Twitter: enabling bigotry and attacking minorities in the palm of your hand

By Daviemoo

I’ve just been permanently banned from twitter for quote tweeting a Christian using a disgusting meme and suggesting ironically that perhaps a religion of love and peace wouldn’t actually celebrate the eternal torment of atheists; this is a couple of weeks after being suspended for the temerity of sarcastically asking sky news whether I should just die because of the cost of living crisis. Twitter’s moderators casually allow racism, transphobia, homophobia on the daily, but come down hard on minorities speaking their mind: because it’s outrage that drives their algorithm, and there’s nowhere to hide in safety on a website who feeds hate for money.

Would you like to see my recent transgressions that saw me face a one week ban, and now a permanent one?
Here you are:

My first apparent transgression, where sky news were stating that people under £45,000 would struggle throughout the energy crisis and I replied thusly

I used the word die. I didn’t say “you should die”, I didn’t say “I hope someone dies”, in fact I was saying “shall I just die” but because of these pesky things- “” and this one – ? – Twitter decided I was threatening Sky News.
I sent it for review because of course they’d understand it was a mistake. They can read nuance right?
Nope! Twitter’s crack team of moderators decided me insinuating I’d die because of the cost of living crisis was egregious enough to send me to the naughty step for a week! Bad moo! How dare you hint that the cost of living was so severe you might die!

So off I went. Then I took more time away because I’m 34 and twitter is a seething shithole of angry idiots some days. But, like a nicotine addiction with characters I went back and- before I had time to readjust my fringe- boom. I’m permabanned. Why, you ask?

A christian insinuating that atheists will burn forever in hell and me sarcastically pointing out how loving their religion is

So there’s my crimes people- I used the word die sarcastically and I made fun of a christian who was taking pleasure in the idea of atheists suffering for eternity.

Twitter is a shithole of an app. Every day I go on there and see endless examples of small minded bigots from JK Rowling to Helen Joyce, from small minded peons like Lord Moylan to unrepentant idiots like Nadine Dorries tweeting bollocks with impunity: Dorries even tweeted a doctored image of Rishi Sunak attempting to murder Boris Johnson. I watch US congressmen and women write about how the trans menace is going to destroy Bible Belt America, all the while practically deepthroating their AK47s on main.

Does Rowling and her neverending tirade of bollocks ever meet punishment by twitter? Does Joyce sharing the juvenile conspiracy theories she scribed in her book “trans”, in which she met, talked to, interviewed, no trans people? Do our MPs or leaders face repercussions despite the fact that they’re meant to be the best of us? No. But heaven forfend a left winger speak out of turn to people insinuating they’ll be charcoal briquettes in hell forever because we don’t share their cartoon colouring book beliefs.

So much for this lovely free speech I’ve heard so much about eh. Fuck twitter and the little minions so desperate to control the speech of those they spend half their time shouting about free speech at.

Welcome to Britain: watch out, we’ve gone quite mad

By Daviemoo

After two arrests due to “anti-monarchist sentiment” and further police violence & the blithe ignorance of it I think it’s safe to say that Britain has gone utterly insane, contracted a state of collective madness akin to St Vitas’ Dance with genuflection.
The acts of arresting people for the crime of not giving unabashed fealty to the crown and to the veritable stranger beneath it are heinous enough- but both were justified in the worst possible way – and fits neatly into the exact reason some of us have been shouting from the rooftops for over 2 years, showing a stomach churning continuation of the ever-steady march towards state oversight that simply should not be there.

“Be respectful” has been daubed indelibly across my eyelids now. When I get into bed at night and close my eyes it lights up like a neon sign, burnt as it is into my vision. It’s hardly an alien sentiment: someone has just died, a person has lost their loved ones, so of course be sensitive at this time. However, we must drop the pretence that this death is similar to our own losses: losing your mother, your grandmother, is a horrific loss which swallows your entire world: but it does not swallow the entire world the way the loss of a 92 year old monarch who has long headed a country known for its violent imperialist past does. Nor (I would hope) does it stir up such polarising emotions in differing crowds who all want to be heard. The queen’s death is sad in the way that any inevitable death of a person is sad: a person who existed now does not. But sentiment runs high on both sides of the wall: those who do not support the monarchy and those who are actively opposed to it are unable at present to voice their frustrations without fear of very real repudiation.

We are told to be respectful by not mentioning the transgressions of the crown historically and more recently against other nations, other peoples – or even our own laws, as though it is not recent history that the queen intervened personally to ensure her wealth was hidden from public scrutiny, that shadowy work was done to obscure just how true the “the royals pay for themselves in tourism” line is, that Charles is legally exempt from inheritance tax laws because “they” (whoever this oft referred to “they” is) would not wish to diminish the wealth of the crown. We are asked to keep our sentiments to ourselves. I understand. I don’t mind on a personal level: nothing will change whether I verbalise my distaste for the idea that some are just born more special, more important than me or not- people will support that system no matter the eloquence of the argument, and of course people will be offended by it because it questions beliefs they’ve ingested at every casual glance at a “HMQ” postbox since they were born.

But there it lies, bare to see: those who cry that people should be allowed to offend (the tory government is full of these people, you will notice) have crafted, carefully, legislation that endorses the right to offend – but only if you offend who they want you to.

Where are the “free speech” loving Brits now that two people have been arrested under one of the worst scrivances from Priti Patel’s poisoned pen: the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing bill? If you want to defend free speech, this golden essence of it that you have supposedly so deeply imbibed, surely you must be agog at the idea that one man was arrested for questioning who elected the new king and a woman who was arrested for holding a sign, something which we quite literally decried Russia for when brave dissidents were arrested for holding anti imperialist signs – or just blank or random ones – on Russian state TV?
It is, as I’ve always said, not about “free speech”. Nobody wants “free speech” if it doesn’t agree with them, and the right are just as censorious as the left. We should- we must- drop this pretence first of all, if we are to move this ridiculous debate forwards. Be honest! I don’t care if you’re anti “free speech”, I just beg of thee to utilise your free speech to verbalise what it is that you want to censor.

But the broader issue is, Britain has been forced, prodded, cajoled into a maddening period of enforced grieving to which very few of us may actually subscribe.
This is not to lessen the very real pain of those who may feel sad, upset, angry at the loss of a figurehead they relate to: I have been upset and grieved for people I didn’t personally know when they died, be it music legends like the late great Amy Winehouse, historic figures who passed before I was even born but whose efforts allow me as a gay man to enjoy the freedoms I do now: and harsh repudiations won’t stop someone from mourning anyway. I don’t understand what those who so hate the monarchy expect to achieve. People either already know of the crimes of the crown and the British state and flatly don’t care, or they don’t know and won’t suddenly change their minds because you expose it to them in this state of heightened emotional turmoil.
However, when the literal law is turned on us to hem us in to this collective outpouring of feeling and forces us to only verbalise sentiments in line with public acceptance, this is too far.

Prohibiting people, on pain of arrest, from expressing their distaste whether long- held or personally directed at King Charles (even typing that made me curl my lip up) is a completely inappropriate use of power. Precisely what verbalising anti monarchic sentiment does to “threaten or endanger” anyone at the proclamation did, one cannot guess. And not asking for but telling a country we must show loyalty to a man who has had a peripheral presence on our lives, known mainly for a bottomlessly classy ex-spouse, for large fingers and a propensity for sexting his wife feels like true authoritarian nonsense writ large for all to see. But it appears that we collectively got the wrong glasses out… very few are reacting with the apoplexy I expected at this brazen display of monarchic countenance.

Most of us were born under the rule of Queen Elizabeth and knew nothing else: she was just there, on our stamps, on our money, sometimes on our TV. She partook in silly sketches, she set a supposed example (most of us didn’t need) during coronavirus- but one suspects it was easy to stay at home when your home is larger than my entire apartment complex, easy to isolate when you had staff on hand who were prevented from mixing with their own families to continue waiting on you. We didn’t question or begrudge it because it was part of the daily milieu that made up our lives. It just was, an incontrovertible fact.
Suddenly we are not asked, but told- take that energy, that passive flow of acceptance and direct it at this stranger: and best yet, do not question, simply do. There is no room for you mongrels, you lessers, you peons to object to this change- this is your new figurehead and you will like it or you will face consequence! How dare we not meekly nod along with the idea that fealty is not earned but taken!

This, though, is part of an even larger trend of even more blatant deepening of the authoritarian wave which has been sweeping the UK more and more openly for years. Many of us have been up in arms since its announcement about the disgrace of a technically minority government authoring voter disenfranchisement, eschewing public scrutiny on covid law breaking and PPE contract violation to the tune of millions of pounds of public money disappearing into the bank accounts of the already reach, the meek passing of the police, crime, courts and sentencing bill -for months and years we’ve attended protests, signed petitions, written to our MPs, formed pressure groups and spoken to glossy eyed family members because we didn’t think but knew bone deep that it would spell nothing but horror for our expression as free countryfolk. Are we wrong?

