The Desolation of Labour 117

It is universally accepted that the extremely vindictive terms of the Treaty of Versailles, and particularly the massive reparation payments, were a major factor in the rise of Hitler and the second world war. Nobody accuses you of defending Hitler, justifying Hitler or hating the UK if you state that.

Yet the entire mainstream media and political establishment is united in shrill condemnation of Ken Livingstone for stating the undeniable fact that the 7/7 bombers were motivated by outrage at the British invasion of Iraq.

Labour is in a mad panic over Ken Livingstone’s fundamental departure from the neo-con narrative. He has had the temerity to point out that when we inflict “shock and awe” on other countries, and massacre from the air thousands of women and children, the result is assymetric warfare which includes terrorist blowback.

We are instead supposed to believe that our enemies are a spontaneous manifestation of pure evil, something that has with no cause arisen from the bowels of the earth to hurt us, like a devil in a horror movie.

The Blairites of course have still never admitted that the Iraq War was wrong, unjustified and had terrible consequences in the Middle East, let alone in the UK. They are desperate to keep bombing and bombing the Middle East until they can prove that Tony and they were right.

Ian Murray, Scotland’s remaining MP, is a particular weasel. He is voting against airstrikes not to alienate his constituents, but is doing so on the grounds he thinks Britain should also send in ground forces – going the “full Blair”. Murray has called for Livingstone to step down as joint chairman of Labour’s defence review, and is brimming with fury and indignation at Livingstone’s departure from a line acceptable to the media. Murray is quite possibly the most weasely and dishonest politician in the Labour Party, but that is a very strong field.

The media are delighted that, instead of querying David Cameron and the Tories on the unbelievable 70,000 moderate rebels claim, they can instead concentrate entirely on the split in the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn has blinked, and the Labour Party goes into the debate as a completely useless instrument, hopelessly split and with members speaking all over the place.

I dislike the whipping system and it is not the free vote that is the problem. It is the fact that a third of Labour MPs are extreme right wing warmongers. That is the problem.

There really is no point in the existence of the Labour Party any more. The best thing would be for the Blairites simply to join the Tories, which would move the Tory Party to the right. Or they could show the courage of Dick Taverne and resign and fight outside the Party. But they wish to try to regain control of the Party’s assets and finances, so this will never happen. Were I a Labour Party member, I would concentrate on the deselection of every MP who votes for bombing. I do not expect that will happen either. The Labour Party has declined into utter irrelevance, its only role being as a punching bag for the corporate media.

It is hard sometimes to be optimistic, but actually it is a good thing that it is now exposed for all to see that the Blairites were simply Red Tories. The loss of a pretend opposition is a necessary step towards establishment of a genuine democracy. It is ever more plain to me that Scottish independence in inevitable. I have real hope that politics in England and Wales will also reform in a way that no longer purely services the 1%.

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117 thoughts on “The Desolation of Labour

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  • fedup

    The reality is our dear leaders are behaving in the same manner as the skulking knife man around Clapham Common lying in ambush awaiting to pounce on his victims to relieve them of their worldly possessions and give them a good kicking into the bargain for the dramatic effect and artistic merits.

    Although in the name of democracy there is the sham, dog and pony show of voting in the commons! This part is really interesting, because so far as the Syrians go there are no representatives elected by them (Syrians) to attend HoC and sit on the vote, of bombing the crap out of Syrians.

    Fact that, it has come to a vote is the admission to abject failure by our dear leaders on their surreptitious and covert war through deployment of their hand-picked mercenaries from the various jails in Saudi, Iraq, Jordan, etc. Hence their need for sending in the overt forces to bomb the place that effectively means; destroy Assad and his legitimate government in the way of relieving Syrians form their sovereignty, lands, and resources.

    However this bombing favour for the sake of the new vassals that are to be put in place of Assad is the kind of Mafia practice that none ever dares to point to, and anyone whomever dares to mention it obviously is a subversive, traitor, Muslim loving fanatical bastard!!!! Therefore Ken Livingston pointing a finger at such favours, obviously is a traitor and gadfly and woman beater (don’t forget to pull out all the dirty laundry chaps).

    It seems the gaggle of great leaders in charge have managed to gee up each other to the extent of the murderers of in poor little James Bugler murder to get on with committing the most horrific crimes in a joint enterprise fashion and not give it a moments thought!

  • Republicofscotland

    Although I’m disappointed at Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to give a free vote on the bombing of Syria, I’m not going to attack him on it.

    The media have spent far too much time focusing on Corbyn and the turmoil within Labour instead of addressing the real problem, Britain’s determination through David Cameron, to be dragged into a messy and protracted war, in which no one will come out of smelling of roses.

