Archives for posts with tag: referendum


Where do you start with something like this?

Let’s start with the context. Jeremy Corbyn was asking Theresa May, “Did she actually know what arrangement was made with Surrey County Council?” This relates to the still unfolding scandal of a sweetheart deal being struck with Surrey Council ‘to persuade one of the richest councils in England to cancel a planned referendum on a huge council tax rise’ of 15%, which May categorically denied to parliament, despite leaks of emails and texts proving that, in fact, the government had intervened, which included her own Chancellor, Philip Hammond.

I am very sure that readers of this do not require me to explain the reason for an outburst of mocking hilarity in such a moment, after all if you have to explain a joke, it inevitably fails like a damp squid. The best response you’ll get in such a situation is, ‘Oh yeah, I get it’. And you’ll have to forgive me if I do indeed get it and consider it is not in the least funny.

The range of thoughts that went through my mind were impossible to capture and it has taken some days for me to get to a place where I can even write about it.

I am a retired community and youth worker and as such I was a public servant. I have served on and made representations to many committees in my time. In one of my more personally pleasing moments I took it upon myself to drive a career politician, seeking the office of mayor, from a youth committee in which she made it abundantly clear that youth, as far as she was concerned, should do as they are told by their superiors and betters, meaning her. I took it upon myself to discredit her before the committee from which she silently disappeared without notice or trace. What I did not do at any time was bray like a jackal at her obvious absurdities, absurdities which were entirely absent in Jeremy Corbyn’s questions to Theresa May in parliament.

What Theresa May did in parliament that day was mock the nation, flanked by two laughing sycophants. There are no circumstances in which such a hideous display of mockery is appropriate in the highest office in Britain and within the confines of the seat of parliament in the, supposed, mother of all parliaments.

I was a display of unrestrained arrogance, mocking the many lives that have passed, shattered and ruined by government dictat. What Corbyn was addressing was the issue of social care budgets slashed by this government and Surrey, a Tory stronghold, was shamefully seeking preferential treatment despite being one of the wealthiest councils in England. May even accused Corbyn of presenting “alternative facts” which, along with ‘fake news’, is the latest right wing ploy in its inexcusable murderous intentions of depriving ordinary people of life and the means of survival.

The chief thought going through my mind as I watched this obscene display was that she was mocking, above all, the poor and, specifically, the most vulnerable people in Britain in the last, waning, years of their lives.

But, worse, many times worse, is the arrogant presumption, which has marked Tory misrule since 2010, that they act with impunity, that they can and will get away with it and see fit to mock the entire nation. That is what Theresa May did, and that is what makes this so utterly obscene. And what is also abundantly clear is that redress is never going to come from the top, were that so then ample time has passed for it to have done so. It falls to us, ordinary people, to hold them, these abysmal excuses for humanity, to account by any means at our disposal, to be the gad fly to power, to bite and keep biting at every opportunity. It is too obvious that they should be drummed out of power, shamed and humiliated, and it we who must raise and continue to raise the kind of stink that will drive them and their filthy, corrupt, policies out. Clearly, no one is going to do it for us. That, at least, should be obvious by now.

In 2011 David Cameron introduced the fixed term parliament and they still plan to gerrymander electoral boundaries which will effectively see them in power for a very long time and preferably, they hope, forever. They do not like democracy in any form, and they have no interest in accountability, which was also what May was mocking apart from anything else. Any movement of the people is something they fear and, as we’ve so often seen, will attempt to brutally suppress. If Theresa May is reduced to hysterical displays of mockery in parliament, and it looked nothing if not hysterically contrived, then it falls to us to turn her into a gibbering wreck, it is the least she deserves.

KOG. 11 March 2017

#Smokinggun – email proves May lied re Surrey #sweetheartdeal

What’s #SurreySweetheart deal fuss all about? This video makes it all crystal in 2.5mins



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,498

Wednesday 20 July 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

Yesterday’s letter was met with a remarkable response on Twitter, “Keith Ordinary Guy – Member of the Labour Party – says it all – how pathetic.” At such times I do feel that for some people the act of procreation was a waste of time. It’s not the same as the more general contempt that many MPs have for the lives of ordinary people, who use and abuse us so extravagantly and treat us as a cash cow even whilst despising us, lying to us and robbing us.

Someone having a meaningless pop on Twitter is such a display of futility, it is by definition pathetic and it is notable if no other reason than it is uncommon. In a general sense I enjoy Twitter as a social media site on which most of the Tweets I see are worthwhile whether I agree with them or not, or share them or not.

