By Monday we should know whether the UK has pulled its head out its arse, agreed on compromises with the EU and saved the prospect of the UK walking away from Brexit negotiations with a ‘no deal’; an outcome Brexiters like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg want as it delivers their free trade, unregulated dream. For the rest of us it’ll be a nightmare, and as we now know, the Tories have no plans to sail us through the biggest thing the UK has done in its history in peacetime which leaves us a bleak future.
The EU isn’t just about trade. It intertwines so much of what we do that if the UK walks it means we’d have to organise things like when planes fly, radioactive isotopes for cancer patients, the shipping of food and tens of thousands of other things overnight and like any disaster, the most vulnerable will be hurt the hardest and first.
Bizarrely both main UK political parties are hell-bent on Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn of Labour seems to think that we’re in for a socialist Year Zero upon leaving the EU, and yes, the idea of an ‘internationalist’ party choosing to take a protectionist route is not lost on people. But compared to the clusterfuck which is the Tories, Labour seem vaguely sane. Simply put the Tories are taking us into a recession mixed with a collapse in social decency as ethnic nationalism and imperialism mixed with a hard, rigid form on Unionism drives them towards dooming hundreds of thousands of people to a harder life than they have now.
Brexit makes no sense though. Not unless you think the UK ‘gave away’ itself to the EUSSR and those bloody Polish and Somalians on buses should go back where they came from. Essentially Brexit is based upon irrational madness and we’ve got 72 hours to save the country. Wish us luck, we’ll need it…
”Dad, have we taken back control back yet?”
When I was young Remembrance Day was a strange day. Parents and older family members would solemnly wear poppies, give what they could to the old boys and women who’d be collecting for the survivors of WW1 and 2. Latterly Remembrance Day became about remembering the dead of all of the UK’s wars from the world wars through to Korea, then on and on and on and on…
Remembrance Day was a chance to reflect; to hope never again would men and boys be sent to fight for the gain of politicians, tyrants and crooks. It was a chance to remember the horror of war and what the 20th century’s industrialisation of war could do to people. This pretty much was the case as I grew into adulthood until around about a decade ago when Remembrance Day became less about the solemn idea of Remembrance as in remembering the dead while hoping for it to never happen again, to one where the dead became ‘glorious’ and they died upholding a UK to keep it’s place in the world today.
Remembrance Day was in effect stolen by the ancestors of those who sent boys to die in muddy fields on barbed wire with their guts falling out. Politicians like David Cameron and demagogues like Nigel Farage ensured Remembrance Day became more of a celebration of the dead who died for the glorious cause of the United Kingdom and all it represents. The dead have become ‘glorious’ and violence has become the ultimate force of the state from which all other authorities are derived.
So we’ve had ‘Poppy fascists’ leap on people for choosing not to wear a poppy, and the poppy itself become a symbol now forever corrupted from its original intention. The poppy itself has always been a political symbol, but now it’s being used as a symbol of some sort of supreme imperial loyalty to the UK, and if you don’t wear it then you’re some sort of quisling and deserve public shaming or worse.
Remember the dead today. Remember how they died not in glory, but in pain and agony while the idea of ending all wars was lost for celebrating war as something to prove the power of a faded empire. Remember how they died in mainly pointless wars for the gain of politicians who never lost anything, and how they died for corporations to turn a profit because war now is not about defeating evil as WW2 was. Those days are long gone now.
The New York Times has an interesting take on the state of the UK in 2017. Titled No One Knows What Britain Is Anymore, the NYT goes in for the kill with this brutally true paragraph;
The ambitious Mr. Johnson was crucial to the victory of Brexit in the June 2016 referendum. But for many, the blusterings of Boris have lost their charm. The “great ship” he loves to cite is a nationalist fantasy, a remnant of Britain’s persistent post-imperial confusion about its proper place in the world, hanging on to expensive symbols like a nuclear deterrent while its once glorious navy is often incapable of patrolling its own coastline.
The point made that the UK can’t patrol its own coastline came up during the Scottish independence referendum, but during the Brexit campaign was never mentioned as all the supporters of leaving the EU had this vision of the UK that was rooted in the past where a ”British Empire” was still a thing.
The UK is seen as an international joke. A bit like the mate who’s broke up with every girlfriend but never blames himself while living off past glories.but the UK, or to be more exact, England, hasn’t gotten over the loss of empire and that’s something that needs to be dealt with at some point but that isn’t going to happen soon.
The Empire is dead. True we live still with the trappings of Empire, but as some have pointed out, we don’t have to endorse such things and before anyone says anything about Corbyn’s Labour changing things all they’ll do is tweak down the edges of the British state. and the entire Brexit process is about regaining central power from the devolution process.
So what to do if the state won’t change and the establishment won’t let it naturally die? Well, if the series of scandals we’re seeing now continue the entire thing might collapse anyhow, but it’ll survive this as until we realise that Unionism has become one of the last defenders of neoliberalism, even fascism, in the mainstream then we won’t change anything.
The UK needs to be broken down so something can come out of it which benefits all of us, not just an increasingly distant elite because what the UK is mutating into isn’t something to be proud of. Hopefully the dark times that are coming lead us into real reform rather than a more extreme version of what we have right now.
We’re coming up to Remembrance Day so rather than a solemn time remembering the dead it has become a time where people wear offensively ostentatious poppies and people go ballistic if you don’t wear one. Last year I saw people wearing them at the start of October. This year, I’ve seen them in September. Kay Burley will be wearing one any minute the size of the Isle of Wight. Footballer James McLean will suffer his annual ritual of abuse earlier as he doesn’t wear one. Nigel Farage will wear poppy patterned socks in memory of ‘our boys’. The UK will turn into one giant poppy and if you don’t like it then even the children will attack you for not wearing as big a poppy as humanly possible.
