Sunday, 30 April 2017

Can A Progressive Alliance Work?

When the idea of a progressive alliance was first mooted a few weeks ago to stop the Tory Hard Brexit i thought it was a good idea, albeit unworkable.
The idea is that the 'left' parties, the Greens, Liberal Democrats and Labour Party, would not contest each others seats where one of them would have a chance of defeating the Conservative Party as not to split the left vote and Green, Lib Dem and Labour voters in that constituency would only have that one party or the Tories to vote for.
To my pleasant surprise, the idea has gained traction and several areas are debating withdrawing their candidate with Brighton and the Isle of Wight the latest to consider the pact along with several London constituencies who have already agreed to the pact.
I am all for strategic placing of candidates and tactical voting all over the UK in order to reduce the damage of the the Toxic Tories but i still think self-interest will stop it happening but it wil be very interesting to see if the momentum keeps building up to the day of the vote.
I will be more than happy to 'lend' my vote to whoever to stop the madness and self-inflicted economic suicide of a Tory Brexit.

Gay Vicar Got Off Lightly

The first Church of England vicar in a same-sex marriage is leaving his parish and claims 'institutional homophobia' in the church means he is blacklisted from getting another job.
Andrew Foreshew-Cain,  resigned from his London parish on Sunday, telling parishioners it was a relief because his ministry, and that of other gay and lesbian clergy, was 'barely tolerated rather than fully accepted'.
I would say he got off lightly considering how the Bible says homosexuals should be treated.

Leviticus 20:13
13: 'If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense'.

Strong And Stable: Repeat Ad Nauseam

Considering that we have a snap election in six weeks time, the Prime Minister is keeping the public at arms length as it has been revealed that at the weekend venue of the election campaign trail contained only hand-picked Conservative Party loyalists were invited to guarantee her a standing ovation.
She has also toured a factory after all thew workers had gone home for the day and refused to take part in televised debates and after her roasting on the BBC this morning, it is understandable.
The Conservatives have hit upon the strategy of shoehorning in the words 'strong and stable' into every media question which led to the bizarre answer to the question that voters deserve better than to be spoken to in soundbites with the answer that: 'It is in the national interest to have a strong and stable leadership because only a strong and stable leadership can deliver a strong and stable economy'.
To the question that she wants to remove the handcuffs of the previous promise to not raise tax, she replied that 'she did want to reduce taxes', apparently it seems that the best way of ensuring she could do that would be to give herself the chance to increase it.
Later in the morning the Prime Minister appeared on ITV and kept with the robotic strong and stable leadership answers although she was asked why she would not be doing the live TV debates?
'Because I want to get out into the community to meet ordinary people,” she replied before leaving the studio to rejoin the election trail where she appears to be doing everything she can to avoid ordinary people.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Israel's Pot To North Korea's Kettle

I have always wondered why when America goes stomping around the World starting wars, accusing people of being evil and stating who can and can't have what types of weapons, nobody points out the hypocrisy of how the USA funds and arms Israel, one of the worst regimes on the planet.
I can finally stop wondering because North Korea have pointed it out, accusing America of backing the only country in illegal possession of nuclear weapons and being the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East.
You would have thought that as Israel did so much to hide it's own clandestine nuclear weapons programme it would have the good sense to keeps its head down when the question of developing nuclear weapons were bandied about but Israel and sense is not two words you often hear together and so it was when the Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said North Korea was 'undermining global stability' and Pyongyang 'crossed the red line with its recent nuclear tests'.
Kim Jung Un's Government shot back that: 'Israel is the only illegal possessor of nukes in the Middle East under the patronage of the US' and then went on to call Israel a 'culprit of crimes against humanity' and an 'occupier which seeks to dominate the region and oppress Palestinians'.
It would appear the North Koreans have got Israel's number which prompted one of Liebermans's own colleagues to tweet 'We have enough enemies. Let’s focus on them' as i am sure that the last thing Israel wants is to have the spotlight shone brightly in their direction when it comes to war crimes, UN resolutions, destabalising the local area, illegal occupations and developing Nuclear Weapons.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Erasing The Memory Of Slave Traders

While a few British Members of Parliament are famously mentioned for ending the Slave Trade, Britain is never rightly given the credit for not only starting it but also profiting immensely from it but now a number of cities are starting to face up to their dark histories and reviewing buildings, streets and statues who commemorate men who whose hands were firmly involved in trading slaves.
Bristol is a city that was built on the wealth of the slave trade and the concert venue Colston Hall, named after Edward Colston a 17th-century philanthropist who gave great sums of money made from his trading of slaves to the city, is to be renamed after the council decided that it felt uncomfortable with the name of the building 'because of the perception that it had in some way profited from the slave trade'.
In Glasgow, Buchanan and Dunlop Street, named in honour of slave owners have been renamed and Liverpool have renamed Tarleton Street, Manesty’s Lane and Clarence Street, but dropped renaming Penny Lane, which was named to commemorate slave ship-owner James Penny, but is now more famous as the title of a Beatles song.
The Director of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation at Hull University though thinks that a better strategy would be not to airbrush the past but to keep the names but draw attention to the dark life and times of the people the buildings and streets were named.
I can understand his view but i see having a building or street named after a person as an honour and would far rather see them renamed and the reasons why discussed than keep the name of such abhorrent people alive.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Coalition Of The Killing

