Wednesday, 22 May 2019

How to Survive a Civil War, the Rise of the Zombies and a Nuclear Bomb - A Tory Guide

It is now inarguable that the Conservatives have failed in their handling of Brexit. Floundering and fracturing, they have spawned a horrid hate-baby with Nigel Farage in the shape of the Brexit Party, that has torn the hearts of back-benchers, party loyalists and their 'average' (i.e. misinformed and paranoid) voter. The very existence of the Tory party is now in doubt.

Today's desperation vote on a withdrawal deal - substantially the same deal already rejected three or four times by Parliament - is sure to fail. It is a zombie bill, killed repeatedly only to rise again. However, as a political move I understand the thinking: the vote will crystalise the stance of the parties regarding Brexit. If nothing else, it should show voters that the Tories support Brexit and Labour oppose it - broadly speaking.

The theory being, if I have read this right, that they might persuade their base to stick with them by showing they are fighting to enact Brexit - broadly speaking.

'Broadly speaking' because there are Tories who will vote against it because it is 'BrINO' (Brexit In Name Only - yes, it is clumsy and not really an acronym) and others who will vote against it because it goes too far in severing our ties with the continent and hobbling our economy for decades.

Simply put, not enough of Parliament can, in good conscience, support it.

The majority of Members of Parliament are, regardless of political persuasion, patriotic. They will not vote for a policy they know will damage the country irrevocably.

When Nigel Farage gets on his hind legs and talks about how everybody in power - Parliament, the Electoral Commission, the Civil Service, the News Media, 'Metropolitan Elites' - are ALL Remainers, what he wants you to hear is that there is a ruling class that will simply ignore the wishes of the people for their own interests. I think there is a kernel of truth to that - but only inasmuch as the majority of people with any knowledge of the matter know that Brexit will damage the country in a way that we will not recover from for decades.

The Farage image mirage is of victimhood. It gives rise to resentment against 'elites' among his supporters, along with anger at 'being ignored'.

It is the self-same anger of a five-year-old who no-one listens to - because the five-year-old is totally ignorant of the subject that the adults are talking about, and totally ignorant of where the discussion amongst the adults has got to. The five-year-old just wants to yell their ignorant opinion and for it to be treated as if it has as much value as an expert's, the same value as someone with an intricate understanding earned through years of study and work.

Hearing Farage speak about the EU is like going to a seminar on how the microchip was used in the Apollo missions to the moon, but finding that the speaker is a conspiracy theorist who denies that there were any Moon Landings. The complexity of the subject - the microchip! - is beyond him, so he denies the very facts surrounding the subject.

He denies the democracy within the EU that is proven by the elections we are having tomorrow. He denies the opinions of economists who, in their droves, have warned of the catastrophe that Brexit threatens; he denies that his own words from the 2016 campaign should be taken literally - his own words about how easy the negotiations will be, about how the EU would beg for a deal from us, about the £350 Million a week we would suddenly be able to spend on the NHS because of Brexit, and on and on and on. He simply denies and deflects at every level.

The Vote Leave campaign is being investigated for election fraud currently and Nigel Farage is squealing like a stuck pig at the prospect that his lies, his criminal frauds, will come back to bite him and even put him in jail.

The way that the Tory Party dies is if they decide to learn nothing from the Republicans in the USA, who have latched their wagon to the Trump train that is in the middle of a campaign of blatant obstruction of justice that is sure to end in impeachment and infamy. The Conservative Party will die if they hold Nigel Farage, and his grip over their core supporters, closer.

In the end, the Tory Party has to stand for the best interests of the country and, whether they see that as inside or outside of the EU, makes no difference - they cannot embrace a Know-Nothing Conspiracy theorist who is only master of paranoia, resentment and victimhood. That would be like putting the guy who says the moon landings were faked in charge of NASA.

Brexit, the No Deal kind wished for by Nigel Farage, where we as a country hold hands and jump out of the EU with no clue as to where we might land, will be like a nuclear bomb hitting our economy. Everyone not already safely ensconced in a job will become utterly desperate as no businesses will be hiring. Many businesses that will survive will do so by massive lay-offs. The government will be called on to save steel, save manufacturing, save farming, save aviation and onward, in a sequence of fire-fighting corporate welfare that will make 2008 look like the Gilded Age.

