The wonder of Fox News

August 25, 2010

Fox News, and News Corp in general provide quite the amusing slant on World events. We in the UK find it an endless source of hilarity and bullshit all rolled into one. We understand that much of America actually takes Fox News seriously, which amuses us even further.

During our UK election, they announced that the result was the UK’s total rejection of Socialism. Which of course was nonsense. Our Conservative Party, whom Fox News supporter, told the electorate that they would look after and protect our single payer Health Service, making the Conservatives evil Socialists in the eyes of right winged America. Fox News also failed to point out that more people in the UK voted for Parties on the Left and Centre-Left than they did for those on the Right. So actually, it was far from a rejection of Socialism. I blogged on Fox News calling the UK election, here.

But the stupidity doesn’t surprise me. In the past two years they have labelled President Obama a Marxist, Communist, Fascist, American hating Muslim, Foreigner with terrorist sympathies who hates White people. I give it a week before they ask if he is actually a homosexual transvestite. It stinks of bitterness. A torrent of hate and bullshit. They labelled the anti-Iraq war protesters as ‘un-American’ whilst those who protested the Health Care Bill were labelled Patriots. But they assure us that they are not bias. They assure us they are in no way a rallying point for all single brain celled racists Right wingers across America.

On The Daily Show two nights ago, Jon Stewart, once again, made Fox News appear fools. For weeks Fox has been drawing weak links between the Muslim Centre near Ground Zero with funding from shady characters with Terrorist ties. The guy they point to as helping to fund the project is a man named Al-Waleed bin Talal. He is a member of the Saudi Royal Family. He has invested more than $300,000 in projects for Feisal Abdul Rauf, the principle planner of the Muslim Centre near Ground Zero. This is one of the guys that Fox refer to as a shady character. What Fox failed to point out is; Al-Waleed bin Talal owns 7% of News Corp and so owns 7% of Fox News. News Corp (Fox News) owns 9% of Al-Waleed bin Talal’s entertainment company Rotana. Al-Waleed bin Talal is part of the Carlyle Group, which has business deals with the Bin Laden family. So, by association, Jon Stewart pointed out that Fox News is funded by those linked to terrorism, if we are to use their logic. Stewart ended quite brilliantly, by saying that if “We want to stop funding terror, we must as a Nation, together………… stop watching Fox. IT’S THE ONLY WAY!!”. The stupidity of Fox is outstanding.

It is almost as ridiculous a situation, as the time that The Simpsons ran a mock Fox News on one of it’s episodes with the news ticker running along the bottom, proclaiming; “Do Democrats cause cancer? …………… Rupert Murdoch: terrific dancer……………. Study: 92% of Democrats are gay………… Bible says Jesus favoured Capital Gains cut.” Fox News took exception to this, and threatened The Simpsons with legal action. The problem is, that The Simpsons is owned by Fox. So effectively, Fox were threatening to sue Fox. Fox backed down and didn’t sue Fox for mocking Fox. Fox now has a new rule stating that The Simpsons cannot do the news ticker any more, (I promise I am not making this up) because it might confuse viewers into believing it is the real news.

I will leave you with that thought. I don’t think much more can be said. Fox News is an embarrassment all by itself, it doesn’t need those of us on the Left point it out, although it’s much fun to do.


August 24, 2010

Since being over here in Australia, I have rediscovered my interest in Photography. Ash is a fantastic person to encourage creativity. I can count on her honesty. It is encouraging. Before hand, I was given two extremes. Either people who would tell me I am an amazing photographer who should take on the World and become the greatest ever, whilst they lick my arse thoroughly for as long as possible before the muscles of the tongue cease up; or I had pretentious art types who were about as talented as a Big Brother contestant, and so dismissed the art work of anyone who didn’t appear to be ‘fashionably wacky’. Complete opposite, and completely extreme. There was never anyone who would critique me the way I wished. I know I can rely on my Aussie for a truthful opinion and tips.

I studied Photography for a year in London, during late 2008. I left the course early because the people who ran it had a very specific taste in art and would outright tell you you’re photos were utterly shit. The line between subjective opinion and objective truth became magically blurred, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like them telling me what makes a good shot. I didn’t like them telling me that Diane Arbus was the greatest Photographer of the 20th Century. I didn’t like being told that a subject that is wholly subjective, can be moulded into something objective. So I left. And with it, my passion for photography slipped away. I have very low self belief when it comes to my own creativity.

