The Corbyn delusion and the double-edged sword of truth – Mal Content.

“I can’t be cool … I read one too many books”

– The Clash: ‘Deny’

As an anarchist I regard the ascension of Jeremy Corbyn to the Leadership of the Opposition as a huge backward step. We were finally getting the message across that the political caste can do nothing for us, being in thrall to some distant, unaccountable people, and arbitrary market forces that no one understands, especially those who are paid fabulous sums to predict their outcome. Social inequality has reached Pharonic proportions, with 62 individuals* wielding more purchasing power than the poorest three and a half billion. Through all the crises of the past five years, their wealth increased by 44%, while everyone else’s fell by a similar amount. The richest 1% is now worth as much as the rest of us put together. No state redistribution scheme is going to make a dent in this mountain of fictitious capital, and there’s simply nothing big enough to invest more than a tiny fraction of it in. In so far as it exists at all, except as a measure of the theoretical status of the socially useless, such wealth resides in tax havens, far from the workers whose needs and abilities it represents. The plutocrats amuse themselves with football clubs, islands and vast swathes of London, and use their newspapers and TV stations to install their lackeys in the institutions their class devised over centuries to keep it in power forever.

* Since this was written, it fell to 8, and by the time you read it …

mugs

Our people still don’t know what they want, much less how to get it, on a recent TUC outing it struck me what a confused mess the left has become with all its different agendas. “Fight for every job”, one placard says; “a million green jobs now!” screams another; “NHS not Trident”, “stop tax dodging”, “positive banking!” – really? The GMB supports fracking, Unite sits on the fence over Trident. We aren’t helping much with slogans like “demand the impossible”; demand the bleeding obvious more like. With the Labour Party at last consigned to the dustbin of history, the mirage of political representation would evaporate revealing naked class struggle. The last thing we needed was someone breathing life into this anachronism and giving people false hope; it would be a tragedy if the young and angry spent the next five years campaigning for a Labour government when they could be kicking off, wildcatting and occupying the means of production. Like you, I’ve groaned at the false dichotomy of state-managed socialism versus state-guaranteed capitalism, shuddered at the grim spectre of Old Labour. It burns my arse that I’m sat here writing about party politics, just months after the Syriza fiasco exposed its futility.

MessiahAs a matter of fact, back in July when the Messiah showed up at Tolpuddle to fill the gap left by Our Tone, I harboured a vain notion that I might have a quiet word with him at some point. He’s a nice geezer who works hard for his constituents. Having respect for his sincerity I would say: “For the sake of our class! Please don’t stand!” In the event, he floated in and out again, smiling beatifically, surrounded by swarms of entranced acolytes in their J.C. T shirts. After slogging away for decades to no good purpose, he’s having his fifteen minutes and loving it – well who can blame him? Had I waded through the selfie apocalypse to express such dissonance, I would have been denounced as a heretic and belaboured with copies of the Morning Star. Anyway, by then I was occupied with fucking off a pro-Israel group.

Corbyn was put up as a joke candidate by the Blairites, who no longer bother to hide their contempt for our class. He was to act as a foil for their argument that Labour had lost the election purely because they had failed to keep up with the Tories’ stampede to the right and were too soft on immigrants and the poor. New Labour had opened their leadership contest to supporters who paid a fee to register. This was mainly to reduce the influence of trade unionists, almost exclusively workers in the beleaguered public sector. This backfired spectacularly as thousands registered to vote for Corbyn. So they resorted to a range of dirty tricks, barred people from voting, even wheeled out the old war-criminal himself – big mistake; as Blair is the left’s most hated figure after Thatcher, perhaps even more so as he conned them into putting him in government. The result was that the 200/1 outsider polled three times as many votes as the next runner-up. Since His election, there have been a few unexpected developments, and some entirely predictable ones.

trotskyFirst there was The Miracle Of The Trots. Every Marxist group that ever there was, SP, CP, SWP, TUSC, LU, AWL Counterfire – who all hate each other with a vengeance, abandoned their turf war to unite behind Corbyn. The factionalist Alliance for Workers’ Liberty even de-registered as a party so its members could join Labour.

