Thursday 24 December 2015

Pigs in blankets are renamed Cameron's Delights

All ready for Christmas dinner? Remember that pigs in blankets are now called Cameron's Delights, in honour of our illustrious Prime Minister and the love he has for schlonging pigs.

Just make sure that the sausages that you make 'em with are chipotle sized!

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Donald Trump and the schlonging of Hilary Clinton

I am developing a soft spot for Donald Trump, if only because he manages to annoy all the people whose presence on this planet leave me feeling in need of a bath. The lovely thing is that with his most recent comment he did it just by telling the truth.

The Donald pointed out that Hillary Clinton had been defeated badly by Barack Obama when the two had battled for the Democratic nomination for the White House and that was enough to have the pure at heart reaching for their smelling salts.

OK, he didn't put it quite like that. What he said was: "She was going to beat Obama. She was favoured to win and she got schlonged. She lost, I mean she lost." However, it means the same thing. As the British would say: Hillary was given a right good shagging.

Instead of trying to argue that Hillary was not shagged - or schlonged, depending on which version of English you speak - the pure at heart are hoping to make people forget that simple fact by talking about The Donald's use of language. 

As part of that strategy the silly sods reminded us that back in April The Donald quoted as young Texan woman who demolished Hillary Clinton in just 16 words: "If Hillary Clinton can't satisfy her husband what makes her think that she can satisfy America?"

They thought that this was another example of Trump's offensive speech, and either forgot or just didn't know that he was quoting the words of a woman. However, the real problem is that it also reminds America of Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky and Bill's love of cigars...

Somebody should have a quiet word in the ears of America's pure at heart. The reason why The Donald is doing so well is that he gives people a chance to give the American version of the two-fingered salute to them.
‘If Hillary Clinton Can’t Satisfy Her Husband, What Makes Her Think She Can Satisfy America?’ - See more at:
‘If Hillary Clinton Can’t Satisfy Her Husband, What Makes Her Think She Can Satisfy America?’ - See more at:

Saturday 19 December 2015

Labour & Tories present a joint guide to losing an election

It's rare to have a weekend when both Labour and the Tories drop electoral bollocks, but by God this weekend was one to remember for such an event.

First up was Diane Abbott, pictured above stuffing her gullet with something or other. The Hockney Hippo appeared to stick the boot in her own party when she airily claimed, “I mean, it is too late now to rebuild the position in Scotland in time for May." 

Now parties may suspect that they are going to be left with their arses hanging out the electoral window, but rule one of politics is that you don't say that publicly before the election. 

If you break that rule then it makes you look like a bunch of incompetent losers, something which David "Fluffy" Mundell should have remembered before he went on the break it himself.

Fluffy is the last surviving Tory MP in Scotland, and his contribution to the weekend's joint train crash was to tell the good people of Scotland that they should vote Tory to avoid the country becoming a one party state run by the SNP.

That's right: he wasn't saying how great his party was, or what it would do for the country, merely that we should cast as sort of sympathy vote for his ramshackle outfit just to stop the government that most of us actually quite like from getting too many seats.

So an own goal apiece for both parties, but then Labour came along, dribbled the ball from the half way line right into their own area and scored a blistering goal into the back of their own net. You don't believe me: meet the Labour candidate for the Glasgow Southside seat in next years Scottish General Election:

No, it's not a bloke, it is actually a bird that answers to the name of Fariha Thomas. This woman is so unknown that she has not yet had an insulting nickname bestowed upon her. She has sat as a Glasgow councillor for all of three years, is from London originally and is a convert to Islam.

Glasgow Southside, in case you were wondering, is Nicola Sturgeon's seat. Now I accept that Labour has little chance of winning it, but did they have to choose a candidate who is so far removed from Glasgow, not to say Scotland's, mainstream?

I try to understand what if going through the minds of the two old parties, I really do. The problem is that they come over as two little bunny rabbits caught in the blazing headlights of the SNP truck that is charging down the road and will soon squash them

Friday 4 December 2015

Labour romps to victory in Oldham West & Royton leaving Kippers smoked

Labour swept to victory in Oldham West & Royton yesterday with an increased share of the vote. Given that an awful lot of people in the media and political bubble were predicting a narrow win, and many were dreaming about the party losing the seat, that means arses have been left stinging all round.

Nigel Farage the UKIP leader rather engagingly lost the plot completely and began to bang on about how the result must have been a fix. His more deranged followers took up that theme, and are now going postal all over the web. For their part the Tories who saw their share of the vote collapse to a derisory 2,500 votes are keeping very quiet in the hope that people will not start laughing at them for this utter failure.

So how did Labour manage it? I will argue that four factors need to be considered:

The first is that Labour under old Stormin' Corbyn really is the party that wants to keep the wages up, the management down and the benefits flowing. The press and UKIP may rattle on about immigration and the like, but working class people in places like Oldham are used to having to make compromises as the price they have to pay to get some of their issues addressed. They may not like Labour's social policies, but so long as the party represents their economic interests then they will support it. 

Secondly, Oldham has changed enormously in the forty years since I had the misfortune to work there. Back then the town really was an isolated shithole, with shops that closed an lunchtime, and its very own lower middle class of shopkeepers and small businessmen.

Today if you want to buy a pie in Oldham then you go to Greggs, which is part of a chain. Buying a newspaper involves going into a shop run by a Pakistani. That traditional, white, lower middle class, commercial group who ran things forty years ago from their small, independent shops are no longer around. Given that those type of people are the bedrock that UKIP rests upon, it should be obvious why the party does not have a voting core in Oldham.

