Friday, June 24, 2016

Voting for Christmas

OK, let's get this out of the way: if you voted to leave, just pour petrol over yourself and strike a match.  Yeah, I know, I'm a sore loser.  But only because I'm exasperated by the sight, yet again, of people voting against their own interests.  It perplexes me that, in England and Wales at least, many of the areas which voted to leave were those who have benefitted most from EU grants and funding over the past few decades.  Turkeys voting for Christmas come to mind.  They don't seem to have thought this through, do they?  Sure, voting to leave the EU was sticking it to the establishment which has marginalised you and done nothing to stem the economic decline of these areas,  But the trouble is that by doing so, you've also just cut off the only major source of funding you had.  Yeah, that'll show those establishment bastards, won't it?

By contrast, many of the strongest bastions of the remain vote were here in the south where, by and large, we've not received so much EU money.  Clearly, here in the south we're far more altruistic than those northern bastards, who now deserve everything they get, (or don't get in terms of EU funding).  Well, parts of the south.  Crapchester voted to leave, despite my best efforts of spraying the word 'Murderers' across as many of their posters as possible.  However, I have a new found respect for the people of Winchester, Guildford, Reading, Alton and other local remain majority areas.  (I was in Alton for work yesterday morning - it was such a contrast to Crapchester, which had wall-to-wall leave posters. I didn't see a single leave poster in Alton - it was all remain.  Perhaps I should move there as they are clearly more on my wavelength than Crapchester). 

But to return to the point, sure, I'm a sore loser.  But I think that I'm entitled to be - the entire leave strategy was predicated upon lies and the narrowing of the 'debate' to immigration, playing on people's worse prejudices.  Besides, I've had to put up with decades of the anti-EU brigade whingeing away when they were in the minority, so fair's fair, I say.  Now it's my turn.  But really, my biggest concern is that so many people I know who voted leave simply don't seem to grasp the potential long term consequences for the UK of leaving the EU.  Quite apart from the economic risks, (sterling and shares have already taken a battering), there are the constitutional risks, with the break up of the Union, via a second Scottish independence vote now a very real possibility.  Then there's the small matter of the vote having effectively delivered the governance of the UK into the hands of an extreme right wing elite - and I don't mean Nigel Farage and the other UKIP clowns.  Indeed, I strongly suspect that Farage could be finished politically - he's served his purpose and now the really dangerous right wingers like Gove, Johnson and Redwood will have no further use for him.  No, it's that latter group - people dedicated to the dismantling of the NHS and waht's left of the public sector, who are the really dangerous ones - they now have the upper hand in the Tory party.

As for David Cameron - shed no tears for this political opportunist. He was the architect of his own downfall - too spineless to stand up to the right wing of his party, he instead pledged to give them a completely unnecessary referendum in return for their compliance during the last election.  As for me - where now?  I've been on the losing end of two political contests in a year.  I'm tired.  Tired of arguing with idiots, (yes, that's right, I think leave voters and Tory voters are idiots, I'm allowed to).  Tired of seeing reason thrown out of the window.  Tired of seeing debate descend into hate mongering.  Tired of seeing right wing extremists being treated as somehow acceptable by the mdia.  Tired of seeing intolerance on the rise.  Tired of seeing everything good about this country denigrated and destroyed.  Tired of seeing turkeys voting for Christmas.  But now isn't the time to give up.  Now is the time to regroup our forces and take up the battle again.  That said, I think I might spend some time here focusing on the pop culture stuff for a while.  It's probably the only way of staying sane.  OK, I'm now going to watch a trashy European movie with subtitles,  Before they ban them.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Au Pair Girls (1972)


