Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Paul Nuttall just deleted his website


Even judged by the staggeringly dishonest standards of his political contemporaries the UKIP leader Paul Nuttall is in a field of his own.
  • Nuttall put a furious anti-NHS diatribe up on his website, then when called out about it decided to delete the page and pretend that he now loves the NHS. Only the most ridiculous Internet n00b could believe that deleting the webpage makes things disappear from the Internet.
  • Nuttall's LinkedIn profile claimed that he had a PhD from Liverpool Hope University which was an outright lie. His excuse for this one is that the page had nothing to do with him or his team, expecting people to believe that his own LinkedIn profile was actually part of some terrible anti-UKIP conspiracy.
  • Nuttall was forced to admit that claims that he'd played professional football for Tranmere Rovers were outright lies. Just imagine the stupidity of a person who thinks that the football nerds wouldn't eventually go through the records to check out such a bold claim.
In the wake of the Hillsborough lie Nuttall seems to have gone into hiding. I can't see his Twitter feed these days because he blocked me for tweeting this photo at him, but I'm told that he's stopped tweeting. He's also completely pulled down his website, presumably to stop people scouring it for more of his blatant lies.

The idea of going into online hiding just a week before a high profile by-election is quite extraordinary.

Most politicians wouldn't try to hide from the lies so pathetically, but it seems that Nuttall's lies are so numerous and so brazen that he feels that he's got no choice but to keep his head down and hope that the people of Stoke Central are stupid enough to elect such an obvious and distasteful liar, with no connections whatever to the area, as their parliamentary representative.

The problem with Paul Nuttall isn't that he's dishonest. If dishonesty was any kind of political impediment how on earth would it be possible to explain David Cameron's political career?

No - the problem is that Nuttall is such a hopelessly bad liar that surely even the most idiotic of people (Daily Express readers, Britain First enthusiasts ...) can't help but see that he's an absolute bullshitter.



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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How the remaining EU states could use higher education policy to turn Brexit to their advantage


When it comes to discussing what the inevitable consequences of a huge decision like Brexit might turn out to be, debate in the UK has tended to fall into two main camps.


Probably the most heavily populated camp is the pessimistic scenario that Brexit will turn out to be a costly and damaging move for both the UK and the European Union.

Another conception, one that has been widely promoted by the right-wing press, is that Brexit is going to be great for Britain, that the EU will get a jolly good beating if they don't give Theresa May what she demands, and that anyone who tries to question what is actually going on is engaging in some kind of atrocious anti-democratic treason against "the will of the people".

An awful lot of British people are particularly preoccupied with the outcomes for Britain and unlikely to spend a comparable amount of time thinking about the potential outcomes for Europe, so it's obvious that the small scale of positive coverage about prospects for the EU has been completely dwarfed by the scale of (in my view incredibly unrealistic) hyper-optimistic coverage about the UK's prospects.

Of the UK media articles on post-Brexit prospects for Europe that I've come across, a significant majority have been pessimistic. Optimistic views about the future development of the EU are pretty hard to come by in the UK media, but they're actually quite easy to envisage.

I'm never going to say that everything in the EU is going to be great, as if politics is some kind of childish fairy story with heroes, villains, dragons to be slain or happy endings, but it's easy to envisage some potential benefits. The EU has far too many structural defects for things to turn out all hunky dory for everyone, but to say that there would be no benefits whatever for our 27 former European allies would be to make the opposite kind of massively over-simplistic prophesy as claiming that everything will turn out ideally for the UK.

Aide from not having a bunch of lazy obnoxious 'Kippers stinking out business in the European Parliament with their obstinate voting patterns (when they can be bothered to vote at all), their relentless expenses scamming and their toxic grandstanding, one of the most obvious potential advantages for the EU could arise in higher education and the development of high skill economies.

Given the circumstances in the English higher education system (the highest tuition fees in the world for study at public universities) it's pretty extraordinary that there isn't already a huge brain drain to the continent where university tuition costs generally range between absolutely free to a few hundred, or maybe a couple of thousand euros per year.

Given the huge disparity in tuition costs between English universities and the continent, Brexit could give European nations a huge advantage in long-term development potential if they play their cards right.

Now that the Tories have scrapped the maintenance grant there is yet another debt disincentive to aspiring university graduates from low income backgrounds, but if the EU nations decide to continue to offer free or significantly cheaper professional qualifications to English students, the hopes of bright aspiring kids from poorer backgrounds could lie on the continent.

