Corbyn Jeremiad

I’m hugely confused. Only lunchtime, Corbyn was bragging about how both the Labour party membership and the electorate were as opposed to bombing Daesh as he is. All the polls said so, apparently. And since the duty of MPs is to act on the wishes of the electorate, and party leaders to ensure they do, then it was Corbyn’s clear duty to call for a Whip and ensure that Cameron’s bill was defeated, or at least opposed with extreme prejudice. If he was that worried about the ickle kiddies, then obscure niceties of ‘parliamentary liberty’ should take second place – and everyone would understand.
A matter of minutes later he allowed all his enemies in the PLP a free vote, giving Cameron’s bill a green light, and betraying both the membership and the public. Is this part of a cunning tactical masterplan? Or is he just a bungling spineless fraud?
Either he merely surrendered (like a good pacifist) to the PLP, in which case he’s no Leader. Or he wasn’t as sure about his support as he let on, in which case he’s just another dodgy politician.
Party leaders exist to ensure that MP’s represent the electorate. If Corbyn was sure it supported him, he should have enabled its wishes in parliament. If he wasn’t, he’s been doing a lot of lying and is in deep trouble with his disciples – if they’re bright enough to know when they’ve been betrayed – and with the electorate. Not bad going for a politician barely in the job a month.
Along with other anaesthetics, Corbynistas keep chanting ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. But it was fired in one, the same’s true of Corbyn.

Britain. The Spoilt Brat of Europe

‘Refugees’ not ‘Migrants’

‘Migrants’ are people who turn up at Heathrow and Gatwick with papers, suitcases and letters from their cousin in Leamington Spa. These are refugees. They are not ‘migrating’ they are desperately seeking refuge from war and chaos. ‘Migrants’ poisons two groups with one abuse of language. Sanitising the deperate plight of one, and criminalising the legal aspirations of the other. The Xenophobe’s dream-word.
‘Migrant’ is tabloid terminology designed to muddy the waters. Which is useful since the tabloid lie of Benefit Britain is clearly a major factor in creating the refugee crisis at Calais in the first place. Their campaign to sell this lie was bought by desperate refugees across the world, directing them here on a fool’s errand – and giving the tabloids another tribe of witches to burn at the stake. Which in return boosts sales of their hate sheets.
A clear case of how the tabloid economy manipulates reality in its own interest.

Send Them Back

Seems to be the prevalent attitude of the British government and people. Send them back to where? To camps in the hellholes they fled? Where they can be concentrated for the convenience of the tyrants they were trying to escape? After all, they’re running away, so they must be criminals, right? Or undesirables or troublemakers of some kind. Why else would someone be chasing them out of the country? And by chasing them back, we’d merely be upholding the laws of places like Eritraea and Syria, right? Upholding the law is a moral position, obviously. So it is obviously more ‘moral’ to ship refugees off to death camps than give them sanctuary and tempt more people to break the law by seeking refuge from war. This is essentially David Cameron’s line. He is trying to save their souls.
‘Smug’ is the one word which most completely describes the British attitude to the life and death struggle of the refugees. Cowering behind the Nanny English channel, dumping the responsibilities for its wars on the poorest countries in Europe. It’s as if 3 decades of Thatcherism has completely purged the concept of Sharing from British culture. Germany is Europe’s moral leader now.

Just The Start

There is a widespread delusion that this is just another ‘humanitarian emergency’. And that after a bit of media time and UN tinkering it will go away, like the Vietnamese Boat People. A failure to grasp that this time the global country-machine is bust. The validity and integrity of many nations states has been completely destroyed by war, economic devastation, corporate manipulation, cheap airfares, and instant mass global communications. And a multiple mass exodus on this scale is the result, and there is no reason to assume it will stop of its own accord or in the foreseeable future.
The petty bureaucratic term ‘migration’ completely masks the scale, horror, and nature of what’s happening, which is completely un-precedented. The global transcontinental exile of entire populations. A mass exodus of refugees on a scale and range unseen in a thousand years. Not even the devastation of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria displaced as many people as widely.  The movements of the past were limited by the brevity of the disasters driving them. The current military and economic disasters have no foreseeable end – and neither do the climactic ones on their way.

Kids Company – Another Nail In Charity

The Kids Company Affair graphically illustrates the failure of Dickensian, charity-driven welfare.
Camila Batmanghelidjh never intended to run a charity, the point of Kids Company was that it provided a model for effective child welfare which the state should adopt. Much as the National Health Service was based on the model of the Tredegar Medical Aid Society.

Charity stinks of charity. If society creates destitute children, its taxpayers should be prepared to pick up the bill, as in civilised societies. Unfortunately, Britain is currently an irresponsible, sulky, childish, child-hating culture, with the motto ‘Stuff You Jack, I’m All Right’. This is merely the latest condemnation of the charity culture which now sees the obscene spectacle of organisations competing with each other, and spending vast amounts of money on advertising campaigns.
Kids Company ran on a shoestring. It was refused a reserve fund by successive governments. When the private funder who had promised to match the government’s £3M reneged in the wake of allegations os sexual abuse, it had no option but to close. The truth is that it has been shamelessly exploited by David Cameron to gain political credibility, but its logical conclusion, that Britain hates its young people, is too near the knuckle for this government especially, who are doing more than any to smother the lives of the young under a massive burden of debt.
It is surely now time for a National Youth Service, to guard the interests of the young from the property speculators and other Gradgrinds trying to domesticate them from birth.

There are a smattering of organisations now which understand the genuine needs of young minds and bodies, and which are fighting a losing battle against the rod-wielding gutter press, determined as ever that pain should always be available as a means of controlling youth. But they can never hope to succeed while they rely on random patronage, and for as long as their methods and ideas remain unmonitored and largely untested.

Human Missile Crisis

The crisis at Calais and the mass exodus from unihabitable countries is something we should have thought about when we were invading and plundering them 200 years ago, creating the wealth we enjoy, and which they now want a slice of – having paid for it in the past. What’s wrong with that? At least they don’t use machine guns against spears.
Wars and economic disaster drove these people here. We are as responsible for granting them asylum as we are for creating the chaos they are fleeing. However much that may be.
The fact is that any force hostile to Britain has a better chance of destroying it by crippling its trade than by killing its people with bombs. And by driving millions of people away from their homes, they are reversing the Human-shield tactic and using innocent, desperate people as long-range guided missiles, targeting ports and motorways, as well as social-services and the patience of the intolerant. Refugees are a weapon in the terrorists’ arsenal as well as a direct result of our interventions, inactions, and economic exploitation. And refugees are what they are. Not ‘migrants’, as the media insists on defining them. This is yet another abuse of language and dose of poison to thought. (See ‘Radical’.). People seeking refuge from global chaos are not ‘migrants’, they are refugees. The clue is in the word. Referring to them as ‘migrants’ hugely devalues their predicament, sanitising it for public consumption and neutralising as much sympathy as possible. And also tends to demonise actual migrants, making the entire ‘immigration debate’ even more toxic than it already is, and further refines the Newspeak Dictionary.
The solution is to stop the wars and make those countries habitable again. Which does not mean imposing yet another tyrant to treat the people like cattle. That is one reason they leave. One reason they come to Britain is the tabloid myth that our benefits system is free to all, and hands out homes to whoever asks for one, or two. A myth created by the same tabloids that are now demanding they should be treated like animals, as they were treated in the countries they are fleeing. Or logically, the tabloid demand is that Britain’s social services should be devastated in order to make them less atttractive to aliens.
The main lesson is that if you unleash global anarchy with war and corporate exploitation, this is the result. These refugees are the children of Shock and Awe. Britain’s responsibility in that disaster cannot be denied, unlike Germany, who last year processed over 5 times more asylum applications than Britain. So why is Germany now assuming more responsibility for the consequences of our war than we are?
Britain’s refusal to do its’ share in handling this crisis is a disgrace. Again it is the sploit brat of Europe, cowardly and sulky, hiding behind the skirts of the English Channel. Dumping all the reponsibility onto Italy, Greece, and Turkey, presumably. Let them solve the problem. The further away our wars are, the less we have to clean up the mess. One definition of Imperialism.

