The Strange Death of Corporatist Britain 125


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After the most intense bombardment of Tripoli yet, we are now deploying ground attack helicopters to intensify the fighting in Libya. Whether all this is really going to achieve the illegal objective of regime change is open to question. What is in no doubt is that it is killing people, and it is very expensive. In April 2011, UK net public sector borrowing exceeded £10 billion for the month – compared to £7.2 billion in April 2010 and a forecast of £6.5 billion. We are closing libraries and care for the disabled. Yet we still squander billions on neo-imperial folly.

The problem is that there is no opposition. The British political system has become an uncomplicated instrument of power for a united neo-conservative class. The Liberal Democrats have been neutered by Clegg and New Labour still seeks to attack from the populist right. Our established political system is not fit for purpose – it no longer provides a forum for the airing of views very widely held by disparate groups in society, and for the fair and agreed resolution of courses of action.

It has not always been like this. Even at the height of Britain’s formal Empire, major parts of one of Britain’s two main parties were actively and aggressively anti-Imperialist, and in the later Gladstonian period that included the leadership.

These aggressive wars are the most spectacular instance of the non-representation of important sections of public opinion. Involving less actual explosions and causing slower deaths, the banking bailout is a much deeper and more important example. No significant opposition was given to the lie that every single individual had to give tens of thousands of pounds to the banks to save us all from doom. As the payments are made over a lifetime – and multiplied many times in interest – the pain of realising that everyone was now vicariously paying off a very large mortgage on money somebody else has enjoyed, is only now starting to be felt. The vast mass of people did not realise what is happening, and did not do so because a united political class in the service of those taking the money from the people, conspired to mislead them and offered no alternative.

But the truth is that it will not last. A political system which has become as otiose as this one, which no longer reflects the interests of large masses of economically significant people, will eventually collpase. That process can take decades, and I am not sure how it will be replaced, nor that what replaces it will be better. But the current western liberal democratic model is looking bust. We need now to work on ideas which are both more libertarian and responsive to smaller communities which are closer to their people.

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125 thoughts on “The Strange Death of Corporatist Britain

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  • evgueni

    This recurring discussion about the BNP illustrates clearly the problem with party politics. Instead of being able to hold ballots on individual issues of policy, we are faced with a severely restricted choice between ‘policy bundles’ – party manifestos. This is so incredibly undemocratic and yet our collective imagination is completely inhibited by the silence in the MSM on the subject. We continue furiously to argue amongst ourselves which party represents us best. But none of them do, because party interests and those of the electorate ultimately fundamentally diverge in a purely ‘representative’ system such as ours. So in fact we are reduced to voting for candidates from the least bad party, a choice that is further restricted because it has to be focused on parties with realistic prospects of election under the unfair FPTP system. The new idea that we need, to replace that of “liberal democracy”, is not new at all. We are a very, very long way away from democracy in the UK, always have been. Time to recognise this and consider what democracy really means, from first principles. This thought process will lead us to re-examine our understanding of popular sovereignty and how this can be implemented practically in a modern society. There is no need to re-invent the bicycle, Initiative & Referendum is the most practical expression of popular sovereignty yet found.

  • mark_golding

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

  • kingfelix

    Mark
    .
    Do you realise there is nothing more annoying than posting that Niemoller quote?
    .
    The annoyance is due to the idea that any of the rest of us might not already be acquainted with it.
    .
    Here, everybody, 2+2 = 4
    .

  • Vronsky

    I’m not far from agreeing with CanSpeccy’s thesis that the BNP exists to discredit good ideas. They’re also useful in allowing British politicians of the far right (which is all of ’em) to claim some moral high ground, if only in the vaguest of relative terms. They murder by the tens of thousand abroad, while tut-tutting at the awful threat of the BNP’s ‘fascism lite’ at home.

