Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I am still alive....

The discovery of Facebook appears to have blunted my enthusiasm for the blog....

But I think I will continue .... oh, and in the end I did vote Labour. Just couldn't not do so. One week after the formation of the Coalition of the Vile, I rejoined the Labour party, and have been getting involved again, working for Ed Miliband to become leader...

So, need to commit myself to at least one post a week, hopefully more. I've missed lots of opportunities for comment on the visit of the MD of Vatican plc, which is probably just as well, but I will make some comments on the conference being held here by the FibDems, the UK's junior centre-right party of government...keep watching!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Election day

I've deliberately not blogged about the election. I haven't been actively involved this time round, other than attending a hustings meeting. That's what comes of being moved from a marginal to a safe seat in the boundary changes

I am in a difficult position. On balance I think I want to vote Labour. Not particularly enthusiastically , and if there was a Green who could either win, or it was a safe seat one way or the other, I'd vote for them

However, in this constituency we have a choice of

Labour - but an MP with the worst voting record amongst Labour MP's on gay issues
LibDem - surprisingly inept public speaker, really made some howlers
UKIP - far right, not even on my radar
BNP - same
Conservative - same
Then there is the Trade Union & Socialist candidate. Way to the left of me but a decent bloke, and frankly, I've moved considerably to the left over the past two to three years

So it looks as if I'll be voting TUSC this time, and hoping that when this Labour MP retires - which may not be far away, he is already 78 - the local party will pick someone without his prejudices

As for the election itself, there are not enough differences between the parties all of who are mildly socially liberal (except on immigration) and economically orthodox and in hock to the banks. There is no social democratic party standing here which has any sort of critique of the way that international finance doesn't work

Apart from the Greens - so for what its worth, I'd say
Vote Green if you live in a safe seat or if they could win
Vote Labour if you live in a Tory-Lab marginal
Vote LibDem if you live in a Tory-LibDem marginal
Vote for any left wing candidate if you live in a safe seat and can't stomach Labour
Don't vote Tory, UKIP or BNP. Anywhere

The realities of the electoral cycle means the Tories will probably get in, but I have every confidence they will make an utter hash of it and be terminally unpopular very soon. beneath the surface they are deeply divided and its those issues which will cause internal rifts with a minority or small majority

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

PAPIK - Notes of the past

Decided that its high time i started drawing attention to some of the music I love. This is a current smooth jazz groove

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhJ7M8cDiD8&feature=related

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

And talking of globalisation.....

Its having a negative effect on my erstwhile favourite city, Paris. Many of the bistros which we used to love have gone, replaced by overpriced trendy bars serving identikit food, and Japanese restaurants, for some bizarre reason. Sorry, but raw fish and rice will never be more than raw fish and rice. Its OK once or twice a year. One of our very favourites has turned into a tourist trap. Astier, near Parmentier metro, used to be fantastic, but now style has replaced substance and its full of tourists . The food? The foie gras was straight out of the fridge - too cold - and the main course was a dry piece of guinea fowl perched on top of a very bitter pile of red cabbage, with two blobs of nondescript sauce and a pice of what I think was cremated belly of pork. David's scallops were not fresh as subsequent events proved, and they were served with bordelaise sauce - with scallops? - and what turned out to be undercooked diced parsnips which the French feed only to pigs and cattle.

Don't go, under any circumstance

The election - what a depressing set of options

So, the election is underway. I spent some time in Paris - more about that in a moment - but here, the usual low-level slagging off of the 'other side' seems to be making its presence felt as ever.

The thing is that despite some of the flowery rhetoric, there really isn't all that much difference between the parties. No wonder a dispute about a piddling increase in VAT makes the headlines. The Tories appear to have hit on this pathetic idea about everyone suddenly becoming socially involved and giving up their time for nothing. I already do, and its bloody hard work to get new people involved. And these sort of initiative need time and money. Do they really think that people in the inner cities are suddenly going to say ' oh, these services aren't provided any more, so we are going to provide them for ourselves'. its like the bloody Boy Scouts writ large, and it just shows how woefully out of touch they are.

But Labour? The manifesto was sub-Blairite wishy-washy lack of inspiration. Some reasonable points made, yes, but severely lacks vision.

I'm also not convinced by the LibDem switch to the right - indeed, the free market orthodoxy seems to be universally applied across the parties

The poison of globalisation.

