The Brexit Grinch Song

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Today I went to the studio to record this year’s Brexmas song. After the success of last year’s spoof song – ‘All I Want For Xmas Is EU’, which clocked up 60K views on facebook – I decided I needed to go one better this year and write a completely original record.

The premise of the Brexit Grinch song is that Santa encounters endless problems at Xmas time as a result of Brexit; Flights being grounded over the UK, Rudolph’s EU pet passport being invlaid, etc. The point is to try and convey some of the many complications and difficulties that Brexit is going to cause that weren’t talked or thought about before the EU referendum. Many of these problems are only beginning to surface now, during the complex negotiation process and as the impacts of Brexit begin to materialise. It is absolutely crucial that we respond to this increasing information and understanding and it is our democratic right to express our views and have the possibility of changing our minds in light of this information.

The Brexit Grinch song is just another fun and entertaining way of communicating this message. Santa is from Lapland, when he comes to the UK to deliver presents, he is essentially a Finish immigrant and would require a visa after Brexit. Would his application be granted given the inconsistent nature of his seasonal work? And how long would it take for him to get through customs checks at the borders? Could he even deliver all the presents in time for Christmas day?

Asking people to think about these questions will hopefully make them think twice about our decision to leave the European Union. The recording of the song will be released in time for the Xmas charts along with another high quality music video that will be guaranteed to raise some laughs this year. If not anything else, the Remainers need festive entertainment such as this to keep their spirits up! The New Year beckons and we must remain optimistic! Merry Brexmas everyone!

The Brexit Grinch Song Lyrics

My Daddy told me not to fear, 

When the Brexit Grinch appeared this year, 

Don’t you worry now, It’ll all be fine, 

We can eat our christmas cake and drink our wine. 

 
 CHORUS: 

Santa Claus where did you go? 

Santa Claus, I’m out here in the snow, 

I’ve been waiting all night long, 

And i’m starting to think there’s something wrong! 

 

You need a visa now if you come from a different nation, 

But the Home Office has rejected Santa’s application, 

His work is seasonal, he labours in the frost,

He’s made his appeal, so keep your fingers crossed! 

 

CHORUS: 

Santa Claus where did you go? 

Santa Claus, I’m out here in the snow, 

I’ve been waiting all night long, 

And i’m starting to think there’s something wrong! 

 
 Rudolph is ready now, rigged up to the sleigh, 

He turns his nose light on and they’re on their way, 

But the border guards stop him with a sneer, 

Turns out his EU Pet Passport isn’t valid here! 

 

CHORUS: 

Santa Claus where did you go? 

Santa Claus, I’m out here in the snow, 

I’ve been waiting all night long, 

And i’m starting to think there’s something wrong! 

 
 Fly across the sky, high up in the night, 

On a Christmas Eve, it’s such a festive sight! 

But flights are grounded, over the UK, 

So Santa has to go on foot with his loaded sleigh 

 

CHORUS: 

Santa Claus where did you go? 

Santa Claus, I’m out here in the snow, 

I’ve been waiting all night long, 

And i’m starting to think there’s something wrong! 

 

It’s getting late, and Santa’s still not come, 

Looks like the Brexit Grinch has stolen all our fun! 

Santa’s been stopped again, for customs checks, 

They’re unwrapping all the presents, goodness knows what’s next! 

 

CHORUS: 

Santa Claus where did you go? 

Santa Claus, I’m out here in the snow, 

I’ve been waiting all night long, 

And i’m starting to think there’s something wrong! 

 

We can’t have our Christmas cake AND eat it, 

No, the Brexit Grinch must be defeated! 

So tell that Brexit grinch to go away! 

He’s not welcome here, no he can’t stay! 

The only Christmas gift I really want to have… 

Is my EU Citizenship and my passport back! 

 

CHORUS: 

Santa Claus where did you go? 

Santa Claus, I’m out here in the snow, 

I’ve been waiting all night long, 

And i’m starting to think there’s something wrong…

Like Brexit!

 

Let Me For Just a Moment Compare Alba to a Brexit Voter…

Let me just for a moment compare Alba to a Brexit Voter…
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Now, I will be the first to admit Alba is not the best behaved dog in the world. It’s not the she doesn’t know the commands; she can do sit, lie-down, stay, come, shake, stand up and run around me in circles… But if there is a distraction, say a squirrel or a cat in the vicinity that she just can’t resist chasing, all of these hard learned commands go out of the window. 🤔😒👉🐕
 
Today Alba saw a squirrel and yanked the lead out of my hand launching herself after this delectable little critter. She just can’t resist a good game of chase. Nonetheless, it appears all the fun is in the chase, when she gets within touching distance of the squirrel or cat in question she really doesn’t know what to do, typically backing away and barking. 🐕💔🐿️🐈
 
However, when Alba is lost in the fun of the chase, it is nigh on impossible to call her back. I can use my most stern and authoritative voice, instructing her to “come” to me and it makes not a shred of difference. Her mind is fixated on the squirrel. “Squizzel, Squizzel,look a squizzel, must chase squizzel…” In a similar style to Dastardly & Muttley, “Catch the pigeon! Catch the pigeon! Catch that pigeon now!”
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It seems the only way for me to break this spell, is to incentivise Alba to return to me. Today I picked up a stick, which Alba adores, and said “Alba! Alba! Look Sticky Stick! Come and get the Sticky Stick!” And she immediately came bounding back to me. Instead of scolding her for having absconded, I praised her for returning to me and gave her the sticky stick. Taking hold of the lead, she was now back in safe and competent hands, everyone was happy in the knowledge that Alba wasn’t about to charge around the park terrorising the other dogs and their owners. 🌲🌳🌲🌳🌲🌳🌲🌳
 
