Saturday, 30 November 2019


Franklin D. Roosevelt is best remembered, well by me anyway, for rescuing America from the devastating, crippling, financial depression that followed the crash of the stock market in 1929.  His plan, his New Deal, was summed up by three 'Rs' -  Relief, Recovery and Reform.  He built new roads, new homes, new hospitals, he invested in science and education and he brought in social security.  He took America from the dustbowl days of mass unemployment and food queues, to a new golden age of growth and prosperity.  In a nutshell, he invested in the Nation and he invested in the people, he spent taxpayer money to improve the lives of everyone.  And it worked.  Not only did American citizens live well, the rest of us around the world, could see how well they lived on the Silver Screen.  We all aspired to be just like them.

What Roosevelt did in the USA, Jeremy Corbyn wants to do here in the UK.   We have had 9 years of Depression,  9 years of Tory inflicted Austerity.  All to pay back some imaginary debt that we all owe yet did not benefit from.  So has this debt been paid back? No it's tripled, so too the number of billionaires, ha ha millionaires, you are now the poor relations.  The tories, to be fair are still stinging from the fact that poor people, who don't do an honest day's work, breaking stones for the sake of it will do, receive any cash at all.  Even those lying prostrate on a hospital bed could use their free hand to paint portions of a wall.  Putting every benefit claimant on trial was a stroke of genius, I mean, who doesn't moan about their job, drink gin and complain about scroungers having large screen TVs?   At one time the TV networks churned out nothing but 'benefits' programmes.  And just for anyone's information.  I was one of the kids who had to queue up for 'free' dinner tickets. I'll just leave that there, because I know there will many other '60s' kids out there who know how that felt.

For 9 years we have all been indoctrinated to believe that we are still suffering the effects of the world bankers' greed that kicked off the last depression.  I don't even know when that was, because Depression is now the dominant ideology.  We can't get a GP appointment, we have to wait hours in A&E, our kids are in classes that are way too big, all our services and communities are decimated.  My heart goes out to those good and kind souls who keep all our emergency services going so smoothly, but more and more is being put on their good and kind natures, it's like the mistreatment of poor old Boxer in Animal Farm, who's remedy was 'I must work harder'.  They are too noble to withhold their treatment and services, we must fight for them.  

Great Britain is desperately in need of refurbishment - it looks tired, worn and run down.  If the UK were a house for a sale on a street with a house representing each of our European neighbours, the UK would be the one with an overgrown lawn, chipped window frames, and a plumbing and electrical system held together with gaffa tape and poor quality glue.  Johnson like his predecessor has no shame at foreign leaders seeing on English streets the tragic human consequences of his heartless, greedy, grasping policies that have for 9 years been targeting society's most vulnerable.  Gandhi said it better 'A Nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members'.  Right now, the UK is looking pretty shoddy.

How sad that we have become a nation so terrified of change that a kind, decent, non racist, non anti-Semitic, genuinely nice guy creates more fear than a proven liar/ self serving, racist, misogynist, bloated elitist, who has never hidden the fact that he prefers bankers and billionaires to ordinary people with whom he has absolutely zilch in common.  Boris Johnson, let's just call him Johnson, has been part of a government that continually cuts vital services that keep communities going.  Literally, lifelines to those who need them most.  Now, after all these years, weeks from an election, he promises to restore that which he took away.  

In Jeremy Corbyn I see hope for the future, hope especially for the up and coming new generations.  Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor, are not taking a leap in the dark.  They have done their homework, they have done their sums.  Economists will have recognised the Keynsian economics of Jeremy Corbyn's New Deal. His policies are not too dissimilar to Relief, Recovery and Reform. All over the country there are people, agencies and community projects that are in need of Relief.   So many people's lives have been devastated by the cruelty of the Tories cuts and the Tories manufactured spectacle of putting the most vulnerable on trial to justify their need for assistance.  How shameful that in a civilised country, in the 21st century, people are having to queue at foodbanks.  That the United Nations are calling Britain's sanctions policies inhumane.  Of course they are inhumane, they are resulting in actual deaths.  

