Saturday 1 September 2018

Five Most Popular Posts in August

What a month, What another fraught, scabby, fractious month. Do the happenings in politics find themselves reflected in the most read posts for the month? Let's see:

1. On the Campaign Against Corbyn
2. No One is Above the Party
3. Labour Democracy Roadshow in Stoke
4. Projecting Paranoia
5. Frank Field: An Anti-Eulogy

In other words, the interminable factional battles of the Labour Party managed to do the business again. Believe me, I would much rather write about something else. There are plenty of problems in the world, the Tories are locked into permanent crisis and we need to get our head around the new configurations of class and what it means for politics (among other things), but when the Corbyn project, a politics that is the settled will of a 550,000-strong party and endorsed by 13 million votes is undermined, picked at and scabbed on by people who are supposed to be on our side it is impossible to brush that under the carpet.

What does this mean for next month's output? At the moment, it's looking like more of the same. As for the post sat around waiting in the second chance saloon, why not give my review of The Power by Naomi Alderman a whirl. As dystopias go, it's worth realising we don't live in the worst of all possible worlds.


BrynHill said...

The split is not between Left and Right but between pragmatists and theoreticians. Since it's the pragmatists will be the ones who help the poor to find food, clothes, homes, education and a better future I'll continue being proud of my dirty hands.

But do please, dear commentators, keep posting political theory on this site. Theoretical, self-indulgent, righteous, left wing politics needs somewhere irrelevant to talk to itself, after all.

Meanwhile we impure will go back to the food bank, the council chamber, the school and the factory floor and damned well fight for a better Britain, rubbing shoulders with those other pragmatists - some (whisper it) are even Tory voters - to actually make a difference.

Phil said...

What the sam hell are you talking about?

TheOnlySanePersonOnPlanetEarth said...

The reason the pragmatist can switch on the electricity is because of the theoreticians, the drive for the theoretician is necessity. The two things are inter related and connected.

BrynHill is talking twaddle and is full of shit.

Matthew Blott said...

This post confirms why I cancelled my Labour Party membership recently. Like many I'd been mulling it over for a while but the 'Wreathgate' convinced me it was time to give up. I wasn't particularly outraged (any Corbyn critic knows he's a dogmatic hard leftist on these things) but simply dismayed listening to Corbyn's media outriders perform verbal gymnastics (he wasn't there, he was there but it wasn't that grave, it was but he didn't lay a wreath etc). We're not even talking about inequality and anti-austerity anymore so what's the point? I said at the time as soon as 'Wreathgate' is out the news cycle something else will turn up and of course it did in the form of the 'Zionist' video. It will never ever stop. I suppose I'm one of the 'scabs' referred to above but I bear no hard feelings and simply wish not to be around when the wheels inevitably come off.

Speedy said...

"The reason the pragmatist can switch on the electricity is because of the theoreticians"

Well, probably not because of the sociologists ;-)

TheOnlySanePersonOnPlanetEarth said...

Thank god for that, one more Zionist apologist down, just a few more to go!

Matthew can I ask you to persuade the so called many like you to piss off too and stop mulling it over!

ps nice attempt to decouple imperialism from inequality and anti-austerity. You remind me those those in the Eighties who said lets stop talking about racism and LGBT rights and lets get on with criticising Thatcher, except I suspect you are worse because you simply hate the Palestinians.

matthew, you are vulgar and I suspect totally disingenuous. You see you can't fool us all, oh and good riddance, hopefully you will never come back.

BrynHill said...

This is bizarre. You start with a reasonable pair of sentences, with which I happen to disagree. You then use a childish insult. Is that the level of debate you expect in the Labour movement? Why would anyone vote for a party which behaves like this?

BrynHill said...

What do you mean by "the drive for the theoretician is necessity"?

I don't need a theory to tell me to help people get food, clothes, jobs and homes.

Still, you carry on chatting about theory, I'll get on with the job. Dirty hands and all.

CCAAC said...

“We're not even talking about inequality and anti-austerity anymore so what's the point?”

Allow me to translate Matthew Blott here. Who cares about those foreigners, all they are good for is making our shoes as cheap as possible and providing us with an inexhaustible supply chain of cheap food and natural resources. Other than that they can die for all we care.

Matthew could not even bring himself to say we are not even talking about the UN report showing evidence of genocide against the Rohingya people! No he had to play the lowest common denominator card of charity begns at home. And he did it all with self righteous self pity!

What a sad loss for the labour movement...not!

It should be noted that research has shown that the global inequality rate closely correlates to the inequality rates within each nation. There is therefore strong evidence that global inequality and the inequality within nations is based on the same fundamental thing. Moreover the fight against inequality is a global fight and not a national one. So the only way to solve domestic inequality is to fight the global system and the inequality is engenders.

Signed by the committee

Impressionist said...

Matthew - I expect you'll carry on fighting for a fairer society in your own way.
A pity you can see no common ground with those of us in the Labour party engaged in the same struggle.

BrynHill - Why waste time and effort focusing on differences? Obviously we all have different abilities and strengths - why not value those in each other instead of sniping at those who do the best they can in the situation in which they find themselves?

BrynHill said...

Tell me, Impressionist, who are these people for whom the best they can do is theorise and argue?

What stops them from rolling their sleeves up and getting on with the feeding, clothing, housing and teaching?

Tmb said...

Just my two cents, for what it's worth.

It seems clear to me that the ruling establishment, and the political establishment left right and centre (nominally at least) who are supposed to represent us, have completely abandoned the idea of democracy, or at least democracy for all. The economy, politics, social mobility, the best education and opportunities have simply been concentrated in and focussed on the wealthiest and the affluent who back them. This includes the so-called 'left liberals', Red Tories in the Labour party, the Guardian and other people and groups who have pretended to be left, but have sold out, quite simply.

