Friday 6 October 2023

I'm Back!

Years and years ago, before anyone had ever heard of disease and pandemics, I started this blog. I gave it a stupid name from an Alan Partridge episode and proceeded to talk about stuff. This year, to save me from tears (as the wise men of WHAM! Once said), I’m going back to my roots. Or at least this blog, which, at this point, I’m sure nobody will read. 


Because after the Tory party conference and six months of gut related discomfort, I have to do something to save my sanity. We’re possibly a year out from a general election where there is every chance the Tories could pull some dark magic out of the bag. Aided of course by the endless spiral of dismal broken promises that is the current Labour party. In short, I have no faith that putting Liz Kendall in as DWP secretary will be noticeably better than the Tories following through on yet another attack on the poor and the sick. 

Yes, the man wearing the suit may be different, but the rhetoric is the same. What time is it? It’s Bash The Poor O Clock. Here we fucking go.

It is increasingly clear that capitalism is in civil war. If Brexit wasn’t a shining example of this then what else is? The Tories have no answers, Brexit will divide us forevermore until we stop. But we can’t stop because the political system is so broken that a fringe of voters seems to hold power. Unfortunately they seem to be the same fringe that put Liz Truss, disastrously and inexplicably, into power. She promised them what they wanted to hear, having no personality or ideas of her own (she voted to Remain but quickly jumped ship without principle). Now she is back again, haunting that same tiny space called the centre. A term that belies the reality of its political positioning. Over the years the centre has shifted to the right. We can see how far by using Suella Braverman’s equally inexplicable rise to power as a yardstick, applauded despite having failed to achieve anything regarding immigration.

This is a period where words mean nothing. Politicians tell abject lies and even when called out, to their face, will still cling to a truth that doesn’t exist. Starmer didn’t propose a meat tax. It isn’t a Labour policy nor anything more than a passing neuron during a conversation somewhere. It isn't a policy. That doesn’t seem to matter; claim it was and just deny the assertion you are laying. Lies are truth, and truth is whatever you need it to be.

Into this horrible context is the pernicious transphobic gotcha ‘question’, “what is a oman”? It isn’t an honest inquiry because the inquirer doesn’t want a full throated answer. Either you accept their definition (all women are 100% adult human biological females) or you are a groomer, a drag queen story nonce, or something. The truth isn’t so simple and can only be teased out in nuanced complex conversation, as supported by science. Most women are adult human females. Not all. Some are born without certain organs. Some transition through gender identity. Some people are intersex. Biology is not a binary, but the discourse is. Now politicians have to sign up to this unwritten charter, held by a minority of vicious tongued bullies. Again a tiny minority.

To these issues capitalism offers no answer. All women, trans and cis, face an unequal society. Why fall for division? Working women have more in common with their trans sisters than they do with Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer or Graham Linehan. In fact he has little in common with anyone, having alienated most of the people in his life through his lonely violent crusade against an already marginalised community. Yes I support trans rights, because human rights are meaningless if conditional.

It goes without saying that Braverman’s rhetoric is nothing short of incendiary. While i think there is some worth in deploying the F word (no, not that one, the Fascist one!), it would not be correct. Fascists don’t generally come from the ruling class, they emerge from the working class or perhaps the middle. From people frustrated by capitalism’s inability to resolve crises such as these we are living through. They are shaped and moulded by nationalism and bigotry as a result; things the ruling class fans and exploits, as in the case of Braverman. Probably not deliberately, but as part of their nature. It’s who people like Braverman are: a mass of contradictions that really only class politics can explain. She is herself the product of migration, but identity politics offers only a partial solution and divides often. Instead she is more the product of class: posh school, privileged life, rarefied air, conservative politics. There are no answers from her, only the exacerbation of actual fascists, which may or may not bear fruit in the coming period.

Anyway. That is enough for today. I am back. Where are you?

Friday 9 December 2022

Cold Cuts

You still here? I thought I'd cleared out these cobwebs months ago. After all the terrifying viral nightmare is over, right? Everything's tickety boo and we're back to just moaning at minor Tory malfeasance, right?


If only.

Who would have thought, two years ago during Pandemic Christmas, that we'd be facing crippling fuel and food prices while freezing to death in an early cold snap. Yet here we are, proving once again that, under the Tories, things can get much worse. 

Three Prime Minsiters later and Britain is collapsing. No matter the brand of lipstick on this pig, that's the truth. Fortunately, while you sit in abject misery afraid to do the most normal everyday thing and turn the heating on, there is some royal turbulence to distract. Bread and circuses to remind you that you can't afford bread, and that the circus is just a Tory farrago of incompetence and malfeasance. This isn't a government anymore, it's a racket.

