keresaspa: (Percy Sugden)
If Greece has taught us anything in the post-Classical world it's that it is actually possible to enter the Eurovision Song Contest with a genuinely good song. OK you might not actually win, or even come close for that matter but.... No, hold on, that wasn't it. Let's start over.

If Greece has taught us anything in the post-Classical world it's that if you want genuine change to take place liberal democracy is not the way to do. Much was made of the home of democracy having an eruption of people power by electing Syriza but I was less enthusiastic than many of my fellow travellers and now, alas, I've been vindicated as Tsipras has proven to be yet another politician and as such his word isn't worth a brewer's fart.

As a consequence I'm not placing too much stock on the surprise lead being held by Jeremy Corbyn in the bunfight to take over t'the Labour Party. As much as I allowed myself flights of fancy when Jez for Prez seemed like a pipe dream I don't imagine there would be too much difference under a Corbyn premiership as he would still be governed by the same capitalist base and superstructure as all of his predecessors and as such would be limited to more tinkering. OK, some of the railways might be renationalised and the worst excesses of Iain Duncan Smith might be reversed but the same old banks/the City/Siralan/them-durned-immigents shit would continue as ever and as such the much required root and branch change would be rendered impossible. True change comes only from revolution, not from elections, or else the wholesale slaughter of black youths by racist cops wouldn't still be going on under Barack Obama

In saying all that, if on the very off chance that some Labour Party member is passing, doesn't know who to vote for and feels that my opinion will sway it for them (it could happen) then I would still endorse his leadership. They can say all they want that only Blairism will win an election but what really would be the point of somebody like Liz Kendall being Prime Minister instead of George Osborne/Boris Johnson? She would just do the same thing as the Tories anyway given all her vile attacks on the poor, whilst Cooper and Burnham are a pair of faceless, oily bastards who blow with the wind and would be equally pointless and easy pickings for Johnson (though possibly not Osborne). The measure of Andy Burnham is that, in a shameless attempt to seize the left-wing vote, he claimed to be against Tory attacks on the victims of austerity and yet refused to vote against their attacks on the welfare state. Hypocrite and liar.

Corbyn inevitably will struggle to win any election if he does become leader as he would have to overcome everybody from the Torygraph to Woman's Own pushing the radical right neocon agenda, not to mention his own party colleagues and has-beens like Gordon "financial meltdown" Brown and Tony "war criminal" Blair, kicking him at every turn. Hell, if they put half as much energy into attacking the Tories as they did their own they might actually have got somewhere. But he is the only candidate to offer a genuine alternative and to treat party politics as a genuine struggle between political ideologies rather than an extension of the public relations industry.

So all the best to Jezza but excuse me if I don't leap for joy whatever the result. The home of true democracy has already shown us that as an organ of radical change its representative offspring is a dead duck and, if the planets somehow align to give PM Corbyn, I don't think that will change very much. But if nothing else it would be a change to have an actual human being as Prime Minister rather than yet another plastic stooge of Rupert Murdoch. Chance would be a fine thing.
keresaspa: (Cynthia of Witching Hour fame)
A rare word of congratulation must go to the over-gorged rabble of collaborationism that is the Parliamentary Labour Party on their shock decision to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate for leader. It says it all for how far the party has fallen that the only genuinely left-wing candidate is also the only one with no chance of winning but kudos to old Beardy-Buck nonetheless. Let's face it, Yvette Cooper is a Blairite failure, Liz Kendall is a Tory in the wrong party and Andy Burnham is a faceless wishy-washy and all three of them are wedded to watered down versions of austerity and thus will offer no alternative to (presumably) Boris Johnson come 2020 (Jesus, do we really have that much longer of this pile of bastards?!).

Under Corbyn Labour might well end up getting hammered in an election but who knows, the British electorate might finally discover a spine and decide a left-wing alternative is precisely what they want and do a Greece. Unlikely, but you never know and besides, they're equally likely to get a hammering under any of the other three. That and Corbyn's individual personality might actually be a rare antidote to Johnson's schtick, something that the other three faceless middle managers will never do.

It's all a pipe dream of course as we all know what will happen, with Jezza finishing bottom of the polls and Liz Coopham leading a bland, bourgeois-orientated party to its inevitable defeat before being replaced with somebody equally uninspiring and the whole grotesque farce playing itself out again ad nauseam. But hey, for five seconds let's just dream that it might be possible and the bearded one might actually let us all experience a Trotskyite paradise for a while. Now, wasn't that nice?
keresaspa: (Brigitte Bardot)
All I seem to have been doing on this thing recently is leeching ideas off [livejournal.com profile] caddyman in order to fill up entries. Well, today is to be another instalment in that rip-off sequence as the man himself has presented another of his memes and I'm jumping on the bandwagon. The basic plot of this one is to provide eight facts about yourself. Apologies in advance for the boring nature of these but I'm a boring chap I'm afraid.

1) I had only just started walking when I toddled my way through a glass door in the house in which I was born. Whilst I cheated death that day it had been by a whisker as had the cuts gone an inch in either direction I would have severed major blood vessels and most likely carked it. The scars left behind on my forehead were very prominent until fairly recently but now the deep worry lines that have sprung up on my forehead have largely merged with them, rendering them almost invisible.

2) Around the age of five I took part in, and won, a foot race against other children from my school. I was rewarded with a bag of sweets for my trouble. Hardly a big deal in itself, but it must be balanced by the "bulky" frame I have sported ever since and the complete aversion to running that has dominated my thinking. I reckon Douglas Bader with have a chance in a foot race against me these days.

3) I was about 12 when I first decided to become politically aware but I didn’t fully embrace communism until the age of around 19. As a youngster I was a firmly moderate social democrat whose political allegiances belonged to the Labour Party and the SDLP. I began to move to the left around the time Blair took over Labour (the two occurrences were not connected however) when I was about 14 and from then until about 17 I looked more to the likes of the SWP and the IRSP, whilst maintaining a strong admiration for the authoritarian Left in the developing world. By the age of 17 I was more open to communism and finally declared for it around 19, following a very very brief flirtation with anarchism.

