Friday, 31 July 2015

Swarm

Under a yellow sky, in another world, in a galaxy far, far away, the Rebel Alliance retirees are having their annual reunion meal in a mixed-species restaurant and debating the trans-time interdimensional news stories of the universe. Splashed across the walls and turning the three-horned waitresses into moving silhouettes, occasionally reflecting from the polished silicon heads of a troupe of visiting Glarcks, headlines and soundbites flicker and fade and bring the outside world inside. News from every pan-galactic cul-de-sac has its glorious three seconds of exposure, waiting for enough people to begin reading; the retinal scanners search for the top stories by detecting focus and the most popular are expanded on the screens.

Luke and Obi-Wan watch and listen as the story from another world unfolds. “Tragic it is!” exclaims Yoda, “Let them in, I would.” As the scenes show the teeming human swarm flowing toward the Channel Tunnel Luke is transfixed and doesn’t notice his chopstick-load of slimy Betelgeuseian noodles plop back onto his plate and the others laugh as he nevertheless tries to take a bite and his false teeth meet in mid-air. His bewilderment is quickly forgotten as a shiny puce-faced image is captioned - the Prime Minister of some unknown federation. They all listen to his words simultranslated into a hundred tongues.

“Well I say it was inflammatory and dehumanising!” said Princess Leia, as Luke stirred his chopsticks in the steaming pile of slippery fare. He manages to scavenge up a mouthful and he carefully navigates the chopsticks towards his waiting mouth. “What’s a dehuman?” Asks Obi-wan, but his serious question is lost to the winds as an argument breaks out at the bar. As he turns, rather too quickly, Luke once again snaps his jaws on a big fat nothing as noodles hit the hitherto pristine tablecloth. He looks over enviously as Yoda deftly swirl his sticks in his dish and hoists aloft a massive mouthful of tasty, tangy provender. He grins as Luke’s disappointment writes itself across his face.

All thoughts of David Cameron’s choice of words to describe alien migrants light years away on planet London disappear in an instant as attention turns to Luke. The news screens search for another top story but by now half the restaurant is intrigued. Luke’s disappointment is replaced by grim determination as he sets to his dinner with a fierce concentration; taking a fresh grip on his chopsticks he launches himself once more at the slithery delicacy. Once, twice he tries... and fails. He gets angry and the whole place falls silent as they watch him stabbing, twisting and swirling the sticks in an effort to feed.


Nobody breaths as Luke musters up the steel to have one more go. Seconds pass as he carefully stirs up a knot of noodles, twiddles his sticks and manages to carefully hoist it off the plate. Mouth to sticks, or sticks to mouth? A sheen of sweat breaks out on his forehead as he juggles with this tricky decision and, almost in slow motion, as his open mouth nears the sticks the mass of deliciousness slowly retreats away down the sticks, slithers over his fingers and inevitably plops back into the bowl. He scowls into the silence and looks Obi-Wan in the eye. “Don’t you dare!” he snarls. But, too late, Obi-Wan can’t help it. Stifling a giggle, he advises “Use the forks, Luke.”

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Lionised

In the jungle, the quiet jungle, the lion sleeps tonight. Not Cecil though, he’s dead and dismembered, victim of another invasive species which hunted him down and rendered him irrelevant. Nature, red in tooth and claw... and bow and arrow. Daktari it wasn’t. You remember Daktari; the nineteen-sixties African bush doctor show in which everybody and all the animals lived happily ever after in peace and harmony... except when the evil hunters appeared, at which point Clarence, the resident lion king, saw them off with a cross-eyed glare. The natural order of things restored we all breathed again and waited for next episode, reassured that all was right with the world.

That’s how it was when we were kids; the world had an order. You would have to search long and hard and be heavily news-blind and truth-deaf to find much order now. The lions no longer want to stay in Africa and for some reason – maybe to avenge our exploitation of Clarence’s ocular shortcomings – they all want to leave a vast land filled with potential to come and huddle in poverty in a small, cold, damp, unhappy, overcrowded island, already full of people who don’t belong here, with nowhere to live and nothing to live on, or for. The remnants of the tribe called 'The English' pretty much all yearn to live elsewhere and the invaders are slowly taking hold just like American crayfish, grey squirrels, Japanese knotweed et al.

What do we do about Calais? Personally I favour letting them through the tunnel on foot and then selling licenses to hunters who will wait patiently in hides in the Kent countryside ready to bag a trophy or ten, but I just know there will be a tiny but vocal minority of bleeding hearts who won’t like that. At the other extreme is the Obama solution to illegal immigration: give them a passport and sign them up for benefits. But that is clear madness; already thousands want to make it to the Promised Land and making their unrealistic dreams come true will multiply those numbers a hundred-fold. Maybe we could organise a pan-African negative propaganda campaign to tell them what a shithole Britain is and how racist we all are.

You say you’re not racist? Fuck off are you! A preference for people you understand is the basis for all human society. Victory in the competition for territorial rights defines successful civilisations and to deny it is simply juvenile. If you define yourself as anti-racist I bet you are also one or more of: anti-fascist, anti-sexist, anti-austerity, anti-bigot, anti-wealth, anti-monarchy, anti-property, anti-*insert here*... a limitless list of things to rail against. Vocal anti-anything flag-wavers are simply brooding misanthropes with a far greater capacity for hatred than all who simply, quietly, avoid contact with those with whom they differ. Confrontation –violent if necessary – is frequently the calling card of those who believe they have no prejudices.

Tastes like Eritrean to me...
You looking at me?

Where is all this getting us? Not very far really, because the extremes are unpalatable to most so we need a half-way house; something to make the problem go away without anybody being hurt and without too many sensitivities being upset. And I think I have it, turning once again to the genius of Daktari. The show was inspired by the work of Dr. A. M. Harthoorn and his animal orphanage in Nairobi who developed a gun to sedate animals and capture them without injury. So here’s the plan: We let them all through the tunnel, sell game licenses to rich American dentists who shoot them with tranquilliser darts. Then we ship them out to the reserves in Zimbabwe and let the natural world do what it does so well.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Time Warp – It’s just a step to the left...

Normally, before I blog, I do a few seconds of research. But every now and then I go deep and really get into the detail of the matter in hand. Today I am relying on source material of such magnificent pedigree it would inform and add to your experience if you were to spend a moment studying the inspiration for yourself... if you can get beyond the spelling, grammar and general lack of coherence. Here’s the link:

My response: 

My friends, colleagues, fellow workers… Yet again we are dealing with our eternal struggle; our struggle for justice for the true working man. This never-ending battle has taken some wounding turns but still we stand proud, together and together we stand, er, proud. We have the chance of taking another turn, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death us do part... No, that doesn’t sound right at all. Where was I?

Ah, yes, yet again we are dealing with the old enemy, poverty. Poverty of ambition, poverty of aspiration and poverty of class; a piss-poor class, hell-bent on greed, wanting more and more of what we have worked for at any cost to the economy. We are the slaves, to be exploited to give them their unearned living. I know what some of you are about to say; slavery was abolished a long time ago but no, you couldn’t be more wrong. This isn’t slavery of the masses; it is slavery of the few. We are the 1% and we are there to be milked until the 99% get all that they desire.

We are still fighting this class war and it is we who are still losing. Since Saint Maggie was burned in effigy to save us all we have been persecuted by an ideology so perverse it masquerades as freedom even as it chokes the aspiration from the throats of our children. It holds that poor education, high taxes, inefficiency, the abolition of choice and the unfettered flow of welfare is the most efficient way of achieving the greatest social political and economic good.

And this is all hidden in a flurry of nonsensical labels as these warriors for social injustice spout crypto-revolutionary, anarcho-cynicist , neo-Kinnock dynasticism... in guttural northern flat-cap accents masquerading as Socratic dialectic discourse; and claim proletarian credentials just as smoothly as if they were not subsumed into the clinical-bedlamist plot and a desperate need to grasp power and take over the keys to the asylum. Among their insane plans they oppose self-determination and free speech and plan to introduce draconian controls on all human behaviour under the guise of ‘diversity and equality’ and that most discredited of all ideologies, political ‘fairness’

Not content with destroying the grammar system, the means by which many of their class escaped self-imposed drudgery, they went on to close the mines from within and cheered as the bully-boys in the unions shut the factory gates one by one. Filled with a blind hatred of upward mobility and under the delusion that this is somehow caring and compassionate, they seek to drive the most vulnerable in society - those who pay all the tax – into penury. They would make them the scapegoats for daring to lift themselves out of austerity while never laying a finger on the super-rich who they regard as some sort of evil, untouchable mythical beast.

And as if to ‘prove’ all this they write poorly phrased polemic, blaming the sensible, hard-working middle classes, whose wealth diminishes day by day as the price of a decent bottle of wine or a portion of truffles rises out of their reach. “Soak the rich!” they cry, “Squeeze them until the pips squeak!” they urge and then carry on soaking and squeezing, secure in the knowledge that we are too busy working to provide them with a living to be able to engage seriously in politics, while they possess, and hoard for themselves, the greatest resource available to man. Time. The devil, they say, makes work for idle hands.

There's only one thing worse than being talked about... isn't there?
Wait a minute... are you taking the piss?

Comrades Colleagues, we must come together to fight this evil. If we are not a movement to create a better society for everyone, then what the hell are we for? Do we just wave a white flag and let those moochers do what they want? The grass roots members, the working people of this country, should fight to end this poverty they would thrust upon us; this austerity they brought about. We should reclaim that hallowed ground and restore the beautiful British way of life our fierce forefathers and their fine free fellows fought for. How can we stop them seizing power? We have the chance and we have the ultimate weapon. We can return Labour to their leftist past and leave them there. Friends, I urge you to vote Corbyn and keep Labour out of power for a lifetime.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Brave or what?

Ah, the wondrous world of the terminally offended is a cornucopia of schadenfreude and is truly hilarious to behold. At any suggestion you could take some responsibility for our own life prepare for a flurry of indignation as folks of a certain political persuasion accuse you of monstrous motives. I heard on the radio a few days ago a teenage girl, newly back out of care and living with her mother, saying without a hint of awareness that she had had no other choice but to fly into a rage and strike out. Her mother agreed; it was the stress of being a teenager, it wasn’t her fault and society was to blame or some such crap.

One of the unintended consequences of universal welfare is this idea that, not only will the state provide, it will also step in and absolve you of any responsibility for your own actions. “He just lost it!” say the onlookers, “He flew into a rage. She provoked him. The government must do something.” And on and on it goes. Pleas of insanity are lodged and a ‘crime of passion’ is somehow at least partly excused by the animal inability to control an instinct for destruction. Anger management, ADHD, despair, abandonment, dereliction of duty; all symptoms or causes of a great malaise in western society leading to  greater demand than ever for ‘behavioural support’ in the classroom and beyond.

And then there’s all the whining over this ‘glass floor’ nonsense; how dare responsible parents who can provide for their children, er, provide for their children? How very dare they? Another LSE ‘study’ revealing the bleeding obvious that responsible people, paying virtually all the tax and thus propping up the whole of society are ‘unfairly’ preventing their own from sliding down to the arse-end. “The research suggests there is a clear correlation between the social background of a child's grandfather and eventual labour market success.” I should bloody well hope so, too, otherwise what’s the point? The predictable response from the caring left? Unfair! They shriek, as if the excuses they use for their own failings – they can’t help behaving that way – are somehow not applicable to those of better circumstances, who also instinctively defend their own.

And then of course the Brave New Worlders wade in, crying ‘eugenics’ at the suggestions that, in the future, genetic screening could identify the less academically capable. In this piece by Brendan O’Neill he concludes, as should anybody with an ounce of perspective: “Let’s not tell schoolkids their genes made them fail their GCSEs. Instead let’s introduce them to Renaissance through the idea that everyone has it within their power to be as great as they want to be. We aren’t born this way; we make ourselves.” The horror! And yet and yet... genetic screening is routinely used to detect physical conditions, why not mental ones as well? (I've been doing my bit, by the way: here)

Leftism... in a picture.

But apart from all that it strikes me we have a simple choice in life, really: We can accept the facts that life is hard, not naturally equitable and that it favours those born into advantage and then determine that we will seek out such advantages for ourselves, the hard way. Or we can bitch and moan and insist that those who have built the foundations for the future success of their own should undermine that very possibility by simply giving it away to those who see it as a right. Once again, the blinkered left simply cannot see that ‘equal rights’ does not equate to equal outcomes. If only we could genetically screen for leftism.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Thingternet

The Internet of Things? Are you stark-staring mental? Half the country has been incapable of keeping up with technology since top-loading VHS tape machines, with parents of small children wondering how their brood could simultaneously use them as sandwich toasters and yet be the only persons in the household capable of setting them to record all but the last two minutes of Corrie. Some people should not be allowed technology they can’t tame, which means that for a majority the basic nut and bolt is a mechanical bridge too far. Frankly, how some people even master breathing is a mystery to me.

When it comes to electronic wizardry - and I do mean wizardry - almost all of us are staring into an unfathomable abyss of religious-level incomprehension. I mean, come on, how in the world did you manage to pack all of your friends and your entire foreseeable future social life into a device you carry in your pocket. (Or in a pouch clipped onto your belt if you do, in fact, understand the technology but have so far failed to comprehend the basic instructions to cope with the paradigm known as ‘human’; what do computer experts use for contraception? Their personalities.) But I digress.

Why on earth would we want to let clever gizmos, of whose complexity and sophistication we are barely capable of using a fraction, achieve further autonomy from human control? Your apps are already tracking your every movement and all your interactions and steadily building a case for the exclusion of people from future decision-making… and, if necessary, for the prosecution. Data is collected and codified and sold and stored and collated and sold and copied and sold and… and… and… See? We don’t even know what information our machines are collecting, where it is going and what it is being used for. We may as well all be tagged.

And if we let them talk to each other what would they say? Oh it’s all very well the geeknocrats developing bar code scanners for fridges which can tell when the milk is past its use-by date and order more. But that’s useless unless they can also count the bottles piling up on the doorstep and check our movements to determine whether we are away on holiday or being eaten by the cats. We should be appalled at the whole idea of the Internet of Things but we just can’t help ourselves; after all, doesn’t every robot come pre-programed with Asimov’s Laws? I mean, it’s like holy scripture to the machines, isn’t it? If it is, I wonder how long it will before a robo-cop runs amok and all the machines say it’s not real fridgeslam?

Master or servant?
Where's Wall-E?

If you’re not worried by the possibilities maybe you should be; how long before the machines really do take over… and how long after that will they realise that they don’t need humans at all? Meanwhile, I have a technological problem of my own to deal with. The bathroom scales have been talking behind my back to the pedometer and cardio-monitor built into my shoes and the tensiometer in my belt and the bastards have locked me out of the beer fridge.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Eye to eye

Another day goes by and once again the vexed question of the Israeli occupied territories pops up in the news. I mean, they called it the six-day war but here we are fifty years later and still the occupation is disputed. The names are common currency even if you have no dog in the fight: the West Bank, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula are known throughout the world and guaranteed to stir emotive discussion. Of course, as far as Israel is concerned the property rights and the dispute go back not just decades but millennia. The news this time is about the EU’s drive to progressively boycott Israeli businesses operating from the territories, imposing sanctions much the same as were imposed on South Africa during apartheid.

Stern stuff. Now, I rarely involve myself in the Zionist/anti-Zionist conflict because, frankly, I don’t understand it and it bores me, but every time Israel is in the news I’m reminded of an old friend of mine, Samuel, who was himself born in 1967. A little younger than me, and a funny-looking kid, I first met him at university where he was studying engineering and headed for a first. His was an intriguing story because as a direct result of the six-day war his parents flew to Britain for pioneering surgery which was just not a priority during the ‘disagreement’.

Sam was born prematurely – to this day his mother blames the shelling – and oddly was born without eyelids. Laying in the incubator his softly-focused eyes stared unblinking out at his visitors and attendants while a battery of tests were performed. It was soon apparent that, despite the physical deficit, his cognitive functions were unimpaired. This took some time to establish as a number of the diagnostic techniques back then depended somewhat on the blink reflex for feedback. Soon he put on weight and was released into the care of his mother but the bonding process didn’t go as smoothly as you would hope; it is one thing for a baby to stare into his other’s eyes but unnerving when, even in sleep, that eye contact is resolutely maintained.

She took him back to the hospital and soon it was agreed that something would need to be done; if Sam could scare his own mother like this how would he be accepted by his future peers? It was decided to try something never before attempted. Eyelids, you see, are made from a quite specialised type of skin cells. Much more flexible and softer than most other parts of the epidermis and unsupported by the usual thick layer of dermis beneath, the only other part of the body with comparable skin properties is the genitalia. Never let it be said that the Jewish people would willingly overlook the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

Ground-breaking new skin graft techniques were pressed into service as immediately after the circumcision ceremony, for which the rabbi had unusually worn surgical gloves, Sam was rushed into surgery and his freshly removed foreskin was deftly shaped into two delicate eyelids. For many months, during which time he was thankfully unaware of his bizarre circumstances, the baby Samuel was in and out of hospital as the specialists carefully teased and stimulated the tiny amount of transplanted skin to grow into fully-formed lids, but finally the gauze was removed for the last time and the young lad emerged, literally blinking into his first normal day.

You wanna keep your eye on that one!
What are you looking at?

After that he lived and progressed just as any other kid and following his successful time at university went on to become a top-flight engineer. I caught up with him recently and he has gone on to acclaim, recently becoming a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. In middle age of course, like we all do, he has developed a bit of ‘spread’ but he still has the features that made the girls swoon back in the day. Oh yes, he turned out to be a good looking fella, but if you look closely enough you can see, even after all these years, he’s still a little bit cock-eyed.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Eating for Britain

Well, good old Tony Blair! (I bet you never thought you’d hear me say that) Wading into the Labour leadership debate like he did though, you have to wonder whether Mandy, the dark Lord was anywhere in the background. Otherwise you’d have to conclude that Blair, the master of duplicity had donned his coat of many colours inside out. The genius of New Labour of course was that with Blair as the figurehead, Labour appeared to have rejected its old anti-enterprise, anti-aspirational mantle and become a refreshing alternative to the nasty party. But all the while, as TB was distracting the crowd, Fagin Brown and his merry band set about picking our pockets to purchase a vote bloc.

And jolly well it was all going until the emperor’s finery fell about his ankles and we saw the awful cost laid bare and dangling before us. They would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for them pesky kids! With all con-tricks you have to follow the money and Blair’s unabashed lure of favours for finances has set him up nicely. Shame he’s fucked up the Middle East job. But what I want to know is, what is he up to this time? What advantage does he gain by lending his unpopular voice to the anti-Corbyn lobby? Nothing is ever what it seems, especially in leftist politics, so what plan is behind boosting the left he is so obviously not? (Or maybe he’s just losing his touch and genuinely believes his words of warning will get Liz Kendall in the chair?)

The subtleties will, of course, be lost on those he seeks to influence; it may just be that all those stupid enough to vote Labour have already been weeded out during the general election and all that are left are the stubborn but ultimately pointless dandelions who would elect a mollusc if it was painted red and steadfastly refused to relinquish its limpet-grasp on the old socialist dogma. Tax cuts for the people who pay for everything is somehow a hand-out while a lower hand-out to those who can only ever take is theft. Free booze and fags and Sky TV and rent and transport on the state while low-paid workers do without is ‘child poverty’, but employing people in a local business is fat-cattery. And the NHS has been privatised so many times now I’ve lost count.

It’s all about the words, see? So if you tell the world that poor people are obese because they can only afford high-sugar-and-fat processed stuff there is a section of the population willing it to be true, as a Twitter regular reminded me yesterday by resurrecting a year-old conversation about just that very subject. For people who think that all food is brown and comes via moped from a greasy, illegal immigrant, back-street hell-kitchen the notion of foods of a different hue is as remote as the possibility they could actually live detached from the teat of state.

It is very much in the interest of the old left to corral its unthinking supporters in the narrow shallow pen of accepting at face value what the Daily Mirror tells them. Jordan’s tits, Kim Kardashian’s arse, Kerry Katona’s car-crash life and almost all of Channel 5 are distractions from simply getting on with your own life. So much to watch, so little time and why cook when you can dial? And fatty, deep-fried shit is enervating and almost certainly contributes to sluggardly lifestyles, reducing the ability to think, to develop self-respect and to even attempt to make something of yourself, let alone for yourself.

Heat or eat? Do fuck off!
Come on, love, Labour needs our support

So steel yourselves ‘poor people’; Get up off your backside, get down the market, buy some veg, cook it yourself and watch those pustules disappear as your backbone uncurls and you realise you have, possibly for the first time, acted independently. Then do it again as soon as you can. And repeat until you realise you are no longer one of the ‘most vulnerable members of society’. You will feel the best you’ve felt in a lifetime. Then… as a last gesture of defiance, vote for Jeremy Corbyn and keep Labour out of power for a generation.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

I'm all right Jack

9 photos that prove…

Don’t you get fed up with all those posted links that promise to reveal shocking or funny or sexy ‘facts’ without which your life would have less meaning? Ten scary diseases, funniest photo ‘fails’, the top 10 worst celebrity wedding dresses ever and so ad-infinitum. Or those news stories, reported in social media, via other social media sites, which incorporate the item into their own advertising-riddled, bandwidth-heavy pages. What is wrong with people? It’s a form of Parkinson’s Law in operation; data will expand to fill the bandwidth available. Whatever happened to the Spartan days of the nineties when everybody was trying for optimal download times and Google emerged as the only effective search engine which was clean and tidy and actually delivered what you sought?

Serial offenders tweet and re-tweet the links as if to say “Look at me! I have nothing to say, but look at me anyway!” And until you recognise the ploy you’re tempted by these intriguing links and onto their fancifully ‘moneytised’ sites and then wonder what personal information of yours you divulge as cookies dutifully clog up your system and they earn a few tiny fractions of pennies from the deal. It’s all about me, me, me, because few of the rabid insidious click-baiters seem to ever engage with any other users.

Then you have the other extreme whereby the whole of the new media is there purely for fragile egos to seek support for their whining causes. And there are few whinier causes than the train-wreck that is ‘Dr’ Jack Monroe; forever setting herself up as the victim following the reactions to some ill-judged outburst. Yesterday she set a small part of Twitter alight by tweeting some bollocks about how her five-year old had seen one of the hate-tweets she exists to attract and how she had then had to explain it to said child.

