Sunday, December 15, 2019

Three days later: on Labour leadership

British politics: a level playing field

Before anyone applies for the new Labour leader post, whoever they may be, they'll have to make absolutely sure that they never shared a platform with anyone remotely dodgy. Not even by chance, not even in 1988.

Or that they never clicked "like" on anthing that isn't a kittens video on Facebook. Never suggested that carnage in Northern Ireland could be ended by perhaps sitting around a table (like John Major and Tony Blair actually did). Nada. Impeccable.

Oh, and they'll need an army of people monitoring Twitter 24/7 lest they get ripped to pieces over a Labour councillor in Carlisle typing up something obnoxious.

On the other side of the spectrum, of course, it's official that any potential Tory leader can (and will) get away with producing an unspecified number of undeclared children, while at the same time slagging off single mothers for being single (using the word "feckless" too).

They will have written racist stuff in articles and books. They will gush forth any offensive crap about Nigerians and Scots, Scousers and working class people, same-sex couples and Muslim ladies. They can write books caricaturing Jewish men.

They can even get the open and loud backing of obnoxious individuals like Katie Hopkins or convicted far-right thugs like Yaxley Lennon. It won't matter one jot. They'll simply be untouchable. Worst case scenario, they'll get portrayed as some kind of loveable rogues.

Here. Another snowflake moaning about the army of bullies otherwise known as Britain's tabloid press.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Two days later: assorted thoughts

There's only one type of working class, apparently: "white" and "Northern".

- The odious Katie Hopkins summed it up quite correctly: "I think you will find [the Tory Party] is OUR party now. Britain has Boris and a blue collar army. Nationalism is back. British people first".

- For all the talk of enlightened new generations and open-minded young people, the growing trend towards Adulation of the Big Man is, I guess, obvious to a turnip.

- England likes a good bully, doesn't it.

- I wonder if The Cult of Corbyn would acknowledge the idiotic mistake of handing Johnson an election when he sought one back in October.

- Johnson was caged, locked in a hung parliament. Like Tony Blair wisely remarked in October, the Opposition held the cards. They could have worn Johnson down and gradually exposed his idiotic EU deal while constantly pushing for a "People's Vote", saying "see? Those politicians are afraid of giving YOU a final say!".

- Instead, the weakest Opposition in history caved in first, LibDems included, in the midst of Johnson's honeymoon period and a mere few days after he secured the tabloids' backing of his EU deal amidst great fanfare. Acumen.

- It's easy to forget the state the Tory party were in throughout most of 2017-19. Split like never before, led by a weakened, unloved and insipid PM, actively turning Brexit into a total mess, while presiding over a tired and divided government that had been there for the best part of a decade. Still this Labour Party managed to lose to them.

- Those dunderheads who so glibly blame the Labour debacle upon its (very) belated backing of a second referendum (Ian Lavery, Caroline Flint, John Mann, and various EU bashers) forget what dizzy heights Labour achieved while still stubbornly refusing a People's Vote. In May, at the last European election, Labour scored an embarrassing 13,7%, an all-time low. Goldfish memory or just plain stupidity from your average Lexiteer?

- It was only after adopting a more accommodating position towards a "People's Vote" that Labour managed to claw back 10 to 20 percentage points back from the LibDems. Again, don't forget the May results. Labour were annhilated, with millions of its pro-Remain voters backing LibDems or Greens.

- Remember: you can never be "brexity" enough for a leaver.

- Is the working class just "white" and "Northern"? You'd think so if you listened to the Great Media of Great Britain. If you happen to be working class, but also "brown", and maybe "Scottish", or perhaps a "Londoner", then you're fucked, it seems. It's either "white workng class in former Labour heartlands" or "metropolitan elites". Oh don't we all love binary.

- If you include caretakers, in the last 10 years, the LibDems have almost had more leaders than sitting MPs. The curse of the coalition still haunts them.

- If Labour (and what remains of the LibDems) don't knock the tribalism on the head, Johnson will put his feet up in No.10 until the second half of this century. Easily.

Friday, December 13, 2019

The day after: assorted thoughts

Don't fret about the NHS, just make sure you know what time the Queen's Speech is broadcast

- It is now official that the Great English Public are happy to hand a massive majority to a man who routinely spouts out racist drivel, an individual who repeatedly wrote about "watermelon smiles and piccaninnies", "tanktopped bumboys", "gay marriage= three men and a dog", and "letter boxes and bankrobbers". That's alright. No wonder Yaxley Lennon and Katie "cockroaches" Hopkins endorsed him too.

- Made by the media. Foisted upon you by the media. You watch TV and they all call him Boris. An aristoman who wouldn't piss on any ordinary member of the Great English Public if they were on fire. And in fact he even WROTE that working class men are "drunk, criminal and feckless". Oh, and single mothers. They too got a share of his "one nation" brand of love.

- No better gift to Johnson than an Opposition led by the weakest debater and least media-savvy politician known to man. Ever. Just one example: the televised election debate on the BBC. Boris Johnson claimed at least 3 times - falsely - that Labour were going to raise tax for everyone over £20000. Corbyn just looked at him haplessly each time and said nowt. Millions of people heard that claim repeatedly but not a single word refuting it. Oh Jeremy Corbyn.

- "This election was taken over ultimately by Brexit", Corbyn excused himself - pathetically - a mere few hours after Labour's worst election drubbing since 1931.
Pity he'd been warned multiple times exactly of that: you can pretend that Brexit isn't going to be "the" issue dominating the campaign, but it'll come back biting you where the sun don't shine.

