British Democracy is Dysfunctional 918

A significant proportion of Labour MPs are actively seeking to cause their own party to do badly in forthcoming local elections, with the aim of damaging the leader of that party. To that end they have attacked Jeremy Corbyn relentlessly in a six week crescendo, in parliament and in the entirely neo-liberal owned corporate media, over the Skripal case, over Syria, and over crazy allegations of anti-semitism, again and again and again.

I recall reporting on an Uzbek Presidential election where the “opposition” candidate advised voters to vote for President Karimov. When you have senior Labour MPs including John Woodcock, Jess Phillips, John Mann, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes, Wes Streeting and Ruth Smeeth carrying on a barrage of attacks on their own leader during a campaign, and openly supporting Government positions, British democracy has become completely dysfunctional. No amount of posing with leaflets in their constituencies will disguise what they are doing, and every Labour activist and trade unionist knows it.

British democracy cannot become functional again until Labour voters have a chance to vote for candidates of their party who are not supporters of the neo-liberal establishment. This can only happen by the removal as Labour candidates of a very large number of Labour MPs.

That it is “undemocratic” for party members to select their candidates freely at each election, and it is “democratic” for MP’s to have the guaranteed candidacy for forty years irrespective of their behaviour, is a nonsensical argument, but one to which the neo-liberal media fiercely clings as axiomatic. Meanwhile in the SNP, all MPs have to put themselves forward to party members equally with other candidates for selection at every election. This seems perfectly normal. Indeed every serious democratic system elects people for a fixed term. Labour members do not elect their constituency chairman for life, so why should they elect their parliamentary candidate for life? Why do we keep having general elections rather than voters elect the MP for life?

Election of parliamentary candidates for life is in fact a perfectly ludicrous proposition, but as it is currently vital to attempts to retain undisputed neo-liberal hegemony, anybody who dissents from the idea that candidacy is for life is reviled in the corporate and state media as anti-democratic, whereas the truth is of course the precise opposite.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour leadership was a fundamental change in the UK. Previously the choice offered to electors in England and Wales was between two parties with barely distinguishable neo-liberal domestic policies, and barely distinguishable neo-conservative foreign policies. Jeremy Corbyn then erupted onto centre stage from the deepest backbenches, and suddenly democracy appeared to offer people an actual choice. Except that at the centre of power Jeremy did not in fact command his own party, as its MPs were largely from the carefully vetted Progress camp and deeply wedded to neo-conservative foreign policy, including a deep-seated devotion to the interests of the state of Israel as defined by the Israeli settlers and nationalist wing, and almost as strongly wedded to the economic shibboleths of neo-liberalism.

These Labour MPs were, in general, prepared grudgingly to go along with a slightly more social democratic economic policy, but drew the line absolutely at abandoning the neo-conservative foreign policy of their hero Tony Blair. So pro-USA policy, support for bombings and missiles as “liberal intervention” in a Middle Eastern policy firmly aligned to the interests of Israel and against the Palestinians, and support for nuclear weapons and the promotion of arms industry interests through a new cold war against Russia, are the grounds on which they stand the most firmly against their own party leadership – and members. Over these issues, these Labour MPs will support, including with voting in parliament, the Tories any day.

I have never voted Labour. I come from a philosophical viewpoint of the liberal individualist rather than of working class solidarity. Labour support for nuclear weapons and other WMD, in the blinkered interest of the members of the General Municipal and Boilermakers’ Union, is one reason that I could not vote Labour. The other is of course that in many cases, if you vote Labour you are very likely to be sending to parliament an individual who will vote with the Tories to escalate the arms race and conduct dangerous and destructive proxy wars in the Middle East.

There is an excellent article on Another Angry Voice which lists the only 18 MPs who were brave enough to vote against Theresa May’s 2014 Immigration Act, which enshrined dogwhistle racism and the hostile environment policy.

Diane Abbott (Labour)
Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)
Jonathan Edwards (Plaid Cymru)
Mark Lazarowicz (Labour)
John Leech (Liberal Democrat)
Elfyn Llwyd (Plaid Cymru)
Caroline Lucas (Green)
Angus MacNeil (SNP)
Fiona Mactaggart (Labour)
John McDonnell (Labour)
Angus Robertson (SNP)
Dennis Skinner (Labour)
Sarah Teather (Liberal Democrat)
David Ward (Liberal Democrat)
Mike Weir (SNP)
Eilidh Whiteford (SNP)
Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymru)
Pete Wishart (SNP)

5 of the 6 SNP MPs stood against this racism (the sixth was absent) and the current leadership of the Labour Party stood alone against the Blairites and Tories in doing so. The Windrush shame should inspire Labour members to deselect every single one of the Red Tories who failed to vote against that Immigration Act. It is also a measure of the appalling shame of the Liberal Democrats, of whom only three of their sixty odd MPs opposed it, and who consigned themselves to the dustbin of history through Nick Clegg’s gross careerism and right wing principles.

