keresaspa: (Homer rage)

Yup that just about sums it up, Yebin. Bloody English imperialist buggers and your stupid bastard governments. Get off my bloody island and take your plastic-faced, public schoolboy, monetarist tosspots with you.
keresaspa: (Evil Timbo)
And so it begins as, once again, Sinn Fein got off the mark to fire the first shots of yet another election campaign (well, in my own sordid little burgh at least, happen the rest of you have been getting it for weeks). And what do you know, it's only bloody Millionaire Marty they've chosen as our candidate. Yet again the Sinners decide that we in south Belfast can't be trusted to think for ourselves and so parachute in somebody from their west Belfast base of operations, although they also seem to have come to the conclusion that wee Maskey is a bit too rough for us dazzling cosmopolites and so have ditched him in favour of the transatlantic, jet-setting, media mogul with the big nose. Deirdre Hargey may be a faceless apparatchik of the type that makes up the bulk of the party these days but at least she's from the Market so why she couldn't have contested what is an unwinnable seat for them anyway is a mystery to all bar the Falls Road mafia who run that party. OK, she's to be something on the new council but in the highly unlikely event that SF won South Belfast abstentionism would mean doing the two jobs would be easy anyway. Unless, of course, they're building up to dropping that policy, which wouldn't surprise me a jot after the last few years of public Liz-licking in which they have indulged.

But Millionaire Marty it is and once again Sinn Fein show their commitment to working class politics but saddling us with a candidate who is anything but. But in Northern Ireland that's increasingly the way they're going these days. They may make a song and dance over the border about supposedly being a democratic socialist party but that's certainly not the case here where they now promote a pro-capitalist, anti-welfare agenda combined with a fairly conservative set of social attitudes (well, in a wider context as admittedly they're ultra-liberal by the standards of the SDLP and the two unionist mobs). MM is typical of what they're about these days, a slick, sharp-suited tosspot with plenty of money in the bank who looks to the USA for his inspiration and sees the grassroots of republicanism as a bunch of nodding dogs who exist only to rubberstamp him and his ilk every election (not far wrong there, to be honest). He's already been exposed as a liar who tried to justify Sinn Fein's support for Tory cuts and the bedroom tax by pretending it had trade unionist support but what the hell eh? You could stick Michael Stone in a Sinn Fein rosette and there are plenty who would vote for him these days so lying about enshrining poverty into law is hardly going to cost him anything.

I wouldn't ever claim that there aren't decent individuals active within Sinn Fein but unfortunately in Northern Ireland it is very much under the thumb of the party's right-wing, as typified by the likes MM, Mitchel McLaughlin, John O'Dowd and of course McGuinne$$ himself. Even their recent decision to repudiate the massive cuts they agreed to seems to be motivated solely by self-interest as they must have realised it would cost them some votes as surely not EVERY republican voter can be a total idiot. It'll probably work too, even though after the election they will most likely sign up to pretty much the same thing but as George W. Bush so rightly said "there's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again".

Still, if, as I suspect, they're hoping that by leaving it this late they can delay any renegotiation until after the election in the hope that the Tories will be gone then they're playing a very dangerous game. I wouldn't like to call this election for various reasons but if they've judged wrongly and the Tories get back in they can expect them to seek revenge in any future negotiations and demand even more stringent cuts. These last five years of Tory rule have been absolutely horrible, with people's lives shattered in the name of repulsive ideological monetarism and that's with the supposed break being put on their vile excesses by the Liberal Democrats. To see an even more extreme version of that brought to Northern Ireland to teach us a lesson doesn't bear thinking about but it might well prove the outcome of SF's half-arsed attempt at politicking. Were that to be the case, and bearing in mind that Northern Ireland has far too few MPs to make even the remotest difference to anything a Westminster government does, open armed rebellion would be the only answer but of course Sinn Fein has spent the last decade or so making that impossible by surrendering their arms to the enemy and helping to turn the Provies into an unarmed bunch of old alcoholics who either drive black taxis or are on the DLA (which they soon won't be thanks to David Cameron's war on the weak and the vulnerable). And don't even bother thinking about the so-called "New IRA" as it's a real chocolate fire-guard thanks to its archaic structure and the fact that it has so many grasses that their gatherings end up looking like the pitch at the Hawthorns. Things could be set to get a lot bleaker in the not to distant future barring a minor miracle.

But to return to my original point, Sinn Fein posters have gone up on my road, the candidate is multi-millionaire with no links to the constituency and he has about as much chance of getting my vote as he has of winning Miss World. Having looked at the provisional list of candidates on the always reliable Wikipedia I suspect my vote will go in the direction of the hitherto unknown (to Me) Lily Kerr of the Sticks and I can keep up my record of always backing the losing candidate. Given that the unionist pact didn't extend to us McDonnell will probably hold the seat and we will retain an MP whose absence from Westminster can be put down to the fact that he's too busy making money elsewhere rather than any ideological reasons. Ye Gods, what a shower of bastards.
keresaspa: (Giant Haystacks pissed as a frt!)
Let's not go buck mad about Greece. Syriza are hardly the ultra left party that sections of the media in this part of the world are making them out to be (the same media that seems determined to paint the extreme right Marine LePen as a sensible conservative) and their new government is to involve a coalition with a right-wing rabble in the Greek Independents who spent the entire election making the usual noises about immigration, multiculturalism and Greek identity politics. Still, you have to take comfort where you can find it and the decision by such a sizeable section of the Greek electorate to show their displeasure with the existing political order by going to the left rather than the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn is a heartening one. If only the British left could stop wasting so much time attacking each other and organise they might present a genuine alternative to Farage's rabble but I've been saying that for years and it still hasn't happened. Given that their government is relying on the right for its existence and given that they are within the EU and the Euro it's unlikely that Syriza will be able to deliver very much in the way of change but neo-liberal monetarism has brought Greece to its knees so any alternative will be better than the present crap. Good luck to them either way and I hope they can somehow affect real change but I suspect a combination of the EU and NATO will smoosh them down and ensure they can go no further than the standard "ethical capitalism" crap that seems to be the order of the day for modern social democracy. Still, who knows, it might all turn out great in the end so let's at least try to be positive.

