The ignorant are ruling the world

September 6, 2017

Whenever you turn on the TV news you wish you hadn’t.  It seems that all over the world, our leaders are turning into morons before our eyes.  I should say that I exclude most of the EU countries from this sweeping generalisation as most of them seem to be talking sense right now and that’s probably because they are a cooperative with largely common views and self-interest.

The US is sliding towards fascism with Trump in the White House and KKK sympathisers surrounding him.  The sad thing is that we’ve seen it all before.  We had a financial crash in 2008.  The financial crash of the late 1920s led directly to the rise of European fascism.  We can’t just blame the outcome of World War I for this because the onerous reparations affected only Germany whereas Italy, Spain and Portugal all turned to fascism and the movement also had a substantial following in UK and the USA.  I’ve long held the belief that the USA is a fascist state wearing a democratic mask because the US system has no real socialist movement and the president is effectively selected, not elected.  The entire political system exists for the benefit of big business because profit is more important than people.  If you want to see illustrations of this fact, listen to anything that Trump says or have a look at American society.   Fascism starts with the demonization of minorities, the persecution of the innocent, the creation of a common enemy to keep the people afraid and supportive of a government that they believe will defend them.   Well, think again.  That kind of government will only support the people who own it and, in the case of right-wing governments, that is big business and the banks not We, The People.  On the positive side, some countries that have been exercised by austerity are rejecting it and bringing in socialist governments.  It happened in Portugal and will happen in the UK.  It really can’t happen in the USA because to be a socialist is to be a dirty commie.

The other illustration of national madness is Brexit.  With every passing day, it gets clearer that Brexit will be nothing like the Brexiteers imagined and that the entire country is becoming a ‘Lachnummer’ as the Germans say, a laughing stock.  The so-called negotiators are showing themselves to be totally outclassed by the EU team; this is not the time for English amateurishness or fumbling bumbling eccentricity…it’s serious.  No one can understand why the UK is pressing ahead with this suicidal leap into the unknown except to satisfy some democratic vote which, if re-run today, would be reversed and everyone knows that.  The simple fact of the divorce bill, which was never even mentioned in the Referendum campaign, would see to that.  Add to it the fact that the GBP has lost almost 20% of its value already and the NHS will never get £350m a week as it’s privatised by the Tories and you can see how misled the voters have been.  Then there’s immigration…oh, don’t get me started on immigration.  If UK was France we’d be burning sheep in the streets over this or bringing out the guillotines…but we’re not…more’s the pity.  We’re too busy watching football and reality TV to have the time to contest this madness.

Then there’s North Korea and their nukes.  I’m one of those people who don’t think Kim Jong-Un is stupid.  He does what his military masters tell him to do and waltzes about with his beer gut and stupid haircut whilst a 74-year-old pink newsreader has an orgasm on TV.  I think that North Korea simply wants to avoid what has happened to Iraq, Syria, Libya, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam….the list goes on.  When Uncle Sam gets it in his mind to show a bit of muscle you need to step back and applaud admiringly.  In the west we are fed a view that every country should be grateful to Uncle Sam for being in our country because they’re our friends aren’t they?  Well, not if you’re the guy on the other side of the border, they’re not.  It’s unbelievable that all the former Warsaw Pact counties are now in NATO despite promises made to Gorbachev that this would not happen.  It seems that the USA can do what it wants and no one should complain.  Russia complains about being surrounded by potential enemies  but at least the USA knows that they have nukes and might be prepared to use them.  Interestingly, of course, Russia has never used nukes, only the US has done that.  From the North Korean perspective, they see US troops on their southern border and see nukes as the only thing the US will listen to…and they’re probably right; they don’t listen to anything else.

Then we have the vilest, most odious regimes in the world, all dictatorships that discriminate against half of their own population and apply barbaric medieval justice in a modern world.  They also kill the people in their poorer neighbouring countries with weapons that we, the French and the US sold them (actually, they also buy a lot of weapons from North Korea…true).  I’m referring to the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia of course.  However, they must not be criticised because they are also our friends, own half of London and are floating on oil…OUR OIL!  If they had no oil, there would be UN sanctions against them and a Nuremberg trials procedure for war crimes.  As an aside, I think that one of the founding principles of law established for Nuremberg was that standards of behaviour are absolute and don’t just apply to the Nazis, they must apply to everyone.  In that case, most US presidents should also be on trial.

