The Politics of ...

The Politics of ...

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Hate! What is 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.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Dignity trumps Lies

One thing will stick in the minds of rational people over the coming weeks and it will be that Jeremy Corbyn excelled himself during the election campaign. He proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt that being 'unelectable' is a term coined by the right-wing media and not by the discerning general public.

Yes, he will probably lose, but he won't lose by the landslide everyone was pretty much sure about and he has done very little in the face of open hostility to warrant any of the abuse he's received. His dignity is intact, unlike the woman who will probably wake up on Friday as PM (without the mandate she craved). Corbyn has proved a lot of people wrong and his ultimate failure on Thursday has to be laid at the feet of the Parliamentary Labour Party, who, had they been united behind their leader from Day One, might have been trying to sort out the mess the Tories have made of the country on Friday.

The real shame is that Jeremy is 68 and while Churchill carried on into his 80s, we now live in a world where people (are supposed to) live longer but politicians are an increasingly younger breed. Maybe someone like Clive Lewis or Barry Gardiner (a real star and a half) will step up to the plate and continue the work of a genuine socialist Labour Party? Corbyn will probably stick around for a few more years, so he's there as would-be guru to the successors - a real advantage.

This General Election has helped me rediscover the brilliance of Jeremy Corbyn and how he's weird in that you can't help feeling he's got ME at the heart of his ideas. When he says 'for the many' you actually believe him, whereas with most politicians you dismiss something like that as an election slogan. He's reasonable, doesn't attack people and wants a fairer society - therefore he's obviously the 'dangerous man' anachronistic bigots all over the country feel he is. I mean, he wouldn't press the button first, so because he isn't prepared to incinerate me without thinking means he must be a twat and I should ignore him; preferring to throw my lot in with the politician who already hates me and treats me with disdain - she's the one, yeah!

Look, 52% of the 72% who voted for Leave are essentially misguided fools; when you want the UK public to do something in their own interests you really can't rely on them. Many of these people have swallowed the right wing media, hook, line and sinker, and because facts couldn't sway them in their referendum decision, why shouldn't they believe that a 68-year-old allotment user who is against war is a threat to security and is a terrorist sympathiser? It makes no sense, but Mike, a 64 year old former builder from Lincolnshire doesn't give a fook what a nice man Jeremy is, he's a fooking terrorist sympathiser who won't destroy me if he needs to.

He's dangerous because he won't kill me...

I do honestly think the UK has far too many twats, morons and idiots now. Something has got to give.

The saddest part of this general election is that the Tories will waste no time in decimating whatever is left of the country, so by the time 2022 comes around and The Fred the Dustman Party could beat them in an election, it won't matter, because whoever gets in won't be able to raise the money to change it back to a fairer society. Everything will be privately-owned and you can bet one of the last things the Tories will do, around 2021, as they prepare to go and live in the Bahamas, will be to ensure legislation gets through parliament preventing subsequent parliaments being able to change things back. If Labour can leave a sarcastic note saying there's no money left, the Tories will ensure that there's nothing of anything left.

This will ultimately be shoved, like shit from a cow's arse, onto young people. Your children are going to face a very horrible world. The world of the future will be much more expensive as the effects of Brexit begin to show on supermarket shelves. The opportunities for careers will be limited; the Tories will always create zero hour, low paid jobs, but they won't be able to create if there is no demand for the services a job provides. With a Dementia Tax looming, there will be a huge rise in unscrupulous finance companies offering ways out of having to sell your house to pay for your care; or they'll come up with ways of your children inheriting your money, unaware that if you can't pay for your dementia, the onus will eventually fall onto your kids' shoulders. Most average middle class families will be forced into a situation where every single one of them will be on the precipice of poverty.

The real tragedy about allowing this particular Tory party to run the country for the next 5 years is that it's probably the last five years you will ever remember where you were reasonably happy about being alive.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Supreme Leader May's Vision

I had a moment of ridiculous stupidity last week. I had this idea that Mrs May wanted a huge mandate to save the country from itself. She wanted a huge majority so she could turn round to the country in 10 weeks or so and say, "It is in the National Interest that we reluctantly take the action of not leaving the EU as it will cost the country too much. We appreciate this is not what people voted for in 2016, but you all gave me your vote to ensure the best result is for the UK and in my opinion and the opinion of many of the experts you spurn, if the UK leaves the EU we'll be competing with Mali and Chad as the world's 200th largest economy by 2020."

It, obviously, won't happen and can you imagine the amount of shit that would hit the fan if that did happen? Mrs May is probably mildly confident she can get the EU to do a deal with us and is viewing all this pre-negotiation rhetoric as chest beating which will quieten down when Europe realises they can't do without whatever it is we do now.

If that doesn't happen and things get as bad as traitors and saboteurs, such as me, have forecast, then it won't really matter who's in charge of the country because things will go from bad to worse even if Jesus was PM, Buddha his Home and Mohamed his Foreign Secretary.

What if the UK loses lots of money and foreign trade? What if the amount of money coming into the exchequer is considerably less than it is now and whatever government is in charge has to borrow even more?

Well, unemployment usually goes up around the 6 year mark of a Tory dominated government. Thatcher only really made it look as though she was getting unemployment down by changing the criteria of how it was measured and, of course, creating things like the YTS and Community Program Scheme, which would almost be considered a bit liberal by many Tories in 2017. With less trade being done and heavy tariffs applied, many companies will be looking to downsize and consolidate, so unemployment is likely to rise steadily over the first two years of Mrs May's mandate.

Inflation is already going up and is likely to rise considerably more as we get to that 2 year mark. At the moment many of the supermarkets and food manufacturers have been cutting back contents by between 10 and 25% to keep the prices as low as possible, but if you have a family you start to realise just how much is going to be shoved onto your weekly shopping bill. Even shoppers at Aldi and Lidl are noticing a visible rise in the cost of certain things. And remember, regardless of what the rate of inflation is, supermarket price rises tend to be by a minimum of 10p a time.

So, high unemployment; high food and energy prices (even with a cap - because the cap will be set by the supplier, just you wait and see). Plus, because there will be much less money and the Tories will steadfastly not raise taxes on their core vote it will mean public services will be killed off; everything that can be run by private companies will be; and the rights of the existing workers in those jobs will be simplified - accept this or get fired. Things that can't be run by private companies will be run by charities, who will be offered tax breaks to be able to earn enough money to be able to afford some staff.

There will no longer be on-the-ground workers for children and the vulnerable, there would be a 'registering' system, a bit like getting a number for insurance claims when the police admit they can't and won't find the person who broke into your car. Registering means that if something goes wrong, someone can be blamed - because blame is what the Tories do the best, it deflects attention away from their own failings.

As austerity bites even harder, more people will end up homeless as house prices devalue by a third (plunging a percentage of people into a negative equity trap); calls for more regulation of the rental market will be ignored, as will the pleas from charities and social groups for the neglect of certain areas of the UK.

There will also be a hard border between all of Ireland and the rest of the UK. As a concession, Northern Ireland's relationship with Ireland and the EU will be brushed over to allow the fragile state there to remain good, but anyone coming from the island, whether north or south, will be subject to Draconian border checks. The UK will effectively allow a 'united' Ireland to save itself money.

Two years into the Supreme Leader's mandate we'll start seeing a new blame game. The press will start by blaming the EU for not bending over and allowing us our way. Then Remainers and the 100 or so non-Tory Remain-supporting MPs will get the blame for all the woes.