Oldham has a middle class, of course it does, but they are what I like to call the polyocracy who are employed in local government, teaching or the NHS. They are not going to vote for parties like the Tories or UKIP who want to do them over economically. The Pakistani population is just as poor as its British counterparts, but is also outraged by the latest Middle East war, so you can forget them. The rest of the population, roughly sixty percent in total, are largely made up of unskilled and semi-skilled working class people who have been ignored by Labour for at least a generation. Then along came Corbyn and all of a sudden there are polices that Labour's core voters can get their teeth into - is it any wonder that they voted Labour?

Thirdly, Labour has an electoral machine, which may be a bit rusty after the Blair years, but could still be greased up and set in motion. The influx of several hundred volunteers from all over Britain who travelled to Oldham at their own expense to canvass in the pouring rain, before going to sleep another night on someone's sofa was all it needed to get the machine firing on all cylinders.

Working class people actually rather like being canvassed in person. They like it when someone knocks on the door and tells them how important their vote is, especially when it is piss pouring it down with rain outside. People are used to being ignored or taken for granted by just about everyone, and there's a knock on the door and there's some pretty little girl, dripping wet, but determined to treat them as if they matter.

Finally, Labour had a perfect candidate in Jim McMahon. A local man who left school at 16, and then worked his balls off to provide for his family. He is dismissed as a right-winger by some of the Trots, but he is actually an old Labour man who wants what is right for his people. Had Blair still been in power then some Oxbridge type would have been forced on the constituency, but Corbyn left the local party to make its own choice and they chose wisely.

Looked at in those terms, it is amazing that anyone really believed that Labour could do anything other than triumph in Oldham West & Royton.

Friday 27 November 2015

Labour is almost certain to win Oldham West & Royton

Next Thursday the people of Oldham West & Royton will go to the polls to elect a new MP, to replace Michael Meacher who sadly died recently. Hopefully, Jim McMahon will be chosen to take Michael's seat, but given that this is a by-election in December when  anything is theoretically possible, we cannot blame the Tories, Lib-Dems and UKIP for trying to talk down McMahon's chances.

I used to live in the Oldham West constituency, and in the 1983 general election I was the party member who drove Michael Meacher around what would become his new seat. It was new in the sense that Openshaw had been abolished and some of its wards, including mine, had ended up in Oldham West. Charles Morris had been the Openshaw MP and there was quite a bit of ill feeling in his part of the constituency that he had not been selected to fight the new Oldham West.

In that general election Labour was engaged in another one of its internal feuds between right and left, but the party had an army of new activists who had joined to fight Thatcher and we slogged our guts out to get Michael elected.

He was returned with 44% of the vote, which the old guard told us was a disaster, that was all due to our failure to select Charlie Morris!

Over a generation later later, in Jim McMahon Labour has a candidate who is not only local to the area, but is well respected in it. People know that he is the local lad who left school at 16, was a father in his early twenties and worked two jobs to put the corn on the table for his family. The fact that Labour is once again engaged in a bout of internal blood-letting is neither here nor there.

Labour's new army of activists will be talking about tax credits, benefit sanctions and the cost of any war in Syria. That the war will be paid for out of cuts to benefits strikes me as a logical line to take on the doorsteps. 

The Tories and Kippers who are fantasising about Labour losing this seat really need to remember that the white population of this constituency is by and large made up of unskilled and semi-skilled people, many of whom spend a lifetime going from one minimum wage job to another with long periods on the social in-between. The Pakistanis will vote solidly against the war, but they also have solid economic reasons to oppose Toryism, since they are even more likely to be low paid than the native British.

So what's the best bet on an outcome? Well, turnout will be low as this is a by-election, and Oldham is cold, wet and miserable at the best of times, but especially in December so that will encourage people to stay at home where it's all nice and warm. We should also be honest and admit that Labour people have a habit of being disengaged from politics, anyway, especially at by-elections. It takes a general election to get them out to vote in large numbers, since it needs a lot of  background noise to remind them of what's at stake. UKIP's voters will turn out since minor party people tend to be more engaged than others. So the Labour majority will be cut on the back of a very low turnout of under fifty percent, just as it was in 1983.

I will be travelling down to Manchester tomorrow, and have a hotel in the middle of the constituency. I will try to blog about the campaign, assuming that I am sober enough to do so, but as things stand, and based upon what I know about the division, Labour is odds-on to win.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Sympathy for victims of Pais attacks is "Eurocentric," says middle class guilt tripper

I wondered how long it would take before the precious souls of Liberalmiddleclassland would start whining about the response to the obscenity that was delivered to Paris on Friday night. It took until Monday before the Independent decided that grieving over almost 150 dead was too much and decided to put it all into context, courtesy of one Lulu Nunn, pictured left

Lulu's line is that people who place the French tricolour over their Facebook profile photos are guilty of all sorts of waycist things:

It’s a dismaying and damaging truth that Westerners care about and empathise with images of white-skinned women grieving in Topshop bobble hats far more than brown-skinned women grieving in niqabs and, when you lend your voice to Euro-centric campaigns such as Facebook’s flag filter, you exacerbate this. When we buy into such easy corporate public mourning, we uphold white supremacy. We’re essentially saying that white, Western lives matter more than others.
I know, stunningly inane, isn't it? To think that Europeans should have a Eurocentric view, and feel kinship with those of their own civilisation who suffered from the Paris atrocity.

If you are a Westerner then it really does not matter if you are an admirer of Fred Engels or Fred Hayek, because at root you are a product of the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, the Age of Reason, the French Revolution and then the Russian Revolution.

