Friday, 27 June 2008

Fingerprinting Children

The heartwarming response to the terrible suggestion from the racialist Northern Leagues Minister of the Interior that Roma children should be fingerprinted was instantaneous and unanimous rejection. The Head of State, Italian Jewry, the professions, all major newspapers and other media, the Church, and all of us are as one in dismissing fingerprinting any children. Claims to be protected from such practices are entrenched in the Constitution and its adjuncts. Any such legislative attempt would run headlong into the embedded protections, particularly of minors, in the citizens' defences against authoritarian governance. Routes to redress are explicit and accessible.

People are just as repelled by the fingerprinting of children as young as five in England. Unfortunately the continuous assault upon the accepted attitude and sense of propriety that our constitution needs to make it function, coupled with the persistent introduction of authoritarian formal enabling legislation followed by undiscussed orders, over the New Labour years has led inevitably to loss of unanimity in opposition to such practices. It is considered by some that the presence of legislation justifies its use.

We cannot go back to our destroyed constitution, and it is becoming increasingly urgent that formal defences for the citizen against authoritarian governance are drawn up and thir implementation put beyond regime reach. Next September little fingers will be inked and rolled onto a permanent record. We have come a long way from finger paints and innocence.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Destroying the Permanent Democratic State with Temporarily Conferred Electoral Power

Having set out examples of post democratic management of democratic expectation in the previous post it is interesting to consider again just what are the chances of a general election. As can be seen, there is no need for terrorist frighteners or social violence.

Italy, prince of political manipulation, shows the way, as Berlusconi with his total control of the media, instigates ad hominem legislation to end his trial for the criminal acts of which he and his distasteful English New Labour employee, Mr Jowell, are accused, and launches a regime assault upon the institutions of the Italian state.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Managing Democratic Expectations in the Post-Democratic State

'Conservative support, at 45%, is at a 20-year high.' This would give the Conservative party 'a landslide victory as big as Labour's win in 1997, with some 400 seats.' Labour would be 'reduced to well under 200 MPs, with many ministers losing their seats.' 'Labour would lose previously safe seats such as Wakefield.', notes the Guardian. Within the UK federation the Scottish section of the UK Labour party can be expected to collapse.

What arguments and means can be used to contain the expectation of a general election and its expected results within 22 months - one session of Parliament and the impotent remnants of another? The voters of the United Kingdom are determined on regime change. But while the regime embodies objectives inimical to the voters, those objectives are highly desirable to governing elites.

In order of importance, these are: the installation of the Lisbon Constitution and consequent removal of member state vetoes on European federal decision taking. Electoral results in member states for nation-state democratic institutions will shrink in importance. Decision-taking on nation-state level will move to the European federal institutions while regional and more local matters will pass from nation-state central decision-taking to various elected and appointed institutions under subsidiarity (a 'pillar' of the European Union governing structures), as planned under the devolution introduced under New Labour to produce the 'Britain of the Nations and the Regions.' The cyclical rather than constant member state representation on EU governing bodies will further delimit nation-state importance and emphasise cross nation-state border Regions. With this, too, interest in national elections will decline. Smaller nation-states will find themselves weakened in their EU representation particularly - hence Ireland's resounding No to Lisbon; and nascent secessionist nation-states in federalised member states of the EU will face wholly different determinants of their leaving together with their resources, whether of their people, skills or natural resources. For many reasons, Lisbon is the New Labour Project's post democratic 'home safe'.

Once part of federal Europe there is good argument to match consultation of the people to constitutional practices, terms of office, and electoral forms to pan European best practice. Proportional representation in its least representative form is used already for EU elections in the UK and in its devolved regions for their assemblies. The first past the post Westminster system is becoming a stand-alone outside of local elections to power-deprived local authorities.

Globalisation and its challenges, it is argued, require longer term planning implementation and response than the parliamentary terms settled in the last 100 years. It is unwise, if not dangerous in certain fields such as defence and anti-terrorism, to respond with the short termism generated necessarily by a constitution developed organically to respond to circumstances so dramatically altered. After all, under the great threat from the Axis powers the parliamentary term was set at 10 years and are we not exposed to threat as bad or even worse nowadays? The constitutional role of precedent validates such a sensible adjustment.

So widespread is the economic suffering that has resulted from the unwise if not illegal activity of financial actors in global markets, exacerbated by the rise of the Chines and Indian economies, that it would be improper to abandon the prudent guidance of the economy until uncontrollable world turmoil has been ameliorated and abated at home, and settled abroad. The evident and well-founded distress of the people cannot be allowed to express itself in ignorant allocation of blame to the finest manager of the economy since records began. Temporary, 'mid term' unpopularity born of simplistic understandings must not be allowed to disturb the ship of state.

Dissent, monitored by state employees in contact with the public in every day, indeed all, activities will be assessed and dealt with where it is judged to have slipped over the borderline into disruption, and connivance in terrorism. Responsiveness to public demand is in any case better using focus groups and properly instituted consultation with stakeholders and clients.

Voting is a primitive, visceral, raspberry-blowing, undifferentiated exercise that belongs in a simpler, less-integrated, infinitely less dangerous world. It is time to trust our Leader and our government in their moral and technical reliability, for periods long enough for their modernising policies to bear fruit.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Elections and Their Certainty

The persistent and determined refusal of Gordon Brown to face all and any election to office is a hallmark of both the man and the Party of which he is Leader (a status itself achieved without the inconvenience of facing election). There has been a determined policy to avoid by-elections. There is a flagship Labour policy to remove from elected local authorities all powers that interfere with regime policies determined not by open and public debate but formulated according to privately set agendas and, in many aspects of social policy, the consultation by invitation of stake-holders and other interest groups carefully chosen for their advantage-seeking through conformity to regime objectives. During this regime there has been also the alteration from first past the post election to a democratically crippled form of proportional representation. Particularly, this has been so in elections impossible to avoid such as those for the European Union, and for those Labour thought it could allow safely as theirs was the inbuilt client advantage bought and paid for from tax-raised funds - the devolved governance of Scotland and London (even Wales is almost lost). So far, so familiar.

