Happy New Year from Little Nicky Machiavelli.
There are plans to really stir things up in ’07 so stay with the blog.
Happy New Year from Little Nicky Machiavelli.
There are plans to really stir things up in ’07 so stay with the blog.
Armpits (or oxties if you are Scottish)are looking like the next big battleground in the ongoing war in America between Secular society and religious fundamentalism.
Are women who don’t shave their armpits or wax their bikini line lacking moral fibre. Or are the men who claim primary and secondary pubic hair is an abomination before the Lord and demand that adult women take on the appearance of prepubescent girls really just a bunch of closet pervs?
You can join the debate at echidneofthesnakes
Seems like a good one to get the argumentitive juices flowing. I do not actually have an opinion on the advantages or otherwise of removing hair but I am against women being pressured into going against nature purely to conform with some man’s self righteous obsessions.
If there is one thing politicians do well its shoot themselves in the foot (or, if American, shoot their friends in the face.)
You would think by now, with British troops bogged down in wars of attrition in Iraq and Afghanistan, that all politicians great and small would understand weapons analogies are a very bad idea.
But no, in an address to party workers who provide support for Members of Parliament, Hazel Blears told her audience “we in government are the front line, your job is to make the bullets for us to fire…”
And shoot themselves in the foot no doubt.
Do our wonderful government ever take a break from working flat out to keep us in a state of blissful ignorance. Even on Christmas day they are squirreling away burying bad news. Well let’s face it, if 9/11 was seen by Blair’s government as a good day to bury bad news 12/25 is a thousand times better.
And so over the weekend when the great British public are catatonic after overdosing on everything the news broke that the British Army had attacked the headquarters of the Iraqi police serious crimes squad in Basra.
Now the Iraqis may have a quirky understanding of the role of a serious crimes squad but what this event means is that we, the coalition are now not just at war with terror, truth, insurgency and various nationalist militias, but with the security forces of the Iraqi government (which you may remember was imposed on Iraq by the American / British coalition).
Yes, our boys are attacking those very security forces that a few months ago we were told would be ready to take over responsibility for “homeland security” in Iraq sometime in 2007. The reason for the attack? The serious crimes squad was a bunch of corrupt and depraved torturers, extortionists, rapists, thugs, racketeeers and thieves. Just like Saddam’s government then.
But the real reason the news had to be buried under the fallout from twenty million Christmas dinners. Simple, it shouts more clearly than anything has so far that we, the western alliance, have lost the war.
Unfortunately my creation Happy Jack Doomsday was not eligible as he is not a real person so Spiked online had named Gordon Brown as miserablist of the year.
“With his dour personality, dour politics and dour outlook on life he is a worthy winner,” the announcement said.
It makes the Labour plan for a seamless succession from discredited Blair to depressing seem unlikely, even more so when you recall it was the “feelgood factor that carried Labour to their election victories.
AN INTERESTING READ on another pressing social problem, anto social behaviour among young people can be found here. The writer of the letter reprinted on my friend Teri Rotherham’s blog is a teenager in the old Yorkshire steel town Rotherham.
Political commentators like myself sometimes despair, you can hear us in the silent depths of the night singing in unison “Things Will Never Get Better.”
Causes for such hopelessness are many and varied. Take the leaked Downing Street memo that acknowledged (at last) the electorate think the government are a bunch of incompetent two faced clowns intent on stuffing their faces, lining their pockets and ennobling their best mates at the taxpayers expense mainly because the government are a bunch of incompetent clowns etc.
All well and good had it not been topped on the same day by a new batch of ministerial stupidities. Top of the heap was the warning to lazy idle good – for – nothings from Work and Pensions minister John Hutton. Hutton said that the “can work, won’t work culture of the long term unemployed will be brought to an end by cuts in their benefits.
Erm… forgive me for being churlish enough to mention this Mr. Hutton but I rather thought the recent rises in unemployment were the result of a failure to take action against greedy employers who export jobs to the far east to take advantage of the cheap labour available there.
Hutton says the “hardcore of claimants” are failing to compete with East European migrants for jobs.
I wonder has he thought that British people with British expectations may lack the basic skills to fill the jobs being taken by East European migrants? Skills such as the ability to subsist on £2 per hour for example.
This week we have dealt with news of the violent deaths of five young women who made their living as prostitutes in Ipswich, Suffolk.
