Thursday 19 March 2020

Tips for coping with self-isolation

A number of people have shared their tips for coping with self-isolation which seem practical and superficially sensible but are nonetheless wrong. I'm seasoned at this. Ignore the amateurs.

1. Firstly, establish a routine. Routine is important. By staying up til 5am watching Deep Space Nine you can sleep most of the day away thus limiting your exposure to work related emails.

2. Don't worry about a lunch break. A bowl of cereal while rewatching Breaking Bad will set you on until your oven pizza time about 11pm.

3. If you get bored, slug a bottle of Blossom Hill in half an hour. It will knock you unconscious for at least three hours. If you do this enough you may even lose track of what day it is.

4. Avoid sunlight. Nothing good happens when other people are awake. Keep your socialising to random Canadians over Skype in the evenings.

5. Keep well medicated. Regardless of how well you isolate, people you know will still insist on making contact with you. If you load up on about five or six codeine every day it gives you a nice buzz that will take the edge off whatever inanities they're spouting. When they notice you're not really listening to them just claim there's a delay on Skype and ask them to forward their thoughts to whichever spam email account you keep.

6. Keep your mind active. Freecell and Minesweeper kills hours at a time if you've got the codeine/wine balance right. Be careful not to overstimulate though.

7. Learn how to manage depression. Sometimes you may feel despondent like nothing you do matters and everything is horrible. That's a common feeling because it's actually true. Nothing you do matters and everything is horrible with or without Coronavirus.

8. General mental health. After prolonged isolation you may start hearing voices. Sadly they're not much more interesting than real people. It's not like the movies either. The voices don't tell you to kill people. It's just your paranoia talking, churning over all your insecurities that you're ugly, boring and stupid and will never amount to anything. As soon as you accept that's all true, the voices just become background noise you can filter out the same as friends and family.

9. Panic attacks. Sometimes you can get a sudden shot of adrenaline to the brain triggering a fight or flight reflex where you're convinced you're in danger of imminent death. Luckily, there's a good chance it's true at the moment so don't fight it. You've had a good innings. If you were going to accomplish something you would have by now. The sooner you accept your mortality and the pointlessness of your existence, death holds no fear and panic stops bothering you.

10. Staying clean. It's important to shave at least once every three weeks and do the washing up at least once a month. So I'm told. Never saw any real practical value in it but at least when mum/sibling phones you can answer honestly when they ask if you're taking care of yourself.

11. Exercise. They say you can get high from natural endorphins. You can get the same effect by spinning around in your office chair til you get dizzy. Don't worry about getting fat. Chain smoking and panic attacks will keep the weight off.

12. Manage deadlines. Often people will put deadlines on things they want from you. Keep in mind that if they needed it done urgently they'd have asked someone else to do it, and it's probably not important because nothing ever is. Do it when you feel like it, even if that's never.

13. Be creative. Send colourful and abusive emails to local politicians and petty complaint letters to companies you don't buy anything from. Make really big deal about the lack of pepperoni on their 97p pizzas. Anything that will waste their time as much as they've wasted yours.

14. Keep hydrated. After fourteen hours of sleep you may wake up with dizziness and a headache. Codeine and Talisker will usually sort this out and it helps you nap for another three hours.

15. Socialise when you can. At some point the lockdown will ease so when you go to the Esso garage on the corner at 3am be sure to lecture the French shelf stacker on the finer points of Brexit, international treaties and trade standards. They'll remember you and nod politely next time they see you. You've then got a friend.

16. Keep your spirits up. Occasionally browse job boards. It will remind you why slowly dying in a solitary hovel is preferable to the alternatives.

Friday 12 January 2018


Donald Trump has asked "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?". I can imagine the population of Rotherham might very well be asking the same question.

No doubt even asking the question is racist according to Twitter. The accusations will flow from those people who ordinarily demand "evidence based policy" but are at the same time convinced by the argument "The Somalian taxi driver who dropped me off last night said he couldn't read or write but his daughter is training to be a cancer doctor in our beloved NHS".

In other news, apropos of nothing, two civilians were killed yesterday when officers fired live rounds to disburse crowds that attacked a police station in Pakistan on Wednesday in a protest over the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl. Police recovered the body of Zainab Ansari on Tuesday from a garbage dumpster in the town of Kasur in eastern Pakistan, four days after she was reported missing.

It was the twelfth incident of a girl being abducted, raped, and killed in the past year in Kasur district, police say. Residents have been furious at the authorities for what they see as a failure to investigate such cases.

Pakistan is presently “mainstreaming” misogynist tribal justice. In August, a 15-year-old girl, attempted to elope with her boyfriend. Before she could meet him, relatives found her and brought her home. Although both families agreed on a swift marriage for their children, a jirga, or tribal council, demanded blood. Obeying its edict, Ms Bakht’s father drugged and then electrocuted her. Her boyfriend was murdered by his own father in the same way the next day, restoring “honour” in the eyes of the jirga.

Such barbarism has become synonymous with jirgas, a traditional form of justice that blends tribal and Islamic customs with the whims of participants. Despite a law passed in 2011 that allows police to arrest members of jirgas suspected of “anti-women” practices, grotesque abuses continue unabated, activists say. Mukhtar Mai, who was gang-raped on the orders of a jirga in 2002 as recompense for a sexual assault supposedly committed by a male relative, recently lamented that her subsequent campaign to curb the use of jirgas had not succeeded. Just three months ago a girl, aged 16, suffered a horrifically similar “revenge rape” in the same province. Instead of trying to stamp out jirgas, however, the government has decided to integrate them into the formal justice system.

This is according to that renowned ultra far right publication "The Economist". Meanwhile, today the Guardian hails "a great milestone" as Somaliland finally adopts legislation outlawing rape.

This has ramifications for the UK. In the early days of Ukip, there was an attempt to field two muslim candidates in Bradford. Both were forced to step down after death threats from Labour rivals, having been told their relatives in Kashmir would be killed if they didn't. For safety reasons this was never reported by the local press. We do not, therefore, have a full picture how extensive this is. What we do know though is that the local politics of Northern mill towns and "shitholes" like Tower Hamlets are very much influenced by the tribal politics of Pakistan.

So while the media and polite society gasp in horror at the "rudeness" of Donald J Trump, in the face of local authorities who are unable and unwilling to act on these such issues, it does seem reasonable to ask; why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?

Sunday 24 September 2017

Brexit: drifting toward a catastrophe

It is a widely accepted view now that the UK leaving the EU without an agreement for future relations would be an unmitigated disaster. Only a very small minority of people believe it to be otherwise. The problem, however, is that this very small minority is actually in power.

It is terrifying to imagine what would happen if these people succeed in their aim of severing all formal relations with the EU. What they have failed to understand is that, as we are part of the EU, all of our trade agreements with the rest of the world are between the EU and third countries, thus if we sever our ties with the EU, we lose all our trade. Volumes have now been written about this but since our politicians live in an isolated political bubble the message is not getting through.

A responsible government would seek to avoid this eventuality but it would appear this government is trying its level best to make it happen while making it look like it’s the EU’s fault. If it’s how it looks then it is quite a clever scam.

