Alright now! Right where we want to be!

Alright Now!

‘Wallop’ he chortled as he swaggered into the room, hair looking as if he’d just emerged from a wind tunnel, swinging an imaginary bat as if hitting a six. ‘I say, by Jove, did you jolly well see that?? Nailed it! I couldn’t have been more bally contrite if I err errr tried! Ha. I was bally trying!! Yaaah!’ He beamed around at them.

‘Bravura performance!’ Nadine was quick to say, flashing her lashes at him, her face glowing fit to swoon.

‘Yes, excellent,’ Raab agreed less enthusiastically. Everyone else nodded with feigned eagerness. It was proving hard to summon up the required enthusiasm. The smiles looked a trifle forced. The team had been gloomily studying the latest polling. It wasn’t looking good. Six points down with more bad news to come, as the fines and reports worked their way through the system. ‘But, er, I think we’d better discuss tactics. The polls are not looking good.’

Johnson gurned and shrugged. ‘Yaah, who cares about ruddy polls! We’ll, err hmmm, blast them to bally bits!’

‘It is the council elections. This couldn’t have come at a worse time.’

Johnson, seating himself, puffed his cheeks out and looked down at the table as if seeking inspiration. Finally raising his eyes and sighing with an anguished exhalation, ‘Look guys,’ he muttered more soberly, tilting his head on the side, ‘it’s mid-term blues, yeah, that’s all. We’ve got this dang-well nailed down.’

All eyes were fixed on him.

Johnson’s face broke into a big grin. ‘Face it guys, ya, we’re up against Starmer. He’s got as much charisma as a wet rag in a bucket of urine. Couldn’t think up a headline if, err, err, his soggy little brain was on fire! We’ve got two years yet,’ he reminded them. ‘It’s all err hmmmph, coming good.’ They did not look convinced. His eyes roved around the assembled crew. He sighed again.

‘OK, ya, dooh,’ he raised his eyes to the heavens, sighed, showed his palms and shrugged. He could see that the crew needed a boost.

The clownish persona evaporated, morphing into the shrewd, cynical tactician that lurked inside.

‘We’re two years out from an election. All this will pass. The heat has already gone out of it. We have everyone singing from the same hymn sheet. The parties were trivial – the fines on a par with a parking ticket. All will be forgotten. It’s the goldfish syndrome. Let the snowflakes howl, who cares? We don’t need them. As long as our base comes on board – and they will.’

The clownish act had melted away. The delivery was forceful and exact, no hint of the stumbling fool.

Johnson nodded slowly, meeting eyes with them one after another, clasping his hands together, face set.

‘The mid-terms mean nothing. We have a year to make hay and a year to pull the plan together. Right now things are where they need to be. It’s alright now!’

‘But the redwall are jittery,’ Kwasi had the courage to point out; daring to say what the others were thinking.

Johnson leaned back, interlaced his fingers and fixed his piercing blue eyes on Kwarteng’s, like two electric epees. ‘Nobody expected to hang on to those seats,’ he intoned solemnly, finger-tips gently coming together. ‘That was Brexit. Brexit is over. We can afford to shed twenty or thirty seats as long as we hang on to a majority of ten to twenty we’ll be fine.’

‘Naddy,’ he said, turning his attention to Dorries. ‘How’s the plan going?’

Dorries, eager to please, was quick to summarise. ‘BBC board loaded. Already the trouble-makers are jumping ship – Maitlis and co. We’re still going for Channel 4. I’ve had meetings with Gary Jones, Lord Rothermere, Victoria Newton, the Barclay Brothers and John Witherow. We’ve got support from all sides.’ She looked up, wagging her tail like a little puppy dog.

‘He who controls the news controls the minds,’ Johnson stated, drumming his fingers on the table. ‘We’ve been oiling the right channels.’

The mood of the room was warming.

‘Now,’ Johnson said, his voice steely and face stern. ‘Rishi has been sorting out the treasure chest. We’ll have a year of agony and miraculously we will start zooming out of recession. Rishi will splash the cash, the energy crisis and the oil/petrol crisis will simply fade away. Prices will come tumbling down. The cost of living crisis will be a thing of the past. Moggy will highlight all the wonders of Brexit. Govey will at least have a pretence of levelling up. We’ll have made a fortune out of selling arms to Ukraine, long may that cash cow last, and Priti will have shut down the borders by putting the fear of the devil into all those who could end up in those concentration camps in Rwanda.’

