We’re all going to Die!!! – Part 2

With the European elections literally upon us I thought I’d take the opportunity to do a blow by blow through the political parties give my own political opinion on those parties and then finish off by telling how im most likely to vote (Given the availability of candidates in my area).

I’m in a bit of a difficult period of my life politically…not in terms of my affiliation. That’s easy. I would describe myself as a Left winger without a doubt. The difficulty arises in just how left wing I think I actually am. I first got into politics in the early 2000’s and having grown up in the north of England to a working class mother and a disabled but previously hard working father you’d think that they’d have drilled an affiliation into me from the off. And yet surprisingly they left me to find my own way for the most part. Which was kind of them though In hindsight I realize this is probably due to the fact that myself and they grew up around the arrival and departure of John major and the Rise of Blair and that, my parents having been raised to believe that the Labour party represented the people, had fallen for the Blair “Razzle Dazzle” hook line and sinker. And subsequently when the Iraq war happened they simply became disillusioned with politics on the whole and apart from the occasional Thatcher kicking never bothered to talk about it around me…

I would say I first properly became a fully active participant around  a year before the 2010 elections. Before that I’d been aware of politics…I’d followed it fleetingly and I knew the people I liked and the people I didn’t. it was the 2010 elections that set me into action because at the time the conservatives had a good chance of getting in and due to what knowledge I had at the time I knew if they did get in it would be a hell of time before they got out again (10 years and counting!) at the time I was still in latter day education but I tried my best to speak to as many people as I could about the dangers of voting conservative. There was a sweet girl I knew back then and her words rang like a death toll for me when I spoke to her about it. I asked her who she was going to vote for and she said “Im voting for the conservatives, they’re brilliant” I tried in vein to convince her otherwise…at the time I felt like I was living in a remake of “They Live” but instead of it being aliens it was bastards. Honestly I think it’s been a slow decline from there really…

I agreed with Kinnock at the time, I agreed with Blair for the most part at the time (Unaware of exactly what happened RE: Iraq until well after the fact) Brown I agreed with to a point, Milliband I considered radical. And I liked it…and then. There was Corbyn. And it was a bit like someone had pulled back the curtain to reveal a ton of options that had never been properly on the table before. It wasn’t so much that they were original ideas strictly…but they were policies that had only previously been offered by fringe groups, to hear it not only on the main political stage but that it was a viable option that had been costed and could equally actually be executed was like someone had connected directly with how I had been feeling. For years I’d voted either Labour or Green depending on who was standing or what atrocious acts were being committed. After Corbyn, I’ve been exclusively Labour.

At current I think I’d stop short of declaring myself an out and out socialist…I feel that’s a level of political affiliation that’s achieved rather proclaimed. And to that end I wouldn’t say I was a communist (Though I have been accused of that before now by a few people) I think Im quite far to the left…but I just cant quantify exactly where…I don’t know where my political identity properly sits at the minute…but honestly I don’t feel im really alone in feeling that way these days.

That leads us nicely into the European elections. For roughly 20 years we’ve utterly ignored it and now it’s come back to bite us on the arse like the crack in the side of our house we’ve been neglecting to the point that the house is on the verge of collapse. This ones quite an important one as it’s the last chance that the general public will have (Outside of a general election or a 2nd referendum) to tell the government and Europe at large exactly what we as the UK would like to happen in terms of our relationship with them both in the short and long term. So with that in mind I thought I’d pop my thoughts here both as a snapshot of my own thoughts at this time for reference (Because I cherish these so.) but also for anyone who would care what a random person on the internet thinks about the current shower of shite to grace our political spectrum. Im going to work from right to left because I feel that I have some bile I can spew right away that if I wait till the end of this blog may have dissipated by then. So!

 

(Oh yeh…this is going to be a musical journey)

UKIP: 12 months ago UKIP were dead. A party that was uninteresting until Nigel Farage got involved with them has now become the bannermen for the nastiest, vitriolic and cuntish kind to ever scar the face of this once beautiful land. This is in part due to Farage apparently being the lesser of two evils. Realising that racists, bigots and misogynists don’t often win the support of the majority, while he was never able to fully reign in the bastard force he was able to manage it better than anyone before or after him. When he left it created a power vacuum which has seemingly been filled by Ex-EDL member and all round Twunt Tommy Robinson who’s harnessed his connections within social media to pack the party full of uneducated and woefully pretentious youtube and twitter celebricunts such as Count dankula and Carl Benjamin (A.K.A: Sargon) in many ways I don’t know whats worse really that the party was dead 12 months ago and has somehow pulled itself back from the brink…or that it’s been able to pull itself back from the brink by filling itself with Xenephobes and White nationalists. Either way I sure as hell wont be voting for them. and unless I suffer an extremely severe brain injury that renders me incompetent I’ll be unlikely ever to. theres literally no incentive to vote for UKIP in these elections because…

 

The Brexit Party:  You’d think with a name like that I’d have put this on the furthest end of the right wing spectrum. But in all honesty from what experiences I’ve had with speaking from people affiliated with this party…they seem confused more than anything else. Genuinely their plans for what they want to do when they seize power seem to consist of:

Step 1: Get in power, leave with no deal ASAP.

Step 2: ???

Step 3: 1940’s Cockney Knees Up around the Johanna.

