Game of Moans

It’s the final season, and it’ll all end in Spring 2019! There are dragon-like figures, ice-cold monsters and very few good guys left alive. But just like Game of Thrones, Brexit is likely to spawn some spin-offs, and will never truly end.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two and a half years since the 2016 Referendum, and that we’re only three and a half months from the finish line.

I think the average person in the UK probably just wants the whole thing to be over, so that the news cycle can move onto the next terrible thing that’ll end us all. But in the wake of a deal rejection and a vote of no confidence (result: some confidence), it’s starting to feel like this won’t end in March.

The current situation that the UK government faces is well summarised in the following tweet, which should be located just below these words.

Option C is the currently the most likely outcome.

During the initial vote over Brexit I paid close attention to the details and information associated with the decision. I tried my best to sift through the BS from the campaigns and kept coming back to the conclusion that even though the EU isn’t perfect, this idea that we should work together as a species is a step in the right direction.

As the months go by, and especially after all the reveals of the misinformation and anti-democratic strategies from the leave campaign, I find it harder to follow Brexit without slipping into some sort of depressive coma.

These days I need to decant Brexit information in the form of topical satire and comedic podcasts, just to stay lucid.

The irony is that most satirists put more effort into their research on the topic than half of UK news outlets, and they don’t shy away from an overt opinion either.

I’ll take an open and honest comic, who tells us that their words are opinions and presents data alongside a satirical analysis, over institutions like the Daily Mail — Who may as well print “LEAVE OUR COUNTRY, YOU FOREIGN ARSEHOLES” on their front page every morning.

A good friend of mine has made the news a little easier to digest, however. What’s Happening With Brexit? is a website that’s updated daily, at midnight.

It takes the top stories on Brexit from six UK newspapers and displays the data collected in an interactive graph. On the graph you can see what the country is talking about in regards to Brexit, by highlighting the frequency of the words and phrases used throughout the articles.

I’ve found it extremely useful as a tool for following the bigger stories, as I know the big-hitting topics for the day, to then go and read about in more detail.

For example, if a right-leaning paper has DANGER OF NO DEAL in their headline, but nobody else is running the story, then I know it’s probably propaganda.

Of course, that’s a terrible example because there is a very real danger of a no deal Brexit, especially after Theresa May’s short and not so sweet visit to Brussels.

Theresa May, if you’re wondering, is probably the Cersei Lannister of our Game of Moans. She doesn’t have the same ambition, but she’s the one seated in a position of power due to her undying grip to an idea that she doesn’t really believe in anyway.

Boris Johnson is obviously Littlefinger, and most Brexitiers are various White Walkers. David Cameron was Robert Baratheon and most EU officials are members of the Bank of Bravos. Jeremy Corbyn is that old guy in the tree, not really doing much of anything.

threeeyedraven
Jeremy Corbyn pictured at his home in Islington

The other thing I like about What’s Happening With Brexit? is the way the data is displayed. I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time watching the buzzwords rise and fall over the months.

It has also been interesting to see how much the right-leaning and left-leaning news outlets discuss different topics.

Some terms and people, such as the PM or “deal” are mentioned equally between both sides. Outlets who side with remaining in the EU are more likely to highlight the turmoil and errors of Brexit (aka, all of it). Whereas on a slow Brexit-news day, outlets who want to leave will spam the headlines with reasons why Brexit must happen now and how we should just leave no matter what.

I’m bias because I know the website creator, and know that he’s dedicated to analysing the slew of information that comes from the Brexit news cycle, in order to present it in an easily digestible way. But, despite that knowledge, I still think you should check out What’s Happening With Brexit?

Comparing Brexit to Game of Thrones is really making me realise that we have no heroes in this story. I mean, the EU are sort-of the good guys, but even they’re not without fault.

There’s no strong political party that’s acting as the voice for the hundreds of thousands of British people who marched on the streets of London back in October. Labour are remaining quiet, presumably so as not to upset those who want Brexit to happen who may also vote Labour in the next General Election.

They probably shouldn’t be doing that, because it’s another example of playing a game of politics that doesn’t really exist anymore. Trying to play the long game of power is what makes things like Donald Trump and Brexit happen in the first place.

The populist, “bad guys” are shouting louder and louder as the deadline looms. The polar opposite of that is a strong-willed voice of reason, and the people (the remainers) have that en-masse. As seen in the marches back in the autumn.

