That Far Left Entryist Takeover of the Labour Party 340


At its height in the 1980’s, Militant claimed 8,000 members. In 2013 its descendant, the Socialist Party, claimed 2,500 members and crowed that it was now bigger than the Socialist Workers Party. The SWP replied, not by claiming to have more than 2,500 members, but by saying that the Socialist Party’s claim of 2,500 was inflated. The various manifestations of the Communist Party are smaller. An umbrella group, the People’s Assembly against Austerity, incorporates more or less all of these disparate elements plus much of the organised left of the Labour Party and trades union supporters. Its mailing list, which includes many Greens and other radicals like me, is 40,000 people. That is probably an exaggeration of the membership of the formal left in the UK and it should be noted that a significant proportion of that 40,000 are long term Labour members. Momentum, the Blairites’ bete noir, has only about 10,000 members.

I have therefore watched with bemusement the claims that the 120,000 new Labour members now banned from voting, and perhaps half of the remaining 400,000 Labour electorate, are entryists from organisations of the “hard left”. Anybody who believes there are over 300,000 members of “hard left” groups in the UK is frankly bonkers.

What we are seeing is rather a spontaneous expression of a genuine popular upsurge against neo-liberalism. Angela Eagle’s car crash interview on the Andrew Marr show this morning was all delectable, but for me the best moment was when Marr asked her if she would resign as an MP if her local party in Wallasey no-confidence her, to which she replied that this could not happen because the national executive had banned all constituency labour party meetings. The attempts of the Labour NEC to play King Canute against a popular tide they cannot begin to comprehend are hilarious.

As these people have come to paid political position through groups of well-connected people pulling the right strings, they assume all politics must work like that. So they are convinced that there must be an entryist cabal who have organised everything, with powerful people pulling the strings. My bet is the Blairites will be defeated, deselected and defenestrated without ever working out it was not a plot. It is just that ordinary people find their vacuous careerism appalling.

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340 thoughts on “That Far Left Entryist Takeover of the Labour Party

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  • fwl

    NEC suspending constituency labour party meetings: The NEC should learn the lesson of Taiwan’s KMT, which centralised selection of candidates resulting in local back lash and the emergence of new political parties.

    There is a genuine elite horror at Corbyn and the apparent lack of a coherent players v gentlemen opposition, whilst there us also delight amongst many that the oppo are no longer playing the same game.

  • Paul

    Thanks for this nice piece. I suspect quite a few of these Trotskyite entryist are a bit like me. Almost retired with a comfortable lifestyle having worked for 36 years in public service. Trade Union member most of that time. I keep my front garden neat and try to get on with my neighbours. I benefitted from comprehensive education and free university and being able to afford a mortgage working as a social worker. Would like my children and grandchildren to have at least the same chances. I’m such a dangerous radical lefty and that’s why I’m 100% behind Jeremy but more important for the decent values he stands for.

    • Pauline Vernon

      I suspect most supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are more interested in their potting-sheds than in plotting a Far Left take-over of the Labour Party. We are, for the most part, pretty damn ordinary; what we have in common, though, is the feeling of hope that Jeremy Corbyn has given us, after years of divisive politics and austerity measures, supported and enabled by a Labour Party that has lost its connections with the grassroots of the party.

      I further suspect that the NEC is quite well aware of this, and that they no more believe their propaganda than we do.

      • Andy

        And that’s why we are so dangerous to them – it’s easy to marginalise a few thousand activists, less easy when it’s a few 100 000 who are keen gardeners or whatever else makes it obvious they are dangerously normal.

  • ACS

    You say Momentum has 10 000 members. I’ve seen figures of 60 000, with the figure recently doubling (so 120 000, obviously). What’s the source of this 10k figure?

    • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Evil is not the opposite of Good

      Yes agree, wonderful, thanks for highlighting.

      Not being much of (fiction bores the hell out of me and ‘funny’ books are few and very far between?) a reader, I have happily come across this word for the first time. So, had to look up it’s etymology: Latin — finestra, or window. Great, throw them all out of the window 🙂

      We need some really dramatic relief!

      Btw, can anyone recommend some seriously humourous contemporary fiction?

      A couple from the previous decade: ‘Are you experienced?’ and ‘The curious incident of the dog in the night-time’.

  • David Lawrence

    The NEC moratorium on constituency meetings only lasts until September. Angela Eagle can be ousted from her constituency any time after that.

  • Richard White

    Expect bleating and whining autobiographies afterwards. “How PM Jeremy ruined my life by being unelectable while he won everything”

  • Anon1

    Just a quick note to say thanks for all your hard work keeping Jeremy safe and ensuring Labour remain unelectable for many years to come.

    Yours,

    The Conservatives

      • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

        The next general election will, I hope, put that question to rest for at least a few years.

        • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Lots of Grey Hair, very little Wisdom, in this Type Zero Global Civilisation

          One thing is I’m afraid larger than yet-another-election, any election, is the way we live, how we elect to live our daily lives, who we are, how we share and it’s inevitable weave into Human Consciousness. And that is true of Ireland, Italy or Iraq or Britain, Botswana or Bermuda.

          It’s a very colourful World, fact is it’s One, but not very!

          We love our sleep, more so in our waking hours, than at night. Though you Habby are very disciplined and should be commended. Hope you’re well for you went AWOL for a few days!

          • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

            AWOL, Alcyone?

            Certainly not – my dedication to educating the masses on this blog would allow of no such thing.

            As I informed my loyal readers a while ago,I was just settling down for my habitual summer beach mode prior to resuming normal service (so to speak).

            PS – please let me have Giyane’s private email address, I should like to send him some photos of the gorgeous beach girls he’s always going on about.

          • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Feed the feeling!

            Habby is Giyane anti-sex also, like PubicofScotland?

            You Lucky Devil and I must have missed your alert warning and was wondering! What do I have to do, to be invited next year? I’m a good cook too and know a couple of young Russian girls (theresa, they are nuke-free) who are vegetarian and, btw, vegetarians taste better too!

    • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Lots of Grey Hair, very little Wisdom, in this Type Zero Global Civilisation

      Anon, you are supposed to round off by saying: “With you whatever”. Don’t you know?

      Throws new light on people who don’t know how to end a letter by saying “As ever”!

      KR John has dropped blowing his flying kisses (‘Kind regards’) around? Now there’s even less love left in the World. By the way is Love of the Left or Right? ‘Hard’ or ‘Soft’? Depends what’s on offer I guess.

      PoS, the Ignoramus, will be getting all excited and accusing K of womanising. He can be funny without trying!

  • Mike Nightingale

    I think some quote marks on “Far left” in your headline would be more accurate!
    🙂

  • Mick Hills

    That is about spot on and what people forget is that any person joining has a probationary period starting with their name being read out at a CLP meeting and the assembled asked if anyone has any evidence that any of the people applying are members or activists of any of the far left wing/right wing etc that the Labour see as not holding the same basic beliefs and aims of Labour. Because most Labour members or at least a good number of them are activists it is likely that any one fitting that description would be recognised by one or more of the members and rejected, which the Party are at liberty to do. At my recent CLP meeting ninety names were read out with the request that if anyone present had objections on legitimate grounds they should bring it to the attention of the secretary and chair. So there is a checking process for all local people joining. It is unlikely that scores of far left activists or communists in that CLP would not be known to someone and sussed out.

  • Ken Murphy

    Spot on, I was in Wallasey when the Party was suspended and I am sure that only three people where suspended for membership of a proscribed organisation, Socialist Organiser. One of whom has sadly passed away, one lives in Southport and the other has rejoined, also a good proportion of new members are indeed young and would not have been born or old enough when the Constituency was suspended. So the hysterical screaming of the Ultra Hard Right!! Is indeed hilarious. Did I say Ultra Hard Right? I of course meant moderates.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    I suppose it is arguable that the ‘hard right’ of this country is equally modest in numbers. English xenophobes/nationalists/ avowed fascists, who actually commit to some organisational structure are quite rare. Similarly with the ‘hard’ left. And even these organised elements descend into some kind of farcicality=see Lenin’s tomb (Seymour blog) and the description of the SWP. It is a strange world characterised by people with borderline personality disorders and obsessive tendencies. So much is in common with these elements of our political spectrum.However even these people cannot quite be dismissed-as they are not entirely irrational (although some most assuredly ARE)
    That of course is not the whole story because a small group, acting in concert, is much more visible than unorganised, nationalistic xenophobia, co-mingled with an unease over immigration, and its undoubted adverse effects on services in (already) impoverished areas . So there is a wide range of ‘opinion’ That is the ‘concerns’ and emotional unease that informs otherwise perfectly reasonable people.