Still, whilst Greece is facing a potential new dawn (and thankfully not a golden one) there is a definite sadness in the air with the other big news out the country: the death of Demis Roussos. Inevitably he's remembered now as a big hairy fat man in a kaftan singing uber-cheesey pop songs in a strangely falsetto voice but as vocalist and bassist of the mighty Aphrodite's Child Demis played a leading role in one of the most creative and original bands to emerge from the psychedelic and progressive rock scenes in Europe. Inevitably Vangelis was the maestro behind their work but for me it was the very peculiar vocals that Roussos delivered which helped to mark them out as distinct from the other bands to emerge around that time. And, whisper it, but I reckoned some of his 70s solo stuff was fine too, despite its undoubted kitsch-ness. Let's enjoy the legend one last time:

keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
There are few characteristics more becoming in humanity than compassion. One of the side-effects of Thatcherism has been the gradual elimination of compassion in many people, leaving behind a bunch of warmongering nimbys, turning their hatred on the poor and the immigrant simply because they're weak and can't fight back, the sort of people who will say with a straight face that an odious little bastard like Nigel Farage "seems like a good bloke". One of the very few people in public life to demonstrate compassion as a matter of course was Tony Benn and as such his death is a huge blow to the increasingly quaint notion that it is possible to enter politics without being a total piece of vermin. We may not have agreed on everything (his ideal of democratic socialism would never have been an end in itself to my mind, rather a staging point on the way to proper communism) but I can think of no figure in British politics that I admired more, a man of the utmost principle, a tireless friend of the republican community at a time when many of his countrymen viewed us as untermensch to be repressed as brutally as possible and above all somebody whose thought processes were always informed, not by concerns for himself or his powerful chums, but by what would help the people most.

Driven by principle above all, Benn sacrificed the easy life of the House of Lords for the simple reason that he didn't agree with its existence. There are plenty of posh boys who like to play at being lefties but fall into line when the time comes but not Wedgie, who told them where they could shove it and devoted much of his energies to attacking patronage, the monarchy and the whole corrupt lot of them. A tireless opponent of monetarism, which he rightly warned would lead not to greater freedom but to greater authoritarianism from the right, it's just a crying shame that his warnings were ignored and instead petty selfishness and an anti-humanity outlook was adopted as the norm. Equally shameful has been the increasing lurch towards militarism but that didn't for a second stop Benn from opposing war and the suffering it engenders with all his might. As the man so rightly said "if you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people".

That the very fact he was a man of principle was used against him during his life (and no doubt will be in the right-wing press tomorrow) is a sure sign of just how cancerous British society has become. That someone should ever face criticism for putting the welfare of the people, not one group, not certain sections, but ALL the people, above money and capitalism is a revolting reality to have to face. The passing of one of the true greats and I look around and see no one even close to him who can take his place. Rest in peace Tony, we'll never see your like again and that's the greatest shame of all.
keresaspa: (Edwige Fenech)
William Frederick McCoy was one of the rabble of hard-faced old bigots who sat for the old Ulster Unionist Party in the Parliament of Northern Ireland during the post-war years. Most of these old codgers were completely faceless old nobodies, reminiscent of the pre-Reform Act MPs in Westminster who came streaming in from the rotten boroughs and in some ways McCoy was no exception, being elected unopposed as member for South Tyrone in four of the six elections he "contested". Probably the only thing worth mentioning about McCoy was that, in contrast to his fellow partymen who were happy for the "Protestant parliament for a Protestant people" to continue as ever, he wanted a stronger guarantee for the continuance of one-sided dominance by virtue of Northern Ireland being granted Dominion status. Former National Front activist and publisher of Ulster Nation David Kerr subsequently seized upon the otherwise forgotten McCoy and used him as an archetype for his own pro-independence rhetoric and, in Kerr's defence, the pamphlet he produced on him is, if one ignores the very obvious polemical aspects, a reasonable bit of work. Long since out of print, given that Kerr's Glenwood Publishing bit the dust years ago, his Ulster Souvenirs shop on the Shankill is now very much a pro-British affair and the last I heard of Ulster Nation somebody up the country was running it and it was being supported by the neo-Nazi British People's Party (no idea if that was Kerr's doing or not, although given his history I wouldn't be surprised), but interesting nevertheless, it must be conceded.

