Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Tory Idiocy: Ban on Gatherings of more than 6, but Schools Remain Open

The government has announced gatherings of more than six people (indoors or outdoors) will be banned from Monday 14th September. Breaking this rule will result in fines from £100 up to £3,200, but how the rule is going to be enforced is anyone's guess.

Don't get me wrong, I fully support effective measures to protect the public from Covid-19. I am a sufferer of "long Covid", having experienced symptoms for over six months, including breathlessness and fatigue, therefore I understand the risks are not just to the elderly and disabled, but to everyone, and we must minimise the spread of this awful disease.

My issue is not that gatherings of more than six people are banned, it's the absurd hypocrisy, the dishonest motives, and the contradictions which render such a move ultimately pointless.

One tweet encapsulated this perfectly:

The Plan is not Remotely Logical

We can squeeze into crowded workplaces, visit churches and mosques, swarm through shopping centres, send our kids to packed schools, take them to heaving soft plays, eat at busy restaurants, and expose ourselves to hundreds, if not thousands of potential Covid carriers, but we can't invite friends or family members to our homes because that would be too dangerous? If you have three kids like I do, you can't even have a visit from both grandparents at the same time!

The government's justification for this policy is that public places must follow social hygiene rules - which simply means washing your hands and not touching each other. So why can't we just tell visitors to our homes to wash their hands and not touch us? 

And what if we do have people around? Are the police going to knock at our doors and start counting heads? What if we refuse to let them in? Will they return with a warrant? Do they have nothing better to do? Personally, I won't be having visitors, but the idea of fining people does not sit well with me when far larger gatherings are forced upon us.

An Idiot in Charge of a Disaster

Matt Hancock was asked about how his policy could prevent grandparents from helping with childcare, and he simply replied: "I'm not actively trying to do that." But that's the implication of his policy. The fact some consequences are unintentional does not make the government look any better. It makes them look worse. The Tories completely failed to consider the consequences of their actions and went ahead regardless. It would appear they're just winging it, driven not by public safety, but the desire to mislead.

You can now be fined for not sending your kids to a crowded school to keep them safe, and you can also be fined for asking the grandparents to look after the kids because that would be too dangerous.

Matt Hancock said he hopes this rule can be lifted by Christmas, but how can it have any meaningful impact? When we are forced into crowded situations daily, banning people from occasionally seeing the family will not stop the spread of the virus. The move is a ridiculous deflection, a way of pretending to act as Covid cases rise because of schools reopening, and then passing the blame onto the public.

357 schools have reportedly seen Covid outbreaks in the past week, but the Tories couldn't possibly admit they got the reopening wrong and U-turn, not least because they don't give a shit. Public pressure can occasionally sway them, but they've made far too many U-turns recently and one this big would make it hard even for the Murdoch press to spin. I doubt Dominic Cummings could find a dead cat big enough. 

So anyways, what happens after Christmas, Matt Hancock? Do we just pretend everything's okay and lift the rule, even though nothing will have been achieved? Do we drag the gathering ban out longer? Or do we take meaningful action now, closing schools and work places etc., until we've got the numbers under control again? 

I know the U-turn would be embarrassing, Matt, but you could always resign with your last shred of dignity intact. You do know what dignity is, don't you? It's that thing credible public servants are supposed to have.

Let's Do Something Meaningful

Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar of the government's scientific advisory committee, said "the next four to six weeks will be absolutely pivotal to the sort of autumn and winter we have". Surely, we should do something over the next four to six weeks because what we're doing right now is nothing while pretending we're doing something. And we're going to fine people if they fail to comply with the nothing. My head hurts.

In addition to this nonsense, we've seen Matt Hancock blame the public for the shortage of available tests because people are asking to be tested!

"Unfortunately, we have seen this quite sharp rise in the last couple of weeks of people without symptoms, who don't have a good reason, coming forward and getting a test."

