Jun 01

On day of the 100th Derby since the death of the suffragette Emily Davidson it’s worth noting that since her brave act led to women getting the vote the goal posts have moved. The promise of Western democracy and Captialism are being broken.

It was revealed this week that Emily Davidson was tortured in prison with force feeding. Clare Balding almost spewed when this barbaric act was spelled out for her. Yet it is still happening in almost the same way at Guantanamo to people who are allegedly OK to release. Of all Mrs Thatcher’s crimes she did not do this to the IRA hunger strikers. She let their protest stand.

Thus the way to honour Davidson don’t listen to the high praise given by  TV pundits but note the thousands who are marching to occupy Gezi in Turkey or the Banks in Germany and signal their distress at the current economic tyranny practiced by their elected goons. The media will as with Davidson at the time will seek to marginalise protest and the Police will be free to beat protesters whether they are in Turkey, New York, Oakland, Frankfurt or London.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

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Apr 13

It’s an oddity that those who strongly supported Lady Thatcher’s restrict money supply and don’t subsidise people to work often claim to support the current Govt. This is like being a fan of theatre but also supporting building a block of flats over the Old Vic.

Tell me why Govt should do nothing to subsidise skilled jobs that made an accounting contribution even if they lost money overall? Yet should support forcing people to do soul-less learning free jobs in Poundland selling largely foreign goods without improving the nation’s output? The reasons for the former might be a belief in something the reasons for the latter can only be hate. I would opine that the current Govt’s policy is so asinine as to be a symptom of corruption or extreme stupidity.

The thing the Cameron Govt policy has in common with Thatcher’s is hatred of the poor and stupid policies.

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Apr 10

The news MPs are being paid to return early to attend Thatcher’s final ceremony is justly getting critiqued. That MPs are on a gravy train of expenses and directorships is not in question. A few were sacrificed to the plebs but as we saw with IDS and David Laws some fraud was not put in front of a jury.

Indeed their cases were not petty fraud either despite the suggestion Laws could have claimed more by being honest about his relationship. Although how much credence should one give a liar?

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Apr 09

That 15 year olds boast of not knowing who Mrs Thatcher was may be a sign that she had less enduring impact than most credit. That like all media and fantasy creations ‘Legacy’ is a desperate fitting of confluent and chronological events to a narrative that was never written prior. However one group has shown themselves up as still dominated by the Thatcher years. The Left.

The Left have parties and cheer and celebrate as though still fighting a battle they lost 3 decades ago. Many of them will vote for a Labour party far to the right of Mrs Thatcher. Many are in unions that affiliate to Labour. A Labour party even more corrupt than the Tory Party Thatcher led. A party who started wars.

In many ways cheering the death of someone of 87 years is worse than a Pyrrhic victory. Indeed it shows how defeated they were that they have not moved on and faced reality. They burnt mental effigies of Thatcher even as Blair and Brown stole the remaining  life chances of working class kids. They took it personally and are stuck in their silly narrative.

The problem is many on the Left don’t have an end game or indeed an opening gambit just the past.

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Apr 08

John Major followed her and was the last pragmatist. Since then we’ve had a grim trio of greedy venal narcissists in Blair, Brown and Cameron. By comparison she looks a paragon of doing what she actually thought was right not just right for her and her family’s future wealth although clearly Mark Thatcher was well rewarded. I’ve clearly removed any doubt her premiership was anything but poor in results here but am ambivalent at the hate figure of my teens.

Whilst the current precipitous state of the economy could be traced from the Thatcher years they did not have to become disastrous but for Brown’s chancellorship with its fellatio of the Banks. This nailed Britain to becoming a declining power with an Italian 1970’s currency. Whilst themes from her era and mistakes still haunt us it has been the hubris and extension of them which has hurt us so much. It is the belief she did much right that is wrong.

You can hardly blame Thatcher anymore than Keynes for the stupidity of Gordon Brown and Ed Balls. She died today long after anyone should care either way she just was not that good or bad 20 years on.

