millionreasons: (men)
I have some stuff to say:

Boris

I am pretty outraged by mayoral exhortations to stay indoors when pollution levels are high. The Mayor's office will even send you a text to warn you when there are too many carbon monoxide particles in the air. The same Mayor who cancelled the western expansion of the congestion charge and has done nothing to curb air pollution. It's a bit like the police sending texts to women warning them not to go out because there's an un-caught rapist at large. How I despise that blond buffoon BoJo. As much as I despise the people who voted for him for follicular reasons.

Tories

It's worth remembering that all the "breeding", the expensive education, old school networking and plain entitlement couldn't win Cameron and pals an outright election victory, never mind two. One term Tory. To never see him, Osborne (better suited to towel-folding than running an economy), IDS (promoted behind any reasonable expectation of his capabilities), Michael Gove (Pob's evil twin) and William Hague (runner up in a  Mark E Smith impersonation contest and making as much sense), ever again would be worth whatever Miliband and pals might come up with in government

UKIP

I've tempered my annoyance at Farage's stupid, guffawing face by pledging £1 to a refugee charity every time I see a picture or video of him guzzling a pint of beer (I'm currently up to £21). But I worry about UKIP's election results, not their picking up a smattering of Tory seats on the east coast, but them coming second in Rotherham, Doncaster, Wigan, Oldham etc, because given a not very good Labour/SNP/Plaid Cymru coalition, not spending, not reversing austerity, it's quite possible that people will turn to Farage and his gaffe-prone monkeys, especially given the UKIP tendency to think of "English" (white English, obviously) as a race. "We don't want them Scotch/Welsh talling us ENGLISH what to do." Although I do find it odd how most UKIP supporters are old - old people use the NHS more than young people, yet Farage and his ill-trained bunch o'loons want to press on with the privatisation of the NHS. Does anyone but Branson and Andy Parker want this? Then again, the UKIP manifesto promises to scrap parking charges at hospitals and that the important thing, isn't it. The right of an Englishman (white English, obviously) to drive his fucking car.

SNP

I can't help but feel that losing the referendum was the best thing that could have happened to the SNP - upswell in membership and support, Salmond's resignation in favour of the more likeable and pixie-ish Sturgeon.

Labour

We are not American, we like the underdog, so it's hardly surprising that suddenly everyone loves uber-geek Miliband. He's perfect for picture bants and memes. Unlike America, we don't want a patriarch:- we're all a bit awkward, thus Miliband represents us, we respond to his unslickness. The problem with this though is that it's just the BoJoification of politics - somebody's amusing so we vote for him. And with that, I've come full circle, so I'll stop.

Opinions

Jun. 5th, 2013 09:49 am
millionreasons: (billie)

Tanya generously bought me a new subscription to the LRB for my birthday. The lead article in the latest edition is about Syria, which I read. And now I know about Syria. My policy towards the middle east has always been to maintain a level of deliberate ignorance (a bit like the Americans), because it seems whatever happens in that region turns into a quagmire deluxe. How can we know if the west should sell arms to the rebels or not? Leaving people to die under a vile regime is appalling, but arming insurgents hasn't worked so well before. I have a lot of opinions on a lot of other subjects, and having to have one on the middle east as well makes my mind hurt - and so much of received opinion turns out to be wrong. The Labour government of '45 wouldn't allow immigration into Palestine, even concentration camp survivors and Jewish refugees, which seemed an incredibly anti-Semitic policy. However, with hindsight, it seems most sensible.

We celebrate la Resistance and the Suffragette movements, but both were terrorist organisations, using violence for their political aims. Whereas I would say that the men who killed Lee Rigby had severe mental health problems. You don't start a holy war with a machete. I suspect that the IRA wouldn't even consider those two useful idiots.

