Can you drive an HGV or pick fruit?

Woodcut 1 (detail) from the Sixth Extinction Series, by Gordon Liddle

… and global warming: Blah, blah, blah!

Zombie Apocalypse, 3rd October 2021

By Gordon Liddle

‘I asked him what food was grown for. He answered, ‘Well, to eat of course!’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘it’s grown for profit.

Well, the Labour conference went well. The Starmeroids have gone home to prepare for government. Said no-one ever. The conference was weird, police everywhere, even in the conference hall, never seen before.

Bussed in goons and clappers for the leader’s speech, abuse for those not clapping, it was very North Korea. And the speech itself. ‘Me, me, me, I, I, I, me, me, did you know my dad was a toolmaker?’ And the killer, ‘the beauty of work, working families, work, work, work.’ Roughly translated it meant ‘not scroungers!’ The beauty of work, where have we heard it before, ‘Schönheit der Arbeit!’ We are almost at Arbeit Macht Frei! Remember the headlines that Corbyn was going to reopen the extermination camps?

85% of people hate their jobs

This Calvinistic proclamation of the work narrative when most people (surveyed recently at 85%) hate their jobs and work to survive, is completely against all the evidence that we need to work less to tackle global warming and environmental collapse. From birth we have been fed a lie that hard work pays, and this has been carried through our whole education system to the very highest levels of academia. Bullshit jobs abound and those who we feted as key workers during a pandemic, will be shat upon from a great height as soon as it is over.

To top off the week, Sir Rodney Woodentop then goes on to write the headliner article in this week’s Sun. A big fuck you to Liverpool

The whole direction is so New Labour and so last century it just proves Sir Rodney Woodentop is no political genius, rather a stooge to disaster Capitalism and an establishment instrument. His speech even sent my pet rock to sleep. It was so bad I’ve put a copy of it in the polytunnel to ripen the late tomatoes. The heavy police presence is a clue to his defence of the indefensible Cressida Dick, and an insult to those women murdered by serving police officers. To top off the week, he then goes on to write the headliner article in this week’s Sun. A big fuck you to Liverpool.

The image of conference was of course his wooden walk to the building completely blanking the young lady who wanted to know if he supported a Green New Deal. For God’s sake, all he had to do was stop and chat for a few seconds. Instead, he looked like a pre-programmed robot waddling across the concourse. Imagine Corbyn doing that? He would have been mobbed and engulfed in a selfie deluge. Huge error. He will never inspire. Dead man walking. We will never see the Forde Report.

No wonder Spaffer doesn’t like interviews and prefers the inside of a fridge.

            Today we have the Tories in conference, started with Spaffer on the Marr show. I spotted at least eight outright lies in the interview, with even Marr calling him out on them. No wonder he doesn’t like interviews and prefers the inside of a fridge. He blamed a supply problem for the petrol situation, then a labour problem, then the fact the economy was growing so fast we had run out of fuel. Wages were the metric we need to judge him on, not cancer or life expectancy, just as wages once again are dipping below inflation. I wonder what the new slogan will finish off the conference, ‘Build back better since we trashed it over the last decade?’ ‘Save Christmas! Buy Polish Turkeys!’ As each member is ushered into the hall, they will be handed a little piece of paper asking ‘can you drive an HGV, or pick fruit? Petrol tanker? I had to drive around four different builders’ merchants on Thursday to finally find on that had a bag of cement in stock. The yard lad laughingly joked he could supply me with a bag of drugs instead as it is cheaper and easier to get hold of. Timber prices are still rocketing as are most things, and shelves are getting emptier in the supermarkets. I can’t wait for Spaffer’s big speech; expect a word salad spattered with bad jokes and P G Woodhouse levels of buffoonery and bad hair. I can’t wait for our current crop of politicians are relegated to sad skidmarks of history.

