Down the Long Night

February 21, 2017

jeremy-mann-cityscape

Diary 20th February

And lo, it came to pass, that one consigned to the wilderness, returned. Though his disciples had rejected his ordinances – “by whose observance everyone shall live” – and cast him out into the barren desert after his many and varied failures. Yet once again, Yahweh called him to consider the future of the great nation he had once governed – governed as a sort of omnipotent autocrat, rather like Yahweh himself!

‘Don’t give up on it Tony,’ Yahweh said, his voice grave, but untroubled.

‘Is it you Lord? My God almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth? Have you come to me again?’

‘Yes…’

‘Why Lord? What do you require of me now? Is it a new war?’

And so Yahweh explained his growing conviction of a final catastrophe. ‘Brexit will end the opportunity and fulfillment that was unfolding before mankind! Madness has taken possession of the world. And your mission, Tony Blair, should you choose to accept it, is to go from this wilderness and preach my true message to your people…Only the EU can make a silk purse from this sow’s ear! It is an organization that you were born to preside over! Stop the rot, turn back the clock. Take up your crown, become EU president! Make the ignorant see; the bigoted tolerant. Turn these misguided miscreants into forward looking creatures…!’

And so it came to pass that Tony Blair, with his salesman’s smile and large self-belief, his ex-barrister’s ability to accept and argue not necessarily compatible things, made his speech suggesting democracy should be abandoned, that there should be an anti-democratic uprising of the people of the UK who voted against Brexit, and that, unable to exist without scraps from the EU table, the UK should remain a member of the EU.

Ah, doesn’t Mr Blair recognise himself as one of the reasons for the result of that terrible Brexit vote? While he was busy washing the blood from his hands after all those wars, he lost touch with ‘the people’. As Christopher Lasch stated (The Revolt of the Elites) identity politics would grow because it served the same function as religion once did:

‘The same benefits misleadingly associated with religion – security, spiritual comfort, dogmatic relief from doubt – are thought to flow from a therapeutic politics of identity. In effect, identity politics has come to serve as a substitute for religion. Or at least for the feeling of self-righteousness that is so commonly confused with religion.

These developments shed further light on the decline of democratic debate. ‘Diversity’, a slogan that looks attractive on the face of it, has come to mean the opposite of what it appears to mean. In practice, diversity turns out to legitimise a new dogmatism, in which rival minorities take shelter behind a set of beliefs impervious to rational discussion.’

Mr Blair, wealth personified, wore the borrowed robes of socialism for the briefest of moments. And then:

“Blair mixes with the Buffetts and the Gateses,” said John Kampfner, (Blair’s Wars), “where it is seen as matter of no great surprise that you arrive in a private jet. In Blairland, there is a sense of: ‘I have become part of the Davos global elite. But I haven’t been able to earn properly until now…'”

Almost single-handedly he managed to trash the New Labour brand. He made mugs of the British people. Fought wars that should never have been fought. He was an elitist who droned on and on about ‘broken Britain’.

In short, he’s toxic, baby – even with his God at his side!

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How the UK voted and why? Lord Ashcroft’s EU referendum poll, a reminder to us all.

“Nearly half (49%) of leave voters said the biggest single reason for wanting to leave the EU was “the principle that decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK”. One third (33%) said the main reason was that leaving “offered the best chance for the UK to regain control over immigration and its own borders.” Just over one in eight (13%) said remaining would mean having no choice “about how the EU expanded its membership or its powers in the years ahead.” Only just over one in twenty (6%) said their main reason was that “when it comes to trade and the economy, the UK would benefit more from being outside the EU than from being part of it.”

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Jeremy Corbin looks the part an old testament prophet, don’t you think? Just the man to lead his party on an Exodus through the wilderness. Promises of the promised land in return for their faithfulness will keep his people with him.

Why not in the process revamp his party…?

He’s going to be in the wilderness a couple of decades. He could:

Rename it: “The United Kingdom Peoples Party” or the “United Kingdom Socialist Party”. Give the party a new constitution. Form alliances with the Green party, The LibDem party, even, if necessary, the “Raving Monster We’re Left of Everything Party”!

Always remember: If you remain unelected, you will change nothing!

Nothing!

Go for electoral reform, including the introduction of some form of proportional representation. Scrap the House of Lords. Have greater local democracy and aim for a full federal system in the UK (which would make the concept of Scottish Independence redundant).

Engage with the people.

Empower the people.

Win the people.

Not that I’m holding my breath or feeling TOO expectant as to the likelihood of this prospect, but hope springs eternal, as they say.

the killing of things

February 15, 2017

war-close-your-eyes-by-devin-francisco

War is just the killing of things and the smashing of things. And when it is all over, then literature and civilisation will have to begin all over again. They will have to begin lower down and against a heavier load….The Wild Asses of the Devil are loose, and there is no restraining them. What is the good, Wilkins, of pretending that the Wild Asses are the instruments of Providence, kicking better than we know? It is all evil.

REGINALD BLISS

(H G Wells)
Boon

a-fate-worse-than-death

The most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime. Aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime. It has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation.

Emma Goldman
What is Anarchy?

Neanderthal lullaby…

March 11, 2016

disunity

Diary 11th March

CDs scattered over the unmade bed and my guitar resting on the chair in the corner. Last night the house was filled with smooth jazz sounds that faded somewhere beyond midnight into sleep. When I woke, I watched you sleeping. I wondered what you did to that other person I met all those years ago? They had your hands and voice. Your eyes…

They had your feckin’ temper, too!

But where the hell did they go…?

Then I think of all the shit-storms we’ve weathered together. Most things seem to get rubbed smooth by time, by regret – but not us! Remember our so called friends? What they said about us, way back then?

“It can’t last…She’s a bad un…You’ll both be sorry…!”

‘To hell with them,’ we said, in the nicest possible way. And together we were like some noir tableau, eyeball-to-eyeball with our sin, ready to burn down the world…

Remember?
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Throughout his life H G Wells championed the cause of a world government. He projected it in “The Shape of Things to Come” as a world council of scientists, a benevolent dictatorship that abolishes all religion and outlaws war. Earlier, in “Anticipations” Wells predicted the “unification” of English speaking states into “a New Republic dominating the world”, and which ultimately becomes the basis of a new world state. In “The Open Conspiracy” he advocates a “world commonwealth” governed benevolently by a scientific elite. In “The New World Order” Wells outlined his plans for the creation of such a “World Government”.

H G admitted that the establishment of such a government would be difficult. It would have to be carried out piecemeal and over a long period of time. Yet he saw it as the only hope for humankind. A world state would abolish war and want; nationalism would become redundant, a thing of the past; universal education would abolish ignorance. Organised religion would be cast aside, thus ending centuries of religious conflict.

Wells was indeed a prophet – one listened to attentively by large audiences…listened to but then ignored! It is the fate of prophets.

Today we still have national boundaries, international antagonisms occur with depressing regularity. The UN is possibly the nearest we’ve come to a “World Government”, but only as the barest of beginnings. We have the EU, of course. It grows year on year…It has its own currency, the Euro, although not all member states use that…

Many advocates of the “Federated States of Europe” have adopted and adapted ideas originally propounded by Wells. Would World Government end war? There are those who think the EU has prevented wars…certainly one of the foundation stones of the EU was ‘make war unthinkable and materially impossible”.

In 1991 there was war in Slovenia; 1991 to 95 there was the Croatian War of Independence; 1992 to 95 there was the Bosnian war; 1998 to 1999 there was the Kosovo war; 1999 to 2001 there was Insurgency in the Preševo Valley with conflict between Yugoslavia and Albanian insurgents; 2001 there was insurgency in the Republic of Macedonia, an armed conflict between the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army and the security forces of the Republic of Macedonia. The EU failed abysmally to react to these conflicts in the Balkans and UN peacekeepers from the Netherlands failed to prevent the Srebrenica massacre, “the largest mass murder in Europe since the second world war”.

So has the EU made war materially impossible…?

Britain and France are two of the world’s largest suppliers of military hardware…both countries have engaged in numerous conflicts around the globe in the past decade.

What about want? Has the EU abolished want?

Since 2007 unemployment has consistently risen in those countries that had adopted the Euro. One in five under-25s in the European Union labour force is currently unemployed, with the figures particularly dire in the south. Poor growth, widespread austerity programmes and the winding up of job-creating stimulus measures threaten further unemployment overall.

In Portugal, where the youth unemployment rate stands at 27%, some 40% of 18- to 30-year-olds say they would consider emigrating for employment reasons. In some countries, such as Italy, a constant brain-drain is one more depressing symptom of a stagnant economy. In Ireland, where discouragement among young workers has shot up since 2005, migration has doubled over the same period, with most of the departed aged between 20 and 35.

A report on poverty published (19th Feb 2016) by Caritas Europa states it found disturbing levels of deprivation in the seven EU countries worst hit by the economic crisis: Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain. According to the report, almost half of Bulgarians (48%) and more than 40% of Romanians are currently at risk of poverty.

In fourteen out of the EU’s 28 member states, one in three children are considered to be living in poverty.

The Caritas figures are broadly confirmed by the EU’s official statistical agency, Eurostat, which ascertained that one in four citizens were at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

So, despite the overall wealth of the European Union, poverty is still at a relatively high level and growing. (yet I seem to recall the EU in 2005 made it one of their aims to abolish poverty by 2010?).

Has the EU abolished want…not yet, it hasn’t.

Career girl….

June 19, 2015

war

Mum at war with Brown

November 10, 2009

In sadness I place this link HERE. It’s a transcript of the 13-minute telephone conversation between PM Gordon Brown and Jacqui Janes, mum of tragic Guardsman Jamie, 20.

At one point Mrs. Janes is reduced to saying: “I cannot believe I have been brought down to the level of having an argument with the Prime Minister of my own country.”

At another the grieving woman states: “No, Mr Brown, Mr Brown, listen to me… I know every injury that my child sustained that day. I know that my son could have survived but my son bled to death. How would you like it if one of your children, God forbid, went to a war doing something that he thought, where he was helping protect his Queen and country and because of lack, LACK of helicopters, lack of equipment your child bled to death and then you had the coroner have to tell you his every injury?

Do you understand Mr Brown? Lack of equipment.”

Read it and weep.

I should add, rather belatedly, that you shouldn’t weep because of our Gordon. No. He has tried to do the right thing. He wrote in all honesty, I feel sure, a letter of commiseration. Unfortunately he’s partially sighted, and has atrocious handwriting (or so we’re informed). His gesture failed, unfortunately , and I can’t help but feel some sympathy for him because of that.

However, be that as it may, our tears should be shed for the circumstances of the young man’s death. And for all the young men still to die on our behalf, in a war that should never have been fought. Yes. Now is the time for your tears.

Thought for the day

March 3, 2009

The real trouble with war (modern war) is that it gives no one a chance to kill the right people.

Ezra Pound