Thursday, 24 November 2016

May fiddles while Britain implodes

Almost feeling sorry for Philip Hammond demonstrates the depths of the pit the formerly United Kingdom has dug itself into.  Presenting an Autumn Statement the day that a home-grown fascist terrorist was jailed he managed simultaneously to demonstrate that the last six years' austerity have failed and that the destructiveness that Brexit brings is incalculable and damaging.  Then to be excoriated by the vile fascist apologist tag-team of John Redwood and Jacob Rees-Mogg.  You do wonder why a smug plutocrat like Hammond bothers getting out of his Surrey bed in the morning.

The judge's summing-up and sentencing of the Nazi Mair was a masterpiece in terms of the rule of law and civilised values.  Political murder by a right-wing ultra is terrorism and needs no euphemisms.  It is too much to hope that the scummy rabble-rousing of the right-wing press is self-policed; the duty of concerned citizens is to keep the pressure and the exposure of the moral stench from the press in the forefront, and to call out the trolls, fascist apologists and inciters.  Every week where the norm is defined by Paul Dacre, Tony Gallagher and Melanie Phillips is one too many for the triumphal scum.  They will deny that their spittle-flecked bile had anything to do with the murder, but they have created a climate of accusation, vilification and disgust that legitimises even the most heinous act.  They are beneath contempt and should not be given any quarter.

As for Hammond, the same kind of cretinous self-entitled creeps have been out for his blood since his scepticism about the impossibility of delivering even a thousandth of the lies and fantasy of the Leave campaigners has been clear.  The forecast of slower growth, uncertainty and inflation that underpinned Treasury numbers was, as with anything in this era of incompetence, arrogance and uncertainty, subject to even more uncertainty than usual, but it was probably on the optimistic side of measured.  This is not treason, this is reason.

To hear David Gauke admitting that the fiscal targets would have been met without the threat of Brexit impacts is telling, and admitting that the current course of policy is totally abhorrent to any rational definition of the national interest.  On the day that at least some closure was given following the logical culmination of the incitement that Farage and his apologists let loose, it is typical that no attention is being given to the destruction of the country by May and her useless idiots.  At some stage I shall return to the theme of opposition, but in the absence of any response from Corbyn and McDonnell that is anything beyond opportunist cant, it merely implies that we are living through a period where omnishambles transitions to a state where the first two syllables are "cluster" and the third relates to fornication.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Fascism comes in many shades

The new fascists are very thin-skinned.  Poke them and their armour collapses almost as quickly as their "arguments", gossamer-thin and marinaded in hate speech.  Yet in a time when every week sees an escalation in the outrage that can be paraded as mainstream, legitimate opinion, this is not sufficient to expose their hypocritical, sham manoeuvrings that are a threat not just to political stability but to the peace and ecology of our planet.

In a week where, on Remembrance Sunday, the BBC's prime political interview was devoted to a political leader whom to describe as a fascist has been deemed non-defamatory by the French courts, and where the President-elect of the United States has been endorsed by the Klan and appoints a white supremacist to his leadership cadre, this should be a rallying-cry to reason and defence.  Yet the political discourse seems to be framed entirely by legitimising vileness, repetition implying consent and its acceptability rather than the other way around.

Given the context, the mainstream media's conspiracy to downplay the significance of the terrorist assassination of Jo Cox, a sitting, mainstream MP, by someone fed by the bile, hatred and ignorance spewed out by the right-wing media into a delusional frenzy is hardly surprising.  The sewers of the right are not clean, and they have blood on their hands.  A Prime Minister who does not denounce the activities of the fascist Farage, threatening civil disobedience at the head of a motley rag-tag array of boneheaded monobrows from his own "party", Britain First and the EDL, not to protest anything more than the upholding of the rule of law is unfit for office.

