The Party is Over 225

The highly paid political class in charge of each of the UK’s three major political parties detests, despises, distrusts and seeks to discard their own party membership.

The Conservative, Labour and SNP elite all view their party members as a potential embarrassment.

The Tory Party MP’s appear to have worked out how to get rid of Truss , the hopeless leader the membership lumbered them with, and to put in place a replacement – crucially – while minimising their own rules on including a vote of party members in the process.

All Candidates will require 100 MP nominations to stand – which should eliminate member favourites Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch. This makes it impossible for there to be more than three candidates nominated, as there are under 400 Tory MPs. MPs will then hold one or two rounds of voting until a winner is announced.

Only then will the candidates be put to the membership, with information on who the MPs chose. It is plain there will be huge pressure on  candidates to step down after the MPs’ vote, so the election does not go to the membership at all.

There is a precedent. Andrea Leadsom was a kind of proto-Truss, with a similar ideological stance. Leadsom did not get to be Prime Minister because she was made to stand aside by pressure from senior MPs before the vote was put to the membership, where polls showed she might well have beaten Theresa May.

Given the chance, Tory Members would bring back Boris Johnson – that remains their number one choice. Alternatively they would, given the chance, be more likely to vote for populist right wingers like Suella Braverman or Kemi Badenoch, than more Establishment friendly figures. The new rules are designed to ensure they won’t get that chance.

Johnson however appears to be hoovering up more MP nominations than expected. Careerist Tory MPs will be worried about the impact on their own prospects of not backing him.

Many members entered the Tory Party from the winding up of UKIP. Opinion polls show that, after the economy, immigration remains their next highest priority, even after free movement from the EU has ended. In short, the Tory membership will vote in any nutter who promises rough treatment for immigrants.

It is fascinating that both the Tory and Labour parties have now adopted exactly the same mechanism to prevent the membership electing a leader again with views outside the narrow Establishment consensus – in both parties that mechanism being an increase in the number of MPs who have to nominate, before a candidate can get their name before the party membership.

The professionals are to radically limit the options of the members.

The Labour Party had under Jeremy Corbyn the largest mass membership of any political party in Europe. The current leadership has succeeded – quite deliberately – in losing half of them. The Labour members elected Keir Starmer on the basis of ten pledges to carry out the kind of left wing policies the Labour membership support. Almost all of those pledges have been summarily broken.

We have witnessed the Labour leadership refuse to endorse strikes which are the main avenue for working class resistance, ban its MPs from the picket lines, and refuse to oppose massive Tory attacks on civil liberties at home, while vying to be the most enthusiastic zionists and warmongers abroad. Labour members are summarily expelled for connection to legitimate socialist organisations.

This is what Labour Party members voted for:

This is typical of what they got:

Keir Starmer’s Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, not only wants to deport more immigrants than the Tories, she has for a decade been proclaiming that Labour will cut more benefits than the Tories. The disjunction between what Labour Party members want – and were promised by Starmer to get elected – and what Labour MPs want, could not be clearer.

The SNP, like Labour, has been shedding loads of members. The 2022 SNP Conference took place at the same conference centre in Aberdeen where I attended the 2015 SNP Conference. On that 2015 occasion the entire main hall was used, and full with some 7,000 delegates. In 2022 attendance had fallen to about 10% the number of delegates, with an equivalent fall in the hall space used:

By inviting non-delegates to attend for the leaders’ speech, the party managed to get 1,000 people for its big showpiece, which with complicit broadcasters using tight camera angles, looked pretty good.

The SNP is both paranoid and fundamentally dishonest about membership numbers. The 2022 election results for National Secretary are illuminating, an election in which the large majority of conference delegates might be expected to vote. A total of only 822 delegates voted in that election.

To give some indication of the rate of decline in participation in the party, that is about a third of the delegates who voted in the election when I stood for Party President just two years ago.

If you take alone the SNP MPs, MSPs, their paid staff, and SNP headquarters staff, SPADs etc, that gives you over 400 payroll votes. Hundreds of paid SNP councillors also automatically qualify as conference delegates. In short, the 900 odd delegate SNP conference is now almost totally devoid of the thousands of ordinary party members who used to be delegates.

Crucial past party conference decisions – including that an independent Scotland must have its own currency and central bank – are simply ignored by the party leadership which has announced this week that its proposal for an “independent” Scotland involves still using sterling for several years, and accepting some of the UK’s sterling denominated national debt; a simply disastrous proposition.

About 5,000 SNP members have defected to the small Alba Party, which now includes Scotland’s own currency, no NATO membership, and a republic as policies on Independence clearly different to the SNP. With its radicals gone, the SNP has become ever more neo-liberal, with an annual 1% reduction in the state sector share of GDP as a policy. The SNP leadership openly briefs the media against its own membership.

Here follows the perception, I believe very important, which led me to start writing this article four days ago. I have needed constantly to rewrite it because of the astonishingly fast developments with the Truss government collapsing; but originally the article was nothing to do with that, except for the fact the Tory party professional elite also hate their own membership.

I live in Joanna Cherry’s constituency and was an SNP member here. All of the stalwarts in this constituency have left the party. There was a system of 16 individuals who received the leaflets for distribution, and then gave them out to local volunteers in their area (I presume the 16 are by ward, but that’s a guess). All 16 key individuals left to join Alba.

The universal motive of members quitting was the Sturgeon SNP’s failure to make any move towards Independence despite multiple successive electoral mandates. This member insistence on Independence was deeply annoying to the large professional class in the SNP making excellent personal money out of the positions they occupied within the devolution settlement.

That is the same all over Scotland. The average Alba member is not just ex-SNP (and over 90% are), but were the heart and soul of SNP membership, the people who chapped the doors and delivered the leaflets. A year ago, it was being suggested the SNP would be seriously damaged without these people.

That turns out to be completely untrue. Because those who lead political parties – and here comes my promised perception – believe they don’t actually need members any more. Almost nobody attends hustings meetings, nobody reads leaflets and nobody engages with canvassers. Elections are now fought almost entirely through the mainstream media, and online.

For the modern campaign, parties need paid PR practitioners and they need paid troll farms. They don’t need little old men and women going door to door, other than once or twice for a candidate photocall.

