In October 2017 a group of tweeps, who had already campaigned against populist parties in France, Germany and Austria, decided that it was getting time to create a grassroots movement that was able to counter the rise of the far-right in the European Union. To this end they created two hashtags “FollowBackProEU” and the acronym “FBPE”. Continue reading “Who are we? Time for an explanation!”
A doting father and his little girl are face down on the riverbank. They found the mother for an interview. She said that he adored the child. That you could see how he never let go of her as they were washed away.
Katie Hopkins, reality TV upstart, columnist, agent provocateur, (who made a name by her extreme far right views, articulacy and big, nasty mouth) calls them cockroaches. Cockroaches. Let that sink in. The language of hate. A twisted gospel emoting the notion of infestation; the spoiling of a pure and peaceful homeland. The enemy.
Cockroaches applied to people who try to flee poverty and gang violence. People who love their children, like you and I do.
Haters use the few malicious infiltrators as an excuse for their indiscriminate bile.
“They send us their drug dealers and rapists”, says Trump to resounding cheers.
Bullshit! Most refugees are desperate, ordinary, keen to work.
The minute we dehumanise them, we become dehumanised. The wages of our vain exceptionalism is a kind of soul death. Just look at the leading hate preachers of the West. Reprehensible, cold-eyed strategists. They’re already rich or get rich on their manoeuvres. No better than the swarthy terrorists they cite as the reason we must clamp down on entire races and creeds. Hate is never static. It is a consuming fire. Who’s next?
Few would contest that the brexit vote and the resultant hate-hike in the UK has emboldened far right enclaves across Europe. What an indictment! In the past 3 years we’ve become accustomed to rhetoric that was unacceptable before. I contend that it all starts with language. It was language that radicalised terrorists and language that did the same to the brexiters who never cared about the EU before. The antipathy against the EU was systematically manufactured by our 80% Tory owned mainstream media. Now we’ve had 3 dire years of them building on original lies. Quite a master class in corrupting mind control.
It built on decades of our governments neglecting to inform us of the EU money and goodwill that flooded back in. We weren’t given a taste of the spirit of belonging. Eventually we were directly misled by lies about our friends and allies and the boon to our economy. There was widespread ignorance as to what the EU was for or what it did. After the brexit vote leavers deluged Google to find out what they just voted to exit from.
Conversely, the depressed national feeling (that helped fuel the Leave vote) didn’t come out of the blue. It happened as a progression. Margaret Thatcher’s political offspring, the Tories, steadily dismantling the welfare state. Social engineering, or should I say deconstruction.
10 years of Tory wealth transference from the public to the super rich.
The Tories selling off chunks of the NHS on the sly. The BBC never reporting it.
3 Parliamentary wage rises since we, the public had to endure austerity.
The UK’s debt tripled nevertheless. Where did the ‘saved’ money go?
Our economic discomfort wasn’t the EU’s or the refugee’s fault. it was all down to Margaret Thatcher’s children, in power too long. Grossly split amongst themselves regarding the EU they were ripe to infect us with their malady. Now we’re sick and they’re investing in Euros. As the £ crashes they’ll make a killing. Free of the European Court of Justice they can defraud us of civil, workers and human rights. Brexit fodder! Guess what! You’re next!
Brexit fan club members should think of the so named ‘universal credit’ mode of State assistance designed to make it increasingly harder to claim. They should consider the sanctions-based persecution of the poor, from expensive phone calls to deal with claims to penalties for the most infinitesimal missteps. Having outsourced assessment to private companies with government-dictated targets, the sick and the dying have been ruled fit for work. Official figures trace 120000 deaths to cruel cuts to sickness benefits. I suspect the real figure is far higher but who’d care to collate the evidence? These, like foreign ‘cockroaches’ are disposable in the UK’s brave new world.
What has ten years of Conservative rule got us? Proliferating food banks are having to be resorted to by working people because the gap between rich and poor has become an obscene chasm. At risk of stating the obvious, we haven’t even peaked yet. The country is splintering before our eyes. You see hate doesn’t stop with refugees. The UK’s soul is dying of this corrosive blame-mongering. Brexit has poisoned the air. We’re all depressed. Who’s next to be blamed?
Brexiters should think of the notorious Windrush deportations and of potentially a million plus EU nationals torn from their families like criminals after 10, 20, 30 years of being law-abiding, taxpaying, home-owning citizens.
Perhaps they should ask how exactly the government wants to water down the Human Rights Laws as agreed by a collective of Democracies before some of them turned rogue.
