Friday 29 March 2013

Easter Parade

The pilgrims had journeyed from afar to petition the mighty wizard of Brussels whose power raged unchallenged across the world. So great was his wisdom that everybody just called him The Wiz and some went so far as to say he really was a wiz of a wiz. If ever a wiz there was, that is.

Our pilgrims were a motley crew in strange outlandish garb and drew comment wherever they went. The tallest was a creature made of tin battered into a shape vaguely resembling a man. He had no heart, although he did have a big shiny dish of a face. The others called him Moron behind his back and Davidcam to his face and they didn’t much like him because he liked to pose as their leader.

The next was a man of straw, a real Worzel Gummidge. He was a scatter without a brain and with no functioning limbic system was apt to make random, haphazard movements and say things he didn’t really mean. He was the joker of the group and everybody just laughed and pointed when they saw him. His real name was Boris, but he answered to Scarecrow and everybody loved him except Davidcam, who read sinister meaning into every uncoordinated action.

Who’s that, hiding behind a tree, shadow boxing with himself? “Put ‘em up!” said Clegg the cowardly lion, every time Moron’s back was turned. Oh, it's just dear wee Clegg, the boy-man-lion who everybody loved dearly but nobody feared. His “Grrr” was more like a purr and nobody could take him seriously. It was rumoured that he had once led a political party but nobody who knew him would confirm it. All he really wanted was a nice cosy job working for the wizard. Soon Cleggy, soon.

And then there was Edorothy, who had come all the way from Kansington with her little dog, Herman, although because she had an adenoidal speech impediment, she pronounced it Harman. It was a snappy little thing and full of hate for all men, but dear Edorothy tolerated it more than anything else in the world. Edorothy just wanted what her father had wanted. And what had he wanted? Why, equality for all of course, at any price. When Edorothy told the others of her dreams they all laughed and laughed and laughed.

And then they set off, lickety-spit, on the yellow brick road to the magic city of Brussels, also known as the Emerald City, because its streets were paved with the crystallised snotty tears of once-free nations.

The Emerald City was a dull, dull place. It was quiet and orderly and clean and nice. It was expensive too; exclusive. And with none of that vivacious, loud and bright and frankly bloody annoying multiculturalism that everybody else had to pay for and put up with, law and order reigned. Just to be sure there were armed policemen on every street corner. The mighty wizard was a very cautious ruler and had many enemies, so he took security very seriously indeed.

The wizard’s palace was a stern and imposing building, reeking of money and power and it was rumoured that he had another one built, exactly the same, in Strasbourg, but nobody knew why – the wiz had many secrets. The four adventurers trembled as they mounted the steps. All those flags! But suddenly a blast of trumpets sounded a strident fanfare and the rumble and click of a mighty megaphone being switched on froze the four in their tracks.

“Stop!” boomed an imposing voice, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

“We… we’ve come to see The Wizard,” stuttered Edorothy, “We want to ask him to give us a heart and a brain and courage. And Harman and I want to go home to Kansington.”

“Well you can just fuck off!”

“Are you the Wizard?” asked Edorothy, nervously.

“Yes!” boomed the Wizard again, “And you can all just fuck off!”

But now Edorothy’s dander was up and she took the steps three at a time and pushed open the enormous door to the palace. The others quickly followed her and with the doors closed behind them the amplified profanities that filled the air outside were but a muffled background noise. Over in the corner stood a wizened old man with an enormous head, spitting and snarling as he shouted into a microphone. He stopped when he saw the four.

 “Get out!” he screamed “Get out!”

“Are YOU the Wizard?” repeated Edorothy incredulously, as Clegg hid behind the man of tin and Boris flung his arms round spasmodically and uselessly. “I don't want to be rude but, really, you have the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk!”

“Not you as well!” said the Wizard, “This is a thousand dollar suit I’ll have you know!”

“You mean Euros, surely? A thousand Euro suit.” Piped up Davidcam.

The Wizard slowly stepped away from the microphone. His shoulders slumped and he addressed the four petitioners directly. “Dollars,” he said, “The Euro is finished.” He picked up a suitcase which stood nearby. “Kansington, is it?” he asked, “I have a Learjet standing by, you may as well come with me.”

As the five descended the palace steps a rumble shook the square and behind them the palace crumbled into dust and was gone. The European project was over and peace returned to the world.

Somewhere in Kansas a pretty girl in a blue gingham dress clicked her red heels together and woke up. “Bollocks!” she exclaimed. “It was just a bloody dream.”

Have a Happy Easter, dear reader and don't eat too much chocolate!

Thursday 28 March 2013

Everybody's got one.

You have a vote. Just the one. A single, solitary voice in a cacophonous sea of sibilant pleas. A white noise of need with every breathy wish slightly different from the next. To each his need, goes the Marxist aphorism, but my needs are not your needs and yours not mine, so we’ll settle for something in between, if you please.

You didn't always have a vote and that was a shame. But if you thought that being given one solved that problem, think again. Because you may as well not bother scribing your ‘X’ unless you understand what it might do. Disraeli was against expansion of the franchise, believing an increase in voters would bring into parliament "a horde of selfish and obscure mediocrities, incapable of anything but mischief". Wise words.

The best you can do with your single vote is to add it to others in a way that reduces the number of selfish and obscure mediocrities. How’s that working out for you, voters? Since at least the nineteen seventies there has been an upsurge of that very type of parliamentary member; the opportunist career politico, elected exactly as Disraeli foresaw. Now it’s rare to find any other kind.

Being a good leader does not mean being popular. Few successful bosses are liked by all their employees and those who are are rare indeed. Everybody delights in the tawdry stories that portray world figures in a dim light. In Britain particularly, the schadenfreude runs deep in our psyche. So when it comes to electing our leaders in the national pissing contest we call a general election we really should avoid, at all costs, casting our vote on popularity; that’s how Nick Clegg got in. (Don’t worry, he’ll be off to Brussels quite soon.)

Whoever gets in has to be on the side of Britain, because once they’re in our votes no longer matter. We were sold to Europe in 1973 without a vote being cast. Binding promises to give us a say in our relationship with the EU have been broken. Treaties are signed without consent and wealth is plundered at the whim of unelected officials. If you think the last point is exaggerated, put yourself in the place of a Cypriot saver - as their banks open today for the first time in two weeks – being told how much of their own money they may see.

You think a vote for labour will maintain your welfare lifestyle? Look around you. What wealth we have will be driven away as closer European integration means we have to spread the love ever more thinly. Your life will only get poorer as the population grows in the wrong way. You think a vote for the Conservatives will give you a vote on Europe? Don’t bank on cast-iron Dave’s hollow pledge; he has already said he will fight to keep us in. You like the Libdems? Then you’re not wise enough to have a vote.

Which leaves UKIP. Of course they won’t form the next government. Of course they don’t have all the answers. Of course they are not all uniformly attractive and popular people. Of course there are one or two nutters in there – me for a start - that goes for any party. But think about this, my vote-wielding chums. The other parties are suddenly turning nasty. The trash talk before the fight has started. To the LibLabCon troika, UKIP is the most unpopular smell in the air right now. They must be doing something right.

