News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds


Labour and Brand

July 12, 2016

Maybe now that faux-socially-aware Cameron has fallen, the Labour party will have some cachet in the occupation of the middle ground?

Corbyn has been a refreshing nuisance, a politician who actually is convinced his point of view aligns with the voters and it seems that is correct.

It is the 174 MPs who have no-confidence in a genuine socialist who seem to be in the wrong party. They appear to be liberals, not socialists. They still call themselves “Blairites”? Surely “Social Democrats” is a better name for them, and their electoral chances are better under an accurate name and flag, than pretending they have the ear of the average Labour voter?

Get out of the way of candidates that can follow Jeremy Corbyn bringing socialist values back to Labour, where they belong. We do not need another Thatcherite party calling itself Labour competing with the Conservatives, we need representation, preferably proportional, and with accurate political branding.

This empahsis on “leadership” is simply distraction. Labour do not deserve power when 174 of their MPs are not Labour.

If you vote Labour while the party is populated by Blairites you are voting for Social Democracy at best, or perhaps should vote for the Lib Dems. “Labour” failed to get a majority under Ed Miliband: Blairism was right of Thatcher.

Labour is doomed if it does not establish its identity. Maybe after this government, we will need a socialist party to compete for our votes. Corbyn is one of the best leaders in our Parliament, in my opinion, but I am not a Labour voter.

It rather depends on what “leadership” means. If it means setting policy objectives and behaviour by example, then Corbyn appears to be setting up a socialist plank which has its audience. The Blairites – or Social Democratic lobby – also have a very good plank but it is not “Labour”. It is entirely, in my view, an issue of brand confusion brought about by Blair, by taking over the centre ground, he defined a new breed of centrist, who are basically neo-liberal economically but socially aware on “issues”. I would say the real inheritor of this brand is Cameron but he is over the top insofar as austerity went, and not very successful either. Theresa May has already defined herself to partly take this “centre” ground with her announcement of Miliband’s ideas about worker representation on boards. I understand your point of view is seen as common sense, but I have a very different perspective. I have seen a successful Left Wing modernised Labour party win 2 terms under one PM and then 4 terms in office under the next, bring about a surplus without harsh austerity while banning nuclear weapons, ending discrimination against gay people and minorities (New Zealand, under David Lange and then Helen Clark).

I am not 100% behind Corbyn, but he is brand Labour, and the “Blairites” are not left-wing. When they achieve growth through liberal policies and then become Left leaning (as their brand dictates), like Gordon Brown tried, they lose power.

Yes, I do agree that Corbyn will not win an election until socialism becomes possible, but it is important that we have a range of real options to vote for. I do think that if Labour split and the Neo-Liberals took over from the UKiP vacuum, that they would win the next General Election but they will not as Labour, as that brand is not what they are.

The referendum showed how their constituancies did not follow with their thinking, that their brand of socialism did not appeal to Labour voters. Blaming Corbyn’s leadership is simply illogical. They did not follow his lead and have lost the hearts and minds of the people who elected them. People vote for MPs, not simply a “leader”. This media led thinking that we only vote for a PM is as logical as a return to Royal rule.

For democractic representation to work with Party politics – we have to understand what we are voting for. I appreciate your arguments are reasonable and the goal of winning a GE is laudable, but if you do not sort out the brand, then voters will only be disappointed.

The Labour Leadership

August 30, 2015

UK: The leadership of the Labour Party has been contentious ever since Ed Milliband snatched it from his brother David and became Leader of the Opposition after Gordon Brown had spectacularly lost the election 2010 following claims Labour overspending had caused the deficit to balloon after the 2008 financial crisis. That claim seemed to provide a rationale to give power to the Conservatives, but not exclusively, going into coalition with the doomed Liberal Democrats. In the following election rout, Ed Milliband lost even more spectacularly as did the Liberal Democrats, giving power to a somewhat surprised Conservative Government. Ed Milliband resigned and now Labour is electing a new leader.

Left-wing outsider Jeremy Corbyn entered the race at the last minute, and against all odds has become the odds-on favourite to win the leadership, touting left-wing ideals such as free education and the cancellation of the nuclear Trident scheme, completely at odds with the other three candidates who seem to be too similar to each other to fight the surge of popularity of Corbynmania.

In the meantime Labour heavyweights have pitched in to criticise the prospect of a Corbyn led Labour party. Tony Blair has twice written articles saying it could finish the Labour party as his policies were not electable.

