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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

276. Brexshit – The Creature from the Grey (stinking) Lagoon.

The nightmare is real – the monster is out there – it’s going to get us – AAAAAAARGHHHH...

…all to the sound track of a 1950's creature feature movie, obviously.

Paralysed by panic and confusion, I was trapped in a gelatinous quagmire, suffocating on the stench of constipated, putrefied privilege and surrounded by howling, part-formed entities screeching at a pitch to make your ears bleed and your eyeballs implode.

As I struggled to crawl out of the grey sucking slop, the withered, malformed sewer creatures slunk and slithered on every available slime-slicked bank, at home in the stagnant sludge of their natural environment.

Mouldy May grimaced and gurned aboard the barely floating turd of populism. The bloated buffoon, son of John, babbled incessantly enjoying the smell of his own verbal farts and double-dim Davis churned the viscid slime with his jerking uncoordinated movements. A withered creature of the genus Corbynus-ludicrous on the opposite bank – barely visible through a haze of rancid obfuscation – stumbled and stammered, sniffing stupidly at the murky edges of the swamp – occasionally putting one of his three toes in and then becoming inexplicably motionless.

Then the wailing of the other unidentifiable creepers and crawlers of dark spaces, agitated by a long, thin, flaccid part-reptile, part tape-worm, part mangy fur ball – Ree-Smog began to take some form. It was a chant – ‘we like the shit and you are not escaping – stay in the shit – we love the shit – we made the shit - down in the shit is where we likes it – the deeper we sinks the less we is disturbed by the pesky light and the nasty breathable air’ on and on. While in the very centre, the creature itself – Brexshit – a formless but horrifying mass – heaved and rolled, bellowed and belched toxic orange smoke, occasionally dragging down unwary swamp dwellers to unimaginable depths and terrors.

I began to gag – choking on the evil lumpy gloop. My eyes filled with acrid fumes that smelled something like the dead, delusional rotting yearnings of an Empire constructed on the murder and misery of my slave ancestors.

Then it hit me – this was not a nightmare. I could not wake up. This was the Brexshit swamp and there was no escape from the Brexshit creature in this grey fetid lagoon. It was real and it would not go away. And the verdant fields I could see receding in the distance would never ever be for me or mine again.

One remaining bridge, which stretched only as far as March 2019, called Ye Olde Customs Union(e) was in the process of being doused in evil caustic fluids by large, slow slug-like entities that had slithered from under their cold dark rocks for the purpose. The bridge was in danger of crumbling from its own decrepitude as it was already deeply corroded by the sulphurous, acid emanations from the uncontrollable irruptions of mordant xenophobia and the foundation-breaking tremors of jingoism.

I tried to cry but the tears burnt my face as they mixed with the vile caustic vapours from the reeking bog.

Then I sank…

And thanks again for visiting my blog and well done for finding it – I am not on fb or twit or any of the must-have social platforms so you are part of an exclusive group who go ‘outside’ to find more nuanced stuff. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

275. Britannia rules the waves – of nauseating nostalgia…

Brexit is now a runaway freight train of crazy – and we are all straight-jacketed in.

For light cogitation, I was considering the fundamentals of why Brexit is utter lunacy.

Put aside the fact that we only have Brexit because the right wing of the Conservative party is wagging the otherwise limp body of the blind, deaf, arthritic dog and the gutter press have used the EU as something to snipe at whenever they ran out of celebrity gossip –Brexit is still mad as a box of frogs. Despite the Empire fantasists who are shunting this tug boat, the only waves Britannia is ruling are waves of nauseating nostalgia.

Turn-out at the recent local elections (around 30%) at a crucial time in the UK’s history shows utter disdain for both of the major parties – one mired in an anti-Semitism row – the other in a kind of sate racism of the Windrush debacle (see blog 273).

Our Foreign Secretary is a joke abroad, our Secretary of Defense is a squeaky creepy boy with no experience, our Secretary of Sate for the Environment famously thinks you shouldn’t listen to experts. I would go on but you get the point and I’ve covered all that many times on this blog. Theresa May’s judgement is infamously bad and the only reason she’s not out is that the Tories don’t know who would replace her and stand so firmly while the S—t is spread around by the huge Brexit fan (see blog 270).

And – as Macron seems now to be the only major EU leader avec Trump entente cordial and the UK ‘special relationship’ is now just an acquaintance with someone who has serious special needs – the idea that there is any credible replacement out there for the massive free trading partnership the UK has enjoyed with the EU for most of my life time is beyond farce.

