Posts Tagged ‘Fox Hunting’

Michael Brooks Applauds Labour’s Election Video

November 22, 2019

Michael Brooks is the titular presenter of an American left-wing internet news and comment show. He’s also a co-presenter with Sam Seder on the latter’s Majority Report. In this video, Brooks looks at and gives his approval to Labour’s election video.

Before going into the video, Brooks says that he thinks the election video is fantastic, that the initial polls look good and that Labour’s Brexit strategy is pretty smart. It’s smart from a tactical perspective of dealing with the competing demands from within their own party. He says of the Liberal Democrats that they are ‘utterly exposed’. They had an opportunity to form a government purely on the basis of making sure there wasn’t a no-deal Brexit. They rejected it because they care infinitely more about corporations and austerity and right-wing economic policies than stopping Brexit.  Brooks then attacks the Tories, stating that Boris Johnson is the UK’s own contribution to the global embarrassment list – Trump, Netanyahu, Duterte and so on. Of Labour’s video, he says that he watched a conversation earlier that day between Alistair Campbell and John McDonnell, Corbyn’s no. 2.  Brooks says that they’re really good politicians, because they’re putting so much on the table from the perspective of healthcare, workers’ cooperatives for a 21st century democracy, ‘that it’s not an opportunity to pass up.’ The video also shows they’re taking the campaign seriously, strategically and ‘presentationally’.  They then show the video.

Labour’s election video begins with Corbyn’s election as head of the Labour party in 2015. It then moves through his career, and shows how he has forced the Tories to backtrack on some of their horrendous policies, while seeing off Prime Ministers David Cameron and Tweezer. In front of the relevant scenes are the following captions, beginning with Corbyn’s election. Corbyn’s shown saying ‘Poverty isn’t inevitable, things can and they will change. And they already have, says another caption. Tweezer is shown walking on, and then walking off backwards with the caption ‘Tories forced to backtrack on’ – dementia tax, winter fuel cuts, fox hunting ban, – ‘and many more’. A list of other policies blocked rolls up the screen too fast to catch, but they include grammar schools, police funding cuts, diesel tax, solar panel tax, tampon tax, Brexit deal vote, National Insurance, Brexit impact reports, Saudi prison contracts, Sunday trading hours,  and triple lock on pensions.

There’s then footage of a reporter stating that polls show the Tories on 48 per cent, and Labour half that. Which is followed by John Snow saying ‘We, the media, the pundits, know nothing’. The captions then states that Labour had the biggest campaign growth since polling began. And that Corbyn bid farewell to two prime ministers, showing Tweezer and Cameron. It says he defeated May’s Brexit deal once, twice and then three times. He blocked Johnson’s disastrous no-deal Brexit. It then shows footage from the Labour conference of Corbyn saying that the party ‘will commit to unleash the biggest people-powered campaign we’ve ever seen in this country and in this movement.’ A caption then appears and says ‘To totally transform our society from grass roots upwards. To radically change our rigged economy so that it works for everyone.’ At this point there’s an image of Johnson meeting various people and Rees Mogg lounging on a Commons’ bench. The caption goes on ‘To urgently respond to the climate crisis with our green industrial revolution. To get Brexit sorted by giving the people the final say.’ It goes back to Corbyn against, who says, ‘We achieve all of these things by being a party and a movement totally and absolutely united to our common cause and purpose.’

The captions then appearing, saying ‘This is our chance, once in a generation  to rebuilt Britain and put wealth and power in the hands of the many not the few. It’s time for real change’. And there it finishes with the Labour Party logo.

Brooks remarks, ‘That’s a good ad. They’re on point. I would really recommend if you’re in the UK you do absolutely everything you can for Labour. I’m incredibly excited to see what they put forward.’ He and the crew then discuss which date the election is on, before concluding that it’s the twelfth December. Brooks ends that section of the video by saying that he thinks it’s fantastic they have such a short election cycle.

The reason why the election cycle is so short, is because all the Tory governments have collapsed ever since Cameron’s wretched decision to call the Brexit referendum.

