Going Mainstream 103

For a decade, this blog has argued that democracy in the UK is dysfunctional because an entrenched party system offers no real choice. The major parties offer political programmes which are virtually indistinguishable. As I put it in lectures, if the range of possible political programmes were placed on a linear scale from 1 to 100, the Labour and Conservative parties offer you the choice between 81 and 84.

This exclusion of political possibility is reinforced by a corporate media structure, led by the BBC, in which ideas outside the narrow band of establishment consensus are ridiculed and denigrated. Therefore even political ideas which have the consistent support of the majority of the population, such as nationalisation of railways and other natural monopolies including utilities, simply cannot get an airing. Of all the broadcast coverage of the Iraq War, less than 3% gave time to anti-war voices, despite a majority opinion against the war.

This phenomenon explains why a large majority of both Conservative and Labour MPs are members of the Friends of Israel when public opinion consistently sympathises more with Palestine. It also explains the quite extraordinary media onslaught against Scottish independence.

I pointed out that Nicola Sturgeon’s appearance in the TV leadership debates was the first major airing of an anti-Trident argument on broadcast media in England for a decade. Actually hearing anti-austerity arguments led to a huge surge in support for the SNP in England as well as Scotland.

Now Jeremy Corbyn, having obtained a platform where on occasion he has been able to have his views broadcast direct without media mediation, is experiencing a massive surge of support. Ed Miliband’s lasting achievement is that he managed to put the ordinary people who marched against the Iraq War in charge of the Labour Party, not the careerist Blairite committee manipulators. The result is stunning.

The sheer panic gripping the London elite now is hilarious to behold. Those on the favoured side of Britain’s enormous wealth gap are terrified by the idea that there may be a genuine electoral challenge to neo-liberalism, embodied in one of the main party structures. This is especially terrifying to those who became wealthy by hijacking the representation of the working class to the neo-liberal cause. The fundamental anti-democracy of the Blairites is plainly exposed, and the panic-driven hysterical hate-fest campaign against Corbyn by the Guardian would be unbelievable, if we hadn’t just seen exactly the same campaign by the same paper against the rejection of neo-liberalism in Scotland.

I think I am entitled to say I told you so. Many people appear shocked to have discovered the Guardian is so anti-left wing. I have been explaining this in detail for years. It is good to feel vindicated, and even better that the people I have repeatedly shared platforms with, like Jeremy and Mhairi, are suddenly able to have the genuinely popular case they make listened to. Do I feel a little left behind, personally? Probably, but I would claim to have contributed a little to the mood, and particularly my article on the manufactured myth that the left is unelectable has been extremely widely shared – by hundreds of thousands – in the social media storm that is propelling the Corbyn campaign.

There has been very little comment on the impact a Corbyn victory would have on the SNP. Indeed, despite being unbendingly unionist, the Scottish media have been unable to avoid representing by omission the fact that the Labour leadership contest is taking place almost entirely in another country with another political culture. But there is no doubt that a Corbyn-led Labour Party would be more attractive in Scotland than the Tory lite version, although the paucity of Labour’s Scottish leadership would be a constant factor. Much would depend on the wider question of how the careerists who make up most Labour MPs and MSPs would react to a Corbyn victory.

At Westminster, I can see no reason at all why Liz Kendall, Chuka Umunna and their like cannot simply cross the floor and become Tories. Cameron is astute enough to find junior ministerial positions for them and the Tory ranks would be elated enough to swallow it. But most of the careerists will look at their new constituency members and suddenly discover left wing principles. It will be less bloody than people expect.

In Scotland, a Corbyn victory will bring some swing back to Labour from the SNP, but most of the old Labour demographic have now set their hearts on independence. Should Corbyn actually look set to win a UK general election in 2020, that would very possibly dent the enthusiasm for independence at the margins. It would in no sense reduce my own desire for independence, but even I would feel it less urgent. A Corbyn led UK would not cause the same feeling of moral revulsion. All of which is a good argument for having the next referendum early.

