Friday, 14 September 2018

POST-BREXIT HOUSING PRICE CRASH? IT'S ALL PART OF THE DISASTER CAPITALIST PLAN




I winced considerably at Mark Carney's offering of a "worst case scenario" yesterday, warning that a No-Deal Brexit could result in UK house prices collapsing by as much as a third. Not only as a homeowner myself, enslaved to a sizeable mortgage I'll be paying off for the next twenty plus years (regardless of whether my home becomes worth less than plywood). But also because I literally visualised the thousands of people who'd greet the news with untold joy, and even smug satisfaction.

To those who desperately want to get onto the property ladder, but can't currently afford to, it must seem like a tantalising proposition. Contrary to bad news, a price crash would be a cause for their celebration: an end to justify the means in some cases. Worse still, to my mind, it will likely confirm (or reignite) for some the idea that this Brexit calamity is a good thing.

It's really not, and I'd like to try and debunk that particular theory. 


Fake carrots for would-be home owners 

(a real stick for existing ones)





A housing price crash is very much a symbiotic part of the "Disaster Capitalist" plan: a term now widely recognised, and virtually coined/alluded to by author and activist Naomi Klein in her book 'The Shock Doctrine'.

All a crash will do is drag the middle class - arguably the bedrock of a healthy economy - down to the status of being impoverished too. And that "middle class" wealth... where does it go? Well, it's transferred to the coffers of the financial elite. That's quite literally the whole point. The poor won't get squat. 

In other words, the one group I virtually guarantee will not benefit in the slightest, are the poor and fiscally unstable. The cold harsh reality is if you haven't got a decent job and can't afford a sizeable enough deposit to purchase a home now, mortgage lenders are not going to suddenly be hurling mortgages at people absent that collateral, even if they are considerably cheaper.

But the poor will be somewhat placated, as they'll see all the middle class people around them falling like dominoes. They won't see or care how the gap between rich and poor has been vastly increased overall, because it won't have affected them. A neat ruse.

Owning a home is not simply "slightly" out of reach for millions in difficulty - it's nigh on a pipe dream. Even a price crash won't change that; it's other economic issues and priorities that need to be addressed, such as wage and job security, wages rising with inflation, lending criteria and priorities for banks, lower interest rates, day-to-day living costs for exorbitantly priced services... there's a whole load of things we could look at before just demolishing the housing market, and ruining millions of people.

A surprisingly courteous conversation on Twitter revealed to me all too clearly that some folks simply don't get HOW a simple price crash can, and will, ruin average people. And that curious little financial trap, unnoticed by any other than those who've borrowed to purchase a home or business, is the lynch-pin of the Disaster Capitalist's plan.

This was the argument presented to me:

"People with mortgages were going to have to pay back that loan amount any way, so it makes no difference - and their next home will be incrementally cheaper too. Meanwhile, the young and first time buyers will be able to get on the ladder."

That overlooks so many technicalities, it's unreal.


Bricks and Mortar



The first thing to understand, the most fundamental thing, is the ONLY homeowners who get screwed by a housing crash are those who owe considerable amounts, and have mortgages on them. People who've bought into, and relied upon the financial system. The truly rich, the super-rich and elite percentile everyone's always referring to, don't need mortgages. 

If you buy a home for cash outright, exclusively to rent out, and it plummets in value... no, it doesn't matter all that much, as your yield will likely be unchanged. You just ride it out, making as much as you can in the process. If you hold on to it long enough, it will - eventually - return the monies paid out. And if you simply bought it as a holiday/alternate home, again, it makes no difference. It was money you could afford to splash out, after all.

The super-rich deal in cold hard cash. Whereas you or I might buy a home, or even a property investment to let if we're so fortunate, the super-rich property mogul buys up whole portfolios and estates... sometimes whole housing projects. It's arguably the best place for hordes of money, and will always provide a return from rental. "People will always need bricks and mortar" is the saying: no other investment pays for itself in quite the same way, and is usually also worth vastly more after decades of bringing in a reliable, stable yield.




Middle class people with mortgages live in perpetual fear of losing their jobs, and possibly as a consequence, their homes. Whereas the super-rich are also the only ones shielded from a tempestuous, faltering economy. You don't have to worry about your job, or physically being given a mortgage by a bank if you already have more money than average people would earn in several lifetimes. It's simple maths. 

And that element of physically being "given" the mortgage, is where it all gets messy - and the Disaster Capitalism really kicks in.


Number Crunching



The actual value of a property matters little to a bank in the long run. If prices are lower universally, they can always offset that hit to their profits, by raising the interest rate for borrowers. Yes prices seem lower, but customers may well pay around the same. Simply a greater portion goes to the "Disaster Capitalists" - the banks, who are the middlemen rubbing their hands with glee.

