Archive | February, 2010

Justin McKeating on the “Brown Doctrine”

23 Feb

Justin isn’t impressed by Gordon Brown’s attempt to preempt his appearance at the Chilcot inquiry:

And isn’t it fortunate that Gordon now reveals he didn’t regard Saddam an imminent threat, just as that argument is shown (once again) to be a stinking pile of mendacious horseshit. If only Brown had had a quiet word in Alastair Campbell’s ear back in 2002, all of this unpleasantness might have been avoided. Brown seems to have had no consideration of Iraqi human rights (as Blair later tried to twist it) and admits Saddam could have stayed in power if only he’d come clean about the weapons he didn’t have.

If anything, Brown’s case for cluster-bombing children is even weaker than Blair’s. At least Blair tried to convince us of some threat that needed countering. Brown makes the deaths of – at the very least – 100,000 people, the destruction of a country, and the debasement of UK foreign policy sound like an early bed time for disobedience. I have children who have a ‘persistent disregard’ for what they’re told. God help them if I take up the Brown Doctrine.

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Andrew Sullivan on the increasing intolerance of the G.O.P.

21 Feb

On one panel for the under-thirties, Jason Mattera, a rising conservative star, brought the house down. His new book is called Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation, and in his speech, adopting a black accent, he mocked what he called “diversity”, including college classes on “what it means to be a feminist new black man. Think of a crossover between RuPaul and Barney Frank”. RuPaul is a black drag queen and Barney Frank is the openly gay chairman of the banking committee in the House of Representatives and one of only three openly gay members of Congress (all of whom are Democrats). At the same conference three years ago, Ann Coulter, the bestselling conservative author of her generation, called former vice-presidential candidate John Edwards “a faggot” to rowdy applause.

This is a new kind of Republican party. It is not Goldwater’s Arizona libertarianism or Reagan’s California tolerance. It is getting whiter and whiter, and straighter and straighter. And among the heterosexuals, the hostility towards gay equality is becoming an intense and defining shibboleth of what the party means.

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If the Republican Party no longer stands for tolerance and individualism, then it exists as a mere conduit for a holier-than-thou religious tyranny that will suffocate the thin-stream of libertarian intellectual creativity, which is the only thing that makes the party interesting.

Sadly, Sullivan is right

Seriously, why not just vote with your heart?

14 Feb

You should vote. Millions of people on the planet don’t enjoy the rights you have. Many are prepared to spill their blood for the chance of self-determination. You should definitely vote.

But who should you vote for?

You’re probably thinking that they’re all a shower, and why should you vote for any of them. I’m inclined to agree which is why I’m saying just vote with your heart. Take a single-issue – be it climate change, taxes, copyright reform or whatever – and vote for the party that best represents your views.

It’s not a wasted vote. That’s what the big parties want you to believe. If enough people vote for fringe parties, others will follow. At this rate, we’ll be stuck with Labour, Conservatives and the Lib Dems forever – locked into a future of mediocre politics, led by the likes of David Cameron: a man whose soul is barely deep enough to sustain a single goldfish.

So why not frivolously blow your vote? What, really, would be the difference between any of the three major parties? Cameron is as slippery as a sack of eels, Gordon Brown is so desperate he’d probably show you his cock if you promised to vote for him, and Nick Clegg is simply beyond pointless.

When Labour supporters attack Cameron for being lightweight, it works because they’re right. And when Tories call Brown an incompetent clown, they have a point too.

There are, believe it or not, a lot of good constituency parliamentarians. If you have a good MP, vote for him or her. If you just like your MP, why not send them some electoral love? It really will not make much difference. A bunch of arse will run the country regardless.

So if you care passionately about the environment, don’t compromise, vote Green. If like me it’s the surveillance state and corporate influence on politics that animates you, vote for the Pirate Party. If you’re concerned about protecting your welfare, or your MP is Tom Watson, vote Labour.

Just whatever you do, vote with your heart. This country is cursed with second-rate politics, so it really doesn’t matter.