 You have a vote. Just the one. In 2015 you will have just one last chance to do the right thing for Britain. Don’t vote on party lines. Don’t vote for your narrow, short-term, personal interest. Between now and the general election register your concern and make your protest heard. In every local election, in every by-election, rattle those old party chains and vote for UKIP. Labour won't desert their EU masters, but you can make the Conservatives listen; make them change. That way, come the general election you might just have one final chance to vote against the EU.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

You're Nobody Till Somebody Owns You

You’re nobody till somebody loves you, sang Dean Martin in 1965. In politics, you’re nobody until you’re somebody’s useful idiot. And in politics, such is the success of the Useful Idiot programme that everybody is a UI in somebody else’s eyes… it’s just not such a catchy song title. (Although, you never know: “I’m a UI in your eyes”? I might just work on that…)

To anybody on the left, the idiots are lined up on the right, although it’s worth pointing out that the term, supposedly coined by Lenin, was always meant to refer to socialist dupes who believed any propaganda they were fed. The concept is sound enough; say bad things often enough and people will believe you. And although you can tell people good things about your side they are far more ready to believe bad things about the other side. 

Thus the anti-anti-immigration lobby has cranked up the rhetoric, branding everybody who expresses concern for the state of the nation as some sort of rabid racist and brandishing figures showing immigration is overwhelmingly ‘a good thing’. Yet surely, even the dimmest wattage lamps can penetrate the fog of anti-anti-anti-(I lose count)-anti-racist prejudice and see that actual overwhelming immigration can only cause chaos; there are only so many places in the EU lifeboat that Britain is becoming. 

Just look at the numbers. Single Joe Pole comes here next month and takes on the number 50 bus, earning the princely sum of £19,839 a year. After deductions of *£3570.32, he has £16308.28 left to live off. (incidentally £286.72 p.a. better off than last year, but of course, the coalition’s tax cuts for workers 'good news' pales against Ed Miliband's tax cuts for millionaires 'bad news'.) That’s £313 per week. Well done Joe, but we’d need 4.6 of you working full time to cover the costs of a family claiming the same amount in benefits and that doesn't take into account that only (only!) 23% of your deductions go on welfare spending. So put simply, 4.6 of you is not enough – we’d need four times that; let’s call it a round 20 after paying for the bureaucracy to tax you in the first place. 

From my crude maths then, it takes 20 working immigrants to cover the costs of a single non-working British household. We have to create 20 jobs when one, with the right tax regime should be enough. And we need 20 beds and provision for another 20 users of our roads, health services, law enforcement, etc. Forget partisan politics, it just makes no sense at all that we import unskilled and semi-skilled labour in their droves from outside just to allow some of those already here to sit idle. Yes,of course they will spend their money in the economy, but the economy had to make room for them in the first place - that argument is a non-sequitur. THAT is a Ponzi scheme.

It makes even less sense to let people come here and sign up as Big Issue Sellers and thus register as self-employed. The Big Issue was set up as a way of helping the homeless back into work. Not as a tool for allowing uncontrolled importation of even MORE homeless. And none of this even begins to scratch at the problem of bringing whole families over here, who now need houses, schools, a lot more healthcare, etc, and soon learn that they are foolishly earning less than they could by becoming unemployed. 

How deeply ingrained is useful idiocy when even in the face of such stark, obvious economic reality, there is still a clarion call of “Racist!” every time the [big] issue is raised. 

Every movement needs it cheerleaders. And behind every Useful Idiot cheerleader there is a vested interest. Where are the REAL facts behind the things we are forced to pay for? What is the truth about: 
  • Climate change and green energy taxes? 
  • Infrastructure spending and HS2? 
  • The EU and the perpetual welfare state? 
  • Forever propping up the failed Euro currency? 
  • Giving up our independent national defence? 

Who's fooling who?

Maybe there is no truth any more, maybe there is no use for the nation state, maybe we do have a duty to others before we even begin to help ourselves. But back to the useful idiot racist-anti-racist-hate-hate forum – if my neighbours are increasingly unlike me, why is it racist for me to want to know why?

I'd love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to comment below.

(*Link to a useful tax calculator)

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Getting Better Yet?

I watched Made in Dagenham on Sunday afternoon. Ah nostalgia – they don’t make it like they used to, do they? A heart-warming story of the days when Trade Unions had a noble and valuable role. It was made very clear in the film that Labour was the party of the working classes and a creation of the well-intentioned unions. I can remember as a boy believing, as did my mother, that Barbara Castle was a paragon of the conviction politician, determined to bring about change and improvement. Good for her.

But the film also made clear that the unions themselves had a role in their own decline with the caricature of Bernie Inn Diplomacy; whole days off work for a ten-minute meeting, management and union officials alike ‘playing the game’ and missing the overall point of their existence and in fact often working against the interests of the very people they represented. Don’t you worry your pretty little heads about it, they told the women, we know best.

In their heads they had the stirring words of the Communist Party Manifesto Chapter II and longed for “[The] formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.” And blindly followed the party plans to destabilise society and reform it in the image of a utopia imagined fully a century earlier.

And here we are today. Where Marx and Lenin and Stalin and Hitler and Mussolini failed, Monnet and Spinelli and Herman Van Rompuy have played the long game and what we see all around us is a world that Marx may well have approved of. Marriage devalued, education defunct, religion fragmented and nobody trusting anybody else. A universal welfare society with ever more members, creating ever more precious 'equality'. To each according to his greed, from each according to what we can screw out of him. Down and down we sink.

Barbara Castle would have been would have been horrified to see where this was going, but the old Labour Party was too blunt an instrument to get any further than the 1970s and the enterprise culture of the 1980s destroyed collective action for good. That’s why New Labour had to be invented and why it had to embark on a programme of ‘progressive’ socialism to sell to a largely freed proletariat the notion not of unity, but of infinite merry variety. “Look at us, we’re fucking lovely!” said Tony Blair, “Things can ONLY get better!” (Few heard when he added, “…for me.”)

And all around Europe Marx’s other little helpers helped themselves to the reins, placed them in little Angela’s hands and helped her cracked the whip. Crack – there go the borders. Crack - there goes your currency. Crack – there go your freedoms and now you dare not speak out you belong to us. The Glorious Fatherland Project is almost complete.

Adolf Groucho Herman Marx

What is happening in Cyprus can and will happen elsewhere. You can see it happening, but you are powerless to resist. You can feel it coming for you and your family, but you have nothing left with which to fight it. Being IN Europe means entirely controlled BY Europe. Things can only begin to get better when we are out. And the EU's representative on earth, Dave-Ed Camiliclegg will NEVER let you have a say in that.

Monday 25 March 2013

Super Diversity

You have to hand it to Twitter, I mean you really do. There I was, idling away my Sunday, vaguely wondering what I would blog about, given the overly-rich diet of bad news right now, when all of a sudden an unbidden inspiration emerged from the gloom. An untermensch of Merseyside origin decided to challenge me on the content of somebody else’s tweet. I had clicked on the re-tweet link several hours earlier, but fair enough; if you don’t get out of bed in the morning it can be hard to keep up to speed. 

Where, he wanted to know, had I sourced my figures for potential Bulgarian immigration to Britain? The fact that I had sourced no such figures and that the words were not my words didn’t seem to satisfy the intrepid inquisitor, who then proceeded to alternately harangue and plead and guess and insult and generally make himself unwelcome for a couple of hours or so. Such is the playground mentality of ‘social’ media, a few others gathered to watch the scrap, occasionally interjecting the odd catcall or ‘helpful’ piece of advice. 

