Sunday, May 2, 2010

Layer 292 . . . Depressing Memories, Future Dread, Faith Schools, Car Crash Politics, The Liberal Moment, Four Lions and Cameron

This morning I found myself thinking about what it felt like the day after Thatcher was elected to Downing Street - the day that joy and hope was banished from the thoughts and feelings of anyone with any kind of progressive political mindset. The staggering sense of frustration and outrage, the anger, the disbelief, and ultimately the depression . . . the state of utter joylessness and disillusion.

How could this weird little twat of a woman, this ignorant, silly little shrill person, be the leader of a country like Britain? The simple answer was, and is, that Britain, and especially England, is a silly little benighted, materialistic, unspiritual, ignorant basket case of a monarchy and a country whose people allow themselves to be brainwashed by a notoriously biased and vicious right-wing press which is run by a group of vicious and nasty right-wing press barons. It was then, and it is now.

This is not to say that the people of England, and specifically the people who vote Tory in the shire counties and the southern part of England, are bad people. Most of them are decent, reasonable, thoughtful and kind. On a good day. But what kind of people tolerate bigots, vote for Tories, Ukips and BNPs, and buy so-called newspapers such as the Sun, the Star, the Mail, the Express, the News of the Screws and the Telegraph? Let's face it - not what anyone with half a brain would call enlightened.

So what's kept them in such an unenlightened state? It's the culture wot done it. It's the whole set of assumptions and prejudices which are dressed up as 'common sense' and 'the way we do things in this country'. It's the values propagated in newspapers and the rest of the media, and also in schools. It's the inability to think critically and the lack of understanding about alternative value systems and ideologies. It's the acceptance of a State in thrall to a monarchy and other reactionary vested interests. It's the weakness of alternative forces, and the inability of those forces to connect with those whose schooling and whose access to more enlightened modes of understanding has let them down.

Doomed. We're all doomed. I thought Marina Hyde's regular Saturday column yesterday was pretty bleak and doom-laden, but she has good cause to be filled with fear and dread about what'll happen if the Tories do well and get themselves into power this Thursday/Friday, which looks quite possible, barring a miracle and the anti-Tory vote actually turning out in droves.


Faith Schools

I turned on the radio this morning - which isn't something I normally do early on a Sunday morning - and listened to spokesmen from all three of the major parties saying they'd be quite happy to open more and more faith schools 'if that's what people want'. Doomed.

These fuckers were talking about 'parents rights' to have their children educated in a faith school. Nobody gives a fuck about children's rights to be educated in schools that allow them to grow up in an atmosphere that's not dominated by mumbo jumbo about 'God' and 'faith' and deference to 'those who know better'.

Fucking unbelievable.

Vernon Coker is a fucking disgrace to a once-proud and once-progressive party. He's a real gem in the crown of a disgusting shambles of a knuckle-dragging crew calling themselves New Labour.


Car Crash Politics
And talking of New Labour, the print version of yesterday's Guardian featured across pages 12 and 13 a brilliant photo of Brown and his inner circle from the Cabinet lined up in front of some ridiculous mobile posters mounted on trucks. All that was missing was the actual firing squad.

[Strange, though, that the Milibands were missing.]

So who was there, alongside Gordie in his pink tie and grey shirt?

Mandelson, Alexander, Darling and Balls - all looking like they'd just arrived from a board meeting of some merchant bank - all dark suits and sober ties.

Alan Johnson in a light grey suit, standing in the pose of a slightly bemused insurance salesman.

Yvette Cooper in a buttoned up  blue coat from Debenhams, whose hem ended a few inches above a dark skirt which itself was a few inches too long.

Harriet Harman in her usual appalling baggy trousers and sensible flat shoes, and her usual naff necklace and tailored tight jacket.

Tessa Jowell looking like fuck knows what in a kind of shortie lumber jacket, too-tight light-grey tailored trousers, vile little flat shoes and a grey rouched top! Not to mention grey roots badly in need of re-doing.

The entire photo-op was ruined for Brown, but saved for the rest of us, by some dork crashing into a nearby bus shelter and wrecking the front of his car! It seems Brown's trusty aide-de-camp, a certain Sue Nye, was one of those who actually went to help the hapless twat who'd crashed. Obviously our actual government did nothing at all to assist.

This Sue Nye, incidentally, who has performed in this role for several previous Labour leaders, is married to a certain Gavyn Davies, another New Labour supporter, who also happens to be a very rich bastard thanks to being a top merchant banker - with Goldman Sachs, since you ask. Or at least he used to be with G-S. It seems he now 'runs private equity funds'. And so it goes. New Labour are not just in bed with the fat cats and the bankers - they ARE the fucking fat cats and bankers.


The Editorial

Having referred in Layer 291 to yesterday's Guardian editorial supporting the Lib Dems, I've now re-read it a couple of times, and I think it's an extremely well-written piece which sums up really well the failings of New Labour and the reasons why the Lib Dems should be strongly supported in this election by those who call themselves liberals, social democrats, socialists amd progressives. Well done Guardian. A hung parliament, and the possibility of proportional representation, is crucial.

This isn't to say that the LibDem approach to economics or their ideology is perfect. In fact they're very reactionary on wanting to inappropriately & prematurely deflate the economy, thereby damaging public services in the process. They don't even have a coherent ideology. They DO, however, demand proper proportional representation - and so should we.


Four Lions

I heard on the radio this morning someone urging us to go and see the new film by Chris Morris - 'Four Lions'.

Have a look at this promo:

Lots more clips and trailers on YouTube.



On Andrew Marr's programme this morning Cameron gave a pretty convincing impression of someone who speaks passionately about his genuine beliefs, and with a certain amount of intelligence and perception.

He even supported the idea of 'fairness', cutting the salaries of cabinet ministers and bureaucrats, and giving a 'living wage' to those at the bottom of the pile, which is something that Thatcher would never have done.

However, he'll never support proportional representation, and above all else he's a slick salesman. Marr completely failed to challenge him on education & schools, and his intentions to privatise even more public services.

Thatcher soon morphed from a prattish lightweight into a ghastly nightmare of a crazed authoritarian dictator, driven by extreme right-wing economic, political and social ideologies. Cameron could easily do the same, especially when he starts slashing and burning and throwing even more millions out of work. If the roof caves in we can be sure he'll be on the side of Big Finance, the City, vested interests and fat cats.

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