A comedy of errors. I have just launched my 14th book, having written on a host of issues from business leadership through music to politics. My latest offering is a satirical piece on the state of our populist political leadership in the UK and, of course, around the world. “Private Eyelines – Have I Got Fake Brexit News for EU” offers people an easy way into the complexities of politics without having to take a degree in PPE.
That’s Philosophy, Politics and Economics, not Personal Protective Equipment – although PPE may be needed to protect yourself from PPE 😊 Satire enters our visceral mind, bypassing our critical thinking faculties, much in the same way that the Brexit referendum was won by offering easy answers to difficult questions.
The important difference with populism in the case of Private Eyelines is that I offer a fact and fiction decoder alongside the catchy catchphrases, to help people navigate the tsunami of information and fake news that arrives on our desktops, phones and TV screens on a daily basis. Here’s a couple of samples from “The Son” and “The Daily Maul”:
Brexit provides a rich dark seam of tragicomedy in a Kafkaesque world of gaslighting, shapeshifting and shameless lies. Who, for example, would have thought that we would try to send people fleeing from war zones to Rwanda on a one way ticket? Who would think that Britain is willing to break international law and threaten the fragile peace on the island of Ireland?
We live in desperately sad times. But simply drowning in the sadness of Brexit does not help us deal with paranoid populist politicians. Bittersweet levity cuts through people’s minds to their visceral core. Simply stated, satire heals.
My involvement with satire began early. As a 60’s child, my mum made me watch Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, saying “it would be good for me”. It wasn’t!
Instead, I built a solid career bringing life-saving treatments for diabetes and HIV / AIDS to the world, 18 years tutoring MBAs in academia, writing books and 28 years running a business. My early exposure to Cook and Moore suddenly came to the fore after 24 June 2016, as satire met real life through Brexit. My mis-spent youth and creativity have been rejuvenated through campaigning, writing, music, film making and speaking about our rightful place in Europe, even appearing on BBC’s Have I Got News For You, when we relabelled all the signs leading into “Kent from Kent Garden of England” to “Kent Toilet of England”.
Clearly my mum was right to have exposed me to the grandfathers of alternative humour.
Private Eyelines is available via e-bay and Amazon as it’s the ultimate gift for friends and colleagues still stuck inside the psychic prison called Brexit.
The book is the companion volume to a much more serious tome. “Reboot Britain by changing minds about Europe and Brexit” deals with the art and practice of what I call brexorcism.