We have been switched into a safe Labour seat (Bootle). I won't vote for the homophobic vaticanist MP who at 78, should have retired. There isn't a Green candidate. Listed on their website is a Trade Union and Socialist candidate, Pete Glover. Perhaps by default I will have to vote for him?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

American conservatives and libertarians are simply barking

http://standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/25352

Its not usual that I would direct any0one to a blog who banned me for not agreeing with them, but this really does give an insight into just how totally off-the-wall these people are.

They are sincere, certainly, but read Sarah's contributions. So far to the right that she is falling off the edge.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

EVENTS, DEAR BOY, and all that

Once again I have not been spending time on my blog. Naughty, naughty. I blame Facebook.

OK, some points to note:
1. Vatican plc - carries on in its usual crazily bigoted way, winning a small, partial and temporary 'victory' in the charity commission being asked to reconsider the decision not to give charitable status to an adoption agency which wished to continue to discriminate. The new equality bill will scupper that in any case as the duty of equality will stop LA's working with instituionally discriminatory agencies who think the law is above them. Still, look at Ratfinger the Nazi's latest attempts to save his loathsome organisation in Europe. Not convincing, is it?

2. The BA strike - pity that Brown has bumbled into the argument. I'd be more convinced if Willy Wally blamed himself and his management style for this years failures and resigned. typocal to try and take it out on others.

3. The election - will be on May 5th so it seems. I wish I could raise some enthusiasm. If Joe Benton remains Labour candidate I won't be able to vote for him because of his homophobic voting record, so I will no doubt end up voting for some fringe left-winger!

4. The Clevelend Show. Its fab, and the theme tune is SO catchy!

5. And RIP to Michael Foot. A man of learning and principle which can be said about far too few politicians

Homophobe of the week - Susanne Wilkinson!

http://www.swissbedandbreakfast.co.uk/

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8578787.stm for more details.

Emails need to point out that their website suggests they will welcome ALL guests - but not if they are gay, so it seems.....

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Not a good day for Liverpool

Anything to do with the Bulgers brings out the worst aspects of this city. Revenge, underlying violence, self-pity. We've just seen it all again - its understandable that the parents feel like this, though Gee Walker's response to her son's murder is that which eschews hatred and vengeance. But why do we have the tabloids jumping on the bandwagon and goodness knows how many other people who are not involved at all?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Latest news from 'former' Hitler Youth supporter

I gather that we are getting as visit, should a heart attack not intervene in the meantime, from a former Hitler Youth member and homophobe, whose organisation shields and protects child abusers whilst wishing to discriminate against gay people

Why should public money be found to support this visit - his rich and corrupt organisation can certainly afford to pay for it themselves

I shall look forward to the demonstrations!

In the meantime, no doubt the many closets in the RC church are getting worried - given the strong possibility of an outing campaign. I think that it would be justified if they are not prepared to openly speak out against the stance of the church even if it means they are chucked out. Anything other is bowing to homophobia. Staying silent is equivalent to supporting Ratfinger

Even better would be the realisation that the church is no place for gay people happy with their sexuality. Its a bit like an Asian joining the BNP

The self hatred movement

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/the-exgay-files-the-bizarre-world-of-gaytostraight-conversion-1884947.html

Not only are these people clearly very damaged, they are also liars and manipulators

Otherwise, why not be honest about their activities?

There is a simple answer. Give up conservative religion and seek help for recovery from that affliction. And its a path many are taking as more gay people come out all the time!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mo Mowlam and others.....

Just watched the biopic about Mo Mowlam. Great performance from Julie Walters of a tremendous politician - and look who we have now. Grim Gordon, as inspiring as a bowl of cold porridge and the two Blair-a-likes, as smarmy and vacuous as they come. Real people are unlikely to even bother trying for parliament these days, more's the pity - there are hardly any people who aren't spun, polished, formulaic. Mo always came over as a real person, someone who actually believed in something and could talk to ordinary people because she actually liked them

No surprise that the two people who came off worse in the film were the oleaginous Mandelson, as slippery and unappealing as a snake (can't one of you fag-hags turn the bastard straight - we don't want him, OK?) and the risible David Trimble, an utter failure as leader of his party and whose contribution to achieving change was negligible. And if he is anywhere near as petty and pathetic as he came over, then thank goodness his career contained nothing but failure and that he is now an anonymous backbencher in the Lords. He gives the term 'out to grass' new meaning.

As for Blair. Having hit the headlines this week, the term that everyone's political career ends in failure certainly is true for him. He can jet about the world all he wishes, but frankly, he is a great actor and a shallow, second-rate human being . Labour need a term in opposition to get rid of the malaise of his influence and to help move his memory to the past. Though not all was bad, much of what he did disappointed or can be summarised by the term 'missed opportunities' - other aspects of what he did failed, some of it was just plain wrong. The fact he believed in his own case says a lot about him but nothing about his judgment.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti

Yes, its dreadful.

