Bowdlerizing Beijing and a reference to Brexit Blighty

After almost three months in a Middle England where “hordes of homeless roam the streets”, it is from ‘Mitteleuropa’ that this morning’s post comes and there will be little reference to Theresa May’s “cherry picking”, or to Jeremy Hunt – whoops, and there was almost a freudian slip from Vienna there – telling all twenty seven EU countries that they shouldn’t “mistake British politeness for weakness” . Still, enough is enough and this blog will leave self-obsessed, in need of a bit of psychoanalysis, Brexit Blighty for the time being.

The real night out here was Thursday and a visit to Vienna’s Burg Theater. Ibsen’s ‘Ein Volksfeind’ (‘an enemy of the people‘) provided the entertainment, even if that entertainment was mostly due to a production which facilitated grins and distraction rather than any real cognitive processing of the content. Of course, there are reasons for that and Henrik Ibsen might be excused for writing something which, while still, of course, relevant, smacks of platitudes. After all, he did write the play in 1882.

Nevertheless, the play is indeed still relevant and, with a central thematic concern of it being political corruption, is there any surprise that a few days ago three scheduled performances were cancelled in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu after some members of the audience at a performance of the play in Beijing  ” shouted out at the performers and called for freedom of speech”?

Ibsen has been popular in China among educated elites for a long time and his plays, which often highlight social problems, had been popular. However, with Xi’s state capitalism following hard on the heels of Deng’s “Socialism with Chinese characteristics” , there is no room for freedom of thought, not to mention freedom of speech. It is time to talk about China, but everyone does business with China, and if it is only to be hoped that in Europe certain morals prevail, it can be certain that Beijing is already banking on having Brexit Blighty in its pocket.

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Discourse in England while Hordes of Homeless roam the streets

IMG_6721It is my job to teach academic discourse, but in a world where numpty narratives persevere, cohesion, and sometimes coherence, are employed at best to serve up  nonsense. The flow remains, but irrelevant references reduce what is being communicated to garbage.

And so it is with Patrick Cockburn’s article in the Guardian; alright the point is that Britain has always relied on creating alliances, but the over the top quoting ramblings that include references to Shakespeare, the Stuart monarchy, Napoleon, and Churchill, is not only the product of a person of the crudest half education, the autodidact Historian, it is also typical of the mind-set of a bonkers Britain that genuinely does think it still has a major role to play. It is not that history cannot teach us a lesson, but it really is a little bit like a juvenile delinquent who, after being analyzed by a shrink, decides that his beating up that old man was not really his fault, it was society’s.

In Middle England reality bites! Rentier capitalism is going full swing, six in a little house, all paying about £400 a month rent, doesn’t only give Johnny Moneybags a ridiculous yield on his £100,000 investment, it also means that there is no adequate social housing and homelessness in Leicester is endemic. No, sod the fine Latin words, the academic discourse, it is fucking disgraceful. In the meantime Boris the bimbo continues to live in his government mansion while renting out his own home.

Is a hard Brexit around the corner? Well, methinks, maybe, maybe not. But, really, as sad, as it is, it is just another sad delusional little country and, while I expect us all to suffer a little bit because of Blighty’s shenanigans, Germany, and the rest of Europe, will be a little bit more prepared, and a lot less negatively affected, than it was for war in 1939 …… Oh, and there I must apologise to the hobby Historian, Mr Cockburn.

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If England was as England seems

In barmy  Britain, and universal credit, which, with its’ built-in delays of 42 days, will leave vulnerable people penniless, is just around the corner. Will leave them penniless? Well, of course, they don’t have two pennies to rub together as it is. So, already living from hand to mouth, they will have to go 42 days with nada de nada. Not to worry though and there is always Wonga et al and the money for nothing people are on hand to keep the crazy cycle going.

It started at Stansted Airport and, at least for foreign exchange, Moneycorp seem to have some sort of ATM monopoly there. No fees and competitive rates we are told and did ego spot them asking for 1.40€ for a pound? Might have done and more than one person is wondering why MoneyCorp is allowed to operate ATMs with atrocious exchange rates? rentier capitalism gone astray and the journey moves to middle England.

The rooms have been divided up, there are six people sharing a house that was meant for a family of three or four. House of multiple occupancy it’s called and Eastern Europeans are glad they have their 100 pounds a week bed. So that is six hundred pounds a week rent for a property that cost 100,000 pounds. Well, not quite up to Wonga standards, but that is the sort of yield that proves capitalism works for somebody.

