After The Big Vote Intellectual Begins To Decompose – a poem by Kevin Higgins

After The Big Vote
Intellectual Begins To Decompose

You sit minding that cup
as if it contained, post-Brexit,
the last frothy coffee in all of Brighton.
You’ve the look of
a pretend Elvis Costello,
or the rejected fourth member
of Bananarama.

Your claim to notoriety
that one of the Sex Pistols
once failed to cross the road
to avoid you. Your opinions
what it said in all
yesterday’s editorials.

Your new secret hate
the ghastly Adidas tracksuits of Gateshead,
the sweatpants of Merthyr Tydfil,
for daring to go against your wishes.

Your sneer is a threatened Doberman
with the charming personality removed.
Scientists are currently trying
to bottle your lime-green bile
and make it available on the NHS
as a homeopathic remedy for psychotic
former Guardian columnists.

Your words are the gusts that come out
immediately before
a terrible bowel movement.

Even in the face of bitten
finger nails, the broken hinge
on the upstairs window, and my own
sack load of mistakes,

to be you would be
a fate worse than life.

KEVIN HIGGINS

30 comments on “After The Big Vote Intellectual Begins To Decompose – a poem by Kevin Higgins

  1. Vanya on said:

    #3 You might as well say the same about the minority in the SNP who voted against the policy that an independent Scotland be in NATO, or those in Ukraine who object to membership of the EU and NATO.

    Is NATO expansion into Eastern Europe positive because we live in an interconnected world?

    Presumably the German tribes,the Jews and others who resisted the inclusion of their lands in the Roman empire were parochial?

    Your argument is devoid of political or class content and might as well as been penned by some liberal guardianista with contempt for the working class.

    In fact…

  2. Vanya on said:

    #5 Well why use such a generalised term as “interconnected world” then?

    If you can’t be bothered to express yourself clearly don’t blame me.

  3. George Hallam on said:

    Marco: The vote to leave the EU was parochial, insular in an interconnected world.

    The increased number of interconnections in the world economy, for example through reduced barriers to trade, is part of the explanation for increasing economic instability.

    Closely-coupled systems are a headache and usually more trouble than their worth
    http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=349749&seqNum=5

    Breaking international links on reducing dependence on exports and imports will increase stability and allow for a whole range of beneficial policies including a return to full employment.

  4. John Grimshaw on said:

    The vote to leave the EU was parochial, insular in an interconnected world.

    Well yes….and no. For some people the Brexit vote was an opportunity to express their prejudice. However for quite a lot of people it was their opportunity to stick a finger up to the establishment and say we’re not happy with the way we’ve been treated. For nearly forty years. And also because the political class is perceived to be so corrupt and bubblelicious then the referendum suddenly gave people an opportunity to complain where it was perceived that there was no longer any redress. If you want to blame anyone blame Cameron for a really stupid call. Actually come on everyone lets get on with the job of attacking the Tories.

  5. Vanya on said:

    Marco: My position was similar to Corbyn, support remain but do it on the understanding that the EU was itself an area of working class struggle.

    Really? Marco made that really clear in that comment I objected to.

    Not.

    Marco: The retreat to the nation-state model is wholly reactionary and just a reflection of the sad state of working class consciousness, particularly among the white English.

    Oh yes. The disgusting white English working class.

    Smelly white van driving chavs.

    Fortunate they are too stupid to realise what so much of the middle class liberal establishment think of them isn’t it?

    Except they’re not.

    What in fact is fortunate is that we have a developing leadership in the Labour movement that is capable of reaching out to all sections of the working class with policies of hope and unity.

    Rather than cynicism and defeatism.

  6. George Hallam on said:

    Marco:

    What the Brexit vote will do economically is:

    weaken the bargaining position of the working class because of increased competition between nation states, a race to the bottom in other words. This will be felt most acutely by the unskilled workers, I.e those that voted Brexit.

    Reduce the economies of scale achieved via membership of the EU, so a new bureaucratic layer will emerge both in the public and private sectors.

    Those deprived areas within the EU who rely on transfer payments between richer and poorer nations will see a reduction of much needed investment.

    A little learning is a dang’rous thing;
    Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
    There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
    And drinking largely sobers us again.

  7. John Grimshaw on said:

    What the OECD info seems to show is that in general European migration is not the prime reason for the reduction in wage rates in the uk. Rather it shows that until the 2008 recession wages were broadly rising for all workers. But this info is about the rate of rise rather than the actual value of workers wages. My perception and I I think of a lot workers is that the uk has been for some years now becoming a low wage area for all workers. And that this is the deliberate policy of government. The government attempts to get away with it by dividing workers between themselves. Whether the EU makes any difference to this situation I think is too soon to tell because this process started when the UK is/was in the EU.

  8. Vanya on said:

    #17 The point about the EU is that membership entailed both an automatic right to move to another member state to work and the right of employers to employ workers on lower wages in this country than those already here.

    In fairness to Corbyn (and to a much lesser extent Ed Miliband) he did raise these issues, and in fact had the piss taken out of him for doing it, as I recall, when he raised the Posted Workers’ Directive during PM Question Time.

