Blog Archives

‘Break the grip of the hard left’ (FT) or ‘Resist and Rebuild’, (Monbiot)

The editorial board says that the author of Labour’s defeat, above all, is Mr Corbyn:

ft editorial 

Resist and Rebuild is George Monbiot’s challenging title for his latest article – replaced as usual, with a blander headline, by the Guardian editor

He sees a future, darker, arguably, than at any point since the Second World War. His verdict:

“This government has no vision for the country, only a vision for the oligarchs to whom it is bound, onshore and offshore . . . We should seek, wherever possible, to put loyalty to party and faction aside, and work on common resolutions to a crisis afflicting everyone who wants a kinder, fairer, greener nation.

“All the progressive manifestos I’ve read – Labour, Green, SNP, LibDem, Plaid – contain some excellent proposals. Let’s extract the best of them, and ideas from many other sources, and build an alliance around them. There will be differences, of course. But there will also be positions that almost everyone who believes in justice can accept”.

Monbiot believes that we need to knit these proposals into a powerful new narrative – the vehicle for all political transformations.

Ignorance makes us vulnerable to every charlatan who stands for election, and every lie they amplify through the billionaire press and on social media

Knowledge is the most powerful tool in politics.

  • We must expose every lie, every trick this government will play, using social media as effectively as possible.
  • We must use every available tool to investigate its financial relationships, interests and strategies.
  • We should use the courts to sue and prosecute malfeasance whenever we can.

Create, to the greatest extent possible, a resistance economy with local cooperative networks of mutual support, that circulate social and material wealth within the community (Ed: see Relocalising Britain)

The work of Participatory City, with the Barking and Dagenham Council, shows us one way of doing this through volunteering which provides the most powerful known defence against loneliness and alienation, helps to support the people this government will abandon and can defend and rebuild the living world.

We will throw everything we have into defending our public services – especially the NHS – because the long-standing strategy of governments like this is to degrade these services until we become exasperated with them, whereupon, lacking public support, they can be broken up and privatised. Don’t fall for it. Defend the overworked heroes who keep them afloat.

He ends “No one person should attempt all these things. . . We will divide up the tasks, working together, with mutual support through the darkest of times. Love and courage to you all”.

 

 

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Oligarchs, not ‘the people’, decide to declare war

 

In a recent article, Michael Ignatieff wrote: “When the people get to decide whether to go to war, they rarely do so willingly. This was why Immanuel Kant said the spread of democracy was the best guarantee of world peace”. 

But poll results show that large majorities in democratic societies oppose the use of drones and oppose drone warfare

David Tuckwell in London pointed out in his reply that Prof Ignatieff’s defence of democracies using drones is out of kilter with poll results. Poll results show that large pluralities of democratic societies oppose the use of drones and oppose drone warfare. In a functioning democracy, there should be a meaningful relationship between public opinion and public policy. 

Dr Boris Danik, a Ukrainian-American goes further. He asks

“When was the last time people were asked to make such a decision?” 

He continues: 

“The answer is that they are never asked. Not even the Congress of the US has been asked to declare war, in my memory. Not for war in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. 

Such matters are decided by oligarchs (rich businessman with great political influence) behind closed doors. 

He quotes Ignatieff again: “Democracies may not like fighting each other – which is why war has become unthinkable between EU and Nato countries … ”. And disagrees, concluding: 

“A much stronger reason for not fighting each other is that these countries are basically part of the same geopolitical alliance, or US hegemony if you will, at least until now.”