Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Socialism 2017   5 comments


This weekend marked the 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution and our annual trip to the Socialist Party conference and rallies.  Much the same as every year, we were both tempted by the weirder talks like one trying to tie the 1917 Revolution to LGBT+ modern movements; but, in the end we went for one featuring Kshama Sawant (below) on the state of socialism in the States, one on internal and external sabotage to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and potential premiership, and a third one on fighting austerity measures at the local government levels.



Pretty decent talks and the post-presentation discussions were mostly on topic and occasionally interesting and/or informative.

I bought a t-shirt while there, too.  The CWI is the international group the Socialist Party (UK) is affiliated with but I didn’t really get the shirt because of that…


… rather, I spotted the Fruit of the Loom label in the collar and it struck me as odd in this atmosphere of workers’ solidarity that a union busting and third-world-exploiting garment manufacturer was the vendor of choice for this particular piece of haberdashery.  Tut, tut.



In my last year of high school, I worked 11pm – 7am at Dundee Mills in Griffin Georgia for a few months.  The town was famous for supporting the mill owners (Dundee was one of several in this town where 1 in 3 residents worked in cotton-based manufacturing) and even managed to stop the airing of the pro-union film, Norma Rae, in local cinemas lest it stir up the proles.  I was summarily fired a week before Christmas for whistling the ILGWU song, “Look For The Union Label,” as I went about cleaning the electrostatic lint traps in one of the non-24-hour-a-day sections of the building:


Previous conference write-ups are here:

Socialism 2016
Socialism 2015
Socialism 2013
Socialism 2012



Posted November 13, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Politics

Tagged with , , , ,

In the age of Trump, Resist-ance is everywhere   Leave a comment

Whilst digging through a basket in the bathroom closet for some floss, this turned up.  Politics is everywhere these days.  Especially happy that this works on “all skin types;” so, the Oompa-Loompa in the White House is not immune.


Posted October 21, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Made Me Laugh, Politics

Tagged with , ,

Not One Day More #ToriesOut National Demonstration   4 comments


Saturday,  there was a march and we are marching people…when the cause is right.  What made this one right was the Labour old-timey grandees that had fucked with Jeremy Corbyn for the last year and a half had slowed his inevitable progression to Number 10 so that when the Wicked Witch of the Far Right called a snap election (and who could have seen THAT coming?) he only had 6 weeks to make up an insurmountable deficit and very nearly take back the government for The People.



We also march, the truth be told, because the streets are closed down during these so you can finally get a good look at architectural features like these two, above, holding up a window cornice.



So, we gathered for the noon start knowing that the left can never get started on time (we milled about near Broadcasting House, below, and spent a half hour watching this religious nut job Irish dance to traditional music, above).



Rather than join in directly, I wanted to watch a bit of the march and an absolute sea of humanity rolled by for 30 minutes before we jumped in (about a third of the way into the flow).  Even conservative estimates put attendance over 100,000.





As usual, there were good labour movement signs:




And, home-made ones:



Not all the Irish are too happy about the DUP joining the government:



Ruperdesa Maydoch:





As much as I agree with the sentiment…it’s FEWER, not less:



This pair were alright but I couldn’t get a good shot of both of them.  Mrs May does love her shoes.  The kid in the bicycle helmet is dressed in a suit and has yellow Boris Johnson hair sticking out the sides of the helmet:



We also stopped by Downing Street to yell greetings to the real Mrs May:



About 2½ hours of speeches ensued at Parliament Square (or, maybe that should be Parliament SWEAR).  Among the orators, we had my Union’s leader Len McCluskey (whose quote from 2015, “gives us back what’s ours you thieving, Tory bastards,” was my ring tone for a few months), the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Suggs, and of course Jeremy Corbyn (a chant to whom sprung up spontaneously throughout the day resulting in Seven Nations Army getting stuck in my head ever since).




Comey and the Cancer on the Presidency   1 comment

The spectre of 1974 returned yesterday as the testimony of James Comey drew my attention away from the UK General Election results.

A few weeks before Nixon resigned in disgrace, I bought “The Missing White House Tapes” which had just been released and was highly predictive — spookily so — of the events to come in the month or two ahead. I dug it out of the stacks and, although I haven’t listened to it in 30 years, could immediately remember some of the tracks verbatim. I may have to correct this later, but I’m pretty sure that “The Swearing Out Ceremony” administered by Billy Graham went like:

God damn you, Richard Nixon.
Richard Nixon, you son-of-a-bitch.
Get the hell out of here, you’ve lied your ass off.
Fuck off.

I’m not sure about this next one, but I think it is also responsible for the first time I heard the term “Hung like a Hebrew National,” which would close the loop back to my hot dog story a week or so back.

Oh, right.  It was the weasel, John Dean, that spoke the words “Cancer on the Presidency” in those 1974 hearings.  He has since redeemed himself in my estimation.  Weasel Comey is getting there, too.  Not there, yet, but on a fine trajectory.


First Vote as UK Citizen: GE 2017   3 comments


“Your address?” I answered and received my ballot then looked around.
“Where…?” I started and she pointed to some booths. “Sorry. My first UK election.”
She waved the pen toward the “Bernie 2016” on my t-shirt.** “Make it count.”


