The General Election Bullshit Detector

My bullshit detector has sat proudly in my garage in garageland for decades.
Boris Johnson declared yesterday it was good that the general election was a close thing. The crap in this lie flowing through the workings of my recently serviced contraption caused it to overheat, splutter and break down
What is unraveling is the greatest political suicide note in British history.
May called the election as she was advised there would be a certain Conservative Party landslide. 150 seats being mooted as the margin with a poll load of 20 points, which in recent British political history is unprecedented. Being a control freak her amazing arrogance has seen her push her own agenda, the consequence being it is a calamitous debacle. She has shown the British public her true colours, they have come shining through and that’s why I don’t love her, Cyndi Lauper would suggest. I digress. She is unreliable, flaky, insular and unpopular. She has exposed this by assuming she is above having to explain herself and policies. Bodes well for Brexit negotiations eh ?
Being a political junkie and a member of the Labour Party in the modern age of media it is with joy I watch as by the hour crushing news comes in of a possible Labour victory. Still unlikely I feel but momentum continues to shift. In the Express this morning the lead down to 3 points and Corbyn set to storm London where his personal ratings have shot above May. Tory excuses will be as funny as they are disingenuous
The Tories arrogance has been well and truly exposed as they backtrack on their expectations and their lie machine splutters, as sure as night follows day, into life. There is spin, mild lying, and there are downright porkies and to save face expect in next week them to come fast and furious from the Tory camp and bullshit detector engineers around Britain to be in high demand.

Amber Rudd and Tory Own Goal

Knowing Amber Rudd would be in the debate I took the time to check her out on iplayer on the Marr Show. Yup she is \ good politician and came across well and with gravitas.
Lynton Crosby, in charge of the Tory campaign is supposed to be the best in the world in the field of election management.
So with the May campaign falling to pieces the scenario could be this. May, I don’t think will lose, but if she just scrapes a majority is political dead meat. There was nobody in the wings, her position unassailable and her colleagues low grade. However apart the enormous own goal of being ambushed by the late decision of Corbyn to do the debate, Amber Rudd very much used last night to stake her claim to replace May and certainly comes across as someone I would far sooner represent this country in Brexit negotiations and I say that as a member of the Labour Party.
It strikes me as a massive political own goal and bad management and the debate last night will merely add to Tory jitters. Remember May walked into power as there was no other credible candidate. After last night now there is.

Election poster carnage

Driving out of Ringmer in East Sussex is an in your face enormous election hoarding inviting passers by to vote for the local Conservative candidate Maria Caulfield. It must be eight foot by four foot and is an angled double hoarding of two posters facing the traffic from each direction.
Being fairly remote it has of course been vandalised. Twice.
One side has simply been kicked in, probably a Friday night assault from a reveller in the nearby Green Man. Subtly someone has gone to the trouble of printing out a very large speech bubble inscribed in the same font as the poster with the words ‘WE JUST DON’T CARE’ It is hilarious and brilliantly executed.
I mention as it is an interesting observation in human nature, the sheer anger of someone to smash in a sign on private land and the more thoughtful satirical approach. Both are to be applauded in my eyes as I hate to see our beautiful countryside sites ruined by massive temporary Conservative hoardings from the land owning class supposedly there to protect the land but only when it suits them

30/5 BBC Bias Continues

Chris Harris waffles….
I wonder, with interest, when the BBC news team were handed the remit to bash the Labour Party at the 2017 General Election. Nobody thinks this is not the case. So Corbyn in the heat of battle fluffed his figures. Okay not good. The cost of the childcare initiative is 4.6 billion. Yes it is newsworthy. But to put it screaming as the main story on the BBC news website, long after Corbyn had apologised and done bang on the right thing, source the figures and put them personally in the public domain, stinks of heavy handed bias. The Chancellor Hammond was 20 billion out when asked figures for HS2 but that barely broke a sweat in the heart of the BBC news hierarchy when it comes to making the public aware of the fact.
We know the Tories have bashed the BBC with threats to their funding. I suppose this is why when the opportunity for the BBC to jump to their Tory paymaster’s, rather than be objective they merely roll on their collective useless backs and whimper ‘how high ?’

