Tag Archive: election

Facts and Lies: UKIP Checking

Nobody can be bothered to check facts.

UKIP, the Lernaean Hydra of British politics

UKIP Hydra
[credit: Jon Worth, please click image ]

For months I have endured a deluge of facts and lies, all leading up to yesterday’s election. (I voted Green – there were only European elections in my area, so no local stuff).  Mostly, it’s all been around UKIP.  They really have stoked the fires, first lit by this government that wasn’t elected and that has done a raft of nasty things never included in their 2010 manifestos.  But the fires against the disadvantaged are really aflame now.

It’s UKIP wot done it guv.  It’s Suzanne Evans talking – click here to pause her waffle.

Tactics

The Chubby Elite

UKIP’s backers are some of the sharpest, wealthiest people in the land.

UKIP’s tactics however, have been to take on all crackpots of all kinds, then, when the fuckwit says something beyond the pale, they evict them.

This has the effect of being news-worthy, and as we in entertainment know, all news is good news.  The normal triumvirate of red, blue and orange have had a few gobshite moments, but UKIP beats them hands down.

The litany of UKIP’s tactics is strewn across the web, but a fairly recent summary and discourse on them can be found on Another Angry Voice (AAV).

Fact Checks #1

As Tom at AAV noted in the link above, UKIP-ers are not fond of reading anything beyond the first few lines of anything and have a raft of weird ideas all   the stuff headed up and analysed with examples, summarised neatly here:

General abuse Confirmation Bias Denial of reality Just making stuff up
Conspiracies Meta-slander Persecution complexes Marxist fearmongering
Talking in absolutes This is a “Hate group” The Censorship fallacy Fascist sentiments
Straw-manning You called us racist Humourlessness Right, I’m definitely voting UKIP now!

It’s all very “lowest common denominator” (LCD) stuff.  Confirmation Bias rules, okay!

 Fact Checks #2

Though I despise UKIP and parties like them, I do try to check facts, from all over and presented by anyone.  Even those that I support get it wrong sometimes.  Question everything!

UKIP’s Suzanne Evans on Radio 4

I heard that Evans had been quoted as saying that UKIP ” had difficulty appealing to the educated, cultured and young” with regard to the voting in London.  It was on the BBC Radio 4 “Today” programme.  You can listen to the whole thing here for the next few days.  If you do a Google search for the phrase, “difficulty appealing to the “educated, cultured and young”” a whole raft of websites, news organisations, social media and news agregation websites are all reporting this very same thing.  The search produced >1000 – here are 3.

This Reddit chat is a notable exception to the broadcast-info-with-impunity-or-checks brigade and also has a link to the interview.  They say she never said it and provide a textual view of the interview.

She Never Said It!

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Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The trouble is, she never actually said it!  This is my recording of the show, editted down to Suzanne Evans’ interview and compressed for audio clarity before MP3-ing it.

 It’s True – She Never Said It!

Ukip members wait for results of local election in Croydon

So why are all the news sites and almost every Google search result saying that she did?  ( Well almost all – a Reddit chat also says that she never said it. )  The Independent report even has a nicely forlorn UKIP blokey.

In the interview, then interviewer actually says that it was a colleague in London  (not known, not named) who, she said, UKIP “had difficulty appealing to the educated, cultured and young”

 

 Conclusion

Either:

  1. The truth of the matter is that people hardly ever check anything nowadays.
    • The deluge of information is too great.
    • Everyone expects reputable news providers to do properly journalistic background checks.
    • The BBC interviewer never checked.
  2. The truth of the matter is that all news providers are in collusion with the establishment to maintain the neoliberal status quo.
    • The UKIP freaks who commented on AAV are correct in that it is a conspiracy.
    • UKIP freaks are right in that the BBC shows anti-UKIP left-wing bias.

The trouble with #2 is that UKIP contains part of the powerful establishment elite.

  • Farage is a former banker and apart from a host of wealthy backers, the normal tory paper (Daily Telegraph – torygraph in common parlance) is now swapping sides since the tories are not right-wing enough for it’s wealthy  owners, the reclusive, island-owning, tax-avoiding, feudalistic, Sark-criticising (because it won’t allow them to set up a tax haven),  Barclay Brothers.
  • Many other establishment papers likewise share a divisive, right wing, xenophobic stance.
  • The BBC has had rafts of governement enforced right wing management changes (government plants is the phrase).
  • The BBC has given more airtime to Farage than any other panellist on “Question Time” except for Dimbleby.

