The Politics of ...

The Politics of ...

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Fake News-ish

I've been wracking my brains for months about what purpose - what future - the world has with the slightly bonkers way it has gone in the last couple of years. I think I'd feel this way even if I'd voted Leave and was one of those people who feel 'Brexit at all cost' is the only solution. You'd have to be some special kind of ignorant to have not noticed some changes to life since the referendum and eventually, when we do leave our free trade club, we'll notice a lot more - whether that's for good or bad.

Bare with me for a second; there is a conspiracy theory coming up that even for me is up there with fake moon landings, staged massacres and Elvis not being dead...

What do you know about eugenics? I appreciate I'm wandering back towards an old favourite when I ask that, but it is actually an ancient Greek concept and like the swastika has no origins in Nazism whatsoever. However, a cornerstone of eugenics is probably the creation of a master race and usually supporters of eugenics rarely fit their desired description. Just look at Hitler. In fact, yes, let's look at Hitler. A short, slightly ugly, authoritarian pervert managed to persuade half a nation that being tall, strong, with blond hair and blue eyes was the pinnacle of human evolution without the aid of the Internet. He must have been one hell of a charismatic character. He must have been Jesus-like to be able to change the way Germans viewed themselves and others; how he managed to persuade people and politicians with real power that his way was the only way; that took something that I'm sure holocaust deniers would argue was beyond human ability in the 1930s. I mean, you could argue that Hitler, like Jesus, might just be a construct from a number of people, designed by the 'free world' to give a face to the threat - a really dull and unthreatening face...

The internet is a dangerous place. People like me inhabit it. People who kill people stalk on it. Hate groups establish. Paedophiles operate outside of the law with ease. Networks grow. Revolution or Jihads theoretically flourish and however much the people who think they run the world control it, the truth gets out. The antidote was pump as much fake news out there as real stuff; obfuscate the screen; make everything grey; pander to emotions rather than common sense. The internet has created a world where strange bedfellows make unbelievable bargains while brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandparents and grandchildren have fallen out to the point where it is impossible to reconcile because the disagreement is about philosophy and beliefs rather than a familiar event.

I've been saying for a while that I think there's a war coming. World War Three - fought in each country between one faction against another. The same way Hitler (if he really existed) turned friends and family against each other, political divisions and social perceptions are driving massive wedges between families. We can also throw culture, race, religion, gender and social choices into the mix - loads of people are prejudiced against lots of things and many would arguably not flutter an eyelid if certain people just disappeared...

What better way to get rid of huge swathes of the population and then impose an authoritarian rule over the people for their own protection. How quick would it become to get rid of dissenting voices then? If the 21st century has learnt anything it's that politicians will use history to their advantage. They will look at fascist dictatorships and communist regimes and they'll steal all the bits they like the best and then label their enemies both. Do we really get the news and do our journalists ever, now, ask the right questions? 24 hour news and then the internet created 'what if reality TV' - a place where inconsequential things will be fearmongered to death to fill air time that you pay for - neat trick that.

As for the opening question... aside from the possibility that we'll face some kind of war - and bearing in mind that the above was written before the UN decided we had another Cold War - I can't think of a way of reconciling humanity. You can be friends with a Democrat if you're a Republican and vice versa; I know as a Labour supporter I like people who (thing they) are Tory supporters - politics alone doesn't have to drive wedges between human friendship; but when solid beliefs are challenged, whether between father and son or brothers and sisters, you often find only a death can heal a wound, forcing people to  face each other over someone else rather than themselves.

We are experiencing a polarisation, especially in the Western world; beliefs now rule peoples lives so much more than simple religious beliefs; in an OCD society, obsessed people will allow paranoia, fear and xenophobia to dominate. You only have to argue with one of them to see that for every one of their arguments you can dismantle about leaving the EU, for example, will have something else, probably more trivial, to add to the mix. Leaving the EU for many people was about a belief and no kind of proof was going to change that. I'm struggling to suggest belief is a good thing, because sometimes, especially in 2018, it sets personal bars too high.

The world because of the allowance of diversity to become a barrier is also fractured; too many are poor and hungry, not enough is done for them and plenty is done for the wealthy, based on the 'trickle down' theory, which the right and centre like to bang on about, but little evidence exists that anyone but the rich get richer. If this governmental pyramid scheme worked why do so many people complain about austerity? Even people not really affected by it are now affected by it, because the people they rely on are now affected and by association...

