The end of internationalism

With Brexit now changed things forever it’s about time we started facing up to what’s been done and dealing with the consequences of pushing what is a xenophobic, isolationist concept upon a population which overall, isn’t. The problem is that we won’t know what we’ll miss until it hits us which doesn’t mean you won’t get a nice Italian wine anymore, but I’m talking people and the culture immigrants bring to us.

This Wings Over Scotland article touches upon the issue which we’re really going to have to deal with as the right in the Tories are now fiercely anti-immigrant, Labour haven’t stood up for immigration either and there’s actual fascists holding Nazi-like rallies just by the Cenotaph in London. People don’t seem to realise that the reason immigrants (and asylum seekers) come to the UK isn’t to ‘steal welfare money or houses’ but it’s because they want to come here to live, work, love and grow older in an adopted home. Theresa May called these people ‘citizens of nowhere’ which was dehumanising not to mention has meant millions of people are stuck in a legal limbo because the UK is using them as bargaining chips.

We’re entering a world where celebrating other cultures, even welcoming them, will be seen as an act that goes against the ‘will of the people’ and that we should ‘respect people’s concerns about immigration’. Nah, fuck that. Educate people about the reality of immigration and if they still have issues then they’re racists.

The time to fuck about is gone. We’re facing a fight most of us aren’t even realising we’re in but by the time we do then things will be much, much too late.

Brexit Day!

Today was supposed to be Brexit Day when the UK left the EU. IT wasn’t but that didn’t stop an assorted crowd of hard to far right protesters piling into London who have been attacking journalists, threatening MP’s and drunkenly cheering on ”Tommy Robinson”. In sharp contrast to last Saturday’s march against Brexit today has been a travesty, but it’s also a sign where things are going as neither the Tories or Labour are going to stop Brexit so these people are going to grow stronger and stronger.

If today hasn’t convinced you that Brexit is mainly fuelled by white ethnic nationalism (and Will Self says here) then you’re probably part of the problem & the problem is that for over a decade the political debate in England has been racist and anti-immigrant. That collided with the fight against the EU and this mutant hybrid shat itself into existence, and because of David Cameron’s pathetic weakness we’re now fucked.

This cannot go on but it will, and a country which should have backed the fuck off after the murder of Jo Cox instead threw itself into the swamp dragging the other countries of the UK with it and all the worst evils of Unionism (both the Tory version and Labour’s version) are smeared for all to see. There was even representatives of the Orange Order involved with today’s protests/riots.

Not all leavers are racists. Many wanted relief from crushing austerity which had started in 2009 under Labour and ramped up by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition.They were used and lied to by millionaires like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg but now they’re being driven into the arms of the far right  because the Westminster democratic process has collapsed. Both government and opposition have failed with nobody having the balls to revoke Article 50 and stopping what’s the most damaging thing to happen to a country in peacetime.

Today the far right grew stronger and we should all be worried because this isn’t funny. It never fucking was but today your eyes should have been opened and you have to join the fight against Brexit because otherwise in a fortnight’s time we enter a very dark place indeed.

Scott Walker RIP

Back in the long hot summer of 1995 I went down to Glastonbury for a weekend of fun and games, with a couple of friends, Denise and Joe who were driving down. We were travelling in a battered old car which groaned with our stuff but spirits were high as we left Leicester to hit the M69 to head to the South West. As we approached Coventry Joe stuck on the one tape we had for the trip which was a copy of the Best of Scott Walker and as he stuck it in, and pressed play the first chinks of sunrise broke as this played.

It was the sign it was going to be a good weekend.

By this point in the mid 90’s, Walker had gained an appreciation among the Indie kids who weren’t having the dull boot heel of Britpop kicking them in the head, though folks like myself grew up with Walker’s music. Basically if you grew up in the 70’s and your family had taste you’d normally head one Walker tune all the time. Mine was Jackie.

But the king was this one.

No Regrets was my drunken pulling song along with Blondie’s Atomic for years in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Those were the days.

