Will the will of the people mean less free will for the many, but probably not the few?

Let us go back in time, back to before Brexit began, before the flash laziness of George and Dave, before the messiah JC, before the Maybot, all the way back to 1346.

We’ll skip the events in between, because time is short.

1346, when the Black Death began its sweep across the world from east to west.

There is consensus that it killed fifty percent of any community it arrived within, this plague, this pestilence, Yersinia pestis. Some places it killed more and others less, fifty percent is the savage average.

“…earliest symptom was the appearance of certain swellings in the groin or armpit [unlike its first appearance to the east; bleeding from the nose was the first symptom then], some of which were egg-shaped whilst others were roughly the size of a common apple…” (1)

You’ve heard or read all this before, most likely, and how does it resonate with events now?

With Brexit?

This is my query and freedom of movement is the key.

I find strong resonance with the much contested issue of ‘freedom of movement’ within the European Union, that we are currently able to enjoy, or malign, depending on your point of view.

And how do I draw a line between Brexit and the time of the Black Death?

It’s not an attempt to be melodramatic. It is just asking a question to do with resonance.

It’s to do with how the ruling elite in England, in the 14th century, responded to the massive social impact of, and disorder in the aftermath of Yersinia pestis.

They found the labouring classes, the serfs, taking advantage (unfairly, if you were a baron…and had an economic model based on a labour system just above slavery) of the shortage of labour in the country to demand greater rights, greater wages.

King Edward III heard the plaintive cries, of his medieval chumocracy, and responded with a law called the “Statute of Labourers”, passed in 1351.

Here is the extract that catches my eye. That brings to mind Brexit and the desire to crush freedom of movement between the UK and the rest of the EU.

“…seen fit to ordain: that every man and woman of our kingdom of England…shall be bound to serve him who has seen fit so to seek after him; and he shall take only the wages liveries, meed or salary which, were accustomed to be paid…” (2)

There were further measures in the years that followed. This was because not everyone in the elite was able to hold the line. They were guilty of “enticement”. Offering greater wages because they needed the labour on their land and because the labour was happy to go. A little less serfdom cake is an enticing thing.

This “Statute of Labourers” passed in 1351, and other measures, were an attempt to squash freedom of movement of serfs after the great plague.

A move from the elites to suppress wage and conditions through controlling labour movement. To control the lives of the many, by the few, tying them to just one piece of land.

It failed, The Peasants’ Revolt, led by Wat Tyler, in 1381, saw Wat dead and it saw the death of the 1351 law and others.

Ordinary people now had a greater share of rights. Even if there was still a long way to travel.

This change (in England) can be traced back to as a key turning point that led centuries later to the abolition of absolute monarchy, on from there to the industrial revolution and finally universal suffrage and parliamentary democracy in the United Kingdom.

If you control your labour, its physical liberty to move across a landscape and continent, then you have a greater chance to control the wages and conditions of that labour. In short, if you’re a baron you can grow richer by disenfranchising labour of its rights.

We have travelled a long way from 1351. Let us not start going in reverse, lead by blowhards and bus drivers like Boris, Farage and all the others, backed (allegedly) by tax avoiding billionaires.

Long ago the majority of the population was in serfdom. It took centuries to get to now, when all (with limitations our government has seen fit to ignore, for political reasons, I’d suspect) within the union of nations called the European Union can choose where they live, work, study, love and retire.

I can’t help feeling the billionaires, millionaires, MP’s and the extra rabble rousing chancers who have pushed lies about immigration and made names for themselves railing against freedom of movement, have a similar feudal desire to restrict peoples’/workers’ rights.

It’s not just the workers from across the channel whose freedom of movement the Brexiters want to abolish. It’s yours. It’s your children’s.

It means less rights and less of the democracy cake in your hands.

Democracy is one cake we can all have and eat, but only if we defend it against the people who, like their medieval shadows, want to reduce the rights you own.

And it should be asked if, lacking a natural calamity as cover for their plans, the Brexiters have manufactured one?

These are my links between the Brexiters and the ruling elite of 1351.

1. Page 96, “Why Nations Fail” D. Acemoglu & J. A. Robinson, Profile Books
2. Page 99, “Why Nations Fail” D. Acemoglu & J. A. Robinson, Profile Books

The Grey Suit Pimpernel

In the 17th century in revolutionary France there lurked a mysterious figure amongst the aristocracy. Some thought he (or she) moved to perform deeds of good, others thought the moves were made to avoid the sliding knife of the guillotine.

In the 21st century this mysterious figure has returned, to the dilemma of the media news outlets.

In 2010 he mysteriously wiped away the legal aid programme from the Justice Ministery. This successful imitative lead to the removal of prison officers from HM Prisons.