I have now decided to take up Photography again, for myself. Therefore, I have created a new blog located at: on which I shall display my Photography work from now on. I really do wish to start selling some works too, given that I am but a poor student in need of as much of an income as possible. Comments on my work would be very much appreciated.

I hope you like the photos!

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I support the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’.

August 23, 2010

“bringing back the atmosphere of interfaith tolerance and respect that we have longed for since Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together in harmony and prosperity eight hundred years ago.”

– Cordoba Initiative Mission Statement.

America has an odd obsession with freedom. It usually involves freedom for White Christian Americans but no one else. It usually involves labeling any one who isn’t in tune to their massively hypocritical version of freedom, as freedom-haters. This week has been no difference.

You would have thought that with their obsession with free market enterprise and freedom, they would have welcomed the news that a Private firm have bought a plot of land two blocks from the World Trade Centre and plan to build on it. But no, the slightly vacant, miserable excuses for human beings; the American Right Wing is spending its time protesting against the building and suggesting that it pisses on the memory of those who died on 9/11, and that ground zero is a sacred site. They apparently have no problem with the strip bar that exists a stones throw away…… but then most Republican Americans spend their time in places like that, so it’s no surprise. And anyway, Masjid Manhattan, a Mosque in New York, is right next to the site, and has been since the 1970s. But then Fox News hasn’t built up hype around Masjid, so it’s nauseatingly stupid viewers have no reason to protest.

The ignorance is astounding. Their are countless facebook groups dedicated to being against building of what they call the “Ground Zero Mosque”. NO! They state quite viciously. Muslims are all evil radicals intent on killing Americans and raping their children. The Mosque would be their headquarters, at Ground Zero!!!! The only problem is……….. it isn’t a Mosque, and it isn’t at Ground Zero.

It is two blocks away from Ground Zero. I am curring in Australia, two blocks away from the nearest super market. I wouldn’t claim to currently be in the supermarket. It is therefore reasonable to say that the Ground Zero Mosque is not at Ground Zero. So, that leaves the word ‘Mosque’.

It is called the Cordoba Center. It will include a Theatre, a Performing Arts centre, a Basket Ball court, Bookstore, Child care, Prayer space, Restaurant, culinary school and fitness centre. It is already being used as a place of prayer for Muslims, and has been for quite some time. There is nothing that honours the victims of religious intolerance more, than a center dedicated to building relations, and showing that there does not have to be such separation, anger and fear. A symbol of the coming together of Islam and the West, and particularly Islam and America is a stage in contemporary times that we REALLY need to get to, and this Centre is an attempt to provide that link. We should be celebrating it. We should be celebrating that we are trying to move away from the past decade. We no longer want people like Palin and Bush and Cheney making sure fear is the order of the day. Innocent, decent Muslims are no different to innocent, decent Americans.

And yet a large number of Americans believe this to be an insult to them.

It defies logic.
America has sent thousands of troops to their deaths in wars built on the idea that oil revenue is worth far more than human life. They have seen a decade pass in which they were the most hated Nation on the planet, for the entire reign of George Bush. And they have the fucking nerve to suggest that it is a Mosque that pisses on the memory of 9/11 victims? No. Bush and the entire Republican faithful pissed on their memory years ago. One continuous piss, that continues to this day.

Over 300 Muslims died on 9/11. Not only that, but whilst the overweight American Right Wing sits basking in a sea of its own inherent racism, complaining and protesting against anything that isn’t White, Christian, and American; many more Muslims put their lives on the line fighting for America every single day. Mohammad Khaled, during 2006 endured heavy gone fire, fighting for a Country that now considers him insensitive if he wishes to practice his faith anywhere near the location of 9/11, committed by the very same terrorists he has vowed to fight against. Khaled left the U.S Armed Forces in 2006, because he was left stranded in Iraq whilst trying to protect three children from persistent gunfire. There are many more just like him. If I were Khaled, I would find it ridiculously difficult not to spit in the faces of every Right Winged American who puts me into the same category as a bunch of terrorists. Khaled, and others like him are better than that. They are better than Right Winged America. They deserve our respect above the Fox News brigade.

There can be no logical argument against the building. It is ludicrous to even try. It will always end up being a torrent of putrid racist anti-Islamic conjecture based on no logic or fact, and when you start to reason in that way, your argument becomes intensely invalid. The Economist magazine, a magazine I usually wouldn’t pay any attention to because we differ on our economic opinions, quite rightly said:

“Every single argument put forward for blocking this project leans in some way on the misconceived notion that all Muslims, and Islam itself, share the responsibility for, or are tainted by, the atrocities of 9/11.”