He was right about one thing, however, I am genuinely concerned about future immigration and unhappy about levels of past immigration. The fact that the Labour Party, responsible for the massive unbalanced recent surge is finally admitting some culpability should be concern for everybody; politicians don’t admit to anything unless the wall is well and truly covered in already unshiftable shit. 

Even yesterday, Boris Johnson was trotting out the tri-party line that immigration is an overall positive thing for Britain, as if immigration ITSELF was a solution, not the problem - politically and socially - it very clearly is. Immigration as an end is not a good thing and surely if it is about the economy, immigration should always be a second choice solution, not the first. 

Maybe it’s me who has it all wrong, but can somebody please explain the logic in simultaneously creating an underclass of welfare dependent, unemployables whilst importing a new underclass of unskilled sub-minimum wage workers? Can somebody persuade me that despite massive investment in expensive technical gewgaws our non-academic kids are not leaving school without the basic tools for a working life? Can somebody find me a single, non-brainwashed, non-Toynbeed, moderate British citizen, who is not gravely concerned about all this? 

My Twitter interrogator sounded at first like he might be just such an example, but then he launched into the default mindless Thatcher-hate credo that blights that particular part of the country, long ago lost to an ethnic entity separate from the mainstream. But they’ve been assimilated into the population in their own unique way - it’s a pretty much unchallenged national view that it’s acceptable to scorn a Scouser. So I did. Soz. 

For years, concerns about immigration en-masse have been dismissed as racist. For years, our cognitive dissonance about the mutually exclusive goals of both equality and diversity have been derided by the chattering classes whose doublethink gives them no such nausea, dreaming up ever more outlandish phrases rather than address and tackle the problem. Only this morning I stumbled on the term ‘super-diverse’ as a euphemism for conquest. 

This essay by David Goodhart, a self-confessed dupe of political correctness and the belief that liberal socialism had all the answers is a too-late confession of the intentions of a hopelessly out of touch ruling class. Dismissing the decades of concerns of those who have to live with their meddling as regrettable, I hardly think an essay cuts it. Nor does this follow-up piece in which he argues for, yes, more social engineering to create a sense of British identity. (He is, of course, plugging his semi-confessional, yet not really repentant book.) 

I say, Johnny Foreigner, do fuck orf!

What you may have failed to notice, dear boy, is that until the unwanted interventions of the chattering classes, we already had a centuries strong British identity. You may have heard of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, Kipling and Churchill. I suggest you fucking read them.

Move along now. Nothing to see...

The day we leave the EU.

I hope we see no burning effigies of Rompuy and Barroso. If it takes bloody revolution and their real heads on pikes that's fine but let's have none of this hysterical public outpourings. That's for foreigners.
I remember when we'd see video footage of ululating bin liners at state funerals in the Middle erast and be quietly thankfully we weren't like that.

Then fucking Diana with her Arab bell end and look where we are now.

Nanny knows best and nanny statism is an affliction.

The overdue apology - most recently Australia apologising for upholding societal norms of the day by forced adoption - hollow words - political words.

unintended consequences - PAYE real time - more will now try and use cash... until they make that illegal - recorded transactions, etc.

Friday 22 March 2013

The BIG Question

I watched Question Time last night. I know I shouldn't but sometimes I forget and I just sort of stumble in. Before I know it I'm alternately chuckling and swearing, shouting at the audience of gimp-featured loons and muttering unrepeatable threats towards half the biased and deluded panel.

Of course there was the obligatory spotty child in the audience challenging the government from the high ground of her having studied economics at AS Level. And at one point there was a Canadian hippy calling out for love and peace or something - I didn't catch his drift, man, I was too busy laughing at his hair. Nice comic touch, BBC.

Otherwise it was most enjoyable, with a fine performance from Michael Gove and much backing from audience and panel alike for his unflappable  sensible straight talking. But I was most alarmed to find that Gordon Brown had been smuggled in. I thought he was happily retired to his dacha on the banks of the Volga; reward for his services to the Soviet master plan. But no, there he was, large as life in a big daft wig and calling himself Emily Thornbury. He was fooling no-one.

Gordon Thornbury-Emily-Brown

Nobody else could so effortlessly be that belligerent, ill-informed, pompous and just downright offensive. But at least we should be thankful for small mercies. It could have been worse, it could have been an Ed.

Thursday 21 March 2013

The way to Gin Lane

I’ve lived through a lot of budgets and the one thing they have in common is that none of them have ever had any discernible effect on me, my job, the tax I pay, or the life I lead. While the red-tops howl about a penny off this or a penny on that or a half-a-percent adjustment in the underlying rate of what-the-fuck in order to enrage their target audience, I go merrily on my way with a world weary shrug and a sense of déjà-vu.

Budget: n. 
  1. An itemized summary of estimated or intended expenditures for a given period along with proposals for financing them 
  2. A systematic plan for the expenditure of a usually fixed resource, such as money or time, during a given period: 
  3. The total sum of money allocated for a particular purpose or period of time: . 
The news is full of august comment and worthy souls spouting on about what they would have done and what might have happened... if. 

What if he’d increased this or cut that? What if he’d helped out him or her? What if, instead of doing one thing he’d done the other? What if some money could have been found for shits or giggles? If, if if... If we had a working economy there might be a point, but we don’t. What we do have is a nation of people who think that the state owes them a living, or the state owes them good health, or the state owes them happiness, or success or freedom from failure. Me, me, me... they demand.

On my way back to my hotel the road was strewn with broken down vehicles, abandoned for want of fuel and stripped of spares by feral troops of scavengers. Homeless people huddled in their masses, lined the streets and begged open-handed for scraps of food. Mule trains slowly carted away the rotting corpses over the potholed remains of former metalled roads and everywhere the crows picked through the rubble of what were once houses. 

But enough of the Islamic Republic of Small Heath; everywhere else in Birmingham isn’t half as bad. Why, in some streets, jolly troupes of energetic dancers celebrated the 1p generously removed from beer tax. Drink up, fellows, the Chancellor loves you! No doubt the naysayers, ne’er-do-wells and killjoys will gainsay even that small crumb of populist comfort. 

Drink up citizens!

It was a budget, what did you expect? The sorry fact of the matter is that as a country we have about five quid left. And we won't even have that if the EU gets wind of it. Have a nice day.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

The Last UK Budget... Ever

It's budget day so I'm going to keep this short. The Chancellor leaked to me the contents of his desperate plans to keep his job save the country and I feel that despite Hugh Grant's storm troops it is my duty to divulge them to you. Here goes.

We're broke; deal with it.

That's pretty much it.

Oh, you want detail? You sure you can handle it? Okay then, I'll give you a few highlights.

For years you whining, inadequate leeches have suckled at the teat of our glorious, benevolent government as it has slaved away tirelessly on your behalf. No more. That's it. They've had enough. So this is how it's going to be.

Despite every benevolent measure of past decades you bastards continue to have families free, gratis and for nothing, expecting the state to care and to pick up the tab. No more. Child Benefit is being abolished - it's long overdue - from now on you will need an annual paid licence for your progeny, working on a sliding scale. £5k per year for the first child, £10k per year for the second and if you want a third you will have to adopt one of them 'Asylums' at your own expense.

None of you can decide how to pay for the NHS so, fuck it. It's abolished. You brought this on yourself. I hope you're all happy now. I'd stock up on paracetemol if I were you.