Which is funny because the EU elections will have almost 0 influence over Brexit and even less impact over the day to day legislation of this country…It mainly seems to be a protest vote party…and in much the same way that UKIP was destroyed the day the referendum result came in in their favour it’s fair to say that should this party get anything close to what it wants (Which is basically leave and nothing else)  that it too will be destroyed. Farage is once again working his magic to hide most of the more sordid elements of racism within this party (Its not really all that successful)

 

(This was arguably the weirdest thing I’ve seen in a very long time…let that sink in for a minute)

but they are (As of the time of writing) the most likely to win (Though I don’t think it’ll be quite the landslide people think it’ll be) and so theres a very real chance the message being sent to the EU from here would be a firm “We want out” which could prove quite unfortunate…

The Conservatives: They’re fucked. Right and royally fucked. As the government they’ve overseen some of the biggest falls in standards of living since wartime, they’ve killed thousands of people through cruel benefits means testing and embarrassing assessments (Both me and my partner have both been the victims of) and they’ve spent the last 3 years pissing up a wall and blaming everyone else for mistakes that they themselves are solely responsible for… and that’s only 2 of the many many many devastating things they’re personally responsible for over their 10 year rawdogging of the british public. We’re a country on the verge of collapse and it’s solely their fault. Anyone who supports them at this point is a cunt, deluded , selfish or so detached from politics that they literally don’t know it’s the tories that’ve been damaging the country beyond repair…which…if that’s the case…they probably shouldn’t be voting in the first place.

Change UK: So a few disgruntled Ex-Labour MP’s decided they wanted to try and dust of Blairism 2.0 and now we have this party…they have no policies (Other than they want to remain in the EU and they don’t like Jeremy Corbyn) they barely have a social media presence due to several issues with trying to secure their own name. and they don’t yet really stand for anything…I put them here purely because we don’t know what they stand for, they’re clearly not happy with a strong left wing ideology and they seem quite content with the center ground…it doesn’t help that the majority of their membership is made up of disgruntled tory MP’s who don’t like the conservatives current plan of just trying to leave with any deal they can muster.

The Liberal Democrats: pre their collaboration with the conservatives I almost considered voting for these shower of bastards at least once…then the coalition happened. Then the tripling of student fees happened, then the hollowness of all the things they promised for the last 2 elections happened…then Tim Farrow happened…then Vince “Mr. Burns” Cable happened…and finally then in 2017 the rampant attempt to demonise the labour party by any means necessary happened…and now I honestly have no feelings for the Lib Dems in any way shape for form. They’re nothing to me. they’ll always be nothing to me and I almost certainly will never vote for them for as long as I draw breath. In a twist similar to the Brexit party they’re seemingly running on a single platform which is to revoke article 50 and cancel Brexit. Which…I mean, is more in line with my own beliefs to a point. But then in the same breath they’ve said they’d happily form a coalition with the conservatives again over labour if they had the chance…so Fuck’em.

The SNP: I mentioned in my last blog that I Didn’t really know where the SNP stood…and that’s probably with good reason…I live in the north of England, I’ve never voted for an SNP candidate and frankly unless I move further north Im unlikely to ever vote for one. They’re a Scottish only party…so what I see and hear from them tends to be reported to me via English journalism…which more often than not describes them as “Tartan Tories”  they seem somewhat more sincere than the conservatives and do genuinely seem to be striving for things that will make Scotland a better place on the whole…though quite how convicted they are to those decisions I susppose no one will really know until they get anywhere near a wider scale of power…So honestly…I don’t know…I don’t 100% trust them, they have a lot of good ideas…but I trust them more than any of them jizz weasles that I’ve mentioned so far.

Plaid Cymru: I have literally no idea…Literally haven’t the foggiest we here in England only ever hear from these lot during election  season and quite honestly non of the representatives I’ve seen have ever been charismatic enough to leave a lasting impression…they just seem like a fairly mild mannered inoffensive party…I don’t distrust them…but I don’t know enough about them to make a call on them in any way shape or form…they’re a gray party in every sense of the word. (for similar reasons I’ll be missing out the DUP and Sinn Fein…only the DUP are a bunch of absolute fucks)

The Labour Party: Currently paralysed by the mercy of it’s leader the labour party is in a mixed place right now. the majority of labour party members want at minimum a 2nd referendum on Brexit and at most it’s revocation. The leadership however is stuck in a game to try and maintain it’s strong leave base in the north with it’s strong remain base in the south. There are elements of Brexit that would suit a socialist agenda (Predominantly centred around the idea of re-nationalisation of public utilities) As a result it’s come across as a bit half hearted…even though realistically the idea of playing the long game to find out exactly what the best port of call in dealing with this is seems like the most sensible option. Not helping matters the party is still in the midst of Soul searching as a result of years of “New Labour” changes the party is full of Center left people when the parties front bench is considerably more left wing…as a result theres a healthy back catalogue of incidents of infighting and anti-semitism aligations (Some of which I must stress are actually true) that have allowed the party to appear to many as incompetent…I will concede this party has had problems over the last couple of years. Though at the same time I do distinctly feel like it’s moving in the right direction overall…it needs a few firmer stances but ultimately I think they’re the most realistic choices out of everyone I’ve mentioned so far to be votable.

The Green Party: Probably the most left wing group that has any chance of making gains in this election and usually my fallback vote when the entire systems been fucked. the greens are a sensible and fairly rational choice. They have decent leadership  though while I agree with most of their policies that I’ve heard so far. I wouldn’t be the first person to accuse them of maybe being a bit fanciful in their requests…not that they’re wrong in what they want to do. Quite a lot of what they’ve suggested would improve the planet, peoples lives and improve our preservation rates…I just think trying to ask our current crop of people to make the adjustments needed to meet their policies just wont realistically happen. I have voted for them in past and I never say never…unfortunately in my area they very rarely field these candidates…though they’re always a safe 2nd option whenever they do field.