London Riots

August 8, 2011

For a third night, massive numbers of riots in different areas of London. Tonight, it is Camden, Chalk Farm, Lewisham, Hackney – last night Islington, Oxford Circus and it starte three nights ago in Tottenham and where a man was shot by police. Apparently the police were the only ones firing guns and the man is dead. And this is the reaction? Or is this reaction a state of hopelessness and deprivation that has gone too deep? The Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and finally The Mayor cut short their summer holidays to return. Mainly for a Cobra meeting.

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Here is a video of a woman speaking her mind to the kids ripping shops apart and burning employing businesses to the ground.

Here is a google map showing the areas where the rioter struck

Is this an act of terrorism?

Reaction to article by Nina Power

Rioters are indeed just rioters. Nobody thinks they are not criminals or that the police should not deal with them. The number of comments who disagree with the valid point this article makes are understandably upset. Extreme acts of protest that lurch into criminality are obviously damnable as crimes.

It is valid to question what is stoking such fires, what is the effect of police tactics and exposed corruption and increasing populations of deprived opportunity in a market so self obsessed it can not consider broader needs? Who is really that happy with the Government’s progress, certainly not students and certainly not the unemployed. How much more effective would a mass strike be? But can we be bothered? No.

Of course there are social conditions that produce idiots and equality of investment upon education actually produces lots of viable job applicants instead of creating parts of the city which survive with violence and crime. Yes you can blame the criminals and lock them all up, but your taxes will still be absorbed and the jails will fill with children.

Is the UK Democratic?

May 8, 2010

The world’s most democratic countries are not the United Kingdom or the United States of America. Both use outdated systems for democratic choice that do not grant equality to each vote, and allow entrenchment of a sitting government via the drawing of electoral boundaries.

FULL Article

Labor Party wins Australian election

November 24, 2007

Labor Party wins Australian election – Times Online

Australia lurches left

Mr Howard’s End

Rudd does it

These are the predictable headlines of the day. And so the democratic process sweeps Mr Howard into the history box and confines his future to be one of talk show fodder – or ambassadorial appointment – how about ambassador in the USA. It would not be unusual for the man who was able to pull resounding defeat out of the bag. One does wonder, if the chalice full of poison he now hands to his successor was not his final act. Denying Peter Costello the magic carpet on loan to Gordon Brown, hands over a party whisked away from office – it may be sheer bullying? It does give Mr Costello a chance to earn his leadership, unearned leadership is hard to reclaim as Mr Brown has found. It appears that you can take the reigns of power, but when you shake them too hard, the horses will turn on you. So political kamikaze by Mr Howard gives the most dramatic of recoveries available for Mr Costello when they hit the hustings. It gives Kevin Rudd a brief opportunity to impress but restricted by the fact that he has inherited the top of a wave of prosperity partly built on supplying uranium to China does not seem sustainable as a strategy. Or maybe it will not matter. Uranium has to come from somewhere and the USA can’t afford to spend more on it.

And thus in defeat, Mr Howard forwards the democratic progress of his successor. It is a brilliant political death worthy of some deathly tome.

It is the end of an era for President Bush. His last cheerleader just retired. This could make the next year even more unpredictable.

It is almost a relief to see a woman voted into power in Australia, the new Deputy Prime Minister is Julia Gillard, a former lawyer.

Bob Hawke – Australia’s last long serving Labor PM said that Mr Howard’s attempt to reduce workers rights is repeating history in a “delicious irony”.

Hamas – entitlement to power?

June 15, 2007

Do Hamas have a right to power despite them perhaps being destructive to the future of a settled Palestine? They were voted in by the popular vote. Democratic action by the people and their election set the scene for more potential grief for Palestine. Things are getting worse before they improve. Much worse it seems.

Democracy is not perfect. It is an evolutionary system – meaning that it is self correcting. If the Palestinians need a stupid terrorist Government in control – they are facing the unbalanced Israeli control regime with fire. Bad choice. But it was a choice, was it not?

The entry of militia into politics is unfortunate and really the same thing as a military dictatorship. It is the mandate of an oppressed, excluded and therefore angry people.

Without damage to Israel, a solution that causes progress may be more tenable after Hamas has convinced the poor of Palestine that the struggle is not the solution. Until they hit rock bottom, how will they disclaim their addiction to violence?