A Defence of Naz Shah and Who is Behind Her Suspension?

One thing must be made clear before you read the rest of this article. The comments and posts shared by Naz Shah were in my opinion at worst ill advised and at best knee-jerk.

Especially for someone with her role and the meetings she is currently involved in. There are though some mitigating factors, not least the fact that she made these online comments 2 years ago at a time when Israel was bombarding Palestine and killing thousands of civilians. Her thoughts at the time will have echoed the thoughts of many who support the rights of Palestinians.

In fact it wasn’t even a comment. She shared the following image,


This blog has shared this image previously and many others like it. Memes likes this are shared to express outrage at the Government of Israel, the so-called Zionists. Of course this would never be an acceptable solution to them which is why this is always a knee-jerk response and not a viable solution, it’s shared to make a point, not pass genuine solutions to an age old problem.

Being anti-Zionist is very different to being anti-semitic. To be anti-semitic is to be anti Jewish. To be anti Zionist is to be anti nationalist. Think of it as opposing the EDL in Britain, that’s about the closest comparison you’re going to see, off the top of my head at least.

When you criticise the EDL and perhaps suggest that England relocates to somewhere far away to avoid the people of Bradford it’s clearly not a sensible suggestion but is a knee-jerk reaction against the nationalists.

We are not going to give a history lesson on Israel because we will be here for a very long time but suffice to say there are even branches of Judaism that do not support Israel nor it’s government. In fact some sections of Judaism originally only wanted for Jewish people to be able to go back to the region we know as Palestine and Israel, to re-integrate and be welcome as recognition of their right to return after historically being removed from the region (in plain English), whereas some, including Zionists believe that the actual State of Israel has a right to rule the entire area including Jerusalem. They don’t want to just intergrate back into the region, they want power and want it for themselves.

We have written it in layman’s terms but don’t take our word for it go and investigate yourselves. This link to an article by ‘Vice’ may give you a starting point.

What all this points to is that being anti-Zionist is a legitimate stance to take and is not a racist and anti-semitic stance to have.

Anyone who is anti-Zionist does not believe in any way that Jewish people are the enemy nor are they oblivious to the fact that not all Jewish people support the state of Israel.

A political commentary by BBC political correspondent Iain Watson may shed some light on what is really happening within the depths of Parliament and the Labour Party itself.

He wrote;

“Saying sorry three times didn’t prevent Naz Shah’s suspension.

Number 10 are taking credit – but one shadow cabinet member, Lisa Nandy, had already called for her suspension and I’m told other Labour figures had approached party officials privately to call for the same thing.

Ten days ago Labour’s general secretary had reassured MPs those accused of anti-Semitism would be expelled or suspended.

Insiders say that once the Labour leader had decided to hand the matter to party officials, suspension – and an investigation – became inevitable.

Most Labour MPs recognise few members hold anti-Semitic views but that some high-profile cases have been toxic, and have been pressing their leadership to be more proactive in uncovering and rooting out unacceptable views.

And some on the party’s right are keen to force a leader who has opposed “witch hunts” of party members to use disciplinary procedures to erect, however reluctantly, some walls to Labour’s broad church – and to make clear that the views of some recent members and supporters aren’t welcome”

The original article can be viewed here

The website Guido Fawkes which released the story also highlighted a post she made prior to becoming an MP which used the hashtag #IsraelApartheid above a quote saying “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal”.

Not sure what the issue here is either, if you believe that Israel is committing war crimes and ignoring international law which many do then this post would be a natural response.. at least to some people who use social media. Again, at worst it’s a knee jerk response but no evidence of racism.

If anyone wishes to find racism with her comments we suggest they consider the evidence in this blog post before coming to an assessment against Naz Shah.

As Volataire once said;

To find out who rules over you, find out who you’re not allowed to criticise.

Which just leaves me to add, what is going on in the world today when criticising a countries regime is considered racist and criticising the Turkish Premier is considered a criminal offence… in Germany! (Click here for that story)

Whilst our own government does deals with countries such as Saudi Arabia whom most right minded people also believe are a fascist and extreme regime… but then we know Mr Cameron doesn’t like them being criticised either, in fact, the Tory government is happy to defend the Saudi regime as evidenced here on the Daily Politics Show some months ago.

Marathon Looters: Alternative Opinion

A video has been released by a volunteer (shown below) at the London Marathon who was overseeing a water point. The video depicts what appears to be local residents from Deptford helping themselves to the water. Some people even stashing as much as they could fit into trolly bags.

The incident has seen every mainstream headline determine that people were “stealing” the water and showing “shocking images”. Several far right blogs and social media pages have picked up the story and have used it to their own ends.

For some it has become a debating point around racial issues and deprived communities. We wanted to take a different look at the incident and disect the various aspects and questions surrounding it.

In the video the volunteer states that the “last bus” had just gone past indicating the end of the marathon, and whilst a few runners can still be seen going past it would appear that these are the very last few runners. The oldest YouTube video we can find was uploaded ‘7 hours ago’ as at 23:45 putting the incident at around 4:45pm. Although of course it could have happened prior to this time as some claim. The last race will have begun at 10:00am so even allowing for a two hour delay in uploading the video at least the vast majority of racers would have finished.

It’s important to note that London Marathon have confirmed nothing about this incident other than to say they are ‘investigating’. This may have been a legitimate grab of left-over water..at least as the local people interpreted it. Maybe there was a comment by a volunteer that sparked the grab, maybe someone asked to take one and others caught wind of it and suddenly it becomes a free for all. We won’t really know until an investigation is complete.

