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Flat or Sparkling Campaign?

W Stephen Gilbert

People generally vote out of self-interest. Of course they do. The snag is that relatively few have any sense of where their self-interest lies.

Throughout the history of democracy across the world, the chasm between wealth and poverty has been sustained by the voting patterns of the nonaffluent, far too few of whom embrace political organisations that aim to take them out of poverty and want.

The largest single contributor to the warming of the global climate is the electoral support enjoyed by those who warm it. The wealthy are motivated only by short-term profit, by the freedom to exploit moneymaking opportunities without the intrusion of law and politics.

Insofar as they consider the state of the world beyond their own deaths (You Can’t Take It With You, as Frank Capra’s 1938 movie was entitled, was made when Capra’s anti-fat-cat comedies briefly struck a chord in an American public still suffering the effects of the Great Depression), these people make provision for their descendants to be safeguarded against the effects of global warming by gating them away from common humanity, and leave the rest to the mercy of the floods, droughts, fires, famines and tornadoes. Why wouldn’t they?

The only non-millionaires wealthy people ever encounter – apart from the politicians and other suckers who work as their fixers – are their own staff.

These exploiters have politicians in their pockets and ensure that those politicians get elected. The leaders of two of the largest democracies on earth, Bolsonaro and Trump (one of whom will be and the other of whom already is a billionaire), are not only climate change deniers but are actively engaged in projects that palpably damage the environment.

That small- and big-L Liberal hero Justin Trudeau trumpets his green credentials, but his Canadian government supports the biggest single pollutant project in the world, the gigantic Alberta oil sands corporation, as Simon Reeves discovered in his BBC television series The Americas the other week.

Yet these biddable politicians, who put big business before the survival of life on earth, are passionately supported by thousands who have most to lose under climate change. Truly, people get the politicians they deserve.

This is not just the case on green issues, but on all issues of redistribution of wealth.

Many more American voters are entranced by the notion that the so-called American dream should be available unfettered to all, than by the notion that access to that dream needs fundamentally readjusting to give it any semblance of democracy or equality.

Thus are preserved the advantages built-in for those who already live more of that dream than everyone else can contemplate. No wonder so many people buy lottery tickets.

Tragically, far more citizens of the world cast their votes out of profound ignorance and/or indifference to anything that really matters than those who mean the exercise of their democratic right to be meaningful.

Your cross on the ballot paper, born of your passion or ideology or long consideration or deliberate tactics, is neutralised by that of someone voting by whim or incomprehension or unexamined habit or sheer perversity. Electoral results are determined by mass senselessness.

In recent years, notably since Dwight Eisenhower and (thirty years later) Ronald Reagan were elected US president, celebrity has played a significant role in national politics. Many will vote for Boris Johnson simply because he is – and, more than his rivals, conforms to the broad perception of – a telly star.

Donald Trump benefitted from a similar demographic, as did Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, Imran Khan in Pakistan, Beppe Grillo in Italy, Israeli cabinet minister/news anchor Yair Lapid, footballer George Weah in Liberia and many others.

Think of the potential thicker end of such a wedge – Ant and Dec being thrust into Downing Street as joint prime ministers – and, unless you’re hopelessly starry-eyed, you will see the absurdity of this trend.

Trump has also impacted the operation of the political climate in an unexpected and highly damaging way. By his relentless departures from all the norms of political practice, he has inured himself against disapproval among all the electorate save those now deemed old-fashioned and conventional, which is to say those actually exercised by the upholding of honesty, respectful behaviour and the rule of law.

Trump has demonstrated that a self-confident politician can say whatever the hell he likes, however untrue, perfidious, vile or inane, and his fans will lap it up, while those who despise him are worn down by the said relentlessness. Trump’s Achilles heel is that the law may still destroy his presidency. It’s hard to see that the ballot box alone can be relied upon to do so.

Johnson has tapped into something similar. The shrugging response of his lieutenants – “it may be bollocks but never mind, it’s just Boris being Boris” – draws the teeth from his mendacity, his laziness with detail, his heedlessly insulting remarks and what, for David Cameron, was an unhelpful “toff” image.

But, like Trump, he has cottoned on to the power of a simple (simple-minded) slogan. “Let’s get Brexit done” is as easy to assimilate as “Let’s make America great again” and appeals to the same, politically indifferent demographic. It’s an easier sell to a broad audience than Labour’s nuanced appeal to rationality.

Johnson’s loudly trumpeted pro-Brexit stance is thought to secure him a tranche of votes, many of them among hitherto working-class, Labour-voting communities, his notorious havering over which stance on the EU to take (he wrote an article advocating each option and then waited to see which would do him the more good) no longer gaining traction.

Labour’s Brexit stance, routinely accounted for months in the media as confused and/or fence-sitting, as if this were an objective description rather than a tendentious judgment, is perfectly clear, and has been arrived at logically and in response to the developing situation in parliament as well as to the writhings of successive Tory administrations.

Labour will negotiate a more practical and mature deal with Brussels than Johnson managed – even Tories admit that his deal is even worse than Theresa May’s – and then put it to a further referendum, which is the democratic way.

Labour is the only party that doesn’t repudiate the wishes of one or other half of the electorate; instead, it’s looking for a better and a more widely accepted solution to this long melodrama.

Opinion polls and media commentators have long taken it as axiomatic that Labour will lose swathes of traditional seats in the north and the midlands of England, because supposedly “everyone” there voted Leave and they’re now “fed up” and consider themselves “betrayed” by Labour.

There may be some tenuous basis for these assumptions, though it’s always as well to remember that most opinion polls have been entirely unreliable indicators of what will happen in most elections at all levels on both sides of the Atlantic ever since the turn of the century. (I manage a Facebook page called Never Trust Opinion Polls and I commend it to you).

At the time of writing, the Brexit Party is still standing in Labour-held seats where the 2016 vote to leave was high. This may win them seats, but it equally well may also take votes from the Tories sufficient to split the anti-Labour vote. We may reasonably imagine that, in Leave-heavy seats, the Liberal Democrat share will also decline.

Naturally, Brexit exhaustion is generally felt, but considerably more keenly by those on whose lives it impinges daily – which is to say primarily politicians and political commentators – than anyone else. As with most subjects, most people have but a headline-sized grasp of the detail of Brexit.

If the headlines reinforce the notion in sufficient numbers of minds that Johnson is determined and unyielding rather than dogmatic and shallow-minded, and Corbyn dithering and appeasing rather than pragmatic and democratic, the vote may well go badly in these areas for Labour.

But another influence is the noise that Labour MPs and members have made in support of the Remain cause. They have perpetuated the impression of Labour being a divided party, just as the prolonged accusation that the party is anti-Semitic has sullied its fundamental and well-earned reputation for progressive and non-discriminatory policies and behaviour.

What is rarely heard is the left argument for leaving the EU with a practical and constructive deal. Under the terms of both the Rome and the Lisbon Treaties, it would be very difficult and controversial – perhaps impossible – for a Labour government to carry out many of the policies on which it will have been elected, specifically all the plans to bring the railways, the public utilities and parts of BT back into public ownership, and the extensive programme of public investment in infrastructure.

The creed of the EU (and before it the Common Market) is clearly spelled out in the Lisbon Treaty: “an open market with free competition” [Article 119].

People cry: “oh, but the French have nationalised trains. The SNCF is entirely state-owned”. True, but the SNCF predates the creation of the Common Market, as do all the state-run transport systems that obtain right across Europe.

Had Thatcher not privatised British Rail, we would still have a publicly owned rail system here, but Thatcher’s sweeping privatisation plan was carried out precisely under the assumption that it could never be reversed because we would always be EU members.

And in fact the EU is beginning to dismantle the existing national rail systems of Europe by obliging all member states to introduce a private element by 2023.

Italy’s recent governments have been at odds with Brussels over nationalisation schemes. Only this month, the Italians have had to set aside plans to take over a steel plant. If the EU won’t sanction the rescue of a failing steel plant, how would it sanction the taking into public ownership of businesses that it considers to be competitive in Britain?

Labour remainers discount this argument because they believe that the predicted economic cost of leaving outweighs everything. Leavers remember the urgent warnings that, if we voted Leave in 2016, the sky would fall in.

It cannot be denied, though, that there are elements in the Labour Party that favour a mixed rather than a command economy, MPs who won’t be warmly promising free broadband or state-run utilities on the doorstep, and such people are apt also to be remainers.

What they need to emphasise to fellow remainers is that the only route to the UK remaining in Europe is through the additional referendum that Labour uniquely promise.

Despite Jo Swinson’s hubris, there is not going to a Lib Dem government or even a Lib Dem/Green government. And the heedless Swinson has categorically ruled out working with either of the main parties.

The media have been hailing this as the “most important” and the “most unpredictable” election of modern times. I cannot remember a single general election that wasn’t sold as the “most important”.

After all, the media want your custom, so “not very interesting” wouldn’t be a strong selling point. If – to repeat – the opinion polls are constantly unreliable, then every election is, by definition, unpredictable because commentators base their predictions on polls.

The BBC, in particular, has only recently settled to its corporate stance on election coverage.

Since Corbyn first ran for the Labour leadership, its position (consciously or unconsciously, overtly or covertly) has been that he cannot and will not be prime minister. I will not tax my readers with another rehearsal of the outrages that BBC reporters and presenters have committed.

What has complicated their mission is that, in the same semi-conscious way, the BBC’s corporate stance on Brexit has been in favour of staying in the EU. Boris Johnson’s arrival at Number 10 loosened the BBC’s instinctive support for the Tory government.

The unruly and frequently risible demeanour of the new prime minister, coupled with his unabashed support for leaving the EU, gave the BBC two targets to aim at. That there might be a scenario in which the Lib Dems, the Greens and the SNP jointly prevailed in the next parliament encouraged the Corporation to choose ‘trust’ as its major theme for election reporting, because the notion supposedly undermines both Johnson and Corbyn.

Is the BBC biased in favour of Nicola Sturgeon? Though it imagines (and claims) that it covers general elections in a strictly balanced way, that claim clearly doesn’t apply to Scotland. The editorial implication that the SNP equates to the other parties throughout the UK is false.

Sturgeon is daily on BBC news bulletins but when did you last see the leaders in Scotland of Labour, the Tories, the Lib Dems, the Greens or Brexit? Could you even recognise or name any of them, unless you actually live in Scotland? And how would the BBC play it if any party other than the SNP formed the Holyrood government?

I don’t remember any sense that Donald Dewar or Jack McConnell were favoured over other Scottish party leaders in general election coverage when they were Labour First Ministers.

It may be that, viewed from Scotland, the balance between the native parties seems more fastidiously observed, but Scotland receives the same nationally broadcast news bulletins and fully networked currents affairs programmes that the rest of us do, and there the SNP is featured in a way that the other Scottish parties are not.

If Sturgeon’s argument prevails and she is admitted to the nationally televised debates, shouldn’t the other specifically Scottish leaders be featured too? It’s true that the SNP is represented in the Commons – indeed is the third-largest party – but Sturgeon does not sit in the Commons and there are no elections for Holyrood in December.

Shouldn’t the broadcasters insist that only Ian Blackford, the SNP leader in the Commons, can partake of such debates and indeed shouldn’t national news coverage concentrate on him rather than Sturgeon?

For Labour, there is much to hope for and much to fear. The most ambitious and far-sighted programme it has offered since 1945 will certainly fire up the base and should convert many who detect opportunity for themselves in these undertakings.

Corbyn’s skills as an electioneering leader have been honed over many more campaigns than any of his opponents; only Sturgeon rivals him.

The polls, on which so many base their assumptions, will narrow. But if the possibility of a Labour win becomes impossible to discount, the establishment will go into overdrive to prevent it. No dirty trick, no illegality, no desperate measure will be overlooked. The 11th hour sensation, however dishonest, will be trundled out. It will get unprecedentedly ugly.

But of course Labour could fail without resort to extreme measures. It’s often suggested that the electorate is becoming fractured and volatile, that familiar voting patterns are a thing of the past.

Brexit is most blamed for this, but such developments have occurred all over Europe and beyond, with many long-established parties swept away and new political configurations springing up, often with none of the usual credentials to underpin their appeal. Most worryingly, the far right is on the march everywhere and in some nations taking power. In several countries, coalitions are the norm.

So it would be unwise to pooh-pooh the possibility of a hung parliament, or a parliament in which one or other or both of the largest parties suffers a serious rebuff, or indeed one in which the far right enters in some strength.

If everyone is agreed that politics has become unpredictable, no outcome can be ruled out, not even a coalition government including Brexit Party nonentities who cannot even define the word ‘democracy’ and whose nominal leader hasn’t even run for a seat.

If Labour should fail, a painful bloodletting would surely follow.

The future of progressive politics would be on life support and nothing ailing can anticipate much help from a renewed Johnson government, with or without the active participation of Nigel Farage.

Those who unwittingly vote against their self-interest would soon learn the pain of being denied their medication because it has suddenly become too expensive for the NHS to supply, of their public transport disappearing and broadband becoming even slower because they live in an unsexy, unprofitable part of the country, of fearing to venture out because of the unpoliced gangs roaming the streets and the shame of the legions of homeless sleeping rough, of the rich continuing to get richer and hence, inevitably, the poor growing poorer so that food banks (perhaps formalised into a private business – Virgin Food anyone?) spread and become the norm, of seeing native wildlife decimated further because farming is deregulated, fox-hunting decriminalised and, at Johnson’s behest, bullfighting introduced in Britain.

Never mind the Union or a referendum. Scotland, then Wales too, would surely declare UDI.

Those of us who have longed for a truly reforming, Socialist government all these decades will continue to fight this election to win, canvassing, leafleting, posting, tweeting, arguing and nagging till we drop.

But, as I wrote at the outset, people are apt to vote against their own self-interest, even while they imagine that nasty parties will benefit them. And the logical end of that particular phenomenon is that the planet will become uninhabitable long before the sun burns it to a crisp.

We’re all doomed, really.

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Peter in Seattle
Peter in Seattle
Dec 6, 2019 7:08 PM

People cry: “[O]h, but the French have nationalised trains. The SNCF is entirely state-owned”. True, but the SNCF predates the creation of the Common Market, as do all the state-run transport systems that obtain right across Europe.

France, pursuant to EC directives, is in the process of privatizing its rail system. Over a thousand private companies have already been set up to handle spun-off SNCF functions. I’m guessing that Britain will soon be facing a challenge for the title of most expensive, worst performing rail system in Europe.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 26, 2019 8:54 AM

Oh what utter tun eared twattery – the tories by the day digging bigger holes for themselves – i don’t know if I should laugh or cry – the poor distressed Dunn family, it is heart rending.

Scumbag Raab.