  • A £250K loan over 20 years at 1.99% pays the lender £53,246 in interest. Total cost to borrower: £303,246. (Not including product fees, legals etc.)
  • A smaller loan of £150K over 20 years, but at 5.99% for example, is £107,708 in interest. Total cost to borrower: £257,708.

What's happened there? The buyer saved less than £50K on a property that seemed much cheaper, the banks take over double in interest charges, and the only person who loses out is the poor schmuck who bought it at £300K, and has lost all equity. Yes you got your house a bit cheaper, but at what expense... and who do you think is laughing?

Nobody thinks so much about that bit, as after all... a price drop from £300K to £200K seems far more significant than a couple of percentiles being shifted in favour of the banks.

I always wistfully smirk at discussion of interest rates, and Bank of England adjustments etc. I'm no qualified economist, and would not proclaim to be so - merely an interested civilian. But my general and admittedly simplified take on interest rates is "who shall we tip the scales in favour of today?" Low rates are in favour of borrowers, people with loans/mortgages etc, who need credit to survive. Higher rates are in favour of those who lend the money, who are sitting on pots of it, and the wealthier segments of society who have it tied up everywhere from high street banks to the Cayman Islands.


The Scourge of Negative Equity



The banks will literally take your home or business if you can't pay your mortgage, and they're also the ones who decide whether you get that mortgage renewed in the future. What a neat set up, eh?

Most deals have to be renewed and swapped over several times during the course of a lifetime mortgage, otherwise they roll over onto extortionate rates nobody can afford. ('Wonga' territory.)

So when your house you owe £250K on is suddenly only worth £200K, new lenders are going to say "no". Simple as that. The borrower is stuck with whatever terms and interest rates the existing lender has decreed: usually a "variable rate" (eg: the Wonga rate) vastly higher than they paid when they had a good deal, and their property wasn't in negative equity. The unfortunate borrower then either has to pay those exorbitantly hiked interest charges, interminably, or sell the home and possibly lose everything - including the equity they spent years accruing.

That "Loan To Value" category a borrower falls into is critical, eg: the more equity you own, the lower interest rate you'll pay. So even those who escape negative equity and financial ruin will still have that share reduced in the event of a price crash, and will be paying substantially more interest to the banks too. (Would you look at that? They win again.)


The Fattened Calf



When those homes and businesses are repossessed, who hoovers them up? Who do the banks sell them to, to recoup? Is it the poor first-time buyer, desperate to get on the ladder, who needs a loan? Or the super-rich guy and property mogul with a cheque book potent enough to buy a Caribbean island? (Who just happens to be mates with the bank manager.)






That is the mantra of Disaster Capitalism. The idea that when economic disaster hits - or rather, is engineered - those with the most resources and wealth close ranks, and are able to take advantage ruthlessly. Thousands, if not millions of people are ruined, and the super-rich take their assets at cut-price. The Disaster Capitalists' wealth and position, their very inherent and overt superiority is assured for yet another generation.

Then they "fatten up the  calf" all over again, for a decade or two. They build a strong economy, pay well, and feed an emergent and wealthy middle-class. Until another disaster/financial crash hits, and the cycle repeats. It's quite literally a sowing and harvesting process that's occurred continuously in Western societies, whether "coincidental" or not, ever since the birth of Twentieth Century Capitalism. Let's just say the "Great Depression" of 1929-39 wasn't so depressing for the wealthy Wall Street types, banks, and landowners of America.

On the contrary, as it always is for a small minority, a time of housing price crash and economic collapse is "party time".

Just as Brexit will be for the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Crispin Odey, and probably anyone loosely connected to the ERG. (For any who don't know, that's the 'European Research Group'. Eg: the hand up the puppet of Brexit, and this Tory government.)





And what nobody seems to want to mention, conveniently, is that a housing crash is usually precipitated by an economic slump. And if the entire UK economy has fallen off a cliff, nobody but the very richest will have the money to buy property any way.


Wednesday, 29 August 2018

BREXIT "DIVIDEND": FISHING BOAT SKIRMISH REIGNITES HUNDRED YEARS WAR




Ah yes... isn't it funny?!? Hilarious! A Monty Python-like skirmish between French and English fishermen in the English Channel. The French probably shouted that the English mothers were hamsters, and their fathers stank of elderberries.

Actually... no. It's NOT funny. This is the first warning sign, regarding the brave new world we're headed into.

To those of us who've opposed Brexit with every fibre of our being, among the countless economic reasons why it's the most colossal self-harm a nation's ever inflicted upon itself, there's also the small matter of the cohesion of Europe. That tiny, almost insignificant detail, eg: that the European Union was specifically set up in the wake of WWII to ensure the powers of Europe were forever tied together and bonded as one community - exactly so such calamity could never happen again. That larger picture was almost more important than anything else.

Hey, but that's just "libtard", "remainer" whinging, isn't it?

