Archive for May, 2014

some people believe what they are told everyone else believes.

May 27, 2014

There are many people, who are scared of not being liked.
They want to be anonymous. Rather than having an opinion, they’ll listen to what everyone else is saying and try to lay claim to whatever opinion is most popular.
They are like Margot Leadbetter out of “The Good Life”; bewildered by what has been said but joining in the laughter, unable to explain what is funny.
I think of such people as like sheep. They’ll stick with the flock no matter where it goes, even into the abattoir.
The sheep can be led by a Judas goat, or chivvied by a sheep dog.
Politician’s, their spin doctor’s and the Media use a simpler trick, with voter’s, : They announce, as if a  fact,  what people really, really want.
For example, the recent Euro elections were a vote against being in the E.U., so the Europhile’s are using the Media to deny this is what the vote means.

They are claiming that it doesn’t truly reflect what people want. “It’ll be different at the real election next year”, “they really want to be in Europe (making it synomynous with EU)”, ” they just want a few changes”.
They are relying on the sheep repeating these views, as if they were their own considered opinions.
If a sheep echoes such views to you, ask them to justify what they’re saying. Chances are they’ll fall back on “It’s obvious…”, “Everyone knows…”.

my take on the benefits of women’s lib

May 27, 2014

Women’s Lib grew out of the change of role of women during WWII but it didn’t gain wings until it was given political support, as a means of undermining the Union’s.
There were few women in the work force, after the men came back from war and the family unit returned to being based  on the man as the breadwinner.

The big political problem of the day, for the ruling classes,  was that the Unions were very strong and full of men, who weren’t prepared to kow tow to the bosses, anymore.
Some women had been continually agitating for female equality of pay and Germaine Greer became their voice, through her book “The female Eunuch”.
By giving women’s Lib backing, the Union’s could be undercut by equalising male pay down to that of women. A big benefit would be that women were, in general, more compliant and would be less prepared to go on strike (different priorities to men).

These were points being made in The Press, at the time.

Legislation requiring equal pay was brought in and women were encouraged to see themselves as having been given greater freedom.

Films showing women becoming active against male dominated Unions and asserting themselves were used to promote this view.

Women now have the right to work until they are as old as men, before they become entitled to a pension, which they have earned, instead of relying on their husbands contributions. Just as well, since most jobs have become part-time, or shared jobs, done by women, at minimum wage.

I’m all for equality for women but I think that they were sold a bill of good’s by Women’s Lib. and the Working Class, as a whole, were shafted.

politics is game of strategy for the rich

May 26, 2014

For a time I followed horse races, where the Makhtoum’s owned 3/7 of the field.

I bet, profitably, on the one with the best price.

In poker, you have people who have become millionaire’s.  They keep playing with the aim of making more money.

Politics is the best game in town, with money and power to be won. That’s why the very rich play it.

I’d like to see greater TV coverage of purely instrumentalist groups of my youth

May 26, 2014

I’ve just listened to Hank Marvin on BBC4 “top of the pops” play “she was beautiful”. For some reason, he was never accorded the recognition that he deserved.

The records that he and The Shadows produced were a big part of my youth.
They were an inspiration to the Beatles, I was told.
However; they were always discounted as merely the backing group to Cliff Richard.
This was probably a disservice .
If Cliff had died young like Freddie Mercury did, then Hank would perhaps have achieved the same prominence as Brian May but more deservedly so.
Life can be unfair.
It’d be nice if Shadows numbers received the same air time as vocals of that era.
BBc4 should do a homage to the shadows and other rock instrumentalists such as Duane Eddy, Johnny and the Hurricanes etc.

If UKIP are merely picking up the racist vote, why didn’t the BNP have any real success?

May 26, 2014

The danger of continually declaiming UKIP as racist is that it will attract racists to UKIP.
Undoubtedly, they have already attracted many racist voters.
Undoubtedly, many formerly voted BNP. Many will have voted Tory.
However, many are previously Labour voters and non-voters.

