Leigh Won’t Vote Tory…But…

“‘I’m voting Tory for the first time’: Things appear to be changing in Leigh” (MEN article (engage ad blockers))

“Leigh constituency election portrait” (the same article but for the local rag)

“Leigh could vote in Tory MP, says YouGov MRP poll” (Leigh Reporter)

The last two links to the local paper give a better insight into the split in Leigh politically as it has comments from, well regular commentators.  How local to Leigh they are is unknown but as sure as the sun rises, you can guarantee that anything story remotely political on that website will have the same commentators have their little spats, its like Twitter but on a diet of lobby.

The above articles give some good insight and my title it’s exactly a massive gamble as it is such a narrow “victory” by the 2019 Tories that only a few votes either way would swing it, the whole point being of course, how has it got to this and again the linked pieces go into some detail.

I personally think that Labour will still win quite strongly though if you look at the trend according to wikipedia the swing has been more “to the right” since the Blair years but the Labour majority seems to swing fairly consistently between 10,000-16,000 over the election cycles.

It is also worth noting that from the high turnouts of 70%+ in the 70’s and 80’s (when you factor in an anti-Tory, pro-mining sensibility) they have plummeted since, barely scratching 60% over recent elections.

The local wisdom being anything with a red rosette wins.

The Conservative candidate is well known locally and a local councillor as far as I’m aware who my sources tell me (i.e. my mates who are actually on Facebook), that he is campaigning hard, so he clearly thinks he is in with a shot.

Current Labour incumbent Jo Platt, on the other hand is a form councillor herself who it’s exactly well liked locally.

But probably liked enough to be voted for because her rosette is red and not blue.

As you may note there are 6 candidates standing this time around.  If we take Labour and the Lib Dems to represent a vote to continue to remain in the EU, then the other 4 are to leave the EU and then the possibility of vote splitting comes into play.

As the graphic above predicts, the Brexit Party could get almost 12%, costing the Conservatives victory?  Probably not.  Anyone who wants to vote Tory will vote Tory, the Brexit party votes will be, in the vast majority, disgruntled Labour voters who just can’t ever vote Conservative.

And that is where I was going to leave this totally amateur look into local politics until the news today that Labour wish to cut rail fares by 75%

The running joke about Leigh as a town, especially in the rugby league community and general banter between the local towns, is that “Leigh is the biggest town in the UK without a train station.”

There are talks locally to open Golborne station, which would do nothing for Leigh.  The original rail lines from Leigh now had the guided bus way on it, which just makes Leigh a commuter hub for Manchester rather than bringing anything into the town.

So the question is, would the train-less residents of Leigh really wish to pay out extra money in taxes just to fund those with rail stations, like the pie-eaters in Wigan and would it be enough to stop any of them voting Labour?

No.  I doubt it.  And if the Tories get in then “I’ll show my arse at Turnpike.”*

 

Thanks for reading.

 

*This is a local phrase; I won’t actually be engaging in acts of public nudity should something highly unlikely actually occur.

The Lying, Milkshaking Brewer?

I’ve written about this new form of apparent political protest called Milkshaking only a fortnight ago and therefore wasn’t planning on needing to do it again but call it serendipity that I was on a break when the news broke than while in Newcastle (Geordie one, not Stoke one) the Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage was the latest victim of a cup full of lactose.

Apparently a £5.25 Five Guys, banana and salted caramel one because nothing says up the socialist revolution than paying big corporations your money in order to waste food throwing it on someone you don’t agree with because, well you either don’t have a good enough argument to counter their rhetoric, or you’re just a bit of a thug.

I’ve talked many times about beer and politics – they really don’t mix but it is your business so if you wish to possible have a detrimental impact on your income then go ahead and spread your wonderful insights to your prospective buyers.

Rather ironically, milkshake beers are a bit of a thing at the moment (or were, I don’t know how quickly the trend has changed already).  So, in that woke way that a lot of 20 year old brewers or 50 year olds who think they are 20 do, there will be a slew of puntastic beer names out there with a political slant.

  • The Revolution will be Pasteurised (which I can’t take credit for)
  • Nige’s shakes bring all the fascicts to the yard (yeah, I’m sure that riff is being played to death)
  • Farage Milkshake, he did Nazi that coming (I’m claiming this one).

What caught my attention was that some bloke with the twitter handle had taken responsibility for it and was, at the time I looked getting praise (not from other brewers I should add).

A quick look through his past conversations, because by some quirk my old phone means I can views twitter like a website without even being logged in (and I left that cesspit a good while ago) means a lot of my old beer bubble bros were having some banter with him.

