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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

232. Corbyn – ‘Shuffling Shit Shaper’ – seems to be the Opposition Leader’s Election Pitch

Yes. Corbyn promises to tweak the mess…

Oh and give us extra bank holidays. In offering to end zero hours contracts and strengthen union representation – he does at least aim to counter the ridiculous Miliband dissociation from the workers’ movement that birthed the party. Let’s face it – that was like a feminist group saying they would distance themselves from women. But all in all, it’s too little, too weak, too muddled and way too late.

 ‘I’ll make the shit smell a bit better’ – seems to be Corbyn’s offer to Britain.

That is the Liberal’s line too – the party that propped up the Tories and sold a generation down the toilet with their colossal deceit on tuition fees. But Labour is supposed to be the official opposition. In reality, they haven’t been for a very long time.

Yes – the UK is having a General election – or if you observed the sudden verve and energy and enthusiasm (from everyone apart from the electorate that is) it’s a ‘general erection’ for politicians who’d rather be posturing than running the country.

I mean – isn’t that what elections have become? They have morphed from real democracy into pseudo mob rule. The first-past-the-post voting system has caused political constipation in the UK for decades. Folk who spend too much time watching soap operas and reality TV, panic vote following the latest nonsense stories about immigration, while politicians get all pumped up with fake passion. And JC is doing just that. He is zealously proposing to close the barn door after the horse has bolted and the barn has burnt down. He is going to furiously fiddle round the edges. He’s made really (almost) impassioned speeches about how big business will quake in its boots if Labour get in. Can you hear the rustle of bank notes as the wealthy scrabble about for their millions of unpaid taxes? Can you hear the squeal of brakes as all the banks, fleeing the UK, respond to Corbyn’s inspiring tones about a better economy and about turn? No.

This is the party that couldn’t even elect a capable woman leader (for once) when it had the chance – even though it would have sent out almost the most positive message the party could muster. JC continues on his Blairesque ego trip – the people need MEEEEE. And that nasty little war criminal Blair is sniping from the side-lines, like none of this has anything to do with his legacy, inviting voters to cast for other parties if they think it might get them a soft Brexit – as if he can deliver some sort of political pooh softening laxative – it’s STILL SHIT.

Even the moolah-monster Mandelson is pitching in with his horrible cadaver sneer at the writhing zombie of the Labour party he helped to poison. It’s too awful. But being complicit in the status quo is not the answer.

It’s clear why Theresa May is doing this. Many observers (me included) regularly refer to her as our unelected Prime Minister – which she is. The woman who campaigned for Remain now wants to stamp on dissenting voices so she can take us hard over the Brexit cliff and she has looked across at the opposition front bench and concluded, now is the time.

I have the greatest respect for many left wing commentators and genuine Labour activists who are energetically calling for unity. Quick – let’s paper over the cracks – again. Swallow your misgivings, they say, and support Jeremy because the alternative – a stronger Tory government – is unthinkable. One real argument for voting Labour in your area might be to keep out the UKIP slime but I think Paul Nuttal has already done that job.

Unfortunately, the UK is now a tanker without enough room to stop before it hits the Brexit rocks. (NB Labour is – today – finally – laying out some sort of plan for Brexit) A Labour victory would simply mean that Labour would be at the helm when the smash happens and there would be even less incentive for the root and branch change required if the party is not to become extinct.

I’ve tried to sit through some you tube videos of Corbyn interviews (thank god I don’t have TV) and all I can conclude is that those ludicrous, dithering, fumblings where you can see the cogs slowly grinding, is Corbyn thinking – ‘… how would I answer this question if it really were 1975?’

Following Theresa May’s the-breaks-have-gone-on-the-car victory on June 8th there must be one very significant resignation on June 9th – that of Jeremy Corbyn. Then Labour can begin the job it should have started after Blair hollowed out the Labour party or when Miliband set out confusing everyone – rebuilding and actually planning for the next real election in 2022.

Between now and then - God help us.


See also -

blog 50 - Ed Miliband – Political Semolina
blog 107 – Labour’s Gift to the Tories – Again!
blog 135 - Kim Kardashian and Ed Miliband – I told you

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

231. Erdogan? Turkey literally voted for Christmas…

What is the attraction of the 21st century's mini Hitlers?

With the Turkish referendum going Erdogan’s way (as I guessed – see last week’s cartoon) we have to ask ourselves – WHY the world has such a penchant for these mad men. The fat stupid type Hitlers – Kim Jong-un; the plain nasty ones – Duterte and Assad and the pig style Hitlers – Trump e.t.c. 
On a lesser scale why do people actually vote en-masse for self-harm (yes I’m thinking Brexit)…

Now we watch nervously to see if the French are going to go down the same sewer with Le Penn.

In the UK, the phrase ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’ was used in relation to the vote to leave the EU. But at least turkeys – the fat flightless birds - go to make a sumptuous meal (if, unlike me, you eat meat). But why are people voting for meanness? Why are people voting to have their rights taken away? Why are people voting for less kindness, less freedom, less humanity?