So just imagine for a second that Alba is a Brexit voter, chasing after the ever enticing Farage-Squirrel or Boris-Fat-Cat. We must forgive them the thrill of the chase, their endless optimism about the joys of finally coming within sniffing’s distance of the prize. Instead we must wave the EU like Alba’s sticky stick and draw them back to us once they have realised that the Squizzel will never live up to expectations. Take “the People” back into safe and competent hands and stop them from terrorising the other members of the public, including EU citizens, who are just trying to go about their day to day lives, doing their jobs, paying taxes, contributing to their communities and walking their dogs in the park… 🇪🇺🇬🇧🇪🇺🇬🇧🇪🇺🇬🇧🇪🇺
 
Just an interesting analogy for the day… 🤭🤭🤭
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Advice For the EU from a Supergirl Activist

Winning the #EUinMyRegion blogging competition allowed me to visit Brussels, for the first time, and see the work of the EU Commissions and Parliament. I have been on a steep learning curve since the EU Referendum in Britain, having realised I actually knew very little about the EU, what it is and what it does. Unfortunately, my lack of knowledge was not a unique case but a nation-wide problem, that resulted in people voting for their future based on very little understanding and information. The injustice of the Brexit vote is even more striking given that we were lied to by leading political figures who, to this day, continue to make their unfounded, deceitful claims. The EU funded projects are very poorly publicised in the UK, you rarely see an EU flag flying (unlike most other member states), and the level of political education in this country is abysmal.   

 

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Madeleina’s First Visit to the European Parliament

UK citizens voted for Brexit for a plethora of often conflicting reasons. But many people living in deprived regional areas, such as Wales and the North-East, voted for Brexit thinking that the EU was somehow to blame for the inequality in the UK: the EU was effectively used as a scape-goat by politicians for the failings of domestic policy, when in fact the EU has been doing much to address the deprivation in those very regions who voted most highly to Leave. Those regions hoping for a better, brighter future outside of the EU, have shot themselves in the foot; some voters earnestly believing that we would have more money to fund Britain’s struggling NHS. Having spent a week at the heart of the European Union, seeing some of the fantastic work it achieves, I can’t help but think we have done them a great disservice and I can only hope that they will forgive us our misinformed blunder and welcome us back with open arms when we finally admit the error of our decision. However, I also think that the EU needs to do some work to prevent other nations from following a similarly erroneous trajectory. An attitude shift will be necessary in order to make the European institutions more accessible, inclusive and engaging to a wider group of citizens; which is needed alongside much better publicity of the fantastic work that the EU does to support the development of its member states.  

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“Creative Campaigning” Musical Performances to Spread Political Messages

The Grey to Green Scheme  

I first stumbled across the Grey to Green Scheme in Sheffield‘s city centre when I was living in the nearby Peak District countryside. I was on my way to an art exhibition in a converted factory building in the old industrial area of the city. I remarked on the stark but attractive transition in the landscape design, and noted on the carefully considered aesthetic. I thought no more of it, until I began studying Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield and discovered my tutors were responsible for the planting design. At the start of our second year, a few months after the Brexit vote, they took us on a site visit to see the Grey to Green Scheme. I was outraged to discover that it was EU funded, currently one-third complete and the remaining sections were now, “subject to funding”, as a result of Brexit. The Grey to Green Scheme is a fantastic example of how EU funding supports deprived regional areas to enhance their economic, social and environmental development. The scheme, in its entirety should extend 1.2km from the City Centre to the River Don, providing multiple benefits for the local community. The Sustainable Urban Drainage System mitigates the impact of flooding in an area of the city which was devastated by the 2007 floods. The planting scheme provides seasonal interest, sensory stimulation, an enhanced visual aesthetic and habitat for wildlife. There are seating areas and public art installations, which are enjoyed by local business employees and people attending the nearby law courts. The scheme is also used for leisure purposes; local residents cycle, jog and walk down the green corridor. Furthermore, above all these social and environmental benefits, the Grey to Green Scheme was awarded funding primarily for the economic benefit it brings to this developing area of Sheffield City Centre. The psychology of landscape is subtle but can have a powerful influence; the improved visual design helps to attract investment and make the City Centre a more desirable place to set up a business.  

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Alba Enjoying the Grey to Green Scheme in Sheffield

One of the key motivating factors in my decision to suspend my studies at the University of Sheffield in order to campaign full-time against Brexit, was the knowledge that Landscape design projects such as the Grey to Green Scheme were unlikely to acquire future funding. The Conservative government has a track record of scrapping environmental legislation and prioritising London-centric business over the environment and deprived regional areas. The EU was working to remediate the inequality in the UK and enforce environmental protections. As someone who cares passionately about the environment and addressing inequality, I feel obliged to fight this decision which jeopardises the progress to a fairer society and sustainable future for the country that I call my home.  

