Saturday, 2 December 2006

Where the hell is Hilary?

Hilary Armstrong - Cabinet Minister, regular churchgoer, and woman - has said nothing whatever against the "Red Velvet" proposal. Her collusion in the Tory closure (in all but name) of Shotley Bridge Hospital was bad enough. Her whipping through of the massive deregulation of drinking, gambling, prostitution and pornography, and of the downgrading of cannabis, was far enough removed from her roots. But this is beyond belief, beyond obscenity, beyond anything. Where the hell is she? And why the hell is she still anywhere at all?


  1. You're just trying to shore up Catholic support in Consett, and wider theocon support everywhere of course, for when you put up as an Independent for MP.

    You pretty much had that sewn up anyway because the priests know you from being a Governor of St. Bede's. And of course you are a theocon's, especially a recationary Catholic's, wet dream of a parliamentary candidate. But you're just making sure. Everyone else should ignore you on this Red Velvet business.

  2. Spot on, TSADL! He'd love nothing better than a libel action. He could sell himself as a martyr like that ridiculous BA cross woman.

    There are more and more of these "We are the defenders of Western civilisation" Christian activists in Britain. They presumably have links to the heartlands in America. And in Italy, where the word "theocon" was invented to describe their atheist and agnostic fellow-travellers/useful idiots.

    Lindsay belongs to that school of Catholics who make great play of their orthodoxy and conservatism but hardly bother looking for priestly leadership except from Rome itself. Instead, upper middle class lay people are supposed to act as the Pope's militia, especialy in politics.

    Whole organisations have been set up on this basis, two in particular. One of them hardly exists outside Italy, although it nearly got itself a European Commissioner a couple of years ago. But the other one is really famous and reaches all over the world. Am I getting warm, David?

  3. Anyone would think that you wanted to be sued for libel David. Well, dont say I didnt try to help you! So, just out of interest David, what are you up to now that you are no longer in the labour party? Are you going to join another party? I cant imagine that you are keen to give up your political ambitions as you obviously put so much effort in to them.

  4. …such profanity David? Swearing is the last refuge of the unenlightened mind dear boy. I am curious, your politics seem all over the place, on one hand you claim to be a great shining beacon of strength when it comes to defending civil liberties against all comers, then you proceed to promote a state-sponsored moral code of what is and what is not acceptable. I am disgusted by the notion of lap-dancing clubs, with the degradation of women they provoke. However, I never pretend to be in favour of total civil liberties at the expense of a just society. You on the other hand do.

  5. What a busy weekend it seems to have been on here! Let no one say that there is no resurrection from the dead, with True Socialists Against David Lindsay and David Lindsay Watch both back at it! Perhaps something new will now appear on their respective blogs?

    For that matter perhaps it will become possible to read Blairites For Lindsay's Again? Or even Voice of Reason's for the first time ever?

    The Labour Party remains oblivious to my auto-exclusion (just how hard can it be to delete someone from a mailing list?), but I have never been so active politically as I am now, because the Labour Party (now purely an end in itself, and unrelated to real politics) no longer gets in the way.

    Specifically, I'm involved in comiling two national lists of endorsed parliamentary candidates for whom serious people might actually be inclined to vote (see below, and this seems to be the basis of the "auto-exclusion", although I've been told and don't care), and I putting together a thoroughly international collection of essays on the same theme, which already has a publisher lined up. So it's all go.

    BFL, how can be a Blairite and not a supporter of lap-dancing? How can you believe in the "free" market generally, but not in this, or indeed in absolutely anything else at all? Anyway, since you ask about my political philosophy, here goes.

    We are living in the final generation of the Labour and Conservative Parties as we have known them, and thus also, by a series of defaults, of the Liberal Democrats. Over the last decade, their members have overwhelmingly died, or quit, or simply stopped turning up to anything. Those who remain involved are mostly over 50, largely over 60, and quite commonly over 70.

    Older people's political participation is obviously most welcome, but on its own it gives the organisations themselves little remaining time to live if these demographic trends are not reversed, which there is not the slightest reason to suppose that they will be.

    Voter turnout is in free-fall, and the number of actual votes cast for the winning party has now declined at three successive General Elections. In some constituencies in 2005, as few as one in three of those eligible to vote convinced themselves that there was even the slightest reason for them to do so.

    Nationally, Labour won with a derisory twenty-two per cent of the eligible vote, while the Conservatives managed only a pitiful twenty per cent. There is the very strong possibility of a turnout below fifty per cent next time, calling most gravely into question the legitimacy of our democracy.

    The root of the problem is that the increasingly dictatorial central apparatus of both parties (which, at least since 7th July 2005, have largely functioned as a single organisation) has been taken over by what is in fact a Marxism which has merely changed its ending so that victory belongs to a bourgeoisie stripped of all its best characteristics (and thus to an America, that most bourgeois of countries, likewise so stripped).

    It retains intact its Marxist dialectical materialism, its Leninist vanguard élitism, its Trotskyist (specifically, Shachtmanite) entryism and belief in the permanent revolution, and yet also its Stalinist belief that the dictatorship of the victorious class should be built in a superstate and exported (including by force of arms) throughout the world while vanguard élites owe allegiance to that superstate rather than to their own countries.