How can you blame a shortage of tests on people being tested? How can you say we need a world-beating test and trace system before reopening schools and then not deliver one, but reopen schools anyway? 

Anyone could be forgiven for thinking we have a government of incompetents, but don't worry, the Tories plan to launch a campaign to remind people to wash their hands. Yes, really.

If anyone is totally lost and has no idea what the rules are (which let's face it, is all of us), here they are, courtesy of the BBC:

  • Social gatherings of more than six people in England will not be allowed in law from Monday 14th September
  • The ban applies to people in private homes, indoors and outdoors, and places such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and public outdoor spaces
  • The ban applies to all ages
  • The ban does not apply to schools and workplaces, or weddings, funerals and organised team sports
  • A full list of exemptions is due to be published before the law changes
  • People who ignore police could be fined £100 - doubling with each offence to a maximum of £3,200

This is exactly the type of meaningless policy you would expect from a government which boasts of breaking the law in parliament and endorses driving to castles to test your failing eyesight. The Tories are now a parody of a government, their leadership so farcical that if this was a movie script, you'd say the writers have gone too far. And this shambolic leadership is not something that's just arisen during the chaos and panic of a pandemic. It's been going on since day one and getting progressively worse with the majority support of the mainstream media.

Blaming the People

We now live in a topsy-turvy country where those who oppose the Tory madness are labelled extremists. Not in a hyperbolic off-the-cuff manner either, but officially. Any movement which challenges the government is being designated an extremist group. The police are actively monitoring people for crimes like attending Extinction Rebellion protests or standing with Black Lives Matter. Next, the police will be knocking at your door to fine you and your parents for defying Covid rules. The rising death toll will be your fault, just like the lack of available tests is your fault.

Meanwhile, we've got an inept opposition leader who demanded schools reopen and is only too happy to go along with the Tories' nonsense. Why? Because only the left are offering solutions and centrists are just as reluctant to hear those solutions as the far-right. They really are cut from the same cloth, it's just centrist politicians are less honest about who they really are. Less honest than Tories.

If you want to follow through on WHO recommendations or climate science or demand racial justice or believe we should take meaningful action to address poverty, you are "far-left", but if you pretend to care about these matters and sneer at meaningful action, you are "moderate". The far right love those moderates by the way - the kind who will sack Rebecca Long-Bailey for siding with unions on schools reopening and then pretend she's an antisemite to justify their betrayal.

Surely, public health and other serious matters should not remotely be considered left versus right. Surely, there should be agreement that we embrace science, logic, decency, compassion, and build our policies from there - policies which are ethical, coherent, and effective. Instead, we're banning family visits while opening restaurants and soft plays to protect private profit. We're reopening schools and then blaming the youth for the sudden spike in Covid infections. Those are the tactics now - blame and vilify.

We've had years of the left being vilified, and now as the public blindly nod along, accepting whatever smears are thrown our way, they're being picked off, one-by-one, and blamed for the failings of the government. It's the fault of the school kids, or the teachers and nurses who they clapped just a few weeks back, or the fault of care home staff or whoever else they can think of blaming. And when they've got no one to blame, they tell you about a non-existent migrant invasion. They tell you anything to keep you distracted from their shambolic policy-making and their eagerness to put profit before people. 

Don't Invite People into your Home, Do Go into the Office

They want you to stop working from home, not because you need to be in the office, but because the owners of the office spaces want their rent and because the owners of Pret A Manger want you to buy a needlessly expensive sandwich on the way to work. None of this is considering your safety and none of this enables you to work more effectively. Think about this. 

You must comply with the system, but if you meet your friends or family, you will be blamed for the failures of the system, for the spread of the disease. They want you to risk your life to prop up this artificial system which is dependent on such unnecessary behaviours. A system that is not in any way there to meet your needs. You going into that crowded workplace is not helping you earn money. It's not providing any tangible benefit to you or your employer. None whatsoever. But the Tories need to keep control over you to keep their money machine rolling. This is a landlord economy. A parasitical economy where the parasites are in charge and killing those who are not useful hosts.