Also, Britain has never been in a worse position to ‘go it alone’. Existing as we have on the fumes of empire – the mismanagement and the total privatisation of the UK has turned what was a wealthy nation into a clapped-out vehicle on bricks in the yard ready for scrap (see blog 268).

I want the yobs baying for raw Brexit to explain just which bits of Britain are not broken. Which bits are ready and functioning and fit for purpose in the brave new world of ‘us and global free trade’.

I am currently still waiting for a ticket refund from Virgin trains that I applied for on 15th February – for another rubbish journey kyboshed by over-running engineering works on our failing rail networks. I am also in dispute with privatised energy giant npower – dating back 4 years over a mess they made of a household bill when I moved house. The head of customer services (hold on a minute while I stop laughing at that misnomer) sent me several mails in the last couple of months telling me his ‘team’ will sort the matter in 5 working days – the 4 yr old farce is still unresolved.

Many and sad are the personal stories of friends of mine whose kids – with 10s of thousands of pounds of student debt are kept off the unemployment figures on zero hours contract ‘jobs’ (see blog 174 – zero hours in not a contract) or shelf stacking or living off mum and dad – depressed and downtrodden.

Major high street shop closures are now so common they rarely catch the main news (see blog 185).

Bank branches are closing in droves. Ironically, the reasons given include the prevalence of online banking – just as the TSB bank is in hot water for their online banking disaster which has left thousands of customers stranded without banking facilities.

In this supposedly developed country, many of our cities regularly suffer from dangerous levels of toxic fumes. Our children are breathing it all in while the government spends all its time on the Brexit debacle.

The NHS struggles with the ongoing obesity crisis, IT failures, under-funding and staff shortages while longevity has decreased in the poorest areas of Britain since we first began to measure these things.

Tragedies like Grenfell Tower (see blog 240) show us that we do indeed need the very health and safety regulation derided in the gutter press and often penned in Brussels.

The wholesale contracting out of the management of Britain came to its own horrible hiatus earlier this year with the collapse of the Carillion behemoth leaving hospitals part-built and huge government contracts unfulfilled – but with shareholders’ pockets bulging.

So as the team that are pulling this wagon look more and more like a bunch of nags ready for the knackers yard – the government need to explain to the British people which bits of the UK are still functioning and ready to ‘rule the waves’.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

274. A litter of letters 2

I was potty training my grandson last week so no full blog today; instead here are links to the relevant letters pages of a variety of UK newspapers where you can find some more of my letters published this year.

The normal rules of decency not apply to the ruling elite -

Regarding the inevitable consequences of the wholesale outsourcing of government to behemoth private contractors -

Trump’s only motivation for everything is himself -

Just when I thought Blair could not revolt me more -

International Womens’ day – reason to hope

Cambridge Analytica and facebook -

The government’s fake sympathy for Syria -

Cracked beams in this Tory administration

And this one, yesterday, regarding the Home Secretary -  Amber Rudd’s resignation –

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

273. ‘Windrush’ - just dirty nasty state racism.

When I was at school the taunt ‘go home’ or ‘go back to where you came from’ was usually accompanied by the abuse of the day – in 1970s midlands it was Wog or coon – or just blackie for the less imaginative. It was upsetting but also confusing for someone born in Warwickshire. Now we have the Windrush debacle where folk who have been here as long as or longer than my mother are suffering the kind of treatment we would condemn immediately if it happened in Russia or an African dictatorship.

The Windrush debacle is blowing headlong onto the rocks of racism and into the cliff that Brexit is just about to tumble over.
(I know – by the time you’ve untangled that analogy Kaftans will be back in fashion…)

Politicians have known for years that the decision taken in 2009 (by a then Labour government) - to dispose of landing cards - was a disaster. Added to this was the declared policy of creating a ‘hostile environment’ to illegal migrants championed by then Home Secretary Theresa May in line with the creeping xenophobia that was to break out in Brexit.  This led to thousands who had settled here and worked legally – suddenly finding that citizenship rights had evaporated. The initial decision was crazy and inexplicable, the landing cards were important historical documents tied to the rights of many who have contributed to British society for decades.

