Update – August 2010

Hello once again; as you can see I have returned.

As seems to be the case in recent times, I like to have a little break between bouts of feverish writing. This happens for various reasons; in the main it’s due to being rather bored with the subject matter. It’s been a odd year so far; I’ve changed job and as such am now free from the repressive world of the civil service, (not that this ever stopped me before), and I’ve had a few rather worrying health problems, (thank God for the wonderful NHS). This coupled with a few other ‘personal issues’ has left my mind somewhat distracted of late….

So, it seems a lot has happened; Brown has gone at last and New Labour perished, (as I predicted would happen in this very blog two years ago). Clegg has taken Cameron’s limp Eton penis up his arse; taken his fellow Lib Dems along with him, and are already getting ready to fuck us all firmly up the arse. Oh, and the BNP and EDL are still a bunch of thick, (but dangerous) fuckwits…

Time to get angry again then. Time to make a stand.

It’s good to be back…..

OK Nick, you can fuck off again now….

As was to be expected, the fallout from Nick Griffins appearance on Question Time continues apace. Those who favour a ‘no platform’ policy with regards to the BNP have looked upon the subsequent media coverage of the event to claim that the BBC were in fact wrong to invite Griffin onto the programme; and that events during the past two days validate this view.

nick-griffin-cartoon

A YouGov poll in today’s edition of  The Times indicates that 22% of people in this country would ‘seriously consider’ voting for the far-right party in an upcoming election. Let’s just look at that: 1 in 5 people asked would ‘seriously consider’ voting for the BNP – that’s consider, not WILL vote for the BNP. Eight Million people watched Question Time on Thursday night; as a result, I’m not at all surprised that support for Griffin and his dubious friends received a little boost, this is to be expected, and hopefully over the coming weeks this will reduce significantly. Of course, this poll makes a great headline, but let’s not forget the other 78% of voters in this country who would hopefully NEVER consider voting for that pathetic bunch of fascist fuckwits.

I still think that the BBC were right to include Griffin on the programme. Those who favour ‘no platform’, including Peter Hain, look upon this as a massive early Christmas present for the BNP, providing them with massive exposure, and possibly leading to a large increase in their overall support. The answer to this is very simple; by censoring Griffin and the BNP, the media storm does not in fact dissipate – it remains and it makes a martyr out of Griffin to his misguided supporters. You see, with a character such as Griffin, you really can’t win; if you invite him to speak on Question Time he claims he was bullied; if you don’t, he’ll claim he’s being censored by the ‘liberal elite’. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s far better to let the fascists make absolute fucking fools of themselves. Personally I’m just as concerned about the lies and filth peddled every week in the Daily Mail and Express.

The way in which we react to the BNP in the coming weeks and  months is vital. Let Griffin have his five minutes in the spotlight, this will soon fade. There is a view that says that you can’t reason with a racist – this might be true enough, however, through debate and conversation, we can hopefully persuade all but the most hard-core BNP supporter not to vote for them in the future.

There is undoubtably a huge task ahead of the major political parties to reconnect with those voters who have unfortunatly drifted towards the BNP and their policies of hate and division. It may be that Labour has the most work to do here, especially in the North and the Midlands. However, it would be misguided and wrong to lay the blame squarely at Labours door. Yet, this is what certain Tories are now trying to do; Iain Dale has kicked things off  in predictable fashion on his blog by claiming that Labour are responsible for the ‘rise of the BNP’. This was followed up by an appalling performance by Nadine Dorries last night on Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’, during which, she launched into what can only be described as a hesterical rant on the subject, the end result of which ended with Jacqui Smith asking her to ‘calm down’. Typical behaviour from Dorries I’m afraid – continuing to live in her own little fantasy world.

The responsibility to tackle the BNP remains with all of us, regardless of which political party we follow or support. All of us have a duty to protect and nurture the fair and tollerant society in which we live, and it is pathetic and unfair of the Tories to suggest otherwise.

Griffin: “I’m not a Nazi….” REALLY!?!?

Aug09_VE_Nazi-NickSo, now that the dust has settled, and with the whiff of moral indignation still heavy in the air, I suppose now is as good as time as any to discuss my thoughts following the appearance of Nick Griffin on last nights Question Time.

To be honest, I’m still in two minds. As things go, I thought that it went as well as we could have hoped for. Prior to transmission I would admit to being rather concerned as to how the evening would pan out. The last thing I wanted was for the nasty little Nazi to be given the opportunity to spout a load of populist nonsense with regards to the topics of the day.