It's indisputable that people from ordinary backgrounds are heavily discriminated against in modern Britain. Look at parliament; look at the executive boardrooms of major corporations; look at the judiciary; look at the mainstream media - There is a huge under-representation of people from poor and ordinary backgrounds and a huge over-representation of the 7% who went to fee paying private schools.

A recent study found that workers from lower income class backgrounds are paid an average of £7,000 per year less than people doing exactly the same job who happen to come from privileged backgrounds.

The hopes and dreams of the English working classes could end up with a highly beneficial lifeline if the European Union adopts a talent-spotting higher education policy.

The neglected English lower income classes would get a higher education lifeline, and the adoptive EU member states would get a steady supply of confident and adventurous young people who are motivated to learn.

The benefit of this for the EU is so obvious it barely seems worth stating. If a certain percentage of these English migrant-graduates decide to stay in their country of study in would be a huge advantage in the building a high-skill workforce. Even if the graduate uses their degree as a passport to work in any of the other 27 EU states it would still be of significant benefit to the wider EU.

And why wouldn't these students stay in a country where their working class background and accent doesn't cost them a £7,000 reduction in their salary due to the extraordinary biases of the British class system, but their fluency in English actually offers them an actual career advantage due to the fact that English is the global language and the majority of the world don't give a damn about the particularities of the British accent it's spoken with?

This all depends on whether the EU adopt a progressive strategy of enticing UK students with low fees, and whether the Tories opt for "nuclear Brexit" where they storm away from the debating table with no agreements in place whatever.

Even under "nuclear Brexit" circumstances it would be difficult to see how the Tories could try to prevent bright kids from poorer backgrounds heading for the continent should the EU adopt a deliberate policy of attracting neglected UK talent by providing university education at the same low costs that are afforded to remaining EU citizens.


The number higher education courses taught in English within the 27 remaining EU states is rapidly increasing year on year. It would seem like a counter-productive move for EU states to impose huge fees on English students, but it's obviously entirely possible if the Tories end up turning the Brexit "negotiations" into some kind of bitter ideological battle full of bitter recriminations and self-destructive tit-for-tat retaliations.

Whether the EU adopts a strategy of offering a lifeline to neglected lower income English kids or not is a question that can only be answered by time, and it's obviously far from the only advantage that the EU could continue to seek from Brexit. An exodus of major corporations keen on retaining access to the Single Market is probably the most oft cited potential benefit for the EU. Just consider the effects that kind of business exodus could have on the perceived advantages of having professional qualifications from universities in EU member states.

If there is a shift of high pay jobs to the single market zone, and the cost of university tuition in the EU continues to be significantly cheaper than in England, why wouldn't working class kids with aspirations of a better life take the lifeline out of a deeply divided class-system ridden Tory Brexit Britain and the prospect of a vast (likely unpayable) tuition fee debt, just in order to land a job in which they're paid thousands of pounds a year less than their privileged posh-talking counterparts?

My advice to any English teenager would be to at least consider the option of studying elsewhere in the EU. That right exists now for all of us until our EU citizenship is extinguished by the Tories. Whether it continues to exist depends on the EU's specific post-Brexit strategy. If they decide to use the high fees in England as an advantage to entice bright working class/lower income kids, it could be a huge advantage.

It's obviously not possible to give guarantees under the massively uncertain current circumstances, but it's definitely worth at least looking at what European universities have to offer before deciding to lumber yourself with vast tuition fee debts or to give up the dream of higher education and professional qualifications entirely (as plenty of Tories so obviously want you to).

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Note: I have been careful to differentiate between the English universities and the universities in the rest of the UK. Should Brexit lead to a second Scottish Independence referendum and the break-up of the United Kingdom the lack of massive tuition fees in Scotland could also be used as a long-term development advantage for the Scottish economy by attracting neglected English students from low income backgrounds.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ken Loach slammed the "callous brutality" of the Tory government


On February 12th 2017 the director Ken Loach accepted the best film Bafta for I, Daniel Blake. He used his acceptance speech to slam the Tory government for the "callous brutality" with which they continue to treat the poorest and most vulnerable people in society.