Those epochs were all steps on the road to societies that are based on rationality and reason, not inbred superstition. It is therefore quite logical for us to feel more for those who share our civilisation than for those who do not. I might add that we almost expect the more primitive parts of the world to behave savagely as they have not yet gone through the historical processes necessary to reach our level of civilisation.

I do not want to be too cruel to Lulu Nunn, as I prefer to leave that to the political right. She is a part of British society that George Orwell speared very nicely in many of his works: the self-loathing, white, middle class who enjoy all the benefits that a modern, developed economy offers to people of that ilk, and feels guilty about it all.  I accept that she is also a product of the London Metropolitan "University," formerly known as North London Poly, so is hardly likely to be the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Lulu will not like this, but what her background means is that she is no closer culturally or ideologically to a third world goat herder or water carrier than anyone else who is a product of the civilised, advanced world. In fact, she has more in common with elderly, semi-crippled, benefit claiming me than she does with anyone from the primitive parts of the world.

As a good Westerner I will defend to the death the right of Lulu Nunn to write whatever she wishes, as well as flash her admittedly rather nice tits around to all and sundry without fear or favour.

We Westerners are like that.

Monday 16 November 2015

Tommy Sheridan's Solidarity may be no more

Friday the 13th was unlucky this month for Tommy Sheridan's Solidarity - Hope Over Fear party when the Herald newspaper rang up party secretary Gordon Morgan, and told him that his party no longer existed. Morgan had until the 31 October to confirm with the Electoral Commission that the party was still active. Since he couldn't be bothered doing, Solidarity was de-registered on the 4 November.

At first Morgan tried to bluster by saying that he would correct "the mistake," but when told that the only way to do that was to start the process of registration all over again and pay £150 for the pleasure of doing it, he just said: “Oh for fuck’s sake. Oh shit.” 

He then went on to admit that the Hope Over Fear slogan had only been registered to stop other people using it, before the penny dropped as he uttered the immortal line: “If we’ve lapsed anyone could fucking use it.” 

Much as I like Tommy Sheridan, the man who did more than almost any other to rally opposition in Scotland to the Poll Tax during the Thatcher years, if you mix with Trots then things like this will happen, given that Trotskyism is less an ideology and more a mental deficiency.

It might be an idea for Sheridan to run as an independent in next year's Scottish General Election. He can't do any worse than he has surrounded by Trotscum can he?

Thursday 12 November 2015

Abortion law in Scotland must be a matter for Holyrood, not Westminster

The Labour Party shrugged its shoulders at the defeat of their amendment to devolve tax credits to Holyrood, but have now decided to use the House Of Lords to try and stop the devolution of abortion law. Please don't ask me what is going through their little minds - the party seems to be having another one of those head up arsehole moments.

As things stand the whole of Great Britain is covered by the 1967 Abortion Act, which in theory allows abortions up to 24 weeks. I say in theory because in Scotland the de facto limit has always been 18 weeks.

The reason for this is that Ground C of the 1967 act which states that a woman's mental health will suffer if she continues with the pregnancy is not accepted as providing sufficient grounds for a late abortion in Scotland. Thus a pregnant woman who has reached 18 weeks gestation either has to have the child or go to England to abort it.

Looking at the line put out by the Labour figures who want to keep abortion law firmly under Westminster's control it seems to me as if they do not actually know that the two countries already differ when it comes to abortion provision. Their argument is thus confused and confusing, and seems to boil down to the fact that they that they genuinely believe that democracy just means people voting for a set of policies that have been created at elite level in Westminster.

Politics is about having the power to allocate resources. That means that in every political debate there are going to be winners and losers. In an ideal world, such  compromises  as are necessary will be made to ensure that the losers walk away with something, and leave them hoping for better luck next time.

The whole of the public health political arena has already been handed over to Holyrood, save that of abortion law. It is an intellectually incoherent anomaly that Labour, for perverse reasons of its own, wants to keep this one issue under Westminster's wing.

All of this leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, suggesting as it does that Labour really does not trust the northern provincials to run things properly.

Labour needs to be aware of that if it wants to save itself in Holyrood from the near extinction that befell it in Westminster, then those arrogant, elitist attitudes need to be dropped.

Hopefully, the Scotland Bill will pass the House Of Lords unchanged, but if it doesn't then the fact that Labour has amended the bill will help ensure that the party is wiped out at next year's Scottish General Election.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Welcoming the new Scotland Bill

By and large I am satisfied with the Scotland Bill that should be enacted into law early next year. We need to see how the negotiations over the new fiscal framework pan out, but the Westminster bill is certainly in tune with what was agreed at the Smith Commission talks last year.

Scotland has come a very long way since 1998, and is a far more civilised country to live in than the England that I left just over two years ago. I would hope that this process continues and that under the new powers, Scotland will continue to improve as a country where ordinary people can feel at home. As that happens, the differences between it and the Tory land to the south will become more and more apparent.

Scotland does not need to push for another referendum, as all it needs to do is continue along its current path and the Union will either disappear with a whimper or it will cease to have any relevance to most people and their lives even if legally it continues.

Consider the enormous differences that already exist. Council houses are no longer sold, and the bedroom tax is not applied. Claimants do not have to pay any council tax at all, and 16-18 years old students still get Education Maintenance Allowance. If they go to university then they get a grant, and the fees of all students are paid by the state. Finally, Stamp Duty on house sales has been abolished and replaced by a kind of transaction tax that does over the upper middle class far more than Stamp Duty ever did.

All that and more is under the current dispensation. Now just imagine how things could become when the new powers come into force as we head into 2017 or 2018.

