5 Life Lessons To Carry Into My 2020s: Life Advice For People Who Detest Life Advice

So, 2019 was a bit of a wet shit-stain on the Calvin Klein’s of life, to be honest. I turned 27, got promoted for the first time ever and became a single man for the first time in a long time. By the end of the year though, my outlook had picked up. I felt free from a lot of shackles. I’m looking forward to living life on my terms in the 2020s.

I’ve spent my twenties up until this point wondering if I’ve lived my twenties right. If anyone was given the choice to relive their twenties with the benefit of having already lived their twenties, they’d take it in a heartbeat. However, instead of pondering hypotheticals until all the blue curacao in my flat has been decanted into despairing, crudely-made cocktails, I’m going to live the remainder of my twenties and my thirties with all the life experience I’ve acquired in my life to carry me through on the straight and narrow.

I don’t really consider myself an expert on giving advice or lessons, and I think anyone who does is an asshole. Still, it can’t be worse than this.


LESSON 1: Don’t be a prick

Right OK, this one should be really obvious to anyone with even a little bit of goo between their ears, but too many people in this life are complete and total cheds who don’t realise that their attempts to enrich their own lives often piss directly on the chips of many others.

It really isn’t terribly difficult to successfully not be a prick, but it is really easy to be one. Just look at wrestling and how easy it is to get a crowd to hate your guts.

You don’t need to be a particularly remarkable human being to tick this one off, either. You don’t need to donate thousands to charity or go the extra mile for everyone. Just don’t eat other people’s lunch, pay people back when they lend you money, don’t steal from the poor, and for the love of all that is good and right in this world wipe the pubes off the seat before you leave the office toilet.

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We’re all looking at you, Chad.

Just get the fucking basics right.

Respect boundaries.

Respect different cultures.

Don’t go around actively trying to fuck with people.

Don’t thrive off being the most insufferable bag of dildos in the known universe.

Scott Hutchison, the late lead singer of Frightened Rabbit, has provided torchlight in some of the darkest moments of my life, and enough stamina to find the exit of many a meandering cave. The lyrics he wrote and the music he composed live on forever as a resonant, nervous rallying cry of support for every person of every background who thinks today might be their last. Some of his last words sum up this point more poetically than I ever could.

SIDEBAR: Tiny Changes was set up last year in the wake of Scott’s untimely passing to grant money to projects promoting better mental health among young people. Read their mission statement and donate if you want to: https://www.tinychanges.com/

LESSON 2: Stay positive by confronting the negatives directly

We’ve just left the, err, “teens” I guess, and the “teens” really was the era of the 15-minutes of fame class of celebrity releasing a tsunami of podcasts and self-help books unto the thirsty, malnourished consumer.

In almost all cases, self-help books talk about focusing on your positives and taking lessons from your failures (a notable exception is Matt Haig’s Reason To Stay Alive which you should go and read right now. Go on. Go read it. No, I don’t care if you’re busy tending to your nephew who’s fallen down a well, go and buy the fucking book).

OK, but that doesn’t really work all the time, does it?

Fucking up a spreadsheet for your boss at work? Take the lesson from the negative. You’re still alive and you’ll be at work tomorrow to rectify the situation.

Fighting addiction? Coming out of a relationship? Failed to not be a prick? You can’t just “take the lessons”, because the nature of the negative is too big and often ongoing. You can’t just fix it the next day – there isn’t a chance to do so.

I was a shithead of a child. I didn’t accept how everyone else wanted to imagine their own world. I’d cry if I was ‘it’ in tag rather than see the opportunity in front of me. I was oversensitive as a teenager. I let everything get to me way too much. I came out of my shell towards my sixth form years and ended up alienating a couple of my best friends at the same time as I pursued whatever “popularity” was. I got into university. I didn’t put the effort in to meet as many new people as I should. I gave myself cabin fever. I alienated more friends because I couldn’t get my shit together. I never reached out for help. I went on anti-depressants. I got fired from my first job out of uni. I barely tried in my second. I nearly got fired from my third job three times. I had the opportunity to do a PhD snatched out of my hands at the 11th hour. I’ve been a crappy friend too many times. I’ve been a crappy boyfriend too many times. I’ve been a crappy son too many times.

