The odious Boris again

Boris Johnson’s Facebook page hosts hundreds of Islamophobic comments after burqa row

A source close to the senior Conservative MP said: “Mr Johnson totally condemns the hateful views posted by a small minority on these Facebook pages, brought to light by The Sunday Times.

“However it is ridiculous to attack Mr Johnson for comments made by individuals on social media when even the official website and Facebook page of The Times and Sunday Times host racist and Islamophobic messages from page visitors.”

Rubbish.

Those offensive posts – “Come on Boris, you had the bottle to start getting rid of these bloody Muslims, just like Enoch [Powell] wanted to rid us of all yer bloody c**ns.” – are decorating his Facebook page because he invited them with his diatribes against Muslims. He attracts bigots the way shit attracts flies.

And it doesn’t matter whether he is or isn’t as bigoted as his supporters. All that matters is that he wants to attract them. Makes him the same as them. Britain’s Trump. Gawd ‘elp us.

Trump’s military parade cancelled

Apparently Trump wanted a huge military parade to bolster his longing to be a tin-pot military dictator.

The Pentagon estimated that the extravaganza he wanted would cost $92 million, and the mayor of Washington, Muriel E. Bowser (Dem), estimated it at $21.6 million in city spending alone. All to feed his loathsome and ever expanding ego.

This is the guy Theresa May hopes will save Britain from economic disaster after Brexit. She’s a fool.

Is Labour under Corbyn antisemitic?

Antisemitism definition at heart of Labour row ‘will silence public discussion’, say minority groups

Oh for god’s sakes, just adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. It’s not that hard, and it is justifiable.

Once that’s done, then you can still set out a critique of the Israeli government policy to persecute Palestinians. It wouldn’t be a criticism of Israel as such, or Jews in general,  just opposition to Netanyahu and his racism.

I doubt the wisdom of creating Israel in 1948, seven years before I was born, though I understand the reasons. But what is done is done. Not so easy to undo it without the cooperation of Israelis and Palestinians. There is no compromise in sight, not with the evil Netanyahu at the helm.

Corbyn’s facile support of the Palestinian cause isn’t helping. He needs to show he supports Israeli Jews as well. Evidently he finds that hard or impossible to do.

More impetus to rethink the disastrous Brexit

No-deal Brexit may force rethink of vote – ex-civil service head

Britain may have to rethink the decision to leave the European Union if the government is unable to strike a Brexit deal with Brussels, a former head of the civil service has warned.

Bob Kerslake said the consequences of a no-deal break would be so serious, the UK parliament would have to consider whether it could allow it to go ahead.

Lord Kerslake, who has been advising Labour on preparing for government, said that at the least the article 50 process – under which the UK is set to leave the bloc on 29 March next year – would have to be paused.

In those circumstances, the peer added, the European commission would almost certainly insist on some “re-examination” of the original decision to leave.

Whether or not the current Tory misgovernment manages to negotiate something with Europe, or more likely fails to get any deal at all, Britain belongs in a European political alliance. Brexit needs to be axed.

The reason the European Union exists at all, though this seems to be totally lost on the Brexiteers, is the prevention of wars in Europe. Through alliances and cooperation, conflicts can be avoided. That is why Ted Heath, a Tory premier, took us into the Common Market as it was then known. I gladly supported it then, and I support it now.

Where the EU creates unreasonable regulations, that should be a cause for negotiations and reform, not an abrupt departure from a necessary alliance.

At this point, one cannot trust the political parties to make the right decision. So let them refer the decision back to the voters. If they are comfortable with a no-deal Brexit, give them their say.

The Catholic church sucks

Now, I was raised as a Catholic child. Personally, I never experienced or witnessed any abuse by Catholic priests or other clergy or laymen. But then, I was never an altar boy – what on earth do they need them for anyway? Unless… oh god – and was never alone with any of them, except the occasional confessional. Nothing happened there, either. So I emerged unscathed from Catholicism, and although the experience has doubtlessly scarred me for life, I live now as a convinced atheist.