The UN has urged US forces to do more to protect civilians in the war against Islamic State in the wake of 150 civilians who died in March following a series of coalition air strikes on the buildings they were hiding in.
As the UN were reminding the American air-force of its obligations under international humanitarian law, the Americans announced that since 2014, an estimated 3,164 civilians have been killed by US air strikes in Syria and Iraq.
'We regret the unintentional loss of civilian lives and express our deepest sympathies to the families and others affected by these strikes' the Pentagon said in a statement before explaining that: 'All feasible precautions were taken'.
Tough luck to the innocents then, clearly they consider 3,164 a price worth paying and they are ok with that. I wonder if suspected terrorists were gathering at a house in the US, the Pentagon would be fine with dropping a bomb on them and everybody else inside it too?
While the whole point is that the military kills less than the enemy, the families of the civilian casualties are always extended sympathy but never enough to stop dropping the bombs though.
Anyway, quick, look over there at Russia, North Korea, Iran and all those Muslim countries...

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Tough Crowd

While some parents have a child only a parent could love, some children have a parent only a child could love and that includes Ivanka Trump who was roundly booed and hissed as she attempted to defend her father Donald's attitude towards women.
President Trump's daughter was speaking at a W20 summit, part of the G20 women's summit, in Berlin alongside the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and said that she very proud of her father although Merkel explained to Trump junior that the disapproval from the female audience was due to: 'Some attitudes toward women your father has displayed'.
She was then mocked and jeered when she blamed the media for perpetuating the criticism of her pussy grabbing father.
Tough crowd for a charm offensive for a self-confessed sex molester and Ivanka Trump said that she would take advice and knowledge back to her father from the summit.
I am sure that she will find a subtle way to tell him that those Europeans think of a pervert who boasts about his sexual assaulting of women.    

Saturday, 22 April 2017

I Read It, Honestly

My friend has a weird way of reading books whereas she reads the first chapter, then the last chapter and if it seems exciting, she will go back and read it from the start. If not she puts it down and starts again with the next novel.
In some ways her method makes sense as i have spent far too long plowing through books thinking it must get better soon only to get most of the way through to realise it won't.   
Of course there is no right or wrong way to read a book but some people don't even do that, they watch the film of the book instead and then say they have read it.
Always a dangerous exercise especially as most films stray from the book they are based on but a whopping 64% of us admit to saying we have read the book but really only watched the DVD.
A survey by The Reading Agency found that the top most 'watched' books we lie about are:

James Bond books, Ian Fleming
Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
The Chronicles of Narnia, CS Lewis
The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
The Wizard of Oz, L Frank Baum
Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
The Godfather, Mario Puzo
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

Worst Type Of Role Models

The 20th Century could be described as the Century of War but only 17 years in and the 21st Century is shaping up to be even more deadly as conflicts seem to be either rumbling on or being sparked off all around the globe.   
Of course with so missiles being launched, bullets being fired and bombs being dropped somebody has to be profiting from selling all this death and destruction and that's where Britain steps in.
The British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has called missiles producer MBDA, a role model while unveiling multi-million deals between the firm and the UK military.
That would be the role model who is actively selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and once supplied Libya’s Gaddafi government and then during his overthrow, sold weapons to the Libyan rebels, effectively arming both sides of the conflict.
The weapons being sold to Saudi Arabia are currently being used in war-ravaged Yemen in airstrikes by Saudi-led coalition, which has been named by the United Nations as responsible for the majority of civilian casualties in the country.
As the Government continues to defend the sale of weapons to a regime which is responsible for over 10,000 deaths in Yemen according to UN figures, Michael Fallon offered the weak justification that: 'Saudi Arabia has the right to defend itself' which is even more bizarre as they are attacking 'rebels' in another country altogether. 
If the idea of a role model is to help being about humanitarian catastrophe and death in the pursuit of a profit then yep, Fallon certainly got that right.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Police Still Investigating Last Election