4) At GCSE I was put forward for the Additional Mathematics exams but, after getting a B in my one year normal maths, I completely lost the thread of what was going on and effectively gave up. As a result in both papers for the subject, which were two hours long, I was finished after about fifteen minutes and had an hour and three quarters to just sit there bored (my school wouldn’t permit you to leave when you were done). The fact that I got an E in the subject (a fail in my day, not so sure now) rather than the U I deserved probably pinpoints the exact moment when they started marking GCSEs too easily.

5) Although I now find it impossible to go a Saturday without attending a football match I didn’t actually go to my first live match until the age of 16 (Cliftonville v Standard Liege in the Intertoto Cup) and I was absent entirely between 1998 and 2011.

6) I once brought a half bottle of whiskey with me along with my standard haul of several bottles of ale and a bottle of Buckfast to a goth carry-out disco. The resulting levels of drunkenness that ensued on my part became legendary in the local scene for several years to come, although for my part I have little memory of it.

7) Having said that, although my hell-raising reputation was well-known once upon a time I did not taste a drop of alcohol until the legal age of 18, which was the same time I first smoked a cigarette. Incidentally I had smoked at most ten cigarettes before I made cigars a regular part of my routine.

8) Despite being a heterosexual adult male with no children, and despite not liking cats, I possess several toys and pieces of ephemera of Hello Kitty and I feel absolutely no shame in admitting that fact.
keresaspa: (Pam Ayres)
One of the greatest philosophers of our age Laurie Pike, a woman caught between the two stools of being the thinking man's Katie Puckrik and the non-thinking man's Karen Krizanovich, once spoke one of the greatest truths of our age when she opined "you cannot push your luck, otherwise click hello goodbye". Were the ginger American giantess (who may have actually been Canadian and not tall) here today she could deliver those self-same words to Edward Samuel Miliband and be right on the money for these local elections that are happening everywhere (except Northern Ireland where we seem to elect our councillors once every 87 years for some reason) are put up or shut up time for a man who has been pushing his luck for a little too long now. A government that has set about decimating public services, plunged tens of thousands of people into poverty, attacked the most vulnerable in order to bolster the richest and demanded more in return for less from the masses is a government that should be taking an absolute kicking at the local elections. Quite frankly anything less than a huge swing to Labour will have to be seen as a failure for them and must surely spell an end to the stuttering, sweaty, charisma-free interlude of Milibandery. Or as Pike would say "click hello goodbye".

For my part anything other than a bloody good hiding for the Tories will be hugely depressing and a clear indication of the selfishness of the English in happily backing a party that is going out of its way to make life miserable for so many. On the other hand anything other than a hiding fro the Liberal Democrats will be an absolute bloody miracle as I am mystified as to why anyone would vote for them right now. After all if you are the selfish type who thinks this malevolent government is somehow doing good then why would you vote the monkeys rather than the organ grinders? Alternatively if you think the government is the great pile of steaming mince it so obviously is then voting for the junior partner is out the window. Frankly I'm amazed that they'll get any seats as I had been led to believe lunatics weren't allowed to vote but there you have it.

Of course it all remains to be seen how it will pan out but the vultures must be sharpening their talons just a little bit lest the prophecies of Pike finally catch up with Miliband. Rout the Tories royally or agitate the gravel and make way for Dennis Skinner.
keresaspa: (Mr. Grainger)
I know that I am in a minority of one here as every single one of you that has an interest in this sort of thing has moaned in my direction in the past, setting out your reasons for hating the man. But when have I ever been moved by any argument presented to me in my life, no matter how well constructed? As such I greet the news that George Galloway has won Bradford West with a sense of pleasure. Yes, he's a self-publicist, yes, he made an absolute fool of himself in a catsuit with Rula Lenska, yes, he never turns up anyway, yes any other thing you want to throw at him but more power to him for proving that a dissenting voice can still make the breakthrough in the right circumstances. All due respect to Caroline Lucas, who has been a pleasant surprise, but as the only real opposition MP in Parliament she has been a little too mousey and a firebrand bucketmouth who knows how to play the media game is needed too, the very qualities Galloway brings to the table. Of course if Danny Morrison still had a say in Sinn Fein he would have been back as West Belfast MP when Gerry Adams pissed off but the days of Morrison calling the shots are long gone unfortunately.

The vote is also another one in the eye for the execrable Ed Miliband and his woeful spell as leader of the Labour Party. Leading opposition to a cuts happy government forcing millions into poverty on the one hand whilst dealing out tax cuts to the super rich on the other should be a piece of piss by Miliband has still somehow managed to fall behind in the polls. When he should be going for Cameron's jugular he instead sits there pouting with his puppy dog eyes, looking like some reject from Twilight, failing miserably to make any impact. If Galloway's victory forces this fool out and forces the Labour Party into actually positioning itself as a proper opposition rather than a group of background whiners then so much the better.

Still, either way welcome back Gorgeous George. No matter what they say I'm glad you're back.
keresaspa: (Gorilla madness!)
It says on Wikipedia (so you know it must be true) that on top of his weekly wage from Manchester United Wayne Rooney is paid by Nike, Nokia, Ford, Asda, Coca-Cola and Electronic Arts for the privilege of using his ugly mug to shill their various wares. The same Wikipedia also adds that Roo forked over four and a quarter million for a (no doubt very tasteful) house, several thousand on a hair transplant (which he immediately followed by getting a suedehead haircut) and even one and a quarter thousand for a bloody dog. Elsewhere it is even reported that he splurged the princely sum of 200 knicker on a packet of fegs after enjoying the company of some or other lady of the night. With all that in mind is there any reason why Roo fils could not provide Roo pere with a Bart Simspon-style pity income so he could at least be seen around Liverpool with a different shell suit for every day of the week, a sovereign ring for each finger and a diamond studded collar for his pit bull. It's got so bad that he has had to get involved in betting scams to make ends meet. Well, after all what's the point of having a super-rich son if you can't sponge off him for the rest of your days. Shame on you junior, forcing pop-pop to go out and grift like that. You can take the boy out of Croxteth....

Meanwhile I see Labour has appointed a new shadow secretary for Northern Ireland in the shape of Vernon Coaker. Not a name that means anything to me personally although a brief bit of digging reveals that he is a cop-loving liar and, just as worryingly, a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. Mind you he could be a fully paid-up member of the Chicken Molesters Society of Glencairn for all it matters as the way Labour are going at the minute his chances of ever actually ending up Northern Ireland Secretary look negligible at best. And now that Shaun Woodward has been ditched can we expect him to take his butler-owning self back to the Conservative Party where he belongs? Who knows, he might be back here sooner than we think.

Feel wiki

Sep. 9th, 2011 07:12 pm
keresaspa: (Signor Rossi)
For all its faults I do love Wikipedia and believe that the idea of people collaborating on a grand resource of knowledge available for all is a fine one. However every once in a while something happens on that august website that makes you put your head in your hands and say "this is why so many people consider Wikipedia a complete joke". The latest instalment - credence being given to somebody trying to say that the article about Paula Wilcox should be deleted. Yes the same Paula Wilcox who from The Lovers to Man About the House to The Smoking Room and beyond has been a fixture of British television for nigh on forty years. That such a ridiculous proposal is even being considered rather than rejected immediately with the offending nominator severely kicked up the backside is simply playing into the hands of those who mock Wikipedia. Shameful scenes!

And finally a tip in the hat of the direction of Ms Caroline Lucas for her recent speech against the God-awful response of this horrendous government to the recent naughtiness. As long term readers will be aware I generally have no truck with environmentalists and their woolly ideas but the Honourable Member for Brighton Pavilion deserves credit for taking a stand against these scum and it is to the shame of that gormless twerp Ed Miliband in particular and the Labour Party in general that it is left to one person to be the only opposition to these filth. I see Cameron's latest wheeze in the junta's war on the poor is to take benefits from the parents of truant children. The mind boggles. I'll never understand monetarists - how can somebody who is apparently a human being be that much on the side of evil and so wholly and completely devoid of compassion? How long before Cameron and his Secret Society of Super Villains otherwise known as the Cabinet declare that poverty will carry a minimum six month sentence? Get these bastards out!

Moranic

Sep. 6th, 2011 06:21 pm
keresaspa: (Mrs Mack)
For my own part I have been a little uneasy about the prison sentences handed down in the wake of the Daily Telegraph's votes for UKIP drive (otherwise known as the expenses scandal). All were at fault yet there seems to have been an inordinate amount of Labour members imprisoned, suggesting a politicised dimension to the whole affair under the stewardship of our Conservative masters. However any pangs of sympathy I may have very briefly felt will be set aside for the latest instalment because if comeuppance is overdue for anybody it's Margaret Moran. With her shady links to all and sundry, her obsession with getting as much money as possible and her general smug arrogance and willingness to exploit anybody she can so long as she can get something out of them she represents everything that was wrong and tokenistic about Blair's babes. Prison would be too good for her but I'll have a good laugh if she ends up there anyway.

Elsewhere I see that good old Facebook, the thing everybody is falling over themselves to join and which seemingly lands about half of them in prison, is preparing to claim another victim. Good to see that all that hoo-ha the Thai people went through a few years ago has brought in so much change. Yup, risk life and limb for the bread and circuses of democracy and freedom and you still end up facing a fifteen year sentence for expressing your opinions about some cosseted old sponger (you chaps in the Middle East might want to keep this in mind). So in an act of solidarity I would like to end by saying that His Majesty Rama IX is a stingy, ugly buffalo who spends all day eating bird shit with ladyboys. Luckily nobody outside of Russia reads livejournal as I don't fancy a long spell in Klong Prem Central.
keresaspa: (J Wellington Wimpy)
Scary times coming. First we have the wonderful plan to evict rioters and stop their benefits, thus leaving them with no alternative but crime but now we have the solution in curfews. Presumably those made homeless by the government will be sent to prison for breaking curfew, prompting another round of complaining about prisons being overcrowded. To think of all the hot air expelled by our "progressive" government about how it was to be the libertarian alternative to the nannying of New Labour. Libertarian economics certainly but the same old authoritarianism as before, only with a mission of crushing the poor into the dirt added, with more and more power heaped on the unelected and bigoted police to ensure that aim is carried out.

And in other, if slightly related news, I noticed something on a brief trip to Sainsbury's today (besides their ridiculously high prices that is) - you can now buy bacon for our brave boys. Yup, Help for Heroes now has its own line of bacon. So it seems you can't even get high cholesterol now without militarism being dragged into it. Did I miss something or has Augusto Pinochet come back from the dead and taken control of Britain with his poor-despising and military-loving ways? Scary times indeed.
keresaspa: (Default)
Good luck to Ed Miliband if he thinks getting his shadow cabinet hobby horse through is the beginning of his great comeback but I for one can't see it making much difference. If he hasn't been able win people away from the malevolent Cameron by now I seriously doubt that replacing Liam Byrne with a former GMTV presenter will be the move that tips things in his favour. The whole thing smacks suspiciously of rearranging the orchestra on the deck of the Titanic.

Of course now that he has his little power (and most probably it is the only power he will ever win) we can prepare for the inevitable disappearance of Caroline Flint. There's no question about it, that Chief Whip-worshipping time server is long overdue her comeuppance for being one of the most faceless nobodies to ever hold government office and if Miliband has even an iota of sense she will be among the first to pushed aside like yesterday's loaf. That being said, it won't be the same without her, will it? As much a cretin as Caroline Flint is she is unquestionably a pouting, raven-haired, doe-eyed goddess whose very presence enlivened the humdrum, disheartening grind of modern British politics through the underrated trait of being a bit of a hey-hey. And of course it is terribly archaic and patriarchal of me to judge her like that but if you can't say anything nice say nothing and I could find nothing nice to say about her political career. No doubt Miliband will now make this post look pointless by keeping La Flint on-board but if I'm being honest the only point that this post ever had was for me to have a bit of a perv. Yes, I am a terrible man.
keresaspa: (Bucket)
"Drinking is evil". "Smoke and we'll jail you". "Exercise or else". "Five a day or it's the ducking stool for you". "If you even think about being fat we'll take away your balls". The government sticks its collective oar in constantly, seemingly intent on establishing its own version of the Nationalsozialistischer Reichsbund für Leibesübungen and demanding a health-obsessed country of nonagenarians. Then it turns round and cries "everybody is living longer for some reason and we can't afford them. Wahh!" Was David Cameron not paying attention to all that bla-fum about "joined up government" that we have been force-fed for years? If you don't want to pay for people in old age stop forcing everybody to live so long! Of course I'm being flippant but if you spend all your time effectively criminalising ill-health you can't complain when your policies produce an aging population.

