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Draining the British Establishment swamp.
President Trump has vowed to drain the Washington political establishment ‘swamp’. The removal of warmongering rabid capitalists from their hold over the US political process would be welcome at any time. We in Britain have a corresponding need to drain our own putrid Establishment ‘swamp’.
During the revolutionary years of the British civil wars in the 1640’s, the Levellers fought for the principle that ‘Salus populi suprema lex’, in other words, the supreme authority lies with the people. Evidently, today’s Westminster politicians and civil servants haven’t learned the lesson. Their, often, public school arrogance meant that there was no plan if the British people voted to leave the EU. Many of these politicians and civil servants have been delaying matters since the ‘Brexit’ vote. They are trying to thwart the will of the people and because of their gross incompetence need to be shown the door.
The Establishment has at its apex the unelected monarchy and the House of Lords. These expensive anachronisms (as with palaces and expenses) were removed at a stroke in 1649 at the end of the second Civil War. It would be draining the swamp if they were again removed overnight. Britain could then make progressive moves towards democracy with an elected head of state and give consideration to whether there is need for a second chamber in an advisory form.
The mainstream media also needs to be drained because of its malevolent effect upon our democracy. They have acted over the decades in the interests of the Establishment including the tiny, vastly wealthy, capitalist elite who have not paid their taxes and who have been ripping us off. They have backed the disastrous warmongering adventures of Tories and Blairite Labour and ‘mini -me’ Tory or as they call themselves, Lib Dems. The lies that have burst forth from these groups in justification for their actions, as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have been sickening. Courts and tribunals should be set up to bring them to account as well as the arms manufacturers in whose interests they have been acting.
Tories, Blairites and ‘mini-me’ Tories have also been causing huge pain to the British working class, as with the privatisation of public utilities, education facilities and the introduction of schemes like PFI. The Health service is currently groaning under the impact of paying huge interest bills to the PFI financiers as well as having to pay well over the odds to the pharmaceutical companies for their drugs. All these companies should be brought into public ownership so that the private profit motive and exploitation of staff and patients are totally eliminated. President Trump is reported to be acting to bring the worst excesses of the pharmaceutical companies under control in the USA. We must do our own ‘cleaning up’. Any compensation payable would be from the privateers into the public purse.
Another aspect of draining the capitalist swamp of the elite would be in regard to the horrible so called ‘public schools’. Their facilities should all be brought into the public sphere, again, with compensation payable to the working class for the exploitation of generations from the so called ‘elite’ that has been given privileged education.
As a political Party opposed to the warmongering aims of NATO, we would also welcome the winding down of this organisation. The political decision of the Gorbachev regime to dissolve the USSR meant an agreement with the Western regimes that NATO would not expand eastwards. This agreement has been reneged upon and huge aggressive deployments were placed up against Russia’s borders by the irresponsible Obama regime and its allies. NATO’s remit has gone much further than the ‘North Atlantic’.
We in Britain need to drain the swamp of a putrid, ageing, decaying political Establishment!
Click HERE for TRUMP AND THE LEFT: Further Debate and Comment ... 'Infantile Disorder? Why the Left Must Let Go of Trump!' by Kim Bryan and response by Bill Ball. Party member or supporter? Send us your views!
Capitalist global planning is falling apart.
The capitalist elite's global agenda for domination by a handful of mega rich at the expense of the masses seems to have come unstuck. The mainly 'old boys' network (with a few 'old girls' in the Thatcher mould) is so inflexible that events in 2016 have thrown their long- term planning into disarray. 'Brexit' wasn't supposed to happen. Trump wasn't supposed to win the Presidency. Corbyn wasn't supposed to be leading the Labour Party.
The mainstream media has completely failed in its job of facilitating the agenda of the capitalist elite. As in 1975 they bombarded the British people with pro-EU (formerly pro-common market) propaganda. Every conceivable so -called expert was wheeled out to tell us to vote to stay. All the old 'failed' politicians including ex- Prime Ministers were also paraded in front of us to guide our 'in' voting.
In America, the same old pattern emerged with everyone in the mainstream media telling their electorate to vote for Clinton. She received endorsement from film and entertainment 'stars', from 'failed' politicians of the past as well as even the incumbent President and his wife.
