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.