The Tipping Point 215

The UK currently has a Prime Minister who is held in widespread contempt by the ordinary public. It follows that the power of the mainstream media to dictate public opinion has been broken. The broadcast media reached new levels of election campaign bias, and the print media was fanatical, during the election campaign in promoting May. But the Tories nonetheless lost their majority. The press is trying to cover up its loss of power by switching towards the anti-May camp, but it is running hopelessly behind. We have passed a key tipping point where the cloud power of social media is now more important than mainstream media in shaping public opinion.

That has been crucial in smashing the surrounds of the Overton window. There were a set of beliefs which the political and media Establishment believed it was essential to hold, or you would be “unelectable”. These basic beliefs included:

1) An unwavering commitment to nuclear weapons and an enthusiasm about their use
2) Privatisation of public services including natural monopolies
3) State funded services to be provided through intermediary private organisations
3) An untrammelled free market in rents, wages and the other major factors in the life of the poor
4) Low taxes on the wealthy and corporations
5) Ever greater deregulation
6) Neutered trades unions and removal of employee rights
7) Inequality of wealth as a consequence of a healthy economy
8) Unquestioning support for Britain’s retention of Imperial possessions and for military interventions abroad.
9) Politicians must talk tough on immigration to reassure “indigenous communities”
10) Unwavering support for Israel

There are more. Every single one of these were taken as absolutely fundamental to “accepted” political thought. Anybody questioning any of these was regarded as at best an amusing eccentric, at worst a dangerous fanatic. Portrayal of Corbyn was sometimes the former, during the election campaign overwhelmingly the latter.

It cannot be said too loudly or too often that New Labour subscribed absolutely and without question to 100% of the above political orthodoxy. It is what the large majority of Labour MPs have spent their lives believing.

It was the SNP who led the way in showing that attacking this “consensus” did not make you unelectable, and the SNP smashed New Labour in Scotland from the left. Precisely two years ago I wrote a post on why left wing politics do not make you unelectable, which was read by hundreds of thousands.

The terrible tragedy at Grenfell tower has reinforced understanding that benign state regulation is an essential factor in protecting the most vulnerable people in society. It adds to a national mood which was already swinging towards more economic regulation and a bigger role for the state. My last post I hope was nuanced in explaining the situation at Grenfell Tower. Nothing can bring back those who so needlessly lost their lives. But I do hope it may lead to a period of greater social housing provision by councils, working with direct labour forces and sweeping away the intermediary bodies which bedevil provision throughout the public sector.

I am not going to worry too much about the Tories at the moment as they appear to be plummeting to earth with no chance of medium term recovery. But where does Labour stand?

The most important question is whether the Blairites are going to abandon their belief in the neo-liberal consensus and actually support the policies in the Labour Party manifesto. A week ago Peter Mandelson, of all people, gave a television interview in which he said he had no moral problem with Corbyn’s policies, he had merely thought them unelectable. So the question arises: what do these people really believe in?

Some of them really are right wingers and find left wing policies unbearable. I believe that accounts for fifty to sixty of the Parliamentary Labour Party. About the same number are genuine left wingers. But the vast majority of the Blairite remnant are like Blair himself – morally pliable. If getting on board with the Corbyn programme looks good for their money-making prospects, they will do it. They are practising their new left wing vocabulary right now before their mirrors.

Corbyn’s hand is much strengthened, but he still has a major task to strengthen his grip on the party. Compulsory deselection is the obvious way forward but may prove difficult to force through. However pending very extensive constituency boundary changes may give the leverage required. To date, Corbyn has suffered from an inability to influence local constituency labour parties, where young activists are difficult to turn out for procedural meetings and old hacks manipulate arcane procedures. In addition, Labour’s entrenched full time staff is viciously anti-Corbyn, none more so than General Secretary Ian McNicol. The truth is that before the election Corbyn was not winning in the institutional battle within the Labour Party. He needs to exploit his current strength now ruthlessly in internal battles.

In Scotland, a dreadful and unpopular Tory government dependent on the DUP, and a lurch towards a disastrous Brexit which Scotland does not want, should provide a massive boost to the Independence movement. But the SNP is failing as a leadership vehicle for Independence. Having fought a pathetic general election campaign in which it prepared to accept that the very thought of Independence is a dirty little secret that should be hidden under the bed, the SNP appears in almost as great a crisis of confidence as the Tory Party. It needs now to come out and forcefully explain why Scotland would do much better as an independent country. The purpose of the SNP is not remunerative employment for Scotland’s political class. It is, however, beginning to look like it.