The problematic, mismanaged and often racist UK Border Agency has been criticised almost since its inception in 2008. It attracted condemnation for inadequacy, failure to process visas effectively or efficiently – for the way it has treated potential victims of trafficking and yet is it only now that those - many of whom have lived here since the 1940s and 50s – have had their nightmare acknowledged and backed up by a promise of speedy resolution.

In March 2013 PM Theresa May, then Home Secretary, brought the Border Agency back under the auspices of the Home Office but she did nothing about the plight of those whose lives were in limbo. Causing more misery, not to mention international embarrassment, the Prime Minister refused to bow to pressure until the headlines got too much and the Commonwealth Heads of State meeting in London this year amplified the bad press. THEN she was forced to apologise and claim she felt it was an urgent issue. IT is a humanitarian disgrace on our own doorstep.

It is hard to imagine the pain caused to those caught in this dirty, tangled net of state racism. From a man who missed his daughter’s wedding to people denied healthcare or even incarcerated. Theresa  May certainly succeeded in creating the  hostile environment but not just for ‘illegal’ immigrants but for many Caribbean people who contributed to British society for decades (after their slave ancestors contributed to the wealth of the British empire with literal blood sweat and tears for centuries.)

Meanwhile, Brexit negotiations get more scrambled and contradictory. Worryingly, the Windrush calamity is all too much of a taste of things to come. I have written many times on this blog, not just about Brexit but specifically how EU citizens are being left in limbo (e.g. 229. Article 50 is funny – isn’t it?)

As it gets ever more difficult to keep up with all the negotiation ‘redlines’ that keep getting crossed – even the abysmal  Boris Johnson (in The Telegraph 18th April) is now insinuating his double speak into the immigration issue. A small wedge is being inserted into the difference between taking back control of our borders – the UKIP cry - and actual immigration. What this does is leave those with power money and influence in a situation that suits them well  – a supply of cheap potential labour but unregulated by well-established EU labour laws – the exact opposite of what those who voted Brexit THINK they voted for but equally not what any Remain campaigners wanted either. In short – the worst of all possible worlds.

If this is how legal Commonwealth migrants of decades standing are treated – what hope for EU migrants after Brexit?

One thing is clear – Windrush may come to have a new meaning in the era of Brexit i.e. the wind of racism is blowing stronger than ever in the UK as Britain rushes over the Brexit cliff…
My good friend Bob – who was a Newcastle city councillor with me in the 1980s/90s, sent me this link. This well-known speech was made a couple of weeks before my 4th birthday. It reminds me that there have been truly great people in the world but also leaves me wondering how come the mediocre and the craven have taken over…

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

272. Syria – a devils playground

A hypocrites paradise.

After the pre-tweeted air strikes ordered by a morally bankrupt US president, a Brexit-weakened Britain and its own ex-colonists France, Assad celebrates Syrian Independence today and appears stronger than ever and those suffering under his rule are more at his mercy.

Obama called for consensus on Syrian intervention in 2013 when it might have made a difference – but, still in the horrible thrall of Blair’s illegal invasion of Iraq, the main US ally, Britain, shrivelled.

Now the UK has Boris Johnson as foreign secretary - a liar, racist and buffoon. We have, in Gavin Williamson, a whiny, squeaky, pathetic, creepy, inexperienced, “go away and shut up [Russia]” Defense Secretary. Our Prime Minister Theresa May is quickly outflanking the previous Tory leader, David Cameron, for disastrous personal and political judgement. Last year she called a snap General election she did not need to call and decimated the small Tory majority. Last week she failed to recall Parliament for a vote on Syria she almost certainly would have won. And while I think the air strike on Syria was pointless and did nothing to alleviate the ongoing horrors for the Syrian people – the UK Parliament is one dose of ineptitude closer to terminal lack of credibility.

As the Mueller imperative grows for he-who-pays-to-silence-porn-stars – Syria is becoming the latest Middle East distraction from what’s wrong with the addled democracies. Syrian civilians continue to soak up more misery, more death, more indecision, more moral vacuity, more blood lust until it is so saturated with abomination that – as is reported of places such as Auschwitz – even the birds won’t sing there...

As the UK steadfastly ignore atrocities in Yemen where Saudi Arabia – big military customers of the UK - are dishing out horrors to the civilian population, Syria is fast becoming an international synonym for hypocrisy but rather than repeat myself - here is a link to the latest of my letters – this one published by The Independent.

and here is a doodle from last year - 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

271. Where it goes wrong in the UK…

If your child is intelligent thoughtful and self-possessed with true leadership qualities,

if they are honest, faithful, hard-working, fair with others,

if they respect women, reject racism, wish to do their duty to family and country and inspire others to do the same,

if they think carefully before they speak,

if they are just decent human beings in fact..