They have refused everything they could do to help people. Now, when the weather is at it's worst (for now), people are struggling. I am certainly people, and I am certainly struggling. As with the heatwave, I find I just can't cope with these extremes of weather. It's not even as if we've never had arctic spells before. As a kid this would have been magical: somewhere between the Box of Delights and the planet Hoth. A world of rural adventure as a child, when you are immortal. Skidding around on frozen ice. Now I can't even sit indoors without feeling the cold. It gets into your bones and festers. You can't root it out. There is no scalpel or shovel into the soul.

People should be rioting over this. In fact they should be rioting over the fact the government has intervened to ensure the RMT maintains their dispute by inserting a demand neither side involved wanted. They know that driverless trains are a redline, and so drove a wedge. But nothing will be done because our society is so addled by a partisan hack media. Apathy rains and so we all sit in the damned cold. In short: people should be rioting. 

Fortunately the unions are stepping up. Hopefully actions, which, in the coming week, are almost daily, will coalesce into something that can take a life of its own. A general strike. We cannot afford to let the media, and their tory masters, divide us. This is an obvious tactic, relying on two ideas: that there is a limited pool of resources (ie wages) and so if the Unions get their way, everyone else loses out. Secondly increases in wages cause inflation. This is false and is obvious given that the rampant inflation we are currently experiencing has nothing to do with wages because no one has seen their wage increase (despite many successful direct actions).

To the first point: again it's rubbish. We are one of the richest economies on earth. Corporations, energy companies especially, have made out like bandits these last few years. The resources are there. More importantly they are generated, not by a vanguard of entrepreneurs blazing trails, but by the workers themselves. Those currently getting screwed over and smeared. Don't fall for these lies.

Yet despite the heat of industrial action, this is a cold winter. Who knows how long this cold spell will last. All I know is we can't go on like this. I will have the heating on. I'll be damned if I'm going to be scared into submission by Tory malfeasance. I would encourage others to do likewise, if they can, they can't cut all of us off. Never mind the don't pay campaigns that petered out, the same consequence might well happen just by virtue of cold circumstance.

Sunday 17 July 2022

Great Balls of Fire!

 Facts are simple and facts are straight, facts are lazy and facts are late, facts all come with points of view, facts don't do what I want them to!

Thus spake David Byrne in the guise of the Talking Heads on the song, Crosseyed and Painless, from the very excellent, Remain In Light. An apt description for this summer and my experience of the inferno we are currently subject to. 

Red alert. For the first time Britain is going to experience extreme heat. Others may scoff, but they live in countries adapted to it. We aren't used to that, and that is the trick of climate change. Whisking you away to a place you've never been and expecting you to insta-adapt. We could, but we won't.

Pop quiz: Where was Boris as a COBRA emergency meeting was held, regarding the weather. Was he?

a) Attending, chairing the meeting as a prime minister caring for the nation.

b) Partying at Chequers, like inflation was 1999%

Hint: it's not a.

How does one cope with the legacy of these last two years? Where everything has changed, yet wearing the guise of the ordinary and the usual? Everything has changed, but nothing has changed. Denialists - cranks - will say "it's always been hot". or, the perennial straw man: "we used to grow wine in Roman Times". These are not arguments. They do not explain why things are as they now are. It's probably the wage price spiral anyway.

I am alienated. It looks like the country I grew up in. The faces are the same, the lies are the same. The broken system remains broken. But now, while home burns, Boris fiddles. While Nome burns, the freakshow comes to town. Which of these fact denying truth twisters will remain unbroken from their economic contortion act to become the next monster in chief? 

Something has broken. It may never come back. This brave new world is hot to the touch. The sun, once a friendly welcome beacon - "here comes the sun" - is now an intruder. Angry at our poisoning the sky. Indifferent as we are to our own footprint on its heart. It gets a lot angrier than the rampant Christ-fascist wave in America. One that will drive out the last vestige of resistance to the baked in climate change. Baked in, like me in my house right now. Stifled by invisible waves of hostile air, unable to function. technology is unwelcome in the heatwave. All we can do is yield in our arrogance, if it will let us. I hope my computer will allow me the opportunity to post this without burning my fingers or melting down.

The world is on fire. It may never stop burning. On the plus side, intellectually illiterate self deciever, Liz Truss, may well be the next PM. The best we can hope for; blasted incompetence writ large like the fire that burns over half of the European continent. Pork Markets!

