Do You Really Need A Dictator?

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It has been an interesting month since Donald J Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America. And when I say interesting, I mean fucking awful. But that’s because I’m a left wing “libtard” pussy right? Well no, I’m a libertarian capitalist money grabbing bastard, but as we’re in post fact America, anyone who dislikes Mr Trump is apparently a left winger. Anyway, my main question to Trump supporters and to those die hard republicans is this: do you really need a dictator? Do you really WANT to be told what to do? Do you NEED a big man to reassure you of your position in this world?

Let’s explore, because there is a cost:

1. The Media Is The Enemy Of The People!
FAKE NEWS; FAKE NEWS. Yes, this is the new buzz of the alt-right and it sounds great. CNN and BBC are fake news trying to manipulate the American patriotic people into hating their President, so we should start getting our news DIRECT from the White House. Unfiltered messages direct from the government on the progress this fine government is making on immigration; jobs; the wall etc. The free press cannot be trusted, so we need to get the state message direct and believe it. Wait a minute, that’s called STATE PROPAGANDA. The government sets laws, the government forces you to pay tax at the point of a gun, the government takes you to war. The government should ALWAYS be questioned (huge fuck you Stephen Miller, you high school shooter wannabe), because history tells us that an unquestioned government with unlimited power is a very bad thing (bit like a nuclear holocaust, which Mr Trump found out recently was bad).

Taking the messages direct from the government is just plain fucking stupid. This government has proved in 4 short weeks it lies: Bowling Green massacre; size of inauguration; biggest electoral win; Flynn’s job was safe and that’s IN FOUR FUCKING WEEKS! These were easily proved lies, so yes guys, we need a free press – Fox does Trump’s bidding, but we have a press there to keep him and his cronies in check. I’ll take the New York Times and the Washington Post over what the West Wing says any day of the week, because (a) they have a burden of proof to show what they print is accurate (b) one of them took down Nixon, a reminder for all those in power that when you lie big, you lose in the end and (c) this administration is on wharp drive over-lie. If you think the free press is your enemy, you probably do need a dictator and plastic cutlery.

2. Those Immigrants Must Leave!
Guess what Trumpkins, I am an immigrant. I’m a legal immigrant sure, but I still wasn’t born in the United States. But since I arrived i’ve done 2 things, I bought a house (with cash from the UK), 2 cars, worked on my house, paid a lot of taxes and my other half is about to start paying a lot of taxes too. Sure, bugger off you Limey, we don’t need you here! But wait, I brought cash here. And I will bring more if I sell my UK house. And if I leave all that cash goes right back to the UK, with a big FX gain for me. But I want to stay and so do many others in our shoes: we’re law abiding, we contribute and we’re bring money into the US economy. There are many of us: we are legion. We leave, we cancel our mortgages, sell our houses, our cars and we become a negative on the US balance sheet. Like I said, I’m a money grabbing bastard. You know, like conservatives used to be.

But I guess because I’m from the outside and I don’t agree with Mr Trump, let’s take a hit to the US economy. Talking of hits, the expats leaving the US are piss in the wind compared to deporting undocumented tax payers. And I’ve met some: they can do plumbing, electrics, building, painting. And wait, they cook your food, wash your car, cut your grass, farm your vegetables. And the PAY FUCKING TAX as well as SPENDING MONEY! You take out these millions of people and they will take a massive stock of dollars, talent and tax right away from this glorious land. And that would be a bad thing. But it doesn’t impact you right – because you’re a US citizen and you’re not a goddam muslim. Well it does my friend, when consumer spending drops, govt spending goes up and tax take goes down, well that’s going to hit you one way or another. Recession, less jobs for all, more taxes. That’s economics. Unless you’re a complete fucking idiot and need a big man with stupid hair telling you what to do. These jobs are there for the taking and if US citizens wanted to do them they should skill the fuck up and stop whining. That message of self reliance and self responsibility is the bedrock of conservatives, so go on, call me a libtard you mindless twat….

3. Protestors Are Bad and They Must Be Stopped!

Yeah, all those cucks and women on the Woman’s March, they should be done for terrorism. Yeah, they’re disturbing the peace with their pussy feelings. They’re not patriots, they’re bad people and laws should be passed to limit their protest. My facts are more important than their feelings the old Tea Party would say. Unless you take into account one startling fact: do you really think that a government you DON’T agree with won’t abuse the powers you so willingly gave this administration. I am a great believer in small government (again, another conservative trait) and realise that the more power you give the beast, the more it will abuse them. Obama wasn’t exactly a shining light when it came to preserving civil liberties, but giving government more power, especially an administration that has lied bigly multiple times in a very limited amount of time is not just dumb, it’s suicidal. Cos the next Democratic President will use them on your skinny white ass in a heart beat (I’m assuming if you’re a Trump supporter you’re white and I make no apology for that, your man thinks all Muslims are terrorists, so like, fuck you).

