Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Trump The Sexual Predator

E. Jean Carroll claims Donald Trump raped her in the 1990s but he says it 'never happened because she is 'not my type'.
The columnist said she was raped by Trump in the dressing room of a New York department store although Trump claims he never met her despite a picture of them both together but this now makes over a dozen women who have now accused Trump of sexual misconduct and this comes with the memory of him boasting how he groped and kissed women uninvited.
Accusing him of forcibly kissing them is Temple Taggart, Jennifer Murphy, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Drake while Jessica Leeds said he groped grabbed her breasts and the same accusation is made by Jill Harth, Karena Virginia, and Summer Zervos.
Arse groping accusations are made by Melinda McGillivray, Ninni Laaksonen, Cassandra Searles but Kristen Anderson, Jill Harth and now E Jean Carroll say he grabbed their genitals.
In her book, his then wife, Ivana Trump accused, him of raping her although this was softened after an out of court settlement and many women at the beauty pageants that Trump held complained that he would barge his way in to the dressing room unannounced while contestants were naked.
We know about his affairs with Playboy models and porn stars, also firmly denied at the time, and many of his supporters will say that the many women are just trying to cash in or trying to sell a book, is politically motivated or just peddling fake news but in the background, as the accusations mount, is the proud boast he made about kissing and groping women without their consent.
Suggesting that she may take it to New York police department, she has kept the clothes that she was wearing during the alleged assault in her closet, where they remain unlaundered to this day which is an echo of the blue cocktail dress worn by Monica Lewinsky, which carried Bill Clinton's DNA evidence
Asked why she has waited until now to come forward, E. Jean Carroll said that she had watched a pattern developing with women coming forward to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct only for Trump to get away with it.
His confession of being a sexual predator along with any DNA evidence on the latest accusers clothes should see him hopefully not getting away with it any longer.

Monday, 24 June 2019

1888 to 1988

In 1888, Victorian readers of Answer Magazine were asked what they thought England would be like in 1988 but although bizarrely none of them predicted Rick Astley or Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, they were not that far away.
There were predictions of no gas, vehicles and homes made of indestructible paper, magneto-petrolo (whatever that is) fires and inflatable clothes that allow a person to walk on water.
Other fanciful suggestions were and end to river pollution, heat taken from clouds and clothes made from vegetable fibres and a smaller population 'of about 6 million'.
The things which were correct were peoples jobs being taken by robots, more richer people, faster trains and military battles involving air traveling machines which could also be used to take people on holidays.
They expected us to have visited the moon by 1988 and to build a tunnel or bridge between England and continental Europe while there will be a female majority in parliament, the House of Lords will be abolished and electric trains will travel underground in tubes.
Every street will have electric lights and houses will all contain telephones so in all they were pretty much spot on, apart from the paper houses and not foreseeing Phil Collins but otherwise a good attempt. 

Have We Found Life On Mars?

NASA Mars Rover was sent to the red planet to try and discover if life exists, or once existed, on the planet and it may just have found it as it discovers high amounts of methane, on produced by living things, that suggests recent alien life as the gas breaks down within a few centuries.
The thinking is that any methane detected now must have been released recently as sunlight and chemical reactions would break up the molecules within a few centuries and they are entertaining the idea that if life ever did arise on Mars, its microbial descendants could have migrated underground and persisted.
Scientists are not confirming anything yet, stating that the findings are only preliminary and will face further investigation and even threw in the idea that geothermal reactions can also generate methane but let's pretend we never heard that last bit.

Our Right To Know What Happened In The Boris Flat

Friends and backers of Boris Johnson have come out to berate the media for harassing him after Police were called to his flat after a loud argument was heard between him and his girlfriend on Friday evening.
'I am totally stunned at the level of harassment they have had to endure' said one supporter and Jacob Rees-Mogg called the campaign against his favoured choice for leadership 'Corbynista curtain-twitchers'.
Of course they don't want the spotlight to fall on him for too long because it only enhances the fears many already have about his character but as he is wanting to lead the country, the media and the British citizens he may well soon be presiding over have a right to find out exactly what the shouting match was about which had to be attended by the police.
At a hustings over the weekend, Mr Johnson refused to answer questions about the row - saying people did not want to hear about it and he has today pulled put of a Sky News leadership debate.
His backers have been keeping him out of the front line, less chances for him to make a monumental mistake which will see him defeated but anyone with questions over his erratic behaviour can't help but wonder just what went on in the flat for his girlfriend screaming at him to get off and to leave her flat amidst the sound of breaking furniture.
Boris backers will try to move the story on but this shouldn't just go away because in six weeks time we could be run by a man whose girlfriend didn't even want him around her for a reason we don't yet know.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Oh Grow Up

About the only good thing to come out of Jeremy Hunt being in the final two of the Conservative leadership contest of the chance for broadcasters to get his name hilariously wrong.
For some reason many presenters keep replacing the first letter of Jeremy Hunt’s surname with a C with Victoria Derbyshire being the latest to drop the C-bomb live on air.
It seems not just broadcasters are prone to it as Hunt said rather sniffily that he has had it all his life and not always by accident although that is understandable because he isn't the most popular person in the UK.
Hunt has said that the media should 'grow up' and stop mistakenly saying the c-word when trying to pronounce his surname.
Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson are the sole survivors of the election process and one of them will therefore become our Prime Minister.
Victoria Derbyshire apparently apologised to him but i think she got it right first time, he really is and as Johnson is slang for a penis, that seems rather fitting also.

Red Christian Faces

You have to feel sorry for anyone of a religious bent. They spend their Sunday mornings sat on hard pews listening to a man in a frock bang on about a character who was plagiarised from other deities and then someone turns up and rattles a plate in their faces and expect them to make a donation for it all.
To top it all off they have to be intolerant towards anyone and anything that their made up God would have disapproved of which includes the new TV series Good Omens.
The Christian campaign group Return To Order, was so incensed that the show which has demons and angels teaming up to prevent an Apocalypse, presented devils and satanists as normal and good, that they sent a petition signed by 20,000 Christians told to be similarly angry about it to Netflix demanding that it be cancelled.
Possibly because they were so riled about it they sent it to the wrong studio as the show is made by Amazon Prime although Netflix was quick to poke fun at the petition, tweeting: 'Ok we promise not to make any more'.
Red Christian faces all around and they have said that they regret the mistake and the protests will be delivered to Amazon but they could always pray to stop it because praying always seems to work right guys?
Maybe they should stick to terrorising children outside a school to stop them learning about LBGT rights and hanging around outside abortion clinics singing hymns from now on.

Happy Summer Solstice Day

If you are reading this in the Northern Hemisphere then Happy Summer Solstice day but if you are in the Hemisphere which has bent sticks that come back to you and animals with pouches then Happy Winter Solstice cobber.
The UK will enjoy 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight today as it is officially mid-summer but to some it is the start of summer and the Sun has obliged today by being particularly shiny but today won't be the hottest day for us Northern Hemispherers where the sweltering weather is still to come.
This summer so far has been a big disappointment for many, the 21st June and it just hasn't really got going this year but i was more miffed that the thunderstorms in the week seemed to swerve around us and that's the only bit of summer i really like, the massive electric storms.
With the warmest part of summer still to land, there is still plenty of time for picnics in the park, a dip in the sea and sunburn but after today we are on the downward slope to the best time of the year, Christmas which my phones countdown app shows is just 186 days away!.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Not Backing America's Iran War

Iran said the drone they shot down was in their territory while the US say it was in International waters and as both are as untrustworthy as each other, it is hard to know who to believe but it doesn't ease the feeling that something very, very bad is going to happen soon.
We know how the story goes because we have been here before with the decision for war being made and the 'evidence' is piled up to achieve the ends with a sprinkling of detailed human rights abuses, saving a humanitarian crisis and a risk to national security with weapons of mass destruction thrown in to sweeten the deal.
It happened in Kosovo, it happened in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya too and now Iran is the nation with the case for the latest war being built against it. 
Trump himself suggested that 'Barack Obama will attack Iran in the not too distant future because it will help him win the election" but now, as he begins his own campaign to secure re-election, it's Trump's own administration that has been ramping up tensions with Iran.
After ripping up the Iranian nuclear deal and pressuring the Middle Eastern nation with threats and parking warships off its coast, it seems Trump is desperate to get his war and already the useful idiots are breathing in his administrations propaganda that Iran is an imminent threat as once Iraq was claimed to be.
If threats to national security or human rights abuses were a genuine basis for military adventures then Saudia Arabia would have been reduced to rubble years ago for supporting terrorism or dropping bombs on Yemeni hospitals.
The direction of travel is clear and the smell of war hangs thickly in the air while the cheerleaders of the Kosovo, Afghan, Iraqi and Libyan wars up the rhetoric and while we may not be able to stop it, the UK needs to shout loud and clear that we will not be involved in another debacle in another Middle eastern country which will see hundreds of thousands killed on a false premise yet again.
Two million of us marched against the Bush/Blair wars and never stopped them and we could muster the same number again and Iran would still be pummelled in a war that need not have happened except for the idiots running the White House but no Brexit deal or Special Relationship should be worth the weight of all those dead Iranians on our conscience.