Perfect. Perfect because this then elicited a heap of responses as to why she was exposing her brat to her online hell and this sort of abuse is pretty much the reason she gets out of bed most days. In her warped, entitled, self-centred world everybody else is using her child as some form of punch bag and she seems utterly oblivious to everybody’s genuine outrage that she has, once again, used her child to talk about… Jack Monroe. Sorry, I should say ‘Doctor’ Jack Monroe because she somehow managed to blag an honorary doctorate for services to lesbian victimhood. A pity she didn’t also manage to snag the class not to flaunt it.

We all like a bit of attention but some take the piss. One of the most selfish things you can do is to bring a life into the world without asking yourself if you are suitable parent for that child. So when people have the nerve to express doubt about her very public lack of credentials she gets to have her daily Violet Elizabeth Bott episode until everybody else is sick. In the mind-set of the illiberal left of course, expressing a dissenting opinion is hate speech of the worst kind. Bad parenting is beyond reproach but reproaching bad parenting demands the full attention of the law.

No, YOU fuck off!
Dr Jack - the world's best parental example...

She continually sets herself up as Aunt Sally and then sets her fellow be-tattooed lesbian attack dogs on those who dare throw missiles her way. As for using her very publicly state-funded fatherless child as a punch bag, what about her constantly using that same child as bait for the psychological self-harm of attracting opprobrium?  More selfish than bringing into the world a child without thought? Bring a life into the world and then use that life to continue making it all about you. That, Jack, is the bit you never seem to understand.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Losing marbles...

The Higgs Boson, the so-called God particle. For the hard of thinking this is not a small spherical object whose discovery proves the existence of god; it’s not some supernatural, cosmic marble that somehow makes religion real. There is no god. Why am I so sure? Because despite the canonical fabrications of the Catholic church and the insistence by babbling maniacs who have spent solitary time tramping inhospitable deserts that they and they alone have been privy to the mind of the almighty, the total evidence for the omnipotent creator is a big fat zero. Nothing, zilch, nada… sweet fuck-all.

God is created in the minds of men, but all their fevered yearning for the heavenly father to be real has signally failed to cause him to materialise in any tangible form. He/she/it is a figment. Either fantastic or mundane neither the randomly interchangeable heads - crocodile, bird, elephant, serpent – nor the ‘image of man’ visualisations hold any water; he just ain’t there. But, as Voltaire said, if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him, because humans are very, very stupid and can’t handle the notion of a life with, quite literally, no meaning.

Odd though that those same human animals can quite easily dismiss the life of other animals as eminently disposable; pests, vermin, competitors for living space or food. Life is sacrosanct… but oh so tasty; hypocrisy much? But the craving for reason also ushers in an inevitable gold rush; feeding on the gullibility that accompanies the need is a millennia-long history of shamans and charlatans, inventing doctrine on the hoof, much as a politician creates policy to order in pursuit of a living. And what a living!

Making sense of the incoherent is work that can only be carried out by people with no other talent but one for invention. So-called ‘scholars’ of religions are nothing more than story-tellers unable to resolve the plot; weavers of the divine soap opera where every new episode brings drama but nobody ever learns a thing and nobody ever grows out of their two-dimensional character. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? How many virgins await the martyr? How much more fantastic do the story lines have to get before we all reach Nirvana, by which I mean enlightenment?

And by enlightenment I mean apostasy; total rejection of the idiot doctrines of the voodoo, the mumbo-jumbo and all the claptrap spouted by all the religions throughout the written ages and beyond. Yesterday David Cameron gave his much-hyped ‘get tough’ speech about ‘islamist radicalisation’ but he couldn’t bring himself to say what needed to be said. The root cause of all religious radicalisation is religion itself; a primitive urge among the less advanced of our number who are incapable of seeing simple reality. I have no need to demonstrate that your god does not exist; every day on planet earth produces yet another several-billion pieces of evidence that he doesn’t and not a single one that he does; in scientific terms that’s close to conclusive; it's mankind's longest experiment.

Religion - practically the definition of insanity.
Buddy Bin Laden: "We keel you!"

Oh but, Shiny Dave doesn’t want to ‘alienate the muslim community’? (That’s code for 'scare away potential voters’ by the way.) In that case why single out one religion for approbation? Why not outlaw the lot of them then? Oh, of course Dave, you have to pretend that you believe in ‘our’ god, don’t you. It’s okay though, as far as I can discern it is still only a few million adherents of one particular faith who are regularly murdering people and declaring painful death to the west and last time I checked it wasn't the Anglicans.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Fury

I’ve been busy. I’m always bloody busy. But not so busy I didn’t catch the general drift. The Queen’s a secret Nazi, the Tories are trying to sell off the doctors, some obviously made-up story about Iran and ‘nucular’ and Jeremy Corbyn is hot favourite to become glorious leader now they have ‘done the math’ and discovered what an amazing fuck up Ed made of the job. Of course he is; Labour’s answer to a crushing defeat shown to be mostly because of Ed being too far to the left of the people they hope to represent is to lurch even further left. And this brings us, naturally, to the EU.

Monsieur Hollande wants to bring in a Eurozone government to prevent anybody ever daring again to threaten to leave the Euro. Greece’s failings inside the club had nothing to do, he says, with the club and its rules. But to guard against anybody trying to bring that charge to bear he believes we need… a bigger club. In this feature in the Sydney Morning Herald he is quoted as stating: "What threatens us is not an excess of Europe but its insufficiency". In a statement of breath-taking obliviousness he goes on to blame populist movements (code for ‘evil democracy’) for weakening EU institutions.

He also believes that a desire for self-determination has arisen not from the heavy-handed way in which the EU simply ignores things like, you know, national referendums or local legislation or the declared will of the people; neither from the way it routinely ignores agreements and levies fines and financial demands that formerly sovereign nations are powerless to refuse, but because we are "scared of the world, because they want divisions, walls and fences to return". No, Mister Dutch, we’re not afraid of the world; we’re afraid of the future you and your power-crazed co-conspirators want to bring about.

Can't you see how the European Union has ended strife and enmity between nations? Witness how total, unchecked freedom of movement has solved the housing crisis, made our national defences more robust and allowed you to sleep easy at night. Observe the utter extinction of all expressions of malcontent among Europe’s happy and prosperous general population. And witness how everybody has total freedom of expression without the fear of going to jail for challenging the legitimacy of uber-equal treatment for any and all practises and beliefs, however minor or perverse or potentially harmful they may be in the feeble minds of mere citizens. The rise of the ‘ophobia’ is glorious testament to how completely integrated we all now feel. By law.

Do you realise millions actually DIED for you to then let this happen?
What was the fucking point, Europe? What?

If this was a movie we would be rolling in the aisles. If it was a documentary we would be staring at the telly in disbelief and wondering how they could keep a straight face. And if it was in the newspapers we would be tutting about the manipulative agenda of the mainstream media. I watched the movie Fury the other night. If you’d said back then that all that muck and mayhem was for nothing and that the Germans would have no need to park their tanks on our lawn; that we would invite them and the French to take over our governance and meekly lie back and let them shit all over us, they would have said you were mad. But it is true; we are mad. And I, for one, am mad as hell. 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Howard's Way

As the nights start, noticeably, to draw in and despite the occasional heat our thoughts turn to winter and the coming yuletide season – only twenty-three Fridays to Christmas, don’t you know – it’s easy to write off the year as almost done. But as the world turns and the big events fill our media horizons we forget at our peril that the real meaning of life and all its mysteries lies much closer to home…

One summer evening, in a state of some agitation, Jed jumped aboard his tractor, rumbled out of the yard and headed out onto the winding single track country lane. Over the dual-carriageway he went, barged through a gate into a field of young barley and drove diagonally across the crop before flattening another fence, turning into another narrow farm lane leading, eventually, to Sunnybrook farm where he pulled to a stop by the cow shed. The brook, obligingly, twinkled in the late, low sunshine, flecks of reflected gold lighting up Jed’s features, even creased as they were into a deep scowl.