 

Election Tips 2015

Nicola Sturgeon, like her predecessor, is the best politician in Britain because she can be the most honest. Unlike the rest, she is not crippled by equivocation and the sense that everything she says is a hostage to fortune. And if Miliband can give a nod and a wink to the long-embarrassed progressive Labour sympathisers that she might be what Clegg was supposed to be to Cameron, then he might be able to win the election
If Labour can further splice ‘regional self-determination’ into a wider progressive agenda, some sort of merger with the SNP is not inconcievable, maintaining British unity and local independence within a federal system. Stranger things have happened.
If Labour and SNP were the pioneers of this new contract, the party which emerged from the two would be a genuine progressive political force, something a lot of people have long been waiting for. With Surgin’ Sturgeon as its progressive Anti-Thatcher.

At the moment there’s a lot of very wild wishful thinking based entirely on the polls. Never underestimate the inertia of the British electorate, or their duplicity to pollsters. As in Major Vs Kinnock 1992. Unless the Mili-Sturgeon effect works, the soft underbelly of British opinion will flab on with the devil it knows.

The bookies, where people put their money where their mouth is, are probably a better indicator of the result, with a clear tory win on the cards.

S.N.P. R.I.P.

The most interesting question from last night’s referendum is, why did the SNP heartland vote NO?
Why did the areas which were Salmonds best hope the first to betray him? Only the trendy metro-festival areas votes YES, and mainly it seems on the promise of the People’s Republic of Scotland. So either the SNP voters have been kidding us all along, and didn’t really mean it at the ballot blox. Or, being traditional tories at heart,they were terrified by the visions of Glastonbury on Clyde filling their Tv screens. By the promise of realistic taxes and a Scotland dedication to the welfare state.
Or the SNP were always just a gesture, an illusion courtesy of general political apathy. Elected on miserable turnouts, they were allowed to have their fun as long as they never achieved their stated purpose. And now they have no purpose, which leaves Salmond having to perform some nimble footwark if he doesn’t want his traditional vote reverting to their traditional party, the tories.
As a credible political project, Scottish Nationalism just disappeared in a dour puff of pragmatism.
The SNP could carry on chasing tartan rainbows for another 20 years. But far more likely is some kind of split, allowing tories and labour back into some seats. Salmond’s greatest achievements may still be ahead, but one of them won’t be Scottish independence. And he has nobody to blame but his own not so braveheartland, which bottled out en-masse. When the time came, these canny refugee tories who were the SNP simply didn’t fancy a People’s Republic Of Scotland, as touted by the Metro-Jock elite.
A nasty suspicious person might conclude that the entire independence campaign was just a publicity campaign in disguise for Scotland, a nasty suspicious person might. Lasting as long as it did, and reaching as many networks as it has, it surely has to be worth what, 2 Olympic Gameses in PR terms? And without much of the cost.
So whatever the result, the Scottish economy will benefit, or there’s no justice. And since other forms of prestige projects are last decade and costly, maybe campaigns to Realign the Political Demographic is the way forward for aspiring countries out to pull some free advertising. It’s just another example of TV becoming reality.  Strictly Independent. Big Britain Eviction Night. In 20 years elections may well be indistinguishable from today’s TV competitions.

Paul Dacre says Love Britain – Love Capitalism

As many have pointed out since the absurd article by Geoffrey Levy on Saturday, the Daily Mail  loved Britain so much in the 1930’s it backed the Blackshirts who were trying to destroy it. And therefore is in no position to defame Ralph Miliband, who was a patriot because he hated what his adopted country had been reduced to. This is not the 1930’s, yet it is certainly reasonable to argue that Paul Dacre hates Britain just as much as the Blackshirts did, and for much the same reasons.

For a supposedly educated man he is incredibly ignorant. The news for him is that by the end of 1945, after decades of capitalist utopia, EVERYONE ‘hated’ what Britain had become, and wanted to make it better. They did, and Dacre overtly hates what they created, the Britain most of us love, which tolerates dissent without branding it as Treason. Which accepts that capitalism is a rat-race with an inevitable pool of people who have to be provided for.

Churchill Hated Britain

In hating this freedom and tolerance, Dacre exactly echoes the policies of the Blackshirts his predecessors supported without reservation. The fortune of Mail-owner Lord Rothermere is built on undermining every aspect of native British identity, and defaming its most loved institutions. The socialist NHS being the prime target, with the BBC a close second. It is also built on paying as little tax as possible to the country he ostensibly ‘loves’. Some patriot.
Churchill also hated the NHS, just as Ralph Miliband hated corporate capitalism and all its devastation. According to Daily Mail logic, that means Churchill hated Britain. Which not even many socialists would endorse. Dacre is clearly stating that Dissent is Unpatriotic. Love Britain – Love Capitalism. This is much more sinister than just one of its routine smear-campaigns and lies.

