Archives for posts with tag: democracy

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(This last week has been one of the worst I have lived through in a long time and I make no apologies that it is reflected in this piece of writing)

Here’s a very simple statement, the consequences, however, are anything but…

There is no democracy without accountability.

All too often the first casualty in elections is truth. If people do not know what they are voting for, or think they are voting for something which is a lie, then the election itself is not democratic, the entire process is a fiction perpetrated by power to serve its own ends.

A very obvious example is the EU referendum and the leave campaigns promise of £350 million a week for the NHS. Only a complete fool could now believe that the promise was an honest mistake and not exactly what it was, a deliberate. deceitful, lie.

In 2010 David Cameron published a signed contract to Britain which was a pack of lies, in fact false promises are so common in politics they are taken for granted, under such conditions parliamentary democracy is at best a sham, but is, in fact, non existent.

As we have discovered to our very great cost, since 2010 and an election fought on false promises, Britain is a hostage to power in which any semblance of democratic accountability has been entirely removed.

Many people have asked and continue to ask, ‘What can we do?’ as those in government drive us ever further into social breakdown.

We’re told to focus on policies and not indulge in feelings. I beg to differ. We need to focus on policies and LIES and that involves feelings, because I am livid: furiously angry. And that is absolutely the right thing to be.

In Prime Ministers Question Time this week, in response to Jeremy Corbyn saying, “We are a government in waiting,” Theresa May said, “We all know what that means – waiting to put up taxes, waiting to destroy jobs, waiting to bankrupt our country. We will never let it happen.”

“We will never let it happen.” What? Who the hell does Theresa May think she is? That is not for her or her party to decide. That is the statement of a despot.

Theresa May has no intention of making herself accountable to the people. She would never have called a snap election if she’d had any idea that it wouldn’t pay off, since when she has done everything in her power to strengthen her position, paying out a £1 billion bribe to the DUP even whilst sneering in the faces of public sector workers, denying them a decent wage and, in the recent vote to scrap the public sector pay cap, her party cheered when they voted it down.

I’ll tell you what democracy feels like right now. It is rock bottom, it is the belly falling out of life. Lead fingers trying to find words on my keyboard, and cursing at every clumsy misspelling and sitting waiting for words that are clamped in feelings of rage and hopelessness. It is staring at those who speak false words and meaningless bullshit, who lie as a way of life, who hold on to power by any foul means they can manipulate and enforce. Democracy is the voice that asks, ‘How do we end this?’ looking for answers that they have stolen from us. Their democracy is every broken life smashed down by vicious cruelty and uncaring brutality.

Real democracy is raging anger so deep it burns. Theresa May says she got the most votes in the GE, X’s in boxes, but what matters is what informs those X’s, and lies are not informed, they are the food of ignorance, division, deception and hate. The general election was not an election, it was a complete farce.

Living isn’t a static process. When David Cameron said that Britain is ‘for hard working people’, he created a myth out of nonsense the purpose of which was social division. Anyone not on his bandwagon of robotic idiocy was fair game for every attack that has since been launched against all manner of people, including single mothers, disabled people, old people, young people just starting out in life, even immigrants, no matter how hard working, they are not Cameron’s hardworking people, they are the job stealers from Cameron’s eugenicist, lunatic, white master race of complete idiots. Their victims bleed when the knife goes in, but they are non-people, they do not matter. Another useless life thrown overboard from the Tory ship of fools.

I weep for this country and all its people, unlike the emotionless freaks who are destroying it for profit. This last week has been absolutely fucking awful and I am glad because unlike the power crazed zombies in the Tory party, I am fully human and fully alive.

