Murdoch Times warns of a ‘revolution’ – so always keep ahold of nurse for fear of finding something worse
Today in the Sunday Times leader, the un-named author/s summarised the results of the local elections before moving on to what they called “The real story of these elections . . . the journey towards self-destruction of a once-great political party, the Tories” – opening the way for a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
The Momentum myth
They described the ‘hard-left takeover’ of what until four years ago was a moderate, centre-left party continuing. “Should it succeed in taking Mr Corbyn and John McDonnell into Downing Street, the revolution would be complete”. Pictured, so-called ‘hard-left’ revolutionaries in our second city: stable, thoughtful, courteous, concerned.
The so-called progress that has enriched Britain’s 1% since the 1980s – they forecast – would be destroyed in several ways:
- plans to renationalise the water industry without anything like full compensation for shareholders,
- which could easily be the template for other parts of the economy,
- the return of state control
- and the re-unionisation of the workforce
It could easily happen:
“The Tories and Labour were tied on 31% each in Thursday’s elections. This would be enough, in our first-past-the-post system, to give the Tories 279 Commons seats and Labour 268. Mr Corbyn, under these circumstances, could form an alliance with the Scottish National Party to govern, a prospect that would not only guarantee a swathe of left-wing policies but would also bring the break-up of the United Kingdom much closer”.
And once the Brexit Party is added to the mix, with its capacity to damage the Tories in a general election as well as the forthcoming European elections, Labour’s chances would improve immeasurably. It might just win with a low share of the vote. The Tories would have brought this about, but the whole country would be the loser:
“Mr Corbyn can still win . . . Italy may be the ‘sick man of Europe’ for now, but under Labour that title would be up for grabs again”.
Ed: The 1% might well feel sick, but the 99% would benefit enormously from having a uniquely caring, corporate-free, incorruptible prime minister.
He points out that the book has been widely acknowledged as a key historical text. Routledge describes its 1902 publication, Imperialism: A Study, by English economist John Hobson (right), as “an epoch-making study of the politics and economics of imperialism that shook imperialist beliefs to their core”.
The review continues: “A committed liberal, Hobson was deeply sceptical about the aims and claims of imperialistic thought at a time when Britain’s empire held sway over a vast portion of the globe”.
Our reader draws attention to Hobson’s reference to the “ignominious passion of Judenhetze” – a total vindication of the man
Martin Ceadel, in Semi-detached idealists: The British peace movement and international relations, 1854-1945 (Oxford University. Press, 2000, p.155), writes: ‘J.A. Hobson, an Oxford-educated economist who had been denied academic preferment on account of his heterodox opinions, reported on South Africa for the Manchester Guardian and published three books on the conflict. The first … was a survey of the local origins of the war. It emphasized the role of “a small confederacy of international financiers working through a kept press”. Although Hobson was embarrassed by the fact that many of these were Jewish, noting the difficulty of stating “the truth about our doings in South Africa without seeming to appeal to the ignominious passion of Judenhetze”,(30) some other opponents of the war, including the budding writers G.K. Chesteron and Hilaire Belloc, welcomed the chance the war offered to indulge in anti-Semitism.’ (31*).
In addition to the response of Bradford peace historian, Hon. General Coordinator of the International Network of Museums for Peace and others, Donald Sassoon, Emeritus professor of comparative European history, Queen Mary University of London, quotes more extreme expressions used at the time by Virginia Woolf and even Theodor Herzl, the “father” of Zionism. He concludes:
“The campaign about antisemitism in Corbyn’s Labour party is getting absurd. Hobson’s Imperialism: A Study has been taught for years in universities up and down the country (I taught it myself). No one has ever felt the need to highlight the 10 lines or so, in a book of 400 pages, which are antisemitic, but Corbyn was expected to do so”.
The book has been widely acknowledged as a key historical text
In a 1995 pamphlet for the Fabians (page 11), Tony Blair described Hobson as “probably the most famous Liberal convert to what was then literally ‘new Labour’.”
In his 2005 Chatham House speech on liberty and the role of the state, Gordon Brown cited Hobson with approval.
