100 suns

A machine made of wood, metal, paint, bone and magic

A rough winter

So the NHS will have a 'rough winter'. This won't be in any way related to the derisory pay offer for nurses in England causing many of them to quit, will it? Still less to the number of NHS staff who will quit after having watched people who never needed to have died dying in droves because Boris 'megamind' Johnson and his elite army of mighty brexit brains were too busy lying, rutting and stealing to bother keeping them alive. And certainly not to all of the non-UK-origin staff deciding they've had enough of the idiot flag-waving bigotry in the UK and going somewhere where they're treated like human beings.

No, that will not be the reason at all. I'm sure, in fact, it will somehow turn out to be the fault of the fiendish Hun Europeans, or Muslims, or, who knows, both? Definitely foreign types, anyway.

Electoral commission

Apparently the electoral commission is to have its power to prosecute removed.

How very odd that this should happen after it investigated Boris Johnson.

Sunlit uplands

The sunlit uplands turn out to be a desert. There is sun, yes, and some parts are quite high up. The bleached skeletons of unfortunate people and animals, picked clean by johnson-birds, are a notable feature of the landscape, along with the tattered remains of what might once have been flags. It is impossible, now, to make out the colours, long faded by the endless sun.

Chilled meat

David Frost, who apparently we must now refer to as 'David George Hamilton Frost, Baron Frost' or 'Lord Frost' for short, is appealing to the EU for extra time to negotiate an agreement on the Brexit protocol and avert a trade war.

David Frost was the UK's chief negotiator during the brexit process. What the fuck did he do during that process? What the fuck did the whole UK government do in the four and a half years between the the brexit vote and the end of 2020 that required them to start it all again 6 months later?

I have never wanted to believe in stupid people, but David Frost, Boris Johnson and everyone else involved in this catastrophe are so deeply and obviously stupid that I am forced to accept I am wrong. These are people who believe they are gods while being endlessly surprised when their idiot schemes come to nothing. Well, nothing but the deaths of a few tens of thousands of peasants and the impoverishment of millions more: things which matter nothing to these gingerbread gods.

How did we come to be ruled by these entitled fools?

Lessons from Trump: truth is optional

One of the important lessons that Donald Trump's presidency has taught is that lying is acceptable. Trump made about 30,573 false or misleading claims over the course of his presidency, lying at a rate which seems to be approximately exponential. During October 2020 he averaged 126 lies a day: presumably only limited by his ability to talk fast enough to enough people.

Democracy is built on truth: if politicians can simply lie with no consequence they can subvert democracy to their own ends. So telling the truth, and being forced to tell the truth if need be, is rather important to democracy. Unfortunately this has turned out not to be something that was really enforced: it was just a convention. Trump's vast emission of lies showed this beyond all doubt. Before Trump everyone believed that if a democratically-elected leader simply started spewing out lies they would, somehow, be stopped from doing so because 'democracy would prevail'. Exactly how it would prevail was never clear, and now we know that, in fact democracy will not necessarily prevail.

For now, democracy has prevailed in the US, although it is severely wounded: perhaps mortally so.

Politicians who wish to limit or subvert democracy in other countries, notably the UK, have been paying attention. Boris Johnson is not as copious a liar as Trump, yet, but he has clearly understood that there is now no consequence to lying when it is convenient to him to do so. As one example the johnsonites are interested in suppressing the votes of those who disagree with them. So they are intending to make it mandatory to have ID in order to vote. Critically, such ID will be mandatory only in order to vote: this is not a plan for a general ID card, which would not be discriminatory. This plan, in contrast, will discriminate against the young, the poor, the disorganised and other marginalised groups: groups who, statistically, are less likely to vote for the johnsonites. And the stated justification for this is that there is widespread fraud in elections. Except, of course, there isn't: the whole thing is based on a lie. And it's an obvious lie: it doesn't take much effort to detect. But the johnsonites simply don't care, because they have discovered that lying has no consequence.

And this is the first lesson the johnsonites and others have learned this lesson from Trump: truth is optional.

The English nationalist party

The tory party, as reconstructed after 2016, is now the English nationalist party.

