Saturday, 26 November 2016

Fidel Castro dies

At the age of 90.

I suppose he figured it was time to go, having lived to see the completion of his life long goal - the utter devastation and humiliation of the United States.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

This isn't funny any more

Looks like the USA is going to have the Presidency, the House of Representatives and the Senate all under Republican control. That means Trump can actually DO STUFF. This never was funny. But now it is really not funny any more.

Thank you, America

For putting this chump in the White House:
We should be focused on clean and beautiful air-not expensive and business closing GLOBAL WARMING-a total hoax! -Donald J. Trump, 2013
This is why we should be very angry with Americans. All of them. Especially the deomcrats, who must have searched long and hard to actually find a candidate who could actually lose to Trump.

Though that is perhaps unfair. Clinton didn't lose to Trump. Clinton lost to Clinton. Her twenty five years of baggage, and twenty five years of smears, doomed her.

If anything, it should be the other way round. The Republicans should be congratulated on finding a candidate in Trump who almost managed to lose to Clinton.

America, what are you doing?

Looks like three very tight races in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. 58 college votes up for grabs across those states, enough to win it for either candidate. Though Trump is ahead, marginally, in three.

Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, have we told you lately how much we love you?

Come on, Michigan the WORLD expects - nay, requires - you to do the right thing.



The ghost of Warren G Harding will be lookin on with interest, to see if here at last is the candidate who will nudge him off the bottom of the rankings of American presidents.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Guido Fakes

So the other day, the slightly-better-known-than-me-blogger Guido Fawkes aka Paul Staines aka a big fat Tory FIBBER posted a big fat Tory Fib about this Brexit thing that has happened while I have been Otherwise Engaged.

The tl/dr version of his post is that people who didn't like Brexit were big fat liars because they had predicted the end of the world would commence the day after the referendum and when this didn't happen (because in the strange world Staines inhabits, the pound hasn't relentlessly tanked) and now the Remoaner fibbers are trying to say that they never actually said that at all and the End of the World would kick off after Britain actually left the EU blah blah blah, and this was all lies, lies I tell you!

He produces DEVASTATING documentary evidence to back up his claim - a report issued by HM Treasury, no less, assuring us Brexit apocalypse would be 'immediate' and he quotes some absolutely DEVASTATING evidence to PROVE beyond a SHADOW OF A DOUBT that ALL REMAINERS are lying deviants who molest hedgehogs.  To whit:
This paper focuses on the immediate economic impact of a vote to leave and the two years that follow. Such a vote would change fundamentally not just the UK’s relationship with the EU, our largest trading partner, but also our relationship with the rest of the world. The instability and uncertainty that would trigger is assessed. 
The Treasury analysis in this document uses a widely-accepted modelling approach that looks at the impact of this uncertainty and instability on financial markets, households and businesses, as our economy transitions to a worse trading arrangement with the EU. 
I am grateful to Professor Sir Charles Bean, one of our country's foremost economists and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, who has reviewed this analysis and says that it “provides reasonable estimates of the likely size of the short-term impact of a vote to leave on the UK economy”. 
The analysis in this document comes to a clear central conclusion: a vote to leave would represent an immediate and profound shock to our economy. That shock would push our economy into a recession and lead to an increase in unemployment of around 500,000, GDP would be 3.6% smaller, average real wages would be lower, inflation higher, sterling weaker, house prices would be hit and public borrowing would rise compared with a vote to remain. 
He even draws red oval shapes around some bits of it, a skill I have yet to evolve.  But, I mean, why would you need red oval shapes when the evidence is so DEVASTATINGLY PROOFY as that?  The Remainers predicted the End Of Times would be IMMEDIATE after a VOTE FOR LEAVE and - well, the GDP figures released the other day show growth of 0.5%.  GROWTH.

Only, yeah, Paul Staines is a big fat Tory FIBBER so it will come as no surprise at all to learn that this is just a big ol' FIB.

I mean, he didn't invent it or anything, the paper exists.  Though, curiously, Mr Staines doesn't link it on his bloggy-woggy or anything, because that might result in some people stumbling across the truth or something and Ol' Stainy doesn't want THAT.

Unlike Stainsey, I'm happy to linky.

Because here's the thing.  The paper he is quoting is a legit paper released by Her Madge's Gummint and everything.  But the bit he's quoting is a bit written by the former Chief Idiot To The Treasury, Mr Gideon "Call Me George" Osborne himself, a man whose occupancy of the office of Chancellor was somewhat akin to a stalker's relationship to romance - he isn't wanted, he doesn't get it, but he won't go away.