What's the point? I mean, really? We're doing what the old USSR did and letting the troops take their armaments home with them in lieu of pay. We can see no downsides to that -see how well some of those fellas did?

All infrastructure projects are to be cancelled forthwith. We're all in Europe now, so if it's good enough for Bulgaria it's good enough for everybody. Besides, donkeys make both good pack animals and a delicious, nutritious stew.

Tax and Welfare:
Well, you won't believe the amount of shit we get over this. One lot moaning about welfare, another lot moaning about tax. So we tried to put all of you on both, but some of you wouldn't work and some of you wouldn't pay the tax, so fuck the lot of you. From April the government will neither levy tax nor distribute benefits. No income tax, no VAT, no Housing, no DLA, no JSA... Sort it out between yourselves. We can't see how you could do it any worse.

See Cyprus

And that's about it. The borders are open, the planet is fucked, we're running out of everything... it's every man for himself.

Citizens celebrating with a glorious firework display

(The budget announcement will be broadcast from Bermuda.)

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Race you!

All people are equal. Let’s start with that. Some are kind and generous and go out of their way to help others. Others knuckle down and do dirty jobs to make a meagre living, looking out for their family and not complaining when life throws shit at them. Some rise up to win control and lead and inspire and become incredibly popular. Some aspire to the same ends but are despised for their honest efforts. And yet others cynically exploit the trusting nature of the Ordinary Joe to relieve them of the fruits of their labours. 

But we’re all equal and it’s wrong to differentiate based on first impressions. You are just as likely to become Prime Minister having grown up on a council estate as you are to rot in jail having started life with the silver spoon of aristocracy clamped between your gums. The skunk-smoking, face-tattooed teen with the attack dog could just as easily be a social worker. The man with a heavy accent offering to Tarmac your drive is quite possibly a charitable soul. (Never forgetting, of course, that charity begins at home.) 

But we are all equal and you must never judge a book by the cover. Mind you, if monkeys applied the same standards to their relationships with leopards there would be a lot fewer monkeys on the planet. 

Yes, you guessed. Over the weekend on That Twitter I engaged in earnest banter with somebody unlike myself. I actually conversed with a non-racist. There aren’t many of them about. In any case, the very term ‘racist’ is fraught with definitional difficulty. If we’re all the same race – the Human Race – is a racist somebody from outside that taxonomy; a non-human? Some might say so. 

But whatever your real beliefs about equality, our origins do dictate our physical appearance, our acceptance into the society of others and yes, in many enough ways to be an actual stereotype, our actual behaviour. You see, you CAN judge a book by its cover. We can and we do and we’re more often right than wrong. The doorstep conman is making a judgement about your gullibility based on your white, middle-class origins just as you are assessing from his swarthy, Eastern European mores how likely you are to be ripped off. But we're all equal, right? 

For anybody who thinks I’m a monster for my views on the parochial opportunism of human nature, see how much reactive rage and threat of action there’s been over the potential Cyprus banking raid compared to the passive grumbling and impotent acceptance when, say, a wedding party is bombed in the name of religion. We give you more sympathy when we can empathise; are you like us or not like us? Is this racism, or merely realism? 

We all judge. It’s human nature. When I judge somebody as likely to be an unreliable addition to our island culture, you in turn judge me because I’m white and I work and I quite literally call a spade a spade. But what makes your judgement of me more righteous than my judgement of them? And where do you turn when my judgement turns out to be accurate, while yours is borne of an odd, modern, turn-on-your-own sort of prejudice, fuelled by unsubstantiated notions of equality? 

And if you won’t take it from the likes of me please spend a few minutes on Banti’s far more considered and balanced essay:

Monday 18 March 2013

Casa Banka Cyprus

The Greek stood at the burning bank
Whence all his money fled.
The flame that lit the cashier’s face
Confused his Cypriot head. 

He called aloud, “Say, banker, say
Is all my money gone?”
The banker’s face was filled with scorn,
The government had won. 

“Speak, banker!” once again he cried,
“Is all my money gone?”
And fast outside the shots replied,
And riot flames rolled on. 

They wrapt the bank in splendour wild,
They caught the flag on high,
The people’s flag is deepest red,
Like warning in the sky. 

Then came a burst of thunder-sound
The boy stayed on his feet.
As vaults of gold were broken down 
And banknotes strewed the street! 

The EU flag, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part–
But the noblest thing which perished there
Was that young Cyprus heart. 

The boy stood at the burning desk
The cashier was a sluggard.
They’ll keep the red flag flying here
He knew that he was buggered.

Friday 15 March 2013

The Owenisation of the Shirking Classes

We had a good thing going, once we’d worked it all out proper, like. See, since at least the Seventies there’s been a general decline in the heavy, dirty jobs that us plebs are good at – the unions didn’t really help, if we’re honest. At the same time we had the cold war and the rise of the weedy, speccy socialist intellectual. Teachers who had never fought in the real war and well-to-do, arty types on the telly started telling us we deserved better and all that, you know, like education and stuff? At first we fell for it and tried harder to get qualifications but, man, that was well-harsh, you know?

But at the same time we noticed that even though the country was broke, nobody let you starve. In fact, if you’d got kids you were sometimes better off on the Old King Cole than in a crappy job. Of course, there was the stigma of being a loafer and all that, not pulling your weight, but the Labour boffins had a plan for that as well. Soon, it was considered socially acceptable – even, you know, normal, to make a living just by having kids. Okay, you had to duck and dive a bit, you know, make sure you didn’t get cornered into a paternity test and everything, but on the whole it was okay. 

I mean, we’re not stupid, innit? You do the sums: do you work hard at school, so you can work hard at life so you can buy a house and then worry about paying the mortgage and the school fees and higher rate taxes and all that, or do you just sprog up, get a council house for life, sit back and cruise. I see ‘em, the clever kids I was at school with – they’re just as fat and unhealthy as me, but man, the stress on their faces, you know? 

Okay, so they started calling us Chavs. Fair enough, we know what we are; we’re a legitimate social class now – there’s people got PhDs on the back of studying the likes of us, like they was that David Attenborough or Dian Fossey or whatever. They’re happy, we’re happy – everybody’s happy and the bennies keep on coming... 

Then along comes Owen fucking Jones. 

At first we thought he was on his paper round, but then he keeps asking all these questions, right? Turns out he was writing a book, egged on by his mum I expect. Probably after a doctorate or summit, we thought, but no. He’s only gone and blown the whole shebang. “Chavs”, he called it, “The Demonisation of the Working Class”. Is he having a laff? We int worked since before he was bloody born and damned proud of it we are an’ all. 

But no, like the Mother Teresa of Manchester he starts meddling where he’s not wanted. He’s not one of us – he thinks he is, but he’s not – and he starts getting all high and mighty about it all, blabbing to the New Statesman and The Guardian and The Independent and wotnot and he’s on that BBC Question time every fringing other week, shooting his mouth off about how we’re maligned and bloody ‘demonised’. That word is doing my head in – every fucker uses it now about fucking everything. 

Oh he means well – he thinks he’s a bloody crusader but, honestly, all he’s done is alerted yer actual working class and got them all wound up and angry. But it’s too late now isn’t it, Owen? Because not content with writing books about us and turning us into hate figures your lot only went and stirred up the grafters who paid for it all as well; letting in anybody who wanted to work for fuck-all and keeping the wages down. Why did you do that? 

