politics

Gone into a different world 


What’s up, people?

Much talk has been about Trump and that whole obstruction of justice thing. Sessions not being able to remember what he ate for breakfast and the Deputy Attorney General possibly having to recuse himself and much more.

Shit, does it ever stop? I get that it’s in everyone’s interest to know all of this but can the US media give themselves a Trump amnesty period or something?

It was also Trump’s birthday this week and as Trevor Noah put it, it feels like we’ve all aged 70 years.

Anyway, for those of us in the UK, the most important story has been the high rise tower, Grenfell Tower, that burned down in North Kensington, London. So far 30 people have been confirmed dead, but we’ve been told that number will rise. The entire situation is so very sad. It makes me sick to my stomach, it really does. My heart goes out to everyone caught up in the fire. Things like this shouldn’t happen at all.

The government are making the right noises. There will be money provided, people will be rehoused, there will be a public enquiry. None of that is good enough. People shouldn’t have to die for change to happen.

At the moment, much is being made of the £10m refurbishment the building underwent last year. That’s a lot of money, right? You don’t spend that much, do a good job and somehow it’s not your fault when the building burns down a year later. All parties involved have been slowly washing their hands of the matter. It’s sickening, really. Complaints and concerns are well documented online. The authorities were told but nothing was done.

It’s a familiar story.

The problem with London is that there’s two versions. Often these two versions co-exist. So, you’ll have social housing on one side of a street and £1m on the other side. You have Central London and all of the nice buildings and stores, you know, the nice touristy places that look good on Instagram. The places that some Londoners can’t afford to go to.

The disparity is sort of ridiculous. I can’t remember the last new social housing project I saw, but I remember the new luxury flats because they’re everywhere. Every. Where. It always annoys me because you’ve got people in these areas that need affordable housing, and what’s being built is anything but affordable.

The sense is always that they want to push lower class people out of these areas and in light of an incident like this, it’s hard not to see some truth in that. Kensington is a very rich borough. Celebrities have properties there, oil tycoons have properties there, politicians, anyone with money.

However, none of that trickles down to the less well off.

Here’s just a few comments from those affected:

“They want people like us out of the area,” said a library assistant who lives in a block at the foot of the flats.

Beinazir Lasharie, a resident and local Labour councillor, said: “We’re a nuisance to the council. Their attitude is: ‘How dare so many ethnic minority foreigners who are not well off live in these ugly flats?’” Lasharie had been evacuated from her flat in a block next to the tower, and was uncertain about when she could return. “They don’t care about us, they don’t listen to us. It’s as if they want us to move out. They are socially cleansing us across the borough.”

“Kensington and Chelsea has looked after its rich tenants very well. It hasn’t looked after its social housing tenants so well.”

From this article in The Guardian, this person notes that:

If you go to different areas in Kensington, you can see a lot of money being invested in that area, but whatever we have here, they cut it. And everything they build here is private. If you go further down this road, it feels like you have gone into a different world.

That’s not unique to Kensington, and quite frankly, while Grenfell Tower should be the immediate priority, every single borough needs to update their fire safety regulations and actually do something about the state of some the housing the provide.

The fact that these people were in a constant state of danger in a place where they should have been the safest is sickening, and no amount of apologies or money is going to change that. Apparently, the government just can’t be bothered. They will make the right noises and spend years going through what really happened, but what people need is action. 

If these buildings are no longer safe or for to live in, they need to be knocked down and replaced. Not cladded with cheap materials.

Material used in the cladding that covered the Grenfell Tower was the cheaper, more flammable version of the two available options, an investigation of the supply chain has confirmed.

German construction companies have been banned from using plastic-filled cladding, such as Reynobond PE, on towers more than 22 metres high since the 1980s when regulations were brought in to improve fire safety at residential blocks.

[source]

One MP called it corporate manslaughter. It’s hard to argue with that assessment.

~

Have a safe weekend, snarklings. May the world suck less next week.

Mama Said Knock You Out


So, the results are all counted and…

The 2017 general election has resulted in a hung parliament.

People were surprised but anyone with low expectations was over the moon.

