Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Brexit Cock-up

“I know that virtually none of you have ever done a proper job in your lives, or worked in business, or worked in trade, or indeed ever created a job,” declared Farage in his Triumphalist rant in the European Parliament on Tuesday.

OK then Fuhrer Farage. What have you been doing these past 17 years? What was that? You've been an MEP in the European Parliament, a gravy train by your accounts. Does this then make it OK for you to squat in the European Parliament for the best part of two decades taking a whopping £79,000 per annum salary? Not that you even have the decency to attend full time instead making an appearance only 62% of the time.On top of this you've creamed off millions of pound in MEP expenses over the years. Even Farage's wife takes a tasty £30,000 from Brussels. Yet all this is topped by Farage's Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group, which receives £2.5million a year in EU funding; with five events costing £60,000.

How can Farage square all this with his accusation against other MEPs of never having a proper job? All his blustering and complaints about money wasted by the EU, while for almost two decades he has been helping himself to large quantities of that £350 million per week he stated would be better spent on the NHS - then hardly had the Leave result been announced we hear Fingers-in-the-till Farage denounce the pledge of money to the NHS.

In voting for an Exit of the EU this country has been well and truly duped. On the one hand we have sticky fingers Farage, snout deep in the EU gravy trough, making out he is the champion, the voice, of the British businessman, who has been turned over by an undemocratic and expensive EU for too long.

Add to this Johnson and Gove smarting at Cameron deciding he'd had enough thus placing the onus of extricating the UK from the EU on his successor; and we are truly in a mess.

Sunday, 26 June 2016


Without even the courtesy of putting such an important issue out to consultation Redbridge Council has decided to scrap its door-to-door minibus service for disabled people. In its place the council is going to introduce a ‘pilot scheme’ which will force disabled children who depend on door-to-door transport to and from school to instead go to a muster point on a main road to wait for the transport.

Parents of disabled children who are to lose their door-to-door school run transport

This is an outrageous decision by Redbridge Council. Expecting disabled children and their parents to travel to muster points to be picked up is a retrogressive measure.

Disabled people and their parents, carers and support workers face great difficulties on a daily basis. Adding to these difficulties by taking away the door-to-door service is to ignore the real needs of this group.

Struggling to get to muster points will add difficulty and danger to people’s lives. How will people get to the points? While public transport is accessible, try accessing it during rush hour with a teenager in a specialized wheelchair. If driving, there is the problem of parking. Blue Badge parking bays are not always available, especially where muster points are likely to be, on main roads. Then there’s the issue of inclement weather.

Door-to-door transport for disabled people is not a luxury. No, it is a necessity that enables disabled people to move forward rather than to continuously find themselves being pushed further and further back.

Don't be Fooled by Boris Johnson Keeping his Head Down

Johnson is NOT finished. Don't be taken in by his clever strategy of keeping a low profile. He'll let Farage do the front of store interviews, and deny promises such as the £350M per week for the NHS. Johnson's not going to get embroiled in denials.

Though Johnson isn't that popular amongst other Conservative MPs, after all they've seen through him. He is extremely popular, maybe not so in London, around other parts of the country. If he manages to get through the PCP process there is a strong chance he will become the next leader of the Conservatives.

An autumn election will be called; and due to the proximity of the referendum result and if the Blairites and Progress elements of the Labour continue splitting the party, the Tories will win. They may not have a majority, but UKIP will pick up extra seats this time, probably at Labour's expense; and a Tory/UKIP alliance will take office.

Such a scenario will serve to push the Conservatives even further to the right. The cabinet will also be peppered with UKIP members. Since UKIP will be holding the balance of power...

I think you can see where I'm going with this. A Doomsday scenario indeed.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Closure of Hope

Closure of Hope

Nothing closes now.
There is nothing to close for.
Staying open is the only hope.
People peddle hope 24-hours a day.
It helps suppress the nightmares.
It numbs the pain into submission.
The government’s going to ban hope.
Or maybe they’ll tax it.
If hope goes underground.
Then the dealers take over.
What hope is there for hope?
When hope becomes criminalized?