These are rhetorical questions. I do not believe there are logical answers. Yes these monsters appeal to the lowest denominator. Yes they appeal to fear and prejudice. But are there really more stupid scared people in the world than good people?

Where does letting these inadequate, spiritually ugly men take over the world get us? Kim J-u and creepy Trump couldn’t decide who won the bad hair competition so they’re using weapons to see who is the biggest idiot.
Let’s face it – if you were playing ‘whose the person you’d least want to be stuck in a lift with’ it would be a tough choice.

Kimmy has had top brass executed (including an uncle who didn’t clap loudly enough) and Donald put American servicemen’s lives at risk by openly saying America should go after Middle East oil while troops are trying to organise peace and co-operation on the ground. Oh and with the Muslim ban.

Both would rather spend their country’s wealth on weapons than on health care or social services and they are both unhinged - need I go on?

The only thing is that Americans had a choice as did the Turkish - the Koreans didn’t – so Kimmy is easier to explain than Trump and Erdogan.

Erdogan wants to re-introduce the death penalty. Trump, who can’t spell – has no morals – is a bully, a misogynist, a sex pest - doesn’t know if he bombed Syria or Iraq (while eating 'beautiful cake'). He is a spiteful brat who is repealing Obama legislation just because it was Obama legislation. I mean – what kind of guy reverses a ban on pesticides proven to cause brain damage in children? What kind of lunatic reverses legislation to make cars more efficient AFTER that legislation has been accepted by the industry?

One of Trump’s main campaign pushes was that he is such a great business man. Many people, conned out of money to go to a Trump university, successfully sued him. He couldn’t make a success of casinos in Las Vegas, the gambling capitol. And one of the reasons that he is in hock to Vlad the Putin is because he ran out of people to borrow money from following business failure after business failure.

Why does a man who vowed not to get involved in ‘other people’s’ conflicts use a weapon costing (and this is an average of the various prices put forward) $16million per unit? We are told the weapon killed 36 – (or 92 depending on whose guesses you are using) and 300 metres of tunnels. Really? That is a lot of money to kill very few ‘baddies’. It sounds like very, very poor ROI.

Then we were told it was not about the Afghan hit – it was about sending a ‘message to North Korea’. And you have to worry about a bloke who can go from tweets to MOAB in one step. Frankly the tweets were better value. They were free and caused easily as much damage as the multi-million dollar bomb.

As Erdogan dreams about state murder and opposition detention, is Trump flicking through the military catalogue poking his stubby fingers at pictures of weapons and asking some square jawed buzz cut ‘what does this one do?’ and ‘can I have a go?’ like he did with that truck at the Whitehouse – ‘Oh please let me press the horn’.

The fat stupid spoilt spiteful bloater babies are in charge of Armageddon and the combination of fear and ignorance is like chucking a petrol tanker into an active volcano.

But I still don’t get where these shits come from. Is the devil running a factory where these men are churned out like the Orcs in Lord of the Rings? Is there an army of them ready to mess things up whenever something good gets a foothold? Or are they just always there, in the background, ready to take over whenever stupidity, self-interest and meanness reach a zenith?


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

230 A little bit of death…

…as Trump plays with his new war toy.

Last week, in an attempt to divert attention from the ongoing car crash of his own administration, Donald Trump indulged in a little bit of death in Syria.

Pundits and commentators – who insist on behaving as if he is a real person – commended his actions. Frankly – if you are a psychopathic murderer like Assad – wealthy, unopposed, unchallenged by your rich neighbours and your country is the centre of the latest war games played out by the world’s current crop of delinquent, personality disordered leaders – it must seem like your birthday every day.

Assad’s latest atrocities allowed human sewer Donald Trump to indulge in a little bit of death. Not only is it a great way to distract from the political carnage at home, it’s a fabulous way to stage a fake disagreement with Russia as the investigation into the Trump election campaign’s links to Putin fail to go away. And while the people of the Middle East continue to suffer and suffer and suffer – Trump is flown, on Airforce1 between his new pad – the Whitehouse - his golf courses and his holiday club Mar a lago where he happily exposed sensitive government information in public.

Dump both echoed and crapped on the Obama position on Syria in 2012. This side of the pond where all energies are – and will be for years to come – mopped up in the cold, mouldy sponge of Brexit (see last week’s post) – there was some fawning over the American attack. Which is odd – because it was the 2013 UK Parliamentary vote – lost by David Cameron (then PM and architect of the BREXIT debacle) that sealed the fate of action then. As the consequences of the 2003 invasion were still evolving, no one dared look head on at Syria. Congress refused to back Obama which meant the US could not follow through against Assad when Obama wished to. Odd because Blair was able to follow the war monger and idiot – G. W. Bush into an illegal war with no basis the decade before. Once again, we have to say that the consequences of the illegal 2003 invasion are long and wide and deep and will continue to skew international reactions for the foreseeable future.

