The madness of British Politics

May 29, 2010

David Cameron is Prime Minister.

He wishes to cut the number of MPs whilst increasing the number of Lords.
We now can’t get rid of the Government with a no confidence vote in the Commons, for the first time, well, ever.

George Osbourne keeps saying “We’re all in this together” whilst walking out of his mansion, toward his Rolls Royce.

David Laws apparently thinks he needed to spend £40,000 of taxpayers money to hide the fact that he’s gay (Firstly, why does he need to hide the fact that he’s gay? We’re not all regressive Tories. We don’t care that he’s gay. And secondly, how will not spending £40,000 of taxpayers money, reveal that you’re gay?), whilst at the same time telling us all rather hypocritically that we should all prepare for mad spending cuts and a decade of Tory and Tory-lite Lib Dem inflicted misery. It’s sad that it took a Telegraph revelation for Laws to say he “regretted it“. He didn’t regret, for eight entire years. He suddenly has an attack of conscience, on coincidentally, the day it becomes public. This is the “new politics“? It looks ominously like the old politics.

Paddy Ashdown practically gave Laws an on-air blowjob, telling Sky News how wonderful the little fraudulent Lib Dem actually is. Apparently the story of millionaire David Laws ripping off the taxpayer by claiming £950 a month for almost a decade, to pay for his accommodation, that he rented, off of his gay lover, whom apparently his not his gay lover, despite the fact that they have been…….. gay lovers, since 2001.

EDIT: David Laws has just resigned. It’s a sad day for people who are secretly gay and apparently have to spend £40,000 to gay lovers, for no apparent reason, to keep it a secret.

Vince Cable has lost all credibility by suddenly becoming a Tory on the issue of spending cuts (apparently he “changed his view” because the “situation changed” which roughly translates to “I sold my soul for a bit of power“).

Cable then signified his intention to sell the roads, because NM Rothschild, have described how wonderful it will be to privatise absolutely everything. Today the roads, tomorrow the air, and next week; you’ll have to pay to smile because McDonalds or Starbucks will own the rights to smiling.

The Tories refused to let a Minister go on Question Time because Labour had chosen Alastair Campbell, who is not elected, to go on. Which suggest the Tories think they have a right to dictate the rules of Question Time. The Murdoch backed Tories trying to undermine the BBC? I’m only surprised it’s taken this long.

And now John Prescott will be given a Peerage.

Oh, and Thatcher is STILL alive.

British Politics has officially gone mad.

The ban on cruelty

May 27, 2010

This is one of those subjects, that makes me angry, just talking about it. Even to write about it, angers me.

Spain’s most famous Matador, Julio Aparicio, was gored through the throat by a bull, during a bullfight a couple of days ago. And, I for one, really don’t care. I hope it hurt horrendously. I hope he is in severe pain. The bull was killed. And yet, the bull had no choice. It was flung into a ring, with an evil little shit, and several thousand deranged spectators, and was trying to escape being viciously stabbed to death. It had no choice. It makes me smile, when people I consider to be below scum, get gored so badly.

Similarly, when I hear of a fox hunter, thrown from his horse, I can’t help but think “good”. It is a despicable “tradition”. The ban is a step in the right direction for progressivism, and civilised society on the whole.
Those who take part in it, do it because they enjoy it. It’s a sport. They do it, because it makes them feel good. Part of a tradition. I cannot comprehend, and I’ve tried to make sense of it, how someone could happily watch a fox get chased to exhaustion and ripped to shreds. It is beyond my scope of what is decent and humane. For that reason, Fox hunters absolutely disgust me, they are a cancer of the fabric of a civilised 21st century society, they are the vermin, and I have no problem when they get seriously injured whilst hunting.

In 1999, a fox named by locals in Sussex “Copper” had been chased by a hunt, and bitten badly, but not killed. The vet treating Copper said that the bites were horrific but not life threatening. They found Copper screaming in pain, unable to move. The vet said he was in “severe shock” and could have died slowly and painfully without treatment. But given that fox hunters insist their bloodlust control of the fox population is not cruel, the vet is obviously lying. Copper must have LOVED it! I mean, who doesn’t just adore being chased by 50 underfed desperate raging blood hungry dogs?

The website had this to say:

“The ban on hunting with hounds has increased the suffering of foxes as more are shot and wounded, according to research published this month.”

How dare this putrid scab of a website attempt to seem like it gives a shit about the suffering of foxes? What this translates to, is simply “either let us hunt with dogs, and call it sport, or we’ll shoot the fuckers and leave them to suffer…. your choice”.

According to

“Another study based on questionnaires sent to 220 farmers and interviews with 13 Masters of packs of foxhounds in the county of Wiltshire (UK) found that hunting with hounds made an insignificant contribution (5%) to the total fox mortality.”

It went on to find that most of the “kills” are cubs. Cubs are killed, in order to train the dogs for hunting adult foxes. They are flushed out of their hiding spot, and ripped to pieces. My local MP, is a fox hunting. Therefore, he is utter scum. He seems to think it is not a cruel sport. It amazes me that people actually have the nerve to say that it is not cruel. We do not live in the 17th Century. You can no longer justify your blood lust by manipulating the discourse. Of course it’s cruel. I cannot imagine my local MP has ever said:
“Do you know how i’d like to die? Peacefully. By being chased to near exhaustion, trying to protect my children, and then ripped to pieces limb from limb, by a bunch of crazed dogs, whilst a toff on a horse blows a trumpet because he’s too much of a fucking coward to kill me himself. That’s how i’d like to go.”
Stop trying to convince me that your enjoyment at watching an animal breath its last breathe, is anything but cruel. The fox is not vermin. You are the vermin.

The Tories would like a free vote, to overturn the 2004 ban. This worries me. Not only does it prove just how regressive these Tories still are, how little they’ve changed, and how the nasty party, is still the nasty party, it also is a little bit undemocratic in itself. An Ipsos Mori poll of a nationally representative quota sample of 2,003 adults conducted in 2009, found that 75 per cent of people support the ban on fox hunting. That’s an overwhelming number. Not only that, but the suggestion that it’s just the evil townies who are against cruel sports, the Mori poll found that:

“In rural communities, seven in ten (72%) want to see fox hunting remain illegal, whilst 82% think deer hunting should continue to be banned, and 86% support the ban on hare hunting and coursing. ”

In 2004, pro-hunters were throwing their toys (which happened to be guns) out of the pram, by suggesting that the evil Townies were attacking Countryside tradition. As if “tradition” is a legitimate reason why an evidently cruel idea should remain. Slavery was a tradition. The Southern States of America believed that the Federal Government were trying to take away their right to own slaves. As if that’s a bad thing. It caused a civil war in America, and the right side won. In 2004, when it comes to another cruel “tradition” the right side won again. Tradition is not an argument.

Their next argument was that Fox Hunting was needed to keep numbers of foxes down. The problem with this argument was that, well, it was a lie. When people get desperate to defend something that is largely indefensable, and yet they feel that they cannot just say “Okay fine, we like to watch animals die”, they tend to try to suggest that they are doing us all a favour by killing the animals. This is one of those times. According to a joint report by the RSPCA and The Mammal Society, since the ban in 2004, fox numbers have been pretty stable. There has been no great explosion in fox numbers, anywhere in the Country.

The next excuse, was that Foxes will kill all livestock, and we’ll all die of hunger because the Foxes (inbetween raping your wife, and planting bombs) have eaten all the livestock, and the only way to stop that is to allow the toff heroes a chance to chase them and rip them to shreds.
The Countryside Alliance website, along with my local MP and all other pro-hunt websites seem to have decided not to report:
A report from Derbyshire, that a pack of 40 hounds on a hunt, ripped a family cat to shreds. Although, why would they mention it? It’s perfectly humane, to rip an animal to shreds.
Another report of an out of control bunch of crazed hounds, literally scaring another animal to death, this time in Devon.
A report that a pack of hounds ran around scaring local residents, which resulted in police calls, including from a family with a lady who suffers terrible heart conditions, trying to rescue their family pets.
A pack of hunting hounds entered a private garden in Somerset, and ripped a family cat to shreds.
A pet goat was torn to pieces by a hunt, in their own garden, after the hunters, with no regard for whose property it was, rushed onto their land illegally. The owners said:

“We went round as fast as we could and saw a huge pack of hounds chasing our goats. Most of our animals got away but Flopsy was so badly savaged she had to be put down. Her throat, neck and belly were torn and she lost a lot of blood.”

The owner clearly doesn’t realise that the goat would have loved it, because it’s perfectly “humane”.