So enough of George, because it isn't nice to kick a man while he's down (a lesson that the Tories never learned) and back to Paul Staines.

Like I said, Mr Staines makes a bi deal of the words 'vote to leave' which are prefaced by immediate and OHMIGOD it looks soooooooooo bad, until you actually look at the original report.  The bit written by the experts who knew what they were talking about, I mean, not the bit written by the Gidiot in Number 11.  Because then you discover that - unfortunately for Stainsey - when grown up economist people (as distinct from moron bloggers) use words like IMMEDIATE they don't mean RIGHT NOW.

If Staines had bothered to read a bit beyond the foreword written by Gideon Osborne he'd have found this out for himself.

'coz if he'd read only as far as PARAGRAPH FRIGGIN' FOUR of the Executive Summary (and who really reads beyond the Executive Summary?) the Stainsinator would have learned that when those clever economicky type people use words like IMMEDIATE they have a bit of a special meaning that is lost on both him and on Gideon:
The analysis in this HM Treasury document quantifies the impact of that adjustment over the immediate period of two years following a vote to leave. Such a vote would trigger a redefinition not only of the UK’s economic relationship with the EU and the rest of the world, but also of much of the UK’s domestic economic policy, regulatory and legislative framework. A vote to leave would cause an immediate and profound economic shock creating instability and uncertainty which would be compounded by the complex and interdependent negotiations that would follow.
"The immediate period of two years," GEDDIT??

So, yeah, what do you make of that, Staines, you big fat Tory FIBBER?

Of course, its not Paul's fault that George Osborne was almost as useless a writer of forewords as he was a Chancellor.  But the evidence was all there in black and white and all he had to do was read it and be honest.  He massively failed on one of these counts.  Because if you look beyond the Wise Words of Gideon's foreword, you'd have to be pretty damn thick not to realise that when the EXPERTS (as distinct from idiot bloggers) used the term immediate they meant a two year time scale.

They even have a section called, "Part 3: Modelling the immediate impact on the public finances of a vote to leave the EU," (page 74) which is examining the impacts through to 2018. Which is two years away. 'Immediate' appears to cover the period from the vote up until exiting, working on the assumption that Cameron stuck to his word and triggered Article 50 pretty much immediately after a referendum.

Which possibley suggests a worrying lack of scientific rigour on the part of the authors, because, you know, Tories and their word ...

But, anyhoo, either oor man Stainsey did not bother to read the report before ranting his branes on the interwebs; or he is a klutz who did not understand what he read; or he is a Big Fat Tory FIBBER who understood it and decided to misrepresent it to the readers of his blog, because, you know, the truth isn't much good if it doesn't advance the Tories.

Which was it, Paul?

Monday, 3 October 2016

Obnoxious Nicky Cohen

I break my long and mysterious silence merely to draw everyone's attention to an egregious piece by right wing lefty Nick Cohen in The Guardian / Observer:
The Daily Mail might have compiled the far left’s hitlist of Labour MPs. Seven of its apparent deselection targets are women: Angela Eagle, Jess Phillips, Stella Creasy, Louise Ellman, Anna Turley, Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth. Of these, Angela Eagle is an out lesbian and Louise Ellman, Ruth Smeeth and Luciana Berger are Jewish. Most are young by the standards of politicians and nasty old men have always enjoyed humiliating young women with ideas of their own. 
The Corbyn gun club does not only have women at the end of its firing range. A list of MPs Jeremy Corbyn claimed had been abusive towards him included many men. But when Labour activists talk of the men most likely to be deselected the list narrows to three: Neil Coyle, Wes Streeting and Peter Kyle. Wes Streeting and Peter Kyle are, since you mention it, gay.
Well, it is nice to see Nick is really making an effort to unite and heal divisions!

Note the language: 'the far left's hitlist'; the 'Corbyn gun club' and women 'at the end of its firing range.'  This is the language of violence, shameful after the murder of Jo Cox.

Note also the mention of a list.  What list?  Does he mean the list of MPs alleged to have been abusive or disrespectful towards Corbyn or his supporters?  It can't be, because that list does not mention Angela Eagle, Stella Creasy, Louise Ellman, Anna Turley or Ruth Smeeth.  What list is it, Nick?  You can't just claim - in the very first line of your article - that there is a hitlist, name the names on it and then not actually produce the hitlist.  If you want to make up any old shit you like, quit the Guardian column and get a blog.  You've said there is a list.  Produce it, please.

Note the description of Corbyn and his inner circle as 'Nasty old men' - is this really the language of grown up discourse, Nick?  And the headline (which Cohen may not have been responsible for) repeats this unjustified, childish smearing.  'Good and Brave' Labour MPs need to be defended.  From the 'Nasty old men' (Why do you hate old people, Nick?) who are presumably also bad and cowardly.