The members, bluntly, are redundant old nuisances in the eyes of the political class. Nobodies who presume a right to have a say in party policy which should be dictated by the professionals.

Nor do they need the members’ subscription money. Starmer is delighted to have shed hundreds of thousands of Corbyn supporting members, to pursue instead corporate and billionaire money. The SNP Conference in Aberdeen was simply a festival of corporate lobbying. The Tories have always run on dark money in huge tranches.

Then there is the ever increasing largesse of Short money – taxpayer funds which the political class have awarded themselves to fund their party administrations. This state funding of political parties is one of the very worst innovations of my lifetime and fundamental to the development of our careerist and unprincipled political class.

The UK’s political parties are becoming uniformly right-wing organisations which represent a very narrow spectrum of views – those of the corporate sector and billionaire donors; who also of course own the mainstream media, which thus has precisely the same narrow spectrum of view.

This is a fundamental change in what a political party is – it no longer is a free association of citizens holding a common political outlook and working to elect representatives to support that philosophy. This great change in society – which renders western “democracy” entirely meaningless – is being consolidated before our eyes.

The destruction of Corbyn and his member-supported left-wing programme is mirrored in the destruction of Truss and her member-supported right-wing programme.

Nobody is allowed any longer to put forward any programme that is not within the narrow and entirely unimaginative confines of the professional political class.

An election that pitched Corbyn against Truss would offer voters a real choice between two radically different visions of society, with the Lib Dems as an option for those who liked neither. That would be a real democracy. But it is not to be permitted to voters.

Irrespective of what Labour and Conservative Party members would like to offer, the electorate is likely to be presented with Sunak or Starmer, two people so close in political outlook and policy there really is little point in turning up to vote. In Scotland you can choose the SNP, with the same basic economic policies and no genuine desire to change much on the constitution.

This of course links to the ease with which the “markets” were able to destroy the Truss/Kwarteng mildly radical economic policy. Be in no doubt the “markets” would have done precisely the same to Corbyn/McDonnell. Again, no actual political choice that deviates from our unseen masters is to be permitted.

That is a much larger subject, for another day.

To end on a happier note, I am not sure the professional politicians can so safely write off the power of ordinary people campaigning in the real, not virtual, world. Both climate chance activists and union strikes are showing a way forward, while the feeling of social solidarity at the Assange protest in London recently reinvigorated me.

I will never forget the genuine social mobilisation behind the major unexpected and still sustained advance in support for Scottish Independence in 2014. I don’t think troll farms and PR firms can replace genuine popular movements, and I believe those are still possible, drawing on – but not dominated by – modern communications technology.


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225 thoughts on “The Party is Over

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  • john

    The Party is Over, indeed.
    But who will clear up the paper cups etc?
    Maybe the fake-avuncular Ben Wally, who I hear is over seeing Uncle Joe at the minute?
    The traditional way out of this mess would be a war, but neither Britain nor big bro EuroNato has the resources for that at this juncture….
    We’re doomed.

  • Jimmeh

    > nobody engages with canvassers

    For most of the last couple of decades, “canvassers” only come out to tick you off on a list. But I live in a safe Labour seat; people in safe seats rarely see canvassers. For the first time in 5 years, a canvasser pressed my doorbell. He was a Green, and I was busy and didn’t feel like a chat. Lately I vote for Green candidates anyway, in the hope I can help them save their deposit. I can’t vote for Starmer’s Labour, and I’ve never voted Tory.

    I think there’s room for a new socialist party, controlled by its members. I don’t know why the Corbynistas who are deserting Labour haven’t formed one. Meanwhile, I’m politically homeless.

    • Blissex

      «I think there’s room for a new socialist party, controlled by its members.»

      It would be relentlessly attacked by any means necessary like Corbyn’s Labour was (same as Trump, Sanders, Johnson) if it ever amounted to anything. Indeed there are several microparties like the one you describe, and they continue to exist because they are inconsequential.

      Political freedoms and freedom of expression are only permitted if they don’t matter to the interests of the upper-middle and upper classes.

      So we should really wish for a party made not only of socialist members, but socialist members willing to fight hard, despite being targeted by job blacklisting, judicial persecution, financial sanctions, police entrapment, media campaigns, etc.
      See Alex Salmond and Craig Murray for shining examples.

      There aren’t many willing to do that because most of the people with those potential skills are still making huge profits with property. That bearded guy from Trier once said that “religion is the opium of the masses”, in our times the valium of the (middle class) masses is property.

      • Ann Rayner

        I want a party that is Repoublican, Socialist and supports true Indelenedence for Scotland, with our own currency, control of energy resources, a land tax to replace the Council tac and deecent ferries for our island communities and an end to men being allowed to be called women , just because they say they identify as such.
        That would be a start for me but other policies relating to welfaye, the NHS and education could be added.

        • Blissex

          «I want a party that is Repoublican, Socialist and supports true Indelenedence for Scotland, with our own currency, control of energy resources, a land tax to replace the Council tac and deecent ferries for our island communities and an end to men being allowed to be called women»

          So you want to minimise the chances of scottish independence, because knowing that are parties that *all* those priorities, people who are monarchic, conservative, pound lovers, anti-land tax, etc. will not vote for independence for fear that it will be a vehicle for other politics that they are opposed to.

          The only way to get scottish independence is a broad coalition focused solely on that issue, so that independence-minded republicans, monarchists, socialists, conservatives, etc. can all dream that independence will be the opportunity for their side to win after independence.

          First rule of electoral politics: don’t tell off people who would vote with you on the main issue because you want all your issues to be solved at once.

  • Jimmeh

    > An election that pitched Corbyn against Truss would offer voters a real choice

    Please, not Corbyn. I approve of his views, but he was an awful leader. McDonnell is much more elequent, and seems to have the inclination to hit back against smears and lies.

    Corbyn took the leadership by accident; he only stood so that there would be an open contest, he didn’t expect to win. He should have immediately handed the reins to McDonnell, and taken a back seat.

    • Brian c

      Everybody saw McDonnell promote the Right’s antisemitism “crisis” op with incredible gusto. He was also one of the key figures in forcing the laughably antidemocratic 2nd referendum policy upon Corbyn, a policy that all but fools knew would guarantee electoral disaster.

