Tag Archives: Politics & Current Affairs

With Friends Like These…

corbynThere’s plenty of justifiable criticism to be made of Corbyn, from those of us to his left, and most of it in terms of his actual politics, rather than the manufactured trash regarding his appearance, style and lack of ‘leadership qualities.’

Almost every back-stabber and turncoat (waves at Owen Jones) – as well as his outright enemies – has praised Corbyn as a man of principle and integrity; while bemoaning his lack of leadership abilities. What exactly, one can only wonder, do you consider leadership qualities to be, if not principle and integrity?

Again, I could spend a week criticising Jezza’s politics and not run out of things to say but when I hear “ah but he just couldn’t win a general election; he just isn’t a leader” well, that tells me absolutely nothing about him and everything about you.

It tells me that you’re an unthinking swallower of the media consensus; that a slick suit and superficial charm are what you think makes a leader; that you are happy to let your political enemies tell you what and how your leader should be.

You whine and you moan about spivs, con-men and liars; remote, privileged toffs who know nothing of us; who care nothing about how we live and how we die. You turn from your TV in disgust at the fiddling, the corruption and the sheer unmitigated self-interest and greed. You yearn for an honest man. You pray for a champion who will restore your party to its former proletarian glory. You want socialism! Or say you do. And then comes Corbyn…

A man whose cumulative parliamentary expenses for the last hundred years amount to fifty pence, a Refresher and a packet of fucking crisps. A man who lives in a normal house, on a normal street, and whose front garden gives an alibi to working class men all over the country: “It’ll be all right for another week, love. I mean, you seen Jezza’s?”

You’ve finally got your champion; you’ve got a leader who understands your life, lives your life and even looks like the kindly teacher we all had. And yet you moan because he dresses like a normal geezer. You bitch because he doesn’t wear a tie. You take the piss out of his allotment and you sneer at his bike.

Because the media do.
Because the established political class do.
And you swallow it.

You’re too stupid, you’re too blinded by establishment propaganda to recognise normal when it passes you on the street! This is your ordinary bloke – not in it for himself – that you always claimed you wanted. But you complain because he doesn’t dress, speak and act like those you claimed to despise. You fool.

And now they’re doing him in. They’re queuing up like a bunch of prison rapists in the showers – but with less integrity – to stick in the blade. When the posh boys, along with their establishment and traitors in the Parliamentary Labour Party, line up to shank the guy in the exercise yard, while the guards are locking the gates and the governor is urging them on, isn’t it just a basic expression of class solidarity, of decency, to join the prison riot?

His own MPs – the careerist chancers you were bitching about just last week – are now, suddenly, an infallible barometer of the electoral mood? Fuck you. You’ve bottled it. A shiver scuttled around Corbyn’s ‘friends’ looking for a spine to run down, eh?

And what did you expect anyway? A socialist of some sort finally leads the Labour Party and you thought, what? That The S*n would scatter rose petals down his garden path? That he and Dave would chuckle amiably together as they exchanged matey bantz across the dispatch box? That it’d be easy?

Let me tell you, in all seriousness, as someone who knows more than a little about conflict – when they come for you like this, when they hate you like this, you’re doing something right.

It isn’t people like Corbyn who lose Labour elections; it’s people like you.

Now, grow a pair and fight for Corbyn; because he’s spent his entire career fighting for you.

 

Eddie Truman: 1963 – 2016

hibsphotoSo the Calvinist Atheist has passed.

A rare case of a man deceased who needs no whitewashing. Whenever his “lover, comrade and friend”, his beloved “Feminist Avenger”, has to sit down and talk to someone about the ‘arrangements’ there will be no awkwardness, no embarrassment as imaginations are deployed; desperately searching for something nice, something worthwhile, to say. We need only tell the truth. A blunt – like him – plain recounting of the facts will be all the tribute required.

The integrity in the face of adversity; the wisdom to watch this Island’s most successful left project rise and then burn at the hands of… well… someone unfit to share his oxygen and yet not succumb to despair and an abandonment of the class he loved and for which he tirelessly fought.

The crabbit irascibility; the rapier-like humour that would often leave you gasping; the sheer force of character that saw him navigate foul, dangerous and treacherous waters with dignity and resolve.

And, for me, the enduring memory of that lanky frame, which dwarfed my own considerably smaller form and yes; considerably smaller character. Memories of texts swapped after a Hibs win or a H*ns defeat; of arranging hurried catch-ups in coffee shops and retail parks on the outskirts of Auld Reekie; all cobbled around which granddaughter was being picked up, dropped off or otherwise placed right at the centre of his universe.

