November 11, 2016
Why did Trump win? Why did the UK vote to leave the EU? Is 2016 s year of change? It is, and that is the reason, people are voting for change. It is a stage of life – they need risk and danger. They need exposure to the new.
October 28, 2016
The levels of racism stimulated and seemingly legitimised by “Brexit” have risen to levels that can only be described as irrational criminality.
The latest report, maybe not as awful as some of the terrible violence toward “immigrants” by awful idiots, highlights now some people seem to prefer the behaviour of Nazis to civilisation.
September 20, 2016
Labour is not finished, it is simply not Labour. It is a party no longer in touch with its roots due to the simple fact that the 172 MPs, to get in behind a leader with socialist values, would have to change their religion. Will they remain steadfast to their own new gods, or will they utter allegiance when they do not feel it?
Personally, I think Corbyn is the man to lead Labour. To crystallise it with the purely red direction the grassroots of the party appear to want. If that includes Brexit in competition with the UKiP voters – then let it draw blood from the rats repopulating the Tory battleship.
A split is probably important if Brexit is to be properly opposed. Let’s face it, the Lib Dems are not properly formed either. A Social Democrat party which unites the Lib Dem rump with the 172 centre grounders as sincerely opposed to Brexit would fulfil the need for an opposition that actually argues with the Government’s (lack of) direction. Add in the SNP and we have a powerhouse. And the Greens – you will have future growth as more people realise sustainability is important for a political movement and more so as Brexit starts to threaten our own sustainability.
I have said this before and have been shouted down by Lib Dems and Corbynites. Labour has lost its form and needs to be true to its brand and maybe in 20 or so years it could form a government when the population realises it has been scammed by the Tories, once again and they need a welfare state to look after them again. In the meantime, the 172 are missing their golden opportunity to make a proper stand and have a voice.
All strength to Labour. It will need it. How can it be elected when its MPs want ideals that are different to its grassroots’ objectives? It needs a leader to rebuild it and Jeremy is the strongest choice. But the 172 need their own leader, and Owen Smith ain’t it, either.
Not electing David Milliband was the end of New Labour / Blairism. He would have beaten Cameron with finesse. Brexit would not be a “word”.
Now Labour and an opposition need to reform. In my humble opinion, they probably will not be the same organisation.
July 22, 2016
If they are buying British companies at a super discount due to the lower than actual value UK£ – the effect is a disproportional reduction in British Sovereignty. The FTSE100 is higher, indeed, when measured in UK£.
And we just keep selling our ARM shares for less than we could have. Does it matter? Not to anyone (other than the British).
What, do you mean all those foreign based companies making massive profits within the UK but paying no or little tax here whilst gaining considerable income from us as consumers meaning that there is a double whammy of our money going offshore whilst we are left with less to pay bigger bills!
No – I don’t think most people would get their head around that.
It would be like trying to understand all those years of being told our Government is not competent enough to run our utilities and railways as an excuse to sell them to companies owned by foreign Governments who apparently are more competent than ours!
I doubt the “nationality” of a company that services our needs really matters as much as if they are more efficient or effective at providing a service. We run a heavily import oriented economy, so of course we are more prepared to purchase than produce. It is exactly our own policies and activities that create that imbalance, not EU membership or where a company pays its taxes. Foreign ownership and the floating currency are both part of being part of the world. Does it matter? If they are better at running our utiities, building our power stations and distilling our petrol, then we import their services/products. If not, then we buy them back. I think our dominantly conservative economically oriented governments prefer not to be involved in producing electricity or running trains. So they sell to the highest bidder and provide laws to qualify which companies can compete in that market place. The alternative of us owning them ourselves does not seem like progress to me. Do you think we can run things better ourselves?
You are correct but only to a point.
Where the wealth ends up matters if it is outside your economy. That is why being in the EU is better for us, and why moving towards a global State to match the Global Economy is better.
Currently the drain outwards of British earned wealth and unpaid taxes reduces the internal cash flow and also the investment funds available. This draws upon more investment ultra our economy hastening the drain down terminally.