4. Russia Is Our Friend! It’s the EU & Mexico That Is Our Enemy!

It’s a good thing that Mr Putin and Mr Trump are going to be friends and it’s great the Wikileaks told us about all the evil that that bitch Hillary Clinton emailed about. And you say that because you’re a patriot and you know what’s best for this country – the land of the goddam free. Well back the fuck up mister, because working with Russia and compromising an election is treason. And if you think Russia is America’s friend, again, you should take all the electrical equipment out of your house, because you’re a bonafide fuckwit. Russia shot a Malaysian airliner out of the sky and lied about it. Russia invaded another country and took their land. Russia has executed countless journalists, imprisoned Putin’s critics, has a controlled press and is the opposite the land of the free. Putin, much like Iran and ISIS, want a weak America looking the other way. They want to increase their power in the region and they will invade another sovereign state, but next time what happens if they invade a NATO nation? Well Nato has a responsibility to react when one of their members is attacked. That means war. And the US will have to pick a side then, backing its real friends (Germany, UK etc.) or it’s faux friends (Russia). Either way, the US will be pulled into a war. If you haven’t you should really read The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth (super Jew-ey as Melissa McCarthy might say, I mean Sean Spicer), this was where Nazi Germany had leverage over a new populist President (Charles Linderberg) and effectively blackmailed the US into staying out of WW2 and interning US Jews. I’m not saying Russia has leverage on Trump, but he’s sure as hell acting like they have. But just in case, let’s examine the links between Trump’s campaign and Russia as well as his tax returns, just to be, you know, safe. Unless your candidate is more important than your country. Does that make me more of a patriot than you? Well, if the glove fits….

5. Party Before Country! The GOP Knows Best

If you believe this line, then, yes, you do need a dictator. You need to be spoon fed. You need to your job protecting. You’ll take the extra orange fake tan and leave your freedom & civil liberties at the door. Well, shame on you. There are 320million of us and the majority, unlike me, don’t have the ability to go anywhere else. The needs, wants and security of this country comes first. This is not about Democrats (who are by the way, acting like scared super pussies) or the Republicans (who apart from John McCain are looking like every one of the bad guys from SPECTRE right now) – this is about what is best for the democracy of the United States of America and the constitution of the leading country of the Free World. Some things are more important that your fucking tribal beliefs that Hillary should have been locked up and that Benghazi whatever, this is about that we need a free press, we need an independent judiciary and we need a government that acts for the ALL the people of the USA. Not just those who voted for Mr Trump, not for just Trump Enterprises and not for the interests of Russia.

To Conclude….

I’m not going to tell you you are wrong in voting Trump. You had your reasons: Hillary was a lousy candidate, the emails, that fantastic message of making America Great Again, the gung ho says what he thinks. I get it. But next time you talk about fake news, next time you believe what is coming out of Kellyanne or Miller’s filthy lying mouth, next time you criticise protestors undertaking free speech, next time you want to push out immigrants who are contributing to your economy, just stop and think. Am I aiding an abetting a dictator? Where does this end up? We’ve had nearly 80 years of no major world war and now we have Russian ambassadors being shot in Istanbul. This is history guys – dictators always start by muzzling the free press, attacking their opponents, limiting civil liberties and calling outsiders the enemy. If we’re lucky it may end up in a small war or a recession. If we’re not, the sky is limit – pick one: concentration camps / nuclear holocaust. And as Mr Trump points out that would be “bad”.

I don’t need a dictator and neither do you. I don’t want to convince you you were wrong. I love this country, I like Americans, I just want to live in peace with my family, my friends, walk my dog and say hello to my neighbours. That’s probably much like you. So peace be upon you and all the people of this world (OK, now you can call me a liberal twat).

NOTE: no reference was made to racism, misogyny or Islamophobia was made in this rant, so fuck you for asking

 

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Bad Men Need To Stop Getting Guns

160612132853-20-orlando-shooting-super-169Living in America is awesome. It’s a fantastic place: freedom of speech; wide open spaces; friendly people; good education & creative drive that echoes around the world. If America was a person they’d be a confident, fun, smart & energetic. America is great, whatever Trump says & I love it. But there is one big problem:

BAD PEOPLE KEEP SHOOTING LOTS OF FELLOW AMERICANS.

