“Jeremy Corbyn will quit if Labour loses the general election expected within months!”

Oh, JC, surely not? What will you do with your time? Your old Marxist soul – fed for so many years on such a rich diet of materialistic interpretations of historical development – will shrivel and die. It must not happen.

Imagine: no more of those amazing Private Eye front covers. You must remember the one that contained an image of JC behind a ship’s wheel. The speech bubble over his head declaring: “Full steam aground!”

Or the front cover that displayed JC in a floppy-brimmed hat, collarless shirt and vest, saying “I love Marx – it’s where I get my vests”

Wonderful stuff.

To lose all that, seems a loss too great for us mere mortals. No more newspaper exposés on JC’s lurid private life, on his class-war politics, his lies and deceit, bullying and intimidation, all while playing Mr. Nice Guy – it can’t be allowed to happen! JC declared he’d lead us to the promised land where public ownership of UK railways would ensure cheap fares and seats for all; where the utility companies would be taken back into state ownership which would lead to a fall in energy prices; free childcare and early years support; the abolition of student tuition fees and the reintroduction of maintenance grants; free lunches for school pupils. Oh, on and on went the promises. And now we are abruptly faced with his stepping down as Labour Messiah if he doesn’t win a general election – and the opinion polls, if they’re to be trusted, suggest he doesn’t have an ice cube in Hell’s chance of winning a majority.

I refuse to accept that a time could come when JC will not stand in Parliament at Prime Minister’s Questions and speak in that tone of strangely arresting innocence, bitter wisdom, and childlike whimsy, but with his peculiar intensity of focus. While all around the sitting MP’s in the house (including his own party) look on equally fascinated and baffled.

Our only hope now, is that the original statement about JC’s stepping down was made by John McDonnell – who promises to ‘follow him out the door’. Comrade McDonnell is not known for 100% veracity in the public statements he makes. So this could all be a load of ol’ bollox. To quote JC’s great hero, Lenin: ‘A lie told often enough, becomes the truth.’ We will see.

a-splatter

Diary 23rd February

Rain and wind; more wind and even more rain. The wind a scream, a beating, rising beyond comprehension.

They give these storms such innocuous names, don’t you think? This one, for example, Doris. Surely, Caligula would be more fitting? Or Rasputin? Or even Jack the feckin’ Ripper!

Let us stop, now, giving the names of women to these destructive events! It is sexist and most unfair!

#

The labour party is in need of a socialist version of Robert Peel – the man who created the modern conservative party on the ruins of old toryism. There is a need (once again) to reinvent and relaunch the labour brand.

Jeremy Bernard Corbyn has been a great critic of the EU in the past. And, just like Robert Peel over Catholic Emancipation, when faced by strong opposition within his party, he jettisoned previous arguments against the EU, announcing instead support for UK membership. Both sets of arguments make a great deal of sense – but not from the mouth of the same individual.

There, any comparison between Jeremy Corbyn and Sir Robert must end!

I see Jeremy Corbyn in his years as a labour MP as a man alone – leaning so much further to the left of his party than most of his colleagues. He reminded one more of Lenin in exile in Zurich than anything else. True, for a time, Ken Livingston was Kamenev or Lunacharsky to his Lenin. Certainly Jeremy’s arrival on the scene as labour leader was as unexpected as Lenin’s arrival by choo-choo in Russia – and just as devastating.

Probably, no one was more surprised that JC himself by this unexpected promotion!

Certainly most leaders experience trouble with their party (especially in office). Every leader then has to water down the principle that he or she previously professed. JC, basically an honest individual, but greatly out of his depth, accomplishes this with such bad grace – or so it seems. Ultimately, he takes himself and his rhetoric a little too seriously.

JC will be seventy years of age come the next general election. Was it his intention to remain as leader of the labour party indefinitely? Or was his intention to transform the party from within? To change the labour party, forcing it ever leftwards, creating in the process a party to combat capitalism and bring about social revolution. To move it once and for all from Blair’s middle ground. JC’s socialism is preached in moral terms – but it is very much of the 1920s, not the 2020s. Does he understand that? And if he does, does he care?

