Teresa May the real life ‘Nicola Murray’

After having to deal with another calamitous mistake by Nicola Murray ‘the thick of it,’  Malcolm Tucker tells her ‘You’re a fucking omnishambles, that’s what you are. You’re like that coffee machine, you know: from bean to cup, you fuck up.’ After the complete mess that Theresa May has made of the 2017 election there are probably many Tories who share the same view of their hapless Prime Minister.

When Theresa May declared an election it was according to her to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations and to give her the mandate to ensure it was carried through.  It was also a chance to increase the Conservative majority and to take advantage of what they perceived was a Labour party in turmoil.

However rather than leading to a landslide it was to be a disastrous campaign that far from being a ‘strong and stable government,’ led to a hung parliament and to a weak and unstable minority government. Rather than Jeremy Corbyn looking out of his depth it is Theresa May drowning in a pool of her own incompetence.

The Labour party ran a first class campaign and although they didn’t win enough seats to form a government they did enough to make a lot of ground from the last election.  It would have been one almighty swing to Labour if they had romped home but it is progress especially as the Conservatives now rely on the DUP to form a government.

Although there was still a lot of media bias against Corbyn he was still shown to be able to connect with the public.  To paraphrase the West wing it was best to let ‘Jeremy to be Jeremy.’  He connected with the electorate, was pleasant, personable, and was seen to be comfortable answering questions from the media and the public.

This was in complete contrast Theresa May who looked shifty, uncomfortable, and only seemed to speak in soundbites.  Everything was stage-managed from the public events that she attended to the questions being vetted.  At one news conference a journalist in Cornwall was shown the door for daring to ask a third question.

Theresa May has consistently performed poorly at PMQ’s but she was to take this to a new level.  Meeting the electorate seemed to be an inconvenience and there seemed to be an arrogance that the public would accept anything.  The so-called ‘dementia tax,’ policy backfired spectacularly when the Conservative manifesto made plans to make people pay more of their own social care.  The policy caused anger because payments after death could eat into the inheritance of offspring whose parents were unlucky enough to suffer from a condition – like dementia – in which reliance on social care is inevitable.

It lead to a u-turn by Theresa May who scaled back proposals but considering that she was meant to be a decisive leader who wouldn’t stand any nonsense in brexit talks, made May look as though she would buckle under the slightest pressure.

The campaign by May led to personal insults against Corbyn and negativity throughout.  It seemed that so long as May got in her buzz words of ‘strong and stable government,’ that people would believe that she was the only one that could deliver this. However it just seemed stale and clichéd as Theresa May stood there nervously.  When forced to take questions May would take a sip of water to quench the nerves of being out of her comfort zone.  Again a trait that hardly inspires confidence.

In many respects Theresa May is one of those company middle-managers who are promoted way above their ability.  As a result they cause mayhem and damage before being quietly moved on.

By now it seemed to be as though the Conservatives were seeing Theresa May as a liability due to her consistent poor performances in public.  The decision to duck the leadership debate was poor judgement.  After all if you couldn’t comfortably argue your case and take questions how could you be deemed fit to negotiate in Brexit talks?  Inadvertently May raised Amber Rudd’s chances of taking her job by allowing her to take her place and performing well.

Of course the election was more than Brexit it was about the cuts in social service, education, the NHS and how austerity is affecting the ordinary person.   Labour’s manifesto seemed to an attractive and fair solution to bring about a fairer society.

As election day drew near it was the hope that people would allow the sound bites and uncertainty thrown about Corbyn to stick with May.  Indeed many thought the Conservatives would still win comfortably despite the poor performances of May.  They were to be shocked when the final poll at 10pm on the 8th June 2017 rightly declared it be a hung parliament.

Labour may not have won enough to govern but they had made progress whereas Theresa May had spectacularly shot herself in the foot.  She had called an election believing it to be a formality and a chance to increase the Conservative majority in parliament.  Instead they lost seats and rather than bringing ‘strong and stable,’ May now presides over a minority government with less MPs.  Now they have to rely on the DUP which will bring about other issues.  Furthermore due to the lack of a majority May will have to deal with factions within her own party.  Rather than talking about moving forward it is now about uncertainty and when another election will be called.

Even as the ceiling has come crashing down and with bits of plaster in her hair, May still acted as though she had won a massive majority.  Despite the clichéd key words that had fallen as flat as a fart at a funeral, May still couldn’t help herself declaring the coalition with the DUP as bringing a ‘government of certainty.’  It was as though May was hoping to hoodwink the public that everything was fine rather than being an almighty mess through her own making.

