Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Class warrrrr!!!!

OK, I couldn't believe it, facing a council estate on Hampstead Road, round the back grotty end of Euston station stands a billboard - recently advertising the new Champagne bar at St. Pancras; yesterday, showing the advert I saw from the window of my bus to work "From limo to lounge in 10 minutes" - yes, it's the new Upper Class Wing at Heathrow from Virgin. At least they've segmented the market well and know who they are aiming for.
Our complimentary chauffeur driven car service whisks you to and from the airport, at both ends of your journey. At Heathrow, Gatwick and Johannesburg, jump the queue with Drive Thru Check In.

When flying Upper Class®, your seat is a suite. Complete with an extra large table, private power source, and guest seat for meeting or entertaining. When sleep beckons, your seat converts to a totally flat, super-wide bed complete with a duvet and turn down service. Explore the largest fully flat bed.
I am not fucking making this up. Privilege and comfort for the ultra rich: what bottles of Bells for them who queue like cattle?

It is not the fact of the service, risible and contemptible though it is, but the mind set, identity, class consciousness of anyone who purchases it. It is an offence of conceit and greed - conspicuous consumption and a contempt for your fellows. This is how the class war is waged by the otehr side, and they are conscious of what they are doing.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The real world

OK, at a branch meeting last night, we had a speaker from the Sam Hallam campaign.

I'd seen posters about this campaign round the Hoxton area, butthis was teh first time I'd heard about the case in detail.

I'm always a touch wary of these campaigns, because I wasn't there and it's hard to know. The speaker addressed this point clearly - they're not asking us to campaign because we think he's innocent, but that there might be a case worth the court of appeal hearing.

From what was said, the case does sound shonky, and I do think the appeal should be considered. There, that's my invovlement, go read their site for more.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Cameron fucks it

Alan pre-empted my post for the day (see comments below).

David Cameron has announced Conservative Co-operativism. What might occur to him as a cunning technique to soak a few Lib-Dem and soft left voters into his camp, could well, in my opinion, become a catastrophic ideological hammer blow to conservatism.

Without the harumphing press releases and comments of Co-operaors - which are undoubtedly accurate, this lurch by Cameron has the possibility of being a massive own goal.

The point at which co-operativism and socialism meet is - if you will forgive a touch of jargon - the subordination of exchange value to use value. Co-operation is defining a social need and sharing the cost to ensure it happens. It is opposed to the profit motive which sees the use value of money as being its capacity to create more exchange value. It opposes private ownership - and as such it operates against the market in capital and thus against capitalism.

Cameron is right that there have always been conservative critics of the market. Look at the names he drops - Burke (a liberal) who is remembered in history, despite his writings on aesthetics and oranic society - for his swinish multitude comment (that the electorate, to you, Dave). Carlyle, a racist who objected to the sole connexion between man and man being cash - he wanted a genuine master servant relationship instead of the rebelious proles and they capacity to strike and quit their jobs.

See, Cameron is mistaken, there is a conservative counter-point to co-operatives - it's called charity. That does not interfere with private property, indeed, it makes a virtue of the accumulation of private property by converting the avarice of one (almost always) man into the figure of the philanthropist. Not common effort and mutual values, but private property being directed towards the ills caused by private property.

Cameron has either exposed himself as ignorant, or foolish. If the idea of co-operation grows it will harm his natural constituency. Of course, it is probably a cunning ruse to introduce, eventually, school vouchers and private health care, but it could also open the door to real co-operative values, and move the centre from its current point even further to the left.

Perhaps not a cigarette paper moement, more a great ruddy wedge.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ave Cincinnatus

Over at the tomb of the Grantites, they continue to hang onto the coattails of Hugo Chavez - urging a yes vote in the constitutional amendment.

A detour - two early American presidents did two amzaing things - the first, george Washignton, resigned after two terms. War hero, general, fatehr of the nation, inspiration for the only truly national party (the veterans) he could have ruled for life. he could, if he'd tried, gone for dictator. He didn't, he retired. His successor did something even more amazin, he got voted out of office. Almost unheard of. he went. Admittedly, behind all this lay teh militias, and their implied threat, but still, the American revolution carried off its most splendid coup - power can change hands at the ballot box - and it survived.

Chavez has institutionalised turn limits - no office hodler in the land can even try for indefinite tenure. He created the Bolivarian Constitution which limitted the president to two terms. Now he wants the president to be the exception - claiming that he is the artist whose vision is being carried out. He wants to add to that the power of decree.

For the good of whatever advances have been made in Venezuela, pace the old Grantites, Chavez needs to be rebuffed - the lesson must be rammed home - a movement is more than one man. What the world needs is an example of genuinely popular democratic change, not another fucking caudillo.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Idle bugger

I've been full of cold - that's my excuse.

Anyway, I'll try and fit in some posts about Venzuela and Pakistan in the next week or so (there, I've committed myself, I have to do it).

But first, given that it seems that the SWP are going to be holding the "constitutionally convened" Respect conference, and Galoway's mob are holding a rival one (because they lost the packing war) I take it that means that, all importantly, the SWP is going to be able to retain the respect brand, and - vitally - the registration with the Electoral Commission.

They can add it to their collection, because they currently own the registration for Socialist Alliance (the last front they trashed). I wonder whether, when they split with Tommy Sheridan they will keep the Solidarity registration? Perhaps they collect them? Are the SWP scalp hunters?

I'm surprised, to be frank, that no one is running round accusing the SWP of being an MI5 front, after all, they ahve systematically trashed everything on the left for years and years. No one has, and that would be absurd, because, everyone knows that, like the scorpion in the story, it's what they do.

Their baleful influence illustrates clearly that we all need to learn a lesson, that open, democratic movements that are impervious to their conspiratorial take over techniques.


Unrelated, but fascinating article over at Socialist Unity about Cuba's (enforced) post oil economy.

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