Meanwhile when people unite to strike against the government's determination to suddenly shift the goalposts Ed Miliband's so-called Labour Party refuse to support them, only a couple of weeks after he launched his bold new policy initiative of savaging the unemployed at a time of rampant unemployment. Labour will probably be scratching their heads at why they lost so much support in Inverclyde but they need look no further than Miliband who has been a bloody disaster as leader, seemingly forgetting that the purpose of being Leader of the Opposition is to oppose rather than support. If they don't buck their ideas up soon, preferably by bucking Miliband out PDQ, Cameron just might nab an overall majority next election and unleash the sort of evil monetarist onslaught not seen since the days of Augusto Pinochet.

Liberal democracy - waste of sodding time!
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
So it seems some Labour Party no-mark going by the name of Ian Davidson has sought to get his fifteen minutes of fame by denouncing the Scottish National Party as neo-fascists. Now I'm on record as supporting independence for Scotland but I am also on record as not necessarily being a fan of Alex Salmond and his decidedly non-radical mob. However this has to be one of the sleaziest outbursts I have ever heard as, not only is the term neo-fascist of debatable value, but Davidson's proclamation has zero basis in fact.

I have never seen the SNP referencing Maurice Bardèche or Oswald Mosely in seeking to venerate the corporatism of the Republic of Salo and set up an elite-led pan-European all-white superpower. I'm yet to encounter the references to the mysticism of Julius Evola and glorification of the European spirit of the Waffen-SS in SNP rhetoric. Certainly the occasions where the SNP have sought to develop an economic third way utilising the thoughts of the Strasser brothers or the National Bolshevik tendency are lost on me, and indeed Tony Blair is the only one I can recall ever seeking economic third ways (although admittedly Blair was misusing the term as his "third way" would more accurately have been term "way one and a quarter" as it was just capitalism with the merest hint of social democracy). Certainly the widely accepted notion of Roger Griffin that fascism should be seen as palingenetic ultranationalism bears little resemblance to the SNP vision of an independent, pluralist, democratic Scotland that would have little difference to the current model other than being fully governed from Edinburgh rather than partially and dependent on the say-so of London. Mind you I rather doubt that the good Mr. Davidson has even heard of the notion of palingenetic ultranationalism, much less recognises it as a basis of fascism. Perhaps Mr. Davidson is also unaware that only one typology of a related concept, in this case Cas Mudde's Populist Radical Right (which the author makes clear is distinct from fascism), tests the Scottish National Party against its inclusion criteria. Mudde argues that not only do the SNP not fit his base criterion of nativism they should not even be considered nationalist as they make no reference to any notion of a Scottish ethnic identity and are in effect separatists basing their demands on a historical-geographical unit rather than group identity. Now if Davidson is seriously suggesting that all separatists who are otherwise liberal, conservative, socialist or Marxist should all be considered neo-fascist then I suggest he needs to go back and study the fundamentals of political ideology. There again perhaps I am asking too much to expect a politician to have any grasp of politics.

Of course like most politicians using the term Davidson has no concept whatsoever of what fascism actually means and is simply using it as a stick to beat opponents with. He's a hard-line unionist so therefore he doesn't like the idea of an independent Scotland and anything he doesn't like must be fascism. But this has to be one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard and this time-serving moron needs to be disciplined quick sharp. Ed Milliband took a right hammering in Scotland at the last election and made precious little inroads into the support for a malevolent Conservative Party elsewhere. If he thinks the way to make his party electable is to attack the unemployed during the worst recession since the bottom fell out of the pyramid-building industry and to allow faceless apparatchiks to trot out the f-word then maybe it was time his leadership was reconsidered. Neo-fascist my eye!
keresaspa: (Ivy the Terrible)
So far the elections have delivered one big surprise - there are wicked selfish bastards in the United Kingdom who think that the malevolent David Cameron has done a good job with his constant crapping on the poor. What else can explain the fact that his evil party have gained control of three councils and 61 councillors as the results stand and two seats in Wales? How "I'm alright, Jack" can some people get?! And shame on Wales for letting itself be lead around by the nose as the afterthought in the "England and ..." conjunction by turning away from Plaid Cymru. At least the Scots got it right by voting SNP. As oily a sod as Alex Salmond is, and I personally wouldn't trust the great lump as far as I could throw him, England's retreat into conservatism and the fact that it is never mirrored in Scotland makes the union about as attractive a proposition as Kim Woodburn in a bikini for a country that suffered so much under Thatcher.

For the Liberal Democrats the inevitable kicking has ensued, just as it should have. Everybody knows what the Conservative Party are about and so if you vote for them and get monetarism you have no right to complain. But the Liberal Democrats were elected on a platform avowedly to the left of Labour and are now spending their days propping up the most cuts-happy government in memory. Back to the drawing board for them, starting with the order of the boot for Clagknot, Calamity Cable (a man who has made Frank Dobson seem efficient) and anybody else associated with the ConDem junta, a withdrawal from the coalition and a period on the sidelines wringing your hands in the hope that some day somebody might forgive your wicked collaboration. Back to the drawing board too for Ed Miliband - true, Labour has made gains but hardly at an earth-shattering rate and if you can't duff up a government as wholly rotten as the current squad of bastards then something has gone seriously wrong.

Good also to see that the BNP has taken a right hiding and it might well be that the writing is on the wall for that lot. In typical extreme right fashion they have been stuck in internal bickering mode for the last few years and it is really starting to take its toll on them. Back in 1980 the British Democratic Party, the New National Front and the Constitutional Movement all left the National Front and set in place the collapse of that devilish mob as some went off on a Julius Evola-Codreanu path and others went off on a Jean-Marie Le Pen kick, meaning that by 1986 there were two National Fronts and by the mid 1990s three other groups in the Third Way, International Third Position and National Democrats had emerged, leaving the NF as an afterthought with a couple of hundred members. I'm not suggesting that the exact same thing is about to happen to the BNP but they look very short on ideas, especially now that the English Defence League has hoovered up most of the mouthbreathers, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the significant divisions that already exist ripping them apart. Fingers crossed anyway.

And as to my neck of the woods...well, who knows? Apparently the Electoral Commission here only hires blind people with dyscalculia before tying their hands behind their backs and yelling random numbers at them at irregular intervals during the count. Well, what else could explain why every election we are at least a day behind everywhere else when it comes to announcing results even though we have the smallest population of the four bits that make up the Disunited Queendom? Mind you, there were so few candidates in some seats that they would be as well just dealing the seats out to the big parties without even bothering to count votes. And I had better shut up now as I don't want to give the gruesome twosome any ideas.
keresaspa: (Default)
When the current ConDem junta began its vicious, fat cat-supporting cuts I commented to [livejournal.com profile] burkesworks that a side effect of his then mob's involvement in such an iniquitous government, after winning their seats on a platform nominally to the left of Gordon Brown's rabble, might end up being the future further marginalisation of the Liberal Democrats. Yesterday's by-election result suggests that might be the case already. OK, so Barnsley Central is about as solid Labour as they come but for the last two elections the Salads have finished second with around the 17% mark so to fall to just over a 1000 votes and finish behind a no name independent and a BNP candidate whose first name is nearly an arsehole is a clear snub. It stands to reason of course, given that Clagknot has been abandoning manifesto pledges and supposed ideological convictions in pursuit of power like there is no tomorrow but it again leads me to wonder what the Liberal Democrats as a party are getting out of the coalition. Yes Clagknot and Cable are getting bigger money and the chance to swan about in expensive suits and feel important but what about the rest? Reaping the whirlwind springs to mind.

And now Day 4 )
keresaspa: (Mikado)
Whilst going through the fortnightly post-venesection comedown (yes the haemochromatosis continues apace but I decided to stop boring you all about it ages ago as I know how quickly sympathy turns to ennui) I happened to catch something about those nice people at UKIP having a leadership election. How peachy - the thoroughly nice chaps whom I recently saw praising Geert Wilders on the compellingly awful RT need a new (or possibly old) leader. I had thought that the motley crew of faceless hallions (and Diane Abbott) looking to take the Labour leadership were a queer shower but by heck they have nothing on this lot.

David Campbell Bannerman, an ex-Tory, was a big fan of the rail privatisations that have worked so well. He has also rejected the idea that prisoners should be allowed to vote, apparently on the basis that the only people in jail are paedophiles and serial killers, which must come as news to all those desperate shoplifters and TV licence dodgers rotting in prison because they are poor.

Tim Congdon, an ex-Tory, is a hateful monetarist and a regular columnist for Standpoint, a right-wing, fiercely pro-American rag that has the borderline racist mission "to celebrate western civilisation" (and I'm with Gandhi on that one). His prowess is clearly demonstrated by the time he spent dishing out advice to the in no way hapless Kenneth Clarke. He also suffers from being an even bigger nonentity than Campbell Bannerman and that is saying something.

Nigel Farage, an ex-Tory, we all know of old and it hardly seems worthwhile relisting all his crimes. Still, let's remember him for his lap dance loving, video pirating wide boy that he is. He's as close as Britain has come to a Silvio Berlusconi clone and it is to the disgrace of the working class that so many of the lumpen vote for this champagne-swilling, toffee-nosed, expenses devouring bastard. If only the IPLO was still around to rid us of this real life version of the Martin Clunes character in the Tim Nice But Dim sketches.

Finally we have Winston McKenzie, an ex-Tory (and Liberal Democrat and Labour and Veritas and even his own Unity Party), possibly the weirdest of the lot. A former boxer he is Jamaican by birth but has advocated an end to all immigration (how did you end up in Britain then, Winny), had his bar closed down because of all the drug dealing going on there and even tried out as a contestant on the sodding X Factor. I once talked about the singularly bizarre individual that was the late, unlamented Tony Halme - well it appears his British equivalent has finally been unearthed in possibly the strangest "we're not racist, honest" candidate ever.

The credibility-sapping ridiculousness of all four of these morons should by rights be enough to kill off UKIP once and for all but, like Philip Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Boris Johnson, they seem to be the racists that everybody has a blind spot for and come the next European elections I'm sure they'll romp him with the lovely Mr. Farage (whom I expect to win) grabbing his crotch and parading some 17 year old strumpet in a desperate Vladimir Zhirinovsky-inspired attempt at silencing any of those sort of rumours. Where would we be without them?!
keresaspa: (Colonel Blink)
So I says Ed Miliband, David Miliband - they all wind up the same colour in the end. Far too oily for my liking the pair of them and I never much cared which of the two of them won the Labour leadership election (given that the others never had a hope) as they are both the very definition of politicians and therefore, by their nature, a pair of arseholes. In the end we've been lumbered with the yellow faced one rather than the one with the bird droppings on the front of his head and we can look forward to five years of another wispy dark-haired guy in a blue suit and red tie spewing out management speak whilst constantly waving his hands about. Cripes by the next election him, Clagknot and Call Me Dave will probably have merged into one ghastly homogenous lump. Whatever happened to distinctive leaders like Harold Macmillan and Clement Attlee? Tony Blair you have a lot to answer for!