Why is it whenever I see Alex Salmond I always think of WF McCoy? I am on record several times as being a supporter of Scottish independence and I'm not going to rake over old ground by reiterating my reasons but the SNP in general and Salmond in particular leave me cold. The Snips have some reasonable ideas but they've always struck me as a bit too wishy-washy for their own good and I still remember the sectarian anti-Catholic campaign that Kay Ullrich undertook in her failed attempt to win the Monklands East by-election in 1994 at a time when the UVF in Scotland declared the SNP their preferred political party. As for Salmond, the man has always made my flesh my crawl, a greasy, down-market snake oil salesman, happy to flog his own granny for a quick fiver. The current form of "independence" on offer is very much a reflection of the man, crying freedom but happy to continue being ruled by the English monarch, happy to give up economic freedom to keep English currency and breaking from his party's traditions by declaring for NATO. I doubt he can spell principle much less have one. The wheels have, of course, come off now that the Westminster government and their New Labour stooges have warned no union, no quids but that was inevitable, a side effect of Salmond's chronic lack of ambition for Scotland. For what he's offering is not independence but Dominion status, and a watered down one at that. His new Scotland, far from being a revolutionary new dawn, would simply be devolution in all but words, with Scotland still answerable to the Bank of England and the House of Lords and with thousands of British soldiers still based on their soil in the name of helping NATO.

I have encountered many Englishmen and women, both politician and otherwise, trumpeting how much they are opposed to Scotland's independence, apparently completely ignorant of the fact that being told what to do by Englishmen for so long is the reason so many Scots want independence in the first place. As Parnell so rightly said "no man shall have the right to fix the boundary to the march of a nation" and nor should they, so in that respect the opinion of the English is irrelevant. However, as usual, it looks as if the masters are to have their way regardless as all evidence indicates that Salmond has a snowball in Hell's chance of winning the referendum. I guess the majority of Scots are more than happy to be regularly ruled by the Conservative Party despite not voting for them. Strange people. But on the other hand would it even be worthwhile voting for Salmond's Scotland in the first place? He talks a good game about something approaching social democracy but if he wants Scotland tied to the Bank of England does he really think they will have no input into fiscal policy? And if they are to have an input into Scotland's fiscal policy does he really think that monetarist England will be happy for Scotland to go off on a social democratic trip on their coin? If he does then he has his tam o'shanter on too tight. Restoring the old Pund Scottis or even taking on the Euro would have been more radical solutions but the big bluffer had to take the wimp's option and leave himself at the mercy of Cameron, Miliband and the rest of the unionist rabble.

Frankly it's all a bit shitty really. The referendum has come at a time when Scotland is under the command of a leader who has no guts (apart from the ever-expanding one above his belt) and is being put to an electorate who apparently do not have the guts to break from a government that has being treating them shabbily for centuries. I would love to see the day when Scotland takes its rightful place amongst the states of the world but it now seems almost certain that this opportunity will remain untaken and, most likely, the last chance for me to see a free Scotland in my lifetime will go with it. For the SNP a period of chronic opposition and soul-searching will beckon whilst for Scotland a future of being at London's beck and call will await and all that will be achieved will be a final end to the political career of Alex Salmond (although knowing that eel he might still slip his way out of that). What a shame.
keresaspa: (Karl Marx laughing)
I think we can finally lay aside any notion that the ConDem junta is acting for any reason other than a slavish ideological devotion to monetarism given their decision to turn down free money. Social Darwinism at its most extreme there, folks. Never mind that that money might alleviate suffering, the poor must be made to pay for being mentally subnormal.

Of course a major part of their little experiment has been Iain Duncan Smith's Workfare idea, taking a massive dump on the victims of the economic collapse by forcing them into slave labour and simultaneously preventing them from selling their labour, the only way to make money in a capitalist system when you are a prole after all. Hell, with their forced labour and Big Society and internships they seem determined to not only abolish social welfare but to abolish paid work, effectively reducing as many as possible to role of impoverished slaves incapable of anything (especially resistance). Social engineering at its most extreme there, folks. A nation of drones cowering under a cosy alliance of the political and monied elites, surviving off scraps whilst breaking their backs to make private companies even richer.

I happened to be going through a few old books the other night and I came across an interesting piece about Workfare from some years ago. It seems Duncan Smith is not the first one to seek to apply this malevolent idea to Britain as he was beaten to it by around fifteen years by someone else. Allow me to quote:

As a test of an unemployed person's willingness to work, I am in favour of the Workfare system.... I was in fact advocating just such a system in pamphlets and articles in the 1970s, before I and most others had heard of its introduction anywhere else. The system is that all welfare benefits, except in the case of the old, sick or disabled, are given only in return for work.... The scheme has two benefits: one is that it is good for the self-respect of those involved; the other is that it discourages welfare spongers by demonstrating to everyone that there is no "free meal", that no-one gets "something for nothing".

The author stops short of going as far as IDS by stating that they would only seek to employ the system in a full employment situation and also by stating that the disabled would be free from the harassment wrought on them by the aforementioned Duncan Smith.

So who is the author of this piece? Thatcher? No. Norman Tebbit? Nope. Friedrich Hayek? No siree, Bob. In fact the above extract comes from page 327 of the Albion Press edition of The Eleventh Hour, a combination of autobiography and political testament that came from the pen of none other than John Tyndall. Yup, the Tories, ably supported by the Liberal Democrats, are now more extreme than a dyed-in-the-wool neo-Nazi. If they win the next election and the EU vote goes their way I genuinely fear the dystopian nightmare that Britain faces.
keresaspa: (Piggy Banks)
It's an annual tradition of mine to buy the Sky Sports Football Yearbook. There was a time I was first in the queue on the day it came out (well, the day after, given that almost everything takes an extra day to reach this backwater burgh of mine) but now that boyhood fire is no longer in my blood I tend to wait until around this time as by now Waterstone's (they can drop the apostrophe all they want, I'm leaving it in) have usually knocked a fiver off the price and when you're living under the yoke of brutal monetarism you need every penny.