It is being built by the Cordoba Initiative. The initiative was set up, purely to help build stronger relations between the West and Islam. God knows, there needs to be some sort of relation healing between the West and Islam after Bush’s reign. However, it only works to help American’s innate fear of anything that isn’t American, grow larger. First it was the Communists. Anyone slightly Left of Reagan is accused of trying to bring Communism to America. And now it is Islam. Anyone who isn’t Christian is apparently attempting to ‘Islamify’ America. Which is ludicrous. When a Catholic Church is built, there is never any suggestion that there exists a Catholic conspiracy to pass all lawmaking of America to the Papacy in Rome. That is because it is ludicrous. But America always needs an enemy to fear, even if that enemy simply doesn’t exist. Today it is Islam. Tomorrow, it could be sweet old ladies.

There must be a distinction between law-abiding individuals who happen to have a personal belief in Islam, and the fundamental nature of Islam itself. Those who follow the fundamental doctrine of Islam, have failed to evolve with time, and have instead become what Christopher Hitchens so rightfully calls it ‘Islamofascist’. It is true, that these people are dangerous and that Islam has a lot of growing up to do. But individual Muslims, are not at fault.

Obama remains weak, and eerily silent. He is clearly worried about upsetting the anti-Islam right winged morons who inhabit his Country, given that this week a poll revealed that 18% of Americans believe Obama is a secret Muslim. Why aren’t Progressives everywhere standing up to these people. Islam is not the blame for the friction between themselves and the West. Fear across America is to blame. It is supplemented by Fox News and its associates in the Republican Party, because without fear and without someone to hate and invent bullshit about, the American Right Wing including Fox and the Republican Party, are nothing. A remnant of a past in which humanity is constantly fearing the ‘other’. An ‘other’ that simply doesn’t exist.

Abe Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League quite pathetically and hypocritically (you’ll see why in a second) fanned the flames of bigotry with this:

“Ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgement, building an Islamic centre in the shadow of the World Trade centre will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right?. If you want to heal us, don’t do it in our cemetery.”

Normally I’d respect his view, despite how pathetic it is. However I can’t bring myself to do that, given that Abe Foxman recently seemed more than happy about the proposal to build a ‘Museum of Tolerance’ by an Israeli group in Islamic Mamillah Cemetery in Jerusalem. Oh the hypocrisy.

Supporters of the project include families of those who died in the 9/11 attacks. Donna O’Connor, whose pregnant daughter died on 9/11 said:

“This building will serve as an emblem for the rest of the world that Americans … recognize that the evil acts of a few must never damn the innocent.”

Very wise lady.

Terry Rockefeller whose sister died on 9/11 said:

“This doesn’t insult her at all. This celebrates the city she loved living in. It is what makes America what we are.

Sue Rosenblum whose sister died on 9/11 said:

“What are we teaching if we say you can’t build here? That it’s OK to hate? This is a country based on freedom of religion.”

Daisy Khan, who is working on the project quite rightly said:

“The presence of … mosques like the one planned near Ground Zero, which will be an educational center as well as a place of prayer, is one good way of transcending … ignorance.”

She is correct. The only way to defeat the ignorance of people like the American Right Wing, and Islamic Extremists, is to join the moderates on both sides together. Projects like this, acts to knock down the barriers that the Bush Administration thrived on, and what Sarah Palin continues to need in order to survive politically because without fear and hate the American Right Wing really is nothing.

Cordoba is run by Feisal Abdul Rauf, who spent weeks after 9/11 reaching out to the West and condemning all extremists. He is known for spending his life trying to build bridges between Islamic World and America. He has written countless books, and appealed to the U.S Government to fight Islamic terrorism by changing its foreign policy. He is a good person. The Centre, two blocks away from the site of the World Trade Centre has absolutely nothing to do with extremism or terrorism. The Centre is going to include a restaurant Americans seem unable to distinguish between Islam and terrorism. Yet, they seem perfectly able to distinguish between Christianity and Terrorism.