Control of income tax rates and bands will pass to Holyrood, which means that the middle class can be taxed at much higher levels. If Scotland is serious about repairing the economic and social damage that has been done to the country since 1979, then taxing the middle class to start the process of repairing the damage that their votes caused in the first place strikes me as being what the Americans call a no-brainer.

Scotland has come a long way in less than twenty years, which shows that the country does not need to be fully independent to be free of that shower of two-legged cockroaches who run the show in Westminster. It just needs to use the powers that it has, and negotiate new ones. Then set it own course towards making this part of Britain a better place for the majority rather than the few.

What's not to like?

Friday 23 October 2015

How Michelle Dorrell was shafted by the Tories

Michelle Dorrell was in all the headlines last Friday, but the press is now trying desperately to forget about her as they run their latest Corbyn bad story. It's up to social media to keep the story alive and remind people of just how scummy the Tories are.

The point is that Michelle got a double shafting. Firstly she was promised by Cameron that he would not cut working tax credits. That was an election pledge that has just been unceremoniously dumped, leaving Michelle and thousands like her up shit creek. She voted for the Cameroonians on the basis of a pledge that has turned out to be a downright lie.

Secondly, and this may not apply directly to Michelle, but it applies to plenty of others who bought into the Tory shtick of demonising claimants as scroungers and exalting people in employment as hard working taxpayers. 

That line came with a particularly nasty sleight of hand trick whereby the unemployed were encouraged to set themselves up as self employed, even if the so-called businesses that they were running did not make any money. They were told by the joke shops that working tax credits would pay them a wage, in effect, and the beauty of this wheeze was that overnight they went from being benefit scrounging scum to hard working family taxpayers. As far as the Tory regime was concerned it was all about getting the official unemployment figures down, until this year when they decided to reverse the policy.

A couple of years ago I met  fellow who was supposedly a copywriter. Over a pint or three he told me that what he actually did was give Amazon book reviews for a couple of quid a throw to anyone who wanted them. He confessed that he only earned a few quid a month, but that his tax credits gave him something approaching an income.

Sorry, but you cannot blame the unemployed for doing as the Tories wanted by becoming self employed. It isn't their fault that in July this year those same Tories decided to include them in the category of scroungers rather than hard working taxpayers.

Friday 16 October 2015

Michelle Dorrell was gullible, but the left needs to bring her back into the tent

On last night's Question Time, Michelle Dorrell (35), a single mother of four children, broke down as she accused the government of preparing to give her a right Torying by cutting her working tax credits. Here's the clip that is going all round the web today:

As you can see, Missy Dorrell is a self confessed Tory voter who is only whining because she is now about to get done over. She didn't seem to care when other claimants had their benefits cut by the regime; she seems to have ignored all that because it did not impinge on her or her family. On one level it is hard to say that you would need a heart of stone not to laugh at her distress, which is probably why jibes such as this are also going viral all over the web:

The problem is that Michelle is the victim of a Tory scam that has been running for years. She runs her own nail salon from home, a business which does not make any money, so she relies on tax credits as her main source of income.

If this sounds crazy to you, then remember that the unemployed are pressured to go on courses by the local job centre, or joke shop as they are called in the vernacular. Those courses are run by spiv-like private companies and the aim is to get people off the unemployment statistics by hook or by crook. One way is to encourage the unemployed to become self-employed, and then to rely on tax credits for their income. Back in Thatcher's day every GP was given the nod and wink to sign the long term unemployed onto disability benefit, and now under Cameron they are being moved into self-employment, but the wheeze is still the same: get the unemployment figures down by fiddling them.

Viewed in that light, it is hard not to have some sympathy for Michelle Dorrell, who has clearly been duped by Tory scum. That she now feels that Jeremy Corbyn is a better representative of her interests than David Cameron is a bonus that cannot be denied.

Politics is about self-interest, which is why I am a socialist. If I had been born the son of Sir Charles Bell, landowner, instead of Charlie Bell, factory labourer, I am sure that I would be a hard-arsed Tory who believed in working people to death and paying them a pittance. I am not, so I don't.

Owen Jones, of all people, has it right when he said that Michelle and people like her need to be "love-bombed." This prodigal daughter must be welcomed back inside the tribe and encouraged to tell her story to anyone who will listen: the Tories are scum who aim to impoverish the masses so that the few can become even richer. 

That is not to say that we cannot tease her for being gullible and believing Tory lies, but we have to bring the likes of Michelle back on board the collectivist bandwagon. If we can do that then the Tories can be shut out of office forever.

Monday 5 October 2015

Tories get eggstatic welcome to Manchester

Manchester is infested with Tories at the moment, which is terrible for a city that does not have a single councillor from that scummy collection of two-legged cockroaches. That said, I reckon that yesterday's incident when the head of one of the party's prettier little boys got in the way of a flying egg was a bit of a yolk.

Think about it, the Tories sent out four contestants in the upper class twit of the year contest to stand outside the massive steel barricades that have been erected to protect such creatures from the people's distaste.

The four stooges seem to have been egged on by a rather tasty bit of blonde totty until eventually the inevitable happened, whereupon they all took their hooks back inside the barricaded security zone.

You can watch the whole, daft, put-up job if you want by clicking this link. The blonde piece appears at about the twenty second mark and was not too happy about about being filmed, by the way.

Enough of this merry banter: the city centre rooftops are now covered with sniper positions just to make sure that nobody throws any more eggs:

Monday 21 September 2015

Corbyn supporters need to learn from the Scots in how to get the message across

Until today the press has been throwing everything that it could at Jeremy Corbyn in the hope that something would stick. Today it seemed like Cameron's turn to face the press in full blood sport mood, but already the hacks are starting to pull holes in the story that he enjoys nothing more than sticking his cock into the mouth of a dead pig, or saying that it doesn't really matter. By tomorrow we can expect that the line will be that it was all stuff and nonsense and best forgotten about. Then the hacks will go back to attacking Corbyn again.

