Category: Politics Blogs


My hiatus meant that significant and generation changing matters such as Brexit in the UK and the election and defeat of Donald Trump in the US and it might reasonably be assumed I have an opinion on these matters!  I conflate the two things for good reason because I see them as coming from much the same area of ourselves and our societies.

The idea of debunking certain long-held tenets is not in itself a bad thing, in fact often quite the contrary, from such little acorns so the oak trees that can topple repressive regimes might grow.  The difficulty here is that for me to point out where the problem comes is in itself marking out a perhaps slightly patrician way of looking at the world and people in it.  The reason being that I see the movements that have led to both Trump and Brexit as being manipulation of the disenfranchised for the good of an already elite few rather than for the amelioration of the people actually being mobilised on the streets around these ideals.  I’m not saying that Brexit and Trump did not garner huge swathes of popular support, they undoubtedly have done, in a way almost unprecedented in modern times because in both case they have almost split the population of a significant Western country in binary opposition to one another. I would also not want to make out that I do not think the people in their anger and frustration do not have many reasons for feeling so, had they not they would have been impossible to galvanise into such a force.  The working classes of both Britain and the US have been left behind for so long that the gap widening between richer and poorer is entrenched in the system from top to bottom.  What worries me is that they should listen to people who have so obviously benefitted from the system as it stands as being the ones who will lead them from its darkness.

Whilst I am not one for national politics and consider myself both Irish and European I was not intrinsically against Britain leaving the European Union as part of a move to decentralise power and move it to a more local basis, that as a principle is something I can see might have merit, I would have been very interested to discuss certain aspects of how it would mechanically work but I would not be opposed to exploring the principle.  The Left in fact have long since had a fairly antagonistic relationship with the EU as an organ.  I was however considerably more opposed to the Brexit voted for in 2016 because this was so clearly not about a localisation of power but a recentralisation in a different centre that was itself less accountable, namely the British Establishment.  The protagonists claiming to want sovereignty back soon revealed their true colours when the national legal sovereignty flexed its muscles as the Supreme Court ruled certain actions, such as the prorogation of Parliament to have been unlawful, at this point the vitriol was so severe that the judges were in fact branded traitors by the Murdoch media.  These commentators and politicians clearly did not want the British people to have greater power they wanted themselves and their cronies to have greater power over the British people and the ability to make unfettered profits at their expense.  Murdoch himself coined it when he said that ‘When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice.’ (He has since denied it and claimed he has never asked a Prime Minister to do anything but his denial came later and at a specific time he was looking for approval from politicians on a Sky News takeover so one could be forgiven for cynicism here).  To me Murdoch’s opposition to the EU was one of the great feathers in its cap but his papers and that of the Daily Mail’s campaigning over 40 years to influence the British public is one of the most disgraceful pieces of sustained misinformation of the modern era such was its breath, lack of substance and its mendaciousness. 

I understand to a degree why Americans en masse voted for Trump, there was precedent here long before Brexit, Boris Johnson indeed garnered many non-traditional supporters when he stood for mayor of London, people buying into the bumbling buffoon act he so often puts on much in the same way people have bought into Trump’s facade of successful businessman.  Both are fallacious, Johnson uses this persona in order to not seem like just another conniving privileged Tory bastard whilst Trump who inherited more money than most of us could hope to earn in several lifetimes has lost more than he has made and therefore is a net failure which is certainly not the success story he would have you believe.  This might have certain people casting their minds back over history for other such ‘failed’ figures that have held sway, the failed Austrian painter etc. etc. there will be parallels with many a dictator leader of course but I think the similarities between Trump and Johnson stretch to a great deal more than just curious conglomerations of blonde mop because they are very much 21st Century demagogues.

When you have an ill-educated and ill-informed electorate single-issue politics is very persuasive and this is not a 21st century phenomenon.  Give people binary instruction and tagline that are easy to understand without suggesting anything as to the mechanics of the process.  ‘Get Brexit Done‘ and ‘Make America Great Again‘ are prime examples of this just as the ‘stab in the back‘ theory (Dolchstoßlegende) was used in Weimar Germany to galvanise the German people into suspicion of the Establishment and the belief that politicians had betrayed the German army in WWI.  There is no actual substance to any of these proposals and that is crucial, it makes it consequently difficult to know by what indicator you would be measuring the success (or failure) of the endeavours. Whilst the Brexit slogan may seem to have a defined end point it is not clear what form of Brexit is to be ‘done’ by it and whether it would be the ‘no deal’ Brexit favoured only by the most cavalier, not to mention explicitly voted against by Parliament – the very body sovereignty is supposed to be coming back to following withdrawal from the EU.  Make America Great Again is yet more wooly, it doesn’t even have the idea of what greatness would or did look like nor whether anyone would have an idea when it had been achieved.  It is in fact rather like a ‘War on Terror‘ where no one truly knows when that noun can be seen to have been defeated!