Voters are out of control: every chance they get, however remote from recovering some power from New Labour, is used to speak out for the end of Brownism. It used to be a function of the Head of State to warn and advise but, now that all activity in that office has been either circumvented or abandoned, the warning aspect has become an undertaking of the people. Nothing the matter with that, the People every time over any hereditary, failing office. So voters must be corralled into some power-deprived, guided activity that expresses aspiration rather than determines outcomes. Any means to do this can be adopted: threats, criminalisation, belittling, purchase, institutional skulduggery with the mechanisms of voting - New Labour are up for it.

The Parliament Acts, ostensibly protecting our exposure to any government and attempts to alter the length of parliamentary terms, have been as exposed to this regime's post-democratic interference as much as any part of what was once our Constitution. With the ruling by nine Law Lords that the 1949 Act is primary legislation and is capable of being used to modify the provisions of the 1911 Act, the two Acts together can be used to put almost any face on our constitutional beliefs and claims that the Executive must go to the country at least once every five years.

Our regime doesn't do elections, not even the teeniest weeniest of elections unless forced. We cannot enforce any general election ever, never mind by 2010, by any constitutional means. And the inertia of events is not on our side; things are going too badly wrong for the concession of a vote.

Friday, 20 June 2008

How to be Deaf to a National Conversation

The Scottish Government began the national conversation on Scotland's independence shortly after winning the last Scottish general election. The discussion, open to all and conducted on the net, in public meetings and with contributions from all and any interest, has been lively, informed, and innovative while displaying remarkable understanding of the history of Scottish politics, their future settlement both within Scotland and in Scotland's relations with the rest of the world and, particularly, with the federal United Kingdom. An acute grasp of Scotland's economic exploitation and possible independent development is present too.

The form of devolution in Scotland adopted in the last century embodies the effective independence of Scotland when all of its measures are fully implemented. However Scotland's government has decided to consult the Scottish people formally in a referendum, which it will hold in 2010, on whether fully-developed devolution or a more precipitate step into independence is what they choose.

This is driving the United Kingdom Labour regime barmy, in bringing with it the certainty of their own demise, indeed the demise of the United Kingdom as we know it. Cack-handed is a fair description of the New Labour Project's constitutional rearrangements all those wasted years ago.

So Brown set up the Calman Commission on the future of Scottish devolution intending to use the usual focus group post-democratic practices to let the Scots down gently in frustrating their clear intention of de-coupling from the the Honecker-style United Kingdom - Honecker you should be with us at this hour, what a pity you died utterly shamed hiding in Chile - nightmare. Things are going from bad to worse for Brownism, (such an unfortunate colour in the horrid history of authoritarianism).

The sub-committee set up to consider ways in which the Calman Commission on Scottish Devolution can engage with the public and gain feedback has found that the public will not engage appropriately. The minutes of the public engagement group, (doubtless tax-payer funded, where do these money-grubbers spring from?), chaired by Murdoch MacLennan, chief executive of Telegraph Media Group (who chose him?) recommended it should not hold "town hall" meetings across Scotland and open to the general public, (even John McCain wants precisely these kinds of meetings, together with Obama, in the interests of democratic engagement) at least while gathering information. "Such meetings would be difficult to manage...". Fears that the internet site is 'unhelpful' also, (this kangaroo sub committee calls the weight of expressed opinion so far 'hijacking' by 'nationalists' who are, no doubt, shortly to be state-redefined as 'terrorists' together with the 'other critics' mentioned) rules internet consultation out too.

The Commission is, however, to take public evidence during parliament's summer recess, from former First Ministers (otherwise known as Scottish Labour crawlers) Jack McConnell and Henry McLeish, and from George Reid and Lord David Steel, the ex-Presiding Officers, (that is Speakers except in the devolution denigrate-speak adopted by the Westminster Establishment), reports the Herald cheerily. So that's all right then, two Labour time servers and a pair of ex politician quangoistas dependent on the Brown regime for their life style sound as if they might be reliable enough to have their views recorded.

Commission members are also concerned about inviting contributions on the website, because that "carried considerable risks if not approached with caution". It is suggested there should be an online questionnaire only, offering limited answers as options.

It must be remembered, the Calman Commission was set up by the Brown regime with a remit that excludes independence as an option in Scotland's future.
Conservative and Liberal Democrat party leaderships, to their detriment, were foolish enough to have initially allowed themselves to be drawn in. The quicker they abandon Calman and his dishonest 'commission' to its fate, the better.

[Affirming the narrative is the reason for presenting here some arguments made in earlier Angels' posts.]

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The Letter

Mervyn King has to write a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to explain the inflation rate. I suppose that's because the two Scottish Labour fools who have been interfering in England's economy for the last 11 years are too stupid to understand what they have done.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The State We Are In

'Mounted and riot police later divided the protesters between two fronts: one on Great George Street and the other at the mouth of Whitehall.', reported the Evening Standard of the demonstrations against the war criminal George Bush and his 'British' Prime Minister nose-picker. So far, so as it always was, although the aluminium lathis have a retrograde, imperial smack to them that was not present in Angels' demonstrating days.

