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.


Trump declares war on the world

June 2, 2017

In leaving the Paris climate change accord, President Trump has shown exactly what a moron he is.  How can the leader of the so-called free world do such a stupid thing?  How could the great American people do such a stupid thing as to elect such an idiot to this exalted position?  I despair.

Elon Musk despairs as well:  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/paris-agreement-elon-musk-quits-trump-withdrawal-climate-change-deal-advisory-council-a7768201.html