The cover of the 2011 edition published by Spokesman Books (left), to which Jeremy Corbyn wrote the foreword, carries a Guardian review which said Hobson’s Imperialism belongs to the small group of books in the years from 1900 to the outbreak of war that have definitely changed the contours of social thought.’
In 2015 the Guardian’s former political editor Michael White wrote: “At his Nottingham rally someone thrust into my hand a copy of JA Hobson’s influential classic, Imperialism (1902) whose 2011 edition contains Jeremy’s own perfectly decent introductory essay. Its analysis will impress many”.
Yesterday, Phil Miller, journalist, researcher and film producer quoted Glyn Secker, secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour: “Daniel Finkelstein, in his scurrilous piece for the Times (April 30th), ingeniously cobbles together quotes from two different books by Hobson . . . (he) does in one passage make a reference to the Jewish element in international finance and to the Rothschilds as did many others at that time. But he also referred to JP Morgan and Cecil Rhodes — neither of them Jewish — as examples of financiers backing imperialism”.
On May 1st and 2nd, Henry Zeffman produced two similar articles for the Times on the subject. In one, he added that Barry Gardiner, the shadow international trade secretary, told BBC Radio 5 Live that Hobson was a key figure in intellectual history and that the book was a seminal work on imperialism. “He is a historical figure who was an intellectual who understand the transition from imperialism into a new society. Insofar as that book is an important book, does it contain the antisemitism of its period? Yes it does. Do we expunge a book like that from the historical record and say nobody should read it? No. Of course they should.”
And Jeremy Corbyn’s record vindicates him; MP Chris Williamson has pointed out that the Labour party, and in particular the leader, has done more, recently, to address the scourge of anti-Semitism than any political party.
The unconvinced may read forty reasons listed by Anna Boyle illustrating the truth of his statement.
*Footnote 30 refers to Hobson’s The War in South Africa: Its Causes and Effects (1900), 189, 229.
*Footnote 31: C. Hirschfield, ‘The Anglo-Boer War and the Issue of Jewish Culpability’, Journal of Contemporary History, 15 (1980), 19-31.
Amended: 6th May 2019
Corbyn has stumbled on to a battlefield, little prepared for the heavy historic burden he shoulders
Award-winning journalist Jonathan Cook points out that, despite Corbyn’s years spent as an anti-racism activist, the corporate elite have ‘weaponised’ anti-semitism not because they care about the safety of Jews, or because they really believe that Corbyn is anti-semitic – witness his support for the Palestinian people who are also semitic.
“Corbyn has become a lightning rod for the wider machinations of the ruling elite. They want him destroyed, like blowing up a bridge to stop an advancing army . . . It is a sign both of their desperation & their weakness that they have had to resort to the nuclear option, smearing him as an anti-semite.
“They chose it because it is the most destructive weapon – short of sex-crime smears & assassination – they have in their armoury . . . (they) are exploiting British Jews & fuelling their fears as part of a much larger power game in which all of us – the 99% – are expendable. Other, lesser smears were tried first:
- that he was not presidential enough to lead Britain;
- that he was anti-establishment;
- that he was unpatriotic;
- that he might be a traitor.
“None worked. If anything, they made him more popular”.
And so a “more incendiary charge was primed”
In 2011, Jeremy Corbyn wrote a foreword for a revised edition of Imperialism: A Study, written by John A Hobson in 1902. In his commentary, FT journalist Jim Pickard shows no interest in Corbyn’s most serious charges – that NATO had been responsible for a “military reoccupation” of Europe after the second world war and that the US had been trying “to create an empire of the mind” through weaponry, the CIA and the use of culture and the media.
Instead, the Times and the Financial Times have focussed on Hobson’s statement that “the very heart of the business capital of every state, (is) controlled, so far as Europe is concerned, by men of a single and peculiar race, who have behind them many centuries of financial experience, they are in a unique position to control the policy of nations.”
*The fact that control of the press, banking and economic monopolies at the time rested mainly in Jewish hands is not disputed and they confine themselves to criticising as anti-Semitic the expression of these truths, in an early 20th century form of ‘political correctness’ – branding the Labour Party leader as being guilty by association.