Should Corbyn not win the Labour leadership, the effect will be opposite. The SNP will be boosted by the death of the last hope that the Labour Party might actually mean something again, rather than be a vehicle for soulless careerists spouting management-manual jargon. If Corbyn loses, the Labour Party in Scotland really might as well wind up. The cause of independence will be furthered.

So what do I want to happen? I want Jeremy to win, of course, deeply and sincerely. I am an internationalist and not a Machiavellian. I want the chance of a just society and an ethical foreign policy for England and Wales. Like me, Jeremy wants to see Ireland eventually united. I have never discussed Scottish independence with him, but I am quite sure his opposition is not of the Britnat imperialist variety.

You can be sure that the security services are heavily targeted on the Corbyn campaign. Allow me one last “I told you so”. I came in for much ridicule when I stated, from certain knowledge, that MI5 were targeted on Scottish Nationalists (I had actually been shown the tasking). This comes into the category of obvious truths which the media and political consensus seeks to deny. The ridicule even came from some within the SNP – which, like any other organisation deemed a threat to the UK, is itself penetrated by the security services. Well, now that truth has become mainstream too. I do not anticipate any apologies.

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103 thoughts on “Going Mainstream

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  • nevermind

    Craig : “I met Gadaffi. A nutter.”

    The nutter, you must have known him for some time to come to that conclusion, was keeping Libya together, had enough nous to abstain from developing nuclear weapons and who, not unlike Tito, kept the ‘tribes’ together.

    By your own description it took a ‘nutter’ to develop Libya into one of the richest countries in Africa, to run a state. Whilst some pretend to lay down and do it for England, he was torturing his own men , for us, on our demand, what a nutter indeed.

    Thank you Beth for remembering one of the laughing ‘psychopath’ now running for president.
    @ Sava, thanks for your book advice/review, but you are facing a ‘hun laden’ MSM in Britain who’s understanding of the second world war is of heroic men, fighting, at least once a week. They have never heard of the disappeared German POW’s or of the prevarications that led to WW2.

    As for our lardy dardy Lord wabbits in the head light, the shocked who can’t act and expel this hypocrite, they have made it abundantly clear why the House of Lords need abolishing, not perpetuating twice/year. Its a stinking cesspit of gratuitous self servers who’s mind s have been railroaded, brainwashed party politician, half of them senile old fools, pure anachronism.

    Wabbit says

    ‘Lord Sewer you should really resign’….
    S: Hmm let me think about this for a few days, I mean they are all lame ducks quack quack….

    ‘please resign now, we have sent the sniffer dogs into your house and we will supply you with however much coke you need /day’….

    ”#~%^&*, alright then’…..

  • Ba'al Zevul

    We seem to live in an upside down world that as long as you dress and speak in a certain way (and you don’t look like an obvious nutter) you can literally get away with murder or inciting violence.

    Eton went global some time ago….

  • Republicofscotland

    “Not according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.”

    Oh that’s right the suggested proposed figures from the IFS, who using their crystal ball, with regards to Scotland’s finances predict a blackhole of £9bn by 2020.

    The magical powers of the of the IFS, who somehow can see half a decade into Scotland’s finances, and it’s all doom and gloom…no surprise their then eh!

    Meanwhile the UK government has amassed a eye watering and unrepayable debt of £1.5 trillion quid.

    The absolute shambles of a government know as Westminster is a financial joke.

    Independence for Scotland is a must before the financial clowns at Westminster, bankrupt us all, regardless of what the IFS,OBR,LSE or any other doom mongering, unionist mouthpiece espouses.

    Check this debt bomb, Westminster created it, and you’ve to pay it.


  • Mary

    John Hilley writes

    Friday, 24 July 2015
    Blair, Welfare and the ‘Corbyn problem’ – keeping politics in safe hands

    Just how do they get away with it, these ‘hands-on’ political villains responsible for so much death, destruction and social misery?

    We slaughtered Iraq.

    Just like that!

    As a litany of Labour luvvies convulse over their nightmare vision of a real people-caring politician winning the party leadership, Tony Blair has handed-down a desperate appeal to ‘deluded’ Jeremy Corbyn supporters.