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Action on Climate Change – Reason No.4 from Madeleina’s “Reasons to Remain” Poster

#EUinmyRegion Blogging Competition  

When I discovered the #EUinmyRegion blogging competition, which was being run by the EU Commission, the Grey to Green scheme seemed the obvious thing to write about. The blogging competition itself is an excellent initiative to provide the EU with some much needed publicity. The competition is open to all EU member states and encourages participants to research and write about funding in their area and share those articles on their social media networks. Every person who entered the competition will therefore have helped to increase the dissemination of knowledge about EU funded projects. This activity is of huge value in its own right, and I can only hope that the competition grows exponentially in future years, because every participant who enters the competition will contribute to promoting the EU and raise awareness of the EU funding in their region. 

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Seating Area, Part of the Grey to Green Scheme in Sheffield

Whilst researching the EU funded projects in Sheffield I discovered that the striking redevelopment around the station and the much treasured Peace Gardens were also funded by the EU. Yet I have never seen an EU flag flying in Sheffield. I think it is an outrage that because of poor publicity, people who benefit from these fantastic regional development projects have no awareness of where the funding has come from. And I am certain this deficiency in knowledge was a contributing factor to the Brexit vote. Recently on BBC Radio 5 Live I was debating with a Brexit supporter who made the unfounded statement, “The EU has done nothing for the North-East”. If she had sought information from the NE4EU group or even her MEPs, she would discover that the EU has actually put a huge amount of regional development funding into the North-East of England. It is a huge concern to me that the leading Brexiteers, who have perverse and selfish motivations for Brexit, have lead the wilfully ignorant into voting for something that will ultimately harm their deprived regions, furthering the inequality in the UK. 

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The EU Scape Goat is Pushed of the Cliff by Leading Brexiteers

Increasing knowledge and understanding about the EU is one of the key aims in my campaigning, although I try to do it in a fun, friendly and engaging manner that will be accessible to a wider audience. When I submitted my article into the blogging competition, I included photos of Alba enjoying the flourishing Grey to Green Scheme in the spring sunshine. The article which was published on the platform EuropaUnited, and I shared it vociferously on twitter, and from my Facebook page to the pro-EU groups (most of which were formed after the Brexit vote). A huge community has developed behind the Remain campaign since the referendum, when the vote shocked many complacent Remainers into activism. This passionate and friendly support network are usually extremely happy to promote pro-EU initiatives and share knowledge about the EU, so my article began clocking-up lots of visits. I received lots of feedback from people, saying how much they liked the article and I felt genuinely proud that I had raised awareness of this fantastic project that my tutors had helped to bring to fruition. Obviously, the judges of the blogging competition were impressed too, as my blog came in joint 3rd place from combined judges’s score and website traffic coming from social media shares. 

 

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A Community of Remain Campaigners Organise Regular Creative Protests

Revelations in Brussels 

The reward for winning the competition was to attend a mobile journalism course and the sessions at the European Week of Region and Cities in Brussels.  At the EWRC, I spoke to lots of journalists and staff from the European Commission about the disruption Brexit is causing to the great work of the European Union. It makes me feel very depressed to think that very soon the UK may no longer be part of this great European project, and ever more determined to fight Brexit. Attending the RegioStars awards was a real eye opener for me as I discovered some of the amazing projects which have received funding from the EU. Two projects that really stuck in my mind were; the Spanish initiative to help rehabilitate victims of gender based violence; and the German company producing devices to help elderly people stay living safely in their own homes for longer. There is great potential for these schemes and products, to be rolled out across the EU and benefit even more people and communities. However, publicising the projects is equally as important as funding them and this is where I think the EU needs to put in more effort. 

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Madeleina and Fellow Competition Winner Claudia Shute in the EU Parliament

In nearly every session I attended at the EWRC there was at least one person expressing a need to reach out, widen participation and engagement, and motivate citizens to show more active support for the EU. The work of the EU is of serious importance, but if we truly want to engage a wider pool of citizens in the work of the EU, then we need to rethink how those serious messages are being communicated. I spent most of my week in Brussels running around in a superhero costume, because it makes people smile and laugh, it engages attention which leads to a conversation about the important issues. In my Remain campaign work, back at home in the UK, I write songs and stories, I perform in a variety of fancy dress costumes, I draw cartoons, illustrate books, and produce visual content which I share extensively on social media. It makes people stop, look and listen to what I have to say. Using alternative methods to reach out to young people and citizens who are typically disengaged with politics is imperative in reversing the rise of populism in Europe and garnering the future generation’s support for the EU.  

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Two Young Girls Watch as Madeleina Performs in Newcastle

The #EUinmyRegion blogging competition is one great initiative to widen knowledge of the EU’s work, but many more are needed. And to take a rare piece of advice from David Davis, I think more “imagination” is needed. 

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David Davis “Imagines” Britain’s Future outside of the EU

After I turned up at the Brexit negotiations press conference wearing my EU Supergirl costume, half of the news platforms in Europe seemed to be covering the story (including BBC News, BBC Radio 4, ITV News, Sky News, the Guardian, the Evening Standardthe Telegraph, the Express, EuroNews and Politico). I was interviewed on the BBC Daily Politics Show the following day and the following week, my regional BBC Sunday Politics Show broadcast a whole feature about my activism at the Grey to Green Scheme in Sheffield. I was proud that my activism had brought some much needed publicity to the project, which was my initial aim in choosing to write about it. In the final sentence of my competition winning blog, I wrote; 

 “This fantastic and hugely valuable project was funded by the European Union and everybody in Sheffield who benefits from the scheme on a daily basis ought to know.”  