So now, thanks to you and your bloody mum – that Tolly Poynbee bird – and all your Labour mates, nobody can manage without bennies, even if they are working. And they’ve just sussed out that bennies have been going up for the last five years, while working wages have been going down. I tell you it don’t take a sociologist to see it’s going to end in tears. We weren’t fucking ‘vulnerable’ until you started banging on about it. We were doing fine. 

Equalitee - Labour Stylee!

So cheers, bloody lefties; thanks a bunch. With the cost of living going up and up, bedroom tax coming in, workfare projects... the writing’s on the wall. If it gets any worse for us, we might have to up sticks and take our benefits to Bulgaria.

Thursday 14 March 2013

Prayer for the Dying

The European Union has been described as an out-of-control juggernaut, crushing dissent beneath its irresistible wheels as it trundles blindly on to... where?  What is the eventual purpose of this unaccountable monster which ignores democracy even while claiming to promote it? Immune to criticism and deaf to expressed concerns it staggers intemperately on, eating up independence and subjugating peoples; all the while proclaiming itself a force for good even as it practices its evil.

The EU while saying the opposite is following the well-trodden path of all dictators; Robespierre, Hitler, Mussolini, Ceaușescu... the list is long. How much rope do we give the unelected Über-burghers of Brussels before we have to fashion that rope into nooses? For only a revolution will prevent their pressing forward with Common Purpose to the inevitable bloody end. It didn't matter who voted for what, yesterday, the EU budget will only ever go in one direction - up.

The European Union already has rulers, palaces, parliament... a flag, an anthem, a mission and firmly embedded corruption. In an insincere tribute to the new Pope, I offer the EU a daily prayer.

El Presidente, which art in Brussels, 
Hated be thy name; 
Our kingdoms crushed; 
thy will be done, 
in the EU as it is in Moscow. 
Give us this day our daily pittance. 
And forgive us our thought crimes, 
as we forgive them that brief against us. 
And leave us not as a free nation; 
but deliver us from liberty. 
For thine is the federation, 
the poor, and the gory, 
for ever and ever. 
We’re fucked.

Gawd 'elp us.

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Mansion Polish

So Labour’s Mansion Tax motion is defeated. Champion of he poor and downtrodden, Saint Polly Toynbee, must be devastated. She talks in The Guardian about the ‘gilded few' “siphoning off national wealth into palatial properties, gold-plated pensions, bulging share portfolios, fine wines and fine art” Well, so what? They genuinely are ‘a few’ and they already paid plenty.

Those who create such wealth pay huge amounts of tax and provide employment and thus more tax payers on the way up and those who inherit that wealth tend to spend and squander it like drunken monkeys over a few generations until they’re broke and the ‘spoils’ are redistributed anyway. Wealth is already penalised, but the Toynbees of this world will never be satisfied until it’s a pants-down-in-public punishment.

Tax high earners unfairly on the way up and you will lose their enterprise and their money. Try and tax them on the way down and they'll just find a way of disappearing all that wealth by such measures as, say, buying property abroad, eh Polly? Then it’s gone for good.

But who are the so-called super-rich you and the voracious Labour Commissars want to punish so much? You will never really touch the properly super-rich, those you describe in such envious tones; they can afford to piss all over your punitive plans or else just piss off somewhere where they are welcomed. You must know this, so you must have your sights set somewhere lower – on altogether easier targets, such as those who genuinely want or need to stay in Britain. You’d prey on the very people Peter Mandelson praised?

Hypocritical Champagne Socialist poster-girls like Polly don’t ever seem to grasp the essential relationships between effort and reward, aspiration and the accumulation of wealth.

We create a poverty of effort when there is nothing to be gained by working harder – the higher tax rate is an insult to those who find that their reward for finally earning enough to have the same take home pay as a benefit capped feral family of deadbeats is to have their tax rate actually raised for daring to work harder or smarter, or be luckier. That’s like the attitudes in the old nationalised industries; the jobsworth mentality where a curtailed tea break becomes a national strike.

We create a poverty of aspiration if - having put up with being continually robbed by the state we nevertheless manage to live frugally enough to save for an uncertain future; investing, building and spending wisely in fear of old age, frailty and that rainy day - we are still in danger of being plundered. Having survived income tax, national ‘insurance’ tax, stamp duty, capital gains tax, corporation tax, council tax, road tax, fuel duty, value-added tax, beer tax, tax tax and carpet tacks, we are still not safe and our little Englishman’s castle, is broken into, broken up and taxed yet again.

Tax is theft, but it’s a theft we tolerate because we like to think we care about society and besides, there but for the grace, etc... But as tax taking becomes a mission, then tax avoidance becomes a game worth playing. And the people who MAKE money are inevitably better equipped than those who can only TAKE it to circumvent the taxman’s schemes and come out on top. And the ultimate tax avoidance scheme is to flee the coop.

Polishing off our wealth for generations

Polly Toynbee’s version of Socialism is a tax on one of our nation’s former finest resources, our character. Let people improve themselves in a modern economy and you will get prosperity and yes, fairness. Try to force them to be ‘equal’ and you will lose everything. We very nearly have. Polly, the champion of poverty creation talks about people hoarding “pyramids of gold”. The only place those pyramids are ever likely to stay safe is tucked up inside another pile. In Tuscany, perhaps?

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Good old Benny

It’s a busy old day for news: Huhne and ex-Huhne wake up in chokey, the tattered remnants of the Catholic church begin the quest for a new high priest of whatever it is they stand for and – who knew – yet more evidence is revealed about Jimmy Savile’s ‘colourful’ past. Liam Fox is acting the spanner in Shiny Dave’s machine and the Limp Dems are pushing ahead with a ‘back of a fag packet’ mansion tax plan against all reasonable advice. Oh and a tiny part of the southeast appears to be having its own mini ice age. Passing curiosities against the backdrop of good news from the south. 

In a brilliant demonstration of actual democracy the Falklands referendum attracted a 92% turnout of which only three individuals voted against remaining a part of a heritage treasured in those cold South Atlantic seas far more than here in the UK itself where, if we ever were to get a referendum on the EU, the result would simply be manipulated or ignored if it went ‘the wrong way’. 

Meanwhile, to get a head start, the EU Propaganda Machine targets children in the hope that come 2017, if there IS a vote, the infants will have their brainwashed say. Way to go, Uncle Joe (Goebbels). Of course, the most successful way to stifle debate is the recent rise in accusations of racism at the merest hint of a likelihood that you may be about to use the name of another culture. Even to mention ‘Bulgaria’ makes you a racist; against Wombles, presumably. 

So, by that measure the Falkland Islanders are brutal colonial racists. No wonder they all voted in that nasty nationalist manner. We must send an invading force of sociologists to re-educate them. They will surely pay for their rash choice when our democratically elected leaders sell them to Argentina for the price of a kind word. 

Back in 1982 British troops were chastised for their use of the word “Benny” – after the simpleton Benny from the now defunct soap opera Crossroads - to describe the islanders. Soldiers are one of the last bastions of political incorrectness, but shared adversity and a bit of time has relegated what was once an insult to merely a gentle term of almost affection. 

