Dub Stops

On the 27th of January, US President Trump (AKA Lord Dampnut) signed executive order 13769 the so-called “Muslim travel ban” this amongst other things suspended refugee relocation to the US from Syria, a process which was the most thorough and longest of national refugee applications.

The order generated huge global outrage with firm words from most foreign leader (apart from a mealy mouthed response from Theresa May (AKA Indecisiontron 2000) and numerous successful court cases including last night’s decision by the 9th circuit to uphold the suspension of the order.

With baited breath we waited…

Yes, the President will see those judges in court, although he already has, twice. And lost, twice to use Trump’s own words “he’s been losing so long he’s forgotten how to win [1]

Not to be outdone on the “heartless bastard” scale the UK government announced while the Brexit debate was ongoing that it was winding up the so called “Dubs” programme.

The programme named after Lord Dubs who introduced it as an amendment to the immigration act 2016 would see lone children in the various refugee camps relocated to the the UK. Lord Dubs was himself a child refugee who was one of those saved from the Nazi’s by Nicholas Winton (the British Oskar Schindler). The Amendment originally called for 3000 unaccompanied children to be resettled in the UK, after the Government kicked off the 3000 target was omitted and instead the Government in consultation with local authorities would determine the figure.

The government announced it would stop with 200 currently in the UK and 150 waiting to come over, 350. This government has stopped it with only 350 of the most vulnerable people coming here. The reason was the usual, the blanket excuse used by governments around the world when they simply don’t want immigrants and refugees [2]. That the programme was a “pull factor” and was in fact resulting in more children using people traffickers, and that the total of 350 was suitable as outlined in the “spirit” of the amendment.

In reality this Government has done the sum total of nothing, 350 is a pitiful small number the real reason would be the massive backlash in certain “news” papers about suspiciously old looking children arriving at immigration centres (because surviving a war, walking 3000 miles in desert heat, crossing a sea in a rubber boat then walking through plains, mountains and spending months in a camp without running water wouldn’t age anyone at all)

The decision to release this information shortly before a recess and while there was such a major vote is no accident, it’s a classic “bury the news” tactic. The decision that 350 is enough is disgraceful for a so called “civilised” society and the government who didn’t want this amendment in the first place has yanked it at the first opportunity. If anything it sums up the spiteful, mean and cowardly way this government is run. I can’t think of another government that has performed as poorly as this one. A Prime minister who cannot come to any sort of decision on anything, putting placating her own party’s right wing over the national interest, cozying up to the most vilified world leaders while burning bridges with our nearest and biggest trading partners. Earlier I called for Corbyn to resign, I would say the same to Theresa but she’s simply the less smelly of the assorted bags of shit that make up the Parliamentary tory party.

The devil you know is better than the one you don’t. She’s not the Iron Lady, or the Irony Lady [3] she’s a weak willed, indecisive, pandering harpie, who isn’t fit to fill the position that has been occupied by great leaders previously.

It’s only a matter of time before her party stabs her in the back the way they have with so many. The only question then is who comes next

1 Twitter attack on Senator John McCain, the Vietnam POW and war hero after McCain publicly criticised him for a botched SEAL mission in Yemen which left one SEAL dead and killed an unknown number of civilians including a child, the mission was  by all criteria an utter failure. It was also the first mission to be ordered by the President. Good Start.

2 Well until they invented terrorist attacks and blamed the Black guy who had the job before them.

3 Worst attempt at a joke since Corbyn attempted it, except mines on a blog read by no-one and his is in Hansard

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A perfectly justifiable attack on Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn continues his disastrous leadership of the Labour Party despite losing the support of his Parliamentary party last year, his dominating supporter base with the members, and the rather lacklustre challenge by Owen Smith has scotched any attempt to remove him via a challenge.

Criticisms against Jeremy rarely are unwarranted, this is a man who has been promoted well above his ability, surrounded himself with various people who wouldn’t get off the back benches if the leader had any sense, and has a media strategy that appears to be “get him on the TV and pray he doesn’t sh*t himself”.

