A word about the snap General Election

After writing this I thought things couldn’t get weirder or more scary. Then Theresa May calls a snap general election on the 8th of June and the arse falls out of any idea we might be hitting a phase of relative sanity.

Using the line The country is coming together but Westminster is not May obviously sees a chance based upon current polls to have the sort of majority that we’ve not seen since the Tony Blair years. May is essentially going to have to scrap the Fixed Terms Parliaments Act to hold this snap election which may well provide some more interesting snippets as although the Tories are putting on a united front, there’s a lot of Tories out there (Hi David Mundell!!) sitting on paper-thin majorities in areas that thanks to Brexit may well be facing unemployment in June.The Act was designed to stop PM’s doing just what May is doing which is hold an election when the polls are favourable.

Problem is polls can be read wrong. Take the Scottish independence referendum. David Cameron happily let the Scottish Government hold a referendum in 2014 the polls showed only around 20% support for independence. That changed over the campaign as more people became informed of the issues, so May’s taking a risk but this is a risk which if it pays off means she personally has an eye-watering majority (if the polls are accurate around 100) not to mention she intends to change the makeup of the Lords, while Brexit hands her the sort of power no Prime Minister should have.

So this is about Theresa May grabbing power. See all that bumf about ‘division’? That’s about creating a state where the opposition is muted and ineffective where it needs to be in Westminster. There’s also the matter of the Tory election fraud scandal which menaces the Tories and taints their 2015 victory, though as Michael Crick points out, this means the hard decisions are now in the hands of the CPS.

The question you have to ask yourself is what sort of future you want for yourself and for others? This is a general election where the future of the UK itself is up for grabs. If you want a future where Tory Prime Ministers have the sort of power where they can sail through whatever they want unopposed though Westminster then look to see where your vote belongs.In Scotland that means voting for the SNP, a party I reluctantly will give my vote to in June (I find their economic policies to be far too conservative) because their social policies are good and they’ll beat not just the Tories, but a hopeless broken Labour Party who’ve run up the white flag on Brexit.

Elsewhere in the UK its down to you to make the choice. I hope Corbyn’s smart and takes the offer of a progressive alliance Ed Milliband refused in 2015 but I fear the Labour Ultras won’t do that. I hope I’m proven wrong. Whatever you do make the right choice because we have a choice and if that choice is Tory (or UKIP) then we’re heading down the same path as Turkey, America, Russia and possibly France in having a hard authoritarian leader who stamps over human rights. Do we really want to be on the dark side in the years ahead?

Theresa May fights the War on Easter

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has taken her time out of her busy trip selling arms to Saudi Arabia to comment on the frankly astonishing story that the National Trust have axed the word ”Easter” from their annual egg hunt. Disgraceful you may say. ”Islamisation” you may drool. It’d certainly at least be odd.

If it was real of course. It isn’t.

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On Cadbury’s website the word ‘Easter’ is everywhere. The campaign people are being offended by is just part of a larger campaign and anyone spending more than a second looking into this would find this out.

Now Theresa May could have said ‘no comment’. She could have laughed it off. She could have said ”I’ll look into it” and find out the truth. No, she said;

“I’m not just a vicar’s daughter, I’m a member of the National Trust as well,” she told ITV during a visit to Amman, Jordan. “I think the stance they have taken is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t know what they are thinking about frankly.”

This is the Prime Minister getting outraged about a non-story in a country where human rights abuse are insanely numerous. This frankly is insane. She’s in a country where if you tried to celebrate Easter you’d be imprisoned or worse and she’s jumped blindly onto a argument generated by far right commentators who’d get offended at anything.

Consider this; if May jumps blindly into this fairly trivial piece of bullshit, imagine what else she blindly jumps into without thinking?

Pick your own Brexit meme

Someone once said there isn’t a Wile E.Coyote gif that doesn’t represent Brexit perfectly.

This seems to be the case.

After all, it’s clear the likes of Theresa May and David Davis are out of their depth.

And that we’re facing ignoble failure as the EU makes it clear the Brexiters plans have obvious barriers.

It really is remarkable that virtually every single Wile E. Coyote gif sums Brexit up for the pitiful failure it is.

But we’re on the road to hell now and the drivers are imperialistic, Unionist xenophobes with delusions of greatness.

Still, this is only the start. It’s going to get much worse.