Though I disapprove of all religion, I never suspected the extent and horror of the sexual scandals that now beset that church. For many years it’s been no secret that some Catholic clergy have been abusing children, and the church has been covering this up by moving them around and not reporting cases to the police, but the recent report from a grand jury in Pennsylvania was an eye-opener, even for a critic of the church like me.

Here Are the Worst Abuses by Catholic Priests from the PA Grand Jury’s Report

One example at random out of hundreds:

Father George Zirwas was part of a predatory priest “ring” that “shared intelligence” on victims and exchanged them with each other. They “manufactured child pornography” on church property, using “whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims.”

I can’t bear to post more, I must admit I almost threw up, reading the examples. The actual report is here. What happened to these children at the hands of the clergy is an abomination. Just as bad are the archbishops and cardinals who sought to protect the reputation of the church by covering up this obscenity. Not to mention the papacies that oversaw it all.

One allegation made by Catholic apologists in defence of the Catholic church is that this isn’t a clerical scandal, but a gay one, because the large majority of the victims were male, as were the priests. Now I am gay myself, and have never felt any inkling to diddle boys of any young age. Still, it’s a plausible argument that because priesthood is reserved for celibate males, gay men who seek to stay in the closet might be disproportionately attracted to the calling, as they then have a perfect excuse for not being married to a woman. Plausible, but not proven. And let us face it, celibacy is a hard task.

However, that cannot be used as an indictment of gay people in general. The priesthood might very well attract gay male psychopaths with a predeliction for diddling young boys (though that is pure speculation, it could just be that bad priests have more opportunity to diddle young boys than girls), but that says more about the church than about the vast majority of gay men who don’t feel these urges. If church doctrines about sexuality weren’t so restrictive, oppressive, and unreasonable, most likely these abuses wouldn’t have had the opportunity to happen. The fault is that of the church.

Almost as scandalous as the offences is the cover-up. The church leadership – bishops, archbishops, cardinals and popes – have long known this has been going on, and their first priority has been to conceal the problem from the police and prosecutors, and especially the public. This is to protect the church’s alleged reputation as a moral authority, the fount of wisdom and proper behaviour.

The consequence of their actions is the discovery that the Catholic church is morally bankrupt. Not even the priests who haven’t diddled children have a moral leg to stand on. They didn’t stop it, report it, or purge their church of it. They preferred to protect the reputation of the church they served.

I am an ex-Catholic for reasons other than these – religious belief simply became vacuous for me. I became persuaded by reason and evidence rather than by arbitrary doctrine. But the revelation of the extent of this predatory behaviour by clergy makes me even more hostile to the institution. Pennsylvania is not unique. Neither is America. If this was happening there, it was happening in every Catholic diocese all over the world. That’s not just thousands of children who were abused, it’s more likely millions.

The Holy Catholic and Apostolic church is corrupt, an iniquitous den of child molesters and their enablers, probably beyond any human or divine redemption. Sometimes I wish there were a Hell for bad people to go to when they snuff it.

 

The vaping culprits

These are the members of the Science and Technology Committee that published the report on vaping, and how it should be made easier. I wonder how many of them smoke or vape themselves.

Member Party
Norman Lamb (Chair) Liberal Democrat
Vicky Ford Conservative
Bill Grant Conservative
Darren Jones Labour
Liz Kendall Labour
Stephen Metcalfe Conservative
Carol Monaghan Scottish National Party
Damien Moore Conservative
Neil O’Brien Conservative
Graham Stringer Labour
Martin Whitfield Labour

The chairman of this committee, Norman Lamb (Lib-Dem) used to be a smoker himself (reportedly gave it up in 2012, what he currently is, is unreported), and has said he is glad his son is a vaper. He is known for his laudable advocacy for the mentally disabled, but surely that shouldn’t mean the rest of us have to breathe polluted air while they merrily puff away.

