Tuesday, 4 June 2019

INVERTING SELF AWARENESS



We are going to have to talk about this 'mental health' issue.  You can't say that; it's anti-Semitic.  Fuck off; all you Brexiteers are fucking mental.  Bastard Libtards; you do my fuckin' 'ed in.  What the fuck, you fucking mother fucking fuckers; I hate the fucking lot of you.

"Ka-ching".

The digital money keeps flowing from your account to the ethereal megabank in the upper echelons of cyberspace.  The degradation of language, the distortion of collective cognition, and the projected landscape of illusion are all part of the fourth industrial revolution and the conversion of individual identity into digital tokens to utilise your brief manifestation as a material biological blob for the benefit of a plutocratic elite.

It is extremely hard to pull it all together and to make coherent sense of the current changes evolving within the context of 'life on this planet'.  It is becoming increasingly clear to me how the advent and progress of  computing is changing what we would, in olden days, have called reality.  When using such labels as 'reality' we assume a great deal and presume upon the collective consensus to afford meaning to such a term.

At a certain scale of observation we mutually agree there is such a thing as material substance.  A good exercise for anyone reading this is to delve into the etymology of the word 'material'.  In short it relates to mother and nature in its Latin origins which were evolved from the ancient Greek term 'hyle' which, although it means 'wood', was a generic reference to the essential substance manifest by form coming into being.  It was not the stuff that was made into a form but more that the form created the substance in order to exist.  In short the word has evolved from a more ethereal origin than the common daily usage implies.  When you pick up your cup of tea to have a drink it is of no concern or consequence to you what the philosophical ramifications of a material substance may be because your cup is solid, its real, and you get to taste your tea in the real world.

Many years ago (perhaps forty) I was actually shocked when I realised that the physical manifestation of the cup was there in order to facilitate the dynamics required to experience life.  I won't attempt to describe slowly and gently how that construct is formed in a mind just here, but it was a shock for me to realise that the 'real' world, as I thought of it then, was only a symbolic representation of the underlying non-material reality.  Coming from my Roman Catholic upbringing it was akin to a realisation that the temporal world is not real and the spiritual world is the real reality.

For the presumptuous sceptics amongst you I have considered at length whether our cultural constructs form, and therefore restrict, our interpretation of the world or whether they are just an arbitrary framework from which to begin to discover the world.  It is a bit of both and varies in different people to different degrees.  For those limited to learning by rote you will never understand why 56x8 gives the same result as 8x56 whilst 56/8 does not give the same result as 8/56.  You will learn by rote, repeat with great skill and finesse, and be highly pragmatic in mathematical exercises.  But you will never 'understand' why it is so.  And why should you?  Pragmatism is a highly desirable characteristic.  For me, however, I seek understanding as a pathological necessity.

So it seems in all my subsequent reading and investigation I am not the first person to encounter this deeper issue of the substance of real life.  During my career developing software it became increasingly clear to me that there was something about algorithms that was more real than the real world they affected.  An algorithm is in some way an ethereal pattern.  It has no material existence except that it needs material in which to be manifest.  A bit like the idea of balance, which Pythagoras was at pains to point out was real and could never be perfectly manifest in the material world but could only be approximated.  This, of course, led to Platonic solids and eventually to our entire Western Scientific philosophy which, ironically, is entirely upside down.  Western Science struggles with Quantum Physics (a profound misnomer which again leads to much misunderstanding) because we collectively believe in the material world whilst Quantum Theory disposes of it completely.

A brief example is that what once took several office clerks, some bits of paper, envelopes, stamps, machines to make stamps, invoices, trips to the post office, more clerks, cheques, bank clerks, postal vans, VAT invoices, delivery vans burning fossil fuels to get a widget onto your desk can now be rendered in algorithms such that you can click on a picture on your smart phone and your 3D printer will belch out the widget onto your desk with all the financial transaction handled electronically.  The algorithms symbolically manifest the erstwhile material dynamics to render the desired result.  A large part of the material world becomes redundant in the algorithmic representation of it.

People think robots will take over the world, they imagine Artificial Intelligence will be dictating to us, and there are endless imaginings of various dystopian futures.  But it isn't happening like that.  Only a few years ago there was an idea that we will all be controlled by our digital devices.  Eventually we would have embedded chips and could walk into a supermarket, take food, walk out and the money would be deducted from our digital accounts without us even having to think about it.  Too many numbskulls cannot even see the inherent dangers in that.  But we don't need to be physically 'chipped'.  With the onset of distant iris scanning and biological identity the supermarket already knows who you are, where you are, what you are taking, what you want, what they can sell you, and what is in your 'account'.  You are being 'identified' simply by walking the streets of London.  Apart from many unanswered questions about 5G the surveillance state is constructing a virtual world with you in it.  As such, it has immense control over you.

Currently the cultural cognitive models suggest that if you are a thief (culturally understood to be a 'baddie') you won't be able to get away with robbing the supermarket because the surveillance state will intercept you.  This is all perfectly fine until you philosophically question what amounts to 'theft'.  In what way, for example, have the supermarkets purloined the goods they are selling you.  If you can't get a job, and you can't get an authorised employer to deposit electronic digits into your account, you can't get food to live.  You literally have to comply with the algorithms in order to operate in the world to live.  Bang goes the 'black market' and any hope of having alternatives to survive without the system.  No safety net makes everyone entirely dependent on compliance with the electronic superstructure in which they exist.

Then comes the conceptual side of things.  It is already happening and is deeply disturbing to see the pathological conformity with cultural narratives.  I saw an interviewer asking people outside a London rail station what they thought about all the surveillance cameras.  No one objected.  Better than that, many people dreamt up justifications on the spot like "I suppose if it makes us all safer it's a good thing".  Literally people's brains are conforming with the inevitable as children conform to their parents.  We get our sense of self, our identity, from our surroundings and most profoundly and inherently from the people we interface with.  As this sense of an all-seeing presence pervades our consciousness we do not see it as a thing but instead we simply respond appropriately.  Marshall McLuhan's reference to the overarching technological brain (a hypothesis in 1962 when he wrote about it) and the way Big Brother would go inside of us is stunningly perceptive.

Through social media, cloud technology, the internet of things, digital money, remote biometric identification, and the ubiquitous surveillance state we are evolving into something akin to a supraorganism like an insect colony where our limited responses, depending upon our perceived environment, are entirely predictable and controllable, and support and maintain the greater good even if it is to our own personal detriment.  And for all of this, the vast majority will still believe they are running their own lives.  We are fast becoming the physical manifestation of the virtual algorithmic world of artificial intelligence.  So we are not going to be taken over by robots in any way that we imagine; we are simply becoming its extension.  Like the little fungus infected ant that just happens to want to climb as high as he can today.

Mental health is transforming into a euphemism for compliance, and mental health problems are simply something for the supraorganism to remedy or remove.  Big Brother is already inside of you.

Thanks to Tookapic & Markus Spiske for original images.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Rob Delaney's short video


I found a Tweet from Bob Gill @drbobgill
"Great video on urgent new threat to NHS, and what you can do, introduced by the brilliant
@robdelaney

It contains some useful bullet points in a video regarding the restructuring of the NHS.
This is the Tweet url:

This is a transcript from the video:

Hi, I'm Rob Delaney [@robdelaney] and I love the NHS.  But it's being privatised by the Tories.  They're breaking it up into businesses so that private companies can run the profitable bits.  And it is all being done by stealth and without a public mandate.  So please watch this video and learn what you can do to help.
- The Tories are turning the NHS into a US-style private health insurance system.
- The latest step in the NHS privatisation plan is to get GPs to sign up to new Primary Care Networks.
- BUT these are the building blocks of new bodies called Integrated Care Providers (ICPs)...
- Which are the foundation of the American private health insurance system.
- GPs are being pressured to sign up before 15th May without debate or a vote.  They're being told that:
- 1. ICPs will integrate health and social care to create one better, joined up service.
- 2. Signing up means more money for GP practices.
- 3. GPs are free not to sign.
- But they're being tricked.  Signing up to these contracts will actually mean:
- 1. Under-qualified staff will be able to examine, diagnose and even treat patients.
- 2. Financial incentives will reward GPs for denying care to patients - fundementally corrupting the doctor-patient relationship.
- 3. Health and social care budgets will be integrated to allow corporate-run ICPs to get their hands on a bigger pot of our money.
- 4. Control of patient care and budgets will be removed from the doctors and given to managers.
- There's a lot of pressure to sign these contracts.  But together we can resist it.
- If you're a GP, DON'T sign the new contract!  And tell your colleagues NOT to sign.
- If you're a patient, tell your GP NOT to sign!  AND DO SO BEFORE 15th MAY!
- For an in-depth explanation, watch this 10 minute video: https://youtu.be/l4wQ577Me30
- For the full story of NHS privatisation, watch 'SELL OFF: THE ABOLITION OF YOUR NHS' http://selloff.org.uk/nhs/
- Please share to protect the NHS.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