Actually, again... no. Say what you want, the fragmentation of that ethic and union is a human catastrophe. A complete disaster for the peoples of Europe. You only need to look at history to know, almost with certainty, that it's only a matter of time now before countries in Europe turn on one another once again. More so, impoverishment, economic shocks and hardship, and the "resentment" of foreign neighbours generally precipitates wars, in the same way taking a hit on a bong precipitates the munchies.

I used to think the emergent gammon of Britain didn't get it; or simply didn't believe the significance. Whereas now I think I realise the truth. Which is that aggressive nationalism in Britain is breeding an active desire for confrontation. Those regressed human beings adore violence: it's part of their DNA. And again make no mistake, Brextremists will love this. It's the actual first visualisation of the "war" they've had in their heads this whole time.

No, not all Brexit voters are "gammon", but certainly, all "gammon" voted for Brexit. (I know some abhor use of the term, which is almost exclusively why I like to use it.)

Of course, some will shout that "the French started it". That may be true, though I'm loathed to trust our media's reporting of it alone. Either way, the key detail here is that the British have always enjoyed preferential treatment and specifically tailored/negotiated arrangements with the EU: we literally WERE allowed to have our cake and eat it too, to some degree. We had the best of both worlds, and still that wasn't enough for some.

Yes, it seems the British fishers were abiding by those previously agreed rules. But in case anyone hasn't noticed, we've said "bollocks" to those agreements. And it seems some French fishermen have, as a consequence, said "bollocks" to those rules and the existing British monopoly. Who could blame them? You reap what you sow, and all that.

Dangerous Melting Pot


Nowhere else in the world is quite like Europe; nowhere else are there so many rich, successful and proud, competing nations - all with so much history, different cultures and languages, living side by side and on top of one another. Which makes it a particularly dangerous melting pot for war and hostility, unless they are bound together somehow. Not to mention, larger continents outside Europe are essentially the descendants of Europeans: colonialism may have ended, but its legacy endures, which is why what happens in Europe affects the entire world. It always has.

FUN FACT: To this day, England and France were at war with one another, longer and more continuously than pretty much any other adversaries in world history. The famous 'Hundred Years War' was actually rounding down, didn't give account of stops and starts, and was even before Napoleon reared his head centuries later! You're a fool if you think that sort of cultural enmity entirely disappears. (Stop by at a few pubs in Glasgow, and ask locals whether they're still cross about stuff the English did centuries ago.)

This "skirmish" is the beginning. A cynic might say, it's pretty much the first dead canary in the coal mine.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

A MERE 100 YEARS SINCE THE BATTLE OF AMIENS, AND ALREADY WE'VE ABANDONED THE CONCORD



I'm 39 years old; next year I will turn 40.

I don't quite know how that happened, as I still feel like a big kid who's really only just left home, and moved out into the big wide world to seek his fortune. The years have whizzed by in a heartbeat. It's a cliche, but it's true.

But what blows my mind even more, thinking about it, is if you go back to the year of my birth, 1979, and then go back before that "another me" (eg: 39 years), this country was in the middle of World War II. When I was young, and was taught about the World Wars etc, they always seemed this far-off and distant event from history, and I genuinely grew up believing such things could never happen again.

Today we commemorate 100 years since the Battle of Amiens in World War I. And the truth is, it's not so long ago: it's not some distant event from another time. And the events of World War II, even less so. My own mum was born in 1939, the year it started, and my grandfather, William McNamara, was a doctor in the Armed Forces.

Which is why (surplus to the added dimension of Britain being cast back economically to Victorian Times), for any student of history, Brexit is such an utter tragedy. We are quite literally in the process of dismantling the organisations/treaties and bonds specifically set up to prevent such horrors taking place, ever, ever again.

To deny that the European Union itself was the lynch-pin in that, or to glibly assume that countries in Europe could and never would return to hostilities, is ignorance and naivety off the scale. And simply put, there is nothing in this world that was worth risking that, not for our children's futures.

NOTHING.

#CentenaryBattleOfAmiens

BORIS JOHNSON'S "BURKA-GATE" WAS A TRAP... AND BRITAIN FELL RIGHT INTO IT.




Oh God. It's one of those moments I'm going to dare to argue something that overtly seems to contradict the values I normally espouse. It causes me physical pain to agree with right-wing pundits over anything, even loosely, but if nothing else I guess it shows I dare to think for myself, and refuse to bow to tribalism.

I f**king detest Boris Johnson, and everything he stands for.

Indeed, anyone who follows my blog would know I oppose these Tories and 'Brextremists' virulently, with every fibre of my being. But of all the incomprehensibly stupid and offensive stuff he's said, saying "no burkas shouldn't be banned, but they look ridiculous, it makes them look like bank robbers... it's like talking to a letter-box"?

Well... it's remarkably small-fry. And people getting so up-in-arms is EXACTLY what the far-right want. And it's EXACTLY why he did it.

