Nov 192023

Some of us who are anti-Tory are encouraging the use of tactical voting – voting not necessarily for the party you would most like to represent you, but instead voting for the party most likely to defeat the Tories. The Tory government has been so inept, corrupt, morally bankrupt, and generally icky, that giving them a total hammering is only right.

But there are plenty of people out there who don’t feel that Labour (or one of the others in certain areas) really represent their views. Labour has moved too far to the right – which is something I would agree with.

But politics is about compromise and with first-past-the-post system, we have to compromise more than other systems of voting. There will never be a political party that exactly represents my views, so I have to select the one that closest matches my views. In an ideal world anyway.

In a less than idea world, we have to compromise more and vote for the candidate in our constituency that is most likely to defeat the Tories. There is no point in voting for the Green party in a constituency where they typically get 2-3% of the vote when switching to the Liberal-Democrats are in second place and most likely to defeat the Tories.

The left in Britain is somewhat more fractured than the right (although if we give the Tories a bloody enough nose that might just change) which with the FPTP system gives the Tories an inherent advantage. We need to overcome that advantage and without a change in the voting system, tactical voting is the way to do that.

Give the Tories a bloody nose and vote tactically.

The Wild Chained
Nov 112023

The frothing-at-the-mouth loons on the far-right are trying to get the country to rip up the ECHR and reject the ECHR. That’s two different things – the European Convention on Human Rights, and the European Court of Human Rights. Essentially the first is an agreement on what rights we should all have, and the second is how those rights are enforced.

We’ve all heard about (thanks to right-wing propaganda media) ridiculous stories about some inane judgements of the ECHR (although not a few are complete fiction), but before we listen too long to lying scum-bags with hidden agendas should we consider whether throwing out the baby with the bathwater is a good idea?

In the wake of World War II, the nations of Western Europe founded the Council of Europe to adopt measures that would stop that sort of war even occurring again (and to combat the rise of Communism). A time when Britain’s influence in Europe was at a zenith – the British lawyer David Maxwell Fyfe was probably the biggest single influence on the new convention of human rights. In normal circumstances it would be churlish to suggest it, but there is an argument to say it should be called the British Convention on Human Rights for Europe.

Ripping up the convention on human rights also requires us to leave the Council of Europe. Which would horrify the hero of the far-right – Winston Churchill who was the biggest single proponent of the post-war Council of Europe. And have a similar catastrophic effect on Britain as the disastrous Brexit that we have undergone.

But let us look at what the ECHR actually does – it can force governments to admit they’ve gone too far and make them step back. Now the propagandists for abolishing the ECHR will quite rightly point out that this is not democratic.


But imagine a situation where a democratically elected government is of a flavour you despise – perhaps a far left government that intends to take away your company because you haven’t “shared” enough with the workers, or because you pay yourself more than 20 times the pay of the lowest paid worker.

Doesn’t sound fair does it?

And if the ECHR forced that government to stop its plans? Doesn’t sound quite so bad now does it?

It is all too easy to look at the “bad” the ECHR does – when it stops a government you like doing what it thinks is right. But that’s not how to examine something like the ECHR – you have to imagine the ECHR stopping a government you despise doing something awful.

And always remember – those talking about ripping up the ECHR are all spitting on Winston Churchill’s grave. Do you still want to join them?

Nov 112023

I don’t usually wear one of those red poppies – not out of a lack of respect for the war dead or veterans of wars, but because of “poppy fascism“. It’s all very well choosing to wear the red poppy, but it should also be fine to choose not to wear the red poppy – even the Royal British Legion supports those who don’t choose to wear it: “If the poppy became compulsory it would lose its meaning and significance.”

Just look at the abuse those in the public eye who choose not to wear it receive.

And some of the reasons for not wearing it are perfectly reasonable – some politicians do use it as a means of promoting war and nationalism. Distasteful in the extreme. And very much associated with the far-right – the very kind of people many of the war dead were fighting against.

On the other hand, some of the reasons for not wearing it can sometimes seem inappropriate. It’s all very well being against some of Britain’s wars and even against some of the actions of British soldiers (such as Bloody Sunday), but the poppy is about remembering the war dead and veterans. A group who very rarely had any choice about where they were sent.

Oct 072023

Historically, countries ruled by monarchs dictated that the religion of choice was the same as that of the monarch – Anglo-Saxon kingdoms became christian when the king did. Nobody had a choice; at least openly (you do have to suspect that paganism might have officially died out when the king switched, but it may have taken longer in the backwoods where the banjos are played).

In fact it could be worse – the christianisation of the Isle of Wight occurred when a pogrom of all the pagan believers was enacted.

This didn’t please the non-conformists of England during the 16thC and resulted in a number of religious colonies in what would become the USA. Of course not all of the colonialists were non-conformists, but they had better conform to whatever non-conformists were in charge of their relevant colony!

Religious conflict was almost inevitable – both in Europe (although some of these ‘religious wars’ were arguably and to a greater or lesser extent political in nature) and in the colonies that would later become US states. For example, Maryland had a time of Plundering, and there were the Salem witchcraft “trials” plus a whole lot of individual level persecution (just ask early Quakers).

So history tells us that an established church has a history of repressing religious minorities. Sometimes in terms of a lack of rights (such as the prohibition of catholics holding public office in England before the 1829 act), forced to pay a “church tax” to the established church (such as the church tax in Denmark), or violent measures.

And lastly, and probably most importantly, everyone in favour of some form of theocracy is somehow under the belief that it will be their church that is favoured. It won’t be of course because there are so many different choices that somebody will be disappointed.

And for the record, I fully support the establishment of the Satanic Temple.

Church And Lighthouse
Sep 222023

Now that Sunak has reversed a policy that didn’t exist in the first place – taxing meat – the question is whether it would be a good idea or not?

I can already hear the howls of protest from meat eaters, but bear with me …

Firstly there are all sorts of good reasons to discourage meat eating – environmental reasons and health reasons chief amongst them.

Secondly we should encourage the occasional consumption of high quality meat rather than constant consumption of low quality meat. This might mollify some of the British farmers – at least those who have very sensibly concentrated on quality rather than quantity.

So what we want is a flat rate per kilogram of meat – perhaps 25p per kilo of mince which would make Quorn mince a relatively cheap option, but not make much difference to quality mince.

Make meat a luxury not a necessity (because it isn’t).

Filthy Roaring Beasts Rushing Along The Scar