Independents: Fucked if I know mate. They run a full spectrum of actually quite reasonable (But largely untested) candidates who may actually do a pretty good job given the chance, through to absolute lunatics who think that radio signals can be used as a form of mind control…no seriously im not joking…below is the (Genuinely real…as if I could make this shit up…) actual manifesto of the “Abolish the magna carta” party…which ran in 2017…AD.

Our Manifesto is thus:
  • The Unsigned Illegal document, The Magna Carta, will be Abolished.
  • As good business people, our Queen or King will be head of Government and will attend Parliament as required, or as they wish.
  • Abolish Magna Carta, Reinstate Monarchy Party, fully intends to Nationalize and make profitable the Coal Industry, Electricity, Gas, Water, BT, National Lottery, Royal Mail, Post Office, BBC & Railways.
  • Abolish Magna Carta, Reinstate Monarchy will stop All Foreign Aid, and use this money to pay toward the National Debt.
  • Age discrimination will be punished with imprisonment.
  • V.A.T. Returns are time consuming and costly to business. It will be drastically altered along with Import and Export Taxation.
  • Council Tax will be abolished.
  • Unions will be outlawed.
  • Income Tax will be rearranged to make it fair to all and sundry.
  • Employment Law will be reduced to give Employers their right to choose whom they employ and how much each employee is paid.
  • Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay, and Sick Pay will be abolished.
  • Employment linked Pensions will be abolished, and Employees will be encouraged to make their own Retirement Savings Plans.
  • Maternity Leave will not guarantee future employment.
  • Government Pensions will be paid only to those who work and pay National Insurance Contributions.
  • The Workhouse will be reinstated for vulnerable people.
  • Grammar Schools will return. Sex education will be abolished.
  • All Schooling and Education will be paid for by parents.
  • All Police Officers will pass tougher exams before recruitment.
  • Many Royal Mail workers will be recruited from Ex Servicemen.
  • Nuclear Power will be banned.
  • Fracking will incur imprisonment.
  • Laws, Courts, and the Prison Service will be reformed.
  • All Benefits to Asylum Seekers and Immigrants will be stopped, and All will be repatriated back to their country of origin, All other Nations will be encouraged to repatriate their English, Welsh, Irish.
  • Asylum Seekers, Immigrants, Their Ancestors & Descendants will be removed from
  • All Banks, NHS, Government & All Security positions.
  • Human Rights Laws will be abolished.
  • Churchill will be charged with Treason and causing the deaths of thousands of little German School Children when he bombed Dresden.
  • The ethnic origins of All members of Government will be checked.
  • The Israeli terrorist Karl Marx will be charged with Treason and causing the Paris Revolution and the end of the French Monarchy.
  • Blair family Assets will be confiscated & paid to Hussein’s family.
  • Compensation will be paid to Dwarves created by Thalidomide.
  • Dentists, Optitions & Hearing Specialists will be taken out of the NHS. Doctors & Surgeons will have pay reductions, & many restrictions as regards dangerous medications to patients.
  • All child Benefits will be abolished to restrict society burdens.
  • Every Nation on this planet needs Ethnic Cleansing as the terrible Israeli Karl Marx, Winston Churchill, Sigmund Freud, Abu Hamza etc., proves.
  • Radio, TV, Films, Writers & Reporters will be regulated.
  • The Death Penalty for anyone using a Radio Signal to kill or control another human being or animal, except in warfare.
  • All Pornography, Homosexuals, Transvestites etc. will be removed from Films, Plays, Radio, Television etc.
  • Asylum Seekers, Immigrants & their descendents will not be allowed to own or work in any British Radio, TV, Newspaper or Magazine.
  • Asylum Seekers, Immigrants & their descendents will not be allowed to work in any food preparation, Medicine or Pills or Vaccines manufacture or preperation, to prevent sabotage.
  • Chemical Castration for Paedophiles and Murderers.
  • Asylum Seekers & Immigrants, their ancestors & descendents, must not be allowed to assess or check any school, college or university exams in the UK as this may be detrimental to Welsh or English students.
  • All Company Law will be drastically altered in favour of the Employer.
  • Unemployment Benefit claiment time will be cut to a minimum.
  • All disabled parking spaces will be banished.
  • Blue Badges will be obsolete and cancelled.
  • Housing Benefit will be discontinued.
  • All Irish Traveller sites will be closed, and All Irish Travellers, their ancestors and descendents will be repatriated back to Ireland.
  • We will Not sell Arms to other nations.
  • The British Armed Forces will be for our defence of the UK only
    British Armed Forces will Not interfere in other nations disputes.
    The British Armed Forces will Not train other nations in warfare.
  • British Armed Forces can be hired, Payment first, at their discretion, to help in natural disasters, rescues, etc, as they see fit.
  • British Armed Forces will be manned by indigenous English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Nationals only.
  • Judges will no longer be able to promote their friends, colleagues, or favourites to be judges. The vacancies will be applied for as ordinary jobs and an IQ test will be used to assess the suitability of the applicants.
  • Psychiatrists and Mental Health workers will have a higher IQ than the patients they pretend to be superior to.
  • Drug addicts will no longer receive free treatment via the NHS for their addiction.
  • The NHS will be abolished, along with all the scams that go with it.
(Fuck me…)

All I know is I very rarely if ever have ever considered them…and with an exception where one of my relatives ran at my local council I’ve never really voted for any.