215 thoughts on “The Tipping Point

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  • Shaheer

    I have great faith in the fact that the mainstream media’s role is being overtaken by social media. That’s where Labour’s “digital army” came in before the election. Only labour has concrete policies to unite the country and take us forward through Brexit, protecting workers rights and jobs. Let’s hope the chaos unreavellimg with the tories will lead to another election soon. The instability and lack of confidence as a starting point is certainly not going to help them last.

    • BrianPowell

      Corbyn accepted Brexit and had no plan to unite the country. He won the Labour party leadership contest, that shouldn’t be confused with something for the country, there isn’t in country, he falls to grasp that.
      Labour lost the GE in England and in Scotland.
      Corbyn supports independence for NI but not for Scotland. Hypocrisy.
      He is part of the Labour that voted down every amendment to the Scotland Bill which would have given greater real powers to Scotland.
      He can no more unite than May or Davidson and is no more than a return to the rusty seesaw of Westminster.
      People in England had no other choice than Corbyn but still he didn’t get a majority, after 7 years of Tories and then Brexit.

      • fred

        “Corbyn supports independence for NI but not for Scotland. Hypocrisy.”

        Maybe he thinks opposing partitioning in Ireland while supporting it on mainland Britain would be hypocrisy.

        • Alex Birnie

          Are you being serious? Do you really believe that nonsense? That mindset is precisely why the unionists are on course to lose Scotland to independence. You just DON’T get it, do you? Sinn Fein and the SNP have different goals, but the over-arching desire that both parties (and their followers) have, is that they desperately want to get away from Westminster.

          As the gruesome car crash that is the Tory party and Brexit unfolds in front of us, more and more people are coming to the conclusion that we need to get away from them.
          (If you reply that the Tories increased their vote in Scotland, then you don’t have the first clue about the dynamics of Scottish politics – “Wings over Scotland” reports today, that on the night of the election Scottish Labour apparatchiks were CHEERING THE LOSS OF SNP SEATS TO THE TORIES).

          • fred

            I think Labour members have every right to cheer their Conservative colleagues if they prefer them to SNP just as I think Jeremy Corbyn has the right to decide for himself if he supports Irish or Scottish independence without being called a hypocrite. I believe the Scottish people had a right to decide for themselves in a referendum if they wanted to leave the UK and their decision should be respected.

            I also believe that because someone has had to use food banks twice in the past that doesn’t exclude them from ever eating in a restaurant for the rest of their lives.


            Unfortunately there are people in Scotland who feel they are the only ones entitled to an opinion, that their opinion is the only valid opinion, that their prejudices should be everyone’s prejudices.

          • fred

            That nurse who has the right to question the First Minister without being harassed, intimidated and having libellous lies spread about her.

            I don’t like your Scotland where someone can’t speak out against the establishment without being punished by the Nationalist Blackshirts.

          • Republicofscotland

            “I don’t like your Scotland ”


            We know Fred, oh we know alright.

            Nor do you like Scot’s Fred, especially the piss stained homeless ones that you had a go at.

        • Alex Birnie

          “I think Labour members have every right to cheer their Conservative colleagues”

          It was precisely that attitude which cost SLAB 40 seats in the 2015 general election. If you can put the words “Conservative” and “colleagues” together in the same sentence, that tells me all I need to know about you, Fred 🙂

          • fred

            That I feel our country would be better run if our elected representatives worked together in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect rather than the Nationalist politics of hate?

        • BrianPowell

          Ireland was one country. Scotland is one country, England is one country. Ireland was partitioned, Scotland and England are two countries. Simple enough.
          So he supports NI becoming one country again with the Republic but opposes Scotland becoming a self governing country again. Rank hypocrisy.

          • fred

            Ireland is one landmass mainland Britain is one landmass which has been governed by the same parliament for three hundred years.

            India was partitioned because the Hindu and the Muslim couldn’t get on, Korea was partitioned because the Capitalist and the Communist couldn’t get on but people in England and Scotland have very much the same religious beliefs and politics. No logical reason for division.

      • Shatnersrug

        This is starting to piss me off. I voted remain. I Lost, we lost. Either a democratic vote is worth something or it isn’t . If it’s not then no vote is worth anything and you prefer living in a totalitarian state.

        Before I hear all the old flannel about how the press lied and poor diddums didn’t get to hear all the arguments devilvered to them on a reading age of 7 plate by aunty Beeb and that nice Rupert Murdoch – the facts were always there for anyone to find out about. Did they? No happy to have prejudices confirmed. Well as a country we got what we deserved.

