Tag: UK

It’s Now Boris’ England

Yes, it is

It appears that the British National Health Service has decided to issue do not resuscitate orders for learning and developmentally disabled patients with Covid-19, because the UK was never properly de-Nazified at the end of the 2nd World War, I guess.

It’s something that I take kind of personally, since I have a nephew who, if he lived in the UK, would be subject to this sort of bigotry:

People with learning disabilities have been given do not resuscitate orders during the second wave of the pandemic, in spite of widespread condemnation of the practice last year and an urgent investigation by the care watchdog.


The Care Quality Commission said in December that inappropriate Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) notices had caused potentially avoidable deaths last year.

DNACPRs are usually made for people who are too frail to benefit from CPR, but Mencap said some seem to have been issued for people simply because they had a learning disability. The CQC is due to publish a report on the practice within weeks.

The disclosure comes as campaigners put growing pressure on ministers to reconsider a decision not to give people with learning disabilities priority for vaccinations. There is growing evidence that even those with a mild disability are more likely to die if they contract the coronavirus.


Younger people with learning disabilities aged 18 to 34 are 30 times more likely to die of Covid than others the same age, according to Public Health England.

Most people would call this horrifying, but I imagine that the Tories consider this an unintended benefit, because it reduces costs.

Tories Walk Back NHS Privatization

And in the process, throw some serious shade at their former coalition members, the Liberal-Democrats.

We now have a report that 10 Downings Street is looking at rolling back changes made to the National Health Service in 2012 that promulgated privatization of the system.

This is not a surprise.  Increasing the role of the private sector in healthcare never produces better results.

What is interesting though is that the plan, which has been leaked, seems to have been couched in language pointing the finger at the Lib-Dems, probably because the Tories see them as more of a threat than Labour: (See other prominent mentions of the Lib-Dems here and here as well)

The Conservative Government is planning a major overhaul of the NHS by reversing some of the controversial privatisation plans introduced by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition, according to a leaked white paper.

The draft document suggested that Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to reduce the role of the private sector in the NHS by reducing competition and competitive tendering and replacing it with collaboration between health providers.


The changes would effectively rollback some of the 2012 reforms of David Cameron’s Government with his Health Secretary Andrew Lansley that saw the establishment of NHS England to run the health service as well as the creation of GP-led clinical commissioning groups to organise local services.

The leaked proposals, published by Health Policy Insight, acknowledged the “unprecedented test to health and care services” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the “urgent” need for a “broader approach to health and care”.


It set out how England’s Health Secretary would assume “enhanced powers of direction” over a newly merged NHS England and NHS Improvement, to set direction in a more “agile” way.

Privatization has always been the worst possible approach to potential problems with a public health system, and it has always been unpopular.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made further movement in this direction untenable, and so the Tories are reversing course, and trying to leave their former coalition members holding the bag.

Some Good (Non-Brexit) News Out of Old Blighty

MasterCard will be subject to a class action suit over anti-competitive and deceptive fees.

This may not seem to be a big deal to Americans, but this is a first in British jurisprudence, and marks a major change in consumer law:

The UK Supreme Court on Friday allowed a 14 billion pound ($18.5 billion) class action to proceed against Mastercard for allegedly overcharging more than 46 million people in Britain over a 15-year period in a landmark judgment.

The complex case, brought after Mastercard lost an appeal against a 2007 European Commission ruling that its fees were anti-competitive, could entitle adults in Britain to 300 pounds each if it is successful.

The court dismissed a Mastercard appeal, setting the scene for Britain’s first mass consumer claim brought under a new legal regime and establishing a standard for a string of other, stalled class actions.


The case will now be sent back to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), nominated in 2015 to oversees Britain’s fledgling, U.S.-style “opt-out” collective class actions for breaches of UK or European Union competition law.


The case centres on so-called interchange fees which credit and debit card companies say they levy on merchants’ banks to cover the costs of card services, security and innovation.


Anthony Maton, the global vice-chair of law firm Hausfeld, which is advising on other class actions, said: “This is a revolution in English law.”

This is indeed a big move, and a welcome one.

Have Some British Fighter Pr0n

Not Exactly Pretty

I’m ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille

I don’t believe in the cost savings through tech

Hopefully, this will work better than the F-35

Does not appear to be variable cycle

The RAF and “Team Tempest” have released renderings of their next-generation fighter proposal at an online event.

