Corbyns’ 10 Pledges

Unbeknownst to the world apparently on the 28th of March there was a video upoaded on the Labour Parties Youtube channel showing Jeremy Corbyn talking about his 10 pledges for a greater society. Without the aggressive campaigning that’s about to get underway, not only officially but from supporters on facebook too I imagine that this would remain rather under viewed as no one knew about it. Even though I enjoy quite a wealth of information thanks to all the political pages, groups and friends who share such niceties I was blissfully unaware of its existence.

While the video itself is only just under two minutes long, its simple and effective at getting the basic message across. The economy isn’t working and the people are suffering because of it, the corporations are getting away with murder (just a figure of speech) and he’s going to flip the system on its head, creating a better society which works for ordinary people because of it. It’s pretty much just putting together a few of the policies which have been discussed over the past two years into a single unit.

The video description connects to a webpage on the Labour Party website detailing the pledges with a bit more explanation. Here is the link itself: http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/10-pledges

Each one, ranging from creating a national investment bank with the purpose of investing in the local economy, to the security and home and work is all part of creating a more equal and fairer society.

The first one promising full employment. This will be achieved through the creation of a national investment bank and regional investment banks which will be given 500 billion to invest in the economy. Investing in things such as high speed broadband, energy, transport and homes. Quite excited about this policy, the free market has simply failed in these areas and its great that Jeremys’ government would step in to invest.

The second being to provide 1 million homes over the next 5 years, with at least half being council homes. This is fantastic, house building has being left to the free market for the past few decades and they’ve simply not being able to provide whats needed, limiting supply and driving up house prices. This has made it unaffordable for a good section of the population. Government investment, especially in providing council homes which would be a welcome reprieve to the 1.4 million on waiting lists for social housing.

The third would be the protection and introduction of more workers rights, ending the use of zero hours contracts and create new sectoral collective bargaining rights. I’m not too knowledgeable on this one other than the abysmal reality of zero hours contracts, not having guaranteed work but being unable to find other work as your employer could call you anytime to inform that you have a shift, usually on the night before or even on the morning.

Fourth is the protection of the NHS, reversing privatization. Good and simple policy. People not profit should be at the centre of healthcare.

Fifth is the creation of a national education service, the educational equivalent of the NHS. Not really sure how this one would work but okay. Also there will be universal childcare, a welcome reprieve for working mothers giving them greater freedom for participation in the workforce.

Sixth is a strategy to protect the environment helping to tackle climate change. The main plan here is to invest in green energy, while not only aiming to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint but also creating sustainable jobs in the sector. In the process taking on the big six energy companies to reduce their tight grip on the energy market.

Seventh will be taking back transport services into the public sector, especially the much reviled train services. Rebuilding public transport services is key to the economy as these are the vessels through which workers reach their employers, just as blood vessels which carry oxygen throughout the body.

Eight is a plan to cut income inequality and the staggering wealth disparity between the mega rich of the city and the rest of us at the bottom. Planning to use a progressive taxation system with more taxes on the rich to spread wealth across society, and not just horded at the top.

Ninth is a pledge to create a more equal society, pledging to bring an end to discrimination of all types against peoples faith, race or gender etc. Simple stuff. Just wanting everyone to exist peacefully without having to be harassed for the prejudices of others, especially when that something is usually outside of their control. This also includes refusing to use EU nationals as a bargaining chip in the Brexit negotiations, guaranteeing the full rights their legally entitled to.

Last but not least is the tenth pledge of peace and prosperity at the heart of foreign policy. Attempting the noble cause of trying to peacefully resolve conflicts and put human rights at the centre. One of the ways this will be achieved is through the UN and being part of our trade policy. Whether the UK government ha any real clout to end internal conflicts within other nations is one thing, especially Syria which I’m Assad would be all ears, but its good that they wish peace over endless conflict.

Overall its not a bad start, focusing on policies for people rather than those just at the top. It’s one way to swing the pendulum back as wealth and income inequality are reduced and people really believe that things can change, things can and they will get better.

The worst kept secret in British politics

This isn’t Corbyns election to win, but Mays to lose.

To the surprise of no one, Theresa May is set to announce an early General Election. Slated for the 8th of June this would be an astonishing 2 months away, quite a short time in which there will have to be fierce campaigning. Normally we have a good amount of time in which to prepare ourselves physically and mentally for the political grind to come, but this is such a short timeframe that the opposition parties will be forced into some quick action or lose ground. However, while it has been on the cards for some time it was never certain that it would happen, Theresa May said a few times that there would be no early election.