Of course right-wingers want to believe that the horrifying scenes portrayed in I, Daniel Blake are pure fiction with no grounding in reality, but anyone who has had any experience of the savage welfare policies the Tories have been administering for the last seven years will either know how disgusting the system is.

Two of the most appalling aspects of the Tory welfare system that are explored in I, Daniel Blake are the Work Capacity Assessment regime for people with disabilities and illnesses, and the sanctions regime that is designed to strip the most vulnerable people of their benefits and plunge them into total destitution.

Anyone who knows about the workings of the WCA regime for disabled people or the sanctions system understands how bad it can be, especially if the people being forced to jump through all of the hoops suffer from debilitating disabilities, mental health conditions or learning difficulties. 


 What a lot of people don't know is that both the WCA regime and the Sanctions system actually cost far more to administer than they will ever save in reduced benefits payouts, thus the Tories are actually using the money we pay in taxes to subsidise their barbaric mistreatment of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society.


It's alarming how many people fail to realise is that both of these brutal dehumanising policies actually cost way more to administer than they will ever save in reduced benefits payments.

We've known for over a year that the outsourcing corporations who administer the Work Capacity Assessment regime rake in far more in fees than will ever be saved by turfing sick and disabled people off their disability benefits.

Additionally it has been revealed that the Tory sanctions regime also costs far more money to administer than is saved by stripping people of their meagre benefits (often for the most ridiculously trivial reasons) and subjecting them to absolute destitution.

Ken Loach is absolutely right to decry the callous brutality of the Tory mistreatment of the poor and vulnerable, but it's always worth pointing out that not only is their treatment of vulnerable people a disgrace in its own right, it's also a demonstration that the Tories are so keen on inflicting suffering that they expect the taxpayer (you and I) to actually subsidise the dehumanising and abusive systems they've put in place.

Of course some Tory tribalists will be delighted to see their taxes used to bully and harass people that they consider to be below them in the social hierarchy, but we have to believe that most people simply aren't that sadistic.

Most people would be horrified to know that their taxes are actually being used to subsidise the infliction of stress, suffering and absolute destitution on the poorest and most vulnerable people in society. The problem is that they just don't follow what is going on closely enough to understand the absolute horror of it.

We have to hope that most people are passive because of ignorance, rather than actually believing that tax money spent on the abuse of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society is money well spent.

If ignorance (rather than widespread public spite) is the is the problem, then films like I Daniel Blake, and severely critical Bafta award speeches are part of the solution.

We have to believe that people don't oppose these policies because they just don't understand the extreme callousness of them. To believe otherwise is to believe that Britain has become a place so lacking in basic human decency that British taxpayers actually enjoy the fact that their taxes are being used to actively inflict extreme suffering on hundreds of thousands of their fellow countrymen. And to believe that is to accept defeat.



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Sunday, February 12, 2017

How Blair and Clinton created the conditions for Brexit and Trump.


It's easy to look around for explanations of how Britain and America got themselves into such trouble that public ended up lashing out with wildly self-destructive "fuck you" protest votes against the perceived political establishment.

One of the most common explanations for Brexit has been the way that senior Tories and the right-wing propaganda rags systematically blamed things like immigration and the EU for the appalling social consequences of three decades of unconstrained hard-right Thatcherite economic dogma followed up by six more years of George Osborne's even more radically right-wing "let's cut our way to growth" austerity agenda.

There is a similar popular explanation for the rise of Donald Trump; that working Americans felt that they have been forgotten and left behind by the political class.

Both explanations have reason of course. It's a testament to the subservient "mustn't grumble" attitude of the British that they've endured a post-crisis wage slump only matched in severity by debt-stricken Greece in all the developed world without widespread strikes and civil disobedience grinding the country to a halt.

Of course an awful lot of people took the opportunity to say a huge "fuck you" to the political establishment when the opportunity to do so just by marking a piece of paper came along.


American workers haven't had it anywhere near as bad as the British because they managed a 6.4% real increase in wages under Barack Obama's stewardship as compared to the 10.4% collapse that was mainly overseen by David Cameron. They've still got the right to be furious though. A look at the appalling way the wealth of middle income American workers has been hollowed out by the super-rich provides a powerful explanation of how people could end up so angry that voting for a lying, bullying narcissist like Donald Trump actually looked like a good idea.

The Trump vote looks even more understandable in light of the way the genuine anti-establishment Democratic Party firebrand Bernie Sanders was forced out of the Presidential race by establishment Democrats who colluded to ensure a victory for Hillary Clinton.