        We now have two choices. Soft Labour Brexit, or Hard Tory one. Hopefully with some cunning political manovering ( the same cunning political guile that has had Corbyn and McDonnel repeatedly defeat government bills over the last two years that could have had terrible impacts on the people of this country ones that nobody can be bothered to find out about because they’d rather moan about his tie and how we’re all doomed) Hopefully they can defeat this government and negotiate a deal where by we can enjoy Europe without being stuck with the free movement of capital and banned state monopolies. Without the replacement to the TIPP which the US are forcing on us, and with a break from American foreign policy.

        I tell you what we don’t deserve – we don’t deserve a kind generous man like Jeremy to put his life and credibility on the line, to give up the causes and charities and local work he has worked so hard on for the last 30 years to protect us from Tories, whilst the very people he is trying to defend pull him apart because they’re more inclined to believe the same damned sources that lied to them over Brexit than trust an honest man on his word.

        We got what we deserve. We deserve a shit government. This country is full of moaning lazy minded Minnies and not just on the right, I’m sick of hearing the same old bleating from people that would rather watch corporate football and drink alcohol than actually get off their arses and make a difference to their own damned country

        So I suggest pulling heads out of arses. We’ve already missed our chance – it went long before Corbyn was anywhere near the scene. Luckily in the eleventh hour some people have stood up and made a difference – the people of momentum standing behind Corbyn and working fucking harder than any political movement I’ve seen in my life time managed to create a seismic shift – not enough to change a government but enough to create a dent in their armour they may give us a shaft of light.

        Stop fucking moaning and pull your finger out.

        • Chris Rogers


          Many to us active on Social Media and on the Left, with or without the the support of Labour Party Institutions got up off our arses & committed ourselves to working for a Corbyn-led government in this country – our struggle continues and is intensified by the horrific events in Grenfell Tower. As for the EU, well as France will soon discover, the neoliberal social experiment continues apace regardless of what sovereign member nation states Electorates want. For that reason alone I am unable to support an Institution that so despises democracy and democratic outcomes. When the EU Parliament appoints Commissioners, we can come back, but until that time – which will be a very long way off, I think the UK is better as a nation outside of the prevailing neoliberal consensus etched in the Treaties of the EU.

        • Shatnersrug

          How so? We elect a representative from our community to go to parliament to protect our interests? Except nobody gives a shit. People can’t even be bothered to find out who their local MP is in some cases. Imagine an electorate engaged enough to hold regular meetings with this representative – enough so that characters like peter Mandelson and Lyndon Crosby couldn’t parachute in some overly groomed oxford numpty who will do their bidding.

          Before you go suggesting ripping down the system(which is admittedly very flawed) how about finding out how the current one works. The reason it doesn’t work is because people have neglected it because they’re all to keen to believe the message that’s pumped out in the MSM – politicians are duplicitous, all the same nothing changes. Ever stopped for a minute to think that if you wanted to take power away from a political system – encouraging people to believe that it was toothless or corrupt was the perfect way to do it?

          Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre run this country and they run it for elites and the reason they do is because that is what the people want.

          • K Crosby

            You can’t blame voters for a system designed so well to perpetuate minority rule that there has never been a democratically-elected government.

      • nevermind

        I have just read a call for people to get on to the CAC, the policy making body of the Labour Party and anyone who is choosing those representatives might want to ask them about Ian Mc Nicols grip. Have you no faith in the vast army of young and able people, Brian?

        The discrepancies in funding candidates in marginal Labour seats will be discussed and mulled over.
        It would have been much better if this years internal directional changes happened three years ago, but facts are such that until now nobody in the Labour party, bar those who supported JC, could imagine that these new members would be largely immune to the tabloid excretions and that they are more steadfast than they expected.
        Now they either jump on board, or miss the boat altogether. Its up to those new members and reformers to bring the Labour party into the 21st. century.
        If JC now opens his arms to all voters and embraces a law that allows every voter the same fair proportional electoral system he was partial too and elected under, then this might bring even more support from the public.

      • SA

        It was never going to be possible for labour having lost Scotland and two GEs and a poll deficit of 22% from torrid to win outright especially given the fact that the PLP were continuously plotting. In this context reversing the predicted May landslide which she banked on when she called the election, and depriving the tories of a majority is a victory and certainly the first step in a two step reversal of the Tory’s fortunes.

  • Bert

    “We have passed a key tipping point where the cloud power of social media is now more important than mainstream media in shaping public opinion.” If that is the case watch out for yet more tory control over the Internet.


  • BrianPowell

    “It needs now to come out and forcefully explain why Scotland would do much better as an independent country.” Stuegeon said exactly that but the snap GE came in, interfering with that plan.