Recovery.  We are evolving so quickly with technology etc, that the lives of future generations will be totally different to those of us over a certain age.  We went from school straight into jobs, secretary, hairdresser, builder, plumber.  Retail, a major employer.  Traditional jobs are disappearing fast.  Newspapers for example, the print industry is under major threat.  Nothing we can do, say the Conservatives, that's life, tighten our belts.  But they are Conservatives, they dislike change, they also dislike philanthropic ideas designed to make the lives of the plebs, easier/more comfortable.  Their philosophy is, make the blighters work for it!

The reality is, we have evolved, and are constantly evolving.  If we had the same spirit of adventure of the great Britains of the 1900s (I have the book), we would be investing in exploration, science and technology.  A more luxurious life for all, not just a few.  And, it is often the case, that being philanthropic, can also be profitable.  It is not necessary to screw or hold hostage to cash, those who need the products most.

We have more leisure time.  There are some among us who like to proclaim that their diaries are full and they don't have a free moment.  Actually, I would say the majority.  Maybe it's because we learn at a very young age never to volunteer our free time, you never know what kind of situation it will get you into.  Instead of celebrating this free time by dossing on the couch binge watching 'The Crown'  and eating Ferrero Rocher (I only buy them in months that end in 'er'), we feel we should justify those lost hours by proclaiming we got a good job done, as in 100 sit ups, repainted the bathroom, served a meal with 15 vegetables, scrubbed the doorstep.  Leisure time is an industry that has not yet been tapped, mostly because we still feel guilty about it.  But in saying that, I should specify, it could be just be me and my accursed catholic upbringing.

So we don't have many of the traditional working class jobs anymore.  A good thing because they were mostly boring repetitive and soul destroying.  This is where we need an imaginative government who can create the jobs for the future.  A government who will invest in education, science, technology, the Arts - what good is woodwork is 2019?  How about 'Green' issues, ways in which to save the planet?

Reform.  Everything needs updating.  From building facilities that keep up with the demands of the population, to fine tuning existing public services and ensuring they have enough staff to cope with the growing needs of every school, hospital and public service.  People are ready, willing and able to fill these desperately needed posts, it is shameful that the tories are unwilling to pay for them. 

The 'need' is there, and it is growing.  We are living longer, those of us who should have popped our clogs are still here.  The care industry must grow in order to keep up with the increase of those in need.  Employing more people by the way, doesn't lead to a drain on our resources.  It means more people have an income and spending power and are thus able to boost other industries, luxury goods for example.  That is the gift of the New Deal, it has a knock on effect.  If you spend on the youth of today (I'm hoping all kids will get free meals), you will reap the rewards in the future.  In the sense that they will be healthier, happier and fully enlightened. 

 And here is what should be deal breaker, especially for those of us who grew up in our allotted place in society.  Working class kids are indoctrinated to accept mediocrity, they are not taught to aspire to greatness, that is the domain of the public schools, like Eton.  They are educated to be leaders, regular kids are educated to accept their menial roles in life.  We may not have an overt class system, but it is still alive and well.  

The thing about Jeremy Corbyn's New Deal, is that we finally have a government ready, willing and able to make life better for everyone, even potential millionaires who have had few opportunities during all these years of austerity.  The England of Harold Wilson saw the rise of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, working class heroes and rebels.  John Lennon especially, who had the audacity to talk about Peace as if it were a good thing.  'Imagine' is the most subversive song ever written!

Jeremy Corbyn is a man of peace.  I am sure John Lennon would have heartily approved.  A Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn would take us onto the next 'huge leap' for mankind, the choice of the majority to make things better.  Young people get it, it's their future, they like the freedom to travel, the friendship and camaraderie of their European friends and neighbours.  Where Johnson is a blubbering heap of upper class noises when dealing with our friends and allies, Jeremy Corbyn is crystal clear and erudite, he offers the hand of friendship and reasonable statesman like talks.  Johnson is incapable of agreeing anything acceptable to the vast majority of British voters including Northern Ireland who he is about to ditch, with the European negotiators.  First hurdle, he can't be trusted.  And that should be reason enough not to vote for him.  