Both of these explanations are plausible enough, but it remains necessary to offer some kind of explanation of how the British and American political landscapes deteriorated to such an extent that either scenario even became possible.

In my view the ruptures in British and American politics happened in the 1990s with the accession of Bill Clinton in 1993 and Tony Blair in 1997. These were men who inherited the Democratic Party of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Labour Party of Clement Attlee, but instead of pursuing the kind of prosperity yielding democratic socialism of their predecessors they adopted a "third way" strategy.

Clinton and Blair held onto power by slightly slowing down the radical and destructive right-wing neoliberalisation agenda rather than actively working to reverse the worst of the damage. Of course they seemed like an improvement after the chaotic crisis-ridden 1980s, but both men slowly continued the progress of the right-wing zealotry introduced by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

One of Clinton's most overt moves towards hard-right economic dogma was a piece of legislation called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 which exempted all manner of derivatives trading from financial regulation. a move that unleashed the frenzy of speculative derivative trading that resulted in the 2007-08 global financial sector insolvency crisis.

Aside from the extraordinarily dodgy PFI privatisation scams and the commodification of the higher education system through the introduction of student fees (aspiration taxes), one of Tory Blair's most blatant rightward lurches saw the de facto privatisation of the Bank of England and the establishment of what turned out to be an astoundingly weak tripartite system of financial sector regulation.

Instead of attempting to push back against the forces of hyper-speculative financialised capitalism, these men actively enabled it while trying to alleviate the worst of the social and economic damage through slightly increased public spending and investment.

Both of these men ignored the forewarnings of the greatest 20th Century economist John Maynard Keynes, who cautioned that "speculators may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise. But the position is serious when enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation. When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done".

Blair and Clinton ignored the danger of hyper-speculation as a result of hubris. They were young men filled with over-confident faith in their own abilities to tame the forces of free-market capitalism. They thought they had figured out a magical and infallible centrist position that allowed them to blend hard-right Thatcherism/Reaganomics with democratic socialist style spending and investment.


Clinton's tenure came to an end long before Tony Blair's New Labour movement capitulated under the stewardship of Gordon Brown in 2010, but both men laid the groundwork for the 2007-08 financial sector insolvency crisis through their active enablement of hyper-speculative financialised capitalism.

had Clinton and Blair adopted more traditional democratic socialism, undone some of the most bonkers elements of Thatcherism/Reaganomics, and avoided reckless financial market deregulations, the 2007-08 financial sector insolvency crisis would not have happened in the same way, and had it happened differently, the traditional left-wing parties could have pointed the finger of culpability squarely at the free-market fanaticism of the Tory party and the Republicans.

Instead the traditional left-wing parties in Britain and the United States were left looking jointly culpable for the global economic crash, which is entirely fair, because that's exactly what they were.

The reason that so many people rebelled against the political establishment is because they rightly believed that the traditional left and right parties are more or less the same, and the two men most at fault for that perception are Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.


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Friday, February 10, 2017

Is Scottish IndyRef 2 inevitable?


A look at the facts makes the case for a second Scottish independence referendum seem irrefutable. The only debate being over what form this second referendum will take.

During the 2014 referendum debate the Unionist No campaign fearmongered that voting Yes would cause Scotland to lose their place in the European Union. 


"What is the process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting yes" the Tory funded unionist campaign shrieked, yet now Scotland is being dragged out of the European Union against the will of their electorate who voted 62% - 38% in favour of Remain.

Nobody can argue that there hasn't been a dramatic change in material conditions since the last referendum, and nobody can argue that the unionist campaign fearmongering was justifiable given that the consequence of Scotland voting No delivered the exact consequence they attributed to a Yes vote.

Anyone arguing that there shouldn't be a second referendum in light of the dramatically changed circumstances and the outrageous campaign lies last time around, is basically saying that they don't want another referendum because this time they know full well their side is going to lose.

The Tory perspective


The Tories know that they lied through their teeth in order to secure victory in the 2014 independence referendum, and that it doesn't matter how much the biased mainstream media media back them in a second referendum, only the most fanatical of unionists and fearty of pensioners would believe their propaganda second time around.