Celebrities Who Almost Didn't Make It

James Dean career lasted a year, making 3 movies two of which came out after his death while Philip K Dick died months before Blade Runner was released, Van Gogh only sold 1 painting and that was to his brother while Franz Kafka, Herman Melville and Jane Austin were relatively unknown in their lifetimes but there are stars today who found themselves face to face with the Grim Reaper before finding fame.
George Clooney had a scooter accident in Italy that saw him fly 20 feet in the air above the car while
Owen Wilson came close to dying of a pill overdose and was saved by his brother and Leonardo DiCaprio survived a shark attack when a Great White managed to get into the feeding cage he was stood in. 
No surprise that Ozzy Osbourne has come close to death a few times but the closest was when he overturned his quad bike and suffered a broken collarbone, eight fractured ribs and damaged vertebrae in his neck and Gary Busey suffered a cracked skull following a motorbike accident.
Jane Seymour suffered an allergic reaction to a penicillin injection which almost proved fatal and Sylvester Stallone was punched so hard in his chest while making a Rocky film that his heart swelled and he spent several weeks in intensive care but Orlando Bloom was almost paralysed when he fell three stories attempting to climb a drain pipe.
Donald Sutherland said that Doctors said that he had actually died for a short time when he was struck down by meningitis, Johnny Depp nearly met his maker when fell off a horse and underneath the hooves of the horse he was riding, 50 Cent was shot nine times in his hand, hip, both legs, chest and his face but all his vital organs were miraculously missed, Sharon Stone tore an artery at the base of her skull and suffered a  brain hemorrhage and George Lucas was in a car crash which left him hung between life and death for a week.
Probably the two most fortunate to still be with us celebrities are Travis Barker of Blink 182 and Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe.
Sixx overdosed on heroin and was declared dead after medics initially failed to resuscitate him while Barker was in a Learjet which crashed and killed four of the six people on board and suffering burns, he required 16 surgeries and skin grafts.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Problem Of Getting What We Wished For

The depressing trudge towards another round in the Conservative Leadership contest is upon us and the five remaining will soon be whittled down even further.
Generally i wouldn't give a flying hoot who the Tories picked, but as the victor will become Prime Minister we all have some skin in this race but looking at the remaining candidates, it's like the choice between a punch in the face or a kick in the shins because whoever makes it is still going to be a bloody awful Conservative.
Boris Johnson has been sacked from jobs twice for lying and has a history of racism, Jeremy Hunt was found guilty of fiddling his expenses and was such a disaster as Health Secretary that he topped a poll as the 'most disliked British politician'.
Sajid Javid has been threatened with court action for 'peddling lies' numerous times and has been on the end of several violation of international court judgements in his role of Home Secretary and Michael Gove was sacked as Justice Minister and was another one caught fiddling his expenses and recently admitted to taking hard drugs while taking a tough line against those who did the same.
Rory Stewart is the most likeable and most 'untory' like which means he won't still be there when the dust settles.
I fully expect Boris to win and we can only hope that a general election quickly follows his coronation because while Theresa May was bad, Boris will have us looking back and regretting that that we were not a bit more careful about what we wished for.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Gulf Of Oman Finger Pointing

A couple of oil tankers get attacked in the Gulf of Oman and America immediately blamed Iran, as they would, and Iran vehemently denies they were behind it, as they would.
The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said that the US believes it was 'unmistakable' that Iran was responsible for the attacks and that 'President Trump has done everything he can to avoid war' conveniently overlooking pulling out of the treaty Iran was complying with, sending warships to sit off the Iranian coast and threatening to 'end' the country.
Predictably, the UK foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, agrees that he was 'almost certain that Iran was behind the oil tanker attacks' as he did not believe anyone else could have done it although the United Nations and Germany was not so quick to apportion blame, calling for an independent investigation.
Iran said the US was making allegations without 'a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence' and accused the Trump administration of 'sabotage diplomacy' although the US did release a video purporting to show an Iranian vessel removing an unexploded mine from the side of one of the tankers although the fly in that ointment is that the Japanese crew contradicted the 'evidence' by claiming that their ship was damaged by 'two flying objects'.
Following the recent Iraq debacle and either fabricating evidence or just being plain wrong, nations are rightly cautious of following American evidence and have no desire to enact the sequel to Bush/Blair and the current President is famous for falsehoods and has very little credibility.
Pompeo said that Iran had been responsible for previous attacks on tankers last month, but the official investigation into those incidents did not determine who had been responsible and with Iran being no less believable and as notoriously untrustworthy with their words as the current American administration, we are in danger of disappearing back down that rabbit hole once again.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Fairy Tales Disney Doesn't Want You To Know

Parents all over the World will be putting their young ones to sleep tonight with the help of tales designed to ease us them through the darkest hours into dreamland and we have the Brothers Grimm to thanks for most of them but maybe if we used the original stories our children's sleep not be quite so restful. 
The Pied Pier of Hamlin has him drowning the children of a German village when he doesn't receive payment for ridding the town of a rat infestation while in Pinocchio, Geppetto is jailed for child abuse, Pinocchio squishes the talking cricket with a hammer for preaching to him and after he runs away, he is kidnapped by bandits who, after several unsuccessful attempts to murder him, hang him from an oak tree and leave him until he dies.
Little Red Riding Hood never makes it to Grandma's House and is eaten by the wolf, Peter Pan murders any children in Neverland who break his rule of 'never growing up' and Rumpelstiltskin, so angry that the Millers daughter has guessed his name, grabs his own legs and rips himself in half.
The Princess's that Disney is so famous for do not fare any better in the original tales, Sleeping Beauty, while unconscious, is raped and impregnated by the Prince and she is awoken by the crying of the twins she gave birth to while asleep. The Prince returns, take them to the Palace where the Prince's wife tries to kill her and the twins but is banished by the King before she can do it and Sleeping Beauty marries the man who violated her while sleeping.
Cinderella kills her first stepmother, her ugly sisters cut off their toes and heels to try and make the glass slipper fit and at the wedding of Cinderella and the handsome Prince, two pigeons peck out their eyes while Snow White's evil stepmother, as punishment for trying to kill Snow White, is made to dance wearing a pair of red-hot iron shoes until she dies.
Another Disney favourite, The Little Mermaid, commits suicide after the man she left the sea to marry ran off with another woman and Rapunzel is made pregnant by the Prince who throws himself from the tower when he thinks Rapunzel is dead and lands on a bush whose branches poke out his eyes.
The original tale of Mulan sees her forced into prostitution by the Khan and taking her own life and Goldilocks, frightened by being awakened by the Three Bears, jumps out of a window and breaks her neck in the fall.
All not very pleasant but even Disney would take some doing to sanitise the Grimm Brother's 'Juniper Tree' which sees a step mother chop off her step sons head, put it back on by wrapping a handkerchief around his neck before her daughter knocks it off again while playing which results in the step mother chopping up the boys body to hide the evidence and and making him into pudding, which they feed to his poor father.
Not much singing, dancing or fairy dust in these tales but lots of murder, rape and suicide so sleep tight children and next time you have a meat pudding for tea, check where you father is first.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Sanctions Are The New War

America has the biggest military in the World but rather than use it in the way of previous Presidents, Trump has another weapon of choice, it's economy.
In order to fight international disputes without dropping bombs on people of another nation, sanctions is now the thing to be deployed against the people it doesn't like.
Sanctions have the benefits of causing misery to entire populations without firing a single shot while collapsing their economies then blaming the victim of aggression in places such as Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea and Russia, aka the bad guys.
The only problem is you can’t use sanctions against your allies which is extremely inconvenient, or at least it was, until Trump simply renamed sanctions and started calling them tariffs instead and targeted his friends in Europe, Canada, Mexico and China.
Although avoiding the complication of having to explain why hospitals, wedding parties and schools have been blown to smithereens in error, sanctions do still result in resentment and changes nothing but when you have a five times bankrupt running things and someone who lost over a billion dollars in the 90's including losing money on a casino of all places, it is hardly a surprise.
Nations are imposing tariffs of their own on American and it’s farmers have already received a $12 billion bailout program and are in line to be handed an additional $15 billion as sales of their fruit and vegetables flop.
Ford, America’s second-largest car company, said that Trump’s tariffs cost the company $1 billion, and the company now expects to make massive layoffs with GM making a similar announcement.
While it is always better than hot wars, trade wars seem to be not as easy to win as Trump once boasted.

China's Naughty And Nice List

In the brilliant Black Mirror there is an episode where citizens earn or lose credits depending on their behaviour and i guess China liked the idea because they are setting up a ranking system system that will monitor the behaviour of its population, and rank them all.
The mandatory program is due to be fully operational by 2020 and infractions include bad driving, smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games, avoiding military service, loitering in public areas, paying bills late and posting fake news online.
A low rating will see you banned from flying or getting the train, your internet speed throttled, your children banned from the best schools, barred from higher education, banned from jobs such as state-owned firms and big banks and see you banned from the top hotels and named and shamed publicly with potential employers urged to check the list of names.
A good rating will see travel applications dealt with quicker, get you more matches on dating websites, discounts on energy bills, rent things without deposits, and get better interest rates at banks.
Amazingly, citizens say it's making them better people but then i guess they would, you don't want to appear on the bad list but rather chillingly, i can see this being rolled out in other countries.
Only a fat man dressed in red and living in Lapland with reindeer should be the owner of such lists. 