Weirdly, everything seems to be coming out opposites at the moment. The situation shows the UK is already irrelevant on the world stage – the total opposite of what the Empire mob who rode the BREXIT horse into a ditch wanted. Trump – in dabbling with a bit of death in Syria - has alienate the only people who really supported him – the extreme right-wing white supremacists.

And while the UK Eton twonk, former Mayor of London and our racist Foreign secretary Boris Johnson jumps on the Trump bandwagon – the former head of MI6 and permanent secretary to the UN John Sawyers believes – and I agree – Trump is also posturing for North Korea (the other country with a spoilt brat leader with bad hair). Yum.

To add irony to injury, immediately after the US strike – Assad’s planes were able to take off from the very air base targeted by American missiles.

As the other miserable conflicts continue – overshadowed by the Syrian mess – Ukraine, Yemen, South Sudan, Iraq etc – the spoilt rich boys carry on chucking bombs from the safety of their privileged life styles. The worry is that Trump may have enjoyed playing his new war game and the US / Russia proxy war in the Middle East spreads to be the real world-war we dread.

And who pays the price for these global war games started by inadequate men with small personalities, distended egos and bad hair? Always, always, always – innocent civilian men, women and children…


See also blogs; 43 - Killing them Softly 172 – Syrian Pogrom and 200 - Suffer the little children – again… (Syria)

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

229. Article 50 is funny – isn’t it?

Especially from up here in Scotland. I’m surprised we’re not calling it ‘our-tickle-50’. Apologies if you are reading this on translate – that pun won’t work… a bit like BREXIT.

You can almost hear the canned laughter.

Seriously – this is a farce J.B. Priestly would have envied.

Like many voters, the Scots were totally conned. Among other lies, they were told – the ONLY way to stay in Europe was to vote NO in the Independence referendum in 2014.

Then David Cameron – in his Eton schoolboy fog of misplaced confidence, shining inadequacy and poor judgement called an in/out EU referendum. He decided, gambling with Britain’s future was the way to deal with the Empire mob in his own party. And just as when Tony Blair, hanging out of George W Bush’s arse, went into Iraq – there was no post-mess, post-mad-decision PLAN. Not even a few scribbles on the back of an envelope.

Interesting to mention Blair here following the destabilisation of the Middle East. UKIP – the UK Independence Party – exploited the fear of refugees fleeing war, migration and an explosion in (sorry for another pun) global terrorism – to hijack the EU referendum with the blunt, amnesia-inducing instrument of Xenophobia.

Augmenting their lies and racism, the Leave campaign used the opposite arguments they’d advocated in the Scottish referendum, to rattle a poorly informed public.

The Leave campaign won – and then rubbed our noses in it by admitting, the day after the vote, that one of their biggest, loudest lies was – well – a big loud lie - ha. How amusing, how jolly…

Then Farage skipped off to play with Trump. Cameron exited swiftly and without a backward glance.

Now our unelected Prime Minister Theresa May – who was a Remain advocate – is turning out to be the most brittle of Leave practitioners. So, was she a flimsy shit then or is she a flimsy shit now?

And the merry-go-round whirls crazily on to a jangling, painful, discordant tune. Suddenly EU citizens who have been settled here for decades, do not have security. The Prime Minister refuses to exclude them as pawns in her negotiating. And as her hand is so very very weak – pity them. And last week in the madness whipped up by the racists a young asylum seeker was set on by a mob and was beaten nearly to death and ex- Tory leader – Howard started sabre rattling over Gibraltar. All this before negotiations begin.

The new UKIP leader Paul Nuttal, is everything you would expect from that party. Stupid, dishonest, attention seeking, stupid, a fantasist, stupid, boring – oh and did I mention STUPID. Farage’s media gimmick was that he was an ‘ordinary bloke down the pub’ and he was regularly pictured perched on a bar stool with fag and pint. In fact, Farage is a privileged and wealthy ex-stockbroker who went to an exclusive private school where the staff didn’t like him because he was too racist. But Paul Nuttal actually is the wanker down the pub. He is the bloke everyone tries to avoid and who they pretend they haven’t seen if he tries to catch their eye. He is the guy glad-handing anyone who will give him the time of day as he spews his girly, whining, clichéd speeches and re-hashed unoriginal phrases.

Theresa May’s Article 50 pronouncement itself was comedy. There were references to the close union she wants with Europe – the co-operation on security and trade etc. A newly landed Martian could be forgiven for thinking she was pitching to GET IN to the EU.

In this hiatus of crazy, I cannot begin to explain what happened across the pond. Trump - the alpha male – with no alpha and a parody of masculinity – is simply shitting on America like a delinquent baboon. However, here in the UK, it is more obvious what happened. Mediocrity triumphed. From the Prime Minister who is every inch the 6th form head girl who got in because the student everyone wanted got caught sniffing glue behind the bike sheds to a lack-lustre, out of touch public broadcast organisation. Still the BBC is dancing, like an arthritic auntie, trying and failing to be relevant and shuffling three steps behind – well - everything - paid for by everyone!

