Lizard People

Even those that know me on a friend of a friend’s friend’s sister’s cousin sort of basis will know that I am never one to go for conspiracy theories. I get all I need from watching X-Files reruns thank you very much…and as a result don’t feel the need to entertain any of those typical slack-jawed yokels who are forever claiming they were anally probed by visitors from outer space.

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Let me say this plainly so the yokels understand it: E.T. has no interest in putting his lighty up finger anywhere near your grossly hairy buttocks – so stop sullying my pristine image of him with your local-news ready tales of lies and mistruths. It’s not a big government cover-up, it’s just your moonshine induced imagination. And anyway if they were to touch base on Earth they would likely spend their time doing useful things like making lasagna and trying out all the different settings on a jacuzzi – not heading to the middle of nowhere to perform anus experiments, so stop it. Just please…stop. 

Okay with that cleared up let’s move on to the next topic of the day:

Lizard People destroying the world through politics/dirty dealings:

As we all know by now essentially every politician on the face of the earth is in fact a lizard in disguise. They are untrustworthy by their very design; paid off by those which they should really be lobbying against, and also they eat flies which is really not cool if you ask me. Unfortunately this is not some sort of scene from a Spiderman comic – so we can’t just close it shut or throw it away – we have to face it head on as it is very real. I suppose just like paper we could set them on fire but that would be barbaric. Better to have a no-holds barred fight to the death with sharpened sticks if anything.

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But hmmm, they’d never go for it but…sorry, getting sidetracked.

It’s just never have I had so little faith in my government or in my own people – perhaps it has always been this way and I am only now realising it fully but…gone are the days of the noble politician who is truly invested in the people he/she is supposed to serve, gone are the times where those in government would fight for basic human rights, and gone are the days when those in office didn’t wear life-size human suits to cover their scales. By the way I’m not even sure if the ‘lizard’ thing is a metaphor or if it is literal…both would make sense. I’m sure I’ve seen flashes of red in both Hilary and Trump’s eyes – COINCIDENCE?! I think not…the truth is out there. 

The thing is instead of having actual human integrity these lizards are just bumming every corporation who will pay for their holiday to the bahamas, or who will teach them how to set up a humongously crooked bank account abroad. And they do it in front of us, and are then seemingly outed, and, and, and – nothing!

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Because even when a nice human comes along (Jeremy Corbyn/Bernie Sanders), or who knows perhaps even a kind-hearted lizard (let’s not be speciesist here – this is a safe place for all) we don’t allow them in. We as the people, us slack-jawed yokels, cannot allow too much change at once. We have came to know our place at the bottom, and it would be uncomfortable to knock those at the top from their ivory towers. We can’t trust those with crazy views such as “let’s take care of each other” and instead go with those with experience…even if said experience is waging war and fucking up the whole fucking world all for the sake of a few extra gold bullions in their personal safes. Urgh, it’s just frustrating – and I am starting to wish aliens would land and take me away from all this – but those like Corbyn and Sanders prove one thing…apathy such as mine is easy, it is standing up for what is right in the face of adversity which takes true strength.

And we certainly need more of that in this world. 

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Bombing Innocents in the Name of Peace

“…the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

– Hermann Göring in an interview during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18th April 1946)

A mere few hours after the UK parliament voted to authorise airstrikes in Syria – British fighter jets have returned after bombing the first of presumably many Islamic state targets…evidently Cameron and his applauding war-hungry cronies were readying the big red button even as the “debate” was going on…more than ready to flex and pose in order to keep up with big brother of the US:

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In a world in which there are so many detractors that are more than happy to speak out against the disgracefully unfair and obvious propaganda driven politics which encircle the likes of countries such as North Korea…why then is it not as apparent that our political representatives are employing the very same offensive rhetoric as them? We have David Cameron bumbling away claiming the bombing and consequent loss of innocent lives, is the only way to keep the “woman raping, Muslim murdering, medieval monsters” of Isis at bay…and that they are “plotting to kill us and to radicalise our children right now.” This is obvious emotive political tactics dispatched with the sole intention of hoping people rid themselves of their logical faculties and instead devolve to caveman-esque reasoning: “UGGG…don’t take baby and woman – they my baby and woman.” 

But no. Many are falling for it – and with 397 MPs voting FOR, and only 223 AGAINST airstrikes it appears even the political elite are just as easy to convince. 