The problem is the world has successfully created a lot of people who don't give a shit. People who metaphorically beat their chests and bang on about the survival of the fittest. People who for no other reason than it's there, will sit on their computer devices and be hateful, cruel, vile and nasty on various social networks because they can and possibly because they feel they have no voice in the real world, so create a storm in a virtual one. The internet created sad pathetic people like this almost 30 seconds after it was created, because hate finds all manner of avenues to invade your lives - just asked that Hitler bloke or his creators.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

For Northamptonshire

I look, from a distance, at my old county and my old employer and I wonder how the Conservative voters of Northamptonshire can look anyone in the eye and tell people that the Tory's are a financial safe pair of hands, or are better with the economy?

I think you've been conned. Obviously not all of you, but a large swathe of the population - possibly driven by the desire to have more money - bought this Tory spun bullshit in 1992, despite the country heading towards economic disaster and, even recently, I have heard from people I love and/or like that they voted Tory for the sake of their children/family/economic stability and I'm wondering how that's worked out for them. Could Labour have done worse?

I've noticed that the press has failed to prevent national coverage of the Northants County Council debacle and I hope that people look at that story and try to marry the fact that NCC has a massive Tory control, along with NBC (the Borough Council) they have managed to sell off just about every one of Northamptonshire's crown jewels to keep council tax low to ensure that the greedy people of the county vote for them.

I want those Tory voters to look at the lack of services across the county and the looming threat to the ones that remain and ask if they think their money was well spent? Do they really think a Labour or Hung council would have been worse? And if they do, why? What evidence have you got that a band of chimps and a dancing frog couldn't run NCC better, because the money all you Northants people pay has been mismanaged almost continually since the Coalition government gave NCC carte blanche to obliterate your public services and still run out of money...

Seriously, at the next council elections - is it May? - if you get a Tory knocking on your door, even if you voted Tory, you need to ask them what evidence they can give you that they are better equipped at running the budget given the evidence at hand. You could also ask them why anyone should believe the Tories are better with the economy. I'll bet you get an answer that equates to 'We're better than Labour' or 'How bad do you think it would be under Labour'... If you think scaring you with something that might be worse is intellectual politics then you probably don't deserve the vote.

You want to know what the irony here is?

The Leave campaign banged on about Project Fear, yet they took their own government's tactic and turned it into a weapon to bash them and all Remainers. Tories have used project fear since Thatcher; why talk about how you can fix things when you can remind people how bad the other side is. People like negativity; they like being able to blame someone.

I reckon people have heard it too many times. Take whenever there's a problem somewhere in the country's infrastructure; this government are always there to remind us that they've invested/spent/kindly donated record amounts to ensure the improvement of [insert whatever's fucked up here]. Well, if they spend the same as the previous government with an inflationary rise, of bloody course it's going to be more; doesn't mean its enough though does it?

If we're so rich, why do we need so much austerity, job insecurity and councils running out of money. If we - as a country - are so rich, who's getting all this money and why haven't you seen any of it? You also need to ask yourself; why do you have to pay for their fuck ups?

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Denial - A River in Egypt...

We all know about denial. If you don't, then you're lying. Denial has been the key sub-dermal issue scratching at our consciousnesses for eighteen months. A lot of people who voted Leave were voting for something not really offered by anyone and unknown to the two sides putting their arguments across.

I've listened to a lot of Leave voters in the last 18 months; some of them are genuinely decent people, with genuine concerns (unrelated to immigration) that were never properly addressed in the Referendum Spectacular. They probably were, but unless you really wanted to understand what you were voting against, most of them listened to their guts; their friends - who were also possibly listening to their guts or someone else's and the outright lies proffered by Boris, Gove, Howey and co did nothing to settle their grumbling stomachs. Gut feelings and a sense of nationalistic pride were the key factors for lots of people; many of who don't bother to vote in a General Election, because, you know, it's politics.

I've hypothesised about why people are being so resolute about leaving despite the fact everything really does seem to be some 1970s sitcom at the moment, but with a tragic twist. It is a matter of principal; it is a strongly held belief that whatever the cost it will be better for us; it is about immigration; its about isolationism; it's about not feeling like we're being ruled by faceless unelected burEaUcrats; it's about saving between £50 and £350million a week; it's about being able to negotiate our own trade deals with other countries and not be restricted by the EU; it's about having everything we've got now, but not having to bow down to anyone else and becoming a world leader again... You tell a rabid Leaver something good the EU does and he'll come up with a reason how they haven't helped him or someone he knows despite him not wanting their interference - reality is that warped at the moment.

Apart from immigration, how are any of those other things going to change the day-to-day lives of 99.9% of the population? The problem with immigration is ignorance that has been allowed to fester into xenophobia by a rabid right wing press; an older generation who spent their formative years being told not to trust foreigners and a Conservative party who, first and foremost, look to see how they can benefit themselves financially before doing anything to address the issue. The issue being education, except it isn't...

