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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  • Ishmael

    Fair play Jon, personally my good faith has numerous times been not good for me. I think everyone can approach things as and when they feel is best for them. I wont go into my upbringing, but I can assure you even with ‘good faith’ (that I now often feel is self deluded in reality or over self important, Ie authoritarian) Has been an allowance for abuse.

    I guess I will temper this as seems natural to where i’m at a given time. And aside from recent ‘things’?….Well I feel more relaxed and hopeful things are directed better regarding this blog and other things. Slowly changing my environment to more kindly people as most (particularly males) locally are similar in this general attitude. Male dominated angry households…I need city/country life, not small backward isolated towns that push all the old buttons. The shit i’v seen and know about…Shame because many are not totally messed up, but it creates overall isolation…

    Rambling…. same old post….

  • glenn

    Jives: “Your contortions on this thread are clear for anyone to see.

    Contortions. Hmm. Would you care to explain your accusation, and explain what “contortions” (bend or twist out of original shape) have been exercised here, or would that be too concrete a request for someone as slippery and – frankly – useless as yourself?

    To recap: Ishamel has been speculating that people are specifically paid (by the state) to follow him about, hang around in his boozer, park cars/vans outside his place for a few minutes at a time, and bug his house. And that’s just the very start of it.

    My position is that this is unlikely in the extreme, and he ought to chill out and stop being so paranoid.

    Your position was – and is – to encourage Ishmael’s “speculation” (not to say paranoia), and encourage the notion that this might be genuine activity against him by the state.

    And you have the utter gall to say the following:

    “Why dont you listen to what Ishmael has actually said?

    Your position on this thread has been that of a deeoly confused child.

    Youre embarrassing yourself in tbe most bizarrely ridiculous manner.”


    You are either an utter moron, Jives, or shamefully consider encouraging the delusions of the afflicted to be some kind of sport.

  • Peter Beswick

    I’m afraid the “vicious, warmongering, lying, neo-con bastard” provoked a great deal of negativity unpleasantness and anxiety.

    Anybody who wants to neutralise the positive benefits of Craig’s blog will be happy, no one else will be / is.

    Not sure how positive benefits differentiate from the other ones.

    But passion has been created. Passion can destroy, rekindle or reinforce. Reinforcement is not an option. Lets hope it leads somewhere better.

  • Ishmael

    It’s like torture many households live in. And I think who the hell would fight for this society ‘system’?

    All they do is emulate the condemnation and punishment of the state. ie, Shout at the child for wetting the bed..They really don’t know any better. Blind to the environment they help create. And the ongoing abuse it is.

  • Ishmael

    “delusions of the afflicted” now is it… I think you can be more derogatory than that Glenn.

    O no, don’t worry about proving your assumptions. Come on, you can do better surly. ‘Helping me’ init..

  • Ishmael

    ‘The state is fucking good, you just obey, this is realty because I say so”

    Bosh, thump, kick.

    Something like that isn’t it folks.

  • glenn

    Indeed, Ishmael, indeed. And such a clear and present danger as those statements of yours immediately above would fully justify The State to deploy an entire team of spooks to monitor you full time, wouldn’t you think?

    Jives would doubtless agree!

  • Ishmael

    ‘clear and present danger statements’

    No doubt you have to employ the violence the state mostly IS underneath, to stop these words of incredible harm.

    Or maybe you’d like to refute them in a civilized manner? I feel you can’t wait to resort to the truncheon.

  • Jives


    By each post you reveal yourself as a rather silly fellow.

    I invite anyone herein to follow our little badinage from mid afternoon.

    Quit while youre embarrassingly and ridiculously behind Glenn.

    My purview was clean,crisp and clear from the start.

    Yours,clearly,is confused,contorted and,frankly,changed constantly.

    Observe the narrative we shared Glenn.

    Do sit back in a favourite old arm chair,fire up a cigar and single malt…go on,you deserve it Glenn.

    And then kindly point out where i attacked or made more paranoid the (quoth ye)the’delusional’Ishmael??