‘Raab was heckled during his final address at a hustings in East Molesey, Surrey, on Monday evening, with one woman standing up to ask him about Dunn, whose family and friends were kept outside for the duration of the event due to purported concerns about overcrowding.

Raab was later confronted by Tim Dunn, Harry’s father, and friends of the late 19-year-old as he left the building and was ushered into his official car. Police officers and security staff were stopping people from blocking the exit, while the crowd booed Raab and shouted “coward” as he drove away.

“We were receiving live tweets from Harry Dunn’s family members, and his father, who travelled down with family members, to go into the hustings and speak to Dominic Raab,” said Rebecca Little, a local resident who stood up to address the foreign secretary.

“I was shut down by the shouting when I stood up but I could see other people in the audience saying ‘come on, let them in’. There were several security detail preventing the family from coming in but they have a right to enter the hustings.’

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/25/harry-dunn-family-urge-voters-to-unseat-dominic-raab

davemass
davemass
Nov 26, 2019 4:40 AM

Labour said they would respect the 2016 result- now they offer a 2nd referendum, at the same time saying they will get utilities back under state-control, assuming of course, the ref.#2 says ‘leave’. The EU will not let us leave.
Corbyn has been viciously attacked from day1, and now Starmer and Abbot, even McDonnell have painted him into a corner. He will go after Dec.12, so the establishment breathe a sigh of relief, and back to the status quo.
I joined Labour when Corbyn won, and left this year when they went for ref.#2. (A ‘Leaver’)
As Michael Foot had a point about taking over banks if they misbehaved, Corbyn will be proved right in the near future, about the EU which he personally knows is the ‘capitalists’ club’.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 25, 2019 3:43 PM

I have come across useful studies last night that explains the why? & the how? Of the fake polls.

1. Why? – it seems close polls INCREASE turnout.
https://www.nber.org/papers/w23490

So the purpose of the Opinium type gross distortion is to LOWER the turnout.
It is good to get that proof of what I decided ages ago.

2. How? – It is the self selected group of recipients and their repeat inclusion, and ‘secret’ weighting formulae by the pollsters that delivers that result.

https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2019/10/29/long-read-are-opinion-polls-pro-leave-biased/

‘A extremely essential and timely piece of research by Thiemo Fetzer (University of Warwick) illustrates some of the technical issues that arise using the example of the British Election Study, which is an important point of reference for much UK political science research. The analysis suggests that repeat participation in the BES panel may systematically skew the implied Leave/ Remain split in favour of Leave. ‘

———
I ask one further question that has been nagging at me for months – why try and lower the turnout?

The only reason I can think of is that it makes it easier to ‘fix’ the result.

Ballot stuffing – the lower the turnout the fewer fake ballots needed to skew the outcome; and so the lower the chance of being caught out by a suspiciously higher turnout!

It’s my theory, I have no proof of the illegality, just circumstancial evidence, that the vector for the ballot stuffing is postal votes. But that makes me a conspiracy theorist according to other commentators.

Until the detailed data is handed over by the Electoral Commission and examined by scientific methods and experts – you may want to consider me a conspiracy theorist too – when I say that was how the brexit referendum was ‘fixed’ (and i think the Scottish one too), going by the suspiciously high turnout in certain counting areas – in excess of 80% even in some.

Can we rely on the supposed integrity of the privatised Electoral Commission at such a crucial election without independent oversight?

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Nov 25, 2019 10:46 AM

One thing that always occurs to me about UK elections and political parties and that is the total absence of any foreign policy discussion. That has all apparently been settled; it is a bi-partisan issue best left to the higher ups in the Foreign Office who know best. It really is surreal; here with have all three major parties with no debate over Trident (replacing the current class of nuclear submarines is expected to cost £31 billion. Another £10 billion has been put aside to cover any extra costs or spending over the estimate). How many hospitals and schools would that built? I must give Corbyn his due in that he voted against, unfortunately his pro-NATO Blairite MP’s didn’t and we’re stuck with a very expensive white elephant.

But the political class in general are absolutely committed to NATO and the western alliance and US leadership (i.e., US vassalage). As a matter of fact we have a foreign policy, but one which of largely moulded by outside forces and still controlled by the US-Israel axis: After the war, Operation Gladio, Operation Paperclip, Operation Mockingbird, were carried out by the CIA and its local proxies and reduced us to vassal status.

Which brings me to Israel. All three political parties have been infiltrated by Israeli apparatchiks, other pro-zionist organizations and individual party members. – See ‘The Lobby’ the Al Jazeera sting operation. Among the mainstream political parties, Labour Friends of Israel, Conservative Friends of Israel, Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel, all have a substantial membership in the Labour party, and an overwhelming membership (apparently 80%) in the Conservative party. These organizations do not represent British interests, only Israel’s, interests. But to say this is strictly taboo. And if aspiring politicians want to get on, membership of these organizations is pretty much mandatory. Not that they necessary believe in any of it, they’re just ambitious.

Of course any criticism of the empire is absolutely out of bounds; no-one, even including Corbyn, is spared from anti-Semitic slurs when attention is focussed on anyone who dares to even talk about Israel in a critical manner. So we have to all be good little boys and not raise any of these embarrassing issues – foreign policy is already decided and set in stone. The notion of neutrality and Finlandisation has now been ousted by foreign powers who impose a real realpolitik incumbent on all the states of Europe, more or less.

But apparently this is not worth discussion.

lundiel
lundiel
Nov 25, 2019 12:39 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Completely agree. We don’t even have any say in the already agreed integration of our armed forces into a European defence force, let alone NATO. We’re committed to funding foreign policy objectives that will undoubtedly result in conflict. Re; friends of Israel. For a new MP, on their first day at Westminster they’re assigned an experienced MP to show them round, it’s just like a freshers fair and they are all invited to join friends of Israel.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 25, 2019 3:19 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Isn’t brexit a foreign policy issue?

lundiel
lundiel
Nov 25, 2019 5:00 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Yes but in or out, foreign policy will remain the same. We’ll still integrate our military into a European defence force and we, and the Europeans will still be NATO members.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 25, 2019 6:22 PM
Reply to  lundiel

Bear with me Lundiel (& i’m sure you’ll guess where it is going, being me) 😜

The EU covers our foreign policy with 27 other EU member countries.

The EU’s foreign policy with the rest of the world aims to collectively cover all the EU members collectively with the rest of the world.

Nato is an anachronism of the cold war and should have been disbanded once the USSR was disbanded – instead of expanding into these ex USSR countries.

The EU policy of ‘Fortress Europe’ is the EU members choice of which we are central members – any EU collective force, would be a mini nato ‘without’ the yanks and canuks. There is no need to pay the 2% gni ‘protection’ racket insurance or buy their useless MIC weapons systems like the F35’s or the useless nukes.

Russia is not the USSR and does not want to invade the EU – it wants to do trade and improve the well being of their people.

The attempt to pivot the election campaign to foreign issues this week follows the attempt to divert to Handy Andy last week. It is aimed directly towards getting people to NOT pay attention to all the major domestic issues in this election and keep it about brexit and specifically the HARD brexit which is what all the austerity and crap of most of this decade has been about – for the benefit of the very few.

See? 🤗

lundiel
lundiel
Nov 25, 2019 7:04 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

You and I both know that, our government, of whatever colour, is wedded to American/Israeli foreign policy along with the French government (no matter what Macron says in his Napoleonic dreams), Germany and all the Eastern European countries. Even if we (Britain) stayed in the EU (which we mostly will), our politicians, civil servants, security services and military are staunch Atlanticists who would see us leave the EU all over again rather than break the unbreakable ties to America. Our forrey into a European army is just going to increase our military committment, cost us more money and increase “defence” spending.
If Russia presents no threat to us (which it doesn’t), why create a European army at all? Don’t say “to release us from American policy”. It won’ make a scrap of difference other than a realignment to European weapon systems….but we’ll never get rid of Trident.

lundiel
lundiel
Nov 25, 2019 7:18 PM
Reply to  lundiel

The only non-NATO enemy a European army would be used against would be African, or more likely, Europeans. I can also see it as a bulwark against Turkey, if it enters into Russian influence.
Whatever, it is not in the interest of the British people but like I said, we don’t get any say in it, ever.

lundiel
lundiel
Nov 25, 2019 7:23 PM
Reply to  lundiel

PS. Norway, Denmark and Sweden are also very pro-NATO.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 25, 2019 8:17 PM
Reply to  lundiel

I agree with you – The Fortress Europe concept is not new.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortress_Europe

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/theneweurope/wk22.htm

A combined and effective foces for the EU which is cheaper and more integrated and much smaller than 28 individual forces is a natural and sensible idea – especially if the EU has to act militarily beyond its borders, surely?

The only people who want nato to carryon is the MIC which has sucked trillions from the US taxpayers (as Trump knows and is trying to restrain) as well as having their placemen in Europe to keep the money flowing.

Nato is not fit for purpose. Neither is Trident and the submarines which are easily spotted by low satellites/high flying drones in anything ex elt the very deepest waters of the ocean trenches.

Cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons are the new strategic systems, even ICBM’s are reaching obsolescence with space based weapons … we had to stop using cavalry when faced with advancing tech. Trump is trying to buy off the MIC with ‘Space Force’ and the Artemis space program (the new Apollo) mission to Mars via the Moon to assuage their gluttony and war mongering!

Anyway, I was trying to engage Francis as he tried to divert to foreign policy as a means of countering the Labour gaining the agenda this election, but he obviously doesn’t like playing with me! Too Spikey perhaps?

See you next time.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Nov 25, 2019 10:09 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Okay, you invited me.

So lets rumble.

The overwhelming Labour party leadership are completely Atlanticist in their outlook and Labour is committed to purchase Trident at some time in the future, at a cool £31 billion with an additional £10 billion reserve to cover any additional expenditure. Is that is your idea of socialism? Tell you what, why not ask Mr Corbyn to cancel Trident so that he could afford all the grandiose schemes recently mooted by MacDonnel. That seems a good socialist policy to me. But this would of course be inexpedient, and its not going to happen.

The reason he doesn’t do this is that is that he cannot, since this would divide the Labour party into warring factions. How well I remember in the old days those fiery debates between people like Benn and Healey. But nowadays the Labour party simply toes the line and always has; but in those days the right-wing of the party had to fight to get their policies adopted. Today, however … HM loyal opposition tends to say how high when its American masters say jump. But this is true of all mainstream – including social-democratic – political parties in Europe.

That is how I would expect the Conservatives to behave, it’s in their DNA, but Labour? Whenever the issue comes up they simply ‘bottle it’ in football parlance.

The European continent – including the UK – is, as far as matters of foreign policy and geopolitics are concerned, an occupied zone. The UK is and remains an imperialist power – the most loyal ally – of the United States and of course by implication, Israel. All of which are pissing in the same pot. It is even mooted that the CIA-Mossad-MI6, which to me sounds very plausible, have merged into one, but I digress.

This is an area which an area which Labour will not touch, ask the lovely Ms Thornberry. In recent years it has become in my view just another centre-left establishment party, particularly in this area. Respectability and responsibility have become the present posture of Labour’s political strategy in order not to offend the powers that be in order to get elected to office; I say office rather than power since that is all it will get. But this is perhaps conjecture on my part, although looking at the state of social-democracy in Europe as a whole this is where it may be headed.

BTW, I’ll discuss domestic policies anytime you want, particularly the Brexit brouhaha.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 25, 2019 11:05 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

“Okay, you invited me.”
YOU, invited a reply to your o/p.

“So lets rumble.”
I prefer to dance – do you want to be Jets or Sharks?😜

“The overwhelming Labour party leadership are completely Atlanticist..”
There’s a lot fewer of them since the chickencouper PLooPers flounced and there will be a lot more traditional socialist democrats in a couple of weeks in the PLP.

“Labour is committed to purchase Trident at some time in the future”
Until they are not committed to in the future – that’s a different country.

“Is that is your idea of socialism? ”
It sure as heck isn’t yours.

“The reason he doesn’t do this is that is that he cannot, ”
Correct. We DON’T elect presidents no matter how much the establishment try to make us believe we do.

“Today, however … HM loyal opposition tends to say how high when its American masters say jump.”
Yeah, yeah -‘Trump brexit deal’, ‘our NHS is not for sale’.

The most of the rest of your jig is stating the FACT of 5+1 eyed monster Anglo Imperial multi century conquistadors – they are in retreat and their days are numbered, yet they are like cornered rats fighting – DeeDee of MI6, Pompeo, Nutty.. raining a guantlet upon the Corbynites and threatening traitorous coups.

“BTW, I’ll discuss domestic policies anytime you want, particularly the Brexit brouhaha.”

You mainly always talk of brexit – a HARD brexit.

Ok, enough, dizzy yet? Shall we reconvene over actual domestic issues at your pleasure.

Hope I haven’t ‘Spiked’ your ardour – i quite enjoy a musical rumble.

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers
Nov 26, 2019 5:30 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Dungroanin,

Just one massive hole in your analysis, the areas that voted overwhelmingly to leave the Capitalist Cabal known as the EU have suffered massive austerity for forty years, not the nine years you mention – most of our primary and secondary industries have been closed down and those once high paying, highly Unionised jobs have gone to lower cost centres, be these Eastern Europe or the Far East, so, i’m afraid your economic analysis is your personal view, not one that tallies with the historical facts.

Maybe if you resided in South Wales, the Midland’s, the North East or North West you’d have noticed this process, all of which I hasten to add has occurred since the UK joined the EEC in January 1973 – so, to claim that the Tories had some kind of plan in 2010 to further the de-industrialisation of our nation via the imposition of more, needless austerity to balance fantasy accounts is a crass comment to make as no such plan existed, how could it given Cameron never thought he’d have a EU Referendum, that was by chance as a result of the 2015 Election, which he won by destroying his governing partners, the Lib Dems.

The fact is, our nation as a whole voted to Leave the EU and our Ruling Elite don’t like this result and has done everything in its power to reverse this. And, if you believe Abbott, Starmer and Thornbury speak for the likes of me and my class, please think again – Labour’s present policy on the EU is wrong, its electoral suicide and Socialists like myself have been warning about this since our Party Conference in September 2018 – the only real thing that has changed between 2017 and today is that Labour is an out and out REMAIN Party, and this is a mistake of epic proportions, as, the result of this election will prove, namely, I’m now in a minority within my own class as being a Labour voter, which, is a new one on me, and the reason for this is that our Elected Politician’s won’t uphold democratic outcomes, which sets a dangerous precedent one persons like you will come to regret, as the SNP in Scotland will come to regret.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 26, 2019 9:58 AM
Reply to  Chris Rogers

Chris, I applaud your fabulous valour to enter the fray at this stage of debate – comrade ‘socialists’ will be grateful.
(You are up early!)