Jeremy Corbyn was rightly pleased with his performance. Labour did way better than anyone expected them to. And they were clever about it. They basically got the young to vote. I saw a theory that this was all about the forgotten voice of the Remainers, and maybe it was. After all there’s 48% of them and Theresa May has spent the past year calling them bitter losers.

A hugely strengthened Jeremy Corbyn has been praised by friend and foe alike, after his stunning success in denying Theresa May a Commons majority.

The Labour leader was hailed by everybody from trade union leaders and a Hollywood star to former Blairite giants Peter Mandelson and David Miliband.

One exiled Labour rising star, Chuka Umunna, said he would like to return to the shadow cabinet, admitting he had changed his mind about Mr Corbyn, because of the election result.

Jeremy Corbyn isn’t in the best position on Brexit, but given that he survived a leadership contest, criticism from his own party members, multiple resignations, end to end negative coverage from the media (many of which conceded that they were wrong to judge him harshly), false accusations, I think it’s safe to say that he won the most.

In the poetic words of LL Cool J…

Don’t call it a comeback, I been here for years
Rocking my peers and putting suckas in fear
Making the tears rain down like a monsoon
Listen to the bass go boom
Explosion, overpowering
Over the competition, I’m towering
Wrecking shop, when I drop
These lyrics that’ll make you call the cops
Don’t you dare stare, you better move
Don’t ever compare
Me to the rest that’ll all get sliced and diced
Competition’s paying the price

Listen to the bass go boom, indeed.

Anyway, most of my thoughts while I tuned into the last few hours of the count was that Theresa May would go. I wanted her resignation the way I usually want cake. Badly. Desperately.

Obviously it didn’t happen, which leads me into….

To go back to the beginning, there are 650 seats or something in the UK government. Each seat represent a constituency, so for example, Theresa May’s constituency is Maidenhead, which she won. Although, she was up against Lord Buckethead

Lord Buckethead describes himself as an “intergalactic space lord, running to be an independent Member of Parliament for Maidenhead”. “[I] enjoy planet-conquering, dominating inferior species, and Lovejoy,” he said.

….and Elmo. What can I say, it was a close race (not really).

Mr Fishfinger also gets an honourable mention.

Anyway, they needed 326 seats to have a majority (which they already had before!). They only got 318, hence the hung parliament. It’s being seen as a huge blow because the whole point was so she could be all like, ‘FUCK YEAH, BREXIT!’ without anyone having a day.

That went balls up because they’re on shakier ground and it’s all their fault. Poetic justice doesn’t really sum it up. So I was all happy about that, and I went to sleep hoping that Tee-Tee would get her P45 in the morning.

I woke up up to something even more horrific.

Some kind of informal issue-by-issue coalition deal with DUP.

I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of the DUP. When I think of Northern Ireland, I think of Sinn Fein, but alright. I did the research and…

The Democratic Unionist Party are the anti-abortion pro Brexit party of climate change deniers who don’t believe in LGBT rights who Theresa May needs to prop up her failing governement.

Based in Northern Ireland they are the fifth largest party in Westminster with 10 seats

From this article in the Mirror, the DUP are:

  • anti-abortion
  • Climate change deniers
  • Former terrorists — the terrorist group Ulster Resistance was founded by a collection of people who went on to be prominent DUP politicians.
  • They controversially oppose same sex marriage and have limited enthusiasm for LBGT rights.

Who’s the terrorist sympathiser now?

Anyway, complete and utter lunacy aside, Northern Ireland don’t actually have a government right now. Sinn Fein and the DUP had some sort of agreement to co-exist. At least until a huge energy scandal broke out and Sinn Fein were like, ‘well, we’re not messing with you until you change some shit up’.

Guess who’s supposed to be mediating that particular debacle?

Per Alistair Campbell:

She is playing fast and loose, on Brexit, on Margaret Thatcher’s greatest achievement the single market and now Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s greatest achievement which is the peace in Northern Ireland.

“She is putting that at risk with a sordid, dangerous distasteful deal.

