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Sunday, September 25, 2016


democracy is a funny old thing.

for most of the western world it is a simple thing. every so often the public gets a chance to elect representatives to govern and lead us. in the uk, for better or worse, we live in a first past the post majority system: get more votes than the other people and you are in. bish bosh bang. job done.




most importantly it works.

but a bit like freedom of speech or human rights there are those occasions when because people don't like the result they moan and complain but that isn't what was supposed to happen, this isn't the result we wanted can we change it?

for a time we could be smug about the whingey scots – the nationalists promised their independence vote would be a once in a generation vote. they lost. they waited a few days and then showed they were liars by demanding a second referendum.

but then we decided to call the european union referendum. david cameron's decision to fight off the encroaching power of ukip (which was only in the minds of nigel farage and the editors of a few newspapers) and the usual gang of eurosceptic nutters in the tory party called for the vote and the brexit debate was started.

sensible money said stay.

sensible isn't always sexy.

farage had begun to make noises that if the vote was close,say 51/52% stay 48/49% leave there should be a second referendum. essentially saying if we don't get the result we want we might want to do it again. (needless to say farage quietly dropped this 'too close' argument toot sweet.)

the in campaign tended to argue the economic good of staying in, relying partly on common sense and economic stability to win the day. ooops.

the outers played to the hearts and made many promises that it would quickly turn out that they knew they were never going to keep, the biggest of these being the £350 million a week to the nhs – which is quickly turning out to be an extra £2.49 and a packet of crisps if the nurses behave themselves.

the referendum was always couched, well to the best of my recollection, as in or out. stay or go. leave or remain. it was never what do you think? if you had a choice what you like to do? give us a clue as to what you think we should do? there was never a oh by the way your vote is just an indicator as to what we should do, or your vote gives us the terms of the debate we'll have in parliament and we'll let you know the outcome later.

it was always. yes/no. it was always which side got the most won the day.

that is how our democracy works.

simple, easy, understandable.

arguments were made and we the people had to make a choice with our collective crosses.

when the result came in as 52% leave and 48% stay, it was a bit of a disaster.

but that is what the people voted for.

all of a sudden a whole group of people become agitated and start claiming there were lies and that this was just an advisory vote blah blah. they wouldn't have been saying either if the vote had gone their way (and we can rest assured that the brexiters would have used pretty much the same arguments if they had lost in order to get a second vote).

one of the outcomes of exit was the labour party went into full slow motion meltdown which managed to combine the longest election ever with the most obvious result ever. the reason for the vote was that some of the labour mps were not happy with the leadership of jeremy corbyn. true he had not covered himself with glory and at a time when the tories were at their least impressive and still fighting over exit, corbyn seemed to be doing the impossible and making the tories guaranteed winners of the next general election, and possibly the one after as well.

problem was jeremy corbyn had revitalised labour's membership – making it the biggest party in the country, and all those new voters wanted jeremy to be leader. they were the corbynistas.

the simple solution to it all would have been for moderate labour supporters to put their hands in their pockets and pay to become members in order to vote – they didn't. they lost because the committed and engaged did, and they are the people who are going to attended local party meetings and council gatherings. they are the people who will use the tools and mechanisms of democracy to turn the labour party into something that will not get elected because the vast amount of labour voters are not interested in something that looks and smells a little like revolutionary socialism -if they did they could have voted for anyone of a number of such parties in the past, and just because now some of the members of those small parties can now pretend to be potential labour politicians it isn't going to happen.

ironically jeremy and friends are going to benefit from a very specific election while it seems ignoring the wishes of a much broader and probably more representative vote. the behind the scenes movers and shakers in labour, momentum group, are keen to deselect members of parliament who do not agree with the new vision of labour (red labour? nu old labour? swp labour?) and put people that do agree in their place – of course this means going against the wishes of the voters.

see that is the problem with democracy it involves too many people who do not see the world in quite the same way you do, it is why it is representative – we elect people to make decisions on out part, and generally we choose them based on the fact that they are most likely to agree with my point of view.

corby and co will not do the brave thing and call lots of by-elections to see if their candidate will triumph against the incumbents, while the sitting mp will not trigger a by-election in order to prove they have the mandate in the local area.

effectively this is labour out of power for the next two elections, even if they do well in local council elections, at the next general elections they may just be spectators.