Keep labelling UKIP as racist and racism could become acceptable again. A third of voters have voted for UKIP.  They will not only get tired of denying being racist, they’ll despise all other opinion’s of their accuser’s.

UKIP’s main gains have not been in London, where racism might be a problem. the big gains have been in the regions, where there is high unemployment and greater resentment of a political elite centring itself on London.

UKIP has possibly gained support for the same reasons that led to the success of Plaid Cymru and the SNP.
They had a Nationalist core on which to base themselves but possibly that was incidental to the real driving force behind their drive for devolution.

just a ramble about cliché’d thinking

May 22, 2014

There’s nothing wrong with cliché’s. They are meme’s which persist, because they encapsulate an idea and aid communication.
The real problem is cliché’d thinking.
This is lazy, or shallow thinking used by the majority of the population, in all strata of life.
Predominantly used by Sun reader’s but also used by people educated to degree level in subjects, where they are assessed by the weight of their degree theses and the number of literary references (in a sense, these are book length cliché’s) cited.
An example is: “when someone begins a sentence with ‘apparently’ it means that what they are about to say is untrue”.
Here, the originator probably said “may be untrue” but the shallow thinker has changed it.
In reality, when you begin a sentence with “apparently”, you are warning the listener that the following statement  may be untrue and that you are not willing to take the blame for it being false.
Such statements can turn out, against expectation, to be true and verifiable.
My problem with this cliché’d thinking is that it is used to stifle comment and avoid an investigation of the truth.

Cliché’d thinking often gives rise to argument-ender’s, such as ” you can’t eat that, it’s out of date”.
The food may be unpalatable but it is usually edible and nutritious.
“If you express a negative view on immigration, you’re a racist”.
“Socialism is the politics of envy”
“Capitalism is the politics of greed”
“It’s for charity”

The worst aspect is that politician’s rely on the cliché’d thinking of the masses to perpetrate lies and black propaganda.
Privatisation of State-Owned (paid for through taxes) facilities has used this approach, since the 80’s, by attaching the word “inefficient” to all State run facilities (except Parliament itself) and the word “efficient” to all privately run organisations.
So British Rail and British Gas were inefficient, as was the Post Office and as the NHS, Schools and Police have become.
Meanwhile the Banks, G4S, Serco, the fuel companies are not only very profitable (based on tax-payer funding) they are super efficient (at extracting profit).
Right wing politician’s (and I include New Labour) ruthlessly exploit this cliche’d thinking, the way that Goebbel’s did with his images of sewer rats, when talking of Jews.

They’re just not as blatantly obvious.

Then there are those on the Left Wing. The problem with the Left of politics is that their leader’s don’t ascend to dominance by nepotism, or cash, but by sheer ebullience .
The best example of this was a right winger, Hitler, but he achieved dominance in unusual circumstances, which are unlikely to be seen by the likes of Nick Griffin, or any of our Left Wing people.

The problem is that ebullience and intellect rarely go together.
The intelligent tend to try and dodge the bullets. Leaders emerge from those, who have merely survived the bullets.
The Left is mainly led by the haranguer’s, the cliché’d thinker’s, who rely on slogans.
I despair of some of their band wagons.
I’m all for using alternative forms of energy and preparing against the day when fossil fuels run out but you can’t just shut down coal, oil and nuclear fuelled power stations and rely solely on alternatve energy sources. (not without suitable energy storage or a Global SuperGrid)
Here’s a cliché’d image: Good King Wenceslas looking out on a cold moon-lit night, when there’s not a whisper of wind, near his land-locked castle.

Recycling is good, within reason.
My wife  puts all types of plastic, some with labels, some with print, in the same bin as baked bean tins and my wine bottles.  Is that sorted? Is it worthwhile?
Sod it, I could go on for ages about plastics, print, labels etc. but at the simplest level I’d say get rid of junk mail and excess packaging, before taking all rubbish mixed together, mill it and sort it into ferrous and non-ferrous, silicates and organics.
Compost plastics with the organics. OK, it’ll take millennia for the INERT plastics to break down but so what. What do people think soil is?