KOG. 08 July 2017

Here’s how spectacularly wrong the Brexit bus £350million lie was

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/politics-blog/11541708/The-court-case-that-proves-you-cant-sue-politicians-for-breaking-their-election-promises.html

http://blogs.ft.com/david-allen-green/2015/04/16/when-a-politician-breaks-a-promise-should-a-voter-have-a-legal-remedy/?mhq5j=e3

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/11/pre-election-pledges-tories-are-trying-wipe-internet

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-politics-40510376/pmqs-theresa-may-gives-a-warning-about-jeremy-corbyn

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/03/hardworking-people-conservative-mythmaking

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keithandjeremy

Have you noticed how alike Jeremy Corbyn and Ken Loach are? Both are somewhat reticent, unassuming people, plain speaking, with no airs and graces and utterly lacking in pomposity. That said, it would be a grave mistake to think of either man as weak, they are both robust in their views and deeply experienced in their chosen courses in life.

In a world dominated by the culture of celebrity, in which the desire to be famous is more important than having anything of substance to offer, what the world needs more than ever is substance, a three course home cooked meal instead of a take-out burger and fries.

One of the accusations against Corbyn is that he is not Prime Minister material and I wonder what that means? Perhaps David Cameron and Theresa May might look like Prime Minister material (if you like that sort of thing), but that is about as far as it goes, form without substance.

I met Jeremy in Plymouth at one of his leadership rallies, the quiet man who was taking the country by storm, something he has now very successfully done twice to become leader of the Labour party with the kind of majority most politicians can only dream of. He was in a small back hall with the toilet facilities just behind, for those of us for whom quick access has become a necessity, and he seemed rather shy, tolerant of the attention, but not seeking it. The kind of guy who would rather do the job and leave the attention to others. And I think therein lies much of what draws people to him, he’s the quiet interesting one, without flamboyance or sham.

Looking back and the picture I have with him, I feel that we were both somewhat shy and, of course, strangers, but for this stranger, I was pleased to meet him and, despite that he had a room full of hundreds of people waiting for him, glad he took the time to say hello and have our picture taken.

When he came on stage, he greeted those on the platform warmly, in no way playing to the crowd, and nothing of the big ‘I am’ about him. He began his speech my thanking all those who had made the meeting possible, including the volunteers without whom it simply wouldn’t and couldn’t have happened.

The ridiculous term, Corbynistas, used to denigrate and dismiss both Jeremy Corbyn and those who support him, is a fatuous term which deliberately and wilfully attempts to undermine the warmth and engagement that so unassuming a man inspires. To use the expression from the ‘Last Leg’, he’s not a dick, something that cannot be said about many of his detractors.

This is a guy who rides a bike, loves his allotment, does not seek the limelight for its own sake, and yet at 67 years old manages to be an MP with all its attendant duties, be leader of the Labour party, and even more attendant duties, and attend protests and rallies the length and breadth of Britain. I am 66 and how he does it I will never know. I used to barely manage a letter a day to number 10, kinda gives you a perspective don’t it?

What this country needs is not a leader but an enabler and we need policies not posturing. Both Cameron and May had/have the pretensions of leadership and think much of themselves whilst delivering misery on an epic scale. What we need now is to get our country back on its feet, that cannot come from one man, just as the NHS did not just come from Aneurin Bevan, he was the enabler, the people delivered and have been delivering ever since, even whilst it is being stolen from us. We need a team player and a doer, not grandiosity, empty bombastic pronouncements and the exclusivity of privilege and greed. We need someone who is more comfortable with his sleeves rolled up than wearing a Savile Row suit costing several grand as Cameron did, someone who is at home with dirt under his finger nails, and yet is smart without pretension when the job requires it.

That may not suit those who seek power for powers sake, and sell us down the river, but that’s what I want as an ordinary bloke, a voter, and someone who believes in democracy, not demagoguery.

And that’s why I’ll be voting Labour on June 8th.

KOG. 25 April 2017

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Some years ago I likened anarchy to a forest glade, each form of life flourishing in its own sovereign way as it is able, calling no ‘other’ master. Of course nature has no use for democracy and yet in the glade is democracy in its purest form. It is exercised subject only to the laws of nature which gave rise to it and sustain and support it and without which the glade would not exist. Plants and animals use the natural resources present in the system for their survival, even predators, and all without deception or guile nor wilful exploitation. Nature never lies and is always true to itself.

