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miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
... and we don't get to choose, the membership of the tory party gets to choose.

I'm sorry, what did you say? All sound is being drowned out by the roaring flames of hell, and this handcart has incredibly squeaky wheels.
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Margarine Thatcher

Thursday, July 7th, 2016 10:24 am
miss_s_b: (Politics: FU)
Saw somebody on twitter referring to Andrea Leadsom as "Margarine Thatcher". It may or may not have been intended to refer to this:

... but that's certainly what it made me think of.

You're semi-evil. You're quasi-evil. You're the margarine of evil. You're the Diet Coke of evil. Just one calorie, not evil enough.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
Sittin' in the defendant's chair
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' comes
Watchin' witnesses in
Then I watch 'em roll away again, yeah
I'm sittin' in the dock in The Hague
Watchin' my lies peel away, ooo
I'm just sittin' in the dock in The Hague
Wastin' time

I left my home in Sefton
Headed into parliament
'Cause I had conflict to shill for
Looked like they were gonna vote my way
Now I'm just sittin' in the dock in The Hague
Watchin' my lies peel away, ooo
I'm sittin' in the dock in The Hague, wastin' time

Look like nothin's gonna change
Everything, still remains the same
I can't do what those Lib Dems tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same, yes

Sittin' here restin' my bones
And my guiltiness won't leave me alone, yes
Ten thousand miles, I roamed
Just to make this dock my home
Now I'm just gonna sit in the dock in The Hague
Watchin' my lies peel away, ooo yea
Sittin' in the dock in The Hague
Wastin' time

"Far from Satisfactory"

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 12:02 pm
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
Obviously I have not read the entire Chilcot report - I suspect nobody except Johnny C and his proof-reader have - but my God the summary speech he gave was devastating. Forensic, clinically precise, utterly polite and brutal.

The fallout from this is going to go on a long long time. I only wish he'd lived to see it.

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miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
... but I think the disgusting spectacle of politicians of all stripes grubbing over the votes of racists, by pretending to understand their "genuine concerns about immigration" might be caused by our first past the post electoral system.

Let me explain.

In the last few days there has been more than one piece on Lib Dem Voice which might as well, as Andrew puts it, have been entitled "Immigrants: Threat or Menace?". One of them was written by Vince Cable. Vince sodding Cable, who, lets not forget, was married to a lady from Goa. Vince is clearly not racist. Yet he still feels like he has to listen to racists' "genuine concerns about immigration".


Because in our electoral system, each seat is winner takes all. There are no prizes for second place.
52% of the electorate just said, effectively, that they have "genuine concerns about immigration". Sure, some leave voters voted for a lexit; some were genuine Liberal Internationalists who want us to trade more with the rest of the world; etc. But those deluded people have been shanghaied into the media narrative that they hate furriners.

Now you might, quite logically, think that if the vast majority of politicians are grubbing over the vote of 52% of the population, it'd be sensible for one party to cater exclusively to the 48%. If (say) five parties are fighting for a share of 52% but just one has 48% to itself then that one party is in clover, right? Mathematically speaking?

If we had STV you'd probably be right. But under FPTP, where the winner takes all in each seat, it's not quite that simple. Our electorate is used to voting tactically, so while that 52% ought logically to divide itself up between the "concerned about immigration" vote according to other factors, in practise people who have this as their top concern look at which one of the several options is most likely to win where they live and plump for that one (obviously not every voter decides like this, but enough of them do that it's safe to ignore the minority who vote on principle).

Thus whatever is the minority opinion on a given subject, even if it's quite a large minority like 48%, is pretty much guaranteed to be ignored by all politicians of all parties because the one thing all politicians have in common is that they want to win. This leads to voters of all stripes feeling disenfranchised and resentful, because there is no voter who agrees with majority opinion on everything, and this leads to ugly politics.

TL;DR: we really need STV. It's not a panacea, but it'd certainly help.
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There's a lot of different versions of this, but this one is my own version of it. You will need:

- one large (at least 3 litre) container for mixing your mixer
- a 1 litre carton of Cawston Press Apple & Rhubarb juice
- 2 500ml bottles of Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic
- quarter of a cucumber, sliced very thinly
- 2 limes, quartered
- a good handful of fresh mint sprigs
- gin of whatever kind you like
- ice
- glasses for serving

Put everything except the gin and the ice in your container. I used a 5 litre kilner thing we have lying about. Give it a good stir, but don't be too rough or the tonic will go flat.
Seal it up and leave it half an hour or so in the fridge to infuse.
Put ice in glasses, then gin, then mixer mixture.

It's very tasty, and known to alleviate all known constitutional crises.
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miss_s_b: (Mood: Cynical)
(this is mostly adapted from a stream of consciousness I posted earlier on twitter, so might look familiar to some of you)

We all know that there are some politicians who actually are racist, and stoke up racist tensions because they are racist and want to see racism succeed. But what about the vast majority who think they are not racist? Why do we see, over and over again, people who pride themselves on being progressive saying we must listen to people's genuine concerns on immigration* and similar shite? Why did Gary Younge have to write this article?

One reason that politicians resort to (and are so reluctant to tackle) anti-immigrant rhetoric is because they know that tackling racism will cost money, whereas stoking racist resentment to create a scapegoat for your own failings is free. The consequence of telling people that underinvestment is the problem, not immigration (once you can get them to believe it, which will be hard) is that you then have to promise to do something about underinvestment. This means increasing taxes to increase spending. Successive governments of both colours have refused to do the hard stuff on tax and spend because everybody know the British want European public services but USA levels of tax.

The EU mitigated some of the effects of this by spending in deprived areas, but that is probably not going to be the case after last Thursday, and that is because those areas are massively Eurosceptic and voted for Brexit. They voted for Brexit because press has successfully hoodwinked them that all their troubles are the fault of the EU and immigrants because bastards like Murdoch & Rothemere don't want scrutiny of the rich, and the majority of politicians are too chicken to kick against these pricks.

All this makes "but immigrants stealing our jobs/benefits/housing/women/NHS" very hard to fight. But fight it we must, because as I said the other day allowing immigrants to be blamed for problems of underinvestment not only does not solve the underinvestment, but makes resentment and racism worse. I am sick of seeing innocent people suffer for the failings of our political system.

So how do we solve it?

We've got to start challenging the narrative every time we see it** but we also have to agitate for left-behind communities to get more funding, and that means, I'm afraid, paying more taxes. Our current tax system is the most lenient to rich people it's been since just after WWI, so I think they can afford to pay a bit more.

The problem with that is that, in our current political system, politics is mostly a hobby for rich people because the cost of entry is so huge - much more than national median salary for each and every candidate in each and every seat at a general election - and most turkeys don't vote for Christmas.

TL;DR we're fucked in so many ways; and solving the problem of racism (& other prejudices) is going to be hard, and we have literally everything from the current crop of politicians and media down stacked against us.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

* when they say this, they never mean MY genuine concerns about immigration, which boil down to "holy shit, blaming everything on immigration doesn't half increase racism"
** @pseudomonas has been doing that this very morning, I see

About This Blog

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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