Why? Because the brouhaha IS oppressing free speech; no two ways about it. It may have been a distasteful comment that someone in his position shouldn't have made, and it may well have been used to rile up those who are prejudiced. But an observational comparison with an inanimate piece of clothing, is not in any way racist. It's just not.

What all these "offended" people are doing, is actually giving credence and legitimacy to arguments the right-wing would have us believe are the reason they feel the way they do. (Which is bollocks, they're mostly just racist and hateful.) We're giving them moral justification and high-ground. In fact, Johnson's comments were most likely deliberately cooked up by him and Bannon as a deliberate ploy, exactly to 'split the chamber'. To divide the left (yet again) between moral do-gooders clinging to a virtue-signalling bandwagon, and more reasonable types who'll dare to say "hang on a minute."

EG: it was another trap to fuel right-wing support, and the liberal-leaning/well-intending British public, as usual, fell right into it.

The end goal? We've just made Boris even more of a flaming hero, to some. Check the Sky News data polls if in any doubt, support for him has come out of the woodwork, from every corner. We've made him relevant again, and given him a new slogan - one with painfully reminiscent overtones of what put Trump where he is today. It's all a calculated chess game, and we just handed him greater control of the board.

Like the whole debacle with Tommy Robinson, and countless fascist/populist rabble-rousers before him, allowing them the opportunity to play on the whole "being censored" thing, is a grave mistake.



Is Johnson a dangerous liar and hypocrite? Yes. Was it an inappropriate thing for a statesman to say? Yes.

Is Johnson most likely a racist, cut from the same cloth as Steve Bannon and Trump etc? Yes. Should we be terrified he's in cahoots with them? Yes. Was this a dog-whistle to racists, Tommy Robinson supporters, and general scumbags? YES.

But the comment itself was about a piece of clothing. When we start censoring observational humour and free speech to such degree, it's a slippery slope. I wouldn't think twice about joking that a Catholic/Orthodox priest or Jewish Rabbi looks like some kind of dodgy wizard, and I'm no racist. (Just an atheist/agnostic, who finds all religion ridiculous.)

So while I agree Johnson undoubtedly did this for nefarious reasons, I'm most concerned that free speech and observational humour - the likes of which we hear from people like Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr all the time - should not get caught in the crossfire. That is definitely not cool. I defy anyone to say what should or shouldn't be considered funny. You just have to reap the consequences if it's not, and run the risk of being considered a hateful bigot if your jokes go too far. (Which used to be a deterrent in itself.)

I've been all over this globe, and truly believe the cultural differences between men and women, and between people from different parts of the world... the stereotypes and funny quirks, endearing and not-so endearing traits etc: our ability to laugh and joke about them is what makes us free. When we can't, we're not.  

True equality, true liberalism, is saying "you can believe in whatever you want, be whatever you want to be, dress however you want to dress etc - just as it's equally my right to take the piss and say you're talking nonsense, or to say you look ridiculous."

We cannot... we MUST NOT lose that.

Monday, 30 July 2018

BRITAIN'S CHOICE: HUMBLE PIE AND INEVITABLE TANTRUMS... OR POTENTIAL ECONOMIC DISASTER?



Sometimes, I do try to pause to take a breath, and chill. Honest.

I genuinely do try to tell myself that maybe it won't be as bad as some of us fear, that maybe Britain will somehow come out of this alright. That my family won't be doomed to live in a needlessly impoverished nation, ruled by the worst kind of bullies. But then... facts kick in. See, that's the problem, isn't it? Some of us simply cannot "compartmentalise" facts, or fail to look at the reality of the situation. We just can't.

Chequers is dead. It's taken the Tory government more than two years to work out their plans to have all the cake and eat it too, are doomed. Britain now simply has to acknowledge facts. That starts with accepting the EU is not going to play ball, and/or just roll over. They never had any reason to, but erstwhile had hundreds to remain firm and protect the integrity of their union.

Eg: exactly what "remoaners" have been saying from Day One.

Home Truths


FACT:
A country that was until recently considered one of the most stable in the world to be a resident of, is now divided and hateful, and for WHATEVER reason, is now talking about rationing and stockpiling... in peace time. (Quite a jump from "Best for Britain".)

FACT:
Economists/politicians and journalists the world over are saying Britain could be headed for the most extraordinary crash. In terms of services, jobs, investment, not least that most of our food and medical supplies have come from our European neighbours next door, for decades.

FACT:
We already have spiralling poverty in the UK, and one of the grossest wealth inequalities in the Western world, comparable to the USA. (Quite a feat, considering the difference in population size.) And that's before any of this even happens in March 2019. We already have millions relying on food-banks, disabled people being left to rot, people in work being homeless etc. How much worse it could get post Brexit, is just unthinkable.