    Not entirely off topic: seen this?

    http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2011/05/david-kelly-stolen-dental-records.html

  • evgueni

    I think CanSpeccy’s explanation of the BNP phenomenon is unnecessarily elaborate. Perhaps a more mundane one fits better – that the BNP only have one idea that they really care about, namely that immigration is the source of all problems. The rest of their manifesto could be just populist window dressing to help them get votes and to be horse-traded subsequently as befits their true agenda, Lib Dems style 🙂 . There is a possible logical contradiction in their reasoning: on the one hand they feel strongly about immigration, on the other they promise to let the people have the final word. Therefore, either they are very confident that the people will support them in their anti-immigration crusade (in which case no logical flaw exists), or that their democratic statements are not genuine.
    .
    I would feel more comfortable voting for a party whose central idea is to give power to the people in the form of I&R rights, and who adopt other populist policies (anti-immigration etc) as a means to get votes..

  • evgueni

    Mark,
    Do you think the BNP are really racial/cultural supremacists in extreme disguise? What makes you think that? Someone close to me, a naturalised Johnny-foreigner like me, voted for a BNP candidate in 2010. A colleague of mine, a British Indian, is friendly with his neighbour who is a member of the BNP. These two people do not feel threatened by the BNP, it seems.

  • angrysoba

    “I now avoid all ZBC and other broadcast and print media.”
    .
    Hear that, kids? Halpin means “Zionist Broadcasting Corporation”. Their tentacles are everywhere!
    .
    “I quote Milton Mayer often.”
    .
    We’ve noticed and it doesn’t make Milton Mayer’s observations of post-Weimar Germany any truer on repeated postings. Hilariously, Mark Golding whose prose stylings are similar to your own (“Such web sites assure us there are sentient decent beings in our world but how can they impinge on mushroom clouds of evil?”) posted Neimoller’s hackneyed-to-Biblical-proportions mea culpa which somehow contradicts Mayer in that it was clear the Nazis weren’t about freedom. It was clear at the time too, so anyone who says, “we thought we were free” were liars. The Nazis were totalitarian from the beginning and had the Communists rounded up and thrown in jail as soon as Marinus van der Lubbe burnt down the Reichstag, the Nazis abolished trade unions with their co-ordination [Gleichschaltung] programme and replaced them with the German Labour Front and kicked Jews out of the civil service and called boycotts on Jewish shops. This began from 1933. It beggars belief that anyone lived through that and didn’t know what was going on.
    .
    Now you may say the same about the NWO or Zionist Empire or whatever the bogeyman is you’re presenting but it is clear that we are not remotely comparing like with like. The Nazi seizure or power was not gradual or incremental and it didn’t come about through political apathy.
    .
    Meanwhile, commenters here are starting to say they think the WAY OUT is voting for a party which essentially is fascist?

  • ingo

    Thanks for that recent panel with Abdel Bari Atwan, offtopic, also thanks to mark _G and Mary for staying on the ball.

    Am I alone in feeling nauseic over the last two days of fawning over a US presidents visit?
    MP’s falling over themselves to reach and touch him? Let it be said that there was nobody who spoke out against Obama’s course and false witness paid to the problems in Palestine, whilst Netanyahu danced in defiance in front of senators, slapping that glove, still wet with mortar from the latest east Jerusalem Palestinian land steal, into his face.

    Not a single MP raised his/her opinion or lamentations in the house, all that was heard is the din of false adolation, MP’s eager for ‘publicity tans’ reflected from the smiling shine of Obama’s PR machinery I presume. I presume that Ms. Lucas MP for the Green Party was there, as was her excellency Ms. Ruddock, did they dare to speak their mind?

    Kingfelix, pastor niemoellers quote should be hammered over the netrances to every centralised Government, regardless of what colour direction or form of Government, I for one thank him for his outspoken work, he would have loved to see the Berlin wall fall, it would have melted his heart.