The open contempt of the Tories towards Scotland couldn't be clearer. They voted down all the Article 50 amendments, including the one to ensure that the Scottish parliament is consulted on Brexit

Theresa May wants the Brexit process to be conducted solely by English Tories, and the English right-wing press are baying with delight at the total sidelining of Scotland and Scottish interests.

It's such an ugly and shambolic mess that they know they can't possibly win second time around, which is why Theresa May and the Tories will likely do everything in their power to try to stop a second independence referendum from actually happening.

The SNP perspective

The SNP and the pro-independence Scottish Greens have a majority in the Scottish parliament. Together they could pass legislation for a second referendum and force the Westminster Tories into a lose-lose situation.

Either the Tories would allow another official independence referendum, which they'd likely lose given their open contempt towards Scotland and the ongoing Brexit shambles they created, or they try to deny the Scottish public a second referendum which would be a total PR disaster for them. The Scottish government could simply run their own referendum as an "advisory referendum" (like the Brexit vote) and then endlessly claim "will of the people" when they win.

If the Tories try to stop the Scottish government from holding an advisory referendum they'd definitely lose it. English Tories are trying to silence Scotland - Vote Yes. There's absolutely no way the even the Tory propaganda machine could compete with that, especially since all of their efforts to delegitimise the unofficial referendum would end up significantly lowering the turnout amongst Tory/UKIP voters and the rest of the unionists.

The Labour/Lib-Dem perspective

Labour are dying in Scotland. The 2015 wipeout where they lost 40 of their 41 Scottish seats in the Westminster parliament was the most comprehensive and most humiliating electoral capitulation I've ever seen in my life.

From being the most powerful party in Scotland for generations Labour have slumped to third behind the Tories! If there were an election tomorrow 15% of the vote would be a miracle for Scottish Labour, and the downwards trajectory doesn't even seem to be slowing down.

The Lib-Dems are dying in Scotland too. Propping up David Cameron's government for five years and then french kissing the Tories during the Independence referendum was plenty enough to chase well over half of their voters away. They lost 10 of their 11 Scottish seats at Westminster and they're now the 5th party in the Scottish parliament behind the Greens.

In my view there's only one way Labour and the Lib-Dems can save themselves now. They have to push as hard as they can for a third "Devo Max" option on the ballot to make it a three way choice to be ranked in order of preference.
  • Full Independence (supported by SNP and the Scottish Greens)
  • Devo Max (supported by Labour, Lib-Dem)
  • Do what you're told by England (supported by Tory, UKIP)
Even if the final result is full independence rather than Devo Max, Labour and the Lib-Dems could avoid the severe reputation damage of associating themselves with English Westminster Tories, UKIP, Unionist sectarians, Britain First and the like.

Even this strategy is fraught with risks, but one thing's for sure; if Labour and the Lib-Dems display the same abject strategic ineptitude of passionately embracing full-on Tory unionism again, they'll be well and truly finished, so Devo Max (enough freedom from Westminster for Scotland to stay in the Single Market while England leaves perhaps?) is just about the best hope they've got.


The Yorkshireman's perspective

I supported Scottish independence the last time around, and I'll likely support it again, although if Labour and the Lib-Dems get Devo Max onto the ballot paper I'd certainly give it fair consideration before making up my mind completely.

As far as I'm concerned Scotland are getting totally shafted by a corrupt, self-serving and astoundingly dishonest bunch of right-wing Westminster elitists, and it's sickening the way the right-wing little Englander propaganda rags are actually gloating and sneering about it.

If the Scottish people stand up and say "we're not taking this any more" I'll support them because it's better to at least see some of us set free from the suffocating Tory stranglehold than none of us at all.


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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wikipedia just ruled the Daily Mail to be an unreliable source


To the untrained eye the Daily Mail may appear to be a newspaper, but it's no such thing. It's an extreme-right propaganda empire that has been owned and operated by the tax-dodging billionaire Harmsworth family for generations.

I'm sure we can all think of examples that demonstrate that the Daily Mail is savagely right-wing propaganda rag: Their support for Hitler and Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists in the 1930s; their homophobic rants; their smearing of dead war heroes; their constant anti-immigrant hatemongering; their support for extreme-right candidates on the continent; their blaming a murder victim for their own death; their habit of mocking the gullibility of their own readers; their support for Theresa May's effort to scrap parliamentary sovereignty and turn herself into an all-powerful autocrat who can make and repeal laws as they please.

