Category: Ex Blog-City

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I’m sorry but really, I take flack when I say that I am yet to see if democracy is a concept that can work in practice when people start their usual chesnuts about communism and socialism. “It may not be much but it’s the best we’ve got” is often a retort, well bugger me for not being happy with 5th best! If you actually look at what is going on in the “civilised” western world now vast swathes of the populous have been totally disenfranchised by a combination of government and corporations. Democratic deficit, I mean if my bank account was that much in deficit they’d have sent the poxy bailiffs round!

America is a democratic mess, I mean if it were a country in Africa you’d have had the UN in to clean up the corruption and attempt to overhaul the ludicrous electoral system. To have a presidential election based on some arcane electoral college system is a farce. In Britain the “secret” ballot would have been publicly exposed as a lie and again the system would be overhauled. The same is true of many countries and I’m sure Italy, France and Germany can site equal examples. look at France -‘vote for the crook not the fascist’ was the slogan used by the Left at the last presidential election where those to the left were forced to vote for Chirac over the nationalist Jean-Marie Le Pen. In Italy Berlusconi has the sort of control of the media that would not be allowed in the developing world and would be seen, quite rightly, as a conflict of interest. And Bossi is just a local model not even close to parity with someone like Murdoch, yet his control of the media and politics has enabled him to evade corruption charges and practically block dissention. In Germany the Schroeder SPD government has modelled itself closely on Tony Blair’s New Labour and like here the upshot has been that those on the left have formed their own political party the WASG (Wahlalternativ -Arbeit und Soziale Gerechtigkeit)

In Britain we now have ‘Tough Liberalism’, ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ and New Labour -The Third Way’ if you can find the bloody difference between them then you deserve an honorary degree in Political Science. The trouble is that the ‘accepted premises’ are all the same this belief in weak parliamentary democracy, and what they call the ‘Free Market’ which is actually loose protectionism. I mean I’m no economist and I do not espouse the planned economy as such because I don’t really understand it but to me I guess the way it works is you decide what people are going to require for a defined period of time and you gamble on your forecast being correct, the trouble is if you are wrong you do not have the flexibility to do anything about it. Now correct me if I’m wrong but in the capitalist market lots of people speculate money based on a prediction of supply and demand, if the supply and demand change due to unforeseen circumstances they do not have the flexibility to adapt and they lose money. Hmmmmmm.

So with the British general election looming large on the horizon what should you do if you are even remotely left of centre? To my mind if you are in a constituency that has a Respect candidate then the position is clear, for whatever you may think of particular people within the party Respect remain by and large the only show in town for the left. There may be individual constituencies where there are socialist candidates or independents with a progressive left-wing agenda but I suspect many people will be faced with a ballot paper reading Labour, Conservative, Lib-Dem, UKIP and BNP. That to my mind already sums up what is wrong with this present form of democracy! If you are faced with precisely such a paper what should you do? I believe this falls into 2 categories, are you going to vote idealistically or pragmatically? If you are to follow the true democratic principle then you have but 2 choices you wither spoil your ballot in order to show that you are not apathetic but disenchanted and disenfranchised or you can vote for the party that best represents what you believe which is likely to be the Lib-Dems if it comes down to the 3 major parties. Your alternative is the less democratic but more pragmatic tactical vote whereby you vote to keep one side out. You may want to give the Labour government a kicking but it has to be said the Tories are worse so should you vote Labour to keep the Tories out? Not an easy decision I’ll grant you since the Labour party now is practically a mirror image of the Tory party in 1972.

The Baron’s Election Choice – Create your own None Of The Above box and tick it, the spoiled ballot option for me I’m afraid to express my disgust at the current state of British electoral politics. Suffice to say I do not have a Respect candidate in my constituency and the Labour incumbant is a strong supporter of the New Labour stance.

Song Of The Day ~ They Might Be Giants – Your Racist Friend

Original Comments:

Mark Ellott made this comment,
For the first time in my life, I will be voting tactically. I want the parliamentary majority reduced. The best way of doing that locally is to vote Tory (after which, I will know how Lady MacBeth felt). More Tory MPs will sufficiently reduce the Labour majority and – hopefully – give us a hung parliament. That means that the government will be forces into consensus with the opposition parties.
It really is time our system was overturned for a more representational process.

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[Redbaron responds – I can see where you’re coming from but I just can’t ever countenance a vote for that bunch of krypto-fascists. Thee problem is regardless of the reasons a large Tory vote, whilst bringing down the majority will also give the mandate that the current set of serious right-wing politics are ‘what the people want.’]

comment added :: 27th April 2005, 21:19 GMT+01
Katie made this comment,
Ok this is a very rare occasion that I can pass what I feel is a more educated opinion than yours on a matter like this but your comments on the economy are just plan wrong. That is the way that *all* economics works, it is not a political stance it is the basis of all economics as the concept that we understand it to be today. Secondly “you can vote for the party that best represents what you believe which is likely to be the Lib-Dems if it comes down to the 3 major parties”, how can you possibly assume your readers stance? I find that comment almost offensive. You went to the vote count or the Europeans didn’t you? I did the year before that and I have to say spoiling your ballot does not create any more of a protest than not voting. 2 people at most are likely to see it and they do not even announce the number of spoilt papers. At the end of the day you’re voting in the system we have now, not your ideal system. The vote for anyone who believes in playing an active part in a democracy has to be between Tory and Labour at this moment in time there is no other realistic choice. As for the idea of trying to achieve a hung parliament that is so ridiculously impractical that I can’t believe anyone would suggest it.
PS Sorry about the phone call last night x

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comment added :: 29th April 2005, 03:19 GMT+01
Red Baron made this comment,
OK Katie now I really have to take issue with this, so much so that I am having to use a new comment, and you now how rarely I do that.
Firstly, simply saying ‘I know best ‘cos I’m doing economics’ and then failing to illustrate exactly why my idea is wrong doesn’t seem an especially constructive critique. Show me why, after all this view that capitalist market economics is the only way is not shared by everyone, so why are we wrong? Why is Marx’s economic theory wrong? Please qualify your objection.

