Mr Bloggy

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Location: London, Timor-Leste

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Oh dear God, this blog entry is way too long and boring

I'm not one to miss a trend. This is the time for comebacks, flashbacks, old skool reunions.  If the left can come back via the Jezman, then so can blogging!  W00t!
I've been giving the corbyn leftist comeback a great deal of thought, so I feel it only fair to inflict it on the lot of you.

Right, first things first.  Jeremy versus the Labour right.  I feel it my place, as an expert in telling people what to do ("stop drinking so much alcohol", that sort of thing) to warn against dividing the Labour party membership into worthy and unworthy according to their support of Corbyn. 

Obviously, supporting Jeremy Corbyn is the only credible, honest thing a Socialist- or social democrat, even -should do, but some people don't do the credible and honest thing because they're afraid or unwise.  I can deal with that, it doesn't mean they're bad people or not interested in the working-classes, it just means they have spent so long following a Third Way / Progress agenda they have failed to pay any attention to its complete failure as anything other than a ruthless pursuit of power at the expense of the mass of the population. 

The fact is, a lot of people in the Labour party have been led into a political discourse that debated things like PFI vs no provision.  Or aerial bombardment vs Islamofascism.  Privatisation vs inefficiency (crazy, I know)  People picked sides from something of a neo-liberal duopoly, and for Corbyn supporters to judge them because they were using a flawed schema is silly- they just made choices within their party according to what was presented to them. 

The question of whether the last Labour government was successful because they created the minimum wage and tax credits (18 years ago) at the expense of increasing upward redistribution of wealth, more incarceration, inequality, privatisation, warfare and populist racism will be laid to rest, because times have changed.  We can finally move onto what to do about a Conservative government, an EU referendum, austerity and Trident.  And I think none of us have really debated these things (except the Scottish), let alone worked out the answer, hence why the right-wing agenda has won out.

Secondly, I presume the right-wing of the Labour party is pretty far removed from the real world- because it was themselves who argued for this new electoral system (they thought it was preferable to a union vote). I honestly don't know what they thought would happen.  They must have paid no attention to the size of demonstrations since 2003- because anyone who has been on one knows there are clearly up to a million people who are way to the left of the Labour party and willing to take actions.  If that number of people are willing to demonstrate alongside Corbyn, of course they were going to register support for him.

Thus, I think the right-wing of the Labour party will also misjudge the support they have to conduct a coup against Corbyn.  There are significant people in the party intent on turning a central premise of the Third Way -that left-wing politics is impossible -into a self-fulfilling prophecy.  A succession of leaks, tactical resignations and mud-slinging will inevitably, desperately try to dislodge Corbyn before he is ever presented to the electorate.  It's easy to claim this will happen because right-wingers terrifying monsters, but it's just as likely they're terrified of losing elections because, amazingly- they  see themselves as different from Tories. 

It is something the left-wing has to accept, that at the moment there are many people actually believe that you can mitigate against 'the worst excesses of capitalism' without in any way changing society.  That the rich and/or powerful (a group to which many of us in London belong, by the way, particuarly in the third sector and political hierarchies) can be cajoled or negotiated into allowing some wealth to find its way into the hands of some deserving poor.  Like Dave Brailsford, a succession of technocrats can create 'marginal gains' for the poor that will one day lead to some unknown place that is preferable to the Tories.

Yet I suspect a lot of people with this vague feeling that the world can get better without actually changing things much, those who fear left-wing politics won't win, also know that Burnham, Kendall or Cooper won't win an election, and nor will a factional Labour party, so they will get on board with Corbyn because they're party members, not monsters.  As a complete outsider of the Labour party, who just chats to people occasionally, I'm largely guessing here.  But I don't think the stomach is there, in the party rank-and-file, to fight against Corbyn.
I also don't think there's an organised force to threaten labour with entryism - hence why the left has struggled, probably.  Treating Corbyn's election as the declaration of the war for the Labour party's soul is unwise, since it will obviously provide paranoia fodder to the Labour right and distract local labour parties.  I think the point, in the aftermath of the Corbyn election, will be to draw the Labour party out, into our movements.  Not go in, looking for a fight. 

There's still enough of us, all over the shop in the various political splinters and fragments out there, to continue the movement that has taken place outside the Labour party since the start of the century, and the place to stay is within that movement and all its variations.  Our diversity is our strength, and by being not limited to party politics, by retaining independence from party politics, the left can appeal to people by continuing to react to what's going on in our communities, rather than becoming party machines people don't believe.

