Monday, 8 April 2013

Thatcher Bingo.

So it's going to be a right old shitstorm for the next few days. My deep and sincere condolences to anyone launching a new product, promoting an event or even beginning a single-issue campaign to make some aspect of the world a little better: you've all been thoroughly Joplinned.

Given that there's going to be little opportunity to read about or talk about anything else, may I offer you a chance to play a quick game of Dead Politician Bingo? And just to make it more interesting, the first person to get a full house and send it to me (links required) will get a prize of some description.

Here you go...

1) Sharing of links to footage of The Wizard Of Oz

2) Quoting any lyrics from Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

3) Furious condemnation of a FB friend's 'lack of respect for the dead'.

4) Tony Blair doing his pompous gloopy-eyed professionally sad number

5) 'Feminist icon.'

6) Spectacularly misognyistic comment from leftwing male

7) 'She made this country great again'

8) Bizarre point-missing comment from minor celebrity not famous for intellectual abililty

9) Shouting about own working class credentials prior to unleashing stream of vitriol.

10) Shouting about own working class credentials prior  to championing Thatcher's greatness

11) Obvious confusing of Meryl Streep biopic with actual events

12) Rant about Hillsborough from someone who was still in nappies when Tony Blair was elected and who has never been within 100 miles of Liverpool

13) 'Arthur Scargill was a bastard too'

14) 'David Cameron is worse'

15) Reference to drinking champagne

16) Picture of mountain of plastic-wrapped flowers laid somewhere and speculation as to whether that's a stock shot from some other disaster...

I might add a new bingo card later...

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Stupid, wicked, or completely and utterly alien?

I'm not a great one for conspiracy theories, on the whole. Even though I have been known to rant about The Patriarchy after a pint or two, I don't consider it to be a cunning plan cooked up among half a dozen old white men sitting in a secret room. Nor have I ever been convinced by all that Illuminati/giant lizard overlords crap.
But looking at the antics of the current government keeps on making me wonder.

What the FUCK are these people thinking?

It simply doesn't make economic sense to carry on making poor people poorer. If they have no money, they don't buy things. If shops don't sell things, they close down. Then there are more poor people, and then they get even poorer.

So are the Lizardpeople operating with the idea that the creation of a desperate serf class will be profitable to big businesses by means of workfare? Again, it doesn't really make economic sense for the proprietors of shops selling cheap stuff to cut their labour costs by using bonded slaves: the bonded slaves can't afford to buy the stuff and the wealthy minority don't want to buy it. So who is going to buy it?

Is it malevolence that's driving them? Is it really just a matter of getting off on seeing how utterly you can crush people and make them suffer? Is part of the fun persuading them to tear each other to pieces while you watch? I've heard that ten percent of the population is made up of genuine psychopaths; people incapable of feeling empathy, guilt or remorse, but I doubt that people filled with a hatred and spite as deep and all-consuming as that would be capable of doing the work involved in getting elected without, you know, cracking up and biting some local newspaper hack's face off for asking awkward questions.

Or is it a pure and deluded selfishness, where they insist that because they are all right and can manage on £50 a week if they had to (forgetting that they have comfortable houses, well-stocked freezers and larders and expense accounts to sort out the washing machine when it dies) the only reason others fail to do so is because they are thick and lazy? I think that selfishness mixed with ignorance is the likeliest answer. They neither know nor care how profoundly isolating it is to be poor, how hopeless and excluded the impoverished can feel. The poor are mocked for wanting or having any kind of electrical gadgets, for instance, yet if you don't have internet access, you are pretty much crippled in many ways. It costs more to pay your bills if you can't do it online. Jobs are often advertised online only. You can't 'just' use the internet at your local library because it's been closed down.
You can't shop and cook in a healthy, sensible fashion if you are very poor, because you are restricted to the shops within walking distance, which probably only sell overpriced horsemeat readymeals and Pot Noodles anyway - you don't have freezer space to batch cook in your tiny kitchen and you may not be physically strong enough to lug sacks of potatoes and rice up six flights of stairs with a toddler in a buggy.

Immense inequality is harmful for everyone. Yet the government seem to be operating, at present, as though if they keep blaming the poor for their poverty long enough, the poor will conveniently die off.