This has been known for sometime, but there seems to no stopping it. And guess what also:

IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO GIVE BIRTH TO HOMICIDAL ASSHOLES & RAISE THEM TO BE HOMICIDAL ADULT ASSHOLES.

The world has produced many: Anders Behring Breivik (Norway); Thomas Hamilton (Scotland); Martin Bryant (Australia). Mentally ill people who are determined to kill lots of people. And unfortunately they don’t wear clearly marked clothing so we know they are psychotic killers.

And another major fact:

MOST PEOPLE WHO COMMIT MASS SHOOTINGS / MURDER OTHERS EITHER GET WEAPONS ILLEGALLY OR SHOULD NOT HAVE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Yes, responsible gun owners: homicidal nut jobs & violent gang members are ruining your sport / right to protection / constitutional rights. And it’s going to keep happening: Virginia Tech; San Bernardino & now Orlando. It didn’t even change things when Sandy Hook happened: 28 dead including 20 children shot by a mentally ill man who should not have had access to any weapons. 20 children murdered and nothing changes, then let’s face it, whose going to give a fuck about 50 gays right??

SORRY AMERICA: NOT GOOD ENOUGH. 

Something can be done and something should be done. I agree with the NRA that most gun murders are through the use of illegal weapons not by law abiding citizens. I wrote a much more unemotional piece last year: https://hankreardenuk.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/gun-control-why-it-isnt-working/ but today, I’m angry. I’m angry because some dick shot 50 people last night (June 12th) because he was a closet homosexual who couldn’t work out his daddy issues.

Anyway, the answer isn’t:

  1. More guns – although I do buy the argument that if we protect our airports & banks with guns, why not our schools. Also, you really don’t want to allow guns in nightclubs – I’ve seen plenty of bar brawls in my time, if guns were in the mix, I’d be dead from a stray bullet long ago.
  2. Banning Muslims from America – 1st amendment crossed right there. And it’s the extremists we want to stop coming in and they’re on no fly lists. This latest terrorist shooting and the last, were home grown, they’re already here.
  3. Making being Muslim illegal – again, 1st amendment and if you punish a whole religion, you’re sure as shit going to get more home grown extremists. And you won’t even know who they are if they’re smart, until you read their name in the news like Omar Mateen.
  4. Shutting down the internet to stop ISIS sending out their sick shit which seems to appeal so much to homicidal assholes. Terrorists can be born muslim, emigrate to the US from a muslim country or even convert and look as American as Brad Pitt. Samantha Lewthwaite was raised in the Home Counties of UK, yet went onto plan the  deaths of 400 people, all in the name of a religion that she converted to. The internet is free speech now and it’s global, so not going to happen.

So if we cannot stop homicidal maniacs being born we need to accept that:

(a) Homicidal maniacs are NOT LAW ABIDING: they are going to be prepared to break the law at some point (violence, robbery, being part of a gang. Guess what, that’s what criminal records are. We often know who these people are simply by the fact that they’re idiots and they go on from theft, to violence to murder.

(b) They are going to have some kind of MENTAL ILLNESS. That’s what doctor’s records are for. A paranoid schizophrenic, of which there are 100,000’s in the US, is not necessarily dangerous to other people, but they sure as hell should not have a semi automatic weapons.

(c) They have a large interest in Islamic extremism or a.n.other flavour of extremist (White Power, KKK etc.). These people are often known to the mighty CIA, NSA & FBI. They are all on no fly lists. The internet providers pass their details on.

All of the above people are BAD MEN THAT NEED TO STOP BEING ABLE TO GET GUNS. Because you can’t kill 50 people in a nightclub with a knife; you cannot kill 100’s in a music concert with a knife. So, how do you protect the constitution, allow responsible gun ownership, at the same time as stopping these bad people getting hold of guns. Simple & it’s big state I’m afraid:

MAKE OWNING A GUN LIKE OWNING A CAR.

See, it’s that simple. But does that mean that the President is going to be able to TAKE YOUR GUNS AWAY? Well no, because it’s not the law abiding people we give a damn about. It’s the criminals, the mentally ill and the extremists that are going to have their guns taken away. Not a 70 year old widow who has a handgun at home for protection or a 30 year old hunter. So here it is:

  1. MONTH ONE: A National Gun Database Is Put In Place: yes, your tyrannical government is going to have to know you have a gun, because the terrorist nut job muslim convert cannot get one, you lose this right. Sorry NRA, you need to not just deal with this, you need to propose it. You should design the fucking thing in fact as you’ve prevented any study on getting a solution.
  2. MONTH TWO: Every Gun Should Be Registered To An Owner. Every gun needs to be registered to one owner much like a vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you bought it at a gun store or from a friend, but there will be 10 months to register all of your weapons with the local authority. Going forward, when any gun is sold, ownership should be transferred to the new person within 4 weeks, much like a car. Not to do so will be a crime. If you have a mental illness, criminal record or on a watch list, you will need to surrender your weapon.
  3. YEAR TWO: at this point we can assume all of the responsible owners will have registered all of their weapons. That means if after this point, if you don’t have a valid registration matching your firearm, your weapon will be confiscated (but no jail at this time). Any time police stop a vehicle they will be allowed to check for weapons – no registration: confiscation. Gang areas like South Chicago are going to have the hell out of them searched for non-registered weapons. If you commit a crime / become mentally ill, you’ll need to surrender your weapon. Again, the bad guys have really fucked the fun up for everyone here.
  4. YEAR THREE: now if you have an unregistered gun, you’re going to jail. Any gun sold after this point that is used in a murder within one year of it being sold by an unregistered user, the gun shop that sold that weapon, will be liable for criminal charges. Straw buying is how most illegal weapons get on the streets.

In fact, this is easier than getting a car as I’m not proposing a licence to get the gun or retain it. I’m not proposing that every gun owner requires insurance. As a libertarian leaning individual rights advocate I realise what a hypocrite I’m being & I’m going to get ridiculed for writing these words by my libertarian community, but we need to face the fact: BAD PEOPLE WANT TO KILL AMERICANS. Please, can we try and stop them? One of my children or my friends have not been shot. But the extremists hate what we have: freedom to choose, freedom to be gay, freedom to have fun, democracy, burgers, beers, fast cars etc. etc. So they’re targets & I’d like for them to be free to live without fear of being who they are. And if the NRA say these proposals are unconstitutional and undemocratic, well LET’S HAVE A GUN CONTROL REFERENDUM. Let’s put it to the people to decide – direct democracy. I think the NRA should be very scared of that because it may result in a complete gun ban. Which again why the NRA need to be part of the solution & if they can’t they should lose.

That’s my ideas. Call me a liberal fag, call me a statist twat, whatever, but give me some better ideas: give the President some better ideas. Even if you hate the Government, it’s pretty hard to hate 20 kids shot dead because we had no ideas.

But let’s stop saying nothing can be done to stop bad people getting guns. The alternative of banning a whole religion, building a wall, deporting all muslims & stopping all muslims entering the county is so much easier right? Be really, giving up is not just fucking shit: it’s giving up. And that’s as un-American as you can get.

 

 

 

Gun Control & Why It Isn’t Working

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So as many of you who have read my previous pieces, I’m not too keen on government regulation. Mainly because it usually screws something up and there is some big corporate sponsoring the change. I’m also against that knee jerk reaction of “do something big government!” when something goes wrong (and something invariably does go wrong).

Yet even I admit there is a problem with guns in my home country. The statistics don’t lie – there are more gun deaths per head in this country per head than any other Western country. So OBAMA WANTS TO TAKE AWAY YOUR GUNS!! Well, he has a point…

The point is, he’s not going to succeed, sorry liberal Americans and lefty Europeans. Gun control is not going to work. And why…?

Point 1. THERE ARE TOO MANY GUNS

There are lots of guns bought legally by responsible gun owners who use them to hunt as well as to protect themselves. They have the legal right to own these guns and they don’t like the democrats who would take these guns away from them. And if you look at the high gun ownership vs. how many shootings there are, the data tells you most owners are responsible. So, why do they need protection? Oh yes because:

Point 2: THERE ARE LOTS OF ILLEGAL GUNS

The gang members in Chicago are not queueing up to register themselves to buy handguns. No, they are buying them illegally on the street / via crooked gun dealers. And these people are generally bad guys, so if you’re a good guy, the logic goes, why shouldn’t you protect yourself from the bad guys? Why isn’t Obama going after the illegal weapons first? Now that makes real sense to me. It’s not the hunters in Dakota that are shooting their hunting rivals with legal guns, it’s gang members with illegal guns shooting each other. So why should the guy from Dakota be penalised? Take all the guns away right now and you’ll take away the legal guns. Which leaves the bad guys with the guns and the good guys defenceless. Not smart…

Point 3: PEOPLE WANT TO PROTECT THEMSELVES

The bad guys have guns right? So you want me as a good guy not to have a gun but he has one? No way! The San Bernardino shooting rocketed gun sales and visits to gun ranges. The press goes nuts about the radical islam threat and of mass shootings, so the best way to allay that fear is to get a gun. That is logical to many & logical to me. This does not seem the time to ask people for the guns back does it? I don’t want to be a victim and when something goes wrong, you don’t call a politician, you call someone with a gun…

Point 4: START ENFORCING YOUR CURRENT LAWS

Responsible gun owners will rightly point out there is lots of regulation on legal guns, but nobody is really going after the bad guys with the guns. I agree on that. If the bad guys had no guns, then many would not see the need to own guns for protection. Guns come from Mexico and even from Russia via the Canadian border. Start doing something about this please Mr President.

