Thursday, 10 November 2016

Fuckface Von Clownstick

I must admit, I didn't see that coming. Mind you, I didn't think Brexit would happen either. AND I was hoping for Scottish independence.

I recently read an analysis of inequality that made a sort of sense to me. It doesn't matter how much inequality there is. It matters how much inequality people perceive. This is why most Americans are comfortable with inequality. They see it as an inspiration or aspiration. British people are much more disdainful about wealth and so prefer to redistribute wealth.

I'm not sure I see wealth as an inspiration or aspiration, but inequality doesn't bother me.

But it does strike me that you could make the same argument about democratic inequality. There is a large section of society that feels like it doesn't matter how they vote. The same old bien-pensant shit keeps on coming out of government.

Of course, a large section of society is comfortable with the same old bien-pensant shit. They're the ones that vote. They hold earnest discussions with their peers. They tweet pious messages of virtue, solidarity and instruction.

Along came the Scottish independence referendum. An unusual opportunity to effect real change. And the Scots leapt at it. Of course, the case for independence was too optimistic. The Scots declined the opportunity.

The Brexit referendum was an appalling display of the worst of British politics. Neither side made a compelling case. The unique history of Britain means Britons are sceptical about the European project. I think Britons don't trust the EU. The ongoing accusations of racism and xenophobia are wide of the mark. Of course there are some bigots who are anti-EU. But most Britons just don't trust the opaque, rapacious EU. I don't think claims of money for the NHS swayed a single person.

But this wasn't just about the rumbling mistrust of the EU. This was a chance for British people who feel like their votes don't matter to change things. To upset the bien-pensant apple cart.

And so to the US election. I'm pretty sure there were some racists and xenophobes who voted for Trump. I'm pretty sure he's a prick. But although he's moneyed and a gobshite, he's not a politician. I think a lot of people looked at the Clinton machine and thought: that's going to be more of the same. The chattering classes who like the way things are going just assumed she'd walk it. But it turns out that enough people are sick of the same-old, same-old to change it.

Of course, Trumpism won't change anything. It won't herald a new white supremacist era. It won't lead to walls. I don't think it will lead to any significant drained swamps. I don't think he'll sit on the the Big Red Button by mistake.

I hope Trump's election will make politicians and the commentariat think. Especially about how they treat people they just dismiss now.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

#Brexit - some thoughts

So,the unthinkable has happened and Britain has voted out. Already, our betters and wisers are shouting the odds about how we were sold a pack of lies, a pro-EU narrative from pro-EU media is being built on the handful of Leave voters with buyer's remorse (which happens at every election).

The Leave leaders weren't expecting to win, but despite being barred from access to the civil service or any of the perks of the incumbent Remainers, they're now being called on for answers.

This despite them not actually having the power to, you know, do anything.

One unfortunate side effect, and it's pointless to deny this, is that racists are using the result to become bolder. They feel that because the country voted out and because some of that was anti-EU-migration, they are now justified in hurling abuse at all foreigners. To claim that Brexit somehow provoked this is stupid, but it's equally stupid to pretend that a racist might not now feel empowered to spew their shit. It does, however, prove that political correctness and decades of no-platforming and relentless anti-racism have actually achieved fuck all.

It's also true that there has been some nervousness regarding the markets and the Pound. However, I lay this squarely at door of the kack-useless Dishface, who immediately resigned, while Gidiot went into hiding. This did more to upset the markets, which fear uncertainty (although it's also where money is to be made!) than the actual Brexit. If Dishface had resigned after saying "This is the plan.." I'm fairly sure the markets wouldn't have batted an eyelid.

Anyway, it turns out that there is a fairly simple way out of this that will almost certainly satisfy no-one completely, but will keep Remainers happy (apart from federast ultras) and ensure that those (like me) who believe that EU governance is an issue, while wishing to retain the good things like free trade and free movement. The Norway option seems to be on the table and would be a good compromise. And believe it or not, I do think EU free movement is a good thing.

If our civil service made EU citizens who want to come here subject to the same rules we have if we want to settle there, there probably wouldn't be the same level of antipathy towards the EU - so it it might be a good time to rethink this. (I don't think it's great, I'd rather the EU adopted our approach and just guaranteed the right to live, but that's not going to happen!)

The sight of grown men and women leaping on every bit of bad news and blaming it on Brexit and talking down the country is very nearly as upsetting as feeling it's ok to be a racist cunt, so can everyone just please fuck off now?