But enough about the ruling classes and their little games as something much more momentous happened yesterday - Albion duffing up the Arse at the rip-off airline stadium for the first time ever. Once again Odemwingie proved the difference and increasingly he looks to be fulfilling my prophecy about being the necessary missing link in the team. There were heart in mouth moments near the end as Jeff Stelling rattled off the Samir Nasri goals and chances but in the end a famous victory was ours and even Gonzalo Jara got a goal! To put things into perspective it was the 3rd December 1983 when Albion last won at the old Highbury library and the scorer that day was the famous (?) Derek Monaghan. One for the scrapbook and no mistake.
keresaspa: (Tinker's rucksack)
I've been watching the whole Peter Mandelson debacle (a tautology if ever there was one) from a distance, mostly at a level of no more than casual interest. I haven't actually read any of the extracts for the two reasons that I have no desire to line Rupert Murdoch's pockets by wasting bad money on a Tory snoozefest like The Times and that if I wanted to read fantasy I would reach for my Lewis Carroll but nevertheless I have watched the non-drama unfold with the sort of resigned contempt that only the good Lord Mandelson can inspire. I am sure there are people somewhere who actually admire this repulsive creature, no doubt "self-made men" like Siralan, Duncan Bannatyne and the other pieces of human effluence that clung to the New Labour juggernaut. For them, I would imagine, Mandy is the very definition of grand ambition and as such surely a role model for those "entrepreneurs" (read overpaid parasites) who would have admired Niccolò Machiavelli were he not so darned nice. For the rest of us however Mandelson is a hideous embodiment of all that was wrong with the bourgeois liberal-conservatism that made New Labour so distasteful, a paradox to physics in that he represents both spin and inertia at the same time. Of course in his own mind he is the king of all he surveys but to everybody outside of Hartlepool (and let's face it they vote for a man dressed up as a monkey so it's little surprise that they voted for the ultimate monkey in Petey boy) he is a repressed bad memory and one people are glad not to revisit. As such his latest pronouncement that his crappy little book will help Labour carries the hallmarks of ridiculousness so typical of the man. I may be misjudging the reading habits of the Labour Party electorate but I have a sneaking suspicion that the vast majority of them will never even glance at a copy of The Third Man much less read the thing. To presume that it will give a huge boost, or even a killer blow, to Labour's prospects is so ludicrous that it could only have come from the mind of Peter Mandelson, the sort of man who probably believes that birds only sing because he wills them to. When you actually find yourself starting to agree with a hypocritical old bastard like Lord Kinnock about an issue then you know something must be wrong!

Elsewhere I see that the City of Culture circus has stopped off in Derry. Interesting choice there. I've been wracking my brains trying to think of what contributions Derry has made to culture down the years and the only two I can think of are the piss-poor Apprentice Boys of Derry and the Undertones. It goes without saying that John Peel has earned respect, be it for helping to break Shonen Knife in the UK or for championing spiffing music as varied as Medicine Head, The Incredible String Band, the Angelic Upstarts and Camera Obscura, but with the clichéd power-pop powdered-poop of the Undertones he really had a blind side. The less said about Feargal Sharkey's just bloody awful solo oeuvre the better methinks. I'm sure Derry will also claim Seamus Heaney at some point but I reckon every part of Northern Ireland claims him and I also reckon him to be pretty rubbish too. Those with designs on being accepted into the ranks of the middle classes in this dump must feign a fondness for him but I doubt there is anybody that really truly rates a hack like Heaney. No doubt Eamonn McCann will be wheeled out every fart's end but, whilst I respect McCann as a man of principle, his only good writing has been his journalism and it's a hell of stretch to suggest journalism is culture and, for all his good points, he is certainly no Hunter S. Thompson. Good luck to them, of course, as people from Derry already have enough problems thanks to living in Derry (in fact I've only been there once but that was more than enough to visit a place that seems to exist only for rioting) but really they must be scraping the bottom of the barrel with this award. And in case Gerry Anderson (or any other irate Derryman) passes here and feels aggrieved at my criticism bear in mind that had my hometown of Belfast been given the award I would be writing largely the same things as Northern Ireland as a whole is more or less a cultural wasteland. Still, why does the river Foyle run through Derry? Because it would get mugged if it walked through. I'll get me coat!
keresaspa: (Default)
So that was the election that was, I suppose. After all the hype the whole thing feels a little pointless. Talk of deals about this and that is being bandied about like there's no tomorrow but for me there is an inevitability that it will all fall apart and that we'll be forced to endure the whole farce again in a couple of months. All in all we're left with a situation where all the Liberal Democrat hype proved to be so much hot air but, despite taking a bath, they have every chance of ending up in government, assuming the children can stop squabbling for five minutes. Good old democracy, full of shite as usual.

Change all round was trumpeted but it was revolting to see gits like Alan Duncan, Tessa Jowell, Frank Field and Hazel Blears retaining their seats despite all being bastards of the first water. Further proof, were it ever needed, that you could put the right coloured rosette on a pigeon in certain places and the morons would still vote for it. However there was some pleasure to be taken from the whole mess as we bade a fond farewell to Lembit Opik, Jacqui Smith and Charles Clarke. Opik has always got on my nerves with his fame-hungry ways and his uncompromising physical ugliness although I don't imagine for a second that I have seen the last of him as if anybody was built for the reality TV circuit its Bangor's favourite son. With any luck though PC Big Ears and, best of all, Jacqui Smut will disappear to the scrapheap of history where they both belong. I'm also glad that amidst the carnage neither Dennis Skinner nor Jeremy Corbyn were sacrificed as they are about the only two MPs I have any respect for. A pity, though, to see Dai Davies booted out in Blaenau Gwent for some faceless Labour nobody but I suppose that constituency was due a duff decision after bucking the trends for so long.

As to the others I care not a jot about that Lucas woman but the growth in support for the UK Independence Party was a worrying trend as it is disappointing to see that people are still falling for their line of shite. There again as much as I can't stand John Bercow I am glad to see that he beat Nigel Farage into a cocked hat. For all the macho posturing that old Kamikaze adopts he took the wimp's way out this time by challenging the Speaker and as such got what he deserved when he didn't even manage to finish second. It was also great to see Esther Rantzen getting her just desserts but shame on the 1800-odd idiots who actually voted for the witch.

In contrast it was heartening to see that short shrift was given to the English Democrats everywhere that they stood. They may have token ethnic members but the English Democrats claims to being anything other than extreme right are bollocks, especially given that their candidate in Rossendale and Darwen was Michael Johnson, a man who previously sat as a councillor for the England First Party, a group miles to the right of the BNP. How desperate must they have been for candidates when their chap in Havant was a Bogeyman?! But well done to the Lib Dems on a candidate named Aladdin in Leicestershire South, although the three wishes didn't work this time. Mind you the mind boggles equally at the Peace Party who apparently had a hacksaw in Horsham. But, talking of the extreme right, I was equally glad to see the National Front getting what for (except for that 4.9% in Rochdale - shame on them). We really didn't need them back, especially now that Eddy Morrison is back in the fold. And what do you know - the Third Way staggered into life in Eastleigh with predictable results. The melange of libertarianism and fascism that they offer clearly appeals to nobody. Finally what about the character in Bradford West - any ideas about this one [livejournal.com profile] burkesworks? He looks a pleasant chap I don't think!