*For further reading about the extent of Jewish economic power in Victorian times see the Jewish academic Vadim Rossman: ‘Russian Intellectual Antisemitism in the Post-Communist Era’: pp105-7
On Tuesday, the Institute for Public Policy Research launches its Environmental Justice Commission (EJC) and people are coming together across Conservative, Labour and Green parties to serve on it – leading figures from business, academia, civil society, trade unions, youth and climate activism.
Ed Miliband, Labour MP for Doncaster North and a former leader of the Labour party; Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion and Laura Sandys, a former Conservative MP for South Thanet, have written about this and many readers’ comments are well worth reading. Important points made are summarised below
Too often the issue of climate change seems marginal to the public’s concerns, when it is in fact central.
This will be done by committing to a Green New Deal (GND), with an unprecedented mobilisation and deployment of resources to tackle the accelerating climate crisis and transform our economy and society for all. Read more on the Green New Deal website.
Its aims are to:
- mobilise a carbon army of workers to retrofit and insulate homes, cutting bills, reducing emissions and making people’s lives better
- move to sustainable forms of transport and zero-carbon vehicles as quickly as possible, saving thousands of lives from air pollution
- end the opposition to onshore wind power and position ourselves as a global centre of excellence for renewable manufacturing
- protect and restore threatened habitats and
- secure major transitions in agriculture and diets that are essential if we are to meet our obligations.
People have been asking how we can revive communities that have been left out of prosperity. They ask whether they and their children will be able to get work and also what the quality of that work will be and what skills will be needed. ECJ believes GND has the potential to do this.
The areas of policy mentioned above answer the immediate economic concerns of people for jobs and hope. Green jobs must be secure and decently paid, with a central role for trade unions in a just transition for all workers and communities affected.
The commission will aim to help the UK to take a lead, believing that there is economic and societal advantage in doing so. An increasing number of people, young and old, see that the way we run our economy is damaging our climate, our environment and our society, but that, crucially, it is within our power to change it for the better. And change it we must.
MMR: Why not allow the single vaccine option, in use elsewhere and widely accepted in ‘60s & ‘70s Britain?
Reblogged from Chemical Concern.
Most of the inconvenienced – who snipe at those ‘ecowarriers’ who were not born in poverty and who travel to their meetings in cars (ha ha) – ask why they do not put their arguments in a civilised fashion. Politicians even ask why demonstrators do not stand for election – failing to realise the widespread loss of confidence in parliament and the political process.
Diana Schumacher and Mayer Hillman are just two of those worldwide who have indeed presented their findings in a civilised way
Mayer Hillman, architect and town planner, changed direction by completing a PhD on transport, planning and environmental issues, said recently: “We must stop using the fuels and learn very, very quickly that life must be lived very locally.”
After decades of researching, speaking and writing on climate change and other topics, he announced his withdrawal – scornful of individual action which he describes as being “as good as futile . . . even if the world went zero-carbon today that would not save us because we’ve gone past the point of no return . . . national action is also irrelevant because Britain’s contribution is minute. Even if the government were to go to zero carbon it would make almost no difference.”
He advises the world’s population to move to zero emissions across agriculture, air travel, shipping, heating homes – every aspect of our economy – and to reduce our human population but is not optimistic, asking:
- “Can you see everyone in a democracy volunteering to give up flying?
- Can you see the majority of the population becoming vegan?
- Can you see the majority agreeing to restrict the size of their families?”
Hillman points out that “Wealthy people will be better able to adapt but the world’s population will head to regions of the planet such as northern Europe which will be temporarily spared the extreme effects of climate change. How are these regions going to respond? We see it now. Migrants will be prevented from arriving. We will let them drown.”
Diana Schumacher has contributed chapters to numerous international publications on ethics, ecology and the environment.
Her main interests are the 4 E’s – Energy, Environment, Education and Economics – connected basics of a holistic approach to sustainability.
The cover of one of her books, Energy: Crisis or Opportunity?, reviewed in the New Scientist, symbolically weighs nuclear power stations and wind-power in the balance. She continues to disseminate the teaching of the radical economist E.F Schumacher, author of “Small is Beautiful – economics as if people mattered” which called for economies to be decentralized, human-scaled, and based upon appropriate sustainable technologies.
Disruption appears to be the only way to break through the thick screen erected by powerful vested economic interests. If current action gets results and is able to mitigate and even halt climate instability leading to flood, famine, wildfires, storms and earthquake, some impeded travel and business is a price well worth paying.