    There are all sorts of people visiting this blog Kingfelix, they might not be annoyed, despite being a little less educated as some of us, they might hear this timeless quote which fits in so many ways to so many repressive regime’s, for the first time.

  • mark_golding

    Angrysober,

    You made the connection but thought it was funny – then predictably proceeded down you own tired corridor ignoring the umpteen cries for help behind many closed doors. Hear that, kids?

  • mark_golding

    Kingfelix,

    Thanks for your critical approach. The prose is like a painting, a work of art. I wanted the reader ‘to live through’ the experience; your objective interpretation is noted as ‘affective fallacy’ – perhaps next time I’ll erect a neon sign.

  • mary

    If proof was needed that we are heading down a very dark tunnel, here are the details of the newly coined Obama/Cameron Joint Strategy Board. We are in their grip and it’s worse than when Bush and Blair were running the show.

    President Obama’s Visit to the UK, May 2011
    25 May 2011
    THE WHITE HOUSE
    Office of the Press Secretary
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    FACT SHEET: The U.S.-UK Joint Strategy Board

    The United States and the United Kingdom today are announcing the creation of a Joint Strategy Board. The Board will help enable a more guided, coordinated approach to analyze the “over the horizon” challenges we may face in the future and also how today’s challenges are likely to shape our future choices. It is designed to better integrate long-term thinking and planning into the day-to-day work of our governments and our bilateral relationship, as we contemplate how significant evolutions in the global economic and security environment will require shifts in our shared strategic approach.

    The Joint Strategy Board, co-chaired by the U.S. National Security Staff and the U.K. National Security Secretariat, will include representatives from the Departments of State and Defense, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defense, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Joint Intelligence Organization. It will report to the U.S. and U.K. National Security Advisors, Thomas E. Donilon and Sir Peter Ricketts.

    The Joint Strategy Board will meet quarterly alternating between sites in the United States and United Kingdom. The U.S. and U.K. National Security Advisors will review the status of the Board after one year and decide whether to renew its mandate.

    http://ij-poli-blog.blogspot.com/2011/05/anglo-american-joint-strategy-board.html

  • mary

    And something for Angry to watch whilst he salivates over the Mladic arrest. If anyone doubted that there was Israeli bias within the BBC, listen to Tim Lllewellen who was their Middle East reporter until he resigned. He is speaking at Amnesty at the launch of a new book by Greg Philo of the Glasgow Media Unit who analyse such bias – More Bad News From Israel.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiqOccC4dWg&feature=related

  • angrysoba

    “If anyone doubted that there was Israeli bias within the BBC, listen to Tim Lllewellen who was their Middle East reporter until he resigned.”
    .
    Tim Llewellyn’s got some funny ideas:
    .
    “Mr Llewellyn declared: “The Israelis appear in studios wearing suits. They’ve learned all sorts of tricks. They are wizards at communication; they speak 10 different sorts of English, from American to South African to Canadian.” Good English, he suggested, played better with the presenters than “a Palestinian speaking down a crackly phone-line from dusty Ramallah.” He added that the tone of complaints against those giving the Palestinian viewpoint was “vituperative, pestering and controlling.”
    .
    “He also denounced broadcasters who invited the “insidious” former US ambassador to the Middle East Denis Ross, without fully identifying him.
    .
    “Mr Llewellyn said: “What a lovely Anglo-Saxon name! But Denis Ross is not just a Jew, he is a Zionist, a long-time Zionist… and now directs an Israeli-funded think tank in Washington. He is a Zionist propagandist.””
    .
    Hear that? Denis Ross has the gall to use an “Anglo-Saxon name”. This means that when playing the usual game of Spot the JEW, his articles might slip by unnoticed, I suppose. And damn those JEWS for speaking English!!!! And wearing suits!!!! Devious tricksters!!!!
    .
    http://tinyurl.com/3jjs8lk

  • Ruth

    This quite appalling.

    ‘GOOD BYE FREEDOM!.

