The lovely people

Nice people made the best Nazis

Naomi Shulman

Naomi Shulman once wrote, “Nice people made the best Nazis.”  She was writing about the people who weren’t really into politics. These were the people who still exist today. The people who take pride in their stubborn refusal to take any interest in the world beyond their workplaces, their families and their favourite sports or streaming box-sets on Netflix. As Shulman put it…

“they were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbours were dragged away.”

These are my neighbours. They’re the people who close down any serious discussion of the state of our nation with tired old tropes about not talking about religion or politics. Yes they’ll acknowledge, even laugh about scandals like partygate but take no interest in serious attacks on our democracy like Patel’s Police, crime and sentencing bill or Johnson and Rees-Mogg’s attacks on the legal system.

My polite, unassuming, docile, deliberately ignorant neighbours would have been fantastic Nazis. My modern neighbours think that because they can’t see the jackboots kicking in doors in their pleasant, middle or even working class neighbourhoods it’s not happening and never will happen.

They ignore the evidence of racism in our land.

They pour scorn on those who try to highlight the issues by having the audacity to do terrible things like taking a knee before football matches – the bastards!

They make excuses for the government that deliberately put our most vulnerable citizens, those the Nazis described as ‘useless eaters’ in harms way with covid, leading to the highest death rate in all of Europe and the 7th highest in the entire world.

They conveniently ignore the massive corruption that saw billions of pounds of their money squandered on spurious covid contracts for government ministers, for the tories’ friends and for tory party donors.

These are the lovely people who don’t rock the boat, who never stop to think about where our nation is heading, about the implications of abusive policies toward immigrants and refugees, about the motivations of those who tell them blatant lies about the economy and whose pre-election promises remain unfulfilled and even, in many cases actively undermined by this very same government.

These lovely people never bother to look behind the headlines and media pronouncements, never noticing that yesterday’s lies are simply forgotten by the media today once they’ve served their purpose. They don’t notice that Rishi Sunak’s best policies are the same ones the press, and the tories themselves described as naïve, unworkable, even Marxist when first suggested by those the press didn’t support. Remember what the papers did to Jeremy Corbyn.

They confidently repeat the lie of Corbyn’s anti-semitism whilst ignoring the reality that the United Nations agree with him on the issue of Israel’s apartheid regime in Palestine and even published a special report saying so as far back as 2017. Funnily enough very few British newspapers mentioned that report at all.

These lovely people are leading the charge of ignorance as we sleepwalk into neoNazism. Their lives are so full of petty parochial concerns and cheap reality shows that they have no time left to notice what’s going on all around them.

They don’t notice the crippling poverty of their neighbours because they’re alright.

They forget the principles of fairness, of human rights and equality they once held dear and they even support the government policy of further impoverishing the most vulnerable whilst giving vast tax breaks to the already wealthy.

These lovely people who never rock the boat have already found a way to justify to themselves the appalling treatment of those who for one reason or another are not like them. They assume unemployed people are just lazy, that disabled people are all skivers and that Muslims are universally hostile to the British way of life.

They ignore the fact that black Brits are over-represented in our prison system, not because they have committed more crime but because their sentences tend to be harsher then their white counterparts. They disregard the racial profiling that means black people in UK are many times more likely to suffer the indignity of public stop and search because they, like me, another white person have never been stopped and searched themselves.

And yet they’ll gleefully repeat the rhetoric of hatred and division that so threatens our democracy. They’ll dismiss everything that the newspapers tell them to and support whatever the papers demand, even though those same newspapers change their minds on a disturbingly regular basis. These lovely people never stop to wonder what motivated the change of heart from their favourite columnist or even to notice that it has happened.

And when they finally do notice the destruction of their rights, along with the rights of those other people they naively thought were the real targets, they’ll genuinely be surprised and wish that there had been some way of knowing what was going on. They’ll bemoan the ‘fact’ that there was nothing they could have done to prevent it and, just as now, they’ll studiously avoid any risk of awareness of their own responsibility, their own dereliction of their civic duty when they could have prevented it.

The following words come from an anonymous German resident who had just been taken by allied troops to view the carnage at his local concentration camp…

“Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done, (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing).

You remember the occasions in which maybe if you had stood others would have stood too. You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.”