Chris Kaba was recently shot to death by police, and conflicting reports are awash: he was/was not armed was/was not in or out of a car, was/was not running from police. One suspects it’s simply a matter of time until this new, draconian, arms-of-cthulhu bill is invoked to somehow justify the death of a man who should not have been shot. And adding insult to quite literal murder, sky news falsely reported that the march for justice for Kaba was actually a march in memory of the queen’s death. Kaba’s murder by police is the latest link in an ever growing chain of police malfeasance and one of the many reasons a host of people ever growing spoke out against the utter foolishness of enshrining more vague powers to the police and paring back public assembly rights. The PCCS bill was always tacit revenge for the temerity to gather in objection to racist murder, and it wasn’t (as so many will try to sell) imported from America; Renni Eddo-Lodge spoke eloquently about the Brixton riots in her book “why I’m no longer talking to white people about race”, so if those among us want to deny that the UK has a racism problem it doesn’t just show a gilded perception of the nation itself but a fundamental ignorance, an unwillingness to engage with critical literature and therefore a justification for us to disengage entirely with the conversation.

When I say that the country has gone mad, I wish it was simply the state I was referring to – Liz Truss is off on a jolly jaunt around the country to try and ingratiate herself with a public exhausted by a chain-link of horrifying public issues, along with the new King (lest he forget that she once spoke passionately about being a republican herself) amid the deepening cost of living crisis.
But it has long been obvious to those of us with any semblance of public awareness that “the state” in in “a state”: it is in crisis, helmed for two years by a sentient balloon animal filled with the air of lies and before that by a woman whose most salacious deed was, by her own admission, running through a wheat field and not the disgusting mismanagement of mass deportations under her gaffe-rich time in Patel’s role as home sec. But it is not just the state. Many people I had admired for their forthright, punctilious commentary on the monarchy have simply folded, given in and begun to tow the line: “be respectful”:

Bear with me whilst I pull up memes you shared all of 9 weeks ago where you made fun of the concept of hereditary monarchy which you’re suddenly reporting people on twitter for sharing, like an overzealous school prefect.
Is it fear of the draconian crackdown on the true essence of free speech- speech used to criticise power and the state, or is it simply that it was popular to insult the monarchy until it wasn’t? I’d say have the courage of your convictions but that could be more literal than we want to admit before long, apparently.

Those of us who so often have callous insults jabbed at us with the immediate defence of “but free speech though” are rankled and full of rancour at this dislocation of sanity: amazing how in the UK, the nation of free speech lovers, it’s fine to aim jibes at minorities you hate who have less societal protection and power than you, but heaven forfend you criticise the rich, the entitled, the born-into-more privilege-than-you-could-ever-fathom crowd: lord knows I’m sure Charles is feverishly scrolling twitter and reading every critical tweet, gnashing his teeth as he did at the aide who wasn’t quick enough to move his pen-box.

The UK has begun to suffer a collective delirium, a mass case of the vapours and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that right at this moment I feel surrounded by those who feel as I do: like I woke up in another dimension the other day, everyone around me alien but unaware of my covert status: mayhaps we’re the mad ones! Slap on a tiara and just mourn for the sake of peace… but I can honestly say I don’t think we are the mad ones. It’s honesty.

I’m more than happy to let people get on with the business of publicly grieving a figure they may have liked for whatever reasons they chose to do so, but I won’t be compelled to partake in it because “it’s the British thing to do”- everything I do is “the British thing to do”, because I’m British whether you like it or not. I won’t offer feelings I don’t feel… unless the state care to compensate me as an actor (my rates are steep but fair), nor will I try to silence those who raise fair objection over the monarchy, the crown, the state- because people are allowed to feel and say as they do, and the least harmed by criticism are those who have power encapsulated into their very being, like hereditary heads of state: the crown still costs more than I will ever earn, regardless of how I feel about the person wearing it. So allow us the freedom, at least, to feel how we feel: and if that freedom is truly lost as these arrests and the behaviour of the police continues to indicate, let us drop the pretence that we live in any sort of democracy or free country and at last vindicate those of us who have expressed our fear of that loss at long last.

Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.

Knives at Dawn: The Attack on the ECHR

By Daviemoo

Following the public emasculation of the much reviled “Rwanda plan”, a very neutral name for a plan to ship refugees thousands of miles away, the right wing and its dogs of war have immediately mounted an attack on the ECHR, the European Convention on Human Rights. The very fact that its name contains EUROPE seems to intrinsically link this organisation with the EU and has therefore drawn the well worn ire of brexiteers who cannot hear the word Europe without brimming with detestation. But what IS the ECHR, why was it formed and what is its purpose… and why is this attack from the right deeply troubling?

Origin

At the end of World War Two the world was reeling from endless atrocities, both well publicised and kept away from the mainstream for various reasons and Winston Churchill, along with several other states, realised that there must be an overarching accountability for human rights protections that extends beyond states. Though Churchill is rightly a controversial figure now, this need to create a council to protect human rights at a Europe-wide level was a master stroke in accountability for the protection of individual rights and, indeed, group rights. Thus was born the ‘Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’.

Since 1949, a scant few years after the end of the war, the ECHR has overseen judicial decisions to ensure that human beings in countries under its membership- not citizens, simply persons within these countries- are treated with dignity, humanity and that their individual rights are respected.

The ECHR has overseen many different fundamental rights, listed on its’ own site, but shortlisted here:

  • the right to life (Article 2)
  • freedom from torture (Article 3)
  • freedom from slavery (Article 4)
  • the right to liberty (Article 5)
  • the right to a fair trial (Article 6)
  • the right not to be punished for something that wasn’t against the law at the time (Article 7)
  • the right to respect for family and private life (Article 8)
  • freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 9)
  • freedom of expression (Article 10)
  • freedom of assembly (Article 11)
  • the right to marry and start a family (Article 12)
  • the right not to be discriminated against in respect of these rights (Article 14)
  • the right to protection of property (Protocol 1, Article 1)
  • the right to education (Protocol 1, Article 2)
  • the right to participate in free elections (Protocol 1, Article 3)
  • the abolition of the death penalty (Protocol 13)

As you can see from the list, the ECHR is not simply extant to meddle in country affairs; it exists to add a veil of accountability overarching that of government: something which, in normal times, the law does too- but we are not in normal times.

The prime minister himself has broken the law and, but for a £50 fine, escaped punishment. The government as an entity seeks to undermine the NI Protocol which could destabilise the uneasy peace in Ireland and has already led to huge issues across the length and breadth of the UK.
The reason this is so concerning? The law of the land won’t hold the conservatives back from their degradation- but the ECHR just has…

The “Rwanda Plan

The plan to ship refugees off to Rwanda is sick, jingoistic and appeals only to those people who think that genuflecting the Union Jack is the essence of patriotic behaviour, rather than trying to improve the land on which it’s flying. Claims from the likes of Priti Patel that it will deal with traffickers are laughable: those desperate to flee to the UK are not going to be put off by threats of further deportation at tax payers expense- they are regularly fleeing war zones, atrocities, mass murder, truly authoritarian governments, rape, war…

Patel has shown herself to be reductive and appeal to the likes of the above before (we’ve all seen that interview where she defends the death penalty even for innocent people)- but I refuse to believe she does not understand how ridiculous a policy like this is. If you want to stop people crossing the channel unsafely: make safe passage.
Were it possible for refugees to apply for asylum from outside the UK, were it possible for them to travel here safely and be met safely to be processed, were the processing times quicker, the process more humane- this would completely depower traffickers at source. They rely on fear and lack of option. Offer options. Unfortunately, “make it easier” doesn’t read well with those who would read the Daily Mail or the Express with beady eye. They fear a tsunami of people suddenly deciding they don’t like where they are who would flood to the UK’s “easy” immigration system. It wouldn’t happen. Those desperate to flee would continue to flee, they just wouldn’t die on dinghies at sea any more.
But this is the essence of why Patel and her slowly marching army of gormless nationalists are so heinous- and why the “Rwanda plan” is so ineffectual. She knows this. And she does it anyway.

Additionally, as we spiral further into runaway cost of living the indescribable cost of the Rwanda plan boggles the mind. The UK taxpayer is footing the bill for an ineffective, inhumane and racist policy – and a worrying portion of the UK taxpayer wants it.
To those who believe this policy is in any way useful may I remind you that immigration is a complex topic that takes years to understand and glancing through the pages of 3 newspapers that are written simply enough for fourteen year olds to be adept in their verbiage may not actually give you the nuance and expertise you think.

