Totalitarian Dictatorships Are Very Tidy 98

Totalitarian dictatorships are generally extremely tidy places. In Uzbekistan, even with major massacres, the streets are sluiced down within a few hours, bullet holes filled in, walls repainted, new flower beds instantly in bloom. There is never any litter, nothing out of place.

Democraries are by contrast messy. Members of the ultra-boring blogging tendency (Iain Dale, Norfolk Blogger) etc have been attacking my campaign for fly-posting. That conjures up unpleasant images of derelict buildings and bridges with scores of tatty mouldering posters pasted to them, for months.

We have been attaching posters, on hardboard, with cable ties, to lamp-posts and other street furniture in the constituency. We have been careful to avoid traffic lights and not to cause obstruction. We will remove all trace after the election. This is the common practice in elections over much of the UK.

The political parties, who don’t want people to be reminded of a wide range of democratic choice, are pretending to be outraged. The council have been going around scrupulously removing my posters. Interestingly, they have not been removing the numerous other posters on street furniture in Norwich, including scores for something called a “Bang Fest”. I don’t know what that is, but it sounds fun.

There are occasions where my poster and another poster are on the same lamp-post. They have only removed mine. The peculiar explanation they give is that mine are the only ones they have received complaints about.

Anyway, much better to keep the lamp-posts free from temporary posters, than have an outbreak of political expression outwith the political parties. Where might that end?

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98 thoughts on “Totalitarian Dictatorships Are Very Tidy

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  • Jon

    Comments from Iain Dale, Parasite et al demonstrate that when it comes to trivial things like fly-posting, suddenly it is of high importance. “Quick”, say the powers that be, “let’s tidy up all this ‘independent’ nonsense, all this uncontrollable and insolent pockets of democracy!”

    The idea that oscillating between the two poles of the same elite will bring about substantial change is getting tired, as is the media’s insistence that it can work, and as is the electorate’s refusal to recognise it.

    @eddie – please don’t take this an attack that requires a counter-attack, but my long-term view of your input is that it is getting increasingly mean-spirited. Craig has even supported you being here, but you still pour water on his campaign, and in an unpleasant fashion too. You are welcome to stick to the Labour party, as are people here to criticise you for doing so, but my view is that you could do it with more grace, regardless of whether you think supporters here have been abusive towards you in the past. You know that your general message here will be unpopular, so I’d suggest the onus is upon you to present your case without carelessly or deliberately offending people.

  • eddie

    Fair comment. But I am happy to respond robsutly to people who abuse me or who spout nonsense. As I’ve said before any offensive comments from me are usually in response to ten-fold of abuse on the other side, often unprovoked I would add.

  • Rob Lewis

    Eddie: “Real politics is about schools and hospitals and public services, not all this shit.”

    It’s not the first time I’ve heard that argument from a Labour supporter. I’m a bit sick of it now. Tell us how well our schools and hospitals and public services have fared under a Labour government, Eddie. And when you say “all this shit”, I suspect you mean “all this dissent”. Your party no longer has any ideology to subscribe to Eddie, let alone any values to dissent from. It has the political principles of a cat. In fact, today’s labour party has ceased to exist on any meanginful political level, other than in the expedient sense that it is currently in power. “All this shit” is what politics looks like when democracy rushes into a vacuum. You can’t even argue that Labour is a safe pair of hands any more. Its membership is under 190,000, its accounts are in the red, and it is already in hock to a league of different organisations and individuals who care nothing for schools, hospitals or public services. Even internally it is comprimised by power struggles, and it has overseen the tarnishing of the entire political system. A good chunk of the current cabinet are entirely unelected. Labour – in its current incarnation – is over Eddie.

    And let me tell you, that’s not the fault of Britain’s independent parliamentary candidates. And the prolonged, deepening recession isn’t going to be either.

    Keep up, mun.

  • Chris

    I have direct experience of this government and schools, and I’m sorry eddie, but it isn’t good. One or two decent initiatives, I grant you, but generally nothing but a wasteful layering of red tape and ridiculous target setting and form filling.

    The benefits to the children have been minimal and if education isn’t about kids it’s about nothing.

    Schools now compete with each other to spin results, inspection reports etc, as they adopt the perceived wishes of their political masters. It’s all fur coat and no knickers. Sad really…. as 1997 really did present a once in a lifetime opportunity, the waste of which will be viewed dimly through the prism of history. New Labour should be buried in an unmarked grave and forgotten.