        • Brian c

          This was the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrel, last week:

          “Europe is a garden. Most of the rest of the world a jungle. The jungle could invade the garden. The Jungle has a strong growth capacity.”

          What would you think if you heard some Tory say this about Britain in relation to the rest of the world? Be honest.

          • Jimmeh

            Indeed, that’s hardly diplomatic talk. It’s xenophobic shit-stirring of the kind I’d only expect from a low-life politician on campaign.

    • Roger

      “…Corbyn. I approve of his views, but he was an awful leader”

      In what way was he an awful leader?

      (I’m not saying you’re wrong, I just don’t know why ppl thought he was awful leader.)

      • Jimmeh

        I think he didn’t care how things looked as long as he stuck to his principles publicly and loudly. I admire that, but you have to pick your moment. Also, he seems to have been temperamentally disinclined to defend himself robustly. And I think he’s no orator; he has two registers – a quiet mumble, and a strident screech.

        • Grouser

          I thought Corbyn was got rid of on false premises. The ‘professionals’ as described by Craig had to get rid of him in case he promoted socialist principles. However, I cannot forgive him caving in on the nuclear issue of Trident on the Clyde.

      • DunGroanin

        Roger ,

        Apparently he promised free broadband for every one regardless of where they lived.

        Also an end to usurious Student ‘loans’ that made teenagers into indentured slaves that will never own anything and will always be unhappy.

        And a restoration of the ethos of the NHS and reversal of its salami sliced privatisation for the benefit of the Medical Pharma Industrial Complex.

        And the use of the Magic Money Tree for the benefit of the Many instead of the very Few who currently have it – you know the one that rained down hundreds of billions into pockets of friends of MP’s supplying Covid stuff when they had no previous experience of anything to do with anything medical.

        He promised an end to the torture of Palestinians and fake war on Terror and being mercenary in the world through a continuation of our imperial hubris which set it off with a Balfour Declaration that no one voted for in the middle of the Great War.

        It seemed to inspire not just old farts like me who took on the apartheid regime and poll tax and supported our miners here and Sandinistas in Nicaragua, but many many teenagers in the way we were in the 80’s – it gave them the same political sensibilities never experienced by decades of loddsamoney parents , mindless wannabe tv celebrity dead end culture and dumb superhero movie franchises straight out of the Murdoch and Hollywood brainwashing sewer.

        I’m still waiting for fibre in my street in London that was promised 20 years ago.
        Palestinian children are still daily murdered
        A trillion in magic money has disappeared into Bullingdon boys bum chums pockets
        We are involved in a illegal war that we have fostered on the edge of Europe by supporting neo-Nazis in an old old Great Game – and have been for a decade when we supposedly can’t afford anything here.

        And we have a Great Knight Dope who didn’t just replace Corbyn but banished him after having stood along side at the last election on all these manifesto promises having ensured the collapse of traditional voters by imposing and reneging the BrexShit vote. Thus ensuring the failure of the restorative government equivalent of the great post war one.

        My neighbour was told to wait for 6 and a half hours for an ambulance when he fell at his home and managed to crawl to the phone after 2 hours and he has not been give any social care after 2 years of need.

        Give me an inadequate Corbyn anytime over any Blairite Red tory Thatcherite privateer warmonger any day.

  • Brian c

    Good piece. The Irish political scientist Peter Mair identified this hollowed out party politics in the west some decades ago in his book Ruling the Void. See Sheldon Wolin’s Democracy Incorporated for the American experience which is us just a tiny bit further down the road.

      • Twirlip

        No wonder it was odd!
        About | Counter-Currents

        I quote:

        “Counter-Currents encompasses both the Counter-Currents webzine and the Counter-Currents Publishing imprint. The purpose of Counter-Currents is to promote white identity politics. We argue that white identity politics is inevitable, necessary, and moral. We dismantle bad arguments for multiculturalism and globalization and promote workable, humane alternatives. We envision a world in which every ethnic group has a homeland of its own, where it can pursue its own destiny free of outside interference. We analyze politics and culture from a pro-white perspective. Indeed, Counter-Currents is about everything — the whole universe — viewed from a pro-white perspective.”

        How did that link to the review get inserted?

        Has Craig’s website been hacked?

        [ Mod: No, nothing so dramatic. It was just the most accessible in-depth review on the first search page, and there wasn’t time to check out the background. Thanks for providing that service.

        Next time when you drop in a reference to a source text, kindly link to a suitable information page (of your own choice) for readers who aren’t already familiar with it. ]

    • Blissex

      «hollowed out party politics in the west some decades ago in his book Ruling the Void»

      In the political academic jargon such political marketing businesses are called “cartel parties”, and their politicians are called “policy entrepreneurs”. Their role is what political academics call “managing consensus”, that is to find voter blocks supportive of or not incompatible with the policies desired by their “sponsors”, or in rare cases to recommend to their “sponsors” to dilute over time or disguise policies for which “managing consensus” does not yield enough voters.

      Another cynical blogger wrote something about the same topics recently:

  • Mist001

    At the moment, ALBA is a fringe party filled with extremists. They’re almost begging people to join them just now but you can be absolutely certain that if they ever did reach they dizzy heights of the SNP or any other party for that matter, they would behave in exactly the same ways as you’ve outlined in your post.

    So, why join any political parties in the first place?

    • willie

      Total tosh Mist001.

      Alba is not a fringe party. Quite the reverse. It is a dynamic new party with nearly 7,000 active and committed members. And it is growing. It is also the opposite of the SNP whose recent Aberdeen conference exposed them to be a party who could only manage to muster 700 to 800 delegates to their conference.

      Alba is on the rise whilst the SNP totally bombs. The SNP’s time is up. Death is all around them. They have sold what they stood for and now they pay.

    • mark golding

      A short while ago I returned to the words of Laurie Flynn, the founder of ALBA. Laurie said,”I have as an adult always longed to breathe the air of a free and tolerant, democratic and independent Scotland which celebrates human diversity.

      It’s also clear to me that we’re very nearly there.