As it turned out this did not happen. As I’m sure many of us expected, Griffin came across as the narrow-minded, evil little racist that he’s always been. Nothing he said last night could have changed that. From the very start he appeared completely out of his depth amongst the other panelists, he spluttered and squirmed his way through a series of questions, dropping in a few hideous and disgraceful comments along the way.

As for the other panelists; on the whole I thought they performed rather well. Each one contributed and played their part in Griffins downfall, although, let’s be honest, Griffin is such a fool, he needs no help.

Of course, today, Griffin has now come out complaining about his unfair treatment on the programme, in fact saying that he was a victim of a ‘lynch mob’. The irony of this is surely not lost on us. After all, this is the same man who shared a platform with KKK leader David Duke, and who last night described that vile organisation as almost ‘totally non-violent’. True to form, Griffin then questioned the choice of London as a venue for the programme.

He told Sky News today that:

“That audience was taken from a city that is no longer British … That was not my country any more. Why not come down and do it in Thurrock, do it in Stoke, do it in Burnley? “Do it somewhere where there are still significant numbers of English and British people [living], and they haven’t been ethnically cleansed from their own country.” He added: “There is not much support for me there [in London], because the place is dominated by ethnic minorities. There is an ethnic minority that supports me: the English. But there’s not many of them left.”

This is typical Griffin, and a good example of the insidious way in which the BNP attempt to worm their way into society by playing on the fears and worries of those who feel disenfranchised not only with modern politics, but also with life in this country.

Griffins gang of fascist supporters will of course now rally behind their bullied leader. No sooner had the programme finished then claims were coming out from the BNP bunker about increased website traffic, and increased membership interest. By the way, this is despite the fact that their membership levels have in fact decreased over the past two years.

Last night proved once and for all that the ‘no platform’ idea does not and will never work. As much as I loath Griffin and all that he stands for, I’m more than happy for him to make a complete and utter fucking fool of himself on national television. Once and for all we need to understand that we can not defeat the BNP by censorship. You will not defeat the BNP by following a policy of ‘no platform’, and, most importantly, you will never defeat the BNP by holding violent protests and trying to invade the BBC. Words over violence is the only way forward; you beat the BNP by the strength of our ideas. You beat the BNP by exposing the truth, uncovering the many lies, by laying waste to the hatred and disgust that the fascists have for our open and tolerant society.

Unite-Against-Fascism-dem-001

Violence breeds violence. As comrades, together in a common cause, we must take every single opportunity to expose these people for what they really are. The truth is a far more damaging and lasting deterrent to the preachers of hate, far more damaging then throwing eggs and fighting on the streets of our towns and cities. One again the UAF are way off the mark; not a week goes by without them setting our cause back, and in the process creating more sympathy for the likes of Griffin. As has happened in the past, the leadership and supporters of the UAF fail to adapt or move forward – too stuck in their ways, with their rigid, dogmatic code of no platform. When will they finally understand that the tired old ways of protest simply do not work anymore. It is time to evolve, to move forward, to use our brains and not our fists.

If last night showed us anything, it was that Griffin hasn’t changed, and his party will never change, and the fight against the fascists is far from over. There could be dark days ahead, but never forget: WE are in the right. We live in a tolerant and diverse country, I’m proud to say that I still have faith in the people of this country to do the right thing. The great people of this country will not fall for Griffin’s racist bile. Together, we can defeat the BNP; together we can create a society where those holding fascist views are confined to the dustbin, along with all the other extremists who try to spread fear and hatred. We must not, and will not let them win.

The Danger of Dorries

Another week goes by, and as sure as night follows day, Nadine Dorries continues to fail to engage brain before mouth. Last week, via her blog, (essential reading as always), and now on Twitter, she continued to maintain her unchallenged claim of being the Walter Mitty of politics.

We all watched last week as Nadine basically lied about the TUC’s call to ban high heels in the workplace.We all watched as she attempted to whip up a media storm for her own publicity seeking self.

All of which brings us to Nadine’s latest blog post regarding Iran, and Ahmadinejad’s holocaust denials. What starts out as a fairly balanced piece, calling for greater support of the opposition movement, ends with Nadine calling for pre-emptive strikes against key installations.