There is nothing confusing, duplicitous or unclear about Labour's intentions.  They are offering the country another chance to vote on leaving Europe now they are fully aware of what it entails.  And they are the only party to offer this.  The Conservatives, Johnson, if he will wins the General Election will take the UK out of the European Union of January 31st.  That's it.  The Defcon 1 situation where the military guard vital resources and the body bags come out.

Jeremy Corbyn wants, first and foremost, Defcon 1, No Deal, off the table, basically because it is insane.  He wants to take the referendum back to the people - the only logical thing to do where parliament have failed to reach an agreement.  People can and do change their minds, especially when new information comes to light.  Not only is JC offering hope for the future, he is also offering everyone another chance to vote on the most important issue of our lives, this time around with all the information in front of us.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

LEADERS' DEBATE, HANDY ANDY and Oh yeah, I'm fine (a pic)

For the concerned, and those wishing me misery and fear, as you can see above (today), I am fine.  Some might be relieved to know that I do a lot more joking about drinking than actual drinking, adding a 'hic' after an outrageous statement can soften the blow.

As for the Prince Andrew interview, I did indeed watch it and my first reaction was 'oh my gaw'd'.  It was indeed so much more than car crash TV - a plane crashing into a petrol tank kicking off a tsumani and an earthquake as one commentator put it.  I don't particularly like to watch a person squirm, nor do I like squirming on their behalf, but there was a small amount of satisifaction in seeing the most twattish of the Windsors hoisting himself up by his own petard.  His arrogance clearly knows no bounds, he went right ahead and said what he wanted to, in the firm belief that he (with his royal honourable blood) knew best.  I say that because I can't believe any lawyer would have told him the 'not being able to sweat story' was a good idea.  His pretend surprise at 'new revelations' was excrutiating to watch, we would laugh out loud  if it were a 6 year old, not so much with a 59 year old prince of the realm.

The Debate!

Was absolutely delighted that tory suck up Jo Swinson wasn't give the opportunity to waste everyone's time.  Borish Johnson.  A boarish oaf as usual goes for attack, attack, attack.  If he had any ground breaking ideas and policies, that's what he would have used his time for.  Note, that's what JC did.  After years of crippling the British Economy with draconian austerity policies that targeted public services and the poorest among us, Boris suddenly has a magic money tree and for the first time in 9 years he promises to invest Great Britain.  That this magic money tree has appeared just in time for the next election is pure coincidence.  Any suggestion that it was just sitting there as every public service went from crisis to crisis and people were starving and dying on the streets, is unfair to the privileged elite.  They always throw coins at the bundles in the doorways on their way to the Opera.  Ultimately, Boris Johnson had only one line, 'let's get Brexit done' (my life depends on it), anything else for him is fluff.

Jeremy Corbyn on the other hand.  JC is, I think, a prime example of why the tortoise beats the hare in the race.  He doesn't need signature ruffled blonde hair or the stature and blustering demeanour of an overstuffed tory landowner demanding his right to an extra pie.  JC is the embodiment of 'speak your truth, quietly and clearly'.  He is where he is through hard work and perseverance, he gets knocked down, he gets back up again, and he returns stronger every time.  He has devoted his life to public service, stood up against injustice, and stood side by side with the oppressed.  He has a beautiful vision for the UK, yes, A Brave New World, where, like the Labour controlled post war Britain, no-one will be left behind. Nine years of tory austerity has left Britain divided and neglected, many of our cities look like ghost towns with rows of boarded up shops and run down buildings.  We need not just a new broom, but a complete refurbishment.


