Voting until you get the right answer?

The referendum result was roughly 52% to 48% in favour of Brexit. You couldn’t get a lot closer.

Sometimes when voting ballots are close, you get a recount.

The Prime Minister’s Brexit plan has been rejected twice, the first time she lost by the biggest parliamentary margin of defeat in history, 230 votes. At 432 votes against to 202 for The Prime Minister’s plan, that works out as 63.4% against versus 36.6% May’s plan.

The irony I want to point out is that although no political party of any substance is supporting a new referendum, the politicians are voting over and over again on a deal which wasn’t a close run the first time they voted, or the second, and which no one really seems to truly want, and which they may only end up voting for because they are literally cornered into doing so.

Why does Theresa May get to get several bites at the cherry, after further clarifications on the legal status of the “Irish Backstop” and other matters are revealed, literally forcing Politicians vote again until she gets the right result? Yet somehow, public can not be asked to vote again because what we voted for, despite the similarities to the situation of the politicians, that is, not knowing the full facts, was the final answer we could give.

Why can’t the public vote again now we are in a greater position in terms of knowledge?

All this talk by politicians about “the will of the public” and following through on the result of the referendum is misguided. The referendum was advisory, and not binding – but yes political parties made it their policy to uphold the referendum result. The crazy thing is we stand the risk of damaging a legally binding treaty, The Good Friday Agreement, which is largely responsible for the de-escalation of violence in Ireland, simply on the basis of an advisory referendum made without full knowledge of the facts.

It’s simply another case of one rule for them, and another for us. It’s the habit of the political class.

It’s true the voting turnout for the referendum was big, and politicians see this as renewed interest in politics after the political apathy that has set in over recent decades. Yet if our democracy were truly strong, we shouldn’t be afraid to let the people make another decision. The fact is this clinging to the result of a vote that was made without full knowledge of the facts, and lets face it, not even the politicians, even now, actually know what will happen, is actually undemocratic – and it is compounded further by the sheer hypocrisy, especially of The Cabinet and The Conservative Party who are dragging The United Kingdom into a situation that will dis-unite us from Europe, Ireland, and is causing social disunity already too.

Truth be told, the future of The United Kingdom is in the hands of a small group of people, The Conservative European Research Group (ERG), with other more right-wing politicians like Nigel Farage and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) playing key roles. I believe that the traditionally moderately right-wing Conservative Party has reached a point of ideological meltdown. Back in the 70’s and 80’s this country went through the excesses and extremes of “far left” ideology particularly around the time of The Miners Strike, and the media particularly has had a real distaste for left-wing ideology ever since.

What I want to assert now is that we are seeing the tide turn, and we are in the grip of a world-wide sea change in ideology, right-wing ideology. Trump, the rise in racist crime from Charlottesville in the USA to Christchurch New Zealand are instances that show that the impetus to change our society is driven by people who believe in separation. It’s not clearly evident now, because we are in the process of change, but when we look back at the effects of what right-wing politics is doing not only to our society, but to the world, I wonder if there will be the same distaste for it as there was for its left-wing equivalent?

The immaturity, impotence and ineffectiveness of our adversarial political system is evident. Politicians have such misplaced and hypocritical zeal. They think that they can recover some credibility by following through on the result of the referendum, by pushing over and over again for a deal that is damaging to our country. The whole process has been a shambles and is deteriorating into a farce the longer it goes on. Has the way this referendum been handled, going right back to David Cameron, the way politicians are trying to redeem themselves and show they are listening? If so, they must be desperate and even more detached from reality than they were before this whole sorry process started.

The crux of the matter is, right-wing power, and the meltdown of The Conservative party. The British public are merely pawns in a game to people who have nothing more than pride, conceit and an insatiable lust for power.

A war on black people

I heard about the case of Stephen Clarke some time ago, and this is yet another one where US Police have killed an innocent, unarmed man and subsequently have not been punished for doing so.

The lawyer defending the police officers even had the guile to bring up some issues about Stephen Clarke to try to cast a negative light on him, but these are things the officers would not have known at that time and given them cause to act in the way they did. Read the full story on BBC News.

But this got me thinking as the anger and sense of loss in me diminished, I think there is a device within white culture that makes white people scared of black people or feel the need to pity them. 

It seems in white and Euro-centric culture Black people always have to be either a threat or the victim, the for example the victim of slavery, colonization, famine, murder etc and in every case it seems that justice is out of our reach, we are left helpless and in mourning.

I wonder if the reality of who black people are, not just for white people, but for black people also, lies in that space where between being a threat or being pitied, there is a discussion, and an exploration of our humanity, that allows us a voice to express who we are, what we want; and somehow to give us the space and freedom to move beyond the narrow bounds of what white people seem to think we can be.  In short, it is a struggle for self definition.