In recent years the grand old annual has begun to look a little creaky as problems have sneaked in and, having got my copy a few days ago, I regret to report that it shows no signs of improving but rather is getting worse. The standard gripe about the book is the fact that they list all winners of the Football League as a single entity, relegating the achievements of all those clubs that were champions of England before 1992 to the same level as those that won the second tier afterwards. It's probably not worth bothering about that though as, even when it was the Rothmans, Jack Rollin was adamant he wouldn't stop doing that and there is no chance of it changing now that it is part of Rupert Murdoch's hype machine. All real supporters know that Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough getting promotion are not comparable to Huddersfield's trio, Liverpool's umpteen or the rest, but it still causes needless confusion with regards to Newcastle United, Sunderland, Nottingham Forest, Manchester City and Portsmouth, the five clubs to win both "versions" of the First Division.

But as I say, not worth worrying about as that won't change no matter how much people want it to do so. Besides, there are plenty of other problems with the book that could be fixed. Time was I could flick through the yearbook to find out who finished where in, say, the United Counties League but those days are gone. Coverage, perfunctory at best, ends with the top divisions of the the Northern Premier, Southern and Isthmian leagues with all other parts of the pyramid, along with the leagues under the auspices of the Amateur Football Alliance (admittedly of no interest to me personally, but others may well care), jettisoned, presumably to make way for the line-ups of every Champions League match to have taken place in the previous season. Perhaps I'm just out of step with what the modern consumer of football wants but for an almanac of British football surely it is much more important to include the final table for NPL Division One South than it is to include the full line-ups for AIK Solna v Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. By all means include the line-ups for the British teams in Europe and their opponents but the rest is a waste of space and I'm sure in no way connected to Sky Sports holding the rights to the Champions League.

The length and breadth of the book clearly makes it a massive undertaking so errors are inevitable but some of them are simply chronic. A lot of the information for the Scottish clubs seems badly researched, with the record transfer fees in particular looking rather outdated in a number of cases, but there are some pretty basic goofs. Livingston have apparently never had a player capped at full international level whilst at the club, something that will come as a surprise to Marvin Andrews, Horace Stoute, Gustave Bahoken, Chérif Touré Mamam and the other Livvy Lions to have represented their respective countries whilst on the books at Almondvale. Player records are also prone to problems. I was surprised to learn that I apparently dreamt Marc-Antoine Fortuné's 2009 spell at West Bromwich Albion as, according to the yearbook, he went straight from AS Nancy to Celtic. I would love to know who that was that scored two in the 3-1 win over Wigan then as he didn't half look like the big Guianese.

The inconsistent approach to best wins and worst defeats is also somewhat maddening. My understanding was that "Record League Victory", "Record Cup Victory" and "Record Defeat" meant in senior competition but this only seems to be observed in some cases. Fleetwood Town have, of course, only completed one season in the Football League but listing their record victory as 13-0 makes no sense when it was against Oldham Town in the North-West Counties League. Compare this to fellow relative newcomers Crawley Town, whose record victory is given (correctly) as 5-2 v AFC Wimbledon in League Two. Are we supposed to believe that big spenders like Crawley never managed better than a three goal win in non-league circles? Bollocks they didn't! Fleetwood's record victory should have been given as their 4-0 against Morecambe otherwise the book is using different standards to judge different clubs and creating pointless inequality. Stevenage's 7-0 record defeat against Southwick and Elgin City's 18-1 record win over Brora Rangers are among other results that should follow the Fleetwood one into the bin. Alternatively go through the history of every club and list their genuine biggest wins and worst defeats, taking in every bit of non-league they have ever played. Personally though I think the former solution is much more sensible but even the latter would be an improvement on the current mix and match approach.

The "did you know" features added to each English club page were also pretty lacklustre this year. Albion's duo this time out were one about the Chambers brothers becoming the first twins to represent England at any level (widely reported at the time but probably forgotten outside the Hawthorns now, so fair enough) and the fact that in 1888 FA Cup holders Albion lost 4-1 to Scottish Cup holders Renton in a match billed as the "Championship of the World". You don't say? As football trivia goes this is possibly the best-known titbit about the Victorian game going and anybody with even a slight knowledge of the history of the sport in Britain (which, let's face it, is everybody who buys the book) will know this like the back of their hand. If it continues in this vein we can expect the Manchester United page next season to have as its "did you know" that they once had a manager called Alex Ferguson who won some trophies.

It pains me to write this stuff in many ways as I love the Rothmans like my own sweet life and want it to continue forever. But in this day and age of online databases and instant access to the most minute of football information it is important for it to stay relevant and not drive people away with sloppy work and pointless stubbornness. If the Sky Sports Football Yearbook dies because, despite all efforts, it just can't compete with the internet then that would be a disappointment but if it dies because of neglect then that would be a crying shame. Time to pull your fingers out and rescue this design classic from the doldrums before it's too late.
keresaspa: (Shakuni (Gufi Paintal))
What a thoroughly depressing set of results from the local elections. Leaving aside the inevitable, and well deserved, losses for Clegg's collaborators we are left with a situation where the top party in the most brutal and heartless government in years suffers only moderate losses, the left gets nowhere as usual and, worst of all, a sizeable chunk of the electorate decides that the right people to serve as local councillors in charge of street lights and bins are members of a party whose only policies are at a national level and can be summed up as "wogs begin at Calais".