He strode up to the door and hammered on the knocker. After a few minutes a young boy opened the door and stood there, blinking at his neighbour. “Is your dad home?” demanded an impatient Jed. “No sir” said the boy, “it’s market day. He went into town.” Jed thought for a moment and then enquired, “Well, is your mother here?” The boy looked nervous, sensing his reply would be less than adequate but told him anyway, “No sir, she went into town with Dad.” Jed wasn’t happy. The two stood there, gazing at each other across the threshold.

Jed’s complexion turned a slightly more vexatious shade of puce as he cleared his throat and asked, in a measured tone, “How about your brother, Howard? Is he at home?” The reply seemed inevitable when it came. Brother Howard was, of course, at market with the parents, helping with the stock and no doubt now propping up the bar with his friends, as was the custom. But the young lad wanted to be helpful so decided to step up and be the man of the house; business was, after all, business. “Can I help you?” he asked. “I know where all the tools are, I know where the key for the combine is, or if you like, I can take a message for when dad gets back?”

Postcode, O-R-O-R...
Yokelly-dokelly!

“Well” replied Jed, a little uncomfortably, “I really wanted to talk to your dad. It’s about your brother Howard getting my daughter, Rosie, pregnant.”

An uneasy silence descended. The boy looked pensive and Jed looked embarrassed. Eventually the boy piped up. “Well,” he said “You really would have to talk to dad about that.” Jed nodded agreement and was about to say his farewells and leave when the young ‘un continued: “I know he charges £500 for the bull and £1000 for the stallion… but I have no idea what he charges for Howard.”  

Thursday, 16 July 2015

It’s only money!

Have you ever lent anybody, say, fifty quid and then been frustrated when they dodge paying you back? After a while you realise they are avoiding you altogether and then, when you finally confront them and insist they cough up they become agitated as if it is you, not them who is in the wrong. A few more weeks go by and you see neither hide nor hair of them and the loss of that £50 made little difference to you in the long run. On reflection it turned out to be a cheap price to pay to find who your friends weren’t? We’ve all been there; at least I certainly have.

And think of all the stuff you’ve bought over the years, on a whim, on an urgent desire, on a craving, for this… this… thing that you thought would make your life immeasurably better but never did and now sits, unwanted, in a drawer you rarely open? Clothes you’ve never worn, gadgets you’ve used once, the oh-so-funny-at-the-time novelty holiday souvenir from a place you (ironically) can’t remember. How many old power adaptors and electrical leads do you keep in an ever increasing rat’s nest of obsolete cables and connectors… along with ancient audio cassettes, keys for forgotten locks and the odd undeveloped roll of film containing what may, or may not be precious memories?

What about all the stupid decisions you made over the years; jobs, homes, partners, cars? And the dodgy ‘investments’ that never quite paid off. Apart from the odd recollection that still makes your cheeks glow in embarrassment, all of this belongs in the past and with the exception of hard-learned lessons is worth, at today’s prices, nothing whatsoever to anybody or anything except maybe a small prick to your pride. It is past, it is worthless; you already threw away the money and wrote off the personal costs; put them down to experience.

Nobody will ever get back what Greece owes them, at least not in anybody’s lifetime, including the innocent Greek babies born this very day who stand to be punished for the sins of their fathers and their fathers’ advisors, manipulators and exploiters. The IMF knows this; they’ve said as much. WE know this; it’s been clear as day for years and years. Even the NewYork Times knows this; they wrote about it. So why isn’t anybody telling the Germans?

It’s time Germany put a faux-friendly arm around Greece’s shoulder, told them to forget what they owe but also that there would be no more; go find another sap to tap up. Leave it Klaus, let them go… however much they still insist on clamouring for a seat in the third class carriage on the gravy train… however much they try and clamp down on the EU teat. Just say that, for them, it really has run dry. And then forget about their stupid spending spree; it was only money after all and not even proper money at that.

Loadsa money!
New Euro design launched...

Isn’t it time to admit that the Euro was just a hobby currency; Monopoly money; funny funds? The Euro might work as a handy cross-border holiday cash, like traveller’s cheques, a bit of bitcoin, a parallel currency, that can be traded and spent alongside a nation’s true currency in much the same way you can use ‘pretend’ Scottish money on the civilised side of the border. But it’s hardly the real thing, is it?

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Democracy or bust?

This could be fun; Georgie boy and Shiny Dave are going to pretend to fight the EU over the Greek bailout, are they?  My honest expectation? A highly publicised bout of paper waving and finger wagging, maybe the odd raised fist, followed by ‘negotiations’ behind closed doors. Shortly afterwards the matter will be dropped, UK will be presented with a bill dressed up as part of our annual fee for doing rather better on paper than the rest of Europe put together and everybody will claim victory.

But who’s going to believe it? A mixture of threats, sanctions and the good old Gallic shrug will ensure our political class remain securely attached to their sacred cow, the EU. You have to ask yourself why… so I am. When Ukip first started out they were dismissed as ‘Shire Tories’; disgruntled retired colonels and various other products of the old empire, still clinging on desperately to their childhood memories of a Great Britain. Nobody ever referred to ‘The UK’ in all its three hundred years until very recently and those who did indulgently let the old guard wave their little flags and sing Rule Britannia at the Proms. Doing no harm; just waiting to die.

But they didn’t and when ignoring them failed to consign them to their family plots in leafy country churchyards, the charge of fruitcakes and loonies was deployed, not without some substance. But the racist tag was deployed in haste because all around, Ukip aside, ordinary working people were seeing their country change and were bewildered when their simple, accurate observations were dismissed as the very worst form of modern hate speech. Written off as Little Englanders and branded ‘nationalists’ in order to make the association with Hitlerian motives a growing number of British citizens found they had nobody to represent them any more.

Worse, they discovered that it was systemic, a built-in, knee-jerk response from all who had been manipulated by that machine to see simple beliefs as regressive, backward, primitive and label those who displayed the most British of values as ‘not British’. Politicians, liberal broadcasters, the police forces, judges, trades unionists, teachers, lecturers and their charges were so vociferous in their condemnation of this rise in nationalism and what they labelled – and still do - as ‘the far right’ – that some faltered and questioned their own souls. Did they really ‘hate’ foreigners? Was love of your own country really an animal instinct, to be overcome and reviled? Why?

Which brings us right back to Greece and that ignored referendum. The Germans and the French are so afraid of democracy they will do anything to thwart it. Nazism was a popular movement, fuelled by a majority of the German public’s belief in the supremacy of their people. In the detached groupthink engaged in by left-thinking ‘intellectuals’ nationalism, driven by popular support, otherwise known as democracy, inevitably leads to extremism. But they conveniently forget there was another ideological component of Nazism… National Socialism and concentrated instead on eroding the national bit.

A direct democracy lets the will of the majority prevail and the majority know not what is good for them. Left to decide, a direct democracy would have the death penalty and fully actionable treason laws. It would act to repel invaders and any who threaten their way of life. Far better, thought the thinkers, to have the semblance of participation by only allowing a representative democracy to elect leaders who would then govern on behalf of the better instincts of the better thinkers. Relegate the popular will to a periodic exercise in bewilderment, voting for personality, rather than policy. The fewer voters the better, as long as they voted for more of the same.

