Broad Left Blogging


Taking a broader perspective…

#No2AV is not ‘in crisis’…..

By Darrell Goodliffe.

Rupert Read, writing yesterday, seems to think the #No2AV camp is somehow ‘in meltdown’. How he reaches this conclusion because some wires got crossed over precisely who supports it is beyond me. If we take the most notable cases, the ‘loss’ of both Barry Sheerman or Michael Gove, they could well have been down to faults on their part as much as any problems with the campaign. Sheerman distinguished himself during the last government by being a disruptive influence and seems clearly to have at least been partially responsible for the confusion over his position. At first he denied he had ever spoken to the No camp then admitted his inclusion on the now infamous list could be down to an ‘informal conversation’ with No2AV organiser, Jane Kennedy. So, comrade let’s get this straight; you have never spoken to the No campaign except when you have had an informal conversation with one of their organisers? Gove’s record at Education doesn’t exactly scream decisiveness either so I can well imagine he would give off mixed signals. Similarly, though it does look like there are instances of genuine and foolish mistakes other factors influencing a retraction could be behind the scenes pressure. The size of the ‘No2AV’ list had the spin-off of making the PLP looking, once again, at a significant variance with a leader it did not elect therefore its not inconceivable that this has played a part.

Even if this isnt the case and in this instance the No camp was guilty of some sloppy research that does not equate to a ‘meltdown’ and to insist it does is the height of melodrama. Far more serious is this charge:

Maybe the problem is in part that the No campaign are in fact run by a bunch of right-wing nasties from the Tax-Payers Alliance and the Tories. Maybe that is why they have no accurate idea about what is going on inside Parties such as Labour and the Greens in terms of AV, and why they therefore not-infrequently, deliberately or as a result of cock-ups (as seems to be the case in this case), spread misinformation about the matter…

Ignoring the unnecessarily personally pejorative nature of Rupert’s remarks (‘nice’ people can have ‘nasty’ politics and vice versa) this is obviously the way that the ‘Yes’ camp will attempt to spin this incident. Of course, Rupert is ignoring the fact that leading Labour figures are on the organising committee of the No campaign and two of Britain’s three biggest trade unions, the GMB and Unite, are committed to the ‘No’ campaign. It would be nice to see the trade unions take a quasi-autonomous role in the campaign and produce their own literature as this would I feel aid the campaign in certain constituencies. Also, it would be nice if they contributed phone banking resources; phone canvassing being something that the No camp should be doing but clearly isn’t on the scale of the Yes campaign.

Rupert is trying to create ‘guilt by association’; a game we could easily play by asking him how Nick Clegg and his discredited Party are getting on as they desperately try to conceal their presence in the Yes camp so as to avoid completely guaranteeing defeat even before a vote is cast.  Speaking personally, I am quite proud to be associated with a campaign being supported by two of Britain’s leading unions (including my own) and have no problem working with those whose politics I do not share on this single issue. Divide and rule wont work and nor will trying to guilt trip the British people and progressives into accepting this truly ‘miserable little compromise’.


Filed under: Electoral Reform, Labour, Trade Unions, , , , , , ,

Loose Cannons…..

Cory Hazlehurst blogs at Paperback Rioter.

A note of warning: one of the pictures on this article isn’t nice. If you’re a bit squeamish, then be prepared to scroll past it rather quickly.

At the moment it’s hard to know for certain whether “Britain’s most liberal government ever” (© Nick Clegg) will allow police to use water cannon on protesters. Home Secretary Theresa May at first said that she would not intervene to stop police from using them, then appeared to rule the prospect out.

However, police officers appear to still be in favour of using water cannons. A recent opinion poll found that 69% supported their use against protesters, as against 23% who thought it unacceptable.

Most on the left are rightly shocked that a government could even consider such tactics against peaceful protesters. There are a number of issues with using water cannons.

