Sides of town

Random61282467_2020028614972372_6514681436241395712_nfuck offnobs More shades of the Toon. Leafleting in Bl, where I’d done anti-Farage leaflets the other day (pretty much universally panned), and pro-EU ones today (D’s design – what a star!). I bought some spachulas in the Pound shop for me and the other troops later (9 for about £3 – cool), and saw a UKIP stall, which first made me baulk, then I thought at least I know where they are while I do the terraces again. Spachula of democracy in hand productivity shot up, no scraped knuckles or trapped fingers and the leaflets don’t get mashed up, at least a quarter faster and better all round. The tiny little bloody things …

This chap pulled up in a car, ‘you delivering the leaflets?’, I said yes, ‘did you see we had a Brexit Party leaflet in our window?’ I said no, anticipating a discussion if not a row, ‘ah, because we found the Brexit Party trifold wraps very well around a toilet roll and that’s what we’ve got in the window to show our feelings on them.’ Ah great, we thanked one another, shook hands and off he drove. I think now I probably had this harried look, and I was in a bit of a ‘fuck these people’ mood following seeing the UKIPs. It’s really pretty in parts though, the terraces are impressive, the yarded ones at the top very cosy, there’s a football pitch at the top of the hill, banked all around with wild flowers and bushes and a view of the valley, where the kids must play out til late with the summer dusks, then there’s a Victorian park in a dene at the bottom and a long row of very handsome houses. A whole other side to the town.

And yeah, Gateshead hates Nigel too :).

Nigel getting all shaken up, did that pierce his aura of invincibility, considering also how badly he took it, when Prescott punched back, Miliband just laughed it off, Nigel went all pompous and blame the hired hands about it. I wonder if it’s not dented his credibility just by staining his aura, and making him not only human, but weak, and shown to be hated, and framed in that style with Robinson and Benjamin who are real thugs. Teh latter I saw a vid of being milkshaked and even having horseshit dropped at his feet. People can be relentlessly frank.

‘They’re not laughing now!’ – but we are.

If this costs him a fraction of a percent of a vote. If the Tories cypher back some gullible fools with May’s new offer (something or not about a second referendum), if UKIP still manage to steal back a few votes, appalling though they be … along with other revelations about Nigel in recent days, to which he’s responded by banning Channel 4 news for one, is this chipping away? We’ll have to see. The travesty of our democracy with the frustrated votes of Brits abroad, the postal voting scamming, the denial of votes to Europeans here because of the lateness of it all (at the very least). But we feel a little more buoyed, as that the Lib Dems in London have also taken the lead.

Then an evening leafleting in Gs with a few others, we were like tourists among the leafy streets and large villas. Nigel is not about reality, he’s the ‘hope’ that others project onto him, the hope sourced from anger he’s done amazingly well to seize upon, hope twisted into hate, whereas Obama was hope the empty canvas (though he delivered medical cover). What a conversion that NF and Trump have managed, but then with an empty canvas that’s the point, you paint what comes to mind then tell them that’s what they wanted. Like the Jar as Stewart Lee wrote about.

One woman came out and said ‘keep it up!’ which is always gratifying.

D said if not for family and job he’d be down with Steve opposite the HoC. I know what he means.

Most pro-Brexit Tweets are from bots.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/8-top-10-brexit-party-16179913

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… allow a lol

Nigel came to Newcastle, unannounced, to the Monument surprisingly for it is the most prominent landmark – but in the middle of a working day, with his entourage of goons, press tipped off but no-one else, and for less than an hour, he just wanted a backdrop to follow on from Exeter, then he’d go on to Wakefield and Bolton (the last two being really quite committedly ‘leave’ in portrayal and location. NF started in Bolton last September, and Wakefield stuck out for me from BBCQT. Yep, a picture shot, then disappear before the protesters turn up. Which didn’t go to plan:

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This is what you get for being far-right arseholes, chaps, and considering how your side did one on Jo Cox, threatened to ‘pick up my rifle’, threatened with ‘jokes’ of rape, and so on, and so forth, and lots more … I’m not sure you’ve got much to complain about.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nigel-farage-brexit-rifle-pick-up-uk-eu-withdrawal-ukip-leader-liberal-democrat-a7741331.html?fbclid=IwAR0_j5SRMgDIznqGWz8JBeNTKJ089YVljzayqqiHM97menahP2GrcIjcxzE

For sure Nigel and Tommeh are working hand-in-glove, Nigel slags off Oldham from afar, then Tommeh goes in on the ground with the locals all stirred up.

