Sunday 4 December 2022
A New Low?
Nadhim Zahawi screams "Putin!" at nurses the meeting of whose pay claim would give each of them less than he claimed in parliamentary expenses to heat his stables. This is what all critics of the prevailing economic order can now expect, and that is why our masters are prolonging the war in Ukraine by backing one of the bad sides, there being no good side, as there almost never is.
Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe, its Army has been taken over by gangs that the world of the Far Right connects to the global criminal underworld, and NATO Turkey has brought in jihadists from Syria, who have already bombed the Kerch Bridge under British direction. It is no surprise that, according to the President of Nigeria, arms to Ukraine are turning up in the Chad Basin, in the hands of the likes of Boko Haram. Coming to a concert arena near you.
In Syria, rather than in Iraq, NATO and the Five Eyes have always approved of IS so forcefully that they even trafficked British schoolgirls to immediate impregnation by its fighters there. The people who thought that the 15-year-old Shamima Begum was capable of being full culpability, even when joining the side that they were supporting, think that the 83-year-old Lady Susan Hussey should be excused, also on grounds of age. Some of them are insisting that Ngozi Fulani is not an admittedly reprehensible person's real name, yet neither the King nor any other patrilineal descendant of the late Duke of Edinburgh goes by Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.
Somehow, those people's view at least of that particular 15-year-old does not preclude either Labour's desire to restore the "legal but harmful" clause of the Online Safety Bill, or the Government's proposal to replace it with something that was at best no better. Yet these are the people who have given us, or who did not oppose and would not repeal, the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act, the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Act, the Nationality and Borders Act, the Elections Act, and the staggering Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act.
These are the people who have given us, or who did not oppose and would not repeal, the even more stunning Public Order Bill. This is the Government that is imposing identity cards initially in order to vote, and this is the Opposition that would impose identity cards across the board. These are the persecutors of Julian Assange. Yet these are the people with the gall to laud those who "could display only blank sheets of paper" in China, despite having already arrested protesters who had merely displayed blank sheets of paper in Britain.
Under either the Government's or the Official Opposition's proposal, there would be a ban on any online political communication with anyone under the age of 18 or who had not yet left school, all the way down to Messenger, other than the content of the Citizenship courses taught in schools. Those are backed up by Prevent, which is in turn based on a proven hoax that implicated both Michael Gove and one of the grandest of the Labour Right's municipal grandees, Sir Albert Bore of Birmingham. This ban may also extend to undergraduates and perhaps even to postgraduates, since those are classified as "vulnerable adults" for "Safeguarding" purposes.
Vote Labour for what? To put Patricia Hewitt or Sir Michael Barber back into government? They are both already there. In the last seven years, the factions semi-clandestinely behind Downing Street have ranged from the Revolutionary Communist Party to the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, but these days we have to make do with Patricia Bloody Hewitt. Under Keir Starmer, Will Dry would presumably simply keep his job as a Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, with a roving brief across the Policy and Briefing Unit, in his very early twenties. In that case, why change the Prime Minister?
Dry's progress has been unaffected by his local expulsion from the Conservative Party due his being a member of the Labour Party. Nor, indeed, does Rishi Sunak appear to have taken any exception to Dry's Labour Party membership, which Dry would seem to have retained. His Our Future Our Choice was an astroturfing operation to subvert the Leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, and he is reaping his reward.
More broadly, what are now the highly international faculties at Oxbridge and comparable institutions can no longer even detect the class indicators that are the main things taught by private schools, and they are not minded to admit anyone based purely on a clutch of IGCSEs. Having been denied admission to the universities that they did not quite consider beneath them, the intense ideologues who had hitherto gone straight into these overtly political roles at 22 will henceforth be going straight into them at 19. They will retain those roles no matter who had won anything so vulgar as an election.
Yet hope springs eternal. Opinium is saying that if you fed the current polling data into the boundary changes, then Labour would be three seats short of an overall majority. I was screamed down in various fora for saying for years before the General Election of 2010 that it was going to result in a hung Parliament. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 Election was called, a prediction that I am not aware was made by anyone else at any time during that very long campaign. And I have now been saying for months that there was going to be a hung Parliament in 2024. Everyone else is catching up. Again.
We are heading for a hung Parliament. To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.
Labour is already openly down one seat. It expresses no hope of retaining Islington North against Corbyn. Its candidate there would be lucky to place fourth. But if Corbyn really were a friend of Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA, a man with links to the regimes in Russia and Iran, then there would be no applicants to become that candidate. No one would dare. Would you? Well, there you are, then.
The same has always been true of Corbyn in general. If anyone had ever thought that he really was in a position to send round the boys from South Beirut and West Belfast, from Kerry and Khan Yunis, then they would have shown him a great deal more respect, in the Tony Soprano sense of the word. That they have not and do not, proves conclusively that they did not and do not. The simple presence of a Labour candidate against Corbyn will reiterate that fact.
As a Commonwealth citizen who is not serving a term of imprisonment either in the United Kingdom or in the Republic of Ireland, Assange is eligible to contest an election to the British House of Commons from anywhere in the world. He should therefore do so against Starmer.
And there is talk of bringing back David Miliband. If he is remembered at all in Britain, then it is as a joke, with his banana. But he was perpetrating great evil behind that. He would need to be opposed by one of the two remaining active politicians who were most associated with opposition to extraordinary rendition and with support for the cause of the Chagos Islands. One of those politicians is Corbyn. The other removed Roy Jenkins from the Commons, and Miliband is no Jenkins. Step forward, George Galloway.