  • N_

    Gadaffi had already agreed to hand Libya over to western interests. It was as if war was deliberately stirred up for war’s sake. Cf. Georgia.

    Slightly deeper analysis suggests that a big advertising dividend was reaped for weapons, including French aircraft, as well as for western superiority (the grabbing and murder of Gadaffi), and of course the nutcase headchoppers came out stronger, which is good for the West’s presentation to its home market and divides the Arabs and Muslims which is good for Israel.

    Which was a shame for Libyan people – their role has just been to get killed.

  • Mary

    ‘Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Bar Association issued statements criticising the proceedings, with IBA director Dr Mark Ellis saying several trial monitors were arrested and questioned by security forces.

    Gaddafi’s ICC-appointed lawyer, John Jones, condemned the trial process. “It’s a complete show trial, a farce,” he said. “This trial is effectively being run by Libya Dawn militias.”

    Jones said the videolink set up in Tripoli to allow Gaddafi to be tried had worked on only three occasions, leaving him in the dark about the proceedings. “They [Tripoli prosecutors] are relying on confessions from defendants extracted by torture. It was condemned by Libya’s own ministry of justice as illegal.” ‘

    Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam sentenced to death by court in Libya
    Former heir apparent and other senior members of one-time Libyan regime sentenced in Tripoli after controversial trial criticised by human rights groups

  • Ba'al Zevul

    As a litany of Labour luvvies convulse over their nightmare vision of a real people-caring politician winning the party leadership, Tony Blair has handed-down a desperate appeal to ‘deluded’ Jeremy Corbyn supporters.

    Blair is currently in Israel. Yesterday he was in Egypt. He is apparently working on some ‘peace process’ fantasy, despite having been removed from the Quartet position (which was actually not even specified to be about peace). More likely, he has some proposal for getting a couple of Israelis back from Gaza (where they went apparently voluntarily). And more likely still, he is brokering a deal between Sisi and Bibi re. keeping Gaza closed.

    Deluded? Lui?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Also on this day:


    A number of armed Israeli extremists invaded, on Tuesday evening, Palestinian farmlands in Turmus Ayya town, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and burnt piles of wheat that the Palestinians have harvested earlier.


    Israeli soldiers invaded the Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of occupied Jerusalem, and demolished a print shop, a carpentry workshop, a wedding hall and a warehouse, all located on an area measuring six and a half Dunams (1.6 Acres.)….

    …The owner of the buildings, Akram Abu Shalbak, said the structures were built in 2014; some of them had tin roofs, and the others were built with stone roofs.

    Abu Shalbak added that all of his buildings were officially licensed, and that he concluded all documents and paperwork over two months ago…

    …The demolitions took place after dozens of soldiers, including undercover units, surrounded the Wad ad-Dam area, beginning in the early morning hours, and then invaded the neighborhood.


  • Ba'al Zevul

    Double posting this because current thread swamped by bickering, and I think it’s rather important. Mods, remove the other one if you have to.

    Re. the debate on robot warfare:

    Ministry of Defence
    Exercise unmanned warrior
    The tenderer will demonstrate, trial and experiment with the tactical employment of unmanned and autonomous systems in the maritime and littoral environments in order to mature credible capability choices for the mainstream utility of maritime autonomous systems.
    Deadline: 17-Sep-15


    My bold. Background:


  • Krackerman

    Say Fred old bean how can Scotlands economy be based on Oil when all the taxation (direct and indirect on economic activity) goes direct to Westminster? Seems to me that as this was worth £35bln to Westminster last year – source http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-27129660… Imagine what we could do with that rather than the 28bln pocket money we get now! Then throw in all the other taxation that goes direct to London and only a gibbering fool would have voted NO… and you did didn’t you?

  • Freddie Harris

    Hi Craig,

    Well-written post, but I was blind-sided by your casual comment on wanting a united Ireland. Could you signpost me to any posts/articles you have written specifically about this, or (if possible) summarise your arguments for a united Ireland in a reply? As someone who lives in the North of the country, I’d be very interested to read your thoughts.

    If anyone thinks of an independent Scotland as a tough battle, they haven’t seen anything yet.

    Thanks in advance.

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