The common misconception of anarchy is that it is lawless and chaotic and the dominance of that misconception is no accident, it’s roots lie in the propaganda of those who exercise control over human lives and who will protect that dominance by any means, including brutal armed suppression.

Curiously the responses I received to my analogy were amongst some of the most brutal I have ever received. Hardly surprising. Of all sociopolitical ideas, anarchy is the greatest threat to the dominant elites whether that is government or corporatism and the markets. Noam Chomsky a self declared anarcho-syndicalist describes it as a “conception of a very organized society, but organized from below by direct participation at every level, with as little control and domination as is feasible, maybe none.”

At the heart of anarchy is self determination, free of coercion and oppression. Chomsky talks about ‘the third and last emancipatory phase of history, the first having made serfs out of slaves, the second having made wage earners out of serfs, and the third which abolishes the proletariat in a final act of liberation that places control over the economy in the hands of free and voluntary associations of producers.’

Anarchy, then, is the purest form of democracy as informed, participative, dignified and liberated. Currently, in the west, we have a form of democracy without substance. The only thing decided at the polling booth is who will be our next masters and who will exercise control over us. Yes we are free to vote, but what we vote for is tightly and rigidly controlled by those already in power. If they gave the vote to turkeys, it would not be about Christmas itself, but whether to be broiled or roasted.

Private ownership and private enterprise give rise to what we colloquially call ‘wage slavery’. What workers submit to and devote the bulk of their lives to is a system in which democracy is entirely absent. The so called ‘free markets’ belong to and are run by the owning classes to whom workers merely rent their bodies and who have no say at all in the level of rent they are paid. For example, who sets the minimum wage, a wage below a level required to sustain life, the workers or the owners (via government)? Owners of property also rent out properties but with none of the restraints imposed on workers. Reasonable housing rents, that are sustainable for all concerned, are (almost) exclusive to publicly owned social housing. If the same rules for the minimum rents paid to workers for their bodies were applied to private housing rents, private housing rents would still be going through the roof. If there were both minimum and maximum rules, most workers would still be given the minimum, whilst most property owners would exploit the maximum.

Anarchy has at its core individual self determination yet responsive to their environment and others. As such, anarchy is the finest expression of democracy it is currently possible to imagine, although given time, endeavour and experience, it would, without doubt, evolve for the better. Anarchy is not a utopia because it is not a fixed idea, but a lived experience.

Right now it is nigh on impossible to imagine living without the ‘state’: that is, government control (whether Communism, Neoliberalism or any other ideological state ‘ism’). For anarchy to exist it requires people to participate in a democratic way, informed, educated and fully engaged. It is not a fanciful ideal, it is a living progression, sustainable, fair and, above all, liberating.

Any movement towards anarchy would be subject to immense opposition from the beneficiaries of the current system. Any chaos or bloodshed would not be instigated by anarchists but from the terrorism of the state which would at all times seek to suppress anarchy in any way it could and with all the power at its disposal. There are similarities to war: it is not the people who make war, that power is exclusive to the state, and yet those who must shed their blood in war and, indeed, pay for it in every way are common, ordinary, people.

Of course, as in war, the people would be the ones demonised, hence it is not the makers of war who suffer infantile names like Jerry, Kraut, Argie, Tommy, Nips, Gooks and so on, the trick being, via propaganda (an exclusive tool of state), to blame and demonise the victims. The same demonising is true in economic warfare including the current, infamous, war on the poor and in the use of ‘othering’, such as ‘immigrants’ (a historic favourite). We call it ‘smoke and mirrors’. The fault always lies anywhere other than where it belongs, with the ruling elites. Those who have the power to end oppression, are the very people who exploit it for their own benefit and the reason why poverty is systemic and why the poor will never be masters of their own destiny until and unless they begin to think in terms of anarchy.