Putting it more bluntly, there have been many points in my life where I either sucked as a human being or something sucky has happened to me. I’d wager that this is probably the case for everyone to varying degrees.

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I feel your pain, kid.

The difference is that I’ve not learned from any of these things: I’ve weaponised them. They are as much a part of me as all of my good deeds and positive experiences. Why would I just crumple them into a ball and fuck them in the trash? They happened. That won’t change.

Being vividly aware of your own shortcomings and past bad experiences, and spending time with them, allows you to do so much more than “take the lessons”. It allows you to properly come to terms with them, but also use them to more productive, positive ends. Never bury your negativity. Properly understand why some things make you so miserable and use that to your advantage. Properly understand why you were a douchebag and be fucking better.

Nothing is stronger than a man who knows how much he fucking sucks.

LESSON 3: Confidence is for wankers

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Self-help books also fall into the pitfall of saying that you need to boost your confidence.

Fuck. Right. Off.

Confidence is a fucking myth. No one really has it.

Confidence is simply how you carry yourself around other people. It’s how other people perceive your sense of self-worth and belief.

Confidence is the catalyst for imposter syndrome.

For too much of the last decade, I’ve conflated self-belief and confidence to the extent where I had a huge shortfall in the one that matters: self-belief.

Yes, the two things are actually completely different. Confidence refers to other people’s perceptions of how highly you view yourself. Self-belief is how you view yourself.

You can have bags of confidence, ooze charisma and be legitimately awesome at everything you set yourself too. But only one person’s opinion on all this matters: your own. If your own opinion of yourself is that you’re a clown who doesn’t deserve anything they get, you can take your dump trucks full of confidence and tip them into the fucking sea.

Go on. In you fucking go.

I got to work every day wondering if I’m worth my salt or deserving of any of the compliments I receive for what I do. I wonder if I’m a worthy manager. I wonder how many of my friends and loved ones despise the ever-loving fuck out of me. No matter how highly I’m rated by my peers, the sprinklers will always water the seeds of doubt in my mind and they’ll start sprouting. All because I failed to build my own self-belief and relied too much on external perceptions to get by.

Who is arguably one of the greatest performers of all time in any arena or artform? Eddie Guerrero springs to mind. Known for being one of the funniest, most charismatic, charming, athletic and entertaining men to ever step in front of a camera, let alone inside a squared circle. I mean, just look at this guy.

He soared to heights most people could only ever dream of, and achieved legendary status. The only person who would even consider disagreeing with that statement? Eddie Guerrero himself. He was riddled with imposter syndrome. He thought he was more useless than a Boris in a fridge.

Olivia Coleman, Ric Flair, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, Serena Williams and Maya Angelou have all spoken openly about their own experiences with it.

People who have praised your confidence have only ever seen you in action, doing what you do best. You have to be so much more than that.

Back yourself first. No one else has the right to if you don’t.

LESSON 4: The most misguided piece of advice ever? “Just be yourself”

OK, this may sit on a direct collision course with the above, but people throw this one around like bowling balls down everyone’s lane except their fucking own. Chicken fuckers.

Being yourself, for the most part, works. Contrary to what I’ve said, it’s reasonable advice. It’s just chucked around like a fucking blunt at a really, really shit student house party.

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The blunt: like IVF for crappy advice. It’s a damn pretty blunt though, isn’t it?

In normal, everyday situations like conversing with a friend, or buying a train ticket, or kicking a football, or eating a pie, being yourself works great.

First date? Big interview? Boardroom presentation? If you ain’t hamming it up, you ain’t getting through.

Trust me – it blows ass not being genuine or true to yourself, especially if you’re an introvert. Introverts drain their social battery faster than a 14-year-old drains his own loins. I find myself needing every third weekend locked away in my flat, just to cook a meal or binge a TV show or kick ass at a video game just to realign myself for the coming week.

But a lot of the success that has been shingled over my “teens”, be it in employment, meeting new people or hosting a long-running student radio show, has come as a direct result of hamming it up for a couple of hours at a time.