This didn’t go down with the party faithful especially the candidates who had lost seats.  To not even acknowledge that this was a massive set back was another poor error of judgement.  However Theresa May calamitous flounders around like Nicola Murray that it can’t be long before she declares a policy for ‘every day bat people.’

Prior to this election many felt that it would be the end of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party.  Many were probably already writing his obituary.  Instead it is a dazed, incompetent, and weak Theresa May who staggers on after losing all credibility.

After this poor performance and weak leadership it surely can’t be long before Theresa May steps aside.  Whether she makes that decision or is forced out will be played out in the coming months. There really is no way that May can continue as Prime Minister.  She looks weak and above all has been shown to be incompetent that another election probably seems certain by the end of the year.

 

 

 

Why there is no such thing as impartial media as the 2017 election shows.

With the general election only a few weeks away it is just as well Teresa May has got the media on her side.  So far her performances on the campaign trail have been poor.  Journalists have had to submit questions with a local reporter being swiftly shown the door in Devon for having the audacity to ask one extra question that wasn’t on the list.

Everything has been stage-managed with May even playing the jingoism card by accusing the EU of trying to interfere because they fear how she won’t stand any nonsense from those pesky Europeans.

The Conservative sound bites have also had the impact of a clumsy theatrical dive of a footballer trying to get a penalty as May once again gets ‘strong and stable government,’ into a sentence with the shout of bingo as the final cliché has been spoken.

Then there is the embarrassment of the hacking of the NHS computer database with the hackers holding personal details to ransom.  If it had been a Labour government it would have been a guarantee that they would have got crucified especially as they were fully aware that the security was weak but were not prepared to stump up the cash.

Journalism and the news media have been far from impartial for it to be to be too much of a surprise.  There are too many vested interests with media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch intent on their news outlet to press forward their views on the public.  If there is anything that goes or threatens their interests then you can guarantee an attack on that person or institution.

The attacks on Jeremy Corbyn are nothing short of sinister even before this campaign.  It is as though the likes of Murdoch won’t take any chances by continually attacking him.  Whether its questioning his patriotism by not bowing properly enough, labelling him as weak, or simply Corbyn’s dress sense it has been a drip, drip, drip attack that people slowly absorb.  Headlines such as ‘Corb snubs the Queen,’ or even the subtle Sunday Times headline ‘Corbyn sparks Labour civil war,’ or ‘Corbyn Union pals pledge strike chaos,’ all give the impression of someone struggling to keep control and not knowing what they are doing.  Of course you will hear people say that you can’t trust the papers but with the constant negative headlines there are some that believe that they must be some truth.

Even the media that profess to be left such as the Guardian can’t help but be aghast and look at ways at undermining Corbyn.  The likes of Polly Toynbee who wail at the lack of leadership and his policies not being credible to Nick Cohen throwing his toys out of the pram due to the audacity of Labour members daring to vote for who they want as leader and not his choice is breathtaking.  Again it gives the impression that Corbyn is a bumbling fool that doesn’t live in the real world.

The slightest mistake or controversy is magnified and used to hammer the fact that Corbyn is unsuitable to be Prime Minister.  Take for example Diane Abbott getting her figures completely messed up about the cost of extra Policing if Labour was elected Government.  It was further fuel that a Labour government didn’t really know it’s figures and would not only deliver but put the country into debt.  Recently Abbott was also mocked by getting lost on stage after addressing the Police federation conference.

Nothing though was made of Amber Rudd being openly mocked by Police at the same federation conference when claiming officers were on £40,000 a year when questioned about Officers using food banks.  To make matters worse Rudd dug the hole further by trying to deflect the blame by saying ‘so I’m told,’ despite it being her business being the Home Secretary.

Philip Hammond also made another blunder by getting the cost of HS2 wrong by £20 billion on BBC’s radio 4 Today programme after ironically questioning Labour’s figures.  Again nothing major was made of this gaffe.  Nothing about whether you can trust a May government when her chancellor can’t even get his figures right or kindling the hysteria that a Conservative government would be incompetent.  Instead it was casually brushed over.

It has had the required impact on the British public who view Jeremy Corbyn as an unreliable maverick at best.  Take for example a member of the public who was asked what they thought of Labour’s manifesto.  The man in question liked the policies and believed it would benefit the UK as a whole.  However when the journalist asked if that meant he would be voting Labour the man paused before saying ‘I won’t be voting for that Jeremy Corbyn he’s not suitable to be leader,’ and with that casually strolled off.

That member of the public is not the only person to hold that type of view.  One person stated that they ‘didn’t like that Jeremy Corbyn.’  When asked why they were unable to elaborate or provide a reasonable argument as to why Jeremy Corbyn is unsuitable to be leader they couldn’t as their opinion had been influenced by the newspaper headlines.

