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I’ve had a busy day with Zoom calls for the Community Rail awards and also more ‘type-swiping’ as I continue to scribble my next series of articles for RAIL magazine.

Whilst I’ve been doing this I’ve been keeping one eye on the news as I watch UK events and wonder. I’ve stayed away from political commentary and events recently. Partly for my own sanity but also because some people get upset by it. Today I can’t let the utter madness that engulfing our country pass without some reference.

There’s now just 99 days left before we exit the transition period that’s kept us in the EU and we’re no nearer a deal than we were 4 years ago. If one isn’t struck next month, then there’s not enough time left to do so – which means we crash out of the EU with ‘no deal’ – and the usual suspects will blame anyone (and everyone) they can think of without once taking responsibility for their mess. It’ll be the ‘remoaners’, the people who didn’t ‘get behind’ Brexit, or the Judges, or anyone else who could see what a shit-show this was going to be as their natty three-word slogan (and my, don’t the like those) ‘take back control’ was nothing more than a sick joke.

All the promises of the Brexiters have evaporated like Unicorn farts. Now we hear that the Goverment is proposing a border around Kent to prevent 1000s of trucks clogging the county as they won’t have the paperwork needed to cross the channel. Oh, and then there’s the new border down the middle of the Irish Sea. You know, all those things Brexit fanatics dismissed as ‘project fear’. Of the ‘sunny uplands’ of Brexit we were promised there’s absolutely no sign. Instead, some political zealots still spin the line about ‘opportunities’ they can’t define – or name. Remember these clowns and their claims?

Meanwhile, our economy is about to take another hit from Covid as restrictions are tightened because some people (especially the young) ignored the memo, so a weakened economy is about to take a further hit from something that was entirely avoidable – the Brexitshambles…

Even if a last-minute, face saving deal with the EU is arrived at (and looking at Johnson’s talentless Cabinet I’ve grave doubts that’ll happen) we’ll still be in a worse position than we were. It’s mad. Utterly mad – but welcome to Britain in 2020. The only vision is myopic.

OK, I’ve got that off my chest, so it’s time for a picture of the day which reflects a different time when one country was finally coming out of nepotism and near dictatorship after decades of misrule. I took this picture in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia in June 1998.

President Suharto had (finally) stood down earlier in the year. Students like this had been in the forefront of the campaign to oust him, with many losing their lives. This group were supporters of Megawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of the first president of Indonesia, Sukarno, who Suharto has ousted in a political coup in 1967. They used to demonstrate through the centre of Yogyakarta most days and that’s when I got this shot.

Sadly, Megawati, although elected, proved to be less than capable. However, Indonesia has come through turbulent political and economic times. A sobering thought for the UK is that in 20 years Indonesia is predicted to oust the UK as the world’s 6th most important economy – and we know what’s helped that come about…

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