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Jul 08

No sooner did I make clear the fundamental incompetence at the heart of Mrs Thatcher’s Govt than one of her children showed what an absolute clown he is, clown in the Stephen King sense.  It turns out that Michael Gove has such contempt for the poor and those whose children go to ordinary state schools that when he slashed the school re-building budget he sent out an incorrect list. He raised false hopes one assumes for his perverse pleasure after all if anyone human was going to hurt people. I would make sure I at least showed them the respect of having my ducks in a row when stamping on their needs. One can only assume he had that snide smile of his at the angry school leaders coming on TV after the truth was revealed or maybe he’s completely incompetent or both.

Michael Gove had already reveled in deciding to leave 500,000 children in poverty by not extending free school meals at relatively no cost (half a Billion – long term saving arguably).  Then he cut in half the capital expenditure on new school buildings that is very much required thanks to the lunacy of the Mrs Thatcher 80s and 90s when capital spending was cut to the bone.?? Additionally there is a feeling that he will seek to further increase poverty by reducing the %tage of children who get free school meals in the future.

Poorly questioned by Newsnight all he could keep saying was that this was because of the mess Labour left. This miserable insect cannot even justify his policy and won’t go into the deeper reasons for it. Ideological reasons we can therefore assume. A deep unabiding hatred of the poor and a belief in societal eugenics would be hard to deny in his case.

The reason is to transfer resources to a series of free schools set up by parents groups who want to further balance the education system for themselves by using state money to subsidise their de facto public schools. Basically we have to assume as he will not answer any questions other than with empty rhetoric that Gove’s desire to use tax payers income to subsidise the schools of most often children already advantaged by the system at the expense of food for the poorest.

This is certainly the first time that Lib Dems can feel 100% queasy about what the Coalition are doing. There seems no need for these free schools at this time and the opportunity cost is half a million kids in poverty which should have been a no brainer to even a Tory. Worse aside from people trying to create subsidised schools for the fruit of their loins I do not believe that people would support Gove or share his deep contempt for the poor and especially their children.

Thatcher can claim the likes of Gove and Blair for her legacy if you ask me.

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Jul 06

It’s tempting to refer to Osbornism as Thatcherism revisited. Indeed so divisive is someone who won popularity and hated contests at the same time that both sides claim this as a positive for their position. The sad truth is that Thatcherism was 12 years of total incompetence. If re-structuring was achieved it was caused by North Sea Oil and latterly the lower pound, EU membership and the resultant inwards investment not to mention a world growth spurt.

Did selling off BA, BP and BT etc make them world class companies? No but commercial pressures certainly made them leaner and in BP’s case meaner and lower down. Still at least with the Gulf of Mexico fresh in our memories no could associate the now mostly US company with US corporate ethics with being British? No one would be that stupid and ill informed? Advertisers made a lot of money out of BT and BA certainly. In the end privatising has saved future generations from pensions and redundancy and forced difficult decisions on workers. You can quibble at the price the Govt got and whether the individual share owning boom it encouraged has done more for con-men than people’s wealth but really at worst it is no harm no foul.

Council Housing sell off. Selling off council housing is a disaster. It has created debt and a lending bubble. One of the real dangers of a house price crash is that the British have built huge personal debts  on assets in a bubble. That house prices are only sustained on for many near zero interest rates should be a warning to the current Govt about cutting too hard too soon. Many of the houses have been sold to people without the wealth to maintain them as well. Whilst some can take a paper profit and leave renovation to someone else many got left with negative equity and a crumbling house. Much of the reasoning against immigration when it is spelt out by barrack room boors like Warren Mitchell’s alter ego Ed Balls is around the lack of housing which has become a cover for an overall lack of housing – immigrants tend to have a very small foot print living in areas and with personal space few of us indigenous folk will do. Councils were forbidden to use the money to rebuild new council houses and created the housing shortage and asset bubble we have now. When Liverpool council alone defied this lunacy they were stripped of office. Far from liberating people it has led to debt and a plowing of whatever wealth people accrue into an asset bubble. Arguably it has contributed to problems in education and child delinquency as more and more couples both work to pay for even a small house.

Falklands. You can take it or leave but a competent Govt would have seen the Argies coming and scared them off. After all one sub sunk their battleship and could have taken out half their fleet. We are still involved in a turf war over resources and now have a stack of dogma and no go areas to prevent a sensible resolution. Certainly we can thank someone their bombs did not go off or the loss of life would have been more. One could argue relative to Iraq and Afghanistan this was a credible operation well run at minimal cost of lives and equipment. Indeed the conversion to Foundation Trust status by 1 health authority killed more Britains so by New Labour standards a roaring success.