I mentioned earlier in this piece that profit is more important than people to right-wingers and you’ll notice that profit is what drives the US; they have no left-wing alternative.  Let me clarify that; the world has limited resources in all but one thing.  We can run out of everything but we’ll never run out of people because making babies is fun and is what we do.  In WWII, around 70 million were killed but within a generation or so, they had been largely replaced.  Therefore, people are expendable.  In a capitalist system, the people are the consumers, workers and taxpayers because profit is what it’s all about…

…except, possibly, in Europe.  Just look at most European states states and particularly the Scandinavian ones.  They seem to have reached a fairly comfortable compromise between Capitalism and Socialism and it works.  Taxes are higher but so are standards of living and general wellbeing.  You actually get the feeling that the governments are acting in the best interests of the people. All of the people, not just a small section of the population.  Bizarre, that, isn’t it?  I‘m sure there are filthy-rich industrialists propping them up but you don’t see them.

My final scream of frustration.  This is the club that the great British people have decided to leave.  There is sanity in Europe when the rest of the world is going mad.  We’re choosing to leave that well-organised, imperfect but comfortable room and join those other mad bastards out there.  It makes no sense to me at all.  National suicide.  The ignorant are ruling the world.

Advertisements

The idiot in the White House

August 16, 2017

I’d been watching the antics of Trump with detached amusement and bemusement before I realised that what is happening in the USA is a direct mirror of what happened in Europe in the 1930s.  The difference is that Hitler, Franco, Mussolini and Salazar were not clowns.  Also, they did not have their fingers on the nuclear button.  I wanted to write a full piece on this but the Huffington Post basically said everythign better than I could.  Please read:

Supporting racism, makes you a racist. This is not rocket science.

08/15/2017 06:54 pm ET Updated 5 hours ago

JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS

We are in such unchartered territory with this president that it feels as if we are on the brink of a civil war. I am jumping out of my skin at every new tweet, speech and revelation. I feel my anger and fear reaching a fever pitch and I know I am far from alone. If you are not disgusted or devastated by the events in Charlottesville and the president’s unbearable reaction ― particularly what he said Tuesday in that insane news conference when he defended the “alt-right” ― you are on the wrong side of this burgeoning war, and the wrong side of history. “If you’re not outraged,” as Heather Heyer posted on her Facebook page before she was murdered Saturday, “you are not paying attention.”

If you are a politician who still supports Donald Trump, you support a racist and his racist associates and constituents. Therefore you are guilty of supporting racism, which makes you a racist. This is not rocket science.

If you still support this man after everything that has happened in the last few days and months, you can no longer be excused.

If you voted for Trump, maybe you had some economic reason, or some other personal motive for supporting him. I don’t understand it, but perhaps you actually believed his lies. However, if you still support this man after everything that has happened in the last few days and months, you can no longer be excused. You are supporting an overt racist who is in bed with neo-Nazis and white supremacists. That makes you complicit, and yes, a racist.

It is time for Americans to wake the hell up. This is not a drill; this is not something you can put up with as you wait for the president to do something that might actually help Americans.

He will never help Americans. He will never help you.

And if you are black, Muslim, Latino, Jewish, undocumented, liberal, or a journalist, he will hurt you. His justice department has and will continue to work against you, and his support of the supremacists will put your life in danger. His very presence in the White House has already put your life in danger. And he will throw you to the wolves if you don’t fit into the little white boxes that he is so intent on protecting.

Whether you are white or a minority, you can no longer stand on the sidelines. You must stand up for what is right and just and American, and demand the removal of the president of the United States. If you are part of the power structure of this country, i.e. a Republican politician, a corporate giant or a religious leader, you are especially responsible for fighting for country over party, for the progression of human rights over the regressive policies of this White House, for the rights of all of us over your own needs and the wishes of one depraved man who is uniquely unfit to be president.

Hillary Clinton was right when she coined the term “basket of deplorables.” That basket not only exists but it is bursting at the seams and growing louder and angrier. It has been empowered by the deplorable-in-chief elected to run this country. He and his supporters will run this country into the ground if we let them.

We cannot allow this to happen. We must take a page from South Korea and relentlessly take to the streets, by the millions. We must demand daily the ears of our politicians, and we must not let up for a moment until Donald Trump is deemed unfit to be President of the United States and impeached.

 


Arms sales to Saudi Arabia

July 11, 2017
 
I need to say something about this because the government is bamboozling the public into allowing arms sales to one of the most repressive regimes in the world so that it can bomb a poverty-stricken population in Yemen…just because they wanted a government that Saudi Arabia didn’t agree with. Yemen is one of the poorest countries on earth; I lived there when I was a kid and, believe me, there are reasons why they have no tourist industry. They have nothing. The Saudis have more wealth than they can spend and…what do they spend it on? Not weapons to help defeat IS but weapons to kill poor Yemenis. And we are happy to supply the arms to allow them to do this. We should all be deeply ashamed.
 