I've spent a lot of time over the past few weeks ranting about the EU referendum and, whatever the outcome, I'm sure that I'll be ranting about it again tomorrow.  So, I thought I'd take advantage of this interlude, while we're all voting, to have a quick look at some smut I've recently watched.  Made back in those (just) pre Common Market days of 1972, (see what I did there?) Au Pair Girls occupies an interesting place in the history of British sex films.  Arguably, with veteran British director Val Guest at the helm, it helped make the genre more 'respectable'.  Whilst Guest wasn't exactly an 'A-List' director, he was, by the early seventies, a hugely respected and reliable professional, with films like The Quatermass Experiment, The Day the Earth Caught Fire and Expresso Bongo under his belt.  Determined to preserve his reputation, Guest ensured that his excursion into sex films wouldn't simply be a parade of naked female flesh and continuous couplings loosely linked together by a rudimentary plot.  Instead, he emphasised the comedic and dramatic elements and focused on establishing his protagonists as characters.  Au Pair Girls also predates the first of the Confessions films, (which was also directed by Guest), which effectively set the template for subsequent British sex comedies.  Consequently, it doesn't follow what many casual viewers of such films might assume to be their standard 'formula'.

Rather than follow some hapless young bloke as he struggles with a new job, falling into bed with a series of beautiful women under the most unlikely of circumstances, Au Pair Girls is effectively a portmanteau film, following the hectic first day in England for four au pairs.  The four intercut stories vary tremendously in quality and tone.  Danish Randy (Gabrielle Drake), spends most of her day in a series of car-related escapades (which, obviously, result in her losing her clothes) as her new employer's son (Richard O'Sullivan) tries to drive her home.  Astrid Frank's Alita, from Sweden, causes chaos at the home of the straight-laced middle class, middle aged, couple she is supposed to be working for, with her penchant for unselfconciously stripping off.  On her first night out, after some misunderstandings at a casino, she ends up going home with Ferdy Mayne's wealthy sheik.  Whilst these tow strands are enjoyable comedic, (thanks in no small part to engaging and likeable performances from O'Sullivan and  Frank), the other two strands are somewhat darker and more melodramatic.  Me Me Lay's Chinese Au Pair Nan Lee finds herself staying at a remote gothic mansion, where she is expected to be the 'companion' to her employer's adult son, who has had virtually no contact with the outside world.  German girl Christina (Nancie Wait), finds herself with a suburban family and spends her first day being inducted into the 'swinging' pop scene by the household's teenage daughter.  Her night ends with a tryst with a pop singer.  To her disappointment, she soon realises that she is merely another groupie to him.

The emphasis upon the female characters and the darker, more dramatic, elements make an interesting contrast with later, more obviously male centered sex comedies.  Rather than present a parade of topless and horny beauties whose only purpose is to bed the hero, Au Pair Girls makes a largely successful attempt to give its female leads actual characters and presents them as being far more in control of their bodies and sexuality than many later films would.  Here it is the male characters who are mainly window dressing.  The closest thing to the typical Robin Askwith-type sexual blunderer in the film is Richard O'Sullivan's character, enchanted with, yet terrified of, Randy.  It's definitely the comedy elements which work best in Au Pair Girls and one can't help but feel that this influenced subsequent movies in the genre, which increasingly emphasised bawdy comedy over hard core sex.   The movie also establishes another staple of the British sex comedy: guest appearances from well known and highly respectable British actors, in this case Rosalie Crutchley and John Le Mesurier.  The latter, playing O'Sullivan's father, even gets to leer over his naked secretary, laid out on his desk, in a dream sequence.  He never got to do that in Dad's Army.  Maybe he thought it was all an hallucination brought on by all the funny fags he smoked.

All-in-all, with its insanely catchy theme tune, decent production values, assured direction and likeable performances, Au Pair Girls remains an enjoyable, if cliched, by today's standards, watch, providing the viewer with a vivid slice of seventies Britain.  A Britain, incidentally, which despite being 'free' of Europe, still seemed to be full of foreigners coming here to work...