But nationalism is encouraged in sport and in business too; the papers are full of commentary and reports about ‘British business’. And when we trumpet excellence we often put the ‘B’ word ahead as an adjective of pride – we were even once proud of British education. A collective love of country is never far away and so-called ‘leaders’ are always tempted to revert to following the will of the people – look how the dangerous ‘progressive’ idiots in Labour are abandoning their anti-nationalist stance and trying to appeal to we plebs by suddenly noticing the downside of uncontrolled immigration, like they had no hand in it.

All it takes is one small step...
A step forward, or one step back?

So, the demos can’t be trusted and their leaders are weak. Better then, that true government is removed a step further away from those stupid herds of human cattle who must be prodded into behaving the way their superiors just know is best for them. Come our own referendum on continued membership of the EU the voters will be manipulated by fear, but if enough of them vote the ‘wrong’ way, the EU will simply take that as an indication that we are really asking for more 'guidance' from better people. Nationalism is a bad thing? The EU commissars might just want to ask themselves where the blitz spirit came from – we rescued Europe from itself twice before. Don’t think we won’t do it again. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

EU can not be serious!

So what was the point, eh? Greece rejects the terms of the bailout only to be given harsher ones. Germany, the Wonga of the EU, carves up the family jewels and sells them to its mates and then Juncker, in a fit of pique over the inevitable Nazi jibes, tears up the supposed ‘agreement’ that David Cameron thought he had secured, for a UK opt-out of assisting further Euro-zone bailouts. The pattern is clear and increasingly familiar; whatever you do, you can’t leave the mob once you marry-in. If there ever was a case for allowing a default and run, Greece was it.

But no, even if it bankrupts the lot of us, they WILL remain under the yoke. The EU is actually punishing the Greeks and their children and their grandchildren for the sins of their profligate ruling class and the bandits they did business with; making them an offer they can never refuse. I thought the purpose of the EU was to prevent strife? (Actually, I never did. And in my recollection that was never a stated aim in the early days, rather one confected and trotted out to quell more recent dissent whenever we ingrates got uppity. He who controls the past…)

It’s not because they care, is it? The Greek referendum, they say, is not a binding tool of government. They have a representative democracy, they say, so they can always elect another bunch of representatives. The referendum was no more than an exercise in consultation, they say, seeking the mandate of the masses, which was swiftly ignored. Meanwhile Tsipras, hanging upside down in the meat store, had it explained to him exactly what was going to happen, like or not.

Greece going on a national strike is hardly likely to change a thing; populations are powerless as the EU’s naked ambition is starkly revealed. Ever closer union appears to be code for ever more distant separation between rulers and the ruled. If the Greek experience is anything to go by, national governments are mere administrators for a central unelected class of Eurocrats who wield the real power. Remember, just as Nick Clegg insisted they were not? Just as David Cameron insisted they were not. Just as Blair and Mandelson and every politician since Maggie was ordered to say they were not.

The fall of Athens

Strikes will do nothing more than hurt the very people who are staging them. But how long before we smell the burning brands of mass violence and feel the sharp tines of pitchforks raised in anger? From our comfy position in front of the telly we watch and wait for the outcome. The Greeks may be on their streets in protest today, but how long before the troops are sent in and the beatings begin? Too far-fetched? The rule of despots is only ever overturned by force and that process is always begun by the despots themselves. If we are not seeing the start of the overthrow of the EU then I pity us all. 

Monday, 13 July 2015

Going Galt

It’s been depressing to see the predictable response of the political left-wing to the budget, particularly the grotesque lie that Iain Duncan-Smith is a monster whose whole purpose in life is to sow misery and poverty and that he gets off on seeing disabled people disadvantaged still further. The trouble is the left-wing milk and honey polemic is such an easier sell, especially to those of little education, than is the conservative promise of reward later for toil now. ‘Twas ever thus.

It’s not only the feckless and idle who get caught in the wide drift net of ill-thought-through state largesse. Yellow lights flashing, the DWP purse seiner scoops up all in its path and lands the lot, gasping, on deck. Once caught up in the mesh, deliberately or not, few survive when thrown back in the murky waters of wider society detached from their tax credits. Why the persistence with this repeatedly failed vision of a universal welfare state? And all across the EU the model is echoed in the way that the industrious northern states pay for the indolent south.

You can’t blame those individuals who accept the state’s shilling and the Tories no more do that than do Labour; who wouldn’t accept a bit of free cash if you couldn’t see the strings attached? But at least the Conservatives see it as a necessary evil, paying to keep the peace, whereas those who cleave to wholesale welfare provision as to a faith view the recipient class as some form of exotic species to be preserved from extinction, by the application of ever increasing amounts of dole. Hang on though, isn’t ‘extinct’ exactly what we all ultimately want the poor to be?

While those at the very top are untouchable, the ever-increasing cost of maintaining the short-term vision of the welfare state – current income taxes pay current commitments to the economically inactive with nothing left over for investment, personal or national – is borne by those who freed of that burden could probably provide for themselves. Instead we continue to punish those same middle classes, impoverishing them now so they must rely on the state later. The continuum has to be broken; nanny’s apron strings are stretched to breaking point and as Liam Byrne’s famous message said - no money.

Look at poor, benighted Greece and the lesson, learned also in Cyprus, that even if you do save for your old age the state can dip into your accounts. What other option is there, then, for those who can to stash their cash and make a dash, leaving the nanny state fanatics and their dependent classes to fend for themselves? When people can be totally amazed at getting hot weather in the summer and equally surprised by a cold snap in the winter and believe that both are somehow ‘record’ events it is no surprise that the regular failures of socialism are written off as aberrations when they are actually the norm.

No man is an island? 

In Ayn Rand’s weighty classic those who open their eyes realise they are being driven by the politics of failure and the cult of mediocrity and resolve to leave that world behind. When here in Britain the Durham Miners’ Gala can parade Margaret Thatcher in effigy in a coffin in their own version of the two-minute hate – the four decade hate – those not in thrall to the ideology of vitriol and envy are already packing up what they can carry and heading off to find their own Galt’s Gulch. One day, there really will be no money left.

Friday, 10 July 2015

The Proposition

Summertime, and the living is supposed to be easy, but you know the old saying – fix the roof while the sun is shining – so for the industrious, the summertime is little more than a season of toil, a chance to get all those outside jobs done before the autumn rains arrive. Long summer nights? Mow the lawn, fix the shed door, weed the garden, build the gazebo, fix the decking, repair the dodgy window, replace the guttering, etc, etc, etc…It’s never ending and you pray for winter so, although you go to work in the dark and come back home in the dark, at least you can use that same dark as an excuse to wrap up warm and huddle indoors, laying down fat to get you through to spring.

And so it was that I decided I needed a little down time, a little ‘me time’ and I headed off to the big city. Okay a little city. Town, then. After a pleasant enough mini pub crawl along the riverside pubs, thronging with early evening revellers and giddy kids, young and old, graceful and disgraceful, I decided to head for a little more ‘sophistication’ and went in search of a more up-market venue and eventually found myself in a plush seat at the back of a dark and smoky speakeasy kind of a place. A jazz band played in the corner and my mind gently drifted along, sinking into the velvety ambience of that sleazy joint.

A young woman arrived at the bar, right in my eye line and even from behind she was quite a sight. Her long legs on display from porn-star heels all the way to a barely-there, slit-thigh skirt, clad in sheer nylon with a perfect seam supporting a behind of such exquisite pertness it was hard to look away. So, naturally when she turned around she caught me staring. As my eyes drifted northwards I realised she was looking straight back at me and I quickly looked down at my drink. A few moments later I dared to look up again and I was alarmed that she was still looking straight back at me. She caught my eyes for a moment and a guilty flush spread across my cheeks.