I used to work in military sales at BAe (Tornados, etc) and we always used the argument that if we didn’t sell these arms then the French would gladly do so. It’s a murky world of corruption and secret government-to-government deals but it meant jobs for our part of Lancashire, so we closed our eyes to the reality of Saudi as the money poured in.  In those days the Saudis could barely fly the aircraft they’d bought and weren’t bombing people but they are now.  Oh, and another thing:  the BL755 cluster bombs that they are using…they are now illegal but were made by British company Hunting and we supplied them to Saudi Arabia.  Yes, really.  The government issued the approvals via the Defence Sales organisation, part of MoD.  
The Saudis own vast amounts of London and invest heavily in UK. It’s dirty money but we take it because, when push comes to shove, our tory government will put profit before people every time. It’s wrong and it has to stop.  Where has our moral balance gone?  Didn’t we once think that we were a decent people?  
 
I end my case, M’lud.

The Grenfell Tower Disaster

June 16, 2017
The Grenfell Tower disaster has highlighted the difference between aviation accident investigation and the investigation of other accidents. In aviation, an independent body (the AAIB in UK, NTSB in the USA) carries out a thorough investigation to determine the causes of the accident. They issue a report in the public domain and this includes recommendations to make sure it never happens again. The regulator responds to these recommendations and changes the regulations accordingly. Hence we have an ever-increasing level of safety so that aviation is now the safest form of transport.
You’ll notice I didn’t mention anything about a search for the guilty. That’s because it doesn’t happen in aviation. People are devastated by tragedy and angry but the investigation is independent of that. The reason is because the causes of a major accident are always complex and interlinked. No one involved tries to be negligent, incompetent or stupid so looking for the smoking gun simply fuels anger and the desire to blame someone for a series of events that should never have happened but did. The search for the guilty is fuelled only by the media whose interest is in a juicy story to sell more newspapers.  If there has been negligence or foul play, this comes out in the report but…and here’s the main point…in my recollection, no one is ever prosecuted for an aviation accident.  That is because there are no judges, lawyers or solicitors involved in the process.  The investigation is carried out by professional engineers who know what they’re doing, not by legal eagles looking to make political capital or a fat pay cheque.
Therefore stop looking to blame someone and make sure that this dreadful event is the last of its kind.

Election post mortem. Now for the good news…

June 9, 2017

The votes are counted and no one has an overall majority.  Theresa May is hanging on by her fingernails but her new government will not be able to get anything through parliament without an overall majority.  Good.  She called this unnecessary election because she thought she’d get a landslide but ended up losing the majority she had.  Good.  She underestimated Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party and showed how out of touch she is.  The more people saw of her the more they disliked her.  Good.  The Conservative party will spend the next few weeks tearing itself to pieces in recrimination and Theresa May will be executed.  In the end, Boris Johnson will be their leader, so we will have our very own Donald Trump.  Good…er…not good.  Depends how you look at it.

Jeremy Corbyn covered himself in glory coming from an impossible disadvantageous position to within a few votes of winning.   Even most of his MPs didn’t support him.  But…the British people did.  So now, who’s out of touch?  The more he talked, the more people warmed to him; never underestimate a decent man telling the truth.  It’s unusual in politics but we have one now.  I think that, if the campaign had gone on for another week, Corbyn would have won.  Time for the likes of Hilary Benn, Stephen Kinnock and Chuka Amunna to admit that they were wrong and start to work for the next Labour government.

The media were a disgrace throughout.  Of the print media, only the Guardian provided any kind of even-handed approach but the rest were vindictive, biassed, partial and filled their pages with barely-disguised lies and half-truths.  No  surprise there, then.  The piles of copies of the Sun being burnt in the streets of Liverpool was a wonderful sight as people were sickened by their puerile, sickening and infantile editorial stance.  The Express and Mail were little better.  How stupid do these editors think the British people are?  Don’t answer that one; it was a rhetorical question.  The TV coverage was dire and the level of bias staggered me; I can never trust the BBC again.  Sky News (Murdoch press) was, of course, execrable with the whole news team (except Faisal Islam) showing clearly which way they would vote.  They all tried to out-Paxman each other but there’s only one Paxman!  I don’t know why they don’t stand as Conservatives next time.  Fortunately, we have the internet and that’s the only place where you can now find out the truth.  However, find it we could.  Thank God for the internet!

UKIP, who engineered this entire debacle, have deflated like an old ballon and now lie like a discarded condom in the gutter.   Good.

So, what of the future?  Well, the Brexit negotiations will be a catastrophe whoever ‘negotiates’ them because the EU really couldn’t care less and hold all the cards.  The Conservative government will limp on for a while but there will inevitably be another election, probably within a year.  In this time, Corbyn will be seen to be what he is; a decent man with decent values and a vision of a better way for the world’s fifth richest country to be run.