Oh, and blogger is shit on an iPad, so any mistakes or clumsy phrasing you point out: go fuck yourself, yeah?

Friday, 29 April 2016

I'm sorry, what??

Sometimes, it's the little things in big stories that make you stop:

Bimlenbra Jha, chief executive of Tata Steel UK, told the Business select committee that the UK had "structural weaknesses" that made the UK steel industry uncompetitive.

Business rates and high energy costs were top of the list.

On energy, he said that if Tata was operating in Germany, its energy bill would be £40m a year lower. The Tata chief defended the company's decision to put the business up for sale saying that the company and its shareholders could not continue to bleed. The business is estimated to be losing £1m a day.

OK, let's break this down. The civil service think man-made climate change is a big thing, therefore the government has instituted massive energy taxes to discourage people from making stuff that needs a lot of energy. Making steel takes a fucktonne of energy. Closing down Port Talbot will be a non-trivial step towards meeting our civil service approved emission reduction targets.

In other words, whether or not you agree with climate change being a thing, and our fault, and something that we can fix, and are fixing in the right way, the fact of the matter is that saying "tata to Tata" is exactly the the kind of outcome you would expect and want from our climate change policies.

However, despite the fact that it's only Morlocks losing their jobs, of course, there are votes to be had here, so now everyone has to panic and pretend to care. It's the usual fiasco of a planned economy.

Hidden away further down, though, was this little nugget:
Mr Javid said steps had already been taken to help on energy costs with £130m paid out since 2013 to compensate high energy users who incur environmental surcharges.

Just think about that: the glorious state has decided that we need saving from ourselves, so let's make energy more expensive. We start to get saved from ourselves, but suddenly we need to compensate businesses who have to pay the environmental surcharge.

What the actual fucking fuck is that all about? Make someone pay a tax and then give them a fucking handout to say sorry? I'm really dying to know which fucking retarded spastic cunt thought this was a remotely sensible fucking idea.

Monday, 25 April 2016

#Brexit - yea or nay?

Some things we need to bear in mind, before we start:

  • I don't think Brexit is going to happen, because the people who count the votes don't want Brexit to happen
  • I was calling for Scottish independence, so could the zoomers please fuck off
  • I'm not inherently more against a federal government than any other model - in fact, I think federal Britain (as opposed to Britain part of a federal EU) would be a better thing than what we have now.
The obvious thing is: I want Brexit, because it's a layer of government and taxation removed from us. Despite all the pro's of remain and the cons of Brexit, ultimately we would be a bit freer than we are now.

This is not to say that aspects of the EU are not convenient. Visa-free travel, only one currency to worry about, getting jobs abroad easily, etc. - these range from "making your life a bit more convenient" to "genuinely life-changing opportunities".

There is an economic component, too: although we are a nett contributor to the EU and even the money we get back must be used for things the EU wants us to do, so it's probably not allocated well, it cannot be denied that there would be SOME uncertainty upon Brexit. This could lead to at least a short-term economic downturn - I don't know, it does seem more likely than a sudden boom. Both are possibilities though.

And for bleeding hearts, there is the ECHR and Human Rights Act, so hated by the Daily Mail it can't be all bad, especially when you look at Theresa May and her apparent insatiable urge to spy on us and the curiously regular occurrence of miscarriage of justice.

But ... and there are several buts here:
  • Underlying the law in most (all?) EU states apart from us is the presumption that anything that is not explicitly permitted, is not permitted at all. Even the presumption of innocence is not standard practice. As convergence comes about, I can see Britain becoming even less free than it currently is.
  • Being in the EU makes it exceptionally easy for the unelected and entirely unaccountable REAL government of the UK, the civil service, to push through all sorts of crap that they believe we need and coincidentally builds their little empires and gives them more authority to fuck us around.
  • Many of the more invasive and unpleasant EU rules that exist have actually come about at Britain's behest. Somehow, Remainers think this is a reason to stay. But the truth is that Civil Servants really love the EU, because it gives them an "arms-length" reason to implement their shit. If it came out that a civil servant wanted us all spied on or whatever, there'd be an uproar. But because "the EU" wants to implement it, we might grumble but we know we can't convince the rest of Europe to see things our way. So it just happens.
  • The opacity of the European Project is something that any fan of good government should worry about. (I'm not a fan of any government, but I realise I'm in a minority!) People are forever confusing the ECHR, EU, European Commission and all the other various arms, legs and other appendages and quangos - it's not just lazy thinking that leads to this. The interaction of election process, finances, accountability and responsibilities of these bodies is largely incomprehensible and way beyond the control of British people - or any other people.
I'm almost certain that even if by some miracle we vote for Brexit, it'll never happen because the civil service will drag its heels and find a million reasons not to do it. And don't think that a Brexit would lead to them rescinding acres of intrusive, hectoring law - that's never going to happen.