Firstly, the fact that soaking people in water and then kettling them – forcing them to stand in the freezing cold for hours at a time, without letting people in and out – is obviously detrimental to the health of protestors. Imagine if this happened in the freezing temperatures we have at the moment. People could easily catch pneumonia.

There’s also the fact that if you are hit by a water cannon directly in the face, the consequences can be absolutely horrific. Via The Third Estate I came across this:

(and here comes the picture)

The picture of Wagner being helped away from the melee, his eyes swollen shut and bleeding, came to symbolise what critics claim was a heavy-handed approach by police trying to break up a demonstration against the controversial revamp of Stuttgart’s main train station.

Wagner’s doctor said the patient was currently blind and might never have his sight fully restored.

On Wednesday, news magazine Stern reported on its website that Wagner, a retired engineer had been trying to help some young people who were caught in the stream of water.

In an interview to be published on Thursday, Wagner told the magazine he had raised his arms and waved at police to indicate to them they should stop. But he was hit directly in the face with such force that he lost consciousness.

“It felt like the punch of a giant boxer,” Wagner said.

Given all this, using water cannon can already be seen as an erosion of our right to protest peacefully.

However, I think there is another, more sinister, reason why water cannon should not be used, which is not really being discussed.

At most police protests over the past couple of years, some of their more contemptible tactics have only come to the public’s attention because they have been captured on cameras, or mobile phones, belonging to ordinary people.

Take, for instance, the footage of Ian Tomlinson being struck to the floor by a police officer, the camera phone footage of police horses charging peaceful demonstrators, students in a kettle being crushed by police described by a Conservative member of the Greater London Authority as a “ghastly” incident, or pictures of a disabled journalist being pulled out of his wheelchair by police officers:

If police had used water cannon on protestors, this could damage electronic recording equipment belonging to the protestors. That makes it less likely, presumably, that these images and videos would have survived.

And that makes me very scared indeed.

Filed under: Activism, Law and Order, , , , , ,

Don’t let the real vandals get away with it….

Simon Childs is a member of the Green Party and as well as writing on his own blog regularly contributes to Newcastle University newspaper, The Courier. He also founded and edits the left-wing Newcastle newsletter; The Grey Matter.

Students on the NUS demo on the 10th September were supposed to march straight past 30 Millbank, the national offices of the Conservative Party. However, the occupation of the building by hundreds of students and the demonstrations in support in the courtyard outside were enough to divert the attention, and the footsteps of many marchers, much to the chagrin of the demo’s stewards, largely hopeless in the face of curiosity (what do we students have if not curious minds?).

What the curious were greeted with in the courtyard varied from a carnival atmosphere to scenes of violence, depending what the precise situation was at the time.

Perhaps a hundred students had originally stormed past the beleaguered police into the building. Slowly but surely, more protesters broke through the quickly strengthened police line, smashed the glass facade and entered the building. Meanwhile others noisily demonstrated in solidarity with the occupiers.

Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media has focused largely on the violence (9 UK newspapers the next day using the same photo on their front page of a demonstrator kicking a window through), in a way reminiscent of their coverage of the violence at the G20 protests.

I was present at the G20 demos and condemned the violence there, believing it to be the reckless actions of a minority and out of keeping with the spirit of the protest. I cannot denounce what happened in London last week in the same way.

While at the G20, the crowd looked on uneasy at the violent actions of the few, at Millbank people cheered as the windows were smashed and applauded the occupiers. Effigies of David Cameron and Nick Clegg were burned. Barely a second went by without an anti-Tory or anti-Lib Dem chant.

Also, it was not just attended by the ‘usual suspects – from what I could tell, most of the students there were simply angry students, not seasoned revolutionaries.

Whatever may be said of what happened, it was a real manifestation of the outrage felt by many at a government of millionaires callously wrecking ordinary young peoples’ future life chances.

Having said that, in a march of 50,000, the Millbank protesters clearly were in a minority, and many students will feel that their actions undermined the anti-cuts message of the day. I can understand their point of view.