I think it’s brilliant that Michael Brooks thinks the video is so great, and gives his unqualified support for Labour. Brooks and Seder are both supporters of Bernie Sanders and his campaign to bring about the radical change America needs to empower its ordinary working people, and give them jobs and prosperity instead of more neoliberal lies, poverty and despair from the Republicans and corporatist Democrats. And what America most desperately needs is medicare for all. It’s a disgrace that a massive economic and geopolitical giant like America does not provide properly funded medicine to all of its people. The claims by the Republicans and right-wing Democrats like Hillary Clinton that the country can’t afford to is a flat-out lie. Bernie’s serious about correcting this glaring injustice in American healthcare, just as Corbyn’s determined to revive and regenerate our National Health Service.

We need and deserve Corbyn to win over here, and Bernie to win in America. And then we can make a better world by destroying four decades of Thatcherism and Reaganomics.

Lembit Opik Goes through the Papers on RT: Loss of International Agencies, Cruelty to Animals and Tory Austerity Deaths

November 22, 2017

This is another great piece from RT. It’s their version of that section on the British mainstream news shows, like Andrew Marr and the morning news, where they go through the papers with a guest commenting on stories of interest. In this piece from RT’s Going Underground, main man Afshin Rattansi’s guest is Lembit Opik, the former Lib Dem MP for one of the Welsh constituencies. Opik lost his seat at the election some time ago. Before then he was jocularly known as ‘the Minister for Asteroids’ by Private Eye, because his grandfather was an astronomer from one of the Baltic Countries, and Opik himself took very seriously the threat of asteroid Armageddon in the 1990. I can remember meeting him at a talk on ‘Asteroid Impacts’ one year at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature, where he and the other panellists, including Duncan Steele, an Australian astronomer who now teaches over here urged the world’s governments to set up an early warning system to defend Earth from such catastrophes.

Here, Opik picks out the stories from the papers about how Britain has lost its position as the seat, or with a member on, three international regulatory agencies as a result of Brexit. We no longer have a candidate sitting at the International Court of Justice. The European Medical Agency will go to Amsterdam, and the European Banking Authority will go to Paris. Opik makes the point that all these agencies are leaving Britain, as there’s no point in them being here if we’re not in the EU.

There’s a bit of lively, spirited disagreement between Opik and Rattansi, which doesn’t seem to be entirely serious. And in fact, the tone of their conversation makes me wonder if they didn’t have quite a good lunch with liquid refreshment. Rattansi is something of a ‘Leave’ supporter, and says in reply that they can go. We don’t want them. And perhaps if the International Court of Justice actually worked, we could prosecute some of those responsible for war crimes.

Opik’s next story is about a ruling by the Tories that animals don’t feel pain, and have no emotions. Which he points out will amaze anyone, who’s ever had a dog or seen one howl. He and Rattansi then comment about how this is all about the Tories trying to make it easier for themselves to go fox hunting, and for Trump and his children to kill more animals.

Opik then goes on to a funnier story, which nevertheless has a serious point. Documents released to Greenpeace under the Freedom of Information Act have shown that Britain lobbied Brazil over obtaining the rights for Shell and BP to drill for oil in more of the Brazilian rainforest. This is a serious issue. What makes it funny is that the government tried to redact the information. However, they got it wrong, and instead of blacking out the embarrassing pieces of information, they highlighted them instead in yellow marker. Which they then sent to Greenpeace’s head of operations. Opik then goes on to make the very serious point that this is information, that the government was trying to hide from us.

The last story is from the Independent. It’s about the finding by one of the peer-reviewed British medical journals that the Tories’ austerity policy is responsible for 120,000 deaths, in what has been described as ‘economic murder’. Opik’s sceptical of this claim, as he says he’s seen stats misused like this before. Rattansi counters in reply by saying that it does come from a peer-reviewed medical journal. Opik does, however, accept that Tory austerity policies have harmed some people, but is sceptical whether its 120,000.

