Election 2019 – Evict Johnson from No. 10

This is my position exactly. I can’t wait to see that horrible Boris Johnson & his mob slink out of Downing Street before Christmas. If Johnson wins, will life in Britain even be worth living? It’s not clear.

At the demo for "a People’s Vote"

My day at the March for a People’s VoteCaroline Lucas gave the best speech of the day. But Tony Robinson got the biggest cheer for the hilarious end section of his speech. “Now we all know, I’m only up here today to say five words. I HAVE A CUNNING PLAN!” He brought the house down, and went on to explain his cunning plan was the People’s Vote. That was a good laugh. Others were good too, of course, especially David Lammy and Vince Cable and the redoubtable Anna Soubry MP who closed the show with eclat and with an emotional call for love and fellowship.

Here’s a noisy video that “Google Photos” made all on its own from some of the contents of my phone-cam. It’s easier to post this than choosing and uploading individual items. There’s a picture of me near the end, looking like someone whose feet were killing them. Then there’s a picture of some nice people who allowed me to take a picture of them with their charming dog.

Update: The video was lost in the move to WordPress. But you can view the pictures in this Google photo album: On the People’s Vote March – Sunday 23 June 2018.

BBC The Daily Politics – assassinating Corbyn

Some gibbering ass (Lance Price) is trying to say Corbyn’s speech was no good. He’s trying his damnedest to portray it as a dismal failure. He wants Corbyn to go chasing other people’s votes, the very mistake that has now cost Labour two general elections. Jeremy Corbyn’s speech was excellent, and I have watched all the leader speeches for both main parties for many years. It was one of the best. The BBC commentator, Lance Price, was wheeled on by Andrew Neil immediately after the speech with a little caption on the screen, “Speech Verdict”. How can this be viewed in any other way than as a calculated attempt to smear Corbyn and distort perception of his speech? Price says he had low expectations and the speech fell well below them. I don’t think the idiot can have even listened to the speech. It was excellent and ended on a massive high, far more thoughtful and satisfactory than Miliband or Blair ever achieved with their phoney baloney. I make a little exception for Gordon Brown but he too was in thrall to “chasing the game”. Corbyn is on the money. But I’m afraid BBC News is in a tailspin. I love the BBC but its news division is dissolving into amateurish, clownish self-indulgence and groupthink. #dailypolitics #bbcdailypolitics #bbc #bbcnews #bbcdailypolitics #andrewneil #jeremycorbyn #uklabour #lanceprice

BBC Newsnight

BBC Newsnight commentators are like children trying to guess what the grown-up world is about, chattering nonsense. ‪Evan Davis was in a world of his own as he questioned John McDonnnell about policy at the 2015 Labour party conference. He was all wrapped up and smiling and not even looking at McDonnell. He talked so fast, the shadow chancellor could hardly get a word in. Evan Davis hasn’t woken up from the previous groupthink and when he does he will get into another groupthink. He might never have an idea of his own, as long as he lives. Allegra Stratton is even worse. All the mateys together. #‎bbcnewsnight‬ #evandavis #allegrastratton #johnmcdonnell

Reflections on Saturday evening TV in England

Duplicity and hypocrisy of the British establishment

Popular British media is counter-educational and devoid of dignity, purposefully designed to patronise, degrade and demoralise the general public. It is a smokescreen to obfuscate and so protect inherited privilege by debilitating the general public.

At the same time continual wars are fostered to further weaken and cull the healthy progeny of the serving classes, providing more distraction and rewarding the people’s self-destruction with mealy-mouthed, cost-free acclaim and carefully forgetful “remembrance”.

What about a tomb for the Unknown Citizen? Where is the ceremony of remembrance for the countless millions killed by order of British governments, whose leaders place wreaths and go back to their offices to order more bombing?

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The BBC has two distinct levels of programming, one is at a high level encompassing new drama, popular science, investigative journalism, rigorous interviews, public debate and classical music.

The other is relentlessly patronising and meretricious, Blue Peter for all ages, moronic games, tone deaf singers, clodhopping wallopers, cheesy fops, blowsy, raucous tarts and all presented by smarmy, unconvincing phonies and deadbeats. Twenty year runs for unfunny situation comedies that died in their first season.

Other channels: With a few honourable exceptions, UK commercial television is a desert of the utterly banal and nauseating.

Newspapers: The main tabloid newspapers are nothing but a sick joke. The London Evening Standard at least has Brian Sewell, a really great columnist, and affords him two or three pages when he reviews an exhibition.

I think the Guardian is superb, a world class newspaper here, no? The Independent at least tries. The Times seems dreary and overblown but I haven’t read enough to say for sure. They support the short story by running one in their Sunday supplement. The Telegraph is sensationalist, with weak science stories overplayed, sour and boorish columnists (the brilliant Boris excepted) but at least got the scoop on MP’s expenses and interesting if you want to know what your enemies are thinking.

These are my impressions anyway. No doubt I’m in the throes of some florid delusion.

