Brexit Year Zero

It is now one year from the date of the referendum. A year ago today the Great British Prople used their Great Democratic Right and expressed their opinion. Of course, I am no politician. Not yet, at least. For if I do become a politician, and if anyone wants a ready made scandal, they are welcome to read my opinion of Brexit, and the people who voted for it, here. But that was a different time, and opinion moved on. So let’s see Brexit revisited!

I swear, this will be the last political intrusion on this blog for at least a couple months. Or weeks. Possibly days, but we’ll see what happens.

Let’s begin.

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The Brexit referendum was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it allowed the British people, to air their grievances and talk about what country they wanted to live in. On the other, it lead to some smooth bastards with money, technology, and rhetoric convincing a small majority of people we should leave the EU for reasons nebulous and illusory. It got rid of David Cameron 👏 but it brought in Theresa May 😱. Primarily, though, Brexit looks like it’s going to be an unvarnished curse for everyone except lawyers and journalists – the two types of people who will always do well.

Of course, just looking at it in a fair way, it was always going to be bad at this stage of leaving the EU. There’s a lot of uncertainty about what a future trading relationship will look like. Powers to change anything remain out of our hands. And markets have reacted in a way which is wholly predictable. They fell. They stabilised. They grew enough to avoid technical recession. The currency dropped, which was actually quite good for some sectors. Unfortunately, it was but the beginning (a fact I alluded to in this poem).

Last year the only clear portent of misgiving was the currency weakening and holidays costing more for regular people who hadn’t anticipated that particular event. Black Swan Event, don’t you know. This year, there are concerns of an agricultural nature . British food has been greatly helped in the past 15 years by the inclusion of Eastern Europe. This has helped farmers to always find a huge number of people willing to pick fruit and pack sausages for minimum wage. But now, one year on, this source of new labour is drying up. So, hopefully we don’t all starve!

This is what happens when we’re left off the hook. The uncertainty of a Brexit process that will take 2 years, while we have to fulfil our treaty and financial obligations and lose a lot of sway with our closest neighbours.

It sucks.

We can’t yet reach out to create new trading arrangements with other countries because we’re still part of the EU, and the EU negotiates trade for all. My current hope is that the government, with the Conservatives still in power, have to humiliatingly climb down and reverse Brexit. Britain does not appreciate people who mess up. The best option with Brexit stilll happening is a transitional agreement, maybe about a decade long, where the UK enters the European Free Trade Agreement for 5 years or so while we negotiate new deals with the rest of the planet. For that to happen though, it will take a premium statesman of the type we don’t currently have.

My many deep flaws

A Place to Get Lost

“You’re always asking questions in your mind”.

So says an Italian girl when out on a date with me on a cold February evening.

I laugh. “What do you mean?” Although I know what she means.

“In your head, you’re always thinking about something, you’re never just looking at what’s in front of you.”

Ok, so first of all, how dare this person so instantaneously identify and articulate one of my many deep, deep flaws.

Jokes aside though, she is correct. I’m very easily distracted. I don’t mean to be, I’m working through things in my head a lot of the time, and that makes it hard to concentrate. Real life is hard and real people are difficult to interact with. My brain is much safer.

But this has been an ongoing issue for years now. Even with people who don’t know me well, I have a reputation for being…

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The Mother of All Parliaments; Why the British System is Horrible, Broken, and Very Fun

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Life sure does come at you fast! 2 years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt I’d write an article like this. Then again, a month ago Theresa May was still on for an absolute majority of seats. Two months ago Corbyn topping May favourability polls would be unthinkable. A year ago Brexit was a distant fantasy. So sit back and have a listen as to why our system is Horrible, Broken, and Very Fun.