My experience of young people, of which I have a bit even if I have none of my own, is that they're extremely tolerant, don't really tolerate things such as racism, homophobia, sexism or anything the 40-70 age range has running through it like letters in a stick of rock. Anyone growing up in the 60s and 70s will have been subjected to everything that most feel is wrong in today's society - racism, sexism, homophobia... Hey, a well known 'comedian' of the era was known for getting a laugh with 'flid' jokes (and if you have no idea what that is I'm not going to tell you, it's simply offensive in the worst kind of way - the current President made one during his campaign to be elected, showing how much affect the lack of funding for education has idiotised America).

So, why hasn't this current debacle with David Davis and his impact assessments that did exist, don't exist, have been redacted and have never existed not been scrutinised by the press more than just in moderate newspapers? Denial. The right wing press do not want to speculate on the possibility that Brexit might be a disaster, because they're worried they won't be able to sell that to readers who they've radicalised for the opposite. I'm not convinced for all his bluff and PM-in-Waiting shtick that Jeremy Corbyn and his team really want this responsibility and it feels like everything really is in denial at the moment. Whenever someone is off doing something that ordinarily would result in their immediate dismissal but gets overlooked because the current government is now more than a joke, you have to know that something is wrong. It's a free-for-all jolly with free porn on your laptops!

I mean, do they really want this to happen or are they obfuscating like buffoons waiting for the long line of independent impact studies to come out, or another scandal to break or someone else in the EU to say something we can react to putting more time on the process? Anyone who wants to do their own research into the Leave/Remain situation in terms of what we can/can't/might get and how little evidence there is to suggest we'll get any kind of deal better or even comparable to what we have and the confidence that we'll be able to get the rest of the world to change their rules to suit us appears to be simply shouting 'We're British' at them until they acquiesce. That doesn't work and it's being played out publicly, even if the newspaper or news channel you read or watch isn't telling you this.

The politicians must be hoping something can happen to indefinitely put the process off; eventually even Jacob Rees Mogg will realise there'll be no one left to wipe his arse if the plebs start dying of starvation or worse still they start revolting. Of course, if the peasants had a revolt in 2018 you can bet your life history will be debating in 1000 years about why they did it and reaching the conclusion - 'cos, innit'.

The common sense appears to be go to the country and tell them, in no uncertain terms, that leaving the EU will be a very bad thing. To be able to do this she would need to threaten or coerce the right wing media to get on her side and she would need to tell the Eurosceptics in her party to go and join Nigel in the UKIPs and she'd select new candidates for their seats.

I am currently watching an army of pigs fly across the sky.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Time To Stop Fighting?

Radio and TV presenter James O'Brien - loved and loathed by different parts of the electorate - once wondered who would get the blame when the right wing press and the vehement Leave faction had run out of other people to blame? Once we've been out of the EU for long enough and can't blame them for all our ills, who would be turned on as the reason for all our woes?

Our press demonises whenever it feels like it, so blaming 'Remainers' for their lack of optimism and their insistence of 'talking the country down' will obviously be high up on the list of people to blame. I'm amazed that we haven't had more civil unrest and vigilantism aimed at all the groups of people the Daily Mail has blamed for all the horrible things that have happened in the last 40 years, given the hate pouring from them and other right wing press. It isn't going to be long before women are blamed for something because they're getting far too much say in the fairness of society; that'll be clamped down on my the Mail. Women! Know your place!

I couldn't be conceited enough to think some bloke who occasionally gets 1000 people reading his blogs is going to become a target for the kind of people who feel abuse is now allowable, especially if you disagree with them. It has made me begin to realise some unpleasant things about the current situation we're in sociologically, and that the simple fact that while I don't want leaving the EU to happen, it will and therefore economically we will all pay a little bit more for everything (as a least worst case scenario). Popular people with dissenting voices will get a steady rise in traffic. It'll look great the begin with, then the comments will start and you'll realise that half the audience are frothing at the mouth wanting to castrate the writer with their own filed down teeth and the world will start to look a little less safe and people like me might start to think twice about publishing our own blogs or opinions on social media.

The thing is, I believe I am on the side of the rational, even if those not on the side of the rational will feel they are. Logic disappeared a long time ago, replaced by faith, belief and feelings. The EU referendum and subsequent months that followed has shown quite clearly - for those who want to look - there are divisions within society that have not only been uncovered by the vote, but have reached a nadir - a situation where families have fallen out; friendships destroyed and mutual respect has evaporated. I could (and have done) sit here and write a list of all the things that economists, political analysts and experts in many fields have stated will be irrevocably changed - for the worse - by the Brexit vote. However, it would do no good because, for starters, you are already mainly converted, and if you are one of the people I know who did vote Leave, you're not likely to be reading this (yet).