So that’s a quite biased but general run through of all the parties I can be bothered to talk about, how will I be voting myself?; Well. It depends on how many candidates im allowed to vote for. Had this been any other type of election I’d have probably put a lot of thought into things and chosen people based on their merits. However; in the current climate tribalism is everything so I’ll most likely be voting Labour straight through in this election. If I can choose multiple candidates and the green party are on there, as a person who voted remain I feel like I may spare a vote for them too, But  i’d say im predominantly labour driven these days. But their stance on Brexit while reasonable does somewhat disagree with my own views which is that we should be trying to stay within Europe at all costs. And while I’ll never vote LibDem…I may be tempted to spare one for the greens because of this.

So happy voting day everyone. I hope you all go out and exercise your democracy in whatever way you see fit. If you dislike my opinions posted here…please remember that they are only my opinions and that im some twat on the internet…so don’t worry about me too much. Just get out this season and vote! And till the next election! I’ll be trying my best to keep my head down and hope this all. Just. stops.

(Yay…Democracy…I guess…)

 

 

We’re all going to Die!? – Part 1

I always debate doing political blogs. I’ve had a few ideas mooching around now for the last few months but ultimately they’ve always come across as a bit malformed or they wernt worth the potential controversy that publishing them would create. Not to mention that this is a Film website that predominantly deals with awful movies. But I am quite politically minded, it plays a part in my life and these blogs tend to be a bit more personal and a bit less filmy…so with that in mind and with the European elections rapidly upon us this seems like as good a time as any to take a general look over the political landscape.

(Speaks for itself)

This will of course be a biased breakdown because I think it’ll make for tremendously boring reading if I just impartially rattle through whats going on. So without further ado!

Overview:

We’re fucked.

Real Overview:

Okay, okay…well…being in the UK is pretty grim right now politically. Since the vote that must not be named In 2016 the media and even our current government have tried their absolute damndest to radicalise the people pressing for us to leave Europe. (Under the guise that those crazy liberals who’ve been ruining everything by being PC now want to press for us to stay in a system that’s taken away your bendy banana’s and want to ban conkers being played in school) While Simultaneously trying to splinter the people who want us to remain part of the European Union via demonization of certain politicians through the media and by giving off the appearance that some parties are “More in favour of remaining than others”.

The combined anarchy of the rabid frothing masses on both sides was entertaining at first but the more you dig into it the more deeply troubling it becomes. It’s effectively become a smokescreen to our democracy, with the majority of policies that arnt related to us leaving Europe being pushed to the back of the cue, while less savoury bills are passed under the radar without note. Party politics has taken center stage in a game of chicken where the loser is disintegrated. I could have written that overview at any time in the last 2 years but quite recently we’ve seen the launch of the…Ugh…”Brexit Party” led by Nigel Farage; the personification of the stereotypical corrupt politician bought to life. Hell I could dedicate an entire blog post just to his sordid and strange history but for your sanity and mine I wont here.

(#Suffering)

Note that I purposefully haven’t decided to assign Leavers and remainers “Right” and “Left” titling here and that’s because our leaving the European Union runs deeper than political affiliation. It’s a social issue more than anything else, it’s been dressed up, dressed down, simplified and purposefully complicated and yet no matter how much people pontificate about what it actually means the reality is that it boils down to 2 very clean cut issues that are:

*Do I want people from Foreign countries in my country

And

*Do I want people outside of my direct electoral control to tell me how to live my life.

Now. The former of those questions is just a clean cut question of racism. Considering we emigrate (345,000) out more people than we immigrate (283,000) in here in the UK this really shouldn’t even be an issue. But unfortunately it is… My own opinion is that while basic checks on anyone wanting to come into the country should be carried out there should be no limit to the amount of people who want to come in to or leave the UK. Equally I can understand the mindset of people who suggest setting a reasonable quota on immigration and emigration. I don’t necessarily agree with those people, but I understand them.

The people I don’t understand are the “Drawbridgers” the people who’ve been saying “Britains full” since about the late 70s and if anything have only got more isolationist since then. I also tend to bundle the “Unreasonable quota” people in with these lot too as they seem to believe that saying “Only allow 100 immigrants in” seems like any kind of a justifiable way to run a country. You’d think these kind of people were in small numbers but the reality is they’ve been steadily increasing over the last 4 decades thanks to the absolute Arse rag that is The Daily Mail fabricating stories about immigrants taking jobs, killing and raping people and generally being an shit trumpet to anyone who doesn’t vote conservative. Combining this with the recent rise of groups like “The EDL”, “UKIP” and individuals like Farage, Boris, Robinson and Reese Mogg.

(Group Selfie Guys!)

A lack of education and engagement and an unwillingness to try has ultimately left a large swathe of the public terrified of anyone non british through fear that they’ll either offend someone and face criminal charges, or that these people plan on stripping the country of anything that isnt nailed down. Which is of course ludicrous given that the british themselves are a mongrel nation in terms of our ethnic background.  But unfortunately until theres some kind of seismic shift in favour of getting to know thy neighbour it’s a mess that’s only going to get worse unfortunately.

The latter question is a bit more understandable but still falls down after the slightest bit of scrutiny. Politics in the UK as of 2019 is arguable one of the most fractured and diverse seen in this countries history since the world wars at least. If not earlier. And this is a problem. Under any other system of voting diversity would be fantastic. But due to a total lack of equal representation in our parliament it effectively means that we’re somewhat stuck in a two party system where it’s either a case of “Conservatives” or “Labour”, Blue or red and anything else doesn’t really matter unless we end up in a hung parliament in which case ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING MATTERS.