I could mention the constitution and the fact that lots of Republicans take donations from the pro-gun lobby, but everyone mentions that. This election, gun control will be part of the debate. So how about sensible people (not you Wayne LaPierre).

The Solution – It’s Boring & We All Have To Hug

So, is there light on the horizon if we want to stop the next Sandy Hook? I’m not saying the below is a holy grail and you can fly holes through them, but maybe:

  1. Start Listening To The Concerns Of The Pro-Gun Lobby – enforcing the current laws; give them the protection they are looking for (e.g. why protect railway stations and airports with guns, but not schools?)
  2. Stop Treating Pro-Gun Owners Like Idiots – I’ve interacted with many gun owners and if you talk to them with respect, they are often lovely people. Not “gun nuts” nor “rednecks”. They have a right to protect themselves and they are using their legal right to use it. So the liberals need to start bridging the gaps.
  3. Get Responsible Gun Owners To Be Part Of The Solution – maybe they agree that someone who is on a terrorism list / mentally ill shouldn’t have a gun. But the liberals won’t listen to them because they’re preaching. If it’s two sides (liberals against guns vs. GUN NUTS!) then it’s never going to work. People want to go hunting and people want to protect themselves. There are some people (criminals, the mentally ill, terrorists) that really should not have guns that both sides can agree on. Let’s work on that as a start point and see where we go.
  4. The Pro Gun supporters will have to change too – stop proposing more guns every time there is a shooting. They also have to look at the numbers and agree there are more murders in the US from guns & mass shootings than any other equivalent nation. Be part of the solution please. And stop calling everyone who disagrees with them as filthy appeasing PC liberals. Well some are but that’s not the point..
  5. Target Gun Dealers First – start going after the dealers who permit straw sales / corrupt dealers selling to the criminals. They are doing this and there has to be a solid effort to tackle it. They’re not coming from responsible gun owners.
  6. Tackle State Inconsistencies – each state has wildly different rules. So the criminals and dealers can go to the laxest state and bring back weapons with the tougher laws. New Yorks guns are coming from Virginia, not locally.
  7. Punish Irresponsible Gun Owners – lose your gun and didn’t report it? Allow your kid / toddler to have access to your gun? Carry a gun whilst drunk? Yeah, I’m looking at you. Responsible gun owners should come down on these people the hardest. Missing guns do end up in the wrong hands and they are used to kill innocent people. I discussed with an ex-Army lady from Texas on how she educated both her girls respect for guns at an early age & how to protect themselves. It’s those sort of people I’m more than happy to have guns and train others to use them. Not the woman who shot at shoplifters in a carpark or the woman who left a gun in the back seat so her sister was shot by her grandchild.

And you know, I’ve heard the argument that getting and owning a gun should be as boring and arduous as buying a car and learning to drive. You know what, as much as I hate further regulation, maybe it’s not sexy, but real solutions are often boring. But owning a gun like buying a car should be only for responsible people and MAY put off some nutter buying a gun and going to the local school.

I personally think that humans are irrational / emotional and frequently clash. When there are guns around, things get messy, so I’m not very Concealed Carry supporting, but that’s just me. I’m a realist and listening to the pro-gun people has given me real insight. We’re not enemies, we’re all just people who want to protect their families and freedoms. Often with a sensible mistrust of big government / politicians. A good idea can come from anywhere and a shit one from the smartest place.

I’d be very interested from pro-gun supporters of what they think on my ideas (politely please) as well as gun control supporters. I’m a reasonable guy. Usually.

So let’s all have a group hug and learn to love one another. Fuck you, you liberal piece of shit tree hugger, taste my Colt 45!

H

Some reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States

http://mic.com/articles/22802/gun-control-facts-existing-gun-laws-would-reduce-crime-but-these-are-not-enforced#.a7dXlSElN

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/guns/procon/guns.html

https://tracetheguns.org/#/states/MS/exports/

 

Link

nice home

Nice house right? What bought that? Well that’s easy: oil.

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Nice tank right? What bought that? Well, we could be tricky and say it was stolen, but again, it’s oil (well it’s certainly running it).

