Thursday, 20 July 2017

Like rats deserting a sinking ship...

If you're a rat that happens to be reading this, and especially if you happen to be on a foundering vessel, I say go for it. Desert it. It's almost certainly the right thing to do.

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Thursday, 29 June 2017


Big horrible fire.  Corner cutting by cash constrained council. Lowest bids for the lowest strata. A tragedy waiting to happen. People told to stay in their flats. Rules now amended to "Don't stay in your flat if flames are coming in through the windows."

The dalek daleked, while Corbyn empathised with the residents.

Dalek as verb? I dalek. He daleks. We dalek. Daleking daleks dalek with a daleker. Verbing weirds language.

Flags at half mast. H.M.Govt pledges aid. Not everyone is mollified.

Kneejerk response. Get out and stay out! These things could go up at any moment! Examining cladding goes viral. First London, then Britain, then the whole damn world. The things are everywhere. Consternation reigns!

And that's more or less where we're up to so far. As the days and weeks go by, this will become yesterday's news (although the building itself will loom, stark and frightening, in the view of hundreds of thousands daily). I watched how the rightward end of the bits of the internet that I frequent decried left leaning posters for making political capital out of a tragedy, while some at least of the left did exactly that.

And quite right too. This tragedy happened as much because people weren't listened to as because of the combustible cladding. Can I cynically suggest that part of the reason the focus on the cladding has been so prevalent over the last few days or so is precisely because it draws attention away from the fact that people had voiced their concerns for several years prior to the fire but were not heard?

So it seems to me that if there was any time they would be listened to, it would be now. Instead, the message is being diluted. More and more noise is being added to the signal. Some deliberate, some just the inevitable passage of time and new events.

So get the cherry pickers and scaffolding out and remove the hazard. ASAP. It doesn't matter if they look a bit shabby for a while.

Ideally, leave people in their homes while you do it.

But also, please, change the culture that allows residents voices (and the voices of a thousand other tragedies*) to be rendered silent.

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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Hate? My Arse!*

The forces of Good almost prevailed. The dalek and her minions were zapped by Red Krytptonite, and although they survived, they're looking a bit unsteady on their feet. Think of the cartoon boxing match, where the underdog has somehow landed an uppercut fair and square on his opponent's chin, who, rocking and reeling, with tweety birds circling his head,  can now be sent crashing to earth by the merest flick of the little guy's pinky.

So it's not going to last for very long. We will be back to the polls in weeks, perhaps months.  If May is deemed too toxic, we might get an interim of BoJo. Won't that be fun?

The momentum is with not just Labour, but with the progressive left generally. If there was another election on Monday, I reckon Labour would win it, or at least would become the largest party. People have seen enough to shake off their cynicism and lethargy and Corbyn cannot now be discounted as not having the credibility to do the job. The media's relentless hatchet job was too much, and people couldn't reconcile the narrative (terrorist loving commie clown) with the impression they got for themselves. They switched off.  The louder the media screamed, the more the attack ads attacked, the less people were able to accept it. Labour meanwhile did almost no badmouthing.  This, I think, as much as anything, earned the respect of the undecided.

With the media discredited in the public mind, and the possiblility of change visible, a quick second election could see Labour with an overall majority.

I think too, that one area where they would gain a lot of seats is Scotland. I reckon a good deal of the support garnered by the SNP is not all that bothered by independence per se, but is looking for some alternative to the grey right wing consensus that has gripped these isles for so long.

 So if there is another election soon, much of the SNP's support will move to Labour, particularly in urban areas, and especially if the Scottish Labour Party mirrors the British party and moves leftwards.

Here's another thought.

Corbyn/Labour are moving the Overton window. What is seen as sane and common sense is slightly different to what it was a month or a year ago.


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A crowded place, a loud voice

shouts "GIVE US AN 'A'"

and instead of "A", you get...

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