And if ’business as usual’ continues and the scale and number of disasters in 2018 alone increases, Earth Strike warns of the threat of action by the millions who will be hardest hit by soaring food and healthcare costs and whose only homes will be destroyed by natural disasters and rising sea levels.
Millions of intelligent caring people all over the world have quietly presented their case and been sidelined; now the young – who see clear signs of global disaster looming -are fighting for their survival and that of future generations.
When Janice Turner (Times 20.04.19) reported from the campsite on Oxford Circus, a young woman told her she’s gone on “baby strike”. With oceans warming, Greenland melting, coral reefs dead, why would she bring a child into the world? Others are coming to the same conclusion. We summarise her message:
If there’s one thing to make Middle England care about the planet, it’s being denied their grandchildren.
Oxford Street will be returned to a choking hell-scape and these protesters will multiply and muster in the most inconvenient places. The government will have to decide whether to use extreme force creating martyrs and a mass movement — or listen . . .
A change generation
This is a change generation not seen since the 1960s. The chosen cause then was civil rights; now it is ecological disaster.
Today’s young are the first denied a sure route to stakeholder adulthood by student debt, gig economy contracts and unaffordable homes. Many twentysomethings, expecting their lives to be shorter and poorer than their parents’, are willing to lie on Waterloo Bridge to be decanted into a police van.
Climate warriors rev up our wrath faster than other campaigners – perhaps because hopeless, apocalyptic forecasts scare us. We don’t want to believe the facts, even if voiced by David Attenborough.
They demand we reform our behaviour in tiresome ways. “Look, I’ve bought a hybrid car, what more do you want,” . . . Yet change we can and must. Change never comes from politicians. It is generated by civil society, protests, discussions and campaigns pushing the status quo towards what was unthinkable a decade before.
More than ever our political system seems unresponsive – even broken
Extinction is unaffiliated to any party, not even the Greens, nor an established charity such as Greenpeace. It is fluid, fresh, leaderless, and growing . . .
Some of its aims, such as abandoning fossil fuels by 2025, may be— but why not try harder? . . .
There is a political movement here.
Why fight it?
Why not, for once, be open to new ideas, to make Britain a world-leader in opposing climate change.
God knows we need something to be proud of right now.
Climate change protestors: postpone your demonstrations until lives are disrupted by rising sea levels, ferocious storms, flood, drought, crop failure, starvation and mass migration
“Presumably far better to leave it until their lives are disrupted by rising sea levels, ferocious storms, flood, drought, crop failure, starvation, mass migration and extinction of much of the life of the biosphere.
“Any politician with the intelligence, or care for humanity, to see beyond the next election would be in Westminster right now urgently working out how to save the world from approaching catastrophe – but maybe that’s somewhere on the list, after the next-but-one Brexit extension”.
Any sane person and organisation should now listen to the ‘wakeup call’ being made by protestors – after thirty years of warnings using ‘civilised’ methods by people like Mayer Hillman have gone largely unheeded by decision-makers.
Not so the Times which – in a (hopefully) unwitting challenge to police which could provoke violent action and reaction – has published articles alleging a triumphalist ‘boast’ by climate activists who ’bragged’ that police do not have the resources to stop them and that “The hollowed-out British state is overwhelmed”
But its link – given above – leads only to an article by its environment editor and HIS headline that ‘Police (are) overwhelmed by Extinction Rebellion protesters plotting to clog up justice system’.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid (firmly allied with the status quo after a career as a senior banker) has said: “Let me be clear — I totally condemn any protesters who are stepping outside the boundaries of the law. They have no right to cause misery for the millions of people who are trying to lead their daily lives. Unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Does he really view impeding a holiday flight (targeting Heathrow airport) as being more serious than floods, drought, storms and wildfires, intensified by climate change, killing and displacing people and other life forms?
Protesters want the government to take climate change seriously, enact legislation to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and set up a citizens’ assembly to ensure action is taken.
Climate change deniers please note Joel Pett’s message: the actions proposed are in themselves socially, environmentally and – in the long term – economically beneficial.
If heeded, the activists will – at most – avert climate change and at least, as Pett points out, create a better world.