Thursday, 15 February 2018

Students... Grrrr

I have not had a rant for a while, in fact it's over a year,  and that's what I set this particular blog up for as I prefer to be positive, but every so often I want to rant about the bad things in this world. I was originally going to title this FVCK STUDENTS, but thought that may be even more inflammatory.

Don't get be wrong, I am not getting at students, in Newcastle they contribute to the economy, yes they can be annoying , congregate at the front of an otherwise empty bus or in front of a cash machine that you want to use etc etc

Basically its a lot of things, the most in your face being the continually erection of new Student Cell Blocks. Almost everywhere there is somewhere that can be built on these are going up. Now I wouldn't mind if these were being put up by councils for the benefit of students, but they're not , they charge students £500-£600 a month to stay here. This is private "enterprise" with the collusion of the government treating the students as cash cows. This is on top of the student loans which were introduced by Nu--Labour, then hiked by the Tories and LibDems , all people who had their education paid for (by the state or parents) showing their economic incompetence in education.

Now the government are talking about capping Student loans ... because ... the cost of recovering unpaid loans is become a burden. The thing is because wages have stagnated students can't even get a job that would enable then to repay the loan , let alone actually live.

Students should not be viewed as cash cows, but the current model , the government lends the students money (taken from the taxpayer), that is then paid to private "enterprise", then when students can't repay then the taxpayer loses out again.

I know my views are simplistic, but we should be building social housing (council housing with affordable rents not "affordable" housing) , student accommodation should be also similarly costed, and education should be FREE funded by the taxpayer.

Instead we have an economy where money is leaked away into offshore accounts while the country's infrastructure crumble....and I won't mention leaving the EU.....

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The World Just Became A Reality TV Show

Donald Trump is in The Whitehouse. We shouldn't be too surprised . Trump was on the Apprentice. If Simon Cowell stood for Prime Minister in the UK he'd win by a landslide, because let's face , most of the electorate are at a level where they will do what their rag of choice (The Sun,The Mail or Express in the UK, Fox News and The National Enquirer in the USA) tells them.

Many of his supporters laud him as a "businessman" ignoring his continuous failures and being bailed out (see here)

Making inappropriate sexual comments about girls as young as ten (see here)

Misogyny and Sexual Harassment of Women (see here)

Racist Harassment and incidents (See here) the Brexit vote endorsed the same in the UK

Mocking the disabled (See here)

Any one of these incidents would get me sacked but the electorate seem to view these as a benefit.

People say that it doesn't stop him doing the job, and all politicians are the same.

He claims he is going to create jobs when his own companies use non USA labour. (see here)

So being on the Apprentice qualifies you for US President (unless you are non white or a woman)

I've included PJ O'Rourke on Trump vs Clinton, he is Right Wing and voted Democrat.

Today is not a good day.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

I'm Finding It Difficult

A lot of people who I'd consider my friends , who I worked with, are singing the praises of  Donald Trump as a straight talker and a business man. When I say but what about the sexual assaults , the lurid sexual comments towards children, the denigration of disabled people, the racism, the misogyny, the bankruptcies , the fraud, they retort with "It doesn't stop him from doing a good job".

By the same token we could but Jimmy Saville and Gary Glitter in charge of a kindergarten class and Peter Sutcliffe in charge of a women's refuge.

Everyone mentioned in this post is vile and despicable, and Nigel  Farage belongs there for his racism, misogyny and idiocy.

If you have a good word for any of these just unfriend me on Facebook.

Pop Will Eat Itself are more appropriate by the second.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

2016 Year of The Brump

You can tell that my heart's not really in this blog because I hate complaining and whining but feel that I have to do this one about stuff that annoys the hell out of me.

Brump is my word for the car crash that is Brexit and Donald Trump.

The two big intertwined snakes of Brexit and Donald Trump's Victory have left me open to accusations that I don't know what democracy is and I should shut the f**k up and accept the "will of the people".

My counter argument is that the people who voted were blatantly lied to. When I point this out I'm told that people "should have known" that they were lies.  Well if you go and buy a Ferrari that is advertised as having a top speed of 300 mph, it gets delivered , and it wont top 30 mph because it only has a 500cc engine , what would you do? Should you have known?

Brexit promised immigration control, money for the NHS , more control and none of those are going to happen and in fact our government are selling off everything to foreign governments while still plunging the county into further debt. It's funny how austerity only hits the poor.

Trump promised to take on big business , bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA, build a wall, to keep out Mexicans but the electorate were wary that Hilary Clinton would just get into bed with bug business and the rich would get richer and the poor will get poorer.

I remember Margaret Thatcher once saying she wanted a "return to Victorian values" and for years I thought she meant no sex, no nudity, no swearing, but then I realise that what she really meant was that she wanted a slave underclass who didn't need paying because they would just kow-tow to their betters. That's what the Tory "Austerity" program is aimed at.

These two events (Brexit / Trump) have validated racist and homophobic opinions resulting in people being attacked and killed, the fall out from these events have proved that they are wrong.

And back to democracy. A vote should be based on truths and not the opinions of the best con men. Here's Wikipedia's definition.

Check out Adam Curtis' Hypernormalisation here which gives a good insight into why we are in this situation

OK That's it out of my system but we are in a bad place and I hope that the good and sensible ones among us can mobilize and do something about it.

