Tag Archives: MP

Another day – another brutal murder

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Jo’s husband tweet this picture – how he wants his wife to be remembered

Words cannot express the pain and anger that many British people feel at the killing of a UK MP, in broad daylight, on 16 June 2016, on the streets of the small Yorkshire village of Birstall; death snatching the life of one of our most promising Member of Parliament – Jo Cox.

So far all we know is that her attacker was in his 50s, described as a loner who may have mental health issues – but on the latter point we still do not know.

It says a lot about our view of parliament and our politicians that few people outside of her constituency or parliament would have been aware of just how promising and respected Jo was.  She was only in parliament for 18 months – yet managed to punch through not only on political issues but also across the political divide.   Unlike some politicians who would argue over the direction of a worm – just because they couldn’t bear to agree, Jo was different and would work with anyone of whatever persuasion if they shared her views on the various humanitarian causes she championed.

But let’s be clear – Jo wasn’t just an MP – she was a daughter, a wife and mother of two children whom she loved more than anything.  In an emotional yet considered response, after his wife was pronounced dead – Jo’s husband Brendan said: “Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. More difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full of love. I and Jo’s friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo”.

We still do not know the cause – however, speaking at the scene of her death the leader of the labour party Jeremy Corbyn alluded to a possible answer when he said “She was taken from us in an act of hatred, in a vile act that has killed her.  It’s an attack on democracy, what happened yesterday. It’s the well of hatred that killed her “.  One assumes that the Prime Minister has been given constant updates by those holding the killer and may have passed on some information to Mr Corbyn.

If you want to know who Jo was and the type of platform that she was forging her way on – just listen to her maiden speech in the House of Commons in 2015.

 

I was on facebook when the news of Jo’s shooting started to break – responding to someone who had written a post on the EU referendum and how they only way to regain our country and stop immigration was to vote to leave.  My critical response to this including lamenting the idea that it is the EU that makes us undemocratic – when we have nearly 900 unelected Peers in the House of Lords with the power to change, delay and black legislation and whom cost the taxpayer about £21 million per year and that we should sort out the deckchairs on our own beach before looking over the water and blaming a messy beach abroad for our troubles.

I also touched on how the focus on immigration and EU bureaucrats let our own MPs and parliament off the hook – and was pretty scathing about our MPs.  Then as news started to roll in that not only had Jo been shot, but had succumbed to her injuries, I decided I could not hit the reply button.  It just didn’t feel right to be having a go at politicians when one had just been murdered on a British street in a small British village.  Maybe me and the British public have been too harsh on our MPs – the majority of whom, are not that different to us and who come within the communities we ourselves live.

I saved a copy of what I have written and I’m now not sure if I will ever respond to Mr Angry about Immigration – because, actually, I don’t want to get caught up in the tit for tat nasty – blown out of all proportion debate that we have had so far.  I will write something – but maybe I will be that bit more respectful to those who govern us – and maybe we all should.  I note that because the killer is white, with links to the far right – no mention of the words “terrorist’ or ‘terrorism’ has been made- yet, it is hard not to imagine if the killers skin colour had of been different – the headlines and news bulletins would be flooded with words trying to link this to some muslim extremist group either here or abroad – like what happened when the soldier Lee Rigby was murdered by a man who had mental health issues – who happened to be muslim.  Maybe we in the media need to also learn to just watch our language and how we present the news to the public.

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Dailymail headline screaming “yet another lorry load of migrants”

If all the public hear from the news that they consume and by certain political groups that we are “awash” with immigrants and that we are ‘full’ ‘cannot cope’ our shores are ‘flooded’ and our politicians are inept and unable to control the ‘flow of immigration’ – then maybe, just maybe, it lights the torch paper in people making them angry which then leads to some, who do not have the full control of their mental state, to see themselves as champions for Britain.  Whist taking the life of a wife and leaving to children without a mother.

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Dailymail clarification – tucked within the pages of the DailyHate

 

An End To Benefits Street

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AKA Benefits Street

And so it came to pass that a programme which told it’s participants they were recording a show about “community spirit” and how individuals “were working together and helping each other in tough times” finally ended.  The fact that the programme makers lied to the participants (they filmed lots of working people and community events over 18 months that was just dumped) – doesn’t seem to matter as they would have been made to sign contracts waiving any rights to what material was used and how the show was edited (under the guise of – we are programme makers – we understand this process – you are poor and stupid…errr you are in need of some well deserving attention brought upon you and (fairy dust sprinkle) (annoyingly enthusiastic voice) – we can make it happen.

