THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain

Posts categorized "Labour" Feed

Depression, or forgiveness?

Depression – Counting Cats in Zanzibar.

I started to write a brief comment over at Counting Cats, where blogger NickM is depressed about today's election. One of his commenters, IainB, said that Labour would not be destroyed as it deserves because of its "client vote". I am sure that hardly alleviated Nick's depression and I tried to weigh in gently. My comment grew and grew however, consuming my blogging time budget for the day, so I am recycling it here.

Many bitter words have been said in the past few weeks. I defer to no-one in my contempt for the Labour Party, but today - as we try to influence our collective future - we should be one nation. We must try to hate the sin and not the sinners, at least as far as Labour voters are concerned

...even those on the client payroll must know in their hearts that this can’t go on. I feel sorry for some who will vote Labour today out of fear for their non-jobs or the future of the lame “services” on which they depend. Apart from the underclass (probably less than a million individuals) they are not willing parasites. They simply have no experience of providing for themselves. More to the point, given the economic destruction wrought by Labour and the lack of any clear, honest solution from the Tories, they understandably have no confidence that any likely government will ever leave them enough of their own earnings to do so.

Of course I am disappointed in anyone who votes for fairyland politics today, but I accept they are not deliberately destroying our country. They are clinging to its wreckage, with no idea what else to do. Most (if they are honest) know in their hearts that they are stealing from their children and grandchildren. They are familiar with the concept because it’s just what their parents and their grandparents did to them with their unfunded Welfare State. It was only during Blair’s time in number 10, after all, that we finished paying America back the money our grandparents borrowed to fund their great “vision” in 1946. Their “stamps” didn’t pay it all. We did.

None of this is Gordon Brown’s fault. Blair concealed his motives well, but Brown has been openly, honestly intent on reducing us to the living standards and civic culture of the former East Germany. He sincerely believes in “equality” and seriously thinks that we will be poorer but happier in social solidarity under firm government. Under his leadership, Labour has once again been an honest party of losers, for losers. It has openly promoted loserdom as a lifestyle. No, the fault for today’s impending fiasco lies entirely with HM Opposition for failing to sell reality to the deluded and/or terrified voters.

My wife says Cameron had no choice. The voters are hypocrites; complaining that no-one tells them the truth, but punishing anyone who tries to do so. She thinks Cameron will imitate Blair in substance as well as style; pretending to be ideologically close to the outgoing government but then introducing by stealth every aspect of his true agenda. I am not convinced, which in a way is a compliment to Cameron. I don’t think he is that warped.

It has come to something, has it not, when our only hope is that David Cameron is a despicable liar? Just like Blair.

The ordinary people of Britain have never had a greater enemy than the Labour Party and, like Nick, I long to see it fatally crushed today. But too many of my friends and family are Labour voters for me to hate them for their political errors. They are my fellow citizens too and today I simply hope against hope that their folly does us all less harm than that of their predecessors in our parents' and grandparents' generations.

Whatever you do today, vote. I am disenfranchised as a long-time expatriate, so if you weren't planning to do it for yourself, please go vote for me. Good luck.


You know when you've been Gordo'ed

Gordon Brown accused of throwing a tangerine - Telegraph.

Dreamstime_13070115  Miliband-banana

I guess it makes a change from throwing his Orange. I wonder if the colleague he shouted at for handing him the tangerine (presumably on the basis that he should have known not to give him a projectile) was the same one who handed Milliband his trademark banana? What is it with Labour and fruit anyway? Let's not forget that our troubled relationship with Ballista Brown began with a Granita Siciliana. I wonder what flavour? Bananas, tangerines or assorted fruits?

Please forgive the light-hearted tone. As every likely outcome of this election is a disaster for Britain, I have decided to try to enjoy the campaign. It might be our last good laugh for a while, given the state of the economy. Besides, as one of the first openly to speculate about Mr. Brown's mental health, I am just happy to see my defence of justification strengthen hour by hour.


Prescott at Bay

Iain Dale's Diary: How to Cope With a Bullying Prescott.

Mr Dale needs no links from a blogging minnow such as me, but it's quicker than a hat tip. Mary Ann Sieghart's column delighted me more than I can say, because (in response to an ill-judged breach of "off the record" trust by Prescott) she finally got to give her account of telling him what he must know in his heart;

That was when he finally lost it. "So what you're saying is I'm too thick to be Deputy Prime Minister?" he yelled at me. His two apparatchiks stiffened. "Well yes, I guess I am," I said in a small voice.

Do read the whole thing and chortle at her refutation of his characteristic defence that he had not had her "fine education" and that she was "just a snob."

What a loser. And what losers we all are to have made him rich. At least we can feel better that the buffoon has been told the truth to his face.


Tory Zac Goldsmith admits he is a non-dom

Tory Zac Goldsmith admits he is a non-dom - Times Online.

Another headline lusciously loaded with malevolent meaning. An "admission" carries the unspoken connotation of guilt, as in this headline we shall sadly never see;

"Labour Gordon Brown admits whole life warped by envy" 

Labour has not learned from Crewe & Nantwich. How could it? It is a party founded on an ideology of class hatred. "New" Labour's only real political innovation has been to create new classes of people to hate. They have added spice and variety to the embittered vocabulary of Leftist hate speech, but they still relish attacking their traditional foes; the successful, the prudent and their heirs. Unless of course, like Tony Benn in his day and the Milliband brothers in ours, they are Labour too. Their family trusts and tax structuring (not to mention their dynastic tendencies) are perfectly fine, of course.

The quality of political debate in Britain drives me to despair. The blogosphere has not really helped in that respect. Given the regularity with which classical liberals are venomously smeared and ridiculed in the mainstream media, it's perhaps not surprising that, given an outlet by blogging, some sought to give as good as they get. Not surprising, but disappointing. It has escalated the war of insults, which increasingly alienates reasonable people from political life, leaving the field to bruisers and back-stabbers.

Much as I enjoy his blogging and recognise the wit behind his delicate use of foul language, I worry about the election of Chris Mounsey of Devil's Kitchen fame as the new leader of the Libertarian Party. I know, like and respect Chris, but I feel he has queered his political pitch with his blogging. Not only will we, his readers, now lose the original (and best) swearblog, but his past writings (of which he has every reason to be proud) will give his opponents every excuse selectively to lower the tone of debate even further.

A recent casualty of the declining standard of public discourse is Anna Raccoon, who has thrown in the towel at her popular blog. I enjoyed her writing very much, but I also enjoy the writing of the gentlemen who stand accused (not by her, but by some or her readers) of "bullying" her into silence. I always enjoyed (though I often disagreed with) both blogs; while always knowing I would prefer to have lunch with Anna.

In her parting post, she wrote;

It seems to me that the world of blogging is fuelled by petty jealousies, vitriol, feuds, unsubstantiated allegations, apostrophe police, and a whole host of people who in another age would have been happy twitching their curtains and writing letters in green ink. I have watched in horror as several new forums have descended into a cesspool of hatred and nastiness, and you know what? I got up this morning and decided that I just didn’t have the energy any more, or the thick skin, to do it any longer.

Save as to the thinness of her skin, as to which she is best able to judge, she is quite wrong. There are many corners of the political blogosphere where civilised debate is attempted. Her bitter words will help mainstream politicians and journalists build their dismissive stereotype of bloggers. As if the professions that spawned Lord Mandelson and Alistair Campbell had any moral standing to criticise.

A sad week then. One more reasonable voice falls silent, enemies of libertarians are licensed by the party to call us all c***s, and the political charlatans mob the toff de jour as if it were still the 1950s. I have been both poor and prosperous in my life and I can't correlate the contents of my bank account to my wisdom or morality at the time. The only remarkable part of Zac Goldsmith's story is, though even better placed than Anna to kick back and enjoy life, he is prepared to give up his non-dom status to become an MP.

Even those who envy his wealth certainly can't fault the man's enthusiasm.


The Prime Minister and the grieving mother

FT.com / UK - Brown looks at £1bn helicopter order.

I wonder if the linked story has anything to do with this? If so, Mrs Janes' shameful conduct in secretly recording and publishing a private call has at least had some good result. That still doesn't make it right.

The Sun's approach to this story, which demonises Brown (a man well worthy of it) for something irrelevant, is unprofessional. He is partially sighted and his handwriting is understandably poor. If he makes a spelling error, it is hard for him to detect. He is an over-promoted economic policy wonk, not a writer, and has had his letters typed for many years. It was very proper, indeed admirable, for him to write a personal, hand-written note to Mrs Janes. She should have received it in the spirit in which it was sent. Her reaction is emotional, unreasonable and unjust and the Sun's exploitation of it is sickening.

Labour's opponents will be tempted today, remembering the exploits of Alistair Campbell and Damien McBride, to sneer that those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword. New Labour corrupted British political journalism; combining bribes of privileged access and bullying to make poodles of those who should have held them to account for their actions. Now they are weak and near defeat, some poodles are taking a cowardly chance to nip at their ankles. It's hard not to enjoy it, but that would be to make the mistake of accepting the despicable standards of journalism Labour has set.

We should demand better of the next government. It should not spin, bully or play favourites. Its ministers should treat journalists with the respect their profession deserves (even if some individuals within it deserve none). They must be open to be interviewed by serious journalists from all political points of view. Most difficult of all, if they are to do a good job, they must focus on the merits of their policies more than whether their press coverage is good or bad.

If the New Labour spin catastrophe teaches us anything, it is that sustained press manipulation will be detected and despised. In the end, burying bad news leaves a disgusting smell. As Abe Lincoln said, you can't fool all of the people all of the time. In the long run, it's better not to try. If a Conservative government behaves properly in its dealings with journalists, it will surprise and confuse them immensely. Labour has been in power a long time. Many British political journalists have no experience of honest dealings. Some - accustomed to bullying - will attack perceived weakness. Over time however, respect that can never be stolen or extorted can be earned - and reciprocated.

Call me naive, but I hope never to learn that a Conservative Minister or aide was responsible for promoting or seeking to benefit from such a disgusting, exploitative story as this one. Just as I hope that none will ever seek to benefit from smearing the private lives of their opponents or outing their personal foibles, whether they mask their prurience with references to "trust" and "honesty" or not.

I am sorry for Mrs Janes loss. We owe her son a debt of gratitude and respect. But his death does not give her opinions one grain of extra weight. She should shut up and pay her late son the respect his memory deserves in her grief. If they are wise, anti-Labour commentators will shut up too. There is no story here.


We have our answer

please-go - epetition response | Number10.gov.uk.

The Prime Minister has, finally, responded to the most popular petition ever on the Number 10 website; requesting him to resign. His response to the request of 72,234 signatories? He strung together the clichés he has been uttering for months, while Britain daily slides deeper into an economic mire of his spendthrift government's making;

The Prime Minister is completely focussed on restoring the economy, getting people back to work and improving standards in public services. As the Prime Minister has consistently said, he is determined to build a stronger, fairer, better Britain for all.

His contempt for us really is total, isn't it?


A hoon, or merely a chump?

Geoff Hoon 'checked phone during Iraq war memorial' - Telegraph.

Is it any wonder his surname has become one of the British blogosphere's favourite euphemisms? Yet, in truth, Hoon (the only Labour minister with whom I have had the misfortune to break bread) is only displaying Labour's bog standard attitude to our armed forces.

The true attitude of the British Left is revealed by those teachers who want to prohibit the services from visiting schools. His natural arrogance amplified by years in office, Hoon simply could not conceal his contempt for brave men and women who died so that Tony Blair wouldn't look quite so wet.


Such a rich nation

Schoolchildren021aIn the Labour heartlands in Manchester is "The People's' History Museum," the disingenuous trading name of the National Museum of Labour History. Liberty-minded readers need know no more than that the word "People's" here is used as in "People's Republic".

While, as a registered charity, it must purport to be politically-neutral, the most cursory examination of its website will reveal its true colours. It began as the collection of the Trade Union, Labour and Co-operative History Society and holds the archives of the Communist and Labour Parties.

Since 1990, it has been funded by Manchester's local tax payers. They deserve no better. They have proved they would vote for a bacterium if it were the Labour Party candidate. The "museum" has recently secured another £7.18 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Nothing could better support the view of those who see the National Lottery as "a tax on stupidity". How amazing that - deep in the greatest debt in history - we have money to spare for such stuff.

An employee of the "museum" wrote to me about an upcoming exhibition to be called "Carried Away", which will illustrate the "history of protest" with photographs of demonstrators being forcibly removed by the authorities:

One of the images we are including is dated 17th May 1972 and shows a protest by the Schools Action Union in London...

I am trying to trace any of the children in the photograph (or anyone that participated in the demonstration).  Your blog came up when I googled “Schools Action Union” so I was wondering if you or anyone you know was there that day.

... it’d be great if you could share any memories you have of that day with us, as it would really bring the exhibition to life if we could include first-hand accounts...

Boy, is she barking up the wrong tree. I disclosed my misguided youthful involvement in the SAU in this post, which partly explains how my journey from teenage Maoist to adult libertarian began. Somehow I doubt it is an account of Labour movement history that could ever feature in this politically-neutral "museum".

A famous trade union poster showed a mine-owning "toff" on a miner's back with some such slogan as "a miner carries enough burdens". After 63 years of Socialism in Britain, productive workers are now an exploited minority. The heavy burden they carry includes much such nonsense as this propaganda tool disguised as a "museum".


You too can look this good

 Gordon Brown's make-up instructions left in taxi - Telegraph.

Gordon-brown_1398756a

  1. Transparent Brush. Foam all over.
  2. Small pot under eyes, dimple, creases, blend in.
  3. Clinique. Super balanced make-up. All over again, like painting a wall, and ears. Shut eyes over lids then with make-up pad smooth over liquid.
  4. Powder (dark brush) terracotta Guerlain, all over

It seems no-one in the Labour Party has the strength to give this hapless, jinxed man his political quietus. Maybe Clinique or Guerlain will offer him a sponsorship deal? Please, anything to get his hands out of the public purse.