- You'd have thought that the theme of a government asking for the FOURTH consecutive chance in spite of making a mess out of Brexit, or austerity, or you name it would be a central plank of any opposition party. Not really, not in England.

- "I for one can't wait to hear about how people who suggested that Corbyn was unelectable are entirely to blame for the fact that Jeremy Corbyn turned out to be unelectable", quipped LBC's James O'Brien the day after the election. Indeed.

- Still deluding yourself that the tabloid media doesn't influence the country's discourse? When Corbyn garbled his answer about the Queen's Speech on TV on Christmas Day the tabloids made sure it became a case of national emergency. It was the main headline in The Sun. the Express and the Daily Mail. Nevermind the worst crisis in the history of the NHS, foodbanks and assorted lies. Nah. 30 years of tabloid-infantilising down to a T.

- The above may explain why the Great Masochistic English public keeps falling for facile slogans brandished about by a media-inflated aristobuffoon while still sacrificing possible or potential improvements to their daily life.

- The word "denial" was created for the LibDems.

- Someone has to explain to me why the opinion of Hollywood and TV stars like Hugh Grant, Steve Coogan and Gary Lineker is "stupefying pomposity", whereas comically posh aristocrats and multimillionaires telling you how to survive a fire and how to vote is being on the side of the "working man".

- There was a time when parading your dog at the polling booth in front of the cameras would have been considered naff in Britain. Not anymore.

- Division within the progressive camp has to be the most robotically repeated clanger in the history of politics. This election was no exception. How Labour and the LibDem failed to come to some kind of agreement (despite the likely risk of the most right-wing government in history) will be remembered as a classic case of criminal tribalism.

- There are dozens of seats where Labour, LibDems (and sometimes the Greens) trod on each other's feet and let the Tories happily sneak through. Witness Kensington, City of Westminster, Finchley & Golders Green, Chingford and Woodford Green, St Ives, Hastings & Rye, Altrincham and dozens more. The list is too painful to see. How to hand a seat to Boris Johnson on a tray. Well done Corbyn. Well done Swinson. Political ineptitude on an industrial scale.

- Five very dark years await. The 2010-19 era will be seen as a mere hors-d'oeuvre. The most right-wing government since ever awaits, with a rabid Tory party completely devoid of any moderates and while Labour will tear themselves to pieces. Last one out, turn off the lights.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Leader of the Opposition

He wants to sort out "the Brexit mess" that they* created. He wants to stop the early release of deadly terrorists that happened under their* watch. He wants to stop the nasty austerity that they* imposed over the past 10 years. He wants to reverse cuts that they* made to police, nurses, libraries, social services. He wants to build the houses that they* didn't build.

*They/their are, of course, his own party and his own government. Since 2010. Yet such an obvious fact seems to be eluding every single interview on the brave UK media.

Mix a weak, self-indulgent, and divided opposition with a nation of authentic sheep feasting on tabloids and celebrities and this man is going to govern for the next 5 years (with a massive majority).

Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Royal Family and their bezzie mates

A bit of a funny pattern escaping the eagle eyed. And that's in spite of professional PR advisers, minders, an entire "media centre", MI5 keeping an eye on the Royals, you name it. Unlucky choice of friends or what?

Thursday, September 05, 2019

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters

Random thoughts on the Brexit mess

- Could it be that we're simply reaping the harvest of 25+ years of tabloid-induced dimwittery (plus the added dollop of "reality TV" since 2000)? I mean, you didn't really think there weren't gonna be large-scale consequences, or did you?

- Is there anything more supremely pathetic than the UK tabloids accusing others of "Project Fear"? Them! The biggest purveyors of the most insane examples of mass hysteria and hypochondria, hatred and envy, curtain twitching and perversion. There are no words.

- So how does it work? Rage at the so-called middle-class "Islington set" for its alleged remoteness from the English working man, while at the same time sticking into office one Eton aristocrat after the other?

- Only 10 years ago an individual like Jacob Rees Mogg would have been the perfect comedy character impersonating your typical antiquated posh twat from the black and white era. Now he's a much revered top Tory MP.

- The story of how a simple, binary referendum question on subjects of gargantuan complexity can fracture a country and rip it to shreds from within.

- The religious zealotry of the brexiteers is the closest we've witnessed to the religious zealotry of 20th century ideologies. Streets paved with gold, no matter what. Just believe.

- I believe it was Hermann Goering who once said: "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger".

- It's blatantly clear - and more with each day- that the Brexit zealots couldn't care less about the daily, practical technicalities of crashing out on Oct 31st. Whether it's employment legislations, family law, trade and shipping rules, nothing must stand in the way of The Great Religious Goal.

- How quick did the country known worldwide as the embodiment of phlegm, moderation and stability become an international joke? Overnight, it seems.

- Don't let anyone tell you that First Past the Post is a guarantee of political stability. Four governments and three Prime Ministers since 2016 would give Italian politics a run for its money. Oh. And on the subject of Italy. Where you around when the Brits used to take the piss out of their choice of a narcissistic clown for Prime Minister?

- Are Boris Johnson and his odious antics a natural consequence of having Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Opposition? But wasn't the rise of Jeremy Corbyn also in turn a natural consequence of (back then) five years of austerity on steroids?

- Chuka Umunna & friends demand a People's Vote: a sacrosanct right when both minds and circumstances have changed. Pity they don't apply the same criteria to their own position as MPs after changing three parties in three months: no sense of cringe, eh?

- Matthew Hancock. Amber Rudd. People of principle. People with mettle.