When the UK invoked Article 50 to leave the EU, a sequence of exit talks was agreed. Before we discuss our future relationship the terms of separation must first be agreed. This deals with the financial settlement (settling the accounts) followed by future citizens’ rights, and the thornier issue of the Northern Ireland border.

Because the UK has instigated this process, the onus is on us to make proposals on each of these issues. These are put forward in the form of position papers. Ordinarily these would be highly detailed serious proposals measured against existing legal and treaty constraints. What has been put forward, however, are sloppy and indifferent screeds full of empty rhetoric and vague aspirations.

One might have thought that this was typical government incompetence. That is entirely plausible. However, I think there is a different game in play. The UK government believes the phase one issues ca be negotiated concurrently with a future trade deal. They have been told this is not possible and is not going to happen, but the government continues to press for trade talks as though the EU Commission had never said anything.

Time after time the EU has reiterated that phase one issues must first be resolved and when the UK position papers are so bad, there is really no basis for negotiation. Serious proposals are still expected from the UK government.

That is where Theresa May’s speech in Florence this week was supposed to break the deadlock. What we got, though, was yet more fluffy rhetoric about future partnerships without laying down anything concrete as to how the divorce issues can be addressed. Consequently we are nowhere - having made no progress at all.

However, to the uninitiated, the UK government looks as though it has done what is required. Offers have been made only for the EU to rebuff them. This is all part of a ploy to make it look as though the EU is being unreasonable and inflexible.

The Florence speech was billed as a game changer. Talks were suspended for a week in order for the EU to consider its response. It was delivered in a historic location to give the speech gravitas and institutional significance. Everything about the presentation was calculated to present a grand gesture.

When I listened to the speech my first reaction was that Theresa May has been got at by her extreme fringe in cabinet. How could she have made all this fuss to have delivered such an empty speech? Was it switched at the last minute? But then it hit me. This government never had any intention of breaking the deadlock. It only sought to give the appearance of engagement.

It didn’t take very long for the EU Commission to deadbat the speech. A Twitter thread appeared within hours effectively restating what we already know. Concrete proposals fleshing out the rhetoric must be submitted.

One might have expected that if this were a serious gesture form Mrs May then it would be accompanied by quality and detailed propositions – and that might well have bought some goodwill from the EU in order to talk about future relations. But no such documents were forthcoming.

Unless I have read this wrong it really does look like the UK government is giving the EU the run-around - and with the backing of the right wing media is able to paint the domestic message that the EU is refusing to cooperate. This is with a view to building up the necessary party backing for a walk out – where the EU takes the blame for the subsequent disaster.

The only other explanation is that the government is playing an irresponsible game of brinkmanship expecting that the EU will blink since the EU is to a large extent dependent on EU funding. It’s a zero sum game the EU will not stand to be blackmailed. The UK stands to lose a lot more than the EU and the EU would recover faster.

The problem is that the UK government is absolutely convinced that the UK can walk away without a deal and continue to function on WTO trade rules alone. Probably the greatest political miscalculation in history.

More bizarrely, you would expect, with stakes being so high, that we would see a mobilisation of the opposition – but this is not happening. The Corbyn clan is unable to come up with a coherent position at all and refuses to even debate it at the Labour party conference. Here we are facing the biggest political crisis since World War Two and the opposition has absolutely nothing to say.

But then there is an air of unreality about all this. Mrs May called her snap election to reinforce her Brexit mandate – and that election should have been a raging debate about our approach to Brexit. Yet Brexit sat there on the backburner while we debated anything but. And now, at a most critical juncture, when the prosperity of the nation is on the brink, a petition on reinstating Uber’s London operating licence can attract 500,000 signatures – yet barely a whimper on this unfolding cataclysm.

What I think we are seeing is our collective animal instinct kicking in. This is a complex undertaking that few really understand and even fewer comprehend the danger we face. We have become dumb to it after two solid years of media distortions and ill-directed histrionics. Collectively we have our heads in the sand - though silently bracing ourselves for the mother of all political rows.

We know something seismic with tangible consequences is going to happen in the near future and I think many are simply keeping their powder dry. There will be many questions needing answers. How could we have drifted into a crisis like this and how could all of the democratic safeguards have failed? Why could the opposition not organise itself? Why did Tory moderates stay silent? How did this mess happen? And why couldn’t we stop it?

Sunday 20 August 2017

Antifa: the new thought police

A friend remarked on his Facebook that "antifa" are not the same as fascists. I suppose there are distinctions. Your modern self-styled antifascist is little more than a self-righteous thug seeking to silence views that differ even slightly to their own - to the point of using violence. They are the ultimate authoritarians who believe that the little people need to be protected from harmful ideas, thus crush any semblance of free speech in the public domain.

So while they could not be described as fascist by its definition of believing in racial and genetic superiority, it is still a form of paternalistic tyranny that seeks to deprive ordinary people of liberty and freedom of thought. These are people with a belief system of their own, entirely fanatical in its application and, much like the Gestapo, believe they are the sole arbiters of who has the right to use violence.

Also, like the Nazis, modern antifa does not believe in the right of free association and free, peaceful assembly - a cornerstone of any democracy. That is why we have seen doxing - and when mistakes are made, entirely innocent people end up getting hurt. So these are people do not respect democratic rights. They believe in vigilantism and subverting the rule of law.

History is replete with self-righteous fanatics. The Chinese Communists, the Nazis, the Puritans, the Islamists and now Antifa. The result is nearly always the same. Thought crimes, thought police, book burning. All the usual traits of people who believe their morality to be born from perfect knowledge and enlightenment, thus superior to that of the non-believer. They create places where people do not dare to speak freely.

In the case of America, what we are mostly seeing is spoiled attention seeking millennials looking to broadcast their right-on credentials. A far cry from actual antifascists engaged in investigative journalism, risking assassination and assault. These people are not righteous. They're losers; basically looking to silence a bunch of rednecks for their own moral gratification.

Ultimately a nation that does not believe in freedom of speech is one that basically does not believe in freedom at all. Fascist ideas are defeated through open and frank debate. If you silence them you make martyrs of them. That is how political correctness spawned the alt-right - and that is ultimately what put Trump in office. For some years now, the self-appointed arbiters of what is offensive to minorities have sought to police language, intimidate those with opposing views and stifle free and frank debate.

As much as this is this is anti-freedom, it is also anti-knowledge - in that ideas cannot be shared and developed without robust public discourse. That is why fascists should be free to speak and invited to as many debates as possible so that their ideas face the full force of public and academic scrutiny. Ultimately if you need to use violence and subversion to promote your own ideas - and suppress those of others, then your ideas are worthless.

Moreover, modern antifa is so extreme in its self-righteousness that it happily tars anyone with somewhat pedestrian working class values as goose-stepping nazis - which is actually the same sort of paranoia as any other moralising fanatics. That makes them every bit as dangerous. How long before they become sufficiently powerful that they are loading up the cattle trucks with people?

So no, by dictionary definition, antifa are not fascists - but they share all the classic authoritarian traits. Basically snobby, self righteous zealots. Ultimately we have to trust in the better nature of people to turn their backs on bad ideas. If you do not trust the people, if you do not give them the freedom and space to defend democratic ideals, then chances are they will sympathise with those whose freedoms are being denied - even if they are prize shits.