Colin Yeo speaks eloquently on immigration regularly and has pointed out the ugliness of the UK’s immigration system including the fact that it is, in essence, designed to off-put people from staying in the UK, even with legitimate interests like work or family- so if the system works against the so called “legal” migrants, the people we want to attract to the UK like doctors and nurses, like those who will do the menial jobs so many here believe they’re above, imagine how poorly it treats those who we supposedly don’t want to come here.

The reason the Rwanda plan is so heinous is that at its core it carries the strong reminiscence of cattle trucks; packing up the meat to send it to the factory, knowing the whole time what its’ fate is and doing it anyway. Rwanda has faced criticism for its poor human rights record: Patel didn’t even bother to rebuke this but other tory ministers described Rwanda as a country that respects human rights.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people living in Rwanda face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents…No special legislative protections are afforded to LGBT citizens, and same-sex marriages are not recognized by the state, as the Constitution of Rwanda provides that “only civil monogamous marriage between a man and a woman is recognized”. LGBT Rwandans have reported being harassed, blackmailed, and even arrested by the police under various laws dealing with public order and morality.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Rwanda

Brave Rwandans are working to overturn the attitude towards LGBT+ people in Rwanda but this, as we know, takes time and can turn on a dime- since author JK Rowling began her descent into anti trans rhetoric we have seen a huge and disturbing increase in anti LGBT+ hate crime in the UK, not wholly the fault of Rowling but, many consider, as a byproduct of her huge platform normalising hatred against those from the group.

The real plan?

One suspects that the government always knew that the ECHR would intervene in the deportation of these poor souls to Rwanda, and that they hoped for these events so they could mount an effective case for pulling the UK out of the ECHR. They haven’t been deterred from their assault on our human liberties so far, or that of those who come from abroad- but this government are determined to lessen the scrutiny they face and leaving the ECHR would do just this. In conjunction with Dominic Raab’s quest to water down the Human Rights Act to his own liking, it takes a few steps back to see an overarching picture of a government, fervent in its desire to leave the EU to avoid the scrutiny of Brussels, who has placed a blanket of silence on its own citizens ignoring poll after woeful poll about the prime minister’s standing, who have effectively strangled the right to protest and now who wish to leap straight for the throat of our own home grown human rights (protest, voting and voter ID), and those protected by the ECHR. That in conjunction with privatising channel 4 for the crime of speaking critically of them shows a worrying pattern of desperation to avoid oversight in any form.

I frequently find myself rolling my eyes at the endless comparisons to Nazi rhetoric bandied about by others who are deeply entrenched in political discourse, but once you do move back from the rapid heartbeat pulse of daily drudgery pushed by the conservatives through the media- but one cannot underestimate the simple fact that regular citizens under regimes past must have been raising increasing alarms as the swirling and nebulous tendrils of authoritarianism descended through the streets, taking their voices and binding their hands. It is far too easy to wonder as we look around right now, what the endgame for the conservatives is- whether they simply wish to rule on high, pockets fat with tax money from a pliant farmyard of poor folk beneath who cannot speak for fear of reprisals.

Remember this: you are not the government fat cats shirking laws with no recompense. You are not the prime minister dodging from crisis to crisis and refusing to step down out of vapidity or stupidity or some confection of both. Those refugees, strapped to boards and placed, terrified, on an airplane to be sent thousands of miles are you, and there, but for the grace of God and the ever evanescing morality of the tory party, goes you.

It Is Our Duty To Stand Against Fascism

By Jack Meredith- @politicalwelshy

“We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world, there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way”

~ Charlie Chaplin, from “The Great Dictator”, 1940.

This was Chaplin’s first speaking role, after years of being a silent movie star. It focuses on the plight of the Jewish people in the face of fascism, with a fascist regime headed up by Hynkel, the leader of the fictional land of Tomainia. The premise for the majority highlights the humanity of the Jewish people, compared to the buffoonery and selfishness of the ruling fascists.

The film’s closing speech, partly quoted above is regarded as one of the best speeches in film history, a call for peace and anti-fascism at a time when fascism was rife across Europe.

It is a shame, then, that this speech is more applicable to the modern-day UK than ever.

SNP MP Mhairi Black recently spoke in parliament, where she stated that we must be aware of the country’s move towards “the f-word” – fascism.

I am inclined to agree:

  • Asylum seekers are being deported to Rwanda. The Human Rights Act is set to be scrapped. The rights to freely vote and protest have been infringed. 
  • DWP civil servants have been given police-like powers to deliver fines upon suspected benefit cheats, no matter whether the person in question has been found to break the law. 
  • The electoral commission is no longer independent and will be brought under government control. 
  • Trans people are not protected under the conversion therapy ban. 
  • The Prime Minister, despite having broken the law during the Covid lockdown period, remains in power. 
  • The Culture Secretary is selling-off Channel 4, on the grounds of “being too high a cost for the taxpayer”, despite not knowing that Channel 4 doesn’t receive public funding. 
  • The Home Secretary wants to reform the Official Secrets Act, to imprison journalists for up to 14 years for “embarrassing the government”.

These only cover some of the worrying decisions made by the current Conservative government – this rap sheet can stretch back 12 years.

I would disagree with Mhairi Black on one point though: we are not sleepwalking into fascism. We are welcoming it with open arms.

Whenever we say “never again”, we are supposed to mean it. 

Instead, it’s become a meaningless phrase that we throw about on social media, along with a load of hashtags that are only included to differentiate ourselves as “one of the good ones”.

It is our duty to stand against fascism.

Let’s do it.

What would a world without “woke” culture be like?

By Daviemoo

Many of us who are labelled “woke” already live in a world suffused with anti minority sentiment- a cursory scroll of someone like Katy Montgomerie’s twitter shows the relentless onward rumble of abuse that she faces from those who are mildly uncomfortable with transgender women, to those who outwardly call for the arrest and forced de-transitioning of anyone transgender; conversely, many of the most outspoken critics of “cancel culture” live in a world where they can and do say whatever they want to and face absolutely no consequence for it. But what if those who rage against cancel culture win? What would that world look like? And could we really stomach a “so what” society?

Society at it’s core is huge, vast and varied and unfortunately it’s a simple fact that society must function by making allowances for divergence from what could be termed as the norm. If every person who did not fit the norm was ostracised from society, human civilisation would be laughably small and far away from where we are now. Human acceptance has been perilous ever since the first human emerged from their cave, saw another human and wondered why their hair was a different colour.

The benefit of intellect is that we can discuss how we can co-exist and make each other’s lives easier- but humans are still in some strange phase of our existence where we’d rather exhaust debate on why we shouldn’t, than why we should.

Let’s say the anti woke brigade won: how would life be for anyone outside of the lucky few who aren’t affected now by, and would continue not to be affected by the implementation of a “so what” culture?

People of colour

“Woke” sentiment is closely linked to anti racist sentiment- so scrap any and all discourse around racial inequality. It doesn’t mean racial inequality doesn’t exist- merely that it is not discussed. Any person of colour who faced inequality- be that micro aggressions or outright hatred- would be met with indifference in the “so what” society. Racist hiring practices could continue unabated with employers merely shrugging when called out on their inability to hire people of colour. Tests on blind CV’s have highlighted a worrying disparity on conversions of people with ethnic names to employees at organisations- and the backlash to organisations offering roles to people of colour has been thunderous- even when those roles are either best filled by people of colour due to the nature of the job or are specifically designed to wall over a shortfall in representation when it comes to broader society.

In the “so what” society, systemic racism would be glossed over with reports from the government that would reference experts who were not consulted to contribute. The inequalities faced by people of colour in the UK would be explained away with “agency” rather than a deep look into how the continuation of ostracising behaviour propagated by the government and a systematically racist society has contributed to worse living conditions, worse mental health outcomes and worse treatment by institutions like hospitals and police.

When nation wide protests are sparked about racial inequality and how to deal with it, including the glorification of slave traders, a “so what” society would likely spend more time focusing on the damage to a public statue and the four white people who did it than the feelings of people of colour who had to walk past a statue of a man who may have enslaved their ancestors.

LGBT+ people

Often when we speak out about the abuses we face, whether again micro aggressions like being asked invasive questions about who puts what genitals where, who has what genitals, or disgusting comments about STIs – we’re told that it “could be worse” and to be “thankful” for how we’re treated or spoken to or about.

We’re treated to regular sermonising about how we’re perverted or seen as unseemly because we have different sexualities.

Gay men are often accused of paedophilia as a pejorative, never so much as recently with the stoking of anti trans sentiment- if you publicly defend transgender people on the internet you will, it is a solemn promise, be labelled a paedophile.

In a “so what” culture, one could expect that hate crimes would rise precipitously because anti minority sentiment would be allowed to go unchecked to the point that organisations would step away from legislation designed to protect minorities from discrimination- and in fact, aid it.