On the privatisation model you are correct again about the Government position, but again fail to consider the implication in reality. Instead of a single tier of trading, so cost represents the service plus management costs there is a multi tier contractor and sub contractor arrangement. This increases what we as consumers must pay without increasing the service we get in return. The extra cost converts to wealth received by the various tiers now engaged, which mostly means drained outside of our economy again.
The ownership of companies in private hands is supposed to incentivise the reduction of wasteful costs: so does foreign ownership work the same way as private ownership vs Government operation of public assets?
When there is a local sub-contractor, there is economic benefit to our tax base, but if we “must” sell assets into “foreign” hands (to satisfy the political order of the day) it follows that we are better connected into that consortium as you say, being in the EU has its benefits by creating a greater stabilisation of forces that result in real growth than a more isolated democratic fluctuation that may build and destroy in tandem.
The Brexit vote appears to me to have been excited by a need to blame forces out of our own control for our own problems. We are just as good at making inefficient models but without the massive buffering effect of a larger entity, we are going to become more exposed to the effects of rapid shifts of capital.
Sometimes democratic choices are wrong, and this one is also not fully democratic.
July 14, 2016
The British had a disaster in its political life. Although the leaving of the EU is the most traumatic and in my mind stupid decision, the respect for democratic choice should be honoured with more than an afterthought. There should be an examination of the vote and the lies told to the electorate and at some stage in the not too distant future, the nature of the decision should be revealed. For example: votes cast in PENCIL could be subject to doubt; inadequate margin for a constitutional change (a Brexit campaigner started a petition to ensure that REMAIN did not win by the narrow margin LEAVE won by, and 4.1 million signatures indicated dissatisfaction with the “result” being such a slender margin, and a decisive victory for REMAIN in Scotland brings the unity of the UK into question); complete falsehoods being told to the voting public; a committed campaign of anti-immigration propaganda; the departure of all the LEAVE campaigners including the laziest and most absurd politician in history, Nigel Farage.
No, the disaster is the one that has just ended. The era of David Cameron and George Osborne; the blaming of the previous more successful administration for anything that was wrong for the first five years of Cameron’s reign, followed by a year of bullying and condescending humour at the Ballot box during weekly self-congratulatory PMQs, an opposition that has become neurotic about the choice of leader by its grassroots.
We welcome Theresa May’s new administration with trepidation and justifiable fear. Anything is better than being lied to, but it is the sacking of the old school tie, the removal so far of the worst front bench under David Cameron that is to be celebrated: Michael Gove, George Osborne, Nicky Morgan, Jeremy Hunt, Micheal Whittingdale: ALL GONE.
Let us hope that Boris can grow up and apologise to the British for his lies. Let’s hope he can start to realise that our relationships with other countries matter. I have a sneaking suspicion that he has been with May all along, sick and tired of the antics of the previous administration that factually can be blamed for causing the near breakup of the United Kingdom.
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.
November 4, 2015
The Uk is thinking about leaving the EU. Campaigns run to see if Britain would be better inside or outside the EY seem to address the advantages for Britain. The most significant advantage for the UK is that without the UK influencing the EU, the largest market in the world may not work as well as it does with the UK.
The EU needs the UK. Without its “Westernising” influence, it’s connection with the USA and the English language, it reduces the EU. Being a part of it, and influencing it, the UK of course benefits but if the UK left the EU, although it may experience certain advantages of independence the greatest loss to the world would be that of an integrated and successful EU.
April 19, 2015
20 days away still
Read this excellent analysis of what is wrong with the Tories and the Lib Dems in Coalition. I really wonder at the Clegg strategy of saying he makes the best carping fishwife to either possible Prime Minister. It badly stinks to assume the power of Deputy PM with such certainty. He comes off as a complete ego strutting cock, the sincere hope for any future of the Liberal Democrats is that this man loses his seat. They could do so much better than moderate dictatorship.
Both parties could go into coalition with the Lib Dems, but this leader is toast if he halves the vote for his party. If he loses half his seats, that is another matter.