Instead, we watch the panjandrums of the Tory party, such illuminated souls as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Peter Bone cheering on the homoerotic symbolism of Trump and Farage, making out that a demagogue, who has never achieved victory in a domestic election and who is still fraudulently living high on the hog at the expense of an institution he is hell-bent on subverting, should be representing a divided nation at a time of existential crisis.  For the fascist Kippers, these morons are a gift, useful tools towards the outcome that they want but will not declare, which is for the UK to become a satellite state of countries with pariah leaders and an insane policy agenda.

Meanwhile, the media scum continue unchallenged.  For those of us with no real love for Corbyn, the manipulation of photographs at the Cenotaph resembled the mockery and derision directed towards Michael Foot over thirty years ago, but carried without comment and without regret by Murdoch's toilet paper and Rothermere's fascist fellow-travellers.  Never mind that the image had been fiddled with by a photographer with his own agenda, or that it misrepresented in a libellous way, the "truth" as defined by the treacherous editors has to be sustained.

They have a chorus, too.  The echo-chamber controversialists are there to legitimise opinion and to howl down those who dissent.  Point out their stupidity with irony and you receive a tirade of abuse.  Their moral certainty around the little people's need to accept the neo-conservative medicine does not extend to their own accountability, and if there is a voice raised against them then they squeal like the babies they are.

A prime example of the species remains Melanie Phillips, who cannot engage with reality on any forms.  As the neofascist minions spread hatred, swastikas and the language of pogroms across the world, a writer for whom any criticism of Israel under any circumstances counts as anti-semitism and hate speech is acting like a nodding dog in support of the new elites, closing down freedom of speech and totally unable to see the hypocrisy and evil in her own position.  From Hampstead Garden Suburb, surveying the world through sneering spectacles, it is much easier to aim brickbats and promote hatred than it would be if confronted, as Jo Cox was, by the logical extension of the language and ideology being perpetuated by the new right.

What these evils are heading towards is totalitarianism and the stifling of dissent, which is to be resisted through all peaceful and legitimate means.  They already deny the rule of law, the operation of cause-and-effect or that there is a plurality of views all of which are both legitimate and open to challenge.  This is the way of the fascist state, and even within Britain there needs to be resistance at all times.  If that means leaving the monobrowed, knuckle-dragging hate-pedlars in their self-imposed nihilistic gutter, and the breaking-down of the nation state, that may be a high price worth paying.  If not, the darkest hours are yet to come.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Unleashing the barbarians - the triumph of the new right

In the euphoria after the collapse of the Soviet Union there were many who proclaimed "the end of history" as a neoliberal surge engulfed the world.  In the light of recent events the hubris that this demonstrated was not merely misplaced but sowed the seeds of the destruction of the Enlightenment and the values that underpin the Western model of representative democracy we are now living through.  The idea that one paradigm, driven by manic microeconomists with no grasp of psychology or morality, would triumph has now been exposed as the sham that it was, and as the biggest existential threat to the world in a century.

In Europe, at least, the post-war prosperity was based around at least some acknowledgement of the mutual dependency of citizens.  Democratic socialists co-existed with the centre-right, nuanced, but fundamentally in agreement that a functioning society requires obligations as well as entitlements.  The construction of a social stability based around this assumption marginalised the most extreme while creating conditions which, in retrospect, look idyllic.

The real enemies of the people are not the political poltroons, such as Trump and Farage, who exploit their self-styled iconoclasm, but those who seek to impose a political and economic hegemony based around exploitation of others - be they in the same room, or halfway across the world.  In reducing the human to the status of a parasitic organism that eats into the pursuit of profit, they have paved the way both for inchoate resentment and for the destruction of the social capital that could have acted as a brake on fascism.  In electing the fascist, and doing their bidding, the howls of self-destructive rage are misdirected and the reckoning will not be pretty.