These reports show that Britain is losing its influence on the world stage as a result of voting to leave the European Union. There’s even the possibility that we will lose our place on the UN Security Council if Scotland breaks away. It’s also interesting to hear Rattansi remind Opik that David Davis, the Tory MP, claimed that Britain wouldn’t lose her position as the base for various international agencies and ruling bodies if we left the EU. This is another failed prediction from the Tories. Or another lie, if you prefer.

As for the Conservatives ruling that animals don’t feel pain, the Independent states that this is ‘anti-science’. Absolutely. I think anyone, who has ever kept a pet knows that animals do feel pain, and do have emotions. Or at least, creatures like birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. My guess is that they’ve passed this ruling not just as a way of making the return of fox hunting easier, but as part of an attack on a whole range of animal rights legislation, which they probably see as a burden on farming and industry. Like whatever legislation there is protecting the wellbeing of farm animals or regulating vivisection. And it is very definitely an ‘anti-science’ ruling. It seems that new discoveries are being made regularly showing how animal cognition and mental abilities are much more sophisticated than we previously believed. For example, crows are able to make and use tools. They’ll use sticks to open tin cans, for example. This amazed scientists when they first discovered it, as tool use was previously considered to be confined to primates. And in yesterday’s I there was a report on the finding by scientists that sheep can recognise human faces. And yes, the I has also carried several stories over the years about how scientists have found that dogs really do have emotions. When I read these, my reaction was ‘No sh*t, Sherlock!’ It’s very obvious that dogs do have emotions. But not, apparently, to the baying anti-science morons in the Tory party.

Mike put up the story about medical researchers finding that Tory policies have killed 120,000 people in the UK. I don’t entirely blame Opik for being sceptical, as there have been similar claims made that have been vastly inflated. However I don’t doubt that this is true in this case. We have over a hundred thousand people forced to use food banks, and millions of people living in ‘food insecure’ households, where they don’t know when they’ll eat again. Even if poverty and starvation do not directly cause their deaths, they are a contributing cause by leaving them vulnerable to other factors, such as disease or long-term illness, hypothermia and so on. And there are at least 700 people, who have been directly killed by the Tories’ austerity. These people died of starvation, or diabetic comas when they could not afford to keep their insulin in a fridge, or in despair took their own lives. They’ve been commemorated and their cases recorded by Johnny Void, Stilloaks, Mike at Vox Political, and the great peeps at DPAC.

Many of these poor souls actually left notes behind saying that they were killing themselves because they couldn’t afford to live.

But the DWP has refused to accept it, and blithely carries on repeating the lie that there’s no link between their deaths and austerity. And certainly not with the murderous sanctions system introduced by David Cameron and Ian Duncan Smith.

Rattansi was right about the failure of the International Court of Justice to prosecute the war criminals, who led us into the Iraq invasion and other wars in the Middle East. But nevertheless, there was an attempt to have Bush, Blair and their fellow butchers and liars hauled before international justice for their crimes against humanity. A group of British, Greek and Canadian lawyers and activists tried to bring a prosecution, and the lawyer in charge of looking into the case was, at least initially, interested. Then American exceptionalism won out once again, and the US placed pressure on the court to throw out the case.

Being tried for war crimes is just something that happens to other, lesser nations, you see.

If there were any true, international justice, Blair and the rest of New Labour and Bush’s vile neocons would find themselves in the dock, like the other genocides and mass-murderers who’ve been punished. And I’d just love to see Cameron, Smith, Damian Green, Esther McVie and Theresa May join them for their ‘chequebook genocide’ against the disabled.

But unfortunately that ain’t going to happen. However, we can at least get them out before they kill many more people.

Theresa May Plans to Stop Children Having Free School Meals

May 20, 2017

Along with her other vile policies – like ending her promise not to raise VAT, taxes and national insurance, ending the triple lock on pensions, bringing back fox hunting, opening more grammar schools, May also wants to end free school meals for infants.

