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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

226. Article 50 & Frozen Spice

The Real Zombie Zone

Ok – it may just be my odd brain but sometimes two phenomena come along that are like flip sides of the same reality.

Before the end of this month, the UK’s unelected Prime Minister Theresa May, who, as Home Secretary, campaigned for Britain to stay in the EU, can and will now trigger Article 50. This is the irreversible legal mechanism by which a member state leaves the EU. It begins a 2-year negotiating process at the end of which the UK could have an indeterminate something or nothing.

The EU referendum was an ill-conceived attempt by then Prime Minister David Cameron to control his own political party. The Leave campaign was easily hijacked by racists and bigots – UKIP leader Farage and Ex- Lord Mayor of London Boris Johnson (now foreign minister) to name two. The pissy weakness of the opposition meant that there was no coherent strategy for positively presenting arguments for remaining.

Britain has not recovered from the 2008 financial crash caused by a corrupt banking sector. The fiscal shenanigans of the rich and powerful left us economically battered. Instead of prosecuting criminal behaviour and reforming the banking sector – UK tax payers were forced to bail them out and the media spotlight was deftly turned on Europe and immigrants. Fast forward a few years and we are launching into a process which will cause more economic pain and more instability for ordinary people. We are – you could say – like a homeless person increasing their problems and vulnerabilities by taking extremely harmful unfamiliar drugs.

Which is interesting…

Last week, many UK news outlets started highlighting the widespread and disturbing prevalence of new synthetic cannabinoids; drugs known as SPICE. One, which is endemic in the fast-growing homeless communities in our cities, is called Frozen Spice because of the way it sends users into a catatonic state. A Manchester drug worker has been quoted as saying that 95% of the homeless community there may be using this cheap, treacherous and devastatingly addictive drug.

Richer recreational users turned away from the drug as ‘cheap and nasty’ but it is now the alternative for people with few alternatives. Some dealers will sell for whatever the user has in their pockets. In short – Frozen Spice is a capitalists’ dream and shows that unfettered markets can work - for the pushers!

And just as Spice users enter a limbo land where they seem neither dead or alive so will Britain be once it has taken Article 50.

Frozen Spice is an unknown quantity. Even now scientists are trying to de-construct it to find out how it messes with the brain to put the user into such a zombie state where they can struggle to breath and are so defenseless there are stories of users being ‘mugged’ unopposed while they are under the influence.

Leaving the EU is an unknown quantity and it is a risk Britain did not have to take at a time when there are so many major challenges facing Britain and the world. It is a silly risk, equivalent to taking a new cheap nasty drug. And like the drug, which may cause anything from seizures to psychosis to paranoia to breathing problems to death – Article 50 will lead to consequences we cannot fully know and were silly to chance. Like a homeless person, when you are already in a mess, if someone offers you a ‘cheap and nasty’ escape, it’s always a bad idea. And, just as those who concocted this life-denying synthetic marijuana, worked to ensure its properties were highly lucratively addictive, peddlers of the referendum deceits, succeeded in getting it into the systems of the vulnerable and scared. To the extent that a lot of areas in the UK that were net beneficiaries of EU membership voted hardest to leave.

Many, on the margins of society who take Frozen Spice and other drugs – are self-medicating their way out of an uncomfortable reality. Using a cheap temporary stun gun to obliterate the world around them that has become frightening and confusing.

Similarly, many people voted for Brexit in the mistaken belief that some of the bad things that were happening to them and their community could be solved with a quick fake fix. The big pushers, Farage, Boris Johnson and the other liars, slipped a gullible electorate the heady contradictory, cheap mix of false ideas. By leaving Europe, they said, we’d solve everything from the problems of straight bananas to the money that was being sucked away from the good old brits for wasteful projects. Such as supporting struggling regions and trying to protect – for example – the European steel industry from Chinese overproduction?

The big red Brexit battle bus claimed that £millions ‘wasted’ by the EU would go into health service coffers. A lie that was admitted THE DAY AFTER THE REFERENDUM result. But just like a junkie who has a bad trip – there is no come back from the dealer.

If you are a regular reader, you will know I love my analogies. In this case I think it goes all the way.

Just as the dealer will mess with the head of the junkie to keep them buying – so the pro Brexit media and the leave campaigners keep pedaling Brexit shit.

The economy is doing great – look at the increased exports – they croon. The reality is that exports are high because the value of the pound is low. Show me a country anywhere on the planet where shipping out lots of cheap stuff and having to import expensive stuff works for ordinary people long term.

At the end of the day – the dealers win and the junkies lose. We will all be the socially, politically, economically homeless once Article 50 is triggered.

Now we’re hooked, regardless of whether we were tricked, did it of our own accord – or were swept along by those around us. We have to take the shit and hope our zombie state is temporary and not terminal while the rest of the world moves by without us.

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