This isn’t to say be someone else. Just don’t be you exactly. Be you but turned up to 100. Amplify your good qualities. Hell, even your obnoxious ones; lots of people find that shit hilarious. Laugh at yourself and others will laugh along.

The one situation where the advice “just be yourself” does work though, is when driven directly into the eye of the storm of a different, shittier piece of advice: leave your personal life at the door.

Anyone who says this to you is a lesson 1 breaker.

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Guarantee you Chad said this to his grad at their induction. Prick.

Bring some of your personal life to work, especially if you’re having a rough time. If you have a boss who isn’t a complete and total chode, they’ll pick up on the signs. They’ll want to talk to you for 10 minutes in the morning to help you out and help you get through the day as smoothly as possible. Your body language is your way of communicating that something isn’t right and that you need help, especially if you aren’t brave enough to speak up. A shitty boss will fire you for daring to have problems that aren’t making a sales target or running a shit report no one reads. Trust me: I know that from experience.

LESSON 5: Life is absurd and pointless – revel in it

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I’m not an optimist. I’m not a pessimist. I’m not a realist. I’m not even a nihilist.

I’m an absurdist.

Everything about the lives we lead is fucking absurd.

That you spend 40 hours a week for 40+ years grinding your brains and bodies to dust just to earn one man another Lamborghini he’ll drive twice a year? Absurd.

That the leader of the UK is an unqualified, compulsive liar who can’t even tell the public how many children he has and has a track record of fuckuppery wherever he treads? Absurd.

That we’re more concerned as a race with the cult of celebrity than our oceans swelling with plastic and sewage? Absurd.

That we’re willing to dismantle so much natural beauty on this planet in pursuit of the next big score? Absurd.

That anyone driving down the road right now wields the power to kill multiple people, and that we put our trust in stranger’s hands every second of every day to not do that? Absurd.

The world we have created for ourselves is ridiculous.

Instead of lamenting how we got to this point, thrive on it. Drink it in. Don’t waste a breath of it. Get out there and experience it. There’s so much to see and do. The one thing that will always separate us is our own lived experiences. You are the curator of your own museum. The architect of your own monument. The scribe of your own story.

Don’t wait for chances to come to you. Don’t wait for your squad to join you. Get out there and do what you want. Seriously, just do it.

You wanna go travelling? Knock yourself out, bro.

You wanna learn the guitar this year? You go, girl.

You wanna take an acting class? Break a leg.

You wanna drive a rental Ford Focus into a tornado? I mean, I’m not saying you should, but you could if you really wanted to.

Canal boat jousting? Best idea ever, you should definitely do it!

If you want to do something, so long as you aren’t a prick about it, just fucking do it.

Don’t wait for anyone’s permission to live your own life. It’s your own time you’re wasting.


Anthoine Hubert: Every Bit A Sporting Hero As Everyone Before Him


Ever since I was little, various forms of motor racing have filled many a weekend of my life. It’s an adrenaline rush that provides magical moments by the bucketload. It’s the only sport where I feel like I’m watching superheroes at work.

When I think of heroes, I don’t think of Zlatan Ibrahimovic using his knowledge of martial arts to execute a sensational volley. I think of Jacques Villeneuve taking Eau Rouge flat when he knows his car can’t. I think of Kimi Raikkonen pushing for the win at Nurburgring 2005 even though he knew that his tyre was likely to blow out on him and pitch him into a potentially huge crash. I think of Sylvain Guintoli pushing extra hard to the delight of his home fans in the pouring rain of Le Mans 2007 on a bike that didn’t have the grip to do it.

Footballers and Olympians gets all the praise for killing it in the ratings and pushing the limits of human biology, but for every Lionel Messi, there’s an Anthoine Hubert risking life and limb to achieve his dream.

Hubert graduated to F2 as the winner of the GP3 championship. It wasn’t his raw pace that had people impressed – it was that he was consistently quick every single weekend, a quality hard to find in a young driver. His performances in the first part of the season had led many to tip him as a future star of F1 – maybe even a future race winner. A potential champion in the right car.

At Spa Francorchamps, it so unfairly came crashing down.

