Monday, 26 September 2016

Kicking Brexit Down The Road

Not sure why but the Brexit leavers have become quite emboldened recently and a few have made comments about how the UK Economy hasn't tanked and how generally everything is rosy we did the right thing telling the EU where to get off.
The only snag in their argument is that we haven't left the EU yet and won't for at least another two years so maybe they should carry on hiding behind their sofa until at least 2019.
Within days of the vote leave the £350m a week we hand to the EU which will go the NHS claim was disowned and the EU have said we will not be able to access the common market without freedom of movement or paying our fees (approx £350m a week) so we will be paying the same and other citizens of EU members will still have unfettered access to UK jobs so not easy to see what a campaign based on not paying the EU and stopping citizens of other EU members unfettered access to UK jobs has to be proud about.   
But as Theresa May has said, Brexit is Brexit so out we go once the 6 step process is completed but we seem to be stuck on the first step, Vote to leave.
Step 2 is 'Invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty' which starts the countdown as we then have two years to complete the rest of the process:

step 3 Complete negotiations between UK and EU
step 4 At least 20 EU countries approve deal
step 5 European Parliament ratifies deal
step 6 Leave the EU

The talk is that Article 50 will be triggered in 2017 but no firm date has been given but as it has been kicked down the road already, it may be kicked a little further along the asphalt yet.

Screening Our Alien Calls

At first glance there is not much in common between Stephen Hawking and myself but we do share the idea that their is life out there in the cosmos and if it called us, responding to it would be a bad idea.
Talking about 'The Breakthrough Listening Project', an initiative which does exactly what it says, listens out for any signals transmitted from other life forms on other planets, Hawking says that he is 'more convinced than ever that we are not alone' but cautions us Earthlings to be extremely wary about answering any signals from aliens when they come calling.
Hawking imagines a meeting between the two civilisations as something that would resemble Christopher Columbus meeting Native Americans, saying, 'that didn't turn out so well' and our history shows what happens once a more advanced civilisation discovers another one and if the alien intelligence turns out to be further along the technological trail than us...oops, bye bye, thanks for the fish.
So with the caution of keeping our heads down ringing in our ears, Hawking then points out Gliese 832c, a planet 16 light years from Earth as the place with the most potential to host life as it sits perfectly in the habitable zone of its Star to contain liquid water. 
The project is the biggest alien-hunting exercise ever undertaken and plans on using the world’s most sensitive radio telescopes to listen in on 10 times the amount of sky than similar enterprises have achieved in the past so hopes are high that if there is something out there and it is calling us, we will hear it but have th sense not to pick up.

We Have A Precedent For Removing Disliked Leaders

Six weeks to go and then we can find out if it is the racist xenophobe or the warmongering liar leading the country on the opposite side of the Atlantic.
The wise heads are saying Hillary to win comfortably but a small part of me wants Trump, just because he would be such a train wreck of a President that you want to see it happen just to see if it would be as awful as expected.
Nobody expects Trump to be handed the White House keys but nobody expected George W Bush to gain a second term after his debacle of a first term but American voters thought different so we should be prepared for the strangely orange one with the small hands to be taking his seat on Air Force One after November.
Of course a President Trump would not go down well with other leaders but luckily we have a precedent set by America ironically of what we can do when a country elects a leader we don't much care for.
We can take the Vladimir Putin's Russia and Iran routes and impose sanctions on America but as Americans seem to moan about the amount of things stamped with 'Made In China' on it, would seem a bit pointless.
Then we have the Saddam Hussein's Iraq route which includes making up things to allow us to invade and after destroying most of the cities and killing hundreds of thousands, shout 'Job Done' and skip away to allow the gangsters and terrorists to take over.  
While we are mulling that one over, how about the Syria and Ukraine route where we find a local protest group, heavily arm and give them financial backing while loudly supporting their cause for the removal of the President therefore stirring up a civil war and blaming the leader for causing for which he must be removed.
There is the Fidel Castro Cuba road to follow which is crudely just trying to assassinate him or the Nicaragua way where we just grab him and put him on trial for whatever we can think of.
Finally there is the Palestine way where we 'rent' another country to do the nasty business for us and give it billions of euros of 'aid' in return and veto any UN action against it.
Plenty of options to ponder over, almost all of which end up murdering large numbers of citizens but it never seemed to have stopped America previously and as Madeleine Albright once said when asked about the half a million dead Iraqi children due to American actions, we think it's worth it.  
I'm sure the ones that we don't accidentally murder will welcome us with open arms as we forcibly remove their leader, won't they?