This is why the vast majority of decent people look at both sides and can't see a fag paper's difference between them. Both ideologies are based on collectivism and authoritarianism. Give either any kind of power and you are soon up to your neck in blood.

These are the thoughts I posted on that friend's Facebook. You won't be surprised to learn that the comment has since been deleted. As Principia Discordia has it, "Members of Orders are just as likely to carry a flag of the counter-establishment as they are of the establishment, as long as it's a flag".

Wednesday 28 June 2017

But what of Ukip?

It's a while since I paid any attention to the fortunes of Ukip. A quick look at Raheem Kassam's timeline on Twitter this evening reminds me just what an unpleasant bunch they are. There seems to be a running dispute as to whether the party should be a BNP style entity run by Anne Marie Waters or an alt-right entity headed up by someone else presumably. The expression "bald men fighting over a comb" springs to mind.

Both Kassam and Carswell now seem to be in agreement that Ukip is dead. Ordinarily I wouldn't give a tinkers damn in that Ukip has squandered its momentum and wasted its potential. It has few, if any, intellectual assets and is still labouring under the misapprehension that Ukip flavour misanthropy is a winning ticket. There is nowhere for it to go if it regresses further up the ultra right cul-de-sac. They all hate each other and are too concerned with battling over the dregs to focus on the tasks before it.

If there was ever a role for Ukip post-Brexit then it would be to carry the momentum of the referendum over to convert the sentiment expressed against the establishment into a more concrete movement for change. But actually, it doesn't know what it wants - except that it has something to do with Muslims.

The great sadness in this is that if we look at those now influencing the direction of Brexit it is the usual array of business groups and remain inclined think tankers and academics. This is ground Farage ceded a long time ago by choosing the populist path. The consequence of that is that there are no thinking leavers steering the agenda. Farage made certain of that.

Occasionally though, one gets a reminder that Ukip at one time was a good party of good people, and this television appearance by leadership contender Ben Walker shows that there is some self-awareness in the party. If the brand could be detoxified then it could be salvaged into a civic constructivist ideas party - influencing from the fringe. I think Ben Walker has the right idea in making it a more consultative entity, reaching out to branches and making the running of the party more inclusive, but this is really closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. This needed to happen ten years ago.

It is difficult now to see how it can be snatched away from the Farage devotees. Moreover, the obvious problem for Ukip now is that there is nothing much to sustain it. It has no real intellectual foundation, its reason for being has passed and its primary source of funding, the EU, is soon to be no more. All that is left is a toxic brand in the shadow of Farage and no real idea of what it wants to be.

I take the the view, for what it's worth, that if anyone can transform Ukip and revive it then it's Ben Walker. A decent man with a good CV. A healer and reformer. If there is anything left of the Ukip I once knew then it can be saved. For that though it must ditch the hard right dogma and turn its back on the Breitbart crowd. That may mean a significant pruning in support, but Ukip cannot rebuild unless the cancer is carved out. It pretty much means starting from scratch but as far as I'm concerned if Ben isn't the next leader then it does not deserve to survive.

The right sort of immigrant

Some years ago I met a charming and talented woman. I did not think much of her politics. She was a bit of a lefty. Over the years though, with a little encouragement, she has come to see the light and has come to see the left for what they are - particularly in respect of Jeremy Corbyn and the modern left. It would appear that just recently she has had her conservative awakening. Not wishing to be patronising but this is what we righties call "adulthood".

What makes this lady especially interesting is that she is very much a self-made woman, having made a tremendous success of her life, starting out as a Polish immigrant working in the fields. She is now a top HR consultant. Today she surprised me by pointing out that she is not in the least bit concerned for the extension of her EU citizenship.

When Britain voted to leave the EU, she was naturally concerned since she has build quite a life for herself here. This is not surprising when you have the likes of Ian Dunt publishing all manner of histrionics - adding further to the perception that rights are in peril and that somehow Britain is a more racist and unpleasant place.

I told her that there is no real reason to panic. As a resident of more than five years she has certain acquired rights and that there will be an accord of a type regardless of the mode of Brexit. Even if talks failed and we reverted to WTO rules, this would be one of the first issues to be brought back into consideration when rebuilding our relationship with the EU. With every passing day it would appear that there was no real reason to worry.

To be entirely intellectually honest, I must mention that the lady in question has experienced some harassment. Whether or not there is any direct causal link to Brexit is a matter for debate. I would surmise that prejudice is something that EU migrants will encounter regardless - largely because people are bastards wherever you go.

On the whole though, this lady made it clear that she accepts and respects the UK's decision to leave and she expects to live under the rules established - which are unlikely to be inferior to British citizenship - which is more than sufficient. She has chosen to make a life here and ultimately wishes to be a British citizen participating in British civic life come what may.

This lady to my mind is a model immigrant. She is basically the walking cliché Polish immigrant; - hard-working, motivated and successful. What makes her problematic for the remain inclined is that she refuses to see herself as a victim, she does not fall into the category of metro-left and her concept of citizenship is closer to Mrs May's "citizens of nowhere" speech than that of EU flag waving forelock-tuggers.

As it happens, she is particularly bewildered by by the staggering lack of patriotism from some in believing that losing EU citizenship in some way means going back to the dark ages. She remarked that to be a modern Brit one must self-deprecate and treat Britishness as a taboo. She asked me how this came to be. "People do not wait in camps in Calais because for your weather" she said. Quite.

She then asked me how it was that spoiled British youth could back a man like Jeremy Corbyn. To my surprise she expressed her "revulsion" at Labour voters. The simplest explanation is that collectively we have allowed the poison to spread.

Leftist thought and language has worked its way into the popular vernacular as an everyday social currency. People espouse that kind of politics for social convenience - much like our celebrity class. It is shallow, narcissistic and full of lazy assertions and assumptions based on a complete ignorance of economics. Unless people do stand up to it and speak out then it prospers. We have failed to confront it.

The fact that we have allowed ourselves to be censored through political correctness, and not pick fights or fall out in public is why it has taken root. Being conservative is somehow considered a social faux pas and something to apologise for.  

In this, the British education system has been corrupted by leftists where, through identity politics, conservatives have been silenced and marginalised - and that is why you have a cosseted and spoiled youth in thrall to a vile creature like Corbyn. A populist through and through. 

It has gained ground because we have failed to make the moral case for liberty, citizenship and conservatism. We have repeatedly caved into the left out of cowardice and continued to retreat from British conservative values of self-reliance, fiscal prudence and self-advancement. We have a youth who believe the answer to poverty is a bloated state rather than wealth creating policies. We have let left wing attitudes slide instead of treating it as antisocial behaviour. The absence of a conservative party is our downfall.

Not for the first time has an Eastern European lady in my life exhibited more conservatism and more Britishness than any of my compatriots. It was my great pleasure and privilege to have been friends with Helen Szamuely. Helen was never afraid to start an argument or be unpopular even in social situations - and was ever happy to make an enemy of stupid people. Helen was unapologetic - and for a Hungarian - she really showed British conservatives how to be conservative. 