Christ, he schooled me on the national question, Islamophobia waaaay before it was a thing and how to accurately assess the balance of class forces. But he saved his greatest gift till near the end. After near twenty-five years as friends and comrades, he welcomed me as a fellow grandfather. And that was undoubtedly an area where his expertise was unsurpassed. A flash of humour here, a seemingly off-hand remark there, all that wisdom, humanity and love distilled. I only had to reach out and take it. And I did.

As is always the case, he was different things to all of us. But this was the Eddie Truman I knew. And loved.

See you on the barricades, pal. I miss you.

Slàinte mhath.

Well Done Us

eyuopAs a potential Prime Minister, BoJo was a truly frightening prospect. A mendacious, unscrupulous and venal chancer, even by the current low standards we seem to accept from our politicians.

A privileged posh boy smirking his way up to the potential break-up of the United Kingdom, the shared destiny of some 63,000,000 human beings reduced to the geo-political equivalent of the Eton Wall Game; larks, a jolly jape in the common room.

Privilege is protection and now he’s finished smashing up the tuck shop, all to steal his mate’s job, the chubby clown can decamp to anywhere else he feels like. We, on the other hand…

Meanwhile, knives have sharpened for Corbyn. A bumbling, unpolished man with a modicum of some integrity. Whose biggest failing in the eyes of the V.E. Day tribute act now comprising half our electorate, is not his weak politics growing ever weaker, but that he actually cares about people. What an out-of-touch, metropolitan, lefty wanker, eh? Burn him. Burn him now.

Those of us (by which I mean me) who actually thought that this mood might now be channelled into addressing the ‘unaccountable and unelected bureaucrats’ here at home; the patronage, the privilege, the sneering contempt with which the political class view us, are terminally damaged by our own unreality. There is no revolt. It’s over. The war is won. As long as patrician public school-boys and faceless English mandarins rule over us in perpetuity, that’s fine. Just as long as they aren’t Frogs, Krauts, Spics or Wops. Half the country can’t see the fucking wood for the bulldogs and spitfires. And they don’t want to. They’ve got their country back.

Instead, the only thing passing for revolution are tens of thousands of indignant Remainers marching in the Imperial Capital. Demanding that their country is taken back from the Brexiteers. For those of us crippled by ambivalence, there is little chance of recovery. Sympathy for people trying to overturn a democratically-decided referendum is hard to muster. For all the decent folks involved, many of whom are good friends, it’s difficult not to smell a passing whiff of middle-class entitlement; fury that, for once, things didn’t go their way. Instead, those uppity proles smashed the pub up. “But they lied!” wail the Remainers. Christ, where to even start with that? Perhaps best not to bother. Perhaps a curt “no shit?” with all the scorn one could possibly amass is all the response required.

We chose between European bankers and racists and British bankers and racists. Fortress Europe or Little Britain. Put like that, if I’m surprised at all it’s only that the space between the numbers wasn’t the width of the Atlantic. While it certainly was a working class rebellion, it sure as shit aint no working class victory.

My mate Mick Connole, former striking miner and thoughtful observer of current events, was saying for weeks before the vote that there is no way we’d leave the EU. Even if Brexit won. He was joined in that prediction by Comrade Wife. As we watch the Eton Rifles back-peddling furiously, talking about there being ‘no rush’ and urging themselves to ‘take our time’ and to make sure ‘the best possible deal for Britain’ is secured before pulling the Article 50 trigger, you can only gape in amazement. They’re actually going for it. They’re actually going to try robbing 17,000,000 Brexiteers of their win. Mick now looks far less like a tinfoil-hatted conspiracy enthusiast and considerably more like a modern sage of no mean perspicacity. Comrade Wife, too, is on course to shatter her personal best of fifty I Told You Sos in a single day.

So, to summarise… a sitting Tory PM campaigns openly on a policy of brutal austerity. In an unprecedented display of political honesty he actually tells you, up front, that cuts, shortages and pain are on the way.

You either sit on your arse and vote for no one or you vote for him. He wins the election and, again in a hitherto unmatched display of consistency, implements his election pledges.

You then vote to leave the EU which you blame for austerity while pretending you’re also voting against the PM who actually did give you austerity and who you really hate now but not enough then, evidently, to ensure he didn’t get elected in the first place.

Meanwhile, every opinion poll bar none tells you the number 1 concern around the EU is immigration, you tell me that it’s your number 1 concern but if I raise this then you get offended because you’re not racist but and I’m told I’m a sneering member of some metropolitan elite that hates the working class and you just care about ‘democracy’ and ‘austerity.’

At the same time half the left is celebrating because this is a progressive workers’ revolt; they just forgot to send that memo to Marine Le Pen, Britain First, UKIP and National Action. Now, after throwing immigrants under the bus, that same half of the left is busily and sanctimoniously, patronisingly, organising ‘solidarity’ activities for immigrants.

Those of us actually living in working class communities where all twenty-seven of our pits disappeared because of non-immigrant white-British scabs working hand-in-glove with a Tory government, and have had zero-hrs contracts for our kids as the replacement, can no longer look forward to an influx of funds destined for our public services. Because they lied. And you believed them. And we’re now going to end up with Theresa May as Prime Minister.

Well done, us.

Breaking Point?

Breaking Point

First of all, apologies in advance if anyone’s delicate sensibilities are disturbed by the following.

However, as much as some may find it distasteful, opportunistic and/or an act of callous point-scoring, many of you fragile little flowers have shown no such reticence in rushing to condemn Muslims for Lee Rigby’s murder, immigrants for the near-collapse of the NHS and forecasting a Turkish rape-apocalypse by 75 million, brown-skinned savages, in the highly unlikely event that that country ever qualifies for admission to the EU. As I remarked previously, we are way past matters of taste; the high-horse upon which you precariously sit resembles ever-more a Blackpool nag with broken knees. Your moral high-ground is a straw on the edge of a precipice. We are where we are so let’s deal with that.

With depressing predictability, people have rushed to explain Thomas Mair as, variously, “A lone nutter” “a deviant paranoid personality” and “an individual with mental-health issues.” Some have gone further and in acts of unintentional intelligence-shattering irony have begged we do not tar all far-right, neo-Nazis and white supremacists with the same brush. You simply couldn’t, as the cliché has it, make it up.

Let’s cut to the chase. This act of far-right terrorism is the logical, and entirely predictable, outcome of the nation’s direction of political travel. This is an unavoidable truth and it shames us to try and pretend otherwise. No, Jo Cox’s murder isn’t the fault of the Brexit campaign, per se. After all, our truly toxic and poisonous political atmosphere precedes the EU referendum by many years. Cameron, Osborne and co cannot claim any purity of word or deed simply because Farage, Johnson and co have recently managed to out-racist them. The rhetoric of the OUT campaign is merely the national consensus turned up to 11. They are all culpable; they are all guilty.

If Mair does turn out to have mental issues – as racist apologists and mealy-mouthed right-wingers are desperately scrambling to prove – this doesn’t, in any way, mean his shocking act wasn’t also an act of fascist terrorism. Make no mistake; it was. This terrorist atrocity, by a man with proven links to neo-Nazi organisations, was the inevitable, direct and unavoidable culmination of years and years of racist demonising; of hate-mongering by an inhumane establishment, presiding over a decaying, backward, semi-feudal society, blinded by Empire nostalgia, imperialist arrogance and nothing but utter contempt for the Other.

And no accusations of opportunism or point-scoring can alter that. No cowardly denials, no sophistry, no injured innocence can wash away the simple truth that while Mair plunged in the knife and pulled the trigger, the entire British state, its apparatus, media and representatives are all equally guilty of her murder.

Safe European Home

jocox

“I find it in poor taste to use the death of an MP to try to score political points in the EU referendum debate.” I was rebuked thus, earlier.

We’re way past taste, though. Brown people and Muslims, dead babies on beaches, immigrants and the damned have been political capital, just so much collateral damage, for years. The new British currency. ‘Daily Mail, mate? Cheers, that’ll be ten dead darkies, please. Lovely. ‘ave a good day, guv.’ 

My, but don’t we get prissy and self-righteous, though, when it’s on our own sparkling-white doorstep? When the bodies aren’t Syrian infants but white, privileged British ones? Bit too close to home now, eh? Easier to deny there’s any connection between the murder of an MP by a fascist screaming ‘Britain first/First’ and the sort of politics that have consciously and deliberately fostered that act. Isn’t it?

But relax. Chill. This will be a “lone nutter” as someone said to me, earlier. Because, as we know, Muslim/brown person equals terrorist, savage etc. Because ‘they hate our values,’ don’t they?

White person, though, even a fascist with a gun and a knife, for God’s sake, well, he’ll be a ‘lone nutter.’ Not a product of those ‘values’ eh? Not our ‘values.’ Which is fortunate. Because then we’d have to take a long, hard look at those ‘values’ and the society spawned by them. Wouldn’t we?