Army Of God, Christian Patriot Movement and Christian Identity are all terrorist Christian organisations operating around America. I presume I can count on the support of Sarah Palin, and the Fox News worshiping lunatics who are protesting against this Islamic Centre in New York, whenever Christians wish to build a Christian Church, or school, or centre, anywhere near the spot in which an abortion clinic was targeted by Christian terrorists?
1984 – Abortion Clinic in Pensacola, on Christmas Day bombed by Christian fundamentalists who called the attack a gift to Jesus on his birthday.
1993 – Shelley Shannon convicted of shooting Dr George Tiller, and later convicted of bombings and arson against Abortion Clinics. Three more people shot dead by Christian Fundamentalists. Dr David Gunn and Dr George Patterson shot dead by Christian Fundamentalists.
1994 – Two receptionists at Clinics in Massachusetts killed by Christian Fundamentalist. Five others wounded in attack.
1997 – Dr Gandell of New York is badly injured by glass when his home in New York is fired upon by Christian Fundamentalists.
1998 – Bomb in clinic in Alabama kills Security guard Robert Sanderson and blasts one eye out of a nurse named Emily Lyons…… by Christian Fundamentalists. Three people badly injured when acid was poured into the entrance of a Clinic in Miami. Dr. Barnett Slepian shot to death at his home, by Christian Fundamentalist.
2000 – Clinic in New Hampshire set on fire, causes $20,000 worth of damage. Thankfully no one injured.
2001 – Planned Parenthood Clinic in South Dakota set fire to by Christian Fundamentalist. The Clinic also received a letter with white powder in it, with the message “You have been exposed to anthrax. … We are going to kill all of you.”
2005 – Molotov Cocktail thrown at Clinic, everyone managed to escape unharmed. Christian Fundamentalists to blame.
2006 – David McMenemy drives his car into Edgerton Women’s Care Center, which he wrongly believed was performing abortions; he then takes hostages and douses the lobby in gasoline, setting it on fire.
2007 – A huge bomb is placed in a clinic in Austen, Texas. A Bomb disposal team manage to secure it, and no one is injured. Christian Fundamentalist to blame.
Since 1977, Christian Terrorism has claimed seven lives, 17 attempted murders, three kidnappings, 152 assaults, 305 completed or attempted bombings and arsons, 375 invasions, 482 stalking incidents, 380 death threats, 618 bomb threats, 100 acid attacks, and 1,254 acts of vandalism, according to the National Abortion Federation. Where is the outrage? Why aren’t Americans worried about this? Because they’re fickle, hypocritcal, fear mongering imbeciles. That’s why.

Given that Republicans voted down a bill that would provide funding to help 9/11 first responders who now suffer from respiratory health problems and cancer because they are, well, I don’t know why they did it. I presume it’s because they are scum; it is highly rich of them to now pretend they care about 9/11 victims. The entitlement was designed to help those who now have severe health issues because they were quick to respond to help during 9/11. The Republicans say it will kill jobs because it is being paid for by closing a tax loophole for the rich. So, to sum up, being able to avoid tax is far more important than helping those who now suffer from cancer. Why do these people have any say over the way the most powerful country in the World is run? It is so dangerously unnerving.

Perhaps they should honour Ground Zero in real American fashion. Erect a statue of Rupert Murdoch, under a big McDonalds M and then a Temple dedicated to the worship of Ronald Reagan, whilst sacrificing a Latin American person in his honour. The land of the free.

Who needs principles anyway

August 19, 2010

“closing those huge loopholes that only people right at the top, very wealthy people who can afford a football team of lawyers and accountants to get out of paying tax”

– Nick Clegg, April 2010, on how he would pay for cuts.

I admit I am a little bias. I despise everything the Conservatives stand for. They are a cancerous leech created and represented by a very rich minority, they cause chaos and they destroy and their rise to power is in the same lugubrious category to me as the rise of AIDs or the news that a robot army with 10 inch metal penises has risen in rebellion and is coming to specifically rape me, and me only, or even worse, right winged American Christians are all moving to England en masse. I hate everything they stand for, everything they say, everything they do, I hate that I’m sure George Osbourne says “crickey” a lot, and I hate that they are now in control of the Country.

I think the writer Charlie Brooker says it far better than I ever could;

The Conservative party is an eternally irritating force for wrong that appeals exclusively to bigots, toffs, money-minded machine men, faded entertainers and selfish, grasping simpletons who were born with some essential part of their soul missing.

I did however like the Lib Dems a short time ago. When Clegg had principles. When he was discussing his priority to close down tax loopholes that the very rich use to actively tax avoid. So that being said, isn’t it amazing how a few months in office can change a Politician’s opinion to the point where he is happy to discard his principles entirely?
Whilst the Coalition plans £61bn worth of cuts across the entire public sector because they have a sense of emergency about saving money, whilst claiming they are not doing this on ideological grounds; they seem perfectly happy to employ Sir Philip Green as a Government advisor. He will be in charge of a White Hall spending review, to ensure that cuts are met across department. He will identify areas that can be cut.

Why is this a problem?