Global Peace Improving Slightly

If you watch the news  or read a newspaper you will get the impression that the world isn't always a very peaceful place with terror attacks, violent protests and wars but while many countries are experiencing some sort of conflict, others have found ways to keep peace and the Global Peace Index Report is out and lists the most to least peaceful places on our planet.
Using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators, whatever Iceland is doing we should be following because it is rated the most peaceful once again for the 10th year followed by New Zealand, Portugal, and Austria.
As for the least peaceful countries, Afghanistan was ranked the lowest, with Syria, South Sudan, Yemen and Iraq close behind.
The United Kingdom ranked 45th most peaceful, up 5 places, with the United States down 4 places to a lowly 128th and Russia an even lower 153 out of 163.
The Middle East and North Africa region are the world’s least peaceful region with Europe again the most peaceful region with 22 of the top 36 nations European countries.
The results this year show that the average level of global peacefulness improved very slightly so we are getting there, just depressingly slowly.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Then There Were Seven

A list of 10 candidates were seeking the top job in the Conservative Party, a role that brings with it the title of Prime Minister.
Three have been ruled out, Esther McVey, Mark Harper and Andrea Leadsom, and the remaining seven now go on to further ballots among their fellow MPs before a run-off voted on by the party membership Rory Stewart, the most human by a long way of the shower of Tory candidates to replace Theresa May, is till in the mix but he barely made it through by the skin of his teeth so we can expect him to go out next round.
Boris Johnson easily finished top with 114 votes with Jeremy Hunt second with 43 votes and Michael Gove third on 37 votes with the rest likely to bow out soon and leave the field to these three.
Of the three, while you wouldn't trust any of them to run a bath let alone the country, Boris is looking the most likely to prevail although he is also the most likely to implode, so now might be a good time to make sure your passport is up to date.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Yemen? What Yemen Is That Then?

The Human Rights & Democracy report from the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office is always a riveting read but this year it has a special section on Yemen which could be a bit tricky for the UK Government.
If we can avoid mentioning Saudi Arabia at all we could avoid upsetting them and most importantly the £4.7 billion-worth of arms sales we got going with them.
Obviously we can't not mention that it is the UK selling them the weapons they use in the conflict so if we can explain that they is  'no risk that the weapons would be used to violate humanitarian law and we have confidence in the Saudi's dynamic targeting processes' and hope that nobody has noticed the UN investigative report which Saudi air strikes had caused the 6,100 verified civilian deaths in the country and air strikes had hit 'residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities'.
If we can end with the line that we are 'continuing to lead international efforts to work towards an end to the conflict' then i think we can get away with it.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

No Job Safe From Ai

As Artificial Intelligence continues to improve, more and more jobs are being replaced but there are some jobs that a machine will never be able to replace a human at, or so you would think.
The AI of today can do things that we never imagined it would be capable of so nobody can think that they won't be replaced by a machine at some point. 
Journalists should be safe as as it takes a human mind to effectively report important information in the form of coherent and well-structured articles for everyone to easily understand, or so we thought until The Washington Post deployed a story-writing bot called Heliograf that churn out news pieces.
Dubai has put into operation a robot serving as a part of the police force on the streets and has creatively named it 'Robocop' and has been used to identify criminals, flag vehicle plates and report unattended bags in public areas so that's law enforcement taken care of.
People who write AI software should be safe but then along comes Google who have designed an AI that could design its own AI, and the AI it created turned out to be better at a task than software made by the same AI researchers.
Poet's and artists shouldn't be looking too smug either because AI has been developed that have written prose that experts were not able to distinguish from human-made ones and have produced art with as much understanding of perception, depth, and shadows as the best artists.
We are heading into a brave new world where your a robot will help you cross the road to buy your newspaper written by machines and you will be hanging art in your living room painted by automation.
Nobody will read poetry written by robots but then hardly anybody read that written by humans so no real change there.

LGBT Lessons

A set of rosary beads and a Saint Christopher medallion to anyone who can guess who is behind the 12 week protest against LGBT lessons outside the school in Birmingham.
With catchy slogans such as 'Our kids, our choice and 'Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve',
they have demanded the resignation of the headmistress over the sex education lessons that informs children about LGBT equality because nobody is as intolerant as a person with a religious belief.
Organisers of the protests include the Oldham Interfaith Forum who have said: 'This is about morality. We have our own religious beliefs and they need to be respected' but the local MP has called it 'hate preaching' and has asked for an exclusion zone around the school to allow pupils to attend lessons without being disturbed by the protests which was granted today with a high court
injunction.
I'm not sure what the parents are trying to protect their children from but they are not doing them any favours by showing that heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality are not equally valid.
By behaving like this, parents are teaching their children extreme prejudice and discrimination and that is what should be banned else they grow up to be as intolerant and as bigoted as their parents.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Forget Mars And Shoot For The Moon

Of the Space pioneers, Elon Musk has always seemed the most whack-a-doodle and a mighty idiot to boot but luckily we don't have to rely on his drug addled brain to propel us forward because we have Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Speaking at the Mars Tech Conference, he explained that Humanity's very survival relies on colonising space, and he is starting with the moon.
His lunar-lander vehicle, Blue Moon, is designed to deliver a variety of payloads to the moon with the ultimate goal of helping humans establish a presence there as a launch pad for further space exploration.
He is correct as Mars is too big a step too soon and our near neighbour would be ideal for perfecting space exploration and colonisation before even beginning to look further afield.
A trip to Mars is six months out, the moon is 3 days and for all out technology, the human body is unable to handle the lack of gravity as we see from those returning from the International Space Station who are greeted by Gravity and a hospital worth of medical services.
Bezos is the man to be following in this, the moon HAS to be out first port of call. 

Sunday, 9 June 2019

1984 in 2019

Apparently, sales of George Orwells novel, 1984, have soared in America and it is being put down to the Donald Trump administrations use of the dystopian novel as a template.
It is a great book and i would urge everybody to read it just because it is a brilliant read but also because although it may seem absurd, the concepts in the book, doublethink, thought police are being acted out in front of us.
The quotes from the administration regarding 'Alternative facts' and 'Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening' are dangerously close to the line from the novel that read: 'The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears'.
The lies told over the over wars in Iraq and Afghanistan made people far less willing to believe the media and plays into Trump's often repeated line of 'fake news' to describe any coverage which is not favourable to him despite obvious evidence that he is lying, or as Orwell put it: 'political language designed to make lies sound truthful'.
The key message running through Nineteen Eighty-Four is that the purpose of propaganda is to narrow and limit the human the range of thinking but where we differ from going full Orwell is that the novel's Big Brother tried to hide what it was doing whereas Trump just lies and doesn't bother to try and hide it. 
The most damning line from Orwell, and overarching line is that 'Ignorance is Strength' and it is the ignorance of the Trump supporters, rejecting what they see with their own eyes and ears that allow him to carry on, and get away with, what he does.
It is no surprise that people are reaching for 1984 to gain some understanding of what they are really seeing and hearing.

Top Five Addictive Substances

Any form of addiction is harmful but drugs are the most addictive and it seems bizarre that some of the most addictive are legal and earn the Government money despite the knowledge that if taken in large or long enough doses, they will prove fatal.
A panel of experts have made up a list of the five most addictive substances based on the harm it causes, the value of the drug, the extent to which the drug activates the brain’s dopamine system, how pleasurable people report the drug to be, the degree to which the drug causes withdrawal symptoms, and how easily a person trying the drug will become hooked.
Heroin was ranked as the most addictive drug which causes the level of dopamine in the brain’s reward system to increase by up to 200%. The dose that can cause death is only five times greater than the dose required for a high.
Cocaine is second as it turns the dopamine signal off, resulting in an abnormal activation of the brain’s pathways and approximately 21% of people who try cocaine will become dependent on it.
The third most addictive, and legal, is nicotine and approximately 66% of people who tried smoking reported becoming dependent on it.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate that diseases directly related to smoking kills more than 8m people annually.
Fourth, and another legal drug, is Barbiturates or downers which were used to treat anxiety and to induce sleep by interfering with the chemical signalling in the brain, effectively shutting down various brain regions and Barbiturate dependence was common when the drugs were easily available by prescription.
Fifth in the list is alcohol which increases dopamine levels by 40-360% – and the more alcohol which is consumed, the more dopamine levels increased.
Some 22% of people who drink will develop dependence on alcohol at some point during their life and the WHO has estimated that more than 3m people die annually due to damage to the body caused by drinking.

Palestinian Peace Plan Doomed To Fail

America has long lost any legitimacy over deal with the Israel/Palestine conflict but Trump and his son-in law, Jerad Kushner, are still under the delusion that their long awaited 'deal of the century' is going to bring the warring nations together.
The Palestinians have refused to deal with the Trump administration since the president recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and even the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has reportedly admitted that many have doubts over the plan which he called 'a deal that only the Israelis could love' which was first expected in late 2018, then early 2019 but is now pencilled in to be presented at the end of June.
Leaks include plans to allow Tel Aviv to establish control over Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which remain illegal under international law which the Palestinians have said they will never accept and the head of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, said Trump’s deal can go to hell if that is a condition.
The EU, which has always been an ardent supporter of an independent and sovereign Palestine, said that splitting the West Bank between Palestine and Israel, with Israel keeping the whole of Jerusalem and Palestinians having no control over their borders is heavily skewed in favour of Tel Aviv and, therefore, is doomed to fail.
Matters were not helped when Kushner, in an interview, said the hope is that they [Palestinians], over time, will become capable of governing which outraged many who took, including many Jewish organisations, as an insult to mean that the Palestinians were incapable of running their own affairs.
The Palestinians deserve better than a deal which not only entrenches Israel's long military occupation but legitimises their illegal stranglehold over their neighbour and the plan will fall at the first hurdle but Israel will be fine with that because they will just continue their disgraceful genocide and inflict even further suffering on the Palestinians like they have for the past 70 years until America has a President not in thrall of the Israel tail wagging the American dog.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Free Porn