The half logical and half disastrous rise of UKiP (I spell it that way as independence is what is so unimportant to the development of this very right wing group attracting the worst of the Tories. Maybe we will have a Conservative party that actually does some good as all its extreme members desert it. Independence of UK is the same story as Scottish independence. In the final analysis it does not make sense.
21 days to go
Lib Dem agreed to a referendum on AV – that basically spelt their doom. AV is not the best form of democracy. I think the NZ system of Mixed Member Proportional is better but wonder why we do not change our voting system.
A slim “majority” meant a Tory led coalition that doubled the national debt with austerity. I predict we will get exactly what we do not need as a result of our FPP election, i.e. Tory and Ukip in coalition with Lib Dem and SNP offering support when it suits their interests.
22 days to go
Twitter analysis of the debates early April
August 12, 2014
It is up to us.
Every adult has a vote, and enough judgement. One does not have to be socialist to see that this the Minister for Social Welfare is a liability to the welfare of all people. He thinks he has decreased unemployment by making life impossible for the many who rely upon welfare due to their own unemployment. Job seekers get sanctioned when they do not attend interviews, but too many injustices point toward a cruel and heartless system that has let people die.
Iain Duncan Smith’s IT project to consolidate benefits under the brand “Universal Benefit” is a bit like a flat tax, in that it should reduce administration costs. This IT project is failing to deliver, exceeding costs and seems out of control.
Any well meaning citizen can fail, and the security provided by a welfare system prevents what we see on the streets of cities, what we hear about in the taxed bedrooms of the disabled and deaths due to the unfair Job Centre sanctions. This social experiment is like a child torturing flies.
The Conservatives and their role in this government have not improved the economic lot of the majority and it is up to us, the majority of fair minded people from both sides of the political divide to ensure that they do not continue after 2015. Increased wealth is no good if you live in a nation of corpses.
August 4, 2014
The English Government is a coalition of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, we know them as the ConDems.
Here is a good example of why, video featuring a speech by Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, Glenda Jackson.
And a more recent speech regarding the treatment of the vulnerable.
March 8, 2014
London has turned into a haven for Oligarchs and why Cameron will not do much about Crimea.
Read this scathing article in NY Times an indictment of modern London. How our “service industry” in The City are services for the very wealthy whilst cheap labour and contract builders who are then discarded create a sharply unfair society in the world financial centre.
London is a great city, one of the most loved tourist destinations, and full of vibrant business but it has its dark streak of great cruelty.
February 22, 2014
The Next Day – is it a warning about the UK?
David Bowie was one of the first artists to harness the power of the internet from about 1997 the now mature engagement with his fans makes the reactions to his invitation for Scotland to “stay with us” far more entertaining than troublesome. I am sure he got what he wanted, he has engaged the entire UK in a political discussion that David Cameron had just refused to do, to debate it with Alex Salmond.
David Bowie is an artist whose visions of the future he projects include dystopian madness gone wrong, unsanitised horror, and intellectual leaps into the dark that invented new genrés. Not the fairy story logic that our Prime Minister thinks passes for sensibility is seen in a different light.
Alex Salmond correctly challenges the Prime Minister to a debate, a proven process that started along with the idea of “civilisation” during the genesis of democracy 2500 years ago in sunny Greece. David Cameron refused, “oh its up to the Scottish people” he chimes like a swollen doorbell, glowing with self regard.
Wait a minute, he represents the Scottish people as their Prime Minister right now, what is he really saying? He is asking the Scots to vote “Yes” as he prefers the idea of all the Tory tax dodgers inheriting a old England and move all the socialists to Scotland?
What David Bowie did in four short words is start a national debate because our Prime Minister will not lead.
May 27, 2013
UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix on why Britain should not spent 100 billion pounds updating its Trident nuclear deterrent.
May 25, 2013
Sally Bercow has been found at fault in a libel action in the high court – after a tweet where she asked why Lord McAlpine was trending, adding “innocent face” – suggesting although she may have known about why, she was not going to say. She was reflecting less obscure media references to defamatory and false accusations about Lord McAlpine that have already been subject to successful defamation suits.
Freedom of speech has an evolutionary function on society. Overly reactionary forces may work against the natural drift of progress causing decay and distortions like slavery or apartheid.