It isn’t only family pets as well as foxes that suffer the cruelty of the hunt. The hounds don’t fare much better either. According to the Burn’s inquiry, and evidence given by the Countryside Alliance, over 3000 Hounds are shot to death each year, because they are either too old (too old, to a fox hunt, is 5 or 6, even though hounds live until they’re 14 at best), or too slow to keep up with the hunt. This means, that hounds are nothing more than a tool, that get thrown away without any thought whatsoever, the moment the hunter tires of them.
Anyone who wants to meet those involved with hunting … and see our lovely hounds will be most welcome.” J Sellers, the Cheshire Hunt Supporters Group in November 2004.
Below, is a photo of a Hound about to be shot, by the Cheshire Hunt.

Defend it now, you fucking scumbags.
A spokesman for a group of Hunt Saboteurs Association who work around England trying to save injured animals, and throw the hunt off a scent, said:

“Generally, if dogs are so injured that they can’t hunt, hunters choose to shoot them rather than have a vet rehabilitate them”

I have a nine month old Springer Spaniel. If anyone even dared to put a gun to his head, i’d kill them. So, it stands to reason that a hunt, that involves killing a dog, for no real reason, makes the hunter deserve nothing more than prison. And like I said, if the hunter is badly hurt during a hunt…. good…. I hope it hurts.

They then complained that loads of jobs would be at risk. As if that’s ever bothered them before. The Tories didn’t seem to care when Thatcher was closing down mines and making the majority of cities like Liverpool unemployed. In fact, they voted for her again and again, especially in my constituency, where they then voted for Major’s Conservatives, Hague’s Conservatives, and Howard’s Conservatives. All of a sudden, they began to care about jobs from those whose job it was, to be a cruel little shit. As it turns out, jobs weren’t affected as badly as the Tories claimed they would be.

The real reason for Fox Hunting, was told by Patrick Martin of Bicester Kennels, who’s led foxhunts for at least seven years:

“The wind in their hair. The thrill of the chase. The enjoyment of hearing the hounds. The freedom. And the countryside.”

Forget the shooting of horses, and hounds, and the ripping to shreds of foxes, and the deaths of family pets, and the destruction to local private property. A few toffs quite like having wind in their hair, and hearing the sound of a dog bark. It’s “tradition“.

RSPCA director of animal welfare promotion, John Rolls said:

“Five years on, various forms of drag and trail hunting have apparently flourished and dire predictions surrounding loss of jobs and explosions in fox populations have failed to materialise.”

He goes on to say:

To think that chasing and killing animals was considered a sport still disturbs me, and thanks to this Act, that cruel and pointless activity is now not only illegal, but recognised by a large majority of the public as unacceptable.

Damn right.
I have absolutely no respect for Fox hunters, or for bullfighters. They do not deserve my respect. They are below human. To keep them from multiplying and breaking the law even further, we should hunt them. Afterall, it’s perfectly “humane”.

Lost: Finale

May 24, 2010

After five years, and over 100 episodes, I sat down today to watch the Lost finale. I have been addicted to this year, for years. It is a show full of mystery and intrigue. It seemed intelligent, and simply ‘different’. The show, undoubtedly placed a great emphasis on character development, and mixed myth and mystery (even the way Richard or Ben would say “hello Jack” was exciting in the first few seasons) into the constantly morphing and intricate storyline. But the addition of those myths and mysteries, create a sense of needing-to-know how it was going to be wrapped up, along with the character development. The philosophical questions, were not answered in the finale. The character development was rounded off beautifully. They wrapped up the season, they did not wrap up the show.

The finale, I am unsure about. I loved the emotional aspects of it. Jack’s death, and the close up of his eye closing, whilst Vincent laid down next to him, was great. Very poignant. It also made me smile, to see the flashes of the first few seasons, of the Oceanic lot on the beach. I loved the way they wrapped up the flash-sideways. I did not see it coming. However, I felt that they tended to ignore the mysteries they’d created over the past five years.

Either way, I am actually going to miss my weekly intake of Lost.

The way I saw the finale, was that Jack died on the island. Kate, Frank, Richard, Sawyer, Claire and Miles got off the island and lived, dying at some unknown time in the future. The flash sideways, was not a part of time. It did not have a time line. It was simply created to bring them all back together, and ‘move on’. This is evident with Kate telling Jack she had she had really missed him. Hurley told Ben he was a “good 2nd man”, which suggests they lived together on the island for quite some time, and then died at some undisclosed time in the future too. But then, if “purgatory” or whatever the flash sideways were, where did they come from? What did the explosion at the end of season 5 actually do? Nothing?

I think they focused far too much on wrapping up the flash sideways thing, yet completely ignored wrapping up their regular lives on the island, what happened next and some of the remaining mysteries. Apparently we’ll never know why there are random hieroglyphs. or where the statue came from, or who the natives of the island were. Where do Darma come into it? And Hanso? Why was Aaron “special”? And most importantly of all, what the hell is the Island? What did electro-magnetism actually have to do with it, and why was it important that Desmond was pretty immune to it? At the beginning of the finale of Season 5 the man in black says to Jacob; “they come, they fight, they destroy, they leave, it always ends the same” Jacob then tells the man in black that “it only ends once, anything else is just progress”, what did they mean by this? What about Jacob’s cabin and the fact that ash could keep smokey locked inside? Was there much point in Hugo protecting the island, now that smokey is dead? Why do pregnant women not reach their 2nd trimester before dying on the island? Where did the smoke come from? Why is Richard unable to age? Why were the kids kidnapped by “the others” in the early seasons? Who were “the others“? Why did smokey suddenly become mortal? Why did he need to be kept from leaving the island? What did Egyptian mythology have to do with any of it? Too many unanswered questions. It was an abstract finale. On an emotional level, it worked perfectly. The drawing to a close of the flash-sideways, was impeccable. To see Claire and Charlie reunited was ridiculously close to bringing a slight tear to my eye, and Sawyer and Juliet reuniting, was excellent. But when you write a series based on mystery, intrigue, quantum physics, and mythology, you can’t just rely on an emotional ending. Perhaps that’s the beauty of Lost, perhaps we are not supposed to have concrete answers, because perhaps that would entirely ruin the whole idea of the show.


May 23, 2010

There are a ridiculous amount of Facebook groups (such as this one) and pages dedicated to telling me that the police have banned people from wearing England shirts, and flying England flags, incase it offends foreigners. An example, of one of the comments in that group, shows just how perfectly English and proud of their culture, history, and especially their language, they truly are:
“England till i die… And know 1 will tell me what to do with my flags or tops to wear, fuck the pakiz!!! Dont try and take over OUR country OK.”

“know 1” will tell him what to do with his flag!!! Know 1!!!!

It is obviously bullshit.

Every year, people tend to shout, pathetically; “OMG THE MUSZLIMISTS R TRYNA BAN CHRISTMAS CUS ITZ OFFENCIVESE N STUFF!!!11”. It is rubbish. It always amazes me that the majority of people in those facebook groups who claim to be “standing up for England“, manage to quite effortlessly rape the entire language. Or, of course they claim St Georges day is being banned, because it might offend people who are either gay, muslim, black, or anything that doesn’t fit into their narrow vision of what makes one “English” (which apparently, is simply limited to being racist, angry, ignorant and supremely illiterate). For example, I have decided for the next ten seconds, I will embrace what it means to be English, as perceived by a very select few idiots:
Sadly, ignorance is pretty damn easy. I might get used to it. Let me just let off some steam first.

No one, anywhere, has ever told you that being proud of England, is racist. Never. What I will tell you is, if you claim you’re proud of England because it’s for white people who aren’t muslim, then yes, you’re a racist. I find it ridiculous that people try to define what it means to be an abstract concept. I find it even more ridiculous that people will join groups like the EDL, thinking they are defending their weak and rather ugly version of what it means to be English. I didn’t realise it was “English” to join violent racist groups of hooligans, who threaten Journalists for printing negative columns about them. What amazes me, is that EDL and BNP supporters, can actually read.
The NUJ recently showed that a few journalists received death threats from the EDL. The police are currently investigating it.
One of the EDL’s chief strategists is a man called Alan Lake. He advises the Sweden Democrats on immigration policy. His immigration policy isn’t simply “extremists are evil”, it’s “anyone who isn’t like us, is evil”. Much like the EDL, who claim to be anti-extremist, yet will sit protesting outside mosques, that have no connection to extremism whatsoever. It’s just a group that people can say “LOOK! A SIKH JOINED!!! THAT MEANS WE’RE NOT RACIST!!!”
I don’t particularly care if they suddenly become non-violent (which is impossible, far-right organisations have a bit of a history of violence). They are still vicious, nasty little shits.
It is one of those groups, that appeal to the stupid, by using “clever” language to manipulate political and social discourse, make people feel they are a part of something, and to sustain itself, there must be an “other” an enemy, who they can direct their hate at. Muslim extremists, Christian extremists, and now Nationalist extremists are doing the same thing. And if people fall for it, so be it. I’m proud that i’m not as idiotic as them.

