Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Another Two Young Men Killed by Knives in London

Last night saw the deaths of another two young men in London. An eighteen year-old man was stabbed to death in the back streets of Kentish Town at around 8.30 pm; and a twenty year-old man met his end, again by stab wounds, around a mile away at 10.10 pm.

Since the beginning of 2018 some fifteen young men have been killed by knives in London. These figures are alarming. The cult of the knife is becoming a major problem nationally, but in the Capital this is an especially growing problem.

While these deaths are troubling for Londoners what can we do to stop these appalling crimes? How can we reassure the parents and families of young men that their sons are safe to go out in London? How many more mothers are going to have their sons torn from them? How many more families will be forced into grieving for their lost brothers, sons, grandsons and nephews?

Is the answer to knife crime a more vigilant police force? Yet we know that there are fewer police working on the front-line. Will these limited forces fall back on more stop-and-search? A form of policing mistrusted by many black people who see stop-and-search as a green card for police harassment of young black men. Is the solution to be found in harsher sentencing of those convicted of knife crimes?

Knife crime is a problem. Something has to be done to stop pointless killing and wounded by this culture. How do we stop young men carrying knives? 

Thursday, 15 February 2018

It's 'pure evil' not guns responsible for the USA's runaway gun killings.

And, so 17 young lives are switched off at a school in Florida, USA. These lives were arbitrarily stolen by a former student of the school armed with a semi-automatic rifle. Research by Everytown for Gun Safety reports that so far in 2018 some 18 shootings have occurred inside or in the surroundings of schools. Of these 6 of the shootings have resulted in deaths or wounding of students.

President Trump is reported to be offering up prayers to the dead and wounded. Yes Donald, that will deflect their anger, their grief from the real problem in your country, the ease at which people can access guns.

The local Congressman, Ted Deutch, Tweeted: "I'm sick about this news from home. Just spoke with the sheriff. This is devastating."

"We have already begun to dissect his websites and things on social media that he was on and some of the things... are very, very disturbing," said Sheriff Israel. Sheriff, sure there are very disturbing things on websites and social media. We in the UK receive the same material on our websites. Except in the UK we don’t deal with these ‘disturbing things’ by going out and buying a gun with which to slaughter our ex class mates.  

Tweeting about the tragedy Marco Rubio, Florida Senator, stated the shooting spree was "designed & executed to maximize loss of life". Of course it was, Rubio. The man had a semi-automatic weapon with which to commit wholesale murder.  

Though Florida Governor Rick Scott believes the shooting and resultant deaths and wounding caused by the gunman was an act of "pure evil", Scott refused to engage in questions on gun control, instead he pleaded that: "There's a time to continue to have these conversations about how through law enforcement... we make sure people are safe,"

After the mass killings in Las Vegas last October Donald Trump addressed the nation stating that: “A gun man opened fire on a large crowd in Las Vegas…he brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded 100s more. It was an act of pure evil”. Later that day when pressed by journalists on his plans for gun control, Trump blurted: “Now is not the right time to have the policy conversation”.

“Pure evil”. What a brilliantly constructed smokescreen. By playing on the religiosity of many Americans both these politicians have invoked the malevolent works of Satan. It isn’t guns that kill people. No, it is peoples’ weakness, their willingness to do the devil’s bidding. Ergo, Satan’s responsible for the deaths of 17 young Americans.

Trump and Co have elevated ‘bottom of the barrel scraping’ into a fine art. To play on peoples’ vulnerabilities in such a callous way is a mark of a truly lost man, a man beyond redemption. And so, the puppets move to the skilful manipulation of the puppet master, the NRA.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Living beneath a sociopath

Since a shouting match between my upstairs neighbour, her sister and me two-and-a-half years ago I have drawn back. Shouting and cursing at my anti-social neighbour, I found, was a waste of time. Instead I kept a noise diary and passed this onto my landlord, a large housing association. This may have galvanised my landlord into speaking with my neighbour, as a period of peace broke out. Lulled by the peace and quiet that broke out, I allowed the complaint to sit on the table.

It turned out that he period of peace was due to my neighbour moving out for weeks and months at a time. As far as I was concerned as this helped me keep my sanity if she never returns it will be too soon.

Sadly, she has returned. For more than a week I've heard my nasty neighbour moving about. Though on edge, I felt she has a right to live there, and hopefully her self-imposed exiles might have instilled a bit of co-existence into her. You know, when knowing you have a neighbour living below, don't bounce a medicine ball on the floor; or, refrain from carrying out weight lifting; or, whatever-the-fuck she does to sound like the 1812 Overture.

