Home » Philosophical discourse » To Sanity and Beyond: Trumpkins, and a BogPo Manifesto for Labour

To Sanity and Beyond: Trumpkins, and a BogPo Manifesto for Labour

The Wit and Wisdom of President Donald J Trump

“We want to start making our products again. We don’t want to bring them in; we want to make them here. That doesn’t mean we don’t trade because we do trade, but we want to make our products here.

“If you look at some of the original great people that ran this country, you will see that they felt very strongly about that.”

Yes, Donald, thanks for the historical detail, expressed as if by an unlettered idiot; I read about it in the Declaration of Independence.

It says something like:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Of course, it could be an ‘alternative fact’ that the original great people that ran this country ever said such a thing. And, however technically, you may believe you derive your power from the temporary consent of at least a large minority of the governed; and that your constituents may indeed have perceived – somewhat blindly, I may interject – that you are the man to effect their Safety and Happiness.

But I see nothing about the unalienable right of a handful of deplorable billionaires to sequester half the wealth of the American people for their own ends. I see nothing democratic about a system of democracy under which local legislatures controlled by political parties can simply disenfranchise whole swathes of their adult voter populations with a stroke of the pen in order to gerrymander their constituencies.

I see nothing smart about antagonising other countries, making violent and destabilising threats, merely because your fellow businessmen have chosen to profit mightily from exporting their manufacturing processes there.

I see nothing in the Declaration of Independence about making secret alliances with inimical foreign powers, nor about squalid, geriatric ‘pussy-grabbing’ Presidents who have avoided paying their income tax for twenty years by exploiting dubious loopholes, refusing to cede the unconstitutional control of their global business interests to anyone other than the plastic-faced junior members of their own families.

I see nothing about tyro fascist administrations threatening the freedom of the press unless editors agree to print their barefaced lies and propaganda in place of more self-evident truths; about blatant interference in the affairs of independent businesses; about rule by executive order and menacing Tweet, bypassing the people’s Congress.

I do however register the phrase ‘just powers’.

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Did ‘some of the original great people that ran this country’ make themselves clear enough for you, Mr President?

Warlord

Poor Barron Trump.

Not only could the President not spell his name, but at the age of 10 he already looks on camera like more of a snooty little moneybags than his father did as a teenager.

Privileged, pampered, entitled – damaged.

Of course, it’s unworthy to drag the kid into the general shitstorm of hatred for his horrible giant-baby father, who has just made donating aid to  family planning clinics around the world illegal, in order to please his sick-shit Christian VPOTUS Mike Pence – the guy who delivered the Evangelicals vote for the no time for God-botherin’ Trumpkin.

You don’t get to choose your parents, now clearly they won’t get to choose you.

And that contemptuous sneer on his angelic little face might only have been nerves. How would you feel, up there on that podium, gazing into space, wondering where all the people your dad says he can see have gone?

Being raised by the servants of advertent parents who value themselves not by their real wealth and what good they can do with it, but by the amounts of money they can convince other people they owe without consequence – is, in my view, child abuse.

And we know, don’t we, that as Papa Schtrumpf packed the pampered and wayward little Donald off to military academy, from where he mysteriously failed to get drafted for service in ‘Nam, thus ensuring his survival to abuse the parents of those who fell in a later futile Presidential war, the poor little sprog is going to have to do the whole British Royal Family thing: cold showers, gridiron quarterbacking, scorpions in his socks… character-building stuff – before being generously awarded academic qualifications and embarking on the round of nightclubs, money-grubbing slappers, late-night rescues from police custody by expensive lawyers, car crashes, cocaine and the paparazzi feeding-frenzies that doubtless awaits the Crown Prince as he grows up.

But I really can’t bring myself to care for that cold and arrogant little face. The boy is visibly a monster in the making.

Yes, I know, it’s unfair to disparage the heir-apparent at such a young age. Poor, poor Bazza. It’s not his fault he has the expression of a kid who knows that one day when at the age of 23 he inherits the White House, he will be even more of an arrogant, self-serving little bastard than his geriatric dad, grinding the faces of the losers, abrogating trade deals real people sweated years to put in place, testing out how huge are the insincerities he can get away with, how much extra money he can make, on the ideological grounds that ‘Murca is not just a lump of rock on the same planet as the rest, but a nation fully entitled by its hidden history of genocide and immigration by the formerly huddled masses, by its massive nuclear arse ‘n’ all, to its insistent third-rate hegemony over a dying planet.