  • Nick

    Out of 650 mps, one has to wonder how many do have genuine principles these days? Most seem to be drop in careerists

    • Xavi

      No doubt about it. We’re damned lucky Corbyn appeared out of nowhere to lead Labour. Had he not, there were no other figures on the horizon who could have restored faith in British politics and hope for much of British society.

  • Merkin Scot

    Not so far off the point, Craig. I am a wee bit further in my desire to get rid of t the parasites that seek to control us.

  • Douglas

    I agree with almost everything except your last two sentences.

    As a new member, (previously I had found it easier to argue for Independence without having to wade through defending the SNP) my experience of SNP politicians has been quite the opposite.
    The ones I have encountered are working very hard for Independence, even if it costs them their jobs.

    The General Election was never going to return 56 SNP MPs. They might have saved a few seats (though I doubt it) if they had capitulated regarding IndyRef2 but they stood firm by keeping that alive. Timing is difficult, if they push too hard and too soon for IndyRef2 (before the general public awareness has caught up) , the opportunity will be wasted. If they leave it too long, the activists will consume themselves in bickering or become disheartened. There were plenty of things that didn’t go well in the election but we can learn.

    We do need to get on with making the case for Independence (all of us).

    The SNP are likely to be able to deliver a second chance soon, I cannot imagine that the leadership would hesitate and certainly not for the sake of their jobs.

    The wider YES movement needs to unify and deliver, the SNP is only part of the solution.

  • Jane Sinclair

    “… But the vast majority of the Blairite remnant are like Blair himself – morally pliable.” Many years ago when seeking support on a committee, I was given the advice “beware of the those that sit on the fence as they are the sheep – the group that flocks together and are the most dangerous because of their unpredictability.”
    If those MPs have any sense of intelligence, they will heed the winds of growing discontent.

  • German Girl

    Blairites are both opportunists and traitors. If they join Corbyn they might as well water down his policies or even destroy him from the inside. He should try to reduce the influence of the Blairites. Mandelson publicly stating that he merely considered lefty positions as “unelectable” is the first sign of opportunism and preparation of treason.

    Corbyn has a monumental task. He will need more support than he can get.

    • Michael McNulty

      I don’t think the Blairites can be trusted either but I hope there’s one thing that contains their treacherous zeal. They should worry that to betray Jeremy now means their chances of getting enough people to pound the streets for them at election time, and of course to then elect them, will be greatly limited. To betray him now may mean the end of their own political career and I doubt they’re quite that Tory.

  • Rob Royston

    Despite your flu you seem to be thinking on all cylinders. I particularly liked, “They are practising their new left wing vocabulary right now before their mirrors.” They used to say in Glasgow, “He would get a piece at any door”.
    The closing line of your last paragraph is exactly how many, even life-long Independence voters like myself, must now see the SNP. They have had the ball at their feet in front of an open goal more than once but decided to go off on a wee dribble round the park again to showcase their skills.
    Our English friends seem to be wakening up to Westminster and all it’s evils at a breakneck speed and many in Scotland must be tempted to be involved. I would like to see our UK countries independent of each other but still working with each other after Brexit. Re-joining Europe would be dependent on how these peoples sort out their affairs, certainly we would need to see a lot of changes to what has been going on there in recent years.

    • Bill Rollinson

      “certainly we would need to see a lot of changes to what has been going on there in recent years.”
      Never, the EU have an Agenda and will not veer from it.
      Money has been ‘siphoned off’ every year, towards those ‘conspiracy theories’ we are told don’t exist, like the EU army.
      The first and only private accountant who asked where the money had gone, was sacked [Marta Andreason] Cameron went over to ‘negotiate’ a new deal and was told no!
      The Globalisation aka One World Government ideology is being pushed by the neo-liberals. We NEED change, we NEED Corbyn!

    • Manda

      “Despite your flu you seem to be thinking on all cylinders. I particularly liked, “They are practising their new left wing vocabulary right now before their mirrors.”

      Agree 100%.

      I am trying not to be too cynical about the new found leftists in the PLP etc. I have a gnawing feeling many are just biding time, forming new tactics and saving their jobs. After the bitterness towards Corbyn and his supporters of the last two years I find it hard to believe any have had a genuine ‘come to Jesus’ moment, especially in the crucial area of foreign policy. I believe foreign policy cannot be carved off from domestic policies and put in a separate box and I believe that it must be addressed along with domestic policy. The same principles should underpin both, a push to Socialism or Socialist bottom lines at home is nothing while you are bombing and sanctioning the s**t out of foreign countries, killing and displacing millions, overthrowing their governments and working to force their citizens to submit to global elite/banking/corporate plunder and geo strategic aims. Making government an instrument of the people rather than an instrument of corporate/banking/elite hegemony over people is a universal belief to me.
      Until the PLP and labour neoliberals and neocons come on board with Corbyn’s push to re think foreign and so called defence policy I will not be able to trust the newly converted in PLP and those still embedded in positions of power in party structures.