Maggie Thatcher tried something similar way back in the 1970s. She wanted to end free school milk as Heath’s education secretary. This earned her the soubriquet ‘Maggie Thatcher, the Milk Snatcher’. Mike in one of his articles on her vile policies has posted a very nice gif from EL4C, which shows a picture of Maggie with that chant, followed by May and the slogan ‘Theresa May takes your lunch away’.

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/05/19/at-last-britons-are-uniting-against-theresa-may/

Historians of the ’70s have argued that Thatcher’s stopping of free school milk was, in itself, a minor issue, which became a political battleground because people were fed up with the Tories generally.

But the stopping of free school meals for infants is a very different story.

We now have a society in which a hundred thousand people or more have been forced through Tory welfare cuts to use food banks. According to statistics, seven million people life in ‘food insecure’ households. Which means that they don’t know if they’re going to have enough to eat tomorrow.

Mothers are starving themselves in order to give food to their children.

This isn’t scaremongering by the ‘cultural Marxist left-wing media’. And people don’t go to food banks, ’cause it’s free food, as spouted by Tory liars like Edwina Currie.

It’s documented fact.

This will make the situation worse. It will mean more children going to school hungry, where they won’t be able to learn because of the hunger pangs. And if they can’t learn, they can’t pass exams, and so won’t get a proper, paying job. If any are still around after they’ve all been either automated away or outsourced.

And so we’ll go back to the 19th century, when there was real famine and malnutrition amongst the Labour poor.

This is what the Tories want. This is what May intends to give the ‘hard working people’ her party claims to be defending.

All to give her friends and paymasters in big business more tax breaks, and a cowed labour force so desperate they’ll work for literal starvation wages.

Don’t put up with it.

Kick and them out.

Vote Labour June 8th.

How Labour Can Become a Party of the Countryside

April 2, 2017

Last Thursday Mike put up a piece asking ‘How can Labour become the party of the countryside again?’, following the announcement by the Fabian Society that it was launching a project to investigate ways in which the Labour party could start winning over rural communities in England and Wales. The Society stated that the government had promised to match the subsidies granted to farmers and rural communities under the Common Agricultural Policy until 2020. However, farmers are faced with the devastating prospect of losing access to European markets, while being undercut by cheap foreign imports. Environmental regulations are also threatened, which also affect the continuing beauty of the English and Welsh countryside.

The Society recognises that agriculture isn’t the only issue affecting rural communities. They also suffer from a range of problems from housing, education, transport and the closure of local services. Rural communities pay more for their transport, and are served worst. At the same time, incomes in the countryside are an average of £4,000 lower than in the towns, but prices are also higher. Many market towns, pit villages and other rural communities have been abandoned as their inhabitants have sought better opportunities in the towns.

The Society is asking Labour members in rural communities to fill out a survey, to which Mike’s article is linked, and give their views on how the party can succeed in the countryside.

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/03/28/how-can-labour-become-the-party-of-the-countryside-again/

This is a fascinating project, and if successful would see Labour challenge the Tories and Lib Dems in their heartlands. The Tories in particular seem to see themselves as the party of the countryside since the 18th and 19th centuries, when they represented the Anglican aristocracy, who tried to emphasise the rural traditions of a mythical prosperous ‘merrie England’ against the threat of the towns of the growth of the Liberal middle class.

Mike states that one of the problems he’s faced as a Labour party campaigner in his part of rural Wales is the myth that ‘Labour wants to nationalise farms’. Clearly, this is the part of the same complaint I remembering hearing from middle class children at school that ‘Labour wanted to nationalise everything’. It was to allay these suspicions that Blair went off and got rid of Clause 4 as part of his assault on Labour as the party of the working class. But even before then it was nonsense.

Following Labour’s defeat in the 1950 elections, the party halted its programme of nationalisation. Labour was in any case committed to nationalise only when it was necessary and popular. Thus, Atlee’s government set up the NHS and nationalised the utilities, with very little opposition from the Tories, but did not proceed further. And the Social Democratic section of the party, led by Tony Crosland, argued very strongly against nationalisation on the grounds that it was not only unpopular, but the benefits of nationalisation could be achieved in other ways, such as a strong trade union movement, a welfare state and progressive taxation.