Secondly – I posed the question “what should you do if you are even remotely left of centre?” Now this question is an obvious opening gambit for what is going to be my opinion on the situation, it would be staggering were I to give anything else. My supposition that for those on the left the party “likely” to represent their views best out of the main 3 parties stands up to scrutiny, you do not even attempt to attack this point you simply accuse me of presumptuously expressing what I believe and assuming others believe the same, this is incorrect, I am advising what I believe and making a judgement based on that belief as to what I feel is right or left in this case!

Your dogmatic adherence to an out of date electoral system does you no credit and if you’ll forgive me for saying so it clouds your judgement. To say you have to put up with the system as it is now is reactionary claptrap. Were that the case then what would be the point in engaging in politics at all? At the moment the system makes a mockery of the term democracy and it has done for some time, blithely voting within the confines of what the status quo magnanimously allow you to do and expecting them to reform things from the inside is lunacy. To say it is either the Tories or Labour is the same old hackneyed argument that we have had pushed down our throats for decades and it leads me to a conclusion that the path must be one of two ways: Reform the system so that it is more accountable (this will not happen with either Labour or Conservative who both benefit from the current system) or change the fucking system. Personally I believe the reformation of the system from within is about as likely as me being next in line to the throne, so I propose the same thing for the system as I do for the throne, get rid of it and start again.

My recommendation for the spoilt ballot does not come fundamentally from a desire for that to be registered it comes from the strong conviction that I do not wish to give any of the current parties in my area a mandate to further their policies. However spoilt ballots are counted and are added into the final total, I believe this is a more powerful tool than staying at home and not voting and allowing the parties to blame it all on apathy. I am not apathetic about politics, far from it but I will not be press-ganged into voting for a party that acts in the interests of the corporate world and shafts the people it is supposed to be representing just because in 1945 the party actually stood for something.

As for you quick dismissal of the hung Parliament idea, for someone who is studying European politics as well as British, you would do well to look at other countries and what the necessity for coalition rule has done in their context. A hung Parliament whilst unlikely would within the current system be the ONLY way to have any electoral reform, that makes it a good thing and to be desired.

I’m afraid, Katie, like many of the other New Labour acolytes and Nomenklatura you are going to have to put up or shut up. You cannot be a supporter of the current Labour party and still hold any authority on a debate on progressive politics your credibility is too undermined. You may not wish to be a socialist, you may feel that a country run by politicians with vested interests and businesses is a good thing, if so then that is fine and you are in the right place, if not then you need to take a very good look at the party you support.

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comment added :: 29th April 2005, 11:19 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
God, what a mind. Beautiful rebuttal. Terribly sexy, too, if I may be so bold. And I am.

comment added :: 29th April 2005, 16:57 GMT+01
Katie made this comment,
Ooh you aren’t half in a strop today, I didn’t say because I study economics I know better. “in the capitalist market lots of people speculate money based on a prediction of supply and demand, if the supply and demand change due to unforeseen circumstances they do not have the flexibility to adapt and they lose money” is what I took issue with, it is not just in a capitalist market that people speculate money based on a prediction of supply and demand; in all markets people speculate money based on predictions for the future which are in turn based on economic modelling from past performance of any market.
We disagree on how best to work within the confines of the current system and that’s fair enough. You’re right I am in the right place. I won’t apologise for continuing to support labour, you know that I have wavered on this point for some time but in the last week I have felt increasingly certain that I am making the right choice. In fact I’ve just come back from a debate with the 8 candidates in my constituency, where my MP is actually Charles Clarke and do you know what he impressed me, to me he was in a different league to the other candidates.

You argue better than I do, I know that and you know that, so I’m not going to contest the rest of the content as we simply disagree on it and I don’t think you’re wrong per se.

By the way Kristie’s right your mind is very sexy, but you knew that already. Still up for that shag if it’s still on offer. Have a good weekend hon; you owe me for the 5 hours the other night BTW. xx

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comment added :: 29th April 2005, 21:21 GMT+01
Mark Ellott made this comment,
despite its obvious disadvantages, a hung parliament will put an abrupt end to the current roughshod ride that we currently have. Given our present system, a party that polled around 30 – 40 % of the vote (of those who were prepared to vote) gets to impose bad policy on all of us. Charles Kennedy was quite right – they are competing minorities. A hung parliament – or small majority government will force the largest party to negotiate with the opposition.It will also put an end to the obnoxious New Labour authoritarianism – of which your candidate is one of the chief proponents. This is the man that swept aside habeas corpus after 800 years – a man who derides the liberties my grandparents’ generation fought and died to preserve. A man who deserves to lose his seat at the election, but probably won’t.

Given our dreadful electoral system, a hung parliament is the best compromise we can hope for. As redbaron points out – a Lib Dem influence in such a situation might just remove the stranglehold that keeps us locked in the existing electoral system and force through a change.

I have been at the count (at the last two general elections). I agree that no one takes much notice of spoiled papers – which is why I won’t do that. A Lib Dem vote (which would be closest to my conscience) will be lost. If I’m to give Roger Berry a bloody nose (or better, a P45) it has to be a Tory vote. I’ll just have to live with the damned spot.

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comment added :: 30th April 2005, 11:24 GMT+01
JohnSherck made this comment,
Going back to a minor point in the OP:
But… but… I thought America was the model for democracy in the world! I mean, just ask most of us and we’ll tell you it’s true!