'"Snatch squads" then patrolled the area, arresting people who had earlier been filmed by officers and highlighted as troublemakers.' This is not standard at all. There used to be spotters pointing out people to arrest to officers while the demonstrations were at their height, but sending organised gangs of policemen to arrest demonstrator/by-standers after the struggle has died down, on surveillance camera viewing, is a development from Ireland's Troubles (and doubtless Aden, Malaya and other 'emergencies').

Arresting a demonstrator in the thick of a fight with the police is one thing; picking up suitable accusees chosen solely for propaganda purposes belongs in what were once other political hell-holes.

So now demonstrators face rastrellamento (the Fascist practice of locking in a body of protesters and then holding them there for hours, often in blazing sun or other extreme weather conditions, beating up any attempting to break out or even sit down), armed assault (the Raj practice of permitting an organized, authorised demonstration and then attacking the people with everything from boot and fist, staves, to gunfire), and snatch squads (the Soviet and east European-developed technique, used widely too in Northern Ireland) of arresting nominated victims after the event to cause the greatest fear-inducing effect among potential future dissidents.

The oppressed people learn to cope with all of these, and still the regimes are overthrown. It is our turn to learn now. We have learned there is no longer such a thing in Brown's 'Britain' as a peaceful demonstration; it will be precipitated invariably into violent confrontation and consequent arbitrary arrest.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Tethered Targets

Reporting on Informed Comment (see Angels' Links) describes what is happening in Iraq not in terms of the war but the permanent alteration in the status of a sovereign country after assault.

'These giant bases, rising from the smashed birthplace of Western civilization, were not only built on (and sometimes out of bits of) the ancient ruins of that land, but are functionally modern ziggurats. They are the cherished monuments of the Bush administration. Even though its spokespeople have regularly refused to use the word "permanent" in relation to them - in fact, in relation to any U.S. base on the planet - they have been built to long outlast the Bush administration itself. They were, in fact, clearly meant to be key garrisons of a Pax Americana in the Middle East for generations to come. And, not surprisingly, they reek of permanency. They are the unavoidable essence - unless, like most Americans, you don't know they're there - of Bush administration planning in Iraq. Without them, no discussion of Iraq policy ... really makes sense.'

So what sense can be made of Brown's policy in Iraq, announced after meetings with the outgoing US President, with such permanent bases, as big as towns, in mind.

Brown stated: "There is still work to be done and Britain plays, and will continue to play, its part." What part can the United Kingdom play? It certainly plays no part, and has no presence, in these garrisons.

As today's Herald reports: '4100 British soldiers, desperately needed in Afghanistan, are bunkered down behind fortifications at Basra's airport five miles from the city.
Of these, fewer than 300 are currently playing a direct role in training the Iraqi army or giving tactical guidance to their units on the streets.
The vast bulk of the UK force is simply there to protect the perimeter of its own besieged base. Any fewer than 4000, and the security of the installation would be at serious risk.' The British base at Basra is not the billions of dollars of fortified township with independent power, water, and supply routes of the US permanent bases.

The argument that 'the military justification for British soldiers to remain in Iraq that they sit astride the main US supply route on the highway from Kuwait north to Baghdad.', is arrant nonsense; US ziggurat bases are supplied by air. Some of them have more air traffic than Heathrow.

'Beyond that static [and unused] guard role they lack the offensive power to intervene decisively in any internal power struggle and can barely guarantee their own security.
Depressingly, 'despite claims about progress in training Baghdad's new army... of the 197,000 local soldiers qualified by US or British instructors, at least 27,000 have deserted. That figure represents more men than Britain has in all of its infantry battalions combined.'

In the meantime, US Marines have had to intervene in southern Afghanistan because the army 'is so overstretched it cannot scrape up an extra battle group of 650 fighting soldiers.' (Herald Defence Correspondent).

Bush said: "I just want to remind you that [Brown] has left more troops in Iraq than he initially anticipated. Like me, he will be making his decisions based on the conditions on the ground without an artificial timetable based on politics."

The Iraqi insurgents are faced with numbers of permanent, enormous, wholly independent, garrisoned settlements in their country which will be invulnerable to their attacks and will not be evacuated (if current policies are pursued) when the new administration takes over in the United States. The British troops seem to have two functions: to give face to the 'multinational' nature of the invading forces (after all they are the only other nation left apart from the American principals) and effectively, to be a soft target for Iraqi insurgent attack, leading to justification for further oppression and permanent occupation.

Brown and Browne need to explain to Parliament precisely what is their reason for the siting of sorely needed troops at Basra airport.

Voting in Haltemprice and Howden

Calling a general election at will is one of the greatest powers of a United Kingdom prime minister. Calling a by-election is a power that rests in the hands of every member of parliament.

The Brown-orchestrated venom-spitting at David Davis using this power is a measure of how dangerous it is. Once again some of the electorate has a chance to vote. Like Crewe and Nantwich, Haltemprice and Howden now answer the question.

Everyone with a vote in the constituency, regardless of political party, should be sure to vote, and vote for freedom and an open society.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Brown Loses the Plot

It was desperate for Brown that he should shovel the United Kingdom into the European Union as it is conceived by the Lisbon Constitution. Otherwise Scotland would continue steadily towards asserting its independence and changing its federal relationship with the United Kingdom; so, too, altering the relationships with Wales and Northern Ireland. This spells the end of the Labour party itself, not just the end to Brown's premiership without election or mandate. Once within the Lisbon EU Scotland would have been reduced to a region with its options for leaving either federation, EU or UK, grossly restricted. Terms for smaller countries under the Lisbon EU are so unattractive it might not want to be in the EU at all.