    In this neoconservatism, the Whig, Jacobin and Marxist fallacy of human perfectibility by its own efforts and in this life alone (explicitly denied by, in and as the foundation of the Labour and Conservative traditions) reaches the nightmare point at which people believe that that perfection has actually come to pass, with the bell-curve of American wealth distribution (and of wealth distribution in other countries in so far as it conforms to that in the US) corresponding exactly to intelligence, talent, "merit", human worth.

    Thus, it is deemed to be no better than "ordinary" people deserve that, barely within one generation, we have gone from a situation in which a single manual wage could provide a high degree of comfort for the wage-earner, the homemaker and several children, to one in which anything like such a manner of life is beyond the reach even of a childless couple with two professional salaries.

    The incomes of the poorest fifth of the population have declined since 1997, but no one in the neoconservative political class cares in the slightest, since that class now takes it as axiomatic that the poor deserve their poverty.

    By contrast, I believe in the universal and comprehensive Welfare State, and in the strong statutory and other (including trade union) protection of workers, consumers, communities and the environment, the former delivered by the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government, the whole paid for by progressive taxation, and all these good things underwritten by full employment. In a word, Socialism (although it is called other things in other countries, where Socilaism means different things, especially in languages other than English).

    These are the only means to the conservation or restoration (as the overwhelming majority of Britons wishes) of such good things as national self-government (the only basis for international co-operation, and including the United Kingdom as greater than the sum of its parts), local variation, historical consciousness, family life, religion (specifically, the Christianity professed by 72% of Britons at the last census), agriculture, manufacturing, small business, close-knit communities, law and order, civil liberties, academic standards, all forms of art, mass political participation within a constitutional framework, all of which "free" market capitalism corrodes to nought, both directly and by driving despairing millions into the arms of equally corrosive Jacobinism, Marxism, anarchism or Fascism.

    Just as one cannot logically oppose the decadent social libertinism deriving from the 1960s without also opposing the decadent economic libertinism deriving from the 1980s (or vice versa), and just as one cannot logically oppose the European Union's erosion of our self-government and culture without also opposing that by global capital and by American hegemony (or vice versa), so likewise one cannot logically oppose the unrestricted movement of people without also opposing that of goods, services and capital (or vice versa).

    Liberty, equality and fraternity are inseparable from nationhood, family and property, since liberty (the freedom to be virtuous, and to do anything not specifically proscribed) is inseparable from equality (the means to liberty, and never to be confused with mechanical uniformity), thus from fraternity (the means to equality), thus from nationhood (a space in which to be unselfish), thus from family (the nation in miniature, where unselfishness is first learnt), and thus from property (each family's safeguard both against over-mighty commercial interests and against an over-mighty State, and therefore requiring to be as widely diffused as possible), which is the guarantor of liberty as here defined.

    Marxists, including neoconservatives, are correct that the family, private property and the State have a common origin, with each absolutely necessary in order to maintain the other two; but Marxists, including neoconservatives, are wrong to see this as a bad thing, and therefore to desire the withering away of the State, which they know would be the withering away of the family and of private property, and which they want precisely for that wicked reason.

    The neoconservatives (including David Cameron and Tony Blair, the former's "liberal-conservatism" being a distinction without a difference) do in fact recognise all of this, but they follow Leo Strauss in hiding their true views from the electorate. We must be determined to expose them, and to defeat them.

    A candidate (of any party or none) who held these views could reach at least half of the 34% that consistently says that it is not going to vote at the next General Election. That figure is ignored when opinion polls are published: they have been recalculated so as to discount it. But Conservative support is really at about 26%, Labour's is at about 24%, and the Liberal Democrats' is below 16% (taking account for people who support parties even more minor than those three have managed to make themselves). So 17% would be doing better than the Liberal Democrats.

    All we need now are the candidates (the means of letting people know who they are already exist).

    You did ask!

  6. Oh, and in response to DLW's strange final paragraph, the first reference seems to be to Communion and Liberation, on which I must plead ignorance: as DLW says, it hardly exists outside Italy.

    But the second reference is clearly to Opus Dei (why be afraid to name it?), of which, for the record and not because I accept that it matters in the least, I am not a member, nor have I ever knowingly met one.

    But Ruth Kelly is a member of Opus Dei; and indeed she is politically quite a right-wing one, it seems. The President of the Socialist International, Antonio Guterres (I'm sure I've misspelt that; UN High Commissioner for Refugees and former PM of Portugal) has a long history in Opus Dei.

    Its ranks also include Squire Lance, Antonio Fontan, Poala Binetti and Xavi Casajuana (if we count Catalan nationalism as part of the Left - it's certainly a VERY long way from Franco), among others. So, insofar as it has a political orientation, Opus Dei's would seem to be towards the Left, if anything. Perhaps I should join it after all?

    And BFL, there would be no basis on which to enact legislation if there were no "state-sponsored moral code". I'd have thought that that what was obvious. But there I go, sounding like a member of Opus Dei again, I suppose.

    Well, good, because you can accuse the pioneers of the three British political traditions of many things, but believing in the moral neutrality of the State is certainly not one of them! Blairites (including Cameroons), on the other hand...