just at the time an effective opposition is needed is just the moment we get one that is fractured by internal division and is potentially prepared to piss on the votes of the wider community in order to keep sweet the new membership. odd way to go about things.

that simple, effective thing called democracy hasn't had the best time of it in the uk in these last few months.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


if there is one thing commuting is sure to do it is guaranteed to warp your outlook on modern life. to be fair it doesn't take much to get me whining but the current daily commute does give me much ammunition to curse modern life. not quite in the first world problem category but not far short of it. (i hasten to add that i would ban any and all users of 'oh that is such a first world problem' as a sneery put down that implies that your worry is somehow unworthy of merit because there is a leper with no running water and an inability to tune into the latest justin bieber song living on an island off the east african coast and until we are all living in the world of milk and honey you have no right to complain. sorry but a problem is a problem and if it is your problem then it is more important to you than the condition of water rights in venezuela).

anyway back to the moan.

my current moan about modern life is, if you can believe it, luggage.

yes you read that correctly: luggage,

i know – seriously what harm is there in luggage? (i mean other than in smuggling drugs and hiding dead bodies).

all i can say is that whoever invented the trolley bag i hope they were vastly compensated for their nifty piece of ingenuity. if there is cosmic and divine justice out there then this inventor has a ring of hell all to themselves. if they can navigate their way around the circle then they can leave hell – they just have survive the hordes of demons with trolley bags.

i get that this putting wheels on luggage makes life easier, after all why carry it when you can pull or push it. no straining muscles just glide along without a care in the world. now bags can be of any size, unlike in the past where they could only be as big as you could carry – now you can have more bags than you can shake a fanny pack at.

commuting and holiday making so much easier now.

(and while at this point of the moan – what is the deal with laptop trolley bags? just how lazy do you have to be not to carry your fucking laptop?)

nor would it surprise me to discover that somewhere out there events featuring different sized trolley bags are appearing in x-games events.

hold on a cotton picking minute pat – you seem to be praising them. yes i suppose i am. i guess i am taking the nla – national luggage association - point of view: it isn't luggage that causes problem but that it is the users.

look i just want to walk in the station getting to or from the train or tube without having to spend time looking out for someone who had a trolley bag drifting 5 feet behind them, or decides to change directions at the drop of a hat – but they have a turning circle of twenty feet because of a long handled bag they have little control over. or they walk really slowly and the bag drifts from their control so instead of taking up the space of one person all of a sudden they are a moving but variable barrier in the packed hustle and bustle of the station. users walk with all the purpose and lack of care as mobile phone users – that certainty that it is not their responsibility to watch where they are going – but it is down to you to watch where they are going and to take the necessary action in order to move out of the way, any collision is your fault. or they have two bags which they have to constantly change the hand that is control them (why) or they suddenly stop as if they realise that they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

yeah i guess it isn't the bags that i detest but the selfish wankers who use them with little regard for others.

i could suggest that people who use them have to get a license and training to use the bags. that there should be checks on people before they are issued with a bag – are they competent to use the bags they are using. that there should be limitations on the bags that people can get based on height and strength, or the number each person can be in charge of at any one time.

sadly these sensible precautions would be shouted down by the nla and so any old fuckwit can go out and with little or no training can purchase a big arsed trolley bag and cause havoc in a crowded space. i have to face it the imbecile with the trolley bag is here to stay and i just have to adjust my life around it – modernity not all it is cracked up to be.

the inventor still deserves to go to hell!

Sunday, September 11, 2016


it was fate.

a chance meeting, a chance conversation and a life changes.

sometimes for the better and sometimes for the trivial.

in my case it was for the trivial.

she was a nervous skittish alabaster skinned woman with a cut glass accent. there was a vulnerability about her, and that always brings out the white knight in me (which isn't code for i was lusting after her). we chatted for a bit. i was left intrigued, a few weeks later we bumped into each other in a famous burger chain.

we chatted some more.

this time i discovered why she appeared to be constantly looking over her shoulder (literally and metaphorically). her tale involved a plot to incapacitate her with clothes or money that had been doused in neurotoxins, a certain amount of brainwashing, the murder of her husband (married in secret and a man who may have had a past that involved the british secret service), there were honourable mentions for the illuminati, the cia and the kgb, not to mention the obligatory mr. big who was behind all of it.