But.....
the current population is unsustainable
the removal of the forestation means the likelihood of repeat is very high
there is no government and various vested interests destroy any attempt to create one

The reconstruction cannot be just about replacement. Real thought about the creation of a country which has a chance of success needs to happen, and soon
Speaks for itself

Friday, January 08, 2010

Hypocrite of the week

It has to be Iris Robinson.

This is the woman who , whilst in charge of health issues in Northern Ireland, made homophobic remarks equating to gays being able to be 'cured' , seeking advice from a 'therapist' working in such areas. Naturally, she cited her evangelical Christian faith as support

Now we hear that she:
1. was committing ADULTERY with a TOY-BOY - 19 years old no less
2. that she borrowed money to lend to the aforementioned toy boy
3. that she didn't declare any of this money to the authorities despite raking in public money from her TWO jobs as MP and MNIA (her husband does the very same)
4. that she tried to secret some of the money she demanded back in a church account

This corrupt, hypocritical leech is now claiming to have 'mental health issues' . That's a good way of describing getting caught and pretending to feel guilty

oh, and Mr Robinson is still First Minister of Northern Ireland. Hasn't he heard of the words 'honourable resignation'?

Or is he equally hypocritical and corrupt?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Idiosyncracies of India

Oh, and Happy New Year and all that. I have a cold but this is already two days later than promised, so...
We spent Christmas and new Year in India. It was a fascinating if exhausting experience. I could bore you all with eulogies about the Taj Mahal, which is every bit as beautiful as I expected - more so. But I won't. Instead, here are some random thoughts about the crazy, chaotic place that is - at least - the part of India we visited

  • The Taj Mahal is situated on the bank of a filthy, polluted, almost dried up river. The town in which it exists (Agra) is one of the filthiest, grimmest places I have ever been to.
  • India's dominant religion, Hinduism, is usually associated with, for Westerners, meditation, and peace. India's northern cities are crazy places, and the contrast between meditative practice and everyday life could not be greater. Interestingly, 'everyday' temples are equally noisy. They actually reminded me more of orthodox churches which are also hives of activity and centred around icons and statues. The 'Eastern' might be the key? Certainly the mantra has been used in Christian context - the Rosary has eastern roots.
  • The driving is unbelievable. people use their horns, constantly, at any time, and without any encouragement. In Agra, the tuk-tuks (auto-rickshaws) turned a two lane dual carriageway into five lanes. Our driver was instructed to go back on the same dual carriageway against the flow of traffic by the guide, which he did for 1/4 of a mile until a row with two policemen ensued. We then continued through a wholesale market where we could have reached out and helped ourselves, we were so close to the produce.
  • India is a very collective place which made me realise how much I value Western individualism. It is very difficult to be alone unless cooped up in the hotel. The cities are very crowded and manic, and life goes on in the streets. The mode of life is collective
  • As a westerner, one stands out like a sore thumb. Not prepared for this, a stroll from our hotel to Connaught Square in Delhi, proved to be exhausting. A small army of beggars and hawkers descend on you and 'go away' registers not as 'fuck off' but 'I might possibly be interested if you talk to me and follow me up the road'. The only way to deal with this is to ignore them. Its hard work but one becomes expert
  • The poverty is immense and the problems huge, yet they do operate a working democracy and that has to be an achievment. But the country will collapse unless it does something drastic about its population, and that may take a Chinese-style approach, which is far from democratic, albeit absilutely needed. There are some good 'carrots' - for example, we came across a first-division English-medium school which offers free places to the poor, but only if the mother has two children and is then sterilised. Is this harsh? I don't think so. Many Indians wish that Westerners would get over their colonian guilt and promote birth control as actively as we do so in our own countries.
  • Indians cannot be quiet. At the game reserve, the huge clamour and noise made by Indian tourists when a tiger was seen made it absolutely definite that he would retreat into the bushes. And everyone seems to have a mobile phone which they talk about incessantly
  • Indian internal flights are to be avoided. Jaipur Airport is no fun for four hours without information
  • We went on a cycle rickshaw in Old Delhi. Neither of us are - ahem - svelte. How the skinny bloke who pedalled us managed it is a wonder to behold. The person organising the rickshaws had one leg. We wondered how this happened.
Will we return? I'm not sure. Part of me wants to do so, part of me thinks other places are easier to handle....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Started facebooking mores seriously...