Every person should minimise human contact and be sensible, hell, we should probably be under lockdown now, but make no mistake, the gatherings ban has nothing to do with keeping you safe and everything to do with blaming you.

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Sunday, 30 August 2020

Jeff Bezos: The Greatest Thief in Human History and the Reason World Hunger Still Exists

Jeff Bezos is the only person in history to earn $200 billion. Let me rephrase that: Jeff Bezos is the only 
person in history to steal $200 billion dollars from his workers. He's the biggest thief the world has ever seen, and yet his theft was perfectly legal because rich people like him make the rules. They have decided it's only right and proper for them to keep the money your labour generates. That's personal freedom, you see? The glorious free market.

Bezos is notorious for paying poverty wages, denying his workers healthcare and basic rights and forcing them to work in slave-like conditions, keeping the proceeds of their labour for himself. Bezos is not a "wealth creator", his workforce who live in tents or sleep in cars are the wealth creators. And seriously, what kind of bastard watches people build his empire and thinks in-work poverty should be their reward? A capitalist is your answer.

Protesters recently gathered outside Bezos' New York apartment, demanding better pay and safety conditions in Amazon warehouses, pointing out Amazon workers are dying from Covid-19. They also demanded sick pay, hazard pay, healthcare, and neutrality on unionisation.

No one can deny the customer service provided by Amazon is exceptional, being extremely efficient, convenient and reliable, but Bezos has built a monopoly around the exploitation of poverty while cashing in on a pandemic which has seen his stocks rise by 80%. Bezos could become a trillionaire by 2026 as people stay home and shop online, rather than risk their health by venturing outdoors. Amazon itself is currently valued at over $1 trillion dollars and rising fast, but it couldn't possibly give every worker a living wage...

How is this healthy for democracy? A business model which is not sharing the proceeds of its success with its workers. An economic model which enables one individual to hoover up the GDP of an entire continent. A system where only profit matters and the needy are considered a burden. Where is the room for social conscience? Are we really going to accept life is about watching billionaires accumulate wealth as our living standards fall?

Inequality in the US is about the same as it was during the French Revolution and we know what happened to people like Bezos then...

Our current approach is never going to lead to happy and healthy societies. It's never going to solve problems like extreme poverty and the climate crisis. It's surely going to exacerbate them until we reach an entirely avoidable breaking point. 

If our current model is so big on personal responsibility, why is no one demanding Bezos show personal responsibility? If I was a billionare, I'd want to ensure my workers were taken care of, and then I'd want to help as many people as I could, but that's why I'm not a billionaire. You have to be a sociopath to become one.

Experts have estimated we could end extreme poverty for as little as $7 billion a year. Bezos could actually do that. He could end extreme poverty. Or he could donate 99.5% of his wealth to a multitude of good causes and still be a billionaire. Hell, Bezos could make me a millionaire by giving me just 0.0005% of his wealth! That would be spare change to him.

Just imagine for one moment that every billionaire like Bezos pledged to give every penny they earned beyond $1 billion to good causes. They would see zero impact on their lifestyles, but they could transform the world and be remembered by history as heroes. How long would it take them to eliminate hunger, homelessness, and lack of health care? How long until they created a sustainable green economy? Or found a cure for cancer or covid? Or fixed infrastructure and public services? I could go on...

With great power comes great responsibility. Sadly, with great wealth comes lack of social responsibility.

Personally I would rather fix society's problems than buy super-yachts with mini-yachts that come out the bottom or whatever other pointless shit rich people buy to make themselves feel superior. I really, desperately struggle to see why the common good would not be any rich person's first priority. All their needs are, and always will be, met. Why don't they want others to live in the comfort they could easily create?