Apart from the general national mess – there is an important similarity with the US - the nasty people were given huge amounts of free prime-time media coverage which, in the US, has been admitted. Here, UKIP were shamelessly platformed by our public broadcaster the BBC.  Way, way back I wrote about the BBC promoting ‘Hitler lite’ (see blog 111). Well – now the internet – via twitter is finally cottoning on and picking up that UKIP – despite not being able to hold a single seat in Parliament are given endless time on the BBC – including the BBCs flagship political discussion programme - Question Time. It is lower than slap stick farce. The BREXIT / Article 50 show is more garish than a juggling, unicycling, farting clown with a bent neon foghorn.

I mean – come on – I know Trump is no longer funny – but surely Brexit is. And Article 50 is hilarious - isn’t it?


You may also like these related blogs from the archives -

117. Get Those Darkies Back In Their Box
152 Could the Nice People speak Up Please

165 The Penisic Era

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

228. Westminster – North of common sense & South of reality.

Here in the UK, in Westminster outside Parliament, another man with a sad history of family instability, drugs and violence ran amok. Adrian Elms used the excuse of Islamic fundamentalism to hurt and murder people in cold blood. At least that is one way of seeing it. Unfortunately, the increasingly ghoulish media coverage took a view parallel to the one simplified by the terrorists themselves. Terror groups, retrospectively, claimed Elms (aka Khalid Masood) as their soldier and the press also broadly painted him as a crazed Islamist fighter. Really? Without wishing to seem cynical, I would doubt he had time to absorb any meaningful teachings of the Koran in such a chaotic, drug addled, sad, violent and confused life.

Have we learnt nothing about giving the oxygen of dramatic, protracted publicity to those who crave melodrama and extended media coverage?

Then, hot on the heels of the deadly speeding car and this unhinged man were ex-UKIP leader, liar and racist Farage and deluded, lying, attention-seeking Katie Hopkins with their particular brands of vile rhetoric. And just as quick were the media outlets to report every word they said.

There is muddy bog here of untruth and a warped reality.

Those who play with this particular brand of toxic populism and fear, cunningly ignore the destabilising role of rampant global capitalism, wealth disparity and the increasing pressures of climate catastrophes. Instead they roll out the convenient two-dimensional platitudes - it’s all the fault of immigrants, refugees fleeing war or Muslims or (in the US) Mexicans or the Chinese. Broadly speaking, you could say brown skinned people are the problem. Unless you were trying to lever the UK out of the EU in which case EU nationals were in the mix too.

On the other hand, we have the lone attackers, often with violent backgrounds – often involved in drugs and often perpetrators of domestic abuse. Along comes a situation of utter confusion and political chaos where leaders behave like headless chickens and where these unhinged, disconnected individuals can vent their disturbed and violent natures – under the false guise of a cause.

And a lazy media with endless hours of air time to fill – with an apparently short memory – swings along behind this simplistic narrative. It is a dangerous and pervasive narrative that does not serve the public and does not serve peace or justice. Add to this the new enthusiasm for public service announcements on the radio, warning folk to be vigilant. Here in the UK they are set to the kind of music one would associate with cheap TV drama. It’s a recipe for hysteria and fear.

In relation to the murderer Elms and his kind, it is a view that enlarges and gives a false sheen to these small sad characters. At the other end of the spectrum, it is a line of thought which ignores the past – ignores inequality – ignores the fallout from illegal wars, vicious detention regimes, social, political and economic destabilisation and the failure of the rule of law.

Then everything is boiled down to an easily digestible soundbite – albeit one that will give us socio-political indigestion for decades. It is simple and self-righteous and less than half the truth - THEY just want to ruin OUR way of life – we are told.

Many seem to accept the strange irrational nature of this out-of-focus picture. Do so few people remember that in pre-invasion-of -Iraq world we did not have entrenched global terrorism?

Added to the disruption and destabilisation of the Middle East we have the ever increasing disparity in wealth. While people still starve and millions are affected by climate weirding, fleeing their homes and on the move across the globe -  we have billionaires successfully avoiding tax, promoting the continuing use of climate-damaging fossil fuels and hoarding money mountains they could not use in 100 lifetimes.

The notion that this is simply a battle of ways of life is a dangerous. Them v us. The wrong v the right. The East v the West. This narrative is way too convenient for both extremes.

The reality is in the uncomfortable middle. The bare open ground. The no-man’s land of uncomfortable honesty. The world is unstable because too few people have way too much. Everyone else is edgy because they can see the waterhole they need to share with the majority shrinking and shrinking and shrinking.

What is truly bizarre is the way significant numbers have turned to the very architects of the inequality and destabilisation. So in America – we have a charlatan – a liar, an inept business man and corrupt ignoramus who promised to "drain the swamp". What he then did was to fill the swamp with crocodiles. This is what happens when the thinking is skewed and the easy narrative takes hold.

If you look round the world at stable countries, you will observe one interesting factor – they are the least divided economically and socially. They are often also the countries where the most vulnerable are given generous social and economic safety nets. And yes – the rich have to pay their fair share.