I can only recall four moments before this weekend in the last twenty years where my heart has sank to the pits of my stomach at the sight of crash: Luciano Burti at Spa in 2001, Daijiro Kato at Suzuka in 2003, Marco Simoncelli at Sepang in 2011 and Jules Bianchi at Suzuka in 2014. Only Burti survived.

As a fan, you know the difference between a spectacular crash and a potentially fatal one. It’s not the size of the crash that worries you – it’s what you hit, or what hits you. On the rarest of occasions, something spectacular can turn ugly.

That’s the fate that befell Hubert. In an effort to avoid the stricken car of Giuliano Alesi (who had spun and hit the inside barrier at the top of Raidillon), Hubert spun and hit the barrier.

So many drivers have hit that same barrier and come away without a scratch. Jacques Villeneuve, Ricardo Zonta and Kevin Magnussen just to name a few have walked away from even bigger accidents than this one.

The difference in this case was that Hubert’s car was spat back towards the track. On lap 2 of the race.

Juan-Manuel Correa (who as of this writing is in a stable condition but still being treated for potential injuries) had run wide and had nowhere to go but into the side of the already damaged, stationary car of Hubert, tearing it to pieces, the left side of the survival cell completely destroyed. Even the Halo, designed to protect the area of the cockpit around the driver’s head, could do nothing to repel the impact and was snapped clean off.

At the age of 22, he has raced his final lap.

When I was 22, I was just a kid looking to build a career as a writer. He was just a kid trying to build his career too. Someone’s son. Someone’s partner. Life is so fucking cruel and unfair.

It was a freak accident. Yet I can’t help but feel that there was something so avoidable about it.

It should never take the death of a kid fighting for his dreams to spark conversations about making the sport safer. But that barrier should either be further away from the racing line (the runoff area is tiny for a corner that fast) or made out of TecPro so that cars aren’t spat back towards the racing line. TecPro barriers are specially designed to both absorb and dissipate energy from the car when it crashes, reducing the speed at which a car comes back out of the barrier. Would a more abrasive surface a la Paul Ricard slow spinning cars down and deter cars running too wide?

Or is the Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex simply not fit for purpose anymore? The corner is a nightmare to deal with. It’s one of the most iconic corners on the calendar and a thrill to drive, yet a combination of small runoff, insufficient barriers, sausage kerbs and track limits abuse has made the corner maybe even more dangerous than ever.

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Pictured: Pastor Maldonado crashes into a TecPro barrier at high speed at Monaco, 2013.

Similarly, it raises a question about the safety of the monocoque, or “survival cell”. Survival cells are already ridiculously strong, but should an open wheel racing car be strong enough to take more than one big side impact? Is it within the reaches of current technology to strengthen the sides of cars further? Or is being t-boned at such high speed just something you can’t account for in any circumstances?

Jules Bianchi died after injuries sustained hitting a tractor that collecting Adrian Sutil’s Sauber in the torrential rain in Suzuka. A freak accident? Yes. Avoidable? Yes. As a result, we now have the virtual safety car to ensure that accidents are never dealt with at racing speed. The halo was also an innovation that descended from the incident.

Daijiro Kato died hitting a gap between two different types of barrier at Suzuka? A freak accident? Yes. Avoidable? Yes. As a result, the barrier is longer and of a single construct.

Motorsport must never stop striving for safety, even if it will never mean the end of fatalities.

As racing fans, we all need to be grateful for two things.

Firstly, it’s that incidents like the one seen this weekend are as rare as they are. Advances in safety have brought us TecPro barriers, the head and neck safety device, raised cockpit sides, lower noses, stronger survival cells, stronger helmets and the halo. It’s been four years since the last major modern racing fatality – Justin Wilson, who was killed by flying debris during an Indycar race at Pocono in 2015. That in of itself is a miracle.

In the first three decades of F1 as an official championship, racing deaths were just… expected. People lost friends and family members all the time – F1 drivers had around a 50-50 chance of dying in their careers, as calculated by Kevin McConway. We even have a posthumous F1 world champion in Jochen Rindt.

That Luciano Burti not only survived his 190mph crash at Blanchimont but went away from that accident with nothing more than a pretty bad concussion and facial bruising is staggering. Not even a broken leg.

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Pictured: Luciano Burti survives a scary head-on crash at Spa, 2001.