No one wants to see an ancient Persia with its people and history in danger. However, no sensible person wants to see the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty broken after 40 years, or a bomb in Ahmadinejad’s hands.

It may be that sanctions are necessary, it may also be that these will be coupled with air strikes of critical installations.

We are nearer and nearer to such a reality each day.

It is a terrifying unedifying thought and one that could be avoided if those within Iran who wish to topple the regime were given more support from outside.

So, more sound and fury signifying nothing? Or, should we once again look more closely at the people and organisations behind Nadine Dorries?

In May 2008, Dorries was featured in a Channel 4 edition of Dispatches. The episode, “In Gods Name”, investigated various aspects of the fundamentalist Christian movement in this country – much of which was centred around the group Christian Concern for our Nation. This group was effectively using Dorries as a mouthpiece in the build up to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. In a blog post at the time, I questioned the viability of an elected member of parliament allowing a fundamentalist group access to parliament. A group that not only opposes gay rights and homosexuality in general, but also declares Islam to be a ‘false religion’.

Yet again, I fear that Dorries is actively pursuing an anti-Islamic agenda – pushed forward by not only CCFON, but also by their sister organisation, the Christian Legal Centre . As before, the link is Andrea Minichiello Williams , a key advisor to Dorries, and a woman who quite openly describes herself as a fundamentalist.

Here they are together last year. This clip is so disturbing it’s almost laughable.

I could be clutching at straws here, after all, it is very easy to mock Dorries and her often ridiculous comments. However, it is important to consider what could happen should the Tories gain power next year – politicians such as Dorries will not be sidelined by Cameron, and as such we should be very, very fearful of a swing to the right by the Tories.

A move that could not only lead to  greater religious and sexual intolerance, but could also put thousands of women at risk following a potential change in this countries abortion laws.

We must not let that happen.

Is she really going out with him?

article_99So, as we enter the party conference season once again, I’ve been slightly amused this weekend by the sight of both the Lib Dems and the Tories both trying to woo each others supporters. Perhaps it’s just me, but this seems ever so slightly sleazy – like trying to hit on the girlfriend of someone you don’t particularly like very much, just because you can.

The main difference here of course is that whilst ‘Nasty Nick Clegg’ has come out fighting, describing Cameron as a ‘con man’, in a bid to gain support from dubious Tory voters, Cameron has today appealed directly to the Clegg and his colleagues by pointing out just how similar the two parties really are on policy and their alleged progressive agenda.

Anyone who has read Cameron’s editorial in todays edition of The Observer cannot have failed to have been surprised at the content – Cameron positioning the Tories and Lib Dems as brothers in arms in the fight against Labour.

Take this example:

There’s barely a cigarette paper between us in all these areas. It’s clear: the real enemy of progressive politics is not the Conservatives and I would not claim it is the Liberal Democrats. In truth, it is the bureaucratic, backward-looking, big state government that Labour epitomises. That is why at our conference, instead of trying to create some artificial dividing lines between Liberal Democrat policy and Conservative policy, my message will be: if you want rid of Gordon Brown and the big brother state, and if you care about our schools, our quality of life and our liberties, then join us in one national movement that can bring real change.

It’s easy to read between the lines and see the subtext here – what appears to be an olive branch thrust towards Clegg, is in fact saying, “Join us if you want, although it doesn’t really matter either way, seeing as a large proportion of Lib Dem voters will support us anyway just to remove Labour”

As usual, this the typical sort of slick behaviour that I have come to expect from Cameron; and let’s be honest here, he’s bloody good at it – unfortunately however, the sincerity is all but missing.

How can there possibly be a coalition between the two parties, when their positions on taxation are so very different?

Clegg’s tactics are different – the talk this weekend of  savage cuts , is clearly designed to position the Lib Dems as being braver and more honest than the Tories, who, as usual are unable to back up their shouting with any substance visible to the human eye. The same could be said of the Lib Dem proposals with regards to tuition fees – an obvious overture to Tory voters, and one that has ruffled some feathers amongst the Lib Dem faithful.

Will any of this make any difference though? As I see it, the only winners here are the Tories. Even at this stage, there are many Tory voters who are still unconvinced by Cameron, and possibly to a greater degree by his sidekick George Osborne – however, do we really expect these people to suddenly vote for the Lib Dems? Come next years general election, all those Tory voters will come out in droves if it means removing Brown from power.

Try as they might, the Lib Dems will not benefit from this.

The Last Rites

450_last_rites1235404948So, we’ve had enough of the ‘C’ word recently, ranging from the evil Tory cuts to Labour’s nameless   ‘****’. This week at the TUC conference in Liverpool, our great leader finally removed his head from his backside and confirmed what we all knew already – that yes, a Labour government would also have to make cuts.

Insert the usual, worn out platitudes here as you see fit………

What Brown would therefore have us believe is that the choice is between immediate, savage cuts from the Tories, damaging any chance of sustained economic recovery; or kinder, fluffy Labour cuts.

Of course, one would naturally think that this was a key decision for the voters of this country with an impending general election around the corner.

The main problem with this is very simple. So, so simple.

People don’t care what Labour says anymore. Voters across this land, quite frankly, couldn’t give a flying fuck about this government anymore, or more importantly, the distinction between Labour or Tory.

They just want this inept administration to quietly take their belongings and leave…..

Sooner, rather than later….

Anyone who knows me, should be fully aware of where I stand politically – somewhere, 0ver there on the left. However, even I realise that we are going to be stuck with at least ten years of Tory government following the next general election. Even the most optimistic Labour supporter, in their heart of hearts knows this to be true; even if they won’t admit it in public  – and let’s be honest here, those of my comrades who still think Labour can win, are frankly deluded, however well intentioned.

Don’t get me wrong; a Tory administration is a depressing thought. Especially a Tory party with the potential to lurch back to the right once back in power – an inevitable outcome with the likes of Hannan and Dorries.

In a blog post written at the time of the Crewe and Nantwich by-election last year, I made the point that the best thing for Labour would potentially be to spend a period in opposition. This would provide a chance to re-group and move forward. Of course. this is now far more definite, and Labour must act carefully, yet decisively – a move back towards the centre left, Blairite wing of the party could spell disaster, and lead to  an even greater spell in the wilderness.

The party has lost contact with the very people who’s votes they depend on the most. Those very people who, during these troubled times are hurting and suffering the most. These are the people who no longer trust this tired out, u-turn prone government – these are the people who will prove to be Browns downfall.

Not by voting Tory, not by voting for the Lib Dems, UKIP, Greens, or God forbid, BNP. No, Browns apocalypse will happen very calmly and simply. Killed by apathy. The Labour vote will stagnate. They will simply stay at home. Unable to rely on support from Clegg and the Lib Dems, Brown will be consigned to history as one of the worst Prime Ministers this country has ever had the misfortune to have. It remains to be seen whether he will survive the upcoming party conference later this month – I would suggest so. As was shown earlier this year, Labour MP’s just don’t have the stomach, or the guts required to wield the knife; although, as far as the outcome of the general election is concerned, this will make little difference.

It’s simply time to go……..

Email from Labour NEC – European and Local Elections

Below, you can read an email from our local NEC contact regarding the ‘fall out’ following the European and Local elections – some interesting points are raised.

Hi all

First, thanks to councillors, MEPs, candidates, activists, members

and fellow-travellers for campaigning right through to 4 June in

the face of difficulties beyond your control and which you did not

deserve.

I’ve received several requests for an extra NEC meeting to

analyse the results, and to ensure that all members are involved

in future policy-making and that the manifesto reflects Labour

values.

This has not proved possible. In fact the original plan was to

postpone the May NEC meeting to June, but a date could not be

found which fitted with union conferences and other

commitments. So the NEC will meet next on Tuesday 21 July for

a full day, to allow extended discussion. This gives time to collect

feedback, and I would be interested in:

1) reasons for Labour losses, both local and European, and

reasons for any good results against the overall trend

2) what the party leadership can do to rebuild towards the

general election, organisationally and politically

3) how members’ views can be taken into account in policy-

making. The national policy forum “Warwick” agreement dates

back to last July, before the recession, and needs reviewing, but

time and resources do not allow another full-scale forum with

thousands of direct amendments. Are members and local parties

happy to work through their NPF representatives, and if not, what

is the alternative within the Partnership in Power framework?

4) what policies represent “Labour values”?

5) whether conference should return to resolutions or stay with

the experiment on “contemporary issues” introduced in 2007

6) anything else I should know.

Second, a number of questions have been asked about the

NEC’s special endorsements panel (the “star chamber”). One of

the problems is that the panel cannot decide who it wishes to

interview. It only investigates MPs referred to it by the chief whip

and the general secretary, and then has to decide whether they

have crossed lines drawn by the Green Book or by what members

and voters would expect. However the criteria for referral are not

clear, and this has led to perceptions of unequal treatment at the

initial stage, which I share.