What I’m basically saying is that Scott Walker is dead but his music won’t die. Walker has been with me musically for more or less my entire life. His music was there during some amazingly memorable times and still will because just listen to the man sing on songs like this…

I mean, just fuck, listen to it! If that song doesn’t move you a bit then you have no soul.

But the sun won’t shine anymore for him and it’s only fitting to close this with this performance of a Jacques Brel song…

The day after the People’s Vote March

Yesterday either a million or two million (depending on your source of information) marched through the streets of London united against Brexit. It was an astonishing coalition of left, right and centre which we’ve not seen since the march against the Iraq War in 2003 and from the air is a massive thing of awe.

What though did it achieve?

For one it broke the myth of ‘the people’ support Brexit that Theresa May and a number of Brexiters push, and push hard mainly because they know deep down the harm Brexit is causing and will cause for likely a generation. It’s a deeply authoritarian concept designed to keep down dissent so yesterday showed wonderfully how to peacefully protest and make the point that we’re not going to take this without a battle.

It also clearly rattled the two main Brexit parties as both Tories and Labour have tried hard to deflect from yesterday’ march with the Tories launching another leadership coup with the horrific idea of Michael Gove as leader, so therefore Prime Minister and Labour doing their best to ignore Brexit even exists as an issue as has been the case far too often over the last two years.

Truth is the aftermath of yesterday won’t be told today or tomorrow but if 2003’s protests are anything to go by then the real effects won’t be seen for some time yet, but a million people at least protesting in the streets changes things, and if you think these people are on the wrong side of history may I remind you again of 2003 when the protesters were well and truly proven right.

Good luck to everyone on the People’s Vote March today

Today is the People’s Vote March in London. Had I still lived in Bristol I’d be there today not because I agree with a second vote (at least not without some serious caveats to protect Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales from the decision of England) but because as many bodies as possible need to oppose what is a fascist takeover of the UK led by strict authoritarians.

Right now the crowds look huge so hopefully it matches or betters the protest against the Iraq War in 2003 when millions of us took to the streets. It needs to be because we need to make a stand, or we risk letting something awful happen which won’t be fixed easily.

If however you can’t make the march today then sign the petition to revoke Article 50 and add your name to the 4 million plus who have already put their name down. Click here to add your name.

One last act of defiance a week before Brexit…

A week to go. Theresa May has set everyone against each other. MP’s are either looking over their shoulders in fear of a far right attack, or are joining in with the increasingly authoritarian tone which is shaping this government, and indeed, the entire Brexit project. Meanwhile the leader of the opposition fails to oppose and the actual referendum itself was clearly the work of corrupt powers and dark money but we’re somehow locked into a death spiral by it because nobody in power has the courage to revoke Article 50 and end this lunacy.

So with the leadership of the Conservatives and Labour proving useless it has turned upon the people to protest by signing a petition to revoke Article 50. It isn’t much but right now but as I type this there’s 1.5 million signatures for a petition that’s been up 24 hours.

Sign here to add your name.

Click here to see how the petition is doing without causing stress on the servers.

 

Please sign. If we can get this into the millions then we can hopefully force our MP’s to act for the good of us rather than drive us into a cliff.

The weird world of romance comics

I got a batch of old DC, Marvel and Charlton romance comics the other day and they’re simply insane in their simplistic old-fashioned sexism, or worse, when the creators were trying to be ‘progressive’ in the 60’s and 70’s.

These titles sold hundreds of thousands of copies every month yet they’re now highly collectable thanks to having some work from fine creators like Wally Wood, Jim Steranko, John Romita and Stan Lee who must have churned out thousands of stories where men were men, women knew their place and love always won. What’s bizarre is that Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created the genre in 1947, but don’t expect a billion dollar film franchise for Millie the Model anytime soon.

Think of this; when Jack and Stan were carving themselves what would be the Marvel Universe they’d sell thousands upon thousands of glorious stuff like this.

And it’s the Marvel romance comics of the 60’s and 70’s I’m drawn to like some masochistic butterfly which isn’t to say that DC didn’t knock out a few gems.

But it’s the Marvel stuff created by then middle aged men trying hard to tell stories which teenage girls could lap up that’s the prime choice.