Any ‘state of anarchy’ is to be applauded, it means the people demanding and creating change for the better. Under the current system anarchy is, by definition, revolutionary, but only in the sense of co-operative action, informed and educated to better ourselves to support and sustain life for the many in better conditions than anything that the current systems of domination by existing elites offer. Currently, we all know what ‘making work pay’ means, with thousands already dead, if we really want work to pay, then anarchy is the answer, not something to be sneered at and dismissed as some kind of destructive political extremism.

This is the end of this piece of anarchistic writing, as such it is, I hope, informative, helpful and progressive. Not a single life was harmed in the process of thought or writing, nor is it an incitement to riot, nor does it contain any thoughts or ideas that would bring harm to others, although the ruling elites might take exception to it simply because they want everything their own way and I oppose that because what I want is a more equal and just society and an end to exploitation for greed and profit.

KOG 29 December 2016

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/noam-chomsky-kind-anarchism-i-believe-and-whats-wrong-libertarians

https://chomsky.info/state01/

20_july_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,498

Wednesday 20 July 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

Yesterday’s letter was met with a remarkable response on Twitter, “Keith Ordinary Guy – Member of the Labour Party – says it all – how pathetic.” At such times I do feel that for some people the act of procreation was a waste of time. It’s not the same as the more general contempt that many MPs have for the lives of ordinary people, who use and abuse us so extravagantly and treat us as a cash cow even whilst despising us, lying to us and robbing us.

Someone having a meaningless pop on Twitter is such a display of futility, it is by definition pathetic and it is notable if no other reason than it is uncommon. In a general sense I enjoy Twitter as a social media site on which most of the Tweets I see are worthwhile whether I agree with them or not, or share them or not.

In six years of Tory misrule we have witnessed the appalling contempt your party has for the electorate, in recent weeks in both the referendum and the Labour leadership challenge such contempt has reached white heat and the central issue is that democracy is under attack as never before.

There is nothing banal about Jeremy Hunt’s attacks on our NHS or our junior doctors, underlying all his machinations is the determination to privatise our NHS. That’s the bottom line. No government would dare declare its intention to privatise the NHS, so it is being done by stealth and deception because politicians rightly fear democracy and an informed electorate.

I can’t say I am proud to be a member of the Labour party, it isn’t about pride, it’s about standing up for social democracy, which accounts for the ever growing popularity of Jeremy Corbyn and explains the vitriolic attacks upon him by politicians and the media. It is impossible to insult me as a member of the Labour party because that is my informed personal choice which anyone is free to dismiss as pathetic, but that only says something about them and nothing about me.

The Police have apparently said that the scale of your party’s election fraud is of ‘staggering proportions’ and have accused your party of trying to cover it up by silencing the media, which, I have to say, is an extraordinary move on their part. What we are seeing is an unprecedented attack on democracy, but what we are also seeing is an extraordinary response and all those who oppose democracy should rightfully be trembling with fear because democracy is the foundation of social justice and social responsibility. Democracy is too often touted without consideration and without any meaningful context, yet behind its glib misuse lies the very bedrock of civilisation.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/19/jeremy-hunt-broken-nhs-england-funding-pledges

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/27/jeremy-hunt-doesnt-understand-junior-doctors-book-dismantle-nhs

UK Police: Tory Election Fraud Scandal Is Being Covered-up

06_july_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,485

Wednesday 06 July 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Well it’s good to see the new kind of politics that MP’s are laying out for us, so that we can act accordingly.

I have been remiss in thinking that your party was fairly unique in its paternalism and sneering disdain for democracy, accountability and integrity.

In the finest traditions of Imperialism, it seems a great many politicians are now coming out of the closet to make their mark as autocratic throwbacks to a bygone era. If only people knew their place as in the good old days, eh, Mr Cameron?

