Monday, 30 September 2019

A Caserolazo Is One Way to Resist a Very British Junta


As the various quislings who seem to make up the bulk of the opposition in the House of Commons talk about their plans for a so-called Government of National Unity, it might be a good idea to use original Spanish terms for what is rapidly becoming a very Hispanic type of politics. While we are at it, we can also look at some effective means of popular resistance.

First of all, we will not legitimise this constitutional coup by adopting the name given to it by its members and supporters. For us it is a junta; a gang of treasonous buffoons who may lack the comic opera uniforms found in the Hispanic world but who are just as unconstitutional.

There is talk of John Bercow being installed as jefe de la junta, but I find that idea as risible as Bercow. Most coup leaders end up as figures of fun, but they never start out that way and that is Bercow's lot, I'm afraid. At 5' 5" tall the most he could do is threaten to headbutt someone on his kneecap, but I doubt if he could even manage that threat and make it credible. Not when he knows that his own wife puts the horns on him with his brother. He must also know that we know as well and find his inability to control his own household an endless source of amusement. We suspect that the family dog ignores him as well. 

The fact that the putative coup mongers have not ruled Bercow out suggests that they are short of talent, but assuming that they find someone, then manage to remove the government and install this caudillo in Downing Street, how shall we respond?


The classic Latin-American response to a coup has become the international standard: it is called the caserolazo, and it is very effective. Basically, you take a casserole dish and a big spoon from the kitchen, go outside and then use the dish as a drum to create, along with thousands of other women, a cacophony of noise.

We don't know who came up with this idea, but it seems to have been a Chilian, probably during their period of rule by the junta. That a woman came up with this idea in the first place strikes me as axiomatic: how many men do you know who even have a dim awareness of where the kitchen is, still less what the pots are stored in it?


One person banging one dish is just local noise, but a thousand people doing the same is guaranteed to put the shits up the local bizzies, especially if the demonstrators are stood in their own backyards and the boys in blue can't see them so don't know exactly how many people are involved.

In 1980s Chile they had to print leaflets such as the one reproduced above to get people to engage in a caserolazo, but we have the internet and mobile phones that can be used to spread our agitprop quickly and cheaply. If the Chileans could get tens of thousands to join in the demonstrations then we should be able to get the whole of the Brexitland to create a feeling of blind terror in the hearts of all the quislings.

The coup is coming, so let's be ready to meet it!

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Federast Funnies 12



Well, another one of my comments at the Guardian that did not last very long. Needless to say, more than a few Guardianistas were having the vapours when they read it, but it is a fair point - how can a man like Bercow be expected to have the respect of anyone when he cannot even command it from his own wife?



The General Election is gonna be fun, you mark my words.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Federast Funnies 11



As Boris announces that Parliament will be prorogued to stop the Federasts from implementing their cunning plan to put some backbencher into Number 10 Downing Street, the Guardian promptly went into a meltdown that is even more entertaining for normal people than the one they had in the aftermath of the People's Vote in 2016.

"Guardian meltdown will commence in three, two, one: meltdown commence now," was my comment, a remark that was quickly deleted by the Guardian's Mrs Grundy.



This comment did not last much longer, but at least I managed to grab a screenshot of it before Mrs Grundy could delete it - she did, by the way.

I have now been put in pre-moderation, thanks to all the precious, weeping Federasts who complained that I have invaded their safe spaces or something. Not that it matters; what matters is that the Guardian's finest feel like shit.

Which is what they are.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Federast Funnies 10


I haven't created a Federast Funny for over a year which is far too long, especially when the Guardian gives me such an open net to score in. Today, one of their hacks came up with an interesting piece which drew lessons from history to illustrate its pro-EU point. Fair enough thought avuncular old Uncle Ken, who then proceeded to do the same with this comment:


Now, I wasn't being entirely 100% serious with this quick comment, but I don't think that it is too bad and it is certainly in keeping with the piece that I was commenting on, so who could complain?

Well, It seems that an awful lot of Guardian webmongs did not agree and the little retards began by missing entirely that fact that we were supposed to be drawing lessons from  history:


I was tempted to ask Marcel which war he wanted me to get over since I did discuss about three in my comment and I was also tempted to tell Herman that I was gonna call him Arminius whether he liked it or not just for giggles.