    Of course we are concerned here with the nature of the Corbyn political phenomenon and I personally think it is an undoubted symptom of a faliure of the ‘informed left’ as well as the failure of the ‘ informed right’ . What we are seeing is the collapse of ‘neoliberalism’. By that I mean the idea that greater and greater material wealth and consumption can sustain the human population by ever improving efficiencies created by technological innovations. The issue we are grappling with is really much more concerned with the effects of communication technology, the use of high speed trading and the monetisation of activity systems which were once perceived as socially useful-such as ‘the banking industry’.
    The increase in pressure on resources, and an increasing proportion of the world’s population entering into the ‘consumption’ model (i.e. mainly China and India and Indonesia) means that there are competing forces, both in terms of technology and access to resources, especially food and mineral resources. all this is happening in the context of a growing awareness of the effects of capitalistic type competition on the social and physical environment. This ‘competition is both a stimulus to new technology and innovation but also a stimulus to international strife and the potential for warfare.
    In other words the political model that has dominated the west and has been adopted by the rest is in a downwards spiral as it fails to deliver technological innovation that satisfies the needs of the poor. The technology that is being produced at the moment is pandering to the already rich, and privileged, or is designed to appeal to the rich and privileged as a means to control the poor, and more particularly the assaults on the ‘rich’ as people express their grievances, who feel, sometimes mistakenly, and sometimes not, that they are oppressed by this system of western materialism, which also conflicts with essentially , traditional (collective) systems of organisation or religions which emphasise common experience, and provide simple social controls and structures , which inhibit internal social pressures and control material aspiration. Essentially that is what Islam, and traditional Christianity does although there other secular forms of social control (communism).
    The main point here is that the essential tension here is between a failing -although not completely failed )neoliberal model-a technological miracle might just ‘save the day’ although that is looking less and less likely (or perhaps a very serious miscalculation).
    i suspect the Corbyn phenomenon is a reflection of people seeking to re-discover social mechanisms which inhibit consumption and allow a more equable distribution of resources. underlying this perspective is a wish to find collective forms of social organisation which also limit environmental damage. However the real problem for the Corbyn faction is that this sense of a need for collectivised and collaborative social conditions is not answered by actuall mechanisms and policies which are perceived as likelyuto work by many people who a committed intellectually and materialy to the idea of individualised personal expression and aspiration. What we are seeing is the breakdown of bipolar politics. A linear spectrum of thought is not adequate for the complexity of current experience. What we are seeing is the asymmetric development of a three dimensional matrix of ideas. Like all revolutions in thought it is likely to bring very difficult and initially irreconcilable conflicts. If it is any comfort, I am pretty sure that the breakup of the left is a harbinger of a break up of the right-for all sorts of reasons, not least of which will be the rejection of totalitarianism, by a large number of right -oriented, libertarian thinkers. However i think there will be a strong tendency for the right to initially veer into some form of modern fascism/totalitarianism as a means of controlling the pressures that are arising. I suspect the May government will, while intiially espousing liberal values, find itself shunted into more and more illiberal measures. It is quite likely to result in a further fragmentation of power and the collapse of Nation.
    Interestingly, the dilemma is encapsulated in the anti-rational,anti- intuitive predicament of the Trident debate going on at the moment. The time it will take to create the complete system (30 years) using technology of the ‘noughties’ -means that these fantastic pieces of destructive military kit will be eclipsed by technology produced in the next decade or so. As we speak there are people working on ways to neutralise big super destructive military kit. The use of this kind of equipment is irrational because, whether as a first strike , or even as a retaliatory measure, it does not improve the survival of the ‘protected’ population. However we have that tiresome turgid tit, Tom Watson, defending the status quo, a using a perception of a ‘bipolar world’ from the sixties seventies and eighties, while accusing Corbyn of re-visiting the Labour unilateralism of the eighties. Furthermore he defends the kind of practice ‘hard left’ unionised labour-where an obsolescent industry is supported, for pragmatic, self interest, political reasons, in the manner of defending the mining industry by Mr. Scargill.
    The irony is very rich indeed.
    Politics is truly in a mental meltdown.

      • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Wouldn't

        TL;WR in my case!

        Hope all good glenn and you exercising your heart out and all that clean air…?

        • glenn_uk

          Thanks…. hope deepgreenpuddock won’t take it too much to heart. Just wish s/he’d make life less painful for his avid readers by formatting it a bit better.

          Slight ankle problem at the moment, actually, which is particularly irksome given the ideal running weather now – it’s a total waste of a day having to rest up because of one flawed body part, while the rest of you is raging to go. It has set back training for the next proper event, so I’m not expecting a good time, even if it’s sufficiently recovered to attend at all. Ah well.

          How’s yourself – good health and spirits, I trust?

  • Republicofscotland

    “My bet is the Blairites will be defeated, deselected and defenestrated without ever working out it was not a plot.”

    _______________

    I hope so, but there’s always the chance that thing might not go Corbyn’s way.

    I see Owen Smith one of Corbyn’s rivals, is a member of CND, yet he’s expected to vote for the renewal of Trident.

    • Republicofscotland

      Re my above comment, on the renewal of WMD’s, it was Labour and not the Tories, who first gave Britian nuclear weapons. Attlee and Bevin, almost bankrupted the British economy in the 50’s, in procuring the bombs, the bombers to carry the bombs, and the nuclear plants to produce the fissile material for the bombs.

      Indeed in 1957, one of worlds worst nuclear disasters occured right on our doorsteps. When a fire broke out in the core of Windscale nuclear power plant, it wouldn’t be until 1993 that top secret documents revealed that Wales and the Lake District were covered in a plume of radio active material. Certain types of cancer including leukaemia and Hodgkins lymphoma were and probably still are to this day 14 times the national average, in those and the surrounding areas of the UK.