Most Europeans wish the EU to continue - but not in its present form and even less in the Lisbon form, which effectively hands authority to France and Germany. Among his many failings, Gordon Brown is a fool and, in his frantic desire to save himself, his ruling elite, and his precarious claim to rule the UK he will be intensely vulnerable to German and French pretence that he too is part of Europe's ruling group of large countries. The merest glance shows that the UK is not: not part of the euro, not part of Schengen, with a separate nuclear force, unwilling to co-operate even on large defence expenditures such as aircraft carriers with other member states, constantly obstructive and hence much disliked on pan-European tax and welfare measures, civil liberties and justice measures, workplace and union conditions, the list goes on and on.

Conceit assists Brown in his delusion that he matters. Vilified at home for his clumsy, ugly, so public dishonesty and constant stream of lies about what he has done and what he is doing, his personal distastefulness, his twisted authoritarianism, Brown can be bought cheaply by Sarkozy's flattery to his wounded amour propre, as France finds a home for its nuclear waste in England.

We need a general election now to choose a government and prime minister who will advance the UK's interests in Europe, and advance a European Union as an association of equal member-states for the purposes of trade. We cannot allow Brown to blunder on in return for a kiss from Carla Bruni.

Friday, 13 June 2008

[Results Received: 43 of 43]

Yes 46.6% (752,451)
No 53.4% (862,415)

Turnout: 53.13%

No Means No! Brown.

Downing Street moved to reassure its 'partners' that the Leader and his authoritarian junta would still force the ratification of the failed Lisbon Constitution, repudiated today by the Irish people, through the Westminster parliament.

The Treaty has fallen yet he pretends that the votes of the Irish nation count for less than those of nine bought and paid for Orangemen.

The meaning of the term 'partners' is becoming clearer. The failure of the European Union Lisbon Constitution is splitting member state governments between authoritarians and democrats.

The Irish Times reports that the Lisbon Treaty will 'overcome' the Irish No vote:

"Ireland's possible rejection of The Lisbon Treaty should not stop other member states ratifying it, France's Secretary of State for European Affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet claimed today.

"The most important thing is that ratification should continue in other countries (if Ireland has voted "no") and I have good reasons to think that the process of ratification will continue," Mr Jouyet told LCI television.

"We would have to see with the Irish at the end of the ratification process how we could make it work and what legal arrangement we could come to."

His view of was at odds with comments by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, who said yesterday:

"If the Irish people decide to reject the treaty of Lisbon, naturally, there will be no treaty of Lisbon."

Ireland Is Not the Only Impediment to the Lisbon Constitution

Ireland and its people may yet defend the nearly 500 million citizens of Europe against the authoritarian putsch lurking beneath the post democratic, federal European Union.

It is worth noting, too, that of the 27 member states only eight have deposited their acceptance of the European Constitution with the Italian government in Rome, the final ratification stage. Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Hungary, Malta, Rumenia and Slovenia have sold out. Germany awaits its Constitutional Court decisions on the legality of ratifying the Lisbon Constitution. Cyprus, Italy, Spain, and Sweden have not even begun the procedures, zilch, not even a tilt at getting it through the lower house.

The rest have the Constitutional Treaty stuck somewhere in their democratic works, upper houses, head of state acceptance, constitutional challenges, failure to deposit the ratified Treaty in Rome despite all other procedures being completed.

Ireland or no, this is not over.


Reports are coming in that Ireland has voted No. All the other national hesitations will be reinforced and confirmed.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

What Will You Give Me To Make Me Stay?

David Davis' resignation and refighting of his seat on the chosen ground of civil liberties and the rule of law offers a fascinating potential. Labour has done everything it can to shut down by-elections since 2005; only death has been an acceptable reason for a by-election in a Labour seat (apart from the permanent erasure of Tony Blair from Gordon Brown's world).

Discipline has not extended to the idea that a dissident Labour member of Parliament might wilfully resign and force a by-election; presumably the Party hierarchy assumed that the benefits were too high to be sacrificed to principle. Is that true now?

There are Labour members of Parliament sharply disillusioned with the leadership and its behaviour; there are many who want a new Leader followed by a general election just to limit the melt down; there are older Labour members who can be offered very little post this parliament so unpopular is the current government, and so unlikely are their seats to return a Labour MP after their demise, that they may as well be left to fight and lose. (The Lords and the quango posts and the advisory positions will soon be for the Conservatives.) What have any of these groups to lose (other than a relatively small wage payment for a little longer) from negotiating either policy changes or personal advantage under threat of resigning forthwith and forcing a destructive by-election where Labour will fail to hold in almost any seat in the country?

In breaking disciplinary ranks the Conservative shadow home secretary has highlighted a disciplinary flaw that can be fatal to Gordon Brown.

The Devil's Walk, or New Labour's Long March Through the Institutions

"...I was in a vision, having the angel of God near me, and saw Satan walking leisurely into London." [Southey]

FROM his brimstone bed, at break of day,
A-walking the Devil is gone,
To look at his little, snug farm of the World,
And see how his stock went on.

Over the hill and over the dale,
And he went over the plain;
No matter what was his name,
Whose face with his own when he came to compare
The expression, the look, and the air,
And the character too, as it seemed to a hair,
Such a twin-likeness there was in the pair,
That it made the Devil start and stare;
For he thought there was surely a looking-glass there,
But he could not see the frame.

He saw a Lawyer killing a viper
On a dunghill beside his stable:
"Ho!" quoth he, "thou put'st me in mind
Of the story of Cain and Abel."

An Apothecary on a white horse
Rode by, on his vocation;
And the Devil thought of his old friend
Death in the Revelation.

