Monday, June 29, 2009

Apologies For Silence

Things are a bit chaotic at the moment.

Hopefully they'll have calmed down in a couple of weeks. Or maybe not.

Friday, June 26, 2009

16th March 1998

"To ask the Prime Minister which members of his Government have attended meetings of the Bilderberg Group. "
On 16th March 1998, Blair issued a 'holding answer' - 'None'.
This answer is not compatible with the first paragraph of the Parliamentary Commissioner Standards' memorandum to be found here, which reads in full as follows -
"Mrs Lynn Riley, of Chepstow, Monmouthshire, wrote on 28 February 1997 to a Member of the House, alleging that Mr Kenneth Clarke MP had failed to register `the free trip and accommodation he received from the Bilderberg Group ... unlike Tony Blair who attended the same meeting'. She enclosed a letter from Mr Clarke dated 6 September 1995 in which he states that `my recollection is that I paid for my flight but that I was accommodated while I was there'. The Member passed the correspondence on to me."
If Mr. Blair registered 'the free trip and accommodation he received from the Bilderberg Group', why did he deny some years later that he had ever attended any of its meetings?

Standing Against Kenneth Clarke

Does any reader know whether Kenneth Clarke plans to stand again at the next General Election?
And whether there would be any impediment against a resident of Glasgow standing for a seat in Nottinghamshire?
If the answer to the first question is 'yes' and the second 'no', and even although it would be against my better judgment, quixotic at best, foolish and expensive at worst, I would be inclined to stand against him, if only to even try to make him explain his attendance at meetings of the Bilderberg Group to his electorate.
It is time that those who receive wages from the public explain why they hold unreported meetings in secret with business leaders, from which the voice of labour is excluded. We are not a plutocracy. We are not going to become one. Capital is only part of the economy; labour must now be heard.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Christine Grahame MSP

While perhaps an ungallant sentiment, Kipling's epithet 'jelly-bellied flag-flapper' springs to mind.

The Comparative Value Of Victims Of Police Brutality Perpetrated In The Interests Of The State

While Neda's death was undoubtedly tragic, one wonders whether the death of Ian Tomlinson produced as much comment in Iran as hers has in the United Kingdom.

The AIPAC Treason Case Has Been Dropped...

so Justin Raimondo reports. Source here.

Anyone see anything about this in the British press, or on the BBC?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The European Revolution (Or How A Group Of Idiots Who Dreamed Of A Universal State Will Find Themselves With Egg On Their Faces)

So, we're going to have a European superstate, the culmination of a five decade long revolution by stealth led by our elites - the muppets.
It's going to be just another off the shelf universal state, of a kind which has failed time and time and time again. They don't get this. It can't last, which means it won't last. Its doom is sealed the moment it either elects or pronounces a President. Many things now fall into place.
The sincerity of a man's conversion to Catholicism should never be questioned - but one just can't help but wonder whether Tony Blair's might just have been motivated, ever so slightly, by the thought of how all those Catholic voters in southern Europe might react to the prospect of a Protestant president.
It seems to be in the nature of European revolutions to de-christianise. The Star-Spangled Napkin which is the European Union's flag is quite literally emblematic of this tendency; thank God Chesterton didn't live to see it, because he'd have immediately recognised the circle of stars as just another of those wheels which symbolise Asian religions, always going round and round in circles, never going anywhere.
Unmandated pan-Europeanism is just that - unmandated, which makes it a dead duck, a dodo, a Norwegian Blue. Instead of realising that they needed goodwill, the revolutionaries have done everything they could to spurn goodwill. This means it will fail. All revolutions are driven by intellectuals - yet this is the first which the intellectuals have pulled off on their own, without the necessity of thugs doing their bidding in the streets. Subtly, they have turned the police into a 'shirt movement', presided over the expansion of police powers and assaulted civil liberties instead. Various means, same ends, different uniforms, common purpose.
Yet turning the agents of the state into their own mob has always had the capacity to backfire on them spectacularly. When the end comes, it will be without a shot fired, and not a bone broken. The identikit muppets who have thought all of this up and who think themselves so clever and superior will be betrayed by their own incompetence, and their sublime project will go down like a house of cards.

