Better out than in

This week I saw reports from an MP who wants child migrants to have their teeth examined by doctors when they come into this country to ‘prove’ that they are children.

I saw comments by hundreds of people who are convinced that the people coming over from Calais, people who already have relatives here, and who will have been vetted by the Home Office, are not small enough, cute enough, or suffering enough for their taste.  This, of course, automatically means that they are raping scum who want our jobs and our women and who are here just for a jolly.

Yesterday I saw a man on Twitter trying to get Gary Lineker sacked from his job advertising Walkers crisps because he dared to express some sympathy for the refugees in Calais.

This morning The Sun newspaper are calling for his sacking from The BBC for the same reasons.

This is after they’d finished giving Lily Allen a good kicking last week for much the same thing.

This is in the same week that an MP has started a petition to suggest that anyone who disagrees with Brexit be branded a traitor to their country.

Last week I watched a woman’s life unravel when Ched Evans’ guilty verdict in a rape case was overturned on retrial, largely because the court allowed two ex boyfriends of hers to testify their past sexual experiences with her. Because if you’ve had sex with a man in the past in a way they didn’t like, it clears any man in the future of raping you, even if they admit in a court of law that they didn’t get your consent.

I then watched women who tweeted their dismay about these results threatened with rape and murder by people who think that this man is a hero.

Today I saw that the Labour candidate who won the Batley and Spen by election after the murder of Jo Cox has been booed and jeered for even mentioning Jo Cox as she made her acceptance speech.

When did this become a country where if you show compassion for someone’s suffering you’re branded a traitor who deserves to lose your job and die? When did this become a country that revels in cruelty? When did it become a place where if you simply disagree with someone, your job and sometimes your life is threatened? When did it become a country where the facts don’t matter as long as you get to hoist your flaming pitch fork and kick someone else when they’re down?

The word shame does not cover what I feel. It’s not even like this is all the bad news. There’s so much of it I can only cherry pick what I can just about bear to think about.

So, what am I going to do?

Well, firstly I’m going to keep talking about it, because this stuff isn’t going away and burying your head in the sand and looking at pictures of kittens in brandy glasses does nobody any favours.  I don’t care if it upsets you. I don’t care if it makes you uncomfortable. It should make you uncomfortable. If you don’t like it, you know where the door is.

Then I’m going to go out and be nice to people, because it’s time we stopped letting the nasty people have all the fun.

Then I’m going to buy a lot of fucking crisps.




58 responses to “Better out than in

  1. Did you see the results in Witney yesterday Katy? Wasn’t enough but it was a start. The people of Witney that I spoke to,like you, are also extremely upset and they were determined to send May a message. Cameron had a turnout in 2015 of 72%. Yesterday the new Tory had only 47% turn out to vote. Most of those who didn’t vote were Tories. They couldn’t not vote for Tory and they couldn’t vote for May’s accumulative slide into nationalism and hate so they stayed home. On top of that this new Tory bloke is a Quitling – an out and out Quitling.
    A 30% swing to the LibDems. A very small swing away from Labour and a definite swing away from UKIP. A swing of – gosh I don’t want to go away and look up the exact numbers while I am on a flow – of about 19%? away from Conservatives. Such an excellent result. We were hoping for a win and on the ground in Witney itself it felt like it was going to be a win. I was there with my “Vote for Europe” tshirt on egging people on to send a message to May and the people I spoke to were all keen, albeit in a very British way. They even looked over their shoulders first before whispering to me that they had already voted and they had voted for Liz Leffman.
    So I belong to a Facebook group, an alternative group, called Vote for Europe, a Tactical Strategy. We have decided to put personal politics to one side and to chose a candidate in each electorate that will definitely support staying in Europe and have a good chance of winning with some extra support and we go there and support them. We are not allowed, by electoral campaigning rules, to spend a lot of money, but enough to bring home a message that Brexit isn’t a done deal. We do not have to leave the EU. Yesterday we supported Liz Leffman, we leafleted, manned telephones, talked to people in the streets and worked very hard to put our message out. Ignore the 35% of the electorate at your peril.
    So we are putting on notice all MP’s in marginal seats. We are out to get you out if you have ideas of killing this country economically.
    A bit of a political rant but I thought I would share the good news – a huge swing back towards more liberal, caring values. It isn’t going to bring back the Baking show to the BBC though. Shame

    ps I do have to add that almost all of the credit for the amazing result yesterday goes to Liz Leffman and her team but we are there and we are growing …

  2. “When did this become a country where if you show compassion for someone’s suffering you’re branded a traitor who deserves to lose your job and die? When did this become a country that revels in cruelty? When did it become a place where if you simply disagree with someone, your job and sometimes your life is threatened? When did it become a country where the facts don’t matter as long as you get to hoist your flaming pitch fork and kick someone else when they’re down?”

    I really wish I knew. This is what I find so upsetting about the whole damn fiasco of Brexit and beyond. The apparent lurch to the far-right this country is taking worries the hell out of me and the fact that right now there seems to be no effective opposition to these sorts of ideas is making me look more closely at the idea of getting the hell out of the country.