It occurred to me as I prayed last night, that currently, and for some time, there is a war against black people. A war that works on many levels which bind together to establish a powerful structure of almost control:

  1. Military Power: Africa has always slacked the power to protect itself against sustained and repeated foreign invasion. African society is not without violence and war with neighboring countries, but, the focus of society in terms of funds has never been on building a military force either to significantly defend the borders of African countries, let alone project military power overseas.
  2. Colonialism: This comes as an extension of military power, and has social, cultural, religious and economic pillars that underpin it’s all-encompassing grip on cultures it subverts and undermines.
  3. Economic Exploitation: Africa is rich in resources but poor in wealth. Much of its wealth is extracted by foreign powers at little cost, and then often processed and sold on at great profit in the developed world. It’s hard to believe that in the 21st century, people are still regarded as resources to be trafficked, and arguably I would say that the economic domination of African countries leads to destabilization and poverty of opportunity that causes people to search for work elsewhere and run the risk of falling into the hands of human traffickers. This sits alongside the mismanagement and greed present in African countries where those who control the resources are corrupt.
  4. Spiritual Hegemony: Many people acknowledge there is a God. When the main religion of the world has doctrines about the subjugation of “black” people, it seems that even that which should elevate our being and set us free, actually in the hands of some people, and indeed as the unspoken narrative in some cultures, will impose further chains on black people.
  5. Language: The power of the English language especially, but also Spanish, French, German, Dutch and Portuguese as the languages of colonizers has spread far beyond these countries national borders. When people in a colonized country have institutions set up that have their primary dominion in a language that is not their mother tongue, that creates a barrier, and yet another area of separation and domination.  For example one may not be able to read, speak or understand the language of the colonizer, and if that is the language of law, religion, commerce etc, then you are at an immediate disadvantage.
  6. Financial Power: At the end of this process, we have what the developed world thrives on, Financial Power. You could even link this to Psalms 52 and 49, people who boast that their wealth makes them civilized, they see wealth as their security, it buys them enjoyment, pleasure, a defence against any power that would seek to undermine the status their wealth achieves for them.

All the points I have described above lead to this point and point to an objective of total domination.  Given all of this, and the sheet weight of the societal apparatus that is used to control black people, a black person must be careful not to fall into the trap of believing they are who society seems to depict them as, one has to break the stereotypes, not just of poverty, but of bling, for example – avoid the extremes. Focus on being disciplined within yourself, not comparing yourself to others as the world does – to feed on envy, but focus on achieving the goals which help to express you as you truly are.

A clear lack of care, honesty and integrity

How is it that five police officers, people that we should be able to look up to in order to keep us safe, are found to be involved in violent and deceitful behavior, and yet can go unpunished!

This is another tragic story involving Metropolitan Police officers who have “gone wrong” and the a member of the public, Sean Rigg, who suffered from mental health issues. In recent years society has really started to understand and be considerate toward people with Mental Health issues, children in school, employees in the workplace; and in this environment of understanding, it makes it all the more hypocritical and insensitive of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to clear the officers involved in this tragic incident of wrongdoing.

Why did the police officers sit on a man and restrain him for 7 minutes? Why didn’t they call an ambulance when it was clear the man was in need of help? Why did they lie about their actions and the state of Mr Rigg after he was taken into custody?

As is all too frequent with our establishment when they are in the wrong, they take years and drag out a families anguish before slapping them in the face with yet more injustice, much akin to the case of Stephen Lawrence.

When the people who are in authority are crooked, and that doesn’t just mean some police officers, but politicians too, when the society we live in lacks justice, it is no wonder that the people act with a disregard to the law and authority, it’s no wonder children are growing up unruly, feral, lacking aspiration – perhaps its a natural response in us to a society that is broken and corrupt.

Read more about the tragic details of this story on the link below, courtesy of BBC News.

A guide to only some of Africa’s looted treasures

It’s well known that the Europeans who invaded Africa, arrogantly determining that African people were savages, paradoxically looted many of African people’s treasures.

I know that if I met a group of people who I truly thought were savages, there is nothing in their possession that I would want to own, let alone loot at the cost of blood and life.

6  Won’t all these take up taunting him
and say about him, in mocking riddles,
‘Woe to him who amasses other people’s wealth!—
how long must it go on?—
and to him who adds to himself the weight
of goods taken in pledge!
7  Won’t your own creditors suddenly stand,
won’t those who make you tremble wake up?
You will become their spoil.
8  Because you plundered many nations,
all the rest of the peoples will plunder you;
because of the bloodshed and violence done
to the land, the city and all who live there.

Stern, D. H. (1998). Complete Jewish Bible: an English version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B’rit Hadashah (New Testament) (1st ed., Hab 2:6–8). Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications.

