Friday, 10 July 2020

The Summer That Never Was 5: Clapped Out

When the opposition says it wants the government to succeed, it means that it shares the policies and values of the Tory government. It just wants them not to be shit at it, because Johnson and his bloated cronies are thick as shit mince. This is not a virtuous position to hold: the opposition has returned to Blairite Red Tory centrist/centre right pro capitalist nonsense. This will get us nowhere. They have had precious little to say about this rubbish mini-budget. If you can't make capital out of the fact the government's response to capitalism's inability to cope with Corona, then you too are thick as shit mince.

Nothing changes. Unless we change it. We certainly can't rely on Starmer and his authoritarian 'soft' (at least nominally) capitalist party. This was demonstrated when he kicked out Rebecca Long Bailey. Her inability to defend her position, for whatever reason, didn't help either. There is, now, no opposition.

The local shop posted to Facebook that they'd like everyone to wear masks. So I go up there with my sliced up T shirt wrapped around my face. Of course I'm the only customer wearing a mask and don't I feel like a clown. So much for community spirit, or even common sense. It's not much to ask, no matter how daft we may feel dressing up like this!

The Guardian is reporting the Government wants to take back more direct control of the NHS, following the great reforms-that-were-not-reforms of the early years of the Coalition. No doubt so they can sell it lock stock and barrel to their mates in private healthcare (ie the Americans). Once again the NHS is a political football. That's all it will ever be. That's all clapping has achieved unless we fight. The NHS is nothing but a pawn in the games played by these political operators. It doesn't matter how many compassionate anecdotes you reel off, how many old soldiers perambulate (remember that?), nor how many charity records get made. All the NHS is ever going to be under a capitalist neofeudal government is a political football.

To emancipate it is the struggle to emancipate the working class entirely. The two are not separate.

Does anyone else think that Johnson wearing a facemask looks like a drunk Hannibal Lecter?

Thursday, 9 July 2020

The Summer That Was 4: The Milky Bar's On Me!

Boots are closing stores, putting 4000 people out of work. That's their announcement, I guess we'll see whether that transpires. I guess also that the chance of making four million quid from the Chancellor's scheme wasn't enough incentive. My money's on them hiring a bunch of underpaid 'apprentices'. This will net them 2000 per placement. They won't be on full pay and probably not on full time hours. Theirs will be work structures that 'regular' people (ie not kids) cannot afford to do. Cheap labour, iin other words.

Still those people replaced will be able to take console in a tenner off a meal between Mondays and Wednesdays in August. Who knows maybe they can eat 3 meals a day during that period at the government's expense. So nothing to complain about there. I have no idea how anyone thinks such a stupid scheme is ever going to be any kind of economic boost. But once again the Tories' mates in the hospitality industry get a boost. That is what I think this is all about. I can't explain so lacking a policy any other way. Never mind that a few pubs have reported having to close since Saturday (not even a week) because of the appearance of Corona amid the punters.

This, frankly, is a worry. This is where a second spike could begin. After all how did the virus get here in the first place: a few people, here and there, unwittingly spreading it around. Of course things are a little different now, we are aware and, hopefully, the tracking system, though not ready and woefully failing to meet its targets, should help. Still, it's not unlikely that there will be more pubs closing and more people having spread the virus unknowingly slipping through and furthering the rise of a second wave. I hope that I am wrong. We will not know straight away, and that's the danger. By the time we realise there's a problem following the pubs opening it may be too late. The sistuation is, broadly speaking, getting better, but...

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

The Summer That Never Was 3: The Money That Never Was

So that didn't happen. No big bonus for me, or you. No surprise there then. That was about as likely as finding a Tory with a functioning soul.

What did we get? A load of blather about unemployment. Meaningless since the Tories haven't supported people, ever. I don't need to hear the usual gaslighting nonsense about employment under a capitalist system. It's predicated on exploitation.

Companies get a grand if they don't sack someone. I don't really see how this will help, if their business isn't viable and they have to let people go then what use will a couple of grand be? 

They also get two grand if they take an an apprentice (young Skywalker!) under the age of 25. So cheap labour then. For this to work it will have to be worth their while. By using the term and category of apprentice it just means these kids will be paid fuck all with no expectation of a permanent job prospect or career at the end. So when things get a little better, throw them out the door. Also, will this work with the above: can people fire staff and then get 2 grand back (net profit for them, even if they miss out on a grand for retaining them) for replacing them with an apprentice? Is that too cynical?

The hospitality industry (not alcohol apparently) gets a VAT cut. Whoopee doo. I don't intend to be visiting the zoo or cinema.

