Saturday, 20 August 2016


I remember watching the amazing performance of Nicola Sturgeon in the April 2015 Leadership debates and the amazing reaction to her policies from an English audience.  In fact, Nicola was not alone in winning popularity among the audience, the left wing policies of Leanne Wood and Natalie Bennett were equally as appealing.  For the first time in years, I began to feel that change was possible.

On the male front of that debate, we had (slight) variations on the Blair prototype, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, career politicians raised on a diet of George Orwell and Debretts Peerage alongside a ranting pub bore who supposedly says what (nasty)people are thinking. 

I unashamedly miss the days when the Labour benches were fairly represented by men and women who came up through the Unions and the communities in which they lived and worked.  And by work, I don't mean going straight into a top level intern job via family connections.  I mean people who won their place in parliament through passion, talent and a true understanding of why change was desperately needed. MPs like Dennis Skinner who uses exactly the right vernacular to point out what the tories are up to.   

In those days I was a proud, card carrying member of the Labour party, and helping meant standing at the door of the election hall and picking up the elderly and disabled and bringing them down to vote.  And it wasn't just Labour who did this, it was common practice for all parties to knock on every door prior to the election, and if a 'known' labour voter didn't turn up, we would go and get them! And just for clarity, there was no trotskyte arm twisting - texting wasn't an option at that time.  It was all very good natured and sociable, though I fear those with the more luxurious cars may have had the edge. 

The fundamental difference between then and now, is the huge chasm that has grown between the representatives in Parliament and the people they are supposed to represent.  When I heard Tony Blair respond to anti social behaviour by stating 'hooligans' would be marched to the nearest cash point and fined £100 on the spot, my attitude towards him changed forever. It might work where the Bullingdon Boys hang out, but it is laughable on a sink estate. 

Most of the people I know haven't seen a politician for years - like Jehova's Witnesses they appear to have become extinct.  It seems the only ones fearless enough to enter the desolate wastelands of what once was England, are UKIP and Britain First, accompanied by heavily built minders.  It may be that those laissez faire politicians steer clear because they have developed a conscience (unlikely) and can't bear to look at what they have done or they prefer to spend their days on social media - they reach more people that way doncha know. 

My own personal gripe is with those female MPs who are using their gender to get sympathy and special treatment - all the time they are whining, they do not represent me, or indeed any other real feminist.  I cringed at Angela Eagle's use of the female and gay card.  She is supposed to represent ALL her constituents, the men too.  And for most women, being gay and female isn't the biggest crisis they face right now.  Keeping their kids housed and fed and taking care of  their elderly and disabled is their screaming number one priority.  Ditto those female MPs making such a song and dance about abuse on the internet. As the target of trolls for almost 10 years, I realised early on that the only power I have is over the way in which I react.  They get their thrill from the imagined fear/anger/ outrage of the recipient, but tis the recipient that is screwing up their heads, not the other way around.  

As for calmer, kinder, politics?  Are they for real, try as they might they cannot fade out the harsh effects of their unthinking legislation.  How, in 2016, did we get to the stage where we need food banks?  What would all those great reformers make of Labour Party policy that has allowed society's most vulnerable to be left destitute and hungry?  Those in Labour who have allowed this to happen should hang their heads in shame. 

Like it or not there is a revolution stirring, New Labour have for some time been standing on two legs and passing the brandy while the rest of us have been peering through the windows unable to distinguish human from animal. We have almost reached that 'let them cake' stage, where those in the PLP think if they stay inside the Palace and ignore the crowds outside they will go away. 

And before anyone accuses me of inciting revolution, I am merely pointing out that history has a tendency to repeat itself (often).  Years of austerity and poor bashing has changed the public mood.  People have now seen through this 'deserving' and 'undeserving poor' ploy as the cruel and vindictive tory policy that it is.  Having been bombarded with 'Benefits' programs, it's quite obvious life on the dole is not the state funded gravy train the hard workers may have thought.  It's harsh, it's grim, and it's evil.  Hegel's dialectic is playing out.

Happily Jeremy Corbyn is a democratic through to his bones.  His sense of fairness and justice puts most of us to shame.  Not least the way in which he remains calm and rational in the face of Owen Smith's constant whinging. If there were ever any doubts about Jeremy's qualities as a leader, his ability not to rise to Owen's (or indeed anyone's) snidey digs is one of his greatest. Jeremy is the Statesman I want in the room when the super powers are deciding who to carpet bomb.      