Seems strange that another election has been called while the outcome of the last one is still being investigated.
In March, the Electoral Commission handed the Conservative Party a £70,000 fine for election infringements and the Crown Prosecution Service are also investigating 20 seats won by the Government.
Dennis Skinner, MP for Bolsover, today asked the Prime Minister if MPs under investigation by the law would be allowed to run in this election for which she replied: 'I stand by all the Conservative MPs who are in this House and who will be out there standing again'.
Yes then, they will be able to fight for the seats which could yet be voided if if it found they infringed election laws.
Not quite sure how that would work if they stay within the law this time and are re-elected as the previous 'win' would be voided but they have since 'won' another one which makes the investigation and potential removal from the previous election pointless.
A cynic would say with no decision due to be made about the legality of the 20 Conservative MP's election before June 8th, the Prime Minister is well aware that the exercise is futile so can cheerfully back the dirty 20 in the knowledge that they won't be removed.
Doesn't make it any less grimy though.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

WW3 Pencilled In For May 13th

Whatever you have planned for May 13th, better move it to May 12th because that day is reserved for coughing up internal body parts and generally dropping dead because World War 3 has been pencilled in to start that date.
Self-proclaimed 'Messenger From God', Clairvoyant Horacio Villegas, has warned that he has been given the heads up that Donald Trump will 'bring the world into WW3' and it all got set in motion a few weeks ago when the American tax dodging sex fiend attacked Syria.
He warned: 'Nuclear missiles that will fall on cities and people throughout the world on the 100th anniversary of the visitation of the Virgin Mary', which is Saturday May 13 although he does helpfully explain that it will end on October 13th 2017 although there will be massive death and destruction by the time it all finishes.
The next in the chain of events is America attacking North Korea and Syria once again which will bring Russia and China into conflict with America and then it's time to break out the four minute warning sirens gathering dust since the late 80s.
The Messenger has said that he has been trying to get the word out about WW3 for years, even writing to Catholic bishops and cardinals in an attempt to warn them so that they could get the message out to the people.
All the pieces may have fallen into place and as way of proof of his God messaging abilities, he predicted that Donald Trump would win the Presidency a decade ago but: 'No one believed me then, until it happened'.
I have a feeling that despite all the evidence of God whispering the name of the next US President in his ear, the lack of belief will continue and although i expect us all to still be here on May 14th, it wouldn't hurt to watch When the Wind Blows just in case.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

June 8: Election Day

Since becoming Prime Minister, Theresa May has categorically denied there would be an early election, just last month her spokesman said 'it was not going to happen' but today it did happen as she stood in Downing Street, kept a straight face and called a General Election for seven weeks time on June 8th.
The decision has caught many people by surprise especially as there doesn't appear to be a reason for one except the chance to crush a very weak Labour Party and increase the Conservative majority to make it easier to push through unpopular decisions, such as the increase in National Insurance which they were forced to backtrack on earlier in the year in fear that they wouldn't get it past their own Conservative MP's.
With one eye on Brexit and the laws returning to the UK, he PM said that she wants support 'for the decisions I must take' and if the polls are anywhere near correct, she will win comfortably which provides the silver lining that The Labour Party will be forced into a leadership contest and we can get a Labour leader who can beat them in 2022.
Jeremey Corben had some good ideas and is a good man but unfortunately he his not the person for the job so Theresa May will win and be forced to deal with Brexit, Europe, Scotland, World events and Donald Trump and judging by what she has done since she become the unelected leader of Great Britain, she hasn't done a very good job thus far.
As the only Party calling for a review of the awful Brexit decision, i expect the Liberal Democrats to pick up many votes from the 48% of the country who voted to remain and is something that i will seriously consider doing as this could be the last chance to stop this vicious Tory government in its tracks before the full consequences of Brexit are known because by 2022, it will be too late.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Nixon And The North Koreans

Unless you have been on the Moon for the past week or so, you may have noticed that things are a bit tense between America and North Korea but the Communists almost never saw the 1970's as the then President got hammered and ordered a nuclear strike on the Asian nation.
As North Korea is still there to throw moonies at the current President, it obviously never happened but the story is a classic.
Richard Nixon was the sozzled President in 1969 and the Cold War was at its height when North Korea shot down a U.S. spy plane, killing all 31 men on board.
Maybe things were a bit slow President-wise on that day but when he got told the news he was as sober as the next man if the next man happened to be Boris Yeltsin.
Such an outrageous act by the rulers of the Northern half of Korea called for a severe reaction he rambled while drunkenly stumbling around the Oval Office and between telling Kissinger that he loved him and that he was his best friend, he ordered a tactical nuclear strike on North Korea.
Future Secretary Of State Henry Kissinger prised the President off his leg and telephoned everyone involved in the military chain of command to ignore the order for nuclear annihilation as the President was as pissed as a newt and he was going to bed to sleep it off.  
His advice obviously got through as North Korea survived to live another day which it used to develop nuclear missiles of it's own and America survived to vote in a tee-total President who is as hapless as a drunk Nixon.
Hopefully, Rex Tillerson the current Secretary of State, has a telephone and the numbers of all the military top brass handy at all times.

The Next Dr Who?

It's been a long time coming but finally the new series of Dr Who is back on our televisions but sadly it is the last run in the TARDIS for Peter Capaldi who rates very highly in my best Dr Who's ever list.
At the end of the new show last night we had a tantalising glimpse of the Dr regenerating but who he will regenerate into is a closely guarded secret but the bookies always have a good nose for these things and have stopped taking bets on one person, Kris Marshall.
If it is true and The 'My Family' and 'Death in Paradise' star becomes the 13th actor to take on the Doctor role, it would be an inspired choice as he would be perfect.
Many fans have expressed an interest in an actress taking the role, Tilda Swinton being the hot favourite for some time, but the bookies get these things right more often than not and after a flurry of bets on Marshall, have exterminated the book on who will be the next Doctor.
Although this news doesn't confirm Marshall has the role, the actor ticks all the boxes of being well known, but not too famous, a bit quirky and most importantly, a history of appearing in other BBC programmes.
On the whole the BBC get it right with their picks for Dr Who's, Matt Smith perhaps unfortunate to be sandwiched between probably the best two in David Tennant and Peter Capaldi but Kris Marshall would be the perfect fit.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Provoking North Korea A Dangerous Game

You have to wonder what does Donald Trump and America get out of antagonising North Korea?
Some argue that he has got a taste for military action after throwing the 59 cruise missiles at Syria and and dropping the MOAB in Afghanistan but both those were targets that wouldn't fight back, nuclear power North Korea would certainly return any missiles fired at them with a salvo aimed at South Korea and Japan and if they have the capability which they say they have, the Western
side of the United States itself.
If Trump thinks that sending an aircraft carrier and other assorted pieces of the US Military to hang around off the coast of Korea will cool the actions of North Korea, then he is even more stupid then we give him credit for.
China, Pyongyang's major ally, has warned that the tensions must be stopped from reaching an irreversible and unmanageable stage but with two unstable leaders with a massive arsenal at their disposal, things could easily spin out of control very quickly.
Someone needs to explain to Donald Trump, using very simple words, that the game of brinkmanship that he seems to be intent in playing is extremely dangerous and potentially could end in the deaths of millions.
A strike on North Korea could set off a chain reaction and US military planners under Obama came to the conclusion that Pyongyang’s most likely counter-move would be to demolish Seoul and Tokyo so ensued a position of mutual deterrence.
The Trump strategy seems to be putting pressure on Kim Jong Un's Government but if that fails, Trump is left with a decision to back down and show all American weakness in overwhelming return fire or American madness for provoking a devastating war that need not have been pursued in the first place.
With his country having been late for the first two World Wars, Donald Trump's America desperately lacking the intelligent leadership needed in commander-in-chief, is looking good and early for starting the third one.

Penny Dropped Yet Donald?

My point last week was that the problem with bombing the Syrian Government forces as America did last week, is that in doing so you are helping the people they are fighting against which is the terrorist group Islamic State.
Seemed quite strange then that Britain, typically, was the first to applaud the strange decision taken by Donald Trump to hinder the Syrian forces by blowing up part of their airbase.
Russia was vilified for supporting the Syrian Government but it is the Syrian Government and the Russians who are fighting Islamic State so it seemed quite strange because that would put Britain and America on the side of Islamic State and the rebels.
As we found out today as at least 100 people lost their lives on transfer buses courtesy of a van bomb, these are the people who your actions helped, the people whose side of the argument that America finds itself on in Syria.
How many dead children will Donald Trump have to see this time, killed by traditional weapons rather than chemical ones, before the penny drops that both sides in Syria are as murderous as each other and throwing his missiles into the mix, especially in support of the terrorists, only prolongs an already over-long and disastrous conflict. 

Friday, 14 April 2017

Easter v Christmas

According to my more religious friends, Easter is the highlight of the Christian calendar which surprises me as i always thought it would be Christmas and the birth of Jesus rather than the time when he died.
Also Christmas is much more celebrated than Easter which is a bunch of confusing religious days all lumped together in a week so it's Palm Sunday, Good Friday and then culminating in Easter Sunday whereas Christmas is just Christmas Day and everyone knows what happened on Christmas Day but there are lots of confused looks when asked what happened on Palm Sunday. So with one eye on religious holiday harmony, let's put the two religious holidays to the test.  