Andrew Rawnsley and Jeremy Corbyn. A brief satire

It had been a tough week for the Observer Dear Leader Writer, Andrew Rawnsley.
Having spent his current career stretch beasting the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn he had to tackle the vexing question of the spectacular rise of Corbyn and the Labour Party in the opinion polls.
Jeremy and his party had published an excellent manifesto. Despite the personal misgivings of many voters on the thorny issue of Jeremy Corbyn and his competency, they were very much warming to the Labour themes of a fairer Britain. He had so far had an excellent campaign. Andrew had forgotten Jeremy had already fought two very successful leadership campaigns and was a dab hand at it. He mused as to whether it is acceptable for a top political journalist of the left to be so forgetful and concluded it was.
Luckily Mrs May was having a nightmare campaign. Andrew sighed at this stroke of luck. Indeed despite one of the most game changing weeks in politics caused by a) the excellent Labour manifesto and campaign and b) the fall from grace of Mrs May he felt he could get away with heaping criticism on May and the Tories rather than give Corbyn and the Labour Party any credit.
Smugly he slept his remit to himself complete and started to think up his excuses for his excuse of a column in the unlikely but possible event of a Labour victory. He drew the conclusion he would try and pick up some tips from the equally biased BBC flagship today programme

The Predictable Unpredicted Rise of Labour

Friday 26th May and the latest YouGov poll shows Labour have closed the gap in a month from 22 points to 5 and according to the Evening Standard the much mooted 150bTory majority of 150b seats will on this basis be er….2.
Three thoughts occur to me.
Firstly Labour can win the general election. I voted for Corbyn twice inn the Labour leadership election but up to recently wanted him replaced. Okay polls showed the Brexit vote was always close, Trunp and Clinton was always close but Labour looked broken with no chance. I gave Labour no chance and are still outsiders, but I wouldn’t bet against a Labour win with the momentum, pardon the pun, they are gathering. Corbyn has fought a blinding campaign, spin free with just excellent policy proposals that contrary to the BBC news crew and the press the British people apparently want tired of the inequality and cuts austerity has bred.
Secondly, this one a thought spared, is for all the biased BBC and right wing press in this country who have condescendingly assumed a Tory walkover and got it wrong, again. The bias has been a disgrace from the BBC. The ratcheting up of bile from Humphrey’s on the flagship Today programme, who is now well past having any credibility, when he interviews Labour politicians and his caustic irony at any chance of victory show he is reduced to not only being a biased low grade journalist but one out of touch too.
But thirdly why is no journalist writing the pertinent article which is if May does not increase her majority in the election, her stated aim for calling it, what has been the point in wasting 2 months of valuable Brexit negotiations for zero reasons and surely as such she has no credibility and is in effect a busted flush. Surely such a humiliation will see her resign ?

Sam Allardyce remembered !

Who’d have thought Sam Allardyce would have ended the season after his England disgrace as an enigmatic hero. Being your snotty liberal sort I was aghast when it was announced Sam Allardyce was to become the Crystal Palace manager. Make no mistake his stint at Palace was his own self serving therapy to regain respect and Palace seemingly a mere conduit.
But I don’t care, for me he is now, reluctantly, a bloody hero.
Yes he should have been kicked out of the game for bringing it into disrepute. But he didn’t. So the option of redeeming himself at the Palace wasn’t to be shunned. We moaned at his appointment.
But we all recognised the demoralised car crash Pardew and Parish had left the club in and after the bluster and crap spewing forth from Pardew a chastened Allardyce steadied the ship. Despite a poor start he started winning the doubters over by his candid and resolute approach. He still had the gravitas he once had and if we were to go down it would be honourably. We didn’t. To be honest he was handed an advantage over the other strugglers with a 40m war chest for the transfer window. But he spent it brilliantly and results turned. Unfortunately he had also inherited the most dire run in possible with Palace having to face all of the top six in the last nine games. Amazing wins against Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool saw the Palace to safety without too much fuss.
Although a surprise, his resignation with hindsight seems natural. He came in, behaved and conducted himself impeccably and buzzed off mission complete like a guardian angel and will always be regarded with fondness by all Palace fans.
He has left Palace strong and although the sort of manager Palace fans acknowledge would keep us up next season, we secretly hope for someone with flair that will turn us into probably what we have no right to expect to be. But expect to be anyway. But that’s the optimism of football.

Bittersweet thoughts of a Palace fan on the Promotion of Brighton and Hove Albion

Firstly, congratulations from a Crystal Palace fan to Brighton and Hove Albion on a return to the top flight. It is well documented the trials of Brighton over recent decades, as a Palace fan, amusing, as a football fan really sad. Okay the ‘where were you when you were shit’ brigade are irritating, the bed wetting keyboard warriors on North Stand Chat who ooze a sense of entitlement, which the likes of Brighton and Palace do not have are to put it tactfully naive. It is graft and a slice of luck that gets the likes of us into the Premiership. In our case it was the idiots who gifted us a goal scorer who popped thirty goals in the net and virtually got us promoted single handedly, Glenn Murray kindly gifted by the enemy, Brighton!!! With Brighton it was calling on a mediocre manager who found a club and set up that suited his talents as he transformed Brighton into a fantastic football club as Brighton were a catalyst for his undoubted skills to bloom, pardon the pun. I have to admit Hughton is somebody I have immense respect for.
A few months ago as Paerdew and Parish between them destroyed Crystal Palace, over a year 92 out of 92 results wise. It began to look unerringly like relegation for the Palace and promotion for Brighton. Having for the past thirty years been the dominant force and with the bragging rights this was an outcome of the uncomfortable variety.
Fortunately Allardyce, who none of us wanted but has performed miracles and is now accepted, turned things around and all is set fair for the rivalry to begin next season. It has always been comfortable scoffing our superiority over the Seagulls from our perch above them and it is nice to sit in our safety just knowing we are better. Always to good to own something for no effort.
But even better will be the antagonism of our two meetings next season. The rivalry has risen in profile since the rejuvenation of the Albion and next season expect the papers and media to highlight the perplexing hatred of two clubs 45 miles apart. To lose will be a desperate affair but to win will make great reading on North Stand Chat, as the club with an overbearing and ill placed sense of entitlement, make their excuses.
As a person from Sussex and a football fan and someone who took the time to write letters in support of the development of the Amex I am delighted a torrid tale has a happy ending to my local club. As a Palace fan, I hope next season is really painful for them.

