A Woodworm Off the Old Block 230


I used to discuss foreign affairs with Tony Benn over tea in his kitchen in Holland Park when I lived a short walk away. I get a mention in his later published diaries in this regard. I was therefore saddened to hear his son, Hilary, at Labour Party Conference today align himself with the establishment in a way much more in tune with their aristocratic ancestors.

Benn was sending out neo-con friendly signals like there was no tomorrow. The first came from the very start, when he paid unnecessary and fulsome tribute to the really horrible wee Dougie Alexander who had “served his constituents extremely well”. That really was a pathetic lie. Wee Dougie paid no attention whatsoever to his constituents and took them entirely for granted. Labour’s lack in Scotland of any foundation in the people was what made it so easy for us to topple the Labour monolith.

Benn went on to advocate the “Responsibility to Protect”, the Blairite code for supporting United States military and especially bombing missions abroad. The thesis that Western bombing improves and stabilises countries appears tested well beyond destruction, but the neo-cons stick with it because of the corporate interests it does so much to boost.

Benn disgracefully then called in the body of little Alayn in argument for bombing Syria. He even noted that Alayn had fled Kobani, which “the BBC had reported as almost completely destroyed”, without mentioning – as the BBC did not mention – that some of that destruction had been caused by repeated American bombings of Kobani.

I am sorry that Tony’s son turned out to be a vicious, warmongering, lying, neo-con bastard.


230 thoughts on “A Woodworm Off the Old Block

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  • Republicofscotland

    Corbyn said yesterday, on the Andrew Marr show, “Flags don’t build houses.”

    That statement was a dig at the SNP and the goal for independence.

    However the last time Labour were in power in Scotland, they built the staggering amount of 6 houses…yes your eyesight is okay it does read as 6 houses.

  • MJ

    “Corbyn and McDonnell are desperate men telling desperate lies to try and influence voters in Scotland to come back to the Red Tory party”

    You’re right to be concerned about a Corbyn-led Labour Party. The SNP is going to have a big fight on its hands. Only six months ago it was dreaming of a coalition.

  • Salford Lad

    @Fred &Republic of Scotland.
    Fred ,Sovereign created money is issued debt free, there is no servicing,

    @ROS
    I fail to understand why we persist in the UK in appointing economic illiterates to positions as Chancellor of a trillion pound economy.
    George Osborne has studied Politics at Oxford. His only day job has been as a towel folder in Harrods Drapery Dept.
    He is under the impression that an economy is administered, same as a housewifes weekly budget.
    He fails to understand the uses of SOVEREIGN MONEY.
    Money is not wealth. It can be created from thin air by the press of a computer key at the Bank of England.
    This was demonstrated when the Bank OF England created £375 billion and exchanged it for bonds and securities with the Banks .This operation was called Quantitative Easing.
    Unfortunately the banks did not invest this money into the wider economy and no stimulation occurred.
    Jeremy Corbyns’ Peoples QE is a misnomer and should really be called OVERT MONETARY FINANCING . There is no exchange of assets. There is instead investment in jumpstarting Industry and creating employment.
    This investment will be debt free and will be returned to the Treasury in time by the levy of income and Corporate taxes. The return of the investment cancels the original money creation.
    Thus this money has been used as a tool for the stimulation of the economy , job and wealth creation.
    Fiscal deficits do not matter ,As they will be cancelled. Inflation is not created when the money is invested in Productive industry and creating Real wealth.
    Money is not wealth ,it is a means of exchange,a token, a tool to stimulate industry. It is a weapon of extortion when issued as debt by the private banks.

  • Iain

    “I don’t think tribalism comes into it, Corbyn wants to put labour into a position where they can win the next election and to do that he has to beat the SNP in Scotland.”

    Well that is just a well worn myth isn’t it. Tell me why do Labour need to beat the SNP in Scotland to win the next (UK) election? How many times has the Scottish block actually influenced the UK parliament since we have had universal suffrage? You only need to look at what as happened with the recent Scotland Bill and the amendments to see what influence Scots MPs have at Westminister i.e. NONE. Changing them to Labour placeholders would make no difference either but I digress. If Labour want to win the next election they need to win in England, it is as straightforward as that.

    All I can say is that the whole Corbynmania appears to be just a charade. These Labour people can not seem to rise above the gutter and overcome their extremely petty and ignorant approach to the SNP.

    Corbyn should be ashamed of himself for all those obvious lies he told about the SNP in regard to CalMac and ScotRail yesterday. Does he think we all button up at the back? Lost all respect for the guy yesterday when he started trotting out that crap.