Let’s start with the Horrible. The UK system of government is confusing, Byzantine in places, and is ruled by the party of the wealthy and business most of the time. The rest of the time it is ruled by people who seem kind of nice, but have their own failings. It is pretty authoritarian in bent and very moralistic while at the same time selling weapons to dictators for cynical and horribly pragmatic reasons. It presents itself as a force for good but, as in Frankie Boyle’s skeely style, it is “a nuclear-armed, money-laundering pirate ship”. The reasons for how it ended up Horrible are too many to mention, really. You would have to wade through a lot of different historical periods and get mired in a lot of blood – peasant, native, and royal – to figure out how our Horrible parliament exists, but here it is. Horrible and Broken.

The main reason it is Broken is not hard to route out: power. For hundreds of years Parliament has been the supreme edifice of State. It has tended to suck in people interested in power for its own sake as well as people who want to do good and reform it from within who instead become part of the furniture. To be fair, there are also the rebels of both major parties who do not toe their party lines, but these people do not redeem or fix the Brokenness of the system. The UK is a majoritarian system, though it doesn’t seem very democratic is is in fact rigidly so. Every MP is elected by First Past The Post – whomever gets the most votes in the area they want to represent gets the seat. It seems fair enough until you consider there are often 4 or 5 contestants for each seat and occasionally more. It is entirely possible to win an election with only 30% of the vote, which means that 70% did not vote for the winner, but the winner takes all. It redefines what the hell a winner even is. Every single percentage of vote share has a huge potential to change the makeup of parliament. And then it depends where those votes actually are. And hence the part where we can see where it is Horrible, Broken, and Very Fun.

in a winner takes all voting system like at Westminster, where a small percentage of the vote can make a huge difference, and there are at least four fairly significant parties to consider, which vary based on location, then pollsters have no idea. Some years they all cluster together and ‘herd’ results, too scared to say anything that differs from their competitors. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing, we’re it not for the fact that the margin of error is 6%. In a system where a half percent swing can be the difference of tens of seats, that’s pretty substantial. So then here’s the part that’s Very Fun – the sheer extent of information comining out about the election, the number of people saying things, the disagreements, the pollsters coming up with such wildly different projections which margins of error end up saying is between Labour +5 and the Conservatives +19, and then the fear and Horrible energy that comes from staying up all night only to find that the results are more Horrible, Broken, and Fun than you can imagine, and the Tory Party have humiliatingly gambled on public opinion, which is fickle, and the future’s fucked and it’s all bananas.

And that’s why I’m a politics enthusiast. And why my sleeping schedule had not yet recovered fully.

Are We Living In the Age of Black Swans?

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We are living in a time where events seem harder to predict. There are lists to explain such events but in recent history they all must have two items, Brexit and Trump. It’s nice that the Anglophone world remains so culturally significant even when doing its best to recede from the world stage. Anyway, in this new tradition – Brexit, Trump, and the fact that the UK is now heading towards a minority government*. Three seemingly unpredictable events that had and will have huge ramifications for the future. The problem here is that when something is harder to predict it consequently is harder to prepare for.

These big shocking events are known as ‘Black Swan events’, a phrase coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. In essence, before the discovery of Australia nobody knew about the existence of black swans. Instead, the phrase meant something like “when pigs fly”. Australia became known to the Western world and suddenly black swans were not a myth or a dream, they were real. Still, though, imagine how shocked you’d be to see a flying pig?

Even though people who are into data and statistics might tell you that polls predicted all these things, which they broadly speaking did, it’s still the case that they were equivocal. The truth is a bit messy and when an opinion research company compiles the data and filters it a bit, the story is then in the hands of journalists. Journalists have a certain word count to reach every day so they fudge it. As a result, they framea one-sided narrative. Brexit could never happen and was just a protest. Trump could never win but here’s some funny stories about the outrageous things he says. Corbyn was an unelectable terrorist sympathiser, ridicule him and vote for the people in power who by every metric have been making things worse. (He’s not a terrorist sympathiser by the way, special branch had people following him for 20 years and he never actively supported any terrorists. Unlike our government who knowingly gave arms to people with some pretty suspicious links in Libya and Syria.)