If you earned $25,000 a year, it would take you 8 million years to match Jeff Bezos' wealth. If you stacked 200 billion dollar notes, they would stand 243 kilometres high. In other words, they would reach into space, more than halfway to the international space station.

Men like Jeff Bezos are not wealth creators, they are wealth stealers. They are dragons sitting on piles of gold and will breathe fire on anyone who takes a coin they wouldn't even notice was gone. And again their hoard stems not from their own hard work, but from denying their workers the proceeds of their efforts. 

We have a broken system where an individual is allowed to rob an entire workforce and trap them in woeful conditions, existing only to further enrich their slave masters. Why do we accept this madness?

If ever there was a case for democratising workplaces, allowing workers to choose their bosses, play a role in decision making and own a piece of their company, Amazon would be it. Co-operative ownership is surely the way forwards for big businesses. Are we really expected to believe a company like Amazon can only function if a greedy bastard like Bezos keeps all the proceeds?

This is the free market in action: only the strongest survive. They consolidate wealth and power, eliminate competition, and treat workers as costs to be reduced, rather than human beings to be respected. The free market consumes and grows without any social conscience or sense of remorse. And we just blindly accept falling living standards and poverty wages are some unfortunate circumstance that our billionaire masters are powerless to prevent, then we mindlessly blame refugees in dinghies who've not even reached our shores. Meanwhile, we act as though the elite who control the media and own our politicians are somehow working in our interests. 

If we are to believe in capitalism that is what we must believe because every alternative, every intervention we could make to fix such problems would be a socialist solution. That's basically what socialism is - fixing the market so it behaves ethically, taking power away from a handful of unaccountable individuals and putting it into the hands of workers. The more you democratise your economy, the more you socialise it. 

Socialism and democracy are essentially the same thing. And the very existence of individuals like Jeff Bezos is an affront to democracy.

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Friday, 28 August 2020

US 2020: Alleged Rapist or Alleged Rapist - What a Choice!

The US 2020 election offers two painful choices - Trump or Biden. The parallels between the men are alarming. Both have faced rape and sexual assault allegations. Both have provably behaved horribly around women. Both are advancing in years and declining in cognitive ability. And both have a track record of racism and corporatism. 

Biden fans love to call themselves "the resistance", but what exactly are they resisting? Their man is guilty of everything they hate about Trump and even said he'd consider a Republican running mate!

Let's take a closer look at The Democrat saviour:

Biden fans still go gooey-eyed as they reminisce about the "good ol' days" under Barack Obama and no doubt see Biden as the continuity candidate. Indeed, they probably assume they can overlook Biden's declining mental faculties on the assumption Obama will be running things behind the scenes. Biden, of course, was Obama's vice president and this can only be a good thing, right?

Okay, so as vice president, Joe Biden was gaffe-prone, but he could be a slick and confident talker. Ten years ago, he certainly had his qualities, but today it's a very different matter. The man can't get his words out and even gets the names of his own family members wrong. He is 78 years old and appears to be showing signs of dementia. That's hardly a good start, is it? And then there is the completely fabricated lies...

Last year, Biden made up a story about him visiting the Konar Province in Afghanistan at the request of a four star general. He claims to have awarded a Silver Star to a captain who tried to refuse the honour, saying he felt like a failure. The Washington Post exposed that almost every detail of the story was false and Biden later defended himself on TV by suggesting the details didn't matter. 

As well as pathological lies, Biden has also been guilty of racially insensitive gaffes, saying "Poor kids are just as talented as white kids" and “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” These are not the type of gaffes you can put down to a stammer. They stem from the thought process of a man who hung around with white supremacists in his younger days.

Biden unwittingly exposed the cynical half of the #MeToo brigade who overlooked the credible accusations made by Tara Reade and disgracefully vilified a fellow survivor. It would seem Biden's celebrity supporters like Alyssa Milano will cynically exploit the victims of rape for political gain. They certainly show an alarming double-standard. It would seem you can only be #MeToo if you are centrist blue.