The first few days I picked up bits and pieces of everyday noise. No problem, none of us can move around without making some noise. This weekend she had ratcheted up both the noise levels and frequency of loud banging. By today my radiators were back to humming like tuning forks as batteries of cannon caused them to vibrate.

Fuck it. I've had enough of her fucking nonsense. My poxy neighbour's attitude, her flagrant disregard for my wellbeing has pushed me into a position of all out war. This neighbour has deepened my depression; at times last year the state of my mental health was very fragile.

I have tried to set up some kind of mediation with my neighbour. She turns down all attempts to sit down and talk. The woman is a sociopath. So, I'm going to use every means I can to get her out of my life. Today I began the process by writing a strong letter to my housing officer while copying in my MP and three councillors. 

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Toby Rees-Mogg made to look like the tolerant one.

Last Friday Toby Rees-Mogg, a prominent Brxiteer, had been invited by the UWE’s Politics and International Relations Society to discuss a range of topical issues.

TR-M as you know is a High Tory right-wing populist with unashamed "homophobic and anti-abortion beliefs"; he also is a prominent Brexiteer. As recently as November 2017 TR-M was advocating the slashing of tax while supporting the austerity programme that is responsible for in excess of 120,000 deaths since 2010.

However, the political right is fully exploiting the TR-M incident at the University of West England in Bristol Friday. Before the start of the debate uproar took place in the hall as a group of hooded and masked young people “broke into the lecture theatre” and began hurling abuse calling TR-M a “bigot”, “fascist” and “racist” – epithets I’ve no doubt TR-M
smugly privately upholds.

So, as the ruckus continued, TR-M strode from the lectern towards the intruders and confronted them. There ensued a bit of a tussle that saw TR-M attempting to have a dialogue with the protesters. In effect an arch High Tory was portrayed as an advocate of reason and tolerance, while those in hoods and masks a bunch of thugs.

Sure, I understand anyone protesting against the likes of TR-M. An MP typically of his class whose sense of entitlement and privilege are heard through each exquisitely enunciated word and phrase articulated through a plummy voice expensively refined through an Eton and Oxford education. Except, when I watch the protestors scoring an own goal.

While regarded as a bit of a figure of fun across the political spectrum, jokingly referred to as the Right Honourable Member for the 18 C, TR-M nonetheless appeals to a certain type of British voter. The kind who voted Brexit, hanging on the words of other wealthy men who they are convinced are ‘good blokes’ with their best interests at heart, namely Boris Johnson and Nigel Forage – while Farage isn’t an Old Etonian, he does brand himself as a blokes bloke, ‘one of yer own’ in Arthur Daley parlance.

When are we going to wake up to two basic political principles:

1.     Wealthy people of the Rees-Mogg, Johnson and Farage stamp don’t care for the vast majority of us, the poor, low waged and aspiring middle classes. So, stop being taken in by the ‘hail fellow well met’ façade – they fucking despise you.

2.     That protesting in the manner of the hooded and masked men last Friday simply allows the Old Etonians to turn the situation around and take ownership of the moral high ground; it allows slippery ex metal brokers to make you believe that your interests and his interests run in parallel, and that in the end you’ll each receive equal awards.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Feminism's not for Farage

Do you know that Farage still uses the sound clip of Trump introducing: "Mr Nigel Farage" at a Trump rally during his election? As the introduction fades on Farage's nightly LBC radio show Farage obsequiously chimes: "Thank you Donald". Yes, Farage plays a clip of the President of the USA mentioning his name, then thanks him as though he's present in the studio. 

So, yesterday I wasn't too surprised to hear Farage defending Trump's right to say he wasn't a feminist. Well of course he did. After all Nigel is The Donald's UK mouthpiece. As the phone in proceeded so Farage was drawn in and asked if he was a himself a feminist. Of course Nigel denied any such thing. But in fairness, Farage doesn't actually get the nuances of the concept. A man as a feminist? WTF?

Listening to Farage waffle on in his typically blokish way was par for course, and I listened more out of laziness than anything else.

However, as the debate unfolded Farage became braver. So, not only is he a man's man, which obviously disqualifies him from the being a feminist, he then began expanding on how women had now achieved equality with men.

According to Nigel women have pretty much reached parity with men on wages. Yes, they're only about 20% behind men in field of earnings. Only 20% behind men! Here is a man living in a £4 million town house in Chelsea. He has scooped up around £4 million from his EU salary and expenses over the past 17 years. He also earns somewhere between £50 and £100 K per annum as an LBC presenter.

Despite earning between £290,000 and £340,000 a year Farage pleads poverty. He has claimed that he is the poorest person in politics. I suppose any man that considers himself a pauper with a six figure salary and a £4 M gaff in Chelsea can reasonably consider a 20% difference in earnings as parity.