FACT:
If Brexit goes ahead, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is highly likely to disintegrate. Not only have tensions and troubles already returned to the border in Ireland, troubles that were virtually consigned to history, but we might even face a hard border in Britain between Scotland and England, if the Scots demand independence.

FACT:
If Brexit goes ahead, Britain WILL be behest to Trump's America. Subject to the whims of a madman who contradicts himself from minute to minute.

Brexiters seem to think that the "ambiguity" of these quandaries, or the chance they're exaggerated and/or may not turn out to be quite as bad, is a justification to go ahead with it any way. Almost as a point of principle.

No... no it's definitely not.

Naive, unrealistic people languishing in fairy-tales have zero right to risk OUR families, OUR happiness, OUR prosperity, OUR careers, all in the name of a nationalist experiment. Even if there is a small chance it "might" not be Armageddon! If you stand in the middle of the M25, you might just survive it, but that doesn't mean it's a risk most of us would deem acceptable.

And of course, that's not even touching on all the corruption and illegal activity which by itself should have rendered the referendum void.

Things made simpler


We have a stark choice now. None of this needs to happen. So we either upset the Gammon... doing the sensible thing and reversing the whole process, though admittedly risking some sort of epic right-wing tantrum, OR, all but the richest among us get tipped into potential economic catastrophe.

I know what any sensible person would choose.

The funny thing is, leading Brexiters do too. That's why they're betting AGAINST the UK economy, moving their companies, and applying for EU resident status. So they're alright, while the rest of us burn.

#ExitFromBrexit

Saturday, 14 July 2018

THE 'WHATABOUTERY' OF THOSE IN THE UK SUPPORTING TRUMP, IS A NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT



I was pretty much glued to the television yesterday. Trump's visit to the UK was, of course, the categorical circus one might have expected.

From insulting our Prime Minister, then denying it and calling it "fake news" the very next day, leading a ludicrous press conference singing the praises of Britain's biggest buffoon Boris Johnson, to keeping our 92 year old Queen waiting in baking sun for nearly fifteen minutes. (She was wearing layers for God's sake.)


But then the clown prince of America compounded that, turning his back on her...even walking ahead of her. Hell, I'm no royalist, but even I found myself seething at Donald Trump's typically blissfully ignorant lack of awareness. So obtuse was he, he literally made our Queen dance around him.




Just who the hell is arrogant enough to keep the Queen of England waiting, live on national TV any way?

That's just 'who Donald Trump is', right?


That's what groups in the UK now supporting this ludicrous man would have us believe. People and political groups, factions and media publications, who just over two years ago were as appalled by the notion of Donald Trump being President of the United States as the rest of us, now try to argue why he's a great guy doing a great job. Even though he has the lowest approval rating of any American President in history, both domestically within the US, and internationally.

It takes the term 'fickle' to a whole new level.

Genuinely take a moment to briefly recall how ridiculous the proposition of Trump's presidency once seemed. Remember how absolutely anyone even vaguely masquerading as a decent human being used to decry the very idea. Even newspapers like The Sun and Daily Express were jovial and lighthearted regarding what once seemed a big joke, to all of us. As for high-brow right-wing publications like The Times and Telegraph - though they share many of his values - they too looked down on his embarrassing lack of intelligence, and vaunted egotism. He was beneath them.

As he should be all of us.

There's no better example than Boris Johnson, our very own insidious chameleon of British politics. The former Foreign Secretary vocally opposed Trump to the hilt back when he thought it made him popular, back when he was Mayor of London. He even openly referred to Trump as "out of his mind", and

"betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of President of the United States".
-Boris Johnson on Trump, in 2015 




Yet look at the weasel now... openly betraying his leader, and shamelessly humping Trump's leg on the world stage. Only occasionally  'beaten to the hump' by Nigel Farage (another villain who at least used to be openly recognised as a villain).

Happily for Johnson, Trump - like the benevolent kennel-master he is (as long as you don't bark) - now publicly pats his good doggie on the head at any given opportunity. Doing it on his official state visit? That'll have buoyed Boris to a degree that made me feel nauseous. He's back writing for The Telegraph on Monday by the way. Boris wasted no time returning to his megaphone, where he can whip up a frenzy absent any real responsibility, and how I bet he can't wait to crow.

Honestly, I didn't know it was physically possible for me to feel sorry for Theresa May. But watching her stand there on live television, while the tangerine hell-beast aside her postured about the talents of Boris Johnson and how he'd make a "great Prime Minister", after the week she'd already had - directly as a result of the very same louse? Wow. You can't really languish in the schadenfreude of someone unpleasant's fall from grace, if it's to facilitate someone even worse. (Well... you can, but it's pretty senseless.)

Ironically, that was the speech where Trump was trying to make Theresa look good. Not the one the night before, when he deliberately trashed her.