Southern Rail has felt the hand of the Pimpernel with rail ticket increases quickly followed by rail strikes. Today the HS2 building contract with Carillion lies in shatters. Some say, due to the hand of the Pimpernel.

In frustration Lord Adonis has challenged the Pimpernel to come forward to a verbal duel on a media outlet of their choice. The silence has been deafening.

The grey Pimpernel lurks amongst grey people wearing grey suits and is currently in hiding, preparing to strike again…

Chris Grayling to live as a hermit until Carillion goes away

In an exclusive interview Transport Secretary Chris Grayling talks to LCD Views about his new life as a hermit.

Q. Mr Grayling, it is Mr, isn’t it? You haven’t received your peerage yet?

No answer.

Q. Well, let’s move on? Why did you decide to crawl into this undiscovered, Neolithic tomb on a subpolar crag of an island hundreds of miles from the nearest, other inhabited island?

No answer.

Q. Okay, I guess that’s too personal. The next question is, what do you have to say to all those sub-contractors likely to go bust as a result of the collapse of Carillion?

A company you awarded massive government contracts to, even though, there were clear signs it was essentially being run like a Ponzi scheme?

No answer.

Q. Let’s push this one a little. I think the people affected by your incompetence deserve an answer, they accepted the work because the government backed Carillion.

No answer.

Q. When are you coming home? Have you letters you would like me to mail when I get back to Orkney?

No answer.

(At this point the transport secretary, who looks a bit cavemanish for having lived in the cave since he dodged questions on the rail fare increases, appears to throw scat at our reporter)

Q. Final question. Do you anticipate enjoying your pension in retirement after a long and glorious ministerial career of turning anything you touch to shit?

That’s what I’ll get my peerage for.

Q. So this is not a vow of silence, just a hermitage?

No answer.

Q. Goodbye Secretary of State for Transport.

A. Don’t tell anyone you found me or I’ll stop all your Southern Rail trains services from running on time. And do me a favour, chase the little devils away from my cave door.

It’s clear he’s lost his mind.

Still, at least he’s still being paid, even for hiding from his responsibilities.

How could we foresee massive business would collapse, asks famous party of business

“How could we be expected to foresee a massive business would just collapse, just like that? Without any warning at all?” Cabinet office minister, David Lid-on, asked today, in response to the collapse of Carillion.

“Everyone knows the only party that understands business is the Conservatives. Please put the emphasis on the ‘con’ when saying our name,” Mr Lid-on continued, “UK plc is safe in our hands. Just look at our handling of Brexit. It’s a prime example. With us in charge we should more correctly be referred to as UKIP plc, of course.”

It’s believed the collapse of Carillion, which runs every single public service in the UK, with the exception of the ones G4S run (you remember them, the army covered their asses, after they couldn’t run security at the Olympics, it’s a good thing army numbers have reduced since), will not have any negative impact on the taxpayer at all.

“It’s a great relief,” Mr Lid-on smiled, “I’m personally going to make sure the liquidation goes as smoothly as a car boot sale in a thunderstorm, with only a minor volcanic eruption before the end of trading. This is essentially a dry run for UK plc post March 2019 and Brexit. Firesale! Who doesn’t like one of those? Our neoliberal friends across the pond can’t wait for 2019.”

And the government wants to reassure the former employees of Carillion that they will be okay.

“Our foodbank sector is booming. There is no chance anyone will go hungry as a result of this giant collapsing after winning numerous public contracts while issuing profit warnings. You might lose your home though. Go find seven different gig economy zero hours job pronto.”

Further reassurance was offered to the former bosses of Carillion. Legislative changes in 2016 means they won’t have to pay back their bonuses.

“We should thank George Osborne and David Cameron for their visionary work on austerity. It’s been great for everyone,” Mr Lid-on went on, “You make companies with slim profit margins pretend they can run expensive public sector projects for a profit making loss.

It’s really an exceptionally clever way to run the country.

Germany and France, the Scandinavian countries, they could learn a lot from the way we’ve run the UK since the wisdom of Thatcherism took hold of public policy. What have they done? Total clown shows with limited futures now.”

LCD’s private/public analyst was just as forgiving on the government.

“It’s not fair to bully the Conservative government about their awarding contracts to Carillion, even as the stock market was short selling it. They’re the party of business. Keep repeating that and don’t look at the national debt under their stewardship.

Besides, how can they have been expected to foresee this? They can’t foresee anything.”

Grayling to be given charge of NHS after his excellent work with Carillion

Jeremy Hunt’s workload was pleasantly lighter this afternoon after minister for Transport, Chris Grayling, was drafted in to oversee the NHS for him.

“Chris has spare time on his hands now he’s no longer lobbying to give his friends at Carillion extra government contracts,” a spokesman for the department for health told LCD Views.