That Robert Kubica escaped a frightening accident at Canada 2007 with a sprained ankle is equally impressive. That Charles Leclerc walked away completely unharmed from an incident at Spa 2018 where Fernando Alonso was sent flying over his head is impressive. A year ago, that accident might have torn his head off – the halo effectively saving his life. Felipe Massa could have been killed by a flying suspension spring that struck his head at Budapest 2009. His helmet did just enough to ensure he returned to action the following season and that he retained his sight and cognitive ability.

F1 drivers are able to have pretty violent crashes, and most of the time they will walk away and come back next week to race all over again like it never even happened. Despite what has happened this weekend, we need to be thankful for the continued work of safety activists like three-time champion Jackie Stewart, Alexander Wurz and the inspirational Dr Sid Watkins that these kind of accidents are so infrequent.

Secondly, we should be thankful to the drivers.

Never have the words of Ernest Hemingway rung truer than today. “There are only three sports; bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering and all the rest are merely games”.

Sure, taking a drubbing in cricket or taking a straight sets defeat in tennis is painful, and the chance of injury is still high. But they get to go to their jobs safe in the knowledge that in doing so it definitely won’t be the last time their kids see them again.

Driving up Eau Rouge at 200 mph is akin to being faced with 20 angry, aggressive bulls, which is akin to climbing a 3000-foot sheer cliff face where the only thing between you and certain death is you holding your nerve. The fans at home are so caught up in the adrenaline rush and the spectacle of it all that they fail to realise that what they are watching are men and women defying death, often and always millimetres away from a flirtation with the pearly gates.

All that these sportpeople have to do is not think about it. If they thought about it, they’d probably stay at home with their family.

Lewis Hamilton summed it up well today. People do not appreciate that every time a driver climbs into their car, they could die. Improvements to safety can decrease the risk and could prevent an incident like Hubert’s for happening again, but that fact will live as long as the sport does.

So this is to every driver who races their heart out each and every weekend. To Ayrton Senna. To Roland Ratzenberger. To Jim Clark. To Gilles Villeneuve. To Jules Bianchi. To Ronnie Peterson. To Dan Wheldon. To Dale Earndhart. To Marco Simoncelli. To Daijiro Kato. To anyone out there who has ever risked life and limb for the dreams they held as kids, and to push the boundaries of what is possible for a human to achieve.

And now to Anthoine Hubert, a true sporting hero.

My Attempt At Making Sense Of The Election Campaign

The election that should never have been takes place this Thursday, 8th June, and only a few days ago I finally made the decision as to which box gets my tick.

Normally, I would vote for the Liberal Democrats. However, this election I will be voting for Labour. Why? Because Jeremy Corbyn has over the course of the last 3-4 weeks proven himself to me and many others nationally that he might actually be a leader with a clear vision, something which cannot be said of any other candidate.

It took me a while to arrive at this decision, however. I’m going to attempt to run through my thoughts on a policy-by-policy basis, with some added extras too.

Why are we doing this again?

Theresa May has been many things this campaign. Strong isn’t one of them. Stable certainly isn’t. Complacent is. She thought she could just call a snap election and walk it. All the polls are gradually proving otherwise.

For context, the reason for calling the election she said she wouldn’t call was that “the country is coming together but Westminster is not”, referring to the perception that other parties want to stifle or even block Brexit. Here are the Commons voting results for the decision to trigger Article 50. Note that opposition to triggering the bill was a small minority.

In short, this is a lie. She called the election to buy herself two more years at a time where interest in voting Labour was at its lowest.

The battle over public services

For those who have not been able to keep up with the last seven years of cuts, Theresa May doesn’t like paying for things. Police numbers are down 20,000 since 2010, and firefighters down 10,000. Nurses can’t be afforded a pay rise due to the absurdity of the idea a “magic money tree” exists. For reference, here’s the Conservative logo.


I’m all for not plunging our country into masses of debt for the next generations to deal with, but not at the expense of destroying every service that people rely on every day to get by in the here and now.