The subjugation of our leader was just painful - even for someone who opposes her on most, if not all things. She's still our Prime Minister, and she was reduced to a laughing stock on social media, and around the world. Strangely, the British commentators complaining about the "embarrassment" of the Trump balloon, didn't seem to mind too much about May's humiliation.

One of the most extraordinary satirical images I saw expressing this, among the memes of loving gazes and hand-holding, was this visceral parody of 'The Handmaid's Tale':




Brutal... just brutal, and deservedly so.

No genuine 'patriot' could be pleased to see Britain's status mocked in such a way. I almost chuckle to think of the fundamental quandary it'll have caused for British Nationalists. The Queen, and the respectability of our country are usually top of the 'gammon list of favourite things', yet here was their poster child insulting and disrespecting both.

But on the whole, they're taking the side of the US President. Tell me, who are the "traitors" again?


The 250,000 "Rent-a-Leftie mob"


I can honestly say I feel considerable pride at the vast number of people who showed up to demonstrate against Trump yesterday, Friday 13th July 2018. A number now reported to be in the region of a quarter of a million people:





To a degree, the turnout restored my faith in Britain to distinguish right from wrong. Without wanting to stir any still overly raw emotions, it gave me endlessly more pride in my country than winning ten World Cups.

But again, according to the insidious forces relentlessly trying to force Britain down this road of isolationism and fascism, all the marvellous people fighting for decency yesterday were nothing but "Corbyn's rent-a-Leftie mob", and the "worst of Britain":




Countless among those 250,000 people won't have been Corbyn supporters, or even necessarily left-wing. Just decent. Even many Conservative politicians and supporters recognise the danger this man represents to our world, it's not exclusive to socialists.

The Daily Mail are simply once again trying to divide our society - creating an entirely absolutist, black and white, 'us and them' situation. Because The Daily Mail still adhere to their mantra that simply by saying something, they can make it so. It's like they're trying to actively persuade the UK populace that supporting Trump is now more than acceptable - it's desirable, and eminently patriotic.

The same was true on Sky News on the day, with Kay Burley relentlessly hammering statistics allegedly proving roundabout half of Britain are now on board with Trump, believe him trustworthy, and that we should form closer ties with him in a post-Brexit world. Which I don't believe for a second. I generally favour what I see with my own eyes, like 250,000 people on the march - not what overtly biased factions 'tell me' is the case.

And what was it that made those marching "the worst of Britain" any way? The significantly large demonstration through London was marked by joy, music, and peaceful protest. Democratically voiced and indignant opposition to values we should all abhor: different people were there for a variety of reasons (there's a glorious pick'n'mix to choose from with Trump). There was none of the violence and venom we've come to expect from his rallies, and the Tommy Robinson rallies etc. In fact, the only pockets of conflict on the day were apparently caused by Trump supporters determined to stir anger, and cause a ruckus.

You only need eyes to see their entire attitude and body language are different:


Trump supporters goad demonstrators in London, photo c/o Rex Features.


And if you want more proof, check out what happened when the "Welcome Trump" mob joined forces with the Tommy Robinson mob on the day, here.

On the contrary, rather than feeling embarrassed, I am thankful peaceful protest is alive and well in Britain. Because what comes next, if and when that fails, does not bear thinking about. (As Nigel Farage and Brextremists continuously warn us, albeit with more relish, and conscious belief some kind of civil war is justified and desirable.)

That is what people really mean when they say we "cannot abandon Brexit", begrudgingly or otherwise; when they say "the damage to our democracy would be catastrophic". What they mean is that Farage, Rees-Mogg, Johnson, and their assorted goons will orchestrate some kind of civil war and widespread insurrection that'll turn Britain into the premise of a dystopic action film.
  

The 'Whataboutery' is embarrassing


What truly amazes me is the sheer number of groups in Britain who now try to argue in favour of Donald Trump, even though doing so flies in the face of values and ethics they (at least ostensibly) cling to. After all, nobody's surprised to hear the openly racist and 'gammon' appropriated members of our society doing so, but when it's people who try to appear as virtuous, informed and rational, it's an equation that doesn't quite balance out.

The one argument I heard over and over again on news reports and social media, even from those who'd have once been considered responsible journalists and politicians, was "why weren't they out there protesting Obama? He enforced similar policies." And "why aren't they out there protesting against dictators in China, Russia, and Iran?"

'Whatboutery' at its absolute finest. "It's ok for me to steal that kid's money, because that other guy who did it didn't get into trouble." Pathetic.

But if right-wing journalists and commentators really need it explaining, please allow me to. It's because no other Western leader has ever openly fed and encouraged racism... misogyny... xenophobia... violence... prejudice... dishonour... lies... or downright stupidity. Not in the same unapologetic and shameless way as Donald Trump, and not in recent times. He's legitimised pond-life everywhere, and changed the world for every one of us. The man's launched a wrecking ball at former values of our society; laid waste to notions of 'manners', 'honour', and 'mutual respect'.