Granted, we can only maintain that belief through a very careful ignorance of the rest of the world (to say nothing about a profound ignorance about our own system).

Once one gets past that, though, I think it’s easy enough to see the flaws in our system. On the other hand, seeing the way from where we are to a better future… that’s a little more difficult.

BTW, thanks for a bit of insight into British politics with this post and the subsequent discussion!

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comment added :: 2nd May 2005, 02:04 GMT+01

About 18 months ago I received an email from a work colleague, I’d have described said colleague as populist in his politics, much as many would be, easily led by populist movements and particularly prey to the watered down notions of the far right. I was however disappointed to receive the email from him, albeit only in its forwarded form, I was equally disappointed to find the responses from other recipients were in support of the opinions expressed within. I thought in light of today being St George’s Day that the email and my original response merited revisiting.

I wrote my original response because the email had made my blood boil enough to feel compelled to do so. I enclosed it both for perusal, debate, feedback and consideration and also as a template for people to work with should they feel it were of any use.

I do not wish to portray this correspondence as representative of all of those who are fighting a cause for the recognition of the English flag. That is a very different struggle, albeit one regularly hijacked for the right-wing cause. This email is however neo-fascist populist rubbish of the worst kind, riddled with as many factual innaccuracies as it is emotive phrases, it perfectly sums up just why people are so apprehensive of the “English” lobby. Furthermore whether or not it did indeed appear in an English newspaper I do not know (though I have my doubts) but it is quite clearly a cut and paste job from an American message of similar style. That will become clear as you read it.

I do not expect those who may be the easy prey of such lunacy to be reading my pages, any of them who may have stumbled across here by mistake are unlikely to stay, and the people who I might normaly expect to converse with are like as not savy enough to see through the gaping flaws.

Happy St. George’s Day

Subject: Pass the word

After many cities not wanting to offend other cultures by putting up xmas lights.

After hearing that the Birmingham council changed its opinion and let a Muslim woman have her picture on her driver’s license with her face covered.

After hearing of a Primary School in Birmingham where a boy was told that for PE they could wear Football League shirts (Aston Villa,Birmingham, West Brom etc) but NOT an England shirt as it could offend others !

This prompted the editorial below written by a UK citizen. Published in a British tabloid newspaper.


IMMIGRANTS, NOT BRITON’S, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture.

Since the terrorist attacks on London, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Brits. However, the dust from the attacks has barely settled and the “politically correct” crowd begin complaining about the possibility that our patriotism is offending others.

I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Britain. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.

This idea of London being multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Britons, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle.This culture has been developed over centuries of wars, struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, Learn the language!

“In God We Trust” is our National Motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.

If St. George’s cross offends you, or you don’t like ” A Fair Go”, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY,OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great British freedom, “THE RIGHT TO LEAVE”.

If you aren’t happy here then f#@* off! We didn’t force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted. Pretty easy really, when you think about it.

I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers, lets all try, please. No matter how many times you receive it… please forward it to all you know.

My response was as follows:

Sorry no, got to disagree most vehemently on this one.

Firstly let me say I am not in favour of political correctness any more than I am in favour of racism. The decision to brush Christmas under the carpet is not one that has been taken in conjunction with any part of the Islamic, Jewish or Hindu communities, it is one based on ignorance and does no-one any credit. Most religious groups have no problem with Christians celebrating their festivals in the same way that I, as an Atheist do not, however the same respect should be paid to the other religious festivals as well. Perhaps if people were given information about festivals such as Diwali, Eid and Hanukah and the like there would be less suspicion and mistrust.

That being said the ‘editorial’ which I think would be better called an ill-informed diatribe is really quite objectionable and to leave it unquestioned would be wrong. It is interesting that it is claimed to be an editorial rather than a letter and the tabloid newspaper is not named (I have my suspicions)

The idea that Britons do not need to adapt is idiotic, for a culture that is based so fundamentally and completely on the influx of external cultural forces, the stifling of continued evolution would be isolationist nonsense. What is it that these people define as British/English? Is it the language which stems largely from a 12th century Middle High German stem with a 65% Franco-Latin vocabulary? Is it perhaps the people who since the Celts came over before Christ have been followed by the Romans from modern Italy (though Roman legionaries could be from across the empire), the Jutes from modern Denmark, the Angles and the Saxons from modern Central Germany, the Vikings from Scandinavia, the Normans who came from France but originally stem from Scandinavia? Or is it the flag, one depicting the ensign of a half-Turkish, half-Palestinian man, most famous for a deed that never happened and who neither ever spoke nor even ever visited England. Or perhaps the royal family the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas a name so quintessentially Germanic in origin they decided that Windsor was perhaps a little less contentious and didn’t make them come across as the Kaiser.

Let us also not forget that through many wars across many centuries Britain was the aggressor and not the defender, the mess in Ireland, Palestine and Iraq are all a direct result of British foreign policy, some things never change eh?

Many of the people who come to Britain seeking a better life are ones who come in the belief that Britain is the motherland having had this sort of thing rammed down their throats for decades by an imperial education system. Others come because the Western world has raped and pillaged resources from their countries to prop up our own opulence at their expense, to deny them the right to come here to is morally indefensible and to simply dismiss them as economic migrants is to abdicate responsibility entirely. If you don’t want people to come here then help sort out the f*cking mess in their countries and perhaps the prospect of leaving everything you have in the grinding poverty of your homeland and schlepping across countries in search of a better life may look less appealing.

If many of these people stay in their ethnic group upon arrival perhaps this is because faced with a foreign country and seemingly hostile people it is a natural phenomenon to stick together, hence Jewish, Irish, Italian quarters around the place and Chinatown etc. The onus is not just on them to attempt to understand the culture into which they are coming but on YOU to understand the culture whence they came. Don’t say integration if what you mean is annexation, if you don’t understand the terms properly then take 2 historical examples, the first is how Indian culture and English culture has mixed, the second is how Nazi Germany superimposed it’s culture on Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1938-9.