Easter has the advantage that the days are longer and the weather warmer as it rolls around in Spring while Christmas is in the deep mid-winter so chalk one up for Easter. Easter 1 Christmas 0

As a vegetarian i am not best placed to judge whether the Christmas turkey beats the Easter lamb but according to people who enjoy eating bits of dead animals, a slaughtered baby sheep tastes better than the slaughtered poultry that adorns the Christmas dinner plates so another one for the Easter holidays. Easter 2 Christmas 0

As Simnel cakes are just a light version of the more frutier, darker and tastier Christmas cake you have to ask yourself why settle for Hugh Grant when you can have Johnny Depp so Christmas wins this one without breaking sweat. Easter 2 Christmas 1

Buns and Pies
It's not just member of the KKK who loves a hot cross, especially when it is on top of a bun but if you like your sweet fruity buns without a cross, you can buy tea cakes anytime of the year. Mince pies on the other hand are as Christmassy as asking the fattest guy in the office to put on a red suit and hand out the Christmas Presents to the staff. Mince Pies yes, tea cakes with a cross on top, not so much. Easter 2 Christmas 2 

Easter cards are a relatively new thing whereas Christmas Cards have been handed around since Queen Victoria's ample backside sat on the throne. As someone being killed isn't a particularly pleasant thing to have on the front of a greetings card, Easter Cards tend towards bunny's and eggs whereas Christmas cards have snow, robins, Santa, snowmen and for some reason a family sat around an animals drinking trough in a stable. Easter 2 Christmas 3

Christmas is a set date, December 25th so it moves around the week but while Easter moves around March and April, it is always on a Sunday which means Easter weekend is always a long weekend whereas Christmas is just Christmas Day and Boxing Day off work so Easter's guaranteed 4 days off work beats Christmas's guaranteed 2 days off which is especially annoying if its mid week as you have work either side of it. Easter 3 Christmas 3

For some reason, nobody has managed to come up with a good Easter song in the same way that Christmas has caught the imagination of songwriters. I can't think of one tune that tells us that the Easter Bunny is coming to town or how we wish it could be Easter everyday. Christmas has songs about Santa, snowmen and reindeer with red noses leading sleighs so until songwriters manage to find a way to make a catchy ditty about crucifixion and resurrection or even chocolate bearing rabbits, Christmas wins this category easily. Easter 3 Christmas 4

Christmas is time for Mulled Wine and Eggnog, Easter doesn't have a traditional drink but it does have a ready made, much used joke by uncreative people about Easter being the time of the year to get as hammered as Jesus. Unfortunate a tasteless joke about nailing a hippy to a giant wooden plus sign doesn't make up for a lack of Easter drinks so Christmas again for this one. Easter 3 Christmas 5.

The whole raison d'ĂȘtre of Christmas is about the giving and receiving of presents and the fun of Christmas is gazing at the brightly wrapped box with your name on it under the tree throughout December and the anticipation of ripping open the shiny paper on Christmas morning to reveal a Boots Talc and Bodywash giftset. With Easter, you know what you will get, a chocolate egg with the only anticipation being if it will be a delicious Cadbury's or the cheapy Kinnerton type which will stay in the fridge until August and then find it's way into the bin. Easter 3 Christmas 5

The votes are in then and the final result is Christmas is the champions of religious holidays and Easter will have to try harder.
With that in mind enjoy the four day weekend and if you plan to spend Good Friday getting as hammered as Jesus but in a different way, you have 3 days to get over it. Happy Chocolate Egg Day everyone.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Reinventing Easter

Easter has always been the poor relation to Christmas but whether you are an atheist or religious, Easter is the time to revel in the love of family and friends and finding some peace and time for reflection on what Easter really represents, chocolate.
I don't know where it says in the Bible that we should celebrate the Crucifixion of God's only son by eating our own weight in chocolate but that's the way Christians have decided to do it and who are we to argue.
Atheists at Easter face the same question they do at Easter, namely why celebrate the death and rise of Jesus at all when you spend the rest of the year dismissing the whole religion thing and they have a point, but we should be thankful for them because if it wasn't for them sacrificing Sunday mornings sat in a cold, dusty old building and singing tuneless hymns then we wouldn't have this long weekend off, so thanks religious people.     
What the Easter holidays need is to look at what is going on a Christmas and 'borrow' some of the ideas because apart from Chocolate Eggs, Easter doesn't really grip the imagination like Christmas does, the Easter Bunny gets knocked into a Crooked Hat when set against Father Christmas and the only Easter pop song i can think of is U2's 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' and that's not even about Easter,
just something that happened on Easter Day.   
The problem is, Easter is still far too connected to religion while Christmas has moved away from the whole Jesus's birth thing and has spun off on it's own with snowmen and reindeer with red noses.
The controversial solution then is for the Church to disassociate itself with Easter altogether so this time of year becomes more about chocolate although they need to keep the long Easter weekend because if it wasn't for that Easter would just be another day when you stuff your face full of chocolate.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Keeping Boris At Home