Someone like Michael Gove will be given air time to suggest it is the negative attitudes of Remain voters that is dragging the UK back. Someone, probably Farage or the twat with the cap, will start suggesting that we wouldn't have so many unemployed if the remaining Europeans (maybe even others) weren't here doing it and the Mail will see this as something that should become public opinion, because it will detract the attention of people beginning to wonder what they're getting out of all of this. Even if Mrs May agrees on a deal for existing EU nationals to stay - unmolested - in this country; time and public opinion (the two things she appears to want the most) will start to shift her way of thinking. She isn't Maggie; she flip-flops far too much. This lady will turn whenever you prod her.

Divisions will actually get worse because as the jingoistic Leave voters start relaxing their morals for the benefit of fitting their agendas, the horrified and terrified Remain voters will be viewed as weak and traitorous, even more than they currently are. The Us and Them mentality that is so apparent if you pick up a newspaper will become an actual reality. This isn't me scaremongering, it's me extrapolating on something that is happening already - verbal fights between the 'morally-superior' Remain voters and the idiots who voted as turkeys for Christmas will, as they did in the days before the referendum, spill into the streets, the pubs, the lives of everybody.

The Tories have for so long used BLAME as the reason to hate others it will eventually unleash a wave of disorder - of discord - throughout the nation, but by then we won't have an NHS; we won't have public services; we'll barely have police on the streets to marshal the huge amounts of dissatisfied unemployed who will blame whoever the Sun or the Mail tells them to. This is what happens when more than 50% of a country loses its mind and forgets why it wipes its arse.

Yet, I listen to people telling reporters on the TV or radio that they trust the Conservatives. I'm sure there were Jews or Gypsies, some gay or black people who trusted the more benevolent guards in Belsen or Auschwitz...

There is one ray of hope for the planet. World War 3 is coming and once mankind is wiped off this planet, perhaps what is left will heal and a new species will evolve, one not intent on being a bunch of worthless cunts.

Monday, 8 May 2017

The Pointlessness of Preaching to the Converted

"It's a question of which narrative you believe, and the narrative put out by the Left, that the Tories want to dismantle the NHS, hate the disabled and the poor, want to 'steal' money from the poor to give to their rich mates etc. is actually beyond parody to a great many people. They simply don't believe it, it's 'nonsense' as there is absolutely no evidence to back up those claims..."
The man who wrote this was a normal guy who lives his life the same way as many of us; he, to my knowledge, isn't a politician nor has he a vested interest in any specific political party, yet his statement, plucked from a much longer thread on why people vote Tory, says far more about the whys than any political analyst.

For me the key point in this pull quote is: They simply don't believe it, it's 'nonsense' as there is absolutely no evidence to back up those claims. The fact that there is evidence out there that the NHS is in crisis and has been escalating towards this crisis since one Jeremy Hunt has been in charge means nothing to him or other voters who believe the way he believes. The fact that Hunt, on TV yesterday, said 'big decisions' will need to be made about how the NHS continues to operate means nothing. It means nothing because the mainstream media don't cover it and the majority of voters believe that left wing propaganda is more prevalent than right wing. It's like a lot of voters are inwardly thinking 'thou dost protest too much'.

We can bang on about the press and most medias being heavily weighted in favour of the Tories, but that's pretty much been the case since the 1960s; The Sun was really the only Tory tabloid to back Blair and people tend to forget the Daily Mail was forecasting the end of the UK by 2001 under a New Labour government. Since Thatcher and the fall of the socialist Labour party, the only way to beat them is to be a bit like them, perhaps a little less odious or oleaginous. John Smith's Labour party probably would have won in 1997, but by nowhere near the amount Blair managed, because Tories identified Blair as someone who would look after them.

If any lesson was learned from the EU referendum it was that people are not interested in 'the truth' because they don't believe 'the truth' and, guess what, many still don't believe it despite things beginning to slide towards the inescapable fact that life is going to be considerably harder once we've finally lost everything we had under the EU. Yet, there will be a large percentage of people who will look at that sentence and call me a traitor or deluded or not optimistic enough. There are people out there who, despite the EU never having adversely affected them ever, who would rather see the country burning than see us 'ruled' by Europe... And you want to despair; you want to grab these people by the collars and shout at them to stop being so stupid and you know if you presented them with 500 positive facts about being in the EU, they'd dismiss them all and throw 'sovereignty' in your face, like they have seriously believed our own politicians have done bugger all for 45 years (which is a case you could argue, to be fair...).

I know that a large majority of the people who will read this blog will not be voting Tory; very few of them would be prepared to sit down with a Tory to discuss the merits and benefits of voting Tory. It's anathema to them, yet people have consistently done it far more than vote Labour. Perhaps what offends people more than anything else is that 'Tory equates to selfishness' in the eyes of Pinko Liberals like myself who believe everyone has the right to a good life, even if the government has to subsidise that life for the few who truly can't do it for themselves. I mean, we're all selfish in our own ways, but some of us like to think we're better people than someone who can turn their back on a homeless person or someone struggling.

I've always argued that Margaret Thatcher hated the idea of communities and social(ist) help, always saying that if a person can fend for themselves then that is what they should do; the state should be there for temporary emergency help, not a lifestyle choice. This was something that appealed to a lot of people, especially isolated middle Englanders whose contact with lesser individuals was pretty much something they saw on Channel 5. The country has managed to unleash its inner selfishness to the point where people won't vote for a fairer society when they can vote for a wealthier personal life.

But... But... what about the young? How can Tories argue that the young are being given a chance, what with housing in crisis and the rise of zero hour contract jobs and no job security? Well, the same as any previous generation has done, work harder, save more, it's what their parents would have done... But what about the circumstances; the rogue landlords, the penalties imposed by the government? Suck it up; some of your ancestors fought in wars for you.

You can't win with a Tory because they usually have an answer for anything even if that answer isn't anything more than a comparison with a different age. but its ingrained on their psyches; the mantras of the right have been repeated so often, so cleverly, so insidiously, that we all believe it. I'm just as bad; I've accused some of my left wing friends for deserting Jeremy Corbyn because of media influence only to do it myself. No one is exempt from clever 21st century propaganda.

So now every morning I turn on my computer and look at social media and see my left wing friends sharing memes with each other and I wonder, 'Who are they trying to convince?' At the last GE a cousin of mine said, 'I don't care about that, I vote for what's best for me and my child' and while we, left wing doubters, can sneer and laugh at that statement, it's what she believed in. It doesn't matter that she was the victim of a right wing media conspiracy to destroy the left and social fairness... Rationally, do you know how fucking paranoid that sounds to most people who don't live their lives ruled by politics?

I've always said the best way to make people think is to hit them with things that affect them, but even if we can spell the truth out to them, they will look at it sceptically and wonder if it's really true. Equally, because the right wing media has soured the left in most peoples eyes, a Tory poster claiming Labour are rubbish with the economy, despite evidence suggesting the contrary will be believed, because people will remember the crash of 2009 and will blame Labour even if they actually did sensible things to prevent it. People blamed the Tories in 1997 for high inflation, high mortgages, loss of share values and attacks on public services; but in reality all they did was elect a less-blue Tory party with a belief in rebuilding and social tolerance.