As anticipated, the chattering classes have closed ranks, the corporate press and the state-corporatist BBC whine forlornly at the prospect of having to fight a battle they thought ended with the Miners’ Strike. The parliamentary Labour Party, an uninspiring gang of careerists and time-servers representing no one whatsoever, were oiked out of obscurity and are now on the radio every five minutes. A year ago it would have been inconceivable that anyone would ask Andy Burnham’s opinion on anything.

The message blaring from every speaker is that under the hegemony of neoliberal capitalism, a socialist agenda has no place in a national representative assembly, however many of its subjects may want it. This arrogance from the 24% seems to have galvanised the multitudes who want to wave two fingers at them into joining the Party, more have done so since His election than are in the tory party. Branch meetings are suddenly packed with people who have never belonged to a party in their lives. Who are these people and what do they hope to achieve? A crowd- sourced budget perhaps? I’m imagining the kind of people who follow Another Angry Voice and The Artist Taxi Driver. Green, anticapitalist, for free education and healthcare, open borders and public ownership, if not exactly workers’ control. I suspect most of them want to go a lot further than their leader would dare and don’t give a damn if he wears a poppy or kisses the queen’s ring. So they aren’t too fussed that Corbyn can’t carry a majority in the house, or win an election with all the tabloids and the Beeb against him. Anecdotally a few anarchists are joining in, no names no packdrill, that should give the Daily Mail something to froth about. The tories who were rumoured to have infiltrated Labour to vote for the unelectable Corbyn, are reduced to lamenting the lack of a serious (i.e. neoliberal) opposition being bad for democracy. So maybe the Labour party will become a campaigning network like 38 degrees, which doesn’t suffer from having to have a policy on everything. But why do we need another one?

reading1 (1)Those of us who read a bit were also quick to have a pop; we follow ideas not people. Corbyn’s ideas are neither new nor explicitly anticapitalist, and at the present stage of capitalist accumulation, impossible for any government to implement. Some of them are daft and obviously made on the hoof, his idea of building nuclear submarines without warheads smacks of Keynes’ digging holes and filling them in again. His Unite backers would prefer to while away their days building Trident, a mechanism for ending human history and making the planet uninhabitable, than be excluded from waged labour. As for back-door negotiations with deash, that would be a betrayal of the working class in both territories, and put Britain in the same sordid position as Turkey and Saudi Arabia – if it isn’t already.

It’s a truism that politicians are out of touch with the people, having never done, been trained for, not had any ambition to do more than govern others. The media have long lamented the young’s lack of engagement with the Westminster circus. In reply they’ve thrown up only reactionary buffoons like Farage and hare-brained misogynist Russell Brand, whose boner melted before Milliband’s legendary charisma. Both are heavily reliant for their livelihood on the status quo. In the media-generated political mirage, the class that must work for wages is only allowed to construe economics in terms of jobs and money; they would have us believe that money has a value, is finite, and must be worked for. Corbyn cannot escape this mythology, so he chats about creating jobs, wealth and economic growth through investment as if these things were desirable. The trouble with Keynesianism, as Hitler and Mussolini knew only too well, is you have to have a war every so often to destroy surplus production. When Billy Bragg sang ‘Between the Wars’ thirty-odd years ago, Britain actually was – if you didn’t count Ireland, and the proxy wars going on in Palestine, Iran/Iraq, Timor etc in which British capital was invested. We are now in a continuous state of war and it will end when capitalism ends.

Capitalism rests on violence; it pervades every aspect of the culture. Children are taught to admire and simulate the taking of life as soon as they are able to grasp the concept of death. There are few computer games related to saving the planet, I tried a Google search and the latest entry was from 2011. On Radio 4’s Question Time recently a panel of liberals and worthies had a solemn debate on whether it was reasonable to lock away a fifteen year old for the rest of their life, for fantasising on the internet about killing strangers in a distant land. They agreed they didn’t have enough information to make that judgement and would leave it to others – a pretty sorry admission from would-be opinion formers. This was followed immediately by a discussion on whether it was irresponsible for a seventy-year old man to say he would never kill strangers in distant lands. The grown up common sense view is that not having a vessel under the sea, carrying more explosive than has ever been detonated, anywhere, would put us at risk – who, exactly is ‘us’?