(You guys need to get into “It’s always sunny” if you havent already…it’s amazing)

As a result a lot of people feel terrifically unrepresented because while there is pretty much a party to suit every flavour and taste these days, your votes worthless because unless you vote for one of the two main parties noone else is likely to win. And even when smaller parties do make marginal gains, the government (who actually win generally) choose to ignore that because they didn’t win enough to actively challenge them. This is predominantly where the left find themselves. You have Labour, the lib dems, the green party, Change UK, Plaid Cymru and to a lesser extent the SNP (a party I still haven’t really got the full measure of, but that just seem a bit…off…)

Because there are 6 parties that would claim to “Represent the left” all on a sliding scale of “Socialist” through to “Well…We’re not the conservatives!” the biggest issue that the left has always faced is splintering of votes. In fact if even 3 of the more left leaning parties pooled their support together there would be an overwhelming majority left wing government in power right now (And this would have been the case for a majority of the countries history). Unfortunately due to infighting and disagreements over minutia this hasn’t happened in decades and is unlikely to happen any time soon. And as a direct knock on of this watering down of the votes it means that the left is in a perpetual nightmare of forever wanting to change things for everyone for the better but being too principled to sacrifice any ground to anyone who doesn’t agree with them entirely on even the smallest policies.

The Right by contrast don’t tend to have that issue as much. They have the inverse issue really. They actively want to make their own lives and the lives of the immediate people around them better while sacrificing any ground they can to ensure that happens to the further right but not an inch to the left. anyone else? Well they can “Get fucked”. The current government is the right wing “Conservative party” and their biggest issue at the minute (And one that seriously threatens to demolish them) is 2 fold.

*The Rise of the “Brexit party” and “Ukip” has started to leech them voters in droves. Because:

*There current policy on leaving the European union has gone down about as well as a turd in a swimming pool with the far right of the party leaping over to “BP” and “Ukip” while the more middle ground of the party have fled to the Lib Dems.

Why is their plan such a bad one? That’s down to how brexit was defined in the referendum. The binary “In or out” approach has ultimately led to people claiming they voted for every shade of brexit feasible. People voted for unicorns and are now mad that they didn’t get the exact unicorn they were promised (Even though no unicorns were ever described to these people). As a result the conservatives (Tories to our US readers) are effectively frozen in an even worse perpetual nightmare than the left. petrified to do anything firm lest they accidentally cause an uprising of people who want to leave or people who want to stay. On the one hand they face a revolution that will likely see them out of power near permanently and the installation of pure facism at the heart of government. On the other they see an uprising likely to completely segment the country, equally destroy them near permanently probably resume some level of peace and ensure arguments are had back and forth about what is to be done for generations.

How does this tie into the second point I raised earlier? Well the people who no longer wish to be part of Europe who claim that it isnt a racist thing usually point to the fact they don’t want to be “Bullied by Brussles” the idea being that they don’t like the idea of being told by bureaucrats in Europe what they can and cant do in Britain. They believe the UK should govern itself in the sense that the only people who should be allowed to make the rules are the government, the queen and sometimes the public (Unless the public give the wrong answer…whatever the hell that means) and that “Unelected” representatives are converse to british values. Forgetting of course that we do have elected representatives in Europe and that theirs literally a vote on who gets to go in next week (the 23rd of may)

This has been a long misunderstood element of Europe. We have MEP’s…people who represent us in the European parliament, who are (In principle) supposed to carry british interests at heart. The problem is in typical british style, noones been bothered about them until this one that’s coming up. Most people didn’t bother voting in them in the past and as a result for the best part of a decade  (If not 2 decades at this point) we’ve allowed the ardent Europhobes to conquer these elections on a regular basis. And as a result we’ve been sending a violently anti EU party (UKIP) to represent us in Europe… and you can imagine how well that’s gone down over the years.

To that end, we as a nation have pretty much spent 15-20 years refusing to work with Europe in favour of working against them, purposefully proposing changes to legislation that will only benefit a few of the wealthiest in society and effectively giving them the finger whenever they ask anything of us. We have only ourselves to blame for the utter disdain Europe has for us from a political standpoint.

Am I going to say the European union is faultless? No. it has issues and there are corruptive elements at play. But our own government make them look like choir boys in comparison and ultimately I’d say it’s better to try and rectify issues while working with Europe, than to say “Au revoir” and get into a system under a conservative government that’s shown to be actually fatal to people…as in the government are aware they’re killing people…but are choosing to do nothing (Or almost nothing) about it.

The Reality of the situation is that years and years of persecuting minorities have finally taken their toll on the very government who attempted to weild it as a weapon. Like a version of the Midas touch but instead of gold it’s turds everything any party currently tries to do now is set to cause pain suffering and trouble for anyone involved one way or another…

Or to put it more succinctly. We’re Fucked. At least for now.

(Well…things cant get much worse…)

I intended to actually go into detail about the European election parties and how I was going to vote in this blog but I got so distracted on the backstory that I actually never got round to it…so in the next blog I’ll pretty much be talking about that. Bye!

 

Fourscore and 4 seasons ago…

So this one may be a bit disjointed. Mainly because at the minute I’m leading quite a hectic lifestyle trying to rebalance my home/work life. It’s now July the 9th and today’s been one of the hottest days in my area for a while. At this point I’m on the cusp of finally aclimitising to it…which is a pity because I know in the next fortnight or so we’re going to go right back to the sludge fueld rain filled drudge that is british weather.

(Actual footage of me everyday for the last 2 weeks)

Yesterday was a pretty productive one in all honesty. I finally tackled some of the prep work for the Halloween specials I have planned for this year and I managed to do a bulk recording of packaging shots for upcoming episodes (I’m now pretty much up to date till early December which is nice).