There are a a growing number of reasons why it was becoming increasingly likely that Theresa would call an early election, here are a few of them.

Lets get the most obvious one out the way. Brexit. Even a year after the referendum the battle for what Brexit means, looks like and the results of are still being waged in what seems to be the political equivalent of the western front. No matter what happens both sides seem to be entrenched in their post referendum positions.  The Remainers battling to either prevent Brexit all together on the fringes or to lessen the impact of what they see as “Hard” Brexit and bring about a change which would result in “Soft” brexit. On the otherhand for the most part the Leavers wish to leave as soon as possible and get on with it, although to some its almost as though they wish to leave, no matter the cost. A general election would bring some reprieve for this horrible political quagmire, as presumably if May wins then her version of Brexit will be given a clean mandate. If there is no majority however, then thats where things become more like the Somme than the allies reaching the Hindenburg line.

The second reason, Theresa Mays’ legitimacy as Prime Minister, which you could argue is more important that Brexit. There is a widely held view that Theresa May has no mandate to govern the nation. While technically she is the leader of the largest party in The mother of all Parliaments, she was elected (if you can even call it that) as the leader of the Conservative party and not the country. She has her own path she wishes to take the Conservatives on which is just different enough to Cameron and Osbornes which it is seen that she requires a new mandate as this isn’t the Conservative party which the country voted for in 2015.  Winning this snap election would provide May the mandate she needs from the public to govern and quash any criticisms of her legitimacy as Prime Minister.

The third reason, and perhaps the most cynical reason to hold an early election, is the complete and utter collapse of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition. Ever since Corbyns election (and subsequent re-election a year later) the party has descended into a complete and utter farce. Constant infighting, media leaks of supposed unhappiness and poor leadership have crippled the party to the point where it no longer seems capable of putting up a half decent opposition to the Conservatives. Whether you believe the polls or not, especially after Brexit and Trump, the situation looks even more dire. The Conservatives are consistently 15% ahead of Labour, sometimes even as high as 20% in the lead, this would lead to a total wipe out of Labour in the marginals and leave only the safest seats remaining in their hands. Finally the Conservatives would have revenge for their catastrophic defeat at the hands of Blair in 1997, which Labour only had a 13% lead. Not calling a snap election in this political climate would seem a poor decision, after all why have a small majority of 16 when you can have a large majority of 160, maybe even more?

Whatever your opinions on the snap election, whether held with good intentions or cynical machinations it has been announced and it is coming. The next two months will see and intense struggle within the Labour Party, the triumphant mood within the Conservatives which they believe will see them to a comfortable victory and the smaller parties fighting for the scraps fringes. It will decide the fate of a nation, perhaps even that of a continent. Most important of all, its not Corbyns election to win but Theresa Mays to lose.

The SNP have never had it so good

The confidence of the SNP must be high for Sturgeon to suggest another referendum, while its been on the cards for some time there has been no indication it was nothing more than nationalist rhetoric. Brexit however changed the name of the game, bringing the prospect of a new referendum to the forefront of Scottish, and subsequently British, politics. It now almost seems a certainty it will materialize. The winds of change are quite favorable. From Brexit to the Westminster government the nation is divided in countless ways which seem to suggest that Scotland is miles apart from the power base in England.

The divides which have shown themselves over the past few years since the 2014 independence referendum are unprecedented. The results of the 2015 General Election were surprising south of the border, but not so much to the north. In England the Conservatives managed to secure a majority of MPs, a complete shock given that for 6 months prior all we heard from political commentators and politicians was the certainty of a hung parliament, resulting in another coalition. North of the border however the SNP enjoyed a huge surge in the polls, mobilizing the 45% from the indy campaign they managed to secure a whopping 56/59 seats. Scotland chose an open inclusive form of nationalism and democratic socialism, while England chose Camerons’ liberal brand of Conservatism, quite a stark contrast between then two when you consider the Conservatives are pushing an austerity agenda while the SNP are the the vanguard in the fight against it.

Just as with the General Election Brexit revealed the stark divides between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. While England and Wales voted for Brexit, Scotland (along with Northern Ireland) voted overwhelmingly for remain, by a score of 62-38. As a result the Scottish will be dragged out of the the European Union against their will , even as it was something they soundly rejected, only further fueling the divides which are propelling them towards independence. But Brexit has another, more important consequence which will see itself come to fruition during any Yes to Independence campaign in future.

