Saturday, 27 May 2017

Bank Holiday Interlude: Siouxsie And The Banshees

It's been a few days since I last blogged here, though I have posted a couple of pieces over at my other blog Howie's World of Comics for those of you who might be interested . Normal service will resume shortly. I just need a break.

Meanwhile I discovered Siouxsie is 60 today! One of my favourite all time acts. A unique sound.

Here's a little number to help celebrate.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A war on life itself



When I sat down last night to write a piece about Trump's new found alliance with the Saudi's I suddenly found myself plunged into the dark. Outside sirens blazed as a serious incident cut the power to the block in which I live. A burning cable it turned out which has left me without electricity until this evening.

As a result I was oblivious to events in the outside world until this morning when I remembered where the wind up radio was stored.

Another terrorist incident. This time in Manchester at a pop concert mainly frequented by kids. Young kids and their parents, enjoying a night out with some American singer I'm not familiar with. Not one to keep up with the modern scene but then youth passed me by a long time ago.

Life is precious and those early days enjoying a good time with friends and family listening to the music of the moment is time well spent. The last thing anyone would expect is a fanatic blowing himself up ending so many young lives prematurely and in the name of a so-called religion.

My heart goes out to the victims, their families and friends at this awful time which puts any inconveniences I and others may face into perspective.

The perpetrators of this crime and so many others around the world are those who do not respect life or any vestiges of those things that make life worth living. It doesn't matter whether the criminals are ISIS, the Taliban or al-Qaeda the aim is the same.

Death to those who will not submit to the whims of the representatives of some imaginary deity and his warlord of a prophet.

When I looked at the Saudi's yesterday it occurred to me that their theology and that of the Ayatollahs of Iran were themselves only one step away from being like the Islamic Caliphate they claim to oppose.

Yet to speak out carries the "risk" or inevitability of being called "Islamophobic". Strictly that means having a fear of Islam.

When I see gay men caned in Indonesia, an unmarried couple stoned to death in Mali, women flogged for being raped across the Muslim world and  non-muslims subjected to brutal sharia and blasphemy laws I shudder.

And I care not for those who appease atavism whilst such barbarity stalks our world.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Election 2017: The Fringe




It's a weird old election. On that we can all agree. The far left nutters have mostly buried themselves in Labour to support old Steptoe and the far right has all but disappeared. As for the Lib-Dems, the sandal wearing community has had to resort to calling for the legalisation of cannabis to try and draw attention to itself.

There are as a result far fewer fringe candidates this year, but there are a few.

First off the remnants of the gang of fours party, the SDP has announced that:

The Social Democratic Party has announced a full slate of 5 candidates to contest the Sheffield parliamentary seats in the 2017 General Election.

The SDP has been steadfastly representing people throughout the UK for 27 years and can trace their roots to the original insurgent party of the 1980's.

As believers in true democracy, the Party campaigned strongly to leave the EU and members were fully committed to working harmoniously on a cross party basis.


Besides the fact they should change their name to the Sheffield Democratic Party, I was also surprised to see that they campaigned to "leave the EU". Then I noticed  their spokesman was none other than cross-party serial joiner Steve Winston, last seen quitting UKIP.

Then there is the far-left. Oh yes a couple of them are standing against the Corbynite revisionists. Firstly the Communist League (along with the Socialist Party of Great Britain) who are contesting Islington North, the hallowed constituency of St Corbyn himself. 

the Militant, a socialist newspaper

The Communist League is affiliated with the US based Socialist Workers Party (no relation to the Comrade Delta Cults) whose  version of third worldism led them to criticise Trotsky himself (shock, horror). A former faction of the old International Marxist Group they are so small that they do not even publish their own newspaper and can usually be seen flogging the highly turgid and unreadable US publication 
(again..).

Old Arthur Scargill is standing three candidates this time round. Not sure where the Socialist Labour Party gets it's money from, or whether it has many members but here it is:

slp banner GE 2017 Candidates 4

Last but by no means least is the Workers Revolutionary Party publishers of the daily News Line (how is a mystery, no more Gaddafi gold these days) who are standing five candidates. 

How this group have survived the fallout of Gerry Healy's crimes is a mystery. Think Comrade Delta and multiply, add internal violence, selling details of dissidents to foreign regimes and you get the gist...

The News Line front page 20 October 2012.png

Where are the Spartacist League when you need some comic relief......

Friday, 19 May 2017

May the farce be with you



Regular readers will notice that I have cut back on blogging over the last couple of weeks. In part this has been due to general tiredness but is also down to the simple fact I am so disillusioned with politics. I mean what a farce this general election has become.

ITV screened a two hour leadership debate without either of the candidates who could possibly even become prime minister on June 9th, though in reality there is only one. Theresa May is on course to win and the only question is how big a majority she will have.