Well I want to reclaim Benny for entirely pejorative use; I want one of my own. As a sort of pet... or better, a slave. I don’t mean I want a Falkland Islander - no, those worthies are no trouble at all. In my lexicon the new Bennies are those who live entirely on state benefits when there is no reason whatsoever why they couldn’t work. The NEETS and the feckless, amoral scum who breed like rats and take benefits away from those who genuinely need them and are in no way a part of the solution. Well I reckon my taxes pay for a whole one... so I want him/her/it to be a slave to me, rather than the other way round.

This is a brilliant idea now I think of it. If you pay tax you should be given a breakdown of what you pay for and have the opportunity to benefit from it. If you pay enough for a nurse, for instance, that nurse should be at your beck and call 24/7. If you pay for a day's worth of gritting, they should come round and clear your drive when you need it. I see no reason why this shouldn’t be extended all the way to the top. 

Now everybody gets to be a Miss Dianne

The Chris Huhne’s of this world should be accountable to the taxpayer. So, if you pay enough tax to fund an MP’s salary he should be yours to command! Oh, sorry, I just realised we’ve been doing that for donkey’s years.

Monday 11 March 2013

Going for a song.

In Aladdin, there is a fundamental flaw in Abanazer’s plan to get his hands on the magic lamp. New lamps for old; something for nothing? It makes no sense - who would fall for that? Well, every year we all do, willingly, as the familiar scenes of yore play out on the stage. “He’s behind you!” we cry and “Oh no he isn’t!” What a hoot and how illogical it all is. Thank goodness we don’t conduct our everyday lives like that. But wait, someone’s coming!

Oh, it’s okay, it’s just the ugly sisters, Harriet and Yvette, spinning some poison against poor old Baron Osborne and being mean to Nadine. The Labour Party, in the role of the broker’s men eagerly grab whatever small victories they can and meanwhile Boris ‘Buttons’ Johnson takes up the slack as comic relief. It’s a right pantomime is British politics and currently playing the dame, David Cameron is desperate to give his Twanky a good airing in Brussels. What a crock. (I said crock) 

How about new MPs for old? Or better yet, why not go for OLD MPs for new? Because all any of them seem to do nowadays is spout the same old rubbish and as far as I can see, the next election will be fought entirely on the same tired old stereotypes with hardly a policy to be seen: Labour will be portrayed as the fiscal simpletons who believe in magic beans, while calling every government policy a tax. The Conservatives will be the potless Toffs, hooraying it up as the manor roof falls in and blaming the previous owners. The Libdems will provide noises off and the occasional pratfall and the Greens will play the part of ‘a tree’ all the way through the second act. 

UKIP will, of course, be cast as some form of throwback pirate racist, sporting an eye patch and cutlass and leading a Blackamoor on a leash. Secretly, the audience will want to cheer for them and subvert the plot, but the conventions of pantomime are etched in stone and they must instead boo and hiss, lead on by Bonnie fucking Tyler as Dick Wittington. Or is that Eurovision? As if it makes any difference. 

Because in politics, as in pantomime, even though we all know how it’s going to end, we suspend disbelief for the duration of the performance. We know Nigel Farage doesn’t eat roasted black babies for breakfast. We know George Osborne doesn’t dine on swan, probably, and we’re damned sure Ed Miliband doesn’t know one end of a Findus crispy pantomime horse pancake from the other. (Nobody knows what Clegg stands for - he's a LimpDem, after all.)

The propaganda machines of the three main parties will concentrate not on the truth, not on what is best for Britain, but whatever maintains the good old traditions of the political pantomime. They will swashbuckle their way into the final act, knowing that, even when somebody fluffs their lines or misses their cue, the audience will cheer them on to the same old ending – the one where Brussels always wins and we remain Britain Hardup in perpetuity. 

So you lot out there - yes, you - if a vote for Lib/Lab/Con is a vote for the EUSSR and this time you don't want the same old ending, you have a duty to listen and learn and wise up. Don't let the curtain fall on British sovereignty.

But who gets your vote?

So, come on Nigel, buff up that eye patch, shampoo your parrot (not a euphemism) grab a flagon of grog and let’s go for a last act with fireworks. If the EU is going to win anyway, we can at least give them a bloody nose in the process! 

Sunday 10 March 2013

The Future

This snippet, which I wrote ten years ago, was published in a BBC project called The Book of the Future. William Hague was leader of the Conservatives and, of course Tony Blair was on the throne, but the imagined time of writing was 2020. It appeared under the following title.

Statistics Vaguely Blurred

I was thinking about writing an article for the 2050 Book of the Future. My mum says she did it when she was my age. She made me laugh when she said that only 5% of articles made the grade! Mu-um! Who believes in percentages any more? She said it was all the rage back then. Damlise and Statistics she calls it.

Apparently, the aptly named Blur government used to use statistics to tell people how happy they were; 65% were 10% happier for 12% more time than they had been before the Blur party came to power. And advertisers were 24% more likely to use focus groups on 56% of occasions for 35% of clients something-or-other. I asked, how did you get 35% of a client? Mum got sulky then and wouldn't answer.

Thank goodness the Vague years changed all that. It must have done their heads in, all them numbers. It would mine, but then they used to do something called maffs in schools back then. Yes, Prime Minister Vague did us all a favour getting rid of numbers. Not entirely of course, I mean some people still use them, but they’re not like us. The people who attend superversity don’t even live in the same world as us normal graduates.

I mean, what’s with them, right? Everybody gets a degree when they leave Gala Bingo University at twenty-five, yeah? But them eggheads just aren’t satisfied. And get this – they actually leave home to go and live in these weird communities called campers in places like Durham and Cambridge and whatever and what do they study? Not leisure and furnishing like normal people, oh no. They do stuff that nobody’s ever heard of any more, something called fizzics and syens and that maffs and they actually pay for the privilege!

Mum says they've got a 40% better chance of being in the top 10% of earners. I say they’re welcome to it. Who wants to be a damlise? Or a statistic? I’m glad I never had to learn about percentages. I’m quite happy being more or less all right about half the time and not so bad the rest. I reckon my guess is as good as the next that most people think pretty much the same about the majority of stuff.

But will they think the same in 2050?

Welcome to the future!

Saturday 9 March 2013


1. Teaching Maths In 1970

A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price.
What is his profit? (Show all working)

2. Teaching Maths In 1980

A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is 80% of the price.
What is his profit? (You may use a calculator)

3. Teaching Maths In 1990

A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is £80.
How much was his profit? (Hint: What is 100 minus 80?)

4. Teaching Maths In 2000

A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is £80 and his profit is £20.
Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Maths In 2005

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habit of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. Your assignment:  Discuss how the birds and squirrels might feel as the logger cut down their homes just for a measly profit of £20.

6. Teaching Maths In 2009

A logger is arrested for trying to cut down a tree in case it may be offensive to Muslims or other religious groups not consulted in the felling licence. He is also fined a £100 as his chainsaw is in breach of Health and Safety legislation as it deemed too dangerous and could cut something. He has used the chainsaw for over 20 years without incident however he does not have the correct certificate of competence and is therefore considered to be a recidivist and habitual criminal. His DNA is sampled and his details circulated throughout all government agencies. He protests and is taken to court and fined another £100 because he is such an easy target. When he is released he returns to find Gypsies have cut down half his wood to build a camp on his land.  He tries to throw them off but is arrested, prosecuted for harassing an ethnic minority, imprisoned and fined a further £100.  While he is in jail the Gypsies cut down the rest of his wood and sell it on the black market for £100 cash.  They also have a leaving barbecue of squirrel and pheasant and depart leaving behind several tonnes of rubbish and asbestos sheeting. The forester on release is warned that failure to clear the fly tipped rubbish immediately at his own cost is an offence. He complains and is arrested for environmental pollution, breach of the peace and invoiced £12,000 plus VAT for safe disposal costs by a regulated government contractor.