I grew up in the North West and saw the neocons overthrow of the postwar social democratic covenant with the installation of Thatcher in 79, i know exactly what happened there and know personally of the wasted generation and dole humiliation of grown men and their children without prospects.

I also had my college education in the east midlands during the ensuing years and saw first hand the heavy hand of the proto national police state formed to destroy the unions and the mining industry and communities there.

It wasn’t joining the EC in the early 70’s that made the UK the sick man of Europe ripe for Milk Snatcher Maggie – you know that.

The credit boom and bust – loadsamoney to house repossesions of the late 80’s early 90’s, I witnessed first hand too, in large parts of the NW.

Austerity of the last 10 years has been a POLITICAL choice based on a LIE that the 2008 GLOBAL banking crash was localised to the UK and the fault only of Gordon Brown.

The neocons/libs – the Blairites, the rebel PLooPers would certainly have followed the same course as the tories/libdems and the current tories , to get the City (their master) out of the EU as HARD as bobo is their final last gasp chancer is attempting to do with this decrepit tory election strategy.

I don’t believe what the warmongering privatising manic eyed bambi bleats otherwise, he has always been the wolf in sheepskin.

Most Labour MP’s campaigned remain in 2016, INCLUDING Corbyn – as you know.

Austerity was imposed because the brexit was planned because the EU would not be held back by our veto anymore in taking on the ancient City – it was needed to blame the EU for the effects of that austerity.

The referendum campaign, organisation, financing was a global operation using the billionaires of the US and Bannon and co and Farage (the lead man for the planned brexit for years and made up kipper and alt-right groups) – as you should know.

Well they have FAILED.

The 40 year neoLib CON game has FAILED.

Controlled government and controlled opposition has FAILED.

And instead of welcoming that reverse and welcoming the reaffirmation of the postwar social democratic covenant, some ‘socialists’ seem intent on stopping the change offered by the Corbynite Labour.

They are not interested in stopping austerity or the privatisations or implementing radical policies for the future wellbeing of our kids and grandkids and for our old age.

For these ‘socialists’ just like the tories, libdems. NaLab Blairites, media moguls, DS thugs and their City masters it is ALL about anyone but Corbyn!

Simple as ABC innit!

You know that Chris Rogers, so I’m not buying your wares today, there are fresher fish to fry.

Toodle pip & No Pasaran!

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers
Nov 26, 2019 2:16 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Dungroanin,

Strange being late to the Party, or early, given I need to travel 7.400 miles for the pleasure of visiting my folks and attending hospital in my own country, now, as I’m GMT +8, one was posting at a decent timeline on my timeline – oh, and Ms May ensures I’m stuck where I am, something to do with toxic immigration environments.

However, the fact remains you made light of a Poll in Wales, and said Poll shows Labour support has collapsed in my neck of the woods (Wales) since the election of 2017, where we gained more than 50% of the vote, and this was achieved via similar propaganda being played out today. However, lets ask ourselves what has changed and why said change is important, and the fact of the matter is that in 2017 Labour was seen as honouring the 2016 Referendum, even though much of the PLP opposed this fact, two years down the road and Labour is quite correctly seen as a Remain Party with Corbyn sat on a fence, despite being opposed to the EEC/EU since entering Parliament.

I’ll remind you that Wales Voted Exit, I’ll remind you much of this vote came from working class communities and I’ll remind you that the working class ain’t daft, and these facts are being replicated not only in Wales, but in all those Region’s that ensured Labour was not obliterated in 2010 under Brown.

Labour’s present EU strategy goes down like a lead balloon when I discuss the issue with my own peer group, that’s the peer Group I attended Secondary School with, and not University, and on the whole, that Group is working class and far more of that Group than usual will not be Voting Labour and Brexit really is the issue that has broke the camels back for many – this saddens me, but to ignore facts on the ground seems what our London peeps wish to do, despite warnings from those far better informed than I.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 26, 2019 3:36 PM
Reply to  Chris Rogers

Chris i hope you are enjoying the sunshine where you are.

As far as it goes – Labour is offering to negotiate a brexit as they did in ’17.

Their manifesto too is not much different and is fully costed.

Your ‘working class’ in Wales , (weren’t you tempted to add ‘white’ in there?) were softened up by austerity and then told it was all the fault of the EU. Go back to the last Brexit article here by Francis – i have written about the chronology and the means of how the result came about. I have written on this article more about it. And the ballot stuffing.

You are a gladiator for a hard brexit. All gladiators were slaves who fought to the death for their caesars – a very few achieved freedom – most remained and died as slave gladiators.

Find your inner Spartucus and rise against the empire that created you!

Anyway looks like Francis must have sore feet and hasn’t quite emerged to play yet – but thanks for keeping me amused.

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers
Nov 26, 2019 5:32 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Dungroanin,

Lets not re-write history shall we and keep matters factual, namely Labour went to the nation in 2017 on a Platform of upholding the 2016 Referendum result, it was opposed to a ‘No Deal’ Tory Brexit, and, preferred a Brexit negotiated under Labour that would honour the 2016 result – no where, no where was there mention of a Second Referendum, for that is what is now on offer by Labour – please don’t insult by calling it a Confirmatory Vote when Remain is going to be on the Ballot, and please stop denigrating the working class, of which you state you were once a member. Lets get it straight, many of my peer group are skilled artisans, that is carpenters, bricklayers, electricians, fitter-turners or even now in management, they are not gullible twats who think what’s on offer from Labour today is what was on offer in 2017 and they don’t like being treated as if they are fools by either the Tories or Labour.

My confidence with regards Labour gaining ground in this election is not great, it won’t gain ground in Wales, it will lose it and I’m sorry, if Labour can’t carry Wales it won’t carry the country.

Curry it however you want, stop denigrating folks who are perfectly aware nearly a decade of Tory cuts allegedly was the EU’s fault, when they know it was the bloody Tories and Lib Dems – just remember they have kids or grand kids at Uni, many would like their kids to get similar qualifications to themselves in once skilled trades, not working in McDonalds or Star Bucks.

Once more, please call a spade a spade, cut out the nonsense believing the working class is stupid and buttered up to believe their economic condition is the fault of the EU, when they know its neoliberalism that has caused many of our social ills and that the EU is now on a neoliberal Institution on steroids.

Or, better still, why don’t we just ban the working class from voting, then, the rich middle class, many of whom actually are Labour MPs, can just get on with it, a choice between the two sides of the same backsides, where you can have any flavour of neoliberalism you want, be it EU or State-side.

People want change, and they want Election results honoured and Labour’s policy does not honour the 2016 result, how can it when its designed to ensure the UK remains in the EU, which is what the bulk of the PLP desire – if only Corbyn had some balls I’m afraid, instead, he’s seen as weak, and that’s a bad thing as far as working class folk are concerned and the ballot booth probably will prove this point on 12 December.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 26, 2019 6:39 PM
Reply to  Chris Rogers

Chris, Now that all the manifestos are published, the voters can make their choice.

The Labour manifesto is better than the 2017 one.

2015 and more so the 2017 election were the brexit elections sandwichin the shit that was the referendum- which was fixed.

All the things you say you want for your ‘working class’ welsh brethren is there for the taking only in the Labour manifesto. Have you even looked at it?

Neoliberalism is the thorn in our foot and has been for 40 years.
It is going to be caned in this election if people really want.

We don’t want a Trump trade deal and we want our NHS back. Now.

Friday the 13th will have many Portillo/Balls moments – I’m going to try staying awake for them all, you will be able to enjoy them in daylight and warmth, will you enjoy it? I get the feeling not.

I know I will and have been waiting 40 years to get my country back – this time we will.

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers
Nov 26, 2019 9:20 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Dungroainin,

You have a great inability to accept Socialists want out of the EU – I’ll stick to being a Socialist thank’s very much and my vote is already arranged, and it ain’t going to the Right.

Still, should you go canvassing, let us know how the LP’s Brexit policy goes down, and, if you tell the truth, you’ll find a majority think it laughable, which, it actually is.

Don’t blame me for Labour throwing this Election, the Left desired the Referendum Result upheld – go ask Chris Williamson, whom, funnily enough was kicked out of the Party for his belief in democracy.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 26, 2019 11:05 PM
Reply to  Chris Rogers

Chris,
Most Labour supporters (60%+) voted remain.

I have a problem with ‘socialists’ who are in the remaining bit and non Labour supporting ‘socialists’ in particular.

We’ll see, I won’t blame you.

All best.

BigB
BigB
Nov 26, 2019 10:43 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Hear, bloody, hear, Francis!

Foreign policy is not for discussion. I had this problem when I was (briefly) a member of the Labour party. All the discussion was of nursing, teaching, and policing staffing levels – all real issues worthy of discussion …but not to the exclusion of all else. Then I mentioned Syria: and I was gone before you could say “White Helmets”.

Other than the relevant issues you have aired: we live on an island – but the relevance and consequences of our actions have global ramifications: and this really is taboo. Because our lifestyle and value-ethical choices entail our domestic policy being a green imperialism on all life on earth …including reflexively our own. And no one evaluates the election in an earth system perspective …which is no longer acceptable. Not if we want a future.

We have entered a twilight zone of a no analogue predatory extension of our life-blind polity propositions over all life. The idea we can build three gigafactories for EVs with no foreign policy implications indicate that this election is being fought on imaginary domestic policies that are outwith the Laws of Nature. The foreign policy implications are clearly entailed: more coups and proxy wars fore precious resources and ‘e-tech’ minerals …many of which entail blood and conflict minerals. And no one wants to talk about that. It does not happen: as we enter a new realm of Hyperreality and 5th-Level Simulacrum.

That all of this is under the aegis of green finance capitalism – the ‘money multiplier cancer’ and pathology of all pathologies – is being simulated as an inversion of the people versus the billionaires (which is no more than a crude anti-elitist *Volksgemeinschaft* from the Trump playbook). To conceal the very billionaires who stand to gain most by the privatisation of nature and green gilt bondslavery of humanity. Despite Cory Morningstar’s excellent expose of the green corporate GND: this remains totally taboo.

But the foreign policy implications are clear. Green imperialism allied with green gilt credit imperialism: as finance capitalism seeks to reproduce itself in a new – not very well concealed – guise. The predatory finance capital wolf in the domestic policy sheep’s clothing. Which seems to be fooling most?

I’ve mentioned the Polanyian ‘double movement’: all domestic policy is predicated and contingent on the economy doing well. I do not have to tell you: but to debt fund (and most of the Manifesto is uncosted – to be borrowed from the capital markets – despite the rhetoric) …the economy has to grow at a rate faster than than the exponential rate of compounding interest. Otherwise debts become Ponzi: and a Minsky Moment becomes inevitable. Over £400bn is going to be pumped into the economy – largely to convert transport to EVs, as far as I can see – and all of this will be borrowed (beyond the costed 382.9bn raised from taxation) in the expectation the economy and productivity will grow exponentially. This is total fantasy economics.

In reality: we are in an Epic Recession [Rasmus] which has laste 12 years so far. The only players in town are the TNCs and CBs. Interest rates are effectively zero and open market policy (QE) is all that has kept the ‘free’ market economy afloat. Now, since September, the global economy has entered into systemic fragility that, subject to and endogenous or exogenous shock, will see a conservative quadrillion in debt and derivatives collapsing. And we are going to extend that debt and hope the global economy will return to exponential growth …so we can have our contingent domestic socialisms? That looks extremely unlikely to me.

Another taboo is the City of London’s central role in the Euromarkets and OTC derivatives trade [Shaxson’s ‘Overfinancialisation’]. This is the pathology of pathologies that will be funding the £400bn National Transformation Fund, the Social Transformation Fund, and the Green Transformation Fund …the latter part designed by the new Governor of the BoE. Domestic policy designed and funded by a collapsing metastatic overfinancialised globalised banking system: let’s discuss that? To include green corporate finances GND: which will be humanities longest suicide and ecogenocide note if implemented.

Because these entail their own foreign policy commitments far beyond our shores. Which implicates NATO and the EU Defence Union (another taboo) which is already committed to the ‘new scramble for Africa’ (for e-tech minerals: we are going to need cobalt (coltan) – lots of cobalt …which means full-employment for the DRC’s child miners – equal opportunities for all). We have already had our first green imperialist coup in Bolivia – for litium. Another mineral we need lots of: because battery technology is the key to the high-tech ‘green industrial revolution’. And Cornish Lithium are not going to supply three Tesla-style gigafactories.

Without even going into the biophysics or thermodynamics: our domestic social policy is a fantasy. A fantasy that conceals the pathology of pathologies of ‘green’ finance capitalism’s core ethics of self-maximisation. Concealed in a double movement whereby state capitalism offers a seemingly generous – but economically contingent – set of domestic policies. In return: we allow the core pathology of accumulation and do not mention the green imperialism or foreign policy entailed. Which is revealed as a dehumanisation and dominant overpower subordinating the life-ground (that which supports all life) when the core ethics are revealed.

In a contracting and potentially collapsing financial market – all domestic policy promises ring hollow. But the foreign policy and core ethics of the money multiplier cancer remain assured. If the collapse of our domestic infrastructure is not already inevitable: it will be with the continuation of our unseen, unspoken, and unheard of foreign policy …designed by the banks. What could possibly go wrong?

BigB
BigB
Nov 26, 2019 11:09 AM
Reply to  BigB

Errata: “costed £82.9 bn” …I forgot to press ‘shift’. I also meant to add that the EU Defence Union (which makes no sense without the participation of the UK’s Armed Forces) is already pre-committed to expansion into the ‘G5 Sahel’ and through the Balkan’s into Eurasia. Which a potential flashpoint with Russia/China’s strategic partnership. But let’s ignore that to? All relevant information is on the EEAS website and from UK Column.

Do you want this man and his Institute designing Foreign Policy?

hotrod31
hotrod31
Nov 25, 2019 7:15 AM

For those fantasizing about a free-and-fair election, dream on … We’re dealing with the absolute power of propaganda, courtesy of the Zio-media and various other associated madmen (and rabid women)

Murdoch and his cronies will stop at nothing to ensure that the Tories remain in power.
He and other corporate crooks ensured that an absolute ‘Torie’ twat won in Australia, despite the polls appearing to have almost ‘guaranteed’ a Labor victory. I fear for the worst in the UK.

Capricornia Man
Capricornia Man
Nov 25, 2019 12:45 AM

A very good article, particularly in relation to the sad propensity of ordinary people to vote against their own best interests.

NB: Thatcher didn’t privatise the railways; the subsequent Tory administration did.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 8:34 PM

Heads up people!

I have had to look deep into the interweb to find ANY indications of how the Friday debate was polled – remember the first debate of a significant number of polled (30k people) was unanimous for Corbyn – so hasn’t it been a surprise that 48 hours later the big pollsters have not pipped a squeak yet ?