He passed a cottage with a double coach-house,
A cottage of gentility;
And he owned with a grin
That his favorite sin
Is pride that apes humility.

He saw a pig rapidly
Down a river float:
The pig swam well, but every stroke
Was cutting his own throat;--
And Satan gave thereat his tail
A twirl of admiration;
For he thought of his daughter War,
And her suckling babe Taxation.

Well enough, in sooth, he liked that truth,
And nothing the worse for the jest;
But this was only a first thought,
And in this he did not rest:
Another came presently into his head;
And here it proved, as has often been said,
That second thoughts are best.

For as Piggy plied, with wind and tide,
His way with such celerity,
And at every stroke the water dyed
With his own red blood, the Devil cried,
"Behold a swinish nation's pride
In cotton-spun prosperity!"

He walked into London leisurely;
The streets were dirty and dim;
But there he saw Brothers the Prophet,
And Brothers the Prophet saw him.

He entered a thriving bookseller's shop:
Quoth he, "We are both of one college;
For I myself sate like a Cormorant once
Upon the Tree of Knowledge."

As he passed through Cold-Bath Fields, he looked
At a solitary cell;
And he was well pleased, for it gave him a hint
For improving the prisons of Hell.

He saw a turnkey tie a thief's hands
With a cordial tug and jerk:
"Nimbly," quoth he, "a man's fingers move
When his heart is in his work."

He saw the same turnkey unfettering a man
With little expedition;
And he chuckled to think of his dear slave-trade,
And the long debates and delays that were made
Concerning its abolition.

He met one of his favorite daughters
By an Evangelical Meeting;
And, forgetting himself for joy at her sight,
He would have accosted her outright,
And given her a fatherly greeting;

But she tipped him a wink, drew back, and cried,
"Avaunt! my name's Religion!"
And then she turned to the preacher,
And leered like a love-sick pigeon.

A fine man and a famous Professor was he,
As the great Alexander now may be,
Whose fame not yet o'erpast is;
Or that new Scotch performer,
Who is fiercer and warmer,--
The great Sir Arch-Bombastes;

With throbs and throes, and ahs and ohs,
Far famed his flock for frightening,
And thundering with his voice, the while
His eyes zigzag like lightning.

This Scotch phenomenon, I trow,
Beats Alexander hollow;
Even when most tame,
He breathes more flame
Than ten fire-kings could swallow.

Another daughter he presently met:
With music of fife and drum,
And a consecrated flag,
And shout of tag and rag,
And march of rank and file,
Which had filled the crowded aisle
Of the venerable pile,
From church he saw her come.

He called her aside, and began to chide:
"For what dost thou here?" said he:
"My city of Rome is thy proper home,
And there's work enough there for thee.

"Thou hast confessions to listen,
And bells to christen,
And altars and dolls to dress;
And fools to coax,
And sinners to hoax,
And beads and bones to bless;
And great pardons to sell
For those who pay well,
And small ones for those who pay less."

"Nay, Father, I boast that this is my post,"
She answered; "and thou wilt allow
That the great Harlot,
Who is clothed in scarlet,
Can very well spare me now."

"Upon her business I am come here,
That we may extend her powers;
Whatever lets down this church that we hate,
Is something in favor of ours.

"You will not think, great Cosmocrat!
That I spend my time in fooling;
Many irons, my Sire, have we in the fire,
And I must leave none of them cooling;
For you must know state-councils here
Are held which I bear rule in.
When my liberal notions
Produce mischievous motions,
There's many a man of good intent,
In either house of Parliament,
Whom I shall find a tool in;
And I have hopeful pupils too,
Who all this while are schooling.

"Fine progress they make in our liberal opinions,
My Utilitarians,
My all sorts of --inians
And all sorts of --arians,
My all sorts of --ists,
And my Prigs and my Whigs,
Who have all sorts of twists,
Trained in the very way, I know,
Father, you would have them go;
High and low,
Wise and foolish, great and small,
March-of-Intellect Boys all.

"Well pleased wilt thou be at no very far day,
When the caldroun of mischief boils,
And I bring them forth in battle array,
And bid them suspend their broils,
That they may unite and fall on the prey,
For which we are spreading our toils.
How the nice boys all will give mouth at the call,
'Hark away! hark away to the spoils!'--
My Macs and my Quacks and my lawless Jacks,
My Shields and O'Connells, my pious MacDonnells,
My joke-smith Sydney, and all of his kidney,
My Humes and my Broughams,
My merry old Jerry,
My Lord Kings, and my Doctor Doyles!"

At this good news, so great
The Devil's pleasure grew,
That, with a joyful swish, he rent
The hole where his tail came through.

His countenance fell for a moment
When he felt the stitches go:
"Ah!" thought he, "there's a job now
That I've made for my tailor below."

"Great news! bloody news!" cried a newsman;
The Devil said, "Stop, let me see!"
"Great news? bloody news?" thought the Devil;
"The bloodier the better for me."

So he bought the newspaper, and no news
At all for his money he had:
"Lying varlet," thought he, "thus to take in old Nick!
But it's some satisfaction, my lad,
To know thou art paid beforehand for the trick;
For the sixpence I gave thee is bad."

He went to a coffee-house to dine,
And there he had soy in his dish;
Having ordered some soles for his dinner,
Because he was fond of flat fish.

"They are much to my palate," thought he;
"And now guess the reason who can,
Why no bait should be better than place,
When I fish for a Parliament-man."

Now, the morning air was cold for him,
Who was used to a warm abode;
And yet he did not immediately wish
To set out on his homeward road.

