Don’t be so dramatic! Part 1


So Britain voted to leave the European Union. The leave campaign largely based its campaign on two pillars of “there won’t be an economic impact!” and “immigration must be controlled!”. Essentially the older and less educated people voted Leave after being lied to by the leave campaign. In order to provide evidence to leave voters who even now refuse to admit their mistake I will document on this blog every so often the reality of Brexit.

We’ve had enough of experts

  • On credit ratings: The UK’s credit rating has been changed to ‘Negative’ by Moodys (one of the ‘big three’ credit agencies). “Moody’s said the referendum result would have “negative implications for the country’s medium-term growth outlook”, and it lowered the UK’s long term issuer and debt ratings to “negative” from “stable”.” Source
    Standard and Poor’s has also warned Britain’s top “AAA” credit rating is now at risk. Source
  • On the value of our currency: “Sterling also plunged, falling more than 8% against the dollar and 6% against the euro.” Source
  • On the UK stock market: FTSE100 down 3.12%. “In London the FTSE 250, which mostly comprises companies that trade in the UK, shed 7.2% to close at 16,088 points.” This was the worst slide in history. “That was the biggest daily slide for the index, and equated to £25bn being wiped off the value of its companies, according to the LSE.” Source, Source
  • On the topic of why the FTSE recovered: “”A significant number of FTSE 100 stocks ended the day in positive territory, predominantly those companies with lots of overseas earnings, which stand to benefit from a weaker pound” Source
  • On the lack of housing: “House builders were also the three biggest fallers on the FTSE 100, with Taylor Wimpey suffering a 29% slide.” Source
  • On British banks: “Major UK banks were also badly hit. Lloyds fell 21%, while Barclays and RBS both slid 18%. HSBC, which has a large Asian business, fell just 1.4%.” Source
  • On the European stock market: “European markets have been well and truly spanked, however, with the Dax in Frankfurt down 6.8% – its worst day since the financial crisis in 2008, the Cac in Paris shed 8%, Madrid fell 12%, while Milan takes the wooden spoon with a 12.5% plunge.” Source
  • On the US stock market: “Wall Street wobbled further in the last hour of trading in New York, with the Dow Jones ending more than 600 points, or 3.4%, lower at 17,400 points – the biggest one-day fall in almost five years. The S&P 500 fell 3.6% – the biggest daily slide in 10 months – while the Nasdaq slumped 4.1%. That was the tech-focused index’s worst day since 2011.” Source
  • On the price of fuek: Prices are likely to rise: ‘Retailers and the AA motoring organisation warned that petrol prices were likely to rise by 2p-3p a litre because of the pound’s fall against the dollar.’ Source
  • On growth: “BBC business correspondent Joe Lynam tells a special edition of Business Live that UBS is predicting UK economic growth will swiftly fall to zero this year. The Swiss bank forecasts that GDP will remain at zero for much of 2017, raising the strong likelihood of a recession, he says. It won’t take much – economic growth slowed to 0.4% in the first quarter of the year.” Source
  • On jobs: “Sources within Morgan Stanley have told the BBC that the bank is stepping up a process that could see up to 2,000 of its London-based investment banking staff being relocated to Dublin or Frankfurt.”  Source Airbus, which employs thousands in the UK, said: “Britain will suffer” and “Of course we will review our UK investment strategy, like everybody else will.”  Source

Its alright though, because: “Andrea Leadsom, a Leave MP, says there “just is not the evidence” of a financial meltdown hitting the UK in the wake of the vote, as predicted by some Remain campaigners.”

Lies, damn lies, and leave campaign lies

  • On spending money on the NHS instead of the EU: Farage admits that the idea of spending the ‘£350 million a week’ figure which we ‘send to the EU’ (which was proven to be a lie before the vote) will not be spent on the NHS. Source.
  • On immigration and the free movement of people: “Meanwhile, Conservative MEP and Leave campaigner Daniel Hannan told BBC Newsnight he could envisage a situation where the UK had “free movement of labour” and “From earlier on the Big Decision, Conservative MEP and Leave campaigner Dan Hannan said there was no promise to reduce immigration by leaving the European Union.” Source
  • On France moving Calais border checks back to the UK: During the campaign it was suggested by France that they would no longer honour a 2003 deal in Calais. The leave campaign said this was ‘fear mongering’. Not surprisingly within 24 hours of the Brexit vote France said they would indeed end the deal.”The British must take the consequences of their choice,” she said on Friday. Source
  • On stable government: David Cameron claimed he would stay on as Prime Minister even if he lost the referendum, and we were told by Leave campaigners that he should stay on whatever the outcome. The reality: he resigned. Source
  • On the ‘United’ Kingdom: The leave campaign assured us that there would be no second Scottish independence referendum. After Scotland voted to remain overwhelmingly the Scottish government has begun work to hold one. Source
  • On trade deals with the rest of the world: “A White House spokesman said Mr Obama “stands by what he said” about the UK going to “the back of the queue” when it comes to trade deals with the US.” Source

This of course was just the first 24 hours. Uncertainty is the order of the day.

Life is not fair

I loathe the phrase. As a statement of fact it doesn’t really make that much sense. Life can’t be fair or unfair. Its just what it is. People rarely utter this phrase to support somebody and is not supportive anyway. More often people use this phrase as justification.  “Well, life isn’t fair”. Its a common phrase for parents to utter to their children. “Life is awful so don’t complain” seems to be the implication.