After all, it really is about supply and demand and there are all these foreign students who are paying top dollar for an extremely poor product and who also need somewhere to stay. You really wonder and hope that it will all go belly up in the not too distant future, but sort of fear that first there is the Brexit and if those clowns really get their way?

Well, Trump’s America will get the NHS, health and safety, along with food standards, will go to pot, there will be deregulation, no regulation, poorer standards, no standards. Take it, or leave it, while the roller coaster rumbles on in the Land of Hope and Glory and the ‘Daily Mail’, royal family, ‘Can’t Pay, We’ll take it Away’,’football’s coming home’ narrative binds all together. A harking back to Kipling and

If England was what England seems
An’ not the England of our dreams,
But only putty, brass, an’ paint,
‘Ow quick we’d drop ‘er! But she ain’t!”

Not to matter that it was shit then and it is shit now and it can be believed, England really is as England seems.

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“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.”; taking Slavoj Žižek seriously is a risk

The brash bravado of the bullying blaggard that is Donald Trump might be taken with a pinch of salt. That is if the most dangerous philosopher in the West.”, Slavoj Žižek were not guilty of the concoting a theory of events which is uncannily similiar to the Comintern espousing the theory of “social fascism”, which equated social democracy with fascism in the 1930s.

Now, while our “Elvis of Cultural Theory” might have a point when he says that “the enemy is the global capitalist establishment” , rather than the populist right, he is, nevertheless, almost as guilty as the Stalinist “Betonköpfe” who formulated the gobbledegook that came out of the 6th Congress of the Comintern in 1928. Or, does he really agree with the filmaker, David Lynch, who says that Trump is opening up a space where other, by implication progressive, outsiders might do “a good job”?

Well, at least here taking, “the most dangerous philosopher in the West” seriously is a bit risky, even if a lot less threatening than Donald Trump, who Žižek describes as “dangerous scum”. Of course, the question we would have to direct at our “Elvis” is, do you actually comprehend the danger that this pompous dullard poses, and do you really believe that there can be “no victory of the left without the broad alliance of all anti-establishment forces?

What Slavoj Žižek is advocating would appear bear an uncanny resemblence to the cooperation that went on between the KPD and the NSDAP during the Weimar Republic and, along with the “social fascist” theory, we know where that led to. This time round, believe it or not Slavoj, the stakes are even higher and while the contradictions in capitalism can still lead to a post capitalst world, it would be nice if we at least tried to facilitate the planet surviving long enough for that to happen.

Or, what do you think might have happened, had Adolf got his atom bomb? Donald has lots and lots of bombs. Yes, the populist right is nothing more than a reaction to what David Harvey would refer to as the “contradictions”, of capitalism” however, Elvis, socialism is not a reaction and it shouldn’t be entering into alliances with reactionaries. And Donald ……? Well, this “dangerous scum”, really just has to be stopped.


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The British are still telling the EU that they need the City of London

The British are sort of disgusting. Well, not all British, of course, but the self-perpetuating, self-serving, downright selfish, elite, and all the smug little hangers-on to some blighty pie in the sky nonsense.

So, what do we get in today’s press? ‘The Guardian’ tells us that “the United Kingdom unveils post-Brexit EU citizen settlement scheme” . Newsworthy, perhaps, but even if you could trust these dullards as far as you can throw them, at least be aware that anything they do is hardly altruistic. The article ends with The Federation of Small Business commenting on the government’s plans by warning that the costs to settle might still be too much for some EU workers and that these costs have to be nominal to “ensure workforces weren’t stripped of their EU employees.”

Sound economic logic, rather than the milk of human kindness, is being appealed to here, and that same logic would seem to be the prevailing driving force behind today’s article in the ‘Independent’ in which Philip Hammond warns the EU that it will be difficult to compete globally if they reject a special deal for London’s financial services.

One wonders, if the Chancellor of the Exchequer is simply ignoring the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, who said the EU doesn’t need the City of London, or if this is just one more attempt at some bulldog bravado from a little country on the north-west of Europe which is not only not as important as it once was, but is also not very important at all. You actually get May talking about the EU respecting British citizens rights, when her party never even gave those British citizens a say in whether the UK leaves the EU.

Still, you cannot blame them, can you? After all, there is still a few bob to be made from selling off the “family silver” in the form of the NHS, and any public services which are still worth selling off. So, they will take it to the limit one more time and, for home consumption the “God save the Queen”, “it is all their fault” narrative will be cultivated, as standards are lowered, consumer protection all but disappears, and privacy laws that resemble those in Beijing rather than those in Brussels take hold.