Good luck everyone!

 

 

Next Wednesday the UK officially leaves the EU

Theresa May is going to invoke Article 50 (the process to start the UK leaving the EU) next Wednesday.

The shitstorm starts here. We’re going into negotiations with Scotland wanting a second independence referendum, Northern Ireland making it clear it opposes Brexit and indeed, Unionism there is in retreat and there’s going to be companies kicking their contingency plans into gear depending what May says next week. That would be hard for a skilled government but we don’t have one of those.

So good luck everyone. We’re going to need it.

Refusing to grant a Scottish independence referendum is undemocratic

Theresa May is saying that she’ll block any attempt to hold a second Scottish independence referendum before Brexit is done. May’s reason is she wants the ‘UK to work together’ and says it wouldn’t be fair to make an ‘informed choice’ while there’s so much uncertainty. Yes, that’s coming from the person who since taking over the job has said ”Brexit means Brexit” for months when asked for clarity.

So we’re in a fucked up situation. A democratically elected party (SNP) who forms the Scottish Government has been told it can’t hold a referendum when it wants (before the Brexit talks end to provide a lifeboat for Scotland) and Holyrood (which has a pro-independence majority with the SNP and Greens combined) has been told it doesn’t matter by a Tory PM who is running a set of policies nobody voted for and didn’t even have an election herself to become leader.

Next week Holyrood has a vote on whether to ask Westminster for the powers to hold a referendum. It seems that power will be refused. From there is anyone’s guess, but I hope May’s government is taken to court as I suspect this isn’t just about using Scotland and it’s assets as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations (especially with Spain who want at least joint sovereignty of Gibraltar) as well as ensuring that if Scotland does have a referendum after Brexit that she gets full control of it. As we should know by now, May is a harsh authoritarian and is listening to fuckwits like Liam Fox but this is such a hypocritically cloth-eared piece of politics that she clearly thinks she can hold the UK together via threats.

Of course  second referendum isn’t actually blocked by May yet. The vote in Holyrood isn’t til next week and we’ll find out then if May’s this much of an undemocratic authoritarian, or if she’s just a reboot of Margaret Thatcher.

If this clash brings about the end of the UK then bring it on.

Jeremy Corbyn says ‘The real fight starts now’

After Labour helped the Article 50 bill enabling Theresa May sole power to take the UK out the EU, and in the process hand her power over the direction of Brexit, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said this.

therealfightstartsnow

Corbyn’s position was to tell the government he’d force his MP’s to vote for the bill and then ask for concessions thus giving up any leverage he had, and any Tory MP thinking of voting against their party went back and cowered on the backbenches. Diane Abbott today talks of how Labour had to ”listen to the nation‘ while fighting for a ‘good deal’ but like many people she’s got the idea that the UK will be able to negotiate a ‘good deal’. We won’t.

As soon as May invokes Article 50 next month we’re on a rollercoaster with no brakes and at the end of it is a sheer drop into a pit of flesh-eating spiders or a pit with Donald Trump and Nigel Farage laughing at the fact they’ve gotten what they wanted; a UK out of EU legislation where any remaining public services can be picked apart, privatised or scrapped. If you’re vulnerable, poor, or disabled (which I am now) then you’ll be shitting yourself. There is no ‘soft’ Brexit. There’s only a relentlessly hard Brexit.The place to have started the ‘real fight’ was a year ago when all this was coming to pass, but it’s clear Corbyn was rooted in old Labour/socialist ideology that painted the EU as relentlessly evil and although flawed, it was a different organisation, not to mention situation to the 70’s and 80’s when Labour figures used to speak venom about the EU.

So like a general sending in the archers after the opposing tanks have started rolling, Corbyn appears ready for a fight he’s lost, and lost badly. Scotland has another option, and that seems like 2018 we’ll be deciding where to go. Northern Ireland may well have their own option. England and Wales however have sealed their fate. The writer J.J. Patrick put forth his vision of the future.

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That’s one of the more optimistic predictions of the next few years too.So there is a fight to be had, but I think pointless rhetoric is over as when it becomes clear just what’s going on we may have to fight tooth and nail to stop what is essentially a far right coup that’s been helped along by well meaning, but stupid people who think a socialist nirvana will arise from the ashes of a post-Brexit UK.

It won’t. Far from it.