The series ended with a ‘live’ debate, involving  the participants and other interested parties including MPs and journalists who written some nasty stuff – about these benefits scum…I mean those people who claim additional financial support from the state.

Two of the documentary participants
Two of the documentary participants

Mass hysteria had been whipped up in the press and from commentators about the fairness of the welfare system and this programme was all the evidence they needed.  “It’s not fair that people should sit about all day doing nothing and then get paid money for it” they shrieked!!  Really?   so what do these so called commentators do with the rest of their 37 hours after they’ve spent just 3 slagging off lazy, idle, work shy scroungers into 500 words?  Does yet another afternoon lunch with Sebastian and Felicity for a skinny Mocha -chocca-latte -chino-frappo crapo chato – followed by attending yet another pretentious “must see” exhibition at a tiny art gallery – quaffing free champaign – really count as work?

The truth is, seeing laziness in others is easy.  Seeing it in ourselves – when we spend so much time flapping and “frapping” about from one “rendezvous” to another….not so.  And therefore I don’t rush to criticise nor condemn the people that channel 4 made minor celebrities out of.

Actually, I think on the whole they came across ok.  There are much worse streets out there where the people aren’t full of witty remarks and camaraderie – but nasty and truly awful to each other – where stealing from their neighbour is just as commonplace as stealing from the state.  Streets where the police only go when required and for whom society and it’s morals might as well be on another planet.

And then, like the benefits themselves – it all finished.  I’m hard pressed to come to a conclusion about what the merits or otherwise of watching the programme had on me – or for that matter, the general debate on welfare.  In the first episode I learned that if you want to try and shoplift something – try wrapping kitchen foil in the bottom the bag – as it stops…something….from doing…something… or something like that?  Then in the second episode I learned that gangs of european men come over here on a promise of easy work and easy money – only to find themselves in squalid conditions, working 12 hour days and only receive token payments for their labour.  When they try to report the dodgy gang master who is not paying them money  – and our police and state seem impotent in it’s ability to deal with the situation…”go after the bloody businesses where these men work and are being exploited” I shouted at the TV screen.  Nothing happened.

There were of course other characters:  the rather annoyingly chirpy church woman who is keen to transform James Turner Street from a rather downtrodden, ugly, messy street into a downtrodden, ugly clean-ish street; the guy who knocks on people’s doors selling things for 50p – hence why he is known as the “50p man” – but doesn’t have much luck and (capitalists look away now) seems to take pity on every other person he meets – and gives them stuff from his bargain box free.

Deirdre Kelly or White Dee on Benefits Street
Deirdre Kelly or white Dee on Benefits Street

Finally, we got to the “Live Debate” – hosted by Richard Bacon and stuffed full of people I think I’d heard of and faces I think I recognised.

This mass-debate was pretty poor – lots of uncoordinated shouting or cheering – depending upon what point was ineloquently made.  White Dee (it seems she prefers to be called Dee – real name Deirdre Kelly) was the only human from the programme that was allowed (or trusted) to speak more than one sentence.

There was the Minister for Work and Pensions – whose name I forget, but who used to be a fireman in a previous life (told us twice) and whom at one point, if I heard correctly, made a joke about shagging white Dee’s mum??  The Minister’s shadow Minister (do try and keep up) had been too busy to watch the programme (too many functions with free booze & cold sandwiches to attend) and so watch 3 of them that day and was appalled by stuff that I can’t remember and don’t care to regurgitate.

One of the interesting angles that came out of this debate for me was seeing those hard nosed columnists, who normally write whilst cocooned in the safety of their middle class homes – their venom slowly dripping onto the page – come face to face with those people whom they’d slagged off.  Being people on benefits – of course they had actually read any of the articles and so weren’t offended in the least – but Mr Bacon did try and get a bit of a confrontation going – alas there was nothing to bite.  The columnists didn’t want to say things such as “I wish you hadn’t had any children you couldn’t afford” or “I have not met such nasty dole-scum since one traveled on a train in London”.  More of this – commenter -v- commentee would be interesting.

James Turner Resident Dee Roberts (Black Dee)
James Turner Resident Dee Roberts (Black Dee)

The debate only had Richard Bacon as it’s thread and I didn’t feel he really managed to weave it together very well and generally it seemed the pre-production of it had been sloppy and lazy at best.  So, basically, it couldn’t have finished better.