So it’s no secret that ISIS are funded primarily through the sale of oil through the oil wells it captured (see link here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-uncovered/isis-makes-three-times-much-oil-smuggling-previously-thought-officials-n397836

). They are making millions a day and this is funding the ISIS terror network that executes thousands of Muslims, Christians homosexuals and anyone they disagree with (which is probably 99.99% of the world). So who would be so stupid to buy their oil? Well Turkey for a start – all just for cheap fuel. And surprisingly Assad & the Syrian government PLUS the Kurds / the rebels who are fighting ISIS. So ISIS is selling it’s oil to those they are trying to kill. The Kurds are effectively paying to be killed: they are paying money for oil and this money is being used to pay for fighters and ammunition to kill them.

So there are plenty of hawks out there who want to invade IS occupied lands right now and that’s probably the most satisfying option. I’d be quite happy to al-Baghdadi’s head on a stick after all the evil he has committed in the name of religion, but we’ve seen how that’s worked out before. A power vacuum and cries of crusades. No, my view is that the better way and the frankly more boring route is to take away the money. This can be done as such:

  1. Countries buying IS Oil instantly get UN Sanctions – well might as well get the UN to do something and maybe that will get Turkey to close down it’s porous border and stop the smuggling of oil in. It’s not like an oil tanker truck is small.
  2. Provide oil to those fighting IS – the Saudi’s and the UAE are awash with cheap oil right now and have the means and funds to easily do this. Provide oil at a cheaper price so the Kurds don’t have to pay their own killers anymore.
  3. Shut down the oil infrastructure in ISIS held land – there are plenty of drones up there, use one to make a refinery inactive. Intervention, but still not an invasion.

Do I think 1 & 2 will happen, even though they are easy to do? Well the below images don’t fill me with any hope whilst China and the West are still hooked on oil. Nobody seems to standup to Saudi Arabia when there is so much money at stake. Maybe if we pressurise our governments to stop the Saudi love in but put real pressure on them to intervene in the oil situation, maybe, just maybe the ISIS death machine could be slowed to a halt. Money is needed to train fighters, to arm them and to send them back to commit murder in Paris or wherever they will strike next. It’s a lot cheaper, a lot less bloody and a lot more efficient way of stopping ISIS than sending in the troops. And for those UKIP types who propose shutting the borders and blaming immigrants, well that horse has bolted – ISIS will find a way to kill no matter of a pesky border.

So if you’re the type who demands SOMETHING must be done and has changed their Facebook image to a tricolour, try something a little more pressing. Stop the oil: stop the money

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Saudi Arabia's King Salman (R) at Erga Palace in Riyadh, January 27, 2015. Obama is stopping in Saudi Arabia on his way back to Washington from India to pay his condolences over the death of King Abdullah and to hold bilateral meetings with King Salman.

cameron3 saudi

Why Tribal Politics Makes You Stupid

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I think people naturally gravitate to a political stance that suits them best: centre; left; right; centre left; centre right. This also changes over time – I was pretty left wing when I was young (and as goes the cliche) moved more to the centre right as I grew up. I respect others political stance because they are shaped by experiences that I often haven’t shared. Except maybe Nationalists, because they are frankly often too lazy to get a decent job so they bang on about immigrants.

I am bang in the centre, so there are lots of views / values that I have that are shared by the left wing: social liberalism; tolerance; immigration; anti-war. There are lots of views that I have that are shared by the right wing: self responsibility; free markets; small government; responsible economics. I often find myself agreeing with people & wanting to retweet them, but find they have blocked me on Twitter, because of one common factor: Tribal Politics. Tribal Politics makes seemingly intelligent people incredibly stupid. I said a Labour MP was drama queen – got blocked by a Labour supporter. I criticised Boris once & got blocked by a Boris / Tory groupie. Their message cannot be spread to those that might agree with them, it is only contained with their compliant followers. I think you’ve got to be pretty insecure if you can only debate with people who agree with you. “Hey, I said something smart” > “You did, you’re amazing” > “I’m always right!”…no, you’re not. You’re just preaching to the choir – preaching at Speaker’s Corner is harder.

So what is Tribal Politics? To me it’s this: I am a big Man Utd fan, but imagine only choosing friends because of the team you support? That would be epically stupid. You choose friends on shared values – not shared politics. On Twitter, there is a big Bevan supporter I often debate with who I have the same values when it comes to immigration & granting asylum, but economically we differ. There is another whose views on the environment I think are great, but believes the living wage is incredibly important (something which isn’t to me). My uncle is a life long Tory & we’ve argued until the early hours (he usually wins as he verbally beats me into submission – my Dad gave up years ago). What is interesting about the people I’ve mentioned (and the many libertarians I talk to) is that they don’t subscribe to Tribal Politics. They see the faults of the major political parties, much like a football fan may acknowledge their defence is weak. They might vote Labour but acknowledge Ed is not a great leader; they may want Cameron as PM, but only because they trust Osbourne more than Balls. That is voting a party whose shit stinks the less to you than the other one. Tribal is dismissing everything Thatcher did as PM because you wave the red flag and hate Cameron because he is a Tory toff. Tribal is not acknowledging the Major’s Tory government needed to be replaced by Tony Blair’s new Labour at the time. Vote for who you like, but let’s not put crap MP’s in place just because of the colour of their rosette – surely we’re better than that.