      It was Tony Blair, in 2006 who made the original decision to replace the UK’s Vanguard submarines. Now Labour has a leader, who’s a life long member of the CND, yet his hands are tied, due to infighting, he cannot do anything to thwart the renewal of Trident, and don’t the Tories know it.

      Labour continued its commitment to nuclear power, when Gordon Brown’s adminstration granted Sellafield, run by an American consortium, a unlimited financial indemnity from the tax payer against any future accidents that might occur.

      The vote to renew Trident will sail past the post, with the Blairites and the Tories approving it, meanwhile Corbyn gives his party members a free vote on the matter. However in his defence, I can’t see how he could possibly whip them to vote against Trident.

      http://www.thenational.scot/comment/george-kerevan-nuclear-ambitions-have-always-been-achieved-at-the-cost-of-prosperity.20110

      • Tony M

        Fire at Windscale, should be Fires, plural, there had been more than one, while it still was called that.

  • arthur keefe

    I agree. The Tolpuddle thousands this weekend were strongly pro Corbyn, but were a good cross section of people as far as I could judge. Many of course were active Trades unionists. The only point I disagree with is the last Paragraph. In my City of Bristol, our excellent MPs were selected by a strong LP membership in open and transparent selection process. Even in my Constituency we prefered an excellent local community activist over a (very good) TU sponsored candidate from London. Our local MPs did withdraw support from Corbyn, but not on the basis of defending right wing causes or caucuses. For them it was an issue of performance as leader.

  • Roddy

    Craig, I enjoy your writings, they are incisive, informed and illuminating. Please continue as before.

    You might like to investigate the paedophile activities in Scotland which are not being investigated by the Police (wonder why) nor are reported in the media. Therein I suspect, is the key to power and control of our great wee country and its folks.

    Roddy

  • Alan

    “It is that the expression “spot on” should result in deletion of the entire comment for, say, a period of a month.”

    Spot on!

    • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Lots of Grey Hair, very little Wisdom, in this Type Zero Global Civilisation

      Thank you Alan for highlighting that. Let’s hope there is some action around that. Please take a quick look at my comment with K and DB…they are talking about ‘Progress’, ironically!

  • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Lots of Grey Hair, very little Wisdom, in this Type Zero Global Civilisation

    Why is it, that I see a resounding Wisdom in this man Corbyn? Particularly for a politician? I question whether Wisdom and Politics mix well, or at all, though.

    In all the chaos and conflict over centuries, especially since 9/11, as good as the start of this new century and new millenium, I think I would like to see Corbyn have his innings. Even if some people think it’s risky, for whatever reason, can things get any worse?

    Consider this (between David Bohm, the nuclear physicist and Krishnamurti, the ‘Einstein’ of the Mind):

    ” K: (Psychological) Time is the enemy of man. And that enemy has existed from the beginning of man. And we said why has man from the beginning taken a wrong turn, a wrong path – in quotes. And if so is it possible to turn man in another direction in which he can live without conflict? Because, as we said yesterday, the outer movement is also the same inner movement, there is no inner and outer. It is the same movement carried on inwardly. And if we were concerned deeply and passionately to turn man in another direction so that he doesn’t live in time, but has a knowledge of the outer things. And the religions have failed; the politicians, the educators, they have all never been concerned about this. Would you agree to that?

    DB: Yes, I think the religions have tried to discuss the eternal values beyond time but they don’t seem to have succeeded.

    K: That’s my point. That is what I want to get at.

    DB: Or even, sometimes, the politicians.

    K: To them it was an idea, an ideal, a principle, a value, but not an actuality.

    DB: Yes, well, some of them claim that to some of them it may have been an actuality, but…

    K: But you see most of the religious people have their anchor in a belief.

    DB: Yes.

    K: They’re anchored in a principle, in an image, in knowledge, in Jesus or in something or other.

    DB: Yes, but I mean if you were to consider all the religions, say the various forms of Buddhism, they do try to say this very thing which you are saying, in some ways.

    K: To some extent, but what I am trying to get at is: why has man never confronted this problem? Why hasn’t he, all of us, why haven’t we said, let’s end conflict? Or rather we have been encouraged, because through conflict we think there is progress.”

    http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/krishnamurti-teachings/view-text.php?tid=1368&chid=1067&w=wrong%20turn

    Enjoy summer!

    • Republicofscotland

      “because through conflict we think there is progress.”

      __________________

      I’m no fan of Krishnamurti, a womaniser, but his above comment has some truth to it. War is hellish and costly in lives, but we have had some benefits on civy street from it.

      Such as Super glue, used on the battlefields to close wounds quickly, or Duct tape, used during WWII to seal ammo cases.

      The Microwave, which scientists first noticed microwaves emitting from US army transmitters in 1945.

