Electile Dysfunction – That’s Democracy Folks!

thatdemocracyfolks

I weighed up the options this evening, I really did.

I umm’d and aah’d over what the best decision was and I’m not convinced I made the right choice.

What to do on the night of what is possibly the most pivotal General Election that I have seen to date.

I could have spent the evening playing a few therapeutic rounds of Starcraft/Starcraft 2, wiping hordes of AI led foes from a digital map with the brutal might if Protoss supremacy.

I could have stuck to a strong yet stable alternative and just sat catching up on Youtubeflix-Prime or something.

I could have indulged in a random act of caring and spent the evening looking after one of my cats, who has damaged his paw and is batting his paw dressing against any hard surface as a means of attention (I’ve recently adopted a stray, against all better advice and so am dictated to by a feline triumvirate of power).

Instead I chose the many over the few and decided to write about politics, even though this isn’t intended as a political blog.

As I write this, the polls have just closed and the temptation to phone my boss and request some leeway in tomorrow’s employment attendance is strong.  I have never stayed up to watch the results come in after a General Election and waking up a year ago to the Brexit result with my 6am alarm clock was genuinely like living some kind of Kafka-cross-Cronenberg nightmare.

I’m pretty sure I’m over my obsessive-lover’s addiction with politics, I truly learnt my lesson last year.  What will be will be and my single voice is unlikely to be heard within this countries half-arsed attempt at democracy.

I am aching to find out how things turn out though.

I also have something of a confession to make… several if I think about it.

Firstly, I didn’t really choose one thing earlier, that was just a cheap allusion to the earlier choice I made in my local polling station – and even that decision was made several days ago.

I’ve broken off writing this post at several points to care for my ailing kitty (Muggle J. Fluffmonster for those in the know); I’ve even spent time with my old girl, Minty J. Blige and even the new guest, “Drifter”.

I’ve procrastinated writing this to catalogue spare swapsies in my Sainsbury’s Lego Card collection and I always Youtube whilst writing these things… so the only thing I’m missing out on is Starcraft – and a good Gin and Slimline always fills in for Starcraft.

Secondly, I’ve committed adultery of sorts – politically speaking that is; this is what is weighing on my mind I think.

Earlier today I was challenged with a question from a work colleague (a work colleague who I am diametrically opposed to both politically and ethically but that’s not important right now).

I can predict the future, can you?

The answer to that question is unlikely to please my grounded atheist or science focused readers… Yes, I believe there are means by which I can.

My colleague proposed that by the time this is posted (I’m planning on scheduling for a 7 or 8 am release on the 9th of June 2017 – it is currently half past 10pm on election night) we would see a 65 seat lead for the Conservative party and that the Liberal Democrats (my preferred party) would be a single seat up.

Another colleague predicted a hung parliament.

I was asked by other colleagues to perform a rare Tarot reading to predict the outcome – I’d like to class that as my 3rd confession but I’d like to discuss it now to further procrastinate the discussion of my political infidelity – it’s kind of relevant to that story anyway.

I have a number of Tarot decks at home but don’t usually allow that part of my life to mingle with work life.  I’m a sucker for a good solid Rider Waite deck using a strong and stable Celtic Cross in readings – it’s the way I learnt.

I also have a beautiful Haitian deck, based on Rider Waite, that I’m still experimenting with; the only remotely occult trapping I have at work is a marble pyramid that I use for grounding – like an esoteric lightning rod.

So I often rely on Facade.com to perform readings when caught without a deck.  It’s easy to read when the interpretations are fed to you the way the site does and you can randomise the layout and deck used – additional factors of randomisation are pretty handy in divination (I’m sure papers have been written about this somewhere).

Under some small pressure, I performed a quick reading on the question “Who will win the current General Election?” and did my best to interpret the results.

In brief the Tarot was adamant that the results would be balanced – hung of you like – but with a weighting towards the current opposition.

Whether that means hung with a coalesced opposition or hung with a Labour opposition, I don’t know BUT the other thing the digitally represented cards told me was that this would only be possible with a degree of political infidelity!

