June 26, 2011

The problem is that the “Labour movement” happily includes everyone from New Labour all the way through to the various communist parties. It included the late RESPECT “party”, the SWP, and all the rest of the crazies. Conversely, there is no right-unity. One could never imagine a conference at which representatives of the English Democrats, Conservatives, UKIP and the BNP were all speakers. It would not happen, ever.

The reason for this is simple: the Conservatives, as the party of government over the last 150 years have spent more time pissing off more people than any other party. UKIP members are often disgruntled Conservatives who hate the Tories over their “betrayal” on Europe, etc (with which I am entirely sympathetic, and I know the first few years after Maastricht seemed hopeless, but change from within is always the way to do it). BNP members are usually very disgruntled Labour voters, and positively despise the Tories. Tories are hated from all angles, and this, being a country unused to coalition and without Parliamentary representation for more than a few parties, does not have to find common ground between parties. Far more attractive for the average UKIP member is to be a principled patriot and Eurosceptic, rather than ever compromise on a position in order to form a coalition. Perversely, despite only marginally different Parliamentary representation from about 20 years ago, there is high voter de-alignment; people identify less with the established Westminster parties than at any other point. It’s very unlikely that 14 million people will ever vote for a party, as they did in 1992.
Who is to blame for this failure of the Conservatives? President Eisenhower. His disgraceful treatment of Britain during the Suez Crisis, motivated by his own goal of advancing American influence and power in the region, of course ultimately led to Anthony Eden’s resignation. Eden did not advise the Queen on who to appoint as his successor; this meant the Queen consulted a number of figures on who to appoint as Prime Minister, and the consensus was Harold Macmillan. This was unfortunate. Macmillan was decent, but Rab Butler would have been the far better option, and would have gone on to win in 1964 as well. Instead, when Macmillan resigned on the grounds of ill-health in 1963, he also failed to appoint a successor, but “took soundings” instead. There were a number of possible successors: Heath, Maudling, Butler,

No-one voted for this

August 13, 2010

From LabourList:

A fundamental principle that must lie at the heart of Labour’s tenacious fightback in the autumn is that nobody voted for this. Nobody voted for the ConDems’ approach to tackling the deficit, that is evident speaking to people each day from all walks of life.

Two things wrong. Firstly, correct – nobody voted for this precise arrangement, but 17,540,578 people did vote for a combination of the two parties, which is rather better than “nobody”. 17,540,578 is also 8,931,051 more votes than Labour received, so I would hope they can see pretending the Tories and Lib Dems (laughably) just performed a coup of some description is a little inaccurate. This isn’t some banana republic where anyone promoted past the rank of Comandante gets the automatic right to overthrow the government.

Secondly, things are not so simply because they are “evident speaking to people each day from all walks of life”. That has about as little statistical credibility as it is possible to have. Quite apart from the fact we associate with people who confirm our own beliefs, and thus these “people from each walk of life” are likely to be socialist people from each walk of life, it’s hardly decent evidence for the illegitimacy of this government that some Labour supporter happens to know several people who didn’t “vote for this”.

New home

August 12, 2010

Unfortunately this is going to be my blog’s home for a few days; I might have to re-design the old one.

Ken’s racial campaigning returns

August 12, 2010
From the BBC:
Ken Livingstone has attacked a police check form used by authorities in London, calling the way it was based on the ethnicity of a concert’s audience “divisive” and “wrong”.
Currently battling to be Labour’s candidate for London mayor he said given the powers he would scrap the form if he returns to office.
He added: “You can’t have a law on the presumption that one particular ethnic group is more violent than another.
“It’s just wrong.”
The form was designed to give police information about the nature and musical genre of a planned event.
It gives them the power to ask for changes or even to force the cancellation of events.
Oh good one, Ken. Let’s see how long it is before someone gets shot in the name of “racial tolerance”. It looks like it’s going to be another campaign from Ken based on how Boris is a nasty white man. Very “progressive”.

Living memory: 1974?

August 12, 2010

Mark Ferguson, editor of LabourList, has written who he thinks the top 5 most influential lefties are. Number 4 is Caroline Lucas. As he explains:

This one is difficult for me to write as a Labour tribalist. I’ve seen the Green Party in London adopt incredibly conservative positions and vote against positive measures that are in their very own national manifesto, so this is by no means an easy pitch for me to make.
Yet Caroline Lucas deserves to be included as one of the most influential on the left, simply because she is a groundbreaker. Not content with being the first leader of the Green Party, Lucas is the first MP from a small party to break through the two/three party system in living memory. She’s no Keir Hardy, and I’m not suggesting that we’ll see a wave of Green MPs sweeping into parliament in future, but her achievement should be recognised. I hope that she serves her constituents with distinction, before Labour takes the seat back at the next election.
Living memory is a wonderfully slippery term. Still, I’ll work with it. Given that we have an ageing population, it’s fair to assume that 1974 is within “living memory”. As such, the Democratic Labour victory in Lincoln in the first election of that year clearly contradicts this claim about the Green Party. Democratic Labour was influential in the formation of the SDP, and thus the Lib Dems, and this government, etc, etc, and shouldn’t be seen as just some independent winning (which did also happen in Blyth in 1974, for example). Caroline Lucas is just one in a long history of occasional small-party wins, including the Communist MP for Mile End, and many other leftist failures. She is, however, influential, as a sort of reminder to Labour members of what Labour MPs would look like if they said what they believed. She is also the BBC’s favourite far leftie, and that helps.
And another thing:

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP has asked the parliamentary catering authorities to consider introducing Meat Free Monday to the catering outlets in parliament. The Meat Free Monday campaign, which is being pursued all around the UK by environmental and other groups, is encouraging local authorities, schools and other public and private bodies to allocate one day a week to providing a totally animal-free menu in order to help tackle the world’s environmental and other problems.

Why is she going around wasting everyone’s time on nonsense like this? Go and do some green stuff, don’t write letters about some stupid new “day” in our already-full calender of obviously unmissable socialist events, including Tolerance Day, Diversity Day, Peace Day and many others.

East German deaths

August 11, 2010

From a German news website:

Authorities in communist East Germany were responsible for the deaths of 1,393 people between 1961 and its demise in 1989, 46 more than previously thought, researchers said Wednesday.

The problem is that the criteria for being an official victim of that regime is very strict. This number is only the tip of the iceberg.

The BBC as a tool for right-wing self-improvement

August 11, 2010

Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow writes in the Spectator:

I am not saying get rid of the licence fee. In fact I am not ashamed to admit that I like much of what the BBC produces, and even think her innate left-wing bias is healthy for Conservatives, as it means that ‘the right’ have to be that much better and sharper when presenting their case on BBC programmes.

This has to be literally the most stupid argument I’ve heard in quite some time. How far does one take it? By the same logic, the Communist Party’s rule in Russia was quite good for Russian free-marketers because they had plenty of time to get their arguments exactly correct.

Since when was giving people a choice a good idea?

August 9, 2010

An Observer journalist:

Since when was giving people a choice a good idea?

This really is the mentality of many people in our wonderful welfare state. I wonder if they ever take a step back and look at what they write to see if it sounds good. It usually doesn’t.

Labour discrimination

August 9, 2010

From a Reading local news site:

Polish people in Reading are struggling to get access to basic services in the town – with one woman being advised she had a better chance of getting housing if she dumped her husband.
A catalogue of distressing stories was presented to the annual meeting of the Reading Council for Racial Equality (RCRE) when prominent members of the Polish community told of the setbacks experienced by some of their countrymen living in the town.
I don’t see how this is anything to do with racism – plenty of non-Polish people are prejudiced against for the disgusting crime of being married. Labour politicians have spent the last decade trying to deny this sort of thing goes on. In other countries, socialist politicians are openly hostile to marriage, because their supporters are too. Labour politicians, however, have to pretend to respect the institution of marriage because their grassroots voters – not the obsessives who attend all the meetings – would be horrified to think of Labour as a party that forces mass immigration for ideological reasons, discriminates against married couples, and so on.

Lembit the Iranian

August 9, 2010

Where’s the liberalism or democracy in this?

Unseated at the general election as a Lib Dem MP, Lembit Opik has landed a new job working for Press TV, the controversial satellite channel owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The 45-year-old former member for Montgomeryshire is presenting a show called A Simple Question.
Attending the opening of Tanguera at Sadler’s Wells, Opik was tetchy when I inquired about his new employers. “I am a journalist now – I have the same job as you, you know, and probably on a smaller salary,” he said.
“It is necessary for me to work. I don’t see that Press TV is ‘controversial’: that is to pass judgment and it is not for one media organisation to pass judgment on another.”
Opik has long been an enthusiastic, if so far only occasional, broadcaster, making appearances on Have I Got News For You? and reviewing the newspapers late at night for Sky News. Although Press TV has some serious journalists working for it, its impartiality and accuracy has been questioned. Last year the broadcaster Nick Ferrari resigned from it after it sought to justify the execution of demonstrators on the streets of Tehran following the country’s disputed election.
This week’s A Simple Question investigates how objective the news media is in the UK. “We want to explore whether it does a good job at keeping impartial or whether there are consistent cases of bias in the reporting that we see,” Ed Augustin, one of Opik’s assistants on his discussion programme, disclosed.
The channel was launched in 2007 with a pledge from the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that it would be “free from all vices that have polluted the world”. Opik is, meanwhile, pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian.
What a fool. Jessica Elgot adds:
It proves how desperate seatless politicians can get. He has joined George Galloway, Lauren Booth and Yvonne Ridley at the violently anti- Zionist mouthpiece of the Iranian regime – a network accused almost daily of antisemitism.
Not controversial Lembit? Maybe not quite as controversial as when you left that nice weathergirl Sian Lloyd for an X Factor reject, but a channel which gives a platform to Holocaust deniers like Nicholas Kollerstrom, and runs stories on Israelis abducting Algerian children for their organs is quite high on the controversial scale.