Grenfell Tower. The Last Straw

It’s a fact that wealth disparity in the borough of Kensington is amongst the most acute in Britain. For those trapped in poverty there it was considered to be among the top 10% of most deprived areas in the country. However something stood out to me as we watched the appalling disaster unfold on the news. T.V. journalists and pundits kept referring to the residents of Grenfell as “poor people”. That description didn’t sit easy with me. Among the survivors I saw a woman described as “The head of a local design company” I also spotted other skilled professionals and tradespeople as events progressed. Such types I wouldn’t describe as poor people, they are aspirational working class people. Intelligent, articulate, hard working. They are also the brutally truthful reminder that this is how tight, how squeezed and how utterly disregarded so called ordinary workers are, especially so in London. It would seem that things are now so bad even skilled professionals can find nowhere more affordable to live than a badly facilitated death trap. Many of them will have fought hard and waited on a long list to get into their homes that are now destroyed. This is your beloved free market. This is where it has taken us.

“There’s no such thing as society.” Margaret Thatcher gleefully said as she saw her dream of economic neo liberalism come into focus. Well…this is where such idealism leads. Are you feeling proud of that?

As things progress some upsetting, disturbing and yet not at all surprising facts are beginning to emerge. It’s not yet proven, yet is highly suspected the cladding on the building caused the disaster.  If two pound more per sheet of cladding at a total cost of five thousand pounds had been spent the disaster would probably have been avoided. But that’s not the point of free enterprise is it? The point is to make the highest profit margin and hold little regard as to how it will affect peoples lives. Are you proud of your profits? You’re always claiming you work so hard for them. How entitled are you feeling today?   Worse still the cladding was put there for aesthetic reasons. So that millionaires would have less of an eyesore to look at and be reminded every day that they have to move among people worth so much less than them. People that don’t count like them. People that they know in their hearts they are just better than. They don’t need ugly reminders of the actual truth of the world. If we can’t actually entirely enforce the idea “There’s no such thing as society.” then perhaps we can paint over it and hide it behind flammable plastics.

For all reading this, all you Neo Liberals , Conservatives, thinkers, economists and patrons of the right, advocates for free market and the age of self.  I’m just going to post here the last words of some that died. These were gathered in the press from social media.

“Forgive me, the fire is here. I’m dying”

“I can’t leave the flat. Please pray for me and my mum.”

“Tell my sons that I love them.”

“Smoke is coming under the doors.”

“I’m staying here with the dogs.”

“We’re not going to make it.”

“Please help me. Please tell my family that I love them.”

“Forgive me everyone. Goodbye.”

Still feeling proud of all you’ve achieved in life? Your profit shares, your mega bonus, you’re filthy lucre.

Your chief representative Theresa May  went to visit the place of disaster. Gutless, afraid, guilty and refusing to speak to local residents. Why was that I wonder. Why can’t she face the very people she claims to serve? Is it because she is a pinnacle representative of every ideal that caused this atrocity to come into being? Well is it? I know the answer, I’m asking you.

Our guy Jeremy Corbyn also visited. He was welcomed with open arms by those who have lost everything. He promises to do all he can to help. Remind me again how you are just better than us. Remind me how we’re not really people, we’re a commodity, a consumer. “There’s no such thing as society!”

They decided to cancel The Mansion House dinner “As an act of respect” This is a dinner of bankers, stockbrokers, establishment and politicians where meals are literally served on plates made of gold. I wonder what the price of one of those plates is? Five thousand pounds perhaps? The difference between an estimated hundred people burned to death and your dinner looking the absolute best it can.  Are you proud of your status, your connections, where you feel you’ve made it in life?  “There’s no such thing as society”

There’s a hurricane coming. And the likes of Theresa May are going to be left in it looking like nothing more than a gasp.

 

 

Orange President. Orange Prime Minister. We’ve been Tangoed.

To be Tangoed as the adverts used to go was to receive a shock to the system, often by a slap to the face. Which is exactly what Theresa May’s proposals for our future Government has been to the British electorate. You remember Donald Trump massaging his special relationship with Theresa? It was all hand over hand with the threat of a locker room grab to the nether regions hanging in the air. I’ve heard to brighten up her general death like demeanour he advised she should turn Orange like him…I’m not sure forming a government with The DUP was what he meant.

