Thursday, 29 June 2017

Uncladding

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.

*anag.

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A

A crowded place, a loud voice

shouts "GIVE US AN 'A'"

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



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Friday, 9 June 2017

Hell, Yeah!

Another seat or two would have really put the cat among the pigeons.

I wonder what difference the shenanigans in Manchester and London made?

Still a huge swing to Labour. I hope the Left of the party can use this as a platform to make changes. Certainly, Corbyn has come out of this extremely well, and this will have taken the wind from his detractors sails.

May is forming a coalition with the DUP. I wonder what they will want in return?

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SNP

I can imagine a situation where Labour can form a majority coalition, with the help of Nationalists and Greens (and possibly LibDems)

SNP want independence, but without SNP MP's Labour would lose the gig.

Labour just won a seat from the SNP. For many, voting SNP was a vote for change, and because they've been a lot more radical than the Labour Party, from Kinnock through to Milliband. Still 90% of the results to come in, but I expect to see more of the same. The media pitched it as a vote about independence, and predicted/nudged that this was all about SNP Vs Conservative but I think it's more subtle than that. People have been pissed off now for decades about the pile of half arsed donkey cack that the Labour Party had become. When Labour shows signs of behaving like something other than a centre right party, hundreds of thousands of people who've had so real choice for a generation got right behind them.

I think the SNP would be happy to work with Labour, and to even postpone a referendum if an islandwide progressive alliance could be made to work.

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UKIP

I did mean to post this a while back, but never got round to it, but it comes as no surprise that they appear to be turning into a tiny little party.

What are they for? I mean, they've had their apotheosis. We're out of Europe, for better or worse, and their reason for being has been nullified. A zombie party dissolving back into nothing.

Looks like they might just become independent of Scotland, too. Perhaps even Northern Ireland. We live on the edge of tumultuous times.

Might as well ditch Wales while they're at it. Then reductio ad absurdum until each UKIP voter becomes somehow independent of the state, then of individual limbs until just their soul is left, quivering and impotent in the face of a growing realisation that their promised land was no different to that they'd left.

Labour doing well so far (after 6 results in!)

That unelectable hippy isn't doing too badly.

By the way, the lazy liberal characterisation of UKIP supporters as swivel eyed bigots glossed over another reason. People wanted to shake shit up. They wanted change. I don't think they were sure exactly what change they wanted, but they weren't happy with the way things had been going.

I'm glad that just as UKIP have subsided, so have the barbs I see on facebook and elsewhere. To get people to move, you have to give them space to move into. Just yelling at them will just get people's backs up.

So most of the swing is coming from UKIP (and The Greens, who I suspect have all seen an opportunity in Corbyn and pushed their votes over to Labour En Masse.) and yes, 60% of it is going to the Tories, but the rest is going to Labour. What are these racist bigots doing voting for an energised, more left wing and radical Labour Party?

I expect them to get the message and formally disband after this. They're yesterday's news.

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Monday, 5 June 2017

Terrorists

The terrorists want May to win.

I predict another attack the day before the election.

When they can just get hold of a vehicle and some knives, there's really not much we can do to stop them.

I still stand a far greater chance of being killed in a car crash tomorrow than I have of being murdered by terrorists of any stripe.

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