For he had some morning calls to make
Before he went back to Hell;
"So," thought he, "I'll step into a gaming-house,
And that will do as well;"
But, just before he could get to the door,
A wonderful chance befell.

For all on a sudden, in a dark place,
He came upon General ----'s burning face;
And it struck him with such consternation
That home in a hurry his way did he take,
Because he thought, by a slight mistake,
'Twas the general conflagration.

Brown Reported to Have Given Orangemen a Seat on the ISC in Part-payment

The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) was established by the Intelligence Services Act 1994 to examine the policy, administration and expenditure of the Security Service, Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The Committee has developed its oversight remit, with the Government's agreement, to include examination of the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and the Intelligence and Security Secretariat, which includes the Assessments Staff in the Cabinet Office. The Committee also takes evidence from the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS), part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), which assists the Committee in respect of work within the Committee's remit.

The Prime Minister, in consultation [not this time, Ed.] with the leaders of the two main opposition parties, appoints the ISC members. The Committee reports directly to the Prime Minister, and through him to Parliament, by the publication of the Committee's reports.

The Members are subject to Section 1(b) of the Official Secrets Act 1989 and have access to highly classified material in carrying out their duties.

Too Much Information

'After it was announced he had won by nine votes, a relieved Mr Brown embraced the whips behind the Speaker's chair.'

Couldn't he have waited until he got home? The nose-picking and nail-biting in public are quite enough.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Brown Succeeds in Being Ever More Disgusting

More disgusting was a difficult level for Gordon Brown to reach. Relying on Orangemen to introduce internment without trial into England does it though.

It has been said often that the six counties of Ulster that make up Northern Ireland were used as a training ground for the British Army and a trial ground for repressive, authoritarian practice, including torture, to challenge England's civil liberties. How ironic that it is the votes of the protestant unionists that have been used by a Scottish prime minister to subject the English to arbitrary rule.

Ireland Should Speak for Us All Tomorrow, Not Vote Narrowly on the Lisbon Constitution

The citizens of the european countries have been silenced, some by outright lies as in the United Kingdom government's reneging on a manifesto commitment to a referendum and, as a commenter on the previous post says, similarly by the government in Portugal; others by no referendum being proffered and no means to obtain one constitutionally, or consitutional means circumvented, as in Italy, or by a false identification of freedom and the West with the European Union, as in Poland and other eastern European countries.

Ireland speaks tomorrow for us all. This brings another responsibility to every Irish voter. Every vote cast is not cast on whether or not to accept the Lisbon Constitution; it is a vote that can open the way to restoring democratic voice, and democratic choice to every muted European.

Monday, 9 June 2008

To the People of Ireland, Once More With Feeling, Choose Irish Independence

'We ordain that the elected Representatives of the Irish People alone have power to make laws binding on the people of Ireland, and that the Irish Parliament is the only Parliament to which that people will give its allegiance:

'We solemnly declare foreign government in Ireland to be an invasion of our national right which we will never tolerate...

'We claim for our national independence the recognition and support of every free nation in the world, and we proclaim that independence to be a condition precedent to international peace hereafter...'


'IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom...

We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the last three hundred years they have asserted it to arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.

The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences...

... In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.'


Thomas J. Clarke,
Sean Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh,
P. H. Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt,
James Connolly, Joseph Plunkett

(The seven signatories of the Irish Proclamation: Padraig Pearse, James Connolly, Thomas Clarke, Thomas MacDonagh, Sean MacDermott, Joseph Plunkett, and Eamonn Ceannt were executed by the British Government for their efforts to secure a free Ireland.)

Nerve is not Enough

"Have you no consideration for my poor nerves?"

"You mistake me, my dear. I have the utmost respect for your nerves. They've been my constant companion these twenty years."

"Our simple view that 'more nerves' is sufficient to explain 'more brain power' is simply not supported by our study," explained Professor Seth Grant, Head of the Genes to Cognition Programme at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. As leaden-footed scientists do he confirmed the observations of quicksilver pragmatics expert Jane Austen some two centuries earlier that 'nerves' are not indicative of brain power.

Research published in Nature Neuroscience suggests that it is not size alone, or nerves, that count. "We found dramatic differences in the numbers of proteins in the synapses between different species. We studied around 600 proteins that are found in mammalian synapses and were surprised to find that only 50 percent of these are also found in invertebrate (creatures without a backbone..., [isn't that a little hard? Ed.]) synapses, and about 25 percent are in single-cell animals [or Prime Ministers, as we refer to them currently, Ed.] which obviously don't have a brain." Nerves yes, though, just look at those finger nails and nose habits.

'The origins of thinking lie in feeling [Yes! Ed.]: some of the proteins involved in synapse signalling and learning and memory are found in yeast, where they act to respond to signals from their environment, such as stress due to limited food or temperature change.' "It is amazing how a process of Darwinian evolution by tinkering and improvement has generated, from a collection of sensory proteins in yeast, the complex synapse of mammals associated with learning and cognition," added Dr Richard Emes, Lecturer in Bioinformatics at Keele University.

Pity about the single cell, invertebrate bundles of nerves; lack of back bone and no feelings.


Thousands of homes suffering power cuts yesterday in south-east London, from half past seven in the morning, as EDF Energy said supplies were isolated 'for safety reasons'- "We are liaising closely with the fire service and apologise for the inconvenience this is causing customers,"- is very bad news.

'Inconvenience' is a wholly inadequate way to describe the problems generated within a modern domestic environment in a first world metropolis by a power failure. Must we recast our lives completely, including our physical environment, to meet the demands of a world where power, food, transport, warmth, water, and shelter are no longer guaranteed?