You do not want a citizenship test, after all by and large the British know f*ck all of their own history and even less of anyone else’s, surpassed in ignorance perhaps only by their American cousins, if a citizenship test is brought in you’ll all get embarrassed down the pub when you can’t answer any of the questions.

Just because some of us born here neither like it nor feel British does not mean we have to f*** off, it is more courageous to stay and fight for a better place free from the sort of neolithic bigotry we see in this ‘editorial’ than to sod off like a bunch of whingeing ex-pats and attempt to create a little England in someone else’s country. Funny that the British seem to still feel they have a God-given right to gallivant off wherever they choose and expect to be able to get cornflakes and shout loudly at barmen and waiters in an effort to get themselves understood and yet they cannot understand why anyone should do it here. The British are regarded as one of the worst races for learning any other languages and are already years behind continental Europe in the teaching of languages in schools. “Yeah, but everyone speaks English dun’they?” ‘Cos let me tell you that attitude goes a long way in World Commerce.

“In God We Trust” is an interesting one, I was never aware of it being this country’s motto, but I am aware of it being on every banknote of the United States of America and perhaps this in itself is as much illumination as we need as to the opinions of the original writer of the piece. It is ironic that the biggest danger to British culture, the covert erosion by a culture that does have the same language, goes largely unnoticed. Christian men and women did not found this nation it existed long before that and only converted to Christianity after St. Augustine came to Britain under the envoy of Pope Gregory the Great in 597. To deny the existence of Britons before this date is the same as pretending that Australia didn’t exist before the 1790s and that there was no America before the Pilgrim Fathers. It is historical revisionism of the worst kind and frankly is neo-populist bullshit that people should expose more often.

If YOU the originator of this editorial want a country devoid of anything non-British then you should immediately stop eating chinese, indian, italian, french, thai or vietnamese food. No late night kebabs or pizza. You should stop drinking lager (German) whiskey (pre-christian celtic), Brandy (Dutch), Vodka (Russian) etc. You should not use words like sugar (originally Sanskrit, through Arabic to Latin to French), no more RSVP and deja-vu and you’ll finally have to find your own word for entrepreneur. Oh and stop using the current number system which is Arabic, stop using the current calender, it’s not called Gregorian for nothing, it’s a Catholic calendar from Italy. The days of the week are going to be a little bland as well as are the months of the year though you might still be able to use April, May and June.

Or do you just want to have your Gateaux and eat it you ignorant Scheisse?

-Please feel free to pass this around to anyone you feel may have been taken in by the original claptrap outlined in the editorial. Eventually perhaps it might illicit a response, but I won’t hold my breath, after all response comes from respondre which is French so perhaps I’ll be a victim of my own success! You can choose to leave my name on it if you wish but since the original writer saw fit to hide behind anonymity I do not see why I should not be able to do the same.

If anyone does receive such a mail it is, in my opinion, vital that you do not simply shrug it off but respond with feeling. Whilst many of us realise that this sort of argument outlined in the mail is ignorant rantings there are many others who will not apply the same level of critque to such a thing and it is therefore essential that the myths contained within are publically exploded. The sort of right-wing fervour that we have seen born out of the inner city areas that were once traditional left-wing supporters existed because of ignorance and the singular lack of the political establishment to interact with anyone who does not tow the neo-liberal or neo-conservative line. Such ignorance and the failure of society to provide proper education for all has been harvested by the far-right who have become cleverer than their previous simpleton skinhead bovva-boy image. Let’s not forget that the Nazis have a strong historical precedent for stregth in propaganda. One of the principle reasons it worked so well in Germany in the 1930s was because of the lack of coherent united opposition to condemn it and refute the arguments offered. This cannot be allowed to happen again. The parallels with the German political system in the Weimar Republic can be easily drawn, lack of unity on the left and a series of right-wing laws enacted by a populist head of state leading to the potential for seizure of emergency powers and the easy repression of sections of people by existing legislation.

Some people may think it far fetched but it is a period of history I have studied a fair bit from the German perspective and I know well the methodology and circumstance that led to 1933 and I can see areas that make me want to be damn sure that we are not in the fateful trap of failing to bear in mind that they that do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.

Song Of The Day ~ The Men They Couldn’t Hang – Hell Or England

I have been a Blog-City resident for 3 years and I have enjoyed my time. Being a Mac user I’ve always perhaps been in the slightly less fashionable suburb, the buses don’t run quite as often and the supermarket is a Morrisons rather than a Waitrose! But hey I’m no nouveau riche fecker, I liked my place and felt at home, there has of late tho’ been considerable moving afoot and the suburb has been taken over by developers with their idea for shiny tower blocks and leisure centres. I have no intrinsic problem with their particular plans but they are going to obstruct my view and and all the works will probably make my ramshackle house fall down, so I have decided to uproot to a new home where I am led to believe we fuddy-duddy residents with our Mac and Apple Safari decorated houses are still both welcome and part of future development.

I am not going to shit in my former nest that is not the intention of this post, I have had a lot of help and support from the Blog-City staff and I hope I’ve been able to give something back. If it were it only that Safari is not part of the plans I would probably have bitten the bullet and stayed and switched to Firefox or at least tried to mess around with the debug to spoof the user agent a little more to masquerade as Firefox within Safari, but losing the free blog as well and the custom portlets meant I was going to have to pay to effectively start again, and firstly I can’t at present guarantee to use the facility enough to justify the outlay and secondly if I’m going to start again I might just as well do it for free. I’ve met many good bloggers here, had some good discussions and some vitriolic moments and that’s the way it should be.

