Monday, 14 September 2015

Circling the Plughole...

Is what I feel Britain is doing at the moment.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn to Labour leader casts me back to the time when Labour were idealistic but had policies as mad as a box of frogs.

My real concern is that after decades of plastic politicians, people may actually vote Labour into power.

Ideologues are the very worst of people. Margaret Thatcher was one, so was Tony Blair. They were so fanatic in their self-belief  that no-one could convince them their path was wrong. They would quite happily ruin a whole country, make millions unemployed or got to war and kill hundreds of thousands of people just to prove an ideological point.

They are very dangerous.

Not matter how chummy, or down to earth they appear, they are dangerous. They have no consideration for the results of their actions, the path, the idea, the dogma is all and MUST be followed. Slavishly. There is no compromise.

The same goes now for Jeremy Corbyn. He has lead a life without compromise, on the back benches he has been able to get away with extremist and dangerous views and connections without scrutiny. I just wonder whether now he's on the top table will he be be a politician and ditch his dodgy historical connections, or will he be the true ideologue and hang onto them regardless.

My money is on him sticking with it and the Labour PR team labeling his fanaticism as principles.

The thing is, there isn't much to look forward to. Our economy is flatlining as North Sea Oil reserves start to decline, we have no industry to grow us out of the slump, and the financial sector still has more than a decade left of toxicity in any debts it holds on to.

After decades squandering the booty from the North Sea, using it to prop up a crippled economy and paying unsustainable amounts of people unaffordable sums to not work, making new entrants to the job market and new migrants to stay and work on minimum wages that don't raise enough tax revenue to cover the cost of increased demands on infrastructure.

We will head back to the Seventies, when we couldn't afford to keep the lights on, we were crippled by Socialist dogma and no-one had a viable plan.

The ideas were bankrupt back then and they are just as bankrupt today. The chancellors of the early Seventies spent most of their time printing more money than the country could back up just to keep things going.

These days quantative easing has pumped the same pressure into the economic system, inflating the value of everything but most substantially house prices. With the debt time-bombs of equity-only mortgages about to
go off over the next 5 or so years, I see no end to the misery.

In dire times like we'll have over the next decade, voters do strange things. Dangerous things.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Labour About to Cast themselves Back to the Eighties.

I admire the Labour party: When they fuck up, they don't mess about. The past few weeks have been spectacular.

So the parliamentary group stuck Jeremy Corbyn on the leadership list mainly to placate the lefties in the party and look what's happened: he's winning in the polls.

I'm pretty sure alarm bells and cries of "Oh Fuck!" are resounding round the labour MPs at the moment as they face casting themselves into the wilderness for several years.

The problem is Labour and its supporters currently have a split personality that no-one in the PLP can resolve. There are areas of policy where their supporters are more to the right than Labour are at the moment and they need to readjust rather than crash further to the left.

Labour need to resolve these key issues:

Immigration. Lots of low-paid and young people are seeing huge numbers of immigrants coming in from Eastern Europe taking their jobs. Immigrants will come in and sleep 20-30 to a house (usually illegally) to share the rent so their overheads are low compared to a single British guy trying to keep a flat on minimum wage. British kids are being failed by an education system that is more concerned with box ticking than actual education which opens the door for better educated immigrants to take those precious jobs.

There's also the "dark" economy where criminal activity is also being overtaken by foreign gangs coming in from the East. Imagine how depressed the local skally is if he can't make an honest or even a dishonest living.

Of course Labour are in favour of the EU and the open door policy. The problem is it doesn't benefit their core supporters, it benefits big business who get cheap(er) labour.

The Labour party HAS to change it's stance on this. They have to disassociate immigration from racism, a meme they've been throwing at the Tories and UKIP and which is now backfiring on them.

They have to understand that the open door policy is against the workers and for big business, but at the same time promote the fact that Britain should be accomodating to those that bring skills and jobs and integrate into society..
It's not quite as far to the left as their current policy but it needs to reflect the nature of their supporters.

Benefits. This is another area of disassociation between Labour and it's supporters. Are they really saying that there should be no cap on benefits? Are Labour saying to people on the minimum wage that it's fine for people on benefits to have an unlimited salary? What do they think someone on a £15,000 salary will think about someone getting the equivalent of a £50,000 salary for doing nothing? They will rightly cast the party promoting that view into the wilderness.

Also, how is someone on the equivalent of £20,000+ supposed to cope on £15,000 when they get into work? The fact is once they are getting 20 grand for doing nothing they won't want to take a pay cut.

That's the problem Labour have to get round with regard to benefits.

Public Services. A great deal of wailing comes from Labour about cuts to public services. The Tory's 1% pay rise for public service workers has come in for a lot of criticism from the left. Well get real guys, I've just had a 2% pay rise, the first in 3 years so you're doing a damn sight better than me.