Cue the end of the day and I have another quick scan to find that said twitter account is now locked and, as per twitter mobs (the “left” and “right” being no different in their hysteria) I noted old tweets screen-grabbed for posterity and photos from the account being shared.

I’m not going to do that here but from what I’ve seen, in a quick comparison between the twitter bloke and the pictures of the bloke that was arrested, they aren’t the same person.

Which then leads to the question…

What kind of wazzock actually takes credit for a criminal act they didn’t even do?

Do they not know how twitter works?  Yes you may well get woke points from strangers and a few follows but is it really worth it for the inevitable backlash and threats that will come your way?

What a pillock, and given how the twitter game works, if the left made the rules of guilt by association then it is quite possible that a few of the rather decent people I left behind on that shit-hole of a website may well be getting dragged, dog-piled or whatever else the slightly unhinged and permanently enraged do when they are online.

The face palming is mighty tonight.

Stay safe and drink well.

 

Thanks for reading.

Is My Vote Now Worthless?

That is a legitimate question mark in the title of this piece, as I honestly don’t know now.  There may be a debate to be had as if it ever was but that isn’t the point, and also in my case it isn’t exactly true either.

I don’t vote in UK general elections.

Or rather I should categorically state that I do go to the polling stations and I do put a mark on the ballot.  Sometimes more than one mark.  Sometimes smiley faces.  Sometimes quotes from songs.

I spoil my ballot.  There is no party that currently, or for any duration of my voting eligibility, has “promised” enough in their manifesto to make it worth my proper vote but I still hold on to the power of a democratic vote and owe it to at least participate in the process, at least as a thanks to those that fought for it in the UK and for those that don’t have any say in their country’s politics, the world over.

Is that a virtue signal, possibly.

I always vote in my local elections though and therein lies the duality of my choice of legitimate vote versus spoiling.

You see my local council (Wigan) is Labour dominated but I dislike them immensely for their insular, Wigan-centric outlook.  Local politics is a microcosm for the general malaise of UK politics in general.  Wigan looks after Wigan and a few other areas but damns the smaller towns with a few pounds from the coffers ever election cycle.  Wigan itself suffers at the hands of Greater Manchester County Council and their, insular, Manchester city centre-centric outlook.  And then of course the whole of the North suffers from the national governments and parliaments bubble London-centric outlook.

And the more the local towns vote for independent councillors (or anything that isn’t Labour) the less scraps they get.

On the national front (no pub) though, due to boundary changes, my constituency just happens to be a swing one and so my vote there does actually count for something.

But regardless of who my MP was, thanks to a rather unionised, militant mother, I’ve always been a fan of emailing them about the bigger issues that I’m bothered about and the responses were always less than stellar up until my most recent MP got voted in.

Enough for me to vote for them?  On an individual level, quite possibly, on a party political one, quite possibly not.

The shadow of Brexit looms large over all these decisions and whereas the UK has a first past the post (FPTP) system of deciding who “runs” the country for 4-5 year stints, the referendum was an example of  not only direct democracy but of highlighting just why our current elected officials aren’t big fans of it, as you can never rely on getting the result you want.

And so I find myself hemmed in. 650 elected MPs, the majority of which do not wish to enact the result of the referendum of 2016, figuring out ways of getting out of it.

Aided and abetted by a willing media and a very vocal loser contingent.  I use loser not as a pejorative but as a fact, though maybe minority contingent would be better, despite the other images that my conjure up.

A few marches of dubious attendance and an online petition of dubious signatories seem to give credence to wish to halt a process that hasn’t been started properly, because it was never fully committed to in the first place.

Forget about alleged lies and bus slogans, alleged election interference and spending tactics, these are all just bluster to hide the shock of a loss.

What is at stake is what a disaffected populous does if they become even more disaffected with the world around them that only shows the glaringly obvious that they have no say it what happens to them.

The donning of hi-vis jackets won’t do anything.  Nor will mass strikes.  What small amount of power you think you have will just be crushed, possibly physically but at its worst, emotionally.

And then you have to wonder if it is worth taking part in a process you weren’t really welcome in, in the first place.

But when the anti-democrats win and a cheer goes up and all those they labelled with slurs from the very beginning have been put in their place, the precedent will have been set.