I am under no illusions, to leave a site that has been going for over 3 years, acheived around 450,000 hits and 1450+ comments not to mention being linked to by many kindly souls is a risky move after all that linking may yield but one new person a month but that’s a person that may comment which may in turn lead to sparking me off on something, thus I may return to consderably more obscurity. But perhaps that may get me back to what I was actually here to do and focus my attentions on the writing and the activism.

I hope you’ll update your bookmarks, my thanks to the 12 people still on my mailing list, your presence has always been something of a beacon to tell me that are those out there that are still interested in what I have to say. That is immensely rewarding and motivating, even if it has not always manifested itself into actual entries.

I have gone to WordPress because of its good reports in the Mac tests and it means I can be reactionary and stick with Safari! I recognise that my ability therewith to influence things in terms of the actual blog direction is gone, but, in truth I no longer really have time for that, work is getting consistently more and more busy and it’s all I can do to keep the bloody writing going.

For those who wish to come with me you will find the new place HERE. I haven’t transfered the entries over I’ve no idea if it’s possible but my blog backup doesn’t seem to work anyway, but I am in the process of coying and pasting and keeping everything for my own archive, I appreciate the time many of you have taken in leaving comments and I’d like to save them, just as I’d like to save all the writing I did.

I will, in time get used to the new place, I want blogging to remain very much part of life the way it used to be 3 years ago when I wrote regularly and extensively. I’ve got Big John just along the hall and he looks in now and again to check how the decorating is going, and I’ll still make it my life’s work to coax Comrade Sunshine out of self-imposed hermitage!

Song Of The Day ~The Doors – The End

Original Comments:

kevin g made this comment,
I have to admit, it’s good seeing you back in action, but I wish I was mentioned somewhere, as I’ve subscribed to your blog for months, though I waited with baited breath for new entries!
I wish you the best of luck, where ever you go, and will make sure to keep checking out your new entries!

A Door’s connection, listening to “Lips Like Sugar” by Echo & The Bunnymen, and Ray Manzarek appeared on this, and they also did a cover of “Soul Kitchen!”

comment added :: 11th April 2007, 01:00 GMT+01 ::

I’ve seen the Tony Blair – War (What Is It Good For?) video. It’s all very well, but should have left Edwin Starr on there. Alternatively if you want a proper war song that sums up the times look no further:

They’re 5 miles high
As the crow flies
Leavin’ vapour trails
Across a blood red sky
Movin’ in from the East
Towards the West
With balaclava helmets
Over their heads

But if you think that Jesus Christ is coming
Honey, you’ve got another thing coming
If he ever finds out who’s hijacked his name
He’ll cut out his heart and turn in his grave

Islam is rising
The Christians mobilising
The world is on it’s elbows and knees
It’s forgotten the message
And worships the creeds

“It’s War” she cried
“It’s War” she cried
“This is War!”
Drop your possessions
All you simple folk
You will fight them on the beaches
in your underclothes
You will thank the good lord
For raising the Union Jack
You’ll watch the ships sail out of harbour
And the bodies come floating back
Watch the ships sail out of harbour
And the bodies come floating back

If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
He’d be gunned down cold by the C.I.A.
Oh, the lights that now burn brightest
Behind stained glass
Will cast the darkest shadows
Upon the human heart
But God didn’t build himself that throne
God doesn’t live in Israel or Rome
God doesn’t belong to the Yankee dollar
God doesn’t plant the bombs for Hezbollah
God doesn’t even go to church
And God won’t send us down to Allah to burn
God will remind us what we already know
That the human race is about to reap what it’s sown

Islam is rising
The Christians mobilising
The world is on it’s elbows and knees
It’s forgotten the message
And worships the creeds
The world is on it’s elbows and knees
It’s forgotten the message
And worships the creeds

Armageddon days are here again
Armageddon days are here again
Armageddon days are here again
Armageddon Days Are HERE!!!

-Matt Johnson (Written in 1989 and showing a prescience of the times to come in the immediate short-term as well as further down the line)

Song Of The Day ~The The – Armageddon Days Are Here Again or Sweet Bird Of Truth

Original Comments:

kevin g made this comment,
Can’t go wrong with The The, it’s too bad that the song may never lose it’s relevance! Glad to see you’re back!
comment added :: 28th February 2007, 20:17 GMT+01 ::

Sadly since I have not been around very much since last year and only just getting back into every now and again dropping in to read someone’s entries. A lot has changed in the time that I have been gone but nothing more final and saddening than the loss of our mate Cass. Cass Brown was a top fella and he kept us hoping and laughing for many a day, his physical presence and updates of humour and joie de vivre will be sorely missed in a world that seems to have forgotten how to enjoy life for the simple yet important things. But his legacy lives on in all those who came into contact with him and his writing, and we were indeed privileged that he chose to share a little of his time with us. The world is a poorer place without him, but the lives of those of us who knew him can only have been enriched by the experience.

I had a couple for you mate I hope you approve. The sadness will pass and the laughs will remain. Cheers mate, and I’ll still plug your book here!

