An insult to the United Nations

Would someone please explain to me why, yesterday afternoon, the leaders of the world allowed some orange idiot from quite a poor television show to presume to lecture them on world affairs? The fool in question had no business being there; he clearly had no idea what he was talking about. And yet, in the United Nations joint assembly, yesterday afternoon the world’s leaders put up with the complete joke America calls it’s leader thinking he had a right to tell them how to do their jobs. If I was an American, I would be embarrassed to be represented by that vain, egotistical moron. Then again, I don’t care: since it elected Trump, America has lost my respect. I now consider the country a collection of spoiled children driven by immature, petulant whims. Who they elect is their business, but why should the leaders of more mature countries (mind you, the UK is hardly one of them at the moment) put up with the sight of that utter jackass talking to them as if he ranked among them? Frankly to watch that p’tahk stand there and lecture the UN, when it was clear he had no business being there and was way out of his league, was an insult to that noble organisation.

Boris Johnson is an insult to the nation – Owen Jones

Hour after hour the fact that Boris Johnson still has anything to do with governing this country becomes more ridiculous. Hour after hour, the government struggles on, trying to maintain an absurd fiction. It becomes more farcical by the hour. I just came across this Owen Jones article, explaining just how silly things are getting; it’s well worth a read. For my part, I’m now convinced that this cannot last and that Brexit will collapse. How can it? The uk is a laughing stock: our international trade situation is a complete mess. We now need to renegotiate umpteen treaties which were working perfectly fine as part of the eu. I mean, this is just silly. No sensible government could let such stupidity continue, which is why I’m certain we’ll remain part of the eu. It’s just a matter of time, and the only question is when will they drop the pretence and call this moronic game to an end.

Paris will host the 2024 olympics

You were probably expecting me to have said something by now about Paris having been awarded the 2024 olympics last Wednesday, given that I was once so enthusiastic. To be honest I didn’t blog about it because it was just so anticlimactic. We already knew, weeks ago, that Paris was gonna get the ’24 games and LA the ’28. There was no big countdown, no big unveiling, and nothing to get excited over. Hardly noteworthy really. Nonetheless, I suppose I am still pretty interested in the subject: it will be interesting to watch how Paris goes about organising these games, and what they do with an event they have struggled so long to get. From what I read, the plans already look pretty damn spectacular. Most of all, I want to see what they do with their opening ceremony. Knowing the french, it will be very creative, artistic and cerebral, but I want to see whether they try to do anything as awesome as this. Oh well, I just have to wait seven years to find out.

More on the folly of nationalism

I think I need to flag this Evolve Politics up. It is spot on, echoing what I’ve been thinking for quite some time. In it, Mark Turley argues that humanity needs to get beyond the idea of the nation-state. We now face certain problems which can only be addressed if we leave aside our petty differences and come together. ”When you actually break things down, the notion of ‘Nationalism’ really is incredibly stupid.” I could hardly agree more. While he rightly states that organisations like the EU have their faults, and problems such as finding a way to maintain democracy in such a United Earth would need to be resolved, transnational cooperation must surely be better than continuing to squabble as nation-states.

Overhearing heartlessness

I witnessed something yesterday afternoon which really upset me, but which I think ought to be noted. Lyn and I had popped down to Asda, just for a few bits and pieces. We were going along the side of the shop in our chairs about to go in, when we passed a man and his young son going the other way. What I overheard the man say to the lad really troubles me: they had obviously just passed one of the homeless people who sit outside the shop asking for money; the man explained to the kid that he had given to the beggar because he was English. When I heard that I was appalled. I started to say something, but Lyn wisely stopped me, not wanting any trouble. The implication had been that he wouldn’t have given the beggar any change had he been an immigrant, or perhaps black, as if his compassion extended only to his own ethnic group. How utterly heartless. And to hear that being told to a young child, as if the xenophobic scumbag was imparting some great piece of wisdom, is sickening. That halfwitted chav didn’t deserve a son. Above all though, I worry that this may be a frightening indication of where british culture is headed post 2016.

How dare BoJo try to use the NHS to get support?

Would someone please tell that self-important p’tahk Boris Johnson that merely repeating a lie doesn’t make it any more true. He is still insisting that we’ll be able to recoup £350 million a week for the NHS, despite that claim having been shown to be complete bollocks. Even the watchdog branded it ‘misleading’. Yet this is an utterly cynical act on johnson’s part: he knows the country is still divided and a lot of people are still very, very angry about what happened last year; he also has Teressa May’s job in his sights. Thus he is pretending to care about something extremely dear to many people – the NHS – in order to use it for his own ends. He wants to create a rhetorical binary where the EU is somehow placed in opposition to the NHS, using people’s love and admiration for the latter to turn them against the former.