The UN has twice condemned the UK for abusing the sick and needy. Our poverty and homeless figures have spiked to scandalous levels while the Tories dismantle every brick made of social conscience as laid over civilised decades.
So now it is citizen against citizen. The world watches as Great Britain is at war with itself, a disunited kingdom to say the least. It won’t always be this way but nothing will ever be the same. Scotland will leave. Wales is highly likely to follow on. Don’t even get me started on Ireland, we’ll be here all day!
When the hate rebounds on the haters (as it always does eventually) peace will once again be sought like priceless treasure. Just ask any aged German person who was left starving, standing knee-deep in rubble after the war. The British were better back then. We helped them rebuild. We headed up the EU peace project. We rolled out the National Health Service and looked to a better world.
Reminder! The 2007 Hedge Fund crash, the seedbed of all we see melting down today, was not caused by immigrants. It was caused by the same gang who have got away with it, handed us the bill and are blaming the shower on immigrants and minorities.
Oh, and on the poor and disabled of course. Antisemitism is on the steep rise. Who’s next?
In the wake of the war Britain lost her Empire and began building the welfare state.
At that time, contrary to Thatcher’s claim four decades later, there WAS such thing as SOCIETY.
Despite the heavy aftershock and period of post war healing, it must have been a time of hope and beautiful, brave ideals.
It is said that the baby boomers had the best of it; cheap houses, National Health Service, a growing middle class, civil aviation, social mobility.
Today – a sense of impending doom shadows our green and pleasant land.
A climate of fear and fragmentation – a helpless sense of dissolution, dissipation and abnormality, a looming threat coursing backwards through a vicious loop.
How tragic that all they had to promise the lemmings was that they’d be Champions of the League!
Bravo, forelock-tuggers, cap-doffers you poor cloyed, flattered and clueless 20%, whom are all it needs for fascism to root.
Take a look at your prize – behold the big nothing there’s in it for you!
Boris Johnson described Africa as a “blot” and said that it would be better if it was colonised again. He wrote that “The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge anymore”. Now you know what they mean by new deals!
Throughout my commentary of the past three years, I often used the ‘leveraging new markets’ phrase. Immigration was merely the fish bait to secure the plebeian vote. In truth it’s been all about money/power/expansion. Which echo from the past is no good to anyone without a knowledge of history and resultant basic deductive faculties.
The world-scale, aggressive capitalists see the monetization of you, me and poor countries as fair quarry. To that end, the Tories have been systematically breaking down society since Margaret Thatcher, who claimed there was no such thing. What she meant was that there shouldn’t be a collectively responsible society. Every dog for themselves. She was a soft fascist. The ideology has now come of age.
Her ghost has been roaming for decades, waiting for a second wind. The Tories in charge today are her diabolical offspring. The last thing stood in their way was the EU, holding democratic and moral principles aloft.
This is the day of the bastards when old, accepted norms have been hacked, shattered and bought into by just enough of the herd (as the overlords see us) to mount their attack. The current global climate was perfect for our own ruling elite. In fact, they’ve been squarely at the roots of the world’s present unravelling ie Cambridge Analytica and players like those of the Leave campaign and hard, parliamentary brexiteers co-working with the likes of Steve Bannon and funded by Putin and the Mercers in the US.
This IS their 2nd Empire wet dream. To jump, no holds barred on the expansionist big boys’ (world oligarchy) gravy train in order to steal whatever’s loose or weak, i.e. us without our EU rights, i.e. Africa’s geological riches and to hell with the little people and climate change!
This IS nothing less than fascism reborn and yes children, we, the former Great Britain are the bad guys.
Our PM elect (meaning he probably will be) in all his depravity, narcissism, pathological lying, misogyny, contempt for everything deemed beneath his Eton-bred oligarchic mentality, obscene pomposity and greed, provides a perfect thermometer reading of the UK’s fever-pitch descent.
…. is relative. You strive, you drive, you amass, you quench a need. Addicted to pleasure and bought glory, you crave more, you feel powerful, you’re flying….till it peaks.
Now you age, you decline, you fret, you sweat to oversee the great vaults of treasure and the outcrops of all your territories. The days contract, the thrills lace through with diminishing returns.
You stage a last-ditch stand to save your crumbling estate, soon to be passed to others… ….like Madonna pitching a final bid at greatness. The performance is lamentable. The hubris is painfully public.