If you live in Scotland none of this is in any way new. During last year's referendum campaign the mainstream media hit the Yes voters with everything and anything that came to hand. The aim was to batter the Nationalists into submission, just as now they want to do the same to Corbyn and the people who elected him as Labour's leader. However, although the Nats narrowly lost the referendum, the lessons learned stood them in good stead for this year's general election when the SNP took 56 out of the 59 seats that Scotland has in the House of Commons.

To understand the new politics in Scotland you first of all have to take in that the reactionary side of politics dominates the old media whereas the progressives have a lock on all the new ones. A recent study by the University of Glasgow has concluded that had the referendum been fought under the old media rules, then reaction would have swept the board. The fact that it was so close shows only that the next generation has not yet taken full power, but that the torch really is passing into their hands.

The new politics' activists have little interest in attending tedious meetings in draughty halls or trying to persuade the press to listen to their arguments. They connect to each other via social media and when they realised that the press was not on their side they simply used their skills to set up new, competing media outlets and used them for their agitprop. Sites like Wings Over Scotland and Bella Caledonia suddenly blossomed into the go-to sites for that day's news, with the result that today fewer people than ever read the dead tree press.

The message to the Corbynites is very simple: get your sites up and running and don't argue with the traditional media, just leave them trailing in your wake.

David Cameron: when a bore's head went into a boar's head.

The allegations about David Cameron's predilection for both necrophilia and bestiality are taking the web by storm, which at least has the advantage of taking the heat off Jeremy Corbyn for a while.

I hope that Corbyn raises the matter at Prime Minister's Questions, and asks Dave straight out if he ever stuck his porker into a dead pig's mouth. If Dave denies it then a good case can be made to say that the press was just telling porkies.

Not that this will stop the rest of us from enjoying the show, but one can understand Dave's angst. I mean, if sweaty oinks can laugh at something that is quite normal to a man of his background, especially when he is off his head on dope, then clearly he must feel that political correctness has gone mad. He may argue that we have all done silly things when we are off our heads, but the rest of us never did it with dead heads, Dave. I fear that there are truffles ahead for him...

This story leaves a sower taste in the mouth so I'll stop now. Before I go I just want you to remember that piggy scene in Deliverance, and if you are around Dave when someone starts playing the banjo, then run like fuck.

Monday 14 September 2015

When the BBC's Emily Maitlis had her bottom smacked

You almost have to feel sorry for Emily Maitland. She cracked a joke on-air about Dennis Skinner, and the Beast of Bolsover took umbrage and told her off for it by accusing her of spinning for Murdoch.  Then some bugger goes along and edits her Wikipedia entry. Here's the exchange:

I doubt if the Wikipedia  entry will remain altered for long, but congratulations to whoever nipped in then smartish to adjust it.

As we discovered in Scotland during the referendum and this year's elections, the youngsters don't sit back and take whatever guff the mainstream media wants to peddle.

We can expect a lot more of this in UK politics as it scampers to catch up. The future really is electronic.

What is there to choose between Corbyn and Cameron?

I think that this little montage needs a good airing, so let's see if we can't get it all around the far corners of the web.

Femen try to disrupt a Muslim event in France

It is probably my imagination but the guy on the right does seem to be enjoying the free tit show that took place yesterday when two Femen girls decided to flash the flesh at a Muslim rally in France.

As readers of this blog will probably know, Femen was set up by a Ukrainian man so that he could have his knob polished regularly by the talent that he spotted and then put into the group. As I have said before, these girls are my kind of feminist, but the blokes in the nightshirts seemed to take umbrage at the display. Maybe they felt insulted by the small tits, I dunno, but the two girls were kicked pretty unceremoniously offstage:

Ah well...

Sunday 13 September 2015

Labour starts to climb out of its Scottish electoral hole

The TNS monthly Scottish polls are starting to show that the country now has a two party system with the SNP and Labour way ahead of all the minor parties. The SNP are obviously still dominating Scottish politics, and are riding high on around 60% in the constituency voting intention section and 50% in the list, but Labour are slowly climbing out of their hole and has reached just under 25% in both sections.

Labour still has a long way to go, but there is now clear blue electoral water between them and the Tories, who are the largest of the minor parties. Cameron's followers have been in steady decline since these polls began in May and now stand at just 12% in the constituency voting and 11% in the list. Given this, it seems plausible to speculate that more than a few Tories outside the border region might decide to grit their teeth and vote Labour as the only real Unionist outfit on offer.

The also-rans also include the Greens, who will not run in the constituencies, and I am pleased to see that their share of the list vote has fallen from 10% in May to a derisory 6% by August when the fieldwork for this latest poll was conducted. The election of Jeremy Corbyn should help Labour complete the kicking that the Greenies need and deserve and if that happens then it should add another couple of points to Labour's tally.

The Liberal-Democrats are the last minor party to feature, and they appear to be stuck at around the 5% mark in both constituency and list. If those scores represent their actual vote next May then the party would not hold any seats in Holyrood.

That the SNP will have an overall majority next year is still odds-on, and certainly I will vote for them in the constituency. However, if Labour continues to climb then it might be possible to envisage that majority being smaller than the SNP are dreaming about at present. In fact, Labour could very well end up by surprising a lot of people by holding on to some of their constituency seats.

To a great extent, Labour's future is out of its hands and in those of Jeremy Corbyn. If he can persuade people that Labour has at its heart the interests of the people in Central Scotland who have been left behind by the forward march of globalised capitalism, then it is quite likely that Labour will start to take bites out of the soft underbelly of the SNP vote. 