There is a reason I have lumped the Brexit slogan in with Trump’s and that is because despite Brexit having in some way the framework for conclusion in terms of the conditions of Article 50 of the Treaty of Rome it is not that which was the reason for using it. Rather it was the vacuousness of the slogan itself and this I feel is best evidenced by the fact that Johnson attempted to use the phrase again when it came to the pandemic, though he quickly dropped it when it became clear that to link himself to something this nebulous which was potentially never going to go away was folly. Indeed his strategy was so much of a one-trick pony that it was soon followed to the waste bin of history by the very Chief Strategist Dominic Cummins – ‘Getting COVID Done’ requires a very different approach because you’ve not got the ire of the masses and the invective of the Daily Mail to fail back on. The people are looking for leadership, protection of their loved ones, reassurances for health and economic reasons, the enemy is unseen and cannot be vilified in a way that guarantees blind obedience.  The UK government has been typified throughout by it’s failure to decisively act and rather reaction to circumstances and this I would assert explains why the proportionate death rate due to Covid-19 in the UK is one of the highest in the world.

Trump’s reaction to Covid has been even worse than Johnson’s, he looked utterly out of his depth and that’s because he was.  Boris Johnson had several other cronies around him all flustering and floundering whilst Trump had the now infamous arse-clenching, legs-closing incident of one of his chief medical advisors in response to one of his more outlandish claims.  I don’t wish to make out that I presume politicians should have an immediate handle on a global pandemic, there is no shame in being all at sea, especially in the early days, we are all stumbling rather in the dark throughout our daily lives but the difference is in such circumstances you are best coming clean and leaving it to the clinical experts.  Trump instead employed a strategy of inventing or parroting spurious and at times dangerous claims about light and disinfectant amongst others in an attempt to somehow get himself back into the news agenda as the big shot again.  The principle difference between Trump and Johnson on this is that Johnson is the secondary school prefect caught with his trousers down in the boy’s dorm and whilst he won’t admit it has a degree of guilt written across his face and a knowledge that he hasn’t done very well whilst Trump hasn’t yet made it past primary level and looks as if he has been told that he can’t play in the sandpit today, what’s written on his face suggests utter ambivalence at the fact that he was the one responsible for the deposited faeces that rendered the sandpit off limits!

The analysis and studying matters because to quote a wise man ‘those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it‘ and in both Trump and Johnson what is clear is that our capacity to learn doesn’t seem to last very long before the very same things that worked to hoodwink people before are used successfully again – ‘fool me once, shame on… shame on you, fool me…….., can’t get fooled again‘ as a far less wise man once said in Tennessee! 

Song Of The Day ~ Biig Piig – Sunny

I was minded to write this following a couple of statements made not so very long ago by senior politicians from the Labour Party in the UK.  I should explain to those outside the UK who do occasionally stop by, that the Labour Party is the one that would at least until the 1990s have been as the party on the left.  It remains to the left of the current Conservative party but it is now a very active proponent of neo-liberal economics rather than anything even remotely Keynesian.  This shift started some time ago and a move toward a more social democratic position as distinct from Socialism was clear from the 1980s but the death of Labour leader John Smith in 1994 allowed the Bilderberg-fuelled neo-liberals to transform the party into something the founders would have felt was an anathema to all the original ideals for which it stood, more akin in fact to the one it was formed to stand against.  A party designed to protect privilege a little less unfairly than its competitor, a party more inclined to throw some crumbs from the table rather than eat the whole meal in front of the impoverished.  It is almost the more contemptible for that.  Almost.

The shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls (no that is actually his name!) is in what one might to an extent think a strong position.  The current incumbent in government is a detached, self-righteous arse and wedded to the austerity agenda wholeheartedly, of course he would be these are all measures that will not affect him just as they will not affect the vast majority of the politicians who are telling us how important these things our for our own prosperity.  And yet the majority of people have never seen the sort of prosperity it is claimed is being protected on their behalf.  What these people see is their pensions being eroded, health service in disarray, house prices going to a level that is beyond even the dreams of the common person let alone the actual reach thereof.  Fuel and overall energy prices rise, petrol prices may have stabilised but that is an inevitable short-term thing and yet people are being talked to as if children again akin to being told that one has to eat one’s greens because think of the starving folk in Africa.  The politicians on the other hand have very often some serious prosperity and can claim lots of expenses from the taxpayer in order to help them enjoy it.  They say it’s hard to live on £67,000 something a great many millions in this country I suspect would like the chance to check on to ensure they agree.

Well Ed Balls has no plans to deviate on the austerity agenda, no what the compassionate man has said is ““Without fiscal discipline and a credible commitment to eliminate the deficit, we cannot achieve the stability we need.”  He does not address the hideous inequalities that are ever growing he does not talk about the redressing of the balance for the most marginalised.  He does talk about the protection of the NHS because of course this is a vote winning strategy for the middle classes, after all he doesn’t expect to need to court the disaffected and poorest, they all live in safe Labour slum seats.

And then there is the Machiavellian figure of Tony Blair, hanging around like an acrid stench in the air foully polluting anything and everything with which it comes into contact.  Blair was the main driving force behind Labour’s switch to a more right-wing stance that which would in say the 1960s have been seen as the ground of the Conservative party, which had itself since the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher moved considerably further to the right.  It wasn’t as if the Conservative lurch had sucked Labour with it, it was more that Labour chose to follow and indeed then to set the agenda for the centre-right to such an extent that it almost forced to Conservatives to continue the trend mollifying those at the more marginal end of the spectrum who might otherwise have been seen as bigots, racists and the overall far-right.

The excuse for Blair’s reforms was to make Labour electable, that something needed to be done to erode the Tories heartland. In my opinion it is likely given the utter disarray and catastrophic unpopularity of the Tory party in 1997 that if Labour had stood on the overt principles of the Communist Manifesto they would still have gained a Parliamentary majority. (Partially because there are plenty of principles within said document that people would not be at all averse to were they not to know whence it came).

Now Blair is coming in like a deposed Tory Prime Minister sticking his oar in and claiming that Ed Miliband, at best centre-left, is too far to the left for Labour to win the next election.  Blair referred to a poll in May 2014 as indicating that it could be an election ‘in which a traditional Left-wing party competes with a traditional Right-wing party, with the traditional result’. Asked if he meant a Tory win, he said: ‘Yes, that’s what happens.’ He denied the political centre ground has shifted as a result of the financial crisis. ‘I see no evidence for that,’ he said. ‘You could argue that it has moved to the Right, not Left.’ 

Errr… if it’s moved to the right doesn’t that mean it’s shifted Tony…?

Lest we forget Blair was also the man who not only led the country into an illegal and unfounded war but claimed it was in effect his religious duty to do so.  Blair and Bush were the prime escalators of the current mess, Bush’s motivation was clearer, he wished to finish Daddy’s work, not a smart reason but a reason nevertheless.  Blair was either a religious zealot or a gullible idiot and much as I intensely detest the man I do not think him the latter at all.  Much has been written as to how much the UK & US knew about the supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  Let me just say this, either there would be receipts (and the US used to frequently sell Iraq its arms having set it up in effect to firebreak from Iran) or there would have been factories manufacturing it over a long period of time. I’d imagine that would have been spotted after all they’ve known where Iran’s factories are and they aren’t even making weapons.

Naturally after all his zeal and after the exit of Bush, Cheney and the lucrative rebuilding contracts that were exacted Blair was installed as the Middle East Peace Envoy, a more ironic appointment I would have thought there has not been and I’d go so far as to say it has to rival Henry Kissinger’s Nobel Peace Prize.  So if Tom Lehrer was ever likely to come out of retirement Blair’s arrival would have sealed his silence.