I also notice the BNP put up some wondrous candidates for MP and council elections this year.
Ken Booth, who referred to Auschwitz as a holiday camp for people, much like Disneyland.
Lynne Mozar, who when confronted by someone who simply questioned her economic policy, replied “fat slag”
Mathew Tait, who said that the the Equality and Human Rights Commission court case had forced the BNP to accept “people who we would wish to not have in our country really to be members of our party”. Damn them, for making you accept black people.
Mike Shore, who left the National Front in 2003, to start up a British version of the Ku Klux Klan.
Richard Hamilton, the BNP said they’d suspended him because he is a known Hitler supporter, who hates “niggers“. Apparently they didn’t suspend him for long.
Chris Beverley, refused to condemn Hitler, and said he doesn’t dislike him.
Ian Meller, fined £400 after being caught with a chair leg, threatening a gay guy, simply for being gay.
Barry Bennett, who said recently “I believe in National Socialism, WW2 style, it was best, no other power had anything like it,” ‘he wrote. “The ideology was fantastic. The culture, nothing like it. If it was here now, I’d defect to Germany.
Tess Culnane, was National Front candidate until 2008.
Jeffrey Marshall, when asked about David Cameron’s son who died, said “We live in a country today which is unhealthily dominated by an excess of sentimentality towards the weak and unproductive. No good will come of it.”

The Nation State is very much a part of this whole Nationalist debate, something that goes back over four hundred years.

The Nation State came around about 16/17th Century. It actually evolved through Protestantism. As Henry VIII started to question the legitimacy of the Pope, the Parliament of the day granted full power over the Nation of England, to the King. Something that hadn’t ever been done before. Thomas Cromwell was the key to it all. It was his legislation. He also completely reformed the way politics was conducted, by introducing a sort of bureaucracy and departmental governing and National institutions, which had never been done before. Protestantism was the basis for an emerging Nation State. To build that Nation State among the minds of the Kings subjects, required building a sense of National unity. Which was odd, given that Kings and Queens of Europe were marrying and producing children who were half English, half Spanish. Or Half French, half Italian, and so on. It was also odd, given that whilst the King and the Nobles still lived in luxury, the majority of the people, including the army, lived shit lives of squalor. The King and Court didn’t seem to give much of a shit about their people for most of the time. The problem was, that most people felt a sense of connection with the rest of Europe, due to their Catholic roots. They felt a strong bond with the Papacy. That now needed to change. The King and Court needed to direct that sense of loyalty away from the Pope, and toward the Crown. But the King is simply someone who lives and then dies. So basing a sense of loyalty on something far greater was needed. The State was born. The idea of England as a unified set of principles, was born. The King had to use a psychological weapon of some sort to persuade the people, that when they go to war, they are going to war for the good of England. What difference would it make, who was in control of England? Whether it be a French King, a Scottish King, a Spanish King, or an English King? They were all the same, with the same system. They were merely using the lower classes, to protect themselves and their wealth and status. And so with the onset of Protestantism (which wasn’t down to any religious reason, and was entirely down to a King and his council getting a little too power hungry), the government of the day, now had a complete say over the way their Country was run. Europe was governed by the Papacy in Rome before that. Even England, up until 1534 was pretty much governed by Rome. The Holy Roman Empire stretched across Germany and Austria and Belgium. It was one big nation. And it worked for Centuries. In fact, for the majority of British history, as i’ve stated before, from the year 0 to 2010, we were a strict Catholic country. Catholicism, is our traditional connecting value.

Fast forward 470 years, and America and Britain are now telling their people, especially those in the lower classes that they should put their lives on the line, in a war for the good of England and Britain and the rest of the World. When, on the contrary, those ridiculously brave men and women are dying, for the good of American and British business interests, and in fact, merely perpetuating the problem of Islamic extremism World Wide. I’m only surprised that it’s the extremist Muslims who have been the first to snap. I would have put money on it being the Latin Americans.

National Pride created by an elite set of rulers has never been about celebrating a common ancestry, or a common ethical standard. It has always been about Imperialism, either by force, by economic means, or by a mixture of both.

Nation States evolved during the colonial era, and are simply a left over of the colonial days. We drew straight lines on Africa. Go look at a map of Africa. It is divided almost into perfect squares. Do you think that is biological? It REALLY isn’t. We didn’t care about the tribes and who they identified themselves with. We just needed an easy way to know what land we’d decided were ours, and which were French owned plots of African land, for the purpose of slavery and exploitation.

Thomas Paine writing in section 3 part 2 of “The Rights of Man” over two centuries ago, says of the difference between the old Monarchical past and the new Globalised, democratic future;

“The one encourages national prejudices; the other promotes universal society, as the means of universal commerce.

The Nation States in Europe worked fine when we could strictly regulate trade, and capital and the influx of slaves. When economies were National. It embedded itself into our way of life, pretty quickly. It helped build our economy, so when we eventually became far more capitalist, we had a strong basis to work from, we had a massive advantage. Now, if you want the benefits of a globalised economy; cheap imports etc, then Nation States are hugely contradictory to that aim. If your borders are pretty much fully open to goods and to capital and are not rooted to their Nation of origin, and that capital is always looking for the best return on investment, then saying things like “British jobs for British people” is so unbelievably 17th Century Colonial reasoning, it’s not even worth trying to argue against. If capital and goods are able to flow freely across the World, then it stands to reason that labour should not be chained to it’s nation of ‘origin’, and so with labour comes different philosophies and cultures from Countries that have been colonial and protectionist for centuries. If you are the owner of a company, and you are looking for the best return on investment, and a Pakistani man applies for the same job as a white British man, and the Pakistani man is clearly better at the job, far more likely to raise profits, which in turn helps to create new jobs, why on Earth would you choose the Pakistani man? National identity is not compatible with Capitalism, because building a wall around popultion, is like building a wall around capital. It isn’t compatible with the aims of a globalised economy. It is only going to damage the country in the long run.

Our impact on the World, is quite real. The decisions that are made at the Bank of England, or at Westminster, can and do directly affect people in places like Afghanistan and African Nations. We call them “developing” because we assume that unless they follow our economic structure and accept that our way is the best way, they can never be “developed“, even if they are perfectly happy with the way their World is. We demand that they open their markets by lowing tariffs and removing any support for local farmers. We then flood their markets, and given that they don’t fully understand what a market based economy actually means, they are forced to give up everything they know, and succumb to our ways. We then put their wives and their kids in factories under appalling working conditions, for little or no money, working most of the day and night, so we can buy cheap shit from Primark, and then say “Well at least they’re earning” as if that’s justification. We cannot get away from the fact that we have a huge impact on the “developing” World, for our own benefit, and those people have absolutely no say over it. Illegitimate power. So who are the real victims of some abstract culture war, you dumb xenophobic, racist fucking idiot.

I do think National Identity is a human creation. And so, an abstraction. It isn’t real. We have assigned land masses to groups of people, and are deeply suspicious and unwilling to accept people who were born on other land masses, as being similar to us. We think that others, who were born on the same land mass as us, are the same, share the same beliefs and ideals and that no one else could possibly understand, and so they are “other”. It is nonsense. An abstraction.

The real social connections between people are based on ethical standards, but they are not rooted to a particular land mass indefinitely. Nor is it based on biology. If you identify your ethics, your standards, and your reasoning, to a particular culture, if that particular culture is the way you live your life, then yes, you are apart of that culture.

Pride in your Country, especially at times of international competition like the World Cup is great. I will be wearing my England shirt, for much of it. It is a time when people should indeed feel a real part of society in an increasingly individualist World. However, that sense of shared identity should be open to all who consider themselves a part of it, not just a few who happen to be white, and xenophobic.

There, now that I’ve got that off my chest, back to being an idiot:

The Tudors

May 16, 2010

Showtime Productions can’t fool me into believing that Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays an accurately aging interpretation of King Henry VIII in ‘The Tudors’ simply by making the side of his hair a little bit grey, and giving him a bit of a beard. He still looks about 18.

