Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

The Trolls Attacking Boris On Social Media Are In For The Shock Of Their Lives

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It’s very, very sad how our great nation has become demeaned by the arrogant, self-righteous, opinionated, know-it-all warriors of social media.
 
When I worked in the ad industry, we had a saying ‘It’s much easier to criticise than to create’ and that’s what I see on Facebook and Twitter. Despite my challenge, not one person has suggested anyone who they think would do better than Boris Johnson.
 
Things are going to get very much tougher than they are now. I think there will be shock, horror, grief, anger and fear to cope with. It’s going to take a leader of heroic strength to get us through and I say thank God we already have that man in Downing Street.

Boris is doing a brilliant job. For 15 years this country has been crying out for leadership. He rescued Brexit from the Remainers who wanted to subvert our democracy and he’ll lead us to victory over Covid19

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 20, 2020 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Biography, Politics

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Life Is A Rollercoaster

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When you’ve been through as much shit as I have in my life, this is just another downward swoop on the rollercoaster. And let’s be honest, if there wasn’t a slight chance that you wouldn’t make it, it wouldn’t be half as much fun!

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 19, 2020 at 4:47 pm

Posted in Biography, Health

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How To Win The Coronavirus War

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Closing things down will not protect us. Only by developing herd immunity will we win the Coronavirus War. So we should be careful to try and slow the rate of infection and vulnerable people need to be in strict hygiene conditions.

In areas where everything is shut down, when people start mixing again the infection will just come back.

We have to accept it in a controlled fashion, then we will develop antibodies and scientists will develop vaccines against it.

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 14, 2020 at 8:28 pm

VIDEO. Peter Reynolds discusses legalisation “I’ve been saying 5 years, for quite a long time”

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Written by Peter Reynolds

February 29, 2020 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Biography, Politics

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I’m Voting In The Irish General Election

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I am privileged to be a registered voter in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland.  As a Welshman I am very happy to live alongside my Celtic brothers in County Kerry and I still have a base in Dorset on the south coast of England.  I am proud to be British and although some might think in Ireland it’s a dirty word, I have never met any hostility here and it’s a fact of geography that the UK and Ireland together comprise the British Isles.

In the recent UK General Election, I voted Conservative because above all else I wanted to ‘Get Brexit Done’.  On Saturday I will be voting in Ireland and I’m deciding who to vote for.

I am a passionate Brexiteer because I consider self-determination to outweigh almost all other political considerations.  In June 2008, Ireland voted against the EU over the Lisbon Treaty but it was forced by the Eurocrats to hold a second referendum and just over a year later the Irish people were bullied into submission.  I wish that Ireland could have left the EU alongside the UK and there is a significant level of opinion here in favour of ‘Irexit’.  It would certainly have solved the problem that Brexit has caused for the border with the North.

The other solution to the border is a united Ireland and that is something I strongly support.  It’s only in the past 10 years that I have come to understand Irish history and Britain is shamed by its record of brutal oppression. I realise now that this important history is excluded from the school syllabus in the UK. Our behaviour in Ireland is one of the most dreadful episodes of history and the British were guilty of war crimes similar to Israel’s current conduct in Palestine, the Nazis in World War II and other tyrannical regimes.  If I had lived in Ireland in the 20th Century I would certainly have joined the IRA. It was a righteous and noble cause.

I know for certain that I will not vote for Fine Gael, the present party of government.  While I admire the way that it has helped Ireland become a progressive society, escaping from the evil of the Catholic Church, it describes itself as ‘the party of Europe’ and Leo Varadkar, its leader and the present Taoiseach is a gay, Asian version of Tony Blair.  I hasten to add that I have nothing against him for being gay or Asian!

I am more naturally drawn to Fianna Fail, the main opposition party that is more Ireland-centric and republican in its philosophy.  But it is very old-fashioned, embedded in the past, illiberal culture and offers little promise for the future. It strikes me that like the two main parties in the UK, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are content with the status quo where power switches back and forth between them periodically.  There’s no doubt that Ireland is ready for a change.

Ireland has a history of electing significant numbers of independent politicians and here in Kerry we are blessed with our very own independent dynasty, the Healy-Raes, an extraordinary family which can, most certainly, be described as eccentric.  We have a proportional, single-transferable vote system where voters specify candidates in order of preference by writing 1, 2, 3, etc. alongside their names. Michael Healy-Rae will definitely be near the top of my choices.

But voting for independents will not help create a new government that can move beyond the tired politics of the past.  Extraordinarily, I find myself tempted by two socialist parties: Sinn Fein and People Before Profit. Sinn Fein for its noble ideals and ambition for a united Ireland.  (The name translates as ‘We Ourselves’).  People Before Profit because I have met several of its TDs and it is strongly committed to cannabis law reform.