i confess dear reader that i was agog, as such i didn't ask the relevant question: why?why was all this happening to her? why was she targeted?

i just went with the flow and tried my best not to let my jaw hit the floor.

remember that scene in the matrix where morpheus is offering neo the red or the blue pill, well this was a little bit like that. the difference being that i have swallowed the stupid pill and i have become hooked on conspiracy theories.


we all know that there is much that happens in the world that is the result of decisions made beyond our knowledge, that there are people who pull the strings behind the scenes.

the illuminati, the new world order, the vampire cabal. call them what you will it is very easy to believe that there are people out there who if they don't know the secret know people who know people who know the secret.

it is one of the reasons why dan brown has been such a publishing success – he has tapped into subconscious belief in the secret powers that be. we experience every day when someone we know taps their nose and winks their eye and tells us in strictest confidence that they have been told a secret.

that is pretty much the nub of conspiracy theories. advocates and followers of conspiracies see themselves as awake while the rest of us are still asleep (we the sheeple). they know the of the secret of the shadow powers, they also know that plans of the cabal are not for our benefit, the end game of these plans is to further enslave us while making the controllers more powerful.

but the awake are trying their best to alert the rest of us – to take us from sheeple to people.

your choice red pill, blue pill – just don't think you are going to become neo – because that role has already been taken by (fill in the name of the conspiracy theorist you like the most).

the truthers, the liberty movement, the alt right, real liberals or whatever they choose to call themselves are not an homogeneous group – like religion (and extreme politics) there are factions and these factions believe different things, and in some cases never the twain shall meet while in others there is a certain amount of crossover. that said they are all in the brotherhood of mistrusting government (it will be better when they are in charge – they will free us and lead us in the right way).

the constitutionalist (the spirit of 1776) see freedom as a strict adherence to the words of the constitution and its amendments (well mostly those that say carry lots of guns and free speech). there are the evangelical conspirators, they believe in the word of the bible – but are also happy to read between the lines of the word to get to the places they want to be. they see the new world order attack as being one that wants to wipe god out, replace christianity with a one world religion and mark us all with the number of the beast (chip and pin our arses to use the french). there are alienists who see us controlled by aliens, and that we are central to a cosmos spanning war that we know little about but we are crucial to. closely allied to this is the technologist branch of conspiracy – these are the people who see a world that is full of hidden technologies that are hidden from the rest of us because we are not worthy of them. it is why we don't have all the works of tesla making our lives wonderful. the numerologists and symbologists who see clues to the next events in everyday media.

these and other groupings are not exclusive and more often than not intersect and share issues and concerns.

the main concern for the alt right/ truther movement is that they are the target of a controlled government that wants to take away their guns to make the inevitable invasion/take over of the usa that much easier.

gun owners and truth tellers are on a list that either signs them up for re-education or a short stay at a fema death camp.

in countries where guns are not so important (pretty much the rest of the world) it is about the increasing amount of surveillance we face.

for all there is the constant refrain that our freedom of speech is under attack and curtailed.

this sense of oppression is exacerbated by the fervent belief that the media is against them, not just ignoring them but wilfully spreading the message of the new world order. the news outlets are in their pockets. the large social media companies are

little more than agents of the cabal. when sports, movies and music are not actively spreading the message of the powers that be through subliminals and in your face symbols they are there to distract you from the encroaching take over that is going on. mass entertainment is there to turn us into sheeple.

it is an odd world they live in. all around them they see the clues that pass the rest of us by. they see the underlying reality. they see the future – and the future is not good: unless we listen to them and join with them, only then do we have a chance, only then can we throw off the yoke of the illuminati oppression.

because they are sometimes right about the pitfalls of globalisation they expect the rest of their analysis to be accepted wholesale. where you and i see coincidence they see plans within plans.

they live in a world of signs and warnings that we don't notice. their lives are dedicated to getting us to see that ads, movies and videos are crammed full of illuminati symbols and clues

and if you spent some time analysing them you would see that the end of the world is just around the corner. they are prepping for it, and they will be kings of the new world.

so that is me hooked on the wacky worlds and words of david icke, alex jones, ritchie allen, rich d. hall, kev baker, lisa haven and many others.

the girl?

what happened to her?

didn't see her for a long time, was always looking out for her wondering if they got her or has she escaped their clutches (more than likely she has gone back on her meds).

then one day she walked in told me she had found the grave of her murdered husband and so there was closure there.



part of the plan?

you decide dear reader, i know what i think.

that's way i am hooked on the conspiracies.