All that is for the future. For the present, Labour is now clearly the only credible challenger to the SNP, and Tories are invited to swivel on that fact and suck it up.

Saturday 12 September 2015

If this is the best that the opponents of Jeremy Corbyn can do...

The thing I like about the Labour Party in Scotland is just when you thought that they had turned a corner, out comes the old semi-literate bile to demonstrate that they really do not understand why so many people rejected them.

The temptation to send an e-mail to Michael McMahon MSP to point out the difference between "your" and "you're" is pretty intense, but will be resisted.

Jeremy Corbyn romps to victory as Labour's new leader

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour's new leader will hopefully bring to an end the era when the only difference between Labour and the Tories was the difference between shit and shite. 

He was elected with damn near sixty percent of the vote, which means that the right who were fantasising about an immediate coup are going to have to think again: Corbyn's position on the basis of that vote is pretty much unassailable in the short and medium term. What happens after that is really up to Corbyn and how he runs things.

For the moment, please just click on this link and watch Corbyn's short victory speech. He talked about the  "grotesque levels of inequality within our society,"which means we have a Labour leader, elected by a mass membership, on a platform of opposition to austerity and inequality.

That's enough for today.

Friday 11 September 2015

Jeremy Corbyn and the Iraqi Resistance

Barring a disaster, or a spot of Mexican style ballot rigging, Jeremy Corbyn will emerge as Labour's new leader when the results of the election are declared tomorrow. The Tories will then start to accuse him of many things, one of which will be that he supported the people who killed British soldiers during the war against Iraq in 2003. Here is my take on that matter...

To begin with, "it is the primary right of men to die and kill for the land they live in, and to punish with exceptional severity all members of their own race who have warmed their hands at the invaders' hearth." Sir Winston Churchill, whose words those are was writing about the Boudicca revolt in first century Britain, but the principal that people have the right to defend their homes against invaders is one that no serious person could disagree with.

The idea that the Americans and their client state allies were bringing civilisation to the tribesmen of Iraq, is one that Churchill also dealt with rather nicely when he said that whilst the Roman may very well have introduced "a higher civilisation" to Britain, that did not override "the primary right of men to fight and die for the land they live in."

Put another way, the Romans may probably have regarded the British as knuckle-dragging savages, in pretty much the same way as we regard our own third world today, but that does not give anyone the right to go into such primitive lands and try to take them over.

No reasonable person can blame the men of Iraq for turning out in their thousands to defend their lands by whatever means were available to them at that moment. To argue otherwise is to say that the Americans have the right to do whatever they want, wherever they want, with the craven support of the rest of us, and that nobody has any right whatsoever to resist in defence of their homeland.

The responsibility for the deaths of all those British servicemen lies fairly and squarely at the feet of those politicians in London who put loyalty to the United States before the lives of Britain's soldiers.

SNP and Labour win in Leith Walk

Labour and the SNP took the two seats that were up for grabs in yesterday's Leith Walk by-election for Edinburgh Council. On a 25.1% turnout, the SNP romped home on first preferences, with Labour hanging on to claim the second on the tenth round of counting. If anyone cares that much, the full voting figures can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking this link.

At 83, the number of ballots rejected was disturbingly high, with far too many people putting the number "1" next to more than just one candidate. The simple truth is that the STV system in giant multi-member wards is over-complicated. and causes far too much confusion. It was only introduced to keep the Liberal-Democrats happy when the SNP did not have an overall majority in Holyrood, and now that the Lib-Dems are reduced to the status of also rans, it is politically possible to abolish it.

That aside, what the vote showed is that the SNP is still on a roll, and that Labour knows how to hang on in there by using traditional campaigning methods. Labour put its faith in trying to canvass as many actual voters as it could by knocking on the doors and asking the punters to turn out for the good old cause, and it worked.

The omens for Scotland getting a new two party system of Labour and SNP are good, and what's not to like about a country with two leftist parties competing for votes?

Thursday 10 September 2015

Voting in Leith Walk

It's polling day here in Leith Walk, Edinburgh, to elect two councillors for this four man ward. Until pretty much the last minute I couldn't decide which of the two serious parties to give my first preference to, but eventually I wrote  "1" next to the Labour woman's name. The SNP will have to be satisfied with the second spot this time around.

Scotland uses the single transferable vote system  for the councils which meant that I could list my preferences right down the line, but I contented myself with giving a sympathy preference to the sole independent and then my fourth preference went to the Libertarian Party, as the Official Monster Raving Loonies were sitting this one out. Needless to say I ignored the Greens and the two Trots since whilst I may cast a low preference vote for loonies, I do draw the line at complete head the balls.You don't need to ask me about the Tories and their Liberal-Democrat stooges, do you?

Turnout was surprisingly brisk when I arrived at 2.15pm, with a slight delay as the two staff at the station explained the intricacies of the STV system to a very large Pole. I don't know how much he took in but he did eventually take his paper and announce "I vote one," which is all he really needs to do.

Of the dozen or more people that I saw going in and out of the station while I was there, only the pole was a youngster and he was in his thirties. Most of the rest were white haired, with the others being greying like me. As I hobbled back to my car I stopped for a natter with an old girl and we both agreed that it was a lovely day for the election, and how important it was to set an example to the younger generation about the importance of the franchise. Feeling suitably self-righteous I then went home, my duty done.

Damned if I know when the result will be declared, but I will post it here as soon as I have it.

Click here for the result!