Those who stocked up on a year's worth of basics last summer have already profited from their foresight and their storage space. But that is the simplest response to give and within the decision-taking aegis of individuals; all it needs is cash, a freezer, a larder and a car (any one of which of which can be in short supply in many city homes).

Private transport is under attack when the private transport of goods as well as family members is becoming an essential for many, particularly women. Heating bills threaten to rise further by up to 40%; we have some private response to this - clothing, 'living cold', and if we are rich enough insulating our dwelling.

Water other than for drinking and cooking is not a private decision-taking area, more a public health disaster threat (cutting off water for non-payment in some high rise blocks in Birmingham was rethought hurriedly at the end of the last century). Others have commented widely on threats to our private control over shelter. Power is outside our private control completely. It cannot be stored and its guaranteed supply cannot be bought by individuals. Indeed they are the first in line for cuts when supply shortages erupt. The graduated loss of private control over essentials of life is total with electricity.

Metropolitan, city, town, even rural life styles are built on long standing assurance of uninterrupted power. Apologies for 'inconvenience' are a measure of the dislocation between what we have built our private lives on, and what we face now.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Easy Peasy

The list of words difficult to read and hard to spell published in the Guardian (and they should know, after all) is surprisingly short and unchallenging. Where is the word most commonly misspelled in comments? 'Independent' must take the prize. That final 'a' instead of an 'e' is like a fist in the eye every time.

Here they are:

100 of the most difficult words

Orange, foreign, rhinoceros, properly, vomit, tambourine, tournament, tourist, heaven, engine, exquisite, opposite, advertisement, gnarled, rigid, risen, sinister, spinach, video, vinegar, tie, wheelie, quiet, science, crier, pliers, soldier, Monday, mongrel, monkey, courage, magic, manage, palace, four, journey, gnash, gnaw, gnome, ghastly, guard, miracle, miserable, pigeon, pity, prison, month, mother, nothing, once, smother, son, sponge, tongue, wonder, almost, both, comb, ghost, gross, most, only, post, programme, deny, reply, July, obey, caterpillar, chapel, damage, dragon, fabulous, family, famished, garage, glacier, habit, hazard, hexagonal, imagine, panic, radish, miaow, powder, cauliflower, plant, pyjamas, raft, rather, salami, task, vast, kiosk, kiwi, machine, encourage, somersault, swollen, souvenir.

Magic and Modernity

Spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to find out why the electorate loathe him seems yet another waste of money by Brown. He could read the blogs, lots of fine and accurate, imaginative analysis there, and available free of charge. The news that he has been refused as a client by a leading advertising company because of the bad effect he would have on its other famous clients suggest too that another aspect of his persona is well recognised.

Assurances that all this money, for yet more private polling and focus group delving into why he is the worst person on earth to be prime minister, is coming out of Labour party funds and not from the taxpayer is undermined by the reporting of widespread concern that the Labour party is within three weeks of bankruptcy. Its officers and employees are taking advice from lawyers to protect themselves from personal liability, and the unions on terms and conditions of their termination of employment.

It may be helpful to suggest that the better departments of social anthropology - UCL or Cambridge would be a good choice - are well versed in the occurrence, causes, explanations of, and social response to the perceived social malignancy of individuals. Cheaper and quicker too, as their research has been funded and completed already. It offers also, good reasons why using magical methods is really dangerous in the real world. Some of the remedies provided in ethnographic accounts for dealing with the Browns of our societies are pretty elemental (earth, air, water, fire, as in the form of: stones; flying - let's see you; floating as in drowning; and as for fire let's no go there), and Brown (ignorant and unaware as always) is not a Shona spirit medium, though he does resemble Mugabe in other behaviours.

Much safer just to accept the modern, democratic way - go for a vote in a general election and then go away.

Friday, 6 June 2008

The Missing Candidate

The candidate for Vice-President is nominated by the Democratic party convention, as is the candidate for President. That said, effectively the formality impinges on the practice of the nominee choosing the running mate only most indirectly, if at all; an extreme case boundary, nothing more.

So who should the Democratic nominee choose? A political clone, a complementary politico/socio/ cultural figure, a contrast, a weakling, a reassurance to voters of the other party, a consolation prize for the runner up and their primaries' voters, or a defence against assassination by choosing someone so potentially horrific as a replacement the threat is removed?

Obama wants to win the election (twice, so he has to think four years from now as well as November), stay alive, do stuff for America. So he has to have strategy that runs unbroken from getting out the vote this time, to reaching into power centres and governmental areas where he has no constituency, to getting stuff done, for eight years.

Hillary Clinton's claim that she can deliver the Wimmin and the blue-collar workers is clearly another case where she misspoke herself; two more incompatible constituencies would be difficult to devise. The only reason the blue-collar workers voted for her was because they were voting against Obama. That cause is now lost, so the vice- presidential nominee must be someone to attract their votes, not just scoop up protest votes. The Wimmin will vote only for Clinton, as they say, (the harridans), and should be written off as a lost cause in the interests of the blue-collar worker vote. Clinton is irrelevant for the four years hence elections, unless Obama loses this time, which is a wholly different set of considerations.

She has no noteworthy contacts outside of democratic politics on any kind of scale sufficient to affect the outcome of the November election, particularly after her public declarations that all must now unite behind the candidate. As she is to the left of Obama, and in a rather last century way, she is relatively unnattractive to many voters; neither can she be considered socio/culturally interesting to most - she's just an elderly woman with out of date ideas about women and their social status, and anyone staring in despair at our NHS will be determined to refuse entry to her health provision projects - how many times does she have to be told 'No'?. She offers no reassurance whatsoever to wavering small 'c'conservative voters. Her foreign relations 'experience' is laughable, and has been laughed at very widely.

