This Christmas send the gift of understanding to your nearest and dearest by exposing the vilest of our political establishment. This Christmas card, created by Cold War Steve, casts the likes of Farage, Rees-Mogg and my own MP, Mark Jenkinson in their true, narrow-minded and mean-spirited colours. Even better, 100% of the profits from sale of the cards goes to the charity ‘Refugee action’ whose work supports those desperate individuals who so many of our politicians would abandon despite our international commitments and legal obligations.
I’ll be off to pop one in the post to my local constituency tory club shortly. I’m sure many of them will enjoy the joke just as much as the rest of us will.
After the end of World War 1, as countries across the globe took stock of the calamity that had befallen them, nation after nation made a commitment to honour the dream that so many serving soldiers, sailors and airmen had given their lives for. As the reasons for the conflict became clearer to ordinary people the phrase ‘Lest we forget’ came to signify not only the millions of lives cut short but also the motivations and political ambitions of those who brought them to war in the first place.
To forget the hateful, profiteering, nationalistic tactics of war mongering politicians and investors is to risk repeating the same mistakes again.
Click the link below and on screen to set your alert on YouTube.
I said earlier on my channel that being wrong feels exactly like being right. It’s only when we take the trouble to learn, to see past our assumptions that we begin to feel the awkward psychological sensation associated with awareness of our own ignorance. And that’s good. Awareness of our own inaccuracy is the first step – often the only step needed to become accurate again.
That’s why it’s so toxic for any of us to bury our heads in the sand. Especially when the ostrich in question is a sitting MP with a penchant for attention-seeking and far-right dog-whistling. A populist MP who still believes that, having fooled his constituents once, he can continue to get away with voting so often against their interests simply by targeting a minority to whip up a bit of hatred against.
Someone like Mark Jenkinson MP, for example…
Mr Jenkinson stated recently: “Trans men aren’t men, and trans women aren’t women, sex is something we cannot change, that is the scientific view, and there is no need to educate myself on any view. It’s not just the view of me and my constituents. All I’ve ever said or done is point out the difference between gender and sex.”
Well… let’s take a brief look at the scientific view, shall we?
The magazine, ‘Nature’ is one of the most respected journals in the scientific literature. Its peer-reviewed articles are a world away from the populist dog-whistles cobbled together by biased hacks in the Daily Mail. ‘Nature’ is a scientific journal with content written by specialist science journalists and peer-reviewed for quality by practicing scientists knowledgeable in their respective fields.
T’Sjoen is an endocrinologist at the very top of his profession. He spoke with ‘Nature’ in April 2019 and made some very interesting points. Points that Mark Jenkinson MP might do well to heed before he goes shouting his mouth off about other peoples’ right to be themselves.
“Saying you’re not informed about this topic is not really valid any more,” he says. “It’s just that you’re lazy.”
The European Network for the Investigation of Gender Incongruence (ENIGI) is the largest study of transgender people in the world. In April 2019 it had a research base of 2,600 transgender individuals who provide regular ‘snapshots’ of both their psychological and their biological states. The study takes account of subjective experiences as well as more objective measurements such as hormonal balance, biological wellness, general health, task-orientated brain activity and general physical and physiological well-being. Many of these metrics have very real correlations with more normative gender-based characteristics and the results are fascinating. I won’t quote the extensive article here but I’d strongly encourage anyone who thinks they understand this topic to follow the links.
One thing Mark and I do have in common is that neither of us really ‘get it’. I don’t pretend for a moment to understand what it means to be uncomfortable with your birth-assigned gender. I’m a man, I’ve always been male, I identify as a male and I feel absolutely comfortable in that regard. I have very real difficulty in understanding how others can find that problematic. I have little doubt that Mark Jenkinson MP can say the same. But here’s where we differ…
Jenkinson, perhaps deliberately, confuses gender with biological sex whilst, ironically enough pretending to rely upon that very difference to inform his spurious, bigoted arguments. I understand that gender is a socially defined construct which is different from biology. And that social definition has always been open to change.
It used to be that women weren’t allowed to vote, they were barred from certain jobs. My own mother really wanted to be a barrister but gender-based prejudices in the mid twentieth century sent her down a different path, first as a housewife and mother and then on to a very successful career as a primary school teacher (traditionally a career acceptable for women). Today nobody would sneer at her ambition to approach the bar because the socially constructed gender rules have changed as society moves on.