There’s just no figure to represent them, no Stark kid from the frozen north who’ll be the voice of truth in the face of an encroaching disenfranchised, chaotic evil.

Of course, it’s not that simple, and life isn’t one big HBO episodic drama. I just can’t help but feel that someone should be playing a game that has the interests of the “48%” in mind, and that if they did they’d stand a good chance to win the throne as well.


Today is Friday, December 14th and submitting a podcast to iTunes felt good.

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Youthquake

I was reminded of the word “Youthquake” on a podcast this week. It was a word used to describe the young voter turnout during the UK General Election in 2017. Whether young people are better represented or not is up for debate, but something that’s clear to me in the dying days of 2018, is that we badly need a youth movement in politics.

I’m sat watching highlights from a discussion in the Oval Office between Trump, Pence, Pelosi and Schumer and I’m embarrassed for a generation that has refused to hand over power to people in their forties and fifties, let alone my generation.

I’m sorry, I just checked — Mike Pence is 59 years old. Although given the fact that he just sat there like a barely sentient showroom dummy, I don’t think he’s doing any favours for the fifty-somethings of America.

The squabble, and it was a squabble, was over the approaching government shutdown. This shutdown is due to happen because Trump can’t secure funds for his wall on the border between the US and Mexico.

Trump was the least surprising of the group, given that he was just his usual self. His sort of wound-tight ego never changes — And why would he? It got him to the highest office in the land.

He’ll be at the end of all things and still be bragging about something he just did.

“I do the most solid s**ts — Nobody has seen s**ts as solid as mine. The nursing staff love dealing with my s**t!”

— Trump, aged 76

Pelosi and Schumer are still playing the game that Trump beat in 2016. They might be closer to my political stance than others in the room, but they’re still from that old-guard of politician.

The sort that see it all as one big game, complete with addressing the TV camera instead of your colleague because that’s how you best reach the people; The illusion of a strong democratic discussion.

They’re ill-prepared, with a lack of facts, statistics and case studies. Instead of explaining coldly, calmly and concisely why a border wall is a populist idea that’s designed to secure the votes of extremists and tear lives apart in the process — And that we see through it. We instead get…

“Your wall bad, you cause shutdown.”

“No I don’t, build wall.”

“Won’t build wall.”

“Then shutdown.”

“Your wall bad, you cause shutdown.”

And so on.

Those aren’t their exact words, I should point that out. Although the gaps between each of those lines could be the words of Mike Pence, because he said absolutely jack all in that entire meeting.

The older guard, the Pelosi’s and Schumer’s of the world, don’t want to challenge the status-quo of politics. They want to keep everything as a points-scoring system, so that they can read about how they won in the morning papers.

Trump claimed to play a different game in the 2016 election, and to an extent he did, but he’s still a part of the swamp he promised to drain. He parades around as though public service is a birthright and not a civil duty. And he still watches the morning news to see if he won.

For better or worse, the public can hear your political opinion and “winning” viewpoint via social media. What we want during official meetings is progress, otherwise cracks start to form in this whole illusion of power thing you have going on.

Can’t make progress by agreeing? Then have gritty, intellectual discussions and see who comes out on top then. These one-liners and childlike arguments are getting tiresome.

When the young elected officials are saying more in 280 characters than the four of you can in a televised discussion, then something is wrong with the way you’re doing things.

I just realised that I started talking to them directly, even though they’re not here. That’s how fired up this makes me.

Yes, we have members of congress and the house who will be in their early thirties when they begin serving the public. This is an excellent start, and probably also the point in the piece that I should use the term “youthquake” again.

I know it’s tempting to single-out specific names, because some are living up to the job description of elected representative of the people extremely well. But the way we change the game is to empower the ideas over the individuals.

If we want this whole social-democracy to work, in which people receive fair representation and treatment by the government, we can’t put individuals on too high a pedestal.

But what we can say, with confidence, is that one of these images looks more like modern American society than the other.

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 08.55.30

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 08.55.41These are the new members of the house of representatives for the Democrats and Republicans. I’ll leave it to you to decide who best represents America.

And to all the fragile caucasian men out there, we still make up the equal-biggest demographic in the top image.

Politicians should represent the views and will of the people. And while you don’t have to belong to the same specific demographic as someone else to represent their views, a democracy is healthy when people from all backgrounds are represented.