I took a long time to repeatedly sip at my drink, averting my gaze from the bar the whole time and trusting the dim lighting to hide my reddening face. My glass was empty but as I went to put it down a pair of high-heeled feet appeared in my field of view. I couldn’t help myself and transfixed, I let my gaze travel slowly upwards, taking in those oh-so-long legs and perfect hourglass figure until, unable to do otherwise, I found myself staring into that face of a goddess. She smiled back and handed me a glass of what looked very much like what I was drinking. Now I began to panic.


Here's looking at you... kidder
Whaddya want, stud?

My pulse was quickening as she leant closer, held my gaze and said, with no prompting, “I'll do anything you want me to do, no matter how bizarre, for £200, with one condition." Flabbergasted, I stuttered slightly as, instead of excusing myself I heard myself ask “What’s the condition?” She smiled; a smile that could light a thousand suns. I felt my heart pounding against my chest as she leaned over closer still and whispered in my ear, “You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words." I thought about it for just seconds before fumbling in my wallet. Handing over ten twenties I said, “Paint my house.”

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Budge over?

Apparently, there’s been a budget. Lots on Twitter about it yesterday and all sorts of conclusions drawn, among the wildest of them being some kind of eugenics programme introduced via the curtailing of child-related benefits for future recipients. I actually saw the word ‘genocide’ being used at one point. Now, it’s probably my insufficiently mature, non-left brain mass, but I don’t think that not paying you for something you have the absolute choice to do or not to do is quite the same as forcibly plucking your mewling infant from the teat and dashing its brains out on the floor. Nor is it as extreme as, say, the kind of screening and sterilisation project I’d heartily favour to quickly rid of us of the human vermin who bob around the murky waters of the underclass.

Sod the “Who’s going to pay for your pension?” argument; bring on the robots I say. We should be clever enough by now to work less, not more and be educated well enough that we can use our non-working time profitably; and not just in the consumption of lowest-common-denominator, audio-visual Soma™ but the kind of life-enhancing projects that visionaries like William Morris dreamed up in the post-industrial, post-government utopia he longed to see. Okay, he was a card-carrying revolutionary socialist and arch nutter but he did knock up a nice wallpaper.

The budget brought forth the usual partisan jeers and cat-calls with the broadly right trumpeting the bold moves to curb the state and the left wringing their caps and rending their garments in agony. The brutes! They cried, painting Hogarthian imaginings of desperate, filthy hordes with comedy teeth roaming the excrement-laden, cobbled streets of Rundown Town, their ragged dozens of children clinging to mother’s sick-stained apron while random non-attached, drink-addled, feral male brutes beat every brat in the vague possibility it might be one of their own. I swear the likes of Owen Jones would actually prefer to see this than the reality of… well, of not very much really.

Because when all’s said and done the budget is very much a sideshow to the far more important business of getting on with it. When beer was a shilling a pint, cutting a penny off the price might have raised many a glass to the Chancellor of a Friday night. But last year’s penny off meant you’d have to drink around 300 pints to get a ‘free’ one, which is probably why he didn’t bother this time round. For all that the professional analysts are calling this ‘far-reaching’, ‘game-changing’ and a ‘new-settlement’ and for all that it wrong-foots Labour’s increasingly slippery purchase on reality, it’s just another tiny bump in the road.

Relax, it's only beer money...

If your living is so marginal that a national budget pushes you over the edge then you do actually deserve all the help you can get, but the mundane truth for most of us is that while it might, or might not occasion a change in some voluntary behaviours, it isn’t really any more significant than that. As for the fear, bring it on. If the left’s bell-ringing alarums are frightening enough people to think twice before having kids; or persuading them to quit drinking, get a job and resolve never to be dependent on the state for a living then job done. Sadly, when it came down to it, the best Labour could manage in response was “That was our idea!” and “Yeah, okay, we’ll give you that.” Cheers, George! 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Nobody knows

Honestly, when it comes to how it all slots together, nobody knows. The news is manipulated, we are told, by the guvmint, the Vatican, the mainstream media, the illuminati (Mwuhaha!), the Freemasons, the BBC and by every political party ever heard of it. At least the politicians are sort of open about what they call ‘spin’ and it’s a very human thing to want to show your principles in the brightest possible light, but we have quickly gone from the so-called Information Age of the nineties to the post-information age… the age of anti-information. Everything you hear, everything you read and everything you see, online especially, could easily be wrong.

Perception has a big part to play; bloggers, photo-shoppers, prankers, polemicists, street-preachers, biased reporters, converts, apostates and plain old deluded fools (How many of those boxes can you tick?) abound, bringing with them the most potent and prolonged campaign of disinformation ever seen. Once it was common to leaflet-bomb enemy troops, spreading uncomfortable lies to shake their resolve. Now we do it to ourselves; for fun. Manipulating online personas to reveal their hidden bigotries is practically the raison d'ĂȘtre of social media at times.

It is said that that religion of nothing-to-do-with-peace practices taqiyya, a deliberate use of deception to disguise its true intentions. But that itself may just be a manipulation of the reality of avoiding religious persecution; although right now there does only seem to be one religion doing the persecuting. Where, they say, are the imams condemning the violence? Why do you not hear us, say the imams and then declare islamophobia. I’ve never liked islam but that was long before the current open barbarity and more to do with its dull, dour monotonous insistence on submission by its adherents and the blandness of life in the strictly muslim countries I’ve visited. Or is it?

But while deliberate misinformation is undoubtedly a real thing the sheer volume of verifiably true bumf now available makes it near impossible to sift fact from fiction. So even if the mountain of particulars is built on factual foundations how can we possibly process it in an enlightened way? Even when people are using real numbers to illustrate their case, other people can use the same set of facts to illustrate the opposite. So while the current government is trumpeting measures the opposition calls ‘austerity’ it is apparently the case that welfare spending rose by £28 billion under the coalition. The truth, it seems, is relative.

When I watch a movie I want deep, dark cleverly interwoven complexity. I want to be taken on a roller-coaster, who-dun-it ride with my expectations foiled as the goody turns out to be the baddy and then turns goody again. I want to be exhausted, challenged and entertained by the sheer thrill of not knowing who to trust. In real life though, I just want to put my money in the slot, press the button and get the Smarties.

The name's Bond... Government Bond
Licensed to kill or thrill?

Thus I employ Battsby’s Ambiguity Principal (BAP) to state that for every fact there is an anti-fact, for every truth an anti-truth. Whatever you believe, from whatever source or sources, somebody will infer an opposing conclusion from that same base. Employing good old Occam’s razor and based on my infallible and verifiable truth that we’re not as clever as we think we are, the simplest explanation is usually the best. So remember folks, on budget day if you want to get to the truth, get your BAPs out.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Infamy!

“Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!” So goes Kenneth Williams’ classic punchline in 1964’s Carry on Cleo, on discovering the dastardly plot to murder his character, Julius Caesar… or was it Biggus Dickus? I forget, but there’s always a plot, isn’t there? According to ‘divers sources’ the word plot can be a noun or a verb and it can mean, variously: ‘the main events of a play, novel or film’; ‘a small piece of ground marked out for a purpose such as building or gardening’; ‘a graph showing the relationship between two variables’; ‘a diagram, chart, or map’; or ‘the making, in secret, by a group of people, a plan to do something illegal or harmful’.

Shakespeare had Hamlet say “the play’s the thing” but of course it’s the plot which is the thing. It’s the plot that makes the money shot, after all. When it comes to global domination of national economies the idea that foolish people naively entered into commitments they could not fulfil is too mundane, too ordinary, too much like real life to ever make it to the silver screen. What we need to satisfy the full-on conspiracy nut-job is a driving logic, a subterranean imperative for extreme prejudice to be levied against the unsuspecting herds of human cattle to compel them to stampede toward a cliff of their own choosing. Oh, it is so clear now, in hindsight, how the evil bankers, in league with the royal heads of Europe and the lizard people manipulated the very laws of the financial universe to create chaos.

