With friends like Trump and Farage

TheCritique Archives

by Martin Odoni

As we all know, Nigel Farage, ex-leader of the UK Independence Party, and Donald Trump, President of the United States (seriously?! Boy, did I get that prediction wrong…), are firm friends. They are both part of the ‘Alt-Right’ – which is of course a politically correct nametag for “Nazis-who-grail-against-political-correctness” – they are both anti-‘Big-Government –  which is of course a politically correct nametag for “rich-people-who-don’t-like-the-Government-making-them-give-money-to-anybody-else” – and they are both deceitfully xenophobic.

This last week, they have both tried to use Sweden as a platform for spreading paranoia about refugees from the Middle East. Trump initiated it in a typically risible fashion at a rally last weekend, and made himself look even more stupid than usual in the process. He invoked an ill-defined ‘atrocity‘ that he thought had occurred in ABBA’s homeland the previous evening. Of course, there was no such…

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It’s not #ClimateChange it’s everything change. By Margaret Atwood #Auspol


Oil! Our secret god, our secret sharer, our magic wand, fulfiller of our every desire, our co-conspirator, the sine qua non in all we do! Can’t live with it, can’t — right at this moment — live without it. But it’s on everyone’s mind.Back in 2009, as fracking and the mining of the oil/tar sands in Alberta ramped up — when people were talking about Peak Oil and the dangers of the supply giving out — I wrote a piece for the German newspaper Die Zeit. In English it was called “The Future Without Oil.” It went like this:

The future without oil! For optimists, a pleasant picture: let’s call it Picture One. Shall we imagine it?
There we are, driving around in our cars fueled by hydrogen, or methane, or solar, or something else we have yet to dream up. Goods from afar come to us by solar-and-sail-driven ship — the sails computerized to catch every whiff of air — or…

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Some Things I Made

For the past couple of months (June and July), I have participated in the Pinterest Swap on Craftster, and have made some great things, some of which I will definitely re-make for myself!

For the June Swap, I made my swap partner a leather wrap bracelet with smoky quartz bicone beads.

And also, I made my first crochet project – a child’s crochet Knight’s helmet, which was a lot of fun to make! You can find the pattern on Ravelry. Yes Sir, I can crochet!


For the July Swap, I made some items out of denim – a pair of dark denim jeans I found in the Charity Shop.

I made a denim flower necklace from an old, broken Primark necklace (which went well with the denim), which I wrapped in navy organza ribbon, and sewed the flowers onto it. I so want one myself!

Also, I made some star Christmas tree ornaments – pieces of denim cut into star shapes, sewn together (to make double sided) with loops of nettle yarn to hang them to the tree.

Then I made a lined denim tote bag – the first bag I’ve ever made. My sewing machine didn’t want to behave itself that day, but it worked out quite well in the end.

denim stuff

denim bag

Also last month I made a papier mache cast of my glass display head (that’s what my swap partner wanted) and a feather hair band, which I forgot to photograph when I sent them off. These were quite messy projects (I got covered with superglue making the hair band, and covered the dining table with PVA and paint making the head).

I’m proud of myself for making all of these projects – I can knit, crochet, sew, make jewellery and do papier mache (and probably a lot more besides). I may however take a break from swapping this month. Alas, the need to pay the rent outweighs the need to be creative 😦

Atos and my Incapacity Benefit

Just a quick post to say that I returned my ATOS form last week (the deadline was on 6th March).  I made myself out to be a complete nut job, which Stewart agreed with.  He said I should have referred to myself in the third person!  However, filling in the form, describing my problems, etc., was a difficult and tiring endeavour, and it has put me into a depression trough again 😦  I wonder how quickly they’ll send me an appointment for my interview.  While they are declaring the severely disabled fit for work and taking away their benefits, I wonder what will happen to me?