Once again I find that it takes an immigrant to add moral clarity to the debate. That is the example we must follow - to never let a lazy or casual leftist assertion pass even out of social convenience or politeness. If we wish to remain the sort of place that hard working people want to come to, it is our values we must defend, not the baubles and trinkets of EU membership.

Sunday 18 June 2017

The tenants are fifty percent of the problem

Another thing I will say on Grenfell, one of the biggest problems an EHO will face, as much as pisspoor building design is the tenants themselves. The complain about damp - but they seal up the vents. They use the hallways for dumping their shit and storing their garbage. Fire extinguishers are often stolen and sold off. Seen this before when armed forces advocacy groups whine about poor standards of housing for personnel.

Half the problems is the wives who don't report the problems, let things rot, don't clean up and then they wonder why they live in squalor. MoD houses tend to be quite good. They don't have these problems in RAF houses which are the exact same ministry design - but Army wives... well, not wishing to offend but... garbage on legs.

Now don't jump down my throat here because I'm victim blaming. The fact is that people do have a collective responsibility to report things - and most of the time, when they say the council haven't done something about leaky pipes etc, is literally because nobody bothered to report it. They lie about it all the time.

Then look at the social makeup of these places. Again we have problems when you stack blocks and streets full of primates from the back hills of Mirpur - throwing dirty nappies into the back yard and flushing general refuse down the toilets. They simply don't know how to function in modern housing because they've had in basic training as to what it means to live in the developed world. That was a real issue for EHO's in the 80's and 90's, in Yorkshire and Lancashire especially. Cram them all into a tower block and you then have very serious problems.

One of the measures we took in the late nineties was to beef up the tenancy contract and make sure tenants had their responsibilities explained to them in person. The idea was that if they are found in breach of contract then action can be taken. Problem is, if the council has to evict it has to rehouse - and when you are evicting lazy tenants from one slum, the only place you can put them is in another slum.

This dynamic is why EHOs do not evict from overcrowded HMOs because it lumbers the council with having to find places for them. This is why there is such a toxic feeling about freedom of movement. We have utterly failed to enforce the law because we have basically made it a human right for any hapless biped to be housed come what may - regardless of how slovenly and antisocial they are.

For them to then play victim and go and smash up the local housing office or threatened staff - as is quite typical - is really quite disgusting. But then what do you expect when you have removed all the consequences for selfish and antisocial behaviour? Were I in charge I would just have a three strikes policy where you're then given a choice of deportation or jail.

Bottom line though, social housing is the worst idea British politics has ever had. It's never going to be good because you're basically, for the most part, housing losers and trailer trash and by doing so you are creating high concentrations of scum. The only way to avoid doing that is to spend serious money distributing them and putting them in good homes - which is unfair to everybody else - especially if they're just going to shit on it or destroy it.

The short of it is, you want a good house, either move out of London or pull your fingers out of your arse. Beyond basic shelter, that's about the fullest extent of our obligations - and even that is far too generous in my view.

Social housing might have worked in the pre-war era before we stopped giving a shit about who we let in and under what circumstances when we were able to cash in on the empire - but those times are long gone, and if we're absolutely honest - even that was a shit idea because much of what was built in that era has had to be demolished and that which has not probably should be. Ultimately government fucks up everything it touches so why would you want it to house you or look after your health?

Every manifestation of socialism is a cancer on a free and prosperous society and the fact we don't teach this to children at an early age is why you're seeing a surge for Cobyn. If you don't teach your children to hate communists where are they going to learn it? Not from state run schools that's for damn sure since half the teachers are paid up members of the fucking KGB.

You're never going to get adults who will take responsibility for themselves if you teach them they have a right to expect all of the fundamentals for free. That's why socialists grow up to be losers and that's how they end up ghastly pebble dashed huts and burning to death. One of the best survival skills you can teach a child is free market liberal economics. They might fail at life - but they won't blame others if they do.

Saturday 17 June 2017

Dear London... get over yourselves.

Dear Londoners,

Please please please, for the love of Christ, get over yourselves. There are people who, for reasons that escape me, save up for years to afford a deposit to live and work in London. People work bloody hard to earn above the average wage, only to afford shared rooms and tiny hovels. People of modest means who just don't see themselves as victims or hapless serfs. People who may never get rich - but at least have pride in themselves and no sense of entitlement.

If for some reason you have been granted a living space entirely of your own in central London (at a heavily discounted rate) you are not "underprivileged" or forgotten. You are in fact one of the most privileged citizens on the planet.

Nobody is going to argue that Grenfell Tower isn't a travesty - and a systemic collapse of competence in that manner is inexcusable, but in more general terms, your sense of entitlement is baffling the rest of the country.

To be frank, you don't speak for all of us - and you certainly don't speak for the "aspirational working class". Aspirational working class people have much higher aspirations than sitting on a waiting list to be handed the keys to a concrete box only moments after an Albanian refugee has perished of a heroin overdose.

In fact, there are mums all over the country who nag their children to do their homework and do well at school specifically so they don't end up on a council waiting list. Moreover, you don't have a right to housing near where you were brought up. Where did you get that idea?

By all means bang your drums and wave your socialist flags on a Friday afternoon, but actual working class people are, well, you know, at work - so they can afford the hovel that's half the size of your council flat - and on the outer rings of the tube network.

You complain about "social cleansing" but when I watch y'all on Youtube I'm starting to think they might have a point. It's not like you geniuses are actually contributing to anything - except maybe the knife crime statistics. (props on that by the way)

And I know I'm not supposed to sneer at "working class views" but if working class views are now "how can I make this all about me and my entitlements?" then don't be surprised if peope do sneer. It's not snobbery. It's just a basic sense of decency.

I suppose I shouldn't complain though. After all London is a magnet for absolutely everything that sucks in this country. I suppose it's worth subsidising your like to stay in London just so the rest of us can continue to enjoy the many other excellent cities in the UK - and enjoy our decent sized affordable homes without you piping "speed garage" out of "sub woofers" attached to your rustbucket Volkswagens.

Just be mindful, though, that there's a jolly good reason nobody cares about you. It's because you have childish views, dreadful politics and there is nothing likeable about any of you. Come to think of it, you deserve London - and London deserves you.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

My tolerance ends where liberty is threatened

Ok, I can just about stretch to an opinion on Farron. Why has Tim Farron been singled out for being a Christian? Well, he holds illiberal views and led a liberal party. When challenged on it, he was unable to give a straight up answer. For me the latter is the greater sin. If you believe something then come out and say it. It's a basic test of integrity.

But then there is a wider debate here as to how much god bothering do we tolerate? Personally I am a secularist and a social libertarian. I want to see the maximum liberty possible extended to every individual so that they may live out their lives according to their own choices.

Personally I don't get the whole gay marriage thing, I'm a little bit wary of it, but the bottom line is that it does not affect me in any way. Why should my convictions, or lack of them, have any bearing on the choices of others? If Farron is unable to prioritise his politics over his adherence to scripture then he has to stand down. You're either a liberal or you're not.