  • Ishmael

    “These basic beliefs included”

    I wonder how much of this is simply US policy.

    & yes I’m toing and froing about getting involved in labour locally, But I know these groups to be essentially about themselves and maintaining there own positions over any want or need to change.

    It’s not that just that there aren’t team players, it’s that the very structure is set up to make individuals distinguish themselves as better “representatives” (usually only includes “successful” businessmen) …

    I did mention to the Greens about creating a more democratic system but eyes glazed over. This would actually require work and creative thinking, And a will to challenge. What politics wants is those who fit in to the system that is. To battle it out in an indavidualisic ego fight. To make a “team” who will go in just the way the system dictates to “fight” the system.

    I may help out a bit locally but after seeing this system work within a party & after seeing labours “family” (war criminals and their propagandists included) I think joining such a convoluted and fundamentally corrupting sytem that perverts human nature a bit too much.

    The issue is like when I tried to stick around the green party (after i made it clear i was leaving as a member ) I was blocked out, Because they know the way “to power” and it’s done by specifically not including the public in the process. Not at all about giving people capacity to exercise better power.

    Or is it just that I don’t associate with, or want to meet, or get near killers. People who plan and execute mass murder are not heathy to be around.

    • Ishmael

      On a more ‘positive’ note there are lots of ways for anyone to influence things. And I think it’s important to work on that as just member of the public.

      This illusion of power people have makes for politics that refects this perversion, And it results in a hell of a lot of organised violence. I can’t help thinking that people themseves wouldn’t do a far better job. i.e, Organising our own groups, our own media, etc etc. In fact I think a lot of what where seeing is a result of that in mainstream politics.

    • Manda

      “I wonder how much of this is simply US policy. ”

      I believe most, if not all, western so called democracies and their allies do not have national (interest) policies, their governments, civil and security services have been co opted by corporate/banking/elite aims and objectives and those objectives are on a global scale. I believe US is just the biggest and most powerful tool and enforcer for Global elite interests.

  • Mark Rowantree

    I applaud and welcome your analysis, Craig. Unless the SNP realise that their membership is their greatest electoral asset and energise, involve and motivate them properly instead of seeking to use them as a glorified glee club: they are doomed and they’ll be guilty of throwing away the greatest advantage that any pro-independence party has ever possessed.

  • David McBain

    Craig Murray: “They are practising their new left wing vocabulary right now before their mirrors.” Ha ha, (but what about the ones that don’t have a reflection)?

  • K Crosby

    Hello Craing, hope you’re feeling better. Glad to see that you are judging the SNP by deeds not words. Syriza in a kilt is that last thing the Scot working class needs.

  • john black

    My concern is that the Tories are all too happy to focus public hatred on May as an individual. At the moment she is standing alone like a sacrificial lamb. When the time is right, they will dump her and pretend that all is now well in the Tory party and she was just some sort of aberration.

  • fwl

    I agree with CM that the media’s facade is falling away.

    There could not be a clearer symbol of what is wrong with society than what has happened at Grenfell – a building with a flammable facade.

    Henry David Thoreau sought to explore what it was that he really needed and then wrote of his experience in Walden (it was published in 1854 so do not be put off if at first this quote sounds like some discredited concept of the noble savage) because it is certainly worth reading and contemplating:

    “In the savage state every family owns a shelter as good as the best, and sufficient for its coarser and simpler wants; but I think that I speak within one bounds when I say that the birds of the air have their nests, and the foxes their holes, and the savages their wigwams, in modern civilised society not more than one-half the families own a shelter. In the large towns and cities, where civilisation especially prevails, the number of those who own a shelter is a very small fraction of the whole………..the savage owns his shelter because it costs so little, while the civilised man hires his commonly because he cannot afford to own it; nor can he in the long run, any better afford to hire……. Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbours have.”

    When public housing chooses to spend £8,000,000 refurbishing a tower block and coats it with a fancy but flammable facade, which then catches fire and kills those trapped inside we must ask ourselves how bonkers we have become. Not just the council and the government and the media and those who invest in public sector infrastructure and the planners and the building control, but all of us.

    We all need to think about how we are living individually and collectively. We should think about this together but also privately.