Now, back to the whole age thing. Youthquake and all that.

After watching four baby boomers squabble like point-scoring children whilst sat in the highest office in the land, I couldn’t help but see that four members of the same generation currently represent the entire county.

That feels wrong, and it sounds wrong when you listen to them. The vast majority of people born before 1961 are now retired, and they should have their views represented by a proportionate number of people.

Instead, most of the people in office are representing them and playing their old game on their behalf.

I don’t know, maybe a Youthquake is coming and everything will be fine. The point is that it should’ve happened already. The last four Presidents have been Baby Boomers — Let that one sink in as well.

It’s not that we don’t love you baby-boomers (I really do), it’s just that it’s time other generations had a crack.

We also need to find a better word than Youthquake. It was tedious to type out, and on top of that I’m probably going to make it the title of this flimsy and disjointed morning jumble of words.


Today is Wednesday, December 12th and my 2018 Spotify playlist has more new music than 2017 did.

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So…Lock Her Up…?

One of the more bizarre battlecry’s from the 2016 Presidential campaign was “Lock her up!” The chant was championed by various Republican personalities, and used at Trump rallies. The ‘her’, in the ever-so witty chant, referred to Hillary Clinton. Her crime? Using a personal email to conduct government business.

It was revealed yesterday that Ivanka Trump has spent the last year doing the exact same thing, in what is only the ninth biggest act of hypocrisy from the Trump presidency so far.

I always go on about how difficult it is to talk politics with a die-hard Trump supporter. I can always get beyond the hate to address the person behind the opinions, because as awful as it is, there’s usually a reason why they’ve started thinking about people that way, and it’s usually not entirely their fault. I do struggle with the logical inconsistencies though.

Hillary using a private email for government business was the epitome of the “swamp” that Trump talked about during his campaign. You know, the one he wanted to drain, but instead he has offloaded a quagmire of corruption into American politics. The swamp, now 45% more swampy.

To Trump and his merry band of bigots, Hillary was the epitome of a corrupt swamp politician, and one who needed to go.

So let’s assume those opinions are true for a minute, because there is something a little off about using an account that can’t be documented when working for the public. My opinion at the time was that she shouldn’t have done that, but compared to Trump’s crimes it was a drop in the ocean.

I never have and never will be a supporter of Hillary Clinton. She was simply the lesser of two evils in a horrible campaign, one filled with all the elements of a corrupt and poisoned democracy.

But Trump supporters died on the hill of sending Hillary to jail because of her emails. And so therefore, for them to remain principled and hold-true to the beliefs of their established political perspectives, they should also demand that Ivanka be locked up.

The timing of this Tweet made yesterday is unbelievable. “Quick, I need to help incarcerated women right now, in case I end up in there with them!”

Now, I’m not calling to lock Ivanka up, at least not for this anyway. She made a shady mistake, but it’s one that politicians have made for the last couple of decades — People in power have done worse things.

It’s Trump supporters who should be calling for Ivanka to appear behind bars. I would certainly have a lot more respect for them if they did. As it would prove that they aren’t just about following a populist figure to the bitter end.

It would prove that Trump genuinely spoke to them in 2016 about the issues they were concerned with, but that they’re smart enough to recognise when one of their own breaches that trust.

I don’t want any jokes about that not being likely, and that I shouldn’t hold by breath. We need to put more faith in them to do the right thing, because I still believe that they can.

Not all of them, some are too far gone of course. But most were caught up in a wave of populism, and found themselves having to defend their party, despite who it offered up as its leader.

Some will have to realise, especially in the dying days of this first term, that none of the promises made were kept. I mean, thank God we don’t have an inhumane wall, or we haven’t started locking people up for no reason (well, unless you’re a minority, but that was happening long before Trump).

But really, the Trumps are no different to your average, highly corrupt politician. They’re Nixon, but with all the folds tucked away and stapled into the skin. Ivanka’s email incident is proof that they’re still the swamp-folk who they claimed they wanted to cull.

The cries and shouts of “lock her up” didn’t come from Trump himself, they originally came from men like Steve Bannon and Roger Stone. Trump simply applied them to his brand, because he liked how much support and power it gave him.

Roger Stone has always followed the Nixon MO of “accuse your opponents of the crimes you commit”. I mean, Nixon wasn’t the first to do that, but Stone has a massive tattoo of him on his back, so I’m going to go ahead and assume he’s the inspiration here.

nixonstone

This incident likely won’t be the straw that breaks the camels back. Because migrant children in cages, mass-shootings by known Trump supporters and stripping freedom from the press wasn’t enough.