Jamie’s visit to Liverpool didn’t go so well, though hahaha.

Leafleting this morning: old lady a few doors down is angry that no-one, MEP, MP, councillors ever come round (true) says her son in law is a millionaire, does deals with China and Japan all the time, voted out because of all the work he cant’ get due to the EU (eh?) … she also doesn’t like immigrants having taken all the housing having worked in housing for 10 years she knows it’s bent (eh??) and the borders are open (FFS) … she’s grammar school educated, university educated people are dangerous … she’d vote Green in the EU elections but she’s not registered to vote having moved in a year ago … but wants a deal still (interesting) and fairly blames the Tories & Labour for the carnage, not May (yes and no) but thinks the French and Germans have it in for us and they’r all corrupt but refused to prove it. 😦 She came back to the immigrants and I said sod it and left. TBH my facial leakage when she mentioned the Daily Mail derailed everything anyway. Wasted 20 minutes. But I didn’t go for her over immigration. I must.
Then I met the postie who offered to help deliver some leaflets, he said the postmen have a conscience clause that means they don’t have to post much from teh BNP etc if they’d don’t want. 🙂
Compare with leafleting this evening in Heaton:
60544307_189308885389099_4976069609300951040_n.jpg
What a turnout, and some interesting chats, we call agreed the far-right backing of Bannon et al has truly turned this scarey. But scared of what when this is what they’re truly like, lawless flakey bastards? When will these fuckers be held to account in our country?
60806190_2311234392287423_393542673601921024_n
Funnily enough a fair few people thought it was me. I was as said above bogged down arguing the toss with that ratbag, but was lightly touched to be thought it was me. It wasn’t, it was a good lad from just over the river, who I hope is bought lots of pints and milkshakes. Salty caramel banana ones at that.

Shit

We’ve been told the BXP candidates did not show up to hustings in Cardiff, Leeds, Harrogate, as well as in Newcastle.

Now we’re coming to the reality of the postal vote surge, that postal vote turnout – key to victory – is higher because of relative effortlessness, fire-and-forget. But how the Hell did Brexit Party leaflets get into the postal-vote send outs? How has that been corrupted?

Building on the fact that we strongly suspect millions of EU citizens here are disenfranchised by the lateness, apathy, incompetence, and deliberately inertia of electoral offices and councils to process applications to vote for MEPs in the UK, we also have the fact that many Brits abroad are being denied the ability to vote by post.

Even subtle things like the BXP logo pointing to the tickbox … or even the BBC story that highlights the BXP on the ballot …

We know now that Farage was lavishly provided by Aaron Banks, post referendum, and is now under investigation by the EU for not declaring income.

And here he is, creeping around the country in what must be a private jet, dropping in on areas as a backdrop.

A Brexit Party candidate can carp about loss of soverignty (lie) and freedom (yes, ours by losing freedom of movement) and democracy (ours – see above plus every lie on loop from 2015) – but ‘guess’ we could be poor for 30 years.  Who voted for that?

Out leafleting yesterday and Ch was telling me about the racist grandma she was accosted by at Saturday’s vigil, that Ch has been here 30 years, has children, grandchildren, nope ‘we voted for you to get out’.

Good news, Carl Benjamin has been milkshaked four times now. Jamie Goddard got chased up a tree in Liverpool. Tommy Robinson went to Oldham and got a hot reception from the MDL among others – Oldham being where Nigel slagged off just days before in the US as a racially divided town. Nige stokes the fire, Tommy comes in with the boots to get the reaction.

This is not fun.

 

And why do I doubt this?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-48305001

Four gigs in three days

The last three days have been busy and lots of contrasts, Thursday Friday and Saturday.