The question is, what is there to investigate? What happens to the left-over water at the end of a Marathon?

At the end of the marathon as pointed out in this article 4 tonnes of waste will be collected plus 40,000 plastic bottles will be recycled. This will refer to the empty or partially used plastic bottles that the runners will have consumed during the race, many runners will take just a few sips and discard the bottle laying perfectly good water to waste.

It’s not overly clear what will happen to the left-over full bottles of water as there is nothing stated on the London Marathon nor the Buxton Water websites and in lieu of an answer.. is it possible that these too get recycled or even trashed as happened here at the Miami Marathon?

Perhaps they do get sent to charities, to people in need. What we see in the video is a lot of bottles but likely just a drop in the ocean of all those around the race circuit. Most would still, if this is what happens, go to charity. This is not a mass theft, this was a bunch of local people taking what they could carry and whilst if this was nothing more than a simple theft and thus being unacceptable, you have to ask, if people feel the need to steal the bottles of water…perhaps their need is greater than yours and that’s the reason you can’t relate to their looting?

Buxton water will have gained free marketing and advertising of their product by providing the free water to the runners that usually costs around £1 or more per bottle in the shops, the runners, those that often have the means to train for the marathon in terms of time and money.

Even putting that aside, many of the runners will be raising money for charities that cover poverty and disenfranchised communities. Would it not be ironic that the very people “stealing” the bottles of water might be some of those people in poverty?

However despite all these points some will still insist that there are no excuses and that ‘these people’ are ‘scum’ as the following examples will show. It just leaves me to ponder what their response was and will be in the future when white people loot wood from the beaches from lost cargo at sea?

Or maybe as some people are describing them as animals, what would they make of white people fighting over the offers on Black Friday right here in the UK?

Maybe a black woman ‘running’ with 5 gallons of water upon her head during a Marathon may make some people be less inclined to make it an issue about race and focus on much more pressing issues.


And just maybe it’s something that happens every year with the permission of race organisers?












Sir, I have A Cunning Plan. If Sanders loses, We Vote Trump.

It may seem like one of Baldricks most stupid plans ever, but in the words of Blackadder “it might just work”.

In the 2015 UK general election Ed Miliband’s Labour Party faced off against David Cameron’s Conservative Party. As it turned out, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition didn’t fair too badly in the 2010-2015 government and in truth the Lib Dems reigned in much of the Conservative hard hitting policies that we are seeing in the current government which is entirely Conservative led.

Russell Brand had advocated that people didn’t vote in the  2015 election and as it transpired with or without his help that’s pretty much what happened. In fact Brand at the last possible moment changed his mind and told everyone to vote for Labour. That certainly didn’t help matters and the result was a Conservative victory.

What came out of that loss though was hope for change in the form of Jeremy Corbyn after he won the Labour leadership contest when Ed Miliband stepped down. Jeremy Corbyn would never have even had the opportunity to gain the leadership if it wasn’t for Labour losing the 2015 election so perhaps it was fate. There was a good reason why Labour lost and looking at the situation now, thank goodness Labour did lose the election or we would still have the same old choices on offer and the status quo firmly in place.

Although Corbyn’s opportunity came about by sheer accident it was a brilliant result for the part of society clamouring for change and they took that accident and turned it into opportunity.

The question is, what if the same result could actually be repeated but this time by design, rather than by accident?

Bernie Sanders. The US equivalent of Jeremy Corbyn in so many ways. He is behind Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination for president but at the time of writing he has won 7 of the last 8 primary or Caucus elections and is snapping at Clintons heels. He may just do it, against all the odds. This blog certainly hopes he does win.

There is though a problem. If Clinton wins instead, many Sanders supporters have vowed not to vote for Clinton under any circumstances. This could directly lead to the country voting for Donald Trump, the current front runner for the Republican nomination.

But that might not be a bad thing. Don’t shoot me down just yet, Trump is still a chump as far as I can see, but this could be the change by design I was referring to.

Imagine, you have the establishment favourite Hillary Clinton swanning around like she owns the place expecting a comfortable victory. Meanwhile the Republicans are running scared that this crazy guy named Trump is alienating everyone and expecting a huge loss.

Suddenly, up pops Trump as the winner. The Democratic establishment are shell shocked and the Republicans will be drawn into a false sense of security about the level of support for their candidate. Change will have to come from within the Democratic party. They will have to rethink their entire strategy and be more liberal with who they put up for nomination in the future leading to more candidates ‘like’ Bernie Sanders if not exactly the same, after all, there is only one Bernie Sanders. This isn’t pie in the sky either, there are already calls for this to happen amongst Sanders supporters.


This will lead some to be screaming “do you know what Trump will do to our country?”

Yes, he may mess it up but can it get much worse than it is already? Huge debt, huge unemployment, civil rights issues, cops going mental, entire states passing homophobic laws, half of the world has an issue with you from a military stand point… what could possibly go wrong by putting Trump in charge? Besides you can always take to the streets and make your voice heard if things got really bad.

Ok Trump could make it worse, but that’s part of the point of this whole thing. Think of it as teaching the doubters a lesson. You’re sacrificing yourself for a few years of pain in exchange for something that will gloriously spring from the changes that follow.

The irony here is that Trump is often being called a racist yet much of the mainly ethnic states have voted for the guy. Is that just turkeys voting for Christmas or have us White folk just had a bit too much white privilege as we try to tell ethnic people what’s good for them?