The continuing collapse of the BNP, something I predicted some years ago you'll remember, is heartening but it is ruined by the fact that so many votes have gone over to their posher, public school-educated cousins in the UK Independence Party. I am on record as being no fan of Boris Johnson and his ways but I can at least understand his appeal to a certain section of people as he represents their fictitious view of what being English is about - bumbling, upper class twits who are endearing and quintessentially English, the sort of people who think queuing is something to be proud of and are obsessed with that bloody "Keep calm and carry on" thing. But Nigel Farage, an oily yuppie of the sort one could easily imagine coming in to asset strip a dying Christmas hamper company, delivering the news that customers will be getting neither money nor wicker baskets full of food this yuletide before awarding himself a £2 million pay-off? What is the appeal of this snaggle-toothed gargoyle? OK, I can see why the chinless vermin who "work" in "The City" might see his appeal but what could anybody else possibly like about this diminutive, self-serving, self-publicising bastard? I'm not a great supporter of the European Union but frankly I really fear the dystopia that will follow Britain's exit as human rights legislation is torn up and right-wing governments do what they like to their citizens in the name of security. The Daily Mail might focus on the odd extreme case (and more often than not, make others up) but if the straight choice is a capitalist UK in the EU or a capitalist UK with internment, constant snooping, unlimited detention on remand and the death penalty then I'll take the EU, thanks. And to those morons who say "you need only worry if you have something to hide" - show me somebody who doesn't have something to hide and I'll show you the most boring man in the world. Do you really want a government that can look into your extra-marital affairs, those Justin Bieber MP3s you keep hidden, your dawdling on sleazy porn sites or the tax-dodging booze and fegs you order from eastern Europe? Thought not.

That the reaction of a significant number of voters to a cuts-happy government is to vote for a party that claims to be completely Thatcherite and is one of the few parties that would probably cut deeper than the Tories says a lot about the sort of lumpen morons who are voting these days. However the failure of the left to provide any real alternative is another huge problem, and one that has existed for several years now. Let's face it, there is no left-wing alternative in British politics. You have a supposed focus whose credibility has been shot to pieces for some time in George Galloway, a man who now seems to divide his time equally between trying to convince himself that something as right wing as Islamic fundamentalism is a basis for a socialist party, that rape isn't a crime if you agree with somebody's politics and that a great way to build unity is to alienate as many people as possible. Then you have a bunch of posh boys waving around their Euston Manifesto who are frankly about as radical as the Women's Institute. Finally you have the groupuscular left up and down the country, convinced that they are about to lead a revolution tomorrow on the basis that their recently joined tenth member has access to a van but who refuse to work with that mob on the other side of town because they have a picture of a beardless Trotsky in their HQ/only active member's bedsit.

I despair of it all really. Xenophobia and monetarism rule the day and the prospect of there being any meaningful change is ever more remote as we lurch towards a nightmarish future where a brutal, uncaring government has its few checks and balances removed and is given free rein to crush at will. Hell in a bloody handbasket.

Still, never mind, eh?!
keresaspa: (Karl Marx laughing)
So farewell then, Margaret Thatcher. The hagiography already began several years ago and will no doubt be enshrined as fact now by the right-wing media along with such bollocks as "Enoch was right" but even I would never seek to deny how powerful an influence she has had on British politics. To destroy wilfully the industrial backbone of the economy and replace it with a monetarist system based on debt and the rewarding of people that we could easily do without is some accomplishment. To destroy solidarity and compassion and replace it with a country that even now follows her atavistic template and wherein the default setting for everybody seems to be one of uncaring selfishness and where a bunch of sadistic bastards laud constant attacks on the poor and vulnerable and constant support for the rich and corrupt as "strong government" is also some accomplishment. The destruction of party politics and its replacement with a knob measuring contest in which a bunch of privileged bastards who bend over backwards to support the rich and crucify the poor compete with two other groups that are exactly the same is some accomplishment. Yes, undoubtedly Thatcher's shadow looms large over the political landscape but it is a shadow that has wreaked destruction and frankly made Britain an at-times horrible place to exist in.

In the name of the millions of industrial workers whose lives you destroyed, the victims of Operation El Dorado Canyon, the crew of the General Belgrano and the memories of Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Raymond McCreesh, Patsy O'Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee and Michael Devine I condemn you. If there really is a Hell than Thatcher will be ensconced therein, being jabbed with roasting pitchforks as we speak. Now if you'll excuse me I think I'll hibernate for a while as the ongoing gushing of false emotion that is sure to continue for the next few is making me feel quite sick.