The serial killing of sex workers is a problem that returns to haunt us every so often. But unless we are facing the grim reality of a spate of grisly and sadistic murders, society is too ready to pretend the problem does not exist.
The fact is prostitutes are being murdered and violated all the time. A single murder is so commonplace it hardly makes the national news. “Oh well, they’re only prozzers aren’t they, low rent street girls, crack hos?” Their very existance is enough to offend the delicate sensibilities of the morally righteous and so, forced to go below the radar these women (and men) find themselves living outside the protection of the law.
We must remember though, sex workers are people first and prostitutes only through circumstance. Those for whom commercial sex is a voluntary career choice tend to operate at the high end of the market because they are good looking, articulate, well dressed and well mannered. All these things add up to make choices to do with self preservation available to them.
It is harder to see the street girls of Ipswich as people we can warm to. But they are human beings.
Since the eighteenth century, politicians and opinion makers of all flavours have been trading on piety and yet for all their preachy words and moralising pamphlets, drunkenness, drugs and prostitution will not go away. They are linked, the punters are often drunks, the girls are not insatiable nymphs but have been lured into addiction by pimps and dealers so they are virtual slaves. It is high (sorry, no pun intended) time we all stopped being hypocritical about prostitution and drugs and demanded decriminalisation of drug users and of brothels and street sex workers. Then the addicts can get help and not be forced to subject themselves to risk in order to to fund their habit and the more enlightened councils in concert with the police can establish safe zones where girls, freed from the fear of prosecution may operate with some degree of protection.
Unfortunately it always takes the activities of a serial killer to bring this debate into the open. But should five violent deaths be needed to trigger our awareness? If one human being dies alone, in pain and terror because society has failed to protect a vulmerable minority it is one too many.
This time we must make sure “polite society” faces up to the realities of life.
Little Nicky’s slings and arrows of outrageous mockery are usually aimed at the “great and good” of the New Labour project. So it is understandable that some readers feel we are a tad unfair in branding all New Labour supporters with the same mark. There are still, I am sometimes told, decent hard – working councillors out there doing sterling work in the town halls.
Take for example Steve Bullock, Labour mayor of the London Borough of Lewisham.
Las year there was a battle in the borough when the Labour council decided to close and demolish the popular Ladywell baths to make way for a new school to be built under a PFI contract.
The baths were immensely popular with residents and a Save Ladywell Pool (SLaP for PR purposes we hope) campaign was organised. During the campaign which enjoyed almost unanimous support from the public Mr. Bullock repeatedly issued statements to the effect that the council had made the right decision and he would no be changing his mind. He even went so far as to tell the local paper that opposition to the “project” (everything is a project with these people) was confined to a “small group of pathetic, backward looking people.”
Since then Labour has lost control of Lewisham council, proving the old political maxim “round here they’d vote for a dog turd if you stick a Labour rosette on it,” no longer holds true in London.
Last month when the new council announced the baths would stay open and the school be built elsewhere (Alabama for preference) Mr. Bullock’s press release burbled “its great news, the result I was always striving for,” and went on to say the campaign’s success was an example of how the campaingn was an example of how local people, working together, could make their voice heard in the decision making process.
I did have a bon-mot prepared to finish but it has slipped my mind. I think the words “bastard” and “two – faced” were part of it.
What are we to make of the Government’s plans to relax regulations that restrict building on green belt land? Is it another great step forward in building a modern , go-getting britain alble to comete in the world of the future. Or should we see this green light for property delelopers and profiteers to build what the hell they like, where the hell they like, when the hell they like as proof, if any were needed that all the weasel words about caring compassionate government, about environmental awareness and about redistributive policies to alleviate poverty are just eyewash splashed about by Blair and his sychophants. The government seem to be hellbent on creating a nation in which only the super rich can aspire to the quality of life that comes with a decent environment and hope to enjoy the dignity and self esteem that makes possible, so let us remember this is a LABOUR government and let’s remind them of the words of that grreat Labour politician Aneurin Bevan, “poverty of aspiration leads to poverty of spirit.”
Poverty of spirit, already seen among the young, the disadvantaged urban poor and some minorities will spread then as people find themselves forced into mortgage slavery until our country is as hopelessly, as horribly divided as the U.S.A. where the affluent already live in closed “communities” where they, their homes and families are protected by armed guards.