Song Of The Day ~ Julian Lennon – Much Too Late For Goodbyes

Original Comments:

Natalie made this comment,
My feelings exactly about the loss of Cass Brown. Somehow I thought he would survive all that the killer disease threw at him and I’m sure he’s still laughing about it somewhere. I’ve looked in on you now and then, Red B, but am glad to see you back. Hope you’ll be over to see Blaugustine again and btw, the strip is now a book. Yes!
comment added :: 26th January 2007, 15:48 GMT+01
kevin g made this comment,
Thanks for posting the link, I’d never heard of him before, but the book sounds interesting, and you seem to have been affected by him.
Listening to “Long Cold Day” from Fish, from 2001’s “Fellini Days.” Seems to fit the mood, great guitar riff. Like you, I’ve been stumbling ’round in the dark for a while, and haven’t been posting either.

comment added :: 27th January 2007, 03:50 GMT+01 ::
sarah made this comment,
i’m really glad you’re back – i was so happy to see a comment by you AND a couple of new posts here.
and i’m sorry about your friend.

comment added :: 28th January 2007, 11:42 GMT+01
Haddock made this comment,
The passing of Cass was indeed a sad event. He will be sorely missed, but his humour and book will live on.
comment added :: 31st January 2007, 23:43 GMT+01 ::
cynica made this comment,
hey there baron. new year, old mates.
sorry about chas. he will be missed

comment added :: 14th February 2007, 13:28 GMT+01
kevin g made this comment,
Just checking back to see how you’re doing?
comment added :: 14th February 2007, 21:27 GMT+01 ::
haywood made this comment,
Baron very sad about Cass, but the words will echo.
Let’s Blog again pal, let’s bring back the Leftist.

you were right about Nader.

comment added :: 17th February 2007, 02:26 GMT+01 ::
moog made this comment,
I miss him. I remember reading his first post…that was a very long time ago… at least he saw the bright side of life.
comment added :: 24th February 2007, 13:57 GMT+01
Desolees made this comment,
Baron Sorry to hear about your depression troubles. It explains a lot. But secrecy is not always the best policy. Off topic, here, I know, but wanted to make sure you see it.
comment added :: 26th February 2007, 15:23 GMT+01

Obviously any pictorial pomp and ceremony is somewhat stymied by the loss of the pictures file server. The lack of any written fireworks I’m afraid is entirely my jurisdiction. However my blog is 3 years old today. I written 502 entries, most of which have seen the light of day. Thanks for those who stick with it and comment where appropriate, I do appreciate it and it does spur me into action. Thirteen of you hardy souls even retain your place on the mailing list, mad mad fools that you are, there’s a drink in it one day for you!

I have tried to write something more comprehensive because there are things out there that I need to say and in time I will do so, Saddam’s execution has not passed me by, neither has the failure of the US and UK government to even offer a coherent strategy on Iraq. There’s a lot out there, I leave it in your hands for the moment, lambast it well until such time as my bile returns with a vengeance.

Song Of The Day ~ The Smiths – Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

Original Comments:

Lynne made this comment,
Happy BlogBurp you 😉
comment added :: 19th January 2007, 02:23 GMT+01
durruti made this comment,
Belated congrats Mr. Baron, here’s to many more 😉
comment added :: 11th February 2007, 16:54 GMT+01 ::
Rosie made this comment,
These comments have been invaluable to me as is this whole site. I thank you for your comment.
comment added :: 7th May 2007, 10:17 GMT+01 ::

Festive Greetings

I hope everyone’s had a good day. Mine has been somewhat up and down which is rather endemic of the year really

Hello my name is Red Baron and I am a depressive.

I have in the last year or so sought to differentiate between the political and the personal. I enjoyed posting political vitriol here and enjoyed the interaction with others within that framework. Some time ago I found somewhere a little more anonymous to vent the personal. This was undoubtedly due to the shame of who I was when things are not going well and that is not easy to say least of all so publicly.

I was not going to post this sort of stuff here any more, but upon serious reflection I think it would be a disservice to many others that may suffer from similar things to me not to mention that it provides a false impression of who I am. Mental health is really the last great taboo, it’s the one thing you don’t talk about, cover it up behind closed doors and then re-emerge some day or two or five later when all is sunshine again. Except of course it is rarely sunshine again, not properly. So to blog somewhere else for the catharsis I gain from writing but somewhere that isn’t here is just the behind closed doors in a different way.

The principle reason why I haven’t been blogging recently is that I haven’t been able to write at all. After the crap of the first part of this year I was not having an especially good time of things and mentally I wasn’t really coping very well. I genuinely thought for a moment that this might be the one I don’t come out of it seemed to affect every fibre of my being and prevented me enjoying anything, literally life was devoid of pleasure. So I bit the bullet and went to the docs and was put on the happy pills. I have resisted this before but to be honest I wasn’t sure what the alternative was so it seemed an idea to give it a go. The side effects were savage and one of the things I lost was the passion and fire that made me write in addition to the impromptu teariness, panic attacks, raging paranoia and borderline agoraphobia. Under normal circumstances when minded to write it comes fairly naturally and doesn’t take much time I find that when I’ve finished I barely know I’ve done anything, it doesn’t take thought, calculation it just comes. In contrast, on the rare occasions recently I have written anything, it has been in the last couple of days and it is like having to pull every word out of a stone, it is kind of all there but it isn’t coming out without a fight, it’s a battle and every sentence, every paragraph has to be mulled over .

I have been on the medication for 3 months now and it has been something of a rollercoaster, unfortunately without wishing to appear to indulge in hyperbole it has been a rollercoaster that goes down with very little up. Usually with my depression I would see it coming, get what I used to call fuzzy head syndrome and shortly after I got the first signs I would have a period of productivity for a day or so and that is when I would get much of my writing done. Since going on the meds I have lost my early warning system and my period of activity, however the downsides have not gone away, so it has been like losing what little good parts there were with nothing in exchange.

This is not a grandstanding issue, I am looking neither for sympathy nor plaudits, it is merely a piece of information which may prove useful to the reader in assessing my subjectivity. I always stated that it was important to know a writer’s angle because there is no such thing as objectivity only different forms of subjectivity, and this is fine provided you know where the writer’s bias comes from. This allows the reader to make up their mind based on multiple sources rather than be indoctrinated by one source purporting to be an absolute truth, there is rarely, if ever, such a thing.