If it is the Conservative Party that brings this about, they will never be forgiven. That is what will happen if they dump Theresa May, elect Boris Johnson and push through a catastrophic No Deal withdrawal, hand-in-hand with Nigel Farage.

They must stand firm by what they know to be true against what they think might win votes at the next election.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Julian Assange is Free At Last

The man who was Julian Assange was dragged from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London today by some plain-clothes police officers from the Met. He looked nothing like his picture.

Edward Snowden claimed they were "secret police" and declared it a "a dark moment for press freedom" from his perch under the asylum granted by ex-secret policeman, Vladimir Putin, who actually kills journalists who displease him. The tumbling whirl of irony swallows all laughter.

He was taken to Court to appear, charged with the crime of failing to surrender to the court, dating from 2012. He somehow pleaded 'not guilty', despite having just spent almost seven years hidden in an embassy to avoid justice, while waving and giving thumbs-up to the gallery. The judge called this "the behaviour of a narcissist" and it is difficult to argue with that. It is also difficult to argue with his being found 'Guilty', as he soon was.

Wikileaks has accused Ecuador of "betraying" Assange, which is rich, as Wikileaks had recently produced leaked documents damaging to Ecuador's government. The truth is, he has been goading them for years, and finally they have had enough and sent him packing.

I wonder if he was acting out of a sub-conscious desire to be thrown-out? Or perhaps a conscious desire, so he would be able to claim it was somehow illegal or unjust for his asylum to be rescinded. Playing the victim has long been his modus operandi, and he would not be able to if he had simply walked out into the London air.

He is either too much of a deluded narcissist, or too little of a man, to leave the embassy on his own accord to face justice. However, I am sure that today, in the long-run, will count as a great day for Julian Assange, because today he is out of purgatory.

His long confinement is over. Julian Assange is finally free from the Embassy - and the Ecuadorian Embassy is free of him. He is now in the hands of the criminal justice system of the United Kingdom, which has a decent reputation for protecting free speech.

But the case of Julian Assange is not about free speech - it could have been, had he surrendered to the courts in 2012, but that time has long-since passed.

There has been an extradition request from the US, relating to 'helping' Chelsea Manning break password protection to access classified files. If that request is accepted, if he is then tried and convicted, if he has no successful appeal, if he is given and serves the full sentence of 5 years, and if that is on top of the 12 months given by the UK for absconding, then he will still spend less time in jail than he spent in the embassy.

As I have always said: he would have been better off leaving the embassy years ago, ending his own confinement, and submitting himself to the justice system, rather than behaving as if he were above the law.

The investigation of rape accusations in Sweden have never fully gone away, either - though they were reported to be 'dropped', they were really put on hold. “If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately.” Said the Swedish prosecutor.

Assange is now available, so the case can be resumed. It is down to the Swedes what happens next in that case. I would not like to guess what will happen, but they might be granted extradition, so that he can finally face his accusers - one of whom is today pushing for exactly that.

In my mind, that has always been the crux of this story - an accused rapist, using the privilege of being a celebrity white westerner, has been hiding under asylum laws from two women. These women accuse him of raping them - one saying he lied about using a condom, the other saying he started having sex with her while she was asleep, and ignored her when she said "No."

The behaviour of Wikileaks towards certain public figures - of taking their personal correspondence and exposing them without their consent - is too reminiscent of rape to ignore. He may have embarrassed people like Hillary Clinton, but he never revealed her as a criminal, despite using the most invasive tools. He did it to exercise power over her, and that is the act of a rapist.

The charges in the US are, in contrast, far more noble crimes. The US under George W. Bush went down a road of torture and war, and there are many people walking the earth today who are guilty of crimes that Assange exposed. Manning is a hero in my eyes for having been a whistle-blower. Assange could have been, too. But helping Chelsea Manning to break password protection is yet another betrayal of trust - if proven true, he did not look after his source, instead he used her to advance his own agenda, in the process helping to condemn them both.

After this, his career veered towards corruption, towards greedily and unquestioningly publishing stuff that was more and more being dictated from the Kremlin - I don't know if he was unwittingly helping them, or if it was his intention, but he did turn down the chance to expose Russian corruption, he did redact information that exposed Russian corruption, and eventually he committed the worst crime imaginable by assisting the election of Donald Trump, and condemning the world with a hateful madman in the White House.