So why on Earth would it be the emails? Matt, you absolute simpleton, you didn’t think this through!

I just thought I’d try and make the argument, because it was an issue that they’d previously rallied against. People love it when you point out their hypocrisies, right?

Wrong. I guess I just have to hope that every time the Trump administration does something they originally accused opponents of, another person falls away from the deep red crowd.

I have to hope because I have to believe that people can be better, if we don’t have that then we’re not going to get very far as a species.

The way I see it, Trump supporters have three ways of reacting to this situation:

  1. Admit they were wrong when calling for Hillary to be locked up, that she didn’t commit a crime, but Roger Stone and Steve Bannon should be blamed for the rhetoric. Lock them up?

  2. Condemn Ivanka as they condemned Hillary, because this is their principal and they’re sticking to it.

  3. FAKE NEWS, Ivanka did not use a personal email to conduct government business, despite hard evidence from several independent sources.

Options one and two take a big person, and would earn them a lot of respect from non-Trump supporters. Option three is why we’re slowly and collectively walking into the scalding surface of the sun as a democracy.

I know what you think, but like I said, I have to believe that people can be better. I really do.


Today is Tuesday, November 20th and The Sunset Tree is a terrific album.

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Brexit, Democratic Socialism and Ocasio-Cortez

So, it has been twenty-four hours and I still don’t fully understand the ramifications of the Brexit deal proposal. Many top Torys have resigned, but others have stood by Theresa May. Some are calling for her to quit, others are saying that she’s the one to see this through to the end.

I wonder if the Brexitiers who’re unhappy with the proposal also bought their own BS in regards to the leave campaign. It all seems okay to me, given the circumstances of the situation.

You don’t buy a ticket to the Museum of Human Shit, and then wonder why there’s shit everywhere. You deal with all the shit, because you bought the ticket in the first place. You should only be outraged if a curator starts flinging fist-fulls of faeces at your face. But so far, at most, Britain is simply throwing itself head-first into the museum’s prize exhibit — Bullshit Mountain.

I’m aware that actual bull waste wouldn’t be found in the “Museum of Human Shit”, but Bullshit Mountain is made up entirely of kind donations from longtime museum patron, Nigel Farage.

I’m sure everything will become clear by March — A statement I’m making with the same blind optimism the British government currently has.

What I actually want to write about this morning is Democratic Socialism and Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I’ve already blown two-hundred words on Brexit, and another thirty-five writing this sloppy segue, but here we are.

The other day I saw the headline, “Ocasio-Cortez Puts DC On-Blast with Her Instagram Stories.” I knew from that moment that Millennials had arrived in government.

She’s been doing things like making Mac n Cheese whilst streaming live and complaining about the government, which is so accurate to the experiences of a modern twenty-something.

Ocasio-Cortez beat out a long-serving Democrat in her primary, where she was funded entirely on small donations. She’s also a self-described Democratic-socialist — A political ideology that without the spin from various media outlets, most people would want.

It’s all about looking after everyone in society. Democratic socialism asserts that rampant capitalism is incompatible with a Democracy. Toxic, unregulated capitalism serves those at the very top extremely well, but not so much for everyone else.

Large institutions become publicly owned, everyone has a stake and a say in the world around them. Taxes increase, but fewer general bills exist. Universal Healthcare for all would mean paying more tax, but developing something en-masse for the people costs less than several private companies competing to offer you the “most competitive” price.

So therefore you’d pay less overall, for the same coverage. And if you don’t get sick that year, your tax has gone to help save people’s lives. Or it’s building up for when you’re old and you need more medical care. Whichever way you prefer to think of it.

Does Democratic socialism have weaknesses? Yes, absolutely. The idea of a perfect political ideology, a utopia for us to strive towards, is a fools dream.

It’s as open to corruption as any other political movement. Just as capitalism has been corrupted by the 0.1% at the top of the food chain, Democratic socialism can easily be taken advantage of.

The Right like to point to Venezuela as an example as to why socialism doesn’t work. Whilst making flimsy “what-about?” comparisons in an attempt to form an argument is sort of their MO, Venezuela is not the United States.