It’s interesting, but based on prior performance, the F-22, the F-35, the Typhoon, and the Rafale, we are at least ¼ century from the aircraft being deployed operationally.

Rather a far cry from the 180 day interval between contract signing and first flight for the P-80 Shooting Star:

Team Tempest and the Royal Air Force recently held a virtual event to provide an update about the development opportunities of the new sixth generation aircraft to industry and government representatives from Northern Ireland, the first of a series of events to engage with industries across the UK. Within the press release there is also some new renderings of the aircraft which, we have to note, is not in its final shape as it’s being designed “from the inside out” and the airframe’s exterior design may change to reflect changes in the internal systems.

Of note is the details on propulsion, specifically the statement that thermal management will be an integral part of the engine.

This is likely in response to an issue with both the F-22 and F-35, which is that they are basically thermos bottles relying on fuel to cool mission and flight critical systems, which means that both aircraft need to carry additional fuel, and weight, for cooling.

The statement implies that the amount of fuel that needs to come back to base would be less, which would either lower weight, or increase range and endurance.

Rolls-Royce is working on the advanced combustion system technology that will power Tempest. The next-generation system is being designed to be hotter than previous ones to increase the efficiency of the engine, its range and speed, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Together with the higher-temperature combustion, there will be a new thermal management system that will use the turbine as a heat sink to recycle thermal energy, removing the need for overboard venting and improving the efficiency, and an increased electrical power production, reportedly in the order of one megawatt, that will be used to power all the aircraft’s subsystems.

This follows the assessment by Rolls Royce that future fighter aircraft will have unprecedented levels of electrical power demand and thermal load that need to be managed accordingly to maintain the airframe’s low observability. Being more specific, the company stated that they will integrate an Electrical Embedded Starter Generator that will function both as an APU and as an electrical generator after the engine is spooled up.

This is actually in some ways quite similar to what RR did with Trent 1000 for the Boeing 787, which is an all electric (no bleed air) design.

If you are into this, time to get your geek on.

How Utterly British

The British Ministry of Devense is saying that it cannot give details on payouts made in response to claims against their troops for torture and abuse because there are too many to count, which is why they want a law passed indemnifying their troops for war crimes.

This is like some twisted take on a Gilbert and Sullivan light opera:

The UK government has received so many complaints from Iraqis who were unlawfully detained and allegedly mistreated by British troops that its defence ministry says it is unable to say how many millions of pounds have been paid to settle the claims.

Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials in London say they can provide approximate figures for the thousands of Iraqis who have lodged complaints against British forces involved in the 2003 US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq.

However, they maintain that they cannot disclose how much UK taxpayers’ money has been spent settling their claims, saying that it would take weeks for civil servants to collate the figure.

The department is claiming that it is unable to disclose the sums paid at a time when the UK parliament is about to debate a deeply controversial law which would introduce a partial amnesty for the country’s service personnel who have committed serious crimes – including murder and torture – while serving outside the country.

Known as the Overseas Operation Bill, the proposed new law has alarmed human rights groups, the UK government’s political opponents and many ex-soldiers, who fear that it will effectively sanction war crimes by British forces.


Even the country’s most senior retired soldier, 81-year-old Field Marshal Charles Guthrie, wrote to the Sunday Times newspaper to warn that the proposed new law would provide room for “de facto decriminalisation of torture”.
Guthrie added that the measures “appear to have been dreamt up by those who have seen too little of the world to understand why the rules of war matter”.


Frank Ledwidge, a former army intelligence officer and military historian, warns that the bill – which he calls a “squalid piece of legislation” – could cause more problems than it solves for the MoD and British government ministers.

Ledwidge, who has experience of tracking down war criminals in Bosnia and Kosovo, points out that the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is currently conducting a preliminary investigation into allegations of British war crimes in Iraq, is unlikely to target the interrogators.

“When the ICC does come for us, which it will if this bill is enacted, it won’t be the soldiers they’ll be after,” Ledwidge says. “The men we hunted down in Bosnia were not the trigger-pullers. They were the commanders, the generals and the politicians who sent them and allowed these crimes to happen.”

There are a whole bunch of people who should be in the dock at The Hague for crimes against humanity during the Iraq invasion, and the important ones are the, “Commanders, the generals and the politicians who sent them and allowed these crimes to happen.”