This leaves #1.

Answer:

Nobody can be bothered to check facts.

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Tories Reveal Authoritarian Roots While Liberals Check Their Shoelaces

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Yet again I’m forced to side with the grinning David Davis.  This doesn’t happen often and is embarrassing to admit!.

ConDem Coalition Pledges Broken!

ConDem Coalition Pledges Broken!

It’s all about the government plans to allow full-scale unauthorised real-time monitoring of every person in the UK’s internet activity!  It’s so 1984.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen” – (George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four
.

Orwell must be turning in his grave in despair that what he predicted as a warning about what not to do, now looks like coming to fruition.

Remarkably, since wangling themselves into government, the conservative-libdem coalition government is now actually dropping a key part of their manifesto which they laboriously agreed two years ago.  This can still be found on the government website, page 11 to be exact (pdf) .  Here’s what they said:

  • The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian…. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power – FAIL
  • …reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion – FAIL
  • … introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation – FAIL
  • …end the storage of internet and email records without good reason – FAIL
  • …a British Bill of Rights that … protects and extends British liberties – FAIL

(Actually, the whole Con-Dem pledge list makes good reading to see just how far removed from it our evil diktat of quangos has become.)

So what to do – use TOR.

ID Cards

Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Photo credit: andreasmarx)

Not so long ago I was haranguing the former Labour government about their plans for ID Cards, their laws over CCTV and photographing in public places, the reduction  in privacy for individuals and the removal of our civil rights over detention without trial, due cause and 3rd party notification for first 90 days and them 42 days.

I left the Labour Party because of it and have not rejoined.

Huge Vocal Resentment Against UK Government Secret Citizen Monitoring Plans.

try the Tor browser bundle

The new news (I thought it was an April Fool joke initially!) is that Email and web use is ‘to be monitored’ under new laws proposed by this nasty, nasty government.  Happily, there is now a huge and vociferous resentment against this from the general public who can see this evil act for what it is.  Top among them is David Davis!  See this link and the thousands of comments for instance; Backlash over email and web monitoring plan.

Clueless

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14

Now, the tories and their liberal stooges have been shown to be both serially evil in their pronouncements and plans, and also serially incompetent of managing almost anything.

Their pathetic management of a minor industrial dispute (the fuel shortage) which did nothing except invoke almost universal resentment of the coalition and reawaken a general awareness of their ineffectiveness comes on top of stripping the very foundations away from one of UK society’s greatest inventions of the Industrial Age, our National Health Service (NHS).

United Kingdom

Top this behavioural abomination with that of the revolving door policy between banking and politics which they continue to promote with zero penalties for failure while the population-at-large have to prop up the whole system with their taxes means only two things to me.

  1. The government must do something desperate to have any hope of re-election in 3 years – this means either war (patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel) or economic boom-and-bust gambling.
  2. They will do something desperate to have any hope of re-election in 3 years – this means either war (patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel) or economic boom-and-bust gambling.

Astute folk will see this as my prediction for government actions over the next 3 years.

Tories: Keep Friends Happy

Meanwhile, hundreds of extra Tory donors will soon be available to bankroll the “all is good” story.  They will arrive as beneficiaries of the windfall provided as the “former NHS” contracts are handed out to friends, much like Michael Ashcroft benefited from the first round of NHS privatisation during the Thatcher era.  This article on Powerbase and this one (sourced from a now defunct article in The Scotsman) show quite clearly that 1/3 of cleaning contracts went to Ashcroft’s businesses during this time, saying;

MICHAEL Ashcroft, (…) bankrolled an “independent” publicity campaign that allowed his multi-million-pound contract cleaning empire to prosper and led to a change in the law. The campaign was run from the London office of the former Conservative Scottish secretary, Michael Forsyth. A spokesman for Mr Ashcroft confirmed last night that he had contributed to the Public and Local Service Efficiency Campaign (PULSE), which was set up in 1985 to persuade the public sector to contract out services such as cleaning and catering. The campaign had been disbanded by the end of the 1980s after the Conservative government passed the 1988 Local Government Act .  Mr Ashcroft’s Hawley Services Group, a contract cleaning firm later known as ADT, flourished under the new regime, with ADT, winning a third of NHS contracts between 1983 and 1988.