Monday 31 January 2022

The Shite After Christmas

What is there to say at thi point? We have gone beyond all reason into a place where the political has been replaced by the tedious narrative of culture war. People are either woke or...asleep? I don't know. All I can say is that the gaslighting intensified over the past month. Over Christmas, when people might reasonably expect a break from the nightmare of the last couple of years. But nope, instead we were and still are treated to the intense spectacle of a posh twat refusing all responsibility. We need a report into my behaviour he claims, thus proving the very thing he seeks to refute: that he is an untrustworthy clown.

And yet he will get away with all of this. There is no accountability. The mechanisms of government are a) under his control and b) completely unsuited for that task. The met police, now investigating despite claiming it wasn't their job despite it being their job despite them still prosecuting other people for breaching the rules, have followed his request to fudge everything. He gets what he wants, Sue Grey will get let off the hook and receive a Damehood I'm sure. It is an obvious cover up, conduced right in front of our eyes while we are told there is nothing to see. 

 We are approaching the second anniversary of lockdown and the doors to plague island have already been thrown open. Boris desperately wants the support of the cranks that are in charge of the Tory party and so he gives them what they want, which is an end to any kind of response to the pandemic. But Covid hasn't gone away. Forgetting about it doesn't make it disappear. The new variant, which may well be replaced by something worse, seeded over Christmas and the subsequent death rate increased to reflect that. Now we are seeing almost 2000 people a week die. The price of Boris' premiership.

How can things get any better with this situation? The world seems on the edge of a knife. I think third world war somewhat (and hopefully) unlikely, but there is trouble everywhere. People are tired and angry, but are the angry enough to do anything to change the rotten power structures that continue to oppress us. 

Thursday 23 December 2021

The Shite Before Christmas

Oh, hello. It's me and it's you, and we're back, just like the plague. The one that never disappeared. The one that's killed a thousand odd since 'Freedom Day'. The one that has now mutated, again, and reached new heights of infectiousness, thoroughly egged on by a lying incompetent murderer. Happy Christmas Britain, you've never been so totally gaslighted/gaslit.

What do you say at this point? How can this be leadership? There is no attempt, at all, to govern during this crisis. The only policy seems to be the herd immunity strategy from early on. The cranks have taken control. They like to blame everyone else for being 'lockdown fanatics', to quote Esther McVey (that well known epidemiologist). What they don't realise is that, by doing nothing when it's needed, stricter action is required later. They are the lockdown fanatics because their inaction necessitates it.

I don't know how we move on from this. Our government has condemned us to pandemic purgatory believing this is fine. We can all just get on with our lives, except that is still a vacuous statement. A thought terminating cliche to let the cranks off the hook. Without meaning or explanatory power it becomes utterly empty. People are getting on with their lives and the virus spreads off the back of that. Ironically it proves the only option left to their addled thinking and no one wants a lockdown. But they see only a binary and so assume that everyone else must therefore want the lockdown their inaction prompts. What should have happened and what I hope isn't too late to have happen is proper management of this situation. Unfortunately Boris is constrained by the forces he has unleashed and that will never happen. So we are doomed to ride a seemingly endless sea of viral tide with no end in sight. Capitalist thinking is short term and so can't see past the grey horizon of self and vested interest.

So here it is, crappy Christmas. What's to stop the same thing happening next year? The only hope seems to be that there will be a weakening of the virus and a movement to endemic status. But that could be years off. There's no guarantee covid will grow less mild. The data suggests that Omicron is milder, but the infection rate belies the problem and we are still in trouble if cases are allowed to surge, and they are, because Boris can't resolve anything. The Tories are ideologically and intellectually incapable of addressing this crisis. The chancellor, having been pulled back in the orbit of Britain by the gravity of the situation, offers meagre support, not even that. He thinks he's being generous: the kind hand of enlightened economics. The entrepreneurial Britannia he and the rest of the crank cabinet believe will save us. It will only doom us. Like the refugees they want to prosecute everyone from saving. In the end the cost of this support will come from the working class, sooner or later. That bell will toll.

A new year looms: threatens or dhere.elights. That remains to be seen. But if we don't do something about our paralysed government and its crooked ideological roots then nothing will change. This maybe how all our Noels sing out in the future.

In other, more delightful, news, I have more music here.

Thanks for listening

Saturday 30 October 2021

But the Tories ARE Scum

So Angela Rayner has been bought to heel, after calling Tories scum (correctly). This apparently is a far worse crime than the social murder and democide of tens of thousands due to covid intransigence. This of course comes off the back of the latest example of how far British politics has gone, following the stabbing of David Ames. We still don't know exactly why that happened, but you'd think from the reaction of his hysterical peers that Twitter was responsible. In fact you'd be forgiven for thinking that anyone who dares publicly call out a Tory was responsible. And of course they are using this to fuel their hypocritical attacks on freedoms, specifically to insulate themselves as much possible from the accountability they use as stolen valour. 