Imagine a racist who wants to represent the black community and a rapist who wants to represent rape victims. Such a man could only appeal to the desperate or hypocritical - and Biden will certainly exploit desperation and hypocrisy.

Biden and Obama are guilty of so many of the things the left hate about Republicans: they dropped more bombs than George Bush jr., they built ICE detainment centres and locked kids in cages, they deported human beings en masse, and they offered little to ordinary Americans. Their economic policies were corporatist, and while highly effective in terms of their intended outcomes, they largely ignored the working class. 

Biden and Obama had great opportunities in 2008 when they controlled the house and senate. They could have pushed through meaningful police reform, gun controls and universal healthcare. They could have stopped dropping bombs and ended prisons for profit. They could have done so much more to address poverty and inequality and create a system that works for the many. But they ignored obvious problems and now seem oblivious that their slide to the right made Trump possible. They allowed a situation where the left wasn't even in the Overton window, and when you do that, you make fascism a viable option to those who are disaffected and looking for something, anything better.

Some blue wave centrists still seem convinced the rot at the heart of America is the Republican Party as though the Democrats are not owned by the same corporate donors and vote the same way as Republicans on so many key issues. A study showed Republicans vote in favour of corporations over the people 100% of the time. Democrats only do so 97% of the time. Hardly a party of the people, is it? 

The one saving grace of the Democrats is the handful of bright young socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, but they are marginalised, vilified and even smeared as antisemites by their own party. This will sound eerily familiar to the left in Britain. There is much talk of pushing the Democrats left, but truth be told, they have no desire to be pushed left. They are conservatives.

The Democrats only gave AOC 60 seconds to speak at the Democrat Convention and they have failed to offer a single meaningful policy. Their message is "Vote for us to stop Trump". They are doubling down on the Hillary approach that failed so spectacularly in 2016. They're an optics party who hope to get away with lack of meaningful action and empty platitudes. They will say Black Lives Matter and take a knee, but will they take on corrupt police departments? Doubtful. 

Voter shaming is their key strategy and if they lose, they will blame the left like they did when Hillary Clinton lost. Somebody needs to tell them it's their job to win votes, and the left vote on policy, not platitudes. "Yes we can!" isn't going to work again, any time soon, certainly not without the charisma of an Obama and the ill-founded hope brought by America's first black President.

The Democrats' target audience is not the left, unfortunately, it's the centre-right. They assume they can take the left vote for granted because they have nowhere else to turn. They probably won't offer a single policy concession to the left, not even the desperately-needed Green New Deal, and when they lose, they will blame the left again.  So many readers from the UK must be wincing right now. They are witnessing the same in Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Corporatism is a disease which has infected both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the political spectrum.

I'm a big believer that you vote for the party over the person, for policies over public image, and I agree Trump needs to go, but surely voters must draw a line at some point - and that line must surely come at Joe Biden - a man who is barely distinguishable from the repugnant President Trump. How could anyone sleep at night knowing they voted for Trump's blue equivalent, especially after a seemingly rigged primary?

Biden has praised white supremacists, been credibly accused of rape, filmed sniffing hair, kissing heads and generally making women uncomfortable. When speaking to the public, he often shows a bullying, aggressive side to the most reasonable of questions. He said he has no sympathy whatsoever with students struggling with debt and told his corporate donors (who are mostly Republican donors) that nothing will fundamentally change. That is the most honest statement he's made in years.

If Joe Biden wins the presidency in November, America will see sadly little or no difference. They will still have a senile rapist corporatist who locks up children, allows the police to murder with impunity, oversees the world's largest prison population, let's people die from lack of healthcare, denies higher education to the poor, and allows corporations to endlessly fleece the public. They'll probably find an excuse to bomb some country too. Iran and Venezuela better watch out.