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Filming with the BBC at the Grey to Green Scheme in Sheffield

I appreciate that some people don’t like my style, one newspaper even described me as “the Joker of Remain”, but no-one can doubt that I achieved unprecedented publicity for the Remain campaign and by proxy helped to spread the pro-EU message. At recent public events, children have started coming up to me and asking for “a photo with EU Super Girl” who they had seen on the TV, and I can only hope it inspires them fight to Remain part of the future generation of EU citizens. 

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A Young Girl Poses for a Photo with EU Supergirl and Alba

Rage Against the Brexit Machine

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The Birth of the Protest Singer

I wrote my first protest song on 24th June 2016. It was called I’m Sorry We Left EUI will be the first to admit it wasn’t very good, but it came from the heart, including such expertly crafted lyrics as; 

“We didn’t mean to cause division,
We still want to sing in the Eurovision.” 

Which, after my Dad told me sounded too cheesey, I then changed to; 

“We didn’t mean to cause division,
We want to help in the global mission,
To end hatred, poverty and war,
We want to go back to how things were before.” 

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First Political Protest Outside Sheffield Town Hall (June 2016)

But Cheese Works…

I later reverted to performing the original lyrics after I realised that the “cheese” had an endearing quality and usually got a few laughs or consensual cheers at protest rallies. This was the first of many lessons that humour and gimmicky cultural references often make a more engaging political campaign than sincere and heart-felt argument. It also shows that participating in the Eurovision Song Contest is unquestionably more important than ending global poverty and hate crime or bringing peace to our planet. 

A few days after writing my first protest song and recording a dodgy version on my i-pad in the bathroom, I turned up at a rally outside Sheffield Town Hall and somehow convinced the Lib-Dem councillors to let me perform it. The protest and my song were afterwards covered by the local newspaper the Sheffield Star. I can only thank them for this opportunity to express my emotional reaction to the Referendum result. Their continued support allowed me to perform at Lib Dem Newbie social events including the Christmas Drinks with Nick Clegg, who heartily joined in with We Wish EU A Merry Christmas, wearing his fetching, blue Christmas jumper which was purchased in a local charity shop and he repeatedly assured us only came out once a year.  

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With Nick Clegg at the Lib Dem Newbies Christmas Drinks in Sheffield (December 2016)

Over the last 15 months I have been writing, recording and performing a steadily improving catalogue of protest songs at marches, rallies and gigs up and down the country from London to Newcastle. I have released several singles on iTunes including the Brexit Hokey Cokey and Strong and Stable My Arse, as a solo artist, which have received some newspaper coverage. My songs have been included in the Sixteen Million Rising Radio Show and played at protests organised by the No.10 Vigil. I have more recently teamed up with the hugely talented Peter Cook to produce an album of Brexit protest songs called Rage Against the Brexit Machine. 

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Performing with the No 10 Vigil Protest Group at Waterloo Station (May 2017)

 

The idea behind the album came after I met Peter Cook the No 10 Vigil protests outside Downing Street. I have been involved with the Vigil from its start in February 2017. They are an incredibly dedicated team of campaigners who have been protesting 3 times a week as well as organising events such as the “Summer Boat Party” and my “Brexit Wonderland” birthday party on 29th March, the day Theresa May triggered Article 50 (Brexit is one birthday present I hope not to receive in 2019!). Living in Sheffield, I can’t make it down to the vigil on a regular basis but I attend whenever I am staying in London, or make special trips down for big events such as the anniversary of the EU referendum on 23rd June 2017 where we launched the Letters2Europe project. 

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Performing at the No 10 Vigil Summer Boat Party on the Thames (August 2017)

Peter Cook had assumed the role of Musical Director for the Vigil and his musical ability and creative talent were quite evident from the start. Live music provides a fantastic and invigorating experience and sense of social cohesion that can never be replicated by a recorded track played through speakers. Sadly, the time, hard work and effort that goes into providing this entertainment is often underestimated, and when not properly supported is usually unsustainable. I know only too well the strains of trying to survive as a creative without the financial and emotional support and networks necessary to promote and support your work. I had written quite a catalogue of songs after a year of campaigning and had multiple requests from people wanting to buy an album of them on a CD. Sadly, the costs of recording and producing an album are staggering and not something that was financially feasible. 

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Performing At the No 10 Vigil Opposite Downing Street (June 2017)

This was when I decided to approach Peter, I knew he had connections in the music industry, having worked for Richard Branson and could see quite plainly he was a talented musician and passionate about Remain. I mentioned the idea of collaborating on an album, wondering if we could crowdfund such a project between our joint networks, and he must have been thinking the same thing because he has absolutely ran with the idea. He has managed to secure a record deal with NUB records for an album of songs under the Rage Against the Brexit Machine banner. We  have already recorded and released 3 tracks: Pants to Brexitan electro-pop dance anthem; No, Jeremy Corbyn an full on rock-out protest against Labour’s stance on Brexit and Jacob Rees-Moog a hilarious synthesised selection of sound bites to an epilepsy inducing backing groove. Bruce Springsteen’s band, the E-street Bandhave also written a song for the album‘Way To Know’. We are planning to keep releasing songs to fight the rising tide of Brexshit including a big anti-Brexit Christmas hit, which we hope to get into the UKTop40 charts. 