With the release of the Chilcot report immanent, it seems, once again, that Tony Blair will not be held accountable for the invasion of Iraq, against which the largest protest in UK history took place with a million people taking to the streets. Lord Butler, the UK’s top civil servant between 1988 and 1998, has said of Blair, “He wanted to be in helping the US because he thought Saddam Hussein was a dangerous person to the world and to the Middle East and the world would be better off without him.”

In order to get rid of this man who Blair had decided the world would be better off without, UN figures show that ‘1.7 million Iraqi civilians died due to the West’s brutal sanctions regime, half of whom were children’ and from 2003 onwards around 1 million Iraq’s have been killed and a nation devastated to this day.

Let’s not forget that Madelene Albright considered half a million child deaths (more children than died in Hiroshima) as a result of sanctions was, ‘A price worth paying’. It’s not just democracy that’s being trashed, it’s civilisation itself.

From Thatcher onwards the rise of autocracy has gathered pace until today, so inured are many politicians to the arrogant assertion of their sovereign will over the people, that we, the people, are regarded and treated as the enemy and like dirt. It is long overdue that the insufferable arrogance of those who presume to power learnt their place and that you all hold your positions on the sufferance of the people. It is time that the ingrained deference to those in authority was eradicated, if you want respect, earn it. It begins with respecting democracy, not destroying it.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/07/chilcot-report-uk-role-run-ruinous-iraq-war-160705055553592.html

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/unworthy-victims-western-wars-have-killed-four-million-muslims-1990-39149394

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36701854?SThisFB

https://williamblum.org/essays/read/madeleine-albright-ethically-challenged

02_july_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,481

Saturday 02 July 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

If the referendum has taught me anything it’s that it’s extraordinary how many people know everything after the event and aren’t afraid to rip apart those who they think didn’t know better before the event. As a political writer I am blown away by how many political pundits have been lurking away in the background waiting for their big hindsight moment.

Over 4 million people have signed a petition calling for a 2nd EU Referendum. The petition was set up on 23 May 2016 by someone apparently fearful of the Remain vote winning the referendum. The poor chap is seemingly not very happy that the petition has since been dominated by Remain voters and those terrified that they made a mistake in voting for Brexit. Therein lies the issue at the heart of democracy, you never know which way it’s going to go, although vast amounts of money are spent trying to predict outcomes, or even manipulate them if one is criminally inclined.

Writing in the Guardian, Geoffrey Robertson has an interesting take on democracy, he writes, “Our democracy does not allow, much less require, decision-making by referendum. That role belongs to the representatives of the people and not to the people themselves. Democracy has never meant the tyranny of the simple majority, much less the tyranny of the mob…”

Given that the 2015 General Election was won by 24% of those eligible to vote, giving you an unrepresentative majority in government, that hardly represents the tyranny of the mob, rather the tyranny of the few, a tyranny you have exploited ever since. And if we really want to talk about the tyranny of the few, let’s talk about a government that is privatising our NHS with no mandate to do any such thing.

The turnout for the 2015 General Election was 66.1% and you secured a majority from just 37% of those who bothered to turn out. The turnout for the EU referendum was 71.8% of which 52% voted to leave the EU. I’ll leave it to you to work out which was the more representative vote of the will of the people.

Calling democracy or even representative democracy mob rule, Geoffrey Robertson doesn’t really have anything to say about democracy, but rather the sneering disdain and contempt that elitists have for ordinary people. Robertson writes, “Democracy entails an elected government, subject to certain checks and balances such as the common law and the courts, and an executive ultimately responsible to parliament, whose members are entitled to vote according to conscience and common sense.” None of which applies to you and your government, so he’s really not paying attention to reality at all.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-petition-second-eu-referendum-latest-news-vote-leave-a7104076.html

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215.json

http://www.itv.com/news/2016-06-01/tory-electoral-fraud-claims-what-you-need-to-know/

http://www.votenone.org.uk/uk-unheard-third.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/len-mccluskey/nhs-ttip-tuc-conference_b_5791300.html

http://www.ukpolitical.info/Turnout45.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887

29_june_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,478

Wednesday 29 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The European adventure has been an attempt to create a vast mono-culture of diverse nations, unelected, unaccountable and opaque, dominated by cultural and economic elites who are in no way democratically answerable to the people of the various nations which comprise it.

