Saturday, 20 August 2016

SOMETHING IN THE AIR

I remember watching the amazing performance of Nicola Sturgeon in the April 2015 Leadership debates and the amazing reaction to her policies from an English audience.  In fact, Nicola was not alone in winning popularity among the audience, the left wing policies of Leanne Wood and Natalie Bennett were equally as appealing.  For the first time in years, I began to feel that change was possible.

On the male front of that debate, we had (slight) variations on the Blair prototype, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, career politicians raised on a diet of George Orwell and Debretts Peerage alongside a ranting pub bore who supposedly says what (nasty)people are thinking. 

I unashamedly miss the days when the Labour benches were fairly represented by men and women who came up through the Unions and the communities in which they lived and worked.  And by work, I don't mean going straight into a top level intern job via family connections.  I mean people who won their place in parliament through passion, talent and a true understanding of why change was desperately needed. MPs like Dennis Skinner who uses exactly the right vernacular to point out what the tories are up to.   

In those days I was a proud, card carrying member of the Labour party, and helping meant standing at the door of the election hall and picking up the elderly and disabled and bringing them down to vote.  And it wasn't just Labour who did this, it was common practice for all parties to knock on every door prior to the election, and if a 'known' labour voter didn't turn up, we would go and get them! And just for clarity, there was no trotskyte arm twisting - texting wasn't an option at that time.  It was all very good natured and sociable, though I fear those with the more luxurious cars may have had the edge. 

The fundamental difference between then and now, is the huge chasm that has grown between the representatives in Parliament and the people they are supposed to represent.  When I heard Tony Blair respond to anti social behaviour by stating 'hooligans' would be marched to the nearest cash point and fined £100 on the spot, my attitude towards him changed forever. It might work where the Bullingdon Boys hang out, but it is laughable on a sink estate. 

Most of the people I know haven't seen a politician for years - like Jehova's Witnesses they appear to have become extinct.  It seems the only ones fearless enough to enter the desolate wastelands of what once was England, are UKIP and Britain First, accompanied by heavily built minders.  It may be that those laissez faire politicians steer clear because they have developed a conscience (unlikely) and can't bear to look at what they have done or they prefer to spend their days on social media - they reach more people that way doncha know. 

My own personal gripe is with those female MPs who are using their gender to get sympathy and special treatment - all the time they are whining, they do not represent me, or indeed any other real feminist.  I cringed at Angela Eagle's use of the female and gay card.  She is supposed to represent ALL her constituents, the men too.  And for most women, being gay and female isn't the biggest crisis they face right now.  Keeping their kids housed and fed and taking care of  their elderly and disabled is their screaming number one priority.  Ditto those female MPs making such a song and dance about abuse on the internet. As the target of trolls for almost 10 years, I realised early on that the only power I have is over the way in which I react.  They get their thrill from the imagined fear/anger/ outrage of the recipient, but tis the recipient that is screwing up their heads, not the other way around.  

As for calmer, kinder, politics?  Are they for real, try as they might they cannot fade out the harsh effects of their unthinking legislation.  How, in 2016, did we get to the stage where we need food banks?  What would all those great reformers make of Labour Party policy that has allowed society's most vulnerable to be left destitute and hungry?  Those in Labour who have allowed this to happen should hang their heads in shame. 

Like it or not there is a revolution stirring, New Labour have for some time been standing on two legs and passing the brandy while the rest of us have been peering through the windows unable to distinguish human from animal. We have almost reached that 'let them cake' stage, where those in the PLP think if they stay inside the Palace and ignore the crowds outside they will go away. 

And before anyone accuses me of inciting revolution, I am merely pointing out that history has a tendency to repeat itself (often).  Years of austerity and poor bashing has changed the public mood.  People have now seen through this 'deserving' and 'undeserving poor' ploy as the cruel and vindictive tory policy that it is.  Having been bombarded with 'Benefits' programs, it's quite obvious life on the dole is not the state funded gravy train the hard workers may have thought.  It's harsh, it's grim, and it's evil.  Hegel's dialectic is playing out.

Happily Jeremy Corbyn is a democratic through to his bones.  His sense of fairness and justice puts most of us to shame.  Not least the way in which he remains calm and rational in the face of Owen Smith's constant whinging. If there were ever any doubts about Jeremy's qualities as a leader, his ability not to rise to Owen's (or indeed anyone's) snidey digs is one of his greatest. Jeremy is the Statesman I want in the room when the super powers are deciding who to carpet bomb.      

New Labour have spent years indoctrinating us not to expect too much. That way we will be happy with whatever scraps are thrown.  The internet has changed all that, we know austerity is cruel and pointless and we know it is possible to change the future.    