Little Nicky Machiavelli will soon launch a passive restistance website where you will beable to contribute information about big business scams going on in your area and how you may help to resist them.
And remember when labour politicians talk about “the people” they only mean the very very rich people.
The Guardian Comment Is Free Blog yesterday featured a story asking what happened to dissent on Trident.
A blog on The Guardian’s Comment Is Free page yesterday raised the question of what has happened to the anticipated dissent in Labour ranks over the decision to renew Trident. Why are the voices of those erstwhile CND champions such as Hain, Becket, Harman, Straw, Benn so silent?
You may recall from earlier in the week my tetchiness when a commenter asked why I found it so necessary to be negative against New Labour.
Well here is the answer, this bogus party of frauds and hypocrites have betrayed every principle Labour ever stood for, assiduously sucking up to big money and big power. They have introduced stealth taxes on the poor while organising tax breaks for the rich, they have begun the breakup and privatisation of the health service, covering this betrayal by the deception of bogus statistics.
They have “reorganised” the education system constantly until the only thing holding schools together is the fact that if all the teachers left en-masse most would have difficulty finding jobs. I personally know three teachers who have taken early retirement on health grounds due to stress related problems.
Instead of being the party of peace and international co-operation they are now the party of was and oppression, slavishly following America’s isolationist foreign policies.
They have turned the police into revenue collecting bureaucrats, in the process abandoning the streets to lawlessness.
And now they plan to allow greedy property developers to tear up our green spaces and build what the hell they like where the hell they like.
But we will cover that one tomorrow.
New Labour are now well to the right of the BNP, a party that now has more political integrity than Blair’s bogus shower. Because, repugnant as the BNP’s policies are to most of us, at least they are honest enough to tell us what they really stand for.
And for anyone who wants to tell me we should be grateful we live in a free society where we can take the right to free speech for granted, before you hit the keyboard
checkout this post at New Media Cultures blog
Ayoop readers, oop ‘ere in ‘t north there used to be a saying “what Manchester ( / Liverpool / Leeds / Bradford etc.) does today London will do tomorrow.
Though I am as convinced as any good Lancastrian of the superiority of all things north of Birmingham I sincerely hope this is no longer true.
The area health authority responsible for Greater Manchester has in its infinite wisdom decided to consolidate the vast conurbation’s five specialised Children’s Hospitals into one. The current locations are dotted around the cities major centres (remember that as well as Manchester itself, Greater Manchester contains Bolton, Wigan, Stockport, Oldham and Salford, all big towns in their own right,) so that the families of sick children can easily visit.
The plan is a fraud, the cash crisis being blamed for these closure threats is manufactured by stupid accounting methods. And as you might have guessed there is a huge Private Finance Initiative project to replace the hospitals with one centralised unit lurking in the wings.
In future when the scheme is implemented everybody will have to travel to the same central location. The five current hospitals are delivering the first class care all sick children need and making possible that other necessity, family support. Adults may be able to rationalise a scarcity of visits with the fact that specialist services cannot be provided in all local hospitals but children need to be reassured they have not been abandoned to their illness. Modern children may come across as arrogant little gobshites but in reality but underneath they are probably more insecure and emotionally fragile than my generation were fifty years ago. And so children in hospital need a lot of support from parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, friends and the whole extended network.
Unfortunately and inconveniently for the government bean counters behind this cost cutting scam, being ill is not confined to children from affluent, double – income families. Kids from single parent homes or of disabled, unemployed or just plain poorly paid parents are as likely, probably more likely to get sick.
Parents in such situations can ill afford frequent difficult and expensive trips across the city and so their children will suffer. No matter what we think of the parents, workshy skivers, drunken no-marks, trollops who don’t know how to keep their knickers on, it is not the children’s fault; they did not choose their parents.
As usual with this shoddy and dishonest government, deception, bureaucracy and bean counting take precedence over humane considerations.
Now the headline said children will suffer as a result. It will be difficult to link any deaths to this policy so we will have to save that for the threatened A & E closures (commented on here several weeks ago – as usual Little Nicky Machiavelli was ahead of the game) but children will suffer physical stress and parents will suffer emotional trauma as a result of the insane accounting methods this LABOUR government has imposed on the NHS in order, we believe, to prepare the health service for full privatisation based on the American model.