The Economy. I’ll accept the economic landscape changed and had to change. Since we were not going to become a Socialist society a sort of Soviet plus state was unsustainable. However the economics of the 1980s were cretinous. What coherent policy has the £ go between $1.06 and $2.47 in the space of a few years? If Britain was able to survive it was because we had oil to sell. We were self sufficient in energy. We grew our own food. However it did not create the dynamic export industries that Osborne thinks will happen now.

To cope with the unemployment that her Govt created they decided to buy off some sections of the poor by putting them on incapacity benefit. Now Osborne and the Thatcher loving media try to present those people as spongers and shirkers. Again a short term answer of such staggering stupidity that New Labour must be gutted it was not their idea.

The Lawson Boom, The Poll Tax, Tracking the German Mark and other manifestly insane and poorly thought out policies I’ll leave you to think about.

Thatcher’s biggest successes dependent on your point of view were

  • Union Legislation achieved by branding the working classes of Britain as an enemy to be squashed and allowing us to be openly beaten up by Police – the legacy is a distaste of the Police that goes beyond just the working classes.
  • The most unequivocal success and one the Tory Party will not mention is the creation of the single European Market and the negotiation of the UK’s rebate. Things that Thatcher’s rhetoric imply she respectively opposed and won. The rebate the British failed to bite the arm off of what was actually on offer with Thatcher using harsh rhetoric to angrily demand what was already on offer!  On the Single European market she gave away 90% of what Right Tories complain about. In addition for all their anti Euro nonsense she tied us to the German Mark! Which resulted in Black Wednesday and the genuine event Tories can trumpet the stewardship of the Clarke Major Govt, truly the only competent one of my lifetime.

The point is not about Thatcherism but that Osborne must know that what Thatcher did has not made Britain dynamic. If anything we are in a worse position than then with Oil no longer significant, importing food, importing energy with massive personal debt. You can trace every thing except the Public Sector deficit to Thatcher and that is only because of the Clarke Major years. If people want to celebrate that as a success or repeat it than they are in denial.

In conclusion one hopes that George Osborne is serious about his economics and not a Thatcherite. She must be the most over rated Premier of my life time. The damage she did took from 1992 to 1999ish to sort out only for Brown Blair to squander that legacy in hubris and put us in a worse position with Public debt and the scars of Thatcherism still with us.

Make no mistake as backward and rigid as the UK economy 1980 was it had slack and scope all of which has been used up by the Thatcher and Blair/Brown Govts to no good end.

The Thatcherism party is over and the problems are still here to greater degrees.

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May 20

Why is Diane Abbot turning up for the Labour leadership election? Can all 6 candidates get the 30 odd nominations from MPs without it being fixed in that allegedly pragmatic but actually crypto Euro facist way Labour has adopted?

We have 4 candidates who are Thatcher’s grand children all of whom would be lucky to merely be called creeps. Andy Burnham may be the least well known of them but his behaviour and contempt for human rights is on the record. He offers nothing new except he did not crawl as far up either Blair or Brown’s waste passage as Balls and Call me David.

John McDonnell has also expressed a wish to stand and his voting record suggests he would at least be an opposition or counter point. Albeit with as much chance of winning as I have of beating Usain Bolt.

Which brings us to Abbot.  Abbot is clearly no party groupie. She clearly brings a diversity of sex and skin pigment the rest lack – what a pale bunch the main 4 are from spending so much time in the shade of their master’s bottom. However in years of being on This Week I have never detected the slightest interest in it all. She shows little or no actual ambition.

One wonders if this is merely a reaction, and we love reactions, to an obvious white male wash of the other parties and the Labour party? It’s clear that none of the women in the cabinet under the clown Brown were serious appointments as none is considered leadership material. Caroline Flint was right and may inadvertently have secured a nice job on the BBC covering for Abbot who cannot surely be on a regular TV show and a candidate. So did Abbot decide to fill this void or is it a party trick to pretend it’s diverse?