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Monday, 17 August 2020

Tories make Humiliating U-turn on Post Code Algorithm

 

All A-levels, AS levels and GCSEs in England are to be awarded based on teachers' predictions, rather than the controversial "post code algorithm". This algorithm had lowered the A-levels of 39.1% of students (who could not sit exams due to Covid) by as many as three grades. 

Most, if not all, of those affected appeared to be working class, with those from private schools seeing a 5% increase in their grades. This led to accusations of social cleansing - working class kids predicted straight A's had university offers rejected because an algorithm disapproved of their post code. Concern was growing that GCSE students were about to suffer the same unfairness.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously called the algorithm "robust" and education secretary Gavin Williamson said if results weren't standardised it: “would devalue the results for the class of 2020. But worse than that, it would mean that students this year would lose out twice over, both in their education and their future prospects.”

In other words, Williamson was suggesting the post code algorithm was helping students, despite its clear absurdities. It had for example downgraded a Spanish student, despite Spanish being his native tongue - the machine simply decided he was not fluent in Spanish because of his post code. It really seems like the algorithm was designed to keep the working class out of university - and if the process wasn't that cynical, it was staggeringly ill-conceived.

There have been widespread calls for Williamson to resign, but given the Prime Minister has not resigned, despite overseeing 80,000 excess Covid deaths, I'm not expecting a resignation any time soon, especially considering the toothlessness of the opposition leader. Indeed, Sir Keir Starmer has been almost mute on the scandal, leaving students to take matters into their own hands.

Student protests in London have heard chants of "Boris Johnson is a wanker!" and one brilliant sign read: "No Etonians were harmed during the making of this algorithm." 

Northern Ireland and Wales had earlier announced they would award grades based on teachers' predictions, meaning England would've been the outlier. Let's make no mistake, this U-turn was not the government recognising its mistake and choosing to do the right thing, it was the result of student pressure and a public outcry. Our voices made the difference.

The opposition seems missing in action, even when students are seeing their hard work undone and their futures stolen by a government of eugenicists. It's down to the people to be the opposition going forwards because it would seem both main parties are part of the same establishment machine. However, today is one fine example of the people fighting back and winning a rare victory.

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Friday, 14 August 2020

A Tory Algorithm is Stealing our Children's Futures

A-level students who could not sit exams due to Covid-19 have had their A-levels graded by a computer algorithm which is overruling teachers' predictions. The algorithm is basing its grades on school post codes, rather than the previous academic achievements of the child, such as performances in mock exams. As a result, 39.1% of students (about 280,000) from working class backgrounds have seen their A-levels downgraded, many from BAME communities. Some have unfathomably dropped three grades, yet no students from Eton have been downgraded. Private schools have actually seen their grades rise by 5%.

It would appear our racist and classist government has created a racist and classist algorithm to deny working class and BAME students opportunities. Clearly private schools and tuition fees were not enough to keep the riffraff away from the top jobs so they've taken further measures. These measures have resulted in top performing students seeing their university offers withdrawn. Disgraceful.

Social media has been rife with smug upper-class idiots like Jeremy Clarkson boasting how they received terrible A-level grades and still did okay. They neglect to mention their wealthy families, or that back in their day, the socialist ladder was well and truly in place until they kicked it down. Houses are unaffordable to young people now and higher education is inaccessible, leaving them with zero hours contracts and poverty wages. That is the reality for both Millennials and Gen Z.

According to my teachers, I was the most gifted kid in my high school and they would often tell me I'm destined for great things. Yet I had to drop out of college when I became homeless and this situation led to years of instability as doors were slammed in my face. People weren't willing to give me a job. I was forced to participate in medical research for money and I had nothing even approaching stability until my mid-twenties. This led to mental health issues, missed opportunities and massive underachievement. I was trapped, and smug idiots like Jeremy Clarkson who grew up in a different world really don't help when they patronise younger generations. Old Tories keep stealing pieces of our future and they wonder why the youth are being driven towards socialism.

