Four years ago the people of Scotland voted to remain part of the UK based upon a multitude of false promises, and in doing so Scotland lost all power it once had as no longer could it stand on its own but then the UK held the EU referendum where England and Wales voted to leave, while Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar voted to remain and now the Union stands ready to rip itself apart from its contradictions.
Barring the diehards, nobody pretended in 2014 things would be honey and unicorns upon independence, but the ability to shape Scotland’s future would be in the people of Scotland’s hands as opposed to whatever Tory or Labour PM who would see Scotland as votes and/or resources to exploit when they need to.Few expected a Tory victory in the 2015 General Election which meant few expected an EU referendum in 2016 and nobody expected us to be in the fucking disaster we’re in right now with Brexit looming and jobs, even lives at stake.
In short Scotland fucked up in 2014.
Some things were good. A creation of a genuine socially aware, progressive left wing grassroots movement which wasn’t hijacked by SWP types/snobbish lefties more interested in their own advancement/wankers was fantastic. Discovering the flaws in the media being another highlight. In fact much of the referendum campaign was artfully pinched by Corbyn’s Labour A Tory Party we can’t get rid of tha
But the last four years has been grim. A Tory Party we can’t get rid of and an official opposition too busy with cleansing itself to bother fighting the Tories, and of course Brexit which Corbyn clearly wants anyhow. So we’re left with Theresa May; a totally useless PM who sadly is the last thing standing against the far right of her party gaining control and power. Scotland lies in the middle of this all because four years ago it fucked up.
There is a mandate for a second independence referendum, and Nicola Sturgeon has been wise not to use it when it could have been easy to do so, but at some point this parliament it’ll need to be used and indeed, it could not just give Scotland a route out of the UK, but an end to Brexit itself in the aftermath.
What we have to do next is ensure we don’t fuck up ever again because the fact is Scotland votes to stay in the Union again and independence is over for generations.
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has a book out soon and has been sitting with London-based hacks for a publicity push that involves an interview with the Sunday Times where she states she never wants to be an MP at Westminster, or take a peerage or become Prime Minister in order to preserve her mental health; of which she discusses in the interview as having problems with 20 years ago.
All of this should be good as after all mental health is an issue all of us struggle with, and the more people speak out the better, but in Davidson’s case it smacks of a carefully planned release of information which benefits Davidson. With pundits (mainly in England) speaking of how brave she is to speak out then it shows it’s worked but here in Scotland there’s an air of suspicion because Ruth Davidson hasn’t got where she is today from pushing policies or being the ‘centrist’ politician the likes of Ian Dunt thinks she is.
Davidson won acclaim for her part in the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 where she managed to be questioned by the police about allegations of election fraud, and in the 2015 election lied about ‘burly men’ scaring away voters. She’s also happy to surround herself with extreme far right types, and barely twitches when these people are found out after being elected. It should be also be made clear she’s built up a healthy following from exploiting elements of sectarianism and Unionism and this worked in 2017’s election where she managed to run a campaign based on no policies at all except ‘no to a second referendum’ with Tory campaign leaflets hiding the Tory name under Ruth Davidson’s.
Davidson is a fantastic media construct but unlike recent examples like Nigel Farage or Jacob Rees Mogg, she’s carefully cultivated this herself along with a media in Scotland totally unfit for purpose. Yet some have questioned her, and when pushed on the few occasions she has been, comes over as brittle, angry and totally without substance. Indeed one of her names here in Scotland is ‘Rape Clause Ruth’ due to her open support for the dreadful ‘rape clause‘, and Westminster Tory policies.
And this brings me back to her comments about mental health. She defends policies which drive people to killing themselves. She supports her party imposing economic ruin upon people that drives them to kill themselves. She’s shown no remorse, no compassion and no sense that she empathises with ordinary people, and she’s teamed up with Michael Gove to create a thinktank to push Tory ideas to younger people under the disguise of being a ‘centrist’ and London-based commentators still trip over themselves to praise her and not ask why she’s revealing all this now, let alone push her on her policies or why she’s never available for interview so she can be asked about the ‘dark money‘ allegations hanging over her.
Make no mistake that if a third of what rattles in Davidson’s cupboard were assigned to Nicola Sturgeon or even Jeremy Corbyn, there would be UK wide media coverage and massively sensationalist reporting. Davidson escapes this and now with this revelation, ensures that few journalists will push her assuming they would anyhow which is a shame as the question I have for Davidson is if she’s so intent on helping people’s mental health then why does she support policies that damages people’s mental health so badly?
But that question will never be asked. She’s carefully positioning herself for the next post-Brexit phase and if you think Davidson doesn’t want to be PM then I suggest looking back at Davidson’s history and see a tirade of lies and manipulation aimed at one thing; the advancement of Ruth Davidson and the Tory ideology.
The other day it struck me that political correctness is dead, well, the idea that political correctness was supposed to be the rules in which a society would ensure that people would be decent, nice and respectful towards each other regardless of who they were even among the left who pushed the concept in the first place.Sure, we never really had this supposed nirvana in the first place but there was a time when things were better but those days are long gone.