Stop patronising short stories

“The short story form is better suited to the demands of modern life than the novel.” (Simon Prosser Publishing Director Hamish Hamilton)

I don’t agree that short stories are “in keeping with the hurried times we live in” or densely compressed. They are not vitamin pills. The reading of short stories is no different to any other reading with respect to time. A reader will read for the same duration and in the same way regardless of which book is to hand. Neither is there any appeal in the notion of being force fed prose that is compressed like animal food pellets. The short story is in the premier league and just as likely to win as any of the other teams. We short story writers are just as hard as other writers but no harder, just as artful but no fuller. We can arm wrestle the poets or the novelists and outstare them, if necessary. Do not patronise us.

Defending the story’s place as a first class artistic medium is redundant and patronising. Would anyone ever think of saying that painting is more suited than sculpture to the demands of modern life because you can see all of a painting without having to walk around behind it? Painters would rightly spurn such an endorsement.

Don’t believe a word

Everything “the accepted wisdom” tells me and expects from me, I tend to disbelieve and do the opposite, which I find is usually a better course. They say only write if you have to write, I say only write if you don’t have to write. They say it doesn’t matter what you write, I say don’t read that crap. They say some Gregorian domestic data download is thrilling beyond description, I say all they read is the cover. They say gut-wrenchingly, superlatively sublime, I say the writer has an exotic name. I don’t care what people say.

This life

Before the proliferation of entertainment media, children were brought up in communities where family occasions, street and garden play with other children were their formative experiences. They were soaked in the humane and quotidian, where nothing was more important than relationships within the home, across the garden fence and along the street. Now they are soaked in an unreal, incessant welter of violent and quasi-pornographic moving images and anti-social, misogynistic, foul-mouthed and tuneless rants. They are the target of a new shamanism, invoking demons of acquisitiveness and hypnotic consumerist programming. Words that were sacrosanct such as virgin and pregnant, are now nothing more than appropriated trademarks or newsbait for 24-hour media, with its tickertape adverts, and half-hour of tendentious and unquestioned opinions repeated 48 times per day. Education is unknown, all is for sale to McDonalds or stupid, creationist businessmen. All that the “old school tie” establishment can think of is trying to keep up with the most industrialised and least paid in the world in a race to the bottom, a race to dismantle civilisation, to abolish humanity and return to the condition of cannibalistic apes.

We are in thrall to amoral, ruthless commercialism and laziness. It’s time for a new austerity, a return to self-sufficiency and to shut down the globalist nonsense for good and all. Everybody is not a friend, this globalism is a sort of second wave hippie economics. I wouldn’t have the EU trade with any other part of the world that has lesser human and worker rights. Let’s take the hit financially – it’s all a house of cards anyway – and bet on self-reliance. We can only win – could not possibly do any worse, when questions of dignity and honour are more important than a surfeit of consumption. This is the way to promote justice and human rights, by not entertaining any business approaches unless they are from countries we can verify compliant with our own minimum wages, working conditions and human rights. No deals with any country that implements the death penalty, including the USA and Russia.

People like Gordon Brown who at one time probably had hippie sensibilities (me too) have now sublimated that crock of ineffectual banality into the realm of world economics. It’s like “Free Love!” this “Free Trade!” – “Let it all hang out” – well unfortunately we just had our Manson moment, and it’s all fallen out with a splurge of fetid monetary ouns and bilge.

Everything that labour activists and trade unions fought for “in the day” has been sold out, in order that overseas robber barons can setup new industrial dormitories and hock new souls to their company stores, or buy peasants’ children into bonded labour. We buy produce made by state prison slave labourers who send goods to Europe with “Help we are slaves – tell the world” written on the back in Chinese (I have seen this), or from children bussed out of schools to break their young backs in cotton fields. We still have not switched to electric cars, so tyrannical sheikhs and mullahs continue to use our oil money to hold their people in servitude.

Mobile execution chambers roll around China (ref. this week) while in this part of the world we are ingenuous and kind enough to still circulate mobile libraries and health screening equipment. We donate our own organs, support and run charities, while they harvest organs for sale from executed prisoners and make relatives pay for the bullet to the back of the head that killed their sons or daughters, fathers or mothers in a field – and won’t even allow relatives to reclaim the body. We worry about how to support our population as people live longer, while they have decreed that there shall never again be any such thing as a brother or a sister, an aunt or an uncle, a niece or a nephew (the one child policy).

Close the damn drawbridge. We can do 1,000% better on our own, and let them reform and come crawling back – if they’re able. We have sent out the message that what we eradicated here is now, for mercenary reasons, acceptable vicariously through those other vicious, despicable regimes. It is not acceptable, we are just victims of lazy and unprincipled governance, the cupidity of the over-ambitious, and the insensibility of dullards.

Bring industry home. Bring the troops home. Let us support and strengthen national and European defences till we are 100% independent of Russia, China, OPEC and the United States. Let’s get a grip and stop selling our hard won rights and laws down the river.

Square one*

There are now so many books it’s as if there were no books. And so much of every medium it’s as if there were no media. If everything is told then we’re back to square one, with as much to make sense of as we started with and no distillation, no reduction, no summary, the “raised voice” of the poet inaudible in the racket, the vision of the painter indecipherable in the welter, and as for music, forget it.

But it’s a fallacy, because there’s a new world for every individual, every day, untold, undepicted, unlived, unknown, and other things starting with “un”. Yes, you got it, the old world is gone with the wind.

*On browsing www.granta.com