  3. Thank you for that, Its been shared on a large fb group, you rock!

  4. Wasn’t the idiot who started the petition just some Vote Leave activist? If it were an MP he should immediately disqualify for any political function.
    This whole Brexit thing seems to give the pond a good whirl and is bringing up all the nastiness that sank on the bottom, out of sight. While some people seem to have become a lot worse i thnik many just dropped the mask. However there are still the same nice people that were always there and i think their ranks are increasing since many who did not care much before are appaled by what is happening. Unfortunately those are usualy not loud and noisy people so the perception is hopefully worse than actual numbers.
    Anyway, bon appetit with the crisps and thank you 🙂

  5. I have shared this and tweeted it as well, I hope you don’t mind. It just hits the nail on the head about the shocking things that are going on.

  6. Katy, Face it lass, we’ve lost our feckin’ humanity because of neo-liberalism and outright greed. The chaos in the Middle East is down to Bliar and Bush. Note the deliberate misspelling of Tony’s name. It fits him to a tee. Do these xenophobic knobbers think these people want to leave their homes to live like paupers in Calais??

  7. I got hopping mad at the UKIP twat calling for Gary to be sacked because he showed some humanity and then got even madder at the “jokes” on Facebook about adults posing as children so they can gain access to this wonderful country of ours. These are children escaping from war being reunited with their families, not terrorists. They may grow up to be radicals when they learn what a racist xenophobic country they now live in after fleeing a war fought between a tyrant and terrorists. So I ate Walkers crisps in protest, it was literally the least I could do to show my support.

  8. Thank you Katy for giving my thoughts expression in your eloquent writing – you do it so well! Long may you say uncomfortable and upsetting things X

    Sent from my iPad


  9. Katyboo – When I see your blog in my inbox, it’s the first thing I read.

    I care, full time – I don’t have chance to do much in the way of activism. If I fire off a generic email to some politician or similar, it tends to attract criticism because apparently I can’t be bothered to think the matter through. Oh, yes – I can think about lots of stuff whilst I’m doing all the things that I have to do to be a carer; it just doesn’t leave me with much time to compose individual, well-crafted emails.

    This week has been particularly bruising, on a personal level – not all big stuff, although some of it has been has been.

    So I read your blog and it gives me hope because you find the space to say all the things that I wish I could say – except that I know you do it so much better.

    Chin up – at least there’s one more week of Bake Off.

  10. Hear Hear! I totally agree with you, we as a civilized western nation should be thoroughly ashamed our ourselves. We are no better than those who stone others for their beliefs or blow up cities for theirs. I didn’t want to leave Europe and still don’t and I will defend my right to say that. I can’t imagine what it is like for the millions of refugees all over the world to have their lives shattered and taken away- sympathy doesn’t come near it

    So count me in! I will keep shouting loud and clear about this too. xx

  11. Well said that woman

  12. Christine Bliss

    Thank you, I feel the same; may I post on my FB?

  13. great rant and the sae one we have been having here in our kitchen too – thinking of opening our house up to refugees but not sure how to go about this – so ashamed by this country ( cant call it mine any more it seems to have been taken over by such small mindedness)

    BTW Katie, try books by Alexandra Fuller – I think you will love her approach to life – leaving before the rains come is a great one xxx

  14. Well said! Couldn’t agree with you more. It’s fucking appalling what is happening here. It seems that every time I go near the news I end up despairing, or furious, or both.

  15. Deirdre O'Kelly


  16. I’m with you on all of the above. but what else can we do? I feel like there needs to be a big protest, like the poll tax riots. How do we start?

  17. Bless you once again! It’s always good to realise there are other decent humans out there!

  18. Katy…Brilliant!!!! better than I could ever have said…and I am 64 yrs of age and I have lived in France for 10 years…old enough to have ‘jumped ship’!

  19. Katy, thank you.
    You have encompassed everything I am currently feeling. Anger, hopelessness and frustration at our country, those supposedly ‘running’ it and the short sighted, selfish and bigoted people getting sucked into the black hole of compassionless self centredness have turned me into some sort of rebellious old woman. I never wanted to hit a wall so much in all my 64.5 years!! However, I intend to keep my right hand intact for the next time I get to vote for something sensible in this country! Bless you. I feel so much better knowing that I’m not alone! 🌱

  20. Well said! Keep the message going. I watched BBC QT on Thursday in some dismay as the whole of thecaudience bar one or two seemed to be pretty nasty. I actually feared tgat Angela Rayner might get lynched for saying she would put the economy first in Brexit negatiations. I appreciate that living where I do, I do not see too many migrant workers, mind you there are quite a few in my street, working long hours and adding to our economy….but where did this hate come from?

  21. You ask ‘when did it become a country that…’, would I be cynical in wondering it was when the Empire was ‘lost’ and these nasty traits could no longer be inflicted on the colonies and therefore imploded on home shores. When it became safer to turn your head away and become a fearful silent majority colluding with the bullies. We are slumbering into god knows what. We need to wake up and appreciate what a grand country this would be with effort from the people willing to be brave. Power to your elbow Katy x

  22. Thank you Katy for yet again putting into words so clearly what so many of us are thinking. I am saddened beyond belief at what this country appears to be turning into, and your voice and your blogs are a light in the darkness, especially when I see all the constructive and supportive comments posted by your other readers. Long may you continue to tell it like it is!