The media has from the outset done everything to undermine Corbyn.  From the brash, vulgar, sneering headlines questioning Corbyn’s patriotism to subtly implying that Corbyn does not have a clue and will plunge the country into chaos if he is handed the keys to number ten.

Even the tones of the questions at Labour MPs or officials are constantly negative despite the responses.  It will turn to the cost and querying as to whether it is realistic.  The Conservatives are of course asked difficult questions but then spun to something where they can talk positively about another policy.

Of course Jeremy Corbyn should be held accountable and questioned by the media as should Teresa May and other political leaders.  However newspapers and other media outlets should be impartial and doing their job of reporting and presenting the facts to the public.  There equally should be none of this sensational nonsense that somehow makes every tragedy somehow a drama.

A news outlets job should be to present the facts and let people decide from their reports.  Everyone in a position of responsibility should be robustly challenged and there should certainly be none of the mocking and biased headlines that are casually fired at will.  If there was true impartiality then a newspaper or any media outlet would not declare any support for any of the political parties.  The fact that they do and this includes the media professing to be left-wing shows that they have a vested interest.

For those considered to be part of the establishment or simply rich the Conservative party represents their interests.  Consequently they ensure that the media outlets that they own represent their views.  If Corbyn is perceived as a threat then they will do their utmost to convince people that he can’t be trusted.

Even when Labour lands a significant blow such as Emily Thornberry embarrassing Michael Fallon on Andrew Marr, (Thornberry reminded him that he was present at a reception celebrating the election of the Syrian President Assad in 2007) it doesn’t warrant much of a mention within the press.

In this day and age with the internet and social media making people more aware than previously of what is happening in the world you would think there would be more cynicism regarding the press.  However with the constant negative headlines whether it is hearing the news on TV, radio, or newspaper, people are influenced and with regards to Corbyn feel that he is to be mistrusted.

The media is very much an important tool and if you have it behind you then it can help the most mediocre politician.  Crude as Teresa May’s slogans are the constant drip, drip of the Conservatives providing a ‘strong and stable government,’ whilst ‘Corbyn is ineffective,’ will seep into people’s minds come polling day.

It is a pity that we don’t have a real fair and impartial press that holds all political parties to account thus allowing the population to make a considered judgement from the facts.  Certainly the media in its current guise cannot be relied on.

 


Why Labour’s right are equally in denial as the left

Nick Cohen wrote an expletitive plea or should it be a rant telling Corbynista’s ‘to stop being a fucking fool by changing your fucking mind.’  In many respects it was akin to a spoilt child screaming ‘I’ll scream and scream, until I’ll make myself sick!’  By accusing Corbyn supporters of being in denial and that the party is in danger of going into meltdown unless they appoint their special one they too are very much in denial.  

To automatically assume that someone like Yvette Cooper or Chuka Umunna have not just got the personality but the ability to turn around the fortunes of the Labour Party is arrogant to say the least.  After all an illegal war in Iraq, presiding over one of the biggest financial crisis in recent years, and ignoring your grass root support on the assumption that the plebs will vote for ever is wearing the red rosette is one of the many reasons why Labour is in the mess it finds itself in now.

The problem with Labour is that it’s support is completely fractured.  In Scotland they have practically become an endangered species whilst in certain heartlands they feel the party no longer represents them with some even attracted to UKIP.  Added to which is the difficulty in appealing to the marginal seats to cross the line to form a majority government.  Ed Milliband and Gordon Brown in the last two elections were unable to convince the electorate and here lies the problem.  

Like everything in life nothing stands still especially as we react to the world around us.  That’s why it is always important to continually evolve and ensure that the party is not just in tune with its members but its electorate.  This is easier said than done but to not realise that New Labour is part of the problem of the party and not the remedy is a problem for the right of the party.

In some respects there is that smugness that only they know what is best and those that disagree about the direction of the party are fools especially if its a left slant.  Ever since Corbyn has been elected as leader he has been constantly undermined by  not just the PLP but the media such as the Guardian who in the past have supported the Labour Party.

Members voted for Jeremy Corbyn because they wanted what they perceived to be real change and what they feel the Labour Party should stand for.  Rather than showing support and working as best they can they have throw a tantrum akin to a spoilt toddler at a birthday party.  

New Labour was part of the problem as to why they lost the 2010 and 2015 election.  To persist that the third way still works and that the electorate will somehow be convinced by someone speaking in cliches and slogans is to continually row around in circles.  

