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Historians urge Britain to vote 'in'

I just have another Guardian piece to link to today. According to this article, over 300 prominent historians have signed a letter urging Britain to vote to stay in the EU, and warn that we risk becoming irrelevant in the world if we vote to leave. Needless to say, I wholeheartedly agree. We would have cut ourselves off from the world, and told it that the small-minded little people of this island are content to withdraw into their selves and no longer want to play on the world stage. The historians write: ''On 23 June, we face a choice: to cast ourselves adrift, condemning ourselves to irrelevance and Europe to division and weakness; or to reaffirm our commitment to the EU and stiffen the cohesion of our continent in a dangerous world.'' I just hope that we heed their wisdom.

legalised larceny.

I think I better flag this excellent Guardian piece up today. By Aditya Chakrabortty, it explains that tory 'austerity' is essentially about flogging off everything the public owns. The tories want to put everything into private hands: every school, swimming pool and post office. Chakrabortty writes ''Privatisation is the multibillion-pound centrepiece of Osborne's austerity - yet it rarely gets a mention from either politicians or press.''


Austerity is far bigger than that: it is a project irreversibly to transfer wealth from the poorest to the richest. It's doing the job very nicely: while the typical British worker is still earning less after inflation than he or she was before the banking crash, the number of UK-based billionaires has nearly quadrupled since 2009. Even while he slashes benefits, Osborne is deep into a programme to hand over much of what is still owned by the British public to the wealthiest.

Thus, far from being an economic necessity, austerity is entirely ideologically driven. These people believe poor people deserve to be poor, and that rich people have a natural right to lord it over everyone else. Thus government should do nothing to level the playing field, but instead slash high-rate tax and reduce the welfare state. It's a sickeningly selfish worldview based on greed and arrogance. In public hands, things are run for the good of all; in private hands, things are run for profit. They say, of course, competition pushes up standards, but that is bull: competition means you cut corners to minimize costs. Publicly owned assets can be centrally, democratically planned with some kind of strategy in mind, whereas in private hands the only motive is profit. The result is everything gets worse, and we all suffer while those who own the assets get richer.


Although I'm not entirely sure which side it's on, I really must flag this delicious piece of star Trek related satire up. ''In a stark warning issued today, the Klingons cautioned that if Earth leaves the United Federation of Planets - a move widely referred to as 'Trexit' - it could plunge the galaxy into an economic recession, or even worse, all-out war.'' Of course I must point out that, as a founding member of the Federation, the people of Earth surely would not be so stupid. It would render it irrelevant in the alpha quadrant; alone in the galaxy, just as it was before first contact. The only way we escaped the chaos that existed before then was by uniting, and the only way we can ensure a prosperous quadrant, for ourselves and for others, is by remaining part of the federation.

One month to go

One month to go.

Only time will show

weather we stay or go.

'Till then, who's to know?


Stay or leave?

They'll lie and deceive.

Oh, who to believe?

It's hard to conceive


of a more brutal bout:

how they all scream and shout

hurling insults about.

Are you in or out?


It's all so tight

in this vicious fight.

But come what might

Will we do what's right?

Birthday boogying

Lyn and I had a very nice day yesterday. We didn't go far: as I thought, we just had a walk around charlton in our chairs. We went to the park, where L had a big late breakfast and I managed to catch some of the cricket match. Having watched quite an impressive win for the mighty eights, and Lyn having got some groceries, it was back home for a lovely evening of music, eating and drinking. Paul, who has just returned from Brazil, made a delicious kind of stew. I had got a great big chocolate cake to follow, but realised too late that we didn't have candles. I don't think that mattered too much though: Lyn seemed to have a lovely time, and it was great dancing around our living room to one of her awesome mixes.

[Edited 22/05/2016 at 11:33:11 - added a bit]