What in Hell is The Guardian talking about now?

Brexit will cement disenfranchisement of millions of citizens

Err, what?

Brexit Britain will be home to 3 million second-class European Union “settled citizens” who have been fingerprinted, registered and issued with a residence identity document and with no vote in general elections.

That is the “between the lines” message of the British government’s offer on EU citizens’ rights after Brexit. The 3 million EU nationals will be joining the ranks of at least 1 million foreign nationals from outside the EU with “indefinite leave to remain” status who already form a largely invisible disenfranchised subclass in Britain.

Umm, those 3 million don’t have a GE vote right now either. Because, you know, they’re not citizens?

It gets worse:

The UK offer cements that disenfranchisement for the future. It means that together with those non-EU foreign nationals without the right to vote in Westminster elections, Britain now has a large section of its adult population numbering more than 4 million who are long-term residents but have no power at the ballot box to influence the national government.

It is true that Irish nationals and Commonwealth citizens do have the right to vote for an MP – but to have such a large group of disenfranchised citizens with a stake in the country is not good for Britain’s democracy.

Yes, the argument really is that non-citizens should get the vote.


My tribe’s so much better than yours!

On Friday evening, outside Camden town hall, council leader Georgia Gould defended the decision to evacuate the nearby Chalcots estate due to safety concerns. Gould seemed genuinely worried, and told the BBC that Camden had been first in the queue to test its cladding, finding on Thursday that the panels fitted were “not to the standard that we had commissioned” and announcing they would be removed. At a public meeting the same night, Gould says residents raised other safety concerns she’d been unaware of: Camden council and the London fire brigade assessed the block, and the council was advised to evacuate.

The contrast to the actions of Kensington and Chelsea council following the fire at Grenfell Tower the previous week could hardly be more stark.

Rather missing the point that this Labour council did in fact install the same cladding. So, you know, it’s not all about evil Tories, is it?

So, the Council inspected and yet it’s still neoliberalism to blame, eh?

Grenfell Tower renovation works were inspected 16 times by Kensington and Chelsea council, but these checks failed to prevent the use of the flammable cladding being blamed for spreading the fire that killed at least 79 people.

Inspections were spread over almost two years during the £10m refurbishment project between 2014 and 2016, but these appear not to have spotted that the building was being clad in a material effectively banned on tall buildings by the government.

Conservative-run Kensington and Chelsea council told the Guardian that the first inspection took place on 29 August 2014 and the last was on 7 July 2016, at which point a completion certificate was issued. It added that building inspectors working for the council undertook the work.

Because The State failed therefore more must be done by The State.

How The Guardian lost America

Supposedly, at least.

To hear management tell it, the US operation is swimming against tough financial tides, with the Guardian’s global finances in repair mode and the US display ad market going sideways. This narrative, an investigation into the company reveals, is incomplete. Conversations with more than 20 current and former employees, internal documents, and financial figures paint a different picture — one of overspending and missed opportunities by those currently in power, particularly Guardian editor Katharine Viner, global CEO David Pemsel, and Glendinning. The thirst for global expansion was so strong, in fact, that the Guardian’s former US CEO says he was pressured to make unattainable business projections to fuel the growth.

Lefties never have been very good with money, have they?

Jesus Owen, get a grip

Britain’s far right is desperate, angry, cornered, and dangerous, as the Finsbury Park atrocity may well show. In just a year, the number of far-right extremists referred to the government has jumped by nearly a third. Social media abounds with frothing far-right fanatics, screaming about betrayal and vengeance. Both Muslims and the left are firmly in their sights – and we urgently need a strategy to deal with it.

There really are times when it’s random nutters driven by the voices in their heads…..

Just no memory some of these people

To look after its properties, the council created the largest management organisation of its type in England – unfeasibly large, it turned out, and unaccountable to its own tenants. This was the £11m-a-year body that handed the £10m refurbishment contract to the builder Rydon. The best that can be said of such outsourcing – whether in managing flats or running council departments – is that the public ends up paying more for a service that’s worse. It allows big companies to profiteer from basic public needs, and to evade democratic control.

Chakrabortty obviously has simply no knowledge at all about how appalling the direct labour organisations were in local councils.

And, umm, well, how many residential towers does K&C have? And is that enough to warrant a full time, long term, labour force able to do such renovations? For labour isn’t some homogenous grouping any more. You don’t just have 300 navvies on hte staff and they get the stuff done any more.

Who is this “The Media?”

Rebel Wilson has landed a blow on the relentlessly aggressive media
Van Badham

The actor’s defamation win is not a victory against Australia’s tall poppy syndrome, but a turning of the tables on the media culture towering over us

Dunno about you but I would describe birds like Van Badham of being the very definition of that media which towers over us.

Isn’t this just a fabulous argument?

The appalling destruction of Grenfell Tower and the lives of so many who lived there has exposed what society, in its heart, already knows: our housing cannot continue to be subject to the market’s desires, needs or fluctuations. If some housing is regarded as being more valuable, more desirable, corners will always be cut in the places where there is less financial return. The same goes for people: the most disadvantaged always suffer most from the mistakes of the powerful.