The Hounding Of Pat Buchanan

Looks like moves are afoot to get Pat off the airwaves.

If the toytown totalitarians fail through the medium of the message boards, the next step will be to have him declared either mad or senile.

Well, that's what Brezhnev would have done. It's their way or no way at all.

British Hypocrisy

The British government's concern over the fairness of the recent Iranian election almost begs for the Islamic Republic to call for the 2007 elections to the Scottish Parliament to be re-run.
Is there no way in which the British government is not the servant of globalist policy?

A Small Piece Of Good News

Here.

How many more?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Golden Oldie

"If she rolls over, she'll smother him" - Raymond Chandler, 'The Big Sleep'.
If the quality of his acceptance speech was anything to go by, a reasonable man might have grounds to believe that John Bercow's election as Speaker was an outbreak of mass irony; constitutional performance art.
Those readers of a cast of mind morbid enough to try to get to grips with Mr. Bercow's thought processes can try a long article of mine that's now almost as old as he is. Can't guarantee that all the links still work, but it's a better class of timewaster.
And yes, the John Bercow who was elected Speaker yesterday would seem to be the very same John Bercow who, on July 4 2000, asked this question of Tony Blair -
"To ask the Prime Minister which Ministers attended the session of the Bilderberg Conference in Sintra entitled, How Durable is the Current Rosy Complexion of European Politics; and what (a) written and (b) oral report of the Bilderberg Conference was submitted to him. [128134]".
Asking questions about Bilderberg in the House of Commons? Is the man a conspiracy theorist?

Barack Obama, Superhero!

Here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Murdoch And The Mullahs

Compare and contrast.
Probably being risky at the best of times, one wonders whether being a blogger in Iran hasn't recently become a bit more risky than it used to be.
Power likes to speak - whether it's wearing a beard and turban or a ten thousand dollar suit, it does not like being things being spoken of that are not on its agenda. Peas out the same pod, these guys.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Not A Minute On The Day, Not A Penny Off The Pay

The wildcat sacking of 900 staff at the Lindsey oil refinery shows that the neoliberal counter-revolution is in full swing.
There will no doubt be many among the Counter-Revolution's Bought Priesthood who will say that this is a Good Thing - those who have built careers by fostering hatred of organised labour. They will be delighted that this has happened at Lindsey, the place where their Counter-Revolution was faced down earlier this year. There is nothing that the powerful, any particular group of the powerful, hate more avidly and fear more deeply than the organisation of those who would stand in their way.
That was the motivation behind the crushing of the Warsaw Ghetto, the crushing of the Prague Spring and the crushing of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations. The UK has seen the same crushing, albeit in a very British, for which read half-assed, pantywaisted, fair trade, and crush-lite, kind of way - the crushing of union power under Margaret Thatcher.
One wishes Baroness Thatcher a speedy recovery from her recent injury - yet one does not wish to see her absolved by history for a rule characterised by her party's active desire to separate citizen from citizen. A close relative recently attended the dinner held in Glasgow to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her accession to power. Their description of it was evocative of a scene in a movie in which members of a former ruling party, long out of power and still unpopular, got together to chew the fat and have a knees-up.
The Thatcher government was not forward-looking, but incredibly regressive. In her excellent book 'A Very British Strike', concerning the General Strike of 1926, Anne Perkins quotes from a book written by an Establishment shithead called Sir Philip Gibbs in 1923. Gibbs's case was that the spirit of national unity fostered by the Great War had all been well and good, but times had moved on, and it was time to get back to business; as Gibbs put it -
'Back to cheap labour. Back to discipline'.
Those who make such remarks of course believe that they discipline, they are not disciplined; and in the same way as the apparently quite bloodthirsty Winston Churchill would have been keen to inflict violence on anyone he perceived to be threatening his constituency's interests, there would have been those in the Conservative leadership c. 1984 who would not have been happy until striking miners had been shown receiving the coup de grace in the back of the head on The Nine O' Clock News.
If people are free, they are free to organise in groups. Any attempt to restrict what the rights of groups can do is an assault on fundamental freedoms. The union reforms passed by Thatcher, and unchanged by Tony Blair, were such assaults on fundamental freedoms- pure Friedmanism, economic liberty (a term which should by now be synonymous with pillage) deemed to be of vastly greater importance than political liberty.
On Question Time last night, it was stated that British Airways has asked staff to work without wages for a month. Staff who might be affected should remember the General Strike's slogan - 'Not a minute on the day, not a penny off the pay'. Having been treated as little more than liabilities and costs for so long, they should have little reason to co-operate with any plan that now treats them as assets.
And if BA seeks to solve the problem by ditching refuseniks in the hope that Poland's still got an unemployment problem, I wouldn't bank on it staying in business for long. Do such companies actually think they have a right to stay in business? It's a tough world out there, don't you know...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Benedict Brogan