I don't think I want to live in a brutal society, exemplified by the freedom for anyone to brandish a knife and commit murder. I also don't think David Ames, as demonstrated by his voting record (access to which is something else the Tories want to restrict), was the cultural hero he's been made out to be. Obviously his Parliamentary friends will disagree, as will his family. They should be allowed the grieve because that's a human need best left undisturbed. Truth remains; there is nothing valorous in voting to keep people hungry and impoverish them. This he did.

So it's all the more sickening to see Labour play along with the accompanying Parliamentary charade. The pearl clutching of closeted, relatively well protected, MP's continuing to protect their increasing privilege, while presiding over a gap of equally increasing inequality and injustice. I don't see much from them when it's working class people that suffer. Instead they will just blame the culture.

What is most odious about all this is how Labour are just the same. This system is irredeemable and its touch indelibly and irreversibly corrupting. Of course Keir Starmer is going to be accompanying Boris Johnson to lay wreaths on Ames' doorstep. Even Corbyn would have had to play the game, though in doing so the papers would have found some means to criticise him: the colour of his shirt and shoes for example. In this performance it shows just how little difference stands between Starmer and the lying social murderer in charge. When it comes down to it, they side with each other, against the rest of us. That is the function of our political system and Labour play a willing part in that. So now we have Angela Rayner rolling back, after 'reflecting', her comments. Yet the obvious truth; the Tories are scum and it is not toxic to point this out, even if one of them has been murdered. It might not be proper to say that in the immediate wake of events (though Rayner's comments were unfortunately mistimed, not her fault as any honest actor would admit), but it is the truth and that is most important. No one is suggesting we crash Ames' funeral and blurt that out, but we cannot forget it.

And I'm not suggesting Starmer and the rest of lapdog Labour aren't sincere in their conduct, layiung wreaths and paying tributes. But that's the problem: that's why I say they are willing participants in this charade. No amount of wreath laying or performative eulogising will bring the man back, nor will it address the fundamental inequalities in our society that he willingly (I assume) enabled. What is needed is a functioning opposition, but we don't have that. Instead they would rather engage in the ritual than the issues. 

Saturday 11 September 2021

Creativity and Commerciality

And so we return to normal space. To a planet ostensibly azure and green that we call home. Only to realise it's still in a fucking mess. The plague hasn't gone away, it, like the society infected, has mutated. Problem is no one discusses the social mutation where now we are compelled to life as normal. That's impossible, we can't ignore that, from 'Freedom Day' to the end of 2021 another 25,000 or so people, in the UK alone (possible even just England) will die to Covid. That's excess mortality; deaths from a single cause alone. If that's normal you're either a Tory or you're not paying attention.

Meanwhile I have spent the last 9 months working on my music. Taking an opportunity afforded by this nightmare. Perhaps a once in a lifetime (perhaps already too late) chance to create something. In my opinion a life lived devoid of creativity isn't satisfying to me; you may be different and that's ok. 

The fruits of my labour have led to the creation of an actual album. A piece of work uploaded to Bandcamp linked below. You are invited to listen, what you do afterwards is for you to decide along with my thanks. 

But as I present to the world the first of what I hope will be many expressions, I must accept we live in a society that simply doesn't support creativity. All this, for whatever it may be worth, is on me; it is my work to own alone. My effort and the resulting quality, pr perhaps lack thereof, is down to me. I do not think it is too bad, but I do not own a vast recording studio nor a graphic design team to shroud it in acceptable presentation. Something that I'm sure works against me, however that's just how it is. We all have to start somewhere.

It is sad though; I'm one of probably thousands in this country alone. All of us doing the same thing, hoping to find favour with the greater community, eager to sell our work (to be crass) in order to survive and continue the work. We don't live in an age of artistic patronage. In fact we don't live in much of an artistic world at all, which is sad. It's not a lack of artistry or artists, it's a lack of systemic support. We have the tools, we have the technology, so why not provide services to people to share and, more importantly, to build communities of mutual support. That is what I lack: I am not part of a wider artistic community that can amplify our output. I do not have social worth; I lack the credentials to capitalise on. I don't' have a brand nor a name. All I can do is spam my work across forums and hope that, in doing so, I don't piss people off but win them over. It's an unfortunate world that capitalism has forged. All one can do is try.

I'm Back!

Years and years ago, before anyone had ever heard of disease and pandemics, I started this blog. I gave it a stupid name from an Alan Partri...