Council housing fuck up. Therefore all housing must be by the State.


Don’t worry Dawn Foster’s on the case

This matters. Currently, 4,000 tower blocks have the same building regulations applied to them as Lakanal House. Sometimes, it appears, the risks are heightened by the very attempt to make the blocks more liveable. Architect Sam Webb, who has long campaigned for greater fire and blast safety in tower blocks, told the Fire Risk Management Journal of his fear that there is a trade-off between fire safety and the materials used to construct more energy efficient buildings. “The materials are not fire-resistant and in some cases they’re flammable.”

We depend on a collection of officials and experts to keep us safe. We cannot know at this stage how they performed with relation to maintenance and safety at Grenfell House. But we do know that lives cannot be protected without money and there is bound to be renewed discussion about the extent to which financial pressures have affected those who protect the public up and down the country.

Apparently making buildings green kills people but it’s austerity to blame.

Isn’t this excellent then George?

The election was a crushing defeat – but not for either of the major parties. The faction that now retreats in utter disarray wasn’t technically standing, though in the past it has arguably wielded more power than the formal contestants. I’m talking about the media.

The rightwing press threw everything it had at Jeremy Corbyn, and failed to knock him over. In doing so, it broke its own power.

So, no power left it doesn’t matter who owns it does it? Approve the Murdoch bid for Sky immediately.

Tee Hee

Writer not quite thinking here:

In 2015, the Hairpin posted a handwritten letter (complete with drawings) by Tricia Louvar that tallied the price of one J.Crew “everyday” outfit to $596, together with a list of other things she could by for that amount, such as a nonstop flight from San Francisco to Honolulu.

Where are you going to stop between SF and Hawaii?

Peak Guardian approaches

Jeremy Christian, an avowed white supremacist with a violent past, is the alleged killer of Rick Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, but Donald Trump is not blameless for their deaths.

The proof?

But if Christian’s act is a nightmare, Trump’s presidency is the daymare, a horror show made all the worse as it’s experienced while being wide awake. Under increasing pressure to issue a condemnation of the act, Trump finally tweeted a message concerning this heinous crime. “The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable,” the tweet read. “The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.”

This may sound presidential, until you look into it a bit. First, we can note that the tweet came not from Trump’s personal account, where we have (unfortunately) become accustomed to hearing the (unfortunate) thoughts of Mr Trump, but from @POTUS, which is chiefly run by his staff.

Incidentally, it’s easy to tell the difference between @POTUS and @realDonaldTrump by the former’s lack of spelling errors, cheap insults and exclamation points!

Understanding that this message of condemnation was tweeted from @POTUS and not @realDonaldTrump is crucial because Trump’s far-right followers will see an @POTUS tweet more as an exhibition of the exigencies of presidential performance than as an expression of Trump’s principles. They won’t be wrong.

Yep, which account the tweet came from is proof that Donald Trump is not blameless for those deaths.

No, really.

Isn’t this just utterly appalling?

An army of Facebook workers are tasked with removing terror-related material
MoS investigation reveals that Facebook has hired young Filipinos to do the job
Hundreds of them – some of who have limited English – earn just £1.36 an hour

At which point we’ve got to put that £1.36 an hour into some sort of perspective. GDP per capita in the Philippines is some $3,000 a year. Meaning that someone working full time (2,000 hours a year) will be earning, at £1.36, more than GDP per capita. £1.20 is what is needed to make that.

In British terms that’s like being paid £34,000 a year.

No, absolutely not, this does not buy the same lifestyle, not at all. But relative to local earnings that’s the same.

And that’s not bad, is it?

Amanduh talks bollocks to power

At first blush, these two stories don’t seem much alike. The first is a lurid right-wing conspiracy theory and the latter is an academic prank to spoof the sometimes abstruse discourse associated with postmodern cultural theory. But scratch the surface and it’s easy to see that these two stories are deeply rooted in misogynist fears about allowing women access to the halls of power. Both stories serve as warnings that feminism leads to decay, destruction and even death.


Both these stories were popular for a very simple reason: They resonated with the sexist desire to believe that bad things will follow if women are allowed access to power. The “conceptual penis” story speaks to the fear that letting women, especially feminists, into the halls of academia will degrade intellectual standards. The implication is that feminist academics are incapable of rigorous thought and are using “political correctness” to intimidate others into not noticing that they are imposters.

No, not really. It was an attempt, not all that good a one, to show that vast amounts of the social sciences are bollocks. As Sokal’s rather better attempt showed some years back.

Oooohhh, this is good!

The political tragedy of the British left is that unlike the right it cannot bear to synthesise its various strands – liberalism, social democracy, socialism – into one political grouping and one electoral proposition. It is not just that they need each other – socialism’s willingness to challenge private power is as vital a part of the alchemy as liberal social democracy’s understanding that, done right, it is capitalism that delivers enormous wealth.

We’ll be both socialist and capitalist in the one party! Something for everyone!

Yes, of course that’s Willy Bloody Hutton.