Aaron Porter, president of NUS condemned the violence as “despicable”. Personally, I would reserve that word for the Tory/Lib Dem government who are happy to consign any semblance of state funded education we had left to the dustbin of history.

If only the NUS had been so uncompromising in its criticism of tuition fees when they were introduced by Labour in 1998, or when they were raised in 2006, as they have against the protesters, we would not be in the position we are in today.

Right or wrong, the insurrection at Millbank shows that you can only push people so far. If you disenfranchise people and vandalise their rights, they’ll vandalise your property. It might not be big, and it might not be clever, but criticism should be leveled first and foremost at the government, not at those standing up to them.

Filed under: Activism, Law and Order, , , ,

Political lies, media manipulation and the ‘shock doctrine’…

By Jay Baker

Jay is a British media activist who has almost ten years of experience as a professional documentarian, writer, youth worker, social justice campaigner, and social entrepreneur.

It’s true that lies are often perpetuated. In fact, if they’re repeated enough, these lies can be regarded as truths, and rarely even questioned at all.

An example of this is the great lie perpetuated on the people of Britain concerning the economy.

In the build-up to the general election this year, New Labour finally realized that their right-wing re-positioning and re-branding was – as expected by many – its greatest weakness. Without its heart, “the people’s party” created by the labour workforce to represent the working class mass majority now had no alternative argument to counter the Conservatives, due in part to its commitment to its doomed brand.

As a result, shocking Tory claims – on immigration, on taxes, and most of all, on the economy – went largely unchallenged. And by the time the Liberal Democrats had “sold out” (as many of its own supporters would say) in forming a coalition with the Tories, the only challenges of facts and logic in the public eye were from the likes of Caroline Lucas or Salma Yaqoob on forums such as BBC’s Question Time; lone voices in a fog of misconceptions.

So: what is the truth? First, we have to look at the lies, key lies that are perpetuated by the mainstream media:

  • Lie #1: The latest economic crisis was a freak act of nature we had to endure, a “Credit Crunch,” like a breakfast cereal we must swallow before going about our day, business as usual.
  • Lie #2: If the Credit Crunch was anyone’s fault, it was the fault of New Labour for failing to regulate the banks properly.
  • Lie #3: The only way to cope with the recession is to cut government spending and sell off public services to private interests, even if this means higher unemployment.

These are all essentially preconceived notions perpetuated by the press. Linguistics professor and political activist Noam Chomsky talks about this often: whether it be using slogans like “Support our troops” or asking the question “Can we win in Iraq?” those in positions of power and influence must use propaganda to create presuppositions and stifle or restrict and marginalize debate.

For example, Chomsky explains, a mantra such as “Support our troops” is vacuous, because it doesn’t mean anything more than asking if we, say, support the people of Iowa; there’s no counter to it – asking if we support the war policy would draw a plethora of offence, but to ask if we support the brave men and women of the armed forces offers no such room for argument. Likewise, Chomsky also suggests that asking “Can we win in Iraq?” completely ignores the greater question of whether we have any right to be there in the first place. And so, a “questioning” media indeed questions, but the questions it asks are chosen carefully to frame the debate inside a certain context, giving an illusion of media investigative journalism and “fair and balanced” coverage while propelling the debate in a particular direction.

Another example I’d offer is when firebrand politician George Galloway, love him or loathe him, showed intestinal fortitude by appearing on US airwaves via “fair and balanced” (yet pro-Republican) Fox News to talk about Afghanistan, and was repeatedly asked the question, “Is Afghanistan better without the Taliban in charge?” – meaning that Galloway the Great Orator, on a rare occasion, was defeated by having to reply conceding Afghanistan was indeed better without the Taliban, ending the interview again within that carefully conceived framework. No discussion was to be had on the fact that US taxpayers’ money went on creating the Taliban in the first place, or that the reasons for ousting them was for the next phase of what is often described as US imperialism. Fox News was faux news – merely maintaining the status quo.

This is exactly what the media has also done with the economy.