Here’s the double-edged bit: unlike us Bookfair-goers, the braying toffs and media hacks are not just sneering at some fluffy old lefty and his 20th century politics; they are sneering at the needs and aspirations of our class. Those who aspire to bring their kids into a world that isn’t fitted with a self-destruct button, and is at least prepared to feed and house them. The young who see themselves as more than just creators of surplus-value, while the rich, breeding at our expense on their stolen land, see their own offspring as appropriators and accumulators of that value. The test of a socialist utopia will be whether you’re still getting up in the morning and taking crap off people you don’t respect. Within the drudgery of our lives we find that that the most significant things people do are done neither for reward nor to order but out of the instinct to altruism and goodwill. It’s just that we’ve all grown up in a society where greedy sociopaths rise to the top, are perceived to be successful and held up to be admired.

There are more useful things we could be doing than kicking Corbyn right now, we need to get amongst the disciples a bit sharpish and steer the conversation away from fixing the economy, a hateful thing that exists to maintain the dominance of the few over the many. Our class could break it irrevocably in a heartbeat, but we must abandon the attitudes, and to some extent the desires that sustain it. We work to live, or else we are raw material to the industry that generates its profits from managing our inactivity. In work or out of it we are confined by procedures, forms, assessed and audited by folk who have no idea what they’re doing or why they’re doing it, as are they in turn. We are required to sacrifice our dignity and be pacified with toys and entertainments, endless consumption without satisfaction. It’s bizarre that so many corporate-constructed cultural artifacts are claimed as ‘working class culture’. Capitalism robs children of their childhood and robs adults of opportunities to grow up. The economy makes us sick and trades our ill-health. False hope and desperation are commodities, or no one would ever buy hair restorer. Loving Corbyn is a commodity, so is hating Him; their stocks will rise and fall, the market will care little, and when the party’s over, there’s going to be a fucking great hangover.

What can we salvage from all this? Probably no more or less than from the occupy movement; sitting round the fire listening to tosh about chemtrails and the Bilderberg group, every now and then someone would ask: “seriously, how do we get out of this fucking mess?” Well I’ve a few ideas, but you’re going to have to put yourself out … fancy a pint?

Credit Suisse Research Institute publications, on which the Oxfam report was based

The Global Wealth Databook 2015 pdf

The Global Wealth Report 2015 pdf

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Tolpuddle martyrs’ show in Taunton 19 th – 21st January.

A cast of 21 young student actors relive the story of the Tolpuddle martyrs in drama, dance and song .

Tues 19th, Wednesday 20th and Thurs 21st January.  7.30pm – 9.45pm. Licensed bar & cafe, free Parking on site. Union Stands in the theatre foyer pre-show and during interval.

Tickets £6.50 / £5.00 concessions £4.50 students.Box office 01823 414141

The Tacchi – Morris Arts Centre, Monkton Heathfield, Taunton TA2 8PD, 2 mins from junction 25 of M5 or from A358 roundabout (Taunton ).

Slum landlords, how they voted.

riLgqygi8Below is a list of landlord M.P.s who voted against the amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill to ensure houses are “fit for human habitation”, whom according to the register of members’ financial interests as of December 2015, had also recorded under Section 6(ii) “Income derived from property: over £10,000 in a calendar year”. That’s on top of nearly 70 grand they get for doing stuff like this. Nearly a third of members and 39% of the tories belong to this clique; those who derive less than 10,000 p.a. are not declared.

You can still be evicted for reporting a leaking roof – and politicians are still taking the piss.