A Feature, Not a Bug

Admission to university in the UK is driven by the “A-Level” exams, which have been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Boris Johnson government came up with an algorithm driven alternative, which turned out to be so biased against students from poorer publicly funded schools that they had to withdraw it following massive protests.

This article details all of the problems with the process that was developed, but ignores the underlying issue, that it was not a good faith effort.

The Tories were explicitly looking at finding a way of favoring the inbred elites of British society while depriving less affluent, and less-white students fair access to the the UK’s elite educational institutions:

When the UK first set out to find an alternative to school leaving qualifications, the premise seemed perfectly reasonable. Covid-19 had derailed any opportunity for students to take the exams in person, but the government still wanted a way to assess them for university admission decisions.

Chief among its concerns was an issue of fairness. Teachers had already made predictions of their students’ exam scores, but previous studies had shown that these could be biased on the basis of age, gender, and ethnicity. After a series of expert panels and consultations, Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, turned to an algorithm. From there, things went horribly wrong.

Nearly 40% of students ended up receiving exam scores downgraded from their teachers’ predictions, threatening to cost them their university spots. Analysis of the algorithm also revealed that it had disproportionately hurt students from working-class and disadvantaged communities and inflated the scores of students from private schools. On August 16, hundreds chanted “F%$# the algorithm” in front of the UK’s Department of Education building in London to protest the results. By the next day, Ofqual had reversed its decision. Students will now be awarded either their teacher’s predicted scores or the algorithm’s—whichever is higher.

(%$# mine)

The problem was not that education authorities failed, but that they over-succeeded.

If they had hit 10% or 20%, they would have gotten away with making higher education in the UK richer and whiter, and the students complaining would have been dismissed as ungrateful (insert race or class epithets here)s.

Have I Mentioned that I Love the War Nerd?

Gary Brecher notes that with all this talk of cancel culture, it should be put in perspective.

The specific perspective that he discusses is the universal silence of the British intelligentsia during the 1800s on the genocidal policies of their empire. (As an aside, the British have done a marvelous job of covering up the brutality of their empire, at the cost of well over 100 million dead though both violence and indifference.*

What, you thought you were safe? You’d get through the big “Cancel Culture” war without me popping off?

No such luck.

Public morality should be pretty simple. When an oppressed group gets enough power to make its oppressors behave, they will do so — and they should.

The real problem, the kind of thing that would make De Niro in Casino groan, “Amateur night!”, starts when people imagine that they can stop immoral behavior by policing immoral characters, phrases, or scenes in literature.

They’re looking for the wrong thing. They’re sniffing for depictions of immorality, when they should be scanning the silences, the evasions.

There’s a very naïve theory of language at work here, roughly: “if people speak nicely, they’ll act nicely” — with the fatuous corollary, “If people mention bad things, they must like bad things.”

The simplest refutation of that is two words: Victorian Britain.

Victorian Britain carried out several of the biggest genocides in human history. It was also a high point of virtuous literature.

Because they were smart about language. They didn’t rant about the evil of their victims or gloat about massacring them, at least not in their public writings. They wrote virtuous novels, virtuous poems. And left a body count which may well end up the biggest in world history.

Open genocidal ranting is small-time stuff compared to the rhetorical nuke perfected by Victoria’s genocidaires: silence. The Victorian Empire was the high point of this technology, which is why it still gets a pass most of the time. Even when someone takes it on and scores a direct hit, as Mike Davis did in his book Late Victorian Holocausts, the cone of Anglosphere silence contains and muffles the explosion. Which is why Late Victorian Holocausts is Davis’s only book that didn’t become a best-seller.


But that didn’t happen. There was no wave of conscience among historians of the British Empire in the 1920s (or 30s or 40s or, to end the suspense, ever.)

Davis puts it bluntly: “[T]he famine children of 1876 and 1899 have disappeared.”


They’re very grim lessons, as it happens. While grad students comb texts for improper remarks, they miss the real point: the vast silence, and the paint-job of virtue that helps distract us.

Ideology doesn’t seem to do any good at clearing away the bigotry of Imperial history. Charles Kingsley, prominent novelist of mid-nineteenth-century Britain, was honored as promoter of socialist causes — while he wrote in letters to his wife about his loathing for the “white chimpanzees” whose corpses were littering the roadside when he visited Sligo [Ireland] during the Famine in the 1840s.


Visiting County Sligo, Ireland, he wrote a letter to his wife from Markree Castle in 1860: “I am haunted by the human chimpanzees I saw along that hundred miles of horrible country [Ireland] … to see white chimpanzees is dreadful; if they were black one would not see it so much, but their skins, except where tanned by exposure, are as white as ours.”


There are no excuses for this. There are reasons, but as the song says, “It doesn’t make it all right.” Still, once the rage passes and you stop clenching your jaw ’til it aches, there are reasons. Most of all, there’s a deep Imperial skill in the trope of silence. The stupid Nazis ranted and raved and lasted 13 years, then got completely destroyed. The Empire kept its rants for private letters, passed on to a guild of coopted historians, pundits, and publishers—and has never been called to account.

Maybe it never will be. That poor optimist radical Davis mentions thought the exposé would be big news by 1925. Well, it’s 2020, and the Empire is still remembered fondly. Victoria herself is a beloved figure all over again.

Silence is the only really effective PR for a genocide, and the nature of artificial famines, as opposed to mass executions, makes silence particularly effective. Famines, most people still believe, are acts of God, or matters of chance, or perhaps (under their breath) the result of the sheer fecklessness of the victims, for being Papists as in Ireland, or Hindus as in India, or Muslims as in contemporary Somalia. After all, the Empire wasn’t standing people up against a wall and shooting them (except sometimes, as in Kenya, and the Empire handled that by putting the records on ships and dropping them into the Indian Ocean.)

Silence, not Nazi-style boasting. That’s the key. We should be looking for omissions, not gaffes. Gaffes are for hicks like Hitler. Silence is the grown-up way to hide vast genocides.


That, folks, is how you cover up a genocide. It’s leaked a little in the 170 years since it was successfully carried out. But it lasted longer than any other cursed tomb in history. Nowhere — not in Dublin, not in London — was there any commemoration of the Famine on its 50th anniversary in 1897, or its hundredth in 1947. In 1998 Blair gave a very carefully-worded quasi-apology, and I still remember Jeremy Clarkson’s response: “I see Blair has apologized to the Irish for poisoning their potatoes.”

In short, this method works. We are its products; we live in the delusion it created, and like it or not, Hobsbawm and a host of other Igors have that blood on their hands along with the outright vampires. Sometimes you end up angrier at the Igors than the Nosferatus.


“The Central Government [of British India] under the leadership of Queen Victoria’s leading poet, Lord Lytton, vehemently opposed efforts…to stockpile grain or otherwise interfere with market forces. All through the Autumn of 1876, while the kharif crop was withering in the fields… Lytton had been absorbed in organizing the immense Imperial Assemblage in Delhi to proclaim Victoria Empress of India (Kaiser-e-Hind). As The Times [of London]’s special correspondent described it, ‘The Viceroy seemed to have made the tales of Arabian fiction come true…nothing was too rich, nothing too costly.’ [This feast] ‘achieved the two criteria [set for Lytton], of being ‘gaudy enough to impress the orientals’ and…a pageant which hid the nakedness of the sword on which we really rely.’ An English journalist later estimated that 100,000 of the Queen-Empress’s subjects starved to death…in the course of Lytton’s spectacular durbar.”


You won’t find gloating, you won’t see death’s heads on every officer’s cap. That stuff was for the Nazis, who were hicks themselves. The pro’s, like Lord Lytton, wrote virtuous, vapory blather like this. Reams of it. Best smoke-screen a genocidaire could want.

If I could distill this article into one sentence, and you should read the whole thing, it is, “Words can hurt, but silence kills.”

Read this.

*Just ask the Irish, or the Bengalis, or the Kenyans, or the Boers, the Cypriots, the Yemenis, the Kashmiris, the Indians generally, the Chinese [opium does not sell itself], the Malayans, the Tibetans, etc.)

This Was a Foreseeable Consequence

In response to China’s new security laws imposed by Beijing, the there have been calls for the UK to suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

This makes sense.

Given that the law makes protests against China illegal anywhere in the world that they occur, it’s a reasonable step.

China throwing a hissy fit over this is akin to a soccer player pretending that a foul occurred:

Conservative MPs and Labour are calling for the wholesale overhaul of relations with China after the government suspended extradition with Hong Kong and banned the export of riot control equipment following Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping national security law on the territory.

Announcing the measures to the Commons, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, stressed the desire for continued cooperation with China, but said the actions were “a reasonable and proportionate response” to the law, which effectively criminalises most political dissent.


Speaking before Raab’s announcement, China’s foreign ministry said it would be a mistake to suspend the extradition treaty and urged the UK “to take no more steps down the wrong path”.

While Raab’s decisions were welcomed by both Labour and Conservative MPs, the foreign secretary faced calls to take more robust action, particularly over the mass repression of the Uighur population in China’s Xinjiang province which rights groups warn amounts to cultural genocide.


Saying this was a serious violation of the agreement that set out Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status after the handover to China in 1997, Raab said extradition would be stopped unless Beijing gave “clear and robust safeguards” about how the law would be used. The UK does not have an extradition agreement with mainland China.

The UK is also extending to Hong Kong an arms embargo that has covered mainland China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, including a bar on equipment that could be used for crowd control, such as shackles and smoke grenades.


Britain has already promised that up to 3 million Hong Kong residents will be offered the chance to settle in the UK and a path to permanent citizenship.

These are foreseeable consequences to the Chinese security laws, and the Chinese government must have anticipated these actions.

Chill the f%$# out.

Should He Die, He Will Be Replaced by Something Even More Bizarrely Inexplicble

It appears that his condition has worsened since announcing his testing positive 10 days ago:

Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital due to coronavirus after suffering 10 days of symptoms including a high fever, bringing doubts about his capability to lead the response to the pandemic despite No 10 insisting it was purely precautionary.

Johnson was taken to an unnamed London hospital on Sunday after days of persistent symptoms, during which time he has been self-isolating. Last week No 10 had denied the prime minister was more seriously ill than claimed.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “On the advice of his doctor, the prime minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests. This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.” The spokesperson said Johnson would stay in hospital “as long as needed”.

I do not know much about British politics, but what I DO know leads me to conclude that whoever might replace him would be even more of a sh%$ show than he is.

What Happens When You Treat Your Staff like Crap for Years

After years of cuts, many of the staff of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) are not favorably inclined toward their current, or former employer, and so many of the retired staff are disinclined to return temporarily to help deal with the COVID-19 crisis:

Scores of retired NHS doctors and nurses have told the Guardian that they are against returning to work to help tackle coronavirus, with many saying it would threaten their physical and mental health. The government confirmed contingency plans on Tuesday to call back to work NHS “leavers and retirees” to help relieve pressure on an NHS workforce that is expected to be overwhelmed by the virus.

But a majority of 120 former NHS employees who responded to a Guardian callout were resistant, and in some cases hostile, to the idea. Many respondents said unprompted they did not want to a return to a working environment where they suffered stress, bullying, burnout and even breakdowns.

Seventy-one said they would not be happy to return to work, with many expressing their reluctance in vehement terms. “After the way I was treated I would rather shove a rusty six-inch nail up my backside than return to my old job,” said a 67-year-old former staff nurse from Manchester.

This is what happens when you are in an organization that has systematically been defunded, demonized, and privatized for decades.

Once you go back, you do not want to get back in.

NHS has been Americanized, and now it has a disgruntled staff, and former staff, who unlikely to go that extra mile in an emergency.

Because They Are Tories, That’s Why

As a part of the plans for Brexit, Boris Johnson and his Evil Minions are planning to slash the minimum wage for foreign workers in the UK, because the Conservative Party wouldn’t be the Conservative Party if they weren’t attempting to screw the ordinary working bloke:

The UK should slash the main salary threshold for workers coming to Britain with a job offer to £25,600 per year after the post-Brexit transition period, say the government’s immigration advisers.

The recommendation by the Migration Advisory Committee, published on Tuesday, would relax conditions for employers seeking to bring in workers from outside the European Economic Area, who currently face a salary threshold of £30,000 for most roles, but would make it far tougher for those recruiting from within the EEA — the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein — after Brexit.


The report produced detailed recommendations on salary thresholds for different sectors, including higher levels for some well-paid occupations and lower ones for jobs in education and the National Health Service, which have high numbers of vacancies.

They have a high number of vacancies because the jobs are hard, and you want to pay them crap wages.

The solution is to pay them more, particularly for more junior employees.


Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, the umbrella body for the service’s employers, welcomed the reduced salary threshold for NHS staff but said there were “mixed messages” in other areas. “We are disappointed that there are no proposals to ensure we can recruit the staff we need to ensure sustainable social care services,” he said.

Translation:  We need to keep wages low of the actual workers so that we can pay outrageous salaries to upper management as we proceed to privatize the NHS and f%$# both the workers and the patients.

Hospital, schmospital, there is looting to be done.

Our Cousins in the UK

It appears that much British banks were routinely forging documents for things like foreclosures, this strongly paralells what happened with the MERS and the foreclosure crisis.

It’s not a surprise. It’s what banks do in the absence of enforcement.

If Julian Watts is a conspiracy theorist, as his detractors would have you believe, he doesn’t exactly look the part. The former consultant, once an adviser to bosses of international companies, has the considered air of a regional accountant rather than someone who has taken leave of his senses.

Yet the otherwise mild-mannered Mr Watts, 56, has some extraordinary allegations to make. “The inconvenient truth,” he says, “is that several UK banks are engaged in persistent, serious organised crime against the public.”

From a bedroom in his modest family home in Guildford, Surrey, Mr Watts has been working around the clock for the past year or so to compile evidence that he claims suggests that banks and other financial firms are falsifying documents.


He alleges that his documents show they are forging signatures, including on papers used in court proceedings for cases such as small business disputes and mortgage repossessions.

So far his “bank signature forgery campaign” has produced 11 files of evidence. From these carefully indexed dossiers, he has compiled 136 separate “crime reports”, each relating to a distinct case of alleged signature forgery or document manipulation.

His claims are denied by the banks, yet he isn’t entirely out on a limb. Anthony Stansfeld, police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley, called the evidence “overwhelming”. Steve Baker, a Conservative MP and former member of the Treasury committee, said the files suggested that, at some banks, “anyone is signing” key documents, prompting concerns that home repossessions may have amounted to “fraudulent transactions”.

I have come to the conclusion that financial innovation and deregulation has fraud and corruption as its ultimate goal.

It’s not just a random consequence of policy, it is a goal.

I’m Not Sure that I Agree, But This Merits Serious Consideration

There will be a number of theories about what happened with the UK Parliamentary elections, but the thesis of Dr. Lee Jones, that, “Corbyn failed to see that Brexit wasn’t a distraction from anti-neoliberal revolt but the form it has taken in Britain,” is an idea that deserves to a thoughtful and deliberate examination.

It is posted on the website of an aggressively pro-Brexit organization, but it differs from most of these groups by coming from the left-wing, and anti-Neoliberal perspective:


This exposes Corbyn’s principal failure: he could not see that Brexit was not a distraction from a revolt against neoliberalism but the form that this revolt has taken in the British context.

From the beginning, most of the British left have only been able to understand the Leave vote as a reactionary, right-wing phenomenon, and its supporters as either wicked supporters of, or dupes of, the right or even far right. For left liberals to make this error is one thing, but for a lifelong left Eurosceptic to do so is inexcusable.

Brexit was not “sold as a blow to the system”; it was a blow to the system – evidenced by the hysterical response of that system to the vote, its desperate attempts to prevent the enactment of the referendum result ever since, and the challenges to every aspect of Britain’s political and constitutional order. Every political party, barring UKIP and fringe communist groups, campaigned to Remain, as did all the institutions of the business, cultural and educational establishment, backed by the International Monetary Fund and the US president. People rejected the European Union and opted to “take back control” because they could see that the political elite had retreated from them into the state and the interstate networks of the EU. They wanted an end to this post-political era, in which nothing ever changed and political parties had converged on the neoliberal “centre-ground”. They wanted politicians to start representing them again, to listen to and act upon their grievances. They wanted popular sovereignty (see Analysis #6 – Why Did Britain Vote to Leave the EU?).

Read the rest.

I’m still trying to digest this, but it deserves a read.


The Tories have won big in today’s election, having picked up about 60 seats and an absolute majority.

The SNP won big as well, gaining 12 seats, and how holding almost all the constituencies in Scotland

Labour lost about 40 seats, and the Lib-Dems lost about half of their seats (down to 8), including that of their party leader.

The singular issue for this election was Brexit, Labour tried to thread the needle on Brexit, calling for a second referendum, which was clearly a losing proposition, and the Liberal-Democrats were explicitly campaigning on not leaving the EU.

Both of these were clearly unwise politically.

Corbyn did not immediately resign, but he did announce that he would not be party leader for the next election, which provides a chance for a more orderly transition over the next few weeks.