    Have a look at spin, PR and the media – these are the facades we use to coat our society and our behaviour. Aren’t these facade as futile and useless and unfit for purpose as was the facade on Grenfell.

    But, at the same time this is a dangerous time a) because social media is as easily controlled and spun as conventional media and b) when masks fall and people are horrified by what they see there is a risk of disorder. So as well as calling to account national and local government and all aspects of the elite establishment , as well as questioning how we want to live and organise ourselves as a society we should temper this by also quietly questioning to ourselves how do I want to live? Have I also built some stupid facade to my life? Am I chasing after perfume for shit? What is that I need at a basic level. When I have obtained the basics for my family and my roots are well established what fruits do I aim for?

    We are obsessed with glorifying our basics and forget what might be our fruit. It is as if a person with unfettered ownership fertile plot of land and shelter for his/her family then mortgaged it all to perfume the manure.

  • Peter Beswick

    The internet is a massive problem for the controllers, despite being infested with government flunkies and shills it still keeps delivering that awful by-product, the truth!

    If Britain descents into the prelude of civil war this summer (which is entirely possible) the first action of the government will be to pull the plug on public access to the internet. I’m not making this up, Craig probably knows this to be true.

    Now here’s the dilemma for the government (whoever it may be) Do you clamp down on the rioters / demonstrators with lethal force and attempt to stem the rebellion or do you ensure a full blown civil war by turning off our internet access?

    I know Corbyn doesn’t want no. 10 for another two years (despite what he says) but to stave off mass bloodshed (the people vs the state) it might be best for him to take the job now.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Peter Beswick, I found the “esoteric” stuff you wrote on on John Ward’s Slog really interesting. I’m not going to knock Brian Cox – he is obviously a really nice bloke – and it was my local school. I couldn’t go to Hulme Grammar, because I was brought up as a Roman Catholic and my parents insisted I went to a Catholic School. You probably know my Brother-in-Law. He grew up in Royton too and did go to Hulme Grammar. He’s a nice bloke – taught Chemistry all his life…at some of the poshest schools. The sisters though they look like twins don’t really get on…but we do.

  • Methuselah Now

    Can this please be shared widely, they can’t say they weren’t warned:

    I also don’t understand why the council leader himself and the chief executive have not resigned whether out of political expediency from CCHQ, or you know, integrity, honour or basic decency and shame.

    Yours kindly,


    • Tony_0pmoc

      Methuselah Now, We don’t use the term “pitchforks” in the UK, and your article written by Peter Oborne – a man I have a great deal of respect for was written 6 years ago. We have no current plans for civil war in the UK. I suggest you Americans don’t do it either. It creates an awful mess..

  • Vestas

    Spot on re the SNP. They’re getting institutionalised – the salaries/contacts seem to be worth more to many of them than indy.

    I guess its inevitable in systems where there’s no limit on the number of terms you can “serve”.

    I don’t see indyref2 happening if its left up to the SNP leadership. Membership/voters need to make it clear that no indyref2 (before 2021) is completely unacceptable & a REAL plan for that needs to be in place this summer.

    The SNP were bloody useless in the last indyref, people had to take things into their own hands. indyref2 looks like they have even less enthusiasm/competence than last time. I’d rather give money to Wings than the SNP – at least there’s a measurable effect for the money you donate, not that way with the SNP. Also what’s happened to the money donated for the “imminent” indyref2 the SNP were pushing 3 months ago?

    Tick tock Nicola, tick tock.

  • Johnstone

    ‘My last post I hope was nuanced in explaining the situation at Grenfell Tower’. No, with respect superficial at best.

  • Republicofscotland

    I agree with you on the SNP, they were cowed into not standing up and promoting Scottish independence during the GE. Having said that the SNP in Scotland won with a resounding victory, if you add all the other unionist branch offices MP’s together it still wouldn’t reach the SNP’s winning number.

    The Daily Record’s loaded questions in the Survation poll, doesn’t reflect the mood for independence. Dennis Canavan, has said we must be prepared for indyref2 at the end of the Brexit talks, and we will be.

    As for Corbyn, in opinion, he will eventually be carried over the winning line through public opinion. Theresa May just doesn’t have the people skills to come across as genuine, she will be ousted, for a more plausible candidate, if the Tories have such a person in their ranks.

  • david morris

    The purpose of the SNP (has always been) the remunerative employment for Scotland’s political class.

    There. Fixed it for you

  • Republicofscotland

    So there was rapture abound in the head Labour branch office in Scotland, everytime a Tory took a seat from the SNP during the GE.

    It isn’t a surprise or shock anymore, that Labour cheer for the Tories and vice versa in Scotland, it’s a sad state of affairs, if truth be told.

