Sunday, 27 April 2014

Desperate men do desperate things

It will be interesting to see who blames who if the whole referendum story in Scotland doesn't turn out quite how the masters of the universe predicted it would go.
Already they are blaming dreary Darling for making a complete arse of the 'No' campaign, and the Tories are getting ready to blame Labour for their failure to keep the Union intact and labour are blaming the Tories for only being half hearted in support of the status quo.
It could have all have been so different, and why didn't they see the possibilities coming down the road?

I believe passionately that an independent Scotland is the best solution, both in terms of the people of Scotland but also in the best interests of the working people of England too.
An independent Scotland might give the ;lacklustre labour movement in England some cojones.It might convince them that the only way is not Essex and that a progressive settlement is possible.

If Scotland can do without the obscenity that is Trident, why England could do without it too, and the £25 billion a throw on a useless submarine,commanded by the USA anyway,might be shown up as the waste it is so obviously.
One consequence of Scotland getting shot (sorry for the phrase) of Trident would be the thorny issue of where to relocate the bloody thing.
Fine when its in a berth up near Glasgow, a little more uncomfortable however if it had to be parked somewhere near the home counties-in Hampshire for instance!
If the nimbys don't like a few council houses or a downmarket supermarket on their doorstep-imagine their reaction to a fully armed nuclear sub skulking at the end of their waterfront?
That would certainly bugger up the property prices!

The Unionist parties have thrown everything at Scotland, including the cabinet,the shadow cabinet, the Bank of England,a herd of Generals,Admirals and Air Marshals, as well as bankers,oil companies and even Favid Bowie.
But those stubborn Celts appear to be ignoring the plaintive howls from the South and even being love bombed by Cameron and Miliband.  You'll know when things are getting desperate when they send Clegg up on a sleeper to Aberdeen.
What I find strange is why the Tories are bothering.They instinctively hate Scotland and Scots, and of course the feeling in mutual.With only one MP in Scotland, as the joke goes, there are more pandas in Scotland than Tory MP's.
It is easy to see why Miliband needs the Scottish seats, the 41 Labour MP's are his only hope in 2015.That's why that old hasbeen Gordon Brown was sent on the stump last week.His presence no doubt added many thousands of 'Yes' votes.
I bet Alex Salmond is praying that they enlist Tony Blair's silver tongue in the 'No' cause!

Yet it could have been different.If from the outset Scotland had beeen offered a Federal option, with the right to control more of the economy, foreign and defence policy as they affect Scotland and a greater degree of fiscal control, I suspect that would have met with approval all over Scotland, and in many parts of England not in thrall to the London hegemony.
It would have given Scotland an alternative to demonstrate that a social democrat, if not a socialist state could prosper away from the bleak negativity of austerity Faragism.

I am impressed however by the astute leadership of Alex Salmond and especially Nicola Sturgeon.They have both played a blinder and have gaugedthe mood of the coutry.
It is of course possible that the 'No' vote will prevail, the combination of all the big guns focussed on Scotland plus the scare tactics that are the stock in trade of the Unionists might still win.But the anger will still be there, and it will only be a matter of time....

Mind you id the SNP had promised to create a Scottish Republic,left Nato and nationalised the oil industry,rhen I think there would have been no contst!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

And you thought only the Stuarts had a divine right to rule!

Three hundred odd years ago the people of this country fought a civil war to end the divine right of Kings.
They almost got there,but sadly when the crunch came old Noll was disinterred and his head stuck on a pike.
The old order reverted, and whilst they lost the 'divine right' they retained the right of succession through a bunch of useless German princelings and princesses right up to the present day.
From the preposterous Hanoverians to the mediocre Saxe-Coberg-Gothas.

But at least we had an elected parliament that allowed some degree of democracy,albeit it took most of that 300 odd years to get anywhere near a free equal and working democracy.
For much of the time parliament was ruled by rich boys from top public schools,often from the landed gentry.many came from the military,the higher reaches of the legal profession and were frequently large landowners or obscenely rich factory owners.
Thinking about it not really much has changed!
But of course many of them, when the couldn't buy the odd totten pocket borough or the land where the borough itself stood  made sure that the parliamentary power kept strictly in the family.

Most of the great landowners made sure that political power was dynastic-that seats passed from father to son in the usual ordered way.

Then about 100 years ago a great change appeared to happen, a small number of working stiffs got themselves elected,many started out as Liberals, but in 1900 the emergent trade unions decided that Liberal toffs with a scattering of working class Liberals did not really represent their interests.
The labour party was born.
A party that represented working people, their needs and their aspirations.
It was never a revolutionary party in the sense that the Levellers and even the Diggers were in Cromwell's' time.Indeed it was nothing like the great revolutionary parties and movements that were churning up Europe and had been since 1848.

What was important was that the Labour Party was not a party of privilege and was not one with a hereditary principle at its core.
But asa social democratic party it found itself a house divided.For decades it was never quite sure if it was a social democratic centralist party with a tinge of socialism or a socialist party with a tinge of social democracy.
Generations of good men and women gave their life to the party because they believed that whatever the foibles of the 'leadership' at any given time its collective heart was in the right place.