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Brexit Coup

With the EU referendum looming, disturbing reports as to the 'Leave' camp's contingency plans in the event they lose the poll have emerged.  "They just aren't going to accept a vote to remain in the EU, regardless of the margin of victory," says Tiberius Fooker, a former 'Leave' campaigner who has recently defected to the 'Remain' camp.  "They're on a mission to seize control of the UK and implement their crackpot schemes, the EU referendum is just a convenient excuse.  If they can carry out a peaceful coup by winning the poll, all the better, as far as they are concerned.  But with opinion polls indicating that the result is on a knife edge, they're preparing military action!"  According to Fooker, the 'Leave' camp has a whole paramilitary structure ready to seize strategic institutions.  "A lot of it is down to Iain Duncan Smith and his military background," explains Fooker.  "He's recruited all these ex-squaddies from his old regiment and has got them ready and waiting to seize post offices, police stations and town halls all over the country.  In London, they are planning to seize all the main government buildings and departments."  This paramilitary coup has been in years in the planning, Frooker claims.  "What do you think all those cuts in defence spending over the past six years were about - austerity?" he asks.  "The idea was to weaken Britain's armed forces sufficiently that they couldn't even defend the UK from being taken over by a bunch of retired old soldiers armed with shotguns, walking sticks and cricket bats!  It's not as if the army could even put any tanks on the streets to protect parliament - they've all been scrapped to save money."

Once they've seized power, the 'Leave' campaign is planning to quickly implement its plans to free the UK of what it sees as pernicious foreign influences.  "The supermarkets will be the first targets," Fooker says.  "They have teams of specially trained storm troopers waiting for the supermarkets to open on Friday morning, when they are going to pile in trash those aisles filled with Polish foods they all have now.  They won't stop there, either.  Any other foods originating in EU nations will be under threat, too.  All that pretentious French bollocks, German sausages and anything pasta-based will be out.  Stuff like curries and Chines food will be OK, though, as that's seen by the Brexit brigade as being traditional British food."  Specialist Polish shops will also come under threat.  "They've got squads of kids, each one issued with a brick, ready to smash their windows," Fooker reveals.  "As for Italian and French restaurants, even as we speak, they are preparing the firebombs." A ban on croissants is also on the cards, with Fooker claiming to have overheard UKIP leader Nigel Farage opining that having anything other than toast for breakfast is traitorous.  "They won't stop at foodstuffs - they are also planning mass round-ups of pets, particularly dogs," the campaigner says.  "What they see as 'foreign' breeds are likely to be interned and destroyed - dogs like German Shepherds, Irish Wolfhounds, French poodles and the like.  There are plans for legislation to prevent people owning any dogs other than good British breeds like King Charles spaniels, Jack Russell terriers and bulldogs.  Cats might be luckier, most of their foreign breeds, like Siamese, Persian and Burmese cats, come from outside the EU.  Nevertheless, all such felines will be subject to investigation of their residency status, as they could be illegal immigrants and taking up positions which could be filled by British moggies."  Challenged over these allegations, senior Brexit figures refused to comment, with Boris Johnson merely mumbling and waving his arms about and Nigel Farage braying like an ass. 

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Witchcraft by Mail?

Before proceeding any further, a note to Facebook, which greeted me today with the declaration that today is the beginning of Summer: no it isn't - in meteorological terms, (and when it comes to weather and seasonally related maters, no other terms mean a thing), Summer starts at the beginning of June, not the solstice.  That's why June, July and August are characterised as being the Summer months.  Unless, of course, you live in the Southern hemisphere, in which case those are the Winter months and Summer starts with December.  Oh, and while I'm setting Facebook right on basic matters of fact, you were wasting your time yesterday telling me it was father's day: I'm not a father and my own father died more than a decade ago,  Cheers for that.

OK, on with today's post proper.  I get a fair amount of spam emails, in the past it was all about Russian brides, erectile dysfunction and penis enlargement, then it switched to Nigerian bank scams and other fake 'business' opportunities.  More recently, it's got downright weird, with offers to put me in touch with MILFs and (most bizarrely) offers to sell me discounted nappies.  But yesterday I received one which topped them all in the weirdness stakes (I've removed the sender's name and other details, obviously):

"Hello,
I am by name Dr Xxxxx Xxxxx ( The spell caster) I am a witch doctor who helps people to retrieve back their husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend. I am well known as one of the best witch doctor across the world. Is a gift from my father to help those that are in serious spiritual problem. Do u want your ex relationship back? Are you searching for true love? Are you afraid of losing your lover and u want to put that ultimate stamp on your love relationship? Or you have been disappointed in you day to day life? You need that supernatural breakthrough in your finances?All you need do is to contact me at my Email: witchdoctor@usethebloodyphone.com 
I have been giving the power from God to save His people from difficulties and I know you can't contact me without having a solution from GOD to put an end to your problems. I hope to hear from you soon if ready to get out of that problem.