  • dreoilin

    “usually in response to ten-fold of abuse on the other side, often unprovoked I would add.”


    eddie, on the previous thread I asked you where I had abused you. You have responded that I called you a ‘troll’. Here is Wiki’s definition of a troll:

    “In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts *controversial, inflammatory*, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or collaborative content community, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional or disciplinary response”

    I submit that you fit that description.

    You did not answer my simple question “Have you read Murder in Samarkand?” but you went on to say,

    “I am happy to engage in debate but no one seems willing. Don’t worry I’m used to it. You and your friends can’t seem to argue, you just abuse people.”

    On this thread, you’ve recently posted, “Stuart – you are an idiot who knows zilch about schools and hospitals. Get lost.”

    If this is debate or argument, and without abuse, I fail to see it. I also fail to see why you were fooling around with name, if it wasn’t to provoke. Which by definition makes you a troll.

  • Veritas

    Oh no. The censorious and cloyingly sanctimonious Iain Dale has appeared.

    When he’s not removing posts that point out the Kentish origins of “Norfolk girl through and through”, Chloe Smith, he’s happy to restrict the polling of other candidates. He’s certainly more MSM than blogger.

    The simple truth is that Craig is by far the better candidiate, a man of immense experience or a twenty something careerist lobby fodderette with an inane line in PRspeak, you decide.

  • eddie


    Perhaps you can’t understand that that definition makes almost everyone on this board a troll because 90% of the posters use language that is “inflammatory” or “provoking” to me and anyone who dares to express a different opinion. Doh, back to the drawing board perhaps? If you and others seriously want this message board to be a place where everyone agrees with each other then I will sod off, but closed minds are rather unhealthy don’t you think? As an Irish person you should know that more than most. Of course it is a lazy option to throw “troll” at anyone who disagrees with you. And no, I haven’t read the book and don’t intend to. I would no more read it than I would waste time reading about all the troofer stuff that infests this site. Unless of course you can persuade me of its merits, briefly (you see how open minded I am).

    Rob thanks for that rant, but what party do you belong to and are they are a serious contender for government? If not, then your words are about as meaningless as a fart in the desert. It is probably your powerlessness that makes you so angry, but of course it is easy to snipe and whinge from the sidelines – much harder to get involved. Labour is a mass movement, with hundreds of MPs and thousands of councillors and deep roots in the trade union movement so your description is just silly. My sister and a good friend are both headteachers so I know a little about the subject. Yes red tape is a problem, but the education system is miles better than it was twenty years ago. From the Labour Party website and if you feel that any of these facts are wrong then please tell me the truth because I would like to be put right. And also tell me whether a tory governement would have done the same, because that is the only alternative.

    Labour has doubled the amount spent per pupil since 1997 from £2,900 to over £5,850 today.

    Labour has delivered over 39,000 more teachers and 174,000 more teaching assistants than in 1997. This investment has enabled 100,000 more 11 year olds to master literacy and 93,000 more to master numeracy since 1997. Today, 81 per cent of 11 year olds reach the expected level in English and 78 per cent in Maths.

    Labour has seen 470,000 more young people gain five or more good GCSEs. The proportion of young people achieving five or more good GCSEs is up by over 15 per cent since 1997.

    Over 1,100 new schools have been rebuilt or newly built. Labour is committed to rebuilding or refurbishing every secondary school and half of all primary schools in the coming years.

  • Abe Rene

    New Labour policy on education is a mess. We have the ill-conceived AS and A2 exams replacing the old A levels, and which are no longer a gold standard. We have the lunatic aim of getting 50% of adults to have university degrees. Guess what such degrees will be worth in a recession, with masses of unemployed graduates, deeply in debt and blaming guess which party for their predicament.

    Health care is going downhill: instead of more doctors and nurses, we have more highly paid and useless managers with their obsession with targets creating a corrupt culture of dishonesty (exactly as Dame Rimington, ex-head of MI5 foresaw) and patients exploited when making phone calls.

    One good reason for voters not to stay at home : this is the only chance you’ve got to punish New Labour and rubbish the whole concept of misbegotten public-private partnerships.

    But whom to vote for? In Norwich North, Craig has my blessing as one who will exert a good influence in parliament. But elsewhere? Remove the lunatics, extremists and New Labour, and then make your choice!

