Skip to main content



No one can predict the Spanish Inquisition, famously, and no one, probably, could have predicted the intensity of the current EU referendum campaign in the UK, which culminates in a vote on 23 June; currently the Remain and Leave camps seem perilously tied, at about 44% support each, with many in the undecided middle.
The most tragic result of the astonishingly vicious, often dishonest, sometimes racist, claims made in the UK media and by some Leave campaigners, was the assassination of the 41-year-old Labour MP Jo Cox, the first woman MP to ever be killed in office in Britain, and the first of any gender for over 25 years. The apparently far-right killer seems to have targeted her for the advocacy of refugee and immigrant rights she was widely known - and admired - for.
Eyewear, THE BLOG has long supported the EU, and more bluntly, EU integration. There was never a question of this blog endorsing the Leave campaign, but we do wish to underline here a few points for the undecided.
One of the oddest developments in the last decade has been "post-fact politics" - Trump is the latest employer of this rhetorical way of thinking and speaking.  It has now come to England, in the form of Boris and Gove - two highly-educated toff Tories whose various lies on the sides of their battle bus, and in interviews, are eye-opening and gobsmacking. As part of this way of debating, experts are trashed as being elitist and somehow in the pockets of the sinister EU, which has been demonised as if it was headed by SMERSH, SPECTRE or Fu Manchu.
There are two ways to debate - one either appeals to authority, or one trashes expertise as suspect.  Usually the side with the facts on its side supports authority. Eyewear is not unused to rhetoric, and will not lie.  What follows is blatantly an appeal to authority. So, let us consider who tells us that a vote for "Brexit" will be terrible for the UK economy, its NHS, and society in general?:
President Barack Obama
David Cameron, the current (Tory) PM
Jeremy Corbyn (the Labour leader)
Gordon Brown, former PM
John Major, former PM
The leaders of the 27 other nations in the EU
David Beckham
The Bank of England
The Economist
83% of British scientists
90% of the British Tech Sector
90% of those working in Higher Education in UK
Bill Gates
Meanwhile, the Leave side is endorsed by:
Nigel Farage
Donald Trump
The Daily Mail
Boris Johnson
Michael Gove
It is clear who we wish to believe, trust, and side with on this issue: the large majority of sane, rational, intelligent people, around the world, who oppose Brexit as A VERY BAD  IDEA INDEED.
Moreover, Eyewear - in publishing its pamphlet  #refugeeswelcome - made explicit its belief that human beings seeking safety, fleeing war zones and violent, failed states, cannot but be welcomed, and empathised with.
The Leave campaign has made it a crime, even a sin, to simply wish to travel, cross borders, and settle in a new home.  To be British and oppose this migration is historically ignorant, as well as cynical and unfeeling - no other group has moved around the world in greater numbers over the centuries than the English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish - UK's nations (now playing football in the Euro cup). It is simply not the case that economic EU migrants (who are not refugees) are loathsome leeches. Rather, they are net contributors to the economy - they work hard for the NHS, do jobs Brits tend to avoid - and also bring their rich and various cultures to these shores.
The UK's entire cultural history is one of enrichment from outside influences: Celtic, Roman, Viking, French, Italian, and latterly Asian, Caribbean, African, Eastern European, and American. One does not "take control" of one's relationship to the world by barricading the door. Leave has left a bad taste in the mouth, and has no superior arguments - it seeks to win by an appeal to ignorance and hate.
Remain is the right thing to do.


Popular posts from this blog

Review of the new Simple Minds album - Walk Between Worlds

Taste is a matter of opinion - or so goes one opinion. Aesthetics, a branch of pistols at dawn, is unlikely to become unruffled and resolved any time soon, and meantime it is possible to argue, in this post-post-modern age, an age of voter rage, that political opinion trumps taste anyway. We like what we say is art. And what we say is art is what likes us.

Simple Minds - the Scottish band founded around 1977 with the pale faces and beautiful cheekbones, and perfect indie hair cuts - comes from a time before that - from a Glasgow of poverty and working-class socialism, and religiosity, in a pre-Internet time when the heights of modernity were signalled by Kraftwerk, large synthesisers, and dancing like Bowie at 3 am in a Berlin club.

To say that early Simple Minds was mannered is like accusing Joyce of being experimental. Doh. The band sought to merge the icy innovations of German music with British and American pioneers of glam and proto-punk, like Iggy Pop; their heroes were contrived,…


Wheeler Light for 'Life Jacket'.

The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
I becamea dot of sand


With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.