That simplistic slogan of the Vote Leave camp “Take back control” will return to haunt them. Especially since the whole focus of the Brexit referendum from the Leave camp was based on the idea that the British people should take back control from out of touch elites in Brussels, so we can decide our own future and destiny.  For after all, if English and Welsh can take back control from Europe, why can’t the Scots take back control from Westminster? Worst of all for the Brexiteers they will seemingly be unable to defend this great union, as the Scottish people are merely trying to achieve the same thing as they were, only the contexts have changed. Ultimately disarming their arguments, as to belittle the Scots who use their own arguments against them would ultimately attack their Brexit campaign too.

By doing away with the Union the Scots allow themselves to be the controllers of their own government, future and more importantly their own destiny. Removing the shackles of the Westminster Parliament, controlled by the much reviled Conservatives, allowing themselves to say in the EU or rejoin if they’ve already been taken out. Sturgeon and the SNP have never had it so good. Winning should be a lot easier than it was in 2014. If they lose again however the question should be settled for a generation.

 

 

The Unexpected bookworm

It’s may have been around 6 months since I made one of the first posts detaling my enjoyment of the film 1984. I’ve come a long way since then. Through the portfolio of pieces I’ve written, at the most 3 in one week, as if I was doing nothing but writing, to the slower and more gradual output of one a week, written more in the style of an essay in which I’d do a first draft to ensure its quality. Not only has my writing and content (hopefully)improved but also my ability to learn. I’ve taken to the hobby of reading.

Ever since I was required to read The Woman in Black as part of my English GCSE course last year it pushed me into the paper format for learning. It’s something I’ve never really done. I might own a good collection of history books but they’re mainly for show, when I bought them I had every intention of reading them but after the first few pages the interested petered out. In my comprehensive days I only read read pages of textbooks required for lesson without much interest. But now things seem to have changed, for the better. My desire to expand my knowledge combined with the forced reading of The Woman in Black has opened a new world.

Given the bus journeys which I take regularly to college, a good 40 minutes each way, I’ve got some ample time to expand my knowledge through the paper format. I mean I could read the Metro which is free on the bus I get but it doesn’t really interest me. For me published books are the way forward, after all getting a book published requires a lot more than some hatchet job or gossip stop in a paper. Not only that but unlike articles on the internet, which require a good thorougher search or ones from the paper, which if you miss an edition and no one you know has one then you’re basically goofed, books can be found congregating on the dusty shelves of stores such as Waterstones or one of the most important public services, the library. In the Library is a plethora of different novels, historical accounts and academic pieces which are displayed in their volumes, ready for those who seek to find that which is sought. One benefit is that unlike their media brothers books usually last for quite a good week or two, deeper in insight and depth of the detail.

The books I mainly read are political in nature, ranging from George Orwells infamous 1984, an introduction to ideologies and even books written by that notorious leftie Owen Jones. That last one may surprise a few people. It has given me an opportunity to read different points of view however. This is incredibly important as it allows me to release the shackles of conformation bias, helping me to see the larger picture and increase my knowledge, giving me a greater understanding of things. Bias is certainly one of the things which plagues online columns but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What is bad is sticking within your own conformation bias bubble which is a lot harder to break on the internet I find as you can always just close the tab and never look at it again, where as with books you feel encouraged to read through.

It has certainly not only changed the way I learn but also my tenacity to learn. Reading has thus become an important part of my self education and ultimately self enlightenment, its like my own rebellion against the unconscious ignorance which we all suffer. Quite a liberating experience if I must say so. Reading also allows me to maximize the use of spare time, making me as efficient as possible, an important step for self improvement.

While reading is not easy, its certainly worth it.

Shock Conservative Victory and Labour Troubles

The morning of friday the 23rd was that of any other, I rose early to use the shower before congestion kicked in, indulged in my morning bowl of beautiful chocolate flavoured wheat cereal and booted up the old PC. Loading up my facebook newsfeed it could have just been another friday morning except this followed two important by-elections for MP’s. Above their usual importance of seeing how well the government and opposition is fairing with the electorate, these followed one of the most momentous decisions made by the British public for over 40 years in the Brexit vote as well as bring the first electoral benchmark in opposition held constituencies for Theresa May in her tenure as Prime Minister.