If you're still not convinced about the Civil Service, think about the Home Office: how come apparently sane politicians become illiberal Nazis as soon as they enter the Home Office and then become sane, reasonable people when they leave? It's because illiberal Nazis run the Home Office and they control what actually gets put forward and what gets done.

Ever wondered why David Cameron floated policies that got shot down when Gordon Brown was in power? It's because the same guy is actually still in charge and want to see if he can get by with some bullshit he believes we need to live by and he's hoping there won't be a fuss.

Ever wondered why Jeremy Corbyn suddenly backs remain? He's had a chat with a silky mandarin who's told him him in no uncertain terms that if he backs Brexit, he'll never get anything through into law, even if he wins an election.

And that is pretty much why I want Brexit - it's to keep the British Civil Service in check, not because of some xenophobic hatred of foreigners or even a particular belief that the EU is less democratic and accountable than our parliament. Being part of the EU makes OUR bureaucrats less accountable, that's the real danger here.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

#FuckParade - no. Just no.

I see lots of people saying either "it's fine to destroy Cereal Killers" or "why pick on Cereal Killers when there's banks or Subway or Starbucks?"
As to the former argument, I don't see that someone who has risked their finances on something as dodgy as a cereal café needs any violent help in going bankrupt. If you don't like what they're selling, don't buy it. I think my local Portuguese caff sells shit coffee, so I don't buy it. That's the civilised way of doing it. I don't spray "useless barista" on his fucking windows and threaten the sad twats who seem to like his shit coffee.
But the latter argument is far more prevalent, and not just among left-wing thugs looking for ricekrispallnacht. People seem to think that it's OK to vandalise a chain or a bank, because some mythical tax law hasn't been complied with. If you've actually been through Starbucks tax records and you're convinced they've broken the law, report them to HMRC. That's what you're supposed to do. But even if Starbucks HAS broken tax law, a fucking barista has NOTHING to do with it. They're scraping by on a shitty wage and they're not fat cat decision makers. They work hard, deal with twats all day long and don't need threats of violence just because they've taken a job.
If you can't make your argument without threatening innocent people going about their lawful lives, you don't have an argument.
So fuck off and take your cunting parade with you.
Update: credit where it's due

Thursday, 17 September 2015

I can only apologise to John Cougar Mellencamp

Little ditty about Jez and Diane 2 London kids in Labour's heartland Jez's gonna be a politics star Diane debutante backseat of Jez's car Suckin' on a chili dog outside the tastee freeze Diane's sittin' on Jacky's lap, he's got his hands between her knees Jez he say, "Hey Diane lets run off behind a shady tree Dribble off those Bobby brooks, let me do what I please" And say a "Oh yeah life goes on Long after the thrill of livin' is gone" Say a, "Oh yeah life goes on Long after the thrill of livin' is gone, they walk on" Jez he sits back reflects his thoughts for the moment Scratches his head and does his best James Dean Well you know Diane, we gotta run of the city Diane says "Baby, you ain't missing nothing Jez he say a "Oh yeah life goes on Long after the thrill of livin' is gone Oh yeah they say life goes on Long after the thrill of livin' is gone" Gonna let it roll 'n' rock Let it roll Let the party vote come on down And save my role Hold on to 16 as long as you can Changes come around real soon Make us women and men Oh yeah life goes on Long after the thrill of livin' is gone Oh yeah they say life goes on Long after the thrill of livin' is gone A little ditty about Jez and Diane Two Labour kids doin' the best that they can

Monday, 14 September 2015

Suddenly, Labour is a meritocracy!

After years and years of enforcing quotas for women and 'people of colour' (and demanding them elsewhere!) the newly socialist Labour Party has provided a shadow cabinet where all the top jobs are white, middle-aged men. Suddenly ardent socialists, who have been calling out "unrepresentative" Tories and others are all in favour of "choosing people who are best qualified" to do the job. Now, I don't mind that the best qualified people get jobs (although it's quite debatable that any MP has any qualification to do any job they get) but then I'm not the one berating others for not meeting some arbitrary made up quota that I think is important. As ever, it's the hypocrisy that offends.