Now this country is faced with the biggest political crisis since the Abdication, the decision by the Government to trigger Article 50 thus withdrawing the UK from the European Union is one that is incredibly high risk with the potential of no reward but making Nigel Farage and the Tory right happy. The problem is this, there is no credible opposition. The Lib Dems, SNP, and the Labour Party have split the opposition. Labour is in total chaos and the polls showing a comfortable lead, means her only real risk is from the right of her own party. This is prompting May to veer into the worst possible exit for the UK in which is Parliament decides it doesn’t like the deal and votes it down the UK still leaves but with economically crippling WTO rules.

It’s no secret Jeremy wasn’t keen on the EU, his pathetic campaigning and damaging comments on ‘the Last Leg’ coupled with him making the completely wrong arguments for remaining and his demand A50 be triggered immediately the day after the result. Of course supporters of Jeremy point out his gruelling campaign schedule and in particular a quote by Angela Eagle  and a report they claim showed Jeremy made 122 appearances, although that was debunked . Until now Jeremy has been relatively quiet, instead relying on Sir Keir Starmer to take the lead on Labour’s response to Brexit, a job he was until recently pretty good at.

However the Supreme court ruling that Parliament has to have a say on triggering the withdrawal has caught Labour on the hop which is a surprise since the verdict wasn’t exactly a surprise. They have found themselves confounded by the Conservatives matching their attack lines before they can be used properly. Talk of a white paper resulted in an announcement that there will be a white paper, trouble about Parliament having a final vote was matched by the Government announcing there will be a final vote, all taking place when Labour have clearly set that day out to attack them on the issue. This has resulted in Labour lamely claiming victory over the government despite the White paper being light on detail and more a dream-land wish list and as mentioned, a devil and the deep blue sea decision on the final vote.

However Jeremy decided to lead labour, first by suggesting a 3 line whip on the article 50 bill (itself devoid of anything meaningful). Now normally if a cabinet or shadow cabinet member defies a 3 line whip they have to resign or are dismissed, it’s the nuclear option for party unity on a vote. Now this is where it gets confusing.

Many said they would vote against the bill in its original form and would only vote to approve if a number of amendments are accepted, amongst those were the guarantee for EU nationals to remain and membership of the EURATOM nuclear research project. None of the amendments were accepted. The Government Brexit bill is in effect a blank cheque to the Government to attempt a meaningful Brexit negotiation or just leave the EU completely and trade within WTO rules (an agreement many economists have said will ruin the UK economy) and Jeremy whipped Labour into supporting it.
At the first vote last week, Corbyn suffered a rebellion of 47 MPs, or one-fifth of the parliamentary party. Three shadow cabinet members, Dawn Butler, Rachael Maskell and Jo Stevens, resigned to vote against the legislation, and a dozen more junior frontbenchers chose to defy the whip. Just before the 3rd reading Clive Lewis announced he was resigning from the shadow cabinet to vote against the bill.

Now an absolute mess is bad enough, losing another chunk of his shadow cabinet is pretty bad considering the mass walk out last June/July. But the wound was missing more salt until this:

No Jeremy, the real fight started when Cameron fired the starting gun on the referendum, except you wouldn’t have known that as you went on holiday, or bothered to turn up to any of the Labour IN meetings instead of complaining that 0830 in the morning was “too early”. You’d probably have known that if you worked more than 4 days a week as reported in Private Eye this week. Seriously the Leader of the opposition only works 4 days and if he’s booked to appear on anything during the weekend he gets time off in leiu. For God’s sake, man. You are the leader of the opposition, it’s your job to turn up and do the job 7 days a week, I mean what if you bloody become PM, will you only do 4 days then? Would world events have to happen on those 4 days? what if Russia invaded Ukraine on a Tuesday but you were off because you did Peston on Sunday?

Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to lead, simple as. His idea that the “real fight” starts after we’ve given them what they want is laughable and frankly an insult to the 48% who voted remain and the countless many who have since changed their minds. It is in Labour’s and the country’s best interest he resigns and someone who works more than 20 hours a week takes over. Then maybe we’ll be spared complete collapse because May is too weak to stand up to Iain Bloody Duncan Smith.