A first-world, rich country that decides to start looking after its people, where votes are still (mostly) democratic and the economy is stable, is entirely different to tyrants capitalising on an impoverished nation by preaching a brand of populism in order to gain power.

Now that I mention it, if socialism is “un-American”, then so is the entire Trump presidency, for the same reasons! Lady America, if you can skew this far right, then you can also bend back to the left a little.

The way to avoid corruption in Democratic socialism is to appropriately champion multiple leaders from an early stage. If one person came around preaching ego and authority in the name of the ideology, then I’d be suspicious. But so far we have a Representative who is making Mac n Cheese in her studio apartment.

I believe that Ocasio-Cortez has a bright future in American politics, but her greatest achievement will be this first victory. Other, likeminded people from humble backgrounds and strong communities, will now have the courage to run for office in the next decade.

Ocasio-Cortez said recently that she can’t afford to move to DC until her salary kicks in, unlike the majority of her colleagues. And she says that’s one of the key problems in government today — That those who rule us have more wealth than us.

I’m not saying politicians shouldn’t be paid well, because they should. But the fact that so many of them are from wealthy backgrounds, when the majority of America is lower middle-class, well, it’s absurd. They’re supposed to represent us.

A reporter attacked Ocasio-Cortez for wearing a dress after claiming she had no money, to which she responded with:

That’s the calm and measured response of a leader, and one that I hope many Democrats will look to as an example on how to answer hate.

Only rich people could think that owning some nice clothes means you’re as rich as they are. Ocasio-Cortez isn’t claiming to be impoverished, just from a lower middle-class background, like most of us. We can all afford a few decent dresses, just not, you know, a house.

I hope she serves the people of her district well, and lives by example, as those are the kind of leaders America needs right now — Public servants who spent their college years watching Parks and Recreation. Inspired to serve and not to rule.

Given the support she has from left-leaning young people, I’m certain that her future is bright. She’s still too young to be President, and I’d like Gen-X to have someone in the White House before all is said and done.

The last four Presidents have been Baby Boomers. That’s twenty-six years of rule for a generation that should only be in charge for twenty. I think it’s time for the generational hand-over to take place. 

I mean, it was time about five years ago, but now it’s really time. Beto is Gen-X, just throwing that fact out there for the people.

Anyway, generational studies is an entirely new topic and I’m out of time. The morals of the story are — Don’t believe what one news outlet says about socialist principles, keep your leaders in check as pubic servants, Ocasio-Cortez is a great leader and Brexit is an absolute shambles.


Today is Friday, November 16th and look after each other.

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Say No to Michael Avenatti

Brexit may finally be happening, as a draft deal now appears to be on the table. People are resigning, defending, attacking and the general public still feels uneasy about the whole thing.

I could attempt to unpack all of that today, but I feel as though I need one more loop of the twenty-four hour news cycle before I remotely understand it myself. So instead I’m going to write about something else that makes me feel uneasy — Or rather, someone…

Michael Avenatti is a lawyer. Most notably he’s the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, the porn actress who signed an NDA with the President before 2016, that she’s now trying to get out of. He also claimed to represent women who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, although to me, his gas-blowing in that situation only muddied the waters of a clear and personal testimony from Dr Ford.

You may also know Avenatti from Twitter, where he regularly roasts and “triggers” the President of the United States. He claims to be able to get under Trump’s skin because he’s not afraid to talk at his level. Is it hot down there Michael?

Whenever a major news story breaks in America, Avenatti isn’t far behind. You can usually find him becoming legally involved with someone who is a part of that story. Which tells me that the similarities between Avenatti and Trump ring-true in at least one way; They both chase fame no matter the cost.

You may have heard that yesterday he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. He has denied these allegations. If they turn out to be true, then I can see why he compares himself to the Orange God-King on Earth.

Avenatti invites these comparisons because he wants to position himself as an anti-Trump. A person who plays his game but fights for the “good guys”. He’ll insult and intimidate, but don’t worry folks, this bully is in our side!

Yeah, I don’t think so.

There have been strong rumours that he will run as a Democrat in the 2020 Presidential election primaries. All to capitalise on the position he has carved out for himself over the last few years. This is nothing but terrifying to me, and is worse than the rumour that Hilary is planning on running again. 

The remedy to Trump politics isn’t more Trump politics.

It’s clear, given the laughing-stock that America has become to the global community, that a President should have at least a small amount of political experience. They shouldn’t just be famous lawyers or businessmen who fancy a gander at glory.