I couldn’t find any dirt on most of the rest of them, no idea whether they smoke, smoked, vape or have relatives who vape. Doesn’t mean there isn’t dirt there.

But there is one, Stephen Metcalfe (Con), who denies any connection to the tobacco lobby, despite being one of seven MPs to accept tickets from Japan Tobacco International to the Chelsea Flower Show, in May. It’s not as though tobacco companies ignore developments – they are investing in e-cigarettes.

There is also Graham Stringer (Lab), a climate change denier and obvious idiot who shouldn’t be on any Commons committee at all. No scientific wit whatever.

Three out of eleven (at least) whose judgement is compromised. All in all, they fucked up.

No, no, no, no, NO!

Relaxing vaping laws would cut smoking deaths, say MPs

The government is missing an important opportunity to cut deaths from smoking, says a committee of MPs who are calling for a cut in the tax on e-cigarettes. They are also urging the government to allow more advertising and to rethink the ban on vaping on buses, trains and in other public places.

Image result for vaping

First, I don’t think they should be cutting taxes on so-called e-cigarettes. They should be increasing them. Vaping is neither ok nor a socially acceptable habit. Fine, increase taxes on tobacco even further if existing taxes aren’t doing the job of discouraging smoking. Make the buggers pay.

Second, it is definitely NOT OK for government to be advocating increased pollution of streets and other public places. Have non-smokers no right to smoke or vapour-free air? Are we now expected to hold our breaths for an entire bus journey so some twit can blissfully vape away, happy in the knowledge he, she or it is pissing the hell out of their fellow passengers? Noise pollution from loud earphones is bad enough without this harassment.

One of the best things that happened in Britain was the ban on smoking in public areas and in businesses. It was actually possible to breath again. Vaping may be a health improvement for a smoker, no real evidence on that yet as it hasn’t been around long enough, but it is just as foul a habit to anyone around them. You cannot pass these smelly people in the street without holding your breath, and walking behind one forces you to cross the street to avoid the gases and vapours coming out of that thing they are slobbering on.

It is disgusting, not just being next to a vaper, but that a Commons committee should recommend ruining the lives of non-smokers by allowing this foul habit on public transport and in enclosed public spaces. I really do not care if relaxation of the law might have health benefits for smokers. It has a high impact on those of us who prefer not to breathe someone else’s fumes, be they cigarettes or vapes.

Even worse is the notion that rules should be relaxed in offices. In England, only 14.9% of the population are classified as smokers. Without a detailed study of the report, it’s not clear from summaries exactly how many additional people are vapers, percentages given vary by age group, but it’s between 3-8%.

So, that’s less that a quarter of the population polluting the environment with smelly smoke and vapours, but these stupid MPs think that over 75% of the population should all have to second hand vape in public spaces and even workplaces to persuade more smokers to join the vapers? Bah humbug to that! If they really want to stop smoking, let them get a prescription NHS nicotine patch. I’m happy to help pay for that through taxes.

As it is, I am asphyxiated by having to hold my breath while trying to get into my workplace with all the smokers and vapers creating bad air by the entrance, or at bus stops where inconsiderate people smoke or vape while disregarding their fellow passengers’ discomfort. I’m not at the point of saying these people should be shot, not even the MPs who wrote that inconsiderate report, but by god those moronic MPs should have their heads firmly slapped.

No, wait, I have a better idea. Lock them in an un-ventilated room with a vaper. See how they like it then.

Corbyn in hot water with feeble responses

Jewish Labour members boycott talks with ‘intentionally antagonistic’ party leaders over antisemitism

The caption was: Corbyn denies laying wreath at grave of Munich terrorists. That’s a pretty big deny considering that they have pictures of him groping the wreath in question. Then he added the further idiocy of admitting being present at wreath-laying for Munich terrorists but saying ‘I don’t think I was actually involved in it’. What the fuck? Present, touching the wreath, but not “involved” in it? Does he really think people are idiots?