Reminder about the “So called” Judge

It’s my fault really, I know I’m a crappy writer. It’s true, I sucked at English (but not literature) and I rarely know where a sentence will end when I start typing. However I figure if we’re going to die in a fireball if and when Boris says something on Twitter about Trump it might be a good idea to at least leave some sort of account behind.

Donald Trump’s immigration EO saga is still ongoing. Days after EO 13769 was issued last night (UK Time) Federal Judge  James Robart ordered a temporary suspension of the order the White House acted with dignity and ordered a freeze like a child and slammed the “outrageous” ruling from the Judge. However a second release omitted the word outrageous, but not before Spicer had said it.

Then the World waited for the inevitable, and boy did it come in style:

That is the President of the United States attacking a Federal Judge, a Judge who was confirmed by the US Senate 99-0 when he was nominated by President George W Bush. Judge Robart is a strong champion for the disenfranchised and was praised on the Senate floor for his community work with vulnerable children.  As a reward for upholding his oath, his ideals and the constitution there’s the so called “leader of the Free world”, a champion for Wall Street and whose idea of community work was establishing a charity foundation that spent $10,000 on a portrait of Trump. It also failed to honor a pledge to the 9/11 fund of………………$10,000 attacking him.

Trump needs to re-read the constitution, or really probably read it. Oh and something on Frederick Douglas might avoid further embarrassment. Oh and sack Conway who is just ridiculous.

You’d think since it was fake news he’d love it

Can Sean Spicer (Trump’s Press Secretary and Director of Communications) even comprehend when he’s being mocked? Here’s tw**t he issued: Well, perhaps—à l’Onion—Spicer was just playing a huge trick on America. Regardless, this tw**t, which appears to have been emitted on Saturday, is unseemly for a man in Spicer’s position. Spicer also appears to have accidentally tweeted […]

via Ladies and Gentlemen, your new Press Secretary — Why Evolution Is True

Bring me your huddled masses, not you, you, or you, sorry mate, are those trainers?

Yesterday, January 27th was Holocaust remembrance day. This is a day when we come together to remember the victims, not only of the Nazi atrocities but from genocides around the world. It is fitting then that President Trump signed the executive order suspending the US refugee programme (already the most stringent in the world) and banning entry from 7 countries  – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – for 90 days. Not just barring entry for those with criminal records, or if they’re on a watch list but completely.

You see the Executive order was written so poorly it doesn’t distinguish between Mohammed al Mohammed el Mohammed bin Bazir the terrorist, and Mohammed al Mohammed el Mohammed bin Bazir the person with dual citizenship. Two Iraqis with valid visas are currently in the “green room” of JFK airport and have already announced they will sue citing the suspension of due process.  CAIR and ACLU have also announced their intention to sue stating the exemption of Christians amounts to a “religious test”.

Trump and the spineless coward that is Paul Ryan claim this is a preventative measure to keep America safe, it completely ignores the fact that between 1975 and 2015 no refugee from those 7 states engaged in a terrorist attack, not only that but the report from the Cato institute found that no one with any family ties to those 7 states carried out a terrorist attack.

However, the same set of statistics show that nearly 3,000 Americans were killed by citizens from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Turkey in the same time period — with the bulk of those killed being victims of the 9/11 attacks.

What is noticeable is the fact Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Lebanon aren’t on the list despite the fact the 9/11 hijackers all came from there, not only that but Trump’s vast business empire have links to those countries that should be on the list but aren’t. This all confirms what we have suspected and what the ethics department in Washington predicted, that Trumps businesses which he refuses to put into a blind trust and has instead invented a multi layered amount of bullshit (and a stack of blank pages that could form part of his wall) is a factor in his decision making.

This ban amounts to a complete betrayal of America’s founding principles and also her actual founding. America is the country built by immigrants, the American dream is that you can come to it with nothing and reach the top, to create a better life for your children that you yourself had as the plaque beneath the statue of Liberty says:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

A republic of laws, not men

My worthy colleague from Pennsylvania has spoken with great ingenuity and eloquence. He’s given you a grim prognostication of our national future, but where he foresees apocalypse I see hope. I see a new nation ready to take its place in the world. Not an empire, but a republic. And a republic of laws, not men. […] My belief says that the hour has come. My judgment approves this measure and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, all that I am and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready to stake upon it. While I’ll live, let me have a country. A free country.”

