The Swamp is powered by Vocal creators. You support Phil Wharton by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

The Swamp is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

As You Were

Women dance to the Empire's tune


One of the most divisive individuals in British politics has given breathing space to several others, and most of them are women. Meanwhile, the men who hold the cards do what they do best and stay out of sight. As if you would know who they are.

Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the Scottish National Party will not be pressing for a second referendum on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom. This after Theresa May, fresh from handing a £1.5bn bribe to Arlene Foster and the Democratic Unionist Party for their ten votes in the House of Commons, suggested she do so. Well done, Theresa. You may go.

Meanwhile, the least divisive individual in British politics, the United Kingdom's head of state Queen Elizabeth II, the richest woman in the world, has been granted an annual £6m pay rise by the Conservative government of which Mrs. May is currently the leader. Again, those advising Mrs. May on this course of action will remain anonymous; however, Benedict Cumberbatch could probably tell you that they are currently occupying leather seats somewhere between Parliament Square and Lancaster Gate.

Pall Mall's finest would have had no traction problems in introducing Mrs. May to Mrs. Foster. One can't be a Conservative without being a Unionist after all. Perhaps some grouse was involved; a small price to pay for a strong, stable government. Once again, thank you ladies, try not to trip on the stairs on your way out, the butler doesn't know you're here.

So, who's left (sinister in the Latin), if you'll pardon the expression?

Oh yes. Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative Party. Low-level divisive, especially outside of Scotland. The woman who changed the map of that country on Newsnight from almost totally yellow to yellow-with-huge-swathes-of-blue-and-more-bright-red-bits. This openly gay politician should be credited with masterminding a political landslide of, excuse me, "biblical" proportions. But she isn't, and she won't be.

Why? Because you can't square these circles. Eventually, the Athanaeum or the Liberal Club pull the plug. The Loyal Orange Institution form alliances in Scotland with local Conservative and Labour politicians tactically to keep the SNP away from any kind of power. My enemy's enemy is my friend. One stand-out DUP Member of [the United Kingdom] Parliament is Jim Shannon, who is one of four Orangemen in this government, is also a member of the Apprentice Boys of Derry.

The irony of having Northern Ireland's “troubles” coming home to roost in 2017 will be of no concern to the Pall Mall puppeteers. The fact that the strings they pull are attached to women might add a touch of wry pleasure when they retire for a rubber of bridge. Business as usual.

Now Reading
As You Were
Read Next
Dead Babies