Your assignment:  How many times is the logger going to have to be arrested and fined before he realises that he is never going to make £20 profit by hard work, give up, sign onto the dole and live off the state for the rest of his life?

7. Teaching Maths In 2010

A logger doesn't sell a lorry load of timber because he can’t get a loan to buy a new lorry because his bank has spent all his and their money on a derivative of securitised debt related to sub-prime mortgages in Alabama and lost the lot with only some government money left to pay a few million pound bonuses to their senior directors and the traders who made the biggest losses.

The logger struggles to pay the £1,200 road tax on his old lorry however, as it was built in the 1970s it no longer meets the emissions regulations and he is forced to scrap it.

Some Bulgarian loggers buy the lorry from the scrap merchant and put it back on the road. They undercut everyone on price for haulage and send their cash back home, while claiming unemployment for themselves and their relatives. If questioned they speak no English and it is easier to deport them at the governments expense. Following their holiday back home they return to the UK with different names and fresh girls and start again. The logger protests, is accused of being a bigoted racist and as his name is on the side of his old lorry he is forced to pay £1,500 registration fees as a gang master.

The Government borrows more money to pay more to the bankers as bonus's are not cheap. The parliamentarians feel they are missing out and claim the difference on expenses and allowances.

8. Teaching Maths 2020 

أ المسجل تبيع حموله شاحنة من الخشب من اجل دولارصاحب تكلفة الانتاج من
الثمنما هو الربح له؟

It says "For fuck's sake, Allah, 
Why is there so much fucking SAND?"

You do the maths.

(Wantonly plagiarised from several Internet sources!)

Friday 8 March 2013

Lies, damned lies, statistics and politics

Who can you trust? It's a really important question.

Do you trust the weather forecasters? Do you trust the economists who alternately say cut or borrow or tax or spend or save? Do you trust the newspapers - ANY newspapers? Who DO you trust? Because if you can't trust anybody, the political classes have you exactly where they want you.

There are few outright political truths. We've rubbed along with a mixture of oppression and liberty, private and public, business and personal, war and peace for centuries without learning any outright truths. Would a truly unfettered economic system lead to prosperity? Would a truly controlled system lead to equality and fairness? The evidence is that neither has all the solutions, so we swing slowly this way and that, relying on the negative feedback of public opinion to determine the direction of the wind.

My perception is that the breeze is blowing from the West and setting our course towards the right after a prolonged period of intrusive leftist interference in people's lives. But from the East come the chill winds of opposition and the current opposition are masters of the bait and switch. All for one? Or every man for himself? As these air masses of ideology meet, Britain is trapped under a deep depression.

We are gearing up for the big race to the bottom; to the landfill where truth and integrity, principals and morals go to be buried under a giant mound of steaming bullshit. The big prize is a win in the 2015 general Election, seats on boards, snouts in troughs. The losers, as always, will be the British population at large because politics has long ceased to mean anything other than the least-worst choice between competing evils.

They would rather not compete for your vote - one day they will do away with your annoying interference in the grand plan - but for now (maybe not for long) they need you to choose sides. If they can't convince you of their merits they can turn you against the other side. If that is a dangerous proposition they can try and steer you to a third option that least badly affects their share of crosses in boxes. It's a dirty game and as in war, truth is the first casualty.

So, on the heels of UKIP's outstanding surge in Eastleigh it came as no surprise to find that Labour had planted Amy Rutland, a Labour skivvy, as a stooge in last night's BBC Question Time audience to vilify Farage's forces as racists and imply this was the view of the majority. The wee dupe was brought up short by the ever-rational Melanie Phillips' spirited and rational adjuration to grow up and stop the rot.

It won't happen, of course. Andy Burnham and Jeremy Hunt will trade lies about the NHS's fortunes under their relative administrations. David Cameron will tell lies about holding a referendum on EU membership. Ed Miliband will lie about Labour's contrition and weep crocodile tears as he apologises, fingers firmly crossed, for everything Tony Blair did and Ed balls will say "Flatlining!" every PMQs till polling day.

Lies, lies, lies. So who DO you believe? All you can do, I reckon is wake up, take a long hard look at yourself and decide if you want to be part of the solution, or part of the problem - they are both legitimate, if unequally meritorious viewpoints - and vote for the candidates or parties whose actions (not rhetoric) chime with your beliefs.

When I'm King, I will rule with a light touch and a benevolent hand. Honest ;o)

Thursday 7 March 2013

Payday Loan Arranger

I'm all for looking after the weak and helpless. I'm not so sure I want to provide the same supporting shoulder for the stupid and feckless; to those who have brought misfortune on themselves. Payday loan companies are in the news again and The Guardian is reporting "widespread irresponsible" lending behaviour. Of course there is, largely caused by elements of widespread stupidity. 

And hot on the heels of the actual news story we get the inevitable tacked-on sound-bites from the wounded survivors of the loan companies’ rapacious attacks on their inability to grasp that nobody lends money commercially for any other reason than profit. And if I'm brutally frank they all sound a bit whiny, a bit ‘victim’ and – let’s not be coy – a bit dim. 

Who are these hapless borrowers and why do they need protecting? Oh yes, it’s the same old suspects beloved of every political party wanting to put on a caring face. Well, ever heard the expression ‘you have to be cruel to be kind’? The alternative to legal extortionate lending is illegal extortionate lending and unlike the loan sharks, at least Wonga might not break your legs. 

Why would anybody take a payday loan? They are short-term bridging loans and they do have a place for those times when, say, an emergency finds you with too much month left at the end of your money. On such blue-moon-rare occasions they are a godsend for some. But they are a desperately unwise source of funding for a sure thing at the three-thirty at Kempton or to satisfy a craving for a tattoo... or to pay off another loan. There is a heavenly host of voices throughout the land advising the avoidance of any such undertaking and the fact that others have judged you un-credit-worthy should be a big clue. 

Obviously, in the view of Stella Creasy, it is down to the government to wade in and help out ‘the most vulnerable in society’ as if it hasn’t been the activities of interfering governments – principally her party – that resulted in so many being so stupid, naive or reckless as to be tempted by such usury. There has been a progressive deterioration in education, self-control, self-respect and concern for others, coupled with a rise in welfare dependency and entitlement mentality, etc, the inevitable outcome of which is aberrations like Heather Frost. Yes, it is all her fault; why not? 

Pointing the blame finger is easy, but when will we wake up and accept that some humans are just lesser examples of the species than others? Yes, we can all fall on hard times but given that most payday borrowers probably watch more television in an afternoon than some of us manage in a month they ought to be wise to what happens to those who don’t repay. Even with all the warnings of concrete boots or an opportunity in construction - propping up a flyover for eternity – not to mention a wealth of personal experience, some people are just too stupid to listen and too impatient to wait. 

Welcome to the inevitable cost of Socialism’s profligate ‘caring’ policies – Wonganomics – the more you avoid hard decisions in favour of misguided aid the more you entrench the levels of dependency. Maybe it’s time to let people learn from their mistakes, rather than teach them the state will always be there. The time is fast approaching when it just won’t be. 