Racism and Senselessness

Well Liam Neeson has proved to be a perfect example of why I would say there is a link between racism and a deficiency in mental capability and reasoning akin to mental illness.

Mr Neeson graphically describes how he was on the lookout to kill a black man because a black man had allegedly raped a friend of his. Why did Neeson want to know the colour of the person’s skin? Why not their hair or eye colour, build or accent? Why would it be right for an innocent man to pay the price for the crime of another person? Should we kill people who have raped others? Would the act of murder undo the wrong committed against Neeson’s friend? I think the Neeson’s desire to murder reflects more than a desire for justice. It’s a difficult situation, rape is a disgusting crime, but we have to answer wrongdoing with justice – adding injustice to injustice serves no purpose. Here is what God said to the first murderer on earth:

6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:6/7 NIV)

It’s always a question of us choosing to do what is right, otherwise we ourselves will be overcome with evil.

When racist people attempt to reason, they do not have the ability to look with even-handedness at a situation; like the so-called neanderthal man, they are driven by a basic urge, like an instinct to act before their minds can rise to an adequate measure of conscious deliberated thought.

When racist people attack other verbally or physically, or in any other manner, they actually more clearly represent what they feel they hate in the target of their hatred, than the person who their hatred is actually aimed at actually does. It’s a deep irony, racism is a cruel illusion, cruel to all those who are involved with it.

Impose sanctions on France because of its policies in Africa?

It may have come about as a result of a diplomatic spat, France and Italy in disagreement over each others refusal to accept certain refugees, but actually the utterance of the Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi di Maio is strangely honest and accurate, for he said.

“France is one of those countries that by printing money for 14 African states prevents their economic development and contributes to the fact that the refugees leave and then die in the sea or arrive on our coasts…”

The currency he is speaking of is the CFA franc, a colonial-era currency backed by the French treasury. Mr di Maio hinted at France manipulating countries who use the currency.

So it isn’t just me that can see the effects of colonialism and its latter day manifestations are having on the African continent. To see Africa Prosper, exploitation and colonialism must be stopped. But the fact is those who colonize and exploit African countries “need” to do so to boost their economies. As Mr di Maio again said “if it wasn’t for Africa, France would rank 15th among world economies, not in the top six”.

So there you have it, European countries complain about migrants but are major contributors to the migrant problem, through colonialism, capitalist exploitation, and destabilization. We drive policy where our hearts lead us, Europe values profit and power over humanitarian need and justice.

Brexit Conspiracies?

So Leavers are saying that the idea of a delaying Article 50 or having a second referendum is just a conspiracy formed by the Westminster “elite” who want to remain. We have people suggesting that a delaying Article 50 or having a second referendum will cause civil unrest on the part of Leave voters who feel cheated.

Are Leave voters so Luddite, undemocratic and lacking in sensibility that they somehow will forget the chance that they, as well as anyone else will (if the option arose again) have to vote in a democratic way, promoted by the ineffectiveness of our parliament, in order to help steer our democracy and either affirm or disprove the assumed public sentiment about the current referendum result?

The real conspiracy is not the fact that Article 50 might be delayed or a second referendum might be run, but that the lies the Leave camp thrust into the first debate have been proven to be untrue, and the analysis of The Bank Of England, CBI and other key institutions has also raised further concern about the likely path that Britain will take to exit Europe – that being a “hard Brexit” are generally being ignored. This is coupled with the fact that the Prime Minister has delayed key votes and excluded Parliament from the process of helping to shape the deal to leave the EU until the last-minute, offering a token listening ear, after which there has been no movement on the Government position, just a repetition of things promised before, which have yet to be delivered.

It’s so strange that we can look across The Atlantic at America, and see Donald Trump blocked by Congress over his wishes to build a wall on the US – Mexican border. We can see the statistics that have been shared about immigrants and illegal immigrants have often proved to be untrue, we can rationalise about that and demonize President Trump for promoting untruths revealed by fact checking. Yet at the same time, we seem to be unable to fact check the information that has been fed to us about Brexit. Isn’t it the case that we have been told “You can walk off the cliff, it will be alright”? Are we Lemmings for some nefarious Brexiteers plot to ruin what’s left of the UK so that a new generation of people with economic power can take root? Someone always capitalizes out of change and even misfortune – just look at The Government’s choice of cross-channel ferry service, which doesn’t have any staff, doesn’t have any ferries and has never sailed one either!? Surely someone must see the stupidity in all this?

What government would, though inaction, exclusion, delay, and ignoring advice projecting adverse outcomes, forge ahead with plans that will harm the people the Government is supposed to not only represent but protect? Theresa May will possibly be able to save her own party from splitting apart, but the country will be split apart by the outcome of her parties actions, both by delivering a poorly framed referendum, followed by a dithering and obstinate handling of the withdrawal agreement process. When the country does split apart and the economy fails, I believe people will remember the mess the Conservatives have plunged this country into, and remember it for many years to come. Governing a country with blinkered fatalism is a sure way to disaster.