Watching the election results come in the other night was a bit like watching a game of Rugby. There’s a lot of stuff going on that we don’t all exactly understand. Then you get to the end asking, “Did we win? It looks like we won! How come the opposition are getting a penalty in the dying minutes? I THOUGHT WE WERE WINNING!”

I don’t ask much from my future government but I do think it a bit important they all believe Dinosaurs were real. The DUP are putting it lightly a bunch of creationist knuckle draggers. Their manifesto is essentially the Bible with the bins going out every fortnight. Anti LGBT, Climate change deniers, anti catholic. Brexit no longer seems to mean Brexit. Brexit means F**k the Pope. They actually believe the European Union was a Papal conspiracy. It seems the Romans are still very much a threat in their minds.

They’re not so keen on women’s rights either. They’re Anti abortion and believe public breastfeeding is an act of exhibitionism. Obviously putting on a bowler hat and a sash while a full brass band belts out sectarian anthems is the work of shrinking violets.

I can only describe May’s desperate cling to power via the DUP as sociopathic. This is a woman who cares not a jot for consequence as long as she still gets to sit at the top of the table. Watching Theresa May right now is like watching a fart trying to be heard in a hurricane. Flailing around in her MayBot way chanting “Strong and Stable” as her programmers try desperately hard to try and figure out to make her user friendly. It’s impossible. She doesn’t like people. Her alliance with the DUP is actually illegal in regards to the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. A pact for peace in Ireland that the DUP refused to sign. It is also a threat to that peace and should be fought against at every turn over the coming weeks. Perhaps if we’re really nice to them Sinn Fein might choose to take up their seats in parliament and we can redress the balance. Jeremy Corbyn will drag us back to the 70s they cried. Well that doesn’t seem as bad as going back to the 1690s.

However this doesn’t mean all is lost. The exact opposite in fact. I’ve been a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn since before he was elected leader of the Labour Party. I always believed if we got his name on the ballot paper then his policies would chime with the electorate. I believed this because of what the SNP achieved in Scotland and think we owe them a decent nod for bringing compassion back into mainstream politics. The Tory smear campaign against Corbyn in the election was abhorrent. To attempt to label a decent man as a terrorist sympathiser while we were under attack from terrorists was below the lowest of the low. However now that the Tories are having to for a Government with the DUP…well these accusations seem to have…ahem…blown up in their faces. I really did enjoy the Tweet from the Police Federation page that said, “It’s not the amount of MPs you have Theresa it’s what you do with them. You have to do more with less.” How poignant.

For now Corbyn and the SNP wait in the wings. They look like they’re going to play the long game. I don’t think the changes that are coming are some kind of a flash in the pan either. If you look at what’s happening globally voices of the left are coming in from many areas. I think the changes that are coming to this island will be as seismic as the changes Thatcher ushered in and will probably last as long.  The future’s bright, the future is NOT Orange.

 

Indy Ref. 2 A Poem.

I understand your fear
What are we walking into?
Just look at all the foodbanks
Are you up for joining that queue?
I understand uncertainty
Of our countries destination
It’s all the fault of immigrants
Is the bigots proclamation
That’s the fear they’ll try to spread
Demonising the unknown
But we have bigger family
In that  European zone
I understand your caution
To have heedfulness is wise
“We’ll give you more of your own say”
Do you still believe those lies?
But what about the economy
Our pay will take a squeeze
So put your trust in bankers
There’s nothing they won’t seize
The way they treat a worker
Is more akin to robbery
You’ll break your back, work endless shift
As they shove you into poverty
But what about the NHS
They say it’s safe with them
As you queue for beds eternally
Until your life’s condemned
You see I understand uncertainty
What are we walking into?
But surely now you know
This is the last chance for a breakthrough
I understand uncertainty.
But what shall we become
I’m not sure, but look at this list
And you’ll know what you’re walking from.

A Christmas message for the generation of the self.

Christmas is coming. But please remember there are people less fortunate than you. And there’s a good reason for that, it’s because you’re better than them! Fuck em! Homeless types are in that situation because they bring it on themselves. How dare they put us on guilt trips as we have to step over them during the sales. Same goes for the unemployed. What’s wrong with an 80 hour week on a zero hours contract? If you don’t want to do it I’m sure we can get some child from the Eastern bloc who’ll be more than happy on £2.50 an hour.