Whatever your individual views on gender might be here’s the bottom line for me…
People have a right to be who they are… to live their lives free from bigotry and hostility… to know that they are part of their society and that they have a place. They don’t need everyone to understand their experience. I was very clear with the people I spoke to at Saturday’s little demo that I don’t ‘get it’ but that I support each person’s right to be themselves. Not a single trans person I met objected to that stance of mine.
If, like my bigoted, dog-whistling MP, you have a problem with trans people then I suggest you ask yourself just what it is about you that makes you take such an unhealthy interest in other peoples’ gender preferences. And remember…
Allowing yourself to feel uncomfortable about your prejudices is the first and most crucial step toward adopting a healthier, happier and far more reasonable and compassionate perspective for the future.
Don’t allow Mark Jenkinson MP to hijack your humanity just so he can con you into hating ‘them’ and voting for ‘him’. The politics of ‘us and them’ should have no place in a civilised democracy. Nor should bigoted, hate-mongering MPs like Mark Jenkinson! He has a right to his opinion but when he uses his position as MP to foster hatred and prejudice he really oughtn’t to represent the decent people of Workington for a moment longer than the law allows.
If you’re still unconvinced of Boris Johnson’s gradual Nazification of Britain then this final part of the film provides evidence not only of the parallels with Hitler but the way that the Johnson government continues to attack our rights and freedoms. Johnson is a dictator in the making and the nature of that dictatorship is far from benign.
But there is hope. Watch to the end to hear what we can do to change this terrifying trajectory. The Tory party knows nothing of loyalty to leaders once they are seen by the public for what they really are. We can use the Tory party’s own inherent callousness to overthrow this regime before it’s too late.
The government that follows will still be tory but at least it won’t be Nazi. That might not be a perfect solution but it beats what the current government has in store for us.
I remember hearing Mark Jenkinson, back when he was just a candidate for election talking about MP sleaze and the gravy train of MP expenses. He was rightly outraged (or so it seemed) at the way that some of our nation’s elected parliamentarians were treating the public purse as though it was their personal magic money tree. If elected, Jenky assured us, he would never treat the taxpayer funded expenses pot like that.
Well… let’s see how sincere he was, shall we?
In his first year as an MP he ranked 20th out of 650 MPs which means he claimed more than fully 630 of his peers. That’s quite high, weighing in at a whopping £61,197.82. The justification for this massive claim on the public purse was that he was a new MP, setting up a new office and he lives a long way from London. I have some sympathy with that. Setting up a new office is expensive – but lots of the new ‘red wall’ tories have had to do that and many of them live just as far from Westminster as Jenky does. And that’s before we consider the Scottish MPs, many of them are newly elected too and they all live further from Westminster so that doesn’t really wash.
But let’s not labour too much on the past. We’re another year on and surely, without a new office to set up Jenky’s expenses will be lower. Won’t they?
Newly released figures show that far from dropping down the rankings of high expense claimants, Mr. Jenkinson has risen from number 20 to number 6. His most recent figure is £35,164.16 in this financial year. And we’re only 4 months in. There’s less travel because of Covid and presumably no new office set up costs to include there so it’s interesting to note that over £17,000 has gone on office expenses.
And this is the guy who voted against feeding hungry kids last Christmas!
Follow the link in the description below if you’re interested in the not very specific details. It’s interesting reading, more by its lack of detail than by its clarity but hey ho – that’s MP expenses for you.
OK. It’s official. My MP thinks we’re stupid. He thinks we don’t realise how transparent, how utterly ridiculous the Sunderland Nissan deal is. He thinks we’ll all accept it as a benefit of Brexit when in reality the exact opposite is true. This Nissan deal is a shining example of the huge damage that Brexit has done not just to the people of Sunderland, not only to the British automotive industry but to the British economy as a whole.
Let’s look at the facts…
Nissan has announced a £1bn investment in the North East to build electric cars and the batteries they need to work. This has resulted in the creation of around 900 new jobs. How cool is that?