This gentleman's observations on call-centre workers could lead a disinterested reader to believe that he might just be yet another arrogant ass, desperately in need of a strong dose of humility.
I can feel the avian in the ascendant extending as I write...

L' Affaire Nightjack

The outing of the blogger Nightjack seems to me to have nothing to do with the ethical standards to which public sector workers should be held, and everything to do with the mainstream media being petrified of the competition. It was an act of spite, nothing more, nothing less; an attempt to ensure that the revolution will not be blogged.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Stunning Lack Of Creativity

The report that a tax of 50 pence per month on fixed telephone lines has been proposed in order to fund universal broadband access has done nothing but further fuel my suspicion that whatever it funds will become a public good that will later be sold into private hands.
The lack of creativity behind this proposal is quite tedious. You can almost read the playbook from half a mile away.
There have recently been reports that proposals are afoot to allow the ITV network to carry teleshopping through the night. Again, this stale, grey outcome reeks of a lack of creativity - not amongst those who watch television, or those capable of being involved in the production of television output, but amongst the groups that those who control television would prefer to have access to it. It says much for two decades of encouraging young people to pursue studies in film and television that the only thing on ITV at some times of the day will be adverts. That particular scholastic adventure really worked out well. Whether it be competitive dominoes or the lives of the saints, ITV could show any number of programs at any time of the day or night and have the viewers packing them in, but they won't do that.
Not that the BBC's much better. When the farming programme that used to be broadcast at lunchtimes on Sunday is now the 7.00 pm anchor of the Sunday evening schedule, then the panic felt by those who schedule programs at the lack of creativity is almost palpable.
The same lack of creativity motivates the news that the Conservatives would not oppose Tony Blair's appointment, or even election, to the presidency of Europe. It would be uncharitable to describe Mr. Blair as a shopsoiled item of teleshopping tat, particularly when the observation would apply more directly to his reputation than to the man himself. Hoewever, that he might have the temerity to even consider putting himself forward for the job is sadly not outwith the bounds of credibility; that unmandated pan-Europeanism would become even more of a laughing stock as a result doesn't seem to enter their minds at all.
Dominant minorities are notorious for their lack of creativity; one of the reasons they don't get to dominate for long.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Lapsed Catholic