In six years of Tory misrule we have witnessed the appalling contempt your party has for the electorate, in recent weeks in both the referendum and the Labour leadership challenge such contempt has reached white heat and the central issue is that democracy is under attack as never before.

There is nothing banal about Jeremy Hunt’s attacks on our NHS or our junior doctors, underlying all his machinations is the determination to privatise our NHS. That’s the bottom line. No government would dare declare its intention to privatise the NHS, so it is being done by stealth and deception because politicians rightly fear democracy and an informed electorate.

I can’t say I am proud to be a member of the Labour party, it isn’t about pride, it’s about standing up for social democracy, which accounts for the ever growing popularity of Jeremy Corbyn and explains the vitriolic attacks upon him by politicians and the media. It is impossible to insult me as a member of the Labour party because that is my informed personal choice which anyone is free to dismiss as pathetic, but that only says something about them and nothing about me.

The Police have apparently said that the scale of your party’s election fraud is of ‘staggering proportions’ and have accused your party of trying to cover it up by silencing the media, which, I have to say, is an extraordinary move on their part. What we are seeing is an unprecedented attack on democracy, but what we are also seeing is an extraordinary response and all those who oppose democracy should rightfully be trembling with fear because democracy is the foundation of social justice and social responsibility. Democracy is too often touted without consideration and without any meaningful context, yet behind its glib misuse lies the very bedrock of civilisation.

UK Police: Tory Election Fraud Scandal Is Being Covered-up

01_july_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,480

Friday 01 July 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

When Michael Gove said that ‘people in this country have had enough of experts’, he did something rather spectacular which sums up the problems of our time and the referendum. As a media savvy elitist, he spun a deliberate falsehood which meant that people opening their door to find some kind of sense, reason or expertise were first met by people like Gove, not to mention you and Johnson, who had set themselves up as guardians of the lie blocking the door and befouling the road to any kind of truth.

So sure and certain is Gove in his awe inspiring arrogance, he’s standing to be the next leader of your party and so great is his overweening confidence in his feudal arrogance, he probably dines off the backs of serfs laden with platters glazed with the Union Jack.

Yes, the Union Jack, that national symbol of Britain’s greatness, a symbol of imperial might, ownership, rulership, war and oppression (what else are flags for?). Small wonder you have adopted it for your party logo as you drive us back to the heady days when people knew their place and were dutifully subservient to their masters and betters who so utterly despised them, as now.

It reminds me of my early days of writing to you. I was contacted by someone who told me I had no idea how to write a proper letter to the Prime Minister of Great Britain and proceeded to rewrite one of my letters, with never a care for asking my permission, into official, respectful, meaningless gobbledygook. The poor chap was most put out when I refused his noble efforts to educate me into the language of proper servitude.

I was incredibly impressed by Boris Johnson’s Brexit speech, he had all the conviction of a man speaking at his own funeral. It is of no surprise that he will not be contesting the Tory leadership because he is too craven to sup from the poison chalice he himself filled. Bad career choice, eh?

War is the sport of those who rule, Mr Cameron, and what a bloody war it is that you wage against us. You gave us a referendum, but none have sought to manipulate the result more than you and your band of liars who would never trust us with a free and informed vote. You’ve all made it the most divisive vote in our history.

Whatever happens now, one thing is sure, the war on the poor will continue, Osborne has promised us that. However the vote went, we would be punished, we had austerity before the vote and we’ll have austerity after, people will die but that means nothing to you. Whatever happens, you are certain of your own life of luxury in which betrayal is the most valuable coinage. For you it’s a game, for us it is deadly, because only we pay the price. In an uncertain world, that is certain.

Boris Johnson ‘takes the coward’s way out’ in the face of Michael Gove’s betrayal



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,478

Wednesday 29 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The European adventure has been an attempt to create a vast mono-culture of diverse nations, unelected, unaccountable and opaque, dominated by cultural and economic elites who are in no way democratically answerable to the people of the various nations which comprise it.

The referendum has been dominated by scapegoating by many who are determined to be victims blasting out as much hate and vitriol as possible from their bunkers of moral superiority. It is the most loathsome, ugly, spectacle I have ever witnessed.

The binary choice that was offered to the nation, and viciously maintained by those leading both Tory campaigns, was a united flag of big Europe or a united flag of little Britain. Both were false and steeped in the interests of a self serving elite.