    In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the free Internet, it has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate.

    The latest example is You Tube’s compliance with a request from the British government to censor footage of the British Constitution Group’s Lawful Rebellion protest, during which they attempted to civilly arrest Judge Michael Peake at Birkenhead county court.

    Peake was ruling on a case involving Roger Hayes, former member of UKIP, who has refused to pay council tax, both as a protest against the government’s treasonous activities in sacrificing Britain to globalist interests and as a result of Hayes clearly proving that council tax is illegal.

    Hayes has embarked on an effort to legally prove that the enforced collection of council tax by government is unlawful because no contract has been agreed between the individual and the state. His argument is based on the sound legal principle that just like the council, Hayes can represent himself as a third party in court and that “Roger Hayes” is a corporation and must be treated as one in the eyes of the law.”

    http://tpuc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=32892

  • Herbie

    Angry
    .
    .
    Are you claiming that the Palestinian case gets equal treatment on the BBC?
    .
    If not, what exactly is your substantive argument?
    .
    Do you have one?

  • mark_golding

    The absurd freedom of ex President and Likud member Musa Qasab, reminds us of the corruption within the Israeli justice system towards members of government. In **2006** Qasab sexually harassed 10 women and raped another. In **2011** he was sentenced to seven years in prison for rape, committing an indecent act while using force, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice.

    He is still free waiting appeal claiming he had a ‘relationship’ with the woman. The BBC failed to report the hearing was postponed because Qasab had arranged a holiday with his family.

    http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=222379

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12815941

  • mary

    Sarah Colborne who was on the Mavi Marmara flotilla (the subject of Jane Corbin’s notoriously biased BBC documentary Death in the Med) is now the director of the Palestine Solidarity Canpaign. She writes on the campaign by the Zionist lobby to get Amnesty to cancel the meeting at which Tim Llewelyn apoke.
    .
    Complicity in Oppression: Do the media aid Israel?
    PSC and MEMO’s packed public meeting on media bias sparked a riveting debate. If you missed the meeting on Monday, listen to the speakers here (thanks to Sternchenproductions for recording the event):
    .
    Greg Philo, Research Director of The Glasgow Media Group, and co-author of Bad News from Israel and More Bad News from Israel
    Tim Llewellyn, former BBC Middle East correspondent:
    & Abdel Bari Atwan, Editor of Al Quds, London, and Al Jazeera and BBC commentator.
    .
    “I am aggrieved by my ex-employer’s continuing inability to describe in a just and contextualised way the conflict between military occupier and militarily occupied” – Read Tim Llewellyn’s review of More Bad News from Israel in The Guardian
    .
    Read Sarah Colborne’s analysis of the organised lobby against this meeting.
    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/05/20/once-again-israels-cheerleaders-try-to-shut-down-debate/

  • mark_golding

    I have always maintained that Andrew Gilligan was a stooge behind a government plot to ride roughshot over the BBC and boot out its chairman and governers, deciders that oversaw and guided the BBC’s intense, emotionally overwhelming and passionate reporting of the Iraq war.

    Treacherous accusations of course need proof to turn theory into certainty and absolute proof hidden by closed ranks and assassination is difficult at best.

    After the trajedy of Dr David Kelly’s death, Sir Richard Dearlove, still C/SIS, told Lord Hutton that Kelly had behaved disgracefully in speaking to journalists, breaking his duty of confidentiality. Dearlove’s indictment was predicated on the assumption that Kelly was not permitted to speak to the media and that Andrew Gilligan’s account of Kelly’s opinions was accurate. Both were wrong.

    David Kelly had a duty to the OSA but he was no traitor except in the eyes of the Downing street media machine and he was no match for the all powerful SIS chief and the awful condition of British politics where a prime-minister has immense power even today in a coalition where deputy prime-minister Clegg is virtually a lap-dog instead of a counter-weight.