So now you know. Stir the racist swamp and monsters emerge. Drip, drip, drip racism, spread anti-immigrant poison, demonise terrified refugees as as “swarm”, dehumanise the Other, do it every day, year in, year out. In the media, from the mouths of politicians. Buy into yourself with your mates down the pub. Until Jo Cox is murdered. Will you stop now?
Have you got your country back now?

Dear EU…

fsahdqmze6gys_fvkw90evof1hsjxzj-large… Cheers for the card and the leaving present. Not too sure what we’re gonna do with an electronic garlic press, mind; probably just stick it in the pantry with Auntie Mabel’s signed photo of Nigel Farage.

We’re gonna end up with Boris fucking Johnson, Michael Gove or Theresa May as PM and the far right will be celebrating their biggest propaganda victory since the BNP won its first council seat on the Isle of Dogs. UKIP will surge on the back of it and little Ingerlunders will be jizzing so hard, the country will look like a plasterer’s radio.

We might get a Corbyn government, eventually, when the racists run out of immigrants and the EU to blame for the state of our feudal, bankrupt, little backwater. Thankfully, though, as Jezza lacks balls, at least you fuckers won’t be able to do a Greece on our asses if he implements anything vaguely social democratic! Ho ho ho. Not so smug now, are you, you cheese-eating surrender monkeys?

Mind you, by then the natives will have moved on from immigrants as the Tories take us full-retro. We’ll be back to scouring the land for unemployed shirkers, pitchforks in hand. Or working-class teenagers in tracksuits. We’ll be burning single mums from council estates. Or whoever the latest hate figure is that we’ve been spoon-fed by the establishment and media. And Peter Lilly, complete in Salem-style Puritan garb, will come out of retirement to host the new prime time TV sensation ‘Britain’s Got Whores.’ And, of course, Corbyn will be ‘soft’ on the new enemy of England anyway, whoever or whatever that turns out to be, so he’ll be booted into the long grass while we continue to turn on each other with increasing ferocity.

Plus ca change etc, eh?

The Jocks will finally say ‘fuck it, we’re off’ only as they wield a giant saw and try hacking themselves off at Gretna Green, the Geordies, Scousers and Mancs – and anyone else with an iota of humanity and hope still desperately flickering – will beg them to cut lower. Eventually the island will be sawn in two, somewhere around Watford Gap.

Muslims will finally be so beaten down that they’ll almost be part of the establishment. Those not in jail or not deported, that is. There will be plastic Muslim theme-pubs and every Ramadan hordes of pissed-up Brits will roam the streets singing the call to prayer. While bemused Irish look on, thankful, at least, for their loss as England’s favourite ethnics to patronise.

Still, looking a bit shit for you, too, aint it? The French are next in line to fuck off or will die rioting while they try. You’re shitting yourselves at the gains by Nazi parties in the latest EU elections and austerity has finally bitten you on the arse as everyone sees your project for what it always was – a giant shell game with the working class as the marks.

Not all bad, though. Poverty is the mother of revolution and we’re getting there. Yeah, you can laugh. I know it sounds ridiculous but, you know, we are the world’s oldest imperialist nation. It just takes a few centuries to shake off all that internalised oppression.

Yeah, we’ve got mixed feelings. Who wouldn’t after so long together? But there’s hope. And if there is hope it lies with the proles.

Love, Little Britain.

Brexit Will Happen

160203-Front-pagesBrexit will triumph. Forget the perfectly reasonable left argument for leaving; don’t even waste your time with the plausible left case for remaining. This is now (as if it has ever been anything else) a referendum on immigration. And the racists and bigots are winning (Lord Ashcroft’s latest poll gives the leave campaign a 3% lead).

Some of things I’ve learned this weekend, conversing with working-class Brexiters:-

All the nation’s ills are the fault of the EU. All of them. Because immigration.

The end of the post-war boom and the victory of Thatcherism over traditional social democracy – irrelevant.

The collapse of the USSR and its satellites and the resulting triumph of neoliberalism on a global scale – irrelevant.

An international banking crisis of truly historic proportions – irrelevant.

All our problems only started when “Tony Blair and Gordon Brown introduced a benefits and mass immigration culture.” Yes, really.

I’ve also encountered former striking miners and residents of former pit villages who *genuinely believe that the EU and migrant labour are the reasons we no longer have a mining industry in the UK.* Seriously. You want to punch yourself in the face now, don’t you? Unfuckingbelievable. I know.

This is where we are. Reason, sanity and logic have absolutely no fucking chance in this ‘debate.’

I honestly believe these people would happily shoulder pay cuts across the board and the sale of their first-born sons to slave traders if it meant no immigrant was ever allowed to set foot on UK soil again.

Buckle up, folks. There’s a bad moon on the rise.