There isn't an easy fix and I understand the problems all political parties have at the moment at an almost atomic level. Even if this vote had been 49.9 against 50.1 it would have been determined as a will of the people, simply because enough people want out. Anyone with any sense will have realised that the Leave nutters outweigh the Remain ones by a considerable margin; we have to self harm ourselves in an extreme way to quell future unrest. Can you imagine what Farage and his band of swivel-eyed 'At All Cost' wankers would be advocating if Maybot did a sensible thing and simply told the country we can't leave the EU because it would bankrupt the country?

I am also aware that people on the right side of politics would have a field day with my suggestion there would be civil unrest because we should all be aware that the left wing are as bad, if not worse, than all the would be Nazis lining up to declare Ingerland Uber Alles. "It's always the bleedin' lefties saying there'll be riots in the streets," is usually the retort or words of a similar meaning, badly spelled. You could argue with these people that you only ever see anti-government protests when the Tories are in power, but to them... whatever...

Right wing politics brought you Hitler. Left wing politics brought you weekends and holiday pay. People who aren't fascists do have evil thoughts; some swear occasionally and many broke the habit of a lifetime by wishing Farage had died in his plane crash. I accept there are left wing people who will be offensive to right wingers and help destroy the argument of holding the moral high ground. I would like to think this is born of frustration rather than a conscious desire to inflict anything untoward on someone else. People who view themselves as left wing usually don't think of themselves as soviet supporting communists; however, a lot of right wing supporters look and/or sound like Nazis.

Then there's the 'Freedom of Speech' argument, which seems to be a catch all reason for allowing people to be hateful. There is something slightly rational about attempting to explain to people why something might not be a good idea and something slightly irrational, in fact borderline bonkers, in the way the right wing think it's totally acceptable to viciously insult anyone who they don't agree with. Once upon a time I'd argue that the nutters are only on the internet and you wouldn't meet this kind of cretin in a pub or at the bus stop; the problem is it's a growing army and it's fuelled by offshore billionaires who, I presume, think a worldwide civil war based on opposing opinions will be good for business?

The thing is, there's an element of futility in all of this; like the rational people seem to think that by being rational it will change the tide. A sort of anti-Canute thinking, where instead of acknowledging the tide is stronger than one man or a thousand men and their beliefs, you have to hope that it - hope - is stronger. That's how slightly weird and wonky the world has become. I can make the tide turn. I can because it is the will of the people!

A world where one serial sex offender is vilified all over the news, while another is President of the USA. A world where someone reading the above sentence will be marking my name down in a book, without a hint of irony, and mentally executing me until the revolution when he can do it legitimately and preferably in a big town square in front of a baying crowd who hate Social Justice Warriors as much as they hate 'niggers' 'Pakis' and 'faggots'. I'm sorry, but this is designed to shock. This country isn't going to miraculously wake up in the morning and be some utopia we inadvertently mislaid behind the sofa.

I heard someone on the radio recently ask the aforementioned James O'Brien if he seriously thinks he or other people who explain the detriments of Brexit in articulate and [ironic] simple ways have any hope of changing the minds of people who believe that it is the only way forward; that it has to be achieved, without compromise and regardless of the human cost? The answer to that has to be a resounding NO and simply because it's difficult enough to change rational Leave voters minds - You know Born Again Christians? That's your average Brexiteer. The problem is the Brexit version of the Westboro Baptists is about as bad.

If you had the opportunity to have a captive leave voter giving you their undivided attention and you could get them to look at every shred of evidence you have to prove they did the wrong thing; that the reasons they voted were bullshit. Do you know what their answer would be?

"Yeah, but..."

There wouldn't be anything else. 'Yeah, but' is the answer. Some of the more extreme ones will even take self-harming to a new level by saying, 'I don't care.' There's one of them in my own family (and I managed to have 45 minutes on the phone to him last week without once getting angry).

People talk about democracy like they even understand it and apply our archaic First Past The Post version to the referendum, like they think that we'll get another chance to decide in four or five years, like it was a General Election. David Cameron allowed a vote to take place that became a plebiscite on something else entirely and now a lot of angry people want it to happen as fast as possible because when it does it will solve all of our problems and everything will be fantastic again. Obviously when that doesn't happen there's going to be a lot of very confused people out there.