(It was a satisfying if not burny experience)

 

One of the bigger things I did yesterday though involved something I’ve been meaning to do now for a very long time. And it’s one of those things that’s been playing on my mind pretty much since the 2nd season of my show started. We need to talk about “fourscore 2”. Now I dont expect very many of the people reading this to know what “Fourscore 2” is…hell even the people who should know about “Fourscore 2” sometimes dont know about “Fourscore 2”. it has a fairly long lasting history in british broadcasting though it’s often overlooking in favour of it’s Younger, Bulkier much more memorable brother.

So. The year is 1982 and Channel 4 is gearing up for it’s big launch. it had been almost 20 years since the last channel launch happened with the fractured beginnings of what would later amalgam into ITV. As a result 4 wanted to do something drastically different. they didnt want to be seen as just another stuffy, conservative whiffing, stiff upper lip of a channel. They wanted to be seen as cool, modern and hip. the original ideology for channel 4 sounds almost otherworldly by modern standards. indeed if they ran with there original plan in modern times it would probably have crashed out of the listings about a week into broadcasting. This is because Channel 4’s opening gambit was to run on a diet of Art house films, documentaries from around the world, american imports, alternative comedy and music. It was brilliant. Oh it was pretentious, it was hipster well before it’s time. but theres something about a channel where I can watch The Smiths over my morning cereal, “Dream Stuffing” during my supper and “Letters from a dead man” while in a semi drunken stupor at 3 in the morning that just makes me fall in love with the concept of a “High art” terrestrial television channel. I mean…it wasnt faultless…when it worked it worked brilliantly…but art is a fickle thing and sometimes what reads as a good idea on paper can have awful and terrifying ramifications once broadcast…

(Yes this was a show that actually went out on television…Yes. One day I will cover this…And yes im now on a register for having watched it…)

 

But I digress; To coincide with this major event Channel 4 wanted an ident theme that sounded grand, bold, fresh. Something that would drag television kicking and screaming away from the somewhat classically royal theme tunes that had come before it. And in doing so they ended up recruiting one David Dundas (Of Blue Jeans fame) in to help score the music that would define the channel. And he knocked it clean out of the park. Because in 1982 Channel 4 launched with “Fourscore” and if you dont believe me that it was a bloody impressive piece of music here’s how it went out at the time.

(BEHOLD YOUR NEW MASTERS AND QUAKE WITH FEAR!)

its a very impressive track with some serious studio work behind it. if you want some idea of how well received it was, well, it’s still being used to this day (Albeit in a slightly remixed form) but what of “Fourscore 2”?. Well. As far as im aware Dundas isnt capable of just knocking something like “Fourscore” out of the park in one take and there were several variations of Fourscore that were brought into existence before we landed on the iconic theme thats hung around on 4 now for the best part of 36 years.

One of these variations is “Fourscore 2” effectively a somewhat more Jazzy version of “Fourscore” that managed to escape the cutting room floor, it did so by ending up as the “Go to” music for whenever Channel 4 had technical difficulties or, for a brief stint in the mid 80’s, it was used to fill in air time when an industrial dispute meant that Channel 4 couldnt show adverts so instead they ran with a somewhat seething holding card slagging off the unions for daring go on strike at the detriment of the channel.

(Hey…I can live with a lack of capitalism in my adverts…jussayin)

It was also later saved by Dundas himself as “Fourscore” grew in popularity it was eventually issued as a 45 vinyl under a pseudonym “The Airwave Orchestra” and y’know what was the B-side to that 45? Yep. Fourscore 2. Now. I cant lie and say that I’d always been a fan of Fourscore 2…in fact it was only around 10 years ago that I first started actively watching channel idents and listening to test card music (It sounds better than it reads I can assure you…also for anyone who’s curious the answer is “the 90’s Central idents” and “For the good times” by Graham Preakett) but theres something about Channel 4’s idents and music and in particular “Fourscore 2” that just draws me to it. I think it’s probably because it’s so representative of the time it was made really…you’ll struggle to find a more 80’s sounding test card track than “Fourscore 2” it’s upbeat and whimsical and while I can understand why they went with the original “Fourscore” for the channel itself…I equally have to say that to me. Fourscore 2 blows fourscore out of the water.

(Ohhhhhh yesssssssss…*Covers up crotch area*)

So in 2017 when I was first planning my youtube channel and my videos I had no idea how long I’d be going for, nor did I really think about the long term layouts and styles of my videos. So when it came to assembling the first few episodes I just needed some music to open each episode that was inoffensive, upbeat and reasonably easy listening. my answer was to dust of Fourscore 2. Now as a filmmaker myself I realize that in using fourscore 2 im breaching copyright. But at the time I assumed I’d probably do my youtube channel for a couple of months, get bored and drift off…I almost certainly didnt think I’d still be here a year and a bit later with a website and various social media links. I realised pretty much halfway through season 2 of youtube videos that I really should consider moving to something a bit more copyright friendly…Channel 4 have a habit of striking videos with worldwide blocks and the last thing I needed was to have half my videos removed, so I decided to try and find someone to cover Fourscore 2 or do a soundalike (Because I Really do love it’s composition)…2 seasons later and not much has changed. Until this week. This week I finally started writing season 5, and I couldnt let fourscore 2 continue…I really couldnt. If copyright wasnt an issue it’d be seeing me well right up to season 55…but at this point I need to protect my channels content and I needed to be able to go forward with something copyright friendly and similar in tone.

