Free market questioning widens as orthodoxy espoused by Thatcher and upheld by Blair is no longer taken as read. There are still those across the parties who look for a second referendum as the Brexit blame game continues. Vince Cable talks about older voters “comprehensively shafting the young” as if austerity hadn’t been around to do that comprehensively to poorer and vulnerable sections of the community. The “Free Market” has shown itself to be the engine of unfettered Capitalism with Brexit being a response to that rather than the “immigration” rationale espoused by UKIP and the Tory right. This is what John Pilger has to say,
The questioning is not confined to the usual suspects following the 2017 General Election where both Tory and Labour Manifestos argued for support for the victims of austerity. While members of both parties continue to follow the Vince Cable line clearly Brexiteers have made their point – the one other than the immigration argument. That itself has been put under scrutiny as health, care and other essential services struggle to find staff needed to keep them running.
The difficulty for everyone remains that there is very little to go on about Brexit, what it will look like, the intentions of politicians or even their understanding of it. We are left to draw our own conclusions about the implications of each manifesto. While the Lib Dem is explicit that it should be abandoned the Tory is not. The Labour manifesto is incompatible with the single market. In my experience rank and file supporters of Labour have yet to catch up with this. Before the election senior figures like Diane Abbot explicitly called for remaining in the single market.
The press are now making the Tory agenda (supported by both Conservative and Labour Parties) exposed whereas up to the point of the June 8th election it has been covered up.The image of of the powerful, competent leader is laid bare. Austerity has been shown to be the sham that so many always recognised but have not found the means of responding to meaningfully. The chance has come.
The Tory agenda was espoused by the Blairite New Labour gang characterised by Blair and Mandelson. The promise that Globalisation and a New World Order will bring equality and a fairer world is a sham. What we have is the complete antithesis of an ever richer and smaller elite controlling governments and multinational capital for their own benefit. Certainly not ours. Even in 2015 the so-called left-leaning leader, Ed Miliband, talked of a cosy kind of “cuddly capitalism”. Nothing remotely cosy or cuddly, it is shown as a monster with sharp teeth and claws thirsty for blood.
The horrific disaster of a fire engulfing Grenfell Tower in the wealthiest area of London< Kensington, isn't a price worth paying for putting the spotlight on what is wrong with global society. Even now the truth is not being told and people are left to their own devices to find out what is going on.
A recent BBC 2 television programme showed commuters attempting to bid for a franchise to run Southeastern railways themselves. Standing room only with a long day ahead, or behind them, fare paying passengers are seen strap hanging packed like sardines into short terms. Made to feel lucky they can get on at all with multiple cancellations. It’s not like that in Switzerland it was shown. But is it like that in Germany, Holland, France and Italy whose “state railways” own 75% of British railway franchises with billions of pounds going back to other railway systems in subsidy. Profit once again is the name of the game, certainly not human activity and need. Rail Union members are going on strike over cuts to guards on trains. One person operators is said to be safe – where is the evidence? I sit so in those countries syphoning profits delivered to them by long suffering UK passengers?
Cuts to health, to education, social services, prisons. All unsafe with billions transferring from the public purse as Cameron promised. It started with Thatcher but was emulated by Blair and New Labour with even prisons privatised. Did even Thatcher dare to speak about that? It happened when she was long gone under the Thatcherite Blair. Prisons have become out of control with low pay of privatised and inexperienced staff. What is the verdict? Are prisons serving society, either those inside prisons (many would say vulnerable people who have suffered miscarriage of justice under corrupt and hugely cut police services), or the victims of crime.
The chickens have come home and British people are protesting they have had their fill of austerity where huge amounts of public money have been handed over to the already bulging pockets of the wealthy. But austerity isn’t confined to Britain: the EU practice it enforcing it on poorer countries like the colonial masters they have become. The “Golden Diktat” is thrusting privatisation down the throats of people in Greece, Portugal et al. How does this benefit the people rather than a small elite?
Brexit has been likened to revolution by those who have become victims to the effects of globalisation. Instead of recognising this many in the Labour movement continue to support the Thatcherite free market and globalisation in spite of the realisation it is only a very few who benefit. It is multinational corporations and banks, which have caused so many crises in recent history, who dominate us promoting austerity, privatisation of public assets, including the NHS and state schools, who benefit. The EU is one of the organisations used to regulate us, along with the IMF, the World Bank etc. In the General Election on June 8th, 2017, there is hardly any option but to vote for it in spite of Brexit.