We look on with ill-disguised pity. Embarrassing. Like faded sirens or Michael Jackson trying to curtail Time and change. Like the British Empire in tatters beating a path to the oligarchic trough, rubbing snouts with big balls swine.
Rare birds like Bill Gates, humanitarians and philanthropists aren’t included in the analogy. But you are Mr Mogg, Trump, Johnson, Murdoch and all the Jeremy Unts.
The artistic license excusing the arguable coarseness of this meditation is mine to own. Aspiring to something raw yet beautiful, I shoulder my wages as you must carry your greed.
Now you’re old, you’re cold, you’re loaded but outmoded and you can’t take it with you anyway. It seems you weren’t the source of abundance for if that was so it would still be thus. The straits of entropy are purely mechanical but the starry cosmos is aesthetically, esoterically immeasurable. Reductionism works as schematic but acts as a poor man’s philosophy.
Old Mr Mogg, Mr Hog and all the Jeremy Unts, the time has come for you to be shanty-town poor. It’s a conservative estimate but hey, near as damn it in your projected future.
You sit slumped amongst your mountain of trophies that’ll be here when you’re gone. Every last silver spoon, each monogrammed cufflink. every ashtray will still be here when you’re dust. All you’ve left is the karma you earned from the people you’ve crushed along the way.
Was it worth it?
This contribution to our blog was written by @MarianneVelvart
Behalve dat dit praktijken uit heel donkere tijden zijn, zoals de Chinese Culturele Revolutie en de tijd van senator McCarthy in de VS, die in een democratische rechtsstaat en parlementaire democratie als de onze niet thuishoren en zeker niet vanuit de partij die de grootste is in de eerbiedwaardige Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal, is het ook opmerkelijk trouwens dat we al dik 17 jaar om de oren geslagen worden met het aan Voltaire toegeschreven veel gebruikte citaat “Ik ben het niet eens met wat je zegt, maar ik zal het recht om het te zeggen tot de dood toe verdedigen”. Kennelijk gaat op rechts het recht van vrije meningsuiting niet verder dan “Ik vind dat jij moet kunnen zeggen wat ik vind”. Ik heb nog nooit grotere flauwekul in mijn leven gehoord als ‘linkse indoctrinatie in het onderwijs’. Alsof kinderen en jongeren zich ook maar iets aantrekken van wat ouders of docenten zeggen.
Ik heb tot mijn 23e in het onderwijs rondgelopen en ben daarna 9 jaar personeelsfunctionaris in het onderwijs geweest. De meest gangbare partijen waren CDA en VVD of klein-rechts, ChristenUnie en SGP; die vallen vast onder “uiterst linkse” partijen. In sollicitatiegesprekken mag je niet vragen naar politieke voorkeur en dat gebeurde ook nooit en politieke voorkeur is géén, ik herhaal, géén reden voor ontslag. Op mijn Hogeschool ging elk College ongeveer over het heil van de vrije markt en privatisering en hoe P&O de bedrijfsvoering ‘rendabeler’ kon maken. Tot de standaarduitrusting van mijn HBO personeel en arbeid hoorde de Samsonite. Als er al indoctrinatie in het onderwijs plaatsvindt, dan is die eerder rechts dan links.
Niet alleen is een klopjacht op docenten on-Nederlands, maar ook intimiderend en ronduit bedreigend vanuit boven ons gestelde politici die zich niet eens met inhoud van onderwijs en opstelling van de school als werkgever hebben te bemoeien. Dat is aan schoolbestuur, zo is dat al sinds 1917 in Nederland geregeld. Als Forum voor Democratie dit doorzet gaat ze vanzelf -en terecht- in aanvaring komen met onze stijl Orthodox-Gereformeerde broeders die Forum stemmen, en laten die nu goed zijn voor ongeveer 1 van de 13 senaatszetels. Orthodox Gereformeerden vinden namelijk -volkomen terecht- dat de overheid met zijn tengels van hún onderwijs hoort af te blijven.
Tot slot, ik ben van mening dat de heren en dames die lid zijn van Forum, als ze dat nog niet gedaan hebben, hun partijleider maar eens moeten aanspreken op zijn speech op de IJzerwake, zijn gesprekken met de heer LePen en Jared Taylor en de heer Hiddema op zijn naar mijn bescheiden mening op zijn minst empatieloze uitspraken over de NSB en de weduwe Rost van Tonningen in diverse publicaties. Dat is geen “demonisering”, maar een kwestie van politieke hygiëne.
