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Saturday, 22 October 2011

Learning from the past

The Social Democrats, Liberals, the Kadet party, the Russian SDLP, the Socialist Revolutionary Party, Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, Anarchists and the Constitutional Democratic Party perhaps had little in common with each other in St Petersburg in 1917, but all were absolutely united in opposition to the Tsar and the ruling political class. Russia was suffering from stagnant earnings and high inflation, had committed her armed forces to two disastrous wars in a decade and the concentration of wealth and power in the same tiny minority that also dominated politics had alienated the vast majority of the population. 

The Russian Revolution was not a single incident, not 'the Russian Revolution 1917'. Rather it was a process that started at the beginning of the twentieth century and culminated with the deposition of the ruling political class almost two decades later. The Revolution was iterative. Popular pressures and demands rose in a series of waves that were temporarily assuaged and defused or that didn't have the inertial energy to overtop the breakwater, but each time a wave retreated yet another political movement grew, more of the populace became militant and antipathetic to the ruling class, and the inevitable overturning-mass grew in scale until eventually the regime was swept away not in the mighty storm of later Soviet poster art but with a feint shove. 

Russia's political class had chance after chance to avert the Revolution; had they implemented land reform, had they ceded power to a truly democratic Duma, had the Grand Dukes who ruled the Court and owned the factories been divested of their obscene wealth, then Russia might still be a constitutional monarchy. But time after time they couldn't bring themselves to effect change that would deprive themselves of wealth and power, and so the iterative Revolution proceeded to its final and inevitable outcome. 

Over the next month Britain's beleaguered ruling political elite will face the force of the next wave of popular discontent. On Monday they will fight desperately for Euro-Federalism in the face of the nation's antipathy, and in November they will attempt to push through recommendations from the Committee on Standards in Public Life that hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money be stolen to pay for the failing and moribund State political parties. The bankers' bonus pool  of some £8bn will be announced at a time when the poor and elderly are freezing in homes they can longer afford to live in, and the Winter soup-kitchens on London's embankment see long queues. This won't be the wave, but it will see more popular discontent, greater popular engagement with anti-political class movements, a more entrenched popular opposition to a corrupt and sleazy regime, and Britain will take one more step forwards towards fundamental reform.   

Friday, 21 October 2011

The evil of the EU Con Trick

Greece in 1974 was a nation of old women in black dresses and overburdened donkeys carrying heavy loads up steep narrow cobbled paths under a sky through which roared the F4 Phantoms of Nato's air defence system. The millionaire shipowners moved in international circles, transported by BOAC, whilst the poor were fishermen and subsidence farmers. Fierce shepherds with sharp knives and Lee-Enfield rifles guarded the rocky uplands against wolves and the twentieth century, occasionally raping and dismembering any hippy travellers careless  enough to cross their path. The idea that any nation could grow from this to one with a per capita GDP of $30,000 in thirty years is risible; and as Blue Eyes has pointed out, Greece retains a sewer system that can't even cope with toilet paper.

Yet this was the great EU con trick. Jam for all, paid for by a Ponzi banking scheme and transfers from the wealthy to the marginal EU nations. Expectations were raised, poor and gullible populations were led to believe that the change was permanent. The intention of the authors of this gigantic fraud was that Europe would be cajoled into political union before the money ran out and the Ponzi scheme collapsed. It hasn't happened that way. 

Now Europe's margins are being forced to shrink back to where they would have been with free trade and open borders alone, without all the funny money. Sure, the wealthy nations are being forced to continue the transfers, less now to ease the transition than as a desperate rear-guard action by the Federasts to keep their dream alive at the cost of the people of Europe. Now is the time for the conned and gulled peoples of Europe to do to the EU what the people of Libya have done to Gaddafy. The evil has gone on long enough.   

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Poison dwarf Bercow fights for his plunder

At a time of great national austerity, when the population are being asked to make substantial personal sacrifices, it is the duty of those in positions of public responsibility to lead by example. The Speaker of the Commons is the nation's First Citizen, the most senior commoner in the realm, and therefore in a position to set the standards of behaviour to be expected from all those who occupy high public office. So how does poison dwarf Bercow, the worst Speaker in historical memory and a disgrace to the Chair, react to this? By fighting to protect his privileged wedge, of course. His message to the nation is clear - "Grab all you can while you can and sod everyone else".

Will no one rid us of this noisome little dribble?

Libertarians should support riot sentences

The right to personal freedom doesn't include the right to set fire to your neighbour's house, or to encourage others to do so. Nor does it give you the right to steal his goods, slap his wife or destroy his garden. Libertarians are first in the ranks of those who claim the right to defend themselves from such incursions - often violently - and not just a few claim the right to inflict retribution beyond the degree of harm faced, such as those who would shoot unarmed burglars. So I'm at a loss to pick up dissent in Libertarian circles against the confirmation by the appeal court of the four-year sentences imposed on two thugs who used the internet to incite riot and violence. So it's fine to shoot a burglar dead, but not OK to jail one who encourages his mates to burgle you?

What's behind this of course is those who want to apply double standards, those who imagine it's fine for them to incite violence, revolution, anarchy and criminal activity on the interweb, but not OK for those who disagree politically to do so. I've made my own position on this very clear in the past, that I'm unequivocally opposed to the use of violence in any form to achieve political ends, and those who do so on the internet must face the same penalties as though they were rousing the howling mob on the street. Libertarians should support these riot sentences.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Barclays makes the gorge rise

I'd defy anyone with a peck of concern for our nation to read Bounderby's brief piece in Speccy Coffeehouse and not feel the gorge rise in their throat. The junk-rated oil firm that Barclays are gambling £11.5bn of taxpayer-backed (no lose, no cost) funding is rated BB by Standard & Poors; the Barclays executive behind the deal is Hugh McGee, ex-Lehmans. It's a bit like putting the captain of the Titanic in command of the QEII. And the reason Barclays are gambling on such a risky, insecure deal is of course that the profits will be huge if it comes off. If not, you and I will pay. 

Incidentally, the slogan below is only rivaled by one (for those who have kept livestock) I saw on the side of a rail maintenance van - "Jarvis - serving Britain's railways". 

Monday, 17 October 2011

Guardian claims the 99% as its own

It was inevitable, I suppose, that the Guardian should claim the 99% as its own, despite its fat-cat public sector readership and bloated staff making up a goodly number of the 1% in the UK. Thus "The fight against global climate change is down to us - the 99%" thus neatly ignoring the gratuitous and obscene profits made by the green energy wing of the 1% as a sort of global climatic con trick. "Occupy protests are reclaiming the psychic space" claims Nina Power, in an article based on the premise that the 1% have established a mind-control system which the tinfoil hats of the protesters have foiled (pardon the pun). A millionaire columnist (no, no, not Lady Toynbee - her piece of guff will come tomorrow) even declares "I'm part of the 1% but I support the 99%", a sentiment with which many of the papers' readers will agree. 

Of course 'we're the 99%' now has the same sort of cachet as declaring 'I'm Spartacus'. The 'Mail' will doubtless run a piece under the strap "Squeezed Surrey homeowners against HS2 are the 99%", the Glasgow Herald will declare "Scots 99% bear the brunt of cuts" and ASDA will launch a TV ad campaign under the slogan "The 99% shop with us". Tee shirt factories in guangdong are no doubt going flat-out producing derivatives of the slogan in more or less meaningful English; "Fish Glass 99%" perhaps or "99% Rap Queen Bus". Cautious statisticians will declare "We're the 95%, + or - 4%". 

That's the thing about a good slogan. It can mean anything to anyone. 

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Whatever happened to .......

Number 47 - Gordon Brown

Once a familiar figure on Britain's television screens, Brown enjoyed a brief period of wealth and fame earlier in the century with his unique brand of Scots surliness, sociopathy and violence. A troubled personal life and mental health problems followed the cancellation of his show shortly after the first series, and he returned to Scotland from London and quickly faded from the public eye. Today he can often be found squatting in a puddle of his own urine outside Kirkcaldy 'Iceland' alternatively growling and shouting at shoppers and soliciting money. He has refused offers from old friends in the area and sleeps in an old Astra van at the edge of the disused municipal tip. 

The Post-Apartheid struggle for equality

Labour's policy of Apartheid, or separate development, for black and ethnic groups in the UK badged here as 'multiculturalism' has led to gross and entrenched inequality in a nation that believes fundamentally in equality of opportunity. The ethnic townships into which Labour funneled immigrants - Bradford, Luton, Burnley, Thamesmead (SoEaTo), Tower Hamlets - with dedicated funding, support services, health and education provision that were separate from the services and provision for the majority population have failed abysmally. 

Labour's Apartheid policies even went so far as to deny the immigrants access to a basic driving test in English, insisting that they should be able to take the test in Swahili, Urdu, Tagalog or Sylheti, but without changing the road signs in the townships accident rates have soared as the immigrants collide with one another and with pedestrians, unable to read the simplest road instructions. Even the township bus companies have been encouraged to license drivers who can't speak a word of English as part of Labour's 'separate development' creed; this effectively confined them to the homelands, unable to integrate, unable to work elsewhere and unable to enjoy wider British society. The entrenched disadvantage among these people from Labour's divisive and discriminatory policies have condemned a whole generation to poverty and inequality. 

Ending Apartheid in the UK will not be easy. Entrenched attitudes from racial separatists on the left such as Jonkheers Harriet Harman, Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper and Hilary Benn are deeply embedded in the immigrant municipalities; even Ooom Benn, whose influence is palpable, is in favour of racial Apartheid. They will oppose bitterly the integration of the immigrant communities, and their equality with the majority population. As these old racist relics gather on the stoep for dagga and a dop they are unaware that British society has moved on, that their own racism isn't reflected in a population accepting of race and colour as irrelevant distinctions. But their divisive Britain has gone - it just refuses to die.