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    some observations on politics in britain and elsewhere:1-to hell with the lot of them

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    lost

    Number of posts : 151
    Registration date : 2010-12-13

    some observations on politics in britain and elsewhere:1-to hell with the lot of them

    Post  lost on Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:08 pm

    1.it seems to me that one of the problems with the form of general and indeed other elections in britain is that they mystify and create abstractions.whilst saphologists(?) think that they can attribute purpose to the electorates voting intentions i don't really accept this.i think its similar to the mystification of markets and indeed the whole economy where intent and purpose is explained as the hand of god or the hidden hand that in the case of the former does no good for any god of theology either.

    2.that all said,when the result came in that we had a hung parliament,with no easily established majority,i began articulating the view tat it represented a "plague on all your houses"outlook of the electorate.i am of course aware that the view expressed here in (1)and(2)do not fit easily together.

    3.the parties,particularly the dominant 3-tories/conservative,labour(ne labour)and lib.dems(liberal democrats-conducted a psychological dance with each other which led after a weekend to the announcement of a con.dem(conservative and liberal)coalition,with in my opinion no mandate,certainly no clear mandate for anything.i found myself suggesting that this meant they would or at least could be subject to endless,unrelenting criticism from evryone and anyone on a grand and permanent scale that might look like a huge ongoig satirical adventure-though i do not mean to imply it would be pleasurable.in making the "best of a bad job" this might offer brilliant opportunities for the left to educate,agitate and organise.

    4.what i failed to pay adequate attention to is the lack of an adequate left able to grow such opportunities of adequate political weight to be an alternative pole of attraction to act as memory and educator of "the class"(the working class)and other social forces able to create any kind of "better world".

    5.what i do not mean here is that the class needs educating from outside by a professional elite of full-time revolutionaries,nor that we have collective amnesia.

    6.what we certainly need is a counter-balance to the ideas,ideology and culture of the dominant social classes alongside the eans to generalise and develop and widen the impact of alternative ideas and experience of the working class to equip ourselves to not just fight back but to win the better world we deserve.

    7.i do not have a detailed blue print for that world we have to win,but that same realistraion should not liit our efforts to build something better in the here and now.we cannot postpone this to a distant or indeed and immediate future.we have to lay the seeds and build now.means and ends are both important.to fail to engage in tyhe endeavour of understanding and changing the world,does not simply postpone the future but it makes it into the "pie in the sky"that joe hill(of the IWW)and the marxists both attribute to theology.

    8....to be continued...

    lost,
    15/03/2011

    lost

    Number of posts : 151
    Registration date : 2010-12-13

    2.japan and britain-some awkward questions

    Post  lost on Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:30 pm

    1.my heart goes out to japanese people here in britain and in their homeland and indeed anywhere and everywhere else.i regret that i feel so powerless except to promote their cause and express solidarity here on this site.

    2.i suspect that like many other english people we have a view that japan is very foreign and exotic.whilst i am an internationalist i easily adit that my knowledge of the many other places in the world is very uneven.

    3.however,one of the joys of living in possibly the most mixed aqnd ethically diverse boroughs in london is exactly that mix.one of the most significant japanese communities in london lived in exactly this area untila few years ago when changes in the japanese economy resulted in many returning.

    4.so my young daughters grew up here where they are much more familiar with the diversity of the world bthan i grew up with.they,i hope have a sense of others as friends not strangers.the only problem for them is often that such friendships are curtailed when such guests return"home".

    5.then disaster bstrikes in the form of major earthquake,amongst the worst in recent history in the region,followed by the unstoppable destruction of tsunami and now the invisible terror of nuclear disaster.

    6.yet as is nearly always the case things are not quite what they appear.this is all far less of a natural disaster than it seems.the distibution of population along coasts and nearby industrial and commercial opportunities is not determined by nature.it results from economic choices,whch are not free,and at best are at best for most people choices made but not in circumstances of our own choosing.

    7.w hilst id do not doubt that this experience is damaging across social classes i suggest that the working population qand their depenedents along with the poor will suffer and struggle more than the owners and rulers.

    8.not knowing the particular history of the nuclear power industry in japan,i am left guessing about a lot of things.this in turn leaves me astonished that in view of that country's experience of war-when international war was brought toa terrible grinding and destructive end by the atomic/nuclear bobing of hiroshima and nagasaki in 1945.add to that its vulcanic vulnerability(that is not the right word).i am left gasping,but can take an educated guess that japanese workers have been lulled and conned itno forgetting their own history and p0ersuaded against at least common sense.yet is also suspect that underneath that response is a nagging doubt that comes out if fear,distrust and anger that now authority is not telling the truth of the risk and danger.