The sections of the red wall which changed to blue in 2019 have been particularly hit by this scandal; their kids denied the chance to escape the poverty a decade of Tory rule has cemented. And the Prime Minister Boris Johnson is refusing to back down, calling the racist and classist post code algorithm "robust".

The government is refusing to use teachers' predictions or mock grades for students in England and the appeals process is said to be far from transparent. Plus I understand an unsuccessful appeal comes with a £100 charge! Scotland however has been awarding grades based on mock results and as such has not seen this problem.

Today's 18 year olds are being robbed of opportunities just like I was, and of course I empathise hugely. I've seen friends on social media telling me their straight A kids were "awarded" B's, C's or even D's. The Tories want drones working for poverty wages and they don't want privately educated kids filling those roles. They want your kids to fill those roles. That is the top and bottom of it.

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Reality Check: Refugees Are Not getting a Mansion and Sports Car

Empathy is always a good starting point in any situation. Empathy does not mean you must side with someone, just simply put yourself in their shoes, explore their range of possible motives and better understand their situation. If you do, more often than not, you will find yourself sympathising with that person a little more than you did. Most people have good intentions most of the time, even if our judgement sometimes fails us. We are human after all.

Much has been made recently of refugees crossing the English Channel in dinghies, almost as though it's a new phenomenon and not something that's been going on for 20 years or more. The sudden outburst of hysteria has been accompanied by claims to know the motives of these people who come from a diverse range of backgrounds from dirt poor to middle class, who come from various continents, fleeing civil war and terrorism and oppression, so much of which Britain's had a hand in.

We in Britain know who these people are, apparently. They're economic migrants! Invaders! Terrorists! They want to steal our jobs and live in mansions and claim our benefits! They want to destroy our way of life! Every single one of them! Sounds ridiculous when you say it aloud, doesn't it?

Now I would ask myself what would compel people to take such a perilous sea journey, crammed into a tiny dinghy which could easily capsize in rough seas. I can imagine many reasons for taking such a risk and claiming the £37.75 weekly refugee allowance is not among them!

Let's look at the situation in Syria, for example - a previously stable country which we decided to bomb, plunging it into one of the world's messiest civil wars and creating ISIS in the process. Yes, our intervention made ISIS possible - and now they have our weapons.

"Ah, but fighting age men should stay and fight!" conservatives roar.

Fight for who exactly? Last I read, there were at least 11 different sides in the Syrian conflict, all infiltrated by ISIS, all fighting with advanced weaponry, and all committing pretty horrible acts. How on Earth would you pick a side? And what is with the conservative idea of demanding people fight to the death anyway?

I wouldn't want to fight someone else's conflict just because we happened to be born on the same piece of land. If I was Syrian and trapped in the horror created by the west to oust Assad, does that mean I'd be expected to fight to the death for bad guys? Does it mean I'd have to leave my helpless family at home, waiting for the murderous hordes to arrive while I was killing people elsewhere?
Why would my family and I not deserve safety? Remember, those Syrians are just as human and just as innocent as my family, and they are trapped in an impossible situation.
So Syrian families do the natural thing, something they've every right to do under international law, under a treaty which Britain signed - they flee. And when they flee, they do the next perfectly natural thing - they look around to see which reachable country is suitable, which country they believe is most likely to provide a safe haven, job opportunities, which country may contain friends or family. Perhaps they already speak the language or have job qualifications which we're looking for.

And so they head to the most suitable destination, broke, terrified and facing many unknowns. All they ask for upon arrival is we hear them out and give them a fair chance to rebuild. And what happens when a tiny handful of these refugees reach our shores? They're told they've entered the country illegally, even though the 1951 Refugee Convention clearly states this cannot be held against them. They're told they should've stopped at the nearest safe country as though such a requirement exists under law (it doesn't), as though neighbouring countries should take all refugees and Britain should take none, as though refugees should get no say in where they rebuild their lives. We treat refugees like vermin and say we can't take them all, when in truth we take a tiny fraction and want to take none at all.