    As for the debate on trident, what a joke and in many ways typical of the Labour Party. Nae principles, just a quest for power.

    Red Tories, Blue Tories, Yellow Tories, all the same to me. Sad.

  • Ishmael

    “The British way of life” what they mean by that is the ANTI democratic establishment that just want to take care of you and “just be happy” mind your own.

    I laugh as any kind of free near future is ripped away, and as this country gets crushed by going American, that people like me are ‘threats’. Don’t they see this mess can’t last? that the planet itself is being destroyed? That every citizen is effected by this monstrous authoritarianism.

    They jeopardies everyones future with confident blindness. I was going to suggest creating a hash tag #WakeUpAmerica and linking to this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0LOYvk0y3o If anyone thinks it’s a good idea do so. But I imagine where pretty fucked anyway.

    Off topic. Anyone know a good way of finding out if a house has been bugged? strange “electrical installation” van/vans turning up at very odd times.

    I think i’ll face death better than them…They are not going to stop are they.

  • Sixer

    You guys are all so cross all the time!

    RoS – if Corbyn is going to be such a departure from neoliberal New Labour, it’s pointless to criticise him on the basis of what New Labour did, is it not?

    MJ – it surely is unrealistic to think that Labour can reverse the disaster in Scotland a) quickly and b) by being rude about the SNP, no?

    I think the most productive strategy for both – FOR THE PEOPLE THEY REPRESENT – would be to co-operate in opposition and, while doing so, develop distinctive strategies of their own (although the SNP clearly have a huge head start there).

    They don’t need to be biting chunks out of one another until about 2018, surely?

  • Peter Beswick

    What Benn is saying is US & UK terrorism to remove Assad is OK but Isis terrorism is bad what’s wrong with that ?

  • glenn

    Ishmael: “Off topic. Anyone know a good way of finding out if a house has been bugged? strange “electrical installation” van/vans turning up at very odd times.

    Why on earth would anyone want to bug your house, Ishmael – I mean yours in particular? We all get heavy surveillance, of course, by virtue of this being a police state. But why do you think -you- are being singled out for such high-priority, special treatment, so that the secret services would go to all this trouble?

  • Salford Lad

    Bashir Assad has been elected twice by his own people in Democratic elections. We have no right to interfere in the peoples choice, as we did in Libya with Ghadaffi and Iraq with Saddam.
    Both those countries were reduced to failed states ,hence our refugee problems ,please join the dots.

  • Mary

    A hypocrite too. Only 11 days ago, he was ‘waxing lyrical’ against arms exports and the arms fair at ExeL.
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2015-09-17a.387.0&s=speaker%3A10669#g404.0

    He employs his wife as his parliamentary assistant. I am sure they need the extra cash.
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10669/hilary_benn/leeds_central#register

    And of course, he ‘consistently voted’ for the Iraq War and voted for replacing Trident.
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10669/hilary_benn/leeds_central/votes

    He is in place by virtue of his father’s name.

  • Ishmael

    Because they can Glenn. They have massive recourses and feel a (psychotic imo) need to nip-in-the-but any ‘infection that may spread’ Ie democracy, and i’m an easy target. Why do they rape women in activist groups ? I’d assume they infiltrate and subvert any real dissent they can..

  • bevin

    Eddie-G. Either the people own the Bank-and govern it. Or the Bank governs the people, which is the current situation.
    The decision to make the BoE’independent’ was designed solely to remove from the Labour Party the power of taking basic economic policy decisions. The Blairites were intensely relaxed about leaving economic policy in the hands of labour’s enemies just as they are very happy to hand over trade disputes to the arbitration of corporation lawyers, and foreign policy decisions to the Pentagon and its corporate sponsors.

  • Ishmael

    Ps, you explain why a van would stop by the side of my house lase night @ 5;00am, not call at anyones house then drive away after 5 minutes.

    Maybe they thought I was catching on when I snubbed that guy on Saturday after our little odd chat on Friday.

  • fred

    “Well that is just a well worn myth isn’t it. Tell me why do Labour need to beat the SNP in Scotland to win the next (UK) election? How many times has the Scottish block actually influenced the UK parliament since we have had universal suffrage? You only need to look at what as happened with the recent Scotland Bill and the amendments to see what influence Scots MPs have at Westminister i.e. NONE. Changing them to Labour placeholders would make no difference either but I digress. If Labour want to win the next election they need to win in England, it is as straightforward as that”

    It’s the British parliament and Scottish MPs have as much influence as any other. After the 2010 election Scotland had 12 MPs in government, before that we had a Scottish MP as Prime minister.

