Category Archives: Politics

Fuck the Labour Rebels


True Labour Jeremy Corbyn favours a kinder way of doing politics. He probably wouldn’t approve of the title of this post, nor some of the content.

That’s OK. I admire and respect his straightforward, but polite, approach, but I’m not Corbyn.

I’m pretty sure that Jeremy Corbyn, like all of us, has character flaws. I don’t think he’s a Messiah, however much his opponents try to smear him and his opponents by insisting support for him is a cult.

He is, however, conspicuously honest.

The coup attempt that’s going on now has been planned for months, but the plotters have used his supposed “lacklustre” campaigning in the EU referendum as an excuse, claiming he lost for the Remain side.

In fact, his guarded support for Remain seems to have struck a chord with many Labour supporters, and maybe others too. It was a refreshing change for around ⅔ of Labour voters, and probably a good few people who don’t normally vote because “they’re all the same, aren’t they?” His campaign was not lacklustre, just lacking in lies and hyperbole.

 

So now 172 Labour MPs have voted against Corbyn, with 40 supporting him. The message from the rebels seems to be that “he’s a decent man, but no leader.” This phrase has been repeated verbatim, which makes it pretty damn unlikely that it’s a sincere sentiment, but rather a scripted conspiracy.

The rebels also seem to be complaining that Corbyn is “out of touch” because the majority of Labour MPs don’t support him, yet the can’t see how out of touch they look when a MASSIVE majority of Labour Party members do support Corbyn, and not them.

The plotters want Corbyn to resign, ostensibly to avert a crisis in the Labour Party.

There are two problems with this. Firstly, the crisis is of their making. part of their plot, albeit an inept one.

Secondly, Corbyn has declined the opportunity to cut his own political throat, and the rebels only other recourse is to put up a challenger in a leadership. Such a challenger has practically no chance of getting elected, which is why they wanted Corbyn to resign. If he did so, he’d have to be nominated by 50 MPs to get on the ballot, not very likely given the confidence vote. If he remains in place he, as the incumbent, is automatically added to the ballot.

By refusing to resign, he’s thrown the conspirators’ plans into disarray.

How will they manage to cover up the Chilcot report, due on July 6th, with Corbyn still there to throw a spanner in the works?

Fuck ’em.

 

Read more elsewhere:

MP Reed never consulted us on Corbyn, say Labour members

The truth behind the Labour coup, when it really began and who manufactured it (EXCLUSIVE)

A disgustingly self-serving betrayal of the entire labour movement

The ‘Labour Coup’ against Jeremy Corbyn – in an ugly little nutshell

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Labour Supports Tory #WelfareBill


Keir_Hardie3

Keir Hardie must be spinning in his grave.

Politicians are forever telling us, the plebs, that if we don’t go out and vote, we have no place complaining about the result.

I did vote in the last election, as I do in every election. The MP I voted for was one of those who abstained rather than vote against a Welfare Bill that will push already struggling people further into poverty. When they lose votes, I expect they will forget not to complain, and will instead blame the voters. They might pick up a few votes from people who normally vote Conservative, but that will be a drop in the ocean compared to the disaffected Labour voters, who are getting sick and tired of giving Labour “one more chance”.

The support that has been shown for Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership contest (the only candidate to vote against the bill) ought to inform the party that there is a need for more left-leaning politics, but they just accuse his supporters of being “out of touch with the rest of the country”, as if they have a finger on the nation’s pulse. If they did, they would have noticed the clamour for them to provide a real opposition to the Tories.

Still, at least the MPs get their pay rise, so not everyone has to endure austerity.

Royal “Bellamy Salute” Shows “American Sympathies”


Scum

Front page of The Sun, showing their “context” (agenda).

It is true that Edward VIII, seen here  while he was Prince of Wales, was an admirer of the Nazis, even after the war, but for most people in the early 1930s, the Nazi salute was just comical posturing. The full horror of the Nazi regime was unknown, even though the atrocities had begun. The other adult in this scene would become Queen to Edward’s successor, George VI, and would vociferously oppose the Nazis (even before war started), and gain popularity by refusing to be evacuated, even during the Blitz, saying “The children won’t go without me. I won’t leave the King. And the King will never leave.”

The two children, the present Queen and her sister Margaret, were about 8 and 3 years old, and would have no inkling of any of the things the salute represented.

Mockery of the salute was quite common, but it was already in use elsewhere before the Nazis adopted it. Among other nations, the USA used it during the Pledge of Allegiance, after it was introduced by Christian Socialist minister and author Francis Bellamy in 1892. It was still in use up to December 1942.

I am not, of course, seriously suggesting that it is the American salute being used here, but it does serve to show how innocuous the gesture was seen as at the time.

American schoolchildren pledging allegiance to the flag in 1941

American schoolchildren pledging allegiance to the flag in 1941

And mockery seems to be what’s going on in the short clip obtained (possibly illegally) by The Sun, and published today on their website, with stills in the printed version of the rag. The headline, “THEIR ROYAL HEILNESSES” clearly attributes blame to all those in the film.

My hobby is adding colour to old black and white photos, and the Royal family’s album is a rich resource, but I can hardly be accused of being a Monarchist. Like The Sun‘s owner, Rupert Murdoch, I’m more of a republican (though not in the sense of the American political party).

Unlike Murdoch, I’m not prepared to stoop to this kind of dishonest propaganda to promote my views.

 

You Want Respect? Earn It!


MoHebdoMost people commenting on the murders of Charlie Hebdo staff last week have said, unequivocally, that there is no excuse for the killings. However, there was a body of opinion that claimed that they “brought it on themselves” by being “offensive”.