As an overview: Thursday I was leafletting up and down the heavily sloped terraced streets of the town nearby, on what was a wonderful day, all the trees heaving with leaves and blossom in the sunshine. Such steep streets, great for calve-building. Did the kids of yore hammer down these roads in carties into the river? Once upon a time the roads extended all the way to the railway, before someone in the 70s said ‘let’s build a dual carriageway through it’ and smashed it all down.

From this most basic of foot-soldiering, to Friday was all day indoors at Newcastle University with over a score of academics laying down their updates on research on the impacts of Brexit. It’s an assortment and of great interest all in.

From this urbane academic atmosphere just a few yards away on campus our lot were hosting the European election hustings for MEPs for the north-east. We had to have hired security on the door in case yellow-vests came, one of the candidates at least already being threatened, but it was a calm enough affair, candidates from Labour, Green, Change, UKIP, Conservative, Lib Dems all came and 100+ in the audience, everyone engaging. Very notable by their absence and contempt for democracy was the Brexit Party candidate. Finally, today, back on the ground, vigiling in Toon – with the Brexit Party lot just down the road with a pissing gazebo (it was pissing down). Where were they the day before? One came over and was nice and polite, as people they always are, and said they’d been told about the hustings but preferred to save their energies for the stall today. What the Hell? How much energy will they have for actually doing the job of MEP?

At the vigil, in the drizzle, people were mostly pretty positive. One chap nearly got in a fight with David, calling him a fascist, but as I hovered over and filmed things he calmed down a bit and moved off. I had two aliens come over, in hoodies and sunglasses (when it’s pissing down?) with the ‘I voted remain but you lot are undemocratic’ spiel and then circular arguments in which they shrug about lies, shrug about fraud, claim they know people in Devon who are all absolutely furious with the EU – but couldn’t say why – and the lead talker was very against the forthcoming election and indeed ever having had an referendum in the first place (which I spun back as ‘you have a problem with democracy, and want to live in a mafia state’). They didt’ care about the BXP not turning up, didn’t care about Lilley Lawson et al being unelected pushers for Leave. I have to say I’ve had very similarly weird, circular bullshit discussions with very similar people now in Toon, Morpeth, Ponteland. Like they’re a type, or are deliberately dispatched … one of the BXP helpers didn’t know what Euratom is, so we encouraged people to go ask them that. Some chap told me to shove it up my arse, I said well I know where you can stick your Brexit, ‘What?’ he says. Dish but can’t take. Another had a go about it all being lies, ‘I’m sick of hearing your shite’, to which David said ‘but we have to listen to your shite?’. And there we all are in our caldera of hearts … trying to sell the EU to people. Yet we gave out 100s of flyers and stickers (mashed up) and got a few nice comments. Quite a few said they’d already voted.

I didn’t get a pic but there was a stag party with a chap dressed like Jimmy Saville who shouted ‘Jimmy for Brexit!’ which I then shouted, thanking him for the inspiration of course. There were also intrepid others leafletting in Durham, and a stall in Hexham. We are relentless. We don’t have to pay to post shit-stained lies through people’s doors, we have the footsoldiers and the integrity to talk to people on the ground ourselves.

Friday’s academic conference

Dawn and I went to the Newcastle uni academic conference on Brexit on Friday, it was very interesting, lots of work in progress. Works and studies that have begun in the three years since Brexit, and are still in progress. Because that’s how long research fucking takes, please note, politicians in and seeking power. But hey, fuck experts.

I met the very amusing Prof Zito, who gave various thanks at the beginning to organising groups that he noted involved himself, ‘this is the most enjoyable part I have to say’,

There were over 20 papers being presented in updates, works in progress, covering everything from agriculture to the sense of belonging, what could be more ephemeral, to the threats to security, both cyber, and in NI.