“He was spending his time today just phoning up Downing Street asking if there was anything he could do? And scanning Expedia for good deals on middle eastern flights, so it’s nice for him to be able to help somewhere with all his free time.”

It’s thought the helping hands will allow Jeremy Hunt to properly prepare primary, post Brexit legislation, that will hand the entirety of the NHS over to Virgin Health, as a reward for Richard Branson reversing the refusal of his toy train set to stock the Daily Mail.

“Chris has a proven track record of handing massive amounts of public money and responsibility over to companies issuing profit warnings.

He’s the right man to advise on the awarding of new NHS contracts to private partners whose only concerns are people’s health and well-being.

This should only serve to accelerate the collapse of the NHS, by decisions not being taken on merit or best practise at government level, and its lockstock privatisation.

Something we can all be proud of in the Conservative Party.

It’s really a legacy issue.

Our membership will have physically died out soon, so they won’t need the NHS. We’re trying to leave something to the neoliberals of tomorrow.”

Mr Hunt is said to have offered no resistance when Downing Street phoned him up to make him aware of the splitting of his duties.

“Jeremy wears his heart on his sleeve,” the spokesman added, “well, he wears someone’s heart there. He’ll always help out a friend.”

LCD Views’ public health analyst has this to say.

“That’s the NHS royally f*cked then. If I were you, and you have school age dependents, I’d be bloody sure you get them into medical school.”

It’s thought in this way you can secure being able to see a GP in the future.

“And you’ll get to discuss how big their bonuses are each Christmas, if you’re lucky enough to see them, if they haven’t been worked to death from exhaustion.”

Grayling wasn’t asked for comment as everyone has now realised that’s pointless.

Boris Johnson to go on safari hunting the truth to make sure it’s dead

Exciting news today for the world of print, politics and fact as famed reporter and prominent public servant Boris Johnson has announced he will be hunting down the truth again to make sure it’s dead.

“Some ah, fibblefabbles, have claimed I can’t combine the glorious British tradition of hunting the truth with my duties as foreign secretary of the Kingdom of England. This is sheer ninnybaggle.”

Boris goes on to cite his work with Iran.

“That, um, ah, that lady tourist arrested for writing on postcards, she’s still in prison over there because the government, allegedly, won’t stump up the pots of silver and gold demanded to stop her wasting away in prison. I can continue to vaguely lobby the Shah whilst reading the signs written by truth stool in the sands.”

Asked what weapon he will arm himself with on safari, Boris seemed very enthusiastic.

“I’ve um, adapted, redesigned, reconfigured various facts to kill truth on contact. They’re so twisted and covered in waffle gobble I don’t think even a bull truth fact could survive.”

Boris added that he had managed to combine the job of tour bus operator and part time MP for Somewhere back in 2016.

“Anyone who tells you a man can’t multitask is talking sniffle snoffle. I can go on the road three hundred days a year raffle wrangling the public to a point of near ecstasy with my exhortations to reach the glorious heights of Global Britain 2.0, Imperial Reboot edition, while picking a fight with the Mayor of London because if Trump goes down all the populist, lunatic, narcissistic, self interested spam bogglers like myself go down too by osmosis!”

Boris finished by saying he’d be applying for the job of editor at Breitbart while away in safari, because he’ll have time in the evenings around the campfire.

“And I wouldn’t want to get rusty as a hack. I’ll most likely return to journalism full part time once I resign in disgrace later this year.”

Good luck Bojo. Bag a whopper for us.

People who want to frack your backyard serious about protecting the environment

A woman already famous for aching to bring back fox hunting and fracking has confirmed her deep desire to protect the environment.

“I’m not sure which environment,” the woman said earlier, “probably the one over there, the one without any frackable gas under the fly tipping.”

She went on to counter accusations that the rebranding of her party from one who’d shoot the last polar bear if there was a pound of profit to be had, to a party more green than the Greens, is not a cynical, shallow reaction to the sudden awareness no one under seventy is ever going to vote for them again.

“Pretending to love the environment with long term, largely detail free assertions, is the best way to win back young people,” a friend of the woman said, “Just because I’m known for stabbing my friends in the back, doesn’t mean you can’t trust me on this.”

Young people are likely to be fooled by this pitch, forget the crushing of their dreams related to EU membership, home ownership, health care and affordable education and begin voting for the party these two represent again.

“This idea must have come from the special committee set up to work out how to get young people to vote Tory,” a young person told LCD Views, “presumably they decided that as a tiny minority of us went to Eton we must all be incredibly thick.”

Are you young, didn’t go to school with silver spoon kids and are convinced?

At least they may have to follow through with the Ivory trade ban now. Which is great.

Now, just settle back and wait for them to frack the f*ck out of your backyard.

