you were 5 years old in the school playground. Analogy very deliberate. 

** But of course not. Because you would never allow that to happen to you, would you? That’s something that only happens to other people. Not you. Right. Ok then. 

 

Fifteen

15.
Fifteen.
Vyftien.
Shumi elinantlanu.

It’s fifteen years today since I moved from the UK to South Africa.

A lot has happened in those fifteen years, including (but not limited to): one marriage, a few jobs, two kids, some houses, a beagle, an awful lot of braais, many litres of Castle Milk Stout, and several thousand blog posts.

No, I’ve never really thought about going back.

Sometimes we celebrate this anniversary, sometimes it passes us by and we only realise after the fact. Today, I marked it by smashing out a ridiculously vigorous workout at the gym, which will mean that I won’t be able to walk tomorrow.

Lovely. See you again in 2034.

SA ‘Travelling With Minors’ Rules Clarified

We booked a trip recently and, along with the booking confirmation, we were sent this most excellent document that clarifies exactly what you will need (and, I suppose, what you won’t), when travelling internationally to or from South Africa once the revised, refined, rewritten legislation comes into effect on the 1st June 2016.

In short, if you’re thinking of taking your little stormtrooper(s) on holiday, this is the PDF you’ve been looking for.

The document details ten different scenarios in which you may need to carry extra documentation. There’s even a Parental Consent Affidavit (PCA) template attached for when you might need one.

Given the amount of time it can take for these documents to be ordered, organised and processed, it might even be a good idea to get your ducks in a row (AB de Villiers-style) now, in preparation for any future travel you might be contemplating.

Please feel free to download and share the PDF with anyone you think it might assist. The more people informed, the fewer people get denied a holiday because they brought the wrong bit(s) of paper to the airport. (I’m looking at you, Idris Elba.)

Welcome to South Africa

With newspapers, the internet and social media full of images which have proved difficult to handle for ruling politicians all over the world, while offering unprecedented opportunities for slacktivism and cheap, opposition bandwagon-jumping and point-scoring, we finally have some clarity from our own Government on the current refugee crisis. Geographically, we may be rather distant from the current troubles, but in these days of the global community, no country is exempt from making excuses statements about the problems. Thankfully, our erstwhile Minister of Home Affairs broke his silence and had this to say:

We note the situation in Syria and the surrounding regions with alarm and disappointment. Despite the fact independent figures suggest that over 95% of the civilians killed in Syria over the past four years have been at the hands of President Assad, whom we tacitly support through our partnerships with Russia and Vladimir Putin, we maintain that these problems are clearly the result of the evil, imperialist, neo-colonial Western powers and their political and military interference in the region.

As Africans, we are culture-bound to extend the spirit of Ubuntu to those in peril, especially those who find themselves needing to cross borders in haste, as we recently demonstrated with our role in assisting President Omar al-Bashir in safely returning to his homeland. In addition, in defying the imperialist agenda of the ICC’s puppet-masters, his safe return to Khartoum will allow us, without any suggestion of irony, to further demonstrate our role in conveniently overlooking the 5.5 million individuals displaced from his homeland.

South Africa has long been known for its open, welcoming arms to those from other nations. Who could forget the warmth we infamously showed Ernesto Nhamuave back in 2008? It is with this in mind that we will open our otherwise secure, conventionally impenetrable borders to those displaced by the turmoil in Syria, those who have had to hurriedly evacuate their homes, those often forced to leave their possessions, and members of their close families behind.

* Incoming refugees will be asked to provide suitable paperwork, including identity documents, passports, the original unabridged birth certificates of any individuals below the age of 18, and a certified Affidavit giving consent to travel from any absent parent named on the aforementioned original unabridged birth certificate. It should also be noted that any Syrian national wishing to enter the Republic of South Africa is also required to provide a valid visa for their entry into the country. This visa can be obtained from the South African embassy in Damascus. Appointments are available between 12-2pm on the first Wednesday of alternate months, subject to the absence of military activity in the Jadet Kouraish, West Mezzeh area of the city. Visas cost $500 per person. Cash only.

Ha. Your move, UK.

Calling Expats

And no, I’m not getting into the “immigrant” v “expat” debate on this.

But this is a blog of an expat (immigrant) (stop it), and it is read by expats (immigrants) (I’m warning you…) so I do get these sort of requests every now and again.

I’m sharing this:

My name is Joe Pinzone and I’m casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We’d love to film in South Africa and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The contributors on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. If you’d like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7716 or skype me at joefromnyc. You can also email me at joepinzone @ leopardusa.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Joe Pinzone
Casting Producer
P: 212-231-7716
Skype: Joefromnyc

I don’t have time to check everything out on this particular email, but suffice to say that it passes the basic “is this genuine?” tests. Joe does exist and he does work for a company that makes this sort of show.

Quite how he intends to place the country in a fabulous light, given the recent publicity (FIFA, Nkandla, Xenophobia!) I’m not sure, but Joe is a wizard at his job and I have no doubts that he’ll do his best. And yes, again given the recent publicity, just be careful with “monetary compensation” going between and America and South Africa. Never forget, #WeDoNotBribe, ok?

If this is you, or if it’s someone you know, why not pass it or get in touch with Joe and take things from there? After all, what have you got to lose?*

* Credibility, privacy, potentially your residence permit if it all goes wrong.