Unnerving and uncomfortable and energy draining as it is, we have to be honest. We have to look at the whole picture – not just the bits that suit a headline.

If you want something snappy but a wee bit closer to the truth – try this – Greedy Pigs are the problem, not Pigmentation…

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

227. Mothers’ Day Manifesto

Every wealthy tax-avoider should be forced to have a large picture of a homeless person or an over-flowing hospital outpatient department or a starving child or the suffocating interior of a sweatshop, on the walls in their place(s) of residence. This way they could be reminded who really pays for their opulent lifestyles.

I’m just throwing around some ideas for Mothering Sunday, this coming Sunday 26th March.

I distantly remember that, as a child, you’d make a sticky card for your mum at school using the strange collection of odds and ends from the ‘craft’ cupboard. Often, bits dropped off on the way home. On the day, you would attempt to make breakfast for her. This usually involved tepid tea and soggy or burnt toast which she received with a surprised smile as if she had no idea what was coming. Dad would try to be useful and somewhere along the way flowers and chocolates might be involved.

Now, as a mother and grandmother, I am slightly repelled by the shelves of saccharine-pink cards, bouquets of desperate flowers, teddies with bows and schmaltzy messages hung round their necks, plus truckloads of celebrity-endorsed perfumes overflowing the supermarket aisles. The headache-inducing advertisements scream at people to buy buy buy something special for their special mother on this special day.

So, Ok – enough of the grumps. What would I really like for Mother’s Day?

Evidence is daily with us of just how grim it is for women trying to be mothers as they flee war. The current famine crises emerging in African countries, bring up the images we’d hoped to consign to history, of desperate women rocking starving hollow-eyed infants as the ravages of war and climate change go unchecked. Even in the UK we must ask, how is it possible to provide that essential motherly safety and nurturing while more families live in insecure accommodation or struggle with family debt. How powerless does a mother feel watching a child become ill with respiratory problems caused by increasingly bad air quality. So, I came up with a rough Mother’s Day Manifesto –

Let this government finally understand that the children and mothers languishing in refugee camps must be given a chance to make a decent life. The even more vulnerable lone child migrants must be given immediate help. The UK must reinstate the previously agreed commitment to accept vulnerable refugee children after Theresa May’s government shamefully overturned The Dubs Amendment.

Because this and previous administrations don’t seem to understand basic human decency – there should be – let’s say – a statutory £2million fine for every pregnant woman or mother and child group being held in immigration detention centres. Centres such as the infamous Yarl’s Wood are no better than prisons even though the people held there are not criminals but unfortunates who are in the limbo land of the current messy system.

More generally, there must be a coherent strategy to revolutionise the UK system where, if you are born rich, you rise regardless of how useless you are and you struggle if you are born poor regardless of how talented. Start by removing the charity status from private schools and increasing the per capita budgets for pupils at state schools. As I’ve said many times on this blog – the current system damages society on a fundamental level. Not just because the bright but socially unconnected youngsters don’t get on but, more to the point, dim but very well connected offspring get to be in charge. Then we all suffer.

As an adjunct to the previous point. Many private schools are set in extensive and beautiful grounds while very many state schools are situated on busy main roads or junctions where the worst traffic pollution occurs. These latter sites must be tested and if the air quality is consistently poor, the roads must be re-routed.

The government must finally ban the sale of weapons by UK arms manufacturers to corrupt regimes and those practising human rights abuses. This is an ongoing and identifiable problem. Somehow it keeps being side-lined. Many UK aid workers find themselves assisting refugees fleeing conflicts fuelled by armaments made in Britain.

This government must force the wealthy to pay their taxes. No more threatening a smack on the wrist. No more cup-of-tea ‘negotiating’ with HMRC when tax-avoiders are found out. New powerful sanctions must be imposed for those who asset-strip companies for personal gain (see blog 185 Does Sir Philip Green kick disabled orphan kittens in his spare time). Put genuine effort into retrieving the £millions / £billions owed and currently AWOL in the fiscal system. Then we can start to tackle the abomination of increasing numbers of homeless families in one of the richest countries in the world along with many other things on our social wish list.

Double the tax on private cars. Make buses free for children and the elderly.

Re-nationalise railways and halve rail fayres – so we can begin to improve the quality of the air our children breathe and reduce traffic accident mortalities.

Let the media, employers and governments stop dictating to women what they can / cannot wear.

Finally – make it compulsory for good-quality dark chocolate to be free on Mother’s Day 😊

That would mark a really good 2017 Mothering Sunday.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

226. Article 50 & Frozen Spice

The Real Zombie Zone

Ok – it may just be my odd brain but sometimes two phenomena come along that are like flip sides of the same reality.

Before the end of this month, the UK’s unelected Prime Minister Theresa May, who, as Home Secretary, campaigned for Britain to stay in the EU, can and will now trigger Article 50. This is the irreversible legal mechanism by which a member state leaves the EU. It begins a 2-year negotiating process at the end of which the UK could have an indeterminate something or nothing.