This held sway until the 1970s, when the Keynsian consensus began to break down. Labour’s response in 1973 was to recommend a more comprehensive programme of nationalisation. They put forward a list of 25 companies, including the sugar giant, Tate & Lyle, which they wanted taken into public ownership. How large this number seems to be, it is far short complete nationalisation.

The party was strongly aware of the massive problems the Soviet Union had in feeding its population, thanks to the collectivisation of agriculture. Most of the food produced in the USSR came from the private plots the peasants were allowed on their kholkozy – collective farms. Tito’s government in Yugoslavia had attempted to avoid that by letting the farms remain in private hands. At the same time, only companies that employed more than 20 people were to be nationalised.

Even in the 1930s and 40s I don’t think the nationalisation of farmland was quite an option. Looking through the contents of one of the secondhand bookshops in Cheltenham, I found an old copy of Production for the People, published by the Left Book Club in the 1940s. This explored ways in which Socialists could raise production in industry and agriculture, to the benefit of working people. The section on agriculture was almost wholly devoted to the question of subsidies and suitable government infrastructure to support farmers. I can’t remember there being any mention of nationalisation. The closest the book came was to argue for an expansion of rural cooperatives.

This project may well embarrass the Fabian Society. I’ve got the distinct impression that the Society is now staffed very strongly with Blairites, and it is Blairism as a barely left extension of Thatcherism that is at the heart of so many of the problems of rural communities. Blair, for example, like Major and now the administrations of Cameron and May, strongly supported the big supermarket chains. But the supermarket chains have done immense damage to Britain’s small businessmen and farmers. They force small shopkeepers out of business, and impose very exploitative contracts on their suppliers. See the chapter on them in George Monbiot’s Captive State. Yet national and local governments have fallen over to grant their every wish up and down the country. David Sainsbury even had some place in one of Blair’s quangos. I think he even was science minister, at one point.

If Labour would like to benefit farmers and traders, they could try and overturn the power of the supermarket chains, so that farmers get a proper price for their products and are not faced with the shouldering the costs while Sainsbury’s, Tescos and so on reap all the profits. At the same time, your local shops together employ more people than the local supermarket. So if you cut down on the number of supermarkets in an area, you’d actually boost employment. But this is unlikely to go down well with the Blairites, looking for corporate donations and a seat on the board with these pernicious companies when they retire or lose their seat.

At the same time, rural communities and livelihoods are also under attack from the privatisation of the forestry service. Fracking is also a threat to the environment, as is the Tories campaign against green energy. A number of villages around Britain, including in Somerset, have set up local energy companies generating power from the sun and wind. But the current government is sponsored heavily by the oil and nuclear companies, and so is desperate to close these projects down, just like the Republicans are doing in America.

The same goes for the problems of transport. After Maggie Thatcher decided to deregulate bus services, the new bus companies immediately started cutting unprofitable services, which included those to rural areas. If Labour really wants to combat this problem, it means putting back in place some of the regulations that Thatcher removed.

Also, maintaining rural communities as living towns and villages also means building more houses at prices that people in the countryside can afford. It may also mean limiting the purchase of housing stock as convenient second homes for wealthy urbanites. The Welsh Nats in the ’70s and ’80s became notorious for burning down holiday homes in Wales owned by the English. In actual fact, I think it’s now come out that only a tiny number – perhaps as low as 1 – were actually destroyed by Welsh nationalists. The rest were insurance jobs. But I can remember my Welsh geographer teacher at school explaining why the genuine arsonists were so angry. As holiday homes, they’re vacant for most of the year. The people, who own them don’t live locally, and so don’t use local services, except for the couple of weeks they’re there. Furthermore, by buying these homes, they raise the prices beyond the ability of local people to buy them, thus forcing them out.