Arthur Scargill, leader of the Socialist Labour Party, spoke about this in his support for the SLP candidate for Birmingham, Perry Barr at the Shaheed Udham Singh Centre, on Saturday, 3rd June, 2017
If Brexit and similar movements in USA and across the globe are symptomatic of resistance to elite domination then the elite are fighting back, systematically according to Takis Fotopulos. It follows that all main political parties are fighting this election on the basis of supporting the EU elite against the wishes of those supporting Brexit. Among the weapons employed to smear Brexit supporters are that it is fundamentally racist and supports facism. This precludes anyone who fought for Brexit on the basis of its policies on austerity, its attack on workers and their representatives including working conditions and pensions. The EU presently does all it can to promote privatisation and dictates to countries, like long suffering Greece, that they should privatise railways, seaports and airports. No money is available for nationalised industries. Workers are on strike because of the impositions being forced on them. In Britain, the RMT and ASLEF rail unions are attempting to ensure that guards are kept on trains for the safety of rail passengers. The RMT has pointed out that 75% of Britains rail franchises are in the hands of German, French and Italian state railways among others. Southern rail has at the same time doubled its Chief Executive’s salary from £200k to £400k. Profits go to those organisations which will not stay state owned under current EU policy and the so-called “Golden Diktat” they operate.
For Thursday’s general election, Diem25, a manifesto for democracy in the EU spearheaded by Yanis Varoufakis, identified UK MPs giving it support. Takes Fotopoulos asks if it is rather a “Manifesto for Perpetuating the EU Elites’ Domination of the European Peoples”. The list includes individuals across parties indicating that they do all agree on supporting an elite over the interests of the majority hit by the effects of ill-considered globalisation.
After a period of media silence Greece is once again coming into views a series of Guardian articles. What we can see is the engine of the EU back in the north as Greece is once more pressed into making an impossible agreement. The attitudes of the predominate bankers and the echoes of imperialism and colonialism. Immigration? Not the issue here apparently although we know that Greece has had to be a centre of migration from a whole range of catastrophes. Already the Greek health service is in melt down with patients who shouldn’t dying. This doesn’t appear to register with the European Union. Only debt – the result of impossible lending schedules – matters.
In Britain Brexit gives us the possibility of a Socialist future rather than the fascist nightmare portrayed by the press around Brexit and Trump. Countries could unite behind a left exit taking on austerity, privatisation, reduction in pensions and deterioration in working conditions and the wholesale run down of all our social services.
The infamous budget speech from George Osborne has not left the news headlines since its delivery weeks ago. “Austerity” was a term dreamed up to blind people from the reality of Tory policy which was avowedly to shrink the state. Local accountability has certainly shrunk with nowhere to go to question those now running our precious and hard won services.
Education has been overshadowed by proper concerns over what is going on in health, with threats there of increasing privatisation which, with TTIP proposals, could end up with multinational concerns running NHS services. In Birmingham Perry Beeches School was held up as an example of the brave new world, its head teacher, Liam Nolan, elevated to the position of “super-head”. Perry Beeches attempted to produce clones across Birmingham with “Perry Beeches II, III and now V”. “Super-head” has now become a bit big for his boots. Although he has for now retained his position of Head Teacher, his designation of CEO and Accounting Officer of a Trust set up to run the whole empire has been withdrawn, his second six-figure income having drawn fire. The Trust has been paid well over a million pounds annually, with Mr Nolan protesting that £200,000 was too little to reward his brilliance.
Like health and other public services essential to our well being, education is not served by being forced into a market place which discriminates between the well-off and the majority who live from their labour and ability to get employment. Speeches as the National Union of Teachers and NAS/UWT Conferences this Easter serve to show how Tories are now being challenged with a national protest on 16th April and teachers supporting junior doctors with strike action. Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, was well supported at the NUT Conference in Brighton while Education Secretary Nicky Morgan had a torrid time in Birmingham speaking to NAS/UWT delegates. Her assertion at the outset that there would be no u-turns in her proposals looks particularly vulnerable in the light of Osborne’s back tracking on benefits following his budget announcement.
Extract from Nicky Morgan’s speech.
PMQ’s this week Jeremy Corby questioned the PM on housing. We were treated once more to Cameron’s deceit.
Whoever built council houses the right to buy has meant that very many homes have been passed to private ownership. Among the people who have profited have been the landlords who have bought up multiple homes, charge extortionate rents and frequent allow people to use their properties for all sorts of things that affect the neighbourhood substantially devaluing neighbouring properties. They are out of control.
As the Daily Mirror points out Tory policy is to remove government from housing responsibility. In their eyes a £450,000 home counts as affordable. With homelessness likely to increase exponentially, while local authorities reduce their homeless centre, we have yet another horrific crisis intensifying. Corbin makes an effort to challenge, but his own party’s lack of support for him undermines him at every turn.
I note that in London, a group is producing a bulletin under the title “Socialist Labour”. It should be noted this is not to be confused with the Socialist Labour Party. This Party already has policies which oppose Trident, the bombing of Syria or any other country and the withdrawal from Europe. It is a Socialist Party founded by James Connolly at much the same time as Keir Hardy was regarded as the founder of Labour. They worked together in the Independent Labour Party and Connolly wrote a moving tribute to Hardy. In my view those wanting Socialism should join a party that has Socialist policies. Labour has shown itself to vie with the Tories to show who can be better supporters of Capitalism. Socialists know that’s not going to work. While Corbyn’s efforts have to be recognised already those expecting change are being disappointed. We have seen Hilary Benn support bombing of Libya from the front bench and the tussle on Trident seems insoluble.