When i was a kid we had a cinema close to where we lived which would have 'special showings' which would see shifty looking men enter once a month to watch 'art films' which were about as much about art as Monty Python's Flying Circus was about trapeze artists and clowns, what they were showing were soft core porn films.
Where in bygone days the lovers of people watching other people have sex had to face the shop assistant to buy a top shelf magazine, now they have the internet and as much porn as their right arm can handle and one 1990s study of Usenet discussion groups suggested five in six images shared were pornographic.
Online pornography providers were pioneers in web technologies to compress video files to smaller, easier downloadable files but as the internet expanded, it gradually became less for pornography and more for all that other stuff and the problem porn studios have now is the same as faced by newspaper sites that when so much is available free online, it's hard to sell pornography when sites such as Pornhub are giving it away.
Whereas porn may have drove the early internet, today only 4% of the web is porn although 13% of all web searches are for 'erotic content' down from an estimated 40-50% ten years earlier and of the top one million websites, 42,337 are for sex-related content.
Although the porn industry may well have chocked it's own golden goose, there are still people who pay for access to pornographic websites presumably unaware that they can get it for free.
The moral panic may make it seem that you can hardly look at the web without seeing activities rated XXX but they are driven by companies that sell blocking software to 'make the Internet safe for children and families'.
Despite the availability of free pornography, an academic study by the General Social Survey (GSS) looking into pornographic viewing trends, found that when they asked 'Have you viewed pornography in the past year', during the decade before the Internet, (1987-1997), 32% of men answered yes while when asked the same question a dozen years after (1998-2010), the figure was 34%.
It may well feel that we have come a long way since the days of sex watching only being available in seedy theatres or on the top row of a newsagents and you had pay for either of those but with billions of porn pages now just a click away for free it seems that the scare stories may be not as scary as we thought.

The Solar System For Dummies

Nobody said that Donald Trump is an astronomer but maybe he should read a couple of books on the subject or at the very least get someone with even the shakiest grasp of the night sky to point out things to him.
Two of the first things should be that the massive yellowy-white thing in the sky about 240,000 miles away is the moon while the small reddish dot approximately 150 million miles away is a Planet called Mars.
Once he has taken that on board maybe they could explain that the Moon and Mars are not the same thing because judging by his tweet today he is struggling with that concept. 
'For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years ago. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science' Trump tweeted to much shock and derision.
To be fair when he once declared himself 'a very stable genius' he obviously wasn't talking about his knowledge of the Solar System, and maybe he was a tired after all that excitement recently but this is yet another example of why having someone as dumb as a bag of spanners running your country is not the best idea.  
Your President America, well done.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Beware Your Spouse

The Femicide Census Annual Report is not something which i would recommend reading but it does have some very interesting statistics regarding just when, how and why women are killed in England and Wales.
The most likely murder place for a woman is in her home where 43% of women are killed by their boyfriend, partner or husband while 11% are killed by a stranger.
The most often cited reason for the murder is jealousy and the most popular methods for the murder is by stabbing (25%) and by strangulation (20%).
While most women die at the hand of their partner in the home, most men murdered are done so in the street or a public place and the most likely perpetrator is someone they know (34%) although 30% are killed by someone they have never met before who is likely to be another male.
The most likely cited reason is an argument that has escalated or a show of dominance and knives are responsible for most deaths, especially amongst young black men.
Partners or ex-partners are responsible for 4% of male murders but in both male and female deaths, previous violent episodes are recorded.

Anarchy In The UK Finally

The Sex Pistols were not only one of the greatest bands the UK has ever produced but they were amazing visionaries because as Theresa May packs up her kitten heels and leaves Downing Street for the last time, Britain is now Government free until the Conservatives crown another leader who will by default become Prime Minister so...ANARCHY IN THE UK!!!
With the tune firmly reverberating around my head, i set off with a claw hammer and a crowbar and list of shops whose wares i have taken a fancy to but just as i was about to lob a brick through the local jewellers window, my Anarchist friend stopped me and told me that Anarchy was not about smashing things up but about rejecting authoritarian government and maintaining voluntary institutions best suited to express man's natural social tendencies.
All very nice but i don't recall that line in the Sex Pistols song but most importantly it doesn't end with me making off with a new, free sofa so i referred back to the 1976 song and can quite clearly hear Johnny Rotten singing something about stopping a traffic line but he distinctly says at the end 'get pissed, destroy'.
That's settled that then, Anarchists can keep their key principles of self-organisation, voluntary association, freedom and autonomy because there is a lovely Chesterfield in Argos's window and i quite fancy that top in Next and it's three weeks until payday.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Trump Just The Latest Unsavoury Character In The UK

Theresa May has quite rightly been getting it in the neck for inviting Donald Trump over for a full state visit but he is the latest in a long line of unsavoury characters the Queen has been asked to entertain by the Government of the day.
In 1971 Japan's Emperor Hirohito was invited over for the full package which as the Japanese wartime head of state, didn't go down with angry veterans and former British prisoners of war, who joined the thousands whistling the Second World War march, Colonel Bogey, as he passed by in the horse drawn carriage.
Romania's Nicolae Ceausescu came for the visit in 1978 and the Queen even gave him an honoury knighthood although she admitted to trying her best to spend as little time with him as possible during the trip.
Japan's Emperor Akihito came over in 1998, the son of Emperor Hirohito, was treated to protesters turning their backs on him as he passed by in the carriage down the Mall which is not as bad as the protester who threw himself in front of Russia's President Putin's motorcade when he was given the full regal treatment in 2003.
The US President George W Bush followed Putin to Buckingham Palace in 2003 which was really bad timing as the Iraq War demonstrations were in full swing and tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to protest against the war, including an effigy of Mr Bush being toppled in Trafalgar Square. Eggs were thrown at the presidential cavalcade and £5m of extra security was drafted in.
Protesters followed around Chinese President Hu Jintao during his turn in 2005 although the Government did there best to block the leader seeing protesters by ordering police vans be lined in front of them although they never tried it when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia came over and he was greeted by a line of demonstrators all the way down the Mall.  
The Chinese President Xi Jinping was here in 2015 and he was treated to running battles between human rights protesters and Chinese supporters during Xi's procession to Buckingham Palace, the carriage avoiding a protester who sat in the road.
So Britain has a history of inviting over some of the World's worst leaders and i'm sure there will be more after Trump, especially as we will need the business after Brexit.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Best Of British

Two things us British are reknown for is our sense of humour and our politeness so the best of British has been on display on the protests banners held aloft for Donald Trump to see.
Some favourites include 'I'm awfully British, you're just awful', 'Orange is the new stupid' and 'Dear Queen, don't offer him the good biscuits' but some were more blunt such as 'All in all you're another prick without no wall' and 'Fascist Twat'.
There was a baby holding a sign that said 'You're more of a baby than me' and some schoolkids who went with 'Trump is a wally' and there was even my all time favourite of 'Impeach the Orange' which always tickles me.
The runner up and so very British was 'I took the day off work and found a babysitter and came all this way just to tell you you're a wanker' but for Britishness the award for best Trump protest sign has to be 'We're British, we're polite but Fuck off please'.
Brilliant, well done to us British.

Trump In The UK: Day 2

As we learnt at his inauguration, Donald has a problem with judging crowd sizes so we can excuse him when he said the protests in London against him coming to our shores was 'very small' and 'thousands had lined the streets to welcome him' or maybe he just didn't notice the 75,000 people waving banners telling him to feck off.
He never mentioned the giant, orange baby blimp flown in his honour but it may be he had his head down working out what the NHS stood for because after he said it would be part of the negotiations for any trade deal, Theresa May had to explain to him exactly what it was. 
At least we know that chlorinated chicken is exactly what it says on the tin, or box of chlorine, which America wants to send to our supermarket shelves when we leave the EU and lower our food standards.
He also explained that there wouldn't be any problem with any shared intelligence which was later proved true as he met with Nigel Farage and had a telephone conversation with Boris Johnson so no intelligence was shared then but he did refuse to meet the opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, describing him as a negative force which led to several kettles and pots exploding.
Trump did seem to have a problem speaking and kept tripping over his own words but English is the president’s second language, the first being utter bollocks.
A disappointingly tame day in terms of Trumpyness and he ended the day with a banquet at the American Embassy and so keeping up his valiant effort to become the second fattest President ever.
It's my home town of Portsmouth tomorrow and as 1,634,917 people have told me, Portsmouth is an anagram of Shoot Trump so maybe we will be bringing a little bit of America to Southsea Common. 