Best wishes, Dr Xxxxx Xxxxxx"


It's nice to know that the reach of the traditional witch doctor now extends worldwide, rather than just being confined to some parts of Africa.  That said, it's all very confused, mixing the idea of black magic with Christianity.  I suppose it's all part of globalising the brand: you have to appeal to pagans and non-pagans alike.What puzzles me is why anyone would think that someone in Crapchester, England might need help with a 'spiritual breakthrough' from a witch doctor in, presumably, Africa.  I mean, there are enough supposed witches and other assorted weirdos around here if I wanted such help.

Still, it makes a change from all the MILFs and nappies, I suppose.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Eye of the Storm

It's like we're in the eye of a storm.  With campaigning in the EU referendum suspended as a mark of respect to Jo Cox, a curious peace has settled, at least temporarily, over British politics.  With arguments and the bigots silenced, for now, all the heat, hate, fear and anger has dissipated. Enjoy it while it lasts.  The sad thing is that it has taken a brutal murder to achieve this oasis of relative calm.  I say 'relative' because we already have some people, (on the right, of course), complaining that various columnists and commentators are 'politicising' Jo Cox's murder by playing up her alleged killer's possible extreme right links or by trying to place it in the context of the UK's increasingly angry and hate-filled political discourse.  They're aided and abetted by much of the right wing press, which have been trying to play up the suspect's supposed mental health issues, (the usual 'dangerous loner' nonsense - no doubt they'll highlight any 'weird' hobbies like building plastic kits or having a model railway, always good indicators of mental health problems for the tabloids), as it's always better to stigmatise mental health sufferers than neo nazis. 

One honourable exception was the Daily Star, which had a fantastic headline along the lines of: 'Killed by Brexit lunatic'.  But for the rest of the press, to concede that the suspect might have had political motivations, possibly fuelled by the extreme right wing agenda which also underpins parts of the Brexit campaign, would be to admit some degree of responsibility for helping promulgate this agenda and for stoking up the atmosphere of hate and fear which has characterised the referendum campaign.   To return to the point, it's impossible not to politicise these appalling events when the attacker shouts 'Britain first' and has extreme right wing links.  Incredibly, though, the crazy conspiracist wing of the 'Leave' campaign, (is there any other wing, I hear you ask), have already started claiming that the assassination of Jo Cox is in fact a 'false flag' operation, that the 'Remain' campaign actually arranged the murder and 'sacrificed' her in order to drum up sympathy for their campaign!  That's right - the killer is, like Lee Harvey Oswald, a patsy for an evil conspiracy by those shadowy political elites.  In many ways, I find these people even scarier loonies than the killer himself.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dark Days

There's really no telling what events you will find most affecting.  Or, indeed, just how they will effect you.  Today I found myself feeling deeply upset over the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox, who was slain on the street in broad daylight.  I don't know whether it was the sheer brutality of the attack - she was apparently both stabbed and shot - or the fact that it has left two young children motherless, or just the fact that it is so damned appalling that this sort of thing is happening on our streets.  Anyway, I had to pull the car off of the road when I heard the news conference on the radio when her death was conformed.  I can't remember the last time I felt so, well, sad.  And despairing.  A lot of people on social media are characterising this murder as the inevitable culmination of the harsh and uncaring society we've been busy creating, where hatred and fear have become our main political currency.  The current EU referendum campaigns seem to embody these new hateful politics, characterised by lies, fear-mongering and crude xenophobia.  'Hate the other!  They aren't like us so they must be against us', seems to be overriding message of the right.