The EU referendum was an ill-conceived attempt by then Prime Minister David Cameron to control his own political party. The Leave campaign was easily hijacked by racists and bigots – UKIP leader Farage and Ex- Lord Mayor of London Boris Johnson (now foreign minister) to name two. The pissy weakness of the opposition meant that there was no coherent strategy for positively presenting arguments for remaining.

Britain has not recovered from the 2008 financial crash caused by a corrupt banking sector. The fiscal shenanigans of the rich and powerful left us economically battered. Instead of prosecuting criminal behaviour and reforming the banking sector – UK tax payers were forced to bail them out and the media spotlight was deftly turned on Europe and immigrants. Fast forward a few years and we are launching into a process which will cause more economic pain and more instability for ordinary people. We are – you could say – like a homeless person increasing their problems and vulnerabilities by taking extremely harmful unfamiliar drugs.

Which is interesting…

Last week, many UK news outlets started highlighting the widespread and disturbing prevalence of new synthetic cannabinoids; drugs known as SPICE. One, which is endemic in the fast-growing homeless communities in our cities, is called Frozen Spice because of the way it sends users into a catatonic state. A Manchester drug worker has been quoted as saying that 95% of the homeless community there may be using this cheap, treacherous and devastatingly addictive drug.

Richer recreational users turned away from the drug as ‘cheap and nasty’ but it is now the alternative for people with few alternatives. Some dealers will sell for whatever the user has in their pockets. In short – Frozen Spice is a capitalists’ dream and shows that unfettered markets can work - for the pushers!

And just as Spice users enter a limbo land where they seem neither dead or alive so will Britain be once it has taken Article 50.

Frozen Spice is an unknown quantity. Even now scientists are trying to de-construct it to find out how it messes with the brain to put the user into such a zombie state where they can struggle to breath and are so defenseless there are stories of users being ‘mugged’ unopposed while they are under the influence.

Leaving the EU is an unknown quantity and it is a risk Britain did not have to take at a time when there are so many major challenges facing Britain and the world. It is a silly risk, equivalent to taking a new cheap nasty drug. And like the drug, which may cause anything from seizures to psychosis to paranoia to breathing problems to death – Article 50 will lead to consequences we cannot fully know and were silly to chance. Like a homeless person, when you are already in a mess, if someone offers you a ‘cheap and nasty’ escape, it’s always a bad idea. And, just as those who concocted this life-denying synthetic marijuana, worked to ensure its properties were highly lucratively addictive, peddlers of the referendum deceits, succeeded in getting it into the systems of the vulnerable and scared. To the extent that a lot of areas in the UK that were net beneficiaries of EU membership voted hardest to leave.

Many, on the margins of society who take Frozen Spice and other drugs – are self-medicating their way out of an uncomfortable reality. Using a cheap temporary stun gun to obliterate the world around them that has become frightening and confusing.

Similarly, many people voted for Brexit in the mistaken belief that some of the bad things that were happening to them and their community could be solved with a quick fake fix. The big pushers, Farage, Boris Johnson and the other liars, slipped a gullible electorate the heady contradictory, cheap mix of false ideas. By leaving Europe, they said, we’d solve everything from the problems of straight bananas to the money that was being sucked away from the good old brits for wasteful projects. Such as supporting struggling regions and trying to protect – for example – the European steel industry from Chinese overproduction?

The big red Brexit battle bus claimed that £millions ‘wasted’ by the EU would go into health service coffers. A lie that was admitted THE DAY AFTER THE REFERENDUM result. But just like a junkie who has a bad trip – there is no come back from the dealer.

If you are a regular reader, you will know I love my analogies. In this case I think it goes all the way.

Just as the dealer will mess with the head of the junkie to keep them buying – so the pro Brexit media and the leave campaigners keep pedaling Brexit shit.

The economy is doing great – look at the increased exports – they croon. The reality is that exports are high because the value of the pound is low. Show me a country anywhere on the planet where shipping out lots of cheap stuff and having to import expensive stuff works for ordinary people long term.

At the end of the day – the dealers win and the junkies lose. We will all be the socially, politically, economically homeless once Article 50 is triggered.

Now we’re hooked, regardless of whether we were tricked, did it of our own accord – or were swept along by those around us. We have to take the shit and hope our zombie state is temporary and not terminal while the rest of the world moves by without us.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

225. Trump – your place in hell will be TREMENDOUS

Where to begin? 
The UK government seems comfortable using EU citizens living in the UK as pawns in the ongoing Brexit madness. The economic cracks are widening and we have not yet triggered article 50 (see cartoon below). PM Theresa May is equally untroubled about turning away from promises to help unaccompanied, suffering migrant children. 

Meanwhile, across the pond, Trump – the draft dodger – salivates at the idea of pumping up the US military and sending other people’s sons and daughters to war.

I’m way too fed-up this week to proper blog. Even when you are satirising, this shit it still stinks and it can get you down. A week of the miseries and claustrophobic dreams also reminded me that it’s the 10th anniversary of my dad’s unpleasant premature death from lung cancer (check out blog 22 Drink Driving with my Dad & other Happy Memories.)