Trump In The UK: Day 1

Probably my favourite moment of the day was when the third fattest President ever of the United States said he never saw any protesters, just hordes of welcomers outside the gates of Buckingham Palace who were actually protesters but to be fair, it is easy to confuse a sign saying 'Trump For Prison' for one that says 'Welcome Mr President' and he is barely literate.
It had all began so well with him abusing the Lord Mayor of the city that he is staying in and the sight of Trump clambering out of Airforce one to wave briefly to the absolutely zero people gathered to greet him apart from the pageantry who had to be there to make sure he didn't wander off.
Melania came dressed as a flight attendant but went through clothes changes like her husband changes dinner plates and it was noted that when they turned up at Buckingham Place to meet the Queen, who wore the fixed grin of someone who has just received a present she hates, it was noted that she doesn’t usually wear gloves to shake hands with world leaders, but has chosen to this time, best to be safe, never known what that hand had been grabbing just before.
Checking to make sure the mace spray was in her handbag, they went on a tour and was joined by Prince Harry who did his best to deliberately avoid the man who said that he could have 'nailed' his mum. 
The day ended with a slap up banquet back at Lizzie's place, steamed fillet of halibut, watercress mousse, asparagus spears and a chervil sauce with Windsor lamb with herb stuffing, spring vegetables and a port sauce and then a Strawberry sable and lemon verbena cream or as Donald usually calls it, a snack.
As 17 stone Trump (ahem) is only 3 stone behind Grover Cleveland, by the time he lands back in the USA he could be well be the second fattest President ever.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Welcome To The UK Donald

While he is here Donald Trump is not actually visiting anywhere where he will meet any protesters, but he will be meeting many politicians and royals, or rather the ones who haven't managed to come up with a previous excuse.
Labour and Lib Dem leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Vince Cable, have returned their invites to the Buckingham Palace banquet with a 'we will not be attending' message and Meghan Markle is staying away after she branded her fellow American 'misogynistic and divisive' and 'super creepy'.
The meeting with Prince Charles, William and Harry may be interesting considering that Trump said that 'he could have nailed her' and bombarded Diana with massive bouquets of flowers.
Boris Johnson is on his agenda for a meeting but Boris once said he found Trump to be stupefyingly ignorant and 'unfit to hold the office of President of the United States' while Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry did not mince her words by calling him 'an asteroid of awfulness' as well as a danger, a racist and a sexual predator'.
Ih win wins the Tory leadership, Michael Gove, should be remiknded that he mocked Trumps 'glowing, sodium orange skin',  his hair and his 'narcissistic and egotistical' personality although David Cameron will ne nowhere in sight althoigh he did say if Trump was ever to visit the UK he would 'unite us all against him' which appears to be one of the most honest things he ever said.
Anolther politicians he may bump into is Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon who said of Trump that he was a racist, sexist, misogynist and intolerant or there is David Lammy who decided to go with a 'woman-hating, neo-Nazi-sympathising sociopath'.
Caroline Lucas of the Greens plumped for plain old 'racist bigot' and 'a bully' while it might be good to be a fly on the wall if he meets the Lonon Mayor who today compared him and his supporters to 'the fascists of the 20th Century'.
Welcome to the UK Donald.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Making Me Feel Old

The BBC channel has been re-running some old Top of The Pops and at the end they show you the year that song was a hit and after almost every song i say 'that can't be right'.
I clearly remember hearing Nirvana bang out Smells Like Teen Spirit for the first time on The Word and was quite shocked to see it was 1991, 28 years ago, which means that it is now as old as 'Surfin' USA' by The Beach Boys and 'He's so fine' by the Chiffons when it was released.
Will Smith was being interviewed on the TV and my husband mentioned how old he is looking now which hurt as he is the same age as me which got me wondering just what else do i refuse to acknowledge is telling me that my youth is quickly vanishing in the rear-view mirror.
I still say i will need to 'tape that' or put the tape on for that' when i see something i want to record on television which my children find hilarious and i saw people queueing up to go see Detective Pickachu who were not even born when the cartoon series introduced him to us in 1997.
Seeing a birth year of 2000 on application forms always makes me think at first glance that they entered the date wrong before i realise that they would make them 19 and once i could run for miles and just feel a bit out of breath and no aches while now i ache for the rest of the day just by sitting at a funny angle for 10 minutes.
The 'Now That's What I Call Music' series has reached 102 and i have number 2 in my record collection, bought for me as a 14th birthday present and playing 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' by
Cyndi Lauper over and over.
Worst of all is one of my favourite films is Back To The Future, where Marty McFly travelled back 30 years to a very old fashioned looking 1955 and realise that if he made the same trip today, he would have to go back to 1989!
Bloody hell, i'm feeling old all of a sudden.

Austerity Britain Report #2

Austerity reports are like buses, nothing for ages and then two come along at once so on the heels of the UN report that the Governments austerity drive had inflicted 'great misery on it's people with punitive, mean spirited and callous measures', on the desk of the Prime Minister now drops the report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) that those same austerity measures had resulted in over 130,000 deaths in the UK since 2012.
The IPPR found that, after two decades in which preventable diseases were reduced as a result of spending on better education and prevention, there has been a seven-year slump in which state provision has been pared back because of significant budget cuts to public health services.
The IPPR calls for a large increase in the budget to replace the 5,100 health visitors who have been cut and a reversal of the £700m reduction in public health funding and to plug a £3.6bn gap in funding for social care.
If you ever wondered what the UK would be like after 10 years of Conservative Government, have a look, and if you are still tempted to vote for them ever again, then you haven't look hard or long enough.

Is Trump An Actual Fascist?

This week on my blog is going to be very Donald Trump heavy as he is here and he is bound to do or say something stupid, insensitive or just plain crazy several times a day and until Thursday at least the whole media circus is going to be concentrating on him and his entourage so little else will get a look in which will make a nice change to Brexit. 
One word which is going to be bandied about, and used today by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, to describe the crazy haired lunatic is 'Facist' but it is hard to know how accurate that is because fascist and fascism is hard to nail down.
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini are probably the most famous fascists but author of many books on Fascism, Robert Paxman, explains that Fascism is all about arousing enthusiasm by propaganda techniques for an anti-liberal, anti-socialist, exclusionary nationalist agenda while George Orwell in his essay 'What Is Fascism?' explains what is the most common traits of a fascist.
He found that fascist leaders scapegoat and demonise other groups to gain a common enemy to unite against, refer to a glorious past and wish to return to it, not allowing dissent or challenge, rid their Government of the previous laws and decisions of previous leaders, to create their own, use the nations resources to build up the military to which they threaten weaker and smaller nations. 
So to judge Trumps fascist tendencies, he certainly has scapegoated many including Mexicans (rapists and criminals), the media (enemy of the people) and Muslims so he gets a massive tick for that one.
His clarion call of 'Make America Great Again' satisfies the harking back to a better time agenda and CNN lists 62 members of his staff who have either been sacked or resigned under pressure, famously sacking FBI director James Comey when he refused to pledge loyalty to him.
Trumps whole time in administration has seen him energetically rolling back his predecessors laws and decisions and although he hasn't actually used the military during his time in office, he has threatened to destroy North Korea, warned of the end of Iran, has discussed sending the military to overthrow the Venezuela leadership and sent armed troops to the Mexico border while significantly increasing military spending from 2.4% to 4.7% to $750 billion.
Nobody can deny Paxman's criteria of pushing an anti-liberal, anti-socialist agenda is not spot on so when we also take George Orwell's definitions of what makes a fascist, then Trump is overwhelmingly one and the use of the word is legitimate.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Trump Coming To The UK

It's as if we never fought the Americans over 200 years ago to force them to run their own country because while they no longer take in the tired, the poor and the huddled masses, (certainly not the Muslim ones anyway) it doesn't stop them sending us their idiots so roll out the red carpet and make sure that big baby blimp is blown up because Donald Trump is coming to the UK next week.
While most of America rejected our royalty, taxes, tea and spelling the Orange sex pest loves our royals, doesn't pay taxes and has the spelling skills of a particularly dense six year old but he will be sharing a pot of tea and a crumpet with the Queen at Buckingham Palace although rumours have yet to be confirmed that she plans to revoke American Independence because they can't be trusted to vote for a proper person.
This could be a good time for the President to visit the UK because two days after he leaves Theresa May is quitting amidst a political scene that is so messed up even he will be confused although i'm sure his mates Boris and Nigel will explain it to him, them being such good mates and everything.  
At least he is coming this time, the last time they tried to set up a State visit it was dropped to avoid his feelings being hurt by the millions of protesters although he did make it over here for a working visit which worked well because they kept him locked up in Scotland.
He is due to be in my home town of Portsmouth next Wednesday so i am sure that the McDonald's on Southsea Seafront will be doing a roaring trade in milkshakes that day so the people of Portsmouth can give him a decent welcome.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Analysing The EU Vote

On the face of it the Brexit Party wiped the floor with the rest of the field but a bit of analysis is called for because things may not be quite what they seem despite the line they are coming out with today.
In the European Elections anyone who wanted to vote for Brexit only had two parties to vote for, the Brexit Party and UKIP while anyone wanting to vote Remain had 4 options, The Lib Dems, Green, SNP and Change UK.
Heaven knows what Labour want and the Conservatives are all over the place as well and many traditional voters would vote for them anyway so we can ignore their votes.
In total, the two Pro-Brexit parties scored 44.9% of the vote while the four anti-Brexit parties scored 40.2% so despite Nigel Farage's gurning face all over the TV screens today saying it is a loud and clear call from the people to leave the EU, it's actually split along the same sort of lines as the referendum result.
The EU votes was seen as a 'free vote' where you could place your X beside anyone you wanted to without consequence so come the General Election, the electorate will revert to type and it will be the big two of the Conservatives and Labour scrapping it out again and all the parties that did so well last night, the Greens, Lib Dems and Brexit Party, will be way down the list.
What i do expect to happen is the Labour Party will tack to the left to try and sweep up the remainer vote while the Conservatives will veer even further right to try and snatch voters from the Brexit Party which will, give us a good old fashioned left v right fight again although it will leave the centre ground pretty hollow.

Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse...Oops

The constellation of Orion is one of the most famous and recognisable sights in the night sky and is used as a pointer to many other stars and constellations but not many people know what is hidden inside of the hunters right shoulder (or left shoulder looking at it).
Despite being approximately 500 light years away (or 500 x 5.88 trillion miles), Betelgeuse is one of the brightest stars in the sky and it will get even brighter because it is near the end of it's lifetime and has already reached the first red supergiant stage where it expands out and now is due to collapse under its own weight after which it will then rebound in a spectacular supernova explosion
10,000 times brighter than the Sun which will be visible from Earth even during the daytime and be as bright as the moon.
Pretty cool but nobody knows when it will happen, or as we wouldn't know for 500 years when it did it could already have happened, but it could be tomorrow or could happen in a million years, but as the star is so far away, us Earthlings are safe as we would have to be within 50 light-years of a supernova for it to harm us and Betelgeuse is nearly 10 times this distance.
As we have no ageing, massive stars collapsing in on itself located within 50 light-years of Earth we can breath easy that we won't all be fried and the nearest supernova candidate we have found is the star IK Pegasi B a safe 150 light-years away.
As for the pronunciation, some people go with Betel-geise but on the whole it's 'Beetle-juice' like the film, just don't say it three times.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Another Problem With Democracy

My main problem with Democracy has always been that once the person is voted in, they can be as awful as they like for the next four or five years and do untold damage until the election cycle comes around again before we can turf them out.
Placing a cross on a ballot paper every five years is as much say as we have and then we are stuck with them with no way to remove the party if its breaks its promises or u-turns on it's manifesto so i have often wondered if we could have a mechanism to call a General Election if countrywide support dips below a certain percentage but as i watched Theresa May quit, i pondered maybe there is another way, no elections at all.    
A leader is elected and as we have seen with Donald Trump in America, he set about dismantling all of which his predecessor had achieved and once Trump is removed, the next person will probably roll back on all his work and that goes on in every country as i expect the Labour Party will dismantle much of what the Conservatives have done over the last decade. 
With a four or five year cycle, the party in power only have eyes on the next election which leads to quick fixes and knee jerk reactions to get the public on side, such as Savid Javid's decision to remove Shamima Begum passport after an outcry, rather than dealing with the deeper issues.
If Governments are only looking and planning for the short term then long-term issues which they will make little political capital out of are forgotten, such as Climate Change, risky Ai or the pension timebomb which will effect the citizens of tomorrow.
The only way that i can see to stop this short term thinking is to have someone in post for a long time who will take a long term view, China being the obvious example with Xi Jinping being the latest who offers a long term plan for China and with the second largest economy and tipped to soon become first, they are a success story of sorts.  
Uncomfortably though, this does lead us into authoritarian dictatorship territory and the idea of a 'benign dictator', who can take the long view on multiple issues for future generations without having one eye on whether his or her decisions will prove unpopular and see them removed by the public and their plans scrapped by their predecessor at the next election. 
History has very few, if any, dictators who remain benign and enlightened for very long after gaining power so it probably isn't the answer to the problem of short-term planning and politicians only obsessed with the next election.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Call Out To Ken Clarke

By default, the leader of the Conservative Party will also become our Prime Minister so we all have a vested interest in who the Conservatives choose and looking at the motley bunch throwing their hats into the ring, it's not looking good.
The only Conservative i would be happy to see standing outside Number 10 is Ken Clarke as he is the only one on the blue benches who seems to have an ounce of common decency in him so it isn't even worth him running, which he isn't so we have a choice from Matt Hancock, Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson, Esther McVey and Rory Stewart with Graham Brady, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid, Andrea Leadsom, Penny Mordaunt, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab and Liz Truss waiting to join the frey.
Almost half of them have either been sacked from Government (Pritti Patel, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson) or resigned from it (Dominic Raab, Andrea Leadsom, Ester Mcvey) so it isn't a very high quality pool of suitors that the Tories are picking from but you would struggle to find many decent options from the 313 Conservative Members of Parliament available.
Jeremy Corbyn is calling for a General Election but i'm not convinced that Labour would win it with him in charge as he is currently neck and neck in the polls with the worst Prime Minister in living memory with a Government that has heaped austerity and cuts on us with glee for the past decade.
The least worse option would seem to be Rory Stewart but he was a remainer and it seems they are going to look at a Brexiteer to push through their disastrous Brexit plan but the field will be whittled down as deals are done amongst themselves until the final two remain and if Rory Stewart is not there and those left are either Boris Johnson, Ester McVey, Michael Gove or Pritti Patel then
heaven help us all.
I have emailed Ken Clarke imploring him to run but i haven't got my hopes set too high, the nasty party are looking for someone who will continue the self-destructive trajectory they have the nation on and Ken was always too decent to be the type of right winger who rises to the top of the Tories.

Preparing Youngsters For Office Life

My job is to take young adults and give them the training and the tools to become successful employee's but something that we don't teach them is how to behave in an office environment once they gain that priceless employment.
It is something that we probably should because some of the tales i hear about how some graduates with little or no work experience conduct themselves in the office is quite eye opening.
These range from listening to music on headphones, turning up inappropriately dressed (low cut tops and mini skirts for girls, ripped jeans and sweary t-shirts for boys) to constantly being on their mobile phones or turning up late and going home early. 
Of course we never had formal training in how to behave in the office, we just picked it up as we went along, but while teaching students how to write a paper or the correct way to conduct a scientific experiment, we should throw in training in how to navigate office life rather than just hand them their certificates and then push them out into the World of work and expect them to figure it out.
It can only be helpful if we, teachers and employers, can give them some pointers on the workplace norms even if on the first day, during the induction process, it is spelt out to the newcomers what is expected of them to co-exist with managers and colleagues in the shared space where they will be spending at least 8 hours a day in.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Going After The Prime Ministers Job

Finally Theresa May has taken a hint and has decide that June 7th is her last day and then she is off to do whatever it is old Prime Ministers do once they retire.
The good news is that the job of Prime Minister will be up for grabs and as i'm considering a career change, i plan to throw my hat into the ring but the problem is i'm a left winger and the Conservative Party is right wing so i will need to somehow develop some right wing attributes.
There are many scientific reports that show that right wingers are not as bright as left wingers but i'm sure a subscription to Fox News and turning to the Daily Mail while continually banging my head against the fridge will shave enough points off my IQ to satisfy that criteria.
I like to read books while right wingers struggle to read even the most basic literature so out go the classics from my bookcase and it's only books with lots of pictures from now on and i'm sure that having no concern for my fellow man will be achievable once in situ.
Right wingers don't like to share so from now on my mantra is don't ask because being told to feck off may offend and i will have to stop recycling and as Downing Street is far enough away from the River Thames for me to worry about climate change, that's just for the plebs who were stupid enough to buy a house with a river view.
My doubts in the fairness of our Capitalist system should be easy to overcome on the Prime Minister salary of £150,402 per annum and as long as i say 'Not being racist but...' before saying anything racist i can hate on Muslims and foreigners like the best Conservative. 
Keeping the status quo by explaining that we have achieved equality while making things even more unequal and explaining that just because i am cutting welfare for the poorest while giving the richest tax cuts doesn't mean that i am not passionate about closing the gap between the rich and poor.
I think after a while in the right's company i can rid myself of any human decency to become a proper right winger who wouldn't let something like rising crime, a Health Service on it's knees or my voters forced to food banks to eat throw me off my right-wing agenda.
I think i could pull it off and just to make sure i will start wearing nylon shirts, patent leather shoes and start a campaign to bomb Asians who don't sell us their oil.
See you for the celebrations on June 8th.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

More Celebrity Conspiracies

Elvis is alive, Stevie Wonder is faking his blindness and the real Avril Lavinge died in 2003 are all celebrity conspiracy theories and who doesn't love a good celebrity story even if it is a likey as a Donald Trump diet video. 
In the shadowy world of Conspiracy, The Illuminati make a regular appearance and the people responsible for assassinating Presidents, starting wars or sparking revolutions include Nicki Minaj, Billy Joel, Justin Bieber, Madonna, Katy Perry, Paul McCartney, Beyonce, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Jay-Z and Angelina Jolie and Madonna claimed that she’s not in the Illuminati,
although she would say that if she actually was, which means she is then.
As well as Avril Lavinge being replaced by a lookalike after she committed suicide in 2003, the same fate befell Slim Shady, Eminem, after he upset the Illuminati and the Beyonce we see is version 2 after she was replaced after dying while while Britney Spears was in the pay of the George W Bush administration who bankrolled her to have a meltdown whenever the President came under fire and her breakdown, 55-hour Vegas marriage, the birth of her son, and the Madonna kiss do happen to align neatly with some of George W. Bush’s more negative presidential moments.
Other notable theories include Lady Gaga killing a former up-and-coming pop star named Lina Morgana in order to steal her style while Katy Perry is actually a child beauty queen, JonBenet Ramsey, who was murdered aged six while Rod Stewart had to have his stomach pumped due to semen ingestion, 3.8 liters (1 gal) of it after spending a night with some sailors in a bar in San Diego.
All wondrously nutty but there is one conspiracy theory that is all too believeable, that Melania Trump is being held hostage while her husband continues his presidency and when she does make  a rare appearance, it’s not her but rather a body double in the Trump administration’s employ.
Now that is one conspiracy theory that we can buy.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Why You Shouldn't Feel Sorry For Theresa May

It would be quite easy to feel sorry for Theresa May as she is battered from pillar to post and being openly described as the worst Prime Minister in living memory but before you have too much sympathy, lets take a peek at the latest UN report and see just how things have been under the leadership of her and her right wing Conservative Government.
It starts by comparing their welfare policies to the creation of Victorian workhouses and
warned that the awful austerity policies have left millions of Britons facing lives that would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short and 'in clear violation of the country’s human rights obligations'.
Not a great start but maybe it gets better.
'Child poverty in Britain is not just a disgrace but a social calamity and an economic disaster' the report states and about the government’s decade long austerity programme he says led directly to a shocking rise in the use of food banks and rough sleeping, falling life expectancy for some, the decimation of legal aid, the denial of benefits to the severely disabled, falling salaries and the impoverishment of single mothers and people with mental illness.
The report ends with the UK government inflicting 'great misery on its people with punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, i give you Government under the Conservative Party and the leadership of Theresa May, a disgraceful calamity and economic disaster.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Milkshaking