She who led on the first paper chatted with me in the break, I talked about what our campaign group does, she wondered if we’re a middle-class / NHS-type bubble. I could see what she means, there is that, it’s not our fault as such, it’s no-one’s fault, it’s simply how things have come to be, aided and abetted if you like by social media across which we spend so much time and act as an echo-chamber. But say, D and I are speccy wearing southerners, we’re not local and we don’t have the mindset or the daily concerns per se of many around here who in the heat of an exchange quickly take us at face value – in fact the counter is true too, some people I think ‘there’s’ no point engaging with you’. And they might be the ones most needing to be talked with, not at, with. And the mindset, the culture, the tribalism, is critical too because of the slurs against us that we’re London-ist liberal metropolitan elite, and by that by coming off the backfoot we’re on the defensive, and so are they because they’re convinced we think they’re wrong and stupid. If yo’ure dealing with feelings, tempers are going to flare quickly, and if you’re in effect appearing as an elitist outsider – before you’ve even done anything, that’s only going to make it shit.

And of course they have a point, a real point, if you’re ignored and sidelined all these years, then the one time you get a vote you find that’s ignored too, and it is as if you’re told you got it wrong, yeah you’d be pissed off, by these London elites talkign down as they always do, from London, far, far away, all these tropes have basis, but they’re being hijacked to the hilt by hatemongering bastards, the worst of all these elites, whose attention to others’ views is solely by way of poisoning their minds and leading them to fight and assault those on the ground actually seeking to know what they think, as seen in Wallsend, as said before.

By parallel: the missus and I were surprised by the impact Obama had when he said the UK would ‘be at the back of the queue’ for any trade deal, not least as the UK by then would be a single entity and not a bloc with which the US is now more familiar in dealing. Nothing special about the relationship would apply, but this warning from them who are still friends was taken to be meddling by a foreign elitist. Obama, he of humble origins, the black guy, elite? Certainly. And yet Pompey has affirmed that warning, and what else would be the case in dealing a staunch ‘America First’ US under Trump – who came to power the same year, and by much of the same duplicitous means, as the Brexit referendum was won. We’re being further divided and divested even from our allies.

(there are more notes to add later … for now I’ll publish this as is). 

One academic reported that the worst-case scenario for No Deal’s impact on the locale, a deep recession, the uplands cleared, ‘rewilding’ was a somewhat chilling term used, was presented to Northumberland county council in the first instance but they dismissed it as too awful, but then last September they revisited it as ‘likely’.

It ended with a wonderfully enthusiastic lecturer in law from Ireland, talking about the GFA, the Belfast Agreement and Brexit, with this brilliant swooping style of delivery. Even after nearly 8 hours in a lecture hall he woke us all up. He made the fascinating point about the difference between the UK and NI constitutions, that the UK doesn’t really have one per se but for what it does, NI’s is not entirely of it, at all, it is in some parts and there is much close alignment, but essentially NI is and has always been far ‘devolved’ from Westminster since 1922 – not even devolved, but apart from and evolved differently, far more than that of Scotland, say, and the 1998 Belfast Agreement has that key element to it, that NI can seek to secede. It doesn’t need ‘permission’ like Scotland would for another referendum, the plebiscite is there for it to apply. And well it fucking might.

He further argued that the issue of the border in Ireland was not something conjured up by Ireland or the EU to spanner things, it’d been integral to negotiations between the UK and EU since the outset much at the behest and with good faith invested by the UK, and which the EU reciprocated. That it’s become so vast a sticking point and that there are those seeking to pretend it doesn’t matter or if it does it’s someone else’s problem or fault – when, y’know, war is potentially at stake, people’s lives, really shows the venality and duplicity of the hardcore Brexiters (see RCP, ERG, BXP, LML).

I then said come on over to the Curtis auditorium to see how all these urbane, deeply researched and insightful studies at this high-flying level were reflected or not by the politicians pushing or blocking Brexit, says I, literally boots on the ground, fists nearly flying … various circles of Hell, really, starting on the steep terraced slopes.

The terraces, the disaffected working classes, ignored, abused, left behind. The football supporters who began to turn – and were turned – against the outsiders by the elites led by Blair … NF he knows which buttons to press, what he says is not without some basis, but it’s the ends to which he directs it all, and the lies he the elitist deploys to fan the flames, pour petrol on the fire of those whose frustrations were ignored if not stoked all these years. Where the Labour vote bled towards BNP, then UKIP, then BXP, as Yv found out today, a Labour supporter telling her they’d ditched Labour to vote BXP. Well someone has to have done it if the polls are really anything to be believed. God help us if they are.