Any belief in progress is now on hold - the inability to organise and mobilise caused by the tendency to prevaricate and make much of small differences rather than focusing on the enemy is the blocker.  Turning on each other is less frightening than taking the battle to the enemies of the human race and the vermin who cheer them on.  This is a descent, not just to the 19th century, but to the Dark Ages.  Pessimism is the watchword, alongside a recognition that there is nothing else to do but ensure that those who share values and aspirations are recognised, protected and supported.  In the meantime, the lunatics have taken over the citadel and have merged with the idiot barbarians.  Depressing times.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Broken Britain and the rise of Tory fascism

Immoral, incompetent and inane.  Generous verdicts on the alleged UK government, whose descent into the slime of authoritarian derangement has been underlined this week by its frightening response to a decision merely to uphold the law.  The cavalier ineptitude demonstrated by both the Prime Minister and her Lord Chancellor when faced with a seditious libel perpetrated by her press controllers is a compelling argument that the logic and integrity of the British state is being undermined from within its own government.

Reading the High Court's ruling in the context of the evil assault and intimidation practised upon the judges it is impossible to understand what all the fuss is about.  Last year, David Cameron, the chief architect of the current perdition, in his perorations around the anniversary of Magna Carta, was a staunch defence of power against the Crown.  In the mendacious and forgotten world of the Brexit treachery, their entire farrago of lies was based around "taking back control".  What should not be forgotten is that the judgement this week was not about whether or not to act on a referendum result but the process whereby rights and duties can be extinguished without reference to Parliament.

There is a dishonourable trait amongst many of the dribbling fringe of Tory backbenchers to drift into the UKIP fringe - using the Maoist mantra of "will of the people" to justify subverting the constitution and launching ad hominem attacks on those who seek to uphold due process and the checks and balances of an already-imperfect system.  Their denial that the constitutional settlements across the four nations of Britain implies rights to those who disagree with them is a recipe for intolerance at best, fascism at worst.

Analysis of the Brexiteers' whining this week is not rewarding, other than to demonstrate both the depth of ignorance and their fear of challenge.  Their behaviour is based around an incredible canard, to the effect that the only decision that matters is that of an advisory referendum, and that there is no deviation from their individual peculiar, diverse and mutually-incompatible definitions as to how it should be implemented.  Public policy cannot be based around such a cretinous reductionism, and the Tory vileness is that they are encouraging this to become the lingua franca of discourse.

In a state where there was a functional government, the abuse and subversion of the media would be prosecuted and editors such as Paul Dacre arraigned for contempt of court and sedition.  In a state where there was a functional Opposition party this would be their battle cry, in the context of defending those who should be rallying to topple a corrupt and seditious administration.

Instead we have a Labour Party determined to fight yesterday's battles when there is an existential threat to the future of the entire country.  Why else would Labour, faced with a Tory/UKIP stitch-up in Richmond Park's ego-driven by-election, not tap into the reality that an unjust system and a crisis needs new thinking, rather than indulging Christian Wolmar's not-inconsiderable ego?  Why not look to an anti-Tory, pro-Britain campaign which would do more to improve Labour's chances elsewhere through picking up tactical votes for a different agenda?  On policy, I find myself aligned with many of Corbyn's positions.  On strategy, he is standing in the toilet bowl waiting for someone else to flush.

In such a context, it is easy to see why disengagement may be the best strategy, if only to preserve sanity.  The increasing requirement of civilised people will be to protect their values.  Much as happened in Germany under the Nazis, this is the outcome that the rabid right are banking on, so they must be deprived.  The courts have deprived May of riding roughshod over legal and parliamentary precedent, and it is encouraging that the devolved nations are joining the challenge.  As the only modern parts of the UK constitution their enforcement of rights will be central.

Yet this is not going to be enough.  In the longer-term, each outpouring of racism, bigotry and ignorance undermines both the authority and legitimacy of the state.  As this crumbles, the final decencies of a civil society diminish and disappear.  Unleashing the mob is the approach that Farage and other fascists have left, given that their arguments have been disproved.  It may be necessary now to contemplate the British Isles with a rogue state at the centre, and to ensure that this is avoided at all costs - if that means breaking the current constitution through fragmentation of the devolved nations, London and the modern city regions from a regressive, fearful backwoods peasantry in England then it may be sensible to cast the feral fascists adrift.