Saturday, June 10, 2017

Friending Corbyn

Corbyn confounded his critics -- some of whom lost no time in becoming supporters.  Owen Jones, for example.

Jeremy Corbyn has caused a sensation – he would make a fine prime minister


Yet, just the other day, Jones had a different point of view.

Jeremy Corbyn says he’s staying. That’s not good enough

 
And......

 The bottom line is this. If there is an early general election, Labour will suffer a terrible defeat, Corbyn will resign anyway, the left will have no political capital, the party will shift to the right, a right-wing Tory Party will have a huge majority, and British politics will shift even further to the right with xenophobia and authoritarianism rampant.

Yes, there was an early election.  And now Jones is a Corbyn fan.

There is nothing like a win to bring out the sycophants and toadies. 

But generally, the Guardian and the Independent don't have much to say about Corbyn.  How could they?  Having spent months saying what a Loser he is. And they really don't like his "extremist" policies -- a UK for the Many not the Few.

The Blairites in the PLP.?   Gnashing their teeth and dreaming of ways to poison Corbyn and a few million supporters.    On the other hand, they are in politics as LifeTime Employment.   They want to keep their jobs.  Can't cross the aisle now -- that's the Losing Side.

So here's the thing.....

If Labour really wants to govern - it must purge the Blairites and get in people who care. Corbyn cannot accomplish much if half of his MPs are a Fifth Column. 

But getting rid of the Blair detritus is going to be hard. 

 On the other hand....

The Tories have formed an alliance with some Looney Tunes Christian Rightists.   They will go from bad to worse.

And there will be another election soon enough..  By that time, hopefully,  deselection will have thinned the Blairite ranks.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Told ya so

As predicted, Corbyn and Labour did very, very well in the elections.  Not an outright win -- unless Labour could form a coalition with the SNP, Lib Dems and others.

From Labour's point of view, however, this is a strategic victory.  Corbyn and his supporters are validated.  The Media -- and most important of all -- the Blairite holdouts in parliament have been proven wrong.    It is time now to further reform Labour, with more direct democracy and to turf the Blairities.

The changes implied in the Labour Manifesto cannot be accomplished without a full majority -- which means national consensus.  

That must wait until the next election -- which will happen soon enough (yes, another prediction!). 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Corbyn Can Win

A post or two ago, I predicted Labour would "lose the election while winning the argument."

Now, Labour is neck and neck with the Tories. Personally, from the perspective of Labour,  I still think that it better for the Tories to eek out a win  because Labour needs a full majority to do anything.  Before that,  it must purge its parliamentary ranks of the Blairites, those eyeless, brainless parasites.

The "Establishment"  is arrogant and incompetent, an ugly hard turd of rich people and career politicians and civil servants lodged in  the colon of the body politic, seeking to control everything and suck up wealth.  But just getting past the blockage a little is enough. This is a time for a full enema, not straining at the stool.

Movement seems guaranteed by the  relentless media attacks on Corbyn -- so contrary to the man's performance in interviews on TV, in Parliament, so oblivious to fact and reason.  The efforts of ht media to destroy public trust in this honest man have boomeranged --undermining the credibility of the media itself -- and   especially of the Tories.  "Liar, Liar"....


People who get their ideas from the morning paper or the telly over tea really don't like to read or think -- they let the media decide their opinions for them-- which is ever so much more comforting and convenient.  
  

But what happens when you have a hangover and your  morning tea tastes like warmed over piss and the picture frames on the wall all look askew?  And the dog just vomited on the newspaper.  The kitchen sink is full of dirty dishes.  


The Media, as the spokespeople for the Few, live in their own world,  a world created by them, for them.


Their world has champagne and vistas.  Yours is just a crashing headache.  

The Media prefer their world, which is he same one they use to sell you hopes and dreams - that is, that one day it might be yours, too.  In the meantime, they seek to suppress facts and the truth.

A good example is just recently when  the BBC declined to air the UK's no. 1 hit song, "Liar, Liar" which is about Theresa May. The BBC  claimed that they had to be "impartial".  "Had to be"?  There is nothing in the broadcasting code or their own rules that applies to banning a hit song!   Big Radio followed suit.

