Hurrah! Once again we’ll be able to buy beer in pints, to ride bikes with frames and wheels measured in inches, we can get bathroom scales with stones and pounds and glory of glories, stop all that complicated working out in units of ten. We can go back to 12 inches a foot, 3 feet per yard and 4 ounces a quarter with four quarters making a pound or 16 ounces because multiples of 4 are so much easier to work out than multiples of 10, aren’t they?
We can drive miles like never before and confidently insist that everyone else in the world adapt to our measures because, when it comes to trade, they need us more than we need them. Now, where have we heard that before?
But just in case Johnny foreigner finds our system of measurement a bit too complicated for his inferior, non-British little foreigner brain, I’ve devised an easy to use intermediate system to help them get their heads around it. It’s a system intended to bridge the gap between Imperial and metric measures. I call it the Breckshit system.
Measurement of distance begins with the Boris. That’s equivalent to 2.5 cm or one imperial inch. It’s the basic unit of measurement because, along with zero, it’s the same in every system. It’s imperative that Brits and foreigners understand the imperial and metric equivalents of the Boris so that they can work out what the rest of the measurements equal in the shops or on the harbour side as the convoys of foreign traders sail into our ports desperate to convert all their filthy, foreign measurements into proper, British Breckshit.
A spine is roughly equivalent to 30 Borises or two and a half feet. That’s the distance between Boris’ arse ‘ole and his privileged little neck. Not to be confused with the spineless. That equals minus two and a half feet and is modelled on Michael Gove’s chinless anatomy but as a negative. So 1 spine plus 1 spineless equals zero or on++1 supermarket shelf. That’s also the same in each system.
An imperial yard is equivalent to 36 Borises or 90 centimetres. In the new Breckshit system it’ll be known as a Nigel because, unlike the metre +, it doesn’t quite measure up to European standards. The remainder, 4 Borises or 10 centimetres will be known as a ‘Gobby little bastard’ in honour of Mr. Farage’s strategy of over-compensating for his obvious failings in the European parliament.
A Breckshit goolie will be the same as an Imperial foot or 30 centimetres. This is in honour of most right-thinking Brits to connect their own foot with the goolies of the nearest conservative MP. If your nearest tory MP is female the equivalent Breckshit term will be the Patel. Everyone wants to kick her in the Goolies. Or if you’re not sure what sex they are you can use the descriptor ‘Lower then vermin’ instead.
Actually, strike that last one. There are no trans people in the tory party. They are unable to survive in such a Gammon-rich atmosphere. Tory bigotry is far too stifling.
The traditional pound, made up of 16 ounces cannot be used as a standard measure, like the inch to bridge systems. That’s because, thanks to Brexit, the pound keeps shrinking. But the ounce holds good so we’ll use that.
In the Breckshit system 1 ounce is known as a lying, cheating son of a bitch. In the Breckshit system 4 ounces becomes a deceit, 8 ounces is a ‘rip off’ and a seemingly unlimited supply of lying, cheating sons of bitches is a ‘government bench’. 300 or more lying sons of bitches will be known as a tax haven or a Rees-Mogg.
Goods and services rejected by Europe will be known as a Farage after our Nige’s failed attempt to gain German citizenship after the referendum win. Good accepted into Europe will be known as a government recommendation to mark the advice given to British firms who wanted to avoid going under. Goods accepted into the Far East will be known as a Dyson for similar reasons.
Any reduction in quantity or quality will be known as a Truss under the Breckshit system in recognition of the fact that our Liz (heroically) managed to negotiate worse deals with foreign governments than those we used to have when we were members of the EU.
One year ago today the UK went into lockdown. Yes, it was late. No, it wasn’t strict enough and didn’t last long enough. Absolutely we should’ve closed borders more quickly and deliberately encouraging ‘one last bash’ before the pubs and bars went silent certainly helped boost the infection rate. But forget all that for now. The government may never truly learn those lessons anyway, even though most of us have.
On that day, March 23rd 2020, way fewer than 1% of our current total had died because of Covid-19. We locked down with less than 1,000 deaths because we knew what was coming. We’d seen the devastation in parts of Italy and Spain and the government didn’t want to see the same thing happen here… allegedly. Whatever your views on the Brexiteer government’s intent (and there are many) most of the people took the lockdown seriously and the infection rate began to fall.
Since then advice has changed periodically. Advisors have come and gone. Alternative science groups have formed and court cases have been launched to hear cases relating to tory party profiteering, dodgy govt. deals and betrayals of both key workers and the vulnerable among us. But for now let’s forget all that too. I want to talk to you about something just as serious but far more current. Covid 19 deniers, anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. On the whole they’re the same people and they’re bloody dangerous.
In writing this post I’ve had a bit of a dilemma in tone. You see I’m a great advocate of human rights – including the right of people to avoid putting anything in their bodies that they don’t agree to. This should lead me to support anti-vax rights and choices. And indeed, it does. I do support anyone’s right to make an informed decision to refuse to accept vaccination. I know several people who have perfectly viable and sound reasons for refusing the vaccine, even religious reasons. Personally I consider religion irrational too but still support peoples’ right to follow and abide by it.
And then there are others whose decision is not informed or rational. They refuse based upon nonsense conspiracy theories involving technically impossible microchips and one world conspiracies led by George Soros and Bill Gates. This is where my support for anti-vaxxers tends to fall down a bit. If someone is fooled into acting against their own best interests, should we still support that decision and their right to make it.
And still I think the answer is ‘Yes’ – but with a heavy heart. The issue of rights and autonomy is too serious, too precious to give up, even in the face of imminent tragedy, but respecting someone’s right to choose doesn’t mean I have to respect their choice or even the person themselves. Enough is enough.
So here’s my take on this whole conspiracy theory driven debate…
There is no global conspiracy to stick microchips capable of technologically impossible ‘sneakaboutery’ in your bloodstream.
Refusing the vaccine and encouraging others to refuse too makes it harder to achieve herd immunity. This undoubtedly will mean more deaths later.
Refusing to wear a mask is an attack on others. Your personal risk is unchanged by mask-wearing. It’s to contain your breath, especially your coughs and sneezes. Your refusal puts the lives of others at risk because you believe that Covid is a hoax. Well… I believe that you are a fool to believe that. I believe that you are a dangerous fool who risks the lives of others, including my 83 year old mother.
So, even though you have my support for your anti-vax decision, I continue to disagree with you.
You have my sympathies for having been duped by Covid conspiracy theories.
You have my contempt for risking the lives of vulnerable others.
You may never have my forgiveness if your intellectually lazy refusal to research actual facts leads to the death of any of my friends or relatives.
This may be of limited interest but it does have a political angle. There’s a 10 part video doing the rounds called ‘Fall of the Cabal‘. It’s a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream but it’s dangerous in so far as it’s gaining populist traction for reasons that, quite frankly are beyond me. Anyway – I’ve been discussing it online in a Facebook group and as a result I’ve debunked the first part. If you’re interested the PDF of my rebuttal is here.
We’ll be back just as soon as people see what they voted for. Once they realise that the Gov’t objection to the ‘level playing field’ and the European Court of Justice was that they protected our rights. Once we lose working peoples’ rights and Brits come to understand the impact of losing Erasmus and free-movement rights.
UNESCO, the ‘United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’ has observed November 29th as the International day of solidarity with the Palestinian people since 1978. There’s a good reason for that. This is the date when, in 1947 the partition plan (Resolution 181) was passed. The plan was to partition Palestine and in so doing create both a Jewish and a Palestinian state.
By 1979 it had become clear that Palestinian people have not been able to secure basic rights as a nation state ever since. Ongoing occupation and annexing of land by Israeli settlers has robbed many Palestinians of their homes and forced them to flee to makeshift and yet cruelly permanent camps.