We’re grown ups, so it disappoints me when I see so many intelligent people acting like children on Twitter with their tribal beliefs. If you were in a pub, you’d sit calmly in front of the other person, acknowledge some of their points, find the common ground and realise where you differ. On Twitter, the tribe mentality makes people idiots – calling someone a Tory because they think that more tax is not a great idea / calling someone “leftard” because they point out immigration, economically, is kind of important. You only learn by new experiences, by hearing different views, by reading new things and by having your views challenges. I have had my views challenged, the other person was right and it’s made me listen a lot more to reasoned debate. Tribal politics prevents that. I engage with so many interesting people on Twitter & for me in general it’s been a positive experience (you know who you are, the adults!), just wish it could be even more positive.

Tribal Politics makes you stupid. Life is too short for stupid people.

*@BenJiffy says I need to end this article with “and if you disagree, you’re part of the problem”

Stop Expecting The Government To Solve Problems. It Won’t

Toddler-Tantrums

Tribal politics is a funny thing. It makes people fanatical & like religion blinds logic. Anyone who has come into contact with a rabid UKIP supporter knows exactly what I mean – they simply cannot comprehend that you don’t share their views, even when you present them with facts. Labour supporters tend to be nicer, but I have been called Tory scum because I don’t wholeheartedly support a large welfare state. Even a Tory abused me when I pointed out David Cameron had the convictions of a carrier bag (I believe members of the cabinet privately agree on this).

Well it’s lucky that words on the internet don’t really phase me too much & if I’m comfortable walking in the rain with my daughter’s ladybird umbrella, I’m sure as shit comfortable with some keyboard warrior in Derby telling me I’m thick. I digress though. There is one thing though that unites all of these apparent warring factions: and it’s this. That their team will save the day. Newflash kids: they won’t.

UKIP primarily are the most deluded right now. They believe their “small state” party will protect British workers from global competition. Guys, it won’t. We saw this in the 1980’s with the coal mines. You seem more left wing than a ranty union member when you bleat on about cheap labour from Poland taking all the jobs. As my British builder tells me, you can’t find an English bricklayer in London now. I’ve had the United Nations work on my house but the Polish get a notable mention not because they’re cheap but because they’re good. The Brits have often been sloppy, start at 930 and gone by 4. The “cheap immigrants” have been perfectionists. This is the equivalent of US cars vs Japanese cars played out in the US in the 1980s. People went for a superior product. The solution is to get better not ask for state protectionism.

Now for Labour. Ah, the last preserve of the socialist. Well probably not, the real left seem to have moved to the Green party who actually seem to have some ideals left. Ed Miliband would probably be the worst PM on his leafy street. Every idea he has (breaking up banks, mansion tax, energy company attacks) are riddled with holes. They’ve spent the banker bonus tax so many times they’ve had to come up with new taxes. Throwing money at the NHS does not win my vote (and by the way, it’s not MY NHS anymore than Downing Street is my second home) and now following UKIPs line on immigration is particularly disappointing. The Ed’s on a global scale with a large economy would be a frightening mess for sure.

Which I suppose leaves the Tories (I’m not going to talk about the LibDems as whilst I admire their liberalism, they’re as popular at the ballot box as Jimmy Saville at a kid’s party). Cameron should be talking about the positives of immigration but he isn’t. He’s talking tough on renegotiating the free movement of people. Dave: forget it – either you’re in or you’re out, but if you’re in, this is a key pillar of the EU. On a global scale, he does not have a fraction of the impact that Blair ever had or beliefs that Thatcher did. This cabinet are led by the Daily Mail, not what is right or just. And Right to Buy, what was that about??

So, where does this leave you? Well, putting you cross in the box you think whose shit stinks less or not voting at all. I go for the former but I understand both views, unless you’re Russell Brand. But one unifying factor is that if you’re still thinking any of the above parties will solve unemployment, stop poverty, take down Putin , fix the NHS, get you a bigger house, a better partner or make you more attractive, you’re misguided. My view is that the bigger the government the more they’re likely to fuck things up. That’s not universally shared but voting one donkey because you think it can fix the macro issue the other donkey can’t is going to leave you disappointed. The last governments in power just wanted to keep that power and leave themselves a nice nest egg for themselves afterward. The Tories should be well ahead in the polls but they are they’re so busy in fighting or defecting to UKIP they negate any power for change they may have.