I'll leave the final words to Gerry Adams - I am, and remain, a harsh critic of the way you and your party have abandoned republicanism in pursuit of money, influence and personal power but today you have nailed it and I commend you for a rare rejection of an opportunity to sell out.
keresaspa: (Communism)
I never fetishised him but it would be remiss not to toll the bell and raise the clenched fist for the passing of Hugo Chávez. I guess it's damning with faint praise to say that for a politician he was decent but its fair. He was rather fond of personal power and didn't always pick his friends well (their alliance was an expedient move but there's nothing left-wing about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) but with his reforms he actively sought to improve the lot of the Venezuelan poor and to close the huge wealth gap so typical of Latin American societies. Alongside that he was prepared to stand up to the bully-boy tactics of the US State Department and helped to encourage a continent-wide move to the left in a region so long dogged by far right military dictatorships. As a fellow enemy of my twin hates of monetarism and imperialism he is loss to his country and the world and I now fear that, like Cuba, the shiftless money men will get in and undo his good work chasing the almighty dollar. He only gets to 58 and George Bush and Maggie Thatcher are still alive - I guess it's true that only the good die young after all.

keresaspa: (George Formby)
Please tell me that it's finally over, that there isn't yet more of the bloody Olympics to come. They made out yesterday that it was over only for a Nuremberg rally-styled march to be thrust upon us today, with bombastic, jingoistic speeches by David Cameron and Boris "I no longer have a surname" Johnson congratulating themselves on what a good job they did getting the Olympics for London, whilst somewhere Tessa Jowell wept gently wondering where it had all went wrong.

I know everybody loves all the Olympic sports now because Olympic athletes are so much better than footballers (I look forward to comparing the viewing figures for the 2013 IAAF World Championships and 2013 FA Cup final to see how long that load of old flannel lasts) but by God will I ever be glad to see the back of it. The reaction of the public was inevitable really because sucking up hyperbole is fast becoming a British national trait (Billy and Cathy's wedding, Lizzie Windsor's 60 years of mooching) but all that really happened was that a bunch of people did what they do all year round but it just happened to be in the country you live in. Good God, get over it. I'm rather glad that England's World Cup bid was such a dismal failure as the sea of self-congratulatory ecstasy emanating from crowds of people who had sod all to do with it would probably see low-lying areas of the country drowned in miasma.

Olympics schmympics, it's just another excuse for nationalism and to fly the butcher's apron in our faces, panem et circenses for the rabble to make them forget about how their leaders are rewarding the rich and punishing the rest of us in the name of their sadistic monetarist ideology. And as nice a chap as Mo Farah seems (which admittedly he does) how many of the people suddenly professing to adore him would equally be happy to run every other Somali in Britain onto the first boat back to the Horn of Africa? Hypocrisy, rabid nationalism, money down the drain and political posturing by right wing bastards - good riddance.


Mar. 14th, 2012 09:56 pm
keresaspa: (What do you think of it so far)
I hate to flog a dead horse (says a liar) but if further proof were needed that the DUP are money-grubbing scum then it came today when it was announced that eleven MLAs have claimed over £60,000 in expenses and eight of them are DUP. It should be noted that the top claimant Jim Wells was for part of the period in which he was claiming also a member of Down District Council and thus was entitled to councillor's expenses, second top claimant Stephen Moutray remains a member of Craigavon Borough Council and thus is entitled to councillor's expenses, whilst in contrast third top claimant Thomas Buchanan remains a member of Omagh District Council and thus is entitled to councillor's expenses. Peter Robinson is in there too despite his salary as First Minister, his salary as leader of the DUP and his salary as a totally above board property developer.

And isn't it lovely that at a time when the DUP's Nelson McCausland is stating that he will be taking away free public transport from pensioners it is announced that the MLAs are to get an 11% pay rise. Well deserved too. Given that most legislation for this place still comes from Westminster a good place to deal out cuts would be Stormont by getting rid of a bunch of the 108 MLAs, not giving them hefty pay hikes. Crooked game all round. I can only repeat my earlier caveats that loyalists should remember all this before they drone into the polling booth next time and vote DUP even though it is the same party that keeps kicking them. If you must vote unionist vote Billy Hutchinson's mob for God's sake, anybody but Robinson, McCausland and the rest of that corrupt rabble.

Back in the late 1980s when independent councillor Nelson McCausland was also a leading light on the Ulster Independence Committee extolling the virtues of the "ancient and ethnic nation" that is Ulster he commented that "democracy in Ulster is dead". Well, as long as the majority keep forcing this hateful bunch of money-loving monetarists I say it can't die quick enough. And didn't he look so much better with just his moustache instead of that ugly grey stubble he sports now? I wonder where Nelson fits into Keith Flett's ludicrous assertion regarding beards, moustaches and the left?

Some Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in the Dilapidation is again needed to take away some of this rage. Aaah, aren't they sweet? There, I feel better now.
keresaspa: (Salvador Allende)
Isn't David Cameron a fascinating creature. Not a few months after sending our glorious boys over to Libya to give what for to a foreign leader who had turned on protesters he stands grinning like a ninny beside an autocrat asking if he wouldn't mind being a little bit nicer to to civilians, pwetty pwease. OK, I appreciate he needs all the friends he can get after deciding to make an enemy of every country in Europe recently but does the bare-faced hypocrisy of the man know no end? Bomb Qaddafi into the ground because he's bad for turning on civilians but Hamad Al-Khalifa does the same and he's a welcome guest at Downing Street. Sickening.