I wouldn’t usually blog about a TV show, because there are no shades of grey with TV for me. It’s either great, or shit. And so I can’t really write much on it. I’ll show you………. Have I got news for you, is great. The Sopranos, is great. The West Wing, is great. One Tree Hill, is shit…….. You see?

The Tudors is an oddity. It is both great and shit at the exact same time. I don’t know how this has happened. I cannot explain why it’s so great, apart from saying that it brings the tumultuous time period to life in quite a creative and modern way. By making Henry some sort of male model, and his wives; sex crazed power hungry venom, they have simultaneously distorted the truth so much so that Fox News should consider taking tips, but also made it easy to look past the horrendous inaccuracies and just watch it as a piece of entertainment, rather than historical fact. However, if it were that simple, then I could just say that it’s a great TV show. It isn’t that simple. Which is why it’s also shit, for me.

I studied the reign of Henry VIII for A-Level, and half of my book collection are studies of that time period. Not necessarily just Henry VIII, but also studies on Henry VII, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, The Wars of the Roses, the Reign of Mary Tudor, the Reign of Edward VI, the Reign of Elizabeth I, The English and European Protestant Reformation, Kett’s Rebellion, Renaissance Florence, Emperor Charles V, and the rise and fall of the Medici. I have taken a greater interest in 16th Century England and Europe, than I did when I actually studied it. I know the subject pretty well. And so, when presented with a TV show that tries to commit itself to the subject, throwing thirty years worth of reality into four seasons of Americanised TV, I get horribly frustrated, yet can’t stop watching. I then get frustrated with myself, for continuing to bother watching a show, that makes me frustrated in the first place. But there’s the paradox; whilst it makes me frustrated, I absolutely love it. WHAT IN GOD’S NAME DO I DO!!!!! ARGH!!!

I will give you a few reasons why The Tudors frustrates me.

  • Charles Brandon, in the 1530s, was in his 50s. He was married four times previously. He married a girl who was then just 15. It is true that he was perhaps the King’s best friend, and most trusted confidante. But in the show, he is about 25, for about thirty years, and marries early on, and doesn’t get divorced at all.
  • Henry had two sisters, not one.
  • There are an entire two episodes based on Pope Paul III signing off on an assassination attempt on Ann Boleyn. This never happened. Totally invented by Showtime.
  • George Boleyn, Ann’s brother is depicted as gay. Sleeping with Mark Smeeton. This never happened. There is no evidence that George was gay. Someone at the production meeting must have said “I know, let’s make George Boleyn into a raving homosexual.”…. “why?”….. “We’ve made the fattest monarch in history into a toned male model, so making an easily forgettable character gay for a couple of episodes isn’t going to be much of a problem.” Oh, and they made him a rapist. George Boleyn, was not a rapist.
  • Imagine in 500 years from now, someone depicting Elvis as making his rock n roll debut, in 2010, or the first moon landing in 2019. It’d be ridiculous right? In an episode of The Tudors, Thomas Cromwell shows a few people the Printing Press and introduces it as a new invention that will change the World. The Printing Press was brought to England about fifty years before the date depicted, and everyone, even the commoners who got by in life from burning witches and pooing in holes in the ground, would have heard of it.
  • The Vatican in the show, has Bernini’s statues in front of it. Bernini was born in 1598. Sixty years after the time depicted. Pope Urban VIII commissioned Bernini to work on the Basilica in 1626, almost 100 years after the time depicted in the show. That’s the equivalent of someone saying “Titanic DEFINITELY sunk in 2012.” Why even go that far? Bernini’s statues around St Peters are not essential to the show. Surely you’d just leave them out, for continuities sake?
  • By Season 4, we are well into the 1540s. Henry died in 1546. He was morbidly obese, brought on from a horrible leg injury some years prior. His weight supposedly prevented him from even getting out of bed, without assistance. In the show, Henry is still a lean, well toned, very good looking, 20+ man, with a few grey hairs and a beard.

    Having said all of that, I still love the show. It’s shaming. I’m actually magnificently disappointed that they are ending it after season 4. It’s epic sets, and it’s costume designs are incredible. I particularly love the sweeping sky shots of 16th Century London. The acting is enticingly top class, and the storylines, whilst distorted factually, are captivating. I would like to see it carry on, into Edward’s reign. The last few years of Henry’s life were not even half as interesting as the entire reign of his son, Edward VI and the Protectors Somerset and Northumberland. I’d even quite like to see Mary’s reign portrayed. The actress who plays Mary is fantastic. It should end, at the coronation of Elizabeth; considered the greatest Monarch England has ever had. Watching a time period you adore, come to life, makes for exciting viewing. The makers of The Tudors have certainly found a winning formula. It’s just a pity they made ridiculous, unneeded historical mistakes. I do think more could have been made of the Reformation Parliament, and the massive and swift change it would have brought to ordinary people. To gloss over in two or three episodes, a part of our history that set the course for the religious settlement of England for the next five hundred years, was weak and disappointing. Also, the portrayal of Thomas Cromwell is acted brilliantly, but I would have liked to have seen him more involved. Cromwell, according to pretty extensive research by one historian in particular, changed Government forever. He introduced a bureaucratic style of government, with departments, and auditors, rather than a one man strong council that existed previously. Crowell was massively important for his political and religious reforms. He wasn’t depicted this way at all. But even then, I am still enticed by the show.

    I hope next, they depict World War II, and how the tall, skinny Winston Churchill; the compassionate, articulate truth teller George W Bush, and tall, definitely-not-crazy, magnificent actor Tom Cruise defeated the evil Nazi’s in Russia, using the giant moon laser. Surely, that’s next? I’ll probably love it =(

  • The Exhibition

    May 15, 2010

    My beautiful girlfriend, Ash, pictured here…

    …. will be exhibiting some of her excellent photography work, for the first time, this July, in Australia. I will be there to see it, which makes me happy. She is a very talented artist and photographer, and it’s about time a larger number of people get to see her work.

    I thought, given my growing level of pride in every thing she does recently, that I’d showcase some of her work on this blog, for the very few people who actually read it from time to time.

    They are all lomography photos taken traditionally. None of them have been digitally enhanced.

    A leopard cannot change its spots.

    May 14, 2010

    The day before I was elected leader, Mr Cameron suggested we join them. He talked about a “progressive alliance”. This talk of alliances comes up a lot, doesn’t it? Everyone wants to be in our gang. So I want to make something very clear today.
    Will I ever join a Conservative government?

    Nick Clegg’s speech to the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference 2008.

    This pains me to say, but I fully support the new Government’s immediate scrapping of the third runway at Heathrow, and the I.D Card Scheme. Both were huge mistakes by Labour. To claim to be committed to carbon reduction, whilst planning a third runway at Heathrow, was political bullshit of its most nonsensical kind.

    Now that’s out of the way, there are a few initial problems I have with this new coalition Government.

    Firstly, as mentioned previously, the three main Lib Dem negotiating team that worked tirelessly to strike a deal with the Tories after the General Election caused a hung Parliament; Chris Huhne, Danny Alexander, and David Laws, are the only three members of the Lib Dems (other than the leader, and his No.2, obviously) to be given a place in cabinet. Which stinks. Chris Huhne is at Climate and Energy, David Laws is Treasury Secretary, and Danny Alexander is Scottish Secretary. What a lovely little negotiation that must have been.

    Secondly, David Cameron, the New Prime Minister (I shuddered, writing that) said this would be a “new kind of politics” with “new people, and new ideas”. Interesting. Let’s look at the cabinet shall we?

  • Work and Pensions Secretary: Iain Duncan Smith. Ex-leader of the Tory Party. Very anti-European. Had a post in William Hague’s shadow cabinet. William Hague said he only promoted people to his shadow cabinet, if they had a full commitment to financial deregulation. You know, the issue that caused the problems we face now economically. Oh how wonderful. Voted for the Iraq war. Voted strongly against all gay rights legislation and against the ban on fox hunting.
  • Secretary of State for Justice: Kenneth Clarke. Has been alive since the beginning of time. Served in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet. Voted against gay rights legislation. Voted against a more transparent Parliament. Voted against the ban on fox hunting. Voted against foundation hospitals.
  • Communities Secretary: Eric Pickles. Been in Parliament for 18 years. Ex-Chairman of the Tory Party. Voted against all gay rights legislation. Voted against removing hereditary peers from the Lords. But then voted for an all elected chamber. But then voted again for a partially elected chamber. Voted against foundation hospitals. Voted for the Iraq war. Voted against the ban on fox hunting.
    Voted against IVF treatment for lesbian couples arguing the need for “a father and a mother”.