    It’s a farcical situation, when we haven’t even received the report (Chilcot) on Westminsters escapades in Iraq. Yet here we are on the edge of oblivion again, ready to bomb Syria and inevitably kill many civilians in the process.

    If Jeremy Corbyn is to survive as Labour leader he must stick to his principles, and if possible weed out as many war hawks from his shadow cabinet as he can, I fear it may well be a task beyond him.

  • bevin

    One of the most attractive things about Corbyn is his “lack of leadership qualities” which are totally at odds with the democratic ethos.

    For many years there was no such thing as a “leader” of the Labour party, a position that as shared between the chairman of the PLP, the elected shadow cabinet (it is a New Labour ‘reform’ for the ‘leader’ to select it) and the National Executive Committee. It was a system that worked fairly well, ensured a lot of creative tensions between the various constituencies and was emblematic of the principle that, while some comrades had been given particular responsibilities, all members were equal.
    It was to this tradition that Corbyn’s campaign made such a potent appeal.

    It would have been a great mistake for him to enforce a three line whip. It was very shrewd and honest to make his appeal to the party as a whole.

    As to Craig’s dismissal of the party’s continuing relevance, I was much inclined to agree before Corbyn’s victory which signaled a massive rallying back to the movement. It is a precious and crucial moment in the history of the British people: a large number of whom have sloughed off the ideological brainwashing of two generations of propaganda and culture and recollected that
    “the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live as the greatest he..”
    Which leads to a final point: the SNP represents a decision to break with imperialism. It is this, which was for many years a major but unrecognised current in the Labour party (infested at it always was at the top with Fabian and liberal imperialists). Now Labour has to become the English people’s party, committed to ending poverty and inequalities and building happiness in England. It has to re-define patriotism from warmongering, bullying and racism into fraternity, kindness to the vulnerable, charity to stranger and war against those who promote the cannibalism of the current system.
    There is no need to be afraid of nationalism, which has nothing to do with ethnic fetishes, particularly in an age in which the ruling class has no nationality and national sovereignty is largely sacrificed to concentric oligarchies serving a system of finance based entirely on the taxing power.
    On the other hand, as surely the SNP daily reminds us, nationalism in which the great majority of the nation-the 99%- are regarded as nothing more than one among several competing interests, in a party organised centrally, financed by capitalists, run by leaders and professional apparachiki is bound to degenerate, as the old Labour party did, into a tweedle dum to the eternal tweedle dee of what we now call Toryism.

  • scriptwriter

    Hello Craig,

    May I take issue with you, albeit from sideways? You declare our ‘enemies’ are like a devil in a movie but only insofar as they make no sense. Which is correct, but look at this way – a devil in a movie makes perfect sense if you’re the producer of that movie.

    And that’s what our enemies are – they’re Hitchcock’s McGuffin: the thing that drives the plot, sucks us into the narrative, and gives the whole exercise its raison d’etre. And just like the cinema devil, like the McGuffin, our enemies are bankrolled, scripted, and art directed. Without them the narrative – the thing designed to lead us to the producer’s intended ending – would fall in a heap.

    Roll back to 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Do you remember Time magazine et al discussing the ‘peace dividend’ that was going to result from the absence of international communism? With no more evil empire to spend trillions upon deterring all that money could thus be spent on roads, schools, and hospitals. Good stuff. Do you recall?

    Honestly, like that was ever going to happen. As if the military industrial complex was going to give up on trillions of dollars. A sea of money. Between giving up and making a new enemy it was a no brainer. And so… follow the money – trillions were at stake – what sort of enemy could you make for trillions of dollars? Actually, a less than unconvincing one, as you point out, but good enough for the addled masses. Think of that devil movie – is he very convincing? Not really, but the punters buy the popcorn and cheer and boo in all the right places and that’s all that’s needed.

    As for blowback, um… yeah maybe, it’s not completely impossible. But between fortuitous punters walking into frame and coinciding exactly with what the director wants, and the cold-hard certainty of budget, man-hours, and studied artifice to make sure the production goes as planned only one of them is a certainty.

    But here’s the thing Craig – you marvel at how unreal and how like a movie it is and yet… and yet… you still can’t get your head around the fact it is a movie. The terrorists are a paid-for, scripted horde bused in for the shoot. The attacks are extravagant versions of the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave. The only thing that’s real are the trillions of dollars and the dead.

    It’s not a fortuitous universe Craig. There’s no way the war machine, back in 1989, lucked out and got the enemy they never knew they needed. They knew what they needed and they made it happen and the trillions flowed accordingly.