  23. Another great post that sums up exactly what I’m feeling, thank you!
    Also good to see the comments from people who share your outrage and sadness, because social media etc can start to make you feel like a lone voice of tolerance and reason in a sea of nastiness and prejudice.

    I think bjoernmarl is spot on when they say that it is the extreme views, and the people who hold them, that attract the most attention. There are plenty of people quietly disagreeing (or perhaps just indifferent to anything outside their own experience) but it is hard to gauge how many when you are being deafened by bigots and zealots of whatever persuasion.
    The trouble is some people will express views and use language online that they might tone down in day to day interactions, because it feels anonymous and removed from any consequences. Plus they can now reach a far wider audience than a few people down the pub.
    I suppose to quote your title in another context it may be ‘better out than in’. If it is genuinely reflecting their point of view, then having no outlet may lead to worse than a rant on facebook or twitter, but it doesn’t make comfortable reading.

    What really gets me down is that so many people seem to be shouting in a vacuum. Just as I can’t conceive of any argument put forward by a right wing racist/misogynist/homophobic/fascist (delete as applicable) that would fundamentally alter my point of view, it is equally unlikely that a response however reasonable, factual or eloquently put, will change theirs.
    I try very hard to see all sides of an argument and, sometimes more importantly, to understand how and why someone came to hold such opinions, even if I am repulsed by them. Unfortunately, for some, the Internet is turning into a forum for confirmation bias and tribal bullying, with scant regard for empathy or compromise, instead of a resource to broaden our knowledge and outlook.

    I have taken to shouting at the laptop when reading the Guardian BTL (makes a pleasant change from shouting at the TV) because 90% of the comments seem designed to provoke pointless bickering, cause offense or congratulate the converted, rather than encourage intelligent debate.
    Most of it would make the average playground dispute look like the League of Nations.
    Naturally I tend to be biased towards the more left leaning/pro European posters but when they descend into name calling and contemptuous dismissal of anyone who isn’t of the same mind, they are just as unattractive as their opponents.
    As for why a committed right wing, pro brexit person would wish to even read, let alone comment on, so many Guardian articles is beyond me (just one from the Express or Mail can raise my blood pressure to unsafe levels causing me to avoid all tabloids for months).
    They are evidently not looking to be informed and if their aim is to convince regular readers of ‘the error of their ways’ they have a very strange way of going about it.
    Even allowing for it’s decline as a bastion for the liberal left, the Graun is still hardly the tory paper of choice and it’s position on the EU is well known, so I can only conclude that the attraction is the opportunity to bait ‘lefty remoaners’ which makes them pretty sad individuals who need to get out more in my book.

    We are in danger of turning into a zero tolerance, zero respect society that believes everyone has a God given right to publicly insult, and expect sanctions against, anyone who doesn’t share their views. Meanwhile they accept no responsibility for moderating (or even informing) those views – scary stuff.
    In the interests of fairness I will cite those who suggested a significant number of leave voters should be disenfranchised on the grounds that they are ignorant racists, and categorise them by social class and region. This is not a legitimate reason for overturning the referendum, it is prejudice, and only undermines more valid arguments.

    It is this culture that enables the Nigel Farages and Donald Trumps of this world.

    Blimey! I must have needed to get that off my chest so thank you for giving me the opportunity – do I win a prize for leaving a longer reply than the original blog? 😀

  24. Rachel Muir-Nelson

    You go girl. I’m with you all the way.

  25. Watching Any Questions with the baying audience is….. interesting. As well as mightily depressing with rabid calls for Article 50 to be triggered.

  26. So good to hear this. I felt such despair last week when for 2 solid days I saw nothing but vitriol being heaped on young refugees by our media. At the same time, my 22 Year old daughter was in Calais as a volunteer. Despite working 16 hour days of hard physical work and witnessing such unhappiness and stress all around her, she commented on what a peaceful week it was because she was exclusively in the company of like-minded people. It made her realize how much of her time and energy at home (University in Scotland) she spends battling other peoples’ prejudice. As you say, when did the Great British public become like this?

  27. If I watch Question Time now, there seems to be a braying mob who are loud in their support for ‘getting on with’ triggering Article 50.

  28. ‘When did this become a country where if you show compassion for someone’s suffering you’re branded a traitor who deserves to lose your job and die? When did this become a country that revels in cruelty? When did it become a place where if you simply disagree with someone, your job and sometimes your life is threatened? When did it become a country where the facts don’t matter as long as you get to hoist your flaming pitch fork and kick someone else when they’re down?” Sadly the answer to this, Katy, is that this is what Britain was – you were talking about Tudor week in Bake Off recently, and in Henry VIII’s Britain, this would have been a good summary of life as it was lived. The thing is, 500-odd years later, you’d kind of hope we’d have left that all behind.

  29. I’ve stopped watching Question Time because of the persistent calling for Article 50 to be triggered and the unpleasant vocal rumbling of the audience whenever the topic comes up – which is every week.

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