Labour has become irrelevant to the electorate under JC in my opinion. I predict labour will lose Copeland in today’s byelection, a seat they have retained since 1924. With luck they’ll hang onto Stoke…

a-red-flag

Some people give orders and the rest obey – wasn’t it Lenin who made that observation? In England, traditionally, we have a political class which forms our national government, and may consequently be termed a ‘ruling class’. The qualities required to join this ruling elite are as follows:

You’ll need to be able to speak reasonably grammatical English and to read from a tele-prompt screen (this last is essential). You must be happy spending your day lounging about in offices, restaurants, clubs or wine bars. Usually, you will be male ( although to be fair, out of 650 MP’s, we now have 191 female MP’s – which is a substantial increase over the 147 female MP’s in parliament pre the last general election! For many decades, remember boys and girls, female MP’s made up less than 5% of the total members of parliament). It used to be you would also have to be white, Anglo-Saxon, but since the 2001 general election when 12 black or ethnic minority members were elected to the house of Parliament, this has ceased to be the case; following the 2015 election we have a grand total of 41 BEM MPs, almost 6% of the total membership, but only a half-dozen or so of them female!

Anyhow, the above are simple base requirements. Having the ‘right’ parents will of course be a great asset. You don’t have to be a member of the nobility or gentry, but it will certainly help your case. Obviously, the ‘right’ education is essential – Eton remains by far the best bet! Although Harrow gave us, you’ll remember, Winston S Churchill, our most famous prime minister, painter and, slightly more controversially, warmonger and saviour.

Oxford or Cambridge are almost obligatory for a place in the ‘ruling class’. Other universities exist, of course, but their benefits are not so obvious, either to the electorate or, indeed, to other members of the ruling elite.

Of course, we live in a ‘democracy’. However, as others have pointed out before, in a true democracy the rulers would be chosen by lot for short stretches of time. Failing that, rather like current jury duty, ever single citizen would be eligible to serve in government for short periods, and would be selected at random for these duties. In England (or anywhere else come to that) this doesn’t happen. It doesn’t even happen in dear old Switzerland which is the one country in the world that comes closest to a true ‘democracy’!

Consequently, would be rulers everywhere must pass some ‘test’ beyond their personal greed, ambition or ability. Birth, class, wealth, colour, religion may each be one of the deciding factors in this selection depending on the society and those doing the selecting. This emerging minority will form the ‘power elite’ from which rulers will finally be selected. What we haphazardly and inaccurately call ‘democracy’ is simply a system whereby members of this power elite receive occasional popular endorsement from us, the people.

So, accepting the above. How does Jeremy Corbyn measure up to the criteria? Well, academically he’s put to shame by the two previous Labour party leaders and Prime Ministers: Tony Blair boarded at Fettes College, a prestigious independent school in Edinburgh, before studying jurisprudence at Oxford (St John’s college), while Gordon Brown was accepted at age sixteen by the university of Edinburgh, following ‘fast track’ education in Kirkcaldy High School. Mr Corbyn, on the other hand, attended Adam’s Grammar School in Shropshire, and later took a course in Trade Union Studies at North London Polytechnic but dropped out following arguments with his tutors.

His parents weren’t of the nobility or very wealthy, either. His mother was a maths teacher, his father an electrical engineer. However, what’s even worse, Mr Corbyn is teetotal; he will have to lounge about in bars with a glass of water in his hand! Unheard of for a politician in our parliamentary democracy! (In fact in a Daily Mirror interview, Mr Corbyn admitted that he does on occasion imbibe a little alcohol, ‘very, very little’).

The cabinet for 2014 / 15 comprised 60% Oxford graduates. And it’s not just the Conservative party; the Labour party, too, have a number of front rank people who have graduated from either Oxford or Cambridge. In fact Labour’s Yvette Cooper went to Balliol college Oxford, where she received a first class honours degree, went on to Harvard in the States, then finished off with a MSc at the London school of economics. Ed Milliband, of course, attended Corpus Christi College, Oxford. But the sobriquet “Red Ed” destroyed any possibility of him ever becoming prime minister.

Mr Corbyn stands now (or will do eventually) before the power elite demanding entrance and waving his two E-grade A-Levels in the air. Could it be any worse? Well, yes it could. Mr Corbyn might have been born an agricultural worker, in which case he’d have had to pack up any thought of politics as a career at the outset. Just poke that pair of A-Levels where the sun don’t shine, and get on and plough a field or two. As it is our elitist media have turned on him like a pack of ravenous hounds. He is not the ‘right kind’ of person!