I see nothing in any of the charges against him that have anything at all to do with free speech.

All I see are the actions of a narcissist, who never thought he would be judged like everyone else, who never thought that the law applied to him, who never thought he would be exposed to his own crimes.

Like Dorian Gray, now the painting is out of the attic. Now we get to see who he really is.

Now we see him crying 'betrayal!' at the people who took him in, who he repaid with threats and with leaks; now we see him being called to Sweden to face the women who say he betrayed them; now we see him being called to America to face justice with the soldier he betrayed - because he betrayed her, too; now we see him in the sunlight and he seems small, and quite see-through.

Now we see him and now he sees him, too. That is why today is a great day for Julian Assange - today is the day he starts to become who he is; to reconcile everything he has done with what it means to have done it; today he is no longer hidden in the shadows, he is being thrust out into the light.

My hope is that justice is done in the open, so all those dark mutterings about corruption, by all those Wikileaks followers and conspiracy drones, can also be exposed to the power of the truth, to the brilliance of justice and to the foolishness of hiding from either.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

BBC on RT, or How the Shepherd loses the Flock

The success of the propaganda campaign against the BBC is a lesson in how wolves teach sheep to fear the shepherd.

It's an amazing trick: on the left, the BBC is "Tory propaganda". On the right, it's "Lefty mush," Yet, somehow, both say "I prefer RT"!!!!!

That is how a dictator gains power - to capture all points of the spectrum, not through policy, not through convincing arguments, not through simply being good, but by presenting a clear, uncomplicated vision of the world that absolves the target of any responsibility. A demagogue tells the people: "Everything that can change your mind is a plot to deceive you, everything you disagree with is a conspiracy against you, and all your leaders are corrupt".

Once one believes that, the game is on - RT is not run by those corrupt leaders, and shows you an alternative vision of the world, where Putin manfully struggles against Western Imperialism, but is attacked out of 'russophobia' (not a real thing) and because he is all that's stopping a global Western takeover, where everyone would be under the yoke of shady actors conspiring to own everything (who are mostly Jewish).

It is a similar dynamic on PressTV - that our leaders are corrupt is an all-pervading assumption - of course we are being lied to at every level. The global conspiracy of mostly Jewish people is ever present, corrupting everything.

Anti-Semitism doesn't die - it just gets repackaged and re-sold. 

As distasteful as I find it to call people "sheep", it is a metaphor that works all too well: yes, the shepherd sometimes leads the sheep astray, yes the shepherd does have power over them, and sometimes the shepherd is unfair, lazy, stupid, paranoid and wrong. But the shepherd only wants their wool, and the shepherd's dog obeys the rules; the wolf wants them for dinner and has no rules.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

REDACTED We’re living in a totalitarian state
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REDACTED 2 It’s fucking insane.
Lot Grundy Well, either that or she has a serious mental condition, or was a spurned lover, or both, or other reasons. There's no pictures, no video running, and no clear reason why she did it - no note, no online post, no clear declaration to onlookers. So the story is "A woman set herself on fire in a council office - investigation ongoing". It might have been to protest austerity; she might have been protesting the immigrants still living next door, even after we voted for Brexit; she might have been told to do it by the watermelon aliens that live in her bathtub; she might have been idly playing with matches or a magnifying glass - jumping to the conclusion that it was a protest for a particular worldview isn't justified by the facts. 

I wouldn't want to be a news editor, either - every other twitter commentator seems to think they can do the job better. A news editor saying "oh, well, we don't know why she's done this, so we should wait until we have some facts" translates into "TORY BBC BIAS!!!" - it's insane.

If we were living in a totalitarian state, you totally wouldn't be able to state we were living in a totalitarian state, in a totally totalitarian state stating you live in a totally totalitarian state would land you in a state where the state would state you totally can't state the state is totally totalitarian, and that's a state I wouldn't want to be in.

Like in North Korea, where such a statement might prove deadly. Not as deadly as my wordplay, amiright??
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Lot Grundy Also, the suggestion that this country pays any attention to anyone setting themselves on fire in other countries is laughable. Vatan Karabash set himself on fire in protest against the Russian annexation of Crimea two weeks ago. Oh, you didn't know? Neither did I, until I looked it up. 