Labour need to get real when it comes to public service. There are plenty of their supporters in the private sector in a worse position.

Also when it comes to cuts in front line services, there needs to be a focus on what is being cut and what's being kept. For instance its quite common when the Tories are in power and reducing payments to local councils for Labour controlled councils to cut front line services first before non-essential services in order to prove a political point. That has to stop, especially when those at the top of the council are collecting six figure salaries. Labour councils should be leading from the front when it comes to fat-cat salaries for those at the top. The normal response is they need to recruit the best and compete with the private sector. NO THEY DON'T! They need to employ people with a public service ethos, not someone who's out for as much as they can get.

In conclusion there are a load of things that Labour will only make worse with a lurch to the left. But hey, it'll make for great commentary for political bloggers for the next 5-10 years...

I just wish the Labour party could see sense and not swerve from left to right all the time. Just some MODERATE adjustment is all that is required to bring them into synch with the majority of the population and make them electable again.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Like Lazarus, I have Risen...

Well, that was interesting... The election, that is. And I just have to comment on it.

The Conservatives are handed a majority and are now able to run amok with whatever plans they have for reducing government spending. Brilliant. I may just have to resurrect this blog for good to comment on what a shit option that is.

The real story is that voters are wary of a coalition they can't control. If there was an option on the ballot paper that stated "more of the same please" then you would have probably got that ticked more than any.

But the thing is, with the current system you can't guarantee the numbers will work out so that the Conservatives don't quite get enough to make a majority and the Liberals get enough to hold them to ransom.

Instead people voted for "Not Labour" in as manifestly emphatic and desperate way they could. Liberals switched to Conservative in huge numbers, simultaneously locking out Labour and chastising their own for not going far enough while in coalition.

Up in Scotland the "Not Labour" vote was big enough to create a one-party state. It will be interesting if the "Not Labour" vote continues when it comes round to voting for MSPs. Only the diversity of Holyrood will save Scotland from disaster. If it goes the way of the general election and does create a one-party state then the Scots will only have themselves to blame for what happens afterwards. Never put your eggs in one basket and always keep your options open is something that should be taken up North of the border, but unfortunately the passionate Scots never do things in moderation.

Before I talk about Labour's performance, let's dwell on what should happen to the Liberals now. First the bad news: they don't have enough MPs from which to chose a viable leader. I see no-one in the group of elected MPs that anyone would vote for in significant numbers. They have all been pretty faceless and uninspiring. Only politicos in the bubble would put forward any of them as a potential leader. Sorry Liberals, you are going to have to bite the bullet and maybe elect a non-MP leader in order to make up ground in future. You know, someone with charisma and that has lead a life.

Now Labour. What a sorry mess that party is at the moment. The only constituencies that voted Labour are the ones where you could stick a Labour rosette on a pig and they'd still vote for it. No thought, no intelligence, just mark the Labour box on the form "Because that's what we do round here, stick up for't working man".

Except Labour hasn't been sticking up for the working man for at least two decades as far as I can recall. Not since the times of John Smith have Labour really, truly followed that path. Instead they work for the corporations just like the Conservatives do, providing pigs in rosettes for Labour voters to crayon their cross by.

I mean, look at the options people are really putting forward as replacements for dead Ed. All of them professional politicos. I doubt any one of them has toiled 12 hours a day wiping bums and drool off the sick and old for minimum wage, none of them have cleaned public toilets in order to make a living like I have in the past. I really doubt one of them has brought up a disabled child, seen how shit the benefits system really is and how discouraging high tax rates are for those that want to get on. I have. I've been at the bottom and I've been at the top and the faces of the people put forward as potential Labour leader show they have lead a lifeless life. They are ideologues with no clue about what their party should stand for. Okay, maybe they know what it should stand for but are unable to enact it. Who knows. All I know is that the Labour line that they stand up for the working man is a croc of shit. These days they are more likely to stand up for the non-working man (or woman), the immigrants and the big corporations. i.e. anyone but the working man (or woman).

Instead they quote party history like the good little test tube MPs. Not one of them quotes from actual experience. They spout dogma to convince the faithful but their actions betray what they are actually about.

And that my friends is why dead Ed failed and why the next rosetted pig they put in place will also fail. Only some places will vote for that pig wearing the rosette, the others have a brain and still retain the ability to analyse and choose. Maybe not wisely, but between the lesser of two evils.

Oh, and the Ed Balls moment.... how sweeet was that? It's pity the one eyed buffoon decided to retire or we could have seen the same happen to him.

Monday, 7 July 2014

I'm Offski.... Taters!

Well, the time has come to stop blogging.