He focussed his attention on Rishi who was trying his damnedest to look enthusiastic. Rishi knew that it had been Johnson who had stuck the knife in, using his contacts to reveal his Green Card and Akshata’s Non-Dom status. He’d been well and truly skewered but at least the Rwanda contract was a peace offering. He’d make a few million out of that and he was well-aware that his future depended on Johnson’s success. For now he’d keep his powder dry.

‘The Energy Companies and Oil Companies have never had it so good,’ Rishi grudgingly gushed, playing along with the game. His race was run and he knew it. Johnson was a formidable opponent. ‘They’ll put plenty cash and impetus into our campaign.’

Johnson smiled, re-laced his hands and looked pleased. ‘Add all that to the cash from the Ruskies.’ He sat back in his seat smug as a warlord on the battlefield, surveying the room. His eyes lingered on Javid who looked uncomfortable. He too had that past Green Card hanging over him. ‘Make sure we make inroads into that backlog,’ he said, but the underlying subliminal message was transparent in the expression on his face. Johnson needed him to know.

The secret to an efficient, smooth-running cabinet was to know whose buttons to press and where all the skeletons were.

‘In a year’s time we’ll be riding a wave, see if we won’t. I’ll be the one who got Brexit done, beat covid, mastered the cost of living and helped put Russia back in its box. They’ve got the intelligence of gnats. We’ll have another four years to stuff our faces. I tell you – it’s alright now! We’re exactly where we need to be!’

Fascism – How far are we down the road towards a fascist state?

We are seeing the rise of fascism all over the world. What is it? What is its appeal to ordinary people?

Are they just duped by the propaganda?

Do they like the simple black and white principles?

Do they see it as strong decisive leadership?

Do they want to be part of something they see as powerful?

Do they support it out of fear?

I was watching Mike Malloys 14 characteristics of Fascism. That was scary.

One can clearly see the way that Putin and Xi clearly operate fascist states. What is more worrying is the way that countries like the USA, UK and France are heading down the same road. Democracy is clearly being manipulated and usurped.

The 14 Characteristics of Fascism

  1. Nationalism – nationalistic slogans, flags, symbols and emblems are splattered everywhere.
  2. Human Rights – human rights are ignored. Fear is ratcheted up and enemies are identified and dehumanised so that it is OK to deploy incarceration, violence and even torture.
  3. Identification of Enemies – these scapegoats may be immigrants, refugees, ethnic minorities, racial groups, liberals, communists or cultural minorities. They are portrayed as a threat and built up to induce fear and hate. They are portrayed as terrorists, rapists, criminals, morally corrupt drug dealers or simply people, who breed like rabbits, and are intent on usurping the national culture.
  4. Supremacy of the Military – the army, secret police and goons are deployed to suppress opposition and control all expressions of dissent. The goons are funded even when domestic needs are neglected.
  5. Sexism – the rights of women and minority sexual groups are severely repressed. Abortion is banned. There is suppression of gay and trans rights.
  6. Control Of The Mass Media – either directly or indirectly. The bringing in of censorship and pumping out of propaganda.
  7. National Security Obsession – The state is under threat from spurious political/social/religious/cultural groups. Fear is ramped up. Hate is ramped up. These groups must be opposed and eradicated. They are the enemy within.
  8. Crime and Punishment Obsession – the police need added powers in order to control the threats from within and establish law and order.
  9. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – state funds are appropriated and misused. They are dolled out to friends and supporters. Supporters are rewarded royally. Stolen money is used to support actions that bolster the state (media, business etc.).
  10. Fraudulent Elections – elections are rigged with voter suppression in opposition areas, smear campaigns, false claims, control of actual voting, making it extremely difficult for the opposition to vote and easy for supporters, alterations in regional boundaries and manipulation of the media. Votes cast can be ignored or manipulated.
  11. Religion is Deployed – even when the tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the violence, abuse, suppression, inequality and moral corruption of the regime. Religion is used as a basis to motivate and becomes intertwined with government.
  12. Corporate Power – corporations are protected and rewarded for the mutual benefit of the elite. The power and wealth are streamed to this elite.
  13. Labour Power is Suppressed – the people are the only force that can effectively undermine the regime hence their power is reduced. Corporations deunionise, laws are passed to make unions ineffective, propaganda is deployed to manipulate workers and make them docile.
  14. Disdain for Intellectuals, Music and Art – intellectuals and artists can be a focus for opposition and arouse the people to oppose the regime. There is open hostility and undermining of all experts, encouragement of conspiracy and superstition, attack on freedom of expression and defunding of art and academia. All rebellion is sidelined.

I would add this fifteenth and sixteenth to Mike Malloy’s list:

15. Dumbing Down and Distraction – There is a distinct dumbing down in literature, art, TV and education. Trivial distraction is used to prevent people from engaging with what is really going down. Alcohol and drugs are encouraged. Programmes that expose or investigate in any depth are discouraged, banned, defunded, sidelined or debunked.