I think that's what a Corbyn victory is about.  As he says himself, it's about the ideas, and once we move onto that sort of terrain- about the ideas we care enough to take onto the street about -the enemies won't be the Labour Party, his agenda will have moved us into opposition with the further right- and that's where those who are planning a coup against him will appear isolated on the left. It'll be those who try to force the immigration debate up a notch to put pressure on the Labour and Conservative party around the country who could set the tone.  There'll be an EU referndum and a continued assault on the NHS.  And that's where it could get messy.
So what I'm saying, on the whole, having rambled for way too long because I've been too busy to talk about these things with other leftists, is that I think party politics- democratic centralism, in particular, which was prone to abuse -is bollocks.  The debates and ideas these days, thanks to social media, are plural, and parties are prone to get themselves into echo-chamers debating their own shit - that's how the labour party found themselves in their mess.  And if Corbyn gets elected, it'll be great, but get over it quickly because the most important thing is that people continue to do what they're doing to resist austerity, work with the organisational collossus that is the Labour Party where you can (like we have in Lewisham) and don't get drawn into some tedious party political shit because then you lose touch.  And retain your supporter and union status, because it gives you a way to democratically elect a leader of the left in the UK without having to join the Labour party.  That's a win-win, as far as I can see. 


Thursday, March 19, 2015

See this letter about People Before Profit

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Words don't add up

Instead of poetry, here are unassembled thoughts, texted to myself on my escape from work on Christmas eve:

Ornamental remnants of a city, a chorus line of cranes, and vain totems reflected in the driver less trains. A blushing and blue sky behind domes and cubes
Aeroplanes and stooping shelters, desert buildings watching skymakers, New markets and fresh fish, old towns remain on station boards, adverts and stripped trees, corporate art and design. As I listen to Simon and garfunkel on my way to my son's first Christmas
Offices defying fading light, setting sun on homes afloat, boats on an oasis, just tangled footsteps off the beer garden. Containers unloaded, renovated, inhabited. Preferred to bricks. Burrowing into the vaults.on foot through yellowed warrens, clockmakers and cleaners like embedded fossils, emerging on foot to see Santa demobbed and running from a darkened city.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Yep, I might do it.  I may blog again.  I was whimsically looking at the nonsense on here, wishfully thinking about deleting it all.  Then I stepped back, reflected on all the good things, and thought again.  So get ready for this:


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Things I have observed

People in Japan wear facemasks, which may or may not be related to smells made by Garreth. Sometimes, a mother may wear a mask, but her children do not, making them the miner's canary.

Everthing looks mad. In adverts, they are all overdosing on prozac, with absurdly large smiles. In reality, they are stoic. Chubby faces in childhood develop into long faces ibn adulthood. There are lots of old people, which is apparently a problem.

Car doors shut themselves.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so

A journey plagued by KLM's smug, overarching, evil autmota meant I visited 5 countries (airports) in 24 hours. After arriving in Tokyo 12 hours late, tired, confused, with a well drafted letter of complaint and a racist opinion of the Dutch, I had a great time. Eaten some Katsu curry. Drunk some beers. Pressed the button on the arm of the heated toilet, the one with the outline of a bum and a geyser. I watched the Social Network and The Kings Speech on flight- both average. I find it hard to believe the king had a hard life. I find it hard to make a virtue of the creation facebook.

But all in all, it's great. I'm treading that line of invincible Brit abroad and cultural sympathiser- I just paid the exact money for a purchase (beer) and said 'origato' (thanks) afterwards. That was a threshold moment. Ignore the times I was saying 'Arry Potter' instead of arigato.

bye. So far, no dawn of the dead destrcution of society.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The human condition

Choice is a profound thing. This curious sensation of not knowing the future, yet being propelled to invent it. In the night, many times, I have been to the toilet. Not so many times that it is a medical problem (polyuria, nocturia), but there have been many nights in my life (9,619), so many opportunities to go to the toilet. In my new flat, our bathroom has no windows. This means that there is a noisy extractor fan, activated in symphony with the lights. My electricity monitor has shown me that this uses its fair share of electricity, so I prefer not to use it. So I piss, into the dark, and sometimes the sound that rebounds at me is that sonic mixture of water on water and water on ceramic. Knowing that the best way to urinate is into nothing but the water, I must choose. Left or right? You would not believe the amount of times everything goes quiet, then the dampened sound of water on carpet, or water on magazine. Often followed by the sound of the lightswitch, the extractor fan, and a snigger. But it's worth it, for the feeling. When the returning noise is water on water, and I can leave, having saved using the lightswitch, feeling like a man.

That's the best thing I'm ever going to write, so there's probably not much point in continuing this blog. Oh well. If it does continue, you'll be the first to know. Bye.