    From the off i merely pointed out the POSSIBILITY of his surveilllance in a culture and land grown heavily surveilled, provably,from the public domain sources i referred to.

    Regard back,then,at your leisure Glenn.

    Youve been forensically revealed as a bullshit artist Glenn and thus been pwned here by your own petard.

    Youre a little sham-artist Glenn.

  • Tony M

    “So socialist Jeremy Corbyn, after pressure from the trade union boys who bankroll him, agreed not to make Trident an issue. After all, making nuclear missiles and the submarines that carry them, are jobs for the boys.”

    “A yet more significant concession is his promise of a free vote on whether to back air strikes against Syria if the Conservatives call one. Given his appointment of a shadow cabinet dominated by pro-war figures such as Hilary Benn, this would all but guarantee a “yes” vote”

    “On reading those lefty/liberal commentators who have jumped to Corbyn’s defence, or rather defence of their misty-eyed view of the Labour Party as a vehicle for change, it strikes me that there is an awful lot of wishful thinking going on judging by the central issue that crops up again and again, namely returning the Labour Party to its allegedly socialist roots by one means or another.”

    excerpts above are from: http://williambowles.info/2015/09/28/corbyns-jobs-for-the-boys-by-william-bowles/

    Not the first time Labour have sold ‘the left’ a pup, won’t be the last.

  • glenn

    Habbabkuk – I didn’t reply to the thrust of your post to me, I apologise. I have been pressed for time today, and am weary, quite ready for a day off, starting another Monday without the benefit of a proper weekend. (You have been Sunning yourself and are refreshed, remember!) May I do so here:


    But on Benn Senior himself.

    Do you not think that his “encouragement” – and the subsequent lack of much to show for it – might have contributed to the sense of disillusionment with Labour?

    It could be argued that Benn Senior was as destructive to the good name of socalism as Enoch Powell was to the cause of racism.

    Firstly, his encouragement – that, I believe, is what has sustained even a sense of what socialism actually means. Socialism is not simply a bit left of the current centre ground, so let’s go along with some happy-clappy “Third Way” because it’s to the left of dog-eat-dog State Capitalism. It’s a far greater absolute, a central idea that society is about people – fundamentally – and that government is not there simply to perpetuate the advantages of the already comfortable, and powerful, while neglecting the misery of the vast majority.

    So no – I don’t think Benn’s encouragement caused a disillusionment with Labour among the more informed supporters, the transformation into “New Labour” by the traitor Blair did that, very clearly. Do you believe that natural Labour supporters were shuffling their feet, and thinking their party really ought to be more right wing throughout their wilderness years?

    Don’t you think it rather obvious that “New Labour” became popular only when its philosophy became aligned with the press barons, the banking sector, the investor class, and their whole state-sponsored, state-guaranteed, “free-market” agenda?

    Benn/Powell: It’s an argument, possibly, but only if you consider thinking the best of your fellow countryman is as wrong as hating foreigners. I’m slightly intrigued – and impressed – that you’ll allow for the good name of socialism.

  • Hieroglyph

    “Not the first time Labour have sold ‘the left’ a pup, won’t be the last.”

    Possibly, but I don’t think so. Definitely too early to say, of course. However, JC did make a point of saying he’d be inclusive, so as not to split the party. A free vote on Syria is fair enough, given war isn’t a party political issue. Also, discussion on Trident was blocked by union block-vote, JC hasn’t disavowed his stance at all. I’m not really sure what JC could be expected to do, given he lacks support within the party – and he’s had the job for all of 2 minutes.

    No, the real battles lie ahead. Let’s not give up too quickly. The particularly nasty battles will revolve around pre-selection for seats, party internal administration, and the policy platform Labour chooses for the election. Those issues will get ugly, very quickly, and here Corbyn will have to box clever. We’ll see.

  • Putinista

    VOLODYA AT UNGA – “I have great respect for my colleagues – the US President, as well as the French – but they are, as far as I know, are not citizens of the Syrian Republic, and therefore [it is] unlikely [that they] should be involved in determining the fate of another state’s management,”

    Putin told the media. However he emphasized that anti-terrorist fighting in Syria must be conducted in accordance with political processes. We must remember HE WAS THE ONLY MAN WITH THE COJONES TO GIVE REFUGE TO SNOWDEN FROM A PURSUING GREAT SATAN, even Xi of PRC did not dare.