It’s strange, there is data which disproved all of these notions. YouGov ran polls on Brexit that said it was going to be close, as did other pollsters. Journalists picked one, and pollsters began to ‘herd’, to make their outcome more similar to other companies so they don’t seem stupid if they’re wrong. A similar thing happened with Trump, though apparently you had to ignore national polls and look at state polls. These polls would tell you that Trump had a chance of winning the electoral college while losing the popular vote. On Corbyn, due to the margin of error in British polls the results could have been anywhere between +5 for Labour and +19 for the Conservatives. It’s possible to tell there was a contest because the possibilities were so diverse.

But there’s altogether too much information. There are plenty of polling companies creating data on what people think, and there are lots of journalists expanding on that data to make copy, and there are millions of people telling each other these same stories and so they become ‘common sense’ or ‘conventional wisdom’. So what can be done? I suppose the main method of prevention is to stay vigilant and take things seriously when they could happen. Candidates don’t happen by accident. Extreme anger can be volatile and act in unexpected ways.

So be wary. The next time you see or hear anything that sounds stupid, crazy, or impossible, remember that there’s almost always more to the story. People didn’t vote Brexit because they are stupid, they voted for it because they had real concerns about the state of our politics. People didn’t vote Trump because they liked his weird wha if being, they had issues with what they saw as a corrupt political class, something that wasn’t helped by Hilary being a Clinton. Corbyn wasn’t impossible, he was just highly unlikely if you hadn’t seen the size of his events and rallies. Spend s but if time getting to know these issues and it might save you a lot of sudden shocks.

*I hope everyone has taken a break at this asterisk in order to come down here so i can comment a little on the irony of a politician who wanted to renegotiate a deal to ensure he strength off her country by winning an election, claiming to do it on a platform of being ‘strong and stable’ and a vote for anyone else was to endorse ‘a coalition of chaos’ only for your whole platform to fall to pieces when you try and prove how strong and stable you are and instead end up faltering, throwing the election, and likely becoming reliant on a small party outside of the mainstream politics of where you primarily derive authority, which will almost certainly lead to problems and is by its definition a ‘coalition of chaos’. I hope the two months the Conservatives an cling on to such a tenuous amount of power was worth the widespread dislocation of another general election that, all things considered, didn’t do what they intended nor particularly shake anything else up enough to mskrmit anywhere worthwhile. So strong, so stable. Still, I’m glad they didn’t get a landslide! Now, back to my serious stuff above. It’s all rather derivative but I fancy it is new info to someone.

Shock as Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Secures Victory

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Financial markets have been left reeling as Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour wins the election. Theresa May called to congratulate Corbyn as his party secured 45% of the vote by hoovering up seats across England. The result comes against a backdrop of polls tightening, but with none showing Labour ahead.

“This isn’t just an upset like Brexit or Trump, we had the numbers to show them, if you looked hard enough.” Said one pollster under condition of anonymity. “This is a polar shift, a sea change. This is an astronomical difference, it defies political physics. This is Newton being hit by an apple which then jumps up and hits him again, repeatedly.”

The result means that Labour comes out with 294 seats to the Conservatives 278. It is believed Mr Corbyn will go to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen for permission to lead a minority government. The SNP returned 51 seats and have agreed to a confidence and supply deal in return for a second independence referendum. The loss means 5 years out of power for the Conservatives and the fate of Theresa May is clear.

“Of course, one must take these kind of things in one’s stride if one wants to be a politician.” Said Michael Gove immediately after the result was in, “Yes, some may be ‘livid’ as the papers have been saying this morning, but for others this is an opportunity for reflection and for growth. Some may say that May should hav won this election against the Marxist, IRA supporting, pacifist, or maybe that she should not have called it in the first place. Or maybe running a personality contest without personality is he issue. But such things are not worth discussing right now.