(Nick then goes on to lay into Shami Chakrabarti, writing off the investigation she conducted into antisemisim in the Labour Party as a 'sick joke of an “inquiry” into left antisemitism.'  Sorry, Nick, what were you saying about nasty old men humiliating young women (you patronising fart!) with ideas of their own?

He doubles down on this by commenting how 'the Livingstone left accuses Jews of always raising fake claims of antisemitism to silence criticism of Israel.'  the emphasis on 'always' is Cohens, by the way, not mine.

Ken Livingstone is, of course, a dickhead who has said many stupid things over the years, often about Israel.  But I doubt Livingstone has ever accused 'Jews' (nice bit of elision there, Nick) of 'always' making false claims.  Cohen may have strayed into libel here, if Livingstone is in a litigatious mood.  I'm not sure he will appreciate his name being used in such a manner.

(For what it is worth, the 'Livingstone Formulation' Cohen mentions earlier does not refer specifically to Jews, or claim that it is always being deployed.  In 2006, Livingstone said, "For far too long the accusation of antisemitism has been used against anyone who is critical of the policies of the Israeli government, as I have been."  No mention of Jews there, Nick, you naughty boy!  I suppose adding 'Jews' into the paragraph added a bit of emotive colour.  Because no-one, quite rightly, likes people who bash Jews.)

Nick finishes with a curious flight of fantasy where he contemplates what  'Emily Thornberry, Diane Abbott and the rest of Corbyn’s prominent women supporters' should be saying. (One would have thought a 'nasty old man' like Corbyn would not have 'women supporters.'  It must be some sort of Stockholm Syndrome.  Why else would they stand by someone who delights in 'humiliating young women'?)  It includes the bizarre claim that deselection of these women must be an act of misogyny:
Even though Jess Phillips and Stella Creasy are my opponents, it would be intolerable for them to lose their seats to misogynist enemies, just as it would be intolerable for antisemites to drive out Ruth Smeeth and other Jewish MPs.
Note how Cohen is deploying his own version of the Livingstone Formulation.  Any criticism of the likes of Eagle, Phillips, Creasy, Ellman, Turley, Berger and Smeeth (the names he mentioned earlier) can not be for genuine reasons around competence or simple dissatisfaction; it has to be the result of misogyny or antisemitism (why not both, Nick?).  Impressively, Cohen manages to libel the candidates replacing these MPS, characterising them as 'misogynist enemies' and 'antisemites' before they have even been selected, or the sitting MPs even deselected, or even before any move has been made to deselect them.  Talk about demonisation.  This is pre-demonisation.  If any of these MPs stand down or are deselected, Cohen has already proclaimed whoever replaces them a misogynist or antisemite.

There is lots more.  Berserk religious imagery (Corbyn is Pilate.  Does this make Owen Smith Jesus Christ?), references to the French revolution and Stalinism.  It is a genuinely strange piece of vitriol, more appropriate to some obscure little blog (unlike Cohen, who comes across as a rather nasty old man himself, I have a trace of self awareness), not the pages of a major newspaper.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

"Invoke Article 50 now!" - Corbyn

One of the persistent criticisms encountered about Corbyn is that he surprised his own party by calling for article 50 to be invoked immediately.

I assumed he actually had done so, but digging around, it is hard to confirm. There are lots of places saying he said it, but the actual video evidence has proved elusive.

Labour List gives a transcript of what he said:
“The British people have made their decision. We must respect that result and Article 50 has to be invoked now so that we negotiate an exit from European Union.

“Obviously there has to be strategy but the whole point of the referendum was that the public would be asked their opinion. They’ve given their opinion. It is up for parliament to now act on that opinion.

“Quite clearly negotiations must take place. There must be the best deal possible in order to ensure strong industries in Britain stay strong and strong industries that have big export markets protect retain those export markets. But we are in some very difficult areas. That’s obvious to everybody."
Interestingly, Labour List glosses his remark as calling for Article 50 to be trigger "immediately."

But I am not sure that is actually what he says at all.

I suppose it depends on if he said that crucial 'now' with emphasis. But it reads like he means, "Now we have to invoke article 50," rather than, "We have to invoke article 50 immediately."

I am a bit surprised that the evidence of his evil ways are not being replayed constantly, a sort of British Zapruder film.  But I can't find it anywhere, thus far.  It's almost enough to make you wonder if there is something afoot, a desirable impression to be created which awkward reality doesn't quite fit with ...

In other words, yet another one of the endless spin operations being deployed by his enemies within the party?