They Thought They Were Free (1955)

The Germans 1938-45

University of Chicago Press

These lovely people, the ones who think they’re simply enjoying a quiet life without getting involved in politics will be just as guilty as the likes of Patel and Farage who have brought about these abuses both politically and socially. And they will be just as compromised.

Will you?

The peasant’s revolt: 1381-2022

“The matters go not well to pass in England, nor shall do ’til everything be in common…”

Comparing the modern government’s callous disregard for the people of UK with the cruelty of 14th century leaders like John of Gaunt, Simon Sudbury and the boy king, Richard II.

In those days the peasants sought remedy and retribution through bloodshed. Today we just need to notice, to remember and to vote as soon as we can to get these callous, lying, sleazy scumbags out of office and out of our hair!

I’m confused

I’m confused. Chris Chope, the right wing tory MP for Christchurch and East Dorset has yet again introduced a Private member’s bill called the NHS co-funding and co-payment Bill. This Thatcherite neo-liberal has repeatedly sought to undermine the NHS with this sort of legislation for years now but this time he moight well gain some traction. The current overall tory majority might just allow the bill to get through.

The Bill has it’s second reading in the House early next month.

What confuses me isn’t that this nasty little scumbag is trying once again to derail the ‘free at point of delivery’ nature of our health service. That’s just par for the course. Weasels do what weasels do and there are few more weasely than Chope. He’s the one that fillibustered a bill to ensure landlords, like himself have to treat tenants fairly. He’s also the one who derailed a Bill to make upskirting illegal.

What confuses me is the very idea that the bill is necessary.

You see, we already have co-payment options in the NHS. That’s why we have prescription charges and fees for optician and dentistry services. It wouldn’t take a change in the law to extend that in principle. But Chope isn’t content to have the option to extend what amounts to small tweaks around the edges of the NHS. He wants to smash the very idea of the NHS by introducing co-funding too.

It may not look like much at first glance but co-funding actually means much more than the tokenistic sort of arrangement we get from prescription charges. Co-funding really does mean a two-tier system of health access where those too poor to afford treatment or who can’t get insurance, either because of high premiums or pre-existing conditions simply won’t be able to access healthcare at all.

This is the system that sees countless American citizens go bankrupt every year (Breaking bad, anyone). It’s the reason that US accident victims are known to plead with would-be helpers not to call them an ambulance because they won’t be able to pay for their care. It’s the reason why so many impoverished Americans give birth without midwifery or medical assistance, leading to much higher infant and maternal mortality rates than would be expected in a civilised, advanced economy such as theirs. And Chope wants to inflict that on us.

Please talk to your MP. And make sure that everyone in your constituency knows about the bill. Check to see how your MP votes and spread that information around too. If they vote for this bill they’re very definitely voting to further impoverish sick and disabled people in your town, to put pregnant women and their babies at risk and generally to lower the health and life-expectancies of you and your neighbours.

But the government will be able to afford more backhanders for their wealthy donor chums so that’s OK, isn’t it?

Ignorant tory dog-whistles with anti-trans rhetoric

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.”

https://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/19850653.protestors-gather-workington-reject-opinions-mark-jenkinson-mp/

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.

legalised oppression & the power of boycott

“There will be people who will have seen scenes of protests and asked, ‘Why aren’t the government doing something?’ The answer, in many cases, may simply be that we live in a democratic, free society.”

Theresa May, House of commons, July 2021

Today’s the anniversary of a crime. A terrible, heinous, unspeakable act that tore at the very fabric, of the society in which it was committed. An apparently lone criminal, in the most brazen way imaginable broke a law and a tradition that had existed for 55 years among the fine, upstanding citizens of Montgomery, Alabama in the good old US of A.

So what was this unspeakable act, this depraved antisocial behaviour that resonates across the miles and the years? Who was the criminal who on this day, December 1st 1955 set in train a series of events that would shake America – well, part of America to it’s bigoted, racist, ignorant core?

The criminal’s name was Rosa Parks and the act that would forever guarantee her fame was simple. Rosa Parks sat on a bus, on a seat reserved for white people – and that was against the law.

Sometimes it’s necessary to break truly unjust laws. Sometimes our very liberty depends upon it.