So, a brief note to those who profit from or compound the misery of others without losing sleep; cigarette manufacturers, those selling illegal arms to corrupt governments, sweat shop owners, people traffickers, warmongers yada yada yada. Despite the centuries of cumulative horrors man has committed, there is room in hell for you.

And for those who whip up fear, bile and hatred because they can – Farage, Le Pen, Wilders and of course Trump – your places in hell will be, to use a favorite word from Donald’s limited vocabulary, “tremendous”.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

224. Walls in Space, TRAPPIST 1 (& your free novella).

Aliens will pay for the space wall because, I’m sure, they don’t like what they see.

As more countries are flushed down the socio-political sewer by malformed, cowardly, inadequate individuals who, somehow managed to grab power, you have to guess that any aliens with telescopes stronger than ours will be thinking, “shit – we have to keep these idiots away from us.” Do you think they are looking at Assad, Trump, Mugabe, Duterte, Erdogan, Kim (Jong-Un not Kardashian) and thinking – we should invite them to tea??? No.

NASA ‘found’ seven new exo-planets orbiting the dwarf star TRAPPIST 1. Three are earth-like, potentially habitable worlds. My youngest daughter and I watched the announcement in awe. She certainly felt it was as significant as the 1969 “giant leap for mankind”.

What becomes immediately obvious is that doubts about the potential for life out there, suddenly diminish. That isn’t to say that little green humanoid entities are wobbling round on other worlds waiting for Star Trek type visitors. But the idea that, within the reach of our current telescopes and mathematical equations, there are already three exo-planets that have the physical properties to support water and which also may have earth-harmonious temperature, is huge. Out of the seven new worlds three are in what NASA scientists refer to as The Goldilocks Zone – not too hot, not too cold.

This is tremendously exciting for me for a different reason. My new Sci fi – dystopian novella Zero One Zero Two published last November is predicated on exactly this kind of discovery. OK my book is also a monumental rant about how we’ve trashed our own planet with a wee bit of romance, poetry and lots of death…But in my novella, following earth’s destruction, a mission is sent to a distant solar system which has never been visited but which scientists calculated using hi-tech telescopes and mathematical data so they know it exists ‘in theory’.

My belief in our planet’s uniqueness has not altered. I do not think for one moment that there is a parallel universe somewhere with another ‘me’ on it clicking away on a keyboard freaking out about the dangerous idiots who are trying to take humanity over a cliff. I do not believe there is a similar ecosphere where the dominant species literally have the world at their feet but choose to crap on it and on each other at every opportunity. Why would they? Why do we?

Life does not necessarily mean sentient beings or flora and fauna we would recognise as such. I know no more than the next person about the formation of our world or the evolutionary steps that brought us to where we are today. But clearly, those events were so extraordinary and extreme and also not extreme (when it mattered) that replicating the process, statistically, would be billions to one.

On the other hand…

One thing is for sure – if there is advanced life out there and it is observing us right now there are many reasons intelligent Aliens may not want to make contact.

On discovering they’ve been discovered – who knows – those aliens may, right now, be getting together in an inter-galactic alliance to build a space wall to keep humans OUT.

The fact that aliens have not contacted us may be the proof of their real intelligence.

FREE COPIES of Zero One Zero Two
From midnight PST today (28th February) until midnight PST this Saturday (4th March) you can get the e-version of Zero One Zero Two FREE on Amazon. NB - you do not need a kindle. You can download the free kindle app from Amazon when you download the free e-book so get your free novella.

                          NASA poster      Zero One Zero Two

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

223 Good Stuff (2)

Some people care.

Ok – I am digging deep (that is a pun, you’ll see why) because I promised you two weeks of positive out of the current insanity.

So, as the Washington farce continues and the UK Brexit Danse Macabre goes ga ga and Marine Le Pen has political orgasms over the possibility of inflicting the same carnage in France – here is a scintilla of good stuff.

Here in Scotland there is evidence that some movers and shakers care about the planet.

While ex-Oklahoma senator and Attorney General who ignored calls to regulate fracking - Scott Pruitt - is now head of America’s Environmental Protection Agency, I have better news from Edinburgh. Yes, though Scott Pruitt, who presided over a 10-fold increase in  serious earthquakes in Oklahoma is now employed to look after the environment in the US, here in Scotland there is evidence that people want to keep the world habitable.

This evening (Feb 21st) I’ll be performing at a ‘Speak up for the Environment’ event in the Scottish Parliament. The week-long programme will involve politicians and delegates from charities and organisations at the forefront of environmental protection.

As well as some adult satirical poetry, I’ll be reading a section from Casey & the Surfmen my epic poetry tale about wrecking the land for profit. In this story, Casey, with the help of the ancient surfmen, triumphs over the digger men, their corruption, greed and lies (we can all dream!)

Also, thanks to those who heeded the call to buy from bandcamp on Fri Feb 3rd when bandcamp were donating their proceeds to American Civil Liberties.
Check Casey & the Surfmen out


Satirical business as usual next week.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

222. Good Stuff (1)

Ok - out of the current swamp of horribleness, I fished out some good stuff for this week (and hopefully next week).

Regular readers will have read my Mixed-race magic post a while back,celebrating the fact that in the climate of populist bigotry, prejudice and hatred, people of different creeds, colours, castes and races are getting it together, falling in love and making lovely babies.

This is my friend's wee daughter reading my mixed-race fairy story. Her dad is English (geordie) and her mum is Gambian.


*nb - to enjoy some of my amateur political cartoons click on my name in orange down the right hand column or bottom if you are on a mobile device.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

221. Corbyn is also dangerous....

The gap between reality and media soundbites is increasing in the UK. This problem is compounded by the lack of a functioning opposition. Jeremy Corbyn is less use than a teacup in a Tsunami. I’ve railed against the ineffectual clown Corbyn while the left was still swooning over him. They are not so keen now and it’s got much worse.

‘Turkeys voting for Christmas’ was a phrase used about Brexit supporters. For the non-US or non-UK reader, turkeys are traditionally eaten at Christmas / Thanksgiving. In the US, turkeys were given to European settlers by the Native American Indians to keep the white invaders alive through winter. Those same Europeans then wiped out the Indians, as we know, so there is a whole other dimension there that I won’t go into now. But you get the analogy.

Here, as in America, fear and xenophobia triumphed. Many areas of the UK which benefited most from EU membership voted heavily to leave the EU. It’s done. But it is hard to swallow the sickly, repeated refrain that everything is fine.

It is not.

As the reality gap in the UK gets ever larger, people are falling into the crevasse. And just as the formal opposition failed miserably to provide leadership during the referendum campaign, the dysfunctional Labour party continue whining from the side-lines while being 100% ineffectual.

One beautiful result is the grass roots protests, marches, huge displays of solidarity, defiance and anger against the fascist populism infecting both the US and the UK. If you want to lift your spirits view some of the marches, the numbers of them the extent of them, the mix and wondrous variety of people taking part. The banners are sometimes personal, imaginative and often downright hilarious. We need that.

But the people who were not taken in by the vile propaganda and blatant lies and those who were are being let down badly.

I can’t decide if Prime Minister Theresa May is a rabbit caught in the headlights or a headless chicken in a coop full of headless chickens.

The foundations on which our economy is based are ephemeral. See blogs 202 – The Tat Economy or blog 208. The Cannibal Economy.

Personal debt is an enormous partially submerged iceberg.

Xenophobia is out of control (thanks Farage). This matters because, for example, applications from the EU to our universities are down, massively cutting revenue. The NHS is struggling to recruit staff. And so on.

Meanwhile, Uncle Jez Corbyn and his limp crew repeatedly fail to not fail. They are worse than hopeless. Yes, Trump is a dangerous, lunatic conman, elevated by lizard woman Kellyann Conway. But when the leaders are bonkers or out of touch, formal opposition matters. As has already been proven, the courts and the people can be trampled.

The UKs opposition party, led by another lover of wedding cake, Jeremy Corbyn, is useless. Pathetic. And right now, not having an effective opposition is dangerous.

So, I listen in the morning to some BBC news (in between the sport and the bovine chit chat) and the people they choose to interview (when they are not platforming Nigel Farage) are banging on about how well the economy is doing. Then I go to my local supermarket and a single item that I bought a few weeks ago, for 65 pence is now 89 pence. You clever people can work out the % increase.

The disconnect is messing with my head.

I want to go and visit one of my daughters and I find the ticket price, despite the appalling state of the UK rail network, makes my eyes water.

A family friend who works in the banking sector and who is facing redundancy, is currently training the workers who will be doing his job when it is shipped abroad as the banking sector abandon a sinking ship. More of my friends, lucky enough to have jobs, are doing increased workloads for ever decreasing pay.

Homelessness is at a record level and if you include families living in insecure accommodation, it is epidemic.

One of the worst UK energy providers (and I should know as I was once an N-Power customer) just announced a 10% price hike.

Yet, folk in-the-know keep telling us everything is groovy. So, it must be, mustn’t it? 

I hate to be a killjoy but I’ve been right about other stuff that politicians – the media – even professional pollsters have got very wrong – like election results. I see the Empire Zombies taking us over a cliff and my stomach is in my chest as I sense the drop.

There are one of two things going on here. Either I am living in a parallel universe, which is always a possibility or we are being fed dishonest shit by the government and the mainstream media.

Time will tell.

One thing is for sure – the turkeys who voted for Christmas are being led by headless chickens and Jeremy Corbyn is a lame duck...

THANK YOU to everyone who responded to the bandcamp shout out last week and, by purchasing a download of Casey & the Surfmen, contributed to those attempting to oppose Trumps’ hideous policies.

And remember, if you like a post - follow/share/tweet it or whatever you young folk do. THANK you.