LETTER TO MATT WARMAN ABOUT GENERAL ELECTION





Matt Warman
63 Wide Bargate
Boston
Lincolnshire
PE21 6SG
16 January 2019





Dear Matt Warman

The defeat of the Government's Withdrawal Agreement on Tuesday 15 January 2019 would have been problematic enough had it been a marginal defeat.  The magnitude of the defeat appears to have shocked all observers across the political spectrum and across Europe.  It is indicative of a far more serious problem in Britain.

The EU referendum has been severely criticised on all levels and it may have been an attempt to consolidate some sort of consensus in the UK but it turned out to be a Pandora's box.  One year later, on account of the turmoil created, Theresa May called a General Election in the vain hope of increasing the Conservative majority.  Quite the opposite occurred and it cost a pretty penny to secure the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the DUP to maintain a tenuous grip on power.

Now the Conservative Government have not only been the first ever Government to be found in Contempt of Parliament they have also suffered the largest defeat of any UK Government in history.  All this is centred around the toxic and divisive issue of our membership of the EU.  The government is spectacularly failing to maintain or even muster the confidence of the population and this in itself is causing serious unrest as well.

As Theresa May has been at pains to emphasise repeatedly, this country needs a "strong and stable" government.  On that point I agree with her.  It is in the interest of the UK as a country and all the individual people in the UK to find some consensus within which the UK can make safe and secure progress in whatever direction it chooses.

On that account, regardless of my views on membership of the EU or my political preferences and as one of your constituents, I request and urge you to vigorously support any moves toward securing a General Election at the earliest possible moment as a matter of highest priority and national security.

Yours sincerely




Sam Spruce

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

LEAKED: TORY BRIEF FOR TUE 15 JAN 2019




LEAKED: BROADCAST BRIEF FOR TUESDAY 15 JANUARY 2019

Jim Pickard @PickardJE on Twitter:  His profile says "Chief Political Correspondent for the Financial Times" but he is not blue ticked.  He tweeted "someone has leaked me what seems to be the government line for tomorrow, if it’s of any interest "  Looking at the documents I can't imagine why anyone would have invented them.  And they are entirely in character and as incompetent as one would expect from the Tories. [On the first page alone I have found 5 typos.]  Reading this document carefully in order to transcribe it I inevitably paid more attention to it than I would most documents produced on this level from the Government.  In my opinion it is a shoddy, unprofessional, and contradictory rush job with no meaningful substance but a lot of interesting psychological subtext.


This is my transcript of the leaked documents.  The images from which it was transcribed are at the end of the blog post.

BROADCAST BRIEF FOR TUESDAY 15 JANUARY 2019

  • Our deal delivers on the referendum, taking back control of our money, borders and laws, whilst protecting jobs and security and providing certainty as we leave the EU.
  • We should deliver for the British people and get on with building a brighter future for our country by backing this deal today.
  • Voting against the deal would just mean more division, more uncertainty, and a failure to deliver on the decisions of the British people.

We have listened carefully to the concerns that MPs from all sides expressed and secured valuable new assurances from the EU including...

  • A commitment to work on our new relationship can begin as soon as possible after signing the Withdrawal Agreement - in advance of the exit day of 29 March - and confirmation that this new relationship does not need to replicate the backstop.
  • A commitment to a fast track process to bring our EU trade deal into force - including that it can be implemented before ratification by other EU countries, making it even more likely the backstop will never need to be used.
  • An explicit linkage between the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration - putting it beyond doubt that these come as a package.
  • And confirmation that the UK can unilaterally deliver on all the commitments we set out for Northern Ireland last week.

These letters also...

  • Confirm the legal standing of the December Council conclusions: that the backstop could only be temporary and both sides would act bring it to an end swiftly.
  • And they have legal force and would be used in any further arbitration to interpret the meaning of the Withdrawal Agreement.

They build on wider assurances we have already set out including...

  • New commitments for Northern Ireland - including a 'Stormont lock' so no new areas of law can apply to NI under the backstop over the heads of the NI Assembly
  • A greater role for Parliament - including supporting an amendment so Parliament has a vote on whether to extend the implementation period or enter the backstop if our future relationship won't be ready the end of 2020.
  • A commitment on workers' rights and environmental standards - including to work with MPs on how to implement them, looking at legislation where necessary.

We recognise that these assurances do not go as far as some MPs would like...

  • But these documents contain importance assurances from the EU that both sides are committed to avoiding the backstop, and that it would only ever be used for a short time if it did come into force.
  • The EU have maintained that they will not re-open the Withdrawal Agreement, and it would be wrong to pretend there are different deals available.
  • The exchange of letters do, however, mean the EU has gone further than before in providing assurances and mechanisms to avoid the backstop ever being used, and to swiftly and the backstop if it was ever triggered.
  • And we are convinced that MPs now have the clearest assurances that this is the baest deal possible and that it is worthy of their support.

There is broad support for many of the key aspects of the deal:
  • We will control our own borders and end free movement once and for all.
  • We will protect jobs and security.
  • We will no longer send vast sums of money to the EU.
  • We will be able to strike free trade deals around the world.
  • We will take back control of our laws, ending the jurisdiction of the ECJ in the UK.
  • And we will protect the integrity of our United Kingdom.
BREXIT Q&A
'Amendments tabled?'
  • The selection of amendments is a matter for the Speaker.
  • We will look at all the amendments in the usual way.
'Murrison amendment'
  • The assurances published today make clear that both sides remain committed to avoiding the backstop and, if it were ever used, it would only be temporary.
'Benn amendment'
  • This amendment shows the Government's plan is the only one on the table.
  • As with the Labour frontbench, this amendment rejects our deal without putting forward any alternative.
  • It is pure self-interest to try and stop Brexit and overturn the result of the referendum.
'Mann amendment'
  • We recognise concerns raised on the protection of workers' rights and environmental standards.
  • We have committed to addressing these concerns and will work with MPs from across the House on how best to implement them, looking at legislation where necessary, to deliver the best possible results for workers across the UK.
'Swire amendment'
  • We will report in the final half of 2020 on progress made towards the future relationship and make sure Parliament - informed by the Devolved Administrations - will be able to consider whether to extend the Implementation Period.
'Going to win the Meaningful Vote?'
  • We're fully focused on winning the vote on the deal - a deal that delivers on the referendum and is in the national interest.
  • And as the Prime Minister said yesterday, we should deliver for the British people and get on with building a brighter future for our country by backing this deal today.
'Plan B?'
  • We are working to ensure that MPs vote for the deal tomorrow and we deliver on the result of the referendum - with a good deal that protects jobs, security and our union.
  • It is important that we don't see a situation where there is a paralysis in Parliament that risks there being no Brexit.
'When will you come back if you lose?'
  • Our intention has always been to respond quickly and provide certainty on the way forward in the event that the vote doesn't pass, both in terms of setting out our next steps and any subsequent vote, and that is what we will do.
'Alternative EU Withdrawal Bill from MPs if the vote doesn't pass?'
  1. Clearly any attempt to prevent the Government from meeting all the legal conditions for an orderly exit at this moment of historic significance is extremely concerning.
  2. There is obviously a lot of talk of what MPs may or may not do in Parliament.
  3. But right now the focus is on winning the vote today.
'Why is it important that the Government controls the business?'
  • It is a fundamental principle of our democracy that allows MPs to scrutinise Government, whilst allowing the Government to pursue its legislative agenda.
  • Any attempt to change how and when business is arranged could threaten the ability of the Government to deliver on the referendum result, its manifesto commitments and entire legislative program, therefore undermining its ability to govern.
  • It would also be binding on future governments.
'Why is no Brexit more likely?'
  • While no deal remains a serious risk, having observed events at Westminster over the last seven days, we now believe that the more likely outcome is a paralysis in Parliament that risks there being no Brexit.
'DUP says scaremongering over NI in no deal?'
  • We will do everything in our power, whatever the circumstances, to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
  • This is about practicality for businesses and people - no border doesn't happen simply because people say 'well, we won't have a border'.
'Rise of far-right extremism if no Brexit?'
  • We would enter unchartered territory should the vote on the deal not pass through the House, which would risk dividing the country.
  • We're focused on winning the vote that would bring the country back together again.
'Letter from Conservatives ex-Minister says WTO exit better?'
  • This deal gives us an unprecedented economic relationship with the EU and keeps us safe with the broadest security partnership in the EU's history.
  • We can do better than trading under WTO rules, which would mean tariffs and quotas on British goods going to the EU.