The fact of the matter – which is rarely, if ever, addressed by the press – is that the cleverly-spun “Credit Crunch” was, in fact, caused by a range of capitalism-induced conditions from removal of workers’ rights, shipping of jobs overseas, and increasing debt dependency, to US economic conditions, to, yes, Tory deregulation of the financial sector under Margaret Thatcher that started it all. Thatcherism was only saved by the success of North Sea oil, having ideologically attacked the unions by destroying key territories, from coalmining to steelworks; removing jobs, bringing unions to their knees, and decimating entire communities, sickeningly declaring “There’s no such thing as society.” It was every man (and woman) for themselves, she suggested: sink or swim.

This kind of Social Darwinism is what the Tories love: the dangerous act of applying Darwinist theories onto sociology and politics as a whole that historically gave rise to such other right-wing ideologies as Nazism. By no means an irresponsible, sweeping generalization of categorizing all right-wingers such as Thatcher as on the same page as Hitler, this is actually a very serious threat, when politicians start using Social Darwinism as a justification – that might makes right, and it’s survival of the fittest. Alarm bells must go off, because today’s Thatcher (a friend and admirer of Chilean dictator Pinochet) could be tomorrow’s Hitler.

The Tories were the ones who embraced Social Darwinism in the 80s, and financial deregulation – letting the bankers run amok, in accordance with Milton Friedman’s now-discredited economic theories – was part of it.

Yes, the Tories criticized New Labour for failure to regulate the banks, but New Labour had no response besides an immature one: “You started it.” Might doesn’t make right, and neither do two wrongs. New Labour were unable to attack the Tories because they’d come too close to attacking themselves.

But the Tories didn’t just get away with exploiting New Labour to cover up their contribution to the crisis; they were able to capitalize on it by shifting the debate – essentially aided and abetted by New Labour – towards the realms of necessary and unavoidable cuts. The fact that investment creates jobs and benefits the economy, while a deficit can be reduced through fairer taxation, was completely ignored. No, we weren’t supposed to have that discussion, and the corporate media did their job as enforcers.

While reeling from a recession, worried about their jobs, the Tories were able to apply what Naomi Klein calls the Shock Doctrine in her book of the same name: while a people are in shock, it’s possible for the Friedmanesque “Market Bolsheviks” to push through sweeping, radical reforms and policies that benefit elite interests. Eventually, the shock wears off, Klein suggests, but it’s often only after the damage has already been done.

This is what is happening to Britain today. The Tories – after criticizing New Labour for failing the NHS or universities, in addition to pointing the finger over financial deregulation – are now passing policies that reflect their ideology, and able to do it in the name of crisis (what Klein calls “disaster capitalism” exemplified by the profits made in post-Gorbachev Russia, in post-invasion Iraq, and even in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina).

The Tories have come to power at the perfect moment for them: just as 9/11 was America’s shock, allowing Bush to get away with illegal invasions and surveillance of his own people before the shock wore off there, David Cameron, supported by Nick Clegg, can use the economic crisis as an excuse for almost anything: from discussions on “innovative” universities (read: privatization) to “modernizing” the NHS (read: privatization), to cutting public services (again, privatization), these are the same old public school elitists with nothing in common with the working class people who suffer the most from the recession yet have their jobs under threat, and welfare cheques, too. Those with plenty in common with the coalition, of course, are Big Business. Their recent budget was, top to bottom, an ideological one, straight and simple – applied to a people still in shock.

Perhaps the most unfortunate fact, though, was that New Labour had little in common with the people either. Its election-winning machine had no heart, and only through its electoral destruction can it be resurrected, the new becoming old. Their choice of leader of the Labour Party has never been so important in all its history. The best choice could mean a landslide victory in 2015 – when the shock has worn off and the people destroy a likely already-imploded coalition.

Filed under: Conservatives, Economy, Media, , , , , , , , , , ,

The Undead Hand of New Labour Strikes Back….

The following article was cross-posted from the The Multicultural Politic with the kind permission of Justin Baidoo.