There seems to be a new craze in town, throwing Milkshakes over right wing politicians as Nigel Farage found out as he slimed away to get his suit dry cleaned after he became the latest victim.
Not the most obvious weapon of resistance, the milkshake shower has recently seen far-right dingbat Tommy Robinson (twice), the Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin (four times) as well as Farage have their picture in the papers looking less than pleased that their clothing now smells of banana and strawberry.
While it may be true, as some of the victims have pointed out, that attacking people you disagree with in the name of tolerance is a bit off, who couldn't fail to have their heart lifted by the sight of extreme right wingers being doused in milkshake. 
It has go to such extremes that a branch of McDonald’s in Edinburgh was asked by the police not to sell milkshakes on Friday, when Farage was in town although the offending salted Caramel and banana shake was from Burger King so that wasn't very successful.
A very mild and tasty form of violence against the country’s most divisive politicians is afoot but a quick look at the ingredients and the 430 calories in a milkshake, they are lucky it is only being poured over them and they are not being made to drink it which would be much more harmful.

Hurricane Season 2019

The main consequence of Global Warming is that it takes what Mother Nature provides and turns it up to 11 and never is this never more true than with Hurricanes which is bad news for The Caribbean and the East coast of the United States as we have just entering Hurricane Season in the Atlantic.
A large, rotating low pressure systems drawing upon the Oceans warming waters will be barrelling into land between now and November leaving bringing death and destruction in its wake but a warming climate doesn't mean there will be more hurricanes, just that the ones that do develop will intensify quicker, resulting in a greater number of the most severe category storms.
The Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index (ACE) shows that the proportion of tropical storms that rapidly strengthen into powerful hurricanes has tripled over the past 30 years and the warming of the atmosphere and upper ocean makes excellent conditions for fiercer, more destructive hurricanes that often stall once they hit land, resulting in torrential downpours that cause horrendous flooding.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) state that the intensity of hurricanes will increase by about 5% this century and there is the further problem of the rising sea levels which result in storm surge which can fan out across several hundred miles of coastline.
Meteorologists at Colorado State University have predicted 2019 will see a slightly below-average Atlantic season of 13 named storms, five of which will become hurricanes due to a mild El Nino further warming the Pacific Ocean.

Is It Safe To Come Out Yet?

You know that Iranian threat that the Americans responded to by sending an aircraft carrier to the Gulf although they refused to give any details or evidence to support the claims, well the Pentagon has announced that the threat we didn't know about has now diminished.
Erm...Thanks Uncle Sam, i guess.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Our Very Own Donald Trump With A Thesaurus

Such fun watching the Conservative Party pull itself apart over Brexit with the Prime Minister deciding that it is better that she jump off the cliff before she is booted off it by her own party so the jostling begins for her job and the bookies favourite is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, or just Boris Johnson to his friends.
I'm sure that his fellow contenders have their own list of the former Foreign Secretary's track record including the current criminal prosecution against him for misconduct in public office by misleading the public and his fathering of a child as the result of one of his many extra-marital affairs but just in case they haven't, ladies and gentleman, your wannabe next Conservative Party leader and therefore default Prime Minister, Boris.

'It's absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes' on Muslim women

'You know, £60m I saw was being spaffed up a wall on some investigation into historic child abuse' on investigating child sex abuse cases.

'The Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-wearing picaninnies' on the Commonwealth.

'Completely crazy and supported by corduroy-jacketed, snaggle-toothed, lefty academics' on the  protest against Israel actions in Gaza. 

'The pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and their tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles' on Tony Blair's trip to The Congo.

'The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge anymore' on Britain's former African colonies.

'Black American basketball players have arms hanging below their knees and tongues sticking out' on American basketball players

'The best fate for Africa would be if the old colonial powers scrambled once again in her direction' on Britain's former colonies again.

'Orientals have larger brains and higher IQ scores while blacks are at the other pole' on Eugenics.

'For 10 years we in the Tory party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing, and so it is with a happy amazement that we watch as the madness engulfs the Labour Party' on the Labour Party

'A symbol of the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British Empire' on Barack Obama removing the bust of Churchill from the Oval Office.

'No one obeys the speed limit except a motorised rickshaw' on speed limit laws.

'Face it. It’s all your own fat fault' on obesity in the UK.

'A wankerer who sowed his wild oats with the help of a goat' on Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

'People in Liverpool seek rather to blame someone else for it, thereby deepening their sense of shared tribal grievance about the rest of society' on the Hillsborough disaster.

He has been called Donald Trump with a thesaurus and with his racist views, stupid hair, serial lying and extra marital affairs they do seem very similar and scarily, he could very well soon be making decisions which effect us all if The Conservatives let him.

Eurovision Song Contest Protests

I have always been of the mind that Politics should be kept out of areas that it doesn't belong such as Sport and especially at events like the Eurovision Song Contest.
Due to their abhorrent treatment of the Palestinians, i have been boycotting all things Israel for as long as i can remember and although this years event was being held in Tel Aviv, i really didn't have the inclination to join in the chorus of people calling for a boycott or for protests against Israel hosting it.
The whole idea behind Eurovision was to bring Europe together after the War, a bit of fun, flamboyance and silliness for four hours once a year and that was how i wanted it to stay, above the nastiness and evil going on outside of the arena walls which we hear about far too much.
I took the opportunity when Madonna came on to remove my eyes from the screen for ten minutes so i missed her 'protest' which turned out to be a couple of flag wearing dancers, one with a Palestinian and one with Israel, walking off stage arm in arm and a call out to 'Wake Up'.
As protests go that's a pretty tame one but her sentiment is one we all should applaud and i didn't see it as a political protest at all although i refuse to accept that the United Kingdom came bottom due to political reasons, we just entered a really, really poor song once again.
There are times and places for political messages and protesting against wrongs but surely it's not at an event which is all about kitsch, camp and just having, as Fred Flintstone once said, a gay old time.
Congratulations to The Netherlands and it's off to Amsterdam next year then.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Books That Really Did Change The World

I have a Waterstones book token and while browsing their website i found 'Books That Changed The World' and although there was some excellent books there such as To Kill A Mockingbird and 1984, they hardly changed the World which got me thinking just what can be considered the most influential and World altering book ever?
Throughout history authors have inspired debate, war and revolution. They have outraged, comforted and transformed the way we see ourselves and each other. They have enriched lives and destroyed them but which single book can lay claim to achieving the biggest change in the world we live today?
My initial thought was the religious texts which promised us God's reward or punishment according to our actions and changed the way we lived until Darwin’s 'On the Origin of Species' took God away again, changing our perceptions of everything we thought we knew.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 'The Social Contract' helped inspire the French Revolution while Thomas Paine's 'Common Sense' work proved the call for Americans to revolt against the British and set into motion the USA of today.
Other contenders are Adam Smith's "Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations", Samuel Johnson's "Dictionary of the English Language" and Michael Faraday's "Experimental Researches in Electricity".
Isaac Newton's "Principia Mathematica" gave us the knowledge that led to the moon almost 300 years later and then there is the book with the most quoted final paragraph in literary history that changed the face of the World.
"Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have the World to win" by Karl Marx.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

America's Reluctant Drift To Yet Another War

In recent times, the media have had us 'stumble', 'drift', 'slide' and even 'sleepwalk' into war but not so much 'enthusiatically driven into it' which seems more like the case. 
We also go 'reluctantly' and 'with no choice' most of the time rather than 'gung ho' but that is how the media pundits who 'assess' the situation like to put it because 'cheerleading for war' isn't a good look.
The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, recently said that a US war with Iran 'could happen by accident' which seems a strange turn of phrase especially as we have been watching the American Government ramping up war rhetoric against Iran for the past few months after abandoning the Iran nuclear deal and sending an aircraft carrier and bomber task force into the Persian Gulf.
That would be some apology Iran is due if it turns out that they trashed the deal in error and the USS Abraham Lincoln ending up off the coast of the Ayatollahs country was an administrative cock-up.
It can't be easy getting into wars by mistake because generally they are quite easy to avoid getting into if you really don’t want to be in them, Switzerland hasn't drifted or stumbled into one since 1847 and Sweden haven't sleepwalked into a conflict since 1814 so i'm not sure what they are doing that America doesn't. 
Put it down to all that hormone fed beef and chlorinated chicken they munch on but it is easy to mistake America's 'reluctant drift into war' with Iran as more of them itching to goad Iran into an armed conflict using convenient pretexts for the US to 'respond' to but maybe i just haven't been paying close enough attention.
Anyway, it seems that they will be stumbling and drifting reluctantly into a war, accidentally obviously, in due course and it will be about protecting freedom/democracy/human rights as usual but we can thank our lucky stars that as Washington is so careless with it's war making that it isn't stumbling into anywhere more dangerous and only just the nations like Iraq, Libya, Venezuela and Iran which, as luck would have it, are also filled to the gills with oil.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Creationist Icky Business