Some remain there for decades. Some have lived their entire lives in the camps, robbed off their land by Israeli ‘settlers’, beaten and abused by the Israeli occupation forces and treated as though human rights just didn’t apply.
So today, on UNESCO’S International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People I, like many others will be watching to see what our British politicians have to say to mark the occasion. Both our main political parties claim to oppose oppression and the mistreatment of entire populations. How will they acknowledge this day of solidarity in the face of what has been described an ongoing land grab of monumental proportions in direct contravention of resolution 181? The land claimed by Israeli settlers, often with the aid of Israeli military forces goes far beyond the borders drawn up in the original partition. You can download the original document here.
Will our illustrious leaders comment upon the absolute disregard for the rights of those denied both sovereignty and statehood?
And if they, our elected representatives on the world stage do not, I think we must all ask ourselves one very important question…
I have a relative who genuinely believes that the current refugee crisis has nothing to do with people in Syria being bombed out of their homes. People being kidnapped by violent factions and forced to fight and die for causes they don’t support isn’t relevant at all.
He believes that all Muslims want to subjugate Western democracies and that not a single one of them can be trusted. He has no explanation for why the majority of people fighting against groups like ISIS are other Muslims. He’s blinkered, closed-minded and blood-thirsty. If you were to ask him he’d tell you quite calmly that he would very much like to man a machine gun post on top of the white cliffs of Dover to shoot refugees, men, women and children presumably, before they made it to the shore.
Not too surprisingly he also denies anthropogenic climate change and believes that covid is a hoax. He used to believe in the globe earth and the moon landings but who knows if he still does. I disowned him in 2016 for his hateful racism and haven’t had the inclination to communicate with him since. God knows what crackpot ideas he’s picked up since then. 5G anyone?
The point here is to acknowledge that people who support any crackpot conspiracy theory have a problem with critical thinking. They don’t understand how to evaluate ideas or proposals and generally speaking wouldn’t recognise (let alone be able to define) logical fallacies if they came up and bit them on the arse. These people aren’t stupid, they just never learned how to reason properly and that leaves them vulnerable to all sorts of stupid ideas.
This leaves you with two (and I think only two) options for dealing with them…
Teach them some critical thinking. The techniques of ‘street epistemology’, originally developed by Peter Boghosian to aid atheists coping with religious zealots, work in any situation where the problem lies not in stupidity but in lack of thinking skills… Provided you can get the person to agree to speak with you in the first place.
If that’s not possible then the next best approach in my opinion is to demonstrate to them precisely what they’re aiming to achieve. It’s no coincidence that the Convention was developed after WW2 by the very people who had just sat in judgement over Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. They knew the value of rights – because they had seen them lost.
So – let the discriminator have a taste of their own medicine. Show them in terms they’ll understand exactly what they propose for their fellow man.
They want to ostracise Muslims – ostracise them.
They want to insult and demonise Jews or Sikhs for their beliefs – do the same for them.
They refuse to patronise shops run by black or Asian people – refuse to patronise them.
They exclude East Europeans from their circle of friends – exclude them from yours.
In short, do to them what they would do to others so long as you remain within the law. Let natural justice take its toll as they stand, isolated and lonely on the outside while you and your Polish, Jewish, Black and Asian friends enjoy the life of friendship and acceptance that your racist former friend has denied himself.
You may think that this is a bit much, to ostracise former friends, acquaintances and relatives – even siblings – but it’s not. It’s entirely appropriate not only that we do this but that we let it be known that we have done so… not for some sad sort of ‘virtue-signalling’ as my relative claimed but because this is how we encourage other fair-minded people to do the same.
Friday October 16th will be ‘Wear red day’. By wearing red we get to show the world that we oppose racism. It’s not just an opportunity to show our support for the cause, it’s also a chance to explain exactly why it’s so important to those, such as the cowardly racist whose been promising to come on Left Eye View and debate me for over a year without actually doing so.
Come on Kev… let’s ‘ave yer! We can do it remotely over zoom or skype. You know how to get in touch. Just reply to one of my messages or fill in the contact form at http://www.lefteyeview.com – simple.