How do we stop it? How do we make leftish politics acceptable again? We don't. The odds are stacked increasingly against it. As left wing supporters we need to ensure we don't lose our jobs, fall behind on the rent or mortgage, stay free from illness (don't drink, don't smoke, don't take drugs), maybe avoid having kids and remain normal and quiet and let the government get on with it; it's how most people do it.

We have to be patient and wait for the moment when the Tories' policies start to bite Tory voters on the arse, like they did in the early 1990s. Remember, the Tories should never really have got back into power in 1992, everybody was fed up with them; high rates, council tax, boom and bust economics had grown to a point where people would have welcomed a strong Labour party, but Neil Kinnock refused to court the press; he refused to be seen schmoozing and networking; he became ridiculed and when push came to shove John Major walked back into #10 probably as bewildered as Cameron did in 2015. They won because the people didn't trust the opposition regardless of how much they were promising.

The same applies today. Any rational person would have looked at the council election results and said Corbyn needs to go, now. Labour called it an 'expected setback' and blamed everything apart from the fact that in the majority of the nation the feeling is they are ... unelectable.

Because people are not really interested in politics any more, they are influenced by soundbites and what they see on the news or read in the papers - mainstream media is still massively important to the majority of people living here and if you have a media that is, in my eyes, heavily influenced by the party in power by virtue of the threat of privatisation, then you are unlikely to see any parity of coverage. UKIP now has ONE councillor and no MPs yet they get disproportionately greater coverage on the BBC than the Green Party with over 40 councillors and an actual MP; but UKIP gets more coverage than the LibDems and that has to be because the Tory's allow them to speak because it makes their own policies seem tame.

Yet, here's the craziness... I accept this is how it is and I know that me and many others are going to have to bide our time and wait for slim and futile opportunities to get a point across, yet, in the eyes of some people that statement alone is full of paranoia and suggests we're all taking on a needless bunker mentality. Raging against the machine isn't viewed by the masses as an act of freedom, it's an act of treason.

We see evidence of a growing intolerance in society; more hate, more inequality, more xenophobes trying to defend their position and if we spotlight it, it's us that gets pilloried; it's us that is accused of being a conspirator, a saboteur, a traitor. If Bernstein and Woodward were brought forward 40 years and discovered the same things about Trump as they did Nixon, the words 'Fake News' would be bandied about so much that no one would ever believe it and those that do would be as mad as any other conspiracy theory nut job.

A friend likes to call people 'sheep' and 'sheeple' and I love it. He does the cause no good at all. I get incandescent with rage at unbelievably ignorant Brexiteers and its like trying to convince a Born again Christian that God not only doesn't exist, but he was originally a psychotic chipmunk in a banned Disney movie before the Catholics adopted him, changed his image (based on Robert Powell) and dropped truth-obscuring LSD in the entire world's water supply, apart from Muslim countries where they don't drink water, they just eat sand...

We live in a post-truth world. We are out of step with it. Really and truly, we are no longer people who think the right way, we're people out of touch with 2017's reality; one where the president of the USA is a former Reality TV star; the UK became a turkey voting for Christmas; the media is focused on a largely manufactured war in Syria while the Saudi's (everybody's friend) commits genocide in Yemen and you get one of two mentions on slow news days, usually buried at the foot of World News. A reality where being tolerant is frowned upon; where being disabled is your own fault; where being out of step with common belief is traitorous.

You also need to remember that people will always remember what Labour did to people in the '70s and yet conveniently forget what the Tories did to many people during the '80s and early '90s; how much debt they forced on people; how much they took away from hardworking people and how they almost bankrupted the country; but this is far less important than anything Labour did 20 years earlier, when most have got over it or forgotten it or weren't even alive, but like to quote it.

That's why it's pointless to even bother trying to dissuade these people from voting for their own failure, because even if it fails they'll probably believe the Daily Mail when it blames everyone else but us for our soon-to-be-acquired Third World status. It's also pointless trying to change their minds because they will look at that previous sentence and call me a 'nutter' or much worse.

And how many of us can honestly say we're affected that deeply by whatever government is in power? This is an argument that many use, but many derided when it was wheeled out during the EU referendum debate. Most people really and truly think governments are there to help everyone and even when a politician admits they only help people who voted for them, many of those Tory voters probably nodded in approval and there's no reliable outlet to register dismay and anger towards this unjust statement; or any unjust government for that matter.

So perhaps it is best if we give up? Maybe we can feel happier with our heads buried in the sand, going la-la-la at the plight of others? Stay off the government's radar and we'll be fine, just you watch...

Is there a glimmer of hope?

Well, I think there is. Many Tory voters can become floating voters especially if their own livelihoods are threatened and there's an alternative that doesn't appear to be too radical (or soft). There is also the fact that most ordinary Tory voters don't like to engage in politics, is something that needs to be exploited. I've got a couple of good friends who also vote Tory, I know how shocking and traitorous that might sound, but, hey, get over it. These friends have a default setting: They don't talk about politics. Now, why do you think that is? Is it because they don't know enough about it? Is it because they are frightened they might get ridiculed? Is it because they feel slightly bad about it, like it doesn't really sit well with them but they feel there is no true alternative? I've always felt that some people, when admitting they voted Tory, look as though they've just admitted to being a transvestite, publicly.

If people, deep down, know that a Tory vote might be morally objectionable, that is the route to changing their minds about voting for them.

Forget the vile and adamant xenophobes; the relentless ignorants and the press; concentrate on the people who don't look comfortable with their choices; don't like talking about politics or show a hint of compassion - these are the people you need to convince and sadly, we're going to need a slicker opposition to be able to do this with any conviction.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

WCS

If you believe everything you read and hear then the Tories, despite pretty much dismantling parts of the country's remaining crown jewels and raising the debt far higher than Labour would ever have done, will get in with a 100 majority and a mandate to pretty much do whatever they want to whatever they choose, because YOU chose them.

Our slow descent into more Victorian politics and ideals will rupture the country, but because there will be no opposition, they will be allowed to do it and with the right wing media supporting them and NOT reporting on the more heinous things they will do, a large percentage of Middle England will just think everything is the same as before.

I say 'Victorian' ideals because to suggest we'll be in an authoritarian country with zero tolerance of what is right and massive intolerance of anyone who doesn't agree with the ideology is more likely the scenario. The disenfranchised will be at the mercy of rich benefactors and philanthropists.

The Conservatives have repeatedly proven that they aren't actually that good with the economy; if you could be bothered to look at the history of financial problems in this country, the Tories pretty much urinate over Labour from a great height and with the country teetering on the brink of a financial disaster of our own making, do you really think the Tories will create jobs - proper jobs and careers? Do you think public services will be safe? Do you think you'll be witnessing the dismantling of the NHS?

I framed that last question not with a definitive but with a suggestion, because most Tory voters I've spoken to really don't believe that the party they will vote for will do anything harmful to the NHS. They actually believe the NHS is safer in Tory hands than anyone else and one wonders if they are paying any attention to it and what is happening in it? You see while the NHS (and Brexit) are the two key issues in this apparent one-horse-race, most people who have benefited from it, but don't need it any longer will switch to 'out of sight out of mind' mode; the default setting for many floating, slightly right-leaning voters. Yes, for some it will be important and they might vote accordingly, but for others it will be something they use when they need and frankly they don't need it now, at this minute.

