Pacifism = ‘Might Is Right’

Sorry to have to do the media’s homework for it, but Corbyn’s voting record shows that he did not even approve the UN liberation of Kuwait. So like all fundamentalist pacifists he is quite happy with the doctrine that Might is Right, and that the most powerful force should be allowed to overcome any neighbours it requires for its purposes. And that we should just ‘mind our own business’. He is quite happy to give a green light to superpower domination of the world. Only in this case, one of the superpowers would be Daesh.

Corbyn seems to think that he is ‘learning from the past’, when in fact he is repeating the classic common error of mistaking the current war for the last one. He seems to believe that Daesh are a sovereign state like Iraq (but not Kuwait) which the dastardly West seeks to overthrow for its own nefarious purposes. It is nothing of the kind. And while it has to be defeated economically and spiritually, it also has to be defeated militarily. It is not its religion or ‘ideology’ which gave it the auru of invincibility so irresistible to the alienated of all ages and religions, but its easy military conquests. When they end, potential Daeshniks from the alienated and hopeless classes will doubt their messiah. And so in fact, airstrikes would ultimately help to make Paris and London safer. Despite the fact that in the next day or so, Daesh will almost certainly announce that should Britain join the air-campaign against them, they will retaliate against London, or a British target.
When the Daesh fantasy of its own banana republic is in the dust, its disease will still be at large, and it will adapt to do its worst. But it will do that anyway. Allowing millions to be imprisoned in a vast insane concentration camp is not the answer to europe’s security problems.
Europe will be even safer when trillions are spent on the devastated countries, as should have happened in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya (and the Soviet Bloc). Which would be the economic part of the solution. And even safer when the ultimate root-cause of ultra-alienation and fanaticism is eradicated, and the spiritual solution implemented. But nobody much, especially Corbyn, is prepared yet to even think about eradicating Consumerism. If he was, he might get a real following, not just the desperate and obedient.

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Seeing Red Cycling Sanity

Plans to try out in London the Parisian scheme which allows cyclists to turn left at red traffic lights has been backed by the Government. Sanity at last. How many of the cyclists killed in London this year were jumping red lights? (none) Most are killed while being passed by speeding traffic, especially at left turns. Time to explode the myth that queue-jumping is either dangerous or irresponsible. Even if it isn’t very British.
The fact that crossing a red is a decision means it is the safest time. Only those who accidentally jump red lights are in danger. Which is very few, according to the accident statistics.
If drivers did not behave like Formula 1 boy-racers on a starting grid, cyclists would be safe at green. Until then, the safest time to cross is when traffic is stationary, or non existent. When the lights are red and the junction box clear, in other words.
It has also been pointed out today that the law gives right of way at a junction to pedestrians, which is not widely known. And that lights are there to control vehicles because they are the main danger. The moral argument is obvious and overwhelming. That cyclists are no more protected than a pedestrian and should therefore have right of way over vehicles.
As noted previously.

Cycling Misconceptions
2012

Corbymania – The Smell of Polonium

The Jeremy Corbyn campaign has reached a decisive point. Putin’s regime has endorsed him as their preferred candidate for Labour leader. How Corbyn deals with this kiss of death will have a critical influence on his campaign.
Cosying up to Putin would be fatal. He could talk his way out of his statements on Hamas and other organisations on humanitarian grounds, but Putin is different. It is vital that Corbyn now realises it is possible to reject both corporate machines; The Kremlin Tweedledum and the Pentagon Tweedledee he has been fighting for decades. In fact, it is obligatory for a genuine progressive to do so.
Kissing the arse of the Butcher of Groszny and Minister for Homophobia will lose Corbyn countless votes. If he is to nurture the hope he has come to represent, and form the broad progressive alliance needed to gain power, Corbyn has to radically change a decrepit British political culture in four years. This does not mean playing Moscow off against Washington and ending up as the messenger boy.

TTIP Caliphate

While British Islamophobes are still paranoid about ‘Sharia Law’, and halal butchery daring to cock a snook at local parish bi-laws in parts of Bradford, they don’t seem to worry about a genuine threat to Civilisation being hatched by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
As well as pillaging vital social institutions like the NHS, it also intends to make business virtually immune from legal action through the ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ (ISDS). Which looks suspiciously like death of national sovereignty and democratic-credibility. The corporate takeover of the state would seem to be complete.
In this charming kangaroo court disobedient countries who have presumed to put the welfare of their people before the profit of the corporations will be made to answer before a self-selected judge and jury. No election manifesto post ISDS will be able to attempt to curtail the excesses of big business. Free politics will be shackled to the profit motive for the foreseeable future.
http://www.stop_ttip.org