Either way, i don’t like the idea of Trump being in charge any more than you do, and I would rather he was in charge than Ted Cruz should he overtake Trump as the front runner. Cruz has somewhat flown under the radar but he is a greater threat to America than Trump. At least with Trump you know what he stands for and what you’re getting. That Ted Cruz, slippery little fecker he is.

I am saying some of this with a little humour in tow but my sentiment is serious. You vote for Trump should the worst happen to Sanders and you could well engineer a political change that will reverberate through history. Especially if you fight for that change.

If British politics proved one thing in 2010, it’s this; Change can come from adversity and sometimes sacrificing something good in the hope that it forces something better to come along…actually works.

New York is just around the corner, hopefully you’ll not need to force anything.


Vegetarians V Meat Eaters: Here’s The Truth

If you eat meat and non-meat foods then of course you’re an omnivore. If you don’t eat any meat then you’re a herbivore and therefore a vegetarian (although I suppose technically you’re still a herbivore unless you consider yourself vegan but what’s in a word anyway?). I have yet to meet anyone who is a pure carnivore. If people like that exist then Its news to me…and quite frankly seems odd, or is that just me? Anyway, I digress.

One of the most common arguments that takes place online is between vegetarians and ‘meat eaters’. They can never quite seem to see eye to eye. There are always the exceptions and indeed there are plenty of them, some will concede to a degree each others arguments, some just troll each other either on purpose or by accident due to their inherent belief that their opinion is the correct one regardless of the argument but there are many more that just simply don’t agree, (a subtle difference from the forementioned type) neither trolling nor looking to give ground. They just debate their side of the argument and look to strengthen their own argument by the use of examples and facts. Debate at its finest. But who is right and who is wrong?

You’re asking the wrong question. I’ll tell you the right one in just a second.

Firstly we need to establish not whether eating meat, today, is right or wrong but in an ideal world what is the right stance to take? It would take a real beast of a human to take the stance that eating meat in an ‘ideal world’ is the right thing to do. Not many people eat meat thinking “hey that was a worthy kill, I am glad that animal died for me, I hope it suffered just for my satisfaction”. No, most people think that if we could, in an ideal world, satisfy our cravings, our desire for meat type foods without either eating meat itself or in a way that was so humane that it satisfied pretty much everyone (yes, I know thats a near impossibility) then that would be the ideal scenario. So a win for the vegetarians right? Hoorah! Well, no, because that’s in an ideal scenario, it doesn’t change today. Nor tomorrow or the day after that. There is no ideal world.. yet.

That leads me to the real question we should all be asking;

Why do people not change to being vegetarians? (Or even vegan). The answer to this question requires us all to be singing from the same hymn sheet, vegetarian and meat eaters alike.


Conditioning. It’s something that very few people can escape from. Many vegetarians were born into families that led a vegetarian lifestyle or perhaps happened to be surrounded by like minded friends as they grew up. Some, though not too many, will have decided that it was what they wanted to do and taught themselves to change their own habits although again, this will have often been at an earlier age in their lives. Very few will have decided to, and succeeded, in becoming vegetarians in their 30’s or 40’s or more. The old saying is very much true ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’.

Many vegetarians will say to a meat eater “oh it’s easy, just stop eating meat and bingo, you’re vegetarian”. Seriously, stop! If it was that easy there would be no meat eaters, no smokers, no drinkers, no drug addicts, no theives, no gamblers, no adrenaline junkies and no speed freaks to name but a few. Every decision me make in life is based on our own experiences and the longer we stick to one type of behaviour the harder it is to break that behaviour cycle.

If we can break the conditioning behaviour from a young enough age through education however, then we stand a better chance of achieving the aim of at least better animal care and rights or even better, we could reach our ideal scenario I mentioned earlier. After all, if you believe in the ideal scenario, meat eater or not, then you would have to agree that education and changing habits would be a fair and just way to approach this. It’s not as if you could really sit there and say “no, don’t change it, I eat meat so everyone else should to, sod the animals, I’m quite happy to see them perish in the most brutal ways”. If that’s not in your remit of acceptable language then you by default agree that change is needed and why not start at a young age? It can only be a good thing. You couldn’t possibly consider it a bad thing.

So how do you change the conditioning? The education system is not designed to promote societal changes its there to teach you academia, to help you get a better job to be able to maintain a good job. Isn’t it?

Yes, by and large that’s correct but it does indeed teach us societal structures, how to deal with others. Tolerance. In schools, certainly in the West, we are taught to be accepting of others, to not bully, to be able to communicate with others in a certain way. We are essentially taught that capitalism is good. We are also taught that ‘good’ food is preferable to ‘bad’ food… and… hang on.. we are already promoting certain eating habits in our schools. Healthy food is the mantra in schools today so why can’t we promote sustainable and ethical eating too? It wouldn’t be out of the question or a giant leap… so why doesn’t that happen?


Because of course the health experts will say that a balanced diet is essential to the healthy growth of every child and so you can’t have a government promoting a diet which denies those kids a healthy balanced diet. A win for the meat eaters, hoorah! Well, almost but not quite.

A balanced diet can pretty much be gained from other food sources with the exception of some vitamins and minerals perhaps but of course anything missing from the school menu can be given to the child at home much in the same way that sugary foods can be given to children at home should the parents think it’s right to do so. After all the packaging usually says something like “…as part of a balanced diet”. This isn’t about what supplements our parents give us (so much), it’s about how our schools help to change attitudes from a young age, after all its where our kids spend most of their young lives and many life choices are born within the school walls due to education and peer pressure.