The results were in, Labour had held onto Stoke-on-Trent Central while the Conservatives managed to steal a shock victory in Copeland. Copeland was by no means a safe Labour seat however the party has controlled it since the 1930’s which only deepened the sense of loss in defeat. On the other hand Stoke was pretty a safe Labour seat so their success in defending it requires less recognition.

For most of the campaigning the media focused firmly on Stoke as that’s where UKIP’s Paul Nuttall was standing in his first electoral attempt since assuming the leadership. A baptism by fire certainly, it would prove whether UKIP would remain as a domestic force or would be destroyed in defeat as their party slackens its hold on the minds of the electorate. After all for over 20 years since its inception their main focus has always being on getting Britain out the European Union and now they’ve achieved that would the party still serve a purpose? Would their anti-establishment stance allow them to sustain a foothold? I will make another post for this contentious issue. For now I will focus on Labour.

No where near as much media focus was on Copeland.  This only helped to magnify the surprise emphasized by the fact the Conservatives were never really portrayed as the main enemy for Labour in these elections, always UKIP and their working class appeal. So with the Conservative victory it does raise some concerns about Labour, its current internal conflict and its potentially worrying outlook for the future. Though the troubles have been speculated for some time, Copeland has brought them to the forefront.

Firstly we will examine the numbers. There were around 8,000 less people who turned out to vote as opposed to the 39,000 at the General Election 2015. This shows itself in the downturn in the Labour vote, down 5,000 as a result, for 11,600 in total. The Conservative vote however only decreased around 500 votes for a total of  13,700. While the traditionally lower turnouts for by-elections could be to blame, it could be interpreted as a symptom of something deeper with the Labour Party.

A symptom which manifests itself in the age old struggle of left, right and center. The change from embedding themselves in the centre left under Ed-Miliband to the more left wing policy platform of Corbyn has had consequences, which have shown themselves today and Labour have paid the price. Falling short in appealing to the broad masses through the prism of the left the opposing Conservatives, who while they’ve moved further to the right still keep a foot in the centre, allowed them selves to appeal to a broader base. Thus achieving a vital victory . If Labour continuously fails to mobilize the masses under socialist policies or manages to regain centrist voters then dark times are ahead. Any replication of these results in marginal seats up and down the country would lead an onslaught at the ballot box, culminating in a brutal bloodbath of Labour MP’s.

Another point, one which cannot be dismissed, glossed over or swept under the rug is the complete collapse of unity with the Party. Right now Labour is in a horrendously chaotic state to which it seems there is no end in sight. Ever since Corbyns election as leader there has developed the political equivalent of trench warfare. On one side are Corbyn and his supporters, emboldened by his successful bid for leader, gaining new strength as well as renewed faith that the left can not only succeed but is required to fight against the ruthless Conservative government. On the other hand are the Blairites who started this, representing the right wing of the party they see the left as unelectable, untamed and out of date; harking back to the 1980’s when Labour failed to combat their arch nemesis Margaret Thatcher, assuming that if they go back they will be crushed even more. Unabated continuously for almost two years they are deeply entrenched in their ideals, both sides show no sign of budging. Until they reconcile their differences the country will suffer. Failing to provide a real substantial opposition to the Conservative government, allowing them to implement more right wing policies then they would otherwise. Those who are not embedded in the party see the ruckus on the Labour benches as a embarrassment, all the while the Tories seem to be a bit more united(as much as they can be since their backbenches are notorious for being rebellious) which converts itself to electability.

While I may like Corbyn as a breath of fresh air from the usual robot it does feel he suffers from a severe lack of passion and enthusiasm. Which translates itself into a rather loose grip on the party further fueling the insurrection. To rectify the leadership problems he faces are momentous, rather than acting as merely a moderator for the party he needs to clamp his fist and bang it on the table. Whipping the revolting members into line and engaging in an aggressive series of offensives on the Conservative government and its brutal attacks on the state. Failing to do this will only fuel Labours slide into descent into limbo, a great shame for a once proud working class movement. The policies aren’t the problem, nether is the party, the farcical leadership and MPs are.

Copeland and Stoke might not have been the first by-elections during Corbyns tenure as leader but they certainly wont be the last, and if these are a sign of what is to come then dark tidings lie ahead. After all winning in safeseats is one thing, but losing in a previously Labour held marginal seat? disastrous.