16. Education – The history books are rewritten, the curriculum reduced, the syllabi restricted and education turned into career fodder. Creativity and thinking are discouraged. Propaganda is deployed. Students are brainwashed.

We see this with Xi and Putin, Le Pen, Bolsonaro, Johnson, Trump, Erdogan, Modi, Oban and numerous others.

We fought a world war against the fascism of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco. Now it is coming in through the backdoor.

How far down this road are we in the UK and USA?? If Trump had been elected again would we have said goodbye to democracy in the USA? I think so. With Johnson spouting nationalistic nonsense of global Britain and Brexit, taking over the media, loading the BBC, taking over Channel 4, controlling the newspapers (Daily Mail, Express, Sun, Times, Telegraph), suppressing protest, pumping out propaganda, using corruption and sleaze to reward supporters, creating a new elite, scapegoating refugees, Muslims and ‘woke’, and vilifying the opposition – are we heading for a one-party fascist state? I think so.

Looking at the world – these are worrying times!!

Poetry – The Tactics

The Tactics

Religion,

                Politics and promises.

Deployed,

                Ensnared and baited.

To trap us in the yoke of belief.

Answers,

                Enveloped in dogma,

Tribal

                Differences exaggerated

To keep us buried underneath.

Opher 22.1.2022

The establishment is cunning. They want to hang on to their wealth and power.

They have used religion – promises of utopia – always in the future – as long as you behave, work hard, live clean.

Politics – with promises of equality, levelling up and a far better future, that never materialises.

Always the situation remains the same.

Even after a revolution, it installs a new hierarchy that rarely touches the real masters.

Poetry – My Heart is Broken

My Heart is Broken

My heart is broken

As I watch you

Squander everything you once had.

My heart is broken

When you do not read

And fail to inform yourself.

My heart is broken

When I see your gullibility

As you swallow the lies.

My heart is broken

To see you wallow in ignorance

And susceptibility.

My heart is broken

To witness

How they manipulate you.

Opher – 20.11.2019

I have watched with increasing unease as Brexit progresses. I have watched interview after interview with ill-educated people displaying great ignorance and gullibility. It has made me question democracy.

What has happened to the working class?

There used to be a knowledgeable working class who were aware of the social history of this country, who were well-read, who knew their politics and were involved.

They seemed to have exchanged the Ragged Trousered Philanthropist for Love Island and Strictly.

It you throw away your knowledge and understanding you open yourself up to being manipulated. If your knowledge comes from Sky News, the Daily Express, Daily Mail and Sun then you have no knowledge.

Stupidity rules.

Poetry – I’m a cat

I’m a cat

I’m a cat.

No-one can cage me.

I’m above it all.

I do what I like:

To sleep,

To hunt

And defend my territory.

I tolerate you

As long as you feed me

I manipulate you

It’s easy.

I purr,

I nuzzle,

When I want.

I’m a cat.

Opher – 28.6.2019

What is it they say? If you feed a dog and pamper it then it thinks you are a king. If you do the same to a cat it thinks it is a king.

Cats always do things on their terms. They have evolved to manipulate people with their big eyes, purrs and nuzzling. Their role as a deterrent for vermin has greatly declined. They now exchange their warmth and friendliness for food and shelter. Their soft coat and explicit delight in human attention are stress relievers.

But cats are always calculated.

I like cats.

Why won’t any of the Government appear on Newsnight?

It is scandalous really. Boris Johnson and the cabinet are refusing to appear on Newsnight or any other news programme where they and their policies might be questioned.

  1. They do not like being scrutinised.
  2. They know that their policies do not stand up well with the electorate
  3. They do not want their real policies and attitudes revealed and talked about
  4. They think that be keeping silent things will quickly fade away

The Tories are getting away with murder. Their covid policies have resulted in many tens of thousands of needless deaths. Their Brexit lies have been shown to be lies. The Brexit we have got, the hardest possible, has cost the country an absolute fortune. The trade deals are not there like they assured us they would be. The hit to GDP is huge. The cost of Brexit is being hidden. The cronyism with untendered contracts is being swept under the table. The loading of institutions with Tory chums is tightening control or many institutions. The control of the BBC with threats and Tory placements is threatening any unbiased reporting. The lies about solving the care system have been shown to be lies. The privatisation of the NHS by stealth is proceeding. The cuts to the public sector are continuing. The war against those on benefits continue. Those on benefits are presented as scroungers while those evading taxes and stashing millions abroad on the Cayman Islands are praised. International laws are broken. Procedures to ensure that corruption is dealt with are blatantly ignored.