Plus given how they have been treated by the party establishment, I am not in the least surprised Jewish Labour groups don’t trust them or Corbyn. While he may not be an actual antisemite, though I can certainly understand why people might wonder about this, he certainly looks like he has chosen the Palestinian side, ignored Jews opposing the odious Netanyahu or those killed by Muslim terrorism, and consorted with supporters of terrorism.

Feeble bleats to the effect he was “not actually involved” give the impression he either cluelessly wandered into a ceremony in Tunis without knowing who it was for or who was there, which makes him seem like a total idiot, or that he’s an outright liar trying to save his skin. It’s nice that he protests:

“I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere, because we have to end it. You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence. They only way you pursue peace is by a cycle of dialogue.”

The problem was, it wasn’t that kind of memorial, it was the grave of the terrorists who killed Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. It is even more pathetic to go on to say he was opposed to all deaths by terrorism, without even mentioning Palestinian terrorism. He is right about just one thing, it’s going to take compromise on all sides to achieve peace in the Middle East, and that seems as likely to happen as the second coming of Christ.

The need for compromise is the only thing he’s been right on in this sorry mess. He’s made all the wrong arguments, taken the wrong positions, associated with the wrong people, disseminated and lied, and not supported Jews in the Labour party when they need as much support as Muslims. Not a fearless leader at all. More of a schmuck or schlemiel.

Boris Johnson must be laughing all the way to his tea table. Neither party has reacted well to the exposure of bigotry in their ranks. But while bigotry is indigenous to Tories, it’s their bread and butter with Boris palling up with the American arch-racist Steve Bannon, you would expect Labour to know better. If you did, well, you and I were wrong.

The choice of parties for a responsible voter grows thin indeed. Oh, and yes, if he has a shred of decency at this point, he’ll quit as party leader. That’s the only way we will know he has that decency.

Let’s have another referendum

Young voters want final say on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, poll finds

They have a point. Something like 1.4 million children have become voting age adults since Cameron’s mistake. Given that May has made a disaster out of Brexit, is obviously expecting no deal at all, and is content to rip up the Irish peace accords by re-establishing the border, they deserve a chance to vote on their own futures.

Plus, some of the aged, crabby, isolationist bastards who voted agin everything forrin, have mercifully died and gone to whatever heaven they deserved. More will join them after Brexit as the supply of doctors, nurses and medications runs out.

Brexit: More than 100 constituencies that backed Leave in 2016 referendum would now vote Remain

More than 100 Westminster constituencies which backed Leave in the 2016 referendum would now vote to remain in the European Union, according to new analysis of polling.

The findings suggested that most seats in England, Scotland and Wales now contain a majority of voters who want to stay in the EU.

Among constituencies found to have switched from Leave to Remain were arch-Brexiteer Boris Johnson‘s Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Michael Gove’s Surrey Heath and the seats of pro-BrexitLabour MPs Frank Field in Birkenhead and Graham Stringer in Blackley and Broughton.

Neither is this a huge surprise. In the wake of May’s misgovernment doing sweet Fanny Adams to get a Brexit deal, the calamity of crashing out is beginning to dawn on some anti-European dinosaurs. It’s not as though they can rely on Trump and his American fascists to come running to their economic rescue.

Parliament is unlikely to come to any decisions on Brexit itself. It’s becoming far more likely they will choose to pass the buck to the voters again. It’s their get out of jail free card.

As for the excuse that it is “undemocratic” to give voters a choice, given that they voted already to leave, that’s absurd. A democracy isn’t an unchanging fossil set in stone. That’s the Tory party. A democracy’s a dynamic institution. There is no reason to suppose it can’t change its mind given new data, and god knows, the Tory party has given us lots of new data about its failure to govern responsibly.