Of course, there will be outrage when it switches initially to a semi-pay as you go, with only specific groups being expected to pay - those who some faceless bureaucrat will decide caused the health problem themselves - the obese, smokers, people now disabled through no fault of anyone but the person who is disabled, maybe even those who are deemed 'not worth saving' and that outrage will be smacked down and people will be told straight - if you live healthy lives and can prove it, you will only pay a small amount towards your treatment, the majority of the costs will be placed on those who abuse the system because of their ill health...

With no functioning NHS and the likelihood of services such as Children's, Social, Community, Welfare and Probation handed over to private companies who decimate existing workers' rights and deals, just so they can stay in a job where there is no money to do anything but monitor and report back to a central office that will then determine how much future help will be given. The blame for everything will be aimed squarely at the disenfranchised and if some of them die, it will be a price worth paying (to quote David 'I'm out of there now' Cameron).

If the government doesn't raise taxes and continues to give breaks to the richest, who do you think will ultimately pay the price? Amazon, Google, Vodafone? No, be honest with yourself - when this government can target the £2bn welfare bill like it was the be-all-and-end-all problem facing society today, but can allow massive corporations to pay piddly percentages of what they truly owe, while 'employing' most of their staff on zero hour or minimum wage contracts, who won't earn enough to plough any of it back into the economy; can you really trust them not to screw you over, even if you think you're safe earning more than £100k a year?

Once the squeeze has succeeded with the poorest and most vulnerable - who do you think they will target next? Come on; ask yourself this and try and come up with an answer. If the Tories eradicate the welfare bills, cut everything to the bone, make you pay for things you once got as part of a package deal (refuse collection for starters) and can no longer squeeze anything else out of it, where will they target next? Go on, answer it honestly.

Do you also really think that Treeza's 'damned if we'll acquiesce to the EU even if we damn ourselves' strategy is really the way forward, then you either have loads of money or are a deluded racist, because you don't piss on your private members club and then expect them to allow you access to everything you gave up for the same rate or even less. If you think that's how it works, try negotiating with Tesco over your clubcard.

And then there's the elephant in the room; a big bright red elephant with 'amateurs' written large on its side. It doesn't matter how you look at Labour at the moment, they look like an anachronism and this is down to the extremely one-sided depiction of the election from the mainstream media. The fact they have great policies is immaterial, most people look at Labour and see a shambles and that doesn't auger well for a party that wants to be in power so it can sort out some of the mess.

Whether Labour's imminent destruction at the hands of the weakest, most right wing Tory mob in decades is as big as feared or isn't, it should spell the end of the decent man of politics, but would Corbyn go with so much support from members in the country? He should, especially given his age, but he talks about a long term plan like he expects to be PM just before he's 90...

I like the man. I like what he says and how honest he is. But he's onto a hiding to nothing. The Tories could rape children, exterminate the disabled and piss on the flag at the Cenotaph and if it made the news it would be spun positively - that is the extreme lunacy we're facing in this country; where people don't care how much they suffer just so long as they think they have some say in the control of our country. That is where we are at the moment - great isn't it?

Can you imagine the country waking up on June 9th feeling elated about another five years of austerity, cuts and trying to come up with some way to ensure we can feed people without them needing a mortgage when they go to the shops. There is little feel good factor among many people in this country and electing the Tories again will only compound the misery for many. If you're voting Tory just remember you have to share this country with people who will become third class citizens and if you are ever in trouble or ill health, you'll become third class faster than you can write the cheque for seeing your GP or appeal against a benefits decision...

Friday, 21 April 2017

We are all Animals

I don't know if simply wanting life to be fair makes me a socialist, or if I believe that the State has a responsibility - as do all tax paying members of that State - to ensure those who cannot look after themselves are treated fairly, with dignity and their needs met. I don't think there's anything wrong with people paying taxes to ensure the country runs smoothly, that the NHS is there for me, and others and that there are police, social services and public services to ensure a government's work is done regionally.

If this happened, I don't really care who's in power just so long as there is some balance, there is little or no corruption and therefore the divisions that now exist in the country and even in individual homes wouldn't be there.

I'm an altruist. Get over it.

Over the last year I've seen more and more vile intolerant nasty people come out of the woodwork and attempt to verbally piss all over sensible debate by shouting shite very loudly and then taking the 'freedom of speech' stance. The world, quite simply, is becoming an intolerant place and we're at last a world leader in something again.

This is why I'm finding it remarkably easy not to get involved in this preamble to destruction we're calling a General Election. I know that everyone has got to fight to try and restore some parity to the country, but, you know, I said it the other day and I'll repeat it - this is a foregone conclusion. Labour will be lucky to have 180 seats at the end of this and a man who essentially wants pretty much what I'd like to see from British politics is castigated, repeatedly, by enough people to ensure that people who actually support him also feel he has less chance of winning the election as any of us have of being the first person on Mars. The fact that the majority of the people in this country think a man who wants fairness in society is some kind of a freak suggests that we're a long way down the road of no return.

The other day, while talking to people in my dog walking fields, three times in the space of 10 minutes different people asked if 'foreigners' were responsible for whatever setback or calamity we'd been talking about. Intolerance is like a virus that spreads like the most contagious of diseases and it usually leads to war or civil unrest.

The world at present is being run by some of the scariest people never to appear in apocalyptic movies; the fact that half of them are blundering about like blind giants in Toy Town should make people worried, but instead we're getting sabre rattling like it hasn't been seen since a time when we were supposedly less sophisticated.

Humans are animals, lest we not forget. I suppose basic instincts will always kick in when the frustration people are feeling cannot be expressed at the right people, so pick on the weakest, the way wild animals will. The one absolute about that is eventually everyone has a turn at being the weakest.

The irony I see every day is that so many of the nasty people inhabiting everywhere at the moment will eventually need the State - most people earning under a certain amount will - when it isn't doing anything for that demographic and they join it, will they accept it or will they bleat and moan about it not being fair? I think we all know the answer to that.

As humans are animals we're all going to die. It would be nice to think that we could live in a world where exploitation, greed and inhumanity were eradicated so that people can do what they have to, to earn what they need, to have what they want and die in the knowledge that their children should be slightly better off and live in a safe and all-encompassing world.

I can dream.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

All's Well That Ends...

General Election on June 8th.

I said all along this would probably happen and was shouted down because of the fixed term parliament act, which as we all know was only put into place to suit the Tories, because they know they fuck up a few times during office, but usually, with the aid of the press, you forget about that when it's time to vote...

Not only has this country voted like turkeys for Christmas (last June), they're now going to hand massive power to a bunch of people who really don't care about you and will be able to, now, start cutting things even Tory voters use, because they'll have five years of unchallenged destruction to achieve and then they can blame Labour and get elected again...

Bye bye NHS. See ya Social and Children's Services. Say farewell to all libraries, most buses and anything that resembles a public sector. Start getting used to paying extra for refuse collection, debtors' prisons and the work house...

This is a bad day for democracy in a bad year for democracy. There is no opposition. Even if one was to appear over night, it wouldn't be enough. This is the end of civilised Britain.

I have no desire to campaign and fight at this election because it is a fait accompli - the Tories will win, abandon hope all who enter here...

At some point in the next few years, especially if you vote Tory or have voted Tory, there will come a point where you will start to get frightened about your future and the futures of the children. Just be aware you voted for it, you will also suffer the consequences of it.