That's thumbing your nose at an entire generation, challenging them to "Just come out  and vote".  After all, while 70% of young people support Labour --they usually don't turn out to vote. But while it's OK to blow kids and their mothers to bits in Yemen which no one really believes exists-- you should not ban your teenager's music -- that's real.    Some things Jesus will not be forgive

Of course, it's stupid, too because banning anything, makes everyone want to hear it or watch it  -- including people over 25. A billion dollars of free publicity. And the  people who can't hear the song on the Radio, will turn to the YouTube Video which comes to captions and persuasive images -- much better than the song alone.

 


So, the Right are on a roll -- downhill into a trash heap.

Theresa May has also refused to debate. She did not attend the Leader's Debate.  By contrast, Corbyn who wasn't going to attend if she didn't -- reversed himself -- and did just fine -- as he had done in his TV grilling by Jeremy Paxman.

You have a Tory Leader who doesn't show up, won't debate.  Establishment Media that clearly lies and tries to suppress the truth.

Add to this the Dementia Tax and other measures that discomfit the over 65s who are traditionally Tory supporters.

And Terrorist attacks -- which are the predictable outcome of Tory policies. 

Liar, Liar.  The Media lie.



Liar. Liar.  The Tories lie.


Jeremy Corbyn tells the truth --and has a 30 year record of it. 

He also has a program is just pragmatic.  Hardly revolutionary.  Really, a return to the basics.  Eerily similar to the demands of the Levellers in 1647.

Now Labour has a real chance at government.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Progress is an illusion



I write a lot about "memes" and social and political evolution.  The fact is that progressive change comes slowly, three steps forward, two back.  Sometimes four back.  In the UK, the Labour Party is accused of trying to resurrect the past rather than "moving forward".  In fact, the same issues have bedevilled English society for hundreds of years.And much of what Labour is asking for now is the same as what the Levellers asked for in 1647.
That as no Civill Government is more just in the constitution, then that of Parliaments, having its foundation in the free choice of the people; and as the end of all Government is the safetie and freedome of the governed, even so the people of this Nation in all times have manifested most heartie affections unto Parliaments as the most proper remedie of their grievances; yet such hath been the wicked policies of those who from time to time have endeavoured to bring this Nation into bondage; that they have in all times either by the disuse or abuse of Parliaments deprived the people of their hopes … And do most earnestly entreat, that ye will stir up your affections to a zealous love and tender regard of the people, who have chosen and trusted you, and that ye will seriously consider, that the end of their trust, was freedome and deliverance from all kind of temporall grievances and oppressions. Last time, I predicted that Labour would lose the UK election -- while, as it were, winning the argument.
         The Levellers’ Declaration of Independence (March 1647)
Even Women's Rights....

In 1647, the Levellers -- the Nine Percent of the time -- demanded change.  The result was the English Revolution and the overthrow of a monarch.  Then it was clear that nothing was really chaning and the Levellers were suppressed.



In one of the most important Leveller political tracts of the period, a group of Levellers (probably written by William Walwyn) petitioned Parliament with a list of their grievances which prefigure the American Declaration of Independence of July 1776 and its grievances against King George III. After 5 years of successful civil war against King Charles and his supporters the Levellers hoped that Parliament would have done more to protect the liberties the Levellers had been fighting for. They provocatively call Parliament the “supreame Authority of this Nation” thus challenging the King to his face and the very notion of divine right to rule. They then go on to list the good things Parliament had done to increase the liberties of Englishmen, and then to list the things that still remained to be done. This infuriated the Parliament which first refused to accept the Petition (the person who delivered it was arrested) and then had it publicly burned by the hangman, which was a severe warning to the Levellers and their supporters about what might happen to them if they persisted in their endeavours. The Petitioners list 13 specific demands among which were to ban self-incrimination in court cases, end the need for taking oaths, that there be a free press in religious matters, the abolition of the monopolist Company of Merchants, that the cost of going to court be lowered and that English (not Norman French) be the court’s language, that punishments should fit the crime and that trials be held speedily, the abolition of religious tythes, and that they put an end to prison for debtors. The “Petition of March” (also known as “The Large Petition”) was only the first of 6 petitions which appeared during 1647-48. Given the radicalism of the Levellers’ demands it is not surprising that they made little progress in having them adopted. That would take another 130 years.
In fact, the Leveller's went far beyond goals of the American Revolution.  They advocated universal suffrage for one thing and an end to monopolies.  The Founders of the Republic wanted to limit suffrage and preserve monopolies of power and privilege in the new nation they were creating.