With an 80 seat majority they arrogantly think they can do what they like and are not accountable to anyone – not even parliament.

They are quite content to continue to quietly manipulate things behind the scenes and keep out of the public eye. The opposition are currently useless, the media are in their pocket, the wealthy elite are filling their coffers, they have a revolving door into a life of affluence after office.

They do not have to account for their actions. They do not want they actions or motives scrutinised. We are moving to totalitarian control.

Poetry – I’m not a player

I’m not a player

I’m a Mah-jong counter

A piece upon the board

Pushed back and forth

By those who can afford.

They move me here.

They move me there,

As is their desire.

I have no say in anything

They buy the guns for hire.

They fit me with the blindfold

The earplugs and the gag.

And when the game is over

I’m back inside the bag.

Opher 28.10.2018

There are big forces at work in the world shaping our destinies. They are the major players. Sometimes my impotency becomes so obvious.

How did they get there? What is their aim?

Do I agree with what they are doing?

No I don’t.

It’s just money and power.

It’s a game.

I dream of being a pawn! If only. I can’t even get on the board.

Poetry – Fake News!! Fake news!!

Fake News!! Fake news!!

Truth! There is no truth!

Just lies from every politician’s mouth!

Just propaganda from every website!

Fake news!! Fake News!!

Manipulated and betrayed

Lied to and used

Treated like fools

Fake news!! Fake News!!

And the world goes to ruin

In a chop and a dig.

And the creatures are murdered

With a spray and a slash.

And the climate heats up

With a flame and a roar.

As the truth went out the door!

Opher – 27.10.2018

It is the sadness of the post-truth society that the poor can be left to be exploited and the environment destroyed. All reports of the scandals are fake. There is no war, no starvation, no overpopulation, no global warming, no species extinction.

It’s all fake news. Behind it the politicians and business people prosper. They can carry out their operations with impunity.

Poetry – There are Those

There are Those

There are those who would bomb

And those who would talk;

Those who would hate

As savage as a hawk.

Those who would build

And those who destroy;

Those who are friendly

And those who annoy.

Some are the torturers.

Some are the dead.

Some will say anything.

Some are just led.

Under the power of those who control

We obey all our masters and go out on patrol.

Man all the ovens – apply electricity

For that’s what it takes to keep our land free.

But when we remove the head from the hood

The face that peers at us is from our own neighbourhood.

Opher 29.6.2018

My mum used to say that it takes all sorts to make the world go round. Unfortunately some of those sorts are none too pleasant. They manipulate us in order to gain power and wealth. It is hard to tell the genuinely nice from the positively evil.

Fascists always look for a scapegoat to blame. We have problems with immigration and terrorism. That makes for a handy excuse to ratchet up the fear. Our culture is under threat. It’s the bloody Muslims!

Meanwhile who is it that is gaining the power and wealth?

I think the real threat is nearer to home.

Poetry – No Time To Cry

No Time To Cry

In this plastic world of phony toys

Pink fairy dresses and guns for the boys.

With concrete monuments into the sky,

Artificial lawns – there is no time to cry.

We’re told we’re all worth it

As they batter us with goods

That you can all be king

In your neighbourhoods.

You can join the army

Be sent abroad to die

But they’ll distract you from asking

So you never question why.

In this plastic world of phony toys

Pink fairy dresses and guns for the boys.

With concrete monuments into the sky,

Artificial lawns – there is no time to cry.

In this meaningless sterility

You can fester away

Counting the days

To your next pay day.

In a pointless existence

You can drink yourself to death.

As long as you don’t question

Why you’re drawing your breath.

In this plastic world of phony toys

Pink fairy dresses and guns for the boys.

With concrete monuments into the sky,

Artificial lawns – there is no time to cry.

They’ll send you to the mosque

To be brainwashed and filled

With stories of afterlives

With dreams all fulfilled.

But the reality is

That we’re all being used.

It’s all power and money

As the world is abused.

In this plastic world of phony toys

Pink fairy dresses and guns for the boys.

With concrete monuments into the sky,

Artificial lawns – there is no time to cry.

Opher – 25.3.2021

As the whole world is dismantled day by day, and we are manipulated and controlled by lying politicians and religious leaders, the future is looking bleak.

The power resides in those with the wealth and power. They promise us the earth and an afterlife in order to keep us buying so they can become ever richer!

The whole world is a playground for some and hell for others.

The natural world is being decimated for short-term gain creating a plastic universe and barren deserts.

It is some future they offer us.

In a world full of trivia there is no place for real emotions.