Is Fracking really such a problem? “Frack off”  is perfect  for cliché’d thinkers.

Wigan area is the centre of a coalfield and is pockmarked with the remnants of that era. We have three mineshafts on my street (maybe more uncharted).  There’s a place on the A580 where the road still has landslips, as old shafts collapse.
All the old opencast mines have formed flashes and been redesignated as wetland areas of Special Scientific Interest.
What damage will Fracking do that’s worse than what we’ve got?

Lastly, I’ll whinge about interviewer’s. Being a good interviewer isn’t about being brusque, it isn’t about interrupting (even politely) the interviewee. It’s about eliciting an answer to a question, which the viewer’s want a full answer to. Too many interviewer’s have the cliché’d idea that their job is to get an emotional reaction, or to force their own answer’s on the interviewee. And their cliché’d producer’s think they’ve earned their wages, because they’ve conformed to their image of a tough interviewer.

@thegreenparty I hate Junk Mail, especially now it’s privatised @David_Cameron

May 22, 2014

The postman delivered a load of snail mail spam this morning. Junk from British Gas, Virgin media, Matalan and the Co-op.
A total equivalent to 8 sheets of highly glossed A4, which is not easily recyclable.
The last is my bone of contention.
I’ve immediately filed them in the appropriate wheelie bin (stuck in front of my house and not enhancing its main aspect).
So, A privatised State asset, paid for via my taxes, is now being used to enrich mainly Yanks, dumping junk mail on me, which I am then paying to get rid of; all the while being berated by sanctimonious bastards complaining that I’m destroying the environment.
I’m getting screwed and then being blamed for inviting it. Sound familiar?

38 degrees are joining in the campaign against the TTIP #NHS #Occupy

May 20, 2014

The email, which I received from the 38 degrees campaign outlines the details of what the TTIP is.

It doesn’t make it clear that it is mandatory for us, as members of the EU.

Ed Miliband must be aware of the consequences for the NHS as well as everything else.

Leading Labour party members must also realise the consequences.

Unite, the union, which supports Labour, must also be aware of this.

They all support membership of the EU and, by default,y the support this agreement and its effect on hopes of resurrecting the NHS.

It’s only the Far Right  and Far Left which oppose the EU at the ballot box.

UKIP would probably support the TTIP ! Whilst Labour Unity (founded by Bob Crow and Tony Benn) is unknown outside Left wing politics.

The coming election looks like a cattle drive, where we are the Texas longhorns (being driven to the Chicago railhead and the slaughter yards) with the political elite being the cowhands, looking forward to a big payday, with lots of a-hooping and a-hollering.

Email text:
Right now, officials in the US and EU are secretly negotiating a hugely influential and dangerous trade deal which would put the profits of big business ahead of our welfare, health and environment. [1]

It’s called the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”, or “TTIP” for short, but in reality it’s more like a Christmas-list for big business. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy, but leaked details suggest the deal will:

Allow companies to sue governments if they make decisions which negatively affect big business’ potential profits (like capping energy prices, or introducing plain packet cigarettes.) [2]

Stop future governments from rolling back privatisation of our public services, such as the NHS, energy companies, or the Post Office. [3]

Relax the rules which protect consumers, our environment, our welfare and health services, to much weaker US levels. [4]

38 Degrees members have a strong track record of standing up to big business and government. If we decide to, we have a chance to stop this agreement in its tracks – derailing the negotiations and making sure the things we care most about are protected.

Should we launch a campaign to stop the irreversible damage which the deal threatens? Please vote now:

YES – WE SHOULD
NO – WE SHOULDN’T

Increased trade would create some jobs, and could boost the UK economy – but critics have been scathing of the cost and size of these benefits. However, with the economy a key election issue for both David Cameron and Barack Obama, they’ve decided to stake their reputations on the deal. [5]

It’s not going to be an easy campaign to win – but it is possible. Especially as we’d be joining lots of people and campaigners across the world who’ve already sprung into action.