I like not to believe in the 'people who voted for brexit are stupid' idea. In general I find the notion that 'people who disagree with me are stupid' rather offensive in fact. One of my brothers (I suspect) voted for brexit and he's definitely not stupid. Dominic Cummings is not stupid.

So I choose to believe that the people who drove the requirement for a brexit referendum within the tories and who have since transformed the party were not simply stupid: they knew what the result would almost certainly be if they won. And that likely result is the fragmentation of the UK and in particular the independence of Scotland. I don't understand the NI situation and I certainly had not thought the consequences of it through. I do have some significant experience of the Scottish situation, being married to a Scottish person and having lived there for 23 years: and it was just blindingly obvious in 2016 and remains so today what brexit would do there. (For what it's worth, although I didn't get to vote in the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 as we'd moved to England by then I would have voted against independence, as would my wife. We have semi-seriously considered moving back to Scotland so we could vote for it next time.)

So I assume that the people who who drove the brexit referendum within the tory party were both not stupid and also had a far better understanding of the dynamics of the UK than I did. In particular I assume they had studied and understood the history of Northern Ireland in much greater depth than I have. That leads me to the conclusion that they understood that the consequences of a vote for brexit would be the fragmentation of the UK into (I suspect) England-and-Wales with an independent Scotland rejoining the EU and the reunification of Ireland. And that's either what they actively wanted or the cost they were willing to bear to get what they wanted. That makes them, in my view, English nationalists.

I accept that my belief that the brexiteer faction which has now taken over the tory party is not just made of rather stupid people seems to be in conflict with some of the post-brexit-vote evidence, but I still maintain my belief that they were not just rather dim people but, well, English nationalists who knew what they wanted, which was an independent England at any cost.

Finally note that, even if we were to agree that the brexiteers within the tory party are just a little dim – which is something I might be open to persuasion about – I will not accept that brexit voters were just stupid, any more than I would accept that Trump voters were. I find that idea grossly offensive. Indeed I assume that people who voted for brexit, while they probably did not understand the NI situation, probably did understand the implications for Scottish independence, as I did, and were happy with that: they also were English nationalists, in fact.

Against woke history

Because the convenient lies about an imagined past glory we were told as children must never be tainted with the truth of what that past rested on. Because the horrors inflicted on the people we would like to forget do not matter. Because the people we would like to forget do not matter at all. Because the truth does not matter if it interferes with our glorious self-image.

Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it – Winston Churchill 1948, stolen from George Santayna 1905

The ship of the dead

The UK has cut its aid to the UN's family planning system by 85%, reducing its aid from £154 million to £23 million. This cut will probably lead to the deaths of a quarter of a million women and children.

Now the Clown Emperor has announced a magnificent new ship will be built so he can parade himself around the world in suitable splendour. The imperial yacht for the imperial Johnson, if you will. This ship will cost an estimated £200 million.

This ship will be built from the bodies of a quarter of a million of dead women and children, killed without a thought to fund its construction.

The thousand-year reign

So there is no institutional islamophobia in the tory party. Of course there isn't. If some people said vile things about Muslims, why they deserved it, didn't they?

And so we march on, waving our idiot flags furiously, to the thousand year reign of the glorious johnsonite nationalist (but, you know, a little bit socialist too) party.

Not a fascist

Boris Johnson is not a fascist. But he's also not really a person.

It's possible to theorise endlessly about what made Johnson what he is: was it being born into a privileged class? reading a subject at university (inevitably Oxford) which might have been designed to instil a vastly inflated sense of self-worth in students who largely already saw themselves as innately superior, all while teaching them nothing useful about the last fifteen hundred years of history? was it some pop-psychology pathology of his mind?

Does it matter? No.

Johnson is a best regarded as a machine whose purpose is to accrue power, sex and glory to himself and, perhaps, his uncounted offspring, with no consideration of the cost to anyone else. Within the limits of his intelligence1, Johnson will do only what benefits him personally, without any regard for the harm it may cause others. He is, in fact, a parasite.