Finally, and bizarrely, throughout August, people eating out (as all Universal Credit claimants do) get a 50% discount. "Eat out to help out", this has to be the dumbest slogan ever. What a feeble idea. I guess if you're a Tory then eating out is what you do. It's also only for half the week! So stay at home the rest of the time because we ain't that generous. They all do for free in Parliament anyway. I can't see this helping at all, and if it does fetch everyone to the local cafe (assuming they participate) the law of unintended consequences might kick in...if you catch my drift.

I am underwhelmed and unsurprised. Typical Tory lack of vision.

Meanwhile the Johnson refuses to apologise for calling out care homes and carers because of course he did. Blame them, blame everyone but yourself. This is the essence of what it means to be a Tory; everyone else is at fault. Everyone else is inferior. Never show weakness - to admit one's mistakes and correct oneself is just that. What a blueprint for society.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

The Summer That Never Was 2: This Medicine Kills Fascists

One piece of good news: Jair Bolsanaro has had another test for Covid after showing apparent symptoms. Oh, that's not good news. Look, I don't really want human beings to suffer, but sometimes the only way some people - particularly fascist scum - learn is the hard way. Plus a little schadenfreude, not going to lie!

Still regardless of how much of a heartless lefty I am, I'm not in control of the situation. Thanks to their intransigence, macho ignorance, and capitalist stupidity, neither are they. The people we should really be sorry for are those suffering under them - and the use of the plural is deliberate. Trump is exactly the same. He cares only for himself, as ever, and his chances of re election (assuming he doesn't take his ball and go the luxury private golf club...again). He refuses to wear a mask even though his administration says everyone else should thus inspiring people to do likewise.

It's the same pattern across the capitalist west. Our leader, the useless lump, is no different. They are the victims, mostly of their own stupidity and ignorance. We pay the price. Now Johnson is blaming care homes, because of course he is. It's always someone else's fault. We all knew that, if things go south (again), he won't bear responsibility. Everyone else will.

Meanwhile in Brazil, Comrade Cornona has done us a solid. I know I shouldn't - again - joke, but now it turns out (this blog is nothing if not live) Bolsanaro has the disease! There are few people I loathe more and let's just leave it at that. Except let's not because his arrogance has liley put others lives at risk. I guess we'll see if and when others in his cabinet/coterie show signs of the disease. One way or another I would love to say the "ex-president" Jair Bolsanro.

Trump next please, before he lands us into world war 3 with China ("The China Virus", it sounds like a seventies disaster movie ffs). These world leaders are practically begging to be infected given how they behave. Still the downside is that if these monsters survive, as Johnson and Cummings did (most people seem to, thankfully), then they will be insufferable!

More insufferable, that is.

Monday, 6 July 2020

The Summer That Never Was 1: The New Money?

At this point it's pretty clear that social distancing is dead. Today looked like it could have been the first day of the regular summer holiday in a normal year. The play areas were never officially reopeed, people just decided to start using them and let their kids play all over them. I guess it's fortunate locally the case rate is so low.

I just feel completely restless now. It's like being a prisoner when, somehow, the door is unlocked and the prison open. Nobody seems to be on hand to say whether or not you're free to leave and your fellow inmates are all making for the door, in a large congealed mass of covid possibility. Do I join them, or will the authorities nab me and make me pay a higher price?

The government has abandoned publishing the number of individual people being tested for Corona virus. After five weeks of failing to do so.

They just gave up. Can't be bothered. This is typical Johnson. It's too hard, where's matron, mater wipe my fat entitled arse. Can't be bothered. Five weeks during a fuciing pandemic. Oh well, I guess data isn't important. I'd say this is unbelievable but if the last few months have confirmed anything, it's that it isn't.

The track and trace app still isn't ready. Our leaders are beyond incompetent; they are lazy and don't give a shit. It's just a school test, get one of the freshmen to take it for me. I've got a date with some stolen wacky baccy with Spugger and Bodge behind the tennis courts. Fuck's sake. It's a joke to these people. Life is some permanent boarding school jape. That's what these places breed; a mutant who will grow up to doom us all and not care.

One article of interest, in yesterday's Guardian, was the possibility that Rishi Sunak will introduce helicopter money. Apparently he is 'mulling' the notion of giving people several hundred pounds. It wasn't clear who this could be spent, or what form it would take; there was mention of 'covid affected businesses' (which would presumably be all of them). It's a bold idea, but, given that he's a Tory, I would be very surpsied if this ever came to pass. The media I'm sure, even now, would not be in favour.

