Local elections…Paul McCartney, minorities and MPs.

Well, 48 hours after some local councils and seats were up for grabs, there seems to be a surprising status quo, with very little change and all parties crowing about their successes and, in the case of Labour, a much repeated and well briefed “solid performance “. It is quite remarkable that Labour have not done much better given the status of the government and the criticisms of their performance generally and more specifically on Brexit. Usually at this stage of a government, you would expect a massive ‘swing’ away from them, but not so in this case.

Various people are suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn and his type of politics may have reached its ‘sell by date’ or that his ‘bubble’ has burst. I wonder if it is more that the younger voters, who supported Labour at the General Election and who may not have properties or recognise (local) services, did not bother to vote? In terms of Labour’s ability to bounce back when it really counts, only time will tell.

It seems amazing to me that someone who can only pluck a few strings on a guitar and churn out largely the same turgid so called music over many decades, could possibly be made a Companion of Honour. Just looking at many of the truly great and talented people who have been so awarded in the past, merely magnifies his void in talent or qualities one would expect for and from such a distinguished group. It never ceases to amaze me how the myth of the Beatles and its 4 members survived so long. They were, still are and will always be a very shallow expression of ‘music’ even in its broadest sense.

The Windrush issue continues to plague the news and, along with so many other minority issues, seems to occupy a hugely disproportionate amount of time in the media and in Parliament. Parliament, the media and society more generally, are giving far too much ‘airtime’ to these minority issues and in many cases individuals and, as a consequence, losing sight of the many issues that affect the majority of British people. Parliament ins particular should focus on government and not raising and discussing individual grievances. The job of MPs is and should be to gather these up in a coherent form and present them to Parliament as such.

Talking of MPs, it was once suggested to me that a ‘good manager’ should justify their existence away from their team, on their return, by gathering them together and explaining to them how their absence had added value to them and their output. I have often wondered why constituents don’t insist on that from their MPs, whilst they are away from their constituency?

Decline and Emin…

Well, it seems that that Labour Party continues to decline! Barry Gardiner is using Hebrew words to describe the Good Friday Agreement! An interesting mix of errors given their recent antisemitic scandals and the sensitivities about Brexit. I see that Maureen Lipman has joined the debate and may even been considering a shift to the Tories!

There seem to be a lot of calls for a new ‘centre party’ at the moment. Certainly it needs to happen now, if it is going to emerge to give it time to mature in time for the next General Election.

Things seem to be deteriorating in and around Syria. Lots of warmongering from the US. Let’s hope we don’t get sucked in again as the parties involved are very complex, possibly more so than in, say, Iraq. I guess the main issue is whether this is more about Russia than Syria?

Since the ‘attack’ in Salisbury, the issue around chemical weapons has ‘met the public eye’ once more. I have never quite understood the ‘additional emotion’ around these ‘weapons of war’, over and above, say, tanks, bombs, nuclear weapons, nail bombs etc etc. Is that ‘additional emotion’ because of the potential of/for ‘collateral damage’? I wonder also whether the use of the word “war” should be defined by (and only used when there is) a willingness to accept collateral damage as a consequence of action?

The BBC are giving a lot of profile to a so-called work of art by Tracey Emin that has been unveiled in that glory of neo-gothic architecture that is St Pancras station in London. On her own admission on the Today programme on Radio 4, it’s a clear anti-Brexit statement for arrivals in London to see when they step off their Eurostar train from France. I wonder what would happen if I asked the station authorities if I could put up a large pro-Brexit poster? Would it help if I called it ‘art’?!

Easter Monday…

I was going to write something yesterday, however I got so annoyed by people hijacking Easter I decided it probably wasn’t a good idea. All those sycophantic messages (mostly political and vote-seeking) from many who have little or no interest in Christianity, or worse still, belong to groups or who align themselves with individuals who often want to see and encourage (or even participate in) its demise and destruction.

The news this morning does not seem much better and Jeremy Corbyn seems to be determined to ride this one out. Appalling arrogance! What an appalling example of so-called leadership he is! Then there is the new ‘comedienne’ appointed to the NEC of the Labour Party…well, that’s a good joke anyway.

I have just been reading about the fact that there are now more murders in London than in the ‘crime capital’ that is New York. Our ‘forefathers’ are probably turning in their graves at this news. One of the observers on this sad news commentating on social media, used that (in)famous line from the much-derided and misunderstood politician Enoch Powell…from his speech in the Burlington Hotel in Birmingham…when he referred to the “rivers of blood”. It seems to be being quoted and reflected on much more these days…interesting, considering they were ‘dirty words’ not that long ago.

I have just been reading reports of the heavy traffic in parts of the U.K. Why do so many people get in their cars on Bank Holidays and spend a large part of their precious time in traffic jams and in this case, in miserable and wet weather. I don’t and never will understand it and ALWAYS stay at home on such occasions. The only down side is that my so-called diet ‘goes to the dogs’!

Antisemitism

Undoubtedly, antisemitism seems to be the issue of the day. Why is that?

It all seems to have come to a head because of the actions (or in this case inaction) of Jeremy Corbyn and the image that was, even to a blind man, antisemitic.

It’s amazing to me that in a country that has a Judeo-Christian heritage going back for many centuries and particularly following the atrocities of World War II (not to mention the treatment of the Jews by many European civilisations), that there are still people who have a problem with the Jews…and Israel.

To start with, Israel is a small democratic country that is entirely surrounded by many other countries with massively larger populations that have sworn to destroy it and, as a consequence, go to some considerable lengths to defend its own values and a (albeit relatively new) space on this planet. There seem to be too many people (and even Jews) spouting their views on Israel on the BBC and elsewhere, who have surprisingly limited knowledge and understanding about Israel.

Now we have the Jews. What have they ever done to offend or impose their way of life or values on anyone in the U.K. or elsewhere? In most cases, we dont even know they are Jews sitting next to us on the bus, or or the train. If only this could all be said of other religions that are ‘alien’ to our historic values and ideals and ‘wear their beliefs on their sleeves’.

I for one, certainly don’t understand and I don’t know anyone who knows anyone… … …who is antisemitic.

The issue that has brought this to a head for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party, may have been blown out of proportion, but he did do and say what he did in 2012 in relation to ‘that image’ and his unwillingness to provide an adequate rebuff to the accusations of antisemitism against him and the Labour Party, that are rife at the moment, probably says more about more about Palestine and his support for that, than any antisemitic stance. I was especially interested to see that the BBC showed ‘that image’ openly on a number of their programmes and wondered what would have happened (and what the reaction would have been in certain quarters) if there had been something similar shown, for example, about Islam or LGBT issues – I will leave you to decide!

It will be interesting to see what happens outside Parliament this evening when the Jewish community, who have patently had enough, gather to meet and stand their ground. I, for one, am with them all 100%…