Full Pelt

After the fiasco of goatskingate, I came across this and it struck me as a rather amusing reflection of Theresa May’s journey into leadership.

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She means as she means
Ripping through time in kid gloves
Around her brass neck
The chains of state
Fashioning delicacies

Labour is, at least, a doorway to better alternatives

Jeremy Corbyn is having a pretty good campaign. Of course, this is the bit he does best so I imagine that, for all that I have criticised Jeremy Corbyn, I shall continue to do so. Still, he and his party have much reason to be pleased with this interactive media performance and the national resonance with his general narrative. Away from his truly dreadful social media fan base, his campaign has been warm, sporting, humorous, relevant and refreshing. It’s good to see some unapologetic confidence without the arrogance of the Tory disposition.

I haven’t changed my mind about what I like and don’t like about him and his team but I still hope for a Labour government. I’m really angry about his lacklustre EU referendum campaign effort and his blind alignment with the government. I worry about his ‘pacifist’ record: I wonder who he would confront and how far he would appease in international matters. I really dislike his us and them-framed punishment populism. I have a natural suspicion of all utopianists. I think there are some massive flaws in some his socio-economic intentions. I’d be anxious about his dithering managerial style and some of the people and advice with which he surrounds himself. But. But, but, but

I could live with Corbyn as the PM (for little while, anyway) because, 1) this binary choice is relative, isn’t it? And Theresa May is having a laugh: she makes Jeremy Corbyn look almost statesmanlike, let alone competent. And 2) as him winning would take a miracle in the first place, I am reassured that his administration would be tempered by the parliamentary make-up of other parties’ numbers.

What Conservatives like to describe as a “coalition of chaos” looks, to me, like several parties who, potentially, have much more in common than divides them. I’d much rather a potentially malleable Labour minority government, bolstered by a load of softBrexit/remainer parties than Theresa May’s Cons.

And if this miracle does not come to pass? I would hope for a hung parliament in which every party but Conservative/UKIP held the weight. Failing that, then May being returned with the smallest possible majority and facing a mighty, multiparty opposition.

As regular readers know, I hate Brexit and I can’t stand this tory government. They also know that, contrary to what’s being framed as popular opinion, I think that having a second referendum reflects my personal sovereignty and is a democratic right. Things I thought Brexit said it wanted more of.

I’m in the south-west and I shall be voting Liberal Democrat – even though I dislike the candidate – because I’m a remainer, wanting a second referendum and it is the best, probably only way that I can do my bit to rid a marginal seat of a Con man, whom I like, even less. If I lived in a different marginal, I’d vote for any party except UKIP that stood the best chance of defeating the Conservatives.

All domestic agendas are hopium until the shape of Brexit is known and in effect. Tories and right-wing press pretending otherwise is insulting and irresponsible and, for all the infuriating muddle-headedness of Labour, at least, even if Corbyn is indifferent, his Brexit team does seem to get the complexity and the potential for harm in a Toryfied deal/no deal.

Anyway, we can’t achieve or sustain a strong economy with an insecure, impoverished, paranoid and divided population and May would continue to inflict damage on the country whether Brexit was happening or not. She and her party have to go. Labour is, now, at least a doorway to better alternatives.

 

Ergot ergo…

Greased slopes
Long rope
Peak poise: ergot
And enough is enough, right?
Vote human, not bot.

 

this brand of Conservatism

Why on earth would anyone still vote for this brand of Conservatism?

Demonstrably they are false economists. Look around at the ‘strong economy’ they say they are building: it is borne by an insecure, impoverished, paranoid and divided population. They have belittled society by dividing and stripping it of resources and by acting too much on the behalf of those who need the least support but often the tightest regulation.

They show little respect for Democracy and Justice, act as though history were a blueprint and have no reverence for constitutional complexity. They are hollow and shallow. They are feudal, cynical, selfish, short-sighted opportunists who undermine the sensible and wonderful to promote the insidious and entropic. Their worldview is neither ethical nor sustainable.

Voting for this brand of Conservatism is actively choosing a trickle-down cap on aspiration and cohesion that will take out those who believe it will preserve them as surely as it is busily taking out those who already know it won’t. It is actively choosing the most unnecessarily precarious future.

If seven years of manifest incompetence and arrogance have not made this clear, then the Tories’ stubborn la la la fingers in their ears response to the consequences of impending Brexit and the utter vulgarity and horror that is Trump should have made it so, by now.

If Theresa May can keep calm and carry on selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, now, how ethical will she be when our well-being is outsourced? When it is determined by our fear and another’s favour?

If she can hide behind robotic refrains and dispatch pre-programmed proxies because she is too busy micro-mismanaging our affairs – affairs that she treats as though we were a ‘bloody difficult’ inconvenience – how available and accountable will she be when Humanity and the very Planet requires our express solidarity and cooperation?

Perhaps she is so robotic because she is still trying to convince herself. Maybe the only way she can get through this hell she is making is to keep going, pretending that she knows what she is doing. Perhaps this whole can of conservative Brexit-election worms is making her ill and too panicked to risk the exposure; to endure the scrutiny. Perhaps…

However, if she can set her political compass to obeying Paul Dacre’s twisted mind and petty soul, how strong and stable are her principles? If her policies are to be founded on values with such missionary zeal, which is her true north: her parochial Christian devotion or the rabid Daily Mail?

May is an algorithmic marionette, bid to outsource and she asks that we come unto her through flawed notions of patriotism, kippered fairy tales and a blind but absolute trust in her and her team of strings.

If she can so readily and consistently outsource Maybots to represent the interminable vagaries of her puppet mind while she scurries about, micro-managing everything into socio-economic straitjackets, will she not also outsource and shrink our prosperity, our sovereignty and our dignity to Luck and the good or bad grace of others? Of course she will. It’s the Will of her People.

 

with great responsibility came humility

I always believed that with great responsibility came humility. I am so naive. I thought that to serve in public office was both noble and an honour; that to be in the Government, bestowed with making laws and policies that determine the quality of life of the millions of one’s country’s people, was such an enormous privilege that one would be devoted to justifying it. I thought it required integrity and reasonable measures of wisdom and competence. Even more naively, I actually assumed that, simply by mere virtue of achieving and holding such a privileged position, on a personal level – the generous income, the security of an ample pension, the opportunity of network – it meant that they would have a persistent, collective sense of “there but for the grace of…” and act on it.

When is enough?

When is enough enough?
When will it give?
When ornamental plans
And the dead hand of hubris
Berate the precipice?
When is too much?
When the State is who hates?
When fake is the real news
And theocracy an economic startup?
When the individual and collective
Are mutually exclusive?
When is enough enough?
When Overton is the squeaky wheel
And emotion is its grease?
When it takes police with guns
to protect Democracy? And Gina
To remind us who and what it is for?
When the greater mass has barest weight
Yet bears it all
And snake-oil is imposed as fate?
When the coiled springs
Of claustrophobic souls take leap?
Too late.

Creeping Charisma

When a ‘populist’ looks more like the creep you try hard not to find yourself alone with at parties and, because few in your circle seem to be willing or able to properly stand up to them, makes you feel uneasy, even when they’re absent, because you now can’t help but question your peers’ judgements and boundaries on a whole host of other things.