Secondly to this the Government may not see it in their interests to promote vegetarian only foods within schools as the meat industry may not appreciate their lobbying money go to waste. Come on… every industry lobbies governments to protect their own interests, happens all the time.

With that said schools do already give out vegetarian dishes so once again, it wouldn’t be a great leap to think that schools could do away with meat dishes altogether. On top of that, ethical ideas could be promoted in terms of not eating meat just in the same way that sugary foods are promoted as bad within schools. This could be taught more in say food technology cooking classes.

The change to societal behaviours has to start somewhere and what better place to start than schools?


In today’s society we grow up with no idea about the meat industry and what it takes to get that meat on our plates. We often only find out much later in life and by then, eating meat is just second nature to many and the mental link between living animal and what’s in front of us on our dinner tables just can’t be bridged. Yet for change to occur that link must be made.

Case in point myself. I only discovered what really goes on around 3-4 years ago. Sure, I knew for many years prior that the beefburger comes from cow and ham from pigs but there was no connection between the reality of a pig walking around and that same pig being on my table. Even when I discovered what really went on.. with my own eyes… I couldn’t stop eating meat. It did change me though. I eat less meat than I did, substituting it with vegetarian dishes and a desire to eat any meat from local ethical outlets compared to the mass markets of superstore meat. So that process of educating myself had enough impact to change my habits, imagine the impact if from a young age I was more aware.

I tried to give up meat completely but the habit of eating meat was just too ingrained, the habit of a lifetime was too prevelent. There is one more factor to take into account in all of this. Poverty. Eating a vegetarian diet can be an expensive process. It’s a sad fact that a bag of meat (in whatever form that may take) is cheap when compared to a bag of vegetables (When taking into account how much content there is in the packaging and how many meals it provides). Even ethical or local meat is far more expensive than mass produced meat and It’s something that needs to change, healthy sustainable food needs to get cheaper, it would make a huge difference. Some will argue that it can be cheaper but that assumes you can make a huge leap into vegetarianism in the first place. When you’re starting out, the cost increase initially when you’re looking at like-for-like products is noticeable. Trust me, I know.


So the conclusion is this. Instead of fighting each other over who is right and who is wrong we should be combining our efforts and desire for change to tackle the future generations and that starts with education. Tell your children exactly where their meat comes from. When you give them a vegetarian dish make a point of explaining why it’s better than meat. If you’re giving them a meat dish, explain where it comes from and what it took to get it to them and above all campaign for schools to educate our children. There is no shame in becoming a vegetarian. It may not be for you, but it’s hard to claim that a child growing up on a vegetarian diet will notice the lack of meat in their diet because that will be their conditioning and won’t know the difference. If we accept that through conditioning we will unlikely change the minds of each other then we can all come together to change the minds of future generations because right now we are wasting our breath arguing with each other and all to no end.

Spread the message, encourage others to try, but take it from me, arguing your point vehemently rarely convinces anyone to change their habits. That’s why video documentaries are so powerful because they present facts in a non combative way and allow people to digest things for themselves and that’s even if they can bring themselves to watch. If you cant watch one of those documentaries there is probably a good reason for that and that reason should be enough to convince you that you should join with your opponent in campaigning for change. If as a vegetarian you cant see why people won’t change after you have blasted them, then you are not seeing the bigger picture and you will likely never achieve your aims in converting people .


I encourage vegetarians to re-align their focus of attack, your voice will be stronger together. I encourage meat eaters to join the vegetarians in voice if not actions and please.. if you insist on eating meat… as i myself do… then at least make yourself aware by watching one or more of the movies within this post. To claim “I know” without having seen one is a lie to yourself and is your conscience preventing you from witnessing the truth. Don’t you at least owe it to yourself to really know to be able to make an informed decision?

I am sure that despite all of the above, the arguments will still rage on for a long time to come.


We’re all screwed… unless…

Saving mankind from its own destruction, saving wildlife and nature that is threatened by human activity, making communities better and humans more self sufficient are probably a few of the things that are high up on the agenda of ‘must do’s’ when I am considering my political agenda.

It has been said numerous times by top scientists, governments and experts alike that there is a clear and present threat to all of the above things. Some say we have 50 years to reduce carbon emissions by 75% worldwide before its too late, some say 100 years, some say just 10 and some say it’s already too late. Whichever stat you side with one thing is clear, the threat is real. Whether you believe it’s man made or not is irrelevant…if it’s natural, our actions are still accelerating the process at an unnatural rate and even if you are a total climate change denier..which is ok..then hopefully you will agree that preserving and respecting our planet and the nature on it is a good thing regardless.

Yet the issue of climate change is often a side note for most governments around the world. Even the recent Paris climate change meeting really didn’t amount to much apart from promises, yet we have heard many Promises before.

If we are serious about tackling all that was mentioned above what will it take to turn the tide in our favour? This is where deciding your stance on politics and what methodology you support in achieving those goals comes into play.

Before I address what will likely work I want to digress somewhat and for a moment talk about the political picture across the globe and it’s important so you understand the conclusion I have arrived at.

