Thursday 31 March 2016

On getting window posters for the Scottish general election

Do you like my window display? It should give something for the neighbours to talk about, if nothing else. Since I live alone and do not suffer from schizophrenia, it just means that since we all have two votes for the Scottish parliament, I plan to cast my constituency vote for Ben Macpherson as my Edinburgh Northern and Leith MSP, and then my list vote will go to Labour. 

Great Junction Street, Leith, now has two shops that have been taken over by Labour and the SNP to use as their respective campaign headquarters. Funnily enough they are almost opposite each other, which made my job of collecting the posters all the easier.

I went in the Labour shop first, to find it staffed by two women, but getting a list poster was not the easiest thing in the world, since they tried to give me a constituency one instead. Eventually I made it plain that I was only voting Labour for the list, with the SNP getting my other vote and I was given the poster that I wanted. 

I noticed that there was also a distinct chill in the air as I folded up my solitary poster and put it in my pocket...

Crossing the street, I went to the far more welcoming SNP shop. Both premises are obviously on a short let for the campaign, but the SNP version has not covered its door with posters to make it impossible to see inside from the street. It is also better lit, and much better staffed as I found out when I went inside.

The SNP group numbered about half a dozen activists, along with Ben Macpherson himself, who came over as an engaging young cove. I reflected to myself that I probably had socks in my drawer that are older then him, and then consoled myself with the thought that it really is time for old farts like me to just let go and leave the next generation to take over.

To avoid any problems I made it plain from the start that the SNP was only going to get one vote from me, so it was a constituency poster that I was after, and they were only too happy to oblige. In fact, they thanked me for giving one vote to them, and showed no ill-feeling at all to my expressed desire to also vote Labour.  I made a comment about how sad it was that Malcolm Chisholm, the sitting Labour MSP, has decided to retire, and everyone agreed that he was a good man who will be much missed.

There was an air of optimism in the SNP shop that was sadly lacking across the street. More importantly, the SNP gang seemed to be genuinely pleased that someone had offered to stick a poster up for them in his window, and fully accepted that such a person is under no obligation to support them across the board. With Labour, and I don't want to read too much into the two-minutes I spent with them, but I thought I detected what amounted to almost a resentment that I was denying them what they saw as being rightfully theirs.

It is possible that I misread everything about the attitude in the Labour shop. That said, quite why Labour has made it worse for itself by taking a shop that is right next door to derelict premises is anyone's guess. I might also add that someone needs to get that "To Let" sign down from above the door as it creates a down at heel air about the whole deal that needs to be avoided. 

However, the main problem that Labour has is summed up in that massive poster of their candidate, Lesley Hinds, that covers the window. To have any hope of winning this seat - and it is a very slim hope indeed - Labour needs to pray that people forget exactly who their candidate is, and hope that the punters turn out on the day to vote for the party label. Forgetting, in other words, that this is the woman who messed up Edinburgh transport and helped turn Leith into a building site for no reason other than political vanity.

Mother Hinds also has the number five slot on the Labour list, something which made at least one of my friends choke on his beer last night in The Foot of the Walk when I told him that news. Luckily, a couple of old Labour men were in the pub, and being suitably lubricated, they assured me that Labour has no chance of getting four people elected on the list, let alone five. 

I hope they are right, that's all I can say.

Thursday 24 March 2016

Time for Scotland to look forward and not backwards

Had Scotland voted for independence back in September 2014 then today would have been the country's independence day. It didn't, so it isn't, but that has not stopped Unionist and Nationalist commentators from raking over its cooling ashes to show that they were right all along. 

The problem is that you cannot have a healthy polity when everyone is arguing about what might have been. The Southern United States and the Republic of Ireland behaved in just that way for almost a century after their respective civil wars were over, and the end result was a stagnant political culture that looked backwards instead of forwards. Scotland needs to reject that approach.

Thanks to a very high turnout in 2014, with a Yes vote that almost carried the day, the Smith Commission was created by a rattled Westminster. Out of that debate came the Scotland Bill, which became the Scotland Act 2016, having received its Royal Assent the day before what would have been independence day.

From now on the bulk of the things that impinge on people's daily lives will be decided in Holyrood and not Westminster. 

It is now time to start arguing about just what type of Scotland we want, within the overall framework of the United Kingdom.  

Holyrood has the powers: we need to push it until it uses them.

Wednesday 23 March 2016

The disabled are driving the Tory regime to distraction

The Personal Independence Payment benefit was introduced by the scummy Tories to cut the bill for Disability Living Allowance, which was the existing benefit paid to the disabled. Alas for the Tories, they mucked things up on two levels:

The first is that often people who had a lifetime DLA award, and whose condition then deteriorated did not tell the DWP. Had they done so then the whole award would have come under review. People know just how verminous the Tories are, so they settled for the half loaf that they already had, rather than risk it all with a full review of their claim.

However, and here is where the fun begins, PIP by definition involves a full assessment of a claimant's disabilities. So some people who were on lifetime DLA awards suddenly found that they were getting higher rates under PIP because their existing condition had worsened, but they had not said anything to protect their DLA.