Read the NEWS STORY here
Little Nicky will expose the bogus accounting methods in the next few days. You know folks, when it comes to cooking the books our Government make the guys behind Enron and Worldcom look like effing amateurs
Little controversy going on in the UK blogosphere. Apparently some group of neo – con commentators are trying to get humour excluded from the UK blogger of the year poll.
Girl With A One Track Mind knows all about it so if you want to get involved in the shouting visit her by clicking the link.
Last week was rather difficult in the family home, with an extra person and an extra flatful of furniture to accomodate. So for a couole of days Little Nicky, chasing a record month for hits, resorted to a few cheap jibes at Government malfeasance rather than going for the usual withering expose of The Facts They Don’t Want You To Know.)
Perhaps because of this the blog earned its first comment from a New Labour activist. Remember New Labour folks, the bogus brand this neocon shower sold itself as? “New Labour, New Logo, Old Thatcherism.”)
But our New Labour visitor was not happy with what he read, oh no. Little Nicky Machiavelli’s blog is not on message (“message” being Blair is not Bush’s poodle but a brilliant statesman who weilds enormous influence over the American administration, the Iraq war is a resounding success and has liberated that country from tyranny so they can beging building a western style democracy, Blair’s enlightened policies have solved the crises of law and order, education and inner city decay, Gordon Brown is not a bent accountant cooking the books to hide the massive hole in the economy but a financial wizard and but for those nasty doctors and nurses Labours healthcare by box ticking would have solved the NHS crisis too, resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.”
Yes our visitor from the New Labour camp wants intellectual debate on these lines.
If anybody actually belives any of that they have the mindset of a doorstep evangelist.
But our visitor’s comment concluded by saying that the cheap, tablod style opinions of the blogosphere are unworthy and we should all get back to informed debated.
Informed we guess by New Labour’s tabloid owning paymaster.
Little Nicky will make you regular readers a promise. No more Mr. Nice Guys, the gloves are off and we are out to expose this shoddy gang of shysters for the liars and crooks they are.
BTW how do you know when New Labour MPs is lying – their lips are moving. Just thought I would throw in a cheap, shoddy tabloid style one liner, paraphrased from the New Labour house journal.
Gordon Brown has many times promised action to deal with the pensions time bomb. People assume this means he will do something to relive the plight of hard up pensioners whose retirement funds were decimated by the Governments plundering of their pension schemes. It is always dangerous to jump to conclusions.
On the back of Brown’s latest blether about the poor pensioners comes a revelation that the Polonium Chancellor is planning another raid on pensions funds to help cover up the hole in the economy his crooked figures can no longer hide and to ensue funds are available to cover the bungs, graft and payola promised to CEOs of Private Finance Initiative partners.
So how can big Gordy lie with a straight face about his plans to end pensioner poverty. Unless of course upping the payouts is not what he has in mind. Given the fascist tendencies of New Labour anything is possible but what we suspect is a so very Machiavellian even Little Nicky Machiavelli is shocked. Have you noticed those big, grey, windowless boxes going up on the outskirts of towns, the ones with sinister looking flues next to them?
Could the be the “shower blocks” of new leisure centres for the elderly and poor?
It would certainly solve the problem and even taking into account recent hikes in the price of gas, the cost is hardly a consideration.
(If you are thinking Little Nicky is being rather hard on the Prime Malefactor in waiting, I believe this man has sold his soul to the demon of Blair’s legacy, so great is his ambition. There is not a milligram of moral fibre or a sliver of socialist principle visible in any of his speeches or essays.)
Over at Libertarian Musings they asked why on earth we need to replace Trident as the deterrent will never be used. The answer is simple.
Its basic anthropology, you see it is not about security, its about status. In the world of big time politics your status depends on the size of your weapon.
Now Bush has the biggest nuclear arsenal, check out that walk. Shoulders back, arms spread, hips thrust forward, he’s saying “oi, shut your mouth and look at the size of my weapon.”
Blair can’t match him of course but he still wants to walk wih a bit of a swagger so he needs a decent sized weapon to show off.
The leaders of nations like Luxembourg of couse just have to creep around with bowed heads and hunched shoulders hoping nobody notices them.
Its all very paleolithic in nature. Of course evolution and wearing trousers has deprived our leaders of the ability to grow big red arses so they have to do the next best thing
I used to think Gordon Brown had a bit more about him than the arch – war – criminal but during the Chancellor’s spot on TVAM this morning I had to change my opinion. While talking to Fiona Phillips who’s interviewing technique is as incisive as an angora sweater GB suggested that we are letting down our young people by failing to “invest in them.”