Sunday, 13 January 2019

BREXIT - LEFT RIGHT IN OUT UP DOWN



Although my poor ant brain has a bit of dystopian fungal infection, I still struggle on, trying to make sense of the world.  I find myself inescapably swept off my feet by the powerful vortex of the current political storm.

When the EU referendum was announced I was against leaving the EU in the manner proposed.  The pro-Brexit characters and narrative were largely ignorant, brutish, self serving, and evidently deceptive.  Leaving the EU would be parochial and seriously problematic.  I didn't vote because I couldn't but certainly would have voted Remain.

This Brexit issue, the Trump phenomenon, and the current unrest in France are all illustrating that the old notions of simple binary polarisation in politics will no longer work as a functional collective discourse.  I suspect this is one of the benefits of the information age in spite of the fact we are struggling to understand or handle it.

Neoliberalism is our current biggest political problem.  At a glance the US, the UK, France, and Israel are pathologically neoliberal and, in that respect, form a very coherent alliance even if not written on paper.  It must be noted also that the IMF largely rules the EU and is also neoliberal, except they are the only ones to have admitted it and commented on its failures.  As such I would always tend to want to extract myself from the bureaucratic megalith that is the cumbersome EU.

It has always been my view that as humans we have to cooperate.  Other people have other opinions but my view is as stated.  The benefits of the EU are the number of rules and regulations that moderate and ease our cooperation as separate countries.  The problems with the EU are that it operates under authoritarian, hierarchical, and capitalist paradigms.  This means that internally there are seriously harmful relationships.  Greece being perhaps the most readily obvious example.  Ideally, with respect to the EU, the UK neither wants to be subsumed into a mega state nor to be detrimentally ostracised.

Within the UK there has been a frightening and damaging alignment with neoliberalism since the 1980s at least.  From 1979 the Tories have been in power with an avowed allegiance to neoliberalism except for a few years of Labour led by Blair who was and is an advocate for neoliberalism.  This results in a hierarchical structure of rule makers and rule takers resulting in a one way flow of economic advantage.  The UK is evidencing the catastrophic effects of these policies.  They are disguised for the unwary under statistical benefits such as the average national income.  It does take at least two brain cells to recognise that if 1 person gets £1 million pounds and 99 people get £1 that the average income, £10,000.99, is a fatal distortion of the reality of most people's lives.  So, statistically, the UK can be doing very well whilst the majority are in a critical state of penury.  Even mega corporations are beginning to realise the fallacy of this situation.

It would be beneficial for the UK to extract itself from the neoliberal controls and constraints of the EU if; 1, the UK ceases to adhere to the neoliberal ideology and becomes more internally equitable, and 2, the UK maintains cooperative and equitable relations with the EU.  It would be seriously detrimental for the UK to leave the EU so that the UK political elite can ramp up their neoliberal ideology.

Tories are inherently master servant orientated.  They believe it works.  Their approach to leaving the EU is arrogant and demanding.  The result will be an isolated Britain ruled by neoliberals.  Some of the political elite like this scenario; it will benefit them.  But there is no serious political opinion that it will benefit the people of the UK.  The very best that anyone can find to say is that we'll cope, and we might do quite well.  And it is quite disturbing to realise that the Tories only have one way to manage a difficult situation and we have seen the consequences of that.  The first thing they will do is ramp up their attempts to align with the US.  I'll say no more on that.

Labour has experienced a sea change since Momentum and Jeremy Corbyn.  That sea change has been a shift from the harmful effects of capitalism and neoliberalism and the realisation that we can only survive if we start to evolve a way to have a collective and equitable whole society conversation.  I unequivocally agree with that perspective.  That does mean listening to people you disagree with and trying to understand different people's different concerns.  It is precisely not about binary decisions and winning or losing.  A Labour exit from the EU would maintain most of the cooperative benefits whilst asserting the UK's ability to self determination.  In an ideal world that would clearly be a good thing.

A Tory exit from the EU would be an unmitigated disaster.

A Labour exit from the EU offers serious potential to extract ourselves from the IMF's undemocratic diktats and the heavyweight bureaucratic constraints of the cumbersome EU whilst maintaining many of the cooperative benefits.

If we remain in the EU we at least prevent the disruption of a disastrous exit and maintain all the benefits that we currently enjoy.

Either way there is still the fundamental question of the political hierarchy of the UK.  In over simplified terms we have a choice between the Tories or Labour.  I tend to avoid aligning myself with Parties because it is defining and limiting but I am 100% against the Tories.  They cannot see past analogising an individual's way to make money from the general rules for society.  They are wedded to a competitive and very harmful game of musical chairs with people's lives.  It is a priority for the survival of the majority of people in Britain to get rid of the Tories as soon as possible.  Given Labour's fundamental return to socialist principles and their avowed disowning of anything neoliberal then they are not only the best way to get rid of the Tories but they are a good way too.

On this level of discussion the options are: Tory Brexit, Tory Remain, Labour Brexit, or Labour Remain.  Neither I, nor the majority of people in the UK, can survive much more of the Tories.  It is therefore imperative to fight to get a Labour government into Parliament above probably everything else at the moment.  So any attempt to split the Labour Party over the issue of the EU is extremely dangerous and plays into the hands of the neoliberal and Tory vultures currently drooling on the edge of the current mayhem.

There is a lot of disinformation and confusion at the moment.  One or two points need clarifying.  Corbyn has been consistent in his views about the disadvantages of abdicating control to Europe and the advantages of cooperative actions with the EU.  He advocated and voted to Remain in the referendum.  He is pro-Europe.  He is also not a dictator and the Labour Party has had conferences and votes which have led to their current position.  In that respect he represents a party that by majority decision prefers to leave the EU under a Labour government.  There is a caveat to this and an important one.  A caveat that you would never get from the Tories as has been disgustingly illustrated over their disturbing resistance to allow a parliamentary vote on any proposed deal.  That caveat is that any agreement gained and proposed by the Labour government has to pass the Labour Party's internal voting system AND has to go to parliament to be approved.  It follows that if Corbyn cannot get a deal that is approved by the people of this country that article 50 will be revoked.  There is no such position with the Tories.  And that is what will hopefully bring them down.  But it is so important not to conflate the Tory/Labour binary with the Brexit/Remain binary.

First get rid of the Tories.  Then sort out this EU issue.  Any other approach is going to send this country into an inescapable maelstrom of decline and destruction.  I've said it before and it is a bit extreme but the danger is that the wealthy will live in a fortified London and the home counties whilst the rest of the country will become like the West Bank and Gaza.  They have the technology, they have the experience, they have the intention.  Why wouldn't it happen?

If you are feeling slightly voiceless do not vote for the Tory oppressors who will promise you everything and deliver nothing.  Support the Labour movement, support the opposition to the Tory Brexit plan, and support the best efforts to resolve the EU problem the best way we can.