You ask all these people to name you an EU law that has buggered up their lives or this country and they usually quote something that isn't even true. Bananas is a good one, especially as there are no banana growing EU states, to my knowledge. Fish is another, until you realise what the EU were doing was protecting fish stocks so that your grandchildren and their grandchildren will be able to buy and eat affordable fish; they were not trying to drive hundreds of hardworking fishermen out of business. The problem we have with the fish scenario is people who aren't fishermen will argue that we should be able to strip-mine our seas and when our seas are barren we should be able to go and do the same to everyone else's seas, mainly because we're British and we should be allowed to do whatever we want because we invented football and telecommunications and won a few wars, on our own, and never with any help from anyone else, ever...

The Daily Mail would argue that this is a rational and totally valid argument. The Daily Mail thought Herr Hitler was a thoroughly decent chap.

So why fight? Especially if the fighters are going to be the next targets? Why make the bullseye bigger and easier to hit?

Yes, I understand that the main fear for anyone who didn't want us to leave is the fear of the unknown and the fear that everything you have will be reduced to worthless shite and by not resisting you will end up condoning it by your inactivity (look at Germany in the 1930s, not for the Nazi analogy but for the lack of action from the majority that led to extremists prospering); but it's got worse in the last 16 months, not better. There is a wee bit more resigned indignation from the more realistic Remainers and there's a whiff of even more swivel-eyed jingoistic bravado from the Leavers (Hate crime is up 29% since the Brexit vote; that should make them all proud that they're achieving what their motives spelled out); we're settling into a gradual degradation of civilised Britain and once all the unnecessary foreigners have been kicked out, Remoaners will be at the top of the new list, along with Muslims and black criminals - it will their fault and when they've all gone it'll be someone else; maybe dog owners, or people with Volvos.

The only way to make Britain truly great again, it would appear, is to get rid of all the things that make it a great place. It needs to become a deeply nasty isolationist state that trusts no one else and only deals with the things it needs to. That will make the like of Rees-Mogg and Davis happy; then they can rule their fiefdoms while kicking shit in the eyes of their staff. Huzzah!

I'm not completely sure we're a million miles from something like a Ministry of Patriotic Brexit, along the same lines as any fascist (or communist) state has had in the past, where people begin to be sanctioned if they speak negatively about Brexit - Belittle Brexit, Belittle Britain. So it might be worth just watching from the wings, gauging the mood, keeping quiet, not drawing any attention to myself from the Internet & Thought Police and preparing my garden to grow enough fresh food to save me money to stay warm...

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Hate! What is it Good For?

Hate is a bit of a vile word in certain contexts. I mean, I hate [insert vegetable name here] is a strong way of disliking something, but we've all said something similar and no one really bats an eyelid when someone says, 'I hate cabbage'. If however that person says, 'I hate Muslims' then the word takes on a different tone.

I heard someone on the radio this morning actually say, "I don't care about the Muslims who died at Grenfell, I only care about the people of other religions who died."

A little earlier this month, I heard Rio Ferdinand talking about the amount of on-line abuse and vile nastiness aimed at him after his wife died of breast cancer. It doesn't matter if you don't like the man, his career as a footballer or anything else about him; but to be nasty, hurtful and vile about his wife's untimely death makes me wonder what kind of human we're breeding now?

The right wing press has championed the hate of Islam, and has essentially picked a fight with an entire religion and wants you to tar them all with the same brush it paints nasty pictures about. Ironically, the right wing press turns a blind eye to Christian fundamentalism, which has probably accounted for more death and violence in the last five years than anyone else (Yes, USA, we're looking at you). But, the right wing press are essentially all Christians and we know how truly Christian Christians are, don't we? They are selectively Christian and will be decidedly unChristian if what they need to be Christian about is also something or someone they find morally reprehensible. Believing in 'our' God gives you the privilege of being a twat about others and their own gods.

Our right wing press pour over the Quran (a word which my US created spell checker doesn't recognise, by the way) as much as nutty Islamic fundamentalists, attempting to construe something from its texts to allow them some kind of justification in propagating their hate; yet they can conveniently forget the words of Jesus when they want to demonise the poor, the unemployed, single mothers or someone who says 'bum' on the telly... In a sensible world Jacob Rees-Mogg would have been vilified and castigated for any of his recent comments, instead he's being championed as a future leader of the Tory party. That is basically how mad the world has become.