Not that the left is innocent in this coarsening of political discourse: New Labour was certainly fond of engaging in the tactics of fascism with its denials of the validity of any viewpoint other than its adherence to neo-liberalism.  With the language of politics becoming ever more violent and the very idea of showing tolerance for others views, we perhaps shouldn't be surprised by today's terrible events.  According to one witness, the killer shouted 'Britain first' during his murderous attack, implying an affiliation to the far right organisation.  Maybe he, maybe he didn't.  I wasn't there.  But there's no doubt that Britain First is one of those quasi-fascist organisations we all like to dismiss as rabble.  They peddle racist stereotypes and the idea that we somehow need to 'take our country back' from foreigners.  Sadly, as the EU 'Leave' campaign has shown, such ideas and imagery are now close to being at the core of mainstream UK politics.  Whilst I wouldn't want to imply that the 'Leave' campaign are in any way responsible for a murder - I'm guessing the perpetrator was a nutter of the type who will always latch onto anything, be it politics or religion, to justify their actions - there's no doubt that they've helped stoke up the anger which currently pervades UK politics.  They really need to tone it down.  But then again, I've spent a lot of time ranting on about the need for a revolution and the violent overthrow of capitalism - maybe I should cool it, too.

These are dark days for our society, with our politics dominated by hate and anger, xenophobia and isolationism on the rise.  The recent parliamentary committee hearings involving Mike Ashley of Sports Direct and the whole BHS debacle have served to underline how venal and just down right mean business has become in the UK.   Employees treated like chattels, cheated out of parts of their pay - when they are being underpaid already - whilst the bosses help themselves to huge chuncks of cash from their companies and their pension funds.  I'd like to think that, if anything good can possibly come out of Jo Cox's murder, today's events mark some kind of turning point, when everyone takes a step back and has a long hard look at what's happening to our society.  But, sadly, I've reached the stage where I doubt that's possible.  I fear that things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better.
 

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hoologanism by Royal Appointment

"I couldn't believe my eyes at first, but it was definitely Her Majesty," convicted football hooligan Tommy Tupper told top tabloid The Shite.  "She was right in the thick of it, rallying the British fans against those Russian bastards!  I never knew that she was into football, but there she was, hurling chairs and bottles at the Russkis like a pro!"   Tupper, who was tear gassed by French police in Marseilles during Saturday's pre-match ruck between English and Russian football thugs, has sensationally claimed that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II spent part of her 90th birthday weekend at the heart of the violence which has marred Euro 2016.  "Obviously, she had to be back in Blighty in time for that party on the Mall on Sunday, so she was clearly making the most of the time she had there," Tupper claimed.  "At one point I saw her engaged in a bare knuckle fight with this huge Russian thug - she was getting the better of him when three of his mates turned up and surrounded her!  I thought she was a goner for sure, but then Prince Philip appeared out of nowhere, leaping in and felling one of the bastards with flying drop kick, before taking out the other two with a roundhouse kick!"

According to Tupper, it wasn't just Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh present at the street battles between fans.  "I spotted several top British politicians there, presumably at Her Majesty's insistence," he told the tabloid.  "Mind you, most of them weren't anywhere near as enthusiastic as the Queen.  I saw David Cameron cowering behind some dustbins as everything kicked off - typical bloody Villa fan.  Michael Gove wasn't any better - he kept saying 'You wouldn't hit a man with glasses on, would you?' to every Russian hooligan who came near him.  Thankfully, they all would, it seemed."  But the most effective political intervention in the fight turned out to be a complete surprise.  "At one point the Russians had a group of us cornered in an alleyway, battering us with chairs, paving slabs, bottles, anything they could lay their hands on," recalled Tupper.  "Then who should come down the alley after them but Labour leader Jeremy bloody Corbyn!  He was dressed in chain mail and riding a horse!  He was a bloody revelation, I'll tell you!  He just waded in, swinging a sword and shouting 'For the EU, Tony Benn and Karl Marx!'  The Russkis just scattered, utterly terrified!"

Tupper's claims have been widely dismissed, with official sources denying that either the Queen, David Cameron or Jeremy Corbyn had been involved in the outbreak of hooliganism.  Indeed, there have been suggestions that his claims might be related to either the tear gas he inhaled or the blow to the head he suffered when hit by a bottle thrown by a Russian hooligan.  "I know what I saw," he retorted.  "Why is the idea that Her Majesty might want to lead her loyal subjects against some foreign bastards?  There's nobody more patriotic than England's football hooligans - she was obviously proud to be leading us from the front.  It was like Henry V at Agincourt all over again!"  Indeed, Tupper has claimed that the Royals were clearly keen to get back to the action in France.  "Didn't you see Prince Philip telling the driver to put his foot down during the motorcade down the Mall on Sunday?" he asked.  "He and the Queen obviously couldn't wait to get the event over and back to France and the violence."