Well… not very cool at all to be fair. Sunderland has already lost around 1500 jobs in the short time since Brexit leaving a shortfall of 600 jobs. The country as a whole has seen the loss of around 10,000 jobs in the automotive industry since we actually left in 2020.
Still, at least Nissan is investing in UK, right?
As it happens Nissan never confirmed that it would leave anyway. It just said that it would remain here if other big car manufacturers didn’t because then it could have a bigger slice of the domestic market. With other manufacturers casting all those jobs the market is wide open for Nissan and so they’re staying, just as they always planned to. So that’s hardly a Brexit benefit – a foreign firm chooses to stay so it can pick over the bones of a shrinking market.
But would we have had this plant without Brexit? Well – maybe not. You see Elon Musk had planned to build a much bigger version of the same thing in UK with a much larger workforce until concerns about Brexit drove them away to Germany. Their Berlin plant is expected to operate at around 6 times the capacity of our, smaller Sunderland operation. And the Elon Musk plant wouldn’t have cost us a penny – it would have been true investment backed by the EU.
The Nissan plant comes with a government bribe. £100 million pounds of taxpayer money has sweetened the deal even though Nissan has already said it would remain in UK if others left – which they have. Not only that, Sunderland council has had to stump up another 80 million. That’s a total of 180 million pounds paid to a foreign company whose profits are taken out of the country. That’s hardly a Brexit benefit either.
But Mark Jenkinson MP (and presumably everyone who still thinks Brexit was a good idea) would have us believe it’s all good.
The people of Sunderland, along with the government have been forced to pay 300,000 pounds per head for their 600 unemployed car workers to lose their jobs and not a penny of that will go back into unemployment benefits or retraining schemes. That money has been lost to the UK because of Brexit – so have all those jobs.
So why did we agree to this awful deal?
The answer to that is obvious.
This is the government’s way of pretending that Brexit wasn’t actually a disaster.
I released a longer video some time ago in which I talked about international trade talks, the NHS and in particular US trade talks and the practice of negative listing. That’s the idea that unless something is specifically listed as ‘off the table’ in trade negotiations it most definitely is to be considered ‘on the table’.
This week our conservative majority government, including my own MP, Mark Jenkinson voted not to protect the NHS in this way. They could have made it illegal to sell the health service in whole or in part to foreign concerns out to make a fast profit from our taxes but they didn’t. They actively chose to keep our national health service vulnerable to predatory private health providers.
Ah, you might reply, but at least it’s a British decision from the British parliament made via British sovereignty. But you’d be wrong.
You see, they also voted to extend their own impotence. Tory MPs, including my own, voted once again to ensure that the government doesn’t need the approval of parliament to make far-reaching changes to our constitution, to our system of government, to our democracy and to the institutions of state.
If your MP is not a cabinet minister then you have no representation in parliament because the tory MPs used their majority to give it all away.
It’s very strange that the larger Brexit looms in our lives the more Brexiteers want to distance themselves from it. It’s almost as though they know it’s going to be a disaster and they don’t want to be blamed for the damage Brexit continues to do to our economy, our access to goods and our standing in the world at large.
Four years ago it was all hunky dory.
That was when the Brexiteers were still calling our warnings ‘Fake news’ or ‘project fear’, despite knowing all about Dominic Cummings dirty tricks and Boris’ lies on the side of the bus.
Even last year they still kept up the pretence…
Remember how we held all the cards and the EU would give us a better deal even than its own members were getting?
And now they’re even lying about anyone saying there’s an oven ready deal in the first place.
It’s fascinating how these giants of intellectualism, these Eton and Dulwich college educated men of the people, these wealthy gents with their even more wealthy backers who want nothing more than to help out the working man have forgotten almost everything they once said about Canada deals, Norway deals, Sweden deals and even Australian deals (that last one is really just no deal, by the way).
Even my own MP, former UKIP candidate and now tory MP, Mark Jenkinson seems desperate to move away from his hardline, no deal past.
Despite joining the ERG, the tory backbench extreme Brexit pressure group just 5 days after being elected he now claims that he has never been a member. The chairman of the ERG, Steve Baker actually lists Jenky in the roll of new members in the press. Jenky’s own twitter feed displayed a picture of his at the ERG meeting on 17th December 2019. A picture that appeared in the press shortly after.
Well… seeing is believing, Jenky.