So. Armed with Garage band and a midi keyboard. I set about re-recording Fourscore 2. I’ll be honest. it’s not as good as the original. I tried my very best but im an amateur musician at best and David Dundas is…well…David Dundas. It came out better than I expected but thats not saying much. Im happy with it and for me it does the job. But this season will be the last one to use fourscore 2. I’ll miss it in all honesty. but im sure you all can appreciate my position on this one and that you’ll learn to love the new theme in September in the same way I myself fell in love with Fourscore 2 the first time I heard it. it wont be wrong…just different…at least thats what I keep telling myself…

(Yeh…its far from perfect…but for a 15 second sting it’ll do the job…)

 

EDIT: As an additional; if you are interested in learning more about Channel 4 then you simply must watch Applemasks documentary on the history of the channel, he’s funny, witty and bang on the money in covering every minute detail of this channels long and winding history from Arty/hipster repository to Reality TV bin and beyond in every shade colour and hue, seriously. Check him out. he’s ace.

(One day I’ll cover Channel 4 schools in detail…one day…)

Socialist Training wheels (Part 1) The Quickening

This one’s going to be a political blog. I kind of feel like I should open with that kind of a statement whenever I talk about politics in general partly because I feel like if I didn’t mention that this was a political posting that people would immediately dive into posts like this, get violently triggered and take it out on both me and my channel. But also because I realise there are some people out there who really don’t care that much for politics and don’t want it to get in the way of a good cult movie.

So consider this a “Trigger” warning. Not because Im going to say anything particularly controversial; But rather because if you don’t want to know my political affiliation, if you don’t care or if you think it would change your opinions of me fundamentally mentioning it now will give you ample time to click away or go and do something different. As it stands it’s a boiling hot Sunday night on the 6th of May, I have a white rum and Dr Pepper on the go as I write this, and I’ve spent the day pretty much getting my house straight as the bank holidays are really the only time I have to do that kind of thing. Last night me and my partner watched “Liquid Sky” and “A nightmare on elm street” the former was very strange and about as erotic as a cold cloth to the gunnels the latter was like stepping back into a well worn pair of shoes. What im trying to say is if you don’t want to faff around with hearing me waffle on about pie charts and various other political bits and pieces I highly recommend you go and check those films out. Let me know either in the comments here or on Facebook or my Youtube channel if you do go and watch them. I’d genuinely love to hear what you thought of them…

(My comments sections after this blog post gets read by anyone who cares)

…Right; So Im assuming if your reading this your invested. Good. So, a bit about myself. I was born in the North of England, my father was disabled (blind in one eye, damaged spinal cord and he’s missing a kneecap) and my mother worked minimum wage jobs up until about 10 years ago when she finally moved into a position she currently works in that pays above minimum wage and is very happy with. I’ve never known true struggling but I realise that my parents have done there absolute damndest to both protect me from that and to build the lives they currently have, and im incredibly grateful that they’ve given me the life they have. In many ways they’re both an inspiration to me. They had no handouts, they had no help and they’ve made themselves a very comfortable existence. They never talked to me about politics and I spent a good chunk of my childhood and early teens blissfully unaware of the political landscape mainly because I had no need to know about any of that stuff.

I find myself in a bit of a political quandary these days. As a citizen of the UK we’ve had a bit of an interesting couple of years politically. I myself first got involved in politics around the fall of Tony Blair. The “Happening” of Gordon Brown and the “Awakening of the Milliband”.  At the time I just kind of described myself as just “Left wing” really. In the vaguest sense I kind of thought “Well; Labour help people, the Conservatives help businesses and the libdems…well they don’t know what they want…BUT THEY WANT IT NOW!”  and that was pretty much how my political views went until about 2014…

(Changes were very much on the way)

In 2014 around the time of Ed Millibands general election run there was a sudden sort of change in politics in the country. Newspapers were chiming on about how Millibands policies were “Radically” Left wing and that he was effectively a “Loony leftie” trying to drag the party towards Socialism. But what the papers were saying and what I saw Ed say were two very different things. I didn’t honestly see all that much difference between Ed Millibands policies and the policies that had been generated during the Blair and Brown years. But for some reason the papers and the media in general were absolutely rabid at trying to tear the man down. That I’d say was my first introduction to the ideas of Socialism, but at that point I had no idea what socialism even was nor did I really have any interest in following it up. At the time I just thought that “Socialism” just meant “Very left wing” or “Not being a total arsehole” and left it at that. Little did I know at the time that Socialism would go on to effectively punctuate the next 4 years and is set to continue to define the UK political undertones for the foreseeable.

The General election didn’t quite go to plan and as a result there was a leadership election and in that leadership election a certain “Jeremy Corbyn” was entered into the running as a Joke candidate by members of the Labour party. In short; they were trying to be cruel. They put his name on the ballot in the same way that School kids would nominate the ugly guy and girl to win Prom king and queen. They never expected him to win and they thought it would be a funny way to give the far left of the Labour party a good kicking for a laugh. Little did they know that they’re “Cruel Joke” would go on to change the political landscape in insurmountable ways.