Britain was once a global superpower but those times have gone and now we are a small island off the coast of mainland Europe who like to think they are still a major player but in reality, we are just a small island off the coast of mainland Europe.
Case in point the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. who left for the G7 summit making big claims on how we will lead the way gaining sanctions against Russia only for the other six to turn around and say: 'Nah, we won't do that' and leave him embarrassingly kicking his heels.
Days after he was kindly asked by the Americans not to go to Moscow for fear that he would make things worse, and remember they have Donald Trump at the helm, it has not been a good week for the man whose job it is to foster international relations.
'Sometimes some of our partners are less forward-leaning that we are' was the weak excuse put out by the Johnson camp for why nobody else was on board with the plan.
On the cancellation of the Boris trip to Moscow, the Russians said that it wasn't worth talking to Britain anyway as they have very little sway on the World stage which must have stung the British Government because it's true and will become even truer once the Brexit negotiations are dealt with.
Even worse is the pathetic poodling after the current American President, the most inept and unqualified man to ever threaten smaller and weaker nations with the US arsenal.
Scary thing is that if the walking disaster known as Donald Trump considers Boris Johnson to be too much of a liability to talk to people, then we are up a creek yelling if anyone has seen our paddle big time.

Why Spicer Won't Be Sacked

Sensible move by the Trump administration to appoint someone as spokesman who is even more of an embarrassment than then orange faced man child they have as President.
Sean Spicer today admitted that he has learnt to think before he speaks as he apologised for claiming Assad went a step further than Hitler in using gas but him just thinking is a welcome step in the right direction. 
Maybe it was easy for him to forget the six millions dead Jews in concentration camp gas chambers but he is certainly grovelling now as the calls for his resignation pile up.
I can't see the Donald team replacing him though, all the time he is there saying ridiculous things and looking like an idiot it deflects away from when Trump says ridiculous things and looks like an idiot which is often, so he won't be going anywhere soon.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Unicorn Day!!

Today is National Unicorn Day, when we celebrate the mythical creatures by sticking a horn on our pets, taking pictures of them on our mobiles and uploading them to facebook.
Of course Unicorns are the stuff of fairy tales and made up stories which brings us neatly to the Bible, where tales of Unicorns are abundant.
Now us atheists use this as a another stick to beat the religious with, scoffing that the Bible is a book of nice fairy stories but we shouldn't be so quick to judge, maybe there really was horned horses frolicking about the Middle East 2000 years ago.
The explanation comes from the Rev Hanz who explains that when they say 'Unicorn', they actually mean 'Rhinoceros' and i agree that it is easy to mix up the two animals, the amount of times i have sat watching a David Attenbrough programme and wondered if that 1.5 tonne animal stomping across the screen was a horned horse or a rhino.
I guess if you are willing to believe that a talking snake told a woman to eat an apple or that a man and his family managed to fit two of every kind of animal on a boat then you would swallow the 'we said Unicorns but we meant Rhino's' explanation.
Carry on.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Syrian War In A Nutshell

Syria wasn't supposed to be like this, it was meant to be a case of hijacking a popular protest, hand the protesters a few tonnes of arms and when it all turns violent, use the violence as a pretext for another 'humanitarian intervention' which includes bombing the Government into submission, install a western friendly puppet government and sit back and mop up the rebuilding and oil contracts.
Obviously Libya went wrong, as did Iraq and Afghanistan but Syria would be different but the West didn't anticipate Russia being in the mix.
Hot on the heels of the Arab Spring in 2011, a small revolt broke out in Syria, a protest that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad brutally put down but actually had the opposite effect of increasing the anger against the Syrian Government. 
Now al-Assad has some friends that the West are not particularly fond of so they saw a chance to oust him and bring in their own more friendly Government so they began shovelling funds and arms to the protesters hoping they would do the regime change bit for them.
The Syrian Government retaliated with the military so the West sent even more arms and funds to the 'rebels', only the 'rebels' included remnants of Al Queada, now calling themselves Islamic State, who had popped across the border from Iraq.    
Now armed with heavy weapons, the 'rebels' said thank you very much and not only fought against the Syrian Government forces but popped back across the border back into Iraq where they over-run the north of the country.
America, disturbed that the same people they have given the arms to had used them to attack cities in the country that America had spent a decade fighting for, they found themselves in the ludicrous situation of arming and fighting against the same group of people depending on which side of the Syrian/Iraq border they were stood on.   
Al-Assad said he was fighting terrorists, Russia agreed and joined the frey by bombing the 'rebels' while the West watched on until a chemical attack in 2013 which the West blamed on the Syrian Government and made all sort of threats about removing al-Assad but the British Government voted against military action, mainly because the intelligence was that action against the Syrian Government would only benefit Islamic State and without Britain taking it's usual position by it's side in a war, America decided they couldn't justify it either so it went back to the Western backed, heavily armed 'rebels' fighting the Russian backed, heavily armed Government.
Then, a chemical attack in the past fortnight and America decided that the Government forces killing thousands with conventional weapons is one thing but using chemical weapons is beyond the pale and fired 59 missiles at the Syrian airport where the Americans believe the attack originated from.
That then brings us up to date in the Syrian civil war where Russia and Syria face off against the West and their rag tag band of rebels fighting for democracy and freedom/terrorists bringing death and mayhem depending on if they are doing their thing with the weapons the West handed them in Iraq or Syria.
I'm sure it will all work out fine in the end though like it hasn't in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya...fifth times the charm.