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Charlotte Proudman doesn't want people to comment on the photos she sends them

You just have to laugh at the middle class and their angst, especially when it comes to chippy little things like Charlotte Proudman, pictured on the left. Charlotte sent a message to a senior barrister asking to connect with him on Linkedin. I imagine he gets loads of requests from ambitious young girls, so he accepted her request and sent her a routine reply complimenting her on the "stunning photo." Instead of being pleased that a senior figure had decided to notice her little University of Keele self, the young miss then decided to throw a wobbler and accused him of all sorts of really rather silly things. Then various other females decided to pile in and now it is rapidly being forgotten that she approached him, not the other way around.

The report also tells us that Charlotte is really pleased that so many men are sending messages of support to her. You would think by now that she is old enough to realise that they are only doing it in the hope of an easy leg over, but let's leave her with her fantasies of the new men rallying to her cause.

Enough of this merry banter: let's talk about the photo. The sensible thing for this bird to do would be to pass on the name of the studio who took it for her. It's a workmanlike shot that uses all the tricks that the girls like from a studio result. A light has been set up to make Charlotte's fringe look all nice and bright and when I was shooting publicity shots for models of various sorts back in the day that lighting trick usually had them squealing with delight when they first saw the contact prints.

The colour in the version I have from the Telegraph story makes the face look a bit washed out on the right of the image, but I imagine that the lights were set up on that side to conceal any skin blemishes with lights on one side of the face and  shadows on the other. The eyes do look a bit small to me, which is probably natural, so to compensate for that she should have been told to open them more, with perhaps the lips slightly parted as well. That would have removed the ugly ridge that you can see on the cheek which the shadow fails to cover. I would have set the camera slightly higher to make her look slightly up into the lens, which also helps smooth out the skin blemishes.

That aside, it is a nice shot, which probably cost Charlotte a few bob to have taken, so we must assume that she wanted people to look at it and her. Then she decided to throw a girly fit when someone did just that.

Don't ask me to try and understand what goes through female minds as they scamper around the hamster wheel of life.

It is a nice photo, though.

Postscript: I have found a better copy of the photo from Charlotte's own website, so presumably this is the official version that she likes. Sadly the colour still looks washed out to me. Enlarging the photo you can see that it was shot that way to try and cover up the skin blemishes and creases around the mouth. A pity it didn't work...

Sunday 6 September 2015

Leith Walk by-election looms

Just about the strangest by-election that I can remember is due to take place this coming Thursday. Labour has a seemingly decent candidate in Marion Donaldson who works at a food bank, and is the only party that has managed to canvass the ward, albeit only once about a month ago. Given that there are two vacancies to fill in this four member ward, you would think that the nine parties and one independent would put a bit more effort in, but only Labour and the SNP have even bothered sending leaflets out. The rest just seem to have assumed that we will vote for them for the fun of it, or something.

The end result of all this indolence is that not a single house even has a window poster stuck up, the election is hardly mentioned in the pubs and shops and turnout will probably be embarrassingly low.
Setting up street stalls, just as they do for a student union election, only creates the impression that the parties expect us to go to them as if we are the supplicants seeking their favours, instead of the other way around. I can understand the Tories and Liberal-Democrats keeping their heads down, and the Greens are nothing more than a student pose, anyway, so they can be ignored by the adults. The Trots want to sell their tedious papers and recruit members into their wanky little sects and don't ask me what the Libertarians plan for Leith as I have no idea, but the buggers seem to think that running a candidate via a website is enough.

Give credit to the Labour Party as enough of them seem to know that people actually like it when the party activists knock on their doors and ask them to vote for their candidate. When I canvassed for Labour back in the 1980s, one of the reasons why we were able to turn Oldham into a one party council was all that hard work on the doorstep. People told our teams time and time again that ours was the only outfit that came out to actively seek their votes. They were able to raise issues there and then, and if happy with the answers, they would often take a poster to stick in their window.

Labour's membership is in freefall, so we are told, but if they can still manage to get one canvass in then it is possible that they are not as near to death's door as people think. The SNP are still riding high in the polls and now have over 100,000 members across the country. If that is the case, why are SNP canvassing teams not out every night encouraging people to vote for their party? 
That aside, The SNP have probably done enough to ensure that they grab one of the two seats, and if there is any justice in the world then Labour will take the other.  As for the rest, I hope that people treat them with the same indifference that they have demonstrated to us, the electorate, during this campaign.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

The myth of the Falklands Factor

The myth that the Tories won the 1983 election because people were feeling a patriotic glow at Britain's victory over Argentina the year before has now entered the popular lexicon, but it is a myth, and one that we should at least try to counter. Enough studies have been produced since the war to show up the theory of the Falklands Factor as the fantasy that it is, but still it persists. What follows is my personal memories of the time, because the war came slap bang in the middle of the 1982 local election campaign, so if there was such as factor at work then I suspect that I would have seen it on the doorstep, but I didn't.

Along with millions of others I had been made redundant the year before, so I had plenty of free time to go around sticking leaflets through doors on behalf of the Labour Party. In those days the party's membership was growing by leaps and bounds, especially in Northern England where I am from, and every night a crew of anything up to a dozen people would go out banging on doors in every ward. We did three full canvasses in my old ward of Failsworth West that year, and across the whole of the borough of Oldham, the mill town that Failsworth had been dumped in much to the residents' irritation as we always saw ourselves as belonging to Manchester, similar canvassing was taking place.