  • Foreign Secretary: William Hague. Been in Parliament for over 20 years. Keen Thatcherite. Ex-leader of the Tory Party. Lost the 2001 general election to Blair’s Labour Party. Voted strongly against removing hereditary peers from the Lords. Voted against foundation hospitals. Voted against gay rights legislation. Voted against the smoking ban. Voted against the ban on fox hunting. Voted for the Iraq war.
  • Home Secretary and Equalities Minister: Theresa May. This is my favourite of the lot. Being Minister for Equality, she has to deal with raising the standard of equality across the board. This includes gay rights. Theresa May has voted against every piece of gay rights legislation, and said of the repeal of that nasty little piece of Tory legislation “Section 28” which forbade anything positive being said about homosexuality in schools; “There is a real danger that the abolition of section 28 will lead to the promotion of a homosexual lifestyle as morally equivalent to marriage.“. She then voted against the right of Gay people to adopt. This is our new equalities minister. A bigot, is our new equalities minister. It’s like the Republican Party of America just won the election.

    The list goes on…and on….and on. New people, with new ideas. Which, happen to be the same old people, with the same old ideas. Interesting.

    The final thing that has annoyed me already about these utter bastards, is the way in which they have locked themselves into a fixed term. Of course it was ridiculous to allow the PM to dissolve Parliament and call an election. It meant any time within a five year period, he could go to the polls.Cameron has waivered that right, and good on him for doing so. But, he then found a new novel way of getting around that issue. For a vote of no confidence to bring down a Government, a majority of 50% plus one, of the members of Parliament must back a vote of no confidence. It is the mechanism that brought down the Labour Callaghan minority government in the ’70s. Cameron currently has 47% of MPs in the House, and so there was enough at any time during the next five years, to enact a vote of no confidence, because the other parties hold exactly 53% of the MPs. The new government has increased that threshold to 55%, which means there now is absolutely no chance of a vote of no confidence. He has locked in his government. Which means if the coalition were to fail, and Cameron run a minority government, there is no way for the Conservatives to dissolve Parliament on their own, nor is there any way for Labour, the Liberals and the other parties to dissolve the Parliament. It is now institutionally impossible to muster up the 55% needed. Dangerous politics. And they had the fucking nerve to suggest that Gordon Brown was “clinging to power”.

    It’ll be interesting to see what comes next….

  • The USA & Greece

    May 13, 2010

    The above, shows (if you can make out the words, i know it looks ridiculously small) that the US is not going to be the next major economic casualty, after Greece. It just isn’t going to happen.

    My knowledge on economics is supremely limited. So please bare that in mind!

    Even the UK, which is in a far worse position than the US, is not even slightly as bad as Greece. We here in the UK have had two quarters of positive growth. I accept that given the bail out, and fiscal stimulus package, the growth figures are ridiculously low, but we are in a period of economic recovery. It is going to take a while to see the benefit.

    The Office of National Statistics report revised their original estimate for growth in the fourth quarter, to a much higher figure. We are actually in a much stronger economic position in the UK, than we first assumed. Government spending was needed to prop up the economy during recession. But, given that we are still only in recovery, I believe it’d be a massive mistake to withdraw that support as the new Conservative government plans to do shortly. In fact, i’m not entirely sure where the benefit of withdrawing support now, actually is? I accept in the future, we need to cut spending. I think though, forcing tax evading corporations to pay what they owe, should be the prime target. But cutting now, seems dangerous. Surely, when we are a growing economy, and the World itself is growing economically, that then would be a good time to cut. Not when people are struggling the most. I fear that it is just Tories being Tories. Cut spending, give people the option “Work where ever we say, or lose your home and starve to death…… and work twice as hard, for minimum wage…lower if we had our way!!! Whilst we give your boss a tax cut, so he can enjoy another game of golf a week“, and eventually the Nation’s money pot may improve, at the expense of social cohesion and morale.

    Fox News today asked if it were possible, that the U.S could become Greece economically. They all answered “yes“. Scare tactics.
    So I did some research, on the fundamental differences between the economy of Greece and the economy of the US.

    To fill the hole in the budget, both Greece and the US need to find around 6% of GDP, according to a report by economists Auerbach and Gale. My limited understanding of economics tells me that just because that number is true for both Nations, the measures needed to fill the gap, are nothing like one another.

    Greece’s budget deficit is 14% of it’s GDP. America’s is 9.3%. They are both pretty harsh figures, I accept.

    National debt in the US is apparently likely to hit 140% of GDP in the next twenty years. That doesn’t take into account policy changes, technology advancements, or any other sort of externality. It does not take into account growth as a result of investment in infrastructure etc. That figure simply goes by what it would be, if twenty years from now, were the same in every way, as today.

    Spending cuts, tax raises are obvious. But they do not need to be harsh as they do in Greece. Greece is in a far worse position. The US’s economy is growing, whilst Greece’s economy is shrinking. In order to protect itself from bankruptcy, by appealing to the IMF for a loan, Greece is being forced to reduce spending. Reducing spending during such a huge recession, is only likely to make that recession far worse. America is not in recession. It does not have to appeal to the IMF for a loan, it is not likely to fall back into recession any time soon. The growth will eventually provide the revenue to fill that 6% gap. When the US economy picks up, then spending cuts and higher taxation will further help the US bring down its cyclical deficit.

    The US dollar is still strong. Despite growing deficit and debt levels, the US is in a prime position to deal with its problems, because the dollar will be the leading currency for many many years. America is the largest economy in the World. Greece, is the 27the largest economy in the World. And whilst China is growing, it is not in a position to catch up to, or overtake America for quite some time. Investors simply do not trust the Chinese all that much, whilst at the same time, investors flee Greece. Whilst reserve currency status is not guaranteed to last, it certainly provides protection for the US, which provides 60% of the World’s reserve currency.

    Greece has to fill that gap within the next year. If they don’t, they risk pushing Greece into an even greater recession, which will inevitably lead to even greater structural deficits. Greece is in a mess. They ran up huge budget deficits during the good economic times. They inevitably ran up even larger budget deficits during the bad times. Greece’s structural deficit is horrendous. America’s, is not. The structural deficit in the USA is not perfect, true. And it is going to take some harsh measures over the next few years to help. But, the US can fill that 6% gap, over two entire decades. Greece has two years at the very most. It is also worth pointing out, that it was the Republican Party, the party of fiscal responsibility that spent away their budget surplus during the good times. And not in a positive way either. It was not Obama. America needs to simply slow down a little, not drastically cut.

    America obviously has to change over the long term, whereas Greece has to change immediately. The problem America has, is its particular brand of Capitalism; irresponsible consumerism. Growth for the benefit of growth. Wall Street offering no real social good. They simply exist to fatten their pockets. Your money, placed in banks, being used in dodgy dealings, rather than productive investments. Responsible Capitalism, in which the success of a Nation is in measuring how low the inequality gap and how low the poverty rate is, rather than the accumulated riches of the very wealthy. That is the only way the entire World will escape another preventable Global recession.

    The Con-Dem Nation

    May 12, 2010

    “Prime Ministers should be voted into 10 Downing Street by the people of Britain, not because their party has stitched up some deal”
    David Cameron, in Essex – 24th April 2010

    Yesterday, I watched David Cameron walk into Downing Street, because his party had stitched up some deal.

    The reason being, the good of the markets!


    Apparently, we have to enact deep and harsh cuts to public spending, because the markets wont like it if we don’t. The markets wont like if we close tax loopholes for the rich. The markets wont like if we ever suggest helping those who need it most. The markets don’t particularly like Democracy.

    It seems Labour were right. You vote Clegg, you get Cameron.
    I cannot pretend I’m not massively disappointed by the Liberal Democrats getting into bed with the Conservatives. I’m disappointed for a couple of reasons.

    Firstly, when it came to the election, the idea that the Liberal Democrats might enter into coalition with the Tories was a possibility of course, but very very slight. It seemed ridiculous to me that a party of the centre left, with policies far closer to Labour than the Tories, would seriously consider a partnership. They are so far apart on policies over Europe, Trident, the deficit, the environment, immigration, and electoral reform that I wonder – and actually, still wonder – how they could possibly reconcile.