Ralph Miliband merely hated the devastation and injustice of capitalism, as most of his generation did, and as most still do, when they get the chance. Dacre hates everything which saves us from capitalism, and would prefer we were another US poodle, stripped of all economic or political autonomy, and with a democracy completely at the mercy of profit.
As well as exposing the true Political Correctness of the Daily Mail, this might well give Leveson extra muscle. If the Mail can do this to the leader of the opposition, think what it can do to you.

All the Fun of the Funeral

It wasn’t all weeping and wailing. Lots of people had a lovely day, for all sorts of reasons.

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Bedroom Tax Cash Machine

'Not Guilty, your Honour.'Trafalgar Square 30/3/2013

‘Not Guilty, your Honour.’
Trafalgar Square 30/3/2013

A Pig for Every Chicken

One fact shines through the fog of statistics. The Bedroom Tax amounts to approximately £15 for 1 bedroom per week, for people already on subsistence levels. Meanwhile, the difference in rent between a 1 and 2 bedroom council flat in an average inner-city London borough is often much less than £10. Then how is it justifiable to charge over £15 on a room the landlord says is only worth £5? I can’t see how it is even legal, let alone moral. Claimants are being clearly robbed to fund George Osborne’s new budget aid-package for property speculators. A ‘subsidy’ trickling up from the poorest to the richest, as usual.

This is the modern equivalent of seizing a cow for every goat the peasant owns. Not even the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham was stupid enough to impose a tax rate of over 100%. Many are already totting up their meagre savings, and comparing the rates of their local loansharks.

The Real Vandals

It’s not as if the Tax can ever work or save money, even if it doesn’t spark a new season of riots. But the nastiest revelation of all is into the minds of those who created it. They obviously believe that tenants have no emotional attachment to their homes since they are expected to abandon them as a matter of course, like grateful cattle. It follows that social housing can never be a ‘proper’ home, because it is not owned by the inhabitant. Victims of the Bedroom Tax are to be therefore cleansed away where they will do least harm to property values – and most harm to community spirit.
In fact, far from the media stereotype, many of those targeted were responsible for salvaging entire run-down inner-city areas in the 80’s and 90’s. And were encouraged by their councils with offers of an extra bedroom allocation in hard-to-let blocks. They created the newly desirable postcodes from which they are now to be exiled. In the supreme twist of spite, they are now being punished for their dedication to communities which are about to be destroyed. By rights, they should present a hefty bill for their lifetime of service.

Every Man Is An Island

The big lesson of the cuts is that this economy runs on hate. If we don’t hate each other, we won’t fight for scarce jobs and homes, and might start working together instead to create them. So the problem is how to convince private tenants and council tenants that they aren’t rivals, when the artificial housing shortage created by the government and banks is designed to create conflict.

Osborne believes that people who live in social housing are lazy and worthless because they own no property, and that social housing is a charity or temporary stop-gap to be avoided at all costs – not the vital social infrastructure it truly is, and backbone of long-term community values. That is the message being pumped into every school-leaver – the same mad dogma which caused this Depression. Osborne thinks it can still be our saviour. Only those feeling the pain can shake his faith.

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Leveson Law – The End of Civilisation – Again

The gutter press front pages look like Britain just surrendered to an invading Iranian army on donkeys.  A law to prevent a Royal Chartered being tampered with? A democratically instituted body only amendable with 2/3 majority of the democratically elected members of parliament? It’s Democracy Gone Mad!  The End of Civilisation. Again. Where have we heard that before?
Every advance from the abolition of slavery through to the invention of the internet has been greeted with howls of reactionary doom, for dire forecasts of apocalyptic proportions. Mass adult literacy was seen as a necessary evil at best, and a death sentence for the status quo at worst. Which of course it was.
By keeping Rupert Murdoch’s sticky fingers off the charter, and bolting the back door of number 10 to other press barons, this tweak in the existing legislation will have no effect on what is laughable called ‘freedom of the press’, meaning the freedom of the monopoly media machines to make as much money as possible regardless of the suffering and injustice caused. It will only effect those companies ruthless enough to put profit before anything in their greed to get the story. And those ready and able to use intimidation to control the political process, as the corporate media have done for decades. More stringent and intrusive measures in other countries have not had any significant effect. British newspapers do not have to produce a special Irish edition.
The Sun’s political editor Trevor Kavanagh was on top form today talking about the ‘flourishing yet declining British press’ . That clarity of thought completely sums up the reactionary hysteria over the curbing of the power of billionaires. That does represent a step back for them, wherever it happens.