This was the simplest ballot I have ever seen. There were five candidates and nothing else:

Boris Johnson, Conservative Party
Mark Keir, Green Party
Rosina Robson, Liberal Democrat Party
Vincent Lo, Labour Party
Lizzy Kemp, UK Independence Party

Disappointed there were no sham candidates like Al Murray or The Monster Raving Loony Party (save for Boris), but maybe I’ll get lucky next time.



**This is extracted from a “Do’s and Don’t’s at the Polling Station” article reprinted everywhere, in this case from the BBC website:

Can you wear political clothing?

People shouldn’t wear party political clothing. Voters dressed in party T-shirts will not be able to enter the polling station as it may be intimidating.

Political figures in the wider sense may be fine, for instance a T-shirt of Che Guevara would be acceptable.

So, Bernie Sanders really is the modern equivalent of Che. Makes you feel all warm inside, eh?



Baseball, Hot Dogs, and Beer (Memorial Day Weekend)   2 comments

Fat kids,
Skinny kids,
Kids who climb on rocks,

Tough kids,
Sissy kids,
Even kids with chicken pox.

Love hot dogs,
Armour hot dogs.
The dogs kids love to bite.  (from a long running Armour Hot Dogs commercial with lyrics that could never be aired today)

We don’t have Memorial Day in England, but the last Monday of May is a Bank Holiday so we consider it the equivalent at the house.  The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 moved Memorial Day from May 30 (regardless the day of the week) to the last Monday in May.  I still find this a travesty and something implemented for the sake of industrial convenience over tradition.  By the time we returned to the States from Australia in 1974, Georgia had adopted this as well so the holiday no longer fell on my birthday but on the 27th of May that year.



It was 2 months to the day until the House Judiciary Committee passed the first of three articles of impeachment.  The White House had been stonewalling the independent prosecutor and the Congressional investigations and trying hard to rewrite the narrative of its high crimes and misdemeanours.  I had been reading the transcripts of the White House secret recordings since they had been published in April and would most likely have had my copy open next to the pond to read between dips.  Does any of this sound familiar?



I don’t know specifically how I spent that Memorial Day but I know I didn’t start smoking pot until the 4th of July that year so I probably just sneaked a few beers from the folks’ bottomless stash and listened to some baseball on the radio (WSB, Home of the Braves with your host Skip Carey, and the Braves, uncharacteristically, won 9-1 over the Phillies).  Inevitably there would be a cookout with ribs, burgers, and of course hot dogs.

We don’t have proper hot dogs here, either, but at least I found some that aren’t in a can (yes, Americans, tinned wieners!).  We set up our network speaker to stream the previous night’s Cubs/Dodgers game which the Cubs, uncharacteristically, lost 4-0.  Everything, as far as we could do it, was like it was in 1974.

Come on Judiciary Committee.  You can do it!


Have I Got News For You taping 20 April 2017   3 comments

I should have foreseen the course of the evening when I boarded the Jubilee Line tube train. “The Jubilee Line is now closed between Finchley Road and Waterloo. Passengers are advised to use the Bakerloo Line to Waterloo or find other transport alternatives.” The walk from the Bakerloo to the Jubilee platforms in Waterloo Station is roughly the same as from Waterloo to Southwark (my destination on the Jubilee Line).

We eat at this Italian place near Waterloo Station when attending things near Jackie’s job. Our plates arrived and Jackie’s cannelloni looked okay but it had too much cheese (“Italian food for the English palate” she later remarked). A lovely plate of risotto was placed in front of me. “This isn’t mine.”

“Yes, is yours.”
We were under the clock for the start of the show. “I’ll take it but it’s not what I ordered.” Without asking what it was that I HAD ordered she took both plates away then returned, apologetically, in a couple of minutes with my arrabbiata. Okay, I guess, but this place really shines when there is a set menu on offer.

The metaphor stalked us to the television studio and feasted on our carcasses the rest of the night. Jackie had a migraine earlier and was about 2/3 full of codeine; I developed one about an hour into taping.



We have been trying to get tickets for a taping of HIGNFY since October 2001 when we were in Amsterdam for my post-doc interview and the Amsterdam Marathon.  That episode featured Rich Hall and before we returned to the States, we saw another that had our current MP and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and both times we laughed as though we had eaten hallucinogenic mushrooms a couple of hours before the airing — odd coincidence, that.

Tonight’s show was chaired by Patrick Stewart and, as always, featured team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton.  Richard Osman and Angela Eagle (who staged an unsuccessful coup against Jeremy Corbyn, last year) were supposed to be their respective team mates but Eagle, as is her wont, panicked in the face of overwhelming opposition of her own making and bolted from the fight.  She was replaced by the game but supremely unsatisfying Camilla Long.

It took 3½  hours to do the ½ show (plus a few retakes because Stewart seemed addled and was unable to read the prompter nor even respond as though sober).  Ian and Paul also seemed a bit slow but Osman was almost up to the task.

It’s fun to watch how these shows are made, though.  With any luck, we’ll get in again in fewer than 15 years this time.