Consistent with 21st century politics the announcement on 18th April of a general election by Prime Minister Theresa May was a cynical move based purely on self-interest. The ‘snap election’ to be held on 8th June contravenes the fixed parliament act of 2011, which introduced fixed term elections (every five years) for the first time.
It’s very rare that you see the ruling elite totally at a loss for words: but they were. Gobsmacked and stunned would be accurate descriptions of the look on the political class’s collective face on the morning of June 24, 2016.
So socialist Jeremy Corbyn, after pressure from the trade union boys who bankroll him, agreed not to make Trident an issue. After all, making nuclear missiles and the submarines that carry them, are jobs for the boys. Continue reading
I ended my last piece with this:
But assuming JC [Jeremy Corbyn] makes all the right calls, could it, a reborn Labour Party lead to a new call for an end to the madness of capitalism and exactly 130 years after Morris made his plea?
‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions.’
I’m really torn writing this, for on the one hand, Jeremy Corbyn’s (JC) sudden materialisation in the midst of a rampant, Victorian-style imperialist England, like Doctor Who landing in the Tardis, it’s difficult not to join in the euphoria currently sweeping through what’s left of the left in England (the current Media Lens has an excellent description of this) and bow down before JC, an almost Christ-like apparition right in the middle of the gangster capitalists in Armani suits who rule us.
I wonder if people in the United States understand what it means that the Labour Party in London now has a peace activist in charge of it. Jeremy Corbyn does not resemble any U.S. politicians. He doesn’t favor “only the smart wars” or prefer drone murders to massive invasions. Corbyn opposes wars, and he works to end militarism. He was over here in Washington recently trying to get a Brit freed from Guantanamo. He chairs the Stop the War Coalition, one of the biggest peace organizations in Britain. He meets with foreign peace activists, like me, who can’t even enter the same worldview, much less the same room, with any U.S. leaders.
The first time I met Tony Benn was years ago at the WBAI Pacifica radio station in New York. We were both being simultaneously interviewed about the events of the day. He was delighted to be able to speak his mind and share his progressive views with mine on the radio. “There’s much more freedom of speech in the U.S. than in the U.K.,” he remarked to me. “Not that much more,” I said. That was the closest we came to a disagreement.
Condolences to Tony Benn’s family and friends.
democracynow on Mar 14, 2014
democracynow.org – Tony Benn, the former British Cabinet minister, longtime Parliament member and antiwar activist, has died at the age of 88. He was the longest-serving member of Parliament in the history of Britain’s Labour Party, serving more than half a century. He left Parliament in 2001, saying he planned to “spend more time on politics.” In 2009 he appeared on Democracy Now! to talk about the war in Afghanistan and Britain’s fight for a nationalized healthcare system. Continue reading
There is no Fourth Estate in Ireland 2012.
There never was a Fourth Estate in Ireland.
There are many commentaries and column semantics, even hacks in fear and in hock to the establishment have spectacular media exposure. The Irish media and the establishment are of one voice.
On April 20 the European Affairs spokesman of Malta’s opposition Labour Party, George Vella, demanded the resignation of the government’s permanent representative to the European Union, Richard Cachia Caruana, over the latter’s role in dragging the island nation back into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Partnership for Peace program behind the back of parliament four years ago.
“[W]hen dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states outside the postmodern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era – force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself. Among ourselves, we keep the law but when we are operating in the jungle, we must also use the laws of the jungle.” — The new liberal imperialism by Robert Cooper (Cooper by the way was a former civil service adviser to Tony Blair)
Four years ago in a Ministry of Defence Review, the Whitehall Mandarins, more astutely than any so-called Lefty, determined the following:
“The Middle Class Proletariat — The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.” — ‘UK Ministry of Defence report, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036’ (Third Edition) p.96, March 2007
Note: This is in the way of a continuation of my last essay ‘In the belly of the beast‘.
Nothing could illustrate the paradox better than ‘the party of labour’, financially supported largely by Britain’s biggest trade unions (representing around five million public employees) bankrolling the party which has led the way in attacking what’s left of the gains made since 1945. In a word, a traitorous political party that once again, faces the task of reinventing itself.
It strikes me that we here in the UK have been top dog for so damn long that we’ve forgotten what it feels like to be an ordinary country, yet the memory lingers on…
“And it is why I will commit to you here and now. My beliefs will run through everything I do. My beliefs, my values are my anchor and when people try to drag me, as I know they will, it is to that sense of right and wrong, that sense of who I am and what I believe, to which I will always hold.” — From Ed’s keynote speech at the Labour Party conference.
What beliefs exactly are not spelt out but never mind, just like Tony Blair, fine-sounding words make up for any lack of content. So Ed is just an old-time social democrat after all? Amazing, after thirteen years of neo-Thatcherism, the beaten ‘party of labour’ all of a sudden rediscovers its ‘roots’. Who could trust such people?