“We have a situation in the Northern Ireland right now where there has been a political crisis where the Government is the mediator with theIrish government between the DUP and Sinn Fein.

“How can our government be the mediator when the DUP are going to be part of our government?”

Siiiiigh.

Meanwhile, in the US….

…the boy who cried wolf.

I am all Comey’d out at the moment but the hearing was an interesting watch.

Have a good weekend, snarklings!

That Girl Is On Fire


I will just jump right into it.

An all-natural treatment for women looking to rejuvenate and tighten their vagina is giving doctors serious cause for concern – ground-up wasp nests.

The Etsy retailer that Dr Gunter found selling the oak galls – Heritage Health Shop – claimed that they could improve sex lives and be used on cuts with a warning that the paste will hurt.

“Here’s a pro-tip, if something burns when you apply it to the vagina it is generally bad for the vagina,” Dr Gunter added.

You can read more about this here if you’re so inclined. I personally have nothing to add because I REFUSE. REFUUUUUUUUSE.  Absolutely refuse to believe that any woman would be this fucking stupid.  (more…)

What a typo to be alive


I tend to get a bunch of news alerts while not on my phone, and one I got today was about the horrible terrorist attack in Afghanistan. The numbers I saw were 80 dead and 350 injured. I flicked through my news apps but it was buried under stuff about Trump and climate change, Macron, UK election news etc.

I went on BBC, just to see what else was going on and stumbled onto an article about what ‘covfefe‘ meant.

I was trying to kill time so I saw through it, my frown burrowing as the article got decreasingly funny.

(more…)

He Ate The Best Chocolates


Hello snarklings!

Trump’s big boy trip threw up some more chance encounters. I think I read an article on USA Today that claimed that he had shown discipline on the trip and that the real drama would start as soon as he has access to FOX News again. Discipline? That’s like saying Tom is disciplined when he’s not chasing Jerry. But I admire their optimism.  (more…)

The Real World: Trump Administration: Week 17 – A little less conversation and a little more ignorance, please


wp-1485731527681.jpg

I’m back! Baaaack in the saddle again ~guitar riff~ ~headbang~ ~Tom Cruise-esque jump~

Anyway, let’s get down to it. I’ve missed a lot in my absence, but I’m just gonna cover what I’ve read in the past two days lol. Trump’s trip has sort of shoved all the other news to one side.  (more…)

Today’s Awkward B***shit 


What is this?! They could have stood to one side and watched but nope, they just had to get their awkward white grandpa dancing on. Dearie me. I may never recover from the secondhand embarrassment. 

Also:

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, has reportedly been identified as a “person of interest” in the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election.

It follows a report from the Washington Post that revealed the investigation into alleged collusion climbed to the highest levels of Trump’s administration, without going as far as saying who was under scrutiny.

…is anyone surprised? We all know that he’s basically running the country.

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, personally intervened in a $110 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia to get the Saudis a better deal, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

US officials say the Trump administration planned to announce $110 billion in sales of advanced military equipment and training to Saudi Arabia this weekend when Trump visits the country.

The package includes tanks, combat ships, missile-defense systems, radar and communications and cybersecurity technology. The announcement is expected Saturday. Officials providing details were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Much of the package builds on commitments made before Trump took office.

The Times reported that Kushner personally called the CEO of Lockheed Martin, Marillyn A. Hewson, to get the Saudis a better price on a sophisticated radar system that can shoot down ballistic missiles.

Charming.

After meeting with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Trump hailed the interaction as “tremendous” and said an arms deal signed between the two countries would lead to “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Jobs, jobs, jobs where, Donald? Repetition doesn’t make your claim any more believable. This isnt a game of Bloody Mary.

Not White, Not Allowed 


Yesterday’s B***shit

“It is not the colour of their skin, but the smell of the curry.”

Basically, this landlord in the UK refuses to rent his properties to anyone of Indian or Pakistani origin because of the smell. He also refuses to accept a whole bunch of other people, like people with kids under the age of 18, single parents, low income workers and people on housing benefits. 

What a charmer

Apparently asking a reasonable question is an arrestable offence.