The result, accompanied by wailing and gnashing of the teeth of biblical proportions, has been spectacular as the financial markets have caused a plunge in the value of sterling. Let’s bear in mind though that the markets are beholden to no one other than themselves and money, as too are Standard and Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s, privateer rating agencies which have stripped the rating of the pound. Democracy has no part in the markets and George Osborne has left them to play fast and loose with our economy with no Brexit plan in place and now entirely abandoned by Osborne, having washed his hands of the whole affair as, indeed, have you.

Such is the supreme arrogance of you and your party, you are all blithely carrying on as if you had nothing to do with the mess you’ve created and are now talking about a leadership election which includes the very people who are responsible for the current chaos and who have lied through their teeth, yet who now steadfastly deny any such thing. As Nick Cohen’s headline in the Guardian put it, ‘There are liars and then there’s Boris Johnson and Michael Gove’.

There is a victim in all this and I am far from alone in naming and highlighting it. What lies in tatters, shredded and trampled underfoot, is democracy. Instead of the titan it should be, it has become a rabbit, caught in the headlights of unaccountable power and smashed under the wheels of arrogant, elite, supremacists who have nothing but contempt for it and, therefore, the people. That is why we are in this mess and nothing will be gained until and unless the people lift up it’s precious fractured carcass and breath some shuddering life into it and rise up and hold it high. It will take some alchemy to transform the rabbit into a lion, and that alchemy is entirely the will of the people. Weeping will avail us nothing, only the roar of a people aroused to action to end the dominance of the elitist, greedy, few at the vast expense of the many.



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,477

Tuesday 28 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

This was reported on Sky news, a conservative MP who was a member of the leave campaign was asked by Sky News Political Editor Faisal Islam, “Where’s the plan, can we see the Brexit plan now?” The response was, ‘there is no plan’, not from the Tory Leave campaigners, nor from your office. The MP apparently said, “Number 10 should have had a plan.” True, but what a cop out!

You made the EU referendum a manifesto pledge and, for once, carried out that pledge and yet made no effort to put together a Brexit plan and nor did those who campaigned for Brexit. One of two things apply here, either you are all utterly incompetent or you were all so certain that the nation would vote to stay in the EU that not one of you thought it was even worth the bother to come up with a plan.

You, George Osborne, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Priti Patel and Iain Duncan Smith, six major Tory players and not one of you did a damned thing to produce an exit strategy. After all the scare mongering and lies, you come up with zilch, nothing, and now you are going to waltz off into the sunset and leave the problem to whichever incompetent numbskull takes your place.

Osborne has announced that he’s going to do nothing to mitigate the impact of Brexit, leaving it until the autumn when the new Prime Minister is in place. All of you are washing your hands of any responsibility or accountability for the referendum.

There is an incredible outpouring of vitriol and hate towards those who voted for Brexit as the pound has fallen in value. The financial markets have a loyalty to no one but themselves no matter how much damage they inflict in their greed and George Osborne is giving them free reign to do their worst but few seemingly care about that.

As John Pilger has written in the days following the vote, ‘The most effective propagandists of the “European ideal” have…’ been ‘an insufferably patrician class for whom metropolitan London is the United Kingdom…’ who have ‘gloated, day after day, at those who would even consider the EU profoundly undemocratic, a source of social injustice and a virulent extremism known as “neoliberalism”. The aim of this extremism is to install a permanent, capitalist theocracy that ensures a two-thirds society, with the majority divided and indebted, managed by a corporate class, and a permanent working poor.’ In other words the Tory idyll which has taken shape in Britain for six years of Tory abuse. Where is the rage against that?



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,476

Monday 27 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

If anything should have been learnt from the referendum, although I do not think it has yet been properly driven home, it is the utter scorn and contempt which the so called elites have for ordinary people.

I was reading an article on the upcoming Tory leadership ‘race’ and came across this little nugget regarding Michael Gove and Boris Johnson. A friend of Johnson apparently said, “I think a Boris/Michael dream ticket would be the most likely. Perhaps with Michael as Boris’s chancellor.”

You’ll have to forgive my cognitive dissonance, but ‘dream ticket’? The reward for misleading the Tory Brexit campaign is that Boris Johnson could be the next Prime Minister and Michael Gove, the man who stated, ‘people in this country have had enough of experts’, as chancellor of the exchequer? If an economically illiterate George Osborne can make an utter pigs breakfast of the economy, what is a cloud cuckoo cuckoo land Gove going to do?