With the collapse of so many other options seems like a good bet

Feel free to add me

Thursday, December 10, 2009

And the latest from the church...

TEC in the USA have nominated another lesbian bishop. How ridiculous that this should even be an issue - but let us hop that her election is confirmed and the pathetic and hypocritical institution that is the Anglican Communion breaks up, as it should have done many years ago.

And what a record for the Chief Hypocrite and backstabber, Rowan Williams, who I despise almost more than any other living being - the word 'pitiful' is simply not strong enough. He is truly despicable, untrustworthy and actually thinks it is right to treat his 'friends' appallingly for the sake of a religious club - which is all the church is or ever could be. It is a purely human institution, sociologically. To believe anything else is pathological, and williams' pained 'super-spirituality' has been shown to be little more than a fa├žade.

A classic example is that he has failed to comment on appalling anti-gay legislation proposed in Uganda, that beacon of progress and democracy, yet immediately expressed in his usual mealy-mouthed way, concerns about upsetting 'the bonds of affection' (you couldn't make it up) in appointing a lesbian bishop.

So, its OK to kill gays and say nothing for fear of upsetting the regressing world. the primitives will still be there with their begging bowl as they overpopulate the world and expect the rest of us to pay for it, helped by the church who actually think overseas aid is justifiable. I would stop all of it immediately unless compulsory adherence to human rights, a cease of all arms purchases, and a compulsory one-child population programme is agreed to. Otherwise, its an entire waste of money.

Watch this!

Another example of the sheer silliness of the self-hatred movement. What a relief that this country generally rejects extreme religionism and it is left to a few, clearly unbalanced and self-seeking exhibitionists, to keep the flag flying here. They actually do much to destroy their own non-existent case.

Go Rachel - you did the cause of truth proud!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Homophobia and its effects

I haven't as yet said anything about the homophobic attack against a PC in Liverpool, because there is nothing much to say which others haven't already said much more lucidly than I could.

What has been somewhat disappointing is the in-fighting which has erupted within the gay organisations in the city. I am on the steering group of one of these although I feel rather a 'fringe' member.

I wonder why groups always feel they have to compete against each other? Its notable that just to confuse matters even more we now have a Manchester group trying to be representative of the whole north-West even though there is really no evidence of any consultation in areas such as Sefton.

Why can't groups focus on what they do well? There is a need to do the in-depth policy influence stuff. For some, high-profile public events are important. Why not allow different groups to get on with their work without the need to try and obliterate the other?

Drugs and advisers

Irrespective of who is right or wrong, what's the point of taking on expert advisers if the intention is to ignore their advice?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nick Griffin

He wasn't very good, was he?

But that isn't really the point. Are there points of view which are so unacceptable that they should not be simply treated as others? Should the BNP be regarded as any other political party?

I'm asking a rhetorical question, because I think not, but if so, then should they be permitted to exist?

Religionist events

Well, the evils really are having some fun, aren't they. The Albanian government wants the bones back of mass murderer and epitomy of evil, 'Mother' Teresa, who specialised in infecting and killing the poor and taking money from dictatorships which she gave to Vatican plc whilst spending her time in hospital in the very best surroundings. This evil bitch epitomises Vatican plc and its priorities as it ensures the death of millions whilst trying to promote over-population and preventing women from controlling their own fertility. I am sure that the awarding of 'sainthood' will be made by Hitler Youth member Ratfinger and it will maintain the level of morality of this truly distasteful organisation

So what fun to see them making a bid for the misogynists and closet queens of the Forward in Faith cult. Of course, the reason this particular group of hypocrites won't go is that they fear the likely purge of gay men from the Catholic priesthood and/or that they actually don't really go for the somewhat 'low' character of Catholic worship. What was particularly sickening was to see Chief Backstabber Rowan Williams on the platform - caught out again by Vatican plc, even though he has done everything they want, down to betraying his friend Jeffrey John. What a spineless waste of oxygen he is - and so amusing that despite his efforts, the whole thing is going to crash around his ears in any case. He won't have a single friend left given that he inspires mockery amongst his new found conservative friends, and the liberals regard him as a hypocrite and simply not to be trusted.