Falls and Spills

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a few falls
Bruised my ribs and missed some close calls;
Hit my head on the floor, blood all over the place
Which left quite a livid scar at the top of my face.

Sadly, I wake up to pee around six times a night
But instead of returning to bed I switch on the light
And sit on the bedside to allow the pain to ooze
At which time I find myself starting to snooze.

It’s fine if in nod off and fall towards the wall
As there lie my pillows which then break my fall;
If I doze and fall backwards it’s onto my sack
Where I’m rudely awaked with a pain in the back.

However, when I drop off, literally, towards the right
The floor is the next stop on my short nocturnal flight;
Battered, braised and dazed I wonder: “What the fuck?”
How can one person be blessed with so much luck?

My problem you see, is a neurogenic bladder
A condition I can assure you that I would be gladder
To see the back of right now, before it’s too late
And I’m going steady with death as my date.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Fuck it; why bother?

It’s a waste of time,
Trying to reform the EU.
So, stop fighting austerity,
You're wasting your time.
Forget any rights at work,
They're a just lost cause.
Ignore that homeless person,
Quick, cross the street.
Bury your dreams
In case they’re trampled upon.
Become an island,
Where no one can reach you.

In a Polling Station...

In a Polling Station...

In a polling station near you
Standing there in a queue
Is someone still undecided
Who could not be guided
By the Cameron or Farage
Or the unremitting barrage
Of voices from either side
That served only to deride
One and other’s opinion
Simply to maintain dominion
And win you over as a voter
As there’s no place for a floater.

The Fight Begins Tomorrow

The Fight Begins Tomorrow

The day has come and I’ve cast my vote
Now to wait to see whether I cry or gloat;
Will Farage and Johnson get their way?
Or will victory go to those who said Stay?

Whichever side wins you can be assured,
That the working people should become inured   
Against the harsh wind of further austerity
Imposed on us by those who enjoy prosperity.

So from tomorrow let’s not be misguided,
Instead sally forth as one, and not divided
Take the fight to those who created the mess,
Cameron, Osborne, Johnson, Gove and IDS.

Vote Remain II

Farage and Co have not articulated their argument very well. Even their stance on immigration fails to recognise factors such as how public services such as the NHS will cope without migrant labour; who will carry out the work in our agricultural sector; where the tradespeople for construction and the maintenance sector will be found; and who will support the state pension, which is after all deferred wages.
Another myth that needs exploding is that somehow or other once we exit we can simply carry on trading with the EU, business as usual. That’s not how it works. Both Norway and Switzerland pay the EU to trade within the zone as well as having to comply with EU laws. All this without any say in the running of the union.
Of course there is then the rest of the world we can trade with. Negotiating international and global trading agreements takes years. The other trading blocs across the globe also have rules and regulations they expect trading partners to follow.
Politically and socially I think the EU stinks. Its institutions are not very transparent, which leads to accusations of undemocratic structures. But then, I could be speaking about the UK which itself is hardly a paragon of democracy. 
For too many years EU neoliberalism has favoured capitalism and the boss class over working and poor people. But we still have a range of social laws and protections in place that were implemented by the EU through left political and trade union lobbying.
Once outside the EU there is no reason that employers would not dispense with many of the social gains we now enjoy, such as: 
• Rights for part-time workers,
• parental leave,
• equal pay,
• rights for fixed-term workers,
• limits on working time,
• 5.6 weeks’ holiday per annum
• rights for disabled people, etc.
Politics swings from left to right and right to left. At the moment there is a right wing ascendency in the EU. This can change and along with it the direction of political thinking. A vote to remain is a vote to be able to at least attempt to effect change in the EU; a vote to exit the EU is to surrender any chance of change, and indeed a deterioration in our civil and working rights.