Should we join the fight? The 38 Degrees staff team sit down every Monday morning to plan out the week ahead and decide on how we use staff resources. The most important factor when making those decisions is what 38 Degrees members think.

Vote now to decide whether or not we should launch a big campaign. Yes or No?

YES – WE SHOULD
NO – WE SHOULDN’T

Was QI showing EU bias?

May 18, 2014

Is Stephen Fry pro-EU, or is it his QI elves?
I’ve just watched an episode where the panel was asked to play a fun version of call my bluff based on silly EU regulations that were, in some cases, reported in The Press.
Of course they were all laughable bluff’s
This is the Aunt Sally form of propaganda and must have pleased the likes of Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband immensely in this week of Euro elections.
These falsehoods about the EU had been foolishly believed by many, so “logically”, if anyone says anything bad about the EU, not only must that be untrue but —–they are fools and you will be too wise to believe it,—- even if it appears in The Press.
I must admit that I fell for the one about the straight banana’s but then I had the story about the EU sugar policy and the near collapse of the Jamaican economy to give it credence: This backed by years of butter mountains, milk lakes, fishing quota’s (which destroyed the UK fishing fleet), VAT fiddles etc.
Cynic that I am, I expect to see this episode of QI in the run-up to the next General Election

Why do I have to buy “The whole package”? especially package politics.

May 15, 2014

If I want to buy a Xmas Pudding, I am not forced to buy a Xmas hamper but when it comes to TV programs or politics that’s exactly what I’m faced with.

TV programs, first, because I’ve got a choice, of sorts .

I’ve always had to pay a TV licence to watch BBC1, so the Freeview package isn’t such an irritation. I can accept those other channels as freebies. The loud and prolonged adverts/promo’s/ station identifiers are a serious irritation but at least they don’t pick my pocket.

It’s Sky and Virgin, who really irk me.

Sky, I hate, because I remember the days when we had lots of free satellite TV, with channels such as Bravo, TNT, SiFi and Discovery.

Then Sky hijacked them and put them into packages. If I wanted to watch Discovery, I had to buy a package with  dozens of unrelated, mostly crap channels. With Sky it was “never mind the quality, count how many channels we offer”.

Same with Sky Sports, which I subscribed to. There was an occasional LFC match and regular Wigan RLFC games. Worth the money. I could ignore the endless turgid Golf, yachting and Cricket. Along came Sky Sports 1,2,3 etc. To ensure the same access you had to buy all these channels along with programmes on various bizarre activities, described as being Sports and numerous “celebrities” describing the thrills involved.

Still! I don’t have to watch them and I don’t have to pay for them and I can bin the incessant junk mail (may soon have to pay for that) and “f### off”  the incessant sales people.

With politics, it’s not so easy, because we have party (package) politics and I have to pay for these crapheads, by force of Law, through taxes.

I’m for free (quality) Education, free (quality) NHS, nationalised rail, water, fuel supplies and other essentials of everyday life. I’m for basic housing for all (if you want a large family pay extra for housing it).

I’m against political vanities such as the public funded “The Dome”, HS2, Chunnel etc.

I have no choice except to pick a package. The worse thing is that I effectively have to pick one item and choose a package that contains it. Worse it has to be a package, which has some slight chance of “winning”. This time arounf I’ll vote UKIP, even though it’s for privatisation, which I viscerally oppose.

At least I’m not a student, who voted for Lib Dems, because their package included free tuition (reminds me of Sky and their Sports packages and “Sky1 will always be free”).

I want to be able to pay for the TV channel, which I’m watching, not the 200+, which I’m not watching.

I want to vote on single political issues, not some pillock, who’ll use my vote for things I oppose.