So seat back and grab some popcorn here is what Wales on Line has to report ( i have no underlying data or how many were involved). READY ?

1. Rate the performance of the four leaders
Jeremy Corbyn – you rated him nearly eight out of ten
Nicola Sturgeon – you rated her six out of ten
Boris Johnson – you rated him five out of ten
Jo Swinson – you rated her nearly five out of ten

2. Who won the debate?

Jeremy Corbyn topped our poll with 60% of the vote.
Boris Johnson came in with 22%, Nicola Sturgeon with 12% , Jo Swinson with 2% and 6% of you claiming you didn’t know.

3. Has the debate changed your mind about who to vote for?
A small 17% of you said yes , while 76% said no .
Meanwhile, a 7% said they weren’t sure further said they weren’t sure.

4. Who appeared to have the best ideas?
Once again Jeremy Corbyn takes the lead of the vote with 61% .
Boris Johnson came in at 20% , while Nicola Sturgeon had 9% of the vote and Jo Swinson had 4% .
A further 6% said they didn’t know.

5. Who would make the best leader?
Jeremy Corbyn was deemed to be the best leader with 52% of the vote.
Boris Johnson had 25% and Nicola Sturgeon had 15% .
Jo Swinson had only 3% of the vote, while 5% claimed they weren’t sure.

6. Who do you trust the most?
Jeremy Corbyn came out on top with 55% of the vote, with Boris Johnson behind with 18% .
Nicola Sturgeon had 15% , Jo Swinson had 4% and 7% claimed they didn’t know.

7. Whose priorities best match what you think is important?
More good news for Jeremy Corbyn as he came out with 62% of the vote.
Boris Johnson was quite behind with 23% , and Nicola Sturgeon took 8% .
Jo Swinson had 4% , with a further 3% claiming they weren’t sure

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/corbyn-johnson-question-time-leaders-17303868.amp

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers
Nov 26, 2019 5:46 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

I’ve actually gone through this, and a another follow up Poll released Monday focusing on Wales – what appears positive news is actually not positive, its not positive because Labour in 2017 achieved more than 50% of the vote cast in Wales, presently its Polling is well below this figure. Indeed, on present projections we’ll lose seats in Wales, this by a Party, that had the necessary resources been released early on in the 2017 election process could have gained a further 2-3 seats in Wales – I know as I was on the ground and arguing with the Rightists within our Party running Wales Labour, today I’m of the opinion we’ll be losing seats and this will be repeated in all areas that voted Leave in the 2016 Referendum – becoming a Party of REMAIN is a suicide note I’m afraid, one it appears many don’t understand – if you lose the Working Class you lose the Labour heartland’s and, if my own personal interactions last week are any indication, its very much because Corbyn abandoned his lifelong opposition to Brussels in order to appease the London-Brigade in his own Party.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 26, 2019 3:52 PM
Reply to  Chris Rogers

Ah you talk of this poll in your other post – well as you see it was just about the debate on Friday.

Voting intention changes as campaign proceeds and fair coverage allows people to see more and clearly.

If Wales voted Labour last time they will do so again because they will see it is the best option – not some pie in the sky HARD brexit.

Infact Labour are in a better position now than they were at the same stage last election.
When the terrorists murders happened and stopped the campaign for a week. Except for the lying cheating Aaron Banks and his Insurance company call centres in South Wales carrying on.

The lead is so close that the nbc are lying & cheating in their fabricated reports. Hell even the archbishop of canterbury has donned a dead cats skin and thrown himself on the table at the behest of the chief rabbit to stem the cataclysm that is aimed at the heart of the empire.

RobG
RobG
Nov 24, 2019 4:44 PM

Corbyn will walk this election (see here as an example of popular support).

If Corbyn doesn’t win the election it will be almost certain that it’s been rigged. In that case it’s time to put on the yellow vests.

Here’s a clip from Spitting Image. This kind of satire is now almost completely banned from the UK airwaves. Perhaps people need to think about the implications of this…

Grafter
Grafter
Nov 25, 2019 11:04 AM
Reply to  RobG

Rob G…..yes indeed why is it that Spitting Image does not appear on TV screens in Britain. It had a massive following and high viewer ratings figures. The answer lies with the characters who they ridiculed and mocked. This is how far we have sunk as a “democracy” where the elite few can control and regulate the media. We are not a stones throw away from fascism.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Nov 24, 2019 4:02 PM

As soon as I read your ideological certainty about global warming, I knew you were a liar who could not be voted for.

Global warming is an invention of Maurice Strong and enforced by globalist gauleiters for 30 years.

Climate variability is an instrinsic feature of planet earth and has been for millions of years.

I have never denied that climate changes, I do refute the lies that carbon dioxide drives it. I acknowledge that The Medieval Warm Period existed and encouraged Danes to farm on Greenland, unlike the leading climate denier, Michael Mann. I acknowledge that a similar warm period existed in Roman times. I also acknowledge that the Medieval Warm period descended into the Little Ice Age over 300 years without any help from homo sapiens. The emergence from that cold period since around 1830 to the current climatic optimum has been extraordinarily merciful in terms of human existence. Even polar bears are doing rather well, if you trust Inuit observations rather than blag about some modellers forecast sat in some HEI computer suite far away from where Polar Bears actually live.

I am not an uneducated right winger, I am a person who reached cutting edge levels of gene therapy research and subsequently helped academics commercialise their research. That required me doing due diligence on academic expertise, something far more people need to do on climate ‘science’. So when I say I have investigated the case for ‘global warming’ and found it gravely lacking in rigor, causality, historical context and geological reality I mean I have been evaluating the subject for close on 30 years and am not some sheep who regurgitates something they read at The Guardian, Breitbart or whichever source of propaganda happens to take your fancy.

I am more than aware of the capability of the US military to engage in weather warfare, but their mode of operation would be imitating solar eruptions and using mini nukes to trigger earthquakes and tsunamis, not filling the atmosphere with plant food. What they would wish to do is ravage crop planting and -harvesting cycles, be that through late frosts, spring floods, summer droughts and hailstorms, early autumn drenchings and early autumn frosts. They could not care about average temperatures, what they focus on are crop destroying weather events.

It is the Left who are betraying the poor currently, refusing to face up to the fact that the next twenty years will see cooling, not warming. We have already had a weak solar cycle 24 and cycle 25 is unlikely to be much stronger. The evidence is irrefutable that when the sun quietens down, the earth cools temporarily. You are the denier if you deny that hard, empirical science.

Human activity undoubtedly affects life on earth. Chopping down forests for one and replacing it with cattle. Reversing that is not a reason to go vegan. It is a reason to stop being ecological vandals.

Recycling waste is frugal, conservative behaviour. It has little to do with political slogans.

Learning about historical facts is not a political act, it is an educational one. The prime attribute of the educated is the capability to subject expert testimony to rigorous evaluation.

I suggest that the Left learn to acknowledge their educational limitations……

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 4:19 PM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

I agree with Rhys.

However, I don’t want a hard Brexit.
I also want the NHS restored to being the best in the world. That is the NHS that the postwar Tory opposition voted 20 times AGAINST being founded!
A green new deal is about more than climate change.
Environmental protection is more than climate change.
Pollution is more important too.
Safety nets for the citizens are too.
Affordable housing and free education are too.
You get my point?

Rhys is right. Voting Labour is right too.

RobG
RobG
Nov 24, 2019 6:58 PM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

The ‘Climate change’ agenda is all total rollocks. Yet again it’s just the psychopaths who rule us doing their usual stuff (to manipulate, dumb-down and control). I find it depressing that people fall for this same old tired trick again and again and again.

bevin
bevin
Nov 24, 2019 11:10 PM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

“As soon as I read your ideological certainty about global warming, I knew you were a liar who could not be voted for.’
So you disagree with Gilbert? Nothing wrong with that. But to conclude that he is a liar, as you appear to have done on the basis of his disagreement over the sources and nature of global warming, is ridiculous.
Much of what you tell us is interesting, though, apart from the details of your academic credentials, not new.
The point is that there are legitimate grounds for disagreement over the nature of the environmental crisis we are facing, or even whether there is such a crisis, but for such a debate to be held in a forum in which financial resources determine how many viewpoints are heard and what solutions are impermissible is not reasonable.
Let us by all means differ over the nature of the evidence before us. By doing so we are very likely to discover that much more and urgent research is needed before we can reach any conclusions. And, then, we still may differ fundamentally. What cannot be acceptable is the current situation in which vast lobbies, tied to different capitalist interests and financial speculators (Hedge Funds betting against survival!) dominate debate in which public participation is restricted to choosing one side or another.
From what I recall of your previous postings I would be surprised if you would not agree that the first item on the environmentalist’s agenda is to keep capitalism out of the discussion.

BigB
BigB
Nov 24, 2019 3:38 PM

Whoever you vote for: green finance capitalism gets in. That should be enough to stop all voters in theirs tracks: but it will not. Also: as an adjunct to capitalism’s ‘money multiplier cancer’ – the GND or ‘green industrial revolution’; the White Helmets; NATO; Trident; the EU Defence Union; the Conflict, Instability and Insecurity Fund of the regime change FCO; and now …nuclear power – also get in. Remember: ever ‘X’ is a species extinction.

Jeremy wants you to know: “Green finance capitalism” is with you …in his totally unfunded and undercosted Manifesto. There is £250bn for a ‘Green Transformation Fund’ to be magicked up out of thin air from the green private sector. Plenty of room for the City’s green bonds or Green Finance Initiative to add to the private money multiplier cancer sequence. Especially as the ‘Sustainable Investment Board’ is to consist of the Chancellor, Business Secretary, and the new Governor of the Bank of England …whoever he or she (or xi) may be.

As if letting green corporate finance design our ‘just energy transition’ for the Few: not the Many was bad enough: then the Manifesto’s proposals and costings descend into farce …and then beyond. The Manifesto contains provisions for NO NEW ENERGY. None at all: whilst ramping up energy consumption with the electrification of transport; 3X new giga-factories for ‘end-to-end’ (UK internal supply chains) production for EVs; 3X recyclable steel plants; 4X metal reprocessing plants; and new (unspecified) plastics manufacturing. All of which will provide a pseudo-million unionised ‘green industrial revolution’ jobs. With no new energy to power any of it. Let’s not mention the resource depletion or the amplification of the biocapacity resource consumption/pollution footprint. Those effects are exported. We won’t feel them here. They will only be felt by, you know …foreigners. They don’t count. Ask Evo.

You have to at least agree that is an awful lot of extra demand to put on an already underpowered National Grid? And if that grid is renationalised, as planned, and broken down into smaller regional sub-grids, as planned, that will increase demand further. And all of this is to be ‘decarbonised and democratised’ by 2030 (ish*). By which time we will have ‘100%’ domestic EV sales (from our shiny new factories).

[* = a watered down commitment to “net zero” by 2030: by which time 90% of our decarbonisation will be complete. There is a serious issue with our carbon budget here – which may or may not mean we overshoot it. Plenty of scope for biodiversity offsets; carbon offsets or trading schemes or ‘Banking Nature’ pseudo-accounting.]

Not that any of this is achievable in the wildest dreams of a madman. Labour has provisioned 7,000 offshore; plus 2,000 onshore wind turbines; and “enough solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches”. Plus: “new nuclear for energy security” …a lot of new nuclear …an awful lot of new nuclear. I did a rough calculation of the new renewables at 0.09Tw. It does not even matter if I am wrong: because I am willing to concede a factor of ten and say that the new renewables covers the 1Tw of coal due to be phased our by 2025. In a straight swap: weighted against me – that is NO NEW ENERGY from any source.

The UK used 1,663 Tw of primary energy consumption: largely accounted for by road transport (73%). Due to this being largely from oil: we only generated 387Tw of energy through the Grid [UK Gov; DUKES]. By the logic of decarbonisation and electrification (or hydrogenification) of transport: that all has to be generated by 2030 (or imported). For reasons explained elsewhere: the real cost of going green is many, many, times the 1:1 replacement ratio. It is not a straight swap. And then there are the new manufacturing plants. Leaving that all to one side: 1,663 – 387 = an awful lot of nuclear. An impossible amount of nuclear: if you consider our existing plants and most of their reactors are all due to be decommissioned – mostly by 2025. And Hinkley C is probably unbuildable. So for the shiny new fleet of factories: we seem to need a shiny new fleet of nuclear power plants; commissioned and online in less than a decade; plus a massive overhaul of our interconnectors; plus increased net energy imports …or unlimited magic moonbeams!

Labour have a serious energy accounting problem: or they run on negentropy and frictionless perpetual motion machines. We are going to have to fund that deficit from somewhere: because the proposed amount of renewables does not even register as close. And they have a serious credibility gap in trying to sound impressive with “22,000 football pitches” of solar PVs. Which actually produce no new net energy at all [Solar PV has net energy loss in a full life cycle analysis: Hall; Prieto]. Wind turbines don’t fair much better. Nor does nuclear for that matter.

None of which makes any difference to Labour supporters: who have an enegy credibility problem of their own. The economy is a net energy economy. You cannot increase aggregate demand without increasing aggregate supply. That is just basic. Slightly less basic is that the aggregate replacement is more like a 1:10 replacement ratio. In which case Labour is just pissing in the wind. And expecting us to uncritically believe in them: which their supporters will dutifully do anyway. That is before we go abroad and steal ‘e-Tech’ minerals …for which we have already had our first coup in Bolivia. But state capitalists don’t mention foreign policy ever. It’s part of the bargain for their obedience and silence.

When we all stop dreaming and come to realise that we are living far outside the envelope of the Laws of Nature. And it does not matter what the avuncular man says: his plans have to be energy and thermodynamically compliant. And even if we all socially agree hard enough: we cannot change the Laws of Physics …perhaps then we can have a national level debate about we really are going to do? When the politicians are back inside the asylum: instead of running the country. Maybe then we will stop fantasising about GNDs and stop the fucking finance capitalists running the country. They are not green: they never will be green. They just want to extend the ecogenocidal ultimate failure business model for five more years. We only have ourselves to blame if we let them.

Remember: every ‘X’ is a species extinction. One of them might be ours.

john ward
john ward
Nov 24, 2019 3:11 PM

A superbly written piece let down solely by its utter removal from psephological reality, and determination to cling onto the crumbling cliff of archaic ideology.
Labour under first Blair then Miliband and finally Corbyn used amoral opportunism to pretend, deny and then lie their way into the hearts of the divisive narcissists.
Along the way, it neglected its heartland, its principles, and its common sense.
Britain is divided by right/left extremism and complete ignorance of how the EU operates.
Until the cult of certainty has been cast away the UK will remain ungovernable.
https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2019/11/21/opinion-i-need-someone-to-explain-to-me-why-a-13-swing-against-labour-will-put-jeremy-corbyn-into-downing-street/

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 24, 2019 3:29 PM
Reply to  john ward

“Until the cult of certainty has been cast away the UK will remain ungovernable.”