    More damaging however is that those cheers for Tory wins by Labour branch members in Scotland. Has seen Theresa May gain another 12 seats, and stopped Corbyn from forming a government in England, which could’ve begun reforming the rest of the failing union, Scotland aside of course, where independence is the goal.

  • Alcyone

    Is Corbyn going to have his own party unite behind him, leave alone the country, by demanding requisition of people’s property? Sounds more like a Communist Party to me.

    • Kempe

      Fortunately neither local nor national government has the legal power to requisition people’s homes in peacetime no matter how good the cause, compulsory purchase is an expensive business which can takes years. JC should know all of this.

      I see he’s now trying to compare airlines putting stranded passengers up for the night in an hotel with the council’s delay in re-homing 120 families! Unbelievable.

        • Kempe

          So you’d trust the Tories with such power would you?

          You’d cahnage your mind if it was your home they came for.

          • Manda

            Corbyn was talking about empty homes. Banked homes. So many are conflating this with throwing people out of homes they live in with the gambling on house price bubble profiteering practice of buying up homes and land and sitting on them till prices rise or just a safe place to put your wealth, leaving many homes empty and land undeveloped!

          • Ishmael


            I trust they already own much of the countries property.

            And we have spare rooms, if there is need I’m sure we could accommodate someone.

      • Manda

        Homes are compulsory purchased for infrastructure building all the time, people are thrown out of their homes and communities for ‘gentrification’ all the time. Why not banked properties in an emergency and tragedy? Looks like people are being railroaded, even threatened into leaving the borough and one man into a residential home apparently against his will after the death of his wife in that fire! This will be done as quickly as possible…

        UK has become a ruthless, selfish and uncaring society if victims of a likely avoidable tragedy are treated this way in the interests of private profiteers. I despair.

        • Kempe

          Compulsory purchase can take 2-3 years. Are you proposing to leave these people sleeping on the floor of a community centre or in some damp B&B for that length of time?

          • Manda

            I am sure a government with a will can invoke or create all sorts of emergency laws if it was so inclined. Of course that is not what I am suggesting. Looks like the council/Mays team is rushing as fast as it can to solve the ‘problem’ to it’s and Rentier’s satisfaction.

      • Alcyone

        Disingenuous and very pathetic play of politics by Corbyn. Why hasn’t he instead been talking about the use of hotels while they find alternative accommodation?

        To quote Habby: Beware of a whorin’ after false Gods.

        PS Where are Habby and Anon–hope they haven’t been banned?

        • Manda

          Do you have one ounce of empathy for the victims of this horror not of their making?

          • Manda

            “You have a monopoly on empathy? Play the ball not the player.”

            Of course not but I despair of coming to terms with such thinking as yours. We will never agree… I find it pointless wasting effort where I have no chance of moving together. At least Corbyn has got people talking and thinking. We and I’m sure Corbyn himself knows that his suggestion would never, ever happen in the current economic set up and government. It points to the dire situation in UK that profit seeking and inactive personal wealth trumps even life itself.

          • Manda

            “You have a monopoly on empathy? Play the ball not the player.”

            ps. I note you avoided my question with a question. I will draw my own conclusion from that.

    • Ishmael

      How do you suppose all that property and land used by ordinary people, now “owned” by a scant few was got in the first place?

      • Ishmael

        If I’m correct, all russian “communism”( as distinct from Marxist) did was arrange property rights and production via the state. They are not the ones who enacted this brutal system in the first place. The decedents of the people who did that still live among us.

        Communism seeks the abolition of private property. Not that one shouldn’t use or have personal possessions. But that the means of production is in public hands. To have a society based on need not greed, man.

        Whats wrong with that?

          • Manda

            That particular experiment didn’t work. Capitalism isn’t working either, does that mean we have to throw the baby out with the bath water or look for alternative ways?
            I cannot but think this paralysis in thinking about economic and social structures and policies is indicative of the closing down and shutting out of independent and progressive thought into narrow minded regressive thinking will be the death of all civilized societies. Surely we can make a society how we want it to be, step by step? Surely we should start by thinking of fundamental principles such as fairness, equality, inalienable rights and democracy as the guide, not outdated, failed, vicious structures? We are social creatures, not loners that can exist independent of each others effort, coming together only to propagate the species like some other animal species. Surely we have to work for the good of society as a whole? I do not mean we should all have the same wealth but we should all have the opportunities and basics to be able to be safe, secure and have the freedom and opportunity to make the life we wish. At the moment some are left on the scarp heap to suffer unimaginably while others gain vast wealth that is way past practical use to them beyond investing to ensure they continue to accumulate a greater and greater portion of wealth at the continued expense of others.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Caveman 1: those hot glowing sticks made the meat nice and tender. Easier digestion meaning more energy for an increased brain. What a bright future. What a remarkable thing!