Friday, 7 August 2015

The Downfall of Camila BruceWayneJelly

I'm amazed. So someone who was fêted by a series of Prime Ministers and unaccountable bureaucrats, assisted by over-entitled Beeb management, troughing on taxpayer money, went from being a helpful charity doing important work to an overstaffed, completely unaccountable quango with overly lavish offices dishing out benefits on the whim of the founder?

What did you think was going to happen?

And what do you think is happening at all those other "charities" that exist solely because our tax money is shovelled at them?

Tuesday, 14 July 2015


It is, of course, that "the left" accuses "the right" of demonising the poor, immigrants, blacks, Asians and the infirm (or whatever the socially acceptable term for these people is, this week).

This is an actual conversation on twitter:

Literally a post made by the social media campaign for a political party representing an entire state. Gross. LINK
-- Tom Nix

@TheTomNix @SpaghettiJesus and?
-- Me

OK, so here we go. I read that link and all I got was "if you hand out stuff, the recipients become dependent on the handouts". I don't think there's any particular controversy in that argument. But if you're looking to be offended, the obvious thing to do is to drag something irrelevant into the point.
@obotheclown @TheTomNix they compared poor people to animals
-- @SpaghettiJesus

@SpaghettiJesus @TheTomNix we’re all animals, last time I looked
-- Me

@obotheclown @TheTomNix yeah but people running for political office tend not to want to insult their voting base on principle.
-- @SpaghettiJesus

I'm afraid that if you go around looking for things to be offended by, it's very difficult not to offend you. I'm frankly astounded by the lengths to which someone will go to be offended. And anyone looking for votes is trying very hard not to offend potential voters.

But watch this...

@obotheclown @TheTomNix of course they're inbred and basically brain dead so object permanence is hard for them.
-- @SpaghettiJesus
Having just accused someone of making a sweeping generalisation that could be considered offensive, the obvious thing to do is to make a sweeping generalisation that could be considered offensive. I mean, right now I'm pretty poor and I didn't take offence at the handouts thing. But if I was an Oklahoman, I'd probably be mildly annoyed at being described as inbred and brain dead because of an accident of birth. You can't really choose where your born, any more than you can choose your skin colour. So where is "the left's" moral high ground now?

Of course, that's just one conversation, but it's one I see quite often:

Left: Tories hate the poor / blacks / immigrants / women

Right: No they don't

Left: Of course they do, look at the Infographic from Labour Eoin / video of Iain Duncan Smith which I'll pretend is him cheering murdering the poor / innocuous comment from David Cameron that I'm going to twist and take out of context.


I think that "the left" hate "the right" far more virulently than "the right" hates anyone. "The right" just has a different set of things that they believe is important to make the poor better off than "the left". That doesn't mean they want them dead or ground under heel, it just means that their compassion and reasoning has led them to a different conclusion. This doesn't mean their motives or objectives are evil.

If "the left" genuinely wants to engage and change the way "the right" thinks or behaves, then not blaming them for every evil in the world and ascribing the worst of human nature to their every word, thought and deed is possibly a good place to start.

I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

A Greek Tragedy

So, Alex has put up a spirited defence of his nation:

"They have decided to strangle us, whether we say yes or no", said a Greek woman to me yesterday.

"The only choice we have is to make it quick or slow. I will vote "oxi" (no). We are economically dead anyway. I might as well have my conscience clear and my pride intact." 

I can't really argue with the opening lines of his article, but it really is all bloody downhill from there:

At times of financial strain, a country's currency issuer, its central bank, should act as lender of last resort and prime technocratic negotiator. In Greece's case, the European Central Bank, sits on the same side as the creditors; acts as their enforcer.

Well, yes, this is one of the obvious consequences of being a small player in a monetary union. It's one of the many reasons sane people don't want to be part of the Euro.

EU Institutions are now openly admitting that their aim is regime change. A coup d'état in anything by name, using banks instead of tanks and a corrupt media as the occupiers' broadcaster. The rest of Europe stands back and watches. Those leaders who promised the Syriza government support before the election, have ducked for cover. I understand it. They sympathise, but they don't want to be next. They are honourable cowards. They look at the punishment beating being meted out and their instinct is to protect their own. 

I'm sorry, is this a surprise? The EU is all about homogenising Europe to a point where it becomes a trivial exercise to implement a superstate. I don't want to sound like a deranged 'KIPper here, but this is just an inevitable consequence of any bureaucratic organisation, whether it's the Fed, the EU, the civil service, a bank ... bureaucracies always want to grow their fiefdom, their reach and their power. So why wouldn't the EU want a more compliant and obedient partner running Greece? It's not exactly a shock to anyone except the Greeks, apparently. It must be wonderful to have retained childlike naïveté, despite being one of the oldest civilisations in the Western world.