Neil Kinnock, too, was a known left-winger within the Labour party. He did attend university, mind – the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire – unfortunately not Oxford! Undeterred by this obvious handicap, Mr Kinnock went on to replace Mr Foot as leader of the Labour party. He became the longest serving leader of the opposition in Britain’s history, and, of course, the longest never to have been prime minister. Following Labour’s fourth consecutive defeat in the 1992 general election, Mr Kinnock resigned as leader and resigned from the House of Commons three years later to become the European Union’s Transport Commissioner…this a sort of reward from the political elite after Mr Kinnock’s attempts to move the Labour party to the centre ground, moving away from absurd ideas and ideals, which included the nationalisation of failing industries, and his single-handedly defeating the extremists in Militant Tendency after their attempts to hijack the Labour brand!

Mr Kinnock, too, was not the right sort of person. But, for the ruling elite, he had a saving grace: he tried to move his party away from blatant Trotskyism towards the centre, towards policies that became known, ultimately, as Blairite.

Mr Corbyn, performing on that old, old hurdy-gurdy of left-wing theories, of nineteenth century solutions to twenty-first century problems, confidently waits for the swing of the pendulum that will carry him to greatness. He waits, not realising the grandfather clock has stopped ticking at one minute to midnight.

Yes, he will probably win the vote confirming him (again) as leader of the Labour party. But what will it gain him? He’s sixty-seven years of age. At the next general election he’ll have attained the grand age of seventy-one. Will he follow the template of Neil Kinnock, fighting and losing four general elections? In which case his final defeat will occur following his eighty-sixth birthday! By which time he’ll be older than William Ewart Gladstone who took office for the final time aged eighty-two. Why, even Palmerston when he assumed the office of prime minister for the first time was only seventy years of age!

Certainly Mr Corbyn will receive the enhanced salary of leader of the official opposition which will more or less double his MP’s salary of £74,000 pa! An amount not to be sniffed at, for sure. But his aims go beyond personal enrichment, of course they do. He wants his friends and supporters on the extreme left to gain control of the Labour brand. They want the kudos; they want, more importantly, the money that goes with it. To get this they must have the party.

Mr Corbyn, appreciating he will never win a general election, uses his position to carve the heart out of the existing parliamentary Labour party, filling it with the successors of Militant and returning the party to a time pre Neil Kinnock, where he can sing The Red Flag with the lads to his heart’s content. The purge of Militant left Mr Corbyn as one of the most left-wing members of the Parliamentary Labour Party, and he routinely found himself voting in opposition to official party policy during the Blair/Brown government. In fact, he defied the Labour whip a total of 428 times during the thirteen years between 1997 and 2010.

His personal objectives are indistinguishable from those of Militant. Re-nationalization of the railways and energy companies, confiscatory taxation, price and rent controls, maximum wage, unilateral disarmament; his agenda is about a huge shift of power away from individuals and the private sector and back to the state. His choice of Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell wants to nationalize the banks. Militant’s current-day guise, The Socialist Party, supported his bid for the leadership and raised the prospect of them rejoining Labour to “form a new party”.

“Because you are from the people, because you are of the people, because you live with the same realities as everybody else lives with, implausible promises don’t win victories. I’ll tell you what happens with impossible promises. You start with far-fetched resolutions. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that, out-dated, misplaced, irrelevant to the real needs…”

Words of Mr Kinnock that Mr Corbyn and his party would do well to remember. But no, Mr Corbyn will not win a general election. He is not the right sort of person. Not part of the smart boys club. He is a man of nineteenth century ideas, floundering in a world of technology and globalisation. He’s unacceptable to the political elite, to the media, and to the majority of the British people.

dancingman

Diary 24th March

…enough about sex positions has anyone discovered a reading position which doesn’t get uncomfortable after 5 minutes…?
#

There was a time the Conservative party ceded all parliamentary power to something called ‘New Labour’. Its creator, Tony Blair presented Mantra-like, at the party’s autumn conference, the words: ‘Our Party – New Labour. Our mission – New Britain. New Labour – New Britain.’

The ‘New Labour’ brand, coordinated by ‘Spin Dr’ Alastair Campbell, emphasised the importance of social justice, rather than equality, highlighting the ‘need for equality of opportunity’, and belief in the ‘use of free markets to deliver economic efficiency and social justice.’

Blair recognised that a traditional old-line party such as Labour with its pledges of unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from the European Common Market, its ties to Trade Unionism and love of nationalisation, was basically unelectable without a great deal of reform.

After three general election defeats in a row (a period memorably described as the ‘longest suicide note in history’), Labour was confronted by an electorate, sixty percent of which considered itself middle class. The factory workers, minors and other manual labourers that had traditionally provided labour support had withered away – many of them gone to work in services, leaving their old jobs because of automation, closure, or cheap third-world workers.

Aware that his party’s traditional supporters had thus dwindled, Blair presented himself as a practical nonideological technician with a soothing televisual manner. He won landslide victories. Real issues were dodged for as long as possible. But the Iraq war badly damaged Blair’s image. ‘New Labour’ was tarnished by the UK’s ‘imperial American alliance’ and the introduction of student top-up fees.

It was time for change…

Regrettably the Labour party instead of going forward, looked back over its left shoulder to the nineteenth century. After all, if a Conservative government can emphasize policies and aims that a nineteenth century Tory would be proud of, then why shouldn’t Labour look back to its roots?

In the past splinter groups have infiltrated the labour party, nutters in the main, with their own agenda. Militant Tendency (now called The Socialist Party) purged by Neil Kinnock in the 1980s, and now Momentum, a party within a party, red-fascists if you will. ‘The loony left’, although they claim not to be.

Jeremy Corbyn during his leadership campaign remarked, Britain has ‘a lot to learn’ from Marxism, and demanded a return to wholesale nationalisation: policies The Socialist Party endorses. Re-nationalization, confiscatory taxation, price and rent controls, maximum wage, unilateral disarmament; his agenda is about a huge shift of power away from individuals and the private sector and back to the state. His Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell wants to nationalize the banks.

Where in all this nineteenth century anti-capitalist class-war bull-shite is there any mention of the international conglomerates who really ‘own’ this country. Their message is straight forward enough:

‘Don’t mess with us. It’s our country, not yours. We paid for it. We’re not selling. And forget about taxing us. Anyway, isn’t it pretty exciting now we got just about the whole globe…?’

Mind you, the collective dimness of Corbyn / McDonnell may come as welcome relief to the congenital blandness of Cameron / Osborne and their down-sizing of the welfare state on the slightest of pretexts. However, I suspect, ultimately, Corbyn, McDonnell and friends will reduced the labour party to little more than a despairing, rancid protest movement.

#

When NASA started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work at zero gravity.

To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that wrote at zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300C. The Russians used a pencil.

 

German actress and dancer Anita Berber posing for a fashion magazine, 1918.

German actress and dancer Anita Berber posing for a fashion magazine, 1918.

anita berber - Otto Dix

Diary 15th March

Wake from dreams of women in impossible hats and little else…except for spiky high-heeled shoes.

Make of that what you will, boys and girls.
#
My thoughts turn to the girl in the red dress, the dancer, Anita Berber (pictured above), the garish mask of her face beneath scarlet, flowing locks. Dance and coitus and cocaine were her short, too short life. “The Princess of Depravity” they called her, her contemporaries, in salacious banner headlines, highlighting her risqué behavior, her sexual anarchy.

Oh, how she loved jewels and furs and shoes – and the pet monkey always riding her shoulders – and being nude beneath that pure sable wrap. And drugs, we must not forget the cocaine, the hashish, opium and morphine. Nor the drinking…for she was an alcoholic, loved cognac and indulged heavily in absinthe.

And sex, of course, was like breathing for her: it came so easily, so naturally. Sex with both men and women. She was named in many notorious divorce cases in her time. At age thirteen she persuaded her seventeen year old lover to steal money from their school cashbox to buy her sweets and chocolates. At fifteen, her twenty-three year old lover asked her to marry him – but she declined. At sixteen she seduced the 43-year-old novelist Karl Walter, her mother’s ex-lover! She was insatiable.

Her smooth body and long dancers legs, nude, but for high-heels and the baby chimpanzee clutching her neck with its big, puzzled eyes. This is how she’s most remembered, on dance floors or slinking across the chessboard tiles of hotel lobbies. She came to fame as a dancer, but she also appeared in cinema films…Her snake-like physique fascinated both sexes.

However, sadly by 1928, at age 29, her once beautiful body ruined by years of drug and alcohol abuse, Anita Berber’s too brightly flickering flame was finally extinguished by tuberculosis…
#
Sweet, sweet cheeses. What’s happened to the Labour party? Accusations of sexism because of its treatment of Muslim women within the party…and now accusations of anti-Semitism too! Perhaps it’s trying to transform itself into the Nasty Party…or should that be Nazi Party?

Anti-Semitism. Wilhelm Marr invented the word in 1873 and Treitschke, the German historian, gave some respectability to it by saying, in an 1879 article, that ‘Jews are our national misfortune’ – Volkish racism soon became appealing to university graduates throughout Germany, and we all know how that ended.

I guess there’s an element of inevitability to the rise of anti-Semitism in the Labour party when the party leadership is openly willing to tolerate Islamism, of which anti-Semitism is such an inherent and inevitable part.

As to sexism and misogyny it now seems to be rife within the Labour party: enforced segregation of women in order to suit the ‘cultural differences’ of Islamic misogynist males at various events. They excuse such action with incredulous hilarity, suggesting the segregation was optional and not organised…which of course is bollox.

The Muslim Women’s Network UK offered evidence of widespread sexism by the Labour party when selecting or promoting women candidates in an open letter to Jeremy Corbyn. In response Labour simply issued a statement denying the problem existed…more bollox, of course.

Look at the top of the party. What do you see? A male Leader, male Deputy Leader, a male shadow chancellor, male shadow Home Secretary, male Foreign Secretary, male London Mayoral Candidate and male General Secretary, all the top jobs…
#

frost

Diary 29th February

I feel sorry for Jeremy Corbyn. Collectively we love to criticise our politicians. It’s become something of a national sport. We complain about their lack of honesty, their “troughing”, their disengagement with reality. Yet when Corbyn shows himself to be a man of conviction, he’s attacked by all, pilloried for acting in a way he has always acted. The man, if nothing else, is consistent.

He snubbed his party’s pro EU campaign to attended an anti Trident rally.

MP John Woodcock suggested: “His choice is symbolic of his obsession with changing our policy on Trident over our ability to make a coherent case on the most important issue facing the country for a generation.

“It will make many in the party worried that he has not been entirely straight with Labour members that he has dropped his long-standing opposition to the EU.”

Michael Dugher, sacked from the shadow cabinet last month, reportedly claimed: “for Jeremy to share a platform with many of Labour’s political opponents and denounce what is still Labour Party policy is quite frankly barmy.”

But throughout his long Parliamentary history JC has rarely toed the party line; why would he start now?
#
The EU has become this moribund, growth-sapping monolith. Our government’s attempts to force reforms touching on the UK’s relationship with the EU, met implacable opposition in Berlin, Paris and elsewhere. Hardly surprising when out “chief negotiator”, David Cameron had made clear from the outset he’d support staying in no matter what the outcome of negotiations; a situation exacerbated by the PM’s desire “not to ruffle any feathers” and consequently making few demands of the EU, and certainly none that could be described as “fundamental reforms” to get the EU back on track.

You only need to see how collectively the EU has failed to deal with or, at least agree on, a coherent strategy to handle a migration crisis of near-biblical proportions! No common ground, and self-interest rules, okay!

Had Cameron made tough demands, and stuck to his guns under an explicit and credible threat to leave, the UK could have spear-headed major reforms that the EU so desperately needs – instead he went down the path of least resistance, leaving the EU to continue on its anti-democratic integrationist path.

More smoke and mirrors.
#
Very cold this morning. The cars on the drive are frosted white, windshields iced-up. I’ve been reading through Terry Pratchett’s “Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook. Hilarious. And containing some “interesting” recipes, too:

‘They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, which just goes to show they’re as confused about anatomy as they generally are about everything else, unless they’re talking about instructions to stab him, in which case a better way is up and under the ribcage. Anyway, we do not live in a perfect world and it is foresighted and useful for a young woman to become proficient in those arts which will keep a weak-willed man from straying. Learning to cook is useful.’