“The point is that we must be aware for future, regroup, and win in 2020 to secure strong and stable government in the years to come.”

EDIT – I wrote this in the 5th of June, if you’re wondering why the numbers are off. Pretty close though, right?

The City of Gnomes

One thing that’s always fun about travelling is finding your legs in a new city. My girlfriend and I pulled into Wroclaw bus station with no clue on where we were going next. After about 10 or 15 minutes we realised the logic of the place.

I have been told Wroclaw is the most German city in Poland. Having neither seen much of Germany or a lot of Poland I couldn’t especially say. Instead, I’d like to talk about gnomes.

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Many

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Many

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Different

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Interesting

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Different

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Cute

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Gnomes.

Wroclaw has over 300 of these gnome statues all around the city. It has something to do with their history, some anti-Communist group made political points using depictions of gnomes. He city decided to honour them with a statue. Before you could write an op-ed on the effect of gnomes on society, they were everywhere.

I’m not perfectly certain if they are gnomes or dwarves. The map we bought says gnomes but the website says dwarves. I’d fancy, at least in a Tolkeinesque style of myth, Dwarves would be bigger. Like the first one.

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Technical distinctions aside, I highly recommend Wroclaw as a place. The food had that nice Eastern European homeliness to it. Alcohol remains fairly inexpensive as with most Slavic countries. Like any good European city the buildings are beautiful and the public transport affordable. They have a delicious type of cake, vaguely like a donut, called a paczek. And they have hundreds of gnomes to search through the streets for.

Happy hunting!

Coming up in future weeks – a review of some restaurants in Zizkov (Magical Listicle Tour II) and probably some politics chat. Stick around!

Magical Listicle Tour I – Cheap

For my birthday this year I had an aim: find the cheapest night out possible in Prague. I figured it had some non-birthday applications, like for showing visitors an affordable and decent time. Fortunately, from the pubs desperate for some early afternoon custom to the drinkeries of Zizkov trying to tempt people despite the area’s bad reputation, there are several places where drink can be got for a song.

Here’s a handy guide on how to have a great night on a small amount of  money. Everywhere is within a 10-minute walking distance. The plan does require that the night is a Tuesday.

Unlike a traditional crawl of 1 or 2 drinks per place, I recommend you stay while the drink is cheap.

Ingredients

200 crowns, at least

1 woman, at least

A birthday boy (optional)

1. Soma (5 – 6)

(Budecska, closest to tram stop Vinohradska Trznice)

I found out about Soma when my girlfriend moved to a place near there last year. I had heard whisperings of the place and it’s legendary drink deal, formerly between 5 and 7. Being able to take advantage of this deal on my birthday was especially useful.

Of course, I planned the birthday crawl on pretty short notice so it turns out other people were not available between 5 and 6 on a weekday. A nice quiet start for me. It’s very rare to be the only person in a bar.

The place feels earthy. Like a “real” place, no gimmicks. Not like one of those Mickey Mouse pubs where everything has been produced in some big anonymous factory then made to look individual. A comfortable place to spend a couple hours.

10 crowns for a small beer here. It’s possible to buy 2 at a time on occasion, though sometimes the people on the bar are not as keen on that as you’d hope. A good place to warm up with a few.

2. Ananas Bananas (Before 8)

(A cocktail bar on Seifertova. 66 crowns per cocktail, and they’re fairly delicious.)

This place is open every day of the week and has cheap cocktails before 8pm. The interior is cool, dark with soft coloured light. The back room seems a bit more grunge than the front, the front is more Americana.

An ideal place for the middle of a crawl as it’s affordable yet varied. At Soma, beer is the only cheap thing on the menu, and Bukowskis has a similar issue. The good thing with Ananas Bananas is that you can have whiskey, vodka, rum, or gin-based cocktails and they are all only 66 crowns (about £2, for the UK people, or $2.40, for ‘Mericans).