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on the TV without seeing a Blairite taking control of some part of government policy… the Coalition Government once again disappoint.

Prime Minister David Cameron has recently been playing a steady public relations game of trying to appear tough and Thatcherite on the deficit but also as reasonable and caring in regard to public servants. However the guile and PR wizardry shown in offsetting bribes to those who give their lives for an unnecessary war, against cutting £105 million in the regeneration of jobs in Sheffield this week, is already wearing thin. George Osborne not to be outdone by Cameron has performed even greater political sorcery by raising back from the political grave some of the worst elements of the late New Labour government. Arch-Blairite, the former Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton, has been announced by the Chancellor today, as the head of a new public sector pensions commission, thereby showing once again New Labour’s efforts in helping to legitimise the Coalition Government’s attacks on British public sector workers and pensions.

In truth, there is a woeful disparity between private sector pensions and public sector ones. Osborne states that it is unacceptable for nurses, teachers, low paid workers in local government and in other sectors of the state enjoy their above meagre pensions whilst many low paid workers in the private sector workers don’t even get meagre pensions. His cunning solution is to resolve this imbalance is by further impoverishing public sector workers in their retirement, leaving it to Clegg to announce an ambiguous axe to Members of Parliament pensions though they will probably remain gold plated with their generous golden goodbyes in this parliament. We’re all in this together then.

The New Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair once said that his priorities were “Education, Education and Education”, from that espousal brought the UK’s answer to Charter Schools in America, the city academy. Publicly funded, but privately owned and controlled with a powerful budget involving virtually no regulation or external oversight, making it ripe for corruption (paying services to your mate’s businesses) and vulnerable to economic mismanagement. This was the previous Labour government’s flagship scheme, it involved almost 200 schools in England and had taken them out of control from local democratic institutions into private hands with less accountability and exemption from the Freedom of Information Act. In many cases it brought poor schools into exceptionally bad schools with nicer (but educationally inappropriate) buildings, coupled with a drive towards higher exclusion rates particularly for children on “free school meals” and a narrowing of the curriculum available for children.

With that in mind, we have just witnessed an unholy matrimony between another Conservative Education Minister, Michael Gove, and journalist Toby Young on unleashing “free schools” on English society. Every parent wants a good local school, even teaching unions are united on that aspect. Gove and Young put their faith in untrained middle class parents to run their own schools (it’s the big society, stupid). Though the unions, particularly the National Union of Teachers, advocate that all schools should be not just publicly funded, but also owned and controlled by the local community including parents and by trusting teaching professionals to take ownership of the curriculum. Trust teaching staff? That isn’t the New Labour or evidently the Conservative way, instead they trust business, middle class do-gooders, and teaching management as they can do no wrong.

The “Free schools” policy is the Blairite Academies policy with “rocket boosters on” to quote Gove, whilst academies were initially aimed at deprived communities and transforming struggling schools; free schools are state-funded academic institutions that like Academies, are also unaccountable to local authorities but are new schools, set-up by individuals that will compete for resources against existing schools. There is no new money planned to support these free schools and they must attempt to attract children from other schools if there are to be economically viable. Rather than giving parents and communities more power and control over existing schools, the Conservative Education Secretary wants to use the New Labour argument of  “parental choice” to generate oversupply of schools and school places to create a market system in Education. Meanwhile Toby Young wants “Classics” to be a defining feature of the free school he wants to setup, a school where 10% of the intake may be selected (he hasn’t decided yet) on their aptitude to Latin at the ripe old age of 11. Bolder than Ed Balls’ pumped up Academy programme yet still true to New Labour’s ideology of the marketisation of state education.

Elsewhere in Education, the Coalition government commitment to New Labour was reinforced with the trotting out of the David “Two Brains” Willetts, a Cabinet Minister with responsibility for Higher Education. Willetts attempted to bewitch the British public by advocating that a “fair” form of taxation to pay for Universities is to saddle mostly working class students with mounting and unsustainable debt; whilst arguing that it is definitely not fair to place higher taxation, especially on those with higher incomes, to provide higher education for all. Never-mind the hypocrisy of these politicians being the beneficiaries of not only free education but receiving maintenance grants whilst they were educated; the irony is that at least 75% of the Cabinet are millionaires and they could have paid for their own education but instead claimed the free money, like they did with their tax-funded expenses.