And that’s why I stuck to the decision I made days ago, betrayed my party of choice and for the first time in my life voted Labour.

There, I said it… I voted Labour… the Red Peril – the Opposition.

And here we come to the crux of why I feel the need to get this off my chest and onto the interwebs – I feel that I’ve betrayed my party of choice.

But here’s the thing, I feel I’m justified.  So much so, I may well send this post to my local candidate for his consideration.

After Brexit, I rejoined the Liberal Democrats – I was one of those foolish members who left after the 2015 General Election and the previous “coalition”.

I’m ashamed to say that I fell for press spin and fell out with Nick Clegg during the coalition; only after the fact realising the monumental success that man made of a bad situation.

Nick Clegg made a sow’s purse out of pig’s ear – far more productive and decent than his colleague David Hameron allegedly did.

20170608_230554I rejoined the Liberal Democrats as they are STILL the one party that best represents my interests.  Those policies I disagree with appear to be shifting (I don’t want my Defence working friends to lose their work and am paranoic enough to think we still need nukes) and I’m on an activist upswing – I WANT to make change and the Liberal Democrats are a oarty I can get on board with…

Just a few issues though: The leader, the defeatism and the begging.

I don’t like getting all Ad Hominem but Tim Farron just doesn’t hit my leadership button. He’s presentable and argues a good argument but there’s something about him that I just can’t quite put my finger on.

The good thing is, I vote on policies not personalities and so I got over that pretty much the day after he became party leader.

The defeatism is harder to get over.

ld1Earlier this year Tim Farron emailed the membership to let us know that he had chosen a direction and goal for the party… we were to become the new opposition!

Finally a great goal, albeit the replacing of the Conservatives being secondary to being the opposition but still… a good goal.

This was reinforced with a statement that we would not – under any circumstances – get into bed with any other party in a new coalition (a mistake if you ask me but there you go – strong and stable decision making from the party  leader).

Once the campaigning was under way I even saw emails related to my local candidate, a chap who had already done sterling work in my area as a Councillor.

Shortly after this though other emails started to come through; emails requesting that I abandon my own constituency to assist key seats.

ld3

In effect the party was hanging my own candidate out to dry and poaching me to work on other areas that were “close to me”. Close in a “Londoners Patronising the North” sense – Cheadle, North Leeds and Sheffield Hallam obviously being just next door to us Colne Valley yokels.

The torrent if pressure to abandon my local area as “lost” and move my efforts to “winnable” areas didn’t let up and every single email drove a wedge between me and the party.

The party was right, the chances of my candidate winning compared to the strong (and stable) Tory incumbent or the “Who’s that you say?” Labour option were slim but I felt the Liberal Democrats had hung us out to dry as a constituency.

Even that would have been tolerable.

jb1I’m used to being the underdog; it’s when I’m at my strongest.

Huddersfield’s football team aren’t called the Terriers without reason; us Huddersfuddlians are the kind who fight hardest when the odds are stacked against us.

But the party sold us out – they effectively told me what I’ve always feared, that my vote is irrelevant in my constituency.

Add to this the news that pretty soon my ward (Lindley) is one of those being shifted to a new constituency so as to reduce the number of MPs (or something).  My ward is eventually going to move into the Labour safe seat of Huddersfield – and I mean “Safe” in a “Liberal Democrats ain’t ever winning here” kind of way not a “Starcraft family catch-all term” one.

And then… then… the begging started.

Daily, sometimes multiple time s a day “The other parties have big sponsors… please give us £25” – Shit The Fucking Bed!

I barely have £25 spare to fix the cat let alone pay for Facebook adverts or leaflets to campaign for the Liberal Democrats – Age. Of. Austerity people… sheesh.

I’m not a public sector worker who gets a regular – albeit measly – annual pay rise based on inflation.  My expendable income drops every year – regardless of which set of puppets are in power.  Seriously, Red, Blue or Yellow makes no difference to my “middle-income” ass.