Secondly, even though many more people found that their award was being cut, because PIP is more tightly drawn than DLA, the government then discovered to its surprise that disability does not respect social class. There may be people in the leafy shires who are crippled, but they are not stupid, and they can afford good lawyers to argue their appeals. Folk on the council estates can rely on an army of charities that give them free legal advice and across the board the advice is appeal, appeal and appeal again.

The regime could afford to fight all those expensive appeals, so it relied on making paper submissions to the appeal tribunals. If you turn up with your lawyer then you have a better than average chance of winning your case, which means more costs to the Tories.

So the fuckers then announced plans to recruit more people to argue the regime's cases at the tribunal level, but all that means is that the regime is now prepared to spunk away more money in its failed attempt to save money. Does that make sense to you? If so, please let the rest of us know just what is going on here.

Let's be honest - the Tories thought that it was open season on people like me. They dismissed us as gimps, spastics and mongs, but we have done something that nobody else has managed so far: we have forced a cabinet minster to resign, to be replaced by a loyal and faithful servant of the capitalist class who is treated with contempt by almost everyone. We  changed government policy and reduced the regime to one that seems to be in office, but not in power.

You have no idea how glorious it is for disabled old me to sit back and survey the wreckage of this government and its policies.

The Secrets of the Santa Muerte paperback is now available

The Secrets of the Santa Muerte has arrived as a paperback with all the main distributors rather sooner than expected. Amazon UK started selling it over the weekend, admittedly with a shipping delay as the printers get their act together. Over in the USA the book is available with only a slight delay of one or two days. I suppose the Americans are just more on the ball when it comes to these things than we are.

The bookshops will have it as soon as the wholesalers' catalogues are updated, but why wait for the bricks and mortar brigade? Slap your order in with Amazon and let them sort the distribution and delivery out for you.

If you want the e-version then Amazon is the only game in town as I have given them exclusive rights to the download. The good news for you is that the Kindle version is not DRM encoded so, yeah, you can make a copy if you want. I would rather you didn't, but it's what I would do, and breaking an encoded file usually means I have to give up five minutes of my life that I will never get back, so why should you have to do that? Don't thank me, I'm just cuddly that way.

Al that aside, I still think that The Secrets of the Santa Muerte is one for the bookshelf and not the Kindle, so get you orders in with Amazon ASAP which is to say PDQ.

Monday 21 March 2016

Forget the IDS of March; let's get Crabb

Far too many people are gloating about the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith, and not looking at Stephen Crabb, his replacement as chief benefit cutter.

IDS had a degree of autonomy within the dark ranks of this regime based on the limited gravitas he had as a former party leader. Crabb, on the other hand, owes everything to David Cameron and can be expected to do his master's bidding no matter how vile the ideas may seem to normal people.

To make matters worse, Crabb is one of those servant types who was brought up in poverty on a council estate and no intends to put as much clear blue water between himself and the people he has left behind as possible.

Here is is, as portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, with Leonardo DiCaprio acting as David Cameron:

Get the picture? Crabb has no power of his own, and like the good and faithful servant that he is, he will follow Master Cameron's instructions to the letter.

Not only that, but he will love every minute of it as he sticks the boot in his own class.

Sunday 13 March 2016

The Secrets of the Santa Muerte is now available as an e-book

The Secrets of the Santa Muerte is now available as an e-book at all the Amazon sites. If you live in the UK, then click this link to go straight to the download page.

The e-book costs a very reasonable £2.99, or you can get it free if you are signed up to Kindle Unlimited.

The paperback version is still only available from the publisher's site, but I still hope to have it on Amazon by the end of May at the latest. To be honest, I think that this book really does belong on your bookshelf, with the e-version acting as a backup when you are on your travels.

So what do you get for less than a fiver? In short, the most comprehensive account of the Santa Muerte folk religion that is available in English. To research it I not only read as many original Mexican sources as possible, I also spoke to over a dozen adherents of the Santa Muerte in that country.

It is not a dry, academic text, rather it is a how-to guide, which gives the low-down on as many of the rituals as possible, with full translations of everything into English, so that the rituals are practicable in the United Kingdom.

If you are interested in the British Wicca, or just have an interest in exotic, syncretic beliefs, then this is certainly a slim volume that you will want to consider.

So mote it be!

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Dare you learn The Secrets of the Santa Muerte?

The Secrets of the Santa Muerte is now available to buy from the publisher's website for the very reasonable price of just £4.99 plus postage. It will be available from Amazon and all other good booksellers by the end of May, I hope, but for now this is the only place where you can get it.

If you are one of the first twenty-five people to buy the book at the publisher's site, then I will give you a Santa Muerte card, with the image of the Dark Goddess on one side and a conjuration, in Spanish, naturally, on the other. Just drop me a line, let me have a scanned copy of your receipt, and I will post one to you free, gratis and for nothing: just don't forget your address!

The Santa Muerte is probably the fastest growing folk religion in the world today.  From its humble origins in the slums of Mexico City, the Santa Muerte now has millions of worshippers throughout Mexico, Central-America and across the United States. This book gives a brief history of the Dark Goddess, before telling the readers everything they need to know about the spells and incantations that are used by her adherents. This is a must-have book for anyone who wishes to enter into the service of the Dark Lady of the Shadows, and receive the benefits that she bestows upon her followers.

It's also going to be a great read for anyone who is interested in the British Wicca tradition, as they will recognise variants of many of the spells and practices from their  own craft, be it the Alexandrian or Gardnerian schools. I suppose that folk religions and magic all have their roots in a similar set of beliefs, so the similarities are understandable.

If you are still not sure, then click on the top link anyway and from there you can download a full chapter to read as a PDF on your own computer. 

The e-book version of The Secrets of the Santa Muerte will be available by the end of this month, but believe me, this book is one for your bookshelf, not your Kindle.

Friday 4 March 2016

As Wildern School declares UKIP a racist party, will support for Brexit grow amongst the parents?

To be fair the school is claiming that there was only a limited amount of time, so the kids were told to just concentrate on the three main parties, but according to one parent, that line is bollocks.

So who to believe? Well, the school has form when it comes to trying to intimidate pupils into thinking along lines set by the teaching trade who work there, so I am inclined to go with the parents on this one.

Anyway, let's congratulate the Maldern teaching trade for this latest bollocks, for it be good bollocks. It's bollocks that you have to ponder for a moment, wondering if it might be true, before concluding that typical, trendy, bourgeois  bollocks it is.

What the trendies don't seem to grasp, is that this referendum is not just about leaving the EU. It is also a referendum on them, their values, and the way in which they try to force the rest of us to accept those values.

As things stand, it looks as if an awful lot of people in this particular school's catchment area will be voting to leave the EU, and give the two-fingered salute to some fairly odious members of the teaching trade, both at the same time.

Informercial oil videos go viral, thanks to some amazing presenters

The girl on the left is Juliana Morgan, but sadly I have no idea what the name of  the delight on the right is.

Both girls feature in an identical promotional video for a process of oil refining, or something, with Juliana speaking English and  the other one Spanish. Normally these videos get a couple of hundred hits, but so far Juliana has been watched over half a million times with the Spanish speaker getting about 25,000 hits.

There is a Japanese language version, but the girl in that one lacks the professional attributes of the other two, which is probably why she has only had about 12,000 hits. That's not to say that her attributes are bad, just not as all encompassing as those carried by the others.

If you wish to consider the information contained in these videos, then the English, Spanish and Japanese versions are all to be found at YouTube. 

Just try not to go into a trance...

Thursday 3 March 2016

Lord Rose, chief federast, admits that Brexit would see workers' wages go up

Less than a week ago I posted a piece which made the uncontroversial point that if the supply of labour were to be restricted via a Brexit, then the price of that labour would rise. That would be especially true for the unskilled who have suffered the most from the free movement of scab labour into the country, but it would also have a knock-on effect on other groups of workers as well.

Yesterday, Lord Rose who is the leader of Britain Stronger in Europe, the main federast group that wishes to keep the UK in the European Union, and your wages down, admitted just that: a vote for Brexit would probably see wages rise as a consequence.

As you can see from the video clip, he is not happy about having to make that admission, but make it he did.

Vote to leave the EU and you are voting for higher wages. Vote to stay in and you are condemning yourself and your children to a lifetime of shit wages for shit jobs for shit employers.

Wednesday 2 March 2016

UKIP offers a bad solution to the London housing problem

UKIP has an interesting party political broadcast going out tonight for the London Assembly Elections, fronted by Paul Whittle, the party's candidate for Major:

It makes the quite valid point that there is not enough housing for British people in the capital city, but it falls down when all it does is advocate is an end to open door immigration.

The point is that very many of the people who are flooding into London are actually in the country illegally. Trying to do something about the borders with yet more rules and regulations, which is what UKIP seems to be offering, is not going to put a stop to the pull factors that bring people from the Third World to London, especially when they creep in illegally.

What is needed is an end to the hire and fire economy that allows employers to pay crap wages for crap jobs. If employment was fully regulated, with strong unions encouraged across the board then that would lead to an end of the crap jobs market as the businesses would just cease to trade.

Then, if regulations were introduced to force foreign workers to have their qualifications validated by British bureaucracy, yet another level of scab labour would be reduced. For instance, if all heavy good vehicle license holders had to have their foreign license validated from an office in Fort William that was only open one afternoon a month, with no on-line applications allowed, then that would get rid of Boris and Pavel pretty much at a stroke.

So yes, UKIP are finally waking up to the need to build more council houses, but that is not the be all and end all of the problem.

We have to make it plain that voting for Brexit is not enough, and voting for UKIP in May is little more than a protest.

What we need is Brexit plus a plan to take back control of our economy and run it in the interests of the British people. UKIP is not offering that, and sadly neither is anyone else.
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