New Labour have spent years indoctrinating us not to expect too much. That way we will be happy with whatever scraps are thrown.  The internet has changed all that, we know austerity is cruel and pointless and we know it is possible to change the future.    

In recent years I have discovered the wonderful philosophy of 'Law of Attraction' - that is like attracts like.  Watching the hustings, I cringe at the doom and gloom spouted by Owen Smith, and wonder if we should all go and cut our throats now.  Jeremy Corbyn offers hope, and he's inspiring.  He gives us a glimpse of a future that could easily become a reality.  He (and all the academics) are telling us it doesn't have to be this way.  Even old sceptics like myself can see that it's working, that the message is getting out there.  And numbers do matter.  All the thousands who go to see Jeremy in person, spread the message onto thousands more.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016


I really think it is time for Owen Smith to pack up his ice cream truck, go home, sit in his bedroom and think about what he has done.  His outer face is the cool, calm, patronising politician, but his eyes scream 'what have I done?'.

This 'unity' candidate has unified no-one, in fact I would imagine the corridors leading to his office are filled with tumbleweed as no-one appears to be beating a path to his door.  Where are the 172? They deserted their posts nearly 2 months ago and Parliament is in summer recess.  Angela Eagle is too busy to attend a meeting with her constituency party and isn't holding surgeries on police advice.  What of the rest of them?  The shadow cabinet ministers especially, are they too enjoying an extended summer break? Imagine a workforce telling a boss they don't like him and they won't do any work until he goes.  All on full pay of course.   

Where are the Lords and Ladies of Labour, so condemnatory when they thought Jeremy Corbyn would just step aside and give them 'their' party back.  If Owen Smith is the unity candidate why aren't they accompanying him as he struggles to raise an audience anywhere around the country?  Could it be that the big names of the Labour hierarchy are not as loved and revered by the public as they think they are, and the working classes have got bugger all to thank them for?  The only crowd likely to turn up for Loadsamoney Blair would be an angry one demanding justice for the trail of death, destruction and poverty he has left in his wake.

I've watched Owen's car crash interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy  a couple of times now, and I am astonished that anyone, let alone a sane person, ever thought for one moment, that Owen Smith would appeal to the Labour Party membership who have been inspired by the honesty of Jeremy Corbyn and his passion and commitment for change.  The spin doctors in Westminster are caught in Blair era timewarp.  They think they are dealing with the same generation who only had access to 'approved news' via a MSM who work hand in hand with the government. 

Times have changed, wannabe leaders can no longer cherry pick those parts of their CVs that might make them popular. Those who compiled the Blair/Clinton prototype of clean cut, attractive, middle aged white guy in a smart suit are still trying to appeal to the Mirror/Sun/Mail readers who haven't yet discovered the internet.  They don't seem to realise that these are the fastest shrinking demographic, the sales and the power of the mainstream newspaper is diminishing rapidly.  The Sun newspaper can no longer change the result of a General Election with a doom mongering front page and established columnists now have to compete with talented bloggers, movers and shakers, who's work is far more pertinent to the zeitgeist than theirs. 

I'm really struggling to understand why Owen Smith was chosen as the unity candidate.  If I were writing his school report, I would have described him as the boy most likely to.......  sell London Bridge to a tourist.  He is so transparent and nondescript, I wonder if the Labour hierarchy even bothered to meet him before selecting him as their hammer of the Left?   With my tin foil hat on, it's as if their carefully contrived plan to break him as a man was a done deal with David Milliband flying in from the US to take over. They knew selecting Ed over Dave was a mistake, doh! Unfortunately, Jeremy Corbyn's failure to resign threw a massive spanner in the works, and they didn't have a Plan B. 

The sheer ineptness of the first two leadership candidates suggests the selection was done on who drew the shortest straw.  I almost feel sorry for the bumbling Angela Eagle who was so out of her depth she needed a coast guard or a guarantee no-one else would be on the ballot paper. I expect she is now breathing a huge sigh of relief as she watches Owen Smith going round the country making an eejit of himself in front of very small crowds. 