The referendum has been dominated by scapegoating by many who are determined to be victims blasting out as much hate and vitriol as possible from their bunkers of moral superiority. It is the most loathsome, ugly, spectacle I have ever witnessed.

The binary choice that was offered to the nation, and viciously maintained by those leading both Tory campaigns, was a united flag of big Europe or a united flag of little Britain. Both were false and steeped in the interests of a self serving elite.

The result, accompanied by wailing and gnashing of the teeth of biblical proportions, has been spectacular as the financial markets have caused a plunge in the value of sterling. Let’s bear in mind though that the markets are beholden to no one other than themselves and money, as too are Standard and Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s, privateer rating agencies which have stripped the rating of the pound. Democracy has no part in the markets and George Osborne has left them to play fast and loose with our economy with no Brexit plan in place and now entirely abandoned by Osborne, having washed his hands of the whole affair as, indeed, have you.

Such is the supreme arrogance of you and your party, you are all blithely carrying on as if you had nothing to do with the mess you’ve created and are now talking about a leadership election which includes the very people who are responsible for the current chaos and who have lied through their teeth, yet who now steadfastly deny any such thing. As Nick Cohen’s headline in the Guardian put it, ‘There are liars and then there’s Boris Johnson and Michael Gove’.

There is a victim in all this and I am far from alone in naming and highlighting it. What lies in tatters, shredded and trampled underfoot, is democracy. Instead of the titan it should be, it has become a rabbit, caught in the headlights of unaccountable power and smashed under the wheels of arrogant, elite, supremacists who have nothing but contempt for it and, therefore, the people. That is why we are in this mess and nothing will be gained until and unless the people lift up it’s precious fractured carcass and breath some shuddering life into it and rise up and hold it high. It will take some alchemy to transform the rabbit into a lion, and that alchemy is entirely the will of the people. Weeping will avail us nothing, only the roar of a people aroused to action to end the dominance of the elitist, greedy, few at the vast expense of the many.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/27/property-and-financial-shares-slide-as-referendum-fallout-hits-stock-markets

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/pound-sterling-exchange-rate-against-11530359

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/25/boris-johnson-michael-gove-eu-liars

03_june_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,453

Friday 03 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Speaking at the premier of his documentary of his life and work, ‘Versus’, Ken Loach said, ‘there was no point in “Cameron and co” watching the film “because that is their project, that is what they believe in … It is part of what they want to happen. It is not an accident that the poor are punished for their unemployment. That’s their project, that’s the point… There’s no point in showing the film to them.”

I have been asked many times why I bother writing to you, why waste my time on a man who will not listen and does not care?

The questioners are missing the point, which is to highlight injustice, state brutality and malicious and punitive policies that oppress and cause wide spread suffering.

Unlike Loach’s film, the most appropriate person to direct and focus my letters at is the head honcho of the organisation which has perpetrated this war on the poor.

In letter form, they are a publicly shared record of the most shameful and despicable government in our history. They are a catalogue of the misdeeds of you and your government which rightly belong in the public sphere.

Given also that the mainstream media is broadly complicit in your oppression of ordinary people, then it falls to us ordinary people to speak out because who else has our backs if not each other?

That’s what democracy is, the voices of the people and the power of the people. Democracy is government by rule of the people who elect representatives accountable to the people. As such the people are the power, which government should serve but which you do not. If a government fails in its responsibility to the people then it falls to the people to protect, preserve and protest their rights.

Ken Loach and I have this in common, serving the interests of the people and I am proud to be a small part of that finest of traditions of fighting for social justice. I can think of no higher purpose in life, or better free choice to make. Comparing you and Ken Loach, which do I admire and respect doesn’t even enter the world of choice.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/may/31/ken-loach-i-daniel-blake-punishing-the-poor-david-cameron