It must also be noted that at a time of intense uncertainty over Europe and a change of leadership in your party, fools within the Labour party have taken it upon themselves to challenge the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Contempt for the electorate and the well being of the nation is not restricted to you Tories, although I am pleased to see that those involved have been given short shrift.

What matters, and matters crucially, here is the utter disdain and contempt for the people of this country by those who exert their arrogance and privilege for entirely self serving reasons.

I mentioned the petition yesterday calling for another referendum, there is a lot that is wrong headed about this, but high on the list has to be that unless there is political reform in this country in which the government and ‘serving’ members of parliament are held to account by the people, nothing is going to get better.

Every member of parliament should have one burning agenda and duty right now and that is the well being and security of the people of this country. You have spent six years dismantling Britain, you have failed the people of Britain in every conceivable way and that very much includes the handling of the referendum. Britain’s future is what matters right now and any and every politician with any agenda other than the well being of this nation is an enemy of the people. No if’s, no but’s! Do your jobs or get out!



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,474

Saturday 25 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

If the referendum has been about anything, it’s been about framing. Britain’s exit has been received as the triumph of ignorance. Brexiteers despised as some kind of Neanderthal, sub-human, knuckle dragging, species that have destroyed Britain.

And yes, divide and rule is still holding the foreground. From what I’ve seen, and I am inclined to go with Owen Jones and John Harris on this, the great divide hasn’t been about age groups so much as poverty and desperation. Poor areas voted Brexit, more affluent areas voted remain.

Back to the framing, or should I say frame up? Immigration has been wilfully used and abused by politicians and the media alike and it can hardly be any surprise that it took root. Desperate people with no answers have a tendency to clutch at straws and even pin their hopes on hopeless solutions. If the economic woes of the poor are blamed on immigrants and if the poor pick up the mantra thrust upon them relentlessly from all sides, who is really to blame? The poor, of course and never, ever, those who cause poverty or frame the debate. God dammit, the poor are always to blame! And now we have Brexit and the venom is dripping.

Ashton-under-Lyne, was recently described in the Guardian as having ‘developed a reputation as the embodiment of the Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP) grim frontline’. It’s  one of the areas chosen as a test bed for new DWP policies prior to them being rolled out across the nation. A group of activists has been meeting weekly at the local Jobcentre for two years to assist and support those bearing the brunt of your brutal welfare policies. Charlotte Hughes regularly reports on the utter desperation of people driven to the brink, she described one man, sanctioned under the new in-work conditionality regime, who was deprived of his housing benefit ‘after he missed the jobcentre’s job search target by one hour’ – “He was working nights, all hours. But they stopped his housing benefit,” Hughes said. “He’s lost his home. We gave him a coat in the end. I’ve never seen a man more broken.”

Let’s just pause and consider how that man might have voted in the referendum, beaten, broken, busted and desperate against a political and media driven narrative of other blaming. Could anyone blame him if he thought Brexit might be a good idea, that it might offer some semblance of control back into his life, that change might offer a little light in a very dark existence, that his plight might be inextricably linked to the issue of immigration? It’s easy to condemn, the referendum was a festival of blame, such that I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. Personally, I think the timing was lousy, too many desperate people under a brutal regime. We now have to find a way forward and I, for one, hope that it includes regime change in which your resignation is only a start.



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,473

Friday 24 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I don’t suppose all the referendum sound and the fury is over yet, it seems a whole lot of rage and bile has been released over a lot of mights and maybe’s and don’t we just love a good fight over anything that is largely conjecture. 30 gazzillion Turks coming over here taking our jobs or WWIII in the divided states of Europe.

Back in the real world where you’re privatising our NHS and want it to be run as a USA insurance based payment scheme, thousands dead within weeks of being found fit for work, the loss of the Independent Living Fund and Motability, cuts to ESA, closing hospitals and front line services, zero hours contracts keeping people poor, forced labour under workfare, sanctions depriving people of the means of survival and so on and on, I guess its back to the few to carry on fighting and the silent majority can go back to sleep.

I am sure that you must all be very proud of how a well crafted and managed shit storm can drive the nation half demented, but real time issues, real policies, in the here and now can be so totally ignored.

Really it’s a PR triumph. Although his name hasn’t been mentioned once as far as I know, the referendum had all the hall marks of a Lynton Crosby campaign of filth written all over it.

Crosby is famous for his ‘dead cat’ strategy, if you want to hide the real time foul and fetid, find something to distract and inflame our delicate sensibilities. Migrants are currently still the best dead cat, but terrorism still has plenty of mileage in it, as does extremist, as long as it’s a brown one and therefore Muslim. Whoever heard of a murder by a white extremist? They are usually painted as quiet and unassuming, mentally ill or a model citizen involved in volunteer work. 30 gazzillion Turks was neat, straight out of thin air. Mind you, another major war in Europe was pretty good too.

Whatever the referendum result, we’ll still be labouring under the worst government in UK history and I am sure George Osborne has already planned how he’s going to punish us even more for the economic uncertainty caused by the referendum.

If the result is that we’ll leave the EU and if that causes a recession, Boris Johnson has said he’ll apologise on TV for getting it wrong. Of course he will, it’s no skin off his nose, he’s a millionaire and has no idea what austerity means and nor could he care less. He can say his meaningless sorry and get right back to his publicly subsidised Bollinger or Moet or whatever tickles his fancy. Along with the rest of you. Whatever happens, one thing is for sure, the poor will pay, they always have and they always will and you millionaire career politicians will make sure of it.

Independent Living Fund: ‘Shocking’ drop in support after ILF closure



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,469

Sunday 19 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Whatever comes of the referendum, we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and what we have become.

If we allow the fear mongers and peddlers of prejudice and hate to succeed, we will be surrendering to becoming less than human, less than what we are as creatures born and less than any potential that is innate in us.

Hugh Laurie posted a very poignant Tweet on Twitter yesterday, “I hate this referendum, for turning a question of unfathomable complexity into Lord of the Flies.” For the record, Laurie’s use of ‘hate’ means profound disgust or revulsion, not raging, murderous, intent delivered from the barrel of a gun.

The worst of it is that the vitriol, anger and hate has been manufactured by those who have nothing but ill will towards Britain and, specifically, towards ordinary people who face a vote in an atmosphere of confusion, doubt, fear and uncertainty fuelled by the major players in promoting it from your party, you, Michael Gove, Priti Patel, Boris Johnson and George Osborne and that UKIP pretender to being a man of the people, Nigel Farage.

The debate, and I use the word very loosely, has been a master class of wilful deception for self serving reasons by people without a shred of decency or honour.

The death of Jo Cox has not happened in a vacuum and nor have the responses, some of which have been utterly shameful and loathsome. Her husband, in his statement about Jo, said, “Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people. She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.”

Those are not empty words written for self serving reasons, they are the words of a heart broken man who has just lost the woman he loved. The only question that remains is whether we listen and act on those words of immense compassion by a man whose wife was stolen from him, and two children their mother, by hate? It is a situation where if we are not an active part of the solution, then we are the problem. The referendum campaign is due to restart today, Sunday, having been called off out of respect for Jo and her family, let’s see just how much respect there really is, in action. It’s time to put up or shut up and stop manufacturing lies and discontent.



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,467

Friday 17 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The attack on Jo Cox is an appalling tragedy and a heinous crime and I am appalled and shattered that this has occurred.

As I write I have just learnt that Jo has died from her injuries, leaving her husband and two young children bereft and grieving.

Her husband, Brandon, has made a very moving statement which contained a message for us all asking that ‘we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her’.

There can be no question that Britain is torn apart with division and hatred, it’s being spread right from the very top and it is long overdue that it stopped.

The referendum and the way it has been handled has incited intolerance, anger and fear on a scale I have never seen before. Insults have been flying right left and centre and there is no excuse for any of it.

The referendum is no longer the issue, the issue is the appalling behaviour which has come to dominate and overshadow it. From where I am sitting we would all be a lot better off if the referendum was called off.

Of course I cannot blame any one thing for the loss of a hard working and dedicated MP who fought hard for her constituents, the divisions in this country have grown over years now and they run deep. Intolerance has been growing, people becoming more desperate. Whatever incited the murder of Jo Cox what cannot be denied is that it was a desperate act just as it was a heinous, wicked, crime.

We all have a responsibility to reign in the fear and hatred, my responsibility is no less than yours. Heaven knows what is going to pour out of the media over the loss of Jo, but if it is not calling for peace, tolerance and an end to division, fear mongering and hatred then they are bang out of order.

It s time and long overdue time for us all to stand up to oppose and end division and hatred, whoever and where ever we are, from parliament to pubs to sitting rooms to street corners. Jo and her family deserve our respect and honour, and that needs expressing not in just words but in deeds and it needs doing right now.