Those Catholics who describe themselves as being 'lapsed' are always in need of sympathy; the condition sounds uncomfortable, vaguely orthopaedic, like the sort of affliction that could be cured by an insole.
Or a corset.
There are others who seem to view Holy Church as being little more than a voluntary association, in their minds reducing their absence from it to the same moral level as refusing to renew their membership of the bowling club in Yetts o' Pitmuckle. This is not to be in any way derogatory about fine bodies like the Yetts o' Pitmuckle Bowling Club - although from what little experience I have of them, I can only remark that their proscriptions seem vastly harsher, and their liturgies infinitely more complicated, than those of the Catholic Church.
There are those lapsed Catholics who struggle to reconcile themselves to the idea of God. It would be an interesting study to see how much these Catholics spend on haircare products in comparison to those who are in communion - one vaguely suspects that the reason they feel themselves unable to believe is that they don't like the idea of someone, or something, else competing for space in front of the mirror. Such devotion to the cult of Alberto Balsam will sadly only be rewarded in one place - perhaps, as the saying goes, because you're worth it.
Such 'lapsed' Catholics would do well to remember that the only thing that happens when you take off a corset is the advance of middle age spread.
There are those who have not fallen but eagerly thrown themselves into the traps offered by reason. Given its adherents' absolute refusal to countenance anything that cannot be justified by reason, reason can only be said to be the most grossly unreasonable dogma around. If the reasonable man persists in the dangerous error of reasonableness for too long, he finds himself being so reasonable that he never says anything but slogans other people have thought up - or studying economics.
Readers of a certain vintage might recall a Tom & Jerry cartoon in which Tom seeks to trap Jerry with a clockwork she-mouse modelled on Mae West. The plot inevitably goes awry, Tom swallows the clockwork she-mouse and the cartoon ends with him hiccuping and saying 'Come up and see me sometime!' Reading any and all comment upon economic affairs now tends to invoke this image - 'We don't need less globalisation, we need more of it! (Hiccup! Come up and see me sometime!) 'Britain must join the Euro!' (Hiccup! Come up and see me sometime!) 'The Scottish Parliament must have tax raising powers!' (Hiccup! Come up and see me sometime!).
Close analysis reveals that this is indeed the correct level at which most economic comment should be parsed; and that Tom & Jerry, now apparently suppressed from British terrestrial television, will outlast The Pie in the Sky Fairy is a bet upon which one might almost be tempted to put money.
Reason is of God, but not God Himself - a very difficult idea for the reasonable to get their heads around.
If all this sounds harsh, then consider this - a Catholic can no more lapse than a kettle can change the purpose for which it has been designed. Kettles do not make toast, nor do they have any place in a car engine. They serve one purpose only. Telling a kettle to go and dig a ditch will not miraculously empower it to do so.
The lapsed Catholic knows that they are in error - yet they also know that God is Love and will forgive them if they approach him with a humble spirit and a contrite heart. Nah, too much like hard work. Got a few ends of bowls to play. Got to do my hair. Got to think up new and ever more creative ways of making other peoples' lives difficult.
Having been 'lapsed' myself, there was never any excuse for not being in proper communion with the Church except egotism. Many other self-described 'lapsed' need the benefit of that truth - that there is no excuse for the path they've chosen, which leads only in one direction.
Get over yourselves, and do what you have to do. Because you're worth it.

Yet Another Enclosure

The Prime Minister's assertion that broadband access is seen by many as being 'as indispensable (sic) as electricity, gas and water' is, of course, drivel; he is duly ripped a new one in the comments.
There is only one reason why the British government would get involved in anything to do with the Internet at all; to ensure that the function could and would be privatised later, to thrust more common goods into private hands for far less tahn they are worth.
All very British, don't you know...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Some Thoughts On Mahmoud Ahmedinejad

I can't take him seriously.

He looks like The Fonz.

Netanyahu's Palestine

As Montesquieu remarked, Prussia was not a country with an army, but an army with a country.
If a Palestinian state were not to have an army - must not have an army - could it be called a country at all?

Friday, June 12, 2009

British Freedom

I am currently finishing up Naomi Klein's 'The Shock Doctrine', a book to which I am now attached for intellectual as well as sentimental reasons.
Ms. Klein's case, that there now exists what she labels a 'disaster capitalism complex' which seeks elite gain from human misery, and indeed at times seeks to inflict misery for no purpose other than to provide the elite with opportunities for gain, is so compelling that I suspect she's right.
It serves its function as polemic very well - you get angry reading it. It is quite clear that those who run the world at this point have not the slightest shred of compassion for those they consider to be inferior to themselves; I no longer find it difficult to imagine that unless there is a very significant change in attitudes over the next 20 years, within my lifetime the British state will reach the Nirvana to which the British elites have always lurched, the complete and violent enslavement of the people, the rich being able to kill the poor in plain sight and without fear of penalty.
This is the freedom many of the British elite craves; to take an open razor to their neighbour's throat in good conscience, preferably from behind and when he's on his knees, and in full confidence of their superiority.
The English language as spoken in the United Kingdom oozes hatred. The terms 'chav', 'ned' and 'underclass' are merely re-workings of the language that the elites used to describe organised labour in the 1920's; if nothing else, calling your opponents 'scum' and 'vermin' was more honest.
Freedom is what they say it is, not what you might like it to be. Freedom is for them, not for you.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Coming Policy Agenda