 The difficulty now is we have reached a stage where it appears to be the end of dissent in quite the sense it was before, or is this hyperbole?  Well perhaps a little because what has happened is the mainstreaming of a quelling of descent that has taken place more covertly across the world for many years.  The surveillance, the “security” and “anti-terror” legislation is such that we might have thought it dystopian reality had we had it presented to us 25 years ago

BBC journalist Tim Willcox has apologised for a comment made which was undoubtedly ill-directed and in poor taste and was dismissed by the person to whom it was asked, as was her right.  However why has such a furore as has met Willcox not been dished out to Rupert Murdoch’s amalgam conflating Islam with religious extremism?  Islamaphobia is talked about as a phenomenon and the righteous get very cross and worried about this whilst the mainstream media are allowed to peddle hatred and filth and an absolute perversion of a creed that they get very upset about should it be applied to theirs.  At the same time they whip up furore at the disaffected, the young joining the cause in the Middle East, why they say why do they do it?  Perhaps they have not really looked at the course they the establishment has plotted over the last 25 years.  This is not just about religion it is about the complete disenfranchisement of huge sections of society.  You might say it was ever thus after all “the blacks, the dogs and the Irish” took more than their share of stick in their time but that was ignorance and not deliberate policy.  The muslims are only one, but they are the dangerous one so they make the headlines.  The disabled are another but they aren’t glamorous enough to make the news and besides those that might have generally killed themselves from having been denied the dignity of human life and made to feel like spongers on account of conditions and diseases and the factors they have with which society disables them.  And then there’s just the common or garden poor.  Well, they’ve got food banks now and even Norman Tebbit thinks not all the people using them are scroungers eating junk food anymore.  But he did up to a few days beforehand.

We have an upcoming election and this is once again to be fought on the policies of negativity, ‘if you don’t like what they’ve done then vote us’ or ‘if you don’t want them getting in then vote us again.’  Only no-one really voted for things to be as they are and now there is a new mainstream movement of ‘if you don’t like it you can fuck off back where you came from.’  Parallels with dark periods in the past are easy to make but you know when they are valid when you see how much they chill you as you look at them.  I feel distinctly disquieted.

Yet I see no alternative except in the case perhaps of one party which has less right-leaning credentials. This is the Green Party and it has been all but marginalised from the media coverage whilst the bigoted ‘no room at the inn’ party gets feted for its shaking up of British politics.

So the fact is what we will end up with is a succession of parties with capitalist ideologies and intentions, call them the new right, old right, new left, red tories, blue-rinse, UKIPers it doesn’t matter because the fact is they are all selling the same ticket and it is one which has led to the despicable mess the country is now in, you choice is merely whether that trend to feudalism is a quick one or a slow one.  Tricky isn’t it? It’s like being told you face the Firing Squad in the morning and then being left with a loaded pistol… ‘do the honourable thing old chap!’

I’m afraid I despair sometimes, which may make you wonder why I came back as some harbinger of doom having been buried away for so long.  Well that’s the thing with harbinger’s of doom they don’t tend to come at convenient times.  Sorry about that.

Song Of The Day ~ GoFaster – A Modern Education

I have scanned the polling card on election day many times before and been saddened and sometimes angry at what I have seen that which serves only to greater highlight the democratic deficit.  In turn this fuels the need in my mind to break down some of this over-federalisation in order to put back some actual stake for people and their representatives in the affairs at a level that affects them day to day, rather than a succession of wooly contexts used by populists and demagogues whose wish is only to feather their own nests with a cushy number becoming ever more and more out of touch with those whom they are supposed to represent.

As regards the anti-federalist side of things I suppose I should be careful what I wish for really shouldn’t I?  This election card is awash with those who wish to decentralise from the European superstate and wrest back control of government on a more local level.  So, is this the great coming of Anarchism, is it the workers taking control of the means of production, is it the cohesion of people realising that they need control over what affects them and their families all the time?  No it is not, indeed it is anything but.  This is good old-fashioned racist, xenophobic, nimbyist, ‘I’m alright, Jack’, selfish, protectionist, money-orientated, contemptible BULLSHIT!  Personally I find it morally repugnant, as despicable as offensive and on a grand scale it seems to explain the root of where all the principle global problems emanate but this is not an election manifesto on behalf of the “Let’s Start Looking More At What We Ourselves Can Do Positively For Our Society And Environment And Less About What The Nasty People Who Look/Act/Sound/Appear Different From Us Are Doing: According To Those People Who Don’t Like Them And Make Shit Up To Justify Their Claims Which Are Motivated By Self-serving Greed” Party.  (Doesn’t trip off the tongue really does it?!  I’ve long history of names being too long for forms this is just another example of text-based discrimination where the name I want to put down will not fit in the box in which it is supposed to!)

