It may have sported on T shirts for months so it’s not exactly original, but to make it your campaign slogan for a major election is, to my mind, quite the thing.
Sir Vince has had a relatively short career in the spotlight, despite his years, but this has the campaigning chutzpah of a rebel, a challenger brand – which should be exactly what the Liberal Democrats always should have been.
Anyway Sir Vince I doff my cap to you for this.
I think you will be pleased with the outcome, come May 24th.
Quite the funniest thing you will see this week.
Insincerity on a monolithic scale.
The Maybot says she’s got to compromise and agree on things that Labour and she agree on (always have it seems).
Perhaps this video should have really been an apology for not doing what she claims she is doing now and not three years ago. (Although if Labour is to be believed, and why should we, all this compromise is a figment of the Maybot’s imagination.)
I began this, now slightly out of date, polemic by Owen Jones slightly half-heartedly. I was expecting a tirade of Trotskyite abuse that would provide some titilation before quickly descending into irritation.
I was wrong.
This is a monumental anti-Establishment treatise that is outstandingly researched, compellingly argued and carefully structured so that his observations steadily underpin each other and make the whole extremely robust as a result.
It takes us on a journey from 1979 – 2016, but he underpins it with important historical footnotes from the 19th and 20th centuries that shed important light on his views.
(One that stopped me in my tracks was that the political classes were an elite – you had to have property to vote and you had to have money to ‘serve your country’ – in fact politicians, until Victorian times, were unpaid. Once that had changed and the Labour movement had begun, bringing working class men into the house they were paid minimal salaries so that a political career was not an aspiration, rather it was a vocation and a duty. However, with rocketing salaries becoming an MP is now an extremely well paid job – £79,468 at the time of writing. This has begun to attract the Establishment as a career for those who may have opted for journalism (essentially broken) or the City previously – the much despised career politician with absolutely no experience in the ‘real world’. This is a very bad thing and results in Establishment politicians being helicoptered into seats that they care not a jot for.)
Jones’ book is essentially a deconstruction of the Free Market Capitalism that rose in popularity by a group of economic outriders in the 1970’s when socialism in the UK was at a low ebb; principally as a result of unmanageable and extremely strident trade unions and appallingly badly run nationalised industries, managed by bureaucrats.
This paved the way for Thatcher’s Free Market Capitalism policies, denationalisation of almost anything that moved, the crushing of the unions, indeed their complete vilification (and in some cases murder of their members – Orgreave anybody?) and the fuelling of an unhealthy reliance on the UK’s financial sector as its engine of economic growth, despite appalling regulation.
The book takes the key pillars of the Establishment and systematically challenges their morality, efficacy and value. It clearly makes the point that this country serves a small and wealthy elite at the expense of fair societal sharing of opportunity. In turn he deconstructs:
- The political outriders of the 70’s, and later, who espoused free market economics
- The Westminster Cartel (now bubble), and not purely the Conservatives. The entire thing is roundly criticised with New Labour coming in for particular vilification and Nick Clegg’s selling out of the Lib Dems – indeed the whole rise of neo-Liberalism is roundly attacked
- The police with their endemic racism, (stop and search gets a right good kicking and rightly so), bullying, the harassment and occasional death of protestors – including trade unions, the forming of undercover sexual relationships and so on
- The oligarch-driven media ownership of the UK and their cosying in with Blair, Brown and Osborne in particular
- The appalling abuse of corporate tax laws, including the, again, cosying up of the ‘Big Four’ to create tax laws for government that only they understand and can quickly exploit through the loopholes they know for their corporate clients
- The finger pointing at state-‘scroungers’ whose collective abuse is but a grain of sand compared to the tax avoidance of the wealthy Establishment elite
- The destruction of the NHS and the outrageous funding of corporations through lucrative private sector deals and the ongoing scandal that is PFI
- The lining of politicians’ pockets by private industry in non-exec or other paid roles that seem wholly a conflict of interest – particularly in healthcare and defence
- The Banks – he calls the City ‘Masters of the Universe’. Here’s a fact for you. The bonuses of London City bankers (even after the crash) far exceed the combined bonuses of all of Europe’s banks put together. The post-crash regulation is limp-wristed and ineffective and it was The State that took the toll, not the banks through completely unjustified ‘Austerity’.
Throughout he argues how Free Market Capitalism despises the state yet uses it as its mop to clean up the failures of the banks through the public purse.
But it’s not just a rant, indeed it’s not EVEN a rant. At all times Jones is calm in presenting what is essentially a one-sided argument; but of course it is.
In his brilliant conclusion he posits clear and compelling arguments for media control, police control, re-nationalisation with employee and customer boards, a re-empowerment of the Unions – or at least reasonable rights for them and an impassioned plea to support left wing Outriders. Right wing policy was not popular (even on the right before the 70’s) and he argues that everything is cyclical.
We need not give up.
This is a powerful polemic and is a superbly enjoyable read. I only wish it was up to date and included the whole Brexit catastrophe that the Establishment and The Westminster Cartel has created.
When Jeremy Corbyn scrambled into the Labour throne it was initially slightly comedic but quickly settled into something that most certainly became a breath of fresh air.
Love was in the air. Something fresh, invigorating, and exciting was blowing through British politics. It may have been populism, but it was GOOD populism,
For some time I wore this T Shirt to in a small way articulate my disappointment (hatred frankly) with Tony Blair’s New Labour (new Tory more like) neoliberal rhetoric.
But all of a sudden, under Corbyn that T shirt became redundant.
Instead I opted for this one. It garnered smiles, back slaps and an incredibly warm response. Especially from young people who loved Corbyn’s attitude.
Corbyn was the new face of democratic politics in the UK that almost moved me away from the solid social democracy of the excellent and consistent SNP.
But as Brexit has unfolded he has steadily unravelled and shown himself to be as conceited, party political, AT ALL COSTS, as his disgusting opposite number, Theresa May. His handling of the anti-semitism accusations was laughable.
Now, imagine him running a whole goddam country. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
His party is every bit as divided as the Tories and well he knows it.
But it has reached a zenith this week. In particular, his decision not to join May’s cross party ‘outreach’ discussions, that begin today, makes him both unelectable and dangerous. He has lost the fucking plot.
Sure, May’s ‘reaching out’ might be in name only – but you’ve got to be in it to win it – and Corbyn is sat sulking, like a stupid little schoolboy, in some corridor while the biggest decision in my political life is made without him.
The look on his face when his vote of no confidence lost was pathetic; a scowling, sulking brat.
Jeremy. You blew it.
Creepy, my precious.
I am biased obviously.