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Griffin is finally legitimised. Thanks New Labour!

8 Jun

And so finally, fascist flabby arse-wipe Nick Griffin has achieved national political legitimacy by winning a seat at the European Parliament.

And guess what?

We put him there. The progressives. Or so-called progressives, anyway.

The New Labour project, that brave centre-left experiment to bring Clintonian Third-Way politics to a post-Thatcherite Britain, is over.

Yeah, Slippery Dave promises us pragmatic politics without “isms”, but we know that’s a crock to triangulate the Tories for the maximum haul of MPs at the next general election. Cameron will use his majority to remind us what a bunch of twat-necks the Tories are, and always have been.

I’m not a socialist. I’m a centre-left liberal. I believe in robust markets and social liberalism. Labour’s failure is not its adoption of Ordoliberalism, but its failure to deliver it.

The State has spent millions on management consultants, yet it has been proven incompetent at improving systems and controlling costs — two pillars of good management.

Look at the colossal clusterfuck that is tax-credits. Hard working families have found themselves repaying thousands back, because the system is convoluted, over-complicated and utterly mismanaged. Brown’s gargantuan tax-system is an operational catastrophe that has ultimately failed the working poor.

Then there is Labour’s abject failure to communicate to the working classes. New Labour’s kowtowing to the Murdoch press and its rabid commitment to spinning a narrative to the bloated middle classes, have ensured it no longer speaks directly to the poor and disenfranchised. Whenever a section of society is ignored and marginalised, the predatory fascist right move in to fill the vacuum. I predicted this years ago, as did many writers and commentators.

The final nail was the expenses scandal, which was a plague on all their houses. But it was Labour, with its huge majorities, which could have reformed the system — had they not been abusing it like alcoholics at a free-bar.

Our politics is broken, but the Labour Party is shattered. It’s on life-support and few people actually want to see it pull-through. If we forget tribalism for a second, wouldn’t the progressive cause actually be helped by the quick suffocation of The Labour Party?

We need to reclaim the conversation from the far-right. We need to address, both rhetorically and practically, the concerns of the working poor.

Progressive politics must have a carnival of ideas. We need to experiment with proven policies that have been successful across Europe and the world, and we must remain focussed on efficiency and delivery. These are lean times, but it doesn’t mean we can’t work towards better times.

Labour will lose the next general election, but it lost a commitment to progressive politics a long time ago.

I won’t be voting

4 Jun

Like Chris Dillow, I won’t be voting. But my reasons are less considered.

I got to the polling station to be told I was on the postal vote list.

I get home and I can’t find the letter. It’s probably been shredded.

I’ve been democratically disenfranchised by an unholy affair between my Commie wife and her Staples electric shredder. The scheming bastards.

The irregular quote of the day

2 Nov

I cannot foresee a scenario that John McCain is elected the President of the United States. ~ Frank Luntz

Frank Luntz, if you don’t know, is a fat Republican twat leading conservative pollster (and a regular on Newsnight).

via. TPM

The irregular quot of the day

26 Oct

Paul Harris writing in The Guardian ::

Now that same Republican party could face a prolonged period in the political wilderness, working out how to appeal to an American public that seems prepared to send a pro-life, black senator from Chicago to the White House and reject a conservative Republican war hero.

Is McCain’s presidential campaign over?

14 Oct

There have been some pretty poor presidential campaigns. But I wonder if any have collapsed quite as spectacularly as John McCain’s has over the past few weeks?

It’s not that long ago, September 3rd in fact, that Sarah Palin’s barnstorming turn at the Republican Convention threatened to carry the ticket into the White House. Yet now, McCain’s strategy seems to be changing daily, with his team thrashing around in a desperate attempt to find an approach that offers some traction with voters.

The campaign isn’t working and many Republicans are bracing themselves for a crushing defeat. If Obama does swamp McCain, it wouldn’t be the first landslide in recent memory.

Election ’08: The final straight…

7 Oct

Ok, so it may not quite be the final straight. But it is undeniable that Barack Obama’s growing lead is starting to panic the GOP. Republicans are worried that there may not be the time to turn it around.

Rightwing blogs are denying that it’s over, claiming that Kerry led Bush going into the ’04 election – only to lose. But as leading Democrat blogger Oliver Willis points out, this is simply not the case (wot, you mean rightwingers lie?). Bush was leading Kerry at this point in ’04.

Moreover, the Obama lead is beginning to bring more and more States into contention. This is a result of Obama’s adoption of Howard Dean’s ambitious 50-State strategy (something it should be noted, that was ridiculed by the Clintons), and the increasing economic concerns of the electorate. In polls Obama crucifies John McCain on the economy.

Sarah’s lifeline

3 Oct

Imagine the most terrifying, pressured and important moment of your life.

Now multiply it by 10.

That is something like what Sarah Palin must have gone through as she prepared for last night’s Vice Presidential debate with Joe Biden. The media and even fellow conservatives have attacked her relentlessly over the past two weeks. Palin’s spirited performance at the Republican Convention is now merely a footnote in what has become a comedy of errors and gaffes, culminating in a series of Saturday Night Live parodies by Tina Fey, one of which lifted its lines – almost verbatim – from Palin’s own mouth.

Yet last night, while not quite winning against an experienced opponent, Palin stood tall and delivered a par performance against all the odds. Yes she dodged the specifics, and yes she doesn’t have a clue about foreign policy, but she still managed to hold her nerve as an entire nation expected her to be sunk by Battleship Biden. This resilience and composure alone is reason to take her seriously. As John Dickerson pointed out on Slate, those “watching for a car crash were disappointed.”

Last night Palin played to her strengths: She embodied the folksy outsider determined to shake things up in Washington. Palin was barbed as she took a veiled shot at Michelle Obama, and liberal(!) with the emotive buzzwords that have defined the shallow McCain campaign.

Only the most die-hard Republican would argue that Palin actually won last night, but it may well have given her the momentum to continue in national politics if the McCain-Palin ticket is swamped by an electorate eager for change.

I have little love for Sarah Palin. I find her evangelical politics and anti-intellectualism repulsive. Yet I do admire her Reaganesque ability to talk directly to the viewer – catapulting the highfaluting language of Washington.

Anything can happen in politics. It’s unlikely that Palin’s handlers can keep her out of the media spotlight until the election. Indeed, another gaffe-filled interview or another skeleton exposed, and her Vice-Presidential hopes could be dashed once and for all. However, if Palin can survive the coming months intact, she may well be an effective political force in the future.

Last night, against all expectations, Sarah Palin earned herself a lifeline.