Are you certain about that?

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Nov 24, 2019 7:41 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Nice!

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 3:11 PM

So there we have it – a room mostly occupied by current mp’s and odds and sods outnumbered by the ‘colleagues in the media’!
Thanks Laura, thanks Robert, thanks Sky, Telegraph & Mail.. and err thanks Rowena for making me waffle and that local kid who I promised a quick spaff!

The room cleared in 5 mins.
LBC lickspittle announces ‘bobo has won it’

They think it’s all over and done – the COLLEAGUES IN THE MEDIA’!

The ball hasn’t crossed the line and now we have referee review it never will!

Lol – take care COLLEAGUES.

wardropper
wardropper
Nov 24, 2019 1:46 PM

As Geoff succinctly says below, it’s the media who are our problem.
They will tell us that Labour’s vote has been fatally split.
They will tell us that the result of the election is an overwhelming Tory win.
And we will believe them.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 1:44 PM

Admin – how long is my comment going to remain in moderation? It has been accepted by other sites? Could you hurry up and put it at the top too please. Thanks very much.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 3:13 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Cheers Mods.

It’s down there at midday folks. Enjoy

Simon Hodges
Simon Hodges
Nov 24, 2019 1:03 PM

I could get on board with Corbyn but for three main reasons.

Firstly, since he was elected leader he has been a constant ideological hostage to the majority of Neoliberal Blairites in the PLP. One wonders how he assumes to get the backing of the country when his own party do not back him. If Labour were to win the election I don’t think Jeremy and socialist leaning members of the PLP would survive more than a few months. We could expect smears of every description to go to volume 11 because the so called ‘moderates’ in the party will do whatever it takes to get rid of him and seize control again because as fascists they believe that any twisted means and accusations of antisemitism, Russian moles, sexed up dossiers etc justify their globalist ambitions.

Secondly, and as a direct result of the Neoliberal/Socialist split in the party, he has failed to commit to a clean no deal brexit and entertains a completely unrealistic expectation that he will get to as the writer puts it “negotiate a more practical and mature deal with Brussels than Johnson managed”. As a Neoliberal club I really don’t see why the EU will want to offer a more practical and mature deal without his making massive concessions so as to render Brexit even more pointless than it currently is.

Lastly is his naive belief in unlimited growth and that the Global Green New Deal is a backdoor to socialism and that we should embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution without any rigorous critical examination of what it precisely entails. From my readings of history and the critique of anti-capitalists such as Cory Morningstar: the GGND and Fourth Industrial Revolution are designed to universally embed the philosophies of Neoliberal market capitalism across the globe in an entirely imperialist fashion and that eventually Neoliberalism will become embedded in the system as its functional code of political and economic decision making at the operating system level. Once we reach the stage where the totalitarian logics of Globalist/Imperialist Neoliberalism are programmed into A.I. via the IoT and the coming automated systems of surveillance, welfare, policing, justice, education, healthcare etc. it will truly become unquestionable and inescapable in a dystopian nightmare without end.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 1:37 PM
Reply to  Simon Hodges

Nice gaslighting attempt SH, but have a FAIL for it.

Most of the party membership backs Corbyn.
Many of the rebel PLooPer chicken coupers have jumped ship and will never be seen in parliament again.
The few who refuse to jump are yet again going to be elected on the Labour MANIFESTO, should they disagree with that they will be LYING to their electorate and have no honour.

The Green New Deal of this manifesto is nothing to do with the machinations that Morningstar reveals and more to do with our local conditions as fully explained at length by Professor Murphy at his excellent site on all things Money and Tax
http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/

wardropper
wardropper
Nov 24, 2019 1:55 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Just have in mind that “having no honour” is no longer an impediment to acquiring unlimited wealth and influence in politics. The Blairites and the witch hunters who see antisemitism everywhere have not gone away.

Simon Hodges
Simon Hodges
Nov 24, 2019 3:05 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Gaslighting? Sorry but just my honest read on the situation. I’m not advocating anyone vote for something else. In my view we’re screwed whoever gets elected so I will not be voting. You’re quite the closet fascist yourself aren’t you: policing comments with your smear tactics accusing people of gaslighting and conspiracy. You employ all the same deceitful tactics as those who seek to unseat Corbyn but see no hypocrisy in behaving the exact same way. That’s the way with fascists thought isn’t it. Any means justify your ends.

As to honour and standing by either referendums or manifestos then you do not appear to have been paying attention since 2003. Just like the Lib Dems they have no honour and once they seize power they will switch policies by informing the people that Corbyn’s pie in the sky policies were not practical or affordable and the rest of the establishment will endorse that view. It will be a case of politically growing up and accepting Neoliberal reality just as Clegg claimed when he betrayed the NUS. Aside from the Neoliberal elements in his own party Corbyn will find the whole MSM ranged against him also. It is also unclear as to what lengths the US will go to in order to try and destabilize even a hint of a socialist government in the UK.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 4:31 PM
Reply to  Simon Hodges

“You’re quite the closet fascist yourself”

I don’t have nazi outfits in my closet, nor do I know anyone who does, do you?

If I am, I am only letting my inner fascist loose as CJ Hopkins urged us to do in his article a few days ago.

Suggesting that people should not vote, in the most important election since the end of WW2 in 1945, is certainly gaslighting.

Simon Hodges
Simon Hodges
Nov 24, 2019 4:49 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Never said you were a Nazi. Fascists these days hide in plain sight. Fascism in our era is equivalent with Italian cosmopolitan fascism favoured by Mussolini as the fusion of states and corporations. If there was any party who was going to address the drift toward imperialist totalitarianism then I could agree that this was the most important election since WWII. As none of the parties even recognize the issues then it is irrelevant. But please feel free to carry on the smear campaign as its all you people know.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 9:09 PM
Reply to  Simon Hodges

Pfft … Black shirt. Brown shirt .. they all look the same to me.

“..all you people..”

Lol

Simon Hodges
Simon Hodges
Nov 24, 2019 9:31 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Pathetic

bob
bob
Nov 24, 2019 5:12 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

benn, cooper, thornberry, starmer etc ………. and the eu ….. blah blah blah

BigB
BigB
Nov 25, 2019 10:27 AM
Reply to  Simon Hodges

Simon:

Oh, well – at least there are two of us in the country that recognise the evils of the GGND and its uncritical internalisation. This has been the multi-year culmination of the WEF – and what it calls ‘Globalisation 4.0’ – the 4IR and its globalised trade in services. Behind which is every major capitalist on the planet – including BigOil, the WWF, and ‘green’ corporate finance. Our own UK ‘Sustainable Investment Board’ will be invested with the inclusion of the new Governor of the Bank of England. So our money is safe?

Even if you read LabourGND’s own propaganda: this election is the global rollout of the GGND. We declared the Mayday ‘Climate Emergency’ (Oxford Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year’) …and we are leading the way to ‘net zero’ by 2030-ish (see above). Despite DG’s rather immature slight of ‘gaslighting’ – you are absolutely right to assert what you assert.

And using Richard Murphy as a source is rather ironic: as he backs ‘Green QE’ or funding the GND with our pensions and ISA contributions. So we get to fund the ecogenocide too? As I set out above: the £250bn set aside in the Manifesto is not within the costed elements. Plenty of scope for Green Gilts, NIB Green Bonds, or the City of London’s ‘Green Finance Initiative’ – especially with the guiding hand of the new Governor of the BoE. So our money is not safe?

For the hard of thinking (not you Simon): this is how corporate finance works. If you actually look at Cory’s work: among the big players of capitalism’s ‘money multiplier cancer’ – there are also an amount of very active business startups. With remits in carbon offsets and environmental services inter alia. They have no business model at the moment: unless someone creates one for them. Enter corporate green finance. They decide where the money goes: and they will only lend to ‘sustainable’ green projects and infrastructure. Mark Carnage has already warned that any business that does not go green will be bankrupted.

So the UK goes green: funded by green finance capitalism. Also, directing UKAid, UK Export Finance, and the FCO – we will only provide finance for ‘green’ projects elsewhere. London controls global finance through the Eurobond markets. No one can afford to be cut off from the world’s largest pool of capital: so the whole world will have to go ‘green’. All of a sudden those business startups are now Unicorns – worth over £1bn. Whichever of the global capitalist possessing class set them up will become overnight trillionaires. While Nature is now ‘natural capital’ and privatised …and we foot the bill. Many of our indigenous brothers and sisters will pay with their lives. Many already have: in Bolivia and ss the WWF and mining corps ecoterrorists move them from their land to ‘protect and preserve it’ under Agenda 2063/2030. And many, many children are forced into coltan mining and conflict e-tech mineral extractivism …so we can have bourgeois bad faith socialism.

And Murphy, Pettifor, Lucas et al are part of it. They see nothing wrong in eternal global expansion and extraction. Or extending the ‘money multiplier cancer’ of the City’s ‘green’ finance. This came straight from the web of ‘dark money’ philanthrocapitalism and their ‘Theory of Change’ perception managers (mostly offshoots of Avaaz). No sooner had Zack Exley set up corporate finance puppet AOC with the US GND (which she was self-admittedly recruited for): than he was on his way to London to meet Lewis, Long-Bailey, Corbyn, Lucas. Out of those meetings came the launch of the LabourGND website. And after a further meeting with Greta came the global launch of the ‘Climate Emergency’ – the new planetary Zeitgeist. Backed by every major ‘green’ capitalist in the world.

Against which DG’s petty diversions look quite pathetic, really. Unfortunately he expresses a groupthink that is immune to fact. We cannot have any more expansion on this planet. We in the UK are already the global consumption/pollution bourgeoisie. It is a zero-sum game for expansionism: our more is someone else’s less. If everyone lived like us: the ecosystems would collapse …and that comes straight from the LabourGND propaganda. Which means poverty, malnutrition, preventable disease, infant mortality, murder, and species extinction ecogenocide for the Many …bad faith bourgeois pseudo-socialism for the Few. Funded by our pensions to supplement the Green Gilts and ‘Banking Nature’ for rentier environmental services.

And if you have not watched ‘Banking Nature’ it is available on this site. Watch it and weep. I did.

Simon Hodges
Simon Hodges
Nov 25, 2019 1:05 PM
Reply to  BigB

BigB

Yes I have seen the Banking on Nature documentary and its a good resource for anyone who does not have the time to read Cory’s work. It really comes down to degrowth and reassessing all our needs and values but no-one wants to talk about it. I know you follow Tim Morgan’s blog and his SEEDS model shows that Western economies have effectively experienced degrowth since 2007 which has been covered up by financial and statistical manipulation. The problem here is that degrowth is already happening but we’re not involved in any discussion or democratic management of what that entails so we are left at the mercy of the same corrupted players who have been rigging the system for decades.

In terms of globalism its very much a two pronged attack. On the ‘progressive’ side we have the GGND and its happy clappy imperialist Neoliberal fundamentalism whilst on the other side we have your more traditional US conservative version of OPIC which transmits the same happy clappy Neoliberalism with the proposal to lift the global south out of poverty by lending money to women directly in order to turn them into stake holding entrepreneurial capitalists. It all takes place with exactly the same language as the GGND as to ‘unlocking’ $trillions in female economic potential and financialization by loading debt on nature’s mothers.

Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities

Once you couple the GGND with OPIC and the proposed Blue Dot infrastructure network, then what we are really seeing is Wilsonian/Neoconservative imperialism universalised, but that was always the plan since the inception of the PNAC in 1997. Since 2003 Neoconservatism went mainstream as it’s ‘moral clarity’ and ambitions were fully adopted first by the progressive ‘left’ under Blair and then the MSM and all the rest of the political parties: all of whom fail to see that ‘Liberal Fundamentalism’ is a contradiction in terms.

I can only conclude that the GGND yields the same imperialist results of spreading dysfunctional ‘democracy’ and Neoliberal capitalism globally as was the intent of the PNAC: it just swaps out the Neocon hard military approach with climate crisis where in order to save the world the West assumes imperialist ‘guardianship’ of the land and resources of the global south because they cannot be trusted to their own governments or self determination.

This just leaves us all to ponder how it was that true pacifist liberals have become virtually extinct? The answer is via the persistent character assassination of moral relativism which was always the philosophical foundation of liberalism. We have now reached the stage where progressive liberal fundamentalism cannot accept any kind of relativism at all as it reaches paroxysms of screeching totalitarian intolerance of all ideas other than its own.

https://twitter.com/opicgov

https://www.opic.gov/

Antonym
Antonym
Nov 26, 2019 2:02 AM
Reply to  Simon Hodges

in order to save the world the West assumes imperialist ‘guardianship’ of the land and resources of the global south because they cannot be trusted to their own governments or self determination.

Why is everybody around here blind to Xi-China doing a similar thing under a different name? Is Africa off your radars? Want some belt from his Belt & Road initiative like some are feeling now in Asia?

Simon Hodges
Simon Hodges
Nov 26, 2019 7:19 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Antonym. I suspect what you say is true, but I’m by no means an expert on China and am not sure of who reliable sources are on events there so I don’t feel well enough informed to comment on that aspect. I do find it quite amazing that XR and the climate change activists have nothing to say on the BRI which is the greatest and most polluting infrastructure project in history which will permanently increase co2 emissions greatly.

BigB
BigB
Nov 26, 2019 12:14 PM
Reply to  Simon Hodges

Simon:

I can only echo Seamus Padraig’s comment: I have no idea why your insight is downvoted. I do really, this election has been reduced to a fantasy pantomime personality contest. Real world issues and real world insight are totally excluded and taboo.

Thanks for the excellent genealogy: mine is quite different …but probably complemetary not contradictory. The whole GGND hase been a long term project for the Club of Rome, Sierra Club. WWF etc. It’s all part of what Cory calls the ‘NGO’ or ‘charity industrial complex’. Or what Whitney Webb and Vanessa Beeley called ‘philanthrocapitalism’. It is the answer to ‘What Gorbachev did next’? With the Green Cross International and celebrity gala industrial complex …with the Clinton’s, Bono, and Kevin Spacey (remember him?) They have been gestating the GGND for decades – including sponsoring much of the science. Which is a thorny subject: but does not entail the science being wrong. The policy implications – especially aimed at their favourite canard of ‘overpopulation’ – are wrong: not the science. For instance the original Limits To Growth now has nearly 50 years of meta-data that confirms the original WORLD 3 projection.