Have a great day my friends.

Musically we'll go with Dick Gaughan's "World Turned Upside Down" and provide some amusing political insights from PJ O'Rourke.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Dark As The Dungeon

This morning I got up and it was still dark, at 6:20 it was still dark, and the Johnny Cash song "Dark As The Dungeon" came to mind, and I thought of the chorus:

"And it's dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,
 Where danger is double and pleasures are few,
 Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines 
And it's dark as a dungeon way down in the mines."

And while the analogy of mining is there, this is a perfect analogy for the state of the low paid, unemployed, sick and disabled in most western societies. In the sixties and seventies people could aspire to buy their own own house , now with the destruction of social housing by the introduction of the "right to buy"  program , that is now beyond the reach of most people.

People with what are considered reasonable jobs struggle to make ends meet and are constantly spending time filing in forms in order to get help. When I was last unemployed, I was instructed to spend seven and a half hours a day looking for a job. How soul destroying, I didn't do that but did volunteer work and some work with a start up company, but not everyone can do the latter, especially if there a bills to pay and mouths to feed.

The proliferation of food banks and charities like Help For Heroes disgusts me, not because I don't think that these charities do great work but because governments allow companies to pay starvation wages, cut back benefits, send people to war to protect financial interests (anywhere with oil needs democracy) and then when they come back from war the government wash their hands and leave it to charities like Help For Heroes to look after them.

Corporation tax is much lower than income tax I believe , "entrepreneurs" like Richard Branson make money off government handouts via tax breaks and the like.

The Basic Income concept is an excellent concept. Everyone would have it, people who work would have significantly more. If the people at the bottom end of the income scale hade disposable income, the economy would have a huge boost. It doesn't matter that they spend money on beer, cigarettes , Sky TV, Crisps and chocolate, that would boost all those markets who would then have to employ more people to cope with the demand. A lot of people would go out for mor meals , the cinema , have more holidays.

Instead governments expect them to work for nothing, (their benefits if they are lucky) and spend time filling in countless forms, waiting for someone to look and decide whether they are a deserving case.

Right that's today's thoughts out of the way.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Taking Back Control

They Did It ... The took Back Control
I'm not saying anything about the situation, but I heard a great allegory for the "Taking Back Control" situation yesterday which I have adapted because it was made by someone far more intelligent and eloquent that I (or should it be me).

The Taking Back Control bit of Brexit and be analogised thus:

You can't drive so you take the taxi.

But you think how much this is costing you and your not happy.

Some unelected body (the taxi driver) is taking you home (because you gave him a mandate to by getting in his taxi) and you are getting madder and madder

You have no idea what you are going to do, no ability to actually drive, but the voices in your head tell you this is YOUR opportunity to take back control

So you shove him out the way , grab the wheel and you, the driver and the taxi veer off the road into the river.

Then you blame the driver and the people laughing on the river bank.

I think that's accurate.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Feeling Ripped Off and Some Right Wingers I Can Definitely Live With

Over the last couple of weeks I've felt slightly ripped off , well I was definitely ripped off in one instance. For a change I thought I'd pay by cash for a Metro ticket. The Metro is an excellent service but I put a coin in the slot and it didn't drop, so I thought I'll be a bit more forceful with the second. It just jammed, but there was £3 jammed in that machine. While I was trying to sort my ticket I missed the trait , next one in 15 minutes, so I'd lost 15 minutes of my time already. I paid with a card and caught the next train, but no one answered the Help Intercom and there was no answer on the phone line. It was 9 O Clock at night but help and inspectors were absent, but you can bet if I hadn't bought a ticket there would have been someone to catch me.

Now it's OK for me , £3 is nothing , but imagine that was my last £3 and was somewhere like Brockley Whins, I would have been very stuck with no way home but a very long walk. The thing is the time it takes to get sorted to deal with these things far outweigh what the thing is worth. I reckon it would take a couple of hours of my time plus the Metro people's times, and this is a major problem for the poor in this country. In order to get things that may be rightfully theirs they have to spend a lot of time waiting. A couple of hours of my time is worth a lot more than three ponds to me.

Next I bought a few things from Tesco. I thought it was a bit more expensive than I expected and checked my receipt and noticed a single item that I thought was a pound came out at £1.58 . 58p really isn't worth any of my time , but to someone counting the pennies that could be a lot of money. The thing is if companies like Tesco do this a lot there will be a lot of people with less money in their pockets than they should.
Very True

My politics are Socialist / Left Wing though I was brought up to vote Tory but if the right wing were led by people like Nick Hanauer and PJ O'Rourke then the world would be a better place. Nick Hanauer is sensible and caring and a capitalist. PJ O'Rourke is also a capitalist  but well aware of the idiocies of excess. I am currently reading "Don't Vote, It Only Encourages The Bastards" and he manages to argue that socialism is unworkable using the analogy of an extended family and within his analogy he is right, but the reality is that his analogy to too small to reflect the real situation, however wherever you are on the political spectrum he is worth reading and he has Donald Trump nailed,

Anyway that's some gripes out of my system, enjoy the sense spoken by Nick Hanauer and the wit of PJ O'Rourke , and have a great weekend.