Als Nederlands staatsburger met directe familieleden die omgekomen zijn in WO II heb ik grote problemen met die uitspraken. De NSB was geen “boerenbelangenbehartigersorganisatie”. Mijn grootvader, een kleine Achterhoekse boer, die 5 jaar onderduikers op de boerderij had en wiens buurman ‘fout’ was, draait zich om in zijn graf. Daarover zwijgen zou lekker gemakkelijk zijn, maar het zou als verraad voelen naar mijn moeder die haar broer door verraad van twee NSB-ers en haar broertje en haar zus als gevolg van ziekte, verzwakt door de oorlog, verloor. Mijn moeder werd slechts 68 en het verlies van haar broer, broertje en zus op jonge leeftijd en een oorlogstrauma speelden daar denk ik een niet onbelangrijke rol in.
Mijn grootmoeder overleed op 59 jarige leeftijd en het verlies van 3 van haar 6 kinderen speelde daar een grote rol in. Ik word fysiek onpasselijk van politici die leuteren over ‘vroeger toen we nog exotische oorden veroverden’. Ik denk aan mijn oom die, na een oorlog die hem een zus en twee broers kostte, via Kamp Amersfoort naar Indonesië werd gestuurd. Het Kamp waar zijn broer 3 jaar ervoor ongetwijfeld kennis maakte met ‘De Rozentuin’ en een paar weken zat voor hij gedeporteerd werd naar Duitsland en daar om het leven kwam. Die oom offerde voor dit land 3 jaar van zijn leven op als dienstplichtig militair in toenmalig Nederlands-Indië. Die oom kwam als door een Godswonder als enige overlevende van zijn peleton uit het oerwoud. Die oom kreeg te horen onderweg naar Bali, dat hij ‘de laatste kogel voor zichzelf moest bewaren’. Hij moest als 19 jarige maten van hem, die even oud waren, ‘kisten’ en begraven. Hij vond ze vaak in het oerwoud met de afgesneden geslachtsdelen in de mond gepropt.
En dan hoor ik jochies van het niveau Sid Lukassen leuteren over ‘eindstrijd’. Dit soort jochies heeft geen flauw benul wat oorlog inhoudt. Ik een klein beetje dankzij een moeder en vader met de nodige oorlogsbalast. Mijn vader van 92 wordt nog wel eens gillend wakker omdat hij de bommen op Bocholt of Emmerich weer ziet vallen of de geallieerde bommenwerpers weer over hoort vliegen naar het Ruhrgebied, terwijl luchtalarm uit vier richtingen staat te janken en het luchtafweergeschut rond de boerderij staat te bulderen. Of hij droomt van die keer dat hij beschoten werd door een Engels jachtvliegtuig omdat hij, zo dicht bij de grens, voor een Duitser werd aangezien. Of hij droomt van de hevige gevechten om zijn geboortedorp in maart 1945. Dit soort politici moeten ook mij vertegenwoordigen.
Ik kijk naar de brief van de oorlogsgravenstichting en ik probeer me al dagen voor te stellen hoe iemand die op de IJzerwake speechte, bij de Dam een krans legt, of hoe iemand van een partij die een meldpunt tegen “linkse indoctrinatie” instelt een herdenkingsspeech bij de Dokwerker moet houden. Het mag bekend zijn dat daar linkse, merendeels communistische stakers herdacht worden.
This text was written by Pilar Gomez
I Bet You Think This Blog is About You
A chaotic week closes and where are we? A group of MPs have finally released themselves from the straight-jacket of hardening ideology in their respective parties, which has paralysed both the party of government and HM opposition. The parties are so busy circling each other, leaders snarling and growling with their packs baying for a showdown that the business of running the country has been essentially put to one side whilst the Cold War of damaging brexit versus damaging brexit continues at their behest.
The faces of the TIG MPs display a sense of liberation and joy that they can finally consider answers to questions put to them without having to reference the big book of Red or Blue Designated Answers which has weighed on their shoulders for 2 years.
It has been good to behold this sudden discovery of independent thought and I truly hope this is the very early start of something solid and real, a change in the way politicians think about and formulate policy in the interests of the country 1st, 2nd and 3rd without being bound to this juvenile idea of “if you aren’t with us you are against us”.
But we have to be practical. All of that is for later as currently, we are still obstructed from this desirable end by the lack of process to make that happen quickly. In the meantime, we have a more pressing matter and here is a message to Conservative and Labour MPs and their fervent enablers assuming they are rational thinkers. You are all so vain I bet you think this blog is about you and your parties. Hear this. It really isn’t.