It could be said that Gordon Brown allowed this void to happen where there was no one to step up to the plate that could lead and appeal to the electorate.  Obsessed with keeping power with power battles between Tony Blair anybody afterwards was always going to be tainted with either side.  This is certainly true of Ed Milliband and the other candidates such as Yvette Cooper for the 2015 Labour leadership election.

Nobody at present has the charisma or clout that would appeal to all voters.  Furthermore any of Cohen or the Labour right’s preferred choices would do any better than Corbyn.  At least he wants to offer an alternative.  Yes it can be argued that Corbyn seems to be out of his depth and the shadow chancellor John McDonnell certainly is but a tilt to the right isn’t going to balance the ship.  

The Labour Party is in a mess and needs to find a fresh approach that appeals to all.  Furthermore there is hard work in attempting to get a foothold into Scotland as well as appealing to the marginals that would swing an election.  

New Labour has become old Labour with the public just as distrustful of the old guard or anyone associated with the third way.   To move forward is to work together and slowly build up bit by bit.  They do say that loss (which is the case of the right losing control of Labour) brings denial, anger, and acceptance so maybe Cohen, Toynbee, and the others on the Labour right are now on the second stage before realising the reality they now face.  

That is a party that needs re-building with fresh ideas, working together rather than fighting, and not looking back to the past.

The Downton Abbey effect on history

Nostalgia,” as George Ball the American diplomat once said “is a seductive liar.”  This is certainly the case with dramas such as Downton Abbey, Victoria, and the Crown.  They paint a different world that indicates a gentler more British way of life than today.  However the reality is different to the world that it portrays which is why it needs to be challenged lest the voices of those who really helped shaped our world are forgotten.

Downton Abbey in many respects is guilty of this and portrays for some nostalgists how they like to think Britain once was and still should be.  In that world the Lord of the manor smiles benevolently whilst those down under not only know their place but are happy with their lot.  If there are any problems  then the Lord of the manor will sort it out.

Looking at the period that Downton Abbey covers from the beginning of the twentieth century is a world away from what it was really like to work as a servant in those times.  For starters the servants world would consist of virtually working from the crack of dawn right through to the late hours of the evening.  There would hardly be any time to call your own and you certainly were not expected to be seen never mind tell their betters what problems you had.

Therefore it was not a surprise that the majority of servants were recruited from orphanages  from the other side of the country so that they had nowhere to run back to.  They were seen as chattel who were there to serve and certainly not to fraternize to the extent that the chauffeur marries the Earl’s daughter and is welcomed into the bosom of the family.

Robert Crawley would be more likely to say to his butler ‘As you know Carson, one likes to run a progressive household but damn it I wouldn’t be able to show my face at one’s club if the Chauffeur was my son-in-law.  So show the bolshy sort the door forthwith Carson my good man.’

If you were to believe the historical depiction of the Edwardian period in Downton Abbey it was a relatively peaceful one.  The British Empire was at its peak and although everything might not be perfect everybody seemed to be getting along. For sure the rich and the upper classes were enjoying the prosperity of the Edwardian golden age but life for the ordinary person was one of poverty, poor living and working conditions.  Just look at any pictures from that period.  The children are mainly bare-footed and dressed in tatty clothes.  The adults fare no better with most looking small and even malnourished.  The houses were slums and were unfit to live in that the life expectancy for working class people was low.

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Consequently it was not surprising that workers demanded improvements as they wanted fair pay, better living conditions, housing, education, to name but a few issues that anyone today would feel is a basic right.  The ordinary person era of that era had to fight for it that it was a turbulent period that frightened the political elite.

Now in the world of Downton Abbey there are no talks of soldiers being sent to Llanelli during the first national railway strike of 1911 who shot dead two strikers.  Nor of Churchill sending gunboats up the Mersey during the Liverpool 1911 Transport strike.  This was in response to riots that broke out after mounted Police had charged a 80,000 crowd at St. George’s hall who were there to listen to the Trade Unionist Tom Mann.  Thousands were injured with the Liverpool Echo at the time likening the scenes to revolutionary Paris of 1789.

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More strikes and unrest during that period between 1910-14 broke out across the country in places such as Hull and Belfast.  The period was one of uncertainty with workers fighting for a better more equal world.  For instance just look at the 80,000 crowd at St. George’s hall, Liverpool that it looks very similar to the Arab spring a few years back.  Yet this is never widely mentioned in history never mind someone making a drama of it.

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Recently there has been a spate of what can only be described as PR films for the Royal family such as Victoria, and the Crown.  These are lavish biscuit tin productions that belong in a Disney fairy story.

The stories are sold as young Queen’s who at times reluctantly have to make the tough decisions that they may not like to bring stability to the country.  Again it depicts that only the nobility have the grace, wisdom, and benevolence to rule the country.  There is nothing about the poverty and the wrongs of the British Empire.  Instead the ordinary people are there as a background as they sit back and listen to their betters.