As to the DUP and the anti-abortionists, it's really up to the people of Northern Ireland to sort that one out for themselves. So long as they don't bring their politics into our politics then fine. This is more a matter of sovereignty.

Personally I don't see why anybody's religious convictions should get to dictate the life choices of women. It's always better of women are free to choose, to be able to get the information and support they need - and safe, dignified treatment. I hate people who would deny a person the right to choose.

So should these people be hounded out of politics? I would have thought so yes. Politics is trial by fire. Stand up for your beliefs. See what flies. Someone of resilience will stick by their convictions and if they can ride it out with intellect and skill then the voters will be the final judge.

It is a tricky one though. Part of tolerance is respect for views you don't like but at what point does that tolerance risk becoming apathy? I think we do have to be on guard against regressive forces who would prioritise their stone age beliefs over the liberty of individuals. They should be held to account for their views and it is vital we are absolutely clear where they stand.

I have a few Christian friends, one of whom I respect immensely, but my general experience of god botherers is that they don't respect the choices of others and use scripture in place of argument. To me that comes over as zealotry bordering on mental illness. Those such people I wouldn't put in charge of a whelk stall let alone a country.

Worse still it seems to me that the Christians I know are the least "Christian" people I know. I was brought up CofE and the general gist I got is that we must be kind to each other, charitable and forgiving. As I understand it, that whole forgiveness thing is a cornerstone of the faith, yet I do not find god botherers either charitable or forgiving. Mainly just judgemental prudes and tyrants without reason.

Ultimately these such people are a direct threat to mine and your liberty. My tolerance ends when the religious convictions of others condemn people and take away their free will. I will defend any person of faith and their right to practice their faith, out of respect for their liberties, but if I catch your dog on my lawn I will shoot it.

As to Farron, I kinda feel sorry for the guy. I don't think he is a bad man. Profoundly wrong perhaps, but really, this country in real terms is secular - and we are better off because people are free to make their own choices. I can't trust that he can shelve his private beliefs simply because men of real conviction cannot.

You can make all the classic arguments about moral permissiveness and where that leads, but ultimately people suffer the consequences of their choices. That's pretty much how it should be lest we go back to treating women like property. In that, it is incumbent upon us to better teach the consequences of certain choices, but anything that flies in the face of free will gets a thumbs down from me. It's not something I have tolerance for.

Monday 12 June 2017

Brexit: Corbyn's issue illiteracy

The idiot Corbyn is once again talking about leaving the single market but preserving access to it. For those who need it spelled out, this is pure illiteracy. Everyone has access to the single market. If I'm a dildo producer in Elbonia I can export to the EU but I must pay a tariff and go through the third country customs channels. Because Elbonia does not have a preferential trade agreement with the EU it has a low score on the EU database so a container is 100% likely to be stopped at the docks while goods are sent away for formaldehyde testing at the expense of the producer. Meanwhile the container is taking us space incurring a thumping daily fee for every day it is held - which can be anywhere up to two weeks depending on the workload of labs. Ten times more expensive than tariffs. This is why non-tariff barriers are the greater threat to UK trade.

So say we were to drop out of the EU without a deal we would assume the same status as Elbonia. Having already been a member of the EU we'd have a slightly better risk assessment - but we'd still end up having our containers diverted and inspected. Then if we sign a free trade deal with Elbonia where we don't inspect their goods then our risk assessment score is reduced. That's why we have to be careful about the deals we sign after Brexit. Elbonian dildos have high levels of carcinogenic toxins.

If we want to avoid that scenario then we must have a deal where our own testing houses are approved by the EU. This would be a mutual recognition agreement on conformity assessment. That way any goods cleared for sale here can also be sold in the EU. That though does mean an EU agency will have to perform routine inspections of our testing houses to ensure compliance to the standards they set out. That means adopting their standards not only for the production of goods but also for the testing and the methodologies therein. It's complex for ordinary goods but when it comes to food and animal products it gets highly involved. This is why Norway contributes to the various EU agencies in order to keep the costs down for business.

Now multiply this dynamic to the three hundred or so other policy areas - including medicines and chemicals. We would need a patchwork of agreements covering all these different areas. Technically we would be outside the single market but it means you still import EU procedures, regulations and standards. The short of it being that if the EU council decides on the meaning of a regulation then you adopt it without question. Being outside of the single market you have no means of veto and you are not involved in the decision making process.

The fact is, when the EU accounts for half of our exports and it being the nearest and largest market, there is no escaping EU institutional influence and that nebulous "sovereignty" we seek is not so clear cut. Every shortcut we take has ramifications for our trade with the EU. Every decision has consequences that ripple out.

It's all very well saying we want "tariff free access" but that doesn't come close to what we need. Thanks to the "Anything But Arms" agreement even the likes of Elbonia have tariff free access but unless it can meet EU standards and prove it then costs of trade are prohibitive. This is what our political class does not understand. It is the regulatory union (the single market) that facilitates trade. Being out of it means more direct costs for business, more delays and substantially less trade - none of which can be easily recouped by way of seeking deals elsewhere.

Since Brussels is a regulatory superpower and the UK being reliant on EU trade it will always have considerable influence on our laws. Even New Zealand and Canada have found cause to rethink their food safety laws so as to trade on more favourable terms with the EU. A well documented phenomenon known as "The Brussels Effect". So as much as there is nothing to be gained by leaving the single market it doesn't actually solve anything.

Moreover, the point of staying in the single market is that it takes all the trade issues out of the Article 50 negotiations and puts them into a different framework which is not time limited thus removing uncertainty and reducing the risk of becoming Elbonia overnight - which would destroy nearly all of our EU trade.

The single market may not be optimal but it is a fact of life. We cannot pretend otherwise and if we really do want to leave the EU it's the safest and fastest way to do it. At least then the political integration is ended and we'd have the Efta firewall. On present trajectory, chasing an illusory perfection, we are likely to crash out with nothing to show for it and will have to rebuild our trade relations over decades only to achieve what we could have had now. We are risking the UK's prosperity on the back of the profound ignorance of our politicians and media. This is the debate that was lacking from the election and it seems to be absent now. There is a wilful refusal to get to grips with it. That will be our undoing.

Friday 9 June 2017

More depravity from the Corbynistas

Soviet bunting in London. Depraved.
What fucks me off most about this far left revival is that we're now going to be dragged back into tedious old debates having to explain the basics to morons. It always plays out like this. We have to teach them basic economics and a few facts of life. You know - that one about not taking out a credit card to pay off your other credit cards. And then because they're obsessive antisemites we'll have to have that super boring debate about Israel. Already I've been told this evening that anti-zionism is not antisemitism.

Ok fine. Let's enter that premise. Zionism is a concept. But then it's better described as colonisation. Exactly what the Europeans did to America, and yes there was ethnic cleansing and yadda yadda yadda. So answer me this. Why is it not a left wing obsession to challenge the legitimacy of the USA and demand it stops existing? I'm sure there are some crackpots who do think that but it is not a mainstream fixation.

Just yesterday I saw a Facebook commenter with a hammer and sickle avatar saying "Israel has no right to exist". So does Israel have a right to exist? Doesn't fucking matter. The fact is that it does exist and there's not a god damn thing you can do about it.