      In the Scotland that is busy being born, real equality and real opportunity will be available for all. And the driving purpose of the state will be good governance, a renewed and redoubled Scottish enlightenment and a definitive end to colonial attitudes to the rest of the world, and the unnecessary wars that have always gone with them.”

      In the late ’80’s I spent some time in Kyle of Lochalsh escaping from the private affluence and public squalor of London. During that time I cast back on the then recent Lockerbie bombing and the death of Bernt Carlsson Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UN Commissioner for Namibia. It is within this complex Laurie Flynn has a clear understanding of Namibia’s mining industry and the mysteries that surround it’s uranium marketing.

  • SA

    After the very prolonged vetting process for candidates, it should be that if the person appointed to the job fails to deliver, that the job should go to the runner up. They should have just given the Job to Sunak

  • James Chater

    I don’t agree that the Kwarteng budget was only “mildly radical” – itself a nonsensical phrase. I do agree though that Corbyn was much maligned and that his successor Starmer risks being just another “neocon lite” politician unable to deliver the many radical changes the UK needs. The main problem is that the first past the post electoral sytem produces politicians who, through their massive majorities, grow tin ears even if at the start they are responsive to social needs. Their huge majorities make them drunk with power and cause them to become out of touch. Then they are swept form power and the other lot come in with other policies, like water sloshing around at the bottom of a ship, making it ion danger of capsizing. Change the electoral system and a lot of these problems will go away.

  • Dave

    Broadly, I agree,

    After being censored on the Independent & Guardian, I now read the Daily Mail – mostly to troll them. That being said, what percentage of immigrants this year came from Albania?

    I believe in the free movement of products & services; not so keen on labour and capital. e.g. Having our limited stock of houses bought up by foreign landlords, driving up prices for our kids. Similarly, 3 million migrants from the EU HAD to have an effect on wages & house prices, whatever economists said to the contrary. Now that source of labour has been largely cut off, it is telling how many industries – hospitality, care, agriculture, construction, food processing, lorry drivers, NHS – are now short of staff, putting upward pressure on wages in those sectors.

    Reflecting the lack of real choice – including sadly Greens, who want to build unlimited houses to house unlimited immigration – I do not expect to vote at the next election.

    • Blissex

      «Having our limited stock of houses»

      In most of the UK there is a large overstock of houses, and prices have been falling for a long time (in some regions a 2up-2down are priced at £25,000). Looking at the stock of houses is often misleading, one must look at the jobs available, as that determines how many people want to buy or rent houses. Government policy for the past 40 years has been to spend heavily on attracting finance, pharma, property, tech jobs to the south-east, because that’s where the core tory constituencies of Conservatives, New Labour, LibDems own a lot of properties.

      «driving up prices for our kids.»

      For many, many millions of voters driving up property prices is a huge benefit for their kids, a lot of middle class parents can only afford ever rising “public school” fees by cashing-in their booming property profits with remortgaging.

      «Similarly, 3 million migrants from the EU HAD to have an effect on wages & house prices, whatever economists said to the contrary. Now that source of labour has been largely cut off»

      Total immigration has been booming since 2016, as the loss of EU immigrants has been far more than compensated by a huge rise in third-world (and HK) immigration:
      The new visa statistics suggest that about a million people were granted entry to live in the UK in the twelve months leading up to March 2022. This may indicate the highest level of immigration to the UK in one year ever

      «it is telling how many industries – hospitality, care, agriculture, construction, food processing, lorry drivers, NHS – are now short of staff, putting upward pressure on wages in those sectors.»

      That has been happening in places like Vietnam too, and they left the EU (the french colonial empire) many decades ago :-), and in Poland too, and they are still in the EU. Staff shortages where they happen are usually due to COVID and post-COVID issues.

      • Roger

        “… twelve months leading up to March 2022. This may indicate the highest level of immigration to the UK in one year ever”

        A really informative link. Thanks! Most people (including me) thought that the Tony Blair years were the peak immigration years.

  • Brian Watson

    It’s the old iron law of oligarchy kicking in isn’t it? Political parties have become dominated by spads, hacks and other professional politicos . Democracy becomes irksome to such auxiliaries. They earn their spurs by demonstrating unswerving loyalty to the leadership. It’s something that is likely to happen to all political parties however much the rhetoric is about the sovereignty of the people or the will of the membership.

    • Blissex

      «Political parties have become dominated by spads, hacks and other professional politicos […] the rhetoric is about the sovereignty of the people or the will of the membership.»

      Many millions of voters (and most Conservative, New Labour, LibDem members and party cadres in particular) are delighted that for the past 40 years those “spads, hacks and other professional politicos” have gifted them with rapidly rising living standards thanks to booming property profits (entirely redistributed from the lower classes) and really don’t care who and how is delivering such huge benefits, as long as they continue.

      The political marketing operations that have replaced traditional mass or movement parties are sustained by the consensus of those many millions of voters, and property is the valium of the masses (paraphrasing that philosopher from Trier).

  • willie

    37 years was an SNP member. Chapped doors, delivered leaflets, organised constituency campaigns, participated in party process – but not now.

    The SNP is a dead party, dead to the membership, dead to democracy and soon to be dead to the electors. Independence has not died, but the SNP has.

    700 delegates electing a national council, with some representatives being elected on 26 votes, is the hallmark of death. Sturgeon and her clique have seen to that. But they have not destroyed the desire for independence.

  • Goose

    One plus from this Westminster Tory turmoil is that the likelihood of our country being subjected to mass fracking sites should now recede, and with it the risks to drinking water aquifer contamination. Truss really was one for popular ideas, wasn’t she.

    Though that’s not the only risk to our water, the govt wants to routinely fluoridate UK water. Read the two links below to see how water fluoridation came about, and how it’s based on bad, bogus science and how potentially dangerous it is. The first link provides the background to fluoridation – an historic accident. The second the data on whether it works as claimed.

    Countries without fluoridated water include : Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic; Denmark, Finland, France, Germany; Greece , Hungary , Iceland, italy, Japan , Luxembourg, Mexico; Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.

    The graphs(2nd Link) show little difference in tooth decay to the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, where public drinking water is fluoridated. But Chris Whitty and Sajid Javid insist we need it.