There is no refuge from New Labour in foreign policy either, whilst there is turmoil and injustice in the Middle East, Tony Blair is positioned as the saviour of the Palestinians, his broad appeal, honesty and plain speaking makes him the West’s best hope for peace in the Middle East. The free Gaza movement flotillas expose the hatred and contempt the Israeli government has for the Palestinian people and those who attempt to alleviate their grinding poverty, Tony receives millions of dollars a year to “jaw, jaw”. Though he moonlights as an Middle East peace envoy, according to the Syrian leader recently the Middle East is edging closer and closer to “war, war”.

Filed under: Education, Labour, , , , , , , , , ,

I didn’t vote LibDem for this

The following article was cross-posted from the Hagley Road To Ladywood with the kind permission of Claude, who is a leftist blogger and translator from Birmingham. He blogs about media, culture and politics.

Axing hospitals, jobs, help for the unemployed, manufacturing projects and front line services: this cull is coming straight from the most ideological right-wing hymnsheet.
Commenting on cuts and “difficult budget decisions”, Deputy PM Nick Clegg said recently that his government would “not” do it “the way we did it in the 80s”. “We’re going to do this differently”, he remarked.

The acute observer, however, may have learnt the bitter way that, whatever the Lib Dem leader says, the exact opposite is true. In fact, his public declarations read in reverse should be coveted as the best way of predicting government policy.

And so, yesterday’s announcement that projects worth £2bn are getting axed (with another £8.5bn suspended) is a clear sign that, for all Clegg’s posturing, the 80s are actually back with a vengeance.

To quote Chris Dillow, “[W]hen Clegg says he’s going to do things differently from Thatcher, he’s right – he’ll cut overall spending by much more than she did”.

The significance of yesterday’s cuts is immense. It offers a clear glimpse of the ideological direction taken by the Con/Dem administration.

The Coalition are not cutting back on things such as council-funded festivals, public-funded anti-obesity ads or – even better – the salaries handed on a tray to the Chief Executives of Network Rail or the Royal Mail.

No. The axe is falling on public projects which were crucial in both the public and private sector. Cuts are going to affect job creation (mostly in the private sector), 21st century manufacturing, the health service and measures to help the unemployed.

Those include scrapping a much needed new hospital in the North-East and cutbacks on the Future Jobs Fund, a scheme that was created during the recession to help the long-term unemployed with jobs or training.

But probably even more significant was the massive blow dealt to manufacturing firm Sheffield Forgemasters.

Their £80 million loan would have created skilled jobs and stimulated the supply chain in low carbon power generation. It was a good investment both in terms of future green technology and long-term support of a specialised UK company with only one direct competitor in the field of heavy steel forgins and steel castings – in Japan. Other foreign companies will soon be vying to fill the gap.

Quite clearly this government is not interested in diversifying the economy away from the financial sector. They are repeating the short-termist mistakes that led us to the crisis in the first place. They are not interested in a forward-thinking manufacturing base and they have no plan for growth other than praying that their Ideological Hymnsheet may deliver the goods.

And the 11th Chapter, first epistle to the Free Marketeers, Verses 2-16 states clearly that the government shouldn’t invest in manufacturing and that mass unemployment is a price worth paying. Amen.

Filed under: Liberal Democrats, , , , , , , ,

Planet Moron

By Jay Baker

Jay is a British media activist who has almost ten years of experience as a professional documentarian, writer, youth worker, social justice campaigner, and social entrepreneur.

It’s quite remarkable how many stupid people can rise to power.

George W. Bush Jr was barely literate when he became U.S. President, and seemingly figured that the fact both “Al Qaeda” and “Iraq” had the letter Q in their names was enough of a connection to warrant an invasion on Saddam Hussein’s state following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. by predominantly Saudi Arabian plane hijackers.