A simple counter argument could be that I find religion itself offensive, and my solution is to refrain from taking part in it. Maybe the murderers, who claimed to be acting on behalf of their prophet, Mohammed, should have taken the same stance, and refrained from buying the magazine that so upset them. That’s assuming they even saw it. The violence that followed the publication of cartoons in Denmark was stirred up, largely, by people who hadn’t seen them.

This is the cover of the first edition of Charlie Hebdo since the murders (My own take on it is above):

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A few people have whined about this cover. (“It’s not exactly hilarious, is it?” missing the poignancy, and the point.)

There have also been more people asserting that the magazine staff were, at least partly, to blame for their own deaths. “They should show some respect, there are millions of Muslims who will be upset!”

No.

The kind of offensive behaviour that should be illegal already is. If the cartoons about Mohammed had been pasted on the walls of a mosque, that would be harassment, Going into a mosque and shouting abuse would be the same. Calling for Muslims to be assaulted, or even killed, is illegal.. Laughing at Islam should not be illegal, and cannot be a justification for murder. The same applies, of course, to any religion.

One of the most ridiculous apologies for religious terrorists was that, if it’s OK to mock Islam, it should be OK to mock the Holocaust.

I’m undecided on whether the Holocaust should be open to mockery. I certainly don’t find any humour in it, but I can appreciate the argument that, in the interest of free speech, one should be free to say pretty much anything, short of incitement to repeat any of the atrocities. In any case, the two subjects are not in the same category.

The Holocaust saw upwards of 6 million real people slaughtered, while Mohammed is a fictionalised version of a man who lived and died in the sixth century. Even now, there are people who can remember the horror of the former. Nobody alive can have met the latter.

Blasphemy is a victimless crime. If there really was an all-powerful god, he would be perfectly capable of fighting his own battles. That so many adherents, of various versions of the delusion, have felt it necessary to kill in his name suggests to me that they don’t really believe what they preach. I couldn’t possibly respect such hypocrites.

There are some religious people I can respect though, like Ahmed Merabet, a Muslim police officer, killed while upholding the values the murderers despised so much. I don’t respect his religion, not one bit, but his integrity in upholding French secular law is another matter.

 

If all that appears muddled to you, try this post from “The Gerasites”. It’s much clearer!

The Poor Can’t Cook – What a Give Away!


Champagne

When Baroness Jenkin of Kennington, a member of the House of Lords Refreshment Committee that spent £250,000 on champagne since David Cameron entered Number 10, said recently that the rise of hunger and food bank use in the UK was because “poor people don’t know how to cook”, there was understandable uproar, but she has since apologised, and some people think that should be an end to it.

But was her apology sincere?

“I made a mistake” she said. “Obviously I was stupidly speaking unscripted.

“What I meant was as a society we have lost our ability to cook, or that no longer seems to be handed down in the way that it was in previously in previous generations.

“Life is considerably cheaper if you are able to cook.”

Most of that was fine. As a society, we tend to rely more on pre-prepared food than earlier generations, but that is at least as true of well-off people as it is of those with very limited means.

In fact, it is people with plenty of money that are likeliest to eat, by choice, food prepared by others, whether they eat at restaurants or they employ a cook.

Poorer people have less choice, because they have less money, and the very poorest have the least choice. If they eat junk food, and don’t cook, it may well be that they can’t afford the gas or electricity. They might – just – manage to heat a ready meal, but not a meal from scratch. Some people haven’t even the money for that, and there are reports of foodbank recipients giving food back for that reason.

The part of the Baroness’s apology that was, for me, the most telling was the line “Obviously I was stupidly speaking unscripted.” Now that did look scripted, as if she’s been told off for letting the cat out of the bag! Disdain for the poor is common in the Conservative party, but they’re normally careful to shroud it in weasel words, and leave it to their friends in the press to wage a campaign against them.

That’s the script that Jenkins failed to follow. An odd mistake for a former public relations consultant.

See also this excellent post by the inestimable Johnny Void.
Some of the comments make valid points too, such as having a freezer and the money to run it making eating cheaply easier. One or two commenters have criticised the post for getting some prices wrong. While that was a valid point, owned up to quickly by Johnny, it does accurately portray a dilemma faced by someone with only loose change left to feed themselves for several days. If the item on your shopping list, the cheapest cous cous for example, is not available, and the next price up is out of your reach, it throws your whole plan off, and you have to search for other cheap staples. Sudden increases in price can have just as devastating an effect.
Of course, if you are financially buffered against such things, you can pontificate about poor people’s lack of culinary skills until the organic grass-fed cows come home.

Yet More Evidence of the Dishonesty of IDS


Spotted on Twitter by Same Difference:

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And yet Iain Duncan Smith persists in denying that there are targets. Is he a liat=r, is he delusional or is he, perhaps, both?

 

idsTarget

#CameronMustGo – Make Your Own Poster


The hashtag #CameronMustGo on Twitter continues apace, now into its eleventh day, at the time of typing this.

I’ve been posting some parodies of one of the Tory election posters from 2010, and making a few new ones, while I wait for next May’s offering.

BADGER

Sleaze

You can get a template from mydavidcameron.com, along with templates for a couple of others, but if you want to replace the picture of Cameron with another, or with a picture of someone else, you need to fill in at least some of the original photo with the background. It can take a bit of work to do this preparatory work, so I thought I’d post the one I made, and which I work from:

posterTEMPLATE

Now all you need to do is cut out the photo you want to add, resize it if necessary, paste it into the template, and add the text, using the Franklin Gothic Demi font (freely available to download, just Google it).

 

UPDATE: The new Tory poster, starting the campaign for May’s election, has been released.

Tory poster2015

I’ve had a couple of stabs at it:

SurfingUKFeudal2

…and if you’d like to do your own, I’ve made a template:

Poster1 2015b