Alas, the Guardian's Mrs Grundy responded to all the Federasts whining and deleted my comment and its very engaging replies before I could do any of that. However, that was not before I had grabbed the screenshots to provide you with some free entertainment this fine Sunday afternoon.

All good fun, people, all good fun.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Titania McGrath is Brought to Life at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019


Titania McGrath was created by the satirist Andrew Doyle as a series of tweets, which then grew into a book and has now been brought to life on the stage by Alice Marshall. If you hurry you can see it as I did last night as it runs up to and including Sunday. Tickets cost just over a tenner, which as Titania says is only the price of a decent flat latte.

So who is Titania McGrath? Well, she is everything that normal people hate, but according to her, she is a typical Kensington girl, with a modest trust find and a burning desire for social justice. In other words, she is a parasite who wants to make the lives of the rest of as difficult as possible. The Titania's of the country have been riding the cultural wave for several decades now and as anyone who has ever read the Guardian will know, the Brexit vote has created terror in their ranks as they contemplate what the plebs who outnumber them could do if they set their minds to it. 

Andrew Doyle's creation is the start of the process that will hopefully end with the real-life woke warriors back in their boxes having learned the meaning of the word defeat. We have a long way to go yet, but the book and now the one-woman performance can be said to mark the start of that process.

How good is the play? Well, it is good, but it still needs a script that has been tightened up some more, since it tends to wander from one thing to another until it ended up as a mixture of stand up comedy with some vignettes added. I liked the running joke about Titania's plans to set up a new political party called Shame UK, and it might have been a good idea to make the whole 45-minute performance the introduction of the new party. 

That said, when you look at the way that the Federasts are behaving both inside and outside the Commons, you might argue that it is impossible to parody the parody of British life that they have already created. That is doubly so when you consider that some of them blame Dad's Army for Brexit and others hold that air-conditioning is inherently sexist. Only then can you consider just how difficult it is to parody people who are so lacking in self-awareness that they do not realise how risible they are to normal people.

I was also dubious about interspersing Titiana's execrable poetry into the play, but that might just be me: I tend to the view that poetry by its very nature is pretty bloody execrable.

The Edinburgh fringe is the place where new works get their first outing before the changes are made that lead to their successful transfer to the London stage and given what I saw last night, this one should be odds-on the make the transfer very soon. Especially if the producers keep Alice Marshall in the title role.


She really did bring the character to life, and everything about her performance reeked of the privilege that the metropolitan woke generation regard as their right to impose on the rest of us. Sadly, the audience lacked a few members of the pure at heart who can be expected to make a loud exit half-way through a performance such as this and provide easy laughs for the rest of us. I believe that on other nights there have been such disruptions and that Alice Marshall is now pretty adept at making sure that they exit the theatre with their tails between their legs which is the way it should be. Alas, none of them was in the almost full house yesterday.

At the end of the play, I asked her to sign my copy of Woke, which she did. She was also, I thought, pleased that I called her Miss Marshall and not Miss McGrath, which leads me to wonder if some people do not believe that the actress really is the character. If they do, then I think she should take that as a complement to her theatrical presence, as she really did allow Titania McGrath to shine, in all her loathsome splendour.  


Friday, 16 August 2019

My Family and Peterloo


Today is the 200th anniversary of Peterloo and in the 1880s a photograph was taken of a group of people which was published as The Failsworth Veterans of Peterloo, and the first time I saw it I damn near choked on my tea. Sitting at the front of the group the fat man on the left is Thomas Schofield, with Alice, his wife who is dressed all in black on the right. When I showed this photograph to my parents in the 1980s my dad remarked ruefully that you expect buggers like the Schofields to have been involved in events like that.

My mother's family rented 29 Old Road, Failsworth, Manchester, from the Schofield family from before the Great War to about 1960 when we moved into number 31 right next door. My mother told people that we had the gipsy in us, you see...

No matter which house it was the Schofield's owned the whole block and every time it rained the tenants had to put buckets in the bedrooms to catch the water. If we had a typical British summer then my dad got very little sleep as those buckets filled very quickly and needed regular emptying. In winter the back yard became a skating rink, which made a trip to the bog an interesting experience.

A descendant of the Peterloo couple was Redfern Schofield who was the head of the family when I was a very small boy. He became a conscientious objector in the Great War and was always called Old Conchie by my time. 