    9.this nuclear disaster as it palys itself out is now being compared withj previous disasters of asimilar nature and whatever its particular trajectory will inevitqably become pqart of adark history of danger,damage and "mistakes".going backwards is simply list chernobyl,three mile island/harrisburg.

    10.i hope that gthe campaign against nuclear in all its forms-weapons and energy will repeat some of the tactics of the past,which iuncluded sticking up labels and posters identifying wherever the campaign is with the target/victim area.

    11.i have a hazy recollection that the japanese left and associates have a powerful history.i recollecdt footage of anti-pollution demonstrations in tokyo that packed a literakl and metephorical punch.i hope that can be repeated esepcially in the face of what is reported as arising anger and the attention of the worlds media.


    12.in britain,i was peripheralli involed in anti nuclear campaigning in the past.much more in teh peace movement than in the technology,as i dont have agood handle on the technology or science.in recent years i recall occassional somewht complacent discussions in the media presenting nuclear power as aneccessary part of clean energy policy.i have experienced dissappointment as these reports often indicate that all the safety problems have been solved,the science has grown up.britain seems to have drifted into accepting a nuclear optiion forenergy thoughi dispute that anyone has given informed consent.the idealogues are now thrown itno confusion,although hinckley point is already going ahead.this provides the left with new opportunties although ia am c9oncerned that soe of the green movement have conceeded already.

    13,one of my working conclusions is that thsi all demonstrates that workers have no country but we do have a world to win and the factors described above give real opportunities for direct,meaningful solidarity.

    14.in teh short term focus of mainstream media this has pushed events in north africa and the middle east and in libya and bahrain in particular further down the news agenda,but we should not forget that actually whilst the issues migt be different workers share the common experience of not being able to trust any ofthose who rule over or exploit us.

    15.i know the details are differentre but im struck that within 48 hours a no flight zone is established in japan to reduce the spread of fallout and after 3 weeks of chatter and prevarication nothinbg has been offered to libyan resiwstance qand revolutionaries.britain as a ruling and imperialist power does excellent prevarication.

    16.its a pity that "to hell with the lot of them!"-all ruling classes and elites-is not a simpler task.but there are real oportunities here to build for a differet and genuinely more peaceful egalitarian future.

    lost,
    16/03/2011

    lost

    Number of posts : 151
    Registration date : 2010-12-13

    3.enter stage right,the thought police ....again

    Post  lost on Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:33 pm

    1.i have just heard again,via televiion news that the state will make another attempt to etablish legislation or a protocol to expect college staff effectively to spy on students,not imply to monitor behaviour but to re-read essays in the erach for sign of radicalisation.

    2.this undoubtedly primarilly focussed on ilamic radicalisation but could inevitably be ued to identify anyone deemed radical,extreme,perverse or even simply odd,difficult or out of step.

    3.this is not simply practically diffficult but raises isues about ethics,our so-called freedoms and much more.i wont go through alll the difficulties but there are many.

    4.but i cant help but sugget that this is an intensification after porevious failures of related if not similar efforts.

    5.probably a lot of us have been here before.i grew up into my teen and into adulthood when it became a badge of honour to believe or present that our telephones had been tapped.i believe there were more than everal occassions when friend,comrades or associates were stopped and asked about me or others.i am also aware that race and religion have been ued to target people before-black people harrased by police using various laws missapplied.i know that previou anti-terrorism legilation inclduing the 1976 pta/prevention of terrorism act had been used to arret,and effectively dissappear a scottish acquaintance for more than a weekend as he sounded irish.some employees were also questioned on the ferry to ireland on their way to a completely unrelated tudent event in belfast again a suspicious terrorists.of course my examples completely overlook the guildford 4,birmingham 6,and the systematic oppression of the irish and black communities.

    6.then when reference i made to secret police and ocial control elsewhere,a in the days of the tazi and old soviet block there was always a lot of tutting and denial that it could happen here.i imply ask what is the difference?i defend neither the stazi nor uch practice a i again being proposed now in britain.

    7.i alo learned the dangers of certain types of legislation from the past.i learned in my early education as a ssocialist about how some legilation argued for by the state for one purpose can then be twisted into omething else.hence 1930s public order legilation argued for to control the fascist right has actually been used more against the anti-fascists at the time and since,gthen againt the wider left and now is used more widely in a more simply criminal context.

