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….