The ideal politician has worked in education, healthcare, the armed forces or the public sector for a decade or two, before they transition into a different public-servant role. I’m aware they can’t all have those credentials, as most decent people from those backgrounds are smart/humble enough to not run for office.

We can do better than Trump and Avenatti though, I think — I mean, I have to hope. Otherwise I’m living in a room with upturned furniture and pretending everything is fine by sitting on the back of the sofa and watching TV upside-down, all whilst trying not to drip marinara sauce onto my stupid face.

In 2018 America, we are all that burning “this is fine” dog.

Maybe the rumours of Avenatti running in 2020 are just meant to scare Trump — He’s drumming-up hot-air to intimidate the President because that’s what Trump did to politicians for decades. Except, Trump eventually ended up running, and he won. So I can’t disregard these threats to run for office anymore.

Democrats don’t need Avenatti, and I want to warn people now to not fall for his Trump-esq anti-charm.

His proclamation of beliefs and ideologies are basic for left-leaning people in 2018, but that’s all they are. Of course we all want women to have equal rights, for children to not die at school, and for EVERYONE to have access to healthcare. Those are the standard beliefs of any social-minded individual.

But what makes you stand out to the point you should represent us en-masse? What have you done for the communities you’ve lived in? When have you put those ideologies into practice? Because even if that accusation of domestic violence is proven false, you still have it swirling around you.

The remedy to Trump politics isn’t more Trump politics.

He might be able to throw insults, and make the Orange Big Boy turn a deeper shade of red, but that doesn’t mean we should take politics in that direction. There should be as little insult and bullying as possible, and the only hard words in a strong democracy should come from the press, as they push for answers that accurately inform the people.

If we side with Avenatti in 2020, we sink to a Republican level. I would rather win the race the right way in 2024, than win the wrong way in 2020.

Despite the narrative that’s sang by many, liberals are currently in the passenger seat, and we’re riding shotgun to a maniac driver in the losing lane. The only thing we have left is the moral high ground, and if we back someone like Avenatti just because they have the stones to go toe to toe on insults with Trump, well, we’ll fall from that too.

Avenatti 2020 would be like reaching for the wheel of the car and swerving us into a tree at ninety miles per hour. It’d be terrifying and interesting for all of about twenty seconds, before everything explodes in our face, and our spinal cord launches itself through our eye-sockets.

Sure, we might have to sit Bernie or Biden in the losing seat, and endure another four years of being driven around by the maniac. But that means by 2024 we’ll have a star driver, some young hotshot with experience beyond their years because of the climate they had to endure.

Someone ready to take the wheel from the maniac, pull the car over, get out and go to work, because this is politics and not motor racing.

Once more, with feeling — The remedy to Trump politics isn’t more Trump politics.


Today is Thursday, November 15th and the British government is being shaken-up as I type.

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Conservative Does Not Mean Far-Right

When I use the term “far-right” to describe someone or something in politics, it’s partly as an accurate description of the shift towards nationalism, race-baiting policy and figurehead populism, but partly as a get-out clause to my conservative friends and family.

I have no issues with conservative, centre-right or right-wing ideologies.

Well, that’s not strictly true, I do have issues with them, but ones that deserve debate and discussion because some conservative ideas have merit and are worthy enough of discussion. And we can’t all be the same, because that would be dull.

America is becoming increasingly politically divided, largely due to the ruling party and their pesky nationalistic tendencies. I really shouldn’t use the word “pesky” to describe nationalism. It’s like saying Hitler was a naughty little boy who didn’t play well with others — It just sounds so wrong.

With these divisions I fully understand that people who’re politically centre-right and right-wing exist. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the majority of people who voted for Trump in 2016 belong to one of these two groups.

Only the zaniest group of his supporters actually want immigrant children to be caged, American children to be shot as a “price for freedom”, and innocents to be murdered in the name of their political beliefs. Only his absolute far-right followers want to commit acts of domestic terrorism.

I bet that most of the people who voted for him even understand that the giant wall is a false-promise pipe-dream, of a man who goes all-in on the first solution that comes to his demented mind.

Besides, it’s a totally redundant idea. Construction wouldn’t finish until 2030, and Elon Musk invents teleportation in 2036. So it’s billions of dollars for what? Six years of hard-border security? Come on.