    And secondly, I voted Liberal Democrat, because they appeared to be the real new progressives in UK politics. I did not vote them on an anti-Tory vote. Any vote for me, would have been anti-Tory voting. I voted Lib Dem, because I agree with them on Trident, and Europe, the environment and on the need to be careful with spending cuts rather than deep and swift. I agreed with them when Clegg told us at DMU that the very wealthy people who get around paying their fair share in tax, should be made to pay what they owe. That is what I wanted to hear. To suddenly team together with the old regressives in UK politics, a group whose main concern is protecting the very wealthy, is a bit of a betrayal. However, at the same time, it is far better to have a cente-left party diluting the extravagances of the right winged party, than it is to have a Tory majority.

    I do believe that any real chance of electoral reform, of a PR system of electing our Governmental officials, is now over. The Liberal Democrats will never get that chance again. They have sold that idea, for a bit of power. And it was sold for a bit of power. The Liberal Democrats chief negotiating team were; Chris Huhne, Danny Alexander, David Laws and Andrew Stunell. Three of the Lib Dem Cabinet positions already given, actually given just as the chief negotiating team left the negotiations were; Chris Huhne, Danny Alexander, and David Laws. How nice.

    The details of the coalition arrangement are as follows:
    Prime Minister: David Cameron – Tory
    Cameron’s bitch Deputy PM: Nick Clegg – Lib Dem
    Chancellor: George Osbourne – Tory
    Home Secretary: Theresa May
    Foreign Secretary: William Hague – Tory
    Defence Secretary: Dr Liam Fox – Tory
    Health Secretary: Andrew Lansley – Tory
    Business and Banking: Vince Cable – Lib Dem
    Justice Secretary: Kenneth Clarke (seriously!) – Tory since 1882.
    Energy and Climate Change: Chris Huhne – Lib Dem
    Work and Pensions Secretary: David Laws – Lib Dem
    Scotland Secretary: Danny Alexander – Lib Dem

    Policy compromises:
    The Liberal Democrats have agreed to accommodate the Tories idea to cap non-EU immigration.
    The Liberal Democrats have agreed to accommodate the Tories on swift deep £12bn cuts to public services and an emergency budget.
    They have both agreed to a fixed term 5 year parliament, meaning no election until 2015.
    Any transfer of powers to the EU will first have to pass a UK referendum.
    The Liberal Democrats have agreed to drop their plans for a tax on mansions worth over £2m.
    The Conservatives have agreed to drop their plans for a rise in the threshold for inheritance tax.
    The Conservatives still plan to recognise marriage in the tax system.
    The Conservatives have agreed to hold a referendum on Alternative Vote. Which, doesn’t benefit the Liberals at all. SCORE!

    So, to sum up, the Liberals have backed down on Europe, Trident, Electoral reform and the Economy. So what actually have they managed to gain? The scrapping of the inheritance tax threshold? Is that it? A Liberal voice in cabinet or at the treasury, is meaningless, if their policies in the main areas they campaigned on, have been dropped in favour of Tory policies.

    My main problem is the deep swift cuts that will come. I consider them totally unnecessary. They are purely to please the markets, and not to help the people of Britain. Especially the most vulnerable. I expect an emergency budget, to attack “LABOUR’S EVIL JOBS TAX!” but then, put up VAT quite horrendously.

    However, I cannot fully blame the Liberal Democrats for this ever so slight betrayal of the trust of their left-leaning support. Whilst I will absolutely never vote Liberal Democrat again, I cannot help but think the Labour Party purposely spoiled talks between themselves and the Liberals for a possible Progressive coalition. If so, I have to say, quite a clever move by the Labour Party.

    Before the talks had even begun officially, people like Peter Hain were saying Labour should be back into opposition for a while. There seemed no desire to create a progressive alliance.
    If I were a Labour strategist, i’d say that they should take a while to reorganise, let this Tory/Liberal coalition do what they have to do (the Liberals were bound to be forced to compromise on Europe and on the economy and swift deep cuts), because this next five years is going to be pretty poisonous when it comes to how deeply cuts are going to annoy a very very large majority of the public……. and then Labour will be in a far stronger position at the next general election. The Tories will look like bastards again, a lot of people who voted Tory this time are going to regret very quickly, and a vast majority of the Liberals left leaning support, will not vote Liberal again.

    I think it works to Labour’s favour for the next general election. Appoint a new leader, move to the left, oppose all these needless swift cuts, and The Tories, i’d guess, will not last longer than one term.

    We now need a true party of the Left. We need to fight the bigots on the issue of immigration and not allow the Liberals, Labour and the Tories the right to set the discourse on the subject (the discourse, is simply them giving into media set opinion). We need new ways to fight the deficit rather than allowing the discourse to surround deep cuts to public services. We need real progressives, that aren’t market bitches.

    Will electing a Milliband as leader of the Labour Party achieve that?

    Lomography Film Roll: Four

    May 11, 2010

    It would seem that within the next couple of hours, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives will be going into coalition. Talks between the Liberals and Labour fell apart before they’d started. Gordon Brown looks set to resign tonight too.

    So, with the news of a new Tory lead government, with a pathetic Liberal Democrat party that I will never vote for again, I thought I should post something a bit more cheery.

    I got this roll of film developed today.

    Campbell vs Boulton

    May 10, 2010

    We all know Fox News is so ridiculously bias, it makes us laugh to watch it. Sky News, is a Murdoch run news network in the U.K. We have laws that prevent our news coverage becoming too much like Fox – manipulative. Sky, along with other Murdoch Publications; The Sun newspaper, have spent the past few months attacking Gordon Brown and Labour constantly.

    An entire day’s lead story, last week was a Labour candidate in an unwinable seat, crazily rambling about “we’ll get all socialism and stuff in, like, England, and stuff” and how Gordon Brown is the worst prime minister ever. That was Sky’s lead story, all day.
    A day or two later, a Tory MP, is was revealed (not by Sky), is a member of a Church that claims it “cures homosexuality”, Sky did not even mention it.
    A day or two later, a Tory peer said “Muslims don’t have morals or principles”. Sky did not even mention it.
    So yes, Sky is ridiculously bias.

    Today, has proved it more than ever.

    Today Gordon Brown announced his resignation as Prime Minister. Effectively, he will remain in power until the Conservatives and the Liberals agree on a way forward together, and until the Labour Party can elect a new leader. Which is obvious. Otherwise, there is no Prime Minister, no Executive branch, and no leader of the Labour Party. He is right to stay on until this Constitutional nightmare is over.

    Sky HATE it. They have spent years suggesting everyone in the Labour Party should burn to death, and that Brown should resign, now that he has, they are accusing him of trying to cling to power.

    What this means is, the talks between the Tories and the Liberals has been thrown into a little bit of chaos. The Liberals always said they did not want a coalition that propped up Gordon Brown. Well, now Brown has gone. It was paved the way for a Labour/Lib Dem coalition, on the same day as the Liberals announced they have opened discussions with the Labour Party.

    Sky have had a mental breakdown at that.

    In this video, you see Adam Boulton. He is Sky’s answer to Bill O’Reilly. He is in essence, an idiot. A very very bias news “person” (I wont say Journalist). He has spent the past few months defaming Labour and Brown as much as possible, and given David Cameron a free ride. He even (along with the Sun) went as far as to claim Cameron has a lot in common with Obama.

    The other man is Alastair Campbell. Campbell was Tony Blair’s Director of Communications, during the Blair years. Campbell was essentially, Blair’s spin doctor. He is known for being the King of Spin over here in the UK. A lot of people took a dislike to him. Myself included, especially over the September dossier.
    Now he’s out of Government, I quite like him. He knows what he’s talking about. He has been around Government and Journalism along time. He know’s media bias when he sees it. This is a good example of that.

    This outburst comes days after Sky’s equally as useless presenter, Kay Burley told a pro-electoral reform spokesperson to “just go home“.

    Sky, you can tell today, are panicking hugely. They did not expect this at all. It has been hour after hour of wheeling people out to tell England how evil Brown is for clinging onto power. How awful it is. How Britain sacked Gordon Brown, and yet he’s still here. Britain may have sacked Gordon Brown, but they did not employ David Cameron.

    Alastair Campbell 1 – 0 Murdoch’s fucking idiotic English version of Fox’s Bill O’Reilly.