I'm glad I'm moving to Scotland. I'll be happy to visit properties up there, and scope the place out, for friends who want to join me. The UK is over; Britain is dying. There is just the misery to look forward to...

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Get Over It You Lost

Nigel Farage said two days before the UK shot itself in the foot that if the vote was close, but remain won, it would, and I'm paraphrasing here, make him much worse. There would be grounds to push for a second referendum because he was confident between him and the right wing press he could con the people of Britain into voting to be turkeys at Christmas.

Two days after the referendum, he dismissed a second referendum as 'not needed' as the people had spoken. Well, of the people who did vote it was a little over half of them, but this is democracy, etc. The strange thing is if things had gone wrong for Leave it wouldn't have been the end of it, but because it did go well all leave supporters are simply telling the rest of us to 'shut up and get on with life, bloody sore losers...' It's like the leave side all subscribe to the Borg ethos of 'resistance is futile', while the remain side would like to retain their free will and freedom of expression. Not that the leavers haven't been allowed to show their own freedom of expression; in fact it has been the leave side's 'freedom of speech' that has been more worrying than the fact we could all have starved to death by 2020.

The thing is, the leave side don't seem to be able to understand that one of democracy's key points is challenging results, ideals and beliefs. If it wasn't democratic we would have one vote and the outcome would be the result forever - end of. No more votes, you voted this time and whatever happens you have no way out. If you offered the British people a one-off election and told them whoever is voted into government will be there for the next 1000+ years, apart from certain people, most would view this as akin to North Korea and be firmly against it (or I would hope so). Some people might even campaign against it, using social media, public marches and meetings and the people who think the one vote forever is stupid, vile and discriminatory will support this show of ... dissent. Do you see what I did there?

So despite the fact that the leavers want us remainers to stop whining and get on with life, history suggests that we won't, so the leave side needs to get over the fact that we'll be looking over their shoulders, doing what Farage and his cronies did for 44 years, pointing out to you how fucking awful it is now we aren't in the club with all the fringe benefits.

Except...

Most leave voters are (and I know this is a generalisation but from personal experiences I can see no further than) massive ignorant wankers, who have either believed lies, have invented their own lies to justify their ridiculous position or are too fucking stupid to have had their own opinion and got swept up by a tide of jingoism that is going to spectacularly backfire covering us all in a shit of the 52%'s making.

What I find slightly worrying is that polls suggest that Britain has hardened and if you held the vote today more than 60% would vote leave. Equally, I look at the polls for a second Scottish independence referendum in England and they tell us that Nicola Sturgeon is even more stupid than the people who voted Brexit because hardly any Scots want it. Go further north and their polls suggest it won't even be a close run thing, especially if UK PLC fucks Scotland over. Our London-centric press and media has been lying to us, forever, why should we believe them when they say Scotland is running scared of the SNP when it's clear it isn't or that the British people are all getting their groove on at the prospect of the UK going maverick and negotiating dream-like trade deals with all the countries we've royally pissed off.

But they need us more than we need them, said all the delusional idiots who ever lived. I'd like some of our delusional leave voters to tell me three things the UK has that Europe cannot possibly do without, while suggesting that what we need from Europe can be summed up in three small words - a trade deal. The other day while attempting to engage with a seemingly intelligent leave voter, I asked him/her 'what if it all goes badly?' to which he dismissed my fears as believing in Project Fear; so I put myself in his shoes and said deep down I want Brexit to work because I don't want to starve and live in squalor for the rest of my life. I then asked him to put himself in my fearful shoes; he disappeared. This isn't a one-off, leave voters can shout all manner of facile and empty things from the rooftops; they have no grounds for proof but their own misguided optimism; ask them to contemplate something they honestly don't think will happen and they disappear faster than a UKIP MP.

There is nothing wrong with being scared shitless about the future and leave voters shouting GET OVER IT are a bit like twats who tell depressed people to 'pull themselves together' or 'sort themselves out'. The problem is most leave voters are stupid and would have rolled their eyes and gone TL:DR by the end of the first paragraph of this blog. Leave voters don't want to hear the things that might go wrong and are like bizarre ostriches with their heads in sand and if it all goes wrong they'll be quick to blame everyone else but themselves. My wife has serious problems getting her head around the concept of leave voters blaming remainers for the downfall of the UK for not being optimistic enough; for being pessimistic so therefore driving us down. Many people believe that us remain voters will become the 'new immigrants' having the blame thrown at us and reinforced by right wing papers who could write any old shit now and have it believed by 75+% of their readers.

Leave voters also do not want to have to deal with the reality that it won't be quite as brilliant as they think. Even leave supporting analysts are saying we're going to have two to five years of pretty torrid and hard times and yet we have imbeciles spouting 'It'll be worth it in the long run', like they think everyone will live disease free for 1000 years now we've got our liberty back.

These miscreants also think that if there are casualties then it is a price worth paying... What?

I wonder how these people will feel if they're the first people to be butt-fucked by Brexit? Probably grin and say it's worth it for getting control back and becoming an independent country again... People believed this bullshit (because no money goes to education anymore, we just train kids to be automatons); I mean really believed that we weren't a sovereign nation any longer. People believed that the EU set all of our laws, conveniently forgetting that we have a parliament that does this, or did these bastions of stupidity really think we just had 600+ MPs who met most days of the week to shout at each other for the television cameras and have a beer afterwards?

One of my favourite things in the last year has been to ask cockwombles what EU laws they are glad to see the back of. I have, honestly, yet to have one, genuine, law given to me, because the people who spout this ill-informed shite haven't got a clue. Seriously, it's a bit like me shouting out that 'Hip Hop gives you cancer' I can't prove it, but if I said it enough on enough forums then people will begin to copy the mantra and before you know it Jay Zed will have a health label on him and have to wear dark grey jumpsuits when he comes to the UK to play with Christopher Martin of the Coldplay...

The revenge of the baby-boomers is almost complete; pissed off for being the generation with the most disposable income and benefits, they have construed to royally sodomise the youth of this country for what appears to be no other reason than to 'watch them suffer like how we didn't'. Perhaps the over 55s believe that their parents were happier having fuck all and eating dust so they're ensuring their children have to suffer these things; maybe, if we're lucky, the NHS can start developing strains of TB, rickets and dysentery to ensure that today's medicine has no effect on them, to give the young a real feel of what life in 1950 middle England was really like.

But we lost and I need to get over it.

Isn't telling someone who truly feels as though their lives have been ripped apart from lies, deceit and the obvious ambitions of politicians over the lives of real people to 'get over it' a bit like telling a rape victim that that's what their hole is for, so get over it?

You've been mortally wounded? Well, it's not my problem, get over it.
You've been burgled? According to your lefty friends, all property is theft, so get over it.
Your parents have been treated like cattle by the £350million less well-off NHS? Bloody well get over it.
You've lost your benefits? You're obviously foreign or have got yourself in this position all by yourself, get over it.
You've got no legs? Pfft, get the fuck over it, crip...

That's what Leavers say every time they say 'get over it'. They say it because that is about as deep and meaningful as their thinking allows them. If Remain had won, I expect there would have been a few glory-twats but the gloating would have been more 'informed' and less 'from the mouths of arseholes'. I expect that we would have grown tired of Nigel gesticulating with pint and fag in hand at the injustice of allowing 18-40 year olds the vote, or his thousands of dead fascist friends who would have voted Leave had they still been alive but their corpses were unfairly prevented from casting decisive votes. But we, being more intelligent and assured people, would have switched over and watched something more interesting instead.