Think of it as being stuck in traffic and getting annoyed with those that don’t use their indicators, or drive without lights when it is dark.  Think more on those that never move out of the way of a fire engine or ambulance or police car that is on an emergency call and that desire, deep inside you that secretly, darkly hopes that one day they will know that their action could result in the first responding vehicle they blocked was stopped from attending an incident involving someone they cared about.

Think of Newton’s third law of motion and then realise that a government with power never has a reaction that is equal.

Vive la second law of thermodynamics.

 

Thanks for reading.

Spoons Workers Against Brexit – a Ha Ha Ha

I’m not going to link to them, you can search for them, they are quite easy to find, as are most of the #FBPE squealers.

A few points I will stress from the start

  1. Politics is indeed best kept out of business
  2. I respect all those who work at Wetherspoons and at pubs and clubs and bars in general.

To take my 2nd point first, I have worked in pubs; it can be hard and thankless (like most jobs) but it doesn’t take much skill to do.  Indeed it takes skill to do correctly, to enhance a customer’s experience but that is down to the individual and no amount of training can infer common sense within people.

Point one; I’m not one to boycott businesses that have different political outlooks to myself, I have a few I do out of whimsy (never once given McDonald’s my money, avoid Coke products) but it is nothing but a relic of my youth with no real morals attached to it (love me a Burger King, love me a Pepsi), plus you try and completely avoid buying anything Nestle don’t own.

But given the political climate we live in today, it is not without notice that there is a complete lack of irony of those that generally object to the politics of a person or business and the fact that they are anti-democratic losers.

But let us look at the demands from SWAB:

1. Withdraw all pro-Brexit propaganda from our workplace. This means that we will no longer be marked down for refusing to distribute beer mats, leaflets, magazines or menus that promote Martin’s politics.

2. Pay us a Living Wage. That means a £9 hourly rate outside London, and £10.55 in London.

3. Trade union recognition, granting the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union negotiating powers over our pay and pay and working conditions.

 

Points 1 to 3 can quite easily be covered in the simple request, go and look for another fucking job.  You work in a low skilled job that does not merit a “Living Wage” especially considering that most of those in this group will probably be under 25 and are no where near worth £9 an hour given the current scale of age dependent National Minimum Wage payments.

You have signed a contract, either honour that contract or go somewhere else and if you can’t then may I suggest going and getting a better education and qualifications so you can go somewhere that pays better and gives you better job satisfaction.

“Be the change you want to be in the world”*

Or as the kids say these days

Learn To Code

 

Thanks for reading.

 

*Which was not said by the racist, nationalist, nappy wearing religious nut job sectarian, also known as Gandhi.

Jamelia, Soylent Green and the Deatherendum

 

Deatherendum

I bumped into this link earlier today and by the time I’ve come to write this piece the website now has a massive apology about offence and has pulled it M.O.

What it did, in very, very poor statistical data was compare how many “old people” died against how my “young people” were registering to vote and then constructed the ratio of when the losers/remain vote would be in the majority.

Because obviously all old people vote leave and all young people vote remain and people never change their minds.

This came in a week that had seen a woman with no discernible talent, desperately trying to keep herself in the public eye so she can afford to home school here children, say that anyone over 75 shouldn’t be given the vote as they won’t be around to live through what they voted for…

One of the many, many funny things about the Brexit vote is how the picture is somehow painted (well, it isn’t somehow, it is just blatant media bias) that Remain voters were the nice people and Leave voters were the nasty ones.

But that belies the very obvious truth; that sore losers, the poor wretched people who can’t handle democracy when it gives a result they disagree with (see also UK General Election 2105, standard twitter response “I don’t know any Tories, how did they win?”), apart from smearing everything with one big brush, do also like to dwell on the death of those that hold opposing views.

They hide behind “but its just statistics” but it isn’t statistics; and even if it were, it is terrible maths for which they should go back to school to relearn, what it is is naked fascism.

But fascism of the good kind, the kind that can be broadcast, the kind that doesn’t get people in a tizz about it or cause the police the need to investigate.

If I’m honest the website made me chuckle; out of the sickness of it and that someone had the urge to even make it, gallows humour if you will and, of course Jamelia can have all the opinions she wants and can speak them wherever and whenever she likes; well, obviously in the UK…for now.

And this won’t ever end.  The jealous bitterness of the Remain side, the side that lost, will fester and fester and if somehow (again not somehow, just a complete ignorance of the electorate) the UK stays in the European Union they will cheer, the will cheer that democracy failed and won’t even contemplate the implications.

How very, very sad.

Thanks for reading.