Anyway, I invited the academics to the hustings, saying it might not be as convivial as here, *chortle* over to the Curtis lecture room, The hustings were great, another heroic feat of organisation and presentation by NE4EU et al and the Newc Uni SU.

Much of the debate was dominated by fears about climate change and what the candidates proposed to do about it.

Richard Elvin of UKIP couldn’t answer convincingly at all on the question of the NI border. ‘Answer the question!’ he was repeatedly asked. For all the party now represents, not Brexit per se but people like fucking Carl Benjamin for God’s sake, we did acknowledge that it was good of him to come face what he’d know would be an audience of opposition, shall we say. Duncan Crute of the Conservatives – who you just had to look at to say, ‘yeah, Tory’, came across as someone I’m thinking, ‘you’re not entirely unreasonable, you know, kind of a Dominic Grieve character’, but a lot bulkier. Paul Brennan talked a good game, and alot about developing forestry products with Scandinavia.

The Change UK candidate was very convincing and engaging, we rued she wasn’t the single Lib Dem, while the Lib Dem too was very good. Just … be one. The Green party was good if not a little preachy, maybe it goes with the turf though. That touch of veganist zealotry.

All bar one of the candidates rued to varying degrees the paucity of the plan to end Freedom of Movement, but only warned of the danger of further inciting the far-right to hate and ‘we voted for you to leave’, and talked of the Europeans much in terms of the value they bring as workers, but not so much as actual people, the mothers, daughters, colleagues, neighbours and friends. I wanted to make that point but didn’t, although when Brennan said the prejudice was something to come I did say aloud ‘it’s already a problem, a big problem’. So though the voice of the 3 million remains quietened, as ChM said at the outset to the question of how people voted in 2016, ‘we had no vote at all’.

Of course there was a lot of talk about how they’d deal with Brexit, or not. Labour is still caught on the horns of the dilemma, as are its supporters in the NE, that a good hardworking pro-EU MEP of the party with the best chance of winning up here is of a party that votes for are taken to be pro-Brexit. Fucking hell.

And you know which bastard was not in the room to answer any of this, to answer this fucking clusterfuck their repulsive boss Farage had done so much to bring about? The Brexit Party. Cowards, contemptuous cowards. The absense of the BXP – boy, the utter fucking contempt they have for democracy, they have no policies and they have no people come prepared to defend them, there is literally nothing there, an empty seat, this paper party of people parachuted around by the plutocrats in London, the real elite.

The organisers reconvened in the pub, Crute came too, and he held forth that on the doorsteps, ‘they knew what they were voting for, it was about immigration.’ Interesting bloke.

 

Leaflets

A chap with white hair and beard came around and put a Lib Dem leaflet through the door. I ran after him to give him some Bollocks To Brexit stickers, he said he was ‘unfortunately’ doing this as he’d been Labour since aged 14, and the first leaflet he put through the door, ‘I felt guilty,’ he looked so sad as he said it. But all the vacillating over a second referendum, and our MP saying ‘we’re going out unless we stay in’. Dudes WTF.

Even my eldest said this was ‘crazy ridiculous times, I can’t believe it’s gone this far’. As my BinLaw had said, he who’ll be probably allrighter than 99% of others (I’m guessing), ‘what do we do, go to Scotland and set up a kelp farm?’ He’d mentioned this neo-feudalism thing in the shires, the return of doff-capping and reverence to the Lord of the Manor. Must look into this. Another ‘wot?’ like DewDiePie and UKIP, and all the Sargon stuff.

We meanwhile have hustings at the uni today, no UKIP candidate, no Tory candidate from what I can see, and of late the BXP person is ‘TBC’. The mother of one of the other candidates called to say she’d called the police to ensure there’s a presence of some kind as her daughter had received all kinds of abuse and threats throughout this, and the police were surprised to find they’d not been informed. It’s been sorted, but … eh?

The hustings at MMU didn’t go well for the BXP, funnily enough.

