Isn’t it a little sad when what worries you the most in today’s news is the colour of your passport and its provenance?
Hungry kids; lowest pensions in the world; food bank Britain; police taking days to answer 999 calls; hospitals in crisis; the Archbishop of York having more say about the future of the Scottish parliament’s powers than the elected government of Scotland?
The fact that a French-Dutch company can make their iconic blue passport (which will look exactly the same as every other passport in the world because they need to be standardised from Chile to Mongolia) at a better price than an English firm?
Scream, stamp your feet and have a conniption fit and a hissy fit all rolled into one?
Presumably government ministers are the new enemies of the people?
And while we are laughing at the Daily Mail’s pap: why does the queen have “courtiers”?
The MP from the 18th century, Jacob Rees Mogg, was going to protest at the UK government’s capitulation over fishing, by throwing a load of dead fish into the Thames.
That would have shown them. Well, it would have if it had been even half organised. (No, OK, it wouldn’t. Barnier would still have been laughing at the cheap comedy Jeeves and Wooster show.)
But, of course, like everything else they do, it wasn’t organised at all.
They had failed to obtain permission from “Transport for London” to dock and pick up Mr Rees Mogg, and, without permission, Mogg was unable to board… so he had to walk to parliament for a committee meeting instead.
However, docking permission was finally sorted out, and Nigel Farage was allowed to board and make the empty gesture in his stead. (Never let it be said that Nigel turned down the opportunity for a bit of publicity.)
But what is surprising is that Nigel cares about fishing so much.
Except, of course, where there is some publicity to be had. When it’s just boring old meetings, pffff…who cares?
So, in conclusion, it occurs to me that we live in a union of countries where well over a million people every year use food banks, and where others go hungry and cold.
And some very rich playboys with vast fortunes (and shares in Russian Banks) think that it is appropriate to throw perfectly good dead fish into the Thames instead of giving them to a food bank or soup kitchen drop-in centre where they just might alleviate that gnawing feeling of hunger that some kids live with day in day out.
Can we all take a moment to appreciate this lady? While filming today we spotted her walking through deep #snow drifts, offered her a lift, turns out she's a carer. She couldn't get a bus or taxi home from her nightshift and had to walk. She's 70. pic.twitter.com/nwERFJE4rF
If they can take school dinners from kids. They can do without too. Petition: Abolish the subsidy on food and drink in the Palace of Westminster restaurants.
It seems to me that if we are so hard up that the government can’t afford to pay for free school meals for kids from extremely poor families, we must surely also be too poor to subsidise MPs’ and Lords’ restaurants and bars. (Maybe if we didn’t sell them cheap booze they wouldn’t be completely incompetent?)
In 2016, the food subsidy in Parliament cost taxpayers around £3.7 million. This use of taxpayers’ money must stop and the funds diverted to public services where it is needed. MPs earn significant wages and citizens who themselves struggle to buy food should not be forced to help feed MPs as well.
It’s ironic that people earning £8,000 a year in England, will now not qualify for free school lunches for their kids. Of course, they won’t be paying income tax on that income, but they do pay VAT and duty. And so they are actually subsidising cheap food for MPs and Lords.
It’s almost unbelievable.
Let’s do our best to make them take some of the hardship they inflict on the rest of us. Let’s stop their subsidies.
It seems to me that the BBC is trying to make Jeremy Corbyn look like a Russian spy, just because he doesn’t accept, without question, Theresa May’s explanations for the poisoning in England. Was the hat blurred by photoshop (or something) to look more Russian? Or is the BBC still not very good with cameras and pictures and televisual stuff when it puts a photograph onto a backdrop of Red Square?
Now me, I haven’t got a clue who is responsible for this outrage on the streets of a quiet Engish town, and I really have no opinion.
How could I?
I know nothing about nerve agents, who has them, who can get them, where they are stored, how dangerous they are, what are the effects, how long they last, etc. I know nothing about the victims’ relationships with Putin or the Russian state. I know next to nothing about British relations with Russia.
What I do know, though, is that I don’t trust the British government.
Not ever, but especially not now, when they desperately need a distraction from the mess that is Brexit, health, prisons, law and order, state of the roads, the worst pensions in the world, 10,000 extra deaths this year in England’s hospitals, the mess that is their social security system, their computers that don’t work, people dying in the streets, being fined for not having homes, swept off the streets so that royals don’t have their posh eyes soiled by the sight of them, and from their seamless borders that are technically impossible and illegal under WTO rules… and so on and so forth, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.)
What I do know too, is that Tony Blair told us that Iraq had WMDs and that they could hit British Troops in Cyprus within 30 minutes. They had pictures. They monitored them daily from outer space. Proof positive. Dossiers, they had. Ask David Kelly… oh wait, no, you can’t.
The Tories (with shared Privy Council information) agreed with him. The Liberal Democrats, with the same information, did not. (The SNP had no Privy Councillors at the time, not having yet been in government, and could therefore not be consulted.)
No one cared what Kennedy thought though. The big boys were up for another war, which Blair had already promised to George W Bush, and which would cause hundreds of thousands of deaths and maimings, devastate economies and see the birth of ISIS with all that that meant.
And who was right?
Chic Kennedy was. There were no WMDs.
What I do know is that I wouldn’t trust this government of pathetic useless fourth raters to look after my wild mice for 10 minutes while I went to the corner shop!
Now maybe, they are bang on right about this. Maybe Putin did cause himself and his country a pile of grief to get rid of one man with nerve gas that could and would immediately be traced to its development in Moscow… and just before the world cup. Maybe he wasn’t satisfied with all the polls that showed him winning the upcoming election by a country mile. Maybe he thought he’d show the Russian public what a hard man he is. Because they don’t already know that.
Maybe he just couldn’t think of another way of killing this bloke from the few thousand different ways that are at his and his secret service’s disposal. Maybe he thought it was a good idea to use something that would point straight back at him. After all, he is an arrogant bastard, right?
And who knows, maybe just for once May has made a right call, instead of, as she habitually does, getting it disastrously wrong. It has to happen sometime.
I’ve no time for Putin. He’s probably as much of a murdering monster as they say.
I don’t know. How could I know?
And, given his narrow and ignorant attitude to Scotland, I’ve no great time for Corbyn.
But he is right to be sceptical about what May says. That is what an opposition does, or should do to any government, never mind the most incompetent government ever. Be sceptical. Opposition should demand that the government think twice.
Not that May’s government ever even thinks once.
Equally, I’ve no time for May and I will not buy into the “patriotic Brit” crap that is being thrown around at anyone who dares to call her out on this as if she never gets things wrong.
Maybe she’s right, and maybe she’s not. How would we know? But why would we trust her?
In photoshopping a Corbyn picture to make him look like a Soviet, the BBC has proved yet again that it is simply a tool of the Westminster government, and it has done it pathetically to try to make the rightly sceptical Corbyn look like he’s a Soviet. That’s not what the BBC is there for.