And he’ll win.  Good.


Dictatorship!

June 5, 2017

In the midst of this election fever, I came across this by Sasha Baron-Cohen (the film is ‘The Dictator (2012)) which I’d never seen before.  It’s a wonderful parody of the US political system and, by extension, that in UK and probably most of what we regard as the enlightened West.  Please watch it and enjoy!

 


The honest man and the UK election

June 2, 2017

This is a piece by a guy called Chris Renwick.  I’ve been wanting to write something similar but he got there first and did it much better than me!  Please read and let me know whether you disagree with a single word:

Here’s what I’m really struggling to understand. All I’ve ever heard from people, for years, is:

“bloody bankers and their bonuses”
“bloody rich and their offshore tax havens “
“bloody politicians with their lying and second homes”
“bloody corporations paying less tax than me”
“bloody Establishment, they’re all in it together”
“it’ll never change, there’s no point in voting”

And quite rightly so, I said all the same things.

But then someone comes along that’s different. He upsets the bankers and the rich. The Tory politicians hate him along with most of the labour politicians. The corporations throw more money at the politicians to keep him quiet. And the Establishment is visibly shaken. I’ve never seen the Establishment so genuinely scared of a single person.

So the media arm of the establishment gets involved. Theresa phones Rupert asking what he can do, and he tells her to keep her mouth shut, don’t do the live debate, he’ll sort this out. So the media goes into overdrive with:

“she’s strong and stable”
“he’s a clown”
“he’s not a leader”
“look he can’t even control his own party”
“he’ll ruin the economy”
“how’s he gonna pay for it all?!”
“he’s a terrorist sympathiser, burn him, burn the terrorist sympathiser”

And what do we? We’ve waited forever for an honest politician to come along but instead of getting behind him we bow to the establishment like good little workers. They whistle and we do a little dance for them. We run around like hypnotised robots repeating headlines we’ve read, all nodding and agreeing. Feeling really proud of ourselves because we think we’ve came up with our very own first political opinion. But we haven’t, we haven’t came up with anything. This is how you tell. No matter where someone lives in the country, they’re repeating the same headlines, word for word. From Cornwall to Newcastle people are saying:

“he’s a clown”
“he’s a threat to the country”
“she’s strong and stable”
“he’ll take us back to the 70s”

And there’s nothing else, there’s no further opinion. There’s no evidence apart from 1 radio 5 interview that isn’t even concrete evidence, he actually condemns the violence of both sides in the interview. There’s no data or studies or official reports to back anything up. Try and think really hard why you think he’s a clown, other than the fact he looks like a geography teacher. (no offence geography teachers) because he hasn’t done anything clownish from what I’ve seen.

And you’re not on this planet if you think the establishment and the media aren’t all in it together.

You think Richard Branson, who’s quietly winning NHS contracts, wants Corbyn in?

You think Rupert Murdoch, who’s currently trying to widen his media monopoly by buying sky outright, wants Jeremy in?

You think the Barclay brothers, with their offshore residencies, want him in?

You think Philip Green, who stole all the pensions from BHS workers and claims his wife owns Top Shop because she lives in Monaco, wants Corbyn in?

You think the politicians, both Labour and Tory, with their second homes and alcohol paid for by us, want him in?

You think Starbucks, paying near zero tax, wants him in?

You think bankers, with their multi million pound bonuses, want him in?

And do you think they don’t have contact with May? Or with the media? You honestly think that these millionaires and billionaires are the sort of people that go “ah well, easy come easy go, it was nice while it lasted”?? I wouldn’t be if my personal fortune was at risk, I’d be straight on the phone to Theresa May or Rupert Murdoch demanding this gets sorted immediately.

Because here’s a man, a politician that doesn’t lie and can’t lie. He could have said whatever would get him votes anytime he wanted but he hasn’t. He lives in a normal house like us and uses the bus just like us. He’s fought for justice and peace for nearly 40 years. He has no career ambitions. And his seat is untouchable. That’s one of the greatest testimonies. No one comes close to removing him from his constituency, election after election.

His Manifesto is fully costed. It all adds up, yes there’s some borrowing but that’s just to renationalise the railway, you know we already subsidise them and they make profit yeah? One more time… WE subsidise the railway companies and they walk away with a profit, just try and grasp the level of piss taking going on there.

Unlike the Tory manifesto with a £9 billion hole, their figures don’t even add up.

And it benefits all of us, young, old, working, disabled, everyone. The only people it hurts are the establishment, the rich, the bankers, the top 5% highest earners.

Good, screw them, it’s long overdue.