…they are currently not eligible to be US president or represent the UK around the world as foreign secretary…

While only a crazy person would begin to try and explain Trump – where it goes wrong in the UK can be summarised with this doodle…

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

270. Brexit - a summary of the dreary characters in this very bad, expensive, pointless, poorly-scripted, unbelievably tedious yet addictive soap opera.

British Prime Minister Theresa May – who argued firmly and logically to remain in the EU during the referendum is forcing through the hardest of hard Brexits whipped by the lunatic ex-Etonians like Rees Mogg. She purchased the support of 10 Irish DUP MPs to remain in power after a disastrous snap General election. The DUP happily sold their support for £1bn despite their constituents voting strongly to remain in the EU.

Boris Johnson is ex lord mayor of London where he corruptly spent tax payer money on the Garden Bridge fiasco and is a Brexit flag-waver even though he also supported Remain at one point. He is a liar, racist (see blog 184) and buffoon but represents the UK on the world stage as our Foreign Secretary.

Michael Gove is Environment Secretary, arguably now one of the most important posts in any government. He is the prominent Brexiter who derided experts during the EU referendum and recently scolded privatised water companies for the state of the UK’s waterways forgetting it was his party that sold off not just water but all British utilities to the private sector (see blog 268).

Tony Blair is back being interviewed by the mainstream media – mainly for his views on Brexit. This flies in the face of what many argue which is that the xenophobia that buoyed up the Leave campaign came partly from an intense and renewed fear of foreigners as the world tipped into chaos following the destabilisation of the Middle East after the illegal invasion of Iraq by Mr Messiah complex and his buddy G.W.Bush. (ref blog 265).

Privileged racist Nigel Farage was regarded as just another rabid right-wing nutter prior to 2014 when UKIP got their first MP - Tory defector Douglas Carswell who subsequently ditched the party in 2017. While deriding the EU and EU immigrants, Farage had a German wife – later apparently had an affair with a French MEP, joined forces with fascists on the European parliament was docked pay for misuse of EU funds (along with liar and fantasists and also one-time UKIP leader Paul Nuttal) and will benefit from an EU pension. (ref blogs 111 & 191).

There is no longer an honourable third party to mix things up. The Liberals – party of Lloyd George who as Chancellor of the Exchequer early in 20th century laid the foundations for modern Welfare – sank to new lows 8 years ago. Nick (cojones) Clegg sold out the youth of Britain (see blog 130) to briefly enjoy power as a side-kick to David Cameron (pig head lover) after the Brown disaster led us into the 2010 elections and a new era where you were no longer allowed to call bigots bigots...  In my view (based on no inside knowledge but only how I would have felt) Nick Clegg broke the heart of former leader and real Liberal, Charles Kennedy who died suddenly, shortly after the following election where the Liberals were shown the political door by disgusted voters. Tim Farron took the helm for a couple of years but bowed out when he – like others before him – tried to use Christianity as an excuse for his homophobia (which as a non-homophobic non-bigoted Christian always seriously pisses me off). They went back to Vince Cable who was prominent and unpopular in the 2010 – 2015 coalition so although they are the only party with any Remain credibility – they have no other sort of credibility so it makes absolutely no difference.

I could say that Labour, the UK’s opposition party is being led by intellectual lightweight and catastrophic Brexit ditherer Jeremy Corbyn but that would imply that I believe the UK has a functioning opposition in any real sense or that Corbyn is doing anything approximating leadership…

America may be in the hands of a misogynist, corrupt, infantile, semi-literate – quote-Rex-Tillerson – who is working his way through the deranged and rabid TV personalities of Fox News to staff his Whitehouse but the UK is in a catastrophic downward spiral of flaccid mediocrity (why do I feel I should mention David Davis here...). It is mediocrity with powerful impetus if that’s not a paradox. And in another extraordinary and surreal balancing act, the Working Class have managed to be both aspirational and self-destructive in a contradiction of kamikaze confusion. 

It is the young who will suffer. They have been crapped on and they will carry the can for this into the future and it’s not fair…

This can be summarised by a recent doodle and a slightly older one…