Legal aid has all but disappeared, allowing only the rich and corporations to take a claim through a court

            Meanwhile the Tories assault on our paper-thin democracy carries on. Almost half the courts have been closed as the assault on the Judiciary is bringing the system to its knees. Legal aid has all but disappeared, allowing only the rich and corporations to take a claim through a court, and, at the same time, allowing them to stifle debate and smothering real journalism, particularly from the left viewpoint, with expensive libel and other spurious claims. Abused, sued and closed down, just as we desperately need new media outlets. The court system will be backlogged up for years, whilst at the same time the new Police Bill will bring heavy jail terms in for even the mildest of protest. Imagine if suffragettes had sat quietly, filled in a form & ‘gone through the proper process’ instead of heckling, and more?

The Tories will stifle debate and smother real journalism, particularly from the left viewpoint, with expensive libel and other spurious claims

            I had a conversation on Messenger with a friend the other day which underlined this.

P-         ‘You know, as individuals we are all pretty dumb, even the cleverest of us. What they are scared of is influence and collective action. So long as we stay isolated or obscure, it doesn’t matter what we say or think, so long as we don’t intend to do something destructive like anarchists, or close the M25.’

Me-     ‘Just reading a passage about pre-emptive policing, which has a lot about data mining and algorithms. Indeed, Facebook knows a lot more about us than MI5 but I suspect they all collaborate. We would be very easy to ‘switch off’ in times of emergency. It seems to be happening more and more. It was also very noticeable that, although Labour have been live-streaming the conference on YouTube, they ‘switched off’ the Palestine debate. Sir Rodney knows exactly what he is doing.’

Facebook knows a lot more about us than MI5

P-         ‘Yes. It really is problematic. Facebook is the modern telephone. Imagine a state that listens in to your conversations and then decides to remove the telephone service when it disagrees with what you say or how you say it. Liberals ask for us to be polite when we speak. What they really want to do is add noise to communication. And the use of AI means there is no sensitivity at all to irony or wit or double entendre. The machine is horrifyingly literal. The moderators aggressive, underpaid, badly educated, exploited denizens of the lower middle class. When we try to use Facebook as a distribution mechanism for news, comment and art then, unless we pay, we are flagged up as fake news and supressed by algorithms. The main aim of all the police interference in little activists’ groups is to keep them small and irrelevant. We are a left-wing cultural magazine etc. Why is it that there are none of them on the national scene that have any impact? that’s not a coincidence.

            Remember, Social Media is not your friend. In times of struggle or emergency it will be used against you or simply removed. I’ve lost count of the amount of Facebook bans I have had for the mildest of alleged ‘offences!’ There are lots of conversations, particularly amongst the left on Twitter at the moment about vaccine passports. Personally I think they would be a waste of time as you can carry the virus whether you have been vaxed or not, and many interlink with vaccine deniers and other conspiracy theorists, but these same people are highly visible on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms, platforms which know exactly what you are thinking or doing and have every piece of information that could possibly be available about you, even to what favourite food and what you wear. And what you think. Technological advance can lead to monsters.

Remember, Social Media is not your friend. In times of struggle or emergency it will be used against you or simply removed.

            Our son paid a visit from France last week and told us how comfortable his bed was as the watch type thing on his wrist told him how much sleep he’d had, how much was REM etc, his heart rate and breathing. I find it interesting, but also a little creepy. Imagine in a few years’ time, as the technology advances,

you had 4 hours deep sleep, 2 hours REM. You broke wind at 2.30 am. Your sleeping partner coughed and turned over at 3.00.am. You had a semi erotic dream at 4.00.am. Your sleeping partner also had a small erotic dream at 4.30am, not involving you!

It gets very personal. You can buy WiFi fridges, which monitor your milk and remind you, if you are out of butter! WiFi washing machines. Imagine, you get a message on your phone from the washing machine which tells you,

I tried to clean your underpants, but they were disgusting so I’ve ordered you seven new pair from Next. Oh, and by the way, that shirt was so loud I’ve sent it down the pipe!