I find it especially odd that our dear sworn and trusted protector, David Cameron, is suddenly displaying so much compassion towards the British people when in the past it has lacked so heavily. The claim that he just wants what is best for us and that his main aim is simply to “keep the British safe” will likely be news to the millions of people currently suffering as a direct result of his strict and uncompromising austerity measures. Let’s not forget for a second that back in 2010, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government announced the biggest cuts to state spending since the Second World War…hacking away at social security and the NHS without a degree of sympathy, cutting a potential of 900,000 public sector jobs between 2011 and up till 2018…add to that the tax and welfare changes implemented between 2010 and 2014 which saw the poorest tenth of the population hit the hardest by far, (38 per cent decrease in net income for 2010-15), whilst by contrast the richest tenth, Cameron’s BFFs, lost the least: it isn’t surprising that many are baffled that he could ever say he wants what is best for us with a straight face.

David Eggs GIF

But yeah, thanks so much for keeping us safe mate, you’re a real diamond! What would we do without you?

Despite the self-patting on the back, high fives, and raucous applause after Hilary Benn’s speech, which would likely make any sane non-bloodthirsty person weep whilst also being sick – I still feel that his empty and overly simplistic words only further cement the idea that adding our own stamp to the  3,000+ airstrikes against Syria since 2014 is likely a bad idea…apparently they hold “our democracy in contempt” – but so do the MPs on our own turf when they choose to go against what their constituents want, instead choosing to side with superpowers and mega corporations.

Oh, and in totally unrelated news: the targets of the airstrikes will largely be focused around the lucrative gas and oil fields Isis are holding on to at the moment. Just saying, sure there’s no link…but, thought it was worth mentioning. Who will hold on to those once this battle is finally over I wonder?

But let’s not focus on facts, we don’t need those that’s what has became obvious. Case in point in what was a rather grimly ironic announcement, Cameron cited British intelligence (something which appears to be severely lacking in the House of Commons) to put forth the claim that there are  approximately 70,000 non-extremist Syrian opposition fighters who are available on the ground to potentially help overcome Isis. But here’s where the intelligence runs thin and the pig-headed (no pun intended!) stupidity comes in…you see even if we were to believe these numbers – they are still not sourced from one unified group; in actual fact they are a mad mish-mash of over 100 smaller ones, most of which are too preoccupied with Assad’s Syrian army to be open to the distraction of putting their lives on the line against Isis to help out the west.

I mean everyone from Jeremy Corbyn to Vladimir Putin has pointed out the blatant discrepancies in just about every part of the west’s role in this conflict…but when it comes to actual answers he’s a slippery man to hold down:

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This is Cameron’s third large scale intervention, Libya, Iraq and now Syria…and despite this he was still so quick to ask “if not now, when?” as if it was a foregone conclusion that at some point we would definitely be dropping bombs on innocent houses in the mad campaign against a limited terrorist group. But my question would be, when will we learn? If not now, then when? Because so far we haven’t learned a single thing…anyone with a single brain cell can work out that none of the wars launched by the UK and US from Afghanistan in 2001, Iran in 2003, or Libya in 2011 have ended – as millions still suffer from those reckless and ill-advised decisions – and the recent vote and airstrikes will make that number even more…but who cares when we stand to make such a ginormous profit from a false imperialistic war?! Just as we always do…selling on weapons, and plundering countries for resources.

Well only the people seem to give a shit, or even spare a second thought for the innocents trapped in the middle of this terrifying nightmare. But it’s more clear than ever that the politicians are only in it for themselves. I feel entirely diminished and powerless due to this harrowing news…and have no idea where to go from here…I used to think that we were the good guys – now I’m not so sure.

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Oh, and finally I must add that Bridget Phillipson the MP from my hometown (Houghton & Sunderland South) voted FOR airstrikes and I am utterly ashamed. I am however, relieved to see that her views do not reflect that of her constituents…or at least none of which who are my friends anyway. 

A Smelly Trump

Something strange is happening in American politics, something that seems to go against all reason and common sense…it’s being dubbed as “The Trump Surge” – which is just as handy as there are many similarities between Donald Trump and flatulence; namely that they are both entirely unwanted but still stink up a room whenever they’re introduced.