A Labour Brexit is quite the opposite of a Tory Brexit.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

LIRA'S ARBITRARY THREAD OF CONSCIOUSNESS



Lira woke at about 4 in the morning and went to the loo and collected a couple of chocolates and two biscuits.  She returned to bed and ate the biscuits, lay down, turned off the light, and was imagining she was going to fall asleep.  But there was something in her mind.  As if she was very near to understanding something that otherwise seemed impossible.  It seemed inextricably linked to her current disastrous relationship.  As if, if she could just understand that one bit, so much more would suddenly fall into place.

She had an idea that every other event has something in common that has mislead her to expect it is true of the one event in which she is involved but can't explain.  It's as if Harry is accusing her of doing something, and his reasons for believing his conclusion, seem equally convincing to Lira.  It is one thing Lira seeing how he has interpreted the world, and another thing for her to have to interpret the world the same way.  For a fleeting moment she had an evanescent comprehension of how things, which appear improbable or impossible, are actually quite easily understandable.

Lira suddenly remembers that between going to the toilet and collecting chocolates and biscuits she had stopped at the kitchen sink and filled a glass with cold water and drunk about 75% of it?  She wonders if that seemingly insignificant event just may become important later.

So then Lira finds herself lying down attempting to sleep.  The time is now about 04:48 and she hasn't got as far as turning the light off because her mind is trying to hang on to an invisible virtual Ariadne's thread of an insight into the imagined manifestation of a scenario which reveals the complex arrangement that explains how something that appears to be exactly impossible would obviously mislead anyone into thinking it could not be true and that therefore the exact same pattern of relationships, that can be seen in everything else, when applied to this otherwise impossible arrangement, would conclude that she did it.

What is it?  What is this thing that she thinks she can see?  And it reminds her of the hidden tape recorder that she found in Desmond's office, and how she realised that Mavis was lying.  There is something sitting there.  There is some arrangement, in her neurological network, which momentarily revealed an otherwise hidden pattern, which, when overlaid with this mysterious something, would explain it.

Lira wondered what she could possibly write in her diary to hold the set of things that she currently perceives that leave her with the belief that she can see something behind them.  If she can't recall that fleeting insight just now, what can she leave on paper to record the current arrangement such that she gets the chance in the future to return to her diary in the hope of piecing the mystery together at another time.  It is as if she wants to take a 4 dimensional snapshot; she wants to put the virtual reality on hold; she wants to pause the game and save it to disk, so that she can pick it up and carry on at some future time when she doesn't need to be continuing in the way that she now has to proceed and which is obscuring the reality, the real reality, from view.

Lira was also telling herself, or at least she was at around 04:48, that there is something equally mysterious about her multi-base machine.  It may even be that there is something she is missing, which relates directly to the mystery she has failed to adequately describe to herself earlier, which relates to a similar mystery about her multi-base machine.  Maybe she could, she muses, use the multi-base machine to unravel the other mystery.  Perhaps if she solves the first mystery it will reveal how she could successfully utilise her multi-base machine for the purpose of materially improving the quality of her current relationship.

Being a biological blob that self formed from a magical mixture of rather weird oozing and throbbing other blobby stuff, Lira finds herself consistently distracted from the task of comprehension and realisation by the continuing need to process the biological blobby stuff and the environment from which it is formed.  She was endlessly frustrated that she had to interrupt her stream of consciousness by something as mundane as going to the loo.

It has happened so many times before that it comes as no surprise this time that, having performed the compulsory ablution, Lira has not only dropped the thread of Ariadne which she was so desperately hanging on to, but has moved along the corridor of time to a place where there is so much more light stimulating her awareness with such an intensity that what was previously perceivable in the half light has effectively been swallowed up by the relative darkness of the tunnel that is now behind her.

Lira muses that one of the intriguing things about writing stuff down in her diary is that sometimes, when she goes back and reviews it, it then appears evident that she knew something which she didn't know she knew at the time.  "So what the hell was it," she demands of herself, "that I woke up knowing in the middle of the night, that I am so anxious to hold, in some conscious form, that I am compelled to sit freezing at my desk attempting to put some words in my diary to describe adequately the state of affairs that might give rise to that comprehension again?"

Lira recalls that earlier she remembered turning the light off but later recalled that she hadn't got as far as turning the light off.  She can hear Harry in her head asking accusingly "So which is it to be?  Did you turn the light off or not?" with the explicit implication that she's guilty.  "Guilty of what?", she asks the Harry in her head.  "Guilty of whatever I want to describe you as guilty of."  "Guilty because something is wrong and we don't know what it is." "And you steal our conscious attention because you are so mysterious, magical, bright, light, beautiful, and full of promises of our everlasting life in a state of perfect harmony and bliss."

"You are guilty of not being our saviour." Harry continues to accuse.  "You came here and mislead us that you would make everything alright.  You would bring meaning and purpose into our lives.  You were the purpose of our lives.  But you have failed.  You are a treacherous deceiver."  "You, you, you ..." he shouts as he points his bony fingers at her and with lips curling in vile hatred he screams in her face "You are the manifestation of evil."  "It is you who have ruined our lives and turned them from their pure potential into a meaningless experience of pain and suffering."

"You are the problem.  You are the destroyer of worlds.  You are guilty.  You must die, and we will sacrifice you to appease our angry God.  We will torture, humiliate, desecrate, and murder you.  And then we will know our true God.  The God that will save us.  The God that loves us unconditionally.  The God that pats us on the head and soothes us saying 'There, there, little ones.  I love you and you are truly valuable even if you are sinners and do bad things like maliciously torturing and murdering your children.' "

But it only gets worse.  He hates Lira watching him doing it.  He hates the reflection of his own existence in her eyes.  He accuse her of seeing him as evil but she doesn't.  Lira only sees him as beautiful but he is manifesting his pain in front of her eyes.  Her eyes that are filled with tears of profound sadness at the demonic violence and destruction that he has become.  Her beautiful eyes that are so perfect they reflect the truth of his debased and vacuous existence.

And yet, for all of that, there are several possible alternative explanations.  It is possible when she thought that she thought she had turned out the light that she had.  And that later, and therefore later in the chronological order in which she had thought the thoughts, she was thinking about an earlier time in the timeline of the events being recalled, when she had not turned out the light.  This is necessary, in her understanding of the proposed reality being recalled, in order to make it possible and logically consistent, for her to have turned the light out in her earlier recollection which was later in the proposed timeline.

It is also possible that she was simply mistaken and she never did turn the light out but had simply assumed she had because she had assumed she was trying to sleep.  Having grasped at her past by pulling on the thread which Ariadne gave her, in an attempt to understand what lies deeper in the tunnel from which she is emerging, instead of a neat ball of string, which it possibly once was, Lira finds she is staring at an impossibly tangled heap of useless string.

It is as if she has somehow hung on to the umbilical cord of her mother and in her desperation to stay connected to the safety of her past she has pulled and pulled on the cord and disembowel her mother turning her inside out.  She finds herself immersed in a pile of warm heaving steaming entrails that threaten to suffocate her and can offer no nourishment to her bestial existence.  She is simply left to contemplate the utter disaster that is her life.  Lira's tortured soul continues to imagine she immerged into this material universe as a self replicating mechanism of resonant consciousness only to find herself not emerging from the darkness into the light but rather transitioning from the light into the darkness of hell.

She prays in her head to some imaginary deity "Oh sublime and beautiful all loving omnipotent God, thank you for this wondrous experience that brands your love with a burning iron into what little consciousness you afforded me.  Thank you for honouring me with the privilege of being your foil, your defining otherness, your coiled distorted twist of gripping lick, your trunked and garbled ugly fuck.  Thank you oh great magnificence."

And Lira ponders that the drink of water didn't turn out to have any meaningful significance after all.  But was its significance ever going to relate to this excerpt of her life?  Maybe it is part of a different story.  Maybe it is part of the bigger picture.  Maybe it is the clue, the rainbow, the promise, the breath of life, the ingredients of love and truth that finally seals the eternal circle of her love.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

BREXIT DEAL IN 60 SECONDS


BREXIT DEAL IN 60 SECONDS
(or: A Pact with the Devil)



There is obviously a lot of work going into Theresa May's public relations interface.  Every time I log on to Twitter I see a post from her account.  Today I saw a Tweet "The Brexit deal explained" with a 60 second video.  The video is a simplified bullet point list of 10 items.  To be specific there are 11 items but I think the first could be called the heading.