For further information into the depths that the Tories will go to enable all public money to be fed straight to their business friends, see this article which pulls apart the dealings of Ashcroft, discredited Dame Shirley Porter, NIMBY Nicholas Ridley, Chris Chope (the dog turd of Christchurch) and current (dodgy expenses, remember) minister Eric Pickles.

THE PICKLES PAPERS

By Tony Grogan
First published by 1 IN 12 PUBLICATIONS 1989
21 – 23 Albion St. Bradford 1.
Copyright 1 IN 12 Publications 1989
ISBN 0 948994 04 5

Once read, apply the same logic to our dear NHS, and weep again.  The same modus operandi is being used;

  1. discredit the current, imply alternatives are better;
  2. farm out internal monies to external Tory benefactors.

It’s just more sleaze just like under Thatcher before, backed up with warlike rhetoric.  Remember, only 10 days ago we had the news of billionaire Tory donors at Cameron’s dinner table, and Cameron trying to defend the cash-for-access news that made Labour’s cash-for-questions scandal appear like a sweetshop-ish wheeze in comparison.  See 

Tory Party chairman Lord Feldman was one of the key figures in the ‘cash for access’ scandal which erupted after Tory party treasurer Peter Cruddas was caught offering a private dinner with David Cameron to undercover reporters who posed as wealthy party donors.  Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2123692/Tory-cash-access-row-David-Cameron-crony-pal-cash-questions.html

as well.

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Don’t Hurt a Buddha

What Does That Title Mean!

A. Those who practice Buddhism do so without any expectation of grace or favour.  They do it for two reasons:

  1. To Improve their own life and continuing existence
  2. To improve other’s lives and future existences

You don’t have to believe that they do this – after all, it could all be a big deception, couldn’t it?

But a true Buddha, revealing their Buddha nature and pointing out the iniquities and devilish qualities of the world, does believe this.  Wholeheartedly.

This is why, in all the Buddhist schools, there is a phrase passed down from eons back.

Those who vex and trouble [the practitioners of the Law] will have their heads split into seven pieces.

Now What Does That mean!

It’s an allegory, that quite often is remarkably accurate….   I’ve seen it happen;  where people have vexed and insinuated against someone that’s revealing their Buddha nature – and then come a cropper!  You name it:

  • Bad illnesses
  • Bad finances
  • Bad relationships
  • Brain cancer
  • Business or company breakups
  • Family break up or polarisations

3000 Realms in a Single Moment

If Buddhism were just capable of punishing without change, then it’d be no good.  It’d be just like Judgement Day, which it’s not.  The principle of 3000 realms in a single moment [of life] means that everyone can be bad and good at the same time.

Really.  That’s what it means.  It’s the complete essence of Buddhism.

Therefore, even very bad people, who have “harmed or vexed” a Buddha, can reveal their good side and instantly become a Buddha – just like that!

Conversely, anyone can go over to the dark side of animality.  At any time.

Belief

You don’t have to believe any of this, of course.

But I do.

  • From someone with the very worst excesses of delusions and animality being transformed instantly to a person of great note – I believe it.
  • For someone that harms a Buddha having their head [metaphorically or literally] smashed into seven pieces – I believe it.

Like I said, you don’t have to believe it – but I do, and so do millions of Buddhists. We know what will happen because we’ve seen it.

Sub Text

Why am I talking like this?

A. Because, as a practitioner of Buddhism, I’m being attacked for trying to protect people and to turn the attacker into something better;

And it’s my warning.

I don’t have to do anything – the universe will make it so, (as Captain Jean-Luc would say).

References

These are the instances when the famous Buddhist monk Nichiren talks about a “head being split into seven pieces” from his writings.  As I say, you don’t have to believe it.  All that matters is that I do.

For a clue to what this about, this is a neat definition of the term “scammer”, taken from The Urban Dictionary:

One who does everything in his/her power to steal from another, usually by means of trickery, deceit, and force. With the accesibility and anonymousity that the internet provides, scammers have become increasingly prevalent in modern times. Usually driven by personal greed or even outright amusement, they are unhindered by sympathy or morals and are the very face of human corruption.