We all know the Creationists theory of how they think we got here, God making man from dirt, blowing up his nose and then making a woman from his rib, but if we accept that concept, and many hundred of millions surprisingly do, we are faced with one man and one woman and an otherwise empty planet to fill. 
All we are told about Adam’s and Eve's offspring is that they had 'begot sons and daughters' and according to Scripture, Adam and Eve’s family consisted of sons Cain, Abel and Seth, plus a minimum of two other sons and two daughters, giving a total of seven children.
So now we have Mum and Dad and seven brothers and sisters and a rather tricky question of what happened next for Christians but they do have an answer.
Apparently as Adam and Eve were formed by God, not only were they genetically perfect but so was their offspring so incest was not a problem as there would be no defective genes passed around as they were perfect which doesn't answer the question of the Christian religion being based on incestuous relationships at so let's pass very quickly over that ickyness.
With each generation begotting more sons and daughters, all related to each other, the gene pool grew and several generations of nephew on auntie action, there would be a wide enough spread to find someone to begot with who isn't a relative.  
This isn't just an exercise in highlighting religion being based on incest and them not minding at all (although it does do that also), it has proper, real life implications as we are approaching the cusp of inhabiting other planets and NASA are pondering on the least number of pioneers needed for the move to populate the new planet and not have to turn to an Adam and Eve style incest party.
The minimum number they have come up, starting with young, childless and unrelated couples and screening for the presence of potentially dangerous recessive genes, is 160.
Not quite as easy to understand as the Creationist story but a lot less awkward at the Christmas Dinner when you could find yourself sat next to your brother/husband/nephew.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Reversing Climate Change Ideas

By far the biggest and most important decision facing the Planet is how to deal with Climate Change and the recent announcement by the authority on all things Global Warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that we have as little as 12 years to save the planet have sent scientists taking a second look at some of the schemes they previously placed in the file marked 'barnpot ideas'.
The idea of deliberately fiddling with the Earth's climate to reduce global warming, Geoengineering, has long been seen as a preposterous notion due to the unintended consequences of blotting out sunlight to cool the planet but where we once dismissed it as an act of desperation, well, things are now getting desperate.
The idea is to put reflective particles in the atmosphere to block or reflect sunlight and plans considered include spraying sulfate particles into the stratosphere much like what volcanic eruptions do or surrounding the Earth with tiny mirrors or increasing the reflectivity of clouds by spraying seawater into the atmosphere to make clouds whiter and thicker.
These plans are considered too risky as the consequences are too poorly understood but other option up for serious consideration are pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere which would involve planting many, many more trees or inventing a machine that scoops carbon-dioxide directly out of the air and burying it underground.
With only 12 years and counting and any invention still at the blueprint stage it may not be quick enough but there is always the idea of piling iron dust into the oceans to promote the growth of plankton that absorb carbon-dioxide. 
We could always go back and have another look at painting all roofs of buildings white or
covering the Arctic ocean with white plastic to reflect sunlight back into space and let's not forget the idea of slowing the melting of glaciers by constructing a giant wall on the sea floor to prevent warmer water from coming into contact with them. 
My personal favourite and most window shakingly mad, is to block the Atlantic Ocean from entering the Mediterranean by damming the Strait of Gibraltar which would drain the Mediterranean therefore give us more than 1.5 million m² of reclaimed land to used for farming.
Desperate times call for desperate measures and at least these people are having a go and it’s better to do something right? I mean, if you fire trillions of tiny mirrors into deep space or fill the ocean with iron filings and it somehow doesn’t work out, we could always…erm.. we can...umm.
Well, i'm sure we’ll think of something.

Unhealthy Minister For Norway

Some people are perfect fits for their profession but then some, like the new Norwegian Health Minister, are soon exposed as probably due a career change. 
In virtually her first interview in her role of safeguarding the nations health, Sylvi Listhaug announced that Norwegians 'should be allowed to eat, smoke, eat red meat and drink as much as they want'.
Possibly she misunderstood the job title of 'Health Minister' but that may not be a problem for too long because after health advocates pointed out to her that all the things she mentioned are major contributors to many serious diseases, there are now calls for the responsibility for the publics health be removed from Ms. Listhaug’s portfolio, saying that 'she seems to lack understanding of what public health really means and what her role as minister in that area should be'.
Removing the main part of the job for a minister could be something that could catch on here as our Governments standing would certainly imporve if the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs was banned from any contact with Foreign countries, Secretary of State for Education was not allowed anywhere near a place of learning and  Chris Grayling, was kept out of any decision making whatsoever in any sphere and was only employed to place the biscuits on the table for cabinet meetings.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

UEFA Fleecing Arsenal & Chelsea Fans

The distance between Arsenal F.C. (Emirates Stadium) and Chelsea F.C. (Stamford Bridge) is 6 miles but to watch the Europa Cup Final between the two, the teams and fans will have to the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan, 2,468 miles away.
To add insult to injury, fans of both teams will have to scrap it out over the ticket allocation of just 6,000 per team for the 68,000 capacity stadium with the remainder going to sponsors, broadcasters and corporations.
With no direct flight to Baku and the headache of gaining a visa on short notice to enter Azerbaijan, there is the elevated cost of the profiteering airlines and accommodation owners and that is if you can get a ticket which range from £26 to £121 but have already began appeared for resale on ticketgum.com priced at £5,500 each.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, whose team face another English club in Tottenham in their Champions League Final in Madrid, has called for 'more sensible and reasonable decisions on where finals are staged' and said he had sympathy for supporters facing elevated prices for hotel rooms and flights, and with the challenge facing fans travelling to the European Cup Finals.
Uefa have defended their decision to play in Baku, stating that: 'It is impossible to predict in advance which clubs will reach the final while the venue has to be chosen around two years in advance' and the decision to only allocate 12,000 tickets to the clubs due to: 'the logistical capacity of airports in and around the host city, it was deemed that around 15,000 spectators would be able to travel from abroad'. 
Why UEFA can't do the sensible thing and play the game between two English clubs at the 90,000 Capacity Wembley Stadium, 8 miles from Arsenal Stadium and 7 miles from Chelsea's, and avoid the nightmare facing Arsenal and Chelsea fans emptying their bank accounts to traipse to the furthest eastern edge of Europe is beyond me but i will be taking the less weary and expensive route of
going to a local pub, with a drop of something alcoholic to cheer on the Gunners.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

American War Drums Beating Again

Anyone who has been taking notice for the last few decades or so will recognise the path the United States are currently on with Iran because the names may have changed but the itch for a dash of warmongering certainly hasn't.
Clinton with Kosovo, Bush with Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama with Libya and now Trump with Iran, all conflicts that were spun to gain support for the conflict, but never stand up to serious interrogation.
Donald Trump and his administration are doing everything possible to provoke a conflict with Iran while making it look like it's Iran’s fault including dismissed the advice of their own military and security chiefs and withdrawing from the deal that has successfully stopped Iran from getting nuclear weapons, imposing sanctions and applying an ever changing list of demands and now sending a carrier strike group and bomber task force to sit menacingly off it's coast.
Iran has continued to comply with its agreements, confirmed by the IAEA, despite American provocations which are actually helping Iran make the case for restarting its pursuit of nuclear weapons, as a deterrent to being attacked by the United States.
Following Trump’s reckless acts, America's usual allies are not likely to provide the fig leaf of respectability for any military action as the Europeans are busy creating a system to circumvent US sanctions and help Iran although an unholy alliance of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Israel shouting encouragement from the sidelines isn’t helping.
It is easy to see through the Trump administration’s lies. Trump claims to want to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon but withdrew from the very deal that had stopped Iran from obtaining one. Trump officials claim to be supporting the aspirations of the Iranian people, but the sanctions hurt the Iranian people first and foremost, and Trump is still banning Iranians from visiting the United States.
An explanation put forward is that is that Trump disliked the deal not because it was ineffective but because it represented the single biggest foreign-policy achievement of his predecessor, Barack Obama, whose achievements Trump has been unravelling since he arrived at the White House.
As much as we are told otherwise, Iran has kept its side of the bargain, and it is Trump's America who has been the aggressor and who reneged on the deal and it will be the American administration who could be once again be dropping missiles on another Middle Eastern country for spurious and contrived reasons.

Liverpool v Tottenham Not Easy For Arsenal Fans

I'm not much of a Liverpool or Tottenham fan but over the last two nights they have certainly kept us football fans entertained, first Liverpool ruining many betting slips by making an unexpected comeback and beating Barcelona and last night Tottenham winning the game with literally the last kick of the game.
Plaudits go to both teams both now the prickly dilemma of who to cheer for in the Final.
I know many Liverpool fans and they are right up there with Manchester United fans who will drone on forever and ever and ever about their teams successes if they come back from Madrid with the pot.
As an Arsenal fan who also knows an unhealthy amount of Spurs fans, them winning it would also be the ninth circle of hell right there if our nearest rivals win it so it's quite a conundrum as one of them has to be victorious.
It would be mitigated if Arsenal win the Europa League Cup, and with a 3-1 lead over Valencia going into tonight's semi-final second leg you must fancy their chances of getting to the final at least, but that cup is the minor one compared to the one offered by the Champions League so no real bragging rights there.
If Arsenal and Chelsea make it to the final then all four finalists in the European Competitions will be from the English Premier League which is exciting but as for the winner from Tottenham or Liverpool, i'm going to have to go for the scousers for two reasons.  
The first is the Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp who seems a lovely, smiley and affable guy and secondly because while Liverpool fans will be annoying for the next decade, Tottenham fans bang on endlessly when they finish above Arsenal in the League so they will be even worse if they win the major European trophy so come on you Reds, you're never walk alone and all that.