In the microcosm of anti LGBT sentiment in the “so what” society, the BBC would knowingly allow a lesbian rapist like Lily Cade to contribute to an article about fear of rape, and use widely questioned figures- like a survey run by a transphobic group to indicate societal findings about fear of trans women.

In this “so what” society, discrimination like my own, where I was called “faggot” in front of everyone at work would be allowed to happen with no punishment: I was slurred in front of half the office, some of whom were my literal employees and in response my boss- the company owner- did nothing to protect me, to punish my aggressor- I would suggest that this fits in quite well with what would happen in a “so what” society.

Of course as an already polarised person I’m looking at this through my lens- but it’s the lens of those who don’t follow the flow of society on dint of who we are that need some social consciousness in public or we’re the ones who suffer.

Women

Need I say it?

When women can be murdered in the street by policemen and the police response is to wear the right shoes or that you should flag down a bus and not to look at serious police reforms, one starts to wonder whether this is exactly what a “so what” culture would do.

When women’s reproductive rights are restricted or debated, and women are overruled on their own healthcare regularly, and when medical problems are under-diagnosed even though they are common, you could surely say that this is indicative of a so what society- or when women speak out about their genuine fears in a society that is pervaded by men who don’t respect bodily autonomy or boundaries, and “not all men” is the immediate response rather than any attempt to work with women to allay their fears or deal with the causal root of the issue one could say that’s very typical of a “so what” society.

When violence against women is met with questions like “but what was she wearing“, or when society sexualises young women like schoolgirls and thinks this is normal- the infantilisation of women for sexual pleasure- one must truly question whether society works for women, or whether it’s already the common case that when women speak about women’s issues they’re met with “so what”.

The disabled

What would likely typify the behaviour of a “so what” society when referring to disabled people? Say, in the midst of a pandemic, throwing off all restrictions to mitigate spread and ensure people were kept safe? Or perhaps not giving full living wage allowance to those forced to care for relatives who either cant afford or just don’t want to house their loved one in a care facility?

In a “so what” society, giving space and air time to disabled people would be a rarity because it would underscore the lack of support for disabled people in a country that barely tolerates the audacity of someone to be disabled, and those who do speak against the government struggle to be heard.

And when, at the height of death in the pandemic, the government legislates enforced Do Not Resuscitate orders for disabled people you have the true measure of whether a society does, or does not feel “woke” about disabled people’s issues.

You have what you want

Society has long been about asking people to at the very least control their voicing of their inner thoughts- think what you want, but don’t say it. Even this has become too much for the polemic group of anti woke nonsense pushing. Simply being asked to think whatever you want, no matter how heinous but keep it in your head is a travail they cannot endure. And yet when it is our comfort, our autonomy, our names, our pronouns, our liberties we ask to be respected -they cannot do so. How strange that we must return the favour which is never employed for us?

When you look closely at our society, you begin to understand that the issue that the anti woke crowd have is simply that they aren’t able to thoughtlessly speak with impunity – but none of us are barred from doing just that, we just elect to be decent people. What we have is a crowd of people desperate to have society foster their desire to say bad things without being made to feel guilty for them.

I’m afraid, dear anti wokers- you have the society you desperately crave and you’re wasting time asking for it to be more closed. Imagine what society would be like without allowances for difference, without consideration for other people; a deep, dark and horribly unhappy place where even the discussion of inequality cannot be stomached because it may make people feel bad.

If you really want to know what the society of your dreams looks like, perhaps it’s time to realise that it’s actually your worst nightmare.

Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.

The Party is Over: The Tory Party, That is.

By Daviemoo

The British public faces a stark choice: to continue to enable and embolden a wholesale corrupt political party, or to shake up a system that has failed us repeatedly over the last decade. As pressure mounts on Johnson to resign and a report by one of his employees is awaited, the question has shifted from “will Johnson step down” to “will the British public continue to be a doormat for the Etonian elite”?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson stands accused of lassitude, corruption and collusion in not only partaking in parties when the nation was on strict lockdown, but in engendering an attitude of utter Devil-May-Care wankery in the walls of our most respected institution of Great British Governance. True to form, Nadine Dorries took a running leap at a Sky News microphone to defend professional alcoholic and philanderer Boris Johnson this week ahead of yet more party allegations. She told us that we should accept the disgraced Prime Minister’s “fulsome apology”. Here, incidentally, is the dictionary definition of “fulsome”:

Nadine Dorries reportedly once stood near a dictionary

Unsurprisingly it was a matter of 37 minutes between me watching this interview with Dorries and with the breaking news of two more unsanctioned Downing Street carnivales. Angela Eagle, in PMQ’s on Wednesday, asked whether it might be appropriate to investigate the days parties DIDN’T happen in downing street as the number of known illegal or at least horribly ill advised gatherings numbers thirteen- as much as Eagle meant this as a joke, it may actually be taken as a collaborative suggestion for expedience from the opposition to assist Johnson’s employee, Sue Grey, in her report on what appears to have been a two year long Oktoberfest in the walls of Downing Street.

Like Michael Gove, perhaps we should all be drawing a line somewhere- and like Gove perhaps it’s related to the Westminster toilets- his location of choice, and the current location of the Tory party’s moral standing.

The incarnated marionette that is Jacob Rees-Mogg lost no time in disparaging fellow tory party members to curry favour with everyone’s favourite scruffy haired scrounger-in-chief, insulting Douglas Ross, one of over 30 Scottish tories, whose tartan pattern is simply the sad face emoji. Weak and ineffectual Ross may be, but for once he is genuinely interested in the good of country, party and nation by calling for the resignation of Crime Sinister Johnson for his piss-taking parties.

And back to Dorries, she defended the most tepid tweet of prime ministerial defence from chancellor and all around rich boy Rishi Sunak, saying he was absent in defending the prime minister because he was in Dorset and “there’s no wifi in Dorset”. Dorries apparently mistakes Dorset for a concrete and steel box sunk forty feet beneath the earth – or perhaps this is a tacit confession that Sunak is an anti vaxxer and therefore doesn’t have access to the magic 5G properties of a nice dose of moderna.

And then we look to Michael Fabricant- at least, in his capacity as MP and not in his second job as wig stand for H&M’s mannequins, desperate to split hairs – theoretical ones, much like his own head hair- over whether the laws were indeed broken. The fact that the court of public opinion doesn’t even need consultation because the prime minister himself has said it was a party and he did attend – and yet we’re being asked to both congratulate him on the bodies piled high and simultaneously to forget it all and move on. We’re being pulled in more directions than Michael’s hairpiece.

Rees-Mogg was quick to claim that perhaps the laws were too strict, and should never have been enacted- and between this and the claim by the Metropolitan Police that retrospective crimes wouldn’t be investigated, unless we happen to recruit for minority report style policing my future defence for any crime committed will be “it’s all in the past now, the law is too strict, move on- in fact, congratulate me on doing such a good job”. Let’s see how that works shall we?

Approximately 17,000 people have faced criminal sanction for breaking lockdown rules- and those claiming that they should be refunded miss the point that a refund acknowledges Johnson should also be let off- in my eyes, if you broke lockdown rules you- and he- are subject to punishment on behalf of those of us who did our damndest not to spread the virus.

Another person who bent the knee without a moment of question was Priti “torpedoes away” Patel- taking a brief moment away from writing authoritarian legislation whilst gently caressing her well worn copy of Mien Kampf, she put a message into the tory whatsapp group (imagine how dry that group must be… PORK MARKETS!) to let them know she stands with Johnson. Patel, known for having the moral fibre of a rusk- condemns misogyny but works for a man who talked about grabbing women’s arses, who is disgusted by racism but denies it’s systemic presence in the system she maintains, who thinks the death penalty is a good idea even if people are innocent of their crimes, who stands for protecting British citizens* (*unless you’re gay or of colour or disabled or naturalised as a citizen or a woman or old or poor…) and the age old Great British values of racism and inappropriate smirks.

But let’s not forget who is also culpable here- a reticent, sneaky and subverted media whose job is to inform the British public of newsworthy events and give us, uncritically, a picture of our world, our country and our politics, sat on reports of these parties even as their own colleagues attended! The media is as culpable as the tory party for attending these events and for burying them in the sand- and once we sweep out the self serving tory party we should be casting a critical eye over journalistic moxxie in the UK and asking why they felt it appropriate to obfuscate these vital stories.

Casting a broader eye away from the media and to the rest of the tory party, and widening the lens beyond partying we can see that this isn’t just a Boris Johnson and his criminal ineptitude problem- the tory party as a whole is institutionally corrupt, debased to a level akin to violence.