There is more to say though. This vote is testament to the great deal in common which the SNP have with the current Labour leadership (who also personally consistently opposed Trident), as opposed to with the bulk of Labour MPs. Put another way, Corbyn, Abbot and McDonnell have more in common with the SNP than the Blairites. It is also a roll-call of those MPs who have most consistently stood against the appalling slow genocide of the Palestinians. It is astonishing how often that issue is a reliable touchstone of where people stand in modern British politics.

Corbyn’s supporters have slowly gained control of major institutions within the Labour Party. The essential next move is for compulsory re-selection of parliamentary candidates at every election and an organised purge of the Blairites. If the Labour Party does not take that step, I could not in conscience urge anyone to vote for it, even in England, but rather to look very carefully at the actual individual candidates standing and decide who deserves your support.

918 thoughts on “British Democracy is Dysfunctional

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  • Tony_0pmoc

    What a brilliant morning, afternoon and day.

    The band were completely awesome – we know some of them.

    The meal was great – everyone turned up on time, except my Sis

    She was rather late.

    She missed our Grandchildren, who we had no idea, they were coming too

    It was just like Nana – and our oldest grandchild who is just 2
    It is totally obvious, they both really love each other.

    He was crying, when he had to go home with his mum.

    It was very loud, even outside

    This is, my wife, family and friends.

    Some may think I am a bit of a cnt, but it seems to me that absolutely everyone loves my wife..

    even Thersea May’s speech writer

    He didn’t see our Grandkids..Too late for that mate.

    But he did say he was going to an interview tomorrow Monday…

    I thought he was a bit old for that…I asked what was the job?

    He said Personal Security For The British Government..

    He is nearly as old as me.

    So I asked him again- You are really interviewing people tomorrow for The Personal Security For The British Government..???

    He Said Yes.

    I said, don’t you realise that some of the people who may turn up, are likely to be incredibly evil bastards, that just want a job with GCHQ??

    He said Yes.

    I am not making this up.

    I am almost certain he is still a virgin.


  • Sharp Ears

    At least 55% of French ‘dissatisfied’ with President Macron – Poll
    22 Apr 2018

    Over half of the French people broadly disapprove of President Emmanuel Macron’s job performance, according to a new poll that took place around the time Paris joined US-led airstrikes on Syria, and amid protests over reforms.

    As many as 55 percent of the respondents said they are “dissatisfied” with the president’s performance, says Ifop poll, published by Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper.

    The study was conducted online and by telephone, from April 12 to 21, with a sample of nearly 2,000 people polled.


    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears April 22, 2018 at 21:38
      But that could be bad news, if it suggests 45% approve. I suppose there would be some ‘don’t knows’, but the 55% dissatisfied would not unite to agree on an alternative person/party.

    • bj

      The grand illusionist appears to be ‘En marche’ towards Syria. But on whose orders?

    • Dungroanin

      He appears to be in the same situation as Thatcher was in her first term of neoliberalism.

      A sticky wicket from which there was no possible escape and a failure after one term.

      She was hastily einvented as the Iron Lady, new hair, new voice, new everything, on the back of a convenient war in a far off place. The PR folk, Bell Pottinger (yup these beggars) and the media establishment tried their best. Yet their efforts were insufficient. So the SDP breakaway was quickly formed on the reputations of two loved old Labour darlings and a young turk – again backed by the masters of media. Only then was the Labour vote split, with a massive monstering of Michael Foot, who actually fought in the WW2.

      Macron is following a tried and trusted path for the benefit of the same corporate interests.

      He is a wholly invented personality, representing a wholly new party that is represented by his initials E M.

      Will the French allow themselves to be as easily fooled as the British were?

      • des

        agreed;Macron is a marionette for the Rothchilds/Bilderbergers/global crapitalists.I think Marine Le pen will be next president.

    • SA

      The three big losers May, Macron and Trump have joined force to attack Syria with 103 missiles and a success rate of 30%, to destroy a venom research centre already certified by the OPCW as clear, only to divert attention from thier own internal problems. I don’t think it is working.

      • Hatuey

        If that was their aim, I’d say it has worked to an extent. Trump and May were basically regarded as warped fruitcakes anyway before the attack and had little to lose.

        But I don’t think that was the aim.