    The nature of “Change”

    May 9, 2010

    It amazes me that people actually consider any party; Labour, Tory, or Lib Dem of being the “party of change”. Absolutely unreal to believe that. I voted Liberal Democrat, almost in a moment of madness. I suppose I got caught up in the excitement of the election. It amuses me how many fellow students actually believe they were voting for “change” for the Liberal Democrats. It makes me feel like banging my head against a wall. The same feeling I get when people say “Well Gordon Brown caused this mess, so the Tories have to fix it!!!“. I am actually quite ashamed of myself for voting. I agree with the Lib Dem policy on Trident, and I agree with them on laying the foundations for a Greener economy. I disagree, profoundly with them and the Tories and Labour, on pretty much everything else. But my main issue with them, and my main issue with why they offer no real change, is because they still seem to believe that democracy is only acceptable in the Political sphere, and that the economic sphere is best left to faceless businessmen, as if they know what’s best for the World and the rest of us should just accept it.

    Why was financial reform not at the top of the agenda? Why did centre-left and left wing parties allow the political discourse to become one of the necessity of savage public spending cuts? Why did centre-left and left wing parties allow the discourse to suggest that it is the public sector that is to blame, that government spending is to blame for the deficit? It is because they are not centre-left or left wing parties, they are parties for the rich, by the rich. The Lib Dems offer no real change. They offer the status quo, and the status quo is centre-right.

    Financial deregulation was started by the Conservatives in the 1980s. It continued under Labour. The Liberal Democrats did not oppose it. The Liberal Democrats have no plans to reverse it. What they have basically been telling us for thirty years, is that government spending distorts the market by artificially affecting the demand side of the economy, whereas a bank offering easy imaginary money to stimulate our obsession with debt fuelled consumerism, is perfectly acceptable. They decided that it’s okay for a bank to use our money and our savings, not to invest in productive enterprises that progress mankind, but in totally non-productive speculative gambling and massive monopolising corporate take overs and mergers.

    The very people who got us into the mess over in the private financial sector, are the same people who finance the parties across the World who are now not offering any kind of financial reform to stop them doing it again. A global banking transaction tax is surely only going to end up being passed onto consumers? The financial industry holds us all to ransom. When we hear them say that capital will flow out of the country, and cause investment to drop, if tax is put up……. they’re right. A lot of people dispute it. But they are correct. You almost have to bribe them to try and get them to stay in the Country. Bribing with political power, is usually the way it’s done. If you look at Latin America, what tends to happen when a Latin American government tries to invest in social justice, and attempts to help it’s people through a better standard of schooling and health, is that either America funds a right winged coup (see Nicaragua), or capital flows out of the country, which is then brought to it’s knees, and the Western World blames the evils of Socialism. When in reality, what is happening, is that slowly, politicians have less and less power, they have to give in to the owners of great wealth, otherwise capital flows out, and investment falls. The economic sphere, has the most power, and we have no say over that. Financial speculation has absolutely no social good. It is a cancer on the fabric of society. The financial industry, holds the World to ransom. And until the public have some control over the economic sphere, it is never going to change. The Lib Dems, certainly aren’t going to change it.

    If you think through the logic of this, you’ll see that so long as economic power remains privately concentrated, everybody...everybody…….. has to be committed to the one overriding goal: and that’s to make sure that the rich folks are happy.
    Whenever a reform measure does come along somewhere, they have a big propaganda campaign against it saying ‘it’s going to hurt jobs, it’s going to hurt investment, it’s going to hurt business confidence and so on. That’s just a complicated way of saying unless you keep business happy, the population isn’t going to have anything.

    – Professor Noam Chomsky

    There are no left wing intellectuals left within the political system any more. Politics demands leaders of Parties who pander to the public mood, which is artificially created and implanted, by the media. Immigration is a great example. Migration is caused by global inequality, nothing else. When capital and goods are free to flow across the World, so will human beings. It is our survival instinct at work. And so the only real way you deal with immigration, is to deal with global inequality. Stop the IMF destroying poorer countries with ideological warfare. A global initiative to tackle exploitation. A Global bill of rights ensuring a minimal standard of living for all human beings. In the 21st Century, where it’s considered morally acceptable to allow someone to amass a fortune worth billions of pounds, it seems abhorrent that it is considered morally acceptable to allow another to starve to death as a result of nothing more than this nightmare of an economic system. A Global financial sector regulator that is fully independent of any private interest. To sum up, a Global initiative to create a socially responsible form of Capitalism, rather than a regressive Darwinian form of Capitalism we’ve all had forced down our throats. Global solutions, to Global problems. Politicians across the UK and the World, especially in the developed Nations, pander to idiots, bigots, and xenophobes who do not understand the World, and offer easy and quick Colonian-esque solutions to complex problems. The Lib Dems do not offer any change here either.

    So, who do we vote for, for real change?

    Election ’10: The aftermath

    May 8, 2010

    “The Country has spoken!!!………. We just don’t know what they’ve said.”

    – Lord Ashcroft

    So whilst Britain still has no Government, and talks remain underway between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives on the possibility of a coalition, there is at least one happy moment we can all share in.
    Nick Griffin, the leader of the British Nazi Party has spent the past month campaigning relentlessly in the constituency where he was standing; Barking. They expected their first BNP seat in the commons. The result?
    Labour’s Margaret Hodge: 53.4% of the Vote
    Conservative’s Simon Marcus: 17.8% of the vote
    BNP’s Nick Griffin: 14.6% of the vote.
    They came third. Not only that, but 1.6% of the BNP vote from 2005, swung to Labour.
    The BNP contested 326 seats at this election. 207 more than 2005, and yet, their share of the overall vote only increased by less than 2% overall. That’s horrendous.

    Margaret Hodge, and Labour, absolutely destroyed the BNP in Barking. But, that’s not the end of the smug look on my evil liberal pro-multicultural face this morning…..
    The BNP, on Friday, lost all twelve of their seats previously held on Barking and Dagenham Council. It would seem that the big push the BNP were going to make, failed miserably. Good. We don’t want Fascists.

    Anyway, back in the realm of reality (reality tends to have a liberal bias), I stayed up all night on election night hoping to see a few big named casualties. There was no Portillo ’97 moment as such. Although seeing Jacqui Smith lose Redditch, was quite pleasing. As was watching Lembit Opik, who seems far too in love with being a celebrity than a politician, lose miserably. Opik then appeared on the Election addition of Have I got News For You, which was actually a brilliant episode, and said:

    “Can we hurry this along? I have an appointment at the job centre in an hour”

    Which made me laugh. I actually like him.

    However, the Hung Parliament result has meant that the Liberal Democrats are currently in talks with the Conservatives over the possibility of a ConDem (puns are the future!) coalition. David Cameron, in his statement yesterday, said:

    “and to remind you how proud you can be of the result: a bigger increase in seats even than Mrs Thatcher achieved in 1979”

    – That’s a little misleading. Purely because since 1979, and especially since 1997, the Tories have been absolutely despised. An increase in seats during an election in which the Country has hated Gordon Brown for well over a year, you’ve had millions more to spend on your campaign than any other party, and yet you’re still not able to gain a majority, is a massive, massive failure, and suggests people still don’t trust you. A year ago, the Conservatives were 19 points ahead. They were going to win massively. On May 5th, the polls had them at 5 points ahead. Also, Margaret Thatcher in 1979, didn’t have the bulk of the Nation’s Media behind her. This has not by any means been a successful election campaign for the Tories. All it means is, the Tories over the past five years have managed to hide their inherent disdain for gays, foreigners, Europe, and the poor behind more creative and moderate language. Congrats.

    “So I want to make a big, open and comprehensive offer to the Liberal Democrats. I want us to work together in tackling our country’s big and urgent problems — the debt crisis, our deep social problems and our broken political system …

    “On the basis of the election result we achieved, it is reasonable to expect that the bulk of the policies in our manifesto should be implemented.”

    Here at least, he is right; in that the Liberal Democrats cannot expect too much from a coalition. They lost seats. The Tories, as much as I may dislike it, won the most seats, they should have the bulk of the power. If the Liberal Democrats and the Tories were to form a partnership, I think the Liberals would have to back down on much of their manifesto pledges. Trident will be maintained incase those evil Commies come back, Europe will remain at arms length because we’re British, we once had an Empire you know!, the cuts will still be pretty sharp risking a double-dip recession, and I cannot imagine David Cameron is going to agree to electoral reform. On the subject of electoral reform, the Lib Dems key policy initiative, Cameron said:

    “I believe we will need an all-party committee of inquiry on political and electoral reform.”

    That, isn’t worth anything. It is a terrible offer. An electoral reform inquiry has already happened, back in 2009. The Liberal Democrats surely know how meaningless this offer by Cameron is. The Conservatives will never be open to key electoral reform.