 

Words on Trump (Christ and this was only the first few hours)

Ok, we have to talk. 2016 was what we’re probably going to see described on some History documentary in 20 years time as ‘The gathering storm’. First there was Brexit, then celebrities started dropping like foreign legion soldiers in that scene from Carry on Follow that camel then came, what will be seen as the key moment…

Donald J Trump, was elected as President.

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We’re in the alternate universe with the little goatees.

We knew we were in for something special, lets not forget Trump has pretty thin skin and any slight, by anyone remotely famous, usually results in a c2q9htlxgaaydyhfew choice words on a late night twitter binge by Trump. In fact in 2008 Clinton released the now infamous “3AM” attack advert showing her ready to lead from her bed if needed. The advantage Trump has is he’ll already be awake, in a dark room lit only by his phone’s screen, writing “John Oliver once again being overrated. HBO has contributed nothing of worth since Sopranos. Sad!”

I was hoping that maybe the realisation of the awesome responsibility and even as some occupants have described the loneliness of power would have taken the edge off President Trump, that maybe he would have listened to what Lincoln described as the better angels of his nature, that he may be more Presidential.

That was the first mistake.

Instead what we had in the awkward transition period from November to January was a President-elect who didn’t really seem to do much, he was only accessible via twitter when he took aim at the defence industry, Carrier, GM, China, and then there’s comparing the CIA/NSA/DIA to Nazis for “leaking” the dodgy research on Trump’s connections to the Russian Government.

Then came Friday.

Per the 20th Amendment at noon on January 20th Donald Trump took the oath of office, a man who looked like he wanted the world to end for the hours leading up to it became more energised as he went through the oath, leading to the address.

“Oratory should raise your heart rate. Oratory should blow the doors off the place.”

Sam Seaborn, ‘The West Wing’ S2 E7 (The Portland Trip) 

An Inaugural address is the first real taste of how the next 4 years will be; the words uttered during them have become part of the fabric of US History. From Lincoln and his “malice to none”, Roosevelt and “nothing to fear but fear itself”, and Bush’s “thousand points of light”, they set the tone of the Presidency. Trump has never given what we would think of as an address; yes there’s been campaign speeches but how much of what he’s said has actually been in the speeches is anyone’s guess. I even hoped that his team contained a capable writer (not that I can really judge but this post isn’t going to be seen by millions, or 3 people if you’re CNN)

This was my second mistake.

Trump’s speech was like a monkey sneezing on alphabet spaghetti, it was more like a caricature of what we all joked would be a Trump speech if it was written by a Tea Partier on an acid trip. There was guff about opening hearts to patriotism then a lot about God, a concept that Trump has rarely mentioned, he did well to try to keep that aspect of US elections out of his campaign; which is what made it more jarring. More concerning to anyone familiar with Modern US History or any interest in World War two was the overuse of the phrase “America First”.

For those who don’t know, America First was a non-intervention pressure group active in the USA until 1941 (and the attack on Pearl Harbor) they preached strict non-interference with the War in europe, no lend-lease, no escorting convoys part way, nothing at all. It also is heavily tainted with anti-Semitism and outright nazism. Trump for all his boasting isn’t necessarily a dumb guy, we’d be wrong to think of him as a punchline in a “made in China” suit but Interwar US political movements may, and probably aren’t his strong point.

However Trump like all modern leaders rarely write their own speeches and the architect of his inaugural was Steve Bannon a white supremacist who almost certainly knew what “America First” originally meant5760 and how it is still used in far right (screw this “Alt-right” nonsense and call them what they are) circles and it was the dog whistle, the call to them saying “we’re in”. I mean we’ve probably seen the videos from the Deploraball or the meetings with the Nazi salutes and “Hail Trump”. We know what we’re dealing with now.