The insults freely flung about daily on social networks and chat boards seem to reflect the maturity of their audiences. It is refreshing to see a public candidness without the need to follow celebrity having a voice. Sally Bercoe’s voice is no more meaningful than any other in the Twitterverse. So to single out Twitter as the most robust, sober and authentic forum certainly surprised me.
It is obvious that using social networks for libel is actually more stupid than any other form as the evidence is pretty hard to deny and can spread like wildfire.
Just hope I have not implied anything here. Innocent face.
Started as a comment: http://discussion.guardian.co.uk/comment-permalink/23841388
Disclaimer: this blog is published offshore in America.
March 23, 2013
In this article in the Telegraph is a fair and accurate assessement that the best the two major political parties have on offer for the all encompassing economic problems are equally frightening. What a vote of confidence, that is.
October 9, 2012
Home owners, licence to kill?
The ultra conservative MP Chris Greyling who has arbitrarily ordered a change of stance in law and order making it not illegal for a homeowner to attack a burglar with a knife, for example. Or perhaps a sword? Or a gun? The implications of this change to basic law are many.
Winding down any requirement of government to protect citizens by arming them does not respect the views of the majority.
September 20, 2012
Cameron’s coalition: a government with ominous intent
20 September 2012 12:59PM
We, the voters, must remember that we did not vote for the policies of this government. They were thought up after the election as a result of a coalition that only forwards the aims of the Tories, policies that were not in their manifesto.
You have to remember that they were only just ahead of Gordon Brown’s Labour party in the election when according to their own propaganda any other party should have won by a landslide. Even with Lib Dem support the coalition’s majority was slender.
The real problem is the overall quality of political leadership is not inspiring. Leading the country into economic decline is not something that the electorate can believe in.
August 27, 2012
Contrary to the propaganda at the last election, it ain’t the spending that is causing the deficits. It is the other side of the ledger. Taxes collected by the Government are failing due to company losses. The recession was caused by money being ripped out of the economy by derivatives gone wrong, the government reaction is to reduce government spending, and now they weep at the consequent collapse in demand?
They are not thinking it through. They need to take their current efficiencies and spend a little on economic incentives that replace the demand by making the private economy sound. They are miles away from being able to recover the private sector so, as most hands off economist driven Conservative governments (GW Bush for example) do, they start a war to get that spending demand going.
The Liberal Democrats are not happy with their end of the bargain. They have to break this coalition.
– Comment on Guardian article
Coalition ‘most unlikely’ to meet key economic goals by next election
27 August 2012 11:59AM
August 22, 2012
The use of austerity has worn thin at least for the probable longevity of George Osborne. In its current form at least. Infrastructure spending by this two faced Government amount to allowing private roads to be built which is certainly going to provide some relief to chronic unemployment and incrementally it may result in economic improvement. But it is not what they set out to do, which is to build a bigger economy. That, they surmised, would result if we do what we would want a government to do, to protect wealth – to sustain privilege.
Which seems based on the misapprehension that wealth itself is a thing. It is not, really. It is the flowing of money that is the thing. The flow of money between viable entities finding areas of demand and creating supplies to meet them. I am hungry. I go eat a sandwich. And Joe’s is just around the corner. These connected imperatives, these compelling reasons to do things. Art. Achievement. Enterprise. Hobby. Obsession. A society with flows inward to fewer central points creates poverty as well as pockets of wealth. Taking risk on credit creates debt with a chance of wealth. Governments tend to run in debt as a natural state, hoping to improve things sooner.
If the measuring stick of a society is the degree of economic growth it can achieve, it establishes an instant demand for more population to share the load. If we can find an honest way to limit the growth of humanity we can then modulate our economics to fit more comfortably than the monied classes feeling they need to accumulate so much more than anyone else before anyone else gets their filthy mits on it. It is not so much that economies are inflating by increasing the money supply and devalusing currency slowly – it is the only way to evaporate the effect of trillions of dollars locked into tax havens. Unproductive wealth is the economic glutony of the modern world. And it works like cortisol in the body, it adds sink holes to the economy – which means that there is less actual cash in the system.