A reporter was arrested and could face jail for asking Health Secretary Tom Price whether the new Trump healthcare bill will make it harder for domestic violence sufferers to obtain insurance.

Jeffry Young, a New York-based reporter from the non-profit Public News Service, was arrested by West Virginia police as he shadowed Mr Price and White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, holding out a recorder as he persistently asked about claims that insurers could refuse to service abuse survivors or could charge them substantially more.

Theresa May thinks the collapse of the pound was like rain on someone’s wedding day. 

At a Canary Wharf press conference, she delivered this Donald Trump-esque gem of a paragraph: “If you look at what happened to sterling, sterling had started to fall back before the referendum vote came through. So there have been adjustments to sterling. It isn’t just that sterling has gone down. We’ve seen currencies move around as currencies do.”

Today’s Bullshit.

cancelled because I have a headache –

I wish we could just cancel politics. It’s a never ending stream of bullshit. 

Blech, I need to take a shower | today’s b***shit (16th May) 


So you know how news broke that Trump leaked important information to the Russians? And how his surrogates denied it all? One person claimed that they were in the room and it didn’t happen. 

Trump has news for y’all!

Honestly, it’s refreshing that Trump was like, ‘Fuck it, yeah, I did it, so what?’ instead of crying fake news. Probably because he knows the information is solid…

😂

Someone needs to put Trump on Twitter time out. 

You’ve Got Memo

Apparently, he asked Comey back in February to end the investigation into Russia/Michael Flynn because Flynn is a “good guy”.

Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn during an Oval Office visit in February, the New York Times has reported.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” the President said to Mr Comey during that meeting, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

This is how the honest do business politics.

The Diary of Kellyanne Conway

Basically, she is all about the Benjamins because someone has uploaded a supercut of her criticising Trump for the very things he now pays her to defend.

– the lowdown –

On Monday’s show, Brzezinski said that when Conway appeared on “Morning Joe” during the campaign, she would praise Trump on air, then “the camera would be turned off, the microphone would be taken off, and she would say ‘Blech, I need to take a shower,’ because she disliked her candidate so much.” Scarborough said that Conway suggested that she was taking the job for the money.

KC’s response:

The hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe have become virulent critics of the President and those close to him,” Conway said. “Ignoring insults and insinuations is a valuable skill. But when sentiments are attributed to me that are not true, it is necessary to respond.”

The notion that I am serving for ‘the money’ or a ‘paycheck’ is absurd. As campaign manager, I made a fraction of what other consultants have made on unsuccessful presidential campaigns,” Conway wrote. “Then I walked away from dozens of opportunities for millions or dollars, and instead walked into the White House. I would do it again.”

First of all, who was offering her millions of dollars? Girl, please. Secondly, she’s a liar. That’s basically it. Trump seems to surround himself with people who as morally corrupt as he is. 

Meanwhile in the UK…

Labour (opposition party) can’t seem to figure out what their benefits policy is. 

Labour’s benefit payments policy is in “chaos” this afternoon after the party struggled to agree if it would scrap the freeze on welfare.

Which is a shame because

The government faces outrage after it was accused of setting a target to turn down the vast majority of benefit appeals.

Critics branded the system a “sham” after the policy was released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The row involves Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) – internal reviews people must go through if their claims for welfare are rejected, before they can launch a full appeal.

MRs were already under fire because they are far less likely than full appeals to end in victory.

Now it’s been revealed staff have a performance measure that says 80% of decisions “are to be upheld” – in other words, MRs reject 80% of claims.

This is all stuff that most of us knew but it’s still disgusting. 

White Privilege

A budding heart surgeon studying at Oxford University who knifed her boyfriend during a violent row could avoid jail because of her “extraordinary” talent, a judge has said. Oxford Crown Court Judge Ian Pringle said that a custodial sentence, which would normally be meted out for such a crime, would prevent Lavinia Woodward from embarking on her chosen career – a sentence, which he said was, “too severe”. It was stated at the court, where the 24-year-old admitted to a charge of unlawful wounding, that she met her victim on Tinder before she launched into her attack on 30 September. The judge heard how she punched the man and swiped at him with a bread knife after drinking and taking drugs. The Cambridge-educated man was stabbed in the leg before she threw a laptop, glass and a jam jar at him at the iconic Christ Church College. Pringle said: “It seems to me that if this was a one-off, a complete one-off, to prevent this extraordinary able young lady from not following her long-held desire to enter the profession she wishes to, would be a sentence which would be too severe.