Every year it gets worse. Every year the concept of the poppy gets further away from the idea of remembering the dead to one where it somehow celebrates the dead while encouraging young people to join up to die to be celebrated. It is in effect the dystopian world of Robert Heinlein where citizenship is only validated through armed service and the next war will be one where the children of poorer families are sent to die yet again.
And each year we loose sight of the concept of remembrance as too many play to the outdated ideas of British exceptionalism and imperialism, so strap that sick-bag to your head and be prepared for the next three weeks.
It was the final day of the Tory Party conference in Manchester today, and Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech was without doubt the most memorable political speech of the year. Sadly for May it was for all the wrong reasons First of all comedian Simon Brodkin handed her a fake P45 in a speech which by this point was going down as well as calling a snap general election and losing your majority.
Coupled with May’s cough due to her cold, and the fact nobody in that hall believed a word being said it really couldn’t get worse? It could. This happened.
If you wrote a political comedy and included that moment the script editor would say something like ‘mate, that’s just taking it a wee bit too far‘. Even Armando Ianucci didn’t go that far.
On a human level one has to feel sympathy for May, except I’m not going to feel a fucking yoctogram for her as she had no sympathy for the people her policies have hurt, even killed since her government came to power in 2010. I could not care less for those commentators mumbling about feeling sorry for someone who is taking us off the edge of a cliff thanks to Brexit and has encouraged all the racists in the UK in her time in government.
This isn’t to say the alternative is appetising, it isn’t. But May’s speech summed up not just the state of British politics but the UK as a whole. Holding itself together for seconds before falling apart and becoming the laughing stock of anyone caring to pay attention. Still, if we’re all going to be fucked at least we’re still able to laugh right?
On the 18th September 2014 the people of Scotland went to the polls to decide their future. The choice was between being an independent country or remaining part of the UK, though the vote itself was never a vote on things staying stagnant as politicians on the Better Together side defending the Union promised real, defined change.
Near federalism was promised. Scotland’s voice would be heard like never before in the Union. Powers would be devolved. The UK’s entire structure would be changed for the good of all and the democratic deficit closed forever as we enter a new Golden Age. This lie died a horrible death in the early hours of the 19th September 2014 when David Cameron brushed everything said and done over the long referendum campaign to one side and announced plans for EVEL-English votes for English laws. That demoted Scottish based MP’s to second class MP’s, bodyswerved the democratic deficit and all of Gordon Brown’s promises of ‘near federalism’ were seen as the bollocks they always were.
Three years later all those party leaders are now yesterday’s men having all left and been replaced. Brexit threatens he devolution settlement itself and the UK of 2014 which at least had a semblance of sanity has been replaced with a country full of people who think Brexit will work because the EU ‘needs us more than them’, and that is one of the saner opinions on Brexit out there.
The UK is being pulled to the edge of a cliff gleefully by Theresa May’s Tories, and more insanely, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party even though Brexit isn’t really about trade or democracy, its about ethnic nationalism and British exceptionalism. Basically everything independence supporters are accused of.
So on this third anniversary of the vote we have David Mundell saying Indyref 2 must be ‘decoupled’ from Brexit while the Labour Party put party first in propping up the Tories on Brexit. A second independence vote could well be the only way for Scotland to have a voice about where Brexit is going and both main Westminster parties are fighting to deny that chance. The UK today is not the UK of 2014. Things have changed for the worst and things will get much, much worse, so remember all the promises of 2014 and how they were unfulfilled as we enter the next phase of Brexit as promises are made which will never be executed and realise the only thing left is independence.
It won’t be easy. It’ll be hard but we need to ask people what sort of country and what sort of people they want to be in the future.
I recommend people read this blog titled Disabled? You May Be Sanctioned For Being Too Ill To Get To The Jobcentre because it is vitally important. The short version is that the Tories are imposing such a hard regime of sanctions upon people that they’re killing themselves to escape it, and as usual it’s the disabled getting the worst of the impact.
Since the Work Capability Assessment was introduced by Labour in 2008 after being proposed by Alistair Darling in 2001 there’s been a stream of disabled people being forced into work when they’re clearly not fit. When the Tories came back into power in 2010 they upped what Labour had done by bringing in things like the bedroom tax (thankfully mitigated in Scotland by the Scottish Government) but for a decade now the disabled have first been slowly demonised, and are now essentially being hounded out of existence by the British state, a chunk of the media and the population who look through the disabled like we’re invisible at best and all the positivity after the 2012 London Paralympics have been flushed down the toilet.
Instead we’re not at a place where the United Nations damn the UK government for their treatment of disabled people and the media barely registers it, and the population at large are unaware of the reality of so many people’s lives. There is a body count. Nothing is done because the disabled are seen as either ‘spongers’ or sort of magic cripples wheeled out to provide some entertainment and boost faux national pride at sporting events.
We now have people like Dominic Raab given high office rather than being kicked into the gutter where he belongs, and with no sign of austerity ending thanks to Brexit, things will continue to get worse. Some MP’s warn of a ‘human catastrophe’ but none will say what this is which I think is a concerted effort to let people die as after all, the British government is out to kill hope itself and without hope just what is the point of a daily life struggling to just exist let alone actually form anything like a life?
Which brings me to my point. I’ve only been disabled 18 months or so. I’ve not had a life of struggle but what the Tories are doing is inhumane bordering upon genocide and I don’t use that word lightly. My question to you, the reader, is what are you going to do to help people less fortunate, less able than myself to fight back to exist? The time for words and politics is over and we need to ensure what’s going on stops so are you happy to tolerate this or are you going to join us to fight the state from forcing people to early graves?