Monday, September 05, 2016


i never understand why the media get so shocked when they discover that some one famous is doing something naughty.

just because you are famous doesn't mean you are any better than the rest of us, it might make it easier for them, and it certainly adds to the risks.

the media's outrage is a nice performance designed to get us to buy their offerings. they and the accused do a well rehearsed dance of claim, counter claim, pr campaign, contrite apology and wronged partner agreeing to forgive.

the irony of the weekend's revelation was that it wasn't the one that was supposed to be making the headlines – that was going to be a high level clergy being in a long term gay partnership. instead of being outed he broke the story himself and ruined the best laid plans of mice and editors.

at least with the clergy there was at least an 'in the public interest' argument given the church's stance of homosexuality. it justifies the invasion of privacy.

unlike the recent case of famous gay couple who have an arrangement for one of them to have extra marital sex. grown up adults, making grown up decisions in a grown up way. a couple who don't really make political statements and most of their influence would come from their charity work. so none of my business. none of your business. except the news media thinks it is – so will cram it down our throat (you choose the visual you want for that – but i think i can guess what it might be).

the public interest argument is a funny one in that it is supposed to be a justification for telling tales about well known people in order to generate revenue for the news organisation. just because someone is in the public eye doesn't make it in the public interest if they indulge in a bit of hanky panky – unless of course they have been an advocate for chastity or monogamy. then hypocrisy has to be uncovered.

which brings us on to keith vaz.

luckily for the papers their weekend didn't go scoopless because they had keith in the background, very convenient. i am sure there was nothing cynical about the timing and they always intended to hang keith out to dry at some point or another.

keith was filmed with some male prostitutes. they decided to film and sell their story when they recognised that mr vaz wasn't the lowly washing machine salesman he claimed to be – but a recognisable high profile politician.

mr. vaz was in charge of a select committee that was looking into whether or not prostitution should be legalised and to his credit he doesn't seem to have used the pete townshend defence: 'it was research'. it was his position on the committee that turned his sexual adventures from something that was between him and his family (wife standing by him – probably nothing to do with the family property fortune at all) and squeaking into the public interest.

there are two reasons why i think it counts. firstly he hadn't declared to the committee that he was a user of prostitutes. it really is time that the oldest profession is decriminalised. making it legal means you take away one of the main reasons for human trafficking. if brothels and prostitutes are legalised then they can be monitored to ensure they are lawful, they can be taxed (there is a lot of money in it) sure there are a lot of 'not in my backyarders' out there who would scream blue murder in order to stop it happening in their neighbourhood – but why it is already happening, this just makes it legal. and while making it legal might increase the number of men who visit a prostitute i doubt very much it will be by huge numbers.

because mr vaz hadn't declared he was a partaker of paid for sexual adventures he left himself open to accusations of bias – you are hardly going to make one of your favourite pastimes illegal are you?

but a second more important reason is that by hiding that sort of thing he created the opportunity to become the victim of blackmail.

for me that was the main problem mr vaz believed he was above such concerns, that he wouldn't get caught and their wouldn't be consequences to his actions.

and here comes my third reason why i think it counts.

pretty much if this had happened to a majority of mps i would have thought nothing of it, but keith vaz just rubs me the wrong way (though perhaps not the best choice of words in the circumstances). every time mr vaz appears i am shocked he is a labour politician, as he has enough smugness to place him on the same level as david cameron and george osbourne and that really is saying something.

in fact i suspect there were few calls to defend his privacy simply because so few people like him.

all i think he did wrong was keep it secret and that isn't a reflection on him but more a comment on the puritanical state that certain news organisations think we should be. ironically while mr vaz was heading up a powerful select committee whatever they may have suggested would have had to make it past the judgement of the unelected editors and owners of our national news organisations.

they are the real opinion formers, they are the establishment and judging by the amount of press we see about them being naughty boys and girls (virtually zilch) they are above reproach but we know that is bollocks. that is why i always find 'in the public interest' line so hypocritical because it is not applied to them.