I use the term far-right to describe the people who actively want, and support, the above causes, because those are far-right solutions to very real problems. Maybe the whole “build that wall” policy could be argued as classic right-wing, if it weren’t conceived as an idea in chant-form, that then spread around rallies as a populist slogan for a man to achieve political office.

But allowing the slaughtering of American children in exchange for the illusion of freedom? Threatening news organisations with violence? Taking the commands of your leader and acting without specific instruction? Shooting your fellow American citizens because you believe that’s what your orange god would want? These acts, however bizarrely they may be worded, are acts of the politically far-right.

So I say far-right to describe these acts. I don’t use far-right to describe other Trump policies, because they’re not and that would be reductive.

If you hate Trump for all of the above things, but are still glad you voted for him because he; Provided tax-breaks to the rich, backed-out of climate change agreements, defunded public services, and supported Republican candidates in the midterms. Well then congratulations! You’re a conservative. Classic right-wing all the way.

Of course I have issues with those policies, but I’m a filthy liberal, so of course I do. But right now I would absolutely take a ruling party that’s nothing more than classic conservative. There are issues to be debated, arguments to be proven right or wrong, protests to be had that would fight for the continued existence of our very planet.

There’s barely any debate or discussion to be had with someone who fundamentally thinks that you shouldn’t be in their country because you don’t share their beliefs or skin colour. How do you debate tax policy with someone who genuinely believes that some humans have more of a right to life than others? You can’t.

Politics in a strong democracy should be an eternal balancing act based on the genuine will of the majority of citizens. It shouldn’t be a race to the bottom; A popularity contest to see who can drum up the most support through vague statements and nationalistic slogans.

American politics should be purple — A group of elected officials who argue on behalf of the people who brought them to the dance. Poorer districts should send strong leaders from their own communities, who will fight tooth and nail for funding. Instead, they have historically sent lesser, rich outsiders who will say anything for a shot at power.

Leaders can be charismatic, absolutely. A strong public speaker will presumably then use that voice to fight on behalf of their constituents. But if that charisma is used only to serve an individual ego, that’s when the danger shifts occur.

“Danger shifts”, I used a lot of decent and appropriate terminology and then I go and write something like “danger shifts”. Language is about communicating a point though, and I think “danger shifts” does so effectively.

When the majority of us use the label of far-right, we don’t mean all Trump voters, conservatives or Republicans. Maybe some people do, but they don’t represent centrists, liberals or lefties. Just like the far-right, domestic terrorists and their enablers don’t represent the traditional right-wing.

We don’t have to be who people at the top say we are.

Although a lot of people who sit in the old-school right-wing territory are going to have to ask themselves some questions before 2020, particularly if terror attacks in the name of their president increase during that time.

How long will I stand by and put my name beside the party that encourages this?

How much does winning matter to me? And am I genuinely getting the policy I want from my party?

Should I protest my incumbent president by rooting for a genuine conservative politician to take his place?

I want the old debates back, I want tax-cuts for the rich vs tax-cuts for the poor. I want funding social services vs cutting. I want regulated immigration vs limited immigration.

“Beat the hell out of them”, “Enemy of the people”, “Nazis are good people”, “Proud nationalist”, “Grab ’em by the pussy” — I can’t handle that stuff anymore. I never thought I’d say this but… I really miss George Bush.

I use the term far-right to describe the far-right, and the only way we remove that cancer from our country is by unanimously agreeing that certain things are just too-far. I promise I’ll do the same if a communist leader ever takes office, because I happen to like being able to say whatever I want about the government.


Today is Tuesday, November 13th and I didn’t post anything yesterday and that’s okay.

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Did Jim Acosta?

Like, “accost her” — As in to approach someone aggressively, but also because his surname is Acosta. I know all the tabloids are probably running with that gag, but I read grown-up news (mostly), so I haven’t seen it yet. It’s early, give me a break.

This is the news that the White House has suspended the press pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta, due to how he manhandled a white house intern. Live, HD footage shows that he didn’t and that he danced his arm around her to try and avoid unnecessary physical contact. Doctored, pixelated video shows him force his hand down on her arm.

It’s suspected that this footage was created by far-right blogger and Infowars editor-in-chief, Paul Joseph Watson, and shared on his channels. This is typical behaviour from him, a man who makes a living on conspiracy, and who thinks that smoking in a profile picture will make him look like a right, proper badass.