Sir Philip Green is Britain’s 9th richest man. He owns Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Topman, Topshop, and Wallis. He owns about 12% of the UK’s clothing market. He is the UK’s 9th richest man however, because his companies are in his wife’s name, who happens to live in a tax haven, in Monaco. Which means, in 2005 alone, the arrangement cost the Treasury £285mn (which would employ 12,720 public sector workers for a year, according to The Gov statistics site), because his wife Tina did not have to pay any tax on the £1.2bn dividend she received. Green therefore, is one of the UK’s biggest tax avoiders. Whilst he is still actively avoiding taxes and making over £1bn a year in dividend payments, he has told his UK staff in 2005 that members of the Company’s final salary pension scheme must work five years more and increase their contribution to the pot by half, if they are to receive the same payout. He is also known for using sweatshops. So, he is a billionaire because he uses and abuses cheap labour in sweatshops, he actively tax avoids to net himself a lovely £1.5bn, and he makes his workers contribute more, and work longer, for the same shit payout. And he is the new efficiency advisor? Really?

Whilst Green gets knighted at Buckingham Palace, and then suns himself in Monaco on the money he’s saved from avoiding tax, his employees who make him that money in the first place, work for pittance, and have to pay tax because they’ll end up in prison if they don’t. The little people, the same little people who would must have been naively enticed into voting Tory in May, are being screwed over beautifully.

As well as employing 12,720 public sector workers for a year, had he not avoided tax on that single dividend and paid the £285mn, the Government would have enough to pay for certain schemes they are scrapping, like £150mn the the health in pregnancy grant, a one off payment that helps mum and baby stay healthy and covers wider health costs for pregnant women, which the Tories are entirely scrapping. Or the £180mn child tax credit supplement they intend to cut quite viciously.

David Cameron told the Sun recently that “benefit fraud is the first and the deepest cut we will make“. He is talking about single mums and struggling families who scrounge a few extra pound a week to help pay the bills. Hypocritically, he is not talking about the man he just appointed who costs the UK a fortune in lost tax revenue every year, to look into savings across the public sector,

And they wonder why people like me refer to them as the same old Tories, looking after their own? The same old ideological right winged warfare against anyone who isn’t actively tax avoiding and who doesn’t earn millions of pounds a second?

Clegg, that ‘progressive’ politician has kept breathtakingly quiet on the subject. Like a lapdog who will do and agree with everything his master tells him. Who needs principles anyway?

Futile Schwarzenegger

August 19, 2010

I have been frequenting the Gym again recently; purely to satisfy my own insecure vanity. I’ve never been too keen on the way my body looks. I’m just flat, like an ironing board with a hairless head and skinny legs. And given that I struggle to put on weight just by eating a lot, I figure my next option is the gym. It’s working too. After two and a half months of going to the gym five nights a week, and ridiculous quantities of protein, I am starting to tone a little. I feel much more active and energised too, which is always a bonus. Ash, being a physio taught me how to do a sit up correctly and most affectively, and what it has so far taught me is that my abdominal muscles are made out of really weak feathers. So that’s a good start.

From a mind like mine, that is always socially aware, and conscious of the absurdity of certain situations, the gym provides me with ample opportunity for bewilderment and amusement. There is no other place on the planet that it is socially acceptable for me to be bent over a bench, with one knee on it, lifting a heavy object, whilst an 80+ year old woman sits next to me, rolling around on a big ball and panting aimlessly. Nor is it considered socially acceptable for a huge man in a ridiculously tight vest to be holding the sweaty body of another man on a pull up bar, grunting incoherently what I can only assume are words of encouragement; whilst a woman with a John McEnroe style sweat band wrapped around her face holds a heavy ball above her head, and lunges around the room with her hands on her hips, swerving in and out of the people around her, who seemingly haven’t noticed how piss-your-pants funny this entire situation actually is.

After a chest and arm workout, I will sit for a minute or two, shamelessly admiring my handiwork in the mirror. I always think that this is good, I am getting bigger; women everywhere will drop around me in uncontrollable, heated astonishment at the epitome of masculinity they see before them, before they weep intolerably when I tell them I’m taken. But then, to shatter my dream, a perfectly toned smiling adonis of a man will stroll past the mirror, like a young Elvis, with perfectly shaped biceps, and i’ll look back at myself and the little man inside my head, will say “that is a real man. You, are a girly man. Go and hide in the corner, girly man.” And then out of nowhere, as if life wasn’t tragic enough at that point, a skinny kid will stroll past the mirror, panting because the 8kg weight he was trying to lift got the better of him on the second rep, and the little man in my head will say “how come there’s two of yo…..oh, it’s not you. It’s another girly man.” (8kg weights don’t get the better of me by the way, i’m up to 15.5kg dumbells. I’m like Arnie; when Arnie was about three years old).

