Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Bloody Hell

I've been for a bit of a lie down as I found myself coming to the defence of Farage today.

I first started when listening to Radio 4's Today programme and then later driving home from my meeting during the 2pm news.

His decision this morning to not run for the Newark seat  made sense to me and seemed to make sense for the same reasons Farage gave. I'm not sure how much he meant them, but as reasons they made sense, especially when he suggested it would make him look like an opportunist as he had no real connection with the East Midlands.

I've been a critic of UKIP's ability to fail to score in an open goal, but this makes sense. UKIP do need to be aiming for seats but if they want to be perceived as more than a one man show others need to be running for Westminster seats.

Today demonstrated something quite interesting to me in the sense of fear that UKIP are generating and what it tells us about the media either living in their own bubble or being willing to work towards maintaining the status quo I.e there seems to be a concerted effort to stitch up UKIP generally.

The story that has me intrigued is the idea that not running for the Newark seat is because he is "frit".Sorry but that notion is a load of old pony, especially when Labour and the Lib Dems join in. The truth of the matter is that none of the other parties will make a genuine effort at Newark given that last time out, the Tories enjoyed a 16000 majority - bigger than the total turnout in some by elections.  They know it's not worth their time and effort. Sure some man or woman starting out on the greasy pole will show their face on some local flyers and all that, but at the end of the day, they will be the sacrificial lamb. I know this because an old friend who was once a prospective Labour candidate, was that lamb and received sod all input from the party.

It's an approach all the parties understand and take part in. It's  this fact that suggests to me that the others are a bit worried by Farage and that the press (well the BBC certainly) are willing to go along with this fatuous notion. Added to which, all this stuff about various UKIPers making offensive comments and it getting into the press shows what seems to be a concerted effort to nobble them. Don't get me wrong, I'm a critic of some of the views expressed and the lack of campaign discipline amongst other things, but something's afoot here. Step back a bit and ask yourself, how we seem to be learning of one of these situations after another? Many of these people are nobodies, making comments on social media on their personal accounts. These aren't UKIP press releases, so their being released suggests there are a number of people looking for this dirt. Somewhere out there is an instruction for party activists or other groups of some description with a list of names to go on the hunt for dirt. I can't really think of any other reason for it right now, which makes it quite telling.

This post isn't to defend UKIP or the individuals and their viewpoints. It's simply there to peer behind the veil and ask why everyone seems so rattled.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

They aren't the gods they thought they were

Many moons ago, when I was doing my A Level English literature course, I became somewhat confused by an amiable lad in my class. What confused me was this view he developed about Author Dennis Potter and the Forest of Dean. I thought nothing of it at first. That was one of the vagaries of English lit courses. A book couldn't just be the story as it was written. They all somehow had to be riddled with metaphors and hidden references. The trouble seemed with this lad that is interest in Potter and The Forest of Dean started to appear everywhere in every book. It got to the point where he and the lecturer began to have a bit of row in class, when the lecturer had suggested his latest Potter / Dean links with the text we were all reading was a bit of leap.

I thought back to this lad when I read that Germaine Greer has decided that women Are in a worse place than ever thanks to the internet.

My own view is that like my old classmate, Greer appears to have a lens fixed through which she views the whole world. Men hate women and women are oppressed, full stop without grey areas. There's nothing else to see here regardless if what anyone else might point out (so in a way I too will be wasting my time). It seems to colour everything about her viewpoint.

Greer's viewpoint I would say is wrong, in that she has failed to take into account that the internet is something of a lawless place. Abuse on the internet aimed at women, is not because they're women. The anonymity of the internet means it just thrives generally. Men will abuse women on there, but men will abuse men, women will abuse men and women will abuse women. Greer hasn't found some hidden secret about the internet, she has just looked at it through her own favourite lens. The porn thing is the same as well. Women are looking at the porn just as much as the men are.

As someone mentioned in the comments section of the article, is a reflection of the modern human condition, not a gender war.

The thing is people like this annoy me because in part they complaining about something they had a hand in. Whether it's the law of un intended consequences I don't know or whether it's another piece of critical theory, I'm also uncertain.