This isn’t just restricted to the NHS (which the Tories privatise more of every day), but transport, education, funding for libraries, social care, the welfare state, pensions and more have all felt the squeeze. Teaching numbers are declining as class sizes rise. The benefits system fails to serve the people who need it most and is all too easily abused by those who don’t need it at all. Southern rail continues to count its spare change as thousands wait hours for its services every day. This is unacceptable for a country that is supposedly one of the best countries for human development in the world.

Where did all the austerity savings go?

Poor public services are the result of some questionable tax changes. Rather than cut spending while maintaining revenue from taxation, corporation tax was decreased from 28% to 19%, making it one of the lowest rates in the developed world. In other words, wage rises for those on the lower rungs of the ladder are entirely conditional on big bosses not hording their tax money from themselves.

Raising it to 26% may seem counter-intuitive for small businesses, but ultimately, it’s money that is needed for the country to function healthily. Additionally, to address the fearmongering that all businesses will flee to pastures new; where, exactly? Let’s have a look at places that have lower corporation taxes rates.


The notable example is Nestle moving Blue Riband production to Poland, but really, can you see businesses moving en masse if we reduce corporation tax? Where are they going to go? Even with an increase to 26%, we have lower tax rates than France, Germany, the USA, Japan, Australia, Italy and Canada, which are some of the biggest economies in the world both for manufacturing and selling. This isn’t even factoring Brexit, whereby if they do move they will likely be charged more to sell to the UK should we not remain in the single market, so where is the incentive?

Labour also plans to increase taxes for the richest 5% of people, which seems fairer to some but it also plants a seed that a Labour government would place a cap on financial aspiration, which isn’t necessarily an atmosphere we should be looking to foster. The Lib Dems propose increasing income tax to 21%, or roughly an extra £10 for every £1000 earned, to finance the NHS, which is fairer for most, but this would need to come with moving the lower income tax band up to ensure the poorest don’t get hit.

In any case, it’s pointless talking about tax changes if they aren’t going to be collected. In fact, it should be made an immediate priority to chase up every relevant case from the Panama Papers (which has been conveniently swept under the rug), and to make sure thieves such as Google pay their share to trade here. Thanks to one George Osborne, they pay roughly 3% tax.

Execution of education

This is one that not enough people with children have shown any passion for. Stressed teachers are working in underfunded schools as children share textbooks one between four in class sizes of up to 40. This is not an environment for fostering talent and training the people of the future.

As primary and secondary school funding is cut, apprenticeships becoming hard to come by, and tuition fees at an all-time high, it’s only fair to ask… WHERE’S ALL THE MONEY? It certainly isn’t being used to pay off our national debt.

It’s being spent on buildings. Lots and lots of pointless buildings.

This may be controversial, but not everyone needs to go to university, and not everyone should. Is it a coincidence that the construction industry is struggling for labourers yet university admissions are rising? We should not be encouraging all the country’s youth to go to university when there is a huge skills shortage in trade. In fact, it is speculated that governments encourage university attendance to keep young people off the benefits system. The lack of polytechnic colleges where people can learn the skills they need is in direct correlation with this.

No party really has it down on this, so here is my solution – advertise universities as skill-specific. No offense, but do people really want to go to MMU to study physics? No, they want to go to the University of Manchester, or Oxford or Cambridge. You do however go to MMU for their excellent business school. So, could we not scrap all needless courses offered by the MMU, merge their business school with the University of Manchester’s highly rated Alliance business school, and just have a Manchester Business School?

Similarly, Leeds Beckett University (which keeps changing its name to be eligible for new funding to build more stupid buildings) is just a worse university than the University of Leeds all round. Why not make it a polytechnic and position it as a northern hub for learning trades?

Just a consideration.

Brexit, lunch and dinner

Oh, Brexit. The bane of a politician’s life. Such was the near 50-50 nature of the referendum, you’re going to tick off most of the population no matter what way you slice it.

The Conservatives, despite being split pre-referendum, have hitched their wagon to the UKIP vote and are all for a full English Brexit. Labour want to stay in the single market and customs union, which is essentially like staying in the EU without some of the perks. The Lib Dems want to pretend the referendum didn’t even happen.

Having said that, the “Brexit means brexit means breakfast means Bret screwed Bret argument” is nothing more than a vacuous soundbite designed to portray the facade of actually doing something worthwhile. This is something that has become a trope of May’s tenure thus far.