"Karabash set himself on fire in public, declaring Russia policies to be lawless; he had previously expressed anger at plans for demolition of Crimean Tatar houses in Russian-occupied Crimea, which had been deemed "illegal" since they were built before Crimean Tatars had been given the right of return. Bystanders put out the flames and the injuries were reported to be non-fatal."

An self-immolation with a clear public declaration in support of the (supposedly) Tory BBC's (purported) campaign to (haha) start a war with Russia? You'd think that the state-Israeli-corporate-lizard run BBC would jump all over this!

(Excuse my facetiousness, I'm having fun)

Yeah: No. Because the news is what people will read, not necessarily what is important.
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REDACTED How is it though that every main newspaper has chosen to ignore that a woman has set fire to herself. I think this is media control. I agree about not making connections immediately, but it’s a bit difficult to ascertain the truth, when the media are guarddogs to the Tories. I was probably overboard saying Totalitarian state I admit. I’m sure Karabash got the media attention, I just don’t understand why this is different. I do actually, it’s all about pushing the bad shit under the carpet, like the way charities are not allowed to criticise the Tory agenda.
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REDACTED Sorry missed your last point. It’s true that the media is designed to grab attention and it’s usually not the important stuff.
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Lot Grundy Karabash got no media attention. 

There is no confirmation from anyone that this lady said anything about why she set herself on fire - all that we know is that she did. And she might easily have done it for a plethora of reasons. The only person sayi
ng it was because of Tory policies is the father of an eyewitness who only saw the aftermath - and that is what gets reported at Vox and Skwawkbox and Nyebeven and all the rest of these screamingly biased outlets - as if it were a fact that her motivation was known. It's not. 

The only mainstream media control in evidence is the media controlling itself by not reporting the-opinion-of-a-relative-of-someone-who-was-in-the-next-room as fact. 

If my friend's dad said that I was only writing this because I'm being paid by the government, that would hold exactly the same weight as this report. Of course, my motivation for writing this is that I'm sick and don't want to stand up right now because the room goes alittle swimmy. that and the Test Match is going badly so I've stopped listening to it and maybe I should continue to binge Archer on Netflix???
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REDACTED Haha fair play. Hope more information comes to light. Still tragic whatever it was that spurned someone to do this. I’ll go with that that there is not enoUgh (factless) information to work on.
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Lot Grundy Or not. The Tory policies are crushing the working class and further enriching the rich; the husband of the PM has a controlling stake in G4S that is embroiled in yet another scandal - it's a company that should have been savaged years ago by crowds with pitchforks and torches; Brexit is generally acknowledged to be a complete disaster and we are going to suffer for it, not the rich, and there is no party to vote for who will give us a people's vote because T.May is strapped in to that particular rocket by Bojo and Gove, and JC has always been a brexiteer, and this morning his shadow cabinet lady for the brexit ruled out a people's vote because, get this newspeak, it would be 'undemocratic' and would 'embolden the far right'.

So, yes: Democracy is, of course, bad for democracy, and we should definitely base our actions on what a bunch of skinheads might do as a result. So drop trow, bend over, and think of 2008 all over again, yeah? Good stuff.

Sorry, I'm clearly a little not ok.
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Lot Grundy Danger Zone
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Lot Grundy And of course the lefty rags are up in arms about a thing that has absolutely no proof, no reporting, no sense - and not angry at what the actual Tories are actually doing! MADNESS! Oh, they're not reporting on the blithering nonsense that Corbyn's Brexit minister was blathering this morning, they're not questioning why one of JC's best mates, MP Chris Williamson, endorses a pro-Assad conspiracy theorist Vanessa Beeley, who called the late Jo Cox a "Warmongering Blairite" and al-Queda advocate - after she was murdered! - who claims the Charlie Hebdo killings were 'staged' in a France that is 'Run by Zionists' and is a 9/11 truther (which seems somehow quaint, doesn't it?). 

Of course, Chris Williamson himself has previously compared the Lib Dems to the Nazis and said Labour MPs who supported Theresa May’s position blaming the Salisbury poisoning on Russia were as much “political enemies” as the Tories.

Of course, you won't find any of that on the BBC. You actually won't. Because they don't necessarily reflect every interest and opinion I have (my opinion being that such a person has no place in Parliament).
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Lot Grundy Test Match is going better, though, so. Good.