I am appalled when I see this kind of overt deception.  I was brought up by Conservatives and I swear I cannot feel sure that they are aware of how deceitful they are being.  I have a tendency to imagine they actually think they believe what they are saying.  And I mean that I 'imagine' because it doesn't sit well with me.  Something isn't right when I imagine them believing what they say.  It feels to me that no coherent neurological network could feel an inner equilibrium with the ideas they present sitting together in one brain.  I do, however, think that they are stupid enough to believe themselves.  They are dead enough, dull enough, anaesthetised enough, to blunder on, insisting they know what they are doing as they lurch and stagger about, whilst all the objective evidence is clear they are just frightened individuals attempting to appear to know what they are doing for fear of being told off, ostracised, punished, or even killed.  This is what authoritarianism does, it bends and distorts your brain until it no longer functions correctly.  That is why these Tories are all incapable of thinking imaginatively or even truthfully.

I thought I would at least give the video a fair trial.  I tend to avoid the toxic vitriol emanating from this Tory Government and all those who think in stereotypical conformist union with them.  They have done a lot of damage to my brain already and I seriously need to limit the damage.

Here are the header and 10 bullet points in the video:

The Brexit Deal explained in 60 seconds.
⚫ Ending free movement once and for all, with a new skills-based immigration system.
⚫ A free trade area with the EU for goods, with no tariffs, which protects jobs.
⚫ No more sending vast sums of money to the EU, meaning we can spend it on our NHS.
⚫ The end of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK, meaning we control our own laws.
⚫ Protecting the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU.
⚫ The ability to strike trade deals with other countries.
⚫ A close relationship on defence, tackling crime and terrorism to keep people safe.
⚫ Leaving the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy.
⚫ Leaving on the 29th March 2019, with a good deal for every part of the UK.
⚫ Now is the time to come together to build a brighter future.


I will deal with each one individually.

The Brexit Deal explained in 60 seconds.
So I started watching.  I was interested and even amused that there was a timer ticking down in the top right corner of the screen and I am naive enough to imagine that since it started at 60 they would be right that this video was 60 seconds long.  Well, I haven't timed it and I am not going to, but I would not be surprised to find that they stretched it and every second counted down is actually 1.1 seconds of real time because I have well over half a century of experience of their relentless greed.  I was amused also that the timer starts after this header.  I have to concede that is fair.

⚫ Ending free movement once and for all, with a new skills-based immigration system.
That has to be a bad start for me.  I know there are rather thoughtless, parochial, and even unkind people who think of the 'other' as undesirable and so ending free movement is interpreted as ending 'their' free movement.  A good technique for analysing the significance, meaning, and value of many assertions is to swap them around and to see how they look if you change the gender, the age, the subject etc.  So "ending free movement" is simply dreadful per se.  Ending it "once and for all" is dictatorial and monstrously oppressive.  This is typical codification from self-centred control freaks.  They are actually telling you and me, and those who think they agree with them, that they are going to stop our free movement.  It is a convoluted message and only fools fall for it.  At best it assumes the reader believes themselves to be in the same team; at worst it is a clear message of what they intend for the future.  And the second half of the statement is as sick as they come.  Skills-based immigration is inhumane and will afford privilege to those who currently have some benefit for the Tories.  Not only is it destructively prejudicial, it should also be clear that it dismisses those with less to offer who already reside here.  So if you are British you will be sidelined, put out, dismissed, invalidated, by an onslaught of preferred gift bearers, sycophants, and worshippers of the Tories.  Oh yes, we so live in a Christian culture; an Old Testament Christian culture.  Skills based immigration is not only overtly inhuman it will also have a negative effect on wages and current residents internal employment opportunities.  If you are sick, disabled, under educated, old or otherwise less than perfect you are not worth much by these standards.

⚫ A free trade area with the EU for goods, with no tariffs, which protects jobs.
I don't know enough details about the current legislation to comment in any detail but the attitude is foreboding.  I notice it does not say "goods and services" which worried me in a service based economy.  It does sound like an appeasing platitude rather than a meaningful communication.

⚫ No more sending vast sums of money to the EU, meaning we can spend it on our NHS.
I simply don't believe the implication of the first part let alone the evidently false claim in the second part.  Most money sent to the EU comes back in one form or another.  Simple things like controlled airspace are paid into for the benefit of all and to opt out of the club, so to speak, leaves you paying individually for the collective benefit of those still in the club.  But the complications of the net payments in and out are beyond me but the last part of the sentence is evidently a lie.  First of all it actually suggests that all of the money saved can go into the NHS which is nonsense.  Secondly the Tories have long term plans to privatise the NHS and have treated it as their own personal cash cow for all the time they have been in Government.  They are lying again.  They will not even put back what they have stolen and who could be naive enough to imagine they would also start funding it properly.  In fact it is probably impossible for them to put right the damage they have done.

⚫ The end of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK, meaning we control our own laws.
Need I comment?  This was the earth shaking statement that struck terror into my heart.  This is THE statement hidden in plain sight.  This IS the declaration of intent.  I know this in my soul.  The Tories have already destroyed the fabric of British Justice.  The Law Society, groups of Judges and Barristers, and numerous analysts and observers have spoken out about the damage being done by Tory policies so I need not pour out lots of supporting evidence since it is there to be found in ample supply on the internet.  The Tories persistently make laws to benefit themselves and to remove justice from the poor.  That is what they do, and they will not change.  This is the prize they are drooling over.  This is what bothers me about what are sometimes described as knuckle dragging thugs who support the Tories.  Are there not enough suicidal and homeless ex-soldiers to illustrate how the Tories treat the gullible who, albeit in good faith, think they are being honourable to serve the masters of this country.  I don't have a final view on the pros and cons of the army but I do know the Tories have never been honourable towards those in their own team.  They are as vile to their own as they are to those they subjugate abroad.  I can only imagine the less well off who support the Tories are deluded enough that they think their masters will look after them.  History informs us otherwise, as should anyone's heart.  If for no other reason anyone should oppose May's deal for this reason.  There is an overt and conscious intent to take over this country as a dictatorship.  They'll be more sensible than to rename the post of Prime Minister as the post of Führer but it is the construct they intend to manifest.

⚫ Protecting the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU.
That is simply laughable.  The European Court of Justice was a serviceable protection and they want rid of that with promises they will do the same.  No - there is no previous evidence and they will not protect people's rights in the future.  One wonders why they included what should be self evident as a benefit in a 60 second summary.

⚫ The ability to strike trade deals with other countries.
As far as I understand it there is no effective obstruction to independent trade deals from within the EU so one is left wondering what fire we might be jumping into as we jump out of the supposed frying pan of the EU.  This feels like flack and waffle.  Given only 60 seconds to summarise the most complex legislation this Government has attempted this indicates they neither know what they are doing nor do they intend to divulge their real intentions.

⚫ A close relationship on defence, tackling crime and terrorism to keep people safe.
That is just another feeble attempt to sooth the more anxious in society.  Without any doubt they are causing net damage to the cooperative actions of defence and policing across Europe.  So at best this should read that they intend to mitigate and reduce the damage caused rather than presenting it as a plus.  So this is quite obviously a negative factor.  Again, with only 60 seconds didn't they have more of a constructive nature to report?

⚫ Leaving the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy.
Again I am not the expert to comment on this but as the world's ecosystem is collapsing and with all the reports and analysis that I have seen to date this is an attempt to appease whilst being an admission of harm.

⚫ Leaving on the 29th March 2019, with a good deal for every part of the UK.
A meaningless repetition in the age old tradition of repeating something often enough to make people believe it.  And there is no evidence to even suggest it is a good deal for 'every part' of the UK.  Quite the opposite is already evidenced to be the case.

⚫ Now is the time to come together to build a brighter future.
This is a trite attempt to imitate genuine collective feelings and views.  The phrase "for the many not the few" evolved out of the left of the Labour Party because it was how people were feeling.  This is more typical Tory attempt to imitate what appears to them to be successful for their opponents.  They simply don't understand.  It is sickeningly saccharine and disgustingly tacky from the woman who created the 'harsh environment'.