    8.conpiracy legislation has also been used to widen uch a net,in both a criminal context and a political context.i believe that would take me straight back to the irih trouble as i believe the birmingham 6 and guildford 4 were alo charged with conspiracy and the bwnic 14/british withdrawal from northern ireland campaign defenfdent were certainly charged with conpiracy when there advice to soldiers conscientiouly or otherwise troubled by service in ireland and helped to leave military ervice wa viewed as coniracy to cause incitement to dissaffection.the state lost the argument,the trial collapsed.

    9.
    i would also however,make a point which relates to my own profesional practice.as a revolutionary socialist training to be a social worker in the 1970s,that experience took place in the context of many ideas being open and subject to question and debate,which broadly took shape in britain in the 1960s and 1970s around the development of a theme of the possibility of a radical social work.at it moderate end thi took the form of concern about the negative impact of change on well intended welfare provision,and at another of concern with particular practices,techniques and strategies humanise or radicalise an inadequate ocial provision.a third strand engaged the revolutionary socialists who deny that there are any esentially revolutionary practices although thi does not deny the importance of reform as a mean but not and end nor of the pathbreaking posibilities in the class struggle.

    10.that current primarilly around the magazine case con contributed to the growth of miltant trade unionism in welfare proviion as a means,which also in it success alo contributed toit own demise.

    11.i learned oem other related things,which included never exploiting client/ervice users as vehicles of our own political ideas,epecially where those service users could for example be in the hands of someone who whatever their ideas,at ease with or against the state,might still experience that ocial worker refuing money or taking a child into care.i think we all learned something of the relationhip of ideas to social practice.

    12.i like to think then that there is a coherence in my thinking in working in the criminal justice system in working for example with racist offenders although i would not claim that my ideas fit neatly and seamlessly together.

    13.let me clarify what i mean.as an anti racist,socialist committed to a more egalitarian outlook i might well act to physically stop fascists and racists,and challengeing the racist ideas at every time and opportunity.this is likely to debate more in the percieved interest of third parties inclduing victims and the public and may involve shutting down the racist,when any dicusion becomes a waste of time and effort with that bigotted viewpoint.in the professional context of dealing with racist opinion or with thoe convicted of racially aggravated or motivated offence i do not have the right to take them on in the same way.expression of such bigotry in front of third parties would be shut down apart from dicussions about the offending attitude or behaviour.discussion of uch issues might be systematically and repeatedly approached,though this does not neccessarilly involve the same urgency as on the street.

    14.thi may comd down at times to indicating indifference to the attitude but a foccussed cending to the behaviour.the individual can think what they like but cannot act on it.

    15.to bring this back to (islamist)radicalis,i find myelf in strange company.i may be critical of the ideas,and in the wider socio-political context might want to argue with them,but whilst actual terror i not only a criminal offense but is damagingly offfenive across the community,what anyone think is not.when a young woman was sentenced to prison for writing possibly bad and negative poetry in praise of islamic martyrs who may or may not have been convicted suicide bombers/terrorists,i or anyone ele might reject such effort but even an ex tory/conservative member of parliaent,matthew paris recognised that thinking is not acting.

    16.some chritian mysticism,based on the words of jesus christ does require us to censor our thinking in order to guard and limit our behaviour and gto bring humility toour judgement of others,but if we as a comunity agree to criminalisation of thought itself,and the possible imprisonment for thoughgt crime then we run the risk of us being next,along with anyone who think differently or in a manner that doe not fit.hitory is littered with the victimisation for thought crime including the inquiisition and stalinism.indeed the former was the educator of the eciond.

    17.we also deprive ourselves of the means to remove our rulers and oppressors who do convict us of thought crime butr would also be convicted by their action and behaviour.

    lost,
    16/03/2011

    such

    7.i would make another pointfear

    lost

    Number of posts : 151
    Registration date : 2010-12-13

    4.them and us -revisited

    Post  lost on Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:51 pm

    1.another news item that immmigration barriers are to be lowered to encourage and make entry to britain easier for the rich,entrepreneurs and academics.

    2.this is from a regime(government is a polite term they don't deserve)that cream about immigration being too high and then gerrymanders(fixe)it.

    3.this is racism.who needs a fascist/britih national party here,with a regime like this one?

    4.im also truck that having changed benefit o that the poor,the working poor and the working class will be chased out of the inner cities,especially from london.the rich can now move into the space these policie create.this will impact on the quality of life of us all.

    5.and it is another indication that workers have no country,our roots count for nothing.if are root are turned to illusion like sand,then our solidarity must not become sand.we mut rebuilt the conditions to take the world we have to win.

    lost,
    16/03/2011

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    Re: some observations on politics in britain and elsewhere:1-to hell with the lot of them

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