As regards Corbyn, every trick in the book has been used in Labour Party circles to try to oust him with former leaders lining up to pour vitriol upon his candidacy. The mainstream media has also done its best to destabilise his leadership with rarely anything said in his favour on BBC, Channel 4, ITN, Sky, the 'tabloids', the 'broadsheets' etc.
The 2016 factors that prevented this wave of propaganda from succeeding have been the experiences of the working class and the modern- day usage of social media in their communication with each other. Past experience has taught the masses to distrust the message coming from the mainstream media which has generally been one of lies, deception and misinformation. The so-called journalists putting across this scripted message have been acting merely as echo chambers for the views of the rich and powerful capitalist elite. They have not been (with minimal exceptions), impartial, unbiased reporters of breaking worldwide news. In order to be employed, they have had to be 'on script' with the right-wing pro-capitalist anti- working class agenda passed down to them. They have, in general been a total disgrace!
What is even more remarkable is that the mainstream media is not learning any lessons from backing all the wrong horses in 2016. They have in fact been 'doubling down'. We see, therefore that every trick in the book is being used in conjunction with 'Establishment' politicians to derail the Brexit result, to delay our exit from Europe in the hope of eventually overturning the result. In the US, the old capitalist Establishment is still trying to destabilise any incoming regime so that policies such as peaceful co-existence with Russia are undermined. In Britain, the Corbyn leadership is ridiculed at every opportunity and any calls for the cessation of austerity measures are drowned out.
In a true democracy, the legal profession would not be in the pockets of any wealthy elite. Neither in Britain or the US have any of the super- rich who brought about the 2008 financial crash through their criminality, corruption, massive fraud etc. been brought to task with prosecution, imprisonment and financial ruin. It has been 'crooked' business as usual. Legal redress on behalf of the poor is generally out of reach because of financial reasons.
The World has yet to emerge from the 2008 crisis and since none of the lessons have been learned (with deregulation of finance back on the agenda with a vengeance) it is no wonder that the working class has 'had enough' and that action is now the order of the day (as with the number of strikes mushrooming in Britain) and a winter of discontent on the cards. As we have always done, the Socialist Labour Party supports all workers in Struggle and our supportive strike literature is as relevant as ever!
The Socialist Labour Party sends its condolences to the people of Cuba.
The Socialist Labour Party sends its condolences to the people of Cuba upon the death on 25th November of Comandante Fidel Castro. The achievements of Fidel Castro and his relatives, friends and allies are too numerous to list but history, posterity, civilisation and the cause of World socialism and revolution will never forget.
US election result: One wealthy capitalist elite replaced by another.
The US electorate did not have much of a choice in the Presidential election in that both major candidates represented wealthy capitalist elites. The Establishment of the main media and 'neo-liberal' and 'neo-con' politicians, both in the US and in Europe, were, in general, supporting the losing candidate. The more effective choice for the Democrat party might have been Sanders but it appears that 'dirty tricks' in the primaries cost him the chance. That he ultimately endorsed the Clinton campaign says very little in his favour.
Clinton received almost the entire support of the major arms producers worldwide and it was not surprising, therefore, that she and her cohorts were looking to instigate future nuclear war with Russia. Whether she had other target wars is probable bearing in mind the disgraceful warmongering of America in recent years. The building up of US aggression in the South China seas seems to have been another warning to the world. That she lost was therefore a huge relief (in the short term at least) to those of us that value peace throughout our planet.
President-elect Trump has indicated that he proposes to put the American 'blue collar' population back to work. One of his suggestions has been the reopening of US coal mines. If this involves largescale investment in clean coal technology, then this is one area that may be of future benefit to the industrial future of the UK. As with Clinton, he is in favour of fracking and we totally reject this part of his programme.
It seems to be another aspect of his policies that protectionism may be back in vogue and to the extent that this means a rejection of the 'mantra' of free trade as espoused by the 'neo-liberals' and 'neo-cons', then this might also be something positive that we can work on in the UK.
The Trump regime is overall looking after the super rich in that banking restrictions are being removed. Taxes on the wealthy are also being lowered.