So stop expecting the government to solve your problems. If you want a better job, get more skills; if you want a nicer house, get a pay rise; if you can’t afford a house, move to Eastern Europe! Be the change or whatever, but don’t sit their sulking that all your problems would be solved as long as Nigel “man of the people” Farage gets in power. He won’t. Now get over it and stop voting populous politicians giving you promises they cannot deliver on.

Proud To Be British. Proud To Be Tolerant.

Let’s get one thing straight. The UK is a fantastic country.

Yes the weather is lousy, some of the food is questionable and there are many towns that are downright miserable, but being born British is an advantage over countless nations. We have democracy; we have free speech; we have freedom to practice whatever religion you want; you can marry who you want & we have one of the best living standards in the world. We also have passports that open doors to the world without restriction. Yes, Switzerland probably has a better political system than ours & Norway has a way better bank balance, but being born British gives you a head start on so many places. You only need to look at places like Pakistan and Syria to prove this. Even Spain and France where getting a job as a young person is hard.

But it’s that tolerance and free speech that makes me so proud. There is the moral compass and the standing up to bullies, sure, but it’s the fact that we’ve always welcomed difference and places like Speaker’s Corner exist. Love it or loathe it, London really is a world city because it has so much diversity. Brick Lane is right next to the City of London; Camden next to leafy Hampstead.

So I’m just some lefty multiculturalist who will apologise for things like Rotheram abuses? Hell no: coming & living here means you need to accept other’s differences. Don’t tell me I cannot drink alcohol or sleep with who I want. I don’t care what your religion tells you, but my moral compass ells me to respect others individual rights. Do I deny that in some areas an influx of one group has caused an impact to others? No, too much of one group can cause imbalance. London tends to work as it has so many groups and people have to get along. And they generally do. Do I think we should allow murderers & rapists in? Hell no, there are some scary people out there who wish to curtail our way of life by force.

When I talk about immigration with certain politically minded people I get the same response: immigration hurts the economy. Well that’s bollocks, I prove it with articles from the FT / Economist and then they talk about stretch on housing & servicing. Well that I agree with. We have a very generous benefit system and opening up benefits to everybody is not compatible with immigration: UK plc cannot simply pay for millions of extra people not to work. But blaming our countries ills on newcomers is frankly lazy, wrong and self defeating. I remember coming home from school and blaming some other kid because I had got a bad exam result. My mother quickly nipped that one in the bud I tell you. The NHS has a massive financial black hole and is trying to do too much and support an ageing population: that needs to be fixed, it’s not Petr from Romania’s fault. Our government wastes billions and subsidies so called capitalist corporations: we need to stop this waste and corruption, Rajesh from Bangalore didn’t set that up did he? Blaming others is a cop out and I was taught as a child that was wrong. I think we all were, but somehow it’s been forgotten. We were also taught as children to share, but that has someone been forgotten (our jobs, our land, our services – really? Just because you were lucky enough to be born here?).

So if you’re British born and as you drink your tea this morning, read your free press, take a call on your iPhone or pay for a coffee on your contactless Visa, remember how bloody lucky you are to be born here. Remember that our free speech is what makes us great, that we offer protection to the persecuted, we allow people to realise their potential and we can kick out politicians if we don’t like them. Don’t deny it to people who’ve grown up in poverty then come here to work & contribute. The UK is not perfect but what is wrong we as a nation need to address. Whether you think capitalism or socialism is the solution is up for debate, but blaming a newcomer who had no part in creating our massive deficit or voted to bail out the banks / invade Iraq is just plain silly. The UKIP agenda seems to be about blaming immigrants for the UK ills and the main parties are being dragged along with the agenda. MP’s need to be braver than this: they need to sell the positives of immigration economically and address the concerns that come with it. Some ethnically British people are being left behind by the challenge of low wages: that is a global economic issue. So the big state should do something useful for once and help them increase their skills and acknowledge the challenge, otherwise they will go and vote UKIP. Farage won’t help them get jobs, but he’s got onto the fact that people FEEL poorer. Give them skills and give them a tax cut in the form of higher tax thresholds is a solution: not blaming Jonny Foreigner.

Let’s all grow up a bit and remember some of the things we were taught as children: respect others, fix your own problems not blame others for them and share what you’re lucky to have.