    Suppose it comes down to whether you believe the risks of neurological toxicity are more concerning than the supposed benefit to teeth? Just how stupid and/or evil are these people?

      • Goose


        If UK politicians can’t even protect & safeguard the country’s drinking water and look after environment what hope for them getting anything else right? We’ve got a corrupt govt that conserves nothing and values nothing other than short term profit. Filthy beaches, polluted rivers, dirty run down towns and streets, no wonder there’s no civic pride in many areas. Look at the state of the UK and compare it to other modern, neighbouring European countries. We are a complete shambles thanks largely to the Westminster system and the over-centralisation of decision making in the hands of incompetent and too often corrupt (promises of seats on boards etc) people.

        On water, for context, where I live in England, the water company doesn’t currently artificially fluoridate, and the govt are insisting they should. And yes. I know water can contain small amounts naturally and it’s in toothpaste, but toothpaste isn’t normally ingested.

        • DiggerUK

          Goose…. “PBF?”
          Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper never drank tap water, and look how that ended for him.

          Maybe your password is EOP? OPE? POE? EPO? ? me, I loved the bomb. But as a comedian I starved, so I gave up on that job.

          Crap attempts at cryptic irony to one side; the danger of pro EU supporters coming to the fore again is real in my opinion. And as I have never seen a European Commissioner drink tap water, I’m worried…_

        • Stevie Boy

          If the Government cared about dental health why would they facilitate the privatisation of NHS Dentistry ? All I can surmise is that there is a lot of money to be made in blanket fluoridisation of our water – and the fact that the corrupt Whitty is involved is kind of a clue.
          Where I live, Southern Water want to pump ‘treated’ sewage water into a drinking water reservoir. Since Fluoride is essentially a bleach, I’d suggest the two issues are not unrelated !

          • Roger

            “Southern Water want to pump ‘treated’ sewage water into a drinking water reservoir.”

            Why shouldn’t they? Londoners have been drinking treated sewage for decades! I saw a “fun fact” about 20 years ago: a water molecule that enters the Thames catchment area will be drunk, on average, 7 times before it reaches the sea. It’s probably more than 7 times now.

            As long as the mains water supply is tested and meets sensible quality standards, there’s no reason why anyone should have a problem with that.

  • Alastair Aitken

    I very much enjoy all your articles. The Social Media aspect of political campaigning is a big part of that establishment agenda and control as you yourself are aware. It’s a professional world through and through and it is really quite strict professional ethics that we stick to the correct hymn sheet.

    Mine is The Potty Mouthed Anarchist’s Cookbook.

    An old war hobby horse.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


    In brief reply you are simply not going to do it:-

    1. ‘Economic Justice’ – never. – for with the rates you propose there is no significant impact and the cushions can absorb the blow ( i.e. the purported blows).
    2. ‘Social Justice’ – Starmer – you shall never do it – for that at heart is not who you are.
    3. “Climate Justice’ – who with half a brain says that by switching batteries for fuel is really the answer to the world’s problems?
    4. Justice and human rights’ – you make laugh. Was it over a million in an illegal war in Iraq and then a destroyed Libya – for what? Maybe – justice and human rights – you fucking hypocrites.
    5. ‘Common ownership’ – so what was your stance relative to Corbyn?

    And on and on and on and any further ….?

  • Pete Jones

    Perceptive article but one quibble
    “The 2022 SNP Conference took place at the same conference centre in Aberdeen where I attended the 2015 SNP Conference.” I think not!

  • Alan D

    It’s worth reminding every party member that your sole qualification to be a party member is paying a membership fee. There is nothing stopping the entire population from joining your party and taking it away from you. It sucks.

    You’re a loyal, dedicated volunteer. You chap the doors in every election for 30 years. Eventually, your party wins terms in government. Then 100,000 newbies show up, many having not even been born for the first 10 years of your membership. Bang, any stature you previously had in the party vanishes. All your friends who vote alongside you are outnumbered 5 to 1. They bring ideas and demands which you would have never believed viable – and get them through fast.

    Worst of all is when you quit and discover that your absence has no discernible negative effect, or it even appears to help the bastards who hijacked your party. Politics is a hell of a drug…

    • Goose

      Parties need stronger constitutions then in that case. Constitutions stating the fundamental values and how the policy platform must always reflect those values. Though, I suppose any really brazen leadership will just force a vote to change that constitution.

      What you outline has basically happened to Green parties across Europe. Annalena Baerbock and her party in Germany, are a prime example. She moved the party to hawkish positions, and becomes the corporate media’s darling (coincidence?). Not content with being a leading hawk on Ukraine, she’s now demanding a equally tough stance of Scholz in dealings with Beijing; namely, she’s trying to stop Chinese investment by China’s Cosco into Hamburg’s port, which Scholz is believed to see no problem with.

      • Alan D

        My point is that there isn’t a constitutional format strong enough to fortify a party or an ideology against the tides of humanity and time. The US constitution, designed to be changed with a relatively high bar, has been amended nearly 30 times in 250 years. The unchangeable Abrahamic ten commandants spiralled out into dozens of splintered factions and subfactions. How we all laughed when Ed Miliband unveiled those stone-carved pledges of his.

        Green parties across Europe have changed because that is what unsuccessful parties need to do to become successful, with success defined as winning enough seats to enter government, or perhaps even lead it. The future is not ours anymore, fellow old human. The internet-from-the-cradle generation’s arriving and we’re out of touch with them. Yeet, innit.

  • Dave

    Meaningful democracy is dead when the alternatives are a pathological liar, who simply can’t help himself, and an unprincipled fascist who will say whatever it takes to get into power and go back on his word months later. Both are assisted by an unrepresentative fanboy mainstream media. Pound votes in party coffers and international markets matter more than ballot box votes in seats, some of which have not changed sides in over a century.

  • Jack

    Too bad that Ben Wallace has declined being one of the “contestants” for the PM.
    Such a fanatic warmonger would bring it out into the open how dangerous men like him are and that the Ukraine war needs de-escalation.
    At the same time Sunak might be “good” too for this purpose. But it all depends on Labour to take a stance against this warmongering sentiment.