In short, he must be challenged, because there's never been anyone quite like Trump in a post WWII western democracy. No one so deserving of demonstration.

It's also exactly because America was supposed to stand for something better. Generations in the West have grown up with the idea America is the peace-keeper of the world; that it's the 'land of the free, and the home of the brave'. The Statue of Liberty - the iconic symbol of America itself - was specifically supposed to be an everlasting testament to its welcoming of all peoples, and the nation's desire to be free of tyranny.




Britain too was once supposed to stand for inherent 'nobility', and decency. (At least post-empire, when it required a new marketing slogan.)

Dear friends in government and right-wing media: it's exactly when the greatest among us falls openly to corruption and nefarious intent, and no longer even tries to disguise it, that we're all in real trouble. Something beautiful besmirched, is more tragic than something already broken.


Respecting the Office


The other chestnut, paraded from the likes of Nick Ferrari to Nigel Farage, from Brendan O'Neill to Piers Morgan, was "whether we like it or not, he's the President of the United States: an office that must be respected." That's apparently why demonstrating was such an awful faux pas.

No. Having respect for someone's office doesn't mean disassociating from who is in that office and/or what they do, giving them a 'free pass'. That way lies the road to ruin, and dictatorship. A road Trump's well and truly galloping down, even managing to have brought back nepotism (something most of us thought consigned to history).

Certainly, the outrage concerning the Trump balloon was laughable. It seems the Trumpeters and Tommy Robinson supporters are all for 'free speech' - unless it happens to be a considerable amount of people disagreeing with them.




I'm not one of those arguing Trump shouldn't have been allowed to come. That's simply not pragmatic. He is the POTUS after all, however bizarre that fact is. A level of diplomacy must of course be observed. Even with tyrants. So by all means, come here Donald. Exactly so we can tell you exactly how much we despise you; so we can show you our disappointment at how you've defiled one of the greatest nations on Earth.

THAT 
is the very essence of democratic protest, and thereby, democracy. We demonstrated it beautifully.





Let's face it... I think deep down, most in Britain acknowledge Trump is a dangerous, babbling moron. It's just that for Brexit-supporting factions, the moron happens to be babbling rationale in their favour. It doesn't matter how much odious stuff or gobbledegook he comes out with, or how much damage filling the Brexit vacuum with subjugation to America will cause our NHS, our health and safety standards, our worker rights, our media, our food and medicine standards, or anything in fact. As long as Brexiters can argue it somehow pivotal to the whole 'escape from Brussels'.

But to those among us still sane? We see only too clearly that to jump ship from a union of mutually respectful nations of equals - where we were valued and afforded numerous privileges - into being a very junior partner at the whims of a boastful egotist who contradicts himself from moment to moment, is clearly madness off the scale.

Anyone who's spent any considerable length of time in America (at anything less than diplomat tier hotels, any way) will tell you, we definitely don't want their general food/medicine produce taking over, over here. For me personally, as someone who toured the US extensively for many years, the idea my shelves at home will soon be emptied of fine European and Mediterranean produce, instead to be stocked with the simply awful stuff I encountered in America, makes me feel truly depressed. As for medicine, and health supplements etc? Christ. In America, you could probably sell reconstituted cat's teeth as medicine if you bought off the right people, and put enough small print on the bottle.

Not to mention, it looks like the Tories have finally allowed Rupert Murdoch to take over British Sky Broadcasting, something he's been trying to do for decades. So we can also look forward to the equivalent of Fox News over here sometime soon, as part of the 'Great American Subjugation' (unless something is done). Thought Britain was dumb and spoon-fed already? Just wait.

If anything ever proved how much we need to remain united with our neighbours in Europe, it was the pantomime of Trump's state visit. And how much Brexiters are actually the ones willing to 'betray' their country - only too happy to see us vassal to an untrustworthy tyrant and liar, rather than admit they made a mistake.


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

ENDING BRITAIN'S UNWINNABLE WAR ON SEX & DRUGS: FLIPPING A FUTILE CRUSADE INTO FISCAL SALVATION




The UK government today announced it is conducting a debate into the banning of escort websites.

Good to see they’ve got the important things in hand.

Good grief. When are governments going to realise that outlawing and prohibiting practices that cater to generic human desires, such as drugs and prostitution, forcing those who provide them into 'criminality', is a simply massive own goal?? (Pardon the World Cup-related pun.)

You'd think governments who've based their entire ethos on 'free market capitalism' would appreciate the power of 'market driven commodities'. Meanwhile, western rulers have spent decades fighting an unwinnable war to stamp out supposedly carnal desires from the human psyche: something that will never never EVER be achievable. You may as well yell at the sky for being blue.

But only certain carnal desires, and for certain people.