Famously, Johnson wrote both a pro-brexit and an anti-brexit article in 2016, eventually publishing the pro-brexit one. This is sometimes portrayed, usually by Johnson himself or one of his mouthpieces, as demonstrating the profound thought he put into his decision. And, perhaps, it does, but the decision was not what would be better for the UK. Johnson does not care what is better for the UK, because Johnson does not care, at all, about the UK: he cares only about himself. The decision he had to make was only what would be better for Boris Johnson. And he made the correct decision: if brexit was chosen then he was in an extremely strong position to rise to supreme power in the UK, as he has in fact done. If brexit had not been chosen he would have been seen as the noble leader of a glorious lost cause: not quite so good an outcome but better than the mediocrity which is all his limited talents would grant him otherwise.

Johnson doesn't have political beliefs: his only belief is in Boris Johnson. Well, if he doesn't have political beliefs, he can't be a fascist, can he? No, he can't, but this too does not matter: he is not a fascist but the end point of the trajectory he is leading us on is, nonetheless, fascism. That's because fascism has three nice features for him.

Firstly fascism revolves around strong leaders who are invariably glorified, if not actually worshipped, by the people they rule. Unsurprisingly this appeals, a great deal, to Johnson.

Secondly fascism is all about rhetoric: the glorious leader stands at the podium in front of the massed ranks of his supporters and inspires them with elegantly-expressed lies, in return for their worship. Johnson is good at elegantly expressing lies: in fact it's really all he is good at.

Finally fascism is based on providing simple, appealing answers to complicated, unappealing problems. If you want to know why your life is not working out so well, why, 'it's those filthy Europeans, isn't it they're just not like us? Also the gypsies, and certainly the Jews must be involved somewhere as they always are. And of course, although we are not allowed to mention call them that now as the liberal PC police will be down on us, the queers and the wogs, and the ragheads. We should, you know, deal with them'. And those ideas are appealing: they appealed to a lot of people in the 1930s and they still appeal today2. And the solutions offered are also appealing: you may think that you don't like the idea of torturing and killing a lot of people, but you really do. Very large numbers of people in in the Roman republic and empire had a very good time watching other people be torn apart by animals, each other and worse things than that, and we are not different than those people: we pretend we would not like to watch or partake in that but very many of us would.

And Johnson is both not clever enough to actually work out what the real answers to the complex, unappealing problems which face us are3 or in fact interested in doing so: why should he spend time on hard thinking when it does not benefit him personally? As he would no doubt be able to quote at length:

iam pridem, ex quo suffragia nulli / uendimus, effudit curas; nam qui dabat olim / imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se / continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat, / panem et circenses. – Juvenal, Satire 10, 77-81

So this is where he will lead us: our glorious leader with his golden stream of lies and his panem et circenses: he will lead us to fascism.

Boris Johnson is a parasite, and the host he devours is us.

If you tolerate this, then your children will be next – Spanish civil war poster

  1. Don't be fooled: Johnson is glib, but he's not terribly clever. The number of entirely enforced errors he has made show this beyond doubt. 

  2. And if you think, 'well, those things only appealed to Germans, Italians and other foreigners: they're, well, not like us good British people', stop and think about what you are saying for a minute

  3. He is not, in fact, either clever enough or educationally equipped to understand what the problems even are

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Edwin Poots

Edwin Poots will be the new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party. He believes the Earth was created about 6,000 years ago. And of course he doesn't believe in climate change, and of course he has loathsome views about gay people.

A man slightly less clever than my cat is now leader of the DUP.

How democracy will be dismantled

There will be an inquiry into the UK's handling of the CV19 pandemic. If this is not compromised it will find very bad things about the johnsonite government's behaviour, which has certainly resulted in tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths in the UK1.

But the inquiry will not be until the spring of 2022, which will give the johnsonites plenty of time to obfuscate what they did and otherwise to compromise the independence of the inquiry. How convenient for them.

And, even more conveniently the johnsonites are going to repeal the fixed-term parliaments act. So, when they have done that they will, inevitably, call an election before the findings of the inquiry are announced, and then delay the next one for as long as they can so people forget.

This is how the johnsonites are dismantling democracy in the UK, in order that a johnson may rule in glory for ever.

  1. And will kill something like quarter of a million women and children. But these will be mostly brown, poor and far away, so no-one cares, and certainly the johnsonites do not care. 