  • eddie-g

    @ Bevin

    I don’t agree with that – the move to Central Bank “independence” has been the way of the world for around 3 decades at least. The Bank of England got given it – specifically, interest rate setting powers – in 1997, something Ken Clarke and Gordon Brown both wanted. The key trade-off was spinning out banking supervision and regulation, something Labour especially wanted to dilute the power that would otherwise be concentrated at the Bank.

    What Corbyn is proposing doesn’t really change the degree of independence the Bank will have. They will still set the base rate, I assume they will still have an inflation target, and actually a more fiscally expansive government would help the Bank. A big reason for QE, the effectiveness of which is uncertain, is that the Bank had no other means for how to counteract the coalition’s austerity.

  • Tony M

    Corbyn wants a return to the days of the ‘feeble fifty’. Oh dear. No thanks. Even when they had that level of support, they done nothing but line their own pockets and cosy up to the warmonger, war criminal, screw-the-poor coddle the bankers. New Labour and Tory bloc. A more repellant bunch you could not find. Never ever again, after their vicious, treacherous and spite-filled, and yes, traitorous to Scotland’s people -conduct, could any residue of those backstabbing weeds take root again, composting, putrefaction won’t kill them, but a bonfire will. The Labour brand has had its nineteenth Ratner moment, worthless junk is the best that can be said of it.

    I hope Corbyn can do well in a GE in England, John McDonnell is an impressive, principled choice, but the party is over, though in places the partying never ends. Elsewhere cold and hunger, human misery make continued existence hold little appeal.

    Let the people decide. Independence now. Labour can FRO.

  • Mary

    The Wintour version.

    Hilary Benn signals Labour support for Syria airstrikes
    Shadow foreign secretary tells conference he backs firmer action as part of a UN plan, as Diane Abbott declares her opposition
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/sep/28/labour-conference-hilary-benn-support-syria-airstrikes-uk-troops

    The good Lord help us!

    ‘Labour has taken a small step closer to backing airstrikes in Syria, but only as part of a wider, UN-sanctioned diplomatic and humanitarian package.

    The shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn, who has been battling to maintain party unity on the issue of airstrikes, told the party conference on Monday that the party would support effective action in Syria, while ruling out backing UK troops on the ground.

    John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor and a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, has suggested Labour MPs may be a given a free vote if Cameron brings a fresh motion to the Commons supporting airstrikes in Syria alongside those in Iraq.

    Diane Abbott, the shadow international development secretary, by contrast departed from her speech script to say explicitly that she opposed airstrikes.’

    At least Diane Abbott has stuck to her principles.

  • Republicofscotland

    Salford Lad, I see what you’re saying the Chancer of the Exchequers office,, isn’t for financially gifted individuals, if that were the case Britain wouldn’t be £1.5 trillion indebt.

    No the office is a privileged position occupied by of late anyway characters who, know who their wealthy friends are, and how to help them, and not the general populus.

    A perfect example, gone wrong is that of Lord Ashcroft, who expected a front bench ministerial position, on the basis of donations to the Tory party.

    You see Salford Lad, it’s not about how the Westminster government can help benefit you and me, (oh they do often throw titbits to the masses, but recoup them with the other hand).

    It all boils down to keeping the right people happy financially that is….and you’re not one of them, and if the deficit becomes too noticeable, the masses will have to pay more, or as in recent years it’s the sick and disabled who’ve been shafted, leading quite a few deaths.

  • Ishmael

    “At least Diane Abbott has stuck to her principles.”

    Or at least retained some sanity. But after her comments of “what’s human nature” on the question of oil and Iraq. ?

    Sure anyone can and should change, but i’m suspect of course.

  • Republicofscotland

    “RoS – if Corbyn is going to be such a departure from neoliberal New Labour, it’s pointless to criticise him on the basis of what New Labour did, is it not?”
    ______________________

    Well Sixer it didn’t take Corbyn long to enter SNP BAD mode, Labour Good mode.

    I’d say he’s desperate to regain the trust of voters north of the border, but we’ve had 3 solid years of the Red Tories north of the border and indeed Miliband, Cameron,Farage and Clegg, all saying the same old tired rhetoric, it won’t wash anymore.

    Tim Farron also jumped on the SNP BAD…Libdems good wagon soon after he became leader…he even had the audacity to defend known liar Alistair Carmichael.

  • lysias

    And look what the article says Piketty said:

    “I am very happy to take part in this Economic Advisory Committee and assist the Labour Party in constructing an economic policy that helps tackle some of the biggest issues facing people in the UK,” Piketty said. “There is now a brilliant opportunity for the Labour party to construct a fresh and new political economy which will expose austerity for the failure it has been in the UK and Europe.”