The name also translates to Pineapples Bananas.

3. Bukowskis (Till They Run Out)

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(Borivojova, opposite the bowling clubs)

What Tuesday is complete without free sangria? Very delicate procedure to produce this, if you’re a bloke, anyway.

1) Be with woman.

2) Woman gets sangria pitcher from bar.

3) Bloke has to order glass of red wine.

4) Empty.

5) Refill with sangria.

The sceheme relies on you not being obvious to the bar, as sometimes their staff are more strict on it. It also relies on the woman you’re with not being snitches and wanting to share. I have had no problems with women grassing on me, nor have they been particularly territorial.

Bukowskis is alright, pretty well-decorated on at least one wall. It’s open pretty late too. My one complaint would be with their prices. Generally, standard big drink prices for small beer. I understands it’s craft beer, but this means your paying almost double, and does craft beer ever taste that amazing as to justify double the price?

Still, on cheap sangria the place is a jewel.

The Pit-Stop: Burrito Loco

(Corner of Namesti JZP, top of Vinohradska hill)

Okay, so even on a birthday, when several lovely friends bought rounds, the night’s expense ran up a little, primarily because I had not eaten dinner when I started. Who eats dinner before 5 anyway? To go home would cost valuable cocktail time.

The best bet, and between Soma and Ananas, is Burrito Loco.

I feel like Burrito Loco deserves an Epic poem. I used to live near one, and another is being built near my new place, and it reminds me of the Robbie Williams song “Angels”:

And through it all

She offers me protection

A lot of love and affection

Whether I’m right or wrong

Burrito Loco is that place you go, that’s open 24 hours, when you’re hungry. It’s delicious. While lots of people like to rally against it for not being “authentic” Mexican, those people can fuck off to Mexico because what the hell do they expect in an extremely landlocked Central European country? If they’re so annoyed they can start calling it Czexican instead and nobody with any sense will care because it’s great.

If ever you are part drunk and very hungry, now you know where to go.

and this concludes our Magical Listicle Tour.

Hungary Like The Wolf

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It’s funny when you’ve moved country how travel retains the same sense of wonder and confusion. Most recently, for the Easter Weekend, I was in Budapest. Here are my thoughts thereof.

My girlfriend and I took the bus from Prague to Budapest, via Brno, Bratislava, and some Hungarian town which I think was called Gyro, but with accent marks I cannot readily recall. Due to holiday traffic, the journey was annoyingly delayed. On the upside, we did get to see the countryside at length, especially beautiful on the westernmost part of Bohemia and the easternmost part of Moravia. On the downside, we arrived in Budapest quite a bit later than originally hoped. There’s a big advantage in a four day weekend, though, in that we had two days of no travel to see the city. As an additional benefit, Roland, the landlord of our AirBNB, a good-sized flat in a leafier, hillier district on the Buda side of the river, was able to give us a lift from the bus terminal.

We met Matthew, a friend she’d made while at university, and who has lived in the city for several years now. He was a very excellent guide to the cool places on the Pest side. Always good to have allies in foreign cities as they know how much things are supposed to cost and where the most is happening. With him the nights we had in the city were far fuller than they likely otherwise would’ve been.

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Some thoughts in the coming city in comparison to Prague; bigger, quite a bit dirtier and smellier, more differences between streets as far as architectural style, more pubs with different flavours though primarily fairly punkish. A hell of a lot of character. When I said dirtier and smellier back there you might think it’s a criticism, but I personally love lived in places. And the smells weren’t all bad necessarily. The food is more spiced than food in Prague, especially paprika, and it drifts throb the streets. Really, it smells like any European city; meat, coffee,  chocolate, alcohol, occasionally piss in the streets. It smelt of gyros and life.