PPE VIP lanes now ruled illegal, the restoration of Patel after proven allegations tantamount to espionage only for her to bully staff out of a job, Theresa May’s hostile environment and Windrush reaction and that of her Grenfell response, Owen Paterson’s indignance at being found to be a scumbag and his insistence on blaming the public for being angry that he lobbied for a terrible company to give us terrible service, track and trace to the tune of 37 billion, delivered late and carried in the data-sieve hands of Dido “GDPR” Harding, a Brexit which has caused food, energy, petrol and more issues, Eat out to help out (“out” being COVID-19), Matt Hancock too busy having an awkward teenage looking fumble to be health secretary during a health crisis, Javid throwing off all restrictions as if being an open economy makes up for tens of thousands of preventable deaths, Dominic Raab trying desperately to google what time the sea opens as “Afghanistan Minister- Missed call” flashes up on his phone for the 7th time that day, Dominic Cummings tootling about the country with a car full of pathogen and who thought that driving a one ton machine powered by dinosaur explosions was a good way to make sure his eyes were in working order. These parties are the latest episode in a cascade of cacophony that is only outstripped by the thud thud thud DJing of the music in the basement of our most prized political institutions. Corruption is the surface level scummery of the tory party, and the only conserving that the Conservatives have done is to Conserve their own hides; the only person to lose their job so far in the allegations- provable ones- of illicit parties is a person who wasn’t even AT the parties but joked about them, as callous and cavalier as any attendee.

Johnson’s cabinet is being chewed up by the woodworm of corruption, but to try to assure the public that throwing him out will deal with this rot is to lie as surely as Johnson at the despatch box. If a cabinet is rotten you don’t replace the struts- you throw it out wholesale and get a new one with the hope this one does not succumb as did the last.

The British public only has one choice- not to “keep calm and carry on”. We have to evict this disgraceful and corrupt party from office.

Ultimately there is only one party that deeply concerns me overall- the tory party. And much like the ribald bashes thrown in Downing Street over the two aching years of pandemia endured, apparently solely, by the common man- the party is truly over.

Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.

What is it that empowers the right? Political ineptitude, selfishness or a willingness to compromise on morals?

By Daviemoo

Forgive me for the rambling -As I write this on my lunch break at work I’ve posted a video I recorded this morning about some of the sacrifices I made during lockdown which have yet again been made fruitless by the incompetence of a government unable to follow their own rules. It’s past time that this blustering, self aggrandising mobster government be sent to the gulags of history and judged as a failure- not just because they are criminally inept at the job, but because they are criminal full stop.

A very American problem

The right have many a method to stay in power. In America, Donald Trump never won a popular vote- but won his first term as president due to an antiquated votership system, the Electoral college -and may have won again were it not for the valiant efforts of supremely invested politicians like Stacey Abrams who worked tirelessly against gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement. Abrams should go down in history as one of the truest patriots America has ever seen, and her heroism is unsung because America still fights in it’s hear for freedom from a dictatorial cancer – not “conservatives” or “republicanism” but the monster these two types of right wing populist politics have created- the GQP, a bent and blunted force for uneducated Americans to rally around, blaming the blacks and the fags and the jews for their woes- and not long standing contempt for working class Americans, not a broken health system which will bankrupt you for the sin of developing cancer, a deeply propagandist education system more interested in teaching the masculine values of waving a flag and a laughably flawed justice system which allows the gunning down of an innocent sleeping paramedic or protester with automatic weaponry.

Where is England’s Stacey Abrams?

The toxicity of tory

In the UK, the voting system in combination with the differences in voter demographic, mixed with a terminal indifference to politics for younger people have led to the continuation of the tory government. Right wing parties dropped out of the running in areas where tories could gain seats to prop up Johnson, and though over 50% of the UK voted for left wing parties we have in place a tory government with an almost unprecedented control of the house of commons. There is the first piece of evidence to my claim – instant switching of alliegance to tory just to win, even if you didn’t believe in their aims- you just wanted that 52 to 48 result respected. But do you know what else we have after twelve years of tory rule? Under the conservative government, poverty has risen, income inequality has skyrocketed- quite literally as Richard Branson achieved his wet dream of space flight as the rest of us wrote costing sheets to make sure we can afford rent and bills. Anti LGBT+ hate crime has escalated over 300% in 4 years.

The concerns of women about corruption in the police force, both from female officers and hapless women harassed in the street were met with ridiculous sneering contempt – flag down a bus, they were told by flippant Met Officers who backed and still back the tory government- why? Because they are given unique power to attack thsoe who stand against them. Meanwhile the met completely fails to investigate repeated, open, obvious breaches of the covid laws and restrictions which have seen over 5000 Londoners in court paying fines- and, I hasten to add, rightly so. To break lockdown is to thwart attempts to control and curtail a dangerous pathogen. So why are the tories uniquely protected against prosecution, as Cressida Dick wags a bony finger at journalists to dissuade further questions that may bring out more queries?

We have politicians who try to hold the government to account – Zarah Sultana is prodigious and fearless, Dawn Butler passionate and eloquent, Rosina Allin-Khan a front line worker who still finds time to visit parliament and beg the government to explain it’s lacklustre efforts. As an aside each one of these women of colour have been met with belligerent repudiation, told to “mind their tone”- a sentiment oft- weaponised against people of colour and especially women of colour who do not play to the demure-seeking demands of bigots.

The crux of this post is to make people realise that right wing people will do what others simply won’t because of decency. Be it solemnising a company then, before the company is even formed lobbying it to parliament to supply PPE (as a tory lord did), creating a VIP supply lane, using problematic language to slap down women of colour, or- as today’s news displays, showing pathological indifference to the suffering of people trying their best to curtail a pandemic’s deadly spread.

This pattern of thinking leads to a question I’m often asked- do you think all tories, all brexit voters, all right wingers are racist, homophobic, bigoted etc?
Not necessarily no- but they do what I won’t. They compromise on these issues. “Oh I don’t hate foreigners at all, i just *insert reasons for voting here*”. It seems to me that if I didn’t hate foreigners I wouldn’t vote for something that gave the strong and close to undeniably did in fact do that. And always with these voters they’re allowed plausible deniability. Brexit was for taking back control -of what? Our borders? We had more control in the EU. Of our legal decisions? The tories are trying to remove scrutiny from courts. Of our position as a world superpower? Our economy is decimated by brexit, international trade in and out is down, we have trade deals that WORSEN our GDP and we are a laughing stock, a tiny group of islands left to float in our own “anti-woke” seas, now swimming with happy british fish and, of course, tory approved human shit.

Voter ignorance or voter indifference?

Right wing politics, at their face, seems only to be about no compromise. We want this! We want the woke cancel culture agenda to end, we want the trans people’s rights gone, we want to continue to deny our imperialist role in slave trading, in white supremacy, in a devastatingly clear-cut class system. But that’s the lie- right wing politics is nothing BUT compromise from the voter’s level.

Voters who claim not to hate LGBT+ people somehow mysteriously fail to clarify that they are disgusted with the lack of action from Liz Truss who has been in the role for years and has just, again, rolled back the end of the consultation period for a complete block on conversion therapy in the UK- though 3 other countries have done so in the last 2 months. Voters who claim to be disgusted by racism will bend to apoplexy over the statue of a previously unknown slaver being torn down in disgust, and who borrow Johnson’s line of “context” to explain his comments about watermelon smiles or letterboxes.

Voters who say they don’t want foreigners coming here will stare on with blank eyed indifference about news headlines about atrocities the UK committed whilst holding tenderly on to the hand of the US.

Right wing votership is, in my eyes, about one of two things: the ability to wholeheartedly vote against your own self interest and protection because it will also make everyone else unhappy, OR the ability to vote for what you think is your own self interest whilst actually voting against it, under the guise that it strikes a blow against your imaginary enemy.

…but who IS your enemy?

Who is really making your daily life worse? The tired, hungry migrant in a boat out at sea who just wants to make it to shore without being tossed into the maw of the sea to lie with the bones of countless others? Or is it the politician gesticulating about the necessity of taking more money from your salary to prop up a health system they have criminally underfunded for their dozen years in power?

The ostensible links the right make are easily broken- but only if you are capable of listening to fact. Hate the hundred or so migrants who come here a day? Think of them as offsetting the death toll caused by conservative reluctance to place restrictions on the country to curtail coronavirus infection. You hate benefit fraud? Only a few dozen convictions- and who, may I ask, is in charge of the benefit system? It would be the very government you support who don’t and won’t change the system, because they know you can be angry at benefit cheats- instead of politicians who claim £50 back for a charitable donation. MP’s expenses combined would be more in a month than benefit claimants get in a year, even if they fudge the system. And yet the anger is spewed at our underprivileged fellows- because we don’t feel entitled to rail against the creators and maintainers of that flawed system.