Personally, I hate the topic and wish it wasn’t so vital, but it is. All that can be asked is that if you’re going to give people a referendum on the EU when they aren’t educated enough on what it does to do so, then you must do the same for the final exit deal.

Social (lack of) care

I think most people can agree that the Tories have a social care policy that precisely no one can get behind. My understanding is that they plan on taking your house and the inheritance you want to give your children in exchange for care. Yeah, no dice. Stop giving yourselves 14% pay rises and start paying your nurses and carers properly and show those in need some respect.

There really isn’t much else to say on this. If you care about care, vote Labour.

Please stop weaponising tragedy

Yeah, both sides did this. Just… don’t do it, yeh? Corbyn did it in the aftermath of the Manchester attack; he could have made that point whenever he wanted but chose to do it then. It’s a valid point but poorly timed and used a tragedy as a vehicle. The UKIP modus operandi is to latch onto any recent attack done by a Muslim and use it as a call to arms to boot then all out of the UK. Even the pro-Tory Daily Mail got in on the act to blame Ariana Grande’s dress sense for the attack. That’s right, ISIS went after that event on that night because Ariana Grande got her legs out. Sometimes I wonder whether to denounce my views on censorship and campaign for the closure of that disgusting dirtsheet, but hey ho.

Just leave it out.

The question on the lips of many: why aren’t we nuking anyone?

The most revealing thing from this whole campaign has been the sad showing from the media to swing this election one way or the other. At the forefront of this is the right wing media and, surprisingly, the coming out of the BBC as a pro-Tory media powerhouse.

This was on full display on the 2nd June. Firstly, a BBC editor was outed on air by Jake Painter, who wrote the Tory protest song “Liar Liar”, for asking him to “go easy on the Tories”. Later, at the question time “debates”, the audience seemed full of old white men with a personal vendetta against Corbyn’s peace-seeking past and a mission statement to see the entire world fall to the nuclear holocaust. An utterly disgraceful showing from the supposedly impartial, tax funded BBC.

Of course this leads into Trident. Some want to renew, some want to scrap. What would a good compromise be? Well, get rid of some of the submarines? We have four, why not just have one or two? We aren’t using them (nor should we ever) and they drain £16bn annually from the budget, so it seems sensible enough. Personally I would like global nuclear disarmament, but I also recognise that getting North Korea to agree to that is harder than getting Donald Trump to eat steak properly.

Why give a shit about the IRA when THE TORIES SELL WEAPONS TO ISIS?

Smearing in campaign season is inevitable, but nothing has been quite like the consistent mentioning of the IRA in almost every Jeremy Corbyn interview or debate, and even on Google. Here’s the first page results for “jeremy corbyn ira”.


As you can see, two of the three video links are failed Conservative smear campaigns, and the advert at the top is a Conservative smear campaign. For those who don’t know, this is “pay-per-click” advertising, whereby you bid for ad space on certain search terms. That means that whoever budgets Conservative PPC campaigns has literally bid on the search term “jeremy corbyn ira”. I also wonder whether this is in breach of online advertising law, which states that you can’t bid on the search terms of a competitor, in this case Jeremy Corbyn’s name.

The top 5 results include evidence that Corbyn did in fact condemn the IRA. More to the point though, who cares? What relevance does it have when THE TORIES ARE SELLING WEAPONS TO SAUDI ARABIA WHO THEN SELL THEM TO ISIS?!

And why is no one talking about the internet?

Fake news, net neutrality and the correct levels of monitoring specifically. The Snooper’s Charter was met with about as much joy as a turd hitting a fan, and the concept of blocking sensitive material, such as porn, is just dumb and typical of this hypocritical country. Really, we’re OK with bombing Syria, being a bunch of racists and letting children suffer in poverty but viewing a pair of delectable norks is too much?! Get a life.

I don’t really think any news is truly fake but it is definitely agenda-driven. This goes for all politically driven publications, not just the right or the left as some would have you believe. The key issue behind fake news is the prevalence of everyone trying to censor each other. As a result of each side demanding that the other shuts up, more and more ludicrous stories are put in front of us. Sure, Katie Hopkins getting fired from LBC and the newsroom cheering was great (phenomenal in fact) but we must not set a precedent of firing everyone we don’t agree with.