Change doesn’t come easily nor quickly in any country and when it does appear to come it’s often the ‘same but different’. A case in point is the United States of America, right now there is something amazing happening in their presidential race. On one hand there is Bernie Sanders and on the other is Donald Trump. Both are seemingly at the extreme ends of the political spectrum whilst Clinton sits firmly in the middle of the two. Sanders and Trump though are not as different as the media would have you believe. Both want to take control of their country from the career politicians and dispose of the money men at least in one capacity or another. Both want to bring prosperity, jobs and industry back to the fore. Both are clamouring for a revolution of sorts. Of course the two of them are different in many other respects including respect for others but they both represent something different from the current establishment.

Likewise in the UK it could be argued that Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party is within the same bracket as both Sanders and Trump, he also wants to take back control of the industries and stave off competition from the likes of China in the steel industry for example. Exactly the same rhetoric as Trump although Corbyn indeed would likely try to achieve that objective with diplomacy rather than brash threats and ultimatums which you can’t help but feel is how Trump would achieve his objectives.

None of these base ideas are anything new. Perhaps real change will come from tackling the money within politics, the corruption and back handed favours which seem to dictate what happens in most western government’s.

How do you achieve that though? You have to start by electing the officials who have the will to make those changes and on the face of it you would have to argue that the likes of Sanders in America and Corbyn in the UK are best placed to make those changes. It won’t though be easy, even if they are elected. Be in no doubt that change will be difficult, change will not be as significant as you and they hope and change may not be long lasting. You see the problem is not just who is in charge, the problem is the system itself. If the system is set up to limit ‘change’ either by accident or with intent, then the changes needed to make the difference on the ground will be in short supply.

Change always comes, eventually. Every freedom and positive impact from legislation comes about as the result of years of pressure, a change in societal attitudes or even societal upheaval. Civil rights, being a key example, has never been easy to obtain in any society. Gay rights have been hard fought for over the decades but many states in America are still far from accepting of Gay rights. Even racial negative attitudes are far from banished from the great ‘land of the free’.

If it takes this long to change anything how are we going to achieve any of the objectives mentioned in the first paragraph before its too late? The truth is we can’t. Not under the present system.

In the UK if legislation is to be passed there is a mind numbing dull process to go through before anything is passed into law. There are multiple readings of a new bill before it even reaches the House of Lords and even then it might not get signed off. If something threatned the very system we live in now, threatned the status quo of the capitalist free market we live in, do you for one moment think the ‘system’ would allow it to pass? On past evidence it is so unlikely that it barely warrants a debate, and this is where the likes of Trump, Corbyn and Sanders would come unstuck.

So what kinds of changes would we need to see to make the radical differences that we would need to stave of the destruction of mankind and much of the nature upon it? Some examples might include the immediate banning of cars that require fossil fuels to operate, banning the use of plastics in goods and consumables. The capitalist mantra of ‘ever more profit’ would need to be banished and total control by one party would need to be done away with, where government is made up of multiple voices and where the people have a far greater say in what happens at every turn of decision making, schools as one more example need to start teaching our kids how to be self sufficient, to know how to cook, to know how to maintain food supplies and crops, they need to know how to build and maintain as much as they need to know about maths and language and all from a very young age.

How on gods earth will any of that be achieved with our democracies at the helm?

When one minute a left wing Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders can be elected into power to make radical changes just for 4 to 8 years later another Cameron or Clinton would likely take charge again and we go right back to where we started.

So you have to begin to ask yourself… how will things ever change?

You can’t even suggest Communism. Communism is an amazing ideology and if it could ever be pulled off it would work and would be wonderful (That’s true Communism my American friends, not ‘the reds are coming’ type Communism that your government tries to scare you with). To achieve communism within the system we have now you would need a period of what many would see a dictatorship. Not in the sense of telling people what to do in every aspect of their lives and making sneezing illegal..so to speak, but in the sense of changing the direction of our democracies on a permanent basis. For that to happen then there would be some unpalatable things that may have to happen without the overall consent of the people. What chance of that happening?

Anarchism is another well intentioned ideology but suffers the same problems as communism in coming to widespread fruition.

You then have the possibility of a planned revolution. This though will mean again the same problems as above. I say ‘planned’ because any spontaneous revolution never results in anything much better as no one follows through with any plan once the revolution is over, and who’s going to plan it? If the authorities caught wind of it you can bet you will be considered a terrorist in the eyes of the authorities.

What is actually needed is fundamental societal change and that can only come from the next generations. A revolution in teaching. A school system that is not dogged by curriculum. One that is not tied down to purely ensuring you get enough qualifications to get a job. It needs to be one where children are taught to self sustain, to think, to become humanitarians an education that teaches children by the time they are 18 to be able to sustain a vegetable patch sufficiently on their own, to build an outhouse on their own, to maintain that outhouse, an education that teaches children to forage and to cook, an education that teaches children diplomacy and tolerance for others and nature alike. Only then after a generation or two will we see the seeds of change begin to grow, we won’t need a revolution nor coup. We won’t need communism or anarchism…it will already be in existence with no need for any form of dictatorship.

In the meantime we need radical changes such as some of the things mentioned earlier in this post. Changes that right now we don’t have any hope of seeing. Just today I watched a documentary that stated a drinks bottle would take 450 years to degrade.. this as they collected rubbish sack after rubbish sack of rubbish from the shoreline of a faraway island. The rubbish had likely travelled there from some Western nation. Why is it not possible to pass laws that state no consumable drink must be in anything but cardboard as just one of a myriad of examples.

How do we get that change though? That’s where government must come into its own, that’s where the pressure must be applied and the people already knowledgeable in these fields, must begin to apply their efforts now.