This is an ever accelerating economic phenomena of allowing tax havens. To attract people with a lot of asset income to reside Governments are obliged to allow tax havens into the economic equation.
The net effect with devaluation is to make the funds that tend to be locked into tax havens more at a risk of devaluation if left in your currency. The problem is that the Governments are compelled to compete for such retinues as those of the religiously rich.
Job creation by government in times of economic emergency yes. This Government’s record at economic improvement? Negative, trending: negative.
June 20, 2012
The UK Prime Minister David Cameron takes time to criticise entertainer Jimmy Carr for putting £3.3N through a tax shelter scheme – one that may yet be undone. Carr made headlines as he has satirised the banks and tax avoidance as a comedian.
At least Jimmy Carr creates laughter. Perhaps he will make a big charitable donation so we can forgive him.
Mr Cameron convinces that he puts his panic, preference and public image ahead of any constructive logic, attacking an individual from his office, really. His job is not to be a whip wielding critic of those following the laws he is making a fuss about – it is simply his job to write viable new laws so that inherent unfairness in the system being used even by the likes of Mr Carr is prevented fairly. Takes a steady hand, and a cool head.
It is great that Mr Carr has donated his public profile in protest at so many others getting away with it and maybe he will pay his dues ultimately but is hardly a reason for the Government to pull laws out of a straw hat. Depopulating the HMRC says it all, really.
This is grandstanding at its most inept.
April 4, 2012
The Met has a culture of racism. It is not to be tolerated, now that it has been proven to exist by a 21 year old turning on the recording function of his mobile phone.
This is the primary cause of disenfranchisement that led to the London Riots. There has been a lot of talk about the various causes but it was a police shooting of an unarmed black youth in Tottenham that started the protest which erupted into opportunistic rioting and looting in ensuing days, as the police were caught flat footed. They were unable to contain the violence that they were the primary cause of – extraordinary incompetence.
Justice is a balance. It is not achieved by force.
November 20, 2011
Michael Heseltine thinks the UK will have to join the Euro. He says that if the Euro was to fail – or more specifically if too many European banks fail, the UK stands to face collapse of many banks in the UK.
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.
January 13, 2010
UK Police have had an EEC ruling against stop and search activities.
In the meantime, a Muslim group has been denied their right of protest and have been labelled a terrorist group. This seems a popularist measure by the Brown Government increasingly clutching at straws to find votes in the upcoming election Labour seems destined to lose. Having moved too far right, they will almost certainly lose as the Conservatives seem to put on a more moderate face. I have seen this sort of political reversal happen in New Zealand.
And enquiries into Britain’s role in starting the Iraq war with George Bush is being defended by Alistair Campbell, Tony Blair’s master of spin.
Politics is the art of finding the middle ground. The war with Al Qaeda has been detrimental to the life of Great Britain but hardly as devastating as it has been to Iraq civilian life. Similarly, the war in Afghanistan seems, from the outside, to be a war against the poppy and criminal ideals. Terrorism is a political act when it creates a threat to everyday life. But Britain lived through its own Blitz in WWII and the threat of terror attacks is not going to stop this once world ruling nation from defending itself.
Freedom is too important to ignore. But is the medicine proscribed by Bush, Blair and now Brown any good for freedom? Not if the laws they enact reduce individual freedom. I returned to the UK expecting stop and search and intrusions by the law to be hard to deal with, but so far, I see people being indoctrinated behind their brick walls into being frightened of each other. The police presence is extreme but accepted. Most of the coppers go about their guardianship of civilised behaviour with good will and life goes on.
Google is concerned that Chinese hacking of freedom activists’ gmail accounts has raised question by the US Government and a threat by Google of pulling out of google.cn completely. This will mean less freedom for the most populated country in the world.
Meantime, earthquakes destroy Haiti and millions die the world over from disease and starvation. Is this emphasis on terrorism all that wise? Are the acts of Osama bin Laden really going to make any difference in terms of Islam? Probably not. It is just a dirty war that will be over in another 2000 years or so.
Or both sides could signal an end to hostilities and the start of toleration and freedom.