Both ignore about whether having a Monarchy is actually democratic but instead portray the Monarchy as a positive good.  The aristocracy are born to rule whilst its subjects are there to serve.   It is an inconvenient truth that the upper classes did not want the working class to be educated nor did they feel that they were entitled to free health treatment.

All of this as well as better living conditions were fought for by workers and were given to appease the working classes lest they went one step further and overthrew them.

It is important that this is re-addressed otherwise history will be distorted from a view that the establishment want the world to be seen as.  Furthermore the real life stories such as the 1911 Transport strike is more dramatic and real than the lavish period dramas of Victoria biting her lip as she has to make a tough decision.

A drama like this would be more realistic of a Britain whose inhabitants were in poverty and fought for their basic rights.  The likes of Downton Abbey, Victoria, and the Crown are more about portraying the aristocracy in a better light and only shining a light on history that is more pertinent to them or simply cannot be ignored.

Maybe just maybe someone will make a drama of the ordinary, brave people who fought and helped to establish the NHS, education, and better living conditions that we are used to today.  After all the ‘Great unrest,’ from 1910-14 appears to be now a forgotten period of history when it’s stories deserves to be as much celebrated as well as giving an understanding of the world that we are in now.

Game of thrones in the modern era

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The world of George RR Martin’s Westeros is largely accepted to be based in a harsh, cruel, mediveal world.  When somebody gets stabbed in the back in game of thrones then the knife is quite clearly put between the shoulder blades.

As the years roll by with civilization improving along with technology the game of thrones world would start to look like ours.  Will winter still be coming and will dragons still be around?  Let’s see.

The world of Westeros will probably just be as surreal and barmy as this one.  Although lets assume that democracy has arrived and that the ruler is now voted to the Iron throne rather than inherited or in some cases taken by force.

Nevertheless the old order of the Targaryen, Lannister’s, Baratheon and Starks will no doubt still be pulling the strings.  Indeed you can imagine the Lannister’s being a respectable investment group with an old history that only the very influential and old houses do business with.

The Black watch no longer patrols the wall as that has now been outsourced to an attactive bidder.  It’s all about costs of course and getting the best for the taxpayer.  Although strangely as in this world the taxpayer is lumbered with a higher bill and a poorer service.

Instead the Black Watch are now a political party who are seen as being the watcher for the people.  After all Jon Snow went out of his way to protect the wildlings and ordinary folk so would be against the Lannister and Targaryen party the Congaryen party.

The politics though wouldn’t be clear cut with the Black Watch party hierachy assuming a procession when electing their Lord Commander.  However just as Jeremy Corbyn  pissed off his own MPs by standing as leader there will be a squawking of feathers as the Black Watch members unexpectedly elect a Jon Snowbyn.   But just like those traitorous ‘crows,’ and the Labour rebels found to their cost after stabbing Snowbyn in the back he  rises just like Jon Snow did from the dead to continue to lead the Black Watch.  A leader who very much believes in the people.

As there is a ‘Jon we can,’ figure then inevitably there has to be a high sparow who claims to speak for the common people but just exploits the fears for his own interests.  Like the high sparrow he wants to be seen as a normal chap so what better way than wearing a camel coat, drinking a pint, smoking a fag, whilst bemoaning that ‘all these bloody wildlings are coming over here, taking jobs from Westeros people and need to be sent packing.’  Loved and loathed this Farage Roche type like the high sparrow just loves the attention.  Furthermore he also needs watching.

The leader on the Iron Throne will sadly not be a Tyrion Lannister type who has the brains and charms to manage Government but will be a poor mans Jamie Lannister.  Although he might be from a rich and privileged family this leader is a bit of a chancer without the good looks.

As the likes of Farage Roche leader of the high sparrow party want Westeros out of WEU (Westeros and Essos Union) Cameron Lannister decides to nip it in the bud by calling a referundum.

Now old Cameron Lannister hasn’t learnt from almost being scorched from when he almost lost the North.  After recovering from the white walker Thatcher type who did her best to break the north they decide that they want out and declare another Stark as the King of the North.  The North lest it be said remembers.  However he doesn’t learn from history and after booking the Freys for a family wedding and to celebrate independence it all gets a bit stabby with Cameron Lannister regaining the north.

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Despite almost losing the north  Cameron Lannister is fed up with his party wanting out of the WEU and moaning that it was much better in the days of dragons, plundering, and murdering than it is now.