Yes, you cannot blame them, after all, as Marx said, “das Gesellschaftliche Sein bestimmt das Bewusstsein”  and this is a self-perpetuating, self-serving, downright selfish, elite, which is more interested in increasing its bank balance than raising its consciousness and should the downtrodden masses, have any ideas about their consciousness? Well, there is the royal wedding, the Great Britain myth, the unreal reality television where bailiffs evict some poor soul for being unable to pay their rent ….. not even panem et circenses, but they do the trick and roll on the post Brexit reality check.

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Israeli troops massacring unarmed civilians

Never mind my own few decades on the planet, being worth zilch, the 200,000, or so, years that humanity has been hanging around, is almost an irrelevance in the great scheme of things. Now, with that in mind, it really is sort of difficult to even want to spout off my tuppence worth on an absurd world that has hardly changed since Caligula elevated his horse to the senate, and really hasn’t changed at all since Martin Luther was equating reason with the devil.

2018, and down Palestine way soldiers from the oxymoronic “Jewish democracy” fire live rounds into civilians who are screaming out for help at being left without hope in a world which permits Zionism, a political entity, to steal their land and effectively imprison them. Now, not only does the international community acquiesce in these crimes, but it also invariably supports them, or at least effectively turns a blind eye to these poor souls being murdered when they protest against their lot.

The message comining from the fascist zionist state is crystal clear; protest is resistance and in the Iron Cage, there is to be no resistance. The international community, more or less, goes along with this and the purveyors of poppycock from the daily drivel tells us of  “clashes” along the Gaza border and even if unarmed civilians clashing with live bullets and apache helicopters leaves a lot to the imagination, that is what we are supposed to believe in this absurd world.  The Guardian writes:

Gaza has had its bloodiest day in years after Israeli forces shot and killed 55 Palestinians and wounded at least 1,200 as tens of thousands protested along the frontier against the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. “Tens of thousands protested along the frontier”;

“Shot and killed” and the daily drivel is even close to getting at the truth of what is happening, but once again it is the semantics. This is murder, this is a massacre, this is genocide taking shape. Furthermore, there is the old ruse and there are bits of the story that are missing. For those bits we have to turn to the alternative media and Craig Murray informs us that all of the demonstrators were unarmed “and the majority were well over a hundred yards from the border fence.”

Meanwhile, up in Jerusalem and across the pond in Washington the nonentities indulge in a smug exchange of mutual grinning and back slapping unaware that they too have about as much relevance in the great scheme of things as Caligula and his horse. Yes, human beings have been roaming the planet for a not very long time and maybe a few more thousand years down the road, the “Goeringesque” Trump types might also begin to understand what it is to be human. Not going to happen during my few decades on the planet, unfortunately.

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Hallelujah a new Royal Baby

“Hosanna, hossana” Kate has given birth to a baby boy and this trivia gets onto the front of Britain’s newspapers. Not surprising, considering the little lad’s grandfather will follow on his great granny’s footsteps as the unelected head of the Commonwealth. Easy enough to avoid this drivel, so there is no reason to be getting upset.

Nevertheless, one wonders, with ITV postponing this evening’s programmes to cover this insignificant dross from every conceivable, and inconceivable, angle, could the Windsor family force its way into our top one hundred absurdities that interfere with our heads? An irrelevant musing and it would be better concentrate not only on the myriad of hanger-ons and handmaidens who profit from this manure, but also the system that supports and is itself maintained by it.

Yes, hallelujah the Duchess of Cambridge is having another baby and it is important that all and sundry should know and, yes, care about it. Windrush slips down the ratings, Zionist troops shooting at demonstrators inside Gaza disappears completely from the news, the bananas Brexit seems to have taken a back seat. All is well in a just hunky-dory land where the blustering buffoon Boris sanctimoniously accuses the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against his own people, while not only failing to condemn Saudi for  killing men, women, and children in the Yemen, but also actively supporting it.

In the meantime, ITV still hasn’t returned to its daily programme with the commentator telling us that the birth of any child who is this close in the line of succession to the throne is very important. Yes, important to mom and dad, but really, should the news of any child’s birth be receiving media attention at the expense of those events outlined in the last paragraph? And, while bonkers Britain once again celebrates itself, when did babies killed by British bombs, British allies, British sanctions, British neglect, British exploitation, or British supported wars, manage to get ITV to suspend its evening programme? Seriously, if madness like this didn’t exist, you couldn’t make it up.

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