            We seem to me accelerating along the technological path without any conversation whether or not it is desirable. We also get wingnuts who see it all as a mix of conspiracy theories, ‘5G brought us Covid,’ etc. Btw, I think 5G should have had a more intense research as there is ample circumstantial evidence of a possible influence on insect behaviour, a part of our ecosystems suffering terrible shocks. Although the 5G waves are the same frequency as your microwave oven, between 30 and 300 GHz, this bandwidth hasn’t been used for communication. Although these waves are very low energy, they will be particularly intense in urban environments, and area already subject to heavy insect loss. We shall see. Anyway, 5G definitely does not connect with the microchip placed in the vaccine by Bill Gates. That’s just dumb.

5G definitely does not connect with the microchip placed in the vaccine by Bill Gates. That’s just dumb.

Whilst everything is falling apart here in the UK, particularly in Engerland, the rest of the world is having glitches. The drought in Brazil has resulted in a huge harvest failure, which didn’t really make the news here, as climate change and ecological collapse rarely does. In Brazil the economic failures of Bolsonaro are coming home to roost and, in the upcoming elections next year, he looks either to be ousted or stay by a coup with the army. Either way things are looking bad and the rape of the rainforest continues.

Power shortages in China have left factories in the dark as, whilst they bounce back from the closedowns caused by the pandemic, their production uptick uses huge amounts of extra energy, from new supply not yet in place. Supply chains around the world are being strained as Capitalism gave a huge embrace of just in time supply. Slack in the system is seen as waste, so there is no built-in slack for an emergency or any deviation from the model. The cost of transporting containers has gone up 250% in the last year and supply shortages look set to be the norm as the US in particular goes on a federal backed spending boom.

as Capitalism gave a huge embrace of just in time supply. Slack in the system is seen as waste, so there is no built-in slack for an emergency or any deviation from the model.

As Biden struggles to meet his election commitments, there is always the shadow of Trump in the background, girding his base and making the GOP his alone. Unless he has a burger induced coronary in the next couple of years, and unless Biden is much better that I anticipate, he will be back in the saddle soon, and the risk of a civil war in the US will become very real. Capitalism is eating itself and the planet. And us. I had a conversation with a young man we know this week. I asked him what food was grown for. He answered, ‘well to eat of course!’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘it’s grown for profit.‘ Whilst food banks proliferate all over the country, we still throw almost half of excess food away. Unless you understand this basic truth, we cannot fight this system.

unless Biden is much better that I anticipate, Trump will be back in the saddle soon, and the risk of a civil war in the US will become very real.

            Meanwhile, against the backdrop of a preliminary meeting of the UN regarding the upcoming COP26 summit, a young woman gives the attending delegates both barrels. Blah, blah, blah. ‘You are all words, but your words mean nothing! Nothing is being done and things are getting worse!’ She is correct. Nothing is being done. We are slipping into the abyss. But don’t worry, Boris is levelling up! Keep washing your hands, this isn’t over yet.


Gordon Liddle, photo by Joan

Gordon Liddle was born 1956, Horden, County Durham, United Kingdom Married, lives and works at his Derbyshire studio. BA Hons, Sheffield Psalter Lane Art College Gordon has had numerous positions and travelled extensively through the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain, Africa and Europe, with particular interests in religion, democracy, politics, economics, MMT, and culture. The results of these studies form the basis of the series of works now under way. Numerous works bought by private collectors #Madonna Victorian Mood Bought by Andrew Cavendish the 11th Duke of Devonshire is owned by the Chatsworth Collection. ‘Celestial Teapot’ was exhibited at La Galleria Pall Mall in London for one week in 2013, 4 days at Art Basel in 2014. Currently working on Gaia, The Sixth Extinction Series, of paintings, woodcuts and hopefully etchings soon. Also writing two books and a book of poems and rants. Gordon is on Twitter @sutongirotcip and his website is pictorignotus.com