Not all right wingers are this type. Some vote right knowing what they are voting for. Some want this sort of draconian rule by people who decry the censorship of language- you’re not even free to call people like me faggots these days- whilst supporting laws that effectively end the ability to demonstrate in public, which make voting more difficult and inaccessible to those who are already under-represented in parliament- tangible freedoms lost or pushed into the distance whilst people get angry about the non-existent thought police.

Still more are simply beneficiaries of the system. We’re taught to worship trickle down economics even as those at the top swim in oceans of wealth hoarded away from us and as our throats run parched, barely sustained from the drip drip drip of financial offcuts. Wealth disparity in the UK is at a terrifying new height- not just because of the pandemic which no one truly predicted, but because of brexit, because of a foolish lack of foresight by a government only concerned about enrichment of the already rich and by the complicity of an underclass who believes that the north star of the Union Jack is their guiding light to supremacy in the world. Just because the man who owns the company you work for is rich and the company is making world beating sales- doesn’t mean you’re prospering as you desperately try to save to pay your mortgage. And again – who maintains that system of tax cuts for your boss and tax hikes for you… but let me guess, Boris is a man of the people? You like his hair? Does he just “get” you?

It’s come to the point now where I wish right wing voters would just say the real truth, the truth we all know but never call out because “wokeness” and “censorship”, because “I’m allowed my opinion”. People vote right because they do not understand what they vote for.
You might be able to install a government that will roll back protections for those nasty trans people – but they are also a government who will force you into debt, crush your pension, close down your workplace and- whilst you wait at home, desperate to make sure your vulnerable mother doesn’t lie choking in a hospital bed as a plastic clad nurse tries to offer her muffled words of comfort- they throw back bottles of champagne which cost more than your daily salary.

Right wing voters compromise on their morals to install governments who work against their own people- and are too dense to see it.

Did I make you angry?

Good.

The point of this entire blog is to make people who think in opposition to me THINK about what they believe or vote for. If you truly believe for a single moment that Boris Johnson is the best representative for you, that he understands your daily struggles from a popped tyre to redundancy, you’re a fool. We are chess pieces on a very large board to the tory government. And the time to oust these flagrant shills is so far gone it can’t even be seen by the naked eye. If you truly wish to prove me wrong, and that you’re not willing to compromise your morals then show me by not voting for the people who “make me pay less tax which is good even if I don’t agree with them on drowning migrants”.


The United Kingdom deserves a government better than we have, a government who will work for the good of us all, a government run by those who have lived our experiences, have faced our issues, who are cognisant of our frustrations. Not a nodding dog of moral vacuousness who prattles on about building back better, about hands face space, about get boosted now- the only three word slogan the UK needs is “you’re our employees”.

Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.

I’m not scared of any variant of Coronavirus- I’m scared of the pathology of a populace who demonstrates their disregard for human lives

By Daviemoo

Every day in the UK, being in any way politically savvy becomes more and more mentally exhausting. Bottom drawer pundits from Farage to Hartley-Brewer or McKeith or Melville bombard social media- or, often, the airwaves- with their self involved, “me first, but I’m also a patriot” backwards mindsets much to the frustration of those of us who count ourselves among, if not the decent, at least those with humanity.

In the last week, as restrictions were debated and finally brought back, I’ve seen an uptick in the relentless, background hum of online abuse from anti…whatever’s. Anti lockdowners? Anti maskers? Anti vaxxers? They’re not all the same but they all share disturbing common threads.

It’s pointless to point the finger at people with this mentality and try to speak to their compassion for others- it quite literally isn’t there. Today I had the misfortune to discuss this with an anti masker- who happily explained that she thinks that “if it’s your time, it’s your time and nothing will change that”. That’s her justification for not wearing a mask- an indelible belief in fate.

I posed the retort that perhaps it wasn’t someone’s time, but her not wearing a mask made it so- that her negligence could lead to someone else’s death. She mumbled incomprehensibly and went back to doing what she was doing. I suspect it hasn’t changed a thing in her mind- she’s decided that she can wander through life as the arbiter of other people’s fate, and that she’s not responsible for her own actions- some other force in the universe is.

What a stupid, ridiculous point of view. Slight inconvenience for you could mean the difference between Christmas dinner at 4pm or a nurse shoving a plastic tube into your airway to try and stop you from drowning in pleural fluid.

And now here comes a new variant, a variant which threatens Christmas apparently. “It’s not Boris’ fault” scream the usual cabinet of buffoons, correctly of course- Johnson didn’t create or even wilfully import the variant. But we’d be in a better position to face it (if it truly is more virulent or transmissible) than we are, were it not for his flat refusal to have done even a minimal amount of work to combat everything that came before it.

The Enablers

I’ve seen countless numb minded pundits like the above cadre of idiots talk about their civil liberties, their RIGHT to be unimpeded. I have a question for them:
Do you think I give a shit about your civil liberties if they run the risk of killing my dad?
Do you think I’ll lose a second of sleep over whether Julia feels uncomfortable in a mask, whether James Melville felt unwell for 3 days from his vaccine, if those things led to me still having one parent left? Why is you feeling a bit uncomfortable because of a scrap of cotton needs to come forefront in the spread of an illness? I’m not linking their social media- it’s a wasteland of stupid, angry, reactive takes about how they’re unbothered by the plight of anyone that doesn’t happen to be them, and to drop my amateur blogger spiel for a moment- fuck those monsters.

Scrap the worst case scenario arguments of death or long term disability, are you actually telling people it’s fair for them to run the risk of being sick with something that ranges from feeling generally unwell to being extremely poorly- as I was- for weeks, because you feel irritated by material? How laughably self involved do you have to be to think that’s a fair trade off?

I also got told by someone else recently that because it was just like a bad cold for them they don’t see the need to worry. Do you want to know what covid was like for me? My stomach wouldn’t digest food. I was so exhausted I panted going from the bed to the sofa. It felt like my chest had hooks inside, stopping me from taking a full breath, as if my chest wouldn’t expand as far as I knew it should, could. My temperature spiked over and over and over again. I couldn’t sleep. I coughed until i threw up on myself. You’re telling people it’s fair for them to go through that or worse, because you’re so self involved you think it’s a right to show your face to strangers.
Equally these arguments also come from people paid to be hypocritical. The worst pundit for this nonsense is Julia Hartley-Brewer- a poisonous oaf whose opinion could be bought for a steal, provided it’s rancorous and knee jerk enough. Brewer protests that the virus that’s killed 160k people, made millions long term sick and made still more extremely unwell is merely an inconvenience to her as she talks about how trans women will take away women’s rights whilst also admonishing a female MP for speaking out about the frustrations of finding childcare- over the course of days- on her public forum. The fact we have so many of these pundits ready to act like voices of authority is half the reason the UK is so deranged. Critical thinking is long dead, and long live the era of listening to the ill informed speak confidently and completely incorrectly.

At this point we’re not fighting a virus- it’s embedded itself into a world weary from safeguarding and will be around for years, decades and perhaps forever- I don’t know. We’re fighting the ever rising tide of selfishness and ignorance that pervades a society that allows people to speak such ridiculous disinformation. From grand plots about a societal mass murder scheme, to oppression and slavery to the madness of nanobots reprogramming our DNA (for what! There’s never an answer when you ask!) people with foolish ideas are platformed, exalted and respected and experts who dedicate decades of their life to this EXACT SITUATION are sent death threats for speaking out.

Look at it on a different front. After the horrific drowning of 27 people at sea only a week ago, RNLI have released confirmation that one of their boats was prevented from going to a distress call by fishing boats. Imagine a desperate exhausting journey away from a regime who took over your country, that took all of your money away that took weeks and ends with your boat sinking and you drown at sea because right wing fishermen take issue with you not drowning in the ocean. If you can look at me and tell me these people are not bottomless scum then you’re either deluded or a good liar.

The issue of course is what we DO about it. There’s a lot of division amongst people which doesn’t help with anything, but equally nothing which would affect us touches these people. Calling people from Brewer to Lawrence Fox out on their idiocy rolls off them like water off the proverbial duck’s back. Trying to appeal to their humanity results in, at best indifference and at worst a gang of ardent followers attacking you. So what do we do? Of course we can coexist with people whose views differ from our own, that’s fine- but look at the ideologies we’re aligned against: people eagerly demonising trans women, people who actively demonise gay men and women and bisexuals as perverts and paedophiles, people who think that islam is coming to swarm Britain, that migrants are a bigger threat than authoritarian politicians who are stripping back everything from free movement to protesting and narrowing our options for goods to fill shelves, decimating our economy and ultimately the lurking threat of people who believe, in their heart and soul, that their right to show their face in public is more vital and core than your health.