    • mark golding

      Negotiation is the instrument of peace in Ukraine. Sadly arbitration is not in the DNA of Starmer’s KCB KC Labour Party where genes do not code for freedom and liberation.

      Starmer is adhered to the US offensive in Ukraine that squirts billions of US dollars into conflict in an attempt to prolong the blood-letting, the pogrom; this assisted by UK SAS/SBS and US special forces.

      Come hell or high water Russia is engaging with US, British, French and Canadian elite killer hacks with satellite communication to commanders in Northwwod directing HIMARS towards Russian targets in an attempt to escalate, extend, heighten and push Putin to WMD.

      No chance Mr Biden; we all remember the white phosphorus munitions used in Fallujah, Iraq, the ‘shake n bake’ as it was known and recorded by the Italian media shown in this report::

      I recorded the piecing, distressing burns on children in Fallujah that shocked me to the core and illuminates the wicked mentality of US warmongers, hawks and jingoists.

      • PhilM

        The only worthwhile response to such a confused analysis is what do the people of Ukraine want? You appear to have forgotten about them in your ramblings about geopolitics. Maybe they do not want to be taken over by a foreign kleptocracy that thinks their country should not exist. You can think the US is abhorrent in most of its foreign policy and still support the Ukrainians’ right to have their own country.

        • mark golding

          Geopolitics can be a labyrinth PhilM and you have become tangled within it.

          Puppet Zelensky’s Ukraine was given every opportunity to sit at the table and talk, to mediate, to work out, to settle and agree that Ukraine remains neutral and accepts the wishes of the people in Crimea and the Eastern regions subjected to bullying and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years.

          But no, the US and Western powers had formulated a plan to keep the conflict going for 10 or even 20 years to bleed Russia dry, to bleed Russia into bankrupcy in a way that harms, maims, tramples, traumatises and wrecks the lives of the Ukraine people. Period!

          Indeed right now as Russia prepares some sort of offensive down from Belarus with a motivated, expanded and well trained military command to cut off supply lines to the Ukrainian military, the UK/US and others know they are at a cross-road, a juncture in this conflict, as Ukraine is overstretched, is losing deeply and painfully… and Europe is suffering with rising inflation, energy reduction, massive fuel bills and a sense of hopelessness..

          Nevertheless in the minds of some it’s Holy Moly, Jeeze, our well laid out long term plan is failing, is not well, is weakening and defeat is looming on the horizon. Ayeeeee! and US mid-term elections are approaching, Thus vitally and inevitably Ben Wallace was summoned to Washington who I guess was told the 101st airborne division currently in Romania is ready, accompanied at pace with ‘a coalition of the willing’ to move in on Iviv and Odessa to create a buffer zone, freeze the conflict, save all of Eastern Europe from the Russian terrorists and empower the patriotic sentiment of the British, American and European citizens to support the troops, support the civilians and support the cause in Ukraine.

          But right now, forthwith and without hesitation we must create a disguise, a pretense. a ruse like WMD or mobile labs or tactical nukes. Yes tactical nukes will create fear and Zelensky has already sow the seed of horror as prodded to create a tactical nuke sphere that people will sign off on. A fear illusion with one hand while the other hand does the blackout on a possible serious intensification of this avoidable, futile, nugatory war.

    • Xavi

      The only stance they will take against Tory warmongering will be to say it is disgracefully weak and that Labour are the party who will put NATO warmongering before all interests of the British people.

        • Jack


          Terrible, and they take pride in being hawks too, just look at the photo, sigh.
          One thought that being in an opposition party, you question the other side – you take a different side on things, but no you agree with them is the logic of the Labour party.
          They have so many “open goal” moments, like this current one with the PM, but they never take any shots against the Tories.

          • Roger

            It’s the logic of both main parties. Those of us old enough to have demonstrated against the 2003 invasion of Iraq remember the biggest-ever demonstration in the United Kingdom – over a million people in London protesting against the British government’s intention to launch an illegal war of aggression.

            And what was Her Majesty’s Opposition doing? Mindlessly baying for war, in lockstep with the government.

        • mark golding

          Thanks Xavi – A Russian report some time ago on Ukraine bio-labs prompted me to probe the truth of President Putin’s allegations of dangerous pathogens described here in Tass News: and in more detail here:

          While investigating these bio-labs in Ukraine I found this report in expose-news

          Russian armed forces arrested Canadian General Trevor Cadieu in Mariupol. Russian sources often refer to Trevor Cadieu as Trevor Kadier or Trevor Cadier. Recently, Russians said they captured Cadieu at the Azovstal iron and steel factory during the Siege of Mariupol. He is currently in Moscow awaiting trial.

          Cadieu was apparently not on a mission for his government but was in charge of a bio laboratory, Biolab No.1, with 18 staff working under his command.

          Biolab No.1 is reportedly managed by US company Metabiota. The company Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, and Christopher Heinz, John Kerry’s son-in-law, had organised subcontracting arrangements for Ukrainian research laboratories through their firm Rosemont Capital, on behalf of the Pentagon’s Defence Threat Reduction Agency (“DTRA”).

          I have every faith in appropriate scientists at Porton Down who might be prepared to hang something on this information.

          • Pears Morgaine

            You want to stop reading expose-news. There’s no evidence that Cadieu is in Moscow awaiting trail for anything. he resigned from the Canadian military in April 2022 after historical charges of serious sexual misconduct were made against him. He went to Ukraine as a private citizen so unlikely he’d have been put in charge of anything.

            ‘Biolab’ is not synonymous with ‘bioweaponslab’.


          • mark golding

            “‘Biolab’ is not synonymous with ‘bioweaponslab’.” I guess not one and the same eh? PM – bit like “biological laboratories” remember those?

            It was Dubya who said, “We found the weapons of mass destruction, We found biological laboratories.” You remember when Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said, ‘Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons.’ They’re illegal. They’re against the United Nations resolutions, and we’ve so far discovered two…

            Anyway thanks for the heads-up – Time to go over the emails on Hunter Biden’s laptop which was abandoned at a Wilmington, Delaware, repair shop in April 2019 as ‘unlikely’ is not in my idiom.