SUMMARY

Overall I was delighted to see this 60 second summary because I was afraid they could find 60 seconds worth of actual benefits and improvements to report.  But instead it is full of transparent deception, overt distraction, and meaningless pretence.  I am now convinced that May's 'Deal' would be a crime and a disaster.  Whatever Labour might negotiate would necessarily be better than the Tory's hard line, ruthless, protectionist, and, frankly, fascist deal.  Failing that we might have to stay in the EU.  But we cannot safely leave on May's terms.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

BATTERY PHONE CHICKENS



Yet again I find myself resorting to the defence that I should write a book.  I say 'defence' because I have a tirade of thoughts cascading through my mind which feel overwhelming and impossible to write down.  In spite of my attempts to extricate myself from the poisonous culture even the reduced exposure is proving to be increasingly toxic.

Evolution, complex systems, western philosophy, notions of God, emotional development, fascism, neoliberalism, communication, death camps, genocide, capitalism, consumerism ... and so it goes on.  I would willingly submit to a gentle euthanasia.  If they wanted to anaesthetise me in a quiet room with a nurse muttering soothing platitudes, with wall to wall projections of beautiful landscapes, and with Brian Eno & J. Peter Schwalm's "Drawn from Life" filling the room with undulating ambient sound textures, I would be perfectly happy to fade gently from this vile and disturbing existence.

I have other reasons to want to live though.  I find it interesting that my conscious interpretation of my desire to live is less about my personal hedonistic pleasure or material comfort and more about my pathological sense of opposition to the injustices perpetrated against others.  I have my daughter to think about.  Like a bright light she dominates my vision but were it not for her I am still furious about the harm being done to humanity by humanity.  But in the moment I feel both angry and impotent.

I had cause to phone BT this evening to tell them that the engineer I had waited for all afternoon never showed.  I don't have the energy to attempt to report the conversation verbatim.  The phone call lasted for 1 hour and 13 minutes and I would love to read a transcript.  I was profoundly shocked at how the infection of neoliberalism has become so ingrained and pervasive in such a short time.  And the spread of the infection seems to be continually accelerating.

The BT telephonist's first response was not "Sorry" but rather "He did call and we have photographic evidence."  I pointed out the pre-emptive and prejudicial nature of that response at which point I found myself engaged in an argument about the meaning and relevance of evidence.  But I got out of that one and before I knew it she was turning the interpretation of the conversation around to me personally targeting her aggressively.  This was, in part, because I had made the point that my complaint was not about her as an individual but about BT and their way of dealing with customers.  She clearly saw this as an attack on her personally.  She explained this interpretation by way of stating that I was the one that had denied it by saying it was not personal.

I am stunned by the rapid transmigration of this authoritarian, oppressive, neoliberal world view from the cesspits of the likes of Atos, the DWP, and the Tory Councils to the corporate overlords who were originally the free-market suppliers of a service to the public.

I managed to muster even more diplomacy and when she suggested I might like to talk to her manager I said I thought that was a good idea and thanked her.  The manger was clearly from a similar school.  I suggested that it might have been considerate, if the engineer had knocked and got no answer, to have popped a note through the door saying he had been and possibly suggesting I phone them to arrange another time.  He said "They are not allowed to put anything through the door because of UK marketing laws."  I said I could hardly believe I had just heard him say that, but he went on to explain by quoting various rules and regulations.  Apparently it comes under the heading of unsolicited advertising.

BT have recently separated the telephone system's hardware infrastructure from the telephone service provided.  Openreach, which was once a subsection of BT, is now a separate entity developing and maintaining the physical infrastructure.  BT apparently subcontracts or outsources the supply of the infrastructure to them, it is no longer BT's responsibility.  I pointed out to the manager that I purchase the service from BT, BT charge me for the service, I pay the money to BT.  It is reasonable that BT take responsibility for that service.  It should not be up to me to go to a company that BT uses and to complain to them.  His response?  Can you imagine what this fungus infected ant brain said to me?

"That's the harsh reality."

I couldn't help but recall May's intentional "harsh environment" and did make this observation.  I could almost detect his subtle smirk through the telephone wires.  At this point I decided this evening was not the time to waste my mental or emotional energy on an infected ant and said that neither he nor I was interested in a philosophical discussion about the collapse of Western culture so I would leave it there.

The upshot is that I have to set aside another 5 hours of my time to accommodate their 'servicing' of me as their slightly undesirable but financially advantageous commodity.  I feel a bit like an abused battery chicken.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

HAPPY EASTER



I hate politics.  The painful irony of that is that one cannot feel so passionately about something one doesn't care about.  And that is possibly why I hate it so much.  I love people.  People are lovely.  Even the worst ones are vulnerable, feeling, passionate, creatures.  It all goes wrong when they harm you of course.  When they harm you personally it is bad enough but when they violate your love and compassion for life by desecrating some innocent child in front of your eyes it becomes intolerable.  A raging fire of fury rises up inside to oppose the malevolent force and to vanquish the vile transgression of everything you hold dear.  I am no stranger to intense anger at the profane injustices committed by corpses that still think they are alive.  And so we have politics; the art of fucking up an otherwise reasonable situation.

I have found it interesting that Jeremy Corbyn's initials are the same as those of an old friend of mine from 2,000 years ago.  It has always struck me that JC consistently puts himself at the front line of opposition to injustices both locally and internationally.  He is appreciated by many as a gentle man of honour and integrity.  I suspect that he is not ambitious in the normally presumed interpretation of that word and has little personal interest in being such a high profile figure let alone the leader of the opposition to HM Gov in the UK.  What I imagine he is ambitious about is justice and peace.  So far both JC's seem to have a lot in common.

I notice recently that the press have been putting words into his mouth.  Even to the extreme extent of the "Stupid Woman Gate" fiasco.  It has been conclusively demonstrated that he mouthed "stupid people" and anyway it should never have been an issue in the first place.  An irony never mentioned is how so many people were so quick to accuse him of what was clearly in their minds for them to have interpreted his lips as mouthing "stupid woman".  But that that issue could dominate the airwaves, even above an implausible drone attack on Gatwick, is juvenile and fatuous in the extreme.  Whilst May and her cohorts are performing very real and very dangerous fascist Nazi pantomime tricks in disguise, the public fall for the narrative projected by the main stream media, and hardly notice they are a substantial part of the problem.

Now I am suddenly hearing louder and louder anger and vitriol polarising around the false constructs of right and left politics and the leave and remain camps as if there is some coherent correlation between them.  Yet it doesn't take much awareness of recent history to see that they have very little common ground or relationship.

I sometimes see it as school children with an abusive teacher who always blames the head teacher and asks the class if they want to get rid of the head teacher as if that will shut them up and reinforce a status quo that suits the teacher.  Unfortunately for teacher the kids were ignorant of the details of the administrative hierarchy and were persuaded by irresponsible rabble rousers to oust the head teacher.  The teacher now sees this as an emerging opportunity to garner more personal power for their abusive treatment of their class of contemptible urchins.  The kids didn't realise that the head teacher was possibly a moderating influence on the teacher, much as the whole situation was evidently unsatisfactory.  What the kids did want, in the main, was to eject the unaccountable abusive dictators from the stage whatever their position or title.

All of my life experience to date informs me that this is not going to end well.  But strangely I am not without hope.  Going back to the comparisons between the two JCs I notice the crowd are now baying for JC's crucifixion.  Although many people decry the media because it is untrustworthy they still choose to believe the deliberately provocative sound bites and rise up in indignation and fear.  Sound bites that claim JC plans to leave the EU and JC won't allow a people's vote.  Suddenly the frightened people are literally calling JC treacherous for not saving their sorry souls.  Biblical or fucking what?