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Red Blooded Bigotry

"God damn it, we've got to take this opportunity to pump these limp wristed homos full of good straight redneck blood," the Reverend Horatio Dump told the media as he organised emergency blood donations in the aftermath of the mass shootings at an Orlando gay nightclub. "Once those boys have had a couple of pints of blood group hetero, they'll be true red blooded American males with eyes only for women's breasts and butts and a desire to stick their privates in the right orifices!"  Dump has been accused of trying to exploit the tragedy in Florida in order to advance his own homophobic agenda, something he strongly denies.  "Look, there's a reason they don't let these gay boys and lesbian ladies donate their blood in this state," he declared.  "They don't want to take the risk of their tainted blood turning good straight folk the other way.  So, the only way to save the injured is to pump them full of good straight blood.  I'm just trying to ensure maximum survival rates by recruiting the fittest most virile donors available - who all happen to be strapping heterosexual rednecks."

He also denies that his belief that homosexuality can be cured via blood transfusion is unscientific nonsense.  "What's nonsense is this cock-eyed modern liberal mumbo jumbo that being gay is somehow 'natural' and in the genes - it's a disease," he asserted.  "Like all diseases it can be transmitted through blood, kissing, sex and sitting on toilet seats.  But it makes those infected weak - not just morally but physically too - so a good dose of stronger, non gay infected, blood can overcome the sickness!"  The Reverend Dump has form for attempting to 'cure' homosexuality: six years ago, after being arrested for sexually assaulting young men behind his church in the Miami suburbs, he claimed in court that he was so heterosexual himself that he could, quite literally, bugger the homosexuality out of gay men.  "My manhood has been blessed by the Lord and I brandish it like a crucifix," he claimed in his defence. "My semen, likewise, has divinely inspired healing powers, able to cure the gay sickness when injected into a diseased body."   He is currently on parole, having served five years of a ten year sentence for sexual assault.  Of the shooter in the Orlando incident, Dump admits to having mixed feelings.  "On the one hand I'd like to say that he was doing God's work, by providing this opportunity to bring a cure to so many gay people," he mused.  "But on the other hand, he was one of those filthy Muslim heretics, so I have to believe that he was inspired by the devil to kill these good American boys and girls.  They might have been homos, but as Christians at least they have the chance of salvation, unlike that Muslim devil, who will be condemned to burn in Hell eternally!"   Dump has been disavowed by other local church leaders, who described his religious beliefs as: 'Highly confused'.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Queen's Rain

You know what? I'm glad that it rained all over the Queen's 90th birthday party.  You know why?  (Apart from the fact that, as a taxpayer, I footed the bill but wasn't invited, that is).  Well, I can still remember the Diamond Jubilee when, instead of simply creating a new, one off, bank holiday to create the four day weekend for the official celebrations, they moved one of the existing bank holidays forward and it poured with rain all that long weekend.  Which meant that I couldn't go out and enjoy the bank holiday and was instead forced to stay in and watch all the deferential Jubilee shit on TV.  Of course, the day when the bank holiday would usually have been scheduled was warm and sunny - but I was at work.  Once again, the ordinary working person was shafted by our parasitic ruling classes.  So yeah, I'm bloody glad it rained on her sodding birthday.

I must admit that this Queen's 90th birthday weekend has rather passed me by - I didn't even realise that it was this weekend until nearly the end of last week.   If there were any street parties organised for it around here, I certainly wasn't invited.  Just as I wasn't at the time of the Diamond Jubilee, either.  Mind you, I never get invited to neighbours' barbecues either - not that I actually want to go to such things, but it's a matter of principle, isn't it?  Anyway, to return, more or less, to the point, I've celebrated the Queen's 90th birthday by watching some of the finest films made on these shores during her reign.  Namely Lindsay Shonteff's 1969 proto-slasher flick Night After Night After Night, Val Guest's 1972 sex film dabbling The Au Pair Girls and I'm now preparing to view Derek Ford's 1970 examination of the world of pop fandom: Groupie Girl.  I know my idea of 'finest films' undoubtedly differs from that of most critics, but, quite honestly, I can't help but feel that movies like these tell us more about what Britain was really like in the late sixties and early seventies than any mainstream productions ever can.  God Save the Queen and long may it rain on her reign.

