The ongoing farce of Theresa May

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?

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Brexit Breakdown-This Bastard’s Carnival

Boris Johnson is not going to stand for Tory leader and by default, the next Prime Minister of the UK. All of the mess in regards Brexit was because Johnson wanted the PM’s job and shat David Cameron up so much he got forced into an alley and had to call a referendum, and now rather than be part of cleaning up the mess he’s caused he’s decided to slink off into the background to become the most hated man in the UK which must make Gary Glitter breathe a sigh of relief for a while.

Of course Johnson would have fucked things up but if you break it, you fix it, now we have realistically either Teresa May or Michael Gove as next Tory leader and Prime Minister because neither will call an election although both will take the Tories on a new direction that makes what we’ve seen under Cameron seem like a breeze. As someone who was so recently crapping themselves working out what type of cancer they had I can only say this feels exactly like that. Actually, it’s worse because I may be cleared of cancer but either of this pair will fuck us over with no hope of recovery. We have a succession of Tories fighting to become their Adam Susan.

There will be no general election, so all you lefty types that voted to leave hoping that would happen I hope you’re happy. We’ve got a choice between a Tory that wants rid of human rights, has introduced the Snooper’s Charter and gave us the racist van or a Tory that’s backed by Paul Dacre and Rupert Murdoch who is such a hardcore Unionist he’d risk the Good Friday Agreement.

The fallout of the Brexit vote is enormous. Imagine now a UK being rewritten in the image of Michael Gove and Teresa May. Don’t be black, poor, Muslim, gay, Scottish,Irish, Welsh, working class, disabled, or anything that won’t conform to their vision of a ‘proud’ ‘one-nation’ Britain where the Tories have everything under control and the masturbating imp of UKIP sit on their shoulder pushing them evermore over to the far right.

But today belongs to Boris Johnson. A coward who broke the country, broke people’s lives and destroyed the future of millions of people alive now and yet to be born, but didn’t want to take responsibility for what he did. Only his constituents now get a say on his future while we all get to pick up the mess that started on the playing fields of Eton decades ago.

So there’s only one song to close this….

Did they expect us to treat them with any respect? The EU Referendum drones on..

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Being off work thanks to illness means at this time I get to see things like this morning’s debate on the EU Referendum on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on the BBC. It managed the what I thought unachievable which it actually made me sympathise with Yvette Cooper who was shouted down by those on the Brexit side, but that’s to be expected. What was telling was the British-Asian chap who was voting to leave complaining about the racist rhetoric coming from many on the Leave side who was also shouted down and sneered at by those around him. In fact whenever the camera switched back to him the looks of disgust he was getting was telling.

Yet this is a result of a campaign that’s been in the sewer for weeks with Cameron’s promises of World War 3 and Armageddon and Johnson and Gove’s often pitifully wistful idea of an imperial England (let’s be blunt, this is a referendum about England’s place in the world with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland being dragged into the slipstream) with Boris Johnson at it’s helm. Yet, like Donald Trump, it should be clear for all that Johnson isn’t fit to govern and should be held in the utmost contempt but some do give him respect and that’s an astonishing thing.

This doesn’t let Cameron off the hook. He’s the man who’s taken us to the brink of leaving the EU because of an internal Tory Party debate that’s been raging since before I was born and I’m approaching my half century. He can make the case for the EU by saying ‘well actually the reason you’ve not got a house or a job is because of UK governments like mine. We’ve fucked you over. Sorry.’ Obviously he won’t, but this is such a disingenuous debate that we face leaving the EU not based on a progressive, leftish argument but because we hate immigrants and foreigners. The example of the chap being jeered on the Victoria Derbyshire show highlighted just where the Brexit campaign now occupies and thanks to Nigel Farage’s increasingly repulsive rhetoric which assumes every immigrant and refugee is a rapist we now stand ready to say to the world ‘we are a vile, racist, closed country that hates the world. Fuck you.‘. Is it any surprise those other countries in the EU and Europe are now looking at the UK with fearful, nearly hateful eyes because they know what a Brexit based upon fear of the Other would unleash across Europe. Before those Brexit supporters say ”it’s about democracy‘ then that line would work if the likes of Johnson or Farage supported abolition of the House of Lords and at the very least, a federal UK, yet neither do. For them it’s a return to England’s heyday at the centre of Empire and for them, the world.

And Cameron knows he’s fucked up. The event today where he’s got Labour, Lib Dem and sadly, The Greens with him to support a Remain vote shows he’s trying to temper his bullshit, but as any student of the Scottish Independence Referendum campaign will tell you, being a so-called progressive politician sharing a platform with Tories is dangerous which is why I’m annoyed at the Greens and glad to see Jeremy Corbyn wisely decided to avoid being seen at the same platform as Cameron. For all of Corbyn’s many flaws, he’s smart enough to realise he’d alienate many of his voters standing next to a man that is accused of putting his penis into a pig.

Yet the positive arguments are there as Scottish First Minster Nicola Sturgeon has Tweeted.