I've been thinking about it and really, there isn't much to say any more: politics has gone past parody into the realms of the unbelievable. The wheels keep turning, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The welfare state swells with an ever growing swath of victims, such that one day there will be a cry to eradicate them and no one will shed a tear. Parasites come in many forms and history says they are denormalised so they can be cleansed, socially, ethnically, religiously, racially. Social cleansing is now acceptable, how long before the others? And as we know, mission creep means the first victims won't be the only ones. History tells us that the dehumanisation of humans is always the prelude to vast horrors. Its what us humans do, time and time again. We lose our humanity and regress to the animal ape hidden under the human mask. As a society we lost our humanity decades ago. Just Google the Liverpool pathway and really, really understand what it means to be subjected to it. Its been policy for years.

I've seen the dark clouds forming, political conniving, corruption, the death of actual democracy, the battle for control of any form of independent media and now a convenient crisis has shown itself to be a vehicle for suppression of political independence. Its only taken 15 years. The witch hunt begins.

I have my escape plan ready, you'd better have yours. When the shit hits the fan and you can no longer do and think freely it'll be too late for you.

This will be my last post and the site will be left to itself. I'm sure in the near future this site and especially these last comments will be labelled seditious and illegal.

Adios and farewell.

Before I go, just ask yourself these questions:

Just who keeps pushing the "right to die" agenda? Where is the money coming from to fund the high cost legal cases and why to we keep having case after case when the first "No" should have been enough? What happens when the judges become weary and say "Okay, go on then"; what happens after that first crucial step over the precipice?

Why is the media starting to portray the vulnerable and impoverished as some prime time inhuman joke?

Why is the independence of the media under such constant attack? Why have people gone to jail for what is in essence poor judgement? Why have some been jailed and some let off scott free?

Why has the Saville case been wrung out and spun to such a huge extent? Why has the hysteria been kept artificially high? Has the frenzy been whipped up so artificially high its now so big a story that people will overlook bias now that sexual impropriety has arrived at the door of politics? How long before someone entering politics has to be approved by someone other than the public?

I see between the pages, I see behind the screen, I see behind the curtain, What we're not supposed to see.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Blind Panic on all side over "Trojan Horse" Schools.

It was interesting to hear the radio debates on all sides of the so called trojan horse scandal schools.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about it.

What seems to be clear is there have been moves at the schools to target staff members and make them uncomfortable enough to leave. Whether that's down to them being useless or something more sinister, its hard to say.

Forget for a moment that non-Muslim pupils seem to have been badly catered for at the school, which on its own should indicate poor management and be a reason for major changes.

The fact that someone with recognised extremist views was allowed to talk at one school does set alarm bells ringing. Now the school's supporters can shout until they are blue in the face that the speaker didn't speak on an extremist topic, but the mere fact that he was allowed to speak at the school at all shows there is systemic failure to grasp what that says about the schools and the regime there. There would be a huge outcry if a far right extremist Neo-Nazi was able to address pupils at a school, so now the shoe is on the other foot what's the difference?

There were a number of interviews with "moderate" muslims saying that extremist viewpoints wouldn't be tolerated and that it was a travesty that the schools should be investigated in this way... yadd yadda, the same old apologists saying there's nothing to see, move along.. But they have only themselves to blame. If "moderate" muslims don't like the interference, then they should police their own religion. If they don't, then by association we must all assume that they agree with extremist views. Otherwise the statements saying they don't hold with such views are just hollow.

I'm glad that the schools will be put under special measures. Hopefully they can be turned around and cleansed of any radicalism.

In the long term, moderate muslims in the UK need to start walking the walk as well as talking the talk. They need to claim back their religion from the ideological zealots and prove by deeds and not words that they do not hold to extremist views. I don't care if an Imam from Pakistan has a very good reputation. If he's asked to speak on any subject in the UK, it should be a viewpoint compatible with UK society. He should not be preaching extremist, mysogenistic and hateful viewpoints.

And before anyone pulls the free speech card, lets look at how everyone else has had to curtail their own free speech. Decades ago it was ok to be racist, to use the "N" word and others. Its no longer acceptable and rightly so. We've done our part in making the country more tolerant.

Muslims in the UK should start to make similar changes in their attitude and their religion too to reinforce the moderate message.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Interesting Moment during This Week's Question Time.

There was a fleeting moment during this weeks BBC "Question Time". If you didn't understand the Labour party's disconnect with the voting public, you'd have missed it. But it is important to analyse it.

On the panel there was Labour MP Margaret Curran.

During the debate, there was an Afro-Carribean guy, who made some salient points. As an obvious immigrant, he stated he'd voted UKIP because of the problems caused by mass immigration. He hit the nail on the head by shooting David Willetts down, correctly saying the government could only affect immigration from outside the UK.