Every country has benefitted from immigration just as it has given benefit to other countries by emigration, think of it this way how often when you are stuck on a sticky problem does a person with a different way of looking at things bring new impetus just by having an experience different from your own very often having things that are not more complicated just different?  Many hands make light work after all.  A-ha shouts the bigot but too many cooks spoil the broth but you will find there are more cliches about togetherness than there are about individualism and there is good reason for this namely that humans, biologically are not solitary animals, neither do they stay in the one conglomerate block for life again with good biological reasons not to do so.

The human race itself survives on movement in order to properly proliferate, it is in fact a genetic abomination to limit the gene pool because to go down that road to its furthest extent leads to incest.  Therefore by extension the widening of the gene pool creates as diverse a society as possible in doing so utilising every available quality for evolutionary efficiency, which is paramount.  This is not to say that things which are not biologically efficient are per se wrong or not natural, there are many examples across species and genii but there must be a majority of overall biological efficiency or the race is likely to wane rather than prosper.

Let us therefore talk about what is really all behind this, it is a nasty insidious racism and the mood across the Western World right now is one we have encountered before with catastrophic and genocidal consequences.  It is all too easy to think that this is nothing like the 1930s, to have a presumption that society is more civilised now – it won’t surprise many I’m sure to know that this is just what was thought in the 30s too.  Let us not forget that the National Socialist German Workers Party spread its net widely in order to collate votes from left and right, indeed there are many who still think because the word “socialist” was in the Nazis party name that this made them left-wing, but these people are idiots and should be pointed to and laughed at!

To put the cat slightly amongst the pigeons though the 1930s was at least consistent in its racism.  The Fascists shipped out rich and poor in an ethnic cleansing of very specific sections of society, merely stripping all down to the same bare bones, whilst these days if you have money then you may buy yourself immunity or even passage of legitimate immigration (In Britain currently there is no plan to alter the visa that an be obtained if the applicant has £1m to invest).  In these modern days society does not have ‘indulgences’ to absolve you from your wrongdoings in the eyes of the church, it has indulgence by the rich for the rich to absolve themselves from the responsibilities to, or restrictions of society around them.

The British National Party are an objectionable band of oldschool bigoted thugs.  It would be easy to try to dismiss them in this regard and think of them as in the 1970s when they were the National Front and scorned by most in society for whom memories of the blackshirts were all too prevalent.  However the BNP are all too emblematic of the very way this sort of right-wing hegemony has taken hold.  It isn’t so long ago that it was seen as shocking that they even were given a slot on TV for a Party Political Broadcast let alone any genuine exposure on things that mattered. Now it is seen almost as ‘normal’ that a representative is called to comment or even given platform on national debates.

In general though the BNP’s appeal remains anchored around the disenfranchised white working class male, those who before might have been seen to be usually core Labour Party and Trade Union movement supporters.  The Trade Union movement has long since been unfairly discredited on the political stage, seen as self-serving and obdurate, something perhaps people might like to reflect on as they enjoy their weekend! (However in the UK there are still more than 6 million trade union members which represents almost the entire national votes for the Liberal Democrats and more than half that of the total Conservative vote in the election in 2010).  The BNP has picked up the slack in this area in particular amongst the younger generation who do not have the knowledge of trade unionism as a force that their (grand)parents would have, thus its politics have sought to simply blame someone else for the disenfranchisement of its members, something of easy populist appeal.  The BNP still represent something less palatable for the Middle Classes who tend to see the BNP as far more associated with the blunter end of fascism though there were signs of this slowly changing as the BNP increased its vote not just in traditional working class areas.

It is clearly on the back of this trend that we now have the UK Independence Party.  Where the Scottish Nationalists and the Welsh Nationalists are more geared to the left and looking at a degree of social democracy and [hushed tones] the odd flirt with mild Socialism the UK Independence Party are fervently right-wing and far from being a complete anti-federailst party they are more that of separatism and self-interest.  UKIP are headed up by a former stockbroker and their representatives have been causing a great deal of controversy, one of their Members of the European Parliament, Godfrey Bloom, has been especially unpleasant and has made comments such as Britain should not send aid to “bongo bongo land” because the recipients spent the money on “Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it”. He was heard shouting “this room is full of sluts” at a London event about increasing the number of women in politics. In December 2013 a UKIP candidate was suspended over suggestions that compulsory abortion should be considered for foetuses with Down’s syndrome or spina bifid a referring to the termination of babies as part of potential NHS cost-cutting measures. If born these would become “a burden on the state as well as on the family”.