In the end, we can only do what we can in the countries we reside. The world is moving towards the democracies we see already in existence today. China, India to name but two are already world leaders in pollution and they nowhere near believe they have achieved what they want to for their societies. The situation can only worsen as other nations from Africa, Asia and the Middle East increase the burden on our planet as they try to better their societies and economies. Who can blame them? Many of those countries have seen their potential held back by our very own Western democracies.

So we must look to our own countries to set the example the world can work towards. It may be too little too late, but we must try otherwise we are the fools that will, despite all our intelligence, see our own demise.

If though neither the current system nor communism, anarchism or revolution will effect the changes we need…then what will?

That is the question that has no good answer. The question should really be what has the best chance of succeeding and in a quick enough time frame for it to be worthwhile.

Focused radicalised pressure.

What If a group of dedicated people could form a pressure group that instead of focusing on a wide range of ideologies or has an over-arching remit, it instead focused on one radical idea at a time. Take for example a group like Greenpeace, there is no doubt the work they do is enviable and more than worthwhile but their remit is global and huge. A monstrous task that lacks focus. What might work in one country certainly won’t work in another… at least not enough of the time.

A focused group in one country, let’s pick the UK for this example, could start with carrier bags. It take over 20 years for one plastic bag to degrade. Just ban their use. Done. Then focus on drinks bottles. Ban that form of packaging. Done. Eventually tackle cars…ban fossil fuel operated cars and pump money into electric cars and the infrastructure. Done. These things are not far off dreams as it is, electric cars are here, plastic bags must now be paid for, more products are using recyclable material… it’s all happening but it’s the pace it’s happening that is the problem. As for the issue of school education.. that would be the biggest target but must be changed. These pressure groups though must be country based, country relevant and run nationally and not internationally for they too would be bound to fail.

With the advent of (fingers crossed) leaders such as Corbyn and Sanders in charge it would be a lot easier to implement these ideas, but even then, which one would be bold enough to make those radical decisions and would they even get the ideas through their respective houses? The people have to want the changes enough to pressure the government’s to concede and getting the public on board would be another remit of the pressure groups.

If the people by themselves without interference come to the conclusion that their governments are ignoring them, then and only then does protest and uprising become workable, but that has to be on a huge scale to work effectivley.

You can’t force through change any other way. Not without blood being likely spilt in pursuit of the ideology. Maybe though that would have to be a necessary evil to save our own souls. The question is, how bad do you want change? How much ‘will’ do you have, to see the changes needed? The answer to that is in your everyday actions and where you stand on the political spectrum.

Yes we have protest movements and groups right now but they tend to focus on wide ranging problems such as ‘austerity’ and indeed austerity is a choice and money is man made etc.. but poverty can’t be fixed by protesting austerity, poverty can only be tackled by the causes not the symptoms. You have protest movements clamouring for the Government to tackle climate change or cruelty against animals… but what’s the focus? Give the Government something to change and focus on that and above all don’t focus on small changes. Make if big, make it radical, make it achievable and then we may see some of the changes we need to see.

Tim Loughton MP removed as patron to charity

Ex Tory childrens minister and MP for East Worthing and Shoreham Tim Loughton has been notified of his removal as patron to the charity Coastal West Sussex MIND along with three other Local Tory MP’s.

Katie Glover the CEO of the charity had assured campaigners the matter would be discussed at the next board meeting. According to a statement released today that meeting took place on 30th March and the board decided to end their ties with Tim Loughton and the other Tory MP’s

This comes off the back of several other high profile Tory MP’s who have also been removed as Patrons to their respective charities including London Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith.

The move to oust Tim Loughton was started by a local resident via a petition which gained over 3,000 signatures in just a few days. Other MP’s are being targeted by a campaign through DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts).

The statement from MIND appears to suggest the role as Patron was being looked into as far back as 2014 and thanks Loughton for his service.

However this would appear on the face of it to be an attempt to smooth any choppy waters. There is little doubt to the casual observer that this is yet another scalp for campaigners aiming to highlight the incompatibility of some Tory MP’s representing certain charities the users of which often rely on the very benefits that the Conservatives want to cut.

Tim Loughton has come under fire from locals recently for various infractions as highlighted in a previous post here. The page Tim Loughton Exposed is campaigning for locals to remove Loughton as MP. Traditionally the seat is considered a safe Tory seat.

(This article is incomplete. If you see any errors please let us know)

Mossack Fonseca – World leaders implicated in finance scandal

Over that past 24 hours, stories are emerging of an imminent global media storm surrounding the law firm Mossack Fonseca based in Panama.

Documents have been leaked or hacked that allegedly identify multiple high profile people and corporations around the world that have dealt in the immoral practice of off-shore banking and have been involved in criminal activities. These include heads of state.

The independent newspaper says that these files are in the hands of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The paper goes on to say:

“The ICIJ says the documents provide an insight into the financial affairs of 12 current and former world leaders”

‘The consortium said from its base in Panama City, the company has created and established anonymous companies in Panama, the British Virgin Islands and other financial havens’

“The law firm has worked closely with big banks and big law firms in places like The Netherlands, Mexico, the United States and Switzerland, helping clients move money or slash their tax bills, the secret records show,” the ICIJ said.

“An ICIJ analysis of the leaked files found that more than 500 banks, their subsidiaries and branches have worked with Mossack Fonseca since the 1970s to help clients manage offshore companies.”

