The people of Syria should know that Britain will not stop caring about them, until they reach Calais. Just like the last time.

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Finally some sense…

“It is absurd to say that every elector knew the difference between the “Customs Union” and the “Single Market” and had taken a careful and studied view on the basis of our future trade relations with Europe”.

And there we have it. Ignorance rules. Simply shouting “OUT, OUT, OUT”, “BREXIT means BREXIT” and other such moronic slogans, as I have both heard and seen written does not derogate from our responsibility to act responsibly and with the best intentions of our nation in mind. Jingoism and the mindless repetition of Farage’s verbal vomit condemns us to a future considerably worse than that which we faced pre 23rd June. I just love to hear people say they did it for their children’s future. They categorically did not. It was a supreme act of selfishness, pulling up the ladder so that others could not follow. Our country should be ashamed.

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Is someone holding a mirror up to us?

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On one of today’s Sunday morning politics TV shows, I heard a discussion about the outrage over Trump closing the borders and how we should respond to that. I almost choked on my cornflakes when I heard someone say that May should stand up against Trump and demonstrate our core British values. Well if you think back to June 23rd, we kind of did.

Stop refugees from entering the UK? Check
Stop foreigners entering the UK? Check
Stop people entering the UK on religious grounds? Check

This is what many (and I will not say all) actually meant when they said they wanted to David Cameron“take back control”. Some went as far as actually stating as much in relation to border control being specific about status, race or religion. And now, someone has actually gone and done it, not here, but in the World’s most powerful nation. What do we have to teach this man? What is our track record recently? Cameron’s woeful promise to admit 20,000 refugees by 2020 when Merkel took 800,00 in one year?

I think our nation had better keep a little quiet on this one. It might be best if we let the Germans, French or Swedes take the lead.

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Anyone fancy “a leap in the dark”?

Yes indeed, this is the fantastic opportunity brought to the whole nation by our less than fantastic Prime Minister. So does even he think that EU vote is heading blindfolded into uncertainty? After all, this is the future of our nation that we are talking about, not a bungee jump after dusk.

“A Leap in the dark” were the exact words David Cameron, or “HamCam” as I prefer to think of him, used to describe the forthcoming EU referendum or “one of the biggest decisions we will face in our lifetimes” – again, his words.

I personally think that there is a fundamental flaw in even having this referendum. Every 4 years, we elect a government to govern for us. That includes David Cameronmaking policy, delivering services, taxing us and taking the huge decisions which, frankly, many of us are not qualified to make, either by lack of information, education or knowledge. Going to war, ensuring our national security, leaving the EU – all of these decisions require great thought and wisdom, not bandwagon chasing or a “red top” certainty of the facts.

Regardless of which way I vote on this, I am annoyed that I even have to. All the other major political parties (Labour, LibDem, SNP) would never have even offered this vote because they understand what a huge danger it represents to our country, placing such major responsibility in the hands of those least equipped to make the decision?

It’s a bit like turning up at the airport for a flight and rather than hearing the usual boarding announcement, you hear “Who fancies flying the plane today?”. Yes, that may be the most democratic approach (much better than having a bunch of highly educated rich people doing it) but probably not the best. So why then are the Government devolving such monumental decisions to those who elected them to make monumental decisions? This is serious stuff.

This is what the referendum is in simple terms. Cameron has only done this to appease the rabid right wing of his own party, who would rather tear themselves apart over Europe, even to the detriment of the nation, than work in any form of collegial relationship with the EU. John Major could not silence them. I think Cameron has taken the easy way out and let the rest of us be dammed.

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Well you live in the f*cking room…..

I hate hotels and given the nature of my job, this is somewhat unfortunate. Every time I stumble in to my irrelevant name, uni-brand, corporate hell hole (Hilton/Marriott/Hyatt) I am afforded time to reflect on the fact that the people who design these places, clearly never stay in them.

The one thing that unites all these places is the standard lamp. Every hotel room has one and it is without exception placed in the furthest corner of the room from the bed. So, after turning in for the evening, you start to fumble with the light switches next to the bed, all of which purport to turn off all the lights in the room. They don’t. You know that and so do I but we all still want to believe.

So, once you’ve turned off as many lights as the bedside switches will allow, guess what’s left? You’ve got it – that f*cking standard lamp! So, in utter jaw breaking frustration, you drag your sorry ass out of bed to go and unplug the recalcitrant piece of sh*t. But, this is where they get you. You totally forget that you are now in the furthest corner of an unfamiliar room, with all other forms of illumination extinguished and upon gleefully yanking the plug from the wall, you are now plunged into total and utter darkness. So now you have to perform the zombie walk back to your bed which pretty much guarantees painful, toe and shin breaking encounters with the needless coffee tables and chairs that hotel designers seem to feel duty bound to fill hotel rooms with.

How about we ditch the irrelevant furniture in favour of light switches that will turn off that damn standard lamp!

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Art Or Vandalism?

I used to consider “Street Art”, “Graffiti”, call it what you like, an over intellectualised form of vandalism that certain local authorities lacked either the funds or the will to clean up. Yesterday’s guided tour of Street Art in Shoreditch changed my view on that. Yes, there is a degree of mindless “tagging” out there but what abounds in Shoreditch – some of it by permission, some not – has much to recommend it. Some works are small, other huge. Some by well know artists in the field, others by new talent. Some works can be in place for years, others gone in 24 hours. It was a thoroughly fascinating afternoon, expertly guided by Joey from Insider London and radically changed my view on this form of expression.Image

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Land Rover Discovery Sdv6 HSE Luxury Review

IMG_1331Best described as Range Rover in the front, garden shed in the back. I have always loathed the shape of this car. It just looks like someone dropped a big cube of stupid behind the two front seats. It’s a vehicle carrying a load, not a properly sculpted car. Designed by two committees, one responsible for the front and the other for the rear and neither on speaking terms with the other.

Phew, I feel better for that and at least it won’t get printed. So, what do I think about this review car? It’s OK. The equipment levels are good, sumptuous even but at £18K above the SE, I’m not sure. Maybe I would buy the cheaper model and option it up with just what I want rather than what JLR (sounds like a low rent boy band) wants me to have.

DiscoveryI guess that the first thing you have to come to terms with when you buy a Discovery is the fact that you can’t afford a Range Rover. Once you’ve got that out of your system, you need to decide how much of what the Discovery can do, you need. More specifically, do your children go to a school in the north of Scotland where for the best part of the winter term, several feet of snow stand between them and acceptable GCSE pass grades. If not, maybe also look at the (dreadful and I can’t believe I am even suggesting this) BMW X5. It’s a bit of a hairdresser’s car but it’s sportier on tarmac.

Once you have sorted that out, you can then decide how pretty the inside of your car should be, bearing in mind that externally, it is intrinsically ugly as explained above. Options abound, most of which are down to personal choice. I always go for the premium quality leather as a must have (stops your car looking like a 2nd hand taxi on resale) and dual zone climate control to avoid arguments with the wife. A memory function for the driver’s seat position is also a must have if you are over 50 and everything annoys you. After that, it’s your choice. It’s just a shame that there is no option to stop it being ugly.

All in all, our few days blatting around the Lake District were not at all unpleasant – fun even. The car exhibits a bit too much body roll in the bends for my liking but then I’d only just finished reviewing a Range Rover Sport which comes in at £30K over the price of this beast. Other than that, it does what it says on the tin, has solid 4WD underpinnings and if I lived up a hill just above the “h” in the middle of nowhere, I’d have one in a flash. Solid car.

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