    I would quite like to see a Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru and SNP alliance, maybe even throw Caroline Lucas of the Greens into that too. A real alliance of UK Progressives. Real change. They have to be committed to Electoral reform, it is a must. Whilst the Conservatives may very well have won most of the seats, more people in the UK voted for left, and centre-left politicians, and so a centre-left coalition would be my ideal. If the Tories are allowed to implement the cuts they clearly want, they wont last more than one term in office, and they’ll be unelectable for another generation. I quite like that idea too.

    The next few days will be mightily interesting.

    Fox calls UK election!

    May 7, 2010

    It is 2:20am, and we in Britain are in the midst of the results of the election. It looks as if it is going to result in a hung Parliament, which may result in a Liberal Democrat/Labour coalition (hopefully). The BBC, ITV and SKY all will not call it. They keep saying it will most likely be hung, and that despite all the money that Lord Ashcroft has spent on the Conservative campaign, they are not gaining the seats they REALLY targeted, such as Tootin.

    However, our crazed right winged friends over in the USA have a different story. They have called it for the Conservatives by a huge majority.
    Sean Hannity on Fox News just this second said:

    “It looks as if the Tories lead by David Cameron are running to victory, a clear message to the World that England is rejecting Socialism.”

    It feels odd to actually be on the receiving end of Fox bullshit. We see it aimed at Obama constantly from Fox, but we in England are usually free from their nonsense. Tonight, it is new. For three reasons.

    Firstly, it doesn’t “look like David Cameron is running to victory” in the slightest. In fact, given how unpopular Gordon Brown is, it must be a complete embarrasment to the Tories that they STILL aren’t able to gain a majority. Against Gordon Brown, an Arab yelling “DEATH TO THE WEST” could have won. David Cameron has taken a poll lead of 19, to 5. That isn’t “running away” with the election, to anyone else other than Fox.

    Secondly, people aren’t rejecting Brown out of a hatred for Socialism. In fact, we kind of like our Socialist traditions. If the Conservatives had said “We plan to privatise the National Health Service”, they’d have lost the election quite horrendously. People are rejecting Gordon Brown because they want a change. They see Brown as the PM who presided over the worst recession in decades. They see Brown as being the PM who allowed the Banks to have a free ride, without Government regulation. So in fact, it’s lack of Socialism, lack of Government oversight, especially over immigration and the financial system, that has drove voters away. I guarantee, people did not choose to vote Conservative lightly. We in the UK, are not like the USA, we do not have this irrational love affair with the free market, we are very suspicious of the markets.

    Thirdly, if the Conservatives do not gain an overall majority, it means that more people voted Labour and Lib Dem collectively, than voted Conservative. Which means more people voted for Left and Centre-left parties, than voted Right winged parties.

    This election is not an outright attack on Socialism. In fact, it’s actually quite offensive to those of us on the Socialist Left to refer to the Labour Party as Socialist. They haven’t been Socialist in over a decade at the very least. A lot of voters, will not vote Labour this time, because of their abandonment of Socialist values.

    Fox are actually using the UK, to scare the US. It’s fucking abhorrent that they are allowed to do that. Hannity said it will send a message to President Obama that the World does not want his brand of Socialism. That isn’t the case at all. If you ask any Brit, they will tell you they despised George Bush, they despised Sarah Palin, and they did, and still do, love Barack Obama. It would be almost unanimous support for Obama. In fact, if you ask the population of the UK, what they think of Fox, they would just laugh at you.

    Back into the land of the normal people, and away from the crazed right winged American idiots, I do envisage a Hung Parliament. Oddly, because Labour are doing far far better than expected, the Tories are not doing as well as expected, and although I voted Liberal Democrat, they appear to be doing horrendously, which has shocked every media network across the UK.

    Economically, i’ve always wondered why people vote Tory, especially after a crash. Individualism vs Collectivism aside, it is financial deregulation started during the 1980s, along with building society sell offs and the removal of reserve assett ratios, that lead to the banks to build an economy based on speculation. Which, caused a sort of financial time bomb. The reason it this was the case, was because of lack of oversight. Now, the Conservative principle, is to remove oversight from the markets. Surely tighter regulation on the financial sector, promotion of responsible social Capitalism, as opposed to all out economic war, further promotion of toxic gambling and failure to do anything about ending this whole obsession with consumerism to the point where even toxic bank assets are for sale (see Goldman Sachs) is the way forward?

    The deficit has not been caused by excessive government spending. The deficit has been caused by an out of control financial sector, that got it’s right to be out of control, from the Conservatives. Surely you have to spend a lot when the private sector fucks up, to keep infrastructure in place and keep interest rates low, but more importantly; to keep people in their homes and jobs? Otherwise, you are throwing people onto the scrap heap. The recession of the 90s, under the previous Conservative Government saw homeless rates double, and suicide rates shot up, because of the lack of help people were getting. How is that the right way to go about recovery? I don’t care if recovery takes a little longer, as long as people’s necessities are protected. The Conservatives do not believe in those basic protections.

    The Conservatives blame government spending fully for the problems. They seem incapable of accepting that the deregulated financial sector is the reason the government had to spend more in the first place.

    By punishing the public sector, for the failings of the private sector, whilst simultaneously ignoring the problems in the private sector, you are simply putting a weakly tied bandage onto a system that will inevitably fuck up again in a few years time.

    It amazes me that the slightly manipulated political discourse of this election has it that the “Welfare State” is the parasite of the economy. It wasn’t the Welfare State that fucked up.

    By spouting about deep public service cuts, what they are essentially saying is the public should pay for the gambling debts of the City of London, which were encouraged by both the Conservatives and Labour over the past thirty years.

    David Wearing a PhD researcher in Political Science at the School of Public Policy at the University College, London said quite rightly:

    ” What we are witnessing here is a unique form of bank robbery: the banks robbing the public of tens of billions of pounds, with our elected politicians driving the getaway car.”

    I hope tonight results in a Hung Parliament, and a Lib Dem/Labour coalition. Anything to keep the Tories out.

    Broken Britain

    May 6, 2010

    David Cameron is right.
    Britain is broken.
    We are becoming like the third World.
    I know this, because I cannot afford a new DVDR player.
    And my Canon 400D Digital Camera is at least two years out of date.
    Ethiopians know how I must feel.
    Do you know, I had to save for TWO WHOLE MONTHS to afford my plane ticket to Australia.
    England = Sudan.
    When I went to Tesco yesterday, I could only afford an orange juice. A salad. And a pizza.
    When I was young, there were constant burglaries around my area.
    Now, I haven’t heard of a single one in well over a year.
    Do you know why that is?
    It’s because there are CCTV cameras, and more police in this area.
    1984 MUCH?
    I once knew a woman who scrounged a few extra pounds of benefits, to help feed her kids.
    The crazy thieving bitch.
    If we stopped all of her kind from doing that, we’d have more money to give in tax relief to the mega wealthy.
    And they’d then be able to afford a new yacht.
    That’s how we fix Britain!!
    Some people my age, can only afford one drunken night out at the weekend. Think about that for a second. Difficult to imagine, isn’t it?
    How do these people cope, I hear you asking yourself.
    Well, we struggle.
    We need charity appeals for us in England.
    AND….a couple of days ago, I saw a young man in a hoodied top….. get this……….. help an old lady off the bus.
    The bastard.
    It shocks me. It really does.
    It shocks me just how much New Labour have DESTROYED this once great, all white, all crime free, England.
    Back to the ’80s and ’90s!!
    When a good old fashioned mass riot sorted out our issues!
    What happened to rioting? I miss it.
    And what’s all this about the EU?
    We once ruled the World you know.
    The EU should do what we tell them to do.
    But they don’t.
    Infact, some people think we should accept that we aren’t some masterful empire any more, and join the modern World.
    They’re liars.
    They hate England.
    Do you know what’s worse? I’ve fallen for all the left wing bullshit. The politically correct liberal media has made me believe that this state of affairs isn’t all that bad.
    It even convinced me that my muslim friends, are not terrorists intent on taking over England and implementing Sharia Law.
    Or that the gays aren’t unnatural and hell bound.
    I’m so easily manipulated.
    The Liberals want to get rid of our Nukes.
    Do they not realise that we have Muslimists and Gays to watch out for!!!
    When I go to the cinema, or out shopping, or out for a meal, or to a sporting event, or to University.
    I have to drive my dad’s car.
    I can’t afford my own car.
    Especially given that I have to pay for my New Years trip to Rome, Paris, and Florence.
    Kenyans must hear about our plight.
    And weep at our misfortune.
    That is why David Cameron is right.
    Vote Conservative today.