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.

Fascist Followers of Fashion

As summer crawls away and the nights begin to draw in, one question begs to be answered – just what will your average, fashion conscious fascist be wearing this Autumn? Well, the answer lies on the BNP website.

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Yes, this year, all the best dressed Nazi scum fucks can wear the new BNP range of anti-Islamic t-shirts at the bargain price of only £10.oo each! Wow! Who could refuse such a fantastic offer!? Certainly not the brain dead members of the English Defence League, whom the BNP are obviously targeting.

Although, as we all know; there really is no connection between the  BNP and the EDL, and to suggest so would just be really, really silly….

Yeah right…

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……..

It Couldn’t Happen Here…..Again.

John Denham wrote in the Guardian last week about the danger of us returning to the 1930’s Fascist protests carried out by Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists. We have all seen the recent anti-muslim protests that have been taking place in Luton, Birmingham and Harrow – organised by the self-styled English Defence League, and their various splinter groups.

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At the moment, these protests are small scale, and do not compare with protests such as Cable Street in 1936.

However, this could be the start of a dangerous period of racial unrest; and as such, our response should be measured.

Whilst I can understand the anger of those muslims who took on the protesters in Harrow last week; violent retaliation is not, and will never be the way forward. Violence breeds violence, and as such, has a hugely damaging effect on the wider anti fascist community.

The real way forward has always been through discussion and open debate. By challenging the views of those on the far right, we not only expose their ineptitude, but also highlight their hatred and contempt for a fair and open society. Our muslim friends and neighbours can also play a vital part in this process by being as open as possible and engaging fully in our communities.

Whilst I have no problem with peaceful protest; fighting in the streets of our towns and cities and general civil unrest is not, and will never be the path to take. As a side issue, that includes throwing eggs at Nick Griffin.

The confrontational style of protest by organisations such as  Unite against Fascism, has a detrimental effect on our work; and whilst I agree with their ultimate goals and aims, there must be better way of achieving them.

Protests by thugs such as the EDL must be controlled by the police, and if possible, banned by our local authorities. We can all play a part in this by contacting the relevant authorities and requesting immediate action against these protests before they take place. HOPE not hate are once again active in working to keep these fascists off our streets. The next planned protest  by the EDL could take place in Leeds on 31/10/09 – to prevent this, and to keep Leeds safe, we can all take place in the latest HOPE not hate campaign.

As a further consequence, any increase in civil and racial unrest plays straight into the hands of the BNP. The EDL has been very vocal in distancing itself from the BNP and their fascist policies. Odd then, that the BNP have been selling EDL merchandise on their website.

Let us be very clear about this – the EDL are connected to the BNP; or rather the hidden face of the BNP that they would rather keep quiet about – to think otherwise is laughable.

So, let’s support peaceful protest, encourage open debate and let Griffin make a fool of himself on the BBC’s ‘Question Time’.

Together we can lead the fight against fascism by using words rather than fists.

Talkin’ Loud – Doing Something…..

I’m paying for it today; but I thought it would be a good idea to stay up late on a school night to watch Obama’s key healthcare speech last night. I’m glad I did; we all know what a truly inspiring and wonderful speaker he can be, and as normal, he didn’t disappoint.

Of course the hard work for Obama starts now. However, what really amazes me is how the Republicans – right wing, Christian, pro-life Republicans are quite prepared to let those most in need suffer, or even die, due to the lack of affordable healthcare, and the restrictive, profit driven insurance industry that controls US healthcare.

Here are some clips of last nights speech.

Justice for Jean – Never Forget

Jean Charles De Menezes was an innocent man who died in tragic circumstances after being shot dead by police in 2005. His story has touched people worldwide. The family and local community have maintained a temporary shrine for 4 years, outside Stockwell station, to express the huge amount of public sympathy about the manner and circumstances in which he died.
Please click on the above title / link, and sign the petition for a permanent memorial to be placed at Stockwell Tube Station.

Moving Forward

This is just a quick update on the new Worcestershire / Wyre Forest, Hope not Hate group. Since my last post I have been hard at work building support in the local area, and have so far been delighted with the positive response given by the majority of people.
The local faith based communities are keen to get involved, and so far we have been able to arrange meetings with local both the local clergy and people from the inter faith community.
Other local community groups have been just as positive, with only a few negative voices. We are also looking to gain support from our local political parties; so far we’ve heard positive noises coming from both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats – we hope to be meeting them both in the very near future. No word from our local Labour group so far though; which from a personal point of view is very disappointing.
Meetings with local union members and students will also be taking place in August.
There is a long, long way to go though.
We’re under no illusion that the next 12 months are going to be easy. The BNP already have their supporters in the area; it is therefore vital that as a community we show a united front against the politics of hate, and in doing so, not only protect what we already have, but build a better future for all of us.
More updates to follow -as always, if you require further information please contact me at timphillipswhite@gmail.com .

Hope not Hate in Birmingham

Yesterday a number of Hope not Hate supporters met in Birmingham following an email invite from Nick Lowles. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recent European elections, and more importantly how we move forward in the future.

It was a great opportunity to meet other local activists, and reminded me how important our efforts are in helping to stop the BNP at a local and national level.

Following the main discussion we split into groups to discuss local activism, and I’m delighted to report that I came away feeling enthused and ready for the hard work ahead. I will now be organising activities in my local area,(North Worcestershire), and will do all I can to help out in Birmingham.

Some really great ideas came out of the discussion. I will be working hard, not only to involve the local political parties in my area, but also community groups, students, trade union members and members of the various faith based communities.

We will be organising social events, trying to recruit new helpers and organisers, and looking to mobilise support as and when needed.

This is just the start. We have a huge fight ahead of us; the BNP will be feeling confident after the European elections, and we must do all we can to put a stop to their growth. This is much bigger than party politics – we’re talking about the very future of our great country. All that we love and hold dear is at threat if we don’t get together and act now – those who still hold the view that the problem is not real need to wake up now before it’s too late.

So, how to get involved? If you live in the Birmingham area look out for local events; many of these will probably be organised in some way by Claire Spencer, (@thedancingflea – if you’re on Twitter). Claire is an excellent organiser, and I’m sure that things in Birmingham will really move forward due to her hard work. If you live in Worcestershire and want to get involved, please get in touch with me – either leave me a comment, or email me at timphillipswhite@gmail.com .