If you were to disagree with my assertion above, then logically we use the phrase “life isn’t fair” to explain that the world is not a fair place and thus logically we must expect in our lives to be treated unfairly, to be treated badly, to expect misfortune, bad luck, and for other people to not treat us justly.

Are we really saying that though? We also get told we must follow the rule of law, we must do what our teachers say, we must do what our managers say, we should treat others as we expect to be treated, we should be fair to others. Aren’t these two statements in conflict with each other? The phrase “life isn’t fair” as a justification only works if we thus teach or ‘allow’ people to be unfair to others.

I don’t believe in a “just world”. I don’t believe karma is real or that a divine entity will make adjustments to make life fair. I do believe that actions have consequences but not to a grand plan of fairness, actions and reactions are just what they are, and just happen, in many cases randomly.

Despite all of this I go about each day with a genuine, deeply felt sense that I have been treated badly, undeservedly. I do not deserve to be treated as I am. Given how much time I spend caring about everybody else, given how much effort I put into things that benefit others, its not fair, right?

Well, I believe this because I was taught that we must all be kind to each other, we must honour each other, be nice, and not be selfish. Quite frankly this is utter bullshit. I have nothing but anger and contempt for the actions of people who taught me this tripe. Its not true. The world isn’t a fair place, as they blindly would tell me when I was mistreated, but would enforce their moral views on me anyway. I’m required to care about others, not be selfish, but when others do the same to me, all that is left is an empty statement of agreement and a useless retort – life isn’t fair.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt through counselling is that our life is ours alone and we should not let others control us, instead, we must seek to achieve what we want and in most cases put our needs before others. All of this is in super stark contrast to what most of us are told when children, when we’re taught that we should put others first.

Life isn’t fair, so why should I act fairly all the time? Why exactly must I accept that life is shit, and yet, feel guilty if I do what I want rather than what others want? Why exactly am I expected to not do things others don’t like, or act the way others want me to act, when nobody ever does that for me?

What really bothers me is that in life other people act unfairly, and I have to accept this, because life isn’t fair, and I’m not allowed to act unfairly myself, but on top of this, I’m not even allowed to express my frustration about other peoples actions. No. I must not do this. I must be quiet, not cause a problem, and censor myself, because, after all, life isn’t fair.

In researching this blog post I read a lot of articles about fairness and the reality of the world, one of my favourites was your broken idea of fairness. I don’t agree with all of it, and I don’t have a broken idea of fairness because, as you have just read, I know the world isn’t fair. What I think is important is his Rule number one. Life is a competition. It isn’t meant to be fair, and if you believed all that crap growing up about sharing, fairness, etc, then you were gullible. Life is about getting what you want over others.

I think the most important part of the article is talking about how other peoples morality is forced onto us as children:

People like to invent moral authority. It’s why we have referees in sports games and judges in courtrooms: we have an innate sense of right and wrong, and we expect the world to comply. Our parents tell us this. Our teachers teach us this. Be a good boy, and have some candy.

But reality is indifferent. You studied hard, but you failed the exam. You worked hard, but you didn’t get promoted. You love her, but she won’t return your calls.

Life isn’t fair. But don’t let others tell you to act fairly when simultaneously justifying the world by saying it isn’t fair. Do what you want. Be you. Say it like it is, and realise that others are competing with you. Its very unlikely they will place you before them, so don’t place them before you.

Filestore Web Access – or how I fell in love with programming again

When I was 16 I wrote a little ‘CMS’ or website content management system called IonPanel. It was pretty awful – it was written in PHP and MySQL, was probably terribly insecure and I mostly programmed it on Windows using IIS. It was however terribly exciting to write, and rather popular for a little while. Searching for the right string on google would find hundreds upon hundreds of websites running the software, and it was open source! Lots of people contributed to it. Several of my friends wrote little CMS packages, but none were as popular as IonPanel, and none as fast and feature packed. I was very proud of it. Sadly it died of the second-system effect when I attempted to re-write it for version ‘2.0’. A beta was launched, but then I went to University, I started realising how terrible PHP was, and I gave up. IonPanel slowly died. As time passed I longed for that time again – when I was writing code daily on an open source project that lots of people were using.

Since then I’ve written lots of code for lots of people but nothing has captivated me like IonPanel did – until now – twelve years later. A year or so ago I got the idea of writing a web interface to the University’s file storage platform. I’d recently got into Python and wanted to find a CIFS/SMB library I could use from Python. I found one – albeit badly documented and barely used – and wrote an application around it. Today that application has grown into something I’m extremely proud of. Enter ‘Filestore Web Access’.

Filestore Web Access allows all university students and staff to access their personal and shared files from a modern web browser anywhere in the world. Until I created FWA getting access to files away from the University’s standard desktops was quite difficult, unless you knew how to use SSH!

At the time of writing, it’s looking really rather good, here it is in two different themes:

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 19.30.55           fwa-flatly

The responsive design (thanks to Twitter Bootstrap, and a lot of extra code) causes it to work great on mobile:

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 19.36.28 fwa-mobile-1

And the new login screen with changing backgrounds I’m especially proud of:

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 19.33.35 Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 19.33.59 Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 19.33.47


I intend to write more about FWA in the next few days and weeks. Until then you can look take a look at even more screenshots!

You can also view the project page on GitHub: