Thursday, 26 January 2017

Labour's abdication

The function of opposition is not a hard one to grasp.  It is to challenge, pry and expose the inconsistencies, weaknesses and crassness of the governing party - and with the illegitimate and fascist-appeasing Theresa May the target is broad and widening by the day.  Any opponent worth their salt will exploit this vacancy and amorality, the subversion of the constitution and the looming economic catastrophe.

In extraordinary times, the sheer depravity of the current regime would be the focus of rage and anger.  May is an evil force, marshalling inadequates, fellow-travellers and outright neo-Nazis on the fringe of the Tory party to manipulate and intimidate.  Despite relatively good news on the immediate economic front (discounting inflation, investment, wages growth, the current account deficit and the state of the public finances), all the signs are there that there is no panacea to the self-inflicted shocks inflicted through leaving the European trading zone and looking for favours from an unhinged charlatan whose swivel-eyed political vomiting has become more abhorrent rather than less since his hypocritical inauguration.

This week, the rule of law was upheld, and immediately the traitors around May commenced subverting it once more.  The real opponents of this seditious government got to work - the Sturgeons, the Farrons and the Lucases of this world.  The inconsistency, the contempt for representative democracy and the failure of Cameron's government to prepare for eventualities were all on display.  Yet there was a notable absence from the challenge, the official Opposition and its Leader.

The apologists for Corbyn, who vary from those for whom his behaviour is a cult similar to that which operated around the shadier figures of the 1980s Trotskyite left (think Ted Grant, Gerry Healy) to those who are rightly delighted that he is not kow-towing to the hard right agenda dictated by England's irresponsible media, would point to his worthy denunciations of the havoc currently being wrought on the NHS and public services.  This is all very well, but by being complicit in the national vandalism that the government is now unleashing he has taken a path that invites little but contempt.

My personal view remains pro-European, but that does not mean that I wish the results of an advisory referendum to be ignored.  Corbyn is not merely abetting those who wish to progress this result, but he is legitimising a position that suggests that there is not merely a "decisive" margin of support from the referendum but that the "overwhelming" desire of those who voted to leave is for a particularly malevolent and damaging path that will make the depredations of the Thatcher period look like a form of utopian socialist experiment.

Announcing that his MPs are expected to support an inadequate government Bill to allow Mrs May to pull the trigger on national extinction and the end of the Union is the act not of a leader but of someone fatally unequipped for the role.  For his myriad faults, Blair at least understood that a weak government needs to be hounded out of office through its idiocy, division and inconsistency being exposed to view.  The Tories are not coherent, united or able to command a national majority except through a corrupt system.  Corbyn should be chasing them down, exploiting the ongoing investigations into electoral fraud and the divisions between the knuckle-dragging far right and those prepared to make a stand for the national interest.

Instead, May has a free run at the destruction of the country.  Labour's dilemma remains that its MPs often represent constituencies which voted to leave Europe, so that opposition can be painted as betrayal.  Had Corbyn articulated that there were conditions for supporting the final triggering of Article 50, including support for the freedoms of movement, trade and the environment, alongside worker protection, he might have served supporters better.  Leadership is not about craven attempts to appease the fascists of UKIP and the Mail, but about adopting and articulating a position that would provide a point of contact for voters for whom the disillusion with the Brexit elite is likely to be lengthy and protracted.

Even without this, he has failed to grasp that the fissile nature of multi-party politics is a nuanced game.  The hapless Kezia Dugdale is trying to come to terms with a Scottish landscape where Labour will be largely irrelevant as a result of its eclipse in both policy and trust by the SNP, and Corbyn comes blundering into Glasgow with a message directly conflicting with that which she has spun.  The final abdication of Labour from leading opposition leaves a vacuum.

Despite pundits and soothsayers, what happens next is unclear.  Breaking down traditional party allegiances is protracted and unpredictable in a Westminster system that has been designed for monoliths.  As the next months and years unfold, I suspect that I shall be one of many prepared to vote for candidates who are aligned to a European model, especially those untainted by the current betrayals.  Corbyn and his coterie need to reflect that pandering to the far right's voters is not the same as winning them back, and that their actions are alienating many of those who have previously, at least in England, been prepared to give Labour the benefit of the doubt.

Monday, 16 January 2017

The Tory death cult

The idea that Monday 16th January is the most depressing that 2017 could bring is laughable.  This week sees the inauguration of an illegitimate regime in the United States, which is an issue that should cause people to cower in their caves, and a speech by Theresa May on her alleged "strategy" for removing the United Kingdom from the European Union.  Both of these events are much more depressing than anything ever dreamed up to sell holidays.

Leaving Trump aside, which is a matter of languorous contemplation, the illegitimate Prime Minister has not exactly covered herself in glory over the last month.  Her idiotic parroting of slogan-based politics has now been joined by a message that "unity" is now required.  It is the kind of hollow platitude that one might expect from a politician who, when faced with an English NHS crisis and existential threats to the state that she purports to lead, prefers to continue her ridiculous obsession with clothes and image by appearing on the front cover of an American fashion magazine.  Truly the heir to Imelda Marcos, without the charm.

"Unity" as a concept is clearly only being targeted as far as the fringes of the Tory party.  The rest of us are meant to shut up and allow the vandals and wreckers to tear the heart out of economy, society and what passes for representative democracy.  May, a prisoner of her own personal inadequacy and a party that is drifting into the abyss of fascism, claims she is governing for the whole of Britain.  The technical term for this is unprintable.

Without effective opposition, she has assumed that she can achieve a Tory hegemony.  Being realistic, she has never been anything other than a tribalist traitor, and the delusions that a few peddled around the time of her coup were nothing more than diversionary tactics.  Hitler and Mussolini pretended to be interested in society, while at the same time running both a capitalist hegemony and dismantling the state.  The Tories can claim that they are not doing the same, but it is hard not to draw parallels with their vile subversion of the constitution and the windy, racist rhetoric they are not merely giving tacit approval to but promoting.

When the Supreme Court opines on the legality of bypassing an imperfect Parliament, it will be fascinating.  If there is support for the devolved nations and the evolving constitution then this is a nail in the coffin of the one-party state, and the springboard for what could turn out to be the unravelling of the Tory illusion.  A party without an electoral mandate spreading its ordure into spaces where it has minimal, if any, legitimacy, is a party that is preparing the way for constitutional upheaval that may not pave the way for their hegemony.  Disobedience, secession and reform are rather less distant than the militant fascist dribblers would have you believe.

So far, May has been protected by delusion and inertia.  An economy evidently overheating, running on consumer credit, is being matched by inflation only partly driven by May's criminally-irresponsible approach to the exchange rate.  Given the income inequalities that they promote wage inflation and industrial unrest will go hand in hand with unemployment and insecurity - all of which will be harder to cope with as the structures of the economy unwind.  May's delusion of the power balance between the traitors and the EU will unravel.  By the end of the year, the howling of the conned and the dispossessed will come back to haunt them.

It is hard to see cause for optimism at the moment for the UK, merely for its constituent nations.  In the absence of Corbyn, whose knuckle-headed response appears to be designed to appease UKIP on one issue alone, there is limited national opposition.  Instead, there may be gains from working in Scotland, Northern Ireland and those parts of England and Wales where there is a strong residual approach, while waiting for Labour to lead rather than follow.  May's appeasement of hardline unionism may help any short-term Commons manoeuvres, but it will not deliver stability.  She is a wrecker and a lunatic, and does not deserve respect or loyalty.  Whatever the details as to how the disaster unfolds, the blame needs to be pinned on an egocentric clothes-horse whose amorality and insincerity are making me warm to Tony Blair.