In recent years I have discovered the wonderful philosophy of 'Law of Attraction' - that is like attracts like.  Watching the hustings, I cringe at the doom and gloom spouted by Owen Smith, and wonder if we should all go and cut our throats now.  Jeremy Corbyn offers hope, and he's inspiring.  He gives us a glimpse of a future that could easily become a reality.  He (and all the academics) are telling us it doesn't have to be this way.  Even old sceptics like myself can see that it's working, that the message is getting out there.  And numbers do matter.  All the thousands who go to see Jeremy in person, spread the message onto thousands more.   





http://www.jeremyforlabour.com/rally_join_jeremy_corbyn_in_london

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

GIVE IT UP OWEN

I really think it is time for Owen Smith to pack up his ice cream truck, go home, sit in his bedroom and think about what he has done.  His outer face is the cool, calm, patronising politician, but his eyes scream 'what have I done?'.

This 'unity' candidate has unified no-one, in fact I would imagine the corridors leading to his office are filled with tumbleweed as no-one appears to be beating a path to his door.  Where are the 172? They deserted their posts nearly 2 months ago and Parliament is in summer recess.  Angela Eagle is too busy to attend a meeting with her constituency party and isn't holding surgeries on police advice.  What of the rest of them?  The shadow cabinet ministers especially, are they too enjoying an extended summer break? Imagine a workforce telling a boss they don't like him and they won't do any work until he goes.  All on full pay of course.   

Where are the Lords and Ladies of Labour, so condemnatory when they thought Jeremy Corbyn would just step aside and give them 'their' party back.  If Owen Smith is the unity candidate why aren't they accompanying him as he struggles to raise an audience anywhere around the country?  Could it be that the big names of the Labour hierarchy are not as loved and revered by the public as they think they are, and the working classes have got bugger all to thank them for?  The only crowd likely to turn up for Loadsamoney Blair would be an angry one demanding justice for the trail of death, destruction and poverty he has left in his wake.

I've watched Owen's car crash interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy  a couple of times now, and I am astonished that anyone, let alone a sane person, ever thought for one moment, that Owen Smith would appeal to the Labour Party membership who have been inspired by the honesty of Jeremy Corbyn and his passion and commitment for change.  The spin doctors in Westminster are caught in Blair era timewarp.  They think they are dealing with the same generation who only had access to 'approved news' via a MSM who work hand in hand with the government. 

Times have changed, wannabe leaders can no longer cherry pick those parts of their CVs that might make them popular. Those who compiled the Blair/Clinton prototype of clean cut, attractive, middle aged white guy in a smart suit are still trying to appeal to the Mirror/Sun/Mail readers who haven't yet discovered the internet.  They don't seem to realise that these are the fastest shrinking demographic, the sales and the power of the mainstream newspaper is diminishing rapidly.  The Sun newspaper can no longer change the result of a General Election with a doom mongering front page and established columnists now have to compete with talented bloggers, movers and shakers, who's work is far more pertinent to the zeitgeist than theirs. 

I'm really struggling to understand why Owen Smith was chosen as the unity candidate.  If I were writing his school report, I would have described him as the boy most likely to.......  sell London Bridge to a tourist.  He is so transparent and nondescript, I wonder if the Labour hierarchy even bothered to meet him before selecting him as their hammer of the Left?   With my tin foil hat on, it's as if their carefully contrived plan to break him as a man was a done deal with David Milliband flying in from the US to take over. They knew selecting Ed over Dave was a mistake, doh! Unfortunately, Jeremy Corbyn's failure to resign threw a massive spanner in the works, and they didn't have a Plan B. 

The sheer ineptness of the first two leadership candidates suggests the selection was done on who drew the shortest straw.  I almost feel sorry for the bumbling Angela Eagle who was so out of her depth she needed a coast guard or a guarantee no-one else would be on the ballot paper. I expect she is now breathing a huge sigh of relief as she watches Owen Smith going round the country making an eejit of himself in front of very small crowds. 

The problem Owen has is that he is a shapeshifter.  Whilst Jeremy's beliefs are lifelong, Owen's rarely last 24 hours.  He tells us he is anti austerity then tells the BBC austerity is right.  He is radical left he tells us, whilst also wanting to appeal to the tories.  Unfortunately he is now so confused with Left/Right and Centre, he wants to do away with those terms altogether.  He is a Smithite he tells us, I thought he was talking about the late, great, John, but no, he was talking about himself - don't think it will catch on.. 

It's hard not to wonder if he has any, or indeed any sane, advisors? He want's to overturn the democratic decision of millions in the recent referendum because HE wants to stay in Europe. Err, that's not how democracy works Owen, it's not about you.  Just as you are ignoring the overwhelming consensus of the labour party membership, you are ignoring the democratic decision of the country.  You don't want to go into Brexit negotiations looking for the best deal for the UK, you want to be as difficult and combative as possible, using bureaucracy and administration to hold the process up.  Those are not the intentions or actions of a Statesman, they are the actions of a spoilt kid taking his ball back until everyone does what he wants.  No-one likes the child who insists he has his cake and eats it, then giggles as if it were endearing. It is as if Owen completely bypassed that childhood milestone where most of us learn how to play fair. 

Owen Smith policies are off the cuff, probably plucked from thin air as he waits for his TV time slot. He is waving around a figure of £200billion to invest in communities and rebuilding as if he has spent a lifetime drafting socialist policies that would restore the economy, rather than something he has drawn up in the last two weeks when he went from moderate to radical. Not quite sure how the £200billion tallies with his belief that austerity is right, but there you go.   

I don't think there can now be any doubt now that Jeremy Corbyn will win the Labour Leadership and the next general election.  While Owen was telling Jeremy he should be out there talking to the people, he was, err, out there talking to the people, 10,000 of them in Liverpool.  A supporter of Owen's smugly tweeted that Owen's televised interview reached millions, all very well, but if they won't go out to see him, they won't go out to vote for him.  Besides which, the reason the majority of Labour MPs have become disengaged from the electorate because they only see them on the telly!  Deh!  Most people I know haven't seen a Labour politician in years.  And it looks as though they won't be seeing them during this long summer vacation either.    

In the end Owen Smith's legacy, albeit inadvertently, will be a complete change in the principles and ideology of the Labour Party, a return to it's roots and values.  Since records began, the people of the United Kingdom established a reputation worldwide for justice, equality and enlightenment that has made the UK one of the most advanced democratic societies in the world. In the last century, the will of the people brought in the Welfare State and the NHS despite the opposition of the ruling elite. 

Jeremy Corbyn is reaching out to all those ignored by the Labour party for over two decades.  Those not worth bothering with because they don't go out to vote anyway.  UKIP spotted this gap in the market years ago, and they have capitalising on it ever since.  They go out knocking on doors, they put up stalls in town centres and they try to convince little old ladies that the friendly Indian chap who drops off their groceries is a probably a terrorist.  As despicable as UKIP are, they are putting in the graft and the shoe leather.  TV time doesn't compare to getting out there and talking to people individually.  Jeremy voted against benefit cuts because he knows how devastating the effects are, he listens and he cares.  He understands the way in which heartless tory and new labour legislation impacts on the people who have to live with it.  In his comfy television studio chair, all Owen Smith knows about poverty comes from the imaginations of established left wing writers who spend more time opining about their own problems than those of the forgotten communities they drive past. 

Owen Smith is appealing to the middle classes, as if they have the same 'got the foreman's job at last' values as he has [the working class can kiss my arse].  In his appeal to voters, he didn't even mention the working classes, the unemployed and the disabled.  The tories and the middle classes got top spot.  It's as if he is afraid to say the word 'disabled' in case anyone remembers he abstained from voting on the Welfare bill, not to mention those killed and maimed by dodgy legal drugs pedalled to them by an unscrupulous pharmaceutical company. 

I almost pity Owen Smith at the moment, it looks to me as if the 172 and the old party leaders are showing as much loyalty to him as they did to Jeremy. It seems none of them want to share a platform with a dead duck and he faces a future of watching and re-watching where it all went wrong as he shimmies off back to the private sector. 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

GERRY, KATE AND NEW LABOUR


 
I was recently asked my thoughts on Ted's (hopefully short) retirement on MMM.  Such is life, I had all sorts of technical problems that night, and my good wishes to Ted were not posted, nor my thoughts on MMM.

As most of we Madeleine 'diehards' know, there are political roots to this cover up, ones that whilst not quite on par with Chilcott, will be right up there, next peg down, when questions are eventually asked. How many 'New' Labour politicians are implicated?  That is, how many, knowing that Madeleine was not missing, continued to assist the McCanns in their 'search'? And does advertising the 'Madeleine Search Fund' count?  I think we are looking at another Inquiry here. 

Bizarrely, I see the appointment of Theresa May as a good thing with regard to the Madeleine McCann cover up.  I am kind of hoping she will remember The Sun's threat to put her on the front page every day unless she granted the McCanns' the review they requested.  And I am pretty sure the Review granted was not the one prepared by Jim Gamble, then Head of Ceop, because the pair went on to have a falling out.  Theresa May is not a friend of the police or the Police Federation. She has probably been the least popular Home Secretary they have ever had. It is quite possible that she may at some point, decide to pick up the file and ask what is going on here. 

Theresa May reminds me of those old 'jolly hockeysticks' 'big' girls at school, who you just knew would get things done. Those wartime heroines who drove the ambulances, organised the workforce and distributed the food.  I'm not knocking them, they are the backbone upon which society is built, and I am hoping that PM May's head on approach to decision making, may see closure for Madeleine and those being victimised in her name. 

I don't write about Gerry and Kate McCann very much these days, because basically they are not putting out anything to rebut.  My gripe has always been with the lies and false information, particularly when it is damaging to others. For Gerry and Kate, I cannot imagine a greater hell than living under their particular cloud, and I have no wish to add to it by going over and over the same old topics.  This has never been about punishment and retribution. The truth will always come out, particularly in this new age of information.  The public are not buying what the government approved newspapers are selling us, within seconds we can see beyond the headlines and everyone (perhaps even terminally dense Lorraine Kelly) knows the abduction story is a load of baloney.   
 
I have to say, that for many years I have had to curb my inclination to write to a Labour MP (my Dad's advice always), because to be honest, I didn't know who I could trust.  It was hard not to become paranoid after the death of Brenda Leyland, and I know that is a feeling experienced by many McCann commentators.  For me, this Labour party 'coup' has sorted the wheat from the chaff, there is now a good chance that we may get an MP bold enough to ask the Prime Minister why we are spending so many millions on the Madeleine Review and Investigation and why there are no results. 

Operation Grange have now spent over 4 years investigating this case.  The failure of two police forces and several dodgy detective agencies to find any trace of an abductor, should be a clue that he doesn't exist.  At some point, someone is going to have to say 'is there any possibility the parents might be lying?'.  It's a bold move, but his non existence could prove problematic for decades. 


Ps.  Regarding Tony Bennett's ridiculous assertion that my interview with the Sun undermined their [CMoMM] work', I almost choked on my [green] tea, lol.  What you do is not work Bennett, it is of no value to any living being.  You are a vigilante Mr. Bennett (almost called you Mr. Pitchfork), you are a mean spirited, cruel and inhumane man with no other objective than to profit from the misery of others.  You approach your 'work' (lol) from the moral highground as hypocrites always do.  You don't drink, smoke or party and you go to church regularly, therefore you have earned your right to judge others.  But here's a thing Mr. Bennett, that 'right' exists only in your own head, and perhaps the heads of a handful of screwballs who seem to think you are the new Messiah.  In a previous age, you would be chained to a wall in Bedlam, with spectators paying to view. 

Unfortunately, your 'work', (cracks me up every time) is so flawed by bias and prejudice, it is worthless, it is quite possibly, the most boring texts or series of videos anyone is ever likely to read or watch.  I despair at the number of people who may have shown interest in justice for Madeleine, who have been driven away by your publicity seeking antics and dreary documentaries. Kind, decent people do not want to be associated with your sickening form of vigilantism, the 'hater' myth came directly from you Mr. Bennett.  You labelled all of us.  

I have no doubt your ridiculous 'cooey, look at me' stunts have hindered the process of this investigation for years, in fact I think you should be prosecuted for wasting police time, if not perverting the course of justice and misuse of FOI requests.  Your lunatic theory that a man who looks exactly like Gerry is not Gerry, because an entire family are lying, is just plain bonkers and that doesn't even begin to take into account all the innocent people you are accusing of heinous crimes.  Whilst I do of course welcome the advances in law and order and crime and punishment, part of me wishes they retained a bit of that Bedlam wall.      






Many thanks for your comment Dee Coy, what started as a reply turned into a blog :)  Kind wishes.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

OWEN'S MISOGYNIST TASK FORCE

In possibly, one of the daftest policies I have ever heard from a leadership candidate, Owen Smith states that in his first week (if elected) he will set up a high level task force to root out misogyny.  Seriously?  This he deems to be his top priority? He doesn't say exactly where the rooting out of misogyny will begin or indeed where it will end - will it be solely dedicated to the Labour Party, or will there be a department or even a police agency so it can go national?  Will the next man to call his wife a silly cow go straight to jail without passing Go? Will the same law apply to her if she replies 'up yours dickhead'. 

The urgent need for this high level task force, begins of course with the 44 female Labour MPs who have written to him regarding alleged threats and abuse they have received.  Nasty as that is, is it really a new labour leader's top priority?  Never mind the freefall of Brexit, the thousands of job losses, the growing unrest, Owen Smith's first move will be to deal with the hurt feelings of the female members of the PLP. 

How do you define misogyny?  Will charges be on a scale of 1 to 10?  Perhaps with the cute guy in the postroom getting a '1' for a sneaky wink, and the old letch in the boardroom getting a 10 for giving the promotion to his golf buddy? Some men don't like women, as I am sure some women don't like men.  That's life.  Some people go out of their way to be offended, especially if they are on the losing side of an argument.  They have nothing of substance to defeat their opponent, so they make it personal.   'You are only saying that because I am female/ gay/ black/ white, fat, thin, Jewish etc', any social or ethnic minority will do.  It is the lowest form of debate most commonly used in the playground, and by rubbish politicians. 
 
Personally I would question the career choice of those shrinking violets.  The HOC is historically a lively place where the object of the game is to disagree, forcefully.  If these women are representative of feminism in the Labour Party, it becomes obvious why there has never been a female leader.  These scarily sensitive women appear to have missed several cultural revolutions and VEEP. You can't put the words gentle and politics together.  The issues you are dealing with are very serious indeed. Voting to build a bomb that can wipe out hundreds of thousands of lives is not a gentle subject. 

Yes, there are old dinosaurs out there who will always be politically incorrect, but they are a dying breed, on the verge of becoming extinct.  Social pressure is forcing their demise, special units to track them down is a couple of decades too late, there can't be many left.  Promising to cleanse the Labour Party of misogynists as his first act in office seems a bizarre and somewhat dictatorial policy.  Most wannabe tyrants wait until a few months in, before they start on the purges.  

As a feminist, I cringe on behalf of those female MPs demanding special treatment.  Where is the honour in winning any contest by claiming you were being picked on because you are woman?  Angela Eagle went for the sympathy vote and look how that turned out.  Real leaders do not complain about the criticism, or even the abuse they receive, it doesn't bother them because they put it in perspective.  Jeremy has probably received more abuse and threats than all of them put together, but it hasn't stopped him getting on with the job he has been elected to do.  He hasn't wept about it on the telly and he hasn't cancelled any meetings.  Perhaps if these women had carried on with their jobs, they would have less time to fret over the people who don't like them.   

As for Mr. Knight in Shining Armour, powerful women don't need a high level task force to seek out those who hurl gender based insults at them.  The idea is laughable.  Imagine Mo Molam telling the hard men of the Sinn Fein and the Ulster Loyalists to keep it all politically correct because she was a woman?  With millions falling below the poverty line and jobs being lost every day, the public aren't crying out for kinder, gentler, politics, they want female representatives who won't crumble if someone makes a sexist remark.   

As for Owen Smith's naïve promise to cleanse the party of misogynists, does he have any idea of the runaway train he is about to let loose?  What about the racists and ageists?  Basically anything ending in 'ist', and especially those that end in 'ista'. 

I fear the word misogynist will become as misused as the word the racist.  A quick, illogical way in which to win an argument when all else fails.  And, it must be said, a word that can be used by unscrupulous females to further their own aims.  Courageous female politicians don't fear misogyny or strong language, either at the despatch box or the hustings - they face their opponents as equals, and on the subject of misogyny they usually have the better argument. 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

NOW WE ARE THE BUILDERS - KEEP CORBYN



Today I have signed up to join Jeremy for Labour as a volunteer.  Having just turned 59, I am no longer content to stand on the sidelines as history is being made - I want to be part of it.  Many from my generation have waited for decades for a true socialist leader, and we know this opportunity for change may never come again in our lifetimes. 

I will admit I didn't discover Jeremy Corbyn until last year's leadership election.  I had left the Labour Party many years ago completely disillusioned, and indeed angry, with the party my Dad and I had loved and worked so hard for.  In May 1997, we opened the champagne in the wee small hours when Michael Portillo lost his seat. We knew then that Labour had finally won.  Unfortunately Tony Blair's vision of the future narrowed to just his own, as the old song goes, the working class can kiss my arse, I've got the foreman's job at last. 

I was never able to forgive Tony Blair for taking the UK into the Iraq war and all the lives lost in the Middle East and in acts of terrorism since.  I'm afraid the Blair government challenged everything I had previously believed in, and this was compounded by their assistance to the parents of Madeleine McCann whilst they were suspects in the Portuguese investigation.  My research into the Madeleine case has uncovered much that I really wish I didn't know, but that is for another time.

It is bizarre watching so many labour grandees being paraded before the public as if they know all there is to know about winning elections, even though their middle of the road policies have lost the last two.  They claim Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable whilst going to extraordinary lengths to keep him off the ballot paper and preventing his supporters from voting for him.  These claims are even more absurd when set against a backdrop of images of hundreds of thousands turning out for Jeremy Corbyn rallies.

The 174 PLP MPs do not have the support of the Labour Party members or even the general public. And it is the members the plotters are at odds with.  The public want change.  They are not prepared to tolerate austerity any longer, particularly as it is the low waged, the unemployed and the disabled who are constantly being punished. 

In the past few years we have become de-sensitised to the suffering of society's most vulnerable, they are a curiosity of parasites and scroungers paraded before us nightly as reality TV.  This nasty narrative has grown up out of this new approach to benefit claimants.  They are now seen as the 'undeserving poor', and that punishment and further deprivation is the only way in which to solve poverty. 'So you want to start a small business or apply for a job?  If we reduce your benefits further it will keep that incentive going.  If you turn up for that interview hungry and in rags it will increase your chances.  Good luck'. 

I think we are collectively waking up to the fact that for the past decade, no-one in Parliament is speaking up for the poor and the vulnerable.  And I think many of us are a little ashamed.  I read a great tweet today (@THemingford) 'Corbyn forced me to think about other people'.  He is forcing this government and the right wing media to face up to the inhumanity of this constant state of austerity.

This dominant ideology that the poor are to blame for the state of the economy is a myth.  How many kids must go without food, shoes and basic necessities in order to pay back the bankers losses and give tax perks to billionaires?  Austerity is ideological, it solves nothing.  There are only two ways to revive an economy, war or investment.  Not so much war these days as the Department of Defence has far less employees.  When you can wipe out an entire nation with just one bomb, it cuts down on the wages bill. That wise old fox John McDonnell, knows that investment will boost the economy and revive the country's morale.  He is not just plucking vote winning tag lines out of thin air, he has done his homework.

To be honest I don't care very much what happens to the plotters and the 174 MPs who are ignoring the wishes of the Labour party members.  In fact I would go so far as to say, I don't want a future where 174 labour MPs are going to block every change Jeremy Corbyn tries to introduce.  I want to see Labour MPs who are just as committed to fighting poverty and injustice as the elected leader.  The policies of the Labour party should not be based on the needs of its' millionaire donors, they should be based on the needs of the millions they are supposed to represent.  

The 174 may have been a very big, intimidating gang when the chicken coup began, but when selection and reselection begins, they will each have to win back the support of their constituency parties as individuals. 'Will you go out and do a leaflet drop on my behalf', might well be met with, 'why did you try to split the Labour Party when we needed you most?'.  That's the thing about General Elections, there is no way of subverting the votes by bringing in NEC type rules.  You can't price the voters out or bar them for any previous political views they may have held. For the 174, natural justice will prevail.  My hope is that they are up against candidates who not only share Jeremy's vision for justice and equality, but are prepared to vote for it.  Let the electorate decide. 

   

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

PASSION IS NOT ANTISOCIAL

Despite seeing Andrea Leadsom fall flat on her face with her naïve (or sly) appeal to all the voting parents to choose her over the childfree Theresa May, Owen Smith has chosen the hustings to tell us how normal he is.  Compared to whom Owen?  The gay and childfree Angela Eagle or to the stadium packing Jeremy Corbyn? 

For a party that advocates diversity and acceptance - is 'normal' really such a great selling point? For me, Owen looks more like Mr. Average, or Mr. Bland, he may come from the Valleys, but he is missing the fiery passion of his eloquent forefathers.  I can see his appeal among middle management, the upwardly mobile and the Blairites, but he's just another composite of 'qualities' the spin doctors believe the public want to see in a leader - but without the charisma. Not only does he believe austerity is right, he appears to be in the wrong political party.

What the Labour spinmeisters are failing to take into account, is the fact that society has taken quite a few evolutionary leaps since the politics of Tony Blair held appeal.  The Blair dream of 'we're all middle class now' has crashed and burned.  The rich have become considerably richer, the working classes have been marginalised and a new underclass has been created who vote UKIP. Why? because Mr. Bland in his neat suit leaves them cold.

Angela Eagle I'm afraid, sets me off on a feminist rant.  During my wild and carefree youth, I liked to play pool and drink beer.  I also liked men who played pool and drank beer, but that's a whole other story.  When I discovered pool, I couldn't stop practising until I could beat the 'best', male or female.  If ever three words were sent to infuriate me, they are '.... for a girl'.  I was born a feminist.  With a brother not quite one year older, I spent my childhood screaming 'it's not fair'.  When I overheard my dad and brother plotting to get up in the wee small hours to watch the Cassius Clay fight, without waking me because I was 'a blooming pest', I was determined to show them what a blooming pest I could be! I wasn't never going to let being a girl stop me from doing the same as my brother.

I have spent my entire life seeking out female role models, women who don't want, or expect, allowances because they are female.  If Angela can't compete with her colleagues on an equal footing, then how would she cope on the world stage?  And why is she asking for kinder, gentler politics as if discussing whether to carpet bomb a Syrian village or slash benefits can be done over a nice cup of tea and slice of cake.  It's this namby pamby approach to politics that has brought thousands out onto the streets marching for change.

We now have two candidates to challenge Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.  The 'normal' Owen Smith, and the gay woman, neither one of them is representative of the vast majority of the Labour voters.  If normal equates to man, woman, 2.4 children and middle income, he has clearly not taken a look at any demographics lately.  Many households are not 'normal' Mr. Smith, the fastest growing demographic is people who live alone - are we not normal?  What about mixed race families? same sex parent families, extended families, the list could go on.   

If Angela Eagle thinks the problems this country faces can be solved with kinder, gentler politics, then she is not a leader.  If she wins, God forbid, will she face Theresa May at PMQs having signed a pledge not to say anything horrid? Seriously?  If PM May says, lets throw another 100k people below the poverty line, what will be her reply?  Okily, dokily?  Does she honestly believe that all those past Union and Labour party victories were won with gentle voices?  

Angela is basing her campaign on being a victim, she is blaming her own failure to arouse any interest in her leadership bid, on Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.  She can't understand why the masses aren't falling into line behind her, screaming 'we want more mediocrity'.  She doesn't have that 'X' factor, so she is going for sympathy, she's the kid who throws herself on the floor when her more popular mate is getting all the attention, she doesn't have anything of interest to say, but she can show them her bruises.   

It is almost as if she were paving a way to introduce some form of policing on the www.  Many of the Labour Right are keen to introduce legislation that will curb the freedom of the internet and their favourite word is 'trolls'.  She has all the criteria for being a target. Female tick, gay tick, especially twitchy tick.  

These claims of criminal damage and thuggery among Jeremy Corbyn supporters are a myth (the brick was thrown into the stairwell of shared building).  And on a scale of damage to her campaign which would be more effective for an activist:  a) brick through a window followed by an ankle bracelet b) driving yourself mental by trying to get through to people on the phone to abuse (ditto ankle bracelet) or c) a tweet with the potential to reach hundreds of thousands?  Take your time. 

Jeremy is a man of peace!  The Right are mistaking passion and justified anger, for anti social behaviour.  Deliberately of course, they have to convince the wider public, that Jeremy's supporters are 'rabble'.  Yet anyone can see with a quick scan of the Jeremy hashtags on twitter, that we are representative of a huge cross section of society.  The idea that Labour has been infiltrated by 500k militant lefties lurking among us has quite rightly been ridiculed for the nonsense it is.  We are ordinary people, who have been inspired by Jeremy's caring approach to politics.  We don't want to see an underclass, denied all the opportunities we enjoyed.  We had proper school dinners, free milk (some of us) and regular health checks. We had access to higher education and universities, and most didn't have to pay for it. Our good start, means many of us now will live longer than future generations.  (How the Fffff did that happen?). 
          
Angela is totally misguided in her attempts to garner both the gay and female vote.  I apply the same criteria to being gay, as I do to 'because I'm a woman'. Basically, so what?  Don't use your gender and sexuality as a shield, it shows a weakness that I don't want to see in a leader.  The gay card is even worse. Many of the women, who's votes she needs, are struggling to feed their kids and keep a roof over their heads, she needs to fight on their behalf too.

I have struggled all my life to find feminist role models, literature is HIS-story, most of the heroes were male, while women played the supporting roles. Now we have the beautiful and bold Jennifer Lawrence and the kick ass Jessica Jones.  I don't want to listen to a carefully coiffered 'Politician Barbie' reeling off PLP approved handouts in the House of Commons, in a soft voice.  I want to see passion and belief and a determination for a change. I don't want to see the leader of the Labour party meekly accepting austerity and the nuclear bombs of the opposition in order to make politics kinder and more gentle for herself.

Angela Eagle should stop making the campaign about 'rabble' and swerving the policies.  And she is not even doing it convincingly.  Theresa May, and trust me I'm no fan, hasn't spent the past couple of weeks whining about people saying nasty stuff about her on the internet and she's now Prime Minister.  Angela should take note, Ms May's not talking about gentler politics, she's just upped the ante. 


Sunday, 10 July 2016

SO WHO GETS CUSTODY OF LABOUR PARTY NAME? (AND ASSETS)



My blog has been a little neglected of late because my head has been caught up in the political upheaval that has been caused by the Brexit vote and the evil machinations of those intent on destroying the Labour party I once loved.  I am agog that 174 Labour MPs have, without the backing or the approval of their constituents, decided to oust the most popular leader the Labour, or indeed any UK political party, has had in decades. 

But do you know what, I no longer care that the Labour party will split, in fact the sooner the right wing hawks cross the floor and join the party closest to their own beliefs, the sooner Jeremy Corbyn's plans to assist those in most desperate need can be put into practice. 

I was kicked out of the Labour Party in 2003 when I organised an anti war meeting in my town.  Or at least my envelope dropping and polling station services were no longer required.  I have tried desperately hard to support them since that time, but the faith was gone.  If it hadn't been the war, it would have been the case of missing Madeleine McCann, I no longer suspected the newspapers lied to us, I knew it.  I have no doubt the fall of Labour's Right wing will see the truth emerge.  Methinks, the Chilcott Report merely skimmed the surface of what was going on behind Whitehall doors during the Blair and Brown's time in office.