    You scorn the cheesy dialogue, the second rate performances, and the crummy unconvincing sets and you still can’t get your head around the fact that it’s only a movie.

  • MJ

    “you still can’t get your head around the fact it is a movie. The terrorists are a paid-for, scripted horde bused in for the shoot. The attacks are extravagant versions of the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave. The only thing that’s real are the trillions of dollars and the dead”

    Very nicely put if I may say so.

  • eddie-g

    The Blairite wing will either succeed in finally destroying the Labour party, or it will end up being marginalised by Corbyn to the point that its influence will be irrelevant.

    I actually think the marginalisation process has gathered a little steam lately. Labour’s rebels are looking even more like Tory hacks (leaving aside any moral considerations, why is it that opposition politicians appear so willing to bail out a PM that can’t rely on his parliamentary majority? It happened re. the Iraq War, and it’s happening again now. What do they not understand about the term “opposition”?), which succeeds in reinforcing Corbyn’s grass-roots support.

    He now needs a thumping win in Oldham to remind the Blairites who’s their daddy.

  • CapnAndy

    “I don’t think they want war with Russia. They want a new Cold War, with loads of money for the arms and security industries”.

    Spot on Craig. I smugly told everyone this a few years ago. First thing Cameron did when he was in power with Clegg, was to start taking apart the armed forces and selling stuff off. It’s the old “Knock it down then rebuild at twice the price” racket/scam.


    Craig never suggested the Versailles treaty led inexorably to WW2 – only that it was universally accepted as a major cause.

    There were certainly other major factors and WW2 was perhaps not inevitable, but it was very much the most likely outcome.

  • Tony M

    Livingstone subtly reinforces the 7/7 racket. They’re a craven shower, Corbyn too.
    If they’re voting contemplating Labour, and many in England still do, then they haven’t “sloughed off the ideological brainwashing of two generations of propaganda”, far from it they’ve came through a 90° boil wash, then an old-fashioned wringer, what’s left of their brains is a limp rag.

  • Bert.

    Although most of what you say is common sense there is one point I would make. You say: “Labour is in a mad panic over Ken Livingstone’s fundamental departure from the neo-con narrative.” REALLY! I did not know that Red Ken had ever joined the neo-con narrative. I thought thatcher had shut down the GLC because it was the only way she was able to get rid of him. Also, shutting down the GLC was a clear demonstration of thatcher’s desperation; determination; and brutal intention to destroy Labour.

    What no-one seems to consider is that thatcher’s whole hatred of Labour might well be an unconscious reaction to a distressing event earlier in her life. With that, the whole neo-con nightmare in this country is driven by the unconscious motivations of one person. Having mentioned Hitler, there are many accounts of Hitler’s childhood which attempt to explain what happened and his extremism.

    This, in my mind, leads to an interesting question: are we now in the mess we are because of an event in margaret thatcher’s earlier life? It might well be. And, if it is the case, it should invalidate the politics of the last thirty years. It also raises the question of how similar thatcher and Hitler were. Many people in the 1980s (at thatcher’s height) compared the tory party with the NAZIs. That comparison may have more substance than would be comfortable for the remaining thatcher family.


  • Tony M

    If ‘Red’ Ken weren’t useful to the establishment, they’d have to make one just like him.

    New Labour, Mrs Thatcher’s greatest achievement, her own words.

  • Tony M

    She never had dress for the party to go?
    Marrying Denis the paint-sniffer?
    Did Jack Straw take her to see his puppies?

  • AdrianD

    For what it’s worth, my Labour MP, Peter Kyle in Hove, seems rather confused about what he’s going to do. He has three conditions before he will support the government – for which he can provide support for only one having been met, but still says that he is ‘at odds’ withe Jeremy Corbyn.

    His conditions:

    ‘1. That the British government will take an active role in the humanitarian effort that follows and does not simply outsource all management and oversight to UN agencies and NGO’s (hugely important though those agencies are). I want our government’s
    officials to be on the ground to ensure the NGO’s we fund are working together and that UN agencies are up to the job of coordinating, directing, and communicating what is happening on the ground and what progress is being made towards relief, stabilisation, and ultimately reconstruction.

    2. That enough money is committed to get a mammoth humanitarian operation off the ground. This needs to be significant enough to make an immediate difference and demonstrate that positive change is possible and that conditions are rapidly capable of being made safe enough to sustain civilian life and lead to the ultimate return of refugees. The prime minister has committed £1bn which is very significant, other countries need to follow suit, and together ensure it is funded into the long term.