We went out not to talk people into voting Labour, but to agree to actually get off their arses and vote on the day. If they voted, then they voted Labour, of course, but trying to get them to give a cast iron, sworn on a bible type promise was like getting blood out of a stone. One way to do that was for every canvasser to have a stack of window posters in his hot little hand, and the trick was to talk the people into agreeing to take a poster and put it up.  We figured that if they made that commitment, then they might just remember to go and walk a couple of hundred yards to the polling station. I don't know if it really helped turnout at all, but it was marvellous to see so many houses all defiantly displaying their Labour posters. 

Looking back at 1982 I can remember only one conversation that was in any way connected to the war that was still raging. It was with a very old woman who had been born in Hartlepool and who remembered the German navy's shelling of the town during the Great War. She was concerned that the pride of Argentina might do the same to Failsworth...

"Hang on, we're about 40 miles inland, and I don't think that shells travel that far," I told her.

"Well, what about the Manchester Ship Canal?"


"That's what bloody horses eat. I talking serious now. What's to stop them coming up the canal and bombing us?"

I tried to imagine that happening and decided that it was unlikely to occur, but I did promise to mention it to the candidate who might just take it up with the MP. If it seemed like a genuine threat, we would be in touch, she could be assured of that.

So much for any Falklands Factor during the war itself, because if the war had been on the top of everyone's agenda I rather suspect that more than one person would have mentioned it.

The 1983 General Election saw Labour fighting internally, against a backdrop of the scabs, defectors and parasites who made up the SDP. So cack-handed was Labour's campaign that I had to drive Michael Meacher, our candidate who is still the local MP, around the Oldham West constituency in my clapped out Nissan, with its bald tire, dodgy brakes and dubious MOT.

The miracle is that we won anything at all, but the seats that Labour held were the ones where people know that the Tories are the scum that their employers vote for. Always assuming that they still had an employer as more and more factories and mills were closing almost every day.

We couldn't tell people that Labour had the solution to everything, but we could remind them of what they had lost in the previous four years and how important it was to wipe the smile of the faces of the bosses and their arselickers.

Nobody even mentioned the Falklands. They just voted to try and wipe those smiles of those faces.

The Falklands War had nothing to do with any of it.

Monday 31 August 2015

Smart phones and stupid people

These three are not all that much older than me, but if ever I get to this stage then I hope and pray that some kind soul will leave me with a bottle of brandy and a revolver.

Saturday 29 August 2015

The visit of the A.R.C. Gloria to Scotland

The flagship of the Colombian navy, the A.R.C. Gloria has paid a visit to Edinburgh and I chanced upon her today as I was shopping nearby. Built in Spain in 1966, she was commissioned two years later. Today she has a crew of about 150 men, many of them officer cadets from the naval academy. 

Sadly I only had a small camera in my pocket so the video quality is not all that great.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Waste of Time, Venue 53, Surgeons' Hall, 5.45pm

There are some rotten jobs in the world and this girl certainly has one of them. That said, as publicity gimmicks go this one guaranteed to catch my eye, and I suspect that the cast and crew of Waste of Time would appreciate your attendance at Venue 53, Surgeons' Hall, until Friday. The show is on at 5.45pm, and tickets are a very reasonable £7.00.

UKIP! The Musical, Venue 53, Surgeons' Hall, Nicolson Street, 3.10pm

UKIP! The Musical is winning praise at this year's Edinburgh Fringe and it has to be admitted that the songs are catchy in a foot tapping, sing along type of way. The strong cast carry the tunes well and the seventy minute show is guaranteed to encourage anyone who is contemptuous of UKIP, anyway, to feel even more superior to the Kippers after the show is over than they did before.

Had the show been presented last year it would have been much more topical, but since we seem to have left peak-kipper behind, UKIP! The Musical seems to be pushing very much at an open door.

The historical nature of the production becomes clear when we realise that the villain of the piece is not Nigel Farrage, who is presented here as an amiable buffoon, but his former flatmate, Godfrey Bloom, who is caricatured as almost a Martin Borman figure who pulls all the strings. The fact that Bloom was slung out of UKIP by Farage is not mentioned, probably because the piece was written before the recent bloodbath. To be really effective, a satire has to be topical, and this one just isn't.

Still, for all that the audience loved it. The all white, RADA trained cast, had the almost all white, middle class audience in what is probably pretty much the whitest and most middle class city in Europe come August time, feeling that a blow for diversity had been struck.

UKIP! The Musical plays at 3.10pm until the 29th August at Venue 53, the Surgeons' Hall, Nicolson Street. Tickets are £11.00.

Monday 24 August 2015

Time at the Bar, Venue 53, Surgeons' Hall, 6.05pm

To work well a farce has to be so finely rehearsed that the lines and bits of business flow like water, and this one is perhaps a little too under-rehearsed, so that lines get fluffed. That said, the cast members of Time at the Bar! make up with enthusiasm what they lack in experience, and the fifty minute production rolled along merrily and took its full house audience along with it for today's opening performance.

The plot involves a pub landlord who aims to give his customers the five Cs of comfort, company and class every night, with cholera and chlamydia added for disco evenings only. You can tell where this one is going already, can't you?

We are then presented with a visit to the pub by the local paper's restaurant reviewer and a cook who fails to show up and has to be replaced by the landlord's idiot son. The daughter and her sex-god, guitar playing boyfriend get roped in as waitress and troubadour, whilst the alcoholic landlady and lovesick pub manager add to the confusion. Needless to say, in the best traditions of British farces it all goes pear-shaped and yes, trousers do fall down.

Kieran Mellish wrote and directed the play, as well as starring as the Gary the landlord. Full marks go to him for all that, along with Theo Jewitt, the guitar strumming boyfriend. 

Time at the Bar plays at 6.05pm until the 29th August at Venue 53, the Surgeons' Hall, Nicolson Street, and tickets are just £6.00.
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