This is a problem facing rural communities in England, not just Wales, and there are some vile people, who see nothing wrong with it. I’ve a friend, who was quite involved in local politics down in Somerset. He told me how he’d had an argument on one of the Somerset or rural British websites with a very right-wing, obnoxious specimen, who not only saw nothing wrong with forcing local country people out of their homes, but actually celebrated it. This particular nutter ranted on about how it was a ‘new highland clearances’. I bet he really wouldn’t like to say that in Scotland!

Labour may also be able to pick up votes by attacking the myth of the fox hunting lobby as really representing rural Britain. Well, Oscar Wilde once described them as ‘the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible’. Which about accurately describes them. They were resented in the early 19th century, when some farmers and squires started ‘subscription hunts’. Their members where wealthy urban businessmen, off for a day’s ‘sport’ in the country. At the same time, harsh laws were passed against poaching, which saw starving farm workers transported.

Mike’s put up statistics several times on his blog, which show very much that very many, perhaps even the majority, of rural people do not support fox hunting. And I know people from rural Britain, who actively loathed and detested it. I had a friend at College, who came from Devon. He bitterly hated the Tories and the fox hunters, not least because the latter had ridden down a deer into school playing field and killed it in front of the children.

Another friend of mine comes from East Anglia. He told me how many of the tenant farmers over there also hated the fox hunting crowd, not least because of the cavalier way they assumed they had the right to ride over the land of the small farmers in pursuit of the ‘game’.

The fox hunting crowd do not represent rural Britain as a whole, and their claim to do so should be attacked and shown to be massively wrong at every opportunity. As for the Tories’ claim to be the party of the countryside, they have represented the interests only of the rich landed gentry, and the deregulation and privatisation introduced by Maggie Thatcher and carried on by successive right-wing administrations, including May and Cameron, have done nothing but harm real working people in rural Britain. The bitter persecution of the farmworker’s unions set up in the 19th century clearly demonstrate how far back this hatred and contempt goes.

Mutants from a Post-Holocaust Future: The Hunt Lobby and the British Aristocracy

December 28, 2015

Boxing Day is traditionally the day when fox hunters up and down Britain ride out to satisfy their bloodlust. Since 2004 it’s been illegal to hunt them with hounds, but this hasn’t stopped the Countryside Alliance from continuing to campaign for the repeal of the law. Mike reported over at Vox Political that a quarter of a million fox hunters were expected to ride to hounds on that day. And David Cameron wanted to see parliament repeal the law. You shouldn’t be surprised at that. He is, after all, a blue-blooded aristo, so the hunt’s almost certainly in his primal nature. Along with snobbery and an absolute contempt for those he regards as merely human animals, like the poor, disabled and working class.

Cameron was to be disappointed. The general public don’t want the ban lifted. Mike reported the findings of a poll, which said that 83 per cent of people don’t want a return to hunting with dogs. There’s also very strong support for the ban inside Cameron’s own party, with 70 Tories MPs stating they would vote against lifting the ban.

See the following articles on his blog: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/12/26/opposition-to-fox-hunting-hits-all-time-high-with-even-most-tory-voters-opposed/

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/12/26/fox-hunting-david-camerons-desire-to-reverse-ban-doomed-in-face-of-tory-opposition/

Mike also quotes the BBC News, where Tracey Crouch stated that Parliament has far better things to do than debate fox hunting.

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/12/26/fox-hunting-parliament-has-better-things-to-do-than-repeal-act/

So who are the proud supports of fox hunting? Well, from the experience of a group of my friends in Cheltenham, aristocratic Tory grotesques. I was up visiting them once, when they’d gone out for the day to enjoy themselves at the races. They’d had a good time watching the horses, and had even won a bit a money gambling, but came back in a foul mood.

What had spoiled their day? The fox hunting crew.

They’d been drinking in one of the beer tents, when a group of the local Tory aristocracy came in along with a squad of very loud supporters of fox hunting. These two groups were horrendously snobbish and condescending towards their social inferiors, as well as physically repulsive. One of my friends wailed in support of this observation that ‘They had no chins!’

So it’s true. The British aristocracy really are chinless wonders.