The thing is, I can't get over it. I'll maybe start to get over it if some of the leavers had the common decency to tell me what contingency plans there are for it going wrong, or how they think they would feel if instead of getting better, everything gets much worse?

Let's put it this way, if, in five years, nothing has changed for the average person or the country has actually got to be a better place, I will be the first person to stand up and say I called it wrong; the leave brigade, for all their unbound wild optimism, were right and this has been the best thing we have ever done as a country. Huzzah for Nigel, Boris and Michael Gove - the Pob-headed cretin.

However, if the world is moving on and we're struggling to even buy a tin of beans and people are dying in the streets because we have no NHS, then I'd like leavers to say, if nothing else, "Whoops, I fucked up." It won't make it better, but as least it won't just be me thinking you're a cunt.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Past Caring

The wife and I were discussing 'social bubbles' the other day. I was surprised that she was taking an interest in one of my pet subjects but I soon realised that we were reading off the same hymn sheet, except she made a very salient point which was essentially the more 'social' you are the more likely you're going to become 'blind' to more and more of the real/outside world.

Actually 'blind' is the wrong word; intolerant is the real word but 'harsh' might be an even description. I've mentioned before that I'm growing more and more of the opinion that what we see on the news, hear on the radio and read in newspapers don't reflect what is going on every day on and around our streets. We are all told how the people feel about things and yet see polar opposite 'loonies' on social media. We get the press telling us how it is and because they set the agenda it can sometimes be frighteningly accurate; but try spending time within a 'socially classless environment' and transpose that against things like opinion polls and (if you could give a shit) you'd see that opinion polls are probably designed to sway your opinion rather than show you a fair representation of what people actually think. And what people actually think would require much soap in the mouth...

I realised about 6 weeks ago that I didn't have to try and instigate discussions with my fellow dog walkers about politics because eventually they would start it and however crude a stick to measure things by I'm more inclined to think my dozen or so dog walking chums represent pretty much a huge cross section of 'society'.

There is everything from a trendy 40-something teacher to a retired painter and decorator to a midwife to a 'retired' nurse who has just gone back to work at 68, to a prison chef to a retired plumber to a woman none of us have any idea about to a disabled 20-something - it is a cross section of opinions and needs and only one of them has admitted to voting remain and that was, quietly, to me because I've made no secret of it. I do get the feeling that this is perhaps an underlying black mark against me in the eyes of some of them; like they're getting into practice to start blaming me when they can't blame the EU or all those foreigners for the shit we're hurtling towards.

The point is this group of people have all, at some point in recent weeks, started a conversation about how shit everything is. From inflation to local council injustice, people are beginning to complain to each other again.

There are three people I know who are all in their 80s and one of them, a fascinating woman (called Pat) who could walk for Britain, said to me she can't remember a time since she's been alive where everyone was so unhappy and downtrodden despite having pretty much everything they need, if they so choose. She said to me (and I howled with agreeing laughter), "Someone on the wireless said it was like the country wants to return to the 1950s, I've done the 1950s and trust me, it was shit."

I was quite surprised that Comic Relief raised so much money for charity because I've been out and about far more in the last few weeks than I have in recent years and I saw nothing that remotely looked like fundraising or charity stunts (in fact the only bit of fundraising I've seen was related to CAFOD and was the day after Comic Relief, which was probably bad timing). The wife said she didn't see anything and nothing was done in her office for the first time she can remember and on my dog walk on Friday I saw many people and the only person talking about Comic Relief was complaining because they had to ferry their kids about for some fundraising thing which more than half of the girls involved had already pulled out of.

One of the more ... conservative of the dog walkers was complaining about inflation the other day and part of me was itching to point out that the inflation might have happened anyhow but it was more likely to be linked to the impending Brexit than any other factors, even if some people try to justify the not-so slow erosion of our economy on puerile excuses like 'Sterling was overpriced and needed reassessing,' or 'Inflation means people will be better off in the long run' - which I have seen and heard an actual politician say. Apparently inflation drives wages up, which seems to be the latest insane 'logic' except it does drive wages up, but only at about a fifth of the rate of inflation - look at history, there are zero examples of it being anything other than this.

This is neither here nor there, the thing is if my circle of dog walking friends is reflective of the country as a whole then nobody is happy. Take 10 of us: 3 retired but 1 back in part time work; 5 in work, two of which part time; 2 unemployed - the youngest and me - isn't that pretty much a reflection of the country (except there aren't any foreigners, but that might be a dog/cultural thing)? The 22-year-old has still got some exuberance but you can see the frustration that she's never going to have the things she wants beginning to encroach on her eyes; she's still amazingly elastic and bouncy but you see the sad realisation that despite being a good person the country probably isn't going to reward her or even help her become something better and despite not being a parent, it still sickens me that Tories especially should show such scant regard for education when it is probably the most important thing in the world now - kids need to be taught, the truth, as much as possible to prepare them to be more than just blank automatons, because we are heading that way.

This brings us round to the incident in London last week; it has, to my amazement, been a topic of conversation for the people standing in the sunny corners of the old cow field and everyone of them, apart from the social media-attached 22 year old couldn't give a shit. They were not interested in it; turned the TV over and watched rubbish they would never watch to avoid facing more bad news. They don't care if it was done by a Muslim, a Pole, a psycho Millwall fan, Santa Claus or some celebrity from TOWIE - they DON'T CARE. Turn it off. Leave us alone. Life is shit we don't want to see it on the screens all the time.

No one cares, really. They might put on a different face at work or home, but in the classless environment of the cow field they speak their minds. When they say they're fed up with it, they mean all the incessant fearmongering and bad news; they're not fed up with the event but they want the event to be at the head of the news before moving quickly onto the cuddly kitten story or the football results. The impression I'm getting more and more of is People are Cared Out. The more people start to care less the tighter they become embroiled in their own even tighter circles of social media friends. I've met people in their 20s who honestly believe that because they emoticon on social media about social things they're contributing to its improvement. Really.

Our governments don't see education as being in their long term interests; jeez, the last thing any self-serving politician wants is a population that thinks for itself. What am I on for even thinking such a thing?

I'm sure the majority of the charity that comes in now comes from people who can't afford it or companies and corporations who want the association. The Tories probably look at charity and wonder if the only way to balance the books after Brexit is to end all public services and hope that charities fill the void then that is where we are headed. I once said there were things the private sector simply couldn't be allowed to do or wouldn't because there's no money to be made from it, but I'm no longer sure that our current government couldn't sell the air you are breathing back to you, especially if they think they can squeeze just a little bit more from you.

But 'we' voted them in, 'we' are allowing them to steer us into the future and 'we' will almost definitely vote them in again in 2020 because the people that really run the country want that and the more people grow to hate politicians the fewer people will vote making government's 'mandates' as solid as a house made of blancmange. Democracy is probably dead now, anyhow.

This is where we are. It's a bit shit whatever way you look at it.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

How Did we Get Here?