We British – like much of Europe – enjoyed the opportunity to be haughty about the whole Bush Administration while big brains in sharp suits occupied our corridors of power. Yes, Bush was surrounded by names from his father’s Reaganomics era such as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, men who adhered to Milton Friedman’s brutal Social Darwinist ideologies borne out of the Chicago School of Economics, but the very fact their hand-picked puppet, “King George II,” was so inept at public speaking was embarrassing.

However, just because London’s 10 Downing Street is now home to a highly educated, articulate young man by political standards is still no reason to be stuck-up about any cerebral superiority. Smartly dressed David Cameron, fan of Margaret Thatcher, can have more degrees than a thermometer and it still wouldn’t make him a smart man. After all, Thatcher bought into Friedman’s economic doctrine, deregulating the financial sector and creating the cracks in our whole economic foundations, profit being the supreme yardstick for their success regardless of the ground beneath them where lies people’s living conditions, and the earth as a whole. The result: the economic crisis – what happens when societies simply do not have the employment and living standards needed to cope with the rate of commercialization.

Today, David Cameron resides in 10 Downing Street and tells us that in order to deal with this consequential Credit Crunch™ – as the media have cleverly branded it as a force of nature – we have to expect cuts in services that predominantly provide for poorer people, meaning that the long-term risks on our society are even greater. But Cameron, or “Camoron,” doesn’t acknowledge that. Is he aware of it? Of course he is. But he doesn’t care.

This Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition government are using this as an excuse to pander to their corporate pals – why do you think they’re talking about slashing spending for the arts and cutting the budgets of universities who must be “innovative” (which is code for mass privatization). Both art and education for the masses are dangerous for those elitists with vested interests; enlightened, empowered communities can rise up too easily. So the cuts are calculated on a class level. Oh yes, if you thought New Labour’s treasury was all about Brown-nosing the corporate sponsors and lying down for the lobbyists, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

The word “idiot” comes from the Greek idiotes meaning to put private interests above and beyond the public good. It’s fair to say that David deserves the nickname “Camoron,” because while Bush was an “American Idiot,” this Prime Minister is ours.

When the public sector came under fire from Cameron’s budget-slashing targets, their unions stood up to defend their jobs in areas that provide for the people. But Cameron, lover of private interests, condemned them, asking in his own inimitably smug and privileged manner, “What planet are they on?” Not his planet, thank goodness. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats stands beside him and approves of it all. This is the planet of the Cleggons; blood-suckers who actually transfer the financial burden from the rich onto the poor, something vampire Michael Howard would surely be very proud of, having come up with the Poll Tax for Thatcher’s government, leading to riots in the streets of London. Who wants to be on a planet like this?

Their planet is one of absolute denial, where we spend well over £30 billion a year on defence, and at the same time cut taxes and the budgets that make the poor poorer while promoting lifestyles of long working hours, gridlocked cars, and fast food. David’s planet – Planet Moron – is not a sustainable eco-system (eco-system in this case standing for “economic system.”)

This ConDem coalition seems – just like Brand Obama™ – a marketing dream: come time to pry themselves away from each other in 2015 and become rivals desperate to differentiate themselves, they can blame all their unpopular policies on one another. But again, there’s no sustainability on Planet Moron: this dream is doomed; destined to become a nightmare for both parties. Given the public’s response to negativity in politics in the last general election, it would seem that this scenario would not only weaken both parties, but turn off people who might have voted for either. Meanwhile, the only alternative option amongst the Big Three then becomes Labour – not New Labour, just Labour, the party of the people, of the public, with union backing. That’s their winning brand, if they utilize it.

So, Planet Moron is indeed doomed. But it’s only after destruction that we can enjoy resurrection. So, brace yourselves.

“I did not mean to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.” – John Stuart Mills, 1866.

Filed under: Media, , , , , , , , , ,




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