The national audit office is examining all MPs’ expenses for the

last four years, and we expect their report to provide objective

benchmarks, and perhaps lists of “flippers”, extravagant

spenders, tax avoiders, and other types of misdemeanour. I

believe it would be preferable, except in extreme cases, for MPs

to come through this process, so that their situation is considered

alongside others where similar issues are involved.

The NEC will be reviewing the process, but conflicting views have

been expressed to me recently. Members want wrongdoers dealt

with through clear evidence-based decisions, which means

waiting for the audit report and further interviews. But they also

want a speedy conclusion so we can get back to policy, which

means either ignoring some transgressions or risking summary

injustice. Again, comments are welcome.

Depending on the number of replies I may not have time to

answer every point individually, but promise to read and take

them all into account for the next NEC.

Thanks again

NEC constituency representative


Quick Update

So, it’s been a month or so since I last posted anything around these parts. There have been several reasons for this; work and life have been very busy for one thing; but there is also the fact that I’ve become so pissed off with politics, and the Labour party in recent weeks.

Things came to a head a few weeks ago when I almost cancelled my party membership – this has only happened once before, at the start of the Iraq war; and at that time I did in fact leave the party for a year.

Now, before anyone thinks that I might have fallen into bed with one of the other parties, let me assure you, this would never happen.

The core principles of Socialism run through me like the blood in my veins or the marrow in my bones – they are key to who I am as a person, and to how I live my life.

Like any long term relationship, there can be rough times. Times when you lose faith, times when you really wish you could just walk away.

Times when you feel powerless and ignored.

This has been my main problem. The feeling that the ‘powers that be’ disregard the views of those very people who allow them to be in office in the first place. The feeling that no matter what we say or do the heart and soul of the party will be ignored.

I honestly don’t know what to think anymore. Until very recently I would have told you that the prospect of removing Brown at this stage would be crazy. It would force us to call the general election early, which would in effect be suicide.

Now I’m not so sure.

Looking at 2010, what can we really hope for? Can win the general election? Well, in my heart I would still maintain yes; however, my head tells me something different; something I have no wish to even contemplate at this stage.

Yet, I’m still a member of Labour. In spite of all the disappointment, the broken promises, the lack of communication and weakness – I will not walk away this time. Now, more then ever we must unite as a party, as a movement for change and for good – which is what, in my heart I believe we are.

We must be strong, toughen up. Expose the Tories for what they are, opportunist and without policy. We must build on our success and put right our mistakes.

Effective leadership must come from the top; however, now is the time for us to take our party back. For all those hardworking activists to be listened to and appreciated for the hard work they carry out. Most importantly we must listen to the public; people are angry, worried about their jobs and the future for their families and friends. Our key objective must be to regain the trust of the general public, and that includes our core base of voters – the ones who now prefer to stay at home when elections take place.

We have so much to be proud of – the NHS and Minimum Wage to name but two. Now is the time to start fighting for our countries future. It would be a disaster for the UK if the Tories were to win in 2010; I for one don’t want Cameron to be our PM, and for that alone we must do all we can to ensure that doesn’t ever happen…

One Small Victory

A quick update from the local county council elections here in Worcestershire. As readers will know, the BNP decided to stand in the one Kidderminster ward with an Asian candidate, standing for the Tories.

I am delighted to report that the BNP were defeated on this occasion, with the Tory candidate, Mr Ahmed winning the seat. As such, a big thank you must go out to the clear majority of local residents who chose to reject the hate filled policies of the BNP.

One must still call into question however the three hundred residents who did vote BNP. Many of these, I’m sure were taken in by the BNP advertising campaign, as well as the ineffective campaigning from the other parties. It just goes to show that even after this one small local victory, there is still a lot of work in the community to do in order to change hearts and minds.

On a personal note, I took it upon myself to conduct what amounted to a one man door step campaign on behalf of Hope not Hate, and in the space of several weeks managed to deliver over two thousand leaflets. I hope that in some way the public took note of the real danger that the BNP represent, and if so, it makes the sunburn and aching feet all the more worth it!

All that awaits now are the European Election results on Sunday………

BTW: As mentioned above, the BNP recieved 300 votes – Labour only recieved 225, putting them in last place in that particular ward.