Open letter to politicians

Dear political leaders, I’ve noticed you all playing this little game. No one agrees to explicitly (as far as I know), but everyone agrees to it implicitly. It’s the game of politics, the game of illusion, deception, role-play, pretending to be this, pretending to be that, coming across like this, appearing like that, appealing to this and that demographic. But none of them is you.

There is a man, a woman, a real human behind all politicians, but the political system doesn’t allow for real humans to make it as party leader – only images, ghosts, characters in a play. I’ve no idea who David Cameron is… he won’t let me see, and we won’t let him show. Those who have been trained as politicians – trained in elite schools, trained in the ways of thinking, second guessing, maintaining an image, fooling the people, conning the voters, perfecting it so that the real person behind becomes lost in a cloud of lies. When the tiniest traces of humanity come through we shut it down…. We consent to this game, but only because it’s what we expect. But this isn’t a game – this is real life.

So here’s a reality check. One day – Dave, Ed, Nick, Nat, Nige, et al… – one day (and this day may come sooner than we think) “Great Britain” will be gone. It will cease to exist and be exposed for the ghost, the concept, the idea, that it is. The royal family will be gone; the Houses of Parliament will be dust along with St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle. There will be no England, no London, no stock exchange, no Birmingham, no Liverpool, no Shakespeare, no Beatles, no Oxford or Cambridge, no motorways, no bridges, no airports, no museums, galleries. There will be no more political parties, unions, bank holidays, Christmas celebrations, TV programmes, no BBC, no ITV, no radio and no elections. If there are any humans left we will have one thing, and one thing only. When all else is stripped away, the truth and the only real thing that matters will be exposed – our humanity.

Yet the only thing which is truly real and truly matters is the one thing politicians abandon in the cause of playing the game, trying to keep the images projecting and the ghosts alive. And we all go along with it – the press goes along with it, the media goes along with it, and so we go along with it – the unspoken bullshit, like the proverbial fish in the tank, forgetting he’s swimming in (bullshitty) water.

The politicians and the media talk repeatedly about “being tough” as a leader. Well I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t want a tough leader. We’ve had enough of tough leaders blowing up each others’ citizens, categorising human beings in endless boxes and using that to create endless false dichotomies, to separate and dehumanise. Instead, how about a leader who can act from their compassion, with some charisma, empathy (even as I write it seems like a crazy idea), some real ability and desire to make connections and see the reality of humanity behind the divisive mirage of politics and ideas? A leader with wisdom – real wisdom about people… because our society, our culture, our civilisation and the whole world is made up of people. By the old gods – and the new – that would be a leader worth having, worth believing in, worth voting for… but that leader would never get through the endless piles of mirages, lies and pretense to make it into Downing Street….


Yours (actually) sincerely,

Concerned Millennial of London


Sober October

Like many people in our society, I self-medicate with alcohol as a quick and fairly inexpensive (and – as the luck of history would have it – legal) way to escape the entrapment of my mind, and quieten the relentless chatter of the neocortex, overstimulated as it is by the incessant barrage of media at every turn in our hyperactive culture. That warm, cosy, hugging feeling as the wine, whisky or beer slips down and does its business, shutting off the over-thinking, relaxing the muscles and warming the blood-flow. You can’t beat it.

However, a combination of a very drink-fuelled September, not having had a drink free day in a good few months, and not a drink free week since I was around 16 years old (i.e. 14-odd years), I thought I would jump on the Sober October bandwagon, and encourage myself to find other ways to calm my relentless noggin. I’m not unfamiliar with meditation and tai-chi, and I hope it’ll encourage me to find less damaging ways to peace. People like me need some way to quieten our minds, and so I am your guinea pig. Oink.

What has especially encouraged me is that I find the thought of doing it so unbearable – always a sign of something worth doing. I think those who have said it’s easy perhaps don’t have the same relationship with alcohol that I do, and probably don’t drink alone very often.

There’s been a great deal of debate recently as to whether alcohol and drug addicts are suffering from an illness, or just criminals who have made bad choices and only have themselves to blame. Well I don’t know, but I do know that our crazy, overstimulated society makes finding peace very difficult, and drugs in general are a quick way to change our level of consciousness. And this coming from somebody with a fairly easy upbringing. I can’t imagine how someone from a particularly (or even relatively) difficult upbringing could not seek solace in some drug or other.

Four years ago my brother died of his alcoholism – such was the escape he found from alcohol that in the end it cost him his life. I miss Tom,  and there’s nothing I can do to bring him back, but if I can help others with the same plight, well… it still feels like nothing, but I guess it’s something.

Therefore, I’ve set up a justgiving page for Alcohol Concern

I won’t be hounding anyone as I usually do, but donations are appreciated. I’ll be updating the thrills and spills in bite-sized pieces via Twitter @philipomeara

Thanks for reading!