Interestingly Wikipedia have cottoned on to what an incredibly dodgy extreme-right propaganda empire the Daily Mail is, and after deliberation, the consensus amongst the community of Wikipedia editors is that the Daily Mail is an unreliable source that should no longer be used as a reference (unless absolutely necessary).

To put this into perspective a little it's worth noting that standards at the Daily Mail are so low that they've been declared an "unreliable source" by a voluntary website that can be edited by literally anyone with an Internet connection (unless they've been banned for vandalism)!

Everyone should know that Wikipedia is a useful research tool, not a final authority. Of course it has problems arising from the fact that literally anyone can make changes to the articles. Vandalism, poor referencing and point of view pushing make certain articles and topics unreliable, but there is a massive band of volunteers working to undo vandalism, straighten out biased articles and add reliable sources.

And that's the big difference between Wikipedia and the Daily Mail. One of them actively works to improve standards, correct mistakes and make sure claims are reliably sourced, while the other has abysmal standards, refuses to correct mistakes and is so full of unreliable claims that they're no longer considered an appropriate source by the other.


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Can you spot the flaws in this Brexiter sign?


I'm pretty sure that almost everyone with a social media account will have seen an iteration of this Brexiter sign by now. It's been all over my Twitter and Facebook feeds for days.

For me there are three absolutely glaring flaws in the sign. One of them is so bad it jumps out and stabs you in the eyes if you have even the remotest understanding of the make up of the United Kingdom, and the other two flaws are almost as bad.

English only?

Did you spot it? Did you spot that whoever made this sign has completely disregarded the existence of the Celtic speaking peoples of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Cornwall?

The Celtic languages pre-date the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Great Britain by centuries.

How dare the kind of petty minded little Englanders who adore this sign so much that they've spread it all over social media demand that people stop using languages that developed way before the English language, and even before the concept of the English nation even existed?



This "You are leaving the EU" sign clearly appeals very strongly to English nationalists, but it's actually a great big "fuck you" to anyone from the Celtic speaking nations (which, to be fair, they're getting well and truly used to hearing from the Westminster political establishment and the English right-wing press already).

The fact that the sign is replete with Union flags, but tells the Celtic nations to "fuck off" illustrates the huge confusion that a lot of little Englanders have about Britain. They actually seem to think that England is synonymous with Britain.

This sign is also a great big "fuck you" to the millions of British people who speak English at work but another language at home. And it's another massive "fuck you" to pretty much anyone who isn't such a pathetically insular coward that they get scared witless when they hear people talking non-English languages on the bus or the train.

I'm actually quite jealous of people who are fluent in multiple languages. Good on them I say. Knowing more than one language is very good for the brain. Keep talking in foreign languages on the train you guys. Most of us are not little Englander savages, we don't mind at all if we can't eavesdrop on your conversations because we don't understand your language.

Petty-minded and xenophobic little Englanders who demand enforced conformity and don't even acknowledge the existence of the Celtic nations don't speak for me or millions of other decent people. They push exactly the same kind of profoundly ignorant English nationalist propaganda as the lawless hatemongering scum at Britain First. They're an annoyingly loud, but thankfully quite small minority.

"LB'S" and other imperial measures

You don't have to be a grammar Nazi to find the superfluous apostrophe to be a total bloody eyesore in its own right, but when the pound symbol (lb) has been capitalised too, well it makes you wonder why someone with such strong English nationalist sentiments would display such hatred and contempt towards the English language.

Aside from the grave insult to the English language that "LB'S"  represents, there's a further point about this fixation with imperial measures.

Don't get me wrong, I quite like driving in miles and I find the pint to be the perfect measure of beer, but anyone who tries to get me to calculate stuff in yards or hundredweight because metres and kilograms are "foreign muck" is going to have a bloody hard time.

Everyone who has been schooled in the UK since at least the 1980s has been taught metric measures. There's no treachery in thinking about the world in terms of metres, kilograms and litres, they're just much more convenient and easily calculable measures than the convoluted old Imperial systems.

You can just imagine the mentality of the kind of fanatical little Englanders who would forcibly convert all service stations to selling petrol in gallons and fluid ounces, and who would lynch builders for the treason of using the centimetre side of the tape measure instead of the inches side.

It doesn't matter what this appalling English nationalist enforced conformity mob say: When I've got a piece of wood to cut accurately, I'll continue to measure in millimetres rather than in sixteenths of an inch. Screw them. They can't tell me what to do.