Who cares if she an aspiring heart surgeon? What kind of message does this send? Besides the obvious – privilege, blonde hair and blue eyes will get you everywhere. If only everyone was afforded such a chance…

Today’s bullshit (15th May)


I think this will by next to-be-abandoned blog series. There will be a Trump post this weekend probably, though. 

Anyway…

Theresa May thinks being disabled and having mental illness are the same thing – inconveniences.

A woman called Cathy, who said she had learning difficulties, tore into the Prime Minister on a walkabout in a market in Oxfordshire.

Cathy told Ms May of the harsh effect of losing her Disability Living Allowance, which was replaced by the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

“I can’t live on £100 a month. They just took it all away from me.”

Ms May tried to say that she was giving mental health more priority but Cathy interrupted to say: “I mean people in wheelchairs, and everybody, not just myself. For all of us!”

Cathy’s words most likely fell on deaf ears because…

Quizzed by The Independent last week, the Prime Minister refused to rule out making further cuts to disability benefits in the next Parliament, if she is returned to power.

Oh and if you think that’s bad, take a look at this stupid comment that was posted below the article

In many respects I feel sorry for this lady as she clearly cares but is very much mistaken if she thinks that the Labour party are going to do any better.

The Labour party will cripple the country and then not be able to fund her.

What she needs is work she can do, irrespective of disability, or mental impairment.

Where is this work going to come from? The sky? She has been assessed as being not fit to work. What employer is going to take her on when they’re barely hiring people who are able to work? They might guarantee disabled applicants an interview but don’t let that fool you. 

Not to mention the fact that it’s easy to say that without knowing her issues. People have committed suicide over losing their payments, they can’t afford to do anything, some of them are fucking housebound because the government is taking away their mobility scooters and wheelchairs. All so the government can save money without taxing the rich. 

Fuck that. 

Across the pond….
Donald Trump has plumbing issues

The Washington Post revealed that in a meeting with the Russian ambassador last week, Trump let slip some highly classified information. 

“This is code-word information,” one US official told the newspaper, a reference to one of the highest classification levels used by the American intelligence agencies. “[Trump] revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”The report on Monday evening said one the most concerning aspects of the slip, was that Mr Trump revealed the city in Isis territory where the US intelligence partner detected the threat. There were claims that Russia could use the information to undermine the US, or its ally.

Despite assuring us that he isn’t engaged in any nefarious activity with the Russians, Donald Trump decided that he liked his new friends so much that he has to share his great intel. 

Mr Trump was said to have boasted about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” Mr Trump reportedly said.

…is this a joke? This is not something to boast about. You are The President, not a plastic doll (no matter how much your complexion resembles one). You can’t make this shit up.

Not to worry, though. His surrogates have denied it. #FAKENEWS

“This story is false,” said Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy, who was in the meeting. “The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced.”

Mr Trump’s National Security Advisor, Gen HR McMaster, also said the story was false.

Given that Trump is apparently planning to reboot his staff because he has ‘nothing to lose’, I fully expect more stuff to be leaked from those he culls.

Donald Trump is mulling a massive shake-up of his closest advisers at the White House after the firing of former FBI director James Comey.

Mr Trump is reportedly considering what has been described as a “huge reboot”, anonymous sources told Axios, which could see advisers such as Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Counsel Don McGahn and Press Secretary Sean Spicer heading for the exit.

“The advice he’s getting is to go big — that he has nothing to lose,” the source said.

Meanwhile, Putin is sipping a cold one and laughing his head off. 

SIGH. 

Quartz have a helpful round up of all of Trump’s fuck ups: A list of the Trump administration’s security breaches so far

And this was only Monday. Good grief.