Saturday, 7 October 2017

Fiddling while Britain burns

The Tory conference, a facsimile of Nuremberg for the over-70s, provided so many apposite metaphors for the treason they are inflicting that it would be tempting to run through them all.  A leader claiming a mandate that she does not possess, focusing on maintaining an impossible unity within her own party, and with a fractious bunch of right-wing egotists whose allegiance is at best questionable.  If this was happening in the opposition, the lapdogs would be all over proclaiming crises and unfitness to govern.  That May and her cabal of scrofulous charlatans are occupying governmental positions should be a cause for concern, anger and increasing disobedience.

Outwith the spluttering, incoherent and divided world of the Tories, this dominant image the world is presented with is of impotence and authoritarianism.  An atrocity committed in Las Vegas followed natural disaster, which demonstrated both the callousness and the inadequacy of the Trump administration.  In Catalonia, whatever the rights and wrongs of the independence referendum, the response of the Spanish state should send early warnings about the intentions of a Westminster faced with challenges that could break up the United Kingdom, especially the craven failure of the British Foreign Secretary to even express an opinion, let alone outrage.

Maintaining the current regime has become May's preoccupation.  She has never approached the role with any recognition that she is capable of differentiating between partisan bickering in her own party and the requirements of a leader with national pretensions.  Inadequate in all aspects, mental, political and moral, she is a prisoner of a far-right faction of lunatics and traitors who are maintaining her in her role not out of any loyalty but cold-blooded calculation that when the edifice totters over the edge the field will be left to them to act out some kind of neo-fascist fantasy.  The Johnsons, Rees-Moggs and their acolytes are quislings even to the Tories.

Six months ago, there was no need to hold a General Election.  The Tories lost.  So did Labour, despite the hubris and complacency that they demonstrated in Brighton.  The real losers were the country, faced with a spurious choice between parties incapable of addressing the reality that the path to an ill-defined, destructive disengagement from the European Union cannot be delivered on the terms that have been presented, nor with the benign consequences that the deluded cheerleaders expect.  Neither of the principal parties was prepared to challenge the assertion that the inchoate "will of the people" required a particularly vile neo-liberal dismantling of society, nor set out the consequences of no growth, inflation and the annihilation of international trade.  A failure of leadership compounded by the result.

Since the election, May has pursued a path that failed to recognise the reality of her plight.  Dealing with the far-right, terrorist fellow-travellers of the DUP, rather than attempting to build bridges with the centre and left, made it clear that there was nothing in her approach that recognised her responsibility to the nations.  That is seditious and treasonable, and in destroying the link between the Prime Minister's role and the national interest she has further undermined the spurious legitimacy of the unwritten constitution.  In the light of the kicking and screaming, grudging and ineffective refusal to accept the legitimacy and the sovereignty of Parliament, this is not a representative government but a conspiracy of usurpers.

Refusing even to engage with the wider community is symptomatic of an authoritarian dictatorship - May has much more in common with Kim Jong Un than possession of nuclear weapons and a pathological hatred of imaginary enemies.  In the context of negotiations with the EU, a responsible government would not merely prepare impact assessments but publish them across every sector and department affected by the discussions.  The argument put forward by the Tories is that this would compromise their negotiating - a lie and a feint that leads to two possible (and complementary) conclusions, firstly that the assessment is so bleak that a responsible government would pull back, and secondly that the quality and depth of the analysis is in keeping with the approach that the half-witted morons of Davis, Johnson and Fox have adopted in their role.

This is all distraction tactics, not the actions of a party either in government or even fit for it.  The false patriotism that even the alleged Tory modernisers exude is tiresome and hypocritical.  Alarm bells should be on permanently, given that the acceptable face of the Tories is seen to be Ruth Davidson, an inconsistent lackey who will adopt any political stance that might embarrass the SNP until told to U-turn by the centre, when she will claim a continuous policy approach.  If this is the face of future Toryism, it is smug, hypocritical and doomed.

May has no mandate and no authority.  Faced with rebellions and dissent Thatcher was ruthless, but then she had a gerrymandered majority in the Commons.  Instead, May is pathetic in her failure to assert herself even against a criminal self-styled buffoon whose relationship with Rupert Murdoch should be subject to much more scrutiny.  Johnson should have been sacked by now - he could have formed the focus of a right-wing cabal on the backbenches that might finally cause the few remaining voices of sanity in the Tory party to question their allegiances and promote loyalty to the nations' interests.

A party that was once pragmatic is now an extreme sect, and dominated by a particularly vile strand of English intolerance and hatred.  Even its few younger members are bitten by this misanthropic selfishness, which is, in the long-run, why it is doomed.  Each election strategy has been based around promoting division and distrust, sufficient to provide an electoral base - but as further groups are stigmatised and alienated, this becomes a liability rather than a triumph.  Evidence is that it is not merely the young who are losing any trust in this bunch of spivs, but that the hold is loosening across even their target groups.

May's one hope might have been to crystallise a leadership contest on her terms, much as Major faced down Redwood in 1995.  It may not have saved the Tories in the subsequent election, as they were irredeemable by that stage, but it did provide an assertion of leadership that mitigated the impact of popular disgust.  Now this option has disappeared up the orifices of vanity and delusion that propelled her into office, and she deserves the fate that awaits her.

If this was taking place in isolation, the Tory machinations would be both amusing and cathartic.  Yet this is a luxury that cannot be afforded in the context of the tragedy they preside over - destroying a country's future for partisan ends.  The best question of the week was how long can the purported "will of the people" be immutable, and there have been no answers to that.  As the negotiations unravel on the back of incompetence, arrogance and Russian-backed propaganda, there is no choice for the Tories but to pursue this idiocy at all costs, apparently.  They are unfit for office at best, criminally-insane in reality.

The opportunity for regaining control and direction is, paradoxically, closer than ever.  At some stage the vultures will pick over May's corpse, finding nothing more nutritious than gas and hypocrisy,  At this point the Tory fissures reopen - and at this point, there needs to be a clear, coherent appeal to those capable of reason that there is a chance to act in the interests of the wider community.  Labour's tactics appear to be to allow the Tory dance of death to unravel without criticism or intervention, which is a foolish abandonment of opposition.  It falls on the disenfranchised and under-represented to keep the opposition alive, and to articulate that there is no inevitability to UK immolation.  We are not going away, nor will there be much forgiveness of those who either directly destroyed the future or those whose passive connivance continues to support their delusions.  Revolt is impartial, and the reverberations are hideously unpredictable.

Friday, 15 September 2017

The new Nazis in the British asylum

Watching, rather than commenting, on the fascist takeover of the Tory party has been an attempt at preserving sanity in recent weeks.  Theresa May, a disgusting amalgam of Imelda Marcos, Adolf Hitler and the kind of suburban curtain-twitcher who should be burned in effigy on a regular basis, is not even prepared to defend the seditious coup that she has deemed necessary to implement what she, or her puppet-masters, define as the "will of the people".

As with Hitler, the power grab emerged after an election reverse.  The arrogance and hubris with which the Tories went into the campaign earlier in the year becomes more monstrous and hilarious with time; assuming that the divine right to govern would be bestowed upon the shower of criminals, traitors and ignoramuses that make up most of her Parliamentary conspirators was a miscalculation that she now regards as a minor inconvenience.  A Prime Minister that assumes that the response to a divisive election is to subvert representation is unfit to hold office.  She should be driven from it. 

To propose legislation that removes scrutiny, consolidates power in the hands of Ministers and which is then gerrymandered through a usurpation of the Standing Committee process is treasonable. If her Enabling Act is not thrown out or mangled through amendment, her administration becomes seditious.  No other representative or constitutional body in the formerly United Kingdom need feel bound by it, and should obstruct, impede and challenge what amounts to a fascist takeover.  This is not the action of a governing party, more a desperate junta afraid of the consequences of its actions.

The most salient point that has been made about the May seizure of power is that had this been carried out in reverse, for example by a Labour government, the very cheerleaders who try to face down all resistance as the work of saboteurs and wreckers would have been up in arms.  May knows that her ability to control and influence the situation is negligible, caused by her own inadequacy both personally and political, and that she has nothing to gain beyond personal vanity and discounts at fashion shops, while allowing the country to be sold out to interests who have no desire to be either accountable or identified.

This is the route to fascism.  We are now heading there faster than even the most pessimistic would have considered plausible.  Resisting and opposing are necessary now, but the time is coming where frustration and outright non-compliance may become the imperative - moving into the illegitimate norms that she seems content to inflict as part of her complete inability either to lead or to recognise the damage that her coterie and paymasters want to inflict. 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Kicking the Tories when they're down

Despite the venomous ectoplasm emanating from the disgraced, odious Liam Fox, the principal driver of objective media coverage of the Brexit treachery is the reality of its treacherous imbecility.  A government, seeking to lead and promote the national interest, would, after persistent economic damage and political humiliation, would, were it not composed of the inadequate, the treacherous and the criminal, be seeking both to change course and to explain and shape public opinion.

Instead, about the only spectacle that the sorry ordure that passes for government presents to us is that of venal infighting.  A Prime Minister, wounded by hubris, incompetence and the prospect of defenestration at a time not of her choosing, who cannot provide a definition of either the national interest or articulate how her administration is capable of delivering any policy, and who is personally responsible for much of the ugly English particularism that defines her government, should be on the ropes - being mercilessly hounded for her failings and fearing the wrath of the betrayed electorate rather than her own party.

From the moment that the grubby deal with the DUP was signed, in what passes for Tory blood, May has demonstrated neither respect for constitution or the national interest.  Blatant bribery, collusion with sectarian throwbacks and a rickety Parliamentary position should have pointed the way to an opposition breakthrough.  The rage and despair that the current suspended animation provokes is an invitation for political tacticians to peel off those Tories who are appalled by the right-wing, authoritarian drift of their own party, and who would be capable of defeating May on issues where even ten seconds' inductive reasoning would suggest that the national interest trumps partisan posturing.

Perhaps the lack of political memory and education is a problem.  From the rhetoric emanating from the Corbyn cheerleaders, they would appear to consider that "one more heave" is the only political strategy, and they would rather pursue sectarian battles with others opposed to the Tories than provide leadership and consensus.   This does not increase credibility, as the key function of opposition is to harry the government out of office - and, where there is no Commons majority, this is as important as maintaining and promoting their hatred for those in their own party and outside who do not share their particular road to salvation.

As Parliament is now taking its summer break, May does not consider her position to be vulnerable from that angle.  Far more concerned about the febrile, simmering atmosphere in her own vile bunch of chancers, she will be hoping that plotting will be unreported.  As the current Tory party resembles a bizarre conflation of a chimpanzee's tea party, the 1980s Albanian Communists and a sieve, this is about as likely as a coherent European negotiating strategy awaiting.  For each Tory saviour being promoted, be it Davies, Johnson, Fox, Leadsom or even Amber Rudd, the desperation is palpable, and the damage each would do could be exploited by an Opposition determined to seize the initiative.

For those coalescing around the need for opposition, there are tentative signs of encouragement.  The coherence of positions being set out by the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens is such that their adoption does not need to be partisan.  In a time of national crisis there are Labour and Tory figures who could adopt these without blinking or the accusation of partisan betrayal.  There is no time for purity, or the constant mantric idiocy of berating the Liberal Democrats for their participation in Cameron's Coalition - which was a mistake, but which prevented much of the whole sorry, meretricious mess that we are now enduring.

The decline and fall of the UK is accelerating, and there is no good news on the horizon.  This should be the moment at which there is a clear push to name the guilty and prepare for a cold, hard reckoning of what needs to be done to restore sanity and promote the national interests.  Labour leaders are drifting into complicity with the Tories, and should calculate the risks - as frustrating the "will of the people" is a facile soundbite now, but collusion brings the risk of being the scapegoats when the Tories turn looking for someone to blame when the further reality hits home.

A summer of discontent and incompetence, leavened by national humiliation and a government sustained by bigotry, is hardly the picture that May painted for herself three months ago.  Time to keep up the pressure, and prepare to bring down the traitors.  Tumbrils and lampposts need to be on the agenda, at least metaphorically, to avoid the inevitable consequence of not taking action before the breakdown of economy, politics and society that the Tories appear to regard as acceptable collateral damage when holding onto illusory power.  Engage and destroy - the patriotic outcome.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

The paradoxical coalition

A wounded administration is still a dangerous beast.  Impotent, illegitimate and corrupt, the Conservative/DUP bastard provides Theresa May with political cover if and when Labour extricate themselves from the morbid engagement that makes them far more valuable to the Tories than any shady deal, being played as the Tories take further steps towards the cliff-edge and the abyss that awaits them as the consequences of their policies hit home.

There is a much more upbeat tone around those of us who believe that the referendum settled nothing - inadequately executed for internal Tory consumption and then debate constricted in the fascist tones of populism and the inevitability of an outcome that the serial liars and traitors (Daniel Hannan is merely one of the most egregious of this sub-species) portrayed as entirely unthinkable - the summary ejection and the realisation that the European project can proceed to impose its own terms, while music to the ears of Trump and Putin, is already impacting on the economy, the psychology and the viability of the nation.

No time for triumphalism, though, because the debate is not rational.  There has been not one attempt to articulate what the purported benefits of implementing a suicidal strategy would be, principally because there is nothing in the cupboard beyond dribbling propaganda and a feebly-articulated desire for a simpler, nastier world.  In the face of challenge, all the fools and captured charlatans can come up with is that the referendum was a democratic vote, and that therefore it remains immutable.  If that is the case, can we please return to 1975 and apply the same logic?

Most rational people, and representatives, can see the folly and stupidity of a blind pursuing of a reckless policy.  The General Election provided a freshly-elected Commons, with MPs who are not bound by the decisions of the previous House, and who should, if they are discharging non-partisan responsibility that their oath implies, be looking out for the interests of the British nations.  Where a political position is both superseded and insane, then there should be no shame in rowing back from the brink - and, as has been demonstrated by the recent election, the power of the hard right plutocrats is diminishing.

This does need new thinking - and to reflect that there is no settled faction within the Commons.  MPs are representatives not delegates, both of their constituency and their parties.  Given that, despite the apparent acquiescence of the party, much of the Momentum machine is now issuing threats of deselection to anyone who dares question the Coalition of Dishonour that Corbyn is leading alongside the far right Brexit loons in the Tories and DUP, this will require a change of approach, and the kind of cross-party bloc that has not been seen before in Westminster politics.

We have moved beyond the phase of second referendums and procedural debates at the centre into the existential crisis of a bankrupt policy and an amoral, seditious administration.  There is a solid phalanx of pro-European engagement represented in Parliament, the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid, Greens are in a pole position to focus as a bloc to attract dissenters from the main parties, without obligating support on every issue.  Having a clear, disruptive and challenging strategy to bring forward an alternative course on Brexit, and peeling off both Tory and Labour votes when necessary, would be a genuine act of opposition in a legislature where, on the central issue, there is a monolith thwarting debate and claiming a mandate that does not exist either in constitutional theory or the rapidly-changing base of public opinion.

This is not a time to assume that rationality will prevail, even in the face of evidence.  If there is a face-saving climbdown to be had, that would be, in the short-term, better than rubbing the May nose in the ordure that her behaviour deserves - revenge and realignment need to wait as part of a long game.  The meretricious and the downright criminal will get their comeuppance, but we cannot afford either hubris or triumph in the near future.  Until Labour recognises the opposition role is there for the taking, it is quite possible that Corbyn and May can thwart the changing will of the people.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

If Labour is the answer, then what is the question?

For all the rhetoric, Labour is still in denial.  The pathetic mewling of Emily Thornberry, justifying the sacking of three front-bench politicians would be ironic if the charge of "virtue signalling" were not much more closely identified with the tendency to assume that you can turn the political clock back half a century to a world where certainty and Labour vanguardism could still be projected without a sense of participating in one of the interminable television compilations that pad out uninspiring schedules.

Labour's support is brittle and may become increasingly grudging.  Evidence from recent polling suggests that their voters are sceptical of the leadership's gavotte of idiocy with Theresa May on Europe - the paradox is that this chimes with an instinctive grasp that rebalancing the economy and society cannot proceed in parallel with the destructive idiocy that Corbyn and his acolytes parade as the "will of the people".  The new Stalinists parade their single interpretation of truth, pushing the trope that dissent or recognition that the world moves on will undermine the coming revolution, with much the same unevidenced fervour demonstrated by the snivelling Brexit right.

In a more febrile political world, where old loyalties are mutable and where the urgency is to resist a right-wing, corporatist coup and rolling back conservatism, Labour's tactics may well turn out to be delusional.  The advance of insurgency politics provided the upset that was inflicted on conventional politics by the General Election, but it could equally result in a further shift when it becomes clear that the emotional punch packed by Labour's articulation of the grievance and frustration after forty years of Thatcherite lunacy is not matched by adaptability, empathy or the ability to build wider coalitions.

The Westminster electoral system punishes insurgency from outside its hegemony.  Labour's rise in 2017 may be pushing the limits, but there is no likelihood of a British En Marche emerging in the near future at national level within these confines.  However it is equally unlikely that the "one more heave" scenario will propel Labour into power without a further collapse in the SNP and Tory votes - the latter are doing their utmost to avoid the former through their bribery of the DUP and the vacuous exclusion of the devolved nations from discussions of the common future.  Peak Tory decline does not automatically translate into the forward march of Labour.

Politicians are, generally correctly, distrusted.  Blair and Cameron epitomised the sense of entitlement  - rigid party discipline and control of messaging worked where you had majorities that would permit the Corbyns of this world to rebel and maintain your control.  Cameron and May, in thrall to the cretinous, sub-normal fascists of the DUP and the Peter Bone tendency, have demonstrated that the limits of party boundaries and party wrangling betray the national interest to the extent where arraigning them for treason is more than just a debating proposition.

Corbyn does not appear to have learned this lesson, with his attack-dog apologists spewing out more venom over 49 MPs who voted against the whip than they do against the Tories.  Easy targets go largely ignored - the corruption and venality of Tory councils and their outsourcing, blame-ducking should have been the single dominant story this week.  While we all want to see the end of this squatting, squalid maladministration, a march on Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall and the defenestration not merely of the Cabinet but the entire putrid horde of Tories would have resonated much more than an internal spat.  Sadiq Khan's call for Commissioners to run the council, and any others found to have negligently endangered their citizens, would have resonated even more if it had been embraced by the national leadership.