But it is one thing to besmirch the representatives of the party for things they have purported to say but it is quite another to examine the party’s standpoint and those who support it.  Indeed according to a piece of research conducted Dr Matt Wall, lecturer in politics at Swansea University, the broader views outside the Europhobic and anti-immigration tenets of those who say they support UKIP such as taxation and same sex marriage are considerately more disparate, which continues to bolster the notion that the vote is a protest one.   This is precisely the reason UKIP tends to steer away from questions that do not involve anything to do with Johnny Foreigner and his control of, or presence in, the UK.  To engage in these debates would highlight the difference and potentially less palatable policies that many prospective voters may

• TAX: UKIP favours a flat tax – a single combined rate of income tax and national insurance paid by all workers. claiming this would allow people to keep more of the money they have earned. They are yet to decide what rate it would be.  Their claims that this would lead to a smaller state being able to provide for the poorest seem at best shaky since it is also their plan to cut public spending by £77bn
• EDUCATION: UKIP backs selection by ability and would encourage the creation of new grammar schools.

• ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE: UKIP is sceptical about the existence of man-made climate change and would scrap all subsidies for renewable energy.

• LAW AND ORDER: UKIP would double prison places and protect “frontline” policing to enforce “zero tolerance” of crime.

• THE ECONOMY: UKIP is proposing “tens of billions” of tax cuts and had set out £77bn of cuts to public expenditure to deal with the deficit.

• SOCIAL ISSUES: UKIP argues that multiculturalism has “split” British society. It would legislate to allow smoking in pubs, in designated rooms, and hold local referendums on repealing the hunting ban.
On the subject of homosexuality UKIP are particularly outspoken, a UKIP candidate allegedly described gay sex as “disgusting” and said homosexuals were not “normal” on a Ukip online forum another said that being gay Is a ‘Spiritual Disease’. The UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, stated thereafter he would not expel members for voicing “old-fashioned” views about homosexuality.  In fact they went further and the chairman of UKIP’s youth wing, Olly Neville, was sacked after speaking out in favour of gay marriage.

Naturally on the subject of foreigners the party does not hold back A Sunday Mirror investigation in 2013 found the party’s East Midlands chairman, Chris Pain had described illegal immigrants as “sandal-wearing, bomb-making, camel-riding, goat-fucking, rag heads”  UKIP Leader Nigel Farage was caught up in a media story that his right-wing views were seen as extreme whilst he was at Public School, Channel 4 went on to say that Farage was known for marching through a Sussex village singing Hitler Youth songs, an allegation Farage unsurprisingly denied.

If you look at the Office for National Statistics data in fact net migration (immigration minus migration) the figure has remained the same around 200,00 people per year.  Given that the statistics show that nearly 200,000 are either coming to study (170,000) or British nationals returning home (20,000) in fact the net migration is negligible as compared to what many would have you believe.  Furthermore the ‘flood’ of Romanians and Bulgarians predicted when the border controls were changed for citizens of these 2 countries to that of the rest of the EU has simply not happened. The number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK has fallen by 4,000 since employment restrictions were lifted in January, the Office for National Statistics figures show a total of 140,000 employed in the UK between January and March 2014.  David Cameron told MPs the reduction was “notable” i.e. it is written down somewhere and not ‘remarkable’ in that he doesn’t intend to tell anyone!

It is also important to ask why people are coming at all.  Firstly if work is scarce and wages are low in your home country and another country in which you speak the language has opportunities you will certainly consider it, if you have a family that lure will be all the stronger.  If the minimum wage in that country is in fact higher than what you would reasonably expect to get at home then it makes it a more attractive proposition, this is also just as attractive to employers who can save themselves a large some of money employing cheap migrant labour with fewer working rights or conditions.  So who is at fault?