I blame the Internet, which is quickly challenging Margaret Thatcher as the major blame of all ills. It appears whatever Thatcher didn't manage, the Internet has been used to achieve it. I've been writing an article about a hobby I had and was involved with the fan-promotion of during the 1970s, a thing which still exists in the 2010s but has more divisions and disparity than probably existed in the entire world in 1970. Of course, the 1970s were rife with racism, sexism, homophobia and bigotry but it somehow felt slightly safer for everyone, probably because vocal arseholes had very few platforms to spout their shite and skinheads were as rarely seen as examples of Trump integrity. Hate wasn't commercially viable back then so it was left to the actual nutters and not just anyone who lives on a British street or road who can log on to the hate machine.

I actually hate the fact that we've allowed our education system to ignore educating people in areas we probably need more education. I still see 18 months after the turkeys voted for Christmas idiots spouting utter bullshit about the EU and how our extrication will welcome a flood of rainbow-shitting unicorns to bring joy and happiness; a world where everything will be cheaper, easier to find and there won't be any foreign-speaking drains sucking the life out of our country. Even some right wing papers are admitting it isn't going quite as smoothly as many believed and others are hurriedly lining up people to blame for its failure.

If it isn't the EU, it's us Remoaners (for being soooo negative), or it's certain Conservative MPs (not Boris or JR-M), or it's experts (Ha!), or women (the next target?), or people with pugs dressed as Christmas elves... You do realise that because the right wing press is already looking for scapegoats, they're subconsciously admitting it is going to go to shit and it can't possibly be their fault, so someone needs to be blamed?

This week, I've seen examples of nasty ignorance that actually had no basis in reality. Attacks from rabid Brexiteers at Remoaners for proving their arguments are rooted in fantasy and getting verbally violent about it; another little bit of me dies inside whenever I see ignorance being worn so blatantly. If one thing has really boggled my mind in the last two years it has been the mistrust people over 40 have about 'experts'. The obstinate way which people are now dismissing actual fact in favour of how they 'feel' not only leads to madness, it will probably end in violence.

I really hoped that moving to Scotland - a considerably more tolerant society - would have helped me, even if it was just to ignore it more easily. The problem is... is it even a problem? I suppose, in a way, it is because it has actually polarised it for me. The fact I live in a remarkably tolerant area, despite years of neglect, just makes things that happen south of the border worse. When I see wilful ignorance, stupidity and hate spewing from the mouths of probably people of a similar age to me, I get almost as angry with these twats as they do with the lie they're allowing to ramp up their blood pressure. I want to point them towards all of the proof that blow their twattish words out of the arena; but it isn't about that. People hate being proved wrong, so proving them wrong will just make them more angry and if they get angrier then the desire for violence increases.

If we fail to educate people. If we do not encourage evenhanded freedom of thought. If we allow the media to lead us down a very unpalatable path without recourse. If we have politicians who won't condemn the acts of the hateful then what kind of future are we giving ourselves?

Ask yourselves some questions. Where do you see it all ending? Can you see a happy ending, anywhere? After Brexit, will you feel you are more or less isolated? What can we do if nothing works out well? And what will the uneducated bigots, racists and arseholes do when their arguments become ludicrous and meaningless words?

We need some sense or we're all fucked.

Friday, 8 September 2017

A New Caledonian View

Stick with this; I'm a wee bit rusty having not even contemplated politics for two months...

Stick... What a coincidental use of the word. I say this because I was thinking about picking up that shitty stick I like to beat people with, specifically people who think leaving the EU is the greatest thing since the last greatest thing. Then I thought, 'Why bugger up my blood pressure?'. But... you know... if you think you're holding the clean end of the stick, hitting people with the end covered in faecal matter is like shooting fish in a barrel (not that I'd do that, being a vegetarian and not a fan of fish tanks - or fish barrels) and I simply can't resist.

Much has changed since I last wibbled on at you about politics, probably the most drastic is that I no longer live in England, and more importantly, I have no intention or desire of ever living there again. I'm sorry if that upsets some English people, but despite being as British as you could possibly imagine (there are some Teutonic links dating back to the 18th century, but largely I'm as Anglo as Saxon were a crap rock band), I have been driven away from England for the same reasons loads of Europeans have left; because the English, on the whole, are xenophobic arseholes.

Admittedly, I haven't gone far. I'm living in South-West Scotland - Newcastle-upon-Tyne is further north than me - and there is much about it that would be utterly alien to my town and city dwelling chums. Ironically, however, there is much here that would have Brexiteers whooping and pointing at as a perfect example of what Britain can be like post-EU. Even more ironic would be just how wrong Brexiteers would be; so wrong, it's almost diametrically opposite of what our deluded nostalgia-seeking swivel-eyed anti-EU brigade think it is.

