#Corbyn found #Farage bathing one day & stole his clothes, but only for #Labour to wear them ironically?

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Corbynism is not the future, it is the future refusing to be born

1964, 11 years before the EU referendum of 1975, the West Midlands constituency of Smethwick was the most colour-conscious place in the country, and the scene of a Tory campaign that successfully exploited anti-immigrant sentiment.  The infamous slogan that propelled a Tory into the House of Commons was, “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.”

Peter Griffiths, the successful Tory candidate refused to disown the slogan, “I would not condemn any man who said that,” he told the Times during his election campaign.  “I regard it as a manifestation of popular feeling.”

All sounds rather depressingly familiar, does it not?  One need not strain one’s imagination to hear Farage today saying exactly what Griffiths said to the Times in 1964.

One never, in one’s wildest dreams, expected to hear a Labour leader use the same language.  Certainly not one like Corbyn, whose fans claim he is the true Socialist Messiah.

ukip’s forebears, dear Cult of Corbyn members, were fascists in the 1930s, fought the suffragettes in the 1900s, burnt industrial machinery in the early 19th Century, persecuted Catholics (sometimes with official approval and even sanction in the two centuries after 1605), massacred 150 Jews in York on March 16th, 1190 at York …  I could go on, but the common link is an inability and/or unwillingness to accept economic, political and social change, combined with various forms of intolerance towards the other.  Moreover, these responses were and are not unique to any one particular class.

Anti-semitism being quite common amongst the upper class in the 1930s as much as it was amongst the working class followers of Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats.  Anti-semitism is today rife amongst some of Corbyn’s most committed supporters.  One might go so far as to say that it is a defining trait for some of them.  As Aneurin Bevan once observed, “Fascism is not in itself a new order of society.  It is the future refusing to be born.”

Bevan once asked, “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power?  Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.”  Step forward, Alf Garnett, the perfect example of a working class Tory.  Alf  arrived on our television screens in 1965, but as a skilled member of the working class he got the vote in 1867, courtesy of Benjamin Disraeli.  Mr Disraeli gave Alf the vote because he was banking on the conservatism of the British working man favouring the Tory Party at election time.  Alf was not liberal in outlook.

ukip is wealth persuading poverty to keep it in power, because ukip has nothing to say to the left behind that would make their condition any better than it is now.  Labour under Corbyn is asking the working age poor to vote it into office so it may expand the middle class welfare state at their expense.

The Liberal Democrats went into the 2017 General Election committed to reversing all of the £9bn of Social Security cuts over which IDS resigned.

Labour only committed to reversing £2bn of the cuts, leaving the benefits cap and benefits freeze in place, because, Emily Thornberry said, it could not afford to do more.  Although it could commit without any caveats to the Pensions Triple Lock.

Labour only committed at most £500m for Sure Start.  Not enough money to fully reverse the savage Tory cuts since 2010.  Although it could find the money to commit £10bn plus to deliver universal free university tuition for students mostly from middle and higher income families.

Incidentally, if you are on a low income in our society you are more likely to be from a background other than the white middle class (the group illustrated in Momentum’s recent home video).

You are more likely to be from an ethnic minority background.  Warm words at an anti-racism rally and posing for pictures with Weyman Bennett are no substitute for real action to address the disadvantage someone faces, simply because of their family tree.

And posing with a man with a reputation like that of Bennett casts doubt on your commitment, Corbyn, to helping the most disadvantaged group in our society, women (whatever their sex, their age, their disability, their gender, their race, their geographical locality, their circumstances, their background and their class), realise their full potential.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with people who think LGBT folk have no right to live, because of being LGBT is no way to flaunt your liberal credentials.

How many of those, Corbyn, whose take on LGBT rights you endorse by standing on a platform with them, come anywhere near the view ISIS has of the disabled?  They murder children with Down’s Syndrome for being born with that condition.

How many of those extremists, with whom you make common cause, Corbyn, are opposed to democracy; equal rights for all; the right of Israel to exist and so on …

956706

Let me see, BAME, LGBT, women, the disabled, the poor and the working class, BAME as well as white.  Do they not, Corbyn, make up the group with whom you, uniquely, claim to relate?  Are they not en masse a large enough group out of whom to build an General Election winning majority?

There was a time when Labour was behind in coming forward to call out racism.

There was a time when Paul “Foot castigated “the inability of the local (Smethwick) Labour party, corrupted as it was by anti-immigrant sentiment, to hit back in a determined and principled way” against Griffiths and what he stood for.”

It is a moot point whether Foot would have wholly approved of Labour’s General Election 2015 Campaigning Against ukip document, but I think he would have accepted that Labour had moved on.

Has Labour moved on though?

Laying out the case for leaving the single market, Corbyn used language we have rarely heard from him, blaming immigration for harming the lives of British workers.  The Labour leader said that after leaving the EU, there would still be European workers in Britain and vice versa. He added, “What there wouldn’t be is the wholesale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industry.”

Did Corbyn ever tell his ex girlfriend’s mother, Diane Abbott’s mom, that she had in some way damaged the pay and conditions of indigenous workers when she came to the UK to work in the NHS?  That was an argument used by, amongst others, trades unionists back in the 1960s.  They worked then with the CBI to attempt to prevent a Race Relations Act going on the statute book that would address discrimination in the jobs and housing market.  The first Act of that kind having failed to address either subject.  Roy Jenkins on becoming Home Secretary (boo, hiss from the seats of the committed socialist ABC1s now dominating Labour’s membership) put that right.

The question each generation has to ask itself is do you seek to narrow or bridge gaps within society or, like Farage widen and exploit them for your own political and financial ends?  Corbyn, born into a similar class background as Farage, has decided to do the other thing, the easy thing and blow the silent dog whistle that Griffiths bequeathed to Farage.