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Corbyn Is Great, But Not Who Labour Need

The problem with Jeremy Corbyn is that he is very popular with Labour members but not with the voting public so while he may be storming to victory in the Labour leadership campaign, he is still 11 points behind the Conservative Government in the country, the largest gap since the 1930s.
The shame is i agree with almost everything Corbyn stands for but we know that our politics are not shared with the wider population and it is the wider population who vote parties into power.
What Labour have done therefore is elect a leader who has no real chance of winning the 2020 election, condemning us all to another five years of Conservative Government and more importantly a current Conservative Government who know that without the little worry of being removed, they can plough on with all the worst of the right wing ideology they possess.
The Labour MP's know this and worry for their own futures which is why they have attempted to remove him in a botched coup after 172 of them voted no-confidence in his leadership.    
It feels as though Labour members, mostly socialists who favour the many over the few, have voted for themselves and not for what's best for the Labour Party but i hope that i am wrong and Corbyn finds a way to win back the voters who left in their droves at the last election bit i fear Corbyn isn't the man Labour require and what the vote has done is given the Conservatives the green light to go about, or even increase, their right wing nastiness unchallenged and fearing being turfed out of office
in the forseeable future.

Wiggins Looking Suspicious

The Russian cyber espionage group hacking the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) database has been roundly condemned for making public personal medical records and that is where WADA and the athletes seem determined to keep the focus because if you actually look at what the personal medical information is showing, it's very, very shady. 
I am of the opinion that the drugs that they are legally allowed to take to treat medical conditions are banned because they give the taker an unfair advantage so while they make treat the ailment, they still also give that advantage which is why they are banned in the first place.
One of Great Britain's greatest athletes, Bradley Wiggins, is now under suspicion and quite rightly because his details show that he received doses of triamcinolone for his asthma and allergies just before three major races, including the 2012 Tour de France which he won.
Now his former doctor has agreed that 'it doesn't look right' and that 'You do have to think it is kind of coincidental that a big dose of intramuscular long-acting corticosteroids would be needed at that exact time before the most important race of the season'.
Corticosteroids improve athletes performance by postponing fatigue, increasing recovery speed and was widely used illegally by cycling dopers as it is fast acting.
That Wiggins required them shortly before big event races is highly dubious and if he was Russian he would be hung from the highest tower but as he is British, go home, nothing to see here.

Sticking It To Their Northern Neighbour

Ever before since George W Bush landed in the White House, America's star has been on the wane, Bush just tugged it down a bit faster and further and with the poor choice of who will be the next President, it could be about to land with an almighty thud and there will be a long line of countries waiting to stick the boot in once it does.
Countries like Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua who have been polishing their Doc Martins already and have taken the podium at the UN General Assembly and branded America: 'the biggest exporter of violence in the world'.
They raised the economic exploitation of countries in the Latin south, the history of causing unrest and regime change and how it was the biggest obstacle for Latin America to develop.
It then turned its guns on Israel and its long running oppression of its Palestinian neighbour and said that there will never be peace in the Middle East as Israel trades on their not being peace.
I'm sure America and Israel sat there pulling their 'so hurtful' faces but hard to deny any of the allegations the three Latin Americans leveled at them.
I am certain that worse will be on its way to Americans door once if as predicted Trump or Clinton sends it belly up.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