Hunt celebrates bossing his boss with hospital bed closing ceremony

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Rhymes Hunt, was found in a celebratory mood this morning as he pulled the curtain closed on a hospital bed, in a ceremony celebrating keeping his job.

“I’m ecstatic!” He told the gathered NHS staff at a hospital in Brokenbed, Staffordshire, “I love nothing more than reducing the number of beds. It decreases costs for the NHS and increases costs in the vending machines in A&E departments.”

It’s believed the bed closing ceremony will be replicated across the country all week.

“It was actually really funny,” Jeremy told the staff, “that daft woman called me in to sack me and I told her ‘sit down Theresa, I’m not going anywhere, in fact, you’re giving me a fancier job title to boot’.”

It’s believed Mr Hunt had previously told Tory whips he would be happy with a demotion to the business portfolio.

“I told them sure, no problem, I want to spend more time with my family anyway.”

But it seems it was just a set up so he could boss the prime minister about and make her look ridiculous and weak.

“Gove, Boris and myself still hope the magic choosing hat will choose any one of us to be prime minister this year. But we have to keep undermining May until Boris can work out how to u turn on Brexit.”

The incumbent at business, a Mr Clarke, was said to be relieved at Hunt’s strategic cleverness, as he’s already operating at the top of his game in the less prominent ministry, and was terrified of public exposure.

Even though the bed closing ceremonies will go on all week, Hunt says the pressures of office preclude him from closing every bed personally.

“Sadly, I don’t have the time, but not to worry, I’ve outsourced the rest of the closures to a subsidiary of Virgin Health. I had to, otherwise they’d sue!”

May to create reshuffle minister to get it right next time

The Westminster bubble is in ecstasy today with the news that Theresa May, Prime Minister of somewhere, is to create a reshuffle minister so she can get it right next time.

“It’s momentous,” Brandon Lewis, recently promoted to stare angrily at social media told LCD, “she completely ballsed it up last time, but a new Ministry for Reshuffles will ensure she nails it next month.”

The new ministry, to be set up by Friday, will be a hotly contested ticket.

LCD asked Mr Lewis who was in the running for the top job?

“Michael Gove is foaming at the mouth for it,” Brandon replied, “to most people’s shock he’s only pretending to like animals and can’t wait to get out of the environment backwater.

But there’s a spare Johnson sibling floating around too, Crassius or Toberlone or something, no one has really heard of him. He might get it as part of May’s new blood strategy.”

But critics of the government have attacked the plan.

“Labour can’t support this additional expense at a time of national austerity. A billion pounds has been earmarked for this. That could be spent on planning for a jobs first Brexit.
I’m not even sure why we need a minister for truffles? It’s not like France is going to refuse to sell us magic mushrooms after March 2019.”

Other critics have pointed out that as this is already a government of clowns, you’d expect May to be able to juggle and shuffle already.

“I am personally for it,” LCD’s political watcher commented, “if this new minister can show Theresa how to actually sack someone, then the future of the U.K. is strong and stable.”

Legislation to establish the new ministry is expected to be tabled no later than Thursday, to meet the Friday deadline set by the prime minister.

In spite of their fierce criticism of the prime minister’s handling of the most recent reshuffle, Labour MPs can expect to be whipped in favour of the bill anyway.

“Reshuffle means reshuffle,” the Prime Minister will tell the house when she personally presents the bill, “and truffle means truffle.”

Country continues to scratch head over brain teaser ‘Who did we elect prime minister on June 8th, really?’

Reports from social media analysts, Social Media R Us, suggest that a country that used to be regarded as an intellectual powerhouse is continuing to puzzle over who it elected prime minister last year? Even though seven months have now passed.

“No one has a bloody clue,” SM R Us told LCD Views, “officially the prime minister is, in theory, the leader of the party asked to form a government, following the result of a national ballot, but that seems not to be the case this time.”

SM R Us goes on to elaborate that judging by comments on all social media platforms, there is consensus that the woman who appears to believe she is currently prime minister just isn’t, in the public’s perception.

“Rupert Murdoch is pretty high up there. Paul Dacre too. A lot of people coalesce around those two media moguls being the actual power behind the throne.”

Not Elizabeth II’s toilet you understand, they mean the desk chair in 10 Downing Street.

“A substantial minority suggest some mythical animal called a lame duck. Others lump for Donald Trump, but he’s not even prime minister of America, so that’s a stretch.”

In face of the skepticism the woman who believes she is the British prime minister is expected to keep claiming it, until someone can prove to her that she’s dreaming.

So who does SM R Us think is PM?

“It’s either Boris Johnson or Arlene Foster, depending on how you look at things. Or maybe even Jeremy Hunt, given how he bossed the PM yesterday.

It’s hard to say, we’ll probably need another election soon to find out.”