There may well be, as a result of these measures, another crisis similar to 2008 in the financial sector. The inevitable reaction must ultimately come as the working classes reject capitalism and turn to the logic of socialism, having tried the various shades of capitalist finance, thought and politics.
Britain (as with the Brexit vote) may well be leading the world in this regard.
Congratulations, Ken Capstick!
SLP Treasurer Ken Capstick has been elected Trustee of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme.
With 44% of the votes cast against 15% for his nearest rival, Ken received an overwhelming endorsement from the membership.
Questions arise about the legitimacy of the UK regime as well as the outcome of the US election.
The Trump campaign in the United States has been outspoken in its criticism of the fairness of the forthcoming Presidential election. It is obvious that the 'political Establishment' has been opposed to his campaign and the mainstream media have been almost exclusively pro Clinton. The voting has been started in some cases and allegations of votes being cast which should be ineligible are already being made. Examples include votes being cast on behalf of deceased residents. Questions of voting irregularity have long existed in the USA. The term 'gerrymandering' was associated with very early elections in a fledgling United States. In 1960, Joseph Kennedy Snr. was reported to have invoked the head of a mafia family to deliver important votes in Illinois in favour of JFK. The 'hanging chads' voting machine controversy surrounded the 2000 Presidential contest.
We may be suspicious of the workings of US Presidential elections but we also have large question marks hanging over our own Parliamentary elections. Here again, the media are very influential, as we have found out to our cost on many occasions. Coverage of the SLP has often been blacked out with our candidates not being mentioned and even excluded from reported lists of candidates. This has happened both in the written and broadcast media. Our candidates have been deliberately excluded from hustings.
Other examples of irregularity have included masses of voting forms being filled in on behalf of large numbers of potential voters (as in postal voting) and this has been particularly relevant in inner city areas and in relation to residents of old peoples' homes. Furthermore, the first past the post system means that millions of votes do not have any representation, a situation that would be resolved by a system pf proportional representation.
Finally, there are ongoing allegations of overspending by the main political parties (as with 'battle buses' and undeclared accommodation expenses) in the last General Election. We must ask whether the Tory majority was therefore 'legitimate'. They barely scraped in, as it was, with only about 24% of those eligible to vote! The current Prime Minister is, of course, unelected in the Country and was ultimately unopposed in an internal Tory Party contest for leader. There is also the question of millions of people without permanent accommodation not being recorded on electoral registers and losing their right to vote. Fairness, impartiality (especially from the media and voting regulators) and openness are requirements in any voting process that is to give the correct result and reflect the true wishes of the mass of the population.
Thoughtcrime: exposing the 'new anti-Semitism'.
‘An expert’ wrote Noam Chomsky, ‘is someone who articulates the consensus of people with power’.
Patriarchy, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism are orthodoxies promoted by clever people throughout history to whitewash the guilt of powerful elites. Far from being challenged, as we are lead to believe, mostly they are shifted in new directions at different targets.
On the political right the ‘old’ anti-Semitism is giving way to a calculating sympathy for Zionism. The historical hatred of Jews has not subsided. It is simply that a new target has been found. Islam is the alien culture and Muslims prefered as the fifth column.
Given Israel’s alliance with the West, it is no surprise that the campaign by some of its more militant supporters to re write the meaning of anti-Semitism in accordance with the new ‘realpolitik’ is meeting a compliant press.
The core objective of those advocating the idea of ‘left anti-Semitism’ is the legitimisation of Israel. Not in the sense of national sovereignty: rarely do they equate its Arab neighbours with Israel. The acceptance they seek and the standard they use is Israel’s right to equal esteem and entitlement with its allies in the ‘democratic’ West.
Ideologically this conflicts with radical left doctrines viewing Israel not as a haven or homeland but as a European colony established by force, supported ideologically by western exceptionalism.
Differing from arguments about racism historically, the new anti-Semitism draws on the political allegiances of individuals, represented in this case as ‘racial’. Opposition to Israel looks like a sinister ‘double standard’ only if you view Israel as it is viewed by the ‘new’ Zionists, without the perception of displacement and occupation.