On my wall today I have the above photo of my mother's maternal uncle, Fred Burden, his wife Maggie and their daughter. When my maternal grandmother died in 1920 her three brothers met up, in a pub of course, and decided what to do with her three children. Fred Burden got Rose, my mother, and she joined his family as one of Old Conchie's tenants. The photo was taken in about 1916 and shows Fred Burden proudly wearing his army uniform as one of Kitchener's Volunteers. He died in 1926 at the age of 40...

Fast forward to 1939 and Dick Schofield, Redfern's son, was also a conchie, and he was known as Young Conchie to differentiate him from his dad. My father, who married my mother just after the war ended, served in the Royal Artillery and helped lug a 25-pounder around Europe. My mother worked six 12-hour shifts a week at the Avro-Roe factory that built the Lancaster bombers that did so much to dehouse the population of Germany during the 1940s.


This photo shows the whole block that was owned by the Schofield family. On the far left you can just see the Schofield's shoe shop at number 27 Old Road and across the street and opposite was their furniture warehouse, since demolished. One night in the 1950s some blokes were hard at work breaking into the warehouse and my mum woke dad up to tell him. He told her to go back to sleep and ignore it, which she did.

The Schofield family was made up of Nonconformist, Liberal, teetotal, sanctimonious, anally-retentive, self-righteous gits. My father was a labourer, my mother a dressmaker and they were both low-Anglicans who voted Tory because you don't vote for the landlord's party, do you?

Just over a decade after Peterloo the Great Reform Act was passed which enfranchised the Schofield men and their ilk. They became the local petty capitalists which was the sum total of their desires. I suspect they were like Thatcher's family and people like that are always loathed by the bulk of the local population who would make a point of adopting a political view contrary to theirs because their interests are invariably not ours. It is probably why when the bulk of working men got the vote in the 1880s many voted Tory; my family certainly did and the first time my parents ever voted Labour was in 1983. They recognised in Thatcher a creature so loathsomely typical of the petty capitalist class that she forced them to break the habits of a lifetime.

So, when looking at Peterloo, you need to remember that many of the demonstrators were not proto-Leninists who battled to overthrow the existing order. They were aspirational arsewipes who wanted to enjoy their place within that order and pretty soon after 1819 that is exactly what they did.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Why Did The Brexit Party Lose Peterborough?

Why did The Brexit Party lose the Peterborough by-election? There may be lots of reasons, but the main one seems to be the old problem that all insurgent parties have in that they rely on enthusiasm rather than organisation to achieve victory and it seldom works.

Labour's victory was down to good organisation. The constituency was canvassed several times so the party knew where its supporters were. That information was put into a databank so that on election day tellers could be put at every single polling station to collect voter numbers. Those were fed into the database so that in the evening, the party knew more or less which of its supporters had failed to vote. Then cars were sent out to collect the non-voters and ferry them to their polling stations.

This system was invented in Reading and first used in the 1945 election. It helped get Ian Micardo elected and was quickly copied by the rest of the Labour Party before all the other parties copied the Reading system themselves. 

The old Liberal Party excelled at it. Since they lacked much in the way of constituency organisation, the Liberals set up a nationally organised group of activists where were expert in the Reading system and when a by-election was called they were sent out to the constituency to run the local campaign. The local activists were dragooned into acting as foot soldiers by those national organisers and the Liberals quickly acquired a reputation as ferocious by-election campaigners with a string of victories.


The Brexit Party has become an expert at social media, at photo-ops that show Nigel Farage with a man of the people pint in his hand and at getting the mass media to follow its lines. What it failed to do in Peterborough is what it has always failed to do ever since Farage was in UKIP. It cannot organise its election campaigns efficiently and it leaves too much to local enthusiasm and blind luck.

Today, any political party can buy in canvassing tools, so there is no excuse for this cack-handedness. The most popular one is called Nation Builder and the company which sells the software even throws in a free, online set of tutorials that are aimed specifically at first-time candidates and their staffs.

The Brexit Party had a good candidate in Mike Greene who is well-known in Peterborough, a positive message and lots of enthusiasm. It lost against Labour's poor candidate, confusing message over Brexit, but ruthlessly efficient by-election machine.

The Brexiteers need to copy that winning strategy as quickly as possible.
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