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.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The last gasps of British democracy?

When George Osborne gets it right, the world is heading to perdition.  Theresa May's lies, arrogance and contempt are only now becoming clearer - the moronic repetition of "strong and stable" does not provide anything more than ratification of the hypothesis that she is a dictator, a serial fantasist and totally unfit to hold public office.

In calling a General Election, after her constant refusal to contemplate such an event, her cheer-leaders, sycophants and controllers are making a naked bid for dictatorship.  Untrustworthy, frightened of the people to the extent that her grand tour of Great Britain is choreographed and the general public excluded, the May bandwagon is not based on any respect for democracy, or even the sovereignty of the people.

With around 30 of the lacklustre and amoral Tories under investigation for what is already clearly systematic electoral malpractice in 2015, it is hardly surprising that sweeping bad news under the carpet, as well as exploiting Labour's continued self-destruction, appeals to a woman whose morals are those of a particularly dissipated alley-cat.  Her appropriation of patriotism, her despicable misinterpretation of Christianity and her inability to recognise that power only resides in existing structures through consent are irresponsible and criminally negligent.

Revelations keep emerging - her husband's propriety, alongside that of many of her braying backbenchers, is under question as to whether they now have a vested interest in securing the most catastrophic and most comprehensively stupid outcome from discussions with the European Union.  The possible hidden bankrolling of the Tories' 2010 campaign by HSBC is also an area which the media seem to be tiptoeing round, rather than following their instincts.

The cult of leadership, right or wrong, is appealing, especially to those who recognise that the "will of the people" is likely to come crashing down around their ears.  May appropriates the language of fascism with the political practices of a Mugabe or a communist satrap of the 1970s, photo-opportunities and a desire to change the people.  Her pathetic mewling about "lending" the Tories a vote shows how debased and craven she is - if she were a genuine Tory she would be prepared to bribe, but the cupboard is bare and even the structures in hock, and the impact of her European non-strategy will make things even worse in years to come.

Her loyal lapdogs will bark, as barking is their vocation.  If I see the duplicitous liar Ruth Davidson, whose inactivity on behalf of Scotland's interests has been documented comprehensively, extolling the rape clause and the dismantling of trade and cultural links once more it would be much less surprising than a Tory attempt to engage with anything other than the interest groups.

Corbyn continues to astound - open goals are ignored, and he continues to play to her agenda.  Having handed her the keys to Brexit, he then supports her re-election bid by playing along with her apparently-haughty, but fear-driven refusal to debate with other party leaders.  He is an enigma, but should be confined to his allotment rather than being complicit in the destruction of what was left of the rule of law.  The only hope is local activism and collaboration, which shows some signs of working, but it is probably too late.  It is to be hoped that whatever optimism there is does not get dashed by a failure to recognise that this unnecessary General Election is a precursor to authoritarianism.

May is no one-nation Tory.  She is no Thatcher, either.  Increasingly her role model feels more like Putin.  Her feet of clay, her fear of debate and challenge and her rebarbative personality need to be called out, and as much of the media has been subverted it will be up to citizens to do this.  Untrammelled, she will cause a revolution through oppression.  This is not an outcome anyone outside her little bubble will want.