Money talks. For most of us, all it has ever said is “Goodbye!”

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Straighten up and buy right

Twice in the last 24 hours I've seen somebody having a pop at the policy of selling off council houses and it’s telling that the use of the word ‘Thatcherite’ automatically implies criticism. Boo, hiss, nasty, etc, although isn't it curious that nobody called the Conservatives of Mrs Thatcher’s day The Nasty Party (That was down to TheresaMay – cheers, Tess.)

Anyway, to hear some talk, the heinous selling of homes to their long-term tenants at very generous discounts is directly responsible for the current ‘housing crisis’, causing the return of Rackman-style landlords to raid the public coffers of housing benefit. What utter cod. Predictably the red-to-its-roots Daily Mirror leads the rallying cry against ‘toffs’ and ‘cronies’ as if every single social housing entrepreneur is directly related to the Iron Lady and her evil plot to help ordinary people achieve a lifetime ambition.

Actually, the Labour Party itself, in its manifesto of 1959, proposed to introduce the right of tenants to buy the homes they lived in. It was a laudable aim, a very British aspiration and it offered for the first time the possibility that an ordinary working class family could accumulate some bricks and mortar; a castle of their own to pass on to their children. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the idea... except for the profligacy of weak and venal humans.

Throughout the eighties council tenants exercised their right to buy, effectively capping their accommodation costs, acquiring a little bit of England for themselves and starting to feel a little bit middle class. Living through real austerity in the post-war years and true to their working class values a good many lived within their means and eventually paid off their small mortgages to live rent-free for ever more. Plenty of ordinary pensioners owe their relatively comfortable old age to Mrs Thatcher.

But it was also the age of consumerism and among the younger and more reckless a more dangerous game of Keeping Up With Every Single One Of The Joneses was played out. The race was on; some sold as soon as they could, took the profit and moved up and out. Others discovered the money-for-nothing world of the remortgage. After all, the price of houses had only ever gone up, hadn’t it? And the banks in their turn were duped and continued to lend, ever more optimistically, fuelled by exactly the same greedy instincts as their mortgagees.

The warning signs were there from the start – cars worth more than the original price of the houses standing alongside the settee in the garden. Too-expensive new show kitchens and bathrooms and giant televisions and foreign holidays. This was not the fault of any government - New Labour even rejoiced at the notion of ordinary people living way beyond their means – this was simple human avarice. Former secure council tenants wilfully placed themselves in jeopardy and rode the boom until the inevitable sorry bust.

Buy-to-let mortgages allowed ordinary people with a bit of vision to acquire a property portfolio and as former owners became renters once more it was a viable enterprise. Now they are pariahs because what, because they rent to welfare recipients? Despite what Owen Jones thinks there are few predatory landlords out there. Most are bumping along the bottom just like their tenants.

Renting in the welfare sector is a gamble and without any capital gains many social landlords are currently making a loss. If Housing Benefit is cut they can’t rely on tenants to make up the difference so they suck it up; they have little choice, yet according to the merry little Chavmeister they are all evil millionaires exploiting the weak.

Talking of chavs, self-styled King of the Chavs, Michael Carroll blew the best part of £10million and freely admits he couldn’t handle it. He is an extreme example, but one recognised by every law-abiding neighbour of one of his kind.

A poverty-stricken council house tenant. 
Don't give him money - he'll only lose it.

Is there a moral here? Not really, just a truth - in life there are winners and losers at all levels. It doesn’t matter how much social engineering is applied, money will always leave those incapable of understanding it; plenty have proved they fit that profile. And of course it is the naivety of Socialism once again... not understanding money or people is a real problem in a world that is run by people. With money.

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Small Talk

I'm not really sure I understand humans at all. I mean, what’s the point anyway when as soon as you get to know one it grows old and dies, taking your secrets with it to the grave. Or is that pets? I get confused.

Take food. I used to marvel at the way people would eulogise over a new type of processed cheese slice, gushing out their praise and drooling at the thought, longing for their next encounter. I’d try said cheese, find it, well, a bit cheese-like, shrug and get on with my life. People, eh? What a bunch of tossers. 

But that isn't it. It isn't that I am out of step with other people’s aspirations and lifestyle choices at all, I seem to be out of step with their perceptions of others’ perceptions. Which sounds a bit mad, so I’d better try to explain. An example here from my past, from the days when I cared: 

I’m on the edge of a conversation; a bunch of people I know (let’s call them ‘friends’ for want of any better term) went out last night. They went to a new pub and it was abso-fucking-lutely brilliant; the best night of their lives to behold such wonders, “You MUST go!”. So, a few weeks later I have the opportunity to try out this Nirvanic experience for myself. I go. It turns out to be just another pub and – just as with all other pubs – it’s a big, noisy, uncomfortable place where wankers try to outshout each other and strangers spill drinks in my path. Are my ‘friends’ mad? Were they on drugs? Why was, well, that, the best thing they’d ever done? 

I harbour feelings of enmity and feelings of separateness. I am not like other people – they thought this was brilliant, I know it’s shit. But, of course, because I’m different, I keep my observations to myself... until the day I reveal my utter confoundedness to one of these ‘friends’. They seem somewhat taken aback at my impression of their impressions of the place. “It’s just a pub,” they say, “I don’t see what the fuss is about.”

And I’m stunned; but you were one of the ones saying it was the best night of your life, that you could have happily died, having experienced the full extent of what it means to be human. “Oh, I think you’re exaggerating,” they say and change the subject. The fuck? 

It’s taken years of this kind of bullshit for me to finally work out what’s wrong. It's not you, it's me; I'm too emotionally honest about these things. I go out, I get drunk, I have a reasonable time and in the morning I say so. It was, you know, it was okay. Really, it was fun… and then I got drunk and went home – JUST LIKE YOU ALL DID! The bit I never understood was how shallow and meaningless that next-day small talk is meant to be. 

Lazy orators use superlatives as punctuation. ‘It was an okay night.’ does not make for a conversation, apparently. For a conversation – this isn't a debate, dummy! – you have to lie, exaggerate, outdo each others’ tittle tattle, banter, grunts, etc. THAT’s where I got it wrong. Nobody ever taught me this. And so I'm going to tell you the truth. Like I was brung up to do. 

Small talk is exactly that; it is meaningless. It’s small. It means nothing, it's so small. Nothing. There, got it? This means you can exaggerate until your arse falls off. You can exaggerate a million times until; you are blue in the face, until you quite literally die and it’s all right. It’s not only acceptable, it’s the way things are. 

So, that’s the bit I've had wrong for fifty-odd years. It’s not that people are so easily wowed by the mundane, not that they crave squeezy cheese at all. But to admit all this would be to face up to the mundanity of existence, which, let’s face it, would be downright depressing. So, to pretend it’s all better than it is, everybody else – hear that? everybody but me – simply lies about their life and everybody else colludes with that lie and then forgets all about it. 

But what about the BIG talk? This morning you should be talking about economics and Europe and immigration and welfare. You should be getting angry about the government passing bills that extend the powers to enact justice in secret. You should be working out what you will do to help get us avert economic Armageddon. Wait! Where are you going? What are you laughing at now? Eh? Eh? Tell me!! 

Great party, dude!

Sod it. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. We had a party on Twitter last night – it was, well it was just, wow, you know, I mean it was just BRILLIANT!!