Meanwhile closer to home we have something else to thank all those brain-dead loyalists who vote DUP for. One of the few successes of the Assembly was the introduction of free prescriptions for all last year, well thanks to the morons who inhabit the estates of Lisburn and Banbridge we can kiss goodbye to them after bat-eared human gargoyle Edwin Poots announced he was sending the issue to consultation. Time and again that phrase in Northern Ireland has meant that a minister has made up his mind and will ask a couple of yes-men whether he is right or just correct. So goodbye free prescriptions it is then and once again I call on loyalists to remember this when they even think about voting DUP again. Fat chance. Sorry to harp on about this but it is so frustrating to see working class people allowing themselves to be lead around by the nose by the millionaires of the DUP. Nobody here voted for the Conservatives and their cuts but the DUP have happily metamorphosed into their local equivalent and their rest of us are having to endure their monetarist crap. And he's a creationist - talk about rewarding stupidity. The more you see of the likes of Cameron and Poots the more obvious it becomes that only complete cretins can make it in politics.

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!
keresaspa: (Shakuni (Gufi Paintal))
[Poll #1769171]

Well everybody else has had a go at these so I might as well, seeing as this is, after all, the most important thing to happen in years apparently. As I have already stated a lot of those involved were great sludgers and reet rotters but the way things are this sort of reaction is no surprise and will inevitably continue. We are faced with a government that has put itself at war with its own poor. At a time of rampant unemployment it has turned on the weakest members of society, seeking to take constantly from the bottom rungs by denying access to benefits, making it impossible for people to afford housing and yet seeking to criminalise homelessness, denying those without money access to justice by cutting legal aid and encouraging the creation of a culture where people are being forced to give away their labour for free, either through the so-called New Deal, internships in which people have to do somebody's paid work for nothing or the ultimate oxymoron of Dave's Big Society in which volunteering is compulsory. You can dress forced unpaid work in whatever terms you want but slavery will always breed resentment. Some of this might be justified if we were in a full employment situation but we are a million miles away from that with many more to end up out of work in the not too distant future. It also demonstrates the short-sighted idiocy of the government that they are actually considering evicting rioters from their houses and stopping their benefits. Yes, total poverty is a great way to convince people not to turn to crime. Meanwhile a much bigger problem, that of tax avoidance by the super rich, something that costs the state a hell of a lot more than benefit fraud, is ignored because the Conservative Party will only ever attack the poor. But this isn't just the Tories who are at fault here - witness the BBC sending its chief goblin Dominic Littlewood out to expose those evil scumbags who are fraudulently claiming an extra tenner a week and yet telling us that we should be impressed by wonderful capitalists like James Caan whom we should all celebrate for their entirely legal frauds (like you don't defraud too, Bannatyne) and attempts to purchase human beings.

Of course there remains a hardcore of wannabe bourgeoisie who feel that all rioters are wicked scum and want those nice heroes of the army brought out to dish some Ballymurphy massacre style peacekeeping to the lower orders. The problem with these are that many of them are not the middle classes that they think they are and that will only get worse as wages continue to freeze whilst prices rise. Before long people like that should realise that they are much more under threat from the government than a bunch of misguided young idiots attacking shops and should themselves oppose instead of clucking their tongues and moaning about property values. Assuming they're not too busy reading Heat magazine and going to Starbucks to notice I suppose.

At the risk of repeating what I have said previously treat people like animals and they will act like them. The government is intent on pursuing Social Darwinism but it should know that even weakest rat will attack when backed into a corner and the more rats they insist on backing into corners the more they will have to be prepared for this to happen again. Monetarist governments breed violent societies, as Thatcher and Pinochet have proven in the past, and it was naive to think that putting in cuts-happy Cameron would not have the same effect when experience has demonstrated that it would. Besides one glimpse of the sort of smug, posh-boy, Tory tossery demonstrated by that bastard Michael Gove on Newsnight recently would be enough to make any sane person smash things up. Like one Peter Lilley wasn't enough without son of Lilley being inflicted upon us.

Now can we maybe stop hearing about this whole business as it's getting old.
keresaspa: (Trotsky)
One thing those horrific attacks in Norway have proven is that those who claim the Islamophobic nationalism espoused by the likes of Geert Wilders should be considered as a separate phenomenon to the naked racial hatred of neo-Nazism are talking out of their hats. Anders Behring Breivik is being widely reported as a neo-Nazi but that wasn't the case. He was a member of the anti-immigration monetarist Progress Party until 2007 and he has only recently praised Wilders and declared his support for Israel as well as his hatred for Islam. Not this time are we faced with a Varg Vikernes-style bogeyman, the sort that could never happen here, but rather a follower of the "respectable" radical right, the sort of man who would not look out of place in our own UKIP. As long as people continue to legitimise hatred against one group the danger that things like will happen will always be present. The next time somebody claims that there is no hatred in the English Defence League, remember that this psychopath shares their views.