Promising to “reform the education system” (what again? how many times is that in the past three years?) he revealed that India and China are churning out 4 million graduates a year against our 250,000.
But hang on, don’t India and China each have a population of around 1.2 billion against our 60 million. That’s 20 times more people. Which by the Brown criteria means they should be producing 5 million graduates a year.
So actually we are doing rather well by our young people. We do not need to raise taxes or open any new Universities.
But with a man with such a stupendously astute head for figures in charge of the treasury doesn’t it make you wonder just how fucked the economy really is?
Our old friends in the pharmaceutical industry are feeding us material again. BigPharma cartel leaders Pfizer are pulling a new drug that was billed as offering a way to cut deaths by heart attack and artereo – sclerosis by reducing levels of “bad cholesterol.”
Clinical trials were ended abruptly when it was revealed that against 51 deaths in the control group, in the group taking the new drug which bears the sci-fiesque name torcetrapib (yes, a close relative of the character Peter Kay played in Dr. Who) 82 people died during the period of the trial. That is a pretty spectacular failure even by drug trial standards. We could even say the drug almost qualifies as a weapon of mass destruction.
As well as dealing a blow to Pfizer’s stock market valuation the news also deals a blow to those eager young medics who have been earning megabungs from the BigPharma cartel for debunking “alternative health.”
By now almost everybody must know that the best way to keep your arteries scrubbed clean is through regular, moderate exercise – a twenty minute walk twice a day is enough, and by eating more vegetables, pulses and whole grains. And MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL avoid processed foods such as refined sugars and starches and hydrogenated fats.Click the link to read The Food Poison Industry by Michael St, Mark.
If you are really keen you can use natural (wine or cider) vinegar which makes delicious salad dressings and also enjoy a slurp or two of wine a day (sheer torture that.:))
Its much more fun and the only people you are hurting are the shareholders in drug firms.
A few weeks ago Little Nicky reported on attempts by The Mayor of London, King Kenute to turn back the tide of climate change through gesture politics. At that time King Kenute was promising to introduce a prohibitive congestion charge for Chelsea Tractors, Limos and erm… Ford Mondeos.
Machiavelli blog said this would only prompt drivers of gas guzzlers to park outside the congestion charge zone and take taxis.
Peter Preston writing in today’s Guardian has revealed that London’s Black Cabs, which have enjoyed a boom since the congestion charge was brought in, are among the dirtyest vehicles on the road )and we are not talking about those rather dubious stains on the seat next to you.)
Preston quotes figures showing that the average Metrocab farts out more pollution than a Range Rover Freelander and that Black Cabs are responsible for 24% of the fine particle emmissions in Central London. Fine particle pollution is of course associated with asthma and many other health problems.
So let’s set aside King Kenute’s hyperbole about reducing pollution, what he is actually doing is increasing it.
The “on message” spinmongering of New Labour would have us believe that taxes on road use are the only way of combating pollution, reducing congestion and getting us back into public transport. The party line is that taxis are public transport.
This is a typical misrepresentation. Taxis are private transport. I used to ride around London in cabs quite a lot and never once on hailing a cab and sayuing “take me to Kensington High Street did I hear the driver yell out of his open window “any more for Kensington High Street.”
Anti congestion schemes that will reduce pollution and improve mobility around our cities, especially for the disadvantaged, are the tramway systems begun in several northern conurbations and uncerimoniously stomped on by this shabby and dishonest government.
Read the original article
A Queue of Black Crows by Peter Preston
Ken Livingstone’s Policies Are As Dodgy As His Tax Returns
Theres an interesting post at Pandangon today about a Muslim recently elected to the US Congress who wants to swear the loyal oath on the Koran rather than the Bible.
As one would expect the American religious right are up in arms about it.
As one of the commenters points out the U.S. Constitution says that the oath is to the American republic and only requires that the person giving it raise their right hand and say “I swear to uphold the Constitution and laws of the U.S.A.
So why the fuss? Well because there are elements close to government within the US who would make that nation into a one religion state. And if they are not opposed now we could see civil war in the U.S.A. within a decade.
And then we would really have to crap ourselves about Weapons Of Mass Destruction.