Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Dear striking British workers: F___ You! Love, the Labour Party

 From the desk of Keir "Patriotic Duty" Starmer:

“We have robust lines. We do not want to see these strikes to go ahead with the resulting disruption to the public. The government have failed to engage in any negotiations.

“However, we also must show leadership and to that end, please be reminded that frontbenchers including [parliamentary private secretaries] should not be on picket lines. 

 “Please speak to all the members of your team to remind them of this and confirm with me that you have done so.”

 So, yeah, there you have it.  Adulate the queen and to Hell with the revolting proles.  It's satirically hilarious but unfortunately true.  We must tug the forelock to the monarch, because she's a nice old bird who has been around forever; we must not do anything as vulgar as acknowledge the historical roots of the Labour PArty in the union movement or show solidarity with workers in general.

Because that might make Labour less electable and thus jeopardise the job security of Mr Starmer and his allies.  Lenin wrote about the aristocracy of labour - the privileged workers in the developed world who were bribed with the 'overflow' of profits from low wage exploitation in the developing world, and so politically neutered and inclined to support the ruling class.  Here we've got the aritstocracy of Labour - lead by a genuine knight, no less! - marshalling the supposed parliamentary champions of the workers against the workers.

And so much for freedom of conscience or association.  Apparently not a concern in the Starmerite Labour party.

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Schadenfreude

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed the irony of Boris Johnson's desperate attempts to cling onto power.

I recall, almost immediately after Jermey Corbyn was elected, a bunch of memes based on the WW2 film Downfall, associating the mild manner Jermey Corbyn with Hitler in his final, lunatic delusional days, desperately trying to summon up armies that did not exist to resist the unstoppable hordes.


I am old enough to recall the aftermath of the 2010 election (after all I was blogging on a semi-regular basis then!) when people were gloating about how Gordon Brown would have to be dragged out of Downing Street, kicking and screaming, of course, in the end, Brown walked out of Downing Street having willingly pulled the plug on the Lib Dems attempts to try to wring concessions out of him he could not give.  

(His successor, of course, rather made a mess of things by making concessions he did not imagine he would ever have to give, only to find events have a way of blowing things up in your face, which is how we ended up with Brexit.  And Boris Johnson.  Cheers, Call Me Dave!)

Johnson, of course is a huge fanboy for Churchill, so it is bemusing to see him casting himself in the Hitler role, as his premiership enters in berserk bunker phase.

Friday, 3 June 2022

Go Away, You Ghastly Little Power Kissing Pipsqueak

 This makes me want to puke:

The Jubilee weekend isn’t just an opportunity for us to reflect on the 70 years since Her Majesty’s accession to the throne – although it will, of course, be that.

And it isn’t simply a chance for a country wearied by the extraordinary circumstances of the last few years to let its hair down – although it is, of course, your patriotic duty to do just that.

No, the first Platinum Jubilee in our nation’s history is a chance to celebrate a truly extraordinary Queen, to reflect on the difference she has made to her country and to consider what our Elizabethan age has meant – and what it will mean for our future.

This isn't Jacob Rees-Mogg or some other doublebarrelled myopic inadequate with a delusions as to wqhat century they exist in.  It's Keir Starmer the leader of the Labour Party and he's writing in The Telegraph.  The f%#king Telegraph.

The long process that began with Starmer's immediate post-election repudiation of the Corbynist legacy that he claimed to endorse while campaigning has been completed.  The Leader of the Labour Party is writing fawning pro-Royalist bilge in the most reactionary newspaper in the country and telling people how to be British, and implying that anyone who doesn't join him in an orgy of monarchist masturbation is unpatriotic.

There were so many signposts along the way - the refusal to support Rebecca Long-Bailey, the dishonest cliam that Corbyn's banishment was prompted by the EHRC report, every piece of 'alignment' with Johnson and the Conservative massif in the name of 'electability.'  Those were more important betrayals than this sickening piece of fawning he's penned.

But sometimes it's the symbolic moments that give the most clarity.

Sunday, 6 March 2022

Not surprising

Apparently "centre-right" National will undo all the "tax hikes" that were "imposed" by Labour since 2017:

On Sunday Luxon is giving a “state of the nation” address in Auckland, and it is understood that he will use the speech to announce that National will repeal every extra tax hike or effective tax increases the Government has imposed since Labour came to office in late 2017.

Luxon is expected to also use the speech to outline how the National Party’s centre-right principles can guide New Zealand through a post-Covid world.