And what about Amy Winehouse joining the 27 Club? In a way it's a shock but in another way it's no surprise, although perhaps because she has been out of the limelight a bit recently it was more unexpected. She only has herself to blame, of course, but I must admit I rather enjoyed her music and found her to be a surprisingly engaging personality so it is a bit of a shame that we'll never hear from her again. RIP you crazy cow.
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: (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: (Reiko Ike)
When Lenin wrote One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Northern Ireland was nothing but a twinkle in James Craig's eye but here we are facing the age old problem of pointless left-wing division. With the Socialist Party and People Before Profit operating in the same strong anti-cuts milieu I am left to wonder what purpose is served by them opposing each other and splitting what little of the vote they can expect to receive in good old tribal NI. For my own part I am torn in three directions between both of them and the Workers Party, who are preaching a similar brand of gospel. Of the bumf I have seen Paddy Meehan makes probably the strongest case to my mind but the Stiff Little Finger makes good arguments as well whilst the only one I have ever had personal dealings with is Paddy Lynn and I've found him to be a decent sort who will always cut you a fair deal when you buy from his market stall. The rest of them can suck it of course - the SDLP are so bourgeois that it's not even funny any more and the Alliance's fence-sitting "we're so nice but we're really Unionists" act wore out years ago whilst their public endorsement of water charges and their associations with Clagknot's bastards make them beyond the pale. As for Sinn Fein it is amazing how quickly they slipped into being the party of the establishment and how easily some previously admirable community workers became grey-suited, double-dealing, lying politicians whilst they too have made it clear that water charges are their preferred destination. Indeed the way the big five are all tied in to their incestuous Swiss-style permanent coalition with its pro-capitalist and cuts-happy agenda makes a vote for any one of them pointless. Unless you like that sort of thing, of course, in which case you might as well vote for all five of them as they are effectively the same. Which I suppose leaves the Green Party but I’ll be in the cold ground before I vote for that shower. Lovely to see as well that South Belfast is to have two joke candidates with UKIP's Nico Torregrosa having a go here and Charles Smyth awakening Väinämöinen-like from his slumber to unleash the Ayn Rand-loving juggernaut that is Procapitalism upon us once more. Good luck with that lads but I can't see an anti-immigration candidate with a Spanish name and a chap who secured a whopping 22 votes last time worrying McDonnell, Spratt and Maskey too much.

Thus for me council and assembly will both be a 1-2-3 involving the Sticks, the Stiffs and the Socialists with the final order still to be determined (although given that there are ten candidates going after five seats in the council election it really isn't worth my while whatever permutation I go for). As for the referendum I have to say I really couldn't give a monkey's toss one way or the other. I have little to no faith in the whole system of representative democracy anyway so it is no skin off my nose how they choose to arrange the whole charade of choosing sheep to fill the seats. Be it first past the post, alternative vote or any other system isn't it funny how they always end up electing politicians rather than actual human beings? Apart from anything the arguments from both sides have been so childish and lacking in relevance that they might as well have been delivered by Rebecca Black through the medium of "leetspeak". Being the petty, small man that I am deep down I suspect I will vote no simply because this whole referendum is Clagknot's baby and anything that discomforts that smug fucker in the slightest gives me pleasure. And yes I feel so strongly about him that I have decided to use only my second f-word since this old gubbins began. Makes angry face.

And as an odd aside I see that Sinn Fein are standing a candidate for the council elections in the Court electoral area. OK there is a pocket of Fenians on the Crumlin Road, nestling in between the Woodvale and Lower Ardoyne but the chances of Sinn Fein building a support base amongst the residents of Highfield, Glencairn and the rest of the grotty estates that make up the "Greater Shankill" seem about as likely as Neil Lennon being welcome for a jar at the previously mentioned Mountainview tavern. Still they have all that Assembly money sloshing about so I suppose they can afford to waste bits here and there. Heck they even have posters on the Cregagh Road this time around - I wonder what idiot brave soul put those up and was he the same character who "improved" a nearby YCV mural?

So there you have it - on May 5th do yourself a favour and vote for somebody a bit different as we really need a change from the same old rabble that it always is. But I won't be holding my breath.
keresaspa: (Georgi Dimitrov)
I have kept my counsel about the latest mess surrounding my old friend Silvio Berlusconi until now but in an attempt to once again breathe life into the near moribund body of this august journal I feel the need to break my vow of silence. Were the stories of orgies involving underage girls and cocaine at plush villas about anybody else one would feel confident in suggesting that the individual involved would be facing not only ruin but a long overdue spell in the hoosegow. This being Il Cavaliere, of course, I doubt it will mean anything as the boy Berlusconi seems to have been coated in Teflon and Silpat and then laminated long ago, given that he has already overcome being outed as both a Mafiosi and a member of Propaganda Due, two facts that by right should land anybody with a ten stretch at least. Still where sex scandals are concerned a shrug of the shoulders from the wee man will no doubt lead to the standard roll of the eyes from the Italians and he can continue to hand over millions of state lolly to unknown Bulgarian actresses with impunity. Good God, if he appeared as a character in a Gabriel García Márquez novel you would reckon it far-fetched even by Gabo's standards. Let's just hope the Spanish press refrain from any front page nudie pics this time - I know they like to have a pop at the Italians but the world can do without any more of SIlvio's meat and two veg!

Elsewhere, of course it would be nice to see the back of Hosni Mubarak, a man who is so far removed from the Arab socialist visions of Nasser that it is untrue. How a dictator who has done absolutely nothing for the past God knows how long has managed to last thirty years is beyond me. Mind you if Mubarak is removed and is replaced by some acquiescent pro-American stooge it will all have been in vain, especially given that they are already in that role under the pro-Israeli Mubarak. At a time when unemployment and poverty are rife the last thing the Egyptians need is a dose of monetarism to make things worse. Mubarak out by all means but I just hope they are careful who they turn if and when it happens.

And finally the fuss about Gerry Adams - can somebody please explain? You and the rest of Sinn Fein have been happily participating in the Queen's own assembly for a number of years now Gerald meaning that the SS Sell-out has long since sailed so suddenly developing a bad taste in your mouth over the Chiltern Hundreds seems rather like locking the stable door after Her Majesty's horse has bolted. A shame the United Left Alliance aren't running in Louth as one of their boys beating Adams would have been perfect.


keresaspa: (Default)

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