I cannot understand much of what the huge grunting men say to each other. It is just noise. Ramblings of men whose neck muscles are crushing their vocal chords, but have some how devised their own language of grunts and pants that they can all understand perfectly. They touch each others biceps as they workout. It’s like their own special way of greeting each other. Perhaps that’s what men are doing now. Perhaps to be a real man, I need to walk up to men in the street and grab their muscles and say ”uuuugghh” and I will be in the club. That certainly wouldn’t be overtly homoerotic, would it?

Lomo: Another roll

August 9, 2010

Here is another selection of a roll of photography prints from my Diana Mini lomography camera, taken here in Aussie land.

I hate to say I told you so, but…..

August 5, 2010

“My eight-year-old ought to be able to work this out – you shouldn’t start slamming on the brakes when the economy is barely growing. If you do that you create more joblessness, you create heavier costs on the state, the deficit goes up even further and the pain with dealing with it is even greater. So it is completely irrational.”

– Nick Clegg, April 2010.

There is a small protest taking place at Hove Town Hall today, where David Cameron is speaking. The protest is over Government plans already set in place, to cut Government spending drastically this year. The ideological warfare lead by the Tories, and their tag along, principle-less friends in the Liberal Democrats is supposedly the result of the need to do something quick about the debt crises in the UK.

I’ve always wondered why Tory supporters suggest that National debt is a lot like personal debt. They suggest that if we run up a large debt, it’s best for us to pay it off straight the way and so therefore it is the same for Nations. It isn’t the same for Nations. It is completely different. It just happens to use the same word ‘debt’. To follow their logic through, we should do what the Coalition is doing and only spend money on bare essentials. Bread, the very cheapest and fewest clothes possible, shelter and water. Personal austerity. But, then wouldn’t that risk an even deeper recession as demand falls, jobs are lost, and businesses close? The government in one breath are telling us that National debt and personal debt are identical, yet in the next are telling us that whilst they cut spending, we should be encouraged to spend.

Now, putting aside the fact that there isn’t a debt crises, and putting aside that fact that only 20% of our debt matures in the next three years, and putting aside the fact that millions of people were dumb enough to believe the scare tactics employed, that voting Tory was some righteous move because they keep mentioning the words “omg debt!!!! Naughty Labour” despite the fact that those voters are somewhat economically illiterate to the problems that they personally would encounter under a Tory government. The same Tory government whose millionaire members kept spouting the same “we’re all in this together” nonsense, whilst refusing to answer what it is that will effect them the most from the spending cuts. When will ordinary people learn that voting Tory, is never going to benefit them.

Maybe now.

It has emerged today that the UK’s service sector, which is the key ingredient in our economy, stalled last month in its output. So much so, that growth in the sector, fell to a 13 month low. The vast majority of companies who were asked what has caused the stalling of growth, said that cancelled government projects, that were propping up their business, whilst recovery from recession was underway, were the cause of the stalled growth. The government projects, were all cancelled, by the Tory government. Consumer spending, which was strong in January, February and March under Labour, has now started to slow down massively, under the Tories.

Labour’s Ed Balls rightly says:

“These warnings show why it is so risky for the government to be cutting public sector contracts now when the recovery in Britain is so fragile and people around the world are worried about a double-dip recession. David Cameron is misguided and wrong to say the most urgent priority for Britain is to slash the deficit. The most urgent priority should be to secure Britain’s economic recovery by boosting jobs and growth.”

The chief economist for the surveying company, Markit said:

This has hugely increased the risks of a double-dip recession, perhaps even by the end of the year.

Julian Le Grand, professor of social policy at the London School of Economics, stressed recently that massive cuts risked a return to recession, and possibly worse than before. Economist Paul Krugman continues to argue against such swift cuts. David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England monetary policy committee says that we need more stimulus and more spending in the short term, and definitely not cuts. Nobel Prize Winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has said that more government investment in high return ventures like education and investing in infrastructure and promoting investment is the way to go, and that cutting spending risks a prolonged return to recession. The Tories, are wrong. Very very wrong.

