Category Archives: media

The era of ‘post-truth’

fakenews
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…

Castroballs

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I’m becoming increasingly annoyed by the absolute bollocks being spouted about the recently deceased Cuban president, Fidel Castro.

Firstly, there’s the ‘Cuban Americans’ in Miami prancing about in the streets celebrating the death of this terrible despot – which puts me in mind of the mindless lefty idiots who did the same when Thatcher died. What annoys me most about these idiots is the demographic. 90% plus of them know fuck all about Cuba. They’ve never been there – after all travel to Cuba was illegal for Americans for decades. Mind you, that didn’t stop a couple I met from Texas holidaying in Havana a couple of years back’ “Hey, Honey” drawled the wife, “y’all remember we’re from Canada”. Basically they caught a flight from the US to Mexico woth an ongoing connection. Bloody hypocrites!

But I digress. These young Cuban Americans don’t have any inkling of what it was like before Castro and even less of what it’s been like since. They weren’t even born FFS!

The there’s this idea of the poor downtrodden Cuban people under Castro’s ruthless boot. More bollocks! The Baptista regime was as corrupt as they come. The Yanks used Cuba as a money laundering site for the mob and for unbridled gambling and debauchery. The average Cuban was screwed far more by the Yanks than they ever have been since. The average Cuban was a poor as it’s possible to be. Nobody gave a shit about them. All the money went to the corrupt government officials and it’s even more corrupt ruler.

Castro overthrew the bastards. Good for him. They deserved it. The lot of the average Cuban improved immeasurable when he came to power. OK a few of the richer Cubans got caught in the purge of the corrupt, but were they really that innocent? Probably not, but they buggered off to Florida.

Meanwhile, Trump condemns Castro. Why? Not because he thinks the bloke was all bad, but because he knows that Florida is a key electoral state and there’s a lot of second and third generation Cubans there that have a vote. Yet another bloody hypocrite!

The death of Castro has been heralded by the Yanks as the dawning of a new era for the Cuban people. This is bollocks on two counts : firstly the system isn’t going to change as Castro’s successor has been in place for two years already. Secondly, most Cubans don’t want it to change – but you’d hardly expect the mainstream media to say so. Doesn’t make for a good story, does it?

Whether you liked Castro’s politics or not, he was a great man who changed the lives of the poor in Cuba. He’s not Pol Pot or Kim Wrong Un no matter what the media might have you believe.

But what really boils my piss about this is that the detractors have never spent any real time in Cuba if any at all. You can’t judge Cuba by a few big tourist hotels and watching CNN. You have to go there and spend time looking around and talking to the real people.

I have.

The clown or the crook?

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With just a few weeks to go until the almighty US of A selects its new President, I’m forced to ask how, in a huge country like the States, these two cunts were the best they could come up with…

Neither candidate is, as far I can see, even remotely suited to occupy the position of arguably the most powerful person on the planet. On one hand you have a New York bruiser and on the other a patronising smug faced bitch.

Trump seems to have based his entire campaign on appealing to the working class voter. His approach seems to be that he wants them to believe that low paid illegal immigrants are taking the food from their babies’ mouth. Elect him and he’ll put a stop to it. He’s the champion of the downtrodden poor American. Pretty rich coming from a billionaire!

Then there’s Killary who, by all accounts is a nasty piece of work! I had to laugh the other day when as a result of the unrelenting media persecution of Trump, someone described CNN as the Clinton News Network. That about sums it up.

Clinton has thrown the kitchen sink at Trump. The women who have suddenly crawled out of the woodwork have been fascinating. The wife of a President who used his position to shove his cigar up a White House intern’s fanny should learn to put her own house in order first. Convenient isn’t it how these women waited all these years before speaking out?

The stage management has been interesting too. I loved that in their third and final debate Clinton dressed in white. Pure Hollywod western stuff – bad guy in the black hat, good guy in the white hat. Pathetic!

I despair of Britisn politics sometimes, but I’m glad that we don’t have to put up with protracted bullshit of the American system and I sincerely we never will.

So if I was a betting man who would I put my money on. Well, on balance I think Trump will get it. I think there’s a lot of people out there who won’t admit they support him but who will put their cross on his box on the day – if only because they’re sick to death of the establishment and think he’ll do something to shake it up. Plus they don’t want a woman President from yet another political dynasty!

But Trump should remember what happened to JFK when he tried to stir things up …

Bring back the chicken !

Police arresting a chicken for bothering David Cameron

Police arresting a chicken for bothering David Cameron

Remember the 2010 election campaign when the Daily Mirror hired a man in a chicken suit to chase Cameron around the country? It was an attempt to shame the man into debating in the 2010 general election.

The Labour party resurrected it in 2015. It was revealed yesterday in an analysis of their campaign expenditure that they have quite a supply of available chicken suits. 600 quids worth to be precise. I say it’s time to get them out of mothballs…

So ‘Chicken Dave’ is once again dodging face to face debates. His excuse this time is that he doesn’t want to be divisive by facing members of his own party who don’t support his ‘vision’ for the EU – but that simply doesn’t hold water, does it? If it was true then why did he refuse to debate directly with Nigel Farage on Tuesday night?

No, the real reason is because he knows that coming up against a seasoned debater rather than just taking loaded and pre-notified questions from an invited audience will expose a lot of what he says about the risks of leaving – especially about the economy…

On the subject of which I was appalled yesterday by suggestions form the looney left that the general public are too thick to be allowed to vote in a referendum, and that it should be restricted to well educated middle class people who have an understanding of politics.

Well, I’m middle class and was educated at a public school. I have a degree in economics. So I guess I’m qualified to tell Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne that they know as well as I do that there is no economic case to answer on the question of Europe. The real answer is that stay or leave, nobody knows what will happen. So if you’re basing your case on economics, forget it. It just doesn’t wash!

So let’s finish with a bit of light relief. In the interests of avoiding bias, here’s Boris being chased by a chicken during his mayoral campaign…

Cameron’s stance on the EU

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Well, what an unedifying spectacle that was last night on Sky News wasn’t it? I’ve followed politics with interest for a good few years and I’m struggling to remember an occasion when an audience treated a serving Prime Minister with such contempt.

To be fair to Sky, I thought they pulled no punches and I shall watch the debate with Gove tonight to see whether they treat him the same way. Cameron was asked if he would join the EU today if we weren’t already a member. Of course he would – on the terms he’s renegotiated says he. What a load of tosh!

I was particularly impressed with the way it took a student to put him in his place when he tried to interrupt her and how she accused him of waffling – which he clearly was.

Singularly unimpressive was the way he dismissed the issue of Turkey joining the EU. Failing the tests didn’t stop them shoehorning the Greeks in and look at the mess they’re in now. He says he has a veto over Turkey’s membership but would you trust him to use it given his support for them becoming members? I certainly wouldn’t.

He says he has a guarantee that we won’t join the Euro, ignoring the fact that nobody is asking us to.

He says we can control immigration whilst still being the EU which is, of course, complete nonsense. According to Cameron we need to address immigration on a Europe wide basis by stopping them entering the EU. I’m not sure how that gells with sending boats to the Med to haul them out and bring them ashore. It also ignores the fact that our immigration issues are mainly about those already in the EU – like Romania who are currently flooding our prisons with offenders. They’re already in Mr Cameron or have you conveniently failed to notice that?

All in all, we learnt nothing new last night although it is becoming clear that the electorate has had enough of scaremongering and lack of facts, so there’s hope we might escape yet…