Apologies to non Trump watchers, but I am completely enthralled by the antics of the buffoon in chief and the gripping testimonies of the impeachment witnesses.  Something I am struggling to get my head around is the way in which Trump announces everything, straight forward losses, such as governorships in towns where he held rallies and devastating impeachment evidence, into an out and out win for himself.  It really is straight out of '1984'.  Truth is lies, war is peace, love is hate.  You can kind of see why his form of leadership 'works', in that those sucked into it his madness, where bad is good etc, must become as mad as him in order to survive the bat shit crazy environment.  On a bigger scale, North Korea, where the population must cry, laugh and applaud to order.  

I think I have mentioned, once or twice, lol, that I have spent a lifetime trying to discover what evil is.  I began with, perhaps something happened in childhood? a dysfunctional home? An unhealthy belief, a form of defence, the questions are unending.  Is there a trigger?  Perhaps it is genetic, nature rather than nurture?  I still don't have a definitive answer, maybe there isn't one.  Trump is a compelling study on the whole 'evil' question, I don't think he has one single redeeming feature.  From a psychological perspective, my first question would be 'what the hell happened to him', but I think I already know the answer.  He is plagued by jealousy, and my guess is, it has been lifelong.  He was the fourth of five siblings, so was usurped as the youngest.  I imagine if he were grilled by Freud (Sigmund not Clement), he would eventually break down and accuse the youngest sibling of stealing his mommy.  

Friday, 8 November 2019


How the heck do you get across the message that Jeremy Corbyn is a genuine, decent, kind and compassionate man who has devoted his life to fighting injustice and inequality.  How on earth does the mainstream media convince those who need Jeremy Corbyn's compassionate policies the most, that wealthy old Etonians are their best bet for the future.  

The tories did not suffer under austerity, the working classes did.  And it began with a systematic negative, propaganda campaign against the disabled and the unemployed waged by the right wing press who can take a bow for all their 'benefits' programmes and the highlighting of the undeserving poor.  Oh and the tories.  The word 'scrounger' came back, claimants were assumed to be pulling a fast one, unless they could prove otherwise. 'Make them work for their benefits' cried the hang 'em and flog 'em brigade, we can get them do all the menial stuff we now have to pay £10 an hour for.  And we don't have to call them people anymore, they are now units.

They took away EMA, the £30 a week students got for attending classes, a lifeline for students from poor families, and an incentive for them to get an education.  They slashed SureStart, a vital service for young families offering friendship and advice, having been a lone single mum, I know how vital such a helpline can be.  

The Nasty Party slashed benefits and put every claimant on trial, building on the negative energy they created.  They made the poorest in our society pay for the financial crash they caused, and by they there, I mean the bankers.  Yet somehow, they convinced the majority, that our economy was being drained by benefit cheats and the unemployed.  They created a climate where it became acceptable, normal even, to send desperate families to food banks, rather than give them the cash they need to feed themselves.  Less than 0.5% of benefit claimants are actually cheating the system, and the amount lost is miniscule in comparison to tax that should be paid in the UK, but isn't.  And it is sad, but true, that it is easy to persuade the average taxpayer that they would have more in their take home pay, if a certain demographic had less.  It is not a very altruistic way of looking at your payslip, but we all do it.  We have a little moan, then accept it as the price we pay to live in a civilised society.  A society where our children are educated, our rubbish is collected, our fires are put out, our illnesses are treated.  We do not fear being bankrupted by medical bills.

If I were asked to sum up what socialism is, I would say it is about raising the standards for everyone.  Whilst I get that there are those who would like a two or three tier system, they should be able to use their hard earned cash to 'get to the top' - wouldn't life be less stressful if there were no difference between the top and the bottom? Just putting that out there.  

After years of 'austerity', more accurately punishing the poor and dismantling all the public services put in place by previous Labour governments, Boris Johnson et al are now pretending (some aren't) that they care about the NHS, the Police, and the Fire Brigade who they are currently trying to blame for Grenfell.  Don't forget the tenants of Grenfell were warning the tory Council that the cladding was a tinderbox, long before the tragedy occurred.  