So stuff your face and spend thousands on bling, blood diamonds are probably best for profit margin. Up yours Jesus. Anyway Jesus hated the poor didn’t he? There was that time he cured the cripple. He said, “take up thy bed and walk. you’ve been declared fit for work you scrounging bastard” And as for May and Joseph…what you think we’re paying bedroom tax so you can just freeload for the night! That’s what we believe the rest of the year. So why change all that just because it Christmas? Why spoil 30 years of the self just because of some foggy minded Christian values. Hail Thatcher.

A short conversation on right wing comedians.

As a comic I’ve no huge issues to make with comedians that go at stuff from the right. If I don’t like it I move on. Simple. Surely that should be the rule on all of it. But I did have this conversation with a posh old lady recently that really made me laugh….

 

 

OLD LADY:  “Why is it that all comedians are on the left? I’m a Tory and would like to see more right wing comedians.”

ME: “Well there are conservative comedians nowadays. And if you think not so long ago lots of comedians were Tories or on the right. Just look at Jim Davidson and Bernard Manning.”

OLD LADY:  “Yes but they were horrible.”

ME    “Yeah I know. I wonder why that was.”

John Gets Mad. Bi-Polar Tales 2. Introductions and so who’s really mad?

Here’s another part of a new stand up show I’m putting together on mental health…

I was actually really reluctant to do this at first because unlike physical disability mental health still carries a lot of stigma. Mind you we’re getting to a stage now where comedy audiences at least are starting to go, “Oh…another Bi-Polar comedian…that’s original.”

It’s fair to say there are a few of us out there. I was thinking of gathering us all together, forming a jazz band and calling ourselves Mood Swings.

I actually get quite jealous of the physically Disabled. They get an entire Olympics. We get a Stephen Fry documentary every ten years.

When Stephen did that first documentary on Bi-Polar. I watched it and was gobsmacked to see we both had the same psychiatrist. I though, “Well I’ve not had his comedy career, but when it comes to shit mental health I’m up there with the elites.”

I do love the Paralympics and trying to figure out what the fuck is going on at times. One night I tuned in I genuinely thought they were having a three legged race. It turned out to be the blind sprinting. They have a guide running beside them. One guy was actually disqualified because the guide was hauling him along. Mind you he was strapped to Usain Bolt. Poor guy was screaming “Help! I think I’ve be tied to a Cheetah.”

Saying that, those guys don’t get it easy either. Now that the Paralympics is over I’m sure they’ve all been declared fit for work and sent to do time in some Mike Ashley style workhouse.

My Bi-polar is a bit different from Stephen Fry’s. He’s Bi-Polar Two I’m Bi-Polar One. Not that I’m saying here…Hey! My Bi-Polar is better than yours. Mines has gold epaulettes, brass buttons and is here to save the planet. Although being the centre of the world is a common delusion of BP 1. It’s not until the finally get you into a psyche ward that you realise, “The Masons are after me.” is quite a common delusion among the mentally ill. Which initially doesn’t help. “What is this place? They’ve managed to catch you as well? Is this some kind of holding facility for those that know the truth?”

You meet people with other mental illnesses as well. I feel for the schizophrenics. Bi-Polar is quite trendy now but those guys get bad press. Sadly it’s a condition where very rarely AND IT IS VERY RARE something bad happens and someone gets hurt. Saying that if Katie Hopkins is ever to go on QI could we maybe get the Yorkshire Ripper as guest host.

Those guys have auditory hallucinations. They hear voices. That must be absolutely awful. What gets me is the voices seem to tell them to do bad things like kill the neighbours. Why do they never say sensible things like, “Hey, maybe it’s time you tidied the house….Feeling a bit anxious? Perhaps you should give your mum a phone…or hey this is God. Have you ever thought about switching to a cheaper energy supplier.”

But you tell me…Who’s really mad. Those with delusions in a made up world or those with delusions in the real world? That’s right we’re about to make someone like Donald Trump the most powerful man on the planet. He shows all the characteristics of a psychopath and you folks think that’s a vote winner. People were surprised recently when he showed some concern for Hilary Clintons health. Yeah but we never saw that on camera. He issued a statement. I can guarantee there was some fucker putting a gun to his head going, “Just say the fucking words on the paper.”

We have our own deluded type in this country. The Working class Tory. What the fuck is that? You know what that is…remember those missionaries who used to head up the jungle, meet a tribe of cannibals and go Hey we’ve got some new friends and they’ve invited us to dinner. All the time not realising they’re on the fucking menu. That’s what a working class Tory is.

So you tell me. Who’s mad?