On It Goes In Syria

America say Russia are to blame for the breakdown of the ceasefire in Syria and it was Russian jets that bombed an aid convoy while Russia say nothing to do with them and it was a drone from the US-led coalition that entered the area where the attack had taken place just before it burst into flames and it is America and it's allies who must take the blame.
As both have such a poor reputation for lying, neither can or should be trusted to be telling the truth this time.
Today an air strike on a medical facility near Aleppo has killed five employees. 
As a consequence all aid convoys in Syria are currently suspended and once again two countries who have nothing to do with Syria squabble over 'accidental' civilian deaths.
The ceasefire was negotiated not between the warring parties on the ground but by two of their backers, the US and Russia who are both engaged in the conflict but in different ways and with their eyes on very different goals so it is hard to see the conflict ending anytime soon while innocent civilians are caught between the Russians and Syrian forces on one side, American and the rebels on the side with Islamic State bringing devastation wherever they can and Turkey attacking the same
side most adept at hunting down the IS fighters. 
All a massive mess whose roots go back to outsiders meddling for their own agendas.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Those Trotsky Marxist Socialist Commie Types

Those not inclined towards Jeremy Corbyn have got themselves into a bit of a quandary over what to call those who support the current Labour leader, labeling them Communist, Socialist, Marxist or Trotskyists but even those on the left are unsure which box they fall into.
Many of the new recruits to the left's cause from the younger generation seem to like the term 'communist' which is shunned by anyone over 40 as it reeks of the USSR and leads to uncomfortable conversations about Stalin and Chairman Mao in the same way that being far right sets you up alongside Hitler.
Whereas Socialism and Communists have many of the same goals and sprang from the same ideal, they have very different ideas of how to get there, the Communist Correspondence Committee in 1846 sought a purge of Socialists from their party such was the differences between them.
For me the definitions from the early 20th century are now mostly redundant in the modern world, Communists, Socialists, Marxists and Trotskyists are in most cases no longer the same thing in a choice of different flavors although there are some who will argue otherwise but in general left and right will suffice.
The question should be then are you left or right and that is easy to determine with my handy guide which breaks it down as you wear a beret, you hold your fist in the air occasionally, you call everyone brother or sister, you have had at some point owned something with a picture of a guy named Che on it, you have sympathy for strikers or you drink latte.
If you have said yes to any of the above then welcome brother/sister, hang up your beret and grab your Che mug and let's share a latte and discuss the junior doctor strike.
If you said no to all the above then you are probably a selfish right wing capitalist pig dog who had pictures of Margaret Thatcher on your wall and own a book of Hitler quotes.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Die Hard

A family have fled their home after finding dozens of one of the  world’s deadliest spiders, which can cause a four-hour erection followed by death, in a bunch of bananas from their local Asda supermarket.
The Brazilian wandering spiders burst out of a nest that was stuck on to a banana and spilled on the kitchen floor as they unpacked their shopping.
They tried to hoover up the spiders but many escaped before the vacuum got them and the family are now refusing to go back home until the house has been fumigated.
Its venom can cause long and painful erections in males lasting up to four hours before being followed by death.
Not sure if Asda will face stiff penalties for infecting his home with spiders but they should at least pay the fumigation costs as the guy is too hard up to pay the bill.
At least his home will be safe from hardened criminals while he isn't home...etc etc

Friday, 16 September 2016

What Moral Dilemma?

The UK Government face a dilemma in the light of the report that Saudi Arabian-led air attacks on Yemen appear to be in breach of international law and a third of the 8,600 air strikes they have carried out have hit civilian targets including schools, hospitals, markets, mosques and economic infrastructure with a death toll of more than 10,000.
The dilemma is that in the 18 months since the bombing began, the UK has sold £3.3bn of fighter jets, bombs, missiles and components to Saudi Arabia so against that spreadsheet, the dilemma is whether to suspend arms sales to the Kingdom.
Human rights groups and campaigners have increased the volume against the arms sold to continue their attacks in Yemen and questions to government ministers have been aired in the House of Commons which have been answered by a pitiful response that sales will not be suspended and will only stop if UK courts ruled them unlawful.
A Whitehall source with knowledge of the situation explained that: 'I don’t think the Saudis go out to kill civilians, but it would be fair to say the Saudis have different thresholds when it comes to tolerance of things like that'.
Appears then that the moral dilemma is not a moral dilemma at all for the UK Government then, the profits we make by selling arms to Saudi Arabia trumps what they do with it so great news for the arms industry but not quite so good for any Yemeni civilians in the line of fire of a missile stamped with 'Made in Britain' on the side of it.