            Caveman 2: Yes, but it’s gone overnight. It didn’t work. Best stick to what we know, eating raw antelope.

          • Manda

            Phil the ex-frog, you said what my garble was trying to say in a much more concise and thought provoking way.

          • Phil the ex-frog


            You’re too kind. There’s a great image (a meme?) that I can’t find right now so will try to describe: picture a bloody medieval battle. Heads severed, stakes running through, mutilated horses, death everywhere.

            Knight 1: My king is the best king!
            Knight 2: No, my King is the real best king!
            Serf with a sword through his head: It’s not a perfect system but it’s the best we’ve got.

          • Manda

            Phil the ex-frog, I can imagine the image you describe, perhaps a superior and more tragic image depicting the sad, recurring human condition than the former. My question is, are we brave, free of mind, self confident and bold enough to even imagine not being serfs and make a collective and concerted effort to free ourselves from our self restricting and emotionally deeply embedded chains?

          • Ishmael

            It was never tried much kempe, But it was working ok in Spain for a bit until it was put down.

    • Phil the ex-frog

      Expropriating houses for social need undermines the very foundation of capitalism, property laws. It is truly extraordinary that the leader of the LP has even mentioned this. Although the establishment is in no position to react right now you can be certain that some old men bushy eyes brows are raised.

        • Laguerre

          That sounds doubtful to me. Brexiters always exaggerate those dictatorial EU rules. There are always ways around, particularly in an emergency.

  • Manda

    May cancelling the 2018 Queens speech is an ominous sign to me. Is it even constitutional without a parliamentary vote? May doesn’t even have a majority, yet.
    UK is now a de facto dictatorship, privatisation and corporate/banking friendly policies will be continuing behind the scenes under the cloak of difficult Brexit negotiations. Neoliberal/neocons are so close to full privatisation of NHS etc. aka a corporate (fascist?) state, it looks like Tories intend to try and sit in place and do their worst to complete the project to ‘privatise the world’ in UK.

    • J

      He’s a Tiger (in his eyes) speaking sotto voce to other Tigers. (Stop eating meat.) As such it is a it is a cynical and direct appeal to this audience, to encourage us not to force them out, to let some steam out of the pressure cooker they hold us in. Don’t believe a word of it.

      His own analysis is itself an artful fraud, fully consistent with the faux public discourse this fellow is a part of. They weren’t surprised by the election result, not really. They knew full well they were in trouble, they were after all the ones fiddling the news and the polls as well as the vote. From the outset they have published irrelevant lies, falsehoods and misdirection, not merely to derail Labour or Corbyn but mainly to conceal what they and their chums have actually been doing all these years, ensuring no one with any kind of public platform can ever speak out without being called Trotskyist, radical, dangerous, conspiratorial or any of a hundred other fashionable epithets. Their torrent of shit that we call public discussion isn’t remotely how they think or feel or reflective of what they do. It is all entirely directed against us. We just stopped parroting.

    • lysias

      I see no indication in that piece that it is after Grenfell Tower. I wonder if that disaster has rendered impossible the two alternatives the author envisions for the near future: either May continuing as PM, or Boris Johnson succeeding her.

  • Gus

    Ignore ‘Fred’ is what I say. He is certainly allowed an opinion but using ‘SNP Blackshirts’ is just an insult to voters in Scotland that still returned 35 out of 59 MPs to Westminster. You will only find he will detract from the main (and sound) advice given by the author of this article.

    I agree with Craig Murray when he said that the SNP allowed the pro brit narrative of the media to dictate how they fought this election though, something at least Corbyn managed to ignore in the same way he carried on and ignored the ‘tory lite’ mentality of the Blairite has-beens of the Labour party. It worked pretty well with England’s voters (beyond any speculative/poll propaganda.

    A large and identifiable body of English who were sophisticated enough NOT to buy into the media diktat on what type of leader and country they want to live in post brexit. That type of vote has been visible in Scotland for a decade so let’s hope both the SNP and Scottish voters think hard on that and what is actually at stake when the inevitable GE rears again all too soon.

    I am writing to the Scottish Government and telling them that my grassroots campaign for a rubber stamping on whatever the hell brexit will cough up are wishing to be watered regularly, and I even have a few suggestions as to how a consensus on Scotland being able to achieve the right to that vote can be fought and how it can be won.

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