Fighting Populism with Pop Music

The intention of the project is to fight populism with pop music. We have seen time and time again that rational argument, facts and reason don’t work with the Brexiteers and the average member of the public who have followed this clap-trap brigade of bawling scoundrels like a herd of suicidal sheep heading for the Brexit cliff edge. Theresa May demanding a transitional deal with the EU is like adding a little jetty to the cliff edge, it won’t stop the fluffy little sheep smashing their skulls open on the rocks below, it will just delay the time before they tumble to their eventual doom. “The People” aren’t interested in seeing evidence that shows the disastrous consequences of the idealistic Brexit they voted for in good faith. Nor are they interested in listening to “expert” advice that shows a reality contrary to the Brexiteers wild and “imaginative” vision for the Brexit Wonderland, which “the People” have whole-heartedly and naively bought into. When you put these arguments to them, they are usually ignored, denied or responded to with abuse and aggression… How DARE we defy “democracy” by objecting to an illegitimately won advisory referendum, based on misunderstanding, misinformation and outright lies. How DARE we be so unpatriotic as to want what is in the best interests of our country and the European Citizens who have made their homes here, contributing to our society and economy. It’s a pointless argument with those who refuse to listen, so here lies the question: How do we get their attention, make our views heard and start to change minds? 

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Performing at the Brighton Labour Party Conference Protest (Sept 2017)

Arts to Challenge Lies

We do it with art, music, passion, creativity and fun. We need to create something that will knock the socks off every Wetherspoons customer in the country. We must stop their mindless parroting of Boris Johnson’s lies about the £350m and we make them shut up and pay attention. Then we show them what they are missing out on: a wonderful, welcoming, multicultural, kind and caring community. We want them to see our pride in our European identity and we have to make them want it. 

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NorthEast4Europe Rally in Newcastle, October 2017

BBC Sunday Politics Appearance

Publicity is key in spreading our message to the public. However, in a market that is controlled by music industry moguls, it is near impossible to be heard unless you have big money to put into marketing. However, I recently had the opportunity to promote one of tracks, ‘Jacob Rees-Moog’ in a BBC Sunday Politics broadcast in which I was being pitched against a “MOGGMENTUM” disciple who was so devoted he had the word tattooed on his chest. I was amazed the BBC broadcast such a long section of the music video, which features my illustrations including a Harry Potter JRM, a S&M JRM and a zombie Theresa May. All of the BBC staff were very complimentary of the “creativity” shown in the video, nonetheless it was an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on the Rage Against the Brexit Machine project.

Watch the BBC clip from 1:00:38 on the iPlayer.

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#EUSupergirl on BBC Sunday Politics

Brexit Xmas No.1 Hit

Our next initiative is to crash the Xmas charts with an anti-Brexit Xmas hit. Which you can support on crowdfunder and buy the track when it’s released!

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But We Need Your Support!

Please support the musical project by liking the page on Facebook,  joining the Rage Against the Brexit Machine group on facebook, following us on twitter @BrexitRage

Support the Crowdfunder for a Brexit Xmas No.1 Hit 

Download the singles Pants to Brexit, No, Jeremy Corbyn, Jacob Rees-Moog  and Way to Know from iTunes. 

 Watch and share the Youtube videos:

No, Jeremy Corbyn

Jacob Rees-Moog

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Don’t Be complicit in their Brexit Bullshit.

Say No to Populism.

Rage Against the Brexit Machine.
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How #EUSuperGirl became a Hashtag and Drew International Attention to my STOP BREXIT Campaign

Remain Campaigning

I have been campaigning against Brexit since the result of the EU referendum on 24th June 2016 when the UK made the catastrophic decision to leave the European Union. Akin to hitting an economic, social and political self-destruct button, leaving the EU will have devastating consequences and this disastrous decision must be stopped at all costs. 

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“Judges on a Bus” protest outside the Supreme Courts on 5th December 2016. Image featured on the Guardian website.

Childish or Considered Style?

The fundamental aim of my campaign is to prevent Brexit from occurring. But considering the referendum result was a supposedly “democratic” vote (albeit only an advisory decision), I believe it is essential to change public opinion in order to reverse the outcome of the referendum. In order to do this, I believe we must first try to understand the cause behind the UK’s decision to leave the EU. After 15 months of relentless campaigning, I have come to the conclusion there is a multitude of often conflicting reasons why people chose to vote leave, however, one of the most alarming causes is that they don’t actually understand what the EU is or what the EU does. One of the most googled search phrases after the referendum result was announced was “what is the EU”. This lack of political knowledge is an inherent problem that I try to address through my campaigning; creating easily accessible, engaging material that communicates information and ideas clearly and simply. Some people call it childish, which is perhaps true, but it is a considered and deliberate style. 

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“Reasons to Remain” Graphic widely used on Remain campaign leaflets and posters.