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Yet with just over a fortnight to go making the positive case this late may not get whatever side over the line as it’s been a contemptible vile campaign that has bottled up the very worst of the Independence Referendum, mixed it with the worst of all sides of Toryism, thrown in, a lot of English/British exceptionalism, bullshit, and racism with a side order of xenophobia.

Look, the EU isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination and there’s seriously compelling arguments to leave and to stay but up to now neither side is making them. The Remain side look like they’re starting to drop the apocalyptic tone, but if you’ve got Nigel Farage calling immigrants potential rapists it’s hard to pull back once you’ve went there because you’ve crossed a line and there’s no coming back. Yet here we are, 17 days out from a vote that could see us pull out of the EU, and by action, that would end the UK as we know it too.

There are good factual reasons to stay and I’ve pointed people in that direction before, and as someone who wants to remain but realises the democratic deficit of the EU, I also realise there’s a good argument to leave but I’ve not heard it. I’m not going to vote to leave thus empowering Johnson, Gove and Farage with all the mouthbreathers that will come out of the woodwork once the rhetoric on immigrants and refugees step up a gear after a Brexit. Both campaigns are contemptuous but this is really about voting for the lesser evil and I’m not handing the far right, iimperialistic Tories control of the UK because this is what this has become. A vote about what Tories are going to fuck us the least in the future, not democracy, not self determination.

 

The EU referendum campaign starts today

Today sees the official start of the EU referendum campaign even though it’s been spluttering on for a few months now. For UKIP and the hard/far right of the Tory Party this is what they’ve dreamed of for years, decades even, yet the fact is there’s not a single sensible informed vision of a post EU United Kingdom (or whatever is going to be left of it as both Scotland and Northern Ireland may head down different routes) to be had.

Instead we’re told to trust the likes of Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson.  So in the next couple of months remember, we can stay and deal with the many flaws of the EU while still enjoying the benefits from it, or go into I’m not quite sure what exactly. So remember the main reasons to remain..

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If you trust this lot then vote to leave. Just don’t complain when you lose your right to holidays or you can’t get a visa to go to Spain….

 

Mark Thomas talking about PFI in 1999

With the state of schools built under PFI by the Labour/Lib Dem coalition in Holyrood in the early days of that parliament being a big news story now, it’s worth looking back at what was said about PFI back in the day.

PFI is a fairly complex method of funding started under John Major’s Tories in the 90’s and enthusiastically seized upon by Tony Blair’s Labour and especially Gordon Brown who pushed PFI to help build new infrastructure. Now to be fair, the UK needed that because the Tories had let that crumble. The problem with PFI is it’s essentially privatisation, and not just that it leaves us with crumbling sub-standard buildings that endanger lives, not to mention it means it costs us all more money in the long run.

But it’s worth having a look at this. It’s an episode of the Mark Thomas Comedy Product from 1999 where he deals with the subject of PFI, explains what it is and looking back it today 17 years later looks horrendously prophetic in it’s predictions of doom in regards the NHS in particular.

Give this half an hour of your time. It’ll make you as angry as it did me in 1999, and it’ll make you hate Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Labour then even more than you may do now.

My eyes have been opened to people’s discrimination against the disabled

Recently I had a mild stroke that’s getting better, but I’ve got treatment for the foreseeable future in my life, not to mention I have to get around now with the aid of a walking stick. The stroke left me numb down my right side so I’m getting more back every day but I can’t really walk outside without the aid of the stick.

This has given me a perspective in how the disabled live, and how they put up with the bullshit from people that see the stick or disability and completely ignore it. Now I’m not that disabled, nor is my condition permanent (hopefully) but for now doing ordinary things like getting on the bus, or crossing the road is a big effort. Most people are however fine, some are fantastic. Most treat me with a bit of human decency.

A small number of people don’t A small number of people look at me and clearly judge as after all, without the stick from the outside I just look as if I’m moving slowly as I have a limp. A small number of people look at someone with a stick (as I am) and decide whether I’m ‘genuine’ or not. For example, yesterday on the bus I got on and there were no seats bar one, where a woman had piled all her shopping. I asked her if she could move so I could take the seat. She didn’t. She said she ‘couldn’t move’ her shopping. Everyone else saw this, nobody offered a seat, so I spent ten minutes being on my feet when I really should have been resting (post stroke fatigue is a bastard) but I refused to beg or show the fact I was fucked off.

There’s also the incidents today of middle class mothers trying to push their prams through me on Gloucester Road in Bristol. The fact I’ve got obvious mobility problems doesn’t seem to pass through their heads. Again though, most people are great such as the Turkish lads in my corner shop who offered me a seat.

But this is small fry. Most seriously disabled people put up with much, much worse than me. Looking at the rhetoric and narrative the Tories and the right wing press have put up over the last few years is it any wonder that so many people have become complete bastards? Is the like of Iain Duncan Smith helping the sick and disabled or is he actually demonising the most vulnerable? (it’s the latter).

Just look at the narrative the UK’s leading newspapers have built up over the years;

That’s the tip of a very unpleasant iceberg. If you’ve got the media drip feeding the idea that disabled people are ‘scroungers’, or by being treated for your disability or condition by the NHS you’re some sort of drain upon society then it’s not hyperbole to say that people are holding Nazi-like opinion.

