Friday 1 April 2022

Five Most Popular Posts in March

The clocks went forward, the Tories are still in office, and Keir Starmer is to Labour what sawdust is to a petrol tank. How was your month? Here's what was hot on the blog these last 31 days.

1. A Case Study in Decrepitude
2. On Irksome Erdington
3. The Main Enemy is at Home
4. Keir Starmer's Bad Luck
5. Paul Mason Vs Anti-Humanism

"Beware the ides of March" was the sound advice proffered to Julius Caesar, but he paid no heed. Nor did Tsar Putin, whose invasion of Ukraine has not only been bloody and expensive, it seems to be going backwards in places. Good. This ties in nicely to the month's pick of the posts. My meditation on the decrepitude of Russian capital and Russian politics and how it works as a filter to help understand what's going on and why Putin made such a disastrous decision, one whose blowback might severely weaken his grip on power. Even if independent pollsters presently suggest the Russian public largely back him. The post on the fall out of Putin's war on the British far left grabbed enough attention to power it to the number three spot, with Britain's tankies and their fellow travellers disgracing themselves as straightforward Putin cheerleaders. And to think they don't even do it for money.

Coming back to domestic politics, the Erdington by-election came and went and it was a so-so result for Labour. Certainly not the thumping victory the party needed for it to declare itself well on the way to office, not a massive disaster either, despite the declarations of the more excitable corners of the internet. As is customary these days, the blog doesn't get through a month with a why-Keir-Starmer-is-useless post, and the one discussing his "bad luck" is the latest entry in the sub genre. Then it was the turn of a wee bit of theory to bring up the rear, disputing Paul Mason's oft-repeated assertion that theoretical anti-humanism, which is the default setting for nearly all materialist philosophy and social theory in 2022, is responsible for Putin apologetics. A lesson in if you want to be taken seriously, don't make a fool of yourself.

Selecting the piece for the spotlight of second chances, I've gone for The Politics of Refugee Visa Refusal. The invasion of Ukraine has elicited a great deal of sympathy with support for large numbers of refugees to settle here enjoying a comfortable majority. Yet the Tories won't waive the visa requirements, and Labour - with a literal gift horse standing in front of them - prefer to gawp at its mouth instead. What's happening? Getting to grips with the refusal of both parties to bow to public pressure is key to understanding the difficulties and tensions of politics at this point in time - this just being one example of an authoritarian consensus they share.

Next month we can expect more war and destruction, more Tory awfulness, another dollop of Labour dithering, and a few other things I can't forecast in advance. But if you enjoy what I write and have a few quid to spare, you can do far worse than sponsoring my Patreon. Or if you're skint or whatever, it doesn't matter. Just keep tuning in.

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