This stuff is generally awful, but there’s an ironic joy in these tales of romance which are often beautifully drawn, but it really is the cries for contemporary relevance that makes these stories so fantastically shite, yet great at the same time.

By the mid-70’s romance comics were dead, more or less. The rise of the superhero meant Marvel and DC concentrated on that genre and the days of both main publishers printing a variety of comics of all genres were on the way out. However these now highly collectable relics contain some work that needs better appreciation from comics historians and the fact that this genre is often disregarded or skimmed over in various histories of comics is a tragedy. Especially as even low grade copies of these comics fetch high prices.

So seek these comics out. If you’re any sort of fan of the medium you may not be exposing yourself to great stories but you’ll find some amazing art, and you can ironically enjoy them to your hearts content…

What the Christchurch shooting tells us

By now we’ve all seen the news and reports from Christchurch in New Zealand where nearly 50 people have been murdered by a far right neo-Nazi who’s name I won’t give anymore publicity to because in case you’ve missed it, here’s Charlie Brooker to explain why naming the Nazi killer isn’t a great idea.

But outwith of the killer who else is responsible for this massacre? Well, there’s the usual types screaming ‘LONE WOLF’ in order to deflect from their culpability in this, which of course isn’t the sort of things they’d do if this had been an Islamist which committed these killing rather than a white supremacist.

Islamophobia may now be treated with the same seriousness as all other forms of bigotry, and it may be a case that politicians like Donald Trump or Boris Johnson be held accountable for helping create a feeling among some that Muslims aren’t just ‘The Other’ but are disposable. Shouldering some of the responsibility falls also upon the commentators like Melanie Philips or Ann Coulter who’ve made a career out of hatred, while far right lunatics like ‘Tommy Robinson’ and Nick Griffin can feel warm that their campaigns in Rotherham have ended up with the consequence of ‘for Rotherham’ being written on one of the magazines the killer carried with him during the massacre.

Then there’s the British papers which have daily spun this sort of filth out for over a decade and a half.

It isn’t just the right to blame. The woke-bros on the left chipping in saying antisemitism isn’t as large a problem as Islamophobia are doing so knowing full well Muslims and Jews are the targets for the far right, plus these people’s rants falls right into the pyramid of hate.

Take a long look at that pyramid. We have politicians doing things which fall midway up the pyramid and things still haven’t been improved since Friday as the BBC invited on actual white nationalists to spout their shite unopposed.

The PM, government and people of New Zealand are showing the way here with an instant crackdown on guns plus taking care of the victims while making it clear this is not what New Zealanders are. This, sadly, won’t be the last such shooting but until we as a society accept Islamophobia is a massive problem and deal with the prominence of it in our culture and society then we won’t learn. It needs to be challenged, and we need to fight the increasingly powerful white nationalists which are gaining power and control or we’ll never see this war stop.

Only a fortnight til Brexit…

Theresa May is clinging onto power by the bones in her worn-out fingers. Her party is in tatters. Various figures plot to oust her whenever they can and the extremists of Brexit in her party lose what little patience they have as they see their chance to have what they think is the logical end of what Thatcher started in 1979. Meanwhile the party is riddled with racism, bigotry and cronyism. There’s no way back for the Conservative Party.

Jeremy Corbyn is desperate for power. So much so he’ll throw the vulnerable & immigrants under the bus in order to avoid backing revoking Article 50 which is now the only way out of this without causing more serious damage but is clearly a Brexiter who sees leaving the EU as the logical end of fighting Thatcherism. Meanwhile the party is split, and riddled with racism. There’s no way back for the Labour Party.

There’s two weeks to pull the plug on a ‘no deal’ which means we have to have something or we default to no deal and leave on the 29 March in chaos. Now the EU may give us an extension til the end of May or June but nothing longer. Of course anything can happen over the next fortnight but basically we’re fucked and both main Westminster parties have led us to this point as both want Brexit based upon outdated nostalgic visions of the past and history will not be kind to any MP who voted for Article 50 to be invoked not just without a plan, but without even caring there was no plan.

So in short; we’re fucked.