Y'see what we don't settle with politics we settle with wars. And there was a war. The six day war. The aggressors lost and in the aftermath Israel took some pretty absolute security measures including turfing Arabs off their land. Fair? Not really. But again - not that far removed from what the USA did. Ultimately this is the event that brings us to the paradigm we know today. Any history prior to that is just masturbation. Go any further back and the debate ends up in the mists of time to see who committed the original sin. That's how warped this debate is.

But then we get the old "apartheid state" shit. For reasons that seem fairly obvious to me, the Israelis have decided that if your neighbouring countrymen decide to strap bombs to themselves and blow up school buses with alarming regularity then it's probably wise to build a really big fucking wall around them. To insist that the wall comes down is to essentially demand that Israel does not defend itself. You are advocating the end of Israel and the mass murder of Jews. You can kinda see why they would take that as antisemitic. Not least since unwashed dreadlocked Westerners are not demanding that Lebanon take down theirs.

So what is a legitimate criticism? I'm not the arbiter of that but my distaste comes when they're using punishment tactics. That though is a difficult one because you can't really expect Israel not to respond to a neighbouring country whose ruling authority is openly at war with you and has pledged to destroy you. Not really any middle ground there.

And this is why I have a problem with your Mr Corbyn. He thinks there is a middle ground and is prepared to roll out the red carpet for these scumbags and broadly he believes Israel should make concessions. And this to me raises a few questions. Nobody on the left is saying that the West should sit down and talk to ISIS. They're not that depraved. So why should Israel negotiate with Islamists sworn to destroy them - who preach it to their young children that Jews are evil and should be killed.

But it's not all antisemitism from the left. I note the guy who unfurled the antisemitic banner in Bristol the other day needed it explaining why it was antisemitic. Why? Because he's a moron. It's kind of a prerequisite to be a far leftist - to brainlessly adopt the right on causes of the left to show "solidarity" (ie conformity) with the groupthink. There is no intellectual examination of the issues, no self-audit for moral consistency and a general willingness to accept the leftwing narrative of Palestinian victimhood - one of the toxic elements that perpetuates this grubby conflict.

It is that same bovine idiocy that has millennials taking to the streets waving communist flags, defacing war memorials and destroying private property. A long standing tradition of the far left for as long as it has existed. The self-styled "anarchists" who demand more state control and confiscation of property.

In this people often chastise me for speaking in broad terms about "the left" - repeating the empty mantra that the left/right paradigm no longer exists. Sorry but is absolutely does and it never went away. You can add caveats and nuances and I will entertain those but the extremes always espouse the core of the ideology and moderates are merely people who hold the same basic ideas only not so intensely and usually not willing to resort to vandalism and violence. As much as the behaviour must be challenged the ideas must be challenged also - and if you hold any of these sympathies then you are indeed culpable for not auditing your own views.

If you passively allow these lazy notions to go unchallenged then you are effectively enabling the cancer within our culture. And yes, it is a cancer in that communists have absolutely zero regard for our civilisation and would gladly destroy it in order to bring about their communist utopia. Not massively unlike ISIS. Historically the left have proven just as savage. This is why the hammer and sickle offends me every bit as much as a swastika.

Worse still are the pretensions to moral superiority. The latest fad is to have "I punch fascists" in your Twitter bio. That basically means "I use violence to silence people I disagree with". These people, incidentally, are the same ones posting photos of themselves burning newspapers. The subtext here is that anything even moderately conservative is in their eyes "fascist" and therefore feel entirely justified in censoring it. You see they are the sole arbiters of the meaning of the word fascist and it is nebulous enough to mean whatever they wish it to so to suit the occasion. In basic terms, this is thuggery. It is not a principled world view. It is, to coin an expression, virtue signalling - the desire to prove ones own sense of righteousness. It is pure vanity.

This is why I will have very little patience for the "tolerant left" this week as they pull apart every last detail of the DUP. As I understand it the DUP are actually pretty foul people but being this a democracy they have every right to hold their views and part of tolerance is accepting that. You can lay no claim to virtue and tolerance if your agenda is to harass people over matters of faith.

Perhaps they have deeds in their past which are worthy of examination - but ultimately if you are a leftist you have no moral authority and no right to criticise anybody - because ultimately your entire world view is informed by antisemitic prejudice and a century of intolerance and murder. If you are not a practitioner then you are an apologist and enabler. This is why I despise the left about as much as I do Islamists - because basically they are the same with the same goals - The submission of others to their intolerant will by any means available. Until the socialists publicly disavow the hard left and expel Momentum I will view them as enablers of prejudice - and ultimately enemies of my country.

Friday 2 June 2017

That moment when you remember the left are depraved

Corbyn - a man who has no problems speaking on a platform with people more than happy to wave the flags of Hamas, Hezbollah, IRA, Communism, or whatever filth the left ascribes to.

And let's not beat around the bush here. Get into a conversation with a leftist and sooner or later they will bring up Israel. I do have opinions on that subject but my default line is that we have more important things to talk about than an ethno-nationalist spat going back more than half a century. But why do they bring it up?

Well it's simple. They are obsessed with it. Nothing else matters to them. It's a perfect cover. They can shroud their flagrant anti-semitism in quasi-legitimate moral outrage - which is always disproportionately directed at Israel, regardless of the fact that both Egypt and Lebanon treat Palestinians equally abysmally.

Not for nothing can you find leftists sharing platforms with Islamists. They ultimately share the same goal.

The reason I have chilled out in recent years is because I no longer seek out debates with leftists and the memory fades as to just how repellent they really are. But thanks to Corbyn they're all coming back out of the woodwork and it all comes flooding back as to what utter pieces of filth they are. This is when I really lose my shit.

And then there is the sheer economic illiteracy. As tweeter Ciarán McGonagle points out, echoing some of my own sentiments, Labour now appear to reside in non-interconnected world where economic policy can be imposed unilaterally without regard to global context, where increasing tax on upwardly mobile corporates and high earners inevitably leads to increased revenues without risk of relocation. Where the City's hegemony is inevitable and can be squeezed for new revenues as though other nations are incapable of competing for business. Where Government can pick and choose which international laws and regulations it deigns to adhere to without losing global influence in making those laws. Where the Govt can nationalise and subsidise industry at a whim without fear of reprisal or economic consequence.

It's a magic wand fairly land where you can peddle "solutions" from 1945 as though the last seventy years didn't happen - and because of the cult like status of Corbyn they will invent absolutely any mental contortion to justify economy wrecking policies. Not forgetting their insistence on foisting this shitty socialist heath system on us.

And this is actually where my heart sinks because apart from the antisemitism and sharing platforms with jew hating terrorists - and giving houseroom to antijewish conspiracy theorists, you can say a lot the same about the Tories. The cowardly drift leftward is ultimately why Britain is in the shit. Time and again conservatives have caved into these scumbags

You know, seriously, so long as you don't mind bringing up vacuous shallow shitbird offspring, if you do have children, raise them as leftists because they will never have to be held to account for the repulsive views they hold, and they will never be expected to act like adults.