  • Xavi

    BBC doing everything it can to sway MPs, entrenching a narrative that a Bozo return would be some kind of unimaginably disgraceful nadir for British democracy. They of course were major players in the extra-democratic movement to unseat a handsomely elected PM, just as they were in the movement to unseat a twice-elected leader of the Labour Party. Arrogant old Aunty may pay a heavy price if the albino sheepdog resumes control.

  • Yuri K

    “In short, the Tory membership will vote in any nutter who promises rough treatment for immigrants.”

    They can find some use for Donald Trump. Make England Great Again! From MAGA to MEGA!

  • Stevie Boy

    This comedy sh*t show is unbelievable. Many people seem to believe that there exists someone in the Tory party who can pull some kind of magic out of the hat that is going to fix all the ills in our country. After 12 years of digging us into this f*cking great pit and after Brexit, Covid, Climate and Ukraine mismanagement and corruption there is NO quick and easy solution – it’s not Boris, Sunak or Truss that are the problem, it’s the Tories – all of them. And, let’s not forget that Labour Blairites aided and abetted this disaster along with the MSM, Lib Dems, SNP and Greens – we are truly f*cked. Don’t embarrass yourself discussing ‘candidates’, nothing is going to change with this lot holding the reigns.

  • Peter

    Establishment media sure stretching every sinew to stop Johnson.

    Looks like they can’t. If he makes the last two, which it looks like he will, he surely wins the members’ vote.

    The Queen is dead. Long live the King.

    The 2019 election was called on the dubious grounds that Johnson couldn’t get his (Brexit) legislation through parliament. Perhaps the next one will be called, sooner rather than later, on the grounds that a Tory Party eaten up by civil war is unable/unfit to govern. Perhaps …

    There were suggestions in some quarters that the Bank of England refused to continue supporting the bond market in order to force the issue with the Truss government in order to pave the way for an election and bring Staliner to power.

    The idea being that Staliner is a safe pair of Establishment hands and that, though he says otherwise now – his word is clearly not worth the breath it’s spoken on – he is, like the Establishment, anti-Brexit and will slowly prepare the ground for a return to the EU.

    Whatever, Johnson or Staliner’s New, New Labour, things can only get worse.

  • Crispa

    if all the hype about Johnson’s return is to become reality then the party far from being over is just starting up again.
    I can’t make my mind up if his resurrection is sheer opportunism or a deliberate plot involving people like Dorries and Rees-Mogg (with their immediately flashing Boris or Bust placards in front of the cameras) to engineer his reinstatement by first allowing her and Kwarteng to go forward with their crazy policies and then removing the final props holding up Truss’s tenuous grasp of her office.
    I thought at the time there was something odd about Truss’s cabinet’s lack of support and acceptance of any responsibility for the decisions leaving them and then her to take all the flak. I was then highly suspicious of the circumstances surrounding the chaotic fracking vote. The messages that were put out in advance about it had all the feel of a self-defeating strategy that fulfilled its purpose.
    I usually favour cock-up over conspiracy as a starting point, but here, and knowing what we know of how things are done from Salmond and The Labour Files, I am not so sure that this is n’t an almighty stitch up. We just have to wait and see I suppose.

  • Blissex

    «Again, no actual political choice that deviates from our unseen masters is to be permitted.»

    When She said it, it was not a boast, it was a plan: “There Is No Alternative”.
    “I was aware of the remarkable success of the Chilean economy in reducing the share of Government expenditure substantially over the decade of the 70s. The progression from Allende’s Socialism to the free enterprise capitalist economy of the 1980s is a striking example of economic reform from which we can learn many lessons. […] Our reform must be in line with our traditions and our Constitution. At times the process may seem painfully slow. But I am certain we shall achieve our reforms in our own way and in our own time. Then they will endure.”

  • Blissex

    «Elections are now fought almost entirely through the mainstream media, and online. […] the corporate sector and billionaire donors; who also of course own the mainstream media, which thus has precisely the same narrow spectrum of view.»

    A lot of arguments have been made in the USA that the media need “guardrails” to ensure that there is the “same narrow spectrum of view” everywhere, as Matt Taibbi has well illustrated:

    In the UK a journalist backed by the authority of The Guardian has recently made a passionate call for comprehensive government preventive censorship of all media, quite ironically in the “Comment is free” section:
    There have always been Alex Joneses spreading poison from the world’s soap boxes and pavements. As a boy I used to listen to them at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park. We would turn away with a grimace from their rubbish, while a couple of police stood by in case of trouble. Their lies never made it into newspapers or on to the airwaves.
    Free speech went only as far as the human voice could carry. Beyond that, “news” was mediated behind a wall of editors, censors and regulators, to keep it from gullible and dangerous ears. […] Justice can avenge lies – but not prevent them. […] an ex-president with a fantasy can lead followers towards a coup in the capital of world democracy. […] But if freedom is to be protected and treasured, this means the US and Europe acting in concert.

    Note how he calls for the preventive censorship of independent media so they would become as subject to the same “wall of editors, censors and regulators” that the corporate media already are, and being an insider he seems a reliable source as to that.

    • Crispa

      Ha! As Alexander Dugin caustically puts it in his (“Biden censored”) “The Great Awakening vs The Great Reset” “Everyone has the right to be a liberal, but no-one has the right to be anything else” (p16)

    • T

      He is demanding is a return to a lost past when he and a few orher select characters provided the only commentary the public ever saw. It burns the guts of establishment pundits that they are forging the worldviews of fewer and fewer people.

      • SA

        It doesn’t seem to matter anymore because as we can see, elections can be manipulated, we can produce alternative facts and change reality. You only have to read some of what goes on in the Guardian about Ukraine to understand that the main function of the MSM is to endorse the actions of the rulers. A good example is an article by that arch war dog, Simon Tisdall, Apparently Norway is worried about the safety of its new pipeline to Poland because of what happened to the Nordstream pipelines. The fact that the sabotage was carried out in collusion with the Nordic countries is ignored. There is no analysis of who could have sabotaged the pipelines.

  • jm

    Indeed Craig,party time is over.

    Its now just little groups that coalesce into some sort of cult of convenience who probably share the same coke dealer and thats all they really have in common.