South-West Scotland is positioned somewhere between 1967 and 1974. There is a ambience here that is polarising for townies. It is either wonderful or hell; there is no middle ground really. I've not met any people who think this area of the country is 'okay'. The whys and wherefores of this is not what I'm here for, but I will tell you that 0% credit is given almost without asking; the sense of manana isn't frustrating, it's normal; everyone is friendly and respectful - they look at your face and not at the floor; you freely accept that some things aren't available and, this is the best bit, the vast improvements in this region (roads, businesses and changes in the standard of living) have happened because of the money the EU ensured this part of the country got. 

This region of Scotland has been transformed by EU money and when the referendum was held, it had one of the lowest Leave votes in a country that adamantly didn't want the UK to leave.

Apart from the aesthetically pleasing information above, pensioners here think pensioners down south are all mad. Pensioners up here gave a shit about their children and grandchildren, whereas English and Welsh pensioners opted to shit on their kids' futures and worse, some of them are more than happy with their decision, regardless of the consequences. It has been this 'cut-off-everyone's-nose-to-spite-all-faces' attitude that continues to utterly blow me away; grown people - mainly men, but not exclusively - spouting complete shit about not caring if prices go up, if their kids lose their jobs, if their grandchildren will suffer, because it's worth it to get back all of the things that have been proven are fantasies manufactured by the press and expanded on by ignorant wankers who refuse to accept they might have got it a bit wrong.

Listening to various talk radio shows over the last few days has been a mixture of fascinating and vile, because, let's be honest about this, the thorny subject of Brexit is still pretty much the top of the agenda based on a) the furious swivel-eyed mad bastards and b) the government's apparent lack of... well... lack of anything that might give people the impression they actually know what they're doing.

What has been fascinating is either the solutions the swivel-eyed have to solve the 'immigrant problem' or their complete lack of an answer when asked a pertinent relevant question. Usually any questions about the future's potential problems are dismissed as hypothetical and 'project fear,' while all Brexiteers forecast the bright future is essentially based on fantasy, bluff and bravado and they get really angry when challenged about the validity of their argument or it's based on hope rather than any facts.

The fact we now actually are living in a world where 'knowledge is what feels correct' in an era when we should honestly be at our most socially and morally advanced is mind-boggling. I keep saying to the wife, "I know I sound like some naive altruist, but..." because I can't believe I'm witnessing some of the incredible bollocks and I'm not stoned or dreaming some fantastically realistic surreal dream. 

I have always had this thing about time. I hate the fact that the older you get the quicker it passes (usually without achieving as much), therefore, based on how fast shit has been happening politically since 2014, I'm worried that my blissful semi-retirement in the past, up here in Scotland, might be halted a list of things, headed by Nazi nutters in the White House; a North Korean President who, I firmly believe, wants to start and lose a war to save his completely bankrupt and starving country (The Mouse That Roared) and my own country's insistence on climbing into an abandoned fridge on a rubbish tip and shutting the door!

As a SJW and hand-wringing libtard, I can't really advocate, let alone suggest, the annihilation of the terminally stupid, but it is becoming clear there are a lot of people on this planet for whom genocide would be too good for. The knuckledraggers seem unable to correlate what the consequences of far right politics are, or, far worse, know full well where they are headed. In the 1930s it was the Nazis and 'your average people' turned a blind eye to what was going on; some because they harboured similar feelings and others because they were frightened of speaking out and being branded themselves. You never know, it might never have happened if they'd had Facebook. Or maybe it would have hastened it?

I do still believe that common sense will prevail, but no longer with any great conviction. I'm becoming agnostic about a better future, but I am at least where I want to be. Whether the future is bright or bleak, the view up here is better. 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

What happened?

See? I told you the madness hadn't stopped. The unpredictable world continues to confound as it nudges closer to a surreality no one could have envisioned.

I got fooled. I spent all day Wednesday 7th feeling like I had the despair of the country on my shoulders and I'm betting I wasn't the only one. I had a period of optimism with about a week to go, but that evaporated faster than dog piss on a summer path and by the day before I was preparing for a bloody grim future.

Election day dawned and I bumbled about; encouraged people on Facebook to vote; went for a beer and tried to feel less pessimistic. Then reports started coming in of a huge turnout (not as big as the referendum but almost) and something hitched in my heart - a big turn out is a bad thing for the Tories. Maybe we can reduce them to no more than they had?

The day moved on; social media was still awash with reports of students queuing round the block.

Then, in a moment that is difficult to describe, three people I know who were Tory voters said they voted Labour and another was considering it, quite strongly. That was the moment I started to wonder if I'd done what so many others had done and bought the MSM line, while others were getting fed up with the constant Corbyn bashing. Perhaps my Farage Theory about the public going for the underdog, especially one who appeared to speak your language but was hated by the 'establishment' was going to come true?