Anyway, I’m glad you are not taken in by green finance capitalism’s backing of the GGND. In retrospect: Klaus Schwab telegraphed his move about three years ago. The WEF long realised globalisation was stalling: so they reinvented it. Hence: Globalisation 4.0 …or Neoliberalism 4.0 as I prefer. In the end: Cory was wrong. There was no need to manipulate a schoolgirl to manufacture consent. All they had to do was hand the global agenda to Corbyn: and the Labour faithful will vote for it blindsighted with uncritical assimilation. No need for Greta or XR. They just looked for the most gullible partisan electorate on the planet: and they found them in the UK. No questions asked or even askable. The genealogy of the GGND policies will remain unquestioned. It all came from the grassroots, didn’t it? Despite the warnings: they did not even see it coming. And they certainly don’t want it pointed out now.

Oh, Jer-emy Corbyn, Oh, Jer-emy Corbyn, Oh, Jer-emy Corbyn…

Oh, Green Finance Capital, Oh, Green Finance Capital …doesn’t have the same ring, does it?

Simon Hodges
Simon Hodges
Nov 26, 2019 5:49 PM
Reply to  BigB

BigB

All of these scenarios are complimentary and feed into each other, but none of us has the time to focus on all the threads that go into understanding and explaining the big picture. Having said that James Corbett made a good attempt in his Histories of Big Oil and as you probably know, has done some excellent work showing how Big Oil was also instrumental in establishing and funding the environmental movements or at least all those transnational institutions that have since been brought into existence to deal with climate change.

Any real criticism of our current direction is going to massively complex and needs to be understood in so many different ways. What this basically means is that we are under attack from so many different simultaneous directions that it is almost impossible to make any adequate response. I suppose that is the governing intention.

I focus on the Neocons and the PNAC as they have been the main drivers of the war in Iraq and all subsequent conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and South America. I also think they are important in that they took Wilsonian ‘Liberalism’ and made it a form of religious illiberal fundamentalism. The critique by the Neocons of what they took to be the despicable weakness of Liberal moral relativism was adopted by Christopher Hitchens etc, Blair’s Progressives via the Euston Manifesto and its US Democrat equivalent, only to be eventually taken up by most everyone else who effectively replaced true broad minded liberalism with a totalitarian Neocon based ‘Moral Clarity’ that only thinks and deals in its own fundamentalist absolutes. They talk about high moral values and the importance of democracy etc. but none of them actually believe in such things. They have no morality and no ethical standards as everything evil they bring about is dismissed in terms of an acceptable level of moral and ethical collateral damage in meeting their ends, even if that meant turning a blind eye to 9/11 as the Pearl Harbour moment they wished upon. Democracy is only accepted when and if it ‘happily’ coincides with their objectives. As soon as democracy moves outside of those parameters the Neo-fascists will do everything in their power to subvert it back to the direction they wish it to take as we saw with Brexit or with the massive multiple levels of subterfuge employed to destabilise socialist leaning governments around the world from the cold war to date.

From my perspective this anti-relativism has since 2003, silently spread through all progressive thought and when it comes to issues such as Identity Politics this fundamentalism has evolved into a form of illiberal, progressive, fascist totalitarianism. Whomever you side with around the arguments of trans-genderism on one side or the other is a philosophically relative position related to questions of ‘being’ and not a question of moral relativism. What is clear is that in our current progressive fascist climate, no such either moral or philosophical relativity is allowed to exist and the world is only to be understood with what is passed off as great ‘moral clarity’ and policed in terms of progressive political philosophy’s own absolutes: which drawing heavily from the Neocon playbook are always passed off as a falsely constructed conflict between ‘good’ and ‘evil’. This conflict is consequently policed with threats and very real violence in baying mobs making incitements to ‘punch a terf’ or similar – such are the hallmarks of contemporary banal fascism. The progressives even deny economic relativism as they see Neoliberalism as the end of political and economic history without any economic alternatives. The tyranny of T.I.N.A is the most banal and purest form of fascist totalitarianism.

You know fascism has gone mainstream again when people are afraid to speak on so many issues for fear of losing their jobs or worse and these things are now common place on issues ranging from Identity Politics to Climate Change. The fact that population control and eugenics has one again become seemingly acceptable in scientific conversations around climate change is also a big indication that fascism is very much alive and hiding in plain sight. On the BBC today one of the most popular comments relating to climate change was:

“The Elephant in the room: OVER-POPULATION”

Of course Cory Morningstar would counter this with:

“The Elephant in the room: Neoliberal Growth Capitalism”

Politics has ceased to be a struggle between right and left but has come down to a struggle between those who believe in endless economic growth and those who believe that the future rests on a far less wasteful and more ethical use of resources and a far more conservative nurturing and management of our environment. At the same time it also seems to be a struggle between the dwindling number of true and decent liberals on one side and illiberal cosmopolitan corporate fascists on the other. I see true liberals in the anti-capitalist and anarchy collectives such as the Wrong Kind of Green and WinterOak and also within some schools of Austrian libertarian economics who have great affinities for anarchism. Sadly the number of true liberals has declined massively in all the main political parties with the Lib Dems having none left at all as far as one can see.

BigB
BigB
Nov 29, 2019 7:49 PM
Reply to  Simon Hodges

Simon:

You might not see this now: with the unfortunate shutdown of the site. Which was a deliberate attack to prevent JC getting elected – if you read some of the comments. Bizarre.

If you include trans-genderism: I would say we have to look at a philosophical rite of passage as old as time. ‘Modern Man’ – in the Foucaultian and Derridian sense – was a recent invention. An invention of the Enlightenment and the Cartesian Method. That gave us a Randian objectivism; causal determinism – and its evolutionary and genetic derivatives of ideological scientism; private property rights, endless growth capitalism/neoliberalism, and neo-Platonic authoritarian state fascism.

Contra to this: there was an identifiable ‘subjective turn’ from Rousseau, Marx, Engels, Weber, William James, Brentano, Husserl; etc. Between the subjective and objective poles of Being: there is a great confusion. I see TG and IP as necessary countercoups to an excessively restrictive authoritarian state objectivism: where the state itself is the sufficient and necessary pre-determined commodified object …to which we owe our subjectivity and must repay that debt with a lifelong obedience. Obedience is the objectivist raison d’etat.

Since Thatcher: the price of our obedience is that we have become wards – not of the state; we were always that – now we are wards of global market forces. Our subjectivity has been commodified, liberalised, marketised, globalised, and to an extent privatised. I do not know if you are familiar with Hardt and Negri? But they have stated that modern subjectivity is a function of debt. As esoteric as that may sound: that is a pretty good description. The modern Capitalist Realist automatic subject is not a capitalist as such. They do not have capital invested in the global ‘free’ market economic enterprise. As state capitalists: they have a different version of Taleb’s ‘skin in the game’. They have socialised ‘dreams in the game’: which is a version of Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘desiring production’.

This is a fatal political flaw: to be dependent on capitalism/neoliberalism doing economically well – in order to provide state capitalist contingent pseudo-socialisms as a necessary and sufficient determinism of ones mental health and wellbeing. Elsewhere I have at least suggested we look at this as a Polanyian ‘double movement’ of neoliberalism/globalisation becoming socially inclusive – offering a social compact – which is in fact a self-protectionist act to further the ends of globalisation. And entails the privatisation of all natural and social capital. Banking nature and banking us.

You have seen, and have been subjected to the level of puerile response that anything other than actual devotion to Corbyn entails. If that was localised: then move on. But it is endemic: Corbyn devotees truck no critique …and that is exceedingly dangerous approaching the soft ‘baby shark’ proto-facism of the uncharismatic leader!

Which entails the globalised green neoliberal Zeitgeist consumes the life-ground of all value …the interdependence with which we need to draw a very next breath. To which we are all but blindsighted by ‘socialism’ …a socialism that costs the Earth. The disconnect and disjunction between the election and its global consequences is all but totalitarian. And imposed by a somewhat facile micro-fascism it seems. If it were not so serious: it would actually be funny. But the GGND is not going away. It is the green neoliberal Zeitgeist. All parties are committed to a version of it: though the Tories give absolutely no detail other than a vague ‘net zero by 2050’ empty descriptor.

If the numbers of us who can see straight through the hyperreal facade are in the single digits or low hundreds: we have an existentially life threatening potential extinction level event on our hands. With no recourse to rational dialogue: or real chance of exposure. The relevant information from Cory has been available on this site for months. Which is of little avail if no one reads it. Neoliberal green finance capitalism will win this election: whoever gets in. The PM is a green corporate stooge: not a plenipotentiary of the people. Whatever gave people that idea? Oh, it was their imagination and magic thinking. Letting neoliberal green corporate finance design our ‘just transition’ (another stock corporate framing that is starting to leach out) is probably the worst idea anyone ever had. But they never had the idea: or its counterpart – so fixated are they on ‘socialism’. The two dissenters in the corner active observers of a very dangerously developing situation.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 25, 2019 11:13 PM
Reply to  BigB

Seems as some are upset that Labour have leveraged the XR con which has helped politize even more of the young!

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Nov 25, 2019 11:28 PM
Reply to  Simon Hodges

I can’t imagine why so many here are voting you down, Simon. You are wide awake, my friend.

Simon Hodges
Simon Hodges
Nov 26, 2019 7:23 AM
Reply to  Seamus Padraig

Cheers Seamus

Given its election season, then too many tribal political cave dwellers I suspect. I have never had allegiances to any of the main parties though I try to give everyone a sympathetic reading and you can usually draw ideas of merit from a number of different sources. At the moment I would say that all of our main parties are not even aware of the issues that concern me the most.

Geoff
Geoff
Nov 24, 2019 12:51 PM

It’s the last chance of some form of fair government, If we fail this time, I think it will be a long time before we get a second chance, the media has far far too much influence.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Nov 24, 2019 12:26 PM

People generally vote out of self-interest. Of course they do. The snag is that relatively few have any sense of where their self-interest lies.

People voting out of self-interest is indeed like plants growing toward the light. ‘Self-interest’ does not seem to cut it there. You could say voting is motivated by existential needs, that are decorated to imply that all of them can be construed as ‘self-interest’. Correct though, the masses vote for survival – or what they deem necesary to be saved, to be held onto.

‘Self-interest’ is a lot trickier that that, since there is a next to insurmountable obstacle to overcome.

Who is the ‘Self’? Or even ‘What’ is the ‘Self’?

Could it be condensed into an alternatively used wisdom that states:

Everybody does what they believe will make their lives better.
Down to the most insignificant situation of them all. ‘It matters’,
so to speak.

People very well vote out of a combination of existential Angst and Self-interest, whereas it should then be called ‘Ego-interest’.

People generally vote out of Ego-interest.

The Self is not the Ego, but the Ego part of the ‘Self’. A ‘self-interested’ person might be a mother, in which case the ‘Self’ expands to include each of her lovely children.

Thank you for paying attention to an important aspect of ‘representative’ democracy. In a ‘representative’ democracy, Ego-interest is then shared and amplified by the mechanism itself – the electoral system. The system is rigged towards the subsidized election circus that in a self-dynamic fashion plays both – the ‘Self’-interest and the ‘Ego’-interest. And since election campaign designers/creators are as persistent as flowing water to get to the low point, the machine will now work even more on this aspect of the voter’s minds.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 12:00 PM

Polls polls polls polls …wonderful BALLS.
(To the tune of Spam!)

THE TORY LEAD IS LESS THAN 5%

I spent a lot of time last election blowing major holes in their balls polls, especially the commissioned ones by opinium for the Obsessive Groaniad. Also one of the reasons why I done with them.

I called it pretty correctly. By looking at their RAW data. And I say the current tory lead is exactly what it was at the end of 2017 . If you believe their raw data.

This time I hadn’t bothered up till now. Drilling down into data is the key. Even as the representation of the data has changed… in my opinion they have manipulated raw data!

The Obsessives splash yesterday that claims a headline of
‘Conservatives open up 19-point lead with 47% share of the vote’
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/23/tories-renewed-poll-boost-brexit-party-candidates-pull-out-opinium-observer

Now understand that there is a catch up period by Labour as the election campaign proceeds and fair coverage in the media allows that. Last time that ended with the overall lead of 800,000 votes over the whole 650 seats by the tories.

‘Despite a drop in the number of seats, the Conservatives actually saw a rise in vote share (up 5.5% points to 42.4%). Labour’s vote share rose at an even greater rate (up 9.5% points) and now sits at 40.0%.’
https://data.london.gov.uk/blog/the-2017-general-election-the-numbers-behind-the-result/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2017/results

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES WAS 2.4%.

Remember that percentage – 2.4%.

Now lets drill down into the Opinium poll.

1. They state ‘Source: Opinium poll: 2,003 UK adults surveyed from 20 to 22 November 2019’ – that is 3 days over which the two thousand and three people were interviewed. Things were happening over these 3 days and doesn’t include the Friday debate.
2. In their new presentation of the data – https://www.opinium.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/VI-20-11-19-website.xlsx There are now multiple data sheets. The relevant sheet is 5a. It asks what the responders voted in 2017, of the number that are used to derive the headline ‘result’.
3. The actual number of responders who voted in 2017 is a total of 1,368.
4. Off these 46% (508) voted Tory and 36% (421) Labour in 2017 – a difference of 10% not the 2.4% of the actual result remember!
5. The actual 2017 Tory share was 42.4% not 46% as of the responders. The actual Labour share was 40% not 36% of the responders. Self selected responders, many who couldn’t even ‘remember’ how they voted 2 years ago btw (ahem!).
So the Tory share of responders is over represented by 7.6% (4)
6. Then let us look at sheet 3 & 3b which mutates the numbers even further. The first has tory 35% (558) , Lab 23% (372). The second has tory 37% (585) , 24% Lab (379) – both have a total respondents used as 1592.

So the magic trick is pulled! How does my point 6 compare to my point 4?

I put all that up there not expecting most to follow it but to show the ‘data’. It can be ignored and you can just take my opinion below or their opium from Opinium (a firm that should hang it’s head in shame – i believe).
————
So how many ways to skin this very thin cat?

The raw data adjusted for the 7.6% starting variance would give the Tories a current lead (to the 3 day period ending 22/11) of between 4.4% and 5.4%.

With undecideds of some 16%.

I am sticking to my prediction of a landslide based on how the numbers improved through the campaign last time.

Anyway the 19% HEADLINE current lead is BALLS.

Do we really need to wonder why such magical thinking is going on in the Obsessive Groaniad?

lundiel
lundiel
Nov 24, 2019 2:38 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Good comment.

Urno
Urno
Jan 31, 2020 6:26 PM
Reply to  lundiel

yeah, really good.
Still delusional after all these years.
Tory landslide. Ha ha ha.

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood
Nov 25, 2019 12:40 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Agree that the Opinium numbers are out of whack. But the Britain Elects poll tracker currently (as of 24 Nov 2019, 4:03am) gives the Tories a lead of 13%.