      Freeze Drying first used during WWII to prolong the life on medicine on the battlefield.

      The Epi-Pen a quick injection syringe to counter nerve agents and adminster medicine.

      These are just a few of the countless advancements made due to conflicts over the years. Every cloud has a silver lining as they say. ?

      • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Lots of Grey Hair, very little Wisdom, in this Type Zero Global Civilisation

        Stay out of this PubicofScotland. You’re out of your depth. Stick to the knitting; in your case, ticker-tape newsfeed. LOL

  • Robert Lim

    I agree completely. The term Neo-liberalism has only recently begun to go mainstream; a few years ago people would struggle to define its meaning. With the dilution of national identities, national interest and national sovereignty with precious little of substance to replace it, combined with economic immiseration for millions, this is what has awoken a good portion of the electorate and made them discover grassroots politics again, the only genuine variety as far as I’m concerned.

  • Phil the ex-frog

    Where did the 40,000 PA email list figure come from? I’m surprised this is in the public domain.

    By conflating “party” with “group” Craig too blurs “entryism” with “joining”, and vastly over estimate numbers. Almost certainly just a few thousand real entryists. At most. More than compnesated in numbers by the imagined entryists kicked out for once tweeting about a green party candidate.

    A more interesting question, almost an inversion of this entryism nonsense, might be: how much do new members (or bloggers ftm) understand the degree of the genuinely radical politics of the leadership and those organising around the leadership? There seems to be a taboo around this discussion that suits all sides. Assuming the Corbyn project doesn’t collapse soon, this can’t last. Expect John Mann to spill the beans on sky news. Best of all, no one will be listening.

    So claims by the likes of Owen Smith to be a “socialist”, and Craig Murray to be “radical”, become futile limits to acceptable discourse, detached fingers in a “horizontal”, “post-capitalist” damn.

    • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Lots of Grey Hair, very little Wisdom, in this Type Zero Global Civilisation

      Who is John Mann and what ‘beans’ does he have?

  • Jane Buckley

    I am a 78 year old retired professional who voted Labour all my life until Tony Blair moved in to Downing Street, when I resigned from the party because it moved to the right and became unconcerned about reflecting the views of its members. I had never been called a dangerous radical before New Labour came to power. How, by rejoining the labour Party in 2016 in order to support the one leader who shares my consistent values, can members of the Parliamentary Labour Party consider have I become a dangerous radical now?

    • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Lots of Grey Hair, very little Wisdom, in this Type Zero Global Civilisation

      Yes, free radicals are dangerous for the careerists’ health! 😉

      Btw, do you agree with my observation/experience re grey hair?

    • MJ

      A dangerous radical these days is someone who still agrees with the values of Atlee’s government and the institutions it created. Up until 1979 all governments (Labour and Conservative) protected a post-war consensus that the 1945 reforms were essentially good. Today, Ted Heath’s 1974 government would be considered dangerously radical and a little to the left of Corbyn..

      • Tony M

        I’d say you’re about ten years off. Callaghan, Healey and Jenkins were right-wing cnuts too.

      • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): End Fear

        I had occasion to spend a couple of days with Ted Heath, including lots of one-to-one (no, no, no not what you’re thinking…in fact I had no cause to think whatsoever about the P accusations, and I was all growed-up [credit to the American Dennis the Menace that our transatlantic friends will at least be familiar with] )

        He told me, after all his experience, he figured that the “best size of a Committee was a Committee of one”. JC probably thinks similarly, poor guy the hoops he is being put through!

      • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

        Anyone who still has any illusions about the competence and results of the Atlee govt could do worse than to read Edmund Dell’s magisterial “The Chancellors”.

  • RobG

    Amber Rudd, the new Home Secretary, has just finished her opening statement in the House of Commons, RE: the attack in Nice.

    The usual stuff, including going after ‘non-violent extremists’.

    People need to wake-up to what’s going on here.

    • RobG

      Truly terrifying: Keith Vaz has just fielded a question about how the perpetrator of the Nice attack was ‘quickly radicalised on the internet’. Rudd gave the inevitable reply that the internet needs to be monitored and controlled.

      Again, people need to wake-up to what’s going on here.

      In France the state of emergency was due to expire on 26th July, but it’s now been extended by another 3 months, and there’s every chance that it will be made permanent. Think about that: France under permanent martial law.

      Wake-up!

      • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

        It is deeply dishonest to call the state of emergency “martial law” and your statement that the state of emergency will be made permanent is just uneducated guess work. You should get out more and read the French press.

        • RobG

          The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, is on record stating that the state of emergency in France would be permanent.

          This is the same person who was heavily booed today in Nice during a memorial service for the ‘victims’.

          How much do they pay you for this, Habba?

          Anyhows, Theresa *psycho* May has just opened the Trident debate; should be interesting.

          • RobG

            Psycho May is totally fudging on the fact that a Trident renewal breaks the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Britain is signed up to.