It’s not about party, it’s not about binary choices, it’s not about them and you. It’s about Us, our lives our families, our businesses, our jobs, our rights. You failed to listen. In October we came to London from across the UK and the EU27 to tell you why we opposed Brexit and how we want to have a final say. We will come to London again, even more of us this time and we will tell you again.
We are not really that concerned with your parties or your careers in the main, that’s on you to win our respect and trust so we lend you our vote. But here is a huge hint to you all. If you ignore the prospect of the damage that any kind of Brexit presents to the UK (don’t take my word for it, most experts and business and even the government’s own assessment are all agreed on this), it’s not going to go well for your seats. Still, it’s not about you.
It’s about our EU27 friends and family who have been treated like dirt for the last three years. Some parliamentarians have disrespected them in the most obnoxious way and have carried on ignoring the fact that their status is diminished by Brexit overnight.
It is about our friends and family who live in the EU27 who have been facing insecurity and anxiety as their status too is reduced, most having been completely disenfranchised.
It’s about our children and grandchildren. You are enabling those who have themselves benefited personally from freedom of movement and the other benefits of EU membership and citizenship to pull up the ladder behind them and deny those opportunities to future generations.
It’s about our small business community who were able to access the single market and expand and create growth but now will be faced with new barriers to trade which will probably make them uncompetitive.
It’s about the communities who will suffer as large employers move all or some of their operations to the EU27 in order to protect themselves, their shareholders and investors and their bottom line as you erect barriers between them and the biggest trading bloc in the world. The knock on effect of this will be felt in the wider business community which serves the bigger companies. It won’t happen overnight, it will be a slow drawn out decline. The ERG dreams of turning us into a tax haven on the edge of Europe may benefit a few but it won’t add much to our regions except for the further widening of inequality which of course has been a massive factor in getting us to where we are. Incidentally our standards and protections will be the first casualties of the scrabble for trade deals. Your constituents won’t thank you for that either.
It’s about all of us who feel Brexit as a personal assault on the fabric of our identities as we are stripped of an EU citizenship that many of us had no idea just how much we valued but took for granted. We won’t make that mistake again.
It’s about our shame as we hear the experiences of migrants in our communities subjected to a feeling of alienation within their neighbourhoods or workplaces or even the hostility of strangers towards them for daring to speak a foreign language on the train. There are many considering their position, others have already left to another place where they feel more welcome.
It’s about our friends and families on the island of Ireland who are very worried and furious at the lunacy of Westminster and its effect on their business but more importantly the Good Friday Agreement. The uncertainty is toxic, the peace is still young and make no mistake there are elements lurking waiting to take advantage of a hard border in order to further their own agendas and nefarious activities.
So when we are giving you a hard time, when we demand to know the answers to our extremely fair questions like why are you pressing on with Brexit when it is not in the interests of the country, when we tell you our concerns because we are going to lose jobs or split families, its not about you or your party. It’s about us, the people you swear to represent in the best way you can. It’s time for you to find your courage just like the TIG and do the right thing for us and the country and end this brexit shambles. If you cannot revoke article 50 then please find a way to give us the baton and we will decide for you in a final say. We have the courage even if you don’t because it’s about us.
This poem was written by Marianne Velvart
I had a dream that Christmas was here again
Squeezed itself back
Through a sash window in the shortest month
Caught me with guard down
With the family round, hungry and expectant
And me in tacitly panicked, ad-lib mode
Acting unflustered, dutiful.
I evoke the dream in present tense
Not that Time exists beyond a linear mental construct
But waste none now because the family’s here
I cannot afford my penchant for analysis
Whilst there are mouths to be fed.
In the absence of Goose, a chicken will do for the table
And even as I spin and weave motherly magic
Time gains upon me in the race
Stuns me a sudden severance between feet and ground.
How did it happen? How did I get here, am I here at all?
I trace the origins of the reverie
To the recent past when
Time warped, turned back in on itself
Followed curved space, blurred then deceptively resolved
Returned me to the spot all too soon
And lucidly dreaming, I likened it to life
Asking ‘will it be just like this at the end?’
A series of blinks and the ride, over
The last scene arriving way too fast
Staged in a room without tinsel dressing
My hands curled around strings of floating recalls
Weaken their grip and glide
Away through the skylight
Of this life
This shortest interlude
In the vastest scape
Where in the end love’s all that matters
Caught only in dreams