This session the UK government is taking the new police, crime, sentencing and courts bill through Parliament. It’s currently nearing the end of its passage through the Lords and is likely to become law very soon as there’s little chance of Boris’ sycophantic back-benchers opposing it. Among other erosions of civil liberties it aims to make anti-government demonstration illegal. Really. They’re going after our right to protest now.

This, yet again, is the stuff of dictatorship. The Nazis did the same thing shortly after gaining control of the Reichstag. It’s a blow both to our individual liberties and to our collective democracy.

When debating the bill at it’s second reading last July former Home Secretary and Prime Minister, Theresa May remarked…

“There will be people who will have seen scenes of protests and asked, ‘Why aren’t the government doing something?’ The answer, in many cases, may simply be that we live in a democratic, free society.”

So my question to you is this…

Do you have as much courage as a little woman from Montgomery Alabama whose lone protest on an Alabama bus ride helped bring down a system that had been tolerated for far too long?

Rosa Parks sitting in front of a white passenger on a Montgomery bus

A Brexiteer’s Godsend

All those pesky EU laws you can’t name

This is Jim Grace. Well actually it’s his Twitter account, @Mac_Puck and if you’re a Brexiteer his stuff will be right up your street. A proper Godsend.

Have a look at this ‘mega thread’ and you’ll be able to name those laws that we pesky Remoaners (now rejoiners) keep asking you about. The link is in the description but here are a few highlights…

Jim found that we objected to (and were outvoted on) only 72 pieces of EU legislation out of around 35,000 laws passed.

You can follow the ‘Mega thread’ link below to see what those laws were about but here are those highlights.

We voted against consumer protection and food safety… 17 times!

We voted against laws to combat cybercrime

We voted against laws ensuring workers’ rights and protection in the workplace

We voted against Laws opposing tax avoidance, including stopping people like Farage and Rees-Mogg using tax-Havens (to name but 2)

We even voted against legislation to maintain fish stocks and so protect our fishing industry – and we all know how well we’ve done handling that on our own, don’t we?

Fortunately for you, Jim Grace has linked to every piece of legislation so you can look up all those details you don’t usually have available for the next time you’re asked about it – unless, of course, having followed the links you’d prefer to keep your head buried firmly in the sand and pretend you still can’t think of any.

Then there are the European judgements against us. Jim found 72 of those for things like failing to prevent cybercrime, failure to protect womens’ rights in the workplace and elsewhere and failing to protect us from pollution.

But don’t take my word for it – follow the link below and see the details for yourself.

It’s no wonder that so many people who voted Brexit now openly regret it or just keep their mouths shut as the reality hits, is it?

Saving Christmas: A letter to Eric

Apparently Boris has buggered about a bit with Priti Patel’s treatment of Johnny Foreigner and graciously allowed the ungrateful little bastards back on to Britain’s glorious soil… for a strictly limited period of time.

This is to allow them to serve us, their natural masters, by driving our stuff about. They get to bask in the glory of Britain’s roads, much less congested now that fuel is so scarce and we, their overlords, get to have the Christmas we deserve. Good on yer, Boris.

But just in case those ungrateful Europeans don’t understand the honour they’ve so graciously been given. In case they prefer to work on the continent with better pay and permanent contracts. In case they misunderstand the privilege of being allowed to drive on the left side of the road, to use verges for toilets and to spend hours getting in and out of Kent. Just in case they don’t get it, I’ve written to a mate of mine in Dover. I’ve asked him to execute a sort of plan B for the festive season.

Here’s what I wrote…

 

Weights & measures: The Breckshit system

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.

Confused?

They haven’t even started yet!

Who’s the f*%*ing traitor now?

Not so very long ago I and people like me were branded traitors, liars and enemies of Britain. Gutter press tabloids and the hard of understanding alike accused us of being anti-democratic collaborators with a foreign superpower bent on destroying British sovereignty. We were the cucks who enabled a trojan horse style invasion by radical Islamists. We were inviting gangs of marauding East Europeans who wanted nothing more than to rape our daughters whilst we looked on helpless to prevent it.

People who’d never had a political thought in their lives and never even considered the reality of European membership until 2016 suddenly became experts because they’d seen a couple of headlines – not read the actual article, mind you – but seen some headlines in the Daily Fail. So all of a sudden they became fuckin’ experts! If only they’d read something about the Dunning-Kruger effect we’d all be way better off today.