Also, as all democrats should be, I am disgusted by the way Fine Gael and Fianna Fail treat Sinn Fein, currently ahead of both them in the polls. They both refuse to engage at all and say they would never work with it in government.  The reason given is because of Sinn Fein’s past paramilitary connections and, as they say, that is has never properly distanced itself from violence.

I say this is preposterous, dishonest nonsense.  Firstly, it was a just war.  Of course, I deplore violence against innocent civilians but given the perspective I have recently acquired, I am ambivalent about action against security forces.  An army of occupation must expect to meet resistance.  If Fine Gael and Fianna Fail refuse to engage with a party with such massive popular support, they must reap the consequences.  How is any movement supposed to progress beyond violence to peaceful politics if it is spurned and isolated?

For me, one of the most extraordinary experiences since moving to Ireland was meeting Martin Ferris, a Sinn Fein, Kerry TD who is retiring at this election.  He was a hunger striker and starved himself for longer than some who died as a result of their protest.  In the late 70s, I was in my early 20s and I remember that my perspective on the hunger strikers was that they were fools because the British government would never give in. But now I see it very differently.  I see the huge courage and nobility in their protest.

So I shall be voting for Sinn Fein.  I’m not yet sure what number I shall put against their candidate, Pa Daly’s name but it could well be number one.  Were People Before Profit fielding a candidate in Kerry, they too woud get a vote. The elegance of the Irish voting system is that I can offer support to these socialist parties without fear.  The first past the post system in Britain really does hold us back and I hope there will be electoral reform in my lifetime.

My father would turn in his grave if he read these words.  I am surprised at myself but my mind is made up.  Of course I am only one voter amongst more than three million but I am excited about this, my first Irish election, as I believe it heralds real change.

Written by Peter Reynolds

February 7, 2020 at 8:56 pm

Happy Brexit Day!

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I care less about Brexit than I do about democracy and power being in the hands of the people.
It is wonderful to see the people overpowering the media, big business, the bankers, the bureaucrats and even those who should never have gone near the political gutter, our Supreme Court justices.
Democracy is the people’s power and today is the day we took back control, the day we put the Great back in Britain.

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 31, 2020 at 5:18 pm

Posted in Biography, Politics

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Biarritz

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I know this beach very well.  I very nearly drowned there about 30 years ago.

I think it was probably 1991.  I was still married and my wife, Sharon, and I, with our two boys, Richard and Evan, had driven down to South West France on holiday, staying mainly at campsites.  Evan, who turned 30 last week, was still a baby, in a car seat, and Richard wasn’t more than four or five.  It was a great holiday and we did the same the following year.  The farthest south we ever travelled was San Sebastian and I have vivid memories of us eating lunch in a chaotic restaurant there.

But back to Biarritz and my near death experience. It was my ‘surfing period’ and atop the car was my custom made yellow surfboard, emblazoned, I am sure you will be amused to hear, with a large leaf from a certain favourite plant!

I shall never forget the sea that day.  There was no wind, it was flat calm, like a mill pond, except for massive 10 – 12 foot waves rolling in and pounding the beach with surf.  ‘Glassy’ is the surfing term and until you see it, this combination of calm water and hugely powerful waves is very difficult to understand.

I paddled out and getting beyond the break was impossibly difficult.  When the waves broke there was still a six to eight feet high torrent of white water to get past and trying to duck dive underneath it showed up all my lack of big wave experience.

Eventually I made it but I was absolutely exhausted.  I’ve been a very strong swimmer all my life but that had taken all my energy and then I realised that I was being pulled rapidly out to sea.  The rip current had got me and there was nothing I could do.  I tried everything, paddling parallel to the beach across the current in both directions and coming off the board and trying to swim out towing the board behind me with my leash.  Nothing worked and then came the beginnings of panic.

Since a small boy in South Wales, I had delighted played in big waves, well what I thought were big waves but the power of these Atlantic rollers was like nothing I had ever experienced and the rip current they were creating was like an unstoppable train.  Never before and never since have I been so close to absolute panic, nausea deep in my stomach, helpless, this is it, I thought.  By now. I was beyond the large rock Boris is pointing at in the picture

Then, out from the beach, paddling furiously, came another surfer. He undid his leash, threw it to me and started to tow me back in.  I was just flat out on my board and somehow he managed to get us both back in.  I collapsed on the beach, gasping for air and as I recovered I looked around for my saviour.  He asked if I was OK and I thanked him profusely in my very poor French, he didn’t speak a word of English. Mostly though I was coming to terms with the fact that he just about came up to my shoulder.  He was tiny, almost like a child and then brushing aside my gratitude he sprang back towards the sea, threw himself on his board and paddled out into the maelstrom once again.

My humiliation was total.  I couldn’t believe how one so small had shown me up for the lumbering, clumsy amateur that I was! It took me another half hour to recover from the physical ordeal and mental trauma.  What a lesson learned!  My memories of that day in Biarritz when I nearly drowned will never fade.

Written by Peter Reynolds

August 25, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Posted in Biography, sport

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