Trying to cope in a nation of people who believe that if they don’t experience it, it doesn’t happen is one of the most demoralising things I’ve experienced- it’s been a life long lesson for me. I’ve had people tell me I don’t experience homophobia from heterosexual men, for example. It’s pretty simple to understand why two men being asked questions like “who is the woman” is annoying, not to mention misogynistic, or why people who assume they have the right to ask you about what position you are in bed when this isn’t information you really want to volunteer is ok. It’s quite straightforward to understand that people who call you a kiddy fiddler because you’re gay are scum, that people who threaten to punch you because you think pecs are sexually attractive and breasts aren’t are stupid. We have to share the world with these people – how long are we meant to peaceably explain that we just ARE and we don’t have to justify ourselves. Our existence, who we think is sexy, who we kiss, who we fuck- these aren’t things that affect you, and they don’t affect others negatively- and yet we’re told that us existing is a bridge too far.

And the irony is that it’s TIRING to be the people who are trying to move things forward, past this virus. We do what we’re told by scientists who have tested to confirm the efficacy of masks, of vaccines, of simple social distancing so we do it- then we’re thwarted by the very people who say they shouldn’t have to bear any of it for a single minute. “What about my mental health” is the usual cry, from people who I’ve openly seen sneering at those whose relatives died alone in ICU beds. And led, countenanced and babied the entire time, whether they like him or not, these people are overseen by a populist weakling of a prime minister, Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson, a man pathologically incapable of actually instilling some iron into the spines of people so pampered by their lives thus far that they think covering their mouth and nose to pick up 40 teabags is tantamount to a spell in Guantanamo bay.

Johnson again dropped the ball today (what’s that, ball 2743928490372?) when he refused to say it would be foolish to hold large gatherings at Christmas. “We’ll do it anyway!” sneer the idiots, as if their actions are bravery – not being able to adjust to any situation doesn’t mean you’re brave, it means you’re stupid.

And above it all, how often do you see people like I did today, strutting around a supermarket maskless and sneering as if they deserve applause for their decision to bare arms in the war against covid- they, of course, fighting on the virus’ side. Do you think you look brave, or strong, or smarter than the rest of us? I’ll forget about you after 5 minutes- you mean nothing to me. Your actions both frustrate me and make me laugh, because the height of bravery for these people is to show their chins waggling in the wind generated by the refrigerated sections of a supermarket.

True bravery is doing the things you don’t want to. Going without the support of your loved ones, wearing the uncomfortable thing for the sake of safety, and sharing space with people who gleefully share memes about how doing the bare minimum to stop a contagion from overwhelming hospitals and derailing everything from plastic surgery to cancer treatment is “pathetic”.

Me and my friends have, all this time, held the line of blaming the government for their shambolic messaging, which is true, their contrary advice, which is true, their lacklustre and delayed responses over and over, which is true- and their cavalier attitude towards throwing out the restrictions to please the noisy and the stupid.

The government bear a huge, personal amount of responsibility for this- but in a country where people who act like the worst facets of society are disturbingly common, it’s well past time the people responsible for this childish, weak and frankly pathetic behaviour bear their responsibility- you did this. You got us where we are. You’ve trapped us in this eternal state of open lockdown with the threat of virus or lockdown or more. You think I care about your personal liberties when you won’t even do the bare minimum to safeguard mine? Think again.

I suppose the ultimate question posed has to be: when do we say “enough” and take our society back from the loud, gruff and cowardly minority who has amassed support behind a spineless populist and his scum enabling cabinet? What will be the fulcrum upon which our patience turns- and what will be the igniting incident that forces us to stand together, shoulder to shoulder, and lay down a siege on the cowardice of a populace whose lack of consideration has grown from a thorn in our side to a wound that bleeds us, day by day, into sheer exhausted capitulation?

Dear Businesses: Stop Co-opting Minority Identities To Sell Your Services

By Daviemoo

Every year around pride, companies who engage in pinkwashing proudly display the flags of minorities whose identities they endanger, funding right wing pundits. Since BLM, people of colour have had to defend their right to exist in advertising. And every time a new LGBT+ character appears in a show, LGBT+ people have to defend ourselves. We don’t not want representation, we all want reparation, and we want our own peoples to be brought into discussion of how we’re represented. Heterosexual white cis people have had the forum for thousands of years. It’s past time you shared it.

“Woke gay boy”

I got that three times yesterday on social media because I was laughing at the latest target of homophobes across the world.

Firstly let’s not forget the irony that people see woke- slang for “aware of racial injustice” as an insult, because frankly I wear it as a badge of honour. But secondly, let’s examine why people feel the need to be angry at my laughter, when it comes to their hysterical flailing. You see, the advert that’s got all the anti gay people frothing at the mouth again is a Christmas advert from Norway, with a gay Santa Claus kissing his husband. The advert was funded by the post office to celebrate 3o years of an inclusive law brought in to protect the rights of the LGBT+ citizens living there.

Some of the, and I’m using this word with every ounce of festive generosity I can summon here, “arguments” around this advert which came up were thus:
1 “Why are they sexualising Santa!”

2 “I don’t want to have to explain to my kids what Santa does with his penis”

3 “I don’t mind people being gay, just don’t know why it has to be forced in our faces all the time”

4 “I’m sick of seeing these companies doing this, advertising with stuff like that”

Lets take these one at a time- briefly, simply, for the people whose histrionics may overwhelm a longer, more finessed answer.

1 They aren’t sexualising Santa because he kissed a man- you are. You saw two men kiss and your mind, homophobia ingrained, immediately jumped to gay sex- because you have homophobia in your head and need to deal with that.

2 “Hey kids, sometimes men like men, and sometimes women like women, and sometimes they like both, or neither”. All done, time for an earl grey.

3 How do you think it feels as gay people to be constantly surrounded by gyrating heterosexual couples kissing and touching on champagne adverts, and posters and tv shows and movies, in magazines, in public, in clubs and pubs, bars, restaurants? Heterosexuality is the majority, which is fine. But seeing something that isn’t heterosexual… one advert a day, one poster, one character… it’s not exactly going to give you renal failure. If you’re so delicate that the simple reminder that gay people exist- that we have lives and loves, health problems and more- bothers you so, you have no right to ever complain that we’re the sensitive generation.

4 So am I, really. Do you think I enjoy seeing endless heterosexually invoked pastiches of gay men and women, from companies who don’t donate to or do anything for the LGBT+ community? What happens when people create these adverts and flaunt minorities- this is much broader than the rainbow community but I can’t speak on behalf of POC- is this.

An advert is created featuring gay people, or a show is made with a bisexual, or trans, or gender neutral character. The IMMEDIATE reaction from right wing reactionaries is to be OFFENDED! How DARE this company flaunt this disgusting behaviour in our faces as if it’s NORMAL- as if the act of kissing another man, or heck, even just showing affection towards someone of the same sex is an unforgivable transgression. And of course, this rantery spills over onto a community just existing. We have to, as always, legitimise ourselves, our existence and enter discourse about how our mere presence on TV is so offensive, so graphic and sexual, that gay men having a smooch on tv somehow morphs into a 3 hour long video of two men clad only in sweat, rolling around in various positions. Our existence isn’t innately sexual, it just IS, much like heterosexual people. And yet we must defend ourselves against allegations of trying to make the world bi or gay simply because a company tokenised us.

And what happens from this? Discourse about the company abounds. They get word of mouth advertising, for free, from a community of people just trying to exist in their own skins. Is that fair? To force confrontation between people who think we’re literally disgusting and us, the people who just want to be alive in peace. Are we rewarded for this labour? Absolutely not. As always, we come away from another confrontation brought about by the machinations of someone else, pushed on us by people so weak they can’t cope with our mere existence and the fact that we sometimes have sex in a different way than them. It’s tiring. I am tired.

The same can be said for POC in the UK. Since BLM, POC have been platformed in more adverts- rightly so. I don’t care if the lady on the lemsip advert is black or white, if I need lemsip, I need lemsip and the skin colour of the actress doesn’t matter- to me. To a POC in the UK, much like me with the adverts I’m talking about above, I’m sure it comes as a double edged sword- “excellent, representation!” along with a weary certainty that somewhere out there, Sharon, 45, from Barnsley is angrily tweeting that WHITE PEOPLE ARE THE MAJORITY as if that has any bearing on anything at all other than Sharon’s blood pressure- We literally had this recently with a bunch of racist folk tweeting their rage that a black family were Christmas shopping on the Sainsburies advert. I’d love to ask why these, frankly weird, people can’t relate to what is essentially a loving family shopping for Christmas- is skin colour so important to these oddballs? But the answer there is – yes. But why? It’s not a mindset you can understand if you’re not in it and frankly I feel you have to lack a certain level of intellect to be that sensitive to inclusion.