but on the other hand it is keith vaz we are talking about.

so well played mass media.


summer is not my favourite time of year.

i dread it.

i don't like the bight sun.

i don't like the heat. don't care if it is dry heat or wet heat i don't like it.

i don't like that everyone else is telling me how nice and how wonderful it is.

i hate it.

i positively loathe it when it becomes heatwave city and we get those last few dying days of summer that appear when the nights are closing in and we should be enjoying the joys of autumn leading to the sharp bracing pleasure of winter.

guess who hasn't enjoyed the last few days of our indian summer heatwave.

oh that would be me.

it is true that part of the problem is that i am a fat bastard.

a fat bastard who sweats a lot.

so sweltering sizzling weather is my enemy.

i have felt faint. i have felt like a sausage in a microwave ready to pop as i overcook. i have felt drained and heavy limbed as the sun bleached out energy. every movement a conscious effort, lethargic, woozy and short tempered a new, even more, unlikeable version of me: short tempered misery guts.

let us not forget the watery eyes and sneezy nose as i spend a week or two as the victim of hay fever, the nights of not being able to sleep because i am unable to get comfortable in the stifling heat that turns a place into a cheap sauna, when i do sleep i wake to oppressive heat already half dead knowing that when i go out the heat will punch me in the face like a sledgehammer bouncing off an anvil.

days spent longing for a break in the weather. a downpour of rain to freshen and cool the air, when it does come it is over in a flash and before you know the street is as dry as a bone again. reading news rags and wishing that the horror weather stories of the daily mail and daily express just for once contained a modicum of truth (little chance – on anything they write to be honest). looking to the skies and hoping that a lone cloud is a precursor to a storm.

yes i fucking hate summer.

not even the joyous pleasure of pretty women in skimpy clothes can take away from the fact that it is summer. in fact it is a cruel game on behalf of the creator that at the time when ladies strut and preen their stuff i am at my least interested. come winter when covered in puffa jackets and woollen jackets i am ready – but nothing to see.

then just when you think that is it – all over autumn here we get blistering indian summer.

and i fucking hate indian summers even more than regular summers.

currently not a happy bunny.

bring on wind, bring on rain, bring on snow, bring on winds.

bring on winter.

Sunday, September 04, 2016


the decision had been made, leave work at a vaguely sensible time catch night buses and train to get back to where i am staying.

check the tfl site. enter options and see the results. enter different options get different results. repeat. choose best course of action.

chosen: night bus, night tube and night train. by jings a winning combination.

mmm if i lock up now i can catch the bus that takes me to where i want to go.

get to stop in time.

check with driver it is going to hyde park corner. it does.

approaching hyde park corner i ding the bell

i stand by the door, ding the bell again.

bus goes past hyde park corner.

i give the driver a snidey comment – but polite.

when i get off at the next stop i sarcastically thank him for nothing. i feel a little better for doing that. that's me big man in the hood.

hoof it back to hyde park corner – normally i wouldn't be too bothered but i am trying to catch a train, they (mostly) stick to timetables. notice that the park itself is open which is pretty impressive and deserves to be investigated but not right now, train to catch.

mm something not right. station is closed. that's fucking wrong. all night tube blah blah. bastardising bus driver and now tfl website giving wrong information. fuckity fuck. maybe they've closed one entrance just to control the flow of people. try other entrance. closed. cock.

check web for details.

shit the bed i got out at the wrong fucking bus stop. didn't need hyde park, needed green park. wanky wank.

try find bus stop i need. check destinations, no sign of green park. why not? look bus going to picadilly jump on that. blink of an eye at green park.

on tube.

at victoria

need the 5.23 train, platform 9. twenty minutes. time to get porridge from macd

onalds and coffee from cafe nero. done. walk platform. front of train. press door button. nothing. press button again. still nothing. something not right. walk down the platform. no longer the 5.23 just an empty train. onto forecourt check the main boards – now it is the 5.38 from platform 18, should just make it.

need the front carriage.

longest train in the fucking world.

get on.

porridge cold.

coffee cold.

on the move.


lessons learnt – write down relevant information, review relevant information, act on relevant information.

oh and don''t trust anything that southern say about their trains.