On free speech… yeah, you have free speech. Have all the free speech you want. You do not have freedom of platform, freedom of audience, or freedom of people’s time. If people don’t want to listen to you, they don’t have to just because you have “free speech”. Oh, and if you believe you have the freedom to spout hate speech, so does everyone else, including ISIS, so be careful with how liberal you want to be with the concept.

BREAKING: Theresa May just spoke about the internet! She wants it all to herself.

In a move reminiscent of trying to tighten the grip on the printing press, she’s now wanting permission to monitor every sinew of the internet. Because stabbings and stealing a van can now be done over the internet. Because being warned about a suspected terrorist on five separate occasions, a guy who visited a jihadist in a Liverpool jail, a guy known for visiting radicalised mosques, a guy who hung an ISIS flag from his bedroom window needs MORE proof from the internet, a place he may not have even been active.

BREAKING AGAIN: Amber Rudd does exactly what I said people should never do and censors an independent candidate as he was talking about THE TORIES SELLING WEAPONS TO ISIS.

Get them ruddin’ immigrants out

Immigration is the issue that ruined Christmas because your dad quoted Daily Mail statistics to justify his slightly racist stance on Asian and Middle Eastern people and then your Mum chimed in with an anecdote of her own and your Gran said the N word and the baby started crying and there’s no stuffing left and too much dry turkey and the TV is shit and your little brother has thrown a tantrum playing Scattegories again and you just want to go home and get drunk and watch Lethal Bizzle’s Dench Xmas Playlist on Urban TV and this is not a personal experience I have repressed for years DONT SEND ME TO COUNSELLING…

Yeah. It’s a fun one.

The main problem here is that no one knows how much immigration there actually is. Figures quoted by the Conservatives include international students, which is a bit silly isn’t it given that they’re here temporarily?

The “Australian-style points system” has been mentioned a lot. Sure, it reduces inbound migration, but there’s two issues: 1) immigration should always be bidirectional; if there are restrictions coming in there should be restrictions going out, and 2) have you seen what they do over there? They send immigrants to offshore detention centres, often via a rubbish looking boats in treacherous conditions. It’s a human rights nightmare.

However, saying we should just have an open door like the Greens… I don’t know what to say to you. The population does need controlling to an extent and we do not need people to come here and work jobs with no demand for more applicants. Labour are close to being right here, with immigration based on what jobs we have a shortage in and based also on regional needs. A lot of migrants come to the cities, when we should be opening their eyes to the many opportunities we have all over the country. It is not racist to say this: stop watering the term down by over-applying it to everything.

I spent time visiting a hospital recently. I saw an accident and emergency department in utter disarray. But I also saw people from all faiths and backgrounds coming together to achieve a common goal – saving lives. If we restrict immigration haphazardly, what will become of our services?

A word on terrorists; we need to get better at monitoring threats. Salman Abedi had been reported many times even by people in his own religious community before the Manchester attacks, and the services did nothing. No immigration controls will do anything unless we sharpen up our ability to deal with potential terror threats before they become reality, and that means MORE funding for police and intelligence, not less. Oh, and STOP SELLING WEAPONS TO ISIS. AND AIRSTRIKING PEOPLE.

To conclude…

Don’t vote Tory.

I wish it was that straightforward, anyway. Simply put, the Tories will likely win this election with a majority. However, my disappointment with this does not mean I want a Labour majority.

My wish is for, at least, a hung parliament with a Labour minority government. Given that we are about to enter serious negotiations with the EU, it’s imperative that 100% of voters get heard, not 51.8% or 48.2%. The only way I can see this happening is if no party has total control. This is the same for every other policy I’ve mentioned.

Call it the “Coalition of Chaos”. I think it will catch on. Either way, if it means putting an end to the bleak sub-mediocrity of “strong and stable” leadership, I’m all for ushering in the chaos era.

The message coming through is less of the same and more of something different because what we have now sucks. The Conservatives have reigned supreme for 25 of the last 38 years.