(10 years ago if you’d told me this man would change british politics as we know it i’d have laughed you out of the building)

Corbyn won. Corbyn won by a majority that was unheard of in modern political times. And this made the center left of the Labour party who put him on the ballot in the first place collectively cack themselves. They were terrified. It had all backfired on them, and what at first was supposed to be a way to remind the far left of there place very quickly became an empowering pandoras box of left wing ideology. Over the following 3 years the center left of the party, enabled by the right wing and the newspapers would do everything short of “Jeremy Corbyn ate my hamster” to try and dethrone the man. But as of writing he’s still firmly in seat and his popularity continues to grow at a previously unheard of rate. They’ve tried to smear him, it’s failed. They’ve tried challenging his leadership by putting up a new candidate with more center ground political values. He beat him increasing his share of the vote (Meaning that he broke the record for the most votes a labour representative has ever received in a leadership contest and then broke that record again with an even larger majority) When a snap general election was called the center left couldn’t contain themselves at looking for opportunities to try and tell people to vote for MP’s and not for Corbyn as leader. Hell even Tony Blair came out of the woodwork to decree that Corbyn would destroy the country if people voted for him…And then Corbyns vision of labour increased the majority of there party in parliament. Quite substantially really. He secured more votes than Tony blair did at the height of his campaigning (Tony Blair in the UK is often seen as the benchmark of how to be a left winger and succeed in politics) and even though he didn’t become prime minister, he gave the conservatives a bloody nose, sent right wing pundits into a tail spin and but the center left on notice.

It was a great feeling. For me; I’d always assumed that the kind of policies that I wanted to see implemented into the country; Proper funding for the NHS, UBI, greater care taken for people with mental health issues, a modernisation of the economy and a greater restriction put on shady business practises and media regulation in terms of promoting false or incorrect news. We’re all just wishful thinking. I never actually thought someone would come along and say  “Yeh mate; we can do that no problem”…And yet with Corbyns vision of labour it all seems quite possible.

(Cornwall under Corbyns version of labour in 2033)

I now feel a bit of confusion really about where I lie politically. Realistically my politics align with what would be considered modern socialism. At the time of writing theres been a tremendous gulf in the political landscape, with the conservatives absorbing a good chunk of UKIP (The party that put out the idea of Brexit in the first place…Far right wing and typically racist) back into there vote share they now have a robust arsenal of people ranging from the quite reasonable and ultimately decent just straddling a line of politics that I disagree with right the way through to racist thugs who pine for a country that never existed. The left wing consist these days of people who actively detest the party in its current form but refuse to move to the conservatives out of pure red blooded hatred of there past misgrieviences. Through to the full blown Communist left wingers who wake up to the USSR national anthem every morning and go to bed to the Internationale every night. Myself? I agree with what Jeremy Corbyns Labour Party has to offer to a point. It’s mainly there stance on Brexit that I disagree with. Im a firm voter of remaining in the European union though I accept that there needed to be a much needed conversation about the direction it was heading in…an opportunity that’s very unlikely to come about now.

But my opinion is that “Well; I agree with 99 things that the Labour party are currently offering, I think I can swallow my pride over the 1 thing I don’t agree with” Brexits a really big thing admittedly, but we currently have so many home grown issues that Im not going to split hairs when I agree with a majority of what the party is putting out there. These opinions and views have been labelled “Active communism” by the modern press and are ridiculed by the right as “A load of students who don’t know any better trying to vote in a communist government”…but the thing is “A load of students” isn’t enough to make the kind of leaps that the current labour party have in the UK. This is a genuinely growing movement and the ideas that I thought were “Wishful thinking” have never actually been closer to coming true before. Both parties, left and right, have lurched to there relative extremes. And for the foreseeable future it would appear that, barring a tremendous incident, The entire countries at a stalemate.

 

(British politics in 2018 in a nutshell)

*Believe it or not; this blog post started with the intention of being about the recent local election though it appears I’ve rambled a bit. I’ve gotten quite carried away. I think im going to make this a “Part 1” if you will. Im going to broach the subject of the local elections in my next blog post all being well. But I thought I’d share my political affiliation with you lot because some people are really interested in that kind of thing. Equally I’ll end this post by saying that as a TLDR on my political affiliation. While Im aligned with modern socialism I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a socialist. Mainly because I kind of feel I haven’t “Earned” that right just yet. I’d feel like I was living a lie to start openly calling myself a socialist because I feel I’d be piggy backing on a current trend. I look at the people who weathered socialism in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s who sat there silently whilst being mocked and I think “I cant really say Im with these lot. These lot have suffered for there beliefs and I’ve just rocked up at the 11th hour” maybe someday I’ll lose my socialist training wheels. But for now I’m just a “Left winger”…and im happy to talk.

Addendum:

There’s a bit I wanted to put into this blog but I just couldn’t fit in anywhere. It’s a bit of a clarification more than anything else. I don’t care what your political affiliation is. Im not going to attack you for being left wing, right wing or center ground. What I will pick you up on is whether your a nice person in your day to day business and whether your hearts in the right place towards your fellow man. I have friends from the Far right and Far left side of the spectrum and while we may not see eye to eye politically on a number of things I realise that a persons politics does not define them anymore than the car they drive, the partner they marry or there choice of beer in a bar (Unless you drink Heineken in which case fuck you.) As a result I’ve had many interesting conversations with people, sometimes I’ll change there minds, sometimes they’ll change mine. Im a great believer in diversit of opinion and while I’ll admit this blog post is very promotional in its left wing values. The left are far from perfect and the day they make the “Perfect political party” is the day that I eat a car out of sheer surreal bafflement. What Im trying to say is; Believe whatever you want to believe Im not going to judge you whether your Labour or Democrat, republican or conservative. Its whats in your head and your heart that define you. And I realise that’s one of the hippiest things I could say. But I find it very true.

(Yeh theres going to be more of this…hopefully more coherent as well)

(In The next part! I work out my feelings a bit more and hopefully finally get round to talking about what I wanted to talk about in this part!)