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Sinister Right Wing Bastards

I'm afraid that I can't avoid revisiting the vexed issue of the EU referendum.  Two key questions are: do you really believe, as the Brexiters claim, that the UK would save £350 million a week if it left the EU and, if that were the case, that they would spend that money saved on the NHS?  Whilst the the £350 million pound a week saving claim is utter nonsense, the idea that the likes of Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith and Boris 'The Buffoon' Johnson would, if in government, redirect these 'savings' to funding the NHS is laughable.  The NHS is underfunded as the result of political decisions made on a purely ideological basis by a government that they have either happily served in or supported for the past six years.  Moreover, some of these Tory Brexiteers, notably Gove, are on the record as favouring the privatisation of the NHS.  So please, don't try and tell me that they've suddenly become bleeding heart liberals with social consciences overnight.

Leaving aside the economic lies and insincere promises being made by the Tory Brexiteers, the aspect of the 'Leave' campaign which has most troubled me is the opposition many of its proponents have to the very idea of human rights.  They clearly see leaving the EU as an opportunity to scrap all those pesky bits of legislation guaranteeing civil liberties, which they seem to associate with the EU.  Obviously, the notion that human rights are some kind of filthy European invention is manifestly false.  The Human Rights Act which they all seem to hate so much doesn't actually accord anyone in the UK any more rights than they had before - it simply gathers them all together in one piece of legislation, rather than them being scattered throughout various previous pieces of legislation and obscure parts of the constitution.  It also means that you can try to protect your rights through any UK court, rather than having to go to the European Court of Human Rights.  Furthermore, the Act merely enacts formally into UK law the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which the UK is not only a signatory, but also the main architect.

Yet we have a seemingly endless parade of shady ex Special Forces and intelligence types telling us - via the pages of the right wing press - that being a member of the EU hinders our ability to protect ourselves from these amorphous threats which assail us from every side, because of all the human rights nonsense it forces on us.  Even our ability to fight wars is under threat because of those damned human rights according to one retired ex General.  He didn't explain exactly why this was - I can only assume it is because he thinks it unreasonable that British soldiers can't just kill who they please without repercussions, just so long as they were 'the enemy'.  Strangely though, that's been the case since before the Human Rights Act or our membership of the EU.  It has to do with the Geneva Convention, which considerably predates the EU.  But it originates in one of those filthy European cities, so it's all the same to them, I suppose.

So, the third question we need to ask is, do really believe, as these Brexiteers do, that human rights are such a ludicrous idea?  Are they really something only for foreigners?  I mean, what is so fantastical about the notion that we should have some kind of legal (or, preferably, constitutional) protections against the arbitrary use of power by our rulers?  Is the inalienable right to life, liberty and all the other stuff such an insane concept?  I suspect that even the Brexiteers don't believe any of those things - they just don't think that such rights should be universal.  Indeed, they shouldn't be a right, they should be a privilege conferred only on those who deserve them.  Being wealthy and coming from the right social class are undoubtedly among the most important criteria for being deserving.  The poor, the sick, the disabled, the unemployed, well, they certainly won't be deserving.

There are many good and valid arguments for leaving the EU, (although I don't find any of them compelling enough to vote 'leave'), but none of them have been advanced by the official 'Leave' campaign, which has instead focused on peddling economic lies and trying to appeal to knee-jerk reactionaries on the issue of immigration.  Which shouldn't surprise anyone, as the movement is led by a bunch of sinister extreme right wing cunts opposed to any form of social welfare or public ownership, let alone civil liberties. The danger is that, if you vote 'Leave', you could end up delivering the government of this country into their hands.  God knows, Cameron is right wing enough, but these bastards make him look like Karl Marx.  You have been warned. 

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