FWIW, Yougov on 22 Nov 2019 gave them a lead of 12%. I distrust Yougov slightly less than the others, although we know that pinches of salt must be taken with all this stuff.

https://britainelects.newstatesman.com/who-leads-in-our-poll-tracker

Grafter
Grafter
Nov 24, 2019 11:32 AM

“Is the BBC biased in favour of Nicola Sturgeon?” …. Didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. God save us from article writers such as this. BBC bias against independence and the SNP is legion here in Scotland and every man and his dog knows it. Tories and Labour are now mercifully history north of your border where Independence is now becoming inevitable.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 12:35 PM
Reply to  Grafter

The BBC is certainly biased want some examples?

Here is Laurak giving Bobo her best cheerleader eyes and squeals

https://mobile.twitter.com/JoshuaFunnell2/status/1174787547760869376

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 24, 2019 3:35 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

I think she’s in love!

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 4:36 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Oh yes She is, some may even think they consumated!

https://mobile.twitter.com/StevenW69808657/status/1196823843677122565

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 24, 2019 7:03 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

As someone who makes a point of never watching mainstream media, I have missed most of the various performances of BJ and LK. Having watched that clip, I have the same feeling aobut both of them that I always had about Jimmy Savile whenever I saw him on TV back in the 70s and 80s i.e. “Who exactly are you and what is it that you’re supposed to do?”

John Deehan
John Deehan
Nov 24, 2019 11:20 AM

It’s always worth remembering that nothing by man is written in stone. For example, over a century ago workhouses were the norm, children as worked in very dangerous industries, women didn’t have the vote neither did men unless they were property owners and there was no NHS so unless you paid you died if you were I’ll.

A minority of the working class has by and large forgotten who the real enemy is to them. It has swallowed the propaganda about been ” swamped by immigrants”, it has unconsciously swallowed the thoughts planted in their mind that their ” masters” are their to aid them and been suckered into the notion that ” they are all the same” and don’t vote.

But hope lives. Before Corbyn their was Brown and before him there was Blair. The lessons of the past are being painfully relevant by the working class and nothing changes for the better unless you fight for it. The young are awakening to this because many of the older working class have nice pensions, their own homes and are doing very nicely. The word selfishness comes to mind. Thatcher knew this hence why she appealed to the negative emotions of man. Blair was the false prophet bringing false hope. But Corbyn has brought genuine hope. Even if he is defeated, the young will pick up the banner, which is why the elites fear him so much. The young have nothing to lose!

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Nov 24, 2019 11:46 AM
Reply to  John Deehan

”The young are awakening to this because many of the older working class have nice pensions, their own homes and are doing very nicely. The word selfishness comes to mind.”

Don’t you just ‘love the smell of ageism in the morning’! These bloody oldies should be exterminated. It seems to be the case that every minority can now relentlessly pursue its on interests, except OAPs. The idea that anyone over 65 is a living in the lap of luxury after a lifetimes work, often in shitty jobs, bringing up kids, and working night and day to pay off the mortgage seems bizarre. But our little snowflake remainers seem to be oblivious to this. Exterminate! Exterminate! I suppose they hope that is a cold winter which will wipe some of the geriatric spongers.

I wonder if this would qualify as hate crime.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 12:08 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

I do love the screams of floundering hard brexiteers on a sunday morning it goes well with the church bells.

Enjoy my sermon – awaiting moderation at mo.

John Deehan
John Deehan
Nov 24, 2019 12:10 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Oh dear, nerves have been touched, truth to much to bear. I am old crusty and I hear this type of rhetoric all the time. It’s no coincidence that the majority of the over 55s vote Tory and the under 35s overwhelmingly support Labour. It’s no coincidence since the welfare society was introduced after the war have done very nicely, eg affordable housing, wages which enabled working people in shitty jobs to buy a house on one wage and send the kids to university( if they had the academic abilities) without taking out a second mortgage to pay the fees. It was no coincidence that many worked in secure employment and could afford to take out a mortgage. Then came the Thatcher ” revolution ” and the nice secure people sold off their heritage for 30 pieces of silver to buy their council home or praise the glories of the market. The future belongs to the young.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 12:41 PM
Reply to  John Deehan

The crime was not selling the council houses to people who lived in them for decades and paid more in rent than private buyers did over 25 years – it was actually the single greatest act of transfer of wealth to the poorest.

The crime was NOT replacing that social affordable housing by LAW.

Geoff
Geoff
Nov 24, 2019 12:58 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

They weren’t the government to sell , we all know why it was done, to entrap people into debt.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 1:49 PM
Reply to  Geoff

It was to get people to actually own what they had paid for in rent multiples more than the cost of the house.

With the discounts none of these people ( 99.9%) ended up in debt.

Stop lying.

Geoff
Geoff
Nov 25, 2019 10:01 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

AH, I see , if you lease a car for five years, they give it to you in the end do they. they were COUNCIL houses and should never been put up for sale, if you’re going to comment , then try and make just a little bit of sense you moron, people in them days were also subsidised by the taxpayer. grow up

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 25, 2019 7:38 PM
Reply to  Geoff

“Moron”

Lol. Hard argument you put there to counter!!

Talking of moronic arguments, when you lease a vehicle for years, you get to hand it back at the end of the term or BUY it outright at a DISCOUNTED single payment.

The council houses were financed by the councils.
They collected a lot more in rent than it cost them to build and maintain.
The discount was proportional to the number of years of being a rent payer.
The capital receipts were NOT allowed to be used by councils to build new properties by the TORY government.
Many developers got very rich with the monopoly thus given.

And finally

The Right to Buy was NOT a tory policy when Thatcher was elected it was a policy developed by Callaghan and Healy to give the transfer of wealth to these poorest, who could never save up a deposit, to get a affordable mortgage in those days, but they were not able to use it due to the chaos of the winter of discontent (manufactured by the neocons) – it was a policy developed by the civil servants and was implemented by Thatcherites as a means of destroying the ‘always Labour’ council tenants.

Chew on that before spitting it back.

John Deehan
John Deehan
Nov 24, 2019 5:47 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

A number of points. Firstly, the forced sell off of council housing by the right to buy ensured that council houses in some of the most expensive parts of the country were never going to replaced by social housing in that area since the acquisition of the land in order to build would be expensively prohibitive. Secondly, the notion that the sell off of approximately 1.6 million council accommodation would be built from the sale of the stock would not be possible since there was, and still is, a chronic shortage of skilled tradesmen to construct them.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 9:05 PM
Reply to  John Deehan

The capital receipts by the councils from RTB was not allowed to be used for reinvestment.
Much building of private property has been done on council land.
Many Building firms got very rich and gave huge amounts of money to the Tory party & Nu Lab Inc.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Nov 24, 2019 1:35 PM
Reply to  John Deehan

Okay pal, so where is the universal suffrage cut-off point going to be in your brave new world. Although it will not be universal suffrage anymore will it? Maybe we can reduce the voting age to 66, no make that 55, that will cut out a large part of the oldie vote, especially if it’s a cold winter. And then there’s another wheeze, lets reduce the voting age to 16, believe it or not this has already been mooted. But why stop there? Votes for children anyone?

The logical outcome of your argument is actually quite reactionary. Namely, that people who are not voting for a party or policy which does not espouse your beliefs and values, really should be mercilessly castigated or not be allowed to vote at all. That in essence has been the real bone of contention throughout this whole Brexit brouhaha. In the words of Jo Swinson: ”Brexit must be stopped.” Why? Why should it have been ‘stopped’ in the first place? Was there anything illegal about it? Did it not conform to the usual rules and procedures of elections?

It is as if something illegal and fiendishly wicked had taken place.

Certain powerful and organized interests including, big business, the media, the political class, the EU, and even Obama, the ‘Independent’ Judiciary and rich People like Gina Miller, all have combined stop Brexit. The whole sordid business has opened a Pandora’s box of political conflict, and, don’t kid yourself, this election has always been about Brexit.

And now of course all this issue is going to be pushed into the background as though it had never happened; and we are not going to get Brexit. The grand coalition – Tory, Labour and above all Liberal-Democrat are going to come up with some fudge which is leave in name only.

BTW, I have never voted Conservative in my life and never will, but I stopped voting Labour after 1997 and the Blair ascensancy. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

John Thatcher
John Thatcher
Nov 24, 2019 2:10 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Ahem,Blair departed the scene some time ago.The Labour party now has a leader called Corbyn.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Nov 24, 2019 6:37 PM
Reply to  John Thatcher

Blair has not gone and the Labour Party has a titular leader who is surrounded by the controlling Blairite faction – the dominant group who have stitched up the PLP and have an agenda of their own. The other pertinent issue is the Labour Friends of Israel who are nothing other than a zionist front organization within the PLP with their own agenda: namely pushing Israel’s interests as Israel does everywhere else. Is this a progressive socialist party?

Mike Ellwood
Mike Ellwood
Nov 25, 2019 12:51 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Mind you, Blair himself has gone strangely quiet these last few weeks, hasn’t he? What’s the bugger up to?

Maybe he reckons that with Johnson’s BRINO on the one hand, and Corbyn’s “Remain vs Remain” referendum on the other, and the Brexit party sunk almost without trace in the polls, he has no worries now on the Brexit score, so he and his pals can go off and carry on making loadsamoney.

Geoff
Geoff
Nov 25, 2019 10:03 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

72 Labour MPs in the labour party are friends of Israel !

John Deehan
John Deehan
Nov 24, 2019 6:21 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Firstly, I am not your pal and the use of hyperbole does not enhance your arguments one jot. You cannot escape the fact that in the U.K. the majority of over 55 voters vote for the conservatives hence why they target them although hopefully they have screwed up on refusing to pay the pension of the 3.5 million women pensioners between 60 and 66 which has caused fury amongst them. Now, as to your assertion of my points about a majority of voters over the age of 55 who vote for the Tories. In the words of Nye Bevan, one of the greatest tricks the Tories use is to convince ordinary people to vote against their own interests since they fail to grasp that by their actions they condemn theirs and others offspring to a life which their forefathers had to endure before the welfare state.

Moreover, you introduced the topic of Brexit. It may come as a shock but man does not live by Brexit alone. The NHS, affordable housing, secure employment rights, collective bargaining to achieve decent, free University education etc are topics which are in many people’s minds particularly the young since they are shelling out up to and more 2/3rds of their income for short term rented accommodation. A chronic lacking of funding for NHS staff eg , the nurses bursaries were abolished. Bojo fiddling the employment figures. 1.8 million people work insecure jobs, I was one of them. University students walking out of their degrees courses with £45,000 and some in higher degree courses with £80,000 in debt.

Just to remind you, Blair was a disciple of Thatcher. If you think the democratic socialist Labour Party is in the same mould as the now defunct New Labour Party, you evidently have neither read it’s manifesto nor been following the shenanigans against Jeremy Corbyn since he became leader of the party.

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers
Nov 25, 2019 2:08 AM
Reply to  John Deehan

Sorry folks, but I’m a bit at a loss when it comes to claims that over 55’s are voting Tory in droves, which to this observer is utter nonsense, at least as far as Wales is concerned, and the fact I’m now associating fully with the age group in question – hardly anyone in my circles would be seen dead admitting they vote Tory, and that’s before we recognise most of those utilising NHS services are mostly over 50’s – age gets us all in the end, so another reason to discount wild claims when the NHS many rely is being destroyed, although both the Tories and New labour ensured it was re-organised to Privatise at some juncture in time.

Now, and despite my own reservations about the trajectory the LP has taken since its 2017 Manifesto, a time when formally the Party was not a ‘Remain’ entity, much has changed, that said, given the choice is either the Clown or Corbyn, anyone who is informed by non-MSM sources must conclude, and despite reservations, only a vote for Corbyn can begin the long march back from the neoliberal dystopia presently on offer. Also, despite understanding that McDonnell has sold his soul, who’s to say JC would make him Chancellor if elected PM, although, I don’t see too many replacements within the PLP, which, as most admit, is still predominantly Blairite, despite JC being leader for four years plus. JC’s biggest mistakes, not pushing Open Selection and not putting the Antisemitism shite in a box by telling the Israeli Lobby to bugger off from day one.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Nov 24, 2019 12:41 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

These bloody oldies should be exterminated.

They are a parasitic drain on the system. At least that’s what those who profit the most of the system will say. Like there are ‘too many baby boomers’ for the system to keep working. Cuts need to be made. Just not in the defense and surveillance that never sees anything sectors.

One more reason to ask for a ‘Brex-termination’. Not only the ‘exit’ from the EU moloch, but also the termination of this joke of a parliamentarian aristo-democracy. ‘Bureaucrexit’ must be the next step. The present rigged system has been allowed to grow roots. These roots must be pulled. Direct democracy – saves the taxpayers billions and maybe life on earth.

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 24, 2019 3:42 PM
Reply to  nottheonly1

Those who profit the most of the system always like to point to another sector to hold up as “a parasitic drain on the system”. The millionaire points to you and says, “He’s your problem. He has a fiver more than everyone else!”

Geoff
Geoff
Nov 24, 2019 12:55 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

I’m not oblivious to it at all, and I’m a remainer, why would all remainers think like that?

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Nov 24, 2019 10:37 AM

Labour will negotiate a more practical and mature deal with Brussels than Johnson managed – even Tories admit that his deal is even worse than Theresa May’s – and then put it to a further referendum, which is the democratic way.

If I were a Labour strategist with Corbyn’s perceived equivocation on the EU to take into account, as well as all the EU prohibitions on proto-socialism that you mention (and more that you don’t), I’d be looking at the possibility of winning the election with a one-liner about a post-election referendum (“Democracy of Course”) on the EU, but a boots-and-all rest-of-campaign pushing all the upsides of the manifesto’s proto-socialist measures, followed by a post-negotiations referendum campaign that, were those negotiations to result in a deal that was significantly over-all inimical to the “radicalism” of the manifesto, pushing–by Corbyn’s anti-EU allies (while being treated neutrally by Democratic Jeremy)–all the downsides of the “best deal” that negotiations could obtain (We Tried But)…

The election presumes to be a referendum, but it isn’t. Any subsequent referendum is not bound by the results of an election, which it wasn’t.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Nov 24, 2019 9:28 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Thanks for the upvotes, but I have since seen that Labour’s strategists seem to have beaten me to it. Bugger. Oops–I mean Good.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Nov 24, 2019 10:24 AM

Do EU rules stop Britain re-nationalising its railways? It depends what you mean by ‘nationalise’
Planes, Trains and Autobahns: Public ownership of railways has become a totemic issue on the left

• Jon Stone @joncstone
• Friday 21 June 2019 12:30

”One sub-plot of Brexit is the running argument about whether membership of the EU – or its single market – prevents Britain from nationalising its railways.