The place was tense. Years of political unrest appears to have led to a fomentation of protests. Most recently, the government shut down Central European University. Students, already prone to protest, having not been made fully cynical of the world yet, now have nothing to do but protest. As a result, there were a litmus of events in the city related to these protests. From small demonstrations in the streets to full on shutdowns of the public transport network. I hope they get the University open again without any violence bubbli over. But it appears the government is doing its best to further stoke up resentment between protestors and the police. At any rate, not nearly something I can comment much on beyond acknowledging the injustice of trying to quash dissent while simultaneously making the operation of NGOs more difficult, so I will abruptly stop commenting here.

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To conclude, definitely worth a trip. Beyond the standard things that make cities worth visiting, this is an especially vibrant and vivid place. Watch yourself on the money front, as Forints are a totally different beast from Euros, Pounds, Dollars, or Crowns. They look very good, I think former Communist countries do their best to outdo each other on note design, and the value of the Forint is very different. Multiple 0s different. Also, look out for the protests when the Rendorseg (Hungarian is the one language where police is so different) are in an offensive mood.

Also, thank you to my girlfriend for paying for a lot of the trip, and happy birthday to me!

 

One Year On – Growth and Ireland

I have now been in Prague for a year, with my girlfriend for a year, and a teacher for a year (almost). It’s been a massive year of growth and change, and generally pretty good for me if a bit awful for the planet as a whole. (It’s annoying that now anytime someone asks how you are you have to respond “pretty good, considering”, but let’s leave that aside a minute). In addition, it was my mother’s birthday recently! Her 40th.*

And so I went to Edinburgh for her festivities. Here we can see clearly a point of growth: I booked all the flights and none of them were incorrect!

It was a great trip. I saw my brother for the first time in 4 years. These days he farms in Australia so it’s a bit too long for afternoon trips to the pub like we used to do. Still, great stories about farming, which is different. His farming stories didn’t used to be as interesting.

I had the chance of showing my girlfriend my home town – might have scared her a bit because I went into a bit much detail about shit and corpse disposal in the old days, which is an idea I had for an Edinburgh tour years ago. The Sex, Death, and Shit Tour of Edinburgh. Shelved for, among other things, I could not find enough things to say about sex in Edinburgh. The location of sex is hard to pin down sometimes. Still, a good trip for us as we went to Mary’s Milk Bar, featured on a Buzzfeed list of the 19 best hot chocolates in Edinburgh, and Mother India – which may be the best Indian food in the city, country, or beyond.
Following on from the trip home, we made our way onwards to Ireland. Despite living most of my life a very short distance from there, I had never before been to either part of the island. I don’t know if it was lack of money or just a general apathy about going anywhere that stopped me, but I’m gladly over the latter. It certainly wasn’t fear though as I don’t think I’ve ever been clever enough for that at the right times.

I feel like a tree, but the new rings are months rather than years. Now I travel AND I get appropriately concerned when stuff is bleaker than normal. Speaking of trees and bleakness, the dark hedges.

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Anyway, onto the trip. It’s a long one so you might want to put the kettle on.

On our first day, we had no plans. Just walk around Dublin and see what the craic is. We wandered about the university buildings, but didn’t visit the Long Room as I fancy the queue was even longer. They have an interesting design, a real mesh of architecture with some more modern buildings further back in the campus but with the majority of the front facing parts probably around the late 18th or early 19th century. I wanted to see some building that had Oscar Wilde’s name on it but couldn’t find it. We did however find a donut shop called Offbeat Donuts, which claimed to be in the same address as his birthplace. I now choose to believe Wilde was born in a donut shop.

Here’s some Dublin:

I remembered how much I loved Irish born writers only when we arrived in Dublin. Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and W. B. Yeats. As luck would have it, we were walking past the National Library right as it opened for an exhibition for him. My girl bore my love of poetry for a while and in we marched. I saw the book in which Yeats wrote ‘The Second Coming’, amongst my favourite of the poems anyone has written. Couldn’t read his writing very well as it was a bit small and joined up, but I feel an affinity with the hard to read. We walked more then ate tapas for dinner, with a half of Guinness because the desire to drink Guinness in Dublin has clearly been priced into the market.

