A royal wedding…

Charity enraged after police impound rough sleepers’ bus ahead of royal wedding

There’s a wedding today. It’s a royal wedding. It is a bloated affair designed to project the idea of a vibrant, exciting modern British royal family adapting to the 21st century while uniting their happy empire. Well, the remnants of it which is the Unite Kingdom so when the couple get titles like the Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel it’s a reminder that ultimately we are ruled and the people are not sovereign, well, apart from Scotland where the people are.

In Slough, more than a quarter of children (26.97 per cent) are defined as being in poverty, while for Windsor the figure is 15.03 per cent.

We’re in the tenth year of austerity; the eighth of Tory austerity. People have grown up knowing government enforced poverty. People who lose £30 a week from their benefits are plunged into a horror that won’t end unless they make it end in the only way left to them.

Pitched outside Barclays Bank, with a Rubik’s cube and a pile of books including ‘Mr Nice’, by Howard Marks, is British Indian Sunil, 40. “I can’t get a job because I have no stable address and no personal hygiene. I don’t get unemployment benefit because I don’t have an address. I earn £3 to £15 a day sitting here. If I make enough, I take a B&B,” he said. “I am happy for the couple, but I am not happy about living on the streets,” he said. “They should just house us. Asians look at me with disgust. It’s mostly white people that give me change.”

His parents moved to the UK from Phillaur in Punjab. A former market trader, he said he was turfed out of a rented flat in Slough after it did not meet council rules. He had nowhere to go and owing to disagreements with his family after his father died, 11 months ago he ended up on the streets. “The homeless charities can’t help you unless you meet certain criteria. How much are they spending on this wedding? Quite a few million? Would it not be better for them to house us?” he said.

I get the argument that this is ‘something happy for bad times’ but the act of inherited wealth & power being displayed is a way that belies the truth that this is all a sham to continue the line and to ensure the British state seems strong and powerful just at a time when it is probably at its weakest since the Union was born 300 years ago.

So be a flag-waving nationalist if you want, but the only good, honest thing that comes out of today is that it shows increasing amounts of people are done with this medieval institution.

Me? I’m turning my telly to Netflix and won’t come up for air til Monday.

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Snowmageddon and Brexit

As Brexit slowly shambles towards us like a drunk with his cock hanging out, the realities of this colossal act of self-mutilation becomes clear. The last few days many of us in the UK have endured dreadful weather with the snow,ice and gales disrupting the supply chain so most supermarkets look like this.

Now eventually things will return to normal and we’ll be fine. The supply chain will be restored and we’ll be able to avoid the hellish dilemma of whether to buy powdered or soy milk. What Brexit threatens is the possibility of this happening regularly as it is quite clear Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Brexiters on the right, and on the left, have an unrealistic vision of how systems built up over decades seem robust but are in fact, astonishing fragile as this week has shown.

With Brexit a year away maybe it is an idea to stock up on bread and milk now just in case we end up with permanent food shortages?

Homelessness in winter

This image below is from this article in the Metro.

The picture is of someone on Buchanan Street in Glasgow who is homeless and is so cold he can barely speak. I know this because I walked past him on my way home yesterday in my short visit to work before going home, and upon seeing him shivering in the snow (which at that point wasn’t as bad as it was in the picture) I chucked a couple of quid into his cup. Upon passing him there was a woman in Dundas Lane struggling also to speak because the cold had taken her voice.

We’re all grateful of a snow day, even love playing in the snow but we’re fine because we can nip home or stay and home while keeping warm and dry. We’re not in the street soaked through, so cold that you can’t use your voice.The fact is there are people right now dying on the streets because the system has failed them, and instead being somewhere warm, safe and dry, they’re shivering to death slowly on a busy main street.

We can help by chucking a few quid, or passing on a helpline number but in one of the wealthiest countries on the planet we still have people sleeping on the street during the worst winter we’ve had in years. This is something government can solve, and with the UK government still intent on causing poverty I can sadly only see this getting worse before, even if, it gets better.

Snowmageddon Strikes!

It is snowing in Glasgow. It has been snowing in Glasgow for hours and hours and hours.It is also cold, oh so very, very cold. Apparently with the wind we’re looking at -10 in places, including my hallway which isn’t full of the cosy, warm heat of my living room.

Now if you’re reading this from say, Canada, you’ll be pissing yourself laughing at our idea of heavy snow but we’re not used to this in terms of severity.I  think the worst is being caught in a flurry of snow and being blinded by the snow getting in every orifice. Ah, the joys of winter…

It is deep out there. A level of deep where a slip means you could vanish into a snowdrift til your frozen corpse is found in the spring.

So with the snow falling the city comes to a halt as it waits for it to stop and things to actually feel like spring!

And it’s still snowing…

The road to Brexit

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?”

There’s nothing glorious in what Remembrance Day has become

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.

Why the United Kingdom needs to die

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.