Nuclear weapons: Meh

I don’t have an opinion on the renewal of Trident, which makes this a rather boring basis for an article. Might as well stop reading. No real point even writing anything. But while I keep trying to wrap my head around exactly what sort of prime minister Theresa May actually wants to be, given that her speech on assuming the throne (so to speak) sounded like it came from Ed Miliband’s mouth rather than her of all people, this is the big news – Trident’s replacement is up for a vote, and it will probably win.

And in all honesty, I don’t care. My position on it is simple – Trident will probably never be used, its cost is steep but ultimately (when amortised over its useful lifespan) a drop in the bucket of stale piss that is government expenditure, it is something somewhat needed out of geopolitical necessity and, most importantly, getting rid of it is politically impossible. While it hasn’t noticeably deterred anything we’ve also got no real evidence that it hasn’t deterred anything, because if it had deterred something then we would never know (Trident not deterring something of consequence being something evidenced by explosions, mushroom clouds and people melting.) We, as a country, piss away money on other ridiculous bullshit that doesn’t achieve anything meaningful but that also doesn’t have any societal benefit at all (e.g. obscene tax cuts for corporations, as pushed through repeatedly by our Eldritch abomination ex-chancellor), whereas Trident at least keeps some sailors and dockyard workers employed. All that said, I’d love to live in a world where nobody had nuclear weapons, and I’d love to be in a UK where we don’t have nuclear weapons, but that world is one that does not and probably will never exist and so is that UK.

I thus, ultimately, couldn’t give a sun-blushed shit whether we keep Trident or not because we are never going to unilaterally disarm in any event as it is political suicide (as Jeremy Corbyn has discovered) and so talking about it is pointless. We may as well talk about the possibility of dressing up sheep as ice cream men and having them dispense Flake 99’s made of ambrosia from vans that have been knitted together from unicorn pubes. And I say this as a former paid-up member of CND.

There is one tiny caveat to that. While Trident’s cost is indeed a drop in the ocean, that does not mean it is not a substantial amount of money. That substantial amount of money is something that the Government has, for the last six years, relentlessly hammered home that it does not have, which is why public sector provision must be slashed, benefits for the disabled pointlessly rejigged and cut and JSA claimants made to feel sub-human in order to try and save their pissy £72 a week. I have no particular opposition to renewing Trident at its lifetime cost of over £200billion, so long as the Government also does not try and tell me on the other hand that it can’t spare any money for other things. Spending a shitload of money on weapons that by definition should never be used if they work at their intended purpose while also going to great lengths to stop someone claiming £72 a week for food and essentials while they’re in between jobs solely in order to “save money” does not strike me as a particularly consistent position.

As mentioned, I don’t know what sort of government Theresa May is going to run; if we take her maiden speech at face value it indicates she will probably be more centrist than Cameron was, which is welcome – we may see a retraction of some of the cold-hearted bullshit that has happened. Whether we should actually take a Tory prime minister who was balls deep in Cameron’s government at face value when she nicks the language of Milibandism is another matter; but I suspect I’ll probably be more comfortable ignoring Trident under her government (with the above caveat) than I would under Cameron and Osborne.

And now back to not thinking about it.

The “Awful Middle Aged Woman Who Andrea Leadsom Looks And Sounds Exactly Like” Trilogy

If you don’t follow me on Facebook, which you should, then you won’t be aware of the fact that sometimes I go slightly crazy and post long, incoherent rants. This magical occasion doesn’t happen very often, but it’s worth following just on that proviso.

The main thing is that one day, I realised who Andrea Leadsom, the Tory leadership candidate who appears to be there merely to make Theresa May look better by way of comparison, looks like. And she looks like this.

Andrea Leadsom: A New Hope For A Non-Dented Waitrose Duck A L'orange
Andrea Leadsom: A New Hope For A Non-Dented Waitrose Duck A L’orange
Andrea Leadsom - The Demise Of The Cheque Guarantee Scheme Several Years Ago Strikes Back
Andrea Leadsom – The Demise Of The Cheque Guarantee Scheme Several Years Ago Strikes Back
Andrea Leadsom - Return To The Country House Full Of Posh Inbred Cunts
Andrea Leadsom – Return To The Country House Full Of Posh Inbred Cunts

You may notice that these posts get longer as we get further into the trilogy. This is because thinking about Andrea Leadsom seems to inspire more bile the more I do it. I first heard of her in the BBC EU referendum Question Time event and am sorely depressed that I have ever had to hear her again.

I can’t be the only one who thinks of the above when I see or hear her though. Can I?

Poor bloke

Having seen the video of Jeremy Corbyn being asked whether he’s “running away from the media” while refusing to take questions from journalists and becoming, temporarily, a pub brawler for what I presume is the first and last time in his life, and coupled with the reports that he wanted to stand down as Labour leader but was convinced not to, I can’t help but feel sorry for the poor fucker.