Automation Apocalypse

Robots are coming

an era of immense technological change is upon us, ever advancing at a quickening pace it revolutionizes everything within its grasp. From the AI systems which will soon combine to control every aspect of your home, to self driving cars, to even the simplest of commodities such as self serving checkouts at supermarkets, to even the virtual credit boom and the slow replacement of cash. Through this we now live in a world which is becoming increasingly intertwined with computer technology and robotic systems, whether they be virtual or physical, but for all the accolades, successes and milestones the most glorious gift which this brings to humanity, the crowning achievement of the technological revolution will be the systematic replacement of the working classes through insatiable automation of jobs.

This robotic replacement of working class occupations is something which must be resisted at all costs, for every step taken towards this goal is a disastrous defeat for the working man and the working woman. Whenever this occurs it is those unsung heroes who keep the economy going who suffer, for they are the ones who lose their jobs as a result. What happens when people lose their jobs? They lose absolutely everything! their livelihood, their home and even their family! worst of all the suffer a loss of dignity, pride and ultimately a sense of purpose and place.

Who is to blame for this? The capitalists of course! their greed blinds them and castrates them of any sympathy for the common people. The only thing they care about is their beloved profit margins which are nothing more than bars on a graph, lines on a chart or number in a spreadsheet. Good people shouldn’t suffer such a cruel fate because of greed and avarice.

It’s not just the capitalists either, for we too are to blame. The insatiable hunger of the consumer for cheaper and cheaper goods accelerates this policy in order to feed extravagant materialism in all its glory and all its horror.For we too are blinded by the process as long as the end result is desirable. A monstrous burden which we must carry for all time if we allow this to complete the irreversible process.

The faceless creation of the machine is coming and the age of the machine comes with it, so tell me are you going to stand as the apocalypse looms over as 19th century European powers tower over the defenseless natives to be conquered? or are you going to act upon it and resist while you still can? before its too late.

The modern day Nazi propoghanda machine

Even after 70 years Hitlers ideals still thrive in the seedy underbelly of the internet

The Nazi party and all its mainstream advocates may be gone, but the ideals which Hitler and his followers fought and died for lives on. In an unparalleled machine, powered by a few, whose sole purpose is to churn take in the disenfranchised and turn them into loyal foot soldiers of National Socialism. Unlike the tools of the past, radio and televisions, the dawn of the internet has given new opportunities for the proponents of Nazism to spread their message. In this piece I’ll be focusing predominantly on the visual media posted on YouTube rather than forums and National Socialist websites as they simply don’t have the same kind of power, the same kind of grasp on the viewer which videos have.

Full of speeches, footage from rallies, parades and combat they combine of form the perfect message. The awe-inspiring sights of crowds which stretch for miles, reveling in the moment and flying the Nazi flag with enthusiasm create a spell over the viewer, creating a stir of emotions within them, grabbing and drawing them in. Incredible and incomparable to anything else they are nothing more than the culmination of magnificence.

The speeches themselves are predominantly snippets from various speakers and events stitched together to form a cohesive message. Emphasizing the message it exists within a juxtaposition with the footage to maximize the strength of the message, showing unity and defiance against the enemies of international Jewry and Bolshevism. Together its almost hard to resist, the allure overwhelming.

In this you also witness firsthand the true oratory powers of Hitler. Often used as the benchmark to compare modern day public speakers to, usually right-wing, you begin to see what is actually a false comparison. I mean without hearing any of Hitlers speeches it might seem feasible but once you hear those deep and exhilarating vocal cords it becomes ever so certain that in reality no one can compare. One of the reasons for this is truly the power of belief, just as Alfred warns Bruce of how Bane is fueled by the power of belief in The Dark Knight Rises,  which cannot be underestimated.

For the lost and the damned these videos are a gateway into another world, way of thinking and way of life. The light in the darkness for those who feel betrayed by todays rotten world, it gives them a purpose, something to strive towards and direction on how things should be. Seeing the struggle against international Jewry and communists as a fight which still rages on, though the metal and steel have been exchanged for a war on the mind, heart and soul of a people.

It’s quite impressive that even now, after over 70 long years, Hitler and his ideals still find their way into fresh young minds, creating new foot soldiers for the National Socialist dream. The element of being taboo certainly plays a part in this, as when something is ridiculed and denounced at every turn there are those who seek the truth behind the veil of censorship and are enlightened by what they discover.

Here are a few examples: