‘Freedom’ Can Be An Ugly Word In The Wrong Mouths

Fifteen years in America taught me a lot about the people, the country, and the way it was governed. What I learned from the people was that they are as much a mixed bunch of human beings as one would find in any nation on earth. You’ll find the good, the bad, and the ugly, wherever you go.

The country was just too big for me. I lived on a small island most of my life, and if I can’t smell the sea in the wind I feel smothered. There’s a lot of ground to cover in America if you want to get, well, almost anywhere, apart from a Menards or a McDonalds, or some other national chain store existing in just about every town from ‘sea to shining sea’. They all sell the same stuff, serve the same burgers, and the Walmart in Portland, Maine will look identical to the one in downtown Los Angeles, both inside and out. Not that that’s so unusual these days, the big chain stores in the UK are going the same way, and every store you enter that’s the French equivalent of Walmart (known as E. Leclerc) is as near identical to the last one as it’s possible to make it. It’s called progress, but I’m not sure for whom.

As for the US government, you’d better read some of the back posts on this blog if you’re in any doubt of my views on that bunch of corrupt, money-laundering, look-after-number-one-and-stuff-the-rest, all-too-powerful, crap baskets.

I mentioned the good, the bad, and the ugly. No, I’m not referring to any spaghetti western, I’m back to people. American people. There’s ugly folks everywhere, and I’m not talking physical. I’m referring to an ugliness of the soul, the mind, the character. There’s more of those sort of ugly people in America than anywhere else I’ve been, though I guess ISIS has its share, and that guy in the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, certainly takes some beating.

Why are there more ugly people in America than elsewhere? Guns. Guns create so much ugliness they make a rattlesnake seem endearing by comparison. Guns have created such a mindset among certain sections of the U.S. populace that common sense no longer exists for them. Take one very influential man – Alex Jones…

…Jones is a fat, ugly, beast of a man who runs a radio show that would make any person of sanity and intellect throw up within five minutes of listening to it. Yet his show is fawned over by millions. Why? Because he’s a god of the gun nutter. He makes stuff up to stir madness and angst in his listeners. And that’s something else about Jones’ listeners, they’re not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier. In fact, it’s probably right to say most of them barely have a glimmer in them. If they had, they’d not believe a word of the drivel emanating from Jones, or others like him on that unique American horror-experience known as ‘Talk-Radio’.

On December 14th 2012 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a young man massacred twenty-six people. Twenty of them were children between the age of six and seven. Six adults were also killed. He used a pistol and an automatic rifle to commit his heinous crime. Needless to say, the parents of those dead kids were deeply traumatized and have still not come to terms with their loss.

Such sensitivities are lost on Alex Jones. He broadcasts to his listeners that the whole massacre was a put-up job by the U.S. government. He says the kids were acting, pretending to be shot, that the parents were pretending and in reality no-one was hurt. This ugly idiot claims it was all a hoax perpetrated solely for the purpose of passing strict gun control legislation through the U.S. Congress.

Despite some efforts by the parents of these young victims to push for tighter gun controls, nothing has been done to enact any control on these ugly, arrogant, individuals who believe they have a right enacted under the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, to keep and use lethal weaponry that has no place other than under lock and key in a military armoury.

Now, the Sandy Hook school massacre is in the news again. A major national media network, NBC, is broadcasting an interview with Alex Jones, allowing him a national TV platform to crucify the parents of the slain children all over again. To add insult to injury NBC will air the programme on June 18th – Father’s Day! [1]

Jones believes he has a right to broadcast his ‘opinions’ because of something else enshrined in the US Constitution – freedom of speech. But ‘freedom’ can be an ugly word when uttered by a mouth filled with hate and loathing.

America calls itself ‘civilised’. It will never be civilised while 300,000,000 guns are on the loose in a nation of 300,000,000 people.

Fifteen years in America taught me a lot about the people, the country, and the way it was governed.

So now I live in France.

[1] “Sandy Hook rage over Megyn Kelly’s Alex Jones interview” BBC, June 13th 2017

A Sinking Theresa May – Are Tory Rats About To Leave?

In the last post I asked, can Theresa May make it three disasters in a row, but like most Brits I hardly expected the U.K. election to be quite such an unholy cock-up for her personally. Still, a disaster for Theresa May has to be a victory for the nation as a whole.

It’s fun to watch the Tory parliamentary rats scurrying around desperately endeavoring to plug holes in the fabric of their morale:

From Theresa May:

“That’s what I’ve been doing today, putting together a cabinet that reflects the wealth of talent and experience across the Conservative party”. [1]

Presumably, then, the cabinet prior to the election was lacking in “a wealth of talent and experience?” Now, who chose that lot? Oh, yes, it was Theresa May.

