Category Archives: #EUreferendum

The Battle of Stoke

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Thursday next week could prove an interesting day for British politics with by-elections in Stoke-on-Trent and Copeland in Cumbria. Labour have held onto both these seats since before WWII, but according to latest news WWIII is erupting in Stoke…

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall, a working class grass roots scouser, is contesting the seat hoping to upset the Labour monopoly – and according to the latest polls he has a good chance of succeeding. In the referendum, 70% of the Stoke electorate voted to leave the EU. The incumbent MP Tristram Hunt is baling out of the Corbynistas to take up a post at the V&A in London. Presumably he doesn’t reckon much of Labour’s chances at the next election and like many others is quitting now whilst a lucrative job is in the offing. Who could blame him?

So Labour’s militant left is responding in the way it knows best. There have been violent demonstrations at UKIP meetings, the house that Nuttall is using in the constituency has had it’s address published on the internet – prompting hate mail and two break ins. In one case a female UKIP worker was terrorised when she was alone in the building. Death threats have been made against Nuttall and only today it has been reported that Farage and Nuttall were egged in the street on their way to a meeting. Typical Momentum tactics that we’ve seen before.

And just to prove that Labour really doesn’t have a clue, their candidate Gareth Snell is a rampant Europhile who has described Brexit as a “massive pile of shit” in a rant on Twitter. This is a clear vote winner in a heavily Eurosceptic constituency. In fact Labour are so out of touch that they’ve told their own leader to stay away because they think he’s “not an asset on the doorstep”. You couldn’t make it up…

In Copeland it’s a bit more laid back – but not a lot. The biggest employer in the region is the Sellafield nuclear plant. Corbyn’s Labour opposes the expansion of nuclear power. Another vote winner there then? And ironically the by election has been called because the sitting Labour MP Jamie Reed is leaving to take up the post of Head of Development & Community Relations at none other than Sellafield. Reed is a vociferous Corbyn critic and clearly realised his chances of deselection are pretty damned high.

I doubt we’ve seen the last of Labour MPs getting out while the going is good. With Corbyn in charge, they know the party is unelectable so why hang around waiting for the chop either from their own party or the electorate?

Nuttall should win Stoke easily whereas Copeland looks a little closer with the Tories hoping to take the seat. Whatever happens, it looks dismal for Labour. So are we watching the first death throws of a once major party? With the shift of UKIP to targeting traditionally Labour strongholds in the north of England, things ain’t exactly looking rosy…

and they’ve only themselves to blame!

The era of ‘post-truth’

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I was appalled to hear a politician talking the other day about ‘the post-truth era’ in relation to all the hoo-hah going on across the pond about Trump’s protestations regarding fake news.

‘Post-truth’ is not a new phenomenon. Wikipedia defines it as “a culture in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored.” It’s been going on for years and, ironically, it has taken the ascendancy to the presidency of a man who does the exact opposite to bring it to a head.

You might not like Trump, but the fact is that when he was campaigning he promised, amongst other things, to build a ‘great big beautiful wall’ across the Mexican border, suspend immigration from countries linked to terrorism ‘until we figure out what the hell is going on’ and to repeal Obamacare. He did all three of these in his first week and people are up in arms about it even though he did exactly what he said he was going to do – something unheard of in the era of post truth politics.

I remember recently having a spat with a fellow blogger about Cuba. Whatever I said made no difference. His opinion was his opinion no matter how I rebutted his arguments and answered his direct questions. He regards me as a pig he was trying to teach to sing. This is a classic reaction to post truth. The ‘facts’ I was being shown were to say the least unsubstantiated and politically motivated. They may well have been true, but the truth is that nobody really knows and if they were true then the reaction was still emotional rather than rational.

During the Brexit campaign we were constantly fed unsubstantiated opinion and speculation presented as truth. In the end, Project Fear turned out to be wholesalely wrong, but that didn’t prevent organisations like the BBC – which used to pride itself on being politically unbiased – presenting it as truth. We see the media across the globe doing exactly the same thing.

And now fake news is bring weaponised in all sorts of fields, political, diplomatic, and economic. Listen to CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and Russia Today relating the same news story and you get totally contradictory presentation of the so called facts. I suspect that none of them are actually presenting facts at all – just opinions and spin. As a wise man once said – ‘There are three sides to every story : your’s, mine and the truth!

Facts are facts. The problem is that nobody actually knows what they are any more…

Antidemocracy in action

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There really are some very stupid people out there as was proven this Saturday afternoon by 40 odd thousand of them marching through London in an attempt to overturn a democratic referendum result that many of them didn’t even bother to vote in.

Read your own banners FFS! “We are the 48%” he proudly proclaims. Yeah – that’s right. You lost. The 52% won you thick git!

And how about this guy :

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He’s so dumb he hasn’t worked out that New York isn’t in Europe.

Take a listen to this guy. He’s talking a lot of sense. And he’s a millennial…

Honestly, if this is what getting an education does for you, I think we might as well all give up now.

Decision time

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Today is a day that will go down in British history whichever way the vote goes.

Let’s remember that when you cast a vote, it’s only possible because this is a democratic country and that people gave their lives so that you can walk into a polling station today and put a cross on a piece of paper to tell the government what is the will of the people they govern. Don’t cheapen the memory of these people by not voting.

To those people who say to me “I never vote because it encourages the bastards”, I say “Then don’t complain to me that you don’t like the result” because by not voting, you’re saying “Feel free to treat me any way you choose. I don’t care because I couldn’t even be arsed to put a cross on a bit of paper!”

I think my views on which way I vote are pretty well known but even if you don’t agree with me, you should still vote today. There’s absolutely no excuse…

10 things the EU have in store for us if we stay [5]

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Tomorrow’s the big day, so if you’re still undecided, here’s my final two of the ten nasty things the EU wants to drop on us if we stay in. And these are the biggies!

9. Quotas for online TV
The European Commission wants online providers to reserve 20 per cent of their content for European programmes which should, it says, be given ‘good visibility’.
EU rules already oblige terrestrial TV to invest in, and broadcast, a certain amount of European material.

The European Commission doesn’t want online providers to be exempt. So, more Euro-noir, less U.S. drama.

Himler would have been pleased. First control the media, and then —-

10. A European Army
‘No one is talking about a European Army’, say Remainers. No one, except the people running the EU. The European Commission, in its formal statement, calls a European Army ‘a strategic necessity’.

One by one, the EU has acquired the attributes of statehood: a president and a parliament; a currency and taxes; embassies and a foreign minister; a supreme court and a legal system; a national anthem and a flag. A European Army is the logical next step.

Propaganda gets you a dictatorship and if you want to enforce that dictatorship, then history tells us that the next step is to control the armed forces. Worried yet? You should be

So if you still want to vote remain tomorrow then you have to be nuts!