I watched Jeremy Corbyn's interview on the Marr Show this morning, and was in awe at how cool, calm and confident he was in everything he said - replying to every biased, accusatory question with the kind of dignity that can only be distant memory for those colleagues who abandoned their own constituents and the country in order to pursue their own goals.  

Then I watched Angela Eagle being interviewed by Robert Peston.  He gave her an easy ride, but even so, she still presented as the unwitting volunteer who was too slow to take a step back.  I can't say I have ever listened to Angela Eagle before, but the whiney voice grated, rather than soothed.  Ditto her references to her Little Dorrit childhood, people are losing their jobs and their homes now, families are queuing at food banks, spare us.  After hearing Jeremy Corbyn's awesome speech at the Durham Miners Gala, it's as if she has suddenly remembered the suffering of society's most vulnerable - unfortunately, she is about 10 months too late. 

The Labour Party will split, I can't see any other way out of this impasse.  Whilst Jeremy Corbyn is willing to talk to his colleagues, they won't enter into any talks that involve Jeremy remaining as leader.  They went into the chicken coup as a fait accompli, deciding they, not the members, should choose the Labour leader. What they have done is not only undemocratic, I'm not even sure it is legal. 

It seems to be that there is a sinister ideology that dominates the right wing of the labour party, and it is one that has grown out of the Blair Rich years, when hobnobbing with the bosses and the super rich took precedence over standing up for the rights of the workers and the vulnerable.  Blair and his cronies believed they could schmooze Big Business in order to make a fairer society for all.  With a reported £60m personal fortune, it is certainly a lot fairer for himself and his peers, but not so much for the rest of us. 

Angela Eagle may suddenly have remembered she needed to empathise with the poor this morning, she conveniently forgot that she and all her duplicitous colleagues abstained from the vote on ESA.  I just don't understand her motivation and I cannot comprehend the desperate need of herself and her co-conspirators to remove Jeremy Corbyn from the leadership.  No-one has yet offered a coherent explanation. As for her sympathy for Tony Blair, seriously?  The real leader was comforting the bereaved families, she would have done better if she had done the same. 

I got the impression from her interview, that they may have found a 'legal' way to 'fix' the ballot paper, that is, insist he has to have 50 PLP nominations.  Even though it is underhand, unscrupulous and spits in the face of the labour electorate, I wouldn't at this stage, put anything past them.  What they fail to take into consideration is, that wherever Jeremy Corbyn goes, all those hundreds of thousands of new party members will go with him.  Even if they win, which they won't, their power will be fleeting.  The whole world will know that they have stolen the party from its' members, and their future credibility will be zero. That they will get custody of the rich party donors sadly, should be taken as a given. 

I feel we are witnessing the revolution the Establishment have feared.  Social media has given the people real power.  They are no longer reliant on the one sided reporting of a biased MSM, they can look further than the front pages of the tabloids, and they can see quite clearly that Jeremy Corbyn is not the monster the media portray.  He is a calm rational man who cares deeply about fairness and humanity. 

Sadly, there is no doubt this revolution will turn ugly, very few people like Jeremy Corbyn turn up in our lifetimes and when they do they become targets.  They are a threat to those in power, because they have that 'X' factor they lack, and nothing they do can beat them.  It's why they now have to fix the election. I don't want to turn Jeremy into a Messiah, though it's spooky his initials are JC, but he is deserving of my highest accolade, he is a thoroughly good egg. 

This revolution will be fought on social media, it is now an integral part of rolling news.  They will pretend the newspapers are relevant, but tabloid headlines can no longer dictate the results of General Elections.  Newspapers now have genuine competition, in fact dear old Maggie T would say it is a free market.  We don't have to trust in Aunty Beeb anymore, other networks are available.  The MSM can keep telling us how unpopular Jeremy Corbyn is, but our news updates tell a completely different story.  We are seeing ordinary people coming out in their hundreds of thousands to support Jeremy Corbyn and anti austerity.  Just as the Scottish labour voters turned away from 'New' Labour, so too have the UK voters.  New Labour have lost two General Elections running, both to Cameron and Osborne! How useless do you have to be to lose twice to a small pack of Bullingdon Boys who have wreaked havoc across the UK and left many of your own constituents hungry and homeless? 

Those 174 MPs have serious decisions to make.  If they think Jeremy Corbyn is too far to the Left, why don't they stay on and challenge him in debate? Surely the only way to curb any excess is with a moderate option and a vote?  If they take him off the ballot, they are acknowledging that they cannot beat him, but it might be a snidey way in which to seize the Labour Party and all its' assets from under him.  In 'electing' their own leader, they will get the Labour Party headquarters, etc, along with the 'Labour Party' name.  Whether their 'leader' will ever be accepted by the membership won't really matter.  At the moment, possession is  9/10 of the Law.  They need him out by fair play or foul.