Sunday, 26 November 2017

IOW MP Voted To Legalise Cruelty to Animals

Big rosette. Hates animals.

The Independent has published the list of MPs who voted against retaining Article 19 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU, or Brexit withdrawal bill to you and me) and, yes, predictably, Little Lord Seely, the scion of the Island’s landed gentry who returned to his ancestral dump to claim his birthright at the last election, was all for denying the proven scientific truth of animal sentience.

The government back-tracked on this disastrous vote on Thursday (how they can do that without voting again, I don’t know) after a huge outcry. However, we know what this government’s promises are worth. Just ask the residents of unsafe tower blocks about the promises made after the Grenfell fire, or look at the progress we’ve seen on Teresa May’s promises to address energy bills. The Tories promise what people want to hear and then wait for the pressure to go away. They are professional liars, and I am afraid that our local MP is cut from the same cloth.
He’s a nice enough man in person, but is shaping up to be a crap MP, fixated on his own parliamentary ambition (the rumours are his sights are set on the Foreign Office) and secure in the knowledge that he has a majority of tribal knee-jerk Tory voters to keep him in a job.
And, like the majority of his party, he was happy to vote for a legal change that would clear the way for fox hunters, commercial vivisectionists and ivory traders to turn this country back towards primitivism.
If, like me, you’re an Island resident and you are appalled by this evidence that our MP will vote for a pay rise for Satan if his absurd calamity of a party tells him to, why not write him an email? Just click the green button under his picture at the top of the TheyWorkForYou page. If you’re not on the Island, but your MP is another of the idiots who blindly voted against the retention of proven fact in our law, you can contact them by entering your postcode on this page.

Also, don’t forget to sign the Avaaz petition to the House of Lords and participate in the RSPCA’s campaign to lobby Michael Gove on this matter. Both campaigns are also linked to from my earlier post here. We cannot trust them to do what they say when they are under pressure. We have to keep the pressure up.

My email to Badger-Basher Bob, is below.

Dear Bob Seely,

I realise you voted with your party, but your vote on article 19 of the TFEU is appalling, barbaric and anti-scientific. I had been mixed about you up until now; you’re a Tory, which I don’t like, but you were pleasant enough when I met you during the election campaign. This changes everything.

Animals ARE sentient. To deny it is to declare that commercial and class interests trump facts for you.

What type of MP do you really want to be?

Yours sincerely,

Peter Mason

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Vital Campaign to Protect Animals


Click the image to sign the petition against the loathsome bill that has just been passed by the sick fucks in the House of Commons, declaring that non-human animals are incapable of feeling pain. Protected by European law, animal rights are being sold to the highest bidder by the clique useless, self-serving failures who monopolise power in this country. Humiliatingly, once again, the only recourse to justice is the unelected farce of the House of Lords. We need to put pressure on them now, to stop this sick bribe-fest of a bill.

It’s part of the Brexit mess, which the right wing capitalists seem to be using to hoover up corporate interests and, we can assume, sponsorship. The RSPCA has a brief primer on the underlying issue here, which also has a link to a page from which you can email Michael Gove. That may sound like an exercise in futility, but it will help to increase the pressure.

In case you’re in any doubt about the sentience and intellectual capacity of non-human species, there is a summary of the state of the science on the subject here, and a broader, but also beautifully illustrated, National Geographic article here. If you have a Jstor account, I recommend this review of a recent book (2015) on the philosophy of animal rights.

The wildlife photographer, Richard Bowler, makes a passionate case against this retrograde move here (facebook, unfortunately) and links to this excellent article in Farming UK.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Censored by Guido Fawkes

Here’s an interesting experience. I have been edited for, I assume, expressing a contrary opinion on the Guido Fawkes website.

Guido Fawkes is a ‘libertarian’, nationalist, right-wing blog serving the world view of embittered middle-aged failures, and I wouldn’t normally want it on my search history, but it has been the outlet for whoever has been releasing the sex-attack stories about M.P.s over the last week. I went to it to get the ‘unredacted’ list of Tory miscreants and was, initially, happily surprised by the quality of the comments: there was a lot of coded racist prostate leakage, as you would expect, but there was an interesting strand on Orwell, and I posted a comment, which stands.

Not too crazy at this point.
My first comment.
Oh, Peter! Why do you do it?

Unfortunately, I couldn’t help myself, and had a pop at someone whose comment described socialists as genetically defective. I had not declared my political position as it wasn’t relevant to my subject: he was having a go at Orwell, I think.

He responded with a standard, barely literate diatribe about the evils of socialism, claiming that socialism has failed as a system everywhere. I pointed out that China was actually quite successful and Cuba did alright, given the challenges it faced. He came back with a list of the injustices of the Chinese system; all, no doubt, true.

That brought another poster into the conversation: @kwh. He really cares about how evil China is, as you can see.

So, on Friday, I wrote a fairly long comment about the comparative freedoms and restrictions in China, the U.S. and Britain. I based it on figures from various reliable sources on state executions, police shootings, levels of imprisonment and population size. By the time I got home from work, my comment had disappeared. I did wonder whether they had a policy about comment length, so didn’t feel too aggrieved, except that I was proud of the comment, which I had carefully researched, and I hadn’t kept a copy, so it was lost. I shrugged my shoulders and forgot about it.

However, GF uses Disqus to supply its comment thread, and so, when someone else, @Thomson’s Hankey, answered my earlier contribution, I got an email. This morning, in idle browsing mode, I clicked through to the comments thread. This poster also fixated on the horrors of various injustices within China that have made it into the Western press. I decided to answer, as concisely as I could, but this time, I took a screenshot, before moderation.

I had made a couple of errors, so I edited it three times. After the first edit, the little note above the comment appeared, saying that it was waiting to ‘be approved’ by Guido Fawkes. Thinking back to my previous experience, I clicked on Awesome Screenshot, which isn’t that awesome (hence the poor quality of the images in this post), but is useful.

Then, I refreshed the page and my comment had gone. The thread now gave the impression that the one dissenting voice in this little exchange had been argued to silence. If you have a strong stomach for swivel-eyed right wing crazy, you can see the page here. Noble hatred prevailed; of China in this case, although I think the target is moveable for these people,.

Guido Fawkes is run by an individual who owns his blog and has a right to do with it what he wishes. If he wants to pick and choose the responses he allows on his comments thread, that is up to him; I’m not complaining. However, it does rather give the lie to his site being a portal for free-thought and unfettered reason and, given the rampant, violent, misogynistic and racist tone of a lot of the commentators on his blog, I can’t see that he has a case for saying that my contributions were offensive, in any reasonable sense. I started out by agreeing with one poster and, when my comments became part of a disagreement, they simply challenged what I saw as hypocrisy or error in some other comments, and I think I expressed myself in a moderate and well-argued tone.

Does this matter? I have never had a single comment on this blog, and I get, on average, a few hundred hits per month. It is not a true public forum, because it has not developed as such and, as a working person, I would not have the time to maintain it if it did. Guido Fawkes and I are in different leagues, in terms of influence and in terms of aspiration. For me, blogging is a way of gathering my thoughts in a space I control and the idea of becoming responsible for the contributions of others appalls me.

However, Guido Fawkes actively attempts to have an effect upon the political climate of this country. He works for the Russian embassy, through his media consultancy company, and his website is openly contemptuous of democracy, stating that the only honest involvement in politics is the desire to blow up parliament. He has a responsibility to be honest, and he is not honest. He is constructing chaos, worshipping lies, and pretending that he is simply documenting an existing state.


The article on China to which I link in one of my deleted comments is here. It is well worth a read and comes from a political site that is everything Guido Fawkes is not: informed, intelligent, open-minded and honest.