Believing that people will trust him despite just wiping his bloody hands from the Frey’s wedding celebrations he persists to go ahead with the referundum.  Besides would anyone really want to lose the benefits being in the WEU brings?  Cameron Lannister believes it so much that he doesn’t even bother with a plan in case the leave vote does actually win.

Cameron Lannister’s younger brother Bozza with his mad hair and eccentric behaviour (think a ugly version of Tyrion with less charm) decides its time to make his move to sit on the Iron Throne.  He thinks the vote will be close but the people won’t be daft enough to leave the WEU .  If it’s close enough then this might wound Cameron Lannister for him to make a play to be the new leader of Westeros.

Consequently with his pal (a very poor man’s Bronn) a Michael Gove type Called Brove he attempts to usurp his brother Cameron by backing the leave campaign.  That way he’ll have the backing of the leave support if the vote is a close remain.  What he doesn’t count on is that Westeros want out as the people are fed up with politicians not listening to them.  Besides which some of them are listening too much to the high sparrow Farage Roche who think the vote is more on getting rid of the wildlings rather than the economic impact it will have on every day lives.

Dodgy Cameron Lannister is left open mouthed and as he has no idea on what to do next decides to leave sharpish on a dragon.  This means another leader for the Iron Throne is needed with Bozza deciding that he might as well get his dream job.

This is where it now starts to get bloody as Brove wakes up one morning and whilst looking in the mirror decides that he wants to be boss.  So as Bozza goes up the stairs to place his large arse on the throne Brove stabs him in the back.  In response Brove gets attacked whilst tiptoeing through the bodies is Cersei May who gets to sit on the Iron Throne.  Like Cersei her ambitions doesn’t match her talents as the dawning realisation of the mess that Cameron Lannister means that there is no plan and winging it isn’t going to cut it.

Over in Essos and the free cities of Braavos etc who are now a major global world power Joffrey Trump vows to make the free cities great again.  Not only will he build a wall to keep the Dothraki out and make them pay but your not going to believe the amount of dragons he is going to get.  As for the Daenery’s free health care for the free cities well that’s getting ripped up straight away.

Despite being a misogynist, racist, bully he manages to beat the equally unpopular red witch Melisandre Clinton.  With cries of ‘Joffrey is going to make the free cities great again,’ and ‘he’s the only one who listens to the common people,’ Joffrey is at a loss on how he is going to deliver.  Especially all those dragons he’s promised.

The Iron Islands are now no longer seen as the fierce sea raiders that caused mayhem around Westeros.  It’s a world that the Greyjoy’s and the Iron born would be quite frankly appalled with.  Despite it’s rugged outlook the Iron Islands are now a beacon of liberal metropolitan tolerance.  Rather than fighting the modern day Iron born would rather have a latte outside some sophisticated coffee shop.  They also enjoy a high standard of living who are now tolerant of other people and happy to provide a helping hand to those in need.  Violence in the Iron Islands is certainly not the answer and would rather discuss these anger and emotions in a circle to help you.

Kings landing would now be a thriving lively metropolitan city with everything moving at one hundred miles an hour.  So fast that they would make Daenery’s dragons dizzy.  The underground and especially the gold line would be hard to navigate for strangers.  So much so that you would be wandering about like Ayra Stark and Brienne of Tarth.  

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Other parts of Westeros would view Kings Landing as being pretentious and for those that only have money.  There would certainly be some truth in that as Flea bottom and Blackwater rush would no longer be a place where the poor people mingle. Instead the character would be stripped out of it as trendy apartments and banking institutions would be based around Blackwater.  As for flea bottom well if you fancy visiting an ostentatious cereal cafe and pay twenty quid for a bowl of Dothraki wheat nuggets then flea bottom is the place for you. 

Hipsters would be the new white walkers (the original white walkers all but extinct due to global warming) walking around with skinny tight multi-coloured  jeans and a beard that would put Robert Baratheon to shame.  You would hear overhear them saying things like ‘The old God that I worship is so obscure that you probably won’t have heard of him or her.’  There would also be a few hipster faceless men who would go around declaring that ‘this face is so obscure that you probably don’t recognise it.’

Much as capitalism rules the world today the financial clout of the Iron bank runs the world of Westeros.  They would be the ones still pulling the chains and with the insane greed similar to the pyschotic Ramsey Snow it’s not long before the banks go under.

Prior to this you would have Ramsey Snow types declaring that ‘greed is good,’ whilst sipping Dorne champagne.  By night and let’s be honest probably by day these Ramsey Snow types behave like Brett Ellis American pyscho where everything including people are a commodity.

Inevitably the banks would come crashing down like they did in 2008 and the shit starts hitting the fan.  A brotherhood without banners occupy movement is formed who declare that they represent the ninety nine percent.