The problem Owen has is that he is a shapeshifter.  Whilst Jeremy's beliefs are lifelong, Owen's rarely last 24 hours.  He tells us he is anti austerity then tells the BBC austerity is right.  He is radical left he tells us, whilst also wanting to appeal to the tories.  Unfortunately he is now so confused with Left/Right and Centre, he wants to do away with those terms altogether.  He is a Smithite he tells us, I thought he was talking about the late, great, John, but no, he was talking about himself - don't think it will catch on.. 

It's hard not to wonder if he has any, or indeed any sane, advisors? He want's to overturn the democratic decision of millions in the recent referendum because HE wants to stay in Europe. Err, that's not how democracy works Owen, it's not about you.  Just as you are ignoring the overwhelming consensus of the labour party membership, you are ignoring the democratic decision of the country.  You don't want to go into Brexit negotiations looking for the best deal for the UK, you want to be as difficult and combative as possible, using bureaucracy and administration to hold the process up.  Those are not the intentions or actions of a Statesman, they are the actions of a spoilt kid taking his ball back until everyone does what he wants.  No-one likes the child who insists he has his cake and eats it, then giggles as if it were endearing. It is as if Owen completely bypassed that childhood milestone where most of us learn how to play fair. 

Owen Smith policies are off the cuff, probably plucked from thin air as he waits for his TV time slot. He is waving around a figure of £200billion to invest in communities and rebuilding as if he has spent a lifetime drafting socialist policies that would restore the economy, rather than something he has drawn up in the last two weeks when he went from moderate to radical. Not quite sure how the £200billion tallies with his belief that austerity is right, but there you go.   

I don't think there can now be any doubt now that Jeremy Corbyn will win the Labour Leadership and the next general election.  While Owen was telling Jeremy he should be out there talking to the people, he was, err, out there talking to the people, 10,000 of them in Liverpool.  A supporter of Owen's smugly tweeted that Owen's televised interview reached millions, all very well, but if they won't go out to see him, they won't go out to vote for him.  Besides which, the reason the majority of Labour MPs have become disengaged from the electorate because they only see them on the telly!  Deh!  Most people I know haven't seen a Labour politician in years.  And it looks as though they won't be seeing them during this long summer vacation either.    

In the end Owen Smith's legacy, albeit inadvertently, will be a complete change in the principles and ideology of the Labour Party, a return to it's roots and values.  Since records began, the people of the United Kingdom established a reputation worldwide for justice, equality and enlightenment that has made the UK one of the most advanced democratic societies in the world. In the last century, the will of the people brought in the Welfare State and the NHS despite the opposition of the ruling elite. 

Jeremy Corbyn is reaching out to all those ignored by the Labour party for over two decades.  Those not worth bothering with because they don't go out to vote anyway.  UKIP spotted this gap in the market years ago, and they have capitalising on it ever since.  They go out knocking on doors, they put up stalls in town centres and they try to convince little old ladies that the friendly Indian chap who drops off their groceries is a probably a terrorist.  As despicable as UKIP are, they are putting in the graft and the shoe leather.  TV time doesn't compare to getting out there and talking to people individually.  Jeremy voted against benefit cuts because he knows how devastating the effects are, he listens and he cares.  He understands the way in which heartless tory and new labour legislation impacts on the people who have to live with it.  In his comfy television studio chair, all Owen Smith knows about poverty comes from the imaginations of established left wing writers who spend more time opining about their own problems than those of the forgotten communities they drive past. 

Owen Smith is appealing to the middle classes, as if they have the same 'got the foreman's job at last' values as he has [the working class can kiss my arse].  In his appeal to voters, he didn't even mention the working classes, the unemployed and the disabled.  The tories and the middle classes got top spot.  It's as if he is afraid to say the word 'disabled' in case anyone remembers he abstained from voting on the Welfare bill, not to mention those killed and maimed by dodgy legal drugs pedalled to them by an unscrupulous pharmaceutical company. 

I almost pity Owen Smith at the moment, it looks to me as if the 172 and the old party leaders are showing as much loyalty to him as they did to Jeremy. It seems none of them want to share a platform with a dead duck and he faces a future of watching and re-watching where it all went wrong as he shimmies off back to the private sector.