Public ownership of rail has become a totemic policy for the left, and the wider public has never accepted privatisation either: 60 per cent of voters support re-nationalisation, compared to just 25 per cent who are opposed, according to YouGov.

Some left-wingers are concerned that EU restrictions on state intervention limit the government’s ability to renationalise, while Remainers point out that publicly-owned rail is the norm in most of continental Europe.

The situation is actually quite complicated, and both sides in this argument have had a tendency to gloss over inconvenient facts: here I will try to explain what the EU rules mean in practice.
The first thing to say is that EU membership, clearly, does not prevent you having a state-owned national railway company. This is because the UK is the only major member state where one of these doesn’t operate the vast majority of services.

From France to Portugal, Spain to Germany, Italy to Poland, passenger rail is overwhelmingly run by the country’s respective version of British Rail. Unlike in the UK, these were never privatised and broken up.
The suggestion that EU state aid rules would prevent you from subsidising these companies is also wrong: Article 93 of the EU’s treaty specifically exempts “the coordination of transport” from state aid regulations.

EU member states make great use of this exemption: ticket prices can be absurdly low, especially for commuters. In Belgium, where I live, train tickets are practically given away for free: a weekend six-hour round trip between Brussels and Arlon can be bought on the day for £19 return. For those over 65, there’s a flat charge of £6 for a return ticket anywhere in the country.

Other EU countries are going further: Luxembourg subsidises its railways so much that it has decided there is no point in even bothering to collect fares anymore, and from the beginning of 2020 it’s just going to make all of its public transport free, for everyone.

So EU rules do not prevent you having a public railway company, or from subsidising it to whatever absurd degree you fancy. But it’s important to be clear what restrictions the EU does place on member states’ railways: or to be precise, what restrictions it will place on them.

This is because the situation in the EU is changing: in 2016 the bloc approved a package of legislation called the Fourth Rail Package, which will come into force from 2023. This includes a series of new rules whose intention is to bring the private sector and market competition into the railways. Looking at the situation in member states now might not be a very good guide to what they will look like in a few years’ time.

The Fourth Rail Package doesn’t break up or privatise the existing public railway companies like the UK did with British Rail: but it effectively forces member states to replace some of their routes with privately operated ones, even when they don’t really want to. The thinking behind the legislation is really the same as the privatisation of the UK railways: that involving the private sector will somehow subject operators to competitive pressure and improve services, or increase efficiency and reduce the subsidy needed. (British passengers may have a view on whether this is an effective approach.)

Under the Fourth Rail Package, subsidised routes will have to be put out to open tender, and private companies be allowed to bid for them in a commercial process. The existing state incumbents will also be able to bid – and in many cases they will win; in others, they will not. In some circumstances governments will still be allowed to “direct award” smaller contracts to the public companies, but only if they set binding targets on punctuality and passenger satisfaction. If the targets are missed for any reason at all, the contract must be opened up to the private sector.

Something like the public tenders set to become the norm in Europe are currently standard for rail franchises in the UK: they’re not really market competition, just civil servants picking between different bids. Whether a company wins a contract does not really seem to come down to how good they are at running a railway, but rather how good they are at bidding for things – franchises in the UK have repeatedly failed to deliver on their promises and collapsed early, to be bailed out by the state.
The main difference between the current situation in the UK and the situation that is unfolding in Europe is that these countries will, mostly, continue to have a state rail company, bidding for contracts against other private companies. The hope is that the prospect of losing these contracts will force state incumbents to up their game and do a better job, but they will likely run a dwindling number of services among a growing patchwork of operators.

This is the situation, whether you think it is good thing or bad thing. A UK government committed to public ownership for the whole railway could perhaps try and ignore the regulations, facing down Brussels – though as our experience with Brexit shows, we’re not very good at that. Going rogue would also leave the government open to being taken to the European Court of Justice by private companies angry that they are missing out on lucrative contracts; it could also face infringement action from the Commission. Alternatively, the UK could work to try and change the EU’s rules – though it would be swimming against a very powerful tide.” To say the least (FL)

”As they stand, EU rules certainly do not mandate the UK’s railways being as privately operated as they are now, and they probably never will. But in practice, the latest regulations will make it impossible to get rid of private operators entirely. In short, it would be possible to recreate British Rail, but not to have it running the whole system in the way it did before privatisation. Ultimately, the answer to whether EU rules stop Britain nationalising its railways is: it depends on what you mean by nationalising them.”

Hmmm, sounds like creeping privatisation to me. (FL) I don’t think Labour will be able to implement its proposed nationalisation of rail services as it will find a dogged resistance on the part of the EU and within the PLP. And that goes for all the other reforms. It is said that Labour is a broad church, but I have always thought that to be a weakness rather than strength given the completely reactionary nature of powerful elements in the party, particularly in the PLP. Moreover, this is assuming that it wins the forthcoming election which seems unlikely. And BTW where is this ‘truly socialist government’ we are supposed to vote for? If only there was one.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 12:21 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

Did you just at length explain why the UK could return to state ownership like the rest of the EU has?

And then did you turn on a pin and say it won’t be allowed by the JCEU?

You do realise that if the uk governments pushing through various ppp/pfi had not insisted on a premium being added to the bids by incumbent public services providers then most wouldhave remained public as the cheapest bid?

Geoff
Geoff
Nov 24, 2019 1:11 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

I’m very interested in the point you make but could you explain a bit further ‘insisted on a premium being added’ so I can argue the point, thanks.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 1:54 PM
Reply to  Geoff

Public sector bidders for their own services had their bids increased by ministerial decree to allow fair competetion with the private sector bids for these services – to allow for the profits of the the private sector and such commmercial considerations.

This meant the bids didn’t get awarded to the cheapest bidders. The incumbents.

Estaugh
Estaugh
Nov 24, 2019 6:41 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

In other words, “bid rigging”

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 24, 2019 10:20 AM

As Marx said somewhere, the ruling ideas of any age are always the ideas of the ruling class. In our case, the ruling class live in constant fear of an expanding accountable public sector. That would stop their ruthless quest for the acquisition of everything and so they portray this fear as universal. And the folk in the street are encouraged to think of the rich position as being the norm. And when that no longer works so well, the rich can reconfigure their propaganda to take on a Leftish tinge. As Thomas Frank once said (obviously talking about America but it is relevant here too):

“For decades, Americans have experienced a populist uprising that only benefits the people it is supposed to be targeting…. The angry workers, mighty in their numbers, are marching irresistibly against the arrogant. They are shaking their fists at the sons of privilege. They are laughing at the dainty affectations of the Leawoof toffs. They are massing at the gates of Mission Hills, hoisting the black flag, and while the millionaires tremble in their mansions, they are bellowing out their terrifying demands. ‘We are here,’ they scream, ‘to cut your taxes.”

Kavy
Kavy
Nov 24, 2019 7:37 AM

20% to 25% of the population are hopelessly rightwing, so you can give up on them, but why do the rest vote Conservative when it will wreck their lives?

Haven’t they got relatives desperately in need of medical care getting delayed treatment, or children knee deep in debt with student loans and can’t afford to buy a home.

Are they not working much harder and with longer hours under ruthless bosses (‘tough management’)? Don’t they want the shorter hourly week which we can easily afford?

Something is amiss – they must be entirely stupid, or something! The media is responsible for a lot of it.

lundiel
lundiel
Nov 24, 2019 8:19 AM
Reply to  Kavy

As CJ Hopkins pointed out in the Inner Fascist article:

We are taught it by our parents, who were taught it by their parents. We are taught it again by our teachers in school. It is reinforced on a daily basis at work, in conversations with friends, in our families and our romantic relationships.
We imbibe it in books, movies, TV shows, advertisements, pop songs, the nightly news, in our cars, at the mall, the stadium, the opera … everywhere, because it is literally everywhere.

It’s deeper than mere propaganda, it plays to base human instincts. In my very limited canvassing of potential young voters, I found that they’ve no idea of what Socialism is, they’re hard-wired to the Hollywood caricature of authoritarian nutters bribing the electorate with “other people’s money”. I saw a pundit interviewing Uni students the other night. One potential first-time voter said, “I’m naturally left-wing but I couldn’t vote for Corbyn”.
The great council house sell-off changed people forever and made it easier to change their ideology forever. Accompanied by the bribes offered to people when they gave away the utilities and turned Building Societies into banks (I got £2,500 for that).
I’m getting old now and don’t expect to see anything as “radical” (Haha) as a Social Democratic Corbyn government in my life-time.

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 24, 2019 9:55 AM
Reply to  lundiel

“I’m naturally left-wing but I couldn’t vote for Corbyn”.

Yes I’ve heard that and I think yet again how impossible it is to talk to people who have not cut the umbilical cord of the mainstream media. It is this media that holds up a picture of Corbyn then Hitler then Corbyn, Hitler, Corbyn, Hitler, Corbyn, Hitler….. until the amniotic fluid is full of these vibrations and the floating minds repeat the required mantra.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Nov 24, 2019 12:30 PM
Reply to  Kavy

I’ll chime in with a fact that in 1945, the country ny an overwhelming majority gave the boot to the right whingers and the victorious Winston!

Secondly the last couple of decades has seem a massive propaganda move to take the country back to it’s prewar (ancient) sensibilities.
Mostly through misty eyed entertainment- Downton Abbey in particular aling with all the other costume dramas, clipped accents, servants..,the whole genre of shows aimed ar becoming entertainers or chefs…not really that subtle.

Grooming is how I would put it.

bevin
bevin
Nov 24, 2019 5:04 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

You make a point that often occurs to all of us when we look back to 1945. Allow to add two considerations.
1/ By the time of the election the coalition had already begun to introduce almost all of the policies that Labour espoused. The Beveridge Report was wildly popular, politicians did not dare deviate from it in public. With the ’30s behind them and the war having become a celebration of patriotic unity, of duty towards country etc, the Labour government may actually, by letting the Tories of the hook of coalition, have been a retrograde step. Particularly as it took Labour to get the people to agree to the horrendous sacrifices involved in the end of lease lend and the submission to US economic policy. (Which makes one wonder whether the Communist Party might not have been right about keeping the coalition until the end of the war, thus making the Welfare State unanimous and leaving the coalition to deal with Congress when it pulled the plug on lend lease and threatened to bankrupt the country. )

2/ Field Marshal Slim’s famous reply to Churchill’s question “What do you think the election result will be?”
Is worth thinking about
The reply was “I’ve no idea but none of my chaps (the 14th Army) voted for you.”
The massive mobilisation of the population broke up all sorts of regional and other divisions and homogenised the people into a highly politically conscious mass. The vote of the overseas servicemen came home and was then split into 600 odd constituency votes, breaking significantly to the left. That sense of unity led by the other ranks in the army hasn’t been seen since.

George Mc
George Mc
Nov 24, 2019 10:15 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

“…a massive propaganda move to take the country back to it’s prewar (ancient) sensibilities… Downton Abbey in particular….”

Oh I don’t know, the Beeb have always been addicted to period dramas. I have never watched Downton but I recall a little bit of radical content in their “To Serve Them All My Days” where John Duttine gets to say, “History is written by the victors”. And then there was “When The Bwoat Comes In” (no typo there, that’s how they pronounced it!) That was, by present day standards, almost a commie piece. As for Downton, the Wiki entry tells me: “The sixth and final series introduces the rise of the working class during the interwar period and hints at the eventual decline of the British aristocracy”. Admittedly, it’s not exactly cutting edge relevant stuff.

On a possibly more frivolous level, you don’t suppose the recent Starz series “Outlander” was a covert plea for Scottish independence?

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Nov 24, 2019 6:51 AM

As I read this piece on the dark and devious deeds of the exploiter class, my wife and l are visiting an ancient forest on the West coast of Tasmania.
Nature, as far as I know, is unaware of the exploiters. It is what it is. Precious, beautiful and awesome.
Nature has taken millions of years to reach the delicate balance that sustains it.
The exploiters have shifted the balance and imperilled the entire human race.
We are mere specks on the Earth and may soon be erased by the inevitable rebalancing of Life itself.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Nov 24, 2019 11:33 AM
Reply to  Fair dinkum

Human beings make ‘story’ and invest it with reality. Nothing wrong with that – but the nature of the teller is in the story.
Exploit is a term for ‘use’ – but also an exploit can be a ruse.
Awareness of our true nature is hidden or covered over by the use of the ruse.

The idea of balance as delicate is a projection of our own fragility – as a bubble reality hidden within a greater light that undoes the ruse by which we think to use Life to serve a private agenda – and ‘get away with it’ as a separate sense of a life set over and apart from Other, and World (Nurture and Nature).

So I recognise our sense of private personal control is a fragile and imperilled ruse that hates to lose and so it is hateful in every ingenious attempt to manipulate others or world to balance ITS books to ensure a private profit set apart from an ever more sacrificial public toxic dump.

Voting to rebel against a fear of extinction is our ‘starting place’. That is the ruse by which the story is seeded. The story gathers to it all that serves to set its scene, themes, props and casting. But this is a tired and old and joyless story and the game is not worth the candle.

The nature of mind is the capacity to alight in idea and use it as a means of unfolded meaning or experience. But the idea of separation from Life in private agenda is a mind trapped in a fragile body in a world of struggle and death. Thus seeking and giving power to any way of preserving and extending self-interest under such seemingly imposed definitions. Seemingly – because the sense of self is invested in its investments and regards their loss as threat that associates with fear of extinction.

Recognising and releasing story-self is never going to happen while actively ‘exploiting it’ or voting for it – but only from reconnecting at – and as – depth of being – which is a stillness from which all relational movement rises as one or whole – and balanced expression of Life.

The conditional substitution for the heart runs a bubble reality to cover and protect from a hatred that cannot be persisted in without masking over so as to seem to be at least relatively justified or even necessarily compelled in doing so as the persistence of a split off sense of self in thought.

How does the light of truth enter the mind in its own coercive illusion without shattering the dream?
“I stand at the door and knock” – or in other words through a free willingness of open acceptance. Listening within is a vote to relocate the world of perception-response (consciousness) within a presently conscious willingness of recognition and acceptance.

‘Thanks – but no thanks’ is the choosing not to vote with investment of energy and attention and therefore giving worth – to what is a recognisably meaningless or broken story.

“Future is sustainability from the heart of one’s being. This may be said of a person, a family, a business, or a nation.

… “Your fictional self has little power, because it is terrified of reality. In fact, it is so easily shattered by the light of truth that it can only endure within the shelter of a comfort zone, a bubble of support, and constant affirmation. Reality is a living, responsive flow of life that continues forever on many levels of existence. Reality honors each being, and responds to its love. You are invited and encouraged always to shape reality to your needs and purposes. However, there is a significant difference between shaping reality and inventing it. You would be wise to learn the difference and to know that the fictional self is the creator of fictional realities which have undone you.”

~ from Love Without End by Glenda Green