Rather than rounding up the rogues and hanging them they would be a bit more peaceful in terms of occupying banks and empty buildings whilst demostrating and demanding a fairer world.  This of course gives establishment such as the Lannisters the jitters with mayhem breaking out on the street.   There would be clips of the gold cloaks battering hapless demonstrators going viral with tactics such as kettling being used.

Whilst all this is going there would be a fantasy world TV drama without dragons and magic called the war of the roses.  What a weird world that is but with all the political intrigue, sex, and a world without dragons, white walkers etc. it pulls the punters in.

Using crows for messages would be so old school.  Craw (twitter) and other social media would now be used.  Rather than sending a sketch of being pictured with a dragon you can now take a selfie of one whilst sat next to the Iron throne on something called a smart phone.  If Margaery Tyrell had her hands on one of these her popularity would have soared more higher than when Cersei blew up the Sept. that she might have actually have got the better of Cersei and the high sparrow.

So much would be going on in this world that pretty much like this one you wouldn’t be surprised if a Targeryen returned whilst riding on a dragon.  Although the unrest wouldn’t erupt into civil war after Ned Stark’s execution it would certainly almost be so unsettled that you couldn’t possibly guess what was going to happen next.  Will Joffrey Trump get the dragons he promised?  Well we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Brian Benjamin

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the thick of it for real

Capaldi-Addison

As Angela Eagle is about to launch her Labour leadership challenge you can picture Ollie Reeder of the Thick it racing frantically through the corridors like the Keystone cops trying to tell Eagle that a much bigger news story has broken as Andrea Leadsom calls a last minute news conference to declare she is no longer standing to be the Conservative leader.

Its too late though as Ollie crashes through the door only to see a awkward, gurning Angela Eagle calling out journalists who have long scarpered to a much bigger news story as with no challengers, Teresa May will not only be the new Tory leader but the new Prime Minister.

The last few months in politics seems to be a drama that would rival Kevin Spacey’s House of cards with the farce of the thick of it thrown in for good measure.  If anything Angela Eagle’s pitch to challenge Jeremy Corbyn has so far summed up the PLP’s attempted coup.  A half arsed attempt that has so far swerved from one calamity to the next.  So much so that the shadow chancellor John McDonnell joked at a pro Corbyn rally “that the only good thing about it, was that as plotters, they were fucking useless.”

Malcolm Tucker would have blown up by now at the inadequacy of the Labour rebels and the way the ‘rise of the nutters,’ as he would no doubt see the Corbynistas have ran rings around them.

With regards to the Labour rebels and the way they have acted there are so many faults that it’s hard where to start.  From the deluded arrogance of not understanding the mood of their own membership to their inability to pick an appropiate time and more importantly a candidate who could offer a realistic chance of challenging the Tories.

Like Boris Johnson the Labour rebels were probably hoping for a close vote to remain in the EU so that they could get the best of both worlds to get rid of Corbyn.  No doubt they would have cited the reason that they gave when the leave vote won that Jeremy Corbyn had not done enough.

There was no doubt that it all seemed pre-planned.  The “it’s with a heavy heart…” delete whatever job you currently held template that was sent en masse smacked of the attempt to pressurise Corbyn to step down as losing the support of his MPs.

Unfortunately there was a slight flaw in that plan in the sense that Corbyn knew that he didn’t have the full support of his MPs.  It wasn’t as if they had kept it a secret with the constant attempts at undermining him through the media that Corbyn and his supporters knew that an attempt would be made at his leadership.

So when the first bullets of “it’s with a heavy heart…” started to fly followed by attempts to strong-arm Corbyn in stepping down it was never going to happen.  Yes he might not have the support of most of his MPs but he had the support of the membership after his outright victory almost a year ago.

This was something that the Labour rebels seemed to have realised as they looked at ways at ensuring that Corbyn had to have enough nominations from Labour MPs to re-stand.  After much deliberating the NEC stated that Corbyn could be stand but then ruled that unless members had paid the full membership of £25 within the past six months rather than the £3 would not be eligible to vote.  Critics accused the NEC of social exclusion and attempting to restrict voting in an attempt to get the result that they wished.

All that has happened so far is a widening rift between the PLP and its members.  There are some who see their MPs as London-centric, careerists who are not in tune with their constituents.  The Guardian’s John Harris whilst conducting a survey regarding the EU vote summed up the mood the divide that seems to have engulfed the UK with a quote from a Manchester voter.   “If you’ve got money you vote in.  If you haven’t got money you vote out.”

Corbyn at the very least offers a different alternative from the austerity lite that his “it’s with a heavy heart…” opponents seem to prefer.  There is with Corbyn a voice that speaks for them but that’s not to say that there are those that are equally as cynical with Corbyn with concerns over immigration and the decline of their areas.