Friday, 7 April 2017

The Wrong Action By Trump In Syria

Well we all said something had to be done but was lobbing 59 cruise missiles at yet another Middle Eastern country really the sensible thing to do?
Trump made much of the dead Syrian babies angle so if he cares that much about dead infants, will he now be stepping up to stop the bombing of Gaza, Mosul, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan?
How much was he beating himself up about the 200 dead civilians at the hands of the Americans bombers in Mosul just a week ago? I'm sure there were some babies in that gruesome roll call.
He has such care for Muslim children all of a sudden, but only if the deaths are by Chemicals dropped from on high, killing children by conventional weapons he doesn't seem to have so much of a care about, just don't use gas is the message.
The most suspect aspect is that by attacking the Syrian Government, the largest benefactor is Islamic State and their motley crew of terror groups. Libya showed what happens when we act as their air-force.
After the debacle of Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq and a $20 trillion debt, i wonder how the American people feel about 59 cruise missiles costing $1.6 million each being thrown into Syria, especially the $100 million bill to help the groups they are currently fighting against in Iraq.
We are yet to hear of the effects and any civilian deaths especially as we have been told that not all of the 59 missiles accurately reached their target but Britain was predictably the first to stand by Trump and back his actions but we have long learnt that this Government has little or no morals.
Trump is calling for nations to join him in his Syrian crusade but as he has shown, he is the last person anyone should be trusting to bring peace to anywhere.
All i can see from the actions are Islamic State strengthened, a very annoyed Russia and America being made to continue to look like the warmongering nation it is suspected of being run by a simple man who has little or no idea of the effects of his actions in an already volatile region.   

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Stalemate In Syria

It is heartbreaking to see what is going on in Syria and the scenes of the victims of the gas attack rightly caused outrage around the World and quite rightly something has to be done, the question is what can anyone do?
Donald Trump made a speech about crossing a red line and Russia defended the Syrian President Bashar al Assad while 80 people lay dead in a morgue, but Syia is such a basket case with so many countries fighting on either side that it is hard to see how anyone can do anything without sparking off a war amongst nations.
America have been trying to oust the President from the first day but Russia have been backing him so America can't attack the Syrian Army as they are under the protection of Russia.
The Syrian Army are fighting the rebels and Islamic State so any attack on the Army would benefit IS as well which nobody wants.
The Kurds are fighting on the side of the rebels but Turkey are attacking the Kurds as they deem them terrorists and Israel are becoming more involved against the Syrian Army but they are allied to America so Russia won't be attacking them.
Stalemate all around but why the big boys argue over who is to blame and spit out pointless rhetoric, the poor Syrians stuck in the middle continue to bury their dead.
Something has to be done but it is such a mess that it is hard to see exactly what anyone can do but for certain more military intervention will not make things any better.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Kurt Cobain 23rd Anniversary

Unbelievably, today is the 23rd anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain, the Nirvana singer who took his own life after a battle with drugs, depression and his fame.
Widely revered as the father of Grunge in the early 90s, the legend continues and t-shirts bearing the Nirvana legend continue to adorn teenagers today who were not even born when the band picked up pop music by the scruff of the neck.
With one amazing album, 'Nevermind' and a couple of average ones, 'Bleach', 'In Utero' and 'Incesticide', Cobain and his band do seem to have endured the years on the strength of a handful of great songs although those few songs did inspire a whole generation of musicians.  
Cobain on the other hand, was the epitome of cool, the long blonde hair, the piercing blue eyes, the languid 'don't care' approach and the downplaying of his and his bands own place in music history.
The album 'Nevermind' was the bands highwater mark and 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' is as great a song as has graced the charts and although they never hit those heights again, and the Unplugged album released just before he committed suicide split Nirvana fans who either loved or hated it, such was the influence of that album and the four songs from it, that Nirvana and Kurt Cobain will be remembered long into the future.

Should Have Gone Straight To DVD

How bad does a film have to be to sell just one ticket in its opening weekend, as bad as Man Down it appears.
The film starring Shia LaBeouf is about a US soldier suffering from Post Traumatic Syndrome and grossed a grand total of £7 and the mystery viewer watched in Burnley.
The film now ties with the 2004, Polish effort, My Nikifor, which also sold 1 ticket and grossed the same £7 during its entire run.
Man Down opened at the Venice Film Festival last year to boos and walkouts from the audience and took a savaging at film sites with words such as 'confusing' and 'irredeemable' not likely to appear on the advertising blurb anytime soon.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Whoring Out Britain For Trade Deals