As for the BNP themselves as expected they were no nearer the big breakthrough that they keep imagining they will get and the policy of putting about a load of candidates probably counted against them with some derisory results and a big bill waiting. Of course, it wasn't all rosy as they did score some individual results of note e.g. 8.9% in Barnsley Central, 8.6% in Barnsley East, 10.4% in Rotherham, 9.4% in Stoke South, 9.4% in the awkwardly named West Bromwich West, 14.8% in Barking for Griffin, 11.2% in Dagenham and 9% for Sharon Wilkinson in Burnley. And speaking of Burnley I would like to break with tradition and extend congratulations to a Liberal Democrat. Gordon Birtwistle has been a worthy foe of the BNP for years and he deserves his turn in Parliament. Nice one, old son. As for the rest of the BNP's results there were some nice moments there too, notably Andrew Brons coming a cropper in Keighley where it was even nicer to see that spite remains the watchword on the far right as his former charges in the NF ran against him. Equally glad to see Patricia Richardson in Epping Forest, Eddy Butler in Harlow and Lawrence Rustem in Woolwich getting nowhere. Mind you I am still to see the local election results....

In my neck of the woods of course the big news was the demise of Peter Robinson, which I have already covered in the last entry. Still good riddance, now let's hope he leaves Stormont soon too. Elsewhere it was the final annihilation of the now completely pointless Ulster Unionists, whose link-up with the Tories proved an absolute disaster. Plus well done to Michelle Gildernew of Sinn Fein on holding Fermanagh and South Tyrone in the face of the challenge from Rodney Connor. Don't let anybody tell you that sectarianism is gone when the boys will still come together to ensure one of their own gets in. Hard luck, lads! Still I imagine that talk of a more formal alliance between the DUP and the UUP will kick off in the not too distant, probably once Reg Empey has been put out to pasture. Nice work as well by Jim Allister and his Traditional Unionist Voice (or "True Ulster Voice" as that heavyset man fronting Sky News' coverage thought it was) who proved about as successful as I predicted that they would the last time I decided to waste my typing fingers on them.

All in all a lot of fuss over nothing after a campaign that left me extremely weary and dreading the prospect of a rerun (a prospect which I fear remains all too real). Cameron and his big talk didn't cut the mustard as he failed to get his precious majority, Clagknot and his big talk didn't cut the mustard as he actually lost seats and we are left with the possibility that, despite being the worst Prime Minister since Alec Douglas-Home, Gordon Brown might still be around for a while yet. Like I said at the beginning pointless!
keresaspa: (Geoffrey of Monmouth)
Bad start to the day today when I woke up to find out that Keith Alexander has died. Bit of a gutter. It was hard not to admire Keith even from his early days as he was the archetypal big awkward non-league striker who came into the professional ranks late but still managed to make a decent impact on the game, the sort that you just don't get anymore. The fact that he played for Cliftonville helps of course, although by all accounts he was a great human being too. He was only at the Reds a short while but put in one of the greatest individual performances of recent years in a 4-3 win over a Portadown side that was bossing Irish League football at the time. As well as that his stay may have been brief but he won the fans over almost immediately and remained a good friend of the club, taking time out to attend supporters events long after he had left and regularly recommending players he encountered during his spell as managers at Ilkeston Town and Northwich Victoria, not least Paul Reece who became a legend between the sticks. Beyond all that Keith was a man of substance who blazed the trail for Black players seeking to enter football management (a path that is shamefully still somewhat blocked) and who reacted to his 2003 brain aneurysm with the dignity and strength of character that were the hallmarks of the man. A big loss to football and no mistake.



As if that wasn't enough I then heard the news about Michael Foot. OK, so at 96 it was to be expected but two great men in one day! His sole manifesto may have been dubbed the longest suicide note in history by the Thatcherite gits that controlled the media but it was the last genuine socialist alternative offered to the British public by a potential government and it is to their eternal shame that they rejected it in favour of the nasty atavistic monetarism that destroyed society, leaving us with the ghastly, self-serving, money-fixated country that we are forced to endure today. Foot was man of supreme intellect and strong personal principle and it is fair to say that the Labour Party died the day he was replaced as leader by a downmarket wide-boy like Neil Kinnock for whom Principles was just a place to buy clothes for his pampered wife. His death sees another of the grand old socialists of the old Labour Movement gone and leaves only Tony Benn as a reminder that this was once a party that could be genuinely iconoclastic and dangerous. Given the snake-oil salesmen we are lumbered with now I can safely say that we will never see another Michael Foot. Shame.



Can we just scrub this day from the record books and start again?!
keresaspa: (Trotsky)
It seems like only yesterday that the damp squib of the millennium was the whole fuss. Now in the blink of an eye we are faced with the end of another ten years with a name (rather than the end of a decade as I'm not a believer in the notion that there was ever a Year Zero in anywhere but Cambodia and so reckon decades to end when the year ends in 0). Obviously you can't blame the supposed decade for events that took place during it but when I sit down and think about we have lived through a grim ten years on many levels.

It is astounding to think that the UK has had a nominally left wing government for the entire decade and yet the lurch to the right has continued apace with more privatisation, poverty and inequality being heaped on us by a ruling class who now seem to treat corruption as a matter of course. Meanwhile the extreme right has prospered at levels not seen in decades as we have been force-fed a diet of blaming immigration for all society's ills. Perhaps most worryingly of all this decade has been one in which society has been overtaken by the pervasive sickness of militarism. There was a time when Britain prided itself on its sense of irony but where "our brave boys" are concerned this has now died a death. To criticise the army is now beyond the pale and instead people are happy to participate in mini-Nuremberg rallies where not only is the army paraded through city streets after coming back from their illegal wars but they are paraded on TV, at football matches and even in the frigging charts. Even during the Second World War people had a laugh at the army but now the notion that they are all unquestionably heroic and should be adored at all times is treated as fact rather than just an extremist position. This, after all, is the decade where we started hearing murmurs about an "Armed Forces Day" in a deliberately concerted attempt to further fuel the cult of the soldier as archetype. Chilling stuff and no mistake! Meanwhile for almost the entire decade the so called free world has put itself at a state of war with Islam and the UK has happily made itself the lapdog of a regime that tortures people held without charge in its concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay. If the end of the Cold War in the 1990s was supposed to be a great new age this decade has certainly put paid to that daft notion by finding a new enemy and waging constant violence and degradation upon it.