    Gilligan seemed to gain a reputation as the person who first drew attention to the fact that WMD were absent in Iraq, of course in reality by May 2003 this was already causing great concern in the UK and US, not least for David Kelly. What Gilligan had claimed when he spoke to David was quite different from Susan Watt’s taped record. Dates within Gilligan’s Psion file prove he revisited his notes and I conclude he doctored the evidence. Why would Kelly have made it clear to Watts that he was not on the JIC, or an SIS officer, that he did at the time believe Saddam had WMD and then say the exact reverse to Gilligan?

    The Blair government used their short fuzed frontman Mr Campbell to pressure the BBC into radical change in order to retain its grip on the license fee and Lord (Bloody Sunday)Hutton in critising the BBC put the final nail in the coffin.

    The moment the BBC starts kowtowing to government, you might as well close it down – it’s as simple as that.

    Greg Dykes letter to Mr Blair:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3448797.stm

  • angrysoba

    “Are you claiming that the Palestinian case gets equal treatment on the BBC?”
    .
    In fact, Tim Llewellyn seems to be complaining that the Israeli and Palestinian sides are treated as the same on the BBC and wants the BBC to say the Israelis are more guilty.
    .
    Mark Golding: “He is still free waiting appeal claiming he had a ‘relationship’ with the woman. The BBC failed to report the hearing was postponed because Qasab had arranged a holiday with his family.”
    .
    That Jerusalem Post article says no such thing. It says that Katsav’s lawyers are trying to get the appeal postponed due to vacation plans but that the chances the court will accept it is slim.
    .
    This is why the anti-Zionists discredit themselves. They make up a bunch of bullshit and then ask why the BBC isn’t reporting their made up bullshit. The answer is because it is made up bullshit.

  • Ruth

    Well, practically the best thing to do is not to watch BBC and

    perhaps for an alternative view, try PressTV.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    From what i can find out on Libya it seems like we should be arming and backing the rebels, were right to bomb artillery and tanks shelling Benghazi, but probably not bombing the hell out of Tripoli when we should be focusing on stopping Gaddafi’s forces attacking it and keeping it’s harbour open to let aid in and refugees out.

    There is probably a lot of propaganda from both sides and a lot i don’t know – and unfortunately we may not find out everything that’s true or false till months from now, but unfortunately decisions often have to be made without all the information to avoid the decision being made too late to make any difference.

    There’s an Amnesty report called ‘Misratah – Under Siege and Under Fire’ from earlier this month, based on interviews with doctors and others in the town and refugees who fled from it to Tunisia. It says Gaddafi’s forces are still using snipers to target civilians there, killing civilians by bombarding the whole rebel held part of the town with mortars, artillery and tanks and mining the harbour to stop aid ships getting in and civilians getting out.

  • evgueni

    Wikipedia on BNP: “Political scientists see the party as fascist and say that it has attempted to hide its true nature in order to attract popular support”.
    .
    I looks likely that BNP’s progressive democratic rhetoric is bunk.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Evgueni – yes their leaders are definitely fascists. Griffin used to hand out anti-semitic leaflets until he realised after 9-11 that preaching hate against all Muslims and immigrants and using the word “ethnics” as code for black and brown skinned people was more effective these days.

    That doesn’t make him any less dangerous – Milosevic and Karadzic were both preaching against the evils of extreme nationalism a few years before they saw it as the best bandwagon to ride to get and keep power

  • angrysoba

    “I looks likely that BNP’s progressive democratic rhetoric is bunk.”
    .
    Of course it is bunk. Just like the National Socialists tried to pander a bit to the working classes. The strange thing about this whole “Nick-Griffin-tries-to-discredit-the-BNP” lie is that nick Griffin is the principle proponent of this talk of the indigenous British and freedom of speech and various “progressive” ideas. This is why some of the original skinheads hate him because they think he’s made the party soft. Anyone who is taken in by the BNP will believe anything. Even Press TV or FOX.

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