When you have a squatting government, without a mandate or a policy, the aim should be to harry them at all costs.  It is not virtue-signalling to test the water on the convictions of those within the Tories who watch in impotent rage as the lunatics sell out our future.  It is the act of an irresponsible egotism to assume that cross-party and pluralistic approaches are somehow a sign of weakness, and that the only legitimate expression of opposition comes from Labour - where other parties and opinions are subsumed within a single, intolerant narrative where dissent is punished.  This is not strength, but an insecurity that threatens the future.

Adapting to the next eighteen months, where, as the folly and consequences of its misinterpretation of the referendum result unfold, is a challenge that Labour needs to rise to - rather than hoping that the blame will fall solely on the Tories.  Every time that the leadership permits the Tories an uncontested victory will make this even harder than it is already.  Labour is already assuming that its dominance will perpetuate the holding of noses and continued support from those who oppose the evil of the current government.  In six months' time, as the consequences of this approach become clearer, this will be a much harder sell.

This depressing prospect could undermine all the good that the opposition parties achieved in the wider context - shifting debate away from competitive tax cuts towards the definition of society and its obligations.  More people voted for parties of hope, rather than nihilism - and unless there is a recognition that Labour's future prospects depend on both mobilisation and generosity, as well as honesty around the consequences of economic catastrophe, the fragmentation and regrouping may hand the Tories not just 2022 but the next decade on a plate.  Complicity in this does not require uncritical rallying around Labour, but an honest acceptance of debate.  Three weeks after a great success, Labour is already stuttering.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Corbyn conundrum

The power of the cult in British politics is growing.  The adherents of immolation who promote the myth of Tory Brexit, usually distinguishable by a monobrowed rejection of any sentence that contains more than one clause and words with more than one syllable, continue their selfish path to destruction, now supported by a peace-threatening bribe to a tribe of Neanderthal thugs.  At the same time, there remain a core of Jeremy Corbyn's followers who have a messianic urge to both claim the right to govern and to dismiss the concerns and plurality that has led to his current near-success.

My views on the Tories would remain constant, were they not continually finding new depths of amoral cupidity into which they can descend.  It is a sad reflection of the corruption of discourse that Philip Hammond now seems like a reasonable, well-adjusted paragon of the centre-right, although his liberation by May's monumental blunder is at least resulting in some subtle, well-argued baiting of the fascists, lunatics and dribblers epitomised by the quisling tendency.  Yet when even defenders of the right find it necessary to distance themselves from the blatant blackmail being foisted on May by the DUP, there is a febrility and uncertainty that renders the path ahead remarkably interesting but deeply unnerving.

One of the most satisfying elements of the General Election result is the extent to which the hubris and arrogance on all sides did not result in a decisive outcome.  You would be forgiven, however, for assuming that Labour had, by not winning, marched to victory on a level not seen since 1945.  There is also very little reflection taking place, at least by the Labour leadership, as to the various reasons that secured a vote for them and the avoidance of the annihilation that May and Crosby had sketched out for them.  Unless this is taken on board, then this support is not a plateau for garnering votes but a peak with an equally unappealing precipice.

Even with the apparent reinforcement of a two-party system, the Commons remains unrepresentative and totally unsuitable for a modern democratic chamber.  The only viable combinations of MPs to form a party-based administration are the DUP/Tory coalition of bigotry, or a grand coalition involving Tory and Labour.  Hardly flexible, or reflective of the advance of the centre-left at the expense of UKIP, which is the under-reported analysis of this election.  Labour cannot assume that "one more heave" will secure a majority, nor that this is a desirable outcome without commitment to causes that reach beyond tribal boundaries.

The psephologists will research the extent to which Labour's support was bolstered by those who shared two imperatives - stopping May from having a free ride for five years, and creating the possibility for a contemplation of how to minimise or eliminate the damage from the European folly.  The extent to which this group of voters is engaged and prepared to continue to support Labour will be critical, as it contains people who would, in a preferential world, choose them over the Tories but would otherwise support other parties.  This may be a substantial percentage of voters, whose support was not based around enthusiasm but a recognition that in a screwed-up system the needs of the hour had to dominate.

Corbyn is popular and playing an effective outsider card at the moment.  However, this does not necessarily translate into a simple path to power.  Scotland's snubbing through the DUP deal, and the tainting of Labour's brand through its complicity in anti-SNP propaganda may well play badly in the weeks and months to come.  Anger about austerity and perpetuation of the status quo could easily tip against Labour once it becomes clear that their endorsing of the Tory Brexit line will reduce any incoming government's room for manoeuvre.  Whether Labour can position itself around a more sensible and pragmatic position that allows for rowing back from their complicity in causing the mess is a key test - and galvanising and encouraging backbench revolt in the Tory ranks has to be a priority alongside continuing to campaign - the echo chamber's adulation may not be enough if there is a bitter second election in the near future.

Much of what was in the Labour manifesto was mainstream social democracy, and should be welcomed as such.  It is why support remains high, and needs to be built on - although there is part of me that considers it significantly less adventurous than the SDP/Liberal Alliance platform of 1983, the potential to reset the political centre slightly to the left of Tony Blair would be a welcome achievement.  Political reform and internationalism cannot be forgotten as ideas that underpin a continued level of support for Labour from beyond its core base, nor should the concept of informal collaboration to undermine the Tories.  I want Labour, and by extension Corbyn, to succeed.  At this stage I am still not convinced that a heroic failure will provide the basis on which the final destruction of the Tory hegemony can be achieved.  It would be ironic if they achieve it themselves, which seems as plausible at the moment as the determinist momentum that some of the more starry-eyed on the left seem to think sufficient.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

The patriotic road to Tory Downfall

Whenever Andrea Leadsom is inflicted on the public, the Tories are in trouble.  Her sole function appears to be that of making Theresa May look as though there might have once been a flicker of humanity and common decency.  That this is at least partially successful demonstrates what a disgusting travesty of a politician Leadsom is.  A year ago, she was pretending that she was a suitable leader because someone (alas) had impregnated her - now she was seen to emerge from her sewer to berate the media for not being sufficiently uncritical about the rapid unravelling of her lies and false prospectus on Britain's future.

Far right lunatics such as Leadsom do not like the concept of free speech.  In a world where their agenda is dictated by a mixture of off-shore oligarchs, foreign powers and a self-interest that will prove suicidal, the idea that the press and the public have not just a right but a duty to challenge them is anathema.  Bread and circuses would be too much of an indulgence of the plebs, so hectoring and contempt become the staple currencies.

This hysteria demonstrates a regime that knows it is on the cusp of being found out.  From the hubris two months ago, where May's all-conquering authoritarianism would drive out all dissent and kill off parliamentary opposition for ever, there is now an impotent husk - humiliated by its own arrogance and now a laughing-stock beyond the comprehension of even the most pessimistic of the Project Fear alumni.  A Queen's Speech which, for two years, demonstrates the extent to which the Tories are now trapped at the mercy of events, and which will haunt their hopefully-troubled dreams, and the ongoing revelations of the extent to which public safety has been compromised over the last three decades, are both manifestations of a regime in denial.

Patriotism and responsibility go hand in hand.  MPs declare allegiance to the Crown and, by extension, the citizenry on whom the existence of a government machine depends.  Their duty is not to act as facilitators of a national immolation - and to provide leadership.  This goes beyond party boundaries - and especially where there is no overarching expression of public opinion.  Politicians cannot abdicate their duties, and will be found out if they do so.  Nor can they lie - as May has been doing consistently to claim that the election result gives her and her henchpeople an unfettered mandate to pursue their ends without either complaint or scrutiny.

It is difficult to envisage a nation committing such an act of egregious folly and self-destruction without external events conspiring against it.  With the exception of a few rogue states, there is not one of the UK's erstwhile allies that would have wished such a farrago of destruction and incompetence upon it.   A rational administration would be looking to mitigate and row back from inflicting damage upon its citizens, especially now that the normal processes of representative government have yielded not even a qualified consent to the course that the Tories are hell-bent on navigating the nations towards.

There may be closer analogies between the last days of the Third Reich and the Tories than is comfortable for anyone to contemplate.  For the avoidance of doubt, I am not claiming that there are many in the Conservative camp who are out-and-out Nazis, but that the behaviour patterns encouraging and abetting needless national destruction are sadly aligning themselves.  At least we still have freedom to challenge and to express dissent, which is why Leadsom's bilge and bile are such an alarming manifestation.

For most of the last eighteen months of the Second World War in Europe, it was clear that the forces lined up against Germany would prevail.  There is a similar, albeit less sinister, imbalance today in the farce that David Davis presides over.  The denial of the realities and the consequences of actions, for fear of displeasing and upsetting the leadership bunker, and the destruction of the basic pillars of civilisation proceeds regardless, and without any apparent rationality.  Working to Theresa is not in the national interests.

Leadsom's vileness at least provides confirmation that there is some form of collective cultism ongoing.  The Tories, squatting, impotent and hostage to both internal and external defenestration, are a symbol of the extent to which the darkness and evil of a regime that believes itself to be both superior and unchallengeable can fall.  It is to be hoped that the consequences of this sedition and treachery form the basis for action, and that the liars, scoundrels and thieves will be kicked out without the social and material destruction that has often accompanied the will of the people finally being unleashed.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Dacre, May and the legitimisation of terrorism

I am ashamed to hold a British passport.  A year after the referendum, Theresa May has turned the United Kingdom into a vile object of derision.  A major, albeit declining economy, and the enabler of much of the Enlightenment is now a horrible place to live, embarrassing to admit to citizenship of, and heading for a self-inflicted catastrophe that arrogance and ignorance from a government with no authority and a leadership of fourth-rate, self-serving, corrupt narcissists will exacerbate rather than turn round.  What a time this is to be alive.

A country like this needs scapegoats.  I am proud to be a saboteur, a wrecker, an enemy of the people and a citizen of nowhere - all epithets freely bestowed upon those who dare to challenge the illegitimate and idiotic direction of government.  I cannot, along with millions of others, give up the essential optimism that civilisation and intelligence have some weight against the oncoming fascist storm, or that the elusive "will of the people" requires me to modify my views, or to refrain from engagement.  It is tempting, to watch the cretins and the vandals at play, to leave the field to them - but the knowledge that when the chickens return to roost they will turn on those who either failed to warn them or who warned them only too clearly requires, at least for self-respect, to challenge and to resist the hegemony of darkness.

This week has seen the failure of government to protect its citizens, and a spineless, patronising and totally inadequate response by our alleged Prime Minister.  In order to provide relief to those who survived an inferno, hundreds of frightened, dispossessed people, an aid package is announced that amounts to two-thirds of the money given to the stoat-like fascist Jacob Rees-Mogg to refurbish his ancestral home.  In the aftermath of an event that defines the social and political divide, May goes to visit the top brass of the fire service, not the heroic rank-and-file who will reek of smoke, death and proletarian outrage.

The leader of the council responsible for the building where the inferno took place, a Nick Paget-Brown, remains in post.  He claims he offered his resignation to the borough's Tory cabinet, but they refused to accept it - the rats and vermin that infest the modern municipal Conservative party would not wish to set a precedent for accepting that with power, inflated allowances and the potential for endless graft comes the obligation to take responsibility.  Across London, from Westminster to Barnet, the leaderships ,whose usually-undeclared aim of social cleansing and the privatisation of essential services is now glaringly apparent, must be quaking at the possibility that they may not be able to hide behind officers for much longer.

When political tectonics shift, as they do, those whose vested interests defend the existing order are upset.  The disgusting tactics of the Tories (which appear to be moving towards yet another criminal investigation for electoral malpractice, even before the 2015 prosecution is concluded) have created the legitimisation of fascist mob rule that is expressed in every slavering excretion from the orifices of the Daily Mail.  Paul Dacre, who, in self-awareness constantly bandies the "c" word around his playpen, would, in a decent world, be arraigned for incitement and seditious libel.  Instead he is feted by the Tories and allowed to ride rampant over any ethics or honesty.

Dacre and his rag are part of the fatwa culture that provides far right extremists with their pseudo-justification.  Last weekend's terrorist attack on people returning from a mosque is the logical culmination of a long and dishonourable road to normalising hatred.  Over the past decade, Dacre has presided over a coarsening and deliberate degradation of journalism - identified alongside his even more uncouth comrades at the Scum for hate speech - and acting as an unelectable tribune that encourages demonisation and targeting of groups who are both minorities and vulnerable.  Over the last year he has crossed the line from being a skilful, far right propagandist to the position of caliph for the fascist minority.

The far right, as Dacre epitomises, are frightened.  What they are unleashing is on a scale that they cannot control, and threatens both their legitimacy and their hegemony.  Their apologia for the Finsbury Park terrorist was that he was "self-radicalised" - whereas in the case of the equally vile Islamist terrorists they suggest that there is something wrong with all adherents of that faith and all those who are part of the Muslim community.  He is desperately hoping that this solecism is not identified - as the legacy of a year of vilification may not be that his enemies are routed but that we turn on his evil empire.

When the Guardian published a provocative, but pertinent cartoon on Tuesday, pointing out the potential connections between right wing media outlets and the motivations of a terrorist murderer, Dacre lost his rag in public.  A bizarre "editorial" attacked the paper for its temerity in questioning the impact of the Daily Blackshirt on creating and legitimising the far right's entitlement, based on lies and half-truths that would make Goebbels blush.  Dacre lied about his links to Mail Online, probably because it continues to use the idiot Katie Hopkins to spread racist, ignorant bile and have not even had the grace to sack her for a constant parade of incitement, lies and sedition.  For a man whose organ has attempted to stifle the rule of law and to create the Poujadist equivalent of Sharia law, this is a depth of stupidity that suggests that the rat might finally be cornered.

Meanwhile, his grip is loosening.  May and Davis are now facing up to the fact that the European Union now holds all the cards, and that over the summer whatever English hubris remains will be deflated.  A government with no majority, so that its legislative programme is as limp and flaccid as its moral compass, has yet, two weeks on, to do a deal with the flat-earth dinosaurs of the Democratic Unionist Party, at the same time as its arrogance destroys the Good Friday agreement.  Hardly a great advertisement for the right - even before its stumbling, pathetic response to an avoidable disaster.

Britain desperately needs a break - and whenever one thinks that the darkest hour has come a new form of immolation emerges.  May, Dacre, Johnson and others are all scrapings from the bottom of the same septic tank, and the nations are crying out for leadership.  A British Macron is required - or at least the conditions for a break from tribal politics.  That is what Dacre and his scummy cohorts fear - a genuine reform of politics where their vested interests are given appropriate weight before being ignored.  The darkness we are now enduring might, with appropriate direction, lead to a realisation that power is achieved through citizen consent and engagement, and a revolution that turns out the hypocrites and hate-mongers that May and Dacre now represent.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Staring into the abyss

Rage is building.  Theresa May, lurching from ill-considered political liaison to full-blown contemptuousness, is rapidly turning the national fate to tragedy and farce.  The full extent of the Grenfell Tower disaster is not yet known, although its scale and impact are only too visible and imaginable, but in a week where no stable government can be formed, and when the illegitimate squatters are commencing the process of negotiations with our European allies, it is an appalling reminder of the legacy of ill-considered policy.

There are events, which, in hindsight, feel less seismic in impact than they appear to as they unfold.  This is unlikely to be one of them.  Coming after an election called for vanity and narrow partisan advantage, the focus is inevitably on the failure of the state and its apparatus to protect its citizens, and the rampant greed and incompetence that allows this to be the case.  For over thirty years, governments of all hues have pursued policies that, taken in their totality, are based not on the public good but around slogans and unproved assertions of a cultishness that would be seen as too extreme for mainstream consumption.

Rightly, attention has been focused on the heroism and suffering that accompany such grotesqueries.  The undercurrents of anger and the reflex reaction that there is something stinking and foetid in the political system are there, and being articulated.  Where you have the right-wing echo chamber  calling for an event not to be politicised, the only appropriate reaction is to speculate on precisely what they do not wish to emerge.  

During the prolonged idiocy of the campaign to leave the 21st century behind, much was made of the opportunity that this would provide for further destruction of the rights and obligations to provide a decent society.  There is the ongoing reminder of the far right's advocacy of a "bonfire of controls" - a phrase that we should use to remind them of their complicity in evil.  Shielded by wealth from the consequences of their own venal stupidity, and by a compliant media that repeats their scrofulous vomitings of "market", "enterprise" and "choice" without demur or intellectual challenge, they have fraudulently obtained power and destroyed accountability while ducking responsibility.

This week's disaster now has the feeling of inevitability.  Tory and Labour governments have washed their hands of housing policy, and in some cases the former have actively encouraged the use of economic sanctions as an indirect means of social cleansing.  London Tory Boroughs, of which Kensington and Chelsea is just one example, have followed in the footsteps of Westminster in the 1980s and taken at best a passive role in accelerating the march of inequality and exclusion, and, in some cases, actively promoted this for electoral gain.  Hardly surprising, therefore, that, beyond the insulated ranks of parasitic plutocrats there is increasing unrest.

Add to this the mania for outsourcing, subcontracting and washing hands of responsibility.  Councillors hide behind officials, who hide behind "arms-length" bodies, who hide behind contractors, who hide behind subcontractors, who hide behind suppliers, who then go bankrupt.  At the top of the pile, there is no sense of public service, and no clear acceptance that with receiving public largesse and trust there come an obligation to shoulder responsibility.  From May's choreographed and disgraceful behaviour through Ministers, Tory Council leaders and the third-rate senior officers lured by huge salaries and minimal accountability, there is a cesspool of graft and venality at the centre of all levels of government.

These are the people who claim leadership and entitlement - not those victims of their policies.  These are the people who will be engaging with European leaders in the months to come, if the seditions administration survives.  This marks the destruction of what remains of civilised values and discourse, in favour of virtue-signalling and blame-deflection.  As a republican, it is deeply ironic to observe that the hereditary monarch has displayed more empathy with human catastrophe than an allegedly-elected leader more concerned about her own survival.

Events conspire.  As has been observed, rioting is more common in the summer than the winter, and if nothing is done by May and her cabal to deflate the anger and rage then there is an increasing probability that social breakdown will occur.  Opposition politicians have been much more effective in acknowledging the risks - they will need to step up further to link the consequences of current policy with the need for change and reform, including the "unpalatable" message that society requires contributions and integrity from all levels.  Anything less will, over time, be seen as copping out and allowing the spivs, fraudsters and idiots of the Tory ascendancy off the hook - and the consequences will be unimaginable.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

A crisis deteriorating to catastrophe

Considered judgement is likely to be in short supply at the moment.  May, continuing the Tory tradition of putting narrow political advantage first, is squatting in Downing Street like the toad she is, hoping for something to turn up.  Her only potential allies are formed of throwbacks who would Oliver Cromwell and Matthew Hopkins (no relation) blush and reach for the Molotov Cocktails, and her internal defenders are the likes of Iain Duncan Smith, who is a the embodiment of disproving Lyndon Johnson's maxim about tents.

There was a grim satisfaction in the unravelling of her delusions and hubris as the election results rolled in - and in the bursting of the bubble of her followers and controllers.  When the first night of decent sleep afterwards has been completed, the situation looks even bleaker than before her bleating of "strong and stable" echoed throughout the land.  We are now being ruled by a lobotomised sheep who is entirely at the mercy of events.  A prisoner now of the hard right, the religious lunatics and every single-issue fruitcake, she has neither the wit nor the dignity to realise that her one honourable route out was to resign and to contemplate the disaster she has precipitated from the backbenches.

From May 2015, the country has been hostage to the internal disfunction of the Conservative Party.  Cameron appeased the zombie right with a referendum that he assumed would put the issue to bed, and then disappeared into the orifices of corporate wealth, leaving the field to an ever-deteriorating pool of self-seeking inadequates.  May's election fiasco is the logical culmination of a process that has failed to engage with reality, preferring instead to continue the fiction that only the views of a narrow plutocracy and net-curtain  twitchers define the future of the nations.

There is only slight consolation from being right.  From the moment that the referendum result came in, there are many of us who have been questioning the impact on the Anglo-Irish Agreement.  In copulating with the diabolic forms of the DUP it is quite clear that the English Tories do not have the slightest clue as to what they are risking.  Even Rape Clause Ruth is furiously distancing her gang of opportunist chancers from the emerging ordure/fan interface, promoting the delicious irony that relative Tory success in Scotland will result in a schism within the spiv monobrows.  May consorting with terrorist and apartheid apologists is so far removed from "strong and stable" to be risible were it not so dangerous.

Despite being given what amounts to two fingers and a clear warning, May continues to maintain her internal dialogue rather than look outwards.  Her justification that this is to "protect" negotiations with the European Union is delusional to the point of insanity.  The mood for politics is set by the immediate aftermath of an election - Cameron seized the initiative to shaft Clegg but appeared to recognise his failings.  May, instead, carried on regardless despite failing in almost all of her objectives at the start of the election campaign.  This is not the behaviour of anyone capable of running a tombola stall at the church fete, let alone a bank account without a counter-signatory.

Opponents are, sensibly, not sticking any part of their anatomy over the parapet.  In desperation, May gambles with higher and higher stakes.  Her new found vigilante friends are under investigation for money-laundering during the Leave campaign - and senior Tories (including an undistinguished MP) are subject to criminal proceedings around the last election.  It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that similar potential malpractice will emerge from this inept and immoral campaign.  From a personal survival angle, this is sensible - but the nations' interests need to be defended.

May has never seemed either capable or credible as a Minister, let alone occupant of Downing Street. Her continuation there will further undermine the standing and influence of the nation - although it will provide much amusement for those whose democratic and intellectual credentials are stronger.  She is creating a failed state, and at some stage salvation will either have to be delivered from within or the humiliation of seeking protection from outside will become necessary.  It is no longer a matter of party but of humanity to plan for the day when her contradictions and incapacity cause the collapse of the remaining order.  The long-term consequences of her arrogance have the potential to dwarf any previous national catastrophe - and they could all have been avoided.

Friday, 9 June 2017

May's blind date with terrorism

What a difference a few days make.  Last weekend, following yet another murderous atrocity in London, the Tories and their media jackals were gunning for Labour again.  This clearly failed - until last night it was unwise and optimistic to contemplate anything other than a completion of the May hubris and the return of an apparently-endorsed band of sycophants and inadequates in an unassailed triumph, prepared for nothing more than five years of raging and campaigning.  Corbyn, friend of terrorists, appeaser and consistent pacifist, was the enemy within, prepared to sell out the national interest at the drop of a grenade pin.

Unsurprisingly, the U-turn followed humiliation.  May is so deluded that her legitimate right to attempt to form a government takes on the form of some kind of divine entitlement.  The broken democracy of Britain provided an easy route for her cupidity - while precluding any potential alternative formation of government within party boundaries.  Despite the collapse in the combined Tory and UKIP vote, May considers herself above both practical and ethical concerns.  She is a prostitute, looking for clients and power above everything else - and the fading whore cannot command the premium that would come with pristine goods.

In announcing her strategy of treating with the Democratic Unionist Party she finally laid to rest any delusion that the Tories are interested in governing for the wider good.  Their venality and immorality is a good match for their alignment with Trump's deranged corruption.  The DUP is, in its current incarnation the embodiment of everything that is wrong with sectarian, fundamentalist politics.  Its purported Christianity is a deformed perversion of humanist and religious values.  Its denizens have murky pasts, directly or indirectly associated with violence, intimidation and terrorism.  In the hours immediately following the exit poll May has discarded any of the principles she claimed to have been inspired with to sup with the devil.

The short-term consequence of this will be to entrench a dictatorship and create the illusion that the Tories can establish a theocracy akin to those sought by the terrorists they so roundly excoriated and attempted to associate their opponents with.  This is vile and beneath contempt.

The arrogance of assuming that, as no other party can form an immediate government, that this legitimises collusion with the unspeakable will come back to bite May.  The concessions that she will be forced into will be beyond any reasonable proportion and will conflict with the basic duty of government including their oaths of allegiance.  This is treasonable behaviour.  It is also another prime example of expediency trumping strategy - the effect of short-term implicit coalition will be to taint the Tory brand just at the time when she has both alienated its existing supporters and provided no justification for new and recently-engaged electors to even consider voting for a hypocritical, Armalite-hugging bunch of idiots.

There are the hysterical echoes of 2010 resounding.  In that year, David Cameron failed to form a government and sucked the Liberal Democrats into his porcine embrace.  The consequences this time round are unlikely to screw over the acolytes, but will rebound on the instigators.  May might have scored a breathing space if she had tried to reach out to the 55% of electors who did not endorse her, but instead she has donned the balaclava and will take the consequences.  Nemesis, I suspect, will come sooner rather than later - but in pushing the fundamentalist button she is playing well above her capability and the consequences may be gruesome.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Be prepared

Despite all the positives, the strongest probability remains that the currently United Kingdom faces another five years of Tory rule.  Tonight may well see defeats for politicians we agree with, admire and whose loss from the Commons will further diminish its already illegitimate status.  We may be in for a further outbreak of hubris, contempt, ignorance and the idiotic repetition of "you lost, get over it".

As with the European referendum, the consequences and impact will be delayed.  It would not be an overnight plunge from authoritarian drift to totalitarian desperation.  The constant attrition of civilised standards and behaviour are already making it impossible to identify a tipping point, but it will surely come.  While being able to point to the relatively-simple gift of using evidence and inductive reasoning that permits the "I told you so" response, and providing reminders that the consequence of elections is to change representatives and therefore the potential government, there will be a natural flight response, leaving the field to the smug and the simple who will rejoice in their own complicity in immolation.

This will be rational, both personally and collectively, at least for a time.  For those of us who have spent all our enfranchised lives more or less on the losing side, or where solace can be drawn from activities beyond the political sphere, a break from engaging is probably necessary to preserve our sanity.  Outrage, complaint and resistance are all legitimate, but the negative and the futile cannot be the focus of existence while we wait for the catastrophes to embed themselves in the consciousness of the willing dupes of foreign interests, plutocrats and manipulators.

Focusing on the achievable, and moulding the consequences to minimise the impact, will be critical.  Harnessing discontent and the realisation that parts of the electorate have been played is a task which needs careful planning and articulation - there will be huge communities, both geographical and interest group, that will have been disenfranchised by a Tory win.  Working to articulate demands and setting out change, be it for national self-determination or organised resistance to the cruel and venal implications of Tory policy, and ensuring that there is evidence and there are networks in place to undermine the subversion of politics will be a long-term requirement.

Yet all this is in the future.  Disappointment is the likeliest outcome, followed by rage, impotence and resignation.  If this election gives May what she wants, then she has the floor to impose her narrow-minded idiocy and her deliberately suicidal policies - and the consequences will flow back to her.  Resisting this so far has been active and articulate, the time for contemplation of her numerous weak points and their exploitation may recommence tomorrow morning with a five-year horizon for what she would regard as "subversion and disobedience".  Tactics will be all, and playing the long game to shift the shapes of politics is fundamental.  Circumstances change - my hunch is that the Tories, should they be crowing tonight, will face their nemesis rather sooner than anyone can currently comprehend.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Who to vote for - a rhetorical question

For me, there are two defining questions that determine my political choices.  They are, for the avoidance of doubt, the mitigation if not elimination of the damage being done to the UK's nations by the futile pursuit of an unmandated approach to the European Union, and the implementation of constitutional reform sparked by a proportional voting system but reaching far beyond - purging the moribund and the venal that has been the undoing of British interests for the last century and more.

In the 2017 General Election, at best there is the possibility of damage limitation.  The utter travesty of a campaign that Theresa May and her Tory monobrows have been pursuing is contemptible and will, when the inevitable disaster strikes, not be forgotten.  At the outset of the campaign her cynical assumptions that this would be a cakewalk for the inadequate, petty and ignorant programme that her middle-English and offshore funders promote rendered the campaign a potential farrago of depressing lies and a single-sided parade of third-rate cast-offs from the fascist right.  Her courting of UKIP and its degenerate agenda was meant to be the defining characteristic - a more visually-gifted person than me should be able to draw May being ingested by a combination of Farage and Nuttall.

The depressing authoritarianism of the Tory campaign has been spotlit by the last week of its sclerotic progress.  Following two terrorist outrages during the campaign, where it is clear that the perpetrators were known to the security services and in some cases concerns had been raised by third parties, May's response has been to call for the elimination of human rights.  Maybe she is an ISIS plant, wanting to introduce dictatorship and a form of Sharia law where Paul Dacre gets to determine the acceptable boundaries of activity.  Maybe she is just another inadequate Home Secretary, whose cuts hollowed out both the police and the intelligence service.  The despicable smearing of opposition parties by Johnson and others should have been met with the riposte that if anyone has blood on their hands it is a Prime Minister, former Home Secretary, who willingly colluded with the delusion that you can cut out the legwork if you censor your citizens and spy on their activity.

The Tories have relied on vilifying and ridiculing Jeremy Corbyn.  This deflects neatly from their constant vacillation and policy reversals during the campaign.  The ultimate piece of idiocy was an intervention by the disgraced Liam Fox to the effect that any opposition to the UK's possession of weapons of mass destruction would prejudice discussions with the EU.  There is a term for this, which is fuckwittery.  The possession of nuclear weapons is not a particularly effective deterrent against terrorists.  Perhaps the Tory strategy is to make the country such a wasteland that potential murderers will think we have suffered enough.

Labour has at least engaged on the economic and social ravages that the Tories, unfettered by the need for a coalition and compromise, have been able to get away with for the last two years.  The irony of Medusa May attacking a "magic money tree" when opposition parties have shifted the debate away from the myth of excessively low taxes funding acceptable public services is lost in a world where the principal media outlets are spewing out a mediated agenda.  Whatever happens, the opposition parties have at least laid down a marker that decent services require progressive taxation, and that corporations, who benefit from the social and economic infrastructure funded by the wider community, need to bear their weight.

Where Labour has fallen short is on the two key issues that would swing my vote.  A creative response to the referendum would have been to leave options open - not denying its result but offering up the possibility that the deal available after a period of negotiations might be so damaging as to be politically as well as economically catastrophic.  This might have mopped up votes from not just those of us who are still incandescent with rage about the UKIP coup that has mesmerised May but from those who voted last year on the basis of the "promises" about economic access and freedom of movement that they were served up by the braggarts and criminals in the various Leave campaigns.

Labour still does not get the idea that the institutional reform of the British state is also important.  Its manifesto is strong on limited action, but does not reflect either the failure of the electoral system to create the context for mature democracy, nor the skew of power to unelected groups and the dominance of London and the South East's interests.  Any party promising to address the failed state apparatus and to devise a contemporary polity that reflects and encourages pluralism and protects against extreme idiocy is welcome - which is why the Liberal Democrats, Greens and the civic national parties are so much more advanced and intelligent.

In a bipolar situation, this leaves mitigation as the only option for the majority of voters.  It is simply a matter of what outcome would produce the least bad prognosis for the country.  Part of me thinks that May winning by a narrow margin would be the perfect outcome - her nose will have been rubbed in excrement (a joyous prospect) before a culinary experience therewith - and she and the Tories will be forced to implement their policies that will probably not merely accelerate the break-up of the Union they claim to be so fond of but will cause rioting and rebellion on a scale hitherto unseen.  This nihilism is seductive, but unconstructive.

Instead, where there is no chance of a rational candidate winning, voting Labour seems a much more appealing choice if they can remove Tories.  A hung parliament may not appeal to the simpletons in the major parties who believe that suppressing debate and conducting the affairs of the nation as a private fiefdom is their divine right, but it would create a potential for debate and discussion that is both open and subject to challenge.  It is not a plea for coalition, but a recognition that the crisis that these countries face is not one where there is a single point of wisdom.  The paradox of this election is that, if turnout rises and tactical voting works, both major parties could increase their vote share but that the result could be significantly more representative than the 2015 outcome.

For me, my choices in voting are clear.  In my constituency I have four candidates, two of whom tick my boxes with respect to Europe and democracy - and I had, in the end, little hesitation in endorsing someone with a probability of victory and with a record since their election of both good casework and high principles.  For those without the prospect of a victorious SNP, Plaid, Green or Liberal Democrat candidate, the choices are harder - but the chance to punish Theresa May and bring down her arrogant and vainglorious semi-fascism should probably override all other considerations.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Enough is enough: myopia and the cult of fear

It is seldom that one feels both shame and visceral anger to the extent that Theresa May engenders.  After another terrorist assault, destroying and fracturing lives, her attempt at virtue-signalling is to apparently suspend election campaigning, while using her current position to spew out the repressive and excessive authoritarianism that lies at the centre of the Tory manifesto.  This is a new low, even for the reptilian amorality that she has evidenced throughout this self-seeking and destructive election.

The hubris and hypocrisy that underpins her vileness is blatant: the farrago of idiocy that "enough is enough" demonstrates is black and evil.  Who, Madame May, was Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016?  Which of your inadequate minions is now allegedly performing the role?  Is it Amber Rudd, the harridan of Hastings, who tried to shut down debate on the links between the Tories and the Saudi regime, apparently the principal funders of the terrorists whose vicious hatred sowed death and destruction in London last night, joining a long and despairing list of European cities?

Hopefully there will be those in the media and in the opposition who are prepared to articulate this.  The Tory approach is to deflect and denigrate.  Quite frankly, I do not care whether Jeremy Corbyn had dialogue with the IRA or Sinn Fein, thirty years ago.  I do care that the Tories, with their manic xenophobia and criminal irresponsibility, are attempting to undo the entire Irish peace process in the name of their "no deal" Brexit.  I do care that the lure of financial deals in the arms trade shows an indifference that is both sociopathic and comic - Tom Lehrer's "once the rockets are up who cares where they come down" epitomises the morality of this hollow daughter of the clergy.

The Tories have presided over a steady unravelling, accelerated since their victory in 2015.  Boris Johnson attempts to smear Labour, conveniently forgetting that he himself beseeched the Mendacity of Maidenhead for more policing capital as recently as October 2015.  He has done nothing in his vile career that could be seen as in the national interest - a tinpot Donald Trump at best - and sinks to the level of his mentor whenever given the chance.

May's attempt to steal the initiative back is blatant, and, after her canting song of scumminess on the steps of Downing Street, she deserves all the obloquy she can get.  If she wins the election this will be on the back of mendacity and, at one level, the suspicion that she is exploiting others' misery.  An illegitimate government, populated by bastards of both sexes.  Given the mess and the evil that they have sown, it is almost tempting to say that they deserve to win.  The nations of Britain, however, deserve better than these clowns and Pharisees.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The madness of Queen Theresa - or a darker plot?

Despite myself, I watched a little of a televised "debate" between the nominal Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.  May is frightened, cornered and clearly unfit for office - unable to confront or defend herself, and unprepared to acknowledge that anyone can hold a view that differs from her own without sinking into the mire of treachery, subversion and sabotage.  This is not the leader of even a partially-democratic nation.  This is an out-of-control lunatic.

May's puppeteers attempt to position her as a successor to Thatcher.  In one sense she is, but only at the stage, after 1987, where the swivel-eyed paranoia and arrogance that had always been there took over and when she arrogated delusions of absolute monarchy and suburban dictatorship.  For those who remember, the irrationality and divisiveness that May regards as virtues were the collateral damage experienced by the Tories that resulted in the apparent train-wreck of the Major years and then the slow rehabilitation that culminated in Cameron's 2010 and 2015 con-tricks.

You have to look further back and further afield to find better parallels for May.  The obvious British comparison is Charles I, another weak leader who attempted to bypass Parliament and whose comeuppance was bloody, with the country as collateral damage.  She shares his contempt for those who do not meet her expectations of prejudice, compliance and suppression of dissent.  She cannot abide any legitimate challenge - opposing her is a personal attack that results in her dribbling incontinent, incoherent platitudes laced with ad hominem assaults on those who dare to suggest that she is not chosen by a vengeful God as an instrument of nemesis.

Louis XVII of France is another potential precursor.  Incapable of adaptation and flexibility, he unleashed a reaction that culminated in Terror, near-anarchy and lengthy destabilisation.  More recently, May's self-delusion and irrational behaviour resembles any one of many Latin American dictators, while her contempt for due process is aligned with Putin's and Mugabe's fig-leafs of constitutional legitimacy.  Nowhere in May's persona is there anything that resembles the civic Conservatism and the sense of public duty of which Lord Heseltine and Ken Clarke are the most prominent public custodians.

If May's alleged hotline to a divine being has any manifestation, the prospect of a satirical deity becomes much more realistic.  Instead her glassy-eyed, hectoring incoherence demonstrates someone in need of urgent psychiatric help, not a candidate to lead a fractured Union of states with the capability to use an expensive and dangerous nuclear arsenal in collaboration with a rogue US President.  Throughout her campaign she has been kept away from opponents and unselected "voters" alike, parroting inane lies and performing so many U-turns she must be grateful to have at least two faces so that one is at the front at all times.

Her performance in the public arena is pitiful to the point that an observer might wonder whether she is either too sick to hold office or whether she is deliberately self-sabotaging.  The latter may not be so far-fetched, when she is pursuing a criminally treacherous policy on Britain's future relationship with its European allies, and attempting to restrict democracy in England and roll back devolution across the other three nations.  A prisoner of Murdoch, Dacre and a cabal of bankers, manipulated by Lynton Crosby's sinister scumminess, and with no realistic prospects of delivering anything other than a self-inflicted economic and social crash, if she has the famed intellect that her dim-witted cheerleaders parade she might be wondering whether bequeathing the mess to the "coalition of chaos" might be a preferable option.

When the election was called, it was unnecessary and based around lies.  The Tory Party saw an opportunity to consolidate power.  Their assessment was that by repeating inane and manifestly inaccurate soundbites, interleaved with personal assaults on Jeremy Corbyn, they would sail to a landslide on a historic scale and a gerrymandered system.  Corbyn has played out better than I would have anticipated - hence the current near-panic and the ratcheting of hyperbole against him.  Why Labour aren't pointing out that views change over thirty years, and highlighting current leading Tories who were coalescing around the proto-UKIP of the Federation of Conservative Students and calling for Nelson Mandela's hanging shows either ineptitude or restraint - hopefully the latter.  Pictures of Thatcher with Pincohet are mirrored in May's photo-opportuities with Trump - excluded from the European leadership she now has to take solace wherever she can.

The Tory arrogance knows no bounds.  An uncosted manifesto, yet they still sneer at the Labour and Liberal parties for spelling out that the requirement for a decent society is an appropriate level of taxation to pay for it.  They brush aside the existential threat of Brexit, repeating the ultimate lie that "no deal is better than a bad deal", and make out that their leadership - incapable of consistency, stringing a sentence together or even answering the question posed to them - is somehow the match for a professional, unpressured European Union with no real requirement, political or economic, to accommodate a bunch of cowboy xenophobes with nothing to sell or bargain with that they cannot replicate within their borders.

The probability is that May will still win, despite the monstrous fascism of her campaign and the continued incompetence.  Britain's anti-democratic system is biased towards them.  However, governmental legitimacy is only supported by the will of the people - a lesson that the Tories tend to ignore.  The consequences of May's capture by UKIP and the far right are not likely to be pretty, and the challenge would then be to determine whether or not the state apparatus could survive the fractures and challenges that emerge without a final recognition that her aim is not popular legitimacy but absolutism and authoritarianism.

Someone I know was horrified earlier in the campaign when I stated that I would prefer Corbyn to May as Prime Minister.  The argument put forward was "strong and stable" and the need for leadership irrespective of policies.  Neither now holds water.  In this campaign a mad and dangerous streak has emerged, and whatever my policy differences or distaste for Corbyn's jumping on the Brexit kamikaze mission, he now looks both grounded and reasonable in comparison.  My final historical parallel is with George III.  There are numerous venal scum within the Tory party willing to act as a despotic regent - Gove, Johnson, Fox, Davis, Leadsom and others are all part of the cavalcade of twats - while Theresa talks to trees and disembowels foxes.  What a lovely prospect.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The end of May - a last flickering of optimism

The political disembowelling of Michael Fallon represents the high point of this unsavoury and unenlightening election campaign.  The Tories, behaving like cornered rats that would represent a significant advance on their moral and ethical stance, are playing the patriotism and fear cards with the desperation of a party that has been exposed for the charlatans, opportunists and hypocrites that they are.

Fallon, faced with views expressed by the self-seeking buffoon who masquerades as Foreign Secretary, automatically assumed that they had been uttered by Jeremy Corbyn.  They could have been, because they exposed the delusion that somehow Britain's little bubble remains immune both from the disasters of ideological and religious schism promoted around the world, and that there are no consequences for the home island from our actions abroad.  Expressing such a view is rational and based around evidence and inductive reasoning, which is doubtless why May and her coterie of manipulative pustules are trying to close down debate and replace it with the nauseating virtue-signalling that is the hallmark of the modern Conservative.

When yet another atrocity is committed, with evil intent, there is a tendency for the "strong and stable" delusion to be rolled out.  The normal human instinct for protection and the use of authority to defend personal interest kicks in - the questioning of "why?" is confined to the rhetorical rather than prompting an uncomfortable realisation that the vicious fascism of the Daily Mail is mirrored by extremism and irrationality from others.  Bystanders and the innocent are collateral damage, but May's cant makes it difficult to avoid a slight suspicion that a level of threat and insecurity are all part of the plan for social control.  Perhaps we should stop reading 1984, although the proles represent a manifestation of the cowed masses that the Tories prefer.

For the Tory machine, it has not been a good week.  Despite Labour's abject rejection of the need to provide leadership on the two defining issues, Brexit and the constitution, that could have provided them with a pitch for anti-Tory votes, the proposals to change social care acquired the soubriquet of the dementia tax - promoted by the insane to penalise those whose old age is not serene and ordered until the final moment, and without any consistency with the Coalition's insurance-based proposals that were scrapped in 2012 against a background of deluded backwood Tory chuntering.  The confusion and backtracking would have resonated even more in other circumstances - we need this to be given much more prominence over the next ten days.

At the same time, the generous provision of thin gruel for deprived children was exposed as having been undercosted by a factor of nine or ten.  The Institute for Fiscal Studies damned both of the principal contenders for power, but the Tories' vacuous, platitude-ridden manifesto stands out as an example of how to treat both the informed and the ignorant with equal contempt.  The economy is clearly falling off a cliff, as demonstrated by the stagflation approaching, and they are fiddling with gimmicks and wilful ignorance of the perils ahead.  Labour's optimism about tax take looks minor by comparison.

May has clearly worked out that her only asset is the negative perception of Corbyn.  She allows the third- or fourth-division "talents" of Ruth Davidson to assault the SNP, attempting to pin the blame for Westminster-driven policy on Edinburgh.  Sadly, for the Tories, Rape Clause Ruth is continually contradicting herself, making enemies, and, it is to be hoped, that socially-responsible Unionists previously tempted to the wolf's lair will resort to the risible Kezia Dugdale instead, rather than supporting a hostile regime in Westminster.

Every time she opens her mouth, pursed against the possible ingestion of the same air as her subjects, she attacks Labour.  She has nothing to offer - the entire Tory campaign is a shambles based around hatred and fear.  She looks ill, whether physically or mentally it is hard to tell.  Her wildness and irrationality resemble the latter days of Thatcher, when the poll tax was manifestly unravelling.  There is nothing of any substance to deliver the alleged professional government that she pretends would be compromised if the Tories lose the election.

That this is now a slight possibility is remarkable.  While the media concentrates on national poll ratings and the two-sided yahooism that passes for debate, there are numerous more localised contests going on.  In a system that is both undemocratic and oppressive, targeted voting and passive co-operation are more likely to work this time, especially if there is a surge in the participation rate from those recently registered to vote.  Tory Central Office is rightly concerned - differential turn-out and good information may not result in their opinion poll lead sweeping May into a dictatorship.

Therefore the priority for the next ten days is to maximise this possibility.  In the event of an upset occurring, policy and programme will need to be cobbled together quickly thereafter - but this is not the prime driver.  May called this election out of arrogance and party advantage - the nemesis of destroying this would be a pleasure in itself.  It is too early to hope that this is not a pipedream, but ten days ago this would have been pure fantasy.

An evil week has passed - and there is still much more to come.  If, this time a week ago, it had been mooted that the vile fascist Katie Hopkins would have been let go by a tinpot radio station, this would have seemed incredible.  Stranger, and larger things must happen, but there is a chance for a small chink of optimism.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Unravelling the strong and stable delusion

Queenie Theresa's assumptions are clear - whatever mud she throws at opponents will stick and will the echo chamber of the far right media will reverberate with orgasmic pleasure at every manifestation of the unravelling of democracy.  The assault on opposition leaders, be it the ineptitude of Corbyn, the competence of Sturgeon or the emerging and evolving politics of Tim Farron, is predictable and tedious, but to date has been effective.

As a tactician, May, or at least Lynton Crosby, to whom she acts as a malleable if squelchy Sooty, chose the right moment to go to the electorate.  The quantity of shit that is going to hit the ventilation system over the next two years is multiplied and ripened by the folly of Brexit, and it is already clear that the groups who have trooped, often against their self-interest, to the Tory and UKIP colours will be bearing the brunt of the catastrophic economic miscalculation that May has embraced and encouraged.  The dementia tax would, if applied correctly, raise an awfully large sum of money from those who demonstrate their idiocy by following the Tory shepherds straight into a medieval abattoir.

There is an economic storm unresolved from a decade ago, which is coming back to bite over the next two years - irrespective of the cretinous impact of David Davis and his scrofulous baboons in Europe.  Consumer spending, house price inflation and the splurge on credit are never effective fundamentals, especially in an economy that is deliberately being withdrawn from a trading bloc which has delivered significant benefits over the last four decades.  A treasonable betrayal.

With inflation now outstripping wages, and yet more draconian and ill-considered cutbacks to the social security system, there is not an encouraging prospect to be seen.  Debt will either have to be written off, which is, quite frankly, rewarding the feckless and subsidising misplaced commercial decisions by a banking sector totally unchastened by its propagation of the current depression, or there will be misery on a scale hitherto unseen.  The asset bubble will extend this into the Tory heartlands - unsupportable debt and collapsing asset prices, especially housing, will create a multiplier effect that, managed with the panache and competence that the current administration has demonstrated, will resemble a tsunami.

Those capable of inductive reasoning, and with a knowledge of economic and political history, will recognise that cut-and-run is May's rational response to buy time - hoping that the memory of the self-inflicted disaster will have faded more by 2022 than it would have done in 2020.  The attention span of the electorate is anticipated to be short - the rancid hypocrisy and self-interest around education and health will have become yet another part of the polluted hum that surrounds this venal and seditious government.

Whether the reduction in the Tory lead that some opinion polls are pointing to is more than just a sampling blip remains to be seen.  The opposition needs to be focusing on the harm and the stupidity of Tory proposals - it is telling that Corbyn's manifesto, which aligns rather more closely to the SDP's technocratic optimism of the 1980s than the Bennite suicide note of 1983, is being portrayed as some kind of Marxist coup rather than a rebalance towards basic democratic socialism.

For the last three decades, Tory and Labour leaders have been to promote the idea that politics is about protecting interest groups.  May has deserted her own dupes, assuming that they cannot shift elsewhere, while attempting to play for the UKIP delusion.  It was instructive to watch the ITV debate where May was not missed because at every stage the odious, fascist, liar Nuttall was uttering statements that it was entirely possible to imagine everything he said emanating straight from one of May's many mendacious orifices.

The opposition message has to move away from "something for nothing", which is the standard snake oil, to assaulting the Tory reality of "nothing for something", where public services are emasculated and attacked without creating either the opportunities the Tories lie about or the social cohesion that they profess to desire.  The Tories are, at the smarter end of the range, smug hypocrites and canting dummies.  The rest of them are patsies, willing colluders in their own demise.  The opposition is coming to recognise that honesty around the price of a social system that is not mired in the new right's fascism needs to be spelt out.

For me, and I suspect many others, there are a number of key issues.  Brexit remains centre stage, and the fixing rather than the dismantling of democracy in the British Isles is vital.  However, in the next two weeks focusing on Tory lies, deception and their theft of the nation's birthright is a necessary last throw of the dice before the nations are thrust into outer darkness.  May consistently invokes the "will of the people", "strong and stable" and the "enemy within".  Her role model ended as a delusional drug addict in a bunker, hoping for miracles before the inevitable end.  This should be a salutary lesson.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Letting the Tories get away with it

A government as divisive and as venal as May's is a damning prospect.   Based around the Tory entitlement to power, and with a compliant media doing its bidding, the election campaign is not an opportunity to challenge for the future direction of a damaged nation but a farrago of fears, lies and the progress to authoritarianism.  

The BBC, allegedly a public service broadcaster, repeats the lies, canards and fascist spin that emanate from Tory Central Office, with a token attempt at acknowledging opposition - while any statement of policy from opposition parties, or even, outside the Labour Party, an admission of their existence, is subject to the full ridicule of Tories who know that their venomous treachery would not stand up to rational scrutiny.

Last week, the Tories were handed yet another spinning victory when the Crown Prosecution Service "decided" that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with prosecutions of individual MPs and agents over the 2015 election.  This was given the status of the Tories being the victims of injustice, despite the conclusions and penalty levied by the Electoral Commission for the corporate manipulation and corruption of the expenses rules.  At best, the verdict would have been "not proven" in Scotland - not the exoneration that May and her scrofulous fools portrayed.

Labour's problem is not just Jeremy Corbyn.   It is the inherent tribalism of a party that still feels a sense of entitlement to govern in a bipolar system.  Despite the hammering that it took in 2015, and subsequent further unravelling, the stupidity of pretending that it can win in a geographically and culturally diverse system loaded against pluralism looks likely to hand May a landslide.  Complicit in the Brexit catastrophe, and the unnecessary election, Corbyn looks much more like Ramsay Macdonald than Clement Attlee.

Much of Labour's policy position is unobjectionable - apart from the "will of the people" monstrosity.  In a reality where there is no Tory majority, and where the fate of each British nation needs a clear articulation, the only opportunity is to demonstrate a willingness to collaborate to mitigate the undemocratic consequences of a broken system.  The Greens are the most advanced - and even the Liberal Democrats are showing signs of pragmatism rather than hubris - but this is not doffing the cap to Labour but a realistic acceptance of the need to compromise.

The existential crisis and the threat to representative government that the Tories represent is a defining moment.  Without opposition, and without a clear realisation that this requires compromise and dialogue, May's unmerited victory will be the precursor to a complete breakdown of coherence and challenge.  Before polling day, there needs at least to be a basic acceptance that to remove Tory hegemony will be a process that sweeps aside current affiliations and political strategies.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Opposing May's apartheid aspirations

The triumph of the far right in the UK is nearly complete.  In the welcome demise of UKIP's local government base, they have legitimised extremism within the Tory party and have succeeded in becoming May's Militant Tendency.  May has tacked so far to their agenda that she resembles a slightly-sanitised version of Marine Le Pen, with tendencies also pushing towards the arrogant superiority complex paralleling the leadership of apartheid-era South Africa.

May's rhetoric in this election is delusional, populist humbug.  A xenophobe, a liar and a hypocrite, she berates "foreigners" in the European Union for having a view as a party to her putative negotiations on Brexit, while jumping to the equally-foreign siren cries of Murdoch and Crosby.  She talks about "just about managing" families, while perpetuating the skewed perversions of neoliberalism.  She parrots on about "strong and stable" leadership, when she demonstrates nothing of the kind - a prisoner of her own lunacy and that of the hard right forcing the Tories further and further from a legitimate political position.

The English local elections revealed the inadequacy of the Labour response.  Most of Labour's campaign, whatever Corbyn's apologists claim, appears to be second-rate virtue signalling, without any hunger for power.  This may be a rational decision, given the extent to which the current administration has left a disaster for the incoming government, and the long-term prognosis is that, having sowed the catastrophe of Brexit, May and her self-serving cronies will come to reap the whirlwind.  However, it cannot be the aim of politicians to always avoid responsibility - the perpetual oppositional position is unattractive.

Labour is beleaguered, thanks to the incompetence and opportunism that Corbyn demonstrated over writing the Tories a blank cheque on Article 50.  Reduced to third-party status in Scotland, and unable to regain its core voters who defected to UKIP,  Labour's floundering is doing democracy a disservice.  It is likely that May will not secure a majority of the popular vote - those with a longer memory will recollect that Blair's Labour had poll ratings in 1997 that were significantly higher than delivered on the day - and that she will secure another illegitimate Commons majority.

Corbyn has demonstrated that old rebels can be attractive to a smaller group than is required to build a coalition large enough to win power.  He should be drawing the conclusions now that Labour cannot win this election, and that the only opportunity for long-term credibility is to endorse the pluralism and diversity of dissident voices within the current spectrum.  People do not need to be told what to do - they can draw their own conclusions based around local circumstances - but there needs to be a climate of collaboration as well as competition.

Containing the illegitimacy of May and her puppet-masters needs to be the priority, alongside stopping the worst excesses of the nationalist death-cult exemplified by her despicable conduct towards the EU.  There are four parties already committed to an overthrow of the distorting electoral system on the GB mainland, and to an internationalist perspective, who need to be prepared to be pragmatic.  Whatever the downstream policy divisions, for example around Scottish independence, the Greens, Liberal Democrats, SNP and Plaid Cymru need to be sensible around minimising the number of backbench Tory morons that are useful fodder for the fascists.

May's contempt for all those who disagree with her is designed to create this super-minority that will maintain the Tories in power, rather than provide a leadership that recognises debate and dissent.  Throughout her time in office her contempt for the legal process, Parliament and the wider legtimacy of politics betrays a fearful, inadequate politician with few redeeming features  Her halo, in the eyes of the far right media (which now includes the BBC), may slip if her candidates are charged with electoral malpractice during the campaign, but this will be airbrushed.

She does not wish to lead a prosperous, stable Britain.  She wants her fund managers and her media groomers to continue to accrete wealth, while ignoring the legitimacy of the citizen.  Combining both the language of Hitler and the domestic strategies of Verwoerd, she has become Nigel Farage's erotic encapsulation.  For the next four weeks we need to be calling out how an inadequate authoritarian is trying to erode opposition and take down an entire nation in the name of internal squabbles on that disgusting turf that is the Tory/Kipper hinterland.  This is the over-arching priority, and will probably occur despite Labour's approach rather than because of it.