  • SJB

    Eddie, I think you may be suffering from anhedonia. You seem to be fixated that Craig must not do well in the by-election. Do you look at life in zero-sum terms, I wonder? I.e. if someone else does well then in relative terms you consider your own position must therefore have diminished. Your comment to dreolin (“As an Irish person …”) makes me wonder whether you served in NI. In addition, your projection bias (“It is probably your powerlessness that makes you so angry …”) raise a query whether you may be experiencing a clinical depressive episode. There is less stigma now attached to sufferers (Alistair Campbell is a good example). The British Legion have campaigned for years on behalf of the many former soldiers who later develop mental health problems.

  • anticant

    rob lewis – what have you got against cats? They are loyal, dependable, affectionate friends and have far more intelligence and common sense than most human beings (especially politicians).

  • Duncan

    Somebody step in and stop these armchair saviours and ask Murray why his business contacts were at this years Bilderberg fest, and are also members of the International Business Leader Forum, none of who have suffered financially in the recession, quite the opposite, and are currently working on the destruction of the rainforests and the uncontacted tribes in the region of Peru and Brasil, not to mention Gaza’s offshore gas field…did I say pro Israel? wouldn’t dream of it.

    Common Purpose methinks, or dare I say…..? not yet Mr Murray, but we’re watching you, whoever your contacts are.

  • eddie

    SJB thanks for the ad hominem abuse. You prove my point very well. No debate, just abuse. But I have come across a new word thanks to you. For the record I have not served in NI although I was once a corporal in the ccf and have a marksman certificate for .303 rifle shooting – perhaps that will assist your amateur pschoanalysis? I am not trying to disparage Craig, just to point out that his chances of winning are about zero, it’s a factual statement not a wish, although he is already setting out the reasons why he won’t win, so that when he doesn’t he can claim it was all an establishment fix.

  • Rob Lewis

    @Eddie: As for my ranting, you are more than welcome. Thank you for taking it all on the chin and responding sensibly. Your point about the importance of disagreement is entirely true and I hope very much you continue to post comments on Craig’s site. That said, of course, I do stand by my comments – for the time being. I will have to give the figures a closer look but time does not allow at present. And I am of course angry, and I do feel powerless. But I feel that both those emotions are reasonable initial responses to the current political situation. I would be nonplussed, especially as you are a Labour supporter(/member?),if you didn’t feel a little angry and powerless yourself. I’m not affiliated to any party at the moment, by the way, although I know I will have to eventually muck in somehow, somewhere, or I shall go mad.

    @anticant: Cats are fine, fine animals who command both my affection and admiration. That said, they are the only pet I know whereby if they magically increased fifteen-fold in size overnight, they would kill you offhand as soon as they became bored.

  • Chris


    as far as this doubling the amount of money per pupil that you ascribe to New Labour: The money has not followed the child, it has been spent on technology which might sound like a fine idea in theory but it hasn’t worked out that way.

    Everyone now has an ‘interactive whiteboard’ which may, or may not, work, at enormous expense and against the wishes of many teachers – who, of course, were never consulted over how this magical doubling of money might be spent. Other cash went on endless in-service courses designed to do nothing but drive teachers away by delivering a kafka-esque vision of hell.

    The school building programme seems to be PFI (so no credit to the Gov for spending there… it’s just another way to mortgage the future… Something for all those lucky school children to llok forward to paying for in the future). So, no real benefit there.

    In reality (and speaking from experience – Primary and Secondary) it has all been nothing more than a continuation of failed Tory policies with added micro-management and an egregious manipulation of tests, testing and statistics.

    And to think – I voted for the bastards.

  • eddie


    YOu will have to vote for someone else next time then, but the reality is that we will have a Tory government regardless of what you and others like you feel and think. My point is, stop whingeing about the system and do something about it. What is your solution – PR? A revolution? It’s not going to happen via a PC screen. People need to engage with politics and stop sniping from the sidelines. Of course it is very easy to be cycnical but that leads to a situation where a minority of people are carrying the mass of the population politically speaking, like an economy where the majority is on benefits – it’s not sustainable in the long term.. Rob, thanks for the reasoned response. Yes I am still a party member, or think I am – their admin is none too good! But I have stuck with them because I think they are better than the alternatives, although I am no fan of Brown. I don’t like the Libs because I think they are dishonest and a vote for them is wasted and the greens or any other fringe party ditto. I lived through 18 years of thatcher so 1997 was a great year for me – disappointing in the long term perhaps, but there have been many solid achievements and a country run by Etonians ain’t going to be better, I assure you.

  • Anonymous

    Quote: “…many solid achievements…”

    The only one I can think of is Northern Ireland.