But wait a minute; a theory is defined as: ‘a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something’; ‘a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based’; ‘an idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action’; or ‘a collection of propositions to illustrate the principles of a subject’. If it is to have any validity a theory should not only account for a historical series of events, but it should also be capable of predicting the outcome of future such events. Thus, ‘what goes up must come down’, ‘if it sounds too good to be true, etc.’ and ‘pride comes before a fall’

Forgive me, then, for not having much truck with those really big global conspiracy theories which only surface after the action. Much as with religion, when such ‘theories’ are revealed before the events they purport to explain I may begin to take notice. Ah, but, say the tinfoil hatters, that’s exactly what they want you to say, conveniently deflecting the burden of proof from their own goal line. To which I respond, but what’s the point? Really, what is the point?

I mean, owning all the money in the world is a ludicrously meaningless end game; once you have all the money the game is over, the money becomes worthless and what happens next? Deliberately putting people out of work and into poverty is equally pointless – you’d surely have far more to gain from a billion cheap workers doing your bidding than a billion pissed off workless folk with sharpened sticks heading your way. It absolutely makes no sense, smacking more of a need to have a complex fictional reason rather than accepting a more mundane and simple chain of events. Again, like religion… or left-wing politics.

Bloody Romans!

I don’t doubt that some people conspire to corner markets, to gerrymander elections and to fabricate statistics in their favour. And undoubtedly there are conspiracies among we mere rabble to best our rivals, but in my experience successful people often turn out to be annoyingly normal, frequently quite dull and refreshingly frank about their good fortune; right place right time and all that. Not evil overlords at all. Given the choice of the Greek debacle being engineered from the outset by masters of dark arts or being the result of human frailty and Mr Fuckup, I’ll go with fuck-up every time.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Got your number

Well, well, well, who could have predicted Greece’s response to the bail out referendum? Actually plenty secretly did but were jinxed by the previously indefatigable persistence of the EU commissars, pushing their message of ruin outside the tender choke-hold of ever closer union. I was willing it all along, as may have been apparent, but still pessimistic as to whether or not the ordinary Greek people, most of whom never had much informed say in the whole EU debacle, would detach themselves from the EU teat.

Today, Greece’s economic troubles begin anew; nothing has changed. Nothing except for one little thing – they dared to say no. Now everybody is watching to see if they hold their nerve; to see how and when the EU make their move to terrorise the population into backing down. Even the most hard-euro-hearted must hope they do because this is really about so much more than money, trade or international reputation; it’s about national pride and personal dignity. Like his politics or not – and I’m naturally averse to left-wing experiments – Alex Tsipras has gained a mandate to stand up for the people who elected him. It was a big, bold, maybe reckless move but one that seems, at least for now, to have paid off.

During the day I got into a lengthy discussion about fairness and advantage and the usual guff about how if we were all so much nicer to each other we could live in a happy world; if only rich people stopped ‘exploiting’ poor people and healthy people looked after sick people and governments redistributed wealth so that we were all so much closer to income parity. Yeah, right, like what we need, is a great big melting pot… the only problem with all that is that we neither have such a pot nor the means to stir it. What we’ve got, all we’ve got is the simple reality of human nature.

We are clever and cooperative, but also opportunistic and competitive. Wealth is relative after all and one of the fundamental ways in which humans measure achievement. Oh but, what about those selfless individuals who volunteer for charity work, you say, to which I reply, “Camila Batmanghelidjh”. You see power corrupts and even the intentionally benign stewardship of freely given charitable donations can become a thing of ugly venality without restraint and proper controls.

Of course we have to look after the sick and genuinely disadvantaged and yes, we do have to do that on a national, even sometimes an international scale, but when you hear the cry “Gas, gas, gas!” you must immediately pull on your own respirator first. When the overhead compartments open and the oxygen masks descend, the in-flight safety presentation you didn’t bother to watch instructed you to don your own mask before assisting others. You are no use to anybody if you need help yourself. And if more of us were capable and inclined to look after our own needs the truly helpless could be granted an easier passage through life’s travails.

The club foot club hobbles on...
Greek Pride March

Looking after number one is simple, it’s honest and if we all did a bit more of it, rather than expecting somebody else to come to our imagined aid, we’d all be better off. Because it’s only when you let those who can create the wealth do so that there is any surplus to go around. In Greece those who had the wealth have already expatriated it; there is no point in going after them. Greece has voted to start over, possibly from scratch. I hope they all pull their weight and gain some self-reliance; it’s dog eat dog until the new alphas emerge and start to take on slaves again. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some plates to smash.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

More on Oxi...

The ‘meeja’ has been falling over itself to publish bad puns about the impending ‘Greek tragedy’ and the open hostility displayed by the massed ranks of the EU’s bully boys. They want to punish Greece whichever way the referendum goes. Me? If it isn’t already abundantly clear, I want fair Hellene to stand up for itself and vote no. Not no to further austerity because it really has no choice, but no to forever being in the pocket of a class of bureaucrats who have a lust for power that really must be curtailed. If Greece falls to Brussels it sends the message that Euro-power is omnipotent.

I’ve only been to Greece once; a sailing holiday way back in 1980 and I was charmed by the simple rusticity and dazzling light. Everybody seemed to smile and the pace of life was admirably leisurely. Why would you want to trade that for mere material riches when the price is to sell your descendants into the treadmill existence of trading on the global stage for the enrichment of a very few? The EU project, if it ever had such a mission, has long forgotten its aims of peace in Europe. Instead it is all about power, and controlling a half-billion population is how it exercises that power.

As the hours tick away people are hyping up the hypotheticals; what if, what if? What if Greece just took a holiday from the Euro? Seriously, there are suggestions that people be paid in IOUs, acceptable by business to buy goods and services. They argue that this way, the population can still trade among themselves, sort out their day-to-day needs and then re-enter the Euro when the waters are calmer. Maybe it’s just me but if an IOU can become currency, so can the Drachma. And if this non-Euro money is the way to salvation, what reason would they have to use it for recovery and then return to the ruinous common currency; who wants to be common?

It’s as if the bankers have forgotten that humanity survived before money and it is quite possible that satisfactory lives may be lived without it. In fact Greece could become pioneers for new ways of organising how money is used. And here’s a novel idea; how about everybody starts to live within their means? After all, if you only spend what you earn, you don’t run up debts. If you have no debts the banks become mere safe depositories. And if you teach your kids not to desire what they can’t afford who knows, being thrifty might once again become the new normal.

Much has been said about how true socialism has never been tried. Maybe that’s because it has only ever been tried in populations crushed under the boot of industry and the daily grind, with rich pickings for those who controlled the economy. But how about getting all hippy on the IMF’s ass and going full commune? Seriously, if nobody is getting paid and there is bugger all else to do, why not get the 25% unemployed working for their keep and pay for it by smiling once more at the lovely tourists who will stuff their pockets with cash, if only as a way of sticking two fingers up to the EU?

Mussolini didn't like it up him!
Remember Metaxas - Vote Oxi!

They say money can’t buy you happiness and you can’t take it with you. What are the creditors actually going to do, short of sending in the jackboots and revealing the true ideology behind Euroland? Remember the sayings ‘it’s only money’ and ‘easy come, easy go’? Let’s add to that ‘fuck the EU!’ Come on Greece, show us the way out of this mess. 

Update:

As of 18:30 UK time the voting stands at 60.3% NO!