We went on a couple coach tours with a company called Paddywagon on the second and third day. The story I’ve heard is that it was started by two brothers who ran a hostel when the tourism boom began. They bought a bus, painted it green, and put a leprechaun on the side. The drivers we had were hilarious, totally different characters, making wee jokes throughout the trip. I would imagine the brothers who started the tours are extremely rich now as the buses are famous throughout the country. No idea if the buses go up north during marching season. I’d have to guess they don’t as the insurance would probably cost a ton, but that’s not for several months so it was safe to go North.

The difference between the borders is subtle. Only the line at the edge of the motorway. It’s broken on the Republic side and solid on the Northern. Blink and you’d miss it. In the past, I’m told, it was far more solid. British Army solid. The North looks a lot more rugged in it’s terrain, many more hills and cliffs once you cross the border. It looks like a butter advert in places on the way up to the border from Dublin but then gets a lot more dour and sharper once you cross. Kind of like the difference in character between the more orange Northerners I’ve met and the more green Republicans.

With that tour company we saw the Giant’s Causeway on our second day and the Cliffs of Moher the day after. Here is the best picture I took of the Cliffs, famously used in The Princess Bride and one of the Harry Potter films.

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This day the visibility was marked fair to good. You could have fooled me. Visibility is a lot better with a camera than live. I could hardly see the path and was very thankful for the solid enough looking wall. Visitors would be advised to pack a raincoat or poncho. Also, if possible keep a keen eye on the weather patterns. Still, I love rain and mist

So that was our trips. They were exciting, a bit different
*Not actually but I have a hard time imagining her as much older than that. She has so much energy all the time.

Why Donald Trump Must Be Given a State Visit to the UK

 

We’re past the threshold of normalising Donald Trump, he has been inaugurated, his name has appeared next to the words ‘The President of the United States of America’ too often to easily ignore and resistance grows by the day and with each decision his administration makes, so here are three reasons Donald Trump must be permitted a state visit to the United Kingdom.

3. The Great British Public

The Great British People deserve to see the man. Additionally, he deserves to see the Great British public.

At least 100 000 people attended the Women’s March in he UK, going off the numbers reported in London by the organisers plus the numbers of the many marches in the rest of the UK. These people evidently have many things to say about Mr. Trump, and isn’t that freedom of speech to be respected? Doesn’t Theresa May, our Prime Minister who made such a great deal with Trump, deserve the adoration of those crowds?

In fact, it seems like entire cities could shut down in adoration of those two Colosses of the world stage. That would certainly prick up the ears of the metropolitan elite, and I’m sure businesses supportive of them wouldn’t mind the chanting, surely in praise.

2. The Monarchy

The Monarchy is an institution supported by 75% of the population according to Ipsos MORI, with 17% supporting a Republic and 7% not sure or not particularly fussed. Mr. Trimp’s visit could unite these two factions quite easily.

For Republicans (UK context, not US), it shows the Queen earning her keep and entertaining a foreign world leader as is her constitutional duty. For Monarchists, it is a chance for the Queen to show off the UK to an important ally and let him know what the nation thinks of him. Surely such tests are necessary for the Head of State?

In addition…

1. Prince Philip

By far and away the most important reason to invite Mr. Trump to Buckingham Palace, the Prince Consort of the UK is known for making off-colour remarks that have been known to offend people. I hope the same will not be true when he meets Mr. Trump of course, but one can so rarely tell.

I’m sure we’d all hate for some diplomatic fracas to occur over one of the Prince’s trademark phrases: ‘ghastly’.

People the world over should be thrilled to test Mr. Trump’s diplomatic ability against the Royal Family, to test the sturdiness of May’s diplomacy, and witness the reaction of the Great British Public to the businessman.