  • Stevie Boy

    Good distraction techniques being applied by the powers that be. Whilst the gullible masses expend their limited brainpower on which corrupt tory is to next get a go on the gravy train footplate they neglect to consider the real issues that are going to affect them.
    Where are the real policies, the real plans ? They don’t have any !
    While the Chinese formalise their next five year plan to take their country forward, we agonise over the game of musical chairs in Westminster that takes the UK further into chaos.

    • Xavi

      They decided the contest would last no longer than a week and are hoping it will be over by tomorrow. So arguably not the greatest distraction ever devised.

      • Stevie Boy

        Okay ! So let’s forget the time lost to select the Truss and then the 44 days of chaos. No distractions there, the country was running smoothly …
        So what are the policies of Sunak, Johnson and Mourdant ? As we enter the winter months with a failing health service, overpriced utility bills, rising food and transport costs, what has been proposed by the candidates for PM to sort out these problems ? So we will enter November with no concrete policies or plans to move the country ahead.
        How long does it take before the people realise they play their games but do nothing for us.

        • Xavi

          Hold on, you’ve lost me here. I thought we were to deride anyone who expended their limited brainpower on which corrupt tory is next. Yet now you’re demanding to know what the candidates’ positions are on a variety of issues? Don’t tell me you’re falling for the distraction. Do not agonise over the game like the gullible masses.

        • Goose

          According to estimates, Sunak and his wife are worth anything up to a billion pounds. They own four homes and could buy anything that takes their fancy without concern for its price: a new Bugatti Veyron or a McLaren F1? Can’rt decide? No problem, buy both. A private jet?

          Were I worth that much, I’d avoid politics like the plague. Why does Sunak feel the need to be involved, advertising his wealth, and how can he pretend or claim to relate to UK people’s cost-of-living struggles? What do you know about financial struggles? Will surely be the public response when his staggering wealth becomes common knowledge, which it surely will.

          He could be cruising around the world on their luxurious private yacht. Most of the world’s super-wealthy like to keep a low-profile, lest infuriate the population by flaunting their societies’ glaring inequalities. The belief being that, ostentatious displays of wealth could bring the whole system crashing down in a popular uprising against financial inequality. Why does Sunak need this? His political involvement doesn’t involve altruism, he wouldn’t be a Tory were that the case, ego then?

  • Wally Jumblatt

    One day somebody might spot that in these periods of ‘no government’ most of the country carries on …. so the less government the better I say.
    Apart from a few key issues like taxes, interest rates and government spending (and printing money) most of the other issues (because whatever government is in power messes it up) don’t really get sorted because all government is useless.
    Can anyone tell me honestly that Labour, Tory or SNP have sorted out crime, drugs, NHS, education, transport, infrastructure, manufacturing industry, the City of London or the BBC -in the past 50 years.

    To paraphrase HL Mencken-
    As democracy is perfected, the office of the Prime Minister represents more and more closely the inner soul of the people in power. We move towards a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the party-trained MPs of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and 10 Downing St will be adorned by a downright moron.

    • Stevie Boy

      Wally. Less government never equates with a corresponding reduced taxation. So, what it means in reality is increased private sector control – funded by the tax payer. Capitalism thus leaves us with the choice of huge incompetent government or huge monopolistic private sector. I don’t like either choice …

  • DunGroanin

    It’s a great article.

    I’ll pick some quotes for argument’s sake.

    “That would be a real democracy. But it is not to be permitted to voters.”

    “Again, no actual political choice that deviates from our unseen masters is to be permitted.”

    “I don’t think troll farms and PR firms can replace genuine popular movements, and I believe those are still possible, drawing on – but not dominated by – modern communications technology.”


    It’s an excellent article and covers the ills of not just our political landscape but the whole Collective Waste’s.

    I chose the above quotes to show that even if a choice was made available to voters – by complete chance as with Corbyn or even yes, Trump – and certainly IndyRef, the electoral system itself has been taken over by privatisation since the beginning of the century.

    Ballot box stuffing also has gone digital and owned by the mega global corporations – call it the Polling Industrial Complex.

    If we think losing leaflet organisers is a problem to actual democracy and voting, what can we make of the exponential increase in postal votes and indeed electronic voting controlled by private companies?

    Am I the only one concerned that the upcoming Mid Terms in the USA may have as much as 40% postal votes?

    I think the only way to deal with it is to make as many people as possible register to vote. Vote in person. Then SPOIL the votes in a organised manner.

    The only people I trust are the counters of votes. It would show that not having a Non Of The Above option is now no longer valid.
    It would send a direct message not to the bought politicians but OURSELVES.

    That the media is lying and most of us believe in something better.

  • Goose

    All the UK parties seem to be fighting over the same patch of territory, or ‘lawn,’ to use the political jargon. They’re all basisically pushing centre-right conservatism : right-wing, market-led fiscal policy, hawkish US-led foreign policy, they’re all authoritarian on domestic social policy. And they all have a belief in the infallibility of the UK military and security elite; they support the continued overuse of the classification system, limiting FoI requests. A system that has the UK classed as the most secretive country in the western world. Ignorance is bliss, as far as UK MPs are concerned.

    The leftist who favours a dovish, truly independent foreign policy based on diplomatic solutions; libertarian domestic social policies; greater govt transparency and wants politicians to have a healthy degree of scepticism for the military and security establishment(note. not hostility), simply doesn’t have a political home in the UK. Yet I’d wager that’s where most people in the UK are, politically, or at least would be, if we had PR and a viable party representing those things to vote for.

    • Blissex

      «independent foreign policy based on diplomatic solutions; […] if we had PR and a viable party representing those things to vote for»

      But that is COMMUNISM! 🙂 BTW PR is not a magic solution, plenty of countries, from Ẽire to the Netherlands, have a PR-based system and are quite aligned with the “Washington Consensus”. What is critical is control of nominations: the principle of the “blob” is simple “We nominate whoever we want, vote for whoever you want”.

      In a representative democracy all it takes control of the representatives. Such a simple discovery!

    • Johnny Conspiranoid


      The leading groups of all our major parties agree with each other but not with their members. The same is true of America and all her allys/friends. How has it come to this?

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