Another reason aside from visual and rhetorical on diversity issues is that maybe Abbot will stop McDonnell, who will ask far more searching questions of the other candidates, getting the necessary MP nominations. Just to give 6 candidates the minimum would take over 70% of MPs and that surely cannot happen without gerrymandering to ensure that the party is seen to give everyone a chance.

So sorry at present the whole thing just stinks of a Brownian fix to seem right on. Maybe Abbot will surprise me and be effective but she seems to have given up wanting to be more than a voice and a small voice at that years ago.

For me she is a candidate for the Right and the Right On until she proves otherwise.

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Feb 16

There was a reason I did not watch Brown’s program was not Brown himself but the puerile Morgan. The “King of Trash” well if Simon Cowell was not alive or the creator of Big Brother. Had it been with Michael Parkinson, Paxman or someone with a scintilla of integrity I would have watched it.

I would argue it is pointless anyway. Did Kinnock’s all too obvious humanity cost him next to Mr Grey John Major? Did Mrs Thatcher win by showing humanity or weakness? Did Blair lose when most people considered him a liar and a war monger?

If you want character and where it gets you. Take the example of John Major and Ken Clarke. In their last few years in government with their party screaming tax cuts and with personal friends the victims of the IRA they stuck to the economic policies that were to serve Brown so well in Labour’s first term and started the IRA peace process. Major was voted out with an “And Good Riddance” kicker but he’s multiples the character Brown is.

The other aspect is that if he wants to put character on the line then how has he sat there de facto supporting the US ripping up the Geneva Convention in 2002? Maybe we really do have leaders who missed the press but their de facto errors of omission are worse – better informed people making a decision that the ignorant claiming ignorance? Put simply sitting back and denying you knew anything about stuff that was on TV News and in Newspapers does not cut it. Is it moral or a sign of character to live in a hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil bubble? When you are the Prime Minister? Is obfuscation, denial and ignorance a defence? It is not in a court of law.

In the end the only defence he and others come up with over US Torture, WMD, Iraq Post War and our involvement is incompetence. What kind of man values incompetence over making a decision and defending it? So leave out your faux and specious humanity it does not stack up.

If Brown wants to make his character an issue he’s lost my vote.

If Labour wants to offer: Darling v Osbourne: Keynesian Economics v Voodoo Economics. Then my vote is up for grabs. If it’s offering a personality cult of a weak petulant self serving child whose financial incompetence Darling is covering up then no.

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Nov 11

It made my flesh crawl yesterday to watch our country’s Prime Minister confess to shyness and grovel before a grieving mother. Brown did not so much walk into The Sun’s trap as build it for them and shut the door himself.

Peter Mandelson is probably the only thing between a bad position and a melt down of Brown’s Govt. Nonetheless his attack on The Sun as ‘crude’ is hypocritical from a man quoted as calling Murdoch acolyte Rebekah Wade a ‘Cunt’ – although she is in both US and UK vernacular.

Also from the govt that used polarising as not just a rhetoric but analysis, policy and reason. Seriously this is the Govt that said if you were not in favour of creating loads of highly paid and pensioned managers in the NHS and spending money with out real reform you were a dinosaur. If you were not in agreement with handing over lorry loads of money to PPP/PFI spivs you were in favour of letting children die for lack of ventilators. If you were not in favour of war for its own sake you were a lickspittle supporter of Saddam just as Carter, Reagan, Galloway and Rumsfeld had been and Galloway still was. If you were not in favour of fighting over desert against an enemy who had disappeared there was not a Rizla between you and al Queda.

What goes around comes around, eh.

What Mandy might like to mention to Brown is Murdoch does not piss in the wind. He is against Brown because he is finished. The British have stood by complete incompetence as Mrs Thatcher and her chancellors showed as they lurched from one silly economic policy to the next before Ken Clarke and Major built the late 90s and noughties good times (only for Brown to squander in a fit of hubris and stupidity). However they can spot a buffoon like Brown who waited 11 years to be Prime Minister without ethos or goals, merely for his own ego.

If Labour had any balls (not Ed Balls whose name is ironic) they’d make Mandy leader as he is the only one left with any fight. However laughable his attack he can still make one.

It’s not The Sun’s crudity but our leader’s craven weakness that is the problem.

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