However, Margaret Curran butted in, changing the subject, first praising a lady who was obviously a Labour supporter who had spoken previously, and then going on to push the meme that UKIP is racist. Then she went on to divert the conversation away from immigration and started to go on about housing. As if Labour could control that.

Because she couldn't attack the guy that had spoken because an immigrant voting for UKIP (and willing to vote UKIP again) doesn't actually compute in the Labour psyche, she had to divert the debate and quickly.

This is a prime example of where Labour and it's dogmatic thinking and processes are so far removed from everyday life and normal, rational ways of thinking.

Here was an immigrant, voting for a party that wants to control immigration. Why? Well, I can bet part of it is because if we have an uncontrolled influx of immigrants pretty soon ALL immigrants will become persona non grata. He's looking out for his own safety. He most also have practical experience of what its like at the bottom of the job food chain, where there are thousands of applicants for each job. Swelling those numbers just means there are hundreds more applying for those same jobs. Labour's promise of full employment is a bit pie-in-the-sky, unless they're able and willing to employ everyone in Europe. Because that's what an open door immigration policy indirectly implies.

Immigration has to be the purview of the government. How can a government plan housing, jobs, infrastructure, the NHS, schools and all the other things if it can't control how many people use those services?

It could build enough houses to lower house prices and rents and reduce waiting times for social housing. But if a million or more new people arrive in the country, then that's a million more people that need housing, have kids that go to school, that take up jobs, etc. The governmental planning goes out of the window.

I've always said that if the EU wants open borders regarding immigration, then countries such as ourselves where those immigrants end up, should be compensated financially by the EU for each and every immigrant that arrives. They should be paying grants to the government for schools, hospitals, public transport, housing and everything else. The cost should be shared across the other members of the EU and it should not be borne by our government alone.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

UKIP Voting: More than a Protest.

Its pretty clear that the UKIP landslide in recent elections proves that the main three parties are completely disconnected from the wishes of the voting public.

Its been interesting to listen to the various party leader's responses.

First is the Prime Minister, David Cameron. His response is summarised as "We've promised an referendum on Europe and if you're all good and vote for me, you'll eventually get it as long as we have enough time to bombard you with enough pro-Europe propaganda that we sway you all into voting to stay in Europe. I'd wager he's secretly hoping that promising a referendum years in the future will harness the current zeitgeist.
All it may do is start a feeding frenzy in the Conservative party where it starts to devour itself, just like it did when it dethroned Maggie Thatcher and installed John Major.

David Ed Millband's response totally ignored the sentiment of everyone in the country and kept stating it was a protest vote and in a staggering display of arrogance assumed it would all be alright during the general election and all the voters that deserted them last week will come back to the fold. Never have I seen such a level of complacency and such a patronising tone. Its clear that no-one in the Labour NEC actually understands what is going on in the country and why people are voting the way they are voting.

Nick Clegg didn't have to say anything: he looked a broken man. Their losses in the local and European elections can only be described as catastrophic. Plainly and simply he looked as though every Liberal MEP that had lost their seat had phoned him and personally held him responsible for it. And then every local constituency chair must have had a go. He has the look of a man who has seen the future of the Liberals, and its without him at the helm. He's the leader of what is supposed to be the third biggest party in the country. He had the balls to take on Farage and lost spectacularly. He's the archetypal career politician and people hate and despise him for it. David Cameron comes across with the same coefficient of smarm, but whereas Conservative voters will vote for any old dog labelled Conservative, liberal voters aren't so loyal. Most Liberal voters are relatively new to it and can happily swap votes and not feel guilty.

Nick Farage meanwhile, has the look of a Cheshire cat. It will be interesting to see if this UKIP bubble will continue to expand into putting MPs in Parliament. Given the current huge upswell of support for UKIP, its conceivable there will be some form of UKIP representation in Westminster soon. What Nick Farage does once the doors open to UK parliamentary seats is anyone's guess. Will he stay in the European Parliament, or will he aim for Westminster?

One of the key facets of the responses of the main parties is they plainly don't understand what has happened. They see the UKIP vote as inconsequential. But they do this at their peril. From talking with people, there is a firm feeling of resonance, that UKIP says the things that people are feeling and experiencing in the country. It may be that UKIP are a one-trick pony, but that's a spectacularly important trick for the majority of UK people.

The voting has been interesting. In the South UKIP has gained at the expense of Liberals and Conservatives. In the North, UKIP have gained at the expense of Liberals and Labour. People have been disgruntled enough to vote against the main party in their area and voted UKIP. Its a hugely significant event.

Between now and the general election will be very interesting. With UKIP stealing votes from all the major parties its had the effect of diminishing the gap between Labour and the Conservatives.If the same pattern of voting occurs in the general election things will be very popcorn-worthy.