But when one looks at the whole affair, one can only conclude that the church has nothing to offer. I should have seen this for myself a lot earlier. It is desperately sad to see so much manipulation and power-chasing in something which is meant to be 'spiritual'. And if conservative religionism is 'spirituality' one can understand why other spiritualities and humanist alternatives are growing in popularity

Friday, October 16, 2009

Scum and homophobia in the Daily Mail

I'm not going to dignify the disgusting material written by Moir, which has already received more complaints than any other ever written to the PCC

But this is a good commentary

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/16/stephen-gately-jan-moir


There is not a scrap of evidence in the article, and whilst one expects no better from the Mail, it is quite unacceptable before Stephen has even been buried, and it would never be acceptable, because it is fantasy and homophobia of the worst order.

Please complain via http://www.pcc.org.uk . The article breaks clauses 1, 5 and 12 of the code

Those weren't the days....

My partner and I (ooh, we sound like Queens!) are reasonably similar to look at. We often get asked if we are brothers or not. I don't know if anyone saw the programme on hotel renovation on C4 earlier this week, but it featured a pair of brothers running a Blackpool hotel. I can only assume they were separated at birth. One had a Middlesbrough accent, the other was Scouse. Or certainly sounded it

I have no evidence to say that they are not brothers, but it was quite bizarre...and in Blackpool? Hardly a problem?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thought it was too good to last

Yet more nonsense regarding parliamentary expenses. I cannot understand the extreme gullibility and stupidity of the British public and their usual hysterical over-reaction. The typical 'anti-politics' populism, the envy, and the hypocrisy all out there to see.

The rukes were as they were. You can't then turn around three or four years later and say, "oh, they were wrong, and so you have to pay money back". And the main reason the expenses system worked as it did was thatcher's reluctance to raise MP's salaries. Any job which requires people to maintain two homes will inevitably be costly. And its no good for the Stupids (the British electorate) to then whinge on about 'too many professional politicians' or their MP not being around. They can't have it both ways. If you want people in normal relationships, with families, to become MP's, then they need to be enabled to live in two places, and if you want people with external work experience to become MP's, its no good paying salaries which are considerably less than many professional jobs which don't require two homes!

What will happen is that a lot of people will work out that being an MP means spending most of the year in a cramped bedsit never seeing one's family, working ludicrous hours for less than many could get elsewhere. So there will be two sorts of MP's still attracted to politics. Those with independent financial means who already run the Tory party. Or political obsessives who don't want a partner or family and are willing to live, eat and breathe politics.

Well done, great British public. What a result!

So, the conference season

Could you raise any enthusiasm about it?

My thoughts....the LibDems appear still to have no real reason for existing. Under Charles Kennedy they had carved themselves a place to the left of Labour, and that would be very welcome now - but under Clegg they appear to be unsure of what they are for other than to sound like David Cameron. Should there be a hung Parliament I would be surprised if they managed to hang together. There are some who are aching to join the Tories in government, others who wouldn't touch them with a bargepole

Labour appeared tired and resigned to defeat. Its not really surprising. Their problem is first, that people appear to want to be 'led' and Brown isn't that sort of inspirational figure. and that their recent past means that it is harder for them to be as critical as they should be with regard to the market.

But the Tories - well, they make the right noises, and the gloss is there, and the electoral cycle means they are buoyant. Inevitable. However, they have two glaring problems. First, that their economic policies would be a disaster. Monetarism should be utterly discredited yet they are still angsting about the debt and suggesting cuts - the fast route to stagflation. The second is that they rant on about big government whilst praising both SureStart and the NHS, two products of it - remove government and they seem to be under the illusion that somehow Something Would Turn Up. I don't think it would. In my experience people like the idea of community participation as long as its others who actually do it. Too often initiatives end up being taken over by a small, unelected and unrepresentative group, such as our local residents association which appears to be entirely self selecting. No doubt the Tory plans will give them encouragement but I'm not convinced.

RIP Stephen Gately

Very sad news about Steven's untimely death. Made me remember a good friend of mine who died young - too young.

Seems so pointless.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back from Provence

And a very pleasant time was enjoyed too....

But politics hasn't improved. Cameron is still smarming around, vacuous enough to make Blair appear profound. The government stagger from one disaster to the next - its really hard to feel sympathy for someone who pilots silly legislation through Parliament and then falls foul of it. There are plenty of illegal workers, mostly on low wages in service industries. Clearly there was no long queue of British workers wanting to be Lady Scotland's cleaner, but why should it be the employers responsibility to prove someone's legality. Quite how are they meant to do it?

As for the Lib Dems. Its good to see Charles Kennedy and Evan Harris fighting back against the Clegg-Cable Tory-lite position. There are many people in the LibDems who have more in common with Labour progressives than the neo-liberals in their own party and in both of the main parties.

I have noted very little being said about taxation - but surely if spending is being considered, so should taxation?