They had a hand in it because as sixties radicals with a left leaning perspective, they started meddling and 'fixing' the culture to achieve their utopia. The problem was as someone else in the article comments section said" pandora gets a little tetchy when others start playing with her box." Their meddling started emphasising the me only culture, self interest was self liberation. Nothing was wrong. They argued and agitated for all these things and advanced their cause. They're aim was to break the status quo of society and culture and bring about all kinds of things and call it advancement.     This included all kinds of sexual liberation, even the debauched stuff.

The problem was critical theory. For people who had apparently spent so much time learning about human motivations, they didn't appear to posses enough intelligence to understand the law of diminishing returns and the need to have an ever increasing set of experiences in order to feel the same initial rush. These things were always going to play out the way they have. Individualism of this nature was always going to turn more rampant  and widen it's definitions of what we would perceive as acceptable. Same too with the sexual liberation that they advocated  They may well have known, but critical theory allowed them to hold many opposing viewpoints without having to answer for them. Trouble is, real life has a habit of setting its own rules and showing clowns that thought this stuff up that they're not the gods they imagined themselves to be.

They are for me represented by an analogy I've used before. They're like the practical joker who shouts "fire" in a crowded cinema and then when people get killed in the stampede they deny they had anything to do with it.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Do you see it?

First, may I wish everyone a Happy Easter. I hope today you will all be blessed with good company and happiness and laughter.

Now, however I want to turn to something else, something I turn to so often, because, I believe it's vital to see it.

If you've watched the movie, The Passion of the Christ, you will know the thread I'm talking about. Regardless of what you feel about the director, Mel Gibson, he wove into the story a very clever depiction of  Satan.  He did it on two levels. Firstly he cast Rosalindo Celentano and shaved her head and eyebrows. The aim, to create his vision of the devil as something that on one level has an allure, but something isn't quite right at the same time. Secondly and more importantly, is the fact that there are several scenes, where the devil moves obviously through the crowd in plain sight, yet it seems, no one in the crowd can see him. That is my point today and everyday I write this type of post. If you look, you can see something very wrong playing out in front of, yet we seem to fail to recognise it for what it is. Somehow we prefer to see it as some kind of benign lunacy, when it is anything but. What we see today, is written in the plans of twisted people from many years.

I give you four stories / blog posts.

Story one

Story two

Story Three

Story Four

Yes, I know most of them are from the Daily Mail and I acknowledge that, but it does not reduce the fact that there is something very telling in them.

Stories one and two show us how far we have fallen as a individuals and how our structures that keep society on an even keel have collapsed. The prison story is not an accident. Prison was meant to be a corrective institution, in part to punish offenders and in part to rehabilitate them to rejoin society as productive individuals once again. Yet look where we are with that.  That doesn't just happen, someone has to permit that to happen.  The other story, is bordering on vomit inducing. That someone could consider abortion so casually for the pursuit of z list celebrity and a pink Range Rover, gives you a clue to the level of aspiration of its population and the everyday thought processes. That in turn gives you a picture of something else - the structures and the culture. You don't just wake up thinking like this. You have to pass through a culture and institutions that mould you into this way of thinking and reward it at every twist and turn.

These are not isolated stories either. Examples and tales like these crop up almost daily. They point to components of our culture that are endemic.

Of course this brings something else - a dumbed down society. This is the dismantling of critical thinking. A nation that has it's critical reasoning skills dismantled in sufficient numbers can have anything foisted upon it. It starts failing to see when something obvious is walking in its midst, doing its work.

Which brings us to story three. A dumbed down nation takes what it is fed at face value. One like ours has become hooked on electronic media. We have an addiction to the electronic mogadon in the corner of our lounges  and we are fed on the prevailing viewpoint and culture of instant celebrity, inane soap operas pushing the boundaries of constant misery and conflict. Added to that, our state broadcaster has which is increasingly becoming viewed as a propaganda service for the prevailing culture within it.