 

  1. Nigel Adams
  2. Stuart Andrew
  3. Victoria Atkins
  4. Jake Berry
  5. James Berry
  6. Bob Blackman
  7. Robert Buckland
  8. Alun Cairns
  9. David Cameron
  10. Douglas Carswell
  11. Alex Chalk
  12. James Cleverley
  13. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
  14. Therese Coffey
  15. Geoffrey Cox
  16. Mims Davies
  17. Philip Davies
  18. Richard Grosvenor-Plunkett-Ernle-Erle Drax
  19. James Duddridge
  20. Alan Duncan
  21. Philip Dunne
  22. Jane Ellison
  23. George Eustice
  24. Mike Freer
  25. Richard Fuller
  26. John Glen
  27. Robert Goodwill
  28. Chris Grayling
  29. Dominic Grieve
  30. Chris Heaton-Harris
  31. Peter Heaton-Jones
  32. George Hollingberry
  33. Kevin Hollinrake
  34. Philip Hollobone
  35. Nick Hurd
  36. Stewart Jackson
  37. Margot James
  38. Sajid Javid
  39. Joseph Johnson
  40. Danny Kinahan
  41. Simon Kirby (teller)
  42. Greg Knight
  43. Brandon Lewis
  44. Julian Lewis
  45. Craig Mackinlay
  46. Tania Mathias
  47. Karl McCartney
  48. Anne Marie Morris
  49. Sheryll Murray
  50. Robert Neill
  51. Sarah Newton (teller)
  52. Jesse Norman
  53. David Nuttall
  54. Neil Parish
  55. Owen Paterson
  56. Rebecca Pow
  57. Jeremy Quin
  58. Jacob Rees-Mogg
  59. Laurence Robertson
  60. Julian Smith
  61. Royston Smith
  62. Mark Spencer
  63. John Stevenson
  64. Desmond Swayne
  65. Derek Thomas
  66. Anne-Marie Trevelyan
  67. Andrew Turner
  68. Shailesh Vara
  69. Theresa Villiers
  70. Ben Wallace
  71. David Warburton
  72. Craig Whittaker
  73. John Whittingdale
  74. Nadhim Zahawi

The following landlords abstained, the Scots didn’t get a vote.

  1. Rushanara Ali
  2. John Baron
  3. Richard Benyon
  4. Ann Clwyd
  5. Glyn Davies
  6. George Eustice
  7. Liam Fox
  8. James Gray
  9. Richard Harrington
  10. James Heappy
  11. Norman Lamb
  12. Alasdair McDonnell
  13. Andrew Mitchell
  14. George Osborne
  15. Antionette Sandback
  16. Danny Simpson
  17. Edward Timpson
  18. Keith Vaz

Information from International Business Times.

Red and black telly: The Cologne outrage – an anarchist perspective

ALWAYS ANTIFASCIST – FUNDRAISER FOR KIM – IMPRISONED ANTIFA

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Rebel Time Records

Kim, a great friend/comrade from our hometown of Hamilton is currently doing time in UK clink for anti-fascists actions and he needs our support.

As such, any and all monies from the sale of the Action Sedition / Spanner  “History Lessons” 7″  Bandcamp download will go directly to Kim…it’s just $5.00 (or more if you like!) for 4 top-notch left-radical (and, of course, anti-fascist) political punk rock tunes…

DON’T DELAY, BUY TODAY!

INFO ABOUT KIM

Raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Kim is an anarchist, political organizer, local shit- disturber, and all around solid human being. An indispensible member of the community, he’s been involved in everything from anti-police struggles to workplace organizing, from anarchist publishing to anti-racism work and so much more.

Seeking to explore and gain experience of struggle elsewhere, Kim moved to London, England two years ago. Immediately throwing himself into political work abroad, he became active in various…

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Bristol Comrade sees off filth at airport.

Bristol Anarchist Chases Away Counter-Terror Police from RABBLE

Today at Stansted Airport, plainclothes police officers pulled aside a travelling anarchist (Tim from Bristol) and seemingly sought to coerce him into becoming an informant with a combination of intimidation, veiled threats, and offers of free alcohol. But when he started recording the officers on his mp3 player they quickly terminated the exchange and made a sharp exit.

He believes he was targeted by counter terror police because of his Anarchism, stating: “Anarchism is about ordinary people standing up to the rich and powerful – exactly what the police are there to prevent. These people claim to be protecting us, but they spend most of their time blacklisting trade unionists, spying on activists and harassing ethnic minorities.”