But they hadn’t and so they kept on deluding themselves about our alleged treachery. And all because we wanted to uphold electoral law. Because we wanted to provide genuine facts to our fellow Brits instead of the fake slurs peddled by the likes of Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees Mogg, Nigel Farage and Michael Gove.

All because we wanted to protect our nation from the catastrophe that is now upon us. But we failed. You won – get over it!

And stop bloody complaining about the mess you created. If you’re a Brexiteer – or even worse, even more ridiculous, a working class tory then you did this. It’s all on you!

No longer do the newspapers call us traitors – because nobody would believe them.

No longer am I hesitant to go in certain pubs for fear of being assaulted by drunken Brexiteers – they’re all decidedly sheepish these days.

No longer do people talk about sunlit uplands – now it’s about economic hardship – how hard will it be and for how long will we have to endure it.

And it hasn’t really started yet.

Yes we’ve seen jobs lost.

Yes, we see harvests going to waste.

Yes we have shortages in the shops because we sent all the lorry drivers home.

The NHS is struggling without the mainstay of European workers.

The cost of living, driven by Brexit scarcity is rising exponentially and many Brits, employed as well as unemployed are unable to feed themselves and their families. And that’s before the new cuts to universal credit come into force.

But if you think this is bad just wait. We still haven’t started checking imports at our end yet. That’s because the government knows that, given how bad it is just checking on one side of the channel, once UK customs swings into action it’ll be a whole lot worse.

Why do you think we’ve been building all those lorry parks in Kent? It’s because once we begin checking both imports AND exports the delays will be monumental. Fresh food is already becoming unexportable because it goes off in the lorry transporting it to the mainland. How many jobs has that little bit of red tape cost? What will happen to imports once we start the same protracted process at our end? Then we’ll really see scarcity. Then we’ll really see inflation.

This government gained its majority on the back of three key election pledges.

One was to get Brexit done. Well – even if that were a good thing (obviously I don’t think there’s much good about it) it’s nowhere near done and won’t be for many years.

The new trade deals we keep hearing about are less beneficial to us than they would have been had we stayed in the EU. The not new deals are just temporary roll-overs from existing EU agreements which, of course keep us bound to EU regulations only now we have no say in how those regulations are created.

The second pledge was that there would be no tax rises for those at the bottom of the tree. Part of the ‘levelling up’ agenda. This week Boris has announced a massive hike in tax and National Insurance – hitting those at the bottom hardest.

Thirdly – maintaining the triple lock which states that pensions must rise by either 2.5%, the rate of inflation or the level of the average wage – whichever is the greatest. For the next few years Brexit economic hardship will see the state pension rise far above that of falling wages as it matches rising inflation instead. Personally I think that’s OK. Today’s pensioners were promised welfare ‘from the cradle to the grave’ and having paid their share all their working lives have no time to save for the future. As a nation we should honour that social contract, that pact the nation made with them all those years ago. But Boris is again considering changing the triple lock to remove those protections, protections we owe to the people who worked so hard to rebuild our nation after the first and second world wars.

I began this video by reminding you how so many of us were vilified as traitors.

But when we see the results of Brexit and this extreme right conservative government’s policies – results we were trying to avoid for the sake of the British people… let me ask you…

Who’s really the traitor?

Patel’s murderous plans for asylum-seekers

Priti Patel may well be the most despicable politician of my lifetime. She seems to be motivated only be her own mean-spirited avarice and cruelty. And yet even she has surpassed herself in heartlessness with a new bill intended to guarantee desperate people drown in the channel. She even plans to imprison anyone who rescues them from their fate. How can this travesty of a human being attain the position of Home secretary?

Patel’s press muzzle is far from pretty

The government plan is to amend the official secrets act to criminalise any reporter who effectively embarrasses the government. It means that anyone who publishes stuff like Hancock’s extra-marital kiss could face up to 14 years in prison.

“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.”

(George Orwell)

The reach of the act will cover anyone from journalists to bloggers, to keyboard warriors on Facebook and you don’t even need to have signed the act to be liable. But it gets worse. Click the video link below to watch a 6 minute video explanation of this appalling new proposal…

Patel’s plan to oppose free speech is straight out of Hitler’s 25 point plan

“A free press is one of the pillars of democracy”

(Nelson Mandela)