When Liz Truss, the Justice Secretary, failed to condemn daily newspapers for castigating high court judges applying the law that the aforementioned daily newspapers fought such a hard Leave campaign for, it suggests, yet again, that we have politicians who either don't know the rules and laws of politics or are wilfully ignoring them for political purpose. This alone suggests that the UK is no longer being run by politicians, diplomats and multi-tasking bureaucrats, but by largely incompetent, selfish, self-serving individuals and this means that the two most powerful English speaking countries in the world are run by idiots who shout bullshit louder than the common sense and have glamoured ignorant people, not interested or disillusioned with politics.

How else would you explain the slightly surreal state of the world at the moment?

Honestly, the ill-informed really need to start paying attention and not be distracted by issues for which they get emotionally charged about. It isn't the Romanians/Poles fault you a) haven't got a job b) can't get a hospital appointment c) face an uncertain future, or d) are a feckless racist wanker (whose time is running out because once you get your own way you need to deal with it or be found out). It is the fault of successive governments making money from the freedom of movement across the EU. The introduction of a minimum wage and workplace pensions pretty much put paid to unscrupulous employers giving jobs to Europeans because £4 an hour is still four times what they'd get in Budapest or Wroclaw. But why allow facts to get in the way of being xenophobic?

Look, being pissed off that Treeza May wasn't elected is as helpful as hoping that Trump gets impeached/assassinated/goes mad - what do you get if that happens? The same asylum, just different lunatics.

Maybe it's time to ban people who want to go into politics from going into politics; in the long run it will be in the majority's interest. Passionate politics fans tend to be either Right or Left and at the moment we probably need a few decades of Firmly In The Middle and our experience, albeit brief and unpleasant, of that didn't work out well for anyone.

So, with Labour being steered towards another meltdown as Brexit activation date approaches (to take the focus away from the government) and then two years of inflation-fuelled anxiety, fear and probable increased recriminations as some things, not all, go utterly Pete Tong, and the Lib Dems thinking that becoming the Third Party again will have any lasting impact highly delusional, we've got to hope the Tory's own deep-set fissures can either make the coming hurt less painful or offer us a painless way out.

Maybe we'll get cyanide pills or no death duties and a state paid funeral if you save governments money by killing yourself?

When we reach a point in the UK's history when a party responsible for more heartache and pain than Thatcher's 1980s version is 17 points ahead in the polls because their opposition, all of their opposition, are more of a laughing stock than they are... Isn't it time someone with some authority looked at the entire thing and came up with a better and fairer way of having MPs, a parliament and government that is in place to serve the people as an entirety rather than as a select few?

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Inflate NOW!

So... the price of food is going up and not just because Spain has had a harsh winter. (There be irony in that statement beyond the pale) Food inflation is expected to reach 3% next month, compared to the 1.6% of this month and the -0.8% of the previous month. Your food is now going to go up in price.

Rewind to the autumn of 1971. My mum is working in a greengrocer's, in a shopping precinct, in Daventry and the price of spuds has just gone up from essentially 2d a pound (at Christmas 1970) to 3p a pound in the September of 71. The reasons for this huge rise in price was two-fold: a poor summer and autumn meant much of the crop was lost and the hangover of decimalisation; although decimalisation did seem to be a perfect opportunity of rising the price of some things by 100% without anyone really noticing. For some strange reason, despite only being 9 and not really showing any great affinity to maths or economics, something my mum said, over dinner one night, has stuck with me for 45 years. Mum was only 38 then and hearing her talk about 'old women' seemed strange to someone who thought all adults were 'old'.

She said something along the lines of this: "Two old women were in the shop today complaining about the price of potatoes. One of them said the price would go down soon, especially if we had a decent summer next year. I said to them, surely they were old enough to realise that prices never really go down." I suppose it was my first example of my rarely cynical mother being highly cynical and that is why it stayed with me, that and the fact that she was dead right - prices never really go down. You could argue that up until February food prices had been steadily declining over the space of the last year or so and, in real terms, have dropped remarkably since 1971. You only have to watch that fabulous Further Back in Time for Dinner and see how much more better off we are now, with our courgetti and our smoothies than we were with a bruised and warty apple or a gnarly spud covered in cow shit.

To say that all of the costs around food production have dropped, either through technology or cheap labour is almost a crass example of proving that food prices have come down, but it is a fact. The cost of your dinner isn't just what you paid for at the shop; it's the fuel used to prepare or store it, it's the energy used to propel it across the world or country; the packaging, the labour, the taxes... I know, you don't want to know or understand this, but it is a FACT. Unless you grow your own food, on your own land, using as little outside influences as possible, you might be able to grow a pound of potatoes for about 3p - in real terms.

I read something last week that both infuriated me and caused me bemusement, disbelief and amusement in equal measure. An alleged Remain voter saying that now inflation was 1.6% it was cheaper to buy food than it was because the underlying pay increases are 2%, so we're all better off. What was worse was when EVERY CONCEIVABLE point was made to prove to her that her statement was ignorant, insulting and plain wrong was met with an obstinacy I've rarely seen before; this person made the 'I voted Leave because of bent bananas' woman seem like a brain surgeon.

The argument is not going to be repeated here, not in full anyhow, but after everyone pointed out everything from inflation being monthly and wage rises being annual, to most people don't get wage rises (only the rich get them and they're usually massive ones which make the poor seem like they get one after averages come in) and haven't - in real terms - for seven years, so any increase is going to cost them, whether it is 0.001% or 50%, the person arguing her side concluded that [leaving the EU] really is a good thing in the long run because it will force people to shop at cheaper shops, thus forcing supermarkets to drop their prices while simultaneously ensuring their British staff get paid a fair amount of money... This person actually exists - she inhabits a discussion on inflation on The Guardian site and rides a rainbow-shitting unicorn through the golden streets of Moss Side... It's people like this that make fair-minded socialists like me understand why Neo-Nazism has become so popular...

The feeling seems to be that leaving the EU is now definitely going to increase food prices until our ministers can negotiate a deal with the EU and other countries to be able to import all of food for either exactly the same rates or less than we're currently paying as part of one of the largest economic blocs in the world - which is a statement almost as bizarre as the one in the paragraph above. The harsh reality is that supermarkets operate on a profit and loss basis, except without the loss bit. In general food prices are driven down by giving the producer of said food less money for it - outside of special offers, etc. You hear horror stories of major supermarkets holding fruit and vegetable growers to ransom and this is the model you can expect, this is why agriculture likes foreign workers, because they'll do it well for little fuss and seasonally. When people claim that leaving the EU will force employers to pay more for British staff, what actual reality are these people living in and has the rainbow-shitting unicorn done a whoopsie in your mouth?

Imagine this scenario. Employer A: I can employ 100 EU migrant workers (possibly for less than minimum wage), they want the job, will work hard and I make maximum profit, in a short window of time, from the supermarket.

Employer B: I can't employ 100 unemployed Brits, so the DWP has forced them to work for me. They don't want the job and do not do it satisfactorily for the National minimum wage and I am in danger of it not being harvested before it starts to rot in the fields and the supermarkets are demanding product, for less money, than I have to give them.

I mean we all know that once we start deporting all the people who clean the shit up in our already governmentally-ransacked NHS, it'll be down to us feckless Brits to find someone who will actually willingly do that kind of work. And how many people rely on immigrants to wipe their demented parents' arses, or bring them food in a care home, or treat them with a damned sight more respect than some questionably dodgy Brit who resents waiting on some old twat? Imagine a workforce that doesn't want to do it picking your strawberries or wiping your poor old mum's private parts?