I am aware of the risks of putting this out there, there may well be people that know me who either think there is some agenda behind it or that I have somehow changed, far from changing this is in fact me merely accepting who I have always been. I do a good job of hiding it in the real world because it is not the sort of thing you want everyone to know but I do not see why I should have to here. You find out who your friends are when the shit hits the fan, I do not blame those that run per se, but they will have their own reasons maybe valid maybe not but it is of little use to me either way. Sometimes you need people to just keep pluging away and give you love unconditionally and occasionally kick you up the arse in a way you know is only because they care. I am lucky that I have more than just one person who has done that and whilst I am not going to name and fame because it would serve no purpose, I know who they are and that is what matters. As for other people in the online world that have sent little things now and again, the odd hello, or how are you doing, however insignificant it may have appeared it is always registered and appreciated, sometimes whilst you languish, you don’t want to feel alone even if you feel powerless or too wretched to communicate that.

I remember a joke which said 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness of some description so look around your 3 best mates, if they all seem fine then you’re the nutter!

So this really is me warts and all, a paranoid depressive with a view of myself in the world that ranges from me being the second coming of Marx to be worth no more than a mollusc and only half as intelligent. I like the cut of my own jib too much in the good times not to be back here writing again, all being well it will be soon and when I do stand well back I’m going to have some serious bile!

Song Of The Day ~ Muse – Knights Of Cydonia

Original Comments:

John made this comment,
Looking forward to it mate.
comment added :: 7th December 2006, 17:26 GMT+01 ::
kevin g made this comment,
This is your forum, so what you posted, belongs here. I felt like I was reading the narrative to my life at the moment. And I know where you’re coming from, as far as the “pills” taking the edge off your perception. You’re doing so much, your page is active, and you are active. Me, I’m just sittin’ here reading, also on “happy pills” that have started to wear off, and feeling that I’m being lazy, as I haven’t posted any entries on my page, for December. And thanks again for introducing me to Pandora. Now playing “The Twilight Hour” from The The. Appreciated your honesty, and I know I’m stranger to you, but I appreciate what you do. Apologies for the ramble.
comment added :: 12th December 2006, 03:38 GMT+01
moog made this comment,
i hope that you are ok mate.i know i havent really been around much, but i do think of you. im in the gang too. ive been in the gang since i was about 14. its a fun place isnt it? 🙂 if you need a chat or anything, email me or call me.xx
comment added :: 17th December 2006, 15:33 GMT+01
Haddock made this comment,
I think its probably more than 1 in 4 have mental health issues. I myself take St John Wort in the winter to ease my winter blues and I must admit it does take the edge of my personality. But it does keep me calmer in the winter months. Hope you find the up part of the rollercoaster soon and hope to see some posts from you soon. Take care.
comment added :: 17th December 2006, 23:45 GMT+01 ::
Lynne made this comment,
Hello you 🙂 I’m back, after much ado with modems and life and all that annoying crap.
Sorry you’ve had such a rough time. Working in MH I hear a lot of this sort of thing, so I think I sometimes forget how difficult it can be to “come out” as it were and say “I’m struggling.” Anyhow, good on you – this is your blog, and you shouldn’t have to lurk about elsewhere. (((RB)))

Will get round to blogging soon L x

comment added :: 23rd December 2006, 00:33 GMT+01 ::
donna made this comment,
Elo so glad your back writing i know how youve struggled of late. I also know what a brave step you have taken writing that so well done proper proud of you!!!!!
comment added :: 29th December 2006, 19:48 GMT+01

<img src=’tcd_1_rp.jpg‘>

I know such an absence is rare even by my lazy standards, there are a multitude of reasons for this, many of which hopefully will recede allowing the expediting of further entries come December. It’s a long and for the most part tedious story! However for the benefit of those who may have feared as well as those who hoped I may have gone, reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated!

Song Of The Day ~ Delays – Long Time Coming

Original Comments:

kevin g made this comment,
Glad to see you’re alive and well. Look forward to your epic story of how you got back here. A fan from NYC!
comment added :: 24th November 2006, 15:22 GMT+01
Maria made this comment,
been reading you fon a long time, and don’t care how long it takes for you to do it.

comment added :: 25th November 2006, 02:55 GMT+01

I read Inigo Wilson’s Lefty Lexicon and the subsequent discussion. I cannot say I found it riveting, or amusing or even contraversial. it seemed rather like the sort of conversation I would expect a reminiscing group of old-Etonians to have. Wilson, a Community Affairs Manager for UK telcoms company Orange showed a rather bigotted sense of humour, he clearly likes the sound of his own voice, or in this case the look of his own words and the conservative acolytes leaving comments sounded more like Beavis and Butthead discussing global politics than a sharply satirical swipe at all things leftist. It became quite clear to me that Wilson doesn’t actually seem to have much of a grasp as to what leftist really is. The one piece of amusement that there was pertained to the fact that he has since been suspended from his job pending an investigation. There has been an outcry from many regarding Wilson’s right to say what he wants without censure and even many of the liberals have cited Voltaire etc. However I think the most pertinent fact is that Wilson has shown a complete lack of compentence for his job and whilst one could cast aspertions as to the interview process that didn’t weed him out in the process as an Orange customer I have to feel that perhaps now a better qualified individual may be appointed as a result of Wilson’s removal.

I decided to write my own lexicon a Tory Terminology if you will, to see whether it was, as in the case of Inigo Wilson’s an exercise that sucks all the humour out of the writer. I shall leave you to be the judge of whether it is or not.

