20 thoughts on “The 4.45pm Link

  • Ishmael

    That is a brainwashing so hard to change. It is difficult to believe the poor still vote for the Labour party. If not for Scotland “Labour” might never see the front benches again. The challenge is to make the U.K competitive and stop wasting labour by leaving untrained people claiming benefits.

  • Clark

    Craig,

    thanks. That is an excellent article. Corporate control of the mainstream media is a major obstacle to progress.

    I went to buy fish and chips last week. In the shop was the Essex Chronicle. It’s headline was that the cancellation of the new runway at Stanstead Airport would “cost 13000 jobs”. This made me mad. I don’t know anyone around here that wants the new Stanstead runway. Yes, some jobs would be created, but nearly all of them would last only for the construction period.

  • Nye

    Yeah well but.

    Labour were brilliant for the working class, when we had a working class.

    New Labour weren’t Labour.

    Labour is dead.

  • writerman

    Breaking one of my oldest rules. Today for some strange reason, for the first time in years, I bought some really fine opium down at the harbour and I’ve been smoking all afternoon in the shade in my garden, under one of my oaktrees.

    I think it’s because I’m depressed and I really need a break from the world for a bit. It’s becoming too much for me.

    For me the concept of democracy is an incredibly powerful, radical, and dangerous one. Dangerous in the sense that if it existed, democracy would challenge the legitimacy of almost everything I am, not to mention the rest of my extended family.

    Democracy is an extremely rare thing, like a very exotic flower that only blooms under exceptional circumstances, with perhaps centuries between each flowering. It’s also a fragile thing, and feared almost beyond reason, because democracy is a direct threat to the distribution of power in society.

    In our form of democracy, let’s call it that for now, the people have a degree of influence, but they don’t have power, direct power over their lives. Arguably, in todays UK, power is about as concentrated as it was at the start of the nineteenth century. If it isn’t yet, that’s certainly the trajectory we’re on, back to Jane Austin’s England, Jane Austin’s fantasy world and the rigid social and economic pyramid, where the vast majority of the population, the 95%, don’t even appear to exist. They have more-or-less the same statues as trees or livestock. They have a vital role as providers of an economic surplus, but they have no voice, and anyway, nobody is listening.

    Life can be wonderful and good, charming, amusing, full of vim and wit, and very civilised, and one doesn’t need democracy for that, far from it.

    In the kind of society we, or rather my people have created, (and benefit from so fantastially; as we did at the time of Jane Austin, when one of my ancestors in the Ukraine lived like Mr. Darcy) to put it bluntly, we no longer need the ‘working class’, (which is virtually everybody after all), we’ve created a new one abroad which is paid a twentieth of what we pay in the UK and there are millions of them ready and willing to work. There are no Trades Unions, no political parties, no free press, and the profits are gigantic.

    Now that the manufacturing jobs have gone abroad, the next thing to follow will be the wages, followed by the consumption of goods and services. This is as true as night following day. It’s like we’ve turned the clock back to the good old days, the days of Jane Austin’s pampered elite.

    So the UK ‘working class’ has been effectively left high and dry by the tide of history, sad, so sad, for them, but true.

    As the ‘black sheep’ who turned his back on the family business, preferring the comfortable life of a wastrel; sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll in my golden youth; I have a bad concience about my class simply abandoning the ‘working class’ to their fate and the ruthlessness of the socalled ‘free market’ and state capitalism. We, unlike most people, can leave the sinking ship like very fat cats, or maybe that should be rats?

    I’ve a bad concience, but I don’t intend to actually do anything, but watch the show, watch the collaps like a Roman. Because, afer all, what can a poor boy do? Because, in London town, there’s just no place for a street fighting man, is there?

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  • Suhayl Saadi

    Well, writerman, I wouldn’t get too depressed if I were you. You are one of the lucky ones who got off the Titanic; the rest of us fools are going to go down sometime soon, I wager. Not smiling, though. No string quartets. Just rage and hate – I hope. Have a good smoke.

  • Anon

    It’s the media wot dunnit, the Daily Retard,The Sun, The Herald the Scotsman and the BBC won the election for Labour. Every Labour failure was turned into a positive. Every SNP utterance was from the mouths of fools.

    For the SNP to succeed the British State Defendiing Machine, ie the scottish media has to be overcome.

  • Abe Rene

    Speaking of Glasgow, does anyone know of a video containing the left wing version of ‘Green grow the rushes ho’? Here’s some lyrics I found on the web:

    I’ll sing you one, ho

    Red fly the banners, ho

    What is your one, ho?

    One is workers’ unity and ever more shall be so!

    I’ll sing you two, ho

    Red fly the banners, ho

    What is your two, ho

    Two, two, the workers’ hands, fighting for our liberty

    One is workers’ unity and ever more shall be so!