The rebel Labour MPs have never been seen to give Corbyn a chance.  Instead they have acted like spoilt kids when the trophy goes outside of their own little clique.  After all Corbyn was seen as the ‘token leftie,’ whilst they had to suffer the inconvenience of members deciding which of their faction should lead the Labour party.  Inevitably it came as an almighty shock that Corbyn not only won the vote but raced away with it.

Even then they couldn’t be seen to give Corbyn a chance and offer their full support and seemed only active in opposing Corbyn rather than the Conservative government.  This tawdry episode has done nothing to impress voters who watch such petulant antics and feel ever more alienated from the Westminster bubble.

The rebels are right in the sense that Corbyn won’t win Labour the next general election but equally neither will Angela Eagle or Owen Smith.  Neither as Toast of London would say has the “charisma,”or the appeal of offering not only something new but hope and the opportunity for a better country.  Instead of just offering their support and biding their time whilst they wait for the right candidate.  Even if Corbyn had led them to an election which he still might and doesn’t win they can then say that they gave it a chance and it was time for a new alternative.

Now after all the mutterings and sneakiness they have taken the first shot at Corbyn without any real thought.  They now face the prospect of Corbyn not only winning again but the threat of deselection at the next election.  In the words of Omar from the wire “If you come at the King, you best not miss.”

 

Labour leadership

It seems that Labour lost the election due to it not being able to connect with the ‘squeezed middle,’ of the marginal seats. The Observer in its editorial last week even declares that there is a devastatingly large gap between Labour and British voters.

It’s as though the party only has to move slightly to the right and this will be enough to win the next election in 2020. What the article and many within the New Labour hierarchy seem to have forgotten is that the problem is a lot more complex and deep rooted. In short its support is badly fractured.

This is a fact conveniently not mentioned in the Observer article that Labour was wiped out in Scotland and still doesn’t seem to be addressed. It was not just a urge for independence in Scotland that attracted voters to the SNP but its anti-austerity policies. In short they felt the SNP listened and represented the views that they have. Labour was seen as taking its support for granted and only realised when it was too late.

To even have any chance of winning the next election it would need a similar amount of seats that they got in England and Wales in the 1997 General Election to have any chance of forming a Government if they were not to win back the Scottish seats.

The problem isn’t just about trying to appeal to the middle ground but to assess its traditional support base. It’s about listening to their voice and concerns. Unfortunately the Labour hierarchy seem to be stuck in their own bubble which explains the sudden shock and surprise that Jeremy Corbyn is actually quite popular. The reason for this is that he has made it quite clear that he is against austerity and wants to try and bring about a fairer society.

Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, and Liz Kendall have made a poor job of what they actually stand for. Indeed they sound quite stale with no hint of charisma or that they provide the party that they can provide a fresh change.

The fact that the mass hysteria in the media from within Labour at how bad it would be for the party if Jeremy Corbyn say’s a lot about the other candidates. That they have to try and smear rather than arguing about what they can bring to the party highlights the lack of talent. If anything the petulant refusal of some to be in a Corbyn shadow cabinet has probably only increased his support.

As it stands whoever wins the leadership election will find it tough to win the next election. With the support fractured and nobody really knowing what the Labour party stands for it is going to be difficult. The fiasco over the abstention of the welfare bill exemplifies this. If Labour are not going to defend the very people who voted for them then what precisely is the Labour party for?

Nothing what Jeremy Corbyn has said seems to be extreme.  Wanting big companies to pay their taxes fairly, workers to be treated and paid fairly, a good education for all, and a health service that doesn’t rely on how much money you have got seems to be the best way of producing a fairer and more caring society.

Even if Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t win the new leader will need to address the concerns of it’s traditional support base.  It needs to make clear that it is a party that represents the needs of the majority and not the few.  The cuts (and certainly if you are under 25) are hurting a lot of ordinary people.  Labour’s job is to at least fight for these people who expect Labour to at least live up to it’s ideals.

Of course it is going to be difficult for whoever does become the leader simply because it’s not as simple as trying to appeal the marginal seats.  There is disillusionment within traditional Labour heartlands.  It was why some people voted for the Greens or UKIP because they felt Labour either didn’t listen to them or hold the same ideals.

The next five years are going to be difficult to try and win back the support.  However trying to outdo the Tories is not really going to help.  Indeed Labour may have to to ally themselves with the SNP and other anti-austerity parties whilst trying to bring about voting reform. Trying to be a party with a light austerity touch is not going to work. It’s hardly going to win back the seats in Scotland and only risks losing more it’s traditional support.