We saw the same issue with the John Lewis advert- a young boy in a dress causing destruction in the house while he had fun… Sarah Ditum, a prominent transphobe took it as writ that this little boy was a representation of trans people and even referred to him with swearwords on twitter. The boy isn’t trans, just a boy in a dress acting daft as children are wont to do. But the trans community of course had to leap to the defence of a literal child who wasn’t even in their group, in the face of knee jerk bigotry from people who claim to “just have concerns about their rights”.

I’m sure this post will come across as the whiny diatribe of another SJW asking people to do inclusion the RIGHT way- but I don’t care. I’m tired, because I know now that Christmas songs are being played on the radio it’s only a matter of time until we have the row we have every single year about A Fairytale of New York. Straight people, intentionally homophobic or not will express annoyance, dismay, confusion about discourse around censoring, or not censoring, the F slur. And again, LGBT+ people are drawn into a row caused by straight people thinking that it’s censorship to ask them not to repeat the slur I’ve been called every time a straight person has used violence against me on account of my sexuality.

To you it’s just a word. To me it’s a word that strips me utterly of my equal standing in society, and a reminder that to some people I’m a sexual deviant who would have been beaten, arrested- killed, mere decades ago.

Must be nice not to understand what it’s like to have a word out there floating around waiting to be used with venom against people like me, to denigrate and insult and upset us. Some nice privilege not to know that feeling.

And all of these things, these feelings, these issues and rows are foisted on us when we just want to exist in the same space, with the same right to dignity as everyone else.

The so much for tolerance crowd have absolutely no idea what it’s like to spend your life having to face daily slights against your own right to existence and frankly it’s a shame that people are so incapable of putting themselves in the shoes of LGBT+ people, into the lives of POC who face daily microaggressions just for existing, imagine what it’s like to be women and listen to constant comments about how “sensitive” you are, and insinuations that you’re less than societally because of your gender.

And I’d love to sit with those who read this which is both a vent and a request for empathy and ask them why they think their right to exist in peace is not equal to mine, or anyone else- it exceeds it.

Your understanding of someone does not limit your ability to respect them

By Daviemoo

It seems almost farcical that in a world as complex, diverse and nuanced as ours, it needs to be said that people will live different lives than you will; that they will experience the world in a different way than you. It seems that too many people are stuck in a mindset of “people who aren’t like me are wrong/ defective”. This goes from horrific mindsets like white supremacy to casual homophobia- and it’s so easy to fix. But the question we need to ask as a society is- why are so many people unwilling to do the bare minimum of showing respect until they understand- and, in fact, even if they don’t.

I could be very far off base with this article, but I’ve noticed that political allegiance is akin to a protected characteristic in the heads of many folk these days- not specifically a right wing issue, but close to it. Speaking critically of someone because they hold conservative views is often compared to hate speech which, as someone who has been victim to literal hate speech before- is laughable.

Let’s start with two ideologies which, in my eyes, are closely linked if not always paralleled in people’s heads- gender critical thinking and right wing allegiance.

To a gender critical thinker, being called a TERF is often conflated with being slurred. I find it hard and almost comical to understand why people see this as hate speech- the essence of hate speech is as simple as, someone with higher societal standing than you insulting an immutable, unchangeable characteristic which many in society see as undesirable. I’m afraid, little gender critical readers, that being called a TERF isn’t hate speech and it’s this simple: You can change gender critical beliefs. You can’t change being trans. You are the societal outliers, but denigrating someone because of a characteristic they can’t control means you are engaging in hate speech- you can change, trans people can’t.

The same with right wingers. It seems that right wing thinkers believe their entire identity, their whole ideology, is under threat- that you “can’t say anything these days” without the WOKE CANCEL MOB coming for you.

a cardboard sign, with "we all bleed the same colour" written on it is held aloft by a woman's hand in front of beautiful stonework on a building.
Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding on Pexels.com

The people who think this must use the phrase “free speech” more times a day than I drink coffee- and that’s saying something. But it seems that no matter how many times you remind these people that free speech very much only applies to government censorship of individuals. But even in this case legislation exists to curtail speech that can encourage or embolden terrorism etc: sorry free speech warriors, you’re fighting for a cause that doesn’t exist. Free speech is the white whale of entitlement- an ironic statement considering it’s usually slavering racists desperate to throw around racial epithets without consequence who yell so loudly about it.

I also find the endless discourse around the gender binary itself quite comical at this point: there is no gender binary. Let me put that in simple, if reductive, terms: a binary means the answer is either 1 or 0, yes or no. There is no wiggle room, nothing in the middle, no outliers. It is light or dark, up or down- nothing betwixt.

Let’s pretend that the gender binary then, is a fact- if you made 3 rules for what a man is- Tall, beard, flannel shirt – but meet someone who is tall, bearded and is wearing a plain shirt- then that person can’t be counted as a “man”… but does that mean (we’re in a binary here) that he’s a woman? For a shirt? No. So he sits further down the “scale” of manhood, manliness… ah. So it’s not binary is it.

Gender exists in a huge, diverse and 3D spectrum, and again- in a world as massive and diverse as ours, gender can be experienced in different ways by every human being walking this earth with some commonalities. It is a unique experience for what I imagine is a huge amount of people, and it does not “belong” to a certain group, either cis or trans. It just is, and will continue to be no matter how humans, with their reductive writings on how YOU CAN’T BE A WOMAN IF YOU DONT X continue to try to wrestle this inexorable concept into a box.

And when it comes to the definition of existence under sex- well, intersex people exist and they’re just as valid as people who aren’t intersex…

Again though, when it comes more specifically to right wing ideology, there’s a certain conviction that you’re born right wing, grow right wing and die right wing and it’s as immutable as skin colour or sexuality.

It isn’t.

The reason right wingers seem to have been agitated so, is just how many younger people, brought up around right wing parents, in right wing fixtures are turning away from hypocrisy politics – let’s be honest, that’s what a significant portion of the ideology the more extreme right follow- rears it’s head.

I can give examples here- from Donald Trump decrying cancel culture for being removed from Twitter, only to create a social media platform that explicitly forbids negative comments around Trump himself or the platform, to Boris Johnson trying to disband or limit the efficacy of an investigative panel because he is about to be investigated by it (again…), or right wing pundits like Isabel Oakeshott defending Stanley Johnson by saying he does indeed feel people up, touch you inappropriately- but it’s not a police matter because SHE feels comfortable with it…

Conflating your choice of ideology or politics with something as bone deep as your actual identity is incorrect. If education on certain topical issues can change people’s political alignment, how is it comparable to something like my sexuality- even if I never touched another man again for the rest of my life I would still be gay, my friend would still be trans and feel trans regardless of her body or her hormones… these things are immutable.

This now leads me into the topic that made me write this piece: understanding.

A woman lays on a bench reading a book
Photo by John Ray Ebora on Pexels.com

Understanding is brilliant, and the saying “walk a mile in someone’s shoes” is a clever way of giving people an understanding of others’ lives, and a way of furthering equality and equity. If you look at half of modern media, messages encoded into our most classic films or our favourite TV shows give us tiny flavours of people’s lives and lifestyles, and often suggest to us that perhaps we don’t know what people are suffering, how their lives are or why they are the way they are- and from this message we gain a tiny particle of understanding, furthering the idea that perhaps we are not superior, perhaps we should try and accept, tolerate (a hated word but true in this context) other people and forge better relationships through understanding.

But I want to take that thought a little further; why do we need to understand someone to accept their legitimacy?

I don’t understand the mechanics of how a person with a certain disability negotiates their daily life- but I don’t need to, to understand that they deserve to do so. I don’t understand what it must be like to be a person of colour who cannot (and, it goes without saying, shouldn’t have to) hide their skin colour to avoid discrimination in the street- but I know they don’t deserve to face that. And I know that many cis women & trans men have biological processes going on inside that I will not experience- but I don’t need to directly experience everything that everyone goes through to know that they’re still, to coin a phrase that gender critical people do seem to enjoy so, “worthy of respect”.

Now, I can hear the right wingers/ gender critical folk who may stumble somehow across this piece asking me why we don’t flip that thinking- why we don’t imagine THEIR plight.

I do. I have. And I decided long ago that the frustration of being called bigoted, the difficulties of always being enraged about something being “cancelled” etc, and the endless thought shifting to avoid admitting to hypocrisy is a terrible fate to bear- but it’s not one brought on by “the other side”. And if you need to understand how I decided that I don’t need to respect you – your ideologues are the proof. I’m sure you feel the same about me.

If you can genuinely look at lacklustre politicians who clearly do not care about people at large unless they can enrich themselves from them, or if you can continuously denigrate minorities- if you can condemn behaviour like doxxing then cheerfully partake in it- you don’t deserve my sympathy, my understanding. You made your own bed.

Ultimately, the simple message from the piece is that acceptance shouldn’t hinge on understanding- so the next time you find yourself ready to rail against someone, ask yourself if that person is worthy of your respect whether you can comprehend their plight or not?