All of this brings us to story four. It is not the calls for stoning etc that I pick up on, but the method of influence, because it illustrates the point I struggle to get people to see without them perceiving me as some form of tin foil hat wearing type. The Trojan horse method that is the background to this story is a very real concept. It's the way they move through the crowd to do their work. It's a politically neutral concept too. Move silently and almost imperceptibly with enough people turning this and changing that over sufficient number of years, with enough people and you can change anything right before a nations eyes and they won't spot a thing until it's too late and they're no longer in any shape to stop it. Those that can spot it and would like to change it, can't because they either appear outnumbered, the struggle is on too many fronts for their numbers, or they daren't rock the boat for fear of being perceived as nutters, because to do so would be believed to be conspiracy theorist and we all know what the world thinks of them.

I've joined the dots on four stories today to paint a picture of manipulation that sounds like pure fantasy. For those however who have eyes who wish to see and those who have hears and wish to hear - go on a journey of your own. Look up The Frankfurt School and look up The Long March Through the Institutions.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Just in case...

The Israel/Palestine situation has a habit of polarising viewpoints. Unfortunately many have come to a view of the situation that paints a romanticised picture of David and Goliath type struggle. If you spend any real time digging around, things aren't all that straightforward.

Part of the problem is the media and our own BBC has played a part in that.

It's for that reason I post today's entry. My prediction might prove wrong, but I post it anyway because it's a common method the media have used in the past.

There is a story that isn't on the BBC website and hasn't been as far as I can see. It's the story of an attack by a Palestinian, that has resulted in the death of an Israeli. The attack killed the Israeli after the Palestinian fired around 35 shots with what is believed to be a Kalashnikov on the eve of Passover.

Israel Hebron attack

I raise this and it's absence for two reasons. One because it's curious by its absence as the BBC Middle East news section is a prolific reporter of Israeli Palestinian issues (yet I suspect I know why). Two, because I'm waiting for the subsequent hunt of the killer resulting in some form of gun battle that will result in Palestinian injuries or death and they possibly other issues. It's at that point I suspect we will see reports with the focus on the Israeli attack.

For those who are watchers of this, it's often referred to as "it all started when Israel struck back".

Israel / Palestine is a complex situation, not helped by media manipulating  the story to consistently paint Israel as the bad guy. There's a lot more to it than that and it will not be resolved with infantile game playing.

Friday, 11 April 2014

The Pike Award

I've created a special award this week - The Pike Award. Named in honour of Private Pike of Dads Army fame. I've created it for someone whom I feel is deserving of such an award for being a particularly stupid boy.

Step forward Ed Milliband.

According the press, Ed has made it clear that if he is PM he will create a Secretary of State for Women

Why exactly? Well apparently it's part due to the Maria Miller issue and the reduced status of her successor.

For me Ed wins the award for a whole host of reasons, but at the heart if this, like Pike, he has as my late Grandmother's neighbour used to say,

"Opened his mouth and let the wind blow his tongue about".

Such is the lack of thinking that has gone into this announcement. Such an idea will solve nothing. He's not saying it, because he believes women need someone to advance their cause. He's saying it for his own party's gain at the ballot box. Likewise having had a similar role in government in the form of Miller, didn't really do much for women either. We got Miller, who by the stories we have seen this week could be argued by some to have only been advancing the cause of one woman - herself.

I could go on, but I think readers are intelligent and are probably shooting their own holes in Ed's idea. In short, it's not the absence of women in cabinet or in politics, it's the absence of honourable people in public service that's the issue.

I shouldn't be surprised though. Ed's got form for this sort of thing. We saw this right back when he announced he was running for Leader and he have his launch speech. It followed a similar pattern. It was one of his walk around the stage without a script type speeches. He was talking about this and about that and part way through there was a sudden outburst of we're going to do something for women too! You got the impression from there on in, he was thinking of things off the top of his head, with no thought or censorship of what made it into the atmosphere. All he was doing was making sure he went through his mental checklist of right on causes to seem all things to all people to gather as many votes as possible and it would seem he continues in that vein.

Take a bow Ed Milliband , winner of The Pike Award. Don't worry. We won't need a speech - we couldn't bear it.