The wife, always a beacon of calm in most every situation, told me to stop sounding optimistic. We went and voted. It was literally - in relative terms - heaving and had been for most of the day. The wife told me to stop being optimistic.

We watched a program at 9.15pm. It was going to finish at 10pm when the Exit Poll was revealed. I can't remember the program we watched, my mind was on something else. When it finished, the wife, who was about to go to bed, was adamant she didn't want to see the Exit Poll, but it flashed up on the screen before she could switch off. My eyes widened and I found myself feeling optimistic. The wife said it was a poll and polls were wrong and went to bed. I knew that the most this poll would be was 10% out and if that was the case, Theresa May was buggered.

Now, we have much confusion and the popular humorous description seems to be: the party that won lost, and the party that lost won. It's pretty much accurate and if you want to be a stunted debater you will stick to that result alone. The truth is, the 100+ seat majority that Theresa May honestly believed she could get in April actually turned into a hung parliament. The obliterated Labour Party under the unelectable Jeremy Corbyn gained 30+ seats, took a further 100 seats to within a 1% swing and pretty much proved all the doubters so wrong the hypocrisy floating around the press and political spectrum is highly amusing.

He still comes in for ridicule, like the BBC (as a prime example) didn't notice that there was a growing army of people slamming them for their biased coverage* and have just carried on regardless. Corbyn also has had a number of right wing press people attacking him even more harshly than before, but this, like the BBC, seems to have not swayed public opinion in the slightest. Jeremy Corbyn's enemies are now viewed by a majority of people as puerile and infantile - this is another massive positive - they also sound very, very scared.

The way this works in the House of Commons is essentially this: The Tories have 318 seats, but in reality they have 317 (because John Bercow doesn't vote), but Sinn Fein have 7 seats and do not take their place in the parliament (because they are Irish republicans), so therefore the Tories technically have a majority anyhow, but they are seeking a deal with the DUP in Northern Ireland to ensure they can muddle through for five more years. This means a highly probable watering down of their extremely damaging manifesto and more focus on helping a large group of people who didn't vote for them. The Tories won, but, with a bit of luck, the country has won more. We might have seen the end of austerity politics and less fear of the future.

We might also see an end to this utter bollocks called Hard Brexit, which a small hard-line bunch of fuckwits are still pushing for, despite even non-experts claiming if we don't do something less suicidal we'll be fucked up beyond all recognition.

We might also see another general election. I know that fills people with dread but after a few months of a Tory coalition of chaos, we might all want one to put us out of our misery. I expect if that happens in the next six months then Labour will romp to a 50 seat majority. So, it's in the Tories interest to cling onto power and, remarkably, if they can, I expect a softer kinder Tory party, because they are running scared and they know that Jeremy is waiting in the wings with his new style of politics to transform the country.

Even if you think Labour's economic policy is bad for the country; ask yourself this - has the Tory's economic policy for the last 7 years done you any favours - Mr Average Normal Income Person? Didn't think so. So, however much you fear Labour's economic plan; give it a chance, it can't screw you any more than the present one (unless you earn shit loads of dosh, then I couldn't give a fuck about you and I'm sure most others don't either).

One last point, or rather one last layer of paint - Corbyn turned obliteration into 40% of the popular vote. He did this by not attacking his opponents, by talking about hope and a brighter future. This alone is not what politicians usually do. There are a lot of people out there who positively hate him, whether it is irrational or not, many of the left wing look at Theresa May, Boris Johnson or Pob and fear they might be rendered sexually impotent for life. So when an idiot tells you Corbyn is dangerous, ask them if they can imagine a naked Boris and a naked Theresa rutting like a couple of dirty stags.

*There is a myth that the BBC is left wing. It isn't a myth, as an entire thing it always was a little left-ish. The BBC deny this, but the political editor was a little like the Speaker of the House, someone from the main two parties, alternating when the sitting one steps down - John Bercow is a Tory (he's hated by Tories), Betty Boothroyd before him was Labour. They essentially are in charge of the House - they are the power in that room. The BBC used to have a Left-leaning Political Editor, then a right-leaning and so on and so forth. Then when Nick Robinson left, the BBC News department also got a new head, a former Tory aid; he appointed Laura Kuenssberg, who made Nick Robinson - a bit of a far-right winger - look like Jeremy Corbyn.
BBC News is the far-right wing of the BBC. Everyone now knows this; hopefully they will see the writing on the wall and change their position; they have more chance of remaining at the BBC under Labour.