 

P.S. – I believe on the 21st of January the very same EU will meet again to discuss Article 13 (and 11) of their Copyright directives.  This would effectively make every link in this article, the link to Youtube and the picture at the start of this piece liable for deletion.  The implications for the whole internet within the EU are at stake, please contact your MEP to urge them to vote down this nonsense.

Brewdog, The Sun and Craft Beer Hypocrisy – Part 42

Let us get this out of the way first.  Being raised with family friends who were miners I was brought up (there are stickers in my mum’s loft still) to not have anything to do with the Murdoch press.  To that end I’ve remained true.  No money of mine has ever paid for The Sun, The Times, the former News of the World or any printed press.

Then again, I’ve have had Sky once, for a few months (though of course I also watch it in the pub, and being a fan of rugby league, his money is much needed) and I regularly watch films from 20th Century Fox.

Damn, boycotting is difficult when it means missing good stuff, just look at all the satellite dishes in Liverpool, but they don’t buy The Sun so that is definately #JFT96

And I am most definitely, unequivocally100% not a fan of Brewdog

But I have drank their beer and been to the bars.

In fact in London over this August bank holiday I was indeed in a Brewdog bar and I did visit a Craft Beer Co. establishment too.

I also happened to have paid for a drink that would equate to £18 a pint.

So it amused me that a quick read of the tiny microcosm that is beer twitter (still not 100% weaned off prodding that infected tooth) that both Brewdog and The Sun (and Craft Beer Co and the price of beer) were making the rounds of the self-important and self-anointed.

Link to the Sun (beware hypocrites)

I do wonder if any Equity Punks have cashed in, or if they really are under some illusion that they can inform better marketing from the business they bought into.

I mean that is the trend these days isn’t it, BDS, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions?  Vote with your feet and your wallet.  Disagree with something, overtly offended by something, then they don’t get your cash. Simple.  Just ignore it. It will go away.

It must be hard when you’ve created the monster yourself and then it starts to devour its own.  It is a small facet of the current behemoth that is liberal thinking in this day and age.  Intersectionalism all round.

Those same people who scream that satire (not that they actually understand the concept) should only punch up and not down; but when it comes to the Sun and especially their readers, they are fair game, the stupid, racist Brexit voting, easily duped sheep.

Oh and Wetherspoons drinkers are scum too

Everyone is a target, just don’t think you’re any better than anyone else just because of what you drink, where you drink and what you can afford.

That is called snobbery and it isn’t, ever, a good look.

 

Long live the schism.

 

Thanks for reading.

Brewing Up A Political Storm

Subtitle: You can’t filter out agendas with Isinglass

May you live in interesting times goes the alleged Chinese proverb brought to my attention by the writings of Terry Pratchett and we certainly do in 2016.

I don’t think it remiss to point out that as broad as the spectrum is that drink beer you would probably suggest that the older “CAMRA” set are to the conservative right and the younger “CRAFT” set are to the liberal left and while I’m not one for grouping people along political lines it would seem that many brewers and bloggers in the beer bubble, to their own detriment, probably do so.

The EU referendum vote in the UK on 23rd of June, that ended up with the result being to leave the European Union caused fissions, unsurprisingly many on my twitter time-line were for Remain.

Schisms formed on 8th November with the results of the US presidential election that saw Donald Trump become the elected, prospective 45th president of the USA.

Of course this lead to more fallout from breweries, brewers and bloggers on twitter.

One tweet caught my eye, from an actual brewery account and I’m not going to post it here simply because this is neither about naming and “shaming” (free speech is an absolute, even “hate” speech) nor do I bear any grudge towards the brewery or the brewer (he is a nice chap) or wish to see his business suffer.

Thing was, they (he) called for the assassination of Trump.  Now, whatever your feelings and political leanings are, two things struck me about that:

  1. Calling for the death of someone, in jest requiring a very broad context, is not right (choose other hyperboles)
  2. Using a business account to do so is stupid.

Then again many brewers & business owners in general, have personal accounts from which to let forth their own thoughts and despite all the caveats they may have in their biographies sometimes it can be guilt by association.

What is also striking is the lack of people who called out the brewery on this tweet and also subsequent tweets about boycotting specific countries.

We can probably, fairly postulate that many people didn’t even see the “assassination tweet” but to those that did see it and did not pass comment on it, you really do need to look inside yourselves and question that whatever morals and integrity you bleat about so often, is it that honestly what you actually practice.

 

“We use selective annihilation of mayors and government officials, for example, to destroy the presence of the state and create a vacuum. Then we fill that vacuum.”

 

Thanks for reading.