  • Mary Paul

    Interesting piece of information for you. Who was made the UK’s National Security Advisor under Theresa May and has presided over the Skripal exercise? Sir Mark Sedwill. Who was the Permanent Secretary at the Home office under Theresa May, from 2003 -2017 (when the Windrush scandal was being operated)? Sir Mark Sedwill. Who is being tipped as the next Head of the Civil Service to replace Sir Jeremy Heywood (while Theresa May is PM?) You guessed it, Sir Mark Sedwill.

    (Supplementary question: who did Sir Mark take over from at the Home Office? Dame Helen Ghosh, the woman who screwed up running the National Trust which she joined from the Home Office. She has been moved on to be Master of Balliol College Oxford. Hopefully the potential there to do much damage in the public realm is limited.)

  • BrianFujisan

    Every Couple of years, Westmonster invites all of North Atlantic Terrorist Organization,, To Do what they like in Scottish waters.. There are Currently at least 30 war ships on my River

    But I’d rather Have the Orca Dolphins. That came even as far as my Town.. I wonder if their Echolocation abilities are being fucked up Cos there aint a Sufficient food source for Orcason the Clyde.. they chased the seals ect ..And all this going on when I’m on the east coast In Edinburgh. Typical

    • nevermind

      Thanks for that little local news Brian, much appreciated.
      Oh how i’d wish those killer whales would have titanium teeth able to crunch rudders and ancor chaines…..

  • Mark Russell

    Well, I guess that’s it then….the game’s moved on and Russia has had its day. What a blast though; but now its back to the usual fare and God Bless our Glorious just in time for Harry’s wedding. Step ye gaily.

    That’s how it goes down these days. Putin’s been taught a lesson and we can all relax until the next time our wonderful leaders decide to shake the dice for another round. Thank you for your concerns and don’t forget to buy a commemorative mug.

    No need to discuss these pesky anti-seminite Palestinians either. Our friends in tel Aviv have the situation under control…

    • John Goss

      Russia has not had its day Mark. The World Cup is coming up. I don’t know what WADA might be up to! If the host nation wins a match or two it could get very active. When the OPCW reports back that there were no chemical weapons for which $126 million dollars of missiles rained in on empty buildings to teach Assad a lesson it will not change anything. In a Cold War anything goes to denigrate the enemy.

      The meme “Russia is to blame” is evergreen.

      By the way, if that’s your arse it’s not very attractive. I have to speak the truth. The skirt’s quite nice though.

    • Hatuey

      yes, but I’m not sure the congressman shares the same views as Russia and Syria. He seems to be saying gas was released whereas Russia and Syria are saying it was staged and suggested that the victims of the gas attack were suffering from smoke inhalation or something.

  • Sharp Ears

    There are suggestions that the IDF have been using dum dum type bullets when shooting Palestinian children. There are a massive number of injuries with unusual wounds.

    Snipers ordered to shoot children, Israeli general confirms
    22 April 2018

    The IDF General is Zvika Fogel! No words. The photo is scary enough.

    ‘More than 1,600 other Palestinians have been shot with live ammunition that has caused what doctors are calling “horrific injuries” likely to leave many of them with permanent disabilities.’

    ‘Horrific injuries’ links to MAP’s
    ‘ Horrific injuries reported among Gaza protesters – MAP News – Medical Aid for Palestinians
    As the Great March of Return protests continues on its fourth Friday, medical workers in Gaza are reporting horrific injuries

    and this evil from the Deputy Knesset Speaker =
    ‘Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager famed for slapping an Israeli soldier on camera, should have been shot, at least in the knee, Deputy Knesset Speaker Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) wrote on Twitter Saturday.

    “In my opinion, she should have gotten a bullet, at least in the kneecap,” he wrote. “That would have put her under house arrest for the rest of her life.”

    All of this from the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’.

    • nevermind

      would there be anyone setting up a crowd funding for someone to shoot Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) in the knee caps, should he ever visit this country?

      At least that would guarantee that he’ll only visit once.

  • Don

    Just working my way through BROKEN VOWS – Tony Blair: The Tradgedy of Power by Tom Bower. Would suggest it as reading material to gain a background insight of just how far Labour has drifted from what I had assumed were moral values which were cast in stone. Across the political spectrum there are a few notable individuals – from various shades from blue to red – whom I hold in respect; for he rest? Carpet Baggers would be the most generous without breaking into invective.

  • des

    whilst I applaud your speaking out on the Skripal & Syrian gas attack false flags and agree that the parliamentary labour party are mostly neo-liberal warmongers,on the subject of immigration you are wrong.
    It is out of control & multi-culturalism is a destructive cancer eroding our indigenous culture & traditions.
    Corbyn & momentum in this regard are part of the problem not the solution.
    We have a conservative party which does not conserve or treasure this nation & a” labour” party which treats the indigenous working class with contempt,preferring to pander to minority groups;a curse on both their houses.

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