Carry passports

Anyone who has spent time living outside the UK will tell you that there are two things that are quintessentially British. The first is that our cops don't carry guns as standard kit, and the second is that the British public are free to go about their business without the obligation to carry identity documents at all times.

The idea our freedom to go about our business without carrying ID documents needs to be scrapped is profoundly anti-British. When people are so xenophobic about foreigners that they'd scrap one of our longstanding and quintessentially British rights, it just goes to show that their dislike of foreigners powerfully overrides their professed love of Britishness.

Conclusion


Call me a middle class metropolitan elitist if you like, but to me the "You are now leaving the EU" sign is a display of the crudest most ignorant form of little Englander nationalism.

It's a gross insult to the Celtic nations, it mangles the English language, and it demands extraordinarily unbritish things like forced conformity and the destruction of our freedom to go about our business without having to carry identity documents at all times.

It displays the exact same kind of astounding ignorance as the propaganda spewed out by lawless extreme-right hate groups like Britain First (see image).

If you know anyone who has shared pictures of this "You are leaving the EU" sign on social media then it's evidence that you actually know someone who is ill-informed and gullible enough to buy into the kind of terrifyingly ignorant little Englander nationalism that actual fascists like the Britain First hate mob promote.



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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Vote Leave director admits that Brexit wouldn't have won without the £350 million for the NHS lies


The Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings has openly admitted that Brexit would never have won without all the £350 million for the NHS lies, yet still people persist in performing demeaning mental gymnastics and putting on tiresome displays of semantic quibbling to defend the Brexit liars.


Here's exactly what Cummings said (source):
"Pundits and MPs kept saying ‘why isn’t Leave arguing about the economy and living standards’. They did not realise that for millions of people, £350m/NHS was about the economy and living standards – that’s why it was so effective. It was clearly the most effective argument not only with the crucial swing fifth but with almost every demographic. even with UKIP voters it was level-pegging with immigration. Would we have won without immigration? No. Would we have won without £350m/NHS? All our research and the close result strongly suggests No. Would we have won by spending our time talking about trade and the Single Market? No way."
Cummings has clearly admitted that the Vote Leave campaign used outright lies to distract people's attention away from the really important issues (Post-Brexit trade dealsSingle Market accessthe total lack of a government contingency plan for Brexitthe massive strain on the UK civil servicethe complicated legal ramifications).

This revelation that Vote Leave knew they couldn't win without the £350 million for the NHS lie came on the same day that the Tories voted down a Labour amendment to their Article 50 bill to conduct an impact assessment on the effect of Brexit on the NHS.

MPs who voted against this amendment to reveal the NHS spending impact of Brexit included high profile Tories who brazenly capitalised on the £350 million pledge like Michael GoveBoris JohnsonLiam Fox and Priti Patel, as well as the Labour MP Gisela Stewart who was the one who thought up the £350 for the NHS lie in the first place.

Yet, despite Vote Leave's open admission that they lied and cheated their way to success in the referendum, and the way the Tories shot down the NHS protection amendment to their Article 50 bill, there are still people crawling all over the Internet to defend the £350 million for the NHS lies!

One absurd Brexiter mental contortion involves the curious whataboutery of "Remain lied too", which instead of nullifying the lies of the Vote Leave mob, actually makes a strong case that the referendum was even more illegitimate than had it just been one side lying through their teeth. This argument does nothing but demonstrate they the person making it didn't bother listening to a word of it when their Mothers told them that "two wrongs don't make a right".

The other absurd Brexiter stance in defence of such glaring and cynical lies constitutes semantic quibbling over the words on the side of the Vote Leave bus. These people know as well as everyone else that the Vote Leave mob were much more explicit about giving £350 million to the NHS elsewhere in their campaign, but they choose to quibble over the bus writing as if the only thing people should ever remember about a political campaign is what was written on the side of the campaign busses!.

I don't get why so many Brexiters fail to understand that just because a liar was on your side of a polarised debate doesn't mean you have any kind of moral obligation to defend their lies.

It's demeaning and embarrassing that they persist in defending such cynical lies, and it would surely be better for their own mental health to just admit that they were lied to, rather than painting themselves into such ridiculously irrational corners out of misplaced loyalty to their dishonest Brexiter brethren.

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