My Blog about an EU Funded Project, the “Grey2Green” Scheme

When the opportunity arose to enter the #EUinMyRegion blogging competition and win a trip to Brussels to attend a mobile journalism course at the European Week of Regions and Cities, I leapt at the chance. I decided to write about a Regional Development project called the Grey2Green scheme in the business district of my home city, Sheffield. This project is particularly dear to my heart because it is a fantastic Landscape Architecture project that my university tutors introduced to me. It is an unprecedented example of an urban greening project in a city centre that has been funded primarily for the economic benefits it brings to the area. Nonethless, it also provides social, cultural and environmental benefits such as; crime reduction, improvement to health and well-being and enhanced aesthetics. Furthermore, the flood mitigation provided by the SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System) is a crucial element in Sheffield’s flood prone City Centre. Discovering that the project was one-third complete and unlikely to be fully funded due to Brexit was one of the triggering factors in my decision to take a Leave of Absence from my studies and focus on political campaigning against the UK’s decision to Leave the EU. 

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Filming with the BBC at the Grey2Green Scheme, EU funded project in Sheffield

Committed to Campaigning

In the last 15 months I have attended countless political events, demonstrations, rallies and marches across the country accompanied by my beautiful dog, AlbaWhiteWolf. I have written, illustrated and crowdfunded self-publishing 4 books with the support of a fantastic network of individuals I have developed on social media. I have created a Facebook page that has nearly reached 2000 likes and started a Twitter account that now has close to 6000 followers. I wrote my first protest song on 24th June 2016 and have been writing, singing and performing songs ever since, teaching myself to edit music videos with footage shot on my iPad. I now regularly perform at regional and national demonstrations across the country from Brighton and London to Sheffield and Newcastle. I am now working with a composer and music producer, Peter Cook, on an album of anti-Brexit songs called ‘Rage Against the Brexit Machine’, which are being released on NUB Records. I have also won 2 competitions through my campaign work; the “Young Talent Prize” in the “Great British Postcard Competition” which will take me to Germany for the first time, and also the European Commission’s blogging competition which took me to Brussels, again for my first ever visit. 

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Winning the “Young Talent” Prize in the “Great British Postcard Competition”, which featured on Channel 4 News

Risk Creates Opportunity

Suspending my Landscape Architecture studies to campaign full time may have seemed a reckless and foolish act to some, but it has allowed me to take ownership of my own achievements and presented me with multiple opportunities, of which I have taken full advantage. 

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With Chuka Ummuna MP and Theresa Maybe in Brexitland

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With Nick Clegg MP and Go Back To Where You Came From!

Preparing for Brussels

Whilst I was packing my case, ready for the trip to Brussels, limited space due to the absurd quantity of books I decided to bring, meant that I had to choose between fancy dress costumes. The Pirate “Brexit Saboteur” costume was a humorous twist on the insult often hurled at Remainers, and accompanied by my aptly named parrot puppet, “Theresa McSquarkface” and the Skull & Cross Bones placard, had featured on BBC News outside the Labour Party Conference alongside Chuka Umunna MP. The EUSupergirl outfit, on the other hand, had recently been snapped at the Manchester party conference along with Alba the EUSuperWolf and printed in the UK’s most popular free newspaper, the Metro. I decided on the EUSUperGirl outfit, as it seemed more important to send out a positive pro-European message than a negative anti-Brexit sentiment (although I wholeheartedly believe both are needed at this point). 

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Clipping from the Metro Newspaper

Travelling to Brussels

My journey was made somewhat more complicated due to the fact that I was filming a Channel 4 News debate called BrexitReality in Bathdays before I was due to leave. After staying in Bath, I travelled to London where I picked up the copies of my new children’s book, hot off the press, to take with me on the Eurostar to Belgium. When I arrived in Brussels, I decided to walk to the hotel, not appreciating quite how heavy the suitcase full of books would be, but I wanted to see the full glory of Brussels en route before I began a hectic week of sessions at the European Parliament and Commission. I was especially delighted when, as I walked down the Rue de la Loi, heavy suitcase in tow, I saw the Arc du Cinquantenaire come into view (which is one of the illustrations in my new book, Alba White Wolf Goes to Europe). 

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In Front of the Arc du Cinquantenaire holding a copy of Alba White Wolf Goes to Europe

Staying with Nigel the Gorilla

The hotel was very flash, a little corporate for my liking, but right in the beating heart of the European Parliament, just down the road from the Berlaymont where the fated press conference was to be held a few days laterI could tell I was in an important part of town from the number of sophisticated looking gentleman in grey suits and the life-sized blue gorilla that were loitering in the lobby, (I later decided to name the gorilla Nigel). I will admit I felt a little out of place in this environment. And I appreciate that one shouldn’t complain about having a jacuzzi bath tub in one’s hotel room, especially when one isn’t accustomed to having any kind of bath tub back at home (I am forced to hose down the muddy Alba in a tiny shower). However, I was slightly perturbed when said jacuzzi bath tub kept starting itself in the middle of the night, when it was empty of water, so it made a tremendous growling sound and shook the walls of the hotel room in such a terrifying manner that I wondered if Nigel had left the lobby to come and bid me goodnight? 

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MoJo Course and the EWRC

The Mobile Journalism course provided by the European Commission for the five winners of the #EuinMyRegion blog competition consisted of two 3 hour sessions at the beginning of the week. The training was very interesting, building on and cementing many of the video editing skills I was using already when editing my music videos. But it also opened my eyes to the further potential of mobile journalism to communicate news stories to an audience. I would probably have benefited more from the course if I had had a functional smart phone with the appropriate software installed. Nonetheless I was incredibly grateful to the blog competition organiser, Mathew Lowry, for sharing his android phone with me so I could still learn the skills for when I eventually get around to acquiring a more sophisticated device. One of the first techniques we tried was recording Facebook live videos. Although I had never been brave enough to attempt one myself, it is technique I have witnessed multiple times, when the likes of Graham Hughes and Mike Galsworthy have broadcast live footage from the front of anti-Brexit marches. Mathew Lowry recorded a live video of me introducing myself and my new book from his phone, which he then published on his company’s redundant “tester” Facebook page and was amazed that once I had shared the video onto my page and profile, it had soon clocked up close to 2000 views and earned his previously unloved page its first 7 likes. In my mind, this just emphasised the point that strong distribution networks are equally as important as the quality of the content being shared. (For comparisson, the Facebook live interview I recorded of another competition winner, Dennis Nill, which was published on the same page but not shared had only 33 views). 

Facebook Video from the MoJo Course

Sightings of EUSuperGirl in Brussels

Of course, I have been building pro-EU campaign networks for well over a year, vociferously tweeting and posting on Facebook. And as it turned out, a number of people in the EU Commission already knew me before I arrived, having seen the semi-viral “All I Want For Xmas is EU” music video which I published in November 2016. After I had tweeted a few pictures of myself in the EUSuperGirl outfit charging around the Parc du Cinquantenaire using the relevant hashtags #EWRC #EURegionsWeek, more and more people were starting to recognise me. Even out of costume, the security staff were asking me why I wasn’t wearing it. And after the publicity explosion from the stunt that I pulled at the end of the week, it’s fairly safe to say that a significant portion of Europe now know that there are EU super heroes out there, helping to save the Europe and attempting to divert the UK from its spectacular course of self-destruction. 

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UK Advisors Mysterious were Mysteriously Absent from the EWRC

However, I wasn’t just attending the EWRC to gallavant around in a super hero costume, (although that was primarily what I did whilst I was there). I also attended some really interesting sessions about regional funding across the EU. I particularly enjoyed a session where, ironically, the UK advisor on regional funding failed to show up. So myself, and a Welsh and a Northern Irish journalist went and nuzzled in on Ireland’s meeting and had lengthy discussions about the damage Brexit is likely to do to Ireland’s economy, as well as the UK’s, and the concerning, unresolved issue of the Irish border. I also attended a session where the speaker made a rather humbling point that the UK’s self-centered Brexit negotiations are having repercussions on the whole of the EU, by disrupting their ability to plan for the future. I made a point of apologising in a question where I asked the speaker whether the UK would be welcomed back into the EU if I succeed in my life’s aim to stop Brexit. He reassured me it would, nonetheless, I was disturbed to discover that maps are already being used internally that look somewhat like the cover of my new book, with a blanked-out UK, no longer part of the great European project.

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EUSuperGirl Determined to Fight On

Having spent the week learning more about the EU and the fantastic work it achieves and seeing for the first time how the EP and EC operate, I am more determined than ever to fight against the absurd nonsense that is currently engulfing the UK. I think the majority of the EU sees Brexit for what it is – an utter farce – Nonetheless, I think the EU has a significant amount of work to do in order to stem the rising tide of populism that threatens the stability of the union.  

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Can A Silly SuperHero Costume Really Save Europe?

In nearly every session I attended whilst at the EWRC, there was some expression of a desire to engage young people in the work of the European Union; A need to reach out and inspire the next generation to support the work of the EC and the EP and promote its values and achievements. However, nearly every single person attending these meetings were middle aged (or above) and wearing a grey suit. I was one of very few people who could be lumped in the “youth” category and I was certainly the only person wearing ripped jeans and a selection of brightly coloured EU button badges. I was very conscious of the looks of astonishment I provoked when I wore my EU SuperGirl costume in the parliament building. Thankfully nobody threw me out, but I could tell some of the older people in grey suits thought it inappropriate attire. But the truth is, if you want to inspire young people and you want to engage people who find politics tedious and boring, you have got to be a bit daring and unconventional and find alternative ways of connecting with and communicating the message. And if the EU is serious about growing support for its work and reaching out to these people, they need people like me and the delightful @Captain_Europe (my Brussels based counterpart) to bang the drum for the EU and capture their attention in a fun and colourful manner.

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Publicity is Key

It was rather disappointing then, when I turned up to the post-Brexit negotiations Press Conference with an accredited press pass and visitor badge, and I was thrown out of the Berlaymont building essentially for what I was wearing. I appreciate that my striking costume had captured the attention of the press in the room and was therefore a huge distraction from the main event, delaying the start of the press conference. However, the main reason for removing me from the room seemed to be that the commissioner was afraid I would pull a stunt like the man with the P.45 form at the Tory party conference in Manchester. I had sat quietly in the front row of the press conference waiting expectantly for Davis and Barnier to arrive, when the press rushed over and caused a fuss. I had essentially committed no crime, it appears that the EU Commission were terrified of a girl in a super hero outfit. And rightly so. I am fighting their side, but I am also adamant that the EU needs reform, in terms of attitude and policy. But fundamentally, I am a firm believer that we are infinitely stronger when we work together – “United we stand, divided we fall”. And Britain should be warned, to walk away from the European Union, is a catastrophic mistake for all concerned. Right now the UK needs more than one super hero to save us from Brexit, they don’t all have to wear costumes, but I am happy to be the publicity grabbing cape bearer for now! 

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Photo from the Evening Standard of EUSuperGirl being escorted out of the Press Conference

Support My Campaign!

You can help support my campaign by following my twitter accounts:

@superEUgirl and @albawhitewolf

And RT and sharing posts and publicity on social media using the hashtags:

#EUSuperGirl #SuperEUGirl #EUSuperWolf

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Alba was pleased when I finally returned home and showed her what I had been up to!

News Coverage of the #EUSuperGirl Stunt

The Evening Standard Newspaper

BBC Daily Politics Show Interview

The Torygraph Newspaper

The Daily Express Newspaper

POLITICO Newspaper

Euronews Newspaper Interview

The Young European Newspaper

Europa Today News Website

EU News Website

Deredactie News Website

Suedtirol News Website

Presslugen Website

CGTN News Website

Brexit News Website

DW Website

Blaze News 24 Website

General Election Abuse

After continually denying that she would do so, Theresa May “surprised” the World by announcing a snap general election on the 8th June. The announcement was, however, anything but a “surprise”. Given the recent polls showing the Conservative party leading with a huge majority, it was inevitable that they would be unable to resist the temptation of positioning themselves for even greater power in government. After repeated U-Turns and back-tracking on her word, it is also now expected that Theresa May will do the exact opposite of anything she says she is going to do.

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We currently have a government with majority of power, led by a woman who has no discernible moral compass or convictions in her beliefs. Initially a Remain campaigner, Theresa May is now the chief driver of an unnecessarily devastating hard Brexit that will drive our country off a cliff edge, with apparently no consideration for her previous stance. In her first speech as prime minister she claimed she would “fight against the burning injustice that if you’re poor you will die on average 9 years earlier” and to stand up for the people in society who are “just managing”. She has subsequently brought in some of the most divisive policies, such as Grammar Schools, whilst also seemingly ignoring the crisis in the NHS and cutting funding for the already underfunded mental health services. It seems apparent that she either doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care that the people who are “just managing” are those who can’t afford extra tuition to get their children through the Grammar School entrance exams and they are also the people who are struggling to support family members who are suffering from mental health problems because of inadequate treatment on the NHS. Theresa May is acting against expert advice and creating more division and greater inequality in society, making pathetic excuses to reduce tax rates on high earners, in order to protect the interests of the privileged few who already have more than most people could ever dream of achieving. A Prime Minister for the People, she most certainly is not.

The Lies…

The supposed reasons for calling the General Election are questionable at best. She claims she wants to “strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations”, when she already has a clear mandate from the EU Referendum to plough ahead with her damaging proposals. She has made the outrageous and dumbfounding statement that “the country is coming together, but Westminster is not.” To which the only appropriate response is to cry “Bullshit” and throw your remote at the TV, smash your computer screen or burn whichever newspaper you have read this ludicrously absurd statement in. The country is categorically NOT “coming together”, we are more divided than ever and it is her stubborn minded arrogant approach to Brexit and total inability to compromise that is causing this situation.

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There are several more likely reasons for calling the election 2 years early; First of all is the Labour party’s chronic ratings in the polls, as the Tory’s can’t resist the temptation of monopolising their power in government. Jeremy Corbyn is an absolute car crash of a political leader and it is having devastating impacts on the labour party’s PR. We can only hope that the polls are entirely inaccurate, as they have proven in recent votes, and the conservatives won’t win with a huge majority. The second reason is because the extent of the devastating impact of Brexit has not yet been realised. The economy has faired well over the last year, as we haven’t actually left the European Union yet, so the impact of the vote is yet to be felt by British businesses and workers. Moreover, it will become increasingly apparent that the European Union aren’t going to let Theresa May negotiate anything other than a bad Brexit deal, so best to get the General Election out of the way before everyone realises the Tory party are going to leave us with WTO regulations and a trashed economy. A third reason, similar to last year’s referendum, is that students and young people, living away from home will be far less likely to register and vote during their most stressful exam period. Young people are the generation that will be most damaged by the Conservative party policies and can see through Theresa May’s charade, however most are so disaffected by politics that they won’t bother making the effort to vote only to be snubbed yet again by rich, privileged Tory pensioners.

The Truth…

The Snap General Election has been called by the Tories in order that they may abuse a system that already gives them an unfair advantage over other political parties. Rather than focussing on the real issues of the NHS and education, we are wasting millions and millions of pounds on another unnecessary election. I think it is fundamentally wrong that the party in power can decide to call an early election at an opportune moment to position themselves for even greater power. Until governments last for fixed term and are elected using a PR voting system, then we will not have experience a true democracy in this country. The future of politics has got to be about coalition and compromise, not dictatorship, bloody-mindedness and abuse of the system.

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