Monday, October 31, 2011

how do unions justify using dues to fund the UK Labour party?


Addition 01-11-11: John B commented that unions are legally obliged to offer an opt-out on donations to political funds, however see my comment in reply for an example of how this law may be abused.


This follows on from my previous rant about how manifestly evil the UK Labour party is. One of the points I forgot to make in that rant was about union funding of Labour, as revealed in this Graun editorial.  Rusbridger describes how legislation to cap donations to political parties- a manifestly just and sensible idea (and another Labour failed to action)- would also hamstring union funding of the Labour party unless the political levy unions hand to Labour were ended and individuals were encouraged to donate themselves. Yes, you read that correctly. Regardless of the political alignment of the union member, who may very much need the protection and security afforded by membership, he has no way of preventing the union handing over his hard earned money to a political party that has- to say the least- taken a big, sloppy, wet shit all over the people of the UK. Interesting, yes? But wait, there's more: Rusbridger goes on to make the astonishing observation that, when levies were devolved to individuals in the past, the Labour party saw "big falls in the levy". What does that tell you about how much genuine support the UK Labour party has among workers.

I was, in fact, aware of this before I read Rusbridger's piece. I signed up to join Unite when I started my first job (which was also my PhD) after completing my Master's. Being the good little ideologue that I am I proceeded to crow about this on the internets. My bubble was rapidly burst by Rossinisbird pointing out that Unite actively lobbied the Labour government for new nuclear builds. So I cancelled my membership within a week. Fuckers. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

why do some people still not get that the UK Labour party is raw evil?


I caused offense on Twitter the other day (shock, horror) by engaging in the hideous crime of being astonished at the fact that Labour supporters had reacted with hostility to the OccupyLSX protest.  I don't know who this wart Dan Hodges is and I don't care. Anyone who works under the flag of the UK Labour Party is- by definition- an idiot, a dangerously deceptive and malicious demagogue or an outright psychopath. Regardless of the shortcomings and ideological woolliness of the Occupy movement, protest against the establishment is all that is left to society in the UK because the establishment is so thoroughly and irreconcilably dysfunctional. If you work with the forces operating within and sustaining that system then you are part of the problem. 

Lets throw some evidence in here to support these hysterical claims. Particularly, lets look at Labour's recent history in government: 
  • Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader War on Terruh. Extraordinary rendition, torture, repression. 
  • Becoming firmly entrenched in the rectum of the City of London Corp; being "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich". Private Finance Inititiatives. Ultimately, significant responsibility for the fuckyounomic collapse.
  • Overseeing a decline in equality.
  • Cash for honours/questions.
  • Pushing nuclear power over renewable research & development. Granting licenses for open-cast coal mines. The 3rd runway at Heathrow and a host of other appallingly short-sighted and unsustainable decisions on energy and the environment.
  • Renewing Trident. 
  • Failing to tackle tax evasion & avoidance. Cosying up to significant evaders/avoiders, i.e. being whores. 
  • Instituting university tuition fees.
  • Broad failure to ensure public services were run as such for the benefit of the nation. Particularly rail but also the post office, BBC, NHS, etc. 
I think there's a good case to be made that none of this was necessary. More to the point, I seriously doubt whether much of it had any public support. Some of the actions of the Labour government were or will be profoundly damaging to the people of the UK and to the country's stability and future prospects. I'm sure I've missed out other pertinent examples too. One that issue that deserves special mention is the Labour government's abject failure to reform the institutions of government and democracy in the UK. I am convinced that those institutions are profoundly dysfunctional, archaic or just plainly and outrageously unjust: the unelected second house, the unrepresentative nature of the First-Past-The-Post system, the unwritten constitutions, the libel laws. 

The idea that the Labour party can somehow be salvaged from the moral crevice it has somehow crawled down into is laughable. We are talking about one of the two largest political parties in the UK. The suggestion that its members can effect change upon the ruling elite of that organisation, can winkle out the bad sorts who helped get such diversely awful policy onto the statute books, particularly those who mindless pushed this stuff upon a naive and delirious public, is just arse. There are not "many good ppl in lab". There's just a shower of bastards too stupid, too malevolently sociopathic to realise that they are part of the problem.