    3. That comprehensive and detailed planning happens before, not during or after, military action occurs.’

    As I pointed out to him, our further involvement in bombing Syria isn’t going to help with local acceptance for the first two, and the last one is negated by the fact that the PM’s plan, detailed or otherwise, is patently a mendacious load of balls.

  • Iain Orr

    I sent an email this afternoon to my MP (Helen Hayes), copied to Angela Eagle and Hilary Benn:

    “I write to you as a constituent. Please think carefully about the consequences for citizens of the UK and of Syria if Labour MP votes were to give David Cameron the authority for UK planes and pilots to bomb Syria. I regard the recent UN resolution as irresponsible. There is no coherent strategy, no UN leadership. The US, France, and Russia already all claim to be attacking ISIS, but there is no shared strategy for how a post-ISIS Humpty-Syria would be put together again. Some dream of regime change, some do not. That is bound to affect the risks taken with all targetting; and the overt and covert help given to the many warring factions in different parts of Syria – or fleeing from it. Other countries have already created plenty of bomb craters. How are belated UK craters going to bring peace closer?

    In the debate and when you vote, please consider two questions.

    A: When speaking to Andrew Marr on 29 November about the recent deployment of UK precision bombing in Iraq, Michael Fallon said: “Our estimate is that there hasn’t yet been a single civilian casualty.” Do you personally consider that estimate credible? If so, on what criteria are you judging the actual deployment of Brimstone missiles in Iraq? [NB in Iraq there are Iraqi ground troops to support targetting, as there is not in Syria.] Or, are you willing to outsource quality control of the Syria dossier to Michael Fallon? Jeremy Corbyn was properly sceptical (when talking to Andrew Marr) about the ability of missiles to distinguish between jihadi combatants and Syrian civilians.

    B: The prime ally we would be joining in bombing Syria is a country that chooses to remain outside key provisions in international law. The refusal by the USA to allow an independent investigation under the Geneva Convention of the bombing of Kunduz Medicin Sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Afghanistan is just the most recent example. There has been no pressure on the USA by the UK government over this. We could end up being party to more such atrocities but with no influence. Never mind the routine civilian casualties that more bombing in Syria is bound to cause, including those caused by the UK.

    Remember, if you vote to release the bombs they will carry your blessing and initials on their casings.”

  • Loony

    Consider the folowing, set out in no particular order

    Hillary Clinton, Prince Charles, John McCain, and Zbigniew Brezinski are just some of the people who have compared Putin to Hitler.

    ISIS, created and funded by the west, are a direct threat to Russia.

    The coup in Ukraine was orchestrated by Washington. Neo Nazi groups in the Ukraine receive a range of support from the US/EU.

    Turkey shoots down a Russian military plane on the flimsiest of pretexts. Almost contemporaneously someone blows up the main electricity supply to Crimea, resulting in power outtages throughout the peninsula. Paramilitary forces are on hand to delay efforts at restoration of supply.

    NATO contnues to re-enforce its military positions in the relatively newly acquired states of Eastern Europe.

    Stephen Cohen, the foremost US expert on Russia, is routinely smeared and denied access to mainstream media.

    The west imposes a range of sanctions on Russia and almost contemporaneously Saudi Arabia sets out to lower oil prices. This is done to see off the threat of US shale and for other “diplomatic benefits.” This would be the same Saudi Arabia described as “fucking morons” by Sergei Lavrov.

    Anyone with a passing familiarity to the “Project for the New American Century” would not find any of the foregoing to be surprising.

    The two most obvious ways to avoid war are either for Russia to surrender, or for the people of the west to rise up and overthrow the neo con loons who have their hends welded to the levers of power.

    Neither option looks especially likely.

  • Steve Stannard

    It saddens me to say it but I think you are probably right. Unless Corbyn – and his supporters – are prepared to begin deselection procedures very soon against that large number of Red Tories, then Corbyn’s challenge is finished.

  • fedup

    These scurrilous lies are getting pumped into the consciousness all in the way of getting the Russians to lay off their dealing with the problem of Deash.

    Moscow is waging a relentless campaign of aerial bombardment intended specifically to “drive out” the Turkmen minority from north-western Syria, the community’s political leader has warned.

    Abdurrahman Mustafa, who as president of the Syrian Turkmen Assembly is the figurehead for the ethnic minority, accused the Russian air force of trying purge the area in order to carve out a safe enclave for its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, amid growing global pressure for an end to the conflict.