How about we try taking Gandhi’s advice about hating the sin, but not the sinner, and thereby try to change attitudes and not reinforce them?

Incidentally, Alf Garnett, through seeing people as individuals not as a mass of the other, mellowed over time …

Smethwick 1964

For those unfamiliar with the events of 1964 in Smethwick and how they resonate in sympathy with the events of today then I think Stuart Jeffries article is a good place to start.  Incidentally, I understand that a variation of the slogan that I have read in a number of places was “… vote Liberal or Labour”.

Other interesting articles:

Looking Back at Race Relations

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Daily Telegraph)

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Wolverhampton Express and Star)

Neil Hamilton provides a link between then and now.  Griffiths once wrote, “Apartheid, if it could be separated from racialism, could well be an alternative to integration.”  Hamilton did his bit to try and help the apartheid regime of South Africa improve its chances of survival.

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#Corbyn & The Return of Alf Garnett Or If You Don’t Want a Bulgarian For a Neighbour Vote #Labour?

Standard

Corbynism is not the future, it is the future refusing to be born

1964, 11 years before the EU referendum of 1975, the West Midlands constituency of Smethwick was the most colour-conscious place in the country, and the scene of a Tory campaign that successfully exploited anti-immigrant sentiment.  The infamous slogan that propelled a Tory into the House of Commons was, “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.”

Peter Griffiths, the successful Tory candidate refused to disown the slogan, “I would not condemn any man who said that,” he told the Times during his election campaign.  “I regard it as a manifestation of popular feeling.”

All sounds rather depressingly familiar, does it not?  One need not strain one’s imagination to hear Farage today saying exactly what Griffiths said to the Times in 1964.

One never, in one’s wildest dreams, expected to hear a Labour leader use the same language.  Certainly not one like Corbyn, whose fans claim he is the true Socialist Messiah.

ukip’s forebears, dear Cult of Corbyn members, were fascists in the 1930s, fought the suffragettes in the 1900s, burnt industrial machinery in the early 19th Century, persecuted Catholics (sometimes with official approval and even sanction in the two centuries after 1605), massacred 150 Jews in York on March 16th, 1190 at York …  I could go on, but the common link is an inability and/or unwillingness to accept economic, political and social change, combined with various forms of intolerance towards the other.  Moreover, these responses were and are not unique to any one particular class.

Anti-semitism being quite common amongst the upper class in the 1930s as much as it was amongst the working class followers of Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats.  Anti-semitism is today rife amongst some of Corbyn’s most committed supporters.  One might go so far as to say that it is a defining trait for some of them.  As Aneurin Bevan once observed, “Fascism is not in itself a new order of society.  It is the future refusing to be born.”

Bevan once asked, “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power?  Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.”  Step forward, Alf Garnett, the perfect example of a working class Tory.  Alf  arrived on our television screens in 1965, but as a skilled member of the working class he got the vote in 1867, courtesy of Benjamin Disraeli.  Mr Disraeli gave Alf the vote because he was banking on the conservatism of the British working man favouring the Tory Party at election time.  Alf was not liberal in outlook.

ukip is wealth persuading poverty to keep it in power, because ukip has nothing to say to the left behind that would make their condition any better than it is now.  Labour under Corbyn is asking the working age poor to vote it into office so it may expand the middle class welfare state at their expense.

The Liberal Democrats went into the 2017 General Election committed to reversing all of the £9bn of Social Security cuts over which IDS resigned.

Labour only committed to reversing £2bn of the cuts, leaving the benefits cap and benefits freeze in place, because, Emily Thornberry said, it could not afford to do more.  Although it could commit without any caveats to the Pensions Triple Lock.

Labour only committed at most £500m for Sure Start.  Not enough money to fully reverse the savage Tory cuts since 2010.  Although it could find the money to commit £10bn plus to deliver universal free university tuition for students mostly from middle and higher income families.

Incidentally, if you are on a low income in our society you are more likely to be from a background other than the white middle class (the group illustrated in Momentum’s recent home video).

You are more likely to be from an ethnic minority background.  Warm words at an anti-racism rally and posing for pictures with Weyman Bennett are no substitute for real action to address the disadvantage someone faces, simply because of their family tree.

And posing with a man with a reputation like that of Bennett casts doubt on your commitment, Corbyn, to helping the most disadvantaged group in our society, women (whatever their sex, their age, their disability, their gender, their race, their geographical locality, their circumstances, their background and their class), realise their full potential.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with people who think LGBT folk have no right to live, because of being LGBT is no way to flaunt your liberal credentials.

How many of those, Corbyn, whose take on LGBT rights you endorse by standing on a platform with them, come anywhere near the view ISIS has of the disabled?  They murder children with Down’s Syndrome for being born with that condition.

How many of those extremists, with whom you make common cause, Corbyn, are opposed to democracy; equal rights for all; the right of Israel to exist and so on …

956706

Let me see, BAME, LGBT, women, the disabled, the poor and the working class, BAME as well as white.  Do they not, Corbyn, make up the group with whom you, uniquely, claim to relate?  Are they not en masse a large enough group out of whom to build an General Election winning majority?

There was a time when Labour was behind in coming forward to call out racism.

There was a time when Paul “Foot castigated “the inability of the local (Smethwick) Labour party, corrupted as it was by anti-immigrant sentiment, to hit back in a determined and principled way” against Griffiths and what he stood for.”

It is a moot point whether Foot would have wholly approved of Labour’s General Election 2015 Campaigning Against ukip document, but I think he would have accepted that Labour had moved on.

Has Labour moved on though?

Laying out the case for leaving the single market, Corbyn used language we have rarely heard from him, blaming immigration for harming the lives of British workers.  The Labour leader said that after leaving the EU, there would still be European workers in Britain and vice versa. He added, “What there wouldn’t be is the wholesale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industry.”

Did Corbyn ever tell his ex girlfriend’s mother, Diane Abbott’s mom, that she had in some way damaged the pay and conditions of indigenous workers when she came to the UK to work in the NHS?  That was an argument used by, amongst others, trades unionists back in the 1960s.  They worked then with the CBI to attempt to prevent a Race Relations Act going on the statute book that would address discrimination in the jobs and housing market.  The first Act of that kind having failed to address either subject.  Roy Jenkins on becoming Home Secretary (boo, hiss from the seats of the committed socialist ABC1s now dominating Labour’s membership) put that right.

The question each generation has to ask itself is do you seek to narrow or bridge gaps within society or, like Farage widen and exploit them for your own political and financial ends?  Corbyn, born into a similar class background as Farage, has decided to do the other thing, the easy thing and blow the silent dog whistle that Griffiths bequeathed to Farage.

How about we try taking Gandhi’s advice about hating the sin, but not the sinner, and thereby try to change attitudes and not reinforce them?

Incidentally, Alf Garnett, through seeing people as individuals not as a mass of the other, mellowed over time …

Smethwick 1964

For those unfamiliar with the events of 1964 in Smethwick and how they resonate in sympathy with the events of today then I think Stuart Jeffries article is a good place to start.  Incidentally, I understand that a variation of the slogan that I have read in a number of places was “… vote Liberal or Labour”.

Other interesting articles:

Looking Back at Race Relations

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Daily Telegraph)

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Wolverhampton Express and Star)

Neil Hamilton provides a link between then and now.  Griffiths once wrote, “Apartheid, if it could be separated from racialism, could well be an alternative to integration.”  Hamilton did his bit to try and help the apartheid regime of South Africa improve its chances of survival.

#Corbyn & The Return of Alf Garnett Or If You Don’t Want a Bulgarian For a Neighbour Vote #Labour?

Standard

Corbynism is not the future, it is the future refusing to be born

1964, 11 years before the EU referendum of 1975, the West Midlands constituency of Smethwick was the most colour-conscious place in the country, and the scene of a Tory campaign that successfully exploited anti-immigrant sentiment.  The infamous slogan that propelled a Tory into the House of Commons was, “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.”

Peter Griffiths, the successful Tory candidate refused to disown the slogan, “I would not condemn any man who said that,” he told the Times during his election campaign.  “I regard it as a manifestation of popular feeling.”

All sounds rather depressingly familiar, does it not?  One need not strain one’s imagination to hear Farage today saying exactly what Griffiths said to the Times in 1964.

One never, in one’s wildest dreams, expected to hear a Labour leader use the same language.  Certainly not one like Corbyn, whose fans claim he is the true Socialist Messiah.

ukip’s forebears, dear Cult of Corbyn members, were fascists in the 1930s, fought the suffragettes in the 1900s, burnt industrial machinery in the early 19th Century, persecuted Catholics (sometimes with official approval and even sanction in the two centuries after 1605), massacred 150 Jews in York on March 16th, 1190 at York …  I could go on, but the common link is an inability and/or unwillingness to accept economic, political and social change, combined with various forms of intolerance towards the other.  Moreover, these responses were and are not unique to any one particular class.

Anti-semitism being quite common amongst the upper class in the 1930s as much as it was amongst the working class followers of Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats.  Anti-semitism is today rife amongst some of Corbyn’s most committed supporters.  One might go so far as to say that it is a defining trait for some of them.  As Aneurin Bevan once observed, “Fascism is not in itself a new order of society.  It is the future refusing to be born.”

Bevan once asked, “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power?  Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.”  Step forward, Alf Garnett, the perfect example of a working class Tory.  Alf  arrived on our television screens in 1965, but as a skilled member of the working class he got the vote in 1867, courtesy of Benjamin Disraeli.  Mr Disraeli gave Alf the vote because he was banking on the conservatism of the British working man favouring the Tory Party at election time.  Alf was not liberal in outlook.

ukip is wealth persuading poverty to keep it in power, because ukip has nothing to say to the left behind that would make their condition any better than it is now.  Labour under Corbyn is asking the working age poor to vote it into office so it may expand the middle class welfare state at their expense.

The Liberal Democrats went into the 2017 General Election committed to reversing all of the £9bn of Social Security cuts over which IDS resigned.

Labour only committed to reversing £2bn of the cuts, leaving the benefits cap and benefits freeze in place, because, Emily Thornberry said, it could not afford to do more.  Although it could commit without any caveats to the Pensions Triple Lock.

Labour only committed at most £500m for Sure Start.  Not enough money to fully reverse the savage Tory cuts since 2010.  Although it could find the money to commit £10bn plus to deliver universal free university tuition for students mostly from middle and higher income families.

Incidentally, if you are on a low income in our society you are more likely to be from a background other than the white middle class (the group illustrated in Momentum’s recent home video).

You are more likely to be from an ethnic minority background.  Warm words at an anti-racism rally and posing for pictures with Weyman Bennett are no substitute for real action to address the disadvantage someone faces, simply because of their family tree.

And posing with a man with a reputation like that of Bennett casts doubt on your commitment, Corbyn, to helping the most disadvantaged group in our society, women (whatever their sex, their age, their disability, their gender, their race, their geographical locality, their circumstances, their background and their class), realise their full potential.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with people who think LGBT folk have no right to live, because of being LGBT is no way to flaunt your liberal credentials.

How many of those, Corbyn, whose take on LGBT rights you endorse by standing on a platform with them, come anywhere near the view ISIS has of the disabled?  They murder children with Down’s Syndrome for being born with that condition.

How many of those extremists, with whom you make common cause, Corbyn, are opposed to democracy; equal rights for all; the right of Israel to exist and so on …

956706

Let me see, BAME, LGBT, women, the disabled, the poor and the working class, BAME as well as white.  Do they not, Corbyn, make up the group with whom you, uniquely, claim to relate?  Are they not en masse a large enough group out of whom to build an General Election winning majority?

There was a time when Labour was behind in coming forward to call out racism.

There was a time when Paul “Foot castigated “the inability of the local (Smethwick) Labour party, corrupted as it was by anti-immigrant sentiment, to hit back in a determined and principled way” against Griffiths and what he stood for.”

It is a moot point whether Foot would have wholly approved of Labour’s General Election 2015 Campaigning Against ukip document, but I think he would have accepted that Labour had moved on.

Has Labour moved on though?

Laying out the case for leaving the single market, Corbyn used language we have rarely heard from him, blaming immigration for harming the lives of British workers.  The Labour leader said that after leaving the EU, there would still be European workers in Britain and vice versa. He added, “What there wouldn’t be is the wholesale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industry.”

Did Corbyn ever tell his ex girlfriend’s mother, Diane Abbott’s mom, that she had in some way damaged the pay and conditions of indigenous workers when she came to the UK to work in the NHS?  That was an argument used by, amongst others, trades unionists back in the 1960s.  They worked then with the CBI to attempt to prevent a Race Relations Act going on the statute book that would address discrimination in the jobs and housing market.  The first Act of that kind having failed to address either subject.  Roy Jenkins on becoming Home Secretary (boo, hiss from the seats of the committed socialist ABC1s now dominating Labour’s membership) put that right.

The question each generation has to ask itself is do you seek to narrow or bridge gaps within society or, like Farage widen and exploit them for your own political and financial ends?  Corbyn, born into a similar class background as Farage, has decided to do the other thing, the easy thing and blow the silent dog whistle that Griffiths bequeathed to Farage.

How about we try taking Gandhi’s advice about hating the sin, but not the sinner, and thereby try to change attitudes and not reinforce them?

Incidentally, Alf Garnett, through seeing people as individuals not as a mass of the other, mellowed over time …

Smethwick 1964

For those unfamiliar with the events of 1964 in Smethwick and how they resonate in sympathy with the events of today then I think Stuart Jeffries article is a good place to start.  Incidentally, I understand that a variation of the slogan that I have read in a number of places was “… vote Liberal or Labour”.

Other interesting articles:

Looking Back at Race Relations

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Daily Telegraph)

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Wolverhampton Express and Star)

Neil Hamilton provides a link between then and now.  Griffiths once wrote, “Apartheid, if it could be separated from racialism, could well be an alternative to integration.”  Hamilton did his bit to try and help the apartheid regime of South Africa improve its chances of survival.

Ex soldier left relying on foodbanks slams Cameron & Tories for abandoning war veterans #GE2015

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Infantryman Philip Wesley says the PM was happy to send soldiers into battle but has given them nothing back!

A former soldier has launched a stinging attack on David Cameron for failing to support war veterans.

Infantryman Philip Wesley says the PM was “happy” to send soldiers into battle but has given them “nothing back.”

The father-of-one says his life since leaving the Army has been one of food banks, low-paid work, soaring energy bills and expensive housing.

At every turn he has faced difficulties because of the policies of the Conservative-led government , he reveals.

Mr Wesley, 27, served five years in the Army including two tours of Afghanistan.

He had to leave in 2012 to look after his daughter Violet, now three-and-a-half.

On return to his home city of Birmingham, he found it impossible to get a council house for them to live in.

“I was laughed at. I waited two years for social housing.

“In the end the British Legion gave me the money for a deposit so I could rent privately,” he explains.

The problem was the bedroom tax. So many people hit by the bedroom tax had to move out of three-bedroom homes meaning there were not enough two-bed properties available for people such as Philip.

“To be honest with you I was expecting a lot more. I have had help from the British Legion but absolutely nothing from the MoD.

“The main issue for me was housing. I had nowhere to live and I was still at the very bottom of the list.

“There were no two bed homes that were suitable for me. It was crazy.”

His mother who has severe epilepsy has also been hit by the bedroom tax.

Because his house had no central heating he racked up a £700 electricity bill to heat the home for his daughter.

“I was alright, I put on coats but my daughter was cold,” he says matter of factly.

At one point he had to rely on foodbanks to feed his family.

“And that was when I was working,” he said.

“We are supposed to be one of the most developed countries in the world and we have people having to use foodbanks,” he adds in a video made for the Labour Party.

Mr Wesley is now studying for a computing degree at Birmingham Metropolitan University, even though this will cost him £9,000 a year in tuition fees.

While he is full of praise for the support he received from the British Legion, his verdict on Mr Cameron is damning.

“Whenever I hear David Cameron saying anything it makes my blood boil. The only thing David Cameron sees when he looks at the Armed Forces is money and how much it will cost him. It’s just all numbers to him,” he says.

And he says other veterans have experienced similar problems.

“He’s (Cameron) happy to throw us into these wars but we get nothing back. There are people who have done a hell of a lot for their country and I don’t think it’s been rewarded in the slightest,” he says.

In December, Mr Cameron praised the Armed Forces as Britain marked the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

“Everyone in this country is forever in your debt,” he said.

Labour’s Jack Dromey said: “A war hero who fought for his country has been let down by Cameron’s Britain.

“He thought he was returning to a country fit for heroes but at every turn they have made it more difficult for him and his family.

“Labour will abolish the bedroom tax that has hit Philip’s family hard.

“Labour will cut tuition fees by £3,000 so people like Philip can get on and Labour will never let our Armed Forces veteran down in this way.”

#ukip Return of Alf Garnett Or If U Want Rumanian For Neighbour, Vote Labour? #GE2015 #RaceForNumber10

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There was another piece of codswallop (and book promotion) from Matthew Goodwin in the Guardian on Monday 15th December.

And here is the prime piece of codswallop:

“In short, since the 1970s there has been a deep and growing divide in the values that separate who we might loosely term pro-Ukip and anti-Ukip voters.  Pro-Ukip voters are instinctively receptive to Farage’s anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Westminster message, and comprise between 25% and 30% of the overall electorate.  These are the voters who grew up before Britain joined the EU (so they must be 57 and over at least if they voted in the 1975 referendum), before increased immigration (67 and over, if talking about post Empire Windrush) and in an era when genuinely competing ideological projects existed in politics (over 100 if we are to believe the far left).”

These voters are, I assume, the people for whom Farage speaks when he says he is ambivalent about homosexuality, but understands why older people who grew up before the EU are made uncomfortable by gay people?  There being no LGBTs, visible ethnic minorities, liberals, people on Social Security, lone parents, in fact anyone ukippers rant on about whilst on painkillers in the UK before 1975.  Time Goodwin outed Farage, surely?  We are not talking about the EU here are we?  But instead the 1960s, that decade that Tony Blair and Michael Howard both blamed for all of society’s ills back in the 2005 General Election.  I do not see Farage rolling up for a Magical Mystery Tour either, not unless Sir Cliff is driving the bus.  Back to the 1950s means a repudiation of the social advances of the 1960s.  Advances which were partly in reaction to a stifling, conformist conservative society.

I really have no idea what Goodwin is an expert in and these days I wonder if he does so himself.  In 1964, 11 years before the EU referendum, the West Midlands constituency of Smethwick was the most colour-conscious place in the country, and the scene of a Tory campaign that successfully exploited anti-immigrant sentiment.  The infamous slogan that propelled a Tory into the House of Commons was, “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.”

Peter Griffiths, the successful Tory candidate refused to disown the slogan, “I would not condemn any man who said that,” he told the Times during his election campaign.  “I regard it as a manifestation of popular feeling.”  All sounds rather depressingly familiar, does it not?  However, it proves, once again, that Goodwin knows precious little about this country’s economic, political and social history.  He also seems confused if he thinks that the commitment of most political parties to equal opportunities for all is not, in part at least, a matter of ideology (as well as political necessity) and a sign that they are as important to someone living in Smethwick as they are to the stereotypical Islington social liberal.

ukip’s forebears were fascists in the 1930s, fought the suffragettes in the 1900s, burnt industrial machinery in the early 19th Century, persecuted Catholics (sometimes with official approval and even sanction in the two centuries after 1605), massacred 150 Jews in York on March 16th, 1190 at York …  I could go on, but the common link is an inability and/or unwillingness to accept economic, political and social change, combined with various forms of intolerance towards the other.  Moreover, these responses were and are not unique to anyone particular class.  Anti-semitism being quite common amongst the upper class in the 1930s as much as it was amongst the working class followers of Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats.  As Aneurin Bevan once observed, “Fascism is not in itself a new order of society.  It is the future refusing to be born.”

In one sense, Goodwin is right, we have been here before, because I can hear Farage today saying exactly what Griffiths said to the Times in 1964.  Moreover, Goodwin says, “In short, since the 1970s there has been a deep and growing divide in the values” of voters.  Goodwin, there always has been such a divide and there probably always will be.  Partly because, Goodwin, some of the voters, some of the time, whatever you may think, are stupid.  Bevan asked, “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power?  Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.”  Step forward, Alf Garnett, the perfect example of a working class Tory and now ukip supporter?  Alf  arrived on our television screens in 1965, but as a skilled member of the working class he got the vote in 1867, courtesy of Benjamin Disraeli.  Mr Disraeli gave Alf the vote because he was banking on the conservatism of the British working man favouring the Tory Party at election time.

ukip is wealth persuading poverty to keep it in power, because ukip has nothing to say to the left behind that would make their condition any better than it is now.  What intrigues me, Goodwin, is why you seem to think they do and whether your ignorance about the state of the modern labour market, especially the implications of deindustrialisation, is feigned or real.

“Calling out racism where racism exists is important” says Goodwin, “But over the longer term this will not get our society very far.  If it did, then Europe as a whole would not have seen a stubbornly persistent rise of radical right politics over a 30-year period.”  There was a time when it was felt calling out racism was not important, because it was stubborn and persistent.  There was a time when Paul “Foot castigated “the inability of the local (Smethwick) Labour party, corrupted as it was by anti-immigrant sentiment, to hit back in a determined and principled way” against Griffiths and what he stood for.”  It is a moot point whether he would have wholly approved of Labour’s Campaigning Against ukip document, but I think he would accept that Labour has moved on.

By the way, Goodwin, Labour is spelt with a u.  Your Tweet of yesterday referring to blue collar workers suggests you either think this is the 51st State or that (like the libertarians in ukip) that it should be.  Bevan would, though, have recognised Joe the Plumber, the archetypal blue collar worker of the 2008 Presidential Race.  The man who proved voters can be stupid when he told Obama that he, Joe, would be worse off as a result of the candidate’s proposed tax cuts (for middle class voters like Joe).  The same Joe the Plumber who feels his right to bear arms trumps the right of others to life.  Definitely a natural Labour supporter!

The question each generation has to ask itself is do you seek to narrow or bridge gaps within society or, like Farage widen and exploit them for your own political and financial ends?

For those unfamiliar with the events of 1964 in Smethwick and how they resonate in sympathy with the events of today then I think Stuart Jeffries article is a good place to start.  Incidentally, I understand that a variation of the slogan that I have read in a number of places was “… vote Liberal or Labour”.

Other interesting articles:

Looking Back at Race Relations

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Daily Telegraph)

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Wolverhampton Express and Star)

Neil Hamilton provides a link between then and now.  Griffiths once wrote, “Apartheid, if it could be separated from racialism, could well be an alternative to integration.”  Hamilton did his bit to try and help the apartheid regime of South Africa improve its chances of survival.  One hopes he is equally successful with ukip’s electoral chances!

#DWP #WOW To Use Fraud Staff To Harass People Off #ESA In #Birmingham #IDS

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An informed source within the geographical area of DWP, wherein I used to work, recently informed me that fraud staff were being redeployed to conduct robust interviews with people claiming Employment and Support Allowance.

Yesterday, I was Tweeted a link to this website and specifically this post:

“DWP management target disabled  benefit claimants.

Over the next 24 hours DWP management will ‘invite’ close on 2,000 benefit claimants from Birmingham to attend interviews, with a goal of getting at least 10% off the benefit register.

The group of benefit claimants being targeted are in the majority waiting for assessments to decide if they are able to be deemed ‘fit for work’. (The assessment formerly and controversially run by ATOS). Those waiting assessments are often disabled or vulnerable adults.

The ‘invitation’ letter issued makes no suggestion that the attendance to these interviews is purely voluntary, indeed DWP staff in Birmingham (and Central England) have been advised verbally and by email from management to keep it to themselves that attendance to these interviews is not mandatory. One manager in a city based office was overheard saying that the way to deal with these claimants is to ‘hassle, hassle them off benefit’.

Andrew Lloyd, PCS Midlands regional secretary that represents DWP staff said, “It is outrageous that the DWP are duping the most vulnerable by issuing this letter, and then worse still setting a target to get those off benefits, it could be argued that this approach is unlawful. Our members are totally opposed to this approach but are faced with inferred disciplinary action unless they act upon these targets.”

[Press Release from PCS Union on 14th November 2014]”

Where did I use to work?  Birmingham!

Thatcher Warned Of Climate Change Danger In 1989 #Tories #ukip #ThanetSouth #NigelFarage #CameronMustGo

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I nearly called this post, Ed Miliband and the Tale of Two Speeches.  Any way, here are the two speeches:

‘Forgetting’ the Deficit

We knew Ed Miliband had ‘forgotten’ the deficit, because, as is standard practice, his speech had been given out to the media before hand.  Unsurprisingly, in these days of dumbed down reporting that really was all most people heard about his speech.  And the discussion of that omission, about a topic never out of the media, rolls on, partly due to members of the Labour Party.

Some of those members feel that Labour’s recent poor ratings in a number of opinion polls are down to his forgetfulness and the Mansion Tax, not their own behaviour.  I am assuming those confident the tax has played its part were consulted by the pollsters and, altruistically, responded on behaviour of fellow mansion owners?  After all, surely a grandee deserves to live in a mansion, tax free?

One must not forget, of course, the usual off the record briefings to the right wing press, surmise and fantasising by the same.  Labour got through its conference without its usual dog, split, barking.  Seemingly, some wish to preserve that tradition.  If the Prince over the Water is not David (I want the backing of Tesco at a General Election) Miliband then its Alan Johnson.

Intriguingly, this awkward brigade are ignoring the polls suggesting that Labour will not only win the Heywood and Middleton by election, but with a greater percentage share of the vote than at the General Election in 2010.

Now for the other speech in which policies to counter attack ukip were outlined and to which the awkward brigade should have been listening intently as it gave them something meaty with which to campaign, not in cosy, whinging chats with lobby correspondents, but with prospective Labour voters.

Sticking Two Fingers Up to ukip and the Tories

I am not going to repeat the whole speech verbatim, the link above will allow you to do that and I am not going to focus on what one might term the motherhood and apple pie sections, covered in most of the party leaders’ speeches, in one form or another.  For the record, I do not wholeheartedly agree with all of the speech.  In my book, you cannot call yourself a socialist, if you cannot start an argument with yourself about ideology in an empty room.  The speech was no JFK Inauguration, no Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream”, not even Arthur Greenwood’s “Speak for England”.  Ever wondered about how today’s media would have dissected those speeches, if they had been around back then?  However, Ed Miiband did set out Labour’s response to ukip and, their fellow travellers, the Right of the Tory Party.  I want to focus on those pieces of the speech aimed particularly at the centre right, centre and centre left of politics, the place where most of the electorate, most of the time live.  :

“I said earlier that we need to create good jobs at decent wages. To transform our economy. The jobs of the future. So our third national goal is that by 2025, Britain becomes truly a world leader in the green economy, creating one million new jobs as we do. Under this government, we’re falling behind Germany, Japan, the United States and even India and China when it comes to green technologies and services.

There are so many brilliant businesses who are desperate to do their bit but government’s not playing its part. With our plan, we will. This is what we’re going to do.

We’re going to commit to taking all of the carbon out of our electricity by 2030.

We’re going to have a Green Investment Bank with powers to borrow and attract new investment. And as Caroline Flint announced today, we will devolve power and resources to communities so we can insulate 5 million homes over the next ten years.

You see the environment isn’t that fashionable any more in politics as you may have noticed with David Cameron. But it matters. It’s incredibly important for our economy. And there is no more important issue for me when I think about my children’s’ generation and what I can do in politics, than tackling global climate change. Now we need a plan for jobs. We need a plan for wages. We need a plan that is actually going to help the working families of our country.”