STOP.TTIP.ORG

Labour Let the Lies Live

The real question about this election is why was there so much hysterical Wishful Thinking based on opinion polls.
If the Straw-clutchers inside and outside the Labour party machine had spent more time overturning the lies that Labour brought the world economy to its knees, and that they ‘overspent’ on repairing a welfare system which was rotten from a decade of tory neglect, instead of trying to look like tories, they might have saved some face, in spite of Bumbling Miliband, the cartoonists’ friend. If they had confronted the bogeyman of ‘austerity’ with some backbone…
Did anyone, in their wildest dreams see Miliband waltzing into no. 10? Labour supporters will remember how they felt the day he was announced leader. They knew then that the game was up and the only hope was in fluke or disaster. The working electorate could not imagine Miliband as their boss. They could imagine forever having to tell him to zip his fly up and having to clear poptarts from his DVD drive. And now he’s dead. But so is Farage. And all over the country a lot of people are going to get very angry about housing. There will be more teargas on the streets – as in Brixton 2 weeks ago, and more direct action, unlike 2011. More like 1990.
The Labour brand might still be secure, but has it been betrayed once too often?

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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Spectator-Sport Religion

The Spectator’s Fraser Nelson tastefully chooses Easter to launch a political attack against the BBC in the name of religion. Tasteful, if obviously rushed and off-the shelf.

The more I find out about the history and practice of religion, partly through the BBC’s coverage, the more irreligious I become. There is no ‘Blind-spot’. The channel which produced the first British mainstream documentary on the history of Islam has nothing to be ashamed of. Not even its Olympic commentators failing to explain what a prayer is, which particularly annoyed Fraser Nelson –  apparently, American commentators had to.
What the reactionaries of the Spectator can’t understand is that Progress produces progressive, tolerant  Thoughts for the Day. And there is nothing they can do about it except rail impotently like the insane Lear at the world’s disobedience, while continuing their constant attempt to peddle selfishness as a spiritual virtue.
The saddest part about the protest is not its blatant advertising for Sky, or even its pathetically limp tone, but that like modern religion itself, it simply does not ring true as an expression of faith. It is just another desperate assertion of identity by a species which knows it is facing extinction, an attention-seeking exhibition psychologically identical to fundamentalist Jihad, another reactionary protest-too-much. Like all professions of belief in the incredible. ‘Which go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire’, as it says in the play.
The truth about both religion and Fraser Nelson come out eventually when confronted with Thought For The Day, when religious figureheads go off-script for a few minutes. The problem is simply a lack of  enough good old-time reactionary religion on the BBC. What Nelson really wants is religious political ‘balance’  Fox News style, presumably.

The speakers are described as being ‘from across the world’s major faiths,’ but almost always from the political left. Their ‘thought’ can often be summed up as: ‘Jesus was left-wing, too.’

For someone claiming to represent religion, Nelson is sadly lacking in scriptural knowledge. Especially concerning the Sermon on the Mount, surely Christ’s definitive political statement. His attitude to private property, for instance, is perfectly clear.

‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matthew 6:29)

And is clarified even further by Orwell, a master of clarification often used as a smokescreen by the Spectator:

“It could be claimed, for example, that the most important part of Marx’s theory is contained in the saying:
‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’
But before Marx developed it, what force had that saying had? Who had paid any attention to it? Who had inferred from it — what it certainly implies — that laws, religions and moral codes are all a superstructure built over existing property relations? It was Christ, according to the Gospel, who uttered the text, but it was Marx who brought it to life. And ever since he did so the motives of politicians, priests, judges, moralists and millionaires have been under the deepest suspicion — which, of course, is why they hate him so much.” Tribune 1944

The thought of Christ and Marx working together to drive history away from selfishness, property-worship and competition and towards co-operation and community must be a constant terror for the reactionaries of the Spectator. So much so that they choose the holiest time of the Christian calendar to launch a political attack. Their political appetite side-lining their spiritual needs. But not their needs for a nice Easter break in the West Country, in Nelson’s case. I trust he will enjoy the intense spiritual rebirth every true Christian experiences at Easter, in whatever church he chooses. But I doubt it. Such a thing probably hasn’t happened in Britain for 100 years. Other more desperate societies may be different, but even in the most feudal degradation of the extreme past, religious belief was always a matter of constant enforcement and mutual doubt, as the existence of ancient Eygptian grave-robbers and the means used to deter them both prove. If grave-goods really did travel with the departed, there wouldn’t be anything to rob. Both poachers and gamekeepers knew the truth. Five thousand years later, blinded by its obedient middle-class intellectualism, The Spectator is still trying to catch up with what every thief and pope has know since before Moses.