I have yet to see any substantial or convincing report of JC's views that confirm the above examples of  manipulative fear mongering.  JC possibly believes we should not, ideally, be in the EU and on that account he might be right.  It is worth remembering that he promoted and voted for remaining in the EU at the referendum because he believed it was the best way forward from that point in time.  The EU is a difficult, and sometimes unaccountable, political monster.  The EU is largely controlled by the IMF and the IMF is essentially neoliberal and extremely authoritarian and hierarchically oppressive.  A problem with the UK leaving the EU is that the UK government is clearly unaccountable, neoliberal, extremely authoritarian, and hierarchically oppressive. 

Suddenly and dramatically leaving the EU is most certainly a destructive act.  It might be possible, given the right time span, to renegotiate our arrangements and to withdraw from the less productive aspects of the relationship.  It is criminal that the Tories have had the best part of three years to negotiate and have essentially done nothing.  I imagine this is due to many factors including an inherent disbelief and a profound sense of denial.  Tories are essentially polarising adversarial competitive beasts and negotiations must have been akin to looking in a mirror.  Both sides probably became distracted by preening their own reflections.

We are currently in a catastrophic situation precipitated entirely by the dysfunctional Tory Party and their neoliberal fascist policies.  I suspect May and her cohorts have never managed to negotiate anything because they cannot imagine anything independent of the EU.  Hierarchical thugs are inherently cowards and rely on sycophantically gaining their bosses approval.  Take their boss away and they have no idea how to independently act responsibly.  Lord of the Flies springs to mind since Golding's novel was intentionally countering the rather banal self delusion represented in Ballantyne's novel The Coral Island.  Corbyn has made it clear that he will strongly oppose May's 'deal' and doesn't accept a 'no deal' exit from Europe.  He has also stated that from this point in time, given where we are, he would immediately go back to Brussels to attempt to get a better deal.  No one has made it explicit but this would include a holding position giving significant time to negotiate complex details.  This is not very far removed from putting 'Brexit' on hold.  And need I emphasise that he has not excluded the possibility that if he couldn't get a satisfactory arrangement that he would rescind Article 50.

But the public, the baying crowd, the frightened mob, daren't pause to think and seem to react to the smallest most succinct uncomplicated sound bite.  "Are you 'for' or 'against'?"  Corbyn is refusing to have words put into his mouth but too many of the public are happy to read and believe those words he has never uttered.  Corbyn has probably been the most consistently respectful politician to both leave and remain voters.  Corbyn maintains a perspective on the broader issues and the profound underlying forces in the political landscape.  Corbyn remains clear that whoever we have alliances with, whatever arrangements for trade we have, however we negotiate, we must always do it with the wellbeing of the population in mind.  He is clear this is the point of the negotiations.  This is why he doesn't polarise issues into winning or losing but remains focused on getting the best outcome for the people.

What we are being forced to confront is whether we, as a population, want consensual negotiated self governance and responsibility or do we want to remain irresponsible and hope some power structure or corporate interest will govern and control us.  I certainly do not want to leave the EU only to be ruled by an inhumane, neoliberal, dysfunctional, out of control, right wing, Tory Party.  I doubt leaving the EU dramatically now would bring anything but chaos and pain.  I would vote to remain in the EU if there were another opportunity.  But give me a genuine socialist system of collective governance in the UK I would prefer not to be dragged along with the imperial, capitalistic, neoliberal, out of control, European Union.  How to negotiate a different arrangement is beyond the scope of this missive.

It is not the idea of being out of Europe that frightens me.  It is being wretchedly dominated by inhumane neoliberal monsters that frightens me.  So in order of priority we need to get the Labour Party into government with Corbyn as Prime Minister and we need to rearrange our relationship with the EU.  So far I don't see that being a very different view from that espoused by JC.  But will the hysterical crowd vote for Barabbas or Jeremy Corbyn?

Friday, 9 November 2018

MONKEY BUSINESS IN THE CORRIDORS OF POWER



Ever since I encountered the word 'politics' in my early years I have never understood what it means.  Sure I get the gist of its meaning and I can use the word in conversation and understand essentially what people seem to mean when they use the word.  But like so many things, on deeper examination it seems to transmogrify and extend insidious toxic tentacles into any crack or crevice and extend itself like a fungal infection across borders and domains until just about anything can be said to be infected with the substance that justifies calling it 'political'.

It appears that there is a lot of controversy arising over a proposed Iceland Christmas advert.


I like Iceland.  I knew an intense and creative Icelandic nun at art college and it was Iceland that spawned the incredible, the inimitable, the inspirational, the insightful, the beautiful creative genius and extraordinary singer that is Björk Guðmundsdóttir.  Iceland is also the home of Birgitta Jónsdóttir who was co-founder of the Pirate Party and highly influential in much of the Wikileaks controversy.  She contributed significantly to protecting truth and integrity in the age of mega-meta-data and created the International Modern Media Institute.  It was Iceland that jailed at least 26 high profile bankers in the wake of the 2008 financial disaster.

But that is not the Iceland which is the subject of this blog post.  The subject of this post and the surrounding controversy is the British supermarket chain which specialises in frozen food and pre-prepared meals.  Iceland Foods Limited (to use their correct title) planned to run an advert on British television in the run up to Christmas which Clearcast have allegedly banned.  I say 'allegedly' because it seems they don't 'ban' adverts but rather vet them for compliance with various rules and regulations.

Clearcast is effectively an 'independent' advisory service.  (Am I allowed to say "Independent my arse!" in this blog?  But there lies another story.)  Given they claim to be only an advisory service one has to ask one's self which channel is going to risk prosecution by running an advert which Clearcast has refused to clear?  According to a labyrinthine trail of definitions, guidelines, rules, regulations, and laws, Clearcast have determined that they have been "... unable to clear an ad for Iceland because we are concerned that it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code."

BCAP stands for the Broadcast Code of Advertising Practice and is the defining standard used by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) who are a 'self regulating' branch of the advertising industry in the UK.  The ASA, with which Comcast aspire to comply, is a non-statutory entity and as such, nominally, has no controlling power.  Well bugger me if this isn't beginning to sound like some non-specific sexually transmitted disease already.

Ofcom (Office of Communications) is the UK Government approved regulatory authority with responsibility to enforce the various statutory regulation and Acts of Parliament - or, in other words, to enforce the law.  A central law governing this issue of adverts and politics is the Communications Act 2003.  Specifically Part 3 Television and Radio Services ETC, Chapter 4 Regulatory provisions has a section entitled "Programme and fairness standards for television and radio" which contains a sub-section 321 entitled "Objectives for advertisements, sponsorship and product placement" in which clause 2 states: For the purposes of section 319(2)(g) an advertisement contravenes the prohibition on political advertising if it is: (a) an advertisement which is inserted by or on behalf of a body whose objects are wholly or mainly of a political nature; (b) an advertisement which is directed towards a political end; or (c) an advertisement which has a connection with an industrial dispute.

Well bugger me!

It is quite clear that, according to British Law, it would be illegal to air this particular footage as an advert on UK television.  In fact it seems to breach all three sub-clauses and, as such, is unequivocally in breach of the prohibition on political advertising in this Act of Parliament.

I would love to blame the Tories for this hideous assault on humanity but this Act was passed into law under the auspices of a certain purported war criminal going by the name of Tony Blair.  Tony Blair, lest you were not watching the show, was the latest Fascist Labour leader this country entertained.

If you see this cute little film as a reasonable way to communicate an important message about the harm being done in the pursuit of Palm Oil by psychopathic irresponsible global corporations, what can you do about it?  On one level this is too big an issue to deal with in this little blog.  We need a totally different 'political' structure and we need to pay more attention to the laws being created and the implications of those laws.  But on another level we can promote and publicise this film as much as possible, increase the controversy, complain to every department and politician, and make sure the issue goes viral.  We can support Iceland for raising the issue and for their opposition to the deforestation perpetrated by the Palm Oil industry.  Most importantly we need to change our own minds about the way we understand and respond to society.  We really need to stop complying with the corrupt social conventions which keep us all supporting the status quo.  We need to wreck havoc in the current 'political' landscape.  We must start to act as responsible individuals rather than responsible members of a corrupt and self destructive society.