Even with a pay rise, I doubt I could justify spending money on the funds expected of the membership, shit son!

So yes, by polling day itself I was pretty set on a “Save the NHS at all costs” course of action and that meant betraying my party of choice and voting for a woman that lives round the corner from the house I grew up in.

I woman I know nothing about.

A woman who couldn’t even be bothered to put my council ward on her campaign leaflet’s map.

A woman who I doubt will stand up for one single local issue that I give a damn about.

But a woman who’s position as my MP may mean that I continue to enjoy NHS treatments that are free at the point of use.  A woman, who’s potential success may mean that my best friend doesn’t die from lack of treatment, a lack of funding or his own hands.  A woman who is soon going to be familiar with my name if she gets into power… I voted for her and if she wins she’d better represent my interests!

That’s all assuming the tinfoil hats aren’t correct and the outcome was already decided by Vladimir Putin and Cambridge Analytica months before we went to poll.

Oh… and we wouldn’t have these issues if we embraced proportional representation and at least UKIP didn’t stand in my constituency… small mercies eh?

I guess I’ll have to make it up to the party somehow; I’m still a Liberal Democrat at heart. That being said, if it all goes Pete Tong I’m fairly sure I’ll stand for election myself next time… as an independent or a Loony, maybe even as a Liberal.

Ten past midnight, I’m off to bed… if my Tarot reading was right, yay… otherwise… Vive La Revolution and so long Human Rights.

Peace out!

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Expert Opinion

33 weeks ago the country voted, in an advisory capacity, to remove its cannula, jerk out its catheter and make a break out of the door marked “BREXIT”.

Almost 21 days have passed since the nation decided to jump of the EU bandwagon and reach away from the stars (of the European Union) and I feel no better about the decision.

As I’ve written before, I voted to remain in Europe.

Because of that I have been accused of so much rampant Liberalism that I have:

  • Rejoined the Liberal Democrats – may as well be hung as a Lion.
  • Signed numerous knee-jerk petitions.
  • Discussed valid “Leave” & “Remain” arguments post-Brexit.
  • Been accused of “Ageism”, “Socialism”, and of being too sensitive.
  • Been told to person-of-non-specific-gender-the-fuck-up and pull together to help the nation castrate itself.
  • Seen friends and families tear themselves apart over something that none of us have any control over.

I am still angry.

I am still disappointed/disenchanted.

I am still here & just as powerless as I was pre-referendum.

The nation of my birth is still in Europe and the people who campaigned for us to leave have still got no clue as to how we will survive post-Europe.

And so, as much as it makes no difference to the political process that was set in place months ago, we carry on and the people who, like me still give a fuck, scrutinise the arguments, write to our MPs and generally try to voice our “reason” to the world.

Which brings me to the point of this article… I’m no political pundit.

I’m no expert, I’m just a guy who’s spent 4 decades living in the foothills of the Pennines trying to defend himself against a thuggish world that don’t “get” people who actually understand “why” we rub the rocks together – as opposed to just rubbing the rocks together because “Durr! That’s what we do Doofus”.

So I suppose I am an expert.  Just not a political expert… anyway… SQL Server, business analysis, the works of Brian Lumley, the impact of British post-punk musicians on popular music and contemporary occult philosophy – I’m your guy.  The potential effects of British public opinion on the world’s economy – less so.

Which is just as well.

We are now balls-deep into the “Post Fact” age.

We’ve seen the two major political parties in the United Kingdom hosting leadership campaigns built on the back of popularity and gender, as opposed to actual policies.

The United States presidential election has been conducted no better and the aforementioned referendum actively discouraged the public from listening to the reasoned voices of experts.

pobgoveAt the beginning of June, almost a month before the nation went to the polls and decided to remove it’s nose, the former secretary of state of education – Pob Michael Gove stated that the British public had:

had enough of experts

Interestingly enough, he also stated that we should “count him out” of future leadership elections.  Like the other politicians involved in the Leave campaign, he backtracked on that pretty quickly once one the referendum was over.