From the self confessed sex fiend in the White House to the head chopping regime in Saudi Arabia, Theresa May is on a one woman mission to whore Britain out for trade deals and mixing it with some very gruesome regimes as she does it.
When questioned about bringing up the subject of human rights to the Saudi Arabians, she gave a patronising claims that she was going as a female role model and quickly moved on to avoid tough questions on pounding Yemen with British bombs in one of the world’s greatest humanitarian crises.
Then there was a visit to Turkey which is fast degenerating into dictatorship with journalism being curtailed and opposition figures jailed. We did sign a lovely £100m fighter jet deal with them though.
Not forgetting the World's worst neighbour, Israel, who has been expanding the illegal settlements at an prodigious rate but our Prime Minister May forgets to mention to the human rights-abusing Israeli government So there is Brexit, whoring ourselves out to the racist Donald Trump, dictatorial Saudi Arabians, Thuggish Turks and Israeli human right abusers all for the promise of a trade deal.
What isn't apparent is just what the nasty regimes we are mixing it with are demanding in return for their money or just what Theresa May is promising to compromise in desperation to offset the EU losses but it will all become apparent soon.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Not Quite Death From Asteroid This April

With the exception of the dinosaurs, who doesn't love a headline that screams we are on a collision course with a massive space rock and this year we are being spoilt because there isn't just one barrelling our way but three in short succession.
First up is 0.6 miles wide asteroid '2014 JO25' which has been slapped with the label 'potentially hazardous' and is due to come our way April 19 and is predicted to be the closest an asteroid has come to Earth in 400 years.
Sounds scary but you may want to postpone booking that trip to the International Space Station just yet though because NASA are predicting it will pass by Earth at a safe distance of about 1.1 million miles or about 5 times further than the moon.
Two other big asteroids, '2003 BD44' expected 18 April and '1999 CU3' on April 19, which are both almost 1.2 miles wide, will also pass by our planet shortly, however they won’t come as close as 2014.
The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs was an estimated 6-8 miles wide and NASA predict that it would take an asteroid just 1.5 miles wide to cause widespread devastation on the planet and throw up enough dust to block out the sun and send humans the same
way as the dinosaurs.
Luckily, the Space Agencies keep an eye on all large space rocks and they have not seen anything yet that size with us in it's path so we can relax and just concern ourselves with people with rocks in their heads running things here on Earth instead.

Westminster Attack Aftermath

Within minutes of the attack in Westminster a fortnight ago we had the foghorn voices of the right wing on the media linking it to refugees, illegal immigrants, the EU, multiculturalism and even the repellent Nigel Farage arguing it proved Donald Trump’s racist anti-Muslim policies were correct.
They were revelling in their opportunity to say 'We told you so' as their imaginary fears seemed to have come true as Khalid Masood was dying from a gunshot wound in the back of a London Ambulance, leaving five victims of his madness.
Police swooped and quickly arrested 12 other people in Birmingham and Nottingham under the terrorism act who they suspected had connections to the killer.
The volume went down when it was revealed that the bad guy turned out to be a home grown Brit Adrian Elms from Kent and they are now nowhere to be seen that the Police have released all 12 of the detainees with no charge, say he acted alone and had no connection with radical Islamist groups such as Islamic State or Al-Qaeda.
That the attacker has now been put down to a British man who killed five people because he was a violent psychopath and not due to wanting to kill people who had a different religion to him or because he was an immigrant who hated Britain doesn't play well with the large part of the right wing who are the racist xenophobes so i expect this one will quietly slip away and the wait goes on for the next one where they will be hoping for a better fit for their poisonous rhetoric.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Brexit Week 1: War With Spain

The EU discussion hasn't got off to the greatest start, first up on the agenda is Gibraltar, with Spain having a long-standing territorial claim on and which has been held by the UK since 1713 and has the status of a British overseas territory. 
A quick glance at a map shows that Gibraltar is located in Southern Spain and another quick look at a history book shows how a Dutch-British alliance invaded Gibraltar, booted out the residents and set up a barracks which they have maintained ever since.
A throw back to the days of Empire when the British sailed around the World taking over wherever they docked their boats, it is hard to make a case why a country 1,600 miles away has more of a claim than the country it historically belongs to and is at the southern tip of.
Theresa May and other Government officials have today assured the people of Gibraltar over their status and one overly-excited minister who had obviously eaten too many sweets this morning made a tub-thumping speech about the Falklands and how the British sent a task force half way across the world to defend the freedom of another small group of British people against another Spanish-speaking country.
A spokesman said that Gibraltar would remain British due to the democratically expressed wishes of Gibraltrans which is very reminiscent of the recent vote in the Falklands where the 99% of British folk there were asked if they wanted to remain British or become Argentinian.
The Gibraltans can expect a similar exercise in their democratically elected wishes of whether they wish to remain British or become Spanish with similar laughably predictable  results.
Less than a week after Brexit was triggered and already the Government is discussing potential wars with our European neighbours.