As said though, most people are great or just ok. A chunk aren’t and it’s larger than I thought it’d be. In a supposed ‘liberal’ city like Bristol in a supposed advanced state like the UK I’d expect better but the fact is we’re letting the disabled down that in the year 2016 this is how some people act and think.

The Evil Empire of Everything-Welcome to Tory Britain

There’s a point in Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons where Dr. Manhattan (the naked blue superhero) has left Earth for Mars and left his home planet to a probable nuclear destruction because as a near godlike figure he can no longer see any worth in humanity as they’re a selfish, thankless race who will be replaced on Earth by whatever evolution decides to be top of the food chain after nuclear Armageddon. He’s convinced by Laurie, his former girlfriend and former superhero, that there’s something in humanity so that each life is a small thermodynamic miracle.

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Laurie reminds Dr. Manhattan of the uniqueness of us all. We are all in our own way miracles and our lives have value beyond comprehension because at some level we all hold the potential for something. We don’t know what, let alone we might never reach that potential for greatness but at the moment here where Alan Moore has Dr. Manhattan stare aloofly at the pale blue dot in the sky from his refuge on Mars, speak to the last human that meant anything to him and at this moment he remembers the value of life. It’s an amazingly uplifting and positive bit of writing which reminds us of our humanity.

Lately though in the real world it seems losing your humanity is par for the course for people like David Cameron and George Osborne, who seem to be able to tell us the price of everything, but have no comprehension of the value of life. The British state values itself and it’s more powerful supporters more than anyone, or anything else, just look at Michelle Mone, an unelected business woman that sucked up campaign to keep Scotland in the UK and is now a lawmaker in the House of Lords. Just look at David Cameron sucking up to the Chinese president as thousands across the UK lose their jobs in the steel industry.

To the Tories, human life is valued only by how much it’s worth to you, and of course, if you’re one of them. So people like Mone become allies and even though not one single person has never voted for her, she has input into how laws affecting you and I are written. Palms are greased, favours are done and the powerful rewards those that help keep the establishment safe.

Take Iain Duncan Smith, He famously had an epiphany over a decade ago when as Tory leader of the opposition he visited Easterhouse in Glasgow and saw the poverty people endured day-to-day first hand for himself. He pushed the idea of ‘compassionate Conservatism’ and some thought this was the man that could bring people out of poverty. In fact he’s driven people further, and deeper into poverty, plus his policies are driving people to the last, and worst option as they’d rather take their life than live on in a country run by Iain Duncan Smith and his like.

People live in the sort of deep, grinding poverty that in the UK in 2015 is Victorian in scale and effect. Don’t believe me? Read this New Statesman article about Easterhouse now reflecting on Iain Duncan Smith’s visit. These people have been disregarded, and in some cases, dehumanised by government policies designed not to help them, but attack them and to punish them because the Tories don’t see people on benefits in poverty as having anyone to blame but themselves.

In today’s Tory Britain people are ‘strivers’, they’ve become ‘hard working’. They’re constantly described in language that means they ‘aspire’ to something else, but the people that fall through the cracks are disregarded. All the disabled, unemployed, poor and the most vulnerable are described as ‘scroungers’, ‘leeches’ and have to be forced in the eyes of the Tories to become a real person that strives and aspires.For these people though every single day they strive for better and they work hard just to survive but for the Tories (not to mention those that support them) they’re somehow not quite as important as anyone else because in the eyes of a David Cameron, George Osborne or a Iain Duncan Smith they’re just there to be exploited as any other resource.

For Tories there are no thermodynamic miracles. Unless you’re rich or powerful enough to matter. Then you’re on their radar. Humanity is to be used to make corporations money because once you’re in debt, you’re able to be used by those predatory companies that see people not as individual human beings but Money Generating Units.

I’m done with that all. I’m done with a supine Labour Party opposing the Tories when it suits them, even under Corbyn their opposition has been flaky at best. I’m done with a media in thrall to the establishment and I’m done with  endless faceless Tory drones laughing inside when they hear of someone killing themselves because they didn’t want to make that choice between heating or eating anymore. I want a better world where each person, each thermodynamic miracle can reach for their potential without having to worry where they went to school, or how much their folks earn, or who they know to help them get into the positions of power.

The next five years are going to be brutal for people in places like Easterhouse all over Scotland and the UK. People are going to die because the government of the day have decided to rule over them like an evil imperial power splitting people into ‘strivers’ and ‘wasters’ therefore deciding who lives or dies. Who suffers in abject poverty or who has a comfortable life where the next meal isn’t something days away.

So we need to remember we’re all the same. We’re all deserving of the same chances. We need to fight the Tories with every single breath when we can because if we don’t the UK isn’t going to be a place worth living in for many people at the bottom of society in five years and for many of us, there’s not going to be a chance to achieve any of our dreams and hopes because thanks to the Tories, the act of survival will be paramount as a dystopian future is created for one group of people and bread and circuses for the majority.

Unite to fight the Tories. That’s all that matters now.