    Fact that the said Turkmen enclave is being used by Turkey to inject into Syria weapons and Daesh mercenaries, all the while pumping out of Syria and into Turkey cheap as dirt oil that belongs to Syrian people getting bombed out of their homes in towns, cities, villages by the “moderate rebels”/Daesh et al. This oil is effectively stolen from them. Erdogan and his son ought to be indicted for handling stolen goods and acting as fences!! However Erdogan’s darker ambitions lie in the direction of annexation of the Turkmen enclave as he has openly waxed lyrical about it all.

    Needles to point out that the Russian pilot was shut down by the Turkish “militants” posing and the “moderate rebels” the interview of the leader of the militia is given by the ex Turkish mayor’s son in the neighboring town in Turkey, in a more and more obvious preplanned operation to shut down the Russian Jet.

    This is more and more getting similar to the July 1914 as the world is being frogmarched eyes wide shut into a probable and massive conflagration.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    scriptwriter 2.39pm

    Exactly what I would have liked to have said.

  • Habbbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)

    Geoffroy Miller

    “You don’t mention the year of the Treaty of Versailles, so I assume you mean the 1871 Treaty which ended the Franco-Prussian War, which was imposed upon the French by the Germans, was extremely vindictive and more onerous in terms of reparations than the subsequent 1919 Treaty. If you are instead referring to the 1919 Treaty, it is by no means “universally accepted” that this lead inexorably to the Second World War.”

    Exactly right. I was going to say the same but can now confine myself to adding that there was an essential difference between the reparations imposed by the two Versailles Treaties.

    Namely, that the French paid all their reparations (and surprisingly quickly) whereas Germany avoided paying most its (and that in any event a moratorium was agreed before Hitler came to power).

    Please post more – you sound refreshingly well informed – and sane!

  • Phil

    This was always going to be the problem with Labour under Corbyn. I think he rather made a mess of his shadow cabinet. If he had stuck to his guns and chosen a cabinet with a general similarity in views I think they’d be in a much stronger position. However trying to mix the left and right of labour was always going to lead to a split of some form or another. Its unfortunate that a major event in the vote on Syria has come so quickly as labour have not had time to really gel the two sides together and thus it appears to be falling apart.

  • Habbbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)


    Congratulations on your moniker – it is most appropriate.

  • Habbbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)


    Are you the Phil who used to post quite frequently on here? If so, I remember you saying that you were involved in a practical way with homeless people*. Do you have any knowledge of, and opinion on, the charity called “Centrepoint” which apparently helps homeless young people in London (and perhaps elsewhere)? Should I be happy to help it or should I beware?


    * and congratulations for doing something practical rather than just mouthing off on here like so many others.

  • Bob Smith

    Re Ken Livingstone. It’s not what he says it’s the way that he says it. He is long past his use by date and toxic. There are lots of very bright and capable labour politicians who could get the message across without alienating so many of the electorate.

  • Phil


    Afraid that’s not me, there’s obviously many brilliant Phil’s. If your thinking about helping the charity then good on you. There appears to be plenty of info online.

  • Tom

    They know that if one person starts to question their 7/7 pack of lies, other people might make comments closer to the truth than Livingstone, and quite soon the public would realise they have not only been comprehensively to but betrayed, by a government that is little more than a CIA puppet regime.
    So the object of the government and the corrupt propaganda organisations posing as newspapers is to portray anyone who disagrees with their lies and high treason as unpatriotic extremists.

  • Old Mark

    ‘a third of Labour MPs are extreme right wing warmongers. That is the problem.’

    Of course the supporters of bombing Syria in the Labour party don’t see themselves as ‘warmongers’; they think of themselves as principled ‘liberal interventionists’ . Two years ago they favoured bombing as a means of defenestrating Assad, now they see bombing as a essential element in the destruction of ISIS and in restoring the fortunes of the elusive as the unicorn ‘moderate’ opposition to Assad.

    The capacity of these Labour MPs and others either to delude themselves, or cynically to pretend that their actions will precipitate what they wish for (‘surgical’ strikes against ISIS held territory, leading to a groundswell for the ‘moderate’ opposition)is seemingly endless. Their illusions are succoured by their cheerleaders in the media, and the Blairite/Red Tory core will feel further emboldened in having made Corbyn ‘blink’ over imposing a three line whip in opposition to Cameron’s ill thought out ‘mandate’ for militarily insignificant ‘me too’ UK air strikes.

    What a depressing scenario.

  • nevermind

    Great letter Ian Orr. I also rattled one off to Richard Bacon two weeks ago, not a peeps to be heard from him. Shall give him another blast tonight.
    @ Loony, you must have moved our resident pet somewhat with your post, why else would he respond with the kindness of a crocodile.

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