Viewing anti Zionism as racially motivated would be a huge victory for a world view extreme even by the outlandish double standards of western ‘foreign policy’; we can criticise Israel for its mistakes, as we might the UK, since this confers on it the legitimacy sought. Anti Zionism however - viewing Israel as an occupying power - is placed beyond the pale of argument, portrayed shamelessly through the prism of old anti-Semitism.
The word Zionist becomes anti-Semitic code for 'Jew'. Referring to Zionism as powerful or unaccountable becomes a covert endorsement of ‘anti-Semitic conspiracies’; questioning its exclusivity becomes a revival of traditional slurs against ‘wealthy’ or ‘influential’ Jews; boycott or divestment campaigns become analogous to the burning of synagogues or the attacks on Jewish businesses or shops in 1930s Germany.
Accepting a definition of anti-Semitism written by Zionists denies the Palestinian experience, turning the case for Palestine into thoughtcrime. Without the Palestinians, the 'repudiation of Israel’s right to exist’ (Howard Jacobson) becomes a denial of Jewish identity, intrinsically anti-Semitic. Anti Zionism is 'associated' with the genocidal instincts of Nazism.
Comparing nations targeted for ‘regime change’ to fascism or their leaders to Hitler is endemic in our culture, no matter what the experiences of their people historically. Slandering the left with the evil of historical anti-Semitism fits the prevailing political narrative well, built as it is on a common aim; avoid addressing the supremacist nature of western foreign policy by denying the oppressed and portraying opposition as ‘hatred’.
What will be achieved if we accept the idea that anti-Semitism has ‘changed’ in the manner stated is no different to what has been achieved throughout history by all ideas constructed to favour the powerful: the real issues of political justice which lie at the core of the conflict in Palestine and many conflicts around the world are avoided.
Kim Bryan, 24th October 2016
Comparisons of British ruling elite's attacks upon the progressive elements in the population.
The Miner's pension scheme has had some 'extra' coverage lately in the 'alternative' media. The main stream media is providing its usual silent treatment over the issue which is causing the rise in interest in the subject. This issue is the billions of pounds extracted from the fund by successive British regimes.
Following the grotesque political decision of the Thatcher Tory regime to close down most of the British coal industry, large areas of the Country were left desolate, devoid of hope, jobs, futures and investment. The funds creamed off (out of pensions) from these areas by the actions of the right-wing politicians, both Tory and Labour, could have substantially alleviated much of the hardship born by the former mining communities. These areas have generally been left with high levels of unemployment, high rates of drug taking and general decline of infrastructure. It is as if they have been singled out since the 1984-5 Miners' strike for special victimisation.
This situation, of course, has historical parallels. One that springs readily to mind is the treatment of the South West after the rising against King James the second in 1685. A rebel army was formed to oppose the actions of an intolerant, autocratic monarch. This army, although largely made up of ordinary craftsmen and agricultural workers, had learned the lessons from the English revolution which had deposed King Charles 1. It had former officers of the New Model Army, radicals, including 'Levellers' and other 'progressive' political and religious elements (e.g. Daniel Defoe). The Leveller colours of sea green were flown in this army.
Following the battle of Sedgemoor in Somerset, James 11 sent the infamous Judge Jefferies to wreak vengeance upon the population. His perversion of justice in the 'Bloody Assizes' left mangled bodies strewn over the South West and largescale transportations of rebels to the West Indies. It would have taken decades for the area to recover economically.
The comparison with the treatment of the mining communities is strikingly similar. Following the paramilitary and illegal attacks upon miners at places like Orgreave, restrictions on freedom of movement, expression and mutual self- help, many of these communities have been left economically devastated. It is as if the recent British regimes have wanted to hound British miners and their communities to the grave! There is also a close parallel in the political outlooks of the various participants. The reactionary Tory and Labour regimes were confronted overwhelmingly by principled miners with generally progressive and more often than not socialist ideas on how to better their lives and communities.
As an historical postscript, the devastation of the South West meant that it was relatively easy for William of Orange to land at Torbay in 1688 and depose James11. Some progressive political reforms came with this so-called 'Glorious revolution'.
Let us hope that the mistreatment of the mining communities will lead indirectly to a future of true Socialism in Britain as a whole.
More current news stories from the SLP HERE.