The next few years in the OK are going to be a complete sh%$ show with the that blonde weasel Boris Johnson as PM:

Jeremy Corbyn has said he will remain in place as Labour leader while his party undertakes a “period of reflection” after suffering catastrophic election losses in its traditional heartlands.

Speaking at his own count in Islington North, Corbyn insisted Labour’s policies had proven popular with the electorate, and attacked the media’s portrayal of him and his party.

“I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign. I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward. And I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future,” he said.

I do hope that the party does not rush pell-mell back to Blairism, because BoJo will almost certainly try to destroy what remains of the modern British welfare state, including, despite his protestation, the National Health Service. (NHS)

What a F%$#ing Candy Ass

A journalist attempted to ask Boris Johnson some questions, and the Tory candidate for PM hid in a refrigerator to get away from him:

Boris Johnson retreated into a fridge as he sought to avoid a TV interview, amid rattled nerves at CCHQ over a narrowing in the opinion polls.

The prime minister was ambushed by the Good Morning Britain producer, Jonathan Swain, during a pre-dawn visit to Modern Milkman, a business in the Tory-held constituency of Pudsey, in Yorkshire.

When Swain first approached Johnson, he asked: “Morning prime minister, would you come on Good Morning Britain, prime minister?” Johnson’s aide can be heard mouthing “oh for f%$#’s sake” in response.

The show’s hosts, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, appeared shocked by the aide’s reaction. Swain goes on to say: “I’ve just had a reaction from one of the minders. OK, no need to push, thank you very much,” with Reid exclaiming: “The look on his face, that minder.” The aide was then named on air as the PM’s press secretary, Rob Oxley.

When Swain presses the prime minister, stating he was live on the show, Johnson replied “I’ll be with you in a second” and walked off, before Piers exclaims “he’s gone into the fridge”. Johnson walks inside a fridge stacked with milk bottles with his aides. One person can be heard saying: “It’s a bunker.”

Conservative sources subsequently insisted that Johnson was “categorically not hiding” in the fridge, from which Johnson emerged carrying a crate of milk bottles – but instead his aides were taking a moment to prep the PM for a separate, pre-agreed interview.


Tory aides have closely controlled the PM’s appearances since a chaotic day on Monday. Johnson pocketed a journalist’s phone during a TV interview rather than look at a picture of a four-year-old boy asleep on the floor at a Leeds hospital.

I’m not a big fan of Winston Churchill, but I think that I can conclusively state that BoJo is the least Churchillian person in the whole of the UK, and I am including Gary Glitter in that set.

No, This is Not the Onion

So there I am, looking at the headlines, and I come across Boris Johnson Replaced by Ice Sculpture after Dodging Election Debate on Climate Crisis.

It’s not a parody:

Boris Johnson was criticized by party leaders and represented by a dripping ice sculpture after refusing to appear in a televised election debate focusing on climate change, sparking a row between the UK broadcaster and the Prime Minister’s Conservative Party.

The Conservatives complained to the UK’s broadcasting watchdog Ofcom ahead of the Channel 4 event, which saw Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson and the heads of the UK’s other main parties quizzed on their plans to tackle the climate crisis ahead of next month’s poll.

The party said its offer of having minister Michael Gove stand in for Johnson was rejected by Channel 4, complaining the decision “effectively seeks to deprive the Conservative Party of any representation and attendance at the Channel 4 News debate.”

The network said the event was only for party leaders, and opposition leaders have lambasted Johnson for dodging scrutiny by refusing to appear.


Before the debate started, the program’s editor had earlier said Johnson “sent his two wing men” — Gove and Johnson’s father, Stanley — to attempt to “argue their way into” a program intended only for leaders. Stanley Johnson was there to conduct interviews in the so-called spin room after the debate, he later clarified.

Johnson and fellow no-show Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, were ultimately replaced at the debate with ice sculptures bearing their parties’ logos, which Channel 4 said was intended to “represent the emergency on planet earth.”

Johnson’s refusal to appear in the debate gave further fuel to charges that he is avoiding media appearances during the campaign. Several opposition figures have also criticized him for refusing to confirm he would take part in an interview with BBC presenter Andrew Neil, which all of the other major leaders have done.

They should have put a blond wig on top of the ice sculpture.

Honestly, if I were to replace BoJo with anything, it would be a Goatse* sculpture.

*If you do not know what Goatse is, Do Not Google It ……… EVER.