            Apparently, Trident is all about jobs, jobs, jobs!

            In that case, let’s go into mass production of chemical and biological weapons as well.

            Corbyn is now speaking…

          • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

            French PMs are here today and gone tomorrow. But you know that already because you are this blog’s expert on France.

            I suggest the booing was because the French govt couldn’t prevent this latest Islamic atrocity and not because of the state of emergency.

            Over and out, Nutter! 🙂

          • RobG

            Habba, there’s now a media blackout of the demos and strikes that are going on in France. This is because they don’t want the plebs in countries like the UK and USA getting any ideas. Before the media blackout you might have noticed that a lot of news footage showed protesters going to great lengths to destroy CCTV cameras. This is anger at the state of emergency, which right from the off last November was used to persecute people who disagreed with the state.

            I’ll say yet again, people need to wake-up to what’s going on here; not just in France but also in the UK.

        • Geoff

          Habbabkuk, You think it’s ‘deeply dishonest’ to call it martial law? Really?

          Wikipedia describes the effects of martial law as “Typically, the imposition of martial law accompanies curfews, the suspension of civil law, civil rights, habeas corpus, and the application or extension of military law or military justice to civilians. Civilians defying martial law may be subjected to military tribunal (court-martial).”

          Whereas France24 summarised the state of emergency as “The measures give a number of exceptional powers to the authorities, including the right to set curfews, limit the movement of people and forbid mass gatherings, establish secure zones where people can be monitored and close public spaces such as theatres, bars, museums and other meeting places.The state of emergency also gives more powers to the security services and police, such as the right to conduct house searches at any time without judicial oversight, enforce house arrest and confiscate certain classes of weapons, even if people hold them legally.”

          Well, it may not meet the technical definition of martial law, but the practical implications look somewhat similar to me. At least under martial law there is some pretence at a trial to establsh guilt, but under France’s system it seems you don’t even have the right to that.

    • Republicofscotland

      What’s going on.

      The ever increasing powers of the government over our lives, that’s what’s going on. In the shape of events from France, in which we know the outcome or what we are led to perceive, as the outcome. The real question is who is behind those events, and will the actions of those event have the desired result.

      I believe they will, unfortunately, with the French public crying out for more protection, from whom do they realky need protecting, is the real question.

      So now the French will impose stringent and restricting measures on its own citizens, the French public duped into believing those measures will afford them more safety, there will be a heavy price to be paid, in the form of freedoms, the authorities will have succeed in their task.

      Meanwhile across the pond Amber Rudd, piggybacks on the Nice event, informing the House, of the dangers of terrorism, when the real danger to the authorities, is of course free speech. As the UK terrorist threat level sits at severe, in an attempt try and terrify us into thinking a terrorist hides around every corner.

      Weapons of mass destruction, are on the agenda for renewal, weapons that are of no use against terrorism, and never have been.

  • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): A Shot in the Arm for Brexit

    ARM chip designer to be bought by Japan’s Softbank

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36822806

    Now that is a Big Deal in what used to be called the New Economy. Over 30 billion bucks!

    We need a hundred more of these ARM’s, not the variety used to kill other humans with. How does this value stack up with Trident?

    Make Love, not War. Make Bucks, not Bang!

    Where is the fucking business leadership amongst the political class in this country? Who will inspire young people, young entrepreneurs? Is anyone doing it now? Who will support them? Is the Prince of Wales Trust around? Where are the philanthropists in this country? Why don’t the Googles and Microsofts take some initiative? Where is the sharing for humanity’s sake?

    Yes, let’s just get together and go to another demonstration!

  • Mark Golding

    It is a punishing reality the modus operandi of the English central political core is geared to helping multinational corporations slash their global tax bills in the same manner the EU has embraced the marvel of neoliberalism trade arrangements known as TTIP.

    Once admired for his stance on data retention and privacy fears on the now defunct, WebCameron blog, Dave Davis MP is a clever choice for the new post as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Considering most British Brexit voters bravely rejected a profoundly undemocratic, neoliberal EU, perceived as placing the interests of the financial elite ahead of the needs of ordinary citizens.

    Despite this perceived integrity that Davis has assembled, his mandate is to ‘freeze’ the invocation or in other words invoke a ‘sunset agreement’ where the sun never sets; a sort of ‘close of day’ Murdoch ‘Sky’ type of reconciliation that forgives all if you come back to Sky services.

    In perfectly oiled synchronism the government ‘inner sanctum’ will plan to remove a lever of Scottish independence and the Trident WMD dilemma, while strengthening free-market fundamentalism and snubbing true democracy.

    Britain is not party to the Schengen Agreement of 1985 and Davis can achieve a sense of probity by a complacent rejection of xenophobia and racism and talk of EU reform. While repudiation of racism may appease opposition within the left, the EU being a undemocratic institution founded by fascists and based upon a neoliberal ideology that’s inherent to its operations, cannot be reformed.