The tories have lied to us again and again.  Just like their predecessors they have us fighting among ourselves instead of fighting them.  They now have the working classes and the middle classes exactly where they want them.  Those in work, and further up the class scale, are now hostage to their employers.  Zero hours contracts are the norm, zero protection of workers rights, means that those who live paycheque to paycheque (most people) have no job security or means to secure a loan or a mortgage.  It's an employers' market.  Do as you are told, or you can easily be replaced.  The UK is already violating human rights with benefit sanctions, once the European Courts are gone, employers can do exactly what they want.  

In decades and centuries to come, students will look back on these times and wonder at the mentality of the first generations to be blessed with enlightenment.  Access to all the information we could ever want or need.  History repeats itself, we have seen what happens when a population blames a designated group for all that is bad.  It becomes dictatorial and cruel and it never ends well.  We are now at the thesis stage of the dialectic, finally (after 9 fffing years), the antithesis is in clear sight.  Forgive me for comparing 9 years of tory austerity to the war years, but these tories have run Great Britain into the ground.  The antithesis is long overdue, a rebellion against the the heartless policies of the Eton front bench. Cameron, May and Johnson have zero shame that other world leaders see the number of homeless people sleeping on the streets of London.  Thatcher wanted to take us back to Victorian Times - her spawn have achieved it.

By contrast, Jeremy Corbyn wants to end homelessness, food banks and the degrading ATOS assessments.  He understand economics, he and John McDonnell, have spent a lifetime studying.  The New Deal worked for Roosevelt, and JC and JM have worked out in detail how it will work here.  They will do the opposite of the conservatives.  That is, they will plough money back into the economy by investing in infrastructure (we really need a lick of paint), public services, education, the sciences, the arts, all those industries that will boost the public's spending power which will in turn create new jobs.  Britain at the end of World War II needed a boost to revive the country's morale.  Winston Churchill, the hero of WWII, was still a tory, and the UK were crying out for change.

We are crying out for change now, just as much as we were at the end of the War.  Our country is dragging behind our more progressive European counterparts.  With tories at the helm, we are on the outside, Brexit or no Brexit, old imperialists who cannot accept the world has evolved.  Of course, JC and JM are not spring chickens, but they are woke and listening to the movers and shakers of the future.  They want to bring in the kind of major changes that their predecessors brought in in the 1940s, changes that made England swing like a penudulum doo, in the 1960s.  My generation grew up with dozens of jobs to choose from and homes that were affordable.  Something the present generation have never known, or will ever know under the tories. 

The world has changed.  The kinds of jobs available to me, are not available now.  That is, 9 to 5 in an office, shop or factory.  Instead of punishing people for not working in jobs that do not exist, a government should be creating jobs.  I don't mean out of thin air - but out of the growing need for more care/health workers, we have an aging population,  investment in education, science, technology and yes, leisure.  We really need to get past the mentality that breaking rocks or scrubbing your doorstep is more morally sound that bingewatching the Walking Dead.  We all have leisure time now, even the undeserving poor.   

Jeremy Corbyn has devoted his entire life to improving the lives of others.  He is not looking to enrich himself from leading the country, he has no businesses to prop up or gold toilets to upgrade.  His lifestyle and tastes are modest, cyclying, an allottment and homemade jam.  No playing tennis with the wives of Russian Oligarchs for £250,000.  No allocating of public funds to attractive female pole dancers.  He doesn't even fiddle his parliamentary expenses, unlike most of his colleagues, nor does he appear in Parliament coked up to the gills, yet still the British public think he is untrustworthy.

For those future generations, it is our duty to show that as the first enlightened population, we choose a government that is progressive and forward planning.  A government that will genuinely represent the majority and who will genuinely act in the majority's interests.  A government that will put climate change, poverty and homelessness at the top of the agenda. And a government that ensures every citizen, employed, unemployed or disabled is treated with dignity and respect.  It doesn't have to be this way.