So why Are you trying to distance yourself from the hardline, no deal Brexit you always wished for? Is it because you’re finally beginning to understand the dire consequences that we Remainers have been warning you about for years? Is it because you finally realise the damage you’ve already done to our economy and to the electorate in one of the country’s hardest hit areas by voting for this awful nonsense?
Are you that desperate to make someone else take the blame that you’re walking away from your success so quickly now that you’re getting what you wanted?
And remember, Jenky… and all the rest of you sleazy tories who voted to impoverish your fellows just so you could make a quick profit. This really is what you’ve worked so hard for and we will not forget it.
It seems ridiculous to me for anyone on then right wing of politics to claim to represent the working class. The right has always been about exploitation, about keeping us, the riff raff in our place and about squeezing every last drop of profit from us that they can get away with. That’s why the working class has always opposed the right – because it’s the right that uses our hard work to enrich others. This was obvious once but over the years the inequalities of life have become so normalised, so expected that many people think they’re inevitable. But they’re not.
Why should it be inevitable, for example that business owners can earn hundreds of thousands a year whilst their employees survive on subsistence wages?
Why should it be inevitable that these same business owners pay so little tax whilst their employees cannot access the public services they need because the country hasn’t the funds to provide for them?
Why is it that the people who do the hard work, put in the long hours for minimum wage, aren’t the ones who see the rewards from their labours?
These are the questions that the left want addressed and that’s why socialist parties insist upon better wages for working people. Thast’s why we demand proper taxation strategies to ensure that those at the top of the income ladder pay something toward helping those at the bottom. After all – they’re not the only people who invest in businesses.
As the late, great, Tony Benn once remarked…
“Your people invest their money… My people invest their lives.”
When the right wingers oppose the left they’re not doing so on behalf of the working class – they’re undermining us.
When the right wing oppose brown people or Muslims, Poles or LBQT citizens they’re not supporting the working class – they’re dividing it. This is the strategy of the cynical ‘man’ at the top of the tree. He knows that a united working class could easily force him to accept a fairer system so he works hard to keep us at each-others’ throats. And the stupid little neoNazi with his EDL tattoo or his Britain First mug spreading hatred between working people of different races or creeds is part of that machinery of oppression.
The real enemy of the working class is the wealthy tax avoider with his offshore account who leeches funds earned by our labour out of the only economy that could help improve our situations.
When you give tax relief to working people they spend it – that money goes back into the economy and other businesses prosper, local traders and local employees start to feel more confident and their money circulates. Everyone gets wealthier. When you give it to the rich banker he just puts it with the rest of his unnecessary pile in the Cayman Islands and forgets about it.
The far right claim to represent the working class whilst supporting right-wing policies and policy-makers such as our present government whose ministers gorge themselves whilst ordinary people are forced into destitution. Our conservative ‘masters’ vote to reduce benefits payments for the most needy and yet give themselves a ten grand bonus just for staying at home. When you support these nest-featherers you do not represent the working class.
The right wing has normalised its abuses so much that many of our own people think it’s inevitable that working peoples’ children should go hungry over Christmas and that a 10% tax cut for millionaires is just how it ought to be. Even the most obviously weak excuses don’t demonstrate just how badly they’re being played by a cynical financial elite.
And they call us ‘cucks’!
These people don’t represent the working class – they undermine it by falling for the divide and conquer politics of those who purport to be our ‘betters’. And in doing so they maintain the very system that treated them so unfairly and made them so very angry in the first place.
They’re on the wrong side and they don’t even know it!
What happens when your MP doesn’t know how to think?
How does a man who never had an original idea finds his way into parliament?
When MPs don’t understand politics or the issues of the day how can they maintain the illusion of competence?
That’s easy – they just toe the party line and pretend to be in control of the facts (not to mention their faculties). Vacuous back-benchers have followed this simple strategy for years, often quite successfully but only when their leaders aren’t just as clueless themselves.
That’s the unfortunate reality facing Mark Jenkinson MP. When Boris flip-flops and Jenky supports every pronouncement both before and after the U-turn he only highlights the incompetence of both himself and his boss.
Perhaps that’s why he’s more likely to insult and block interlocutors than engage with them. Perhaps he doesn’t know what to say. Perhaps he really is that stupid.