I’ve got my letter I’m on my way

Imagine getting a letter from the government telling you that you have one month to leave the country or you’ll be deported … when you’ve done nothing wrong and you’ve lived here for ages. It’s like some kind of Kafkaesque scenario. But it’s true – it’s happened to hundreds of EU nationals who are perfectly justified in being here – and staying here indefinitely. Luckily it was an administrative mistake – but … makes you wonder.

Still, keep on smiling and the world keeps smiling with you, eh?

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The massive impact of Chuck Sinatra

It’s time to review the last twelve or so months and assess the massive impact my songs have had on world politics and culture.

Don’t forget that you can get all the songs from the first six months of 2016 at https://chucksinatra.bandcamp.com/album/the-first-quarter

  1. Last year I celebrated the fact that the most well-known search engine on the planet had agreed to pay retrospective corporation tax of £130 million. Of course, the result was bittersweet – or rather, bittersweetheart – since the company in question should have paid much more. Breaking news, however, is that the taxpayer now appears to owe the company concerned £31 million. What in Buddha’s name is going on? http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/taxpayer-s-31m-debt-to-google-qvgqpxm96
  2. Back in February last year, I highlighted the muddled thinking behind the Government’s insistence on saving money while still spending £80,000 a year on vellum (calfskin) for its formal copies of legislation. Obviously someone was listening to my song, ‘cos the House of Lords decided that laws will henceforth be written on hard-wearing paper. A win!
  3. Also in February, my song “Never Fall in Love Overseas” highlighted how hard it is for UK citizens to get their foreign-born spouses over here to join them. Some UK spouses appealed against this but … they lost. Boo.
  4. In March, I wrote the song “Back to the Thirties” as a reflection of the similarities between the 1930s and our own era of populism. Since then the topic has been taken up by hordes of commentators across the national media. That’s ok, guys, but just credit me next time.
  5. Also in March, I wrote about the “Heathrow 13”, who staged a sit-in at Heathrow to protest against the expansion of the aviation industry. They were given a suspended jail sentence plus community service – see more at http://www.planestupid.com/blog?page=2 .
  6. Ze English hooligans again: earlier this week some idiot football fans displayed exactly why my song “Germans in our subconscious” is relevant.
  7. “Raif Badawi’s blog”: Raif was a blogger in Saudi Arabia who was arrested and sentenced to 1000 lashes. He is still in jail in Saudi Arabia – he’s been there for 4 years now. What more can you say? It’s a disgrace.
  8. In September I wrote about the 11 billion euros of taxes that the European Commission told Apple it owed the Irish Government. The Irish Government decided it didn’t want the money and has appealed against the Commission’s decision. Meanwhile, the deadline for payment has passed and the amount has increased to 13 billion euros. It seems that Apple has for many years been paying only 1% corporation tax. That doesn’t seem fair to me. Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner admitted that collecting the money was a “tricky thing to do” because the sum was so large.

Tom Paine’s big idea is back!

“The basic income is a big idea with a pedigree. It owes its roots to Thomas Paine, the 18th-century radical, who in 1797 proposed paying all 21-year-olds a £15 grant funded through a tax on landowners.” (Guardian newspaper, 19 February 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/19/basic-income-finland-low-wages-fewer-jobs)

Tom Paine was a renegade revolutionary whose works such as “Common Sense”, “The Rights of Man” and “The Age of Reason” supported republicanism and democracy. For more on Tom Paine, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Paine.

This brilliant song was written by Dorset songwiter Graham Moore and I first came across it via a recording by Dick Gaughey. I’ve stuck fairly closely to Dick’s version of the song.

Citizen of the World

Apparently, Diogenes the Cynic was the first person to claim global citizenship – he was the first cosmopolitan, and since then lots of people have jumped on the bandwagon. Until recently, it was a good thing to be a citizen of the world – it meant you cared about people outside your own circle of relations, friends, fellow nationals, and that you cared about issues like global justice and climate change. However, it is now officially a BAD THING to be a citizen of the world. It means that you lack an identity. But identity means being the same as someone else.

Enjoy the track.

 

Leather trousers

‘Tis the season of good cheer and good will, folks, so here is another tongue-in-cheek offering from the Chuckmeister.

You will have all heard about our Prime Minister’s choice of lounging, ‘at-home’ wear while being interviewed by the quality press – leather trousers. And why not? So they cost nearly a thousand quid – so what? A woman’s got a right to flaunt it, right? A man doesn’t. That’s double standards for you. Just kidding – I don’t care either way. I just find it amazing that anyone cares.

The story’s here: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/06/theresa-may-sidesteps-question-about-995-pound-leather-trousers

(I hope that gives me the right to use the Guardian’s photo – if not, I’ll remove it asap)

We don’t want your money, Apple

The EU has ordered the Irish government to take a bite out of Apple’s profits – 11 billion euros in taxes the ‘technology giant’ has managed to avoid paying …. somehow. Just forgot, obviously. You’d think the Irish would be overjoyed – how many pints of Guinness can you get for 11 billion euros? Or, more seriously, how many hospital beds would that pay for? Or hospitals?

No – apparently Ireland doesn’t want the money. From now on I’ll never lend an Irishman a penny.

 

Welcome to the Untied Kingdom

Now our glorious leaders have led us into a glorious future/past, it’s time to take back control of our streets. Sick of all those foreign entities hanging around everywhere, taking over our country? Kick out the stakeboards ….. (not skateboards – they’re ok as long as they’re not used in heavy traffic or to transport pianos).

 

 

Those who live around us…. are us, too, aren’t they?

Thos week’s song concerns slightly freaky Heathrow poster slogan (“Those who live around us are behind us”) in favour of the controversial third runway at Heathrow. A couple of guys altered (some call it “defaced”, others “creatively amended”) the slogan on a couple of posters. Big deal, I hear  you say, posters get graffiti-ised all the time, don’t they? Well, yes… but if you have the time and money to institute legal proceedings against the culprit/artist, then you might well do so. These guys, Joe and Larry, were found guilty of criminal damage – of course, they were protesting against the greater potential criminal damage which the third runway would cause…….