Book Review #5

Posh Boys: How The English Public Schools Ruin Britain by Robert Verkaik

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When I wrote (yet another) post against identity politics – Wealth Not Identity – I made reference to the superb sitcom ‘The Young Ones’ and in particular, the episode Bambi. In that episode, Alexei Sayle delivered the following rant…

 

“…I never really wanted to be a train driver, you know. I mean, they told me when I left school, if I got two CSEs, I’d be head of British Steel. That’s a load of nonsense, isn’t it? You look at the statistics, right? 83% of top British management have been to a public school and Oxbridge; 93% of the BBC have been to a public school and Oxbridge; 98% of the KGB have been to a public school and Oxbridge. All you get from a public school is one, a top job and two, an interest in perverse sexual practices…”

 

I highly recommend you read Robert Verkaik’s book Posh Boys: How The English Public Schools Ruin Britain. Continue reading “Book Review #5”

Quote Of The Day #50

Oliver Cromwell

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

 

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

 

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go! ”
Continue reading “Quote Of The Day #50”

Brexit: Left Or Right?

Time to learn some history

The Referendum that resulted in the decision for Britain to withdraw from the European Union happened only 25 months ago. It seems longer. Such has been the rage of one section of the Establishment about being torn from the embrace of their neoliberal chums in Brussels that they have thought of little else since June 2016. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the decision to leave the EU was misguided and have little respect for the fantasies of the equally neoliberal section of the Establishment that is obsessed with somehow recreating the times when Britain was economic top dog. Brexit was, is and always shall be about an Elite Civil War.

 

One of the many lies that have grown up around Brexit is that leaving the EU is some right-wing conspiracy and everyone who voted Leave is a either racist thicko or wants to fire up the ovens for immigrants or wants to round up poor people for use as spare organ banks for the plutocratic rich. Or perhaps all three. Dismissing opposition to the EU as mere xenophobia or ‘far right’ populism demonstrates a profound ignorance of both history and economics.

 

Anyone who sees opposition to the EU as only right-wing has never heard of the 1983 Labour Party general election manifesto.
Continue reading “Brexit: Left Or Right?”

An Elite Civil War

Remainers are the Establishment but so are Leavers

Readers of this blog will know that I have absolutely no time for celebrity culture. I have no interest in the pointless antics of the vacuous narcissists who populate so-called ‘reality’ television. The only reason these absurd shows have spread like Japanese knotweed is because they are cheap; producers don’t have to spend money on writers or actors, they just get a bunch of exhibitionists in a room, on an island or in the ‘jungle’ and hope they will fight, argue or have sex. I suppose the Holy Grail of this type of programme would be all three.

 

However, each to their own. I don’t watch these shows but I have no right to stop other people from doing so. Unfortunately, celebrity culture, which I don’t care about, has spread into politics and real culture, which I do care about. As ever, our American friends have taken reality TV to its logical conclusion and elected an unqualified ‘celebrity’ buffoon to the most powerful position on the planet. But the so-called BBC, which absolutely loves to criticise the USA, can’t take the moral high ground as it gave a huge platform to drug-addled simpleton and alleged ‘singer’ Lily Allen to spout her ill-informed views about the problems with refugees/immigrants/asylum seekers/economic migrants (delete as you see fit) in Calais. Whilst I am a strong supporter of democracy and free speech, I can’t help but think that anyone who gets their political views from the likes of Allen should be disenfranchised.

 

Of all the political issues that have attracted comment from ‘celebrities’ the June 2016 vote to leave the European Union must be the biggest.

Continue reading “An Elite Civil War”

London’s Knife Crime ‘Epidemic’

There is more to this than racism

The British media do make me laugh. They have the attention span of a forgetful goldfish in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. A couple of weeks ago, they were obsessed with Poundshop Bond villain and definite heterosexual Vladimir Putin allegedly poisoning a double agent in Salisbury (see here and here). Then last week, it was all about the disgusting anti-Semitism amongst parts of the Corbynite far left that currently dominates the Labour party. This week’s panic is all about the alleged spike in knife and gun crime in Greater London. Coming next week, Meghan Markle’s affair with Gerry Adams.

 

There does appear to have been an increase in knife and gun deaths in some of the, shall we say, less salubrious parts of  Greater London in recent months. Whether this makes London a more dangerous city than New York, as some parts of the gutter press have suggested, is pure speculation. What does appear obvious is that most of the victims of the killings come from minority ethnic communities across the capital. Some people – particularly David ‘I had a friend who died at Grenfell Tower’ Lammy – are making this a racial issue. An interesting piece in the Independent – a newspaper I usually have very little time for as it makes the Guardian and the so-called BBC look balanced and well-researched – suggested Violent crime in London would have been tackled better – and sooner – if the victims were white. I have some sympathy for the writer’s suggestion that the Establishment don’t really care about what is happening but I don’t believe this is a racial issue.

Continue reading “London’s Knife Crime ‘Epidemic’”

It’s A Rich Man’s World

The Establishment only care about money

I’d like to start my first post of 2018 by quoting those well-known Swedish philosophers, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson…

“I work all night, I work all day
To pay the bills I have to pay
Ain’t it sad
And still there never seems to be
A single penny left for me”

Full lyrics here and video here for those of you who want to relive the 1970s (that’s for you Jeremy if you are reading this).

It has long been my belief that the Establishment in the UK only care about money. Since at least 1976, neoliberalism has dominated the economic ‘debate’ in Britain. Governments of all types – Labour, Conservative and Coalition – have bowed down before the demands of the stock markets, selling public assets at a fraction of their value, allowing social housing to be transferred from council ownership to rapacious private landlords and bailing out banks with billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money when, in their arrogance and hubris, they (deliberately?) crashed the world economy. The fact that the entire Establishment – left, right and centre – is doing everything it can to stop the UK leaving the European Union suggests to me that a lot of very rich people stand to lose a lot of money when (and if) the UK leaves the EU. Continue reading “It’s A Rich Man’s World”