MMU hustings

The man responsible for all this poison is of course our Nigel, who’s been twice properly done by journalists, one for BBC Wales and Matt Frei for Channel 4, the latest caper being how much Aaron Banks funded him post the 2016 referendum. Banks whose business is insurance, Nigel who seeks to have everyone on medical insurance.

It is a net beneficiary of money from the EU tha’ts ostensibly ours to start with, but where is it? And he goes on about the steel industry, destroyed under the Tories when he was a Tory, and now in even more trouble thanks to Brexit, while the EU sought to protect the steel industry from Chinese dumping. Utter lying bastard.

A TIG has defected to the Lib Dems in Scotland, might be their second loss already. Ah, they need to stand down, join the LDs all out.

I continue to leaflet with the crew, write letters to the paper, sticker like mad with the dog, tonight is the hustings, tomorrow a vigil, then leafletting elsewhere, today all day at the uni for academic updates on Brexit.

Is there a world other than this?

 

 

 

Grizzle

Three days of leafletting off the bat. Well only an hour a day. The leaflet we have is very negative, of Nigel gnashing his teeth. It’s a horrible picture and unfortunately very ugly, it doesn’t say anything except repel further those who dont’ like him while reminding those that do to vote.

Critically, we need positives to sell the EU, if it’s all hate hate hate that doesn’t sell it. But our brilliant crew have come up with their own design.

I wonder if my postal vote theory though isn’t that bad, it’s more the bots encouraging the otherwise stay-at-homes to vote postally, although … you never know. It’s all in the margins.

Anyway I was out leafletting and got in a right mood. Stickering is therapeutic. As are the terraces, the sunlight, the sun making the grey-blue smoke of cigarettes and BBQs glow so.

I had a good chat with R, and he pointed out the whole Russian interest in Brexit, in smashing up the EU or keeping it along with the West fucked over and infighting while Putin takes on China. There’s a Pilger article on that I must dig out. Banks is backed by the Oligarch novvy Russians, Milne I’d say is with the Soviet-minded Russians, and Bannon is a Libertarian Leninist like the RCP is with Spiked.

For all that though we’re no closer to finding out why so many voted Leave and R’s point that calling them all stupid isn’t so hot. He’s right but we can only go with what we’re told by them, but the boots on the ground is all intimidation adn distraction, as the truly poor and angry and worst off are steered by the plutocrats and chaosists to blame the educated middle classes. The anti-vaccers are part of the cannon of ‘new world order’ conspiracy theories, illuminati, once fringe, now deployed en masse to keep people angry and confused and afraid – and impossible to deal with, really. And it all sources back really to the fossil fuel industry and investors, the climate change deniers.

*gloom*

Good news, if anyone in power wants  to take note (ha!!)

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-poll/uk-would-vote-to-stay-in-eu-by-12-percent-point-margin-yougov-poll-idUKKCN1PB13O?fbclid=IwAR3kXbVQio717wNcvBU-x5dd_Ok6E1MS7UUG3P_6V0-BKrglnM30PdFLDRQ

Today though the magistrates heard the opening of the prosecution of Boris Johnson for abuse of public office, while Tommy Robinson’s appeal was turned down at the Old Bailey and he must stand trial again for contempt of court.

So that’s more good news of a sort.

But I must get on it, messaging everyone I know by every means to get out the vote, get out the vote.

Clouds

(From last October) … I was rehearsing earlier today for a role-play, it’s funny how the mind wanders when you’re supposed to be remembering a line, or be in character, while this person is talking at me about my make-believe medical problem I’m staring at the clouds, wondering where happiness lies, where anxiety doesn’t exist, where in the world there is total silence, solace, the mind turns off, whether I could just throw it all away and live a life doing nothing but painting skyscapes.

Heren and the Red Cross – ‘what do you want?’

They’ve abandoned a million Brits in Europe, they’ve left 3 million fine friends and family here in complete limbo with the outcome possibly being ‘you have no right to stay’, and being drummed out, some leaving children, by total thugs. How is this conscionable to be so derelict, so negligent, so vile, on any level?