They'll be more successful at work because they can effortlessly glide between social scenes spouting the same socially convenient claptrap without being called out on it. Their warped and morally degenerate worldview has somehow become the social currency of the West and conservatives self-censor just to be able to put forth moderately conservative ideas - which are then shrieked down by bunch of leftist harridans.

Worse still is the fucking hypocrisy. The thuggish scum who call themselves "antifascist", only too happy to use violence and subversion to silence opinions they disagree with, using their cultural dominance to have decent people removed from their jobs in academia and public service. And let's not forget their sick "gender is a social construct" bollocks which ultimately lands young people with mental illnesses, often leading to gender reassignment and suicide in later life.

If there is any strand of toxic authoritarianism you can think of you will always finds the left at the front of the queue. The same shitbirds pushing the global warming shit on us as an excuse to close down democracy. Satan is going to have to dig an eighth circle of hell to deal with modern leftists. The worst vermin ever to walk this earth.

This is actually a stark reminder to me that I should step out of my Brexit cave a bit more often because I forgot what shitheads they really are. It reminds me that there is a moral dimension to elections and actually, moronic though the Tories are, two decades of economic oblivion is still preferable to Corbyn and his band of twisted sociopaths. You won't catch me voting Tory but no way can a decent person endorse this depravity. Fuck that. If we further tolerate any of their wickedness then the west does not deserve to survive.

Thursday 25 May 2017

If you must vote, don't vote Tory.

A lot of people get on my case because I go on about Tories like a leftist would. It's true that I hate them with a similar passion but for entirely different reasons. The thing is, I know that party well. I've been closer to the beast than most. I once shared an office with a regional chairman. I've had my introduction to the Westminster life. I know who the people are and I know who is pulling the strings.

Firstly you have to get over the idea that there is a Tory party as such. It's just a brand that can be co-opted by the various power-bases within it. Just like Labour. Ownership of the party can be captured by the various cliques within it. The Cameroons and their Bullingdon club sect managed to capture it quite successfully for the same reasons the Momentum loons could capture the Labour party. It was weak, lacking leadership and without a moral base.

Shifts in parties are effectively micro-revolutions and these shifts actually matter more than elections. Elections just rubber stamp the change of management. As to who wins elections, it really comes down to which clan has a motivated powerbase. The exception is this election where you have caretaker May up against the Corbyn cult - who just happen to be so awful that they repel most decent people. In any other times, the May team would be viewed as inept as the Howard leadership. Not exactly a star line-up is it?

But within the umbrella of the Conservative party there are various sects. One of those influential sects is the hard right of the party, marginalised for years but now more influential than in previous years. That is not to say they are in power, since they are still on the outer- fringes but they do have a direct line to the cabinet for the first time in two decades. These are some of the very worst people presently in politics.

One particular example is Rees-mogg, who, like Johnson, has certain upper class affectations that people mistake for intellect. What you find in practice is they don't know the subject matter, they are winging it and rely on their foolish supporters to make excuses for them. Then you have the likes of Steve Baker using his position as MP to open to door so crony investment funds can get their nose in the trough.

I have spoken before of these such people and how they are all on the teat of a handful of old money Tory donors - and they are the ones who buy conformity. The high society parties and think tank shindigs are all part of the Westminster social scene, a sordid circle jerk encompassing MPs, their apparatchiks and sections of the media. People who thrive on gossip and bullying. Worse still, there is always a parachute for them when they're voted out. I note a number of Tory MEPs are now on the ticket to become MPs now that we are leaving the EU. Vicky Ford being one of them - she who railed about oven gloves having to meet heat resistance standards.

In more basic terms, you've all laughed at the absurdity of Ukip and their batshit policies, but the Tories are effectively the same thing but with better connections to old money and posh accents.

In this there is an element of "class war" - not in the classic left wing sense because that is very often the politics of envy. What this is though is a near untouchable class of people who feel entitled to rule and have the connections to make sure that they do. This is our political class.

I would like to be able to say that Labour fares better but they just have different avenues and a different strand of hypocrisy, and we should loathe them in equal measure, but when it comes to Tories, there is a certain unparalleled arrogance, which is ordinarily quite grotesque, but when it comes to Brexit, there is a very real danger they will flush the entire UK economy down the toilet and never take responsibility for it. They are a fucking menace. They are intellectual and moral cowards - and some of the most toxic, snobbish, vile people I have ever set eyes upon.

You will get no argument from me that Corbyn isn't fit to govern, but that does not  make the Tories competent by default. Far from it. My message this election is that if you must vote, don't vote Tory.

Thursday 20 April 2017

Give me Brexit and you can have the rest

The basic problem with Labour is that it assumes a lot of things about ordinary people. At the last election it tried to paint the picture that Britain was a nation at breaking point where the vast majority of people were a huddled mass of impoverished people in need of rescue by their betters. This attracted only the votes of the well-to-do condescending middle classes who believed this caricature - and the usual leftist "working class" who want free stuff in abundance.

Since Corbyn it seems to me that those most enthused by him are those who tend to blame their own predicament on the Tories rather than their life choices.

What the left don't seem to be able to grasp is that most people don't want a handout or a depressing pebble dashed hut gifted to them. They have higher expectations and aspirations.

I can't speak for anyone else but I want a liberal and fluid job market so I can opt in and out of work rather than being tied to the same 9-5 year after year. I cannot cope with the ossified structures of what we call work and I need to be able to opt out. What I want is a reasonable degree of contractual protection but nothing so rigid that I am bound to follow the archaic work structures of 1974.

Labour might well be right to be concerned about the so-called gig economy but my problem is not with the concept. It's that when one contract ends the next ones are few and far between. What I need is more market liberalism not less. The best days of my life were when I could pick and choose my employer.

I think it was Thomas Sowell who said something along the lines of "The hypocrisy of the left is shown by their apparent concern for poverty but complete lack of interest in means to solve it".

Whenever I read leftist drivel I read people who think that they represent the masses when in fact they represent nobody but themselves and their own personal inadequacies. The entire ethos is that they are entitled to a home and healthcare and that somebody else should pay for it.

Leftists whine about capitalism yet ordinary people have never been better off. I'm a slacker but I have a place I call home, a car with all mod cons and freedom to do pretty much as I please. Is this because I'm a high flyer? No. There are few people in the world who do less work than me. It's just that capitalism has made good cars affordable and travel within my means. The only thing standing in the way of a better life are the crippling taxes I pay on everything I buy. Petrol especially.

What capitalism has delivered more than anything in the last century is freedom. So now the question is how we create more freedom, more liberty and more opportunity. That is ultimately what the working class want and have always wanted. The left don't seem to understand this. They want to hobble successful people so their lives are as stunted as their own. I won't vote for that and I never will.

The left still have value to add. An unfettered capitalist system is about as depressing as an unfettered socialist system. I never want the UK to be the USA where everything has a price tag and nothing is ever done without pay. Britain has always been about finding the middle way. I will fight the hard right Tory vision as much as I will fight that of the far left. Britain is the best place to live because we instinctively know where that balance is.