The Car Boot Sale, thoughts from Chris Harris

The Car Boot Sale, thoughts from Chris Harris
Car Boot Sales used to be small events in fields and car parks. However as they became part of our national weekend culture, out came the entrepreneurs offering better facilities, larger and cleaner sites with more customers. They became organised and now are largely set out in massive neatly mown fields, with plenty of facilities. Almost like a festival but full of discarded homeware detritus. A festival of rubbish. For this is rubbish management.
For this is rubbish management. This is a financially advantageous alternative for your unwanted goods you don’t have the heart to just discard at the graveyard of the tip. For your general seller, releasing that valuable space from your garage or the reducing the general trite of cheap slave laboured manufactured imported goods from the generic warehouses of crap dressed up as DIY and other conglomerate retail brands, that shall remain nameless for legal reasons ! Soulless detritus in a soulless world. A lot of house clearance firms tip out the general rubbish. In better boot fairs armies of retired people tip up, a new lease of life and income discovered selling on junk acquired at auctions charity shops and jumble sales and selling on plants and cuttings from their gardens. Our black economy thrives here.
It is depressing as much as it is hopeful. Artsy Craftsy people peddle their lovingly thought out and created crafts, unaware that visitors at car boot sales prefer not to spend more of a pound. You can tell them, selling nice things with a crest fallen face, their dreams of the day being the start of something big crushed by the droves of people looking for a utensil set for 50p.
The buyers are a motley bunch. The intent of the antique dealers with their alert demeanour. Long gone are the days of parking near the boot fair such is the size and interest. Young single mothers tarted up to the eyeballs as if about to go out on a night out, with their toddlers homemaking in the orgy of discarded homewares. Collectors lecture the seller on their products they are about to buy, inexplicably and boringly alerting the seller to the true value of their wares which take a sudden rise in value. People good with their hands and gardeners sort through the old tools plants and utensils. Fat middle aged unkempt people sometimes tip up early anxious to beat the queue for a bucket of fatty chips for breakfast. For some a boot fair is a social occasion. For the entrance fee of 50p you can wile away the morning making disparaging remarks about the sellers goods and being a generas pain in the arse offering 50p for something marked up at £2.50. My friend Matt does boot fairs and loves being rude to the seemingly extraordinary high levels of customers being generally ill mannered and ignorant. There is a massive boot fair at Polegate in East Sussex. You are charged entrance when you drive in. It amazes and amuses me greatly that some people will park half a mile away and walk to avoid the entrance fee
You can hear and enjoy the buzz of the banter. Negotiations, up selling, lectures, histories, lies, deceit. For many enquiring about a price is merely the excuse to banter about the product.
You soon suss them out. Although the products are rarely priced you can soon guess what a price will be. You can work out the seller trying to go home with an empty car and those who seek such a high price you know they will be lucky to cover their expenses. Eloise and I experimented over a 50’s needlework basket. We guessed what he would ask. I said £15. Eloise, £10. She asked and returned to the spot I was hiding and smirked ‘£15, you were right.’
Ultimately they are a fantastic part of our culture, an enormous recycling centre and resource for the resourceful and a good bit of exercise

GPlan. Gathering Momentum

G plan furniture mainly featured in the Eighties and Nineties is large piles of firewood at local tips. Before the days of gumtree and other easy methods of recyling furniture your only other option was the local auction house who would direct you to the local tip !
Yup, it is pretty ugly. But it is really well made and now fashionable. The large bog standard living room units are still not popular, but have a value now. But the rarer pieces, rare as similar pieces have been chucked and burnt, are now commanding some very good prices. Smaller items are very commercial.
It is the reality of life that many couples in the Sixties and Seventies purchased large quantities of G Plan and are now dying off. In time this will cause the brand to increase in value. I think even the bland mass produced pieces are beginning to somehow become attractive to a younger audience as they are well made, practical and fit the ‘retro’ fashion.
So well made and a very good investment. Get some before it rockets in price