  • Ishmael

    ps, It’s clear to me nobody has the slightest notion of actual good human nature in the establishment…Perhaps one or two retain some humanity, but it’s all void really. To say such things shows empty people.

    The people will revolt someday…The backing of JC is part of this beginning. But I fear it’s going to get a lot worse first. It is getting worse before our eyes. Fuck the people, bomb shit yeeha.

  • Ishmael

    “There is now a brilliant opportunity for the Labour party to construct a fresh and new political economy which will expose austerity for the failure it has been in the UK and Europe.”

    I thought it was working fine to dis-empower populations. Oppress minority groups. etc

  • Mary

    Redcar.

    He’s asking the wrong bloke.

    Watch Redcar SSI steel worker’s gut-wrenching speech to Labour conference hours after losing his job
    16:35, 28 Sep 2015

    Brian Dennis brought activists to their feet, saying: ‘This morning I was told I’m losing my job. This is a plea to David Cameron to save my community’
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/watch-redcar-ssi-steel-workers-6532564

    The iron and steel works which contain the second largest blast furnace in Europe is owned by a Thai corporation who acquired it from the Indian owned Tata. Before that it was owned by Corus with Dutch financing. They took it over from British Steel. The original iron and steel works belonged to Dorman & Long. A sorry tale.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/watch-redcar-ssi-steel-workers-6532564

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Salford Lad
    28/05/2015 4:54pm

    “Bashir Assad has been elected twice by his own people in Democratic elections.”

    Don’t make me laugh.

    Bashir al-Assad has been elected President of Syria three times – in 2000, 2007, and 2014.

    In 2000, following the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad, an autocratic ruler who instituted a cult-of-personality regime of torture and repression just as his counterpart Saddam Hussein did, Bashir al-Assad was the only candidate on the ballot – Syrians were democratically free to choose him, or not to choose him.

    Bashir al-Assad was the only candidate on the ballot in 2007.

    Democratic, eh?

    I wonder how you would view an election in the UK where the choice was to choose David Cameron as Prime Minister, or not to choose him?

    Kind regards,

    John

  • Jon

    Ishmael, unless you have a high profile in, say, radical left activism, or are an Establishment whistle-blower of some kind, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Of course no-one here can explain why a van drove up your road early in the morning, and – I mean this kindly – neither can you.

    It is far too expensive to follow someone or to conduct a lengthy campaign of state-sponsored harassment, so the powers that be will target their resources carefully. Their interference in environmental campaigns is despicable, of course.

    I remember being asked by an anti-war group to collect people’s email addresses for a contact list after a Tony Benn talk many years ago. I got a few addresses, but I distinctly remember one guy who wanted to be on the list, and then decided not to supply an email address, and then wanted to be on the list but wanted to set up another address for the purpose. It turned out he was unwilling to put himself in danger of surveillance, and he’d worked himself up into quite a state of worry, poor chap. It rendered him quite harmless as far as anti-war activism was concerned, since he didn’t do any, and I’d wager he’d done nothing wrong.

    He was claiming he was going to emigrate to escape the long arm of the secret state – and if memory serves correctly, he felt Spain would give him that safe haven.

    So, the point of this story is not to worry, and to carry on your life normally. Most people are good, and most people want to live moral lives, and even if that makes them suspect, they cannot all be targeted.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    The obvious way of defeating IS is to ally with Russia, Assad, and anyone else interested, and conduct a ground invasion of the territory they hold.

    An even more obvious way is to stop supporting them. They are created and sustained by the West. Their military strength could be shattered with a command from Obama. Might take a bit longer to mop up the highly trained, armed and motivated splinters though.

  • glenn

    Ishamel: Jon is absolutely correct.

    The idea that some bloke would be employed to hang around your local boozer for months if not years, solely for your benefit, is patently absurd. Vans stop in all sorts of places all the time – I live in a corner-house, and they frequently stop just outside. More often than not, it’s because they want to make a mobile call, and have the good sense not to do it while driving. Unless someone gets out and knocks on the door, they can be safely ignored.

    An old mate was completely paranoid, and convinced other cars were following him all the time. He thought people followed him on the street, and that his telephone was tapped.

    When we really got him to explain why all this effort should be expended on his behalf, the best he could come up with was that his older brother had been busted on a minor drugs charge, years earlier.

    Utter rubbish, in other words. It’s all down to paranoia and a completely undue notion of self importance. You, me, and likely everyone on the blog – nobody officially gives a toss about us. Craig accepted, but only because he actually is someone. The rest of us are not.

    You would do well to go and stock up at the local grip store.

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