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Democracy and Freedom

I’ve been on holiday for a while.  Today’s encouragement from Sensei I thought wonderfully appropriate for us in Britain, given the imminent general election and the hunt for a supposed centre ground.

The Deeper I Go, The More Knowledge I Know

The Deeper I Go, The More Knowledge I Know

Quite simply, there can be no true democracy unless the citizens of a country realize that they are sovereign, that they are the main protagonists, and then with wisdom and a strong sense of responsibility take action based on that realization.

Democracy cannot be successful in its mission unless the people rouse themselves to become more informed and involved, unless they unite, unless they establish an unshakable force for justice and keep a strict eye on the activities of the powerful.

Daisaku Ikeda, for Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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Ashcroft: Assurance or Promise most Likely?

“Lord” Ashcroft Then

It’s ten years since Ashcroft “gave assurances” that he would reveal his er.. something or other, to William Hague – according to William Hague in his famous Paxman interview – See Below:

“Lord” Ashcroft Now

Today’s news is that if the tories win the forthcoming election, (and in a statement today, he finally confirmed he WAS a non-dom),  Ashcroft has promised to become fully “resident and domiciled” in the UK.  Try The Sun for more or the BBC.

“Lord” Ashcroft Conclusion

What this all means, of course, is that either;

  • Ashcroft lied to Hague back in 2000 when Hague put him up for his peerage,
  • Or that Ashcroft deliberately misled Hague about it all,
  • Or that Hague colluded in the deception.

I cannot personally think of any other routes that would lead William Hague to state what he so emphatically said to Paxman last summer.  What says you?  I’m all ears.

However, it’s blindingly obvious (yet strangely ignored) that he hasn’t paid tax to our nation for at least ten years – and yet has a weird magnetic control over some of our affairs….

Labour Donors

Lewis HamiltonOf course, the Labour Party have their own share of grey donors; all the way from Bernie Ecclestone back in 1997 to the Indian born Baron Paul with his own peculiar mix of richness, dodgy expense claims and donations.

The Labour queue is pretty long in financial scandal.

The stench of hypocrisy is becoming worse.

But what burnt the honesty cake for me these last two days, was the flag of patriotism being bandied about.

Patriotism – the last refuge of a scoundrel.

The DoorIn 1775 Samuel Johnson made this famous statement (reference here).  Yesterday, Tory leader Cameron said,

“It is an election we have a patriotic duty to win because this country is in a complete and utter mess, and we have to sort it out.”

  • Which is a formidable statement to make given that the whole world is in a turmoil where the rich get richer and the poor have to pay for it, and yet Britain is not a “one-off” and actually, is “not that bad”, you know…
  • Formidable because the starving poor are now castigated for hunting for food after earthquakes by a corrupt, politically charged and motivated media who employ brainless hacks to tow the editorial line.
  • Yet in the UK, no-one starves unless through neglect.
  • Anyone in Britain can get medical treatment and care on demand, with waiting lists at a fraction that they were when the Tories were last in power…

It’s a strange definition of the word “mess” – but a typical usage of the word “patriotism”, by a squeakily clean, disturbingly smooth, scoundrel.

Want and Need

Taxation without RepresentationWhat we want and need is simple.

In a reworking of the slogan “No taxation without representation“, there should be a new slogan, that empathetically states that we do not need lobbying or interference in our governmental process from any person or organisation that does not  pay taxes;  i.e. it does not directly contribute to the material well-being of the country.

No Representation without Taxation!

This means:

  • No positions of power.
  • No quango membership
  • No parliamentary membership.
  • No political donations, directly or indirectly.
  • No lobbying or ‘briefings’, directly or indirectly.

In other words,

Pay up , or shut up!

We all have to, the poor, long-suffering, tax-paying, public.

America

This is especially important for us, as where America leads, we follow.

Within the last two months, a legal judgement was made that made it perfectly proper for any business to promote any political party.  The logic was that if a company pays taxes, it should have representation, just as the founding fathers wanted.

The crucial irony is though, that grievous complaints have been raised in the USA that their due process of democracy was already being undermined by these huge corporations that now bankroll the electoral system.

Of course, the reason that the corporations won was due to the massive financial investment in lobbying that they undertook to ensure they won…….

Watch out Britain!  Q. E. D.

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