Viewing posts tagged labour

In the Loop

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour Party, recently asked Seumas Milne to be his director of communications. Milne is one of the few journalists currently working in the British media who is genuinely worth reading. Milne, for instance, wrote The Enemy Within, which is not the novelisation of the 1996 TV movie (Gary Russell courageously tackled that one), but rather a rigorous investigative expose of the way the Tory government - with help from the ‘security services’ and the tabloid press - set about trying to covertly undermine, smear and frame the NUM and Arthur Scargill during the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike.

Certainly, when you recall that David 'Pigfucker' Cameron’s choice for an equivalent post was Andy Coulson, you see evidence of a stark division – authentically based on a decency and honesty gap – opening up between the parties for the first time in quite a while.

Milne, however, is one of those Left-wing journos who has been repeatedly (and rightly) criticised by Media Lens for being less than brave about criticising the paper he writes for, even as he savages bias elsewhere. So he will already have ability to ruthlessly criticise other people for doing stuff that his own employers do ...

Round and Round

Jeremy Corbyn is a decent man, and he’s closer to my viewpoint that just about anybody else in mainstream politics, but he’s still basically just a moderate Social Democrat.  The media buzz about him being “hard Left” is ludicrous nonsense.   It’s a sign of the media’s extreme Right-wing agenda/viewpoint, a centre-ground shifted to the Right beyond anything known since the early 20th century, and the widespread (and very consciously inculcated) political illiteracy that now pervades the UK like a plague.

I think Corbyn’s usefulness lies almost entirely in the opportunity he presents for us to push the conversation in certain ways.  I will push him over the other candidates, and I will support the good stuff he says and does as Labour leader (if elected) because it’d be insane to do anything else.  The opportunity for propaganda is itself reason to do this.  The subsequent opportunity for anti-reformist, anti-Labour propaganda when Corbyn sells out - because he will, make no mistake... they always do, the structural logic of the situation makes that inevitable - will be worth having too, speaking as a revolutionary.

The Labour Party will be relieved to ...

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 ...

Opposite Reaction

The TARDIS Eruditorum blog recently took the opportunity to connect 'The Caves of Androzani' with the 1984-85 Miner's Strike.  In the process, Philip Sandifer (the author of the blog) writes:

...Arthur Scargill, head of the NUM, made an egregious political miscalculation. Faced with an accelerated schedule for closing the pits and afraid that he’d lose the vote, Scargill declined to submit the strike to a national vote. This was against NUM rules and allowed Thatcher to delegitimize the strike, which she wasted no time doing, comparing striking miners to Argentina in the Falklands. 
and...

The propaganda war, combined with Scargill’s inept politicking, kept the strike from gaining broad support with the public, and it ended in failure a year later, leaving the mining industry and union a shadow of its former self. 

Sandifer mentions police savagery and also the wholesale media propaganda assault against the NUM (though he talks about the 'redtops', as though it was a purely tabloid phenomenon).  Ultimately, however, he seems to imply a plague upon both Thatcher's and Scargill's houses.

In the various permutations that this view takes, the heroic resistance of 150,000 workers and their families over ...

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