It’s a moment in which we can point out the stupidity of using physical characteristics like skin colour to assign value to human beings. As I noted in a recent blog post, we might just as well judge people based upon ear lobe shape or the wrinkliness or otherwise of their scrotums.
It’s an opportunity to explain that by denying people fair life chances we are being inherently unfair, aggressive and bigoted. It’s a day on which we can stand together in unity with out BAME brothers and sisters and let racists who lurk in the dark corners of our society, and those who don’t, that their disgusting attitudes have no place in civilised society.
And it’s also the day on which we can springboard our opposition to racism to the whole year. If you’ve never stood up for racial unity before then do it tomorrow and then, keep going. Use Wear Red Day to see how it feels to be on the right side of history and then keep going.
Some people ask me why I, as a white man care about racial harmony. Some even classify me as a race traitor, as if that could ever actually be a thing. The answer is very simple and straightforward.
I’m a human being. I’m a member of a social species and as such I have a vested interest in the overall health and happiness of my society. That includes the health and happiness of all members of my society. When part of the group is diminished, the whole is diminished. When we treat some people badly, we damage everyone. So, quite apart from the stupidity of racism, the inherent unfairness of racism and the downright wickedness of racism – it’s also a clear own goal for everyone. And it’s just plain wrong, based upon inaccurate assumptions and the limited science of centuries ago when smug Europeans still believed in Plato’s forms and the medieval hierarchy of human creation with white men at the top and black women at the bottom.
Racism isn’t just outdated nonsense, it’s also a clear sign of bigoted fuckwittery.
So wear red and show racism the red card, not just on Friday but always.
If, like me you’re fed up of listening to the nonsense spouted by racists, neoNazis and other assorted fash then this is for you. I started the project on Sunday October 4th 2020, the 84th anniversary of the Battle of Cable St. It’s my little acknowledgement of the day Mosley and his Blackshirts were beaten back by decent Brits.
I’ve taken some of the more common (and most ridiculous) ‘arguments’ used by far right numpties and turned them into a bingo card. But this is a card with a difference.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be taking each square on the card in turn and providing easy (and generally fairly obvious) counter-arguments that you can use to stop them in their tracks.
Once it’s finished the whole series will be made into a PDF and left in the resources section here at www.lefteyeview.com as a free download.
I wrote this years ago, long before brexit was a thing because even then right wing politicians from the tories and UKIP to Britain First and the BNP were talking about leaving the European Convention on Human Rights. It was pretty clear then that few people understood what the Convention was about so I put this PDF together to explain its importance.As the Brexiteer government is ramping up its opposition to our rights I think it’s worth putting this out again. Please browse through its pages and ask yourselves… which of these rights would you like to lose?
Here we’ll compare the actions of the majority Conservative government with their Conservative 2019 Manifesto pledges. With such a large majority there really shouldn’t be anything to stop them implementing all their promises.
Go on then. We’ll be watching. We want to see you do the good stuff too.
13/12/19 Already, within 24 hours of their election victory, the tory party is talking about needing private insurance for care services. These are services we’ve already paid insurance for via national insurance. It’s part of the ‘social contract’, the agreement between government and the people of Britain that provided for nationalised care from public subscription ‘from the cradle to the grave’. We, the people have upheld our part of the bargain. We continue to pay those taxes and national insurance contributions but this disgraceful government has chosen to give that money away to party donors instead of honouring the contract as it should.
16/12/19 In their manifesto the Conservatives pledged to begin healing our diverse nation with inclusive policies. They’ve begun this healing by literally criminalising identity. Roma people will have no legal way to exist in UK once Boris’ new legislation passes. I seem to recall a certain Mr. Hitler did exactly the same to the Roma in another place and another time. Be afraid… be very afraid!
20/12/2019: The tory manifesto promised to increase the living wage and set the minimum at £10:50 by 2024. Now they’re saying that’s aspirational and might not happen. Never trust a tory!