Keep an eye out for calls for the reform, for which read either privatisation or outright abolition, of the British welfare state.
Friedmanism may be as dead as Friedman himself - but it will not go quietly into the night. After decades of inflicting economic violence on entire sectors of British society, whether it will become physically violent when challenged remains to be seen. To Friedman, the word 'freedom' only meant that businessmen should be able to act like gods. The poor, the sick and the weak had no place in the vision.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Consumption

Just as humans are not 'resources' to be used and discarded, neither are they 'consumers'.
The ideology of consumerism is just that; an ideology as fallible as all others, habitually telling simple people the lie that it has the answers to all their problems. It is not without reason that, when turned into an acronym, the well-known marketing slogan 'Buy One, Get One Free' becomes an extremely rude word.
Things are nice - but they're just things. When we lose our concept of the special relationship that exists between God and man, ruthlessly pushing ourselves to the front of the queue to get what we want, it's a very short step to thinking of other human beings as entities to be consumed. That's why the word 'foetus' features so strongly in all discussion of abortion; the wilful refusal of abortionists to declare the truth that they all privately acknowledge (even if it's only to themselves), that they are engaged in the wilful destruction of human life, means that the victim has to be depersonalised, turned into a thing - stuff.
The act of medical murder known as 'assisted suicide' has introduced into the West the Aztec theology that human sacrifice is good because the victim consents to it; death as consumption experience. As godless and Satanic as that is, its track is certain - regardless of the lofty statements of the deathmongers amongst the Great and Good (a profound misnomer, given that many of the people who are described in these terms are cheap and bad), it will be deployed on unwilling victims. It is at that point that we cease to become Caesar's subjects, but his prisoners; each of us a little Jugurtha or Vercingetorix awaiting ritual strangulation in the bowels of the Mamertine prison.
The tide will turn, of course: I just hope I live long enough to see it, because when it happens it will put the collapse of the Berlin Wall into the shade. A world without God cannot exist; and Our Lord's conquest of death means not just that He is our guarantor, but that Christianity is just about the best kind of gold card you can ever hope to hold - provided you follow the terms and conditions, you will gain everlasting life. And that's not 'too good to be true'.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I've Been Walking These Streets So Long, Singing The Same Old Song...

Once again, Lord Mandelson pontificates on protectionism, the secular religion's mortal sin; yet this time he's off the front pages, relegated to the true believers in the business section. Deo Gratias.
He is globalisation's hardest hardcore fanatic. You and I and your neighbour's cat will be compelled to take what he has to say about trade seriously when he shows us his academic publications on trade theory, or the fortune he has made as a paper-clip entrepreneur. Until then, his continuing fulminations will continue to give this writer uncommon cause for distinctly uncharitable mirth.
I don't know what he believes in; but I believe in a staid, often-repeated form of words that have stood the test of time quite well - 'Give us this day our daily bread'. While not an invocation to gain for its own sake, it does provide some hope that there will be something on the table to eat.
Indeed, as time has gone on, I have realised that the things in life I love most are my God, my wife, my family, my home and my dinner. Lord Mandelson's impact on most of these is limited. This makes him less important than he might think himself to be.
Which means that if we ignore him, perhaps he'll just go away.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Waiting For The Shock

Terrorist scare? Public health scare?
Threat of extra-terrestrial invasion?
Just what incident will happen in the next few days which will be used to force through changes intended to be irreversible in response to a short-term, perhaps even manufactured, crisis?
I hope I'm wrong. But with the government losing Ministers on a daily basis, getting wiped out in the polls and looking like it could collapse if you breathe hard enough on it, somehow it feels like shocktime.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

It's Been 1707 All Over Again

I will not be voting in today's elections to the European Parliament - if one believes that an institution should not exist, there seems little point in participating in a process that helps ensure its survival.
It will be the first time I have missed a vote since I became eligible to do so 21 years ago, the simple reason being that this is the first election with which I have felt I don't really want to be associated. On reflection, this realisation is long overdue, for on balance democracy has done precisely hee-haw for me over the course of my life; it's high time time I returned the compliment.
The spectacle of electioneering now produces nothing but disgust. It's cagefighting for men in suits. History should by now have well and truly demolished the idea that the greatest will of the greatest number always produces the most legitimate result. In the United Kingdom, the tyranny of the 'free vote', in which representatives are permitted to vote according to their consciences, has resulted in a four decade long and still ongoing slaughter of children in their mothers' wombs. If that's what you get in a democracy, you can shove it. It is of Satan.
A similar outcome may happen in respect of 'assisted suicide'. This practice, which will result in many, many deaths which will be neither assisted nor suicide, perhaps even my own, is being driven from the top down, by either stupid or evil, or stupid and evil, people who think they know better than God. Oh, they have credentials issuing from every orifice; don't they always. Yet their profound lack of humility, their godless insertion of themselves into the place in their lives where God should be, makes them little better than public menaces. There is no real appetite for an assisted suicide law among the people - the only appetite it would be intended to satisfy would be Moloch's appetite for sacrifices; and that is insatiable.
Democracy even has bogeymen, like the BNP. As risible and odious as the BNP is, if people want to vote for it, let them - that's democracy.
The New Labour government has been adept in circumventing democracy, treating the electoral process not as a battleground in the war of ideas but as a rubber stamping process in which the cattle endorse the actions of the elite. Being intent on creating a new historical narrative, they have forgotten that there is absolutely nothing new in this world; and that one of its principal achievements has been to help create, on a global scale, a set of conditions which were seen in its own country just over 300 years ago.
The process of 'globalisation', whatever it might be, is dependent upon the elimination of barriers. Some barriers are, of course, incapable of being eliminated without causing massive harm and disruption; while we might sometimes take our skins for granted, we forget how necessary they are to our survival.
The madcap, zany rush of the Global North's financial elite to eliminate trade barriers after the collapse of Soviet Communism was a dash for growth that owed less to Formula One than to the Wacky Races. Of course, this didn't mean that everyone could sell anything anywhere else, oh no, no, no. They got to sell to everyone else; and the 'Washington Consensus', the Friedmanite guff that burst out upon the world like puss from a boil, demanded that not only would they be allowed to sell to everyone else, they would get to own everything else by tying aid to the process of privatisation.
Except they didn't think the process through.
No surprises there. Being the mindless automata of any number of ideologies - I would have used the word 'slaves', but it would be too dignified - they didn't know any history. They didn't know what always happens when small economies are integreated into larger ones.
The people in the small economies get moving.
The mass migration from the Global South to the North, ongoing now for nearly 20 years, is precisely the same phenomena as the large-scale migration of Scots to England and elsewhere which began almost immediately after the Acts of Union became law. It has been on a larger scale, for sure - most likely because the economic damage which the North has done to the South has been vastly greater than any damage caused to Scottish interests by the Union. But the process is precisely the same.
In discussion of how British immigration policy has failed, this particular point seems to have been missed. Immigration restrictionists have perhaps focussed too much on how the interests of native citizens have been affected, as opposed to enquiring why the migrants are migrating in the first place. The economic conditions which our governments have imposed upon vast swathes of the world in our name are just as much the cause of why these folks have moved as any neglect of the British border, or the 'Globalisation In One Country' policy intended to make the United Kingdom look like The Peoples Republic of China.
Although I am not a Scottish nationalist (the last thing any nation needs is nationalists), the lesson of the Union should be that attachment to the old nation runs deep; and it will only be by returning what is theirs to the people of the South that a very great deal of future unpleasantness will be capable of being avoided. And pretty damn quick as well, if you please.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Belief Of The British Political Class In Its Own Exceptionalism Revisited