I want to declare something here to anyone unfamiliar with this blogger's recent political history: I voted Labour in 2010. It was horrible. I felt violated. I had spent three and a half years railing against Labour's sociopathy and then had to vote for them at the general election because a Tory was threatening to get in. Ultimately he did and so I felt vindicated at voting for the lesser of two evils but the point that must be drawn from this is that Labour and the Tories are two sides of the same tyranny. Neither will reform the blatantly dysfunctional system that means that I have no effective vote. I can only choose between different flavours of sociopathic tyranny. That's not democracy and its Labour's fault as much as it is the Tories.

Addition 01-11-11:  I should really have added Labour's horrendous imprisonment and abuse of children to the list above, but *sigh* so little time and so many different injustices. 

Friday, October 07, 2011

a note on language


I get really annoyed by having to frequently use different terminology to describe the same phenomenon. If you follow my ravings for more than a day or two you'll notice that I often throw around terms like plutocracy, corporatocracy, pseudo-democracy, etc. etc. When I use these terms I'm very aware that they suggest an inconsistency in my analysis and I just wanted to throw this post out to explain why I do so. The reason is to identify the precise dysfunction underlying whatever subject I'm ranting about at the time. I think its useful to put these terms out there so that people can think about them and, if they wish, to explore further what they mean. As far as consistency goes the precise term is somewhat irrelevant. The depth of  the dysfunction that afflicts modern Western society is sufficient to contain a plethora of malignancies that are exhibited in different ways, be it Liam Fox's use of parliamentary office space to accomodate the operation of the sham 'charity' and arch-neocon lobby group Atlantic Bridge or the transparent attempts by the coalition government to push privatisation against public opinion and any conceivable national interest. Each term is appropriate to the specific phenomena to which I apply them but they all imply some sort of fundamental dysfunction. You can use a specific term to accurately describe the sociopathy that is being exhibited or you can use a generic term for the entire phenomenon.

As an aside, "sociopathy" is another favourite of mine. I use it as an umbrella-term for the entire, sordid, shit-storm of dysfunction that is endemic throughout modern Western society.  Wikipedia fails to provide a relevant definition, providing only psycho-babble that equates the term with psychopathy. According to the word's etymological roots, however, "sociopathy" is a pathology of society. I.E. It is some intrinsic aspect of society that is diseased. The intrinsic component of this definition is important because it is far too easy to subconsciously externalise behaviour and actions which are sociopathic. To categorise them as being alien to society, something new and different which isn't part of 'our society'. However, pretty much every sociopathy is not at all new but merely a development of some earlier human dysfunction that modernity has provided with a new way to manifest itself. Its really easy to draw historical parallels between serdom and modern wage-slavery, for example. Other examples are even more obvious: the resort to nationalism and jingo to exhort citizens to accept and embrace their own oppression is a beautiful one and a fundamental component of Tory ideology. The common theme running through all of these sociopathies is that they are human failings. They arise from humanity collectively misplacing trust or being insufficiently focused upon (sometimes purposefully distracted from) the workings of its own society to perceive the dysfunction lurking there. 

The problem with all these big words and my precise definitions is that they might alienate your average reader. Basically, they're radical jargon. The purpose of this post is to admit this and to confess to the crime of using jargon. It is a crime against communication and if there's one thing that radicals need it is to be understood. However, is it necessary to use such particular terminology in order to convince people of the truth of your arguments? Its entirely possible that such terminology might alienate people who are looking for a simple 'hit' of insight, such as Twitter might provide. Insight isn't necessarily compactable into 140 chrs but precise use of language is one way of facilitating it. Sometimes its not only helpful but essential to be precise in your use of terminology.



Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth.

The US and the UK, being fundamentally similar in their social- and power-structures are both plutocracies, as revealed here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011



I'm trolling this guy's post on the alleged absence of lefty alternatives to neoliberalism. I'm really quite proud of my work.

I rule.

Saturday, October 01, 2011



This Venn diagram is pretty much the most concise summation of the challenges faced by Western society that I've yet encountered: