Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Old dog, old tricks

Apparently the US government is considering using troops to break a strike in a tyre factory, according to the Financial Times - because the tyres concerned are needed for military vehicles.

Nothing really changes. The Taft hartley Act is similar to laws we have here, only on steroids, giving the executive wide ranging powers to break strikes that harm the national interest.

Couple this with reports that the US is considering increasing the size of its armed forces and you can picture that pretty much any industry could be deemed to be afecting the military struggle and the national interest.

This, then, is apparently freedom, the freedom that soldiers are allegedly dying for in Iraq and Afghanistan - the freedom to work when the boss tells you, for pay your boss determines.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Something new

Unlike Dave Osler, I couldn't face rejoining the Labour Party - not just yet. Phil, as ever, hits the reasons not to on the head.

I have, though, I think, found a backdoor way back into the official Labour movement - by joining The Co-operative Party (see Wikipedia. My card arrived in the post yesterday.

It is an independent party, although it mostly operates, in reality, as a sort of autonomous internal fraction of the Labour Party (though one may be a member of either without being a member of t'other). That said, notable members include Ed Balls - likely future Chancellor under Gordon Brown.

Partly this is simply a response to the good deal of sense talked by Kevin Carson who, without defending every dot and title of his postings, puts forward a strong egalitarian model of market economics. If we are stuck with the market for the forseeable, then lets at least make the best of the bugger.

The ideas of mutualism and co-operation may even be easier to sell to market indoctrinated workers who are suspiscious of state socialism and trade unions generally.

And how could I refuse to:
declare myself a co-operator, assert my belief in the Co-operative Commonwealth and agree to accept the programme, policy and constitution of the Co-operative Party national and local.

I can't see any harm in trying a new route, and stepping outside, slightly, the left ghetto.

Anyway, the Manifesto of the Co-operative Party is largely harmless. And "First, do no harm" is a pretty good guiding political principle.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Voting in Kentish Tahn.

Siân Rebecca BerryGreen812
Samuel Eric McBratneyLabour808
Richard James MerrinConservative198
Ralph ScottLiberal Democrat1093

Well, there we go then, fun over - all the Lib-Dem treasure thrown into taking the seat seems to have paid off. I got at least four mailshots from the Liberals - maybe they just targetted known voters (they were personally addressed to me).

That's not a bad turnout for a by-election - and it doesn't really change the balance on the council. What it does do is indicate how badly stuffed Labour are, coming third in what used to be their turf.

A creditable show for the Greens - Darren asks whether I was tempted by Siân - however I oppose the Greens and their outlook generally, which reifies Nature and essentially seeks a form of hyper scarcity economics, so I didn't realy even consider them.

This is the end of my firstadventure in political independence, and I'm not sure if it's clarifed anything. Make me miserable living under the Lib-Dem jack-boot, though.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

So, how did I vote?


Well, I wrote World Socialism across the ballot paper. I wasn't really tempted by the Greens - if the Labour candidate had sounded a bit more left-wing I might have given him a shot.

I stopped in the street and asked him his views on the Metroline strike then current - he gave me some wishy washy flim flam about how of course they should be decently paid and it shouldn't have to come to this - i.e. he carefully walked the fine line between localist concerns about the effects of the strike on the community and wanting to be nice to strikers - pass the sick bag, Alice.

It will be interesting to see how high the turn out is in a by-election in a closely held council in a relatively affluent ward. I'll try and post the results tomorrow, if I can find them.

My only regret is missing a trick - the polling agents asked for by number, which I gave. I should, however, have refused to give it to the Lib-Dem woman, just to piss her off. petty, spiteful, juvenile, I know - but I hate the fucking Lib-Dems with all my black and twisted soul. I'll know for next-time.

Community campaigners, my hairy arse.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

By-election in Kentish Town


In my local ward there is a by-election.

At the last election two of the three seats went to the Liberal vermins. The Labour retainer of their seat has since resigned, causing the by-election.

If anything was going to get me to vote Labour for the first time since 1994 (Councillor Davies of Coatham Ward, Langbaugh (a borough that no longer exists, that's how long ago it was)) it's been the Liberal Democrats campaign to get that seat. I'm going to try and take a close look at their expenses returns because it looks to me like they've spent a fortune on this election.

I am, still, torn between simply spoiling my vote as I have done ever sicne 1994 and voting for a candidate. I agree wholeheartedly with the spoiling campaign, I think it a very useful tool and could be used as part of a mass campaign; however, if I am to go with accepting that the cigarrette-paper thin differences between parties do matter then I should vote against the Yellow Tories and worry about the precise policies of Labour later.

I don't know - any advice, my loyal readers? Labour or World Socialism? How should I vote?

p.s. one candidate, lives a few doors down from me, and is joint leader of the Green Party and Newstatesman Blogger Sian Berry.