Of course, there are the imbeciles who will argue that it's what we did in the 50s or 60s, but I have to point out to them that a lot of water has gone under the bridge since those halcyon days and I don't want my cheese rationed in 2017 or eat bread made partly with saw dust or have an outside toilet. Do I need to give you a very long list of what wasn't better than today in the 1950s or will you think I'm lying because I wasn't there? Maybe I'm doing it to deliberately screw up the post-Brexit economy; because all of those Brexiteers will need someone to blame when a loaf of bread is £2.50 because of wheat prices and once you get used to paying £2.50 for it, what's the point in bringing the price down? I mean, prices rarely really come down.

Watching our government, the trending signs from the economy and the fact that Conservatives like Ken Clarke and Michael bleedin' Hesseltine defending poor people with more vigour than you could imagine was possible surely must make you realise that the precipice is hurtling towards us, our guides are blind and retarded and we have a dead duck as an umbrella.

But, it's a price worth paying, isn't it? Having all this sovereignty and control back? The fact that Brexiteers are now rebelling against the sovereignty and control they originally asked for - presumably because they disagree with it - suggests a lot of misery and death has to happen before these pillocks of society realise what they have done.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Nothing is Coincidental

Has the irony sunk home yet? I'm presuming that it is so obvious that no one is linking it to anything because they figure everyone will see it? I mean, this time it's bad weather, but once we're no longer beholden to Spain, Holland and Greece for our supplies of salads and summer vegetables during the most barren months of winter, don't you think that vegetable rationing and the need to import fruit and veg from even further afield, contributing to pollution by having those of us who like a bit of lettuce during the winter getting it from Malaysia rather than Spain, could end up being what supermarkets are more likely to be like post Brexit?

NPower's massive price hike on electricity is also something you should be paying attention to, especially as we're no longer able to use only our own gas and oil now it is running low. Do you honestly think when EON or NPower or one of the other of the Big 6 energy suppliers say that their increasing price rises are down to Brexit and the higher cost of buying fuel the majority of people will be happy about it because we have control again? Some might, but frankly they can as proud as a priapic pig between now and when they freeze to death for all I care. This is what they wanted, this is what they'll probably get.

Now, I desperately want Brexit to succeed, from a personal position (but I'd love to see it fail from an anthropological standpoint) because in this case I don't mind being proved wrong. In fact, I desperately want all those Leave twats to be able to remind me of the fact every day, because, frankly, if it makes life better than it is I will happily accept it, even if that sounds a tad hypercritical. The thing is when David Davis stands up in Parliament and tells us all to 'be a bit optimistic, for heaven's sake' I want to, but a) we've just quit an excellent club that 50% of the population simply didn't understand and were never properly educated about and b) THE TORIES!!!

The thing is I think many of you will probably think that there will be shortages of things, and price rises and the need to return to more seasonal produce even if it means pissing off the worthlessly selfish consumers. I expect the government is already viewing the extra food needed to be supplied by our own farmers as a good enough reason not to subsidise any of them and now that our fishermen can strip mine our waters for anything that can be eaten, the price of food will drop until there's nothing left. Then what if people can't get stuff? Can you imagine the red pepper becoming a luxury item? Some Del-Boy taking a boat over to Holland to score consignments of Dutch salad vegetables.

I think we also expect energy bills to increase, and with the introduction of a number of 'measures' to ensure our path out of the EU is not as fraught as it could be, I expect we'll feel both 'safer' and more 'encompassed' by the time 2019 comes around. Maybe a little thinner, which obviously will be good for all those obese people.

Anyone who seriously thinks that life will be cheaper, variety will be greater and happiness will be so much easier to find than it is now, please tell me how this is going to be achieved. I don't want soundbites or optimistic bollocks, I'd like some actual evidence that what 52% of the people voted for wasn't a one way path to oblivion.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Sheep Wars!

Edwin Starr sang, 'War - what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again.'

He was totally wrong. It is nothing more than left wing lies.

Sheep.

As any fool knows, war solves all manner of problems and can usually be legitimised - after a fashion. Wars are great. They create jobs. They trim the population and when they're over all the corporations get to rebuild the world, creating more jobs and more wealth. Win win. Honestly, who gives a damn about people dying when we can all bask in a glorious post-war future?

I'm not a historian and I know people who will put me right, but my guess is business discovered the magic of war probably after the Second World War and therefore a 'Third World War' is likely to be a little bit different from any that have gone on before, because of the sophistication of business. I say this because I think we're experiencing the preamble. I think the people who actually run the world are feeling a little uneasy because it feels a little like someone has opened Pandora's Box and no one really knows how to close it.

Sheep.

If the world is as uneasy about everything as the press want us to believe, it suggests that no one really knows what is going to happen next week let alone in a year or two. Depending on what you read and where you read it, we're heading for a USA/Russia pact to put an economic squeeze on China. Or it's going to be a USA/China deal to further isolate Russia. Then there's the Middle East - the Saudis have been exposed; Syria is a scrap in the playground compared to Yemen and while the whole of ancient Arabia is also uneasy, Israel is worryingly quiet. Then there's the Far East - there's some seriously worrying shit happening in Australia's backyard and the rest of the world would be stupid to ignore it.

A political map of the world might suggest that there's a nice even split between left, right and centre, but to steal a line from communism critics, some political parties are more equal than others. Which is why any future war can't be political-alliance driven and probably explains why immigration and the freedom of movement of people has become the paramount issue for a lot of people; it isn't about politics it's about control. So for the Powers That Be to start a war they'd have to ensure it is a religious one, even if it isn't the given reason, and that can be the cause of border disputes or acts of aggression due to or because of indigenous ethnics.

Politics is changing so fast politicians are struggling to keep up with it. This is largely down to people accepting they have no control over some things, but could have massive control over other things, which might give them some control over the first thing... Racism is no longer a political thing despite being the biggest and hottest of political potatoes. Racism unites rich and poor with a common (mis)belief and if this happens it allows the government of the time to do things that the poor would otherwise find heinous or even oppose. This was how National Socialism swept to power in a certain country at some point in our history - not the only reason, but a deciding factor and without it perhaps we wouldn't have seen a WW2 quite the way we did.

Sheep.

We have a deep suspicion of Muslims, foreigners and well, anyone really, apart from people we like. Philanthropic people (whether it's their money or their time they give away) are actually few and far between. There isn't that many 'decent' people out there. Recently I watched a US drama series where the main character was arguing against the gentrification of his neighbourhood; as with any well-made TV show, the case was eloquently made, probably with more heart and soul than any real politician and when the question was put to the vote he was the only person opposing it. People care about their communities only after they care about themselves and most will put themselves first, by a long chalk. We have been taught, since the early 1980s, to not 'love thy neighbour' but to consider having to shop him or her at some point to ensure our own lives continue as unmolested as possible.

Ironically, being a 'hand-wringing liberal' is a bad thing now and you kind of realise at this point the world is heading for something not so good...

Sheep.

I'm sure if I had unlimited power I'd be a power mad megalomaniac; perhaps it comes with the job. But I'd rather live in a world where the majority is happy most of the time rather than one where the minority is blissfully happy and the rest of us are left searching, in vain, for the next bit of good fortune. Surely if everyone was happy it would be better than the opposite?

Sheep. Led to believe they have an idyllic existence before one day being driven away to the abattoir to have their throats slit. Actually, they have it a bit better than us...