What's offensive isn't the disingenuous nature of the implication Labour has raised taxed extravagantly - as opposed to trying to move tax levels back to within (distant) sight of sustainable levels.  It isn't even the signaling of a return to welfare bashing and attacks on state spending (except where roads are concerned.)  That's same old national, doing what National does.

Its the indication the media are buying into this narrative, accepting National's framing of the debate - it is a "centre-right" party and tax increases are "hikes" that were "imposed."

It suggests the media are looking to boost Luxon (why, God, why?) and try to make a fight of next year's election.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

What Omicron will be like ...

 I might not be very good at maths but I never bought into the developing "Omicron is the Covid we can live with" narrative.  I remember reading that Omicron was about half as likely to end you in hospital as delta was ... but, I thought, given it is several multiples more contagious, how does that help?  You still end up with more people in hospital and more deaths, even if your individual chances of not dying are better.

The figures from Britain confirm (Thank you, The Guardian) this half-baked idea of mine:


Nothing is as bad as the Alpha wave, but that's because of the mitigating effect of vaccines and willingness to stick (vaguely) to lockdown rules.  But note that Britain has just experienced two consecutive days where deaths almost hit 500.  In New Zealand terms, that would be about 30 deaths a day.

The other day, Britain reached the grim 150,000 deaths mark.  Do you remember the early days when experts were saying the country would be doing well to get through the pandemic with 20,000 deaths?  I think we can admit Britain has not done well.  As I remember it, the Alpha wave seemed to stick at about 45,000 for ages - then when Delta hit the numbers shot up.  I suspect we will see the same - the sheer number of people getting sick will mean more hospitalizations and deaths.  And on top of that there is the additional impact of absence on the economy, and of delays and cancellations on non-Covid hospitalizations.

Here in New Zealand, we've become pretty complacent again. We swatted off Alpha and seem to have knocked Delta out the ring.  But once Omicron gets loose in the community, there won't be much we can do to stop it other than another significant, rigidly adhered to lockdown and - it is unlikely the population will accept a third extended lockdown.  Its impact will be unlike either of the two previous waves.

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

I was, of course, completely wrong - we seem to be beating Delta

 A few weeks ago the government of New Zealand did something that seemed so egregiously stupid it spurred me out of my blogging lethargy and got me posting again.  I was furious at how they had decided to give up - as I saw it - in the face of the Delta outbreak and just let us 'take it on the chin' in Johnsonesque style.

Turns out I may have been wrong as we seem to be - perhaps, perhaps - about to squash Delta.

Just on time for Omicron.

Get boosted, people.

(And yes, I'm aware most people probably don't bother getting tested over Christmas, even when they feel sick, and this will have reduced the identification of cases.  But the over all trend has been indicating the virus  has been struggling to find purchase, in spite of the government's move away from elimination.  We'll probably see a spike in cases in a few days as people who would have been tested in the last few days come forward; we should try not to panic too much when that happens.)

Sunday, 19 December 2021

Conservative peer wants us all dead

 Says it all, really:

Lord Frost, who has led negotiations with the EU, is reported to have handed in his resignation letter to Boris Johnson last week. But the Mail on Sunday reported he had been persuaded to stay on until January.

The newspaper reported it was the introduction of plan B coronavirus measures, including the implementation of Covid passes, that prompted Lord Frost’s decision. It also said he had become disillusioned by tax rises and the cost of net zero policies.
He's essentially resigning because he's opposed to trying to stop people dying from COVID, having to pay more tax because of the costs associated with COVID and climate change response / mitigation.

In other words, he's happy for us all to suffer and die if it means his 'liberty' (i.e. wealth and associated privilege) are not impinged upon.

Because generally the wealthy will not have as rough a time of COVID - or climate change - as the rest of us.  Their privilege will insulate them from - more or less - from the ravages of the pandemic, in either the economic or health spheres.  They won't be stacked up in NHS hospitals, or struggling to find mney to pay rent, or worrying about their businesses collapsing.  Their main concern will be wether the bloody lockdowns or travel restrictions or - shudder - vaccine passports will affect their God given right to do whatever they bloody well choose.

Nor will climate change hurt them too much.  Again, wealth, power and privilege will insulate them and the won't be sweltering in poorly ventilated housing, or made homeless by flooding, or face the prospect of their home becoming worthless in the face of coastal erosion.  And they obviously aren't too bothered about the likelihood of it harming the prospects of their grand children or great grandchildren - so much for wealth cascading down the generations.  Because they are absolutely selfish.

Dear striking British workers: F___ You! Love, the Labour Party

  From the desk of Keir "Patriotic Duty" Starmer : “We have robust lines. We do not want to see these strikes to go ahead with the...