This has of course allowed it to degenerate , as the Thatcher era destroyed much of the strength and solidarity of the trade union movement the Labour Party, with no strong ideological core simply drifted into becoming another 'political' party.
So it attracted in growing numbers men and women who if push came to shove would join whatever party deemed to give them the best chance of a political career.It didn't really matter what the party stood for, as ling as they could chat up a selection meeting ot buy off a few local party officials or trade union hacks.

I well remember years back when an aspiring parliamentary candidate came to solicit support for the Northampton South constituency.
What a speaker the guy was and how he paraded his working class credentials before us.His father had been a miner, his granddad had been a miner, even as far as I can remember his fucking dog had been a miner.
He of course was a barrister! Now by the way in the House of Lords!

And where have we come to now?
Why the dynastic Labour Party.Neil Kinnock's son,married to the Prime Minister od Denmark no less has been selected for the safe labour seat of Aberavon (be interesting to see where his second home will be located-or maybe his third one)
Then we hear that Jack Straw's boy is going for a safe Labour seat(wasn't he once done for possession of drugs?)  and it would appear that the offspring of the noble Lord Prescott is on the hunt for a safe Labour berth.

But if that all stinks of nepotism then the worst of all is that Euan Blair,son of you know who is hoping to be parachuted into the safe Labour seat of Bootle on Merseyside(majority 21,000) His claim is that as his mum came from Liverpool then thats alright!

Is it possible that in the whole of Merseyside the Labour Party there could not find a working class candidate?
Are they so bereft of talent that they need a London lad educated at Brompton Oratory to speak for those inarticulate scousers?
Is this what the workers party is now reduced to/
I know people can point to the Benn dynasty and say that it has happened on the left, but I suspect Hilary Benn was carefully vetted to make sure that his was not infected by the old mans radical politics and I suspect there were many in the party hierarchy who were nervous of another Benn.
Luckily they got one of their own.

The sad truth is that the party is now picking candidates few of whom have any trade union experience or local government experience either.
Clones by any other name,
A party whose idea of inspiration and values has nothing to do with Keir Hardie or Nye Bevan but rather Dolly the Sheep! 

According to the local press in Liverpool Blair will only get a chance at the shortlist if the 81 year old sitting Mp decides to stand down voluntarily,then the party nationally can designate the seat a 'women only' shortlist.If however he decides to stand again-they can't.
The irony here is that it would appear that he too believes in a sort of hereditary principle(he wants his agent and the current leader of Sefton to replace him!) 
So the outcome might be that young Blair,who part owns a £3 million property in London with his mother might end up representing one of the most impoverished constituencies in Britain!     

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Exquisitely Dumb-and she's the Culture Secretary!

Maria Miller is seriously dumb.The events over the past few days have revealed once again that national politicians think and behave like Plantaganet Monarchs.or worse Stuarts! They really seem to believe that they have some sort of divine right to rule,that are somehow part of a 'political class'.

Trouble is that the hysteria surrounding the narrative of 'Another fiddling MP' serves only the press and Nigel Farage.
I refuse to be stampeded into the lobby of the Daily Telegraph bleating about press freedom and the glories of a free press.
Lets get one thing straight from the outset this country does NOT have a free press.It has a bunch of censorious oligarchs as bad as any who hold sway in Russia.They own vast swathes of the media,they control much that passes for television,radio and the new technologies and all of the press.
The dailt Telegraph has for long been the authentic mouthpiece of the Tory Party, and will long remain so.What we are seeing is not an assertion of their freedom  merely a shot across the bows of the Tory Party to remind them who the real masters of the universe are.
Next week the barclay brothers will get back to the usual business of beating up on trade unions, working people and all the myriad of demons they like to conjure up to frighten the masses.
Frankly I think it was despicable of any so called 'journalist' to doorstep and elderly couple and badger them about their living arrangements.
It was mean and shabby and not even central to the story.
The story was that Miller over claimed on her mortgage and when found out tried to bluster her way out, and when all else failed got her parliamentary mates to reduce her repayment from over £40k to about£5k.

That is the real scandal and that is what she should be punished for,not her parents and not about being rude to the House of Commons.
I'm also getting a bit fed up with Labour members standing on the dignity of the parliamentary process and aall the old guff about the sovereignty of the 'Mother of Parliaments'

What we have is a huge majority of time serving  numpties.Without ideology and a reason for being in parliament its just another job and so many of them are interchangable.Remember only 13 Labour MP's had enough of the ideology of socialism to remember whose side they were on when it came to support people on benefits.
Apart from members of the SNP,PC and the Green Party the majority of 'honourable members' trooped into the coalition lobby to support further cuts.
And that's where Farage will win support.He is a sleazeball of monumental proportions.He is so like the poujadists of inter war France.But like his great mate Le Pen he is using populism to win popular support, and its interesting just to see how much exposure he and his sordid racists are getting in the popular press.

It is of course no coincidence.The one thing the political class, the media and the populist politicians most fear is a literate and organised working class.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about the referendum in Scotland is that after many hundreds of years there is an awakening of political thought north of the border.
People are starting once again to think not just about what the press tells them to think but they are thinking and discussing ideas.
It's as if the Enlightenment  has caught the public imagination once again.