There are 26 million refugees in the world and Britain has taken just 120,000. That hardly counts as taking them all, does it? Half of refugees are under the age of 18. We are sneering at and vilifying children. Meanwhile, Turkey has taken over 1.5 million refugees, despite being significantly poorer than Britain. And don't give me that nonsense about Britain being full - our population density is 49th in the world. We have plenty of room, we just don't want to help black and brown people. Clearly, we see them as less deserving of sympathy.
But that's not fair! We care about genuine refugees, but these are economic migrants coming here illegally! All of them! We should blast these invaders out of the water! Real refugees would fly in by aeroplane!
Just listen to yourselves. There is nothing, I repeat nothing illegal about claiming asylum. Refugees aren't taking comfy trips to an airport because they do not have that option. They're scrambling from danger any way they can, even by dinghy. Often they have children with them and you bastards would blast them out the water? What is wrong with you?

Now I don't doubt for one second that some who reach these shores are not genuine refugees. That's why we have an asylum application process. You don't decide whether a refugee is genuine before they've even reached your shores, before you've even spoken to them. You certainly don't blast them out the water, you monsters. And no, your demand that France keeps every refugee is not a reasonable one and it has no legal basis. Don't believe me, speak to an immigration lawyer.

Genuine refugees have every right to be in Britain and they are not a financial burden. To put things in perspective, it costs Britain £790,000 to launch a single Stormshadow missile. That money can cover the weekly living allowance of 20,927 refugees. If we can afford to bomb their countries, we can bloody well afford to feed them.
Just imagine if we got as mad about the cost of a Stormshadow missile as the cost of feeding a desperate person.
The people who pre-judge refugees have invariably never met one, certainly never had a conversation with one or spent meaningful time around one. When you do this, you find the same thing every time: polite, friendly, charming people who are so relieved to be safe and just want to contribute to our society. They desperately want to work but are told they can't until their asylum application is processed. They are traumatised and terrified of returning home, but they are also incredibly resilient, having gone to enormous lengths and shown enormous courage to get here. And it's to our shame we treat them so horribly.
It's worth remembering Albert Einstein was a refugee. And Anne Frank had her application rejected.
Refugees are not living in mansions, they are not jumping any queues, they are not getting free sports cars, and they are certainly not getting the most generous benefits in the world. Our weekly refugee allowance of £37.75 is half the £77.50 they would get in France. And once a refugee has been given leave to remain, even if they do end up claiming Universal Credit, our benefits system is actually one of the least generous in Europe. 

Have you ever claimed Universal Credit? I have and it was shit.

In short, no one is coming here to live off the tax payer. It's just not happening. On the contrary, our migrant population has higher rates of employment, pays more tax and commits less crime. These people are coming here and they are... becoming good citizens actually.

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Sunday, 9 August 2020

BREAKING: Dawn Butler Claims she was Racially Profiled by Police

Labour MP Dawn Butler has announced on Twitter she was stopped by the Metropolitan Police in Hackney and she recorded the entire incident on her phone. Butler has been a vocal critic of police profiling and frequently calls out institutional racism. She has also spoken in support of Black Lives Matter.

The footage of the encounter showed Butler accuse a police officer of racial profiling and claim this creates animosity. The police officer explained Butler was stopped because her car was not registered in the area. Butler insisted her car did not have to be registered in the area, calling it a "ridiculous way to police" and unnecessarily "time consuming". 

Butler commented that another police officer joined the conversation and inflamed the situation by complaining they could not see what was in the back of Butler's car. Butler insisted the police did not need to see what was in the back of her car.

Butler says she felt the first police officer was polite, but the second police officer was patronising. She said it's a bad way to treat people and exhausting to deal with. She insisted we "don't actually have a police state" and can drive "anywhere we want", adding institutional racism is "cancerous" and needs to be cut out of the police force.

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