One of the women was so annoyed with the crew that she immediately sat down to play a particularly violent computer game. It was set in a post-Holocaust future, so presumably she was getting the urge to beat horribly deformed mutants to death out of her system.

It all rather reminded me of one of Robert Rankin’s fantasy novels: Armageddon – the Musical. This is an SF tale in which Elvis Presley and Barry the Time Sprout combat the forces of the Anti-Christ in a Britain devastated by a nuclear holocaust. Among the book’s villains are a sect of cannibals, the Devianti. Whereas other cannibals in SF books set in a post-Apocalyptic future tend to be an extrapolation of the poor White trash in the American Deep South, or violent urban subcultures, like the Bikers in the Mad Max films, the Devianti are true blue aristos. As an indication of their exalted social status, they wear their Barbour waxed jackets outside their anti-nuclear survival suits.

Going by what my friends said that day, I don’t think you have to travel into a future devastated by nuclear war to encounter mutants like them. They’re already here, deformed through generations of inbreeding, and with an insatiable thirst for blood and violence. This is shown in foxhunting, and in the massive bullying that goes on at the elite Public Schools. And they aren’t leaving it for a nuclear war to destroy Britain. Their policies are already doing that, as they seek to vent their hatred of Britain’s poor, sick and unemployed.

This ain’t Science Fiction any more. The mutants are here, and called Tories.

Anti-UKIP Vote Meme

May 5, 2015

This is another meme I found over at the SlatUKIP facebook site. It’s their tweets from last night, collected into a comprehensive list of reasons why no-one should vote for the Kippers. It was done by one of their readers, OgdenW.

It comprehensively describes the double standards and mendacity of a party, which consistently tries to present an image of happy moderation while standing for the extreme right, bigotry and intolerance. The list of reasons includes its racism, its hatred of immigrants, Islamophobia, anti-women’s rights and hatred and contempt for LGBT. It also lists it’s policies in favour of stripping working people of their employment rights and furthering their exploitation, as well as their support for fox-hunting, fracking and other policies, which would wreck the countryside. As well as their support for gun ownership.

It also shows how we would lose trade if we left the EU, contrary to the Kippers’ predictions.

And finally, there’s the personal faults of Farage himself, a millionaire banker, who is definitely not a ‘man of the people’, as well as a ‘functioning alcoholic’ who spends 5-6 hours a day by his own admission in pubs.

Anti-UKIP Vote Meme

Vox Political: Labour to Introduce New Legislation Against Animal Cruelty

February 22, 2015

Mike over at Vox Political has this story, Labour’s plan to protect animals. Maria Eagle – now there’s a fitting name – has just announced Labour’s six point plan to protect the nation’s wild and domestic animals. These are:

* Defending the hunting ban.
*Banning the use of wild animals in circuses.
* Ending the badger culls.
*Improving the protection of dogs and cats
* Tackling wildlife crime and reducing cruelty on shooting estates.
*Leading the fight against animal cruelty across the world.

Mike’s article lists the policies and describes them in order. He begins

Here’s another terrific Labour Party policy announcement that seems to have been overlooked by the news media: Animal protection.

The policy was announced by Maria Eagle and runs as follows:

1) Labour will protect the Hunting Act
Ten years ago the Labour Party ended the cruel practice of hunting with dogs, because we believe that causing defenceless animals to suffer in the name of sport has no place in a civilised society. But just as we celebrate the Hunting Act, the Tories plan to repeal it. Only Labour can protect the Hunting Act because Labour is the only major party committed to defending it.

2) Labour will ban wild animals in circuses
Travelling circuses are no place for wild animals. Being moved from place to place in cramped and substandard enclosures, forced training and performance, loud noises and crowds of people are the unavoidable distressing realities for animals in circuses. Despite promising to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses, the Tory-led Government has failed to do so. The next Labour government will ban this cruel practice.

Mike’s piece is at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/02/22/labours-plan-to-protect-animals/. Read it for a further description of the policy.