All legislation and shifts in morality represent a shift in the value of something, in this case, the value of personal information and dignity, which the print-age dinosaurs liked to think they owned, while also knowing they could suppress all dissent with (or without) the law. Now the law has for once excluded them from backstairs power, which is the real reason they hate it so much, and why David Cameron has lost the battle, and will have to walk the carpet of shame. Downing Street doublethinkers will be working furiously to turn this into a victory, but it’s transparent swank. Which complements the bluster from Wapping. The sound of reactionary calling to reactionary across the Strawman marshes.

The main threat to democrac yand freedom of speech in the last 30 years has come from the politicised corporate press itself. News International in particular, but not alone, who have been guilty of perverting the course of history. The 1980′s, as we are now discovering, was a very different place from the one portrayed in the Sun, and voted on during that delusion. The system is corrupt and needs rescuing from itself, if the press are to retain any credibility. If people are to believe anything it publishes.
This parochial bye-law merely keeps their sticky mitts off the Royal Charter. In ten years time reactionaries of all kinds will still be able to publish their hysteria. Opposition to legal protection is merely opposition to the eradication of another unelected privilege, the one which would give a tory government in cahoots with Rupert Murdoch free rein to cripple the Charter over tea and sandwiches.

Investigative journalism is expensive, and scandal pays the bills. And advertising has never been much cheaper. So the phones have to be hacked, the tabloid mud has to be thrown, and the victims paraded, and bullied into silence. And until we are not all rivals , and the suffering of others therefore no longer gratifies us, the gutter press will have a market, and foster it. Until then, corporations have to be controlled. The TV industry is, and now that newspapers are also de-facto TV stations, it’s their turn.

The tabloid trade in phone-hacked toxic information is the exact journalistic parallel to the trade in toxic debt by bank traders in the years leading up to the 2008 crash. The motives and the commercial reality were the same, ‘If you don’t do it, you lose your job.’
The banks couldn’t regulate themselves, with disastrous consequences for all, and neither can the press. The market can never be trusted to nurture civilisation, not least because it has to make us fight each other and despise the weak, as every tabloid slag-sheet demonstrates.

Their days of perverting history and degrading their readership may not be completely over, but at least they will now have to pay a reasonable price for it, and won’t be able to bully people into silence quite as easily. The result will be healthier more robust journalism, purged of toxic information dealing.
Meanwhile, everyone is still waiting for one concrete example of a valid story which might be crushed under the new tyranny.

Armageddon – Day 2

The media barons have faces like slapped bullies. They are refusing to sign up for Leveson. For the time being.
It’s quite simple. Murdoch and their buddies have had some of their backstairs power removed. And are now sulking. If they can’t be allowed to break the rules they will take their ball home.
In all yesterday’s insane, double-thinking, Orwell-abusing Sun there was not one concrete or hypothetical example of a single story which would be blocked or hampered by Leveson – because they were too ashamed to name the only kind they could think of. Namely the kind they have been finally brought to book over – and many which the PCC ignored. Those stories which involved gratuitous abuse of the rights to peace, privacy and respect of those unable to afford to take on the News International legal team, which includes those with Hollywood bucks on the hip. But then, The Guardian’s Simon Jenkins couldn’t come up with anything better than the Scientologists use of the libel laws, which is not Leveson.

Meanwhile, so much for the myth that laws as such curtail press freedom.

Press Freedom Index

According to international journalists, the press in Ireland (editors chained in dank dungeons) is freer than ours.

“The Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of countries compiled and published by Reporters Without Borders based upon the organization’s assessment of the countries’ press freedom records in the previous year. It reflects the degree of freedom that journalists, news organizations, and netizens enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom”.