Trumps speech could be played in black and white, it could be played in black and white and the only thing missing would be the red banners and the Koniggratzer march. Leni Riefenstahl‘s reanimated corpse behind a camera wouldn’t have looked out-of-place.


The following contains dodgy psychoanalysis from a person whose total knowledge of the area is that if you’re a therapist and an analyst you don’t want to shorten that down on a business card.


You would think after that he would get down to work and start ‘Making America great again’ but he wasn’t done.

See Donald has a problem, he’s the stereotypical rich guy, he’s been surrounded by yes men, he’s probably never once doubted his ability, or had anyone close to him doubt it. He’s Mr. Burns, but younger and with more “hair” [Citation needed]. He craves the attention and credit for everything he has a deep-rooted desire to be loved. When Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep publicly humiliate him and people laugh or agree that hurts, he’s known to be thin-skinned he can’t comprehend that he’s this object of ridicule it doesn’t bother him when it’s you, or I, over twitter, but these are celebs, they’re people he craves the love from more. When he’s mocked by them it hurts.
It hurts.

When CNN posted pictures showing the crowd at the inauguration he flipped, it wounded him that this liberal elite were sneering at him he had his press secretary go out in front of the Press Corps and humiliated him trying to justify and berate the media for the lies it shattered this worldview that he’s loved, that everyone is shouting “Boo-urns” at him even God turned up and held the rain up while he spoke (he didn’t and it didn’t)

We’re not dealing with an ordinary “bad” President. We’re dealing with an egotistical maniac who deep down is craving attention and I suspect just wants recognition, we’re dealing with a man who likes the trappings of the Presidency but not the responsibility, we’re dealing with a populist. A dangerous man who will do untold damage to the fragile republic. We’re dealing not with satan, but with the guy who runs to 7/11 to buy satan a pack of cigarettes.

In defence of Jeremy’s 9/11 tweet

It seems that everyday the papers are filled with an “Outrage”. Since it’s September it’s the beginning of the “Ban the poppy/Christmas” outrage bus, but it’s now at the point where an “outrage” is simply something as innocuous as a tweet*.

Take for example the “outrage” over a tweet Owen Smith sent back in April:

Yea it’s not exactly up there in terms of funny but at the beginning of September the Corbyn supporters found it and latched onto it as an example of how sexist and misogynistic Owen is. The Gobstopper is obviously a reference to shutting Sturgeon up especially since it was the campaigning for the local elections (one Labour did exceptionally well to avoid a total collapse/ won more than anyone ever has hail Corbyn!) so in context it’s hardly up there with something like this, which by the way is a perfect example of being a sexist waste of skin:

Now for something I never thought I’d do with less than a week until the election results are due, I’m about to defend Jeremy Corbyn.

I’m not a fan or Jeremy anymore and my reasons are scattered throughout this blog and twitter. It all started on Sunday, a day when campaigning across the board ceased to remember the events of September 11, 2001. Amongst the posts from politicians expressing sorrow and remembrance was this from Jeremy:

It’s an inevitability that anything Jeremy was going to post that day was going to be leapt upon his past associations and comments, not to mention his Director of Communications being the person who immediately blamed the US and once said the murder of Lee Rigby wasn’t terrorism because he was a soldier (then there’s the praising Stalin stuff) meant that it was going to be open season. Naturally a lot of people were annoyed that he had shoehorned some anti western sentiment into a sombre moment or that he was using it to score cheap political points (the irony of then using Jeremy scoring cheap points, to score cheap points was immediately lost)

But here’s the thing.

Is it really *THAT* offensive or outrageous?**

Many think that it simply wasn’t the right time to mention the aftermath of 9/11 but then they can never answer the question “then when is?” without giving the same answer “anyday but this”. The problem is I fundamentally disagree. In the 15 years since 9/11 we’ve went to war in Afghanistan, thrown lives and resources trying to bring order to a land that proved the downfall of the greatest empires in history, we’ve left behind a broken country in Iraq, where lawlessness, sectarianism, and now ISIS which rose from the ashes of the insurgency in Iraq controls vast swathes of Iraq and Syria. There’s been attacks in London, Madrid, Brussels, Paris, Nice, Tunisia, Bali, Baghdad, Mosul, Moscow, Kenya, Texas, Boston, Cologne, and many of which have their origins in the aftermath of 9/11.

