Get your heads out of the sand and pay attention

There's a lot of noise about the president-elect of the United States '“ and I'm about to add to it.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:14 pm
Donald Trump
Donald Trump

If you’ve had enough of politics, if you’re telling yourself it’s not for you, you’re wrong. Sorry.

We all need to get our heads out of the sand and start paying attention to what’s happening behind the rhetoric.

By rhetoric, I mean the statements that we hear time and time again which mean absolutely nothing in policy terms.

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‘Make America great again’ is one example. ‘Brexit means Brexit’ is another. Vacuous statements which politicians spout, leaving us to fill in what we think they might mean, rather than having any solid, open, transparent policy.

Ask the Leavers what they voted for. Everyone’s reason is different, but not part of any policy document that did, or does, exist. Each person filled their Leave vote with their own interpretation of what it means, as did the Trump voters.

Watch it unravel as Trump’s rhetoric disappears, the Brexit rhetoric disappears and we discover we’ve voted for the vague.

We all understand democracy, that different people have different views and we need some way of expressing how we want our country to be run.

The fundamental vote, in its most current basic form, is how much we each want the government to involve itself with us and our country.

Extended, that means how much we want the state to look after us and what we’re willing to pay for that.

People were sold political slogans on both sides of the Atlantic, from all parties. These slogans are designed to appeal to the ‘good’ people. They offer more for the real people, the solid working people, the decent people. And yet we time and again elect those who stand for less involvement of the state, more freedom for business, which comes down to less for the solid working people.

It’s a broken idea that freeing business will help us all. I don’t believe it and don’t trust it.

Don’t let yourself become bored by Trump or allow a fog to obscure what is happening here with Brexit.

Write to your MP, get involved and make politics interesting by asking about what you’re interested in.


You know when people say you should shop around for home insurance?

Well I did last week after discovering that my contents insurance was woefully lacking.

I’d insured us when we first started out as a couple and hadn’t really considered how much our household worth had gone up since then.

Take a quick whizz around your own home, looking just at furniture. How much is that worth if you had to replace it?

Anyway, a quick phone call later and suddenly not only had I increased the insured value of my contents by four times, I also saved more than £200 a year doing it.

So don’t be fooled by insurance companies with very British-sounding names and nodding dogs.


Isn’t it everyone’s idle fantasy to think about moving abroad?

We moved to Canada and back quite sharply (it’s very cold), but New Zealand features highly in my, and many people’s, top countries to emigrate to.

Its appeal is helped magnificently by a shared language. I have many friends who have gone that way.

But how frightening it must be to swop the sedentary south coast of England for a heaving land mass with earthquakes lasting minutes, swaying properties back and forth.

I can only imagine the terror that a natural occurrence like that could bring.

Ninety per cent of the world’s quakes occur in that region. Makes you rethink emigration plans if you were heading that way.