    Unless of course you are part of the neokahn chorus baying for regime change, it must be remembered Assad was having tea with the Queen not so long ago in 2010.

  • Putinista

    BTW – just ONE Obama bomb from an F16, among the thousands that destroyed West Kobane, is equivalent to ten of Assads primitive barrel bombs ! Listening to Obombers barrel bomb spin at UNGA you would think that Assad was using nuclear bombs !!

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Since its All went mental.. (Brian F, correctly)

    …it’s probably time to find another ex-diplomat’s blog and annoy that. Seriously considering that option.

  • Jon

    Jives/Glenn – so, you disagree, which is fair enough. Please stop chucking rocks at each other 🙂

  • Mary

    These are the junior doctors who see you in A&E, attend on the wards, see the outpatients in the clinics, assist in the theatres, deliver the babies, ….

    They are going to meet Hunt who is doing yet more demoralizing and destabilizing the NHS staff and dismantling of OUR NHS.

    I heard Dr Johann Malawana being interviewed on LBC on Sunday. Highly articulate, put the case well and is an obvious leader.

    Health secretary to meet doctors over contract row

    Many of them start on a salary of £22k pa with student loans of £50k or more after a seven year training. Many are going abroad. What a waste.

    ‘Junior doctors in England are outraged by what they say is a new contract which involves pay cuts of up to 30%, with overtime rates being scrapped for work between 7am and 10pm on every day apart from Sunday. They argue that after years of training and student debt this is a kick in the teeth which could result in a flight to medical jobs abroad or other professions.

    One has written to the BBC with a bleak view of the impact of the contract changes on the profession: “The issue of cutting junior doctors’ wages and increasing hours is the latest example of the Government pushing the service to the brink. As medicine is a globally transferable skill, more and more doctors will choose to work abroad instead of working for the life-crippling NHS.”

    Junior doctors’ representatives at the British Medical Association will meet this weekend to discuss their next move. A ballot on industrial action has not been ruled out. Next week a group of junior doctors under the banner ‘Save Our Contracts’ plan to demonstrate outside a meeting to discuss the proposals convened by NHS Employers.’

  • Sixer


    Quite agree about what is being done to junior doctors.

    However, as many NHS nurses and support staff are pointing out, it would have been nice had those junior doctors, who are now calling for solidarity, hadn’t crossed picket lines when it was other health workers in the firing line.

  • nevermind

    Listening to Hilary Benn yesterday, you could see that he did not feel comfortable in his skin, the pressures of neo cons to shape the agenda was weighing down on his shoulders.

    Seeing Mandelslime walking round the lower floors like a sulking vampire was also revealing, he said ‘hallo I’m still here’ and my Russian oligarchs have billions to spend on the right cause…..

    So what is the best solution for the Labour Party to deal with its Blairite neocons who are either FoI or lovers of Richard Perle’s missives.

  • Habbbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)

    “Dick Taverne took the same course when he resigned from the Labour Party in 1972. Honourably, he also resigned as an MP and sought re-election by his constituents under a “Democratic Labour” manifesto. And he won, regaining his seat in March 1973.”

    And retaining it at the February 1974 general election but losing it at the October 1974 general election.

    Dick Taverne (Charterhouse and Balliol, Oxford) is still alive.

  • Macky

    Mary; “The old block. Sorry but it’s the Mail.”

    Surprised & sorry to see you fall for that disgusting DM smearing attack on the late Tony Benn; have a read through the comments under that very nasty hit piece, ignoring of course all the troll comments, and perhaps you will realise who the real hypocrites are.

    Here’s a fitting tribute to his inspiring legacy;


  • Robert Crawford

    Brian Fujisan.

    I have just seen/listened to your present, great, thanks a million.

    Was celebrating with my best friend last night, very late! Just up, the advantage of being retired!


    Not a worried man anymore Mary. Blessings, and I hope you are well.

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