  • A – Americawhat we want to turn this country into; Adam Smitheconomist, wrote lots of stuff which backs up anything we do; AnarchySystem where the unwashed black-clad teenagers and unemployed take over.
  • B – Back To BasicsConservative Party BDSM study group; BritishUnambiguous, non-hybrid, nationality and identity.
  • C – Corporate responsibilityHair-brained lefty scheme designed to make companies less efficient by worrying about ethics rather than profits.
  • D – DemocracyNecessary evil by which ‘our people’ can continue to govern whilst giving the semblence of choice to the great unwashed.
  • E – Euroscepticismour parents and grandparents fought wars against Johnny Foreigner you know; ElitismI get to take first because I was born in a big house, then it’s Hastings-Prosser because he comes from a posh family, you can have your turn later because you were born in a council flat; EmpireThe good old days of the ‘We Rule It’ map of the world.
  • F – FascismLabel we’re always tarred with, which can’t be true because that Hitler chappy led the National Socialist German Workers Party so clearly they were all a bunch of sausage-munching socialist peasants and foreign to boot; Futures market Method of economic speculation on things that haven’t happened yet based on known factors and predictions, and nothing like a planned economy at all; Flat TaxA taxation system whereby everyone pays the same amount regardless of earning, sounds vaguely familiar; Free MarketSystem by which we are free to impose whatever import tariffs we like on our market in order to prevent foreign goods from competing with our own producers;
  • G – Green IssuesPollution, what pollution? Look I use unleaded fuel in my BMW X5 you know; St. George Patron saint of England, born in Godalming, Surrey; GreedIntegral part of human nature and the reason Communism can never work.
  • H – Human Rightsa left-wing conspiracy designed purely to allow proles to sue their betters.
  • I – Individualismforcing people to go against humans group mentality to work against rather than with each other. IslamophobicA perfectly rational mistrust of a group of darkies and towelheads who believe in a God with a principle prophet and gather together in buildings and sing and chant stuff from their holy book, I mean have you ever heard anything like it? Immigrationmeans by which foreigners decide they’re bored in their own country so they’ll come to abuse our welfare system because we are a soft touch.
  • J – JerusalemCity built in England’s green and pleasant land believed to have been somewhere near Basingstoke though the exact location archaeologists haven’t discovered yet, gave it’s name to a city in the Middle East.
  • K – Karl MarxBearded Victorian era buffoon always quoted by lefties whose writings none of us Tories have actually read, because he was a Kraut and the books have big words in them;
  • L – Left-Wingany political theory not to the right of Thatcherism
  • M – Multi-Culturalisma deliberate attempt to subvert our glorious British culture with foreign influences, we don’t need foreign influences, we call an entrepreneur and entrepreneur and have our own cuisine like Chicken Tikka Masala. If you want to come over here then you fit in and accept our culture like the Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Normans did.
  • N – NHSA drain on the funds of people who have BUPA and don’t need public healthcare anyway; National Service Bring it back, didn’t do any of us any harm, the occasional forced buggery is character-building stuff, and mandatory for the Navy;
  • O – ‘On your bike’ what do you mean you don’t have the same opportunities? Oilmmm, lovely oil; Old School TieThe method by which through no individual merit we can get jobs with other alumni from our alma mater.
  • P – PrivatisationSplendid scheme by which we sell things that people already own back to them at a huge profit and make them pay even more for the service thereafter; Poll TaxSystem by which everyone is charged the same amount regardless of services received and ability to pay, not to be openly supported again until we can come up with a name for it that doesn’t hark back to Mrs T. (See also ‘Flat Tax.’)
  • Q – QuangosA way for disgraced party members or friends and family to have a nice little earner without doing any work.
  • R – Renewable EnergyLeftist plot to deprive philanthropic oil companies of their profits RacismUsed against us spurriously, we have nothing against Johnny Foreigner provided he stays in his own country and doesn’t come here and take our jobs and women.
  • S – Special Relationship – The conservative policy whereby whoever is in charge sticks their head so far up the US Premier’s posterier as to have brown shoulder blades let alone nose; South AfricaA country whose economy was performing perfectly well until the status quo was changed due to some politically-correct leftist cabal; Social CohesionHas the word social in it, like socialism so it can’t be a good thing can it?
  • T – Terroristalready defined by George W. Bush, anyone who doesn’t agree with our Western neo-conservative right to control their country; TaxConspiracy by which money is taken from good people to pay for foreigners to have houses and nice jobs and free healthcare.
  • U – UNOrganisation mostly of foreigners that doesn’t always have a Pro-US stance and therefore must be Communist; USSRCommunist state monolith that all lefties aspire to create only serving to prove that the leftie system doesn’t work.
  • V – VictorianThe golden age when we ruled the world and only had one other political party to contend with and they were almost as right-wing as us… wait a minute…!
  • W – Workerslarge number of people who speak with some unintelligible dialect that because it isn’t received pronunciation we won’t bother listening to; Welfare StateMeans by which the bone ideal avoid doing any work.
  • X – Ideas on a postcard please
  • Y – YTSWaste of money, spell in the army would do them good.
  • Z – SeeX

Song Of The Day ~ U2 – In God’s Country

Original Comments:

Danny the Infidel made this comment,
Well, Kamrat Baron. Not everyone can be as Red, Radical and purely Revolutenary as you. Somr of us, including Mr Inigo Wilson, surely are not as a great proleteriat poet as you.

comment added :: 9th September 2006, 20:12 GMT+01
ComradeDave made this comment,
Do you mind if I use this for the Carnival of Socialism #9? I found it highly entertaining!
-Comrade Dave

comment added :: 24th September 2006, 22:50 GMT+01 ::
Rachel made this comment,
Miss you. Hoping my computer will let me post this comment…
comment added :: 3rd October 2006, 00:23 GMT+01
Ozair made this comment,
Are you the same red baron on fm89!? then again i dont think you are… 🙂
comment added :: 8th October 2006, 18:14 GMT+01
Jimmy Sunshine made this comment,
Long time no see fella, all ok in the people’s republic of putney?
comment added :: 16th November 2006, 11:29 GMT+01