But although the old beaver-flap haired fella is awful, his apparent popularity says more about the climate of discontent than it does about the man himself…I mean if people are giving him a pass how bad must the other guys be in comparison, right? You see the problem with Donald Trump is simple and clear – it’s Donald Trump. But for the most part the other contenders come off as career politicians who are in it for themselves, and consequently cannot be trusted…they’ll back any cause, or make any promises just to get votes…all in the hope that they can repay the donations from billionaire elites with hushed deals and secret handshakes once in office – after all it is those figures who hold the true (and very scary) global power.

Scary Business GIF

So consequently as people become more aware of how strong a grip banks and big business possess they are gravitating away from the typical slick snake-tongued politicians and towards average-Joe ‘truth tellers’; by which I mean people who they feel represent themselves and tell it like it is, rather than just saying what they think the electorate want to hear. The same can be said about the rise of Jeremy Corbyn within the realms of British politics, who is seeking to completely flip the miserable script of austerity in the hope of something new for the UK – and although he is not everyone’s cup of tea, he has gained support in unprecedented numbers, especially among the young and disenfranchised…all because people consider him to be not just another lizard robot politician-puppet.

(Little side-note…haven’t you wondered why world leaders take so many holidays? Well it’s because they’re cold-blooded and NEED to bask in the sun for warmth. And again, have you ever witnessed David Cameron, or Barack Obama eat flies? No you haven’t – and why is that? Because they’re ultra-careful not to be caught so people don’t find out the hideous reptilian truth! OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE! THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE!)

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Ahem, anyway…what we have with Trump is hardly comparable to Corbyn (I was trying to be nice, and balanced – but screw it), you see instead of good common sense we have a typical offensive uncle-type spouting bigotry at whatever function he has been invited to. Except it’s not just your cousin’s wedding reception this time around…it’s the world, the global stage, and literally everyone has to hear all he has to say. Whether it be about Mexican immigrants being murderers and rapists, or women and their menstrual cycles, there is no topic that is off limits – so it’s less of a case of ‘I wonder if he will say anything controversial?’ and more just ‘what will he come out with this time?’ Because where other candidates would tip-toe Trump stomps through with enormous muddy boots on…not giving any real consideration or care about whatever vile babble comes out of his mouth, or who he tramples all over in his seemingly self-destructive speeches.

But despite this rather heinous resume of public speaking hiccups Trump still has everything to gain and nothing to lose. He won’t win, he won’t ever become president…but as strange as it sounds that’s not really his aim. He is joining the likes of Sarah Palin, and Hermain Cain who are simply using the process as a platform for attention and have no intention of ever getting into office – largely because they are not running out of political desperation but out of an ego-maniacal attempt to boost their own image and brand. (All funded by gullible people’s donations may I add.)

Sarah Palin GIF

However the fact that his ridiculous pantomime of a candidacy appears to be gaining steam and momentum remains really quite worrying – as it suggests a large section of the Republican party are so desperate for someone who isn’t Barack Obama that they feel only an extreme right wing political zealot will suffice…that someone who is deliberately oblivious to obvious problems is the man for the job…that a person who would openly suggest he feels the US police need more power in the wake of such overbearingly horrendous examples of corruption and terror is a person who should be an actual potential president of the United States of America…

…it’s bonkers to me, but what this whole charade unveils for me is one truth; that not all Republicans are racists – but most racists are Republican.

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The Illusion of Choice

I am often saddened by the fact that in the adult world, imagination and pure magic seems to be overlooked, or even forgotten after we make that unsure step (or are dragged kicking and screaming) to adulthood. It is unveiled that Santa Claus is not real, soul mates are strictly for movies, and that putting cheese on everything will eventually kill us. In short the magic of life becomes a much more grey, boring affair. 

Life GIF

But I am here to tell you that there is some magic in the world! Sure it’s not all unicorns, and magic gnomes – but it is still confusing, bewildering, and at the same time vaguely impressive! Just like a good magic show! 

Better yet this magic act is free for all citizens of the UK! (if you are over  the age of 18). And how does it work? Well, all you have to do is register, and you are good to go! Simple as that!  Just write your name down, cross some boxes, and watch as the wonders of ‘The Illusion of Choice’ play out in front of you! Behold the beautiful intricacies of  the illusionists’ system as your vote goes in, and disappears into irrelevancy! WOOOOSH – AND IT’S GONE! NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T! 