The impairment of democracy in the UK

The UK's johnsonist government is planning to impair democracy in at least three ways:

  • A Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill will get rid of the fixed five-year period between general elections and return the power to call early elections to the prime minister
  • Plans to force voters in Great Britain to to prove their identity when they vote at general elections will be introduced in an Electoral Integrity Bill
  • A Judicial Review Bill will set out the government's plans to change how its decisions can be challenged in the courts


The first of these will allow a party in power to pick the best moment for an election to maximise its chances of remaining in power. This will tend to increase the amount of time between effective changes of government as parties can pick their moments, thus reducing the number of moments when the people of the country can choose who rules them.

The second of these is straightforwardly voter suppression. It is justified by the supposed prevalence of electoral fraud. This is a fabrication: if electoral fraud was common in the UK why is it not being reported to the electoral commission whose whole purpose is to investigate it, and who say that 'there remains no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud in 2019'. Well, it is not being reported because it doesn't exist. Instead rumours are being spread by the government and its agents in the press that there widespread fraud which is somehow being hidden from view. This is a trick taken straight from the playbook of Donald Trump.

The third is a response to a small problem that the johnsonists have had: a lot of the things they have tried to do have turned out to be illegal and have been found to be so so by the courts. The rule of law is, of course, inconvenient to people whose view is that they are the law. And so they are moving to end the rule of law: in the glorious future they imagine for themselves what the johnsonists decide to do will, simply, be law because it is their will.

The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (ie the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (ie the standards of thought) no longer exist.

– Hannah Arendt, The origins of totalitarianism, 1951.

Voter suppression

The johnsonist government of the UK is planning to require photo ID to vote. This is voter suppression: it will reduce the rate of voting particularly amongst the poor, young people, ethnic minorities and other marginalised groups: the exact groups least likely to vote for the johnsonists. This is how the republican party in the US behave, and it is how authoritarian governments who want to retain a veneer of democracy behave everywhere. This is not the start of the transition of the UK from a functioning democracy to a one-party fascist johnsonist state – that happened in 2016 if not before – but it is another step on the road that ends with camps and gas.

Some people will say well, Germany requires photographic ID cards, as do many other countries, and we don't say that they are practicing voter suppression: what's different here?

What is different here is that those countries require ID cards to live there at all, while the UK will require one only to vote. If you live in Germany and you are entitled to vote you can do so, because you already have photo ID1. On the other hand you can live in the UK with no form of photo ID at all ... until you want to vote, when you will discover that you can't. A requirement to have photo ID to live in the UK at all is not voter suppression: this proposal is.

Other people will say, well, everyone who is at all engaged in society in the UK will already have photo ID, so this is not a real problem. If you think that, read it again, and think about what you are saying this time.

  1. Indeed, if you live in Germany you will have photo ID even if you are not entitled to vote: I know this because I lived there. 

The hereditary Johnson

So the UK government is going to require photo ID to vote to 'combat fraud'. In the 2019 general election 164 cases of fraud were reported. 47,587,254 people voted so this is a report rate of 0.0003%. There was a single conviction related to the general election, which gives a conviction rate of two millionths of one percent. Electoral fraud is a non-problem in the UK:

There remains no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud in 2019.

The Electoral Commission

So the UK, government is lying to us, yet again again: photo ID is not, in fact required to combat electoral fraud because the rate of electoral fraud is minute. So that's not why they want people to have to show photo ID: why, I wonder, would they require it? Well, I have two forms o photo ID: a passport and a driving license. So the sort of people who will not have photo ID are the sort of people who don't have these things: poor people, young people, people in abusive relationships, people from ethnic minority groups and other marginalised people.

The reason the government wants to require photo ID to vote is to stop these people from voting.

There's a term for this strategy that anyone who has followed US politics knows: this is voter suppression. This proposal is a direct attempt by the government of the UK to suppress voting by groups they find inconvenient and thus to further impair democracy in the UK. It it another step in the process of moving the UK towards being a one-party state ruled, I expect, by the hereditary Johnson or one of his uncountable offspring.

Resistance to this is necessary.