    (and so on through to… )

    Thirteen for the holes in Trotsky’s head

    Twelve for the chimes of the Kremlin clock

    Eleven for the Moscow Dynamos

    Ten for the days that shook the world

    Nine for the days of the general strike

    Eight for the Eighth Red Army

    Seven for the hours of the working day

    Six for the Tolpuddle martyrs

    Five for the years of the Five Year Plan

    Four for the Years it took them

    Three, three, the rights of man

    Two, two, the workers’ hands, fighting for our liberty

    One is workers’ unity and ever more shall be so!

  • Clark

    Writerman,

    Suhayl,

    it may be better than you suppose. The global imbalance of wealth has to be equalised somehow; I can think of less traumatic routes, but it was always inevitable.

    What always strikes me as odd about the current situation is the coincidence of the huge problems and the massive potential for good. Just at the moment when human influence becomes as dangerous as the great forces of nature, human understanding reaches a point where the great scientific disciplines begin to merge, and our collective knowledge becomes comparable to the challenges that we face.

    I feel that all humanity has to do is avoid self-made disaster for a few short years. Human understanding has already increased wealth and quality of life immensely; if we can just hang on, the battle for power could be rendered redundant.

  • super390

    Is the SNP any greater a friend of socialism? I wouldn’t know, I’m in the USA where there are no friends left.

    As long as the illusion is preserved that Reaganism or Thatcherism worked, then the masses will not defend themselves against corporate rape.

    But that’s how it always is with dying empires, isn’t it? They reach the point where their past exterts a greater gravitational pull than their future. The Right is unified by a single myth about the virtues of the unegalitarian past, the Left is splintered by competing visions of the future.

    Thus just as political change requires that one generation’s views must simply eradicate the old views by attrition, changes in the world require new hegemons to replace old ones. At this moment, the Asia Times is reporting a growing tilt by the Chinese government in favor of protesting workers against their bosses, who are quick to raise or even double wages to avoid bad press. It states that the government is ready to begin the transition to an economy driven by domestic consumption and it needs higher wages to do it.

    What is the difference between America and China? Is it that China’s new capitalists have not yet amassed the brainwashing power needed to convince the body politic that massive and growing inequality is the solution to every problem?

    Or is it that a people will invest in public goods – including decent working conditions – when their country is on the way up the development ladder because the returns on investment are high, while a country in decline produces such poor returns that the elites easily convince the masses to privatize, outsource, and allow to rot, in heedless pursuit of private utopias?

    Rome ended, they say, when the manor owners simply decided that civilization did not yield a net profit, and seceded with their loyal serfs to begin the Dark Ages.

  • Vronsky

    They say that the mean time to burn-out for a political activist is seven years, and I’ve done my seven. When I joined up I imagined that I would help to educate people that as far as the Union was concerned, the way out was the way up, and that many things would become possible if we had control of our own affairs. It seemed obvious, but it woz me wot got eddicated.

    I had a very idealistic view: tell them the truth, keep telling them the truth, and sooner or later… I insisted that the contents of leaflets and press releases should be intelligent, accurate and grammatical. ‘We can’t aim to please everyone, so let’s aim to influence the influencers’, I said – ‘and they know facts and grammar.’ What a fool I was.

    One of the lines pushed by the Labour Party is that ‘Scots have too much to lose by independence’. Not the strongest of slogans, you might think. I started to change my mind when canvassing in one of our poorer housing estates. It was at night – I was crazy to be there at all. I went into a close (common access lobby) and on the first floor the door was opened by a thin, middle-aged man wearing only vest and underpants. There was no carpet on the floor of the hall he stood in: it had no light, and the living room behind him had no carpet or furniture. When he discovered the purpose of my visit, he very boldly declared that he would not be voting SNP as ‘we have too much to lose by independence’. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    It is a characteristic pattern. They file out of the ghetto, vote for continuance of the ghetto, and file back into it again. It is not democracy, but some horrible kind of farming, like H G Wells’ Eloi.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Clark, thanks for the vibes, much appreciated. I was going to be slightly naughty and, in continuance of writerman’s allusion to opium, ask what exactly you were smoking when you write that? But I hope, I do sincerely hope, that you are right.

    Abe, that’s a hilarious chant! I’d not seen it before.

    Vronsky, what an account, gosh. yeah, says it all. It made me wonder – my sick mind – whether, on your variegated pilgrimages as an activist, you might ever have encountered any women “wearing only vest and underpants”.

    In which case, we may have a politically-aware erotic narrative of:

    ‘What the Political Activist Saw’.

  • Vronsky

    “on your variegated pilgrimages as an activist”

    Suhayl

    No, no naughty ladies I’m afraid.

    Some funny experiences though. Once while I was speaking to a lady on her doorstep a small puppy dog ran out into the garden. The lady was telling me that in her opinion the biggest problem in the area was drugs, in particular youngsters using drugs. Her children, she earnestly assured me, were not involved. Then she called to the dog. ‘Get back in here, Ganja!’

  • Anon

    Vronsky

    “They file out of the ghetto, vote for continuance of the ghetto, and file back into it again. It is not democracy, but some horrible kind of farming, like H G Wells'”

    Inspired, insightful, whilst being truly depressing.

    For the SNP to succeed the British State Defendiing Machine, ie the Scottish media has to be overcome.

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