These are actually good, sensible policies. Despite the noise made by the Countryside Alliance, as various bloggers have recently revealed, most people in the countryside don’t support fox hunting. I personally know people from a farming background, who are very strongly against it.

As for the use of wild animals in circuses, this has been a scandal for years. The great broadcaster, Ludovic Kennedy, who I remember for hosting the television review programme Did You See ..?, was very clear in his disapproval of circuses that featured performing wild animals. A number of circuses today don’t use them, a movement that began, as I recall, back in the 1990s.

And people naturally love domestic animals, to the point where, shockingly, the amount given to animal charities is actually greater than that for children. Don’t get me wrong on this – I’m not arguing that people should give less for animals, only that children deserve more. Despite this, there are indeed cases of terrible abuse and neglect inflicted on dogs and cats. Clearly, some extra protection is appropriate here.

Mike points out that nothing like this has been put forward by the Tories. Quite the opposite. They have decided to spend taxpayer’s money subsidising grouse shooting. Because of the desperate poverty and near destitution of all the great landowners and their shooting estates north of the border.

Such as, presumably, the former Tory treasurer, Lord McAlpin. Way back in the 1990s he was repeatedly in the pages of Private Eye, because rare birds of prey were turning up poisoned on his estate in the highlands. No-one was prosecuted, and it looks like any investigation was either impeded or very half-hearted.

Mind you, perhaps it’s too much to believe that the Tories will be much interested in protecting animals. After all, they really don’t like humans much, and especially not if they’re poor.

So we can expect more Tory opposition to this, based not on its feasibility, but simply because the Tories will resent what they see as their right to pursue the usual aristocratic sports of hunting and shooting.

Lord Lucan, Public School Thuggery and Establishment ‘Omerta’

March 24, 2014

Lucan image

Lord Lucan: The detective investigating his case said that he encountered a wall of silence greater than at amongst professional criminals.

Yesterday evening I reblogged Mr Pride’s post ‘Violent thugs with public school accents and connections to the very top of the Tory Party’. This was about the derisory sentence – a fine of £350 – handed out to two thugs, who had attacked and robbed two women in car in 2007. The men were both friends of David Cameron and were leading members of the Heythrop Hunt. One of them was Charles Otis Ferry, the Marlborough-educated son of pop star Bryan Ferry. Otis Ferry was a strong supporter of the pro-fox hunting group, the Countryside Alliance, who took part in their invasion of the floor of the House of Commons when it was banned by Blair’s government. There’s more than a suspicion here that upper class solidarity played a very strong part in the exceptionally low penalty given to the two men, despite the violence of the attack. The two men had blocked the road in front of the two women with their car, and then smashed the women’s windows in order to get the money. It was a violent crime, and there is absolutely no way that someone from the working or lower middle classes would have been treated with such contemptible leniency if they had been responsible for a similar assault.

In this respect, it reminds me of what I’ve heard about the wall of silence and establishment class solidarity the police detective charged with investigating the affair of Lord Lucan encountered. Lucan was the lord, who disappeared after the murder of his children’s nanny. A friend of mine with a far greater interest in the case than me told me that the detective investigating the case was appalled by the complete lack of co-operation he received from the other members of the aristocracy. The attitude was very much that Lucan may have been a nasty piece of work, but he went to the same public school, and so they stood by him against the detective trying to get to the truth and obtain justice for the murdered nanny. The detective remarked that not even amongst the hardened criminals of the East End had he encountered such an attitude of solidarity and deliberate silence to cover up a crime. The aristocratic establishment thus have a stronger sense of protecting their own, criminal members than the mafia’s ‘omerta’ – their notorious code of silence.

And clearly this class solidarity is still very strong, and shared by the judge, who awarded such a paltry penalty to Otis Ferry and his accomplice. This shows you just how low David Cameron and his friends consider the safety of the working and lower middle classes and their property, compared to protecting their fellow aristos. They have no concern or interest in them at all. All they’re really interested in is preserving and maintaining their own, highly privileged place in society.

And so the violent thugs, who robbed two women on an isolated country road got a fine of £350. And Lord Lucan got away with murder.