The abandonment of the majority of people, by the political class as a whole, and the abandonment of what we might call 'the social contract' has brought us quite simply to the position we are in, or perhaps better to say positions. I would say that is firstly, a neoliberal economy that makes the rich richer, that no party is in any particular hurry to challenge. Secondly, an unaccountability between the majority of us, and people in virtually all positions of power and/or wealth. This is very unhealthy for many reasons. Thirdly, the media, law and other major institutions are basically lackies for the establishment. Those constantly protecting neoliberal and right wing ideas make it very difficult for anything else to break through. I mean, who believes the BBC news anymore?

We could all probably add to this. We live in an increasingly unfair, unjust and frighteningly immoral world. I'd go so far as to say that the binary 'left and right' really doesn't mean that much anymore. The little people are still fighting a binary war of some kind, be it political or something else, whilst the establishments here and there have sewn things up to their satisfaction.

Personally, I begin to see the increasing economic divisions between the poor and affluent as moral issues. That people are going to food banks, going to school hungry, have very few workers rights, are being maliciously persecuted for simply being disabled and so many other things like that, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, is to me first and foremost an obscenity. That is what I personally would challenge, and stop if I could. If a Labour party isn't focussed on issues like that, what is its purpose?

TheOnlySanePersonOnPlanetEarth said...

BrynHill writes,

“Why would anyone vote for a party which behaves like this?”

This is quite laughable given BrynHill’s first comment was full of insults while portraying himself as one of life's doers, assuming that all we did all day was ponder things. I actually have a job numbnuts.

“This is bizarre.”

I regard your first comment as being childish and disingenuous, I said twaddle but I simply believe you were being dishonest. But even if you knew what you were saying is twaddle doesn’t change the fact it is twaddle.

Someone bizarrely trying to split society between theoreticians and pragmatists can engender nothing but contempt because this comment is itself contemptible. To peddle this twaddle you assume a level of idiocy among us that I for one am insulted by.

“What do you mean by "the drive for the theoretician is necessity"?”

Let us take the development of steam as an example. When steam power was first developed there was a necessity to understand how the thing actually worked because there were problems with its efficiency and also a national rivalry going on between France and the UK. So in France theoreticians set to work to understand the science behind steam power. They came up with a scientific theory for how steam power worked, basically based on temperature differences. Their theoretical work was used to make steam power far more efficient and was put to better practical use. There are literally a billion and one other examples like this in all fields.

The idea that pragmatism and theory are mutually exclusive and can be split as two different things and further split into pragmatist good and theory bad is so idiotic that I was being kind when I said twaddle!

Izzy said...

Matthew; please understand this anti-Semitism is a witch hunt. There is some of this nastiness in Labour, as in all parties, but less in Labour than in others; and it's not Corbyn's fault! Has it escaped your notice that there is a full spectrum attack, media, politicians, the lot, including personal, on all aspects of Labour as it gets closer to power? Those in power are scared. The relentless nature of the attacks is not because of any failure by Corbyn, but a result of the ceaseless malice and fear of the establishment and landed capital regarding Labour.

Dipper said...

@ Unknown "please understand this anti-Semitism is a witch hunt."

No It isn't hard to be explicit about attacking policies of the Israeli government rather than the Israel state, or just Israel. The fact that so many people don't do this and go well over the boundary of acceptable criticism is indicative of a mindset that goes far beyond political disagreement.

I think the reason many on the left think this is a witch hunt is because you are so routinely abusive about anyone who disagrees with you, so keen to persecute your opponents, that you think this behaviour is normal and acceptable. It isn't. The modern left frames any issue not as disagreement between well-intentioned parties, but as an issue of good versus evil where anyone who disagrees with the left is clearly evil and deserves persecution and punishment.

You lot start from the assumption that you are the good guys. But that is for others to decide, not for you to decide on your own behalf.

Tmb said...

The fear of the establishment towards Corbyn and a normal left wing Labour party, shows how out of touch the powerful and wealthy have become, and their affluent backers. For healthy democracies, there needs to be healthy opposition.

When Justin Welby came on the TV the other day talking about the rich paying more tax, a lot more affordable housing and a much fairer living wage for all, you know things have changed. I couldn't care less about ideology, like most working class people I just want a fairer wage, a fairer tax system where those earning the most pay the most, workers rights and nationalised utilities, and there are millions out there like me. It's long past the time when the Tories ceased to mean anything other than the already wealthy. Persecuting disabled people has been the lowest point under this Tory government, among many other low points, yet Theresa May, J R Mogg and I D Smith claim to be Christians??? Surely shome mistake??? What kind of Christians persecute the poor and disabled????

BrynHill said...

Hi Tmb,

"For healthy democracies, there needs to be healthy opposition."

Sure. The problem is that the left and right are opposing the middle, where most of the population sit.

That's definitely not "a healthy opposition".

Anonymous said...

Ah the "most 'ordinary' people are centrists" meme trotted out again.

In reality, whilst most people tell pollsters that they are "centrists" their actual political views are a mixture of strikingly left and right wing positions. The number of people who think we should bring stuff back into public ownership and properly tackle the super rich elite on the one hand, but heavily restrict immigration and bring back hanging on the other, is MUCH higher than the "uncritically neoliberal economics with woke identity politics tacked on" brand of "centrism" still so adored by the political bubble - but DEEPLY electorally toxic everywhere else.

Are you listening, Bryn?