Meanwhile, David Davis, the “Minister for Leaving The E.U.” (now there’s a job with no long term prospects) was in damage control:

Brexit Secretary David Davis predicted some parts of the Tory manifesto would now have to be “pruned”.
“We have been given an instruction by the British people,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

This follows the calling of a crisis meeting by the ‘1922 Committee’ of Tory back bench MPs, demanding to know from Theresa May just what, if anything, she intends to do to salvage the sinking ship.

I think the instruction from the British people, Mister Davis, demands more than simply ‘pruning’ one’s manifesto. Perhaps a direct request to the prime minister to pack her bags and…well, we’ll not use that phrase here…

Yet another Tory rat, Graham Brady, who chairs the 1922 Committee, told the BBC:

…there was “zero appetite” among the public for another election.

Wrong again! If he’d been speaking the truth he’d have said there’s zero appetite among Tory MPs for another election. How can he possibly know the ‘appetite’ of the nation. Personally, I’d love another general election. It would boot May & Co into touch once and for all.

As though to compound her catalogue of errors, Theresa May has just dragged Michael Gove out of his rat hole to be her new environment secretary. Yes, that’s the same man who as education secretary (2010-2014) tried to take climate change off the geography curriculum, and approved licences for three ‘creationist’ schools in the U.K.. Of course, the wealthy ‘gentlemen-farmers’ of England will love Gove. He’ll look after their interests, which have nothing to do with protecting the environment but much to do with protecting the grouse moors.

Through all this Theresa May is spinning her hopes of survival on a pact with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. They hold ten seats in Westminster, and an alliance would give May a majority by just two. To even suggest such an alliance is not only desperation, but a rebuke to the other political parties in the Province.

Whenever there’s a confrontation between Irish nationalists and unionists, it falls to the governments of the U.K. and Eire to intervene and mediate. By even approaching the DUP, May is displaying a bias that could wreck any future mediation attempts. It’s not just an act of political irresponsibility, it’s one that puts her own selfish interests before those of her country.

Meanwhile, the conspiracies rise up and refute their existence. Clown rat Boris Johnson gears up to take command of the Tory ship should a mutinous crew eject the captain from the bridge. “No, no,” cries Johnson, (methinks a little too earnestly), “I urge all Tories to support Theresa May.” It’s the classic cut and thrust of Tory politics – urge support for the leader while keeping the knife just out of sight, ready to stab her in the back. Remember Margaret Thatcher? And then, of course, there’s Boris Johnson himself, neatly skewered between the shoulder blades by his ‘buddy’, Michael Gove, after David Cameron jumped ship.

And why should the U.K. not have Johnson as their prime minister? Don’t they just deserve him? After all, when they leave the E.U., America will be their major business partner. There could be a Clown Rat in charge on both sides of the Atlantic.

[1[ “Theresa May: ‘Cabinet that reflects wealth of talent'” BBC, June 11th 2017

Brexit, Trump, Can Theresa May Make It Three Disasters In A Row?

Today, The British go to the polls. Their vote will decide whether their future lies in the rather bleak, isolationist, world being prepared for them by Theresa May and her team, a world very much under the spell of Donald Trump and his insane policies, or, a move back to a saner, more equal world where nations cooperate and work together.

No-one in their right mind could really suggest that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, is the most charismatic politician of the day, but he does appear to have that one quality lacking in virtually every modern politician – sincerity. One is left with the feeling he truly cares about ordinary people. Can the same be said for Theresa May?

To describe May as a ‘cold fish’ is sufficient to cause any occupant of a fishmonger’s slab to rise up in fury and demand instant apology. Every word she utters sounds like it’s been torn from the pages of a ‘How To Succeed In Politics By being A Hard-Boiled Bitch’ manual, probably written by Margaret Thatcher in her more senile years. There’s not even a hint of sincerity in her oft-repeated soundbites, and the phrase “strong and stable government” has been used by her so many times in the past few weeks she may even be coming to believe it herself.

It’s likely the Tories will be returned to government. There are sufficient folk in the U.K. doing very nicely under their rule to vote them in again (see: “Spare A Thought For Those Who Drive Theseā€¦” Sparrow Chat, May 19th 2017).

Sadly, there’s even more doing very badly, and if they all got together and voted according to common sense, May and her tribe would be down the road. It’s not likely to happen, though. Enough of the ‘great unwashed’, as they’re known in right-wing political circles, have been persuaded Brussels is to blame for their plight, Brexit will solve all their problems, and May & Co are the folk who’ll bring it about.

It’s a sad fact of life that those most in need of a more left-wing, socialist, approach to politics will likely prove the very crux of voters who’ll prevent it coming about. It happened with Brexit, it happened with the U.S. election of Donald Trump, and it will most likely happen again today in Britain.

We live in hope, with despair hovering like a Sword of Damocles in the background.