Every day, Sky News would interview some irrelevant business man in an expensive suit, and spin it to appear that he knew exactly what he was talking about when he demanded spending cuts immediately. BBC News would do much the same. We’d keep hearing from the same type of people. Never from those who would suffer the most. And so the idea that any suffering would take place, was largely ignored, and the rose tinted business men specs were continuously worn, and presented as fact, that this was the only way. We’d see Willie Walsh of B.A tell the UK that the cabin crew on strike were threatening to destroy a great company, pretty much daily. Sky and BBC didn’t question it. They didn’t suggest that we were only ever hearing one side of the story. They’d then back in up, by interviewing a child at an airport trying to get home but couldn’t because of the strikes, crying on his own, and we’d all (when I say ‘we all’, I exclude myself from that, because i’m not an idiot) suddenly demonise the cabin crew as greedy and evil, yet Willie Walsh, the CEO who had brought BA to it’s knees, by forcing it to pay $25mn over a price fixing scandal and a further £121.5m in the UK by the Office of Fair Trading. Why weren’t we told that perhaps if management wasn’t so appalling, that 98% of the workforce wouldn’t have to agree to strike action?

We were then told, constantly by the Tories that they have to do this, because Labour have had thirteen years of creating a massive debt. We have not been told that in the first five years, the Labour Government reduced the debt by £34bn. The biggest debt reduction than any government accumulatively, over the past fifty years. Massive actually. Public spending then fell from 40% when the Tories were last in power, to 38.1% by 2001. In fact, the debt by 2005, had fallen from 44% of GDP to 34% of GDP. Spending only started to build, after recession hit, because there were suddenly no jobs, and because of the nature of the crash, spending was needed to protect homes and jobs. The Tories opposed it. Half the people who voted Tory, would have lost their jobs, and their homes, had the Tories been in power between 2007-2010. Contrary to the constantly projected bullshit, Labour had not spent 13 years wrecklessly spending. They had actually followed the Tories lead, and embraced Neoliberal economics.

We were then all told that we must cut public spending, because to attack the bankers who actually caused the mess, would mean the bankers would all leave the Country and go somewhere in which they could be as corrupt as they wished without being brought up on it. It’s like saying “Look, we know he’s a murderer, but he’s a good football player, so we wont tell the police, otherwise he’ll leave the club”. We are made to believe that the best thing for all of us, is to become servants to the financial sector. We do what we’re told, by business. It becomes our fault, that the economy is screwed. There is something fundamentally wrong with the entire system, and the philosophy behind it. The philosophy being, we are all self centred egotists who could not possibly be interested in advancing the public good and humanity in general, and we we should leave it to the private sector because the private sector appeals to our vanity. The philosophy is wrong. The philosophy is something that has been embedded into our minds consciously, not naturally.

The idea that we are taking away from the public sector, and giving to the private sector is sold to us, as an act of democracy. That democracy is linked to capitalism. It isn’t. Surely the opposite is true. We are taking power away from the democratically elected officials, who are accountable to the people who vote for them, and giving the power to unelected, self interested businessmen who we never see the faces of, let alone vote for. The political sphere may be in the hands of democracy, but the economic sphere is firmly in the hands of a new age nobility.

When the Tories spent half of the election campaign complaining that raising National Insurance was essentially a tax on jobs, they failed to point out to anyone that their ‘austerity’ measures would not just mean a massive loss of jobs in the public sector, but also, and as a direct result of the cuts, a massive loss of jobs in the Private sector. This is not in any way Labour’s fault. This is entirely the fault of the Tories. I can guarantee as the situation gets worse, which it will, the Tories will justify it constantly by telling us all that they had to do it because of Labour. The latest estimates that put unemployment up by a further 1.5 million by this time next year, which of course means consumer spending falling even further, is not the fault of Labour. Labour had a deficit reduction plan, that was careful and meant as few job losses as possible, and then when business started to pick up, the idea was that new revenue streams would open up and the deficit could be reduced slowly. The Tories plan, is an absolute disaster. Labour, it turns out, were right.

Spending, as a percentage of GDP was raised under Labour, as a result of the faults of Neoliberal/Tory policy across the World. As a result of mass deregulation of the banking sector primarily. That was Tory policy. They were wrong. The Tory idea that introducing a minimum wage would result in mass unemployment turned out to be false. With National Insurance, they were wrong. And now, with these new spending cuts, they are massively wrong. They said they would protect front line services. According to the Norfolk Firefighters, £1.5mn will be cut from front line fire services in Norfolk in 2010/11, these cuts include cuts to vital appliances, cutting employment of firefighters, and cutting coverage.