Despite my repeated assertion that he’s shit at politics and messaging and that if a better left-wing option pops up I would vote for them in his stead, Corbyn to me comes across as nothing other than a genuinely decent, pleasant, well meaning and overall nice person; someone whose socialism is born purely and solely out of a wish for people to be happy, safe, well-fed and living in peace together. You can say that’s naive and utopian if you want to, and to an extent I’d agree, but I get the sense that it’s heartfelt and that he wants to try and realise that vision somehow – and again, you can say he’s inept at actually trying to realise that vision, and at best naive himself about some of the associations he’s had, but his heart is very much in the right place. Even his worst enemies tend to describe him as “decent”. He doesn’t even eat meat for fuck’s sake.

In response to his pursuing this well-meaning if far-fetched ideal, Corbyn has sustained an enormous shit-slinging campaign – some of the shit deserved (describing Hamas as “friends” and praising them as a force for social justice) some of it much less so (such as his supposedly comparing Israel and Da’esh this week, which he simply wasn’t on any level as is immediately evidenced by the context and the actual words he used) and some of it, as he’d possibly admit, brought upon himself (why Seumas Milne?). Most of the MPs in the Labour party have all but turned against him, the media have barely given him a fair hearing at all and a significant proportion of the party membership want him gone, even while the party’s actual electoral performance in actual electoral contests hasn’t measurably suffered to any great extent while he has led it. On top of this, he has been blamed even for Britain leaving the European Union through being a secret supporter of leaving it, which would necessarily mean that he is both unpersuasive for the cause he went up and down the country promoting (remaining) but also remarkably persuasive for a cause he didn’t espouse at all (leaving).

Corbyn, someone who even his detractors seem to think is a genuinely good person underneath it all who I doubt could or would ever hurt anyone, has spent a year now being vilified as a trot, a communist, dishonest, a cult leader, an idiot, a disaster, the ruiner of the Labour party, an anti-Semite, a racist and now, absurdly, personally responsible for an enormous political and economic catastrophe. Given all of this pressure on someone who has had no executive experience whatsoever, whose media training has been shambolic to non-existent (partly because he idiotically chose a tankie fuckwit to be his director of communications, in fairness) and whose apparently genuine positive and hopeful idealism has somehow not given way despite the litany of people he thought were his friends lining up to kick him squarely in the balls, I don’t especially blame him for looking like he was going to lamp someone who implied he was “running away” from a media that has, in large part, given him anything but a fair hearing and in many cases has taken perfectly innocuous statements out of context in order to make him look bad. So, despite being lukewarm on his leadership, I can’t help but feel sorry for the poor bloke on a personal level. No wonder he wanted to stand down; if I’d been him, under that sort of pressure and under these sorts of conditions, I’d have been up a clock tower with a rifle three months ago, and to merely turn around and tell the questioner to contact his press office if they want an interview in these circumstances strikes me as a sign of having the patience of a saint.

Speechless

There’s not going to be a substantial effortpost today because, frankly, what needs to be said that hasn’t already been said? Alex Massie’s article for the Spectator is deservedly doing the rounds, as it should because Alex Massie is right about everything and especially this, but I also wholly endorse this post from a blog that appears to have about three different names:

What is with our inexplicable collective shyness about getting this whole cavalcade of nasty, disordered shitbags to just fuck off to the far side of fuck and once they’ve got there, fuck off some more? An elected representative is dead, is that not enough? The whole blanket of irony that coats our political and our personal lives, the protective armour we use against the naked primitive aggression of nasty little people who are prepared to go far, far further to shame and silence moderate people than we ever would go to silence them – it has to stop. It has to stop. These are the consequences of irony and passivity. These are the consequences of that mildly cynical entertainment of the mildly uncomfortable evil staring you in the face.

You can also, if you choose, read the above but put far less well and with much less grace and florid language by me on Facebook.

 

Coherent arguments

I have to admire the sheer balls of this “argument”, and wish I could bring myself to be such an arsehole on the Internet (names censored for reasons):

Spelling Bee

I share the guy’s frustration really. For all the talk of “sovereignty” (or “sovreignty”), I do sometimes wish that the people who are so gung-ho about control over the UK’s affairs had absolutely none of it. And this isn’t some “lefties/remainers are innately more intelligent and superior” thing; I’d prefer someone like David Cameron or even (if I really had to pick a Tory leave fetishist) Michael Gove, who at least can string sentences together, have control over the country rather than some rote-learner who’s heard what sovereignty is but doesn’t even know how to spell the damn word, much less be able to articulate what they mean by it.

Too bad those same rote-learners are probably going to be voting us out of the EU in a couple of weeks’ time; if we do vote to leave, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride as soon as they realise that whether we’re in the EU or not, the amount of control anyone here who isn’t insanely wealthy has over their own pissy lives is basically nil but the financial markets that overwhelmingly indicate they want us to stay in can fuck them six ways from Sunday.