Happily, none of us is likely to have grandchildren who will survive the coming extinction, thanks to his father’s staffer picks, of the human – and every other – race. Little Barron Trump with his cool, fifth-grader ‘blow-me and be my first lady’ Hollywood kid hairdo is the last of his line.

But no fair! Kids grow up to rebel against their parents. Barron might well yet become the secret leader of the American Socialist Party. The most cheering thought that occurs to me right now, however, is that he’s going to have to be best buddisz with Cruz Beckham. Or that he turns out gay.

Reading his expression as his geriatric father was sworn in to become already on Day One the most unpopular president in US history, you worry about the other little billionaire ‘friends’ who will be security-vetted to play Minecraft with him in the White House media room.

I mean, if he drowns one of them in the waterboarding pool, if a gun goes bang while he is enthusiastically showing it off, if another mate dies from a cool party-drug overdose, if security has to call in the Cleaners to mop up an actress, we know, don’t we, that someone ain’t goin’ to jail.

But a kid who looks like he already pulls the wings off of flies …..

Oh, stop it! Just a kid. Unfair.

(Memo: sack self. Ed.)

 

Weather News

44 million face ‘crippling’ ice storm this weekend…
Officials beg Trump to send help after storms kill 20 across the South (NBC News)
Tens of millions throughout the plains and the Midwest are bracing for dangerous winter conditions that could last for several days.

Across the South, 50 unconfirmed tornadoes were reported from Thursday to Sunday as four severe storms moved south from Georgia and Mississippi into the Florida Panhandle, said Frank Giannasca, a senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel.

The worst of the damage was in Georgia, particularly in Dougherty and Cook counties. Seven deaths were reported in Cook County, where a tornado demolished (200 homes on) a mobile-home park (in Adel).

“If you were to see it today, it’s like a war zone,” Adel Mayor Buddy Duke said at a news conference early Monday evening. In Dougherty County, Georgia, where four people were killed, county commission Chairman Chris Cohilas said Monday that he has been “begging FEMA for boots on the ground. it looks like a nuclear bomb went off”

Get used to it.

Does Trump send help? We don’t hear.

Maybe he’s too busy with his new position as C-in-C, ordering his special troops fighting ISIS alongside Kurdish militias in Iraq to ‘take the oil’. Questioned, Press Secretary Spicer tells journalists it’s not the sort of policy the administration wants to discuss publicly.

So it’s true? That’d be a first.

 

Church Times

“One must observe, must one not, as well that no congregation ought to have been too taken aback by the unexpected news that the Koran recommends that Muslims should not worship Jesus?”

An unholy row is simmering in Glasgow after a Scottish Episcopalian minister, the Very Revd Kevin Holdsworth, dared to include a reading from the Koran in a service at St Mary’s Cathedral last month.

One of his colleagues, the only Revd Colin Ashenden, who is the Queen’s chaplain in Scotland, has resigned from the Chapter in order to be able to criticise the Very Revd Holdsworth freely, because of His Veryness making him a little less assailable by the lower ranks, presumably.

Now outside the tent pissing in, Revd Ashenden said the passage, which explains (in Arabic) that Jesus was the son of Mary and a great prophet but sadly not the Son of God and ought therefore not to be worshipped by Muslims, had caused “serious offence”; although the intention one infers was to make the point that Jesus isn’t worshipped by Muslims, but that nevertheless they hold him with such reverence that native Christians might look on them at least with grace, if not exactly favour.

“There are a number of members of the congregation who have written open letters complaining of the profound upset they experienced as people who are part of the Eucharistic community who had come to worship Christ,” Slightly Revd Ashenden is quoted as saying, in a BBC report.

Are we supposed to believe that the Very Revd Kevin was making a serious attempt to convert his congregation to the ways of the Orient? That he expected them to suddenly worship Muhammad instead? Perhaps anticipating the elevation to the throne any day now of Charles 111, the ecumenical crown-prince with a thing for Islam? Or was it merely ‘for information’, as they say?

Services can get pretty repetitious after years of attendance, and it’s not uncommon for pastors of all denominations to try to liven them up a little, if they can. Perhaps the Very Revd Kevin saw importing an inoffensive Muslim student to read a bit from his own holy book as preferable to riding a unicycle naked up the aisle with a plastic daffodil stuck up his bottom?

One must observe, must one not, as well that no congregation ought to have been too taken aback by the unexpected news that the Koran recommends that Muslims should not worship Jesus.  Otherwise, they’d be bloody Christians, wouldn’t they?

It summarises the main difference between two of the main divisions of the old Abrahamic religion, really. The third, Judaism, is also equivocal on the thorny subject of whether Jesus was the Son of God or just a posthumously successful if slightly off-the-wall prophet and anti-Roman guerilla leader – although later Romans played that down.

We have known about it all for quite a while now. About 1,394 years, indeed.

Now, I think it’s probably quite a good thing that Muslims are occasionally reminded that their own Islamic community as portrayed in the Daily Mail and elsewhere, perhaps on Nigel Farage’s boring chat show, doesn’t contain the only tiresome, hypocritical, self-regarding, uptight, thin-skinned, ignorant God-botherers in Britain, worse even than Radio 4 listeners; and that Islam doesn’t have a monopoly on howls of outrage over the most idiotic points of doctrine anyone could possibly take umbrage at on a wet Sunday afternoon in Barmulloch, when they’ve finished the easy crossword.

Let us remind ourselves soberly of the fate that befell corner-shop proprietor, Mr Asad Shah, hacked to death (in Glasgow, as it happens) by a Muslim fanatic who accused him of apostasy over the sending-out of cheery Christmas cards to his Christian customers. (Did the killer not read the bit in the Koran where it says Jesus was born to Mary? That’s what we’re celebrating, fuckhead.) And, of course, of what might befall you if you were to retweet a line-drawing even just for critical review purposes, should it purport to share the mildest pleasantry about the humourless, bitter and vindictive You-know-who Upstairs.

Such extreme religiosity isn’t confined only to fundamentalist Islam, as we see. Very often, religion is the last resort and only hope of the desperate. The Very Revd Kevin’s dimwitted but noble attempt to introduce a note of ecumenicism probably wouldn’t play well to a Glasgow congregation; the city where even the football teams hate one another along sectarian lines, and they’re both technically on the same hymn-sheet.

It’s a Good Thing, I suppose, that the Eucharistic Community in Glasgow doesn’t go about driving lorries over the corpses of Christmas shoppers, machine-gunning the patrons before blowing themselves up in theatres, but is merely content to write prissy, aggravating ‘open letters’ to unheeding Bishops, protesting at being asked to think for a moment beyond the walls of their limited mental capacities.

Muslims in turn might remind the Eucharist Liberation Front (Glasgow branch) that cannibalism, even the mild, symbolic variety practised in the C of E, ought to inspire revulsion, not worship, in any sensible human being. And it’s illegal. Only not, I think, in Britain?

A former choirboy, it always struck me as weird how one could spend hours intoning dreary Victorian hymns about Jesus dying for our sins on the cross, before eagerly celebrating the Original Sin by tucking-in to parts of him, as represented by a wafer biscuit and some indifferent plonk that have miraculously been transmuted by a Very Revd in a frock into His Actual Body and Blood (in the case of Catholicism, only symbolic in the case of the Prods – same victim, different verdict).

Clearly, one man’s worship is another’s three-course meal.

But what this tendentious nonsense demonstrates is that religion is a kind of mental illness; the utter, self-abasing dependancy on a phantom parent. Was a peripatetic rabbi with heretical views, for whose existence there is almost no historic evidence other than a bunch of cut-and-paste Gospels and some misogynistic epistolary exhortations from @Peter’s PR man, Paul of Tarsus, the Son of God (whatever that means?), or was he not?

Who cares?

Who can prove it either way?

There is no accounting for what might cause offence (such as this Post!) to any high-minded person living in the grim, dark, bandit- and pibroch-infested, snowbound country made out of sheer granite, that invented Presbyterianism for the amusement of industrial workers on Sundays, as if hewing two tons of coal a day wasn’t penalty enough for being born.

Long before the Yahoo! website gave the world’s congenital cretins a platform for their Komodo-dragon salivating, poisonous prejudices and (pardon me, Babe) pig-ignorant opinions, that have now inexplicably come to command the centre-stage of our political discourse, religion was a useful outlet for humans to express their fathomless and violent irrationality in a safe space.

As long as they didn’t fall out with one another over the precise details.

Postscriptum

I see I have a Like! But I’m confused. My Liker has responded before (unlike the rest of you lazy tossers content to float on my li-lo rather than blowing up one of your own). Indeed, every time I slag-off religion in my hearty, ex-muscular Christian fashion, up she pops with a Like.

The possessor of her own website, thanking Jesus for saving her – and not the other few hundred victims of her condition who die every year; not the medics and the drug-company research assistants and the shrinks who presumably turned her life around – I am nevertheless very happy to accommodate, nay even welcome, Beautybeyondbones to my world of sanity, and beyond.

 

THE BOGPO MANIFESTO

If the Labour Party can’t get it together and the Lib-Dems are too small to matter, while UKIP just basically stinks, then it’s up to me to devise a manifesto for the 2020 election.

Instead of paying corporation tax to the Treasury, all limited and public liability companies should be required to ensure their employees receive a much higher ‘living’ wage, no less than one twenty-fifth that of the highest paid executive. Shareholder dividends and executive bonuses should be capped at a realistic percentage of profits. Employees should be encouraged to join shareholder schemes and to achieve Board representation (see below for rules applying to Directors’ appointments.)

This higher wage would be offset by a ‘universal basic income’ of £140 a week for all qualifying by right of residence over 18, and £200 a week for all qualifying over 24. Those on the lower rate would pay no tax on their UBI; while those on the higher rate would pay a 10% marginal tax on income over £200 a week, to help offset the UBI. All other income over £200 a week would attract tax at 20%. Personal allowance should be scrapped.

Saving should be encouraged, with banks unable to set a differential between savings rates and loan rates of more than 12%. Savings rates should be sustained at a minimum of 3% above LIBOR. Customers should be limited to no more than three debt instruments, being credit cards or other loans, and receive a free financial health-check (not a sales call!) with an accredited advisor once a year.

Companies would pay their employees after deduction of basic income, which is paid by the State. All benefits, except Housing Benefit and the Personal Independence Payment, would be scrapped. Payable for all at 68, the State Pension would top-up the basic income by £40, to £240 a week.

The National Health Service to be assisted by a levy from additional taxation on sugar, refined wheat, tobacco, alcohol (but not wine), aviation, intensive livestock farming, financial transactions over £1 million and new cars. Available only to unemployed and seeking work or disabled and unable to work, Housing Benefit should be extended to those with mortgages from Day One, but be tapered off after 40 weeks (as opposed to the other way round at present). The ‘bedroom tax’ should be abolished and replaced by incentives to let spare accommodation.

Companies should be required to pay an ‘automation dividend’; a 40% tax on jobs that are replaced by automated systems, robots, AI etc. or that are outsourced to developing countries.

This revenue could be used to reduce or eliminate student tuition fees. Higher-level degrees are to be admitted to the student loan scheme. University degree years should be made more flexible and early years provision increased. Mature students (over 30) returning to or starting degrees should continue to receive the basic income and pay no more than 20% towards housing costs. Local authorities relieved of the burden of education costs would increase their social services and social housing provision.

Properties bought for ‘investment’ and left empty for more than six months should attract 100% purchase tax and the money spent on ending homelessness.

Other incentives to work or study should be created; low-interest credit unions promoted and a diesel car scrappage scheme introduced. ‘Faith schools’ and fee-paying public-schools registered as charities should lose their charitable status and become public liability companies (PLCs). Grammar schools and Academies should be absorbed into the comprehensive system.

All company directors prior to appointment should be required to pass a ‘business driving test’ demonstrating knowledge of the Companies Act, Employment Acts, the Shops, Offices and Factories Act and the Health and Safety at Work and Working Time directives (or whatever will replace them), as well as relevant consumer protections; also passing a numeracy test, verbal reasoning test and a psychometric evaluation of their fitness to employ staff.

Companies should be required to offer job appointments as a priority to British permanent residents before widening their search to include non-British passport holders. That includes the Governor of the Bank of England. The types of contracts offered to employees should be legally clarified and brought under the Employment Acts to prevent ‘zero-hours’ and other ‘freelance’ or self-employed workers from exploitation. Employees should have an expectation of wage increases in line with inflation.

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