Let’s still not forget that whilst the major banking institutions that essentially caused the problems in the first place were licking their wounds, out of nowhere suddenly we were made to forget that aspect and start blaming public spending and Welfare programs for the problems we face. Public spending did not cause this problem, the private sector caused the problem, and now David Cameron is proposing that we should rely on the private sector to fix the Nation. Business cannot be trusted to do the right thing for the good of humanity, without regulation. Voting Tory, means voting away that regulation.

Over the next few months, we are likely to see just how much Labour did to prop up the economy, as the Tories continue to knock out the pillars that hold it up.

The problem Labour has now, is that they are still pandering to the Right. They keep mentioning a clear deficit reduction plan, as if there is no alternative. They keep suggesting cuts have to come. Blyth Valley Labour MP Ronnie Campbell noticed just how little a difference Labour offered in their dedication to needless public sector cuts, by saying:

We’ll cut your throat slowly, the others will cut your head off.

The UK has the fifth largest economy in the World, we are AAA rated credit wise, and the third largest reserve currency in the World. We are still able to spend £6bn replacing an out of date, out of touch nuclear deterrent, and almost £1bn subsidising the arms trade, yet the Con Lib Coalition insists that we need to cut spending to help people whilst jobs continually wither away. This is purely ideological, and it is dangerous. And we on the Left, were right.

The immortal man

August 3, 2010

I have been reading up on Hugh Everett’s interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, recently. A scientist named John Von Neumann predicted that possibilities are condensed down to one single point, at every level, as seen by us, humanity. Simplistically, what it means is for every decision we make, that is the only decision possible. Almost a hard determinist view of Quantum Mechanics. It is known as wavefunction collapse.

Everett however suggested otherwise; his theory has become known as the many Worlds theory, which states that for every choice, there is an infinite number of universes that presuppose you took a different choice. An infinite number. Meaning limitless. Now it’s easy to sit and say “Wow, that means there’s a universe where I didn’t read this blog entry”. It’s true. But look at the larger picture. It would mean that there exists universes in which the Nazis successfully invaded Britain; and universes in which we have evolved to a level that means Religion is unnecessary; and universes where Pharmaceutical companies and health insurance providers are not indirectly responsible for millions of preventable deaths; and universes in which the Feudal system never died; and universes in which Republican-American is a synonym for Oxygen-thief. Endless possibilities.

There is one aspect of the Many World Theory that strikes me as bewildering. If I go by the logic of Everett, and accept that I therefore exist in many different universes, and every choice I make is replicated but with both large and small tweaks depending on the universe, is it therefore logically impossible to kill oneself? But then, if it is logically impossible to kill oneself, it wouldn’t be impossible (obviously) for others to perceive that I had killed myself? Are you following? Here’s a scenario;

If I were to stand in a group of people, and hold a fully loaded gun to my head, according to Everett’s logic, the gun would never kill me. I would never die. I could keep pulling the trigger, but nothing would happen. I would keep existing in universes that the gun jammed, or the mechanism was broke. I would never know what it was like to die. I would be forever conscious. This presents a problem though, because with a fully loaded gun, if I pointed it at my head and pulled the trigger, there would be no jamming of the mechanism to others around me. They would perceive me as having just killed myself, the moment I pulled the trigger. To everyone else, I would be dead. To me, I would be alive. It is a similar idea to Schrödinger’s cat-in-a-box, in that I would be both alive and dead. In this universe, to everyone else, I would be dead. To me, I would never die. David Lewis, the late philosopher from the US, points out that if one were to try this particular experiment, one could end up in a universe in which the gun went off, but left you facially disfigured, or one in which you missed, and hit someone else. There are endless possibilities as to which universe you could find yourself in, relating entirely to the very second you pull that trigger. You wouldn’t find yourself in a universe entirely different to our own, the universe you found yourself in, would be identical to the one you just left in which everyone around you saw you kill yourself, yet the one you just entered would be different at the very point that the trigger was pulled.

To take that point to it’s reasonable conclusion, we must be able to say that using Everett’s logic, the first person is immortal, but the third is mortal. So, to me I am immortal. I am unable to die. Because there will always be a universe that I exist, and that will be the only universe that I am able to observe. But to you, I can die, because you are not existing in a universe that can prevent however it is I died, and you would still be conscious in the universe you exist. However, to you, you are immortal. Meaning, you would be both alive and dead at the same time. The many-Worlds theory proposed by Everett, directly implies immorality, because one can never stop existing.

Does an infinite number of universes also imply that there is at least one (and that’s an optimistic estimate) in which U2 are a good band?

My mind, is well and truly boggled.