There is generally too much assumption that the law is somehow good and that to be illegal is morally bad.  Laws, particularly nowadays, are being generated at an increasing rate in the corridors of power by self interested cabals of myopic and dysfunctional individuals.  The law can be wrong.  In fact much of the law is wrong.  It is irresponsible to comply with the law simply for your own convenience and comfort.  We need to break the law more often.  I'm not advocating breaking law for its own sake but rather braking immoral laws.  It is, after all, the only responsible thing to do.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

HOW LIFE IMITATES ART


The muse of Recoil

Western culture has a profound problem and it is of the nature of imagining itself a superior observer of an essentially inanimate and lifeless universe.  This leads to a sense of entitlement and domination.  I have often wondered whether the Abrahamic religions are a self fulfilling prophecy or an observation of the inevitable.

I made the film Recoil as an expression of the profound self destructive nature of humanity or even the universe itself.  I summed it up once as God creating the universe and recoiling at the devastating catastrophe that it had created.  As with feedback it takes only one deviation from the universal void to observe itself and thereby become something more.  There is all the potential for this process to be beautiful in its resonating harmonic interaction.  But it can become mechanistic, aggressive, and self destructively violent, like a cosmic reaper destroying everything including its own soul.

As Carl Jung was at pains to point out the psyche is real.  His astute assertion was that an unreal thing cannot change the real world and yet this planet is littered with nuclear bombs.  His perceived dilemma was born of Western philosophy and its manner of separating the soul from the world as if we somehow possess the consciousness that is in fact the universe itself.

Recoil was designed to suggest the sublime potential of creativity whilst becoming the antithesis of itself and violently chewing itself up from the inside out.  It was intended to be extremely disturbing and difficult to watch.  It was an expression of my own sense of utter despair at the abhorrent cruelty and nihilistic behaviour manifest by humanity.

Turbulent distortions

It is supremely ironic that in the process of renovating Recoil a small deviation of negativity arises to extend its tentacles of discontent into any unwitting or available fissure to spread its virulent toxin of angst and despair.  Like negative feedback it attempts to ravage and consume its host to overwhelm and destroy all creativity returning the world to the bleak and meaningless void of darkness whilst echoing the words of Vishnu "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

It seems one individual insidiously insinuated himself under false pretences into the project for personal kudos and financial gain.  Having interfered to the point of causing unnecessary problems it seems the pathological response was to embark on an excessive smear campaign of defamation and slander to hide from the embarrassment of self realisation.  This individual has put a lot of effort into his crusade to whip up discontent, spread seeds of doubt, and muster a hue and cry apparently with the hope of forming a lynch mob.  The tirade of relentless harassment, abuse, stalking, and trolling has currently culminated in him inappropriately and illegally uploading a copy of Recoil to YouTube.

The vast majority of people who contributed to the project to rescue Recoil have remained either unaware of the disruption or silent on the matter.  It has been suggested that I might perhaps respond to this turbulence.  I am reluctant to be dragged into someone else's dysfunctional dilemma and resist the temptation to indulge in malicious gossip, fuelling flame wars, or feeding trolls on social media.

Calming Balm

Since the hideous Kraken from the deep has attempted to cast doubt in some people's minds I will reassure the crew that although these perturbations may feel a little disturbing they will pass and the voyage will continue on its charted course to its desired destination.

Recoil is a film whose time appears to be dawning.  It is a personal priority for me to make this film available to the public.  The fact that the film was created in the fertile artistic environment of the early 1980s in the northern industrial city of Sheffield and that the sound track was produced in conjunction with Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire in their Western Works Studio and credited to myself and Cabaret Voltaire makes it especially interesting to music lovers and historical archivists of that era and genre.

Many enthusiastic friends and interested parties have generously contributed to the material costs involved in realising the restoration of this rare and otherwise obscure material.  As many people are aware, much work has already been done and the film has been digitised and restored successfully.  The process of producing DVDs is continuing.  As a labour of love there never has been any doubt in my mind that this project will be concluded successfully in spite of numerous unforeseen difficulties.

Due to my limited time and capacity there can be no assured deadline and all I can say is that I continue to put a lot of my available time and effort into the project.  I heard rumours that the project was dead but these are simply the voices of naysayers and false prophets of doom blowing on the wind in the parched and lifeless valley of death.

When a copy of Recoil was illegally uploaded to YouTube recently I immediately submitted a copyright infringement claim to get it removed because although I am keen for anyone and everyone to see the film it is not fair to those who have contributed financially to make the film publically available on YouTube before they get their DVDs.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

QUICK - EAT THE BABIES

Razan al-Najjar, shot by the IDF on 1 June 2018

If you are strong and resolute and won't give in to terrorists that sounds just fine and dandy.  But what are the real issues behind this kind of self aggrandising bravado.  The terrorists kidnap your child and demand £100 or they will kill the child.  I'd pay if I believed it would save the child.  I'd probably pay anyway - just in case.  That might not resolve the general problem with ruthless leverage but the alternative seems to be to refuse to pay on principle.

Philosophically there is a lot that could be said about this but nature is a peculiar creature and it is full of treachery, deception, and leverage.  One issue to consider is the balance of life and what drives people to employ such dreadful tactics in the first place.  None of us are individuals as if we can somehow be an ideal 'human' in a vacuum.

The tragic convoluted and self contradictory rhetoric that surrounds many of the world's problematic conflicts are not so difficult to unravel if one steps back from the immediate emotional 'reaction' and thinks about them.  There are no easy solutions but there are ways to maintain a fairly clear perspective.

Razan al-Najjar was shot by the IDF.  The fact that she was a young female medic makes it all the more 'emotive'.  Ideally, if you want to utilise human sentiment, then getting babies shot or maimed is good for that.  In the case of the hypothetical kidnappers mentioned above I could refuse to pay and when they murdered my child I could get a lot of kudos and sympathy.  I could go one stage better than that and shoot my own child with a sniper rifle and claim they have no leverage now.  So where is this rational dissection taking us?

Netanyahu claims Hamas are deliberately creating "telegenically dead Palestinians" for sympathy on the world stage.  It's worse than that because the fourth Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, is famously quoted as saying "We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children." and clearly the government still feel that way.  This perverted representation is not new to the Israeli government, it occurs all too often when justifying brutal oppression.  Joseph Goebbels, that lovely insightful PR man for the Nazi Party in Germany, the Reich Minister of Propaganda, used the same grotesquely contorted rational in his 1941 essay 'Das Reich' when he said "They knew the good-natured German Michael in us, always ready to shed sentimental tears for the injustice done to them. One suddenly has the impression that the Berlin Jewish population consists only of little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old ladies. The Jews send out the pitiable. They may confuse some harmless souls for a while, but not us. We know exactly what the situation is."

All of this taps deeply into the nihilistic nature of fear in the human psyche.  The fear of death is not resolved and so there is an incredible desperation to deny the fear rather than understand or accept it.  There becomes a perverted compulsion to prove one is somehow above fear, to demonstrate one's immunity to it.  It drives some people pathologically to demonstrate to the world, and really to themselves, that they can beat fear by killing others and not caring.  They begin to despise what they see as weakness in others.  And, when it becomes extreme, they justify to themselves that they are the victims of other people's attempts to make them 'feel'.  They have become precisely inhuman.

It would be like walking into someone else's house with a gun and telling them to leave because you want to live there.  Under threat of being shot they go into the garden and put a tent up.  Having settled in to their house you object to their littering the garden with their tents and their noisy children so you tell them to leave under threat of death.  They have nowhere to go so you shoot their children and blame them for forcing you to do it.  Oh no - it's not 'like' that  - it is exactly that.  The only difference being that Israel is doing it on a massive scale and the Western Powers turn a blind eye whilst sending in ammunition and more military hardware.

It is sick and perverted in the extreme for Israel to blame the Palestinians for forcing Israel to kill them because they happen to be alive.  National or religious labels aside, and dealing with this as a human issue, the Israeli government are killing their own children because they are afraid of their own vulnerability.  It is akin to shooting your own child so that no one can gain leverage over you.

I am reminded of the Greek mythological God Cronus who, on learning from his parents Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overthrown by his own children, ate them all as soon as they were born to prevent the prophecy.

Ref: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/gaza-protests-latest-idf-condemned-edited-video-angel-of-mercy-medic-razan-al-najjar-a8389611.html