Pushing the duplicity of politicians to one side, the thing that excites me now – and I mean genuinely piques my interest is that the world has changed… not just on a socio-political level… not just economically but inside.

It’s like the world is The Doctor and all of a sudden we’ve tuned in and The Doctor isn’t a crazy, bescalved, curly haired, grinning jelly baby freak… no the world is now some kind of sleek Cricketer with a hot American wife and a penchant for wooden spoons (and soup dragons).

A friend of mine recently said:

I think we have entered into a world of post fact politics. It is like people live in a world of magical reality.

And I think he’s really hit the Mankey on the nose with that statement.

The general public are now not only encouraged to ignore but are actively ignoring “expert” opinion… even I nearly wrote “so-called ‘expert’ opinion” just then.

Heck, I’ve even railed against experts in my “Church of Pfizer” posts.

“But why is this exciting Armaitus? The country of your birth is in turmoil, the economy is in ruins and the Sith elite have just taken power whilst the Jedi council devours itself from within.”, I hear you cry.

Well that’s an interesting question 700-plus-per-month-average-readership-people and one that I’m super happy to answer…

torqwoomada

I Torq-woo-mada

My friend is absolutely correct, we’re entering a world that – albeit unwittingly – accepts a magical reality.

The western world’s – or at least United Kingdom’s and United States’ – paradigm has shifted from a pro-science, pro-expert factual basis to one that I am led to believe is referred to, by the rest of the world, as “WOO“.

When writing about the Church of Pfizer, I was attempting to put forward the proposition that Science was treated by the general public as a Religion.

The majority of the IFLS crowd wouldn’t know Science from Scientology; sheesh, wrap a fictional-factoid up in a handsome enough meme and your median common denominator would lap it up as Science regardless of whether it had an empirical evidential basis or not.

For the latter part of the 20th century and into the early cyberpunk years of the 21st, we’ve been living a transition from a scientific paradigm into something new – an Idiocracy of sorts.

There’s not much of a leap from the I-Fucking-Love-Scientific thinking of the Church of Pfizer to the pseudo-scientific thinking of those of us who choose to live in a magical reality.

To best explain this I can think of no better piece of work than Ramsey DukesS.S.O.T.B.M.E – An essay on magic.

You can see the author talk about the relevant elements of this piece of work here:

The basic principle that the pseudonymous Mr. Dukes puts to us is that you can perceive the general direction that Culture is taking along one of 4 paths.  He goes on to depict this using the following cultural compass:

dukescompass

He goes on to explain:

Thought is compounded of four elements which I call intuition, observation, logic and feeling.

Any practical method of thinking demands at least two of these four elements, one to serve as an input of impressions and the other to process them.

Artistic thought uses feeling and intuition, Religious thought uses intuition and logic, Scientific thought uses logic and observation, and Magical thought uses observation and feeling.

It really is worth (in my opinion) seeking out the works of Ramsey Dukes , he explains magical thinking in terms that are easily understood, without getting bogged down in any particular dogma.

In the context of what is happening in the world today, we appear to be moving from a Science/Religious direction towards a Science/Magic direction.

If you go back as far as the industrial revolution, you could choose to see the world shifting from an Art/Religion direction towards a Religion/Science world view.

Rather than thriving on the blind dogma of the Church of Pfizer, we are now being encouraged to cast out the words of Experts and go with “gut-feeling” and “why-the-hell-not”.  We are encouraged to make emotional decisions rather than decisions based on so-called facts.

None of this stops the truly Scientific world from turning.  Sure it may well influence the scientists that turn the Scientific world but no more so than, say Newton, was influenced by his ardent belief that Christ died for our sins – or Omar Khayyám‘s scientific advancements were influenced by the Koran.

Ramsey goes on to explain why he feels that magical thinking is a likely follow on to the scientific dogma that has been prevalent through my lifetime in the video below:

But why do I find this exciting?

Simple.  We’re living the change.  A genuine paradigm shift is happening, right now!

I know we’ve been told to stop them doing it but they are, they may well be doing it right now… This could be the year that they immanentize the eschaton!