The Tories and ukip have no interest in creating that million jobs, no interest in exploiting the potential within the Environmental Business Sector and no interest in tackling climate change so that the world I will pass on to my Great Nephew will at least be the way it was when I was born into it.  Clear blue, purple and yellow water.  Not just that, but a move closer to the position of the Greens, Plaid Cymru, the Scottish Nationalist Party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party and parts of the Tory Party (the Liberal Tories or Conservatives, if you prefer) and the Liberal Democrats too.  I really do not care if this set of policies lays the foundations for grace and favour arrangements after next May, because this approach is the right one to take, irrespective of party politics.

As an aside, I fail to see why the SNP would not support Labour at Westminster after next May, particularly given the plans the party had to develop the Environmental Business Sector in Scotland after Independence.  Nicola Sturgeon, a canny party leader if I ever saw one, will have a much better hands of cards in a card game with Labour than with the Tories.  In addition, I cannot see her repeating the mistake of 1979 when the SNP played a part in bringing down the minority Labour Government, triggering a General Election.  The SNP went into the lobbies with Mrs Thatcher, then went into the General Election with 11 MPs and came out the other side with only 2 MPs.  The Tory Party remained in power for 18 years and devolution was off the agenda for the same period.  I can well imagine Ms Sturgeon doing her utmost to avoid a similar outcome.  An outcome that would hand the keys of Number 10 to David Cameron, damage the SNP’s future electoral chances and postpone any further chance of more devolution and/or another independence referendum.

Ed Miliband was right, “You see the environment isn’t that fashionable any more in politics” or the media.  I may be a member of the Labour Party, but I think it is a disgrace the way in which the Green Party, the fourth party in UK politics is treated by the media.  The fact is that ukip with its set of attitudes is more interesting than a party with a well defined, rational set of policies.  In a way that is a sort of backhanded compliment to the Green Party.  The Greens have entered the mainstream of politics.

I  mentioned the 1 million jobs to Sunny Hundal via Twitter and he started waffling on about Cameron and a million jobs created over the last four years.  I responded by pointing out that this million jobs have been talked about for over a decade, not just by political parties and the environmental movement, but by hard nosed businessmen and women (not presumably in ukip) salivating at the prospects offered by the opportunities of the Environmental Business Sector.  Sunny, probably did not see my response, but either way he did not come back to me.  Again, Ed Miliband was right, “government’s not playing its part”.  Although it was beginning to do so, prior to the Credit Crunch and might have started to again, particularly through the Regional Development Agencies.  Of course, the RDAs were unnecessary QUARGOs, something else about which ukip and the Tories agree.

Forgive me for thinking that throwing down this gauntlet to the Tories and ukip was more important than going on about the deficit.  The more people there are in work and business, the wider the tax base, the lower the Social Security bill and the more the money to pare down the debt, invest in the NHS and introduce a 10p tax rate.  And paring down the debt means lower interest payments which frees up more money and so on.

“we can insulate 5 million homes over the next ten years” means lower energy bills going forward for the poorest in our society.  I guess if rising energy bills means turning down the thermostat a degree or two then this is really of no interest to you, Nick Robinson, Nigel Farage and David Cameron?  Capping energy prices and Winter Fuel Allowances are a sticking plaster in comparison with increasing energy efficiency and thereby reducing energy usage and as a consequence, bills.

“We’re going to commit to taking all of the carbon out of our electricity by 2030” means more exploitation of renewable energy sources not less and even more energy reduction (through increased efficiency), reuse and recycling.  It means creating new industries; new jobs (many in manufacturing); increasing energy security; reducing brown outs and black outs in many areas, especially rural ones; it means increased trade through exports of knowledge, skills, technology and energy.  We import electricity from France through an inter-connector.  We can easily build more such connections linking the UK and Eire with Europe.  It also means real power to the people not ukip’s recipes for gridlock in local government.  What could be more power to the people than individuals, communities and businesses generating a proportion of their own energy themselves and, in the process sticking two fingers up to the big six energy companies?

Every day, I read stories in the financial pages about countries like China planning major investments particularly in wind and solar.  ukip and the Tories think it is all ‘green crap’.  They are economic Luddites, happy to throw away our chance to be leaders in the Environmental Industrial Revolution on seemingly purely ideological grounds.  Funny, but is that not what they usually accuse the left of doing?  Putting ideology before everything else?

Finally, Cameron and Farage style themselves the heirs of Baroness Thatcher, who in 1988 famously said, “We do not have a freehold on the earth, only a full repairing lease”.  Whilst no lover of the Baroness, Ed Miliband in 2013 said, “Margaret Thatcher was the first political leader in any major country to warn of the dangers of climate change”.  Would Mrs Thatcher, if alive today, be talking about green crap or would that hard nosed woman from Grantham be saying where there is ‘green crap’, there is brass?

“we’ve got to say to business that you’ve got to play your part. If you want to bring in a worker from outside the EU, that’s ok but you must provide apprenticeships to the next generation.”

Notice that?  He said, “from outside the EU”.  No ifs, no buts, no may bes.  Standing up to the Tories and ukip?

 “the Battle of Cable Street against Oswald Mosley and the black shirts” … “the Ford workers at Dagenham who fought for equal pay to today’s campaigners for the living wage” … “a spirit of internationalism. From those who fought in the Spanish Civil War to our generosity to those overseas.”

The people standing up to fascism; the people fighting and standing up for their rights, often as trades unionists and the people saying yes, it is a far away country of which we know little, but about which we do care and want to do something to help.  How are those sentiments not in direct contrast with those of the Tories and ukip?

Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats to give him all his titles was initially a Tory Member of Parliament, then an Independent MP, then a Labour MP and then went off to found first the New Party and then, after a European tour, the the British Union of |Fascists.  Mosley’s relatives, wives and mistresses comprise a chunk of his era’s Who’s Who entries.  He was a toff, who allegedly tried to play that image down, leading a party of Establishment officers and working class other ranks, many uneducated, uncultured and lacking in empathy. Did Ed Miliband almost call Farage and ukip, the heirs of Mosley and the BUF?

He did say Cameron “lies awake at night thinking about the United Kingdom Independence Party. UKIP. That is why he is doing it friends and I say pandering to them is just one more reason why he is not fit to be the Prime Minister of this great country.”

A lot of the advice coming from the likes of Matthew Goodwin is that Labour should pander to that small number of voters it has lost to ukip.  Although they never say it, the implication of their advice is that Labour should tell women, you will have to wait a bit longer, luv, for equal pay; LGBT communities, you left the closet a bit too early for the likes of ukip’s dwindling band of social Luddites; Black and Ethnic Minorities, be content with what you have already got, Rome was not built in a day, you know; those with infirmities and illnesses, some from birth, be thankful for what you get, given you contribute so little to our society and so on.

Can you name a group, at a disadvantage in today’s society, that ukip and the Tories do not think are treated overly fairly at their expense?  In ukip world, without all this ‘political correctness crap’ more white males than now would, according to them, get the opportunities that they deserve, purely on merit.  They fail to see that, by implication, that unrealistic assessment makes them misogynist, racist etc.  If you are born a white male in the UK then you have won the lottery of life before even your umbilical cord has been cut.  Ed Miliband, in declining the advice of some members of the Commentariat, told ukip he fundamentally disagreed them.  He fired an armour piercing round at ukip’s sole, French built tank.

“true to our traditions of internationalism. And nowhere is that more true than when it comes to Europe and the European Union. Friends, let me say it plainly: our future lies inside not outside the European Union.”

“Do we reform Europe by building alliances or by burning alliances?”

Cameron has “got no chance of fighting for this country. Because people think he’s got one hand on the exit door and his strategy has failed. If you want to reform Europe. If you want to change the way Europe works.”

Do I really need to say anything about those lines?  Apart from the fact that EU regulations and funds are helping to drive forward the Environmental Industrial Revolution and that most business people, for a variety of reasons, want to stay in Europe.

“I’m determined that as Prime Minister, I promote our values all round the world and one of the things that that means friends is seeking a solution to a problem that we know in our hearts is one of the biggest problems our world faces and that is issues in the Middle East and Israel and Palestine.

I tell you, I will fight with every fibre of my being to get the two state solution, two states for two people, Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side, that will be a very, very important task of the next Labour government, friends.

There’s one other thing I want to say about what we need to do abroad. You know we have made extraordinary progress on Lesbian and Gay rights over the last twenty years. If I think about the transformation that I have seen growing up into adulthood, the biggest transformation.

We’ve made such progress on equality. But we have to face the fact that internationally things are, if anything, going backwards. We can’t just let that happen. We can’t just say “well, that’s OK”. The next Labour government will fight to make sure that we fight for our values and for human rights all round the world.

So today I can announce that I am appointing Michael Cashman, Lord Cashman, as our envoy on LGBT rights all round the world.”

Again, a Labour leader not conceding any ground to ukip or the Tories.

Let us not forget, of course, that much of this speech gives Rupert (I gave up my nationality to own media interests in the USA) Murdoch the finger too.  I remember a few years ago, reading a piece in The Sun (it had been left on the train) by its Energy Correspondent (yes, really, who knew they had one!).  He was praising the French!  He was enthusing about the fact that most of France’s electricity was generated by nuclear power plants and that sometimes we were importing it via the Channel inter-connector that comes ashore close by Dungeness Nuclear Power Station.  I gather that the inter-connector was built to export electricity from Dungeness to France rather than the other way around.

I would contend that if Labour’s Conference had not soberly responded to Ed Miliband’s speech then the stop watches would have been out to time the choreographed applause, that the party would have been described as being  triumphalist, overly optimistic and/or clapping in the dark to keep its spirits up.  I can also well imagine Nick Robinson gleefully referring to Labour’s (in)famous Sheffield Conference of 1992 when giving his take on Miliband’s speech.

I think this is no time for the Labour Party (or any progressive party in UK politics) to act like Prince Rupert’s Cavaliers.  It is the time to emulate Cromwell’s sober, dedicated to their cause Ironsides, “I had rather have a plain russet-coated captain that knows what he fights for and loves what he knows, than that which you call a gentleman and is nothing else.  I honour a gentleman that is so indeed.”  There have been Ironsides in my family.  All four of my grandparents fought against fascism in World War Two.  I think I would dishonour their memory if I did not stand up to today’s domestic fascists.

My one Grandad spent 5 years as a prisoner of the Germans.  He did not talk much about it.  However, he did say that he and his mates shared their Red Cross parcels with their guards as those men’s rations became ever more meagre.  Truly, a bayonet is a weapon with a worker at both ends.  My Grandad also said he did not blame the German people for what he went through.  I am not sure if he styled himself a socialist, but each giving according to their means and receiving according to their needs and his empathy are quite a good definition of socialism.  And Grandad went back to Germany and Poland quite a few times when he retired.

We, the centre right, centre and centre left face a challenge to our society as it is today and an even greater challenge to how we want to see it develop in the future.  The Devil may have the best tunes.  “Fings Ain’t What They Used To Be” is quite catchy, but we know the past is another country, that they do things differently there and that, in many ways, the past is no template for our society today or in the the future.

“These are the times that try men’s” (and women’s) “souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he” (or she) “that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” (Thomas Paine).  If Labour’s summer soldiers and sunshine patriots are not up for the fight then would they please quit the field?  Those of us remaining would welcome the elbow room they would free up by doing so.