Viewing posts tagged conservatives

6

"I have in my hand a piece of paper," says Mr Stevens, CEO of Global Chemicals, echoing Chamberlain in unconscious admission that his promises of a profitable truce in the class war will turn out to be worthless, "which will mean a great deal to all of you. Wealth in our time!"

The ex-miners, crowded around the gates of the closed pit, are unimpressed.

"When the National Coal Board were forced to close the pit last year..." Stevens begins.

"It were a shame, that was!" heckles one of the workers, in Ignorant Yokel Speak.

"No, my friends," says Stevens chummily, presenting himself as one of them, "we must not be bitter. We must face the facts."

Note the 'we'; the most abused word in political discourse.  As in 'we're all in this together'.

"Coal is a dying industry," asserts Stevens.

The miners shout "Rubbish! Rubbish!"

When it happens in reality, the idea that the mines had to shut because they were unprofitable will be rubbish.  Mining was always subsidised.  

"Oil is our future now and the government agrees with me. They have not only given us the go-ahead for our plans, they have promised us money ...

18

Everyone is down a mine.

(Incidentally, it's funny how often Doctor Who in the 70s and 80s keeps coming back to mines.  I'm sure it's nothing to do with the fact that coal mining was a key industry in British economic life during these decades, miners were among the most powerful unionised workers in the 70s, and the 80s saw the calculated destruction of the miners' unions and their industry by the Tory government.  Oh ho no.)

Anyway.  As I say, everyone - the Doctor, Romana, K9, Adrasta, Organon and a giant green blob called Erato - is down a mine.  And things are coming to a head.  (Head.  Pit-head.  Geddit?  Never mind.  It doesn't really work anyway.)

Yes, so anyway...  Erato is, as I say, a giant green blob.

"Erato came here fifteen years ago to propose a trading agreement," says the Doctor, while everyone else still reels from the revelation that the blob has a name, a mind and the ability to talk. "Tythonus is a planet rich in metallic ores and minerals...."

There's an interlude here where the Doctor and Adrasta have a little ...

31

John offers the Doctor some sugar for his tea.  John is a black man with a Caribbean accent.

"Ah," says the Doctor ruminatively, regarding his sugarless tea, "A decision. Would it make any difference?"

"It would make your tea sweet," says John, humouring this strange customer.

"Yes, but beyond the confines of my tastebuds, would it make any difference?"

"Not really."

"But..."

John is suddenly strangely interested.  "Yeah?" he prompts, wanting to hear more.  (I used to think of John as a manifestation of the 'magical negro' stereotype... but actually he's just an ordinary Londoner who meets a magical Scotsman.  As such he's one of the better examples of the Cartmel era representing black people.  Sadly, those years often saw black men cast simply because the character was a rapper or a blues musician.)

"What if I could control people's tastebuds?" suggests the Doctor, "What if I decided that no one would take sugar? That'd make a difference to those who sell the sugar and those who cut the cane."

One person making a little decision doesn't change much.  Lots and lots of people making lots and lots of ...

Review: 'The Reactionary Mind' by Corey Robin

The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah PalinThe Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin by Corey Robin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Superb.

As an historian of ideas, Robin concentrates on the patterns of thinking within conservatism, but never seems to say that conservative actions and policies stem entirely from ideology. Indeed, he frequently points out the ruptures between theory and practice... yet he can usually find hidden resonances within the conservative idea/s that are consistent in ironic, unexpected ways, ways that often make seemingly paradoxical dissonances between theory and practice seem much more explicable.

Disjointed, of necessity (since this is a compilation of previously published essays on a variety of subjects), there are still clear and original linking ideas which are spelled out mostly in the new introduction. Conservatism is fundamentally a reaction to the loss of privilege, or the challenge to privilege from the oppressed. Conservatism is much less enamoured of stasis, familiarity etc than it thinks it is. Conservatism is much more depressive and melancholy than many people think. It is dependant upon left-wing ideas to provide it with negative stimulus. It is animated by a preoccupation with violence. It is more revolutionary than it pretends, being often as ...

Life and Taxes

Here is George Monbiot, on possibly the most scandalous domestic story of the year (which, in the age of the ConDems, is really saying something).  Please read this.  In a sane country, this issue would trigger an Egypt-style revolt.  It's essentially a government conspiracy to help massive corporations and banks (you remember how helpful they've been to the world in recent years?) defraud the country of perhaps unprecedentedly vast amounts of money.  It may even amount to the effective abolition of taxation upon the wealthiest organisations in society.

Here's a sample:
At the moment tax law ensures that companies based here, with branches in other countries, don't get taxed twice on the same money. They have to pay only the difference between our rate and that of the other country. If, for example, Dirty Oil plc pays 10% corporation tax on its profits in Oblivia, then shifts the money over here, it should pay a further 18% in the UK, to match our rate of 28%. But under the new proposals, companies will pay nothing at all in this country on money made by their foreign branches.

Foreign means anywhere. If these ...

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