Many have already voiced their opinion that Prime Minister’s Question Time is dominated by personal abuse which trivialises matters of vital importance, indeed distracts from serious discussion. So Jeremy Corbyn’s point is made as camera lenses point at every move and action and trivia takes hold.
Two captions both fit the image of Mr Corbyn standing quietly. “He was disrespectful to Queen and Country” or alternatively “he stood silently respectfully remembering those who had died in conflict”. There is room for respecting the dead of all nations, and this so often happens. Many artists have made such a point in major works as Benjamin Britten did in his War Requiem, and is there in the poetry of Wilfred Owen whose poetry is so movingly set in it.
So before we can get to the point of transforming politics and entering serious discussion character assassination is taking place. Corbyn is drowned out by the shouting and screaming of members of an establishment who don’t even want to know about the issues that the many who supported him. Instead of speaking out the Labour Party join the chorus and display intense embarrassment. They are entrenched as an integral part of status quo. What do their constituents think? Do they really know?
While stating his own beliefs and convictions Corbyn has repeated that he respects the practice that policy is made collectively. At the TUC Conference in Brighton he said clearly that he didn’t believe in benefits cap. When his cabinet members said that this was not yet discussed within the party media representatives blew a fuse. It is more than apparent that it takes time to discuss the many pressing issues, but that two days in this cannot have been dealt with as necessary.
I for one am anxious to see Parliament change fundamentally in the way it operates, and I want to see an opportunity for that to happen. The problem is that those entrenched in establishment and a world of privilege are clearly not going to allow it. The Punch and Judy show continues.
The inclusion in the campaign to select a new leader of the Labour Party has unlocked voices overlaid by swathes of media reporting which have been one sided in showing UK political struggles. As in the US frustration is shown with orthodox views promoted by elite and vested interest predominantly in the hands of powerful corporations. It is these corporations that have apparently unlimited and unfettered access to those who inhabit Westminster and their realms of privilege dominated by economic interests. Such interests have, of course, to be preserved at all costs to the benefit of those who can operate and benefit. Politicians, who are easy targets, willingly fall in from day one of their entry into the Westminster bubble with few feeling able to resist.
Jeremy Corbyn has found himself at the centre of interest from within the Labour contest for a leader. Vested interests, particularly from those inhabiting the Labour Party, are now displaying skills as contortionists to say why he is not a fit and proper person to stand for their leadership. Dissenting voices from colleagues within are still quiet and distant in contrast to the many who are now showing interest and hope for a change which will represent those taking the brunt of austerity in particular.
What do we hear from them? “Anti-austerity is unpopular with the public”. Is austerity popular then? It’s imposition has been a confidence trick and overlays the continuing work of banksters, financial services
The bigots’ charter is being introduced as a primary school is given a questionnaire – apparently without being asked – with Muslim children targeted in the primary school survey.
You’d think the best way to upset people and drive them into radicalism would be to continually harass a particular group of people in this way. Ever since the US under George W. Bush invented the “Terrorist” idea extreme groups have burgeoned. Al Quaeda now looks a quite moderate outfit to the post Iraq, post Libya groups that emerged intent on making more outrageous acts and statements to upset western sensibilities. They are working as bigger wedges are hammered home with the effect of dividing communities where no such division existed before. Long standing Moslem friends who assumed that they were a settled part of British society now feel that they too are under attack. The result is that the anti-terror brigades are increasingly counter-productive. They appear to want to create a division from an early age. This is deeply worrying.
These are questions asked. What would anyone make of these let alone young children? Could they incriminate themselves? How will the fools who thought them up interpret them? Will they consult Muslim advisers?
Given the predominant tendency to, at best, ignore and forget what happened to Gaza – Christians as well as Muslims were targets – interpretations of responses could be – are likely to be – highly biased.
My good friend John Fryer sent me this and I’ve shared it widely. It seems as if those I’ve sent it to are doing the same! It’s unbelievable that the House of Commons is virtually empty when considering the issues for debate: war in Afghanistan, child sex abuse, knife crime prevention, drug laws, impact of welfare reforms on the sick and disabled, a living wage, recognition of Palestine (the nest attended of this group), tenancy reform and schooling for Syrian refugees. Yet when it comes to debating MPs’ pay and expenses there is overflow.
What then do we elect representatives to Parliament for? The question of leadership jumps into my mind. If it is effective then would you expect this to happen.
Perhaps Parliament practices and procedures are already set out so when the new member enters the place for the first time expectations of an outmoded tradition which has lasted hundreds of years takes them over. Dave Nellist spoke of his experience when he was offered directorships of companies for himself and family and friends maybe. We see the revolving door in operation, the lobbyists that one David Cameron, vowed to tackle. No Dave, you don’t change the system and those upholding it: they change you!!!
As far as involving Britain in wars MPs have come to understand they don’t have a role to play. It became abundantly clear after war in Iraq was put into motion that what anybody thought other than the “leadership” meant diddly squat.
Hansard gives detailed reports of debates. This one on child sex abuse took place on 27th November, 2014.