Whilst the EDL were rubbing their grubby hands together at the thought of an increase in Muslim-hatred, UKIP have tried to keep their distance. To be fair to Farrage, UKIP’s MO is to halt immigration from Europe, rather than attempting to terrorise people who already live here. However, some people blame “the Poles” in the same way they blamed “the Indians” twenty or so years ago, which is when the BNP first started winning council seats. UKIP has fed into people’s fears (whipped up by the right wing press etc) and people’s fears feed into UKIP, thus they’ll focus on eastern Europe immigration rather than ex-colonies immigration, seeing as the BNP has already got that section of the populace. UKIP’s target market is the “I’m not racist but….” brigade.

I watched a Smiths documentary to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their first single and it struck me how much they wanted to change people's minds. They wanted to influence
lives. You could say the same about Thatcher or Atlee. Of course Atlee and the 1945 Labour government failed to do everything they wanted (at one point, they intended to nationalise haulage which seems crazy to modern, post-privatisation ears). But in six years, they invented the welfare state and set the political standards for forty years. Nye Bevan said that to convince doctors of the NHS's value, he had to "stuff their mouths with gold" but nowadays, most doctors are against the Coalition's privatising NHS "reforms". Bevan changed the culture of medicine. For every Smiths there's a (picks random name from dartboard) Kasabian, who just want to be in the biz, and for every Bevan there's a Miliband, who seems to have very vague convictions, who want to be in power and will flip flop around issues to appeal to the most people, rather than doing what the Labour party (should) believe in. They change to appeal to the electorate rather than forcing the electorate to change their stupid minds about immigration, the public sector, etc etc. Because both major parties' purpose is now to capture most of the electorate (or rather the electorate in the marginal seats: as 0.067 of a voter, no-one cares about the likes o'me), they move closer together. Even the increasingly fascistic Tories (I'm just waiting for Pickles to announce that the disabled are "useless eaters", or the BBC to do a docu on our glorious leader, Dave) have tried to appropriate the centrists with the marriage equality bill. The irony is that as both Labour and the Tories try to occupy the middle ground, the more people think that all parties are the same and tend to vote for chancers like UKIP. And then, even more ironically, because Lab and Con (I'm leaving the Libs out of this, as they'd be best left out of most things) believe that the populace are down on Europe and/or immigration, they adopt those policies as an attempt to kill off UKIP.

Anyway, I don't believe that more than a handful of those new UKIP councillors will be re-elected next time. The BNP went from 55 to 2 councillors in 4 years as people realised what a bunch of fuckwits they are (the BNP fielded 99 candidates in this year's local elections and won 0).



millionreasons: (huggy)
Intelligent article by Naomi Klein here. I do like Ms Klein, partly because no-one has been able to dig any dirt on her. When Michael Moore started to think he could single-handedly bring down George Bush, all kinds of accusations were thrown at him. I thought "Bowling for Columbine" was an interesting documentary and made some salient points; that doesn't mean that everything the man does is gold. It seems a little unfair on left wing people that everything they do is taken into account whereas apologists for e.g. a right wing artist will say: Oh forget that PC stuff, just look at the beautiful painting. Just because Michael Moore is a bit of a plank doesn't mean he doesn't give good docu action. There's this weird concept that says if you like one thing a person does, you must worship their existence. Are people really not intelligent enough to choose? Can we not read one article by Chomsky and think: Well, yes, that makes sense and then another which doesn't really cut one's own personal mustard? Are people not allowed to write something and then think: Well, maybe I was wrong about that. I've changed my mind? People don't really hold the same opinions on everything for 30 or 40 years. Ditto the pro-war liberal types who consider that because Saddam Hussein was a Bad Thing, it must mean everyone who was against the war is a pro-Saddam George Galloway loving Trot. Political opinions don't always need to have an either/or.

Anyway, what with drunken non-consent equalling consent, I assume that every bottle of Bacardi Breezer is going to have additional warnings on the labels: "Women! Drinking too much will increase your vulnerability to sexual assault. Best to stay indoors with a nice cup of tea, eh love". Ditto short skirts in clothing stores. I mean, really, does anyone go into Top Shop or H&M and think: "I like that skirt for that price and in that colour, but hang on, if I buy it, will I be raped?" Will the articles in womens' magazines and that paragon of hypocrisy, the Daily Mail, which tell women how to be sexy carry a health warning about the possibility of rape?

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