But then these are strange times. I certainly won't turn my nose up at several hundred quid! Finally some new socks

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Dry Weekender: Wet Weekender

This morning the news announced the government announcing that they intend to announce recruiting a bunch of frontline Jobcentre staff. This is because of the impending unemployment spike, characterised by the Prime Ministwat's statement that "many people will lose their jobs". Unfortunate one of them will not be him. He's comfortable; safe like reaching the final's in Bullseye.

So that means both the following will be true: more people out of work, and, fewer jobs. Correct?

It also means that the majority of those will not be hired in this position because the JC+ (and by extension capitalism, look up the concept of the reserve army of labour) needs customers. If the government hires everyone rendered unemployed by Covid then who will they be advising or, as they put it, mentoring.

You see, it's all a facade. This is how unemployment works under our system.

The fundamental issue is this: where are the jobs going to come from even the government is admitting there will be no jobs? What is the point of hiring advisers who, essentially, cannot do anything by virtue of the situation that necessitated their existence? By the way, that doesn't begin to address the systemic abuse unemployed people face, because you can be damn sure their job will include the threat - and deployment - of sanctions and punishments. So again, just like in the bad old eighties, people will be pushed from useless pillar to ineffectual post; cycled through the fake profiteering welfare to work industry to achieve no greater end. Because the jobs won't exist.

If they did, you likely wouldn't need these extra work coaches. That's the nonsense of it all. The media will portray this in the usual way: the government helping people. This is how the punitive sanction system is sold: a thing that helps people. In truth it destroys them. But now how can any of this cause anything but misery? People are going to know there aren't jobs - the people hired are going to know this. What can they expect people to do? How can a 35 hour a week jobsearch operate in a pandemic world? Answer: they won't care and the media will cover it all up. Just as it has for the last decade.

Surely there is a better way to do things, but that necessitates a better way to run things. A better system.

These aren't people taken on to cope with the added backlog of processing claims. I hear not a peep about that, so expect these frontline 'work coaches' to bear the brunt of their class allies' frustration. This is the ultimate expression of divide and rule. We have to watch this space.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Wet Weekender: Dry Weekender

Today's the day the Tories and Blairites have their picnic. At the local Tory sponsored watering shithole. If you do down in the pub today... well they're closed. So that's that! My local, so to speak, isn't opening until August, according to the sign the put up. I think that's smart. As for the other two around here, who knows. Maybe they'll open up this evening. To everyone's credit, there weren't hordes of thirsty tradesmen banging on the door gasping for a pint. It's as if it's been a dry county these last months since beer is on sale everywhere else anyway.

I'm sure somewhere, no doubt broadcast on the news, there's some stupid people doing stupid things. Who knows. I can't be expected to keep track of all the stupid in the world. There's only so much my brain can take. Right now it feels like it's bursting at the seams. The world has gotten noticeably smaller and my ambition is getting bigger. That is, something needs to change. I'm feeling more and more restless.

This mirrors just how incompetent this situation has been handled. No can argue otherwise. I'm not suggesting people getting itchy like me should be listened to over the science. I'm saying that had things been handled consistently and, fundamentally, had we a system that coudl cope with this crisis things would be different, at least by now. We've done everything wrong and thousands have paid the price. Hundreds are still dying; 137 yesterday. That's about a thousand a week. The figure is coming down, but it's going to be a while and the process will be fragile, like giving birth to a whole new normal. That baby is fragile, and all it'll take is carelessness to set everything right back to square one.

The lockdown deniers cannot argue that letting things operate normally would have worked, regardless of what you might think of our government (not much). We can see this from the medical disaster that America is turning into. This will be the stuff of Hollywood in years to come, which is a rather cheap way of looking at things, but no doubt accurate. They are counting tens of thousands of new infections while the rabid red right scream blue bloody murder at the prospect of having to wear some cloth over their faces. God knows what they would have made of wartime London, or living in the Blitz. I recall kids having to carry gasmasks and freedoms curtailed, policed by wardens. Yet these precious little snowflakes hue and cry at the prospect of having "their breath taken away", of being "muzzled". God gave them freedom, a word so ubiquitous in the US that it has lost all value and meaning. What is freedom in the context of a pandemic? The freedom to get sick? Fine, knock yourself out. Problem is what about everyone else's freedoms? That's where the logic fails. These people are selfish. Never mind believing that god decreed they be free - free from the virus he created. Nice one.

The Summer That Never Was 5: Clapped Out

When the opposition says it wants the government to succeed, it means that it shares the policies and values of the Tory government. It just...