The only grounds, then, for her current claims seem to be that she's so awful that as Vice-President she would act as a good shield to any assault on the President, and that she wants a runner-up prize because she was robbed.

Not good enough. Obama needs a reliable, likeable, political clone who reassures the undecided and doubtful, yet will step into the breach and carry on doing stuff for America in the spirit of the political will expressed in Obama's selection as candidate, if need be, and back him to the hilt throughout his years in office otherwise. If he can be also a link into areas of governance that add to Obama's reach, that will be a great bonus.

Hillary Clinton should never have been alllowed to stand for the Democratic nomination, and Obama needs to find the missing candidate that she displaced, in choosing his vice-presidential companion.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Goodbye Hillary and About Time Too

We are all involved in the election of the new American president, even if most of the world does not have a vote. The United States decides and the rest of us choose, or are forced to follow. Watching the selection of the Democratic party candidate has been a political education in itself; not just in the formal rules of the game, but in the political manoeuvres and policy positions of the candidates and their timing and adjustments of their statements on them.

What stands out from all the detail of events is the sheer, unremitting nastiness of Hillary Clinton. This nastiness is not particularly personal, although she displays it personally, through and through, at every possible juncture, but an aspect of the politics of the last 15 to 20 years. It is an appalling mix of arrogance, self-righteousness, right-on ness, ride rough shod over any opposition no matter how reasonable or principled, do what we say, we are above you voters indeed your voting is a tiresome inconvenience, we are the holders of the truth to bring about the perfect, permanent society, and have the means. This combined with a lot of moralistic whining about what is fair, what is right, what it is time for, and what she stands for. Nothing could make any woman more furious than that such a person, who happens to be a female, should lay claims to representing femaleness when, at the very least, she continues to give countenance and status to a serial sexual predator as if it is enough we should all agree that if we don't like him we shouldn't vote for him. Shameless. Well, we won't have her offering herself as his front woman either, thank goodness.

The seeing-off of the Clintons is the seeing off, too, of a copycat politics that has spoiled our country also in the last 11 years.

And how typical of the mindset of that politics that she cannot accept that she was defeated - she pretends she was robbed.

Watching the Democrats against the Republicans is going to be a far better thing than watching the Clinton's being all things to all men.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Summer Dressing

Linen, square-cut neckline, hanging straight down from the shoulders with a box pleat front and back, and a low belt just above the hips, loosely tied. I brought one in cream and one dark green, self-indulgently old fashioned, particularly in the above the ankle but below the knee length, with sleeves that reach to the elbow but can be cuffed back to just above. It was a private joke, a bow to the heat of summer on the central European plain, the long, dreary afternoons in novels about girls who have lost the chance to live independently and confuse drawing and watercolours, piano and a good education, the finding of a husband when the field has been harrowed by war, with knowing and feeling.

All those novels were written by men. The dress, symbolic of the subjugated girl, is really the only defence against this heat and dust (and looks good on women, not just girls). I've even added the sun hat with the wide, trailing-at-the-back, brim. And the plain, lawn straight slip beats the elasticated grip that welts the body in the torture chamber of modernity. Those girls were in charge of the first and most important aspect of their lives; all the present day talk of being in control of one's own body is arrant nonsense on a summer afternoon in Potsdam without a linen dress and accoutrements. Even the babies have parasols.

Agonised in tight stretch trousers, or shorts, strappy tops cutting into red hot shoulders, slimy with sun lotion and buzzing with midges, red in the face, with hair too short to tie smoothly back flopping on faces sticky with sweat, thongs adhering, they pass through the avenues, today's girls and women, complete anachronisms.

And I bet they can't play the piano either.

Sunday, 1 June 2008


The invalidity of Gordon Brown extends to every part of his persona. He has no mandate to lead the Labour party and no mandate to be Westminster prime minister; he has no authority to act in major areas of government's proper remit and no history of professional competence or personal capacity to undertake major political roles. His chancellorship is a well-documented disaster and his prime ministership a slow agony into quiessence.

The Scottish people do not want nuclear power stations built in Scotland, nuclear waste stored in Scotland, Trident and nuclear-powered submarines in Scotland, oil in Scottish territory exploited rather than husbanded, Scottish fishing grounds devastated by European Union agreements negotiated by Westminster, indiscriminate immigration into Scotland, fees and charges for services in Scotland that should be part of the social wage, and are not wholly convinced of Scotland's settled future within the European Union on Westminster's terms. Neither do they want Labour party rule in Scotland.

The English people do not want any of the above in England either, plus they do not want a Scottish prime minister from Kirkcaldy when he has his own Parliament to go to. As Labour members of parliament press for Darling, Alexander and Browne to be demoted within the Westminster government not least on the grounds of their Scottishness and the seats they hold, though rank incompetence weighs in to recommend their rapid departure as well, Frank Field underlines that the Labour party's very survival as an English party is at stake, in a new twist to the arguments about relations within the United Kingdom. (today's Telegraph).

England has a natural right of centre of balance. The Conservatives will always represent the majority here. But those voters whose economic and cultural interests are not served by the Conservative view of government as the creation of a civil society under the rule of law within a small and well-defended state, those who see government as the creation of some kind of ideal, large state with government as permanent administration - as many authoritarian ideologies of the left and the right do - are turning increasingly from Labour to the authoritarians of the right, not the left.

It is not just the federation of the United Kingdom that must be re-ordered. The Labour party itself must become a pluralist democratic party of the centre Left and abandon the New Labour Project of imposing a permanent authoritarian governance within a federal European Union state upon the country.