Think the ‘sawing a person in half’ trick – except it’s not a person, it’s your country’s future, and your standard of living being madly hacked into…not as showy sure, but still stupefyingly well orchestrated. But how do they do it? Well I’ll tell you! Or at least try…

I’ll start off with a bit of background. Okay so there’s these parties, right? But not like fun parties with alcohol, snacks, and memorable stories to recount the day after. No, no. They are groups with so-called shared interests, that club together under the same banner. So in theory you pick a group which matches your views, and then roll with them…maybe you are a business owner and think there should be tax breaks in commercial industries, or perhaps you place importance with family values, or the environment, or immigration – or whatever the hell you believe in. You match yourself up, and make your decision!  (BLANK) I CHOOSE YOU!

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But here’s the really clever bit…IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER WHICH ONE YOU PICK, EVERYTHING IS ALREADY PREORDAINED! Just like the  “pick a card, any card” trick bit!

You see my blessed green land isn’t quite what it used to be…gone are the days of moral value, and ambitious hope that will ever be even partially fulfilled – instead every election is like waiting up for Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny and finding there is nothing there at all…and that it was basically all a very well manufactured lie. So believeable…such a strong back-story…but wait – where are the presents, where are the chocolate eggs they said would arrive?! WAIT – and who has taken all of our possessions and smeared human faeces all over the walls?!

It seems that my so-called United Kingdom is more disenfranchised than ever…and serves as a rather senseless vehicle – with only one forward motion that helps only bolster the privilege of the unfathomably wealthy global elite. It fails the ordinary muggles on quite literally every level – ensuring that social progress (or at least social progress that will assist them) is made impossible thanks to the difficulty of gaining any form of useful employment, or decent education, or even a life that doesn’t revolve around a cycle of debt.

Even when you get a non-lizard looking type…they are just high level mages, and that is it. The Liberal Democrat’s Nick Clegg for example…oh boy, did he have me fooled at one point along with the rest of his band of merry men. But no, silly me – they were just like the rest of them – with a wave of their magic wand away went all of their commitment to literally everything they had once opposed/been in favour of, instead shape-shifting into a Conservative guise as if it wasn’t a big deal. Mind blowing stuff. 

Apologies for the cynicism…but it is well deserved. It really doesn’t matter that the Conservatives won, they would all have fucked us over regardless.  

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Scotland says NO, NO, NO.

I have had a week to mull on Scotland’s referendum vote…here are my thoughts and views on the whole thing – YES, YES – THIS POST IS ABOUT POLITICS, SORRY! BUT IT’S IMPORTANT PEOPLE! (I won’t be offended if you skip this one though – but this is just my two pence on an issue that is dear to me!) I’m not mad at you for rolling your eyes…just stand there while I – WHAAAACK!

Lash GIF

“DEMOCRACY DEAD?! PFFT! TAK’ THAT, MAN!”

Scotland has voted no, SCOTLAND HAS VOTED NO! Seriously how fucking great would the UK actually be without Scotland? That would be false advertising at the very least…as an Englishman born and raised in the North East I am shocked, but genuinely overjoyed that Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom family – perhaps it’s selfish of me, but it was a horrible feeling to imagine that all of a sudden, overnight; there would be a clear division between people, friends and even families. I mean it would suddenly be a foreign delicacy for me to pick up my favourite (haggis and chips) from my local chippy! Would I still celebrate Robbie Burns night with my family, as we have all my life?

For 300 years we have been British, I know personally that I always eager to refer to myself as British rather than just English, as I am proud to relate myself to each and every member country of the union…I am not the only one, as the number of people living in Scotland who chose British as their national identity rose from 15% in 2011 to 23% in 2014, according to the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey. The number of people who chose Scottish fell from 75% to 65% over the same period…numbers don’t lie, surely.

Having spent a lot of time abroad, including North America and Asia – I have lost count of the amount of times I have been assumed to be Scottish due to a mixture of my accent and attitude. Even when I explain, and point it out on the map people are unclear – and when faced with the standard Americanized question: “so what part of London are you from?” intended as a synonym to: “so what part of England are you from?” I have found myself telling them I hail from nowhere near London! And in their eyes I become basically Scottish. Therein lies something important, there is a blur between the union countries, that can’t just be split up, divided, and disenfranchised just because of imaginary lines on a piece of paper.