For Labour there are two questions. How many anti-Corbyn MPs will keep their seats and will Corbyn himself obtain a big enough share of the vote to try and stay on as leader. He won't automatically resign because he has a "mandate" from the people who elected him. There are two Labour Parties.

The remnants of the mainstream centre/left party and the politically vulgar Corbynistas.

The problem is the better Labour does the more likely Corbyn's ascendency will continue. A dilemma that will plague the centre left come June 9th.

For me the problem of how I vote locally is already resolved.

"None of the above".

I am not a Tory and want an alternative to their party, but Labour is no longer that vehicle. It also galls me somewhat to say I would prefer Theresa May to Labour under Corbyn. But I'm far from alone in feeling that way. The man is seen (rightly) as an incompetent and dangerous fool.

Nobody would feel safe with Corbyn in power. The man says he's not a pacifist. That's true. He has never condemned IRA violence and makes friends with terrorist groups like Hamas & Hezbollah. Corbyn only wants to disarm the West.

As for the Manifesto, there are some good policies when taken on an individual basis. Trouble is we all know this shopping list is not affordable as a whole.

Has anyone noticed the lack of solidarity with Venezuela recently? The now bankrupt socialist paradise?

A warning to us all of the folly of so-called socialism.

There are another three weeks of this near pointless jockeying to go.  Like most people I am resigned to its outcome and simply await what happens next.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Musical Interlude: Aldious

Left it a bit late to blog tonight so here's a new track from Aldious one of my favourite Japanese bands.

Aldious are: Re:No, Yoshi, Toki, Marina & Sawa.

Website: https://aldious.net/

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Election on my doorstep

Outline map


The first leaflet for the 2017 general election has finally dropped on my doormat. A message from the sitting MP Greg Hands, the Tory incumbent for Chelsea & Fulham who will be returned with a large majority no matter how I choose to vote.

This prompted me to look up the list of local candidates who are disappointingly all from the five main political parties:

Bill Cashmore, Green Party
Alan De’Ath, Labour Party
Greg Hands, Conservative Party
Louise Rowntree, Liberal Democrats
Alasdair Seton-Marsden, UK Independence Party (UKIP)

Given my disposition against Jeremy Corbyn I thought I'd better look up the Labour candidate who is a local councillor. Seems he's not my type of Labour and was opposing action against Islamist extremism.

According to the Hammersmith & Fulham Forum:

....one Labour councillor – Cllr Alan De’Ath – attacked the programme as “Islamophobic”. Of course he is entitled to attack Council policy – he is not a Cabinet member and thus not bound by collective responsibility. Constructive criticism is always welcome. But to undermine the Council’s work in this particular way was pretty irresponsible.

I also didn't like the sound of his mate either:

Not that De’Ath’s outburst was the worst of the evening. His fellow Fulham Broadway Labour councillor Ben Coleman made some astonishingly crass comments during a discussion on anti-semitism.

In a brave speech by Cllr Joe Carlebach about his personal experiences. “I know what it is like to stand outside a synagogue and have sharpened coins thrown at you,” he said.

Coleman’s speech immediately followed. He said: “Sometimes people in the Jewish community think they are the only Jew in the village.” For good measure he then said that concern about anti-semitism in the Labour Party were “overblown”. Really disgraceful.


Really disgraceful pair who represent the worst of the new politics of Corbyn's Labour.

The slogan De'ath for Labour does amuse though....bring on the dark side of the force!

I was hoping for a decent fringe candidate. No one to vote for. I will have to spoil my ballot paper.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Eurovision 2017: Howie's Choice!

The Eurovision Song Contest (which takes place on Saturday night) has been a welcome distraction from the depressing general election campaign taking place here in the UK. The two semi-finals were broadcast on BBC 4 (the better songs were on the Tuesday night) and the stage is now set.

This years contest has been marred by the exclusion by Ukraine of the Russian entry, but then politics has been "bubbling under" what should just be a fun event for some years. Tactical voting by geographical neighbours also spoils the contests with countries like Greece and Cyprus giving each other "Twelve Points". They aren't the only ones....

The current favourites seem to be Italy who have entered a man and a his gorilla (it's a man in a costume) and Portugal who's singer reminds one of a young Herman Munster. Then there are the novelty songs.

Romania gives us a mixture of yodelling and rap. Less said the the better. Then there's the other weirdo from Croatia who mixes pop and opera depending on which way he's looking. My girlfriend likes it. God knows why. Takes all sorts I suppose.

But when it comes to songs (and we can't vote for our own piss poor entry) I rather liked this number from Azerbaijan (which I still need spellcheck to type). Their live performance on Tuesday quite impressed me.

This song will get my vote.