Had there been one good thing to come out of the decade it would have been the collapse of the banking system. Finally an opportunity existed to tear down capitalism and start all over again. What did we get? A brief dose of corporatism intended only to weather the storm and ensure that capitalism could continue unfettered as ever. Meanwhile the vanguard of the revolution in the working classes were replaced with the new chav stereotype and led to believe that as long as they had their bread and circuses of alloy wheels, Big Brother, sovereign rings and pit bull terriers then there was no need to agitate for change or develop consciousness. Effectively the so-called Labour Party has oversaw the decimation of the working class and its replacement by a castrated, unmotivated and virtually shit-canned lumpenproletariat happy to roll over and have its belly scratched by Ant & Dec. OK, I'm seriously oversimplifying things there but the emergence of the chav and the effective death of the old working class has been a seriously depressing aspect of this decade and one that has helped to ensure the continuing survival of a system that has been clearly shown up as rancid. And how much must the masters be rubbing their hands with glee at the growth of gangs and knife crime and the young working classes taking out their frustrations on their own kind rather than the leaders who deserve their anger? Put it this way - twenty years ago the working classes would have had far too much dignity for tripe like The Jeremy Kyle Show but the chavs trip over themselves to appear on it and tell their leader what colour their last bowel movement was. Horrible!

Of course tied in with emergence of the chav as a means of keeping the proles down has been the explosion of reality TV. The promise of cheap fame has led deluded idiots to forsake true reality in favour of thinking that they will become a sensation based on their ability to sing Mariah Carey songs at karaoke or their ability to shout loudly whilst sitting on a settee. Gone are the days when you actually had to accomplish something in order to achieve notoriety as now all you have to do is be filmed on a pointless television show taking a crap and your fifteen minutes are guaranteed. Of course, the whole thing is self-perpetuating as once you have been on one you are now a "celebrity" and so you can appear on all the various celebrity spin-offs. Meanwhile all those who have taken on the chav mantle are kept further in their place by taking their minds away from important things like why bankers continue to get massive bonuses despite being crooks and instead focusing them on wholly unimportant trash like whether or not Jedward are better than the guy with the afro.

One of the side effects of the whole reality TV boom has been the effective death of the music charts as a thing of any significance. Of course it is undeniable that the charts as a whole always tended to represent the middle of the road a tad but in the past it also consistently threw up some good or at least different stuff. Even if you compare this decade to the previous one it was perfectly possible for acts like Iron Maiden and Blondie to go to number one and for groups like Oasis, Blur and the Manic Street Preachers to gradually build huge followings for themselves from humble beginnings. Whatever your personal opinions of them they were at least real bands who made it the hard way. Goodbye to that this decade! It has either been the onslaught hype of reality TV fame that convinces people that they can't live without some middle-aged Scottish bint warbling dreadful show tunes or the contrived "overnight sensations" that are actually being driven by massive marketing budgets like the Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen and Sandi Thom. As entries passim have indicated I would not suggest that this decade has had no good music but, for the first time since popular music became the biggest selling style, little if any of it has featured in the hit parade.

But of course, reality TV didn't stop there in its bid for world domination. There can be little doubt that the whole thing started with a certain Diana Spencer in the 1990s but the ridiculous hyperbole surrounding the deaths of very ordinary people has been another rotten aspect of this decade. The culmination of this public grief fest of course came when Jade Goody, a woman whom the new cathedral had shown to be unequivocally a bully and to my mind a racist, died of cancer. For the people who knew her I'm sure it was a tragedy but for everybody else it was completely meaningless. She was someone known for precisely nothing and for people to go into wantonly Pharisaic displays of mourning was more than a little disturbing. It's not like you can even say that there will never be another - take your pick from Kerry Katona and Nikki Grahame for a ready made replacement. Even Michael Jackson, who at least was known for something other than existing, was treated as a saint when he died despite all the extremely shady aspects of his life that had been played out in public. Yes somebody died whose music you enjoyed but it has little real bearing on your day to day life as you did not know him on a human level. Mourn your own by all means but so called celebrities are not your own. This decade we seem to have entered a phase where death equates to redemption and where one's sins are immediately forgotten and one's non-existent achievements are lauded as soon as the Grim Reaper takes a shine to you. Would I be flogging a dead horse if I suggested that we were looking at another easy way to keep the lumpen in their place? Sorry, Desert Orchid but another whipping is coming!

As if all that was not enough we have been hit with the growth of such rubbish as text messaging, Twitter and Facebook. This really has been the decade where every tiny event that takes place in somebody's life, no matter how insignificant, has had to be shared with as many people as possible. To an extent I am walking a tightrope here as I am sometimes guilty of it myself but it really has gone too far. There was a time when we were promised super technology that could cure all diseases and make life so much better but instead all we have got is the ability to tell people that we are doing a piss whilst taking that self same piss. It's surreal that we now communicate so much yet in a real sense we are more alienated from each other than ever. Community is virtually dead and has been replaced by nasty atavism and indeed much of the communication that goes on now is less about staying in touch and more about feeling self-important. I won't deny that technology has made getting in contact easier but equally it has made it impersonal and cheap and somehow less real.

So that's the decade then. Corruption ignored because a retired news reader is eating a wombat's nadgers on the telly and even the footy has been ruined by the bloody big four. Not only that, but the whole decade has been so cruddy that it doesn't even have a proper name. The "noughties", I ask you! Good sodding riddance I say and let’s hope that whatever this next ten years is to be called (the tens, the teens?) it is a darn sight better than the ten we have just live through.

And relax....

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