The Panama Papers

The International Business Times says:

“The Icelandic Prime Minister is facing a snap election, a member of the FIFA ethics committee member is under threat and David Cameron’s father, Ian, is implicated in the ‘largest document leak in history’. On Sunday 3 April it emerged that 11.5 million financial documents held by Panamanian lawyers Mossack Fonseca had been leaked to journalists..”

‘Also included in the files are three former Tory MPs and six peers, including former East Hampshire MP Michael Mates, ADT billionaire and founder of Crimestoppers Michael Ashcroft and Baroness Pamela Sharples along with David Cameron’s late father, Ian Cameron. His father, who died in 2010, was said to have held an offshore fund worth $20m (£14m)’

‘Also implicated are 12 national leaders among 143 politicians, their families and their close aides from around the world. They include Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and at least eight current and former members of China’s supreme ruling body, the politburo’

USA today are also breaking the story

And the BBC are also covering the story here saying:

‘Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world’s most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

They show how Mossack Fonseca has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax’

Are you fat or just a victim of divide and conquer?

When the Government decided that too many people were putting a strain on the NHS and Insurance premiums by not wearing seat belts in cars what did they do? They made it socially unacceptable. To not wear a seat belt was putting other people at risk and putting a strain on the NHS, sure there was the “and it may save your life” element too but ultimately if you want to take your own chances in life that’s up to you as an individual surely. No, it was never about your own safety. This was divide and conquer. Shame those that don’t buckle up and the rest will follow and most people now do follow.

(This advert on seatbelt safety went viral in 2010 and shows how a campaign can and should work)

When the Government realised that smoking was bad (indeed it is) for our health and was costing the NHS billions every year they again turned to divide and conquer. Shame the smokers, shove them into the cold and the rest will follow. Slowly but surely the rest are following.

There are other examples but these are perhaps two of the most stark cases.

Today there is a new focus on that same divide and conquer strategy. Being fat. If you’re overweight then you are a strain on the NHS, costing billions every year and it’s something that needs to be stopped. So says the Government. Given enough time the people will follow. This strategy has been in the works for several years now and each year the pressure builds up.

I have seen people medically described as obese and yet in reality they are just overweight. The term ‘obese’ medically has its roots in your BMI levels and a pre-defined level of acceptability as set by the medical industry but the reality is when the word obese is used we all have an image of a 30 stone man being hoisted by crane out of a house and that image is enough to bring anyone’s ego crashing down to the floor. That sense of worthlessness and the public perception of being fat is what will bring about the changes needed by the NHS to stop the high level spend on fat related illnesses.

The thing is, there are health risks to being larger than you need to be. No doubt about that. It’s the tactics of divide and conquer that are the problem.

Unlike smoking or seat belts where ‘things’ are the issue, with being overweight it’s the person that is the issue and there is no quick fix. Click a seat belt in… done. Don’t pick up that cigarette.. done. Stop being fat … doesn’t really work does it?

We all know that the media industry is at the forefront of image control and has been for a very long time. It still amazes me to this day how we have let the music industry get away with so much discrimination. If it was any other institution we would be in uproar but hey, the media industry entertains us so who are we to moan, right?

From child sexploitation to sexist attitudes, from drug addled artists to promoting killing within songs. It’s all there on full display yet no one bats an eyelid. All available for our kids to digest. Of course within all this is image. Too fat and you likely won’t make it big, certainly not in mainstream music. A notable exception is the singer Adele. She is hardly ‘fat’ but it’s something that has been spoken about in the gutter press and it’s clear to see… she is no stick insect. Yet she is however attractive and has huge popularity for her singing talent. She is judged on her ability primarily and that’s always the way it should be. How many times on reality shows have we seen larger men and women dropped clearly because of how they look often because of their size? That is the exception though and it needs to become the norm.

We see time and again artists that lose the plot yet are kept on by their management because..money. Pete Doherty’s drug antics, Amy Winehouse’s drink and drugs issue which ultimately led to her death, Britney Spears’ mental break down more recently the explicit sexualisaton of a young Miley Cyrus and the obvious downward slope she is taking. (Incidentally she is a good singer, but you wouldn’t really know it).

It’s nothing new, Rock and Metal have had its societal issues before pop and R&B did and before that Rock & Roll was seen as the devil’s work but image as such was never an issue like it is today especially with the advent of social media and the easy access teens have to it.

All of the above is by and large seem by a teen-heavy market and that can only influence the next generation and the ones after that. It’s inevitable and we ignore it to our detriment.

This all brings me on to the latest piece to hit the press. Singer and one part of ‘Little Mix’ Jesy Nelson ‘broke down’ on stage a few nights ago (video below) mid concert as she spoke of her weight. Since then Little Mix have cancelled two gigs in Belfast due to an illness Nelson has picked up (at least allegedly). What followed on social network Twitter was heartless. So-called fans began to lay into the singer calling her fat and pushing her to kill herself. (As explained in this article) She will unlikely see these messages directly but just stop and think for a moment. Here is a young girl whisked into the limelight not that long ago via a reality music TV show, already previously mocked for her looks, already having concerns for her weight is this something that is fair.. to publicly mock her weight because a gig was cancelled?

Nelson looking gorgeous and far from 'fat'

There will always be idiots and teens who think they know everything there is to know. You can’t account for young stupidity it’s part of growing up but what isn’t part of growing up is being exposed to the type of attitudes that are best left to the adult sphere (ironic considering we are meant to be the grown up ones).

What can we do about attitudes though, specifically about attitudes towards weight, when our own government persists in labelling fat people a problem and continues to shame people who are less than the ‘ideal’ weight?