I have seen it said that to dismiss UKIP merely as a protest party or that of an appeal to a very specific middle class racist portion of the electorate would be wrong and indeed I agree, it would, this is not simply a group of trumped up toffs feeling aggrieved that their ability to make money is being infringed upon by bureaucrats, this is a group of racist toffs feeling aggrieved that their ability to make money is being infringed upon by bureaucrats whilst being supported by people with xenophobic or racist tendencies and those who have been informed solely by a rabidly right-wing media, run themselves by groups of racist toffs feeling aggrieved that their ability to make money is being infringed upon by bureaucrats.  The media is very much to blame here, for a long time there has been an anti-Europe campaign in sections of the press and although many of the myths purported about decisions made in Brussels have been debunked they have been so in less public an arena.  This has allowed the media to have long since reinforced their message and if necessary to print an apology and/or addendum on page 27 in the editorial section, that most of those who believe what they are spoon fed by the media won’t read anyway.  There is a BBC page about the “euromyths” here  where things have been reported by the media as attributable to Brussels.  You would be forgiven for thinking that most of this lot looks like a right bunch of old tripe but this is precisely the sort of constant campaigning that leads to a generally accepted viewpoint.  In the examples proven to be false I have still heard people say “yeah well that one might not have been true but look at the others…”

The problem does not finish with UKIP though it is the emergence of a large group of splinter far-right parties that have no counter balance on the Left or even in the Centre.  Some of these such as the English Democrats far from wanting simply the UK on the forefront of the agenda wish to go further and cite England should be the main focus.  (Though these people are often the very embodiment of a restricted gene pool!)  Others such as An Independence from Europe claim to be to the left of UKIP, rather like claiming to be a moderate Attila the Hun!  Liberty GB are another anti-European and it appears human rights, party and the Christian Peoples Alliance do not appear to be very Christian nor much of an alliance.

Again I’m afraid you need look no further than the German electoral position in the Weimar Republic from 1919-1933 where the parallels in political parties, media spin, xenophobia and desire to cut free from rules imposed by external powers are quite chilling.  You have been warned.

Song Of The Day ~ Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next

The story of  Shaun Dykes is somewhat endemic of the sorry state of affairs in which our society finds itself.  We may often speculate at the breakdown of social responsibility and conscience but it is rare to find an example in which it is so tragically highlighted.  It is also easy to look back on our pasts with the classic rose-tinted spectacles that make us forget the dark and drearier side of life in those days.  However my recollections are not entirely clouded, I have some fond memories of decades past and also some less-cherished, I remember the 1970’s having rather a lot of brown, the 1980s as being a decade for the materialist and the individualist.  I also remember going by bus to school in London on my own from the age of six, because everybody did.

I do not remember situations where there was an utter and systemic breakdown in social cohesion, though if it is merely that I was too young to notice I would be happy to take corrections on this, this has not happened overnight it has been a creeping malaise permeating through the letter boxes, and imprinted in the newspapers and now we must look into the black hole it has created and see what we have become as a society, as a race.  The case of Shaun Dykes shows us into what we have (d)evolved and we should be ashamed.  It is all very well for people to be looking back on such an event with horror (Daily Mirror) but where are the studies into the causes of such actions and attitudes, where is the public enquiry to fully turn the mirror on ourselves and look at just what a cruel and heartless nation this is?  Chief Superintendant Andy Hough thinks that although the city of Derby lost some of its humanity that day that many of the people who taunted and took photos will have gone home and not liked what they saw in the mirror.  I wish I shared his optimism, I wish I were even convinced it was optimism and not merely a brushing of the case under the carpet.

The measures being looked at are now to raise the fencing on the roof of the shopping centre, which apparently is already quite high, as well as to give the police powers to cordon off an area before any crime has been committed and to train local staff to be able to assess those that might be of risk of suicide.  Are these really the sort of measures that are likely to do any good, surely these are counter-measures used when a problem has occurred and not likely to tackle to root causes in any way shape or form.  Of course cordoning off an area might well save the life of someone in a similar situation again but it is not going to change the mindsets of those who seem utterly profligate with the notion of life and have only contempt for the value of the existence of others.

A young man is dead, he had undoubtedly his problems that led to him being on a high ledge threatening to jump in the first place but he was pushed over the edge by the ambivalence and antipathy of the crowd below who declared that he was wasting taxpayer’s money.  I would like to ask any other taxpayer out there if they would rather the police were engaged in activities such as attempting to talk down a depressed youth or if they are better employed in Stop And Search tactics and administering ASBOs?  It is to my mind a great pity that CCTV in Derby is not being used to find the callous individuals responsible for such actions who, in the words of the coroner, “are responsible, at least in part, for his death.”

It is a disgrace and I am saddened and disgusted to be a resident of a country that would not only allow this to happen but make such little attempt to change anything thereafter.  You reap what you sow Britain – if you haven’t learnt that from this example then perhaps you never will and this cycle is destined to repeat itself over and over.

Song Of The Day ~ Frank Turner – Thatcher Fucked The Kids