What happened is the rise of a number of things from ‘lad’ culture in the 90s, to events like 911 enabling people to say and do what was abhorrent based upon a ‘fight against terrorism’, to the rise of the internet and the endless search for clicks. There’s a multitude of culprits but it all boils down to people wanting to say or do what they want without any consequence, and by ‘consequence’ I mean that if you call someone a ‘faggot’ then expect some backlash to that. However most of those decrying ‘PC culture’ cry the loudest when they, or something they hold personally sacred, are the subject of mockery or attacked, showing the concept of ‘anything is fair game’ applies only to a limit defined by the individual which normally at some level attacks their identity.
And before the left sit back too smugly, things like the ongoing anti-Semitism scandal shows many in the left willing to cast aside basic concepts of respect and empathy in order to push racist tropes or to get lost in the midst of identity politics.
Which brings me to this excellent video on the subject which discusses things from an American perspective, but still counts in the overall discussion.
I think where we are is a lack of empathy. A gamified culture where people are driven into echo chambers which give rise to things like Comicsgate or that <insert religion here> is behind all the wrongs of the world.
A bit more empathy and a bit more in the way of critical thinking because political correctness was all about simple respect and empathy for everyone, and if we’ve lost that then we end up with a world we have today and that isn’t a good place to be in.
Comicsgate is something that, sadly, isn’t going away and I’ve mentioned before of just how little its supporters know of the history and the medium of comics, and just how much they think displaying this ignorance is a thing to broadcast loudly. The latest example of this is this…
For those people casually reading this who don’t know who Scott McCloud, the short answer is he’s one of the stone-cold genius’s of comics who has written three of the essential textbooks about the medium of comics. For a lone Comicsgater though, he did some ‘lame’ comics. These ‘lame’ comics included Zot, the first American comic to incorporate Japanese manga influences and do new and interesting things with the medium.
The more Comicsgaters expose themselves to the world, the more they show that actually, it isn’t about giving people ‘choice’ but defining comics as only to be their own narrow definition which is this.
So, there you have it. These people target creators, slag them off in ignorance and shy off into the night or their own wee echo chambers when it’s pointed out they’re idiots. They’d be easy enough to ignore if they weren’t so potentially toxic for people which is why people need to stand against them. Because if we don’t the only comics we’ll get are fucking cybernetic frogs.
I’m struggling with writing blogs at the minute because I’m playing the new PS4 Spider-Man game and it’s fucking awesome.
There’s been lots of great Spidey games over the years, and in many they manage to capture some of what made Steve Ditko and Stan Lee’s creation great, but this (so far) seems to get it. The fact the game is an open world game that allows you to just swing around New York in the sort of detail that’s astonishing to watch is another added attraction as you could spend hours swinging around and not even playing the story.
So I’ve got quite literally loads of blogs that are half finished, and I’ll endeavour to put the game down long enough to actually finish some over the next week which will be easier said than done!
Today is the 17th anniversary of 9/11. Everyone has spoken about the day over and over including myself, about how it affected them as this is the first time in history where the entire planet saw a history-altering event happen in real time both on television, and on the growing world online. There is a clear pre and post 9/11 world and the effects of that day can be tracked to the likes of Donald Trump, Brexit and the rise of extremists authoritarian cultures, ideas and concepts from the right wing, and sadly, the left but at the same time liberalism has failed having crawled into bed with the establishment.
In short, we’re in a mess and those trying to lead us out of this are few as self-interest is the order of the day. All in all the last 17 years have been awful as we’ve slid into an Orwellian state of perpetual war but everything circles back to Ground Zero 17 years ago which makes watching the raw footage of the day something I’m drawn to each and every year.
We’re a few months away from Brexit while Donald Trump drags the USA into a mess even worse than the days after 9/11, while a generation has now grown up with the events of the day hardwired into them and it dawns on me that for many people they have little or no memory of the 90’s in that weird time between the end of the Cold War and 9/11. It then slowly dawns on me that the 90’s were some sort of Golden Age; a lull before the storm as it were and I find myself wishing to return to a better time which is why many of my recent blogs focus on the 90’s.
Regardless of the reasons, I think the prospect of a better, kinder world is gone. The far right have taken their chance and extremists from all over the world have swung into action to take their one chance to rewrite everything which makes me fear of the decades ahead. I wish I could be more positive but I think the concept and idea of resistance is going to have to become common in the years ahead and I fear for what would happen should another 9/11 scale event happened in the West. So I think the one message 17 years later is to be careful of the future. We live in dangerous times.
25 years ago The X Files was first broadcast and all those weird things like conspiracies, UFO’s, cryptoids and the weirdness of the Fortean world. What was, at best, something hidden in the alternative, the offbeat , became mainstream and normalised to the point where the mainstream realised there’s a lot of potential with it. Arguably this is one of the things that’s led to everyone accepting conspiracy theories as the X FIles also came as the internet was growing into the Worldwide Web, which fuelled the rise of people like Alex Jones.
But in 1994 this dystopia we live in now was a bit of SF if you’d suggested it 24 years ago. It was a different, more rational time, even with Forteana. In December of that year, the BBC broadcast one of their regular theme nights, which in this case was called Weird Night, and it is a fantastic bit of TV. The highlight of the night for me was the Fortean Review of the Year which at the time listed the various oddities of the year, but looking back at it now acts not just as a log of Fortean weirdness, but archive of what those pre-internet days looked like.
It’s worth a look just for the fainting goats. Enjoy.