  • Tony M

    Support gets greater the further away from the Clyde.

    People’s de-commisioning committees, armed with lump-hammers, will wreck the military’s toys however Westmidden scumbags vote.

    Watch and see how billions of damage can be done by in a few short minutes to all sorts of hideous killing-machines.
    .

    • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

      I do hope that’s not a call for violent and illegal action, Tony.

      • Tony M

        Given the opportunity and with anything that comes to hand I’ll smash fuck out of everything from planes to tanks to subs.

        You got a problem with that?

        • Republicofscotland

          The new battlefield that the authorities identifed awhile ago is the internet, where to a greater extent free speech still applies. The authorities realise that in order to gain more control, of available information the web must be reeled in so to speak, I’m pretty sure some would like to see Craigs blog shut down.

          The only real way to stifle the web is to introduce ever increasing legislation, legislation that, will restrict free speech. Theresa May’s snooper charter and security bills will take us a step further down that road.

          Any event can been shown to be linked to the web, thus demonising the varied use of it. Watch out for more laws aimed at free speech on the web, our windows of response are becoming narrower every year.

        • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

          TonyM

          It’s not my problem but at some future stage having written that might be yours.

          Be very careful.

          • Republicofscotland

            The thought hawk squawks again, go on Habb explain to us all why TonyM, needs to be careful.

            Are we witnessing what I already commented on earlier, about free speech on the web, and the authorities attempts to slowly stifle it.

          • RobG

            I love it when you’re in threatening mode.

            I get all goose bumps, about how certain feckers are going to be held to account sometime soon.

  • Sarah

    I joined Labour because of Jeremy Corbyn. I’ve never been a member of the SWP, never been to a protest, I’m not a thug, I’m actually just a pretty average boring person. I find it disgusting all the things many of the Labour PLP are saying about the new membership and how the NEC are treating us. I just want a fairer country, and Jeremy Corbyn has inspired me after spending my whole life without any interest in politics because it all just seemed so corrupt and it was always a choice of which party was the least harmful to regular people like myself. I can barely afford it (Only £33 to last me until I get paid) but I will spend the £25 to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. I find it quite disgusting though that the NEC are trying to price out the people that Labour are supposed to represent and it’s going to cause me to struggle because of it, but I don’t want to lose the only hope we have for returning Labour to being the party of and for the people, rather than their only interests being in wealthy donators and big business.

    • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

      Sarah

      I sympathise with your dilemma about the £33 and the £25.

      Can one assume that you would also be willing to pay, say, £5 for a visit to your GP?

      • Alan

        “Can one assume that you”

        Surely, as one is being so correct, one should ask “May one assume that you?” because, one can do whatever one has the capability of doing, but as there may be consequences, (such as one receiving a smack in the teeth for example) one should always ask “May one?”

        • Alan

          Furthermore, one hopes that one is not using a taxpayer funded laptop on that beach, because one would upset the taxpayer if one got sand into it and ruined it.

        • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

          Alan

          Are you Sarah’s brother or husband?

          If not, shut the fuck up and let her answer for herself.

          🙂

          • Alan

            “Are you Sarah’s brother or husband?”

            I have a niece called Sarah, if that helps 😉

          • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

            If I were your niece, Alan, I’d apply to have you sectioned.

      • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): End Fear

        Habby, you can do the math better than anyone; I’d brand that as not one of your most sensitive questions.

        I empathise with Sarah unequivocally. Sorry our oh-what-a-lovely-war and it’s-a-mad-mad-world have gone too far. We should cringe at the word ‘Blairite’, especially after Chilcot (is that another term for ‘coffin’? swipe at the Evil Bastard, TB, not at C at all). It’s all gone too far! Corbyn’s voice is required and I’m glad it’s there and it ain’t gonna be snuffed out, come what May (hello Theresa). I give a flying-trident whether he’s ‘electable’ or not. Do you think that Ugly pig-faced Eagle is electable. Does Smith’s charisma match Gove? Boris?

        Let’s discuss Corbyn’s performance to date, fuck the coup-suiciders, I’m no expert but ever willing to learn.

        • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

          Am I here to be sensitive?

          It’s a heart-rending tale which does show, however, that people are prepared to make sacrifices and prioritise financially for things they really believe in.

          Which is why I asked, out of curiosity, whether she would be prepared to do the same for her health.

          • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone)

            Habby, just don’t ask the girls that question on the beach!

            Btw, where do we go from here with the currency markets? Which side are you on, on Sterling, buy or sell? Serious question. Any traders here?

        • Alan

          “Habby, you can do the math better than anyone;”

          As Thomas Carlyle once said “It’s easy to train economists. Just teach a parrot to say ‘Supply and Demand’.”

          • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Supply and Demand

            Gosh, every time you brains on here mention another ‘famous’ person, i have to go look them up on wiki. Enough historians please!

            But good one anyway 😉

      • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): End Fear

        A close family member had an overnight stay in an NHS hospital and a surgery. From end-to-end I have to say it was completely top-professional and the people top-to-bottom absolutely lovely, helpful and completely caring.

        Btw, Habby would you support a sugar-tax in the next budget? That migh well take care of your question to Sarah?

        • Habbabkuk (Floreat Etona!)

          A sugar tax? Why not, if accompanied by the abolition of CAP subsidies to the sugar barons who dispose of zillions of acres of beet farms (to the detriment of the sugar cane producers in the ACP countries).

          • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): Feed the feeling! As long as it's sugar-free!

            Great, all sounds good. That’s what we need now more creative thinking!

            PS But i have to confess, those 3 teaspoons of home-made Tiramisu i had at lunch time were worth it. And made with a particularly fine coffee!

    • John Spencer-Davis

      I was going to let you know, Sarah, that there was crowd funding available so that there was a possibility that you might receive help with paying your £25.

      However, I now understand that Labour’s National Executive Committee has been in touch with the crowd funders and told them to cease what they are doing and return all donations to the donors, otherwise their memberships of the Labour Party may be cancelled and the memberships of anyone helped by the crowd funding may be cancelled as well.

      They really are not fucking about. They really do intend to exclude people who cannot afford the £25.

      https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/labour-leadership-vote#!

      https://www.docdroid.net/50Tb1tE/update-150716.pdf.html

    • With you, Whatever (aka Alcyone): End Fear

      I hope that pay-check comes in ever so soon Sarah. Meantime, or even anytime, I’d be delighted to buy you dinner.

      Every good wish!

    • John Spencer-Davis

      However, some bright and annoyed people have clearly thought this through.

      The NEC thinks it can shut people down from voting by forbidding crowd funding of the £25.00 contribution. All right. What they can’t do is forbid people from crowd funding shopping for people who don’t have enough money because they have paid their £25 to exercise their right to vote.

      Get in touch with “Nye Bevan News” page on Facebook and they should be able to help you.

    • Alan

      Jeremy Corbyn says “25 Quid is not fair”

      https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-de37-Corbyn-seeking-to-overturn-simply-not-fair-25-vote-fee

      But Mr Corbyn said at the weekend that he hopes the decision will be overturned at the national executive meeting scheduled for this week and one trade union has threatened legal action.

      “There’s going to be some quite intense discussions over the next few days, I suspect, and I hope our party officials and our national executive will see sense in this and recognise that those people who have freely given of their time and their money to join the Labour Party should be welcomed in and given the opportunity to take part in this crucial debate, whichever way they decide to vote,” he told the BBC’s Sunday Politics.

  • Greg Dance

    I always considered my self a ‘centrist’ in the dead middle of the ranting power hogs playing out their ‘king of the castle’ games at both wing ends. I liked rock music but nothing too mind jangling.

    That was in the 1970’s. As the 80’s rolled over us ridden atop by Boudica Thatcher I watched as Labour floundered under the combined losses from erosion of the union base memberships, council house give aways and popularised greed that ran like measles through the breaking ranks of Labour.

    Then came the brief respite years of Major, seemingly a decent ordinary chap had returned, but only a short while later came the grinning Red/Blue Conman Blair who made PFI and war fashionable making happy times for Thatcher during her receding years, happy times some thought.

    Next came Brown’s unhappy desperate efforts to shore up a corrupt banking machine that had overheated (yet again), but this time it would poison the developed world in ways only in grandma’s horror memoirs used to.

    Where am I now? I am still where I was really, I cannot stand the ranting power nuts no matter where they come from and I still can’t take mind jangling rock or opera but still like music with melodies.

    The whole political scope has been pulled and pushed far to the right, somehow the simple ease of sensible discussion and considered thought has een consigned to counselling sessions and religious groups all trying to reassemble the smashed pieces of peoples happiness and sense of purpose in a world where the shouting parties have dominated the ever louder and sound bitten media.

    Attention spans are intentionally shortened, debate is for those with the time and determination to stick them through to the ends and yet this is what is needed most to repair the broken political crockery that Farage, Johnson, Blair, Thatcher and all their wannabe sychophants have left us.

    Will the fat lady ever sing, it doesn’t matter because the end will come anyway. Turkey is not that far from Britain and its only real differences seem to be that it has enormous religeous divisions where we have enormous opportunity divisions. Both are undemocratic and cynically run by elites who know no better. They are held in place by masses of followers who are too fearful to consider systemic change as a good thing.

    And so it rolls on, Hellward bound.

    • Alan

      ‘Boudica Thatcher’

      I object to that. Boadicea burnt down Colchester, and then London, fighting against the dominant empire. Thatcher spent her time slurping up to the dominant empire.

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