It’s hard to know where to begin, really. I suppose I will start by profusely thanking all of the people in North America who’ve already bought Dark Run. It’s been selling really well (or so I’m told – it’s not like I have figures for what anybody else’s books sell to use as comparison) and has been getting positive buzz from websites and reviews in the process. Thank you, all of you, who’ve bought it, or stocked it and sold it, or reviewed it, or Tweeted about it. It means a tremendous amount to me, and I hope you enjoy it. I also hope to be able to give you more news about the Keiko series soon, but more on that as we get it.
Second, the European Championships. I’m something of a football fan… and by “football fan” I don’t mean that I support a particular team, or even a particular country: I just enjoy watching football. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the Euros so far, and was highly entertained by England getting dumped out by a very worthy, very determined Iceland team with a truly terrifying supporter clap/chant combo. A shame to see them get decimated by France, but I guess that really shows England fans where we are on the world map of football. i.e. we’re not really on it. I’m pulling for Wales now.
Lastly… well, the referendum happened and now it seems that my country is heading out of the European Union, where we’ve been for far longer than I’ve been alive. I won’t lie: I find the prospect positively terrifying. Not for me personally, so much: as a white male who’s reasonably financially secure it’s likely to amount to little more than inconvenience really, unless all of the absolute worst predictions come true. What I’m more concerned about is the impact on others. We’ve already seen a huge rise in racism and hate crime since the vote, with the bigots in this country apparently taking the narrow Leave margin as licence to start acting hatefully towards anyone with skin darker than a particularly milky tea or who might seem to have been born elsewhere. A white European friend of mine who’s lived here for nearly a decade has already been told to “go home”, and I’ve heard many, many stories where the offenders were nowhere near as polite. It’s absolutely disgusting.
Even worse, we now have the Conservative leadership election to look forward to. I have no time for David Cameron, especially since he orchestrated this whole affair by unleashing a monster he didn’t manage to contain solely in the interest of keeping his little political party together (which he probably didn’t manage anyway). However he is, as Jonathan Pie put it, ‘Diet Tory’ compared to those hankering to pick up the reins from him. We’ve got Theresa May, the Home Secretary who wanted us to withdraw from the European Convention of Human Rights; Stephen Crabb, who supports a “charity” that says homosexuality can be “cured”; Michael Gove who was rabidly Leave, stabbed both Cameron and Boris Johnson in the back at different times, did his best to wreck the education system and has voted against what I would support on pretty much every issue I’ve been able to check… the list just gets worse and worse. I dread to think what state the country will end up in if any of them become Prime Minister.
The only crumb of comfort I’m currently clinging to is that it seems our withdrawal from the EU via the activation of Article 50 will actually have to go through Parliament for it to be legal. That means that the MPs (the majority of whom were for Remain) will get to vote on it. I have a nasty feeling that many of them will go “well, the referendum clearly shows the voters’ will, so be it” and vote through this thing that so many of them have argued vociferously against… but I hope not. The referendum wasn’t legally binding: it was simply a giant opinion poll. I hope enough of them stick to their guns that it doesn’t get through and we don’t follow through on this ridiculous, hideously self-damaging move.