Every health drive including the recent sugar tax implementation in the UK is largely aimed at obesity or related illnesses and with each passing comment about obesity or being fat, is one more day that someone less than ‘perfect’ is contemplating their own place in the world.

With smokers ostracised, seatbeltless drivers vilified and now overweight people shamed, who might be next in line to tackle the NHS budget? One day perfectly normal. The next you’ll be hounded into believing that you are the problem.

There is a difference between targeting a problem that affects people – and making such a noise about it that it sidelines a whole section of the community. What world is it when the first response to not getting what you want is to attack someones weight?

There has always been name calling as children but it shows the lack of progress we have made when our kids are still trotting out the same rubbish as we might have done when we were their age.

If you have been classed as fat, sod them. Stick two fingers up. Change your weight if you want to but if you’re happy, just be YOU. We will all die at some point, everyone from something different. It should not be about how long you live but instead about the quality of the life you lead. So make the most of it, you only get one shot at this, stop worrying about the small things.

It’s down to us to change attitudes and down to our government to set the example.

(Nelson lets it out on stage)

Can we #FeelTheBern? #JezWeCan!

From this side of the pond over in the UK there is huge interest in the US presidential race. Certainly in my time there has been no greater interest in any previous presidential campaign.

At the time of writing it’s still a two horse race for both the Democrats and the Republicans and the UK is waiting with baited breath at who will lead ‘the free world’ into the next four years or more and of course the interest is so huge because the diversity of candidates is on one hand so great and yet on the other so narrow.

Donald Trump, where do we begin..in fact, more to the point, where do we end? So we won’t even start. We all know the score. Ted Cruz, whilst off the radar thanks to the antics of Mr.Trump, is an arguably worse candidate for president than Trump. At least with Trump you know what you’re getting and can see him coming a mile off.

Then you have Clinton. The old guard. The same-old-same-old lying sack of crap establishment candidate that are two a penny.

Finally of course you have Bernie Sanders. Oh Bernie. Dear old Bern. In perhaps the Twilight of his political career and yet.. so new!

Why is he so new? It’s because in recent years we in the West have finally become far more aware of how politics works, we have become as clever as the politicians in uncovering their failings as they are at covering up those same failings, it’s often a game of cat and mouse and it’s a game that the public are winning and Bernie Sanders is echoing the change that the public are experiencing. It’s not new for himself of course, he has been shouting the same message for decades but no one was listening before, that’s all changed now and the people are voting. It just remains to be seen if enough people are ready for the new way of doing things.

It’s worth pointing out though that it’s not a ‘Revolution’ as the Bernie campaign often cites. It’s more ‘revelation’ than ‘revolution’. Even under Bernie Sanders it would still be a capitalist society, billionaires will still get rich and the poor will remain relatively poor. What Bernie offers, which is still great, is less poverty and less easy money to the already rich. He will offer better civil rights and more opportunity for the oppressed. He will offer fairness, justice and above all accountability in the political system and it’s this point that will resonate throughout history, no longer will politicians be able to ride roughshod over the people, not when Bernie will have been the template for how politics should be done and it’s that legacy that will go down in history for changing the way politics at least should be done.

(Bernie Sanders latest endorsed advert)

The exact same thing is happening in the UK with Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party. He was elected against all odds as Leader in 2015 with the largest ever mandate given to a Labour leader. His policies are a mirror for Bernie Sanders, they even sort of look alike and are in a similar age bracket and indeed their political history has crossed paths and their civil rights activities preceeds them. Corbyn intends to challenge Prime Minister David Cameron at the 2020 general election assuming Cameron (or indeed Corbyn) lasts that long.

Cameron may resign after the EU ‘in or out’ referendum in June if it goes against him and he loses. Oddly, those waiting to take his position echo the candidates in the US presidential race. Boris Johnson (first in the latest polls) is a more typically British Donald Trump, Theresa May (second in the latest polls) is our Hilary Clinton and George Osborne (third in the latest polls) is a watered-down Ted Cruz… although still very much an arsehole.

You really couldn’t have made this up just 12 months ago. The similarities in the US and UK politics is as startling as it is striking. We in the UK are even more rooting for a Bernie Victory as it will give Corbyn’s campaign here hope and the impetus to beat the odds against the establishment.

(Corbyn comparison to Sanders)

Like your situation in the US though it will be a revelation rather than a revolution because if Corbyn wins, at some point he will retire or resign and it will likely go back, in part at least, to the old ways of doing politics but again with the caveat that Corbyn can change how it all works in favour of democracy justice, fairness and above all accountability.

It’s a new dawn, potentially, for Western politics and it should not be lost on anyone the huge political shift with a global impact that will take place should both sides of the Atlantic adopt Democratic Socialism or indeed outright Socialism.

The only thing I personally am not impressed about is our choice of hashtag. You have #FeelTheBern which is from the same phrase denoting someone on the receiving end who has been scourned or made a fool of.. and gives a visual image of heat, fire..being scorched. Edgy. Yet in the UK we have..

… #JezWeCan and that only conjours up an image of ‘Bob the Builder’ the children’s cartoon character who’s catchphrase is “yes we can”. It just doesn’t make you envisage anything remotely edgy or hard hitting as #feelthebern

I guess you can’t have everything but it fits right in with the British way of doing things. Some things never change.

Now all we need to do is hope that at least one of these men actually goes on to win.

New York as I understand it is the next big one. Good Luck Bernie. Good luck America.