    The rest is disaster, failure and retrograde motion…

    Will Tories be any different at all….

    ….not discernably so, except perhaps for the accents. They might even resist (somewhat, they’ll cave in of course) the bankers push for total full-on surveillance state.

    We and our elected government currently live under the complete domination of Zionist/masonic international bankers.

    Look at Gaza and our middle-east policy in general.

    Nothing is going to change that in the short term. Certainly not any general election.

    A complete collapse of the dollar followed by a massive war…..that might change something. People are string to wake up very quickly as to who are the persons who really direct policy. It ain’t MP’s….they’re just rubber stamp merchants (at present)…..salesmen.

  • dreoilin

    “Perhaps you can’t understand that that definition makes almost everyone on this board a troll …”


    Read the definition again. What you said is absurd and shows lack of logic.

    “closed minds are rather unhealthy don’t you think?”

    Absolutely. And your mind is closed against Craig as a candidate. For no other reason than the fact that you’re a Labour (the new right-wing) member, right or wrong. Like certain Americans who support their country right or wrong, and continue to do so in the face of hard evidence of gross abuses. Thankfully there are many other Americans who recognise the stupidity of this stance.

    “If you and others seriously want this message board to be a place where everyone agrees with each other”

    They don’t. But it’s an “online community” because 80% or more here support Craig.

    “As an Irish person you should know that more than most.”

    More than most? Why would that be?

    “And no, I haven’t read the book and don’t intend to.”

    Ping! But you’re so well informed!


    “The only one I can think of is Northern Ireland.”


    And with respect, they couldn’t have done it without the other relevant parties — the Republic, and the factions in the North.

  • dreoilin

    “Protection against government is now not enough to guarantee that a man who has something to say shall have a chance to say it. The owners and managers of the press determine which person, which facts, which version of the facts, and which ideas shall reach the public”.

    –Commission On Freedom Of The Press

  • eddie


    Oh so I need to support Craig to post here, is that it? Fair enough. But probably 60% of the posters here have views (dark forces etc) that Craig finds abhorrent. In fact, I probably agree with him on more issues than many of the people here, so where does that leave us? Is that an “on-line community?” I think you will find that most communities contain a range of opinions and diversity should be welcomed rather than trashed, don’t you think? I have read your (wikipedia!) definition again and I stand by my point. My “primary intent” is to challenge some of the, in my view, silly views displayed here. If you think that is trolling then your definition is ludicrous frankly. As I said before, I always try to be on topic. My mind is not closed against Craig as a candidate, I just don’t think he stands a chance. A diverse range of candidates is generally to be welcomed.

    If you think that Labour’s only achievement in 12 years is Northern Ireland then I will post this again. I listed some facts about education above. No one has challenged them. Can anyone challenge these? Others have accused me of bad grace. At least have the grace to accept that this Labour government has done some good, and perhaps acknowledge that our next Etonian-led governement MAY, just may not do as good.


  • KevinB

    No eddie, they have spent vast amounts of our money making the education system WORSE, not better.

    The education system now is a national disgrace. It is about social engineering and little else. It is a cacophany of dumbed-down busyness designed to induce a state of conditioned helplessness in a despairing debt-enslaved population.

    New Labour have betrayed every decency that Old Labour aspired to. They have engaged us in many wicked wars whose only ultimate purpose is to extend the sphere of influence of our financial overlords. They are traitors to the British people and enemies of God.

    When New Labour have finished their work on our fine education system, ordinary people will listen to an idiot like you, eddie, and imagine they are hearing pearls of wisdom.

    Thankfully that day has not yet arrived.

  • Anonymous

    oh eddie, some good…..yep we should cheer I suppose.

    Me, well this financial crisis, born out of labour greed, complicity and arrogance sums them up.

  • eddie

    Denis Healey? Norman Lamont?

    “The Illuminati are to be found everywhere, their fingers are in all pies, aided by the fact that they don’t exist”.

    KevinB thanks for your pearls (or should that be peals?) of wisdom. Enemies of God eh? That’s a new one on me.

  • Chris Dooley

    Mysterious dark forces no. Much more specific than that. The Neo-Con Agenda. Thats all the evil in the world that needs to be defeated.

  • eddie

    no. Although I am a Fellow of three organisations and a member of the RAC, if that helps.

    Chris Dooley, neocon is another of those lazy terms like troll. It has the same resonance and is no better than all the conspiracy stuff – as if all these people are meeting in secret hotels somewhere plotting world domination. And the Jews behind it all.

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