Banana Republic without cheap Bananas

Copyright Maria Thermann

Buckingham Palace Entrance from Trafalgar Sq

It stinks of corruption, institutionalised racism, rabid xenophobia, gross economic and political incompetence in these ISLES, wherever you turn. Living in the Untied Kingdom these days is like living in a banana republic without the benefit of cheap bananas.

This blog is mostly about how location defines many aspects of our creative writing…and there are few location issues that define our writing more than those of greed, racism and xenophobia exhibited by a specific place. No matter how beautiful a holiday destination might look, if the locals are still celebrating Hitler’s birthday and look at you askance because you’re not blonde, it’s a rotten place to be. No matter how advanced and useful the technology might be in a country or alien world you conjure up for your heroine, if a large part of the population goes hungry, it’s a shitty place to live.

The rage the world’s many injustices inspire in the writer’s heart can fuel a great deal of good writing. So instead of reaching for the cheese slicer to slit your wrists, or trying to undo your granny’s knitting to string yourself up with, use your hate for a location to write your best fiction. The pen may be an exceedingly slow weapon, but it always wins in the end. That’s what I’ve been doing since THE STINKING ISLES voted that I’m one of 3.2 million who are no longer welcome. Wielding my avenging pen. One nearly completed crime novel and several short stories later…I confess I’m still seething with resentment!

But let’s get back to bananas: as sterling flounders against other currencies, inflation is pushing prices up sharply; this is especially noticeable when you go food shopping. Visit the supermarket today and the very next day the same goods are more expensive. Not that this will bother the likes of Optimus Prime Robot Theresa May, the great Tory Transformer, or Foreign Secretary-Bod Boris Johnson. They are still slicing into their rich, fat cakes and enjoying them, while millions of families no longer have the money to feed their kids properly – both bananas and cake are off the menu for a wide section of the population thanks to severe cuts in benefit payments, tax credits and wage freezes that have, in many sectors, lasted for several years.

graphics-fruit-395661Read the newspapers and you’re agog at the gross incompetence, lunacy and downright contempt Britain’s Government has for its own people, let alone all the foreigners it is so desperate to evict, while repeatedly bleating we are open for global business and want to attract the best people from around the world. Yeah, right!

But “the best people” are only welcome, according to a recent survey among charming Britons, as long as they are from English-speaking New Zealand or Australia. Can’t have Canadians. They might have grown up in Quebec and, heaven forbid, speak French as well as English. And Canadians could be non-white and non-Christian, natives with darker skin and weird environment-protecting ideas, yeiks! Can’t have that! Hang on, what about Australian aborigines? Maori anyone? And what about koalas? They’re grey, so almost white, but speak very limited human! Sorry, I got carried away – the survey was not about marsupial migrants.

The Tories will let you in, if you are stinking rich, irrespective of species. Even if you’re a criminal and busy plotting to rob the Bank of England, blow up Buckingham Palace and torture the Queen’s Corgies. According to newspaper reports, the government allowed 3,000 rich foreigners to become permanent residents on a golden visa residency scheme without ever bothering to carry out checks into these people’s backgrounds.

If you’re a millionaire, there’s no need for ID cards and 65.00 euros for an application for permanent residency. They don’t need to complete an 89-page-long document either to show they’re worthy of permanent citizenship. Millionaires don’t have to do any of the things now demanded from EU people who’ve lived here for decades and proven their worth to the economy and have respected those much-quoted British Values. Whatever those are, for no British person has ever been able to explain it to me (at this point I’m guessing those “values” are racism, limitless greed and xenophobia). But I could be wrong. They could just be I’m alright, Jack, and don’t give a damn about anybody else in the world.

BTW, that payment of 65.00 euros will become payable as often as the government needs to bribe Northern Ireland’s DUP into propping up a strong and stable Tory leadership – we EU migrants are the government’s magic money tree, in case you didn’t know. Renew your 65.00 euro ID every six months, and it’s a nice little earner for Optimus Prime Robot May and Co.

graphics-vegetables-327206For make no mistake, fellow Europeans, that’s what’s planned as soon as future trade agreements have been signed with the EU, for how else are the STINKING ISLES to pay £1 billion plus for DUP support? The government will default on all promises made to EU citizens, as soon as protection via the European Court of Justice is no longer in place. And then it’s cash-in-your-EU-migrant-bonus-points, as far as the Untied Kingdom’s government is concerned.

Cpyright Maria Thermann

London’s skyline and The Tower

Will the Royal Family be required to fill out their 89-page-strong application for permanent residency, carry ID cards and pay 65.00 euros, too? For they are German migrants! Actually no, they’re stinking rich, so they qualified for the golden visa residency scheme, no matter how extremist their views might be in the matter of …bananas and cake, or how marsupial they might be in nature.

But going back to who these “best people” are going to be that the Untied Kingdom wants to recruit after they have rid themselves of EU migrants…according to the survey undertaken among something like 2,000 Brits, no nations from the Commonwealth are welcome other than the aforementioned Australians and New Zealanders.

Commonwealth members speaking other languages as their first language and possessed of non-white skin tones are, however, welcome to die for Britain as soldiers, should the country invade somewhere else out of limitless greed or get embroiled in another US-inspired war for the same reason. Can’t you just hear Boris chant? Brave Jamaicans, courageous Indians, we love you! (But we don’t think you deserve an army pension or permanent residency, just as long as that’s clear).

Every day another scandal about institutionalized racism and xenophobia emerges in the media. Britain’s right-wing media even tried to blame Germany for the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, until it emerged that the type of cladding used was banned in several EU countries, including Germany, and had been approved by a Tory-run council happy to sit on more than £270 million of cash squirrelled away thanks to savings on tower blocks apparently suitable only as death traps for foreigners and people who are not white.

Unless you hate your kids and want to get your hands on their trust funds, don’t send them to school or university in Britain! They may not survive school assembly, let alone make it through their first day alive, if their skin tones are not Pasty British White (a colour now also available in a wide range of emulsions and fabrics at all Tory-sponsored shops).

And if you are a non-white, English-not-your-first-language teacher, heaven help you, for you’re dead meat within the first hour of arrival at your chosen educational establishment. All true, hate crime against non-white and foreign children and non-white and foreign teachers is wide-spread and on the up, according to police reports. Just speaking Spanish in the streets can land you in hospital with a broken jaw these days. More than 5,000 incidents have been recorded by the police so far, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as most of these hate-crimes go unreported.

In a banana republic where bananas are an unobtainable luxury for the many, the foul stench of limitless greed and corruption pervades everything. In a supposedly modern country where much-needed skilled and highly educated workers are propping up the economy, yet are classed as second-class citizens simply because they happen to be foreign, that stench is unbearable.

animated-cake-image-0041THE STINKING ISLES are just such a place. Utterly unworthy to be part of the EU, of course, but also utterly unworthy of playing an important role in a wider civilized world. Or even in an uncivilized one, should you happen to write an apocalyptic post-Brexit novel at this very moment that uses Mars as the location.

You may well be terrified to use Britain as a location for anything these days, because Optimus Prime Robot May will deport you for being far too stable in your views, when U-turns are an essential British value, and Foreign Secretary-Bod Boris will threaten you with more “fair and generous” cake than you could possibly swallow.