Then there’s the argument of “Think about their families” well what about the Familiy of 13 year old Mohammed Tuaimanor the families of those killed in Yemen when a drone strike hit a wedding ceremony?

I think the issue is this has resulted in a war that hasn’t ended. In 3 months when people stop to remember the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor people will be thinking about the attack, the loss of life and some will think about what happened after, the remembering the victims in the aftermath comes in May and August with VE and VJ day. A day when we stop, fall silent and remember those who died in the battles that followed (for Americans at least.) There’s no single moment in the War on Terror where we can stop and think of everything that has happened after, there’s no VGWOT day.

I think it’s also important that we do remember the aftermath, how as a people once the dust settled we began to fight back, badly. 15 years and the only notable victory was the killing of Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan is slowly falling back into the hands of the Taliban, Syria and Iraq are on fire, Libya is a mess, Egypt is in the middle of a brutal crackdown. If we don’t stop to remember what happened and what came next we’re bound to make the same mistakes, we relegate the “War on Terror” as a separate beast to 9/11 and disassociate what we’ve done after as a response to it. We doom ourselves to forget the lessons and if it were to happen again we’re bound to make them again.

As James Joyce wrote in ‘Ulysses’ “History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”

At the end of the day Jeremy is vehemently anti-war, he was well within his rights to highlight what came next, we should never forget 9/11, the peaceful bright morning shattered by the sound of jet engines.

*As a caveat I’m not saying that all tweets aren’t worthy of outrage, I mean Donald Trump’s feed is testament to just how awful it can get and the less said about Katie Hopkins the better.

** It’s not like he wished his enemies a happy 9/11, I mean you’d have to be a grade A asshole to do tha- DAMMIT DONALD!

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A message to you Rudy

When historians look back on 2016 I’m sure they will be left wondering how the hell we made it through. The UK is currently in a state of Brexit Limbo, or Brimbo, the Middle East is in a state of all out chaos and Russia is back to its best.

And yet overshadowing  all this is a giant orange blimp with the most questionable hairstyle since Flockton of Seagulls. I am of course talking about Donald Trump. Now I could write about all the insane things he has said however that’s well covered by people smarter than me. What I want to point out is someone else, someone who unlike the historians looking back at us, has decided that time is neither a linear construct of cause to effect, or a ball of timey wimey stuff. This man is Rudy Giuliani former Mayor of New York and he has decided time is whatever he wants it to be.

In a campaign event in Ohio, Giuliani was giving the introduction for “Tiny hands” Trump. During this he said something that immediately stood out:

“Under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack inside the United States. They all started when Clinton and Obama came into office.”

Let that sink in. In the 8 years (2000-2008) before Barack Obama became President, there were no successful attacks on the US by radical Islamist. 

So what in the name of all that is holy was this?

Apparently in Giuliani’s world this never happened. Or if it did it certainly wasn’t in the 8 years before Obama. I would say you could only have missed this if you were living in a cave but that’s not entirely true. Luckily Giuliani wasn’t involved with anything to do with 9/11 or its aftermath.

Son of a Bitch!

Now we’ve all seen politicians distort the truth a bit to score points against the opposition but let’s not forget this is Giuliani. This is a man whose post 9/11 career has been forged on the back of 9/11. He has exploited the tragedy to suit his own ends. Ran for president on the back of it and now he decides it didn’t happen. What makes all this even more extraordinary is at the beginning of his remarks, he thanked Mike Pence  (stock photo of old white guy #48) for his response after the attacks and for visiting Ground Zero and to the delight of anyone who couldn’t give a crap about personal freedom, helping forge the PATRIOT act. So within the space of a short speech we apparently briefly crossed into a parallel universe where 9/11 didn’t happen, as if somewhere there’s a Trump with a goatee who is an even bigger dick (tiny hands) than the one here.

So let’s hear it for the biggest lie of this election (until tomorrow)