Hell, I can take a trip to Africa and go shoot a giraffe, if I pay enough. I can invest my money in companies that finance cluster bombs and military coups, and somehow be considered a pillar of my local community. I can spend my life through a haze of alcohol fuelled idiocy, as long as I don't hurt anyone else in the process. But apparently, according to Western values, wanting to have sex with someone beautiful (easing the hideous futility of life for a few brief passing moments) or being one of those beautiful people and wanting to use my God-given charms for fiscal advantage, is worse than wanting to murder and maim.

Not in my book.

Similarly, wanting to take a drug to ease the mundaneness of existence, or to stifle the emotional agony that often comes with the turf? Well that’s OK in the West, even actively encouraged: as long as it's the right drugs, that fund the right people.

Mobster rule


Ergo, all prohibition does is force otherwise law-abiding citizens under the umbrella of being supposed 'criminals'. And if they get caught and go to prison, what happens then? Not only do they then mix with other 'real' criminals, guilty of far more nefarious crimes, but their future prospects are so hampered by the black mark on their record, that the need for them to resort to criminal enterprise in the future is multiplied by almost infinite amount. It's a senseless cycle, and again, it’s unwinnable.

By making these commodities illegal, by definition that creates the need for a 'criminal underworld'. Eg: genuinely immoral and nefarious types creating order out of chaos, usually using violence and intimidation to enforce their status quo. Criminal king-pins who then in turn corrupt politicians and police by paying them off, to turn a blind eye. It's just another form of cliquey elitism, underneath the layers of onion.

When the U.S briefly tried the same prohibition with alcohol (eg: the white man's drug of choice), it gave rise to one of the most powerful criminal underworlds in modern history: that of Al Capone. Not a coincidence. The Americans quickly worked out it was a bad idea. And a bit before that, they trifled with Puritanism (which surprisingly also turned out to be a rather big no-no too).

Whereas, look what happens if you legalise drugs and prostitution.

Criminal underworld? What criminal underworld. Wiped out in a heart beat. There's no need for it. Sex workers would be protected, have rights. The quality of drugs and their strength could be regulated, and monitored. No more dirty hovels, dirty needles, no more exploitation, no more pimps and trafficking, no drugs gangs. It would protect people: people who are gonna do what they want any way. And instead of funding criminals, the proceeds of industries we all know are there (and thrive in every single country of the world) could then be taxed and streamed back into our public services. It would create countless jobs. It could literally revolutionise the funding of our society, and change countless lives for the better. It's nothing short of a win/win proposition.

And just imagine how much more effective our police would be, if their time was freed up from petty offences, and they were able to solely pursue serious criminals? (A notion I have no doubt many in the police would agree with.) It would be a force motivated by ethics and protecting society, rather than meeting targets and numbers.

Refilling Britain’s coffers


I'll be bold enough to say (not that I think a Tory government would ever do anything so wise and non-judgemental), if this Brexsh*t malarkey goes ahead, and our country plummets into economic isolation and greater poverty... for those absent trust funds any way... legalisation and regulation of the cannabis industry could well be one of the few things that'd save our asses.

Not only will millions of people probably and justifiably need the stress relief, trapped on the island of Little England, but a thriving and regulated 'coffee shop' scene (like that of the Netherlands and in Canada etc) would undoubtedly fill the UK government's coffers faster than you could say "pass me the bong".

“How deplorable!” some will cry. “What a totally unethical way to raise revenue.” No… no it’s not. And certainly far less so than a nation clinging to fiscal solvency by selling weapons to brutal murderous regimes in Saudi Arabia and Israel. Guff.

It’s amusing how supposed 'decent types' look down their nose at demographics who might smoke a joint, or visit/be an escort etc, affecting nobody really but themselves - but are happy hobnobbing with those who support political groups starving and marginalising vulnerable people. Groups that quite literally take money from the poorest among us, our children, and the disabled. But lo and behold, when it comes to matters such as prohibited drugs or the sex trade etc, watch them jump upon their moral high horse with the vim of a Frankish crusader. It's laughable hypocrisy. (Like Trump arguing he wants to “protect the children of Syria” by dropping bombs on them, and concurrently putting the unwanted Mexican ones in cages.)

“Chill Winston!”


One final thought. If half the rowdy drinkers in Britain switched to cannabis instead, I don't think it can be overstated how much of a ridiculously calmer and less volatile place Britain would be. Anyone who’s visited Amsterdam will tell you that. The only rowdy people in Amsterdam are generally the British lager louts in the bars. Prior to them getting stoned and/or laid.

OK, it’d arguably be a less productive place maybe, or slower paced. But only if you think the yobs I’m talking about are out there curing cancer. And/or that everyone in Britain is gonna start magically taking a drug overnight just because they can. (By that logic, I could potentially become a Viagra addict tomorrow! *Cough, splutter... I don’t need it of course.)

Or how’s about the fact that many don’t drink alcohol, even though it’s available in every crevice of Britain and the western world?

Kinda smashes the argument in one fell swoop.