And that brings me to the subject of the EU. The EU more than anything is about hyper-liberalisation to the point of abolishing the nation state and democracy along with it. Now we have reached the point where too much is out of our control. It may well even work in your estimation but there will come a time when it doesn't. On that day we will be glad of the economic sacrifice we have made to leave the EU. Some control is better than none.

For a time we had what is labelled as a centrist consensus. That worked for Britain but as it gradually drifted away from democracy, the centre of politics departed from the centre of the soul. That is why I view Brexit as a corrective.

In this it would seem the vast majority backs the Tory government. Were I a leftist I would not be down hearted. This is only temporary. The nation has decided that change is necessary and that we must see it through. Once we have accomplished that change the Tories are as dead as Labour. When that day arrives, for the first time in decades we can have genuine debate about who we are and what we want to be without the dead hand of the EU closing down the options. Give me this one thing and I will listen. Oppose me in this and I will rain fire.

Thursday 23 March 2017

The only power terrorism has is the power we give it

I think one thing that marks this terrorist attack out from all the others in recent times is the comparatively muted response to it. All the opinion pieces have been written many times before, nothing about it surprises us and I will be surprised if it occupies the media window for more than another twenty four hours.

That's not surprising though. As terrorist attacks go this was fairly pedestrian. In order for it to be news it needs to have a lorry, a bomb or a machine gun involved. News wise, this doesn't rate. Ratings wise, Islamic terrorism has jumped the shark.

That is to be expected. 7/7 was pretty epic and there's no topping 9/11. There's nowhere you can really go after that. If that didn't topple the west or start world war three they are wasting their time.

As it happens I'm willing to bet more people died from sexual misadventure than terrorism yesterday. A couple of bodged strangle-wanks and an accidental sex swing beheading just in Soho alone probably tilts the scales.

This is where the IRA knew how to do terrorism. If you attack London, it's all in the game. A liberal society, home to one of the planet's first cities is going to attract a random atrocity or two every now and then. It's only really a policy problem if it's rather frequent.

The IRA learned from the Luftwaffe's Baedeker raids, in that if you want to scare the bejesus out of people you have to go outside London to show people that they can be hit anywhere. Warrington made every crank call something worthy of an emergency response.

The fact of the matter is that Islamists are really shit terrorists. They don't rate. Nothing they want is anything we can give them. The IRA wanted Britain out of Ireland. We could oblige them if we wanted. That's what makes the game worth playing. Islamists on the other hand want us to go back to the dark ages and live like cavemen. It's all stick and no carrot.

Y'see the West is better at this "oppressive patriarchy" shit. Because women want "equality" we have gradually handed over the board rooms and the top government positions to women. Most of the top jobs in HR now go to women and pretty soon the same will apply in science and engineering. Women being more capable and motivated, it'll be us blokes sitting at home watching Jeremy Kyle and doing the ironing while the womenfolk are off proving they are equal. More than happy to let them.

The West has functioned on the bogus notion that there is dignity in work and that if we all work hard we can all succeed and be whatever we want to be. This lie is the only reason the West still has a functioning economy at all. If women want to take it over so they have to punch numbers into spreadsheets all day then that's fine with me. Nothing ISIS has competes with that.

As to terrorism, it's just political campaigning using violence. You have a manifesto and rather than using persuasion you use terror. It only works if you are good at it. And Muslims are not. They need the Hollywood pizazz of 9/11 every other week or it's just not going to fly.

Meanwhile, we don't need terrorism for ourselves. It's not because we have a democracy. It's just that you only need a minority party to commit to something for a few years and then it happens because nobody else really gives a fuck. See Ukip/Brexit. We are mainly governed by people who give a fuck. A very small and self selecting minority. I might even venture that this is a good thing.

In that respect, if I ever go postal and kerb stomp John Redwood or Steve Baker, please don't call it terrorism. It's not violence for political ends. These are just motherfuckers who have it coming because they are shitheads on my radar.

As to actual terrorism, I think the current approach of making a few obligatory rhetorical noises then getting on with our shit is probably the right approach. The more counter terrorism measures we pile on London the more we become the sort of paranoid miserable shit hole that refugees risk life and limb to escape. We should resist that. If that means the occasional dead copper then that's ok too. It's a good pension and you know the risks when you sign up.

This may sound cynical and a touch uncaring, but then that's the whole point. Cynicism is the absolutely correct response. I didn't give a toss about the Paris attacks and I sure as fuck don't care about London. It is that complete lack of concern that defeats terrorism. We responded militarily to 9/11 and look where that got us. Total waste of time. The era of Islamic terrorism on Western soil would have been far shorter lived had we simply treated it as compelling TV then carried on not giving a fuck. The only power terrorism has is the power we give it.

Monday 27 February 2017

Why are you so willing to be manipulated?

The Telegraph reports that Lily Allen has been targeted by "online trolls" after revealing that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following the stillbirth of her son. Except that, as I understand it, she was targeted for some pretty vile remarks about the contribution of pensioners. The remarks I saw were singularly crass and vacuous. But the Telegraph knows this. So why does it report it in this fashion? Bias? No. Outrage manufacturing.

There is an army or right wing bores who will now spend the rest of the week publicising this foul creature. And that's rather a shame because hitherto now I was asking what is a Lily Allen?

Clearly editors have now worked out that there is a commercial formula to manipulating the outrage of their readers - which effectively makes them complicit in their own manipulation. They keep coming back for more.

I am sure though, through running similar stories the BBC paints Ms Allen as a victim because obviously maintaining "online trolls" as a popular folk demon lends weight to successive attempts to close down debate in the public sphere. It is fodder for its own left wing authoritarian outrage junkies.

Outrage manufacture has now become a multimillion dollar industry worldwide. It ensures both camps are nourished with their own sense of moral superiority. This is why I tuned out the whole Milo thing. I have no idea why the political debate for the entire Western hemisphere must be diverted for the benefit of these nobodies.

This then raises the spectre of "fake news". Tune in to Radio 4 on a weekday afternoon and you will hear academics tugging their forelocks about what to do about "fake news" and how "trusted sources" can "reconnect with their audiences". Except that it seems that "trusted sources" are the lead manufacturers of this verbal material. I hesitate to call it fake news because it simply isn't news. I don't know what Lily Allen does let alone why she has PTSD. Nor do I give a solitary toss.

The people who bang on about this stuff insist it is important because the veracity of news vessels is held in question but I hardly see that it matters since both camps are not actually interested in actual news in the slightest. Nor indeed is the media.

What we are actually looking at here is the entertainment industry, of which Twitter is a component. What we find is a series of exclusive and self-referential bubbles shouting about each other with no actual dialogue.

Worse still, this outrage industry is its own little ecosystem for social commentary. Half the pundits on the blogosphere devote their time to this trivia. Even this post is testament to that exact dynamic. Sooner or later, the entire edifice of media loses concept of what constitutes actual news.

It is interesting that those who complain that democracy has been replaced by technocracy would be the same ones commenting on these such affairs. Half the reason the state has gradually erased public participation is because it can. Who will blow the whistle? Not our media. Thus I find denunciation of fake news a little rich when the public have no appetite for actual news when it is genuine.

If citizens lack the self-discipline to ignore deliberate attempts at manipulation and gratify this trash then ultimately they will get the government they deserve.