I've been writing posts which reference the British political class's belief in its own exceptionalism for some months now.
The Parliamentary expenses scandal is the proof of that belief.
In his book 'How the Reformation Happened', Hilaire Belloc recorded how the decline of Catholic belief in the British Isles was more the result of generations growing up without the habit of Catholicism as through any sudden change in public mood. The English Reformation had no Winter Palace moment, no Father Gapon, no Battleship Potemkin; just a slow and steady erasure of habit, abetted by the repetition of the same lies, and to which the forces of truth were too slow to respond.
Precisely the same process of rewriting history through myth-making and outright lies has been at work since at least 1997, and the accession of New Labour. We are not 'a nation of immigrants'; never have been. Yet that is the official lie, designed to condition the people into a way of thinking from which they can never be turned aside, which began to appear shortly after that date. Privatisation robs a man of his goods; cultural privatisation, the redefining of a culture according to the whims of a rather freakish cultural elite, is vastly more insidious. No doubt the plan is to say it often enough to ensure it seeps into the common consciousness, to become an accepted habit of thought; the advance of minority parties shows it to have failed massively.
Friedmanism is a philosophy which cannot exist within a spirit of intellectual competition, which is perhaps why so many Friedmanite regimes have been politically oppressive. Wherever Friedmanism appears, the lawbook has to be rewritten to accommodate it. It is ironic that a philosophy based on the virtue of competiton can stand no competition itself. It is elite guff, of and for the rich. The Friedmanite neoliberal is not content to crush, stamp upon and pauperise his fellow man and rob him of his share of common goods in the names of freedom and market forces; the victim must also consent to the process. Yet the expenses scandal is proof that the people do not consent to the development of a Latin American-style political elite. This is a very hopeful thing.
From now on, our politicians will just have to learn that their careers are time-limited; and that the best things in life are sometimes not as free as they'd like.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Royal Mail Is Not For Sale!

