Thursday, October 26, 2006

Evil authoritarian scumbags


Right, back to business.

The New Local Government White Paper (Available as download here).
legislating for stronger, more accountable local leadership by offering local authorities a choice of three executive models – a directly elected mayor, a directly elected executive, and an indirectly elected leader with a four year term and by allowing authorities to adopt the mayoral model, following consultation with their communities, but without the need for a referendum.
So, having failed to get peopel to accept the Fuehrerprinzip and vote for Robo-mayors (except in a few boroughs) instead of collective democratic organisation, they are going to give councillors the authority to unilaterally abolish themselves in favour of strong verticle leadership. new Labour technocarcy in action (if not in Acton). Further
In each model:
all executive powers will be vested in the mayor or leader who will have
responsibility for deciding how these powers should be discharged – either by
him or herself or delegated to members of cabinet individually or collectively;
Quite the Leninists now, aren't we - out goes quaint collective decisions making, in comes elected dictators to rule absolutely for four years.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sack Dannatt

No matter what - whether you are an opponent of the Iraq war, an opponent of the army or militarism, an opponent of Blair - you have to demand that Dannatt go.

Flat - no question. A military officer has stepped into politics, and the line must be held, pour encourage les autres.

The danger of letting soldiers, with their dashing uniforms, the residual loyalty many give to those who risk their lives in their work - all of that means that serving soldiers should be kept away from politics. Pakistan, Turkey and Thailand are all examples of what happens when the military begins to think it is the soul of the nation's politics. America is what happens when politicians trade on their military records - the fight against militarism begins with the struggle to keep the soliders in their place and the supremacy of the electoral structure in place.

If soliders start appealing directly to the people they becokme uncontrolable.

Sack Dannatt.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Stripey Leopard, pt. 2

So, to expand a little.

Obviously, my resignation letter was not the whole explanation, merely the sufficient - my ego doesn't quite run to pamphlet length resignations letters criticising the person who makes the tea and using that to show why the organisation is degerate and fit only for the dustbin of posterity.

I have always tended towards favouring political reform. I still think annual Parliaments would be a significant gain for the working class (Or tri-annual parliaments with unicameralism - like they have in New Zealand). I'm strongly pro-European (in the sense that I support any agglomeration of nationalities into democratic (ish) larger formations, the the estension of democracy within any such pollity) - I stayed out of such arguments because I was dedicated to the cause of the SP and those arguments were not so much on the agenda as to demand I contrast them with my commitment to the party.

Now, and here is a very salient point - the party is tehre to serve us, not we the party. There is a dangerous trap that some have fallen into, of making the party an end in istelf and making loyalty to their organisation override any other considerations. If nothing else, at the minute, I'm trying to prove to me that my commitment is to my convictions, and not some stagnant loyalty to a particular party.

Quite where that sends me isn't as yet clear.

The dots need connecting to make the stripes clearer - lets see if that happens in future posts.

p.s. Thanks to all the commentors and the people who have sent me charming emails - you know who you are.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

That Leopard

Damn those spots are hard to get off. Just before I left work last night, I got an urgent call from the Socialist Party - they needed a speaker urgently to attend this debate (they hadn't, it seems opened my letter yet). Anyway, I was told the American ambassador was a participant, and so my ego, not to mention a little guilt, demanded that I go for a swansong. As it turned out, it was just a UCL alumnus who works as a lawyer for the US dept. of Justice.

Anyway, a critique by a party member in the audience can be found here suffice to say, we won - although many of the speakers on our side were toe curlingly awful.

I can see how professional politicos can get addicted to that sort of cut and thrust debate (especially if you've missed dinner to be there and you're drinking win on an empty stomach).

Now, about those spots...

Monday, October 09, 2006


Forget the hand wringing - Posadism lives

They really are online. Well, I never. What a joy!

Vaguely related to this news.

Viva Posadas?

The stripey Leopard, pt. 1

Delivered over the weekend to Central London Branch of the Socialist Party.

Dear Comrades,

I owe the party a great deal. It has been a well-spring of information and knowledge: a genuine working class university of socialism. Its analysis is sound, as is its emphasis on knowledge and consciousness as a liberating factor for the working class. I have been a member now for nine years, and do not regret one minute of it.

I have always argued that doing what you believe to be the right course of action is the most important thing in politics: sticking by your guns even when the way ahead seems impassable and progress is negligible. I have come, though, to believe that whilst the party’s analysis is sound, its prescription is not.

The workers, presented with the party case do not simply reject it because it conflicts with propaganda brainwashing but because it conflicts with their experience of life. Althusser was, to an extent, correct: ideology is lived and no amount of passionate debate or cooky advertising is going to penetrate through that concrete material ideological experience.

I am increasingly convinced that since the capacity to make a revolution lies outside our hands and that the workers seem disinclined to revolution, the right course of action for me is to be in making myself useful to the class struggle and generally supporting the widest engagement of my class fellows in that struggle – even if that only ends up with us winning (in my life time) the best available capitalism.

After much thought, then, I am resigning from the Socialist Party. I wish the rest of you luck and sincerely hope that the political conditions change for you – I fervently look forward to the day when returning to the Party makes the most sense for me.

I remain, yours for the revolution.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Beware of the stripey Leopard

Starting next week - big changes to this blog, and a shock announcement - you have been warned.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Non pasaran!


Or however it's spelt. I'd forgotten until a quick trip to Hak Mao reminded me - today is the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Cable street.

I remember at university we had a talk from Fylde's sometime only Labour councillor (I've forgotten his name) who was at Cable Street that day as a lad. A good comrades' Dad was on the other side - that sent a chill down by spine when I twigged that. Incidentally, they have several picks of said comrade up on Redwatch, I discovered this morning.

The buggers are still about, and they are still wazzocks.