And herein we find recipes for: ‘Mrs Whitlow’s Artery-Hardening Hogswatch Pie’, ‘Nobby’s Mum’s Distressed Pudding’ and so many, many more. Highly recommended, boys and girls!

Perhaps the Prime Minister should take up cooking instead…?

conversation

We are beset on all sides by groups suffering because of “Government Cutbacks”. Much media hype abounds. Oh, how they do love to get “stuck-in” when it comes to this sort of story. It helps sell their rags after all, enabling them to occupy what they see as the moral high ground. Bless ‘em, they become momentarily the conscience of us all with such sensational headlines…

But, of course, that’s nonsense. On the one hand they bemoan the devastations inflicted on local authority budgets, but then in the very next breath print a headline stating:

“Hands off our pensions – George Osborne should keep his hands off our pensions…”

Apparently Mr Osborne wishes to reinvent himself as Robin Hood – feared by the bad, but loved by the good – stealing from the rich (in this case from the retirement investments of young professionals), and distributing it to the poor, or rather the not so well off. This would be accomplished by replacement of the current tax relief system with a new “flat rate” which it’s been suggested could mean “a 25-year-old who pays the higher rate of tax and invests £250 a month could lose up to £161,263 between now and reaching state pension age”.

Oh, Lor, my heart bleeds for ‘em…

The Daily Telegraph for one, feels they “understand the Government’s desire to make the system equitable and affordable, but these punitive changes would be doubly unfair to those who are already investing” in their own future.

And herein lies the problem. We would like to see libraries properly funded, those with disabilities adequately accommodated, NHS waiting times reduced, the elderly cared for, homes for everyone, smaller classroom sizes – only no bastard wants to pay for it!

#

The EU, too, is much in the news. Emma Thompson, for one, feels it’d be “madness” for the UK to leave the EU. She lives, apparently, in “a tiny little cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe … a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island” (she’s spent half her life living in Scotland, but I’m very partial myself to Dundee cake, so don’t knock it!).

Financially the UK contributes nineteen billion pounds to the EU coffers. It receives back around nine billion pounds of that in subsides and aid. The biggest beneficiaries are the Welsh, the Cornish and the Scots. Most of the recent road building / improvements in Cornwall have been at least partly funded by EU cash. Would we be better off financially if we came out of this particular club? No one knows…and those who say otherwise are idiots or liars. The question is simply one that cannot be answered, yet. But I’d suggest the Welsh, the Cornish and the Scots would be worse off, at least as far as infrastructure investment goes.

#

It strikes me that many documentaries on the EU (on most subjects in point of fact), are not “evidenced” based, but more a reflection of the natural bias of the film maker, politically, ethically, economically, with the “facts” then organised accordingly for presentation to the viewer, which is us, of course.

#

Saw the latest Labour Party political broadcast (recorded off the Beeb), all weeping single mums and young couples bewailing their need for “a bigger house” before they can have more children. Their problem, the problem most of us have had to face starting out, is not having sufficient money to cover our aspirations and expectations. It’s tough, of course it is. But in an overpopulated world why would anyone want to subsidize a couple to have more children…?

The programme content was poor, naïve in a most painful way, and the presentation came over as amateurish (maybe it was meant to be like that, I don’t know?). Poor, poor Labour…if this is the best they can manage, they have bigger problems than anyone ever realised!

The furor attending Jeremy Corbyn’s election as head of the Labour party had me slightly bemused at the time of his unexpected ascension. On all sides the media (explaining to us yet again what we MUST think and feel to be truly functioning, useful members of society), made (and continues to make) so much fuss – almost as if Beelzebub himself had been elected to the exalted heights of “Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition”! Lefties in Central Office spoke of a return to “Core Values”, to “Traditional Roots”, all nonsense, of course. While newspaper articles hinted of a “red menace” that would undermine our tottering society. Equally absurd!

Corbyn tries to present problems as pure black and white. No grays. No inbetweens. All or nothing: a sort of throw the baby out with the bathwater politics. He appeals to the revolutionary streak in the very young, or the insipid nostalgia of the elderly. Those who believe he’s saving the Party from the ‘initially successful, but ultimately shallow, “modernity”’ of Blarite reform, are sadly mistaken. The most interesting thing I’ve heard about him to date, is from Sky News: one of his brothers, a weather forecaster, is “a climate change denier” (They mean the human element within climate change, I think).

Yeah, high five…!

I suspect ultimately Corbynism will lead to a dead end, and probably a terrible defeat in the 2020 general election. Which will be bad for UK socialism, yes; but even worse for UK democracy if, as I suspect, the Labour party experiences an electoral massacre on the same scale as the US cavalry at the Little Big Horn. Obviously, Corbyn, like general Custer before him, will not survive such a debacle. But a Labour party with very few members of Parliament will leave the ruling (Conservative) party with a vast parliamentary majority. There will be no one to challenge them; no one to hold them to account. They will be able to do whatever they desire…!

#

The government and those on the right of UK politics push for continued austerity – not, primarily, because of the “deficit”, but for the more obvious reason it shrinks the state! The “deficit” provides a first class excuse for axing public finances. A smaller state will support smaller tax levels, diminishing overheads and can be “sold” to the majority of people on the back of “job creation”, “business growth” and “greater prosperity”. Ultimately, it appeals to the greedy little bugger living inside most of us, and this is magnificently supported by the media with headlines such as these:

PREPARE TO PAY see HERE

A NATION OF LAZY SCROUNGERS see HERE

Which reinforces the basic message: Benefits are bad! Our taxes are being wasted on scoundrels!

Such selectivity denies the many thousands of genuinely needy and deserving people on benefits a voice. They are reduced to the state of candles blowing in the wind.

In these articles (purporting to be “news”) there is no mention of the ninety people per month dying after being declared “fit for work” (a statistic released by the Department for Work and Pensions last year). No mention of the DWP’s issuing of written guidance on suicide for its “frontline staff”; a euphemism for workers hired to call people and break the news to them they’ve been rejected for benefits.

One section of this guidance – that must be reported immediately to managers to alert them of “a suicidal intention” – instructs jobcentre staff to find out what the person plans, when it is planned for, and whether “the customer has the means to hand”!!

Death truly has become part of the UK benefits system…

#

The novelist and intellectual Umberto Eco has died aged 84. Eco was perhaps best known for his 1980 work, The Name of the Rose. He was one of the world’s most revered literary figures.

The author, who had been suffering from cancer, sadly died on Friday night.

Eco was the 1992-1993 Norton professor at Harvard and taught semiotics at Bologna University. He once suggested that writing novels was a mere part-time occupation, saying: “I am a philosopher; I write novels only on the weekends.”

A brilliant man, he will be sorely missed…

Saturday night fetish…

September 27, 2015

hangover sundayfetish_party_by_queen_of_escape

Still recovering from Batman Day!

WOW!!

Big confession, though – my recovery is more to do with our private munch last night, rather than the “Caped Crusader”.

But what the hell. Eighteen guests, plenty of costumes, leather and lurex, tats galore, the hypnotic sound of a leather crop on tender flesh. We had it all. And good food, with even better wine – and some vintage brandy, which knocked me about terribly.

A young woman in a figure-hugging latex dress (I really don’t remember her name, Christsake, I know I should, but I don’t) smiled at me outside the loo. The guy she was with, Timbo, was wearing tight, tight shorts, torso bare, ball gag hanging from his neck. A gangly-leggy-thing, fuzzy red-hair, friend of Gabby, asked me will I do a Tarot reading for her.

‘Yes,’ I told her. ‘But not now. Tomorrow. Right now I want a pee…’

And in between the fun and games, the eating and the drinking, a lot of talk about, believe it or not, Jeremy Corbyn, the new Labour Party leader. To the media he is the Devil incarnate. To many of his own party he has no coherent forward agenda. Civil war must follow within the party – or so it’s suggested. But the man can’t be all bad. His favorite book is Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.

Our little party broke-up around half-three, four o’clock, after we toasted the new day, and after the woman with the whip and chains hanging over her naked shoulders told me I had a “cute smile”.

Ahhh, such a wonderful pervy night. Friends like these don’t grow on trees. They take years to acquire. I am so, so lucky. Barbara summed it up when she said, “It’s like getting very drunk. A special head trip. Everything becomes so lovely and vague…”

Can’t wait to do it all again!