But, get this, the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, then shared the video as evidence in support of the removal of Jim Acosta’s press pass.

There’s a lot of Orwellian nightmare to unpack here, but first I want to clear something up about Jim Acosta and CNN. I don’t watch CNN, I don’t consider it to be an outstanding news source. It’s better than some but worse than others.

My main gripe with them is that they’re too easily baited by Trump, and the interactions between Trump and Acosta that lead to the microphone being taken from his hand by an intern are a prime example of this.

Acosta asked his question and got an answer that was damning for the President, it exposed that he was only really using the migrant caravans as bait for the midterms and now it’s in the past (so we won’t hear anything about them from Mr Trump going forward). Now, if Acosta had left it at that one question, and handed the microphone to the next reporter (who also had a question that exposed the President), then he wouldn’t have found himself in that situation.

<> on November 7, 2018 in Washington, DC.

In an open-forum press conference, the best way to create an accurate view of who Mr Trump is, is for each network to ask a question, and maybe one follow-up if the answer demands it. Acosta was onto his fourth question before the White House intern attempted to remove his microphone, and quite frankly we needed to hear from other news networks.

Despite what he says, Trump loves CNN. They gave him so much air-time during his 2016 campaign, and their outright negative portrayal of him certainly helped to fire-up his diehard supporters. He loves them because “no publicity is bad publicity”.

Covering Trump is obviously an uncharted minefield, but to the majority who can see through his charade of prejudice and projection, all we need is one perfectly worded question to be reminded of who he really is. Sure, with CNN constantly berating him, we see that he’s a bully, but we know he’s a bully — It’s the one established truth about him that even Republican voters have agreed with me on.

The back and forth between Trump and CNN is not healthy, and they share the blame equally. Despite what Trump says, their ratings are strong, and that’s because they cover Trump. Which, again, he loves.

Now, onto the “fake news”, a term that often means “thing I don’t agree with”, especially when it comes from the mouth of Trump. Whatever your definition of this terrifying phenomenon is, we can agree that doctored video would be an example of misinformation.

Well, that means the White House have shared Fake News, all to justify a decision they made. The edited video speeds up a few frames, to make the contact between Acosta and the intern look violent, and they also cut the audio where he says the words “pardon me m’am”.

Sarah Sanders sharing this video means one of two things; Either she knowingly did it, and was aware that this was edited footage, or she had no idea. The second option is, honestly, perfectly reasonable given how many people are falling for it online without viewing the original broadcast.

If she logged on to Twitter after the conference and saw a video that supported her administration’s decision, then of course she’s going to share it — Because it justifies her worldview, it’s evidence that backs-up the words of her and her colleagues.

sarahsanders.jpeg

And this is the real danger of misinformation, and spreading it so readily, because many of us like being right, we like it when things go our way. This will only become more dangerous as technology advances and we inevitably reach a point where video editing doesn’t look so obvious.

I read websites like the BBC, The Guardian, AP and NPR — Not just because they largely report in ways that I consider ethical and are supported by multiple sources before they run a story, but also because people on both extremes of the spectrum accuse them of being “too liberal/too conservative”. If people are saying both of these things about your news network, then you’re doing your job.

It terrifies me that some people see a doctored video on Twitter, from a non-credible news source (Not even Infowars, just the personal Twitter account of a conspiracy theorist who works there!) and take it as the absolute truth that they’re willing to bet their morals on.

Please, if you’re reading these words — Use multiple and neutral sources for your news. Personal blogs (like this one) are not news sources, and Infowars is just a personal blog with financial backing, presented as the truth.

If you believe the words of people like Paul Joseph Watson, I’d love to have a one on one conversation with you, in order to understand you better. The only way we’re going to reduce the divide in this nation, is by understanding the perspectives of one another.

You’ve read my words, I don’t like Trump or CNN and I think on balance they were both in the wrong, and that the real enemy is misinformation — So now I want to hear from you.

This is all a dangerous situation, and while I don’t agree with the way Jim Acosta handled his allotted time for questioning, he certainly didn’t assault a White House intern. Although maybe he does deserve a time-out from his press-pass for another reason; Simply for being a below-par reporter in an age where we need precise and vigilant journalists who won’t fall for Trump’s Us vs Them bait.


Today is Friday, November 9th and while it has some of the best individual tracks, The White Album shouldn’t be considered as The Beatles’ best offering — It has a lot of guff.

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If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

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