    His criticisms of the EU in terms of workers’ rights are presumably part of the evidence that he didn’t campaign hard enough and used against him by the coup plotters and their sympathisers (including, albeit briefly, within the admin of this blog).

    Part of the programme of the labour movement now has to be to ensure that our journey out of the EU entails ditching the worst aspects of membership while campaigning for those rights that did come from membership to be maintained, while remembering that many of our rights did not come from the EU.

    That’s something we all should be able to unite around.

  9. Vanya: His criticisms of the EU in terms of workers’ rights are presumably part of the evidence that he didn’t campaign hard enough and used against him by the coup plotters and their sympathisers (including, albeit briefly, within the admin of this blog).

    Anybody whose starting point on the issue of free movement is that migrant workers are responsible for pushing down wages is no better than a scab, for it constitutes an attack on the most vulnerable section of the working class, which all on the left apart from those whose socialism ends at Dover cannot but fail to recognise. It gives license to their demonisation, stigmitisation, and open attack from the right.

    Migrant workers are among the most exploited section of workers in any country and as such it is beholden on socialists, those on the left and trade unionists not to roll with anti migrant sentiment because it is easy and gets them a round of applause at meetings at which this regressive sentiment obtains, but challenge it on the basis that the free movement of labour is a symptom of the free movement of capital and that those workers are victims of an economic system that doesn’t just sow inequality within states but also between states.

    My name isn’t “admin” btw it is John Wight. If you’re going to have a go have a go. It’s okay. It’s allowed.

  10. Vanya on said:

    #20 (a) I plead not guilty and (b) JOHN WIGHT is a scab for supporting the anti-Corbyn movement so ner ner! Btw you lost again today.

    (I have good reason for posting anonymously but the admin of this blog and many of the regulars know who I am and why I do so).

  11. John Grimshaw on said:

    I agree with Marco that the British ruling class is/was probably the most rapacious in history. That’s part of the reason I voted remain. Lexit didn’t have any traction and no clear idea of how to get it. Thus voting leave meant sewing illusions in reactionary ideas and the golden time of yesteryear. That being said I don’t think that the Lexiters voted the way they did for reactionary reasons. There are aspects of the EU that are in and of itself reactionary. Greece is a case in point. I came to the conclusion that now was not the time to vote out. I think those of us on the left have to be more nuanced rather than waving our pointy fingers at each other. At the moment the UK is still a member of the EU and despite what the PM says I’m still not convinced the U K will exit. Either because the government will renege or obfuscate or there will be a second referendum. It’s not true as Marco says that this is a Brexit government. It’s more complicated than that.

  12. John Grimshaw on said:

    So UK workers have voted to leave the relative protection of the EU to now be at the mercy of historically

    Some workers did Marco but most were voting for complicated reasons. Some clearly thought they were sticking two fingers up at the establishment. Many workers voted remain.

  13. [admin note]

    Sorry everyone, Marco’s posts have been removed. He was banned from this site for consistently attacking other commenters – not even as part of discussion, but just being really vile. He likes to claim he was the victim of a witch-hunt, but in truth he’s just a really vile commenter.

    It’s worth noting that when he snuck back in by changing his posting details, he said he was posting a one-off rant, and accused Andy once again of being “witchfinder in chief”. You have to question the political perspectives of someone who can come out with language like that about a bloke who banned someone for being persistently rude to people on a website.

    The guy also did the classic thing of claiming he had been “hounded off”, “merely for…” – people always say it’s something small, “merely” saying this or that. But Marco persistently attacked people and – as you can see by the quote of him using phrases like “witchfinder in chief”, is unwilling to be an adult and take part in genuine discussion with people around him.

    Marco’s “one-off” message concluded with him saying “you can all f off”. The man is not welcome here. It’s puzzling that people like him can be told again and again that they’re not welcome in a place, yet their egos are so huge, they think it’s important that they ignore such statements.

    We are happy for every type of argument here, as long as they’re not racist, homophobic, sexist and so on. All we ask is that you don’t go round being pointlessly nasty to people.

  14. Vanya on said:

    “All we ask is that you don’t go round being pointlessly nasty to people.”

    Fair enough. And well said.

  15. Vanya on said:

    From yesterday’s Morning Star:

    Fawley-
    Refinery workers win equal pay for posted staff

    by Peter Lazenby

    STRIKING oil refinery workers have won a battle to achieve equal pay for workers from overseas.

    Bosses at the Fawley oil refinery near Southampton agreed late on Tuesday to pay workers from overseas the same as their British counterparts.

    The mainly Bulgarian and Italian workers were employed abroad for half the British rate and sent to Fawley under EU rules designed to drive down wages and conditions across Europe.

    Unite members walked out for 24 hours earlier this month and were due to strike again yesterday before the Esso refinery bosses caved in.

    The union said that the overseas workers, contracted by Nico Industrial Services Ltd, were being paid about £48 for a 10-hour day, while the 270 other workers on the site, employed by other contractors, were on about £125 a day. British workers employed by Nico were also paid the £125-a-day rate.