Here’s his full account of what happened today:

As I was leaving the EU e-passport gate about 1pm today, I was approached by a man who came out from behind the desk to the left. He was a similar height to me, with short light brown hair/beard, and a light northern English accent. He said “Hi Tim, I’d like to have a word with you. I think you know what this is about”. I got my phone out and called a friend as soon as he started speaking. I told him I had a phone call which I needed to take. A man who had approached in the mean-time from the right, wearing a grey suit-jacket, asked me to turn my phone off. I repeated that I had to take the call. When my friend picked up I asked them to call my solicitor.

The man in the grey suit identified himself as a police officer. The man who’d originally approached me asked me to go with him again. I asked “am I being detained?” and he said “it’s nothing like that”. I said that I’m busy and needed to get on. He said “so am I” and that it wouldn’t take long. He kept saying that he wants to talk somewhere else because it would be “in your interest” and I wouldn’t want to talk about it in public. I just repeated that I wanted to stay where we were.

I asked him what it was about to find out if I could leave, and he said that I’m “heading down a dark path” and repeated that we should talk in private and “I can buy you a drink”. At this point I’d had enough so I told him “if I don’t have to talk to you then I’m leaving” and started walking. He said “we’ll come with you”. I said “I’d rather not” but he walked by me anyway.

He asked another question about why I didn’t want to talk, to which I replied “I’m not obliged to answer that”. He was obviously not going to leave me alone even though I’d made it very clear I wanted him to go, so I visibly got out my mp3 player and set it to record. I held it up and asked “who are you, what’s your name?” (he had so far refused to identify himself). He said “You don’t need to record this”. When I didn’t stop he turned away from me without a word and walked off briskly, joined by another man dressed the same (short hair, dark grey jacket). I followed him, repeating the question several times but they ignored me. Eventually the man who said he’s a cop stood in my path and said “calm down fellas”, allowing the two others to walk away. I left the airport and called the solicitor Raj Chada of HJA immediately to let him know what happened.”

This isn’t the first time that British counter-terror police have fled when faced with being recorded either – see https://corporatewatch.org/videos/2014/activist-harrassed-counter-terrorism-command. This just goes to show that if you’re approached by the police to be an informant, standing up to them is the best response. They don’t like it when we record THEM and ask questions, or when we stick together instead of letting them intimidate us one by one. Police feed on our isolation, so it’s when we stand up to them publicly instead of keeping our heads down that they back off and leave us alone.

If you are approached to be an informant, there’s some great advice on the freebeagles website – http://www.freebeagles.org/articles/grass.html . As a quick summary we’d say:

  • Say nothing – you have nothing to gain by telling them anything, whether it seems important to you or not. Saying anything at all is a sign of weakness and makes you a target
  • We’re always safer together. Let friends and comrades know what happened and make it public as soon as possible. Your local defendant solidarity group may be able to help
  • Get in touch with a solicitor (see https://netpol.org/solicitors/ for a list of good ones in the UK)
  • Put THEM under the spotlight – it’s a proven fact that police hassle people less when they shout about it and talk to the media

For information on police harassment in general, the articles by Bristol Defendant Solidarity are also well worth a read, covering everything from the bare minimum you have to say, to what to do when faced with raids and arrests – https://bristolabc.wordpress.com/defendant-solidarity/police-harassment/

Same Old Fucking Tories: Government Pledges Millions To Support Traditional Family Values

Whilst cutting funding for domestic violence services, more butchery of our class expected

the void

Cameron goes Back to Basics Cameron goes Back to Basics

It is genuinely astonishing that a man who fucked a pig’s head and left his young child alone in a pub thinks he can lecture the rest of us about being a good parent.  But that is what David Cameron plans to do as his increasingly desperate government launches a back to basics style campaign based on traditional Tory family values.

The government has announced that an additional £35 million is to be spent on guilt-tripping unhappy couples into staying together for the sake of the kids.  Alongside this there wil be increased access to parenting classes.  This will stop people being poor according to David Cameron who is expected to say in a speech today that “families are the best anti-poverty measure ever invented.”  Which they are if you stand to inherit a multi-million pound fortune like him and all his chums.

The…

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