The likely advance of the BNP in Thursday's election to the European Parliament will no doubt produce 'a good day to bury bad news'.
Such as a further development in Lord Mandelson's plan to privatise the Royal Mail.
In the economic histories that will be written 100 years from now, it will hopefully be recorded that wherever it has been practiced, privatisation has resulted in nothing but a transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, directly analogous to the pillage of Church property during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, or the seizure of common lands through enclosure; the latest manifestation of the powerful's age-old desire to grasp everything in sight, including the property of the poor, while justifying it with the lie that it's for their own good.
That the process of enclosure could not have proceeded without 4,000 separate Acts of Parliament should once and for all give the lie to the absurd notion that government should play no part in business. For our lawmakers, abetting the aims of business at the peoples' expense has too often been business as usual.
As far as the Royal Mail is concerned, the justification that's being used is the deficit in its pension fund. This deficit would, in all likelihood, not have arisen had the pension fund's managers not had blind faith in the impossibility of an ever-rising stock market, over-exposing the beneficiaries' assets to the vagaries of equities, an act in which they were probably encouraged by the dumb Tory law on 'contribution holidays'. Instead of a single employee of the Post Office having to suffer a reduction in their pension, or uncertainty over their entitlement, why not bankrupt the trustees, realise their property and put it in the pension pot? Why not bankrupt Fatty Clarke, the last known survivor of the government that created the contribution holiday still sitting on the Conservative front bench? He bears more responsibility for the decline in the Royal Mail's pension fund's fortunes than the average postman - accordingly, it is only proper that he should take a proportionate share of the consequences.
Given that Fatty Clarke has continued to prosper while the cattle who do the work face uncertainty, such an outcome seems both fair and just.
Such seizures as enclosure and privatisation derive from the evil will of otherwise inconsequential and second-rate men to disrupt unity and sow disharmony, while turning a coin in the process. One is not sure whether Lord Mandelson can be characterised as evil - one hopes not, for all men must be capable of redemption - but that he is thoroughly inconsequential and thoroughly second-rate should be considered truths beyond debate. The figure in British history that he seems to resemble most closely is Thomas Cromwell, a thoroughly second-rate fixer and pillager whose luck eventually ran out.
Lord Mandelson's absence from any forum in which he might be called upon to engage with the British public, such as 'Question Time', leads this writer to conclude that he either considers himself to be above such matters - arrogance is the perpetual trademark of the second-rate - or else he is genuinely frightened of what might happen if he did. As far as the first conclusion is concerned, his track record shows him having been no great shakes at anything in particular. as for the second, obviously he has nothing to fear from us; the track of recent history has been that we have much more to fear from him, a very second-rate economic ideologue, than the reverse.
Put him on 'Question Time'. Let him justify what he wishes to do to the people. Hopefully the sight of seeing him try to squirm his way out of the dilemma with which he will be presented - the British government's absurd contention that the only way for the banks to be saved is for them to be nationalised, while the only way for the Post Office is for it to be privatised, a piece of cant that an idiot child could see through - will make classic television.
Having outsourced their critical capacities, all ideologues are, by definition, second rate. Their views deserve no consideration, for they proceed from the absurd conceit that their ideologies have all the answers to whatever questions might be asked of them. That this has proven to be a universal falsehood again and again and again bounces off them like a pop-gun cartridge off a tank. Ideologues of whatever hue, from the atheist kind who describe themselves as 'Brights', to the absurdly overblown, over-rated and thoroughly second-rate neoliberal ones who infest the mainstream media (no accident of history), to the economic ideologues, the most laughable and second-rate of them all if only because they genuinely believe that everything they do is justified by reason, have developed the historical habit of considering themselves as being an intellectual elite. They are nothing of the sort. Their blind acceptance of others' ideas, whether by acts of will or through the none-too-sophisticated form of brainwashing that passes for university education, are, from the highest to the lowest, well-credentialled intellectual dross.
When the theory fits the facts, the theory is correct - but when, as with so-called 'economic shock therapy', the facts must be made to fit the theory, the theory is wrong. As I wrote some months ago, the repudiation of shock therapy by the British and American governments through the bail-out of their banking sectors should mean that Jeffrey D. Sachs should never be awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics, or whatever that particular bauble's Sunday name might be; one Buggins who'll just have to keep waiting his turn.
Privatisation was critical to shock therapy. As shock therapy in the round will go into history's twilight, so too will privatisation. The processes of the past 30 years are not irreversible. There is no need to listen to second-rate ideologues going on and on and on about the 'inevitability' of 'globalisation', a phenomenon about which more has probably been written than read. It is in our hands to reverse it.
Nothing frightens the powerful more than a unified people. Just as the never-successful attempt to destroy the unifying influence of Catholicism in England was a fig leaf for the powerful's looting of Church property, so too was privatisation never anything but a similar legally-sanctioned appropriation of public wealth justified by nonsense about the rights of the individual. This rape of the people can stop. The cant and nonsense spewed out by the right-wing economists, most of them imbued with the fanaticism of the hardest of hardcore fanatics, is just so much hot air. The Friedmanite neoliberal agenda is not the only program that works - but it's the one most likely to turn the people against each other. The atomisation of society, of unity, of collective spirit - these are not consequences of Friedmanism; they are its ends.
If the British people were to stand together and shout , 'The Royal Mail Is Not For Sale!', the world would shake. We would then see our government in its true colours - whether it would cave, or turn our guns on us. These are times which enable the holding of great hope - let us see if they are times which also demand great courage.
Say it soft, say it strong, say it loud, say it long -
THE ROYAL MAIL IS NOT FOR SALE!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Mild Writer's Block...

a condition which has never affected me before, seems to have gummed up the works. So apologies for both the brevity and infrequency of postings.