    Unite regional officer Malcolm Bonnett said: “We are pleased to announce that after talks with the company yesterday a new ‘pay parity’ deal at the Fawley oil refinery has been agreed. All the workers at Nico will now be paid the same rate for the job.

    “The ‘pay parity’ deal is backdated to September last year. Unite will also be recognised for collective bargaining purposes by the employer.

    “A combination of the solidarity of our members, support from other
    workers on the Fawley site and the media attention on this dispute all
    contributed to breaking the logjam with management.”

    peterlazenby@peoples-press.com

  16. John Grimshaw on said:

    Vanya:
    “All we ask is that you don’t go round being pointlessly nasty to people.”

    Fair enough. And well said.

    Fuck off. 🙂

  17. John Grimshaw on said:

    Vanya:
    From yesterday’s Morning Star:

    Fawley-
    Refinery workers win equal pay for posted staff


    by Peter Lazenby

    STRIKING oil refinery workers have won a battle to achieve equal pay for workers from overseas.

    Bosses at the Fawley oil refinery near Southampton agreed late on Tuesday to pay workers from overseas the same as their British counterparts.

    The mainly Bulgarian and Italian workers were employed abroad for half the British rate and sent to Fawley under EU rules designed to drive down wages and conditions across Europe.

    Unite members walked out for 24 hours earlier this month and were due to strike again yesterday before the Esso refinery bosses caved in.

    The union said that the overseas workers, contracted by Nico Industrial Services Ltd, were being paid about £48 for a 10-hour day, while the 270 other workers on the site, employed by other contractors, were on about £125 a day. British workers employed by Nico were also paid the £125-a-day rate.

    Unite regional officer Malcolm Bonnett said: “We are pleased to announce that after talks with the company yesterday a new ‘pay parity’ deal at the Fawley oil refinery has been agreed. All the workers at Nico will now be paid the same rate for the job.

    “The ‘pay parity’ deal is backdated to September last year. Unite will also be recognised for collective bargaining purposes by the employer.

    “A combination of the solidarity of our members, support from other
    workers on the Fawley site and the media attention on this dispute all
    contributed to breaking the logjam with management.”

    peterlazenby@peoples-press.com

    This is excellent news.

  18. John Grimshaw on said:

    SU Admin,

    It’s up to you its your blog. Personally I haven’t seen anything from “him” t.hat was that offensive. I think defeating “him” with argument would’ve been better.

  19. Vanya on said:

    #25 He was repeating his thinly veiled sympathy for ISIS in my opinion.

    I don’t think that can be tolerated on a blog like this.

    Other examples of things that should not be tolerated include:

    1) Advocating scabbing.

    2) Giving support, including a left cover, to white supremacism.

  20. John Grimshaw on said:

    Vanya:
    #25 He was repeating his thinly veiled sympathy for ISIS in my opinion.

    I don’t think that can be tolerated on a blog like this.

    Other examples of things that should not be tolerated include:

    1) Advocating scabbing.

    2) Giving support, including a left cover, to white supremacism.

    Well if it’s true that he was an Isis supporter or whatever, that’s clearly serious. But I didn’t pick that up. Maybe I just don’t pay attention? As regards your other categories are you saying that he was these things or that just a general statement?

  21. Vanya on said:

    #27 In relation to ISIS perhaps making allegations when he’s not here to defend himself is unfair. Also it’s a bit difficult to show the evidence when his comments have been deleted.

    The other points had nothing to do with Marco, and for the avoidance of doubt they are not things I would accuse him of.

    But they weren’t general either- just me having a dig about stuff on other posts about the EU referendum. Maybe too subtle for the internet.

  22. John Grimshaw: It’s up to you its your blog. Personally I haven’t seen anything from “him” t.hat was that offensive. I think defeating “him” with argument would’ve been better.

    Based just on his recent engagement, we would never have banned him of course; it’s a bit of a shame that you think we banned him because we disagreed with him (that’s the only thing that can be inferred from you saying it would’ve been better to defeat him by argument). The post made it clear – we said that he was “consistently attacking other commenters – not even as part of discussion, but just being really vile”. That’s aside from his anti-Semitic posts; the attempts to discuss that with him provoked even more abuse.

    It was nothing to do with “argument”, and to do with how extremely abusive he is. How can you “defeat by argument” someone who posts messages telling you that you’re scum, that you’re a witch-hunter, that you should fuck off and die etc. .?

    Others on here will know that his willingness to engage in discussion lasts only for a couple of weeks, after which he becomes nasty to everyone who disagrees with him. It’s easy for him to do so – he’s entirely anonymous and gives false email addresses.

    As a general rule we let people say what they like, and the evidence for that is surely all around you on this site. We don’t automatically delete every comment made by someone who we ban – but there is this strange egocentricism on the internet: no matter how many times you tell someone “you are not welcome here”, they keep trying to come back. It is such an obnoxious thing to do, and if we find that someone we banned has sneaked back in, we will of course delete everything they say, otherwise it becomes pointless even having rules.

  23. jim mclean on said:

    John Grimshaw: I think defeating “him” with argument would’ve been better.

    Has never been done on SU, simple reason, he is never wrong within his own mind, debate turns into a debacle 200 post long, (shh the secret is to ignore him)