The fact is that England isn’t just London, Great Britain isn’t just London, and the United Kingdom is not just London. We must have fair representation for all, and it appears that those in the North of England and Scotland are those who are the most overlooked when it comes to actual physical change and governmental effort. The thought process appears to be that as most of the big offices are centered in London, this is where most of the funding should go…leaving many to struggle and strive just to survive, never mind live a life full of conquered dreams and happiness. Due to this rather bleak outlook, it was certainly amusing for many of us to see every English politician resolutely shit their respective y-fronts at the thought that the YES campaign may be successful…at the same time, the hashed together, last minute approach from them actually served to speak volumes for how they really feel. Very disappointing.  I spoke with Scottish friends before the vote and they were disgusted and appalled, well…they were not their exact words…but you can use your imagination.

I don’t blame the Scottish people for seeking out independence, in fact if I was Scottish by birth and not just by historical lineage I would be all for it (my surname is Taggart, I don’t think you get more Scottish than that! Maybe William Wallace, but that’s about it!) So in that sense there will be widespread disappointment among many – after all, 45% of the vote (1.6 million people) voted FOR independence….that’s a huge number of people who took a stand at what they saw to be a broken system, something that simply didn’t work for them. I can certainly empathise, after all the boost that the YES campaign received was in part due to support on a massive level from younger voters, and the working class portion of the Scottish population…places like Glasgow, Dundee, North Lanarkshire post-industrial locations that appear to have been royally fucked over, stripped of all they have and left to rot. There are parallels here to coal mining and ship building cities in the north of England, such as my hometown Sunderland, go in any real pub and I promise you will meet people who still hold grievances attributed to life after Margaret Thatcher, and how the place was before all of that mess…

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One thing that can be said is that in the northern territories of the UK there is a great sense of pride, and a collective nature that binds the people together, this whole referendum and the media storm that circled it have proved at least one thing…that the referendum has been a working class revolt against austerity measures. It seems, enough is enough. BBC’s Andrew Marr  had this to say: “What started as a vote on whether Scotland would leave the UK has ended with an extraordinary constitutional revolution announced outside Downing Street by the Prime Minister.” You see, by pushing the Better Together group (NO voters) into an awkward corner, where it actually began to look like they may lose…leaders were forced to make last minute hasty concessions that they hadn’t expected…in doing so the cogs have began to turn, and look set for further change.

In a dream world Scotland would just absorb the North of England and we could all just tell the Labour and Conservative drones to fuck the fuck off. But that appears to be highly improbable. I’ll be saying my hail Marys though, you know just in case… 

People have began talks of more devolution of power…I mean, the folks in Wales and Northern Ireland will surely see this as a sign that they can receive more, surely it is only fair? More exciting is the idea of devolved powers for REGIONS – a more federal, American style model I suppose, which may demand a formal constitution to lay out set rules that can’t be quibbled. This has grown, and evolved far, far beyond just a nationalistic and patriotic march – and has instead leaped forward and tapped into a profound discussion on the United Kingdom we all want for the future. At the very least this is the start of a conversation that could lead to a more fair system…but we must keep the momentum going, people have short memories – there was a referendum in November 2004 on devolved powers to Northern England (not Scotland however), it was scrapped after the voters of the North East rejected the proposal by almost 78% landslide…what’s to stop the same thing happening again?  

When you consider the 2004 outcome, which had a horrific 49% turnout – it shows how much of a testament to the people of Scotland the unprecedented 85% turnout was – I mean 85% of voters turned up to lodge their opinion, 85% of them cared and wanted their opinion (YES, or NO) heard…it shows that people do care, and people do want to be part of positive changes that can move themselves forward. It proves that as much as Westminster may believe that the voting public are basically apathetic drones, they are wrong. So lets keep going, unified in our desire for a more fair and all encompassing system – let us harness that momentum for change, and join together with the many millions of disenfranchised and overlooked people across all four nations who also demand an alternative to the cynical Westminster styled view of a future in which good healthcare and education are a privilege rather than a right; let’s make some sort of legacy, let’s make something to be proud of.

I truly do hope that this is the start of something good, like most up these frosty parts I don’t trust those down Westminster as far as I could throw them, but I’ve seen the Scottish caber toss – so maybe with them as friends, that gives us some strength going forward.

English Scottish GIF

“PALS?”

“OH AYE.”