 "Progress" is often an illusion. 

"Social democracy" is not about "socialism" - -any "ism" in fact.  It is about fairness

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I told you so

In the UK, the Nine Percent are making history.

But power is not the only factor instrumental in creating change. In fact it’s what one does in “opposition” that has historically paved the way for real change. Humanity’s progress has resulted primarily from the struggles of those who fought for change against entrenched power.

Salim Lone Letter to the Guardian May 2016

I told you so.


If you read my columns on the nine percent, you will notice that I am using the UK to explain what all this all about.

To recap:  all  progressive change comes from a committed minority on the left,.  When this minority reaches about 9 percent of the general population, the consensus of majority opinion will gradually shift leftwards to accept change.  For this happen, however, the majority must first lose confidence in their situation, with their comfort zone eroded by events.

The basic rule, "If it aint broke, don't fix it".  Their has to be a general feeling that something is "broke".

Clearly, predatory capitalism and inequality -- the "Wealthfare State" are destroying the social contract.  Neoliberalism and Neoconservativism have failed, with their associated definitions of "globalism".

For ordinary people that translates with unemployment, lower real wages, higher levels of personal debt, diminished social services and a generally "precarious" future.

In the UK, Brexit undermined the status quo. But even before that there was realization that things were wrong.  The defeat of Labour under Brown and then Miliband opened the way for what can only be regarded as a "accident".  The Labour Party needed money and it decided to open up its membership to get more people -- and therefore more money in  It was really a PR stunt -- but it backfired because people took Labour af face value and they elected as their leader Jeremy Corbyn, a modest, rather simple man who is not only honest but principled.

The Blairites in the PLP were shocked.  How un-British.!  Democracy.  I mean.  Ordinary people thinking they can call the shots.

The Media didn't like it either.  They are owned by a few very, very rich people, who made their money by exploiting everybody else and hire wannabe rich people.

So Corbyn was labeled / libeled as a "loser".  And all those people who joined Labour looking to change something and make England a better place were sneered at as "ultra-leftist extremists" and "Trotsky-ites".
Leftwing extremists / proto-terrorists

But the Blairites and the Media attacks merely showed the  bias of the Snob Class and undermined its non-existent credibility.  This is the arrogance of what Salim Lone calls "entrenched power".



The Labour Party is now just 6 points shy of the Tories, doing very better under Corbyn than under his two predecessors, Brown and Miliband.  



Corbyn will not win the election. -- that would be difficult given the UK's undemocratic electoral system. But it doesn't matter.  As Salim Lone says -- what matters is the Struggle.  And Labour has already won the argument, more or less by default. A big win later is preferable to a narrow now.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Who are the Nine Percent?

Who are the Nine Percent?

I suggested that the election in the UK offers a good example-- with previously unaffiliated people flocking to join labour.

The leaked Labour manifesto got support from a majority of Brits according to polls.


Of course, the Tories are ahead in the polls and Corbyn very much behind.  None of that matters.

The issues have been clearly defined.

Privatisation vs nationalisation.

Inequality vs equality.

Predatory capitalism vs socially responsible capitalism.

No, the "Corbynistas" are not ideologs of any kind -- they just care about the Quality of Life.

Labour will lose -- and by losing,win for not being taking over the government while the country slides into economic chaos will not shake the resolve of a leader who has held to the same principles for 30 years --nor deter the many who have joined because they are "mad as hell and won't take it any more" -- only confirm their commitment. This is a "committed minority" -- yes, now nine percent and counting.  

Right now, the "majority" is still too much in the comfort zone, too willing to accept what has been the status quo for so long.


If Labour loses, we will finally see the backs of the Blairites in the Labour Party, who will hopefully officially defect to the Right where they have always been anyway.  At the very least, they will be blamed for the loss by a majority of their party who loathe them anyway. 

If Labour loses, things will get worse in the UK.  The Tories will double down on failed policies.  The Media will double down, supporting them.  Both will lose credibility together.

And Labour will be able to sit back and say, "I told you so".

And Corbyn?  A prophet has no honor in his own country.  But he was never in it for honor or honors anyway.