Corruption and tax evasion had been rife for decades. Accounts were falsified in order to facilitate entry into the Euro. Unforgivable economic crimes were committed. These weren't committed by most ordinary people of course - the very people now asked to take on the burden of the follies of our rich oligarchs. Corrupt politicians who passed the country back and forth like a joint were quick to secure their money in Swiss bank accounts. But we must share in a collective responsibility for them. We all knew what was going on and we either became part of it or didn't rebel soon enough or loudly enough.

And having said that, are you now exculpated? You seem to be saying that because you've had a really tough five years, that's undone all the decades of corruption? I don't think so, sunshine.

Those factors are what put us on the front line when the global financial crisis began to unfold within the Eurozone. All those systemic flaws are what made Greece the weak link when the earthquake hit. But we didn't cause the earthquake. We just lived in creaking houses that went down easily. 

Well, yes. And this is what thousands of people (including deranged 'KIPpers) warned would happen. But the world's oldest democracy, and presumably the wisest, still voted in favour of doing so. Possibly because of the decades of normalised, socially acceptable corruption. Who knows?

Greece should have been allowed to default in 2010. Default is a normal part of debt, not some monstrously catastrophic event. Germany has defaulted on its debts four times in the last century. Italy six. Default is reflected in interest differentials. An element of interest on a loan is of course "rent" for using someone else's money, but the reason Germany's government 10y bonds trade at below 1% and Venezuela's at over 24% is not whim. It reflects risk. Removing that risk is the real moral hazard.

But Alex, you can't default if you're part of the Eurozone. And fuck me, no person can reasonably say that this was not immediately apparent when the idea of the Eurozone was floated. Also, is once every 25 years really "normal"?

"Stop whining and pay what you owe." "Nobody forced you to take the loans in the first place." "Why should taxpayers elsewhere pay for your extravagance?" There was some truth to all of those things back in 2010. There is no truth to them now. We were forced to take the loans. That is precisely what happened. We were told "do this for all of us", to avoid contagion. Less than 10% of the "Greek" bailout has gone to Greece. The rest has gone to strengthen irresponsible financial institutions, mainly French and German, which were heavily exposed. 

Call a waaaambulance, please. When a libertarian points out that the main beneficiaries of government intervention and regulation are the incumbent corporate interests, Alex is the first to scoff. Social democrats are very keen on the state running as much as possible, and looking at a very social democratic EU, I can't see why Alex is objecting to social democrats behaving like social democrats always behave, rather than how he thinks they do or should do.

I'm not surprised that 90% of the bailout went to irresponsible banks. This is what the state does, support powerful vested interests at the expense of the taxpayer. How many more times do you need to be slapped in the face with it before you realise that it's the problem, not the fucking solution?

There was no provision within the Eurozone for what happens if market shock creates sudden and dramatic divergence between countries' economic cycles. (Emphasis is mine.) We were no longer individually in charge of basic economic levers like quantitative easing or devaluing our currency - a standard response in those circumstances. Our fates were entangled. We could either devalue the whole of the currency which would help countries severely affected by the crisis or not devalue which would help countries like Germany which were in a more robust position. We were told: "do this and we will look after you". Whatever it takes, said Mario Draghi, to convince Greece to take yet another loan.

Duh. Just remind me who voted Greece into the Eurozone? Did no Greek notice this up front or think it worth mentioning? And did you really think the Germans were going to devalue the Euro for GREECE? For fuck's sake, man!

There are many, many things wrong with the EU: lack of accountability, financial and electoral; overreach; enforced homogeneity and more, but ultimately it suffers most from the disease of control: there is a lot of power for powerful countries to use on less powerful countries. Greece may be the canary in the coalmine for people who want to see where it's going, but I suspect most Federasts are secretly on board with the idea of a European superstate taking it's "rightful" place on the world stage.

This is, however, ultimately a case where both sides need to lose: the Greeks cannot undo decades of dodgy business / tax / ethical culture in a couple of years of austerity and they definitely own the pain of their decision to join the Eurozone with all the consequences, but equally the EU's desire for regime change to suit their corporatist aims is hugely repugnant.

I just wonder whether pro-EU people will defend the EU's behaviour or whether they will admit the mask has slipped a little too much now?