Monday, June 27, 2016

Escape the News with some free and bargain books

I saw the results of the Brexit vote last week, and a part of me wanted to cheer and say “At last!” (and not just because something finally gained more headlines than the US presidential race!) while a part of me looks to the future with some anxiety.

Living in Britain through the formation of the Common Market, its evolution into the European Union and the birth of the Euro, the whole EU thing often left me feeling more frustrated than anything.

Yes, being in the Union gave people the freedom to live and work where they pleased. The single currency presumably gave people and businesses in member states a lot easier time of managing their money. But I would say that Britain’s heart was never really in it. I think the writing’s been on the wall for years now since Britain chose to stay out of the Euro.

Any plus sides to the arrangement were probably felt more by politicians, big business, and the City than by ordinary folk in Britain. On the downsides, new stories popped up regularly of the latest bureaucratic nonsense to emerge from Brussels. We were drowning in floods of news rules of breathtaking absurdity from regulating the permitted curvature of bananas to the recycling of teabags. And bureaucrats were being paid outlandish salaries on an obscene gravy train to come up with this nonsense.

And while the British instinctively believe in “playing fair” some countries always seemed happy to flout the rules while grabbing as much as they could from the Union. Dang it all, that’s just not cricket old chap, what?

I honestly don’t know if, given the choice, I’d have voted Remain or Leave. The frustration was clearly boiling over, but the effects of the vote will be far-reaching. Trouble is, there’s a lot of noise and speculation out there but precious little useful information.

I’m not going to make any predictions. Leaving the EU may be good for Britain, it may be disastrous. The UK may stay whole, it may fragment. The same goes for the EU. The knock-on effects around the world are incalculable.

All we can do is hang on for the ride.

And what better way to distract yourself than with a good book? The Goodreads group Support for Indie Authors is holding another “Free and Bargain Books” event this weekend, from July 1 through to July 4. Lots of authors and e-books of all genres to enjoy, either for free or priced at 99 cents.
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I’ve already discounted Ghosts of Innocence and Tiamat’s Nest to 99 cents ahead of the event to give time for the reduced price to filter its way to all the outlets.

9 comments:

  1. Some people are really upset about it. Time will tell if it's a good move.

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  2. Sometimes it's best to cut your losses (whatever they may be), but in the end, the people spoke. I think the price for redemption is well spent. I'm happy for the people.

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  3. I think Britain will come to regret this vote and Scotland will undoubtedly once more consider leaving the UK, and most of Britain's oil comes from Scotland so this could be a problem.

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  4. Alex, it was such a close vote a lot of people in the UK would have been upset either way. However, the way it went has truly shocked a lot of people outside the country. Nobody really believed it would happen.

    Diane, the die is cast, as they say.

    Stephen, oil production there is already slowing down, not sure how many more years it will keep up.

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  5. I was happy for Britain. Actually, I've been thinking how much relief they must feel over the move. It was obviously the choice of the people. It's going to be interesting to watch the fall out.

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  6. It's been fascinating to watch this unfold. Change is coming, that's for sure!

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  7. Crystal, unfortunately I don't think it's much of a relief yet. The vote has seriously divided the country and I don't recall ever seeing both main political parties so divided either. I don't think anyone can predict even the near future with any credibility.

    Emily, I've not been watching too closely until the vote got near, but I've lived through the formation of the EU and it has always been a divisive matter over there. I hope this will be taken as an opportunity to rein in some of the worst aspects and build on the positives.

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  8. Interesting reading your thoughts on Brexit, Ian. The thing that most struck me--and I see that you've touched on it just a bit, was how close the vote was. The vote last year for Scottish secession was close. Our (USA) last few presidential elections have been close. What that translates to me is that in each of the aforementioned elections, though the people spoke with their votes, it still left close to half of the voters unhappy. I think I've never seen the western world quite so divided on many, many issues and on many, many fronts.

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  9. Teresa, yes there's a lot of deep divisions in the world right now. It doesn't help that party politics is inherently - and increasingly bitterly - divisive.

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