Johnson doesn’t give a fuck about the NHS – like any tory, he’d probably privatise it if he could – but he knows how dear it is to many people, and he is trying to use that affection for his own ends in a sickeningly cynical act. It was this very trick that brought about the stupidity of last year, and he’s trying to use it again. The man should be rotting in jail for misleading the country the first time; persisting with the lie is beyond the pale. The NHS is vital to many; it is one of the truly great things about the UK. To see it being used as a political crutch by a self-important p’tahk who doesn’t really give a fuck about it boils my blood.

Screening at the Old cottage Cafe

I am very pleased indeed with how last night went. I was, to be honest, quite worried about it. I had visions of everything going pear-shaped and the screening turning into a train wreck. Mid-afternoon yesterday I was getting quite fretful. But I needn’t have worried: in the end, the Old Cottage Cafe in Charlton park made a wonderful screening room. The event was quite well attended. The size of the cafe gave it a communal feel, as if everyone was part of the same social group precisely the impression I wanted to achieve. The Londoners films I had selected all fitted together nicely.

My initial plan had been to preface the films with some sort of talk contextualising them, similar to the presentation I gave last year. That way I could explain how the films had come about, as well as weave in some theory and info on Walter Benjamin. As time wore on, though, I began to think that such a presentation might not fit, so I decided to just give out a handout. Last night, however, sitting at the back watching the films, I realised I had made the wrong decision: a brief talk would have set the evening off nicely. Turning my volume down, I quickly tapped a few lines into my Ipad. Then, when the screening was over, I put my hand up and asked to say something. It was just something brief and rather cliche, but it did the trick and went down well.

That, then, is my contribution to the Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival done for this year. It has been terrific fun, and I’m already thinking about what I can do for next year’s event. I have a feeling this thing will just get bigger and bigger, and long may it last.

Labour don’t treat disabled people as vulnerable

I think I need to flag this short vlog by Ted Shires up because it is, more or less, spot on. In it, Shires starts to unpack the way the Tories accuse Labour of treating disabled people as vulnerable. As he points out, the tories are playing semantics: they are firstly trying to present themselves as on ‘our’ side, standing up for us etc; and secondly they are trying to turn us against labour by accusing them of patronising us. Given this is coming from a party which is slowly stripping us of our means to live, it is sickening. The tories are feigning a support for disability rights, trying to look like they want to stand up for us against Labour, who would have us dependant on benefits. But that’s bull: the tories don’t care about us – they just want to cut benefits so they can reduce taxes for their rich friends. They seek to portray living with the help of state benefits as somehow patronising and regressive, the better to convert people to their individualist, everyone-for-himself worldview. It’s a cynical, deplorable manoeuvre, and tells you all you need to know about the people currently in government.

Cafe Culture

It occurs to me that somebody could create a profile of a cafe like the one the beeb has posted here about the cafe in charlton park. I think the two cafes have a lot in common: they both function as hubs for a community, the same customers going in day after day after day. I find it interesting how small little eateries like that have the same function wherever you find a small urban group within a larger metropolis. Charlton still has the feel of a village to it, despite being part of greater London; it’s community feels separate from that of the wider metropolis. Cafes like this are the pins which tack such communities-within-communities together. The bbc has done a photographic profile of one up in Clapham High street; I wonder if I could do something similar in charlton park.

Introducing The Jungle Book

I almost made quite a screw up yesterday, and it was only through a bit of luck that everything turned out all right. I thought that School’s screening of The Jungle Book, which I was supposed to introduce, was today; it was only when I saw the posters on the door of the cafe that I realised it was yesterday afternoon. Luckily, everything was already in place, as we had tapped my opening speech into my Ipad last week. All I had to do was roll up and deliver the speech.

It went without a hitch. I had kept my talk pretty basic and to the point, which, looking at the average age of the audience last night, I think was aa good decision. The hall where the screening took place was rather full, and it was a good thing that we used a microphone to ensure I was heard. I think what I had to say was well received, and I got a good firm round of applause after I finished. I didn’t stay for the screening as I had dinner to attend to, but I hope it went well. The first part of my involvement with Charlton And Woolwich Free Film Festival 2017 is now done; now I have Thursday’s Londoners screening to look forward to.