The fact is Brexit, whether we had chosen to remain, or as it is, leave; could have been handled so much better, there is something fishy going on and we must find out the reason it has not been handled. Here’s to hoping that we don’t sleep-walk right off the cliff, one foot is already over the edge…

Brexit: Party Politics vs Mature Consensus

I’ve written previously about the irresponsibility of David Cameron and the mess he left behind for his successor, the unfortunate and rather obstinate Theresa May. My issue now is with how mature our democracy actually is, in terms of the outcomes it permits, they way issues are progressed by politicians and the media.

A referendum is a binary choice, yes or no – it that too simplistic for a decision of this magnitude? As it transpires there are “flavours” of remain as well as well as leave, and perhaps this was not envisaged at the time the referendum was posed. If a referendum is to represent the mandate of the people and an instruction to government, then shouldn’t it accurately reflect the true wishes of the people, rather than leave so much open to guesswork and interpretation? If Britain crashes out of Europe and some of the predictions of doom come true, higher prices, contracting economy, job losses, will the Government of the day really be able to look back and say, we acted according to the mandate you set for us? Is our disdain for Europe really that pronounced, that we are willing to cut off our collective nose to spite our face?

There is talk of a conspiracy to subvert the majority Leave vote by an establishment that supports Remain. I think in the event that Brexit is cancelled permanently, this has some credibility. If Brexit is delayed or if there is another referendum, then I don’t think such claims ring true. It’s amazing that some people are suggesting another referendum is anti-democratic, people will still all have the chance to vote again, the same as they did before. The only thing that has changed now, is that we have a little more information about the whole process, a clearer understanding of the consequences, the original hype of both campaigns laid bare, so that the truth remains and we can make a slightly more informed decision.

With all that said, isn’t the rejection of a second referendum itself anti-democratic? Couldn’t this perhaps reflect a conspiracy by the Brexit camp who wanted the country to make a decision about leaving the European Union based on half baked promises, untruths and an uncertain future? Who will it benefit to see a downturn in our economy? Only those who have the funds to invest before the economy pics up again, as it inevitably will. One must realise though, that Brexit is a power play, it is about forming the alliances of political and economic power that will shape this countries future for generations to come – those who can afford to now capitalise on the imminent vacuum left by the severing of relationships from Europe. Brexit will not benefit the average person in the short term.

This is also a concern, that after 2.5 years, our decision is only going to be slightly more informed. After 2.5 years, the government and political parties haven’t found a consensus and a way forward, Theresa May has ignored Parliament and even at times her own cabinet, and the issue has been used like a party political issue with both the Conservatives and Labour trying to points score. The media has only served perpetuate this madness by decrying why Labour are not further ahead in the polls given the Prime Ministers weak leadership. The real issue is, the narrow margin of the vote itself, and that the vote splits Conservative, Labour, and voters of all main parties so there is no clear majority for anything!

People don’t “win” a referendum, this is not like the outcome of a football match. Would a mature government disregard the wishes of 49% of the electorate to meet the requirements of 51%? I think compromise and consensus has to be sought. Even if a new referendum were to be run in and the result went in favour of those who want to Remain, the Leave camp’s views should not be sidelined. If it truly is considered that a new referendum will destroy democracy, you could take an aggregate of the two referendums to arrive at a result, yet I doubt that would prove conclusive.

What is really needed, and has been far to long in the waiting, is a mature debate formed around developing a consensus that as a country, not as divided camps of Leave and Remain, we can all get behind and agree with to help us move forward. The politicians have a duty not only to uphold the result of the referendum, but to act in our interests, and if they have no clear mandate for what they are doing, we need to be consulted again. The fact that this has dragged on for so long with no movement forward is an embarrassment to our democracy, and really shines a light on how superficial and partizan we are as a country.

Pay gaps

Right now, White men rule the world. Women are valued less than men, so women are paid less than men. Minorities are valued less than white people, so we get paid less.

None of this is right. It might be the way things are, and the way things have been for some time, but that doesn’t make it right!

Should we be pursuing some kind of class action to sue companies that discriminate in this way? After all, discrimination is against the law isn’t it?

Universal declaration of human rights, for some…

Here is an excerpt of an amazing article I found on The Black Agenda Report

Therefore, it is not a coincidence that the same year the UDHR was promulgated, Israel was born as a nation after it terrorized over 750,000 Palestinians into leaving their homes and territories, and Dutch white nationalists assumed power in South Africa, commencing the formalization of their system of racial apartheid, and is the same year both nations were welcome into the community of nations without much controversy.

Full text here.