20/12/19 Removing workers’ rights from the already agreed EU withdrawal bill has been jeapordised precisely because the rights of workers and of EU citizens have gone. This risks not getting Brexit done but it will make it easier for the tories to screw working people afterwards if it’s agreed. Worth a try eh, Boris?
7/1/2020: Despite reassurances that European citizens living in the UK will be treated fairly the conservative government used its majority to refuse to honour that guarantee. They also ensured that any such citizens will be denied the right of appeal. This from the BBC website…
9/1/2020: Forget the pre manifesto promises. They just voted to allow themselves open season on Workers’ rights. At present they say it’s so they can recreate working peoples’ rights in other legislation but that’s both pointless and stupid. Why remove limits to reducing rights protection if you plan to maintain high standards anyway? It makes no sense.
14/01/2020: So Boris lied about his ‘clear plan‘ for the NHS and Social care, eh? Of course he did!
16/01/2020: On Thursday 16th January 2020 every single tory vote went on refusing to increase funding to the NHS. This despite the fact that during the debate before the vote many of these same MPs had made clear their view that the NHS was not funded sufficiently. Nobody on either side of the House could have been in any doubt that such a vote would simply make a bad situation significantly worse. And yet they did it anyway.
20/01/2020:Over 300 tories voted to remove their own right to vote in parliament. They have given up not only their own voices but also the voices of each and every one of their constituents. This is not representative democracy. This is not ‘Taking back control’. They’re turning our democracy into a Boris Johnson dictatorship. You really couldn’t make it up!
20/02/2020: We’ve already noted some of Boris Johnson’s broken promises. We’ve seen his administration’s cruel and gratuitously malicious actions during its first few weeks in Parliament. Here’s a round up of some of the other travesties which can be laid at the door of this despicable excuse for a government. It follows the voting record of my own MP, Mark Jenkinson but since, Like Boris Johnson himself, he’s too spineless to go against even the cruellest demands of Mr. Cummings, it’s a 100% match.
21/02/2020: The tories keep on crowing about how Britain is fully employed and yet Priti Patel also claims that there are fully 8,500,000 (yes you read that right – eight and a half million) unemployed or under-employed workers who can fill the post-Brexit gap. They can’t have it both ways.
27/4/2020: I have Emailed My MP to ask his opinion about SAGE, scientific integrity and political influence. This is in response to the news that political advisor, spin doctor and eugenicist, Dominic Cummings sits on the scientific panel advising the government about its response to Covid-19.
7/7/2020: The tories ‘kept’ their manifesto promise to help victims of domestic violence by voting against entitlement to benefits and accommodation for people fleeing abusive home lives. They also voted not to require local authorities to provide specialist support for victims and their children.
18/7/2020: Once again the government is flouting international law by refusing to acknowledge the citizenship of Shamima Begum, a British Muslim who fled the UK to join ISIS. A government tasked with making legislation really shouldn’t treat law so flippantly.
27/7/2020: Having promised in their electoral campaign to be determined to protect our National Health Service the tories have voted en masse to leave it undefended post-Brexit in the face of American and other private health speculators. So much for being the party of the NHS.
3/8/2020: Of course, the conservative abandonment of the NHS is no great surprise. They’ve opposed it ever since it was created by the Labour government of Clement Attlee from 1946-1948. Here’s a run down of tory attitudes to the service and what lies in store for us all.
9/8/2020: Personally I would never have believed that we’d see the infrastructure of fascism installed so quickly and easily in UK. And that’s not hyperbole – it really is the sort of system that was set up by fascists in the mid 20th century. Whether or not Boris is a fascist is a different question, but the legislative system he’s creating certainly lends itself to just that sort of dictatorship.
11/8/2020: Did you know that the government is spying on you? I don’t mean speed cameras and CCTV I ntown centres. They’re actually monitoring your emails and social media. Yes, really. It’s all been set up by a mate of Dominic Cummings. And we’ve paid his company £400,000 to do it.